Blogging

The Day My Website Crashed – What Happened? Beware WordPress Plugin Updates

Poor Debby has had a terrible time of late after installing a WordPress Plugin Update, read this post to find out more and avoid the Captcha plugin hell.

Friday September 1st was a terrible day for me. It was one of those days when “Murphy” just keeps giving the gift that just keeps giving – Murphy’s Law = Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It began with my website crashing and got progressively worse as the day went on in…

via The Day My Website Crashed – What Happened? Beware WordPress Plugin Updates — D.G. Kaye Writer

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#TheBloggersBash 2017 – My 3rd time!!

On Saturday 10th June I caught the train to London in the early hours of the morning and travelled to the much-anticipated Bloggers Bash.

 

I bought a new dress, jewellery and even did my nails….

 

In typical Marje fashion I did some nutty things on route, starting with trying to get through the barriers with an invalid, outdated ticket. This gave me a mini case of palpitations until I realised that I had the correct ticket in my wallet! Thereafter, I had a sneaky feeling that something else would happen and it did. I jumped on the tube at St Pancras without checking what I was doing. Of course, this meant that I was now headed in the opposite direction to the way I should have been going, so I jumped off, gave myself a stern talking to and sorted myself out!

Phew…. thereafter it was easy peasy. Blogging pal, committee member Geoff’s instructions were great … Though, I didn’t hear any giggles to follow, so that was a bear faced, or in Geoff’s case, a pink beard face lie! Miraculously, I arrived at the hotel with time to spare.

Thereafter, it was a blast. So many faces, both new and not so new. Bloggers from far away, bloggers from London, bloggers from just about every neck of the woods. Have bloggers will travel.

It was fantastic, my third event. Here’s my impressions of the First,  and Second Bloggers Bash.

A big thank you to the committee for organising this labour of love: SachaGeoff , Ali  and Hugh.

I failed miserably at taking photos during the event – Bloggers Bashes do that to me – obviously I struggle to talk and take photos, but there are loads of photos on Facebook on the #bloggersbash page: Facebook: Bloggers Bash & ABBA Awards.

But I did take this one of Sherri, Sally, and Mary.

Can you believe it? Three years of bashes!  This year’s bash felt grown up. It occurs to me that, in retrospect, the first bloggers bash reminded me of those first baby blogger steps into the unknown,  the second bash involved toddling off confidently and now we’re all grown up and have progressed to an International Bloggers event! Very posh.

So, who knows what the fourth bash will bring? Exciting times ahead. I just hope they get proper name badges next time rather than those sticky labels that refuse to stick to your dress and travel up your arm, waltz around your skin and end up being worn as a bracelet.

If you haven’t been to a bash before and would like to come, here are several reasons why I think you should:

  1. You will learn a huge amount. At this event there were discussions about social media, Pinterest, and many blogging tips from the panel of experts: SuzieElena and Christoph.
  2. It’s fun.
  3. You’ll meet loads of like-minded people.
  4. It’s a great opportunity to network with other writers and authors.
  5. We are all introverts so we know what it’s like to come to your first event.
  6. You’ll feel welcome. Everyone is very friendly.
  7. There are cakes, (this has to be a good thing,) biscuits, tea and coffee,  and alcohol too!
  8. You will find that there are hugs a plenty, from huggable Hugh who is our resident king of the hugs,  but newsflash – Hugh may have competition. Our inspiring Shelley is huge on hugs. She gave me a real bear hug as I was leaving – it took my breath away.

After the talks and discussions I rewarded myself with a great big carrot cake cupcake  – just one of Ritu’s delicious recipes which she brought along. It melted in my mouth – so delicious. I had a ‘wee’ drink but not too much, as I had a sneaky feeling that getting home inebriated would be a bad idea for someone who can’t even find their way whilst sober!

The lovely Ritu, and Willow accompanied me from the venue, until sadly we drifted off our separate ways home. I ended up on the slow train to Cambridge which stopped at every bl***dy stop. This meant that I had to walk about a mile to my bus stop from the train station in my (for me,) high heels, to catch the last bus to the back water I call home. Yes, our sad little village has a last bus home at 8.40pm, thereafter you have to wait until 10pm for the next one!

