Pretty in Print

After publishing our poetry book as an eBook, I decided to add content and completely redesign and prettify it for paperback publication. I went a bit crazy with the formatting for the poems, so it took forever. But I love how it turned out! Here’s the new description along with the Amazon link:

[Mirrors: Poetry Anthology (2nd edition)] []

Two teenage cousins loved to write poetry in the 1980s before the internet was a thing. Thirty years later, after marriages, divorces and children, Kari and Terrie’s shared dream of publishing a book is finally realized.

Topics near and dear to their hearts–crushes, breakups, friendship, pets, books and nature–are the focus of poems in this nostalgic collection.

Beautiful, full-color illustrations and personal photos bring their words to life, preserving a little piece of history. This print edition has been reorganized and redesigned and includes additional photos and commentary.

Little Piece

mirrors cover fb

As a book editor, it is very rewarding to finally be able to say I’ve edited AND published an eBook co-written by me and my cousin. This book represents a little piece of our history.  I’ll include my eBook description and link below.

Two teenage cousins loved to write poetry in the 1980s before the internet was a thing. Topics near and dear to their hearts – crushes, breakups, friendship, pets, books and nature – are the focus of poems in this collection. Thirty years later, after marriages, divorces and children, Kari and Terrie’s dream of publishing a book is finally realized.

[ Mirrors: Poetry Anthology ]
(available on Amazon)

Wednesday’s Wafers IX

Wednesday’s Wafers: weekly series where I share some of my own recent writing.

Return for Chapter 5 of my short story at a later date.

The romantic fool in me wrote this during a two-day period when I’d thought that I’d been abandoned again. Thankfully, I was wrong! But this is what it’s come to: engaging self-preservation mode to prevent weeks of agonizing over someone by condensing it into a 24-hour period of anguish. So, now I can read it and laugh gleefully, feeling safe in my bubble of adoration and addiction.

Pieces by Karolyn H


Even now,
it’s still devastating…
to lose a love
so sweet so pure so unexpected.
Even though I knew it could happen
and I knew that he would stop
if he no longer felt the
same euphoria
that we shared for a short time.

Love is love.
It’s real
It makes me happy
He filled my heart
He loved me
He loved to hear me sing.
And now I cry
and wait to stop crying.
I wonder what he would do if he could see and hear me cry
over missing him.
Still hoping,
but not expecting
to ever hear his magic voice again.

My stupid heart is broken.
It still hurts.
So, I whisper to myself
“just pretend”
go back to who I was before I knew him.
Forget all the beautiful little pieces of him
that he shared with me.
But my heart rejects this.
“Be happy for the love we shared,”
I whisper, determined.
Move on.

But those little pieces poke
and stab.
Instead of sleeping,
I bleed.


Wednesday’s Wafers VI

Wednesday’s Wafers: weekly series where I share some of my own recent writing.

Return next week for Chapter 4 in my short story.

I’m not a gamer. I never play World of Warcraft. I don’t own any consoles or first person shooter games. I used to love watching my son play Halo and Elder Scrolls, etc., but I never spent time playing any of them myself. I do like to play a word game and a puzzle game on my phone occasionally because I feel it helps keep my mind sharp. Well – then I discovered Empires & Allies, a strategy, resource gathering, base building, base raiding game. I’m so hooked lol. I joined an alliance and laid low for awhile because my base and troops were so weak. But I made friends with several alliance members, and now I’ve followed them from one alliance to another and then another. I like being one of the guys, so to speak. I love building and gathering types of games and I’m pretty competitive at times. I’ve just never played any for very long, until now. This is what I do when I have a spare moment, or I’m taking a break from work. So, thought I’d write about it. Hope you like it. Thoughts?

Gang’s All Here  by Karolyn H


Melody of beeps, increasingly louder…
The alarm drags me out of my slumber.
I fumble for my phone and swipe it off.
It’s quiet, no one’s up. Dark. Why am I….?
Oh yeah. E&A Alliance War.
Sitting up, I check Messenger.
4a in the alliance group chat wreaking havoc. Someone must be drunk, lol.
Ricky sending hearts and Sandan telling us to attack early.
‘Yarrrr!’ I text, before leaving Messenger and opening the game app.
While the game takes foreeeveeeerrrrr to load,
I put on my robe and slipper socks and sit in my office chair.
Game loads. X out the annoying ad.
First things first: check time remaining until alliance war begins.
15 minutes. Good, plenty of time.
Tap alliance war shield.
Apply Strike Force to base defensive buildings.
Request additional defensive troops from alliance members.
Back to my base. Tap tap tap to collect fuel, steel, tech, resources.
Damn, attacked 3 times overnight? Revive Colossus in the Robotics Bay.
Open War Factory, collect Command Points bonus that’s finished building.
Purchase elite cache with Advance Materials, get a construction boost, resource boost, and 30 gold.
Tap on fuel stockpile, tap on speedup icon to request help from alliance.
Check Call to Arms mission. Nevermind, I’ll worry about that after I use my AW attacks.
Guess I’ll wait to finish Killswitch after the war too.
Need a couple more uplink modules so I can build another Ion Cannon.
Tap on Alliance chat. Gang’s all here. I smile.
Swarm: wzup dragon!
Gen Dragon (me): thanks for the troops. Ready to kick some ass
Swarm: Everyone pick your targets, claim them.
Steveo: I’ll take nomad, 72xp
Dragon: I’m fine with my recommended target for first attack
Illbreed: Ready to nuke something. I’ll go for bitbit, 71xp
Spos: I’m on my way to work guys, I’ll attack when I can
4a: Fuck you all!
Dragon: lol
Hard Target: I finally upgraded HQ to 20
Ricky: hey, way to go buddy
ANNOUNCEMENT: War’s about to start. Load strike force. Attack early. Don’t waste attacks
Sandan: Dragon, switch to squad deployment, instead of individual.
Dragon: roger that.
X out of chat. Tap on HQ, switch to squad deployment.
Apply auto repair boost to Colossus from Inventory.
Apply bonus command points boost to Weapons Command.
Apply strike force to 3 troop tarmacs.
Banner pops up on the screen. Alliance War has begun.
Tap on alliance war shield.
Screen freezes, then…
World map zooms in. There’s my base.
Recommended target is identified. Tap on Scout.
Adrenaline rush.
Here we go!


