Smorgasbord Reblog – Rubicon by Paul Andruss


As always Paul Andruss can be relied on to turn something we take for granted into gold… for example most of us have heard the expression ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ and thought little of it.  However, once you read the story behind the expression… you will think a little more carefully before making that journey!

Crossing the Rubicon (Unknown)

You would be forgiven for thinking Rubicon is a bit like Comic-con, but for people who love jewellery. It isn’t.

The Rubicon was a shallow meandering river in North Italy that ran along Ancient Rome’s boundary. To prevent trouble, the Senate decreed no general could bring his legions across such borders into Roman territory.

Over a decade Julius Caesar made a fortune subduing Gaul. He slaughtered countless people, enslaved the rest and carted off everything that wasn’t nailed down. Due to some pretty fancy footwork he also made sure the plebs in Rome knew what a hero he was. (And we think self-promotion started with Facebook and Twitter!)

With Caesar’s governorship of Gaul ending, he wanted his due reward. Being elected Consul was the ultimate accolade in Roman politics. But while the people loved their dashing hero, the Senate, seething with jealousy, plotted to arrest Caesar for treason.

Caesar knew he was safe in Gaul with his legions. The Senate didn’t have anyone with the balls to seize him in front of his soldiers. And once Consul, he would also be immune from prosecution.

But , here was the rub…

Read the rest of this illuminating post that cautions against crossing the Rubicon: http://www.paul-andruss.com/rubicon/

Thomas the Rhymer

You can read all of Paul’s original posts for Smorgasbord in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – FREE book, Invitation to a Party and brilliant writers.


Welcome to the weekly round up and a reminder that What’s in a Name Volume one is FREE until midnight tonight. I am not part of the Kindle family although all my books are formated to be read on Kindles, Nooks and any other devices. So I don’t do the Kindle select promotions. However, most of you know we well enough to email me and that your information is safe.

About the stories

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

The book is available in Mobi (Kindle) Epub (other devices) and pdf for those of you without a reader.

Just email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and I will whisk a copy over to you. I appreciate that many of you have TBRs that rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa… but that is okay and I also have no expectation of a review… unless you really want to!

You can read a number of reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

and the latest review by Paul Andruss which is a story too: http://www.paul-andruss.com/whats-in-a-name-vol-1/

End of Summer Party – August 26th – 28th – all welcome.

I will be roasting showcasing, those bloggers who have been with me since I began Smorgasbord four years ago.. and apart from these guests, I am inviting everyone to chip in with their details in the comments. I have some food and drink (virtually no calories) and there will be some music. I hope you will be able to pop in .

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-invitation-to-an-end-of-summer-house-party-saturday-26th-to-monday-28th-august/

My secretary Mavis has reminded me that it is time to get on with the round up of the week’s posts that you might have missed.

I am of course very grateful to my guests this week who have provided us with entertaining and interesting posts. Thanks to Anne Casey, Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who will be with us through the summer and beyond I hope.

William Price King is still on his summer break but I have been sharing a previous series that proved very popular the first time around.. Tony Bennett the ultimate performer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-part-three-the-1960s/

Guest post from poet and song writer Anne Casey talking about the path to the publication of her debut poetry collection. Including her published work in the Irish Times.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-guest-post-writing-all-the-wrong-things-by-anne-casey/

Julie Lawford continues her summer of lifestyle articles with her top ten tips for maintaining your weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/my-top-ten-experienced-based-tips-for-sustainable-and-healthy-weightloss-by-julie-lawford/

I was delighted to welcome Carol Taylor to the blog for the first of a collaborative series on my top healthy foods with some wonderful recipes from Carol.. This week delicious ways to prepare the king of fish.. salmon.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate/

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/milestones-along-the-way-tradition-and-smoke-signals-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/milestones-along-the-way-100-plants-and-snippets-by-geoff-cronin/

I have posted another one of my entertainment reviews and this time for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/smorgasbord-entertainment-movie-review-king-arthur-legend-of-the-sword-by-sally-cronin-2/

Book Promotion

For the next 12 weeks I am guest posting with a number of fantastic bloggers as part of the Odd Jobs and Characters, What’s in a Name launch series. I am posting the first three and then this Friday, Debby Gies is hosting the first of the guest appearances.. By all accounts she has added some Debby specials to the post so I hope you will head over and check it out.

