The Reconversion of the Hagia Sophia

The Reconversion of the Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia in all its gl0ry…

The Champagne Epicurean

Heaven on Earth

“And we went into the Greek lands, and we were led into a place where they serve their God, and we did not know where we were, on heaven or on earth; and do not know how to tell about this. All we know is that God lives there with people and their service is better than in any other country. We cannot forget that beauty since each person, if he eats something sweet, will not take something bitter afterwards; so we cannot remain any more in paganism.”

This is how the ambassadors of the Kievan Rus described their experience of the Hagia Sophia in the 10th century. Their sensation of aw and wonder was strong enough to make them abandon their faith and convert to the Christianity capable of building such a temple.

Since July of last year, the Hagia Sophia has become enmeshed in…

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Is the written word dying?

Do you read? In that case, like myself, you are members of a dying breed!!!

Have We Had Help?

If the content of the above picture is any indication, the answer has to be in the affirmative.

I was talking to a friend of mine in South Africa earlier. I had sent him the link for the latest review for one of my books I wrote back in 2017 – Autumn 1066. When he congratulated me I said to him ‘Getting people to read is nigh on impossible these days, let alone writing reviews – positive or not!!!!’

The truth of the matter is that the number of books being read is in serious decline, despite the number of books being given away to attract readers by desparate writers and publishers.

Unfortunately until people want to read, there is no chance for the written word being enjoyed by today’s low IQ individuals who would far rather watch television or take drugs while playing video games than improve their…

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Piety and Humanity: The Last Years of Caravaggio

Piety and Humanity: The Last Years of Caravaggio

justine on my favourite subject – Caravaggio…

The Champagne Epicurean

As a Maltese man writing about Caravaggio I feel a sense of privileged connection that I am deprived with so many a great artist. Growing up I always remember Sunday visits to the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. A masterpiece which, even without its Caravaggios, ranks, personally, as one of the most awe-inspiring church in Christendom.

Within its oratory – designed by the Knights of St. John’s pet artist, Mattia Pteri to be a place for sombre reflection for novice knights confronting the very real possibility of martyrdom for the faith – lies slumbering, in the fitting murk, two luminous paintings by Caravaggio. One of which, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, has two distinct honours: it is the largest canvas ever painted by Caravaggio and the only one that bears his signature.

And what a signature! Cast out of your mind any idea of a neat, formal signature at the…

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A tale of the wild

Feeling sad? I am…

Have We Had Help?

The story I’m about to tell is a bittersweet one about two rabbits named Sam and Poppit.


Poppit was born blind. Growing up, her mother had warned her about the dangers in the world beyond the safety of the communial warren. Because of her blindness, her three main senses – smell, sound and touch, told her everything she needed to know about her surroundings. Not forgetting her excellent sense of direction, when combining all three. For instance, she knew which of the rabbits living in the warren were kits and which were bucks and does by their smell alone.

On the days when she was feeling brave she accompanied her parents and siblings as they fed on the fresh new blades of grass in the shade of the oak tree they lived beneath. One day while feeding and listening to the birds singing she became aware of a stranger…

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The Book Tour Episode Nineteen: Traveller’s Blues – Guest Post by Jill Culiner…

The Book Tour Episode Nineteen: Traveller’s Blues – Guest Post by Jill Culiner…

See what you make of this???

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Helped by the driver, a huge woman boards the bus, her flesh hanging skirt-like over her thighs. Because she could never move further, she gets to sit in the “forbidden” first seat of the bus, right across from the driver. Worse than her physical condition is her voice, nasal, loud, and complaining: size and noise define her position.

She’s on her way to Fort Lauderdale to see her husband. “Visiting hours at the jail are from three, but if you’re late they make you wait, and then I can’t get to see him no more ‘cause I’ll miss the bus, you can’t trust no taxi driver down there, they charge you eight dollars when everyone knows it’s only four.” She repeats this five times.

Husband’s in jail for drunk driving, hit a woman, just cut her two inches and now she’s suing, and the police let her keep all…

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Out of Africa? I Don’t Think So!!!

Read all about it!!!

Have We Had Help?


I for one have always questioned the idea that man is descended from upright ape-like creatures out of Africa. This article makes far more sense when looking for a much more believable origin of our species than the accepted theory mainstream anthropoligists still hold to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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More from Tallis – god help us!!!

Tallis Steelyard

There are few arguments that can rumble on longer than arguments within family. The Clannalds are perhaps a good example of this. Old Topper Clannald was a gentleman. He had a large estate on the south side of the Paraeba Estuary across from Port Naain. He was well to the west of the Port Naain suburbs of Saskadil and Roskadil. His house was large, set among parkland with views over the estuary and out to sea. It was also fortified enough for utility, but not so much that it was a keep rather than a charming gentleman’s residence. He was lucky in that his sister, Tilia, went to be a priestess in the Order of Aea Undivided. Thus the inheritance was not shared.
He had a number of sons. The eldest, also called Topper (initially young Topper, but eventually Middle Topper) was a country gentleman to his fingertips. He rarely…

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The Indie Writing Game – Who Wins?

Certainly not the authors!

There was a time not too many years ago when Indie authors were treated almost like our conventional conterparts in mainstream publishing. No more! There is a school of thought that Amazon’s publishing arm was created with the blessing of mainstream publishing to bury any book we Indies come up with. The same goes for Smashwords and Draft2Digital, to name but two of the many small time publishers created to cater for the hundreds of thousands of independent authors, every one of them making money that the Indie author will never see.  Read   

Now Read This for yet more insight into who actually financially benefits from all your hard work!

The truth of the matter is that if you are an Indie writer, while your publisher makes money exploiting your book, if your lucky you might just recieve a few cents/pence for the number of pages read. As for royalties – forget it! Why? Because chances are your book is being offered free in an all you can read for x amount per month deal by your Indie publisher, which means that the said publisher is not required to pay what you are due in royalties, whether its 35 or 70%! What can we do about it? As it stands at the time of writing – nothing! Face it folks, we are being shamelessly shafted, and there is damn all we can do about it!

What is the best way to deal with an unwanted book by the major publishing houses, steer its author towards Jeff Bezos et al. Once your book is with them it will soon disappear from the public’s view. In Bezos’ case his minions created an algorithm that buries books within a few days of publication. Like most items for sale, once a book falls out of sight, by and large the general public who want it for free, will not bother to look for it, let alone pay the purchase price!

If you think that you will be paid royalties for your effort – dream on. Won’t happen as long as your book(s) are being offered for free by your publisher. Some writers are out of pocket to the tune of several hundreds of dollars/pounds in royalties. One or two, myself included, are owed thousands!

Do you still want to be an Indie writer? After twenty-five + years in the industry, I’m contemplating whether or not I continue to bash my head against the wall any longer..

Desperate or might Frantic sometimes!

I know how Aladin feels….


Or I might dare…

http://Rena Pollak, LMFT, CGP

You might call it; an inconceivable or an unusual concept, as I try to write something which weighs heavily on my heart.
I am, as I have found out newly, for about eight years in this platform. I have about over 650 followers, I’d say wow, but I don’t!

Let me tell you the purpose of this post: First, it is an old post which I had written once but sent it resting in my drafts section. The reason why was that I found it a little bit raw because, when I wrote it, I felt somehow hurt and maybe too emotional. Therefore, I didn’t share it instantly.

And now, my adorable friend Deborah Gregory had made a point in her comment on one of my posts: “A word of nostalgia” She had interpreted my dream in a very fascinating…

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