Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Non-Fiction – Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer by Harmony Kent

Congratulations to Harmony Kent on the publication of Creative Solutions for the  Modern Writer…Inspirational tools to fire your imagination.

About the book

Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer is the perfect gift for the writer in your life.

Do you want to be an author? Are you struggling to find inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to put words on the page? Or are you simply looking for novel ideas? If so, then this book is for you.

This little guide will help you unlock your story ideas and fire your imagination. The text covers things such as writing from various prompts, to using Chess, Tarot, and even nursing Triage (and much more) for developing your characters, story, and plot.

From the award-winning author of Polish Your Prose: Essential Self-Editing Tips for Authors—an excellent companion text—Creative Solutions focuses on the creative side of writing rather than the technical.

This book gives you the tools you need to make writing fun, as well as tips and techniques on creating characters and stories that will stay with you and your readers forever.

Crammed with easy-to understand examples, this guide is for writers of every genre—both fiction and non-fiction, literary, and commercial. But most of all, it’s about having fun and making friends with your muse.

An early review for the book

While not necessary, you really should read Ms. Kent’s dystopian novel, Fallout first. It’s not required, but it would help you understand when she outlines her method of preparing to write a story. (BTW, I did read and enjoy, ‘Fallout.’)

While I am a 15% planner/85% ‘pantser’ writer, I’ve seen a lot of methods of setting up a novel outline. Ms. Kent gives the reader several different approaches for those who ‘think differently’ than others do. In high school and college, I took several various chemistry courses, but still had a problem understanding the Periodic Table of Elements. In my fifth chemistry course, an instructor said something that opened my eyes, and suddenly the chart made perfect sense.

In a ‘how-to’ book to plan a novel, I never thought I read about ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,’ a month-long topic in one of my psychology courses being used to explain plot development. Interesting concept!

At the end of this story, Ms. Kent lists many useful tools and how to get them. If you are a beginning author, those tools alone are worth the money for the book.

While I’ll never be a ‘planner,’ I will put some of these concepts to use. I’ve always started with a premise, a basic idea of where I was going, and an ending. All I had to do, then was to use my premise and work my way to my conclusion. It’s worked for me. Harmony’s information will influence my next novel. Thank you!

Head over and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Harmony on Goodreads:

About Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Connect to Harmony

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news about Harmony’s new book.. thanks Sally.

The Delta Pearl, 10 — Cover

Time to catch up with the crew and passengers of the Delta Pearl and there is a bit of a tiss going on with the need to secure certain items of the ships treasures before crossing the border into another State. Apparently the Delta Pearl can be a little unpredictable. Whilst in the process, certain passengers are off their leash and misbehaving and some things are going on behind close doors that are about to be exposed.. better head over to find out what.

Teagan's Books

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Photo by Dan AntionOriginal Photo by Dan Antion

The steampunk riverboat is here.  Hello, my chuckaboos!  Thanks for coming back to the The Delta Pearl. It’s been a busy week. Are you ready to sink into the soft cushions of imagination and let the river gently take you to extraordinary places?

This week’s random reader things

This steampunk riverboat runs on random “things” from readers. Resa McConaghy provided Tempest Prognosticator.  (What’s that and how does it work? Click to find out.) Across the miles in Ireland, Inese sent Mahogany.  She doesn’t have a blog, but Ginger still gave us a thing from Murphy’s LawWhalebone Corset.

Thanks to Dan Antion  for letting me use some of his photos.   Any of you #steampunk fans who like real life trains will enjoy his latest Thursday Doors post.  Be sure to visit Dan at

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Rodeo #2: Pro-Bull Mashup

Time for the second of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo contests and this week it is a Pro-bull mashup.. two genres, three pro-bull names in 99 words.. head over and saddle up.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Where else would you find a bull-riding flash fiction 99-word contest but at Carrot Ranch? Come on, all you pencil crunchers, gather ’round and listen to a  tale.

My dad rode bulls. His dad and his dad’s dad rode bulls. My second great-grandfather wore high-heeled vaquero boots in an 1880s photograph, and while I have no more evidence than those boots, I suspect he rode bulls, too. When you grow up around ranch critters, you ride everything that will hold your weight (you can’t ride a chicken, but you can ride a pig).

Getting bucked off is fun, or so you grow up believing. Your relatives and their friends, congregate in the corrals, hold down a critter, set you on it, hoot like crazy throughout your ride, and dust you off when you faceplant in the dirt and critter-pies.

Following this generational bent, I wanted to ride bulls, too. I…

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Seven Links 10/12/19 Traci Kenworth

Traci Kenworth shares some brilliant blog posts across a number of topics including some excellent writing links.

Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger


Links 10/12/19



“This talk is going to be partly at least about children’s literature, or so it
says in the program. I should say at the outset that I’m not going to treat the
subject in an academic way, even if I could; I find it hard to think about
anything for very long, or at all deeply, unless I can get some practical grasp
of it. My qualifications for saying anything about books that children read are
strictly limited to the fact that I write them. So these reflections are those
of someone who makes up stories and thinks about how he does it, rather than
those of a scholar who has studied the subject from an academic point of view.

I thought I should begin by trying to say
what children’s literature is; but that’s not as easy as it seems…

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We’re home from the blog tour!

If you are thinking of using a book tour organiser for your next book then you might like to read the experience of Jessica Norrie who has some excellent tips to share along with the results of her own.

Words and Fictions

My first review appeared on the other side of the pond recently, and it’s a great endorsement of both The Magic Carpet and the blog tour process: When I read the first few paragraphs of a review on a book blog I happened onto… I thought-wow! I really like the way this author writes! I left the blog and immediately bought the eBook. And I did not want to stop reading… I felt warmed sometimes, and then very sad sometimes, and educated in things I didn’t realize, and … finished … with a hopeful heart. I think many people would benefit from reading this book

This was a less interactive blog tour than most. I was due to have an operation in August, so rather than take on several q and a sessions, Anne at RandomTours suggested writing guest posts and choosing extracts in advance. The rest would…

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The Smiling Chipmunks of Riding Mountain~

At the end of the day, I do enjoy sitting quietly and my preference is to have a beautiful view in front of me.. not always possible. However, you only have to pop over to Cindy Knoke’s blog to enjoy a wonderful collection of images, including these from Riding Mountain National Park.. with some adorable chipmunks. “Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba Canada has a ‘Red Chair Program,’ where two red Adirondack chairs are placed at random, often remote locations throughout the park, encouraging you sit for a spell and soak up the scenery” perfect

Cheeky little chippers,

stand their ground when you come close!

Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba Canada has a ‘Red Chair Program,’ where two red Adirondack chairs are placed at random, often remote locations throughout the park, encouraging you sit for a spell and soak up the scenery.

The park consists of 1,146mi² of mostly remote, scenic forest.

It is filled with pristine lakes,

and endless opportunities to soak up the solitary scenery.

Unfortunately we were a bit too early to see the birch leaves turn.

Cheers to you from Riding Mountain National Park~

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – New Bloggers on the Scene – Melanie M. Stewart – When The Money Runs Out (2019)

This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

This is the final post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent. Sharing Tips and facts learned along the way.

When The Money Runs Out

When my mother Ginny moved south in 2000, she had the money from the sale of her condo, an inheritance from her stepmother, and her monthly Social Security check. These funds were placed into a brokerage account and she received a check every month for her expenses. Over 17 years, however, the money reached a tipping point where her costs outweighed her account income and it became clear that it would eventually run out. With less than a year remaining, we had to figure out alternate measures. Otherwise, our two families would be splitting about $1200 every month for her living expenses.

The initial thought we had was to research her valuables. She had told us through the years that certain items she owned may be worth a lot. So, I fell into an interesting research project. I started to photograph mom’s eclectic art objects she had collected over the years and I sent them to an auction house in Chicago.

I forwarded photos of figurines, a handful of paintings and large fashion prints given to Ginny as a gift in the 1940’s. They had been purchased in France. I sent along photos of jewelry pieces including necklaces, brooches and hat pins.

Unfortunately, there was just no market for the bulk of the items with the exception of a turquoise “blossom squash” necklace given to her in the 70’s. The auction house wanted that piece and included it in an auction held in Colorado that fall. It sold and Ginny received a few hundred dollars.

We worked on reducing her bills. Once we found a cable provider that would offer phone and cable (no internet required for Ginny) for less than half her current bill, we switched. We reduced her renter’s insurance policy. We researched cheaper Medicare supplement programs. (She fought this idea because she didn’t want anything to change and she wanted her same doctors.) We looked for anything that would stretch her remaining dollars.

I took a look at the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. It’s a needs-based program for the elderly, blind or disabled. If a person has limited income and assets, the program would pay approximately $770.00/month. But it’s tough to qualify for financially. Their cut-off for financial assets is less than $2000 ($3000.00 for a couple.) Although it does not include current Social Security benefits, Ginny still had approximately $7000.00 in her account, making her ineligible. We discussed “waiting it out” until she had the qualifying balance, but we had no idea how long it would take to get approved, if at all, and have the payments start. There could be a long time delay.

And then there’s Medicaid. She could save some money if they accepted her into a Medicare Savings Program (MSP). This is when Medicaid works with Medicare and pays the recipient’s monthly Medicare supplement (eligibility varies per state.) For now, this would be the extent of potential Medicaid coverage for her because she’s pretty healthy and wouldn’t qualify for other assistance. The MSP would be a savings, but not enough to close the gap.

We were also told that it might be helpful to meet with a law firm familiar with senior care law. We needed someone to lay-out any other available programs for seniors like mom. It didn’t matter whether the help came from the state or federal level. We were newbies. What was out there that we could legitimately tap into for Ginny?

Unfortunately, the attorney we met with was borderline polite. I’m not sure if the advance paperwork did us in. It showed that there were no assets to protect or even a need for a will. It’s also possible that it was just the bad cold he was nursing, but he seemed to have very little time for us.

“Why are you here?” was the exact question.

“Because you advertise advanced knowledge of senior care programs? We are here to figure out how to help our mother. She’s 86. She’s broke. Medicaid is not an option until something actually fails her. Do you have a list of programs we could investigate and see if she might qualify for one?” (OK, I was more thinking that response than actually saying it out loud, but we needed someone familiar with the workings of state and federal senior assistance programs to get us in a door. Any door.)

He offered one idea. It was a program I had previously heard about from someone in my community. It was the Veteran Administration’s Aid and Attendance Program.

My dad, David, was a Korean War veteran. He had passed away in 1978 a couple of months before I graduated from high school. Our family and friends helped my mother explore VA benefits at that time, but for whatever reason, she was ineligible. Maybe something had changed, and it could provide some financial relief.

My sister and our husbands held a round table on how to approach the VA. We knew that we would need to locate dad’s discharge papers and death certificate. Thankfully, Ginny had saved the discharge papers which was a huge help and I purchased a copy of the death certificate online through the State of Ohio’s website. In the meantime, Hailey decided to hire a facilitator from a local senior care business. She is familiar with this VA program and she agreed to join my sister and me when we met with the VA administration office in Clearwater to assist with any questions.

The Aid and Assistance Program basically assists in helping a veteran or spouse of one pay for another person to “aid and assist” them with a variety of daily needs. It is structured so that the payment goes directly to the recipient, but the recipient pays out the money to the person who supplies that monthly assistance. It can be paid to a professional healthcare provider or a family member. It is expected that there will be a pay-out every month to the assistance provider. The recipient can’t just keep the money.

The VA coordinator was extremely helpful. He explained that the amount given can vary per case. He used a formula and it appeared that mom might be eligible for some assistance. We didn’t know what to expect so we were pleased with even a small amount.

I know the Veteran’s Administration has been criticized in recent years, but personally, I have nothing but praise for the organization. It took two months to be processed. We happened to be together for my birthday when Hailey got an alert about a deposit in mom’s account. They had retroactively paid out the past month and the current one. And the amount was almost double what we had originally heard. It would almost cover her full monthly expenses.

We were grateful that they would consider her case at all and now they had given us more than we expected. It was probably the best birthday gift I had received in a long time. I got to unwrap some peace of mind. Neither Hailey or I have ever expected anything from anyone or any organization, so their help really touched me. And I also like to think that after 40 years, my dad is helping her too.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing her experiences as I am sure that it is not uncommon as parents age. These proactive steps are certainly worth bearing in mind as we also age.

@Melanie M. Stewart 2019

About Melanie M. Stewart.

Many years ago, I worked as a freelance writer for a local paper in suburban Chicago. I covered everything from cloning & measuring the risk of heart disease to my “Day in the Life” series where I spent the day with a veterinarian or watching “behind the scenes” at a popular restaurant.

Then I went to work for (online obituaries). I stayed there for almost nine years. I enjoyed helping customers navigate the site and at times, offer support during a highly emotional time.

This blog combines these two experiences. They are non-fiction stories pulled from my own experiences navigating the aging parent years. I also provide informational links and tips as well as the opportunity for you to share your story.

I have no professional background in psychology or senior healthcare. I’m just in it day-to-day. I’m married and a mom who enjoys a good laugh, a good mystery/thriller and watching the Chicago Cubs.

Connect to Melanie


It would be great if you would head over to Melanie’s blog and follow her there and on Twitter.. Thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday October 9th – Sue Vincent, Natalie Ducey and John W. Howell.

This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

Many of us offer guest writing opportunities and it is a very useful way to not only showcase your writing skills but to also promote your books or blog. Here is a reminder from Sue Vincent that she welcomes guests and having been a recipient of her hospitality, I can highly recommend the experience.

Artists, Writers, Photographers… lend me your ears…

…and your words and pictures…

BmG logo

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

What drives you to do what you do? Why do you write? When did you take your first photograph… and why? Do you have a new book coming out? News of an exhibition? What have you learned that you can share? Do you have a story to tell… inspiration to offer… Or advice on writing, publishing, or promoting? Can you share tips on photography or art?

Head over and sign up:

Sue Vincent  Buy: –  Goodreads:

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

The next post is from Natalie Ducey and is all about making it easy for your readers to share your blog on social media.. you don’t write your blog to talk to yourself, and if someone enjoys it enough to share, you need to enable them to do that.

Cheers, fellow bloggers! ♥

Today’s post is all about sharing. Yup, because that’s what blogging is all about, isn’t it? Connecting and sharing lessons learned with tips and techniques to help make this blogging journey an awesome one. It’s why I started blogging and the very reason I remain so passionate about it.

Increase blog traffic and maximize reach by adding and customizing social media sharing options in WordPress!

Increase blog traffic and maximize reach by adding and customizing social media sharing options in WordPress!Increase blog traffic and maximize reach by adding and customizing social media sharing options in WordPress!

We all know how much time and effort goes into crafting an engaging blog post. It’s not a simple task.

But… sharing it is. And it’s a win-win for all. Yet it’s not always an option.

I’ll set the scene. 🙂

I arrive at the end of an amazing post, eager to share …. and facepalm. No share options!

Say it ain’t so. I know, right? Missed opportunities.

Head over to read the rest of this guide to sharing your blog:

Natalie Ducey, Buy:
Blog: Goodreads:

The final post today is from John Howell who does a wonderful series — Top Ten Things Not To Do.. and this week intriguingly …it is when at the first live radio broadcast of a football game in 1921…

Ten things not to do

This week marks the anniversary of the first live radio broadcast of a football game in 1921. The game was played at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The announcer was Harold W. Arlin of radio station KDKA. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers beat the West Virginia University Mountaineers by a score of 21 to 13. (Not much has changed there. This rivalry began in 1895, and so far, the University of Pittsburgh has won the meeting more times than West Virginia University. It is called the Back Yard Brawl since the two schools are only 70 miles from each other.) I think we ought to go to the game rater than listen on the radio. Well, bring the radio along too. It might be fun to see how close the announcer describes the real action. As usual, there are rules to follow, so we don’t create a tear in the time continuum. Take this list with you.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Live Radio Broadcast of a Football Game.

10. If you are at the game, do not think you can listen to the broadcast on streaming audio via iHeart Radio. If you do, at best those around you will be too interested in the game to notice your cell phone. At worst, the usher will spot your phone and ask you to follow him. (For heaven sakes, Jacquez don’t go. You really want to explain that you are from the year 2019? There will be a padded room reserved for you.)

Head over to find out the other nine things not to do :

John Howell, Buy: John Howell Goodreads Blog:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy these posts in full.. thanks Sally.