Humor - Bellyful of laughter · Writing

Peter Beard – Writer’s World

For those who may be unable to make out the inscription on the photo:

Greetings from Koobi Fiora/Lake Rudolf April 1965

I’ll write whenever I can. Sincerely Peter Beard 4141 Nairobi

Writer, Photographer, Artist

Author Zone

Bring Your Books #6 – Author zone

This week in Author’s zone

The Swamp Fairy Book Cover

A bit about ‘The Heart Stone Chronicles.’

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primaeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Here’s where you can find your copy:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback


Universal book link

What Readers Are Saying

“This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I must admit that it’s not my usual kind of read. But I thought I’d give it a chance. Right off the bat, I had two favourite characters, Abby and Sam. The author drew me in with good writing, excellent pacing, and an antagonist that had me turning pages at an alarming rate. I had to find out what the dastardly villain would do next! Andrew Joyce

An enchanting book written by Colorado author and blogger Colleen Chesebro, the “Fairy Whisperer.” This charming book tells a story about a little girl, Abigail, who, in spite of a difficult life, finds true magic from the love she has given, the love she receives, the magic of friendship, and of her beloved swamp.
A wonderful book for tween girls who, like all of us at that age, love horses, magic, and trying on their own wings. Beautifully written, and lovingly told, this story resonates those values we all hope to achieve. Belinda M

A Bit About Colleen

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her children/adult fantasy series is presently under production and called The Heart Stone Chronicles. The Swamp Fairy is the first book in the series. A retired bookkeeper, she has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her love for all things creative. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of artistry. She lives in the United States with her husband, and her two Pomeranians, Sugar and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website:

Guest Posts

Connecting With Lovely Talented Writer, Ellis: L. S. Engler

My Easter Edition interview is with talented Ellis also known as L. S. Engler of ‘Worlds Unknown.’ Her byline alone is intriguing and, in her blog, she breathes stories. Do check out Worlds Unknown.

Thank you, Ellis for granting this interview.

Snippets of Me

Ellis Engler, Writer, Blogger, Interview

Hello! I’m L.S., a writer, reader, dreamer, creator of worlds. I’ve always felt that writing is something I was destined for. Growing up in rural Michigan, I could easily spend hours running around the woods, making up stories and characters and grand adventures, and I’m happy to say that the wonder of it all has never really left me. Now I just channel it all into words. I live in the suburbs of Chicago now, working part-time as a barista because those bills have to get paid. But when I’m not there, I’m reading or writing or exploring some of the really wonderful nature trails we have here in Northeastern Illinois. I’m vegan, I have two cats and a boyfriend, and my favorite color is green.

My very first story published ever was back in 2009, in Temenos, the graduate studies literary journal at my alma mater, Central Michigan University, where I studied history and creative writing. I started self-publishing in 2012, with my collection of short stories titled Bowlful of Bunnies, and have been hitting the publishing trail pretty hard since then, including starting my own literary journal, World Unknown Review. It’s been very gradual, glacier-paced start to a career, but it’s a start none-the-less.

Bits About My Blog

When you get into the world of self-publishing, you hear a lot about branding and building your tribe and the need to really reach out to people and get them to know you. That’s how I started blogging, as a way to meet with other writings and potential readers, sharing my thoughts and ideas. It’s sort of a catch-all for whatever I want to write about.

Mostly, I talk about stories that I’ll be publishing and upcoming books, but there’s also book reviews, recipes, and various other observances and promotions. I also like to use it to help promote the authors that contribute to my World Unknown Review. Nearly every month, we feature an author from the review, with a featured story and an interview. That’s probably my favourite part. I love spreading the word about stories I love and getting to know other authors, what makes them tick, what they enjoy to read, and things like that.

Staying On Top of Things

Sometimes, it’s hard to get posts up, whether it’s just a lack of time from trying to juggle too much or simply feeling like I don’t have any ideas worth sharing at the moment. What really helps is that I’ve started doing a weekly thing I like to call a “Monday Morning Reset.” On Monday, I mentally wipe the slate clean of all the stuff that may have dragged me down in the previous week, and I write a blog post talking about what was done, what didn’t get done, and what I hope to do in the upcoming week. I start reading a new book, I start working on a new story, I just try to keep everything new and fresh, and that’s been a great motivator. It’s important to sometimes look back at what you’ve done and give it a critical review. It’s also a great way to keep your readers up-to-date on what you might be working on and what’s going on in your world.

