Supporting The Best Bloggers Out There

I think it’s safe to say that we all enjoy blogging, because if we did not, we would have long since popped our blog clogs – would we have not? For those of us who are still blogging and enjoying it – are there any bloggers that wonder if it might one day be possible to go on to publish a book? Or several books? If we did – would we hope that perhaps our blogging buddies might extend their support by forking out and buying our book?

It seems fairly obvious that we may have all had different reasons to start blogging. Some of us have been surprised that there seems a real nice crowd of bloggers out there who either inspire us with challenges and writing prompts, or give to us a big dollop of daily encouragement which helps us to flourish in the blogging world.

I have been blogging since the very end of April – almost seven months now and one of the first bloggers I came across, and received great advice and encouragement from right from the start, is Teresa Grabs the creator of the site The Haunted Wordsmith.

Many of you will already know Teresa. She is a true writer. I have said this before about her – PROLIFIC!!! Boy can she write! She clearly has a remarkable mind that just keeps on creating perfect flash fiction and full length novels. But it’s not just the sheer amount of stories she comes up with. She is a clever writer. She is an expert at endings with an unexpected twist. Or she writes stories with an almost fable-like quality, which make you think again about the world we live in and motivations of people.

Now, I would have thought for any bloggers who are true writers with a creative talent, that compiling your work into the form of a book and publishing it, would be the icing on the cake of all the hours you have put in to producing great stories. As far as I know, Teresa has published three books (correct me if I am wrong please Teresa!) and I have bought all three, including Teresa’s recently released novel, in paperback form from Amazon.

My initial reason for buying the first of her books “Tales From the Haunted Wordsmith” was that after all the support and encouragement and inspiration from Teresa’s stories, writing challenges and her comments on my work – I figured that it was the least I could do to support her writing career by buying one of her books. Surely, the best way to support a blogger you think is superb is to buy their book and tell all your friends about it!

I loved it! I put it straight into my work bag and it was at work that I read it during my break times. The book is perfect for those who read in short bursts during travel or breaks. The stories vary in length, from a page to several pages.

I will be honest, because I don’t like ghost stories, I was a bit hesitant about ordering Teresa’s book because with a title including the word “haunted” that is what I thought it would be. But the book is exactly what it says on the cover “multi-genre”. Which I love. Every story has a fresh feel from the one before. But time and again the way she finished a story made me smile – so many unexpected endings. This is typical Teresa Grabs style. She is a clever woman! I also loved the stories which make you think again about “things” – why people do what they do, or think the way they think.

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I have my favourites. I started to fold the corners down on each of my favourites (my grandfather would be shocked – he never allowed us to fold corners, books were sacred to him). But looking at my copy of Teresa’s book now…I think the first page of almost half of the stories have their corners folded down.

Anyway…I am very grateful for all of Teresa’s support since I have been blogging. I am thrilled that she is publishing her work. It feels great to be able to support a great blogger by buying her book.

In order to obtain a copy of one of Teresa’s books for yourself, you need to travel all the way to Brazil and trek through the Amazon rain-forest, wading through the jungle in the hope that no poisonous snakes or scorpions find you first.

No!!! It’s so much easier than that! I just clicked onto the Amazon website and typed in “Teresa Grabs” and her books appeared. Or you could type in the specific title of the book you think will interest you most.

I have included a link below to Amazon.uk for us Brits:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Haunted-Wordsmith-Multi-genre-Collection/dp/1983008486/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1542924577&sr=8-5&keywords=teresa+grabs

Reflected Echo

These are the other two of Teresa’s books I have bought recently and I would highly recommend to you.

I would certainly recommend Teresa’s books, her blogging, and her writing challenges to all other bloggers.

For bloggers who are talented creative writers and publish their work as a book, we as members of the blogging community can be a superb support in promoting and advertising the books of our favourites. We can become a fantastic marketing team and help promote the books of other bloggers, by means of social media, and by our enthusiasm when we tell people what we have been reading recently.

I have been showing Teresa’s books to friends and  workmates, and will take them up to Wales when I see my family at the end of December. There is a local book club that meet in the restaurant round the corner from my little nest and since a couple of my friends attend (to be honest I am terrified of them because it’s more of a wealthy wives club, and I normally try to make sure I am not on their gossip radar), my next mission is to introduce Teresa Grabs’ books to them. There is a newspaper journalist who lives a few doors down from here. I keep wondering if during one of our morning chats, I might slip in how much I enjoyed Teresa’s book.

Well…

…all of us play an important role in the blogging community. By reading each other’s posts, liking and commenting, we provide enormous encouragement to other bloggers. I am sure that like me, you have found that bloggers notice your support and they seek out your posts to encourage you also.

For those amongst the blogging community who are publishing their work, I think it would be a very fine thing for as many as possible of us to extend our support to not just their blogs, but their books. By all means buy one for yourself. But…even better, talk about it, show your friends and if you are bold like me, invade the local book club too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/random-quotes/

 

 

 

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Where Do You Go?

Where do you go?

When I can’t find you and can’t reach you –

Where do you go?

Why shouldn’t I be worried about you?

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Photo by: Matthew Henry

Thank you to  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith for another picture prompt.  When I first saw it, I thought of the late nights I have had recently, walking back home through London streets after finishing at 1am in the morning.  Then I thought about the anxiety someone might feel for a loved one who is out in the wee hours of the morning and does not account for their movements.  But I have to start work soon, and it is going to be another marathon day.

For the past two weeks, I have felt as if I was constantly chasing my tail and due to my spare time being so limited, my blog posts became shorter and had less “interesting” content.  In addition, I missed out on several word and picture prompts.  Nevermind hey!  Not many of us can afford the time to produce something worth readiing for every single writing prompt that appears.

This week, I have tried to be clever by preparing a few posts well in advance and scheduling them to be published during the week to come.  I felt it was my only option because I was doing extra shifts to cover the holidays of colleagues at work. Being able to schedule the publishing of posts is great, but it does mean missing out on a lot of the fantastic prompts out there.  Shame hey!

Some of the other branches I’m working at to cover holidays are eerily quiet at times.  I have realized it is quite acceptable to spend the quiet times reading a book or writing in a notepad.  So, it turns out I have been able to be fairly productive this week.  I’ll just have to type up my scrawlings at some point.

What I am really struggling with though is keeping up with other bloggers’ posts.  I am sorry.  If you think I am being rude and not checking out your posts despite the fact you continually support me, please please do send me a comment along the lines of:

“Oy! Caramel – you have not stopped by for a while!”

I promise you I will make your site my priority in my long catch-up list.  I am sorry if I have neglected supporting other bloggers.  My time has been evaporating at an alarming rate these past two weeks!  So please do shout out if I have been overlooking your posts.

Well we all have lives to lead…so I am sure you will understand this predicament only too well, and relate to how it feels to know you are not keeping up with other bloggers as much as you would like to.  I look forward to my schedule settling down a bit, so I get back into a routine that allows me to be a better blogger and support other bloggers more.

 

 

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/worth-a-thousand-words-29/

It’s Usually The Male Of The Species Who Make The Effort

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When I first saw this picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith I was bowled over by how  pretty spectacular this little chappy is – I am sure you would agree.

I had in my head a little short story…basically along the lines of how the males of many species are the more colourful and go to the most effort to win a mate…whereas, it often seems the other way around with humans!

I had this story in my mind, but to tell the story I thought I needed to mention what kind of creature he actually is.  I sent a message to Teresa (aka The Haunted Wordsmith) to ask what kind of creature it is.  She said it is a peacock mantis shrimp.  Google helped me find two fascinating articles on the peacock mantis shrimp.  The first was from National Geographic and the second was from Awake!

“This otherworldly creature, a mantis shrimp, was photographed in the waters of Indonesia’s Lembeh Strait. The shrimp feeds by smashing open its prey with a force that can break a pane of glass, and its darting bulbous eyes are thought to be the most complex in nature.”

– NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The Eye of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp

 The peacock mantis shrimp, found on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is equipped with the most complex eyesight in the animal kingdom. “It really is exceptional,” says Dr. Nicholas Roberts, “outperforming anything we humans have so far been able to create.”

Consider: The peacock mantis shrimp can perceive polarized light and process it in ways that humans cannot do. Polarized light waves may travel along a straight line or rotate in a corkscrew motion. Unlike other creatures, this mantis shrimp not only sees polarized light in both its straight-line and corkscrew forms but is also able to convert the light from the one form to the other. This gives the shrimp enhanced vision.

