Tag Archives: Blog

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.


Yikes, Another Award!

Sunshine blog award

Hearty thanks go out to Paula Tohline Calhoun for nominating me for the Sunshine Award.  I accept with heart-felt gratitude.  This particular award had absolute perfect timing for me, and I’ll tell you why.   Today, I was feeling somewhat useless and unappreciated (post started on March 22/12).  Since I don’t enjoy wallowing in negativity, I sent the wish out into the universe for something to help me out of the blue funk.

At a luncheon with friends, these ladies, one and all, expressed their appreciation for my past help in my role as spiritual wayshower a couple of years ago (I conducted some self-help classes that were apparently very helpful).  I did feel better after that, but then I thought, they did all the work…I just helped them to organize it, so maybe I didn’t really deserve their praise (see how a blue funk can eat positive energy?).  I was losing that glow and feeling a little desperate, when I came home and read my email.

 One of them directed me to the award and the neat things Paula had to say about my blogging, and especially about my comments.  THAT was the icing on the cake, which enabled me to neatly sidestep the dreaded blue funk..  So…Paula, thank you for being in the perfectly right place at the perfectly right time…at least for me.

And now on to the Sunshine Award.  The requirements include posting the Sunshine Award badge (see above image), passing the award along to ten other bloggers you feel are deserving of the award (see below, in no particular order), and sharing ten things about myself (see also below).  As emphasized by Paula in her acceptance speech, please don’t feel obligated to accept the award.  I know some people feel it a pain to carry out the requirements and don’t have enough time to do what they need to do.  But if you do have the time, please acept the award as the honor I intend it to be.


1. Enduring the Silence – Debbie Norman’s “blog about autism with acceptance, love, faith, and fight.” Debbie gives me sunshine with her every post because of the deep insights she provides and the cheerful way she accepts what she needs to do.  She is the perfect example of:  if life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

2. The Water Witch’s Daughter – Suzicate’s wonderfully expressive blog about all things positive under the sun.  Along with being a great photographer, Suzicate just has a way with words that generally put a positive spin on just about any subject she tackles.  That’s sunshine, folks! 🙂

3. Miss Beehaven with Hobbit Queen – Beginners Luck with Honeybee Farming.  You might think that a blog about honeybee farming might be too technical or, frankly, boring for non-honeybee farmers.  Wrong!  Hobbit Queen has imbued her blog with freshness, great pictures, and an endearing look at both the honeybee and her travails and wet-behind-the-ears honeybee farmers who seem to make it fun AND a success.  Pure sunshine!

4. Rumpydog – “I’m a dog with a unique perspective.” Submitted by Rumpydog’s mom, Jennifer Threet, this blog is from Rumpydog’s perspective.  Rumpy, a beautiful black and white Malemute and a rescue dog, conducts interviews with various animals (and once with Santa Claus himself), offers opinions and tales of his adventures.  Frequently amusing and always interesting, Rumpydog puts an insider’s spin on kindness to animals and the world they live in.  Good sunshine.

5. Out of the Woods – “My journey into authorhood.” An Eastern New Yorker transplanted to the UK nine years ago, Billie Jo Woods is working towards authorhood and letting us watch alongside her.  What sets Billie Jo apart from many of the thousands of wannabe authors is that she writes from the heart and very often gives valuable insight and advice on the process as she goes along.  She also writes about facets of her life, interesting in her easy-to-read style.  More sunshine.

6. The Painted Universe – “Tales from a technicolor life.”  Anna is the hilarious writer of this blog, which has become one of my very favorite spirit blogs.  She writes about her invisible boyfriend Daniel in a way that not only lifts the hair on my arms but often gives me a hearty chuckle as well.  Having had experiences along these lines myself, Anna helps reassure me that I’m not crazy and that communicating with a centuries-dead-boyfriend is not the least bit unusual.  Yup, sunshine!

7. aNTibakTeRiYeL – I’d cite the quote from this site, but I can’t because it’s not in English. Thus, I don’t usually go to Tarkan F’s blog for the text posts (although often he translates them from Turkish (I think) into English).  However, his photographs are stunning, and he usually has an English translation of the text that accompanies them.  I defy you to go to his current photograph of an unusual leaf and his meaningful text, and not feel some sunshine entering your heart! 🙂

8. Inspired Vision – “Cecilia Futch’s Blog” – The first thing I noticed about Cecilia’s blog was the photograph of the adorable little girl from possibly the ’50s or ’60s.  I loved that pic and would return to the blog, just to look at the pic.  Well, Cecilia’s posts are like that pic–happy, sometimes not-so-happy but still inspirational, funny, and/or from the heart, and accompanied by gorgeous photos.  Take a look at today’s (Mar. 25/12) photo and see if it doesn’t lift your spirit.  That’s sunshine!

9. Huffygirl’s Blog – “Laugh. Cry. Think. Learn. Light-hearted musings about wellness and life.” In this particular series of awards, I tried to give it to people I follow who haven’t received an award from me before.  Obviously they provide me sunshine, since I still follow them (I am a sunshine sort of person :P).  However, there are two bloggers who consistently give me a good ration of sunshine every time I visit their blogs.  Huffygirl is one of them, and her own caption says it all.  Thanks, HG!

