Worried About A Blogger

Some time ago, Kim Barker told us she was taking a break from blogging.

Kim is one of my original followers, and one of the first I followed back.

https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

She posted that she was ‘taking a hiatus’ in August.

But now, her emails are being returned as ‘unknown’ and I am genuinely worried about her.

If anyone has heard from Kim, please let me know. And if you have a valid email address for her, or her husband Tom, please ask her to put our minds at rest.

Blogger’s Books: Lucinda E Clarke

Author and blogger Lucinda has a new book release on the 23rd of November, and I am very happy to feature it here today.

When Polly Won the Lottery

Polly London was found on the steps of a polyclinic in London when she was only a few hours old. She was approaching thirty when she received a text telling her she had won over £150 million in the national lottery.

A whole new world opened up, but would it change her for better or for worse?

How do you react to winning a fortune? Do you keep it a secret or shout from the rooftops?

Polly did both, with alarming consequences. From that moment, her life took two separate paths, but at every step of the way, she was unaware of a shadowy figure that followed her all over the world.

Who was he and what did he want?

This is a book with a difference, with an ending you’ll never expect!

One quote from a beta reader:- Words are exploding in my mind.

Intriguing, Confusing, brilliant, split personality, enjoyable.

Polly was a very real person I laughed and wept with her.

Please check out the Reader Beware warning at the beginning of the book! It will help you to decide how you would like to read it!

Here is an Amazon link.

And you can find out more about Lucinda and her writing here.

https://www.lucindaeclarke.com/

I like the sound of this one a lot, and I have just pre-ordered a Kindle copy at the bargain price of 99p. It is also available in paperback.

300 A Day

No, not cigarettes. Even when I was a fairly heavy smoker, I couldn’t manage that many.

Spam Comments.

Yes, they are all caught by WordPress, and placed into my Spam Folder. But now they have reached a total of almost 300 a day so far this week, it is impossible to go through them to find any genuine comments in amongst all that rubbish.

Today, I scanned them (288) quickly, just in case. Every single one of them was sent by the same ‘person’. (Undoubtedly not a real person.)

TuyetKaddy
talenteimnetz.dex
vepll6o3h@gmail.com
91.211.88.127

I searched that IP address, and this is who it comes back to.

Current IP Range: 91.211.98.0 – 91.211.98.255
IP Range Location: Ireland
IP Owner: Tsg Interactive Services Limited
Owner Full IP Range:
91.211.96.0 – 91.211.99.255
Owner Address: King Edward Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, IOM, Im3 1Dz, Isle of Man, British Isles, Isle of Man
Owner Country: Ireland
Owner Phone: +441624632666
All Owner IP Ranges: 91.211.96.0 – 91.211.99.255
All Owner CIDR: 91.211.96.0/22
All Owner IP Reverse DNS (Host)s: 98-23.colo.sta.blacknight.ie
ASN: AS48536
Whois Record Created: 16 Apr 2011

Someone in Ireland, with a company registered on The Isle Of Man. There is even a phone number. (Which I didn’t ring, in case that was also a scam.) It is worth knowing that the .dex domain name is encrypted, and .dex domains are associated with ‘Ransomware’ demands.

So whatever you do, make sure to never click on any links sent by this company. Not ever!

Each comment is so long, consisting of 20-odd lines of nonsense, followed by 16 links to products or services, it took me a full four minutes ten seconds just to delete them by clicking on ‘Empty Spam’. (Yes, I was fed up enough to time it.)

Surely there must be some way that WordPress can block this pest? If I can find out so easily who is responsible, then a company like WordPress must be able to put a stop to them.

Don’t you agree?

(Just after posting this, I checked the Spam Folder. 10 more!)

The Thoroughfares

I rarely reblog poetry, but this powerful poem by a new follower struck a chord with me.

A Curious Becoming

The spurious hand
Of the curious girl
Explores odd intersections
Of the furious world

With the scenes always shifting
Because shadows exchange
The pretty puffs of prize poodles
For perverse pedigreed mange

Where the streets are all thoroughfares
Upon which motor cars drive
Where people always are going
And yet never they arrive

Bold, bizarre backwards bankers
Turn bonds into stocks
Leaving townspeople beholden
To fortunes predicted in probable rocks

Quiet houses sit empty
While paid closets of extra sit full
Where the rebellious and sickly
Are silently culled

From the counts in a census
And their beds on the street
Because where public meets private
The trading hands are discreet

Poor men of all colors
Are earmarked for jails
And the darker the hue is
The more hefty the bail

And dropping babies at sisters
Their fed up wives clean hotels
Raising cash to fight pipelines
Dragging children to…

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My Writing, In A Book!

