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Strange History What Agent Ness Did Next by T.E. Hodden ........................................................ 7
Duty of Care by Dr. Dominic Pimenta ................................................................ 44
Falkland Island Sausage Rolls by John Greeves .............................................. 13 Cherry Popovers by Poppy Flynn ........................................................................ 31
Autumn Splendor by Melanie P. Smith .............................................................. 24
Wales by Hannah Howe ........................................................................................ 42
The Rocking Chair by Ronald Zaremba ............................................................. 17 The Perfect Day by Dalton Ruer ........................................................................... 26 The Scariest Plane Ride by Sue DeCrescenzo ................................................... 32 Hurricane Punch by Sue DeCrescenzo ............................................................... 36 What Was I Thinking by Keith D. Guernsey ..................................................... 45
Summer Holidays of Childhood by Stan Phillips ............................................ 28 From the Same Source by Stan Phillips .............................................................. 39
New Mornings by Stan Phillips ........................................................................... 46
The Stardust Crusaders by Logan (Age 13) ....................................................... 15
50th Anniversary SS Great Britain by John Greeves ........................................ 10 Call and Response by Father Ian Maher ............................................................. 14 Women of Courage Heroines of SOE by Hannah Howe ................................ 22 Things to Celebrate in September by Poppy Flynn ......................................... 29 Working with Dreams for Psychic Development by Val Tobin .................... 40 Classic Movie: Invasion of the Body Snatchers by T.E. Hodden ................... 47
Laughter is the Best Medicine! by Hannah Howe ............................................ 35
Checkmate in 4—Supplied by Chess.com .......................................................... 21 Sudoku by Mom’s Favorite Reads ........................................................................ 34
20% OFF First Book Promotion with the Fussy Librarian .............................. 33 Connections eMagazine ......................................................................................... 49
Strange History What Agent Ness Did Next by T.E. Hodden There are twelve confirmed victims of the “Butcher of Kingsbury Run”, but there were suspicions of more.
Elliot Ness is used to receiving threats and taunts from criminals. As a Treasury Agent he was famously the head of the Untouchables, the taskforce who took down Al Capone, and the gin runners evading prohibition in Chicago. This is something very different. Since moving to Cleveland, as the Public Safety Director, with oversight of the city police, fire brigade, and other services, Ness has found himself entangled, albeit as a distant supervisor, with a strange new foe. Not a gangster, or an organised crime, but something far more horrific. A murderer has been stalking the shanty towns around the city, choosing his victims from the penniless and displaced, the victims of the Great Depression with no homes, no work, and no lives. Those who nobody would miss. Bits and pieces of them have been found for some time now. Of the twelve confirmed victims, only two will be identified. Six men, and four women, will never be named. Bits of two of them have been left close to city hall, in view of Ness’s window. Let’s rewind.
Eliot Ness joined the Bureau of Prohibition in 1927, assembling a team of Prohibition enforcement personnel known as "The Untouchables" to combat the activities of gangster Al Capone. Ness's career in law enforcement ended in 1944. Following a stint in business and a run for the Cleveland mayorship, Ness sank into debt. He died on May 7, 1957, in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.
On September 23rd, 1935, in Kingsbury Run, Most of Edward Andrassy, and most of another unidentified person, were discovered. The bodies had been horrifically butchered (I shall spare you the gruesome details) and the unknown man had been chemically treated, in some kind of experimental preservative. Thus began the spate of crimes that would continue until 1938, with some suggesting that the murders continued long after.
Many of the victims were drifters, or members of the working poor, passing through the shanty towns and camps of Cleveland Flats, amongst the many made destitute in the depression, with nowhere else to go, and literally no other options.
Run to the ground. Ness was no bystander simply stamping the orders, he took personal charge of the raids. In 1938 the murders seemed to stop. In 1939 somebody claiming to be the killer would contact the authorities, to direct them to another victim, but only animal bones were found, and it was deemed to be no more than a hoax.
We should acknowledge that although Ness had oversight of the police, this was not really ‘his’ case. The detectives of the city’s police force did all they could to hunt the killer, but they faced a daunting task. There was only so much information that forensic science of the time could tell them about the bits of bodies, often discovered long after death, some with signs of chemical preservation muddying the waters.
So, what did happen to the Butcher Of Kingsbury Run? Had the opportunity passed? With Ness’s destruction of the encampments and shanty towns, was the killer unable to snare victims that would go unnoticed? Perhaps. We can only speculate.
With the victims taken from a transient community, they often had no links or ties, and nobody to miss them, or identify them, which made the prospect of tracing their last movements all but impossible.
There were some suspects of interest. One of the few victims to be formally identified was Florence Polillo, who was found a few days after her death in January, 1936. She is generally considered the third victim of the butcher. However, in 1939 a suspect for her murder, Frank Dolezal, was arrested.
None of these, however, prevented Congressman Martin Sweeney from hounding Ness for his failure to protect the city.
Dolezal, an immigrant brick layer in his early fifties, was arrested by a county sheriff. He had lived with Polillo for a while, and had some tenuous links to Edward Andrassy, and Rose Wallace, a potential, but unproven, identity for one of the other victims.
The actions Ness did take in the course of the investigation were controversial. Deeming the shanty towns as a public safety menace, he evicted the residents, clearing them out, and burning Kingsbury
Dolezal was interrogated for some time, and eventually made a number of confessions. He died before he could go to trial, he was found hanged in his cell, under circumstances that are incredibly suspicious. The Cleveland Police Museum (clevelandpolicemuseum.org) called his confessions: ‘A bewildering blend of incoherent ramblings and neat precise details, almost as though he had been coached.’ They also point out that 5’8” Dolezal hanged himself from 5’7” hook, and had six broken ribs at the time of his death, all of them sustained in custody. By FBI / CPD - http://www.clevelandpolicemuseum.org/ -8-
If Dolezal’s death was by his own hand, or murder, it remains a tragedy. His confessions simply did not hold up to either scrutiny or investigation, and he was not considered a serious suspect by anybody other than the County Sheriff, on the slender reason that he lived with Polillo. There was another suspect. Ness himself took a direct hand in the investigation to interrogate a suspect, brought into custody, and given two polygraph tests that he failed to pass, satisfying the expert on hand, of the suspects guilt. The mysterious suspect was said to be a veteran of the Great War, who had (it was said) been assigned to a medical unit, performing many amputations, under horrific circumstances. Ness was not confident there was enough evidence to successfully prosecute, and the investigation was hampered when the suspect committed themselves, putting themselves out of reach of the Police.
Sweeney remained in hospital, and died in a Veteran’s Hospital in 1964.
In 2001 James Badal identified Ness’s suspect as Doctor FE Sweeney, the first cousin of Congressman Sweeney, Ness’s political rival. Badal’s research has given us a compelling case for what Ness knew, or believed about Sweeney.
Until the 1950s he had written taunting letters and postcards, threatening Ness and his family. It is, of course, prudent to note that identifying Sweeney as Ness’s suspect is not the same as proving that he was the Butcher, but ‘The Ness Suspect’ remains the most compelling theory on this haunting, mystery of history.
T.E. Hodden trained in engineering and works in a specialized role in the transport industry. He is a life long fan of comic books, science fiction, myths, legends, and history. In the past he has contributed to podcasts, blogs, and anthologies. Discover more on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/t-e-hodden/ -9-
50th Anniversary of the SS Great Britain by John Greeves 50th anniversary of the return of the world’s first great ocean liner- SS Great Britain. Fifty years ago the spectacular return of Brunel’s SS Great Britain being towed up the River Avon and under the Clifton Suspension Bridge was greeted by thousands of spectators that lined the banks of the river to catch a glimpse of this famous hull before she was finally manoeuvred into the Great Western Dry Dock for the final time. The ship was launched on 19 July 1843 and was a technical marvel designed far ahead of its time, being the first ocean going ship built of iron and the first large vessel fitted with a screw propeller, a double bottom and water tight bulk heads. She is often recognised as the greatgreat grandmother for all modern ships.
In 1882, her propelling machinery was removed and she became a ‘Fully Rigged Sailing Vessel’ but unfortunately ran into a fierce storm off Cape Horn with a cargo of coal. Badly damaged she put into Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Her repair cost was considered uneconomical so she was purchased locally and used as a storage hulk in Port Stanley for many years. Later in 1936 the Great Britain was towed to Sparrow Cove by a Whale Catcher and small tug and she was allowed to sink in shallow water. This could have been the last we heard of the great ship, had it not been for the pioneering effort of Dr Ewan Corlett that involved salvage crews achieving a number of awe-inspiring ‘firsts.’ These included positioning the largest ship ever re-floated onto a pontoon then undertaking the longest ever salvage tow of this kind from the Falkland Islands to Bristol; an 8,000-mile journey taking 87 days which has never been beaten. Funding was given by the English philanthropist Sir Jack Hayward who gave £150,000 to fund the ship’s rescue and bring her back to Bristol. - 10 -
When the team arrived in Sparrow Cove in the Falklands in March 1970, they found the condition of the SS Great Britain much worse than anyone had anticipated. Lyle recalls:
The operation on paper seemed straight-forward, patch up the holes, pump out the water, let the ship float, then manoeuvre her over a submersible pontoon before towing her home. The reality was to prove something else; it was an immensely difficult challenge that was going to take tremendous skill and resolve and a large measure of good luck.
“The main decking where it existed was completely rotten; the Tween decks had no decking at all so placing any equipment on it such as pumps was very hazardous. Inside the bottom of the ship there was at least a couple of metres of mud and debris that had accumulated over the years. The most obvious and ominous structural damage was a huge split in the Starboard side. On diving and digging a tunnel under the ship’s hull we found the split extended right round the Bilge also the Garboard Strake, and only stopped at the keel. If this wasn’t enough, the hull was also riddled with hundreds of wastage holes of varying sizes.”
The operation involved two associated companies. The Southampton salvage company of Risdon Beazley Marine Ltd whose job was to re-float this 2,000 ton hull just long enough over the submerged pontoon (Mulus 3). The pontoon would then be raised with the SS Great Britain in place. The Hamburg Salvage company of Ulrich Harms would then take over and undertake the long tow home. Four salvage divers were hand-picked by Bill O’Neil, (senior salvage officer of Risdon Beazley) each with their own speciality. Falklands born Lyle CraigieHalkett, was one of the divers selected for his local knowledge and specialized in diving and rigging.
Lyle and the other divers worked hours on end, in dark, muddy and freezing conditions patching the multitude of holes. They used 3 ply, rubber strips to make seals and in some places oakum and tallow as used for many years. Meanwhile an appeal went out on local radio for mattresses. The enormous crack was plugged with donated mattresses which would pinch together once the ship was re-floated. “We stuffed the mattresses from the keel to well above where the Salvage Officer said the maximum draft should be. It was quite hard going, pulling the mattresses under the ship, as it took ages before the air would escape particularly with a few mattresses that were of the rubber foam variety. We put plywood over the mattresses, and similar to the holes in the ship’s side, we used hook bolts to hold everything in position,” Lyle says.
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slightly, bubbles appeared indicating the suction to the seabed had broken and she was now afloat. The jubilant team left their breakfast and rushed to see the ship afloat once again after 37 years. It was now the task for the German crew to get the SS Great Britain onto the submerged pontoon.
After two weeks of meticulous work taking down the masts, and patching up holes it was finally time to see if the SS Great Britain would float. On Sunday 5th April the salvage team started to pump the hull out while the Varius 2 (the powerful German stern trawler) manoeuvred the pontoon (Mulus 3) into deeper water and was gently submerged onto the seabed. Pumping began, taking many hours before the salvage team could see any difference in the water level. The usual blocked suction inlets occurred, but the most exhausting task was shifting the large pumps mounted on wheels. There was no firm deck to pull them along and a multitude of rigging had to be used to reposition them. When the water did start to subside numerous new holes appeared that required patching. A non-stop 9-10 gale was blowing during the whole of this operation making the job of further patching even more difficult. Lyle recalls the event: “We had been working very hard, and had continued without sleep for two nights or even a decent meal. It was laborious to say the least to get out of our diving suits and scramble on the Varius 2 to a sit down meal, so the five of us made do with sandwiches and as much coffee as they could bring us from the ship.”
During the subsequent days, the ship was secured. On 24th April 1970, SS Great Britain began an 87day journey back to Bristol. Towed by the Varius 2 with the SS Great Britain’s hull firmly secure on the Mulus 3 pontoon, the strange flotilla made its way through 8000 miles of the Atlantic back to its home city of Bristol to tumultuous acclaim and applause.
The danger and difficulties of this salvage cannot be underestimated. While many received the accolades on the quay side and in the press, Lyle believes that Bill O’Neil, The Salvage Officer in overall charge was never given the recognition he truly deserved for the salvage of the SS Great Britain, and was not even introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh. Bill O’Neil was a modest and a very shy man, plus no stranger to the Falklands being a survivor from H.M.S. Sheffield “The Battle of The River Plate”. Lyle believes had it not been for him, the SS Great Britain would have been lost to the Nation forever.
The water level had gone down considerably and the Great Britain should have been afloat but refused to move. Lyle and his fellow divers in desperation decided to add one final patch after high water. Then they went off for a well-earned shower and breakfast. Meanwhile, assisted by the non-stop force 9-10 gale buffeting, the ship began to rock
Link: https://www.ssgreatbritain.org/ John Greeves originally hails from Lincolnshire. He believes in the power of poetry and writing to change people’s lives and the need for language to move and connect people to the modern world. Since retiring from Cardiff University, Greeves works as a freelance journalist who's interested in an eclectic range of topics.
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Fantastic Falkland Islands Sausage Rolls Submitted by John Greeves
(Recipe submitted by Mrs S Craigie-Halkett) The Falkland Islands Government have invested money to promote Tourism and are using the SS Great Britain’s venue as a good place to advertise the Islands. Hopefully soon, these fantastic Falkland Sausage Rolls may soon be on the menu at the SS Great Britain museum café In ‘Falkland Sausage Rolls’, beef can be used in the recipe instead of lamb but as the Falklands was always sheep country, mutton was the traditional meat used. In fact, the islanders refer to mutton as ‘365’, as sheep abound everywhere on the islands and the main diet is not composed of sea food as one academic claimed. It never was. Today there is a flourishing fishing industry in the Falklands but all the fish is frozen on board and exported way beyond the islands, so the chance of finding fish on your plate is fairly unlikely.
For the filling: 1lb Lamb Mince 1 Large Onion finely minced 3 Slices bread soaked in warm water – squeeze out excess water. 40 gms Paxo Stuffing mixed in 100 ml boiling water (allow to cool) Sprinkle of mixed herbs. Dash Lea & Perrins sauce Salt and Pepper Mix all ingredients together. Short Crust Pastry is generally used. Baste with egg/milk to glaze. Cook for approx. 25/30 mins until golden brown. Oven: 190C, Gas Regulo 6.
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Call and Response by Father Ian Maher It can be an interesting exercise to spend some time reflecting on the direction of your life, along with the people, events and places that have helped shape who you are today. The fact is that none of us live and grow in a vacuum. Instead, we are shaped by the relationships and encounters we experience on our journey through life. There is where we hear God’s call.
fishermen James and John, respond to Jesus’ direct call for them to leave their nets behind and follow him, being told by Jesus that from now they will be catching people. It is striking to consider how willing they were to respond so readily to the call of Jesus on their lives. Few people realise the certainty of their call in such a dramatic way.
Who we are today is a consequence of all that has happened to us and all that we have experienced up to this point, and we will be shaped further by what is to come. The lens through which we see the world is determined by all that has contributed to making us the people that we are. We cannot understand our world except through our own uniqueness.
Far more often the direction of a person’s life comes into focus over a period of time that includes highs and lows, progress and setbacks, joy and despair. But in and through the glorious messiness, if we remain open and attentive to what God is saying to us, God will lead us to where we need to be.
Every baptised Christian is called to be a disciple, a follower, of Jesus. We are not all called to be a Peter; leaving everything behind in the way he did might not be what God is asking us to do: but we are all called. There is no blueprint or set of instructions as to how we might do this. Instead, we must work out God’s call for ourselves within the unique contexts of our lives.
It is in and through our experiences of the world and our encounters with other people that we discern the direction of our lives and the call that God makes upon us. More often than not, it is through wrestling with both the challenges and the humdrumness of life that we find purpose and meaning, and the sense of direction that God is showing to us. Then, it is down to us to decide how we respond.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus within your family, among your neighbours and friends, within the context of your work or career? These and similar questions are worth pondering if we are to take our Christian faith seriously.
In Luke’s gospel (5.1-11) is the story of Jesus calling the first disciples. Simon Peter, along with some other fishermen were washing their nets having laboured all night without a catch. Jesus suggests that they go and cast their nets again. Simon grudgingly agrees and the result is that so many fish are caught in the nets that another boat is needed to help land the catch.
So take a little time out this week to pray and reflect on what God might be saying to you now, at this particular stage of your life. And how you are responding to God’s call.
Astonished by what they have experienced, Simon Peter along with his fellow
Charity link: The Children's Hospital Charity, Sheffield https://www.tchc.org.uk - 14 -
I am a priest and minor canon at Sheffield Cathedral. My last post prior to retirement from stipendiary ministry was as the Multifaith Chaplaincy Co-ordinator and Anglican Chaplain at Sheffield Hallam University, where I worked for 12 years. https://imaherblog.wordpress.com/ Twitter @IanMaher7
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The Stardust Crusaders Submitted by Poppy Flynn Written by Logan Age 13 This is a story about Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar, Noriaki Kakyoin, Muhammad Avdol and Jean Pierre Polnareff and how they saved the world from an evil vampire called Dio. It all starts with Jotaro going to prison. He says he is possessed by an evil spirit and won’t come out of his cell. Later his grandpa named Joseph comes and tells him he has a Stand. Joseph tells him a Stand is the physical manifestation of the fighting spirit. Joseph also has a stand called Hermit purple. Joseph brought his friend named Avdol who also has a Stand to show Jotaro many people have Stands. Avdols Stand was named Magician’s red. Avdol also had cards to name Stands he says to Jotaro you have to trust your Stand will choose the right card. Jotaro picks up a card Avdol looks at it and says your Stands name will be Star platinum.
No one was killed but people were hurt including Joseph. And then Kakyoin found the Stand user who attacked them. He was released from Dio’s mind control but send to prison for crashing the plane. Jotaro and the gang eventually made it to land and decided to get some food. So they went to a fancy restaurant and ordered but a man asked if he could sit by them Joseph said yes but Avdol had a strange feeling about him. Then Kakyoin saw he had one of Dio’s brain wasps! He told the others and they all ran outside to avoid breaking the restaurant.
