Friday, 30 September 2011

Pinktober - If You Love Her Enough

By Bill Walls

My friend John always has something to tell me. He knows so much that young men have to have older and more worldly wise men to tell them. For instance who to trust, how to care for others, and how to live life to the fullest.

Recently, John lost his wife Janet. For eight years she fought against cancer, but in the end her sickness had the last word.

One day John took out a folded piece of paper from his wallet. He had found it, so he told me, when he tidied up some drawers at home. It was a small love letter Janet had written. The note could look like a school girl's scrawls about her dream guy. All that was missing was a drawing of a heart with the names John and Janet written in it. But the small letter was written by a woman who had had seven children; a woman who fought for her life and who probably only had a few months left to live.

It was also a beautiful recipe for how to keep a marriage together.

Janet's description of her husband begins thus: "Loved me. Took care of me. Worried about me."

Even though John always had a ready answer, he never joked about cancer apparently. Sometimes he came home in the evening to find Janet in the middle of one of those depressions cancer patients so often get. In no time he got her into the car and drove her to her favourite restaurant.

He showed consideration for her, and she knew it. You cannot hide something for someone who knows better.

"Helped me when I was ill," the next line reads. Perhaps Janet wrote this while the cancer was in one of the horrible and wonderful lulls. Where everything is -almost- as it used to be, before the sickness broke out, and where it doesn't hurt to hope that everything is over, maybe forever.

"Forgave me a lot."

"Stood by my side."

And a piece of good advice for everyone who looks on giving constructive criticism as a kind of sacred duty: "Always praising."

"Made sure I had everything I needed," she goes on to write.

After that she has turned over the paper and added: "Warmth. Humour. Kindness. Thoughtfulness."

And then she writes about the husband she has lived with and loved the most of her life: "Always there for me when I needed you."

The last words she wrote sum up all the others, "Good friend."

I stand beside John now, and cannot even pretend to know how it feels to lose someone who is as close to me as Janet was to him. I need to hear what he has to say much more than he needs to talk.

"John," I ask. "How do you stick together with someone through 38 years - not to mention the sickness? How do I know if I can bear to stand by my wife's side if she becomes sick one day?"

"You can," he says quietly. "If you love her enough, you can."

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Family Picture

By Dr. James Wilson

We've had a bad habit for several years, we load the film in the camera, take the pictures, and then put the roll of film in a dresser drawer. Recently, Susan's been taking a few rolls a week to get them developed. We never know what we're going to see when we open the package. It's the closest we get to playing the lottery.

The pictures range from snapshots of church functions to pictures of our children when they were tiny, but they do have one thing in common - Susan isn't in the picture. Why? She's the official family photographer.

While thumbing through the pictures, I remembered a story Pastor Dan Rhodes told me last year. Dan is the pastor of two rural churches in Colorado and stays busy. Like most pastors, he has plenty to do, but by being the pastor of two churches, he has twice the committee meetings, and twice the worship services.

As Dan tells the story, his daughter's third grade teacher requested a parent teacher conference with him. His wife usually took care of those conferences, but the teacher wanted to see him, not his wife.

At her insistence, he made an appointment to drop by the school in the afternoon. 'I wanted you to see this drawing your daughter made of your family.' She said. Dan looked at the drawing and asked, 'Where am I?' 'That's why I called you down here today, I asked your daughter the same question and she said you're never home so she left you out of the picture.'

A Mike Tyson punch couldn't hurt any more than her words. Dan made some radical changes in his behavior and found that he could do his job and be a good father.

Are you in the picture with your family? Or are you too busy?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tangled Up in Snow White

By Paula Renaye
I was channel surfing the other night and ran across Snow White. It was never my favorite Disney movie, but feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to watch for a few minutes. It turned out to be a very few. Instead of the anticipated warm-fuzzy jaunt down memory lane, I had a nails-on-chalkboard reminder of the stifling gender roles and social expectations of the era.

I happened to pop in just after the beautiful princess had broken and entered, compulsively cleaned and cooked, and was blissfully napping in bed—every man’s housewife/mother/beauty queen dream, right? More than enough reason to change the channel, but I hung in there, thinking something might tug at my heartstrings and beg me to stay. Unfortunately, the ultra-high-pitched vocal twittering of the absurdly delusional heroine, not to mention the slow and painful sequence of the dwarfs figuring out what to about her, very nearly had me screaming.

Now, let’s compare that to Disney’s modernized version of the Rapunzel story, Tangled.

Stolen as an infant by a vain and seriously narcissistic old hag who uses her captive’s magical hair to stay young and beautiful, Rapunzel hasn’t set foot out of her tower since she was nabbed. Mommy dearest has convinced her that the world is a scary place and that she’s too dumb, weak, na├»ve, helpless, inept—basically, she’s marked for death due to stupidity—to even think about stepping a toe outside.

So far she and Snow White are on the same page. However, in spite of being programmed with more fears than a fainting goat, Rapunzel meets her challenge with a frying pan and a vengeance. She manages to singlehandedly conk and capture a desperate young man who climbs the tower into her room to escape his own problems.

After bludgeoning him with a frying pan, stealing his stolen treasure and tying him to a chair with her hair, she forces him into a deal. He has to take her where she wants to go, which is where he’s just run away from, in order to get his treasure back. Since he has a “dead or alive” bounty on his head, going back and dealing with all his poor choices isn’t high on his list of things to do. But he wants his treasure back so off they go.

Along the way, Rapunzel and Eugene each have to grow up, face their fears, reject the labels placed on them by others and find their own identities and places in the world. It’s the hero’s journey that we all have to make.

If we live our lives based on the beliefs, expectations, limitations and fears imposed on us by others, we can never be truly happy. But the reason we do it is because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t. We fear that if we aren’t the person we are expected to be—if we don’t do what others want us to—we will be rejected, abandoned and left utterly alone.

It may be true, but it is only true for the people who love us for what we do for them instead of who we are—like the old hag. She didn’t really love Rapunzel, she simply wanted the magic hair around. She programmed the princess so there’d be no issues with singing and activating the golden fountain of youth on command. The cajoling “mommy knows best” refrains to squash any dreams of leaving the tower were pretty effective right up until she showed her by screaming “you will never leave.”

So, if you don’t like the limitations you’ve been living with, let them go. If you don’t like the beliefs you’ve been programmed with, see them for what they are and rewire new ones that serve you. If you aren’t living up to expectations, figure out if they’re really yours or someone else’s then decide if you want to keep them.

Bottom line, no matter where you came from, who told you what, how many mistakes you’ve made or what’s happened before today, it’s up to you to choose what you do with tomorrow.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go…

Live your joy!

Former eggshell-walker, emotionally-bankrupt wreck and utter failure at keeping her world from falling apart, Paula Renaye uses her journey out of despair into joy as a breadcrumb trail for others. Paula is a certified professional coach, empowerment speaker and multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Take Time

Author Unknown

Take time to laugh
It is the music of the soul.

Take time to think
It is the source of power.

Take time to play
It is the source of perpetual youth.

Take time to read
It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to pray
It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to love and be loved
It is a God-given privilege.

Take time to be friendly
It is the road to happiness

Take time to give
It is too short a day to be selfish

Take time to work
It is the price of success.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sermons We See

By Edgar A.Guest

I'd rather see a sermon
Than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
Than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil
And more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
But example's always clear.

And the best of all the preachers
Are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put into action
Is what everybody needs.

When I see a deed of kindness,
 I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
And a strong man stands behind;

Just to see if he can help him,
Then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful
As I know that friend to be.

And all travelers can witness that
The best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them,
But the one who shows the way.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour 10

Join Me!
Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour

Come join us on a fantastic blog hop that brings together bloggers of all genres, backgrounds and locations.

Tour Date - Saturday, 24 September
9. Dora - 

Facebook "Like" Fest 
Oh yes, there's something new this week! If you have a Facebook page that could use some love, leave me a comment to add it here. If you're not taking part in the Blog Tour, that's grand BUT you must like the other pages involved. Pages that promote kiddie porn and online pharmacies will not be accepted. Maximum 20 pages per week. For all other info, scroll down. 

1. Dora -   
2. Jacquel -
3. Deborah -  
4. Nancy - 
5. Janet -  
6. Rigzin - 
7. Deb -  
8. Shelley -  
9. Lorhainne -
10. Dafeenah -
11. Shaeeza - 
12. Corinne -

Want to join in the fun? Here's what you need to do for the Blog Tour...

1. Leave your blog link at the bottom of this post.
2. Write an article or post a photo relevant to the theme on YOUR blog. If your post is not up by Saturday 12.00 noon (GMT), your link will be removed from this list.
2. Introduce the blog before you and the blog after you.
3. Visit as many of the listed blogs and Facebook pages as you can, if not in one day you can do a few a day? Make a comment, follow, like or join.
4. If you are having a giveaway or a competition this would be the time to showcase your hot stuff. This is not compulsory, it is up to you.
5. This is open to all bloggers, writers, authors, publishers. All we ask is that you have a blog, be able to post as per the weekly theme, have a comment system that works and have F-U-N.
6. The tour and  'Like' fest are limited to 20 bloggers for each section.

