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Theatrically Matrimonial

Sad to say the final installment..and the funniest line ever.. I’ve got to catch him before he spends it all on poetry or writing or whatever.”

Tallis Steelyard

Theatrically Matrimonial

And the final installment of our hero’s travels (or should that be travails?)

Because of one thing and another, it took me longer to get back to Port Naain than I originally envisaged. You know what it’s like; you bump into old friends you haven’t seen for absolutely ages. You decide that you’ll have ‘just one more glass’ and before you know where you are, you’re trying to persuade a local magistrate that performance art is specifically excluded from a score of petty regulations. At least in civilised jurisdictions.

But still, I had turned my face for home and I could almost smell the chife of Port Naain. Yet perhaps I’d delayed too long. As I set off for the last day’s march, it came as a surprise to discover that there had been some snow overnight. I suppose we who live in the city forget how soon winter can…

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Forbearance – the quintessence of an authentic leader

Ah simple words, direct action, wisdom seemingly non existent today

The Essence Within

Leadership in all sectors of human activities is the most debated subject in the modern-day corporation since a leader determines much in terms of the performance of his or her subordinates. Meaningful leadership therefore demands a certain level and quality of awareness that is uncommon of many people.

The authentic leader understand the need to break the psychological barriers between him and his subordinates and partners. I will elaborate this aspect with an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln during the civil war in America during the mid-1860s. Lincoln was a very wise man who had a penchant for recognizing true performance of his Generals in the war and was very cordial to them.

His unequaled humor explains a lot about his own innate spiritual evolution and cultivation since he always reasoned beyond the capacities of a leader of his level, a quality that makes him stand out from the long list…

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Good People Doing Good Things — Team Rubicon

Good people…people who do…

Filosofa's Word

His name is Jake Wood and his story started with a simple Facebook post: “I’m going to Haiti. Who’s in?” It was January 2010, and the island of Haiti had just suffered a devastating earthquake with a still-disputed death toll of between 100,000 and 315,000.

Jake had only been out of the U.S. Marine Corps for a few months, and was planning to enroll in business school when he began seeing the pictures of the devastation in Haiti and thinking how much it reminded him of similar scenes from Iraq and Afghanistan, where he had served two tours of duty.  He realized that the skills he had acquired in the service, including the ability to adapt to difficult conditions, work with limited resources and maintain security in a dangerous environment, were sorely needed. And that was when he put out the Facebook message.  Wood persuaded his college roommate, a firefighter…

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The Lunchbox Note and Storytelling: Lifetime Lessons

Such a simple thing. I would love to hear from people who actually sit together for even one meal in a day. Alas I cannot personally think of one.

A Teacher's Reflections

Lunchtime in the classroom with fifteen preschoolers is very busy.  Once containers are opened, hot foods are heated, milk straws are inserted into their boxes, and napkins are found, things change.  Drastically.   Lunch becomes intimate.  Not quiet, but a place of comfort where children (and teachers) share their stories.  Children talk about their dogs and cats, their grandparents, their sleepovers.  They share what is on their mind, and also in their heart.  It’s how we become a family– we are a family at school!

Lunchbox notes are a special treat for children.  I make sure that I read the note to the child: “Happy first day of school, Ella” or “Have a fun day today at school, Josh.”  Last week Savannah had a special lunchbox note:

My goodness– it was a song.  And, it was Savannah’s favorite song.  I knew this was special, so I started to sing the…

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Hidden Messages in the Midst of Demented Ramblings

The strangest thing happened yesterday and the thought of it stays with me today.  I visit frequently and regularly with a dear relative who suffers from dementia.  The kind of dementia doesn’t matter, it all translates to the same thing.  Inability to communicate, to understand, to know.

I read once that someone asked an old man why he went to see his wife in the nursing home every day when she suffered from such severe dementia that she did not know him.  He replied that yes she did not know who he was, but he knew who she was.  I think of that so often.

Anyway, I am pretty much the only person who visits this dear soul and I do it because she is family, we have a long history and because I love her greatly.  Her degree of dementia varies from day to day.  Sometimes she knows who I am, most times she just knows I am a nice lady who visits her often.  Sometimes she knows, and announces to everyone that I am her great great great…but cannot remember what.

I used to visit her in the mornings until it was time for her lunch but then the Home would call me in the evenings because that is when her agitation grew worse (It’s called Sundowners) and they would ask me to calm her if I could.  So now I visit from about 3 pm to 5 pm and this seems to keep her grounded and most times content.

Our routine each visit is pretty much the same.  Big hello and hugs and then I take her to a common area, make her a cup of tea exactly the way she likes it (the water must come to a rolling boil) and we look through magazines.  Sometimes there are groupings of words that make sense and sometimes for a short while she is pretty accurate to somethings.  Once she looked through a magazine and saw an article on MS and commented on it.  I always put a few magazines out and when she finishes one she picks up another.  She ended up picking up the same magazine she had just put down.  I did not say anything and continued to peruse my own book, always keeping an eye on her.

As she flipped through the pages she said, ‘There must be a lot of MS about because here is another article about it.’  I only said, ‘Really?’

But that is not what I wanted to tell you.  I always listen to every word she says even when they seem to make no sense.  It seems the respectful thing to do.

After tea I take her to her room and help her to lie down to stretch out her back (other wise she is in her wheelchair all day) and then I read her Bible to her until it is time for her evening meal.  She has read her Bible every day  since she was a child but can no longer hold the book or read the print.

I always sit at the foot of her bed as I read.  I stopped for a moment and she started to talk.  Trying to tell me something but things like, ‘ I am a a a a  airplane,’ would come out instead.  And still I listened and suddenly, quietly, the strangest words were coming out of her mouth,  ‘We have talked about it you know, the kindness.  You coming here to be with me so much.  Your kindness to me.  Your kindness does not go unnoticed you know.’

She raised her hand and placed in over her heart, ‘I feel your kindness.’

She looked at me, very aware in the moment, and all I could say was, ‘I come because I love you.’

She raised her hand pointing up and said, ‘Do not love me, Love Him ‘In the time it takes to breathe out it was over and she began rambling on about a myriad of things none of which made any  sense.

And I was touched.

Of Kings and Kindness

Heeeere’s number 3. NOT as in third but as in the next chapter (installment with our friend Tallis Steelyard)

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

A Tallis Steelyard Tale
Written especially for us by a popular & prolific author

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Story: © Jim Webster, all rights reserved

Mental Health and Fantasy?

In a blog conversation about his newest Tallis Steelyard tales, The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other stories, author Jim Webster disclosed that he was about to launch a blog tour, sharing stories from and about his protagonist, Tallis Steelyard.

I commented that if he had anything mental health related I’d be happy to participate.

His response was, “I was wondering if anybody else had ever introduced mental health issues into Fantasy Comedy of Manners!”

Quick as a flash, he penned the story that debuts below!
I am honored to be able to host it here.

A little background

This episode picks up our hero following his previous adventure, which those of you who…

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Playing the Game – Guest Post by, Tallis Steelyard…

Awaken my treasures to the second installment of that Old Scoundrel Tallis Steelyard. Be patient my peeps my turn is installment 8. Just want to get you in the mood. This is the way my FAVE Mr. Dicksons served up his yummies – serialized..you know..the forerunner to The Soap but of much better quality

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I am constantly amazed at the pettiness of some people. What sort of Chef de Cuisine gets upset when he discovers he has an extra kitchen porter? I have worked with Chefs so grand that they would never even condescended to notice the existence of a kitchen porter, even after they’d just tripped over one!

Let us be fair, most kitchens have too few porters. Rather than have the job done briskly and efficiently, those in authority would rather employ too few unfortunates and work them to death for a pittance, all the while moaning about the poor quality of their work. In my case isn’t even as if I complained about my accommodation; like my fellows I just found a quiet corner in a storeroom to curl up in.

I readily admit I had joined the crew of the great paddle-wheeler at short notice. Such short notice that I…

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Guest poet and raconteur: Tallis Steelyard – A Family Saga

Somewhere along the line I will be hosting one of the installments to this lovely tale. Whilst (notice the word to get you in the mood) we wait for IT gliches to resolve I am reblogging each of the already published pieces. I mean when it is my turn you want to be up to date on the story and being October and all Fiction is a lovely endeavor after a healthy walk in the Fall air. Enjoy

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

For once I cannot be blamed for any of it. It’s obvious that nothing that happened was my fault. Indeed if blame is to be allocated, the only person on whom it can fairly fall is my lady wife Shena. Still I am old enough to realise that this is not how the world works. Hence, with a somewhat heavy heart, I have taken steps to at least avoid physical retribution.

To take this sad tale back to the beginning, it all starts, as many tales do, with the pupils of Dame Ralash’s school for ‘young maidens of humble family up to the age of thirteen.’ Shena is an ‘old girl’ of the establishment, and like all the other girls who have attended, she accepts unswervingly Dame Ralash’s conviction that ‘Her girls support each other.’

So Shena introduced me to Charity Belle. A rather pretty young lady, still somewhat naive…

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Expect me… not

I like that turn of phrase and think that tomorrow, whomever I meet I shall say at one point – Expect me not.

Buckets on a Barefoot Beach


if you hope i will love

your

desire,

to own

the whole wide world,

no matter

how much it costs

widows

and orphans

and the

oppressed

you’re about to be very

very

disappointed,

but here is something…

you

CAN

count

on

expect me not

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The 3 Biggest Pitch Mistakes This Editor Sees Every Day…

Valuable information – too valuable not to pass on to my writer friends!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Nicole Dieker on The Write Live site:

As an editor, I read a lot of pitches.

Some of them are really easy to say yes to — they’re the pitches that outline a strong, clear narrative with a takeaway for the reader. Other pitches are easy to say no to — they’re either poorly written, irrelevant to the publication or (as is often the case), both.

It’s the ones in between that are hard.

Every day I see writers pitch ideas or topics that could be great stories if they’d done a little more work or written a slightly better pitch. Sometimes I ask them to rework their pitch.

Sometimes I take a chance and hope there’s a good story in there. But often, I say no. After all, I have plenty of better pitches in my inbox.

If you’re a writer who’s sending out pitches but not getting…

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