Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

Thank you to Chantelle for including me in her guest posts about Dreaming of Another World. Hop over to her blog via the link below to read my post and to read the previous guest posts too #corona #virus #covid19 #dreams #fears #lockdown #isolation #indie #authors

Source: Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

Sharing Options:

Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills @ Carrot Ranch #trees #flash #fiction #neighbourhood #mother-in-law #elderly

My flash is based on a true story. I visited my mother-in-law in Edinburgh, Scotland. She hadn’t been too well but made a miraculous recovery. At ninety-four she is an incredible woman! This tree and our conversation inspired me to write this piece of flash.

It was kind of eerie at the time… knowing what I know now. The wind was blowing lightly but I added a gust of ghostly wind to the flash fiction piece!

The Tree of Life
I encouraged my mother-in-law to venture out for a walk. She hadn’t been out since a fall laid her low before lockdown. We sat by the wise old tree. I had no idea that just a few days ago this area had been the site of a funeral gathering. The family decorated the branches with colourful ribbons, dream catchers, pretty baubles and teddy bears. As we talked, a tremendous gust of wind blew the ribbons, twirling them in a whirl of colour as the baubles and teddies danced.

I heard leaves rustling; it was his last goodbye.

I didn’t know the man who died, or what he died of. His funeral happened at a time when people couldn’t gather in the usual way. So, touching and sad. His friends and family came together to say their last goodbye amongst nature, by that tree, in the area in which he had lived. Passersby who may, or may not have known him saw the reminder of the vibrancy of his life in the colour of the adorned tree.

I picked some purple flowers for my mother-in-law which she carries in the photo. Purple is her favourite colour. She always mentions our walk each time I speak to her. Somehow, that walk to the tree have given her confidence back. I believe she has now walked to the shop again. I’m glad I encouraged her to walk with me even though I was so worried that she might fall. Sometimes you have to be brave to make a special memory.

Sharing Options:

Sunday Book Review – This is Lockdown #Anthology, Collective Writing

Thank you so much to Debby for this wonderful review of This Is Lockdown. Thrilled. <3 https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-this-is-lockdown-covid19-diaries-anthology-by-mj-mallon/

Sharing Options:

‘This is Lockdown’ blog tour – Just muddling through life

It’s the last day of the blog tour for This Is Lockdown. Marian is my host today, many thanks to her for this lovely poet’s corner of contributors.

Source: ‘This is Lockdown’ blog tour – Just muddling through life

Sharing Options:

20th July – Release Day: This Is Lockdown #Compilation #Anthology #Writing #Authors #Lockdown #Poems #Flash #Diaries #Contributors

Happy Release Day to all the contributors in This Is Lockdown.

Help yourself to a slice of pineapple, your favourite coloured balloon, and some blueberry pancakes… I made this smiling fellow during lockdown. I had to eat him – with that smile how could I not? My tummy smiled afterwards!

It seems strange to celebrate anything during this horrendous time but… it’s important to look to the future and hope that this worldwide pandemic will ease and a solution will be found in the months ahead.

During lockdown I found it difficult to write my usual genre: YA Fantasy, so I focused instead on interviewing authors on the subject of ‘isolation’ during COVID19. I enjoyed this blog series so much, discovering so much common ground with other authors and bloggers that it seemed a good idea to take this further and to produce a book, a compilation of my diaries, poetry, flash fiction, and writings with ‘The Isolation writers,’ who live  in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Australia, Zimbabwe and Australia.

It doesn’t matter where we live, our experiences are similiar.

Here are some quotes from contributors to This Is Lockdown:

