Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Is it too early?

The Daffodil

so beautiful

the first of spring

it means everything

to all arising

the ruin of winter

a bright new dawn

the seeds of tomorrow

awaiting root

passion ignited

love blooms

seeds rooted

the cold booted

beauty and growth

in God's green Earth



and all that's between

like the Daffodil

it all began

in the spring.


YRS © 2023


Friday, January 13, 2023


Renée Stout © 2023

                                                      A Confession

See that sky. Isn't it beautiful? Majestic? The dawn of a New Day. An epiphany upon waking.

Even before I saw it this morning, I knew. Today would be different. Today would genuinely be the first day of my life.

I know trite. But it's true. Today I feel as those I were reborn. Today I know who I am. I know what I want. And by damn, I'm going to have it!

Last year I found myself in a blue funk. One of those where you wander around, being and yet not fully existing. I was a ghost. Searching, and yet not knowing what it was I was searching for. Dreaming dreams that were nightmares. And while I was in this so-called blue funk. I did not know that I was. But something was off. I was off.

I didn't know whether to blame it on the pandemic, the stupidity of the political climate, or the frighteningly dangerous failed-class clowns we elected to run this magnificent country. Or the war where Nuclear disaster was tossed around like babies playing a nerf ball game. Or was it that I gave myself 10 years to succeed at writing?

Your guess was as good as mine.

For periods, I would rally. Working on my posts for the WEP October Challenge was the highlight. I love Halloween and enjoyed writing and posting two months of poetry and short stories. That was when I felt like myself.

But at the beginning of the year, I had set specific goals to finish, and by finish, I mean publish at least 3 of the 4 projects I was working on.

It wasn't happening.

I was stalled!

Almost full stop. Except for the WEP challenges. They were the only real writing I could accomplish. WEP was a lifesaver in a sea of doubt and uncertainty. I didn't even participate in NANO. Something that always brought me success.

Where the hell was I, and when would I find my way home? Again, I had no idea. I even looked outside of my writing for fulfillment. Taxes, can you believe it? What can I say? As a former accountant, taxes were always fun. I know, odd, but what do you expect from a horror writer? 😊

Still, while studying and preparing for the new tax season, I thought I'd found my calling.

I didn't!

Today, Friday, January 13th, 2023, I know for sure, and most likely for the first time in 12 years, that I am a WRITER!

It's my craft.

My happiness!

My life's mission!

Hell, writing is my everything!

Hello world, I'm back!


2023 GOALS

1.   Re-claim my real name—Renée Stout. Yes, folks, I'm dropping Yolanda. It's my first name. Given to me by my mother. She loved the combination—Yolanda Renée. So did my aunt. They were both pregnant at the same time. I was born first, so I got the name. Which was good because my cousin Steve would have hated growing up as Yolanda Renée. 😊

But I was always called Renée. Mom made sure to tell all my teachers to use my middle name. It's really who I am. Yolanda means violet. Violet? That's not me.

Renée is of French origin, and the meaning of Renée is"reborn." Apropos, don't you think?

So I'm only going to be using Yolanda Renée on the last book of the Quaid series and Renée Stout on all other books.

2.   Re-Edit & Re-Publish:       Love & Revenge: Tales of Murder & Romance.

3.   Publish Murder by Proxy – NOW Murder on Mount Fairweather. The last of the Alaskan Series. An ode to the love story between Detective Quaid and Sarah.

4.   Publish my second book of poetry. My memoir.

5.   Publish the 1st book of Myrtle Beach Mysteries: Her Mona Lisa Smile

6.   Finish A Stylish Murder, book 2nd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries

7.   Finish Moonlight Goddess, the 3rd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries.

8.   Support and cherish the WEP writing community. They, above all else, kept me sane in an insane year!

Renée Stout -!


I know it seems like a lot, but oh, how much time I wasted studying taxes? 😉

Friday, January 6, 2023

Announcing the WEPs 2023 Challenge Calendar

As it was the Movie Poster we found

most inspiring we'll be starting off

in February with


Remember, it's all about what inspires you:

GWTW can be the springboard for a million ideas- civil war, love, the definition of beauty (‘Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful but men seldom realized it..’), racism, slavery, strong women, gun violence, plantations, breaking conventions, the bond between fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, the love for a piece of land, a lament for a vanishing society…alternatively, even an essay on the stars or the film director or the author Margaret Mitchell or some aspect of the making of the film...endless opportunities for creativity.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Wishing You All...


Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season

and a bright and prosperous

New Year!


Are you ready for 2023

a whole New Year it's promised to be

with shocks, delights, and changes

no one can foresee

life has all kinds of stressors

love, money, and

a multitude of depressors.


I'm hoping and wishing

that we all see

less narcissism


and hate

prayers that it can be

replaced with love, trust

forgiveness and peace.


May you find 2023

has all you need

to make your

existence a rock-um

sock-um experience.

Yolanda Renee (C) 2022

Photo by Vasil Korzh on Unsplash

Thursday, December 1, 2022

WEP - The First Time


Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash



The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

my heart began to race

time stood still

the world withdrew

I saw only you.


The First Time

I instantly understood

you'd slay the dragon

release all fears

you were the answer to all my prayers.


The First Time

your kiss

shattered all doubt

ignited desires

passionate fires.


The First Time

your touch destroyed my defenses

heightened my senses

ignited a blaze

I want replayed.


The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

I immediately knew

you'd be my love most true

your devotion was mine

throughout all time.


Yolanda Renée © 2022

Nothing can surpass the lyrics of the song or Roberta Flack's version. 

 This poem was based on a blind date that turned to love at first sight.

Tagline: Love defined.

If you want more. Here's an excerpt from a WIP.

Her Mona Lisa Smile


Zane wandered through the Eden Gallery, unaware of the magnificent art surrounding him. Instead, his mind was on his career. He'd built a reputation in New York as a heart surgeon. Yet he was ready to throw it away for a quieter, less stressful life.

"How can you even consider leaving?" Emma said quietly.

Zane shrugged. "I'm thirty-five going on seventy because my days are filled with constant life and death situations, not art." Zane was about to chug his third glass of champagne when he spotted her. He stopped cold and just stared.

It can't be. She's…No. It's not possible. 

And yet it couldn't be anyone else. The same reddish-golden hair. Deep green eyes and a smile that would melt the coldest heart, light the darkest room, and cause his heart to beat like a drum. His body had the same reaction gazing at a painting of her as it had when they'd met in person.

He moved closer. On the exhibit label was the name of the artist Troy Handleson, the name of the painting, Sunrise in Paradise, and another title in parentheses, Her Mona Lisa Smile. Zane chuckled. It was clear from the emphasis on the girl in the painting that the sunrise was not the feature.

Zane's mind traveled back ten years earlier to a homecoming party at Penn State. The party was in full swing when he saw her enter the room. She had a vibrancy that surpassed the celebration of the thousands of screaming fans when Penn State won their game that day. The girl had an alluring smile, bright, sparkling eyes, and long luxurious locks that fell in soft curls over an exquisite body. He knew instantly that she was the one.

The girl he would marry. There was only one problem, she'd walked into the party on the arm of Harris, the star quarterback. Zane did his best to learn all he could, and a friend told him her name was Brandy. He thought it an odd name for a goddess, but names didn't matter.

God answered his prayer when she accepted his request for a dance. She beguiled him. He was speechless, caught in her spell, and lost in the emerald green and gold of her eyes. The warmth of her touch threatened to betray a very physical response. He wanted nothing more than to see her silken tresses cascading across the pillow as he...

Blocking the fantasy, he finally found his voice and learned her nickname was Randi, not Brandy.

"Cassandra is too formal. Randi is more down to earth," she told him.

Whatever name she went by. She was perfection. He discovered she was a high school senior visiting the campus but hadn't decided where she'd attend.

"Why should I choose Penn State? She asked.

"Because I'm here," he said.

She smiled. "Aren't you a senior?"

"I'm going for my master's. How'd you meet Harris?"

"We've known each other for years. He's such a hero, isn't he?" She said dreamily.

Zane wanted to converse. Randi wanted to dance. And as easy as that, he had a second chance. He pulled her close for the slow dance and did his best imitation of Fred Astaire. She responded beautifully, the crowd parted, and they were a solo hit. Of course, he didn't want the music to end. But when it did, she kissed his cheek and squeezed his hand.

"Maybe in a different time," she said and walked out of his life and into the arms of Harris. But she'd already stolen his heart.


A slight breeze riffled the sheers covering the wall of windows that looked out over the Atlantic Ocean. A brilliant blue with rolling waves and a bright cerulean sky filled with feather-like clouds. The white caps dissolved into smaller and smaller breakers as they raced across the sand. Randi was so lost in thought that neither beauty, the sun's warmth, or the cries of seagulls could break through. She read, then re-read the email.


A mutual friend, Troy Handleson, gave me your email address. Naturally, I wanted your phone number, but as a good friend should, Troy was protective of your personal information.

Please accept my deepest condolences. I know this is a bad time for you, but if you ever want to talk. I'm a good listener.

I'd like to know you better, and the funny thing is…we've met before. A story I promise to share on our first date.

In the email's signature, Zane Winters gave his New York address and phone number. Randi, now simmering with anger, called Troy. "Who the hell is Zane Winters?" She shouted as soon as he answered.

"Oh, my God, I'm so sorry. I intended to text, but I had so much fun at my opening that I completely forgot. Zane bought that sweet portrait of you. The one I titled  Her Mona Lisa Smile," Troy explained.

"Portrait? You didn't…. I never gave my permission."

"But you did. I asked you what I should do with the portrait I'd done of you for HIM, whose name shall never be mentioned. And you said, whatever I wanted."

HE was Randi's ex, and all her friends knew better than to mention his name.

"No. I said, destroy it. You claimed it was valuable. And I said whatever!"

Troy laughed. "So, I took a little license with your response. Can you blame me? My best work and the highlight of the show. I couldn't destroy perfection. Damn, girl, I got thousands more than I was even asking. And because of my artistry, the man fell in love with your Mona Lisa Smile. Hell, his girlfriend even hired me…."

"Why would anyone pay that much? God, Troy. What he bought was my email address. Holy Hell, what have you done? Sold me out to some creep? After Damon! How could you?"


979 Words

Yolanda Renée © 2022

Tagline: Chance meetings.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Want to see my Vacation Photos?


A picture of the land we own in Pennsylvania.
I picture an A-Frame cabin, don't you?

Trees, trees, trees.

Can you tell that I have a thing for trees...


Uh, I warned you!

What can I say, I love rocks too.
The bigger, the better.

Yep, they cut right through just for the highway.

But the views are magnificent!

After 2,200 miles, we finally arrive home.

A sunrise to greet us.

Then sunset over the city.

Who doesn't love a gray day?
Waiting for Tropical Storm Nicole

No matter the color
It's all about watching the waves.

Wishing you the blessing of peace!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween

The final song for your Halloween Playlist!

 "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Halloween Party PlayList


The challenge is done.

A creative delight full of Halloween fun.

I hope you thought so too.

But evil is still playing.

Are you ready for a slaying?

October 31 is here.

It's imperative that you've prepared.

Evil surfaced with a particular purpose.

So decorate and design your costume right.

Don't get caught without a goal.

You don't want your head to roll.

It's essential that you protect your unworthy soul.

All Hallow's Eve is about celebrating the dead.

Make sure you aren't the one we dread.

On All Hallows Day.

That haunting isn't your stead.

Because you're already dead.

100 words

Yolanda Renée © 2022

Stock Photo

November is the time for a 


NANO anyone?

See you in December...