Blog Award Time – 2


In this post I want to finish off with three more blog awards. The first two are different versions of the same award, with similar rules, so I’ll do these two together.



I was nominated for the first award (the orange one) by Antonia. Her blog, is another food and cookery blog that I love, and Antonia posts recipes which are – in her own words – Greek and American Inspired Fare. Antonia likes to balance healthy eating with occasional more decadent and festive dishes suitable for various celebrations throughout the year. I recommend you to take a look. I’ve simply linked to Antonia’s About page here, as the Award post was last April.

The second Blogger Recognition Award is one I was nominated for a couple of weeks ago by Timi Townsend. Timi’s blog, Let Us Live Like We Mean It, is full of exciting historical posts and write-ups of reenactments that she has taken part in at a variety of venues. Timi is a particular lover of the Viking era and I’m very much looking forward to reading about her coming holiday in Iceland in May.


These are the rules for Zoale’s nomination: 

  1. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award. Attach the award to the post.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  4. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  5. Select up to 10 other blogs you want to give the award to.

And these are the rules for Timi’s nomination:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

These are my (combined) answers to the two sets of rules:

3. My blog started in August 2014 while I was still writing my second book, and several people suggested to me that all writers should have a blog. Well, despite not knowing anything about blogs and blogging, I set one up (with much help from daughter Louise (thestorytellersabode) who decided to set one up for herself at the same time).

My blog got off to a very slow start, and I didn’t write many posts until January 2015 when I became involved with several flash fiction challenges. I’ve been enjoying myself with all kinds of posts ever since.

4. My advice to new bloggers is to be active on your blog from Day One. Look for bloggers who post about topics that interest you and follow them. Read, like and comment on posts and you’ll soon become part of the blogging community. Entering some of the many challenges (which relate to many different topics, including photography, story writing and poetry) also helps you to connect with others, although they can be time consuming. Most of all enjoy your blog and just post about things that interest you.

One piece of advice I’ve read a time or two is to be sure to include images/photos/pictures in your posts to make it more appealing. A page full of text alone can look quite daunting and people can be out off from reading.  There are several places where you can get free images (e.g. Pixabay) or you could use your own photos. If you intend to use a lot of images, as I do on my Travel and History posts, make sure to edit them to keep the file size small. I didn’t realise it mattered until my media file was suddenly almost full. It took me ages to go through all past posts and reduce file size of my pics.


My seventh and last award is one I was only nominated for the other day. This is the logo:


I was nominated for this award by Jo Hawk on her blog, johawkthewriter , so it’s a big thank you to Jo. Jo is a writer, in the process of completing the first draft of her first novel – a journey she shares on posts about daily writing and what works best for her regarding inspiration and writing habits. Jo also shares short stories and sometimes takes part in challenges. Her creative writing is excellent and witty and I recommend you to take a look at her blog and have a read!

This award was created by okoto enigma, so a thank you to Okoto, for that. I’m guessing that the name of this award (Mystery Blogger Award) relates to the name of its creator.

Here are the rules for this award:

This is a much longer award post than all the others I’ve done in these two posts, and I’m afraid I’ll be answering the questions very briefly. As this is my 7th award over two posts, I won’t be nominating too many bloggers either. shutterstock_152788070

  1. Display the award logo on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself
  6. Answer five questions from the nominator
  7. Nominate 10-20 bloggers. Notify each by leaving a comment on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including one weird or funny one.
  9. Share the link to your best post.

5  Three things about me:

Oh dear – more facts wanted. Let me see…

  1. I have blue eyes and fair hair. Sorry, that’s not exciting at all, but I’m struggling to find things to say that I haven’t said before on previous award posts.
  2. I’m a titch. At 5 foot two (which I’ve probably said a million times before) I need to stand on a chair to reach anything in my kitchen or on top shelves in cupboards anywhere in the house. But the height goes nicely with a great old song, so that’s alright. Here’s a video of the song from YouTube, uploaded by secretgate. This clip is from the 1952 film, Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

3. I don’t have a middle name and nor do many in our family, other than my dad. He was a Thomas Peter. My mum was just Millicent (Millie) and her side of the family didn’t bother with middle names…  And I always wanted one, for some reason!

Q. 6 The five questions from Jo for me to answer

1. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

My answer: Because I’m an ‘oldie’, I suppose it would have to be a number of actors for different periods of my life – a child actor for the childhood scenes, for example. Post childhood, the actor chosen would have to be a youngish person (in their twenties or early thirties) who could be ‘made up’ to look older as I aged, or younger to play my late-teenage years (in the ‘Swinging Sixties’!). It would also, perhaps, need to be someone who resembles me, at least a bit – not a six-footer, for a start.  So, my answer in a nutshell is: I’ve no idea because I’m not a movie-goer nowadays. Lol

2. What is your inspiration for writing?

My answer: I generally write historical fiction, so obviously actual historical people, sites and events inspire me a great deal. I’ve loved history all my life and am intrigued by all the events that have happened to make the human race and this planet we call Earth what they are today. But I also respond to all kinds of prompts on flash fiction challenges, although wherever possible, I’ll try to do something historical for those as well!

3. Where would you live, if money didn’t matter?

My answer: I would never live anywhere else (permanently, that is) than England. I might complain about the weather, but ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ is what I know and love – and all my family is here. Besides, we have a wealth of historical sites, so what else could I ask for? As to where in England I’d prefer to live, the answer is Southport in Lancashire, where I was born and raised. But we’ve been in ‘Robin Hood land’ (i.e. Nottinghamshire) since the late 1970s now, and I’ve no real complaints. And it rains less on this side of the Pennines (hills known as ‘the backbone of England) than on the wet west where Southport is!

4. When did (or will) you consider yourself successful?

I suppose success means different things to different people. Many of us can have successful lives without becoming rich and/or famous. I consider myself successful in many things, such as gaining my geology degree and teaching certificates, in raising six children and having a great time teaching teenagers geography and history for many years. I’ve also been successful in keeping relatively healthy for so long and in being able to visit many countries of the world – although I still have a long list of places yet to be ticked off.

As far as my writing goes, I’ve loved writing my books and feel successful in having eventually got round to writing novels after so many years of not having the time (too many children and too long in teaching! Lol). I also feel successful in having had so many great reviews of them, but I’m still hundreds of miles away from what people would call a successful writer – usually meaning one who makes a lot of money from their books and has become famous. I don’t want to be famous… a quiet life suits me fine.

5. Why did you start blogging?

I’ve just answered this question for the award post above (Q.3) and on yesterday’s award post (Black Cat Award, Q.1) so I won’t repeat it all again! Perhaps I’ll just repeat that, after a slow and hesitant start, I do love my blog.

Q. 8 As this is the 7th award post, and this particular award is a very long one, I’m going to chicken out from asking my nominees 5 of my own questions here. Instead, I’ll cheat and pass on Jo’s questions (the ones I’ve just answered above). They were interesting ones to do.

My nominees for these three awards.

As I did on the last post, I’m leaving it to nominees to decide which of the three they accept – if they choose to accept any. Apologies in advance if I’ve nominated anyone whose blog is ‘Award Free’.


Cheryl Foston

LaRonda Moore


London Wlogger



Blog Award Time – 1


I haven’t done an awards post for well over a year, although I’ve been nominated for several. But I was recently nominated for another two which have shamed me into doing them all, although I intend to fit all seven into two posts. I won’t be writing as much as I usually do for each, or nominating as many people as the rules ask for.

