Smorgasbord Short Story – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Escaping the Famine by Sally Cronin


Time for this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills and this week being July 4th, it is in celebration of Charli’s part of Michigan, and its history. She asked us to check out the micro history of the Keweenaw National Historic Park from the 1840s and write 99 words no more no less about an aspect of that history.

My mother’s family on her father’s side originated from Cork where ships began leaving for America in the mid-1840s after the worst winter of the famine. I know that my Great Grandfather William Walsh left to join the Royal Navy but I am sure many of my relatives died or immigrated to America and beyond. The ships were overcrowded, cramped and disease was common. Already weakened by years of famine, many died hence the later term ‘coffin ships’, and those that survived had to endure terrible storms and deprivation to reach the promised land. One of the stories on the site is about an Irish couple from County Kerry who left around that time, so I have loosely based my story around them.

Image – The Colour of life by Geoffrey Cronin.

Escaping the Famine by Sally Cronin

Michael placed a clod of barren earth in a pouch before joining Maggie, waiting with their meagre possessions by the side of the road. Carrying their bundles and what food was left, they walked eighty miles through desolate lands to Cork. With their last few pounds, they bought passage on a ‘Coffin’ ship. Surviving storms and disease aboard the crowded vessel, they made their way to Michigan. Michael toiled in a copper mine, until the growing family settled on a farm near Hurontown, where they mixed the earth from the old country with the rich soil of the new.

©Sally Cronin 2019

 If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/07/04/july-4-flash-fiction-challenge/

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

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

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Waiting for the Bus by Sally Cronin


The last post of the week is in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills and the prompt this week is ‘Waiting’. This week in her post Charli Mills talks about the challenges they face with completing on their house with VA loans dependent on certain work being carried out and an inspection to check compliance. Added into the mix is a starling intent on building a nest in the most inconvenient place.

Waiting for the Bus by Sally Cronin

The young girl waited anxiously for the bus. She huddled into the long queue of people standing impatiently in the rain, hiding her bulging rucksack between her feet. She was cold and wet but determined to get away from this place. The planning had been carried out meticulously, and she was happy that she had everything needed for a new life. Her stomach began rumbling. It was Friday and her mum made fish and chips for tea. People muttered as the five year old pushed through them, dragging her rucksack and heading down the street. She smiled in anticipation.

©Sally Cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/06/21/june-20-flash-fiction-challenge/

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

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

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


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

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

Many Hands by Sally Cronin

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

©Sally Cronin 2019

Image: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – Strawberries and Mint – The Devilish Mojito by Sally Cronin


Time for a little Flash Fiction courtesy of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills  As always the prompt is accompanied by a wonderful post from Charli Mills and this week it is about gardening…and explores the differences between those of us who plan our gardens meticulously and those of us who prefer to throw caution to the wind along with our bulbs and seeds.  Perhaps you can head over and let her know which type of gardener you are….

I thought I would have a little fun this week…. but I should add a little note… about drinking responsibly….

Strawberries and Mint – the Devilish Mojito by Sally Cronin

The witch’s handbook – Spell # 356 – Removal of inhibitions.

The Devilish Mojito

Ingredients

  • Ten fresh picked Strawberries
  • Juice half a lime
  • Six crushed mint leaves
  • Two ounces white rum
  • Two ounces dark rum
  • Pour over crushed ice
  • Dash of club soda
  • Sprig of mint to decorate.

Warning:

  1. One drink will increase desire to wear frivolous clothing.
  2. Two drinks will increase desire to dance on tables.
  3. Three drinks will increase desire to remove frivolous clothing.
  4. Four drinks are not advised.

Disclaimer : The handbook accepts no liability for the actions or consequences resulting from the over indulgence of this potion..

©Sally Cronin 2019

 

If you would like to participate here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/05/30/may-30-flash-fiction-challenge/

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for the posts from the week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Mother’s Dilemma – Disappearing Ice.

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

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

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

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

London Day 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful Tiny Baby written by Miriam Hurdle at Spillwords.com

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

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

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

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

SAM_7022

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

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

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

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

Social media sharing

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

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

CityofMH

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

A short story from Christine Campbell… The Thing Is.

black lab 2

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

Charles Yallowitz with another of his compelling poems..Fear

Yahoo Image Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC00152 (Custom)

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

New book on the shelves

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

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

Author Update

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

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

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

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

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

Stem-&-Arteries-72dpi

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A mother’s dilemma…

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

©Sally Cronin 2019

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

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

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

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


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

Carved in Wood

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

Peter loves Sarah forever.

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

‘Hello, who is this?’

‘Sarah’

What took you so long?’

©Sally Cronin 2019

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

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

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch #Flash Fiction – A Small Price to Pay by Sally Cronin


It is that time of the week when many of us are gathering 99 words, no more, no less, and responding to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week the prompt was getting old…..

A small price to pay by Sally Cronin

The old man stood to attention by the memorial in the village square, as he did each day during his afternoon constitutional. His knees were playing up, but nothing a stout stick couldn’t handle. Getting older had challenges, but unlike his drinking pals in the pub each evening, he knew aching joints were a small price to pay. As was his habit, he read the names on the brass plate aloud, remembering each one of his comrades who did not live to grow old. He wiped away a tear and continued his walk, feeling like the luckiest man alive.

©sally cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in this terrific challenge head over and find out more: https://carrotranch.com/2019/05/10/may-9-flash-fiction-challenge

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

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Tramp’s Heartbreak by Sally Cronin


This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills is about ‘exhaustion‘… and I hope you will head over and read the post because it has certainly been an emotionally and physically exhausting time for Charli with her husband’s knee replacement and some Twitter shenanigans…

Anyway….. here is my take on the prompt…

Tramp’s Heartbreak by Sally Cronin

He had been walking in the lashing rain for hours. He contemplated the long straight road ahead known as tramp’s heartbreak and bowed his head in exhaustion

Cars had ignored his raised thumb all day as they sped past. In the distance he heard a vehicle approaching and braced himself for icy spray. Instead the truck stopped.

‘Hey old timer, hop in’. The teenager smiled from the warmth of the cab.

The lad chatted away as he sat in grateful silence. His eyelids fluttered and he slept, leaving his fate to a boy with the heart of an angel.

©sallycronin

If you would like to participate in the Flash Fiction Challenge then follow the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/04/25/april-25-flash-fiction-challenge

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

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Beggars Can’t be Choosers? by Sally Cronin


This week Charli Mills of carrot ranch flash fiction challenge set us the task of writing 99 words no more, no less using ‘Beggars Can’t be Choosers’ as a prompt…

Image Pixabay.com

Beggars Can’t be Choosers? by Sally Cronin

The memo announced the chairman would be evaluating managers for a senior position. Everyone set out to impress

Outside, tucked into a doorway, an old man huddled, a dog by his side. Most staff ignored him. But every day one particular individual would place several coins into his hand, smile and pat the dog before entering the building.

On Friday an elegant man stood in front of the eager staff and announced the manager who would be promoted. Delighted a young woman stepped forward and looked into his familiar face…

He smiled warmly ‘Who says beggars can’t be choosers’.

©sally cronin

If you would like to participate in this week’s flash fiction.. here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/04/11/april-11-flash-fiction-challenge/

Thanks for dropping by… Sally.