Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 12th – 18th 2021 – Queen, Self-Care, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health, Humour


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

Another week over and we have had a few visitors. The electronic gate died and required a couple of days of CPR.. and then we had the first delivery of stones for drainage as part of the final landscaping.. topsoil and turf to come soon.  The inside of the house next as it is 5 years since we bought and decorated and it needs a touch up before it goes on the market next year. I am going to start a decluttering process soon as there are items in boxes that have not been unpacked or used since we moved in. I think if we have not felt the need to use them in five years they need to be passed along.

On the blog front …

I am going to be starting the new Posts from Your Archives in October and as well as giving you the details.. I am also sharing a post from the last series to show you how the post will look.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100  Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

How to feature in the series? Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries October 2021- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

My thanks to William Price King, D.G. Kaye and Daniel Kemp for their wonderful contributions of music, wisdom on the subject of relationships and laughter.

And thank you for all the support, comments and shares during the week….

On with the show…

Chart Hits 1978 – Part One – Billy Joel, The Commodores, Bee Gees, Queen

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – September 2021 – The Relationship with Ourselves -Self-Care

Owen – Face to Face by Sally Cronin

Patrick in a time of War

Snowdonia – Tanka Prose Above the World

Authors in the Sun – #Blackmail- The Millennial by John W. Howell

Advance Review #Teen/YA #Sci-fi #Fantasy – The Syk’m by Richard Dee

Book Reviews Rewind- #Fantasy #Supernatural – The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat Book 3) by C.S. Boyack

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Fantasy – Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3) by D.Wallace Peach…

Memories, Music and Movies – 1963 Part One – Glen Miller and Lawrence of Arabia

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Women’s Health Month – The Female Reproductive System – an overview of health issues

Women’s Health Month – Guest Post – Outshining Ovarian Cancer by author Karen Ingalls.

#Reviews #Fishing Dawn Doig, #Butterflies Bette A. Stevens, #Safety Miriam Hurdle

New Book on the Shelves – Sticks and Stones: Ten Canadian Short Stories by M. L Holton

New Book on the Shelves – Anarchy (War of Nytefall Book 7) by Charles E. Yallowitz

New book on the shelves – #History – Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

#Anthology – #Paranormal – Where Spirits Linger – Compiled and edited by Kaye Lynne Booth

#Reviews – #Crime Carol Balawyder, #History Mike Biles, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack

#Fantasy Barbara Spencer, #Fantasy P.L. Stuart, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben

Tuesday September 14th 2021 – Jessica Norrie, D.G. Kaye, Joy Lennick, Carol Taylor, The Story Reading Ape

Thursday September 16th 2021 – Colleen Chesebro, D.G. Kaye, Valentina Cirasola with Teagan Riordáin Geneviene, Balroop Singh, Rebecca Budd with Miriam Hurdle

Laughter Lines Rewind – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Truth and Passion

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Rewind – One liners interrupted by comedic images by Sally Cronin

September 17th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Eyesight and Old Rugby Players

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope to see you again next week…Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries October 2021- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100  Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2021. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post.
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

To show how your post will look when featured… here is an example from the last series earlier in 2021

 Melanie Stewart shares her mother’s experiences living in a senior residential facility and the challenges posted in the previous series in May  2021

Life During Lockdown – My Mother’s Story

Like so many of us who have elderly parents living in senior residential facilities, my 89-year-old mother Ginny has been on lockdown since mid-March because of the Corona virus. This status has remained unchanged for an unprecedented 19 weeks. Since I have shared many of her stories here, I thought I would give an inside account on life during lockdown.

Ginny had only moved into the Independent living area of this facility in late October, so she passed the beginning weeks locating all three libraries in the two buildings and learning the checkout system. She enjoys reporting to me her newest “find” from the bookshelves. She also discovered that she likes walking out to the pool area and sitting, although she won’t go in the water. I am grateful that she has some freedom to take these daily walks. She is required to wear a mask.

Once management created a safe system for family and friends to “drop-off” items, my sister Hailey started to arrive every ten days or so with a load of groceries, and Ginny loves that. She stands in the lobby, waving madly while the guard sprays the exterior of the bags Hailey has placed on a table just outside the entrance. If Ginny gets too close, the guard gently extends his arm out as a reminder. During a recent phone call, she and I shared a good laugh when I joked “what would they do if you tried to make a run for it?” After the bags have moved through “customs”, mom is given a shopping cart and takes her delivery upstairs.

With no communal dining (they deliver food directly to the residents twice a day) mom has missed that social interaction. Sometimes she will walk to the front desk to “ask” a question, but we suspect it’s a way to get a conversation started. The staff is always polite. They probably receive a lot of “questions” a day. Sadly, one day a woman approached requesting if a staff car could please take her to her hair salon, her hair was “a mess”, and when she was kindly told “no”, she burst into tears. Interestingly, not long after that, they cautiously opened up the beauty salon for one day and took appointments.

Clearly, management is fighting a conflict on two fronts which is daunting. They must keep the virus out of their buildings and they must keep up the spirits of their residents. In terms of the virus, additional measures include checking the temperatures of their staff and screening them for symptoms before each shift. All employees must wear masks and gloves. As mandated by the state, their staff is tested for COVID every two weeks.

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It was after one of these tests recently that a result came back positive. The staff member works in the Memory Care section of the facility. Appropriately, they moved forward to test every resident in that section. So far, all results have been negative. Some of the tests for staff are still pending.

I feel their safety protocols have been effective. To me, 19 weeks is an extraordinary amount of time in keeping the contagious COVID out of such a large complex. But I do have fears. I have heard the stories of nursing homes where once the virus arrives, it can spread quickly in a closed environment. And I would be naïve to think that another case won’t appear inside the retirement home, especially since cases have been rising exponentially in Florida. It is reassuring that they just completed a deep cleaning of the facility because of that one positive test result.

And as the start of week 20 approaches, how does the company keep up the spirits of their residents? First, they continue to provide small, frequent surprises. For instance, mom may hear a knock on the door, and someone is delivering a small chocolate treat or a pastry. Or, she may open the door to someone with a cart asking whether she would like a cocktail. Or, she may find a cheery note stuck on her door when she opens it. And of course, they are always willing to set up the popular “tablet virtual visit” between a resident and a family member.

They have also allowed a certain number of doctor visits. Ginny needed her Prolia shot (for osteoporosis) which is administered every six months. This is a two-step process where she needs a blood test first and then she returns a week later for the shot. Hailey was able to schedule “rides” for Ginny where the resident is driven by a staff member. Mom was almost giddy after those outings, so a side benefit is the psychological boost they experience when they get to leave, if only for a while.

During my last phone call, she told me that a supervisor had distributed a sheet of paper with the heading What I will Do When Things Return to Normal. Residents are encouraged to write down the things they want to see and do. Maybe they will read off some of the responses on their intercom system as a “group” activity. As Ginny and I discussed how much she misses her own hairdresser, she said “Oh, I’m writing that down” and she did. She’s listening. She’s engaging.

Mom has been phenomenal in this trying time. She just seems to roll with it which amazes me. Unfortunately, she is showing some naivete (or maybe just wishful thinking) in regards to her upcoming birthday. She thinks they may let her go to her hairdresser because it is a for a “special occasion.” Per their protocols, this won’t happen because they need 30 days of no new cases before they even consider moving to their “Recovering” step. She forgets, I think, that family members won’t see her hair up close on her special day.

And it is special. She is turning 90! I am very disappointed that my altered chemotherapy schedule now has me having my next round three days before her birthday. I won’t be able to drive the couple of hours to wave and show my support from a distance. But we will only delay the celebration just long enough so we can do it safely. Maybe she will add “celebrating 90” on her sheet of paper. What a long, strange 19 weeks it’s been.

©Melanie Stewart 2020

About Melanie Stewart

I dig into adventure novels and I’m addicted to just about any type of horror film, but my own writing has always stuck to covering the real world. I endlessly get a kick out of learning something new, and real-life stories just have that potential to connect, to pass something valuable on.

About five lifetimes ago, I worked as a freelancer for a local newspaper in suburban Chicago. I covered everything from cloning & measuring the risk of heart disease to my “Day in the Life” series where I spent the day at local businesses. I loved that behind-the-scenes theme and continue to explore it.

The blog actually started with stories about my aging mom. I had hopes to build a reference site about how to help aging parents, but life never cares about timing. In six months, the real world was pushing me somewhere new.

I’m a recent cancer survivor which means I’m way more grateful on just about everything than I ever was before getting sick and that sometimes shows up in my stories too. It’s an asset I wield proudly.

I’m not a fan of egg salad, but I am of the Chicago Cubs. I’m serious about writing quality stories, but I’m not serious by nature. I have way too many 70’s and 80’s songs stuck in my head; their lyrics and beats pop into my conversations daily. I love a good laugh and make a point of finding one somewhere every day.

I am humbled and thrilled to be a blogger and have this opportunity to publish my stories regularly.

I am also widely open to writing or sharing the realities of your life. If you would like to share a guest post on just about any topic, or be “interviewed” through written questions, contact me at shareastory@leavingthedooropen.com.

Connect to Melanie: Blog: Leaving the Door OpenTwitter: @storiesonaging

 

I hope this has given you an idea of how the post will look.. if you are an author I will also add your books and a buy link to Amazon. Look forward to hearing from you.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 1st -7th August 2021- Pattie LaBelle, Short stories, Health, Pet Health, Book Reviews, Music and Humour


Welcome to the posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord..

Hope all of you are doing well.. I know that some people have had a challenging time with Covid and sending love and wishes for a full recovery.. The cases are on the rise here too as expected with the opening up of various indoor spaces… and now that travel is back on the agenda we hope that the high rate of vaccinations in Ireland will soften the response.

On a brighter note.. there is a new short story series starting and over the next two weeks I am sharing stories from the original series I recorded on radio in 2004. There are details of how to participate at the end of this first story today and I will share another next week. Then I hope I will have received your stories to share.

I have not forgotten the fact that there are some wonderful non-fiction memoir stories that need to be shared and that series will follow this one.

The added feature to this new series is that I will put every participant’s name in a hat and draw out three names. I will record those for the podcast and to share here as well.

Here is this week’s story with details on how you can participate.

New Series Authors in the Sun – #Retirement #Sunshine Blue Jay Cay by Colin Peck

As always my gratitude to William Price King (hopefully enjoying his summer break) D.G. Kaye and Daniel Kemp – the blog would not be the same without them.

On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1975 Part One – Labelle, 10CC, Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor

George – Courting danger by Sally Cronin

and

Grace the Gift

Book Marketing – Who Are you writing your book for.

and

Book Marketing and PR for authors- Blogging and Watering Holes Part One

Book Reviews Rewind – #WWII #VichyFrance- Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin

Book Reviews Rewind – #Family – My Baby Wrote Me A Letter: An Inspirational Women’s Fiction Short Story by Jacquie Biggar

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Authors Jane Buckley and Eamonn Lynch

Down in the Dumps? Perhaps some Pseudoscience might be the key! – Biorhythms by Sally Cronin

Bacterial and Interstitial Cystitis – Causes and Treatments by Sally Cronin

Pet/Human Health – #Cats #Foodsafety – Toxoplasma Gondii by Sally Cronin

Baie dankie my vriend Linda Mooi from Sally aged Ten. Capetown 1963 #Influencers by Sally Cronin

#Hearingloss Dawn Doig, #Seadog Patricia Furstenberg, #Environment Kathleen Jae

New Book on the Shelves #Poetry – Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle

#Reviews – #WWI #Family Judith Barrow, #Thriller Mark Bierman, NorthernIreland #Thriller Jane Buckley

– #Reviews – #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #Truecrime Sue Coletta, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton

#Reviews – #MurderMystery Sharon Marchisello, #Romance Lizzie Chantree, #Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle

#Reviews – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #psychologicalthriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Memoir Brigid P. Gallagher

Monday 2nd August 2021 – #Facebook #Marketing Jan Sikes, #Masks A.C. Flory, #PaneerBhurji Sowmya’s Spicy Corner

Tuesday August 3rd 2021 – #Vella D.Wallace Peach, #Update Mary Smith, #Roses Rebecca Budd

Wednesday August 4th 2021 – #Youth #Age Stevie Turner, #Dumfries Robbie Cheadle, #Tartine Dorothy’s Vintage Kitchen

August 3rd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Television and Alligators

August 5th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Sound Effects and Abstract Art

August 6th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Doctors and Online shopping

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.. See you again next week I hope…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Update – July 25th – 31st 2021 – Billy Joel, Short Stories, Poetry, Book Reviews, Pet and Human Health, Funnies


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

Another week flown by and the summer is half way through in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. Nothing much to report from HQ.. my laptop that I use for the podcast in my mini-studio blew a gasket on Friday…the hard drive failed but the in house technical department has the matter in hand and I should be adding some new posts to the podcast again soon.. I do have some already pre-recorded which I will filter through in the meantime.

Thanks to William Price King for his selections for the Breakfast Show this week and Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen for their funnies. Debby has been whizzing around blogworld this week and a special thank you for all the posts she has shared this week around the usual haunts.

My thanks to you as well for all the lovely comments and shares this week of the posts, it is appreciated and keeps me motivated.. Have a lovely weekend…Sally

Chart Hits 1974 Part Two – Elton John, The Hues, The Hollies, Billy Joel.

What’s in a Name? Volume One – What’s in a Name?- Francis – Forging New Bonds by Sally Cronin

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Special story – Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman – by Sally Cronin

New Review – Balroop Singh – #Poetry Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

Book Reviews Rewind – #Paranormal #Romance – Ghostly Interference: (White Rune Series Book 1) by Jan Sikes.

Book Reviews Rewind – #YA – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster

Etheree – Peaks by Sally Cronin

Some Health Hacks for everyday niggles such as Pins and Needles by Sally Cronin

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The Kidneys and Urinary Tract – Urinary Tract infections by Sally Cronin

Ticks – What, When and How to remove safely

Grazzi hafna from Sally aged seven to the old Prickly Pear farmer and his donkey #Influencers Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Podcast – Who are you writing your book for?

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Authors Darlene Foster and Nancy Blodgett Klein

Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions) by Kathryn Occhipinti

New Book on the Shelves – Existing Creatures Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena

#Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar

Cafe Update – #Reviews – #Family James J. Cudney, #Paranormal John W. Howell, #WW2 #Russia Marina Osipova

– #Reviews – #CrimeThriller Carol Balawyder, #Poetry Victoria Zigler, #Family Lisette Brodey

Wednesday July 28th 2021 – #WriterLinks D.G. Kaye, #Poetry Robbie Cheadle, #Reviews D.Wallace Peach, #Finances Jim Borden

Thursday July 29th 2021 – #Olympics Pete Springer, #Patchwork Jennie Fitzkee, #Research Jacqui Murray

July 27th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Shoes and Bricks

July 29th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Dogs and Tact

July 30th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Zoom Meetings and Restaurants

 

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – July 18th – 24th 2021 – The Three Degrees, Podcast Round Up, Relationships, Interviews, Reviews and Funnies.


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed over the last week.

It has been summer here this week and like many of you very high temperatures. Even I have had to wait until early evening to sit out but that has been lovely.. Australia however has been enduring the lowest temperatures for a very long time with – 4 expected in the Sydney region.. That is cold for Australia.  Certainly the weather is very unpredictable at the moment.

Opportunity Knocks

A few things going on at the moment and here is an opportunity for poets and flash fiction writers from Judith Barrow and here is her facebook link to DM her if you are interested..Judith Barrow Author

“Hi Everyone, I’m putting feelers out for poetry readings ( your own work ,any subject) and a hundred word flash fiction pieces (subject “Harvest”) for an online festival to be held by Showboat in September. Showboat is an online TV company I sometimes volunteer at. It would be on Zoom and pre-recorded in a couple of weeks’ time. You’d be dealing directly with them, but I said I would ask those of you I know here. Anyone interested can DM me on FB and I will pass on your details and what you would like to do. It would be a great place to showcase your writing” Judith Barrow Author

I have been out and about this week with the lovely Marcia Meara, who has a series running ‘Ten things you may not know about me’  and if you have not seen the post you might like to pop over to discover a few more of my quirks and past shenanigans.

Head over to  join us Marcia Meara – Then things you may not know about Sally Cronin

I have also released my latest poetry collection this week. The 50+ poems have accumulated over the last year, with some that share memories of my childhood and teen years lying in a drawer for many moons. I have a number of writing projects on the go at the moment but I felt the need to finish one and get it out there.. I must admit I did take a screenshot of my orange flag #1 release in poetry and nature… I am sure fleeting but a little boost.

You can find out more about the collection here: #Poetry – Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony by Sally Cronin

This week I have uploaded the audio for some of my current and previous reviews plus my new book promotion as an example as I will be adding new books in the Cafe and Bookstore to the podcast menu soon.

Also a Short Story from Flights of Fancy – The Psychic Parrot.

You can select the track you would like to listen to by going to my profile page: Sally Cronin on Soundcloud

Or on my recording platform: Anchor FM Sally Cronin

William Price King is on his summer break until September with grandchildren but he has left his selections for the Breakfast Show and sends his best wishes. This week D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies is back with a new Realms of Relationships about Kindred Spirits who enter our lives at times when they are needed most. On Friday Daniel Kemp added his special brand of humour to the Laughter Lines.

My thanks to William, Debby and Danny for their wonderful contributions and to you for your support during the week..

Chart Hits 1974 Part One – Barbra Streisand, Barry White, The Three Degrees, ABBA-

– July 2021 – The Universe Brings us Kindred Spirits

What’s in a Name? Volume One – Fionnuala – The Swan

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Chapter Eleven – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part Two

#Salmon #Scotland – A Speyside Odyssey by Norman Matheson

Book Reviews Rewind – #Poetry – Minus One: With Haikus and Other Poems: The Story of a Life by Elizabeth Merry

Book Reviews Rewind -#Cancer #Journal – Apple Blossom: my Hope…my Inspiration by Jaye Marie

Author Sue Wickstead brings Elizabeth Wickstead and Rose Powell -#100th Birthday Celebrations.

Neutering – The side-effects including to longevity

Calcium Oxylate dihydrate Kidney Stone -2

The Kidneys – Function – Disease – Kidney Stones

– Thank you Mrs Miller – luv Sally age four ‘n’ haf – #Influencers by Sally Cronin

Monday 19th July 2021 – #Handwriting Robbie Cheadle, #ALS Pete Springer, #Interview Allan Hudson

#Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Canoes #Invitation Rebecca Budd, #Salad Dorothy New Vintage Kitchen

#Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, #Crime Fiona Tarr, #Family Christa Polkinhorn

#Romance Linda Bradley, #PsychicThriller GG Collins, #OrganisedCrime John L. DeBoer

#Poetry Leon Stevens, #Shortstories Pamela S. Wight, #Thiller #Romance Jane Buckley, #Biographical #Fiction Roz Morris

Meet the Authors 2021 – #Childrens Norah Colvin, #Horses Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

#Shortstories D.L. Finn, #Safety Miriam Hurdle

#Reviews – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Horses Jan Sikes, #Romance #Paranormal Marcia Meara

July 20th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Summer Water and Exam Answers

July 22nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Variety and Icelandic Nights

July 23rd 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Football and Tech repairs

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – June 6th – 12th 2021 – 1970s hits, Narcissism, Green Kitchen, Humour, Health, Pets, Book and Author Promotions.


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

I hope that the week has been good for you.. nothing very exciting to report from our neck of the woods except that I will be having my first official haircut on Monday after almost a year of hacking it myself in the front and David using clippers on the back.. To be hones wearing a mask in public I am sure nobody noticed but it will be great to have some shape back in it… that is if my hairdresser is still talking to me!

I am just about to head out to the garden with books and music to catch some rays… the promised tropical air mass is hovering over us for the next couple of days. I believe the temperature is going up to 17 C (62F) degrees and I am concerned that I might become overheated!!

With that in mind and the window of opportunity rather small….time to get on with the posts.

My great thanks to the contributors this week.. William Price King, D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor and Daniel Kemp... they add so much to the blog and it would not be the same without them.

And of course to you for your ongoing support during the week and for keeping me motivated.

Chart Hits 1971 Part One – Ike and Tina Turner, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones 

Relationships Rewind -Envy, Jealousy, Bullying – A Path to Narcissism? 

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – June 2021 – Dutch Oven Bread, Kale, Home Grown Pea Shoots, Fishing Nets, Neighbours. 

What’s in a Name? Volume One – Brian – The Birthright  

Chapter Five – Trouble in Paradise – Part one 

#CrownCinquain – Life’s Progression  

#Mystery #Paranormal – The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4) by Marcia Meara 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Fantasy – Allies and Spies (Unraveling the Veil Book 2) by D.Wallace Peach… 

Part Two – Author Biographies -Tips and Translations 

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Kennel Cough – Hygiene is as important for dogs as humans  

A-Z of common conditions – Athlete’s Foot  

3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group by J.Q. Rose 

#Paranormal John W. Howell, #Poetry Anita Dawes, #WWII Paulette Mahurin 

#Thriller Allan Hudson, #Relationships M.C.V. Egan, #Fantasy Jean Lee 

Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Memoir Patty Fletcher 

Hugh W. Roberts

Monday June 7th 2021 – #Food #Environment Carol Taylor, #Blogging #Interview Hugh W. Roberts, #Poetry Colleen Chesebro 

Tuesday 8th June 2021 – Entertaining Again? #Recipes Dolly Aizenman, Eat Dessert First, Dorothy of New Vintage Kitchen. 

Wednesday 9th June 2021 – #Newhome Ritu Bhathal, #Reviews Jan Sikes, #Writing D.L. Finn 

Thursday June 10th 2021 – #Children #HandWriting Robbie Cheadle, #BetaReaders Richard Dee, #Guest C.S. Boyack with D.L. Finn 

#Fantasy – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach 

#Contemporary – Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin 

#Safety Miriam Hurdle, #Malta Darlene Foster, #Environment Kathleen Jae 

June 8th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Catnip and Groaners 

June 10th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – #Twins and more Groaners 

June 11th 2021 – Anniversary Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Carbolic Soap and It could be worse 

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and for all your support.. I hope you will join me again next week…Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – 3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group by J.Q. Rose


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

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the second post by J.Q. Rose on the reasons to create a Facebook group.

3 Reasons to create a Facebook group.

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture.

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

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Why Create a Facebook Group? by J.Q. Rose

Do you have an author page on Facebook? Have you considered creating a Facebook Group Page? I opened my group in January, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle and I’m enjoying interacting with folks who are interested in telling their life stories. Every author will have a different goal for their group. I listed below 3 reasons why I created my group.

3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group:

1. Mentoring–My book,Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories, is based on my workshops on life storytelling. The best part of the class was always the time when the participants volunteered to share a life story with us. I was amazed at the gamut of topics folks wrote about and how well they presented such emotional and funny pieces to the members; the participants also appreciated the stories which sparked memories from their lives too. Lively conversations followed the readings.

Writing memories in the journal offers no way to share the stories with a group. So to give that supportive, interactive piece of the class, I created a Facebook group where it is possible to inspire, motivate, teach, spark memories and a place to post their writings, video or audio recording.

The closed group assures privacy and safety for those who wish to contribute. You do not have to buy my book to join the group.

2. Author Platform–A group based on your fiction or non-fiction book is perfect for your fans. If your book is about gardening or historical romance, your group may be based on gardening or the era that is the backdrop of your story. Members get perks like unveiling the book cover, being the first to read excerpts, deciding or suggesting a character’s name, offering opinions through polls, helping you with research. Use social media to allow people to get to know, like and trust you, the author. You bet they will share about the book and about you. The members will become a “street team” who are happy to shout about you and your book.

3. Marketing–If you haven’t already realized it, being an author means you are operating a business. You are an entrepreneur with a product to sell. You wrote the book and you want folks to have the experience of reading it for entertainment, information, awareness and so many other reasons. If not, why bother to write it?

Caution: Avoid saying “buy my book, buy my book, buy my book” every day!

Click here to join the Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle Facebook group.

Are you a member of a Facebook group? Why?

If you have created a group, please tell us about it and why you decided to create a FB group. Please share the link below in the comments.

©J.Q. Rose

About J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines.

Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon

A selection of books by J.Q. Rose

One of the recent reviews for the memoir Arranging a Dream

Rosemary Morris 5.0 out of 5 stars A Young Couple’s Struggle to Achieve Their Dream Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2021

J. Q. Rose’s husband had a full-time job and grew plants in a greenhouse in his spare time. He dreamt of his ‘green fingers’ earning his living. Although it meant leaving their families behind, with J.Q.Rose’s encouragement and enthusiasm he resigned, and they bought what is now described as a garden centre, with greenhouses and a florist shop. They moved far from family and friends to Missouri with their baby girl. With help from the previous owners, and many ups and downs they learnt how to manage their enterprise. Guilt over childcare for their daughter warred with how much the young mother enjoyed her fulltime job managing the shop.

In J.Q’s autobiography she describes being a mother, a housewife, a working woman and, with her husband arranging their dream.

I really like the author’s vibrant voice which kept me turning the pages when I read about their mistakes, the bitterly cold Missouri winters, and how to capitalise on weddings, and important days for their business, for example, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

I recommend this inspirational book which lingers in my mind after I reached the end.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow J.Q. Rose: GoodreadsWebsite: J.Q. Rose – Blog: J.Q. Rose – Facebook: J.Q. Rose Author

 

My thanks to J.Q. Rose for letting me share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy browsing yourselves.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck -Declutter your #writing – advice from a hoarder by Jessica Norrie


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

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the second post from Jessica Norrie and today Jessica walks us through a decluttering exercise for writers…

Declutter your writing – advice from a hoarder

Are you one of the many people who’ve profited from lockdown to write? Have you written so many words you’ve reached “The End”? Congratulations! Now there’s another task. Words are like belongings. One minute you’re setting up home with only a mattress on the floor; the next, it’s time for a clear-out!

This article from Writers & Artists gives a rough idea of word counts for publishable fiction in most genres. A rule of thumb is not to exceed 100,000 words (fantasy can go longer). One fellow student on a creative writing course told me his 250,000 word novel offered better value for money. But value lies in entertainment, moving and absorbing the reader, not in padding and clutter. Authors design with words: their product must be fit for purpose, attractive and practical. William Morris said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” and 120 years later Marie Kondo agrees. Achieving the right 100,000 (or fewer) words is an opportunity for quality control.

We’ve all gazed at a cluttered room in despair, wishing for an elegant purposeful space where people linger. An overwritten book isn’t so different. But where do we begin, and can we make the task enjoyable?

edit your ms 1

You’d assess your furniture before a house move. It’s a good time to offload those uncomfortable armchairs, the toppling standard lamps and occasional tables everyone bumps into. You can take a similar overview of your plot. The minor characters and incidents you wrote way back, the time they break the hoover or have tea with his second cousin…is that still interesting or relevant? Envisage emptying a boot load of junk at the tip. My student friend’s story perked up no end when he threw 150,000 words in the skip.

(Some writers keep a folder for discarded episodes, on the grounds you never know when they might come in useful. Morris would allow this as he approved of re-purposing, but don’t tell Kondo.)

edit your ms 4

When you’ve sorted out the big items, consider what’s left, paragraph by paragraph. Look for:
repetition eg: you’ve already said that was Madame’s favourite chair
contradictions eg: the vegetarians who eat a turkey dinner at Christmas.
overcrowding eg characters and incidents whose existence makes no difference to the plot. The great aunt we never meet again after Chapter 2, the Irish jaunt you wrote because you happened to be in Dublin.

Sentences must earn their place. Either:
• by enhancing the mood: the crimson sun pulsed on the horizon.
• by leading the plot forward: “The chemist’s had an accident!” the florist shrieked.
• or by doing both (but watch out for getting too elaborate): Crimson sun rays glittered on the water trickling from the upturned peony bucket towards the chemist’s inert body.

You can have a good laugh while learning a serious lesson from the BBC radio show Just a Minute. These examples show easy it is to commit their three key faults.

Hesitation:Pedalling through sauerkraut” is a great image, one of my favourite French idioms. But would you know it means getting nowhere fast without another sentence to tell you? Metaphorical language can delay and confuse; direct description is quicker.

Repetition (again): I had no idea how often my characters had no idea until an editor pointed it out. Identify and ration your own go-to phrases.

Deviation: Afterthoughts and side issues (beating about the bush when you should be tidying up). Often they’re in brackets. Chuck the brackets and what’s in them, or if it’s useful flaunt it in the main text.

Certain pesky single words linger like bric-à-brac through every clear out. Be ruthless!
• Use the “Find” feature to locate quite, really, very, too, also, somewhat, rather, just, hardly, almost, certainly, definitely, nearly. They’re boring.
• Stylish authors show time passing with a change in the light, clothing or weather; leave first, then, next and finally to primary pupils’ exercise books.
• Everyone overuses suddenly, albeit, however, although, anyway, but. Gradually cut them out. Then cut out gradually.
• Adverbs are often redundant. She shouted loudly. Shouting IS loud – we don’t need telling.
The mosquitoes feasted (active). She was bitten by mosquitoes (passive). I rest my case. My case is rested.
• The article (that) I’m reading is full of bullshit. You know (that) that’s unfair. Track that down and chase the unnecessary ones from your manuscript.

Finding both the will and the skill for a clear out can be hard. For some authors it works better to follow this process in reverse, warming up by hunting down single words and hoping they’ll shed some plot and a few characters along the way. The risk is rewriting page 1 a zillion times and small-scale daily fiddling with material that’s later thrown out; the advantage is minute, forensic knowledge of every page.

Whichever your approach, the time will come when you can stand in the doorway and feast your eyes. Is the main character identifiable? Does the plot progress without hitches? Do the settings support everything else? Then you’re ready to invite beta readers and agents to stay! Readers will feel like honoured guests in your refurbished room. I’ve worked the analogy to death, so with one last snip I too am at

“The End”.

©Jessica Norrie 2020

About Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie studied French literature at Sussex University, and trained as a teacher at Sheffield. Then she wandered into parenthood, told her now grown up children stories, and heard theirs. A qualified translator, she worked on an eclectic mix of material, from health reports on racehorses to harrowing refugee tales. She taught adults and children, co-authored a textbook and ran teacher training. In 2008 came the idea for “The Infinity Pool”, which appeared in 2015 (and in German in 2018). Her second novel “The Magic Carpet”, inspired by teaching creatively in multicultural schools, was published in July 2019, and she is working on a third. She divides her time between London and Malvern, blogging, singing soprano, and walking in the forest and hills.

Books by Jessica Norrie

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Website:Jessica Norrie on WordPress Goodreads: Jessica Norrie – Twitter: @Jessica_Norrie

 

My thanks to Jessica for permitting me to share her posts and I hope you will head over to explore her archives for more.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – #Huguenot #History -11 September: A Date to Remember– A Date to Mourn by Joyce Hampton


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

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the second post by Joyce Hampton who has chronicled the history of the Huguenots and following on from last week shares another date that will be remembered for its infamy.

11 September: A Date to Remember– A Date to Mourn

Following on from my blog last month about the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, I am now going to tell you about the next chapter in this sorrowful event.

When news of the massacre reached the Vatican in Rome, Pope Gregory XIII decided to ‘celebrate’ with a jubilee day of public thanksgiving. The date set was the 11th September 1572, it was to be a double celebration for the defeat of the Ottoman troops by the Holy League at the Battle of Lepanto on 7th October 1571, and for the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of the Huguenots in France, in August 1572. The celebration included guns being fired in salute of these events.

It seems distasteful of the Pope to be ordering celebrations for the massacre of thousands of Huguenots, but he viewed it as divine retribution on heretics. When Pope Gregory had heard news of the massacre, he ordered the singing of a Te Deum and ordered a commemorative medal to be struck. This medal depicted the Pope’s head on one side and an image of an angel, holding a sword and a cross, standing over the fallen Huguenots with the motto UGONOTTORUM STRAGES or “Huguenot Bloodbath”.

Pope Gregory XIII’s medal

Later, the Pope commissioned a mural by Giorgio Vasari of the ‘wonderous St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre to hang in the Vatican.

©Joyce Hampton 2020

About Joyce Hampton

I was born in Stratford E15 and moved around various areas of London before finally settling in Surrey with my husband John and our two cairn terriers.

I began writing in 2012 and my first book was: Looking back – A century of life in Bethnal Green, this book evolved from tracking other people’s recollections as the primary source material, partly family anecdotes, of the amusing, sad or serious into a written record. This research was supplemented by cross-checking documented events, in London libraries and archives to ensure that the book is both easy to read as well as being factually correct. I gradually found that I had created a walk through time account of the Bethnal Green area of the 19th and 20th centuries, which includes the Bethnal Green tube disaster of 1943.

My newest book is The Story of the Huguenots: A unique Legacy. It is a 500 page book but with a difference as it is a FACTUAL NOVEL in other words it has the factual history of the Huguenots but written in the expected format of a novel in the belief that the reader will find it more engaging and will want to discover more about this amazing group of people. The book is divided into four parts (all within the one book). I also take bookings for talks and lectures on the subject, including, as an example, a slot at the annual Write Idea Festival in London which was to a very appreciative audience of over 100 people.

Books by Joyce Hampton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Joyce : Goodreads – Website:Not Just Another Book Twitter: @NJABOfficial

 

Thanks for dropping by and to Joyce for allowing me to share her posts. I hope you will head over to browse in her archives.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose


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

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the first post by J.Q. Rose on the subject of book reviews, their importance and the elements to include.

The Importance of Book Reviews for Readers and Writers

Book Reviews. Oh the pressure of reading the required book and then writing the review brings back the picture of my sixth-grade teacher hovering over me. And don’t even go there about her criticism about the grammar and spelling or even neat handwriting. Visions of all the red ink that covered the page come to mind when Miss Oldaker noted every error. And then, the command to “re-write” the entire review.

Okay, relax. You can breathe now. We are not talking about a sixth-grade book report. Far from it. I’m discussing online book reviews, a kinder, gentler exercise written because you want to share the great book you read with other readers so they can enjoy the experience as much as you did.

Word-of-mouth is the best advertising when one receives information about a product or service from a friend, neighbor, or family member. Online book reviews work in a similar fashion. Do you read product reviews online to help you decide whether to purchase? Click here for a study showing that 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Book reviews can make a difference in influencing readers to buy a book.

Book publishing has changed the way it does business. Authors and small presses are able to publish their books with easy access to readers instead of having to go through only the elite few of big city publishers. The advent of super booksellers online allows readers to share their opinion about the books they read to help readers find a book as well as authors to get noticed.

No longer is a book published, then off the shelves after a few months. Instead, the book is available for a long time on virtual shelves and its popularity can grow through time. Sales can occur throughout its lifetime rather than a flush of sales when first released.

Readers and their reviews drive this new model and mindset in book publishing.

If you’re a writer, be prepared to market your book forever! Just because your book is a year old or two years old or more, celebrate each birthday and in between with fresh new ideas on promoting it.

Consider these tips when writing a book review.

  • Go to the page where you bought the book and near the book review comments area, you will find a place to click that says “Write a Review.”
  • Rate the book using the bookseller’s ratings e.g. 1-5 stars. 5 Stars means you really really loved the book, 1 star is you didn’t like the book.
  • Because you are on the book’s sales page, you do not need to explain the whole plot of the book because it is on the sales page.
  • Don’t worry about a title for the review yet. Write the review first, then pick out a phrase you used in the review as the title.
  • You need not write a long review. Three sentences or more are fine as long as the reader understands if you liked the book or not and why e.g. I liked the book because I really identified with the main character or I liked the way the author described the setting of the book.
  • Write as if you are talking to a friend on the phone or at a coffee shop. Keep it casual and write how you talk.
  • Compare it to another book you liked and why this book reminded you of the other book.
  • If you feel you’d like to read another book by the author, say so.
  • Recommend it to readers of the genre such as cozy mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.
  • If you received the book as a gift from the author or publisher, amazon requires you to divulge this. But just say you are voluntarily leaving a book review.
  • You’ll receive an email from the bookseller allowing you to read through the review and make changes if needed.
  • You can leave your book review at goodreads, amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and booksellers where you have an account.

****

The information in the diyMFA newsletter by Gabriella Pereira inspired this blog post.
Articles on Book Reviews by Sandra Beckwith contributed to this post.  Click here to visit Sandra’s site at Build Book Buzz.
Thank you Gabriella and Sandra!

©J.Q. Rose

About J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines.

Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon

A selection of books by J.Q. Rose

One of the recent reviews for the memoir Arranging a Dream

Rosemary Morris 5.0 out of 5 stars A Young Couple’s Struggle to Achieve Their Dream  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2021

J. Q. Rose’s husband had a full-time job and grew plants in a greenhouse in his spare time. He dreamt of his ‘green fingers’ earning his living. Although it meant leaving their families behind, with J.Q.Rose’s encouragement and enthusiasm he resigned, and they bought what is now described as a garden centre, with greenhouses and a florist shop. They moved far from family and friends to Missouri with their baby girl. With help from the previous owners, and many ups and downs they learnt how to manage their enterprise. Guilt over childcare for their daughter warred with how much the young mother enjoyed her fulltime job managing the shop.

In J.Q’s autobiography she describes being a mother, a housewife, a working woman and, with her husband arranging their dream.

I really like the author’s vibrant voice which kept me turning the pages when I read about their mistakes, the bitterly cold Missouri winters, and how to capitalise on weddings, and important days for their business, for example, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

I recommend this inspirational book which lingers in my mind after I reached the end.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow J.Q. Rose: GoodreadsWebsite: J.Q. Rose – Blog: J.Q. Rose – Facebook: J.Q. Rose Author

 

My thanks to J.Q. Rose for letting me share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy browsing yourselves.. thanks Sally.