7. BUT, we will be doing it every two weeks. Next blog tour is on 8 October, to sign up click HERE.

Fun tips to make it work
1. Tweet it (#BlogALicious), Stumble it and share it any way you can. Tweet me @PandoraPoikilos
2. Not all of us are on the same time zone so try to have your post up by Friday night your time. This way it'll be ready for when people come to visit you.
3. Giveaways and competitions are not compulsory, it is up to you.
4. Even if you can't visit all the blogs in one day, spread it over the weekend or even the week.
5. If there is anything you need, email me -

Friday, 23 September 2011

Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated?

Today's post is in conjunction with the Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour 10 a fantastic blog hop that brings together bloggers of all genres, backgrounds and locations. In tomorrow's hop, the blog featured before Peace from Pieces is Ryder.The blog featured after Peace from Pieces is Lorhainne. Enjoy!

Click HERE for a full list of participating blogs and do stop by tomorrow.

By Pandora Poikilos 

Yes, Dora what were you thinking when you picked such a topic? Here's what happened. The one thing Peas and I can argue about over and over again is his inability to keep time, especially where his friends are concerned. He'll leave saying "be back in a bit" and then come back five hours later or he'll say "be back at 9pm" and then show up at 10pm and (this is my favourite) when I know he's going to be late and I send a text to say "I'm going to bed", I get a response like "Be back in a bit babe, stay up for me ... I have loads to tell you."

Do I mind that he goes out with his friends? Not at all. He only sees them over the weekend. 
Do I mind that he comes back late? Not at all. 

What I do mind is this - not knowing. The uncertainty of his plans that might interrupt the certainty of my plans, and him not making any effort to tell me. 

"Hey, I know I said 9pm but I can't" is so much better than me thinking about whether to go start doing something only to be interrupted later on.  

Don't get me wrong, I've been late on some occasions as well. One time, I even got lost and kept someone waiting for three hours but here's the other sticky bit, when you are late as in well beyond your agreed time and you arrive to find the other person in a rotten mood, what is your reaction? Do you apologise? Do you do your best to not keep the person waiting again? Or do you go out and do it all over again?

 Long story short, Peas and I are still working our way around this. But I've also made it clear that if he's late and if I've gone to bed or started on something I wanted to do, no grouchiness allowed and if ever there is a day when I'm late getting back, he'd better not have too much to say about it. 

I find punctuality helps me get the most out of my day, as the saying goes - Time and tide wait for no man. Between writing, blogging (three blogs, one website), the Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012 and marketing my novels among other things, if I do not stick to a timetable and be punctual ... I wouldn't want to think about how that would end. Love and light.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sesame Street Simple

By Paula Renaye
It was raining and cold late Friday afternoon when it came time to leave to make the long drive to the kick-off of a three-day conference. The event hadn’t “called” to me even a little. I had no clue about Rumi or the modern day mystic Andrew Harvey who was interpreting the poems. I’d simply signed up for the conference to support Healing Farms, a wonderful nonprofit organization here in Arkansas in the US. 
So, with the rain pouring down, the long drive back late at night looming and my general lack of interest lacking more by the second, I rationalized that I didn’t really have to go. I’d just consider the money a donation and curl up with a hot cup of tea and a movie at home instead driving three hours and sitting through a dreary thirteenth century poetry reading. 
Besides, what could I, in my lowly state of evolution, possibly find applicable to my life from someone who’s spent his studying with spiritual masters and working toward enlightenment? Seriously, while he was chatting with the Dalai Lama and the like, I was changing truckloads of diapers, singing Sesame Street songs as if my life depended on it and trying not to lose my tenuous grip on my sanity. If the ship of enlightened master potential had ever sailed past my door, I’d missed it.
Nevertheless, I decided that it didn’t really matter whether I thought I’d get anything out of the gathering or not. I’d committed to being supportive and that meant physically as well as financially, so I marched myself to the car and dutifully headed out, all the while plotting how to excuse myself gracefully from having to go back the next day.
You can probably guess where this story is going—things didn’t turn out quite like I expected, to say the least. I can’t say the experience made me a Rumi fan—it didn’t. And we already know the enlightenment thing is a pipe dream, but I did find myself eager to get back to the conference the next day anyway. 
No, I don’t really know why. In fact, I can’t really describe much of anything about the weekend—I’ve tried a couple of times and it comes out sounding either utterly simplistic or like a bunch of esoteric gibberish. Neither is accurate. 
If I had to pick one word to describe the weekend and the process, it would have to be transforming. There’s not one moment I can point to as profound, and yet all were. If I saw the same description of the conference, I still wouldn’t see it as my kind of thing, and yet it was. 
So, what is the message here? How do you know when you might be missing the very thing you need even if it doesn’t look like you think it would?
I know I usually have some clever way of wrapping these things up, but I don’t this time. Then again, maybe that is the message—sometimes you don’t have to, sometimes it just is.

