Happy thanksgiving to all my friends in the US. No turkey here but perhaps I can offer you a freshly brewed coffee from Seville.
This week’s prompt seemed particularly apt as I just bought myself a treat with my birthday money. It was my birthday on the 17th November… I tend to keep this much to myself nowadays. We went away to Seville for a few days holiday and I absolutely loved it. What a wonderful city.
I didn’t buy the new scarf there. Hubby isn’t a big fan of shopping… But I did manage to get him to spend a little bit of time shopping – he bought me some lovely new clothes for my birthday.
Now… the new scarf, is from Tavira in Portugal and it is very colourful! But, this prompt asked for a story to be told in poetry about a grey scarf so I thought why not! Give it a go…
Anyway, the poem isn’t true to life as I have no intention of casting my new scarf aside but a little artistic licence is allowed…
On a whim I bought a colourful scarf Like Joseph’s technicolor dreamcoat It brings me nightmares and trouble! My siblings are so jealous So, I cast it aside I buy a grey scarf No one sees me I sleep well It brings Joy
Me and my grey scarf have such adventures Settling around my neck with ease We paint the world in brilliance Nothing is ever drab now There is colour in dark Fountains of rainbows And no more sighs Light in shade Sunshine Songs
Tomorrow is the launch day for my new poetry, flash fiction and photograph collection. Excited for that! If you’d like to wish me a belated happy birthday I’d love it if you bought a copy of my new book.
Happy Release Day to all the contributors in This Is Lockdown.
Help yourself to a slice of pineapple, your favourite coloured balloon, and some blueberry pancakes… I made this smiling fellow during lockdown. I had to eat him – with that smile how could I not? My tummy smiled afterwards!
It seems strange to celebrate anything during this horrendous time but… it’s important to look to the future and hope that this worldwide pandemic will ease and a solution will be found in the months ahead.
During lockdown I found it difficult to write my usual genre: YA Fantasy, so I focused instead on interviewing authors on the subject of ‘isolation’ during COVID19. I enjoyed this blog series so much, discovering so much common ground with other authors and bloggers that it seemed a good idea to take this further and to produce a book, a compilation of my diaries, poetry, flash fiction, and writings with ‘The Isolation writers,’ who live in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Australia, Zimbabwe and Australia.
It doesn’t matter where we live, our experiences are similiar.
Here are some quotes from contributors to This Is Lockdown:
‘Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.’ Richard Dee.
‘Nobody should feel they have to achieve things during this time of corona. It’s ok to just be – to stay safe, spend time with family, read and relax.’ Catherine Fearns.
What has changed? The answer is: Everything – but it took me a while to notice. Jackie Carreira
We could get through this crisis better if everyone would cut each other some slack and come together. One can only hope… Sharon Marchisello
I feel I’ve become like the ancients, huddled with my little family around the fire in a small circle of light. Lynn Fraser
I’m taking life at the moment with a huge dollop of perspective. – Fi Phillips
If nothing else, this pandemic will have allowed us to work together in a way we might never have considered doing before. Jeannie Wycherley
What’s changed for me? Nothing and everything and believe me, that’s as confusing as it sounds. Chantelle Atkins
Still, I’m just thankful that I am okay, we are all healthy, and that, in itself, is the biggest thing. Ritu Bhathal
This situation easily calls forth the entire spectrum and expression of human emotion. Tracie Barton Barrett
Instead, I started painting – no, not the walls, although they could do with it. I created big bright, colourful pieces of art to cheer myself up. Alice May
On my walks, I spend time thinking what the world will be like after coronavirus and how it will differ from the past. Peter Gooby-Taylor
Festivals are important. We meet, talk, drink, solve the world’s problems, learn and relax. Miriam Owen
We greatly miss our author visits to shops, libraries and book clubs. – Ceri and Drew
At time of writing, lockdown here in Italy is easing, but I am still wary of emerging into the sunlight. Katherine Mezzacappa
If it has taught me anything, it has taught me that my blogging time must be managed, as it helps me, so it must have its place. Willow Willers
I believe there is a silver lining to isolation – a line from Sally Cronin’s poem.
I am very much missing human engagement – talking in person, hugging a friend, and seeing a compassionate, genuine smile, not hidden behind a mask. D G Kaye
Something is very wrong in this new world, (from poem) Adele Marie Park
The world is quiet, a new strange calm, (from Poem)Marian wood
unknowing (the city) – for the rains… (from Poem) Frank Prem
Anxious thoughts lace my outings to The Wasteland. Sherri Matthews.
