Forrest takes a Journey!

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I almost forgot the SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT I posted about mid October!

I recently found out that Ingram Book Distributors picked up both of my books for commercial distribution a few months ago! What does this mean? It means local book stores will be able to acquire copies of my book for commercial sale! I found out recently some have already been selling them on their “Online Shopping” websites.

As of now, The Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books in Port Townsend, WA will be selling by of my books there. They are amazing people that everyone should get to know. Their shop is amazing!

I will be visiting with King’s Books here in Tacoma, WA this coming week to see what partnership we can develop, which is also an amazing local bookshop and staple They also confirmed that both of my books are already available for online purchase on their website.

Honestly, I never thought my books would make it to mainstream distribution but look what happens when you follow your dreams. I am fortunate that these local businesses are giving me the chance. I am humbled.

“I do not own the rights to this music”
However, this songs goes with how I am feeling at the moment

Thank you everyone who have pushed me thus far! I am blessed to have you all in my life.

Www.forresttakesajourney.press

Thank you for stopping by for more Coffee Chats and Reviews!

Welcome to my new blog showcase, “Coffee Chats and Reviews.”

Today I am proud to host the incomparable Balroop Singh whom I am proud to call friend and mentor.

This is Day-7 of her wonderful “Moments We Love” Blog Tour.

I hope you all enjoy her post today and check out her newly released book “Moments We Love”

About her book:

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here

Today when I return to share

The glow of rainbows

Embers of emotional entreaties

And smoldering debris.

Buying links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Here I am, in conversation with my mentors, the shadows of life.

Hi Shadows, I always found you sublime. Come let’s celebrate the sunshine.

Why only sunshine? We like darkness too.

I know, you sway; you scare yet your messages are sublime.

You are transitory, you feed on our weaknesses.

The day I understood you, your reverence grew within me.

You reconnect me to the past, the bruised emotions and the lost passions.

You linger around me even when I try to brush you away. Are you so nasty to everybody?

We haunt all people.

We try to pull them into darkest corridors to acquaint them with their capabilities. When we try to trap them, when we conspire to encage them, self-awakening hits them.

Those who like to dwell in our shade realize what a torture it is live in the pool of tears but we give voice to muted desires and mental anguish.

Don’t you come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior to enforce your influence, bringing along detachment and shattering our most valued dreams?

We just create awareness. Detachment is the other side of attachments you willingly enter into. You may try very hard to hold on to your treasures, they would slip away one day.

I remember the day you fell on all those wonderful years of delight and pride.

I can never forget the way you swept all my joys into one gigantic abyss.

We always keep the embers alive.

Even a flickering flame can guide your way and we step aside when you look at the twinkling stars, replete with hope of a new dawn.

But you create anxiety and acrimony all over the world. Your long streaks touch everyone. People watch dumbstruck.

We pervade all around humanity, challenging each one of you to comprehend the harmony of thoughts and usher in a new order of inner peace and serenity. The choice lies with you.

You have been my best pal. You have helped me so much in understanding life, in conquering my pain, in forgiving myself from all the guilt.

You made my poetry profound. You have enriched my life by making me perceptive and forgiving. How can I thank you?

You have done that by dedicating your poetry book to us. We love the title of your book – ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’

© Balroop Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life,  Emerging From Shadows and Timeless Echoes – her widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships, Allow Yourself to be a Better Person, her latest poetry bookMoments We Love has just been released.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting links: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

Check out her Goodreads page today, click here.

Just a reminder to stop by her Amazon page to get your copy of her new book “Moments We Love.”

Thank you for checking today’s inaugural “Coffee Chats and Reviews” with today’s special guest, Balroop Singh.

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. 

If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  

Welcome to the #RRBC 2019 October-Ween Block Party

October 18, 2019


Welcome to the 2019 #RRBC October-Ween Book, Blog, & Trailer Block Party

Today’s giveaways for three special visitors are:

One (1) $10 gift card from Amazon

One (1) paperback copy of “Journey to the Rainbow’s End”

One (1) paperback copy of “BOUND”

And the winners are in…

(1) $10 Amazon gift card – Miriam Hurdle 

(1) Paperback copy of JOURNEY… – Yvette Calleiro

(1) Paperback copy of BOUND – John Howell

That’s right folks! That’s three opportunities to win a giveaway just for visiting today and leaving a comment below!

Today’s Hot Topic:

The Hidden History of our Founding Fathers

Image result for lgbt history facts founding fathers

Believe it or not, there were many discussions about LGBT relationships during the Revolutionary War involving our founding fathers. In fact, some of our founding fathers were tangled in same-sex relationships or identified as homosexual. Many evangelicals have debated these facts over the years in order to place their beliefs in the forefront of politics; however, these reports have been debunked by many historians and archivists. The truth is that there were ethical debates and family feuds due to some of our historic founding fathers“close friendships” or “relationships“. In many historical reviews it is reported that George Washington has unofficially been named the first LGBT ally of our country.

In Victoria Brownworth’s article, she stated “Historians assert that passionate same-sex friendships were normative in the 18th century.” She also states that the acts of “sodemy and open homosexuality were punishable by imprisonment, castration and even death, both in and out of the military.” Although it’s true that being “openly homosexual” was deemed “illegal” during these times, founding fathers, like Washington, were noted in turning a blind eye when it came to others in their social circle.

Again, this information was never noted in my textbooks growing up.

Historians have recently discovered the close relationship of Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens. Author John C. Miller wrote a biographical book on Hamilton who shared love letters written by Hamilton and Laurens in 1959.

Hamilton wrote passionate letters to John Laurens multiple times. One of these letters dated April of 1779 stated, “Cold in my professions, warm in [my] friendships, I wish, my Dear Laurens, it m[ight] be in my power, by action rather than words, [to] convince you that I love you. I shall only tell you that ’till you bade us Adieu, I hardly knew the value you had taught my heart to set upon you. Indeed, my friend, it was not well done. You know the opinion I entertain of mankind, and how much it is my desire to preserve myself free from particular attachments, and to keep my happiness independent on the caprice of others. You sh[ould] not have taken advantage of my sensibility to ste[al] into my affections without my consent. But as you have done it and as we are generally indulgent to those we love, I shall not scruple to pardon the fraud you have committed, on condition that for my sake, if not for your own, you will always continue to merit the partiality, which you have so artfully instilled into [me].”

More letters from Hamilton and Laurens can be reviewed on not-for-profit OutHistory.org.

Various historians have written articles on the love affair and relationship between Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens. It is also noted that George Washington was supportive of their friendship and even encouraged them to share a bunker together during the Revolutionary War.

Recruited by Benjamin Franklin, Baron Friedrich von Steuben is listed as one of the greatest Revolutionary War heroes of all time. In many reviews and articles, it is written that Baron von Steuben had multiple relationships with men. In fact these relationships were what caused him to move to the colonies after being chased out of Prussia and France. In an article from History.com by Erin Blakemore, it is stated, “During von Steuben’s lifetime, the concept of gay marriagegay pride or coming out was unthinkable and there was no language or open culture of homosexuality. But historical homosexual relationships were actually common.”

The article goes on to say, “That doesn’t mean being gay was condoned: Sodomy was a crime in colonial America. But romantic relationships between men were widely tolerated until the 19th century, and only in the early 20th century did the U.S. military begin officially discriminating against people suspected to be gay.”

As you can see, these stories paint a different narrative than the history most of us were taught in high school and college. I could go on and on about stories from our past history that were edited or changed for various reasons, but I encourage each and everyone of you to look back out our history, especially about our founding fathers.

Journey to the Rainbow’s End Trailer
Produced by 4-Wills Publishing

Follow me on these media sites as well:

Twitter

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RRBC Author Page

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Thank you for stopping by today and joining me for the

#RRBC PRESENTS

OCTOBER-WEEN BOOK, BLOG AND TRAILER BLOCK PARTY!!!

Hope to see you on the next stop of this amazing Block Party, just click here!!!

Welcome to October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!! Presented by #RRBC

Today’s giveaways for a few special visitors (total of three winners):

$10 Gift Card for Amazon

1 paperback copy- “Journey to the Rainbow’s End”

1 paperback copy- “BOUND”

Congrats to the winners for the October 10, 2019 Block Party

(1) $10 Amazon gift card – Wendy Scott

(1) Paperback copy of JOURNEY – D. E. Howard

(1) Paperback copy of BOUND – Gwen Plano

Today’s Presentation: “Where did I get my start?”

Journey to the Rainbow’s End Book Trailer
Produced by 4 Wills Publishing

I began writing when I was twelve years old after experiencing one of the most depressing times of my life. The summer of 1987, I attempted to end my life. I struggled with a great many things, such as identity and traumatic stress caused by events that occurred in my childhood; however, in the fall of 1987 I was lucky to have an incredible English Teacher by the name of Mrs. Carr. Our school was not the prettiest or the fanciest, but, we were lucky to have fantastic instructors who were truly passionate about teaching.

Mrs. Carr often commented on my writing style and one day during a one-on-one session she asked if I’d ever thought of becoming a writer when I grew up. I fell over in my chair laughing. Although she had a great sense of humor, she made it clear she was being quite sincere. Apparently she saw great potential in my writing style, and with everything I had gone through in my life, she suggested it might be quite therapeutic for me. I told her I would think about it. I was quite resistant to the thought, as we were in the impoverished East San Diego region called “El Barrio Logan.” The school was in the middle of the gang and drug infested ghetto. Anything artistic would be considered “abnormal” in this part of town.