10. Spirit Lights the Way – You knew this one would be on the list, right?  Nancy Hatch offers a potpourri of everything–humor, inspirational, investigative, recreatonal, personal–you name it.  But each post carries her own brand of thoughtfulness and caring.  Some of her posts have made me think, others have inspired me in my own life.  And each one carries its own brand of sunshine.

Well, folks, that’s all for now.  I’m going to have to do another post another day to list the 10 unusual things about me.  Thanks for reading along this far.

Lovely, lovely awards

Okay, I’m happy – I just got another award from Ken Broad at Fictional Campfire. It’s called Inspirational Blogger Award, and he designed it himself.  That makes it twice as valuable to me.

Inspiring Blogger Award - awarded by Ken Broad

The only criterion is that I can award it to anyone I feel is an Inspiring Blogger.  Pretty simple.  Thanks, Ken.

Versatile Blogger Awards

Exciting news today!  No, not another flash fiction story – I got another award.  This time, the Versatile Blogger Award — from the PanicMonster.  You should read her blog, if you haven’t already.  It’s extraordinarily honest and full of pain and courage.  Thank you, PM, for this award.

Versatile Blogger Award

With respect to the award, here are the terms and more information:

The Versatile Blogger Award is passed from blogger to blogger. It’s a great way to get your blog noticed, as well as highlight some of your favorite bloggers/writers.  Considering the vast number of very creative and inspirational blogs in our own blogosphere alone, I am pretty happy to have been included in this august company 🙂

Now the idea in spreading the good word to others is:

1) Link back to the blogger that gave me the award . – done
2) Tell you 7 random things about myself.
– see below
3) Choose 15 other blogs to pass the award to. – see below
4) Inform the other bloggers that I’m passing the award to them. – done


Saline solution for IV

Image via Wikipedia - Saline Solution

1. I almost died twice last year, once by injection of iodine for a catscan.  It turns out I am deathly allergic to iodine.  If my family doctor hadn’t recognized it right away and put me on a saline solution to flush out my veins, I would have died…my kidneys had already started to fail.  The other time was a mix-up with too many doctors prescribing medications for me without regard to the medications I was already on.  One prescription was again making my kidneys start to fail and my blood pressure had dropped alarmingly, but again my family doctor solved that by putting me in the hospital, saline solution for 24 hours, I was right as rain the next morning.  We solved that particular one by passing any new medications past my family doctor before I started taking them.

2.  I could read and write (actual writing, not printing) when I was four years old.  I guess I couldn’t wait to grow up to get at my writing.  I wrote my first “novel” when I was seven.  It was a self-illustrated, five-page adventure story called ANGUS THE ANT.

3. I am 70 years old but have been repeatedly told that I don’t look more than my mid-50s.  I like hearing that.  When I was younger, I had somewhat shallow values, in that the looks of people were very important to me.  I have matured considerably since then, but some of it still lingers 😳

4. I still read the Oz books and have never gotten over the idea that somewhere there may be a full-fledged fairyland (like Baum’s Land of Oz, or Anthony’s Xanth, or Brooks’s Magic Kingdom for Sale).  I’ll let you know when I find it.

Barrel racing at the Calgary Stampede

Image via Wikipedia

5. Charles, Prince of Wales, waved at me personally once when he came to Calgary for the Calgary Stampede.  I was atop the chuck wagon entry of the radio station I worked for then and was enthusiastically yelling and waving to the crowd.  Charles was in the reviewing stands and looked my way when he heard all the noise I was making.  He grinned at me and waved back.  That was 35 years ago. 🙂

6. I did the all-night radio broadcast for three years at CHQR in Calgary, before it became an all-talk radio station.  It was like having my own party every night and I loved it.  This was in the early 1980s.

7. I have three of the most adorable Shih Tzus you have ever seen: Ling Ling, Oreo Blizzard, and Tilly Tot.  The first two were purchased from their breeders.  However, Tilly Tot was a rescue dog, who was dying when we found her.  She was so full of bladder stones she could hardly walk and couldn’t pee at all.  We took her to the vet and he did the necessary operation.  Tilly is now a happy, healthy, little sweetheart, a real loving addition to our little family.

Okay, on to the 15 new award winners.  This might be difficult, since so many of the bloggers I follow regularly already have this award.  Here goes:


1. AnimalsOurEverything – Janet Herring-Sherman
2. Dorky Deb – Debbie Norman
3. Fearlessly Nourished – Kristin Konvolinka
4. Huffygirl’s Blog – Donna Barry
5. Michael’s Blog – Michael Ayers (aka stickinsect)
6. Miss Beehaven with Hobbit Queen
7. Bookclub Cheerleader – Marsha Toy Engstrom
8. Fictional Campfire – Ken Broad
9. The Painted Universe – Anna Barlow
10. Out of the Woods – Billie Jo Woods
11. Selena Wolff’s Solitary Words
12. The Renegade Writer – Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
13. Publication Coach – Daphne Gray-Grant
14. The Sunflower Girl – Jennifer Alys Windholz
15. Blog Therapy (formerly Marya Writes) – Marya

That was more of a struggle than I anticipated.  Other than the ones who already have this award, this is pretty nearly my whole Blogroll.

Congratulations, guys.  I will be in touch personally soon to let you know, in case you don’t drift by to see what I’m up to.  Thanks for being such great writers.

The Truth About Sandra – Memetastically Speaking

Some mine buildings at Giant Mine, Yellowknife...

Image via Wikipedia - Some mine buildings on site at Giant Mines, Yellowknife, NWT, Canada

Welcome back to part 2 of the Memetastic Awards.  As promised I am about to reveal which of the five stories listed in my post You Want to Do What to My Memetastic Award? is the true story.  So without further ado, here we go.

1. My mother was a talented and acclaimed radio actress and played in radio dramas in the late 1940s.  My father wrote the plays and produced them.  I once got to scream in a WWII radio drama and then was shot while being held in my mother’s arms. The scream scared me more than the shot did.  TRUE

This one is true.  We lived in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, which, at the time had one small local radio.  Occasionally they would pipe in programs from the big southern centers like Toronto and Calgary via CBC.  But most of the programming was provided locally.  Mom and Dad got up a group of people to help them with the acting in the radio plays (remember, there was no TV back then), we would rehearse for a few days, and then do the show LIVE on Sunday.  People in Yellowknife loved the plays and wouldn’t believe that they were locally produced, believing that they were programs piped in from the big centers.

2. My brother was good at horse riding and showed me how to ride when I was 6 or 7.  He was training me to ride in the junior division of The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.  However, the horse I was training with, named Gypsy, bucked me off, I got scared, and didn’t get my nerve back until after the Fair was over.  I never tried riding at the Winter Fair again.  FALSE

This one is partly true and partly false.  First off, I am an only child…no brothers or sisters.  Secondly, it was my father who taught me how to ride.  Thirdly, I did train for the Royal Winter Fair, but I was 14, not 7.  Fourthly, a lady who owned the horses trained me for the Royal Winter Fair.  Fifthly, Gypsy did buck me off, I did get scared, and I didn’t get back on again until after the Fair was over.

3. My grandfather, a government surveyor, was surveying the boundary between northern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories in the early 1900s, when he was captured by aboriginals disgruntled by various Indian Treaties.  They told him the government lied and they would kill him if he didn’t change the treaties.  He did some fancy talking to convince them that he was a government surveyor, not a treaty agent.  They eventually, reluctantly, let him go.  He used to tell me the story as I sat on his knee.  I didn’t really believe him until he showed me the faded newspaper clipping he kept in his desk drawer with a bunch of other memorabilia.  FALSE

This one is also partly true and partly false.  My grandfather was indeed a government surveyor in the early 1920s, but he and his crew ran the 6th Meridian north through northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.  My mother was the first white baby the natives in the area had ever seen.  There is a lake named after her there…Margaret Lake. 🙂  However, my grandfather was never captured and threatened with death by any aboriginals.   And I never sat on my grandfather’s knee.  Of course, there was no faded newspaper clipping either.


4. How fleeting is youth!  When I was in my early 20s, I won a small beauty contest in Montreal…Miss NDG (Notre Dame de Grace), a municipal English district in Montreal.  I let it go to my head, thinking maybe I could reach the heights of Miss Canada and then maybe even Miss Universe.  Far from disliking the whole world of beauty shows, I loved it…the excitement, glamor, attention.  I seemed to get along well with the other girls, which made a difference too.  Anyhow, the next division was Miss Montreal…and I lost miserably to a lovely French girl.  I later admitted that she was prettier than me.  A lot prettier.  I didn’t even get Miss Congeniality…they didn’t have that award in the Miss Montreal contest.  FALSE

This one is nearly all false.  Although I did live in NDG in Montreal at one time, I have never entered a beauty contest and have never won anything except a lava lamp at bingo one time.

5.  Motherhood agreed with me.  Every time I got pregnant, I seemed to glow…never got morning sickness and seemed to be spared the more common aches and pains in the 7th, 8th and 9th months.  My first child was born quickly, although I went through some pretty excruciating labor pains, but only for 7 hours.  During the 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, I practiced self-hypnosis, and honestly, I’ve had worse gas pains when it came time for labor.  However, something went wrong with my innards, and the 4th and 5th babies were delivered by Caesarean.  I couldn’t have any more babies after that.  All five were healthy and normal.  FALSE

This one is a little bit true but mostly false.  I did have two children, not five.  The first one, my son, was born quickly, although I went through some pretty excruciating labor pains, but only for 7 hours.  I did practice self-hypnosis with my second baby, my daughter, and yes, I’d had worse gas pains during that labor.  I had my tubes tied shortly after her birth and there was no 3rd, 4th and 5th babies.  It’s true I couldn’t have any more babies after my second…and both children were healthy and normal.  Although my daughter will argue the last point about my son 😛

Thank you all for playing this little game.  Thanks to Dorky Deb for starting it all.  And thanks to the winners I picked for the next round.  (large round of applause – fade annnnnnnd – OUT)

That’s a wrap!