Guess who I saw on my way home ? My youngest riding towards me on her bike. So I asked her where she was going. Bad idea, I should have run, but in those heels, I had no chance. She had forgotten her keys so I ended up going back home with her and taking her out in my car. What a sucker, such a soft-hearted mother, that’s me. Luckily, I had only had one drink, so could drive!

The story doesn’t end there…

No, there were chips, and a very dodgy scampi supper to consume. I wish I hadn’t. The scampi oozed milky liquid which really didn’t look edible. Still, I survived, I have a tough old stomach that can consume such dubious delicacies with no ill effects.

And… In the short while I was away… a mere day, my hubby decided it would be a good idea to let my daughter have her first driving lesson. He let her reverse his car out of our very tricky driveway. Whatever possessed him? So, wonder of wonders she had a bit of an accident. He said ‘crashed,’ but I checked the damage and luckily it is a mere scratch! It could have been a lot worse!

So the moral of the story? Next time, I will be staying over in London so no one can find me, or assault my stomach with a chip supper or request that I lift them anywhere in my car, even if it means that my hubby does something crazy!

Ha ha!

Sorry for that waffle, un-bloggers bash yarn. I thought it was funny and hoped you might do too!

Who did I chat to? Loads of folk…  methinks they were… perhaps…

Ritu, Graeme, Noelle, Sherrie, Helen, Mary, Eloise, Jools, Steve, SueEllen, Lance, Sally, Suzie, Icy, Matt, Susie, Adam, Ruth,  Shelley, Jessica, Willow, Christoph Allie,  Jo  and the committee of course!  If I’ve left anyone off, just give me a stern telling off next time you see me.

It was such a shame that Esther couldn’t make it this year as she was moving house that very day and of course there were many others who would have loved to have come but couldn’t join in the fun. They were sorely missed too.

But there is always another year, another opportunity.

The date has been set for next year’s bash so don’t forget to put it in your diary:

9th June 2018. It sounds a long way off but don’t believe it, before you know it I’ll be on a tube going the wrong way again.

Bye for now, much love,

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My social media hang outs:
My New Facebook club : Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @marjorie_mallon

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.

1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising.  Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and  is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago!  Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch.  Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.

Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:

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8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out,  I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support ClubMy fellow administrators of the group are Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.

Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.

 

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In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note.  There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…

Bye for now,

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My Links: 

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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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The Bash Rebranded, #MondayBlogs

 The following is Sacha Black’s post and my attempt at a reblog: 

 

THE BASH, REBRANDED! #MONDAYBLOGS

I can’t quite believe it, but the bash is nearly three years old. *Weeps with pride*

Each year it continues to grow in size which means what we do needs to grow in size too.

Sure, it’s a big blog social, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take it seriously. What started out as one nosy blogger more desperate to meet the friends she’d made online than stay safe and introverted behind the screen, is slowly turning a beast.

One day, I hope, the BASH will be a huge blogging festival. I can dream, right? Besides, I brainwashed the minions into obedience before they knew what they were signing up to and I have plans to recruit more. SHHH, they’ll never know.

So this year, we decided to overhaul the Bash, logos and all. The lovely George Grey, used by both Geoff and Hugh for their cover designs, has upped the BASH anti and given us a much slicker look.

Ladies and gents, the new bash logo…

If you haven’t bought your ticket for the biggest blog social of the year, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? Go, buy it, now… (from here).

We’re running a blog competition too if you want to win a tonne of prizes, like a critique, beta read and book trailer, then check it out here, the competition closes on the 1st of March.

Stay tuned, because we will be releasing the new BASH awards for 2017 next month, we will then be open for nominations in April and then folks… voting will open in May. CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE IT? We’re only two and a half months from voting! *gulp*

Great news from Sacha Black about the Bash… can’t wait to join in the fun.

To pop over to Sacha’s blog and see the original post follow this link:

 

http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/02/27/the-bash-rebranded/

Blogger Spotlight – Author Janice Wald

Today I’d like to introduce you to Janice Wald.

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A blogger who likes to:
Skyrocket your Blog Traffic! Hence, the Canva Social Media layout I’ve chosen. Let’s take that colourful air balloon to the blogging stars with our expert Janice…. believe me the fire in her belly will get us there.

Who is Janice Wald? In order to find the answer to that mysterious question what better place to investigate than Janice’s About Me Page…..

Janice’s impressive biography:

I’m Janice Wald, the author of AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG, available on Amazon.com. I can also be found on Goodreads.

