Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday March 2nd 2021 – #Interview Liz Gauffreau, #Texaspower John Howell, #CreativeSpark D.L. Finn


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days…I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.. thanks Sally.

The first post is from Elizabeth Gauffreau and shares a link to a wonderful interview in Envie a literary magazine, and also an excerpt from a short story inspired by her time teaching Latin in a private academy..

#Interview: ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious

Two Teachers Xeroxing Too Damn Much

Last fall, the editor of ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious reached out to me on Twitter for an interview because she had read the home page of my author’s website, and she was curious about the role that teaching Latin had played in my writing. 

Head over to enjoy the interview and the short excerpt from Liz’s short story: #Interview: ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious

The next post is from John Howell with a haiku courtesy of his two girls…and a caution about interfering in other people’s business..in particular following the power outages in Texas during the recent freeze..

“Where you going Little One?”
“Gonna find someone who will ruckus with me. It’s Friday.”
“I will.”
“You have to move to ruckus.”
“Good point.”

It is Friday, and what a difference in the neighborhood. Now that the power is back and the temperatures have gone from below freezing into the high 70s, I have to say I’m a happy camper.

The investigations into the cause of so many homes without power are underway. Six board members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the industry nonprofit that operates the grid that supplies power to 90 percent of the state, have resigned. The governor has stated that those resignations do not represent the end of the issue. He has asked the Stare legislature to conduct a full investigation of the root cause of the problem and develop solutions to prevent it from occurring again. He has also called upon the Travis County District Attorney to investigate any basis for criminal charges. This situation needs to be rectified, and it will. 

Head over to read John’s forthright caution to those who meddle: Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF

And the final post today is by D.L. Finn writing from Story Empire about the spark that ignites our creativity as writers..

The Writing Spark

Hi SEers! Denise here, and I’m going to talk about that spark that started me writing. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it ignited in me, but I remember my exhilaration when I wrote a short story in my first year of high school. It received an A because of the story told. My teacher overlooked the grammar.

It was during this period in high school that I fell in love with creating stories. The fresh glow that came with my first love kindled that spark. Anything became possible as the world opened up and that writing flame grew stronger. I could create any realm and characters, then live there with them, just like reading. 

Head over to read the rest of Denise’s post and share the spark that ignites your creativityStory Empire – D.L. Finn The Writing Spark

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Tragically Unaware: The Internal World of the #Narcissist by LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW of Pespective on Trauma and looks at narcissism and its potential impact on our lives.

Tragically Unaware: The Internal World of the Narcissist

When we think of narcissism, we often think of someone with an over developed sense of self-importance. Someone who is superficially charming, aggressive, arrogant, lacks empathy and who is willing to manipulate to meet his or her end goals. While this (at its core) is true it is important to recognize narcissism exists along a continuum (traits to disorder) and does not always manifest in the classic way we conjure up.

Often when I think of Narcissism; I think of many of the characters whose stories unfolded in the novel The Great Gatsby (written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald). There are many glaring examples of narcissism in the novel, but for the purpose of this writing Jay Gatsby (the novels main character) and the Buchannan’s (Tom and Daisy-supporting characters) are offered in exploration of narcissism and its existence across a continuum of characterological manifestations. All three characters were afflicted with the sense of entitlement, willingness to deceive, and carelessness toward others that make-up core components of narcissism. As noted, several of the characters from the novel could exist along this continuum. Characters so self-possessed that they did not value (or even truly recognize) the experiences, needs, or lives of others. Only taking, for themselves, to fulfill their perceived needs.

And, while this writing is not an analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cast of characters, it is a worthwhile and (in this writer’s opinion) interesting framework to better understand the many ways in which narcissism manifest. In reality, narcissism can present as overt and grandiose with its impaired host engaging in exhibitionism and exploitative acts to gain something or someone that supports (serves to mirror) their needed self-ideology. It can also present as a more covert approval seeking (seemingly vulnerable) individual who is slightly more aware of their fear of rejection. And, because it does exist on a continuum it may present in many ways including these two extremes. At its core it is powered by an intense and distorted need to feel loved (which is felt through admiration and feels valuing to the individual).

There are many reasons one would grow into developing narcissistic traits or in developing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). These reasons (as many do) lay within the once developing child this person was. While it is true that unspeakable abuse can form this core, it can also be formed by over indulgent caregivers, caregivers who focused on performance rather than connection, and/or caregivers who unwittingly (due to their own pain) insisted their child mirror them-never allowing a separate mind (in a sense) to take shape. At its core narcissism does not allow its unaware recipient to tolerate (or lovingly acknowledge) anyone who feels threatening (rejecting) through difference or non-agreement. Along, with not tolerating difference the individual needs a consistent supply of admiration and approval. This person has a difficult time hearing they have done anything wrong (in any arena). Their fragile sense of self is deeply threatened at this seeming rejection.

What an intensely empty experience this would be. Always seeking approval in some form but never really feeling it is enough. In reality, never feeling they are enough. This is an internal feeling that the individual works mightily to never feel. In fact, the overt narcissist may be so well defended (psychologically speaking) that he or she is oblivious to this experience. Their focus is generally on another who, in their view, caused them to feel something they equate with undesirable or bad. It is this other’s (whether this is an individual or larger entity) fault. They work hard to stay away from these bad feelings (that resonate with not being enough) and can (on some level) accomplish this by minimizing, dismissing, or placing blame elsewhere. The covert (or more vulnerable seeming) narcissist will still deflect and place blame but will be less overtly aggressive in their counterattacks. They may more consciously feel self-doubt but will not truly own this. They are also working to stay away from that internal sense that exist under layers of defense.

Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchannan (from the novel) are solid embodiments of the overt narcissist. Dangerous in different ways. Jay Gatsby is presented as charming and mysterious. He has built his life and maintained his livelihood by engaging in illegal behavior. He uses his neighbor (Nick the story’s narrator) to lure Daisy (his long time love interest or obsession who can mirror or bring validity to his self-image) to his home in which he has consistently thrown lavish parties to entice her. He engages in a plot to have Daisy at seemingly any cost. If he has any feelings regarding his moral shortcomings, they are not overly present in the novel. Tom Buchannan is a more brash character. He bullies, brags, lies, has affairs and, is an over inflated personality. Further, when he learns his wife Daisy has been unfaithful (with Gatsby) he is seemingly singularly focused on having his possession back.

Daisy in some ways fits the characteristics of the covert (or vulnerable) narcissist. Her self -focus and need for approval, and importance is initially hidden behind what seems her pain around her husband’s betrayal and her love for Gatsby. This façade is shattered as the story came to an end.

The ending of the story is tragic as are many ill-fated relationships with well defended narcissists. In short summary, the final scenes of the novel include Daisy agreeing to tell Tom that she is in love with Gatsby and is leaving the marriage. Several characters are witness to this conversation. Daisy does not truly want to leave her marriage and makes a dramatic exit by running from the room where the characters are gathered. She frantically jumps into Gatsby’s car intending to drive away (not dealing with the reality of her own behaviors or even recognizing its impact on others). Gatsby follows and is in the car with her when she accidentally runs over Tom’s lover Myrtle. (A supporting character who could also easily fit onto this continuum, but that is a writing for another time). Gatsby, due to his seeming love for Daisy and her seemingly fragile nature, takes responsibility for Myrtle’s death. Myrtle’s distraught husband (George) then breaks into Gatsby’s home and shoots him as he lays floating in his pool. He (Myrtle’s husband) then kills himself.

Tom and Daisy continue, surrounded by their fine things and upcoming holiday. Careless, unaware, highly defended, self-involved people causing (in this fictitious tale) irreversible harm to others.

In reality, true narcissists (those suffering from narcissistic personality Disorder) are self -focused and do not have the relational skills necessary for genuine reciprocity. (A necessary ingredient in connected relationship). They do not feel deep wells of empathy and do not generally have the self-reflective capacity required to maintain emotionally safe (and sometimes physically safe) relationships. This said, with well skilled and intensive treatment (with a therapist trained in the challenges of treating narcissism) changes can be made. This is generally a long and difficult journey, laden with disruptions in relationship, for the individual and those who love him or her. To be very clear, while a fictional novel was utilized to provide a framework for exploration, there is very real harm that can come from relationship with a person who is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder or is on the continuum. Often, emotional abuse (which is highly impactful to its victim) is a controlling component in relationships across the narcissistic continuum. In addition, it is highly important to recognize, danger to the physical self may exist in some circumstances. (There are many variables to this, and this is not to say that all who engage in violence toward others are narcissists, or that all who possess traits along the continuum will cross physical boundaries. This can, however, present as a variable).

For the individual involved in the relationship with the narcissist, and dependent on many nuanced factors, the journey to recovery can be lengthy. Much harm can be done to one’s self concept and they will need to work to make sense of the experiences they have had. Support is necessary as one navigates this painful process. Over time, and through reflective self-work, a stronger self-concept can grow.

Overall, it is important to note that the topic of narcissism is broad and multifaceted. This article explores minimal aspects of a vast and nuanced topic. It is intended to highlight the existence of the above noted continuum, bring understanding to the internal experience of the individual on the continuum, and its potential (and often substantial) impact on those involved. It is also worth noting that narcissism (while explored in the context of the novel The Great Gatsby whose characters’ lived lives of privilege) can exist across socioeconomic classes and individual circumstances. As always, it is important to note that this writing is not intended as treatment advice or guidance. It is offered in exploration of this subject matter.

Lastly, I do want to offer potential resources for those who may wonder if they are in a relationship with someone who is on the narcissistic continuum, or who has made the (generally highly complicated) decision to leave the relationship. As noted, this can be a long journey and gaining a better understanding, informed support, and resources in the event of escalated crisis are important pieces of this process.

1) Narcissist Abuse Support Organization

2) Thrive After Abuse on-line Group

3) The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Copyright Protected :© 2020 LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW. All rights reserved.

Professional Disclaimer: It is important to recognize that all information contained in the Perspective on Trauma Blog is informational, and is not intended as a substitute for clinical care. It is not possible to provide informed care through web content, as an informed treatment relationship cannot be formed. If you or a loved one is in need of care, it is important that you access this care from your own care provider.

Agreement of Use: In consideration for your use of and access to the Perspective on Trauma Blog, you agree that LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW is not liable to you for any action or non-action you may take in reliance upon information from the blog. As noted, it is not possible to provide informed (personalized care) through blog content. It is your responsibility to seek individual clinical care from your own provider, who will know or learn your specific circumstances, should care be needed.

Blog Image: WordPress Media Library

About LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW

This Weblog (blog) is dedicated to providing information, insight, and informed thought into the difficulties inherent in navigating traumatic event, loss, familial pain, and unexpected life circumstances. I have worked as a trauma therapist for the last 21 years and have met many courageous individuals who have worked to navigate these exceedingly difficult areas. It is this experience that leads me to want to share, not only about the impact of trauma, loss, and familial pain, but the very real-life changes and forward movement that can and do occur.

The strength and courage of the individuals, I have had the fortune of working with, lends validity to the healing process. It is my hope that the writing shared here will provide information, insight, and provide or reinforce, belief in the healing process.

Connect to LaDonna: Blog Perspective on Trauma – Facebook: LaDonna Remy MSW – Instagram: LaDonna Remy MSW

 

Thanks for visiting and I hope you will head over to LaDonna’s blog to read other posts in her archives.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 1st March 2021- #Methane Carol Taylor, #SeaOtters Cindy Knoke, #Emptynest Alethea Kehas


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days.  I hope you will head over to read in full.. thanks Sally.

Carol Taylor had a packed Saturday Snippets this week with some very interesting and weird and wonderful features.. for example do you know what a kangaroo word is? In common language but they hold a secret…some music from McCartney and Stevie Wonder, methane producing seaweed, a plant that can be eaten and used to scrub your back and an interesting piece on homelessness. head over to enjoy.

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything…I am still waiting for my Easter Egg moulds…shipped yesterday so they said…

There are many people with many different thoughts on homelessness…Homelessness is a huge problem in the world…I say ” There but for the grace of God go I “…These sleep pods are one such good idea… 

Head over to enjoy the rest of the post: Saturday Snippets with Carol Taylor

The next post will warm your heart and features the sweetest creatures ever, captured in the lens of Cindy Knoke who has wildlife photography down to a fine art..

Sea Koalas

Wild California Sea Otters,

Head over to enjoy all the amazing images: Sea Koalas with Cindy Knoke

The final post today is from author Alethea Kehas with a dilemma that millions of stay at home mums face as their children begin the process of leaving the nest. What comes next for me? A thought provoking post.

Image by Chris Chow from Pixabay

I had been dreaming about being at school. That is not unusual for me. Last night I was back at Bowdoin College, but it really wasn’t anything like the Bowdoin I attended nearly 25 yrs ago. Instead, it felt foreign and strange. I was enrolled in four classes, yet hardly even attended the lectures. I couldn’t seem to remember where my classrooms were, let alone the room number of my dorm room. The dream was filled with angst, reflecting the, well, let’s just call it a semi-existential crisis I’ve been battling these days: What the heck am I doing here and where the heck am I going with my life?

Yep, I know that sounds extreme and dramatic. And, quite frankly it’s something I circle back to from time-to-time. I’m now at the stage of life when my kids are nearly ready to head off to college. As they get ready to embark upon life outside of their childhood home, I can’t help but think about what that means for me.

Head over to read the rest of the post and to leave your thoughts for Alethea: I wake to a cardinal singing at my window after a semi-existential crisis dream #cardinal #parenting #midlife

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Authors, They’re Only Human : Morning Musings from the Journal by Patty L.Fletcher


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from Patty Fletcher and is one of her journal posts from the summer last year in which she reflects on where she is today.

Authors, They’re Only Human : Morning Musings from the Campbell Kingdom Journal – Moon Phase- Waxing Crescent

I’m always amazed at how quickly the moon cycles happen. 14 days between them appear to go by so fast.

I used to literally count minutes, hours, and days until this or that thing happened, so lost in my head was I. Now, I’m a new person, and I’ve no time for such trivial things as worrying about how slowly or quickly the days are moving along.

Something happened to me during the spring and summer of 2017. I was transformed. I still don’t quite understand it all.

Some of the changes which took place in my life back then were horrific. Thanks to that sickness at times I have serious short-term memory loss, but I’ve found some pretty neat coping mechanisms. If I get extremely tired, I have a bit of problem with balance, but I’ve learned to compensate when that happens.

What brought this to the forefront of my thinking this morning? I’ve no idea. Maybe it was the fact that when I woke I couldn’t quite remember what day it was without looking, or maybe it was that when I stood without first allowing my body to come fully back to itself from sleep I nearly toppled to the floor. Who knows? But sometimes I think about days gone by when I was sharp as a tack and could remember every phone number to all the referral services in our ‘most recently used referral list’ on the referral board at Contact Concern.

Then I sit, and I think how much more well I am mentally. How much more successful I am in my endeavors and I’m glad that all that has befallen me has come to be. For if it had not, I’d still be swimming around in that same old fishbowl of unhappiness, loop thinking and would indeed be a miserable middle-aged lady with no hope of a bright day ahead.

So, here I sit with my first cup of coffee to hand, having already done a 15 minute stent of a workout I learned while in physical therapy, a load of laundry spinning in the washer, and I’m ready to begin the workday in earnest.

No, I don’t make huge amounts of money doing what I do. Yes, I’m always on that financial cliff ready to fall into the abyss of poverty never to be seen again. Still, my life is so much better than before that I’d not go back to what was before.

My regrets aren’t for lost wages from no longer having a job which pays each two weeks. No. My losses are worse than that.

I regret the length of time it took me to learn all I have about myself and the loss of the relationship I had with family and dear friends. For those things have such value as to be unknowable.

I’ve always said, “If you always do what you’ve done, you’ll always do what you did.”

