Jim Webster’s Blog Tour.Day 2 A Goal Break.

To Jim Webster for the second day of his latest Blog Tour.

First the Story

A gaol break
I never bumped into Orwan Bullip every decade. But Orwan and I went back along way. If we’d come from a better background you’d have said we went to school together. In reality we had been schooled together, but we’d learned our harsh lessons as children on the streets of Port Naain. Even then he ran
with a group of tough lads who looked to him for leadership. I remember them all, Little Toddy, Dillup, Mad Dog, Niblo, Batt, decent enough lads and worth knowing if you felt you needed friends in a hurry.
But there was a parting of the ways, I drifted into the fringes of
respectability and they lingered longer on the boundaries of organised crime. But then Orwan, recoiling from the thought of just becoming another street bully with a few thugs, led them south into Partann. They trailed
along as baggage guards for a respectable company, but when the company returned home, they stayed.
I’d remained in touch, albeit inadvertently. If they wanted a message getting through to a parent, then they’d write to me and I would go and read
the letter to the aged relative. Occasionally the letters would contain coins, jewellery, or some other small valuable that a dutiful son was sending to his doting mother. Sometimes they appeared in the city, and I would spend an evening drinking with them, listening to their tales and
telling them about the doings of people they left behind.
But these visits were never long ones. There was always somebody in authority who would have a list of difficult and embarrassing questions that they felt ought to be answered. In all candour I have often felt that whatever is buried in Partann is best left buried. Still it must be admitted that the judiciary rarely take my opinions into account.
Thus I wasn’t entirely surprised when Orwan Bullip came back to see his sister and her children. He was only expecting to stay a week but four days into his stay he was arrested and then charged with the murder of Neeping Willow. Now I’d heard the tales of Neeping Willow and frankly his death
ought to have been a cause of public rejoicing. Certainly a responsible society should have organised a silver collection for those who had rid the
world of him. Admittedly Orwan had not killed Neeping Willow from some sense of civic duty (although if I had been called as a witness I would surely gave raised the possibility for the jury to consider). Neeping had crossed,
double-crossed, and then betrayed Orwan and Orwan rather lost his temper. A frank and open exchange of views ended up with Neeping sprawled dead on the
floor of some rustic inn, his sword clasped in his stiffening hand and his wounds in his chest.
Now normally this would be the end of it. But it so happened that Orwan had crossed Lord Kastair of Slipshade Keep. The Kastair’s had been ejected from the keep by brigands greater than they were, and they had retired to Port
Naain to plot and dabble in the politics of both Partann and Port Naain.
Since then, Lord Kastair had been running a few schemes in Uttermost Partann. Orwan, loyal to his employer at the time, had thwarted them. Lord Kastair saw his chance of vengeance. He laid charges against Orwan and had
him arraigned in a Port Naain court. The arraignment turned into a trial and evidence was produced from eyewitnesses that Orwan had struck Neeping down
from behind as the other man stooped to give a titbit to a kitten.
Much of the evidence consisted of sworn written dispositions collected from people present. These dispositions formed virtually the entire case for the
prosecution. Given some of these dispositions had been sworn by people even I knew to have been dead for twenty years or more when Neeping died, I think
everybody felt the case would be thrown out. But; I sought to remind In case you forgot
Some judges are blind
Some jailers are not

Orwan was condemned to death, and the question was raised, where was he to be held until he could be led out to execution. The Watch pointed out that they had nothing suitable. (They got a bit sniffy about this, pointing out that an arraignment is not a trial, but precedes by the trial by a period longer than it takes to pick up the pencil you dropped. They explained that this allows others involved in the justice system time to get organised.) Normally the Watch got round the problem of housing contemned criminals by having the guilty party led straight from the court to the place of execution. This has the advantage of reducing the risk of such failures of justice, such as the guilty party being released on appeal. Still here Lord Kastair could step in and assist the authorities. On the excuse that he had the power of low, middle and high justice in Slipshade (a town he had not held for some years) he had built a couple of cells in his cellar. Orwan was incarcerated there.
Little Toddy, Dillup, Mad Dog, and Niblo, (Batt had died in a skirmish some years previously) were determined to stop this and had apparently spent some days trying to work out how to break Orwan out. Their preferred method
involved blowing the front door in with blasting wax and charging into the house with drawn swords, cutting down anybody who got in their way. They would then leave on fast horses. I was contacted because they wanted
somebody they could trust to hold the horses whilst this desperate
undertaking occurred.
I confess that I was somewhat taken aback. It wasn’t that I objected to helping. After all I have known them for a lot of years and I agreed with
them that Orwan did not deserve to die for the killing of Neeping. But frankly I had no confidence in their plan. I had no doubt that they could blow the door in. I had confidence in their ability to fight their way in to rescue Orwan. It was the leaving that worried me. To cross the river to go south into Partann you have to take the Roskadil ferry. Pick the wrong time and you’ll have to queue for it. Whilst the argument could be made that your pursuers might be some distance behind you in the queue I’m not sure it held
up to close examination. Escaping to the north or east was out, they would soon be found and recaptured. Instead I suggested that I get Orwan out for them.
They were a little disappointed, indeed in discussion it did come out that they had rather been looking forward to six horsemen with drawn swords riding full pelt down Ropewalk. I confess that I was rather touched that they included me in their number for that escapade, and I also confess, a
little shamefaced, that it did have its attractions. Still I felt I had a
better way. I approached the Widow Handwill and asked if she could throw an evening
entertainment in the next few days. I also asked if she could both invite Madam Kastair to attend as a guest of honour, but also to hire Darstep Balstep to perform. Darstep was the leader of the clan which ejected the Kastairs unceremoniously from Slipshade. Indeed he was Lord of Slipshade
Keep until he in turn was ejected. He had made his way to Port Naain and was now a poet (and a good one). One of Madam Kastair’s pleasures was mocking Darstep for how far he had fallen, whilst he, in all candour, gave as good as he got. Both enjoyed it hugely, I suppose it reminded them of the good old days back in Partann. I could not imagine Madam Kastair declining the invitation.
The Widow gave instructions for the event to be held and then asked me exactly saw what I had in mind. I explained and she made a few useful suggestions of her own.
On the appropriate evening, I opened the proceedings, introduced Darstep and then stepped back out of the limelight. Indeed I quietly made my way
downstairs to the kitchen. There I found my four fellow conspirators sitting drinking tea and chatting with the kitchen staff. As inevitably happens at
these events, they discovered that some of the ladies had, many years previously, been in service with the mothers of these four ruffians.
Taking Mad Dog with me, I left the other three to their conversations. Mad Dog and I rode to the Kastair residence where Mad Dog hammered on the door
demanding admittance. When a uniformed flunky opened the door to ask what we, wanted my companion merely barged past him whilst I followed, helping the flunky back onto his feet, brushing him down and apologising.
In the middle of the hallway, in a voice that had echoed across
battlefields, Mad Dog shouted for Lord Kastair, informing him that we had his wife hostage. This was followed by a somewhat heated exchange where threats of terrible vengeance were exchanged, but half an hour later, Lord Kastair had bowed to the inevitable and we led Orwan Bullip to freedom. We then rode (at a sedate pace) back to the house of the Widow Handwill, collected the other three and made our way to the ferry. We arrived, the other five purchased their tickets and walked their horses on board. I waved them off, returned to the affair at the Widow’s and arrived just as the party was breaking up. I bid Lady Kastair good evening as she stepped into her sedan chair and then went inside to help tidy up.
Obviously questions were asked, but even the law was impressed with the Widow Handwill’s statement that had it not been for my defusing of the situation, somebody could have been hurt.
Lady Kastair on the other hand was somewhat bemused by all the fuss, feeling that if you have been held hostage, you really ought to notice.

*****

And now a brief note from Jim Webster. It’s really just to inform you that
I’ve just published two more collections of stories.

The first, available on kindle, is ‘Tallis Steelyard, preparing the ground,
and other stories.’
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0872GGLF9

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Meet a
vengeful Lady Bountiful, an artist who smokes only the finest hallucinogenic
lichens, and wonder at the audacity of the rogue who attempts to drown a
poet! Indeed after reading this book you may never look at young boys and
their dogs, onions, lumberjacks or usurers in quite the same way again.
A book that plumbs the depths of degradation, from murder to folk dancing,
from the theft of pastry cooks to the playing of a bladder pipe in public.

The second, available on Kindle or as a paperback, is ‘Maljie. Just one
thing after another.’


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maljie-Just-thing-after-another/dp/B0875JSJVM/
Once more Tallis Steelyard chronicles the life of Maljie, a lady of his
acquaintance. Discover the wonders of the Hermeneutic Catherine Wheel,
marvel at the use of eye-watering quantities of hot spices. We have bell
ringers, pop-up book shops, exploding sedan chairs, jobbing builders,
literary criticism, horse theft and a revolutionary mob. We also discover
what happens when a maiden, riding a white palfrey led by a dwarf, appears
on the scene.

A few words about the author Jim Webster

Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning) at Jim’s WordPress Blog

and the timetable so you can find him.

Friday 1st May: Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Saturday 2nd May: Willow Willers

Sunday 3rd May: Robbie Cheadle

Monday 4th May: Writers Co-op

Tuesday 5th May: Stevie Turner

Wednesday 6th May: Jane Jago

Thursday 7th May: Annette Rochelle Aben

Friday 8th May: Chris Graham

Saturday 9th May: Pete Johnson

Sunday 10th May: MT McGuire

Monday 11th May: Ritu Bhathal

Tuesday 12th May: Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Wednesday 13th May: Ken Gierke

Thursday 14th May: Suzanne Joshi

Thank you Jim be safe.

Announcing another Jim Webster Blog Tour.

Good Sunday morning everyone I am delighted to announce that Jim Webster is Starting another Tallis steelyard Blog Tour today.

I am publishing the route here, starting with Chris Graham.

**********

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

A fine residence.

14thJuly

****

GD Deckard

Writers’ coop

https://writercoop.wordpress.com/

A man who doesn’t pay his bills never lacks for correspondence

15thJuly

****

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Be careful what you pretend to be

16thJuly

****

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Call yourself a writer

17thJuly

*****

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/

Every last penny

18thJuly

*****

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

It all comes out in the wash

19thJuly

****

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

noteworthy

20thJuly

****

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Oblige

21thJuly

****

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Performance art

22thJuly

****

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell.

23thJuly

****

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/

The automated caricordia of Darset Dweel.

24thJuly

****

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain.

25th July

****
So jump on and enjoy.

Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters  And Other  Stories. and .  Tallis Steelyard Playing  The Game  And Other  Stories . 

Hello everyone I am delighted to announce that I have the honour to once again be part of a Jim Webster Blog Tour . This time we are invited to investigate Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters And Other Stories. and . Tallis Steelyard Playing The Game And Other Stories .

Here is the route of the blog tour.

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

A significant gesture

Monday 8th April

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

An eye to the future

Tuesday 9th April

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Butterfly net

Wednesday 10th April

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Getting rich moderately rapidly

Thursday 11th April

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

In tune with the Zeitgeist

Friday 12thApril

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/https://colleenchesebro.com/

Learning a role

Saturday 13th April

suzanne joshi

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/

Love letters

Sunday 14th April

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

Matchmaker

Monday 15th April

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Mother mine

Tuesday 16th April

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcbloghttps://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

No strutting or fretting

Wednesday 17th April

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/https://jenanita01.com/

Something of the night?

Thursday 18th April

Ken Gierke

https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/

The civilising influence of Betta Thrang.

Friday 19thApril

MT McGuire

/https://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Unfashionably tired

Saturday 20th April

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

Vegetating

Sunday 21st April

In tune with the Zeitgeist.jpg

In tune with the Zeitgeist
I have mentioned musicians in the past, and I apologise for doing so again.
Normally the musicians I deal with are those performers who play their instruments at the events I am brought in to stage manage. They are sadly predictable, drinking anything that isn’t locked up and seducing anybody who isn’t strictly chaperoned.
Yet there is another level of musician; those who compose the music. These individuals probably stand to performing musicians as a great playwright stands to the actors who mangle his words and murder his syntax. This higher class of musician is a far more sophisticated beast than the mere performer.
They’re also far more diverse. Some of them seem to hide away in garrets, almost as if they were novelists, before emerging blinking into the daylight, bearing their next masterpiece before them like a shield. I confess I have some sympathy for these. Unlike novelists they don’t churn out inordinately lengthy works which can waste weeks of one’s life. After all even the longest and most dire opera is unlikely to last more than five hours. A bad novel can apparently last forever.
Then there are those who both write music and perform it. These seem to fall into two subsets. There is the older, more mature performer. They can be male or female and are true masters of their chosen instrument. Sitting through one of their performances can be a humbling experience. One feels vaguely honoured that one who has achieved such mastery has condescended to let you, in some small way, share in it. Often one is left with the feeling that they write their own music because nobody else can create anything
which challenges them.
Then there is the younger performer. For choice these are attractive young women with excellent voices who write and perform pleasant enough songs which suit their age and vocal range. I cannot vouch for their artistic merit but they always elicit enthusiastic applause. If you pick an appropriate audience, an attractive young man with similar accomplishments can do very well.
To be honest, if I manage to inveigle any performer who writes their own music to one of the soirees I oversee, I feel I have done my best for my patron. They can rest assured that the evening will be memorable.
Yet even in music there are rivalries and jealousies. Even worse, there are fashions which inexplicably sweep through society. So this week, a certain attractive young lady with a fine voice singing the pleasant songs she wrote herself will be all the rage. A fortnight later I might suggest booking her only to discover my patron struggles to remember her name. Suddenly the artist has moved from being fashionable to forgotten.
Indeed I have come to the conclusion that for the singer-songwriter things are harder than for poets. Whilst a poet is only ever as good as their last body of work; the work seems to somehow last. For the singer, everything seems to transient.I always felt sorry for Clarisina Errund. A delightful young woman with great charm and a definite gift when it came to playing keyboard and other instruments, she struggled to achieve the recognition she deserved.
Obviously young ladies in her circle were not really expected to have to work, but between ourselves, the money Clarisina earned from the sales of her sheet music were her dress allowance. Her widower father struggled to cope with failing health and a failing business, and whilst he could just about keep his daughter fed and housed, clothing her was beyond him.
She wrote beautiful melodies, but when she was invited to perform, people would listen to the tune and comment that they’d heard somebody else play that a week previously. Indeed on one occasion she sang as she played, only to be told by the hostess that she preferred the other words to the tune.
It was on one of these occasions that she smiled gamely, retired to the next room and burst into tears. I was present at the time and hastened to comfort her and asked her what the problem was. Apparently somebody was stealing her tunes.
This is indeed serious. But what to do about it?It seems that because of the general poverty of her family, they couldn’t afford to own a spinet and so when she was working on a tune she had to do so at the houses of various friends. It appears that others were taking advantage of this, listening to what she was creating, and noting it down and using it. This was a problem, but how to overcome it.
She mentioned that a young gentleman, a Rayand Hublank, had been supportive and had encouraged her in her work. Apparently he’d sat with her as she composed music. It appears that young Rayand was proud owner of a spinet and was quite an accomplished player. Obviously she could work at his house, but given he was a single man living on his own, propriety would be outraged if she were there on her own. Given that she suspected some of her female friends were party to the theft of her tunes she couldn’t invite them to chaperone her. To me the answer was obvious. I would be chaperone and could get on with some of my own work at the same time. Rayand was approached and proved almost embarrassingly enthusiastic to be part of the project. Thus and so, we met together to consider the matter and to come up with a plan of campaign.Things started innocuously enough. Clarisina had in mind a light and frothy little tune. It was a mere nothing really, pleasant, catchy, and adequate.
This she ‘composed’ in the presence of Rayand in the house of a friend, when
numerous other people were coming and going.
But then at Rayand’s house she got down to the serious work. To this first
tune she interwove a second and then a third, producing something of quite amazing complexity and beauty. Then in a moment of pure genius, she
conceived of a fourth melody line which wove in and out of the other three.
Rayand and I listened to all four melodies and we were completely won over.
The problem was that it was impossible for one person to play all four simultaneously on the same instrument. Clarisina tried but although she is accomplished, there is a limit to what she could achieve. Rayand dismissed the problem, told her to sleep on it and to return next day, refreshed, and the problem would solve itself.
I’m not sure she believed him, but she did as he recommended. Next day when the pair of us returned, it was to find workmen carrying a second spinet into the drawing room and placing it next to the first. Hastily Clarisina reworked the piece so it could be played by two people on two instruments and the pair of them set to practicing.
My own part was nominal. Other than being there to ensure decorum (Imagine, bringing in a poet to ensure decorum, you might as well leave a dog to guard your dinner.) I got on with my own work. But after the fifth day of practice the tune was going round and round in my head and finally the words I were writing twisted to fit the music. I stopped my two companions, told them to start from the beginning, and then sang the words as they played. Clarisina announced that this was the way forwards, and the words became part of the whole.
Obviously I was still working at various houses during the evenings and as I rather expected, Clarisina’s little tinkling song was doing the rounds, being quite popular amongst the undiscerning. After hearing it the seventh time, I suggested to my patron, the Widow Handwill, that I could find somebody better. Being the lady she is; she took me up on it immediately.
She and her guests were surprised when we struggled in carrying a second spinet. Still they waited for us to start, and Clarisina did, playing the tune that had started it all, and which had been stolen. One or two people even commented in a derogatory manner about this. The good Widow glared at them, and I halted the performance and said, “Oh, that little piece. Yes, somebody overheard Clarisina working on it and stole it. But this evening you are going to be the first people to hear the entire work.”

That rather silenced them, and I turned to our two performers and signalled
for them to start.
To be fair, I think it went very well. Clarisina played her tinking little piece. Then Rayand added in the second tune. I started to sing, and Clarisina added in the third tune and joined me in song. Finally Rayand brought in the fourth tune and added his voice to ours. We were met with rapturous applause.
Obviously with a success like this on their hands, our young composer and other fellow instrumentalist had to keep practising and performing. Eventually I was forced speak firmly to them.“Clarisina, Rayand, I have to tell you that I cannot keep on being chaperone. I have my own work to do and my own patrons to flatter.”
Clarisina looked worried. “So what can we do?”
I turned to Rayand. “Well if you got down on your knees and begged her to marry you, it would solve any number of issues.”
Fortunately that is a hint even a musician can grasp.

********

And the hard sell.

So welcome back to Port Naain. This blog tour is to celebrate the genius of Tallis Steelyard, and to promote two novella length collections of his
tales.

So meet Tallis Steelyard, the jobbing poet from the city of Port Naain. This great city is situated on the fringes of the Land of the Three Seas. Tallis makes his living as a poet, living with his wife, Shena, on a barge tied to
a wharf in the Paraeba estuary. Tallis scrapes a meagre living giving poetry readings, acting as a master of ceremonies, and helping his patrons run their soirees.
These are his stories, the anecdotes of somebody who knows Port Naain and its denizens like nobody else. With Tallis as a guide you’ll meet petty criminals and criminals so wealthy they’ve become respectable. You’ll meet
musicians, dark mages, condottieri and street children. All human life is here, and perhaps even a little more.

Firstly;-
Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories..jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Discover
the damage done by the Bucolic poets, wonder at the commode of Falan Birling, and read the tales better not told. We have squid wrestling, lady writers, and occasions when it probably wasn’t Tallis’s fault. He even asks the great question, who are the innocent anyway?

And then there is;-
Tallis Steelyard. Playing the game, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard. Playing the Game and other stories.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Marvel at the delicate sensitivities of an assassin, wonder at the unexpected revolt
of Callin Dorg. Beware of the dangers of fine dining, and of a Lady in red.
Travel with Tallis as his poetical wanderings have him meandering through
the pretty villages of the north. Who but Tallis Steelyard could cheat death by changing the rules?

If you want to see more of the stories from the Land of the Three Seas, some of them featuring Tallis Steelyard, go to my Amazon page at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Tallis even has a blog of his own at

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

Do check out Tallis Steelyard’s world. That you will find it as captivating as I have, I have no doubt.

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