Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Fiction In A Flash Challenge Prompt Week #13 – The Key to Unlock the Mystery by Miriam Hurdle

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

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

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 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post by Miriam Hurdle and is in reponse to a flash fiction challenge. A wonderful story about finding closure after a lifetime of wondering ‘Why?’

The Key to Unlock the Mystery


Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

“Mom, thank you for telling me about the adoption. I appreciate you and Dad. I still have this strange feeling of belonging to someone else.” Clara frown.

“I understand, Clara. Your dad and I wanted to have a family, but I couldn’t conceive, so we adopted.”

“How did you decide where to adopt?”

“Most of the countries listed the criteria of children being adopted. Many orphans had major physical or mental handicaps. We were not equipped to handle those problems. The orphans in China were either abandoned or given up for adoption because of the one-child policy. We hoped to adopt a healthy child.”

“Your document helped me to locate my birth parents. I want to meet them. This seems to be a good time for me.”

“What do you want to do when you find them?”

“I don’t know. I was always curious about living with them.”

“We support you whatever you do.”

“My flight is tomorrow night and arrives on the third day. China is fifteen hours ahead.”

“Message us and send us many pictures.”

“I will, Mom. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.”

~ ~ ~

Clara met her driver and translator at the airport. The city welcomed her with heavy smog covering the mountains in a distance. The sky had no trace of blue. She could gaze into the sun with a patch of light and fuzzy layers of haze.

The concrete buildings with hanging signs stretching out into the streets slowly disappeared. The sight on both sides of the car turned into scattered cottages and fields. The car bounced on an unpaved narrow road.

A small village with about fifty two-story narrow houses came into sight. The red bricks crumbled from the roofs and the fences between the houses.

“We arrived, Miss.” The driver announced.

“Xiè xiè!”1 Clara surveyed the surrounding.

The driver led her to a doorway where a weathered face woman dressed in grey top and black pants waiting.

“Nǐ hǎo?”2 The woman dropped her clasped hands and nodded at Clara.

“Nǐ hǎo? Hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ.”3 Clara reached and held her arms.

“Huān yíng. Qǐng zuò.”4 The woman extended her hand toward a chair.

“Xiè xiè.”5 Clara nodded and approached the chair.

After greeting the woman, Clara had the conversation with her through the translator.

“I’m here to learn about why you gave me up for adoption.”

“I had no choice. The government only let each family to have one child. We wanted to have a son because the son carries the family name and passes down the generations. Many women had abortions when they found out they had girls. Some of them were into seventh months of pregnancy. I didn’t know you were a girl until you were born. The only way we could have a second chance to have a son was to send you to an orphanage.”

“Did you have a son?”

“I did. My mother watched him for twelve years. My husband and I went to the big city to work in a garment factory and sent money home to my mother. We came home every three months to see our son.”

“It must be difficult not to see your son.”

“There was no work in the village. The factories are in the big cites. When our son was twelve, he got in trouble with other boys and didn’t want to go to school. I took the last train ride to come home to take care of him. I didn’t go back to the big city.”

“I’m glad I came to see you. Here is some money gift. I’ll write letters to you when I go back to the America.”

“Thank you for coming to see me. I’m happy for your bright future.”

“Xiè xiè, Ma. Zài jiàn.”6 Clara hugged the stiff woman.

“Zài jiàn.”7 She grinned and nodded.

~ ~ ~

“Clara, welcome home. Tell me about your trip.”

“It was an eye-opening journey, Mom. I had the mystery locked up for so long. Understanding was the key to set it free. I now have the balanced perspective of my past and present, and the appreciation of you and Dad for giving me a better life.”

~ ~ ~


1 Thank you?
2 How are you?
3 How are you? Very glad to see you.
4 Welcome. Please sit.
5 Thank you.
6 Thank you, mother. Goodbye.
7 Goodbye.

©MIriam Hurdle 2020


About the collection

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.

The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.

The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Gwendolyn Plano 5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and heart-filling  Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2021

Miriam Hurdle’s collection of poetry is a song about life. She writes from her heart, uses images we all understand, and positions photographs throughout. This is a book to savor, to read one section at a sitting, to return to a particular poem over and over again, to simply enjoy. The book drew me to Miriam’s blog, which is as lovely as the book. If you like poetry, this one will warm your heart. Highly recommend.

Miriam Hurdle, Buy also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings – Twitter: @mhurdle112

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Thanks to Miriam for allowing me to share her lovely story and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback – Thanks Sally.

Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #FlashFiction Friday Flash Fiction 500 2018 – Biodegradable by Janet Gogerty

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

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

This is the third of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. This week I have chosen a short story by Janet, which will give you an idea of what you might expect from her collections that are available on Amazon. At the moment the topic of plastic shopping bags is very much in the news… and here is an alternative!!

 Friday Flash Fiction 500 – Biodegradable by Janet Gogerty

Cauldrons bubbled, paddles stirred, pumps rose and fell. The dye selector scurried along seeking indigo and sunflower to make that special shade of green for Familyfresh.

Malcolm Rust loved machinery and money, in that order. Childhood visits to industrial museums had given him a love of pistons and presses. The only history he was interested in at school was of Victorian valleys filled with furnaces and engineering entrepreneurs making a mint, so they could build great houses on top of hills looking down on their wealth. His weekends as a teenager had been spent scouring the country for redundant factory equipment and thinking of money making projects to fund his hobby.

He had no interest in the environment, except as the provider of water courses to power mills, until he met Melissa. She worked with his mother at the new Veganarium that had replaced the cheese and bacon shop. His mother needed a job, but for Melisa it was her whole way of life.

As far as Malcolm was concerned food was fuel, the same as coal, wood and diesel for his beloved machines. But as Melissa chattered on about recipes for allergen free biscuits and biodegradable wrappers, he thought he might find a way to her heart. Why not make the biscuits and packets with the same recipe? It was time to investigate corn starch and fructose.

Now he was no longer Mr Rust, but Mr Green, inventor of the edible carrier bag and three days ago Melissa had become Mrs. Green. Channel Four was making a documentary about their plans for a perfect Ecohouse with living walls.

But no sooner had the carrier bags become familiar in every supermarket than the first criticisms began to appear on social media. Members of the public no longer had to feel guilty about plastic or litter; discarded sweet wrappers, takeaway boxes and shopping bags would all be eaten by wildlife, from snails to deer. In fact the carrier bags were so delicious, passing dogs were liable to take a bite out of your shopping.

Then came the first news story from the Familyfresh Fairtrade supermarket. Overnight, all the bundles of new carrier bags had disappeared from the store room. The first clue to the mystery came when three large rats scampered across the feet of the store manager. He ran out into the main store, only to see several more rats slip away from the checkouts. The second clue was the remnant of a carrier bag hanging limply, serrated with huge teeth marks.

A meeting of COBRA * was called after pest exterminators made urgent reports of supersized rats, gardeners posted pictures on Facebook of giant snails and a photograph appeared on breakfast television of a fox the size of a deer hound. Malcolm was summoned to reveal the ingredients of his carrier bags…


*Cobra stands for Cabinet Office briefing room A. Cobra meetings are held in Downing Street to plan government responses in times of emergency.

©Janet Gogerty 2018

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

A selection of books by Janet Gogerty

One of the reviews for Brief Encounters of the Third Kind

Brief Encounters of the Third Kind is anything but brief. It is a meaty story that kept me entertained until the end. It left me wanting a sequel. I believe Janet Gogerty has a great story that could lead to further adventures.

The pace is moderate, but there is terrific character development. Each persona is different and robust. Emma is an unusual character and we can see the strain that she is placed under due to her uniqueness, which results in perfectly normal behaviour for someone who is anything but ordinary. We see her in a very human and fallible light.

At times, I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that I forgot that I was reading science fiction. With a few shocking moments toward the end, Brief Encounters of the Third Kind will keep you reading past your bedtime.

I’m rather hoping there are further adventures and that Janet Gogerty writes a follow up. I think we would all like to hear about little Adam. What happens to him? What does he become in time? I found baby Adam fascinating and well written.

If you are looking for a great story, with wonder character development, and a little bit of science fiction, then read Brief Encounters of the Third Kind.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads:

Connect to Janet


Thank you to Janet for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to explore them for yourselves.  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


If you would like to participate in this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction here is the link:

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews:

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


Smorgasbord Posts from your Archives – #Potluck – Flash Fiction – Lavender not forever by Robbie Cheadle

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

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

Today we begin the series of posts from Robbie Cheadle who has two blogs that I can select from.  Robbie participates in a number of flash fiction and poetry challenges and for her posts from Roberta Writes I have chosen some flash fiction written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photograph challenge which you can find here:

Lavender not forever by Robbie Cheadle

The strong fragrance reminded her of her grandmother. The garden overflowed with lavender bushes, their purple flowers surrounded by bees. They moved lithely from one flower head to another, foraging the nectar efficiently to take back to their hives. Nettie had read somewhere that the long-tongued bumble bees preferred lavender flowers to the short-tongued honey bees. The long tubes of the lavender flowers made them less attractive to the honey bees who had to stick their whole head inside the tube in order to extract the nectar. This resulted in unnecessary delays to their nectar gathering process so they preferred other types of flowers.