I am very happy to have received a copy of a book today. A book containing a short article that was originally published on this blog.

Eating Out After Lockdown

Australian writer, poet, and blogger, Carolyn Cordon, compiled an anthology of poetry and prose from writers all around the world, chronicling individual responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was happy when she asked me if she could include my blog post.

She has now self-published the book, and kindly sent me a copy.

I have previously been published in magazines and on online review sites, but this is a first for me, to be included in a printed book, along with a short bio at the back too.

You can find out more about Carolyn, using this link.

https://carolyncordonwriter.wordpress.com

To buy a copy, please contact her at this email address.
(After covering her costs, Carolyn is using the book sales to raise money for a Multiple Sclerosis charity.)

kittycordo@gmail.com

Guest Post: Darlene Foster

I am very happy to present a guest post from the lovely Darlene Foster. Blogger, and published author of the popular ‘Amanda’ series of books, Darlene is from Canada, and lives in Spain.

Babies and Blizzards
By Darlene Foster

I remember when my brother, Timothy, was born. It had been a typical cold and snowy prairie winter with blizzards creating impassable road conditions. Mom expected the third member of our family to arrive in early February. Dad was concerned that the inclement weather might stop him from getting her to the hospital sixty miles away, when the time came. So he took mom and my younger brother, Lorne to stay with our grandparents in the city well before her due date. Since I had school, I stayed with my great-aunt and great-uncle in the small town near our farm.

I was excited about this as I loved Aunt Elsie and Uncle Ed. They treated me well, Aunt Elsie was a great cook and I could walk to school with my older, and therefore much cooler, second cousins.

In their living room stood a cabinet full of amazing books. I would sit in front of it and stare at the titles. Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, A Tale of Two Cities, Robinson Crusoe and other classics. I so wanted to read those books behind the glass doors. I still remember the day when Aunt Elsie said that if I was very careful, I could read one of the books. Believe me, I was extremely careful. Eventually over the years I read every one of those books in that cabinet.

The baby took longer to come than mom thought but finally, on February 10th, she delivered a chubby little boy. Dad drove into the city to see her and reported back that mommy and baby were doing great. She even wrote me a letter and sent it back with dad. Apparently, my other brother was being spoiled by grandma and grandpa. We expected mom, my brother and the new baby to be home in a week.

But, as luck would have it, the day she was released from the hospital, another terrible blizzard blew up and the road to the city was closed to traffic. Grandpa picked mom and baby Timmy up from the hospital and took them back to their place. I was disappointed because Lorne got to see the new baby before I did.

The weather stayed nasty for another week and vehicles were not getting through. Mom had been gone for a month now and I missed her, even though I enjoyed staying in town with my aunt, uncle and cousins. In the city, Mom grew homesick, missing me and dad.

When I returned from school one cold but sunny day, Aunt Elsie told me to keep my coat on and watch for a surprise. Not much later, an old fashioned, covered sleigh pulled by two large draft horses plodded down the road through the glistening snow.

Dad shouted, “Whoa!” The horses stopped in front of my aunt and uncle’s house. Dad let go of the reins, jumped down from the seat in front and with a wide grin, opened the door to the sleigh. Inside sat my mother in a hooded red woollen coat trimmed in rabbit fur, smiling from ear to ear. In her arms, she held a baby bundled up in many blankets.
“In you get,” said dad. “We’re all going home.”

Dad had borrowed the sleigh from a neighbour in order to get his wife back home.

It was a magical moment for a little girl to see her mom and baby brother delivered in a horse-drawn sleigh. Straight from a storybook. It’s one of my fondest memories.

To connect with Darlene and to find out more about her life and her books, please follow these links.

Website: http://www.darlenefoster.ca

Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Twitter: Darlene Foster (@supermegawoman) / Twitter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA/

Goodreads: Darlene Foster (Author of Amanda in Arabia) | Goodreads

The Forest Bed @ 0.99

A great offer on Shaily’s book! Expires on the 11th, so get your copy soon.

Short Stories | Fish-eye Perspective

Buy my first eBook, The Forest Bed and other short stories, for less than $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon Kindle. The countdown deal begins at 5th Nov and ends at Nov 11th EOD.

amazon.com: $0.99 | Nov 5 12am PDT till Nov 12 12am PST. Click this link.

amazon.co.uk: £0.99 | Nov 5 8am GMT till Nov 12 8am GMT. Click this link.

Here is a sample.

Share this post. Help me spread the word.

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Guest Post: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I am delighted to have received a guest post from wriiter and blogger, Abbie Johnson Taylor.
She describes it as ‘Creative non-fiction’. I enjoyed it, and I am sure all of you will too.

THE CASE OF THE MISSING LAWN CHAIRS

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

“Somebody stole our lawn chairs!” Dad announced.

For many years during the summer months, my family attended weekly band concerts at Kendrick Park in Sheridan, Wyoming, on Tuesday evenings after dinner. We brought lawn chairs and listened to the community band playing old standards, marches, and popular songs. Afterward, we trekked to a nearby ice cream stand for dessert, leaving our lawn chairs stashed behind a tree out of the way, sure in the knowledge that they would still be there when we returned to claim them before walking home. But now, all we could do was gape at the empty spot where we expected the chairs to be.

It was the summer of 1983, and I was home from college on break between my junior and senior years. My ten-year-old cousin, Shelley, who was visiting from South Dakota with her family, had accompanied Dad and me and our Irish setter Clancy to the park. She said, “Oh, no.”

Clancy had wandered off and was sniffing something nearby, blissfully unaware of this tragedy. Dad finally said, “Well, why don’t you two start walking home? I’ll look around and see if whoever took them dumped them somewhere else.”

With Clancy, he headed off in one direction while Shelley and I sauntered the other way toward home, which was only about a block away. While waiting to cross a busy street, Shelley suddenly cried, “Look, there are our chairs.”

“Where?” I asked, turning my head this way and that. With my limited vision, I couldn’t spot them.

“They were in the back of that pick-up that passed us. One of the guys in the cab just gave us the finger.”

“Let’s wait for Dad,” I suggested.

A few minutes later when he caught up with us, and Shelley told him what she’d seen, he said, “Well, I’ll be darned. Come on. Let’s go home. It’s safe to cross now.”

At home, we found Mother watching television in the living room. When Shelley excitedly told her what had happened, Mother asked her, “Did you see what the truck looked like?”

“Yeah, it was a green truck,” Shelley answered. “and there were two guys in the cab.”

Turning to Dad, Mother said, “Well, you should call the police. With Shelley’s description, they might be able to find the chairs.”

“Yeah,” Shelley cried, jumping up and down and clapping her hands.

Clancy, who always got excited when anyone else did, voiced his approval while dancing in circles and wagging his tail.

After shushing the dog, Dad said, “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.” He made his way to the phone in the hall.

That summer, I’d been reading an Ellery Queen murder mystery which featured some police brutality. Not having had much experience with law enforcement, I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea to call the police about stolen lawn chairs. At least we didn’t have a dead body on our hands.

But Shelley was so excited about the possibility of helping find the lawn chairs. I didn’t want her to be scared. So, I remained silent while Dad made the call.

A few minutes later, when Clancy’s barking announced the arrival of the local constabulary, Shelley and I were sitting on the couch together. She must have read my mind for she moved closer to me, giggling. “You nervous?” she asked.

I should have told her there was nothing to be nervous about. Remembering what I’d heard a thousand times on the television show, Dragnet, I should have advised her to give them just the facts.

Instead, I only laughed nervously as Dad opened the front door while Clancy continued to bark and wag his tail. Grabbing his collar, Dad said, “Let me just put him on the side porch.”

To my relief, instead of an entire crew of policemen who arrived after Ellery Queen reported a murder, there was only one detective. Instead of barking orders at people like Inspector Queen, he introduced himself and engaged us in small talk before asking about the crime.

Shelley was a trooper. She described that pick-up truck and the guys in the cab as best she could, saying, “I didn’t get the license plate number, though.”

“That’s all right,” the officer said, scribbling in his notebook. “That sounds like Ricky Rodriguez’s truck.”

Dad described the lawn chairs and said, “My New Yorker magazine was in one of them.”

“Okay,” the officer said, scribbling some more. “I’ll see what I can do. It was nice meeting you all.”

The next day, Mother received a phone call from the detective. He told her they’d found the chairs, along with other contraband, in the back of that green pick-up. Unfortunately, they needed to keep all found items for evidence, and we didn’t get the chairs back until October. But miracle of miracles, that New Yorker magazine was still folded up in one of those chairs.

Although my paranoia was somewhat abated that night, I still harbor a little mistrust of the law, especially after hearing about numerous instances of white police officers killing black suspects for no reason. I’m thankful I’m not black, but a friend once told me she’d heard of disabled people like me also being victims of police brutality.

But in our small town, there hasn’t been any misconduct on the part of law enforcement personnel. I feel confident that as long as I obey the law, policemen won’t hurt me. I’m also encouraged by the fact that three lawn chairs and a New Yorker magazine reported stolen were found the very next day.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her latest novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, is now available from Amazon and Smashwords in print and eBook formats. Her poems and stories have appeared in Magnets and Ladders, The Avocet, and other publications. Please visit her website at: https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

Please visit Abbie’s site to read more, and to connect with this very supportive and interesting lady.