I threw a little teaspoon

The imagery in this short poem is exquisite. Visit Kate McClelland‘s blog and let your imagination run wild . . . or balance on the toss of a spoon . . . whichever is your pleasure  🙂

Kate McClelland

I threw a little teaspoon

I threw a little teaspoon into the kitchen sink.
It landed in a cereal bowl that bobbed on the surface of the hot soapy water
It lay there like the Lady of Shalott in her dying throes
I saw that little teaspoon
Floating in a sea of suds in perpetuity.
Then I saw myself adrift in a boat on a blue lake far away
With mountains, trees wild flowers and untamed creatures for company
And I suddenly envied the spoon


Kate McClelland c 2017

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EDITING 101: 25 – Style Guides for Fiction…

Susan Uttendorfsky is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, bringing us Part 25 of her Editing 101 series: Style Guides for Fiction. Even though The Gregg Reference Manual is typically for business, I’ve used it for decades and find it an invaluable resource. Susan lists several other editing guides that you might find helpful. Bottom line: If self-editing, a style manual is a necessity!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Style Guides for Fiction

In order to make the English language (or any language) consistent, style guides and manuals have been developed to use certain consistent rules or standards. Most industries or professions have their own style manual, so that all materials written for that industry are of the same standard. This not only includes punctuation, but also capitalization and grammar.

For instance, all newspaper articles in the US are written using AP (Associated Press) style. For business, there’s The Gregg Reference Manual, and for web publishing, there’s the The Yahoo! Style Guide. Each of these style guides has different rules, and someone writing for those industries must follow those rules.

If you’re working for the United States government, it has…

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When I Am Not Enough… Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Thank you to Chris The Story Reading Ape for his enduring support of authors. I’m so pleased to have another guest post featured on his outstanding blog 💚

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Throughout our lives, we hear ourselves say:  ‘I’m not that good!’  ‘I’ll never make it.’  ‘I wish I could write that well.’  ‘If only I had said. . .’

Words are powerful. Energy follows thought. The words we speak to ourselves drive our subconscious minds. Diminishing thoughts tell the subconscious we are not enough.

The subconscious mind is self-serving. Its mission is to fulfill our every desire, and it sets in motion the means by which to do so. It takes our words at face value and strives to manifest what they represent. It assumes that what we think and say is what we hope and dream.

How often have we heard ourselves utter, ‘Did I say that’? Unless we’re channeling spirit, the mouth speaks what the subconscious mind thinks. If thought rests in the conscious mind, we are aware of it and can choose whether or not to give it a…

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Creation Myth

Andrew Joyce shares his Creation Myth. I like Andrew’s take on the genesis of creation, because it posits that each piece of creation is “a part of the entity we call God, not apart from It.” In other words: Together, we constitute The Divine; and if any one part is diminished, so is the whole of us …

Andrew Joyce

godEvery culture has a creation myth. Ours is that the world was created in six days and the first humans were Adam and Eve. The Apache Indians have Changing Woman who was impregnated by the sun and gave birth to Nayé Nazghane, Slayer Of Monsters. The Norse people have Odin and Ymir … the Ancient Greeks, Gaia. But I would like to tell you guys how we really got here, and why. If you like, you may call this Andrew’s creation myth.

Long, long ago, in a place of no time and no space, existed an entity. As far as The Entity knew, It just was, and always had been. Before the universe we inhabit existed, before time existed, before space existed, It was. Within The Entity were the powers of creativity and It knew of their existence, but the ways to produce them were unknown to It. The entity…

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Meet Guest Author Colin Chappell…

A #Dog After My Own Heart . . . 

Colin Chappell and Ray

Ray Chappell, beloved canine companion of Colin Chappell, charmed his way into Colin’s heart and home, despite being insecure. Colin tells us the tail-wagging tale in his guest post on The Story Reading Ape  🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


I am Colin Chappell and was bitten by a German Shepherd at 14, which established a strong dislike of dogs for the next 40 years or so. Then I met a dog lover and we eventually became a couple, but without dogs!

In late 2012, I decided that perhaps I could find a place in my life for a dog and so started talking to our local Humane Society. I decided that yes, I would adopt a dog, and I wanted a large, very self assured, cuddly, openly affectionate and domesticated dog!

However, while I was planning on adopting a dog, there was a dog (Ray) planning on adopting me… and his plans were clearly better than mine as he moved in with us in March 2013! 

colin-chappell-02Ray is a German Shepherd / Rottweiler. He was very insecure; was afraid of anything that moved and would lung and bark to…

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Sally Cronin, #Author

Sally CroninSally Cronin is a prolific author and blogger, a nutritional therapist, an ardent supporter of indie authors, and has worked on radio and Internet television as producer and presenter. She is originally from England but has lived and worked all over the World. Her books can be purchased through Amazon USAmazon UK, and Moyhill Publishing. I’m thrilled to feature her as my guest today, as we celebrate the launch of her new book.                Welcome, Sally!
Thank you so much, Tina, for this lovely invitation to join you today. I am only sorry it is not in person, but perhaps that might happen this year.
I’m hoping we’ll meet up at the Bloggers Bash, Sally. Keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime . . .  


Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a 64-year-old explorer. I have What's in a Name
done the tough bits on the knees climbing mountains in reality and have climbed a few metaphorical ones too. Great life, wonderful people and a sense that there is always something more to come. Adore reading and writing and cannot imagine doing anything else. I have been married to David for 37 years. He is my partner in life and in my work. He makes me laugh, likes the same movies that I do, loves books and keeps me grounded. Can’t ask for more than that.

What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it? We have just published What’s in a Name, which is the first volume of 20 short stories that feature men and women in alphabetical order. One for Anne and one for Alexander. The first volume goes up to the letter J and includes tales of loss, murder, revenge, romance, rebirth and a couple of ghosts. Something for everyone I hope. I am self-published under our own label, Moyhill Publishing.

Tales from the GardenYou have written in several different genres. What motivates you to write?  I believe that I have always been a good communicator. My mother tells me I was talking out of turn at a very early age! Most of my jobs relied on good communication, both oral and written, especially when managing large teams. I was writing songs and poems from the age of ten or eleven, which coincided with my thirst for reading; not just fiction but also non-fiction books, particularly about animals and adventure. That balance of the two crept into my writing and motivates me to share subjects of interest to me, as well as ones that are a product of my imagination.

How do you write – outline or free flow?  Both I would think. For my novels, I would outline the chapters and what I am planning to cover in each of them, and then flesh out the characters and the major events and locations etc. For my short stories, I tend to write them in my head first; and when I have them more or less complete, I sit down and put them on paper. I may make a change as it flows, but invariably it stays true to the image in my head.

How do you schedule your time between writing and keeping yourTurning Back the Clock
physical life together
?  Both David and I are what some might call workaholics. When we went freelance 15 years ago, we had to put the hours in across our various projects to make ends meet. Neither of us has ever been a 9-to-5 person. But lines have to be drawn to avoid being in a stressed environment. I have worked out strategies that work for me with regard to combining an active online routine and my own projects. But we take healthy breaks during the day for exercise and meals, and if something slips by . . . Well, it is not life threatening.

What fostered your love of animals?  Growing up, we either had a cat or a dog. I have been on the receiving end of their unconditional love since then. This includes my own dogs and cats who have shared my home in the last forty years. I have had three Rough Collies – Sasha, Sabre and Sam – and several feral cats who have adopted me. Once you have experienced that kind of unconditional devotion, it becomes impossible not to love and respect all animal life.

Just an Odd Job GirlWhat inspires you most in life?  You made me think quite a bit about this, Tina.

I am not really motivated by money as long as the bills are paid and there is some left over to buy books, movies, the odd trip out for a meal; oh, and a little retail therapy from time to time.

I think what inspires me most are the people around me who smile at my writing or are moved by it. The feedback I receive online and in person motivates me to do more and to do it better.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?  I have had several strange encounters. When I was a young manager of a steak house, I used to do a stock take late Sunday nights to reconcile meals sold and remaining stock. I would go through the bars and kitchen and basement storage and then to an attic room to do the figures. I would be sitting there for about ten minutes when the hair on the back of my neck would stand on end and I would feel that someone was looking at me intensely. I found out from one of our oldest regulars that the first owner of this big Victorian house had starved Size Mattershis wife to death in the attic. There have been a couple of other incidents; stories for another time.

