Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #Poetry – #Earthday 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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

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. You can find out how to participate at the end of the post.

Today author and poet Miriam Hurdle shares a poem that she wrote to celebrate Earth Day in April this year.

Earthday 2022 by Miriam Hurdle

April 22 is Earth Day. Clive has a post recounting Earthday.org. Please drop by to learn more about this important message.

“This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet.

Because a green future is a prosperous future.” – Earthday.org

The photo of this amazing tree was taken in Laguna Beach, California

Rooted by Miriam Hurdle

A tree was beaten
but not dead.
Branches were twisted
and broken.
Leaves flopped
and withered.
There was no sign of
life in the cracked trunk.
The hopes of survival were
close to none.
No struggle or complaint
in the silent moments.
Grounded roots
crawled deep into the soil,
searched quietly
the smell of moisture.
Answered the call of the faint rhythm,
the wimpy limbs extended.
Greeted by the welcoming warmth
high above.
The innate yearning for being alive
followed the sun,
reaching toward the sky.

.The tree in the above image inspired me to write this poem as part of the collection in my book, Songs of heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

© Miriam Hurdle 2022

My thanks to Miriam for permitting me to share from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you…

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.

Books by Miriam Hurdle

My review for The Winding Road August 2022

This is a brutally honest journal that takes the author from her initial and unexpected diagnosis of a rare cancer, through the gruelling treatment plan and her survival against the odds.

Despite the difficult subject matter, there are many elements in this story that shine through, such as the strength of faith, support of not just extended family but from kind friends within the local church fellowship, and the extraordinary courage it required to keep going despite the trauma.

Not all challenges were medical by nature, as there were hoops to jump through with regards to work, finance and obtaining the necessary approvals from health insurers. This can only have added a layer of stress totally unwelcome on top of the need to be positive about the prognosis.

Family and so many people came together to support, provide transport, meals and after treatment comfort in the form of emails and online messaging. This was a community at its best, and as important as the chemotherapy and surgery were in achieving the final outcome.

Family is key, and the love of her husband and her daughter with her growing family, are clearly a wonderful incentive for Miriam Hurdle to overcome not just the diagnosis and treatment, but the subsequent after effects that still have to be managed.

At the end of the book there are some wonderful photographs of the author and her family travelling around the world, celebrating life to its fullest. Perhaps with a new awareness of just how precious life is and should be celebrated every day.

At times this book lies heavy on the heart, but it is also an uplifting reminder of the human spirit. It is recommended reading for those who may be facing the challenges of cancer treatment to illustrate that there is hope, but also everyone who respects courage in the face of devastating adversity.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US And:Amazon UK Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings – Twitter: @mhurdle112

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post 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.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Easter Parade Blog Party April 11th/12th 2020 – #Flashback with D.G. Kaye, Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell, Miriam Hurdle and Mary Smith.


Welcome to the second Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Easter Parade this weekend with music, guests and some Easter food…If you missed yesterday’s post here is the link: Easter Parade 11th April

This is also an opportunity for you to introduce yourself in the comment section along with your blog URL and one for Amazon for your books. I hope you will enjoy the next couple of days and for a brief moment it lightens the separation we are all experiencing from our normal lives, away from family and friends.

The theme for the parade is ‘Flashback’ and my guests have all sent in a photograph from the 1960s through to the 1980s, along with a music request. There will be singing along and dancing, and I hope you will join in.

Please help yourself to coffee and macaroons…

My first guest is non-fiction author and regular contributor to the blog, D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies who has informed and entertained with her Travel Column and now is guiding us through the complexities of Relationships.

Debby is sharing a photograph before becoming the vibrant redhead that we know and love today.. .she clearly rocked being blonde too…

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon USAndAmazon UK    BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Debby’s music choice from the 1960s through to the 1980s is Holiday by Madonna.

The next guest this morning is author and poet Robbie Cheadle who writes children’s books with her son Michael and also writes as Robert Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie shares a wonderful photograph taken with her sister when she was 20 years old and her sister 16. She certainly has changed very little..