In this first post, I’m responding to four award nominations – most, but not all, in the order in which I received them. Some with similar rules, I’ve tried to put together.

This is the first award and the one I’ve been sitting on the longest:


I was nominated for One Lovely Blog Award by Joy Pixley a whole year ago now (i.e. February 2016) so it’s a big (belated) thank you to her. Joy’s blog Tales from Eneana, is full of amazing stories – many of them in response to various writing challenges. I recommend you check her out! Joy is a very creative writer and her stories really draw readers in. Joy is currently writing her first book, set in the fictional world of Eneana, and it promises to be excellent!

These are the RULES for this award:shutterstock_152788070

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10-15 bloggers (or as many as you can /want) for the award, and comment on one of their posts to let them know.

So I’ve already done Q’s 1 & 2.

Q. 3 I’ve written several Award posts that ask for facts about yourself, and it’s hard to think of anything else original enough to say. But here are a few, not too exciting revelations:


  • I’ll be seventy in April. What an admission! I cringe at the thought and cling to the fact that people tell me I don’t look it (even though I feel more like eighty at times). This is how I feel, especially when confronted with any modern appliance.


  • I’m a summer person and tend to shrivel up in the winter. It’s not that I don’t love the stark beauty of the winter landscape, because I do. A crisp, frosty morning can be beautiful and exhilarating. I just hate the really short days and the long hours of darkness. I loathe writing by electric light and long for the time when we can enjoy our lovely long hours of English twilight.
  • Travelling  is a passion with me I’d spend most of every year doing it if I had the money and time to do so. As it is, we have lots of short breaks around the UK, and go abroad a couple of times most years.
  • One of the ways I unwind is by spending hours in my kitchen baking. I’ve baked since I was a child and by the time I was twelve my mum retired from that particular household activity as I muscled in. Having six children of my own, my baking skills were later put to very good use.
  • I adore swimming and think I should have been born a mermaid.
  • I also love riding  – which probably sounds a bit strange coming from a would-be mermaid.

Q. 4  A few nominees are listed at the bottom of this post. 


I’ve decided to do he next two awards together, as the rules are exactly the same – so I can cheat a little here.



I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Aquileana in March 2016 and can say it’s an honour to be nominated by such an awesome blogger. Aquileana’s posts on her blog La Audacia de Aquiles must be some of the most popular on WordPress, and rightly so. If you love to read about Ancient Greece, I suggest you have a look through some of the posts she’s written. Sometimes Aquileana writes about various aspects of literature, occasionally teaming up with other bloggers – poets, artists etc. to do literary criticisms. All are equally interesting! (I’ve linked to one of Aquileana’s Greek posts above).

I was nominated for the Best Blog Awards by Inese, whose wonderful blog, Making Memories, is another hugely popular one. And rightly so. The name of Inese’s blog stems from the many beautiful photos she shows, mostly of Ireland, but some are of places in the USA taken when she visits family who live there. All Inese’s posts are accompanied by a superbly entertaining  and interesting commentary which includes historical background and a look at the lives of people past and present. Needless to say, I also recommend this blog to everyone.

These are the Rules for both of these awards:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Add the logo to your post
  3. Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers of your choice and tell them about the award.

There are no facts to find or questions to answer for either of these awards .

Nominees are listed at the bottom of the post.


And this is the fourth and final award for this post – and the logo’s a real cutie:


I was nominated for this award by Lynne Hoareau, so thank you Lynne and apologies for the long delay in my response. Needless to say, Lynne’s blog, Lynne’s Recipe Trails is about Food and Cookery, and it’s a great one too. I follow a few cookery blogs and always enjoy finding new recipes – or variations of an already existing recipe – and Lynne’s posts provide both variations and individuality, many with a keen eye on healthy eating. Lynne’s is now an award free blog.

These are the Rules for this one:shutterstock_140966836

  • Anybody nominated, can nominate seven (lucky number) other bloggers.
  • Anybody nominated, answers three questions.
  • The questions you ask while nominating, can be any three questions.

So, here are my answers to the three questions – with a note to be passed on:

If any of the questions asked are offending or simply do not want to be answered, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award. This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.


The following are the three questions are the ones Lynne answered on her own awards post and passed on to her nominees. I’m going to do the same again (time restraints!) but asking three different questions is what the rules suggest. I’ll leave it up to my nominees to decide what they do.

1. Who was the first blog / blogger you heard of / read and did they inspire you to start? 

I’ve answered similar questions to this on a few award posts now, but here’s a version of it again…

I had no idea what a blog was until a number of people suggested that, as a writer, I should have one. To be honest, social media of any kind wasn’t my ‘thing’ – although my daughter, Louise (thestorytellersabode) had already set up a Facebook page for me – which to this day remains hardly used other than having my blog posts linked to it. All the bloggers who inspire me are those I’ve met since I started my blog and are too many to name.

2. Do you see Blogging as a future career or just a side hobby?

Blogging would never be a career for me. I love writing my various types of posts, and although a few are linked to my books and writing in general, most are about what interests me. Other than writing and flash fiction, that includes history, customs and traditions and travel. I also used to enjoy doing my Word of the Week (WOW) posts, which I stopped over a year ago due to lack of time. I hope to be able to start doing them again soon.

3. What is your all-time favorite Album and Why?

In a nutshell, I haven’t got one. I adored Leonard Cohen’s voice and had LP’s of his as long ago as the ’70s. Later on it was tapes, and still later I had some CD’s. But I like a wide variety of music, including folk music, some classical and even some country and western pieces. I just go with what I like at the time.


I’m going to break the rules completely here and nominate a few bloggers who can choose which one of the above four awards they like. No one is under any obligation to accept any, of course. (Apologies, too, if I’ve missed a notice on anyone’s blog that says you’re Award Free.)



Joy Pixley

Johawk the writer

Ellie Blue

Susan Langer

Timi Townsend





In my second awards post – which will, hopefully be tomorrow – I’ll respond to the other three nominations.

Blog Award Time (2): The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


I was nominated for this award by a great blogger, a lady from Texas who writes books and short stories under the pen name of L.T. Garvin – which is also the name of her blog. If you enjoy reading witty and humorous stories and poems, I recommend you take a look at this blog. L.T. has two published books: Dancing With the Sandman –available on Amazon, and a children’s book, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete – available from Crystal Publishing LLC. I suggest you check out this page on Lana’s blog to have a look at both of these.  Lana also writes short stories and has recently had a short, non-fiction piece selected for publication in the Texas Writers Journal Quarterly. You can check this out here on her blog. Thank you so much for the nomination, L.T.

Now down to business . . .

The Rules:


  1. Say ‘Thank You’ to the person who nominated you and link their blog to your post. Done
  2. Answer the 10 questions given to you.
  3. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
  4. Include the Award Badge in your post. Done

The Questions:

I’ve used the questions that L.T. answered herself – as I wasn’t given different ones – and have decided to pass them on again.  So my nominees can use either these questions or write ten new ones for their own nominees to answer.  


1. What made you want to start your blog?


I had no idea what a blog was until several months after finishing Book 1 of my trilogy. (Nor did I know what Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn – or any other form of social media was all about). It was after various people suggested that, as an author, I should set up a blog that I eventually decided to have a go. And even then the process was a farce. I opened the WP account in May 2014, and did nothing with it until the end of July. It was only when my daughter, Louise, got her blog up and running that I was shamed into starting mine. I also started on Twitter a little while months ago, but have only very recently attempted to make a few tweets (mostly my blog posts, but I can probably start to widen things out a bit now).

twitter (2)

I would welcome with open arms anyone who would care to take the risk and follow me.

2. What have you wanted to do on your blog but haven’t yet?

Several months ago now, I discussed with the lovely Amanda (Forestwoodfolkart) on her blog, Something to Ponder About, about (me) starting a weekly post involving British sayings and their origins. This idea was a result of my enjoyment of Amanda’s Thursday posts, Proverbial Thursday, on which she presents quotes and proverbs for her readers to interpret and discuss. I love this post, and I mentioned I’d like to do something similar with the many, odd British sayings, and Amanda graciously said she would link her post to my page! How amazing and kind is that! Well, needless to say, I haven’s started it yet, but intend to do so sometime during this year.

3. Name one item your bucket list – or more if you like.

Bucket (2)

Other than travelling to see as much of the world as possible, I really don’t have a bucket list. Naturally, I want to finish my trilogy, and write other books I have in mind, but travel is top of my (non-existent) list. And now, after connecting with some wonderful people on WP, we have plans to ‘meet up’  at some stage. I won’t name them here and embarrass them, but I really would like to say ‘Hello’ in person to these blogging friends.

4. What is your biggest fear?Planet Earth (2)

I have no real personal fear other than sharks, as mentioned in other award posts. I do fear wars – the needless bloodshed and loss of life – and dread seeing the news about what is happening around the world. Like so many of us, I long for a time when the human race can live together in peace and harmony, and have tolerance and understanding for each other’s beliefs and customs. I’m also greatly concerned about what we are doing to this planet that sustains us all. I won’t go into detail about the depletion of natural resources, or the effects of climate change and species extinctions, but I’m sure you’ll all know what I’m saying. What kind of world are we leaving for future generations? We’re becoming a species whose motto seems to be, ‘I’m All Right Jack’.

5. What is/was your best moment in life?

I’ve had six ‘best moments’ in my life, which all happened between 43 and 32 years ago. The names of these moments are Nicola, Richard, Neil, Louise, Thomas and Christopher – in order of age.

6. Have you made any New Year resolutions this year? If so, name one. If not, why don’t you like them?

Yes, my main resolution is to get two more books finished – the third book of my Sons of Kings trilogy . . .


. . .  and a book of short stories. These aren’t really resolutions, more determined aims. Fortunately I don’t need to lose weight or give up anything harmful to life and limb.

7. If you could host a challenge on your blog, what kind would it be?

As I love writing stories, I can only think of some kind of writing challenge – probably short stories from a given prompt – but there are already a lot of those around. So I’d have to think hard about this one and try to make it different to the others in some way. I’d also like to do my own version of a Word of the Week challenge, involving something a little different to the one I participate in now. I really enjoy investigating the meanings and origins of interesting words- and writing little stories to illustrate them.


8. What was the name of your first pet? What do you remember the most about them?


My very first pets were several mice – six of them – when I was five. Some were white and two were black and white. I never gave them names, probably because I didn’t have them long enough to do so. Somehow they all got out of the cage, (probably because I left the cage open) and ended up infesting the neighbourhood due to their rampant breeding. I don’t remember how the freedom of these mice ended, but I do remember lots of neighbours coming round looking (and sounding) anything but pleased! We also had an old, bad-tempered, rough-haired terrier called Rover at this time, but he was my mum’s. He bit one of my friends once – resulting in another very displeased neighbour. The escapee mice were all mine – and I was very upset that they didn’t like me enough to stay with me.

9. Do you ever go to a high school/old school reunion? Was it fun or not?

No, I’ve never been to this kind of reunion. I don’t think they’re as popular in the UK as they are in the US, but some reunions do take place.  One group of students that Nick and I both taught in Wantage in the mid 1970s, have met up every ten years since they left school. We were both invited to their last one (and we went along!) and were very touched by the gesture.

10. Do you have a pet peeve?  

I’m afraid I have to mimic L.T’s answer for this one. I can’t stand people who are rude, arrogant and loud-mouthed; in other words, people who are totally obnoxious to others.   Good manners are all that I ask, and tolerance to others, no matter what their opinions and /or beliefs.

Now for my nominees:


This is the third time I’ve done the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, the second time for this particular logo – and that was only a few weeks before Christmas. So I’m having difficulty in finding people to nominate, especially as this award is aimed only at women bloggers. On top of that, so many blogs are now ‘Award Free’.

Although I wouldn’t normally do this, I’m just going to throw this award open to anyone who would like it. I love all my followers out there and would be delighted if some of you accepted this one.


Since writing this, I’ve decided to go ahead and nominate at least one person whose blog I think well derserves this award:

Parul, on her cookery blog, Gharkepawan, is someone I’ve followed for a little while now. Her blog is aimed at presenting ‘healthy and nutritious vegetarian’ recipes, which I have found very useful for trying out on my vegetarian husband!

Blog Award Time (1): Dragon’s Loyalty Award


Once again I am delighted to have received two more blog awards, and am very grateful to the wonderful bloggers who nominated me. I’ll respond to the first one I received in this post and the second one in another.

This is the first one. Now isn’t that pretty. . . ?


I was nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award by the amazing blogger Aquileana. For anyone who loves Greek Mythology, Aquileana’s blog is an absolute must. Her posts are incredible, so informative and visually brilliant. Aquileana is extremely knowledgeable in her subject and I’ve learnt so much from reading her posts. I’m so glad I found her and recommend you all to take a look at her site. Thank you so much for the nomination, Aquileana!

So here are the Rules:shutterstock_1527880701. Display the award on your blog.  Done

2. Announce your win with a post and link to the blogger who nominated you.  Partly done

3. Present 6 deserving bloggers with the award.

4. Link to your awardees in the post.

5.  Write 7 things about you.

Before I do Q’s. 3 and  4, I’ll answer Q.5 – Facts/things about me (if I can think of anything remotely interesting that I haven’t already shared in previous award posts!).

Well, here goes…

shutterstock_1283682951. I detest snakes. I’ve written about my great fear of sharks in previous posts, but this phobia is a little different. My fear of sharks makes me very nervous when I’m swimming in the sea – and I love to swim and go out snorkelling.  With snakes it’s more of a visual thing  . . . something about the way they slither along, and those forked tongues that flick in and out! It’s more of a revulsion with snakes than the great fear of being eaten by a shark. They just make me shudder – especially when there are a lot of them, all writhing and slithering about (as in that Indiana Jones film (youtube scene shown here –  I did note the spelling of Indiana in the title):

It’s a pity they don’t all look like this little fellow who just popped over from Pixabay.


2. The Blue Danube Waltz, composed in 1866 by Austrian composer Johann II, is one of my favourite pieces of music. I love the whole, dreamy sound of it, as it conjures up images of that magnificent river. I’ve even inflicted the music on my Year 8 students on several occasions. It’s an ideal piece to use in geography lessons to illustrate the characteristic features of the three sections of a river: upper, middle and lower courses. Geography lesson ends here, but here is a video I found for anyone who hasn’t heard of The Blue Danube Waltz. I specifically picked this one from amongst many because it has views of the beautiful River Danube:

3. I’m waiting impatiently for the return of Poldark, the BBC TV series set in 18th century Cornwall. I watched the first version of the serialisation of the novels – written by Winston Graham – in the mid 1970’s. and in black and white. We had no colour TV in those days. Still, I loved it, and was sure I really wouldn’t like this new version when Series One came on last year. But I found this new version excellent and have been longing for Series Two. Not long now . . .

