Author Archives: Maggie Elizabeth - Bliss

Bye, Bliss. Hello, Passion!

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Ruth 66 Official Cover

Ruth 66 Official Cover

I would like to inform you that this blog is going to be put to rest and thank you for your interest and support. I have decided to solely focus on my passion for fiction writing. When I write a novel, the universe and I are on the same frequency, if you know what I mean :-).

I hope to connect with you again on my new blog wordpress.elizabethbarlo.com, where you will find posts relating to my Young Adult and Contemporary Women’s Fiction, general poetry and fiction, as well as the existing Bliss posts under the Category ‘Bliss’.

As of Thanksgiving, 28 November 2013, my debut Young Adult novel Ruth 66 will be available as a FREE download from the Amazon Kindle Store, for a limited time only. Get your e-copy while you can!

‘Ruth 66’ is a humorous Young Adult coming-of-age novel about a music-mad teenager who is forced to babysit his crazy grandmother on a road trip that will change his life forever.
So get your FREE e-copy while you can!

Again, thanks so much for your support and happy blogging!

With love and gratitude,

Elizabeth Barlo

Fiction with a Heartbeat

Fiction with a Heartbeat

The Privacy Prism

Prism

Prism

The world’s privacy is in tatters,
now that a whistle-blower has sounded the alarm.
The illusion of safe browsing
has well and truly lost its charm.

But how unexpected is it really?
When we systematically put our lives online,
and creating profiles of our newborns
is considered to be just fine.

But there’s the catch right there.
Our thoughts are ours and therefore subjective
and it takes another one’s subjective mind
to put them into perspective.

Like a prism diffracts the light,
our brain diffracts incoming signals.
But unlike the prism’s colorful rainbow,
our brain’s outcome can be rather dismal.

What will stop someone who works
in the name of national security,
to misread our online information
and lift us from our obscurity?

The line has been crossed by governments
that are in the grip of fear.
But we elected the people who took those steps –
that much is crystal clear.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013

In Memoriam

Pauline Vilain, literary agent
20 October 1945 – 30 April 2013

She was
the agent every writer craves.
Patient when the manuscript was late again.
Encouraging when writer’s block would hit.
A steadfast belief in my craft
she had.

She passed away so suddenly.
A friend, a shepherd to her scribbling flock.
May she rest in peace.

The Procrastination Song

Procrastination Song

Procrastination Song

Oh how difficult it can be sometimes
to do what I have to do.
When the most important things that day
are behind a big hurdle,
and I just can’t seem to jump it.

I must do my taxes,
I must write another 1000 words.
But my brain won’t focus
and flutters like a flock of birds.

Suddenly my path is filled
with a million other little things.
The laundry awaits,
the windows need cleaning.
I haven’t dusted the picture frames in ages
and menial tasks keep intervening.

The garden has to be ready for Spring,
I have to order carpet swatches.
And I recorded a cool show last night
that really needs watching.

I must do my taxes,
I must write another 1000 words.
But my brain won’t focus
and flutters like a flock of birds.

I give myself an imaginary slap.
Focus, now, snap out of it!
It’s like high school’s lack of toil,
when the night before the exam
you were burning the midnight oil.

I must do my taxes,
I must write another 1000 words.
But my brain won’t focus
and flutters like a flock of birds.

You’re a grown-up now, I tell myself,
face up to reality and your responsibility!
You know what’ll happen if you don’t do it on time.
The authorities will just bury you in hostility,
and you’ll regret not taking the 60 minutes
to finish off that compulsory business.

I take a deep breath
and force my feet to my folders and files.
This is it, I’m going to clear that big hurdle,
but not before the towels are in a perfect pile.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013


What’s Your Mantra?

I never cease to be amazed by the emotional strength some people show in difficult situations. It’s all relative, of course. What may be a difficult situation for one, may be a walk in the park for someone else, but when someone tells me they are having a difficult time, I believe them. It’s a lot like pain – who am I to tell them it doesn’t hurt?

mantra

What’s your mantra?

I have been blessed to have encountered only a few difficult times in my life, but last week I did have to dig into my emotional reserves. Two out of our three children, and I, caught a nasty tummy bug, and my husband was away on a business trip. It’s bad enough having to run around after the little ones with old towels to try and prevent their stomach contents from going everywhere, but it’s even worse when you yourself have to run to the bathroom every two minutes as well.

After a couple of hours the tumult died down a little and there was a twenty-minute lull between gastric upsets. I found myself lying on our bed like a wet towel, in between two sick little kids, wondering how we were going to get through this.
Then a voice suddenly came up in my head. “This too shall pass,” it said. And when I listened to it carefully, I recognized the voice as my own. I kept repeating the phrase and I felt the confidence grow inside and comfort me.