After that Jotaro go’s home and the next day he goes to school and meets a man called Kakyoin he seemed nice at first but later he attacks Jotaro with his Stand called Hierophant Green but with Jotaro’s Star platinum he beats Kakyoin. He leaves school and brings him home to question him and so Jotaro, Joseph and Avdol find out he was being controlled by a brain wasp. Jotaro pulls it out with his Stand and Kakyoin was safe and joins them to stop Dio.
Avdol said he would take him on. This man then revealed his Stand, it was silver and had a sword. Avdol and this guy fought and Avdol was losing until the man had thought he won and that’s where Avdol got up off the ground and hit him. He was knocked out and while he was Jotaro used Star Platinum to pull out the wasp. 20 minutes later he woke up he explained everything. His name was Polnareff he was French, 23 years old and had a Stand called Silver Chariot. He ask everyone if he could join them to stop Dio. because Dio killed his little sister 2 years ago. They all agreed he could and so Polnareff joined the team.
Then Joseph books tickets to Egypt to find Dio. The next day they all get to the airport to get on their flight. But a Stand user who is being controlled by Dio was also on the plane with them. With his Stand he attacked them but as Jotaro tried to hit him, his Stand punched a hole the side of the plane. Everyone was panicking and the pilots didn’t know what to do, later the plane crashed into the ocean.
End of part 1 - 16 -
Rocking Chair by Ronald Zaremba “Oh my!” Abby looked up from planting flowers to see an old woman trip and fall against the large maple tree near the street in front of her house. Abby got up and ran over to her. “Are you all right? I told my Dad about this walkway.” “Dear child at my age you can trip over the smallest crack,” the old woman said. “Please come and sit on the porch and rest a while.” “I would like that very much.” Abby held her arm going up the steps and on to the porch. Even though it was ninety degrees the old woman felt ice cold to the touch. Her skin was smooth and supple without any age blemishes. Abby helped her to a rocking chair. “Would you like a glass of water?” “In a bit my dear, please sit with me.” Abby sat down beside the frail woman and held her cold hand rubbing it gently trying to warm it. “What’s your name child?” “Abby.” “That’s a very pretty name.” “I think I was named for my great grandmother.” The old woman nodded and rocked gently back and forth for a few minutes in silence as she looked around. “You know, I once had a porch like this and a rocking chair. My rocking chair was red. It was one of a kind, even though it looked like those sitting in front of a Cracker Barrel. It was hand made by my father.” “My Dad made these chairs. It took him almost
a year and I think he went through a forest worth of trees.” The old woman laughed. Then she moved her hands along the armrests and inspected the rest of the chair. “Yes, I can tell. Each piece was carefully cut, planed, sanded and fitted together by caring hands. I prized mine above my diamond engagement ring.”
A light breeze played with the wind chimes hanging from the corner of the porch. The old woman glanced up and delighted in the happy commotion. After a minutes distraction she leaned back in her chair and recalled a time filled with bitter-sweet memories. “At first I didn’t have a lot of time to sit in it, just stolen moments at the end of a busy day.” She looked down at the rocking chair and rubbed her fingers back and forth on the arm rests. “As my children grew up, they spent more time away from home, my rocking chair became more of an old friend. I would finish my household chores by early afternoon and would go out to the porch and sit in my chair embraced by its comforting arms. As the world turned colder and dear friends departed, I would turn to my rocker for warmth and safety. Oh Tom, my husband, was there every step of the way both good and bad. But that rocking chair was a place where I could search my inner most feelings without being judged or given a second thought of advice from a caring but not fully - 17 -
understanding husband or friend.” She turned to Abby and pointed a thin finger at her. “My dear, you will understand this over time.”
They sat in silence, just rocking back and forth for a few more minutes. The old woman turned to Abby and smiled. “You have pretty blue eyes.”
Abby pursed her lips. Her eyes opened wide. She was spellbound by the old woman’s voice. It was soft in tone and warmth but had the calm confidence of authority.
“Thank you, My Dad’s eyes are blue too. It runs in the family.” “Yes it does.” The old woman turned and looked straight ahead and seemed to focus on something far-away, “Every Fourth of July, Tom and I would host a gathering for family and friends. At twilight, after a day of gossip, delicious food, games and the inevitable squabbles, everyone would take up positions on and around the porch. I would sit in my rocking chair and Tom would sit next to me smoking his pipe. We would watch the fireworks display being put on in the field across the way. One Fourth of July the fireworks occurred on the porch.”
“Over the years I would defend my rocking chair from malicious predators.” “Malicious predators? Who would want to hurt your rocking chair?” “Well, one day for some bizarre reason Clementine, the neighbor’s dog, came onto my porch and started chewing on one of the legs of my rocker. When I saw what was happening through the window, I rushed out there with my broom and started swinging with such ferocity I knocked that dog into next week. That critter never again set a paw in my yard, not even to chase squirrels up that ancient maple tree growing next to my porch.”
“Really,” Abby said. “Fireworks on the porch. I hope no one got burnt.”
The old woman rolled her eyes, touched Abby’s cheek and smiled. “Cousin Thelma and her family showed up as usual like a plague of locusts. The kids would devour everything in sight and Thelma and Tony would guzzle enough beer to drain a brewery. This one particular year Thelma started spouting off about her new dining room set and how it was made of the finest maple and the chair armrests were ornately hand carved and polished to perfection. I said it sounded nice and wished her luck with it but preferred the plane curve style like my rocking chair. Well, one thing led to another and in a drunken rage Thelma poured her beer all over my chair and spit on it too. I was in no mood to take guff from that moose, so I slapped her in the face to get her undivided attention. Then I decked her with a roundhouse that sent her tumbling off the porch into my rose bushes.” The old woman’s face brightened with a look of satisfaction. “They said you could hear her screams all the way on the other end of the county. On the positive side,
Abby laughed. “That poor dog. Our neighbor has a dog like that. When I catch her digging in my plant beds, I give her a little squirt with the hose. She sort of runs away. She is a good dog.” The old woman nodded. “Good, that’s a start.” She reached over and squeezed Abby’s hand and continued. “There was this slick salesman that tried to get me to buy life insurance. He passed an off the cuff comment about my chair trying to make a sales point. The only thing it got him was my stern invitation to leave before I returned with my husband’s shotgun. I would have loaded that guy’s ass up with birdshot had he not made a strategic turnabout and ran as fast as he could for his car.” “You’re one tough woman.” “You must be tough to thrive in this world.” “Would you like a glass of water now?” “In a little while my dear.” - 18 -
clonk, clonk, clonk, came from the rails of the rockers rolling over the gaps between the wood planks of the porch.
Thelma had her jaw wired shut for three months, giving Tony some relief. And they never came back for another 4th of July. On the negative side my rose bushes suffered horribly.”
The old woman gazed up at the roof overhang, “One day in mid-summer a thunderstorm struck without warning. High winds, heavy rain and a well-placed bolt of lightning uprooted and toppled that hundred year old maple tree. It hit my front porch like the hammer of Thor crashing on the Earth. My rocking chair was splintered into tiny unrecognizable pieces along with the porch. I had that rocker for the better part of 70 years.”
“You are such a delicate woman. I find it hard to believe that you would hit someone.” The old woman turned and peered into Abby’s eyes. “Sometimes looks are deceiving, as you will find out my dear.” Abby felt an odd coolness come over her. The old woman continued, “As my chair weathered from the elements so my heart weathered from life. There was the time Jimmy, my youngest, skinned his knees in a terrible fall off his bike when he was five. I sat him in my lap and held him rocking back and forth for what seemed an eternity. I wanted to stop time. I had a premonition about my baby and wanted to savor those fleeting moments.” She paused for a moment as her eyes became glassy and her throat tightened. “Fourteen years later, on a raw day in February, I sat silently in my chair methodically rocking back and forth immersed in unbearable grief. I clutched a tri-folded American flag in my lap, slowly reliving the events of my Jimmy’s short life.”
“You’ve had quite a life and those stories are fascinating,” Abby said. “Daughter, those stories are as true as your eyes are blue. Now I’ll have that glass of water.” A few minutes later Abby walked on to the porch with a tall glass of cold water just as her father walked up the front steps. “Hi Abby, is that water for me?” “It’s for the old woman sitting…” Abby looked around. “She was here a minute ago. You must have seen her.”
“Oh ma’am, I am so sorry. My Dad had an uncle killed in a war. My Dad said his uncle was killed before he was born.”
“I just got here. There was no one on the porch or on the sidewalk.”
The old woman clutched Abby’s hands. “I know my child. My heart is in tatters. Your Dad was deprived of a beautiful life. Now listen to me carefully. Remember, you need a place of refuge, a place of solitude, a place where you can regroup your thoughts, and draw comfort and strength. You need a place where you can get a respite from all the daily nit-picking of loved ones and others. This special place can be anywhere, even in plain sight. Life is merciless especially to the weak.” Abby sat back in her chair with her eyes wide open. She felt a new state of awareness wash over her. The breeze stopped. The wind chimes quieted. The only sound, a rhythmic clonk, - 19 -
“She is old and frail. She couldn’t have just disappeared.” Abby ran to the street and looked around. She saw not a soul.
has it that she would defend that rocking chair at the drop of a hat.” “Well I’m telling you my story is as true as your eyes are blue.”
TWO WEEKS LATER.
“That’s what grandma would say to my Dad when he didn’t believe her.”
“Dad, remember that lady I told you about?” “Yes, the old lady that wasn’t there on the porch.”
“That’s what she said to me.”
“I was looking through those old photo albums you moved from the attic. Look here, this is her. What’s her name?”
“Really, what else did she say?”
He looked at the photo. “Abby that’s impossible. That’s my grandmother. Her name was Abby. We named you after her. But she died when you were about eighteen months old. A tree fell on her porch while she was sitting in her rocking chair during a thunderstorm. Family legend
“She said the rocking chairs were well made. And…” “Just some girl talk.” Abby picked up the photo album. “Dad, I’m going to sit in my rocking chair for a while.”
I like to write satire, short stories and opinion pieces. I am finishing up two short pulp fiction type novels. Now retired, I was in industrial sales. I met lots of people in my travels and have blended some of their traits into characters of good and bad standing.
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Chess Supplied by Chess.Com Black to move. Checkmate in four.
Supplied by https://chess.com the #1 chess website. Used with permission. For more chess puzzles please visit https://chess.com You can find answers for this activity on the Momâ€™s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/magazines/activities/ - 21 -
Women of Courage Heroines of SOE by Hannah Howe
Lise Marie Jeanette de Baissac Lise Marie Jeanette de Baissac was born on 11 May 1905 in Mauritius, which made her a British subject. Of French descent, she was the youngest of three children. In 1919 Lise and her family moved to Paris. When the Germans occupied Paris in 1940 Jean, her eldest brother, joined the British Army while Lise and her youngest brother, Claude, travelled for six months through Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar before arriving in Britain. In Britain, Claude was recruited by the SOE while initially Lise worked at the Daily Sketch newspaper. Soon, Lise joined Claude in the SOE. However, instead of being trained for the usual roles of courier or wireless operator, Lise was instructed to create her own resistance circuit.
complete security for material help and information on local details, and to organise the pickup of arms drops from Britain to assist the French resistance.
Lise trained with Mary Herbert, Jacqueline Nearne and Odette Sansom. She impressed her trainers with her ability and her imperturbable, cool reactions. They regarded her as intelligent, strong-minded and decisive, with a flair for organisation.
Cover stories were vital to SOE agents. For her cover story Lise was Madame Irene Brisse, a poor widow from Paris, seeking refuge in the provinces from the tension of life in the capital. She moved into an apartment on a busy street near the Gestapo HQ, and became acquainted with the Gestapo chief, Herr Grabowski.
On 24 September 1942, Lise and AndrĂŠe Borrel were the first female SOE agents to parachute into France. The agents jumped from a Whitley bomber and landed in the village of Boisrenard near the town of Mer. Their mission was to establish a safe house in Poitiers where new agents could settle into their secret lives.
Posing as an amateur archeologist, Lise cycled around the countryside to reconnoitre possible parachute drop-zones and landing areas for the RAF. When local networks collapsed and the Gestapo closed in, Lise was flown back to Britain. There, while assisting new recruits in training, she broke her leg.
Liseâ€™s role was to form a new circuit and to establish a centre where agents could go with
With her leg healed, on 10 April 1944 Lise returned to France where she rejoined her brother - 22 -
Claude. After D-Day, she gathered information on German dispositions and passed that information on to the Allies. She was bold enough to rent a room in a house occupied by the local commander of the German Forces. According to Lise, on one occasion, “The Germans arrived and threw me out of my room. I arrived to take my clothes and found they had opened up the parachute I had made into a sleeping bag and were sitting on it. Fortunately they had no idea what it was.” In the summer of 1944 Lise enjoyed another lucky escape when cycling from Normandy to Paris. She was searched by a young soldier at a German checkpoint while carrying spare parts of radio sets around her waist. Later, Lise said, “He searched me very carefully. I knew he could feel the things I was carrying. But he said nothing. Perhaps he was looking for a weapon like a revolver, maybe he thought it was a belt. I do not know.”
Lise’s colleagues spoke very highly of her. Captain Blackman, the leader of an SAS party in France wrote: “Every day she would cycle sixty or seventy kilometres. She often carried much compromising material on her person and bicycle, such as wireless material and secret documents. If she had been discovered carrying such things she would have been undoubtedly shot on the spot without trial or formal enquiry. Consequently she risked her life daily.” Lise continued her SOE activities until the liberation, organising several groups and providing the Allies with information. She was also
involved in sabotage missions, setting tyre bursters and mines on roads used by the military, cutting telephone wires, underground cables and railway lines. On at least one occasion she took part in an attack on an enemy column. After the war Lise married Gustave Villameur, an artist and interior designer living in Marseille. She died on 29 March 2004, aged 98. In 2008, Lise’s life was recaptured in the highly fictionalised French film Female Agents (Les Femmes de l’ombre).
Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann's War Mystery Series and the #1 international bestseller Saving Grace. Hannah's books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into ten languages. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe - 23 -
Autumn Splendor (Utah) by Melanie P. Smith https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/melanie-p-smith/
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The Perfect Day by Dalton Ruer It's the inner voice in each of these athletes that determines their fate, not a screenwriter or director. They alone are prepared, or not, to control the 8" between their ears as calls go for and against them. As the wind catches a ball for good or bad. Will an error unravel them or will they accept it as resulting from mathematical odds? Will they face the next pitch that the pitcher hurls? Will they relive the ball that the umpire called a strike in the last pitch for the rest of the day? Will they have the fortitude to rise above the frigid temperature or will thoughts of tournaments in the spring mingle with the reality in front of them?
The movie begins as the sun begins its ascent over a luscious field of grass covered with dew. One by one, a camera brings the golden sun kissed and freckled faces of young women into the frame. As it pans out, you see the broader canvas. These aren't individuals; they’re a softball team. Soon you realize they are but one team of many, warming up for the battles ahead. Heartwarming orchestra music draws you in. As the prelude fades, you hear the determined voices of the coaches and the players. Leaders. Warriors. Encouraging, motivating, assuring one another that on this day, they will prevail. The camera slows as the crescendo builds and rests on the heroine. Having completed her mental preparations, she removes her ear buds and puts them away. She knows deep down, she’s got this. She pumps her fist and storms out of the dugout. Her metal cleats on the concrete overtake you. You are in the game with her as the umpire shouts the familiar battle cry, "Play ball!"
Those mental ghosts danced before me throughout the morning as game after game was played on the eight fields surrounding me. As the clouds continued their easterly dance, the warm Georgia sun kissed the fields and the players on them, those that were battling, enduring game after game. One by one, players’ cheers were replaced with tears. Their dreams of taking home the trophy had unceremoniously faded like the sun.
I assure you, the picture differed greatly from the cliché Hollywood story I painted for you. As I approached the cloud covered, frost bitten fields in Duluth, Georgia late in the fall of 2011, I could see my breath. Players wore layer upon layer of clothing, clinging to warmth before their games began. Their red faces were a result of the cold and the wind, not the sun. I'd like to say a heroine stood out like a woman among girls as they walked to the field. Alas, that was not the case. At 7:00 AM, every player was a mirror image of the others. Undaunted and focused on their mission, for sure, but untested and unproven.
Late in the evening, I prepared myself for the championship game. My body warmed only by memories of the day. Great plays by great players. What Hollywood screenwriters miss is that Championship games bless only one team and discard the rest. One of the teams had a high national acclaim. The other, a local team without accolades, one that I loved personally and respected professionally. While they won and lost games over the years, they never let me down. On this particular evening, they played in such a way that caused me to jump out of my - 26 -
seat. Despite cold knees, a stiff back, and wail my mitten covered hands all around. This team had tears of joy welling up in their eyes because they knew they were going to bed forever changed by what they had just accomplished together. Like David facing their Goliath, they delivered a fatal blow. Being able to watch their victory is a memory I will never forget.
Although this day occurred nearly 7 years ago, it's still as fresh and raw for me emotionally as it was then. What I love about this game is that the level of emotion I still experience thinking about that day is that it’s never reached at 7:00 AM. Unfailingly, these types of wins only surface late at night, after grinding out a long day and overcoming adversity. This team held. They focused. They protected. They won.
Down by six runs, they were undaunted. They knew that like life, the real battles are won by what you still can achieve, not by focusing on what others have already achieved. They banded together for a late inning, movie worthy rally, marked by lots of singles, bunts that moved runners along, and dives into bases. They pushed the boundaries physically and mentally. Fate put the perfect-size rock into the slingshot of a player who capitalized on the moment. A fist pumping Grand Slam. All that was needed was to follow the Under-Armor ™ slogan and “Protect this House.” One more time on defense. One more time to rise above the emotions and focus on the next pitch, the next ball coming at them. The next throw they had to make.
To the 2011, 18 and under Gold Duluth Wildcats, I say: Thank you for the opportunity to watch a team who despised losing and fought until the end, never yielding an inch physically or mentally. Thank you for the opportunity to watch a team who never turned down the throttle on their intensity just because it was cold and late. Thank you for the opportunity to watch a team who always lifted one another up, never doubted, and persistently overcame adversity. Thank you for the perfect day.
Dalton Ruer is a Data Scientist Storyteller. He is a seasoned author, speaker, blogger and YouTube video creator who is best known for dynamically sharing inconvenient truths and observations in a humorous manner. The passion which Dalton shares thru all mediums moves and motivates others to action.
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Summer Holidays of Children by Stan Phillips
Do you recall those long summer holidays of childhood? Those meandering days filled with games, running in fields, or wandering aimless down a street ablaze with an explosion of sunshine. Kicking a stone.
Ants annoyed. Dragonflies fascinated. And life drifted gently by to bring us where? To here? Yes, to this strange and lonely now.
Throwing pebbles into a stream, and counting the ripples as they spread out to infinity. Or skimming a stone across the surface of a golden lake. And birds sang their summer songs of passing youth. Motes of dust danced on beams of light. Blossoms cavorted on soft breezes. Picnics in the woods.