Paula Renaye is a life transformation speaker, certified professional coach and author of the multi-award-winning Hardline Self Help Handbook. To get a free personal development report and special audio recording, visit

Sunday, 18 September 2011

I Have A Brain Condition, What's Your Excuse?

By Pandora Poikilos

In case you haven't heard, September 2011 is awareness month for Intracranial Hypertension (IH). I was diagnosed with this rare neurological disorder in November 2003. In the past week with every opportunity I got, I shared this message on Twitter - RT If you hope for a cure for " ... " Someone was annoyed enough to tell me that if I was diagnosed with a rare condition that I had to accept it and move on. Hoping for a cure wasn't going to change my situation and I wasn't being realistic. Now, there's a shocker. So, let's recap. 

What are the facts about IH?  Intracranial hypertension is a neurological disorder which literally means that the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the skull is too high. “Intracranial” means “within the skull.” “Hypertension” means “high fluid pressure.” Main symptoms are headache, nausea and vomiting, double vision and other symptoms. If untreated, it may lead to swelling of the optic disc in the eye, which can progress to vision loss. There is no known cause. There is no cure. (Sourced from


Forget the facts.  

How does IH make me feel? Most days I feel double my age. I have a VP Shunt in my head, a tube that runs from my brain to my body. I feel scared. I feel cursed. And I feel abnormal. On some days, I tear around like a raging bull doing as much as I can. Others see it as a good day, determination they call it. I see it as a mask to do as much as I can before a bad day catches up with me and I can't do anything but lie in bed and wish away this dreaded condition. Some days it's easy to tell people how I feel and on other days I feel like a broken tape recorder.


Forget the facts. Forget how IH makes me feel. 

Now, look in the mirror. Yes, you. Take a long hard look at your reflection. Imagine pain eating away in places you never realised made so much difference. IH is treated with lumbar punctures. Your lumbar is at the small of your back. A needle is inserted into your lumbar to drain your excess spinal fluid. It hurts, a lot. I underwent lumbar punctures for seven years. I stopped counting after 10 times.  Then, on top of that pain - imagine disorientation. You have to hold on tight to your memory, you never know when the pressure gets so high you can't remember daily events. Imagine, losing your hair. First, to medicines and then to brain surgery. 

Imagine feeling helpless. You cannot see what's eating at you. But you know it's there, everyday. This invisible force tearing you up from the inside out. You feel blackness surround you, your eyes fail you. You need help with simple everyday tasks. Imagine, the pain you feel when you jam your hand between a door. The pain from brain surgery is easily ten times worse but a VP Shunt is a choice between sight and sanity or ongoing crippling symptoms driving you mad. You stop looking in the mirror. When all this stops. Take a deep breath. 

Then it starts, all over again. IH is a lifelong condition. There is no cure. How would you feel?

Pause. Think about it. 

Do you fight? Do you say and do nothing? Do you hope? 

In the meantime, I say again and again until the day it becomes real ...  
I HOPE FOR A CURE (#IHope4ACure). Love and light, always. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012

Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
(Updated on 17 September 2011)
List a blog. Read a blog. Join a blog.
Compiled by Pandora Poikilos

Join The Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012 & Win A Kindle
more info & to sign up, please go to

Carolyn Gibbs - | David M. Brown - |
Derek Jones - |  Donna Brown -
Sonia Rumzi -

40 Blog Spot, Muriel Jacques |

About Books, Writing & More, Sue Santore |
Alchemy of Scrawl, Coral Russell |
aobibliophile™ |
Armand Rosamilia |

Back of the Book Reviews, Kate & Ashley |
Beth-Ann Mason, Romance Author |
BlogNostics, Jessica Brant & Alejandro Guzman | 
Bongo Is Me, Bonnie Panter Gayadeen |

Book Savvy Babe |
Bookish Type, Casey Blackwell | 
Bookworm Family |
Boxoffice Online, Daniels | 
But What Are They Eating, Shelley Workinger |

Citizen Chronicles, The by Marie Crist |
Hot Spot!/mariecristbooks
In the first installment of The Citizen Chronicles series, Citizen Out, Marie Crist introduces her readers to the personalities and the mission of the ARC organization, both through a new couple’s invitation to join the fight for justice and through the mind of a killer who the group has in their crosshairs. In an artful integration of action and emotion, Crist creates a work that keeps you turning the pages and personally investing in the success of the mission.