Aside from your lovely eclectic blog, what are your plans for 2017?
I am planning on doing more reading and have freed up time at the weekend to do so. It is my first love, even before writing. And last year, with our move and work on the house, everything took a back seat. I also want to get another four books finished that are sitting in my files glaring at me; two nonfiction and two fiction. I think that will keep me out of mischief for the time being. Well, perhaps not!

Thank you so much, Tina, for allowing me to share the things I love doing with you and your readers. I value your incredible friendship beyond measure.  
You’re most welcome, Sally. It’s been such a pleasure having you as my guest. We’ve learned a little more about you, which always delights fellow authors, as we tend to have an insatiable curiosity about the face behind the name on the books we love to read. I treasure your friendship and am blessed to have you in my life.  
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Sally, her writing process, and her books. Please visit her sites, like and share. Thank you so much for stopping by  ❤


Learn more about Sally:  Blog   Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Amazon US   Amazon UK   Moyhill Publishing


Tofino Photography ~ Maggie Girl

Wayne of Tofino Photography captures the most exquisite wildlife photos. This is the bald eagle he has dubbed Maggie Girl. After visiting his website, your eyes, your heart, your soul will never be the same … ♥


Writers Need Hugs too! -The BIG BLOGGER BASH COMPETITION 2017

Debby Gies had fired up our excitement in anticipation of attending the annual Bloggers Bash in the UK this June. I’m looking forward to meeting all of my wonderful new friends and giving them a hug in person. Hoping to see you there! 

Blogger's Bash Competition 2017

Oh yes, it’s coming back, The Annual Blogger’s Bash will be held this June 10th in London, England! Are you going? Although I live ‘across the pond’ a fair distance away from here in Toronto, you bet your sweet bippy I’m doing everything in my power to get there!

I must get there! Why? I’m overdue to expand my horizons and step out of my writerly perimeters and go where many of my friends reside behind my computer screen, the friends who often keep me sane.

Writers need hugs too! Blogging friends are the ones who can identify with a writer’s struggles, the friends we can turn to when we need a dose of inspiration, or a smiley face and a heart to remind us they get what we do, what we go through as writers. These are the friends we can bounce ideas off of, rant to about our work, and WordPress and computer woes. And these are the friends who cheer us on for our accomplishments, pick us up when we’re in self-doubt mode, and share our work.

That said, how long do we have to know someone before we could burst from wanting to share a real cup of coffee (or wine?) with our friends, the ones we spend most of our writing days communicating with?

Well, this blogger wants more than just virtual hugs! It’s no different when geographically-crossed lovers build a relationship online and reach that point where they have to meet in person because virtual is no longer enough. There’s just too much to say that our fingers couldn’t possibly type as fast as our mouths can gab when we crave the real-time human interaction. This is why I’m going to meet my long-time close friends for the first time, and make new friends with others I’m not already acquainted with.

It’s time to hug my virtual pals and bring their characters to real life! I’m especially excited to meet my good friends, like my great galpal Sally Cronin  Sally Cronin

Hoping my dear friend Tina Frisco with the beautiful soul can make it

Author Tina Frisco

My sweet as Sherri pie friend Sherri Mathews  Sherri Mathews

My feisty, firecracker of a friend, Sacha Black

Sacha Black

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Meet Guest Author Steve Boseley…

Author Steve Boseley introduces himself on The Story Reading Ape today, giving Stephen King and Stephen Colbert a run for their money. Don’t believe me? I dare you to read his post without cringing and laughing ~ not necessarily in that order and probably not at the same time  🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Everything you always wanted to know about me, but didn’t care enough to ask.

steve-boseleyIf you are looking for horror fiction that is chock-full to the brim with werewolves and zombies, I’m probably not your man. I write horror (amongst other things) that people can (hopefully) relate to. If pressed, I would say I write horror that takes the ordinary and mundane and makes it extraordinary and fantastic. I want to write about people like you and me that are dragged towards the edges of their reality and shown what lies just beyond.

Hello. I’m Steve, and I’m an author (AA is Authors Anonymous, right?).

I started writing as a much younger man, but lost my way when life interjected. Children, house, bills, health. But isn’t that always the way? I found my way back to writing several years ago and it feels like a familiar place. There are good…

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Thirty Years a Junkie

Addiction ~ perhaps begun in pleasure ~ becomes predator if we attempt to let go, and persecutor if we do not. Andrew Joyce has written a compelling no-holds-barred article about his years as an addict. When, where, how, and with whom we learn our life lessons are all based in choice, whether or not we choose to accept this. Despite the theme, there’s something in this story for everyone …

Andrew Joyce


Compared to some, I’ve lived an exciting life. At least parts of it were. However, compared to others, my life has been humdrum. The only thing I’m satisfied about is that all the drama took place when I was young and able to handle it. That would not be the reality today for I have grown old.

