Category Archives: Community

CALL TO ARMS!

When will we humans understand that to turn a blind eye to those in need is to turn a blind eye to ourselves? When will we come to know ~ Know with a capital K ~ that we are all one?
Gallybloggers is an online forum for authors who are Homeless. Dewin Nefol, creator of the site, states: Those who write and submit to Gallybloggers do so wholeheartedly believing in what we do and in what we would like to achieve by giving voice and opportunity for expression to those who are walked-over by society and passed-by everyday on our streets and empty shop doorways.”
I’m reblogging this today in the hope that many of you will follow Gallybloggers, comment on their outstanding posts, and share their brilliant works

~ GallyBloggers ~

Call To Arms

Science suggests millions of years ago just one ‘seed of light’ springing forth from a sea of potential was all it took for the creation of the Universe. From this initial event new worlds came into being, and new life emerged from out of the darkness.

And so it can be that way again in 2017: whereby small seeds of light emerging from out of the silence and solitude of Homelessness can illuminate the hearts and minds of people and far more importantly highlight deficiencies in the competency of the UK Government who fail to manage Homelessness either effectively or humanly. Homeless people are suffering daily, and some also dying on UK streets, as consequence of Government Policies, an ineffective, prejudice  and woefully underfunded Social Security System, and pitiful despicable neglect by the UK Government who have an overarching responsibility to extend a duty of care to every citizen within the UK. The Homeless are not being considered either fairly or reasonably or if indeed at all, and neither is adequate funding or provision being made for…

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DARK RAVEN

Unless we are enlightened beings, losing a loved one is devastating. My friends of 40+ years lost their younger sister a few days ago to necrotizing pneumonia. The onset was sudden and death came quickly. I am grieving.
I am also remembering those who daily face the danger of losing their lives in the blink of an eye, because they live on the streets. They are called The Homeless. They are the unseen. Judged and neglected, they have as much a right to life, prosperity, and happiness as those of us who meet our basic needs without giving a thought to those who scavenge for their daily bread. And they are brilliant.
On April 6th, my dear friend Sue Dreamwalker published a post about the GallyBloggers. who share thoughts and poems written by the homeless on the streets of the UK. Their excellent works are a testament to the fact that poverty and ignorance do not go hand in hand.
I hope you will visit their site and offer your support to these most deserving poets. I also hope this post will serve as a memorial to my friends’ departed sister ~ loved and cherished ~ who is not departed at all… 
Read Sue’s post HERE

~ GallyBloggers ~

Dark Raven

~ Dark Raven ~ By ~ Scruffy Dude ~

~

Carrion darkened the dawn on Bryn’s White Mount.

Lingering longingly amongst us.

Thoughtfully accounting silently counting.

Else discounting unsavoury cuts.

~

“Cras! Cras! Cras!” cackled Mugin’s merry Crow.

“Today a proud fallen hero!”

“Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!”

“Fallen fellow ploughed fallow!”

~

I lay betwixt this realm and next.

A wash of grey shedding shadow.

Silently waiting beside where I’d died.

With nowhere else to go.

~

I remember nothing of the felling strike.

Or might or bite of glinting steel.

But wild eyes wild with wild dark light.

Left to fade and slowly congeal.

~

I recall into my blood-red dawn.

Rushed swarthy swaths of shady hue.

Tides of flocking mocking malicious spawn.

Upon dark Raven wings they flew.

~

To searing pain raced blackened rain.

Death tumbling upon the bloody mire.

Tumbling stumbling strutting stabbing.

Into souls ready to expire.

~

Slicing slashing claws rasping raking.

Hungry for flesh and shattered bone.

For spills and spoils tokens ‘n’ trinkets.

For scalps and scraps for home.

~

Savagely cutting carving stealing stalking.

Crowing and scavenging corpses.

 Pecking and pruning at souls still reeling.

Felled laying fallen in mori mortis.

~

Then to my sight appeared a considerable bird.

Chiselled marble dressed cobalt blue.

“Cras!” cursed the Raven’s…

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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 . . . 

