Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 14th – 20th November 2022 – New Book, Tony Bennett, Hits of the 40s, Spiritual Awareness, Christmas Book Fair, Podcast, Health, Bloggers and Funnies


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

I hope you are all well and I am sure a busy time for those you preparing for Thanksgiving with family and friends.Wishing you a very Happy Holiday.

We celebrated are 42nd anniversary this week with lunch out at a local hotel and enjoyed a very nice meal. You will also find a special edition of the funnies in the Laughter section.

My latest WIP reached the point of no return and was published on Friday… today the ebook and paperback came together so I decided to do my promotion this morning. I hope you will pop in to the post to find out more about it.

Follow the link: Variety is the Spice of Life: A Blend of Poetry and Prose

There is a special series of Posts from your Archives for the Christmas and New Year season and if you would like to share one of your posts with us, then here are all the details along with one of my Christmas themed stories to give you an idea of how it will look. I have already scheduled 10 fantastic posts from authors who are participating and look forward to hearing from you. Don’t forget to look at your January posts too as this goes through to 2023.

Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the next in the series on hits from the 1940s and the next post in the series about the wonderful performer Tony Bennett and his music in the 1960s.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday morning with the next post in her Spiritual Awareness series on Angels… Over on her own blog you can enjoy Debby’s Sunday Book Review for Do What You Love by Marjorie Mallon also a wonderful selection of useful writer’s links, a poem from the heart and her latest podcast, Grief the Real Talk Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘L’…on her own blog you will find a fabulous recipe for Christmas Pudding, a poignant Remembrance Day post, a recipe for Thai Panang Chicken Curry, some great healthy eating options and you can join Carol on her visit to her local market with amazing fresh produce. Head over to check the posts out Carol Taylor’s Weekly Round Up

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

 On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1950s – Nat King Cole, Big Joe Turner, Mel Blanc, Vera Lynn

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Tony Bennett – The 1960s Posted on November 18, 2022

Spiritual Awareness – Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers by D.G. Kaye

Thanksgiving and Strawberry Jam by Sally Cronin

Winterise your Body – Influenza by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – November 19th 2022 – Staci Troilo, Darlene Foster, Dorothy Grover-Read, Judith Barrow with Phil Rowlands, Cheryl Oreglia, Robbie Cheadle with Daniel Kemp

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Poetry – Annette Rochelle Aben, Harmony Kent, Bette A. Stevens.

#Mystery Noelle A. Granger – #Caravans #Dogs Jacqueline Lambert, #History Paulette Mahurin

#Anthology – Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Psychological #Mystery- House of Sorrow: Legends of Madeira by Joan Hall

Previous Reviews 2021- #Children’s #Fairies – The Tree Fairies by D.L. Finn

Previous Reviews 2021- #Contemporary – Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin

42nd Anniversary Edition – Marriage – Hosts David and Sally Cronin

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Grandpas and Hell Freezing Over

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1200 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience…

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 and is a celebration of Christmas and New Year.

I do appreciate that this is not a religious festival for everyone but it is a time of year when families and friends come together and our thoughts turn to our hopes and wishes for the coming year.

I would love to share one of your posts from this festive season and it can be a poem, short story, non-fiction in the form of a recipe, personal story, family memory, New Year’s resolutions etc. It does not have to be current but from any year in your blogging journey.

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 email me the link to the fiction or non-fiction post you have chosen either with aChristmas or New Year theme to (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • 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 especially if you are using the block editor
  • 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 give you an idea of how your post will look like, here is one of my short stories with a Christmas theme.

Grace – The Gift

It was Grace’s fifth birthday and the staff at the council run orphanage had made sure that there was an iced cake for tea and some small wrapped presents beside the plastic yellow plate. The children sat at tables for ten boys and ten girls, and meal times were expected to be conducted in silence. This rule was however broken on birthdays, when all fifty children would stand up and sing Happy Birthday enthusiastically in the hopes of receiving a thin slice of the oblong sponge cake.

Grace sat in silence as the noise erupted around her and gently fingered the blue and white wrapping paper on the nearest present to her. From the shape she could see that it was a book. It would not be new; a hand me down from one of the older children. Still, in this home of abandoned children, a gift was always treasured. A tear rolled down her flushed cheeks and slid into the corners of her mouth. She wiped them away hurriedly; being a cry baby was frowned upon. Gratefulness for the charity that put a roof over your head and food on the table in front of you was drummed into the children from a very early age.

The energetic rendering of the song ended and there was a scrapping of wooden chair legs as all fifty children sat down at once. Silence resumed as slices of bread and butter were grabbed and placed onto plates with well-scrubbed hands. There were four small dishes of jam around each table and the youngest children would wait their turn knowing that receiving a small spoonful would be an unusual bonus. One of the serving ladies, a local girl called Alice, took away the oblong iced sponge cake to be cut into thin slices. After Grace had been served one of the pieces; the large platter moved around the dining hall watched eagerly by fifty pairs of eyes.

Picking at the cake with trembling fingers, Grace managed to eat a few morsels before a coughing fit overtook her. The matron came across and slapped the child firmly on her back and offered her the beaker of diluted orange juice.

‘Come on girl, buck up,’ the stout grey-haired woman looked down at her sternly. ‘There is many a child here who would be delighted to have these treats’

Grace tried her best to smile knowing that being labelled ungrateful brought consequences and having been disciplined twice recently she was in no hurry to repeat the experience. It was not seen as cruelty, to stand a child in a corner for an hour at a time, or to send them to bed without even this meagre supper. Grace had felt the pangs of hunger more than once since her best friend Hope had left the orphanage.

The thought of her friend waving goodbye as she had left in her smart new tartan coat, made Grace catch her breath. To stop herself crying she pinched her arm as hard as possible. She hoped that Hope had not forgotten her now that she had a real mummy and daddy. The two girls had been brought to the orphanage within days of each other at only six weeks old in the winter of 1953; as toddlers they had become inseparable. They were so very different that no-one could mistake them for sisters. Grace had straight red hair that frizzed at the slightest dampness and freckles sprinkled her nose and cheeks. She grew rapidly into a gangly five year old whilst Hope, with her curly blonde hair and blue eyes, remained petite and doll-like.

It was always hoped that the babies who arrived at the orphanage would be adopted into a good home. Although there had been some interest initially, by the time the two girls reached four years old it was becoming more and more unlikely that this would happen.

However, a few months ago a couple had arrived and immediately taken to Hope and started the proceedings to adopt her. The two small girls had known nothing but this regimented environment, and never imagined that one day they might be separated so devastatingly.

The matron rang the large brass bell on her table. The children stood ready to file out to the games room for an hour before bedtime at seven o’clock. Grace trailed behind the other girls from her table clasping her three gifts; as yet unopened. As the older boys played with some wooden toys in the corner, some of the smaller children clustered around Grace and begged her to open the presents. As expected there was a dog-eared picture book of fairy stories which was passed around and admired. One of the other packages contained a small packet of sherbet sweets that were eagerly sampled, and in the third was a woollen scarf in a bright red colour. Grateful for its warmth, Grace wrapped around her neck and sat until bedtime looking at the pictures in her new book.

Grace had barely eaten since her birthday, and the head teacher at the primary school in the village, had rung matron to say that the child was becoming more and more withdrawn. Although strict and somewhat fierce looking, the matron was not an intentionally unkind woman and she called in the doctor from the local surgery.

He was a gruff looking man with a shaggy mane of greying hair. The children adored him because he always arrived with pockets filled with boiled sweets. He sat on the edge of Grace’s bed and having examined her carefully, he took her little hand in his.

‘Well little Grace what a pickle we are in,’ he smiled down at the solemn child. ‘It is nearly Christmas, and you will miss all the fun if you don’t start eating soon as you will have to stay in bed.’

The child turned her head away and whispered into her pillow. ‘I only want Hope to come back home for Christmas.’

The doctor returned downstairs and met with matron behind the closed door of her office.

Reluctantly at his request she made a phone call and proceeded to have a lengthy discussion with the person on the end of the line.

Having left instructions that Grace was to be fed every two to three hours with some chicken broth and a little toast and jelly if she would eat it, Doctor Baxter left to continue his rounds. He promised to return on Christmas Eve in three days to see how the patient was doing and also to carry out his annual duties as Father Christmas at the children’s party.

Grace did sip a little of the broth and nibbled at the toast, and three days later she was carried downstairs and sat on a chair near to the Christmas tree. The children had made all the decorations, and what they might have lacked in expertise, they had made up for in bright colours and glitter. Fairy lights flickered through the branches of the tree that had been donated by the villagers, along with a present for every child, in a sack placed by a big red arm chair. The presents were to be distributed before they would sit down to unusually overflowing platefuls of sandwiches, jelly and and as a very special treat, Christmas cake. The boys and girls were not sure what they were looking forward to most.

Hearing tyres on the gravel of the drive the children rushed to the windows of the dining hall and started clutching each other in excitement. Santa Claus sat in the back of a large open topped black car, and when the vehicle stopped; he opened the door and stepped out to wave to them all. They were so focused on his progress as he walked to the front door that the three other passengers in the vehicle went unnoticed.

Ten minutes later Santa was sat in his large comfortable chair. The children came up one by one to sit on his knee, and were given a present wrapped in festive paper, tied with either a blue or pink ribbon. Grace watched the proceedings quietly on the side lines until there was just one present left. Alice put down the jug of juice that she was serving to the children, and came over, picking Grace up and depositing her gently on Santa’s lap. The white faced child glanced up into a pair of twinkling eyes that looked vaguely familiar, but it was difficult to tell who was behind the big white bushy beard.

He leant down and whispered in her ear. ‘I hear that you would like something very special for Christmas, is that right little girl?’ he winked at her. ‘I hope that I’ve brought you what you wished for.’

At that moment Grace’s eyes were drawn to three people who had suddenly appeared at Santa’s shoulder. For a moment she froze in place, then pushing herself off his knee, she wrapped her arms around the small blonde girl standing in front of a smiling man and woman.

The two girls remained huddled in each other’s arms sobbing uncontrollably until the woman knelt down beside them and wiped their faces with a clean white handkerchief. Satisfied that she had managed to stop the flood of tears, she reached out and took each of their hands in her own.

‘Hope has missed you dreadfully Grace and we have heard so much about you,’ she smiled at the bewildered Grace. ‘We were all hoping that you would like to come and live with us too; as Hope’s sister.’

An hour later the group of adults watched as the two girls sat side by side at a table. They were talking non-stop except when selecting and eating another sandwich or a piece of cake. Even matron could not hold back a smile at the change in Grace now that she was reunited with her soul mate. As for Santa, he scratched his face behind the itchy beard and wished that he could capture this moment for ever.

Happy Christmas Grace…

© Sally Cronin 2015

About Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin is the author of fifteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fourteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

Her latest release, Life is Like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony is a collection of 50 + images and poems on life, nature, love and a touch of humour.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities in the Café and Bookstore on her blog and across her social media.

Her podcast shares book reviews and short stories Soundcloud Sally Cronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Read the reviews and buy Sally’s books : Amazon: Amazon US – Amazon UK: Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads: Blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin: Podcast: Sally Cronin on Soundcloud

A selection of books by Sally Cronin

Thanks for dropping in today and I look forward to receiving your link to an archive post soon.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 24th -30th October 2022 – Tapestry, WIP, 1940s Hits, Kiri Te Kanawa, Food ‘J’, HMS Beverley, Poetry, Book Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I hope you are well and have had a good week. We have been catching up on the dry month of September and first two week’s of October with inches of rain and high winds. I have a feeling Halloween will be a bit of a washout and not much fun ‘trick or treating’. To be honest we don’t get much out where we are as it is quite sparce on houses, but it was a great excuse usually to get a tub of Quality Street in just in case!  I have avoided the temptation this year and of course the door bell will chime to prove me wrong.

I hope that if you are celebrating Halloween you have a great time and get more treats than tricks.

I am in the last stages of my current tapestry and my WIP. Both of which now undergoing line by line editing. For the tapestry this involves finding the odd stitch that has been missed, which is easy to do, the back of the canvas then needs tidying with loose threads being snipped back and then a steam pressing to make sure completely flat before going to the framers. I will take a photo when it returns. I have another half finished canvas of a large bowl of cherries which is next and I must say I am enjoying getting back to the stitching.

My WIP a combined poetry and short story collection should be available by the end of November and more news on that nearer the time.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the next in the series on hits from the 1940s and the last in the post on the extraordinaryly talented Dame Kira Te Kanawa. Coming up on Friday a new series on the music legend Tony Bennett. You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ is here on Monday morning with her next post in her Spiritual Awareness series on Angels….and she joined me for the laughter post on Tuesday with some Halloween funnies. Over on her own blog you can enjoy Debby’s Sunday Book Review for The Second Mrs Astor by Shana Abe, and a link to her wonderful interview with Christy Birmingham- Reyes. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘J’…on her own blog you will find Monday Musings looking at some innovative ways to recycle waste, Ricotta, blackberry and walnut toast for a breakfast treat, a post on walking which is healthy exercise both free and effective, a launch post for Jacqui Murray’s recent releaze, a look at more edible roots and Saturday Snippets exploring the world of ‘lost and found’.  Here is the link to Carol’s round up Carol Taylor’s round up 23rd – 29th October 2022

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

 On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1940s – Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn, Nat King Cole-

William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Part Three – Career Highlights

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Podcast – #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Halloween and The Witch’s Handbook

beating heart GIF

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – The power of sleep when losing weight and to be healthy by Sally Cronin

Memoir – Life on the Ocean Wave – Part Four – 1942 – HMS Beverley – American shipmates and rough seas by Eric Coleman

Dorothy Cronin (1949- 2006) – Emer’s Song

#Comingofage #Fantasy – Knuckleheads: Dreamer’s Alliance Book 1, by Dan Antion

 

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Dogs #Mountains #Humour – Olive, Mabel and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Poetry – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku by Annette Rochelle Aben

#Fantasy #Comingofage – Realms of the Mist by Jude Itakali

#SocialMedia #Cyberbullying – The Bubble Reputation – Alex Craigie

#Historical #Medieval #Romance – The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker

#Espagnol #English – Chile: Southern Cross for the 1st Time by Rebecca Cuningham

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Trick or Treating and Halloween Puns

Top 8 : Halloween Day Jokes For Adults | Just Quikr presents birthday ...

Fright Night Halloween – Host Sally Cronin and the Senior Team

 

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

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip’ – #Espagnol #English – Chile: Southern Cross for the 1st Time by Rebecca Cuningham


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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

Today bi-lingual author and blogger Rebecca Cuningham shares the wonderful experience of seeing the Southern Cross clearly in the night sky on a memorable trip to Chile in 2001.

Chile: Southern Cross for the 1st Time

Musicians Crosby, Stills and Nash planted a seed in my mind with their song, “Southern Cross”. When would I see that famous constellation? Where would I be?

Evan and I arrived in Santiago, Chile in August of 2001. As we entered into our first summer in the southern hemisphere, smog and light pollution kept us from seeing stars in the city. In January, we went south for cooler summer weather in the Lake District. I brought my circular Planisphere star chart to spy constellations away from the metropolis of Santiago. The night was clear in the city of Pucón, but I wasn’t oriented to my new angle on the stars. Crux is a smaller constellation and my chart with its Northern tendencies wasn’t enough to narrow down the quadrants of sky.

When we returned into downtown Pucón, we noticed the shops were still open although it was 9 pm. They knew how to take advantage of the short summer tourist season. We walked by a bookstore. The store was small but with well-chosen tomes of literature, biographies and guidebooks. The title Como observar el cielo (How to Observe the Night Sky) caught my eye. I paged through it greedily, seeking a description of the object of our search. I found Crux: the Southern Cross. Sold! We purchased the book and resolved to skygaze again the next night in a small town.

The following day, we took a regional bus, an all the supplies you can carry on for no extra cost “flour” bus (close cousin of the infamous chicken bus) for $1,300 pesos each ($5 for both). We enjoyed seeing the Chilean huasos in their wide brimmed flat topped black hats and hand stitched boots. As the last people to enter the bus in Pucón, we had the flour sack bump standing room only place in the aisle for the first 50K. We jitterbugged in the aisles, until enough huasos and their 20 kilo bags of flour and feed stepped off at their ranches. In the kilometers leading up to Choshuenco, the roads were gravel. The town of 642 people was also unpaved. We pulled our suitcases down the sidewalk to a lodge clad with lovely orange pine slats called the Ruca Pillán. We hired a double room where we spent the night. In the Lake District, the beds were “matrimonial” size, closer to a cozy double than a queen. We liked those better than the oceans of space in a US king-sized bed.

After swimming in the local lake, the lodge offered a fresh trout dinner, which we ate happily. Then we went for a stroll with our celestial guidebook. On a hillock outside town our eyes gazed heavenward. That night without a moon, the milky way lay crossways like a mirrored sash. Beneath it we saw the four stars that create Crux (and the fifth on the lower right side). No photos, just twinkling lights in new formations behind our eyes.

Crux of the Matter

Wondrous galaxy
my speck of light curtsies
to your universal waltz
spins the sky
the rhythm of your spheres
teaches us to sing
souls never alone
in such brightness
The Crux with luz
our first & ever wonder
no proof but our hearts
newly beating
together with distant suns.

©Rebecca Cuningham 2022

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Southern Cross/Cruz sureña Image: Earthsky.org

Chile: La cruz del sur por la 1a vez

Los músicos Crosby, Stills and Nash sembraron una semilla en mi cabeza con su canción “Southern Cross”. ¿Cuando vería yo está constelación famosa?¿Dónde estaría yo?

Evan y yo llegamos a Santiago de Chile en agosto de 2001. Entrando en nuestro primer verano en el hemisferio sureño, la contaminación del aire y las luces eléctricas no nos dejó ver las estrellas en la ciudad. En enero, fuimos al sur para tiempo más fresco en el Distrito de los Lagos. Traía mi Planisferio de estrellas para localizar las constelaciones fuera del metrópoli de Santiago. La noche era despojada en la ciudad de Pucón, pero yo no estaba orientada al nuevo ángulo de ver las estrellas. Crux es una constelación pequeña y mi mapa guía con sus tendencias a una vista norteña no fue suficiente para localizar nada.

Cuando volvimos al centro de Pucón aquella noche, dimos cuenta de que aunque era tarde, las 9 de la noche, las tiendas estuvieron abiertas todavía. Ellos sabían como tomar ventaja de la estación breve turística del verano. Pasamos cerca de una librería. Entramos. La tienda era pequeña, pero con tomos bien escogidos de literatura, biografía y guías. El título, Como observar el cielo me llamó la atención. Hojeaba buscando un dibujo de lo que quisimos ver. Vi la página de Crux: la cruz sureña. Lo compré y estaba resuelta para observar el cielo en un pueblo chico la próxima noche.

El próximo día, tomamos un bus regional, un todos los productos que puedes llevar para ningún costo adicional “bus de harina.” (primo hermano del famoso bus de gallinas) por 1.300 pesos la persona. (menos de $5 en total) Disfrutamos de ver los huasos chilenos con sus sombreros cordobeses y sus botas hechas a mano. Como las últimas personas subiendo al bus en Pucón, tuvimos que estar parados en el pasillo sobre las bolsas de 20 kilos de harina y de alimento para animales durante los primeros 50K. Hicimos el jitterbug en el pasillo hasta que la mayoría de los huasos y sus bolsas enormes bajaron en sus ranchos. En los kilómetros llegando a Choshuenco, los caminos eran de grava. En el pueblo de 642 personas no había pavimento tampoco. Andamos con nuestras maletas a un albergue con madera de pino de color anaranjado llamado Ruca Pillán. En una habitación doble pasaríamos la noche. En el Distrito de los Lagos, las camas eran matrimoniales, más parecidas a una cama doble que a una Queen. Nos gustaron más que una cama demasiado grande como las King en los EEUU.

Nadamos en el lago del pueblo. Entonces, el albergüe ofreció una cena de trucha fresca que comimos felizmente. Después dimos un paseo con nuestra libro guía celestial. En una colinita fuera del pueblo miramos el cielo. Una noche sin luna, la vía láctea diagonal pareció una faja de lentejuelas. Bajo su franja vimos las cuatro estrellas que forman la Crux (y la quinta que está en el lado derecho). Ninguna foto tomada, quedan solo lucecitas detrás de los ojos.

El cruce de la Crux

Galaxia maravillosa
Mi mota de luz hace reverencia
a tu vals universal
gira el cielo
el ritmo de tus esferas
nos enseña cantar
almas no solitarias
en tal luminosidad
la luz en Crux
nuestro asombro 1o y siempre
ninguna prueba salvo nuestros corazones
latiendo nuevamente
con soles distantes.

©Rebecca Cuningham 2022

¡Olé! –Rebecca

About Rebecca Cuningham

Rebecca Cuningham has published poems in English in Bad News Bingo #12, B. Goddess Edition and Spanish in Adelante, a Holt, Rinehart & Winston middle school textbook. After graduate school, she worked in the World Languages Department of Holt, Rinehart & Winston, where she wrote and edited a 100-page Spanish Exploratory Guide. Rebecca tells Spain stories at live audience Madison Moth events. Her short stories in Spanish are included in Juglares de Conchalí, a Chilean anthology. Supergringa: A Spain Travel Memoir is her debut book-length work.

Rebecca lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and their bilingual child.

 

Connect to Rebecca Blog: Fake FlamencoTwitter: @RebeccawriterLinkedIn: Rebecca Cuningham

 

My thanks to Rebecca for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 17th – 23rd October 2022 – Hits 1940, Kiri Te Kanawa, Angels, WWII Royal Navy and Treasure, Poetry, Podcast, Book Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I hope you have all had a good week…It has been a wild few days here with a long winded thunder storm that raged for several hours followed by torrential rain and high winds. October making its presence felt. Hopefully it will settle down this week and we might get a little sunshine. It would be good if this also applied to the turmoil currently going on around us.

On the home front… we have decided to replace the doors in the kitchen to update and because after the redecoration of the rest of the house, it has made the current doors look shabby. With out decision to put the house on the market next spring we might as well make good use of the time to make the house as appealing as possible.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the last part of chart hits from 2005 and this coming week we are taking some steps back in time to the music of the 40s and then the 50s until the end of the year.  Also this week the first post in the series on the wonderfully talented Dame Kira Te Kanawa. You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday morning with her second post in her Spiritual Awareness series on Angels….and she joined me for the laughter post on Tuesday with some great funnies. Over on her own blog you can enjoy Debby’s October Writer’s Tips, an introduction to the new Author’s Services by Colleen Chesebro, a Q&A with author Jaye Marie and her book review for Staci Troilo. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘J’… on her own blog Monday Musings and eco-activism stunts, a recipe for Orange Chicken with Watercress Rice, how to eat healthily around social events, in the Green Kitchen a recipe for a banana tarte tatin with a difference, and a food review on edible roots, Saturday Snippets and new Saturday Market. Head over to enjoy CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…16th- 22nd October 2022-Monday Musings,

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1940s – The Andrew Sisters, Woodie Guthrie, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington

William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Part Two – International Debuts

Fey – Angel Messages Part Two – Earth Angels and Lightworkers by D.G. Kaye

– Dorothy Cronin (1949 – 2006) ‘Tuffy’ – A much loved family pet

#Memoir – Life on the Ocean Wave HMS Emerald – Chapter Three – Operation Fish to save national treasures and a Wedding Day by Eric Coleman

Podcast – #Flash Fiction – Rock Star and Splashing Good Time by Sally Cronin

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Hitting the Weight Loss Plateau #fluids by Sally Cronin

#Scottish #Historical #Romance – Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

#Fantasy The Midnight Rambler (The Hat Book 6) C.S. Boyack

#Mystery #Thanksgiving – Fowl Play (The Juniper Junction Cozy Holiday Mystery Series Book 6) by Amy M. Reade

#Prehistoric #Adventure #Fiction – Natural Selection (Dawn of Humanity Book 3) by Jacqui Murray

Previous book review #History #Family Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots (Leora’s Stories) by Joy Neal Kidney

Previous Reviews 2021 – #WW2 – The Home Front: 1939–1945 in 100 Objects by Austin J. Ruddy

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Western #Romance – Keeper Tyree by S. Cox

#Espagnol #English – First Black Woman Vice President of Colombia by Rebecca Cuningham

– Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Clerical Collars and Misfortunes

Host Malcolm Allen October 2022 – Book Yoga and Nine Lives

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip’ – #Espagnol #English – First Black Woman Vice President of Colombia by Rebecca Cuningham


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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

Today bi-lingual author and blogger Rebecca Cuningham celebrates the appointment of the first Black woman appointed as Vice President of Columbia, Francia Márquez

Francia Márquez Photo: Instagram of Francia Márquez

First Black Woman Vice President of Colombia

Francia Márquez, was the first Black woman elected to the office of vice president of Colombia.

She is an internationally known environmental activist who has won several prestigious awards. Francia Márquez won the Goldman Environmental award in 2018 for her work against illegal gold mining on the Ovejas River near La Toma in southwest Colombia . She led a 10 day 350 mile march of 80 women from La Toma to the capital. Illegal miners use mercury and cyanide to process gold, poisoning rivers and killing fish. The river is key to life: fish and water for the Afro-descendant Colombians who have made their home by the river for over 300 years. The protest Márquez led was successful in garnering attention to the problem and the miners have left the La Toma area.

In 2019, the BBC listed Márquez as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

She worked her way through University, and earned her law degree in 2020 from Santiago University in Cali. Márquez ran for president in the March 2022 primary, and won second place after Gustavo Petro. She then joined his ticket as vice-president and they won in the second run-off. Her focii are to fight for Afro-Colombian’s rights, for women’s rights and for the environment.

Congratulations on her well deserved success.

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Francia Márquez Photo: Instagram of Francia Márquez

Primera vice-presidenta negra colombiana

El domingo, 20 junio, Francia Márquez, la primera mujer negra para tener la oficina de vice presidenta de Colombia comenzó su posición elegida.

Ell es una activista conocida internacionalmente que ganó varios premios prestigiosos. Francia Márquez recibió el Premio Goldman del Ambiente Natural en 2018 por su trabajo en contra de la minería ilegal de oro en el Río Overgas cerca de La Toma en el suroeste de Colombia. Ella lideraba una marcha de 10 días y 350 millas (560 K) de 80 mujeres desde La Toma hasta el capital. Mineros ilegales usan mercurio y cianuro para procesar el oro, envenenando los ríos y matando a los peces. El río es clave para la vida de las personas afrodescendientes que vivían cerca del río por más de 300 años. La protesta Márquez lideró tuvo éxito en llamar atención al problema y los mineros han dejado de trabajar cerca de La Toma.

En 2019 está nombrada como una de las 100 mujeres más influyentes del mundo según la BBC.

Trabajaba y estudiaba en la Universidad Santiago de Cali más recientemente. Se graduó de la Facultad de Derecho en 2020. Márquez era candidata para presidenta colombiana en marzo de 2022. Cuando ganó segundo lugar, se juntó con Gustavo Petro como vice-presidenta. Ellos ganaron la segunda elección presidencial. La vice-presidenta tiene tres focos: los derechos de personas afro-descendientes, de mujeres y del ambiente natural.

Felicidades en su éxito bien merecido.

¡Olé! –Rebecca

©Rebecca Cuningham 2022

About Rebecca Cuningham

Rebecca Cuningham has published poems in English in Bad News Bingo #12, B. Goddess Edition and Spanish in Adelante, a Holt, Rinehart & Winston middle school textbook. After graduate school, she worked in the World Languages Department of Holt, Rinehart & Winston, where she wrote and edited a 100-page Spanish Exploratory Guide. Rebecca tells Spain stories at live audience Madison Moth events. Her short stories in Spanish are included in Juglares de Conchalí, a Chilean anthology. Supergringa: A Spain Travel Memoir is her debut book-length work.

Rebecca lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and their bilingual child.

Connect to Rebecca Blog: Fake FlamencoTwitter: @RebeccawriterLinkedIn: Rebecca Cuningham

 

My thanks to Rebecca for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 10th -16th October 2022 – Kiri Te Kanawa, Royal Navy Memories, Poetry, Food, Podcast, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour


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

Autumn and rushed in this week with gales, storms and plenty of rain. The grass is back to its vibrant green although the trees look very bare. It is however always good to remember that in the spring they will be back to their glory again with even more blossom.

I have been spending the afternoons with tapestry and music exploring my older playlists with music that I don’t get to listen to as often as I would like. I am making good progres with my elephant and her calf and now I have a special pair of glasses that go over my own to increase magnification I am finding it a lot easier. Not to mention I am not missing quite so many stitches.

I am also making good progress on my latest collection and hope to get that on the shelves by the end of November… I have finally settled on a title along the theme of ‘Life’ as for the other recent collections and it was hiding in plain site as you will see!

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the last part of chart hits from 2005 and this coming week we are taking some steps back in time to the music of the 40s and then the 50s until the end of the year.  Also this week the first post in the series on the wonderfully talented Dame Kira Te Kanawa. You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ will be here on Monday morning with her secon post in her Spiritual Awareness series on Angels….and last week she joined me for the laughter posts with some gems she had found on her travels. Over on her own blog you can enjoy Debby’s book review for Luna Saint Claire and The Serpent Awakensand a launch post for the latest book for Jan Sikes.. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘I’… on her own blog Monday Musings on Goats and Mental Health Week, World Porridge Day, versatile Eggs, Cuisine of the Faroe Islands, Fragrant roots and Saturday Snippets. Head over to enjoy – CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…9th- 15th October 2022 

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

On with the show

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 2005 Part two- Mariah Carey, The Killers, John Legend, Michael Buble

William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – The Early Years

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘I’ is for Icing, Ink Fish, Indian Black Salt, Infusing Immortalittea and Irish Stew…

#Flash Fiction – Musical Interlude and Reunion by Sally Cronin

#Memoir – Life on the Ocean Wave – Chapter Two – Royal Navy Training -1936 and two encounters with the King and HMS Nelson by Eric Coleman

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – Dorothy Cronin (1949 – 2006) – ‘Immortality’

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Getting Moving and shifting the pounds by Sally Cronin

#Romance #Paranormal Saddled Hearts (The White Rune Series Book 3) by Jan Sikes

 

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Poetry – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry by Balroop Singh

New Book on the Shelves – #Paranormal #Thriller – Pre-Order Ghost Mark (Dark Dreams Book 2) by JP Mclean

#Preorder – #Family – Letting Go: The Defiant Sisters- Book1 (The Defiant Sisters Duet) by Jacquie Biggar

#Anthology – Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss Rita Baker, Amy Wallen, Elizabeth Gauffreau, Joyce Yarrow, Donna Koros Stramella,​ Jim Metzner​, Keith Madsen,​ Carol LaHines

Jacqueline Lambert #Reviews- Kat the Dog: The Remarkable Tale of a Rescued Spanish Water Dog by Alyson Sheldrake

The Rise of Short Stories by Gwen Plano

#SightImpairment – #Dogtraining by Patty Fletcher

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Psychology and the Law, Overseas Posting

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Surgery options and military jokes

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip’ – #SightImpairment – #Dogtraining by Patty Fletcher


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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

Today author Patty Fletcher shares a post from June 2022 outlining the ongoing training for her dog Blue and also how she and Blue are available in her local area to give talks about THE SEEING EYE® GUIDE DOGS

Paws on the Street Part 28 – Food Refusal – Obedience Training – Navigation and Routine

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten lots of feedback on what I’ve written about Blue and me. I’m over the moon that so many people read and engage in conversation. I love that readers, whether on social media, my blogs, through email or messenger and text are letting me know their thoughts on all we do each day.

That having been said, I want to try and answer some of the things which are asked of me. Sometimes due to time constraints I can only hit the like buttons or send a quick reply. So, today, I’m going to try to do a better job of answering what some of you have commented on.

I think, the biggest responses I’ve gotten of late are about Blue’s behavior concerning food and the ways in which we navigate within our apartment complex. So, I’ll tackle those first.

Let’s start with his behaviors concerning food and routine. Not long ago, I wrote a funny post on Facebook where I talked about sneaking quietly around my apartment getting coffee and being on the computer.

In that post, I shared some funny things which happened concerning my headphones, but a reader commented about the fact that Blue was still in bed instead of bouncing around asking to be fed.

The answer is this.

While In training at The Seeing Eye®, I began establishing a routine designed to simulate what I do at home. Each morning, I sat my alarm a good hour and half before I needed to be out to relieve Blue. I did this so I could ready myself for the day ahead.

While Blue slept peacefully in his crate, I would slip down to the lounge on my floor a few feet away from my room, grab a cup of coffee, slip back in, shower, dress and sit reading email while waiting for the announcement for students to come to the relief area to be made.

If Blue grumbled about my not interacting with him, I would state in a quiet firm voice, “Blue Quiet.” Making sure to use a tone of voice which brooked no argument and then I’d go back to whatever I was doing.

Once we returned home, even though after Blue’s boundaries had been firmly established and he was beginning to gain his freedom which included snoozing on the foot of my bed at night I continued making sure he knew he didn’t need to leap up the moment my feet hit the floor.

I did this, so I could enjoy a bit of piece and quiet before I needed to tend my dog.

Sometimes, I oversleep and must leap out of bed, grab up clothes and get him outside because I’ve gone passed the window of time, I’ve set for his morning relief and feed time but even on those occasions, he stays put until I call him to me.

Some have said I’m a rigid handler. Some have called me militant. To those I always smile and say, “Thank you for the complement.”

Now, concerning Food in general.

First, you’ll see as you continue reading, no dog, not even my big, Blue Dog is going to be 100 percent perfect at this. However, The Seeing Eye® works extremely hard with its dogs and then dog handler teams on food refusal. During training there are times when you may be going along minding your own business, when suddenly you come upon a piece of a sandwich, pile of chips or some other enticing tidbit on the floor or ground and if your dog goes for it, you’re expected to very firmly “Correct your dog!”

Not long ago, I’d ordered hotdogs and onion rings from one of my favorite eateries and when I sat down, I briefly lost my grip on the plate, it tilted, and onion rings fell onto my lap. I picked them up, put them back onto my plate and began devouring my food.

All through dinner, blue lay quietly in is place as commanded before I sat down.

When I was through eating and my plate and other detritus from the meal had been disposed of, I released Blue from rest and said he could get down to play Etc.

Later, as I was straightening up before bed, I happened across an onion ring which had fallen into the floor and though I knew of Blue’s strict training, which I continue enforcing each day, I found myself quite amazed and proud.

He had not so much as chewed on it. The onion ring was complete with no bite out of it at all.

I threw the thing away and called my dog to me. I knelt, put my arms around him and gave him lots of praise for it was apparent to me, all the strict training we’d done and continue doing had paid off.

But wait! It is said, “You can put the guide in the dog, but you cannot take the dog out of the guide.” If ever I have been given a reminder of this, it was today.

Earlier this very morning, after I’d begun writing this offering for you, I took my Big, Blue Dog out for his first relief time of the day and though I was a bit later than normal for our first walk, I foresaw no problems. But as we were making our way around the apartment complex a neighbor called hello, we walked over to visit and before I knew what was happening, the lady sitting next to the one who had called hello leaned forward as if to pet, I didn’t pull blue away and before I could so much as twitch an eyelash Blue was gobbling something from the woman’s hand.

“Blue! Pfui!” I said.

“Oh! It’s OK.” The woman crooned. “I just gave him some ice cream on a stick. I always let dogs lick the ice cream.”

I stood for a moment counting and taking slow deep breaths so as not to leave the reservation. Then, I stated in a soft firm voice, “It is most certainly not OK. First, I do not allow Blue to eat such things and secondly, I’d appreciate your not giving him anything at all without asking me first and last but not at all least, you should never give a dog ice cream because they’re lactose intolerant.”

The two ladies seemed to shrink away from me and one asked, “You mean you don’t give him ice cream?”

“No mam, not at all. I don’t even give those nasty frosty paws things. Blue is a working dog. He must always maintain a certain weight and health. He must maintain specific behaviors and taking food from someone’s hand without my permission is not among them.”

With that, I turned, gave a tight smile I hoped looked friendly rather than as if I’d like to snap off their heads wished them a good day and walked away.

Each day, to keep his skills sharp and ready for anything at a moment’s notice, I do three rounds of obedience with Blue. On leash in house. Off leash in house and on leash outside both in and out of harness.

I make sure to set him up for distractions, traffic checks and other necessary evils to keep his skill sharp.

Sometimes, I must get creative as we don’t always go anywhere but it can be done.

As to how we navigate here in our community, well, that’s easy.

When we first moved in, we went nowhere without blue’s being in harness. On the advice of my Seeing Eye® trainer, I carried my cane with me so I could get a good picture of my surroundings because we were learning our way and as you know, blue is only as good as my directional commands.

After some time had passed, and we’d learned our way well and gotten the residents used to us being out we began to enjoy early morning and late evening sniff fests with Blue heeling politely only on leash and me using my cane.

This is honestly easier than using the harness when relieving because I don’t have to remove the harness and then put it back when he is done.

However, during the day, when it’s busy here with people going to and from with walkers, canes, scooters, and wheelchairs as well as traffic going in and out of the complex Blue works in harness no matter what we’re doing.

I hope this better explains how we get along together so well.

To learn about The Seeing Eye® and all it has to offer those wishing for a more independent lifestyle visit: https://seeingeye.org/

*Author’s Note*

Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue and I are available for public speaking in person and virtually.

We are willing to travel.

For more information email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

©Patty Fletcher 2022

My thanks to Patty for allowing me to share posts from her archives… and I know she would be delighted to hear from you.

Patty and her guide dog Blue. Patty has her hair tied back in a low ponytail and rests her right hand on Blue's head. She wears a white shirt with a pink and purple butterfly on the front and light blue shorts. Blue is a handsome black lab. He wears a brown leather harness with a handle attached to the back and is smiling at the camera as he sits in front of Patty. In the background is a brick building with white, windowed doors and a flowerpot overflowing with pink and yellow blooms.

About Patty Fletcher

Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020 she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is her hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.

Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.

She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.

Patty writes with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.

Books by Patty Fletcher

A review for Bubba Tails

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book that all ages can read and enjoy  Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2020

Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye is a delightful story for all ages, told from the perspective of King Campbell, an older and more experienced Seeing Eye dog (trained to guide the blind). King Campbell appears at night to the puppies at the Seeing Eye School, and their mothers, and tells them stories about how he came to be selected for the school, his training process and meeting his forever mother. His stories help to allay some of the puppies own concerns and anxieties about the future when they undergo their training to be Seeing Dogs and eventually become companions to a blind person.

This is a most insightful book about how Seeing Dogs are selected, including the qualities they need to have to do this job, as well as the training process they go through before they are matched with a blind person. I say matched because that is exactly what happens, the person is paired with a suitable canine companion. I thought this was very interesting as I had never really thought about how close the relationship between a blind human and their Seeing Dog is prior to reading this book.

The second part of the story when Campbell meets his new forever owner was the most meaningful for me. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn about how the Seeing Dog and their new owner must adapt to working together. The Seeing Dog needs to learn to read their human owner’s body language and respond to subtle signals. The human must also learn to trust their dog and this is quite a difficult thing to do. I can understand that putting your faith in a dog, no matter how much you love it, must initially be difficult when you are unable to see and protect yourself. I loved reading about how this amazing trust developed between Campbell and his owner.

This is a book that everyone can read and enjoy for the story and also appreciate for its detailed insight into the relationship between Seeing Dogs and their owners, and also the world at large. 

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon USAnd :Amazon UK – Follow Patty: GoodreadsWebsite and Blog: Patty’s World Twitter: @Bubbalee04

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip’ – The Rise of Short Stories by Gwen Plano


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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

Today author and poet Gwen Plano writing for Story Empire shares her thoughts on th growing popularity of short stories

The Rise of Short Stories by Gwen Plano 

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today, and I’m going to share a discovery.

Over the holidays, I read several novelettes and novellas. They were perfect for my busy pre-Christmas activities. I downloaded six or more of these books and when I found an hour or two, I’d escape into a lovely romance, an adventure, or a bewitching mystery. Because of the brevity of the read, these books were perfect for drawing me into the holiday spirit. Instead of just worrying about my busy to-do list, I could dream.

Most of the books I read in December had a Christmas theme. I suspect you might have read several as well. Novelettes and novellas were everywhere present and this realization got me wondering. Could it be that these shorter stories are growing in popularity?

We are all multi-taskers. Technology helps us leap from one blog to another, from recipes to medical treatments, from breaking news to the weather update. We’re savvy folks but if you are like me, there’s never enough time in the day. I look back to my pre-retired life and wonder how I accomplished what I did. But just last week, while strolling through internet pages, I may have discovered the answer to my question.

As part of my reading, I stumbled upon a bewildering statement. It claimed that the rise of technology gadgets had led to attention spans less than that of a goldfish. A crazy statement, right? Well, I couldn’t let such a claim stand without some investigation. I searched for the source and discovered this quote by Time Magazine:

The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds…

photo from Canva

Are you surprised? I was. If they had mentioned a chimpanzee or a great ape, I could have accepted the comparison. But a goldfish? This was too much. I had to know more.

I went to Microsoft’s site, dug around a bit, and found their research. It turns out they used electroencephalograms to measure the attention span of their participants. Based on what they recorded and witnessed, they asserted that our collective attention span has dropped since the year 2000 when technology took center stage.

Now back to short stories (anthologies, novellas, and novelettes). Though full-length books dominate in sales, short stories are steadily increasing in popularity and this phenomenon is expected to climb. Could it be that Microsoft is on to something?

It’s undeniable that the digital world has changed our lives. If we can accept the goldfish analogy, short stories have a special seat at the table. A well-written novelette is fast-paced and concise. It can capture a reader in just one sitting and may motivate him or her to reach for more. Its brevity is its strength.

As much as the internet distracts and exhausts us, it has broadened the reading world. People like me will pick up a novelette especially during busy times because we know we can read it before shutting off the lights. For working folks, the story might be the perfect companion over lunch or while riding public transportation. And, who knows, it might so grab the reader’s attention that he or she will want to check out the author’s full-length novels.

photo from Canva

My reading choices in December opened my eyes to the value and importance of short books. Twenty-five pages or two hundred and twenty-five pages, each has an important readership. Whether it be whim or circumstance, readers choose to dive deep or dance with the goldfish.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you published a novelette or novella? I’d love to hear about your experience. Won’t you share? After my Christmas excursion, I’ve become a believer.

©Gwen Plano 2022

My thanks to Gwen for allowing me to share the posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.. hugsx

About Gwen M. Plano

Growing up in Southern California, Gwen M. Plano loved learning, and she loved imagining stories, some grandly epic, all personal and heartfelt. She taught and served in universities across the United States and in Japan, then retired and focused again on her stories.

Her first book, Letting To Into Perfect Love, is an award-winning memoir recounting some of her struggles in life while providing insight into the healing process.

Gwen shifted to fiction after this first book and joined forces with acclaimed author John W. Howell in writing a thriller, The Contract: between heaven and earth. Its sequel, The Choice: the unexpected heroes, soon followed – this time a solo effort. The Culmination, a new beginning, is the third book of the series.

Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, traveling and writing, sharing those stories only she can imagine.

Books by Gwen M. Plano

One of the reviews for Culmination

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Thriller with Strong Characters  Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2021

Book three in a series, The Culmination reads easily as a standalone novel. A political thriller, that addresses denuclearization, tensions in the Middle East, and the fate of refugees, much of the story echoes current headlines. The plot is complex involving multiple heads of state, along with the strategical give and take of political maneuvering on a global level. The author clearly put an extensive amount of research into this book, and it shows. Adrenalin-fueled scenes alter with more cerebral moments, and even a few romantic interludes.

I especially loved the evolution of the relationship between the two central characters, Margaret Adler, VP of the United States and Ivan Smirnov, acting President of Russia. During the course of the novel those titles change, and we learn more about each, including richly developed backgrounds. I was thoroughly invested in the difficulties Margaret and Ivan faced, both on personal and political levels. Their scenes together were among my favorites of the book. There’s also a young refugee child who factors into the story and who stole my heart.

A unique combination of character-driven and plot-driven fiction, I recommend this compelling tale to readers who enjoy strong character development and complexly-plotted intrigue. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USAs Gwendolyn M. Plano: Amazon US follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip’ – Jacqueline Lambert #Reviews- Kat the Dog: The Remarkable Tale of a Rescued Spanish Water Dog by Alyson Sheldrake


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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

Today author and travel writer Jackie Lambert shares her review for a remarkable rescue dog..

Kat the Dog – The Remarkable Tale of a Rescued Spanish Water Dog 

I know that many of you are dog lovers, and have I got a treat for you!

I am privileged to have been given an Advance Review Copy of Kat the Dog, Alyson Sheldrake’s upcoming memoir about her rescued Spanish water dog, scheduled for release on 3rd May 2022.

I blubbed my way through the first part, which is a very powerful account of the awful treatment some poor pooches endure in Spain. However, the wonderful and committed people who step in to change their lot definitely brings the sun out again.

You will fall in love with Kat. She is clearly a very remarkable dog, and I loved the way Alyson pieced together her history by how Kat reacted to certain things. It brought back memories of Blade, the Transylvanian stray we brought back with us from Romania, who features in my book Dogs ‘n’ Dracula!

If you have ever had a special dog in your life, I am sure you will love this book as much as I do!

Kat the Dog is currently available on pre-order on Amazon. Besides being an emotional rollercoaster of a read, 15% of the earnings from this book will go to local dog rescue charities, so what better reason to bag your copy now?!

Click on this link to go to your local Amazon store

©Jacqueline Lambert 2022

My thanks to Jackie for letting me share posts from her archives and if you are considered  travelling in a caravan or camper around Europe and even more so with your dog then you will find a great deal of useful and vital information. I know Jackie would love to hear from you.

About Jacqueline Lambert

Jacqueline Lambert has long had a passion for travel and adventure. Always a bit of a tomboy, it was an accidental white water rafting trip down the Zambezi that really opened her eyes to the experiences that the world has to offer. The trip was not, as she expected, ‘floating down the river looking at wildlife’.

Somewhere between the adrenaline of tackling Grade 5 rapids in crocodile-infested waters and the raw beauty of sleeping under the stars on the banks of the river, she determined that she was no longer content to live her life in thin slices. She also realised that experience was more important than owning STUFF.

Since then, she has travelled as much as time and budget would allow and has rafted major rivers on every continent except Antarctica. Before meeting her husband, Mark, she took a sabbatical from work. Although she was single at the time, she asked for – and was granted – ‘maternity leave’ to spend several months backpacking around Fiji, Australia and New Zealand!

A keen off piste skier and windsurfer, Jackie is a Team Rider for the UK’s National Watersports Festival, to which she has contributed many articles and blogs about windsurfing. She is also the wordsmith behind her own dog-centric caravan travel blog, World Wide Walkies, which has been featured in the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Newsletter and Dog Friendly Magazine.

She and Mark were made redundant in 2016. In their mid 50s, they decided to give up work, rent out their house and travel full-time with five dogs; their four Cavapoos; Kai, Rosie, Ruby and Lani and a stray that they adopted in Transylvania whom they named Blade, the vampire slayer.

Books by Jacqueline Lambert

One of the recent reviews for the latest book in the series It Never Rains But It Paws

fabulouschrissie 5.0 out of 5 stars Locked down and Brexited  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2022

When Jackie, Mark, and the fab four Cavapoos race to leave England before the possible Brexit deadline on October 31st 2019, they have no idea that four months later they will be facing a different disaster. Staying in their beloved ski resort in Mt Rosa, Italy, they are locked down when Covid hits.

This isn’t just a book about Covid and Brexit, although I was fascinated to hear about the reality of lockdown in Europe’s worst hit country. It’s written in Jackie’s usual punny style, with lots of travelers tales and historic facts. How they coped with the isolation of a small ski village is fascinating reading. And I’m already looking forward to the next installment.

This is the latest in a series, but can be read as a stand alone book. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: author.to/JLambertFollow Jacqueline: Goodreads – Blog: Worldwide WalkiesFacebook: Jacqueline Lambert Author – Twitter: @JLambertAuthor