It’s confession time. I’m not looking for absolution. My only intent is to show some of you out there that there is hope. Nothing is forever. Perhaps my story might help you get to the next stage of your life. Maybe not, but I had help getting there, and I’ll tell you about it in a minute. First, a little background. And please, feel free to judge me. You cannot condemn me any more than I have already condemned myself.

When I was kid, I always had a wanderlust. I would see a…

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A Message of Peace and Love

(Featured image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova)

Gag orders on gov’t agencies; walls being built between countries; bans on immigration to a country that is a melting pot . . .
My fellow Americans and all Citizens of the World: 
Lucie Stastkova
Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova
Even though leaders in the Trump administration are behaving like children let loose in a candy store ~ now more than ever ~ it is important to keep positive thoughts, send out positive energy, take positive action, and simultaneously keep abreast of all that is occurring within the United States government and across the globe.

Collecting and sharing data is vital. Dwelling on the negative is self-defeating. Reacting with violence will sabotage any and all positive change.

Remember: The women’s marches took place in all 50 states and in 57 different countries. This was a first in the history of humankind. All marches were nonviolent. 

Everything unfolds in an orderly fashion. As above, so below.

The patriarchy is dying and rearing its head for one last stand.

United, we will get through this troubling time. This is the time that prophecies of most cultures and religions spoke of centuries ago. They speak of us moving into the Golden Age of Enlightenment. This is the time. We are in the storm before the calm.

It is imperative we recognize this and come from a place of love in our hearts instead of a place of fear. While keeping abreast of U.S. and world affairs, it is crucial that any and all action we take be positive and nonviolent.

Love is the only answer to the heightened treachery and tragedy we now experience, not only in the U.S., but also around the world. Only love will still the waters.

We have forgotten who we are ~ beings of light. It is now time to remember. In our purest sense, we are love. And only love will prevail.

 We must not lose sight of this.

 Love is the ONLY answer . . . 

Meet Guest Author A.C. Flory…

Author A.C. Flory is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, where she refers to the rhythm and flow in our writing as the “hidden ‘soundtrack’ to the action.” Being a musician and songwriter, this struck a chord in me ~ no pun intended ~ maybe 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

self-portraitHi, my name is Andrea, and I’m a writer,” she said, stumbling over her words.

That’s me, A.C. Flory, science fiction writer and introvert extraordinaire. I’m not stereotypically shy, and if you ask me about one of my passions, I’ll happily chew your ear off, but talking about myself and my writing still feels…odd. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t start writing fiction until I was forty-eight.

I may have been a late bloomer when it came to storytelling, but reading was another matter entirely. I began reading for pleasure when I was eight, and by twelve I’d read Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment…and loved it. Before anyone gets too excited, I have to point out that education was very different back then, especially in the Catholic school system. We were expected to be really good at ‘reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic’ by the time we reached the end of primary…

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Meet Guest Author Pamela D. Beverly…

Author Pamela D. Beverly is a guest on The Story Reading Ape today, recalling our pre-tech days, which ~ I realized while reading her humorous post ~ weren’t that long ago! I, too, went from pencil to pen to manual typewriter. Geez, where has the time gone . . .  🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

pamela-d-beverlyAnyone over 30 seems to get written off these days as an old geezer, which is kind of ironic and funny to me. The music accompanying TV commercials to present-day TV shows and movies are chock-full of retreads, ahem, reboots they’re called by the younger generation.

Wedge-heeled shoes that women wear in the summer aka espadrilles (uh, we did that).

Horn-rimmed aka Clark Kent eyeglasses (“Birth control glasses” are what we called them when I was in basic training in the Air Force. If you wore eyeglasses, you were issued a pair. And trust me, they weren’t considered cool back in the day, especially for those of us women that were forced to wear them if we wanted to see. Yikes! I didn’t even wear them in my basic training photo. Who knew that they’d actually come back into style one day? I sure didn’t! And really, I have to admit, they were even…

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