To me this means that if you’re not willing to see the changes needing made in your life you’ll never progress forward. Never will you grow and realize your full potential, and if you’re not careful you’ll find you’ve lost what is important to you along your repetitive way.

To do this day…

Look within yourself, find one mistake you keep making and take steps to stop that once and for all.

For now, this is Patty who is grateful for all she’s learned and how far she’s come, and King Campbell A.K.A. Bubba Dog who has just bumbled into the living room to continue his early morning snooze saying…(Sadly Patty lost Kind Campbell later in the year)

May harmony find you, and blessed be.

© Patty Fletcher 2020

Books by Patty Fletcher

About Patty Fletcher

I’m a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am enormously proud. I have a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April, 2011 through September, 2020 I owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is my hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog. Discover more on Patty’s World

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – blog: Patty’s WorldTwitter: @Bubbalee04

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will head over to read more posts on Patty’s blog.. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Sunday 28th February 2021 – #AncientBritain Viv Sang, #Writing Sian Turner, #Walks #Cancerupdate Mary Smith


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.

The first post takes us way back down the road of history to one of ancient Britain’s queens and her story of loyalty to the Romans, loves and betrayals.. exciting stuff from Viv Sang.. and also a note about a book offer…From next Sunday, 28th February, for a limited time, Vengeance of a Slave will be only 0.99 ($ or £). It is set in Britain in the area where Cartimandua reigned, shortly after her defeat.

Image by Jo-B from Pixabay

I think most people will have heard of Boudicca and her revolt against Roman occupation of Britain, but how many have heard of Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes?

Here is a bit of what is known of her life.

The Brigantes were a Celtic tribe that lived in the North of England. Their territory covered what is now Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland and a little bit of Derbyshire. It was a large territory. 

Head over to enjoy the post in full and check out Viviene’s books: Cartimandua Queen of the Brigantes

The next post is from author Sian Turner who asks “Where do you get your ideas?”

Where do you get your ideas?”

My books always begin with the tiniest seed of an idea: a single thought consisting of a ‘what if?’ question. For example, ‘Finding the Falling Man’ is based on wondering ‘What if I actually knew, when trying to make a decision, which course of action would lead to the best result?’ From this question sprang Drew Dawson, a young man who had visions, along with his leveller – and the story’s protagonist – Drew’s twin sister Faye. Drew and Faye were the roots of my story.

The next question was, of course, why would such a marvellous, useful super-power get these two characters into strife? The answer was that Drew would see a situation in a vision and have to decide between saving his own selfish skin or saving a stranger. Thus ‘The Falling Man’ – the stem of the plot – was created.

Head over to read the post and share where you get your ideas from for your writing: Where do you get your ideas from? by Sian Turner

The next post is the weekly update from Mary Smith about her cancer treatment a must read for anyone currently going through treatment as being as informed as possible is vital, but also Mary shares a stunning walk she managed with her sister with some stunning photos.

MarySmith’sPlace ~ Fatigue & other side effucks Cancer Diary #25

Wednesday, 24 February: It’s grey and wet here and has been for the last two days which may account for the dip in my mood. I suspect, though, more than the weather blues, it’s caused by trying to deal with the seemingly endless fatigue and lack of energy.

On Sunday, the weather was lovely following several days or torrential rain, and my sister and I met for our first socially distanced walk in – well, I don’t even know how long it’s been since we saw each other. We met at the car park at Rockcliffe, a small village on the Solway coast. I’ve written before about the circular Rockcliffe/Kippford walk when I really struggled, post-chemo, pre-radiotherapy.

We decided to walk in the other direction to Castle Point, site of an Iron Age fort. It’s not particularly strenuous and – I’m guessing here – the circular walk is only about 2.5-3 miles.

Head over to read the post in full and leave your comments for Mary; MarySmith’sPlace ~ Fatigue & other side effucks Cancer Diary #25

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Going West: The Accidental Tourist by Sue Vincent


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post from the archives of Sue Vincent who has more than one blog to select posts from and this week a post from the co-authored site with Stuart France. You will find amazing travels, exploring ancient Britain in all its glory.

Going West: The Accidental Tourist

Wales 080

Frankly, I thought it appallingly bad planning. Could the town not have chosen a different day to ceremonially install their new mayor? It isn’t as if we hadn’t advertised our itinerary for the weekend, culminating with a visit to the Cathedral at St Davids and lunch in the refectory. In that order. But no… the Cathedral was otherwise occupied and would be for some time to come. It was still occupied by the time we had finished warming up with pots of tea… and still too busy after I had wandered round the outside of the church with the camera, trying to get a few good shots in spite of the rain that was now beating a steady tattoo on the lens. We were at a loose end.

Wales 081

“Another twenty minutes or so,” said the gentleman manning the door. Some chose to stay in the warmth of the refectory. Others disappeared, planning to gather again shortly. I wandered off over the little stream to be a tourist. Tourism is not the point of these weekends and although we have a plan of where we will go and what we want to see, we have learned to be flexible in our approach, shunning rigorous timetables in favour of time to savour the sites we visit. Sometimes, though, there is nothing wrong with a little tourism. The Cathedral is not the only thing worth visiting in St Davids and, with little time at our disposal, the Bishop’s Palace is a good place to while away a few moments. To be fair, it deserves a lot more than I had to give it, being part of one of the oldest and certainly most important Christian sites in Wales.