Welcome to the new normal, I could be smiling right now but you cannot see it behind the mask. Beaton Mabaso
We really felt that our project hit a chord and it showed what a community pulling together could achieve. It seemed to give focus in this strange and new world of lockdown. Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val. Fundraising for the NHS: #CommunityMasks4NHS
We are living in strange and difficult times indeed my friends, but there comes a time when we must raise our eyes to the future, and reflect and act on what we have learned. Samantha Murdoch.
As the virus bloomed, so did sales, until non essentials were forced to close. But she soon found lockdown’s silver lining in endless days communing with her own bookshelves. – quote from a piece by Anne Goodwin.
Stay Safe in Your Own Personal Wilderness – M J Mallon
This Is Lockdown is:
An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.
Congratulations to my dear friend Colleen Chesebro on the publication of her first book of poetry and short stories. Today I am delighted to be sharing her specially written post about her book release:
HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE!
I’ve planned this day out in my mind for over a year… Today, as a tribute to the Summer Solstice, my first book of poetry and short stories has become a reality. Fairies, Myths, & Magic ~ A Summer Celebration is now available on Amazon.
From June 21st through June 27th, this book will be featured at the introductory price of $.99! Grab your copy today!
Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.
Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.
Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.
What’s Litha ~ the Summer Solstice?
Litha is the celebration of the Summer Solstice—June in the Northern Hemisphere, and December in the Southern Hemisphere. Here in North America, the Litha Sabbat honors the longest day of the year with the most hours of sunlight.
Pagans celebrated Litha by observing and honoring the power of the sun. The sun’s influence reminded the people that the summer months represented fertility, ensuring the survival of the species.
During midsummer, magnificent fruit burst forth from the flowers, shrubs, and trees, providing ample food for all. Summer was also the most favorable time for the birthing and survival of animals, birds, and insects. This also included humans where the most births occurred during the months of July through October, which still continues today.
For the ancients, nothing represented the power of the sun more than fire. On the Solstice Eve, huge bonfires were erected on hilltops celebrating the link between the earth and heavens. Festivities lasted for days before and after the main event.
Yet, the primitive people recognized the need for balance between fire and water. Some celebrations included setting a wheel on fire, then rolling it downhill into a body of water, signaling the power of the sun at it’s mightiest, and also the day the sun’s power begins to diminish.
For me, a Summer Solstice celebration was the perfect day to share my collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the magic of the ancient pagans. I hope you’ll enjoy this collection. <3
Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist writing YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.
A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.
Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the CarrotRanch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.
Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband, Ron. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. You can learn more about Colleen at www.colleenchesebro.com.
You can find Colleen in all the usual places. Drop by anytime.
A big welcome… (If I dare!) to my next interviewee theintriguing Grasshopper, a fine bug of a creature who features in my soon to be released YA Fantasy – The Curse of Time: Book 1: Bloodstone. I have set a tentative date for the release of my e-book – 26th August, so keep a look out for further details and updates about that.
Today, I am interviewing the Grasshopper using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero Spiderman’s Mary Jane!)
MJ: Grasshopper, I’m speechless, is that really you? Have you come to eat me up?
Grasshopper: Of course not dear girl, I don’t eat humans, even though I have pincer sharp teeth.
MJ: I can see that… Oh, what a relief! Tell me all about yourself Mr. Grasshopper.
Grasshopper: I am the world’s largest grasshopper escapement. I’m crafted out of the finest materials, only the very best for me.
MJ: Could you explain a little about the Corpus Christi Chronopage?
Grasshopper: The Chronopage is a large sculptural clock, and my home. It is the brainchild of a team of two hundred talented people including sculptors, engineers, scientists, jewellers, and calligraphers. It includes not one, not two, but six new patented inventions.
MJ: How extraordinary! It is a breath-taking invention and I have always found you phenomenally intriguing Mr. Grasshopper. Not surprisingly, you draw crowds of onlookers and tourists on King’s Parade.
Grasshopper: Oh, yes, no one can resist me. I provoke a reaction, people pause, take photos, respond in horror, or delight. And all the while time marches on, in its cruel, relentless manner.
MJ: Such is life. Hence the spikey teeth?
Grasshopper: Yes, I eat away at your life, your youth, your beauty. Sadly, it is my fate. I am at the mercy of my tragic role in this Chronopage. No one is exempt. I am its wretched servant.