4. One of my favourite genres is Crime/Murder Mystery, and I like it even better when it has an historical setting. There are many authors I like who write Historical Who-Done-Its, and I don’t have any preference for time period, or country of setting. Most of the ones I read tend to be set inBrtain, but I’ve enjoyed some set in many other places as well. Most are a very light read, which is fine, considering my only reading time tends to be last thing at night.

5. One of the books I really want to write (amongst several others!) is one set in the 1950s. You know . . . the time period of the novel and TV series, Call the Midwife (post WW2). Advice to authors is often to ‘write about what you know’.  Well, I was a child in that decade, and remember a lot about it. Whether I’ll base the book on memoirs, or go for something purely fictional, I don’t know. Right now, I think it’s likely to be the latter. But images and smells of school dinners of that time will never disappear.

6. I’d much rather sail than fly when going on holiday. I have no fear of flying or anything, I just prefer the freedom of being able to walk around on a ship instead of being seated all the time. I’m the restless type, you see. I’ve never been on a long cruise, and am not sure I’d want to. But we’ve been to Ireland, Denmark and across the English Channel to France on ferries, which I really enjoyed. But… flying is so much quicker.

7. Last one… I’m struggling here. I hate getting ‘dressed up’, and make up is a no-no. It’s really not me. I’ve had to dress up on occassion, of course, but I usually can’t wait to get back into my jeans and go out for a long walk. Yes, I’m a real party pooper.

These are my 6 nominees:


I. Joy Pixley – a great fantasy writer. Joy is currently finishing off her book, set in Eneana, right now. She did brilliantly in NaNoWriMo, and I have every admiration for her hard work and determination. The book promises to be fascinating.

2. Lina – who has a great cookery blog, but who also writes lovely short stories and has recently started to participate in flash fiction (FFFAW).

3. Yinglan – a prolific and successful blogger, who mostly participates in writing challenges. Her stories are always interesting and show great imagination. I believe Yinglan also aims to write her own book one day.

4. Tracey-Lynne – an talented aspiring author, who has recently returned to Blogland after a short break. Tracey is now taking part in falsh fiction challenges as well as continuing to write her own short poems and stories.

5. Gavin Zanker – another talented writer who will be publishing his first book early this year. How exciting is that!

The Epic Awesomeness Award


I’ve been nominated for this unusual award by Charles French, who describes his blog as ‘an exploration of reading and writing‘. I can say that there are some excellent tips for writers on Charles’ site. Himself a writer, and someone who teaches writing skills, his expertise is passed on to readers through his many, varied posts. I recommend you all to take a look and see just how much Charles’ blog includes.

So, I’ll jump right into this one and list The RULES:


1. You are awesome; tell us why.

2. You are my friend; tell us about other friends.

3. Be creative, but it’s ok if you are having trouble with this one.

4. There are no direct questions to answer; let yourself run wild!

5. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

6. Notify your nominees.

I could say, ‘Oooh, er . . . where do I start wih this one?’ So I’ll just do my usual thing and ramble . . .

Now I’m ready to dive . . . swimmer-304771_640

I think of high mountains as awesome. Some reach up into the sky, well beyond the clouds before tapering away to nothingness. Oceans are awesome: seemingly bottomless depths. Outer space is awesome: infinity beyond our wildest imaginings:


The Aurora Borealis is awesome. Blue Whales are awesome.  Life itself is awesome . . .

I think you’ll have got what I’m saying by now. Some things are totally, gobsmackingly awesome!  According to the Oxford English Dictionary awesome means:

“Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe”.

No doubt some people are awesome, too – usually those people (past or present) whose lives have/ have had some beneficial effect on many of us on this planet, or who gain our admiration for their skills and achievements. Those people could be anything from scientists and entrepreneurs to great composers, musicians, artists, writers or athletes etc. (This list could go on forever, so I’ll leave it at that!)

Awesome Einstein

Well, I’m of the opinion that there are different ‘types’ of awesomeness. Outer space and people can’t be measured on the same scale. In the blogging community we nominate for awards people whose posts we love to read; posts that impress us. Awards have so many different names – like Creative, Versatile, or Very Inspiring Blogger – all qualities we recognise and appreciate in people we ‘follow’ and like. I’m really grateful for having been nominated for a few awards myself. It’s an honour to be included, even though many awards are time consuming to respond to. This one, at least, allows us to freely ramble!

As for being awesome …!!??!! Apart from anything else, I’m only 5’2” – hardly awesome in appearance. But Epic Awesomeness is a wonderful title for a blog award. On the scale we use in the blogging community, it means so much to have been nominated for this one. But I can only mimic what Charles, who nominated me, said in his post – I have never considered myself to be awesome. I do a lot of different kinds of posts, and I know that different ones appeal to different people. I tend to have different ‘likers’ when I do Travel or History posts to when I write Flash Fiction. That’s only to be expected. I’m interested in so many things – and have learned so much from reading some wonderful WordPress posts since becoming part of this community sixteen months ago

In our blogging world, we become ‘blogging friends’ with each other and enjoy each others’ posts. Blogging lets us chat with people in far off places and we come to ‘know’ them. At least we come to know what they’re interested in and how they feel about certain issues. Sometimes, it feels as though I’ve known some of my blogging friends personally for years. I could list so many people I talk to a lot – but that may be simply because I talk a lot anyway (once a teacher, always a teacher… haha.). Some of those people I’ve ‘known’ since before last Christmas, others only for a matter of weeks . . .


There are so many lovely bloggers I’ve ‘met’ on WP. I wish I could say ‘hello’ properly to all of you (I’d bring a stool, so you wouldn’t need to keep looking down at me). For now, I’ll just have to be content with nominating people I think are awesome for this award.

I realise that some of you in the list may be too busy right now in the run up to Christmas. Others may well be ‘award free’ blogs. I’m just giving bloggers I like a mention. It would be great to see your posts, but if you don’t that’s OK too . . .


Jack R Cotner

Aquileana at La Audacia de Aquiles

Bekki at Dartmoor Yarns

Draliman at dralimanonlife

Joy at Tales from Eneana

Amanda at Something to Ponder about

Joycelin at Tribalmysticstories

Dinata Misovec


Chioma at lifehomeandaway

Leggy Peggy

Faraday’s Candle

Frances at Loving Leisure Time

Freda at Aromatic Essence

Lina at Lin’s recipes


Claremary P. Sweeney

Inese at Snapshot Perspectives

Susan at Susan’s Creative Writing and Poetry

Suzanne at puginakitchen

All Awesome People . . .!


The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


Having only recently responded to one a blog award nomination, I still have three more to do – so I thought I’d better get on with them. I’m doing each according to when I received the nomination, and this one, from Maria, at Doodles and Scribbles, is from late September.  I really do appreciate being nominated for these awards, but time hasn’t been a particular friend of mine recently. So I must apologise to Maria for hanging onto it for so long. I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to fit everything in that I need to. Maria writes some lovely posts, including many great flash fiction stories, and I recommend you to take a look at her blog.

