The Afternoon Video – Inspiring Beings – Meet Iris Rose and Thula her cat.

Companion animals are not merely pets. They open our hearts and give far more than they receive. They speak to the softness that we’re often afraid to show to the world. When we resist, they persist. And they manage to paint us in brilliant colors. This video of Iris and Thula will open your heart. Don’t hesitate. Visit Sally’s blog and share in the love ❤ ❤ ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Iris Rose was diagnosed with autism at two years old and with the love and help of her family and her special cat Thula she has become a wonderful artist.

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EDITING 101: 02 – Description Depression…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us her second great article in her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape’s blog: How and why not to over or under describe scenes and characters…

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

 Do You Have Description Depression?

Are you a writer who uses rich, lush descriptions for their settings and characters? Or one who just wants “the facts, Ma’am, just the facts”? Is it an effort to decide how much description to use, where, and exactly what?

If you struggle with Description Depression in your writing, you’re not alone. There isn’t a “correct” way to use description in fiction, although, in my humble opinion, you’re better off using too little than too much.

In over describing, a writer runs the risk of annoying their readers. Many readers admit to skipping over large amounts of description. It didn’t used to be that way. Before the age of movies, television, the Internet, and smartphones…

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Pet of the Week – Meet Therapy Dog Gabby and blogger Susan Palmer Gutterman

Companion animals give so much in return for so little. Animals who participate in therapeutic settings offer so much more. This is the story of Gabby and her person, Susan Palmer Gutterman

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Pet of the week

Today our pet of the week is Yellow Labrador Gabby who lives in San Jose in California. Gabby has a very important job as a therapy dog bringing love and healing to children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House.

Gabby is a therapy dog at Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House creates a home-away-from-home and supportive community for families of children with life-threatening illnesses receiving specialized treatment at local hospitals.

Gabby and her close friend Hibachi.

Hibachi (top) is staying with us for the summer. He is a career change dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind and his owner is Lizzy Kemp. He is super well-behaved and we have fallen in love with him and Gabby (right) is soooo happy to have a buddy to hang out with!!

About Susan Palmer Gutterman


I would love to tell you that I am a blithe, free-spirit who will captivate you with my amazing adventures.  Alas, in reality…

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The Medicine Woman’s Larder – Mushrooms – The Egyptians believed they granted immortality

Sally Cronin regularly shares her vast knowledge of nutrition in her ongoing Medicine Woman’s Larder series. Today’s post covers the many varieties of mushroom and their medicinal properties…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Medicine Womans larder

According to the ancient Egyptians, over 4,000 years ago, eating mushrooms granted you immortality. The pharaohs even went as far as to ban commoners from eating these delicious fungi but it was probably more to guarantee that they received an ample supply. Mushrooms have played a large role in the diet of many cultures and there is evidence that 3,000 years ago certain varieties of mushrooms were used in Chinese medicine and they still play a huge role in Chinese cuisine today.

There are an estimated 20,000 varieties of mushrooms growing around the modern world, with around 2,000 being edible. Of these, over 250 types of mushroom have been recognised as being medically active or therapeutic.

More and more research is indicating that certain varieties have the overwhelming potential to cure cancer and AIDS and in Japan some of the extracts from mushrooms are already being used in mainstream medicine.

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Language Felonies Infographic…

A big “Thank You!” to The Story Reading Ape for posting this superb infographic from GrammarCheck. After reading this infographic, I found that I scored a little less than (euphemism) brilliant. For example, is it “Many of us authors” or “Many of we authors” fancy ourselves brilliant editors?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Made for Students, useful for everyone.

Oh My Grammar! Language Felonies: Top 10 Grammar Errors, Common Mistakes, and the Importance of Correct Grammar (Infographic)

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The Negro Spiritual – A Historical Document – Guest Post…

Outstanding guest post by Yecheilyah Ysrayl on The Story Reading Ape’s blog explaining the power and significance of and the veiled messages within Negro Spirituals…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Blog Post 1

The so-called “slave songs” of the United States are best understood when they are considered as expressions of individual Negroes which can be dated and assigned to a geographical locale. They are, in brief, historical documents”. – Miles Mark Fisher, Negro Slave Songs in the United States

Go down Moses
Way down in Egypt’s land
Tell ole
To let my people go!”

During slavery in the United States, there were systematic efforts to strip the identity of the captive. When the so-called African was taken from the West coast of Africa, it was not a simple transition of country, to ship, to land, but he had to undergo an entire initiation process before stepping foot on the plantations of America. His name, being the most important, was taken from him, followed by his way of life which was stripped from him, and his history book taken from…

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Cover reveal, memoir, book promotion, forgiveness, emotional abuse, P.S. I Forgive You, Amazon, D.G. Kaye

P.S. I Forgive You is D.G. Kaye’s compelling story of her journey from guilt through grief to forgiveness. If you’re seeking to heal from an abusive relationship, put this book on your “to buy” list for late September

#Sneakpreview – Cover Reveal – P.S. I Forgive You

book-debby-cover-revealAfter a long summer of being held captive in my little authorly world working on the upcoming publication of my newest book, P.S. I Forgive You, I am finally sharing the front cover of the book and the blurb.

I’m currently running through another round of my own proofreading after the final proof has come back from the editor. By week’s end it should be off to my NEW formatter, Jo Robinson to prepare the book for lift-off.

I’ll make no bones about it, this was a difficult book for me to write and have to re-read a gazillion times in the rewrite and editing stages. There were many times I had to walk away from it for a day because it was like reliving painful moments. But like an old quote says:  “You know you’ve healed when you can read your words and they no longer make you cry.” Truly, this book was therapeutic, and I hope readers can find some solace in their own lives in their own search for forgiveness.

So without further ado, I’d like to add this beautiful note my editor left for me after she finished editing. And the book cover and blurb follows:

View Original: D.G.KayeWriter

Source: Cover reveal, memoir, book promotion, forgiveness, emotional abuse, P.S. I Forgive You, Amazon, D.G. Kaye

Mountain Mahogany in Bloom~

Cindy Knoke has such an astute eye for the exquisite. Here, she shows us blooming mountain Mahogany that grows only in the Western US & Mexico. Visit her blog to see more stunning photographs taken during her travels…

Mahogany blooming in the High Sierra,
with sailor seeds,

ready to fly to their new home.

Blooming in high altitude
they blanket hillsides
with seeds like summer snow~
Cheers to you from blooming Mahogany that grows only in the Western US & Mexico~

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Smorgasord pet Health – 56 homecooked recipes for your fur family.

Cooking healthy food for your dog or cat companion need not take more than one hour per week. Visit Sally’s blog for recipes, and more…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Smorgasbord Pet Health

Sam was sent home as a puppy with a bag of food that he had been weaned on. Even at 8 weeks old he was determined to educate us as to his food preferences and declined to eat it at all. I have always prepared dog food previously for my other two collies so decided to go that route. Being a little chap it was minced chicken and starchy veg to begin with but by the time he was two years old he would eat basmati rice with a protein including beef, chicken, salmon and offal as well as a hard boiled egg for breakfast. Offal is cheaper and whilst not the most pleasant cooking task, a whole heart from the butcher would cost a few Euros and cooked off and frozen would feed Sam for a couple of weeks.

The pet food industry is worth billions of dollars and…

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The PTS Files – The Rorschach Test – Guest Post…

Are you a realist or a dreamer? Pragmatic or idealistic? Enjoy Phillip T. Stephens’ guest post on The Story Reading Ape’s blog 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

The Rorschach Test

Imagine yourself driving down a rural highway…

Imagine you and your lover, or a former lover, driving down a rural highway at midnight, a two lane highway with no illumination other than your headlights and the stars. The moon set an hour ago and the clouds drifted away.

You argue about how badly you mistreated his parents, boss, former friend or second cousin who hasn’t spoken to him for years. Or perhaps her head is collapsed against the windshield while she snores, and you can see a single drop of saliva rolling down her chin. 

This leaves you trying to tune in a late night ball game from the West Coast because even baseball is better than Tammy Winette singing “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” between occasional waves of static.

Suddenly she jumps in her seat, or he shakes his head, points to the windshield and shouts: “What’s that?”

You see three lights, two…

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Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

If you care about our Mother Earth, read this inspiring post by Adele Marie Park ❤


Emil Bell is standing up for the earth. He is a true warrior and trying to make a difference. In this day and age with so much information available at our fingertips I ask you to please share this post. “Water is Life”, quoted from Emil himself. Share and let others know about this brave warrior who is taking on the big companies. Show your support for him by following his progress on

Watch this video and pass it on too.

The video will play after a short advert.

Listen to the words of Buffy Sainte-Marie and get angry, use that anger to make a difference. We have a responsibility to those who come after us. Emil Bell is in his 70s it is nevertoo late to make a difference. Come on friends use the internet for change. Let`s take the fight to the world for…

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Middle Aged Spread – Stress busting with Status Quo.. or any music you love.

Music moves our souls as well as our bodies. For many of us, it has been and continues to be a lifesaver. Sally Cronin outlines the many health benefits of music in this wonderful post…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

radio stressIn the previous post last week on middle-aged spread and the connection to stress I gave you some of the reasons why it can increase weight and thwart your efforts to remove it.

There are also a couple of posts that will offer you some strategies on managing stress and also how you can make some changes to your diet to support you.

This time I am going to cover the stress buster that works for me and has been scientifically proven to have a positive influence on our brains.

I have always used music to relax and to energise and certainly cannot imagine a life without it.

By now those of you following my blog will have noticed that I have a great belief in music and its therapeutic properties.  I keep an eye on research into the benefits of not just listening to music but…

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The R’s of Life – Chapter Ten – Rights and our Personal Freedoms

Sally Cronin’s book in process, The R’s of Life, offers us a chance to consider how fortunate we are in the western world and provides an opportunity to feel gratitude. Chapter Ten outlines some very sobering statistics regarding rights that most of us take for granted…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The R's of LifeIn the last chapter I took a look at the United Nations Bill of Rights with regard to our legal entitlements under the charter. As with all the rights in the bill there is a great deal of variation between nations, and also internally within cultures who settle in new countries.

In this chapter I am going to cover the personal freedoms and rights that are included in the 30 elements of the bill. Many of these freedoms we take for granted and there are some of us who also exploit them. They all come with some form of obligation from us to ensure that we are worthy of these rights.

Chapter Ten – Rights and our Personal Freedoms.

Everyone is entitled to protection from interference in their privacy, family, home or correspondence or from attacks on honour and reputation.

Good luck with this one in the day and age…

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