I write about blogging in order to help bloggers by giving step-by-step directions for content creation.

By following the advice in these posts, you will be able to increase your content’s visibility.  Let me help you increase your traffic as I have done for so many others.

For example, my posts How to Make 1,406 People Look At Your Site in 1 Day and How to Quickly Get 3,000 New Blog Followers are typical posts you will find on my blog.

My blog is included in

Whether you are a business blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a parent blogger, or a reader looking for advice, there are tips that will help you at this site.

At Mostly Blogging I use my skills as a teacher to help you succeed.

I do a great deal of reading about blogging, and I take blogging classes.  Additionally, I attend webinars and conferences.   I will pass on the advice that I learn to my readers.

By following my blog, you will save time as well as receive information since I will pass on the knowledge I acquire to you.  These tips are proven by research and easy-to-implement.

Exciting news –  Janice has just released An Insiders Guide To Building A Successful Blog.

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Here’s the link to Janice’s ebook on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4QOD41
The link to her blog’s landing page:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/enjoy-my-guest-post-heres-what-to-do-next/
Plus a link to Janice’s About page:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/about/

As well as this there’s much to discover about her journey to becoming an ebook author:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/ebook/
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/successful-authors/
And lots and lots of blogging Tips:
http://www.mostlyblogging.com/blogging-tips/

Janice can be found in a heck load of social media hang outs:

Blog URL: http://mostlyblogging.com/

Also she can be found on: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16067827.Janice_Wald

I will be interviewing Janice soon about her recently released book An Insiders Guide To Building A Successful Blog, so do keep a look out for that.

Bye for now,

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Kyrosmagica Xmas Ice Skating Party!!!

 Welcome………

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THE PARTIES NOW OVER BUT FEEL FREE TO STOP BY AND LEAVE YOUR LINKS, ETC, IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…….

Let’s have a big splash, a veritable Mad Hatters Xmas  Party…. Invite masses of bloggers over to share cake, music, their links and stories. Wait a minute, it’s a bit cold for swimming… so let’s pop over to Winter Wonderland.

So first things first – provisions –  I’m  off to Cambridge market to get some nibbles…. I better wrap up warm, it looks cold out there. I’m just starting to recover from a bit of a nasty illness. No worry, I’m sure some hot jacket potatoes, olives, tasty bread, cheeses, fruit, and whatever else takes my fancy, will warm me up and make me feel much better. Don’t worry, I promise not to eat it all!

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Now with that done,  phew these bags are heavy. How are we going to get to Winter Wonderland? We could walk but that would be boring, and Kyrosmagica doesn’t do boring. So, let’s go ….

Via Rudolf’s magical golden sleigh of course. One sleigh?

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No of course not… Rudolf has an army of reindeers and sleighs to take us there. This one is just a mini version stationed at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge. One twirl of my Kyrosmagica wand and we are all set. See those presents? There is one for each of you, just open and see what’s inside. Pop your present on your lap, and let’s hop aboard….

This is your Christmas Link Up Party,  have fun, share links but please try to….

  • Skate.

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I haven’t been for ages…… Every Saturday I (teenage me!) used to go to Murrayfield Ice rink in Edinburgh. Grab your skates, no one will fall, I promise. In fact Kyrosmagica’s Wonderland skates are magical, so everyone, even me will be able to do all sorts of fancy footwork! Wherever you go you will leave a trail of magical golden ice in your wake. Isn’t that just so cool?

  • Hugh @ Hugh’s Views and News is bringing some mince pies…  There is mulled wine too, and party food a plenty, so tuck in, drink, and be merry!
  • Leave at least one comment – what you say is entirely up to you  – write a short poem,  don a party hat, bring your crackers,  tell your worst Christmas jokes, play your favourite Yuletide music, do whatever you fancy.
  • Share your stories, or if Christmas isn’t your favourite time of year you have my permission to be a total humbug, ignore the other guests and fall asleep in a corner. Who is our resident Scrooge? Hey, confess!! But snoring isn’t compulsory. Keep the music and the snoring down, we don’t want to upset anybody!
  • Let us know what Christmas books you are reading… I’m currently reading Mistletoe And Murder, A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery by Robin Stevens which is set in Cambridge.

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Thereafter, I will be diving into Hugh’s Glimpses – his recently released short story collection.

