Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 20th March 2017 – Paul Andruss, Staci Troilo, Robert Marston Fanney, Annette Clark and Ed. A. Murray

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Doesn’t Monday come around quickly and here is the first of the Blogger Daily posts which is intended to promote bloggers. I tend to spend about an hour each day reading other bloggers posts and it is not nearly enough considering the great posts out there. However, here are just a handful which I think you will find interesting and if you would like to share your most recent post then please leave a link in the comments.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Writer in residence Paul Andruss has a very active and informative blog of his own and posts tales, legends and challenges our understanding of  everyday people, items around our homes and what other people tell us is true!

Unlike Otto Titzling, or even Herr Bustenhalter, the mythical inventors of the modern bra, Thomas Crapper was a real person; a plumber who opened a London bathroom fittings factory and warehouse in 1861. The quality of his porcelain ware gained him recognition in a rapidly modernising society. But it was the future Edward VI who cemented his reputation by asking him to fit the bathrooms in the newly purchased Sandringham House.

The Victorians were nothing if not social climbers and crashing snobs. What was good enough for the future king was good enough for them. Although having recently learned about the copious amounts of red meat in the upper class Edwardian diet, I think the certified robustness of Mr Crapper’s facilities must have also played a part in the choice.

Thomas Crapper is often credited with inventing the toilet.

Not true.

Read the rest of this toiletry revelation:

Staci Troilo with a post on various aspects of the review system on Amazon including the platform’s oversight on reviewers. Well worth reading.

I recently got a book review that I didn’t care for. It was a five-star review, but one of the comments was, in my opinion, way off the mark. Which got me thinking…

Why would the reviewer give the book five stars if it was lacking in some way?
Why are there not better criteria for reviews?
We need reviews as a mark of credibility, but how credible are the reviewers?

I’m not going to say which book of mine I mean or who reviewed it or what comment I didn’t like. I’m bringing all this up because I think we need to have a frank discussion about reviews. I knew I was taking that particular comment personally, so I decided to look at reviews of books I had no stake in. I looked at reviews of bestsellers. You know, books by household names that have hundreds of reviews.

Read the rest of the post:

As we welcome signs of spring there are certain parts of the United States who have experienced unprecedented summer temperatures in the last week or so which are having a critical effect on some states. Robert Marston Fanney takes a look at some of the outcomes of this unusual weather.

March Climate Madness — Wildfires, Scorching Summer Heat Strike Central and Southwestern U.S. By Winter’s End

In Colorado today the news was one of fire. There, a wildfire just south of Boulder had forced emergency officials to evacuate 1,000 residents as more than 2,000 others were put on alert Sunday. Smoke poured into neighborhoods as dead trees killed by invasive beetles or a developing drought, exploded into flames. Depleted snowpacks along the front range of the Rockies combined with temperatures in the 80s and 90s on Sunday to increase the fire risk. Thankfully, so far, there have been no reports of injuries or property loss. A relieving contrast to the massive fires recently striking Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma — where farmers and communities are still recovering.

Read the rest of the post:

As writers we treat commas dreadfully at times. We put the responsibility of making sense of our sentence and determining  the tone of our writing all upon this speck of print. The Story Reading Ape recommended this post today by Annette ClarkA Comma’s job security!

The comma stood on the corner, bleating, “Please, can someone help me? I know I belong somewhere, but I can’t quite remember where.”

Devon Taylor, copy editor, sat at the counter of the diner counter across the street and watched as passers-by skittered around the pitiful punctuation mark. They looked away determined to not notice it.

Devon (destined to become The Nib) couldn’t really blame them. Commas were notoriously slippery creatures. But there was something about this comma that made Devon think it was truly in trouble.

The editor set down the empty coffee cup and wandered across the street.

“What brings you to Conjunctionville?” Devon asked the punctuation mark.

Read the rest of the Comma’s tribulations:

For the final post this evening I have selected The quest to write the Great American Novel by author Ed A. Murray – I found it interesting as I was looking at the same question in relation to books written about the UK. All the epics that I read are set far back in history or follow families up to and during the second world war. But what do we classify as the Great British Novel now that we are so diverse in culture?  Answers on a postcard please!!  I do recommend you read this as you will also be introduced to Philipp Meyer and his two books American Rust and The Sun.

The elusive Great American Novel. You’ve heard the term. What does it mean to you? A masterful book by an American author? A story that tells a relatable tale to any American?

A few months ago I read an article in the New York Times called “Why There’s No ‘Millennial’ Novel.” The main argument, it seemed, was that America has become such a progressive and diverse country that there is no single voice that can speak for an entire generation. The author, Tony Tulathimutte, first argues that “the ‘voice of a generation’ novel never existed to begin with,” and then asks the question, “why did we ever pretend novels by straight white guys about straight white guys spoke for entire generations?”

This is a gross oversimplification. The Great American Novel exists.

Read the rest of this thought provoking post:

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like to share a recent post by putting the link in the comments section. Thanks Sally