This week, Kat Myrman, from Like Mercury Colliding, selected the words:
Imagine & Gratitude
So, I decided to write about my recent walk in the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It was a glorious autumn day which filled my spirit full of imagination and gratitude. There is a small area which is normally for school children only but this has been opened to the public.
I took various photos. I particularly loved this lovely writers throne which I shared on my Instagram…
A writers garden
Blessed with thanks
And this was so unusual, just a couple of broken branches but they looked like a crocodile’s head and tail!
February 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a unicorn. It can be realistic or fantastical. Go where the prompt leads.
Respond by February 27, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published February 28). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
Here is my entry for the prompt, (which I love – Unicorns!) I knew instantly what to write… I had the idea engraved in these words from my Media Kit bio:
If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
I don’t know if the Chinese Unicorn exists, or if it sings, but it’s nice to dream and to imagine! Also, I doubt if the Chinese Unicorn looks like this but it’s fun to play with Canva!
The Chinese Unicorn Sings
I swear my workday wielded ferocious tentacles and claws, stressful, busy, so many demanding blood-sucking visitors. I stole a stranger’s smile and stapled it on my face. I tried to laugh but instead I swallowed down my tears. My anxiety had cranked up a helter-skelter notch. On my journey home, I discovered a brochure with an unusual invitation: Visit The Chinese Unicorn Whose Magnificent Voice Sings Like A Thousand Wind Chimes.
I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t bother to say goodbye. When I heard the unicorn’s blissful melody, I wept. It wasn’t an interlude; it heralded the end of anxiety.
This weeks prompt words from Colleen are cover and precipitation and the challenge is to use only synonyms. I’ve chosen cloud-burst for precipitation and masquerade for cover.
This weeks prompt words from Colleen are cover and precipitation and the challenge is to use only synonyms. I’ve chosen cloud-burst for precipitation and masquerade for cover.
And the following is an extract of Puzzle Piece 28: Leanne’s Warning from my YA fantasy novel – The Curse of Time Book 1 – Bloodstone which is currently on special offer price, so grab a copy!!
I knocked and waited to enter. The door creaked open. I took that as my invitation to slip through the opening and breezed inside. As before, my eyes searched out the sparkling crystals, and for a moment I almost forgot why I’d come. I stood motionless, in awe of the surrounding beauty. In the corner, I spotted Leanne, unpacking new stones that must have recently arrived. As I watched Leanne at work, the crystals freed themselves from her protective hands. They flew across the room, whizzing, creating a trailing rainbow of spectacular light, and sound. In no time at all they found their allotted places, embedding themselves with ease in the walls. At last, I drew my eyes away from this amazing sight. I turned to face Leanne. ‘I need to speak to you.’ ‘What can I help you with?’ replied Leanne, in a dream-like voice. ‘Recently things have been happening that are beyond my usual level of acceptable peculiarity. I wondered if you could help.’ Leanne’s eyes widened, and she nodded her head. I explained about how my new paint set seemed to have a mind and purpose all of its own. I described the strange events that had happened since I used my aunt’s gift. She listened but made no comment. I stomped my foot and thought I would burst with frustration at her lack of response. ‘Leanne, what shall I do?’ ‘Embrace these events.’ Cupping her hands together, fingertips touching, Leanne rocked on her heels. She turned back to her unpacking duties. ‘Whatever do you mean?’ I wailed, shocked at her response. ‘This is happening for a reason. You must not be fearful, Amelina. Welcome, all that’s happening, and the truth of who you are will dawn on you.’ The room was quiet except for the rustling of paper as Leanne unwrapped the remaining crystals. I listened but was unsure what to do next. I walked over to the wall of gems, ensnared once again in the magical beauty they exuded. Three crystals twinkled more brightly than the rest and caught my eye. I carefully removed the Black Obsidian, the Bloodstone, and the Merlinite and weighed each gem in the palm of my hand. An aura of light burst from the stones and encircled me. Each crystal’s field of energy exploded in a kaleidoscope of colour and joined together forming a solid beam of brilliant intensity. I felt an invisible energy force rush through me shooting all the way into my fingers. I glanced down, and my fingertips were glowing, the brightest pink I had ever seen. I had never felt such raw power. I could tell something beyond my comprehension was taking place. I staggered back, filled with wonder, and my mouth dropped open. The experience made me feel complete as if something elemental had been missing from my life all this time, until now. I had no doubt these crystals were the perfect choice to give me the answers I was seeking. I stumbled over to Leanne who winced from the brightness of my aura. I gently handed her the gems. She inclined her head and pondered over my selection. ‘Interesting… such a choice of crystals, Amelina. I’m sure these gems will set you on the right path towards discovery.’ The sound of rain falling outside, followed by rumbles of thunder, interrupted my thoughts. The cottage darkened, highlighted only by flashes of lightning. The crystals lining the cottage walls shrank into their protective spaces, their colours dull, seeming to hide from the sudden approaching storm. Leanne’s face darkened, mirroring the impending storm. Thunder boomed above causing her to pause for a moment before she continued. ‘You must take extra care with these stones, for all three hold immense power. Guard the Wizard Stones, the Black Obsidian, and the Merlinite. Keep them safe, and remember, the power they may unleash could overwhelm you.’ The luminosity surrounding me swirled and intensified. I swallowed and asked my question carefully. ‘How?’ Leanne peered at me from the darkness. ‘These are Wizard stones. She pointed to the gems still cupped in my hand. Used without care they can drive you mad, make you hallucinate, or even provoke seizures.’ Her forehead creased and her eyes blinked as the lightning flashed through the windows. ‘You must protect them from damage, taking particular care to avoid scratches, blows, harsh chemicals and extreme temperature. Cleanse the Bloodstone Crystal if it comes in contact with anyone else.’ ‘What happens if I don’t follow your instructions?’ Leanne leaned in close to my face and whispered, ‘The crystals will become impure, open to evil manipulations, wielded by darkness and used by black-hearted, devious souls.’ I whispered back a scared, ‘I promise.’
My Tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge this week has been inspired by a shared video I saw on a friend’s Facebook page, showing how the sea can be a bit rough and choppy one minute, and so dangerous the next.
This video shared on the Redcar RNLI Facebook Page really shows how powerful and scary the sea can be… An ordinary day can quickly turn into a very frightening day !
What’s even more apparent is this could happen to anyone. It really is terrifying, isn’t it?
The sea can pick you off your feet and carry you away in its pocket of ruthless waves.
I love the sea but have always been respectful of its power too. The sea is not to be trifled with, we truly are at its mercy.
So, your challenge this week is to boil your plot down to its simplest form. This isn’t marketing 101, don’t try an sell me your book like a pitch sentence. This is purely about plot. Tell me your entire novels story in three sentences.
If you want to join in, you can pop your sentences in the comments on her blog or in a blog post and ping back so she can find it. You have until 12pm on the 28th August.
No pressure… three simple sentences. Somehow, that sounds a bit unrealistic, simple sentences, there is nothing simple about my plot, convoluted, yes, but simple, No! But, this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time, because right now this is the kind of activity I’m engaging in… writing blurbs, author bios, etc, trying to get everything ready for my novel release this coming autumn.
Here are my three sentences:
Da da dee da,
Da da dee da,
Da da dee da!
Only joking… though I did think the da da’s had a certain ring to them, not sure about those dee da’s! Cup of tea perhaps? Sacha did suggest that we boil our plot! Maybe not… Perhaps I should indulge in a bit of FB? Twitter? Instagram? But no selling… OK, I could be nosey, see what folks are up to… Or I could go for the simple approach.
Right, no mucking about, concentrate Marje, stop procrastinating! You can do this…
Ah, I know what to do, doodle, get a cute doodle pad and write a few words on it:
That will do the trick… Don’t plan, just write…
By now, you really must be thinking this gal has gone a bit doolally twist… perhaps.
Enough! This procrastination is really becoming a curse.
Here is my contribution, my three simple sentences for my WIP: The Curse of Time.
Amelina Scott doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from the cruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow hides, crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten to bring Amelina full circle on the ride of her life.
I thought I’d elaborate upon this to make an initial blurb idea which would go very roughly something like this:
Sixteen year old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her prematurely aged father, cranky mother, a black cat called Shadow, and a self-harming mirror girl.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from thecruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow of two halves hides – Ryder’s mesmerising eyes and dark charisma draw her to him – but appearances can be deceptive. While crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten, Amelina’s spirit is brought against her will to a tranquil meadow in Grantchester. Whilst there she is encouraged by her captor to paint a bizarre puzzle of art, and all the while, a threat lingers groaning to turn youth into old age, and to turn neighbour against neighbour.
The verdict is out, hope that made sense, and didn’t bore you.
Bye for now,
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo.
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters.
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...
I really feel in the mood for a Haiku Challenge this week. It’s been ages since I’ve joined in Ronovan’s challenge, sigh, I seem to be struggling to keep up with all the things I want to do, such is life. Never mind I’m here now at this present moment ready to write some haiku. Yippee!!
The challenge words this week are rain and lightning. Very fitting.
On one day this week I was on playground duty in the local primary school supervising the kids at lunch time, except it started raining so we had to have wet play… no this isn’t some kind of water fight as the name would suppose … it’s when the kids have to stay inside when it’s raining. Not the most desirable outcome for us adults or the children. Children need to let off steam… Especially, when the Year 6’s have their Sats…So I was really pleased for them and for myself!!! Ha Ha ….that it stopped raining and they were able to go out and play ball and run around a bit.
The first haiku is with the kids in mind:
Draw kids near sweet temptation
Lightning burst they run
The above photo is of my hubby getting very wet in Brighton – he’s very fond of thunderstorms so this haiku is for him!!
I’ve taken the perfect photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge, except it’s not Easter related, so no Easter eggs, bunnies, or such like. Never mind, you can’t get more sweet than this sticky, tasty Chelsea bun which I had the pleasure of eating at Fitzbillies in Cambridge. Ooh, I’ll definitely be going back…. Look at that – doesn’t it make your mouth water?… heaven. Talk about sweet perfection. Yum.