  1. ‘Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.’ Richard Dee. 
  2. ‘Nobody should feel they have to achieve things during this time of corona. It’s ok to just be – to stay safe, spend time with family, read and relax.’ Catherine Fearns.
  3.  What has changed? The answer is: Everything – but it took me a while to notice. Jackie Carreira
  4. We could get through this crisis better if everyone would cut each other some slack and come together. One can only hope… Sharon Marchisello
  5. I feel I’ve become like the ancients, huddled with my little family around the fire in a small circle of light.  Lynn Fraser
  6. I’m taking life at the moment with a huge dollop of perspective. – Fi Phillips
  7. If nothing else, this pandemic will have allowed us to work together in a way we might never have considered doing before. Jeannie Wycherley
  8. What’s changed for me? Nothing and everything and believe me, that’s as confusing as it sounds.  Chantelle Atkins
  9. Still, I’m just thankful that I am okay, we are all healthy, and that, in itself, is the biggest thing. Ritu Bhathal
  10. This situation easily calls forth the entire spectrum and expression of human emotion. Tracie Barton Barrett
  11. Instead, I started painting – no, not the walls, although they could do with it. I created big bright, colourful pieces of art to cheer myself up. Alice May
  12. On my walks, I spend time thinking what the world will be like after coronavirus and how it will differ from the past. Peter Gooby-Taylor
  13. Festivals are important. We meet, talk, drink, solve the world’s problems, learn and relax. Miriam Owen
  14. We greatly miss our author visits to shops, libraries and book clubs. – Ceri and Drew
  15. At time of writing, lockdown here in Italy is easing, but I am still wary of emerging into the sunlight.  Katherine Mezzacappa
  16. If it has taught me anything, it has taught me that my blogging time must be managed, as it helps me, so it must have its place. Willow Willers
  17. I
    believe
    there is a
    silver lining
    to isolation 
     –  a line from Sally Cronin’s poem.
  18. I am very much missing human engagement – talking in person, hugging a friend, and seeing a compassionate, genuine smile, not hidden behind a mask. D G Kaye
  19. Something is very wrong in this new world, (from poem) Adele Marie Park
  20. The world is quiet, a new strange calm,  (from Poem) Marian wood
  21. unknowing (the city) –  for the rains… (from Poem) Frank Prem
  22. Anxious thoughts lace my outings to The Wasteland. Sherri Matthews.
  23. Welcome to the new normal, I could be smiling right now but you cannot see it behind the mask. Beaton Mabaso
  24. We really felt that our project hit a chord and it showed what a community pulling together could achieve. It seemed to give focus in this strange and new world of lockdown. Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val. Fundraising for the NHS: #CommunityMasks4NHS
  25. We are living in strange and difficult times indeed my friends, but there comes a time when we must raise our eyes to the future, and reflect and act on what we have learned. Samantha Murdoch.
  26. As the virus bloomed, so did sales, until non essentials were forced to close. But she soon found lockdown’s silver lining in endless days communing with her own bookshelves. – quote from a piece by Anne Goodwin.
  27. Stay Safe in Your Own Personal WildernessM J Mallon

This Is Lockdown is:

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

This Is Lockdown kindle buying Link:

Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

It is also available for free on kindle unlimited.

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB?pf_rd_r=NPA6S5SQJ30A6VYX87Q5&pf_rd_p=e632fea2-678f-4848-9a97-bcecda59cb4e

Amazon US link:

Sharing Options:

Sally Cronin’s Review of This Is Lockdown #anthology #compilation

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for taking the time to read and review This Is Lockdown which releases 20th July. The kindle is currently on preorder via Amazon.

Read the thoughtful and detailed review via the following link:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

Sharing Options:

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for this special feature of This Is Lockdown which is currently on pre-order, releases 20th July.

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Sharing Options:

Blog Tour and Promo for #new #release – This Is Lockdown

The Blog tour and promo for This Is Lockdown starts officially next week with the pre-order promo followed by book launch week!

Already, we’ve had a promo post from Lorraine Mace: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

Lorraine writes bestselling crime: The DI Sterling series. There’s no crime in This Is Lockdown but Lorraine features a wide variety of authors in her Friday Fiction Features. She also has a critique and mentoring service plus information for writers on her blog.

Pre-order week promo for This Is Lockdown

13th July the awesome Sally Cronin is featuring us!!! – a new book on the shelves, special promo: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

14th July Chantelle Atkins: https://chantelleatkins.com/2020/07/14/this-is-lockdown-q-and-a-with-mj-mallon

15th July Beaton Mabaso : https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour/

16th July: Willow Willers: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/day-three-of-the-this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

17th July: Double Promo: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/17/17th-july-promo-hot-off-the-press-new-releases-wisp-ii-sea-dragons-and-this-is-lockdown-fantasy-dragons-and-covid19-anthology-compilation/

Blog Tour:
14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A) .
15th July Beaton Mabaso
16th July Willow Willers (Q and A)
17th July – Double Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park‘s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons at M J Mallon’s blog.

