Books

Book Lover’s Tag #SundayBlogShare

 

Thank you so much to Brigid Gallagher for nominating me in the Book Lover’s Tag. It’s a long while since I’ve participated in a tag. I’ve been so busy doing my own book promotion that this is a welcome change.

https://watchingthedaisies.com/2017/09/06/book-lovers-tag/

Do you have a specific place for writing? I write at my desk in my office at home. One blissful year I went away to Brighton for a few days and wrote in my hotel room, in cafes and in the library. That was wonderful.

Book mark or random pieces of paper? Mainly a book mark but I have been known to use anything that comes to hand!

Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter? Always at the end of a chapter unless I’m reading on the bus (and I do this often on the way to work,) and then I’ll make a mental note of where I stopped!

Do you eat or drink whilst reading? No, I don’t  unless I’m in a cafe. Otherwise, I tend to focus 100% on the book.

Music or TV whilst reading? Do people do this? Shock, horror, no I never listen to music or watch TV. I’d find that too distracting. My husband reads in the bath which I find equally odd. How can you turn the pages with soap bubbles everywhere?

One book at a time or several? Oh, I rarely read more than one at a time but occasionally I might read a paperback and a kindle. I don’t like to do this but time pressures sometimes mean that I do.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere? I’ll read at home, on the bus, travelling by train, in the library, in cafes, anywhere!

Read out loud or silently? Silently, but I have been known to cry whilst reading a book in public places!

Do you read ahead or skip pages? I never skip pages, ever.

Break the spine or keep it like new? I keep it like new.

Do you write in your book? Ouch, never!

What books are you reading now? I have been reading Malala Yousafzai’s biography, the Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban and defended her right to an education. It’s an amazing book, about halfway through. I recommend everyone reads this, very inspiring, educational and moving too.

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Other than that I read anything I can get my hands on. I found another little gem recently in the same independent bookshop in Ely,  Topping Books – Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast.

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It’s a tiny black penguin classic with ‘Wildes’s celebrated witticisms on the dangers of sincerity, duplicitous biographers, the stupidity of the English – and his own genius.’

Some of my favourite witticisms from the book:

‘We spend our days, each one of us, in looking for the secret of life. Well, the secret of life is in art.’
‘One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.’
‘Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease, Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching’
‘Pleasure is the only thing one should live for. Nothing ages like happiness.’
‘Life is much too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.’
‘The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.’
‘To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.’
‘Time is waste of money.’
‘I love acting. It is so much more real than life.’
‘The tragedy of old age is not that one is old. but that one is young.’
‘Murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.’
“Life cheats us with shadows. We ask it for pleasure. It gives it to us, with bitterness and disappointment in its train. ‘

(more…)

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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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Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Welcome to my new book love group for authors and dedicated book bloggers who wish to support authors by writing reviews, or featuring authors on their blogs. Initially, I intended to write one long list and then I thought better of it. Small and personal works better – featuring a few bloggers/writers and then following it up with further lists on a fairly regular basis.

If you’d like to join in the next list please get in touch via my email: marjma2014@gmail.com, or leaving a comment at the end of the post. Thanks.

Of course Kyrosmagica blog continues to support authors in whatever way I can by writing reviews, author/blogger spotlights and interviews, so please don’t be shy, do get in touch if you’d like to be featured on Kyrosmagica.  

Here’s my first list:

Shelley Wilson: First up Shelley went all hunger games on me, dashing to the front of the queue to feature on my post!   So, many thanks to Shelley for kicking this off with a flourish! Author/Reviewer Blog is http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com. She is pretty clear in her interests: ‘I write, I read, I review,’ she prefers YA fantasy, but also reads some historical fiction, non-fiction, horror, dystopian, sci-fi, and will take a look at book blurbs for most genres to see if she’d be interested but she doesn’t do romantic fiction.

Elouise De Sousa:  ‘Books, Poems, Stories…and a cup of coffee, or two!’ She has a Book Tuesday feature reviewing books from fellow authors and books she’s read. She covers most genres, depending on what has been sent to her. Her site is http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com

Debby Gies: A Canadian author who I have had the pleasure of following for some time. She is  a very friendly and supportive lady who runs a series on authors with new books https://dgkayewriter.com/guest-authors-at-d-g-kayes-blog/ and also does her Sunday reviews on books she’s read and reviewed. Because of time constraints, she is unable to have an open invitation, rather she promotes authors she knows and invites them as her schedule permits.

Loretta Milan: Literary Lightbox supports authors from all backgrounds and most genres. ‘Literary Lightbox, founded by Loretta Milan, publishes inspiring articles featuring New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling authors as well as emerging and indie authors.’

It’s our special space of the Internet where we writers can inspire each other, lend support and encouragement.

: http://www.literarylightbox.com/submissions/

Sally G. Cronin: ‘Blog with a view – on books, music, humour and health.’ Sally is a massive supporter of authors hosting so many on her blog that at times it makes me dizzy just seeing what she is up to. At the moment Sally is on a well deserved holiday! Sally also writes excellent and informative articles about nutrition and health, has published several books and has an on-line bookstore: Sallys Cafe and Bookstore and offers free author and blogger promotion: Sally’s Author and Blogger Promotion 2017

Jenny Marston:  Blogs at www.jennyinneverland.com and enjoys reading Thriller, Mystery, Crime, YA, and Fiction. She is a busy lady with diverse interests: blogging about anxiety, books, blogging tips and advice, days out, lifestyle, travel, Disney, etc, and has a monthly meet my sponsor slot, which I had the pleasure of being part of. As well as this she manages a ‘privately run online book touring service for authors.’ In which she covers, ‘Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Romance, Chick-Lit, Young Adult and many sub-genres of those and offer a range of different length tours and services for you to choose from to get the best possible publicity for your book.’  Neverland Blog Tours

Heena Rathore Pardeshi:  Has a book review blog but has stopped reviewing for another 6-7 months. No doubt as she’s snowed under with her debut mystery and thriller novel, Deceived which she will be releasing soon – www.thereadingbud.com. But do keep an eye out for Heena and support her book release. She reviews all fiction genre except erotica. She doesn’t do non-fiction.

Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie: Like to review books and invite guest posts on their website. But be prepared sister writing team Anita & Jay are: ‘two determined authors, bulletproof and dangerous…’ Eek, that sounds scary… dare if you will!  Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Contributors Who Prefer to Host Guest Blogs

Seumas Gallacher: Fellow Scot doesn’t actively do ‘cold’ reviews other than books he’s downloaded on his Kindle, but he does have an open blog policy on Guest Blogs from anyone, but particularly from fellow writers who can include anything they wish, except gratuitously offensive material… book buying links, bio, cover pages, any wee back story or element to their writing… the page for promo is theirs… all at their choice… cheeeeeeers ..https://seumasgallacher.com/ 🙂

Carol Hedges: Is more than happy to showcase other writers and let them loose on her Pink Sofa. ‘I write, I sleep, I try to resist cake.’ Yes, her pink sofa is very edible, pink and sugary! https://carolhedges.blogspot.co.uk/…/ten-ways-im-just… Recently I came across a very interesting article on her blog: Carol Hedges Blogspot – The Importance of Publicity

Tina Frisco: Happy to feature authors/artists/photographers/ musicians/etc. as time permits.  ❤ https://tinafrisco.com/  ‘Nature is my go-to tonic.  Aside from music and animals, I love dancing and getting lost in working crossword puzzles.’ She blogs under the categories: inspiration, spiritual, guests, quotes, books, chronic illness and self-acceptance.

Thanks for dropping by. Don’t forget if you would like join my next list do get in touch by leaving a comment below or contacting me via my email: marjma2014@gmail.com

Bye for now,

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#HorrorOctober 2016: Week 1 Round-up — Lipsyy Lost & Found

It’s been a busy first week of bloody blogging so here’s a handy summary in case you missed anything. Wouldn’t want that would we!? (Titles link to the posts) Horror October Week 1 (1st – 7th) Welcome to Horror October 2016 Flash Fiction Battle – Vote Now Review: Revisiting An English Ghost Story Review: […]

via #HorrorOctober 2016: Week 1 Round-up — Lipsyy Lost & Found

Reblog via Lipsyy, sadly I am too busy doing final edits,  and have just started a new job, so will be mainly sharing reblogs of my favourite posts in October.

#WeekendCoffeeShare

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If We Were Having Coffee I’d have so much to say that quite possibly I might lose my voice!

It has been some week. My husband has been away skiing on his annual trip abroad with his male friends. This year they went to Ischgl in Austria , and unfortunately one of them had to get air lifted off the mountain in a helicopter. The poor chap had broken his shoulder in several places. So that wasn’t a particularly good start to the holiday week. Men and adrenalin! Speeding skis can be dangerous…

My mum and dad have been visiting Cambridge which has been very nice. We’ve been out for a lot of meals, and coffees this week. I was sad to see them go on Saturday, particularly when my dad said, “Bye my lovely girl,” as he left. That really touched me and I felt kind of weepy as they went. But I’m seeing them again soon, (it’s my mum’s birthday on 2nd of April and we are having a weekend away in Brighton to celebrate…)

We had a very odd dinner out on Friday night. My mum, dad, and my youngest daughter and her boyfriend came out with me for a meal to a local pub nearby. On the way there the car decided that it wasn’t really in the mood, and a nasty looking symbol lighted up on my dashboard, an engine warning light. This wasn’t looking good. Fortunately we managed to make it to the pub without incident. We began looking at the menu,  and then suddenly Georgina’s boyfriend alerted us to the fact that my mum had inadvertently popped the menu on top of a tiny little tealight candle and it was burning a perfect hole right through. There was much commotion, but we managed to put out the burning circle, thanks to G’s boyfriend’s quite wittedness! My dad went of on a mini tirade about how they shouldn’t put candles on tables as they are fire hazards…..  in between laughing and calming down dad we managed to decide on our chosen meals.

The waitress came to jot down our order and take away our menus. I have to say the burning smell was still lingering a bit…. but I don’t think she noticed that the burnt menu was slotted at the bottle of the pile by G’s boyfriend! Sitting immediately behind us were a family with young children. One, or perhaps was it two children, started to howl and dad being a typical man of his generation made a loud comment about how noisy they were!

Soon our meal arrived looking tasty, so that silenced us from further comment, and we calmed down, munching away quite happily.

Oh I forgot to mention the wine shenanigans. Take another sip of extra strength coffee – I must tell you about that! Mum and dad suggested ordering some wine, but G’s boyfriend said he wasn’t allowed alcohol in restaurants because of his age, and asked for a glass of water instead. Dad, being a somewhat eccentric old chap answered this with “A glass of water in a dirty glass?” Apparently this is a well known Grandfatherly joke as G’s boyfriend then said that his Grandad says this joke too! Or perhaps he was just being polite, can’t say I’ve ever heard of that one before! The tired looking waitress came to take  our plates away and inadvertently knocked over my dad’s wine glass, which crashed to the floor shattering to tiny little shards which spread everywhere. Luckily no one was hurt but the wine splashed on my black trousers! Of course I pretended that it hadn’t as she looked so mortified. It wasn’t red wine so no real harm done. She replaced dad’s glass of wine with an even larger glass of wine, that my mum and dad ended up sharing.

What a  first introduction to my extended family – I wonder whatever G’s boyfriend made of us! It was brave of him to come – he’s only fifteen, (but looks older,) my daughter’s sixteen! His age escaped my parents notice because on the way back was it my mum or dad that asked him if he’s learnt to drive yet…. Anyway, I’m glad to report that we got home safe and sound, with me at the wheel. It was a bit of a worry as we had to cross a railway track. I had visions of the engine cutting out just as we were crossing, and us having to abandon the car to the approaching train while we made a run for it. Which would be a frightening thought as my dad and mum can’t run but fortunately this didn’t happen. Cars, ugh, looks like the nuisance engine will have to make a visit to the garage….

