Guest post with Nicholas Rossis.

My good blogging friend, published author, and all-round nice guy, Nicholas Rossis, has kindly published a guest post from me on his blog. It is about my experiences as an Amazon reviewer.
If you think this might be of some interest, please follow this link.

Feel free to comment on his blog.


Another You Tube find

This You Tube post has already had well over 1,000,000 hits, but I have only discovered it today. I was thinking about featuring the American group Talking Heads on my Significant Songs series, when I came across this cleverly-constructed video.

I have no axe to grind about Mr Trump. As far as I am concerned most US politicians are as bad as each other, and I never expect anything of any of them. But this is really well-done, and combines the best of both worlds. The clever lyrics of the genius who is David Byrne, and a funny satire on a very self-important man.

See what you think.

Featured Blogger: Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following Followers

Most of us bloggers have a core group of followers. Those that we can count on to be around, leave likes and comments on our posts, and to interact with others who do the same. Over the years, I have always treasured those ‘silent’ followers too. Those who rarely comment, if at all, but never fail to appear with a ‘Like’. I follow around ninety other blogs, and do my best to keep up with them, engage on their posts, and interact with their own communities. I would love to be able to follow more than I do, but it is not manageable in terms of time.

It is the habit of some new followers to actually ask us to follow back. I can see why they do this, but perhaps they are unaware of just how much time is involved in following a blog ‘properly’. Having a huge number of followers may seem attractive to a new blogger, as they happily follow scores of blogs themselves. But they will eventually discover that receiving so many email notifications of posts and comments can be overwhelming, and they will hopefully set themselves a sensible limit on how many blogs they follow.

But the point of this post is to salute some people who have loyally followed my own blog. Some for a very long time, others for a lot less. I have previously been unable to follow them back, as my self-imposed limit was reached some time ago. However, I have recently ‘lost’ three or four blogs that I follow, as those bloggers have either given up, or decided to take a long break. So, after all this time, I am pleased that I will now be able to follow these bloggers. I thank them for sticking with me, and for all the ‘Likes’ and the comments they may have made. I am adding links, so that you can see their sites too.

As and when I can, I will follow some more of you. In the meantime, I once again send my thanks and best wishes to everyone who follows my blogs. Pete.

How to delete followers, courtesy of Jude.

Click on My Sites on the top left of your blog / post and scroll to Stats then on the right next to Days, Months, Years you can see Followers. Click on that and you have a list of followers that you can look through. You can remove straight away or if you are interested in seeing who/what is following you, click on the name which will take you to their blog. I always right click and open the link in a new window so I can quickly return to the list.

Guest Post: David Miller

I am very pleased to bring you this guest post, from David Miller. David is a published author, and a song lyricist too. His witty limericks are a joy to read, and his last novel ‘Pope On The Dole’ was a cleverly-constructed and amusing story set in the near future. He has been a great supporter of my blog over the years, and has also become a firm friend too. His own site can be found here. Please check out that site, when you have a chance to do so.

Today’s story is an amusing look at the vagaries of how we manage time, with a hint of science fiction thrown in.


After Jason Targo–our newly designated ambassador to the planet Kthorus–participated in the first of several scheduled diplomatic talks, he sat down with a reporter named Waktu for an interview that touched upon measures of time.
WAKTU: You measure Time by counting the revolutions of your planet around your star, which you call the Sun… How old are you?
JASON TARGO: I’m 58 years old. I was born on December 12th, 2110.
WAKTU: According to my sources, it’s now August 5th, 2169. So surely you are mistaken about your age. You must be 59. It’s simple math: 2169 minus 2110 is 59.
JASON TARGO: That’s true. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m 58 until December 12th.
WAKTU: And yet this is your 59th year! So I’m confused… What century is this on Earth?
JASON TARGO: It’s the 22nd Century.
WAKTU: But it’s 2169! If you are 58 until your 59th birthday, shouldn’t you be living in the 21st Century until the year 2200?
JASON TARGO: I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way… Oh, and you might be interested to know that 2200 is the only year that starts with 22 that’s actually part of the 22nd Century, because the following year, 2201, is the start of the 23rd Century.
WAKTU: This is confusing. I’m also confused by the way you tell the time of day.
JASON TARGO: Oh? And how do the people of Kthorus tell the time of day? My understanding is you also use AM and PM.
WAKTU: Yes, but we have 20-hour days, which is to say that we’ve divided the day into 20 increments. Our AM lasts 10 hours, and so does our PM. But let’s talk about Earth hours. For some reason, you divide your day into 24 hours. Your AM lasts 12 hours, and your PM lasts 12 hours. But the way you treat the transition from AM to PM and vice versa makes no sense to me.
JASON TARGO: I think I understand what you mean. Why is 12 midnight considered AM, when the number 12 follows 11, and–?
WAKTU: Yes, but it’s more than just that. Logically, since you are 58 years old until your 59th birthday, shouldn’t it be PM from midnight until 12:59, with the morning of the next day starting at precisely 1:00 AM? And shouldn’t AM be applied through 12:59, so that the afternoon doesn’t start until 1:00 PM? Shouldn’t mornings and afternoons start with 1 instead of 12?
JASON TARGO: Well, it’s an interesting idea. But it would never work. How can we apply the word ‘Noon’ to 1:00? ‘Noon’ means 12, just as ‘Midnight’ means 12!
WAKTU: So your clock is a slave to language?
JASON TARGO: I wouldn’t put it that way, but–
WAKTU: Let me back up a bit. What about your centuries? Earth is far older than 2,169 revolutions around your Sun, but, of course, it’s impossible to base a calendar on the formation of one’s planet because it’s a very lengthy process. We know that homo sapiens has existed on your planet for at least 200,000 Earth years, but, again, it would be impossible to date your species precisely. However, you have a recorded history that goes back approximately 5,000 years. So even if you can’t date the first written record to the exact year it was produced, you can at least establish an estimated Year 1. It seems to me that you should be living in, say, the 52nd Century! And yet, you claim this is year 2169…
JASON TARGO: I can assure you that our dates go back farther than that!
WAKTU: Oh? You have negative years?
JASON TARGO: No! We have CE and BCE. You see, there was this religious man, and we decided he was born in 1 CE–on December 25th of that year.
WAKTU: So he was born near the end of the year?
JASON TARGO: Yes. At least as far as the calendar is concerned.
WAKTU: So shouldn’t the first year of your CE calendar have begun on that day?
WAKTU: Correct me if I’m wrong, but based on what you said about your birthday, this religious man didn’t celebrate his first birthday until near the end of 2 CE. Is that right?
JASON TARGO: Yes. Like I said, he was born in 1 CE. There is no zero year in our calendar. The year before 1 CE was 1 BCE. In order to celebrate your first birthday in 1 CE, you had to be born in 1 BCE.
WAKTU: I really can’t make any sense out of all that. Here on Kthorus, we count the years based on revolutions around our star. So we have that in common. But we don’t base our calendar on a religious man. We base it on the earliest known written record of our species. We consider that point in time to be the birth of our civilization. So our calendar reflects the age of our civilization.
JASON TARGO: That’s very interesting. And I’d like to discuss these things further with you, but I’m afraid I’ve run out of time.
WAKTU: You look healthy to me… Surely, you aren’t about to die..?
JASON TARGO: No! I can assure you, I’m far from ready to knock on Death’s door!
WAKTU: But you did just say that you’ve run out of time! …And what about that door?

Copyright ©2017 David E. Miller

Guest Post: A poem by Fraggle

I was delighted to receive this poem from FR, at
Her delightful photography is highly recommended, as are her thoughts on life too. An engaged blogger, great blogging friend, and all round nice lady. Please head over and check out her site.

An ode to poetry by Fraggle Rocks
(with apologies to Shakespeare, Wordsworth et al)

Oh What a poet I could be
if only rhymes came easily,
my words would flow and stanza’s fill
with fields of golden daffodills.

If iambic parameter wasn’t so hard
I’m sure I’d be an excellent bard,
I’d find some arcane words to use,

I’d write some plays with many pages
of Kings and Queens throughout the ages,
Sir Ian McKellan would be the star,
and I’d be feted near and far.

My sonnets, well they’d be sublime,
obsessive love in fourteen lines,
and men would weep to feel such angst
and ladies swoon and wet their pants. (sorry, best I could do for angst)

Alas, with words I have no skill,
can’t find enough to fit the bill,
and so dear Shakespeare, do not fret
still Engerlands greatest poet yet.

But a picture paints a thousand words
of sunsets, beaches, castles,birds.
Children playing, a lovers kiss,
no better poetry than this.

So off I go, camera in hand,
to photograph North East Engerland
I’ll write my poems with an XT-2
It’s just as good, don’t you think

On the Cover of a Magazine – Who’s that Girl?

A great article from Jane, about her artwork on the latest edition of Longshot Island magazine. I’m inside too!

Jane Lee McCracken, Artist

Version 2

Featured on the cover of this November’s Longshot Island literary magazine, is one of Jane’s most personal artworks, The Sideboard I.  An exciting new press, Longshot Island publishes contemporary fiction and non-fiction by talented writers from across the globe. When editor-in-chief D.S.White approached Jane to feature her artwork, she was delighted he wanted to include several Biro drawings from her series ‘Tales from the East’.

Jane McCracken [Colour Artwork] ‘The Sideboard II’ 2008 red Biro drawing The Sideboard triptych portrays the anonymous memories of a small child at play within the safety of home, before the onset of war. The drawings were inspired by the little girl in the red coat from the film Schindler’s List 1993 Steven Spielberg, as she wanders through the Kraków Ghetto while it is being liquidated by the German Army during WWII. The triptych features Jane’s niece Jemma, and contemplates victims of conflict as individuals rather than statistics.


Since creating The Sideboard…

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