Lavender was her grandmother’s favourite flower. Nettie hated lavender nearly as much as she hated bees.

She had become the owner of the cottage a few days ago when the transfer finally went through. Her grandmother had left it to her when she had died a few months ago, at the incredible age of ninety six years old.

Of course, Nettie deserved to own the cottage as she had looked after her ailing grandmother for years. Towards the end of her life, her grandmother had become like the old man of the sea.

Her mind liked this analogy. The old man of the sea in the Sinbad tales tricks kind hearted travelers into helping him cross a stream by riding on their shoulders. Once across, the old man would not release his grip and the traveler became his slave. The old man made his victims carry him all over the island, never allowing them to stop and rest. Eventually, the victim would die of this miserable treatment. That is exactly how Nettie had felt. A reluctant and badly treated slave who ran around doing her grandmother’s bidding all day long and sometimes half the night too.

The lavender has got to go, she thought.

In her high heels and short skirt, Nettie leaned forward and started wrenching the lavender out of the ground by its roots. She threw the bushes into a pile on the lawn. She dragged more and more bushes out of the reluctant earth. Red welts marked her palms as the lavender bushes resisted her vigorous tugs but she didn’t care. Each bush seemed to represent some insult or infringement on her personal time and space by the crazy old bat.

Forty-five minutes later, her fine blouse clinging to her sweaty body and her hair lank and dusty, her vengeance inspired spree of destruction ended. She surveyed the damage and a small smile played across her narrow lips. The lavender bushes lay in a few untidy heaps ready to be dragged to the bonfire pile.

Tomorrow she would get the gardener to chop the bushes up into pieces. She would plant something she liked in their place.

Roses, that’s what I’ll plant.

Nettie loved roses, with their delicate coloured petals and beautiful smell. She would plant roses in every colour she could find. Her grandmother hated roses.

©Robbie Cheadle

A selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five Story and Cookbook

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook (2019) is the next in the author’s delightful series of books that blend children’s stories with themed original recipes. This one is a clever story poem about the disappearance of zoo animals and how Sir Chocolate must figure out what happened.

“One day Sir Chocolate arrived, and not a sound could hear, he called long and loud, but no animals did appear. The animals had vanished, the zoo was empty and still,”

“The monkey is naughty, he likes to have fun, he plays tricks on the others, then away he does run.”

The story is written in the format of a poem and includes great photographs that help readers visualize the action. At the completion of the story, there is a cute poem to introduce an original collection of animal-themed recipes children can complete with their parents. Some of the recipes are:

* Sir Chocolate peppermint caramel pudding
* Cheetah Cheese scones
* Rino Soetkoekies

I have bought several of these books because I love the idea of blending a story with cooking and inspiring kids and parents to spend time together. I also love that Robbie writes these books with her son, Michael, each doing their part in writing, cooking, and photographing. Overall, this is another excellent book in a clever collection that not only entertains but brings parents and kids together.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads:

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

Connect to Robbie Cheadle

Website/Blog Roberta Writes:

Thanks to Robbie for allowing me to browse through her archives to select some posts to share with you.. more over the next three Mondays.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn


Today’s author is Sarah Brentyn with a collection of flash and micro fiction. Hinting at Shadows which was released in November 2016.

Author’s Note: Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

hinting-at-shadows_ebook-cover_sarah-brentyn-resizedAbout Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Two of the recent reviews

A string of story pearls on February 12, 2017

I just finished Hinting at Shadows and had to rave a little about this book of short fiction. When Brentyn says short, she means short. Most of the stories are about 100 words, what I refer to as flash fiction. I enjoy flash fiction, but wasn’t sure about reading a whole book of it. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

Every story is a pearl. The writing is exquisite and full of pathos with a focus on the poignancy of the human condition. Hinting at Shadows is the perfect title as each story is a tiny hint at a larger human story, one that is characterized by shadows – sometimes secrets, but more often complex feelings of loneliness, regret, longing, disappointment, and hope.

It would be possible to whip through this book in a couple hours, but I think it’s meant to be savored, just as one might read poetry. So that’s what I did. It’s perfect for someone who enjoys filling their free moments with words or someone who just loves beautiful writing.