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We’d had our first sight of the ruined palace as we approached the cathedral from St Non’s, watching the remarkable architectural details reveal themselves through the mist and rain. Fifteen hundred years ago, a monastery grew up here. It was not then the peaceful spot we know today and the monks who lived there saw their home sacked by Norse raiders, then quietly rebuilt it, at least ten times over the course of the next four hundred years. It was only after the Norman invasion of 1066 that the monks began to know peace. The strong presence of the Norman barons imposed fortifications on the growing town, protecting the monastery and the relics it housed.

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St Davids was already recognised as an important spiritual centre. William the Conqueror himself came to pay his respects to the relics of St David in 1081. Later, in 1284, King Edward I would also make the pilgrimage. The remains of the current palace reflect that later date; the building was begun around that time, and work continued until the middle of the following century. The Reformation saw the demise of the palace; its fall into ruin much hastened by Bishop William Barlow, who sold the lead from the roof in 1536 to pay the dowries of his five daughters… the equivalent of twelve years income from the episcopal see!

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It is always curious to begin to reconstruct in imagination a site that is now but a shadow of its former self. It matters little whether it is a stone circle, a tomb or a palace… it is the small, almost insignificant things that give the real clues, not to how a place looked… but to how it was. Here, the warm tones of the volcanic rock and local stone have been embellished by a chequerboard pattern. Great windows that perhaps once have held stained glass pierce the walls and arcades decorate every face of the palace, inside and out. Wide spaces, high ceilings, towers and turrets… this is a visible show of wealth and power, more temporal than divine. The little monastery that faithfully guarded its treasured relics against the invaders was obliterated by its own

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The ruined palace is now crumbling, its wealth generated by tourists, its fabric held tenuously together by those who seek to maintain the presence of a building that has itself become a relic. Its empty shell holds more than memory, it holds a lesson pertinent to why we had gathered for the weekend. We too start small, growing with the simplicity of a child that sees the world unclouded by the complexities of adulthood. As we grow, the malleable clay of our personality is shaped by choice, reaction and experience and the ego builds walls behind which it can hide from invaders. But the protective walls are stark and feel like a prison, so we add embellishments in an attempt to display an illusion of personal power… and, if left untended, those too will eventually crumble and decay becoming both a danger and a liability that can cost us dearly. Like the palace, what began in simplicity, grows beyond our ability to sustain it and beyond its true purpose.

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The first monastery here was a simple place, designed as a vessel to hold something sacred. Overlaid with the trappings of power and ambition, that purpose was lost. The clay of our being is ours to shape. It too holds something sacred… whether you believe in the soul or simply believe in the indefinable spark of animating life. We owe it to ourselves to make sure the vessel that we build is fit for its purpose. It is not in the walls that we build, but in the space within, where we live and have our being. It is not the vessel, but the space within that holds the wine.

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©Sue Vincent 2020

A small selection of  books by Sue Vincent with Stuart France and Ani

One of the recent reviews for Life Lines

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite poetry  Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021

Life Lines’ by Sue Vincent highlights the paths of life we traverse – from innocent laughter to the snowy lanes of life, from the depths of sorrow to the light that beckons us, from the abyss of tears to the memories that pull us out; whether it is past or present, life is woven with delicate threads that bind us into a “purpose” and inspire us to “fall in love with life at every passing day.”

Sue’s poetry flows like a steady stream that takes in all the upheavals in its stride and absorbs them, keeping the hope alive. She has a unique style of playing with the symbols that reach your heart:
“flames caress the moon,” for the glow of sunset,
“scattered motes of possibility in the darkness,” for the stars,
“two ravens” for thought and memory, “winter leaf” for self,
“heart-beat of earth” for sea,
“shadows in the glass” for joy and pain.

While ‘Flowers’ brilliantly captures the journey of a woman, ‘I’ emphasizes how the choices of life are snatched away from us unawares! ‘Door of Dreams’ exhorts us to rise from our inner world to “face the demons of today” and look beyond. There are many such poems that would inspire you to keep the flame of hope aloft. I felt ‘Sunset’ could be one of my favorites but then ‘Just One’ mesmerized me with the thoughts of how many kinds of love encompasses us. Each poem exudes an emotion, profound yet subtle.

The poems in this collection need to be savored slowly, to be re-read with sips of your favorite tea, coffee or wine. Highly recommended.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UKand: Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent  – Twitter:@SCVincent – Ani’s Blog: The Small Dog’s Blog –  Blog: France And Vincent
Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer, esoteric teacher and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of The Mystical Hexagram with Dr G.M.Vasey. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also writes at S.C. Vincent
Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will head over to Sue’s blogs to enjoy the other posts.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 24th February 2021 – #LakeDistrict Mike Biles, #AlooGobi Sowmya’s Spicy Corner, #Publishing Alison Williams


Just a small selection of the posts I have enjoyed in the last few days.. I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.. thanks Sally.

The first post is from Mike Biles of A Bit About Britain and brings back very happy memories of living and working in the Lake District back in the early 80s. Fabulous scenery and walks for every age and ability.

Helvellyn, England’s third mountain  

Helvellyn

England, unlike Wales, is not a mountainous country. Indeed, it is fair to say that other countries, with the possible exception of Holland, have mountains that come in larger sizes than England’s. But England does have some fairly serious lumps of rock and Helvellyn is one of them. At 3,117 feet (950 metres), it is England’s and the Lake District’s third highest peak, relatively accessible, with interesting and varied scenery, exhilarating views, the added magnetism of the infamous Striding Edge…and is not to be trifled with.

