Archive for the ‘shameless lions writing circle’ Category

1st of the month featured bloggers: february

When I kicked off the new a couple weeks ago (is it really only a couple weeks ago?), I told you I had some new ideas. One of them is:

1st of the Month Featured Bloggers

While you can always find my favorite blogs in my Links page (just click “links” in the above bar), I also want to take time each month and point you to particularly wonderful places that I know you’ll enjoy.

I’ve chosen two fabulous artists for February’s featured bloggers. Their work always amazes, inspires, astounds [insert more similar adjectives here]; I can’t tell you how often I’ve smiled, laughed, cried, etc., while visiting their blogs because they transmit so much energy and emotion with their words, images, and creations. The blogosphere is truly lucky to have them.

* Seamus Kearney of Shameless Words *

The first blogger is none other than the fearless (and shameless) leader of the Shameless Lions Writing Circle, Seamus Kearney, who blogs at Shameless Words. Remember the part of the collective short story I wrote some months ago? It’s still going on, so check it out here.

Seamus is an Irish Kiwi, i.e., a New Zealander with Irish heritage, who does just about anything artistic that you can imagine–and does it fabulously. He writes, paints, takes photographs, plays the piano, and also composes.

Recently Seamus posted a collection of his photographs of Ireland set to one of his original piano compositions entitled “The Magic of Ireland.”

I truly don’t have the words to describe how beautiful, moving, and simply gorgeous “The Magic of Ireland” is. I tried to embed the video here but it’s not working without messing up my columns even when I adjust the size (I always have this problem with YouTube–it’s not you Seamus!), so you’ll have to head to Shameless Words to see it.

Go! Enjoy! And read lots of his fabulous short stories too!

And tell Seamus I sent you!

* Debbie Egizio of Debbie Egizio’s Creatively Inspired Blog *

I found Debbie’s site through my good blogging buddy somepinkflowers who never, ever steers me wrong. Debbie is an artist, designer and owner of The Beat of My Art shop in Naperville, Illinois and she always has such wonderful creations on her site like these Artist Trading Card heartfelt messages:

Debbie Egizio Artist Trading Card heartfelt message

Debbie Egizio Artist Trading Card heartfelt message

Visiting Debbie is the virtual equivalent of brewing a cup of Earl Grey and curling up by the fireplace with the doggies. Indeed, sometimes I do these things *and* visit Debbie. So wonderful!

In a twist of blogging fate, Debbie has just awarded me with a “You Make My Day” award. Thanks Debbie! I think it goes without saying that you make mine as well.

You Make My Day

I hope you’ll visit Seamus and Debbie and enjoy your time with them as much as I do–and I’d love if you would choose some bloggers to feature on your blog as well–why not start a 1st of the Month Featured Bloggers at your place? (No penalties if you post on say, the 2nd or 3rd or 14th this time around!)

We all only have so much Internet time, so it’s great to get recommendations from bloggers we read regularly as well.

Or, in other words, share the blog love peeps!

Buon weekend!

a collective (lions’) short story

Not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s an uber-fun project going on over at the Shameless Lions Writing Circle, of which I and my lion Leonardo are proud members.

We’re writing a collective short story based on this photo:

Shameless Lions Writing Circle Collective Short Story Photo

Installments have already been written by:

(1) Seamus at Shameless Words.
(2) Kay at As It Happens.
(3) Wanderlust Scarlett at from the shores of introspect and retrospect.
(4) Kate at Inner Minx.
(5) Absolute Vanilla at Absolute Vanilla… (&Atyllah).
(6) Bonnie at Words From A Wordsmith.
(7) Rob at Image & Verse Too.

And then came my turn, which you can read below, or if you’d like, just go over to the main site and read the story from the beginning–and keep checking back because The Bluest Butterfly of A Virtual Hobby Store And Coffee Shop is next and I know she has something wonderful in store for Grace, Jack, Sebastian, and the gang.

There’s still a whole lot of story to tell and writing to be done, so do go there and get lost in words based on a photo.

Here’s my part:


As he rolled over, he was startled awake by the absence of a warm body.

Sebastian Carrebreu couldn’t remember the last time he had woken up alone. Even on his frequent business trips he never needed an extra pair of socks to keep warm, and yet here he was, caressing an unwrinkled sheet.

He sat up slowly, his head weighing down his upper half like those fishing sinkers his English grandfather used to make — only Sebastian had used whiskey and rum and whatever else had been in the liquor cabinet instead of lead. Sure felt the same now though.

Nine thirty. I can’t believe she really stayed out all night, he thought, as he wrapped his silk robe around him and shuffled to the bathroom mirror. He turned on the hot water and stared into his dark grey eyes until the steam rising from the sink snapped him out of his trance.

As he looked down and stuck his fingers under the stream of water, he noticed something glimmering on the edge of the sink. The diamond necklace he had bought for Grace as a wedding gift — the necklace she wore every single day without fail.

“That bitch!” he yelled and splashed the scalding water on his face, making it only a shade redder than it had been a moment before.

He half-toweled off his face and went immediately to his cell phone in the nightstand. He turned it on, and a drop of water from his nose hit the number 5, taunting him with Grace’s speed dial position. He managed to dial anyway, or at least simply hit # and the number 1.

A recording told him that Armand wasn’t available and so Sebastian did the only thing he could do in response. He hurled the phone at the antique carriage clock on the fireplace. His arm wasn’t as strong as it used to be, though, and it fell just short of the mantle.

He smirked at his own ineffectiveness and breathed deeply and slowly on his walk over to the fireplace. He picked up the phone and turned it on all sides to inspect the damage. It was still turned on and it looked just fine so he dropped it inside his robe pocket and headed for the kitchen.

The maid was off, so there’d be no coffee. Goodness, did he even remember how to make coffee? As he scanned the counter for a container that might hold the beans, his phone rang.


“She’s left me, Armand,” he said, without even a hello, and dropped his weight onto a stool at the bar. “And I think it’s for good this time.” As he glanced across the city skyline, nights of theatre, dinner and dancing flashing through his mind in an instant. He had never hated his window-lined penthouse more than at this moment.

His lifelong friend sighed and said flatly, “I know.”

“What do you mean you know?” Sebastian asked as he straightened his back and pulled a curtain across the window in front of him.

“Sebastian, it’s better if we talk about this in person. I know where Grace stayed last night, and you’re not going to like it — especially when I tell you what this friend of hers has been up to.”

“Armand, what …”

“Not on the phone, Sebastian. I’ll be right over. Should I bring coffee?”

Sebastian eyed the empty liquor cabinet. “Sounds like I may need something stronger.”


Now go over to the Shameless Lions Writing Circle and see what came before this!

P.S. Puppies and mamma are still doing fine.I, on the other hand, still can’t type SIX without all caps.


[tags]shameless lions’ writing circle, writing, short stories, collective short stories[/tags]

guest blogger leonardo: i am lion, hear me door

Hah! I knew she wouldn’t notice. She’s always so busy with that tiny dog of hers. When they went out for a walk this morning, I took my chance. I nicked the camera, went to Catanzaro, and I found exactly what I was looking for.

As a young cub, I remember curling up next to my father asking to hear The Story. When my father was much younger, he was beautiful, but he had always been in the shadow of his older brother, who was one of the best hunters anyone could remember.

One day as my father was roaming around the Kalahari hoping to stumble across a just-killed antelope to share with the pride, he came across a strange-looking creature playing in the sand. My father remembered his father telling him about such things–men–and that they would only harm us if we weren’t nice to them.

So my father asked him a question.

“What are you doing there?”

“I am creating,” the man responded, continuing to make large swirls in the sand without looking at my father. “What are you doing there?”

My father, seeing that this man was friendly, had decided to play a bit with him. “I am looking to kill. Roooooaaaaaaar!”

The man turned to my father, and his eyes quickly swelled with tears. He was quite thin with long hair and beard and his pale legs shook as he stumbled to his feet and stood before the lion at least twice his size. He gripped my father’s head between his hands, smoothed some sand from his mane, and kissed my father’s wet nose.

“It is you I have been looking been for,” said the man. “I am an artist, and I have been asked to design a door for a very important building in a place far from here. You must come with me. You must be my model.”

And so my father, who had not yet met my mother, left his pride for Italy, traveling with Leonardo for many years before returning to the Kalahari. My father’s face became a part of many of Italy’s most famous buildings, as well as some that aren’t so famous.

So imagine my delight when Sognatrice chose me to be her lion in the Shameless Lions Writing Circle. I was going back to Italy! I could finally see my father’s doors!

And this morning I had my chance.

For anyone who hasn’t been to the old part of Catanzaro, let me tell you, it’s confusing, and no one seems to know the names of the streets when you ask them. I wandered in and out of the tiny alleys for hours before I came to a little square, the exact place my father had once described to me.

And there he was. My father’s gorgeous eyes staring back at me after all these years.

Isn’t he beautiful? Can you see the resemblance?

My father so loved this artist and was so grateful for all of the good things he brought to him that when I was born, he named me Leonardo to honor him.

And now here I am back at home with Sognatrice. I tried to sneak the camera back to its spot, but of course my whole secretive plot was foiled when I realized that I needed her fingers to type this. She’s a good lion caretaker, though. She didn’t yell or anything.

Turns out she’s a sucker for a good story.

Lioningly yours,
(That’s me on the sidebar! I’m famous!)

P.S. Buon weekend!


[tags]lions, shameless lions’ writing circle, writing, catanzaro, calabria[/tags]

just lion around

My new friend Seamus Kearney of Shameless Words has begun a writing circle.

Blah blah blah, happens every day right?

Uh huh. Did I mention there are lions?

The one and only Shameless Lions Writing Circle, in the words of Seamus, “aims to bring a lion’s prestige and pride to some lucky creative writing and books blogs.” Seamus selected 48 lions for adoption, and as I type this, 28 have been adopted, so if you’re a writer and/or avid reader and want to be involved, go here to see what this is all about.

In short, you’ll be able to choose, adopt, and name your lion, and then you will be invited to write a piece of poetry or prose inspired by him or her, maximum 48 words, to post on your blog. It’s a great way to connect to other writers and wordlovers, so even if you won’t be joining the circle, I do recommend checking out the participants’ lion-inspired verses.

And now, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce Leonardo:

You never believe me,
but fine.

He stopped,
squished his nose against the glass,
pulled back,
shook his mane,
and strutted away,
leaving me to wonder how his heart
ended up on his sleeve.Oh yeah?


Did to.


Then how do you explain that nose-shaped smear?



[tags]shameless lions’ writing circle, lions, poetry[/tags]

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake