Photography

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 48 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: STONE & TURN

My Tanka this week is just a funny story really. This is what happened…

 

The day before our daughter Tasha was due to go to South Korea to teach English as a foreign language my youngest disappeared. She’d been out for a driving lesson and no one had heard from her. Her mobile had been left on the bed with her debit card too… now we knew something was up. How strange. Hours later she turned up safe and well… at home where she’d been all along! No one had seen her, or heard her. She’d been watching TV in the downstairs lounge, and had crept back up to her bed and scooted under the duvet, all without anyone noticing – that’s taking playing at hiding, just chilling to a new level!

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Equally as strange was this cloud formation Tasha and I had seen. The photo doesn’t do it justice, it resembled a giant bird taking flight and within twenty four hours that’s just what Tasha did – flew away.

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Yesterday morning,  my husband drove us to Heathrow so that Tasha could catch her flight to Seoul, and then on to Busan. I knew I’d miss her – I’d been taking every opportunity to spend time with her. I have to admit I was overwhelmed by my emotions. As she left for the departure gate my eyes filled with tears and my youngest Gina saw me crying and started to cry a bit too. For a moment it brought back memories to three years ago when we dropped Tasha off in Brighton to begin her University course. Miraculously, I hadn’t cried then, but I made up for the lack of tears by crying spectacularly now!

It isn’t easy to see your children leave for a year but we couldn’t be more proud of her. It takes courage to embark upon  a life-changing adventure when you are only twenty one. Or craziness! There’s a lot of her grandfather in her. My dad left Scotland and travelled to the Far East many, many years ago. At the time, he was told that he was crazy to do so and now it seems that his granddaughter is now following in his footsteps.

I hope you enjoyed this Tanka and personal anecdote.

If you have sons or daughters leaving home to go far away, perhaps to study or to work, I’d love to hear your experiences, let’s share a tear or two.

Much love,

Bye for now,

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To join in with Colleen’s wonderful poetry challenge:  https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/29/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-no-48-haiku-tanka-haibun-stone-turn/

My social media links:

Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Twitter:@Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: Shadow & Light

This is a perfect poetry prompt for me as I love to explore shadows and light in my writing.

Here’s an extract from The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone followed by my Tanka.

The evening descended, and darkness filled my room. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, but the stagnant dead air in the house tightened around my neck choking me. I slipped out of bed and opened a window. It made no difference. Feeling anxious, I noticed a deep sensation of dread forcing its way into my soul.

I often heard strange grumbling voices and laboured breathing coming from the walls of our silent house, speaking in unison, ‘Cursed house, dreadful misfortune.’ Tonight, no difference awaited me. Those weird sounds seemed to reverberate from the cramped attic room at the top of the house, right down to the ground floor. The hexagonal hallway grumbled as I heard six whispered voices that unified into one loud, persistent groan that amplified, filling the hall with the same repeated words.

I wrestled with alternating tiredness and wakefulness, pushing the sounds away, I fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed. A vision formed and I could see the pathway ahead lay deserted, not a soul in sight. The dead of night beckoned, and an eerie silence magnified every rustle and quadrupled every whisper in the breeze. The gentle sound of trickling water soothed my disturbed senses, but I couldn’t find the source. I fought a strange feeling that someone followed me. Yet, when I glanced over my shoulder, no one seemed to be there. No footprints, no churned-up earth, nothing. I walked faster, but my steps lagged, like a clock pendulum moving back and forth on a predetermined journey, yet moving in slow motion.

As my dream continued, the whispering winds grew louder. I forced myself to turn around and confront my growing fear. I saw the shadow of a man, and he was following me. Disconcerted, I tried to run and stumbled; as if this shadowy man’s long limbs were reaching forward to trip me up. Just when I couldn’t take another step, the winds stopped. The shadow revealed itself in a flash of light and vanished. My eyes blinked, captivated by blue-black hair, but I couldn’t see his face. I stood transfixed by a bright light followed by an immediate darkness.