The Downsides and Yes, The Ups

So far, it’s just challenging trying to think of interesting things to say! There are so many blogs out there, so many of them talking about writing, that there are many times when you feel like you’ve got nothing new or interesting to contribute. That’s when it’s important to remember that people are reading your blog because they ARE interested, and you can’t let yourself get in the way of yourself. It’s your blog. Write what you want, even if it’s boring, even if it’s not too exciting. Even if it only get a small iota of views this time, maybe next time you’ll get more. But you won’t get any if you don’t post at all.

A Word of Encouragement

I would encourage other bloggers the same way I encourage other writers (and myself!): by emphasizing the importance of JUST WRITING. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you’re getting some writing done. Eventually, the good stuff shines through and you can run with it for a while. Even if you feel like no one is reading it, just write. Eventually, someone will.

Spend A Day With Me

My days are pretty simple and regular. I love order and I love consistency, so I try to keep a routine from day to day. I wake up around six thirty every morning, make some coffee, and settle in to read and write for about an hour. I have absolutely no attention span so I like to switch between reading for a little and writing for a little. After that hour, I hit the computer to write blog posts, answer emails, type stories, edit stories, send out stories.

Then I have a daily workout routine, then shower, and then a few video games before breakfast with my boyfriend, who, being a night owl, is just about getting up at this time. We always watch “Jeopardy!” with breakfast. Then it’s time to get lunch prepare and I usually have to go to work at this point. I’m an early bird, so I work nights so that I can have my sweet precious morning time to myself. Well, to myself and my cats, who intermittently want to cuddle while I work. I have two eight-year-old Siamese cats, brothers, one grey point, one seal, named Genghis Khan (leader of the Meowngal horde) and Baldur Cat (Bringer of Cuddles). They’re pretty affectionate and they keep me company while I work.

If I have the day off, I’ll usually spend the day running errands, preparing meals for the upcoming week, going out for a hike, or spending the day getting inspired at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my favorite places ever. I’m trying to get into the habit of getting in some more writing before bed, too, though so far it’s been a little hit and miss. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for my writing, as they have me temporarily full time at work, but I do what I can when I can, and a little bit here and there can really add up!

Going Forward

My next step is to finally finish my zombie trilogy, the Slayer Saga, with the final book, entitled “Fearless,” and I hope to get more books finished, too. And, of course, what I really wanted to share in this interview was information about the World Unknown Review. I started this literary journal four years ago, and it’s really been gaining momentum!

Last year, I received over a hundred stories from fifteen different countries, and the final product represented five of them. I’d love to see what this year will bring. So if anyone’s got some stories and they’d like to be a part of this hopefully steadily growing tradition, I hope they send them my way for consideration. You can find more about the journal and the submission process at

Other than that, it’s just more writing, more blogging, on to bigger and brighter things each and every day.

Guest Posts

Meet Maline Carroll – A Fascinating Blogger Friend of Mine

The blogging journey has introduced me to fascinating people from all walks of life and today, I introduce you to beautiful Maline of Lifting Taboos who also happens to be one of my partners. Please read and meet her yourself.

Brief Snippet of Me

My name is Mae and I am a Haitian adoptee. I like reading and writing clubs. I don’t like long walks on the beach. My general outlook towards life is positive with a dash of hesitation. 

Me and My Blog

I grew up with psychologically abusive adoptive parents and one of the ways for me to get out of myself was to write. I began journaling at an early age (About 7) and eventually compiled my first book from over 10 years worth of journal entries. I would describe my blog as a stream of conscious writing with really no end and odd beginnings. When I was setting up my blog I had the desire to write one blog a day but then life happened and those goals became very unrealistic. I now attempt to blog once a week on “difficult to swallow” topics and as much as I can on random happenings.
The blogging phenomenon has its ups and downs. You have a greater audience but it means more people get to know more about you. My blogging experience has been pretty positive. Many of my posts deal with adoption and their many complexities including race, gender, and sexuality. I have categorized most of my blogs so they can be found based on particular categories. I feel that some of my simplest and non-thought-out writing gets the most views. I have not quite figured out why yet. And I get comments on some of my strangest blogs which makes me laugh each time. Maybe the thought-provoking pieces keep people from commenting. Some of my top blog posts are; #notallwhitepeople  if you make your child a doormat, and 6 signs you are healing from abuse.