A book to savour. highly recommended. By roger waters on February 1, 2017

Although short this book gave me a long read. Rather than read in a single sitting, I preferred to have the thought provoking flash fiction, short stories, micro flash and one liners, wash over me slowly, letting me digest the twists and turns and black places Sarah Brentyn took me. She I s a master at this genre of writing, with twists that are unexpected as they are shocking. no story exceeded 100 words and many, including those that hit hardest, were over in a blink of an eye, yet stayed with you, rocking you to your core.

I am going to give nothing away and hence my review is as short as Brentyn’s book but nowhere near as powerful. I highly recommend this book of psychological shorts.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection:

Anthologies that Sarah has contributed to.

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Buy all the books:


About Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives in New England with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

Connect to Sarah


Thank you for dropping by today and please give Sarah’s collection of stories a boost across the networks. Thanks Sally

If you would like to join the other authors on the shelves in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore please read the following.


The Sunday Show – A funny thing happened to me… with Hugh Roberts.

Welcome to the Sunday Morning Show and this week a writer and blogger who not only manages to make us smile with his witty posts but also provides interesting articles on a wide variety of subjects. Of course I can only be talking about Hugh Roberts.

Things that I managed to discover about this lovely Welsh blogger… He likes the pop group Bananarama…hates gardening has recently taken up photography and lives in Hove in East Sussex with his partner John. A part of the world that I know quite well.

Hugh has a great sense of humour, supports other bloggers whole heartedly on WordPress and social media and has offered to be my PR agent should I ever consider turning to stand-up comedy to make a living.

He also throws great parties and at the end of March he threw a blog party that attracted guests from all around the world to enjoy great company food and conversation.

The writer.

Hugh has a wonderful selection of short stories on his blog and they range across a number of genres and here is the link to a very poignant tale of undying love and dancing. He also has a love of Flash Fiction and treats us to quick and insightful slices of life.

The Blogger

Hugh has a wonderfully eclectic blog and even more so since he began to explore photography further in recent months. You will find reviews, poetry and also a chance to take a step back in time in his feature Digging Deep… A trip in Hugh’s time machine to explore such programming delights such as Thunderbirds… And films such as Muriel’s Wedding an Australian film that was brilliant.

The funniest and most creative post that I have seen for quite a while was The Mildred Awards. For those of you who like me watched Man About The House from 1973 onwards with Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper you will love the witty setting for showcasing Hugh’s favourite bloggers. I recommend that you pop over and read the post for yourselves.

Hugh is also a guest reviewer over at Lit World Interviews which is great resource for authors and readers alike.


As well as humour we also share a love of dogs and Hugh has a muse in the form of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. A breed that has recently hit the headlines due to the rapidly diminishing numbers and the news that her Royal Majesty the Queen will not be bringing any new Corgis into the Royal Household. She is concerned that at 88 she will find it difficult to cope with a puppy underfoot.


Hugh’s assistant is called Toby and as he himself revealed recently there were only 99 of his breed born in the UK last year. Toby has his own posts that are worth reading to get an insight what it is like to live with a writer and blogger.

Perhaps time to welcome Hugh and to get this interview started.


Toby is a wonderful looking dog but perhaps Hugh you could give us some key reasons for having a corgi as a pet. Why is the breed in decline?

It was my partner John, that first spotted The Cardigan Welsh Corgi a few years ago while watching Crufts. He immediately declared to me when we got a dog, that was the breed of the dog we would have.

Unfortunately both Corgi breeds are in decline in the UK due to many people believing that the Corgi is not a family dog. They have a little bit of a reputation for being unfriendly, especially towards other dogs, but we’ve never found that with Toby. He’s a great socialiser and loves nothing better than meeting and being chased by other dogs (the bigger the better). Corgis are also known for moulting all year round, so they need a lot of grooming and owners will need to use the vacuum cleaner everyday. Dogs such as the Labradoodle, who do not moult, seem to be far more popular as pets these days.

When were you diagnosed with dyslexia and how did it affect your schooling and life since?

I was only properly diagnosed with dyslexia a few years ago. When I was at school, dyslexia was something that most people thought did not exist. I struggled at school and it was thought that I was just not very bright or clever. I often found myself in the lower groups during lessons because I struggled with reading and writing.

One of my biggest mistakes is that I never sought help with having dyslexia when I left school and entered the workplace. I struggled on as best I could and would hide it as much as possible. However, I had a real passion for writing fiction and one of my life’s ambitions has always been to write a book. The days of computers helped with spell checks and the likes, but it wasn’t until last year when I started blogging that I finally began to overcome having dyslexia. I was amazed by the support I was and am still getting from other bloggers which has helped me to overcome having dyslexia and doing what I have always wanted to do and write.