DVD players work in a similar way. To process information, the DVD player must convert polarized light aimed at a disc into a corkscrew motion and then change it back into a straight-line format. But the peacock mantis shrimp goes a step further. While a standard DVD player only converts red light​—or in higher-resolution players, blue light—​the shrimp’s eye can convert light in all colours of the visible spectrum.

Researchers believe that using the peacock mantis shrimp’s eye as a model, engineers could develop a DVD player that plays discs with far more information than today’s DVDs. “What’s particularly exciting is how beautifully simple it is,” says Roberts. “It works much, much better than any attempts that we’ve made to construct a device.”

-AWAKE!

And…thinking back to the story I had in mind originally…I wouldn’t mind if more men put a bit more effort into finding a mate – a bit like the spectacular peacock mantis shrimp!  Let’s allow Sir David Attenburough to talk us through it.

Typical…my story has vanished, because I am distracted by something amazing I have learnt about a creature I never knew about before.  I am sure my story would not have done any justice to this incredible and quite marvellous creature.  Thanks Teresa…for a picture prompt that has opened my eyes to something rather awe-inspiring!

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/worth-a-thousand-words-28/

It Will Never Stand Up In Court

Today’s picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith:

The prosecution’s case depended on the testimony of an eye-witness to 483 individual acts of piracy, kidnapping and theft, as well as an array of other allegations.

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The defense lawyer smiled, he knew the witness would not even be allowed in court, let alone be asked to raise his wing and swear on the holy scriptures that he was telling the whole truth…

His client Captain Black Beard had nothing to fear from his turncoat parrot.  The defence lawyer could only guess what kind of bonus he would receive from his client after the trial was over.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/worth-a-thousand-words-27/

Riding The Storm

My Mumma and Dadda used to prepare us in advance for challenges…and I am glad they did.  Even now we all have “grab-bags” with everything we may need for an emergency.  They made sure we knew life would not be all plain sailing, and we could not be sure what to expect from one day to the next, one year to the next.

It was prolonged times of adversity they warned us might come at any stage. They said unexpected events can occur at any stage and they asked us what would we do if there was an accident or illness that meant we were on our own at any stage.  If tragedy took our parents away, who would we trust?  where would we go? how would we behave? That might sound a bit morbid, but it has certainly helped us to be stable when tragedy has struck at various times over the years.

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https://pixabay.com/en/users/Comfreak-51581/

At the same time they made sure we developed a sunny hopeful disposition so that we were never overcome by challenges.  They said let hope be like an anchor that keeps you stable when you face a storm.  They said sometimes you just have to cling tight to all that you know is good and right and trust that the storm will ease off at some point.  When the storm clouds roll away and the boisterous sea settles down…that was the time to unfurl your sails and let the changing winds impel you forward.  Then you could continue your voyage through life full of joy and satisfaction that you have weathered a storm and are ready for what life may throw at you.  Perhaps with a little bit of storm damage but your integrity intact.

Today’s picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith instantly reminded me of their sage advice.  For ships way back in the day, an anchor would have been a powerful safety device, indispensable for holding a ship in place and preventing it from drifting. No mariner would venture out of port without an anchor.  For centuries, ships had no engine to enable the captain to maneuver as he wished. Except for oar-driven warships, vessels depended primarily on the wind for movement. If their ship was in danger of being driven onto rocks, a captain’s only recourse was to drop anchor and ride out the storm, trusting that the anchor would not lose its grip on the seabed.

But then storm over…anchors up…up the sails…and we are off…impelled by the force that drives us humans along, eager for life and happy times ahead!

I think one or two readers who have read isolated posts I have published, have not been sure what this site is really about.  One reader thought I was just writing about a teenage crush I had on someone once.  I don’t like to spell out what happened too graphically as this is a child-friendly site.  But in case you missed it, here is a little synopsis:

Protaganist: Caramel

Brought up by wonderful parents and taught invaluable lessons for life.

Chooses an incredible career as an international volunteer and is involved with amazing projects.

cyberbullyAnother volunteer (who is also a celebrity) crosses Caramel’s path leading to two years of emotional turmoil, and a challenge she has not weathered before, intense interest from friends, co-workers and the fans of the celebrity – gossip and social media rumours.

Caramel decides she needs to remove herself from the close proximity of sharing a flat with him.  He turns nasty.  A campaign seems to be launched to blacken Caramel’s name.

AmbulanceCaramel goes to a park one evening when she is feeling overwhelmed by the challenges she is dealing with and there falls victim to a serious crime.  She is found the next day by a security guard who calls an ambulance immediately.

Caramel…is rebuilding her life and preparing herself to go back to her chosen career and life.  But she has to be patient.  She has many blessings though including the very lovely Goldfinch.

That is the basic outline…some may have picked up on what the crime was, and some of the other isolated incidents that interweave within this basic outline.  But, I assure you, this situation was a storm unlike any I have ever faced…it was not at all simple to deal with.  A bit of storm damage, but I clung on with all my might to what I knew was good, and right and true and I can hold my head up because I did not retaliate.  I have the blessing of knowing I conducted myself honourably.

Lots more to come…and perhaps at some stage I will rearrange the posts so that they appear in a more logical order.  But for now…it is sails up and away…we are catching the fresh breezes and voyaging ever onwards through an ocean of uncertainty…but keeping our eyes set on the glorious destination ahead!

______________

Seems like a great excuse to attach a song that I have been singing since primary school (goodness I have to tell you about our wonderful Headmaster who played the guitar and taught us all sorts of songs – that is another one for the drafts folder).

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/worth-a-thousand-words-24/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/your-daily-word-prompt-expect-august-9th-2018/

An Eggstremely Belated Apology

I was in bed when I heard a noise as if something was being pushed under my door. Sure enough, once I had turned the lamp on, I saw an envelope had been pushed under my door.

Intrigued though I was, I was so exhausted I did not stir to go and look at it.  I just left it there and drifted off back to sleep.

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https://pixabay.com/en/users/analogicus-8164369/

The next thing I knew my mobile phone was making a low buzzing noise.  I ignored it.  It was Sunday morning…my morning for a sleepy start to the day.  But my mobile phone kept on buzzing away and out of a half open eye I saw it was gradually crawling across the table next to my bed.  Remind me not to leave it on discreet mode, but just to turn it off overnight.phone on table

Out of annoyance I grabbed my phone and saw there were several missed calls and a few text messages in my inbox.

All the messages were from the same person.  Ugh!  What could he possibly want now?  I could not make sense of some of his messages and then it dawned on me that they must be referring to something he had written in what ever was inside the envelope, the envelope that had been pushed under my door the night before.

I picked up the envelope and opened it and cast my eyes over the note inside.  Aaaah, he wanted to meet me for breakfast at Maison St Cassion.  I felt a mix of dread, elation and curiosity.  Only he could have that effect on me.  Only he could insult me and then make me agree to meet him for breakfast the next day.

I texted him immediately and explained I was running late but would meet him for a late breakfast.

blue dressI jumped into the shower and threw on a summery dress I could feel relaxed in and sandals.  I was determined not to make too much effort for him, so I clipped my hair up untidily.  I found myself rushing even though I wanted to keep him waiting.  I was hurt by last night, but so excited I would be with him again.  No make-up I decided.  Yet just before I stepped inside the brasserie he had chosen for us to have breakfast together I doused myself with perfume.

I was annoyed with myself at the way I smiled when I saw him…I was more annoyed with him that he smiled at me when he laid eyes on me.  I kept on reminding myself that I should not make this easy for him. He had been totally out of order the night before.

breakfastAs I sat down at the table opposite him I asked him what it was he wanted to talk about.  But before he had chance to begin his answer a waiter appeared with various small dishes.  “I ordered for us” he grinned.  I laughed inside.  This was him all over.  I can just imagine how hungry he must have been waiting for me to arrive.  He had ordered what I would describe as a Turkish or perhaps Lebonese feast for breakfast.

Then he did something else that was very typically him.  He took out his phone and started taking photos of our breakfast, which I was sure he would be posting onto Instagram.

There was a tiny part of me that felt an irritated impatience with him…but for the most part I loved it.  Isn’t it funny how when you are in love with someone, even little annoying habits can become incredibly endearing and adorable to you?

I let him finish and then when he finally put his phone back in his pocket, I looked at him squarely in the eyes and asked him “Why am I here?”

I think I owe you an apology Mel“.

