Hi friends, I read this post a couple of days ago and wanted to keep it handy for reference purposes and to share it with you in case you don’t know Mabel Kwong.


by Mabel Kwong

It is common for Eastern and Western cultures to communicate differently in everyday settings.

Between these two cultures, there are different patterns in speech, languages used, articulation techniques and emotional cues expressed.

Used with permission of Mabel Kwong.

At times stereotypical Eastern societies and Western societies express themselves in conflicting ways. Sometimes this can make doing business or socialising together challenging.

When I lived in Malaysia and Singapore, I got along with many of Asian background there. When I moved back to Australia, I realised people here have different mindsets and cultural values.

There’s much to be observed and learned from Eastern vs Western communication styles. That way you can understand cultural differences and minimise miscommunication, improving cross-cultural relationships.

Here are some key differences between Eastern and Western communication styles.

1.  High context vs low context Continue Reading

4th Cancerversary

You all know Abagail by now. She is such an inspiration to me, and if you are struggling with a cancer diagnosis, you need to get to know her as well. There are things you should know and do, about which you are probably clueless. 🙂

No Half Measures

Amazingly enough, today marks four (4) years, forty-eight (48) months, two hundred and eight (208) weeks, one thousand four hundred sixty (1,460) days, thirty-five thousand forty hours (35,040), two million one hundred two thousand four hundred (2,102,400) minutes, and one hundred twenty-six million one hundred forty-four thousand (126,144,000) seconds since I was told “you have breast cancer.”

Whew, just typing all of that out was a lot!

Every time I think about milestones and how much has changed since March 8, 2017, I am blown away. That was the day when I heard that I had cancer and that we thought it was early stage such that I would undergo treatment and emerge on the other side to re-engage with life as I knew it. I remember that Elliot and I walked out of the room where the breast surgeon (who was also a radiologist) gave us the results and…

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Story Chat Celebrities Visit the Saddle Up Saloon

“Kid, whut’s goin’ on? Looks like mebbe some movie stars asettin’ at the bar. They here ta take the stage?”

“They might be some sorta celebrities, Pal, but they jist wannered in. I ain’t got no acts or innerviews lined up this week.”

 “These three ladies soun’ like they might be from thet same place as them two blokes thet come through thet time, ‘member? One of ‘em, Logan it was, tangled with yer goats.”

“Think these ladies is arguin’ a might ‘bout where they come from, Pal. Thinkin’ there’s some drama unfoldin’ right here at the bar.”

“Ya best not be eavesdroppin’ on the customers, Kid. Least ways not so’s they notice ya doin’ it. So who’s who?”

“Well, them two at the end a the bar come in t’gether. Venus – that’s the curvaceous one with the dangly earrings – said Diana needed a drink ta calm her nerves.” Continue reading.

Revisit the Celebrities from Story Chat

Postcard from the Past by Anne Goodwin

Coming tomorrow – Kid’s Debut Story Chat


Wanda and a pig
Wanda and Kid’s dog, I mean pig.

Sue Vincent’s World – Beating the Odds

As you may or may not know, the blogging community has a big heart. When Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch learned that Sue Vincent, a beloved friend and writer, had cancer, she and her friends went to work creating a way to help.

One of the first challenges was the River of Consciousness. My mind went numb, and I did not participate in this one, but several, like Colleen Chesebro, did. To read all of them, click here.

River of Life Double Ennead

by Colleen M. Chesebro

dawn reflections shimmer
a blood-red birthing
the new journey meanders in small ripples
searching for a known truth
testing the waters
a small stream traverses
the land, growth is key
consciousness actuates a forward passage
as water rushes fast,
over stones ahead
From the sun’s dying light
the darkness succumbs
to the passage of time, the river still flows
 in the celebration 
of a life well lived

The Everyday Physics of Dreams

by Jeff Gard

Like matter, dreams cannot be destroyed. Unlike matter, they are created by scattered dandelion seeds, extinguished birthday candles, teeth hidden under pillows, and wishes cast upon twinkling stars. They are first kisses, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and promotions. Desires are our bones and blood. One day we will exhale our aspirations. They will rise on thermals, waver within a red and green Aurora Borealis. They will race into space, outpacing radio waves and light. They will dance in the Milky Way and body surf Saturn’s rings. In spiraling clouds of gas and dust, our dreams will condense into newborn stars.

Sue Vincent had lived dreams -bad and good, and turned them into a beautiful star-studded, Milky Way, Aurora Borealis quilt of life.

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I had the fortune of spending several hours of the week getting to know this writing icon, Sue Vincent. Most recently we chatted about her son because his story, as well as hers of terminal cancer, left me weak with sympathy and sorrow, but hopeless in what little I could do to ease her pain.

Ten, nearly eleven years ago, her son was stabbed through his temple with a screwdriver. That should have killed him, and would have killed most, but somehow Nick survived with the help of his mom and friends. Listen as she describes her thoughts and feelings when they heard the news. Click on her name to read the entire story.

Breaking Barriers

Four words changed the lives of everyone in our little family and that of many of our friends. My son, over a hundred miles away in Bournemouth, was in hospital… and we were advised to come at once. He had not regained consciousness since he had been brought in and, at that point, they did not seem to understand why. They thought he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

They were almost right. Nick had been stabbed through the brain in a senseless attack. The puncture wound was so small it had, at first, been missed, but shards of bone were lodged in his brain and the ten inch screwdriver that had been rammed through his temple had compromised the brain stem. He was in a coma and not expected to live.

I have written, in great detail, of that time. I have told of the moment when the call came through, of the terror and despair, of the kindness and hope of those dreadful days… days that became weeks and months of fear and struggle as we all learned to adapt to a redefined future that was not only full of unknowns, but which was likely to shape the rest of our lives.

When Nick finally woke, it was to severe disability. Paralysed, unable to speak at all, his vision compromised and utterly dependent. The prognosis was grim… especially as it was clear that the bright young businessman with a razor sharp mind was still there… trapped in a broken and uncooperative body and a brain that would not allow the mind to express itself as it should.

In those early days, as soon as Nick began to awaken, my one determination was that he should believe in himself and have all the support he needed. 

Sue Vincent

In a post she wrote about six years ago, she included pictures of how much he had progressed since the senseless attack. It is nothing short of miraculous.

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Aim for the Moon

This morning, as I was dismantling the heavy, weighted walking frame he has hitherto needed just to cross his living room, I couldn’t help thinking about that. To be folding this thing up after several years and consigning it to the shed had me near tears. It had already been an emotional morning. It had all started with the balancemaster, a machine he had installed to help him regain that function, lost to his injuries. He had showed me the latest, quite amazing progress and I, as often happens, had ended up in tears. A screwdriver through the brain is bad enough, but while his recovery from the damage caused by that initial injury was utterly miraculous. The secondary damage from the prolonged subarachnoid bleeding and excessive pressure within the brain cavity is a different matter and affects many of his motor functions and balance. He had woken from the coma paralysed down his entire right side, and though hemiplegia had fairly soon given way to hemiparesis, with the spasticity and the lack of coordination and control, the outlook wasn’t good. His chances of recovering , we were given to understand, were about zero. I could bore you with the details, but Nick suggested I show you instead.

Sue Vincent

We, of course, we simply overjoyed to still have him with us and his personality definitely ‘all there’. I had told the surgeon that if Nick came back, he would come back fighting and I was right. There was the first time he was able to move at all.. the first words.. the first time he sat alone and stood… There was also the hidden damage, the emotional rollercoaster and the dark times. It has not been plain sailing. Nor is recovery from such an injury merely a case of waiting for time to heal and perhaps a little physiotherapy to get things underway.

Sue Vincent

There’s More You Can Do

The Rodeo and Prizes

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic serves as a special challenge. Riders will have to condense the following photo into a story of 99 words (or, if you prefer, a poem of 99 syllables). Writing 99 words has never seemed TUFFer!

Each story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Poems must have distinctive theme, movement, and rhythm; no rhyme scheme is necessary, but neither will rhyme be punished. Go where the prompt leads you – any genre is acceptable, but keep it family friendly and related to the photo. If you haven’t wrangled here at the Carrot Ranch before, you can find some prize-winning 99-word flash from the 2020 Rodeo or the 2019 Rodeo at these links. Don’t cheat with 98 or 100 words or syllables! We’ll only accept 99 word stories or 99 syllable poems written in English! (We’ll be using https://wordcounter.net/ to count words and https://syllablecounter.net/ to count syllables so everyone has the same standard). Only write 99 word stories. Do not write 99 word poems – we want 99 syllable poems.
For this rodeo, we’re offering a $100 grand prize. Five runners up will each receive one paperback from Sue Vincent’s collection of published books (those who live in a region where the paperback is unavailable may receive an e-book instead). No fee necessary to enter but this is a fundraiser so we kindly ask for a suggested donation of $5 per entry (no more than two entries allowed per writer). The contest will close at midnight on Friday, February 19th, 2021. Winning entries will be announced and read at CarrotRanch.com/blog on March 22, 2021. Top entries published at Carrot Ranch. We will not accept entries previously published (even if published on your own blog), so keep them tucked away for now.
Judges: Geoff Le Pard, Anne Goodwin, and Charli Mills. First-Pass readers: H.R.R. Gorman, Sue Spitulnik, D. Avery, and Sherri Matthews. List of judges and readers will update as needs may change depending on the volume of entries and continued judge availability. Entries will be anonymized prior to judging.
$5 suggested donation to enter. You may enter no more than twice. You are welcome to donate more than the suggested entry feeAll proceeds go directly to Sue Vincent and Family.

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Head over to Carrot Ranch to Donate to Sue Vincent and enter your 99-word story or Double Ennead.

The pictures of Sue Vincent, which I used without Sue’s express permission, came from her Facebook Page, Sue Vincent Writer. Just so you know, I did warn her that I was going to do a post/reblog of some of the links she shared with me. If you click on photos, you can see some of her gorgeous paintings. They will take your breath away.

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Thank you Sue for inspiring me this week. I wish you the best and hope you do as Nick has done and beat the odds.

To learn more about Sue Vincent the author, visit her website, Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo, and order her books. Or check out her other site, France and Vincent.

Thanks for reading. Please go to the links for more information, to compete in the Rodeo, or to donate to Sue and her family.

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts #BloggingTips

Hugh always has great tips and he sites his sources so you can check up on his information if you feel so inclined. Check out how you can use Twitter in this post. This is new info for me. 🙂 Another source for title starters is Smart Blogger. I love that CoScheduler gives your titles point value to help you learn which titles are likely to draw more visitors. 🙂 Thanks Hugh for a great post.

Hugh's Views & News  

What do you believe is the most important thing to get right to attract new visitors to your blog or website?

I expect many of you will have given ‘content’ as your answer.

But guess what? Content isn’t always king.

There’s something that just about every visitor will read first before deciding whether to read a blog post.

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts

Why top-notch blog post titles matter…

“On average, 5x as many people read the title as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

David Ogilvy

Yes, it’s all about your blog post titles. Give your blog posts amazing titles, and you will see lots more new visitors flocking to read your posts or visiting your website.

Why Blog Posts Titles Are Like The Titles Of Books and Movies

I look at…

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