Close Encounters |

{Special Feature}

Caring for Eleanor by Sonia Rumzi
Is it true that if we are abused, we turn around and abuse others? Not always. 
A story of courage, caring and starting over. 
Courage to face life, caring for others in the process and beginning again when all seems lost.
When Salma is assigned to Eleanor, she did not expect a life coach. Frail and sick Eleanor opens her eyes to truths that seemed to slip out of her own grasp.

Reader review: "Ms Rumzi you are a lady with extraordinary talent. This is the most touching story of courage and strength that I have ever read." - Elizabeth Marshall, author "When Fate Dictates"
Available @ Amazon & Smashwords
Author Sonia Rumzi's website @

David M. Brown, The World According to Dave |
Hot Spot!/elenchera
Personal website of Fezariu's Epiphany author David M. Brown. Includes film, game and book reviews, writing news, regular guest posts and features such as 36 Lives, Cat Observations and Journey of the Writing Pilgrim.

Derek's Home and Business Blog, Derek Jones |
Hot Spot!/djones1509
Founded in 2010, Derek's Home and Business Blog is dedicated to helping small business owners, affiliate marketers and bloggers in providing tips and helpful information on Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Dames of Dialogue, Betty Dravis |
Darlene Foster |
DG Services, Danielle Gambrell |

Everyday Gyaan, Corinne Rodrigues |

{Special Feature}
In the first installment of The Citizen Chronicles series, Citizen Out -
Marie Crist introduces her readers to the personalities and the mission of the ARC organization,
both through a new couple’s invitation to join the fight for justice and
through the mind of a killer who the group has in their crosshairs.
In an artful integration of action and emotion,
Crist creates a work that keeps you turning the pages and
personally investing in the success of the mission.
Buy Citizen Out @ Amazon
Read more about Marie Crist at |
Hot Spot!/mariecristbooks

Fade Into Fantasy, Theresa Cole |
Few Miles, Saravana Kumar | 
Frugal Living by Rachael | 

{Special Feature}

Fezariu’s Epiphany by David M. Brown
“The story revolves around the main character, Fezariu, who suffers a betrayal as a young boy that leads him to turn his back on his family. He joins the Merelax Mercenaries, convinced that their way of life will offer him a way to avoid any ties and leave his past firmly behind. In his quest to prove himself, he is forced to forge new alliances in order to survive the dangerous assignments in the colonies but works hard to distance himself emotionally. Despite his determined focus to move on his thoughts are constantly drawn back to Clarendon where the White Oak, an infamous brothel, holds the secret to his past and the childhood friend he abandoned still remains.”

Reader review
: “You must read this book.
Once you open the cover you will lose yourself and forget about the real world. 5/5.”

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords
The Elencheran Chronicles
Author David M. Brown
Hot Spot!/elenchera

The World According to Dave
Personal blog of Fezariu’s Epiphany author David M. Brown.
Includes book, game and film reviews, writing news, guest posts and regular features.

Garden Gate, The |
Geek Girl Books, Cindy Bennett |
Gin Diary, Reiza Dejito |

Hardline Self-Help, Paula Renaye |
Holes In My Soles, Jim McIntosh |

Invisible Art, The - Abhisek |

{Special Feature} 
Tuesday's Child by Carolyn Gibbs 
Lane Harris should be the heir to the family fortune, but the entire town hates her, and everybody's got an ax to grind. Brutalized, left to die, and ignorant of her attacker's identity, she awakes in a Seattle hospital and begins a cycle of flight designed to do nothing more than keep her alive. Lane's life depends on how quickly she figures out the rules to the game, and she's about to find out exactly what she's willing to do to live. Hers is a struggle for just the slightest shred of normalcy and trust. 

