Coronavirus: #COVID19 #Epidemics #Polio #Thoughts #My #Week #Writer’sUnite #Writing

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

My week… well, those glasses look just like mine. Thank you Suzy Hazelwood for the lovely free image!

15th April

Not been feeling too good myself today. I had a strange stomach ache and the shivers. But good news a new review today from Willow about my poetry, prose, photography collection Mr. Sagittarius.

I felt a bit better later on in the day and wrote about two swans that my daughter Tasha and I had seen on the river yesterday.  I wrote a short haiku poem about the swans for Colleen’s Chesebro’s poetry challenge.

Here’s Mr. Swan.

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/15/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-173-synonymsonly-haiku/

16th April 16, 2020

Across the UK, 12,868 people have died, up by 761 on Tuesday.

Such a shocking headline. In my heart I believe if we had locked down earlier the death toll would have been so much smaller. One has to look at Greece to see that their swift decision to lockdown early on resulted in very few deaths.

Coronavirus Cases: Greece 17th April

2,207

Deaths:

105

Recovered:

269

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/how-greece-is-beating-coronavirus-despite-a-decade-of-debt

Sadly, we were not sensible in the UK. We should have paid attention to what was happening around the world.

Now, our lockdown in the UK is to be extended for another three weeks as we flatten the curve.

17th April

I slept badly, which I have been doing a lot. The lockdown is beginning to get to me. So, rather than lie in bed I dragged myself out of bed, started writing and drafted this blog post.

Coronavirus isn’t the first epidemic that the human race have suffered and sadly it won’t be the last. But for many, it is our first real experience of an epidemic and that in itself is frightening. I’ve been thinking about previous epidemics, particularly Polio which has been around for thousands of years. There are interesting comparisons between the two. Both are highly infectious, some Polio patients had no symptoms, most people did recover but a proportion died. Rather than mention all the statistics with regard to the two I’d just like to reiterate we’ve struggled through these trying times before and we will do so again. Most hospitals in the 1950s had limited access to iron lungs for Polio patients unable to breathe without mechanical assistance and now we have amazing advances in medicine but sadly there are shortages of equipment and PPE due to the vast numbers involved in some countries.

Polio struck at the young mainly. Can you imagine? Conversely, Coronavirus seems to be more dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health issues. Which again is terrifying for people with elderly parents and relatives. One striking difference between the two epidemics is our modern ability to travel, allowing viruses to be transferred to different parts of the world. In the 1940’s outbreak of polio there were no cruise ships, or aircraft to take people to worldwide destinations.  

It gives some comfort to know that there will be a solution and it should come quicker. Scientific research and expertise has advanced massively since the Polio epidemics. Intensive care medicine has its origin in the fight against polio.[145]The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk.[9] (Wikipedia.)

So sit tight, and stay safe. We will get through this. A vaccine will come.

In the meantime do check out this link regarding a breathing technique that helped J K Rowling recover from Coronavirus.

Links:

https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/07/doctor-reveals-breathing-technique-helped-jk-rowling-recover-coronavirus-12519

19th April

I am submitting a 300 word piece to Writer’s Unite see link below

In twenty years, what will you tell your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic? Submission deadline Midnight ET on Friday, April 24, 2020https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/covid-19-reflections-on-quarantine-invitation-to-essay/

And some links I discovered on the Facebook group Book Connectors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1466353170351020/

From Lisa Lowell – The World is Closed So Open A Book – https://magicinthelandlisalowell.wordpress.com/

From Kate Jayr – https://bubbitybooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/tips-from-natural-self-isolater.html/

Isolation For Writers, Creatives Artists and Book Bloggers: Richard Dee #Guest #Author #Isolation #Coronavirus #Thoughts #Family #Life #COV19

Welcome to Richard Dee, my first guest on my new feature – isolation for writers, creatives, artists and book bloggers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is author, baker, ex-seafarer Richard Dee coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is his answer…

Some thoughts on what I’m beginning to

think of as the new normal.

I’m Richard Dee, I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. Thank you so much, Marjorie, for inviting me to guest on your website today.

At last, I’ve found that some of the skills I learned are coming in useful.

Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.

When I’m writing, the ones in my head are as vivid to me as the one out of the window. There are several I go to on a regular basis, home to amateur detectives, space adventurers and quasi-Victorian society. Not only that, but there is also always the chance that I might find a new one to explore.

It used to be a bit of a nuisance, a bone of contention with other family members. Now I find that it helps.

Not only that, as an ex-mariner, I was always used to isolation, chugging across the Atlantic at eight knots to save fuel on a big ship with a small crew teaches you a few things about yourself.

There are things to worry about, all my daughters work in the NHS, on the front line, one in ITU, with a consultant physician for a husband, one is a midwife dealing with emergency admissions and the other is still training. They, along with everyone else who is putting themselves at risk to keep us fed and provided with light, power, empty bins and food to eat deserve our thanks and respect.

Things like getting food, getting exercise, keeping in touch with family and friends: things we all took for granted just a few weeks ago are now more important.

I watch the T.V. and wonder if we will ever live that kind of life, with all the socialising and outdoor action, again.

I’m glad that I have hobbies, things to do on a rainy day. Reading, cooking and gardening.

I thought that I would have so much more time to do things. But any task expands to fill the time allotted to it, so there is no more time than there was.

 Not that we were always out and about; there were jobs that had been put off because I thought they would take too long. Once I got started, I found that they were quickly done.

Meanwhile, I continue to write and publish. In fact, I’ve just had my Andorra Pett cosy crime series re-imaged, with all new covers by the tremendously talented Gill Trewick. They’re all available in both eBook (to buy and on Kindle Unlimited) and paperback at the following links:

http://mybook.to/Andorra

http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

PICTURE 4    

http://mybook.to/AreWeThereYet

I’d love to see you over at my website, richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, The Orbital Livestock Company, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor  and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.  

My Goodreads page is here.

Stay safe everyone

Thank you so much to Richard for being my first guest on this new feature on my blog.

Do check out my reviews of Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/03/30/bookreview-andorra-pett-and-the-oort-cloud-cafe-mystery-scifi/

And The Lost Princess:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/29/the-lost-princess-richard-dee-arc-bookreview-indieauthor-betaread/

Authors/creatives/artists/book bloggers who might be interested in sharing their thoughts on quarantine life, please do get in touch.

Topics such as:

Writing, reading, creativity, productivity/isolation during this time.

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

If you are interested in taking part in this new feature on my blog please email me on: marjma2014@gmail.com, or comment below.

Please share any photos you would like, thoughts, reflections, and of course your book links, book descriptions/photos, author bios and the like. All welcome.

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Coronavirus #COV19 #Writing #WritersBlock #BeKind #Imagine #Create #BookMarketing

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Perhaps this is the time in which writers should be writing their hearts out.

Unless you work in the NHS, or are a key worker, most of us have more time on our hands. The material is there all around us. But, where to begin? How do we push past the fear and anxiety to begin? A good way is to try something new. Write in a different genre perhaps, or scribble down some humourous passages, (to help lift us out of a melancholic mind set.)

But if you are overwhelmed and unable to write don’t beat yourself up. That is okay too. Do what is best for you and for your mental health.

My News

Recently, I was thrilled to receive some new reviews which I’d love to share with you.

For the first book in the YA fantasy series Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone from author Darlene Foster:

Customer Review https://www.amazon.ca/gp/customer-reviews/RI1P10FUDTRXL/

Real teenage angst with a paranormal twist.

Reviewed in Canada on April 10, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition      Verified Purchase

For someone who doesn’t usually read fantasy, this YA novel caught my interest. The teenage characters in the book are very real with typical issues such as lack of confidence, jealousy, confusion, parental disagreements, and volatile friendships. Amelina comes from a dysfunctional family with a paranormal twist. If she can figure out the curse, perhaps her family could be happy once more. In her quest, she meets a self-harming girl locked in a mirror, a heartthrob boy with a mean side, a cottage full of amazing crystals and an old woman with sage  advice. I like that the story is based on a real clock, the Corpus Chronophage clock, in Cambridge, England. (Chronophage means time-eater). There is some time travel in the story, which I love. There’s a lot happening in this very descriptive book and not everything is explained. But that is because it is the first book in a series. I look forward to reading more about Amelina and her quirky friends.

And from Willow for my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius:

willow willers 5.0 out of 5 stars A magical story told in poetry prose and photography Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2020 What a magical Web is woven here by author Marjorie Mallon. A tale of two brothers and a sister, botanical gardens, magical creatures and a bench under a Golden Willow Tree. This delightful mix can be either read in one go or enjoyed as momentary fix. I truly cannot recommend Mr Sagittarius enough there is something for everyone inside it’s pages. I shall say no more apart from urge you to read this book and be totally charmed by it.