That sounds like it should be the end of my If I Was Having Coffee post but no it’s not quite.. On Saturday I popped into town to meet an old friend of mine and we went to a favourite haunt of mine – Jamaican Blue, a lovely little coffee house/restaurant in Cambridge. It was nice catching up with my friend. Our daughters have been friends since infants so the pair of them went off shopping, while we sipped our lattes and had a chat. Anyway after a time I began to talk to my friend about the title of my novel, several possible names came to mind: The Crystal Cottage, Krystallos, The Golden Healer,  and then after we chatted some more I came up with a new possibility : The Curse of Time. She liked it. I liked it. Somehow The Curse of Time has a certain ring to it … do let me know if you like the sound of it.

So that’s it more or less, my first If We Were Having Coffee post. I’ve been meaning to do one of these for ages. I am a right old chatterbox once you get to know me…

If you’d like to join in with Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share  at Part Time Monster here’s the link:

http://parttimemonster.com/2016/03/19/weekendcoffeeshare-31916/

Bye for now, time to chill, it’s Sunday after all. Have a lovely restful day.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

#SundayBlogShare: Happy Mother’s Day Vibes

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Hi Everyone.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. HOPE YOU HAVE AN AWESOME DAY.

This mother’s been playing around with a new theme. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Do let me know if you like it.

I took the header photo at Cromer this New Year and somehow the image ended up looking more like a painting than a photograph so I thought I’d feature it on my blog. The jumping image above is from Pixabay, and seems a fitting image for my  Sunday message today: Those happiness vibes are on their way, jump for joy, Summer’s coming!

The lovely Suzie from Suzie Speaks https://suzie81speaks.com/ has a wonderful Sunday Hastag: #SundayBlogShare, on her twitter account @SundayBlogShare.

I will be following this #SundayBlogShare with a three day three quote challenge from Heena http://heenarathorep.com/ which will also be on the theme of happiness.. more about that soon.

My #SundayBlogShare is all about the many aspects of life that make me happy.

In no particular order:

  1. Sunshine. Yes those rays awaken me out of my winter grumpiness. I just love you Mr. Sunshine. I’m not a winter person so when Spring arrives I sigh in relief, at last the Summer’s coming…
  2. Beaches and the sea. I’ve always had a fondness for swimming, and beaches. This stems from childhood – I’d always be swimming, splashing around in an outdoor tropical pool, or a beach somewhere. I grew up in Hong Kong. My dad ‘s not your typical run of the mill Scot, he hates the cold weather so he did the unthinkable,  he escaped abroad, and married my mother, a Malaysian lady many years his junior. Rascal! He’s always been a wanderer, in fact if he had been born today perhaps he’d have had his own travel blog! That’s a thought. A lot of my friends thought I had such a lucky time of it going to visit my dad in far off places, but I missed him when he was away. To name a few of the exotic destinations he’s worked in:  The Middle East, Far East, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Caribbean, Africa, Senegal, Hong Kong… you get the idea.. Quite the adventurer..
  3. Eating. Yes I love my grub, be it savoury or sweet, spicy, asian, or good old-fashioned shepherd’s pie.. I love it all. I might have a skinny body but my little rounded tummy proves it.
  4. Family. Are so important to me my daughters are such a light in my life. I am so proud of them both, they’ve grown up to be such wonderful young women. I’ve been with my hubby since I was a teenager, can you believe that? Young love, it is the strongest, most passionate kind!  The extended family are my rock too. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have such a lovely, close-knit family. We might not be perfect but we are always there for each other.
  5. Mum. Being a mum is great and having a great mum is awesome. We mothers deserve a huge pat on the back.
  6. Friends. Where would we be without our pals? Pretty lonely and miserable I’d say. My network of buddies include those I’ve known for too many years that I’d to care to admit to, friends I’ve met in Cambridge, and pals I’ve met through social media. You’re all fabulous.. Love you all.
  7. Edinburgh. I love visiting Edinburgh – my old home town, that definitely makes me happy. My mum, dad, brother, and in-laws are still there, as are my old school pals! So it’s always nice to go back and see everyone. I particularly love to go up during the Edinburgh Book Festival, and The International Festival, which are both in August.
  8. Books. I adore reading, how those printed words transport you to a very special place, stirring up your emotions, making you laugh, cry or shout in protest. There’s nothing that makes me happier than reading a particularly sad book!
  9. Writing. Of course this would have to appear on my happiness list. The writing part gives me great joy as I create, but I have to say the editing is an altogether different experience, it is a troublesome kettle of unwieldy fish!
  10. Theatre. Film. Dance. I love going to the theatre, and to dance shows.  So whenever I can, I take the opportunity to go. Both of my daughters are  keen too, my youngest is a dancer and my eldest has always been fond of drama. Each August I always make a bee-line for the Edinburgh International Festival. I’d love to go to the cinema more often – this is on my to do list – when I pop along I enjoy it so much.
  11. Art. Photography. I love art, and photography. I’m not an artist, but I appreciate the value and beauty of artistic endeavours so much. I have developed quite an interest in photography which I hope to explore more in the future.
  12. Cats. I love cats, but sadly I don’t own one, my husband is allegedly allergic… it’s a shame really. I could just see myself as one of those writers with my cute muse the cat.. I can see all my imaginery instagram photos… perhaps I could borrow one? Any offers? A black cat would be good, or a cool ginger one with bags of character…
  13. Travelling. I love to travel to widen my horizons, though recently this has been difficult due to lack of funds.. !! Ah, having an eldest daughter at University has really cut into the household budget in a very nasty way.
  14. Baking. I’m not really a savoury cook, unless it’s curries, or stir fries, those I can happily do. My hubby is better at roasts, meat and fish dishes. I tend to be more of a sweet cook. I love my puddings, cakes and biscuits…
  15. Being a bit silly. I think I missed the ‘How To Be A Grown Up Workshop,’ so I’m still prone to being somewhat teenage-like at times. Personally I think that’s an asset if you want to be a children’s author. So no problems there.
  16. Alternative Therapies. I have a fondness for aromatherapy oils, reflexology, and all those weird and wonderful therapies out there. I am also curious about the Zodiac, and the Chinese Zodiac too….
  17. Crystals. I love crystals. The colours, different shapes and properties of crystals fascinate me.
  18. Blogging. Goodness me I can’t believe I nearly forget to mention that! That would be remiss of me. Yes, I love blogging. It’s such a wonderful way to make friends with like-minded people from all over the world to share  thoughts, feelings and observations. It’s the best.
  19. Haiku. I’ve discovered that I love writing Haiku… If it wasn’t for my blog I’d never of thought of writing haiku. I’m so glad I did.
  20. Jewellery. Another love of mine… how could I have left it to last? My favourites are earrings and bracelets. They can be costume jewellery, or more expensive, it doesn’t matter as long as they catch my eye! I hope I might be getting some little pieces for Mother’s Day.
  21. Chilling. Relaxing and doing things my own sweet way makes me happy. I’m not one to rush through life, though I do hop about a bit.. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the rabbit!

This post has been waiting patiently for me to write in response to an earlier ditty that I did about the things that annoy me: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/one-liner-wednesday-you-piece-of-chicken/

Oops I have to confess that my moans outweigh my happy vibes! That doesn’t sound good…..Life is all about balance, so there you have it the Yin and the Yang of my happy dragon is somewhat overpowered by my stroppy, ferocious, dragon!

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Perhaps you’d like to join in and do a Yin and a Yang post too about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and/or stroppy!

Have a very Happy Sunday everyone, and a Happy Mother’s Day too! I’m going out later for a coffee/lunch with my daughter… what are you all doing?

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge week 13 Love

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What do I love? The answer lies in so many directions that I am almost staggered wondering what to post. I love my family, my hubby, my friends, writing, blogging, books, crying… wait a minute I said crying. What? I mean to say that I love books that stir the emotions, make me cry, get me reflecting….

I just finished one such book, boy did it make me cry, Me Before You By Jojo Moyes.

So I love all sorts of things. But one of my great loves is my old home town of Edinburgh. I just love visiting Edinburgh lapping up all that this great city has to offer.