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award is one I’ve had before, but not this particular version. I was pleased to find that it didn’t ask for any more facts about me, as I’ve used up a lot of those recently!

The rules for this award are as follows:


  1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.  (done)
  2. Answer the 10 questions given to you.
  3. Pass the award on to ‘N’ (as many as you want) other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  4. Give your nominees 10 of your own questions to answer.
  5. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog (first image above)

Right then, now to answers the questions:  


  1. Why do you write?

I’ve always loved to write (such a typical response!). Even in primary school I wrote stories about all kinds of things, often inspired by what I’d been reading at home or at school, or games created in the playground. I was always good at the basic spelling, punctuation and grammar, so it was just a case of using my imagination – which I never had a problem with. Nowadays, I write my books because I have a story to tell and need to get it out. I also become very involved with my characters and love developing them.

2. If you were to create a fictional character for yourself, who it be and why?

Having finished two of the three books of my trilogy, I can say that I’ve created a lot of fictional characters. Several of them, like Alfred the Great, are actual historical characters, so I’ve had to be careful to comply with whatever has been historically documented. But my story is set in the 9th century, when little was written about individuals’ characters, especially those of women. So it’s down to authors to flesh out the details. Sometime in the future, when I’ve finished this trilogy, I’d like to create some interesting Roman characters for a historical crime novel set in Roman Britain. At the moment my protagonist is likely to be a legionary based up on Hadrian’s Wall who will have some devious characters to deal with.

3. What’s your favorite book?

I haven’t got a single favourite book. I’ve read a lot of excellent novels, and enjoyed and admired the skills of the authors who wrote them. I read mostly historical fiction and crime novels, and really like a combination of the two. For historical fiction I’ve enjoyed books by Dorothy Dunnett, Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell and Harper Lee. For crime novels, I’ve liked many authors, most recently Val McDermid. I’ve also enjoyed some of Patricia Cornwell’s crime books which delve into the forensic side of things. If someone twisted my arm for a single, favourite, I would have to cite ‘Game of Kings’ the first book of the Lymond Chronicles as my all-time favourite.

4. Idealism or realism?

I think we need a dollop of both idealism and realism in life: they balance each other out nicely. I believe a life spent totally in fantasyland can be a dangerous thing. We all need to live in the real world and face up to how things really are. Conversely, most of us can dream of having a better life, a better future – both for ourselves and the world in general. In my view, the bravest people are those who go out there and work towards making that happen.

5. What quote do you live by and why?

The quote(s) I like best are those which simply say ‘Be Yourself’. I think it’s so important to keep a firm idea in your head about who you actually are and not behave in a way you think will impress other people. Some of the unhappiest people around are those who try, or pretend, to be something they’re not. I don’t mean we shouldn’t aim high and work hard to achieve better things in work and home life – but when it comes down to it, we need to know ourselves to be ourselves

6. What’s the most challenging thing about being a woman?

For me, the most challenging thing about being a woman has been the need to balance bringing up a family and having a career. Having six children and a teaching career, I found it impossible to work for several years whilst the children were all still young. I admit, I wouldn’t have wanted to leave them with child-minders anyway, as few people did that in those days. And we never lived close to any family. When I had just the four children, I did take on teaching evening classes a few nights a week at a nearby boys’ detention centre  – which has now become a men’s prison – for a few years (the ‘boys’ being aged 14-21). That worked well for us because my husband was home from school by then. But even when I returned to teaching at a secondary school it was hard work fitting in all that needed to be done at home as well as finding time for the marking and preparation of school work. But, as they say … needs must.

Nowadays many women return to work within weeks of giving birth, whether through financial necessity or a love of their careers. Grandparents are called on a lot, and childminding has become far more stringently controlled and managed, almost as a ‘career’. And rightly so: parents need to know that their children are in reliable and responsible hands.

7. If you could spend a day with a character in a book or movie, who would it be and why?

The character I would most like the ‘get my head around’ is Francis Crawford of Lymond, from the novels by Dorothy Dunnett, set in 16th century Scotland. My daughter, Louise, is probably an even bigger fan than I am, and has read the series umpteen times. I have only read the books once and know I should read them again. Lymond, as he’s generally called, is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever come across in a novel and, even if I spent a day with him, I’d barely begin to unravel his many foibles, motives and incredible strengths. After a week, I still don’t think I’d understand the way his mind works and I’d probably want to kill him from the sheer frustration of that. He’s an awesome and totally intriguing character.

8. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘feminism’.

Feminism to me means women having equal rights to men. It can conjure up images of the antics of people like Germaine Greer back in the 1960s in their attempts to bring this to public attention. Undoubtedly such antics were intended to shock and get people to take note of the subject of women’s rights, both in the home and workplace. This ‘getting noticed’ plan was little different to the actions of the Suffragettes at the end of the 19th/ beginning of the 20th century. To me, fighting for those rights was justified, in many ways. We only have to watch films and comedy shows set in the 60s to remind us of the way in which women were viewed in western society back then. I believe that, in a place of work, if a woman does the same job as a man, then equal pay is her right. Jobs which involve the physical strength and size of a man are a different thing.

The bad side of feminism that too often raises its ugly head, is women behaving in a derogatory way towards men and being totally obnoxious to any man who offers simple courtesy towards them -by keeping a door open for them, for example (I’ve seen that happen.) To me it’s common courtesy to keep a door open for anyone following behind me, man or woman.  But this particular woman gave the poor man who’d held the door for her a real mouthful of abuse and the usual accusation of being a chauvinist pig! I won’t go into any more examples, but there’s a nasty side of feminism as well as a positive side of equal rights and equal pay. As for drunken and lewd behaviour, my feelings about that are applicable to both sexes. It shouldn’t happen – certainly not on the streets.

9. Name one thing you will never do in life.

Apart from the obvious things like committing crimes of extreme violence (!) and posing naked, I’m struggling to answer this one. I could say that I’d never swim with sharks – or even go down in a metal cage – because I have a real phobia about them. I went snorkelling on the Barrier Reef (Australia) a few years ago, to be asked by our two huge Australian guides when I got back in the boat, if I’d seen the shark down there. I hadn’t … but talk about freaking me out!


It was only a reef shark, they said. But a shark’s a shark to me! It put me off snorkelling for a while. But I just can’t resist lovely clear, blue water.

10. If your blog is a body part, what would it be and why?

I don’t see my blog as a body part. I know some people will see it as their heart, but I simply see it as an extension of myself and my writing, and another outlet through which the creative juices can flow. I love my blog dearly because of the wonderful people I’ve ‘met’ and ‘talked’ to regularly, but when it comes down to it, my priority right now is my trilogy. I love writing my blog posts though, particularly the flash fiction, and I also love doing my travel and historical posts. But my own writing needs more attention right now because I’ve neglected Book 3 for a lot of this year whilst indulging myself on WordPress. It’s now time for me to ease off on my blogging.  I won’t be saying farewell to all of my heart – just a part of it.


I’ll pick up the pieces later on.