18th July Sally Cronin – Promo/Review!!!

19th July – Recap Promo of all the great promos- M J Mallon

Launch week:

20th July – Launch Day Promo M J Mallon – Lockdown Quotes.
21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog – promo
22nd July – Ritu Kaur BP
23rd July – Richard Dee
24th July – D G Kaye ( Q and A)
25th July – Marian Wood

25th of July is the last day of the tour as I am going on holiday thereafter and taking a break from social media! As this has been a huge project and I reckon I will be exhausted by then.

The fabulous authors, bloggers and creatives who have contributed to This Is Lockdown. I’d like to give a shout out to them all.  

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS.

Sharing Options:

Marian Wood: Pandemic Poetry #Poetry #COVID19 #Isolation #Writers #Contributing #Author

Welcome to Marian Wood, a contributing writer in the forthcoming collection of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, writings and poetry: This Is Lockdown with her poem and thoughts on COVID19.

This Is Lockdown will feature a wide variety of authors, writers and bloggers from UK, USA, Italy and Canada.

Poetry from Marian Wood

© Marian Wood

The world is quiet, a new strange calm,
People staying indoors, scared of coming to harm.
Cars are now just sitting on drives,
As people now lead different lives.

No longer racing for the morning bus,
Now staying at home, with lap top, no fuss.
The children are now home from school,
And mum is trying to set the rules.

Sitting working, but watching the kids,
A parent can be successful at this.
With the help of a maths app and a cool pc,
The children can be kept calm and busy.

It was March that this change came to the UK,
And now it’s here, it’s not going away.
Never before have people been told to stay at home,
I’m so glad for social media and our telephones.

Our children are growing up right now,
They will forever remember what happened and how.
The Chinese Wet Market in Wuhan,
Was that really where this all began?

The children

The children are now drawing rainbows,
All part of our memories and makes our hearts glow.
All our praises go to our NHS and keyworkers,
They are all working hard in an effort to save us.

So, everyone now please look after your families,
Stay indoors, obey lock down, care for your babies.
Maybe have a picnic in your front room,
Or make the chairs into a rocket and fly to the moon.

Trying to think of ways to pass the day,
Bringing in inventive ways for creativity and play.
Make the most of this time that’s been given to us,
It’s not going soon, this Corona virus is in no rush.

We are not sure when the lock down will end,
But on one thing you really can depend.
The NHS workers are fighting for you,
There’s not enough clapping that we can do.

For they will continue to fight to the finish,
Brave and steadfast, their care won’t diminish.
This corona virus has become our life’s big feature,
However, we need to see the bigger picture.

Our world around us

Whilst the NHS and Keyworkers are caring for us,
Our planet is loving the difference, loving the less rush.
The effects of planes, ships and of the many cars,
Earth’s destruction had gone too far.

Looking up now the sky is deep blue,
It’s beautiful, lock down was a good thing to do.
Throughout this disaster we need to see the positive,
Reflect on the good, no longer on the negative.

So, hug your children and play your games,
Home school and work, we will never live this again.
Keep your scrapbooks and write your diaries,
And look after your families, and try not to worry.

© Marian Wood

Bio:

I am a happily married, working mum to two children aged seven and nine. I write two blogs featuring my children, poetry and short stories. I’m currently working on my first novel. I have reached about 80 000 words and I’m stuck with the ending. I stopped writing it in October 2019 and now I’m struggling to get back into it.

Confidence and COVID 19 are not helping to motivate me.

I’ve learnt If you are writing a novel, don’t stop writing it until it’s finished. If you stop and take a break it might take longer. I’d have completed it if I hadn’t stopped.

For us, COVID 19 has meant isolation. My husband is being shielded so we are all shielding. It is hard not going anywhere and not seeing friends in person.

In March we were both ill and suspected that we had the virus. However, the swab test showed a negative result. This test may not be accurate, so we don’t know if we have had it, but we were ill for weeks.

Tesco are delivering our food, Morrison’s my husband’s prescriptions. I’m working for the NHS from home. It’s nice to roll out of bed and go to work in my pyjamas and I love Microsoft Teams. It’s better than coping with the school run and a stressful drive to the morning meeting. 

The environment has loved the relief from the pollution. There are positives to this awful situation. I try not to focus on the state of our economy or the mistakes made. The UK is in a sorry state right now. People are still dying daily, and I fear going to the supermarket. Despite an NHS discount, I prefer to order online where there is no NHS perk. My Amazon shopping has increased as I’m too scared to go to the shops. Plus, we are shielding.

New rules in June in the UK might change the goalposts for shielders. For me, hiding from the world is the better option. However, this is really not fair on my kids who are desperate to get out. As well as working, I am home schooling. The school sends a weekly timetable with web links and information sheets. I do my best to work through them with the children and tick off what we have done.

I work three days a week but due to home-schooling I am working six days. I am exhausted, I’m enjoying it but I’m tired. This week my nine-year-old and I have been learning about the oceans and explorers. It is an interesting subject. So, COVID 19 has brought great change to our lives. Home school, can’t go anywhere and mum no longer gets time alone. It has affected my writing as I’m more stressed and I have less time. I’m struggling to keep up with my blogs.

I’m hoping that the rate of infection in the UK keeps coming down. At the moment the figures are still high and we don’t even know if the children are going back to school in September, or whether it will be a phased return. At the moment, we can only guess.

This virus has come and messed with all our lives; I’m hoping that it is soon something in the past. Someday I hope for a vaccine. A time that we will no longer worry about it and the world will feel safe again.

Links:

www.justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk

Www.marianwood.com

Www.facebook.com/marianwood76/

Www.twitter.com/MarianEWood

Thank you so much to Marian for being a contributing author in the forthcoming anthology and collection of diaries, short stories, flash fiction and poems: This Is Lockdown.

I am so excited how this is all taking shape!!!

Sharing Options:

Sally Cronin: Lockdown #Poetry #Thoughts #Isolation #Writers

Photo by Jordan Benton from Pexels


Welcome to Sally Cronin, a huge supporter of the indie writing community. Sally has kindly offered to contribute to my latest writing project: This Is Lockdown.

It’s a compilation of my diaries, short stories, flash fiction, poetry and articles, plus poems and pieces of writing from an array of international writers, authors and bloggers – the ‘Isolation Writers,’ featured on my blog.

She shares her tributes to all those who have kept us safe, educated, fed, and cared for during this crisis, her thoughts on reentering ‘normal’ activities, a poem inspired by our current situation, plus her reflections for the future.

Double Etheree – Silver Lining

I
believe
there is a
silver lining
to isolation.
A chance to reassess
how we effectively use
one of life’s great commodities
so often wasted and lamented
yet measured so accurately each day.
Time can be fleeting or last a lifetime
and it seems there is little to spare.
But during this brief hiatus
I have come to understand
that clocks do not decide
how I use this gift.
In the future
I will live
and love
more.

© Copyright Sally Cronin 2020

Thanks very much Marjorie for inviting me over to share my thoughts about the recent three months of lock down and the prospect of moving forward.

Firstly, I really want to pay tribute to the health care workers in hospitals, care homes and those who have continued to visit individuals in the community. We tend to forget when we look at their uniforms that they are also grandparents, mums and dads, sisters, brothers and grandchildren, who have the same concerns we all do about what is going on in the home, not just in their place of work.

Also those working on the front-line in supermarkets and pharmacies that have turned up each day, cheerfully, to make sure we have food on the table and medication delivered.

Parents too have been challenged by assuming the roles of teachers as well as playmates for their children in the last three months, and judging by the photographs and captions on social media, with mixed results. Humour thankfully has been sustained over the last 12 weeks, but I do know that many have struggled with the enforced isolation.

What I would like to focus on in this post, is how three groups of our society are going to cope with the next phase of re-entering the outside world.

I notice that there are already articles on how to minimise the impact on our pets, who have enjoyed having their families at home with them all day, and that includes leaving them for small amounts of time to get them used to be alone again. Humans also need help adjusting to the new world we will find when we reconnect with society.

This includes those who have been classified as vulnerable, primary school children and those who have had their treatments for life threatening diseases put on hold for over three months.

Those classified as vulnerable
I am officially in the at risk group because of my age rather than underlying health issues, but I must say that having shopped in the designated times, I probably will continue to do so as long as they continue… There do not seem to be many early risers at the moment with schools still shut, so I tend to shop in isolated splendour, rolling up and through the checkout without any delay. I do wear a mask and latex gloves and use hand sanitiser as well. Once home I get in the shower and wash my hair and glasses at the same time… shoes stay outside for the day upside down in sunshine or get wiped over with Dettol. I do think it will be a while before I discard these precautions, however safe they announce it might be.

However, one of the issues identified, is covid-19 phobia amongst many elderly people who have become used to having their groceries delivered, and total absence of outside physical contact with family and friends. We have been informed regularly, that with the lifting of restrictions there could be a second wave of the virus, and that it is highly likely that there will be another lockdown when the winter flu season starts later in the year. It does not exactly inspire confidence when it comes to leaving the house and mixing with strangers again as we used to.

This is reinforced with the continued advice for those over 70 or with a long-term underlying conditions, to remain indoors with medication and food deliveries where possible, indoor exercise or in the garden and minimise time spent outside the home and contact with others.

Services such as day care centres which provide such an important physical interaction with others, and also an opportunity to leave the house, have been shut during the lock down. Unfortunately these will remain closed until social distancing protocols have been put in place. But, many elderly will still be too afraid to take advantage of them. Those with families living close by will I am sure, find it much easier to make steps towards the new form of normal. But, for those who are living alone, it will be far more difficult.

Age UK is still doing great work with personal visits to the home, and outreach programme online and by phone, food shopping and other activities. There is a comprehensive website covering Covid-19 and how they can help should you feel that it might be of help for yourself or for a family member.

Here is the link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/

Primary School Children
Teenagers in the main are used to living their lives online, and whilst they will have felt the restrictions on their movement in the last three months, they will have kept up their previous relationships and pastimes such as gaming as normal. But younger children, who don’t have access to the Internet in the same way, are at risk of missing out on a crucial time of socialisation with others. When they do return to school or start for the first time in September, there will be physical distancing methods in place that are going to severely restrict how they communicate and play with each other. Sitting alone in a square metre in the playground during breaks and in the dining room is not going to help them integrate into a class community.

Teachers are going to be challenged within all age groups, to not just educate, but be the guardians of personal space. And with teenagers that is going to be tough and almost impossible to enforce outside of the classroom. With the younger children there is likely to be a long-term effect on how they interact with others unless their re-integration is carefully managed.

Those with life-threatening health conditions
The health service is stretched under normal circumstances, but with the lifting of restrictions on elective surgeries and essential treatments for diseases such as cancers, there are going to be even longer delays for patients. It must have been an extremely stressful time for hundreds of thousands of people, and desperate for parents with children who needed urgent treatment.

They are talking about an 18 months waiting list for elective surgeries but hopefully those requiring life-saving treatment will be at the head of the queue. And perhaps all the private health beds that were paid for, but never used, could be taken advantage of now to speed the process up.

An opportunity for us all.
Even though I have worked in the nutritional field for over twenty years, I realised that I needed to take a close look at my own lifestyle and diet and make some changes. I don’t need prescribed medication, but it is easy to slip into bad habits, particular in lock down. The key risk factors that have been identified for a poor outcome from catching Covid-19 are related to obesity, including high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. These conditions are all reversible with changes to diet and lifestyle, and whilst it can be challenging, it may lower our risk of becoming infected as we re-join the community.


Thanks again Marjorie for having me over and sharing my thoughts and poem…

Thank you Sally, it has been a pleasure, sharing your considered thoughts and lovely poem.


Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
Amazon Author Page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-smorgasbord-blog-magazine-and-sally-
cronin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

Thank you so much for being my guest Sally and for contributing an article and poem to This Is Lockdown.

Sharing Options: