Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – St. Valentine’s Day Culinary treats, poetry and music.


Welcome to the round up of posts from the week and a very big thank you for dropping in and sharing the articles.

It has been a busy week getting the blog sitting posts scheduled for my time offline. I will be posting a calendar of posts tomorrow but I promise you have some treats in store from some of your favourite writers and some new contributors.

There will be some of the regular posts too, but the one real change is that the blog sitters will be in charge in my absence and I know that they will do an amazing job.

I have mentioned before that I am leaving David at home (he is looking forward to peace and quiet) whilst I join my two sisters for a joint birthday celebration.

This means that if you do send an email to sally.cronin@moyhill.com between Thursday 15th and 21st of February, you won’t get a reply until my return. I also will not be responding to comments on the posts either but promise to catch up as soon as I can.

As always a thank you to the regular contributors to the blog who write amazing columns and this week William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor have shared music, poetry and a St. Valentine’s Day feast.

Next week there will not be a round up on Sunday but I will do a blog sitting round up on Wednesday 21st.

On with the posts from the week and again, thank you for stopping by…Sally

The Music Column with William Price King

William Price King  and I are taking a break from the music series the next couple of weeks as I prepare for my trip away. But we begin a brand new one on Wednesday 21st with the life and career of the pop legend Madonna.  I hope you will join us.

In the meantime I would like to share the creative artist interview from last year in case you missed meeting William Price King in person.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/smorgasbord-creative-artist-interview-jazz-singer-musician-and-composer-william-price-king/

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss

This week Paul Andruss shares a conversation between a Muse and a Pilgrim on the subject of poetry…..and its various forms. With examples from some of the most revered poets of all time. Part two in a few weeks. According to the Muse – A Dialogue in 2 Halves – What is Poetry

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/smorgasbord-writer-in-residence-according-to-the-muse-a-dialogue-in-2-halves-part-1-what-is-poetry-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor’s Food Column

This week Carol shares a Valentine’s Dinner that you can prepare for your loved one… providing just the right romantic vibe and privacy in the comfort of your own home. Staying in for Valentine’s Day by Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-staying-in-for-valentines-day/

The Open House Sunday Interview

Today’s guest is author Debra Purdy Kong who will be sharing the background to why she writes mysteries, her publishing adventures, her viewing preferences and favourite quote. We will also find out more about her work at then end of the interview.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-open-house-sunday-interview-author-debra-purdy-kong/

The New Series of Posts from YOUR Archives begins in March with a slight twist.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/new-series-of-posts-from-your-archives-beginning-march-1st-2018-your-chance-to-share-past-gems/

Personal Stuff

Letters from America – 1985- 1987

My first birthday in Houston was my 32nd on February 13th and a lot of things came together around that time as we found both our new home for the next two years in the Chancellor apartments, Parramatta Lane. Here is my letter to my parents announcing the good news and sharing a photo of our new car on February 23rd 1985.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-birthday-new-car-galverston-and-houston-zoo/

I thought I would share one of the stories from my WIP – Tales from the Irish Garden to prove that I had actually been working away in the background… This story is based on the bedtime stories we told to my younger brother..called Jeremy, and is about a little donkey who finds himself on the wrong side of the hedge… because of a mean bull called Gerard.

Donata Zawadzka has created six of the book’s illustrations and I think you will agree the one for Jeremy is delightful. I hope you will pop and see it.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/tales-from-the-irish-garden-a-sneak-preview-jeremy-the-donkey-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Drive time playlist

This week two pieces of music that have always emotionally moved me. The theme song from The Last of the Mohicans and the hugely successful theme from Beaches.. The Wind Beneath My Wings sung by Bette Midler.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/sallys-drive-time-playlist-movie-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-the-last-of-the-mohicans-and-wind-beneath-my-wings/

Posts from MY archives.

To promote the upcoming Blog Sitting Special whilst I am away with my two sisters for a few days.. I shared some of the posts from last year at the same time. Last year Linda Bethea entertained us with the story of the moral ambiguity attached to a suitcase!

Linda will be joining the blog sitting team again with a wonderful tale of her mother’s spending strategies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-blog-sitting-february-2017-the-sinful-suitcase-and-the-common-law-cows-by-author-linda-bethea/

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I was delighted that my lovely friend and talented author Tina Frisco leapt into action when I invited writers to blog sit whilst I am away with my two sisters last year. Tina is hugely supportive of all her blogging friends and in this post she explores our perception of time. Time is an illusion

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-blog-sitting-february-2017-2/

Last year whilst I was away with my sisters in Portsmouth, Mary Smith shared a photograph and memories of her time in Afghanistan. A wonderful post to revisit and also a reminder of Mary’s books and recent reviews.

Mary Smith - web ready

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-blog-sitting-february-2017-afghan-ceilidh-by-mary-smith/

Last year when I was away on my annual family reunion, Colin Chappell entertained us with some funnies. You can find out more about Colin and his book after you have had your laffs.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-blog-sitting-february-2017/

The Saturday Meet and GreetWatering Hole for Bloggers.

As it is St. Valentine’s Day next Wednesday I thought that today we should feature some of the elements that have played a part in the celebration traditionally. Featuring Colleen Chesebro, Dolly Aizenman, and Mairi from Citrus and Cinnamon.

The first poetry written about romance was probably slipped into an epic poem at some point by some lovesick Greek or Chinese scholar. The earliest recognised written poem was written in Hieratic in around 2,500 BCE.  Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and I am sure there must have been a line in there that formed the toast of all sailors since then ‘To our loved ones, and may they never meet’! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_poetry

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-valentines-day-special-poetry-chocolate-and-champagne/

Posts from Your Archives

D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies kicked the week off with one of her commonsense guide to working with social media. There is nothing more pleasing, having composed a blog post than to receive feedback in the form of likes and shares.

d-g-kaye

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-shout-outs-and-sharing-by-d-g-kaye/

There has been a publishing revolution in the last twenty years and more recently with the advent of eBooks. Janet Gogerty explores the options now open to us with this format and also Print on Demand. A way to print a limited number of books at a time to order. Reinventing The Printing Press

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-reinventing-the-printing-press-by-janet-gogerty/

Darlene Foster gives us a guided tour of the port of Messina with its stunning architecture and history.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archive-madonna-of-the-letter-and-236-steps-in-messina-by-darlene-foster/

Another Time, Another Place by Geoff Le Pard  People know the Angel of the North, that scary be-winged man that startles the unsuspecting motorist on his way north, but I’m not sure how many people have made it around Liverpool to Crosby Beach and three kilometres of sculpture.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-another-time-another-place-by-geoff-le-pard/

This week Jennie Fitzkee shares with us one of the teaching experiences which resulted in a wonderful suprise. A small child who noticed something in a masterpiece that Jennie has not noticed before….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-starry-night-ii-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-adele-marie-park-don-massenzio-brigid-p-gallagher-cynthia-reyes-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-balroop-singh-jack-eason-toni-pike-amy-hoff-and-lynn-otty/

Smorgasbord Health Column

Gender-bending chemicals found in plastic and linked to breast and prostate cancer are found in 86% of teenagers’ bodies

Almost 90 per cent of teenagers have gender-bending chemicals from plastic in their bodies, according to a study. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic containers and water bottles, on the inside of food cans and in till receipts. The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen, and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-health-column-health-in-the-news-the-hormone-mimic-in-plastic-and-inside-food-cans/

Welcome to part three of this series on Irritable Bowel Syndrome.. In the last two posts I covered the new research showing the involvement of Vitamin D in our gut health and also some of the strategies you can put in place to minimise the symptoms. I also looked at the impact that chronic stress can have on our digestive system and our gut welfare.

The two previous posts can be read here at these links.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrient-in-the-news-vitamin-d-and-irritable-bowel-syndrome/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-health-column-irritable-bowel-syndrome-nutrients-and-strategies-to-manage-the-condition/

The six week programme.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-irritable-bowel-syndrome-the-six-week-recovery-programme/

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-revisited-anti-aging-without-the-botox/

Last week I posted about the epidemic levels of Pre-diabetes and today I am following up with a mineral that is contained in sufficient foods to include on a daily basis in your diet that helps to control blood sugar levels. And in my experience help to curb sugar cravings. Chromium

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-the-epidemic-that-goes-unreported/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-blood-sugar-control-chromium/

Humour and Afternoon Video

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-an-official-pain-and-palliative-care-consultant/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-presents-for-teacher-mums-and-dads-all-the-fun-of-the-fair/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-a-clydesdale-love-story/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-chinese-dinner-auctions-and-chewing-gum/

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Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – Valentine’s Day – Poetry, Chocolate, Champagne and Music


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

As it is St. Valentine’s Day next Wednesday I thought that today we should feature some of the elements that have played a part in the celebration traditionally.

The first poetry written about romance was probably slipped into an epic poem at some point by some lovesick Greek or Chinese scholar. The earliest recognised written poem was written in Hieratic in around 2,500 BCE.  Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and I am sure there must have been a line in there that formed the toast of all sailors since then ‘To our loved ones, and may they never meet’! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_poetry

If you would like to impress your beloved this Valentine’s Day by penning an ode to their beauty and other attributes, you might find this post by Colleen Chesebro very useful.

You do not necessarily want to be writing an epic poem 20 stanzas long as there is only so many ways to say ‘I Love You’ but you might like to tackle one of the Eastern forms of poetry, The Haiku, The Tanka or The Haibun – not only could you share this poem with your loved one in a card or even orally, but you could compete in Colleen’s Tuesday challenge.

Welcome to the Tanka Cafe on ST

Colleen outlines each of the poetry forms with instructions and for example here is her guidelines on The Haiku.

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

Head over and acquaint yourself with the other styles and learn how to seriously increase your chances of romance by showing off your skills: https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/02/06/colleens-weekly-2018-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-70-destiny-challenge-synonymnsonly/

You can also check out Colleen’s book at the same time.The Swamp Fairy: The Heartstone Chronicles Volume One.

About the Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations. Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy.

The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors. But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world. Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MX

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

The second element of St.Valentines Day is chocolate usually in one form or another and as luck would have it. Dolly Aizenman of the Kosher Kitchen Cookbook fame, did a post this week on the subject. And with clever use of Nutella (and a dairy free alternative) sets about creating some tasty dishes.

Here is a starter for you with the link to follow it up to read the rest of the post.

February is a National Chocolate Lovers Month, according to Foodimentary.com .com, and today is a World Nutella Day. This recipe is adapted from Kirbie Cravings, and it is one of many dessert recipes that use Nutella as a main ingredient. I was first introduced to Nutella chocolate spread in Italy, way before it crossed the ocean and took America by storm. You should’ve heard my son, a six-year-old, walking around Rome, begging for it on every corner! There is nothing yummier than Nutella, granted, but – it is dairy! Are you ready to monitor your kids’ time that elapsed since that hot dog they had grabbed at school? Now, Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge frosting is Pareve (non-dairy), so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Find out how you get to this point: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/not-exactly-nutella/

Brownies 4

Incidentally if you are looking for a Kosher Cookbook which has recipes that are suitable for vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans.. then you might like to check Dolly’s new book out.

eBook version

About the cookbook

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

Head over and buy the book in paperback or Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Now on to more of the good stuff. You now have your poem written, your chocolate creation cooling in the kitchen and it is time to pop a cork (or two).

But perhaps as well as enjoying a glass or two you could create a dessert. White Chocolate Champagne Possets courtesy of Mairi of Citrus and Cinnamon.

White Chocolate and Champagne Dessert

© Image Mairi – Citrus and Cinnamon

I will hand you over to Mairi

My husband laughs at me when I use words like “posset” and “ramekin“. What? I thought such words were in everyone’s daily vocabulary! Maybe just in the baking world.

Anyhow, I love possets! They’re almost always a thick, creamy dessert. Usually lemon, or other another piquant fruit – but I’m flavouring mine with champagne and white chocolate. The dryness of the drink contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of white chocolate. I’ve heard that you don’t find possets often in the USA, so I’ll describe them how I described them to my American friend: they’re like the nice part of the cheesecake, but without any cheese in them.

Head over and learn how to make these delicious desserts from Mairi and check out her other recipes as well: https://citrusandcinnamon.com/white-chocolate-champagne-possets/

And on that note.. it would not be Valentine’s Day without music.. so here is our own William Price King with My Funny Valentine..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Just a reminder that this is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

It would be lovely to hear your plans for Valentine’s Day – please share in the comments… We are staying in with dinner for two…with all the trimmings….

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Music, Food and Spring Bulbs with Guests and Humour.


Many thanks for dropping in today to catch up on posts that you might have missed during the week. I am in full on ‘Going on a break’ mode, busily scheduling the Blog Sitting posts contributed by some of your favourite writers. The Blog Sitting begins on February 15th through to Tuesday 20th and I am sure that you will be right royally entertained.. I know I was when I read the posts.

Because I will be working my fingers to the bone…. aahh.. I am going to get you in the mood my sharing some of the Blog Sitting posts from this time last year. They are too good not to be shared and allows me to work out what I can pack in my carry on!

When I went to book my ticket it turned out that a checked bag was going to cost me £40 each way. They are small planes flown by this regional airline and clearly they wish to discourage their customers from taking 15 changes of clothing.

Does anyone else take their seat with trepidation, wondering if this time the seat belt will not meet around their middle?  With visions of having to hold your hand up and request an extension?

The other thing that miffs me is the clear plastic bag that announces to the world all your toiletry requirements. Long gone are the days when I could throw a lipstick and a bit of moisturiser in the bag. Now I have all sorts of ungents required to get me through 24 hours let alone 5 days and some of which I do not wish to publicize. So I have prepared a jiffy bag of tail ends of all my moisturisers, plumpers, wrinkle smoothers, toothpaste, Vitamin D Spray, Multi-vitamin Spray, Magnesium oil, gum soothers, Volterol joint gel, silver water, antiseptic handbag size hand sanitizer and some unmentionables. There is also the fact that these will add weight to my carry on which is restricted to 10k between two bags of specific measurements.

So they are now cling-film wrapped for spillage, bubble wrapped for breakage and in a Jiffy bag that is going to cost me £5 to post to my sisters to await my return. I will leave what is left there for my next visit. Simplzk.

Courtesy of Meerkat Youtube Channel

I have also worked out my wardrobe requirements and with the cunning use of small ziplock bags I can get enough in my rucksack for three different outfits and will make full use of my sister’s washing machine.

During the time I am away my guests will be in charge of their posts and responding to comments but since I will only be around once or twice I hope I can rely on you to help out by sharing the posts.. that would be fantastic thank you.

Now on to the posts from the week and as usual I must thank the amazing contributors who work so tirelessly each week to provide you with fantastic posts.. This week William Price King – Music Column, Carol Taylor – Food Column and Paul Andruss – Gardening Column. All of them would love to answer your questions on their areas of expertise.

The Music Column with William Price King

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades. In this final post in their series William brings up bang up to date.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-william-price-kings-music-column-bono-and-u2-up-to-date/

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

Welcome to the second of Paul’s Gardening posts and you will discover that not only is Paul Andruss is an exceptional writer, he also has a very great knowledge of plants. This week bulbs that blossom into brilliant colour in the spring garden – Light up your life with brilliant bulbs –  Part 1: Early Spring Bulbs

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

The Food Column with Carol Taylor – The wonder tree…Jack Fruit!

This week Carol talks us through the preparation of this exotic fruit that takes some time, but produces some delicious savoury and sweet dishes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-invitation-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-food-column-the-wonder-treejack-fruit/

Smorgasbord Saturday meet and Greet

This week a look at some recommended author services from Proofreader Wendy Janes, Translations from Olga Nunez Miret and illustrations from Donata Zawadzka. Plus some great posts from bloggers in the comments.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-at-the-watering-hole-this-week-wendy-janes-olga-nunez-miret-and-donata-zawadzka/

Smorgasborg Open House Interview

My guest today on the Open House is supernatural/paranormal author of The Herbert West Series, Audrey Driscoll.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-open-house-interview-with-author-audrey-driscoll/

Personal Stuff- Short Story – Great Aunt Georgina

A bit of fiction for you. A short story I wrote over 30 years ago that got mixed up with my Letters from America file. I wrote several stories when we lived in Houston in the mid 1980s and I have also found a couple of poems…. Anyway I hope you enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-short-stories-great-aunt-georgina-by-sally-cronin/

Letters from America 1985-1987

Last week I shared our experiences as we arrived in Houston in the first week of February and faced the challenges of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, extra large portions in restaurants and the search for a more permanent place to live.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-dallas-unwanted-visitors-and-house-hunting-sally-cronin/

The Driving Test!

At the same time as I was writing my weekly letters home to my parents, I was also writing articles on various events that took place or about places we visited. I wrote this piece about the dreaded driving test that we had to take to enable us to buy a car and get insured.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-extra-1985-1987-the-driving-test-texas-style-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

This week some ZZ Top…. and Tina Turner. They are my go to musicians when I need to reboot. Got me Under Pressure and On Silent Wings by Tina Turner.. do the trick.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-zz-top-and-tina-turner/

 

Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies with words of wisdom on the subject of making every day count, including treating yourself to a pair of shoes… or anything else that brings you pleasure… because life is too short.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-life-is-short-buy-the-shoes-by-d-g-kaye/

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have. Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

tulips

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-tiptoeing-through-the-tulips-at-keukenhof-by-darlene-foster/

This week Janet Gogerty explores the various writing muses that some authors appear to have time to walk, groom and pamper……Llamas and Labradoodles by Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-llamas-and-labradoodles-by-janet-gogerty/

Here is a post from the archives of Jan Sikes from 2016.. when she turned 65.  Very appropriate as I will be too in a couple of weeks… will be interesting to compare notes. What I Have Learned #65 by Jan Sikes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-i-have-learned-65-by-jan-sikes/

Geoff Le Pard who joins us with his four posts from his archives. In this post Geoff explores the changing face and religion of the East End of London and in particular the various guises one building has adopted over the centuries. Upcycling buildings: if only it was as easy with people by Geoff Le Pard

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-upcycling-buildings-if-only-it-was-as-easy-with-people-by-geoff-le-pard/

Delighted to share another wonderful post from pre-school teacher Jennie Fitzkee. This week the joys and benefits of reading aloud for both child and teacher…or parent.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-how-reading-aloud-made-me-the-teacher-and-person-i-am-today-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Welcome to the last in the series from the archives of Lori Bonati-Phillips who shares one of her experiences as a school psychologist, where Joni Mitchell and and Cosmos makes a world of difference to a young man.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-connections-by-lori-bonati-phillips/

Chris is a massive supporter of writers and his guest posts are very popular and widely read. Jo Robinson is an author who has been a very welcome visitor to this blog since it began in 2013 and Chris is sharing one of her very informative posts on social media. I will share some of her work, including her illustrations, after this article on Twitter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-to-tweet-or-be-a-twit-that-is-the-question-by-jo-robinson-via-the-story-reading-ape/

Last week Elizabeth LLoyd shared her mother Betty’s diary entries for her her last weeks in Brussels towards the end of the war. In this final post Betty heads to Germany at the end of 1945.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-betty-in-germany-in-1945-by-elizabeth-lloyd/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-judith-barrow-bette-a-stevens-vashti-quiroz-vega-dan-alatorre-and-eloise-de-sousa/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jemima-pett-annika-perry-jacquie-biggar-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones/

Smorgasbord Health Column

Those of you who are regulars to my health posts will know that I am passionate about communicating the fact that those of us living in northern climates with limited sun exposure are at a risk of Vitamin D deficiency. This is more so for children who spend less time than ever outdoors playing in sunlight or even daylight. In this post the latest research linking a deficiency to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrient-in-the-news-vitamin-d-and-irritable-bowel-syndrome/

On Monday I outlined the basics of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and today a look at some of the nutrients that your intestine needs to work efficiently and also some of the triggers for the condition.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-health-column-irritable-bowel-syndrome-nutrients-and-strategies-to-manage-the-condition/

I posted on pre-diabetes two years ago, but the latest statistics are in and they make for very worrying reading. It is estimated that there are 84 million Americans who are pre-diabetic and are at very high risk of developing full blown diabetes. CDC January 2018

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-the-epidemic-that-goes-unreported/

Humour

The Afternoon Video

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-when-your-accomplice-leaves-you-hanging/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-quickies-the-worm-test-and-a-wife-hunt/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-rewind-inspiring-to-see-dogs-take-disability-in-their-stride/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-oldies-sprinkled-with-a-few-funny-images-laughter-is-the-best-medicine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-a-toddler-on-a-mouth-organ-and-his-backing-singer/

Thanks very much for dropping in today and everyday.. it is much appreciated. Sally

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week – Wendy Janes, Olga Nunez Miret and Donata Zawadzka


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

This week some services for every author on their road to publication and as they market their books. Proofreading, translations and illustrations.

Proofreading

Wendy Janes is a freelance proofreader and has some wonderful testimonials about her work including this one: http://wendyproof.co.uk/testimonials/

Wendy was an excellent proofreader. She was highly professional and was extremely thorough, which is essential in a proofreader. Her dedication to detail flagged up a number of errors in consistency which had been missed during previous reviews that both I and my beta readers had undertaken. As a result my published book is more polished. – Sam Audley, author of The Dawnlands Catch

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. A number of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, and she is the author of the novel, What Jennifer Knows. Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

Here is a description of the service that Wendy offers to authors: http://wendyproof.co.uk/

If you are an author on the verge of self-publishing your novel or if you are about to send your manuscript to a publisher or agent, I can provide the independent professional eye that will ensure your book is the best it can be. Proofreading rates

Being a writer myself (see Published works), I know what it feels like to have your words edited and proofread. I always make corrections and suggestions with care and sensitivity to your voice and your genre. This is your book, not mine.

What I will be looking out for:

  • spelling mistakes
  • punctuation errors
  • problems with grammar
  • inconsistencies (in capitalisation and names)
  • formatting issues (quote marks the wrong way round, incorrect use of hyphens and dashes)

Although more usually associated with editing, I will also point out any plot holes or factual errors I notice.

I am based in the UK, and have had many years of experience proofreading both US and UK English.

Books by Wendy Janes.

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Janes/e/B016J66C9G

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Janes/e/B016J66C9G/

Read more reviews and follow Wendy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14433891.Wendy_Janes

Connect to Wendy via her website:  http://wendyproof.co.uk/

Translation from English to Spanish

Most of you reading this post will be one of the 340 million native English speakers in the world. However, there are over 400 million native Spanish speakers, 370 million Hindi speakers, 340 million Mandarin Chinese speakers, and 75 million native French speakers.

Would your book be a good candidate to be translated into Spanish so that you have access to a potential readership of 400 million around the world? You do have to take into account the literacy rates in some countries and also the availability of reading devices. It is certainly something worth considering especially or an Ebook as your cost will be significantly less than in print. Great way to test the market.

Translation Services.

It can be an advantage to find a native speaker to translate your book into another language. If the book is going to be read by a Spanish speaker then you need to have flow and cultural influences within the translation. Otherwise there is a danger that it will sound too formal and stilted.

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Olga Núñez Miret Author/Translator Autora/Traductora http://authortranslatorolga.com/

Olga is not only a very talented author http://amzn.to/XLnZTo in English and Spanish, but she also reviews books and translates them professionally. Olga’s blog is bi-lingual and has a large Spanish following. A great recommendation if you are going to ask her to translate your book for you.

You can find some of the books that Olga had translated for other authors. http://www.olganm.com/Translations_Traducciones.html

Olga has recently translated one of my short stories for inclusion in a Spanish collection in aid of domestic violence victims and also Tales from the Garden which will be released in the next few weeks.

A selection of  books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio bookshttp://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga via her website: http://www.olganm.com/

I was delighted when Paul Andruss introduced me to Donata Zawadzka who is a wonderful illustrator for all genres of books. Dona has completed five new illustrations for my next Tales from the Irish Garden due out later this year, plus let me buy one that I originally used for a short story last year to be included in the book.  To give you an example of the detail in her work here are some fairies.

All images ©Donata Zawadzka

Polish born Donata Zawadzka is one half of an accomplished husband and wife artistic team, now living in Gravesend

Connect to Donata Zawadzka

Website : http://dezawadzka.wix.com/donatasgallery
Buy her work on Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/donattien/works/7004053-the-birch-maiden?c=32080-ink-illustrations

Just a reminder that this is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

If you offer guest posts, reviews or other promotional services then please drop your contact or submission links in the comments.

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – U2, Blog Challenges, Literary Column and Letters from America


Welcome to this week’s update of posts that you might have missed. As always very grateful to the contributors who put so much time and effort into preparing their columns. William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor and this week joined by Jessica Norrie with the new Literary Column.

Late last year I mentioned that I wanted to evolve the blog towards more of a magazine layout and I am delighted with the way that it is progressing and I hope you are too.

I love writing my own blogs but I really want to showcase other writers and artists and provide a wide variety of subjects for the readers who visit here. In this next phase I am looking for someone to provide a monthly or even perhaps twice a month column on movies. Much as I love going to the cinema I am finding that with my own writing projects and posts I am not able to do the movies I see justice.

If you already do movie reviews you might think about doing a monthly column with your reviews for the month posted here… anyway email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

If it is any incentive.. I can offer you exposure on the blog and my social media with 35,000 connections and the blog received 240,000 views last year. Whilst I love sharing your content on the blog, the aim is to showcase your own writing and blog at the same time.

My thanks too for all the wonderful archive posts that I have received and the blog sitting posts for when I am away for a few days next month.. You are in for some treats.

This week I have got to grips with one of my books that has been on the go for a couple of years. The R’s of Life…. I just need to complete two more chapters and finish the editing process. I am also making progress with the sequel to Tales from the Garden and the plotting and planning is well underway for my wartime novel set in the village where I was born and my mother grew up. It would be great to see them all out in 2018.. hope springs eternal…

So thank you very much for dropping in and supporting the blog and look forward to seeing you again soon.

On with the posts from the week.  Thanks Sally

The Music Column with William Price King

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades. Here is part three.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-william-price-kings-music-column-bono-and-u2-part-three/

The Food Column with Carol Taylor

Thank you very much for your lovely responses to my first post on my food column..It has been much harder to think of what to write about this week but I have shelved the exotic fruits until your weather warms up somewhat and am bringing to you another soup this time from Columbia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-food-column-ajaico-a-colombian-chicken-soup/

New Series – The Literary Column with Jessica Norrie.

Jessica Norrie explores the way children develop a love of reading and some of the books that she remembers from her own childhood that inspired her love of books.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-jessica-norries-literary-column-reading-from-the-very-start/

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss.. a reblog of his post on his own blog about Anne Boleyn.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/smorgasbord-reblog-writer-in-residence-anne-of-a-thousand-days-by-paul-andruss/

New Series – Letters from America 1985 – 1987

David and I lived in Houston from 1985 to 1987 as he worked around the US selling optic fibre cable. We took full advantage of the amazingly diverse geography and coastlines to visit as many states as possible, including Hawaii.. Every week I wrote home to my parents in England, and after his death my father left them all to me with a note suggesting they become a book. I thought I would share them on the blog and see how you enjoy them.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/new-series-smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

This week Country royalty with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers with Islands in the stream and Keith Urban with one of his country rock ballads.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-a-little-bit-country-dolly-parton-with-kenny-rogers-and-keith-urban/

Smorgasbord Open House Interview

Welcome to the Sunday Interview and this week I am delighted to introduce you to Sharon Marchisello who talks about her genre, her publishing adventures, most useful invention and activities she feels we should experience.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-open-house-interview-with-author-sharon-marchisello/comment-page-1/#comment-128436

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet

This week Challenges and Book Reviews.

One of the best way to increase your visibility as a blogger and a writer is to participate in one or two challenges that are popular. Today I am sharing both a #writing and a #photo challenge organised by two very high profile bloggers and they definitely have watering holes you want to gather around. Guests Charli Mills, Sue Vincent and Reedsy

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-at-the-watering-hole-this-week-charli-mills-sue-vincent-and-reedsy/

Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies shares the strategy that she adopted to cope with a particularly difficult time when her husband was seriously unwell. As you will read, it was a time to let go of many familiar routines and task but a time to embrace some different, even for a short time each day to allow time to breathe.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-coloring-books-and-life-one-day-at-a-time-by-d-g-kaye/

It is actually nearly four weeks since Christmas but this poem from Aurora Jean Alexander from this time last year is very topical for many of you.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-winter-wonderland-finally-by-aurora-jean-alexander/

Last week Jane Risdon shared her experiences visiting the home of Rudyard Kipling and an encounter with a banana skin and a sleeping policeman.  This week the ‘Jolly’ continues…. Jupiter, the Moon and Herstmonceux – tales from my ‘jolly’ part two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-jupiter-the-moon-and-herstmonceux-tales-from-my-jolly-part-two-by-jane-risdon/

Delighted to welcome Janet Gogerty to the Archive post series and her first post, explores keeping diaries and the possibility that our writings might last forever.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-into-infinity-by-janet-gogerty/

An inspirational piece by Jan Sikes, reminding us that however tough things might be there is usually a chink of light to give us something to be positive about.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-do-what-you-love-by-jan-sikes/

Welcome back to a new series of archive posts from children’s author Darlene Foster. In this post Darlene shares the photographs that she took when visiting the ruins of Pompeii.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-walking-with-the-dead-through-the-ruins-of-pompeii-by-darlene-foster/

Welcome to Geoff Le Pard who joins us with his four posts from his archives. This week catchphrases, particular from our youth on television or the odd phrase that somehow does not come out as intended…Malapropisms ran rife in our family as my mother was very creative…. known as molliepropisms..

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-its-the-phrase-hes-going-through-by-geoff-le-pard/

Very pleased to welcome back Jennie Fitzkee with a new series of posts from her Archives. Last year Jennie delighted us with tales from her pre-school classroom where the children learn about reading, music and art. This week one of her go to classics each year and it is always popular with her children.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-best-book-every-year-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Chris the Story Reading Ape shares a very useful checklist on things you should know about the character your have created.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-things-you-should-know-about-your-characters-by-the-story-reading-ape/

Last week Elizabeth LLoyd shared her mother Betty’s diary entries for her first weeks in Brussels towards the end of the war. Here is part two of her time in the city in 1945 and also about a trip home to Scotland.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-bettys-brussels-diary-part-two-1945-elizabeth-lloyd/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-karen-ingalls-m-j-mallon-lyn-horner-helen-jones-and-andrew-joyce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-d-g-kaye-heather-kindt-leslie-tate-and-janice-spina/

Smorgasbord Health column

Welcome to this week’s health column. Last week I looked at both prescription and over the counter pain medication. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/smorgasbord-health-column-painkillers-prescribed-and-over-the-counter-side-effects-and-addiction/

This week I am looking at the use of supplements, the ingredients you should avoid and which ones are more easily absorbed by the body.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/absorbing-the-nutrients-and-avoiding-the-additives/

Laughter Lines

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-heavens-above-or-hell-here-we-come/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-stairway-to-heaven-well-a-dog-treat-anyway/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-when-your-family-points-the-finger-or-paw/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/time-for-some-laffs-blondes-have-more-fun-i-know-from-experience/

Thank you all again for the wonderful contributions and for stopping by, liking, commenting and sharing. Sally

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week Charli Mills, Sue Vincent and Reedsy


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

Over the next few weeks I thought I would feature some of the bloggers and reviewers who have watering holes we should all gather around. Some for the very useful information that they provide to help you blog effectively, and others who accept books for review. There are also bloggers who offer an amazing opportunity to be seen around their watering hole in the form of guest posts. This brings new readers to the blogs you have worked so hard to research and write.

I have a list of bloggers that I already follow who offer these services and will be sharing over the following meet and greet posts, but please feel free to add your links to the comments section if you would like to be included.

This week Challenges and Book Reviews.

One of the best way to increase your visibility as a blogger and a writer is to participate in one or two challenges that are popular. Today I am sharing both a #writing and a #photo challenge organised by two very high profile bloggers and they definitely have watering holes you want to gather around.

The first is Charli Mills of  the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

About Charli Mills

Good to meet you! I’m Charli Mills. From riding horses to writing stories, I’m a born buckaroo wrangling words. I once won a trophy for goat-tying and later, one for story-telling.

With over two decades in freelancing, publications, sales, marketing, editing and speaking, my writing is published in magazines, anthologies and online. See my resume to learn how a buckaroo gained such worldly experience.

My byline has appeared in Montana Outdoors, Colours Literary Magazine, Edible Twin Cities and online at USA Today. I used to write wellness columns and foodie features about turmeric and cheese-makers. I published over 200 print articles and managed the award-winning Living Naturally for 15 years.

For a complete list of my writing, achievements and presentations, see my Curricula Vitae. Yep, a buckaroo with a CV!

Nowadays, I make up stories. My literary art includes historical fiction and sensory-rich nature essays. I write about rocks, furry and feathered critters, the west, copper miners, and women on frontiers. I research buried history, write character-driven novels, and embrace the 99-word flash fiction form as scientifically-based magic.

Carrot Ranch LLC now has an imprint and a publishing partner. Miracle of Ducks, my debut novel, independently publishes in 2018.

An archeologist. A missing soldier. His dogs, her mess. Dr. Danni Gordon knows science, not people. Her husband, Ike, believes he’s still a soldier and gives up retirement to go to Iraq. He leaves her with his hounds, his best friend who hates her profession, and an impending house foreclosure. It’ll take the kind of miracle Danni doesn’t believe in.

As lead buckaroo of this outfit, I build literary community through weekly flash fiction challenges. I host the Congress of Rough Writers and curate their creative writing into shareable formats (online compilations, Patreon podcasts, local open mic events, and published anthologies).

Our literary community’s debut is The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, Vol. 1. (BOOK LINK COMING SOON!)

Thirty writers began with 99 words and forged literary feats. Vol. 1 explores the literary art of flash fiction through the earliest compilations at Carrot Ranch and a new flash fiction prompt. Some writers extended original 99-word stories into longer ones and the group’s memoirists reflected on how their practice of flash fiction impacted their nonfiction writing. Based on the experiences at Carrot Ranch, Vol. 1 offers tips to other groups interested in using flash fiction to build a literary community.

Rules

 

A Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge is posted every Thursday. Responses are due by the following Tuesday. Respond by comment of link. On the following Wednesday, Carrot Ranch publishes a compilation of responses arranged to artfully explore the prompt.

FF RULES FOR WEEKLY CHALLENGES:

  • Follow the weekly blog post for each new flash fiction challenge.
  • Respond with 99 words. Exactly. No more. No less.
  • Title is not required or included in the 99 word count.
  • Include the challenge prompt of the week in your response.
  • Go where the prompt leads (it’s about creative problem-solving not accuracy).
  • Post your response on your blog before the deadline and share your link in the comments section of the challenge you are responding to.
  • If you don’t have a blog, or you don’t want to post your flash fiction response on your blog, you may post your response in the comments of the current challenge post.
  • Keep it business-rated if you do post it at Carrot Ranch, meaning don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to read.
  • Create community among writers: Read and comment as your time permits, keeping it fun-spirited.
  • Carrot Ranch will share responses with readers in a published weekly compilation.
  • Authors retain full rights.

Head over and find out how you can hone your writing skills, get your blog noticed and possibly have your story included in an anthology: https://carrotranch.com/flash-fiction-2/rules/

The next blogger that offers a challenge each week is Sue Vincent with the Thursday #Photo Prompt. This is another very popular feature and you will be amongst the brightest and most talented writers if you participate.

The challenge rules.

#writephoto

#writephoto

Every Thursday at noon GMT, I publish one of my photos as a writing prompt. If you know where the photo was taken, please keep it to yourself until the challenge is closed. I usually share something about the place during the round-up.

Throughout the week I will feature as many of the responses here on the Daily Echo as space allows. Every week, a full round-up of posts will be published linking back to the original posts of contributors.

You can find all last week’s entries in the weekly round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers. I feature as many contributions as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions that will seldom be all of them!

The best way to ensure your post is featured is to send it well before the deadline but all posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 1st February.

Find out more on how to participate in this premier challenge: https://scvincent.com/2018/01/25/thursday-photo-prompt-woodland-writephoto/

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press).

51sl-a2xhyl-_uy250_Stuart France and Sue Vincent are also the authors of the Doomsday series.

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Find out more about their work together: http://www.franceandvincent.com/

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Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Some other books by Sue Vincent

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Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

As I mentioned last week, I get a great many requests to review books that I cannot unfortunately commit to. However, I have recently discovered this site that might be very useful to all authors. Reedsy is a publishing site but it also has very informative articles and a motherlode of links to book reviewing bloggers.

Find out blogs for your genre: https://blog.reedsy.com/book-review-blogs/

About Reedsy

Crafting beautiful books is at the heart of everything that Reedsy does. We’re changing the way books are published by giving authors and publishers access to talented professionals, powerful tools, and free educational content. Reedsy was founded in the summer of 2014 by Emmanuel Nataf, Ricardo Fayet, Vincent Durand and Matt Cobb. Since then, we’re proud to have built a network of world-class publishing professionals and helped produce over 3,000 books.

Reedsy also has compiled a very extensive list of bloggers that review books and you can select sites that review books in your particular genre. You can select the criteria and for example there were 278 book blogs that feature reviews for indie authors.

This is a treasure trove of book and review sites and whilst you will have to check for submission guidelines I suggest that you consider using this invaluable service.

Reedsy also has a very informative writing blog and here is there latest post on the work of ghostwriters.

What’s it like to work with a Ghostwriter.

Katy Weitz is an acclaimed UK ghostwriter who has worked for some of the biggest names in publishing including Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin Random House. She has had several bestselling titles and reached the coveted No. 1 spot in The Sunday Times’ non-fiction Bestseller List with her ghosted memoir Sins of the Mother. Today her books are available worldwide and she enjoys working with both commercial and private clients.

In this guest post, she pulls back the curtain to reveal what the collaboration between a ghostwriter and an author is really like.

Read the rest of this post on ghostwriters : https://blog.reedsy.com/work-with-a-ghostwriter/

Just a reminder that this too is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

If you offer guest posts, reviews or other promotional services then please drop your contact or submission links in the comments.

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week – Hugh W. Roberts, Rosie Amber and The Story Reading Ape


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

Over the next few weeks I thought I would feature some of the bloggers and reviewers who have watering holes we should all gather around. Some for the very useful information that they provide to help you blog effectively, and others who accept books for review. There are also bloggers who offer an amazing opportunity to be seen around their watering hole in the form of guest posts. This brings new readers to the blogs you have worked so hard to research and write.

I have a list of bloggers that I already follow who offer these services and will be sharing over the following meet and greet posts, but please feel free to add your links to the comments section if you would like to be included.

The first author and blogger, who provides excellent posts on blogging for new and those of us who have fallen into bad habits!!, is Hugh Roberts.

Hugh W. Roberts

Here is a recent post that has some excellent advice for all bloggers.

13 Free Blogging Tips For Every New Blogger

If you are new to blogging or are even thinking about starting a blog, here my thirteen quick blogging tips to get you on your way.

  • It’s all about me. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page. Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. However, don’t have an ‘about me’ page that starts off by saying ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’. Click here to read about setting up an ‘about me’ page and what it should include.
  • Make a journey outside of your own blog. I’ve always been amazed by just what information is out there in the blogging world. I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, take great photos and, of course, picked up lots of blogging tips. Reading other blog posts can also give you ideas for writing your own posts. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, make sure you visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

Head over to read the other 11 essential blogging tips: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2018/01/02/13-free-blogging-tips-for-every-new-blogger/

Hugh Roberts is also the author of a short story collection – Glimpses.

One of the reviews for the collection

Do you like doing cryptic crosswords, do you love horror stories, enjoy thrillers or are you romantic at heart? Stories for everyone in this collection; tales that are snappy, but require your undivided attention if you are to work out what is going on.If you are a cat lover there is one story to be avoided, but I am not going to spoil the fun by revealing which. As I also enjoy writing about the dark and the unexpected I loved this collection.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B01N757S3P

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

The next blog that it is essential for any author who blogs to follow is Rosie Amber who has gathered together a team of experienced book reviewers. It is very important when submitting your book for review, to follow the submission guidelines. Receiving the seal of approval from the Rosie Amber Book Review Team is a major step to promoting your book and obviously sales.

Here is feedback from some of the authors reviewed by the team which is followed by details on how to submit your own book.

Any author with faith in the strength of their work understands the importance of honest, critical reviews. As an author and reader, I trust in Rosie’s Book Review Team, knowing the reviews are written with genuine criticism, and praise given only when warranted. Authors seeking reviews that hold weight with and impress readers should look no further than Rosie’s Book Review Team.” H.A Callum, author of Literary Fiction

I rely on Rosie’s review team for honest and thoughtful reviews. I know they love reading and the reviews they post express both that love and their opinions of my (and other writers’) novels. Long may they continue. Their support has been invaluable.’ Carol Hedges, author of Victorian murder mysteries and YA

As well as introducing me to talented authors in other genres, I’m grateful to Rosie’s review team for helping raise awareness of my books to new readers.Tony Riches, Amazon best-selling historical fiction author.

Read the rest of the feeback and the submission details: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/your-book-reviewed/

And here is a snippet from a recent review by Teri Polen for Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers.

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Give me a book featuring an eerie house and I’m a happy reader. Ghosts of Manor House appealed to me based on the title alone.

The author does a wonderful job at conveying the emotions of grieving parents who’ve lost a child – my heart broke for them. I also liked how the gruesome history of the tree was established in the prologue and gives a foundation for the mysterious happenings. Once the family arrives at the house, you just know nothing good is going to happen.

After the first few chapters, there’s a sudden shift and for a while, it allows the reader to feel disoriented along with Edmund. It’s easy to predict the path this story will take, but there are some tense, chilling moments along the way.

Read the rest of the review: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-tpolen6-reviews-ghosts-of-manor-house-by-matt-powers/

The third blog that I would like to feature today is The Story Reading Ape. Guest posting on Chris’s blog is a wonderful way to get your blog or your book noticed. His Hall of Fame is legendary and you won’t find a more helpful or welcoming host.

If you are new to guest posting there are a couple of things to remember.

  • It is always a good idea to check out the blog that you are hoping to be a guest writer first.
  • Check out the submission details carefully to make sure that you are supplying all the information required in the right format and with all the links requested.
  • Think carefully about the subject matter of your post. This is a showcase for your writing skills be it as a blogger, author or poet and the post should reflect that. This is your sales pitch and needs to be interesting, informative, entertaining and well written.
  • Be prepared for a delay before posting as busy blogs such as The Story Reading Ape have a waiting list of eager guests. So make sure that your post is not out of date.
  • You have a responsibility as a guest to be proactive in the post’s success. This means sharing on your own social media and responding to all comments individually over a number of days. You can click the button to be notified when new comments come in. Reblog the post and I recommend one or two days later so that it extends the life of the post. This is important if you want to make the most of this opportunity.

Head over and find out how to submit your guest post to Chris: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/

Here is an excerpt from a recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape

Got this email from none other than the lovely Lisa Burton, the most advanced robot girl on Planet Earth, and spokesmodel for Craig Boyack.

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Hi, everyone, and thanks for having me over Chris.

I’m here promoting Craig’s newest book, The Hat.

This one is kind of a paranormal superhero origin story.

You have the cover and blurb to whet your appetite a bit.

One of the little games Craig and I fall into sometimes is casting the movie, if someone were ever to produce it. I’m sure all authors have this daydream at some point, but it’s fun to talk about. I mention this, because this story is a little bit different.

The main character, Lizzie St. Laurent, is also a singer, you know, eventually. This means if anyone were to play her in the movie, she would have to sing at some point. Craig thinks maybe a Disney alum of some kind could fill the role. The only physical descriptions are brunette and a long face.

The long face might be the hard part, but there have been plenty of attractive actresses who fit this description. Lizzie is in her early twenties, but Hollywood can add or remove a few years. They can also create brunette hair with ease. Our only holdup was most of the Disney alum have chubby cheeks, like Brenda Song, or Selina Gomez.

Read the rest of the post from C.S. Boyack: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2018/01/19/the-hat-guest-post-and-book-promo-by-lisa-burton/

More blogs that have incredible watering holes next week..

Just a reminder that this too is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

If you offer guest posts, reviews or other promotional services then please drop your contact or submission links in the comments.

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally

 

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 Weekly Round Up – Elephants and Whales, Blogging Watering Hole, Music and Funnies


Welcome to the weekly round up and a huge thank you for your visits. For many the weather is dire at the moment and I hope that you get some respite from the cold in North America soon and if you live in Southern Africa that your drought breaks in the near future.

The world in general is in back biting mode with political in-fighting and cabinet re-shuffles. Health services are in crisis due to poor managment and the current flu season and the headlines are their usual doom and gloom. As you look at the headlines it is clear that the only way to get your 15 minutes of fame is to do something anti-social.

Thankfully here in blog world there are plenty of writers who share the other side of humanity which is positive, socially minded, caring and honest.

Thank you to those who have contributed this week and I am so grateful for the time and effort that goes into providing posts, sharing on social media and responding to comments.

We begin a new music series next week The William Price King Music Column… and the artist kicking off the new year is Bono.. more about that on Wednesday.

In the meantime… here are the posts from this week.

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss

This week Paul explores the near miss for the elephant who almost became a whale in terms of evolution.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/writer-in-residence-how-the-elephant-almost-became-a-whale-by-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Meet and Greet – Blogging Watering Hole

The watering hole was certainly very busy yesterday with a wonderful selection of visitors and their links to the comments section. Build your own supportive community by following some of my stars.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-bloggers-watering-hole/

Return of the Sunday Open House writers interview.

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

New author and Blog promotions.

If you are already in the bookstore, a note on reminding me about new releases and reviews.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/smorgasbord-author-promotion-2018-if-you-are-in-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

If you are a first time author there is a special pre-promotion and post package to help get your book on its way.

 

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

An updated submission for Posts from Your Archives for 2018.

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-annika-perry-jane-risdon-and-christine-jones-d-g-kaye-richard-ankers-and-a-t-balsara/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-yecheilyah-ysrayl-carol-balawyder-linda-bradley-sarah-brentyn-and-frank-parker/

Blog Posts from Your Archives

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-how-i-found-inspiration-in-a-door-frame-by-christy-birmingham/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-short-story-reaching-the-pinnacle-by-allan-hudson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-an-african-thunderstorm-a-poem-about-two-extremes-drought-and-floods-by-robbie-cheadle/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-achives-inspirational-couples-by-karen-ingalls/

Guest post

Charles Yallowitz introduces us to the final and 15th book in the Legends of Windemere series.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/smorgasbord-invitation-guest-post-legends-of-windemere-warlord-of-the-forgotten-age-by-charles-e-yallotwitz/

Smorgasbord Health Column

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/smorgasbord-health-seasonal-affective-disorder-part-one-the-way-we-were/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/smorgasbord-health-column-2018-seasonal-affective-disorder-part-two-vitamin-d-the-sunshine-vitamin/

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/smorgasbord-health-2018-the-dynamics-of-change-part-one-our-physical-being/

As the flu reaches epidemic levels in France and has created hotspots in the UK and Ireland it is important to take responsibility for preventing infecting others and also taking measures to protect yourself.

Humour
Thank you for dropping in this week and liking, commenting and sharing.. It is much appreciated.
 

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – Bloggers Watering Hole.


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

Meet Julie from Travel Around the Globe.

Living with the travel bug for as far as I can remember, I have been fully living my dream since January 2017. With this blog, I want to share with you my adventures, highlight my favorite trips and make you discover less touristee places.

I want to be of help for people who want to experience a different way of travelling by showing all the places which have so much to offer but are less known.

I will also share with you the highlights of my trip, touristee or not and hope I can help and make you dream a bit…

Recent posts include:
Meeting with wild elephants in Kaudulla National Park
Golden Caves Temple in Dambulla
Exploring Jaffna a decade after the war

Here is a snippet from Julie’s latest post (and I found fascinating. I was a very small child in Sri Lanka and whilst I have some memories of that time, they are 60 years old. Sally)

Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s Little England  Posted by Julie Around The Globe on January 5, 2018

Nuwara Eliya region is famous for its cooler climate, its abundant tea plantations and its unique architecture. The city is worth spending a couple of days, relaxing, breathing the fresh air, drinking tea and, of course, doing some trekking to discover the amazing landscape the area has to offer.

Here is what to do in and around Nuwara Eliya:

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Nuwara Eliya town

Called Little England, Nuwara Eliya was founded by Samuel Baker in the 19th century. Its name come from Sinhalese, it means city on the plain and city of light. Located in central Sri Lanka, at an altitude of 1 900 meters, the town will surprise you with its colonial architecture, so far from what Sri Lankan cities usually look like. The city center will remind you of where you are though… But as soon as you leave the town center, near Lake Gregory, surrounded by hills, you’ll see all the European-like houses. It’s like being transported in the Alps.

To read more of the post and explore her archives please head over and enjoy: https://juliearoundtheglobe.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/nuwara-eliya-sri-lanka/

Meet Lori of Lori’s Story

I was born near Buffalo, New York into an incredible family. My mom is very wise and makes the best meatballs in the universe. My dad is word-smart and musical. He was the only kid in his class who knew how to spell “mosquito,” and he’s played trumpet on street corners and for British royalty. I probably inherited my dad’s love of words and music. At the age of three, I learned how to read, but my favorite activity was singing Nat King Cole songs to strangers in the supermarket. I once wrote a song about my parents, mentioning my mom’s meatballs in the chorus. I’ve lived in Buffalo, Vancouver, and Tucson … and over the years I’ve been married (twice), divorced (once), raised a family, recorded music, and had a career as a school psychologist. I just retired so that I could devote more time to the things I love.

Here is an extract from a recent post.

Was I Loco to Relocate?

The year that I decided to relocate (2003) was, for me, the Year of the Butterfly Effect. Looking back on that year, it was as if a tiny butterfly had landed squarely in the middle of my life (in the middle of a parking lot, actually) and triggered a life-altering sequence of events. I didn’t notice the butterfly at the time. Butterflies are like that. You don’t always see them, except out of the corner of your eye.

My butterfly was actually a tiny change in water temperature.

It was a frigid February morning in upstate New York, one of many I’d had to endure that winter. I was standing perfectly still on a sheet of thin ice in a parking lot, about to open my car door. The next thing I knew, I was lying flat on my back. My head had bounced a little as I landed. The ice under my boots must have started to melt just as I moved to open my car door. As I struggled to my feet, I heard myself declare, “That’s it, I’m moving.”

Head over and read more of the post: https://loristory.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/was-i-loco-to-relocate/

Meet Paula Bardell-Hedley of Book Jotter.

My name is Paula Bardell-Hedley and I was born and bred on the coast of North Wales. I am a nature lover, theatre goer and an avid reader of books.

I was founding Director of my own company, which my partner and I ran successfully for 26 years, however, my true love has always been reading and writing. Indeed, after first leaving school, I worked for a year at my local library on one of Mrs Thatcher’s now infamous YOP schemes!

I had great fun as the English Culture Guide for About.com (now Dotdash) from 1997-2001, quickly building up a lively and loyal band of readers from all corners of the globe. When the Company axed its entire Cultures’ network in September 2001, I became the English Culture, Poetry and finally Freelance Writing Correspondent/Editor for All Info-About – an online community created by ex About.com Guides – until its sad demise in early 2008.

I have also dabbled as a columnist, critic, editor and content provider. My work has appeared in a variety of magazines, newspapers and digital publications ranging from Country-Side and Entomologist’s Gazette to Record Collector and Women’s Independent Press.

Here is an extract from Paula’s most recent post.

Book Review: Walking Wounded By Sheila Llewellyn

waling wounded

Daniel stared at the white-ish brain matter clinging to the haft and clogging up the eye of the needle. Can it really be as easy as that – to scrape out someone’s depression, their melancholy, their anxiety? To scrape out someone’s emotions?

So assured is Sheila Llewellyn’s writing, one would never guess Walking Wounded was her first novel. Her portrayal of the emotional devastation caused by armed conflict, and the often unintentional misery brought about by misguided attempts to repair the damage is staggeringly accomplished.

Set in Birmingham’s once highly influential Northfield Military Psychiatric Hospital, it is tempting to conclude we are entering Pat Barker terrain – a writer well known for focusing on themes of memory, trauma, survival and recovery. Like Barker, the author has an uncanny ability to evoke the appalling mental anguish induced by war, she is seemingly able to fathom the suppressed male subconscious, and many of her characters are based on historic figures – but there the similarities end.

Read the rest of the review: https://bookjotter.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/book-review-walking-wounded/

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