Smorgasbord Short Story – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Many Hands by Sally Cronin


That time of the week when I participate in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week in her post, Charli talks about how she and neighbours help out an elderly victim of last years floods and debris that wrecked her garden. She also how the accumulative efforts of the community sustain the The Vet centres and the recognition this year of the wives of veterans who fought in the Vietnam war.

Appropriately the prompt is ‘Many Hands’ and here is my piece of flash of 99 words, no more, no less.

Many Hands by Sally Cronin

Many hands reached out to rock the cradle that held the infant. The first baby to be born to the tribe since the long drought and famine years, when the earth and its people had become barren. Finally the rain came and washed the toxic dust away, bringing life to the land and hope to them all. With bellies filled, young and old toiled in the fields to lay in stores for the coming winter and to gather seeds for next year’s crop. By then other babies will have been born, ensuring the future of the village and mankind.

©Sally Cronin 2019

Image: Pixabay.com

If you would like to participate in this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/06/13/june-13-flash-fiction-challeng

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed my story….thanks Sally.

 

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Are you making the most of this watering hole? Guests, stories, health, humour and other stuff


Welcome to the round up of posts here on Smorgasbord that you might have missed this week.

Before we get to the posts, I wanted to summarise the ways that you can promote your blog and your books here on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

I wanted to create a watering hole for people to gather.. hence the magazine theme to the blog with columns from some very special contributors and guest posts that are informative, entertaining and thought provoking. It is also for me an opportunity to support authors, who like me are marketing their own books amongst the millions that are published each year.

The regular posts each month are:

The Cafe and Bookstore – new books and reviews (Free)

 The Music Column with William Price King

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor,

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye,

Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco,

Numerology with Annette Rochelle Aben

The Health Column with Sally Cronin

The Cafe and Bookstore has approximately 160 to 200 active authors at any one time. I have two opportunities to promote books. First with a New Book on the Shelves for new releases, and secondly with the twice weekly Cafe Author Updates where I share recent reviews.  I also post my own reviews for books that I have read once or twice a month.

If you are not currently an author in the Cafe.. then here is the information you need: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

Posts for Your Archives is a series that has been running for the last three years to promote bloggers as well as authors. The aim is to showcase the blogger or author and encourage more traffic to their own blogs.

In the current series there is a twist. Instead of the blogger sending in four links to posts to share, I am browsing their archives and selecting four posts. The response has been amazing and there are currently 55 bloggers who have signed up. As you can imagine I am doing a lot of reading, and uncovering some gems from the years that deserve to be showcased again.

If you are interested on being added to the list you will find the details here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Guest Writers are slightly different to the posts from the archives, in as much as they contribute on a regular basis on a number of subjects including memoirs, short stories, health and poetry. If you are interested in a regular monthly slot then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

I would like to add a note here which is based on my experience over the last seven years of promoting books and blogging.

One of the key elements to any promotion is participation…I notice the difference in both the Cafe promotions and the Posts from the Archives if the person being promoted is active in both commenting and sharing.

For example – In the Posts from the Archives series, when the comments are responded to individually, the number of likes, comments and shares (importantly) increase over the four posts.

The same applies for the book promotions, and this is key, as it relates to sales of a book, as well as readers engaging on social media, following blogs and buying other books that the author has released. If a reader has taken the time to comment on a post then it is important that it is acknowledged individually. It does make a difference.

I also would like to admit that I don’t follow the usual rules about blogging. I will post several times a day, varied content, from contributors and guests plus the regular funnies and videos. I appreciate that if you sign up to be notified about posts, your email will be inundated.

Which is why I do this round up each week, so that you can pop in and read the posts that most interest you.

You can sign up to be notified weekly if you wish but my advice is:

Don’t Sign Up to be Notified…just remember to pop in on Sundays to catch up… that would be lovely.

Now on to the posts that you might have missed during the week.

Thomas the Rhymer

Another post from my archives from Paul Andruss… who shares the shenanigans of the royal court in the reign of Charles II…

Barbara Villiers (National Portrait Gallery)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-barbara-villiers-part-1-the-return-of-the-king-by-paul-andruss/

This month Debby Gies takes us to the island of Cuba in the Caribbean. And island that was blocked off to the outside world and has been through many challenging years. Find out about the history and the tourism to the island.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-the-island-of-cuba/

Winter: Chapter Two – The Messengers of Peace and Desperation and the Storyteller

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-winter-the-messengers-of-peace-and-desperation-and-the-storyteller-by-sally-cronin/

Winter: Chapter Three – A Place of Sanctuary

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-three-winter-a-place-of-sanctuary-by-sally-cronin/

The second in the series on the brain and how we can reduce our risk of developing dementia, and it is never too late to begin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/smorgasbord-health-column-top-to-toe-the-brain-the-brain-dementia-and-alzheimers-disease-by-sally-cronin/

My review for Swimming for Profit and Pleasure: The Port Naain Intelligencer by Jim Webster.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-book-reviews-swimming-for-profit-and-pleasure-the-port-naain-intelligencer-by-jim-webster/

My response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills The prompt is about ‘making a big splash…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-a-splashing-good-time-by-sally-cronin/

Joy Lennick with another of her entertaining stories (based on true events) of a date to the cinema with rather an unusual ending….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-joy-lennick-a-date-in-the-forties/

This week Sherri Matthews shares holiday memories of picnics and windy beaches in the UK and taking the Cuppa to California…

The Wicker Picner Hamper (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-sherri-matthews-memoir-the-great-british-staycation-and-a-brew-up-california-style/

This week Susanne Swanson takes us on a tour of her first visit to Hawaii..

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-hawaii-the-beginnings-by-susanne-swanson/

John Rieber shares a unique experience in a hotel in Africa… meet some giraffes.

GIRAFFE-MANOR

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-travel-an-amazing-giraffe-hotel-africas-most-incredible-safari-adventures-by-john-rieber/

Writing duo Helen and Lorri Carpenter offer guest spots and here is one by Lainee Cole talking about the wonderful combination of rescue dog and children helping each other.

Image source: HiDee Ekstrom

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shelter-dogs-and-children-helping-each-other-guest-post-by-lainee-cole-hl-carpenter/

Marian Wood shares her reasons for blogging..and a guide for those who are just getting started..

So really why write a blog

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-what-is-the-point-of-writing-a-blog-why-do-i-do-it-by-marian-wood/

Enjoy the poetry of Frank Prem about a project he undertook in his garden…

Friends 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-trenchman-1-the-trench-mans-tools-by-frank-prem/

Carol Taylor is on a short break so I have been sharing some posts from her archives..this one is on a subject dear to her heart… conservation and how governments can make decisions that do not have their countries environmental interests in mind.

Great barrier Reef

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-waste-not-want-not-australia-plans-to-dump-one-million-tons-of-sludge-on-the-great-barrier-reef-by-carol-taylor/

Tasker Dunham takes us back to his earliest memories and wonders at what age you experienced yours.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-gram-motherem-how-early-are-our-earliest-memories-by-tasker-dunham/

Lorinda J. Taylor shares the experiences of her mother as a teacher in the 1930s and living in the dust bowl…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-teaching-in-the-dust-bowl-1930s-by-lorinda-taylor/

A poignant and fascinating post from Olga Nunez Miret about her uncle who researched the little known family history during the Second World War.. tragic and inspiring.

Placa

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-family-stories-my-cousin-joan-molet-and-his-efforts-to-not-allow-the-memories-to-disappear-by-olga-nunez-miret/

Jennie Fitzkee shares another story from her pre-school classroom where the focus is very much on the child…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-how-to-teach-a-child-to-become-a-superhero-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Fraggle Photography with some wonderful images from a vintage fair…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-fraggle-report-druridge-bay-vintage-rally-fraggle-photography/

Elizabeth Slaughter shares an influence in her life from childhood and a role model – Meet Rusty.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-rusty-triumphs-over-boogieman-by-elizabeth-slaughter/

Kim of By Hook or by Book with a tribute to teachers everywhere.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-us-teacher-appreciation-week-2018-by-kim-of-by-hook-or-by-book/

Gibson Square… a London Cabbie gives us the low down on what is cab and what is not..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-what-is-a-cab-and-whats-not-by-gibson-square-the-cabbie-blog/

Susanne Swanson with a memory from her childhood when a little bribery went a long way…

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-seattle-a-shrimp-story-by-susanne-swanson/

Balroop Singh shines the light on the issue of domestic violence. However, enlightened and empowered we think our modern society is.. this is still a major problem and in some countries it is the norm.

Domestic Violence

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-can-women-escape-domestic-violence-an-emotional-approachby-balroop-singh/

 

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-psychological-thriller-hope-by-terry-tyler/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-brigid-p-gallagher-james-j-cudney-diana-j-febry-and-ted-halstead/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-toni-pike-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-5/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-6/

Thank you again for taking the time to drop by and I hope that in one way or another you will share your work here with everyone by being a guest, promoting your books or letting me share your archives. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – A Splashing Good Time by Sally Cronin


A fascinating post about rocks from the beach, writing conferences and ghosts… as well as a fabulous prompt for this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

The prompt is about ‘making a big splash… here is my story..

A Splashing Good Time by Sally Cronin

Her husband insisted she was incapable of learning to drive, refusing to pay for lessons as a waste of time and money. After seven years she found her own voice, and grateful there were no children to witness her failure, she left. With a new job, cottage and money to make her own way, she passed her driving test first time, and purchased a small car. One day torrential rain filled the drains, creating deep puddles each side of the road. She saw him walking along the pavement. Smiling, she swished passed him, creating a wonderfully drenching big splash.

©Sally Cronin 2019

Image: Pixabay.com

If you would like to participate in this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/06/07/june-4-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed my story….thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Joy Lennick – #Shortstory- A Date in the Forties


A welcome back to the entertaining Joy Lennick with a short story about a date in the forties….with an unexpected ending!!  Based on her own experiences I am reliably informed!

A Date in the Forties by Joy Lennick.

Josie looked across at the Heathway cinema where she had arranged to meet Dave. He was there all right, glancing at his watch. If only her parents had a telephone installed, she would have rung him and explained that she had to work late. He was the only boy she knew who had a ‘phone. Lucky sod, she said to herself.

“Hallo! Sorry I’m late…My boss kept me till well after 5.30. I missed the train and had to wait ages for the next one.” She was flushed and out of breath.

“Sall-right,” he said, adding “You look like a ripe peach!” Josie thought that very poetic – even though it made her blush. Dave was clean-shaven and looked as nice as she remembered him when he played his saxophone at her aunt’s wedding the week before. Being a bridesmaid for the second time, had been a groovy experience, and having given her ‘the glad eye’ earlier on, during Dave’s music break, he had made a bee-line for her.

“Hello!” he’d said “Can I get you a port and lemon?” At fifteen, it was her first taste of intoxicating liquor, and it had had the strangest affect – as if she were on a cloud, drifting away from reality – especially after Dave had plied her with a second and third glassful. The next day, still in a ‘floaty haze,’ she just about remembered agreeing to go to the pictures with him the following week.

Josie gave Dave a furtive glance as they approached the cinema; he looked somehow different without his musical instrument she thought – smaller, vulnerable and thinner. He did have attractive, dark, curly hair though…She noticed that he was clutching a brown paper bag filled with something or other. Josie’s curiosity was aroused. People didn’t usually give other people chocolates loose in paper bags, did they?

“Two one-and-nines, please,” Dave asked the cashier at the kiosk, and ushered Josie into the cinema ahead of him, firmly gripping her elbow with one hand – guiding her safely into the twilight zone. She rather liked that. It was polite but masterful…An uncertain beam of torch-light wavered towards them, faltered and changed direction, leaving them to stumble to their seats like blind people.

“The Outlaw” was showing that week, starring the celebrated, sexy and voluptuous Jane Russell. “Mean, Moody and Magnificent” the billboards promised. It suggested unmentionable passion in the straw, and Josie didn’t know if she could handle it…Whatever made her agree to see it! Doubts hovered. The marketing media had done its worst. She felt wicked just sitting there; her virginity somehow threatened by the sight of the actress’s revealing cleavage. The heat from her cheeks flowed downwards, filtering and coursing into every part of her being: more especially into what were called her “erogenous” zones. (Her friend Sheila had told her that’s what they were called only the week before.) The fact that she was seated next to a boy she hardly knew, only heightened her discomfort. Perhaps she had a temperature? She was surely sickening for something!

The anticipation of the action ahead, rather than the reality – wasn’t it often like that? – inflamed Josie until her palms were a sticky mess and she didn’t quite know what to do with her hands. And then, Dave stealthily felt for one of those sticky appendages at the ends of her arms, and she quickly wiped the offensive palm on her skirt and let his hand hold hers. It only made matters worse. Up there on the silver screen, Jane Russell was “smouldering” fit to combust – pouting her lips and casting suggestive glances at her seducer. Suddenly, Josie’s embarrassment was tempered by the proffering of the mysterious brown paper bag. Dave plonked it onto her lap without a word, and she received it with a start.

Ah grapes! (It confirmed her suspicions that she was sickening for something.) At least the thought of devouring them and the overriding problem of what to do with the pips, diluted the promised passion ahead. Still damply clutching Dave’s hand, Josie managed to pass a few grapes to him and also managed – with some difficulty – to lay a handkerchief on her lap, on which to let the grape pips fall. It was a tricky business…

The film played itself out without having quite the impact that Josie had expected. It was enough to steam up your glasses but not enough to crack the lens, she thought – even though she didn’t wear glasses. However, she felt enormous relief when the film ended. Dave turned and gave her a weak smile.

‘Okay.Not bad, was it? Thought it would be different!’

‘Was all right, I s’pose’, Josie replied without enthusiasm.

Dave propelled her to the exit. On the train journey home, Josie chattered away like an over-wound magpie, more to cover up her shyness than anything else. As a conversationalist, Dave wasn’t! Perhaps he too was shy, she mused; but he had acted like a gentleman, not like a few other octopuses (pi?) she could name. She still thought him rather nice. As the front gate clicked open, the curtains of the house next door parted. Nosey old whatsit…Josie felt a sweep of affection for the bushy Old Man tree screening off a portion of the doorstep.

‘Thanks for taking me to the pictures, Dave. It was…’she paused and frowned, searching for a suitable adjective, and came up with ‘er…unusual.’ She gave him a warm smile. In return, he gave her a weak grin, and said ‘Sall-right.’

There followed a long silence in which Josie could have knitted a tea cosy (if she’d had the wool and needles that is). The silence grew awkward, and she was aware of the clip-clop of a shire horse pulling an empty coal-cart down the nearby hill – the lull in the stunted conversation giving her time to wonder why the coal-man was out so late… Dave didn’t attempt to kiss her like she hoped he would, but put an arm around her waist and pulled her roughly towards him.

Then he put what – even in her innocence she knew was not his hand – into hers. It may as well have been a hot chestnut, only it was the wrong shape! With a funny, strangled sort of shriek, she dropped it with alacrity, pushed him into the Old Man tree; showered him with the grape pips from her hankie, and called him ‘A creep!’

Frenziedly rummaging in her handbag for her door key, she then made a hasty retreat. What was that her mum used to say about still waters running deep?! Josie never forgot “’The Outlaw”or Dave…

© Joy Lennick

My thanks to Joy for sharing this entertaining story…… I will have to watch “The Outlaw” again to see if my glasses steam up…..

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for The Moon is Wearing a TuTu

This book comprises of a number of unusual poems that certainly force you to think deeply by Joy Lennick and a few poems, limericks and humorous one-liner jokes by Eric Lennick. There are also two, clever 50-word short stories by Jean Wilson.While the entire book was entertaining to read, I really enjoyed some of Joy’s wickedly humorous poems. She uses her words like little knives to cut into the body of a matter and expose its beating heart in a manner that is humorous but sharply to the point. The one that I related to the most was Think Outside the Box:

“I think out of the box
and why not?
(Are you wary your copybook you’ll blot?!)
I’m fed up with sheep
who seem half asleep
individuals they certainly are not.
To say “aab” not “baa”
is OK.
For a change why not try it today!
The fox you could fox –
confusing his “box,”
just say “aab” and get clean away.”

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy

Blog: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lennick

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Joy would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up.. John Wick 3 -Spirits in the Sky, Polar Bears and Apple Daiquiris


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed during the week on Smorgasbord.

We have had another busy week on the back garden work… a little unpredictable but we are fitted in between other jobs, weather dependent such as gathering silage for next winter’s feed. We live in the country and one has to go with the flow… but I will be glad when the job is finished and the digger is gone…We will then be able to sit out and enjoy the summer sun which is there until 10pm at the height of summer.

We also had visitors this week.. old friends from Portsmouth. Adrian and I were co-presenters on radio and on Internet Television and we became friends with his wife Chris too at the same time in 2007. We had a lovely two day catch up… and also rehashing fond memories. We discovered a new place to us locally .. a fabulous spa and hotel with a wonderful grill which we visited for lunch… they all had the tempura batter fish and chips which was apparently delicious and I had the goats cheese, caramalised onion, apple and walnut pizza… They also did a range of non-alcoholic cocktails and we all had Apple Daiquiris which were stunning… a bit of an ice-cream headache but what a way to get your 5 a day..

We then went to see John Wick 3 at our local cinema, both David and I loved John Wick 1 and 2 but were very disappointed with this third outing. We knew there would be a lot of action and quite a bit of violence and the stunts and the effects were amazing, but the fights in particular went on far too long.. 10 minutes and despite complex and brilliant choreography they became boring… It was more of a video game than a movie and the script was sparce. The problem is that is was stand alone, it is two years since the previous film.. and it literally picked up where it left off leaving you trying to remember what happened the last time. So if you have not seen John Wick 1 and 2.. I suggest you do before you see this one at the very least.. and be prepared for lots of action, most that is stretched out too lon and is very much more violent that the previous films.

Anyway a fun week and will be looking to recreate those apple daiquiris asap.

Just a quick note to say that I will be serialising Tales from the Irish Garden from next weekend… it will take around 13 weeks and I am hoping that you enjoy.

There is a new series of the Sunday Interview coming up at the end of June and I have set a slightly different challenge this time… Human in every sense of the word.

As humans there are five main senses that we rely on to navigate through this world.  And there is one that we all possess but do not necessarily use all the time…

Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell….Sixth Sense.

For some people however, one or more of those senses do not function and we can only imagine the challenges this results in.

I don’t know about you, but I take my senses for granted, expecting to see my surroundings when I wake up each morning, hear the birds sing, feel the bedclothes as I throw them back, and the carpet beneath my feet. I expect to taste the marmalade on my toast, and smell the coffee I am about to drink. I also rely on my sixth sense, the one that people cannot really define, that somehow keeps me from making an error of judgement.

Scientists believe that we have other senses that are also important but that we have lost touch with over our evolution. But for this interview series I would like to focus on the six senses I have mentioned.

I would like you to write from 300 to 600 words about one or more of these senses.

If you head over to the post you will find my own interpretation of this challenge and details on how to participate… hope you are up for it…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-new-sunday-interview-series-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-starting-sunday-june-30th-2019/

Time for the posts from the week.

As always my thanks to the contributors and everyone who is participating in the current Posts from Your Archives.. 50 bloggers and counting. As you can imagine I am having a blast reading everyone’s archives and I am managing to post 15 authors a week. So apologies if you are not featured yet, but you will be in the coming couple of months.

This week I share another two posts from Paul Andruss on the subject of poetry.. and the first is William Blake.. A man born before his time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-william-blake-a-man-born-before-his-time-by-paul-andruss/

The second is Lord Byron.. a complicated man....

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-lord-byron-mad-bad-and-dangerous-to-know-by-paul-andruss/

Personal Stuff – Short Stories – Flash fiction stories in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

Carved in Wood… a widow returns to a wood and tree with carved initials..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-carved-in-wood-by-sally-cronin/

And this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills 

A Mother’s Dilemma – Disappearing Ice.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-a-mothers-dilemma-by-sally-croninranch-flash-fiction/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/smorgasbord-music-column-one-hit-wonders-spirit-in-the-sky-by-norman-greenbaum/

My intention with this blog was to create a watering hole where writers could gather and exchange experiences and knowledge and so delighted with all that I am discovering by delving into your archives.. and finding some gems even you have forgotten!

This week Robbie Cheadle takes us on her trip to London with her husband, and shares three parks and Sherlock Holmes house.

London Day 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-uk2018-three-parks-and-sherlock-holmes-house-by-robbie-cheadle/

USA Today bestselling author Jacquie Biggar with one of her guests Roxanne St. Clair…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-guest-posting-with-jacquie-biggar-roxannestclair-new-york-times-bestselling-author/

Financial expert Sharon Marchisello explores the link between financial and physical health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-finance-the-link-between-financial-and-physical-health-by-sharon-marchisello/

This week Diana Peach shares a rather wet weekend with a grandson in charge of the garden hose and open window… what could go wrong!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-rug-cleaning-fiasco-by-d-wallace-peach/

I chose a poignant poem by Miriam Hurdle that touched many hearts…

Beautiful Tiny Baby written by Miriam Hurdle at Spillwords.com

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-beautiful-tiny-baby-by-miriam-hurdle/

Pete Johnson, Beetley Pete reviews the original Titanic film from 1958 – A Night to Remember.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-retro-review-a-night-to-remember-1958-by-beetley-pete/

Carol Taylor introduces us to their forever dog Saangchai and his early antics…

SAM_7022

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-dogs-are-not-our-whole-life-but-they-make-our-life-whole-by-carol-taylor/

The Story Reading Ape with another of his guests over the last six years.. author Billy Ray Chitwood, who shares his life story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-ape-and-his-guest-billy-ray-chitwood/

D.G. Kaye with another of her down to earth posts on social media and the impact on our lives. Are we getting lost in social oblivion ?

Social media sharing

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-are-we-lost-in-social-oblivion-by-d-g-kaye/

Darlene Foster gives us a tour of her home town… Medicine Hat in Canada..

CityofMH

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-travel-ten-reasons-to-visit-medicine-hat-canada-by-darlene-foster/

A short story from Christine Campbell… The Thing Is.

black lab 2

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-the-thing-is-by-christine-campbell/

Charles Yallowitz with another of his compelling poems..Fear

Yahoo Image Search

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-fear-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

The final part of D.Avery’s linked story The Fold.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-fold-final-part-by-d-avery/

We continue the story of the Hollywood auditions… courtesy of Jane Risdon and it is always useful to have a brown paper bag to hand.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-three-blow-into-the-paper-bag-by-jane-risdon/

Mary Smith had a wonderful trip to Canada for a special birthday celebration and shares some of her trip with us.

DSC00152 (Custom)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-marysmithsplace-canada-part-3/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-escape-series-book-2-catching-butterflies-search-for-home-by-sandra-j-jackson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-soap-on-a-rope-cold-cream-murders-book-3-by-barbara-silkstone/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-ann-chiappetta-richard-dee-and-lyn-horner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-claire-fullerton-c-s-boyack-and-balroop-singh/

The estimated consumption of fizzy drinks around the world is 50billion units a day!  The American Soft Drink Association was proud to say a few years ago that the average American consumes over 600, 12oz servings per year. Children are consuming many more fizzy drinks than adults and they estimate that the average teenager drinks an average of 160 gallons of soft drinks per year until their late 20’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/smorgasbord-health-column-worldwide-market-for-fizzy-drinks-is-an-estimated-340-billion-a-year-but-at-what-cost/

The start of a updated series on the major organs of the body.. starting with the brain. This week an introduction and the anatomy.

Stem-&-Arteries-72dpi

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/smorgasbord-health-column-top-to-toe-revisited-the-brain-introduction-and-anatomy-by-sally-cronin/

This rescue cockatoo is found a new loving home and renewed joy of life and music..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-some-jokes-from-sallys-archives-episode-12/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-gone-fishing-and-some-jokes-from-the-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I am off out and will check in on everything this evening.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – A Mother’s Dilemma by Sally Cronin


A tough challenge this week from Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills 

Following on from a wonderful post about Charli’s daughter and her life of adventure on a number of Norwegian arctic islands… it is a trifle cold there.. and encounters with mammals who are struggling to survive the loss of ice and change in their environment are becoming more frequent.

The challenge was to write 99 words (no more, no less) about disappearing ice….

A mother’s dilemma…

My cubs and I swim further each day between melting ice floes. Some are only strong enough to carry the weight of my babies as they rest, at the limit of their strength. The seals that I hunt are also disappearing without a safe place to gather between fishing. I need to eat soon if we are all to survive. I may have to return to land and into the world of humans. Their waste food may be our only chance. They fear and hate my kind and there is great risk. But soon I will have no choice.

©Sally Cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in the challenge.. please head over to https://carrotranch.com/2019/05/23/may-23-flash-fiction-challenge/ and enjoy the post from Charli too..

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed my story….thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Short Story – The Thing Is… by Christine Campbell


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Author Christine Campbell has given me permission to browse her extensive archives dating back to March 2013. For Christine’s final post I am sharing a short story that she wrote after completing ‘A Story a Day’ challenge in 2013.. this one tickled me.

The Thing Is… by Christine Campbell

black lab 2

“Excuse me, Sir. I’m afraid dogs are not allowed in the park without a lead.” Donald pointed to the sign.

“Ah, yes! I see that, but you see, the thing is…”

“The thing is, Sir, that your dog is fouling on my grass. There’s a penalty for that.” The Park Keeper pointed to the relevant notice. “Unless, of course, you use a pooper-scooper and dispose of the offending mess appropriately, Sir.”

“Ah, yes! I see that too, but you see, the thing is…”

Donald reached into the pouch he wore across his body. “The thing is, Sir, that I have some plastic bags here for just such an occasion.” And he handed one over.

“Ah, yes! I see. Plastic bag. Yes.” Hugh looked at the bag as though it was from outer space. “And what exactly…?” He made a vague waving gesture with it.

“Never done this before, have we, Sir.”

“No, actually. Haven’t needed to really.”

“Ah! New to this area, are we?”

Hugh nodded, looking at the dog as it crouched on the grass adding to its offence.

“Thought so! Standards, Sir. It’s all about standards, if you don’t mind my saying so, Sir, good, old-fashioned standards.” He clasped his hands behind his back and rocked on his spread feet.

“Absolutely, old man, old-fashioned. Bit like myself, wife tells me. Reckons live in wrong century, she does. Me, that is, not…”

“And we like to keep our park up to a very high standard,” Donald continued. “Litter, dogs’ mess, ball-games, these are the things that bring a park down, you know.”

“Quite, yes. I can imagine.” Hugh wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Thing is, don’t you know…” He still held the plastic bag at arm’s length. A look of puzzlement crossed his face when he looked at it.

“If I may, Sir?” Donald took the bag from his grasp and walked across the grass to the offending pile. “Allow me to demonstrate the use of the plastic bag as a pooper-scooper,” and this he ably did. “One places one’s hand inside the bag, thus,” he demonstrated, “pick up the poop, thus,” he did, “turn the bag inside out, thus,” again, accomplished expertly, “thereby containing the mess within the bag, to be disposed of in the receptacle provided.” He indicated the bin at the end of the path.

“I say, well done!” Hugh applauded.

“Thank you, Sir.” Donald beamed. Hugh showed no sign of relieving the Park Keeper of the plastic bag of warm pooh, so Donald walked across to the bin and demonstrated how it should be deposited. “Thus!”

Hugh nodded his understanding. “Yes. Yes. Quite. Now, the thing is, you see…”

“And now, Sir. May I suggest you collect your dog and put it on its leash before any further mishap occurs?”

“Good idea! Yes. The thing is though…” Hugh raised his hands, displaying the lack of a dog leash.

“Ah, I see your problem now,” the Park Keeper nodded. With a smug smile, he reached into his pouch once more. “Fortunately, I carry this length of rope for just such an occasion.” He handed it to Hugh.

“Rope, yes, and I imagine you….” He held the rope out and wiggled it about a bit as though putting it through the dog’s collar.

“Exactly, Sir. Now, if you’d care to call the dog?”

“Yes, yes. See what you mean. Call the dog. Rover, don’t you know. Always called my dogs Rover. Ever since I was a boy. Got a puppy for my birthday.” Hugh smiled at the memory of waking to the warm, wet nose snuffling round his face. He’d wanted a dog so much, hadn’t dared to hope his mother would let him have one of his very own. He’d called him Rover, unable to think of a more original name. Continued to call it Rover even after realising, or, rather, being told, he was a she. “Old-fashioned now, I suppose. The name, I mean. Rover. Still, Mumsie has kept up the tradition, don’t you know.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“No matter. You see, the thing is…”

“If you’d care to call the dog, Sir?” Donald was getting edgy. This particular dog had been irritating him, on and off, for days now. Never on a leash, trotting about as if it owned the park, cocking its leg where it would, digging in the flower beds. Donald had chased it from his roses on several occasions, been tempted to raise his boot to it, but decided that was beneath his dignity. Besides, it would be typical if the owner chose that very moment to appear. He could do without the trouble that might cause.

But he had been watching out for the dog’s owner and was pleased to have the opportunity to make clear the park rules concerning animals. “If you wouldn’t mind, Sir?” The dog was perilously close to a beautiful display of azaleas. In fact he was beginning to dig around them.

Hugh looked doubtful, but reluctantly co-operated with the request. “Rover! Erm, Rover!” He called self-consciously and ineffectually.

The Park Keeper smiled and nodded his encouragement.

Hugh tried again. “I say Rover, old boy, do come over here!” He tapped the rope against his leg.

The dog, a large black Labrador, disdained to ‘come over ‘ anywhere, but began digging in earnest, putting the azaleas in serious jeopardy now.

Hugh pursed his lips and attempted to whistle, not something he was ever good at, but something he always believed he would someday be able to do. He felt it was a requirement of a dog owner and had sought to perfect the technique since being given the first puppy, also a black lab as it happened.

The sound that came from his lips was thin and frail and the dog could be excused for ignoring it.

Hugh called again. The dog dug on. The azaleas toppled in the dirt.

“Not well trained,” Donald remarked through gritted teeth, “If you don’t mind my saying so, Sir,” he said.

“No. No!” Hugh was eager to reassure the park keeper. “I don’t mind at all. Completely in agreement on that point. Has a will of his own, don’t you know.”

“Do you mind if I?” The Park Keeper indicated his willingness to help round up the dog.

“Not at all,” Hugh said earnestly. “Be my guest.” And he handed over the coiled rope.

“May I suggest, Sir, that you go round that way?” Donald indicted one side of the shrubbery. “While I advance from this direction. That way we can perhaps cut off his escape.”

“By all means,” Hugh acquiesced.

Labrador Retrievers are not, by nature, difficult dogs as a rule and Rover proved true to his breed, allowing himself to be rounded up and captured without much protest after a playful romp through the plants.

“Firmness, you see, Sir,” Donald said with due pride. “They respond to firmness. Firmness of voice. You have to let them know who’s in charge.” He pulled sharply on the rope, bringing the dog to ‘heel’.

“Yes, absolutely. Yes. I see that. Thank you. Well done. Most impressive.” Hugh knew it was true, and Mumsie had often tried to goad him into being his dog’s master rather than its playmate. The role had never suited him and none of the dogs he’d owned over the years had been fooled by any attempts on his part to play it.

The Park Keeper dusted down his much-prized uniform jacket and stood tall. “And now, Sir, if you’d be so good as to remove the animal from the vicinity.” He handed the rope to Hugh. “I’ll tidy up round the azaleas.”

“Yes. Yes. The thing is, you see…”

But the Park Keeper was no longer listening. As far as he was concerned, the matter was satisfactorily concluded. Just the garden to put in order with some urgency.

The park had won prizes for its gardens. Every season, Donald set out the appropriate plants, displaying them to perfection, creating a riot of colour in summer, a mellow glow in autumn. The freshness of spring was captured in his snowdrop glades and daffodil clusters. Even winter presented him with a challenge he met triumphantly, nurturing trees and shrubs that enjoyed the cooler days and kept some colour.

He set off to his hut to fetch his tools.

When he returned, he was surprised to find Hugh still there, sitting on a bench, the dog far off, digging again at the same spot, azaleas torn and scattered between its paws like discarded toys.

The Park Keeper took a deep breath and bore down on Hugh. This man was trying his patience almost as much as his dog had for days. Donald prided himself on his patience: patience and forbearance, these were the qualities he admired in a man of authority such as himself. Patience, forbearance and civility. He would not be provoked into any conduct contrary to his code.

“Ahem!” he coughed. “Excuse me again, Sir.”

“Oh, hello!” Hugh smiled. “Waiting,” he explained. “Waiting for my wife.” He looked at his watch. “Late!” He pulled a tolerant face.

“The dog, sir?”

“Yes, yes.” Hugh looked round, tutting at the havoc the dog was wreaking in the meticulously planted flower bed. “Bit of a rascal, isn’t he.”

“I did mention before, Sir, the necessity of a leash?”

“Absolutely!” Hugh raised his hand, still clutching the rope. “You see, the thing is… ”

The Park Keeper’s eyes followed the length of rope as it snaked across the grass all the way to the dog’s collar. “Ah, yes. I see. Not quite the spirit of the injunction, may I say, Sir?”

“Well, I must say,” Hugh said as he stood up. “It’s been very nice speaking with you, quite, you know, quite, well, quite educational, in fact.” He waved to Sandra, before turning back to Donald. “Bit of a lesson in dog-handling, don’t you know. But now, I see my wife coming. So, if you don’t mind.” He handed the rope to the Park Keeper. “You see, the thing is, at this point in time, I don’t actually have a dog!”

©Christine Campbell 2016
A selection of books by Christine Campbell.

One of the recent reviews for A Mountain of Memories

Part history lesson, part mystery, part romance with a dose of psychology, A Mountain of Memories is captivating from the moment the reader meets Caitlin. Through a series of twists and turns in present time, to flashbacks of terrifying events, and a view into early 20th century rural Scotland, the author tells a story that begs to be read in a single setting.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

About Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell lives in a small village outside of Edinburgh with her husband, whatever assortment of children and grandchildren happen to be visiting at the time, and awaiting her first great-granddaughter. How exciting is that?

When she has a moment of peace, and is not distracted by the varied wildlife currently taking up residence in her garden and the field beyond, Christine writes novels or posts on her blog at cicampbellblog.wordpress.com as well as producing occasional videos about her writing on her Facebook page and YouTube.

So busy, busy, busy writing for your pleasure and hers – because, let’s face it, writing is fun!

Connect to Christine

Blog : http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/WriteWhereYouAre
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/Cic1947
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Campbama
Instagram : https://instagram.com/christine_writes/

My thanks to Christine for permitting me to browse her archives and I hope you will head over to her blog and do some browsing of your own..

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Carved in Wood by Sally Cronin


The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills  this week was all about trees… and  here is my story.

Carved in Wood

She traced the names, carved in the bark of their special tree fifty years ago, with her fingertips.

Peter loves Sarah forever.

But they had taken different paths. She to a wonderful husband and children, and now as a widow and grandmother. She often wondered what had happened to him, and if he had been happy. On a whim, she had returned to the wood to see the bluebells, that like their romance flowered so briefly. Beneath the carving were numbers. Intrigued she took out her mobile and dialled.

‘Hello, who is this?’

‘Sarah’

What took you so long?’

©Sally Cronin 2019

Charli Mills has written  wonderful post about how trees have been so important to her throughout her life. Well worth heading over to read and if you are so inclined to participate in the challenge: https://carrotranch.com/2019/05/16/may-16-flash-fiction-challenge/

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Shortstory – The Special Date by Darlene Foster


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster is a regular visitor to the blog and has shared some amazing posts.  She gave me permission to explore her archives in search of more treasure. This week a short story as part of the Stevie Turner – Share your short story series 2018

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The Special Date by Darlene Foster.

Decision made, she laid out her clothes and applied two coats of a subtle shade of melon nail polish to each fingernail and toenail with meticulous detail. Retiring early, the mirror reflected a well-rested woman the following morning. This pleased her. It was important that she look her best for this date.

A girl needs to get her beauty sleep you know, she could hear her mother say.

What would Mother think about this date? Did it matter? Mother passed away many years ago. Why did she still feel the need for her mother’s approval? Was it because she didn’t get it as a young girl, trying so hard to please?

She returned to the mirror and stopped thinking about such things while she dabbed ivory concealer under her eyes and on various spots on her face.

Get rid of those dark circles and spider veins, and ten years will be erased, she assured herself. Like an artist putting the finishing touches to a masterpiece, she applied the rest of her makeup. She needed to look perfect.

Would he appreciate the effort? she wondered while slipping on her new black underwear; bikini panties and a lace push up bra. She glanced at the full-length mirror. Not many women her age could wear this stuff and look good. She kept her body toned by working out regularly and she watched her diet for the most part. She looked closer, noticed a few bulges here and there, and planned to forgo dessert in the future. Although, she was sure he wouldn’t mind.

She stepped into the slinky little black dress with ease, pulled up the zipper in the back and took another look in the mirror. The cleavage looked inviting. Perhaps it was a bit much though. She didn’t want to send out the wrong message. She reached for her favourite silk scarf and tied it loosely around her neck. The black, grey and melon swirls complemented her nail polish. Pleased with the result, she smiled at the reflection in the mirror.

A giddy feeling came over her, making her feel like a school girl. Perhaps she should have a drink, or better still, something light to eat. There was no point being nervous. It will be all right, she reassured herself. She nibbled on a piece of Brie on a slice of a baguette topped with a chunk of cantaloupe while sipping a small glass of chardonnay.

“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou,” she murmured to herself.

She looked in the mirror once more to fix her hair and felt a burning sensation in her chest. Her breath started to come in short gasps. The recognizable signs of panic began to take over.

I can’t go through with this. What will people think, what will they say?

She wanted to stay home, go back to bed and forget everything. Those old enemies, tears, were about to revisit her.

“Stop it!” she shouted out loud at the confused image in the mirror.

When are you going to stop worrying about what other people think, you stupid woman?

She managed to pull herself together in time to save her makeup from running. What was she thinking? She certainly didn’t have time to redo it. All she had to do was look lovely, say the right things and keep cool for a couple of hours, and it would soon be over. She reminded herself that she was doing this for him and he was special.

After running a brush through her nutmeg coloured hair, she applied a light coat of hairspray to the bob. She liked the colour of her hair and refreshed the roots every four weeks. She could not understand women who let their hair go grey and grinned when she thought of women not much older than herself with shades of pink and blue-grey hair. They would bury her with nutmeg coloured hair.

She lined her lips with a pencil to make them look fuller and filled them in with lipstick, a melon shade to match the nail polish and scarf. Taking the new, long black jacket off the hanger, she slipped it on over her short dress. It was well tailored and fit her toned body perfectly. He was sure to be impressed.

Something simple but elegant would be the best choice for jewellery. She rummaged through her jewellery box and found a small pair of black pearl earrings that would do the trick. She tried a couple of pins on the lapel of the jacket but nothing looked right, not the butterfly or the cat or the rose. Time was running out. She slammed the lid of the jewellery box as she decided not to wear a pin.

The limousine arrived to pick her up. A quick spray of her favourite perfume before she slipped on her black patent pumps and she was ready. Making her way downstairs, she felt faint and grasped the railing for support. Would she be able to do this? She had never done anything like this before. She took one last look in the hallway mirror, smiled faintly and took a deep breath. She could do this. He was worth it.

Heads turned as an attractive woman walked into the funeral service to say goodbye to the only man she had ever loved; her husband of the past forty years.

©Darlene Foster 2018

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A selection of  books by Darlene Foster

One of the recent reviews for Amanda in New Mexico

Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Available for Pre-Order September 2019..https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Holland-Missing-Action-Travels-ebook/dp/B07L9LVK4J/

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

My thanks to Darlene for allowing me to browse her archives and share them with you..

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Bloggers, Authors, Music, Health, Food and Funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up where I share the posts you might of missed, and thank you for taking the time to drop in.

It has been a busy week from a blogging perspective as the new series of Posts from Your Archives gets under way. I did wonder if the previous series which usually featured 12 or so bloggers was restricted due to natural reticence. I have noticed before that you are a shy in coming forward which is why I changed the concept this time so that I went into your archives to select four posts to share.

Boy, did that turn things on its head.. there are now 45 bloggers on the list and I am having the time of my life delving into all the archives to select posts to share. And I am finding some gems that I delighted with.. such as poetry hidden away, wonderful personal stories, travel experiences, family sagas and it just goes to show what a thoroughly talented bunch you are. It has also been great to see lots of discussions going on between everyone about the subject of the posts… loving it.

Clearly it is going to take me a little while to get through all the archives and they will appear over the next three months.. I will try to let you know dates in advance of that, but I am totally privileged to be allowed to access your archives and thank you for trusting me with that. This week’s archives coming up later in the post.

Facebook

After several attempts to delete my account (following weeks of blocked posts and nasty messages), and then receiving emails welcoming me back to Facebook…..(I do not understand the inner workings of FB Bots!) Anyway I have been back tentatively for the last month, keeping in touch with friends and sharing their posts internally, and so far so good. I am hugely grateful to those of you who have manually shared posts using the URL.. and that has worked thank you.

I am now re-installing my Facebook share button and I would be grateful if you would let me know if you get any messages if you share a post. I know that a lot of other bloggers such as The Story Reading Ape, Debby Gies and  Ellen Best to name a few had exactly the same problem, and there is apparently a reason for it.. Facebook does not want their members to leave the site to go off to visit another, particularly if that site is selling stuff they are not getting a cut of!

Since Smorgasbord is not monetized in any way.. I am hoping that things are now back to normal.

It looks like we will be getting the contractors in to do the back garden this week… fingers crossed.. and we are then 95% finished on our project that began 3 years ago on this house. When I look at the before and after pictures the thought runs through my mind “What were we thinking”…..but it is now a lovely family home that we hope to hand over to someone with lots of kids who will enjoy for many years. Our original plan was to put it on the market next spring but now we will probably go ahead as soon as it is finished.

Anyway… time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed… thanks as always to contributors and guests who give so much time and effort to providing amazing posts.

D.G.Kaye.. Debby Gies, gives us the low down on the popular holiday destination of Puerto Rico…essential reading if you are planning to travel there.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-san-juan-puerto-rico/

This month Siliva Todesco serves up a quick and simple classic that is hard to resist for pasta lovers…and I am sure your families… Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper spaghetti.

GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-garlic-olive-oil-and-red-pepper-spaghetti-spaghetti-aglio-olio-e-peperoncino/

Two stories from me this week.. one in response to Diana Peach’s Speculative Fiction Prompt I went a bit outside my comfort zone and went forward in time….with The Enhancement Project..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-mays-speculative-fiction-d-wallace-peac-the-enhancement-project-by-sally-cronin/

and the second story was in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills on the subject of getting old. A Small Price to Pay

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-a-small-price-to-pay-by-sally-cronin/

Weight loss and sleep are connected, and if you are not getting enough sleep your body will not get sufficient time to repair, regenerate and restore balance…The sleep process and the benefits of a good night’s rest.

beating heart GIF

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-weight-loss-the-benefits-of-sleep-by-sally-cronin/

Debby Gies was back on Wednesday with a guest post about a topic we are reluctant to talk about… with doctors included.. our inner workings and colonoscopies. Debby shares here experiences to demystify the process and stress the need to get checked.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-health-column-guest-writer-d-g-kaye-what-i-did-yesterday-besides-having-a-colonoscopy/

I look at the myths surrounding cholesterol and the importance of eating good fats from grass fed animals, including dairy to obtain sufficient Vitamin K2

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-health-column-cholesterol-and-fat-myths-part-two-vitamin-k2-and-healthy-fats-by-sally-cronin/

And a reminder about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, a silent killer that almost ended my life. The statistics in the USA and the UK are not improving fast enough.

 

Each year, approximately 20,000 people in the United States visit the emergency room because of carbon monoxide poisoning. While many of those people are treated and released, on average, 400 people will die from carbon monoxide poisoning in a given year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-health-column-something-to-think-about-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-statistics-by-sally-cronin/

Do you remember the song Dominique by The Singing Nun?  Find out more about the singer and this one hit wonder and the life it led to.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-one-hit-wonders-the-singing-nun-dominique/

This weekend I share two more posts from my archives, featuring Paul Andruss with Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-rosabelle-b-e-l-i-e-v-e-by-paul-andruss/

Doyle and Houdini (library picture)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-doyle-and-houdini-the-dream-team-by-paul-andruss/

Jacquie Biggar shares her first camping experience which seems to have been one shared by many….would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the tent!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-camping-woes-by-jacquie-biggar/

Robbie Cheadle with some Flash Fiction…and it is all about the lavender.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-flash-fiction-lavender-not-forever-by-robbie-cheadle/

Financial expert Sharon Marchisello shares some of the ways to prevent being taken for a ride.. literally in New York..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-money-navigating-new-york-by-sharon-marchisello/

Fantasy author Diana Wallace Peach shares the miracle and importance of reading with grandchildren…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-miracle-of-reading-by-d-wallace-peach/

In Miriam Hurdle’s first post I shared her responses to a challenge that asked specific questions about life… such as ‘A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?’

Miriam_0001 (2)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-share-your-world-by-miriam-hurdle/

Beetley Pete.. Pete Johnson with a thought provoking memory of meeting a man blind from birth who explained how he perceived images we take so much for granted.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thinking-aloud-blindness-by-beetley-pete/

Debby Gies shares the stunning photos of her grandmother who competed in the Miss Toronto 1926 pageant, and also other photos that show that the good looks run in the family.

Miss Toronto beauty pageant 1926

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-miss-toronto-1926-my-grandmother-by-d-g-kaye/

The Story Reading Ape.. Chris Graham is well known for his guest posts and in this series I am sharing four from his archives.. this week his guest is Michelle Clements James who puts forward the perspective of a reader.. important for all writers to understand.. after all, readers are our customers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-ape-with-his-guest-michelle-clements-james/

Darlene Foster poses the question… Are blogging friends real friends? and there was a lot of discussion on the matter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-are-blogging-friends-real-friends-by-darlene-foster/

A lovely poem on the joy of sunshine from Christine Campbell.. certainly one I can endorse.. we so little of of it, it is like gold around here!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-summer-sunshine-by-christine-campbell/

Fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz on the subject of standing out from the crowd.. and being labeled ‘odd’.. and why there is no ‘normal’ to be judged by. Something to think about…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-whats-wrong-with-being-odd-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

The second part of the linked Flash Fiction that reveals a family drama – The Fold by D.Avery

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-pot-luck-the-fold-part-two-by-d-avery/

Jane Risdon who has been in the music industry for many years, shares an audition in Hollywood that had its moments!! Part one here with more to follow.

 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-one-snore-poison-so-ill-know-it-by-jane-risdon/

Mary Smith takes us on a trip to visit some sacred crocodiles.. fascinating history.. watch your fingers now!

IMG_0008 (Small)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluckmary-smiths-place-karachi-crocodiles/

New book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-desolation-bluff-by-toni-pike/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-lizzie-chantree-and-sheila-williams/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-robbie-cheadle-leslie-tate-peter-weisz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-3/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-4/

Thank you very much for your ongoing support and I hope you will pop in again next week.. thanks Sally.