Do you use Google Plus?

I have had a Google+ account for a long time now, ever since I started blogging in fact. I use it to promote my blog posts to a different audience, and I also follow the Google+ accounts of some people who only use that platform. It has another very useful feature, as it allows me to ‘sign in’ and comment on other platforms, like ‘Blogger’. It can also be used on some commercial websites, saving me the chore of creating additional accounts, and new passwords. All in all, it is quite handy.

So naturally, Google is about to close it down.

They cite ‘lack of use’ as the reason for scrapping it, and we don’t get a say in that of course. As well as no longer being able to use the features it provides, it will also mean that every comment I have made using it will no longer exist, and any images I have added there will be deleted too, unless I trawl through and back them all up. When Google decides to ‘clean house’, it doesn’t mess about. So if you didn’t know about this imminent demise on the 2nd of April, here is the email confirmation I received this morning. Let’s hope that Gmail isn’t next for the chopping block.

You’ve received this email because you have a consumer (personal) Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page.

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.

On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.

The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.

As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events.

See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.

If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community. Learn more

If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons. Learn more

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019. Learn more

If you’re a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your G Suite administrator for more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. Learn more

If you’re a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here to see how this will impact you.

From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication.

Blogger’s Books: Mary Bradford

Today, I am pleased to feature the published author, Mary Bradford.

Here is her own short bio.
Mary Bradford is an Irish author who has written across genres, her main genre being Women’s Fiction. She has overcome open heart surgery to focus on her writing and in her time out for relaxation she loves to crochet or knit. Family is important to her and her writing reflects this with the ups and downs of relationships explored. Her short stories have been published in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad, Germany, India, and the USA.

Mary has sent me an article, and I am reproducing it here, unedited.

My Journey to Writing a Novel

When I began writing short stories and flash fiction, I wondered would I ever write a full novel, but being honest I often dismissed the thought. Sitting down to write a book is time consuming, takes dedication, discipline and of course a great story. My hands were full as a mother to four children and time was scarce, so the short stories and flash fiction pieces suited me perfectly.
Yet the yearning to know if I could do it, write that novel and hold it in my hand, feel the paper, admire the cover, kept tapping me on my shoulder and poking its head beneath my face as I stared at the sheets of paper before me. I wrote longhand, all pen to paper for me then.
Then at a funeral, I began to wonder what secrets lay buried in the graveyard. Stories that would never be told. An idea began to unfold in my head and when I started to write the story, my novel was born. My Husband’s Sin is a contemporary novel set in both Dublin, Ireland and Chester, England. It involves the Taylor family, in particular, Lacey. She’s the youngest in the family, and when their mother, Lillian dies, a revelation in her will shatters the family unit.
Published by digital Tirgearr Publishing in Ireland, it received great reviews on Amazon and I thought that was that. Until my readers asked what happened next? I was pleasantly surprised and so the second book in what has now become The Lacey Taylor Story came about. Don’t Call Me Mum, was published in March 2018. Can you guess what happened next? Yes, the readers wanted more and I am at present planning the third and final novel of this trilogy.
So from wondering if I could ever write a novel, I’ve ended up writing a trilogy, which means when you have dreams go for them. There will be moments of doubt, fear, exhaustion and hair-pulling but so worth it when you finally write those two magical words, The End.
Don’t let the word-count or the genre of what you are writing sneak beneath your skin and sow seeds of unnecessary worry. Writing your story is the important aspect you need to concentrate on, all else takes a back seat. Once your story is told, that first draft completed, then stand up and take a bow. Many people talk about writing a book and often start one, but it is those who finish it are the writers.
Now the hard work begins, editing, fixing plot loopholes, developing characters, and everything else in the kitchen sink needs to be attended to. But you have a full manuscript to work with, the buzz of excitement will see you through. Remember, if you do it once, you can do it again!
Happy writing.

Here are some links to Mary’ work, available from Amazon.
Also her site and social media links.


Please check out her site, or follow the other links, and show her some support from our great community.

Featured Blogger: Jacob Kirts

As you know, I am always happy to feature the work of new bloggers, and those who follow my blog.
Today, I am very pleased to be able to introduce you to Jacob Kirts, a military man, and blogger.

