Monday, December 31, 2012



You look at me while standing there
Filled with nonsense, yes, and empty air
Asking what life cannot give
Unhappy you are just to live.
Shadows move & darkness gleams
Nothing is as it seems.
Pottery filled with varied earth
Incense rises from my hearth
Wild herb hanging from my beams
No, nothing is as it seems.
Words are said you can't make clear
Voices speak you cannot hear
Molding figures with the clay
What you hold dear most is what you'll pay.
I watch your eyes, you're not aware
I see you clearly, see you bared
Watching you, I try to gauge
The expressions ranging across your face.
Voices rise & voices lower
My voice echoes with the power
Your eyes widen, you turn to run
never again will you face the sun.
Across the room you're pulled to me
Open your mouth as if to speak
I open mine, I taste your soul
And now we both have reached our goal.
It's over now, I reach to you
See you lay there cold & blue
I smile to think of what you wished--
Death is what life cannot give.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

This was published in some anthology, probably around 1986. Details are lost in the past.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


               SAND CASTLES

Don't be bitter
We have not lost
What we had
Only what
Was not yet
So we
Could not have lost
Building castles of sand
Imagining life inside--
An innocent obsession
Grows to a haunting compulsion
Not seeing the tide
Creep in,
Destroy our castle--
Carrying us out to sea
In the swirl & crash
Of waves.
Sand is fated
to build other casltes
Who can say
Whether two separate grains
Will not be molded together again.
Who can say
Whether or not
They ever part.
Surrounded by the same
Mother Sea--
flowing with the tides
You can never count tomorrow...
                         ...I care...
   Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1982

Saturday, December 29, 2012


IMPRESSED with my friend Rae Gee's brother's band, STILETTO.
                          CHECK THEM OUT HERE!

Friday, December 28, 2012



Strange sorrorities
The bold & the brave
Robbers & highwaymen
The fool & the knave.
Blank rune of karma
Mystery of the Rose
Querants & seers
The strut & the pose.
Dangerous roads
But all must be used
They all end the same
But take time to choose.
     -- Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1990

Thursday, December 27, 2012


   Well I have found another new FAVORITE WRITER! I usually like books set in Florida, and/or with an offbeat sense of humor. Some of my favorite writers are: Tim Dorsey, Robert Tacoma, Laurence Shames, Carl Hiassen, Douglas Adams, & the "Bubba" books by CL Bevill... But I think I just found the cherry for the top of that particular ice cream sundae.
   Introducing, y'all: a writer by the name of Darren Pillsbury. Absoflippinlutely hysterical. I laughed all the way through IMAGINARY FRIENDS like a crazy person. Even my cats moved away from me, & they're pretty loyal.
   Fortunately I was at home when I read it, so I just let it rip. (I'm sorry, Mom, for disturbing your own reading-- but WAIT TIL YOU START READING IT! Believe me, I'll know!)
   I laughed, & I laughed, & I cried, then I laughed some more. I literally did not put this book down until I was through. What an incredible writer. What an incredible imagination. I am truly humbled.
   Now I am on the prowl for everything else he has written. I have gotten into the PETER & THE MOMSTER series, and am truly addicted. I don't understand how Hollywood could pass this by, it would make a fantabulous movie.. Mr Pillsbury, have you tried DISNEY??">View all my reviews



The mountains sing
whisper & dream
and call all souls
to a magical stream.
The fabled beings
that no one knows
call out their lives
as the strange winds blow.
We gather together
to feel the earth speak
the stars dance & shine
and through the skies streak.
They speak through our voices
chanting & moan
everchanging colors
enchanted stones.
I follow my soul
astral paths in the skies
I see beauty & truth
leave behind heartache & lies.
Now no one can follow
my fast-fading trail
my colors are hidden
I show only pale.
     -- Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


               GYPSY CAMP

The fire rages strongly & the fire flickers low
Children gather into their mother's arms
Chased into safety by the night's coming cold
Cuddled in close, safe from all harm.
A man pulls out his treasured violin
A woman sways soft to his soul
The darkness settles expectantly
To hear the tale that's now being told.
Many years on the road turns into the same
And yet each breath is your first
Only a gypsy can say how it feels to be blessed
With what you have also been cursed.
     -- Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987

Sunday, December 23, 2012



It's been put through some changes
This wild land that I love
But it still fills my heart
With the sound of turtledoves.
My dreams are filled with wandering
These green & tangled hills
Putting things to right
It will be lovely still.
Digging able hands
into dark & fertile earth
Planting bulbs & wildflowers
Replacing memories with worth.
It will take a good few seasons
But once again I'll call it home
Sit on my porch with morning coffee
Wondering why I ever roamed.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987

Saturday, December 22, 2012


These are the BEST EVER sugar cookies! The ONLY sugar cookie recipe you will ever need...


1 Cup butter
1 Cup oil
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Cups & 4 Tb flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt

   Cream butter & oil with powdered & regular sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, baking soda, & cream of tartar. Mix well -- chill 4 hours.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Press with a sugared fork.
Bake 350* for about 10-12 minutes.
Makes a ton.

   You can use this basic recipe & add nuts, chocolate or whatever you like. Also good for Christmas cookie cutters & sprinkles, this is the one I used with my kids growing up.


Have been asked for a few cookie recipes, so decided to post them on my blog so everyone can have them...

               POTATO CHIP COOKIES

1 Lb butter or margarine (4 sticks)
1 Cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 Cup sifted flour
1 Cup crushed potato chips

   Cream butter & sugar about 15 min. Add vanilla & blend well. Slowly add flour, then potato chips.
Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350* oven for 15 mins.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

These taste kinda like peanut butter cookies & are surprisingly good.

Friday, December 21, 2012


This ia a blast from the past! I wrote it for my 7th grade English class, & of course my mother saved it. (Thanks, mom!). So here is just a little juvenile story of mine..


     Jill was born in West Virginia at the end of November. Her mother's name was Katie, and her dad's name is Bowser.
     When the litter was about two weeks old, katie got hit by a car and immediately killed. This incident happened on L_____ Road. She left a litter of about six puppies. My brother, ______ was supposed to bottlefeed them, but as you can guess, the job fell on me.
     When Daddy came to visit us from Maryland, he saw the puppies and thought they'd make a great gift for Aunt ____. He took the remaining two, and went back to Maryland.
     The remaining two were named Jack and Jill. Jack was white with some light brown spots, and Jill was light brown with white spots. aunt ____ loved them, and strived to make a good home for them.
     Sometime before Daddy arrived, Aunt ____ had bought a Siberian husky puppy named Blackie. He was black with some dark brown spots.
     The three pups had some peculiarities, too. They had to be rocked to sleep. And the neighbor lady couldn't barely feed her baby, because either Jack or Jill would steal the bottle.
     About a year ago, the three adorable pups caught distemper, which is equivalent to our polio. Aunt ____, Uncle ___, and dad tried to save them, but as luck would have it, the two males, Jack and Blackie died.
     If it wasn't for Jack, Jill wouldn't have been alive today, because every time they'd lay down to rest, he'd lay between the two. Blackie had it the worst, and Jack would not let Jill near Blackie at all.
     Jill is a really intelligent dog, and one day the dog catcher was chasing Jill, almost a year after the other two pups died. They were running around the house and Jill ducked into her doggie door. She peeped out to find the mystified dogcatcher still running around the house looking for her!
     Jill now lives happily at M_____ Court. She's treated equal to us, and we talk to her as if she were human. She still thinks about the only two males in her life, except for Charlie. Jack, her handsome young brother who died too early to find out how real life is, and Blackie, a friendly Siberian husky that they had learned to live with.

     --Well I got an "A" on it And yes, i did use blanks to protect the innocent, so to speak. Just came across this & thought I would share it with you. Please remember, this is a very juvenile story. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012



Walking down the highway
Where nothing's as it seems
Doomed to live my life
Haunted by my dreams.
Turned to face the setting sun
Before it slips away
I'm loosened into darkness
Until another day.
Now I breathe slow & freely
There is no need to run
I can settle into my own pace
Until the morning sun.
Darkness embraces lovingly
A warped & tortured soul
Daylight shines upon so bright
Yet leaves me feeling cold.
So all my life I'll wander
I am that restless kind
As the miles ease on behind me
They also ease my mind.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


               THE FALL

Sometimes I feel
Like I'm being buried alive
In the dreams of another
A nightmare I can't escape
Entangling me in the waving tentacles
That reach out for someone else
To give it substance--
Strangling me with demands
I cannot fulfill
Pushing me to the edge
of the nightmarish cliff
Sometimes I wait for that time
and hope
That after the fall
I'll wake...
     -Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

Monday, December 17, 2012


               SAVANNAH SOJOURN

I need you--
Your quiet strength
Your strong serenity
My emotions tangle
In a whirlwind
Like the autumn leaves
outside my door.
To walk your streets
Gliding under waving tendrils
of Spanish moss
Like a free spirit.
The heart of the city
As mine.
You pull me
As a magnet
With a force so strong
I wonder if I am
The only one to feel it
How can that be?
Does your magic exist
Just for me?
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1982

Saturday, December 15, 2012


               MOUNTAIN GYPSY

I've had a little training
Have been taught some social skills
But no one's banked the fire inside
That rages strongly still.
I've travelled the country over
Looking for a home
But my home's the one I left behind
Trying to make it on my own.
My mountains breathe along with me
My future there I see--
A wild-eyed mountain gypsy:
Mountaineers are always free.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

This was published in CELTIC FRINGE M/A 1987



Wading through the water
Walking through the sand
Waiting for the gypsy wind
To blow in towards land.
Each day I come to greet it
Each day I wait in vain
The only thing that meets me
Is a mist of salty rain.
Sometimes it comes to tease me
But it always slips away
Leaving me with an aching heart
Just to wait another day.
Wading through the water
And walking through the sand
Just the way you wanted
Just the way you planned.
      --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987


               BATTLE CRY

Winter rides in fast
On the last breath of fall
With a cry to chill your soul
A Celtic warrior's call.

Bright hues turn to sombre grey
Leaves tumble away in fear
Trees reach & bend in horror
Deadly winter's touch is here.

An old campaign to conquer all
We hide beneath the snow
From the rape & from the pillage
Done by the vicious foe.

When the last war cry has faded
And we dare open our eyes
We look above with joyful hearts
To lively spring's blue skies.

In faith & hope we build anew
Forgetting desperate fear
Until the Celts ride through again
In another year.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

This poem was published in CELTIC FRINGE J/F 1987


               GYPSY MOTH

I'm at the border
With someone I know
He said that he loved me
But won't let me go.

I stand at the crossroads
My bonds breaking free
He says that he needs me
But won't let me breathe.

The border patrols
Enforcing my life
Can't stand ideas of freedom
In one with no sight.

Boundaries unlimited
But drawn by your light:
A soft gypsy moth
Caught in mid-flight.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

This poem was published in CELTIC FRINGE J/F 1987



I remember days of childhood
like I remember dreams
A slow & gentle fairytale
as placid as the streams.
Misty mountain mornings
slowly turning into day
Crawling on the front porch
feeling that I will always stay.
Someone rides the porch swing
with its gentle lazy song
The birds sing joyous harmony
here, nothing could go wrong.
When I close my eyes I see it
no matter where I roam
I'm an Appalachian Dreamer
Never too far from my home.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1987


I have alot of old poems, and I decided that I will start posting them on my blog. Here is a timely one, considering the passing of my aunt.

               CHAIN OF SOULS

After Death
We live on
In the hearts & minds
of those that care.
We become as one
Into the whole of the Universe
No past, no future
Only the present
And the chain of souls
That reaches into forever.
     --Shayla Kwiatkowski, 1986

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


   How do you express creativity in everyday life?
   As much as I try to focus on writing-- sometimes I just can't. On the one hand, i have daily life begging for attention, on the other, my brain starts running miles ahead of me (typical for us Capricorns). Let's face it, y'all, I have a veritable TON of stories to tell. I'm constantly writing on scraps of paper, ideas and notes on stories I have planned. Introducing: the STORY JAR-- titles of stories in the planning written on folded up paper placed in a jar. The idea is to pull a title out at random, go to the associated folder for the notes to that particular tale, and then whip out a short story. Sounds easy enough, right?
   But then-- add to that, working on another novel, starting a blog, planning a children's serial-- sometimes it's a quick creative fix I need to avoid pulling out my hair.
   The short stories are fun when they come together. Very satisfying. I have a hundred short stories I've never even published. I want to re-work them eventually.
   It is also satisfying to recognize creative moments in my everyday life-- from baking or cooking a meal, writing on my scraps of paper, planning a road trip, gardening, even cutting my own hair.
   Just slow me down, Lord...
   So-- how do YOU express creativity in YOUR everyday life??? Enquiring minds want to know!