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More about that here: Kyrosmagica Awesome Author Interviews : Hugh. W. Roberts

  • What else? Do encourage gate crashers, the hostess may be in and out so you can ask who you want. Bring your dog and cat, if you want, but please keep them off the ice. This is an open house. Yes, you heard right, you can leave your links too if you’d like to. Oh, before I go I better remember to share some posts to get the conversation going. Perhaps this one for future reference – Natalie @ There She Goes – Xmas Cake Recipe.

This is the mix…..

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The cake…. as it came out the oven…

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  • Dress up in your finest, it’s nearly Christmas !! Or if you can’t manage that, show us your quirky Christmas jumpers, ties, or earrings. Tell us what unusual presents you’ve bought. This year I bought a lovely amber jewellery set from fellow blogger Irene Irene Design 2011 for my mum – (mum isn’t very internet savvy so I know I can put this up and not worry about her seeing it before Christmas!)

 

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  • Somebody better sing, definitely not me, it wouldn’t be recommended. Find someone willing, or suitably inebriated amongst the guests.
  • Have fun – talk amongst yourselves, have a glass or two of bubbly,  an obligatory piece of Christmas cake which I have lovingly prepared for you dusted with my special recipe of magical sugar dust and don’t forget to stand under the inspiration mistletoe. One kiss and all your stories, (for authors,) and dreams, (for normal folk,)  LOL will come true…

 

Happy Christmas Wishes.

Bye for now,

Much love,

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The Writer Q & A Tag

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Thank you very much to James Fahy author of The Changeling series and Hell’s Teeth for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Do check out his blog: James Fahy Author, and follow him on Instagram, he has an awesome page…………Jame’s Fahy Instagram Page

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating books, and writing. Also it’s a way to discover and make new blogging friends. So that can’t be bad can it?

Here are James’s Questions for me – and at the end of the post there are some questions for my Nominees. I believe I have to nominate ten but I like breaking rules so we’ll see how many I nominate…

  1. What book first made you cry, and why? The first book that made me cry. Um….I’m not sure it might have been a little picture book while I was in my pram…Need to ask my mum…..More recently I’m cultivating this crying book lark to a whole new level. There have been a whole bunch of books that have triggered my crying   – here’s some of them: Marcus Zuzak’s The Book Thief,  The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, You Before Me by Yoyo Moyes, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, Summertime, by Vanessa LaFaye, The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, The StoryTeller by Jodi Picoult, and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, etc… Most of these I’ve reviewed on this blog on my  A – Z Book Reviews. These particular books  definitely had me crying big time. But that’s okay as I love books that stir the emotions. They really make me happy! Nothing like a good cry, but I have to stop doing it in public places that’s too embarrassing!  Just in case you want some crying inspiration look no further than Buzzfeed’s 53 Books That Will Definitely Make You Cry
  2. If you could be any one of your favourite characters (your own or others you’ve read) for one day, who and why? I’d like to be a guy… there you are I’ve said it – confession time!  I’d like to write in the POV of a guy for the second  or perhaps the third book in the series of my current WIP: The Curse of Time….  I’ve been a lass for a long time, and getting inside a guy’s head will be a challenge so perhaps I’d like to be Dorian Grey  for a day ’cause I want to stay young and get up to mischief! Ha Ha!!  I see my Ryder character in my WIP: The Curse of Time developing into a modern day Dorian Grey – he’s a bit young at the moment but he’s heading that way!
  3. What is your favourite opening line from a book? I’m pretty taken with this opening line in this book: “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.                                       
  4. Do you have any odd writing rituals (has to be a yellow legal pad and a HB pencil for example) No, not really. Apart from lingering in my pyjamas longer than necessary and opening up the door to the Avon lady still wearing them. I swear she thinks I live in my pj’s. Oh, and I forget to drink, eat, brush my teeth, floss, and go to the toilet. Those ain’t so good. When I get to the serious hunger stage I rush off to have breakfast, and do my ablutions…. I’m one of those writers that tends to get their ideas really early in the morning, in fact they often wake me up, sigh…and then I have to get to it straight away… or if I can’t do so due to work or other constraints I’ll jot them down in a note pad and come back to them later.
  5. Have you drawn on real locations / experiences in your writing? Yes, a lot, I think our experiences shape us and in turn they shape our writing. Often this is at an unconscious level. Sometimes I look over what I’ve written and it scares me because to me writing is a bit like bearing your soul for your readers to pick your unsuspecting bones, and often those bones are startling even to yourself.
  6. What story scares you? Horror stories scare me, and up until recently I’ve avoided them! I never read horror as a teen, I was really into detective stories – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, comic books, and fantasy. I only started reading horror books in earnest (if you can call it that,) Halloween 2015. I joined in the red eye readathon and that did it – I found that I really enjoyed them. Shock, Horror! Of all the subsets of horror, psychological horror really scares the heck out of me. This type of horror draws the reader into the character’s thoughts and emotions. You begin to imagine that particular horrific event happening to you. In my opinion those kind of stories are the most scary. A recent example of this is the short story – Big Driver in Stephen King’s compilation of Short Stories Full Dark No Stars, in which a female writer is sexually attacked by a truck driver while driving back from a writing event promoting her work. That really struck home. That for me is horror at its most powerful, and it works so well combined with dark humour, which Stephen King is undoubtedly a master of.
  7. If you were told you could only read one book before being executed for your terrible, terrible crimes, what would you choose and why? My terrible crimes… oh that must be that Dorian Grey influence I suppose. No question it would have to be some steamy romance, one last heart pounding moment before I die!
  8. Have you ever met any of your literary heros, and if so, were they amazing, dissapointing or just plain awkward? I’ve met a few YA authors via events at The Edinburgh Literary Festival, The Cambridge Literary Festival, and been close to some at UKYA.  I think I’ve been pretty chilled about it all..  And nobody has been disappointing as yet… They’ve all been lovely.
  9. Which word / phraze do you find yourself always over-using and having to edit out? Smiled. Smile. Smiling. Cried, Cry, Crying. Yes it’s a light and dark kind of tale so probably these words are over-used….As it’s predominantly written in the past tense I had to be careful not to have to many was’s. At one point there were so many was’s it sounded like I had a wasp infestation. With words funnily enough I think names of people can be tricky. I ended up with two Emily’s at one point, and then I had to make one of them an Emma. She’s still an Emily in my mind…The Chinese girl in the book started off as Aurora or something like that ………….I can’t quite remember but Aurora didn’t sound right so I changed her name to Jade. The main character’s names have always been Amelina and Ryder, liked them from the offset and stuck to those.  Oh and I had to change the name of the dog, it started off as the name of my friend’s son. Somehow that didn’t seem OK, bit cheeky, so in the end I settled for Toby. Woof woof… I met a Toby while working at John Lewis… hope he doesn’t mind! Come to think of it my doggy character is a bit like the JL lad, lively to say the least! He went running every morning before he started work. Toby the dog would approve!
  10. Name three people you would have at your ultimate book-club/dinner party. (living or dead…or undead.) Oh this is a fun one! Maureen Johnson because she’s so witty, and would get the party up and running. Stephen King because he would be so amazingly interesting to talk to, and Oscar Wilde, as I just love Dorian Grey! There would have to be music too, so I’d sneak in some gatecrashers:  David Bowie, and Prince, because I loved them both, and they died too young. One last crazy party in their honour. Also I’d sneak in the lead singer from Stereophonics, Kelly Jones, who’d be my eye candy crush, and last but certainly not least, Bon Jovi. Two crushes – That would be some party!

I nominate these eleven  ….. amazing bloggers to join in, it’s not compulsory but you might just find it fun! Your questions are just below this list.

Annika Perry’s Blog

Al The Author

Vashti Vega

Sue Vincent

Helen Jones

Debby Kaye

Ritu

Linda Hill

Shehanne Moore

Caroline Peckham

Graeme Cumming

 

My questions for you:

1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

2. What’s your favourite genre of book and why?

3. Who is/are your favourite author (s) , poet (s)? What is it about them that inspires you?

4. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.)  too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

5. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored,  attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

6. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

8. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings?Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons…etc…Make your own observations …. and let me know..

9. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

10. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you ….

 

Anyone else who’d like to join in please do…

Well, that’s it then, thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to comment. Love ya! xx

Bye for now,

file

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

James Fahy The Writer Q & A Tag

Nominations for Bloggers Bash Awards Are Now OPEN!

We are finally on the count down to the bash, peeps. I am so excited I really ought to be wearing a sports bra what with all the bouncing up and down. So far we have announced the totally-off-the-c…

Source: Nominations for Bloggers Bash Awards Are Now OPEN!

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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