This sounds embarrassingly familiar.

Phoenix Rainez

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Cheers From Manitoba~

Cindy Knoke’s beautiful pictures from Manitoba.

We are in Clear Lake Manitoba staying in a remote cabin.

There are wide open tracts of nature here with nary a person in sight.

We are heading further north soon, to Hudson Bay, to hopefully spend time with belugas and bears, and any other critters we may meet..

I gathered these late summer wild flowers in the meadow behind our cabin, eating wild raspberries as I browsed. We are enjoying the flowers as you can see on the cabin’s screened porch, watching deer in the meadow.

There is no wifi in our cabin, and wifi will be even harder to find as we head further north, so I am out of touch. I will check in when I can, but until then, it is cheers to you & be well from beautiful Manitoba~

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Publishing And Marketing Scams

A great blog helping writers protect against scams.

Jack Ronald Cotner

For authors seeking publishers and marketing help you should know it’s a dangerous world out there full of pitfalls, and offers of help aren’t all they are cracked up to be. In fact, those offers may be scams.

Source: Shutterstock

Here is excellent information posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®:

I’ve been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishing and marketing companies that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.

Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and focusing primarily on small press and self-published authors (particularly authors who’ve published with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit writers with relentless–and highly deceptive–phone and email solicitations. Some do provide the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices…

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A stairway to heaven?

First, a story of part of the history of a Grand Stair and its care told with humor by Tallis Steelyard. Next, a book of tales by Tallis Steelyard as told by Jim Webster. It is priced in the range of most readers and comes with a review by a pleased reader.

Tallis Steelyard

A stairway to heaven
This tale comes from the latter part of Maljie’s life. I wouldn’t say that it was something that happened in her old age, as by her own admission, she is not yet old. Indeed occasionally she has confessed to ‘not being in the first flush of youth.’ I feel that we must be satisfied with that.

Now for various complicated and largely incomprehensible reasons, Maljie became a Temple Warden at the Shrine of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm. The shrine itself is a small one, tucked away rather out of sight, at the bottom of the Sinecurists’ Grand Stair. This leads up from the Merchant Quarter, starting at Exegesis Square and it eventually ends below the north side of the Council of Sinecurists building.

The shrine itself has had a number of names, initially it was just the Exegesis Square Fane, but was promoted to…

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Tallis Steelyard presents a guide for writers. Inculcating a sense of urgency

First, a tale by Tallis Steelyard of a woman writer who changes her genre and finds a way to speed up her writing in a novel but effective way. Next, Jim Webster has a book on offer using stories by Tallis Steelyard to illustrate how to market your written word. Included is a review by a pleased reader.

Tallis Steelyard

1) A sense of urgency

Elene Spindleshaft is probably one of the finest and most poetic romantic novelists I have ever read. She could take two pages to describe the way the sunlight fell upon her heroine’s hair. Her delicate mastery of words could reduce poets to tears. The problem is that whilst she had an assured command of her genre, who reads poetic romance nowadays? Even more worrying who buys it? Even her erotic passages were so poetic that I’ve seen them read out to audiences who barely stopped gossiping to listen!
Elene faced a dilemma. Had she merely written romance, she would doubtless have earned a steady income. But of course she would have been forced to project herself as the lady her heroines were based on. Forty years before she could probably have done that but after a tough life and several children, she no longer boasted the lissom figure or waist-length…

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Life’s little mysteries

First, Jim Webster discusses how his books are marketed, especially by Amazon and mentions author newsletters. Next, he has a book on offer about Tallis’ friend Benor at a most economical price. A review by a pleased reader is included.

Jim Webster


It has to be admitted that there are times when I stop and confess I don’t really understand the workings of the universe. Oh forget dark matter and quantum pairing, I want to know why we have a Guinness ashtray on the draining board in our kitchen?
Yes I understand that my lady wife found it when tidying up and decided to clean it, but still, that begs a more serious question. Given that nobody has smoked in this house since about 1962, why have we got an ashtray at all? I certainly don’t remember acquiring it (although I do have a beer towel from a long defunct brewery) and I’ve not got round to asking all three daughters whether they acquired it in their travels. But let’s be fair, it’s too damned big to slip into a handbag.

Still it sits, inscrutable on the draining board, proof that if…

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Photo  Copyright: Linda Kreger

Here we are again and this week we’re gathered in a park. We’ve come together to discuss our original stories for the week. This is the Friday Fictioneer’s group. Our hostess for the gathering is the talented and gracious author and artist, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge for each of us this week and every week is to write a story with no more than 100 words, not counting the title. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and be inspired by the picture prompt for the week. This week’s prompt was provided by Linda Kreger. Thanks, Linda. To read the other stories by group members, just click on the link below, then on the smiling frog. Next, follow the given directions.

30 August 2019

Genre: Fiction Human Interest

Word Count: 100 Words

Memories by P.S. Joshi

It was the perfect day for sunny memories, cold and rainy. I put more wood on the fireplace grate, slipped into my warmest sweater, and settled in to a cozy, oversized chair.

Instead of remembering, I fell asleep and dreamed.

I was at the last gathering of the family. Mom was in her wheelchair, and we made a game of pushing it.

She laughed as hard as the rest.

The scene changed. We stood around Mom’s grave. One of us was missing.

Oh yes, it was my brother Ben killed in Iraq the year before.

I woke, my face wet.






















Polar Play~

Lovely pictures of a polar bear mother and her cub playing at The Hudson Bay taken by Cindy Knoke.

We are seeing polar bear everyday here in The Hudson Bay!

This series of shots are a mama and cub at play.

Polar Bear health is rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being too thin and starving, and 5 being overfed and obese.

I am happy to report that all the bears we are seeing are healthy fours!

The population of polar bears at Hudson Bay are thought to number between 900-1000.

Their numbers are estimated to have declined 17% in recent years.

Despite these sobering statistics, all the bears we are seeing look really healthy.

During the end of August, polar bears are in a state of stuporous, walking hibernation, waiting for the waters of the bay to freeze up, so they can head out and hunt seals.

They still do eat and hunt though, and I will show you some photos of this in my next…

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