Friday, December 7, 2012


   My aunt just died.
   It dumped me into a vortex of thoughts & memories. I still haven't figured it all out. Pandora's box has been opened.
   When did they all become mortal? They always seemed like they were invincible & would be around forever, my family. And now we have come to a point where there's not many of us left. Oh sure, there's the younger generations. But Life's pulled us all to different parts of the country & we have lost touch. We have an excellent grapevine when something bad happens. But as for daily life--- we are all too intent on "getting by" and surviving.
   Of course, it reminds me of my own mortality. I have so much I want to do yet. So much I want to write. (I wish I could be more prolific like my friend Rae Gee). And you know what? My aunt never even got to read my book DESDINOVA. She was a very important part of forming who I am, and I wanted to share it with her & the rest of my family.
   When I made the decision to publish, I decided to be progressive & go digital. It is also green. I did not think of the fact that it was excluding my most important readers-- my family. Not everyone has access to technology yet. So i have been thinking-- to either find a regular publisher, or self publish-- or even print up a copy and pass it around the family.
   One good thing that has come from her passing, is that it has drawn the family closer. A regular family reunion is in the planning & I am all for it. As much as i hate talking on the phone, I need to get over that. I have had some wonderful conversations recently catching up with family members. It makes me realize what i have been missing in my life-- and I always had it.
   It's time for our family to come together to have peace in our souls. For better or worse, we belong together.
   As for our departed family, we miss them in our lives, but they are always with us. They helped make us who we are, and we are not complete without them. I am a part of that equation.
   REST IN PEACE, Aunt Kat. We love you.

Monday, November 26, 2012


                "So what are you working on?"
 The usual question we writers hear. For many of us, we have too many projects started, abandoned, germinating, & planned. Procrastination takes hold of the reins on many days. So maybe the proper question would be "what are you ACTIVELY working on?"
 For me to answer that question, i will wade past all the started, abandoned, germinating and planned, etc. I am actively working on the next book in the DESDINOVA series. It will be titled NO ONE LEFT TO DIE, and will tell the story about Dixie's background in West-byGod-Virginia, and beyond. Of course Uncle Mace has a starring role.
 As well, I want to start writing some of the short story ideas I have in the STORY JAR. They shouldn't take up too much time, and they are very satisfying. I can post them on Amazon to keep my presence fresh as i write them.
 So... What are you all working on?  


Any other writers out there want to post links to their websites or blogs? Please do so in comments section! We writers have to stick together...

Friday, November 23, 2012


November 22-26
5 short stories available for free from Amazon.


                      All roads lead to Louisiana...

Dana Ricks never knew her mother, but her father was legend in the trucking world. She spends her life following down his tales driving her own rig down those same dark roads. Until her world is rendered by nationwide terrorism and she rises to the challenge, just as her father would have done.

"If your daddy was alive, maybe you'd have figured out what kind of man he was by now, and stop living in dreams."

Her notion of family is destroyed and she has to find a way to come to terms with a dangerous world, and the dangers rising in her own mind.

"Your dad's eyes shone with an unholy light and I liked that. I was all for a bit of trouble. I bought him a beer and I brought him home... but I've often wondered if it was the devil himself I rescued..."

She runs the road in a state of exhaustion trying to live up to her father's reputation, and ends up creating one of her own. She rises from her own explosive circumstances to discover a family she never knew she had, and that life on the road is only bearable if you had a home to come back to.

"That swamp rat paddled himself right out of a backwater swamp in a leaky canoe. He dragged himself up on the muddy banks of the Mississippi... and there you were bundled up into his shirt, baptized in swamp water. His own kin chased him right out of there, threatening to feed you to the gators."

In the end, she finds that she was only chasing down her own self after all, and she had what she needed all along.

Relationships heal with an embittered country, and life goes on in Goodwill, Georgia.

DESDINOVA by Shayla Kwiatkowski
ebook available download now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, Kobo, Copia, Gardner's, Baker & Taylor, & eBookPie-- or download to computer.
Read the first chapters for free on Amazon.
Other short stories available on Amazon.



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