And here are my nominees:


Norma at Emovere

Amanda at Something to Ponder About

Susan at Susan’s Personal Blog

Morgan at The Diary of a Computer Science Student

writenlive at Read Write Live

Jean at White House Red Door

Chioma at livehomeandaway

Bekki at Dartmoor Yarns 

Joy at Tales fron Eneana

Daniela at DanielaApostol

Questions for my nominees:

1. How would you describe what your blog is about?

2. Do you see your blog changing (as in expanding or developing in any way) at some stage in the future?

3. Do you write your blog posts straight onto the WordPress page or onto a word document first?

4.  When you write do you need to be on your own or are you happy to write with others around you?

5. Which is your favourite species of tree, and why do you like it?

6.  If you were to have a day out somewhere easily reachable from your home, where would it be?

7.  Which ‘celebration’ (annual or otherwise) in the country where you live do you enjoy the most?

8.  Which way would you choose to travel, given the choice: car or train?

9. Which subject did you enjoy the most at school?

10. What do you think is the best thing about being a woman today?

The Infinity Dreams Blog Award


I’m feeling really guilty for not having responded to the nomination for this award earlier. It was September 8th that the wonderful Izzy, at Izzy-grabs-life notified me, and  I replied that I’d get to it once I got back from Malta on September 19th. Well, it will be November next Sunday, and I think I’m just a bit late. So. many apologies, Izzy, and a huge (belated) thank you for nominating me. Izzy is a fantastic blogger and I’d recommend you to have a look at her blog.


These are the rules for this award:

* Thank and follow the blog that nominated you

* Tell us 11 facts about you

* Answer the questions set up for you

* Nominate 11 people and make questions for them.

Now for 11 facts about me:


Having written so many facts about me on previous award posts, I’m rapidly running out of facts – ones that spring readily to mind, at least. So I’ll give my brain a shake up and see if it comes up with anything remotely interesting . . .

  1. I hate most seafood, other than fish, which I love. I have salmon and white fish several times a week. Shrimps and prawns remind me of snails (escargots) which I couldn’t eat in a million years, and the thought of oysters slithering down my throat just makes me shudder.
  2. I’m a perfectionist in most things I do. I keep at a ‘job’ until I’m absolutely satisfied it’s good enough (in my opinion).
  3. I love to bake – I mean specifically baking, as in cake and pie pie making etc. as opposed to cooking meals. I’ve always found baking very relaxing and quite often I’ll go and bake something if I’m feeling bored.
  4. I also love to knit and am used to being jokingly called ‘Granny Noblet’. It’s something I’ve enjoyed since I was four when my grandma taught me. Grandma did all the casting on at that stage, and I didn’t move on to purl stitch for a while. But by the time we were being taught to knit at school when I was about seven (as we were in the distant Dark Ages) I was  already quite a proficient knitter. Right now I’m feeling withdrawal symptoms, as knitting is on hold until I finish Book 3. Then I’ll have a knitting spree.
  5. I hate pink clothes. I haven’t any pink clothes at all, although I daresay pink might have crept into an odd pattern somewhere. On the other hand I love pink blossom on trees… and pink flowers in general. I just don’t want to go around looking like one.
  6. I have boxes and boxes full of both fridge magnets and thimbles stashed away in the loft. I started collecting them years ago from every place I visited, at home and abroad, and gave up a few years ago when I realised the futility of the exercise. I don’t want to throw them out, but they aren’t doing a great deal up in the loft!
  7. I love stories about Robin Hood – partly because we live so close to Sherwood Forest and Nottingham, where the stories were set. My favourite dramatisation of the stories was a 1980s TV series, aptly called ‘Robin of Sherwood’, written by Richard Carpenter. It had a wonderfully mythological and mystical feel, with characters like Herne the Hunter making the odd appearance. The ‘greenwood’ always reminded me of fresh, spring green, and the actors fitted the characters they were playing so well. My two daughters loved this series, too, and the eldest, Nicola, bought all the videos, and later on the DVD’s. I rarely watch anything twice, but some episodes of this series I’ve seen multiple times. No other series, and certainly none of the films, can compare to this version to me.
  8. My favourite colour is blue. It looks like the sky on a bright summer’s day, and the sea – not around British shores though. The Med. is where I have in mind.  Blue is such a ‘cool’ colour.
  9. In winter, I really love an open fire, or a wood/multi-fuel burner, in a room. A fireplace is such a central feature and gives a room a lovely cosy feel. Central heating has its place in other rooms, but in our lounge/living room I am thankful for our multi-fuel burner. We have huge stacks of logs outside from trees cut down by the farmer next door and others around the village.
  10. I hate shopping with a vehemence – and the closer we get to Christmas, the more I try to avoid going into town. ‘Town’, for us is either Newark or Lincoln. The traffic going into Lincoln, even before the beginning of December, is a nightmare – and parking is even worse.
  11. Like Izzy, I hate really high heels and wouldn’t consider wearing stilettos. I have my hiking boots for long walks in winter, and trainers for the rest of the year, and I love to wear sandals in hot weather – if we get any in Britain. When we’re abroad in hot places, sandals and flip-flops are a must. I don’t have wardrobes full of shoes, like some women. I have just boots, trainers and sandals, with the odd pair of what used to be called ‘court shoes’ – smarter shoes but not a really high heel. Killer heels just aren’t my style. Lol

Now for the 11 questions set by Izzy:


1.  What are you looking forward to (later today or this week)

Tomorrow we’re being invaded by my brother and his wife, along with their daughter (my niece, who is the same age as my eldest daughter) and her husband and two children. They’re over here from Runcorn for the week to stay in a lodge near Sherwood Forest – which they do every year during October half-term. So tomorrow it’s lots of catering to look forward to and I’ve been baking today in readiness. Then, at the weekend, my sister and her husband will be here, too. So, it’s family gatherings I’m looking forward to.

2.  What is the last book you read? Who would you recommend it to?

The last book I read was a while ago now, but it was called The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It’s set in Amsterdam in 1687 and has an added element of fantasy. I enjoyed it because it was a little different to most historical fiction I read.

3.  Are you a planner or a go-with-the-flower?

I generally like to plan things carefully, but am happy to go with the flow at times – like when we’re on holiday and so on. I plan my books carefully and ensure I’ve researched things thoroughly.

4.  Have you ever traveled?

I’ve done quite a lot of travelling but still have a very long list of places I’d like to visit. We love to travel around Britain, particularly during the summer, when there’s a chance of good weather! We often go into Wales and up to Scotland and the Isle of Man, as well as to various places in England.  We’ve visited several other countries over the years and here are some of them: France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Malta, Ireland (Eire), several Greek islands -including Crete, Corfu and Rhodes – Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Australia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The only place we have planned for next year at the moment is Italy again. We’ve been to Sorento, Sicily, and Aosta in the far north, but never to Rome or Venice. So next year that’s where we’ll head.

5.  Do you listen more than speak, or vice versa?

I do talk a lot, I admit that, but I’m a very good listener, too. As a teacher (and mother) I had to be.

6.  Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?

If that were an actual choice, I’d be very hard pushed to come to a decision. I’d really hate not being able to walk and losing a leg would be awful for me. I know you can get artificial/prosthetic legs, but still …  As for losing an arm, I don’t know how I’d cope without my right hand if I were to lose the right arm. I can do a lot of things with my left hand, but in many things, like writing, I’m very right-handed. And so many things in life need both hands and arms to do – simple things like tying shoe laces, and getting dressed on general. In reality, if we were to have an accident, or an illness that resulted in the need for amputation of leg or arm, we’d have to make the best of the situation.