Remembrance Day Tribute by D.G. Kaye

Remembrance Day in Canada, as well as Veterans Day in the U.S., are set aside to honor all those who fought for our freedom. In her inspiring post, D.G. Kaye reminds us that during this time of upheaval and uncertainty, it is in our best interest to remember that we can choose how we behave toward our sisters and brothers across the globe. Will we divide across fear-based lines of prejudice and hatred, or will we unite under love-inspired hoops of kindness and compassion?

remember-by-debby-giesAt a time when the world seems divided with so many fears of uncertainty, it’s a time to remind that we all still have a choice to unite, not only to make America great again, but help to make the world great again. Strength is in numbers, not held solely in the hands of an elected official. It’s the numbers that put these officials in power. The damage is done, as has been in all wars. It’s now up to all of us to work hard at being kind and compassionate to our fellow man.

Today I went out on my balcony for a breath of fresh air, and something which stares me blatantly in the face every time I do so, became so much more polarizing. An apartment in a building across from mine flies the Canadian flag proudly every day. I watched as it danced in the wind in all its glory and served as a reminder that no matter how much I’m unhappy about the state of our economics in my province, and particularly my city, that I am grateful for the many other things we have in this country.

poppy-by-debby-giesTomorrow is Remembrance Day, a day to reflect and remember all those Vets who fought for many of our countries for freedom. November 11th – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is when we take a pause for a single moment of silence to pay our respect and remembrance for those who fought and died in battle for us, to end hostility.

Despite the loss of life, the world didn’t seem to learn after that war, as the second World War emerged only two decades later. In the decades that followed, more wars around the world ensued and still, there’s a nagging question mark lurking in the minds of many, wondering if it’s only a matter of time until the third World War might . . .

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A Young Man

Well-researched historical fiction by Andrew Joyce that resonates with today’s controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline…

Andrew Joyce

yellow-hair-cover

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Buy @ Amazon: US  UK – CA – AU

 

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Guest Post: Andrew Joyce

Captivating guest post by Andrew Joyce on Marie Story‘s blog. He talks about his latest novel, Yellow Hair, and tells us the fascinating creation story of the Dakota, known today as the Sioux…

Story Book Reviews

AndrewMy name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Marie for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.


1yellowhair-800-cover-reveal-and-promotional Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the Sioux people. The people we know as the Sioux were originally known as the Dakota, which means…

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THANK YOU

Nick Verron has traveled the emotional spectrum ~ from joy to despair ~ from walking through nature on his own to being confined to a wheelchair that restricts. He’d resigned himself to the latter until he recently experienced the Mountain Trike. Now all he needs to be independent once again in his travels is the money to buy one. Please help if you can… ❤

Andrew Joyce, Author

I am thrilled to welcome Andrew Joyce as my guest today.

Andrew Joyce

Andrew is a brilliant storyteller whose continuing adventures are kept on a short leash by his canine companion, Danny the Dog.

Danny XXlI read and reviewed Andrew’s Huck Finn trilogy after having devoured each of the three novels. You can find my rave reviews here.  Although, if you go to Andrew’s Amazon page and click on each of his books, you will find them rife with 5-star reviews.  Apparently, I am only one among myriad Andrew Joyce fans!

Andrew is here today to tell us about the journey that inspired him to write his latest book, Yellow Hair.  Welcome, Andrew! It is a pleasure to host you on my blog.

*************

book-andrew-yellow-hair-2Thank you, Tina. My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Tina has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to talk about my latest, Yellow Hair.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage depicted actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures that play a role in my story were real people and I used their real names. I conjured up my protagonist only to weave together the various events conveyed in my fact-based tale of fiction. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. It is American history.

The inspiration for the book came to me when I was reading a short article and it made reference to the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. It also mentioned that the outcome involved the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. That piqued my interest.

When I started my research into the incident, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was documenting the entire history of the Sioux, who are also known as the Dakota, vis-à-vis the relationship between them and the United States.

