It’s a jungle out there


bluebird of bitterness

Sid was a petty criminal who’d had many run-ins with the law. He needed a job, but because of his record, no one wanted to hire him. Then a pal tipped him off that the local zoo was hiring, and that they had a good record of hiring people in Sid’s situation, so he went to check it out.

The zookeeper told Sid that he needed someone to impersonate a gorilla. “Our gorilla was our main attraction,” the zookeeper said. “But it died a few days ago, and it will be months before we can get another one. All you’d have to do is wear this gorilla suit and eat bananas and keep the visitors entertained.”

The job sounded easy, and the pay wasn’t bad, so Sid agreed. He put on the costume and did his best to act like a gorilla, beating his chest and climbing trees and swinging…

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Hats Off to Senator Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker’s impressive speech.

Filosofa's Word

More than once in recent months, I have pondered who would make the best democratic candidate for president in the 2020 contest.  Elizabeth Warren?  Probably a bit too controversial, but certainly qualified.  John Lewis?  Sadly, too old, for he would be nearly 81 years of age when he took the oath of office, though he would otherwise be my first choice.  And then I keep coming back to Cory Booker.  I have a project list, and Senator Booker’s name is on it, but I just hadn’t gotten to him yet.  Today, something happened that raised him even higher in my esteem and I have bumped him up on the list.

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, claimed that she couldn’t remember what word Trump used to describe Haiti and African nations in an Oval Office meeting last week. Now, we…

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Secretary Tillerson Blocked Ambassador Haley From Cutting Aid To Palestine/ Yemen Story

State Secretary Tillerson has been working with the President and getting things done.

Gronda Morin

Image result for images of tillerson and president

The President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently prevailed in an internal battle within the White House between himself and the UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, in making sure that US aid to Palestinians continues. Ms. Haley had been insistent in wanting to cut off all funds to Palestinian refugees, as form of retaliation because of Palestinian officials’ refusal to engage in a still-nonexistent peace process.

Recently, the US State Department was also instrumental in making it possible to have 4 American mobile cranes arrive in Hudaydah, Yemen, where the cranes were used to offload food and other aid supplies from ships at port. The city had been blockaded from receiving aid by a Saudi-led coalition,

It seems that despite all the predictions that the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would have left State Department by now, are moot. It looks like he is here to stay.

Image result for photos of mattis and tillerson TILLERSON/ TRUMP/ MATTIS

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Democrats, It’s Time For A Government Shutdown If Republicans Don’t Support A Clean DACA Bill

The shifting decisions and infighting at the Capital.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos about 1/11/18 meeting with trumpUntil recently, I was truly desirous of the Democrats working with this president and fellow republicans colleagues, even if it meant that Democrats would have to cave by giving the president a win with funds for his Wall in order to pass real immigration reform.

My thinking hardened when the republican President Donald Trump chose to blow up a bi-partisan plan worked on by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham and 4 others, to fix the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and other immigration issues, at a Thursday morning meeting (1/11/18). Senators Durbin and Graham were prepared to present their proposals, but the president chose to renege on earlier commitments by referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as shxtholes,

Related image

I had been one of those foolish to believe the president when he held an earlier meeting with congressional lawmakers on 1/9/18, to work on…

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Writing Lessons Learned from the Work of Dr. King

Writing lessons learned from reading the works of Dr. King.

Story Empire

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Today, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We remember him as a Baptist minister, a civil rights leader, an advocate for nonviolent assembly and change, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and a powerful orator.

I think sometimes, though, people forget he was a brilliant author.

Leah Dearborn of LitReactor Magazine wrote a compelling article called “Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr., The Writer” in which she outlines four things she learned from reading his work. Here they are. To be:

  1. Urgent
  2. Prolific
  3. Clear
  4. Empathetic

As writers of fiction, particularly genre fiction, we might think these lessons don’t apply. Nonfiction authors focus on research and references. Literary authors strive to write eloquent, compelling stories that go on to be studied and revered in literary analysis courses for years to come. But genre authors have reputations for being more concerned with…

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Photo Copyright: Al Forbes

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction–January 14, 2018. Each week the host, Al Forbes provides a picture prompt taken by himself or sent in by one of the other participants in the group of writers. The challenge for each member of the group is to write an original story or poem with no more than 200 words, not including the title and inspired by the prompt. This week’s prompt was taken by Al himself. Thanks, Al.

To read the other stories written by group members, just click on the link below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box.

The link to the other stories this week is as follows:

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 200 Words


Rahni, a magnificent female snow leopard had cubs and herself to feed. She’d found a deep den when the birth was near but it was far from the livestock of the village where she’d previously made her home.

Two cubs survived and nursed for a time but had now become big enough for meat. A solitary animal, she was on her own.

Then she heard something different, the voices of men. Creeping close, she spied them from above.

“Sahib, when we camp tonight tie your horse near the fire. This is snow leopard territory.”

Mack Wallace was inexperienced, depending on his guide to keep him safe.

That night his mount became restless as it smelled the big cat.

By the time the guide realized it, the terrified horse had pulled loose and galloped up the path.

Rahni followed and waited for her prey to make a mistake. The fatigued animal tripped in the dark, falling heavily to the rocky ground. The feline jumped fifty feet from an overhang and landed on him. It was soon over. A stallion with a wounded leg was no match for the experienced leopard who sank her sharp fangs into his windpipe.

















Top 10 (Tech) Tips for Writers in 2017

Helpful links to writing tips for writers by Jacquin Murray.


top 10Every week (well, most weeks), I share a tip with writers, a trick that makes a big difference in the rhythm and feel of a novel. Some, you can make use of immediately. Others, file away for that cranky day when your writing limps along and you don’t know why.

Here are the 2017 Top Ten Writer’s Tips, according to readers:

  1. 6 Tips for Western Fiction Writers
  2. 15 Tips for Writing Poetry
  3. 13 Tips for Cozy Mystery Writers
  4. Writer’s Tips
  5. Writers Tip #5: Beware the gerund
  6. 10 Tips Guaranteed to Rescue Your Story
  7. 19 Self-editing Tips
  8. Writer’s Tip #103: 20 Tips from Bill Bryson
  9. Writers Tips #102: 17 Tips from The Careful Writer
  10. 10 Tips from Janet Burroway

Here are the 2017 Top Ten Tech Tips for Writers, according to my readers:

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Review – John Howell’s Circumstances of Childhood

Don Massenzio’s great review of John Howell’s book CIRCUMSTANCES OF CHILDHOOD.

Author Don Massenzio

Circumstances of Childhood final frontGoodreads Blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a…

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