Coronavirus – #Treats, #Mood Enhancers #Fitness

On Sunday my daughters and I were talking about ways to keep as positive as we can. I’m doing my best to keep our spirits up but it’s difficult. We are all feeling stressed and anxious, which is only natural. My youngest daughter is parted from her friends and boyfriend which is causing added stress. My eldest is coping a little better but of course she is also missing her friends too, as am I. Perhaps, it helps that she’s a bookworm and writer like myself, but, even with our beloved books and writing we’ve been showing signs of anxiety: a tight chest. We tried to alleviate our stresses by doing a mini gym session in the house with resistance bands, weight ball, yoga mat, etc. Hubby wasn’t too impressed by us leaping around the kitchen! I wish the weather had been better so we could have done our workout in the garden.

Keeping fit is vitally important for mental and physical fitness right now.

Also, there is the problem of everyone being cooped at home together, some of us working, some not. On Monday 30th (I hate Mondays!) I had to escape for a while, to get away from hubby’s grouchiness so I disappeared for a quick walk to our local country park during my lunch break. It was a brief walk but it did me so much good.

Hubby hasn’t been well (he is much better,) and the night before he hurt his already dodgy knee climbing the stairs. So, that was a stress too. I didn’t fancy the thought of taking anyone to A & E at the moment. Fortunately, it wasn’t too serious. No wonder hubby’s grouchy with all the stress of work, money worries, and fear of the family getting ill, plus us three witches leaping around his kitchen, etc.

He is a outnumbered. Shame we never had a son!

What have I been doing?

I’m continuing to work on a part fictional/part factual compilation of short stories, poetry and flash fiction about the Coronavirus. My work count for that now stands at around 6,000 words. I’ve been working from home, (usual hours) and also I’ve been cleaning the house, of course.

And… I’ve been keeping an eye out for helpful links for you all.

Here are some which you might find uplifting, or useful:

https://jennyinneverland.com/2020/03/30/things-to-treat-yourself-to-after-lockdown/

Date Ideas For Couples During Lockdown

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/sir-chocolate-has-a-youtube-channel/

Bestselling Children’s Author Mo Willems Is Teaching Kids Drawing On YouTube

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-10-university-art-classes-free-online/

Below, I’m included some information about my poetry, prose and photography collection. It is receiving 5 star reviews! Mr. Sagittarius is an uplifting read, suitable for these difficult times.

Take care, and stay in! Unless it is necessary to go out for food, or a daily walk.

And remember

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise ― Victor Hugo

Available in Kindle Unlimited, in kindle and in paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store with my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

Early reviews: 5 stars from Ritu Bhathal https://butismileanyway.com/2020/02/29/february-2020-books-amreading/

And 5 star review from Colleen Chesebro: February 2020 Books #AmReading

Another 5 star review from Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/smorgasbord-book-reviews-poetry-and-prose-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

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Meet the Author: Mr. Sagittarius by M J Mallon – Meet The Authors

I’m being featured on Camilla Down’s blog MTA do pop over to read her beautifully presented post about my books, my life and me!

http://meetingtheauthors.com/2020/03/28/meet-the-author-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

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Coronavirus #flash #fiction #food #shopping

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

For Charli Mills Flash Fiction Challenge: https://carrotranch.com/2020/03/27/march-26-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

This flash fiction piece below is part of an idea for a larger piece of flash that I’m writing along with a YA romance short story. My very first romance!

This pandemic has taught me to focus on the simple pleasures in life and positives like a cheery overhead conversation heard at the till. And to remind myself that if I see someone I know, (even if that person is someone I don’t know well,) to wave, or shout hello.

Social Distancing doesn’t mean we should be unfriendly. Stay close but stay safe.

Fear makes Us Strangers

It’s a Friday night, the weekends coming! Yeah.

I dread what the queue might be like.

Each time I shop, I become more afraid. I pray I don’t see someone I know. Social distancing has become social avoidance.

I’m done quick, rush to the nearest till and am amused to see the vicar talking to the check out assistant. I’m still thinking of their cheerful conversation and the smiling vicar. The lady at the till demands that I step back further. I do, but I can never get used to this.

Stay safe everyone.

Much love,

My published books are available via my Amazon author page:

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Coronavirus – Mental Health #apps #selfcare #mentalhealth

It’s a challenging time for everyone. So self care for family/flatmate/friends whatever grouping you find yourself in, is crucially important. Support each other, perhaps elect one person (or one might naturally be inclined to do so without prompting) to be the cheerful buddy to keep spirits up. If you are living alone connect to your friends, family and wider family via social networks particularly visual ones with face to face experiences such as Skype. You can still elect a buddy but a virtual one!

Top 10 apps like Skype: https://www.techlazy.com/apps-like-skype/

Limit your use of social media – keep informed but avoid too much scrutiny of sad reports which come up on your feed. Instead, focus on the positive, the humour, the real life stories of kindness and positivity you find.

For example there is this lovely Facebook group to share your children’s and your pictures of rainbows – Rainbow Trail: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681125849365623/

On A Personal Note

My hubby hasn’t been feeling too well this week and we’ve been wondering if he has the virus. It’s difficult to tell without a test. Our nerves are at breaking point, it’s been a very stressful time. Whilst keeping and eye on his illness my daughters and I have been extra careful, washing our hands, disinfecting like crazy because it is possible to have the Coronavirus mildly, or even to be asymptomatic. Hubby has been up and down but he seems on the mend, fingers crossed, so perhaps it was something else? We will still be vigilant.

I’ve recently started to work from home, as the UK like so many countries is in lock down. I’m shocked by the number of people who still continue to behave as if the virus is nothing to be feared, gathering together for barbeques, family gatherings and the like.

I know it’s nice to get together but seriously can’t you wait? We have to get to grips with this NOW before more people die, or get seriously ill.

Lecture over.

What have I been doing?

I have to say I haven’t felt like reading at all. I just don’t have the energy. But, my bookworm eldest daughter wasn’t having that! Bless her. She encouraged me to read some romance. She’s suggested My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and Die For Me by Amy Plum. Hum… I went for the latter. Enjoying it… apart from the title!

On the plus side I’ve started writing a little – my current project/s are flash fiction about the virus plus a YA short story set in a post pandemic world. Very topical. It’s a romance which is a different genre for me. Perhaps, I needed a little romance to cheer me up! I’m really enjoying writing this, especially as I always struggle to write romance. A positive I may have cracked it!

Work wise I’ve been working Monday to Friday same hours as usual. So no change there, keeping busy until 6pm every evening.

My daughters and I have plans to exercise, so with that in mind we have ordered some gym stuff to work out at home, or in the garden. Yes, a yoga mat! I might not be perched on a cliff face but life does feel a bit like that at the moment.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I hope you find these various mental health links, apps and learning possibilities useful:

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-to-stop-the-anxiety-spiralling-out-of-control-133166/

https://woebot.io/how-it-works

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/cove/

https://www.headspace.com/

https://www.futurelearn.com/

https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

Before I go I’d like to introduce you to a new found friend of mine:

Mr. Sagittarius.

My poetry, prose and photography collection released on February 16th. Perhaps you may like to treat yourself to a copy. I’d be thrilled if you do.

Mr. Sagittarius is available in kindle, full colour paperback and free in Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Buying link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Keep safe. Let me know how you are coping during these scary and challenging times and do comment below if you’ve found some interesting resources too.

Much love and hugs, keep safe.

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Coronavirus Tips And Thoughts #Coronavirus #COVID19

Stay safe in your own personal wilderness

Isn’t it totally surreal? No one could predict such a catastrophic situation and in some ways,  it feels like we’re living in a terrifying novel, or a modern day war!  Our immediate enemy has become a devastating virus, not a person carrying a gun. But we have two enemies – the virus and our human selfishness.

The toilet roll fiasco is unbelievable. My husband David and I have encountered old couples in the local supermarket looking for a single roll of toilet paper who are disturbed to find there is none. David didn’t have any in his trolley, so instead he gave an old guy his kitchen towels as he was crying. So shocking. It demonstrates the level of selfishness that pervades our modern society. Is this what we have become?

Perhaps this virus is natures way of teaching us a lesson?

Be less selfish and save our beautiful planet.

What can we do? In my opinion we must listen to medical advice, support each other, create online communities and stay apart for now. How sad, but how necessary. It’s strange that social media has now become even more important. It has become our friend, our link to our ‘real life friends,’ our ‘family abroad and in other cities.’ BUT it is not always trustworthy there are scammers out there praying on the vulnerable and elderly and the added threat of false news and misinformation. So be careful, only trust in legitimate sources of information such as the WHO and the NHS.

So, keep safe, wash your hands meticulously, avoid going to crowded places such as pubs, restaurants, and clubs. And God forbid you go to the gym. It’s a sweaty germ factory. Instead, take a walk in nature, or a meander in your back garden. Perhaps consider buying gym equipment at home to use, or try an online yoga class, or mindfulness.

I know what I will be doing if I have to self isolate, as long as I am well, in my spare time (as I still have to work,) I will be reading, listen to audio books, watching TV, writing and running around the garden! 

Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Remember to tell them every day you love them. This is a war and we must fight. In all wars the depths of the human spirit will astound us. Let’s be kind, and unselfish in our actions. There is a lot of good in the human race, so let’s keep that coming. A huge thank you to all the nurses, doctors, care workers, educational key workers and medical staff, who put their lives at risk to save others. They are our heroes, let us praise them.

Useful and fun links:

Mental Health: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-mental-health-self-isolate-how-to-manage-quarantine-a9404431.html

Humour from Donna: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/03/17/im-still-standing-yeah-yeah-yeah/

From author Danny Kemp: https://theauthordannykemp.com/2020/03/18/an-explanation-of-coronavirus/

Discover Wildlife:  https://www.discoverwildlife.com/news/charities-reserves-gardens-coronavirus/

A diary project for children stuck at home: https://kathrynevans.ink/covid-19-diary-project/

Some flowers for you. Cambridge Botanical Gardens Glasshouse

Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius
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#BlogBattle: Castle #poetry #daughters #mothers #family

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/blogbattle-castle/

This poem is for my daughters who have had their share of troubles. Some minor, some more major. This is for them, and for all the young women out there who have to be brave sometimes in extraordinary circumstances. We are living in difficult, frightening times with the inner cities being home to knife crimes and gangs. Coupled with this are many other hazards for young women nowadays.

Two young girls, one blonde one dark, my girls,

My daughters, grown now. I remember

trips, sunshine, parks, castles,

Ball parks, parties, giggles,

Sleepovers. 

Oh, the sleepovers! Crazy friends, fights, bullies, 

Shenanigans, strange confessions.

It was simpler then

How life changes.

Until hormones raging

Enter the boyfriends staying over

Not, if dad has his way. Ever. They plead.

Determined. He weakens, gives in.

I do too, not knowing

What to do.

Starts off well, until tears, heartbreak,

A hug, a kiss. Mr. Blue Eyes

is not so carefree I say, but girls

in love don’t listen.

Who would?

Don’t trust a player, I cry. Do they take

My advice? Sometimes not enough.

They ask friends, me, everyone,

Make choices.

I sigh.

Now the drama’s nearly over. I tremble.

Expecting the next crisis to come

rippling around the lake.

The waters swaying. It’s stiller now.

They’re wiser.

I’m ecstatic! They’ve escaped their troubles

They’ve put up their moats. Hurrah.

Don’t cry my beauties. 

You did the right thing

The waters yelling.

Nasty slaps, stares, cheats, assorted

Vicious nasties, hooded hoodlums

And gangs don’t make a man

But kindness does, you’ll see

Find your soulmate 

For your own dear castle. Rejoice

my lovelies you’ve learnt 

To be brave and true.

I’m so proud

Of you.

Two girls, older now, two blondes,

Both lighter, my girls, my daughters

Such a sweet reflection

My dearest castle,

My family. 

For all the mothers and daughters out there this poem is for you.

Stay safe and well.

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

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#Book #Review: Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

A Jewish girl-turned-spy must infiltrate an elite Nazi boarding school in this highly commercial, relentlessly nail-biting World War II drama!

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah–blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish–finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can’t attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. With years of training from her actress mother in the art of impersonation, Sarah thinks she’s ready. But nothing prepares her for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. 

Review:

I’ve been keen to read his for a while and I am so glad I took the plunge! I absolutely loved Orphan Monster Spy from page one right through to the fabulous ending. Matt Killeen has a wonderful way with words and I loved the heroine of the story: Sarah. She’s so feisty and rises above all her terrible experiences, (including the death of her mother,) to be a truly awesome, fierce, brave and engaging character.

You’d enjoy this if you like stories set in Nazi Germany.

It doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of this time period of history. This is a different take, focusing on a young Jewish girl infiltrating a Nazi school for the ‘elite,’ and convincing them that she is one of them. What a great idea for a story.

It is obviously well researched and the author Matt Killeen’s compassion and humanity is evident in his writing.

It’s an easy one to rate. A five stars without a doubt. Definitely a favourite. Highly recommended.

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

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