This is what Jacob tells us about himself.

My name is Jacob Edwin Kirts. I was born in 1989, meaning I was born a millennial. I actually did not know this for a long time until I searched what a millennial was. Apparently millennials get a bad wrap, that’s okay though I own it! I was born into a military family, where both my mother and father served in the U.S. Army. Also, I have two younger brothers, the youngest serving in the US Army as well. Once I graduated High School I attempted college and quickly found out it was not as great as society and movies made it seem. I decided to follow in my parents foot steps and join the U.S. Army myself, which is the profession I currently am still in today. I have been in the military for just over ten and a half years. With any profession it has had it’s ups and downs but non the less I’ve continued to keep reenlisting to serve. I am married with two wonderful dogs.

Currently I have been writing and reading and continuing my college education. I am a new blogger and writer. Please feel free to reach out with your own tips and guides. Criticism is a great opportunity for me to learn and expand my knowledge base. Most importantly, I hope you enjoy the content!

Feel free to share, give any feedback on any of the posts or reach out to me and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

He has sent me the following article, to give you some idea of his blogging style, and the type of subjects he writes about.

Why should you start writing?

Writing is wonderful! Writing can help you out in so many ways and comes in many shapes and forms. Most people already write in the shape of text messages and posts to their social media page. However the writing I’m going to be talking about is the well thought out, diverse, self writing. That means ink on paper or electronic writing. Not a quick post to your page but the meaningful and fulfilling action of writing. Below is a list of the top five reasons you should not only start writing, but why you should start writing today!

1- Never lose your thoughts and store your ideas

Writing is the premier way to keep a log of your thoughts. It does not need to be written in stone to keep its message. Writing is a great tool to help us all remember the day to day goals, plans, meetings and activities. As people we love sharing our day to day with others. But what about your ideas? Your true ideas I mean. How often do you write them down? I bet it’s not enough as you would like. Imagine that you can look back on your writings and generate new ideas from what you’ve written before. Imagine that someone, somewhere, could find and use your ideas now, or after you are long gone. I’ve once heard that the best ideas are in the graveyard. That’s because no one bothers to share their ideas or their stories yet alone write them down. Don’t let this happen to you! Your ideas and thoughts are so valuable and can be logged onto paper or electronic storage forever. Use your ideas and thoughts whenever you need them, and never lose a great idea from yourself ever again. Start writing!

2- Release your frustration

Everyone deals with stress, all the time, every day. You complete one task and then two more fall into your lap. Sound familiar? This unfortunately is a never ending cycle that none of us humans will ever escape. So we all have to find individual ways to release our frustration and let go of our stress. None of us wants to go through life mad all the time, we just need to get it all out and that’s okay! You can write! Pick up your pen and give that paper a piece of your mind or type your anger into your computer like a keyboard warrior. No one needs to read it and you can delete it or throw it away afterwards. This is a healthy way to get out your anger and stress without embarrassing yourself in front of others or doing something you may regret later.

3- Help others and tell your story

Regardless of what anyone else says, your life is unique and special. People are much more alike than we think. Through writing, you can connect to other people and relate to them. You can help others out, no matter what their circumstances are. Tell your story and the right people will read it. Imagine if you could reach hundreds of thousands of people and change their lives through writing, would you? Because you can. What if you could only reach one person? But you had the ability to help them through a difficult time, prevent suicide or any other number of tragedies, would it be worth it then to share your story? The answer is yes and deep down inside yourself you know that you have a story to tell. Don’t allow fear to get in the way of telling your story, we all have one and we should share it. Your story and your writing can help change lives, so start writing.

4- Connect with others

You would think I am talking about social media here, as the best way to connect with others, however that is not what I mean. The best way to connect with someone is in person or through a heart felt letter or piece of writing. Your friends and family tag you in posts all the time on social media, but it’s not very meaningful at the end of the day most times. What is meaningful is something that comes from the heart. Have you ever had someone write a love song for you? Me either, but image how that would make you feel. Like a thousand bucks. Whens the last time you received a letter in the mail that was hand written? I’m sure it’s been a while. What I’m saying here is that you have the opportunity to reach out to others and make them feel loved, with just a small amount of time. I’m sure grandma loves that you tagged her in that funny meme, but imagine how she would feel if she got a thought out letter from you. Social Media is fine, but if you want to connect with others on a deeper level, start writing like you mean it.

5- For fun and entertainment

That’s right, write for fun. You should start writing for fun most of all. Don’t over think it. You can literally write everywhere and you don’t need internet or wifi. Find your soul and find a beautiful place to sit and write, or find a beautiful soul to write with you. Writing is adventurous, serious, funny, crazy and a whole lot of entertainment. Add writing to your lifestyle and add writer to your resume. You are only limited by your imagination so go wild. Start writing because it is fun!

There’s nothing quite like spilling your thoughts and ideas onto paper. Holding your pen to the open canvas of the page and going for it. For me writing has been quite the ride so far and I look forward to continuing my journey with you all. If you have some great ideas or reasons why you started writing, that you want to share with others, post them below in the comments section!

Here are some links to Jacob’s blog. Please check out his work, and welcome this new member to our great blogging community.
Here’s why written journals aren’t dead
Fifteen Journal Topic Ideas
Why you should comment on writer’s blogs

I know I can count on everyone to show some support, and thank you in advance.
Best wishes as always, Pete.

Featured Blogger: Roger Turner

Today I am happy to feature one of my new followers, Roger Turner. He is an experienced blogger, with a bright and varied blog, covering lots of different subjects. This is his introduction.

“56 year old kid who never grew up. Happily married to love of my life, Megan. Transplanted Brit, living in Canada since 1967. Devoted fan of the Detroit Tigers and huge fan of anything to do with Las Vegas.”

As you can see, he has embraced a new life in North America, and as well as features on music, poetry, and lifestyle, he also posts some glamour photos, as well as comments about the often harsh weather. There is something for everyone indeed. He also writes about sport, including Golf, and has a regular ‘Song Of The Day’ post.

Always seen with a cigar in his photos, he is definitely a character, and we need more of those in our blogging world. If you think this might be something that appeals, here is a link to Roger’s blog.

Featured Blogger: Dani

I am very happy to feature the blog of the lovely Dani, short for Danielle. She is a bookaholic, and a prolific reviewer and promoter of new books online.

As you can see, she has a very different and exclusive look, and amazingly huge eyes! Since she followed my blog, I have been so grateful for her frequent comments, and regular engagement on my posts. New bloggers could learn a lot from her, with they way that she not only adds her thoughts, but interacts with other bloggers who comment too.

Her own blog is a literary feast, and she also espouses causes, and writes about many good themes and ideas. Her personal life story is fascinating to read, and despite her youth, she has already led a full and interesting life.
I really recommend her blog, which can be found here.

She has sent me her own short personal bio too. Here it is.

Hello everyone I am Dani, short for Danielle and I am a bookaholic. I started my book blog a few months ago because I have become more disabled recently and can’t go on adventures like I use to! I am a proud mother of 3 amazing children; Zoey(9), Gabriel(6), and Vincent(2). They give me the strength to push forward.💖 I am a free-spirited woman who loved working, volunteering, taking random road trips and getting involved with the community. When I became disabled and could hardly get out of bed, it tore my spirit down. Not only was I battling getting over liver cancer, I was trying to be a fulltime mother and care-giver to my son’s father. I wasted away until I remembered the days I used to get completely engulfed in reading, and it took me to places I have never been. Now with reading I am able to explore, and to go on so many adventures. Also WordPress has been a big part of my recovery. So many of my “friends” disappeared when I became disabled, but with the blogosphere I have met so many amazing and supportive people! Thanks so much Pete for featuring me! I am so thankful and blessed to have met you. You are an extraordinary gentleman! If anyone would like to follow me on WordPress, I always follow back and interact with all my followers! I hope everyone has a great day!😊

Please check out her blog, especially if you love books, and admire a very happy and enthusiastic young lady! I absolutely love her, and I am sure you will too.