Because the book exists only because I read the phrase, “the largest mass execution in the history of the United States,” I’ll tell you a little about that. What follows is an extremely abbreviated version of events.

The Dakota signed their first treaty with the United States in 1805 when they sold a small portion of their land to the Americans for the purpose of building forts. It was right after the Louisiana Purchase and President Jefferson wanted a presence in the West. At the time, “the West” was anything on the western side of the Mississippi River.

In the treaty of 1805, the Dakota sold 100,000 acres to the book-andrew-resolutionAmericans. The agreed-upon price was $2.00 per acre. But when the treaty came up before the Senate for ratification, the amount was changed to two cents per acre. That was to be a precursor for all future treaties with the Americans. There were subsequent treaties in 1815, 1825, 1832, 1837, and 1851, and basically the same thing happened with all those treaties.

In 1837, the Americans wanted an additional five million acres of Dakota land. Knowing it would be a hard sell after the way they failed to live up to the letter or spirit of the previous treaties, the government brought twenty-six Dakota chiefs to Washington to show them the might and majesty that was The United States of America.

The government proposed paying one million dollars for the acreage in installments over a twenty-year period. Part of the payment was to be in the form of farm equipment, medicine, and livestock. Intimidated, the Indians signed the treaty and went home. The United States immediately laid claim to the lands—the first payment did not arrive for a year.

The significance of the 1837 treaty lies in the fact that it was the first time “traders” were allowed to lay claim to the Indians’ payments without any proof that money was owed . . . and without consulting the Indians. Monies were subtracted from the imbursements and paid directly to the traders.

By 1851, the Americans wanted to purchase all of the Dakota’s remaining lands—twenty-five million acres. The Sioux did not want to sell, but were forced to do so with threats that the army could be sent in to take the land from them at the point of a gun if they refused the American’s offer.

“If we sell our land, where will we live?” asked the Dakota chief.

book-andrew-molly-lee“We will set aside land for the Dakota only. It is called a reservation and it will be along both banks of the Minnesota River, twenty miles wide, ten on each side and seventy miles long,” answered the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

The Dakota were offered six cents an acre for land that was worth at least a dollar an acre. The payment would be stretched out over a twenty year period and was to be made in the form of gold coins. One year later, in 1852, the Americans took half the reservation, the seventy miles on the north side of the river. The Dakota were now reduced from a nation of fierce, independent people to a people dependent on hand-outs from the ones who stole not only their land, but also their dignity.

The Dakota were forced to buy their food from the traders who ran trading posts at the Indian Agency the U.S. Government had set up on the reservation. All year long the Dakota would charge what they needed. When the yearly payment for their land arrived, the traders would take what they said was owed them. Subsequently, there was very little gold left for the Dakota.

By 1862, the Dakota were starving. That year’s payment was months late in arriving because of the Civil War. The traders were afraid that because of the war there would be no payment that year and cut off the Dakota’s credit. The Indian Agent had the power to force the traders to release some of the food stocks, but refused when asked to do so by the Dakota.

After they had eaten their ponies and dogs, and their babies cried out in the night from hunger, the Dakota went to war against the United States of America.

They attacked the agency first and liberated the food stock from the book-andrew-redemptionwarehouse, killing many white people who lived there. Then bands of braves set out to loot the farms in the surrounding countryside.

Many whites were killed in the ensuing weeks. However, not all of the Dakota went to war. Many stayed on the reservation and did not pick up arms against their white neighbors. Some saved the lives of white settlers. Still, over 700 hundred whites lost their lives before the rebellion was put down.

When the dust settled, all of the Dakota—including women and children, and those people who had saved settlers’ lives—were made prisoners of war.

Three hundred and ninety-six men were singled out to stand trial before a military commission. They were each tried separately in trials that lasted only minutes. In the end, three hundred and three men were sentenced to death.

Even though he was occupied with the war, President Lincoln got involved. He reviewed all three hundred and three cases and pardoned all but thirty-eight of the prisoners.

