Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays / Thank You

English: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! E...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Español: Feliz Navida y prospero año nuevo! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With good cause, you may have thought I have abandoned you faithful readers. However, I have not…I simply have done what many of you have experienced: bit off more than I can chew. Right now my focus has been on my blog PUPPY DOG TALES, largely because it has been so compelling to me. My dogs and I have been learning at a rapid pace the things we need to do and the things we must not do.

In the new year, I am determined to write a post for this blog at least once a month.  I will be focusing on writing tips and exercises from me and other writers.  I will also be providing some excerpts from my own writing and will invite you to do the same.  Watch for that feature.  I am toying with the idea of providing brief news clips on fantastical things happening both in the real world and the fantasy world.  We’ll see about the appeal that has for you and the time needed by me.  (Right now, it’s all about time.)

So that leaves us with my heartfelt wishes to you for a happy and peaceful Christmas and an abundant and healthful 2015…from me, my husband Ernest, and our two remaining dogs Ling Ling and Tilly Tot.

(c) 2015 Sandra Bell Kirchman


View on Critics – Maya Angelou

Of course, there are those critics – New York critics as a rule – who say, ‘Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it’s good but then she’s a natural writer.’ Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Author Profession: Poet
Nationality: American
Born: April 4, 1928
Died: May 28, 2014




Related articles

Oreo, the "sweet-but-mightily-determined" puppy..

Oreo, the “sweet-but-mightily-determined” puppy.

Chow Down – the Oreo Gobble – Part 1:  Read about the clash of wills between the mighty-but-inexperienced pet mom and her sweet-but-mightily-determined Shih Tzu puppy.  Guess what the dirty, four-letter word is in our household.  Hint:  It begins with a “D”.

Bullying–Good, Bad, and Ugly

This post is in response to a wonderful article entitled “Are Some Humans Born to Bully? Born to be Victims? Can it be Changed?” by Kristen Lamb.  If you’ve ever been bullied and/or have ever done the bullying, you will want to read this article and the article preceding it:  “Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?

Word Cloud Bullying Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici |"

Word Cloud Bullying Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici |”

FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I know how some bullies are created…by being bullied by others. To my great shame, this was my reaction when I was bullied by an older girl at school (Grade 8). Every time she saw me, she would point at me and laugh and make loud unkind comments about me to her cohorts.

This devastated me, as my psyche at the time was fragile. I had no idea how to handle it. I had long been taught by my alcoholic parents that you never snitched on people. You got even. I didn’t know how to get even, so I transferred my pain and frustration onto a younger girl at the same school. She even cried when I bullied her, following Rosalie’s cruel pattern.

At first, I thought it was satisfying. Every time Rosalie bullied ME, I would say to myself, oh boy is Joyce going to get it later. And she would. I felt like I had some recourse and kidded myself that it felt good.

But it didn’t. As time went on, it felt more and more ugly, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided that, no matter what Rosalie did to me, I wouldn’t pass it on to Joyce anymore. I walked over to the younger girl to tell her. She shrank from me and started crying before I even opened my mouth. That’s when the full extent of what I had done to her exploded in my heart. I started crying, too. Joyce was so astonished that she stopped crying and regarded me with wide eyes.

I told her the whole story. By the end of it, she was so indignant that she wanted to try to protect ME, which made me more ashamed than ever. I turned down her brave offer, since I knew that Rosalie would make mincemeat out of her. I’d like to say that Joyce and I became firm friends after that, but it didn’t happen. We remained friendly and would chat now and then, but true friendship was not in the cards for us.

Two girls tormenting a third.  Photo credit:  Ambro |

Two girls tormenting a third. Photo credit: Ambro |

However, Rosalie was another matter. She continued to make my life a living hell, and I got angrier and angrier. One of the things I was really good at in life was the knowledge and use of the English language. I never thought of it as a defense, though, until Rosalie came into my life. Finally, unable to stand the torment any longer, I unleashed my skill with English at her.

At first she tried to shout me down, along with a couple of her cohorts, but I was determined and I have a really loud voice when I become emotional. I was emotional that day…but cool enough to keep my head. It came to a point where Rosalie and her friends were so surprised that I was fighting back that they became silent and listened to what I was saying. I was pointing out, in well-considered and polished language, all the errors in their statements . They didn’t know the meaning of a lot of the words, nor did they seem to understand the concepts.

It ended up confusing them, and they sort of drifted away…while I was still talking. I grinned to myself. That felt much better than transferring my pain to someone else. When I told Joyce later, she cheered, then admitted if she ever met someone like me again, she would try her own considerable English skills, instead of crumbling into a soggy, miserable heap. I do believe, in that moment, I repaid her for all the pain I had caused.

I’m not sure what it means, but that was the last time I was ever bullied by anyone (that I recognized as bullying). It was definitely the last time I ever knowingly bullied anyone else.  Thus, so far no one has bullied my blog posts, my published books and stories, or my newspaper articles.  I hope it stays that way.

The Three Blogs of Sandra Bell Kirchman


BLOG IDEAS (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

I read somewhere that blog followers are just as interested in the subject of a blog as they are the author.  Therefore, you may be interested in my other blogs, or you may not.  Heck, you might even want to touch base with them now and then just to see if I can keep up with all three.  I’m interested in that myself. On the off-chance that you are interested in one or more of my blogs, I’ll list them here, including the one you’re reading now, including the linked title and a brief description.

Tilly, Oreo, Ling Ling - picture (c) Sandra Bell Kirchman

Tilly, Oreo, Ling Ling – picture (c) Sandra Bell Kirchman

Puppy Dog Tales – This is my newest blog, started two weeks ago.  It is a casual, somewhat humorous and helpful compilation of true stories about my three little Shih Tzu dogs.  Goal is one tale per week.  Readers are enthusiastically encouraged to share stories of their own dogs.

Guru 4 gurus

Guru 4 gurus (Photo credit: sapojump)

News, Views, and Gurus – This is my second oldest blog, started in 2011.  As a writer and former journalist on the press release list, I get a lot of PR‘s from various agencies.  Some of the stories, although not hard news, are just too good to throw back on the pile.  So I set them up as a post, adding my own comments and experience, if any, with the subject matter.

"Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories" edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The unicorn on the cover of “Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories,” edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman.

FantasyFic – This is my original blog, started in December of 2010.  As the blog description states, it is a celebration of fiction writing and especially fantasy fiction.  I love fantasy fiction and write it almost exclusively, although my second love is mystery, closely followed by historic fiction.  This blog contains quite a bit of my writing–flash fiction and excerpts from novels.  It also shares some of my experience from the decades of writing I have engaged in…from character building to world building and anything in between.