What Am I Writing?

I have a confession to make. If I had to write the third book in my YA series The Curse of Time I would struggle. I’m living in such a scary reality that I just can’t think, or imagine a full length fantasy novel setting at the moment. Instead, I am writing about the big R word – reality. I’m writing the COV19 diaries on my blog. I’m not sure when I will publish the companion stories, flash fiction and poetry but I am glad that this is keeping me occupied. My experiences are serving as my plot: what is happening with COV19 – our day to day living, the moments that make me stop and wonder, pause and reflect, smile, or cry. Those moments are in abundance.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

No one can cope with the continuous news on tap, the grim, factual accounts of the death toll, or the depth of human suffering we hear about. We are living this strange reality, day in and day out. Instead, I am writing true life experiences giving fictional characters a true and authentic voice. Of course, some of these stories, diaries, flash fiction and poetry pieces will be sad, but the majority will be uplifting, humorous, and hopeful, because that is what we need now and in the future.

We need hope, humour, and honour. To be kind to one another, to look out for each other. To thank those who are selfless: our NHS, and our key workers.This is their time; They are our heroes.

How is this virus impacting our creativity? What kind of stories will it bring?

What are your feelings about writing during the Coronavirus? Are you struggling to write? Or to read?

Please do visit the blogs below:

 From Hugh Roberts:

From Anne Allen:

https://annerallen.com/2020/04/write-collective-grief/

https://annerallen.com/2020/04/social-media-executor/

Book Marketing tips:

Tim Grahl: https://booklaunch.com/book-marketing-covid19/

Before I go I’d like to suggest a short, uplifting read perfect for these times – my latest release is a positive solution to #boredom. A great, wee read! Enjoy.

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.

Some good news! My full colour paperback is now available in Amazon. Here’s my universal link for Mr. Sagitarrius which is available in paperback, kindle and free on kindle unlimited: Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 173 #SynonymsOnly #Haiku

This haiku is inspired by the river walk near where I live. Yesterday, my daughter and I saw two swans, one was tranquil and the other angrily hissing at two guys on their barge. The two swans couldn’t have been any different!

Believe this Swan’s cute
Elegant fellow’s so calm
Near me’s no problem

Swan wife’s intention
Her whim is to hiss angry
At barge men in boats!

Synonyms of Idea and fancy : belief, intention, elegant, whim.

https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/04/14/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-173-synonymsonly/

I have a new review for Mr. Sagittarius to share with you from Willow, that cheered me up no end as I haven’t been feeling too well today. Thank you Willow for reading and reviewing. 🙂

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R3MH2KY5PXN0GX/

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Coronavirus #EasterSunday #Fears #Family #Keepsafe #Grandparents #Grandma #Hospital #Anxiety #Worries

Easter weekend started off so well with the promise of sunshine, lovely food, Zumba in the garden and barrel loads of chocolate, and a new book review.

Saturday I received my first Canadian review for my YA fantasy The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. I was thrilled and posted about it on my Facebook feed.

But, this is what happened around lunchtime Easter Sunday.

My mum hasn’t been too well and in the morning her face swelled up from her right cheek all the way up to her eye. I saw how bad it was whilst skyping with her at 1pm. (My mum and dad live in Edinburgh.) I mentioned I’d google her symptoms and get back to her with some advice.

Well, I did just that but when I tried to call her back her phone was engaged. I rang and rang. I called her on the landline and on her mobile – still no reply. My mum never keeps her mobile on! It turns out she had been calling the 111 number for 45 minutes. That doesn’t bode well if you are gasping for breath and needing urgent care. Eventually, she got through and was advised by the doctor to go to the Royal Infirmary Hospital.

At last I managed to talk to her just as she was about to leave the house in a taxi. My dad was throwing a nervous fit about her going to hospital at this time, so near the peak of COV19. Rightly so. But, as she has glaucoma, not going could mean she might go blind.

He was also upset that he didn’t go with her. My lovely dad even called himself a coward. Poor dad, he’s thirteen years older than my mum. At ninety one, he’s no coward. Far from it, I reassured him that he did the right thing staying at home. Bless him.