Keeping it Going and The Little Challenges

I do not feel I motivate myself. I feel that writing comes naturally for me. When I feel the need to write, I do it. I feel that not creating a particular writing schedule actually encourages me to write more. My motivation? No rules, no structure. Just me. 
My most challenging moment in my blogging journey is reaching the right audience. A lot of my writing sounds like it is “anti” adoption which goes against what agencies, orphanages and adoptive parents’ wishes but if you read my work carefully, it is not pro or against, it is all about education and what we can learn on this journey and how adoptive parents can do better for their adopted children who one day become adults. 

What I Got To Say To Others

I would say write about what you know. For a long time I wrote for a research company and I learned a lot about writing different genres. But my biggest success was sticking to my lived experience. People want to hear your voice if you write from just that your voice. Don’t pretend. Just be in the moment and share who you are. We only have one life, maybe this is the legacy you can leave behind. 

Spend The Day With Me

I’m a mom and a wife so a typical day spent with me is not very glamorous. I wake up at around 7 a.m. to see my young child off to school. My partner takes the dog out in the mornings (I absolutely refuse to do it, I deal with night duty). If I have to sub, I go in to work with my partner, if it is not a subbing day, I go back to sleep until about 10 a.m. At 10 a.m. I’m up and get into the shower. Grab coffee. I pet the dog and then sit at my desk to answer messages and calls. I am an adoption consultant and I have an online business so every morning that I am not at “school”, I am in my office working.
Throughout the day I consult and answer the phone. I also work on video edits, and on my Honest Adoption Talk YouTube channel, a safe place where we talk honestly about adoption. When I am not working on my YouTube channel, I’m finding time to interview someone on my podcast or just speaking some truth. At around 3:00 pm my kid gets home and I can’t do “adoption” related things because she is adopted and I don’t want to create trauma where there is not any yet. She knows I am open to talking about anything but I don’t want to do any preemptive conversations that could cause her to feel she has to feel a certain way. So Adoption conversations cease once she is home. From that time until my partner gets home, I work on my newest book. Then prepare dinner, then a movie, and then bed. 

Taking it To The Next Level

I don’t really have any “plans” for my outreach and publishing. I just write and publish my work. My main focus right now is publishing my new book The Perks of Being an Adoptee. I have self-published 7 books (two which are in Spanish also). This new piece, however, looks at adoption in a more comical light using humor, sarcasm and matter-of-fact speech. This book will be available April 1st. Currently, portions of the book can be read online. It is available for pre-order if you contact me.
Along with the book that  I am working on publishing, I spend a great deal of time answering questions in my facebook group. Adoption, Race, and Their Complexities. It’s a group I created to help adoptive parents better understand the complexities of adoption in a group setting. I offer one on one advice and assistance but the group is free.

Meet Maline On Her Channel

Honest Adoption Talk
Featured Blogs

Featured Posts – Share Your Post Links

Sharing, Blogs, Networking, Growing Readership, Connection, Bloggers, Blog Posts


Today’s featured blogs posts are:

Do step in and show some love.

Your country needs you It is men that build a Nation or bring it down. Your prayers for your country make a difference.

You are not as alone as you think  What an uplifting post, Elihu!  Some may be on a journey where they feel all alone…

Loneliness has a way of seeping into the soul uninvited, slowly sapping our stores of joy until a gaping emptiness remains. Loneliness assaults us in the dead of night or kicks us in the gut as we jostle our way through the madding crowd. It metastasizes through our hearts and minds, increasing our susceptibility to temptation.

Please read!

The PBS blog meet Yecheilyah Ysrayl, an inspiring, consummate author and blogger. Check out her blog and all those books she’s published.

Who would have thought losing your hearing could be so noisy? Life can throw us a curveball any moment. How do we deal with it? Here are my comments on this post.

Oh my! What a curveball. Life brings surprises every day and sometimes they are not always wonderful surprises. I had no idea that loss of hearing could be sudden. It must be challenging relearning to manage your hearing, but you sound on top of things and the most important part is your attitude of positivity.

Michnavs  writes ‘poetry in motion.’ I love this description. You’ve got to visit. Here’s a little sampling.



With the thoughts of tomorrow…

That may never actually come…

Do you want more eyes on your words?’

Well then, add your LINK INTO THIS LOOP.

Comments are disabled here to keep the loop tidy. Any comments or link you want to send can be added through the link in the post.

Thank you for your understanding and regards.

‘We create a cohesive community when we come together.



The One and Only Beautiful Gem Called Tanya Cliff.

A beautiful and fascinating lady writer whom I admire greatly. It is said that one’s words are a mirror into their soul and Tanya’s one amazing writer who’s words reach you on another level.

