Four Amazing Vintage Styles, Four Signature Vintage Hairstyles

My article with my name at the bottom! But the owners or their staff changed a few of my words so some grammar sounds slightly “awkward”…. 😦


Writing Spaces

Recently, I’ve been dreaming ‘writing spaces’. I think that’s a good sign? My current dream writing space below-Let’s move from writing in the bed to writing in a dedicated space! Is your writing space important to you or do you write at any place, at any time? Writing Space

Mrs. Goose’s & Brian’s Adventures: Mrs. Goose to the Rescue! new

Brian, an intriguingly imaginative little boy on a mission, one day an astronaut by night, the next,    swashbuckling pirate by day, finds himself getting into trouble when all he wants to do is save the  world and reveal all its mysteries.

His Math teacher, Mr. Fraction, puts him down every day, sending him to the ‘stand-alone’ corner,  while his Mum, Mrs. Smith is worried about her little boy, that just cannot seem to settle down to  get anything accomplished!

Mrs. Goose, however, realizes that little Brian has a bit of magic in him, if only she can come up with  a plan to channel his curiosity in the right direction. And she does!

Join little Brian on his journey that turns him from a distracted little boy to one who can achieve  anything he sets his mind to!


Mrs. Goose’s & Brian’s Adventures: Mrs. Goose to the Rescue!

The yellow moon was winking at Brian, as little Brian crawled under his spaceship-printed blue bed covers, in his matching astronaut-printed pajamas. Brian winked back, making a silly lopsided face, sticking his tongue out at the moon.

The neon blue and yellow stick-on stars and asteroids on his bedroom ceiling twinkled at him. Brian looked at them and sighed, “Ok boo to you too!”

The stars and asteroids sighed back at him.

“Brian, you know better than to be rude! When the spaceship takes off we all have to work together, you know!” Mr. Asteroid-In-Charge drawled.

“Click-click-click!” tapped Mrs. Smith’s heels against the floorboards.

“Shoo, shoo! All of you! Mum’s back from dinner! She must not find out about Mission Milky Way!” screeched Brian, as quietly as he could, if that was even possible!

He then quickly assumed a peaceful position of slumber.

“Knock! Knock! My pretend sleepy head!”  Mrs. Smith whispered, with a knowing smile on her face as she entered Brian’s room.

She walked towards his bed and ruffled his brown hair, knowing all too well that Brian was awake.What was she to do with her little munchkin, that wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t sit still for a meal or wouldn’t even sit through a half-an-hour class?

And true to form, before she knew it, Brian had gallantly jumped out of his covers and was now sitting cross legged on his bed.

“Mum! Mum! Mr. Asteroid wants to know how far away the Milky Way is?” he asked animatedly, jabbing his finger in Mr. Asteroid-In-Charge’s direction.

Mr. Asteroid yawned and rolled his eyes in Brian’s direction, indicating his displeasure.  Mrs. Smith carried Brian from his sitting position and tucked him under his covers.

As she walked away, she warned “No more talking to Mr. Asteroid or tomorrow he’ll be gone, probably to the Milky Way! School tomorrow!”

She gently closed the door behind her and stood there with her ear to the door.  All was quiet, but with that little monkey of hers, she never knew. She took off her shoes and quietly tip-toed to her own bedroom.

At school the next day, the first class was Mr. Fraction’s Math class, which Brian dreaded, because Mr. Fraction had a way of standing straight smack in front of Brian, his vest-covered belly almost protruding into little Brian’s face, while he droned on about the same thing over and over again, “Miserable failure you’ll turn out to be, with that no-good attitude of yours!”

That always put a pit in little Brian’s tummy, but Brian, student by day and currently astronaut by night, would not cry, for every night he had to be strong enough to be a man on a mission!

“ Today my mathematically-challenged class,” said Mr. Fraction in his slow, low voice, as his students looked on at him in anticipation, “we will be examining  the two times two multiplication table,” he said, stifling a yawn, while his round, frameless glasses slipped down his sweaty nose.

He did a sudden about turn, picked up the whiteboard marker and started scribbling.

“Like a mad scientist!” Brian thought to himself, completely forgetting to focus on what Mr. Fraction was scratching away on the white board.

Mr. Fraction faced the class and triumphantly announced, “There are two apples on the board. Each student eats two apples for a snack. How many apples would we need for two students?”

He looked around the classroom and caught Brian looking down at his desk, knocking two knobbly knuckles from each hand on his desktop.

“Brian!” growled Mr. Fraction. Brian’s head snapped up pronto, looking at Mr. Fraction, fear written all over his face.

Now gloom and doom was written all over Mr. Fraction’s red face.

“Why are you playing with your fingers when I’m trying to put some sense into your head, boy?” Mr. Fraction growled, like a beast unleashed from a zoo cage.

Before Brian could explain that he was using his fingers to count how many apples two students would need, Mr. Fraction banished Brian to the ‘stand-alone corner’, where Brian stood for the rest of the period, looking out of the window, watching the clouds morph into ships and boats and daydreamed about being a swashbuckling pirate, a good pirate, protecting the gold coins in the treasure box against the one-eyed pirates that were trying to steal his kingdom’s treasures.

“Good morning Mrs. Goose!” chimed the class as grey-haired Mrs. Goose walked in during second period, forgetting she had left her pencil tucked in her bun. Mrs. Goose was Brian’s favorite teacher of all times. Sometimes she read them funny stories about monsters under the bed and gave them funny writing assignments with titles like What Was Under the Wizard’s Hat?

That one had made him laugh so much, he had written such a good story. Mrs. Goose had given him a special ‘broomstick and witch’ sticker that was shiny and changed colors when you looked at it from different angles! How special!

“Now class, today I’m going to read you a story titled The Lady that Found Herself on the Moon!” she said enthusiastically, her eyes wide with mystery, as she sat herself on the chair with the book, nearly missing the seat and almost falling off it! The class rumbled with laughter and Mrs. Goose joined in.

She opened the book with slow anticipation and started reading the story in an animated voice, pausing at just the right moments and regaling the class with her amazing acting skills, when she noticed that Brian was the only student not paying any attention, staring out of the classroom window.

Mrs. Goose was very worried about these recent developments. It was not the first time she had caught Brian, her usually upbeat student, normally enthralling her with tales of magic wands and special powers, staring sadly out of the classroom window.

Reaching the most exciting part of the story, the height of it, Mrs. Goose slowly closed the storybook, as if on purpose, the students letting out a united chorus of sighs.

“Now class,” she said in a very somber tone, almost losing her footing as she stood up, “The sad part is that the story has no ending. I need all of you to put on your thinking hats and write the best, most excellent ending to this magnificent tale!”

“The best writer gets to read the story in front of the whole class and gets one of my extra special stickers!” Mrs. Goose said in a sing-song tone.

The whole class cheered and clapped. The whole class, except Brian.

As the rest of the class got out their notebooks and started writing, serious looks of concentration on their faces, Mrs. Goose took her seat at her desk, this time with great care, opened her bottom-most ‘secret drawer’ where she kept all her notebooks from her years of teaching.

She pulled out the notebook titled Easily Distracted Boys and flipped through it but could not find what she was looking for. Eager to learn a little more about what Brian was going through, she casually called Brian to her desk.

Brian came forward looking a little more than confused, for he had missed most of the period and was wondering if Mrs. Goose too, was going to give him a scolding of her own, but Mrs. Goose simply pointed at a stack of pencils on her desk next to a pencil sharpener.

“Brian, would you kindly just sharpen those for me and I would be ever so grateful?” Mrs. Goose asked Brian politely.

A little perplexed at Mrs. Goose’s gentle request, Brian started sharpening the pencils, ever so often checking the tips to make sure they were perfectly pointed and then placed them neatly in a row, one after another.

Mrs. Goose realized that if the boy put his mind to something wholeheartedly, he could achieve almost anything! There was something about Brian, something magical, that Mr. Fraction, perhaps hampered by the inability of having a heart, had missed about Brian.

At dinner later that evening, Brian was bursting with energy and excitement, wanting to tell Mrs. Smith a ‘very private secret’ that Mrs. Goose had shared with him, but he did not want to let Mrs. Goose down, so he ate his dinner with fixed concentration, making sure he scraped the last of his peas off his plate, which puzzled Mrs. Smith quite a bit because normally, mid-way through dinner Brian would already be telling her about the Wicked Witch that spoke at the school assembly that day or how flying monkeys had invaded Mr. Fraction’s class, causing a commotion.

Mrs. Smith became even more worried when Brian sat down, no complaints or fairy stories and actually finished his homework for once! She started wondering if something serious was happening to Brian and if she should call the doctor.

She caught herself shaking her feet in nervousness and had to promptly stop herself!

After homework was finished and put away, it was bonding time over marshmallows and hot chocolate. Mrs. Smith quickly seated Brian down next to her, cuddling him even more than usual.

“So, Brian, did anything odd, uh, happen in school today?” Mrs. Smith asked Brian with some hesitation.

“No, not really,” Brian replied casually, “Except Mrs. Goose told me her ‘very private secret’ ”, which begun to worry Mrs. Smith again.

Brian explained that Mrs. Goose told him how much she loved his vivid stories and spunky imagination and that’s why she was always giving him those stickers in his notebook and on his story-telling chart, but a secret she only shared with her very best writers, who happened to be himself this year, he announced quite proudly, was that each day at school he had to pay very close attention to what was happening in every class. Otherwise how was he going to observe situations, people and on goings to become an even better writer?

Also, he had to eat his dinner, so he grew a strong mind, the muscles for good writing and finish all his homework, so he could put his mind at ease during his journal writing.

“Oh yes, journal writing, I almost forgot!” Brain exclaimed, while slapping his forehead with his palm, “I have to get to it now Mum and we have to schedule it into my daily schedule, or how am I going to get a good night’s sleep and become an even better writer?”

Brian walked off with his marshmallows and hot chocolate in hand and headed towards the study, leaving a stumped Mrs. Smith sitting on the edge of the sofa, mouth agape.

”Was this really happening?” she thought to herself, slightly petrified!

When Brian got into bed that night, he tried to ignore the winking moon, got under his covers and shut his eyes tight.

Mr. Asteroid-In-Charge drawled “Not going on Mission Milky Way tonight are we?”

Brian covered his face with his pillow and grouched “We’ve already been there! I wrote about it in my journal you see! But you won’t understand! Now let me go to sleep!”

Soon the bedroom was filled with little Brian’s snores and the stick-on neon blue and yellow stars twinkled softly.

By the end of the week, sticking to Mrs. Goose’s advice, Brian had filled his journal with tales of mystical and wondrous adventures.  His journal was filled with brightly colored stickers that shone brilliantly in the sun, different colored from different angles!

Mrs. Goose announced to the rest of the class that Brian had won the “Thinking Hat of the Week Award” and the rest of the class roared and cheered, throwing imaginary hats into the air.

That night, as Brian crawled into the bed, he fell asleep almost instantaneously. Outside the bedroom, the moon winked at Mr. Asteroid-In-Charge and Mr. Asteroid-In-Charge winked back.  The stick-on stars and asteroids sighed quietly in unison, careful not to wake a snoring little Brian up and slowly, one by one, switched off their twinkling lights and went to sleep.

Agents. Qualified literary gatekeepers?

Insightful and telling about the depressing reality of it…

Indie Hero


A few years ago, Samuel Moffie submitted The Perfect Martini to 100 literary agents. Actually, he submitted 90% of the first twenty pages of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions disguised as The Perfect Martini. Any guesses on his success rate? 100 out of 100, right? No. Only one agent responded positively, but that’s because the agent recognized the original author. 99 agents declined. Just to be clear, yes, the critically acclaimed, award-winning, nationally revered Kurt Vonnegut. Rejected.

Agents are concerned with commercial viability, that’s first and foremost. Period. Literary quality is a secondary bonus, if present. Now, if Vonnegut wrote a novel where a dominant vampire becomes master to a naive, submissive, shape-shifting werewolf, I’m sure he would have fared better.

Here’s the point. Why spend months, or even years, writing and submitting queries to agents who are clearly looking the other way? If they passed on Kurt Vonnegut, what chance…

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My First Kitty Love: Zippy – Fate or Coincidence?

My First Kitty Love

My First Kitty Love

Having left my public service job as a lecturer, I decided to work from home for  a while before trying my luck as a lecturer in the private sector. In the one year  hiatus that I took, I began tutoring a small group of students for their GCSE  Cambridge ‘A’ Level exams and did some freelance curriculum development that came my way.

After all the tutoring, marking, writing reports to parents and completing curriculum development projects, I was left with time on my hands. Lots of it,  since my husband worked as a flight crew and I was often home hours on end.  Alone. As a prolific animal lover, for as long as I can remember, I wanted to  own a dog as well as a cat. The problem? My husband wasn’t particularly fond of  cats!

I tried to go through all lengths to persuade my husband to adopt a kitten from a pet shelter, picking out the cutest pictures of possible adoptees, but to no avail.

Then, Zippy miraculously happened!

My husband was on one of his usual round island bike rides, but it had started pouring heavily. He made a stop, hoping that the monsoon rain would calm in time, but it didn’t. My husband bought a flimsy make shift rain coat from a 24 hour -convenience store, and continued his cycle back home, with some of his fellow riders that lived around our area.

Somewhere close to an hour back home, he spotted a tiny kitten trying to cross the road, struggling under the hard hitting rain and unrelenting traffic that would not stop. So home came Zippy, shivering and fighting my husband with his claws, while my husband held him safely under his flimsy make shift raincoat, trying to cycle back home as carefully as possible, with one hand on his handlebar. I was greeted at the door with a tired, drenched to the bone husband and the sound of a mewling, petulant kitten. My Pomeranian, Princess, watched on in confusion.

As soon as I understood the situation, I started using my hairdryer to lightly warm hand towels as fast as I could, to dry Zippy up, as he didn’t seem like he would not last the night due to hypothermia. Just as we started to give up hope, at 6 am, he took a few tentative steps slowly, and that was a ‘hurrah’ moment for the both of us!

Ignorant about cat needs at that time, we managed to find a bottle with a straw from which he could sip milk from and he hungrily drank  it, milk trickling down his little cheeks. Later I found out of course, that kittens can’t digest cows’ milk.

Now, many months after, Zippy has turned from a petulant, uncooperative kitten to a father figure to our four other rescue kittens that we adopted from shelters or foster kitten parents

My major worry is his health, as two vets have mentioned that Zippy and Nova (our other rescue) are likely to have some Siamese in them.

In Zippy’s case, this has always translated into stomach and digestive issues, at one point leaving him with a stomach so bloated, it made him utterly miserable.  I made a decision that from that point onwards that one meal would be a salt free meat meal made at home, following proper advice from reliable websites, and the second, a reputable grain free-dry food meal to ensure he and the other kittens got the minerals and vitamins they need, like taurine as well as other essential minerals and nutrients. We also supplement his (and our other our rescues’) food with a vet-recommended L-lysine supplement.

Today, he is a happy paternal figure to our four other rescues kittens, each with their own unique personalities and has been one of my best pets so far in that his love is not just limited to his forever humans, but also his adopted brothers and sisters, my Pomeranian included.

Written for Right Pet.

Princess, My Goofy Dog!

073 At one point in my life, I experienced a bout of what I thought was maternal instinct. It did not help that we had just moved and a little lonely. My husband decided that what would bring some verve to the home, was a perfect cute, cuddly lap dog that would soothe my soul and bring me vitality again.

And oh boy, she did just that, but not in the way we expected! In no way was she a lap dog!

She was full of enthusiasm, spunk and energy. The complete opposite of what we had expected. If you could take her for a walk five times a day, she would voluntarily up and go. When we ate, she had to sit next to us and keep us company.

She still does that, except since she has grown older, she has mellowed a bit.

She is still as goofy as ever and still thinks most strangers are friends and most dogs enjoy a social life just as much as she does!

She was born with a collapsed trachea though, and over the years, is having more difficulty breathing. The other health problem she had was a cyst in the womb and had to undergo a hysterectomy.

I’m looking forward to growing older with Princess, the complete opposite of what I expected from a Pomeranian, but I would not change anything about her, my goofy, fox-nosed girl!

All I can say is don’t judge a dog by generalized descriptions you find online about a breed. This one certainly did not fit the usual description of a Pomeranian, and I love her just the way she is!

Written for RightPet