Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Sleeping Policemen, Banana Skins, and Kipling – tales from my jolly….part one by Jane Risdon


Time for another post from the archives of Jane Risdon – In this post Jane shares the ‘calamity’ side to her nature and also the visit to the splendid home of Rudyard Kipling.

Sleeping Policemen, Banana Skins, and Kipling – tales from my jolly….part one by Jane Risdon

I should come with a Public Health Warning!

Sleeping Policeman (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Do not go anywhere with this woman for fear of being embarrassed – she is an accident waiting to happen!

Sleeping Policeman - a/k/a a Speed Hump (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Whilst out for a stroll enjoying the countryside and a lovely local village I came across a sign I have not seen for many years warning motorists that there was a Speed Hump across the narrow road.

It read ‘Dead Slow – Sleeping Policeman,’ warning those tempted to put their foot down along this quiet road that they would get a nasty jolt if they passed over it at speeds greater than a crawl.

In England we call these humps ‘Sleeping Policemen’. I have no idea why – I long gave up trying to fathom my own language. I can only guess that being forced to slow down by something called a ‘Sleeping Policeman,’ must force some naughty drivers to ease off the juice just in case there really is one lurking across their path.

This particular ‘Sleeping Policeman’ is situated just outside this pub. The pub dates from about 1340.

Local Pub circa 1340 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Anyway, as you know from the post I published before going off on my ‘jolly,’ I have been away for a few days staying with a relative in the heart of the English countryside and, as planned, we spent the time walking, visiting gorgeous places, and doing the rounds of the National Trust, houses and gardens. Heaven!

More about all this later.

The very first morning of my stay we set off early to walk to one of my sister’s favourite places. The roads were muddy from all the recent rain we’ve been experiencing and the paths underfoot were slippery with leaves, mud and water. We both made our way with caution.

Walking in the Spring sunshine (c) Jane Risdon 2014

We walked into another village nearby and then set off along some long winding lanes to where there was a windmill and grazing sheep. Apparently you can climb the hill to the windmill, via the field in front of it, when it is dry and easy to walk. On this day it was not dry and the field was a mud-bath waiting to happen. I wish I had taken the camera because the windmill was so perfect and the setting was magic.

Anyway, we left visiting the windmill for another time.

Sheep in the wet fields (c) Jane Risdon 2014
We passed some dog-walkers and ladies leading their horses from the near-by stables, but otherwise we were alone with the birds singing, the sheep bleating and the odd aeroplane high in the blue sky droning on its way to somewhere exotic – most likely Gatwick airport – but I prefer to think it was transporting its passengers off on an adventure.

Busy nattering about this and that, as you do, I kept an eye on the muddy path as we came to a main road and walked behind my sister where the pavement narrowed and the grass verges were churned up from farm vehicles entering and leaving the fields hidden behind the high over-grown hedgerows along one side of the path.

The traffic became heavier as we progressed along the pavement, the road on the right of us separated by a muddy verge but not wide enough to prevent both of us keeping a wary eye on the cars and lorries as they passed really close to us, buffeting us.

One moment I was chatting about Sleeping Policemen and how you don’t see them so often these days, and the next I was falling flat on my face on the muddy grass verge in full view of the passing traffic. When I say flat on my face, I do mean flat on my face. My flaming cheeks were covered in mud, leaves and goodness-knows-what, my knees were soaking wet and muddy and so was my jacket.

Embarrassed or what! I wanted to crawl under the nearby hedge.

My poor sister was speechless, horrified.

I am sure she was thinking about Boxing Day 2012 when I fell head first down her stairs and the consequences of that little visit.

I couldn’t get up for laughing.

She looked mortified.

Once she’d helped me up and I’d checked myself over, painfully, because of course I have still got a broken shoulder and collar-bone from my last ‘trip,’ to see her, and everything still hurts like hell, I knew that nothing new was broken.

She looked relieved.

She wasn’t the only one!

I don’t know about her, but I was beginning to think visiting her is jinxed and I am fast becoming the ‘Guest from hell!’ What else is there to trip over, fall down or fall over I thought as she helped brush me down.

As I checked my trousers for mud and possible holes I noticed that under my foot was a brown rotten banana skin. All thoughts of getting my inner ears checked for balance problems disappeared as we both gazed at the culprit. I had skidded flat on my face on a banana skin which was hidden in some mud on the path.

I can now face The Mater with confidence. When she asks me if I’d been ‘drinking,’ I can answer no. All I’d had that morning was a cup of tea. Not that I am always half-cut I might add. It’s just that The Mater seems to think that accidents don’t ‘just’ happen!

When I fell down the stairs on Boxing Day (11am in the morning, just after breakfast) none of us could convince her I’d not had a drop of the hard stuff and fallen down drunk!

As if!

The walk back to my sister’s cottage was rather quieter and a lot brisker than our outward walking pace. I think she wanted to get me safely inside before I could do anything else embarrassing.

After a much-needed cuppa we decided to go and visit some local places of interest and I shall write about them in another post.

The following day we spent a fabulous time at a wonderful country house with gorgeous grounds, called ‘Bateman’s.’

For those of you who are fans of Rudyard Kipling, you will know that his was his home, in Burwash village, East Sussex, and where he wrote many of his poems.

Batemans: Home of Rudyard Kipling (c) Jane Risdon 2014

One of the greatest writers of our time; Rudyard Kipling, lived modestly in comparison with some of his contemporaries. His family home is gorgeous but simple and comfortable and we got the feeling that we could have lived there very easily. It looked as if the family had just popped out for a while.

I could’ve screamed because my camera decided to fail (battery flat) just as we arrived and began to take some photos of the delightful 17th century sandstone house which is surrounded by the most tranquil and lovely gardens I have seen in a long time.

They also have their own mill in the grounds which are surrounded by farmland where, in the summer, you can find French Limousin cattle grazing on the estate which is managed by tenant farmers, and there is an orchard, herb garden, pond and wildflower meadow surrounded by an old stone wall. Rudyard Kipling’s Rolls Royce is still in the garage.

A perfect place to find a nook and a seat where one can sit and read in peace whilst munching on a bag of liquorice!

But we didn’t sit or munch.

Batemans (c) Jane Risdon 2014

We had a good look round and chatted to some of the National Trust staff about the family and Rudyard and his writing, and one of them even knew his daughter Elsie, quite well, so she gave us some interesting insights to the family.

The sun was very bright and the home dimly lit and so the few photos I managed to take are either very dark or far too bright. I am crossing my fingers I can go again some time in the future and this time I shall make sure that the camera is fully charged.

