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Marie T Smith


Chomping your way through some great food and cooking inspired articles and recipes

Food image by emy on Unsplash

My own experience of food has changed from one of bare essential childhood needs (sustenance and growth) to one which is now about filling my mouth with flavour! The best combinations are those where you can really taste almost every ingredient.

Which is probably why I also love to cook. Lexico defines cooking as ‘the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing, and heating ingredients.’

There it is, in a…

This happened to me

There is a really simple solution

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When the pandemic struck, businesses all over the world sought ways to work differently. Figuring out solutions to continue to offer some kind of service while we were all being advised to ‘stay home, save lives’.

Customer support services across the board were hit especially hard, I think.

Workplaces moved their teams to kitchen tables. Or onto furlough. Help desks started to become ‘help yourself’. People seeking holiday refunds for cancellations took to Twitter to try and raise a response. We noticed bots were on the increase. …


But look on the bright side — Ev Williams answered my call

‘Despair’ — Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I won’t lie, I thought I had hit the big time when I fell into this place called Medium. A platform that paid you if folk read what you wrote. A novel concept? Maybe not for you, but for me it was. I had mainly written blogs. Typing stories into a void — for my own gratification. I realise other ways of finding self-satisfaction are available.

My first three months were great. I earned some dosh. Let’s not get excited, we are not talking thousands here. But I was fine with my average earnings of $31.43. Life was good. …

Who the hell is behind Ichi dot pro and does Medium even care?

Who is Stealing Medium? [Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash]

Today I discovered (thanks to a lot of questions being asked on social media ; Caren White Kristi Keller to name but two) there is a whole new medium out there on which our stories reside. And it’s giving me the itch!

You see it’s not just a site with a few of our stories reshared. Oh no — it’s a whole damn site which is built around a whole heap of publications. Our publications. Medium publications.

They call them collections.

So I got to wondering — what the hell is happening here?

New terms or not new terms?

That might well be your question. But…


Flout the rules of grammar then be prepared to sit on the naughty step

Man sat on a step
Man sat on a step
Sit on the naughty step (Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash)

I like to think I have a reasonable sense of humor. Is it a GSOH? I don’t know. But I do laugh at funny things. I even laugh at really serious things sometimes. Not intentionally, I just get the giggles.

But some days someone comes along who thinks they are too cool for school. Determined to disrupt class and test the resilience of the teacher.

I am looking at you Devon Wells. Yes, you.

When Devon wrote this…

…with total disregard, for the five hours I had spent writing this…

…I couldn’t help thinking ‘oh hello, we seem to have…


Pay more attention to your tags and you may just bag a ‘top writer’ badge and more

No — not those kinds of tags! [Image: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

Okay, let’s just start by heading off the naysayers.

Yeh, yeh, yeh, yeh. We hear you.

But here, we are giving those badges a little more respect. Because there is a much bigger world awaiting our writers’ achievements. So move along if you just can’t see beyond the little picture. Or maybe even the medium-sized picture.

Don’t give debate space to those top writer doubters

As George Ezra says ‘no I don’t think about that stuff’.

I begin by reminding you, Medium top writer status accreditations are limited in number. Some say only 50 are given out at any one time. …


My therapist helped me to see it as a metaphor

Photo by Gabor Monori on Unsplash

I wake up sweating

can’t use toilets full of poop

bad school memories*

or she says ‘can’t lose your shit

for everyone else's shit’

When Martin Rushton started his Never-Ending Poem he opened the door to many things. Connection. Finding new writers. The challenge of writing something different, something outside our usual genre perhaps.

Thanks to Tina L. Smith who prompted me to keep Martin’s chain growing with a prompt to write a Haiku or poem about dreams

Now I invite you to join the chain Susan Brearley, Caroline de Braganza, Dražen? Dražen!,


Why some days I am proud of you and other days I cry into my bowl of cornflakes

Photo by Andrijana Bozic on Unsplash

It’s not easy being an editor. It’s even harder when you are a non-confrontational people pleaser. Pointing out someone's errors has never been my strong point.

But last week I was left partly in charge of the ship while captain Susan Brearley took a well-deserved break. I decided to embrace the responsibility and throw myself whole headedly into helping our Muddyum writers produce their very best work.

It started well. There are some things which are easy to teach. I made it my goal to show not tell. And to not fix it for them. I even wrote some tips…


Why you should choose your face mask wisely if you want to maintain credibility

Black person wearing a black face mask
Black person wearing a black face mask
Face mask on a guy: Photo by Laura Dewilde on Unsplash

Let’s face it (no pun intended), most of us care what we look like in our face covering.

Do I look okay in this?

Are we Sparkly Silvia or Duress Deborah? Embracing Emma or Forced Freda.

I get it. Even I am still working on it.

In my studio, stripping decades of toxins of my furniture (I am also an upcycling queen, in case you didn’t know) I look like Hannibal Lecter. I don’t give a feck. Nobody sees me.

But take me to the farm shop to get my freshly picked strawberries and I am all

‘I can’t breathe…


Let’s talk mammals and their love of our damned fine vegetable garden

Squash growing in a garden, close up of leaves and fruit.
Squash growing in a garden, close up of leaves and fruit.
Growing vegetables. Photo by Steffi Pereira on Unsplash

Let me begin by saying ‘deer’ is totally intentional. This is not a letter. If you were expecting one then I am sorry, not sorry, to disappoint you.

We grow food for our table. Tenderly we plant and care. We nurture our seedlings, our plugs, our potted versions — until it’s time to place them into the ground.

Then it’s an emotional time. It’s like letting your babies step into the school classroom for the first time. We cast them off. We blow them a kiss. We weep a little — and we pray.

Marie T Smith

Painting pics as a writer & photographer. Often with a dash of humor & satire. Website:

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