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you might have seen my posts about Edinburgh. So surprise surprise my photo this week is something I came across whilst in Edinburgh this half term. I found it in a place that I have many fond memories of. The photo was taken in The Botanic Gardens, right outside an art gallery. Yes, I’m kind of partial to them too…

I don’t know quite what it was about this particular statue that grabbed my attention, but whatever it was it gripped me. It might have been her tummy, I have one of those, I may be skinny but my tummy has always been a bit rounded. Or it might be the way she was twisting her arm behind her back in a yoga stretch. Perhaps that was it. Anyway the fact that I noticed her was saying something as on this trip I was busy spending time with family, oh and eating a lot. That is one of my other loves. I ate lots and lots of Asian food. My mum is a wonderful cook, so we had many tasty meals but as well as this we visited a particularly fine Malaysian restaurant in Glasgow called, Rumours Kopitiam. By the way kopitiam or kopi tiam is the word for a coffee shop in Southeast Asia. The  interior of this little restaurant wasn’t exactly flashy but the food was excellent and the lunch menu’s really good value for money.  Our waitress had a great sense of humour she asked my daughter if she liked chilli, she said yes, so she made sure that she was more than adequately supplied with lots of them! That’ll teach her….. The Singapore noodles were to die for. So if you are in Glasgow give Kopitiam a go.

On this week away I didn’t really do much in the way of blogging or Instagram. Or visit half of the places I had intended to. Which isn’t like me but all that eating, and chatting to family was taking up all of my time. This statue wasn’t having it she just begged me to photograph her, she pointed her belly at me accusingly and twisted my arm! What astonished me about it all was this. When I came back to Cambridge I did some research and found that she had just been moved back to this particular spot. I came back to Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and so did she…. A pair of kindred spirits. How sweet. She is Reg Butler’s cast bronze sculpture, entitled Girl. She is now to be seen outside Inverleith House, right beside the gallery of modern art.

More about her reappearance here:

http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/news/stories/butlers-girl-comes-home

So a bit of a meandering kind of love but there you have it. Hope Hugh approves. This is my entry for Hugh’s photography challenge this week.

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/02/16/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-13-love/

 

Hope you like my photo and my tale of my many loves: eating, reading, writing, art, statues, and spending time with family in my favourite Scottish city, Edinburgh. Sorry, Glasgow, I love you too!! Especially your Kopitiam….

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Bye Bye Retail Hello Writing!!!!!

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As some of you might know from a previous post: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/retail-inspiration-yuletide-style/

I have been working as a Christmas temp in John Lewis Cambridge, and yesterday was my last day. It has been quite an enlightening and interesting experience in many ways. I started off with oodles and oodles of training. John Lewis puts a lot of priority on staff training so if you want to go into retail in a serious way this definitely is the company to work for. Or if perhaps you might be a student looking for some extra cash while studying, or a return to work mum looking for their first venture back to work…. Or a hopeful author a.k.a someone like me….. Whoever you are John Lewis will take you on if you are prepared to work hard.

Amongst the till training, laws about selling knives, and other hazardous substances we learnt all about different kinds of fire hazards, including chip pan fires!! Hence the funny photo at the top of my post…… An extinguisher would be very appropriate if you happen to work in their staff canteen, and are regularly using industrial sized deep pan fryers. But somehow they didn’t warn us about lesser hazards and potential injuries such as the kimble gun, paper cuts, or staple accidents, etc, which happen on the shop floor!

Here are some of my amusing highlights, I hope you like them:

  • I tend to be a bit accident prone. I managed to cut myself, on shelfing, prick my finger with the point of a kimble gun, drawing blood. This sharp needle like device is used to secure tags to gloves, hats, etc. As well as this a fellow member of staff also stapled her finger at the till! Quite a feat, I’m not quite sure how she managed to do this……
  • Not content with that alone, in the stock room I nearly squashed a fellow member of staff between the unsuspecting racks of clothes, by moving the large winding rack without checking anyone was in there. Oops. I’m so glad she alerted me to her presence up a ladder. She shouted! I would too! It’s bad enough climbing up ladders without being at the mercy of people like me….
  • I’ve had some odd requests from customers and witnessed some strange ones too. A gentleman asked me to take a photo so I asked him what he’d like me to photograph, and he said himself, dressed in his John Lewis jacket and cap. Then he asked me for my impression of the overall look. He was quite handsome ,……
  • One day a man came to my till and said he had a business meeting and he needed to buy something more suitable to wear so he proceeded to buy exactly the same designer black polo shirt, and jeans that he was currently wearing.. How strange, there was no difference at all, and the ones he was wearing didn’t even look worn. It does make me wonder why? Why would he spend so much money to buy exactly the same clothes, in the same colour? Was he about to murder someone in his current set and he needed a clean outfit for later? Ah, this is what happens if you write, you imagine scenarios everywhere… No one can escape your scrutiny.
  • At the till point one of the younger members of staff, a particularly cheerful young chap, who seemed to be particularly keen and vocal in his enthusiasm for customer care was asked to model a children’s hat for a customer, he obliged. It was a monster woolly hat, that covered the majority of his face like a balaclava. Afterwards I remarked that I wish we had had a polaroid camera behind the till to take his photo as evidence of his embarrassing moment.
  • On my last day we had fireworks at the till, well not real ones, just bubble wrap being popped by a nineteen year old co-worker who likes to burst the bubbles on the wrap. Of course it was quiet at the time, she didn’t keep the customers waiting!!
  • There were hugs, a card, with the following message from my boss: “Thanks for your support over Xmas, good luck with your writing, you may be the next J K Rowling!!” No pressure then! Last but certainly not least a pressie of Double Choc Chip Biscuits from Liberty London. Yum… Looking forward to eating these this weekend on my trip to London to go prom shopping for a dress for my daughter!

 

All in all, experiences are what make writers, they furnish us with ideas, and ideas can come from anywhere, from behind a till, in the stockroom, talking to people…….

 

I am very happy to have had this particular experience…. oh and the pay packet will come in handy as I will have a lot of expenses over the coming months. Thank you John Lewis…..

 

Now it is time to settle down and write. I am so excited, I just can’t wait!

 

I have received an illuminating writer’s report from The Hilary Johnson Authors Advisory Service: http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/ on my manuscript, Krystallos.

 

I know what needs doing, so from Monday I shall be immersing myself in writing…… with a view to editing parts of the manuscript, making some necessary changes, and then self-publishing….

 

But to do that I will have to put my sad hat on, one of the Writer’s Advisory Agency recommendations was to make my main character much more afflicted by sorrow at the beginning of the manuscript, so with that in mind I will have to try and read sad books, immerse myself in a general theme of sadness…. so that my main character, Amelina, will engage with readers on a more personal level. Teenagers like to dwell on the dark side of life and this is something I have to remember to do….
More about that and my progress editing in later posts to come….. Keep me at it, please don’t let me slack. Pester me…

 

So with editing in mind I am currently reading a book that found me quite by chance. It’s nice when that happens, I saw it at the park and ride bus stop on the way to work, (a free read donated by a fellow traveller.) I’m so glad I picked it up as it is quite a short, interesting, and sad read.
Look At Me by Anita Brookner, here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

 

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A lonely art historian absorbed in her research seizes the opportunity to share in the joys and pleasures of the lives of a glittering couple, only to find her hopes of companionship and happiness shattered.

 

So book bloggers/enthusiasts, do you have any book recommendations for sad books? Do let me know particularly if they have a young, preferably female main protagonist.

 

Lots to be done but now the path is set, all I have to do is walk in Amelina’s shoes, and hope she will lead me to the light…..

 

Bye for now,

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

#Redeyereadalong Sleepless by Lou Morgan

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My blog theme this month is spooky, scary, creepy stuff and nonsense in the lead up to Halloween, so with this in mind I joined the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads. I’ve already acquainted you with Frozen Charlotte, and now from 5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015,  I’m reading the second book in the #redeyereadalong, Sleepless by Lou Morgan.

I’ve started it and believe me it is compelling reading…. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.
Here are links to the two bloggers organising the Goodreads readalong:

Chelle at Tales of Yesterday:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/10/spotlight-red-eye-read-along-sleepless-by-lou-morgan/

and Heather who also blogs about you guessed it, books….. :

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-qa-with-lou-morgan/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/redeyereadalong-qa-with-alex-bell/

What are you reading, have you read any scary stories of late?

Bye for now,

file

Marje @Kyrosmagica xx

Halloween Stuff and Autumn Nonsense

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This October I’m doing a lead up to Halloween theme with lots of spooky, scary, and fun posts. As well as this I will be doing some reblogs (which don’t necessarily need to be autumn/Halloween themed but are helpful advice to authors/bloggers, writers.)

Here are some of my Halloween themed posts that you might have missed:

Frozen-Charlotte-book-cover

I’ve just finished reading Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – part of the #redeyereadealong on Goodreads. Highly recommended 4.5 stars. Keep an eye out for my review. After this I’ll be reading the rest of the red eye titles too! So plenty to keep me occupied…

Details of the readalong below:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/read-eye-readalong-frozen-charlotte/

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My short story entry for #BlogBattle:

Blood Moon A Rip of  A Ride. Link below if you’d like to read my entry.

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/blog-battle-blood-moon-a-rip-of-a-ride/

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and I’ve written some haiku Halloween poetry for Ronovan Writes Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/ronovan-writes-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-64-tide-and-flesh/

Other Bloggers Posts

As well as this I’ve been nosy checking out other bloggers posts about Halloween/Autumn and thought it would be nice to share them with you, here are a few gems:

First up is this wonderfully spooky cat café in Japan, this really caught my eye:

http://katzenworld.co.uk/2015/03/09/cat-travel-tenmaruochi-cat-cafe-part-1/

Fellow #Blog Battler author Rawls E. has a welcome to autumn post, celebrating autumn, October, pumpkins, spooky Haunted houses, hayrides, and cemeteries:

https://rawlse.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/welcome-to-autumn-celebrate/comment-page-1/#comment-1991

Then we’re off to find some scary books to read, Ramona Wray has some great suggestions:

http://www.mybookishlife.com/scary-stories-yes-please/

As does Lipsy, check out these Horror October posts:

https://lipsyy.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/horror-october-revisiting-wakening-the-crow-by-stephen-gregory-horroroctober/

https://lipsyy.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/welcome-to-horror-october-2015/

And Paranormal, Sci Fi and Fantasy suggestions from Nonnie Jones at Rave Reviews.:

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/book-club-selections-for-review/sci-fy-fantasy/

What about a party? That’s always fun, paranormal author Kirsten Weiss is holding a witch’s tea party on 31st October:

https://parayournormal.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/witchs-teablog-party/

Fancy visiting some literary horror houses? Look no further, Flavorwire, opens up its doors to Stephen King, (spider webbed gated front with bats!!) Edgar Allen Poe’s red brick house with eerie basement, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman (with a phenomenal library!)  Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice, Clive Barker,  Shirley Jackson.

http://flavorwire.com/540894/visit-these-real-life-literary-horror-houses/

These were posted quite a while ago but are excellent Halloween posts by Donna Parker the lady with the strange sounding blog name that I can’t spell:

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/30/jerry-seinfeld-Halloween/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/29/welcome-to-my-nightmare/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/28/bewitched-bothered-and-bewildered/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/20/hide-and-shriek-with-the-addams-family/

Let’s end this on a cute note. What about some Halloween fun spooky lunch notes?

http://nerdinthebrain.com/2015/09/29/halloween-fun-spooky-lunch-notes/comment-page-1/#comment-13541

and Colleen from Silver Threading’s wonderful post about autumn:

http://silverthreading.com/2015/09/23/go-ahead-fall-into-autumn-bewow/

Annika Perry featured one of my favourite poems about autumn, John Keats Ode to autumn, and has had some wonderful posts just recently, so do check out her blog:

https://annikaperry.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/ode-to-autumn/

Sarah Vernon from First night Design has some Halloween playing cards, greeting cards, ipad covers, and more items for sale : https://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/so-i-have-a-number-of-faults-said-the-skeleton/

Irene from Irene Design does a wonderful range of jewellery, this caught my eye for Halloween.

http://irenedesign2011.com/2015/09/27/skull-key-leather/

Hope you enjoyed all these Autumnal and Halloween inspired posts, I may be doing more of these so if you’d like to feature, and share the Halloween love do get in contact.

Thanks.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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