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.

A selection of books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Robbie on : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration

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Robbie has selected An Angel by the Kelly Family from the 1980s as her music today.

Time for a sandwich….

Now time for thriller writer John Howell to unveil his photograph and I think you will agree it is fabulous.

About John Howell.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John Howell, Buy: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK –  Goodreads: John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com

And John’s music choice is “Only the Lonely” by Roy Orbison. It was a hit in 1960 and the version he has selected is from Roy Orbison’s Black and White Night special seen originally in October 23, 1989

The next guest is poet Miriam Hurdle who shares a wonderful photograph from the late 1970s, singing at a Christmas party.

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate 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.

Buy Miriam’s collection:  Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings

The song Miriam has chosen is a favourite of mine from The Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun.

And my final guest today is author and poet Mary Smith with a photograph taken when perms were making their mark, and Mary’s looks very much better than mine ever did…

About Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

She wanted others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.

Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Website: Mary SmithGoodreads: Goodreads

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And the last piece of music from the Easter Parade today chosen by Mary is by Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now.. and we certainly won’t Mary.

My thanks to my guests for sharing their photographs and music and to you for dropping in. As always love to hear from you and don’t forget to drop your links in the comments.

Happy Easter and stay safe… Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – Miriam Hurdle, Jessica Norrie, Cynthia Reyes and Gwendolyn Plano


The first book today to receive a recent review is Miriam Hurdle for her collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Sep 14, 2019 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude is the first book of poems I’ve read by Miriam Hurdle. This collection was published in 2018 after the poet found hope through the many lessons she’d experienced in the previous years of her life. Nature inspired her, pushed her to conquer all the obstacles thrown in her path. Though not a frequent reader in this genre, I do review these works a few times each year, as I studied poetry in college and find myself interested in reading it on occasion. I am glad I chose this one and encourage others to give the author a chance too.

The collection is organized in a few manners: by type of poem and by category. In fact, to me, some were mini stories and not necessarily a poem. That said, the author clearly shows us that poetry comes in all forms. It’s not just about rhyming or repetition. Nature is the first focus, aptly titled Songs of Nature. I feel like Ms. Hurdle wrote her poems while sitting in nature, witnessing the great beauty of animals, insects, weather, trees, and other naturalistic parts of our world. Frequent photographs, some the author took herself, accompany the sections, showing us the inspiration of what led to the poem.

Rooted with some religious beliefs, the author connects with God to openly ask for help and thank the Creator for all that she’s been given. There is raw pain and innate fear in the words, but there is also hope and promise. At just the right moments, Ms. Hurdles takes a swift turn to share something more light and funny, almost poking a bit of amusement at something that tickles her in nature. It fits, almost matching the surprises in store for all of us throughout the day.

One of my favorites, A Tiny Spider, is simple but deep:

A tiny spider labors
every night to
spin his web in
perfect symmetry.
What an innate architect is he!
patiently watches for
his prey to volunteer.
Meal for the night and
reward for the
labor and wait.
Before dawn, down
his trap and hides away.
When the night is nigh
he starts his day.
Spins his web
again, again.
Again!

Covering other basic human emotions and complex dreams, we experience dissonance, physical healing, marriage, parenthood, tribute, reflection, challenge, and inspiration. I personally enjoyed the conversations with her parents, learning about how she connected with them from two continents so far apart. Kudos to the author for a wonderful opportunity to express herself and wade through the pain and sacrifice we encounter in life, only to find the ray of light through words and expressions. 4.5 stars for the full collection.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam via her website: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

The second author with a review is Jessica Norrie for her recently released book The Magic Carpet.

About The Magic Carpet

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

I must admit that I got an expected but completely welcome surprise when I read this book. The magic carpet is an intricate and beautifully told tale of a school project and several families involved. Each child in the class has been allocated a fairy story to take home and make their own any way they wish.