Of course we got through the whole episode and looking back now I can laugh about it. I realize that I actually use “This too shall pass” a lot when things get tough and that it has, in fact, become my mantra. It feels good to have one – it’s like an emotional safety-net you know you can pull out in times of need.
And it has made me curious as well – what’s your mantra, and how did you come to have one?

A Flawless Joke

I open the glossy magazine
and see the face of perfection.
No wrinkles, spots or blotches,
just a glowing, flawless complexion.

The ad says the patents are pending,
and the self-tests are conclusive.
This cream really is the bee’s knees,
very soon my creases shall be elusive.

I go to the store and fork out fifty bucks
for the promise of eternal youth in a tube.
It’s a bargain when you think about it,
and this time, I’m sure, I won’t get duped.

They are not making false claims,
or messing with my mind.
Oh no, beauty is within my reach,
and it’s exactly what I’ll find.

The traces of age and the motherhood marks
will be all at once erased.
Gone are the signs of broken nights,
the bags, the spots, the waste.

I drive home in excitement
and start lathering with glee.
The cream indulges my skin and whispers,
“You’ll soon look like you’re twenty-three…”

Four weeks later I look in the mirror
and it’s the same old face I see.
I stick out my tongue and realize
the joke is once again on me.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013

The Voice

No, I’m not talking about
the latest fad on TV.
That zillionth talent show
I’m sure I’ll never see.

I’m talking about The Voice.
The one anyone can tell apart.
Where a deep, warm timbre,
turns spoken words into an art.

It’s the voice that can both warm
and chill us to our very bones.
It startles me every time I launch that app.
It’s the voice of James Earl Jones.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013

Sunday Mornings 2.0

Sunday Mornings 2.0

Puzzles for breakfast by Maggie Elizabeth.

Sunday mornings with the paper
are now spent reading Dr. Seuss.
Slow coffees with a side of Bircher
replaced by cleaning up spilled juice.

Sleeping in til noon or later
a very distant memory.
The clock usually says six
and seven’s utter luxury.

The puzzle’s still a feature,
but no longer the crossword kind.
Boxes scattered on the table,
colored pieces on our minds.

Slow has become fast
and quiet really loud.
Peace lasts about ten seconds
followed by a playful shout.

My worries may have tripled,
no longer a carefree girl.
But my little hoompanchoonks,
I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013

Inner Fire

Your Facebook life is great,
your Instaworld real neat.
You fly high through the Twitterverse,
on the tail of every Tweet.

Your online life is beer and skittles,
where sunny days blend into laughter.
Friends embrace while flowers blossom,
and mankind’s happy ever after.

But the life that you project,
is like a hollow tree.
Glorious splendour on the outer,
the emptiness we dare not see.

Once in a while we get a glimpse
of the real you and your transgression.
Of sadness at your world
and need for repossession,
of your life the way it was
before the pressure got a hold.
When nobody knew who you were,
not yet a product being sold.

When being not perfect was quite okay,
and you stumbled and you tripped.
When mistakes were made and learnt from,
and you read not from a script.

But don’t worry, you have got us good
we buy it, while we know it’s suss.
We love that mirror you hold up,
so what does that make us?

Life’s a gift, all ours to take,
without anything in return.
Let’s strip back all our layers,
so we can see our fires burn.

We don’t need others to fan our flames,
they’re ablaze, alive, aglow.
It’s our own passion that fuels the fire,
not the Likes that we crave so.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013

Nail The Day

Snowdrop signalling spring

Snowdrop
Image credit: tsekhmister / 123RF Stock Photo

I’m gonna nail the day,
I’m gonna seize this mofo.
Damn you, dark of winter,
I’m gonna surf this golden glow.

I’m gonna skip the Prozac,
leave Oprah in the lurch.
I’m gonna open up my mind,
give my soul time to search.

And while I am at it
may as well do some more.
I’m gonna dust off the trinkets,
mop the kitchen floor.

I’m gonna strip the beds
and wash the sheets.
I’m gonna clean the loo
and sweep the streets.

I’m gonna shop for groceries
and bake an apple pie.
I’m gonna plug my tire,
and learn to tie a tie.

I’m gonna wash the clothes
and scrub the dirty tub.
I’m gonna iron that pile,
and potty-train the bub.

I’m gonna set up a charity,
find a cure for disease.
I’m gonna stop every war,
and learn to make cheese.

I’m gonna do it all in one day
like a whirlwind on a mission.
I’m gonna tick that whole list
spurred by endless ambition.

I swing open the bedroom window
and greet Mother Nature fair.
I thank her for my spirited energy,
and for putting Spring in the air.

© Maggie Elizabeth, 2013