On a gray and overcast December morning in 1862, the scaffold stood high. Thirty-eight nooses hung from its crossbeams. The mechanism for springing the thirty-eight trap doors had been tested and retested until it worked perfectly. At exactly noon, a signal was given, a lever pulled, and the largest mass execution to ever take place in the United States of America became part of our history.

*************

Short bioAndrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

Learn more about Andrew:   Website   Blog   Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Smashwords   iTunes   Kobo

 

Working with Other Authors – Guest Post…

The Story Reading Ape’s guest today is Jemima Pett discussing the benefits of authors working together to promote their writing and books…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

14821489 - chat communicationFree Image Copyright amasterpics123 / 123RF Stock Photo

My writing career really took off when I started working with other authors. It was a little thing that started it all. Sally Harris, author of the wonderful Diary of a Penguin-napper, suggested we got together to do a promotion of the first chapter of our books in a volume called Love Middle Grade Actually in February 2013. Through that I got talking, and made friends with, a dozen other authors. I’d not really done much blogging then, not like we do now, joining in challenges with other bloggers, doing blog hops and the like. And it takes a bit of nerve to approach someone you don’t know (and maybe think is so much better than you, and so much more knowledgeable).

The way we worked together on a project, being brought together by Sally, made me want to do it…

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Go fund me campaign, donate, single mom, Toronto housing, small business, D.G. Kaye

harley

It’s very rare that I ever ask anything for myself. But today I had no choice but to set up a Go Fund Me Campaign for my sister who is in some great need of help.

My family and friends are doing all they can, but life is stressful for many of us to keep our own lives afloat sometimes, so I’ve decided to call for help from the kindness of strangers. Below you will find the post I created for the campaign. I know many of us have our own financial difficulties and it may not be feasible to donate, but I’m hoping readers could please at least share this post around your social media. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read.

Please Share! Go Fund Me. Below is a copy of the Campaign

This is a story about a remarkable Warrior Woman, my sister Marni. My sister has been a single mom for 23 years who has struggled and overcome all of her life. She raised 3 small kids on her own after years of battling the courts to no avail for child-support from the ‘deadbeat dad’ whom she evicted because of his drug addiction.

Marni lived on social assistance and what support she could gather to raise her kids until through some generous aid, she got a job running a packaging company assembly line for many years, doing the work of 3 men, lifting boxes, driving crane operated vehicles, working in cold, damp freezers for years, which inevitably led to her rheumatoid arthritis in her back and hands, and consequently led to Baastrup Disease. But she continued on anyway, until the company did what so many companies do in Canada now, downsize, fire and hire half the age for half the wage. Her services were no longer required.

Marni continued to find odd labor jobs to keep the roof over her head and feed her children, which are still living at home because of their own jobs that don’t pay enough for them to live on their own in the city of Toronto where housing and cost of living has gotten out of control.

My sister is a go-getter and has done any menial job in construction, plowing and shoveling snow, to things you couldn’t imagine to help ends meet. With her broken down van, on its last ounces of steam, and winter approaching, being the only driver in her family has added concern.

A good Samaritan in the family has loaned her some funds to start her own business of car detailing, but with a new business, even with great growth potential, the bills and debts are piling up trying to keep her house and hang on to her little business.

My sister would give the shirt off her own back to help anyone. I had to fight her pride just to let her allow me to run this campaign. She’s not one who would ever ask for anything. She’s also a huge animal lover and dog rescuer. Right now her Newfoundlander dog, Harley is very ill too. She can barely feed him, so she isn’t able to take him to the vet or pay for his medication.

Marni has exhausted all of her friends and family for donations, so I am stepping up here to ask if people could please find it in their hearts to please give her a chance to pay off some debts to keep her home, and  her business running afloat. This is her only chance of building a future for herself and her children.

This warrior woman, my sister, is a giver to everyone. So I am asking if you could please support Marni through these difficult times. Please help her help her family and get her feet on the ground. If we could all give something, she may even be able to buy a used van to enable her to continue being the captain of her family.

Thank you. Please share!

If you wish to donate, you can do so HERE 

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