The Rambling Writer’s Greek Islands 2019, part 4: The Healing Asklepion on Kos

Join Thor and me as we return to Kos, the island of Hippocrates, and its ancient sanctuary of healing dedicated to the god Asklepios.

NOTE: Of course, Thor and I had to make another trip to Greece, as he’s fallen as much in love with the islands as I am. This time I wanted to return to Crete after 37 years, to introduce Thor to “glorious Kriti” and research more settings for my novel-in-progress, THE ARIADNE DISCONNECT. After time-traveling via ruins and museums to explore the mysterious, vanished Minoan culture, we went ferry-hopping to relax on a couple of our favorite islands.

If you recall from my post here of April 25, Thor and I left Rhodes on the afternoon ferry, eager to return to the serene island of Kos with its wealth of history, mythology, and of course our favorite pebble beaches inviting us into the magical blue sea. Continue reading


New Worlds: Working Animals

(This post is part of my Patreon-supported New Worlds series.)

The Industrial Revolution changed a lot of things, but one of the aspects I’ve least often seen commented on is the change in our relationship with working animals.

You may think there are a lot of animals around you now, but compared to a few centuries ago, they’re vanishingly rare. And unless you live on a farm, most of the ones you encounter are likely to fall into two categories, “wild” and “pet.” For most of us, the only working animals we meet on a regular basis are going to be service animals: dogs especially, but other species as well. They guide people with visual impairments, sense epileptic seizures, and more.

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Blogging the Magna Carta #7

Blogging the Magna Carta #7

In today’s world the people of Western Europe and North America treasure their elected governments.  We rely upon them to act for us since we are far too numerous for every citizen to gather and vote individually on every single issue.  An educated society considers each of the candidates, studies the issues and votes for the person most closely aligned to our philosophy.  We trust these people to do their best for us.

Edited to note: in 2020 cherishing our elected governments in the US, Britain, and Australia is up for debate.

Where did this novel form of government begin? Continue reading


Artist in Residence – Quarantine Diaries, Episode 3b: Pursuit of Pie, Part 2: Why does it never look anything like the picture in the recipe?

 Continuing from the Holmes pastiche –
Okay so I tripped over a recipe – this one – – and I got sufficiently intrigued to print it out and make a decision to make it. You know, sometime.
Well no better time than the present – we’re all stuck inside our houses waiting for the coronapocalypse to tick over, so why not, you know, make a pie?
So ok. Here’s a listicle for you.

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BVC Announces Lhind the Firebird

Lhind the Firebird by Sherwood Smith

Lhind the Firebird
Lhind 3
by Sherwood Smith

The dramatic conclusion to the Lhind young adult fantasy series!

When Lhind’s beloved Hlanan is taken by Shinjan slavers, she leaves her self-imposed exile to rush to the rescue. But first she must face a dragon, and learn world-changing truths about herself.

Meanwhile, halfway across the world, imprisoned Hlanan labors to liberate fellow slaves of the evil Shinjan empire. Before they meet again, both must explore the difficult dimensions of honor, trust, and love.

Failure means death. Success, bringing down two murderous tyrants–and forever changing the world.

Buy Lhind the Firebird at BVC Ebookstore


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Meanwhile in Australia

Let me start off with today having been the coldest May day in a half century in the same part of Australia that had the worst fires. If I walk out onto the road and look south, I can see snow on the Brindabellas. Note that ‘if’ – it’s a bit cool out there and I’m staying indoors. Here’s a link to a picture taken this morning (I’m writing this on 1 May) at a place that was evacuated in January because the bushfires were going to devour it. It could be a brilliant ski season for those resorts that survived the fire (many did, but not all) if only the rest of us could travel to the snow and congregate there. And the pollywaffle (a sweet treat from my childhood) is coming back, largely because COVID-19 funding has extended to setting up the machinery to make it.

Also, the regular systems that keep an eye on how bad the everyday autumn illnesses are say that it’s at a record low. We’re all so scared of COVID-19 that we’re not giving others infectious illnesses. I am going to lay odds that this is the same elsewhere. Including places that have never heard of and don’t care about pollywaffles and have never experienced such snow in May.

We’re a living Hollywood movie. Or maybe a living fun fair ride. Australia definitely does crises our own way. The pollywaffle way.

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Stepping Over the Line


I am not a confrontative person. At least, I didn’t used to be. Now I find myself over-reacting to perceived offenses; at one time, I would cower in shock when someone blazed me with anger. Now I shout back, or better yet, flip them off.

The cost of being opinionated and judgmental concerns me when most of the time it really doesn’t matter. I’ll never see that person again and they don’t know me from a garter snake’s hole. Yet it does matter—I care deeply about what others think of me.

Being told you are sweet and nice and calm, yeah, I like that, but only to the husband and a few select friends do I get to show my cynical and sardonic side.

So, when I criticized a relative’s social and political choices—shockingly different from mine and quite unexpected—I couldn’t help myself. But after several such posts from this person on social media, I lost it.

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The Rambling Writer: Inspiration from Places

While we’re confined by the pandemic, how about another virtual trip with meLet me take you back in time and place to inspiration for my novel ISLANDS.

A lot of “life” happened this week, so today I’ll take you on a quickie trip to the Caribbean, where my days as a scuba divemaster inspired my suspense novel ISLANDS. Next week, we’ll be back to the magical Aegean and the healing island of Kos. (Hmmm, islands do seem to play a big part in my real and imaginative life.)

I suppose I could be called a “method writer,” since many of my novels spring from extended sojourns in places that excited my imagination. Today, I’ll take you back to the Caribbean, and some of the landscape and culture that inspired my ISLANDS novel. You may recognize my 80s hair in one of the few photos from that time, when I was living in a treehouse in the Virgin Islands, with no running water or electricity. Continue reading


The Rambling Writer: Happy May Day!

Celebrate May Day by connecting with nature as you’re able!

If you don’t have a May Pole to dance around, I hope you can find a way to be outside today and celebrate the renewal of life all around us — even in these troubled times.

Best wishes and happy reading to all from Book View Cafe! Stay tuned for a storewide ebook sale, coming soon…. Continue reading