I was surprised but delighted.  Of course he owed me an apology.  I just could not believe he was about to offer me one, when normally he seemed so thoughtless and ignorant.

Do you mean because of last night?

His brow creased into a puzzled expression, “Last night?  Didn’t you enjoy the party?  I thought it was super.  Mel…I own you an apology because I stole all your eggs.”

My eggs?“…I was baffled!

Well, yeah, Ella (one of our flatmates) told me when I asked her why you had not baked any cake for us this week, that you could not make one because I had stolen all your eggs.  I thought the least I could do was treat you to breakfast to say sorry.”

You are apologising for taking my eggs.  But you have been taking my eggs, my tea-bags, my milk, my coffee…pretty much anything I have not nailed to the inside of my kitchen cupboard for months and months, ever since you moved into the flat.

He threw back his head and started guffawing.  “Too true, too true…noone knows me better than you do Mel!”

So, you regret taking my eggs because I did not make a cake last week?”  My tone must have been rather stern because the grin on his face suddenly vanished.

Mel…” and quite suddenly he shot his hand out across the table and grabbed my hand.  I could not look up, I felt a few tears hovering on my eye-lids.  I wondered if he had any idea how hurt I had been the night before.  Probably not?  But somehow feeling his hand wrapped around mine, nothing mattered any more.  Nothing mattered except that he never let go of my hand.

That was the last time I went a week without making any cake for him.  I would do anything for him, even though his words hurt me, the way he mocked me in front of his friends and colleagues.  There was nothing I would not do for him…to feel his love.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/worth-a-thousand-words-21/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/your-daily-word-prompt-belated-august-6th-2018/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/your-daily-word-prompt-belated-october-2-2018/

I Am Not Embarrassed To Admit I Owned A Baby-Doll

baby doll (2)I suppose I am rather embarrassed to admit that I had not been able to bring myself to let go of her at the age of twenty-four!

Worse still is the story of what happened when my future brother-in-law and one of his best friends found my baby doll (they were nineteen) and what they did to it.

It is totally normal for a little girl to be given a baby-doll by her parents.  Mine came as a hand-me-down from one of my Dad’s customers.  I named her Tanya.  She had a reversible dress that made her either poor little Cinders, or like a princess as the stunning Cinderella.

Like any other little girl, I loved my baby-doll Tanya and she was my companion on lots of days out with my family and friends when I was growing up.  I used to wash and style her hair and  her clothes and iron her little dress.  I was proud of punch of feeling like a mum to my own little baby.

I was also very much the tom-boy. climbing trees, playing football, riding my bike…climbing all over the scaffolding on abandoned construction sites, coming home covered with mud and scratches.  Yet…I still loved my baby-doll Tanya.  I am not ashamed of that!

Have you seen the movie “Toy Story 2“?  It really tapped into my sentiments of not wanting to let go of my childhood toys.  I just did not have it in me to part with Tanya as I grew older.  Once I started high school Tanya became just an ornament, high up on the top shelf.  But I could see her from my bed.  She stayed up there for years, in a way neglected, but at least she was there and I had not discarded her.

Now Mum, Milly, Mandy and I were away one weekend – I think we had gone to Belgium for the weekend.  Dad invited my brother-in-law who had been courting my sister for about six months to stay over for the weekend so he could get to know him better.  He brought a great friend of his whom he had grown up with.

The two boys stayed in the bedroom that Milly and I shared.  And those cheeky boys – do you know what they did?!!!  They rooted through our belongings!  They found my baby-doll Tanya.

And do you know what those two boys did when the found Tanya???  I mean can you imagine two nineteen year old boys with my baby-doll?  I can’t talk about it!

When I came home with Milly and we found Tanya…I was half in hysterics laughing and half shocked they could be so cruel!  We told everyone what they did…the rascals!

Poor Tanya…I should have hidden her when I knew they were going to be staying in our room.  I guess that will teach me for still having a baby-doll at the age of twenty-four!

Now my brother-in-law has a gorgeous daughter of his own, and as is totally normal, he has given her a little baby doll which she adores…I hope he feels ashamed at what he and his friend did to my Tanya!

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https://pixabay.com/en/users/Desertrose7-752536/

When I saw the above picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith I was not sure what to write…but it certainly did prompt a memory!

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/worth-a-thousand-words-20/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/your-daily-word-prompt-reversible-august-5th-2018/