This week was part one of my adventures as a dental nurse back in the late 1960s…haha.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/odd-jobs-and-characters-the-dental-surgery-part-one-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-witchlet-book-one-the-magical-chapters-trilogy-by-victoria-zigler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-a-desolate-hour-point-pleasant-series-by-mae-clair/

Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jacqueline-oby-ikocha-and-john-nicholl/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-dan-alatorre-pamela-d-beverly-and-jacquie-biggar/

Air Your Promotions

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-carmen-stefanescu-and-patricia-k-salamone/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-janice-spina-gigi-sedlmayer-and-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Short story

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-a-cat-called-by-iris-mick/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-august-7th-2017-sue-vincent-geoff-le-pard-c-s-boyack-and-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-8th-august-2017-lucinda-e-clarke-steve-tanham-don-massenzio-and-colleen-chesebro/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-9th-august-2017-susan-toy-annette-rochelle-aben-d-g-kaye-with-tina-frisco-sue-vincent-with-judith-barrow/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-10th-august-2017-story-reading-ape-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-wendy-scott-with-john-howell-and-jennie-fitzkee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-11th-august-2017-lucinda-e-clarke-debby-gies-free-book-steve-costello-carmen-stefanescu-and-christy-birmingham/

Weekly image and Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-honouring-feng-shui/

Humour and afternoon videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/the-afternoon-video-the-first-time-i-saw-your-face/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-archives-doctors-dentists-driving-and-double-glazing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/afternoon-video-archive-theres-a-cat-in-my-bed-dogs-fighting-a-losing-battle/

Thank you for all your support and generosity in sharing.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you will visit again next week.

 

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Fantastic Beasts and where to…. (Three) by Paul Andruss


Thomas the Rhymer

Fantastic Beasts are something we are used to seeing on film and television with massive special effect budgets to create out of this world creatures. However, some may not be as fantastic of those who really existed in the long distant past.  Paul Andruss explores the myth of Palug’s Cat that was recorded in ancient Welsh manuscripts between 1200 and 1400 and relating to the time of King Arthur’s reign long before

Palug’s Cat (from adapted sources: Andruss)

The North Wales holiday island of Anglesey seems a funny place for an ABC to roam.

ABC: Alien Big Cat.

Not one that came down in a flying saucer; although believe me people claim to see all sorts. And it must be said, Anglesey does have a nuclear power plant so I suppose anything is possible. No, the cat is alien in the sense it shouldn’t be there in the first place… like a leopard or a lion

The story of Cath Palug or Palug’s cat is known from fragments of ancient British myth found in the earliest Welsh manuscripts, written between 1200 and 1400. Called after the colour of their bindings, and where they were kept, they are: the Black Book of Carmarthen, White book of Rhydderch and the Red Book of Hergest.

The story starts when King Arthur hears the magical sow Hen Wen’s three offspring will each cause a calamity and goes to hunt her down. Hen Wen, who may be the sow aspect of the ancient White Goddess, was under the care of one of the three powerful Swineherds of Britain named Coll: meaning hazel and wisdom.

In Celtic myth swineherds are powerful magicians. When Hen Wen gives birth to a kitten under a black rock, Coll throws it into the sea. The creature survived and was found by the sons of Palug, washed up in Anglesey where it grew to a great size and ravaged the island, killing and devouring nine score warriors.

It was killed by Arthur’s foster-brother Sir Kay, using Arthur’s mirrored shield. Seeing its reflection in the mirrored surface the cat attacked the shield with such ferocity its claws stuck fast, allowing Kay to kill the trapped beast. This late story, dating to the 1200s, may actually retain an original Celtic myth.

The early Welsh poem ‘What Man is the Porter’ says Kay went to Anglesey to destroy lions with his polished shield. Sir Kay (or Cai in Welsh) originally might have been a solar hero like Heracles- who killed the Nemean Lion in the first of his twelve labours.

It was claimed Cai had the ability to go nine days and nine nights without the need to breathe or sleep, and if he chose could grow as tall as the tallest tree in the forest. He could radiate such heat that even in a thunderstorm his companions would stay warm and dry.

Head over and read the rest of this article on the possible explanations for the Big Cat of Anglesey and the links to the previous posts on other fantastic beasts: http://www.paul-andruss.com/fantastic-beasts-where-to-3/

Read all of Paul’s posts in his official capacity of Writer in Residence and find out more about this talented writer: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Tony Bennett, Houdini and Doyle, Bad Habits, Childhood and Greece


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. As you know I recommend that you do not sign up for notifications about my posts.. it would drive you crazy.. but you might like to put Sunday in your diary for a pop in.

As always I am very grateful for those who have shared their thoughts, words and wisdom with us this week. William Price King, Paul Andruss, Julie Lawford, Kevin Morris and Ali Isaac

I have had some adventures of the dental kind this week having fractured a molar.. We had not signed up with a dentist as yet but were recommended to go to one in nearby Arklow.. You can always tell how good a dentist is by sitting in a waiting room. If people have their head in their hands are sweating it is not a good sign.. In this case everyone was enjoying a banter and talking about the weather.. I was reassured. Having been on the other side of the dentist chair over 40 years ago and witnessed some of the treatments then available you might understand why I am still nervous of going for an appointment.

I need not have been worried. Despite barely any of the tooth left, the dentist fitted me in for an appointment within two days because she did not want to leave me with a loose filling whilst she went on holiday. She took out the old filling painlessly and rebuilt it painstakingly… with composite. I am delighted to have found such a great practice and will be returning when needed.

The weather has turned autumnal and conkers are already on the trees. We have had a dry if cloudy summer and I take heart knowing that here in Ireland September can be a glorious month. In the meantime I may be getting the boots back out of their summer hibernation.. they have only been in there for six weeks…

Anyway on with the round up and thank you very much for your continued support.. It means the world to me.

Summer Jazz with William Price King

Whilst William is away on his summer break I will be reposting the series featuring the amazing Tony Bennett who is still performing in his 90s.

Here he is with The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-part-two-the-1950s/

Writer in Residence

Thomas the Rhymer

This week Paul Andruss takes us behind the scenes of the real life relationship between two megastars of their day.. Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini.. Expect the unexpected with The Dream Team.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/writer-in-residence-doyle-and-houdini-the-dream-team-by-paul-andruss/

A reminder that you can enjoy the full book of essays by Horatio Grin (AKA Paul Andruss) with bonus features FREE by emailing me.. Details in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/free-book-fairies-the-hidden-history-by-horatio-grin/

Guest writer Julie Lawford Summer of Lifestyle posts

We all develop bad habits over time and this includes with our diet. Julie Lawford takes us through some strategies to make changes that benefit us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-guest-writer-what-we-repeatedly-do-by-julie-lawford/

Guest post Kevin Morris

Kevin  Morris is celebrating the release of his latest poetry collection, My Old Clock I Wind with a guest post on his childhood.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/smorgasbord-guest-post-my-school-days-by-poet-and-author-kevin-morris/

Milestones along the Way by Goeff Cronin

I new serialisation of Geoff Cronin’s books with Milestones along the Way.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/milestones-along-the-way-the-bed-to-beat-all-and-rural-electrification-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/milestones-along-the-way-the-banks-of-the-suir-by-geoff-cronin/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Guest Ali Isaac

Ali takes us to the heat of Greece in this heart warming story of a mother and daughter preparing for the future and letting go of the past.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/authors-in-the-sun-aphrodites-rock-by-ali-isaac/

Book Promotion

Over the next three months I will be posting a new series Odd Jobs and Characters to celebrate my latest short story collection in ebook and a printed edition containing both volumes of What’s in a Name? The first three posts are on my blog and then the other twelve are being featured on some wonderful writer’s blogs..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/writing-short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Reblogs

These are stand alone reblogs for certain bloggers who have something a little extra that I would like to share.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-reblog-the-story-of-my-life-writing-prompts-memoir-by-d-g-kaye/

Finn Mac Cool

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-reblog-fevered-threads-by-paul-andruss/

Jessica Norrie

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/smorgasbord-reblog-the-best-independent-bookshop-in-london-by-jessica-norrie/

Just a reminder that all promotions for bloggers and authors on Smorgasbord are FREE… I can offer to showcase your work in front of nearly 30,000 across the blog and social media and give you regular updates every few weeks.

The only thing that I ask is that you participate by responding to comments of those who have taken the time to make them, and to share across your own blog and networks. This also involves responding to those who share on Twitter as I tag you in any retweets. Most who share on Twitter are authors themselves and are part of a very supportive community who welcome new members.

It does make a huge difference to the response. Not just for the initial promotion but those that follow. People buy people first..

A great example of participation this week was Vashti Quiroz-Vega whose enthusiasm for promoting her New on the Shelves post resulted in over 150 views and 50 retweets.. I did a quick count up of the number of followers who retweeted the post or the original tweet. Vashti’s book had the potential to be seen by half a million readers. Of course this does not necessarily correspond with books sold or downloaded but those people now firmly have Vashti on their radar.

As an author I love providing this promotional opportunity but it is a collaboration.

Here is how you can join over 200 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

A warm welcome to two new authors to the bookstore this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-curse-of-time-by-m-j-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-fall-of-lilith-fantasy-angels-series-by-vashti-quiroz-vega/

Author Update

Some new releases and great reviews for those already on the shelves of the bookstore.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-d-g-kaye-adele-marie-park-and-malia-ann-haberman/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-nicholas-rinth-charles-e-yallowitz-and-hugh-w-roberts/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-balroop-singh-c-s-boyack-and-lindy-rorke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-promotion-air-your-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-effrosyni-moschoudi/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Some of the wonderful blog posts I have read this week.. Sorry not to be able to showcase everyone.. but you can always send me a link for your most recent post for me to share.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-july-31st-2017-story-reading-ape-ritu-bhathal-terri-webster-schrandt-and-david-m-prosser/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-august-1st-2017-kosher-kitchen-jennie-fitzkee-sue-vincent-darlene-foster-and-debby-gies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-august-2nd-balroop-singh-marcia-meara-ali-isaac-and-christy-birmingham/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-3rd-august-2017-charles-yallowitz-jane-sturgeon-nicholas-rossis-c-s-boyack-and-lisa-burton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-august-4th-2017-ian-hutson-ritu-bhathal-teri-polen-and-lucinda-e-clarke/

Smorgasbord Short Stories

A wonderful story from Ali Isaac which takes to a Greek Island and sunshine.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/authors-in-the-sun-aphrodites-rock-by-ali-isaac/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/the-afternoon-video-revisited-guess-who-rules-the-roost-it-is-not-the-cat/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-expect-the-unexpected/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/the-afternoon-video-a-family-of-elephants-against-the-world/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-confusion-reigns/

Weekly image and Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/weekly-image-and-haiku-cold-winds-plaything/

Thank you again for joining me here on Smorgasbord.. Keep an eye open during the week for a new interview series beginning in September in the Sunday Morning slot.

Writer in Residence – Doyle and Houdini: The Dream Team by Paul Andruss


Some of you might have seen the series on television Houdini and Doyle which fictionalised the relationship between these two complex and legendary individuals. However, as always, Paul Andruss  deconstructs the various rumours and fictional depictions of the events of that time; bringing the truth to light.

Doyle and Houdini: the Dream Team by Paul Andruss

Doyle and Houdini (library picture)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous detective, and Harry Houdini, its greatest magician, are surely a dream team. At least that’s what Sky TV thought when commissioning Houdini and Doyle. The fantasy drama series about the real life friends, where sceptic and believer investigated crimes with a supernatural flavour, was cancelled after one season.

Rabbi Weisz and family escaped the Hungarian pogroms to end up as poor Jews in New York. His proudly self-educated son Erik diligently worked his way through dime museums, sideshows and travelling carnivals into vaudeville theatres, while learning escapology, mind reading and magic. Before he was famous he even had a phony spiritualist act. Erik adopted the name Harry Houdini as a homage to his magician idols Harry Keller and world famous Robert Houdin.

Although from a comfortable background, Arthur Conan Doyle’s father was an alcoholic and spent periods in mental asylums. At one time the family was forced to live in a squalid tenement. Doyle was sent to private boarding school in England, paid for by his uncles.

After studying medicine in Edinburgh, he eventually set up a doctor’s practice in Plymouth. While waiting for patients he began writing fiction.

The Houdini and Doyle friendship developed from a mutual respect due to their similarities and differences. Through hard work both men rose from poverty to the pinnacle of their fields. Houdini started work at nine, yet as the son of a Rabbi longed to be a scholar. Doyle through family wealth became a medical doctor. But maybe the friendship wasn’t so straightforward when you examine things.

Poster for Houdini Spiritualist show (library image)

Houdini is known as a famous sceptic who exposed phoney mediums. But he was genuinely interested in finding evidence for the spirit realm, especially after the death of his beloved mother. However, being a magician, he was wise to all the tricks and took exception to ghouls preying on the bereaved.

Conan Doyle’s second wife was a gifted amateur medium who practiced automatic writing. Holding a pencil while in a trance, with eyes closed and mind empty, allowed the spirits to communicate directly through her. After losing his son and 10 other members of their immediate family in World War 1, the Doyles increasingly turned to spiritualism for solace.

Mutual admiration and their passionate interest in psychic phenomena gave the men common ground. Yet unknown to the other, each had an ulterior motive. After exposing phoney mediums Houdini was finding it hard to get into séances and used Doyle for introductions into spiritualist circles. Doyle wanted to be the man who brought the great sceptic to spiritualism and have him publicly renounce his disbelief. After seeing Houdini perform, Doyle convinced himself Houdini was no mere conjurer but a genuine miracle worker. Houdini’s protestations only confirmed Doyle’s suspicions.

The friendship deepened, mainly because Houdini stayed quiet about the mediums Doyle recommended. In truth he was saving his findings for a book. Things came to a head when Harry and Bess Houdini and the Doyles met in Atlantic City. Doyle insisted Houdini attend a séance of automatic writing with Lady Doyle. Houdini’s mother came through, gushing to her beloved son how beautiful and peaceful the other side was, and how she was preparing a place for him.

After the séance Doyle, noting Houdini was reflective and withdrawn, was sure he had demonstrated the existence of life after death beyond a doubt. Doyle did not know Bess, using the code from their old mind reading act, had pre-warned Houdini that Lady Doyle was pumping her for information about Houdini’s mother all afternoon.

When Houdini told the press he had never experienced any convincing spiritualist phenomena, Doyle was furious. He demanded to know why Houdini doubted his own mother speaking through Lady Doyle. Houdini mildly replied his beloved mother, who could not speak one word of English, had not written a single word in her native Hungarian.

The friends were now enemies. Doyle immediately rushed his version of events into print. He insisted Houdini begged Lady Doyle to sit and she complied only with reluctance. Houdini never forgave Doyle’s lie.

Doyle champions Margery (library image)

On opposite sides of the same crusade, they could not help but clash over the years; with increasing animosity on Doyle’s part. Doyle was a close friend of a notorious medium called Margery, a handsome vivacious woman who used her sex appeal to sway the dry university academics investigating her claims.

More than a paragraph is needed to discuss Margery and her husband’s shenanigans. In the end even Doyle backed off when questions arose over a number of young boys brought to America as wards of Margery’s husband and never seen again. In her twilight years, and now an abject alcoholic, Margery claimed her husband coerced her into professional mediumship, and hinted at the dark measures she was forced to employ to enable her to perform on cue.

When Houdini caught Margery red handed, Doyle was outraged. Margery’s spirit guide threatened Houdini with death. There are letters from Doyle echoing the sentiment. When Houdini died, Doyle crowed he knew Houdini would get his just deserts. He believed the spirits punished him for concealing his psychic gifts behind a façade of a conjuror.

After years of silence, Doyle was corresponding with Bess within a fortnight of Houdini’s death. He speaks of ‘the widow’, as ‘a splendid loyal little woman accepting of the spiritualist viewpoint and keen to get some evidence to give the world’. Obligingly Doyle recommended mediums. When Bess dismissed their messages as rubbish to the press, there was only one thing left to do.

Enter Arthur Ford, a medium and Conan Doyle’s protégé. Ford was the medium who delivered an agreed coded message from Houdini to Bess. It was claimed they were strangers, but Ford and Bess had been close friends for over a year. They were planning a spiritualist tour together: the sceptic’s widow and the medium who brought evidence from beyond the grave.

To read how that turned out follow the link at the end of the article.

One of Houdini’s friends said he seriously underestimated Doyle. Houdini could handle frauds and hucksters, but Doyle, as a zealot and someone who could not tolerate being wrong, was the most relentless type of enemy. Yet, like all fanatics Doyle did far more damage to himself than Houdini.

He lost serious money in a psychic bookstore venture.

He was mocked for his endorsement of the Cottingley fairies.

He publically advocated the Zancig husband and wife team as telepaths, even though they confessed they were stage magicians with a mind-reading act.

When caught promoting a fake spirit photograph as genuine, he refused to accept he was mistaken.

He was lampooned in the British Press for claiming spirits in the afterlife enjoyed cigars, whiskey and golf.

As a final insult, even his spirit guide, who came through during his wife’s séances, labelled him a ‘whale’.

Shortly before his death the author of the greatest detective wrote to a friend confessing… “I have moments of doubt when I wonder if we have not been victims of some extraordinary prank played on the human race by the other side.”

Here is the link to the earlier article on Sally’s Smorgasbord about Houdini’s wife getting a genuine coded message from her dead husband: an incident that passed into legend.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/blog-sitting-special-at-midnight-writer-in-residence-paul-andruss-rosabelle-b-e-l-i-e-v-e/

©Paul Andruss

My thanks to Paul for another article that brings truth and perspective to the lives of the legendary.

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels

Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen.

Finn Mac Cool

Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

Connect to Paul on social media.

Blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks
Google+  https://plus.google.com/s/+jackhughesbooks

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share the post on your own blog and networks. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Fevered Threads by Paul Andruss


Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

As a follow on to Paul Andruss’s  last post Women’s Work – http://www.paul-andruss.com/womens-work/  Paul unravels a few more of the tangled web that has been woven about this intricate skill of weaving.

Bess’ Tapestry (Andruss)

As we saw women traditionally wove not only cloth, but also spells.

This is how labour-intensive weaving was:

In 2003 Dr Jacqi Wood recreated a collared hood beautifully preserved in a peat bog. A collared hood includes a yoke sitting over the the chest and upper back. Using early medieval technology, Dr Wood took 102 hours to spin the thread and 98 hours to weave the garment.

Collared Hood (courtesy Esty)

Classical Greece and Rome denigrated women’s skills. While some goddesses were highly skilled weavers, such as Athena, they are not goddesses of weaving. Athena was so proud of her weaving skills, when she heard Arachne boast she could teach the goddess a thing or two, she challenged the girl to a contest.

Athena & Arachne: from other figures (Andruss)

There are different versions of the tale. In some Arachne swears never to weave again if she loses, in others she wins and is forbidden to ever weave again. In despair the girl commits suicide by hanging herself with a skein of thread she spun. In a pang of conscience, Athena turns the girl into a spider – the ultimate weaver.

Then there is Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus. Odysseus joined the decade long Trojan War, and after being blown off-course, spent another ten years trying to make it home. Seven years of which, it must be said, he spent in the bed of the demi-goddess Calypso on sepulchral island of Ogygia; a land of the dead. Calypso’s name means to hide or deceive. It comes from the Indo-European word ‘Kel’ that gives rise to ‘Hell’, the eponymous kingdom of Loki’s daughter.

Head over and read the rest of this fascinating post… and next time you are looking through the racks of clothes you might just appreciate how much time it would have taken to make that dress a few thousand years ago: http://www.paul-andruss.com/fevered-threads/

You can read all the posts that Paul Andruss has contributed to Smorgasbord in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Tony Bennett, new releases, reviews and series


Welcome to the weekly round up from blustery and very wet Wexford. Hopefully just a short reminder of the fact we are not in control of our fate or the weather and that the sun will be out again before the end of summer.

I have been at the computer most of the week getting ready for the release of my book on Friday.. more about that in the posts. But as always I have made time for one of the most important jobs of the day… reading other writer’s blogs and posting my own.

My thanks to my guests this week.. even those who are absent. William will be back in September with a new series and hopefully he is on the receiving end of better weather.

My thanks to Julie Lawford who will be making a regular weekly contribution with lifestyle posts through the summer and her previous posts can be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/guest-writer-julie-lawford-health-and-weightloss/

Also this week the reposting of a very important article from author John Maberry with his story of prostate cancer and the symptoms to be aware of. He also outlines some of the treatment options.

WordPress happiness Engineers appear to have been messing around with the media settings again and I am now unable to centre multiple images which used to happen with one click… I do wish they would pay attention to the old adage.. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I have not wasted my breath contacting them.. after all they know best.

Anyway on with the posts you might have missed and thank you again for your contribution to keeping me motivated.

William Price King a man and his music

William is on an extended break until September and I will be repeating the popular Tony Bennett Series from 2015.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-2/

Horatio Grin.

Reminder that you can receive Fairies the Hidden History by Horation Grin (Paul Andruss) FREE as an Epub or pdf.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/free-book-fairies-the-hidden-history-by-horatio-grin/

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

The last in the serialisation of The Black Bitch with Geoff’s last book beginning next weekend.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/the-black-bitch-and-other-tales-street-musicians-and-snippets/

A shaggy dog story from Geoff about Pavarotti and one his most devoted fans.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/a-pavrotti-fan-achieves-his-dream-of-a-lifetime-as-told-by-geoff-cronin/

Guest Posts

John Maberry shares his experiences with prostate cancer, the symptoms and the treatments.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/smorgasbord-health-2017-prostate-problems-and-guest-post-psa-tests-yes-or-no-by-john-maberry/

Julie Lawford shares how positive affirmations can bring huge benefits physically and mentally.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/smorgasbord-guest-post-the-power-of-postitive-affirmations-by-julie-lawford/

Book Promotions.

I have just released Volume Two of What’s in a Name? in Ebook with the combined print version available in a few weeks.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/smorgasbord-book-promotion-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-balroop-singh-and-christina-steiner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-tina-frisco-bette-a-stevens-and-sue-coletta/

New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-hippies-by-gary-gautier/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-beyond-the-pyre-by-steve-costello/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-a-charlie-mcclung-mystery-flirting-with-time-by-mary-anne-edwards/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-jason-b-ladd-and-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/smorgasbord-invitation-air-you-reviews-throwback-thursday-gigi-sedlmayer-pamela-s-wight-and-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/bookreview-a-little-bit-of-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Reblog posts.

An important message from D.G. Kaye… Debbie Gies on emotional bullying that can as damaging as any other.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/smorgasbord-reblog-the-other-inconspicuous-form-of-bullying-emotional-bullying/

The first of two posts by Paul Andruss on his own site on the history and myths surrounding the skilled craft of weaving.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/smorgasbord-reblog-womens-work-by-paul-andruss/

Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-24th-july-hugh-roberts-jan-moore-and-darlene-foster-mary-smith-and-sue-vincent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-25th-july-geoff-le-pard-diana-wallace-peach-marjorie-mallon-carol-taylor/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-26th-july-2017-brigid-gallagher-jenny-fitzkee-lucy-brazier-and-the-story-reading-ape/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-27th-july-2017-christy-birmingham-tim-linthicum-travelling-happens-here-and-the-book-mom/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-july-28th-2017-richard-ankers-d-g-kaye-madelyn-griffiths-haynie-and-n-a-granger/

Health

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/smorgasbord-health-2017-food-in-the-news-turmeric-curcumin-cancer-alzheimers-inflammation/

Short Stories

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/smorgasbord-short-stories-revisited-blue-jay-cay-by-colin-peck/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/tales-from-the-garden-molliethe-duchess-coleman-october-5th-2017-july-28th-2012/

Smorgasbord Invitation Entertainment Review – Movie Dunkirk

A new series with reviews for the small and cinema screens.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/smorgasbord-entertainment-review-film-dunkirk-written-and-directed-by-christopher-nolan/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/afternoon-video-they-make-them-tough-in-candada-95-year-old-record-breaker/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-its-raining-cats-and-dogs/

Thank you for popping in today and for your support during the week.. All of which is very much appreciated.

 

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Women’s Work by Paul Andruss


Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss does what he does best.. unravels the myths and legends surrounding the making of cloth.. weaving has been associated with many ancient cultures…gods, goddesses and sorcery of all shades of dark. We take our clothes for granted these days as we pick our way through rails of bargains or pay way over the top for a see through blouse… but there was a time when the ritual of making cloth to wear had special significance.

The Norns- figures cut from lithograph by Gehrts (Anduss)

Threads I span

These I weave

Then I cut

No one has any idea when weaving started. Perhaps it originated long before we were even human. Chimpanzees loosely weave branches and leaves into sleeping platforms in the trees. It is likely proto-humans wove baskets, not only to carry goods but also to fish. A fishing net made from willow is known from 85,000 years ago, while the first evidence of textile weaving is a 70,000 year old fabric impression.

Spinning and weaving came under the provenance of women’s magic. In cultures where men wove, such as ancient Egypt, they are believed to have usurped the woman’s traditional role. Neith, the Egyptian goddess of weaving, was viewed as an ancient mother to who the other gods went for advice, and one who provided mighty aid in war. This attribute resurfaced some two millennia later with the powerful Norse goddess Freya of the Vanir, whose name simply means ‘The Lady’, and her sorceress representatives, the Volva.

The Vanir were the original gods of the Northern forests. When Odin’s family tried to overthrow them, Freya used magic and prophecy to start a war with the Asgardians, eventually forcing them into peaceful power sharing. As part of the bargain, Freya kept half of all the brave warriors’ souls the Valkyries gathered.

In Ancient Greece and Rome, women’s skills were denigrated, except for goddess too ancient and powerful to ignore. Those such as the Graeae, the Muses, the Furies and the Moirai occupied a shadowy place in the minds of men. That they were originally three sisters, suggests they are revenants of the original triple goddess.

Find out more about the way different cultures approached the art of weaving: http://www.paul-andruss.com/womens-work/

You can read all the posts that Paul Andruss has contributed to Smorgasbord in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – South Africa, Barbra Streisand, Judith Barrow and Horatio Grin revealed.


Welcome to the round up of some posts that you might have missed this week.  I have been offline more than on but I hope to reveal the cover of What’s in a Name Volume II in the next few days. It is done all bar the shouting (Amazon) which as an independent author and not part of KP can take a few days.

Request.

I would be really grateful for an opportunity over the weeks following the book’s release if I might do a guest post. Each one will be sharing the inspiration behind the main character of the story with a short excerpt.  If you feel that might fit in with your blog and schedule please email me and once I have a firm release dates I can let you have the weeks that are currently free.  sally.cronin@moyhill.com

William Price King is on his summer break now until September. He has gigs in the Nice region which as you know is a very popular tourist destination. I will be reposting one of his contemporary season from earlier in the year to make sure you don’t have withdrawal symptoms.

Horatio Grin caused quite a stir with his essays on the origins of Fairies and this week we revealed the last mystery behind the man…. Quess Who… and the initials are PA… If you would like a FREE Epub or pdf of Horatio’s book which contains additional bonus essays, then the details are in the post.

Robbie Cheadle takes us on a tour of Cape Town to celebrate the release of her latest children’s story and cookbook – Silly Willy goes to Cape Town with some traditional foods from South Africa that definitely brought back happy memories.

Judith Barrow shares the story of her treatment and survival of breast cancer. A must read for every woman.

My thanks to everyone who has contributed this week and of course to all of you for your ongoing support. Enjoy the rest of Sunday and see you soon.  Sally

William Price King meets some legends

I thought you might like to listen to one of my favourite tracks while you browse.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/william-price-king-meets-some-legends-barbra-streisand-the-finale/

Guest post by Horatio Grin

The jig is up as they say and the mystery surrounding guest writer Horatio Grin is revealed.. with a FREE book with extras for you to enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/will-the-real-horatio-grin-please-stand-up-and-free-book-offer/

Guest post by Robbie Cheadle 

To celebrate the release of the latest children’s book Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town, Robbie shares some of the delicious traditional food you can find in South Africa.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/smorgasbord-guest-post-traditional-foods-you-can-eat-in-cape-town/

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/the-black-bitch-and-other-tales-the-bermuda-triangle-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/the-black-bitch-and-other-tales-of-bread-and-flails-by-geoff-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-lyn-horner-yecheilyah-ysrayl-and-tina-frisco/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-kristina-stanley-d-g-kaye-and-judith-barrow/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-51-sleepless-nights-by-tobias-wade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-fountain-short-story-collection-by-john-maberry/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-memoir-what-did-i-do-by-chuck-jackson/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-throwback-thursday-carol-balawyder-and-christine-campbell/

The Blogger Daily

The new series of Blogger Daily has begun again and please do not hesitate to let me have the link to your most recent post either in the comments section or by email.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-new-series-and-new-contacts/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-july-21st-damyanti-biswas-nicholas-rossis-mary-smith-and-yoly/

Health

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/smorgasbord-health-2017-food-in-the-news-thumbs-up-for-coffee/

Guest Post Judith Barrow – Surviving Breast Cancer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/smorgasbord-health-2017-femail-reproductive-system-update-judith-barrow-breast-cancer-survivor/

Top to toe – The Male Reproductive System.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/smorgasbord-health-2017-top-to-toe-the-male-reproductive-system-part-one/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/mens-health-week-revisited-testosterone-and-cholesterol/

Poetry

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-petrified-by-fear/

Short Story

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/smorgasbord-short-stories-revisited-no-39-by-marilyn-brouwer/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/the-afternoon-video-cats-and-pup-and-boxes-and-things/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-the-sign-writers-have-been-out-again/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/laughter-the-best-medicine-an-australian-shaggy-dog-story/

Well that’s all folks.. I hope you will pop in again next week and in the meantime.. be good.. and if you cannot be good… be careful. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Futurist Manifesto by Paul Andruss


Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

In Paul’s blog this week he looks at the brave new world of those who feel that they can sweep away the old in favour of the new.. usually their own views that they feel they can pressure others to believe in too.  They would like to tell us what we should read, watch, wear and follow. In some cases they want to incite us to violence and war. Head over and find out more about the manifestos that have been published in the last 100 years some of which heralded new trends in fashion, art and music. Some however heralded darker events.

High Kick from Human Motions by Peter Jansen

The Futurist Manifesto, written in Milan by the poet Filippo Marinetti in 1909, vehemently rejected the past in favour of humanity’s technical triumph over nature. It celebrated industrialisation, machinery and speed, especially motor cars and aeroplanes.

Chasing Clouds by Tullio Crali

Some of the declarations in the Manifesto make for strange reading – promoting aggression and violent change, and worshipping youth. ‘The oldest of us is thirty… When we are forty, other younger and stronger men will probably throw us in the wastebasket like useless manuscripts—we want it to happen!’

They dismissed galleries and museums as nothing more than cemeteries for art. They wanted art to be more than a frozen moment. Possibly influenced by cinematography, they claimed: Objects are not separate from each other or their surroundings… A tram is as much its passengers as the urban landscape it moves against.

An idea clearly illustrated in Umberto Boccioni’s Girl Running on a Balcony – which gives a series of images as movement through time.

Head over and enjoy the as always brilliant observations and illustrations: http://www.paul-andruss.com/futurist-manifesto/

You can read all the posts that Paul Andruss has contributed to Smorgasbord in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/