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Ann Kestner Poetry Breakfast
8:26 PM (33 minutes ago)

to me

Thank you for submitting your work to Poetry Breakfast. We regret to say that the kitchen is closed and we will no longer be serving a new poem each morning.

It is never easy to step away from something that has given us so much joy, but time wise we cannot give poets the full attention their submissions and work deserve. At least not in terms of publishing daily. We do have other ideas for future projects – particularly print publishing. However, we will not have final word on that until this coming summer.

So, your work is neither accepted nor rejected. It is returned to you, so you may search out a home for it elsewhere.

We wish you the best,

One of the nicest rejections letters I have received, although it was neither accepted nor rejected so it fell in the nether world. And then I found this wonderful poem there which summed up everything I felt. 

Poetry Breakfast

Why I Still Have Hope For Humanity

on a train
this morning
packed so tight
with heart pounding
humans of every stripe
from chest to beating chest
our arms could not be raised,
though the filmy heat of breathing
bodies surrounded our shifting noses,
though someone felt this was a good place
for a loud conversation on her pocketed phone,
sidelong glances confirmed our common knowledge
of her social transgression. There’s always one. Yet still

we all swayed

About the Poet:
Ryan Warren lives with his family by the sea in Northern California. His poetry has previously appeared in numerous journals including California Quarterly, Amaryllis, Wilderness House Literary Review, Firefly Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Ekphrastic and the anthology, Carry The Light. More on his published works can be found at

Photo by Brian Ucla.

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See…

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Thank you for listening to my good report of our store Cupcake Cache but there is also the other side. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he took an unexpected trip to the hospital. Everything was set in motion very quickly. We decided to continue working with our store and I continued with my second position as a part time instructor. It was challenging. At the time, we had car problems and one day, I went by bike in the rain to our store. If you live in Florida, you know storms come up quickly and I was drenched by the time I arrived home. My husband was in the hospital for a week. During this time, I continued to manage our store baking and merchandising our cupcakes.

One morning, I was completely broken and had baked the same batch of cupcakes three times. It was a very rough morning. Our store was in a rough area with thefts and crime. I am not exaggerating. We decided on the location because we could afford it but there is not much walking traffic. This particular day, I had a customer (a young woman) enter as I was attempting to bake and create. I had some trouble outside with petty vandalism of our big glass window. I was concerned because of small criminal mischief which our windows had been part of including slight scratching and denting of the beautiful hand painted lettering on the window. As she stood in our store listening to me try to handle everything, she demanded to have me read the entire menu. Since there were like 52 varieties of cupcakes, I felt flustered and then thought maybe she was ordering in advance a huge order. I informed her that I was alone and it might take awhile for me to finish the order. In the middle, my buzzer rang and I flipped out running to the back and then discovered that something had burned. I rushed back to inform her I was having some difficulty and she said, “I will just go.” I know I must have resembled someone entirely out of my domain and I was with worry about everything!  She wrote a horrible review. Later, I discovered that her family owned a competing business serving desserts. I was devastated by her harsh criticism especially at a vulnerable time. When my husband got out of the hospital and would sit with me in the store slowly listening to the customers trying to get his strength back. We knew we had to close. We tried to start a “Go Fund Me” page as we had many fans and we thought maybe we could hire help but it didn’t work. Anyway, our car eventually was fixed and we closed our store.

I needed you to listen because sometimes life gets ugly and we have experienced this ugliness. I was disappointed. The situation made me withdraw for awhile afraid of sharing any honesty with someone else. I guess what we have to remember in life is that  not everyone has the same ethics or morals we do. Some people will take advantage of a situation if they can and some just have the decency not to. I am not a person wanting to get revenge, so I moved forward. Anyone entering our store that morning could see by listening and observing that something was going on. And this was her second visit. She was extremely ugly to our business on social media and frankly, she scared me because I had never met someone with anger like her. I had no idea what I had done to evoke this anger. All I was doing was trying to survive myself during this time. Later I wrote an apology if I seemed disorganized inviting her to return for a cupcake and coffee on the house. I told this to a nearby store owner, and she laughed. She is a native Floridian and had seen it all. She told me I don’t ever apologize in my store. Anyway, I did. That was part of the old me. I learned a lot from that experience. The important thing is we survived that time.

I am grateful to those who stood by us. I wish faithful customers had contributed to our Go Fund Me page but we are just one small keg of a very large area with many options. Sometimes you just have to let it go. Let it go, let it go, let it go.   And now our old plaza stands mostly empty. Many were disappointed when we left.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.


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I felt so helpless today. One of the students while I was subbing needed to see a counselor but he wasn’t in, so he returned to the classroom. I could tell he really needed to talk with the counselor. Sometimes offering a cupcake when our business was open was sweet and simple! The other day, I found this old review on Yelp and am posting it for my sweet pleasure. It is nice to know we had a great audience! This was written by one of our fans who actually posted a video about us on YouTube. He is comparing a new store Pick Your Poison Cafe to our store Cupcake Cache finding it doesn’t measure up.

Cruising the Safety Harbor main strip with my child and her wagon, I was surprised to come face to face with a cupcake cafe. 

While we entered Pick Your Poison Cupcake Cafe simply because of the “cupcake” in its name we were pleasantly surprised to find that the cafe also offers beer and wine that is meant to pair with their gourmet cupcakes. They do this so that each customer can “pick their favorite poison.” 

The cupcakes at Pick Your Poison are made daily by bakers using a recipe that has been scrutinized many times over. So before it makes it to the cupcake case, you can be sure that someone somewhere had to really like it. The cafe also offers gluten free vanilla and chocolate cupcakes but no vegan ones (cue the sad face).

Despite all the unique and interesting flavors my wife wound up ordering a plan chocolate one that was speckled in glitter that cost around three dollars. She enjoyed the taste of it thoroughly. My complaint, as an outsider looking in, was the price tag. For the same price I can go to Cupcake Cache in Tampa and get a huge gourmet cupcake (so big I have to eat it with a spoon) with unique flavor blends and stuffed with a treat. I understand the cafe charging that price for some of the creative cupcakes like bacon infused maple syrup because these versions truly require some planning and the cost of ingredients is a bit more. I understand that price tag for gluten free cupcakes as they also require a bit more experimentation. But 3 dollars for a plain chocolate one? I think the cafe might want to consider a scale for their pricing instead of one size fits all. More “regular” flavored cupcakes priced a bit lower while the higher price tag remains for the more exotic flavors.

My thoughts: How sweet it is to munch on something chocolate and richly sweet. Sometimes offering a good cupcake is the best you can do when life gets tough.  Thank you.

I know…just in case anyone wondered. Sometimes it seems like a country with its own rules. I wrote this in response to one of my blog followers who was confused as to why I was send an invitation to a New York literary event. “But you live in Florida!” Why, yes, ma’am, I do.

Florida calls attention to itself constantly. How? State awards money for capturing pythons.

The majority of Floridians are not born in the state. The out-of-towners include retired, students, immigrants, the nouveau riche, rednecks, and tourists.
The warm weather, the humidity, the hurricanes bring some weird wildlife in including snakes, alligators carousing the golf courses, spiders from somewhere outside this realm, and other oddities like bobcats, cockroaches, armadillos and even a bear I wrote about once living off a busy highway and found hiding in a tree.

You can get hired to be a mermaid at Weeki Wachi Springs and this past week, many people tried out for the few openings.

The tv show Cops always has some part of Florida featured.
There is alligator hunting season.

Name a few, tell a few, but people still love to visit us!
But then again, California is vying for first place because I just heard that a neighborhood association wanted everyone to keep their garage doors open during the day because one home owner decided to rent out his space in the garage and advertise it for rent. I guess he needed the extra cash but I wonder about making the pickings too easy for robbers walking by.

Well, I plead the 5th. Sometimes the less you say ,the more you see, the more you see, the more you keep quiet. As they say, “Ignorance is bliss.”


Thank you Fixin’ Leeks and Leaks for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger nomination. I have been enjoying your blog! I am going to copy and paste directly from the blogger site who recommended me: Fixin’ Leeks and Leaks. :
This award is “for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
Created by Okoto Enigma:

Here are the rules:
–Put the award logo/image on your blog (I can’t seem to find the original image/creator of the official “Mystery Blogger” logo, so I took a picture of a magnifying glass to signify “mystery.” Hope it worked!)
–List the rules.
–Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
–Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
–Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
–You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
–Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
–Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
–Share a link to your best post(s)
3 things about myself:
First on my bucket list is a safari trip to the Serengeti.
I grew up in a very small town where everyone knew your name and the names of everyone in your family.
I met my husband taking out my garbage in my apartment complex.

My best post: yet to arrive.

I will ask my nominees to tell me 3 things about themselves. Thank you.

Chaotic Shapes
Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Happy Life-Take Two

Mountain Musings

Life and Random Thinking
Paol Soren
A bit of this and that

Nicolas Catron

The Shining Gem

Notes from Autumn Light

Dear Friend of Peacock Journal,

Please join us for the launch of the new edition of the Peacock Journal Anthology. The launch will be accompanied by an intimate reading by our latest Peacock Journal contributors at the delightful KGB Bar in New York City on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 7-9 pm. W.F. Lantry will host a scintillating evening of literature and art.

Peacock Journal Launch and Reading
KGB Bar, Second Floor
85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 7-9 pm

There are still a few slots available in the program. If you are a Peacock Journal contributor, and would like to be considered for participation in the program, please reply to this email at your earliest possible convenience.

Dear Peacock Journal,

Your invitation sounds like an amazing event. I regret to inform you that I am not able to make this appearance as I am located on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida. Although the weather is warming up, I do wish I could attend. I will keep in touch with your journal by distance until I hope we shall meet in person.

Meanwhile, I am passing the invitation forward to my WordPress followers some of whom may be located in New York City. Thank you again. I prefer a gin and tonic, so I raise my imaginary glass in salute.

Regretfully yours,

Cupcake Cache

The other day I was reading a book by Michael Robotham. I enjoy his writing and the psychological thriller type of books which is great escapism. I was sharing with my husband how he joked to his wife that so many of his readers enjoyed taking him to bed with them. He found that as entertaining as I did. When you start reading his books, they continue their short stay on the bed shelf next to you. It is hard to put them down until the conclusion. You know, just in case you wake up unable to sleep.

I like the insight into his thinking he gives me with lines like this: Fear is mostly a transient thing-it flashes out of the dark like a car swerving on to the wrong side of the road-and then re-corrects before passing.

Or this one, Why do good people do bad things? There are lots of reasons-denial, peer pressure, tunnel vision, low self-esteem, ignorance, arrogance, disorder, competition, time pressure, cognitive dissonance, addiction, settling old scores or recovering losses. I could keep going, but the point is that nothing is black and white except for mathematics and pandas.

“Close Your Eyes” You have your reader’s attention with thoughts like this or at least you have my attention.

So today, I begin relating to my husband a story from one of the bloggers I keep up with. I thought it was hilarious. The man had no idea of relating on social media, and his granddaughter set up his account so the family could keep in touch with him. He lived in Melbourne, Australia. So the story continued that he found someone who he worked with years ago and contacted her only to have her write back, “We are only about an hour away in a fast car from Kissimmee to Melbourne.” As he tried to explain to her that he was in Melbourne, Australia the posting became funnier as you read some of the comments which followed .

“Facebook is dangerous.”

“That’s why I am not on facebook.”

“Is there actually a place called Kissimmee?”

I was laughing and enjoying reading them. For some reason Michael thought this blogger I told him about was the author, Michael Roboham. I giggled and said, “No.” Then I said, I don’t think I would want to know the personal life of the writers I read. Would you, I asked him. “I certainly would.” I thought of the writers I enjoy reading and as he continued that he would want to know that they had knowledge of what they were speaking about, I shivered, and stated. Really, I think it is better that I not know.  When a critic states, “It was scary to say the least” I know I am at the right book shelf in the library or in the second-hand store when I read the critic’s notes.

My favorite authors are Stephen King, Lisa Unger, Lee Child. I enjoy being scared as I am sitting inside the safe house. It is easy to follow twists, psychological drama, and stuff you don’t necessarily ever want to deal with in real life. But then again, truth is stranger than fiction.

Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to the possibilities; truth isn’t.”

Life is stranger than fiction. And as they say there are few coincidences. What do you have on your nightstand? Who is your go-to writer?