7.  Do you have or want kids?

I always wanted children and ended up with six – although they’re certainly not ‘kids’ any more. The eldest is 42 and the youngest, 31. If I’d started earlier I would probably have had more. But in my day, when I was having my sixth child, I was considered an ‘older mother’ and didn’t particularly like that title.

8.  What is one thing your family/friends do that warms your heart?

I suppose the nicest thing that family and friends can do for me is to simply come and visit. I think it’s sad when families/friends drift apart and lose touch.  After having a house full of people for so many years, now that the children have all left home, it gets quite lonely – and quiet – at times. Most of our children live in this area, so we do see them quite often, apart from the youngest, Christopher, whose job takes him all over the world. Other family and friends live further away, but it’s nice that they keep in touch, and we try to visit each other whenever possible. I also have some close friends in this area, and we meet up regularly for coffer and the odd meal.

9.  What is one thing your family/friends do that annoys you?

I hate people to turn up late when I have a meal ready. I hate keeping food warm – just a fad of  mine.

10.  What is your favourite breakfast?

I have very simple tastes for breakfast. I very rarely have a cooked breakfast (as in bacon and eggs and such like) even on holiday. I like those foods, but not for breakfast! I generally have fruit, the type depending on what’s on offer, but at home it’s usually grapefruit or orange. Then I just love my porridge. I’ve been a porridge-lover since my mum made it when I was a child.

11.  What is the last movie that made you cry (hooked you enough to feel such emotions)?

I haven’t been to the cinema for years, or seen too many films on TV, as we tend to go for series or serials. I become emotionally involved  all too easily with characters in both books and films. So much so that I tend to get boxes of tissues thrown at me at the first hint of an emotional scene. The only films I can put names to right now are: TitanicPS I Love You, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Lovely Bones. I found the last two totally disturbing. Both really upset me.

Now for my questions for my nominees:


  1. What is your favourite season /time of year and why?
  2. Were your schooldays really ‘the happiest years of your life’?
  3. Does your personality/character suit your sign of the zodiac? (Even if you don’t believe in all that stuff, I’m sure you’ll know which characteristics your star sign assigns to you.)
  4. Which is your preferred way of expressing yourself creatively? (Do you prefer the written word, photography, art, drama …or what?)
  5. Do you prefer to read an ebook (on tablet/Kindle) or the hard copy version?
  6. What is your favourite genre in books and what do you particularly like about that genre?
  7. Are you a thinker or a doer?
  8. Which type of holiday/vacation do you prefer (e.g. the beach, the mountains, skiing, fishing – or any other sport – sight-seeing etc.).
  9. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  10. Coffee or tea for you – or neither?
  11. Another nice easy one to finish: do you have a favourite colour?

Here are my nominees:

Andy at Fife Photos and Art

Jay at J.C. Wolfe


Morgan at The Secret Diary of a Computer Science Student

Chevvy at Chevvy’s Studio


Asealskhaki at randommusings

I now have 3 more award posts to fit in over the next couple of weeks, so I’ll leave my nominations at 7 for this one. Apologies to anyone I’ve nominated whose blog is award free. I have looked, and hope I haven’t missed anything obvious.

Blog Award Time!


I am delighted to have received two more blogging awards, although they’re really two versions of the same award (I think). I am grateful to Suganiya on her blog at Infinite Passion for one (left, below) and to Susan at Susan’s Personal Blog for the second (Seal of Approval on the right). Both of these lovely people write interesting flash fiction stories and participate in other challenges, and I recommend you to take a look at their blogs. I apologise to both Suganiya and Susan for sitting on these awards for far too long.



So, here are the rules!shutterstock_152788070

1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
2. Write a post to show off your award!
3. Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers.
4. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
5. For first award above only (the one with trophy cups on it): List who you’ve nominated in the post and link your post to Edge of Night.

Because the rules for both of these awards are exactly the same, I feel I can just answer Q’s. 2 & 3 once, and nominate fellow bloggers for either one or the other. So I’ll get on with it ….


Q.3  My blog took some time to actually come into existence. Several people had suggested to me that, as an author, a blog would be a useful thing to have. Unfortunately, I had no idea what having a blog was all about, or how to go about setting one up. But I resolved to have a go, and in May 2014, I set up my blog – or rather, I partially set up my blog. Then I left it sitting there for three months until, towards the end of August, one of my daughters (Louise at thestoytellersabode) also decided to set up a blog and we worked on them together. My first post was done with great trepidation. Like all new bloggers, I was very apprehensive about how the content of the post would be received. As a writer of historical fiction, I decided that my focus had to be two-pronged: some posts would focus on history and some on writing.

And basically, that’s what I did for the next few months. I was determined to finish Book 2 of my trilogy by Christmas, and so I wrote very few posts – sometimes with a couple of weeks between them. It wasn’t the best way to ‘kick start’ a new blog, and consequently, it got little attention. Things improved a little when I started including British ‘traditions and celebrations’ into my posts. I found several to write about, starting off with ‘Bonfire Night’ (November 5th) followed by some of our Christmas traditions. I’ve continued to look at other traditions as they occur throughout this year.

What really helped to improve things for me was becoming involved in flash fiction challenges. I still continue with traditions and writing historical posts, and I also do a few posts about travel. But I’ve really enjoyed the challenges. I would advise any new blogger to have a go at the many challenges offered on WordPress, whether they involve writing, photography or whatever. There are also Blogging 101 and Photography 101 for new bloggers – neither of which I did, due to lack of time. Louise did Photography 101 and found it a great way to meet fellow bloggers and help her list of followers to grow.  The other way to get new followers is by following other bloggers yourself – something else I did little of at first. In truth, I do far too little of it, even now.

Much of what I’ve said so far is not so much advice on how to achieve a successful blog as how not to! So I hope anyone reading this will just do the opposite of what I initially did. But becoming involved in community activities, connecting with other bloggers and posting often are three things I think really help. Then there’s the ‘Meet and Greet’ that some bloggers offer on their sites. That’s something I know I should try…

Connecting with other bloggers is what WordPress is all about to me. It’s interesting, educational and lots of fun – and vital if you want to keep people visiting your blog. But, as with the challenges, particularly the writing ones, it can be very time-consuming. So much so, that I’ve been considering putting my blog ‘on hold’ for a while whilst I get on with Book 3. I’m not nearly as far on with the book as I’d planned to be by September, so something has to give. Perhaps I’ll just go back to what I did before last Christmas and do fewer posts. I’m still thinking about that…

So here are my nominees:

point-36834_6401. Joycelin at tribalmysticstories

2. Norma at Emovere

3. Izzy at Izzy-grabs-life

4. Chioma at lifehomeandaway

5. Prateek Kohli at The Uncertainty Principal

6. Graham at grahamisjustmyname

7. Joy at Tales from Eneana

8. Meghdeb at Summer Seraphine

9. Az at tasyniblets

1o. Huma at HumaAq

11. Diana at Toast and Tea Together

12. Lynz at Lynz Real Cooking

Happy blogging to you all! 😀

Two More Blog Awards


I was nominated for both the Premio Dardos Bloggers Award and the Real Neat Blog Award in June. Since then, I’ve been away for a week to Wales and had a week with no Internet, so I haven’t really caught up with myself. yet.  Today I thought it was time to bring both of these nominations out of hibernation:

Pemio Dardos Bloggers Award

For the Premio Dardos Award, I am very grateful to Joycelin Leahy at Tribalmystic stories. Joycelin is a fantastic blogger, whose  posts include articles and stories set in her native Papua New Guinea as well as posts about art (her own art work is stunning) writing and environmental issues. They are fascinating and I recommend her blog to everyone.