So, what next? I called my brother who like me was worried, and a little upset that mum had gone out gardening and been bitten by something… Instead of staying away from unnecessary chores. Normally, mum and dad have a paid gardener to do their garden upkeep, but with the Coronavirus…

On the way to the Royal Infirmary the taxi driver kept mum entertained. He was a very chatty guy, (as is my mum who loves nothing better than a good old natter,) but his speciality is: doom and gloom. Poor mum had to listen to his thoughts on deaths, suicides, and all manner of Coronavirus horrors. Not really what you need whilst on the way to hospital.

When the taxi driver arrived neither he, nor mum could find where she was meant to be going. Her destination for treatment wasn’t A & E, thank goodness. She had to go to another part of the hospital, another building, a fair step, so it’s just as well my dad didn’t go with her. He would definitely have slowed her down.

No one else was there Thank God – No CoV19 patients – which I was worried about. The first thing they asked her to do was to clean her hands with the hospital gel. Good to know. She saw the doctor straight away who checked the swelling on her cheek and prescribed her antibiotics. And she was out of there as fast as her 78 year old legs could take her.

I suspect in a weird kind of way it was a little adventure for her. Being cooped in day after day does strange things to your mental health. And mum loves to chat and go out. Now she’s home, as a precaution she’s washed all her clothes, taken off her shoes and coat and washed her hands.

Hospital is really not the place to be going at the moment. But I understand that she had to go. Sometimes there is no choice.

Phew, now I can relax a bit. Please God. Keep them safe and well.

All seemed calm until…

The evening… when my youngest remarked that she didn’t feel well. This kind of announcement pre-coronavirus would normally be met with a general look of concern and a “What’s wrong?” But nowadays the response is heightened to: sheer panic, searching looks and examining symptoms. It seems that she has a stomach ache – I reckon anxiety has brought this on – about life in general, her study /work worries, and sadness at not seeing her Grandma’s and Grandpa. Grandma’s going to hospital probably triggered this. But, nevertheless I will be keeping an eye on her. Worrying times.

How was your Easter Sunday? I hope it was okay?

There are no certainties in this strange world we are living in. All we can hope for is that we stay safe and well, care for each other, and let kindness prevail.

Stay safe, don’t go out unless you have to. And only go to the hospital if your doctor advises you that you must.

I discovered these posts on Levine Lowdown – about the political, economic, and mental health aspects of Coronavirus by Guest author Sam Zweck and The Positives of Coronavirus. Please do read:

Author Interview: Camilla Downs #Poet #Writer #WordsofAlchemy #Nature #Inspirational #Family

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels
  • Where are you from and in which area of the world do you live now?

I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana.

  • Tell me about the inspiration/s for your new book “Words of Alchemy.”

About six years ago, I visited Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California. The beauty was quite overwhelming, bringing me to tears. As I drove home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, sitting to take it all in. While doing this, poetic words bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events.

Here’s that first poem and a few photos from Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Earth Dance

As the sun’s rays dance upon you like stars twinkling in the night sky, so shall our souls dance upon this Earth. As you are who you are with ease, so shall we no longer struggle to be who we are. As you adjust to the World around you without struggle, so shall we go with the flow of life. As you release your beauty, power, and love for us to enjoy and learn from, so shall we drop the facade of our bodies and identifying with materialism and what we’ve accomplished … And so shall we become vessels of love, joy and peace.

Fallen Leaf Lake with Mount Tallac
Lake Taloe
Camilla hugging a tree Fallen Leaf Lake

  • How did you decide on the title?

What a great question! I like to get ideas out of my head, onto “paper” (in my case, on the computer) as I’m a visual type person. I have to see ideas and concepts to know whether or not they work. I also look at the content to see what I can pull from within the content, that also encompasses the entire book. Shortly after deciding on “Words of Alchemy” for the title, the idea to replace chapters with alchemy sections was born. Synchronistically, this also helped me with organizing the poems as I was stuck with that part of the process.

Here’s a photo of the “Chapter” page.

Its lovely to see that your children are also involved in publishing books. How did this come about? You must be very proud of their books: your son Thomas’s Biggest Little Photographer, and your daughter’s debut book Where Would You Fly and Other magical Stories. 


When Lillian was 4 years old, I had a knowing that she (and I) would write books. Due to her chromosome deletion, she has difficulty articulating words so she is not easily understandable when she speaks. However, she has (and had) all of the words in her mind, struggling to articulate them. I began researching how to self-publish, collecting information for when the time was right. This was around 2005. My dad bought her a mini laptop in 2007, and I set up a blog for her. We began writing stories together, and soon after she took it from there, writing and creating artwork.
When Thomas was 8 years old, a friend shared an article with us about a professional photographer who had taken a photo a day, for 365 days, of a LEGO mini figure taking a photo. Thomas was inspired and asked me if he could do the same. I responded that he could, and also told him that if he stuck with it, we’d publish it as a book. It was published in 2016, and Thomas is 14 years old now.