Wednesday’s Wafers IV

Wednesday’s Wafers: weekly series where I share some of my own recent writing.

I’ll write the next chapter in my short story for an upcoming post.

algeria  Today, I’m sharing a newly revised and expanded version of a poem that I wrote six years ago, after returning from two weeks spent in Algeria (North Africa). Amazing how few details remain as fresh as the day they happened, yet those are the important ones. More photos below.

Journey  by Karolyn H


Airports and airplanes
uncomfortable, lonely.
Restless legs, restless heart.

First meal in Algiers
Fries, salad, bread, and juice.
Smiles and sallams.
City sidewalks, cracked and pitted.
Treacherous traffic, always alert.

Long drive through the city
ice cream surprise!
First kiss, first touch

Mountains change to desert
our bus drives on.
Repairs in the night
send us stargazing.

Heavy, metal door opens wide.
Wooden sofa for American guest.
Winding staircase cut in stone up to the roof.

Eating with the family
Bismallah, koli koli! alhamdulillah.
Sharing, laughing
new foods, new words, new friends.

We climb the old castle
all around is El Golea!
Palms, palms, desert, wonders.

So much to see,
Photos and more photos.
Shopping for scarves, trinkets, lantern.
Strong coffee in little cups, surrounded by men.
Museum showcasing artifacts, intricate desert rose sand formations.
Single peach and white church.
Call to prayers and the mosque.

Yamina prepares wonderful food,
Shares in mutual halting conversation.
Meals together, shared by all.

Omi, always with a song, a laugh
Nacer, persistantly playing soccer
Shiek, humble and serious.
My Hachemi, generous, happy, responsible.

Omama, my little teacher.
Ahmed’s beaming ibtisama.
Fatima, Meriem, Fatiha, Karim,
forever joking, talking.
Hamida, Soumia, Jakout, my dance partners.

Children, lovely children everywhere!
Little creature underfoot…is that a hedgehog?
Moad inexplicably carries around a hairdryer.
Merimuuu! beautiful as her mother, Fadia.
Yasine, thoughtful, reminds me so much of my own son.

Tibo, Maouad, like family.
Women shopping, talking,
heading to school to teach and to learn.

Prepare yourself! I am instructed.
It’s time for Ghardaia.
Crazy driving, good music.
and many gifts to find.

Wrap me in blue!
Cousins gather around,
Henna is applied.
I sit and I wait for it to set and listen to the ladies speaking Arabic and French.
A little mascara,…and a hijab?

Riding out in a white jeep,
Up and over, down and hang on!
Tea, three cups, sugar and mint.
Crackling fire, first taste of lamb.
Setting sun
as four men perform Salat
at the top of the dune.
My dream is reality.

El Golea is in my heart.
the places
the food
the unforgettable people.
Shokran, shokran!
Insha’allah, I will return.


sallams – short for asalamalakim greeting
Bismallah – said before eating meals
koli koli! – eat, eat!
alhamdulillah – said after meals (praise be to God)
ibtisama – smile
hijab – head scarf
jemels – camels
Salat – prayer
shokran – thank you
Insha’allah – God willing


Wednesday’s Wafers I

Today’s late-night post is my first in a series I’m calling “Wednesday’s Wafers.” I’ll be sharing a weekly burst of recent writing.

I’m publishing this quite a bit later in the day than I’d intended as I struggled with finishing the poem, but I wanted this series to definitely start on a Wednesday. So here it is! Hope you enjoy it

Destination by Karolyn H


Ride a bus into the past, watching moments flicker by.

Question the path taken, things could be different…

Parallel scenarios beckon,

Old wounds, opened.

Reach your hand up to pull the cord.

The bus slows down and you stand.

Blinking, the memories become sharper through the glass.

Hesitation, then conviction.

“Sorry driver, I was mistaken.”

The engine revs as the bus picks up speed.

Continue along the route, turn a corner.

Former life fades into obscurity.

Destination ahead.

No regrets.


*Thanks are due to my son, Jordan, for providing the perfect word when I was brainstorming for a series title.