The narratives switches between each family and each chapter is dedicated to a different class member. Diverse, intriguing and almost voyeuristic, we are allowed to peep into the lives of each family as they tackle the homework project in very different ways. All the adults in the story are increasingly distracted by events in their own lives and it’s up to the children to bring everyone together.

I adore that Jessica Norrie has given each family a very unique identity through circumstances. culture and race. Each relationship and situation is delicately written and issues are tackled with sensitivity but bring he characters to life. I became invested in every single child in this novel.

This is a breathtaking and addictive story about stories, families and children.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Carpet-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B07TXZP2S2

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Carpet-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B07TXZP2S2

Also by Jessica Norrie in English and German

Read the reviews buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Norrie/e/B01CEUZF26

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Pool-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B011RA8QZW

Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270629.Jessica_Norrie

Connect to Jessica via her blog: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com/

The next author with reviews for her latest release is Cynthia Reyes, a gardening memoir – Twigs in my Hair.

About Twigs in my Hair

Author Cynthia Reyes returns with Twigs in My Hair, a book about her lifelong passion for gardens and nature and the surprising relationships and events involved. Gorgeous photographs by Hamlin Grange complement a humorous and profound story. A beautiful gift for gardeners and non-gardeners. Readers will meet a variety of interesting creatures, both human and animal, some of whom compete for gardening produce or gardening glory. You may conclude, after reading Twigs in My Hair, that the gardener’s love for growing things swings from reverence to mania. But there is also a deeply emotional side to this story about what happens when a passionate gardener can no longer do what she loves.

One of the recent reviews for the book

K. Pickering 5.0 out of 5 stars A Book to Savor September 7, 2019

I intended to take my time with this book… To read a few pages every day…make it last. I did not succeed. Every time it caught my eye it beckoned me back and just under 4 days later I was finished.

I would highly recommend “Twigs in my Hair” by Cynthia Reyes. She invites us into her world through her gardens, past and present. Her beautiful stories are accentuated by her husband’s (Hamlin Grange) striking photographs. Photographs that give us a glimpse into their gardens and their lives.

Thank you for allowing us to sit awhile in your gardens. Thank you for introducing us to your neighbors and friends. Thank you for sharing part of yourself, warts and all. We are richer for it. – Karen Pickering

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Twigs-my-Hair-Gardening-Memoir/dp/0991837924/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twigs-my-Hair-Gardening-Memoir/dp/0991837924/

Also by Cynthia Reyes

And co-written with Lauren Reyes-Grange – Illustrated by Jo Robinson

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

Read more reviews and follow Cynthia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes

Connect to Cynthia via her website: https://cynthiasreyes.com/

And the final author today with a recent review is Gwendolyn M. Plano for her memoir Letting To into Perfect Love.

About the book

Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.

The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.

Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.

This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.

One of the recent reviews for the book

In her book Letting Go, Gwen Plano recounted her two abusive marriages in honesty and courage. She married the first husband after he had a mental breakdown. The psychiatrist gave her hope that Bruce could recover. She married him intending to help him and saved him from being admitted. She couldn’t handle his outrage and filed a divorce. She married Ron six months after they met. There were signs of Ron’s disturbed behavior, but Gwen stated that she was in a fantasy world of young love. In the years to come, Ron uprooted the family on minutes of notice and moved across the country and even to Japan. After they came back to the US, he was getting more violent, demeaning and controlling. He physically abused young son when the baby was seven months old. When the daughter was sexually abused at age five by clergies and complained about that years later, Ron didn’t want to deal with it.

During the twenty-five years of abuse, Gwen studied and taught. The workplace was her escape. The busyness kept them going for twenty-five years. At one point, she realized Ron made her feel “small.” In an abusive relationship, women kept the abuse in secret, fear the reporting results in more abuse. These women may fear of not being able to stand on their own feet.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Also by Gwendolyn Plano and co-written with John W. Howell.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gwendolyn-M-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily Tuesday 24th September 2019 – Miriam Hurdle, Norah Colvin and Cynthia Reyes


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first blog today is from Miriam Hurdle and shares the gifts that she gave herself in celebration of a great achievement.

