Interview with Blogger Michael Grogan: A Writer With A Superb Sense of Humor #amwriting #interviews #bloggers

This is all about me so I apologise in advance in case you were expecting something entertaining!! But thanks to Mandi at Mandibelle16 for featuring me this week on her blog.


Welcome to another Writer/Blogger Interview with Micahel Grogan of Morpethroad: Random, Meaningful, Words. Please check out his wonderful blog. As a writer, Michael is versatile and has a wicked sense of humor. I’ve blogged with him a number of years. You can also find him on the site: Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie where he hosts a writing prompt or two each week.

Michael Grogen Credit: Michael Grogen – Morpethroad

1. Michael, Please Tell Us About Yourself? What is it Like Where You Live? 

I live in a beautiful part of the world. The Hunter Valley is a rich and diverse region with farming and coal mining being the predominant industries. I also live on the edge of a floodplain, and behind my house is a rich farming area where once-market crops such as potatoes, cabbage, and watermelons. But nowadays, it’s used for feed crops and the raising of some beef cattle.


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#SoCS April 21/18 – spoke


A voice was heard behind me, and when it spoke, it wasn’t what I was expecting.

“We don’t like you. You should leave now and not come back.”

I turned to see whom it was that was speaking and were they speaking to me?

There was a woman there, I didn’t think I knew her and I was sure she was speaking to someone else.

“It’s you,” she said, “ you are the bane of my existence. Everything about repeals me. I think you should be dead. You are to me already, and I think if you did die I wouldn’t miss you, I’d celebrate.”

She spoke with such precise deliberateness. I had to ask why?

“You are smelly, prickly, socially inept, spineless and a burden to society. You engender distrust wherever you go, and you are beyond being a loser.”

“But you don’t know me,” I retorted.

“Yes, I do. I attended your recent lecture on social mores. It was disgusting. Did you even research the topic? Did you not know your audience? It was a waste of time and money, and I’ve asked for my money back.”

The woman left me feeling flabbergasted. What do you say when spoken to that way by a relative stranger? I found her unsavoury and unpleasant. The less I had to do with her the better.

I spoke to her as polite as I could.

“You are entitled to your opinion. I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I would suggest the next time I am asked to speak, you stay home and wallow in your own tub of misery. Have a good day.”


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 33 – A Sense of Self


Socrates believed self-knowledge was essential. Today, we wonder if there’s even a self to know

There was a day when I thought I knew myself. It was terrifying and traumatic, and I suspect I am still recovering from the experience.

The reason is quite simple.

We are as human beings very complex creatures.

No two minds think the same.

In understanding one’s self, you have to acknowledge the uniqueness of us all. We might all look a bit the same but inside our minds there in lies the difference.

Our sense of self, comes from an acceptance of the context in which we have lived and in which we live today. These can be very different. Our childhood’s experiences often are the influence of living with our parents in whatever world they chose to live in. We had no say; we learned from them, we participated in their experiences.

As we grew older many of us questioned our childhoods, moved away from home, established ourselves in a world we found we fitted into and set about making our mark in it.

I think it is fair to say we lived different lives to that of our parents, in the same way, I expect my children to live very different lives to the one I gave them.

So, in the end, my sense of self is mine.

It doesn’t mean I am complacent, it doesn’t mean I have left any fantasies or longings behind. The are still part of who I am. I think the sense of self is the acceptance of who you are in terms of an acknowledgement of what you perceive your strengths and weaknesses to be.

That acceptance is often the most difficult bit of all. Like realising as much as I might have wanted to be a test cricketer, I found life offered me far too many distractions, and so I was never able to devote the time to cricket that I might otherwise have done. That combined with a questionable talent was also at the back of things.

We go through life understanding that our self is an evolving part of us. We need to keep our minds open to discovery and learning. Our self craves such things, complacency leads us to stagnation, and for many of us, that realisation can be the end as we shut our sense down.

Discovering our sense of self is not easy.

Most times we discover stuff we’d rather not discover.

Often it is accepting our limitations.

Sometimes, if we are lucky, it’s coming to terms with who we are after looking inside and realising why it is we are popular or not to those looking on and how that affects the view we have of ourselves.

Either way, we carry on, we move forward, we grow in acceptance and understanding, we embrace our unique characters, our flaws become part of our identification of what makes us who we are.


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April 19: Flash Fiction Challenge – Forest Bathing


April 19, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about forest bathing. You can use the Japanese term, Shinrin Yoku, or you can make up your own ideas about the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.

The Carrot Street Naturist Society on their monthly outing was looking forward to engaging in some forest bathing.

Being naked in the woods was so much better than their weekly meetings in Marv and Marj’s back yard.

Preparations had been made, warnings issued to be wary of, rough bark, nettles, stinging insects, sticks, twigs, and anything pointy.

It was an enjoyable day the only disappointment was Dulcie Smith’s encounter with some poison ivy. She bent over at one point, and her left breast suffered the consequences. On the trip home, her husband promised to rub in some soothing balm.


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Time To Write: Dazzle [Creative Writing Prompt] – The Razzle Dazzle Club


The Razzle Dazzle club’s the place

Where everybody jives about all over the place

Everybody moves

Everybody grooves

At the Razzle Dazzle club tonight

Yes we all gonna cruise on down

To the Razzle Dazzle club tonight.


You’ll see Bobby and Mary Lou

Groovin’ doin’ the boogy too

Yeah everybody moves

Everybody grooves

At the Razzle Dazzle club tonight

Yes we all gonna cruise on down

To the Razzle Dazzle club tonight.


And so the song went the crowd, as one dancing to the rock and roll beat of the song. The RD club as we called it was the place to be on the weekend. The lights, the music, the dress of the people who frequented it all dazzling before you, the colour, the glitter, the personalities, everything combined for a great fun evening.

Many a relationship was formed on their dance floor. Many a child was given life in the hours after.

The club was run by Otto Berman a man who conceived of the idea of a club with all the bells and whistles and in which the flamboyant was the beginning to what it might achieve. There was no other club like it, and Otto encouraged outrageous dress, he offered an award each Friday night for the people whose outfit best matched the Razzle Dazzle concept.

It was a regular place for us to go, to dance, let down our hair and dance the night away.


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Thursday photo prompt: Waiting #writephoto – Sister Mary

waiting 2

Sister Mary hurried down the cloister towards Mother Superior’s room. She had found the message, “Come to my room!” under her door when she returned from evening prayers.

She knew Mother Superior didn’t like to be kept waiting, so she was not about wasting any time.

As she hurried along, she could feel the ghosts of sisters past around her. At night the cloisters had that scary feel about them. All the sisters knew the stories, the tales of ghostly apparitions along the way, the story of Sister Alphons who was so disturbed she threw herself off the top level. Her body was found the next morning, quickly removed and buried and her family told she had died unexpectedly during the night.

You could do that back then. The order was enclosed, and contact with the outside world was very restrictive. Once inside the convent doors, you were permanently removed from contact with anyone.

Sister Mary had been in the convent six months, and she wasn’t finding it easy in any way. She struggled with the long hours of contemplation. Her mind would wander to family and friends whom she missed very much and the discipline demanded by Mother Superior was oppressive.

She’d made no friends, that aspect of life was frowned upon as the order ruled their only friend was God and through prayer and meditation that relationship should overrule all human need. Though she wondered about that as late at night when returning from the bathroom, she’d heard noises coming from a few sisters’ rooms that suggested more earthly than heavenly devotion.

Around the final corner and she felt a sense of relief as she came to Mother Superior’s room. She knocked in the customary way she had been taught and waited for the expected stern ‘Come in’ of Mother Superior.

Hearing it, Sister Mary went in.


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Tale Weaver – #167- First Kiss – 19th April


Warning: Adult Content

A Summer/Esther Story

My first kiss, if you’d call it, that happened on my fifteenth birthday. My mum had arranged a birthday dinner and we, my sister and I, were to be ready by the time mum and dad came home from work.

Since mum went back to work, we had been baby-sat by mum’s brother Jeff. Usually, he was there when we came home from school, and he’d drink a few of dad’s beers before falling asleep on the lounge.

He had always been a touchy-feely sort of guy and as I grew and puberty took over, he’d invariably, when he found reason to cuddle me put his hands on my breasts and remark on how I was growing up.

I found it very uncomfortable and would always push away from him.

But lately, I was feeling more and more uncomfortable the way he was looking at me.

This day he had his few drinks as we told him about needing to get ready before mum and dad came home. He shrugged and let us go on our way. My sister had her shower and disappeared into her room.

I went into the shower to get myself ready as I was looking forward to going to dinner, as I knew my parents always picked excellent places to eat.

I was thinking about all this when he came in. He was sounding drunk and said he had the ideal present for a fifteen-year-old girl.

He opened the shower screen and saw him, naked, his penis erect, I cringed, slinking into the corner, covering all of me that I could.

He grabbed me and planted a hug kiss on my lips, he smelt of alcohol making me cringe even more.

I was terrified beyond anything I had experienced in my life.

It was when he began fondling me that everything changed.

I watched as he was thrust out of the shower. My alter ego had arrived.

I had grown up with an imagery friend called Esther. She and I were mates; we discussed everything including Uncle Jeff. Esther had always said she would protect me, and I took it as part of our imaginary conversations, nothing more.

But the girl standing over Jeff at this moment was not me. It was like I was an observer as Esther struck my Uncle leaving him dazed.

He looked up in total surprise and must have thought, “What’s gotten into Summer, she’s always so polite and even-tempered?”

But even if he did, he became extremely aggressive and threatened Esther, which in hindsight was not a good thing to do.

Esther never said anything but rather delivered Jeff a massive kick to his exposed testicles. He doubled up, and it was then she descended on him and whispered in his ear as she twisted it near off, to never go near me again.

I think he was so terrified he nodded and got up and left.

When I came out of the later a few minutes later, he had gone.

In my room, I gathered myself as I was shaking from the encounter. I’d never known Esther to be so aggressive. She was part of me, and I loved her for always being there when mum and dad weren’t. But I didn’t know her to be so strident as she had been.

It was then she spoke, “You’ve always been weak Summer, and I’m here to protect you. You keep me from harm, it’s the least I can do.”

I heard her loud and clear but what I also heard was the voice she spoke in, and that frightened me.

So much for my first kiss as I once again wiped my lips to free myself from my Uncle’s stench.


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