Isolation For Writers: Guest Author – Jeannie Wycherley #Guest #Author #Isolation #Collaboration #Thoughts #Family #COV19

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon from Pexels

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to my next guest author Jeannie Wycherley – in my Isolation series in the time of COV19 – I discovered Jeannie via my Facebook post on Book Connectors asking if group members would be interested in writing a post about Isolation during Coronavirus.

Jeannie was one of several who were interested in joining in. She has a fascinating tale to tell.

Welcome Jeannie…

How are coping with this enforced isolation?

Collaboration in the time of Coronavirus Jeannie Wycherley

I was travelling in Sri Lanka when I first heard the word ‘coronavirus’. That probably makes it sound like I’m some sort of global jetsetter, and to be honest, I wish I was. But in truth, my husband and I run a small seaside gift shop in a small town in the south west of England and this was our first holiday in five years. We both have to supplement our income from the shop in other ways. He does so from exam marking (we’re both ex-lecturers) and I do so from my writing.

I don’t think I was concerned at first. I wasn’t paying much attention to the news in any case. But then we stayed in a gorgeous hotel near Dambulla over Chinese New Year and it seemed really odd to see all the Chinese tourists wearing face masks. Fast forward two weeks and I flew home with a scratchy throat. Just 48 hours later I had a respiratory illness that knocked me for six.

By then Coronavirus was becoming more newsworthy. I still don’t know what I had, but I knew enough about the virus that I self-isolated, ‘just in case’, for nearly three weeks. Unable to shake it off, I chose not to visit my parents at all, until suddenly, people over seventy were being asked to self-isolate and I’d lost my chance.

We kept our shop open through the first two weeks of March but increasingly became aware we were fighting a losing battle. Nobody wanted to shop, the streets were deserted, and we felt increasingly uneasy—wary of people ‘touching’ things or coming too close. On the 18 th March we closed our doors. The government announced the lockdown the next day.

I had a really bad few days from the 19 th March. Extreme anxiety, feeling weepy, experiencing nightmares, struggling to breathe at times. I tried to write—in fact I needed to write because I had a pre-order set up on my next Wonky Inn book—but I struggled to focus for longer than a few minutes. With the shop closed, I suddenly had the equivalent to three extra days to write in and be more productive. Instead of that, I found myself constantly checking social media and the news websites, driving myself crazy.

What made it worse, for me, was fear for my elderly parents. My Mum, 74, has been brilliant and remained indoors, crafting and doing puzzles, but my Dad, 75, is a different story. An ex Royal Marine, and prison education manager, he’s been around the block and he gets restless. He has lots of interests though, and one of those is writing although he’s never been published.

It came about that I had picked up a pre-made book cover, a fun science fiction. I spotted it in a sale; it made me chuckle and I parted with some cash. I don’t write sci-fi. I don’t even read a lot of modern sci-fi although I’ve read lots of ‘classics’ in the genre. But I absolutely love sci-fi movies so I’m aware of the tropes. My Dad loves all sci-fi. He grew up with it. When I was a kid and we went on holiday, he would invariably be reading sci-fi books on the beach.

I write horror and paranormal cozies. It occurred to me that a cozy sci-fi would be a lot of fun and there would be some crossover with my fans and I might pick up some new ones. The thing was, I was still struggling to focus enough to finish Wonky Inn Book 9: A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas as well as editing an epic Victorian gothic ghost story, The Municipality of Lost Souls, so where did I think I was going to get time to write anything else?

Link for A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas: http://mybook.to/WW9

At that stage I asked my Dad if he fancied collaborating and I sent him the cover. He loved it and bounced back with an idea. I suggested he create a plot and he came up with just over half (he admits he’s useless at endings). Now, I cannot ‘pants’ to save my life, so I took his plot and painstakingly broke it down into scenes, fleshed it out and finished it off. Between us we tweaked it and divvied out who was writing what and off we went.

Or rather off he went! Like a rocket. This is a man who struggled to write 300 words per day. Now I can’t stop him. I juggle my editing of Lost Souls and Wonky 9, with writing my scenes and editing what he’s written so that I can oversee a consistent voice throughout the story. It’s hard to keep up with him! The side effect is that I’ve had to focus because I’m doing so much. It will pay off in the long run.

And do you know? We’re producing a great little sci-fi story set on Dartmoor here in Devon, with a nod to H G Wells and those wonderful old 1950s serials like Quatermass and the Pit, but with a little humour and some quirky characters. We use Google Docs so that we can both see what the other is doing, and we catch up every few days so I can check that’s he’s happy and iron out any plot holes that have come up. It’s a fun project that we will both be proud of. When we’re both happy with it, I’ll send it to my editor. At some stage later this year, I am confident we can launch our collaboration and be justifiably proud of it.

If nothing else, this pandemic will have allowed us to work together in a way we might never have considered doing before. I’ll always be grateful for that, and for my parents remaining indoors and staying safe.

Link to my amazon page: http://author.to/jeanniewycherley

Website: http://jeanniewycherley.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeanniewycherley/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Thecushionlady

Bio

Jeannie Wycherley is a genre-hopping introvert and word witch living somewhere between the forest and the sea in East Devon, UK. She is the author of Crone (2017), Beyond the Veil (2018), the Spellbound Hound books (2020), and the Amazon bestselling Wonky Inn series. She draws literary inspiration from the landscape … and cake.

Well, that was a fascinating post from Jeannie. I love how she is collaborating with her dad. There are positives that we can take out of this awful experience and it gives me great joy to share them.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

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

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

Together we are stronger. Stay safe and well.

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Isolation for Writers: Guest Post Catherine Fearns – #CrookedCat #Crime #Thriller #Author #Isolation #COVID19

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Welcome to Catherine Fearns, my next guest on my new feature – Isolation For Writers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Catherine coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is her answer:

Hi everyone, I’m Catherine Fearns and I’m a writer. I have published three Amazon best-selling crime thrillers with Crooked Cat Books/Darkstroke, and I also write as a music journalist.

Thank you very much to Marjorie Mallon for hosting me on the blog today to write about my personal experience of writing during coronavirus lockdown…

For many people, coping with isolation has been the hardest challenge of these times. But some of us have had to adapt to the loss of isolation. With four school-age children and a husband who worked long hours and travelled extensively, I was used to spending long days, and long evenings, alone in my own world. And I loved it. Now I have a house full of noisy people, twenty-four hours a day, all needing a lot of attention. Not to mention home-schooling. And it’s wonderful too, so much so that I feel guilty about all the terrible things happening in the outside world when we are safe in our family bubble. But finding time to write is a challenge.

Before corona hit, I was finishing the edits on my fourth novel, and at the exciting stage where I had just come up with the concept for my fifth book and ready to get started. Then I was suddenly thrust into this new and very confined world. It’s difficult to get into the right headspace for novel-writing when you can only snatch a few minutes to yourself here and there – you really need long stretches alone to think. But even for writers without children, concentrating is a challenge at the moment.

Are you finding it hard to focus on reading a book? To tear yourself away from the news, from social media?

Low-level yet constant anxiety has become a way of life for everyone. When you’re living with such uncertainty, worrying about vulnerable family members, friends losing their jobs, wondering when this will be over and what the world will be like afterwards…

I found an experimental strategy to keep myself writing. I decided to start writing my new novel as a serial, and to let readers experience the process in real-time. I post two new chapters every week on my website, bite-size so readers have time to read them, and I have time to write them! Readers can even interact if they wish, by adding comments and suggestions. This concept actually works perfectly for the dystopian theme of the book, and I have been using a variety of media to tell the story, including audio files, images, video and letters.

I do feel a little reckless, posting my unedited work for readers to see, but it has also been liberating and confidence-building. Most importantly, putting that pressure on myself means that I have to get the words down every day. I try and wake up an hour before the kids, and if I still need more time, I suggest that we all have a reading and writing hour after lunch.

I’m aware that none of this makes financial sense. I may be shooting myself in the foot by making a whole book available for free when I could have waited and published traditionally. But I don’t think I would have had the discipline or concentration to write during this period otherwise. And I wanted to offer something, however small, to readers who might just need an extra little activity in their day.

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. But my personal coping strategy has been to create a little something every day. And I have to admit that one of the things I’m looking forward to most when this is over is to spend a day alone!


Link to #VIRTUE, the novel being serialised on my website:
https://www.catherine-fearns.com/virtue/


Book links:


Buying Link: mybook.to/reprobation


Buying Link: mybook.to/consumingfire


Buying Link: mybook.to/sound

Twitter: https://twitter.com/metalmamawrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherine_fearns/

I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about you and your creative work.

It is so kind of Catherine to offer her serialised novel Virtue for free at this time.

Thank you so much for being my guest, Catherine and wishing you much success, good health and happiness.

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

Topics such as:

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

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

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

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

Stay safe and well my lovelies.

My amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

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

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

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

Here is his answer…

Some thoughts on what I’m beginning to

think of as the new normal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://mybook.to/Andorra

http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

PICTURE 4    

http://mybook.to/AreWeThereYet

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

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

My Amazon author page is here.  

My Goodreads page is here.

Stay safe everyone

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

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

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

And The Lost Princess:

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

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

Topics such as:

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

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

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

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

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

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

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

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

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

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

My News

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

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

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

Real teenage angst with a paranormal twist.

Reviewed in Canada on April 10, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition      Verified Purchase

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

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

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

What Am I Writing?

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

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

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

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

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

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

Please do visit the blogs below:

 From Hugh Roberts:

From Anne Allen:

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

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

Book Marketing tips:

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

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

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why would you do that during a pandemic?

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

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

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

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

April 5 Fantastic Florals #SundayStills via Terri Webster Schrandt

And you can also link to: Cee’s FOTD

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

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

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

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

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And liver, kidney, never been a fan!

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

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

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

What bloggy jobs have I been doing in Lockdown?

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

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

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

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

I discovered this WordPress link which is really helpful:

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

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

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

Mailchimp Block

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Coronavirus #COV19 #Sunday #Family #Games #Baking #Anxiety #Cats

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Yesterday, Sunday 6th April was a gorgeous sunny day in Cambridge. A day that might have tempted some to congregate. I hope not, but some of the UK public appear to be foolish. Not us, we spent the day at home in the house and garden enjoying the sunshine. Hubby managed to get some charcoal so we had a barbeque, and played card games.

That was unusual – as they were drinking games!

It was my youngest daughter’s idea. For example you pick a card and the number says you have to… say a rhyme, or name a city, or whatever else the game rules say and pass it on. If you run out of rhymes, etc, or are too slow, you have to take a sip of your drink! The drinks were very nice, gin and tonic with fruit!

It was fun, but we didn’t go overboard and drink too much. Just enough to relax us all.

Perhaps Lockdown has some positives – we are definitely spending more time together as a family, chatting more and sharing our thoughts.

But we will have to be careful not to drink and eat too much! Or, I for one will be putting on too much weight.

Also, another source of piling on the pounds – we made banana cake with chocolate chunks. Apparently, everyone is baking banana cake at the moment. It was quite a job getting the ingredients – I had to improvise somewhat. It turned out really well but we overdid it on the chocolate! If I made it again I’d use less chocolate, but youngest daughter doesn’t agree!

During the meal I glanced up at the blue sky and sad thoughts returned. How can the world be suffering in such a terrible way on such a beautiful day? My thoughts turned to those less fortunate than us who are living in cramped living conditions, without a garden, perhaps in difficult situations. I looked again, I couldn’t see a cloud in the sky, and no airplane trails either. The environment is benefiting, but people are dying.

I just wish the Scientists could find a cure but it will be a long time coming before a vaccine is ready. They are saying one year minimum, perhaps longer. It is good to hear that influencers, musicians, pop artists and the like are donating money. I hope this will help.

We packed the barbeque away and settled down for the evening. It was only 6.30pm.

What to do now?

Relax.

Watch TV, read a book, go for your daily safe walk, or chat, or spend time with our visiting cat who has decided to call during lockdown. Except, this cute ginger cat just wanted to snooze!

Another day of Lockdown. Hope you are all doing okay and staying safe.

Links:

Workshops for young girls during this time:

From J K Rowling: https://www.wizardingworld.com/collections/harry-potter-at-home

David Hockney shares exclusive art from Normandy: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52109901

A message from Chris Martin #TogetherAtHome from Coldplay:

A beautiful song “We’ll Rise Up: a song from the NHS to the public”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/apr/05/boris-johnson-admitted-to-hospital-with-coronavirus

From my friend Sherri: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2020/04/03/dispatches-from-lockdown-in-an-english-spring/

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

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

And 5 star review from Colleen Chesebro: February 2020 Books #AmReading

Early reviews: 5 stars from Ritu Bhathal https://butismileanyway.com/2020/02/29/february-2020-books-amreading/

Another 5 star review from Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/smorgasbord-book-reviews-poetry-and-prose-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

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