Head over to discover more about this wonderful place to walk after lockdown and enjoy the lovely views: Helvellyn, England’s third mountain

We eat curry at least once a week and I usually make enough for two days. I was a child in Sri Lanka back in the 50s and Sunday lunch was always a party with everyone gathering  to enjoy our cook’s wonderful curries including all the additional trimmings to go with it. My parents continued that tradition wherever my father was posted  and as David learned to make great curries from the ships cook when at sea for four years in the early 70s  it is a tradition we have both enjoyed continuing.

Here is a wonderful recipe for Aloo Gobi a vegetarian curry, from Sowmya’s Spicy Corner, and there are some amazing recipes to enjoy.

Aloo Gobi – a vegetarian classic in the North Indian cuisine. This is a semidry gravy and is prepared by cooking the the potatoes and cauliflower along with onions, tomatoes and few spices. The addition of spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder and garam masala brings out the best of aroma and flavour apart from the enchanting yellow colour it imparts to the dish. This delicious semidry gravy pairs well with all the Indian flatbreads, parathas, jeera rice or pulav rice.

Head over for the ingredients and step by step guide to preparing this delicious curry: Sowmya’s Spicy Corner Aloo Gobi Vegetable curry

The final post today is from editor Alison Williams with a handy list of questions to ask your small publisher before you sign anything on the dotted line.

Signing with a small publisher? Here’s what to look for 

Re-posting some previous posts that followers have told me they found most helpful. Today’s post was written after I had to re-edit, proofread and generally sort out a manuscript that had been published by a vanity press purporting to be a legitimate small press, who had charged the client in question thousands of pounds. In my subsequent ‘nosing about’, I discovered some authors that had been badly let done by small presses. That said, I do appreciate that there are lots of fabulous small presses out there that work incredibly hard for their authors.

I recently wrote a bit of a rant about the quality control of some small presses whose books I had read.

If you are thinking of signing with a small publisher, then do bear a few things in mind.

Do your homework – start off by Googling the publisher. You might find threads on writing sites that go into a great deal of detail about your chosen publisher. Read them – they can be incredibly enlightening.

Ask questions – if your publisher is honest and genuinely wants the best for you, they should accept that you have a right to want to know about them. After all, you are placing your book and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into writing it in their hands.

Head over to discover the key questions to ask before you sign with any publisher: Signing with a small publisher? Here’s what to look for. #WritingCommunity #WritingTips

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – #Writing – Author Bio Dos and Don’ts by K.M. Allan


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post by author K.M. Allan who shares some elements to consider when putting together your author bio.

Getting into the writing game doesn’t just mean composing entire books, dreaded synopses, and query letters, you also need an author bio.

Yep! As much as you might want the focus to only be on the art you’ve created, agents, publishers, and readers are going to want to know about the person behind the pen, and an author bio helps them do that. What will help you craft a worthy one are these dos and don’ts.

Author Bio Dos and Don’ts

Don’t Write Just One

While you can base your bios off the same info, using a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for every place you’ll list it. For example, a bio listed on your own blog or website can be a few paragraphs long. A bio that goes at the end of a query letter needs to only be a few sentences.

The best thing to do is to write a bio that includes everything you want (your name, writing experience, competitions/short story publishing wins, previously published titles, something fun about you, where you can be found online, etc), and then strip it back to just the essentials (name, writing experience, where you can be found online).

Aim for at least 200 words as your standard bio, and 50 for the compact version.

Do Adjust For Each Audience

As well as making sure your length is right, adjust the tone of your bio. Professional sounding with all the relevant info is perfect for your website “About” page, “About The Author” section of your book, and a press release. While a fun, quirky sentence is ideal for social media.

Don’t Include Everything

If you’re lucky enough to have an extensive number of books or accolades to include, don’t fill up your bio with everything. List only the latest and greatest.
Do Include One Interesting Thing About Yourself

While it’s an author bio and should mainly revolve around your work as an author, make sure to add at least one interesting thing about yourself.

You might think you have nothing to include, but the world is a big place. You’d probably be surprised to know that mentioning the fact you collect animal-shaped pot plants resonates with others. On the flip-side, if you have no publishing achievements to list (I’ve been there!), list your passions or why you write.

Don’t Forget To Update Your Bio Regularly

It’s a good idea to revise your bio regularly, especially after every new release. While re-jigging the bio for your latest book is a given, don’t forget the other places your bio appears, which brings us to our final do…

Do Keep A List Of Where Your Bio Is Published

Even if you think you’ll remember, write down all the places it’s listed. That way, when you need to update your bio, you can easily tick off every place on your list and know you’re giving the world your up-to-date achievements.

I recently updated my bio after the release of my second book, and even though I thought I’d hit every place, I logged into Pinterest a few months after release and noticed the bio there was out of date. Now I do have a list, which is below to give you an idea:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Author Page
  • Pinterest
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon Author Page
  • Amazon Reviewer Page
  • About (Blog/Website)
  • WordPress Bio
  • Gravatar Profile
  • All Author Profile
  • BookBub Profile

A bio written and ready to post anywhere online, in your press releases, book releases, and with queries and publisher/submission correspondence is worth crafting, and I hope these dos and don’ts help you do that.

©K.M. Allan 2020

About K.M. Allan

K.M. Allan is an identical twin, but not the evil one. She started her career penning beauty articles for a hairstyling website and now powers herself with chocolate and green tea while she writes books and blogs about writing.

Her debut novel, Blackbirch: The Beginning, was released February 2020, followed in July by the second book in the Urban Fantasy series, Blackbirch: The Dark Half. Both books have been a hit with readers, receiving multiple 4 and 5 star reviews.

When K.M.’s not creating YA stories full of hidden secrets, nightmares, and powerful magic, she likes to read, binge-watch too much TV, spend time with family, and take more photos than she will ever humanly need.

Visit her social media to discover the mysteries of the universe. Or at the very least, some good writing tips.

Books by K.M. Allan

One of the recent reviews for Blackbirch – The Dark Half

Ms. Laurie J. Bell 5.0 out of 5 stars The twists just keep on coming.  Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2020

There are new enemies, new mysteries, new secrets and new friends. And not everyone is telling the truth. The dark half explores what is dark in all of us. Everyone has two sides. What they show to the world and what they keep hidden. Well, what if you saw both sides?

Book two jumps in where book one left off. Josh has come into his magic but is desperate to learn more about it. Kallie, the girl he thought only existed in his dreams, is real and has come to show him how to use his magic. But she is hunted and haunted by her past. Now it is Josh’s turn to save her.

This is a terrific action packed book. Magic and spells and crystals abound. Someone is collecting magic and Josh and Kallie are on his list. Just when you think you have this story pegged you are hit with a new twist. Cleverly plotted, this story is well told and full of mystery. Author K.M. Allan will keep you hooked to the very end. Over and over I sat up and went, “Ooooo!” I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK – Follow K.M. Allan: Goodreads – Instagram: K.M. Allan Writer – Facebook: K.M. Allan Writer – Twitter:  @KMAllan_writer

 

Thanks for visiting today and I know that Kate would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 22nd February 2021 – #Food Carol Taylor, #Home Chantelle Atkins with Jessica Norrie, #Bookreview Harmony Kent


Here is a selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days… I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.. thanks Sally.

Another amazing week of posts from Carol Taylor​ with recipes for Frittata and pancakes.. the low down about protein shakes, homemade peanut butter, some great music and informative snippets.. head over to enjoy.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week… For those of you who celebrate Valentines Day…I hope you had a Happy Valentines Day xx

Enjoyed the chocolate I hope so as it is National Chocolate month… so fill your boots and enjoy! My thoughts turn to Easter with crossed fingers that my moulds arrive in time for me to make a lovely egg for Lily her first…

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s: Week 6…#Frittata.

Such a versatile dish and it uses up lots of bits and pieces of veggies that are sitting in your fridge an ideal once a week meal which means less waste as well… 

Head over enjoy: Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes with Carol Taylor

The next post is on the blog of Chantelle Atkins – The Glorious Outsiders and features Jessica Norrie sharing her home in the country for the last year in lockdown..

Guest Post #5 Hello Home…with Jessica Norrie

Welcome to another guest post for my ‘Hello Home…’ pandemic themed feature. It would seem all of us have experienced or are still experiencing a lockdown of some sort while the corona virus continues to blight our lives. Although we are all in the same situation, we experience it differently because our homes are all so different. Thinking about this inspired me to write a piece a few weeks ago dedicated to my house and what it has meant to me during these strange and unsettling times. Today please welcome author Jessica Norrie. If you would like to know more about Jessica and her books, her links and bio are at the end of the post!

Head over to discover the lovely countryside around Jessica’s rural retreat: Guest Post Hello Home with Jessica Norrie

If you are looking for your next book then here is a review from Harmony Kent for a thriller that sounds intriguing.

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About the book

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Head over to read the review for the book: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo-review Harmony Kent

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – #AfghanistanAdventures #54 Winter travel by Mary Smith


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post from author Mary Smith and I have enjoyed all her adventures in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last couple of years but there were a couple I missed and I am going to share those in this series. I highly recommend that you head over to Mary’s to read the others in this wonderful series.

Winter Travel Afghanistan, December 1989, Day Mirdad

The delay meant we were a long way from our destination, when darkness fell. At the next check post the mujahid guarding the chain, tried to persuade us not to continue our journey. Jon thanked him, but said we must ensure our patients reached the clinic in Day Mirdad. The mujahid played the beam of his torch into the back of the vehicle. When he spotlighted Zahir, without his turban, he jumped back hastily and waved us on. Poor Zahir, for once, we were grateful for the terrified reaction he provoked.

At the next check post Jon tried the same story. The mujahid peered into the back, saw Zahir and said calmly, ‘Oh, a leprosy patient. Never mind, we can give you a separate room for him.’ Jon requested permission to speak to the Commander who opened the window of his office a grudging few inches. We watched as Jon talked, gesticulating occasionally towards the vehicle. We saw the Commander shake his head and give a brief reply. Jon tried again – the Commander slammed the window shut. We were not going to reach Day Mirdad that night.

We were directed through a gateway into a large, bleak compound. Crunching over the frozen snow, we reached our room, unwilling guests of the Nasre Party for the night. The room was frigid, my head was hurting and we were all cold and cross. A man came in to light the bukhari around which we huddled, morosely sipping tea. We had to ask twice for food before we were eventually served a quantity of greasy, grey liquid with a few pieces of very stringy, dried up meat. Not even Zahir could find anything to laugh about.

When I awoke in the morning I discovered I’d lain on, and broken, my glasses, my head was throbbing worse than ever and, when I learned, despite the fact we’d not exactly been willing guests, we were expected to pay for our board and lodgings I was furious. Determined to tell the Commander exactly what I thought of his shabby treatment of us I headed across the compound towards his office. Rahimy talked me down – otherwise we might still be there. With bad grace I climbed into our vehicle.

At least the day was crisp and sunny, which helped lighten the mood, as we headed towards Day Mirdad. We left the snow behind us, but it would soon catch up with us again, and we would have to complete the work in Arif’s clinic as quickly as possible. For Jon, it meant examining the accounts and handing over the money required for the running of the project through the winter months. For me, it meant interviews with Arif to collect information, statistics and stories about his work, to be included in reports.

Day Mirdad is situated between Pashto and Hazara lands. Arif was Pashto. Before the Soviet invasion had forced him to abandon his studies, he’d completed two years in medical college in Kabul. Arriving in Pakistan as a refugee, he somehow heard about the leprosy centre in Karachi, and was accepted as a candidate in the training programme. Arif and Jon had been class fellows in Karachi but were not close friends. As a Pashto, Arif could never accept coming second to anyone in anything, while Jon, south-of-England-born, had a similar arrogance. Somehow or other at the end of the training, each was able to feel he had done better than the other, and honours were even.

As we approached the clinic the landscape became more desolate and barren. Grey, naked mountains rose on every side until it seemed there was no level ground anywhere. Everything was on a slope; the buildings, the fields – tiny handkerchief sized patches of brown – the few trees growing sparsely here and there. Houses were hidden behind very high mud walls in which heavy gates were set. Occasionally we had a glimpse, through an open gateway, of the mud built homes, constructed like fortresses. Pashto women are even more jealously guarded than Hazara women who, by comparison, are allowed tremendous freedom.

We drove through an imposing entrance into a large compound, on three sides of which was a two storey building. Arif came bounding down the steps to meet us, arms outstretched to embrace Jon in a welcoming hug.

Many are the tales of encounters between the soldiers of the British Raj and the fiery tribes from the Frontier Province, depicting the Pashto as tall, swarthy tribal chiefs, tangled black curls escaping from beneath their turbans, dark eyes flashing in challenge. Arif is nothing like those romantic heroes. Standing at barely five foot four he is stocky, has brown eyes which don’t flash particularly challengingly (well, maybe when angered) and a fair complexion. He is restless, excitable, unable to sit still for more than five minutes, and given to generous arm gestures when talking – which he does at great length and speed.

After embracing Jon he clasped my hand warmly, grinning, ‘Welcome, sister. I have many stories to tell you, but first we will drink tea.’ We followed him upstairs to the guest room which was large and sparsely furnished – a gilim which barely covered the floor and a pile of bedding. A Kalashnikov stood in one corner of the room, and when Arif saw me eyeing it, he rushed to give an explanation, ‘For protection, sister, for protection. When I go on tour Ashraf, you know Ashraf? My field assistant. He carries the Kalash – just in case. There are many thieves about, and maybe they think Arif has a lot of money because he works for a foreign organisation.’

We had stipulated weapons should not be kept on clinic premises by staff, a rule we suspected was frequently broken, although usually they had the sense to hide the thing before we appeared. I knew Hassan kept a Kalashnikov in Sheikh Ali, despite having made a big drama once about returning it to the local Commander. Now, he ensured we didn’t see it, but occasionally forgot, as when telling a story of being attacked by a wolf, which ran away when he fired his gun. He’d suddenly stopped talking as he realised he’d given himself away – then made matters worse by trying to say that he was just taking the gun home for a friend.

If Arif felt he needed the protection of a Kalashnikov while on tour, often on foot, I felt there was little we could say against it but I could never really see the justification in having one in the clinic itself. If thieves broke in to steal the medicines, they would surely be well armed. There would be a bloody shoot out which would most likely result in our staff being seriously injured, or killed – and the medicines would still be stolen. In this part of the world, however, men, from when they were still young boys, carried guns. It was expected. Only it used to be an old Lee Enfield which somehow seemed less of a killing machine than an AK-47 assault rifle.

©Mary Smith 2020

About Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She wanted others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.
Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.
Mary loves interacting with her readers on her website.

Books by Mary Smith

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A recent review No More Mulberries (I can highly recommend the book too)

Jan 25, 2021 M.J. Mallon rated it 4.5 stars really liked it

I really enjoyed No more Mulberries. The story’s strength lies in its cultural detail, and in its great variety of characters. The tale transports you away to Afghanistan to a country we all have heard a lot about, but few have ever been there. It doesn’t shy away from mentioning the truth of living in Afghanistan where losing face and a woman’s place and freedoms are far different than in the west. It also touches upon the stigma of leprosy. And yet, with all the trials and tribulations there is a sense of how much Miriam loves this adoptive country, so much so, that she decides to convert her faith and become a muslim.

It is a slow burn of a story, with much detail in the beginning explaining the path that took Miriam from Scotland to living in Afghanistan. It is also a love story, and in some ways a love triangle between the ghost of her dearly departed first love, who was killed, and her new husband Iqbal with tensions apparent especially towards the end of the story.

The ending was emotionally powerful and brought all the threads of the story to a satisfying conclusion. I began to understand Miriam’s motivations.

A well-written, engaging story which I would highly recommend especially to those who appreciate cultural stories about family, marriage, love and honour. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

 

Thanks for visiting today and I know that Mary would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally.