About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader


This blog has reached its limit for images. I’m not going to upgrade by spending $252 for the year when I’ve already spent $100 on WordPress.

My photo challenges will be here till I find a new platform. It’s my blog that was just for travel.

On Veteran’s Day

There’s an abundance of WWI poet that captured their experiences so that they hit home for us all.

Mixed Media

WWI inspired poets including John McCrae, Wilfred Owens, Siegfried Sassoon, Alan Seeger and more. Today I’m sharing some videos of wonderful poems we all should know. They bring home the reality of war, the sacrifice of soldiers.

Beautiful, elegiac

I’m going to memorize “Dreamers.”

View original post

Poem of the Week


By John McCrae

One spake amid the nations, “Let us cease
From darkening with strife the fair World’s light,
We who are great in war be great in peace.
No longer let us plead the cause by might.”

But from a million British graves took birth
A silent voice — the million spake as one —
“If ye have righted all the wrongs of earth
Lay by the sword! Its work and ours is done.”

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Dark Red

Hong Kong

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos with dark red.

What will you choose to share?

It’s easy to participate. Just check out Cee’s blog for the week’s prompt. Create a post and link it to or make a pingback to her blog.

Give it a try. It’s fun.

Weekend Coffee Share

Each weekend, Eclectic Ali invites bloggers to are their experiences, musings, whatever through the Weekend Coffee Share challenge.

So grab a cup of coffee and share with us!  What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans?  Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, we’d be out enjoying the bright foliage, which is already past its peak. We’d enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures knowing that they won’t last much longer.

I’d begin by sharing that I’m glad that voting is over. I worked for 17 days and my life was little more than checking people in or various forms of crowd control and troubleshooting. I’d get home, forage for some dinner, take a shower, possibly unwind with some TV or YouTube as I was too exhausted to read. I’d sleep but never restfully and it was always too soon before the alarm went off and I repeated the same routine. I’m thrilled that it was just two and a half weeks or so.

Election Day itself was a let down. My precinct only had 123 voters between 6 am and 7pm. Most voters went beforehand or by mail. The time dragged. One of the team members never showed up, one was spacey and slow-moving. Even though he drank 6 cans of Red Bull and a canned Starbucks espresso, he never moved faster than a snail.

It took me about three days to catch up on my sleep. Now I’m grateful to be back to my daily walks and reading. I’ve coasted through Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for a book club discussion on Thursday. I haven’t been able to read much in months. Since it was so slow on Election Day, I could finish Paul Johnson’s Heroes.

Now I’m job hunting and not sure what direction to pursue. I struggled to submit a claim to the Illinois Department of Employment via it’s needlessly clunky website. There’s some bug and I’ve to a call in for help, but I’m not sure when I’ll get a call back, but my fingers are crossed. It should not be so hard.

I’m looking forward to being able to blog, write plays/scripts, and read in addition to hunting for a job.


A collection of essays on heroes from battle grounds, palaces, and even movie sets, Heroes: From Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar to Churchill and De Gaulle, edifies and entertains. It’s not intended to replace a biography that reports all the achievements and experiences a person has, but rather to add little known facts and round out the readers’ understanding of a noteworthy person.

Johnson begins with four Biblical figures: Deborah, Judith, Samson and David. (Moses is first mentioned, but mainly to set the stage for the later heroes. You do need to acknowledge Moses if you’re going to talk about Jewish heroes, don’t you?) Johnson provides the context for each hero, e.g. the conflict between the Jews and the Caanites or Philistines, before explaining the consequence and character of a hero like Deborah known for wisdom and courage, whose prophesy and collaboration with General Barak enabled the Hebrews to defeat Sisera. Considering women’s limited role in most ancient cultures, it’s astounding that Barak and many other would follow or seek out Deborah’s advice. She must have been extraordinary.

I enjoyed the nuggets of wit and the personal details Johnson includes as he shares the life stories of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Boudica, a Celtic queen who led a revolt against the Romans, Margaret Thatcher, whom Johnson worked with, Pope John Paul I, Elizabeth I, Lady Grey, Mary Queen of Scots, Emily Dickenson, Jane Carlyle, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and more. While I’m still not convinced that Marilyn Monroe belongs in a book on heroes, I appreciate Johnson’s argument that she does as a victim-heroine. I would not have considered Mae West a heroine, but after Johnson explained West’s business savvy, I do. Throughout Heroes made me think, even if he didn’t always convince.

Whether I agreed with Johnson on whom he included, I did learn more about each hero and increased my understanding and in some cases sympathy for these people. I enjoyed Johnson’s writing style and his thorough research which included when possible primary sources such as personal correspondence. I will be reading more of his books. I can’t decide whether to try The Intellectuals or The Creators next.

The Penang Street Murals of Ernest Zacharevic

One of Malaysia’s most recognisable and beloved public artworks is Ernest Zacharevic’s Little Children on a Bicycle, painted in 2012. It is a mixed-…

The Penang Street Murals of Ernest Zacharevic

I have been to Penang a few times but that was before these murals were painted. I must go back.