Guest Blogger: Victoria Zigler on Writing for Children

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Today I am pleased to welcome a first time visitor to From the Pen of Mae Clair. Please say hello to Victoria (Tori) Zigler as she shares a glimpse of why she chooses to write children’s books, and also takes a look at her newest release, Voyage of the Crimson Sail.

Book cover for Voyage of the Crimson Sail by Victori Zigler shows image of pirate above a sailing ship with red sailsWhy do I write for children?

Well, it turns out the answer to that question isn’t very exciting.  But here it is anyway.

First of all, I know it’s been said many times by many authors, but I’ve been writing ever since I knew how.  I learned to read and write somewhat before I even started school – bearing in mind, children start school at around four years old in the UK –partially  due to having older siblings, but mostly because my main regular babysitter was in her teens, and would often do her homework while watching me, and…

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Making Time for Great Things – Daily Quote 

Jo Hawk


It happens to the best of us. We plan and schedule, set boundaries, minimize distractions, and we still get blindsided. A family emergency, a burst water pipe, a bout of flu, a flat tire, or an unexpected snowstorm slated for rush-hour can derail a meticulously crafted itinerary and creates a time jam. We live time-crunched lives where everyone’s default setting is “busy,” and we wear the badge with pride.

When situations arise, when we cannot manage, we shift into overdrive and sped down the road toward burn-out. Along the way, we begin our battle, declare war on reality and wonder why we can’t have our heart’s desire right now.

If your days are like mine, my schedule sometimes consumes every waking moment. Keeping yourself off the casualty list when everything goes sideways is often about your perspective. We want good things to happen. It is the impetus behind the work. But…

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Yes and No

Peacock Poetry

As an empath I have had a tendency to people-please up until now and I am really learning that I need to prioritise self-care. As was recently pointed out to me, when we take care of our own needs, we give others permission to do the same. Knowing what we say yes and no to and honouring this can really help us to show up authentically and in our full power.

Right to Refusal

Saying no can help you grow

You’re not just here to please them

Within your gut you always know

Your role’s not to appease them

Your knowingness; your real prowess

Let intuition guide you

For showing up as you is best

Live from the truth inside you

This life can blow you to and fro

Your choices, you must seize them

Saying no can help you grow

You’re not just here to please them

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#Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge…

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 161 #PhotoPrompt

It’s the third week of the month! Time for a #PhotoPrompt



This month’s photo prompt has been provided by Willow Willers.



Small sign



Painted hands dancing

Temple sounds in the air

Sweet spice filled markets, crowded

Smiling faces wait with greeting

Namaste, sunshine will bless your day

Painted hands take me back to India…

©anitadawes 2020



Sir Chocolate and the Baby Cookie Monster Story and Cookbook

We are reviewing Robbie’s book as part of last weeks promotion on Streets Ahead Book Promotion…


Book 2 of the Sir Chocolate series: Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.


Our Review


Robbie and Michael Cheadle love to cook.

I know this for I have watched them in action when I needed a recipe for a Christmas cake. I found an amazing video and watched as Robbie carried me through the most delightful cookery lesson. (and the cake I made was delicious!)

They love to write about the fondant characters they make too, featuring them in a lovely series of children’s books.

This review is for book two of the Sir Chocolate series, and I can’t wait to share the rest of the books with my grandchildren!

I would love to buy the series in paperback to get the full beauty of the illustrations and know I won’t be disappointed.

You should also check out Robbie’s website for more images and recipes from The World of Sir Chocolate…

The saga of Auldwick with Cowperthwaite village hall. Part three, involving the community.

Jim Webster

Part 3 Involving the community.

Next morning, fortified by a decent breakfast, and with the trauma of the previous evening’s village hall committee meeting fading under the assault of the second mug of strong coffee, I gave some thought to the decision taken. The committee had chosen me to approach ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (from now on known as ACT) to ask for advice about filling the paperwork in to claim a grant.

Personally I felt that it was the sort of task that would most reasonably fall to the secretary or even the treasurer. But no, they both felt that it needed somebody with gravitas of a chairman to give this ACT body the right idea about us. At least they didn’t say I was the cheap and expendable one so I suppose I should mark it up as a plus.

So I phoned ACT, and according to my lady wife, I looked…

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Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the News- #Empathy #liver damage and pain killers by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

There are few of us who are not aware of the opioid drug crisis in our countries, but there are also side effects associated with some over the counter medication that nearly all of us will have in our bathroom cabinet. Often taking daily for chronic pain but certainly for several days at a time for acute pain.

How often do we reach for the paracetamol when we have a headache, migraine, aches and pains, influenza, PMS and toothache?

Recent research has highlighted a side effect that I believe is also feeding into the pain medication crisis we are facing. Because of the region of the brain that painkillers target.

I followed up on this recent post to check on the findings and was stunned by what I discovered.Daily Mail – Paracetamol and Empathy

  • The world’s most popular painkiller, taken by millions every day, blunts physical pain by reducing…

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Smorgasbord Posts From Your Archives 2020 – #Shortstory – Clarifying Shampoo by D. Wallace Peach

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post:New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post by author Diana Wallace Peach...and it is a short story, and for those of you (us) who sometimes get into a bit of a dither, it is very clarifying…..

Image Pixabay combo

Betsy over at Parenting is Funny was recently musing over a bottle of clarifying shampoo (yes, it’s a real thing). Her blog is a hoot, and I encourage you to visit. Her post popped a story into my head. I hope you enjoy.

Clarifying Shampoo by D. Wallace Peach

Clara was born a Libra. Not the normal kind of Libra with a smattering of other signs in her…

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The saga of Auldwick with Cowperthwaite village hall Part 2, ‘The Village Hall Meeting.’

Jim Webster

Part 2, ‘The village hall meeting.’

It was obvious we were going to have to do something about the village hall. Wendy over-insuring it had put an ‘unfortunate’ fire out of our reach. Still, it did strike me that a five year sentence for arson, with time off for good behaviour, might still be less of an ordeal than a village hall committee meeting. Not only that, but subjectively the prison sentence might not last as long.

As always the committee members from Auldwick sat opposite those from Cowperthwaite with both sides glaring at each other. The hall is not quite in either village, thus both villages feel relieved of any obligation to contribute to the maintenance, but both seem equally happy to blame the other village for neglecting their duties.

At the opposite end of the table from me sat Wendy. Living as she does opposite the hall she is the obvious person to be…

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