© Marjorie Mallon 2017

(more…)

Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.

I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…

Here are some of my photos:

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That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!

And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…

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My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…

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Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.

Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…

And she approved of my photo…  The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!

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Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.

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Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.

Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:

http://marshajustwrites.com/accidental-tourist/

https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-the-swamp-fairy-colleen-cheseboro/

http://allanhudson.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/4q-interview-and-excerpt-with-guest.html

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/friday-roundup-on-a-thursday-13th-april/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-d-g-kaye/

https://jennyinneverland.com/2017/04/14/bloggers-revealed/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/12/guest-author-sarah-brentyn-where-i-spin-self-doubt-into-a-post/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/14/guest-author-d-wallace-peach-room-to-breathe/

All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.

Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email marjma2014@gmail.com, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.

All the best for a lovely Easter.

Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram

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#Review of Better Blogging With Photography by Terry Webster Schrandt

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Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.

Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!

Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise –  Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.

She adds tips on how to –

  • Create an engaging profile.
  • Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
  • How to design a defining header.
  • Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.

Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google.  The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.

There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest.  Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica

Then Terri mentions how to find free images for your blog via sites such as Canva and Picmonkey, both of which I have used, and recommend.

There are chapters on how to:

  • Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try…  Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
  • Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
  • Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as  Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
  • Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
  • A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.

Would I recommend it? Are you kidding?  Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,)  – find me here:  My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica

My rating.

A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

 

Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog

Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!

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Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Prompt Words – Gold and Sing

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For the 1st of December I thought it would be a lovely idea to join in with Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge.

The prompt words this week are gold and sing : Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge, Gold and Sing

To understand a little of what the following haiku is about I urge you to read a piece of writing that I enjoyed doing some time ago, when my bubble bath took on a bit of an extraordinary form that grew and grew into a swirling mass of monster imagination….

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Serena’s Bubble Monster

My theme for the following haiku….. is to continue this preposterous fun.

Thereafter, I will be writing a piece of flash fiction about the Bubbly Snowman for Solveig Werner’s Advent Calendar on the 24th of December so keep a look out for that on  Solveig Werner blog.  I’m hoping that the snowman might just melt your heart…

As well as this I am joining in with Ronovan’s suggestion to add photos to this post. This is in conjunction with the 52 day Photo Challenge – Extra – The Aran Artisan Photo Challenge– I’ve been baking my Christmas cake – which I’ll be adding extra sherry to!!! and lots of nuts, fruit, glace cherries,….. yum! The recipe is via  Natalie at There She Goes. Thanks Natalie for the awesome recipe, it looks like it’s turned out well…

The mix …

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The cake… turned out heavenly, in fact I could still smell the wonderful Christmassy aroma well into the evening.

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So on to those 1st of December promised haiku Snowman kisses…

Bubbly Snowman Kisses

The Bubble Monster,

Appears in all disguises,

Often he may sing.

 

A hearty Snowman song.

On Snowy Christmas days,

He greets you.

 

Singing golden verse,

He’s always chillingly sweet,

Jewelled admirer. 

 

This Christmas  Cracker,

Bubbly terror of the tub,

So hot, he’s soon gone.

Grab him while you can…

Watch out for his sweet kisses,

They might leave a mark. 

 

Like all cool, chic guys,

He’s bound to rush away fast,

Swirling down the plug.

 

Before he is caught.

By much loved, bearded, guess who?

Prize bubble catcher.

 

Santa’s no nonsense,

He’ll get the reindeer on him,

Send him on his way.

 

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Trying not to cry,

Teardrops from frosty Lapland,

I sigh, once, twice, thrice.

 

Farewell, Adieu,

Poor Snowman – you melt my heart,

Santa’s cute rival.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ha ha!!! Yes I did say it was going to be preposterous and I wasn’t joking. Well why not? Life is too short to be too serious!

 Hope you enjoyed my silly haiku. I enjoyed writing it.

 Stay tuned…… Kyrosmagica is planning on inviting you all to my Christmas party on this blog on Sunday 18th of December when you can pop by for a bit of virtual ice skating, and to share your news and your lovely links.

Bye for now.

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#Weekend Coffee Share: My birthday and Other News…

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Welcome to Kyrosmagica,

Pull up a cosy chair and get comfortable –  I have so much to tell you. It has been quite a week of colourful excitement, fun and frolics.  It’s been my birthday week so let me suggest a mug of hot chocolate topped with chocolate drizzled marshmallows…. Why not? Or if you fancy a Martini Espresso do join me in a moment…

In the meantime what about a journey back  in time in my special phone booth… I am getting older by the minute… on the bright side I’m not as ancient as these dinosaurs

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We have a tradition in my family – my mum and dad decided that birthdays should last longer than a day. So when it’s anyone’s birthday we celebrate for a whole darn week! Not just a single day, we like to make it last, and last and last, …. ad infinitum.

So my fun week started off last Sunday with a trip to London with my two daughters. We made quite a day of it visiting Camden food market, (eating yummy Beef Rendang – which is a spicy Malaysian dish,) walking along the river from Camden food market, and then taking a bus to Covent garden, as the tube station was shut. My poor wee legs.

Here’s some photos that I’d like to share with you.

My keen photographer daughter Georgina is on the right clutching her camera, Natasha is to the left of her, our model for the day!

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What about a little oriental charm along the way?  A beautiful Chinese restaurant that we discovered floating on the water! http://www.fengshang.co.uk/

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We were in search of graffiti to photograph and we found plenty.

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Sometimes you need someone special in the foreground to make it especially interesting….

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What else did I do this week?

  • I went to a make up evening with my youngest daughter – the launch party for the new John Lewis beauty hall which was great fun. I nearly won the raffle prize but unfortunately I lost it by one number. My raffle ticket was something like 365, and the winning number was 364. A bit of a disappointment – but life isn’t all about winning, is it? It’s about experiences. Doing the things you love with the family and friends you love. That’s what truly counts.
  • I bought a couple of new books at Ruth Hatfield’s book launch. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, I read the first in this series a while ago:

My review of The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield

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  • I went out for a lovely birthday lunch with my hubby, and youngest daughter.

So before this week ends I’d just like to raise a glass to you, my followers, to thank you for your  continued support in this here blog. It means the world to me. In fact I’d love to raise a glass of Espresso Martini to you.

Cheers. Love ya..from the real me, no cartoon this time!

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The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster  There is a link up: Link Up Linky.  Do  click on the this link to see all the wonderful coffee share posts and perhaps join in too.

 

Fireworks!!! Nearly Missed Them!!

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Just a quick blog post to share this photo  of the Fireworks on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. We had it all planned, a quick meal, and then straight to the fireworks. What could possibly go wrong?  Everything! We had a long wait to be seated at our chosen restaurant, as it was ridiculously busy. Then when we finally managed to get our table, they lost our food order. Luckily they gave us 25% off the bill plus two free drinks. After all that I was getting quite tipsy, and needed to eat something. Luckily the food did come, and was very tasty. But, time was running out. I had to pop to the toilet and by the time I’d taken two phone calls, (whilst in there,) we nearly missed it all!!!

All was not lost I just managed to capture this beauty lighting up the skies between the houses.

Do you enjoy fireworks?  I love them. They always make me feel positive, as if they light up the sky with their little rays of hope. The only problem with fireworks and bonfire night is the wretched temperature. I can’t cope with being cold… I have to wrap up!

I have lots of plans for November, it’s my birthday later this month! So more about that nearer the time. I will be having a little birthday reveal on my Instagram – my little treat to myself! We all need to have something special to look forward to…

Before I go perhaps I should leave you with my Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Hope Monday is treating you well and not squashing the life out of you! Very amused to see that a bodybuilder/personal trainer is following me on twitter. Is he trying to tell me something? I know I need to get fit but… knowing me I’d get crushed by the weights or drop them on my foot or something.

 

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Rigby and Peller Fashion Show – Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal

 

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I am so thrilled to be part of the team of lingerie stylists at Rigby and Peller, Cambridge. This is a totally new venture for me. I’ve never worked in lingerie before, in fact in my previous retail job in John Lewis I was ensconced in the menswear department, amongst woolly jumpers, socks, underwear, and other male paraphernalia.

Since joining the company I’ve been impressed by Rigby and Peller’s training programme and their positive attitude and intention to make women feel good about themselves.

So with that in mind I put together the above slide show and this little blog post to tell you all about a very extraordinarily inspiring evening.

The Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show was held in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge on the 4th of October. Several retail companies joined in the event including Rigby and Peller. Today I heard the wonderful news that the goal to raise £10,000 for the Addenbrooke’s appeal towards the cost of biopsy equipment for the breast cancer unit has now been met, and is being surpassed!

My manager at Rigby and Peller, Jenny Mason – one of the organisers of the event – has had first hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer, having lost her father to this dreadful disease. Jenny and Natalie Emuss (one of the models,) have worked tirelessly to make the fashion show such an enormous, and memorable success.  Much respect to them both.

Here’s my daughter Georgina at the fashion show with her camera at the ready. A big thank you to Jenny Mason for allowing Georgina to take photographs of the event.  Georgina is currently studying for three diplomas in Photography, Media Studies and Business Studies.

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This was Georgina’s first opportunity to take part in a photographic shoot and what better event to begin with than one that was so charged with emotion. The awesome women modelling lingerie and fashion had us spellbound, as did their husbands and partners. I so admire their bravery and positivity.

Georgina chose four of her favourite images to share with you here: one black and white  and three in colour.

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What a great start to her photographic studies.

I will leave you with one of our shop windows at Rigby and Peller advocating :

Strength, Courage, Love.

I couldn’t agree more!

Don’t forget to pop into Rigby and Peller to donate your unwanted bras in store this October. Or do what you can to raise money and awareness for breast cancer sufferers.

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Links:

Saffron Walden Reporter Brave breast Cancer Models

Addenbrookes Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show Facebook Page

To donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Natalie-Emuss2

Bye for now,

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Thursday Doors: Christ’s College Cambridge

This is Norm’s short paragraph telling us all about his link up: Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

I was on my lunch break from work. It was such a sunny, pleasant day so rather than going for a coffee and cake I decided to go door hunting!

It didn’t take me long to find this beauty. Isn’t it amusing how there’s a bike propped just outside – that’s so Cambridge!

Marje @Kyrosmagica

Marje @ Kyrosmagica- Christ’s College, Cambridge

Isn’t it a stunning door?

Hope you enjoyed my Thursday Doors, do pop over to Norm’s blog to join in the fun:

Norm’s Thursday Doors – Oct 6th

 

Bye for now, back to my editing!

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Thursday Doors : Edinburgh Queen’s Gallery

 

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For this week’s Thursday doors I’m focusing on my recent day trip to Edinburgh. I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days with my hubby and some friends so I popped over to Edinburgh to see my mum and dad. We went for a Chinese dim sum lunch and then mum and I took the bus to Hollyrood Palace. Here’s a photo of the crags of Arthur’s Seat.

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Now for the doors. The Queen’s Gallery –  an art gallery at Holyrood Palace complex.

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And here it is with a bit of a magic wand makeover… From Prisma.. Using the Gothic touch.

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This gateway… leads to the tea room where we had a very royal Cappucino.

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Hope you liked my Thursday doors post. If you share your posts on Twitter and Instagram remember to use the #ThursdayDoors hastag. If you’d like to join in Norm’s Thursday doors here’s the link to his blog to do so: Norm’s Thursday Doors

Bye for now,

 

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OverTheLower

"I know we will all be stories someday..."

The Artful Author

-musings of a wild book dragon-

Read, Sav, Read.

| B.A. in English. | Writer. | Lover of books. | 2017 Book Count: 61. | Currently Reading: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. |

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