What advice do you have for parents following a diagnosis for their child?

Don’t ignore the diagnosis. Help them as much as possible with their reading and writing and, if possible, seek out groups where anybody with dyslexia can go and meet other people with the condition and where extra lessons are available to help with reading and writing. The condition is so much more accepted now than it was when I was a child.

You have some wonderful collection of stories on your blog Hugh and I understand that you are working on a book can you tell us more about the project and at what stage you are at with it.

I started writing the book a few years ago. It is about my life when I went to live in London during the late 1980’s and has elements of fact and and fiction in it. Unfortunately, the project came to an abrupt halt when I started my blog because blogging was allowing me to interact with other writers and authors. I started writing short stories for my blog and discovered that my real passion for writing was whenever I was writing a short story. Some of my short stories have had wonderful comments from authors who have published books and some have recently encouraged me to publish my short stories on ReadWave. I’ve published my last two short stories on Readwave and was delighted when both stories started trending on the site. ReadWave is all very new to me and I need to look into it further as it seems to be another great avenue for getting my short stories read.

I am sure that your short stories would be very popular in a published collection. Have you plans to do that at some point?

I have been challenged by another blogger to have a short story collection published by the end of the year, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to start with it. I also want to write a few more short stories to add to my collection before I begin the process of publishing them in a book. I understand it also takes a lot of time to put a book together for publishing, so I know my blog would probably have to suffer a little neglect from me, and I hate the thought of that. In answer to your question, yes I do have plans, but they are only plans at the moment and I have no idea if and when I will put them in place.

You have mentioned that you can be inspired to write by household chores such as ironing. WordPress challenges and prompts but also music which I would like to explore further. Apart from Robert Miles which other artists over the years have you enjoyed and collected?

The first ever single I purchased was Dancing Queen by Abba. It was released some years after they won the Eurovision Song Contest, but it was the song that got me interested in music and I have since been a huge fan of theirs. Other music I love to listen to is anything from the 1980’s especially by Stock, Aitken, and Waterman. The music they produced brings back so many happy memories of my early years in London and also inspired me to start writing my book. I am also a huge fan of High Energy music, which was very popular with Gay Men back in the 1980’s and 90’s. It never made it big in the UK, but artists such as Eartha Kitt, Sylvester, Patrick Cowley, Miquel Brown, Boys Town Gang, and The Weather Girls, all did very well with it.

And just for Hugh here is Stock, Aitken, and Waterman with Roadblock which will also bring back memories of traffic jams in London in the 80s.

A funny thing happened on the way to…

The central theme of this series is ‘A funny thing happened to me on my way to…….. ‘ It really does not have to be anywhere exotic but I am hoping Hugh will share his experiences of travel and perhaps the people he has met along the way which have added a smile to his face.  Over to you John.


Last November, John and I took our niece, Anna, to New York. The flight over to New York was rather a bit of an eye opener and below is an extract from one of the posts I published about our trip

“Once onboard the flight we were treated to more drinks and another menu offering us delights such as roast beef, chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and a salted chocolate caramel pudding amongst other things. I settled into the on flight entertainment and started to watch the first of three movies.

However, I and the rest of the passengers in our part of the cabin were treated to rather more entertainment than we had bargained for when two of our fellow passengers started to hold hands, tell each other they loved each other very much, and then proceeded to get on top of one another on one of the seats which had now become a flat-bed. Fortunately, one of the cabin crew saw what was happening and asked the man to remove himself from the lady he was laying on top of.

Settling down to continue to watch ‘The Inbetweeners 2’ movie, it was not long before the couple were at it again and the same member of cabin crew was once again tapping the man on the shoulder asking him kindly to go back to his own seat. Wow, was this the kind of thing that went on in Upper Class I asked myself? By this time, Anna was fast asleep and I was concerned that the guy might come over and try to get on top of her, but fortunately it seems he only had eyes for his new wife. Before the end of the flight, the couple had to be removed from each other twice more, the latter by the Cabin Services Director.”

My thanks to Hugh for sharing that, puts a whole new slant on onboard entertainment! Usually my only excitement in a flight is to spot the one person who takes ten minutes to stow is carry on and blocks the aisle.

Here are links to connect to Hugh and please feel free to reblog and share across social media to introduce this charming blogger to others.

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Now that you have seen the first show in the new series in action perhaps you would like to participate. I have a great line up of bloggers and authors in the next few weeks including Jane Dougherty and Judith Barrow coming up in following weeks. Here is the link for the details. Look forward to hearing from you.