The day after Mrs. Carr and I had our conversation, she decided to spring what she called a “pop writing challenge.” She would present these “challenges” with passion and great hype. The challenge was to write a poem about our past summer vacation and she implored us to make them lyrical. I remember her words to this day, “I want you to tell me a story through your poem… I want to laugh with you, if it was a funny event… I want to cry with you and feel your pain, if it was a sad event.” She liked playing music during these challenges and that day she played “Moonlight Sonata”. I was frozen for the first five minutes. My summer was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions as I stated earlier. I let the music fill me and I was able to write my first poem. The name of that poem was titled “Freeze”.

My teacher liked to showcase our work to the rest of our peers, so the following day Mrs. Carr did her usual, passionate speech on how impressed she was with each of us, but stated a few of us stood out. The poetic works ranged from romantic, or as well as romantic as a 12-year-old could be, to extremely humorous. The last poetic work she read was “Freeze”, however she did not disclose my name to the class. “After I read this poem, I will leave it up to the author on whether or not they want to share their identity,” she explained. She tearfully read my poem as if she was in my soul and was feeling the pain I endured. My peers were in awe, while making comments like “I want to give them a hug whoever they are” and “The poem should be published.” After the tears from my peers – and continued statements – I slowly stood up. This is how this author was born.

Fun Facts with History:

One thing that has come up many times throughout the past year is my gender identity, which has caused confusion for some of my readers. The picture on the cover of my book “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” probably did not help with these perceptions. Yes, I am a semi-retired drag performer and performance artist in the Pacific Northwest.

The art of drag is older then people can imagine. There are various stories of how the term “Drag Queen” came about. Some say it is related to actors during the Shakespearean times wearing oversized dresses, which had to have two-by-four boards attached to them so that their dresses would drag behind the actors appropriately. This was a time when women were not permitted to be in the theater, whether as a worker or a performer.

Another story I learned was from an old theater professor who specialized in Shakespearean Era and Grecian plays who stated it was more directly related to stage directions and scripts. Recently, I was able to find this on google: “A folk etymology is that drag is an acronym of “Dressed Resembling A Girl” in description of male theatrical transvestism.” In the character references there would be a notation next to the characters name for example, Juliet (DRaG): “RomeoRomeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” etc.

Drag is different than gender identity. Drag is an artform, where most performers are men who are celebrating the art of female impersonation. I identity as a man; I say this because I have received many questions regarding my gender identity since I became published. If you have further questions regarding this artform, please ask in the comment section below.

Pictures of my Drag Character, Victoria Eyesli
2001-2002 Miss Debutante #8
2009-2010 Miss Gay Tacoma 09-10
2016-2017 Imperial Princess 38
2017-2018 Empress 39

How did I start in this wonderful world? I grew up in the theater. I was in musical theater from the age of six and began studying opera at the age of nineteen. I was classified as a lyric baritone voice type. I even had the honor of being under the tutelage of voice and linguist coach, Tricia Strauss. I was fortunate enough to have studied music of all types my entire life.

Throughout my life, I had to learn to be accepting of all of my unique and eclectic glory, this included my writing.

Pictures of the real me
1979-
check out the leisure suit, 1987 I played the trumpet for almost 10 years,
1994- my first professional headshot for singing and theater, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2019, 2019

Thank you for stopping by today and joining me for the

#RRBC Presents

October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!!

Hope to see you on the next stop of this amazing Block Party, just click here!!!

Happy October-Ween Everyone!

Inspired by many recent declarations our government has made recently.

The United States of Sad Affairs

By Forrest Robert Stepnowski

What is happening to our country?

What has happened to the Land of the Free?

Free from religious persecution as the Constitution grants.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! ”

This is the poem that is bronzed on the tablet of the “Statue of Liberty”

We used to be known as a land of compassion.

Over time, the privileged have become power hungry as they clad their iron first of racism, elitism, and prejudicial white supremacism!

And we listen

No longer do we feed our hungry or embrace our differences

People are crying, dying, and struggling to breathe the air of freedom

And “We the People of the United States” are silent…

Sad state of affairs.

We listen in fear

We listen in disbelief

We listen as the rights of people of color, lgbtq, and other minorities are stripped away, bit, by bit, by bit.

We slowly suffocate ourselves

And we listen

Let our voices be heard from the shores to the mountain tops

Let our song rise up once again as we shout out “we shall overcome”

Let our dreams be realized once again as MLK taught us to do so

Let us be empowered once again like Harvey Milk inspired us to do so

No longer can we live in silence

For if we do, our silence will become our death…

Thank you for stopping by, are we done listening now?

#WritingCommunity #poetrycommunity #iidentifyasapoet #letfreedomring #diversityiskey