Dance ‘Til It Rains

Definitely good advice. I’m going to dance until it rains from now on.


There are many indigenous tribes around the world that practice various forms of rainmaking, which is a weather modification ritual that attempts to invoke rain. Among the best known examples of weather modification rituals are African rain dances, historically performed by northern tribes (Sahara and north-ward) in Africa.

What is not surprising about the rainmaking rituals most of these tribes perform is that when they dance, it usually does not rain. But there is one particular tribe where every time they dance, it rains. Why did the rain dances favor this one tribe, and not the others? When anthropologists went to study this tribe to learn their secret, they learned that this tribe danced until it rained. That was their secret. 

Zulu-cultural-danceIn my life, I have missed many opportunities to do amazing things because I did not understand the value of sticktoitiveness and persistence. Why is it that most people…

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Review of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairlift to Heaven 2. Further up the Stairlift.


For those of you who have never heard of Terry Ravenscroft, he is a writer of comedy. He has written for such people as Les Dawson and The Two Ronnies, and has also been the script writer for such shows as Alas Smith and Jones, Not the Nine 0’Clock News and many others.

This book does not fail to live up to the expectations such a CV would lead one to expect. It is full of humerous anecdotes of his escapades with his friend, Atkins.

Atkins seems to be just the same kind of person as Terry Ravenscroft and the two egg each other on to all kinds of misdemeanours from misleading someone in a charity shop to believe he had found a valuable piece of pottery to annoying cold callers on the telephone.

This is the second book Mr Ravenscroft has written about his life in retirement and I am looking forward to reading Book 3.

Definitely worth a read. I award it 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars for Amazon.

The Legend of Grillon and Parador.



Grillon and Parador are two of the gods of Vimar, the world I created when I started to write The Wolves of Vimar Series.

Grillon is the god of Nature and wild things and Parador is the goddess of Agriculture. The legend is told each year on the first day of spring, which is also the start of the year on Vimar. The first month of the year is called after Grillon, and is known as Grilldar. It falls roughly the same time as mid-March to mid-April on Earth.

I hope you enjoy this poem, which also appears in the first book of The Wolves of Vimar, The Wolf Pack. The friends spend this day in Roffley on their way to find the Sword of the legendary king, Sauvern, who united the land of Grosmer.

On the eve of Grildar, morality is lax, and there are many children conceived at this time. They are considered as blessed, though, and are thought of as the children of the god, and not conceived of human males.


Legend of Grillon and Parador

One day the Lord of Nature was walking all alone
When beside a hidden pool a lovely sight was shown.
For bathing in the moonlight, where no-one should have been
Was a beauteous maiden, the loveliest he’d e’er seen.

Lord Grillon lost his heart to her
This maiden oh so fair.
He vowed that she would be his own
His life with her would share.

He showed himself at once to her
As forward he did tread.
She said “And who are you, good sir?
Should you not be abed?”

Oh lovely maid, my love, my life,
I ne’er will rest again.
Unless you come to be my wife
My heart will feel such pain.”

And so fair Parador was wed
To Grillon. She agreed
To always sleep within his bed
And others ne’er to heed.

But evil now will turn to dust
That love and bliss
For Barnat after her did lust
And swore she’d be his.

He poisoned Grillon’s mind and said
She was untrue
That she had been into his bed
And others too.

Lord Grillon he was truly sad
That she should treat him so.
He thought that he’d go truly mad
So far from her he’d go.

Now Parador had done no wrong
To deserve this fate.
She could not any more be strong
Beneath Lord Grillon’s hate.

So mourn she did and all the world
Did join with her in sorrow.
All green things died and creatures curled
All safely in their burrow.

But in good time, Lord Grillon found
How false the god of war.
He came to her and he reclaimed
The love of his wife once more.

So once again the land grew green
And springtime came again.
And summer’s warmth and life serene
While she forgot her pain.

And so each year the land remembers
The love of Parador
And autumn comes and winter’s embers
Till Spring returns once more.

Fantasy Art Friday

Always something more in these pictures.

Allison D. Reid

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.

“Tranquility” is the title, and at first glance this place does look tranquil. The lush green of the landscape, the slowly flowing stream. Could be a nice place to idle on a warm afternoon.  Perhaps wade through the cool water…find a few colorful rocks, or watch small fish swimming in the still waters close to the bank.

Yet as I look closer, into undergrowth surrounding the stream, I realize just how thick it is. Is the whole forest so dense, or has it only grown up that way along the water’s edge? What if you had to travel through an entire forest like that, wading through foliage, and stumbling over roots and rocks, never quite knowing what might be watching you through that tangle of green?…

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Looking Closer at the Semi-colon Used in Lists

Here are some thoughts on the semicolon. I found these ideas very interesting, especially to clarify things in lists.

Diane Tibert

During the writers’ meeting on Tuesday, we discussed the use of semi-colons in a list following a colon. The published historian in the group, an academic professor who knows a great deal about grammar, punctuation and writing in general, brought it up.

In professional academic papers, the rule is that a semi-colon, not the comma, must separate a list of items when preceded by a colon.

For example: The settlers of the area came from many countries: Germany; Switzerland; Poland and Spain.

Shadows in the Stone

However, I have not encountered semi-colons used in this manner, so when I came home, I started to dig. It was difficult finding rules online, so I referred to my trusty handbook The Bare Essentials by Sarah Norton and Brian Green.

It recommended the use of semi-colons in complicated lists. The sentence they used as an example was: A few…

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Book offer



Starting on Monday 19th June, Emily Littler is offering Vengeance of a Slave at the special promotion price of $0.99 or £0.99. This is a 59% saving.


The price will increase in steps for the following 7 days, until June 26th, when it will be back at its full price of $2.99 or £2.35, so hurry so you don’t lose out.


Here is a bit about the story.


Adelbhert is only 6 years old when he is forced to watch the crucifixion of his father and other men from his village. They rebelled against the Romans and this was the punishment meted out.

Then he and his young sister are taken as slaves for their pretty looks and ash blonde hair. A rich merchant from Britannia buys them and takes them to give as presents to his wife and daughter. Adelbehrt promises his sister they will escape one day, but cannot promise when.

His experiences make the boy hate the Romans, and he nurtures this hatred throughout his years. as a slave. He is treated more as a pet than a human being, which he hates.

What will become of him and his sister when they are no longer pretty children? Will they be sold and separated? What will their future be?

Adelbehrt’s one ambition is to escape and take his revenge on the Roman Army.

But one young man against the might of Rome is seemingly impossible odds. How can Adelbehrt escape, and how can he fight the Roman Army, and can he overcome his hatred before it eats away at his soul.





A few days later, Asphodel took some food to a family not far from the temple. They were a very poor family, and the children were hungry. She had been taking food to them for weeks now, preventing the children from starving. Their father had no work and occasionally stole in order to feed them.
When she arrived, one of the children was sick. Asphodel did what she could to heal the child, but as a novice, her strength was not sufficient yet to heal him completely. It tired her.
She arrived back at the temple, exhausted. It so happened that a rector was passing as she entered.
‘You look tired, Novice Asphodel. Where have you been?’
Asphodel told her she had been visiting a poor family and had healed one of the children as well as giving them food.
‘Most commendable, Novice. Charity is extremely important. What family was it you were visiting?’
‘The family of Yelver, Rector,’ replied Asphodel, bowing her head as was expected of a novice to a rector.
The rector frowned. ‘Isn’t he a thief? One of the evil folk we have been told not to treat?’
‘Rector,’ said Asphodel, ‘he might have stolen from time to time, but he only did it because his children are starving. He’s not an evil man.’
The rector raised his eyebrows. ‘A thief is a thief. Why doesn’t he get a job to feed his children? No, don’t answer,’ she held up her hand as Asphodel was about to speak. ‘There’s no need to say anything. I must remind you not to visit this family again. You are not to have anything to do with them. Understood?’
‘I said, is that understood? Have I made myself plain?’ The rector looked severe.
‘Yes, Rector. Quite plain.’
The rector then walked away and Asphodel returned to her room.
‘Yelver would love a job,’ she muttered to herself as she walked along the passageway, ‘but he’s often unwell himself and can’t work.’

A week later, on the day Asphodel usually went to visit Yelver’s family, she collected alms as usual from the alms box and food from the kitchen. With her basket of food and pouch of money she set off on her charity work.
All week she had been thinking hard. She did not believe Sylissa meant for anyone to be ignored, and her vows said as much, so, after visiting those families on her list, she took the remaining food to Yelver’s home.
The little boy seemed a bit better, and Asphodel did another healing on him, and told Yelver’s wife to make sure he had extra food, then amid the thanks of the family, she left.
This went on for several weeks. Yelver’s boy got better and the family were grateful–so much so that Yelver went to the temple to give thanks and some money he had saved from his last work.
His donation was noticed by the rector who had seen Asphodel a few weeks previously. He called the girl to him.
‘Did you visit Yelver after I had forbidden you to go there again?’
Asphodel looked at her feet. ‘Yes, Rector,’ she said.
‘His family were starving. His children were in danger of dying from lack of food. I went out of common sympathy.’
‘Come with me,’ the rector told her, and he took her to see the Great Mother.
Asphodel knelt before her as was expected.
Mother Caldo was not impressed by Asphodel’s reasoning.
‘We have had a directive from the Most High,’ she told the girl. ‘The leader of our church has given us specific instructions. Yet you, a mere novice, seem to think you know better.’
Asphodel said nothing. Novices were not supposed to speak in the presence of a Great Mother or Father unless told to do so.
The Great Mother paced the floor, then she stopped.
‘You have shown yourself, on several occasions, to be willful, young lady,’ she said. ‘You seem to think you know better than your elders. I think the discipline here is perhaps too lax. My friend, the Great Father in Hambara, runs a more strict regime. Perhaps he can make you see the importance of obedience. I will write him a letter asking him to take you and you can take it there.’
She sat down at her desk and picked up a quill. Dipping it in the ink, she began to write.
Then she looked up.
‘You are, I believe, almost ready to be promoted from a novice to a curate. I will put this in the letter and you can be tested in Hambara. I understand there’s a caravan leaving tomorrow. You will take that.’
So Asphodel left Bluehaven to travel to a new temple in Hambara.


But her story did not end there. You can find out more by reading The Wolf Pack. Just click on the image of the book in the sidebar.


Please leave comments in the comments box. I love hearing from you.