A Malnourished Generation

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I read an interesting article this morning.  A 14 year old boy had eaten nothing else but chips (French fries for my US friends), Pringles, white bread, and the occasional sausage or slice of ham.  He went to the doctor and complained that he felt tired all the time.  The doctor discovered the boy was vitamin B12 deficient and gave him supplements, but he did not continue to take them.  He also did not change his diet.

By the age of 17 he had gone completely blind and was diagnosed with nutritional optic neuropathy, where the optic nerves are badly affected by a lack of nutrients (the boy ate no fruits or vegetables).

At the age of only 17 you are convinced that nothing nasty will ever happen to you.  In my opinion it is the boy’s parents who are at fault here; they should have encouraged him to eat healthier food at a younger age and also ensured that he was taking his supplements. However, it’s a sad fact that if whichever parent in charge of cooking food does not like fruits or vegetables, then their children will probably not get served any either.  This happened to a friend of mine, who ended up severely overweight and sadly chronically constipated as a child because her mother did not like fruits or vegetables.  Luckily she learned more about good nutrition on leaving home, and shed over 4 stones in weight.

Around the mid 1970s, the evil tendrils of a certain hamburger chain spread their way across the pond and into the UK town centres.  Now there is not a high street that does not have several fast food outlets, and this high fat food which is low in nutrients is now crippling our younger generation.  I see the effects of too much fast food at the hospital where I work.  The Diabetic Clinic is bursting at the seams with patients who have grown up (and some who are still growing up) preferring the taste of fast food and sugar laden gunk which are both empty of proper nutrients.  So many people are overweight and yet they do not realise that they are malnourished as well.

I don’t know what your opinion is, but to me it’s child cruelty to make a kid so overweight that the only place for it is the Diabetic Clinic.  Untreated diabetes leads to bad circulation causing foot ulcers and possible amputation, not to mention the aforementioned eye disease.  All a parent has to do is feed a kid with lots of fruit and veg starting from when it is weaned,  instead of  shovelling high fat junk and sugar-loaded food down its throat.  It’s a crying shame.

 

 

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Streets Ahead Book Promotion – Miriam Hurdle

This week on Streets Ahead we’re promoting Miriam Hurdle’s collection of poetry ‘Songs of Heartstrings’:

Songs of Heartstrings depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache circumstances and an unpredictable cancer. It also celebrates true love and fulfilling relationships.

Miriam Hurdle in her poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience. Many poems are illustrated with her photos and watercolor paintings.

The poems in this collection are inspiring to the mind, heart and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences.

Review:

“A good poetry book that fans of the genre will surely appreciate.” – Readers’ Favorite

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by Miriam Hurdle is a collection of contemporary poems. In this collection, Miriam has written poems on a number of topics that cover different facets of life. The book is divided into broad categories such as Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, Songs of Inspiration, etc. Each of these broad topics in turn covers various aspects of life under that theme and each poem is based around that subject matter. The poems are fairly short and usually run to a page or two.

I thought Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude was a calming book in the sense that most of the poems tend to evoke feelings of nature or peacefulness. The poems cover routine aspects of life for most people and talk about human emotions and experiences in everyday lives. Hence, there is an emphasis on topics such as nature, parenthood, challenges in life, musings and reflections. I tended to like the poems in the Nature and Physical Healing section the most but this is simply a matter of personal preference. Some of my favorite poems include Light and Dark, Edible Garden, and Nature’s Gift of Green, among others. Miriam writes in a gentle, evocative voice and, as such, the poems probably have a universal appeal. I can see young adults and older people alike enjoying this collection.

Open Book Blog Hop – 2nd September

This week’s topic is:
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
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Every so often I am followed by other writers on Twitter (I’m not on Facebook), and when I check them out I am immediately suspicious of the ones that boast “Amazon best-selling author”.
Quite a few times I have checked out the Amazon rankings of these authors’ books, and guess what… they are not bestsellers!  There are no orange badges proclaiming their success, and all I can deduce from their claims are that perhaps once upon a time their book, especially if the genre is uncommon,  might have hit a favourable ranking for a day or two.
I am quite world-weary to egotistical best-selling author comments.  What’s the point of claiming you have top rankings when you do not?  These authors with their big egos are doing nothing to enhance their writing careers, and are making themselves look ridiculous.  Let’s face it, how many self-published authors get to keep that little orange badge for weeks on end?  Not many, I’ll wager.
Sure, we can boast about a great review we’ve had or a competition win, but let there be physical proof of it.  It’s no use bragging about something that readers cannot see with their own eyes.  Lies can only hurt writers’ careers in the long run.
What do other blog-hoppers think?  Click on the link below to find out, or just add a comment.
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

A Day Out on the Albert Dock, Liverpool

If you fancy a day sampling the delights of Liverpool’s Albert Dock next Saturday 7th September, then do take a break from your day out and pop into the Merseyside Maritime Museum.  I’ll be there with my books along with many other authors, as we’re all taking part in a signing event for charity, which has been organised by Sandra Robinson of Scarlett Enterprises.  Sandra has written the following words below to describe the event:

There will be numerous genres of books on the day from thrillers, suspense, historical romance, comedy and children’s books; something for everyone.

Spend some time going to each author’s table to meet, get books signed, or even take pictures with them. Make new book friends from around the world while meeting your favourite or new to you authors.

VIP tickets are available at £20 which gives you early entry at 10 am and exclusive swag.

Early Bird tickets are £15 and once again admission is 10 am.

General admission is £10 and from 11 am for the duration of the event.

You can also pay on the door, on the day for general admission.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/liverpool-albert-dock-signing-2019-tickets-55606091316?fbclid=IwAR1dlkkwY8UU65g5vBSy-VxX8rm1z3mQ3H-MBNCM9c_rvxA1L–GDO8OuDE

The charity we will be supporting at this event is Claire House Hospice Registered Charity Number 1004058. The hospice is based on the Wirral but is opening a new hospice close to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool in the near future.

Staff from Ingram Spark and also Blackwell Books  will also be in attendance.

See you there?  Apart from the book signing, there’s plenty of other things going on around the docks; The Beatles Museum is one for starters.  I’ve been there and it’s a must for Beatles’ fans.

www.clairehouse.org.uk

Share Your Short Story – Winners for August 2019

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Thanks to all who took part in August’s ‘Share Your Short Story’ competition.  From all the lovely stories submitted this month I picked a winner who took some known facts and turned them into an entertaining short story.  So … congratulations to Toritto, who submitted ‘The Actor‘:

https://toritto.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/the-actor-a-re-post/

Toritto, you can now use this laurel below, and if you agree then I’ll add your story to the anthology I am compiling:

Short Story Winner Aug 19

For the runner-up this month, I have picked ‘A Good Day’ by Darlene Foster. It has a rather unexpected ending!

https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-good-day/

Congratulations to Darlene, who can now use the laurel below:

Short Story Runner up Aug 19

Below are links to all stories submitted for August.  Thanks again to everybody who took part.  The next competition will be in October:

Felicia Denise – Soar: https://feliciadenise.com/2018/06/23/52weeks52stories-soar/

Phil Huston – Rather See Than Be One: https://philh52.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/rather-see-than-be-one/

Robbie Cheadle – The Automated Worm: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2019/08/04/short-story-competition-august-the-automated-worm

W H Reeves – Valley of Demons: https://deuslux.home.blog/2019/08/09/valley-of-demons/

Travels with Tio – Almost Heaven: https://travelswithtio.com/almost-heaven/

Merchant Writes Again – I Found Home on an Unfamiliar Street:  https://merchantwritesagain.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/i-found-home-on-an-unfamiliar-street/

Cybeleshine – Summer’s End (And the Stolen Child): https://cybeleshine.blog/2019/08/24/summers-end-and-the-stolen-child/

Abbie Johnson Taylor – Leaving:

https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/leaving-fiction-2/

 

 

Friday Click & Run – 30th August

Just leave a link to whichever blog post you’d like to share this week.  You only need to read and comment on other blog posts if you want to – there are no mandatory rules here.  Live and let live, that’s my philosophy…

Please keep the blogs reasonably family friendly though.  If I see any nasties I will have to delete them!

Thanks to the 6 bloggers who left links last week.

Why Doesn’t Anyone Tell You About the Pressures That Come With Being an Unknown Writer?

I used to feel this way, but hey, what’s the point of getting stressed out ? We’re all part of the millions and millions of ‘writers’ out there all seeking a fast buck and trying to rise above the noise of everybody else. It won’t happen any time soon, and to be brutally honest, it probably won’t happen at all. The trick is to get a good day job, enjoy writing your book in your spare time, self-publish it, and then go on and write the next one ad infinitum.

Novelty Revisions

No one told me it would be like this.

When I formally decided I was going to “be” a writer — whenever that was, whatever that means, I’m still uncertain — I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew writing books would take a long time. I knew writers didn’t get paid much and that in general your chances of getting published were minimal at best.

Always hungry for a challenge, I dove in anyway. At first, I didn’t care about the money or the recognition, I just knew I needed to start getting my work out there no matter the cost.

I was 22 when I started my career as a writer — not counting the three years I had spent before that interning and contributing to various publications in my spare time.

It has been five years, and there are days I feel like nothing has…

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Doing Our Bit

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Professor Sir Ian Boyd, the Government’s Chief Environmental Scientist, has stated that to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the UK will have to use less transport, eat less red meat, and buy less clothes.  He adds that when we consume things, we use up the resources of the planet.

This is true, but will the nation be compliant?  The only way to stop people eating red meat is to ban dairy/sheep farming, but then the farmers and even butchers and abattoir workers will be up in arms because their livelihoods have been taken away.  However, I suspect that nobody will want to change their lifestyles until red meat is forcibly taken away from them.

The same with transport.  Who wants to go back to Victorian times when it took hours by horse and cart to travel a few miles?  The horse itself will need feeding anyway, and will emit its own greenhouse gases as a result of  all those oats.  The only way to stop people travelling by car is maybe to make it uneconomical by increasing road tax substantially, but then at the same time to make public transport more available and frequent.  In our village there are 3 buses every day and that’s all.  We country dwellers will need a bit more persuading to leave the comfort of our cars methinks.  It would take me 2 and a half hours to get to work by bus, but it only takes 25 minutes to drive.

The main trouble is that we have advanced somewhat from Victorian times, and we expect to be able to travel from A to B fairly quickly, and that also means air and sea travel.  How can the Government stop people travelling?  Ban cars, trains, planes and boats?  It’s just not feasible these days, is it?  Our work, friends and family are not all within a mile or two as they were back in the 1800s, and public transport is just not reliable enough.

And what about clothes?  Buying less clothes would suit Sam, as he’d happily live in the same pair of jeans forever, but I don’t quite share his enthusiasm.

It’s a conundrum for sure.  I would love to see fewer cars on the roads, but living in the arse end of nowhere with only 3 buses per day it’s just not a viable option to be without a car.  We eat red meat about once a fortnight, and so the next step would be to cut it out altogether.  I’m happy to do this, but is everybody else?  As for clothes, yes I’m happy to buy less of them as I don’t really buy that many anymore.  However, the car is another issue…

 

15 Blogging Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid

Thanks to Hugh’s Views & News for these 15 blogging mistakes every blogger should avoid…

Hugh's Views & News  

Whether you’re a new blogger or somebody who has been blogging for many years, make sure you avoid the trapdoors to these fifteen common blogging mistakes which I come across daily in the blogging world.

Allowing spam comments to show in the comments section of a post.

Spammers are getting smarter at trying to deceive us by making their spam comments look genuine.

Be careful if allowing comments to appear immediately on your blog posts without any kind of moderation. Some spammers are leaving a first comment that doesn’t look spammy, before leaving further comments that contain links that lead to sales, business, gaming and pornographic sites.

If in doubt, hover your mouse over the web address of the person who has left the comment and preview the website in the window that opens. In most cases, you’ll know straight away if the comment is genuine or not.

If you’re…

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Streets Ahead Book Promotion – Karen Payton Holt

This week we’re promoting Karen Payton Holt’s book ‘Awakening  (Fire & Ice Book 1)’

Think ‘Twilight’ meets ‘Game of Thrones” and you are in the right mind-set to enter the world of ‘Fire & Ice’.

If you want to enter the dark and, at times, harrowing world of Doctor Connor and experience his human obsession, then you can find it here. ‘Fire and Ice: Awakening” begins a journey which spans 5 novels and is much more than a vampire tale, it is an emotional roller coaster ride.

If you hate vampires, or hunger for something different – something that grips you and will not let go – then read the first chapter…

London, 1910. Bram Stoker’s Dracula had made barely a ripple in the pool of human consciousness, and it would be another 12 years before Nosferatu breathes life into a vampire on the big screen… but even then, in human society, vampires existed. Like a seam of gold running through the coal, they are there, but you have to look for them.

For centuries, vampires were content to exist as creatures of myth and legend, barely making a footprint in the shifting sands of human consciousness, until Mother Nature unleashed the global pandemic which wiped out most of humanity.

A predator emerges and humans become a valuable food source. Vampire survival instincts have an edge of desperation, and they are forced out of the shadows. The London of 2010 becomes a vampire hive as they cluster around their decimated food supply, and ‘survival of the fittest’ is a stark reality.

Humans wish their world had ended, when, as a protected species, they are imprisoned, farmed as cattle, and siphoned for blood.

The cloud on the vampire horizon is that humans age and die. Suddenly, vampire immortality has an expiration date.

Connor is that rarity, a vampire and a doctor, who can treat a bleeding human – and not kill them. Tending to stricken vampires remains part of his duty; immortality has always been a tightrope walk over an abyss of insanity, and there are always those who fail to get it right.

After a century of living on his wits and feeding on humans he considered deserving of death, Connor views the human farm with distaste. His passion is to find a synthetic blood substitute.

Against this dark, forbidding backdrop, Doctor Connor does the unthinkable; he falls in love with a human girl.

When he treats Rebekah, alarm bells ring. He realizes she is a free-range human, and hiding her carries the death penalty. ‘Turning’ her in is a no-brainer, and yet…

Their worlds collide when Rebekah awakens in a vampire hospital and faces her worst fears — discovery and capture. Her euphoric relief, when it seems the beta-blockers have protected her from detection, turns to terror.

Connor grips Rebekah’s arm and her thundering heartbeat resonates through him. The tingling joy of being alive rushes through him again, and his journey into madness begins. His admiration for the human spirit punches a hole in his shell of indifference.

Rebekah cannot escape without the doctor’s help. Her fear of vampires tilts on its axis as Connor becomes her safe haven.

Connor’s stagnant existence is shattered as he embraces the feeling of being alive once more. Outwitting the vicious intent of a vindictive councilor, surviving attacks by the vampire councils’ guardsmen, and being sentenced to locked-in syndrome were never in Connor’s wildest imaginings and falling in love with a human girl was something he never expected.

Flying in the face of everything he should do, Connor risks everything and embraces the exhilaration of saving Rebekah and her group.

Awakening is the first in a series five vampire books set in post-apocalyptic England.


5 Star Review by Tim W. Hillebrant:

Karen Payton Holt (KPH) storms the reading scene with Awakening. For a first time novel, this exceeds all expectation and sets the bar high for the follow up books. The characters, Connor and Rebekah, fight to exist and love in a dystopian world that is a far cry from anything previously attempted by other authors.
While KPH credits the Twilight books as some of her inspiration, she goes in a completely different, original direction that is as refreshing as it is exhilarating to explore.
Her wit and knowledge about the writing craft are effortlessly woven into a deep, thrilling tale of dark fantasy and romance that will leave the reader as thirsty for more as a starving vampire is for a new victim.
Stoker, Rice, King, and Meyer- y’all need to move over and make some room. There’s a new author on the scene, and she’s going to be here a while.