Fitzbillies Chelsea buns are famous, now I can see why. It’s so glossy, and beautiful it’s almost criminal to eat it – but I did and it was de -li- ci-ou-s!
I went to Fitzbillies with my eldest daughter, adding to the sweetness of the day. She’s just back home from university. I took a lovely photo of her but she asked me not to put it on my blog as she didn’t like it! Humph. So instead I thought I’d put up this old photo of my two daughters taken many years ago looking particularly sweet. My youngest Georgina is on the left posing for the camera and Natasha is on right looking all sweet and smiley. This cute photo graces my desk as I write.
Here’s me looking hungry just before I was about to devour my Chelsea bun.
The café features in the novel I am currently editing. As well as my daughter’s lovely company, a visit there gave me an opportunity to check out the ambiance, the buns, the décor and perhaps add some finishing touches to that particular chapter… Wannabe authors are always up to something! Obsessed, we are obsessed! But that’s okay as my daughter Natasha writes too. She understands!
Now I am personally acquainted with Fitzbillies scrumptious Chelsea buns, it’s bound to add a certain something to the writing mix I reckon.. Don’t you?
I really wanted to join in this challenge this month as I am doing a spooky stuff and nonsense theme on my blog leading up to Halloween. By the way, today, Monday the 26th of October is the last day to submit your photos to Ed. So if you want to join in get cracking, and email him, super pronto!!!
I was originally going to take one of those Ghost tours in Cambridge, which I still fancy doing, but then it struck me the perfect idea to post about for this Spooktacular would be the history behind the Caxton Gibbett Inn in Cambridgeshire, particularly as it features briefly in my manuscript! This place is or shall I say was about as creepy, and unlucky, cursed if you ask me, as it gets.
The inn was located between Cambridge and St. Neots. It is no longer standing as it burnt down in mysterious circumstances, in March 2009, when it had been trading as a Chinese restaurant, The Yim Wah House. In fact I had been there a few times for meals, as I have some friends who live out that way so I’m so glad it didn’t burn down when I was in there munching my spring rolls! Apparently fifty firefighters had their job cut out trying to stop the blaze. Anyway the Yim Wah has now relocated, I don’t blame them! Would you want to stay in residence there after that? Shudders. No brainer. The Yim Wah is now situated in the centre of Cambridge, good move!
The legend of the original inn is interesting Halloween fare. Apparently three travellers were murdered by the landlord, (who intended to steal from them.) He disposed of their poor unfortunate bodies down the pub’s well. The original gallows stood on Caxton Common, the replica gibbet was thought to have been made from the timber of a nearby cottage.
Punishment was a very public affair in those days, the murderer was hung alive in an iron gibbet from the gallows and death under these circumstances followed due to starvation, dehydration or exposure. Apparently thereafter the inn was haunted by mysterious footsteps that stopped at the well! Creepy , Ghoulish stuff or what? !! Enough to make you choke on your spring roll! Sounds like that land may be cursed, and it is now the home of fast food restaurants. Well, on the bright side at least with fast food you’re in and out quick, surely nothing too terrible can happen to you in such a short timescale! My advice is don’t hang about and chat too much, get out of their fast!
So not exactly good joss. Perhaps not history as such, maybe more of a legend, but it does seem to me to be an area of Cambridgeshire with a creepy predisposition, and a gallows, so beware!
The story of the inn captured my interest so much that it features briefly in my manuscript Krystallos.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Amelina spoke in a hushed spooky whisper. “Talking of ghost stories did you see that Chinese restaurant that burnt down at Caxton Gibbett? Its burnt out shell creeps me out every time I go pass it, the original inn on that site, also burnt down in the 1920’s.”
“The George Inn, yes, bit of a weird coincidence isn’t it?” said Ilaria her voice rising with excitement.
“The place was cursed. The landlord was hanged and gibbeted for murdering his guests as they slept. The room where they were killed was always intensely cold,” said Amelina, as a cold shiver ran down her spine.
“God that’s creepy, talk about gruesome,” said Joselyn, “Thanks, I’ll not sleep a wink tonight.”
“Me neither. Maybe when we’re wide awake some fit dead guy could return from his eternal slumber for a chat. Hopefully a famous rock or pop star,” joked Ilaria.
“Now that would be cool. You know I had this amazing dream once that all the rock stars came bursting out of my posters and had a party in my house. It was a bit freaky as some of them were dead. They were rocking out until the early hours,” said Amelina as she demonstrated her favourite rock hero pose playing air guitar to the girls.
Ilaria, Joselyn and Jade looked at Amelina with wide eyed astonishment.
“God you’re crazy, Amelina, I can’t believe the things you say or do. The air guitar was awesome,” remarked Jade.
Hope you enjoyed my Spooktacular post, I enjoyed taking part, I’ve been planning this for ages, this baby has been waiting part finished in my draft folder and I nearly forgot to join in, that’s just typical of me. Scatty, or Loopy depends on how you take me!