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda is “wrap/rap.” I used unwrapped.

I gave two unwrapped gifts to myself when I graduated with the Doctor of Education in year 2000.

The first gift was two season tickets to six operas in 2001. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a radio. I listened to the news, ghost stories and other broadcast on my neighbor’s radio. There was a theme music playing before the news. After thirty seconds, the music faded as a female announcer came in to report the news of the day. That was the beginning of my classical music appreciation and I later identified the theme music for the news broadcast as the Overture of Bizet’s Carmen. I started taking voice lessons at nineteen years old and sang pieces of operatic music.

Image result for bizet's carmen

I hoped to see operas such as Carmen, La Bohème and La Traviata, and learn about less popular ones. Hubby likes mostly country western music, but he would go with me to see the operas. Part of the attraction to me was to dress up and be with other people who had the same interest. At the opera house, people could rent small binoculars at $7 each. We brought two binoculars with greater strength. I not only wanted to see the details of costumes but also the singers’ expressions.

Find out more about the opera that Miriam enjoyed and what the other gift that she gave herself: https://theshowersofblessings.com/2019/09/20/socs-2019-09-20-two-unwrapped-gifts/

Miriam Hurdle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/  Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle

The next post is from educator and storyteller Norah Colvin, and follows on from a series of interviews with a number of us about our school days. Norah has collated the answers to discover common threads and suggestions on how education might be improved. In this post she shares our answers to the question – How can schools be improved?

In the recent School Days series which featured reminiscences of twenty-five authors and bloggers, each was asked for suggestions of improvements that could be made to schools.

In this post, I share those suggestions. If you wish to read more of the authors and bloggers’ works, please click on their names to follow the links. If you would like to read their reminiscences, follow this link.

This post concludes the series for now. I thank you all for joining in the conversation. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. There are still some who would like to share their reminiscences which I will post as they come in on a Sunday evening. For now, I’ll leave you with these wonderful suggestions of how school could be improved. (Note: I have arranged the bloggers in alphabetical order of first name.)

Anne Goodwin, How do you think school could be improved?

  • Reinvest in SureStart (it was a UK New Labour thing for at-risk preschoolers) so that all kids have the skills they need for school.
  • Scrap private schools’ charitable status and put the taxes raised into state education.
  • Abolish all religious schools, and schools established to follow a particular fad.
  • Provide every child with a light breakfast and a three-course vegan lunch (to avoid the expense of catering for different diets) for free. Kids can’t learn if they’re hungry, and we desperately need to give the adults of tomorrow the skills to pursue a healthy diet. (So cooking and gardening lessons too.)
  • Halve class sizes, and give teachers more support, including optional counselling / short-term therapy for anyone working with kids.
  • Foreign language and music classes from the early(ish) years and (although I hated it) compulsory exercise through a diversity of sports. (Why should these life-long benefits be restricted to those whose parents can cough up the dosh?)
  • Prevent (religious) parents from withdrawing their children from certain lessons, such as sex and relationships, including same-sex couples.

Idealistic? Too expensive? Not if we care about the future society we build.

Balroop Singh, How do you think schools could be improved?

First, recruitment of qualified teachers who feel inspired to take the responsibility of teaching the next generation is essential. Second, they have to be paid at par with others to attract intellect and talent to this profession. Number of students in a class needs to be reduced and value-based education with flexible curriculum could be helpful for those students who want to pursue higher studies.