For look around and ask yourself this summer. This middle aged season. Ask, where are the bees? Where are the butterflies? Where are the wasps? Where are the dragonflies? For I see few of them now. And wonder where they went with the passing of my years.
And the bumble bees flew precariously through the flowers. The butterflies, extravagantly multi hued flashed briefly across those lost and languid days. Wasps threatened.
And just what does their absence mean for our fragile world? Stan Phillips 2020 ©
Stan Phillips is an 80 year old poet, musical podcast maker, part-time wannabe male model, and occasional stand up comedian. “I used to be a psychotherapist/counsellor when I had an honest job. I was born into prewar London, and attended 17 schools (my father believed they couldn’t hit a moving target) and I eventually finished up here in Ireland. Still wondering what I will be when I grow up — but enjoying writing my quirky poetry as I do so.” Discover more about Stan on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips - 28 -
Things to Celebrate in September by Poppy Flynn September 9th - International Sudoku Day The game that took the world by storm. Try your hand at the puzzle in this months magazine.
Every day of month has some kind of official celebration and usually more than one! It might be big, it might be small…it might be wacky or downright bizarre! There are over 1500 National Days throughout the year, here’s just one observance of the many for each day in September 2020.
September 10th - National TV Dinner Day In 1953, C.A. Swanson & Sons changed the pre-packaged meal business with the introduction of the TV Dinner which revolutionised prepackaged, frozen convenience food. Today the term is synonymous with microwave meals.
September 1st - Cherry Popover Day - celebrate with the recipe at the end of this article. September 2nd - VJ Day (WWII) There is always some confusion surrounding this celebration as there are actually three dates connected to Victory over Japan or VJ Day. August 14th, the actual date of surrender; August 15th, the day it was announced to the world and September 2nd which is the date that the formal surrender ceremony was held in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri. At that time, President Truman declared September 2nd to be VJ Day.
September 11th - No News is Good News Day - The idea here is that everybody turns off their radios and TV’s and cancels the newspapers, undoubtedly as a response to the harrowing events of 2001 September 12th - National Video Games Day - Gamers will be pleased to know there are a few of these, another one being in July. Not that any excuse is needed, I’m sure.
September 3rd - National Welsh Rarebit Day - Is it just a fancy name for cheese on toast? You decide!
September 13th - Fortune Cookie Day What does yours say?
September 4th - National Wildlife Day - created to celebrate the life of the late wildlife conservationist, ‘the Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, who died on 4th September 2006 September 5th - International Day of Charity - Although originally a Hungarian initiative to commemorate Mother Teresa’s death, this celebration took off worldwide in 2012 when the UN declared it an international holiday. September 6th - Read a Book Day - What better reason to curl up with your favourite read?
September 14th - Cream-Filled Donut Day Guess what treats are on the menu today.
September 7th - Salami Day - Try some for your lunch.
September 15th - Greenpeace Day - Commemorating the movement that was founded in 1971
September 8th - International Literacy Day celebrating and promoting literacy worldwide, this day was created by the United Nations in 1965.
September 16th - Guacamole Day - Make sure you have some fresh avocados in stock so you can whip up a batch. - 29 -
September 17th - Monte Cristo Day - No, it’s not what you’re thinking. A Monte Cristo is actually a fried ham and cheese sandwich which the French call the croque-monsieur inspired by Monte Cristo.
September 24th - National Punctuation Day Full stops, commas, apostrophes and question marks. They clarify meaning. Without them, meaning would be lost or up for interpretation.
September 25th - Comic Book Day - Dig out all those old favourites. Which one was yours?
September 18th - Cheeseburger Day - In 1926 Lionel Sternberger is reported to have ‘experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger’ at his father's Pasadena sandwich shop and the humble cheeseburger was born.
September 26th - International Rabbit Day always celebrated on fourth Saturday in September, this is a nod to the third most popular pet behind cats and dogs.
September 19th - Talk Like a Pirate Day - Avast Ye, me hearties! September 20th - Pepperoni Pizza Day - Recognising the most popular pizza ever created.
September 21st - International Peace Day - Created by the United Nations and celebrated in hundreds of different countries, all with the same goal in mind…the global cessation of war and violence.
September 27th - World Tourism Day - raising awareness of the need for accessible tourism all over the planet.
September 22nd - Hobbit Day - Celebrating the birthdays of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings fame.
September 29th - Coffee Day - I’m guessing they thought you might need this after all that beer!
September 23rd - National Great American Pot Pie Day - Typically including both a flaky top and bottom crust. Fill them with chicken, beef, pork or seafood and any manner of vegetables to create tour own personal favourite.
September 30th - Love People Day - Founded in 2017 to inspire the spirit of unconditional love as a national event to bring us all together. Spread a little love today.
September 28th - National Drink Beer Day Does what it says on the can.
Poppy Flynn was born in Buckinghamshire, UK and moved to Wales at eight years old with parents who wanted to live the 'self-sufficiency' lifestyle. Today she still lives in rural Wales and is married with six children. Poppy's love of reading and writing stemmed from her parents' encouragement and the fact that they didn't have a television in the house. "When you're surrounded by fields, cows and sheep, no neighbors, no TV and the closest tiny village is four miles away, there's a certain limit to your options, but with books your adventures and your horizons are endless." Discover more about Poppy on Mom's Favorite Reads website:
https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/poppy-flynn - 30 -
Cherry Popovers Submitted by Poppy Flynn September 1st is Cherry Popover Day, so celebrate by serving up this quick & easy recipe Popovers are basically a batter mix of the type that is used for Pancakes or Yorkshire pudding, with the addition of other ingredients. In the UK, the best-known type is probably Toad in the Hole (thatâ€™s a batter with sausages added, for anyone not familiar) and, as you probably guessed, Cherry Popovers add cherries.
Method Preheat oven to 220 centigrade ( 450F) and oil popover tins or a muffin tray
Personally, I find that the best batter is always the old fashioned one that goes right back to imperial measurements and uses the rough guide of the same amount, in numbers, of flour and milk and half that number of eggs. So 8 oz of flour, 8 fluid oz of milk and 4 eggs for example, (or 6/3 or 4/2, depending on how big you want it.) But Iâ€™ll try and convert that into something more modern and recognisable in this day and age.
Crack the eggs into the flour and stir roughly, then gradually add the milk, beating well to avoid lumps. Add sugar if you prefer a slightly sweeter tasting batter. Fill each tray half full with the batter then top up with cherries
Bake for 15 minutes at 220c (450F) then reduce the heat to 175c (350F) for a further 15 minutes. Do not open the oven, or the popovers will deflate.
225g (8 oz) plain flour 4 eggs 250ml (8 fl oz) milk 200g pitted cherries 1 tbs sugar (optional)
Turn onto a rack and slit with a knife to let the steam escape, then dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
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The Scariest Plane Ride by Sue DeCrescenzo Earlier in my travel adventures, ok when I was a kid, vomit was always involved. Every summer, seven kids and my folks would pile in the VW bus and travel from New Jersey to Maine to our summer home. And no matter how hard I tried not to I would get car sick. My Dad would give me Dramamine, which would make me sleepy, but as soon as I woke up, I get sick again. I loved going to ME so I endured the motion sickness as best I could. Finally, when I learned how to drive, I “outgrew” that nauseous feeling. However, to this day, I can’t sit backwards or read while a car is in motion.
So why am I telling you about vomit? You probably figured out that flying in an airplane also includes getting motion sickness. When I flew for the first time, I got sick on myself, on the person next to me and even gave a flight attendant or two.
Vomiting was not limited to driving in a car. It also happened on amusement park rides and of course boats. I am fine on a lake. However, if it’s on the ocean, the boat must keep moving. As soon as the boat stops and we’re rocking on the waves, I turn as green as the Chicago River on St. Paddy’s Day. This limits whale watching trips or treks to islands off the coast of ME. And I’m proud to say that I’ve done both, but the Captain and the crew always make some wise crack about me leaving “chum” for the fish.
The scariest plane ride I experienced cured me of getting sick on planes. Let me explain. I was returning from a great European adventure. I was relaxed, but ready to get home and share my adventures. The plane was full, and I was in the middle seat between a woman who gave off the vibe, don’t talk to me and the biggest, meanest biker dude I’ve ever seen. You know the type with greasy hair, a million tats and lots of piercings. The pilot made the announcements and the flight attendants informed everyone to fasten their seat belts. My typical flight ritual consists of making sure that there is a puke bag in the seat pocket. Take offs are not too bad; landings are always a challenge. Since it would be hours before we descended, I breathed a sigh of relief - 32 -
The big mean dude sitting next to me was watching all this. He leaned over and in the most menacing voice, almost a growl, said, if you get sick, I’ll hurt you. And from the tone of his voice, I believed him. I held on, and held it in.
when the pilot announced we reached flying altitude. About an hour or so into the flight, the plane started to “bump” from air turbulence. This went on longer than normal; then the pilot announced, “We’re hitting a bit of turbulence, so please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts.” Ironically, at the same time, the movie being shown was The River Wild starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. Now, I had the pleasure of rough turbulence in the plane and watching Meryl and Kevin riding the rapids. I started to turn green and grabbed for the puke bag.
Next, we hit a storm front so hard, people that were standing fell and people that didn’t buckle their seat belts hit their heads on the ceiling. As we lost altitude, emergency lights in the aisle came on. In a matter of minutes, we recovered, and it was a smooth sailing for the remainder of the flight. And I’m happy to say, my seatmate didn’t harm me, I didn’t get sick and to this day, I never gotten air sick again. Maybe someday I’ll run into him and thank him.
Susan has a varied background in customer service, account management, technical writing, course development, and training. Her specialties are Team leadership, training, technical writing, and public relations. Connect with Susan via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-j-decrescenzo-527148/
We are excited to announce that Goylake Publishing has teamed-up with the Fussy Librarian and in partnership we are offering you 20% off your first book promotion with the Fussy Librarian. To qualify for this promotion, your book must be either permafree or listed free during a special offer. In our experience, the Fussy Librarian is the best book promoter in the business. When we promote with him, our free books always reach the top five of Amazon’s genre charts, most often they reach the top three. We promote with the Fussy Librarian every month and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Prices start from as low as $15, minus our special discount of 20%. Click here: https://authors.thefussylibrarian.com/?ref=goylake for full details. And, at the checkout, be sure to enter this code: goylake20 to claim your 20% discount. Thank you for your interest. And good luck with your promotion! - 33 -
Sudoku By Momâ€™s Favorite Reads
Puzzle created with www.TheTeachersCorner.net. You can find the answers for this activity on the Momâ€™s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/magazines/activities/ - 34 -
Contributions by Hannah Howe
Misheard Lyrics “These ants are my friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind.” Bob Dylan.
“Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight”. R.E.M., ‘Losing my Religion’. “Take your teeth out, tell me what’s wrong”. ABBA, ‘Chiquitita’.
“We built this city on sausage rolls.” Jefferson Starship. “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”. ABBA, ‘Dancing Queen’. “Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tangerine”. ABBA, ‘Dancing Queen’. “Saving his life from this warm sausage tea” Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
“Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.” The Monkees, ‘I’m a Believer’.
“Gimme Gimme Gimme a man after midnight, take me to the doctors at the break of the day”. ABBA, ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’.
“Kicking your cat all over the place”. Queen, ‘We Will Rock You’.
“There’s a bathroom on the right.” Credence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising.
“I’ve been waiting for this snowman all my life.” Phil Collins, In the Air Tonight.
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Hurricane Punch by Sue DeCrescenzo
Mystical Maidens Series The weather forecast wasn’t good. A category 5 hurricane was aimed directly at Florida’s Gulf Coast. The sounds of hammers nailing plywood over windows were heard all around Sydney’s neighborhood. Her parents left her the family home and moved out west. They were tired of the humidity and the threat of storms. Most of the neighbors left were her parents age. Several of Sydney’s friends came to help shore up the neighborhood in exchange they could come to her house and shelter during the storm. Sydney made sure there was plenty of batteries, candles, matches, granola bars, bottle water, snacks, and peanut butter sandwiches. Her friends brought pizzas, beer and “fixins” for the hurricane punch. After several hours, the winds picked up, but Sydney’s friends had done a great job of securing neighbor’s windows, loose patio furniture, potted plants, etc. They were as ready as they could be. Sydney did a final check of her lanai and watched the sky. The clouds moved in one direction, the winds another. The sky was pea soup green. The humidity was so thick it was almost hard to breathe. Syd could see the ocean off in the distance. It was boiling and turning like a pot of water about ready to boil over. The air conducted an electrical current as another lightning bolt crashed on the horizon. Sydney had lived all her life in FL, and she hadn’t seen anything like this before. Something didn’t feel right, but she shook if off and joined her friends inside. Her friends had already decided, the heck with it – let’s party. Someone made up a batch of “hurricane punch” in a garage pail. Music played, people danced, and laughter drowned out the winds and rain. Sydney keep checking the forecast. The storm was still stalled off the islands south of FL. Now the party was in full swing. The lights flickered; then went off. The partied on.
Then just as quickly as the storm started to move north, the winds died down, the sky changed to a deep blue, the sea calmed down and the worst of the storm passed out to sea. They were all spared. Some say it was a miracle. Others said there was magic in the air. However, miracles and magic aside, there was no electrical power. It was 90 degrees and Sydney couldn’t breathe. No one else seemed to notice. Sydney left the party and headed for the beach. Sydney’s head ached, her tongue felt like sandpaper and her stomach was doing backflips. Note to self; never drink anything ever again called Hurricane Punch mixed in a garage pail. As Sydney walked onto the beach, the sand felt cool on her bare feet. At some point, she decided that the cool sand would feel good on her forehead, so she laid down. In fact, it felt so good; she fell asleep. Syd opened her eyes. Something woke her up. She looked around then brushed the sand off her face. She vaguely remembered how much she drank. Ugh, she vowed, never again. Everything seemed blurry, but Syd thought when she left the party, it was dark. Now the moon lit up the entire beach. She sat up slowly and noticed something sticking out in the sand. It looked like a large brass teapot. Syd thought, it must have washed up in the storm. She picked it up, brushed off the sand and seaweed. It gave off an eerie glow, then got warm and Sydney dropped it. A cloud of steam escaped from the spout.
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Sydney thought to herself. I just survived a hurricane and the worst hangover of my life. I guess I can play along with this guy. He appears harmless. OK, I want $100 million dollars (after taxes) deposited in my bank account. No strings and it must appear like I always had it. Jardin shrugged. Not much imagination young lady. In fact, why did you only ask for $100 million? Why not more? However, your wish is my command. He crossed his arms, repeated more mumbo jumbo, and spun around three times. Jardin said, the money is in your bank account. However, Jardin chuckled; I will warn you there is a penalty for early withdrawal.
From behind her someone said, “Great, I am washed up on some god forsaken beach in FL and my Master is a drunk.”
Great, Sydney thought. I have a magic Genie who thinks he is a comedian. Unfortunately, due to the storm, she had no cell and no internet service to verify she is a millionaire anyway. She said aloud, I suppose if I ask for cell and internet service, I will use up my last wish?
As Sydney turned, she said, Excuse me. I am not a drunk. I just had one too many “hurricanes” and now I wish my head would stop pounding.
Jardin nodded his head, yes. And better for me, I can pop back into my lantern and be on my way. I have sand stuck everywhere and it’s ruining my silks. Jardin brushes off his pants and made a disgusted face.
The voice said, be careful what you wish for! Then she heard the voice whisper some mumbo jumbo. Within minutes, Sydney felt great. Her head was clear, no stomach backflips and she could speak without her tongue getting caught on the roof of her mouth.
Sydney thought to herself, real Genie or not, I am incredibly lucky. I have a family who loves me, lots of great friends, and I just survived a hurricane. If it’s true, I now have a $100 million dollars in the bank and no hang over. What else could a girl hope for?
What just happened? Sydney asked. The voice replied, you just used up one of your three wishes. Sydney realized that the voice belonged to a man, but he was dressed in a jeweled costume made from silks and wearing bizarre looking shoes. Sydney thought, he’s dressed like that woman from the old TV show, I Dream of Jeannie.
As if Jardin could read her thoughts, he offered some unsolicited “wish” advice. Don’t ask for world peace or to end human suffering. Those are out of my wheelhouse. Sydney grew quiet. She took in her surroundings – the beach, ocean, moon light and the stars. She sighed and said. Can I walk for a little while and think about this? After all, I kind of blew my first wish and I can’t verify my second wish until we get cell or internet service again.
Sydney said, now you’re going to tell me that you popped out of that lantern, you’re a magic Genie and I only have two wishes left? The man replied. You are correct. You feel better, don’t you? My name is Jardin. I did just pop out of that lantern and you only have two wishes left.
Jardin sighed and nodded his head in agreement. After all it’s your last one. Don’t go too far. I really need to get back inside my lantern before the sun comes up. - 37 -
Sydney nodded, stood up and walked a short distance lost in her thoughts. The breeze had picked up and off in the distance she thought she could see lights on. That meant power was restored and possibly internet service. Just for fun she checked her cell and it worked; then she checked her bank account and the money was there.
waterspouts offshore just for show. Tapping his foot impatiently, Jardin said, are you ready to tell me yet? I’ll be gone by first light and you’ll blow this wish too. Sydney smiled, paused, then said, I’m ready – my third wish is -- I want two more wishes!
Jardin, sputtered, twirled, said, no one has ever asked that from me before. I guess I must honor your request. Disgusted, Jardin muttered more mumbo jumbo, crossed his arms, and said, here goes. The sand danced around him, the clouds swirled across the moon and the ocean glowed in an iridescent green.
She turned, walked back to her new friend Jardin, and said, I figured out what my third wish will be. Jardin said. Great, I thought you were going to drag this out all night. Lay it on me. Jardin started to get into his wish making pose, arm crossed; then waited.
Sydney woke up. She looked around and said, why am I on the beach, and why am I cradling this old brass lantern?
Sydney said, I kind of blew my first wish, my second wasn’t too bad. Now I have a chance to really make my third wish the best one yet. Jardin was getting bored, so he twirled the sand around and generated a few harmless
Susan has a varied background in customer service, account management, technical writing, course development, and training. Her specialties are Team leadership, training, technical writing, and public relations. Connect with Susan via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-j-decrescenzo-527148/
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From the same Source by Stan Phillips We are all sprung from the same source. With the same blood flowing in our veins Hearts beating with the same rhythm. Eyes seeing the same world. We are all sprung from the same source. To breathe our limited lives away the best we can as we walk our way towards inevitable death. And yet we fritter our few years away on conflict and war. We are all sprung from the same source And destined for the same end But we create divisions between us By land that was never given us by anyone, But was just there for us to live with, and upon. And we divide ourselves by gender By colour By enthnicity By religion And fight our futile wars over our differences that, With the passage of years, are seen for the nonsense they always were. Nothing more than the egoistic strutting of small men and women. But those peacock displays are paid with the lives and blood and tears of wasted lives. Innocent lives gone forever. Hollow weeping echoing down the days and night.
We are all sprung from the same source And destined to become stardust. Just our few short years To love and laugh. Drifting days to maintain ourselves Reproduce ourselves And enhance ourselves. So when will we stop the vanity of others, The vainglorious dreams of the mighty, The misbegotten ambitions of politicians and warmongers, Get in the way of our own glory? When will we decide to choose peace? Over conflict? Love over hope? Life over death? It is surely up to each and every one of us To celebrate that which unites, rather than divides us. For we are sprung from the same source And destined to breathe our final breath one distant day, Before vanishing forever off the face of this earth. And will we spend our few days embracing each other? Or fighting each other? Surely we all know what we really want. I just wonder why we find loving each other so challenging? Stan Phillips 2020
Stan Phillips is an 80 year old poet, musical podcast maker, part-time wannabe male model, and occasional stand up comedian. “I used to be a psychotherapist/counsellor when I had an honest job. I was born into prewar London, and attended 17 schools (my father believed they couldn’t hit a moving target) and I eventually finished up here in Ireland. Still wondering what I will be when I grow up — but enjoying writing my quirky poetry as I do so.” Discover more about Stan on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips - 39 -
Working with Dreams for Psychic Development by Val Tobin Dreams have always fascinated people. Many believe that dreams have significance and provide guidance. Edgar Cayce, also known as â€œthe sleeping prophet,â€? dreamed of cures for people, helping them to recover from serious illnesses. He would also sleep with books under his pillow in order to learn their contents. Some dreams can connect you to departed loved ones or to people who are living but are far away. When I was taking a class with a psychic development instructor, she told us she would provide further teaching in our dreams, and I had two dreams since that time where I was in class and learning from that instructor once again. If you are working on developing your psychic abilities, dreams are an important tool to help you do so.
world must be acknowledged, otherwise, some believe, it manifests as psychosomatic illness, neuroses, or pathologies. When you track your dreams in a dream journal, you can use them for guidance and as insights about yourself. They can draw your attention to existing worries or problems, and they can also help you to recognize hidden talents and untapped potential. Recurring themes in dreams alert you to what is most important to you during a specific period in your life.
Dreams as Guidance and the Unconscious as a Source of Wisdom At the very least, dreams can be used for guidance. They let you know what percolates in your unconscious. The unconscious is of primary importance in dream or inner work because it is during our dream times that the unconscious mind takes over, suppressing the conscious mind. According to Robert A. Johnson in his book Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth, dreams are one of two ways we can connect the unconscious and the conscious minds. The second way is through the use of imagination.
Psychic Dreams and Precognitive Dreams Some dreams you have may be clairvoyant, meaning that they contain images that are psychic messages. Some of these images relay information about loved ones or present solutions to problems. Other dreams may be precognitive, meaning that they foretell the future.
He explains that the unconscious needs to be in balance and communicating with the conscious mind or conflicts and neuroses can develop. As a resource, the unconscious should be tapped for the wealth of wisdom and intelligence it contains. Johnson goes on to say that in modern society, the unconscious has completely split from the conscious and there are consequences. One way or another, the inner
Precognitive dreams can be difficult to recognize and, even if they are recognized, can be difficult to act upon. Abraham Lincoln is said to have foreseen his assassination in a dream days before Booth killed him. The warning did not prevent the event from occurring. However, Craig Hamilton-Parker points out in his book Remembering & Understanding Your - 40 -
Dreams that some people backed out of going on the Titanic based on dreams they had, which did save their lives. He also assures us that precognitive dreams only indicate a potential future—one it is possible to change.
To facilitate communication with a departed loved one in your dreams, James Van Praagh recommends in his book Talking to Heaven: A Mediums Message of Life After Death that you think about your loved one before falling asleep. This sets the intent to connect with him or her when you dream.
While not all dreams are relevant or significant, many are, and the only way to tap into this resource is to track the dreams in a dream journal over a period of time. The more dreams you can record, the more insights you will gain into yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and your psychic side.
When you dream of a person who has passed, you may have connected to someone who is in the spirit world and are communicating with him or her. When you are in the dream state, it is easier to be at the vibration that allows you to connect with spirits, and when your loved one wants to communicate with you, it is easiest for him or her to get in touch with you when your conscious self or ego is out of the way.
According to Hamilton-Parker, Cayce taught that all people without severe brain damage dream and can learn to recall their dreams. He also stressed that dream recall should not be an end in itself. The information that comes from it should be acted upon. This is similar to guidance received from angels and spirit guides. Receiving such guidance is not enough. You must act on what you receive for it to be worthwhile.
In my novel The Experiencers, I include a scene where one of the characters dreams of a departed loved one. This scene is based on a true story, fictionalized and used with permission in my novel, of something that happened to someone close to me. Not only did my friend see her recently deceased husband as if he were in a hospital, but she also saw three robed figures behind him.
After she told me this story, I read that robed figures help recently deceased people transition to the other side, often in a hospital setting. Shortly after that, a psychic I chatted with told me she could see this person who’d recently passed in a hospital with robed figures around him. I hadn’t told her about this person or the dream his wife had had—the psychic brought him into the conversation when she saw him in a vision. Her description of him was accurate, and the scene was as my friend had dreamed it.
Image: Krystn Palmer Photography, Sleeping Beauty Cayce, Edgar, My Life as a Seer: The Lost Memoirs, New York: St. Martins Press, 1997. Hamilton-Parker, Craig. Remembering and Understanding Your Dreams, New York: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 2000. Johnson, Robert A. Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth, New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1986. Van Praagh, James, Talking to Heaven: A Mediums Message of Life After Death, New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1997.
Val Tobin writes speculative fiction and searches the world over for the perfect butter tart. Her home is in Newmarket, Ontario, where she enjoys writing, reading, and talking about writing and reading. Discover more about Val on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/val-tobin
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Wales by Hannah Howe
Walking through the clouds on Pen-y-Fan
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Mom’s Favorite Reads Author New Release by Dr. Dominic Pimenta
Duty of Care: One NHS Doctor's Story of Courage and Compassion on the COVID-19 Frontline
‘Beautifully written, passionate and moving, this is the book everyone should read about COVID -19' - Kate Mosse ‘Hard to put down' - Rachel Clarke
Internal Medicine | Critical Care
'Gripping, humane, eye-opening and seriously tense' - Ian Dunt The first book to tell the full story of the COVID19 pandemic from a doctor on the frontline.
ALL ROYALTIES FROM SALES GO TO HEROES, A CHARITY PROTECTING AND SUPPORTING HEALTHCARE WORKERS. On the 8th of February, Dr Dominic Pimenta encountered his first suspected case of coronavirus. Within a week, he began wearing a mask on the tube, and within a month, he moved over to the Intensive Care Unit to help fight the virus. From the initial whispers coming out of China and the collective hesitation to class this as a pandemic to full lockdown and the continued battle to treat whoever came through the doors, Dr Pimenta tells the heroic stories of how the entire system shifted to tackle this outbreak and how, ultimately, the staff managed to save lives. This incredible account captures the shock and surprise, the panic and power of an unprecedented time, and how, at this moment of despair, human generosity and kindness prevailed.
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What Was I Thinking by Keith Guernsey I was thinking that my life was descending into a rabbit hole of depression. It was late in 1995 and things couldn't have been any worse. My girlfriend of three years and I had split up. I just had my first brain surgery and although successful, it had left me deaf in my left ear. I was spending ever weekend alone and lonely up at my lakefront condo. On top of that, I was rapidly becoming the Laconic, New Hampshire version of Norm from Cheers. Trust me when I tell you that having everyone know your name is not all it's cracked up to be.
She would later tell me that she picked a very public place in case I had any impure thoughts...I did! But I managed to keep them in check throughout the night. We met at Dunkin Donuts in Newburyport, chatted for a minute and then headed downtown for dinner. I drove us to Jacob Marley's and we had a terrific time. Dinner was superb, the wine was just right and the conversation was the best. It was a perfect evening. I drove her back to her car and we agreed to stay in touch. Unfortunately work and travel intruded and we weren't able to get back together until Labor Day weekend. She called me when I was up at the condo (and not at the bar!), and asked if I wanted some company. I said "sure, come on up" and she did! We had a weekend filled with lots of laughter, swimming, dinners out and lots of hot tubbing.
I was thinking it was time for a positive, constructive change. I got off my duff, said my goodbyes and walked out of that bar for the last time. I went to the corner store and grabbed a paper looking for some female companionship. Who knew the simple act of buying a newspaper would be the best, most important decision of my life. I turned to the personals and my eyes immediately focused on an ad that said "WWWF." I had no what that meant, but was intrigued enough to want to find out.
The relationship took off from there and we were engaged shortly thereafter. In two weeks, Susan and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary and are more in love than ever!
I dialed the number and a the nice, young lady on the other end of the line told it meant "Widowed White Female." I asked about the third W and she said it must have been a typo. I later learned it was for Wonderful. We talked for an hour, bonding over our mutual love of our families. We agreed to meet that Saturday night for dinner.
For more, please visit us on the web at; http://tinyurl.com/y6ut57ms Thanks, Keith firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter=@thegurns
Keith D. Guernsey is retired and living on Lake Lanier with his lovely wife Susan and his four-footed son Harley (who really is the king of this castle!)
email@example.com witter=@thegurns https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Keith-D-Guernsey/e/B00PR51Q7Y
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New Mornings by Stan Phillips
And the world trembles on the brink of new beginnings. The oceans roll majestic neath fire edged clouds.
And new mornings will come to replace the ones that went before. With new leaves fresh upon the blossom clad trees of spring.
And the land blooms with the exuberance of being. Trembling as it always is on the brink of endless tomorrow's.
And birds return singing with a newborn April. Cobwebs created like a veil upon rose clad bushes.
Stan Phillips ©2020
And a sliver of a silver moon will be reflected in a shining pool. Music is made anew to celebrate awakening love.
Stan Phillips is an 80 year old poet, musical podcast maker, part-time wannabe male model, and occasional stand up comedian. “I used to be a psychotherapist/counsellor when I had an honest job. I was born into prewar London, and attended 17 schools (my father believed they couldn’t hit a moving target) and I eventually finished up here in Ireland. Still wondering what I will be when I grow up — but enjoying writing my quirky poetry as I do so.” Discover more about Stan on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips - 46 -
Classic Movie: Invasion of the Body Snatchers by T.E. Hodden In 1978, Director Philip Kaufman, and writer WD Richter took on the daunting task of adapting Jack Finney’s novel the Body Snatchers. The 1956 adaption, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers was generally considered as a classic piece of science fiction and horror, a cold war allegory for the “Reds under the bed” scare, that eschewed hokey monster effects (give or take the odd fiberglass pod plant) in favour of paranoia and distrust. Kaufman hadn’t read the novel before embarking on the project, but was an avid fan of the older movie. Recognising that a key factor in both the novel and movie was the way the small -city setting (Mill Valley California in the novel, renamed for the movie, but essentially the same place) was portrayed with a intimate familiarity, he chose to transplant the action not only to the present, but to San Francisco, a city he loved, and could portray in the same manner. Richter’s script was a masterpiece, efficiently dropping in the daily lives of Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) and Matthew Bennell,(a top form Donald Sutherland) two Health Department investigators, and the tangle of friends surrounding them, in a way that got us quickly used to the status quo, and Driscoll’s straining relationship with her dentist boyfriend, while odd events slowly bubble away in the background, before the boyfriend rolls out of bed one morning a cold and distant, apparently the same man on the surface, but oddly threatening beneath the veneer.
As they begin to investigate, they find themselves targets of the conspiracy, and uncover a connection to the strange plants parasitic flowers that have attached themselves to plants throughout the city.
When Driscoll and Bennell try to file witness reports on a shocking hit and run, they realise the death (watched by a group of oddly silent passers by) was covered up, and become aware of a growing pandemic of citizens claiming their closest family, friends, and love ones have changed, or been replaced.
Visually, the film is a very bleak, grimy, kind of beautiful. The San Francisco of the movie is a world away from the vibrant and picturesque bay that Hollywood usually portrays. It ignores the iconic hills and tramways with their wonderful boutique stylings, that have been a thumbnail sketch of the city in countless movies, in favour of rain-washed government buildings, and a litter strewn city centre, with the characters living in corners of the city that feel far more typical of daily life. - 47 -
While we are engrossed with the mystery in the foreground, and the wonderful chemistry between the main characters (Sutherland and Adams’ unspoken history, Jeff Goldblum’s jealous rivalry with the more successful and popular Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright’s long suffering marriage to Goldblum, and endless patience with the customers at her downmarket spa), the background is full of small hints and details of the plot that the characters don’t even know to look out for yet. When they encounter Goldblum’s half formed double, and deduce the nature of the pod people leeching away the life of their subjects in their sleep, they know to look for the fibrous remnants of the ‘birth’, but eagle eyed viewers would have spotted more and more of the grey hairy masses, piling up in the litter, and being quickly removed by binmen, throughout the movie. Likewise, the alien flowers are forever in the background, colonising trees and plants. As the characters struggle to avoid sleep, and grow ever more exhausted, we feel every ounce of not only their fears, but their doubts, their dismay, their gruelling frustration as they try to rally a response from the government, and spiral towards their confrontation with the true scale of the invasion. Carefully crafted performances make the characters, both as themselves and their alien counterparts, utterly convincing. Nemoy’s promise that once they fall asleep, once the change happens they will be content, is heartfelt, endearing, and all the more terrifying for it. The final stages of the film, when the city is full of doppelgangers sleepwalking through the city, playing at life without enthusiasm or any sign of
emotion, are deeply disconcerting. In the novel it is clear that the pod people are sterile, and will not reproduce. The population will wither and die away in a few decades, and the alien seeds will simply take to the stars once more, drifting on to the next planet, to the next host society, leaving an extinction in their wake. Here this is expressed by a society that is itself sterile and lifeless. The pod people exist, but they don’t live. To survive post invasion, to pass unnoticed in their ranks, you will condemn yourself to a life without any of the qualities of being alive. Throughout the movie there are nice nods to the original, that don’t distract from the plot, or atmosphere, and don’t diminish the story if they go unnoticed, but are nice little Easter eggs for those who spot them. The hit and run victim is Kevin McCarthy, apparently reprising his role as Miles Bennell from the fifties movie, still trying to warn people of the looming threat. The original’s director, Don Siegal is a briefly glimpsed taxi driver. Of course, the one image everybody who has seen the film will remember is that terrifying final shock, the last reel revelation that is a world away from the hopeful victory of the book, or the ominous predictions of the fifties movie. The movie was made in an era when scifi movies tended towards bleak and devastating twists at the end. In one perfectly framed shot, one master stroke of performance from Sutherland and Cartwright, puts all those others to shame, and hits you like a wrecking ball. The rest of the movie is already amazing, but that final shot? That is perfect. That is why this is a classic.
T.E. Hodden trained in engineering and works in a specialized role in the transport industry. He is a life long fan of comic books, science fiction, myths, legends, and history. In the past he has contributed to podcasts, blogs, and anthologies. Discover more on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/t-e-hodden/
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Brought to you by...
The August issue of Connections eMagazine is dedicated to the winners of our annual Reader’s Choice Awards. We had some amazing books from some talented authors. I hope you will take a minute to check them out.
Marketing seems to be one of those areas that every author struggles with. It’s the same struggle companies world-wide have been dealing with for decades. How do I get my product in front of my target audience? Connections eMagazine can help. The publication is free to readers, bloggers and to authors looking for a little extra exposure. Visit our website for details. https://melaniepsmith.com/ https://melaniepsmith.com/emagazine/
Connections eMagazine is a FREE quarterly publication founded by authors Melanie P. Smith and Rhoda D’Ettore. It is currently produced entirely by Editor, Melanie P. Smith. Over the years, the magazine has evolved and it now features promos, freebies, blog articles, and short stories in every issue.
Discover more about Connections eMagazine on their website here: https://melaniepsmith.com/emagazine-landing/ - 49 -
Editor In Chief—Hannah Howe The Editor-in-Chief is the key figure in every publication. Hannah Howe works closely with the editorial staff to ensure the success of each publication. She is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series and Saving Grace. Get to know more about Hannah, her projects and her work on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe/
Executive Editor | Graphic Designer—Melanie P. Smith The Executive Editor / Graphic Designer is responsible for developing the layout and design of MFR eMagazine. She also works hard to create new covers each month that captures the essence of each publication. In addition to the editorial staff of Mom’s Favorite Reads, Melanie P. Smith also produces Connections eMagazine. She is a multi-genre author of Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural, Paranormal and Romance novels. Get to know more about Melanie, her projects and her work on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/melanie-p-smith/
Managing Editor—Ronesa Aveela & Denise McCabe Our Managing Editors oversee the physical content of the magazine and coordinates the production schedule. There are two Managing Editors for Mom’s Favorite Reads; Ronesa Aveela and Denise McCabe. Get to know our Managing Editor’s on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: Ronesa Aveela— A freelance artist and author of mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/ronesa-aveela/
Denise McCabe— A children's book author and blogger. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/denise-mccabe/
Art Director & Copy Editor / Proofreader — Sylva Fae Sylva Fae—Mum of three, fairy woodland owner, and author of children’s books. Sylva is is responsible for the amazing graphics that appear throughout the publication each month. She works hard to ensure the images capture the spirit and message our author's convey in their articles and stories. In addition, As Copy Editor, Sylva works hard behind the scenes to correct any grammatical, typos and spelling errors throughout the magazine. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/sylva-fae/
Feature Editor—T.E, Hodden As Feature Editor T.E. Hodden works diligently to provide content that is interesting, informative and professional. He is a trained engineer and a life-long fan of comic books, Sci-Fi, myths, legends and history. Get to know more about TE Hodden on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/t-e-hodden/
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Marketing Director—Grant Leishman Our Marketing Director, Grant Leishman, oversees marketing campaigns and social media engagement for our magazine. After an exciting career in accounting and journalism, he now focuses on his true calling—writing. Get to know more about Grant on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/grant-leishman/
Young Writer Content Editor—Poppy Flynn Poppy Flynn works hard each month to generate ideas, proofread submitted content, and provide stories, articles, poems and other pieces that are creative and relevant from young writers around the world. Get to know more about our Young Writer Content Editor on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/poppy-flynn/
General Content Editors Our Content Editors are responsible for acquiring articles, short stories, etc. for the eMagazine. They work hard to make our magazine interesting and professional. Get to know our Content Editor’s on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: Val Tobin — https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/val-tobin/ Stan Phillips — https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips/
Discover more amazing authors… https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/
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