Next, it was time for Lillian’s book. I gathered her writings from 4 years old through 16 years old, categorized them, and we created a book, published in 2018. Thomas chose the title as he said it would be good for marketing. It’s also the title of one of the stories in the book.

The cover photo is a picture I took of Lillian.

  • What is the hardest challenge you have ever had to face?

The hardest challenge I’ve had to face began with one extremely hard decision, that opened the door to 13 years of healing. I divorced in 2007, beginning a journey of single parenting two kids, 1 year old and 5 years old at the time. One having special needs, the other with undiagnosed special needs. I had no idea how I would manage, as I was the sole parent, no weekends or holidays off. I made all parenting decisions alone. I spent the first year, sitting in the garage sobbing my eyes out (with a bottle of wine), whenever my kids went to bed. I had to let myself grieve over the life I thought I had, and thought that I would have in the future. 
Once I moved through the grieving, I began a path of admitting to myself that I was not okay. Deep down I didn’t respect myself, didn’t think myself worthy, didn’t unconditionally love myself, and didn’t know what it meant to be in a healthy, loving relationship with a partner. So began the journey of diving deep into myself, my past, and current situation, allowing myself to feel emotions and process events from long ago. All of this so that I could emerge a healthier person, knowing my worth, loving myself, and loving my kids as they should be loved …. unconditionally. Although I received care and affection as a child, I had never experienced unconditional love. On a wider scale, the past 13 years have been about halting familial patterns, doing my part to reverse unhealthy patterns, starting anew. 
It has not been fun, it has been deeply challenging. In fact, there were many times I considered just ending it all. The split second that thought would enter my mind, my kids faces would appear, reminding me that ending it was not the solution. I persevered, teaching myself that I can trust myself to be strong, courageous, peaceful, and compassionate when the situation calls for it. It sure as hell wasn’t easy, but it sure as hell was worth it.

  • As a single mother of two children, one of whom has a significant chromosomal disorder what advice would you give other single women in a similar position.

I can think of three suggestions. 
One is not to let anger and pride get in the way of making decisions that are in the best interest of your kids. I did that in the very beginning, not asking for the type of financial support we really needed from their dad. I was angry and held an “I can do this my myself” attitude. 
The second is to find a way to let go of guilt and shame, and ask for help. There are those who want to help, and will do it with loving kindness. 
The third is to find a support group, online or in-person, that has to do with your child’s differences. These people will be a life-line and offer endless support. I discovered the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society the night of Lillian’s diagnosis in 2004. This group and its members are like family to us, and it has been invaluable, with the relationships we have built and with the materials presented at the yearly conference.

  • When did you start writing and why?

I kept a diary as a young girl, from middle school through junior high school. I discontinued when reaching adulthood, picking it up again during my separation and divorce, continuing through to this day. The diary writing as a young girl was mostly written to share the dysfunctional family life I had, with my complaints, and about friendships and crushes. 
Later in life, I took up journal writing once again for some of the same reasons, yet, with a difference. Writing, getting things out of my head, helps me to see situations differently, helps me to process life experiences, and to discover solutions. Writing is deeply therapeutic for me, allowing my creative and imaginative nature to come out and play as well.

  • I’d love to know what you are working on next.

I’m currently working on marketing my latest book, as well as Thomas and Lillian’s books. 2020 is the year of rejuvenation for me, the year of pressing the reset button. I’ve been on a 13 year journey of deep healing connecting with feelings and events from my past, letting myself feel emotions, and working through much internal upheaval. It has been incredibly exhausting!
I reached a tipping point with that journey in the beginning of 2020, and am now ready for some rest and leveling out. I’m not working on writing projects currently. However, I do feel several projects brewing. I never really know what the next one will be until I focus on it. I hope to one day have a book written by all three of us. We shall see.

  • What is ‘beauty’ to you?

Beauty is seeing and knowing one’s own beauty, when it is reflected back to oneself from nature, from other people, from life experiences. 

  • What are your favourite genres?

I have made shifts throughout my reading years. As a child and teenager I was all about fiction and horror. As an adult I shifted to mysteries, reading every book Agatha Christie had written, ending with her autobiography. Then I shifted to only business books, autobiographies and biographies of successful people. Reading then shifted to non-fiction books in the self-help, mind, body, spirituality type books. With  the latest shift being opening back up to the fiction genre, along with creative non-fiction, memoirs and books about writing.


What books are you reading currently? 


I’m just finishing two books that I have thoroughly enjoyed. One is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean and the other is “all about love” by bell hooks. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but, if the topic sounds interesting, I highly recommend them.

  • Have you a favourite quote or saying?

It’s difficult to pin down just one quote or say. However, I have found this one to be a great reminder, many times: “You’re intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” -Ray Bradbury

  • Which season is your favourite and why?

I can’t choose just one. I love each season for the differences they bring in nature, and within myself. 

  • What other hobbies do you have apart from writing?

I love reading, having a once a week movie night with my kids, going for walks, creating art when the mood strikes (usually with items found in nature), keeping our online journal, TheTeamTLC.com, up to date, and working on MeetingtheAuthors.com. Thomas and I are currently watching the Marvel movies from beginning to end. I am deeply enjoying sharing this with him. We’ve been at it for almost a year, watching about one per month. Next up, Spider-man: Homecoming. 
I’m also a practitioner of meditating. However, I’m taking a break during this year of pressing the reset button. For six years, I meditated nearly every day. It was a beautiful experience and helped me to process life events. About two months ago, I just had a knowing that I was to take a break. I’d been going hardcore with the healing and mediating. It was time.

  • It must be wonderful to be the founder and host of Meeting The Authors. I expect you have ‘met’ many new fascinating authors? 

It is absolutely wonderful and inspiring. This is one idea I am grateful to have listened about, and then took action! About a year ago I joined an amazing book group that connects authors and bloggers. I saw the tremendous need for authors to have more online exposure. 
I’m one of those people who gets ideas for new endeavors constantly, sometimes daily. I’ve learned to get the ideas out of my head, on paper (my laptop) so that I can “see” the idea. I let it marinate for a week or two or more, while I research what it would take to make it happen. I did that with Meeting the Authors. I hadn’t even launched it when I asked a question about launching it in the book group. I had over 100 authors comment on the post, requesting to be interviewed. I knew it was needed. I’m also thankful that I don’t act on every idea, letting most fall away. I’d never sleep!
I am a networker at heart. I love meeting new people, sharing ideas, getting to really know one another. I used to attend in person events to network and meet like minded people. Now, I network online. I like to be authentic with networking. I want people to know the true me and vice versa. 

MeetingtheAuthors.com has turned into a huge online networking event. HA!

  • It’s nice to see you are also featuring book bloggers. How did this come about?

Another idea that came to me as I networked in the book group, while at the same time going through lists of book bloggers, emailing ones that were a fit for my book. I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely to interview the book bloggers, asking them the questions an author would need to know before contacting them. Plus, throwing in a few personal questions to help us get to know them better. I’m having great fun shining the spotlight on book bloggers. They are a hard working group of people, simply because they love reading and books. Many of them are authors, too, or aspiring authors. It’s a win win for all.


Thank you Marje for having me on your blog. I deeply appreciate the thoughtful questions you’ve asked. I enjoyed answering each one as it caused me to dig deep and really think about my answer. 

It’s been my pleasure Camilla, you are a delight and I am so looking forward to reading Words of Alchemy. I have a feeling (and my feelings are normally right!) that I will love it. I reckon you and I are kindred spirits!


Words of Alchemy:The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love … in one beautiful book.

Book Blurb: In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”

– Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” –

 G. Brian Benson– Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”

– Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”

– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Author Links:

Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http:/theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central:

  amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors:

 http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): 

http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/

Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central:  amazon.com/author/camilladowns


All of our bookshttp://camilladowns.com/books/

Thank you so much Camilla for visiting my blog Kyrosmagica.

I feel as if I have been transported to such beautiful places – Lake Fallen Leaf and Taloe – gorgeous. Made me so happy!

I think you will agree Camilla is a fascinating, resilient lady to be admired. I loved the photo of her hugging a tree. Wish I could have been there to give the tree and her a hug too!

Please do comment below.

Have you read Words of Alchemy? Can’t wait to read it.

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

Collaborations:

The Spiritual Sisters are:

Adele Marie Park Author & Personal Blog: Firefly465

Annette Rochelle Aben Author & Personal Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen M. Chesebro Author & Personal Blog: Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry colleenchesebro.com

Debby Gies (aka, D. G. Kaye) Author & Personal Blog: D. G. Kaye, Writer

Marjorie (MJ) Mallon YA/Paranormal Author: mjmallon.com

#Coronavirus #COV19 #Photography #Sunday Stills #FOTD #Uplifting #FloralPhotography

Flowers and nature are a panacea, a way to lift our spirits when we are living through difficult times.

Yellow is such an uplifting colour… I cropped my photo below to make it a square image for: Becky’s Square Tops.

Find out more about her square daily photography challenge here: Square Daily Photo Challenge

The theme for April Squares is ‘top‘. This caught my eye up above me in the Cambridge Botanical Garden glasshouses.

There is nothing I love more than a stroll in the Botanical Gardens. I count myself lucky to have a free pass from my work and I often wander there during my lunch break.

At the moment we are in lockdown in the UK so I am not venturing out much, apart from a walk in our local neighbourhood, or a trip to the supermarket to get groceries.

Thursday morning was a stressful one, I got up extra early so I could do a weekly food shop and be back in time to log on to my computer (as I am working from home.) My heart sunk when I saw the long queue snaking from the front of Tescos supermarket around the car park and then turning back on itself, a human chain of disgruntled shoppers. I added myself to the back of the queue and waited.

My shop took two hours – it would normally have taken no more than an hour.

What I couldn’t get my head around was the number of shoppers who came in twos.

Why would you do that during a pandemic?

My anxiety levels cranked up even more as the girl in front of me kept glancing back at me with this glare as if to say stay back. I was staying well away from her but her over zealous attitude only served to make me more anxious.

So, after my Easter shopping food trip complete with chocolate Easter eggs I need another treat, the chocolate alone will not suffice – I needed a floral treat.

Here’s one of my recent flower photos taken at the Botanical gardens in Cambridge. A purple one!

If you’d like to join in Terri’s fantastic photography challenges here’s the link:

April 5 Fantastic Florals #SundayStills via Terri Webster Schrandt

And you can also link to: Cee’s FOTD

Also I’m sharing some wonderful links about pandemic anxiety busters from talented photographer Cindy Knoke:

While you’re in the mood why not pop over to Send Sunshine blog for some uplifting quotes and images: Uplifting Quotes Daily.

Before I go I thought I’d recommend my latest release to you: a book of poetry, prose and photography, with lots of photos of Cambridge Botanical Gardens. It’s fairly new and receiving 5 star reviews, perfect lockdown reading!

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and 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.

Q & A with D.G. Kaye features author Marjorie Mallon – Mr. Sagittarius

Thank you so much for this beautifully presented Q & A Debby. I’m over at Debby’s blog today promoting my new release of poetry, prose and photography. Do pop over to find out more about Mr. Sagittarius. http://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-and-mr-sagittarius/

Coronavirus #COV19 #Todolist #Subscribers #Mailchimp #Popups #Xenophobia #BorisJohnson #Weirdfoods #Worldwide #Stayin #Staysafe #Lockdown

I’ve been thinking about our PM Boris Johnson who was admitted to intensive care, but is now on the mend. Not a good experience for him, his family, his pregnant partner, or the UK, his ending up in the ICU. I don’t agree with his politics but that doesn’t stop me from wishing that he pulls through and gets better soon. Poor chap.

This is a horrible disease – we must do our best to protect ourselves from.

Become a pineapple with prickly layers to keep the virus out, put shades on and stay in!

This is my way of dealing with the stress of COV19, humour is my only way of coping. Whatever it takes to get through this…

I was shocked to see many xenophobic tweets in response to the news of Boris’s admission to intensive care – as if somehow China is personally responsible for his catching the illness and the severity of it. Get a grip. The bat didn’t grab his hand and force him to shake hands with his constituents, did it? It didn’t flap its wings and say Boris don’t rest, keep on working excessive hours for the sake of the country.

There is no point abusing China. No doubt after this is all over we will find out the truth, or as near as we can get to the truth in this media circus. Rather, let’s join together and try to help each other through this, as one human race with a common goal. Keeping well and helping each other so we can battle this disease and the economies of the world can flourish.

I’m all for togetherness, except apart… social distancing.

My meandering mind has been wondering about people and their strange eating habits. I don’t understand why anyone would want to eat bats. I’d rather eat a pineapple. Equally, I can’t comprehend our worldwide need to eat these strange foods either: Mosquito Eggs, Wood worm, Dung Beetle, Grasshoppers, Rattle Snake, Guinea Pig, (really?) Witchetty Grub, Midge Fly, Mopane worms, Edible Lavae and Pupae of Ants, Cobra Heart with Blood and Venom, Termites, Crocodiles, Locusts, Baby Mice Wine, Wasp Crackers, etc… The list goes on and on: https://whenonearth.net/101-strangest-foods-around-world/

We eat weird foods all over the world: Spam, Tongue, Sheep’s Head, Black Pudding, Haggis… Okay, haggis isn’t that bad… but tongue? Eeh, and spam? Eeh, and Sheep’s Head?

And liver, kidney, never been a fan!

No offence to the Phillipines but Soup No. 5 – Bull’s penis and testicles?

Perhaps from now on we should all take more care of what we eat? You’ve heard the saying you are what you eat!

Enough of this, seriously it’s time to… talk about productivity.

What bloggy jobs have I been doing in Lockdown?

I’m writing these diary type entries on my blog. Also, I’ve been writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry about the COV19. More about plans for those later.

I’ve updated my blog theme and I’m very happy with the results. Also, I’ve been working on creating a newsletter on my blog.

It’s not up yet and it won’t be until I’m happy it’s working properly. This has been on my to do list for forever but the last time I tried I gave up as I found it so hard to do.

Being in Lockdown has given me the time and determination to give it another go!

I discovered this WordPress link which is really helpful:

https://wordpress.com/support/mailchimp/

And I even managed to add my logo to the pop up form! That was quite tricky as I had to alter the size of the photo so it would fit. So a tip – if you decide to do this resize your photo first!

Also, if you don’t like the pop up idea you can add a sign up to blocks if you are using the Gutenberg (which I am also learning how to use in Lockdown.)

Mailchimp Block

If you are using the Block Editor, you can add a Mailchimp Block to a page or a post using these instructions.

Hope those words of wisdom help a little, and try not to eat anything wriggly please.

Stay safe and well. And Boris get well, the UK needs you.

And remember that Lockdown means Lockdown, don’t go out unless you really need to, follow the Government guidelines. Today, we received a letter from Boris stating the rules and precautions necessary to keep us safe.

There are so many people in our community whose life could be at risk if you do not do this.

Check out this post from Norm which highlights the need to think of others:

https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/the-self-isolation-diaries-entry-1/

From Brigid Gallagher who is on the mend: https://watchingthedaisies.com/2020/04/08/a-list-of-supports-which-helped-me-navigate-the-virus/

So saddened by this: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/06/coronavirus-crisis-nhs-not-drained-migrants-sustained-died-frontline/

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and 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.

Book Review: A Walk in The Woods by Esther Chilton #Book #Review

Goodreads Synopsis:

An autumnal stroll through the woods, colourful leaves crunching underfoot, the air fresh on the face, laughter and lightness portraying a happy mother and daughter scene. But something isn’t right…

A young boy who thought he knew his parents finds out that he doesn’t know them at all.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to die and then to look down upon yourself?

These are just a few of the scenes and scenarios found in A Walk In The Woods and other short stories. There are stories to make you smile, tales to bring a tear and stories to shock as well as delight.

Following the success of The Siege and other award winning stories, penned under the name Esther Newton, Freelance writer, copyeditor and Writers Bureau tutor, Esther Chilton brings you her second short story collection. You’ll find plenty of prize-winning stories throughout, as well as some new tales to enjoy.

My review

An excellent collection of short stories from Esther Chilton and a beautiful cover created by her talented daughter Charlotte too.

My thoughts – all the stories have much to offer but these are my highlights:

Ranging from sad and poignant pieces: Walk in The Woods, Jake, and The Letter to humorous tales of strangeness in the Book Lovers that will appeal to bookish souls.

Amusing endings in The Secret Diary of Marvin Martin aged 14 and a half, and a great twist in The Lover plus heart-warming stories about a new baby’s arrival in The Brat.

The Godfather features a truly amazing cat, which is always appealing to me!

William is a touching war time story and Operation Flora is a Christmas tale with a difference.

Home sets the scene in a care home with regrets and ghostly tales delight in Gus.

A confident variety of stories which kept me entertained throughout.

My rating:

5 stars

Connect with the author: https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/

Have you read A Walk in The Woods?

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/


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