A Bit About Me

Tanya Cliff, Writer, Interview

My pen is a mighty tool. I’ve been using it all my life to tell stories and explore this world in all its natural wonder and human diversity. I write everything from the diminutive, but powerful, haiku to the full-bodied epic adventure. Of all my writing endeavors in the past few years, I’m most proud of the successful use of some of my work a juvenile detention center in SE Wisconsin to foster creative expression and encourage these children to develop their unique talents.

My passion for human rights manifests in a strong voice of advocacy for the persecuted and poor and an ongoing family effort that supports a range of humanitarian efforts. Watch where you step on my blog. I shatter a lot of glass of past hypocrisies with my pointed quill.

I love working with the camera and use my photography to illustrate the pieces I share on my blog, with a special emphasis on nature shots and work with a macro lens. The credit for all the photos of me goes to my talented 13-year-old daughter, who shares my enthusiasm for a good capture.

I’m a classically trained flutist with a rich and eclectic taste in music, performing everything from Mozart to jazz improvisation.  My favorite playing hours, however, find me behind the piano keys.

I am a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

A Bit About My Blog


The Prodigal 

I started my blog just over a year ago as a platform to support the fantasy novel I had just published and to grow my writing skills. On my blog, I write everything from the diminutive haiku to free verse poetry to short stories. I have even begun sharing stop-motion videos that I produce. My work often serves as a platform for social commentary and critique and a voice of support for those who have nothing. My passion for nature finds frequent expression through words and photos on my blog. I love my interactions with bloggers all over the world and take great inspiration from their friendships and encouragements.

Blogging Challenges

I recently retooled my blog to include new projects that I have and directions I’m exploring. This involved clearing a lot of old writing off my blog and completely redoing my home pages – a major facelift.



My first-in-series epic, fantasy novel, Tales from the Valdaren – The Prodigal Son, was published just over a year ago and maintains a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. The second novel is in development.

I just published, A Haiku for Ricky Baker, a book of poetry including Haiku, Tanka and free verse poems telling the stories of neglected and at-risk children. All proceeds from that book go to fund art and writing programs for children in juvenile detention. I also hope to use this book to introduce Haiku and Tanka to these children as a method of developing strong writing and reading skills.

The second book of poetry and short stories, The Politically Empty Glass, will be released shortly. This book explores the hypocritical application of “liberty” in the United States through a combination of Haiku, Tanka, free verse poems and satirical short stories. It is a work that has come about, in part, due to the encouragements of my blogging friends.

I am also delving into screenplay work, using the development of stop-motions videos as an initial platform. I love the challenge of telling a story through this medium.


Haiku for Ricky Baker


Guest Posts

A Professional Journalist, Writer, Blogger: Getting To Know Sir Romanus Ngobesing

I call him Sir Romanus out of respect and much regards. Since we connected in this space, he’s been a voice of encouragement and support. He uses his blog actively as a platform to inspire and promote others and his openness is just heartwarming. Thank you for all you do Sir Romanus.


A bit about me

Thank you, Jackie for making me a guest on your blog! You are one of the bloggers I admire for the quality of your work and feel honored to be your guest.

My name is Ngobesing Suh Romanus, and I hail from Cameroon, in Central Africa. We are a close neighbor to Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa. My country is best known as a great football nation with stars like Roger Milla, the African Millenium player and 4-time African player of the year, Samuel Eto’o Fils.

I am a journalist by profession, a Senior Citizen retired (but not tired) in 2011 from the state-owned Cameroon Radio Television in Corporation, after thirty years of service. A month after retirement, I picked up my present position of pioneer Manager of the Catholic Radio in my Archdiocese, Radio Evangelium. I have had the duty and honor to set it up from scratch and have it running.

To know more about where I am coming from, I started secondary education in one of the best secondary institutions in my country, Sacred Heart College, before becoming a probationary teacher after passing a recruitment exam in 1967. One year later, I got into a Teacher Training College where I got trained to teach. Then I taught for a while before getting into University where I obtained a B.A in bilingual literary studies (French/English). I did one-year ‘Maitrise’, before proceeding to the International Higher School of Journalism in Yaounde. There, I did professional studies, obtaining a B.A. in Journalism. The study program offered me the opportunity to travel to France, Canada and the United States of America for internships in different institutions.

