Smorgasbord Short stories Rewind – What’s in a Name? Volume One – What’s in a Name?- Francis – Forging New Bonds by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

Francis – Forging new bonds

Francis Baxter checked into the hotel in the middle of Chamonix on the Friday night and tired from his long journey headed off to bed and slept for ten hours straight.

He woke to find the sun streaming in through the windows of his suite and a craving for several cups of strong coffee. He showered and sat in the extremely fluffy bath robe supplied by the exclusive hotel and waited for room service to send up his breakfast. He closed his…

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Spotlight Poetry – Daisies – A poem by Andrew Young

Art, Photography and Poetry

Daisies by Andrew Young

The stars are everywhere tonight,
Above, beneath me and around;

They fill the sky with powdery light
And glimmer from the night-strewn ground;
For where the folded daisies are
In every one I see a star.

And so I know that when I pass
Where no man’s shadow counts the hours
And where the sky was there is grass
And where the stars were there are flowers,

Through the long night in which I lie
Stars will be shining in my sky.

Poem Attribution © Andrew Young, Daisies

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Painting Attribution © Kathy Cousart, Sky Full of Stars, 2020

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Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 333 – Appreciation

But I Smile Anyway...

“It’s the little things, that matter.”

Ritu Bhathal

Today, Spidey and I decided to have a little chat about appreciation…

Friday marked the end of one of the most surreal school years in my career, and indeed, the career of many other educators. Last year was weird enough with the whole term long lockdown, but, dare I say it, it was easier, in many respects, because there were no real expectations, besides getting through. We did what we could to help our children, and hoped for the best, after all, none of us had been through a situation like this before.

This academic year, however, put fresh pressure on the whole sector, because, all of a sudden, we were meant to, overnight, become experts in remote learning; with no training or guidance, drop our usual techniques, and set learning in a whole new format. We were to, at the ping…

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Why Shelved Stories Are like Old Flames #AmWriting

Lucy Mitchell

Let’s talk about one of my favourite subjects in the writing world – shelved stories. Those writing projects which used to make your heart beat faster when you sat down to write them but are now gathering dust in boxes in the loft, in notebooks, drawers or are languishing in your electronic writing folders.

Writing a story is like starting a relationship. We have all experienced those first heady stages of story love where we have a goofy smile spread across our face, we have sleepless nights thinking about our amazing story and there is a golden aura around our laptop / notebook.

Our relationships with stories can last weeks, months and even years. You and your story endure both good times and bad times.

Not all story relationships work. There will be characters who we care too much about and don’t want to let go. We will spend hours…

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The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – July 25

Jo Hawk

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

Yesterday, I attended an online writing summit. The summit delivered seven hours of valuable information while I sat in my comfy chair, sipping coffee and taking copious notes. As a result, I added some novel exercises designed to improve my current writing process to my To-Do list, and I am excited to get to work. In between sessions, I finished reading “5,000 Words Per Hour” by Chris Fox, took more notes, and added a few “ah-ha” items to my ever-expanding list. I also read James Joyce’s short story, “The Dead.” Because I was on a roll, I completed another module for my online class, then I printed the worksheets and reviewed the directions for completing the next big assignment.

I felt stiff after all that sitting, so I got moving and watered and fertilized my tomatoes. They are thriving in this hot, humid weather which leaves me sweaty, exhausted, and…

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Test Your Limits, Expand Your World, and Dare to Learn Something New Today — Daily Quote

Jo Hawk


I was that strange kid who couldn’t wait to start school. No teacher taught me how to read. I learned before I ever went to kindergarten. I completed most of my homework while I sat listening to lectures. Extra credit work was fun, and I enrolled in every advanced placement class my school offered. As a result, A’s populated my report card. My lower marks reflected my associated boredom level. An instructor once reprimanded me for working ahead in a math workbook, even though the answers were correct. I didn’t stop. Her class was boring.

I love challenges. Cracking a code, solving a puzzle, or learning a new skill is exhilarating. Throw me in the deep end, and while I might thrash around and almost drown, chances are I will soon be swimming like Michael Phelps. A wise man enlightened me on the benefits of becoming a perpetual learner. He…

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Wanton Whimsy: Find me!

Sun in Gemini

He had lost count of the number of years they had been doing this…

The envelope, marked with a promo sticker from a fictitious low-budget garden show, had arrived a month ago. It contained exactly seven clues. And then the words ‘Dress to Kill’.

The rules were simple. Dinner would be served in the most unlikely location, chosen by the person whose turn it was…

The game had started decades before, when both were students at a polytechnic in the Midlands, struggling with funds that would not allow both rent and food. One evening, over a long drawn-out beer, they had vowed that, if they made it through their degrees without starving to death, they would meet annually, on the day of their graduation, to celebrate their survival… and, hopefully, prosperity.

He staggered along the canal towpath. The tuxedo was dripping with sweat; probably the worst thing he could have…

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