Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #42 Love & Last



RonovanWrites Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt Challenge #42 Love&Last


This week Ronovan Writes Haiku Prompt Challenge are the words Love and Last, here’s my two haikus for the week:




Love’s careless dreamers

So lets dream happily

Will it last who knows?




Love’s Rubik’s Cube sings

Tempting passion’s puzzling song

Jigsaw Love Pieces


© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.
Words good or bad, are my very own!

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Hope – A Story in Words and Photography

A flame of thoughts


This week I am taking part in Jamie’s Week 17 Photo Challenge: Hope

Here’s the link to her blog:

I found out about the weekly photo challenge via Melissa’s lovely blog The Aran Artisan:


Lush promise



The photos are all taken by me in my local Country park which is looking particularly lovely at the moment, hope you enjoy them. Here’s the entrance that I use quite often, and below the photo is the beginning of my little story HOPE, inspired by these thought provoking images.


The open gateway a welcome or a mockery?



The open gateway beckons like a warm welcome yet it sits in dappled shadows as if mocking me. My troubled thoughts are silent, yet the voice of my heart pounds, a flurry of quiet spasms grips my chest, tightening with each breath that I take. The lunchtime joggers run past, hard and fast, unaware that my breathing is competing with the pace of their laboured breaths in an unacknowledged contest.

Candy Floss Clouds



I reach the first tiny viewing platform. The fluffy clouds float by on a gentle breeze as if trying to reassure me, doing their best to alleviate my earlier anxiety. The reflection of their inverted shapes slip into the water, a childlike candy floss creation, of delicate hope lifting my rising fear.


The trap



Then as I progress further, a darkened branch lays in wait for the unsuspecting visitor, threatening the tranquil scene. It claws reach out, a trap ready to close around its poor, unfortunate, next victim. It refuses to touch the man-made lake, nor does it rest, or disturb the seamless surface of the water. It is as if the trap-like branch is independent of any control.


Iceberg clouds



The fluffy clouds now look like iceberg reflections, but even this does not seem likely, as lush green pond vegetation escape the water’s surface near them, promising a possibility, the likelihood of fresh hope. To my left I see a fragile, flowering branch.


Blue promise



I turn a corner and the cloud all but disappears, the sky so blue, and the scene so tranquil that I gasp in surprise.





I walk on by and find that I had been too hasty, I have been tricked, the clouds refuse to let me go. The dark approaching shadow clings to the right of my viewpoint, joining in with the clouds refusal, a reminder that all has not yet been spoken.



It stretches its shadowy fingers into my pathway creating a dappled carpet to guide me but I stand back, hesitating.


Clouds like frightened suggestions


The clouds begin to spill into the water once again, their substance lost in their liquid home, they disperse like frightened suggestions. I stare at my phone as if it is an enemy. For a moment I am tempted to drop the phone into the water, to let it sink, so I do not have to confront this moment, but instead I clutch the phone to me and continue on my way.


The sensory garden’s blue handkerchief.



I catch the sweet smell of flowers drifting from the sensory garden.  Their aroma is light, almost imperceptible. Snatches of blue sky peek out amongst the blooms, like stolen handkerchiefs, waving, waiting for a conclusion. I continue to the Visitor’s centre, a haven full of thirsty, hungry strangers, unconcerned, and unaware, of my rising anxiety.



the noughts and crosses of uncertain shadows


The stairs leading up to the viewing point are marred with the noughts and crosses of uncertain shadows, but no matter they are only playing a game to confuse me.


The pink and white clouds of hope

Then and only then do I become aware of the full view of the lake. It comes to greet me with a panorama of endless hope. Its pink and white fluffy clouds smile, reassuring me that I am not to worry, all will be well. At last, I have the courage to type in the number. It rings, and rings, and then at last my mother answers. She is not expecting me to ring right now. She tells me about her hospital appointment, “Yes, it is not the worst news, but it is not the best, I will need an operation, but thankfully my bloods do not suggest cancer.” The relief floods through me, like a thunderous waterfall, tempered by my disquiet at the word, surgery. I relax a little as I hear her next words. “The doctor asked me if I would mind having students present at the operation.”  I hear a faint smile in her voice as she says, “How was I to mind when I wouldn’t even know they are there?”

Bye for now!

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.
Words and photos, good or bad, are my very own!

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More Websites and Links for Book worms, Bloggers and Writers


thA8J808YB writing

Soon, on Tuesday 5th of May, there is to be a Writers’ resources evening at Cambridge Writers,  the group that I am a member of, so with this in mind, I thought I would do a little warm up, and type up some helpful website links for Writers, Bloggers and Book Worms.

I have been gathering the details of this list for some time so hope that it will be a useful resource.

So to kick it off my first discovery was Wasafari, who are they you might ask?
“Wasafiri is Britain’s premier magazine for international contemporary writing. Published quarterly, it has established a distinctive reputation for promoting work by new and established voices across the globe.”


Book review/Bookish sites:





Read books for free:


Author’s resources:


Tips for authors on how to make book trailers:

Tips on writing book blurbs, they may be short but it doesn’t mean they’re easy to write!

How to protect yourself – editing clauses in publishing contracts.

Features written by or about female writers.

Excellent website for all writerly things including author/agent interviews, writing, and self-editing advice:

“A new home for your short fiction.”  runs support a writer on google.


Writers links via no wasted ink.

“World Literary Cafe is  a multi-faceted community that promotes everyone in the literary realm, from readers to authors, editors, reviewers, and author services.”

A book about writing, funding, crowd-sourcing, editing, sales, file conversion, guerrilla marketing, social media, blogging, and reviewers via Jan Moran writes.


Copyright infringement



Copyright infringement.


Writer’s advisory services


There are a lot out there but which to recommend? I’ve heard good things about these two:

Hilary Johnson Authors Advisory service

Cornerstones who have their very own publishing house, and have written a self help guide, Write a blockbuster and get it published, authored jointly by Helen Corner and Lee Weatherly, “it offers not simply a guide to writing a novel, but an introduction to writing a plot-based, action-focused blockbuster.”


Poetry Enthusiasts:



I’ve just recently rediscovered my love of poetry and with this in mind I would highly recommend joining in with Ron’s Weekly Haiku prompt challenge. It’s fun, and gets the old creative juices flowing on a weekly basis and that can only be a good thing! Ron has an excellent blog overflowing with all sorts of interesting articles so he’s certainly one to follow.

Haiku prompt challenge:

Wikihow to write a Haiku poem.

What is Haiku, and how to write it.

Here’s his helpful link about merging blogs:

Artists and Illustrators:

Chihuly Glass


Marketing resources for artists.

Using Corel suite instead of Adobe for illustrators:


Finding Agents and Publishers



Switch your torch light on, don your spy costume, now on to the nasty business of finding agents, and publishers. This is when life becomes complicated, the writing is easy in comparison, I know I’m in this process and it seems to be a never ending slog of decisions, (which is utterly painful for someone like me who tends to be indecisive,) waiting, trying again, waiting. So with that in mind here are some resources to help my fellow wannabe authors out there who may be struggling like me to find a publisher or an agent. Never fear, help is at hand. Good luck!

List of agents and editors.

The Writer’s and Artists’s Yearbook is a must have ISBN 9781408192450. They have an excellent site: 

Another way to approach agents is to meet them in person. There are many events which are organised with this in mind, conferences, workshops and talks are all good opportunities to meet agents and tell them about your story, so have a look for those – locally in the UK there is the Norwich Writers Centre and plenty will come up from a google search on the internet.

SCBWI do some, too.  Who are SCBWI?  They are The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: The Writers and Artists also hold events:, the next hook an agent event is in London, in June:

How to pitch to publishers: – David Fickling Books are opening up submissions in a competition type style event from May 5th to May 19th.


Self Publishing:



Guide to self publishing and promoting, click on the tab on the top left section of author E. Rawls blog, there are all sorts of writing tips too as well as haikus, book reviews, blog hops, author interviews.




Increase your blog traffic: 


THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact or e-mail me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson


Goodreads synopsis:

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Cambridge Literary Festival

I am so pleased that I decided to go to hear Lisa Williamson at the Cambridge Literary Festival talking about The Art of Being Normal. If I hadn’t maybe I would not have discovered her book and that would have been a terrible shame. It was a fascinating talk, and I met her briefly afterwards at her book signing. More details of this are on this blog under the heading Author Interviews and Talks, April 19th, 2015, so do please take a look.

My review:

This is without any doubt one of my favourite books. It made me cry, it made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me frown, it made me want to punch Harry the school bully when he calls David “freak show.” Thank goodness Lisa Williamson gave David the guts to demonstrate that he isn’t a complete pushover. He retaliates calling Harry’s girlfriend “Bubble Brain.” Way to go!

A veritable rainbow of emotions flickered through me as I read The Art of Being Normal. I love the main characters in the book, David and Leo. All the subsidiary characters are exceptionally well crafted and believable too.

Lisa Williamson does an amazing job of creating a sense of the warmth and cosiness in David’s family life which is then artfully contrasted with Leo’s “dilapidated” council estate, in Cloverdale. The two boys develop an unlikely, and in Leo’s sense unwilling relationship. At first Leo is reluctant to get involved with anyone, this is his way of coping, his self-protection mechanism. We learn that he has been expelled from Cloverdale school. When Leo’s sister mentions the word “normal” he goes into an internal verbal tirade. Here’s some short quotes from the tirade:  “I’ve spent my whole life being told I’m the complete opposite of ‘normal’. “Normal. I say it over and over again as I pace up and down…”

Cloverdale has such a “hard” reputation that all the kids at his new “posh” school Eden Park think he is a tough nut. But this is just a veneer, Leo has a secret, and so has David, and ultimately this is what will draw the two of them together.

The secrets in Eden Park School, and in the lives of these two families are poised on a precarious precipice edge, waiting  for that moment when they cannot be contained any more and have to be released into the world. Of course when David reveals his true self, the effect is potent, painful, irreversible and life changing.

This is without doubt a remarkable debut from Lisa Williamson. As soon as I started reading The art of Being Normal I was struck by the voice of the novel. The reader becomes immersed in Lisa’s words because I do believe that Lisa really cares about Transgender kids and this empathy shines out in her writing. When I reached the halfway mark I wondered if the novel had more to give, would it progress at the same pace or would it turn up a notch or two? Well I wasn’t disappointed, the narrative cranked up and the revelations, particularly David’s, were such tear jerkers.   Yes I was crying like a baby! His family’s response was just so heart-warming, you just have to read this book! Leo’s family life had an unexpected revelation about his mother too that I just didn’t see coming. David’s best friends Essie and Felix, are such a cute couple and I love how they do everything they can to make David feel special.

The art of being normal  tackles so many issues that are not just solely relatable to the experience of Transgender kids, bullying, friendship, family, life’s difficulties growing up, and life’s hard knocks, these are all there for everyone to relate to.

The writing is so spot on, the dialogue is so natural, the settings are interesting and novel. I particularly enjoyed how Lisa Williamson set some of the scenes of the book in a disused swimming pool, culminating “in the very first Alternative Eden Park Christmas Ball,” the liberating but heart-breaking trip to Tripton-on-Sea,  the wonderful time in Tripton’s bingo hall and pub these were just some of the many highlights for me.

My rating:

A 5 star read. Highly recommended for readers of Young Adult, Contemporary, and Glbt.


Favourite quote:

“Besides,” Dad says, “who wants to be normal anyway? Fancy that on your gravestone. ” Here lies so-and-so. They were entirely normal.”

I smile. But I can tell he’s putting on a brave face with all the fake jolliness. It reminds me of when his mum died and he was all lively and together at the wake, making jokes and filling up everyone’s drinks, and later I overheard him crying alone in the bathroom.”

Have you read The Art of Being Normal? Do comment I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge #41


RonovanWrites Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt Challenge #41 Want&Tatters

Another fine prompt from Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku prompt challenge.

This time I thought I’d dedicate my Haiku to the 150th Anniversary of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland so here goes:


Statue of Alice in Wonderland, New York



Bronze Alice

Bronze New York Alice

She wants Wonderland dreaming

Dreams tatter like cards



For some reason I found this week’s haiku especially hard, the words wants and tatters were alluding me somewhat but anyway had a go. Tried my best.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.
Words good or bad, are my very own!



Fantastic illustrations on this site:


 THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact or e-mail me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

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My Friday Post: The Friday 56 Weekly Meme: The Song of Achilles


Friday 56

I came across The Friday 56 Meme via Caffeine and Books:

So I thought I’d do something different and have a go at The Friday 56 Meme for my Friday post this week.  I chose The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller  as it is definitely a book that I intend to read soon.


It is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, click on the link to her blog, and the rules are pretty simple:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
    (If you have to improvise, that’s OK.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it).
  • Post it.
  • Add the url to your post on Freda’s Voice.

And I? I was shy and silent with all but Achilles; I could scarcely speak to the other boys, let alone a girl. As a comrade of the prince, I suppose I would not have had to speak; a gesture or a look would have been enough. But such a thing did not occur to me. The feelings that stirred in me at night seemed strangely distant from those serving girls with their lowered eyes and obedience. I watched a boy fumbling at a girl’s dress, the dull look on her face as she poured his wine. I did not wish for such a thing. “

Now doesn’t that short quote just make you want to read the book? It certainly sets my curiosity into hyper drive!

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis :

A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly re-imagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, Miller’s debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights. Fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.  

Have a Happy Friday and a great weekend.

Happy Reading, Writing, and Creating. Enjoy yourselves, let me know what you’re reading, or intending to read. I’m currently about half way through Lisa Williamson’s debut novel The Art of Being Normal, more to come on that soon!

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Boat by Clara Salaman


Goodreads Synopsis:

When a boat appears out of a raging storm, Johnny and his new bride Clem don’t think twice about stepping on board to take refuge, especially as it is crewed by a bohemian couple who represent everything they want to be. But all is not what it seems. And when they finally open their eyes to the truth, the boat is in the middle of the vast open sea…

This is a hypnotic, emotionally charged novel about two sweet young lovers who lose their innocence in paradise, and is based on the author’s real life experience.

About the Author:

Clara Salaman is a novelist, screenwriter and actress. She is best known for her role as DS Clare Stanton in The Bill, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the National Television Awards.

She was born in North London and raised in a cult.

My winning copy

I won a copy of The Boat by Clara Salaman from fellow Blogger and Book Reviewer Jenny Marston:


The Book’s blurb

The blurb on the back of the book didn’t quite do it justice: ‘This is a hypnotic, emotionally charged novel about two sweet young lovers who lose their innocence in paradise.” Ok, the hint was there in the ”lose their innocence in paradise,” but this just didn’t play out how I expected, it was far more raw, and gut-wrenchingly shocking, than I expected. So, be prepared, this novel tackles some very disturbing issues, and is most probably not for everyone.

What did I think?

Well at times my stomach twisted in a rather unpleasant way, particularly in the parts of the novel when it became apparent that the bohemian boat captain, and his wife were into some very deviant sexual tendencies. I was glad that Clara Salaman didn’t go into too much detail especially with regard to Frank and Annie’s young daughter Smudge. This would most certainly have turned me off the novel if she had.

This novel is even more shocking if you consider that it is based on the author’s true life. One doesn’t know exactly which parts of the novel are based on fact, but the knowledge that there is some truth in it makes the novel even more valid for me.

I appreciated the undercurrent of uncertainty that ran throughout the novel, right up until the final most disturbing revelations. It was a clever idea to set the story on a boat. The boat is named the “Little Utopia.”  This seems like a contradiction in itself, utopia is thought of as an idyll, a delightful place rather than somewhere you find yourself unable to escape from. It’s a fantastic word combination of utopia suggesting the idyll, with little suggesting the claustrophobic aspect of the boat. In The Boat captivity is not enforced by human hand but largely by elemental forces, the wind died and the boat wasn’t going anywhere fast. When Johnny and Clem first see the boat’s name written on the transom they think it is “a heavenly place full of warmth and light and music.”  In fact it is an interesting twist that Clem eventually finds her relationship with Johnny stifling, she yearns for the freedom that Frank and Annie represent, yet Frank and Annie are not what she expects, and in this she is naïve and somewhat childlike herself. Clem is prone to superstitious tendencies, and the owners of the boat don’t follow these precautions. This lack of respect for superstition acts as a warning that all will not bode well on this tiny, idyllic boat.

Of the two main protagonists: Johnny and Clem, I preferred Johnny, somehow I related to him more. At times I found Clem somewhat frustrating,  and a little contradictory, I wanted to prod her and say,” What the heck!” But, this is most probably because she is the more naïve, and damaged of the two, due to her own father’s neglect, and makes the worst decisions because of this.

The majority of the narrative is set on board  the boat, although there are some chapters interspersed within this “boat narrative,” that focus on Clem and Johnny individually to suggest aspects of their background and motivation for their actions. On the whole this worked quite well but I did sometimes feel as if these could be edited, and shortened a bit, for me the most successful chapters were those spent with Frank, Annie, and Smudge.

There is a birthday celebration for Smudge, and Johnny gives Smudge a hand-made spear. “I found a monster, Johnny!” she said.

So did I.

“Did you kill it with your spear?” he asked.

“No. I let it go.” Her eyelashes had matted together like a doll’s eyes; she looked so perfect and fragile. “Be the monster, Johnny. Be it!”

Of course Johnny pretends to be the monster but the real monster is lurking on board the boat, and as the story unfolds we are kept guessing until we find out who that person is.

The birthday celebration which should be a happy event acts as a pivotal point in the narrative, things begin to change. Annie does something so dreadful that Johnny feels he has to hide it from Smudge.

So a shocking read, not one for the faint-hearted. It is very well written, even though there are some typos which could have done with proof-reading.

Recommended for readers of Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, who like a thought-provoking book with a strong theme.

My rating:

4 stars.


Favourite quotes:

“Occasionally, when Johnny witnessed how her beauty could disarm people, he thought of it as a sort of weapon. Frank looked as if Clem had just pulled a gun on him – there was the briefest flash of pure helplessness in his eyes. ”

This, here, now is magic. He got it then, the power of uncertainly, true freedom, and it felt just like love to him. He was drunk, but that was irrelevant.”

“Frank laughed. ‘It turned out Annie had told them that I’d killed her mother, cut her up into pieces and put her in the freezer.”

“Johnny and Clem laughed too, taking their cue from him but their laughter was just a release. It wasn’t funny. It was fucked up.”

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