After school, I started my broadcasting career in 1981. In 1997, I travelled to Holland where I did a course on Human Rights in the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

My work over the years has impacted many people and changed their lives. Wherever I serve or go, I love the people I meet and they love me. In 2007, in recognition of my contribution to the transformation of the society, the International University of Bamenda awarded me an honorary Doctorate degree in Public Relations and Journalism.

My Pleasures and Displeasures

Talking about my likes, I love my work. My work as a journalist (broadcaster) writer and blogger has enabled me to serve more people than I ever imagined. I have impacted many lives positively and it gives me tremendous joy not just because it has made me a household name in my country, but because, I have had the chance to do what gives me real pleasure which is serving people, helping them make the most of their lives, and contributing, in my modest way, to make the world a better place for all.

I dislike injustice. I dislike when I see talent wasted because of the lack of the opportunity or motivation to develop it. I dislike the fact that the resources of the world are not fairly shared; some people swim in luxury while others wallow in misery. I think this should not be so. The rich must make their riches circulate so that no child fails to go to school because their parents can’t afford their fees; so that no child or adult dies because they cannot afford medical care; so that no family goes to bed without a meal because they cannot afford it. I think we should all work in a way that all of us, not just a few of us, will enjoy the world.

Blog Talk

I love my WordPress blog. I love the name Success Inspirers’ World. I started it when I became a Senior citizen. That was precisely in August 2014. Before then I had a blog on blogger which I struggled to run because I knew very little about ICT having never gone to a computer school. I learned computer informally from the students who came on internship and worked with me, as well as from my children, my spouse, and later on the staff in my present job. Surprisingly, today, I am doing far more than many who taught me.

I created a blog to reach out to those I knew needed the kind of help and support I had been offering my radio fans over the years and which was greatly embraced. I see many people who waste their lives, some of whom have enormous talents just because there is no one to help them discover who they are, or to encourage them to bring out the best in them. I enjoy inspiring, motivating and encouraging people. There are people who are failing woefully in their marriages whereas they should be succeeding and shining.

Since I spent all my working life assisting people this way and accumulated so much knowledge in these areas, I thought, and with encouragement from others, that I could reach more people through my blog. I still inspire, motivate and encourage people on radio but that is limited to how far the signals can go. They don’t even cover my country. It is this blog that has enabled me to reach parts of the world I would never have imagined. That has given me a tremendous feeling of fulfillment, and this is just the beginning.

Passion Inspires Me

My passion for what I am doing is my first source of motivation. My passion is unbounded. I go to bed with it and get out of bed with it. My conviction that what I am doing is right, useful, and helpful keeps me going. I am also motivated by what I have learned, shared and taught all my life. For instance, that the best is yet to come. I strongly believe I have not reached the summit which the Lord has earmarked for me. I believe God wants me to leave something for posterity and I have to work hard to do so. I have to explore beneath the mountain, beside the mountain, at the summit of the mountain and even dig into the mountain to discover it. It’s not going to come to me if I sit and wait. I have to go find it.

The Ups & Downs of Blogging

When I was going into blogging, I had very high expectations. I thought it would be easy to become a hero within a very short time. But it was not long before I saw it was an uphill task to win followers and drive traffic to my site. I would see other bloggers with so much traffic and wonder why I could not do like them. Some days were really discouraging. I would publish a post thinking it would go viral. It would not even take off the ground. For almost three years on WordPress,  have not published a post which has drawn the number of clicks or likes I can brandish to others. It’s really hard, but I am happy that I have kept on. I am happy with where I am today, knowing how difficult it is.

In fact, I do encourage others to blog. I am even helping others to blog and to reach more readers. Blogging is a way to share ideas, and participate in building people and the world. I have more than fifty authors who are free to publish on my site if that can help them reach more readers. But of course, it does not help them alone. It also helps me and the world.

A Typical Day with Me

I get up quite early, between 3 and 5 am. I do blogging for some time; then listen to radio. I have a daily radio reflection which I present and it triggers calls from the public. I leave for work by 9 am and go home at 6 pm. My spouse has the responsibility in her office so she is at work a lot of times too. Our children are grown so no worries about caring for children. Back home, I do some blogging before I go to bed. My social activities are limited. I don’t go out to drink as I see a lot of people do. I do not have time to waste. I work a lot. I believe hard work pays. I encourage people to work hard and I show the example.

