Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum



Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!


Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain


The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess


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Monday, October 23, 2017


Autumn comes in the time of
When Winter's Snows
Quite, quite near!
      Ellen Tsagaris, Age 10

            Autumn has finally come; it is cold, and crisp, and the nights dark and early.  Finally, the leaves have changed, the apples taste crisper.  Coffee not only warms; it insulates

The colors are glowing, vibrant as the leaves die their slow, beautiful death.  My hand clutches, feeling the paint brush that isn't there, but once was.  I painted and photographed autumn frantically when I was young.   Here are some public domain and clip art images for your to enjoy; be sure to breathe deeply when the air is cool, and the sun is bright.

Remember collecting leaves - pressing them in books.  I have leaves that are older than I am, or at least, as old.  They live in my big, leather bound book of animals, itself a collectible.  Maybe it was gathering leaves and ironing them between sheets of wax paper that lead me to collecting dolls-- who knows!!

"Nothing Gold can Stay!"

Fall Vignettes

Fall Romance
Harvest Scene

Here comes Halloween! Some Fun Images

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Solar Eclipse and Maria Mitchell

The Solar Eclipse and Maria Mitchell

By Ellen Tsagaris

Popular Astronomy Club
Appeared in The Moline Dispatch

Image result for solar eclipse 2017 public domain
2017 Eclipse Public Domain


On March 20, 2015, the next solar eclipse will be visible.  NASA’s Solar Eclipse Page provides tables of past and future solar eclipses, along with graphics and other pertinent information. 


A solar eclipse takes place, of course, when the moon passes between the sun and the earth.  Once this occurs, the moon partially or totally hides the sun.  Then, the moon casts a shadow on the earth.


For a solar eclipse to occur there must be a new moon because the eclipse can only take place during the phase of the new moon, which makes it possible for the moon to cast its shadow on the earth.


Such an event has been billions of years in the making, truly awesome when one considers that since its formation almost 4.5 billion years ago, the moon has been steadily pulling away from the earth. According to Space.com, the moon has been moving away from the earth by about 1.6 inches each year.  Furthermore, the writers at Space.com point out that “right now the moon is at the perfect distance to appear in our sky exactly the same size as the sun, and therefore block it out. “


The Bible mentions a solar eclipse in Amos 8: 9, “I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the Earth in the clear day.”  Other references from Ancient China and Nineveh have also been documented. 


Most solar eclipses are very short, with some of the longest recorded at 7 minutes 31 seconds. During this time, the corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun, is visible.


The March eclipse will not be visible in the Quad City area, unfortunately. A total solar eclipse will be visible in Svalbard, Norway and the Faroe Islands, while a partial solar eclipse will be visible in Europe, northern and eastern Asia and northern and western Africa

Image result for maria mitchell public domain
Maria Mitchell, Public Domain


The last solar eclipse was only a partial eclipse and occurred on October 23, 2014.


Celebrated astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) made the study of solar eclipses her specialty.  Mitchell was born to Quaker parents who believed in educating equally their sons and daughters.  She learned to love astronomy through helping her father, and one evening, she helped him calculate their home’s position by observing a solar eclipse. Mitchell became famous after she discovered a comet in 1847.  The King of Denmark awarded her a gold medal for her discovery of the comet.  In 1856, Mitchell became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College.


Maria Mitchell was an admired and beloved teacher who inspired her students and believed woman could achieve the same accomplishments that men did, if they could only be given a chance.  She believed creativity and science worked well together, and one quote attributed to her reads: “We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”




Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reynard the Fox

I saw the neighborhood fox, a beautiful little person, indeed.  It had little black footies, [ok, it was too cute!] The lovely tail, alert expression, soft red coat.  It trotted across the street  between house, happily stalking who knows what!  The other fox in the area was pale and small in comparison, and its ears were not as perky or pointed.  The same is true of the Carbondale fox who stopped traffic at a 4-way stop by Kroger; everyone stood still until it crossed safely. 

The way it scampered in the brisk, cool fall air that finally came to us was inspiring.  Long may our little fox trot, and long may he live among us.

Our other neighbors include a chipmunk who lives in a doll buggy I use in outdoor displays, several bunnies we helped raise by saving their nests, the very naughty raccoons, an occasional pheasant and wild turkey, our birds, including a woodpecker, the 12th avenue Bald Eagles, a few hawks.  Once or twice,  I've seen a coyote. We get holiday cards from some of our neighbors, especially the squirrels that scamper in front of the picture window, just to upset my strictly indoor cats!!

Image result for fox public domain
Public Domain


Subject: Student Writing/Publishing Opportunity: The Dangling Modifier Newsletter is Accepting Submissions!
From: Karen-Elizabeth Moroski <kxm5044@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:24:54 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

Hi, friends!

The Fall 2017 Issue of Penn State/NCTPW's Peer Tutoring Newsletter -- The
Dangling Modifier -- is now accepting submissions. Please encourage your
tutors to submit!

This year's theme was inspired by the upcoming MAWCA 2018 Conference themes
of identity, narrative and honoring intersectionality/voice in writing
center work.

*What is The Dangling Modifier?*
Why, I'm glad you asked! The DM is a peer tutoring newsletter by peer
tutors, for peer tutors. It's a fantastic opportunity for your
students/tutors (grad and undergrad alike) to get published and to be part
of a rich history of tutors writing about tutoring.

*How does it work?*
Explained more in full on The DM's website, peer tutor authors will submit
works via email. Selected writers will be contacted by our editorial staff
(comprised of PSU tutors) and our editorial staff will collaborate (through
Skype, Google Docs, email, etc.) with the writer to refine the final piece.
Then, we publish it to the web!

*If you're interested: *
In the Spring, we offer the possibility for The DM to be hosted by a guest
university. It's great experience for the tutors who work on the newsletter
-- if you're interested, let me know: kxm5044@psu.edu.

*And now... the CFP! (Also attached as a word document)*

*Issue Title: Keepers of Collaboration: Upholding Civil Discourse in
Writing Centers*

*What does collaboration mean to you? To your Writing Center? How do you
define “discourse” in a tutorial? There are times where tutees and
professors both might push against our approach to working with writers
rather than solely working on papers: How does collaboration engage
conversation and growth in ways that line-editing cannot?*

*Sometimes, that conversation and growth can be tough to navigate: as
writing tutors, we sometimes encounter hostile papers, hostile students –
maybe even moments our own beliefs, experiences or backgrounds are called
into question. But a spirit of radical openness runs through the current of
writing center work, and there are ways in which foundational parts of
tutoring pedagogy enable us to be good listeners, good community members
and good humans when we engage in challenging tutorials. The
Dangling Modifier wants to know about times when you’ve felt challenged to
grow during a tutorial, as well as times you needed to use your writing
tutoring skills to navigate a controversial difficult moment in the Writing

*Writing tutoring, civil discourse and collaboration all share the core
tenets of respect, listening, and engaging. What does it mean to be a
Keeper of Collaboration? How can writing tutors use these skills to
preserve and promote community in a tempestuous world?*

*We are also open to creative submissions of artwork, poetry, photography,
book reviews, etc. related to our Fall 2017 theme. If selected, these
submissions will not be listed as newsletter articles but will appear on
our website in our Entertainment Category. Writers can submit to both the
Entertainment and Article sections!*

*Submissions are due no later than November 15, 2017.Email submissions to
danglingmodifier.psu.edu@gmail.com <danglingmodifier.psu.edu@gmail.com>*

*Click here for submission guidelines.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Feloni Family Chronicles as told by The Broad from Abroad

The following is a copyrighted work of fiction; none of the Felonis are real.  They are the product of the author's sick but brilliant imagination.  Please do not copy or reproduce without the author's position.  If you are a publisher, contact me directly, and check out my work on my Amazon.com author's page, LinkedIn, Goodread's Authors Page, and 917studio.  You can also find my work on Dissertation Abstracts International.  I can be even more shameless; just contact me :)

The Feloni Family Chronicles as told by The Broad from Abroad

                Let me tell you a little story about a family named Feloni, who also happen to be my former in-laws, some three husband’s ago.

                Since meeting them and suffering two other bad marriages, I’ve taken a vow of celibacy and have taken up race cars.  Actually racing them, not collecting little plastic models with teeny metal wheels.

                I’d like to start with a portrait of my ex-sister-in-law, Brindle Zima Feloni, mother of the Feloni heirs to the Feloni Family Trailer Park and Olive Oil Conglomerate, the Lovely Agnetta and Belladonna Feloni.

                Brindle has been married between boyfriends to the second eldest Feloni son, Grunt Feloni.  His real name, as you’ve guessed, is not Grunt.  It’s Giovanni Carlissimo Feloni.  We call him Grunt because, well, he grunts instead of talking.  Meet Grunt and you know where the missing link between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens seeded itself and flourished.

                When he isn’t grunting approval to himself at the Conservative talk radio shows he loves, Grunt is out hunting squirrels.  Brindle likes to sell the skins online.  She uses her proceeds to stock her subzero with Zima and to buy matching seat cushions for the window seat in her double-wide trailer.

                Carlissimo and Brindle Zima put the “fun” in dysfunctional before the word even gained common, household use.  Brindle, devoted daughter to her Daddy Craig Abhoresen, prefaces every sentence with “My Daddy says!!!”  At which point, you, the listener/opponent are meant to crumble in fear.  No one wants Daddy Craig and his child bride Jennifer waiting for you on the porch of your double-wide on a lonely, dark night.  No, the thought of Craig with his belt hiked up to his armpits, rheumy eyes bleary with rage and cheap beer, fly swatter in hand, was terrifying.  Jennifer alone was enough to strike terror into an in-law’s heart; you lived in fear those tight spandex shorts would one day pop off her and slap you right in the face.  Heaven knows what abrasions they might leave.

                Brindle managed Mamma’s Feloni cupcake/savings&loan business on the side.  She managed to skim off her own frosting fund to the tune of several thousand dollars. She could buy a lot of cases of Zima, her namesake beverage of choice, and throw pillows for that.  A lot of make up at the local dollar store, too. She had to look pretty for her guys, and she didn’t mean Grunt.  And then of course there were the girls.  Belladonna’s combination 8th grade graduation/sweet sixteen party hadn’t come cheap. And of course, Agnetta had that wedding- christening thing coming up.  It was great being able to combine events, and Mamma Feloni always let them use her own double-wide as a guest house for Daddy Craig and the other relatives.

                Yes, I remember Feloni family gatherings well.  We were great at multitasking and even planning. Combined celebrations were our specialty.  One of the triumphs of the social season was the combination Papa Feloni’s “I was finally granted Parole party” with the 50th Anniversary of the elder Felonis, Mama and Papa.   After we watched a “Desperate Housewives” narrative on the movie-sized flat screen, Brindle passed out the role we would play the ensuing, well – planned family fight.  Mine role was usually scapegoat; whatever everyone else did that could not be handled for any reason became my issue.   The script of answers I was given read “Yes, Brindle,” “Of course it’s my fault, brindle”, “You’re right, Brindle,” and “Yes, of course we should listen to Daddy Craig.”

                After years of such family fun, and enough heartburn from badly cooked pasta and flank steak diluted with the cheapest beer available and Two Buck Chuck, I divorced their oldest son, Danny Delight Feloni, much to their disbelief.

                When the ink to our divorce papers dried, my story really began.