Find more opinions on this question from Barbara Vitelli, Carol Taylor, Charli Mills, Chelsea Owens, Christy Birmingham, Darlene Foster, Debby Gies, D.Avery, Geoff Le Pard, Hugh Roberts, Joy Lennick, Jules Paige, Mabel Kwong, Marsha Ingrao, Miriam Hurdle, Pamela Wight, Pauline King, Pete Springer, Ritu Bhathal, Robbie Cheadle, Sherri Matthews, Susan Scott and yours truly: https://norahcolvin.com/2019/09/22/how-schools-could-be-improved/

Connect to Norah via her websites

Website: www.NorahColvin.com
Website: www.readilearn.com.au

The final post today is from author Cynthia Reyes and is a lovely interview with her daughter and co-author of the Myrtle the Turtle series, Lauren Reyes-Grange.. They are joined by the next generation, a granddaughter who is joining the family very soon. Please head over and enjoy this wonderful family affair.

I’ve been wanting to interview my co-author, Lauren Reyes-Grange.

But how do you do that when she is your daughter, as well as the person who inspired the first Myrtle the Purple Turtle book?

I decided to put on my professional interviewer’s hat — after all, I’d done thousands of interviews in my journalistic work. Here goes:

When did you first realize you loved to tell stories?

LRG: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read stories, write stories or tell stories. I am fairly certain I was born with a wild imagination. Pair that with two parents who were superstar journalists (and naturally fantastic storytellers), and I think I was bound to catch the bug, too.

Blog Photo - Lauren headshot

What was it like growing up in a house of storytellers and writers?

LRG: It was wonderful. I loved hearing stories about my parents’ work, about their day. My parents also encouraged my sister and me to read, be curious, stand up to injustice, and look for the humour in everyday things which I believe makes for great storytelling.

Head over and read the rest of this heartwarming interview between mother and daughter: https://cynthiasreyes.com/2019/09/22/interview-with-lauren-reyes-grange

Cynthia Reyes, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6
Blog: https://cynthiasreyes.com/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in their entirety … thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors – Lucy V. Hay, Miriam Hurdle, Phil Huston


Over the last two weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series: Contributors Part Three

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

More of the contributors.

Lucy V. Hay shares her experience of teenage pregnancy with Stevie and also the choices facing a teenager today, the difficulties of continuing to study without adequate support. A motivating article that looks at the issue positively and provides common sense advice to a young person finding themselves in the same position today.

About Lucy V. Hay

Lucy V. Hay script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters’ Festival. Lucy is also an author, writing both screenwriting books and crime fiction. You can connect to Lucy via her website http://bang2write.com/

A selection of books by Lucy V. Hay and you can find reviews and links to buy on https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7306291.Lucy_V_Hay

The next contributor is author Miriam Hurdle who writes about her experience with melanoma from its detection through to surgery and chemotherapy. Despite Miriam writing about this very challenging life changing event in a very matter of fact manner, it only makes her story the more inspiring. Apart from overcoming this disease in more advanced stages, there was also a need to manage the bureaucracy of some medical  practitioners that must have added to the stress.

About Miriam

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate 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.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

The next contributor is Phil Huston who talks about smoking and hypertension – As a heavy smoker until 27 years ago I found Phil’s interview very familiar. Particularly the giving up cold turkey. There are definitely links to hypertension and clearly Phil has done a great job in kicking the habit and regaining his health.. If you still smoke.. you should read.

You will also find some excellent short stories on Phil’s blog and he is the recipient of a number of Stevie Turner Short Story Contest awards. https://philh52.wordpress.com/

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About Phil Huston via his Blog

Let’s get the this out of the way. First, I’ve been in or around the music business since I was a teenager. As a sound designer, keyboard player, synthesizer programmer, artist relations manager, demo clinician, rep, electronic musical instrument product manager…blah, blah, blah. Does that matter? In this context, probably not. Aside from those things I PH HEadsot 1don’t know much. What I do know is that we all collect experiences and memories through our unique histories, and that’s what I’m interested in these days. Because music and words are always best served in the telling of stories.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting some of the contributors to this anthology…I will be featuring more of the contributors in the  next week.

 I hope you will purchase a copy and contribute to a great cause… thanks Sally.