The rooms are much as he left them; oriental rugs and artefacts from his Eastern adventures, a book-lined study, illustrations from the Jungle Book on the walls, Victorian toys in the nursery all make for a comfortable family home.

Some of the grounds and gardens at Batemans (c) Jane Risdon 2014Grounds of Batemans © Jane Risdon

His memorabilia from India reminded me of my own father (born in India too) and Grandfather who had lots of similar possessions brought back from there when he retired from the British Army in 1947 after 30 years serving out there.

Rudyard Kipling was 36 when he purchased Bateman’s. He stayed at the local pub in Burwash village, The Bear, for a while before moving in. By this time he was the most famous writer in the English-speaking world – with his enormous success he was earning £5,000 per annum at a time when a secretary might have expected to earn £80 per annum!

Bateman’s was purchased for £9,300 and came with 33 acres of land. As more local land became available it was acquired by Kipling and today there are 300 acres of gorgeous countryside beyond the gardens.

It is thought that Bateman’s was built by a Wealden Ironmaster. In Norman times it is thought that the now quiet serene village saw the growth of Iron production which lasted for about 400 years and we were told that the tell-tales signs of iron production can still be seen in the woods if one looks hard enough. Sadly we didn’t manage a walk in the woods due to the late hour and the failing daylight. Next time perhaps.

Bateman's (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Grounds of Batemans © Jane Risdon

 

If you are interested in knowing more about the National Trust, Bateman’s or Rudyard Kipling you can visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans

They are open March to December 7 days a week.

Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7DS

Well, I hope you find the first part of my ‘jolly,’ interesting and that you will tune in again for the next instalments:

As always all photographs are (c) Jane Risdon – All Rights Reserved.

My thanks to Jane for sharing her adventures with banana skins and Kipling and now time to check up on latest reviews for her novel published at the end of last year in collaboration with Christina Jones.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

A charming and truly well-written book by Jane Risdon and Christina Jones that takes you through a carefree period of the 60s as Renza and Stella vie for Scott the Rock God’s affections. My usual genre is crime thrillers, but the pure escapism of this wonderful read took me to a far nicer place, but with realism to ensure it’s authenticity. The characters are solid and well-drawn which is testament to the skill of the authors. The headiness of the time is finally balanced with the strait-laced attitudes of parents of that era which reminded me of my own childhood.

The way the narrative is split between the two main characters – Renza and Stella – is cleverly done with the use of first-person POV which draws you intimately deeper into their hearts and minds. An excellent job, well done, and heartily recommended.

 Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

If you are interested in joining Jane and the other writers who are sharing posts from their archives….. here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

 

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up. – Irish Folklore, Debut Authors and U2….


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts and thank you for popping in to check them out.

I have been busy this week offline getting my next project on its way and will be doing the same next week. Thankfully there are plenty of contributors offering a wide range of subjects from their own archives and also some terrific original articles. I have also scheduled the usual health and humour posts whilst I am manipulating plots and characters and I hope you will enjoy again next week.

Next week sees the start of three new columns for the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. On Wednesday Carol Taylor debuts her new Food Column and I am sure that you will enjoy her take on ingredients and recipes after sampling them in the Cook from Scratch series in 2017.

On Friday our Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss will be showcasing his other talent which is horticulture in his new Paul’s Gardening Column. Expect an introduction to exotics and less common plants to turn your garden into an award winning exhibit.

On Saturday author Jessica Norrie will be joining us once a month for her Literary blog and for her first article will be starting at the beginning with children’s books.

William Price King will be in his normal slot on Wednesday with his Music Column and part two of the life and music of Bono and U2.

I hope that you will enjoy the new features, and in addition to the Health Column and book promotions, I hope to introduce more experts to the blog in the coming weeks.

If you feel that you could contribute a column and share expertise on the following topics then I would love to hear from you. Photography,  Alternative Therapies, Film reviews and Astrology then please get in touch. There is no pay involved I am afraid but you will have the opportunity to promote your blog, books, other creative work that is for sale.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Now time to look at the posts from this week.

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed and to you for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing. You are a very important part of the blog and have helped it grow and evolve over the last four years.

Return of the Open House Sunday Interview beginning on January 21st.

Delighted to say that I have already filled the several slots for the new season of Open House. I schedule when I receive your answers to your questions, so please get them to me as soon as you can.. This is your showcase so when choosing your questions, select those that you can give a 300 to 500 word response to. If you are an author it is an opportunity to demonstrate your skill in engaging the reader and encouraging them to head over and buy your books.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-return-of-smorgasbord-open-house-interviews-for-all-writers-and-other-creative-artists/

William Price King Music Column

William Price King debuted his new Music Column with part one of the life and career of Bono and U2. This week and introduction to the band members.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/william-price-king-music-column-bono-and-u2-meet-the-band/

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss

This week Paul Andruss entertained us with a five part story – The House by the Sea. It was clearly enjoyed judging by the comments and you can read all five parts in this directory. My thanks to Paul for this monumental effort and wonderful story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-special-the-house-by-the-sea-by-paul-andruss/

Sally’s Book Reviews.

This week I review Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire by Tina Frisco and I am sure that reading this book will change your perspective about vampires.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sallys-book-reviews-vampyrie-origin-of-the-vampire-by-tina-frisco/

New Series – Debut Author Starter Pack.

Delighted that Dolly Aizenman and her debut cookbook Kool Kosher Kitchen kicked this series off in style.  Aimed at first time authors the pack includes a pre-post review of the writer’s social media and Amazon entry as well as a pdf copy of my Media Training for Authors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-debut-author-kool-kosher-kitchen-by-dolly-aizenman/

I am only featuring one author a week so if you are interested please contact me after reading the submission post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/smorgasbord-free-book-promotions-first-time-authors/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-caledonia-by-amy-hoff/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-toni-pike-deanie-humphrys-dunne-terri-webster-schrandt-jaye-marie-and-anita-dawes-and-tina-frisco/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-k-d-dowdall-bette-stevens-molly-stevens-jacquie-biggar-and-sacha-de-black/

Posts from Your Archives

If you would like to participate in the Archive post series then please read the following post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Jane Risdon with a reminder of the dancing etiquette and music of the 1960s and 1970s and reminds us that zimmer frame or not… we can still get up and dance.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archivesdancing-around-our-zimmer-frames-with-generation-z-by-jane-risdon/

J. Hope Suis encourages us to let go anything that is tethering us and move forward to accomplish whatever we wish.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-un-tether-your-soul-lessons-from-a-baby-elephant-by-j-hope-suis/

Christy Birmingham shares some strategies for women who find meetings in business or in their personal lives a challenge.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-to-women-who-struggle-in-meetings-by-christy-birmingham/

The second part of the short story by Allan Hudson – Reaching for the Pinnacle.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-reaching-the-pinnacle-part-twoby-allan-hudson/

Frank Parker takes us through the events surrounding the arrival of the fleet of Henry II in Waterford, Ireland.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-henry-iis-irish-expedition-by-frank-parker/

Judith Barrow relates one of her adventures running a holiday let.. In this it would appear that not all was as it seemed!

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-tales-of-our-holiday-lets-or-is-it-really-worth-it-or-tales-of-the-unexpected-by-judith-barrow/

Lori Bonati shares her thoughts on our position in the centre of the universe.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-centre-of-the-universe-by-lori-bonati-phillips/

Chris, The Story Reading Ape has archives full of great creative writing infographics and also guest posts from authors sharing their experience and expertise. This article is from Eric J. Gates from 2014 which is just as relevant today.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-story-reading-ape-shares-researching-for-your-novel-effective-interviewing-by-eric-j-gates/

Karen Ingalls shares the story of a very brave young boy whose legacy was a pay-it-forward movment of random acts of kindness.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-paying-it-forward-by-karen-ingalls/

Elizabeth Lloyd will be sharing extracts from her mother Betty’s diaries from 1944 to the end of the war during her service with the ATS.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-bettys-war-ww2-1944-by-elizabeth-lloyd/

 

Health Column

dsc_1737

As we get older our perspective on many things begins to change. Our brain function may not be as sharp as it used to be, but with a healthy diet and plenty of stimulation you can remain mentally active your entire life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-health-2018-the-dynamics-of-change-our-mental-being/

seasonal-affective-disorder

At this time of year the lack of sunlight can result in a deficiency of Vitamin D which leads to a drop in levels of other essential chemical elements in our brains and bodies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-health-2018-seasonal-affective-disorder-tryptophan-and-winter-blues/

Humour

divorce

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-laughter-lines-lawyers-and-blondes-and-engineers/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-parrots-doing-what-parrots-do-compilation/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-joys-of-marriage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-rewind-dont-set-the-alarm-this-weekend/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

Two of the tracks on my playlist.. one from Peter Sarstedt from the 1960s and a current one from the Nashville television show.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-peter-sarstedt-and-nashville/

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – Watering Hole for Bloggers with featured guests.


Welcome to the Saturday morning post where bloggers who have recently followed the blog can introduce themselves.  Each week I will share a small selection of bloggers at random.

Basically this is a watering hole for bloggers across all the areas of interest. Watering holes are very useful for meeting like-minded people and also a way to grow a supportive and sharing community.

If you are NEW to smorgasbord it would be great if you could introduce yourself in the comments.. a brief intro and then a link to the post that you feel best represents your blogging style.

If you are a REGULAR visitor to the blog then please do leave a link to your latest post too, so that we can visit and share.

The idea is to encourage more readers to your posts and an opportunity for us to get to know you better.

The community that kindly supports me is always welcoming, and you will find a great deal of support and encouragement especially for new bloggers.

I look forward to finding out more about you.  Sally

The first blogger today that I would like to introduce you to is Lynn Otty who recently released her debut short story collection Having a Ball & other stories. (click the image to find out more).

About Lynn Otty

Lynn is a writer of poetry and short stories who, although born and raised running wild on the Canadian prairies, has now spent over half her life living in southwest Scotland. She is married to a Scot and has been instrumental in raising three “Doonhamers”. Accused by some of being a dreamer, she enjoys observing people and places. She writes about life and nature, drawing her inspiration from the country where she grew up, walks in the country and the magic and wonder of foreign travel. First first venture into the world of publishing was when she produced a handmade book of her poetry called Window Dreaming. Having a Ball & other stories is her debut collection of short stories.

Here is an extract from one of Lynn’s recent posts

So it is almost time to take down the Christmas decorations and store them for another year. I was going to write about that today – until I read a blog about how the elephant almost became a whale. It was dense read and very interesting too, but it threw up a word that took me right back to time I spent in India not so many years ago.

The word was Gondwana, the name of a southern continent back in the age of the dinosaurs. It was also the name of an express train that I spent an overnight on as we rumbled across the great expanse of plains from Jabalpur to Delhi.

This is the poem that Lynn wrote about the experience : https://prairie796.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/indian-memories/

Now to meet a blogger who shares her philosophy for “Clean, healthy recipes with nutrition at the roots of each one” and it is a philosophy that I totally agree with..

Meet Rachel Alexandra

About Rachel

Welcome to Roots! I’m Rachel Alexandra and I’m so glad you found my blog. I hope you find it helpful and enjoy the recipes. New posts will be coming soon as I continue to get the site up and running.

In addition to cooking and baking, I enjoy training my horse Elliott and dog Macy, playing cello, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

Here is an extract from one of Rachel’s recent posts.

Allergic Living: Egg Substitutes.

Whenever I tell someone I’m allergic to eggs, one of the first responses I tend to get is asking how I survive without this or that baked good. Well, the truth is I don’t because it’s extremely easy to bake without eggs. There are numerous options out there, but I’m going to share the three that I have used personally. So whether you’re allergic to eggs, vegan, or simply ran out, the following substitutions work just as well as any conventional chicken egg.

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Find out the three recommended egg substitutes in baking and you may be surprised by one of them.. flax seeds: https://rachelalexandrasroots.com/2018/01/08/egg-substitutes/

The next blogger is a children’s author who shares a new story each day on his blog. Gregg Savage is the author of a collection of ten of his daily children’s tales, First Everything, Now This, and you can buy by clicking on the image.

Meet Gregg Savage

My name is Gregg Savage and I live in Townsville, Australia. At night, when my day job is done, the kids are in bed and the house is quiet, I write and publish a tale for everyone to enjoy.

They are finished only minutes before being shared with you. There are no ‘backup’ stories, with the stories being inspired by something I have thought about or experienced that day. Each story combines humour, philosophy and imagination and are designed to entertain while encouraging acceptance and providing a fresh perspective to children on their daily experiences.

You can find out when a new tale is published by following my pages on Facebook, Twitter and at my website on WordPress. You can also drop me a line and say hi using the form below.

If you would like a more thorough version of my own story, please read my “Meet the Author” entry over to Chris the Reading Ape’s Blog: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2018/01/07/meet-guest-author-gregg-savage/

Above all, I hope you enjoy the tales.

Here is an excerpt from one of Gregg’s stories this week.

The Tale of the House Above the Clouds.

Once upon a time, above a sea of clouds, the flat surface of a large rock stood in solitude. This alone was a sight to behold, and was made even more memorable due to the single wooden house that was built at its summit. The house was built so that it took up every inch of the flat surface of the rock and it had been many years since any supplies were brought up to help maintain the old windows and the creaky doors. This meant plenty of cold winter nights and nights of interrupted sleep for the residents of the house, Emily Hunter and her parents, Charles and Fiona.

Emily’s parents had decided to move their house to the highest point they could think of before Emily was born and, despite the hardships of their chosen life, they had been happy with their decision ever since. That was, until the day a man in a business suit named Mr Dennington made his way up to the top of the rock using a carriage and a series of complicated pulley systems and knocked on their front door.

Read the rest of the story: https://greggsavage.net/2018/01/08/79-the-tale-of-the-house-above-the-clouds/

I hope you have enjoyed meeting these bloggers and look forward to seeing your link to your most recent post in the comments.. whether you are a new visitor or a regular reader you are very welcome. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Henry II’s Irish Expedition by Frank Parker


Welcome back to Frank Parker for the continuation of his archive post series.  This week Henry II arrives in Waterford in 1171…another event in this historical city’s history (not least being the Cronin ancestral home).

Henry II’s Irish Expedition by Frank Parker

Henry arrived in Waterford on the 17th or 18th of October 1171 with large fleet of ships loaded with men, horses and supplies.

The extent of the preparations made for the expedition leave us in no doubt that Henry took the whole enterprise extremely seriously. More than two years had elapsed since Strongbow’s arrival. The latter had firmly established his writ over Leinster and the Norse cities of Dublin, Wexford and Waterford and seemed intent on expanding into Meath. From Henry’s point of view this was far beyond the original remit of Strongbow’s own expedition to restore Dermot to the kingship of Leinster, threatening the possible establishment of a rival kingdom.

Henry had already issued an instruction to Strongbow and all those who had accompanied him to return and to all shipping to stop carrying supplies across the Irish Sea. Strongbow had remonstrated with the king, in person at a meeting in Newnham, Gloucestershire as well as in letters, surrendering all his “conquered lands” to the king.

Well supplied invasion force

It was too late. Preparations were already well under way. In his book The Lordship of Ireland in the Middle Ages, James Lydon quotes at length from the English pipe rolls of the time describing the vast quantities of supplies that accompanied the king in some 400 ships:

Enormous quantities of wheat and oats … with a supply of hand-mills for milling flour while on the move. Beans, salt, cheese and a vast amount of bacon … Cloth in large quantities was supplied for the troops … coarse grey woollen cloth suitable for the dampness of an Irish winter. But the king was expected to dress in better finery … 25 ells of scarlet cloth, 26 ells of green, 12 pieces of silk cloth, 2 skins of mountain cats and 5 otter skins.” There was also an “enormous quantity of timber and nails” as well as “axes spades and pickaxes … in great numbers.”

With the king came around 500 knights and 4,000 others, mostly archers. As things turned out not an arrow was fired. The size of the force was sufficient to intimidate the majority of Irish kings who submitted to Henry without a fight. Perhaps they trusted him to restrain Strongbow and leave them to look after their own affairs in his name. More probably they did what they had always done in their disputes with each other – made promises they had no intention of keeping.

Leading role for Herefordshire magnates

The man Henry chose to curb Strongbow’s power was Hugh de Lacy. De Lacy already had extensive land holdings in Herefordshire as did two other senior members of Henry’s party – the brothers Philip and William de Braose. By placing these men in charge of territories adjacent to Leinster Henry hoped to limit Strongbow’s scope for expansion.

But Henry had another motive for his expedition. In the aftermath of his long running dispute with Thomas Becket which had ended with the latter’s murder in Canterbury cathedral at the end of 1170 he needed something to placate an angry Pope. He knew that the Pope disapproved of the direction taken by the Church in Ireland and wanted it brought back into line with Roman tradition. The first place Henry visited after disembarking at Waterford was Lismore. This was the home of the Papal legate in Ireland and it is clear from subsequent events that the subject of Church reform was discussed at this meeting.

Dublin “take over” by Bristol

Henry remained in Ireland until Easter 1172. There is no record of how many of the 4500 men that accompanied him remained behind. Certainly he established garrisons in a number of places and he granted the citizens of Bristol the right to inhabit Dublin. The rolls for that city from the end of the twelfth century suggest that men from Bristol and elsewhere in England did so. Nevertheless it seems inevitable that the major part of the army assembled for this expedition returned to their English homes in the spring and summer of 1172.

Over the following year Strongbow and de Lacy consolidated their respective positions in Leinster and Meath, building castles and granting land to English tenants. Meanwhile Henry’s sons were in open rebellion back in Normandy and, in 1173, Strongbow, de Lacy and most of the garrison personnel were called to the King’s aid in response. Not surprisingly, the Irish took advantage of this weakening of the foreigners’ defences so that when they returned they found, according to Giraldus, “almost all the princes of that country in open revolt against the king”.

Raymond le Gros: guilty of massacring Irish men and women

Strongbow had now gained the king’s favour and was made chief governor with Raymond fitz Gerald aka le Gros as his deputy. This is the man who had led the massacre of the citizens of Waterford in August 1170 and he now embarked on a vicious campaign of suppression.

©FrankParker 2015

About Frank Parker

I’m Frank Parker and I am a writer. I didn’t used to be. Like many people I always wanted to be. On several occasions during my career as an Engineer I produced stories that I submitted to publishers. I even had a writing job once. It involved talking to small and medium sized businesses and writing up profiles for a regional business magazine. To make any money you had to sell advertising to accompany the articles. Selling is not a skill that comes naturally to me so that job did not last long.

I returned to Engineering, working on chemical plants, refineries and power stations throughout the North and Midlands of England. In 1997 I joined a defence contractor as a project administrator, a job that saw me through until retirement in the autumn of 2006. I came to live in the Irish Midlands so as to be near my son and his family. And, now at last, I have the freedom to write.

Novels
So far I’ve self-published 4 novels and two collections of short stories. You can find out more about them here. My stories have also appeared in anthologies published independently in County Laois.

Politics

I have also pursued a lifelong interest in politics. Between 1985 and 1991 I served as a councilor in North East Lincolnshire. So you should not be surprised to find posts on my blog commenting on current affairs from a broadly Liberal point of view. The environment and the damage we are doing to it, from agri-chemicals and air and water pollution to climate change, has always been a matter of concern to me. As a councilor I argued the case for the local authority to purchase timber products only from sustainable sources.

History

Since 2013 I have been studying Irish history in an attempt to gain a fuller understanding of the turbulent relationship between that country and its near neighbour. It began when I discovered that among the leaders of the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century were a number of individuals with a prior connection to the county in which I was born and grew up, Herefordshire. That discovery lies behind my historical novel Strongbow’s Wife which describes the invasion and its aftermath from the point of the view of the woman who married one of the most powerful of those leaders. You will find articles about some of the people and places involved by clicking the Hereford and Ireland History tab above.

For the past year I have been researching the background to the period in Irish history usually referred to as The Great Irish Famine. This work was prompted by a friend and together we hope to produce a book on the subject.

Books by Frank Parker

The latest book by Frank Parker released on November 17th 2017.

About the book

A layman’s guide to the worst man made disaster to afflict Great Britain, it’s causes and lessons for the future.

Whilst the British elites were celebrating the achievements of Empire, a million people died from lack of food and housing elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Is it possible for humanity to achieve the Liberal ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number or are Malthus’s predictions about the relationship between population and food production about to come true?

A recent review for the book

Joseph Willson Our history is not always pretty.2 December 2017

I have always wondered about the story behind the cause and effect of the Irish potato famine. Never have I really come across anything at any time that could hold a candle to this in-depth chronology. The way that both government and church played a part in this ‘atrocity’ if one looks closely enough at the events. It begs the question, “Have we as a people truly learned anything from this considering the current state of the world?” Are there still not the exact same things happening all over the world if one just alters the context a little? Makes you wonder.

A well written and well researched work well worth the look for anyone interested in what I shall refer to as social injustices. Our history is not always pretty.

Read the reviews and buy the books:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7834486.Frank_Parker

Connect to Frank

Blog/website: https://franklparker.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HerefordAndIrelandHistory/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fparkerswords

Thank you for dropping into today and  Frank will be with us again next week.  

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – To Women Who Struggle in Meetings by Christy Birmingham


Time for another inspirational post from Christy Birmingham on the subject of confidence in meetings.. This might not be in a business environment but could also apply when part of a book group or other gathering.

To Women Who Struggle in Meetings by Christy Birmingham

When it comes to issues women face, we still seem to be many years away from reaching gender equality. I mean, is this really 2014? Yes, women still struggle in meetings with speaking up, and it’s interesting to find out what research reveals that men think of their female co-workers who sit beside them at the table.

Women at meetings

Photo source: By Nlpictures (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common

Specific Struggles of Women in Meetings

What exactly are the struggles of women? Many females report finding it more difficult to speak out during meetings than in other business situations, according to a recent study summarized by the Harvard Business Review.

In that post, the researchers wrote that “some [women] say their voices are ignored or drowned out.” Who is drowning them? It would simplify the issue to say it is only men. In reality, there are many parts to the situation. It is likely that the seriousness of the business scenario, in which the managers sit and evaluate their employees based on their words and actions, play a substantial role.

Perhaps the women in the study also felt intimidated by their male counterparts and that is why they did not speak up more? Certainly it was not that they had nothing to say. Personally, I have felt timid around male personalities that are stronger than my own and have remained silent during situations when I had every right – now that I look back on it – to speak up. But, it seemed safer to say nothing and go with the flow.

As well, let’s think about who the managers are of many businesses. Unfortunately, the US corporate world is not balanced in terms of gender; there are not equal numbers of males and females in leadership roles in companies in that country. Yes, the corporate gender gap still exists. While this issue may hold true in other countries too, I am only focusing on the US here as that’s the focus of the Harvard study.

With gender inequality in management, it stands to reason that women might struggle to find their voices during meetings because they see mainly men in their company’s top ranks. Plus, I wonder about the stereotype of corporations being primarily masculine territory. I mean – is this imagery still going strong today in 2014? I had hoped not but now with these survey results I have many doubts.

And, it also occurs to me that women may fear sounding rude if they do speak up in a meeting. They may think that doing so will reflect negatively on their work done back at their desks. Therefore, rather than risk jeopardizing their jobs, they say little during the meetings.

Suggestions for Women at Meetings

Suggestions for women. Photo source: Beyond Access, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

Suggestions for Women in Meetings

Okay ladies, so now that we realize women aren’t speaking up as much as men in meetings, what are ways to improve the situation? Well, I think it all starts in the mind. Bring to mind images of successfully speaking up during the discussions. When you imagine a positive result, then you are more likely to achieve it. On a related note, rather than worrying what the men sitting around you at the table are thinking, impress them with a confident voice. If you believe in yourself then other people are more likely to do so too.

In addition, take on the approach of “practice makes perfect.” If the meeting is on Wednesday, take an hour on Monday and some more time on Tuesday to practice talking about a few points that will be relevant at the table. Perhaps you have suggestions for the company’s latest marketing strategy or a question that is relevant to ask. Practice saying it now and then it will be easier to say it when the meeting day arrives.

Also, look over the agenda, if there is one, for what will be discussed at the meeting to get more comfortable with the subject matter. Often the agendas are handed out to each employee or send via a bulk email. Doing research on the topics before the discussion begins in the boardroom may be a great way to think of points to say when at the table that ignite conversation and increase the female role there.

What are additional ways to encourage women to speak up more during meetings?

©2014 Christy Birmingham

My thanks to Christy for a post that is helpful for anyone who feels they need additional confidence in a group situation.

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

If you would like to join Christy and the other writers and submit posts from your archives here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Un-Tether Your Soul (Lessons From A Baby Elephant) by J. Hope Suis


Delighted to welcome back J. Suis Hope with some more of her posts from her archives. Are you being held back by something that is ingrained in you by long practice? The New Year is always a good time to reflect on why we might need to make some adjustments to long-term behaviour.

Un-Tether Your Soul (Lessons From A Baby Elephant) by J. Hope Suis

Have you ever been to the circus? The elephants are always a top draw, and in fact, the retirement of the elephant show by Ringling Brothers was cited as a primary reason for declining sales that eventually ended their 146-year run. It is both terrifying and breathtaking to watch these massive and extremely strong animals being led and doing tricks at the will of the trainer. And further still, to walk around the grounds and see they are tethered to a small, unassuming peg in the ground. How is that even possible? We all know they possess the power to snatch that rope in an instant! What stops these impressive beasts from breaking free of their shackles and going wherever they choose to go? Their minds!

It is a common practice in training baby elephants to secure them to a stake in the ground with a rope. They will pull and resist the bondage but do not have the strength at this stage to get away. Day after day as this continues to be the result of their efforts, at some point, before they are fully grown, they just stop trying. This creates an adult elephant, with immense power over their own freedom, who believes they are still bound. It is not the stake that stops them, but the fear (sight) of the rope.

Can you identify with that elephant? Are there insecurities or circumstances that you do not feel strong enough to get away from? I would like to suggest that the issues holding us back in our lives are absolutely in our control, and we simply need to re-focus our attention away from the traps of the past and recognize the power and strength we have TODAY!

This can be difficult when the mind replays things we heard growing up. If someone in your younger years was belittling, demeaning, or used intimidation as an ill-guided attempt at motivation, you may struggle with feeling worthy and capable. You might still be living with that critical inner voice giving convincing arguments why there is no reason to even try. “You will fail. You are weak. You are stupid.” That is being bound. We must all stop those recurring recordings in our minds. In fact, not only stop, but erase and completely eject the tape. It is extremely profound the impact of the words we received from our parents and those in authority. (And a wise reminder for us, as parents, to choose our words carefully.) But we are not forever chained to their thoughts or opinions. Parents, teachers, coaches; they all make mistakes and some were just wrong or even cruel. There comes a time when we all have to believe in ourselves even if nobody else does.

The reverse side to this is when children are taught they can do no wrong, are never allowed to lose and taught the sky is the limit. They grow into adults shackled with an unrealistic world view who believe the universe owes them a grand existence just because they occupy a space in it. We absolutely should encourage and enrich our children with possibilities and dreams, but just a dream is not enough. There is hard work, determination and many disappointments and setbacks along the way. We cannot cease to pull when the rope is tense and the ground is hard around us. It takes grit and backbone to persevere until the release comes; that moment of conquering the mountain and the rush of joy.

Dear friends, my hope at this moment is for you to recognize the emotional constraints in your life. Maybe you have settled for an unhealthy relationship to keep from being alone. Do not allow another person’s inner pain keep you from living a full and beautiful life. Or you could be stuck in a thankless job afraid to take a chance on your passion or calling. We are not always able to have our dream job, but we should find an outlet for our gifts and look for ways to give positively back into this world. Sometimes people are tied down by family dynamics they feel obligated to maintain because of a DNA thread. Trust me, I am all for family and strongly believe in sticking together, but a shared bloodline does not give anyone the right to offend, mistreat or abuse you. Do not stand for this in your life. I trust that I am getting through and shining a spotlight on the shackles to your soul along with the motivation to break them.

My point is to live in the here and now. We are only as strong, loving, kind, giving, resourceful and happy as we are TODAY! We cannot be tethered to the pain and disappointments of yesterday or stuck in fear for the worries of a day not yet dawned. We have to possess and own the moments we have right in front of us. I understand this is very easy for me to say while sitting in front of a computer screen and not truly understanding or knowing your situation. I will not pretend we can just snap our fingers and everything is magical and perfect. But I do sincerely believe that we all have the gifts and the power within us to shine and be joyous and fulfilled. You do not have to live one more day tied to a stake of defeat and fear. You must realize that rope is an illusion and there is nothing
holding you down.

You are Free!     Hope With Abandon         Hope Out

©J.Hope Suis June 2017

My thanks to Hope for this appropriate post for the New Year.. a time when we reassess the direction we are going in, and our goals for the year.

About J. Hope Suis

 

J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, with a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice and encouragement from her experiences.

Her passion in life is Hope Boulevard, which is a blog and website focused on uplifting and challenging her readers to live their best life now. She is a strong advocate for mid-life issues and committed to the idea of sharing ‘hope’. In addition to her blog, she also wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled; “A Single Thought”. J. Hope currently writes for divorcemag.com, divorcedmoms.com, has a platform on onmogul.com and has been cited in national magazines including the Chicago Tribune and Reader’s Digest. She believes it is never too late to pursue a dream or achieve a goal and always encourages her followers to Hope With Abandon.

J. Hope Suis celebrated her brand new release published on 24th October…Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis

About the Book

Mid-Life Joyride is the ultimate user’s manual for mid-life relationships. Being single in mid-life is not usually where many SIMs (Single In Mid-Life) expected to wind up. In Mid-Life Joyride, J. Hope Suis takes SIMs on an incredible and often humorous journey from how they ended up here (widowed, divorced, or never married) to learning to love again. With a lighthearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice, and encouragement from both personal and anecdotal experiences, she provides insightful navigational tools for every SIM including:

* Entering the dating cyber highway, creating your profile, and recognizing red flags
* Dating etiquette as a SIM (who now pays for the date and what not to wear.)
* Developing and maintaining new relationships and when to walk away
* Learning and discovering how to love yourself FIRST
* Sexcapades of today’s boomers

Mid-Life Joyride is a manual for SIMs as they discover (and own) their current situation and explore the possibility of new roads to travel and paths to pursue. With a personal RPS – Relationship Positioning System – Suis guides hearts towards personal happiness in a relationship whether it be a long term-term monogamous commitment, marriage or even being content staying single. Buckle up and laugh your way through an adventure to being the best version of YOU.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mid-Life Joyride is a great book for navigating the single life. It is well written with attention to detail and easy to understand. It is very insightful for both genders if they really want a successful, committed relationship. Such great advice on navigating all of the issues in dating and relationships and I love the references to the road. I think guys will enjoy that too.

While the book is mainly about dating and relationships, the author also touches on the most important relationship we all have, and that is our relationship with ourselves. Learning to love and take care of ourselves, following our dreams, maintaining our friendships, and forcing us out of our comfort zones to genuinely appreciate everyday of our lives. This is provided in such an upbeat and positive way that you can’t help reaching the end of the book and saying YES, I can do that, I can BE that, and just an overall good feeling about life. A must read for anyone living the single life, you won’t want it to end !!!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

Connect to J.Hope Suis

Website: www.hopeboulevard.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopeblvd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHopeBoulevard/

Always delighted to receive your feedback in the comments and thank you for dropping in. Sally

If you would like to share some of your posts from your archives at least 6 months or older then please send them to sally.cronin@moyhill.com with Archive Posts in the subject line.

Any books or other creative work will be shared at the end of the post. Please send requests for book promotions to the same email address with the subject Book Promotions. Thank you.

The Return of Smorgasbord Open House – Interviews for all writers and other creative artists.


The Open House series ran from January 2016 for four months and was one of the most popular of the interview series.  I thought that we might revisit the theme for 2018.

This series will be joined in the next few weeks by an additional author interview which will be in audio and more details on that shortly.

Would you like to be interviewed?

It is open to writers across blogging, books, poetry as well as artists, musicians and photographers.

It is an opportunity to showcase your work from blog posts to sunsets on Smorgasbord and my social media platforms.

I also want it to showcase the person you are and discover more about what makes them tick, their inspirations and also some fun facts.

I have decided to retain the title of the series as Smorgasbord Open House. If you were interviewed two years ago that is not a problem as long as you pick a different set of questions to last time.

All that you have to do is provide me with your Amazon, Goodreads, blog and social media links (just the main ones such as Facebook, Twitter and one other) so that I can do my own promotion of your work (long links please) .

Then pick four questions. One from each of the groups below. Finally a paragraph on your work in progress or next project.

This should mix things up a bit since it is unlikely that all the guests will choose the same questions.

Then you need to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com with your links and the answers to the four questions. I would remind everyone that this is your showcase; so one sentence answers are not allowed!! Please answer fully and as entertainingly as possible.  I would suggest between 300 to 500 words per question.

The aim is to find out more about you as a person as well as a writer, musician or artist and to encourage readers to follow you on your various platforms and to buy your work.

If you wish to include illustrations then please make sure they are your own copyright and attach separately to the email and I will insert when I post.

What I ask of the interviewees.

  1. That you respond to comments that have been left by the readers (you can click to be notified of responses).
  2. That you share the post on your own blog and social media.
  3. If you sign up for my blog to enable you to do that – then do not click to receive daily or weekly notifications of my posts as I blog a great deal and it will drive you mad.  If you would like to read the posts without the notifications… I do a roundup that goes out every Sunday Afternoon.

Please include the question you have selected followed by your answer.

Group One

  1. Where were you born and can you tell us something about the history of your place of birth or any interesting historical fact.
  2. If you could be anyone in history who would it be and why?
  3. Given a choice of centuries to live in which would it be and why?
  4. Who would you like to meet from the past who you would like to have a conversation with. What would you tell them about their behaviour that you admired or disapproved of?
  5. If you have looked into your family history have your found any surprises that you can talk about!
  6. Is there a person in history who you feel was unfairly represented and why?
  7. If your country of birth is not the country you now live in, tell us about it and what you miss most.
  8. If you could live in any country in the world or continent where would it be and why?
  9. Tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?
  10. What genre do you read and your favourite authors?

Group Two.

  1. Which book in your opinion is the best you have ever read and why?
  2. If you could be a character in any book you have read.. Who would it be and why?
  3. What adventures have you had publishing your work?
  4. Which author would you have to dinner, why and what questions would you ask them?
  5. Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger.
  6. If you are a poet please tell us about others who have inspired you to write and give an example of their work.
  7. What style of art attracts you the most and why? Who is your favourite artist?
  8. Is there an artistic talent, that if you had the time, you would like to train for?
  9. Do you play sports and if so why do you enjoy?
  10. Which is your favourite leisure pastime?
  11. What is your favourite all time television series?

Group Three

  1. What is your all time favourite film and give a review with marks out of 10.
  2. Who is the best actor or actress you have ever seen on television of film and tell us why.
  3. If you are an author and one of your books was selected to be made into a film; who would you like to play your main character and why?
  4. What kind of music do you listen to and who are your favourite musicians?
  5. If you are a professional musician whose work most inspired you and is there a link on Youtube to your work that we can share.
  6. Do you have a secret talent that you show off at parties and if so any stories to tell us?
  7. Do you prefer television, film or theatre?
  8. What do you believe is the most important event to have affected our lives in the last 100 years?
  9. In your lifetime what event or invention has most impacted your own life or work?
  10. Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?
  11. What do think will be the next big development in the publishing industry?

Group Four

  1. If you cook do you have a signature dish that everyone loves to eat? Can we have the recipe?
  2. Would you ever consider entering a challenge show such as Masterchef or Mastermind etc? Give the show and the reasons why you would like to compete.
  3. Which four famous guests would you ask to a dinner party and why?
  4. What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?
  5. What is the one big adventure that you would like to experience?
  6. What is your favourite colour and why?
  7. Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?

Very Important

  1. Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.
  2. Please let me know what your favourite piece of music is so that I can include in the interview if possible.

What I will do.

I will source your books or other work and feature along with a most recent review plus the selling links.

I will share across my social media once the post is live and then again later in the day.

Summary

  1. Send me your links for blog, website, Amazon or other sales websites and social media (long links)
  2. Your answers in a word document please attached to the email.
  3. Pick one question from each of the four groups and answer in full.
  4. Attach any images to your email separately
  5. Tell us about your next project.
  6. Let me know what your favourite piece of music is.
  7. Any questions please let me know if not send your information and answers to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Look forward to hearing from you as always and please feel free to spread the word.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – How I Found Inspiration in a Door Frame by Christy Birmingham


Delighted to share this post by Christy Birmingham which I thought was appropriate for the start of the New Year. We often set ourselves New Year resolutions that tend to fall by the wayside within a few weeks. Perhaps instead we should follow Christy’s approach to life ……

How I Found Inspiration in a Door Frame by Christy Birmingham

Limit inspiration? Never. Photo Source: Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND 4.0, via Flickr

I had a thought today that sent shivers down my body. It came seemingly from nowhere, only moments after I had woken up from a nap on the couch. I walked into my bedroom and boom it came to me. The doorway.

I walked through the doorway and thought about how I have heard the way the door frame is used as a metaphor for open opportunities. You know many quotes about doors, I’m sure, but here are a few for you, just as examples:

“When one door closes, another door opens.” (Alexander Graham Bell)

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” (Flora Whittemore)

And then here is the boom that came to me. Doorways are limited. They have frames. Physical frames, usually of wood or steel, which fill the sides and top of the opening. They’re made large enough for most people to be able to walk through and they are sturdy. Some people are so tall that they need to bend down a bit to get through it.

Here’s my point though – they are limited. Doors are opportunities, yes, but they have frames that limit their size. We walk through them, yes, but we can walk through so many more opportunities when we stop limiting ourselves to frames on doors.

Instead, let’s eliminate those frames and just make it so that we walk through spaces, open spaces. Yes, this blog is a source of female encouragement, but this concept applies to women and men of all ages. Let’s keep us open rather than having boundaries.

Why limit what we can achieve in life? Even if you have never attended college, had a job that pays more than minimum wage or owned a home, you can still achieve what you want in life. Dream. Take away the boundaries of the doors to your mind. Replace them with open spaces through which you can walk and rise.

Say to yourself, “I will rise. I will seek. I will do.” Remember, no limits. None. You can do so much when you stop limiting what you believe you can achieve.

Let’s take life and make it all that it can be! Are you with me?

©Christy Birmingham 2014

My thanks to Christy for starting this new series of Posts from Your Archives off with such an inspiring message. Let’s make this a year of exploring the wide open spaces and being the best we can be.

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

The New Series of Posts from Your Archives.

The new series of posts from your archives is open. This series I am looking for posts from your archives that are at least six months old. The theme is LIFE in all its glory. Family, travel, short strories, non-fiction, poetry, history, food, recipes, pets, health, relationships, music, photography, art. As you will see you will have an opportunity to promote your work at the end of the posts but if you just wish to promote your books then that comes under a separate set of promotions.

Email me Four links from your archives of the posts you would like to share with a new audience… MINE.  Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Happy New Year and the start of the 2018 series of Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives


Happy New Year and the start of the 2018 series of Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives

Last year I started a series called Posts from Your Archives. I invited bloggers to share posts from the start of their blogging career that perhaps didn’t receive a lot of views in those early days.

That didn’t mean that the posts were not great, just that there had not been time to build the various platforms across blogging and social media to gain the attention it deserved.

The purpose of this series is to share those posts again but with my audience across my platforms. Importantly, it is a way to introduce your content and writing style to a different set of readers, who will then come across to your blog and follow you going forward.

Since the start of September 2017 over 40 bloggers contributed 160 archive posts across many different topics and I hope that in 2018 many more will share their work with us.

The New Series of Posts from Your Archives.

This series I am looking for posts from your archives that are at least twelve months old. If you are a new blogger in the last year then please let me know and in that case the posts will need to be at least six months old.

The theme is LIFE and POSITIVITY in all its glory. Family, travel, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, history, food, recipes, pets, health, relationships, music, photography, art.

I will be posting up to three bloggers per day in addition to regular posts, and unfortunately that does mean that time can be a little compressed!  Posts with more than five photographs will be posted under the Smorgasbord Reblog – Posts from your Archives. This usually applies to travel posts.

All posts and images are copyrighted to the original blogger on the archive posts and if you do not have a credit for the images you use in your posts it would be helpful if you supplied those. If they are your own images I will include that in the copyright statement.

As you will see you will have an opportunity to promote your work, such as books, at the end of the posts.

If you just wish to promote your books without contributing posts, then that comes under a separate set of promotions. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

How to submit your posts.

Email me Four links from your archives of the posts you would like to share with a new audience… MINE.  Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Please also include – your three main social media links (in full please). If there is no bio on your blog or photo (both should be really) then please send those separately attached to the email.

I hope that you will enjoy this opportunity to share your writing and blog. The only thing that I ask is that you share on your own social media and respond to comments.

It does make a big difference to the number of interactions you receive and also the number of people who will head over to your blog and follow you.  If you are an author this is yet another way to promote your books and is a selling opportunity.

A New Twist – I know that some of you are very modest.. so if you would like to participate but not sure which posts to submit… let me know and I will pop into your archives and pick four.. and run by you for approval.

 

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up and A Very Happy New Year – Books, Music and laughter.


How quickly this year has gone and there have been many highlights that I will carry over to 2018. Certainly the amazing contributors such as William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor who have worked very hard to bring music, legends and delicious food into our lives. Also to those who have contributed to the Archive Posts… the regular series and Christmas specials. It has felt like a party going on every week.

There are many others who 52 weeks a year have dropped in and liked, commented, shared and hosted. I feel totally blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Next year I feel that the world will be going through even more tumultuous times. Politically and socially there is much to redress and part of that is keeping the good things in our lives a priority. It is very easy to slip into negativity when we read the headlines daily that paint such a bleak picture. However, having been in the trade, I can confirm that BAD NEWS sells.

There are millions of us who blog and if ever there was a time for us to play a role in positivity it is now. This is not naivete. As individuals we may feel that what we write on our blogs or social media does not make a difference. But when we write, support and share the good news stories it does make a massive difference. The same applies to our actions offline and one of the most positive actions we can take is to give time and effort to promoting good people and their efforts.

There will be elections coming up for most of us in 2018. Election promises are easy to make and just as quick to break. But there are capable and honest people out there who can help resolve the issues that we are faced with. We have to identify them, support them and promote them at every level from local councils to those who lead from the top. I do believe we have to put party loyalties aside going forward and whilst difficult in some countries to do so, we need to vote for the right people for the job.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.. with love, laughter, joy and peace for 2018.

It was a slightly shorter week than usual but here are the posts from the week, including the 2017 review of the most viewed posts in a number of categories.

Sally’s Book Reviews – Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

William Price King with music for Christmas

William finishes his Christmas series with What are you Doing New Year’s Eve by Nancy Wilson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/an-evening-with-william-price-king-christmas-music-what-are-you-doing-for-new-years-eve-by-nancy-wilson/

Most viewed posts of 2017

These are the most viewed posts across the various categories for 2017 and my personal favourites too.

together-for-life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-2017-review-the-most-viewed-individual-post-of-the-year-together-for-life-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-smorgasbord-writer-in-residence-the-gift-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-most-viewed-author-interview-tina-frisco-with-a-book-reading/

images

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-2017-review-the-top-health-post-candida-and-the-link-to-milk-allergy-lactose-intolerance-and-leaky-gut/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/new-series-of-william-price-king-meets-some-legends-barbra-streisand-the-early-years/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-artists-and-old-age-by-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-invitation-review-2017-top-personal-post-2017-behind-the-scenes-of-just-an-odd-job-girl/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-nice-christmas-by-pete-johnson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-author-on-the-shelves-ruby-slips-and-poker-chips-by-heather-kindt-wordweavercontest-winner/

Christmas Archives

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the festive posts with those from their own archives.. It was a wonderful series from my perspective..I enjoyed reading these guest posts very much.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-christmas-image-and-poem-from-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-happy-christmas-from-bob-dylan-charles-dickens-judy-garland-immortal-jukebox-by-thom-hickey/

Funny-Christmas-Cartoons

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-more-festive-funnies-from-the-story-reading-ape/

bathlift_lrg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-boxing-day-funnies-the-story-reading-ape/

winter-fairy-in-snow-dsc00059-1200px-wide

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-dormant-beneath-snow-haiku/

The Leftovers

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

To read more…….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-the-leftovers-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-humour-under-the-influence-with-a-few-cats-thrown-in/

New Series for 2018

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-update-free-book-promotion/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/new-series-smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-a-chance-to-promote-your-blog-at-a-friendly-watering-hole/

Personal Stuff

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-happy-new-year-soar-like-and-eagle-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-kenneth-by-sally-cronin/

Some promotional posts for new series tomorrow and then back to normal on Tuesday.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and wishing you an amazing New Year’s Eve and a happy, healthy, fun and love filled 2018.