This is the information that comes with this award:

The Premio Dardos Award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

And here are the very simple rules:

shutterstock_1527880701. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person who granted the award and a link to his or her blog.
2. Include the image of the “Premio Dardos” in the post.
3. Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement.

There are no questions to answer or write for nominees with this award.

These are my nominees:


Prateek Kohli


Tasty Niblets


Jenna M Neal



Real Neat Blog Award. blog-award

I also want to say a big thank you to Francesca at A Smith’s World for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award. Francesca is a talented writer who does a lot of great flash fiction stories. Her work is very descriptive and often emotionally charged and I recommend you to take a look.

And these are the rules:


1 Put the award logo on your blog
2. Thank the person who nominated you, linking to their blog
3.  Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you
4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs
5.  Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

Numbers 1 and 2 are duly done, so here are my answers for Q.3.

1. What word best describes you?

There are lots of words I could use to describe myself – stubborn being one of them; impatient another – although impatience is only ever aimed at myself. The most flattering word I can use to describe myself is industrious. I always work hard and rarely give up until I’ve completed whatever I’m doing to my own satisfaction.

2. What is your greatest fear?

I’ve been paranoid about sharks for many years, and although I’m a good swimmer and love being in the sea, I’m very nervous when I venture out further than knee-deep and spend my time looking for fins. This was made worse when I was snorkelling around Lady Elliot Island (Great Barrier Reef) and there were reef sharks out there. I didn’t know that when I was snorkelling, of course. I only found out once I’d climbed back into the boat and one of the two cheerful Australian guys in charge of our day, asked me whether I’d noticed the reef shark. I’ve been snorkelling since in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, but I’m very nervous and keep with the group.


Image courtesy of Pixabay

3. Why do you have a blog? 

I started my blog because everyone said that authors should have one. My blog is not quite a year old, and in that time, I’ve found that I’ve loved connecting with people from around the world. I enjoy writing blog posts and doing flash fiction challenges (although I’ve had to cut down on these recently in order to spend more time on my third book). I’ve really enjoyed writing my historical sites posts (castles and such-like) and some about travel – which are also historically themed. I rarely write posts about my books, unless I have a 5 free-days promotion on Amazon coming up. I suppose I should do more, such as sharing the progress of my new book – but that would be so boring!

4. What is your favourite quote?

baby elephant quote

I like lots of different quotes, for different things, but my favourite quote about writing is one by David Eddings, which I put on my quote challenge a few weeks ago:

5. Compose a quote about writing or the power of words: 

“Words are like raindrops pattering inside my head, giving life to gathering thoughts”. 

Not the best quote in the world, but all I can come up with at short notice.

6. What continent would you pick to be from if you had the option and why?

I’m very happy living in Europe and wouldn’t want to move anywhere else – although I want to visit as many countries as I can!

7. If you were a politician what policy would you implement

I’m not comfortable about discussing politics, although I do have very strong feelings about many issues. One policy I’d like to see implemented (in the U.K. at least) is that all new buildings are constructed with solar panels. Many people are having them installed, but they are expensive and not a possibility for any but the ‘better off’.

Now for my nominees:


Snapshots Perspectives

Dave Does the Travel Thing





As Francesca did, I’m passing these same questions on to my nominees.

Creative Blogger Award x 2


I’m thrilled about being nominated for this award (two different versions of it) because, as a writer, creative is what I aim to be. To produce work that is interesting, entertaining or beautiful to look at, is what anyone who ‘creates’ tries to do – whether it’s prose, poetry, art, photography, or any other activities like pottery, woodwork, dressmaking and knitting.

My two nominees are – in the order in which I received the nominations – Nitin Nair and Aquileana. So it’s a huge thank you to both of these wonderful bloggers for thinking of me.

Nitin (or NN) at his blog Nitin Nair Writes takes part in several writing challenges, including the Daily Prompt, Sunday Photo Fiction and Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and Poetry 101. The logo for Nitin’s nomination is the one above, and the one for Aquileana’s is lower down the page. Neither of these awards posts are long ones, so I’ll take one at a time, in the order I was nominated.

So here are the rules for NN’s nomination (above logo):


  1. Acknowledge and thank the blogger who nominated you with name and URL (done)
  2. Disclose 5 facts about yourself
  3. Further nominate 15 bloggers

Now here are five facts about me:


  1. Although I’m not a great fan of most T.V. programmes, I adore BBC dramas. The ones I’ve particularly loved in recent years have been The Musketeers, Call the Midwife and Poldark. I watched the fist series of Poldark in black and white (!) in the 1970’s and was hooked on it then. This new series has been fantastic. And what can I say about The Musketeers… ? Great fun, swashbuckling, and handsome men! How can the BBC make us wait a whole year between series! Call the Midwife just brings back so many memories of my 1950s childhood – although I wasn’t in London, or involved in delivering babies!
  2. I was a very naughty little girl (so my aunt, who is six years older than me, told me last year). Her memories of some of the things I did brought those awful recollections crashing into my head. One incident was when I was about four. I had fallen out with a neighbouring friend, and I spitefully pulled up all the flowers in her front garden! Needless to say, her mum wasn’t pleased and came charging round to see my mum. I hid in a wardrobe for ages, and my mum was going frantic, thinking I’d run off somewhere. Double trouble.
  3. I hate shopping, especially for clothes and shoes for myself. I know this is unusual in a woman, but it really bores me to tears. By the time I’ve been in a couple of stores I’m ready for home. If I could buy everything by mail order, I would.
  4. I love living in a small village. The countryside is all around us, and I just need to step outside and walk. I miss out on many of the amenities of a town, of course, and we always have to drive to do any shopping at all. Worst of all, our Internet connection is abysmal.
  5. I adore castles! We have so many of them in Britain, in various states of repair, but I find all of them fascinating. I live only a few miles from both Lincoln and Newark Castles, and before we moved here, we lived in a village in Leicestershire where we could see Belvoir Castle through our bedroom window. Next week I’m going to North Wales to visit the aunt who reminded me how naughty I was. There are three awesome castles I want to visit – again!

Now for the Nominees:

Jack R. Cotner

William Leeone

A Smith’s World

I of July

The Wordy Rose

Irina’s Poetry Corner

Toast and Teas: Twists and Turns

Alex F.

TEG Diez

The Snow Melts Somewhere





I was nominated for this award by the wonderful Aquileana at he blog, La Audacia de Aquiles. She is an amazing and inspirational blogger! Her posts are dedicated to Greek mythology and I find them fascinatiing. I have learned so much from reading her thorough and detailed posts. The illustrations are awesome!

So here are the rules for Aquileana’s nomination. (As you see, for this one, the post will  be much shorter, and quicker, as there are no questions to answer or facts about yourself to write):


1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.

2. Add the logo to your post.

3. Nominate 10 bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination.

Here are my nominees for this award:



Latest Stories by Shivangi

The Creativity Cauldron



I love all the blogs I’ve nominated, and find them all ‘creative’. If I’ve nominated anyone whose blog is award free, please accept my apologies in advance.