What Tomorrow Might Bring

I look forward to seeing Success Inspirers’ World grow into a website which is visited by millions of readers around the world. My dream is that it becomes a real platform where other bloggers and readers get help, inspiration, and motivation to succeed on their own blogs or in life. I am thinking seriously about monetizing it so that it brings in some money. With money, we can achieve a lot. I am building an international team that will work with me to create something of a sensation. I believe there are real talented and honest people who can form a team with me and if we succeed everybody will get rewarded fairly. I am a fair person and would not like anybody who makes a contribution to our success not to be rewarded for it. I am happy that I continue to get more authors interested in what we are doing. It is easier to succeed as a team than to succeed alone. Some people fear to join teams and want to stand out and shine alone. Many never shine. Many heads are better than one. I want all of us on Success Inspirers’ World to be part of a great dream; to journey together, shine together and get the glory together. As soon as I can afford the finances, I will upgrade this site and new things will begin. I have so much faith in the future. Age does not bother me. I’ll keep working to make the most of my opportunities and contribute as best I can to make the world an excellent place for all. I have written a lot.

My publications include,”A loving Woman in
Tears” (Novel) “Mr. Money Man, Too Rich to Die'(Play),’ The Teacher’,
‘Girls and Life’, and ‘The Wonders of Wisdom.’ ‘Thought Waves’

I welcome encouragement and support in any form.

Reach me at My blog is Success Inspirers’ World

Guest Posts

Meet Mick Canning – Story Teller, Writer and Photographer Par Excellence

I love to interact a lot with my male counterparts in this space because I glean so much from their intelligent discourse and inspiring posts. Mick has been a supportive friend in here and I appreciate his acceptance to grant us a view into his life.

Thank you,  Mick and I wish you all the best with your endeavours.

Bits About Mick 

About me? Gosh, I’m not that keen on talking about me, although I’m aware that I should be a lot better at it than I am since this is the sortportrait1 of thing I get asked at, well, interviews! A native of the UK, I’ve spent a number of years working abroad, mostly in the Middle East, and generally traveling, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. I’ve always been a bit of an artist, writing and painting on and off for most of my life, but since my first visit to India, I found that both the writing and painting has been largely focused there.

Otherwise, I make a tenuous living as an outdoor activities instructor, especially climbing, although as I get older and my back gives me more problems, I find that I am looking forward more and more to retirement from that.

I like a quiet life, which is probably why I am drawn to writing rather than, say, night clubs and politics, although the things that get me fired up are injustices. I try to avoid controversy on my blog posts, but I’m sure that it does come through at times. I do care passionately about the environment, hate all forms of discrimination and intolerance, and cannot understand why anyone of any gender or race can be considered as inferior to any others.

I try to be a positive person, but when I read the papers or hear the news it seems difficult.

A bit about my blog

I started the blog a little over a year ago, being persuaded that it was the thing to do if I was to promote the novel that I was then working on. I’m not, as I’ve mentioned already, all that keen on talking about myself, and up until recently, I’ve regarded blogs as rather narcissistic self-indulgences. While there are obviously a few like that, I’ve been delighted to discover that there are (naturally) a whole range of blogs out there and that the majority are both interesting and informative.

I had assumed, at first, that all my posts would be about my book or at least my writing, but quite quickly it seemed to morph into a mixture of posts on writing, travel, a little about my other artistic endeavours (such as painting), a few slightly political pieces, and, naturally, a few pieces about myself. This wasn’t particularly intentional, and certainly not planned that way. Naturally, some of them I was more pleased with than others, and some generated much more interest from readers than others – certainly not always the ones that I expected to! A slightly random selection:

And finally, a couple of months ago I published a post about why I sometimes stopped following blogs, never anticipating the huge interest it would generate:

Having been blogging now for over a year, I am now hooked on it! I think that the best thing about it, for me, is that after I had been blogging for a while, I discovered that I had become part of a community.

On staying motivated

Motivation is quite easy, actually. I usually find I have something I want to say, and a blog post is just the right length for what I want to write. In my case, somewhere around 1000 words seems adequate, which is about the length of blog post that I am also comfortable reading. Anything much longer, and I find I am put off. Perhaps this is because I also follow a lot of blogs, and to see one that is several thousand words long makes me avoid reading it. There just isn’t time!

I do keep a notebook, naturally, as all writers do. And I have maybe a dozen unfinished blog posts at any one moment, so when I feel a little stuck, I can go to one of those.

A little down but more ups

That’s a difficult one! We all have times when we feel that, despite everything, we can’t think what to write. But so far, the blogging journey has been a pretty smooth one.

As for my other writing, I think the worst thing is when I have been working on a story for a long time and I read it back and have the sudden epiphany; ‘this is complete rubbish!’

Would you encourage others to blog?

Absolutely! Next question?

A day spent with Mick

Oh dear, there’s no such thing as a typical day. If I don’t have any outdoor work, and as a freelancer that happens quite a lot, then I declare the day a writing day. This means that I begin by catching up with blogs I follow, perhaps posting a new one myself (I try to post twice a week, but it is a bit flexible!), which might take from an hour or so up until lunchtime. Afterwards, I would try to work on my novel, or perhaps on a short story, for the rest of the afternoon. I usually try to go for a walk at some point, often to try to resolve sticking points in my stories. I find I think best that way.005-1

To distract me, of course, are all those little jobs that we all have to do. Everything from housework (my wife has regular work, so I do a certain amount during the week) to shopping, and then, of course, we all have family to see. I can usually rely upon the cats to distract me regularly, too. They seem to think they should be fed at least once an hour.

The future and beyond

I’ve had the blog for just over a year, now, and am quite happy with the way it is going. Without any real effort by me, the number of followers is regularly rising and I’m not yet experiencing any difficulty thinking of topics to post about. I do have plans to add a few extra pages so that I can put in extra pictures and details on various topics, but I’m in no rush!

As for my other writing, I’m currently working on a new novel, after publishing my first one earlier this year; Making friends with the Crocodile, which is set in Northern India and explores how women are treated by society there. I’m delighted that although I have not sold a huge number of copies – it is available as a print on demand paperback as well as Kindle on Amazon, and now an e-book on Kobo – I have had some lovely and generous reviews for it. Unfortunately, the POD book is not currently available in India, but I am now speaking to an Indian publisher with a view to releasing it there in a few weeks.

My new novel is also set in India, but this time in a fictitious hill station in the Himalaya.

Thank you for hosting me today, Jacqueline.


Guest Posts

Bernadette is a friend to have in this place. She’s a lovely, smart, warm and totally inspiring woman.

I follow a lot of bloggers and interact with most of them as often as I can, but in this blogging journey, there are some people who you connect with and you see the beauty of their soul shine through their work. I read Bernadette’s posts every week and I never leave empty handed.

Her thoughts are enriching and uplifting. She’s supportive of her blog friends and to take it further, she and I (with other volunteers) are starting off ‘Writers Quote Series,’ this November.

Bernadette is a friend to have if you are not following her already. Please check out Haddon’s Musings, join the 52 weeks of thankfulness series or the senior salon 🙂

Thank you, my lady, for granting this interview. I appreciate you and wish you all the best in getting that publication done.

Hello, my name is Bernadette and I blog at Jacqueline has very kindly invited me for this interview.bernadette

My entire marriage my husband has told me I was a writer and encouraged me to sit down and take out the pen and put it to paper. I always demurred and explained to him and there are readers and there are writers and being an avid reader does not make a person a writer. But then about four years ago during my morning walk, I started to feel a need to express my appreciation for all the beauty my small village holds.

So I started to write about Haddonfield and its citizens. Hence the name HaddonMusings. Surprisingly, I became confident in my writing and was fascinated by the fact that anyone would possibly be interested in my scribbles. As I started to meet these fascinating bloggers from all over the world, my blog became wider in scope.

One of the outcomes of meeting so many people was I became curious about how many bloggers were of my generation. I wanted to see and read about their creative journey during the aging process. So, I actively sought out people over the age of 50 and formed a regular column called the Senior Salon.

At the Salon, I have been able to form a warm community of people who are doing many different and fascinatingly creative things during these bonus years. It has been my great pleasure to watch them interact with each other and form new relationships.

Three years ago my granddaughter was born and this led to a rekindling of my feminist ideals. I want her to know about the true strength of being a feminist. I want her to know that a woman can be whatever she wants and she doesn’t have to be strident or dislike men in order to do that. So, I started writing my regular feature called Feminist Friday. I have really enjoyed doing the research for these columns and I have been gratified by the number of woman of every age from all over the world that have supported this project.

This year I started writing another regular feature called 52 Weeks of Thankfulness. I am writing this in response to all the negativity and acrimony that I am encountering on a daily basis in my country. My hope is by refocusing attention to the good in the world, I can help eradicate the rampant negativity.

Jacqueline asks how I keep myself motivated. My motivation comes from reading so many other fabulous blogs and wondering if I can, as a writer, achieve the same quality of writing.

My Muse – Haddonfield

Jacqueline wanted me to share my most challenging moment during this blogging journey. I know that my biggest challenges when I started blogging was learning the etiquette of blogging. I had two very nasty encounters with long-time bloggers’ due to the fact that I didn’t understand the etiquette of this format. If you are just starting out, I would strongly suggest learning those rules quickly.

And yes, Jacqueline, I would very much encourage others to blog. Circling back to the Senior Salon, I think that blogging is a splendid creative outlet and as we age it become more and more important to find new creative enterprises in which to participate. Creativity is important for the mind and the spirit.

Jacqueline asks what is my next goal in blogging and I would say that I have a great desire to publish an online journal featuring the work of my peer group. From the research that I have done so far, the last time a journal featuring the creativity of the senior population was printed was back in the late 1960’s. It seems to me that such a publication is long overdue for resurrection.

Thank you, Jacqueline, for this opportunity.

out-of-the-silent-breath 2

Guest Posts

Have you met delightful, warm Brigid? You Should!

The wealth that you receive in life is that which society entrusts you with and can only come from friends. Each day, I’m thankful for discovering the beauty of blogging, it not only gave a voice to speak but gives me friends like Brigid whose succinct words come enriched with soothing wisdom.

Thank you, Brigid, for your support and for letting us get to know you some more.

A bit about me

Greetings from County Donegal in the north-west corner of Ireland.  My name is Brigid and I moved here in 1999 after living in Scotland for 44 years.  I have had an “interesting” career path – I originally wanted to be a doctor but God had other plans!Displaying IMG_5428.JPG

Instead, I entered the world of Life Assurance working in the Actuarial and Life Underwriting departments before following my heart into a 20-year career in Natural Medicines.   I was a bit of a pioneer back then and fell into teaching which I really loved; I eventually set up a two-year training in healing skills and I also opened a healing centre and shop.

After the death of my father and the breakup of my marriage, I moved to Donegal – the home of my ancestors.

I retrained in Organic Horticulture in 2006 after a two-year hiatus due to a mystery illness which was eventually diagnosed as Fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease.  I taught Organic Horticulture in schools until recently.

About my Blog – Watching the Daisies. 

I started my blog as a social media platform for my book of the same name – “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow.”  I write to inspire others on their self-healing journey, particularly those who have a long-term illness. Slowing down has been one of my major Life Lessons – I used to be incredibly busy!

I am very proactive and I have shared many of my own self-healing tips in my posts such as:

I initially wrote posts on flower essences, Natural Medicines, and my personal healing journey but my blog is constantly evolving with new posts:

“Thought for Today” and “Small Steps Up Mountains” which includes links to other inspiring posts illustrating a SLOW route through life’s challenges.  I also link into Bernadette of weekly post on gratitude “52 Weeks of Thankfulness.”  I have kept a daily gratitude diary since the onset of my illness.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of other bloggers and the incredibly supportive community on WordPress.


I find it easy to motivate myself to write my posts.  In fact, I look forward to creating them and to reading comments and likes.  I love to read other blogger’s posts and I am continually inspired by their wealth of creativity and ENORMOUS support .


I began my blog back in February while doing an online blogging course.  My posts took me a long time to write as I was working part time and my energy was low.  In April, I lost a dear friend – Danny and I wrote a post in his memory: For Whom The Bell Tolls

I lost a dear, dear friend on Thursday. His name was Danny; he played the guitar for our church choir and he helped me adjust to a new role, as the newest choir … For Whom The Bell Tolls

The shock of Danny’s death floored me and it was not until I had a mini break in Belfast to see Bryan Adams that I was able to pick myself up and post on a more regular basis.

Bryan Adams Rocks Belfast

I first saw Bryan Adams in Edinburgh on 20th February 1984, supporting Tina Turner on her “Private Dancer” Tour. On Wednesday last, I watched Bryan play live for the third time, in Belfast.


Definitely.  Blogging flexes your creative writing skills and is a huge platform for positive change.


I like to walk regularly, weather permitting!  I also love to spend time in my garden “pottering,” planting and admiring nature’s gifts.  I belong to a Women’s Shed that meets weekly, to learn crafting, photography, make up… and share in a bit of FUN.  I continue to enJOY singing in our church choir.  My favourite hymn is “Holy Night.”

I meditate morning and evening, I pray daily; I take things gently and listen to my body if it needs to rest.


I am really excited about promoting my book which is on target to be published in e-format on 14th November.  I am delaying publishing any hard copies until I monitor the response.

Thank you once again, Jacqueline, for this interview.


out-of-the-silent-breath 2