Runner Up in the 2011 Beach Book Festival 
Honorable Mention in the 2011 Hollywood Book Festival 

Read more about Carolyn Gibbs @ 

Hot Spots 
JLB Creatives, Janet Beasley|
Hot Spot!/JLBCreatives
Stay up to date with Janet's creativity encompassing her epic fantasy novels and scenic nature photography. Enjoy weekly videos, links, interviews, Janet's photos, guest author spotlights, and more! How have others described the JLB Creatives Blog? Informative, educational, interesting, fun, and best of's designed for the whole family. You'll certainly be encouraged by this woman's passion and dedication to her crafts as she battles daily with chronic pain and illnesses she won't allow to defeat her! Starting over in life at age 50, Janet's a real trooper who can some how always bring a smile.

John Rhodes, Author - John D Rhodes |

Kathy Robbins | http://robbinswrites.blogspot.comLink
King’s Daughters |
Kriti Mukherjee |

Library of Clean Reads |
Lucy Lastica |
Lyric Fire, Tameka Mullins |

Marie Crist, The Citizen Chronicles |
Hot Spot!/mariecristbooks
In the first installment of The Citizen Chronicles series, Citizen Out, Marie Crist introduces her readers to the personalities and the mission of the ARC organization, both through a new couple’s invitation to join the fight for justice and through the mind of a killer who the group has in their crosshairs. In an artful integration of action and emotion, Crist creates a work that keeps you turning the pages and personally investing in the success of the mission.

March House Books Blog, Barbara Fisher |
Hot Spot!/MarchHouseBooks
Celebrating children's books and more! Book illustration, vintage books, insights in the life of a book dealer and other bits and bobs. If you are looking for a unique gift or trying to find a book which remains in your memory from childhood you may well find it amongst our stock. Our online catalogues allow you to peruse our unique and diverse assortment of rare and hard to find books.

Memoirs, Sulekha |  
Memoirs of a Homemaker, Janu |  
Motifs On The Wall, Alpana Prasad | 
My Life. One Story at a Time, Donna |


NDulgent Bloggers |
Nolan Wilson, Freelance Copywriter |
Not a Notting Hill Mum |


Peace from Pieces, Pandora Poikilos |
Hot Spot!/pandorapoikilos

Patricia Lynne's Journey Through the Pages |
Paul D. Dail |
Photography Tips, Mari Sterling Wilbur | 
PottsPost, Steve Potts |

Read It, Review It - Amanda Wilson |
Reading Romances, Nat | 
Review Girl, Komal Mansoor aka Komz |
Roy's Garage, Roy Durham | 
Ryder Islington's Blog |


Scattered Musings of a Creative Mind, Deborah | 
Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers |
Sensitivity, Sancheeta Biswas |
Stuart Aken |
Stuart Land |

Stuart Nager, Story Teller |

Sugarpeach |

Tbaoo, Hi Tbaoo |

Todd Russell Horror, Thriller Author - Todd Russell |
Tork's Blog, Torkona Exon | 

Unknown Gazette, Donmakles |


The World According to Dave, David M. Brown |
Hot Spot!/elenchera
Personal website of Fezariu's Epiphany author David M. Brown. Includes film, game and book reviews, writing news, regular guest posts and features such as 36 Lives, Cat Observations and Journey of the Writing Pilgrim.

Weathering the Storm, Jan Neel | 
Written in Blood, John Mountain |

Friday, 16 September 2011

10 Panda Facts

This post is in conjunction with Rhyme A Smile's Sociology Study #8. She was one of the first few bloggers I met when I joined the blog-sphere and she's absolutely Blog-A-Licious. Be sure to check her and the other participating blogs HERE

Sourced from

10. The first panda came to the United States in 1936 – a cub to a zoo in Chicago. It took another 50 years before the States would see another.

9. A newborn panda cub is 1/900th the size of its mother and is comparable to the length of a stick of butter.

8. A panda’s paw has six digits – five fingers and an opposable pseudo-thumb (actually an enlarged wrist bone) it uses merely to hold bamboo while eating.

7. Of all the members of the bear family, only sloth bears have longer tails than pandas.

6. Pandas rely on spatial memory, not visual memory.

5. Female pandas ovulate once a year and are fertile for only two or three days.

4. The giant panda’s genome was sequenced in 2009, according to the journal Nature.

3. The WWF logo was inspired by Chi-Chi, a giant panda brought to the London Zoo in 1961, when WWF was being created. Says Sir Peter Scott, one of those founders and the man who sketched the first logo: “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.”

2. Historically speaking, pandas are one of the few animals whose parts have not been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

1. Approximately 99 percent of a panda’s diet – bamboo leaves and shoots – is void of much nutritional value. Its carnivore-adapted digestive system cannot digest cellulose well, thus it lives a low-energy, sedentary lifestyle but persists in eating some 60 species of bamboo. Pandas must eat upwards of 30 pounds of bamboo daily just to stay full.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

He's Not My Lover, He's My Soulmate

This post is in conjunction with the 'blog collage' that was put together by Sulekha. Yes, I missed the deadline of 7 September to link up but here's my two cents worth on what I think about "Soulmates". There's a whole host of other blogs taking part as well, so be a gem and have a peep at their thoughts HERE.

By Pandora Poikilos

A few days ago Peas got back from work and told me that some "old bird" was on a talk show releasing her new women's fiction novel and the book appeared to be doing quite well. The "old bird" turned out to be Barbara Taylor Bradford who was releasing her 27th novel and is currently the 31st wealthiest woman in all of Great Britain. Grand. But here's something even better, her husband has been her friend, agent, producer when her books were made into movies and a central part of her life for 46 years. No, that's not a typo. It really is fourty six YEARS. 

Which of course led me to the topic of soulmates. In an era where superficiality reigns and sincerity is forced to take a backseat, a relationship that survives for that long is as rare as a four leaf clover, just like soulmates. How does a soulmate change your life? Let me tell you.

He doesn't announce his arrival and sneaks into your life packaged as someone you'd never expect. Then, you'll start noticing small changes in yourself. You're already so broken, you're convinced that this person is just one more person to stomp on the broken pieces of you. Everyone else has walked out on you and he'll do the same. He doesn't. He picks each piece up ... mending, fixing, healing.

You'll want to push him away, even pick fights so he'll change his mind about you. He'll persevere. And he'll win. But you haven't lost, you've gained - a friend, a lover and a soulmate. He'll let you love him back. He'll teach you and then he'll inspire you. He'll push you out of your comfort zone. He'll give you strength to believe in yourself and the important lesson that there are people still worth believing in. You'll cry, laugh and grow - together.

He'll be waiting for you when the doctors are done putting a tube in your brain, reminding you that brain surgery is not a walk in the park but a journey he'll take with you. It doesn't matter that you look worse than the stray cat you saw by the bin, he'll still call you gorgeous and he'll still love you, even more. More importantly, when you are beyond frustration about explaining how hard it is to look at a screen to work and when you feel that no one understands you, he'll patiently be your eyes and he'll understand you when you've run out of words.

Rest assured, a soulmate is not the the person who will complete you. Even if he has to carry you from one lesson to another, he'll make sure you learn to complete yourself. He'll let you be your own person but he'll be the one standing next to you, whatever the situation.

You will grow with every lesson he has taught you to the point that when God calls you home, you'll leave with the sense of achievement that you've given life your best save for a few regrets. You'll rest with the gift that so many crave and only a few are blessed enough to receive, unconditional love. Love and light. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I Wish I Could Do That

By Paula Renaye

I love handcrafted jewelry made with crystals, stones and natural materials, and I greatly admire the skill and artistry it takes to do that work. It’s one of those things that I think I’d like to know how to do myself and have said so quite often.
About four hours from where I live here in Arkansas, USA, there is a lovely historic town built on the side of the mountain. Founded in the early1800s around dozens of natural springs, the place was known for its healing waters by the original occupants long before that—as is the town where I live. Both places have similarities, but are quite unique in their personalities and “feel,” and I love them both.
On a weekend trip not long ago, I was wandering through one of the unique little shops and found a handmade pair of earrings with yellow-green turquoise, sticks, bamboo and beads. They “spoke” to me and I absolutely had to have them. Being a bit of a “things have to match” girl, I asked the owner of the shop to make a necklace to go with them. She did, and when I came back an hour later I was amazed how it turned out and wanted wear it immediately. However, without a chain or something, I wasn’t going to.
Gold and silver just didn’t work with the tone of the natural materials, so I opted for a brown cord. I expected her to just tie the ends of the cord together and be done with it, but instead she began fashioning a two-sided slipknot arrangement, explaining that it would be easier to adjust the length and the knots would add interest as well. She whipped the cord around this way and that, and in about a minute, I was wearing my new jewelry. 
I’ll admit I was baffled by how easily she did all this—the jewelry making and the cord knotting. I am equally baffled each time I put the necklace on. I have to stop and figure out which of the cords to pull to make it adjust and then pull the different one on the opposite site.
No, it probably isn’t nearly as complicated as I make it, and I keep saying that I’m going to take the time to stop and really figure it out so I can at least adjust it more quickly. But I don’t. Why? There’s only one reason—it just isn’t important enough.
When we don’t do what we say we want to, it doesn’t mean we’re lying. There really is a part of us that wants what we say; we just don’t want to badly enough—something else is more important. 
When I’m getting dressed and in a hurry to be somewhere, I use that excuse for not taking time to figure out the slipknot secret. But the truth is, if I really wanted to learn how to make jewelry—or even operate the cord better—I would have already taken the time to do it. I haven’t and odds are I won’t. Other things are more important. 
And that’s okay! What’s not okay is when we keep saying we’re going to do something and then don’t ever do anything toward making it a reality. So, here’s the deal, we either do what we keep saying we want to or quit saying it. 
I don’t care if it’s lose weight, get another job, move, eat better, be less critical and judgmental, exercise more, get a divorce, whatever, we either need to do it or simply admit that we don’t want to and stop putting it out there as if we do.
Saying it may keep it as a real possibility in our minds, but what it’s actually doing is teaching that deeper part of ourselves that the conscious “me” can’t be trusted to do what we say.
So, if at some point the words “I wish I knew how to do that” or something similar slip out of my mouth, I will immediately follow it with “actually, I just really admire the skill, talent and effort it takes to produce such beautiful products.” And, I would admire myself if I did.
Even though this scenario may seem inconsequential—it isn’t. Every time we come clean with ourselves and speak truth in one area, we take one step closer to owning all our truths. 
Once we truly know ourselves and are really good with it, the words “I wish I could do that” won’t be in our vocabulary because anything we truly wish we could do we are.

Paula Renaye is the author of the multi-award-winning Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit her website for more how-to tips at

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Love Led The Way

By Harriet Savitz

I am 68 and I am still learning about love. When I was younger, I loved most everything. I loved chocolate sundaes, dancing, my new typewriter and also included in my loving list were my parents, my husband, my children, and my pets. I loved each day, and the busyness of it, and I loved filling it with challenges. "I love this," I would say easily. And then the next minute, I would love something else also. There seemed no limit to the loving. It came so easy and there was so much to love.

But now I am more careful about my love supply. I know what it is like to love and lose a partner. The loving becomes painful. I know what it is like to love and lose a friend. The loving leaves an ache somewhere inside me. I know what it is like to make a mistake about those I loved. Perhaps they do not deserve this gift I offer... I have wasted my love, thrown it away, misplaced it, used it, and misused it. And often when I think it has gone forever, love surprises me by returning, stronger then ever and with a larger supply. As if it were off somewhere preparing for the shortage.

I know I would learn something if love could answer a few questions. One would be, "Where do you come from when you enter without knocking, and where do you go when you leave without warning?" "How do I keep you by my side?" I see love in people my age as they crochet afghans for their children, stitching their love into a pattern. I see it in hours spent waiting for a telephone call, a visit, a loving reminder that they are needed. People fall in love and out of it, love desperately, love eternally. The words, "I love you," can shake a dynasty, affect worldly decisions, change one's lifetime. At this end of my calendar years, I know no more about love than I did at the beginning. Except that I dare not be without it.

I was recovering from a stomach virus at my daughter's home. And feeling quite sorry for myself. Television annoyed me. I was impatient with well-wishers on the telephone. I didn't want to look out the window and watch other people enjoy the day. I thought of all the bleak things I could remember and piled them up in front of me. One day passed into two. Reading material lay scattered on the bed, but remained ignored. I had more important matters to attend. Self pity was one of them. I felt old, spent, used up, discarded, and mean. I was angry at my body, at my age, at all the things I hoped yet to do but couldn't, at the energy that played tricks on me, and at the unpredictability of life. Such as a virus coming in, attacking without warning, and claiming victory.

On the third day, as I lay on the pillow, realizing I felt better and yet, unwilling to reenter life's merry-go-round with all the responsibilities waiting for me, a paper airplane glided into the room and landed beside me on the bed. I looked up. The room was empty. I picked up the airplane and inspected it. A message written on its wings, said, "Get well soon Grandmom. I love you. Ryan."

I heard activity outside the room. A snowstorm was brewing. Everyone was in the attic getting out sleds and boots. I left the bed and walked toward the doorway, carrying my paper airplane.

It was time to reenter the world. Love led the way.

Monday, 12 September 2011

To A Beautiful Person

Author Unknown

If God had a refrigerator,
Your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet,
Your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He listens.

He can live anywhere in the universe,
But He chose... your heart.
Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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