Friday Fictioneers: The Salmon Run

Scrambling to get my story in this week! This week’s photo is from Erin Leary, and I’m guessing this photo was taken not far from where I live. When I saw the it, on Wednesday, I knew just where I wanted to go, but haven’t had a moment to write, and then forgot to link up! For more information about Friday Fictioneers, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog Addicted to Purple. We have her to thank for this weekly gem!  As always, I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment.

A GIANT MAZEL TOV to Sandra Crook for her win in Flash 500. For those of us who know her writing, it’s no surprise; her talent is enormous!

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© Erin Leary

 

The Salmon Run

Hand-carved paddles cut through the still water, as rosy light builds. A great blue heron’s powerful wings beat the still air.

“Father, will we fish today?”

“No son. We will gather shellfish, and bark for the women. We will fish with the village, when the salmon come.”
“Will they come? The Whites eat so much—will there be enough for us?”

The father was silent, his brow furrowed but his canoe strokes strong and confident.

“It is true; the Whites eat more than their share, but the salmon have always found their way to our nets. This will never change.”
(Word count: exactly 100)

More: I live in a magical place where the Coast Salish First Nation tribes have lived and fished since 3000 BCE. After white settlers “discovered” the Pacific NW, Salmon became king, and at one point the cannery in Bellingham, WA was the largest in the world. Today, salmon preservation is the focus. Local Lummi tribes still fish traditionally, and work towards sustainability, but their fishing livelihood was forever changed, and the Pacific salmon is today fighting so many threats to its survival.

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big 2016 and aiming for 1,200!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Friday Fictioneers: Stone Cold Decay

I missed last week, traveling home from Israel–– just too much to get it done! The Jet lag is still whipping me; hence the early entry. This week I’m continuing my last story–– a dystopian gloom prevails, prompted by a photo by C.E. Ayr. I’m curious: who do you think is speaking–– husband or wife? Who was speaking in the other story (if you read it)? Is it the same person? I found it interesting that when I started writing this week, immediately drawn back to the last story… I realized that the narrator was not who I thought they were, and consequently, this voice changed subtly in my head. Please tell me what you think.

Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads the Fictioneers’ 100-word, flash fiction challenge. To join this wonderfully eclectic group of writers, or read the other stories, please visit Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple. As always, I welcome constructive, honest feedback, and I try to read as many as I can, in return.

 

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Stone Cold Decay

Holding the meager rations we’ve gotten, we make our way back through alleys and streets once filled with vendors and markets, now silent. Occasionally the children still play, but that is less common as sidewalks crumble and mold grows in cracks and on walls. We all know it’s toxic. Playing outside has become a cautionary equation.

I squeeze your hand seeking warmth. Your face tightens, your mouth a thin pale line. I once felt panic, then dread, sensing our drift–– Now, like the toxic walls that surround our town, there can only be calculated contact.

(Word Count 95)

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Daily Post: The ABCs of Blogging

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I never know what will inspire me to write a blog post, until I’m writing it. Sometimes I plan and think and plan some more; other times something hits me and Ka-boom (see below*), I’m furiously writing! Some posts are deeply meaningful, while others are humorous or whimsical, or informational.

I like Michele W’ at WordPress. Of course I don’t really know her–– though I did meet her at BlogHer 2014, and was enormously amused to realize that her gravatar is a photo! We were chatting at the WordPress help center, and I suddenly felt like a geeky fan, as I made the connection between the very cool photo I’ve always seen, and the real WP guru. It’s not enough that we share a love of semi-colons, but face to face she was super helpful, funny and kind. Ok, so maybe I am a geeky fan, and I may get off topic occasionally–> back on topic:

I don’t do the Daily Prompts very often. That said, they can be very inspiring… which takes me back to what inspires a post. Well, Michele’s Alphabet City prompt inspired me this time. These are words for each of the 26 letters in the alphabet, that represent why I blog; what inspires, impacts, motivates me; how I feel about/when blogging, or what I get from blogging. This is my alphabet of blogging!

  1. A- Admiration, Acknowledgment
  2. B- Blog, Blogging, Blogosphere
  3. C- Connection, Commitment
  4. D- Delight, Determined
  5. E- Energized, Exposed, Emotional
  6. F- Friends, Freedom, Forgiveness
  7. G- Grief, Gratitude
  8. H- Honored
  9. I- Inspiration, Inspired
  10. J- Joy
  11. K- Ka-boom!*
  12. L- Lucky, Linked, Love
  13. M- Motivated
  14. N- Naked
  15. O- Organized
  16. P- Present, People, Playful
  17. Q- Qualified
  18. R- Random, Real
  19. S- Sincerity, Support, Spontaneous
  20. T- Thankful
  21. U- Ubiquitous
  22. V- Validation, VOTY’15
  23. W- Writing, Writer, Word Press (see gratitude)
  24. X- Xanadu
  25. Y- You, Yes,You!
  26. Z- Zany

Note: Ok, admittedly, X- Xanadu is weak, but if you know what Xanadu is, then I can say that blogging metaphorically takes me there. But, the link takes you to a video that I couldn’t resist… not the “an idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty” that the dictionary’s defines it as, and how I feel about blogging (admittedly a teeny bit over-stated). But we can all agree that Olivia Newton John, with a Gene Kelly cameo and those dancers, and the 80s hair and style, are infinitely more amusing, right? Also, of note: L-Linked… I don’t mean linked, like the links I’ve included in this post, but the incredibly awesome links I’ve developed with other bloggers and readers. That, THAT, is really why I blog. Right there. Linked. Final note: only after posting, and getting comments, did I notice that this was supposed to be a photo prompt! What?! Duh! So, here’s a “photo” of ABC: 

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Again, who knows why one prompt inspires, while other equally good ideas don’t. Today I saw this Daily Post and I felt the ABCs of blogging speak to me. Thanks for the inspiration, Michele. Final note: That last link, ABC– after putting Xanadu, how could I not redeem myself with this? I mean epic. Really, watch it and dance. (Takes me back to a happy time and a mad crush–– when a crush on Michael Jackson was uncomplicated and fringe was so cool. And just like that, I’m down the rabbit hole of YouTube Jackson videos!)

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!  KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

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Dear Dorian…

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Dorian Murray, 8 years old

Dorian Murray is an 8 year-old Rhode Island boy who has been fighting Rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric cancer, for four years. Last month he was told that treatment was no longer possible. Before he dies, Dorian wants to be famous. Lots of little kids want to be “famous,” but they get to grow up and decide what they really want to be. Dorian’s dream is a simple thing for a little boy who has fought so hard! Bloggers are writing about Dorian; celebrities and all kinds of people are Tweeting pictures of themselves with the hashtag “DStrong.” I am reaching out to help this little boy know that he has touched me, and so many others. If you would like to participate, find more details at New World Mom. Or, take a picture, say where Dorian is now famous and post it on Twitter or Facebook. Help make this boy’s dream come true. Read more about Dorian here.

 

Dear Dorian,

My name is Dawn and I’m a writer, a lady that lives in Washington State, and most importantly: a mom. My kids are big now, not little like you, but I remember when they were your age. My daughter liked to draw pictures and dance. One of my boys liked to explore the woods behind our house and dinosaurs, and my other little boy has always loved history. What are you’re favorite things? What do you like to do?

I read about you and it made me think about my kids when they were eight. When you’re eight years old, you’re not supposed to be fighting cancer; you’re supposed to be having adventures and playing. It’s not fair that you have to be so strong! But each of us has challenging things in our lives and your hard thing is the hardest thing I know.

When I heard about your wish to be famous all over the world, I wanted to help, because I would want someone to help my kids have their wishes. I think lots of kids want to be a famous movie star, or superhero, or character in a book. You get to be famous because you’re brave and you’re a fighter. That’s inspiring to lots of other people, Dorian, and that’s a great reason to be famous! When other people who are having a hard time, hear about you, they might feel a little stronger, a little braver too. That is a very important responsibility, and from reading about you, it sounds like you are just the right person to inspire others!

I am so sorry that you have had to fight cancer! No one deserves to have that happen. I know it must have been very hard some days and you probably didn’t always feel brave, or inspiring. But you were! You helped make your mom and dad feel so lucky–– to have such a brave boy, who fights so hard. You are inspiring lots of other people right now, by sharing your story and asking for all of us to support you. Asking for help, or asking for what you want in life, is a very important thing to do. I’m proud of you for asking for all of us to stop for a moment and share in your experience. I’m honored to be part of your adventure!

I know you don’t know me. You don’t know any of the people who are sending you pictures and messages from around the world, or the people like me who are writing about you… But you should know this: We are all sending you love. We are all holding you in our hearts. We are wishing you healing thoughts and safe journeys, wherever you may go. We are all sending love to your mom and dad and all the people who love you. YOU made all these people stop and think. That is a very big thing to do. I hope you feel famous, because you are!

I live in Washington State, but right now I’m visiting my new grandson in Tel Aviv Israel. His name is Amitai . Israel is in the Middle East. So now you’re famous in Israel and Washington State! In Israel we say Mazel Tov for Congratulations: so Mazel Tov, Dorian! If you want to write to me, I’ll write back: tftmotherland@gmail.com  but if you’re too busy being famous, I’m rooting for you!

Sending you love and light,

Dawn Quyle Landau

Tales From the Motherland

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DORIAN, YOU’RE FAMOUS IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL!!

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Friday Fictioneers: From The Inside Out

The week started on a sad note, with the death of David Bowie. It has washed over me over and over, since hearing the news–– moments after his family announced it. The world is an infinitely more interesting place because David Bowie  was in it. Music, art, diversity–– life, has lost a truly great talent. If you haven’t seen is video Lazarus, which was intentionally released just days before his death, it’s amazing! The man made artistic expression of his own death!

Thanks to Amy Reese for this week’s evocative photo! I can imagine there will be so many interesting stories. If you would like to read more stories or contribute, please check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, Addicted to Purple. She is the magician who keeps all the balls in the air! As always, I welcome honest, constructive feedback.

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© AmyReese

From The Inside Out

As we walk back through the empty streets, I hold your hand. Its firm warmth is as predictable to me as the intake of breath. Our steps are matched; your pace slowed over time to meet my shorter stride. I glance at you, noting your focused gaze. Your gray-blue eyes were the first thing I noticed, so many years ago.

It’s cold. We wouldn’t have come out, if this wasn’t the day for rations. We all flock to the delivery site, insects scrambling for crumbs. As we walk back to our dingy apartment, the decay permeates everything… including our love.

(word count: 100)

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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The Bold Tapestry of David Bowie

 

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I wasn’t cutting edge enough to really get David Bowie, when David Bowie first burst on the scene. His first album (David Bowie) was released in 1967, when I was four. I remember hearing the Beatles; I remember hearing pop music, when I was young, but David Bowie was not played in my mother’s home. When Ziggy Stardust hit the scene, in 1972, I was almost 10. My life was upside down, trying to figure out my parent’s separation and the loss of my father to a cross-country move, on my mother’s part. He would die in 1973, without me having seen him again. When Ziggy burst on the scene, I was too young to buy my own albums, but I recognized creativity, shiny brilliance, and something special, all on my own. My mother was buying John Denver, who I also liked, but I was intrigued by this amazing new “space man.”

To be honest, David Bowie scared me in his early years. He seemed to look out from posters and album covers and shake me– mocking everything I knew. My world was so preppy and fine-tuned (aside from the internal mess of my home life), that his androgynous, vibrant persona and music was the antithesis of everything normal in my world… and that’s what intrigued me. David Bowie let me know that not everyone was straight, and not everyone wore Kelly green and pink whales on their sweaters. David Bowie helped me imagine space in a shocking new way: you could drift away and be lost, but the music would be stellar. His bold hair, his make-up, his unbelievable clothes were part of his artistry, but they opened a new world to this sheltered girl, living in a sheltered New England town. David Bowie introduced me to the exquisite tapestry that life is–– he revealed all of the differences that the world I lived in tried so hard to hide.

Growing up in such a vanilla world, no one was gay, no one was bisexual; the boundaries were clear and not to be pushed. Listening to, seeing Bowie, however, I realized that there was a very different experience out there. His hair, his clothes, the way he looked at his audience, the way he moved his body, screamed: “Break out!” His music exuded sexuality and an edgy, clever vibrancy that made the Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, and the other artists I listened to, pale. I loved their music, but Bowie pushed me to move beyond my safe world and see all the other options out there. In 1977 when David Bowie performed Little Drummer Boy on Bing Cosby’s annual Christmas show (Cosby died one month after filming the show), I was blown away, as my horizons merged and expanded. While my mother coo’ed over Bing, I could not take my eyes off of Bowie. It was the start of a life long crush. The “Peace On Earth,” which David Bowie co-wrote, still gives me chills.

When I went off to college in Boston, I was ready to shed my clean, safe image and explore different colors. David Bowie represented a world of different! Bowie was my “gateway drug;” he led me to most of the music that I came to love, and which still defines so much of how I see myself: The Cure, Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop, Talking Heads. He oozed charisma and I couldn’t look away. The summer I went to Australia, his song Little China Girl was huge. His voice was in my head and on the radio all summer. As I hitchhiked and explored being away from everything that was familiar, my cohorts and I lip synced “Oh baby, just you shut your mouth.” A few years later, on my honeymoon, my husband and I watched the movie Labyrinth, which featured Bowie as Jareth the The Goblin King. It was directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas– a collaboration which seemed unreal at the time. Bowie stole every scene he was in, and left so many of us wishing we could be spirited away too.

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King Jareth in the Labyrinth

As a young mother living in Chicago, David Bowie continued to expand my world. On the fourth of July one year, the space shuttle was orbiting the city in time for the huge fire works display. The local alternative radio station played Space Oddity/Major Tom, and when Bowie’s deep voice counted down, the astronauts greeted us live. It was one of the single most magical nights of my life–– seared in my memory, as I looked up at the black sky, and listened to David Bowie sing! Perhaps the memory holds more beauty––there were no smart phones, video cameras were bulky, but oh to have a recording of that. Ten years after it came out, we introduced Labyrinth to our children, and they still hold it dear and are able to sing along to Magic Dance. Even at young ages, they watched that “strange man” and couldn’t take their eyes off of him.

I didn’t know that David Bowie was sick; I wasn’t paying attention. When a friend posted it, I was sure it was one more “David Bowie is dead” hoax. Like Betty White, Paul McCartney and others who are so big, such a part of our fabric, his death was reported semi-regularly on line, I dismissed it… for a minute. Sadly it was confirmed moments later, by the BBC. I hadn’t seen Jimmy Fallon joke, last week, about the hauntingly beautiful video Lazarus that was released just days ago (the man used his own death for artistic expression!). If he was still aware, I imagine the brilliant artist laughed at Fallon’s playfulness. Discussing his work with Bowie, Johan Renke, who directed the video for Lazarus, said: “One could only dream about collaborating with a mind like that; let alone twice. Intuitive, playful, mysterious and profound… I have no desire to do any more videos knowing the process never ever gets as formidable and fulfilling as this was. I’ve basically touched the sun.”

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David Bowie was beautiful in the most untraditional ways. I was drawn to his whimsy, his edges, his charisma, as much as I was to his piercing eyes and alluring smile. I’ve had a crush on him forever. When I heard that he’d died, I felt my chest tighten and I cried; I felt a thread of my own fabric pulled. It’s a cliché that he will live on in his music, but I carry him in my heart for all the ways he expanded my world and my understanding that people came in so many colors. The world is an infinitely more interesting and diverse place, because David Bowie was in it. Music, art… my life, has lost a sparkling beacon.

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

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Friday Fictioneers: The Friendly Skies

It’s been a crazy two weeks for me! Between the traveling (I’m in Israel, visiting my daughter and grandson), holidays and blur of gratitude blog stuff, I missed last week! If any of you would still like to join the Gratitude blog party, the InLinkz will be up until January 15th. So far, 69 bloggers have joined, and it’s been so inspiring! It was also a very sad week for my family, as we had to put our 16 year old lab, Luke, down. We have been so lucky to have him so long, and the decision was agonizing. Another big distraction came when WordPress published my piece “On My Father’s Birthday, A Letter to the Man Who Killed Him.” Word Press Discover replaces Freshly Pressed. There were 35 comments in 2 minutes; my computer caught fire! Actually, I didn’t notice until another blogger messaged me and asked why there were so many comments coming in. This piece has been Freshly Pressed, featured on Discover and HuffPo and won BlogHer Voice of the Year; I didn’t think there was any life left in it!

This week, being 10 hours ahead really helps, in catching the Friday Fictioneers prompt! FF is a weekly flash fiction challenge that brings in writers from all over. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads the pack, and keeps all the balls in the air, while she publishes books, visits grandchildren and reads all the contributions. She’s amazing! If you’d like to join in, or read the other stories, please visit Rochelle’s blog, Addicted To Purple. I always welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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© Melanie Greenwood

 

The Friendly Skies

“Jasper, what are you thinking? That girl could be your grand daughter!”

“She’s hot, and she digs me; what more do I want?”

“She digs who you were, not who you are.” James frowned. “Look, you’re my best friend; I’m just being honest with you. Isn’t it time you act your age?”
“Jimbo, chill out! As long as I’m still touring, as long as I have a private jet, I can act any age I want!”

Rock legend Jasper Jones popped the tiny blue pill in his mouth, turned to the pretty blonde and smiled. “Ready for take off baby?”

(word count: 99)

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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