COVID Diaries 4th May – 6th May #Family #Diaries #COVID19 #Coronavirus #Writing #Blogging #Fashion #Guest #Features

Time to catch up on my COVID Diaries… I’ve been very busy of late finishing edits on my second book in my series The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer. They are now finished and I am pleased to say I have now passed my manuscript on to Heena Rathmore Pardeshi https://crazycatwriter.com/ for a critique and proofread service.

So, let’s go back in time…

4th May

I slept badly the night before so I’m feeling tired. My eldest daughter Tasha and I still did our workout session but it was a gentle one. We both thought it would suit a granny! Which is just as well…We finished it off by doing some yoga.

I tidied my office and did some editing of the second book in my Curse of Time series. Later, my hubby and I went to the supermarket. My friend Hanna was in the queue too, so we stopped to chat to each other – following the social distancing rules – of course. You can’t exactly talk quietly due to the distance imposed, so I shouted across the queue about the fire…

What fire?

IVC is the local secondary school that my kids went to. Apparently, a skip lit and the fire spread to the roof of the performing arts block. Strange, sounds like arson to me. A friend of my daughter heard two large explosions, they thought it was an earthquake, or something. Everyone is so on edge at the moment that any loud bangs, or noises would be enough to trigger an attack of the nerves.

I wonder how the fire happened?

Getting back to the shopping trip with hubby. Whilst inside…

We argued down the aisles, in a feisty banter kind of way and I saw one of the local mum’s smirking at us.

Our shopping trip was so distracting. Both hubby and I bought four packs of onions, so we’ve got lots of onions to eat!

Next time I’m going on my own! Hubby’s idea of shopping consists of ample supplies of alcohol, and no treats apart from one bar of chocolate! How to survive lockdown with no crisps, nuts… Mind you, judging by our horrendous food bill perhaps we should start a starvation diet.

Oh, and I had a couple of guests in my Isolation for Writers Series:

First up was Jeannie Wycherley:

https://mjmallon.com/2020/05/03/isolation-for-writers-guest-author-jeannie-wycherley-guest-author-isolation-collaboration-thoughts-family-cov19/

And then Chantelle Atkins: https://mjmallon.com/2020/05/04/isolation-for-writers-chantelle-atkins-isolation-writers-covid19-ya-author/

5th May

It’s been a funny day. Aren’t they all? I finally cleared out my office. I am such a hoarder! I found things stuffed behind things that I didn’t even know were there. Nevertheless, it was interesting. We discovered three large bags of old photos and an airmail letter from my dad when he’d been working abroad in Swaziland. My eldest daughter Natasha has never seen an airmail letter before! What a lovely find. His writing was atrocious though. What a job I had reading it. Basically, it was to congratulate me on the birth of baby Georgina! And to send his love and well wishes to hubby’s dad who was ill at that time. Sadly, hubby’s dad passed away shortly after that letter was sent and Grandpa James never got a chance to see his new grand-daughter in person, which is especially sad as he always wanted lots of grand-children.

Also, I came across an old newspaper cutting of Tasha when she was three years old with her Grandma (my mum, who must have been about my age at that time,) at a hospice event.

How young my mum looked. Time flies by too fast.

I also found some old photos of hubby and I when we were young! That was funny, me draped all over him looking loved up… There was one of me wearing a leopard skin crop top and tight matching leggings. We were going to a fancy dress party. Memories, yes, it was a day of memories.

Other than that we did our gym session in the garden around 11am. Me, and the girls, and then we had lunch afterwards.

Hubby decided to climb up a ladder to sand the outside windows for painting. This made me very nervous as he’s so high up. He decided to wear his bike helmet for protection but at that height if he fell…

At one point, I went upstairs to pass him the sander and I saw this wasp on the window ledge. I was too frightened to tell him it was there in case he fell off the ladder. Later, I realised the wasp was dead!

Then Gina had an almighty melt down brought on by us all making so much noise whilst she’s completing her university assignments. Hubby was making this annoying sound with his sander, or yelling at me to get him something he needed. What a job I had calming her down. She said she wanted to go back to Manchester. No chance of that – no one can go anywhere. So, I suggested we sit in the car for a while. She brought her laptop and we looked at it together, with tears in her eyes. Bless her. Then hubby came out, looking at us as if we were bonkers. He asked why we were sitting in the car! I explained about the noise and he said he’d finish for the day. Thank goodness it’s quiet now. Phew, it’s just as well I used to be a therapist. Sometimes, I need to be to calm this lot down…

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I hope it is a bit calmer…

6th May.

I had a terrible night’s sleep. Stress of yesterday? Perhaps it was also exacerbated by hubby teasing, saying that he was leaving the long ladder by our bedroom window for a thief, or Romeo to come in. I woke at 3.30am. I thought I heard someone climbing up the ladder. No doubt it was just my imagination! One of the hazards of being a writer is you always imagine the craziest things. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I crept out of bed and started blogging – as you do!

By the time hubby was up, I’d had enough, so I went back to bed and managed a couple of hours sleep before Tasha came looking for me. I didn’t join in with a keep fit, or yoga workout today, or take part in Writing Sprints. Shame. Instead, I edited some of the Curse of Time, beta read and finished a poetry collection for Sarah Northwood, Poetry for The Heart and Soul which I loved. Here is the link to her beta reading group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/877149636124566/

As well, I started working on a blog post about my daughter Georgina’s fashion/social media profile.

Which you can see here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/05/09/photography-shoot-daughter-fashion-business-student-modelling-clothes-hair-accessories-makeup-lashes/

Georgina seemed a lot more cheery today. She was all dressed up, make up on and had made excellent progress on her assignment. She even mentioned that it wasn’t as hard as she originally thought! Kids, hey… They give you such grief and then say everything is okay…

Oh, and Tasha and I sneaked out for a ride in the car. What an adventure! We didn’t go too far but it was nice to see neighbouring villages.

What have you been doing during this difficult time. Please share in the comments.

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Book Review: Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs #FreeVerse #Poetry #Nature #Family #Relationships #Love

Goodreads Synopsis:

The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love …

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a free-verse poetry memoir.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow.

The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens. 

My review

What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings.

I highly recommend.

5 stars.

I had the pleasure of an engaging author interview with Camilla on my blog:

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/12/author-interview-camilla-downs-poet-writer-wordsofalchemy-nature-inspirational-family/

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”

– Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” –

 G. Brian Benson– Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”

– Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”

– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Author Links:

Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http:/theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central:

amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors:

http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): https://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/

Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central:  amazon.com/author/camilladowns


All of our bookshttp://camilladowns.com/books/

Have you read Words of Alchemy? do comment below if you have I’d love to chat about Camilla’s poetry book…

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COVID19 Diaries: #Writing #Poetry #Editing #Motivation #Shadorma #Book #Review #Family

Photo by Chimene Gaspar from Pexels

1st May 2020

News to catch up on from the first day of May.

What’s been happening? Much of the same, sadly. But, we have now apparently passed the peak and deaths should now be on the decline.

Let’s hope so.

In the last few days Natasha and I have kept up with our keep fit routine with a Salsa Type dance workout in the garden and a yoga one too. Both were such fun! I’d love to do them again.

Good news yesterday – mum got her mince! She was missing some from her recent food box. This time she was able to make beefburgers.

And cheery news! A new review for Mr Sagittarius from Author Adele Marie Park:

5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

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

I tuned into Heena Rathore Pardesi’s webinar yesterday. She was sharing creative writing tips. Here’s the link to the Facebook Live link:

It inspired me – which is just what I need right now as my eldest daughter has finished beta editing the second book in my Curse of Time series. Even so, I am struggling with motivation. Fortunately, some of Heena’s ideas really spoke to me. Particularly, the one about trying new fonts , using a notebook, or other inspiring ways to motivate yourself. This is particularly true if like me you have a huge, daunting project ahead of you. The second in a series is so hard to write.

Heena’s blog links:

https://crazycatwriter.com/blog/

https://thereadingbud.com/

I thought that perhaps I should find a writing quote to inspire me before I start editing. I opened my little book which is called Inspiration For Writers and opened it at a random page.

This is what greeted me:;

I am only really alive when I am writing – Tennessee Williams.

Wow, that quote couldn’t be more appropriate!

Who did I feature next in my Isolation for Writers Series?

Fiona Philips: https://mjmallon.com/2020/05/01/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-fiona-phillips-coronavirus-covid19-isolation-writers/

In her words Fiona is: ‘an author, playwright and copywriter living in North Wales, just over the border from Chester. For years I worked in an office environment until motherhood and my husband’s career moves tugged me into self-employment, dumped me onto a new creative path, and turned my dream career into a reality. My debut fantasy novel, Haven Wakes, was published by Burning Chair in 2019 and I’m currently working on the follow-up, as yet untitled novel due to be published in 2020.’

2nd May

Today, would have been Deepings Literary Festival Read Dating event. Sadly, it was cancelled due to Coronavirus. Linda Hill kindly shared a blog post about all the authors who would have attended this event, including yours truly.

https://lindasbookbag.com/2020/05/02/not-the-deepings-literary-festival-read-dating-2nd-may-2020/

That was really thoughtful of her.

I shared a poem for Colleen’s poetry challenge.

https://mjmallon.com/2020/05/01/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-175-themeprompt-shadorma-covid19-coronavirus/

I wrote two Shadorma inspired by our experience during COVID19. They reflect my growing sense of sadness and unease at the magnitude of deaths throughout the world. It’s so sad and frightening. In the UK alone over 26,000 people have died to date. And all the while here in Cambridge the sun has shone practically every single day of Lockdown. A couple days ago, we had some rain and even a short burst of thunder and lightning. And yet, immediately the sun returned.

How strange. Life goes on, sunshine, showers and thunderstorms but such tragedy remains.

Every now and then Gina pops downstairs to ask me to take her photo for her Instagram page. Today, we did a photo shoot with her new ponytail hair piece! It turned out great, will share that soon.

We went for a walk with hubby and Tasha down by the river in the evening. A car speeded past then turned tail and went past us again. Bit strange, we were glad to have a 6 foot bloke with us – hubby! Two trains sped past too. We talked about how we should walk in nature more often. There were such beautiful views. But I didn’t bring my camera, or phone. Sometimes, it is nice just to experience life without any interruptions.

On the way back, bats were following us down the pathway. Tasha and I were screeching, hubby didn’t blink an eyelid. He didn’t mind them. In fact, I swear he likes them!

We survived. Lol.

Hope you are surviving lockdown too.

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COVID Diaries: 26th April – 30th April #Coronavirus #Thoughts #Fears #Anxiety #Writing #Blogging #Family #Life

26th April 2020

Today, I decided to approach Spillwords to see if they would publish one of my poems. I decided upon the dragonfly as it is one of my favourite poems/photos from my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius. I didn’t realise that Spillwords don’t take images with writing – so I spent a good while making the following graphic on Canva which I’ll have to use elsewhere

Today, I featured Willow with a Coronavirus poem and a James Blunt song. Very nice.

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/26/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-willow-willers-cov1d19-isolation-writers-poetry/

The Coronavirus series continues to be popular.

Hubby has been building garden chairs and I have been washing windows… Our weather during Lockdown has been really good but apparently according to Gina it is about to deteriorate.

The girls and I did an exercise online class in the afternoon around 2pm but it was too hot and on top of that the area we were exercising in seems to have suddenly become infested with ants. At one point Gina shouted, “I’ve got ants in my hair!”  Which made me feel very itchy. Natasha was also scratching and I was slipping everywhere as there are only two exercise mats – I used an old blanket which wasn’t much use.

So not exactly the best exercise session that we’ve done. It was comical though!

27th April 2020

I featured Sharon Marchisello on my writers in isolation series on my blog today. https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/27/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-sharon-marchisello-coronavirus-covid19-writers-isolation/

I didn’t take part in Lizzie Chantree’s writers sprint this morning, (I normally do,) as it clashed with the timing of Natasha’s PT session with me! And somehow I didn’t feel in the mood today. Monday’s seem to be the same whether you’re working. or not. And today I feel a bit low.

Here’s the link to Lizzie’s Book Group for writers sprints, tips, and lots more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

I did an exercise session with Natasha in the morning. It was a really tough one I thought I was going to pass out. But I completed it.

We went for a walk in the country park in the afternoon. Kept seeing robins everywhere – a good luck omen perhaps?  The ducks were playful too. One came straight at us as if it was showing off and then whizzed across the lake, its mate came to join him but he was having none of that, he zoomed away.

We chatted to my mum on the phone she  seems down at the moment as does Gina. This protracted length of time cooped up together is getting to all of us.

I saw a black crow picking food from a bird table on the way home – they always give me the creeps – so black and menacing looking, before and during Coronavirus I keep seeing them. This is the third one I’ve seen. So strange. I hope it is not a bad omen. It’s a day of conflicting emotions, both good and bad.

I also saw my friend Mary Enna and Godric with their beautiful husky dog out for a walk. It has the most amazing blue eyes. We stopped for a while – them on one side of the road – and us on the other. We talked about bread making, she suggested I make sourdough loaf which doesn’t need yeast. Like the sound of that – may try it this coming weekend.

In the evening we had a family tiff in the kitchen. Kitchens seem to be the prime area for disputes to arise. The kitchen is the undisputed danger zone. Hubby always pokes his nose in the cooking even if he isn’t eating with us. (Sometimes he likes to cook his own food.) This interference in the food prep caused a stroppy atmosphere and then hubby went outside for a time, sat in a chair by the patio and pulled his hood over his face to hide from us all.  Gina saw her opportunity – she took his photo! When he looked up he said “I hope no one took my photo!

Of course not… If you believe that, you believe anything!

I wish I could escape and go to see my parents in Edinburgh… This is beginning to get to me. I am missing them so much. The conversation I had with mum today wasn’t right. She’d talked to my eldest daughter Tasha first, they’d chatted and chatted. No problem. But as soon as I spoke to her everything changed. Her voice sounded disjointed like she wasn’t forming her words properly. Mumbling. I pressed the phone closer to my ear, my shoulders tightening.  “Mum, you sound  strange. Are you okay?!” She spoke up a bit, “I’m lying on the bed and the phone’s a bit far away.” I acknowledge the ridiculousness of my fear, mum’s phone is simply too far away from her as she speaks. Her voice becomes clearer; the mumbling words are gone. “Is that better?” she asks. “Yes, I can hear you now,” I reply. The familiar feeling of panic pressing on my ribcage disappears for a moment. I realise I’ve been holding my breath. I need to take another calming breath to steady myself. And then she admits she’s terrified of catching this horrible illness. I can hear her fear and that frightens me. I imagine her on her bed, clutching the duvet towards her, her eyes welling with tears moistening the fabric. I want to hug her and be there for her. I should be there for her. She says, “I don’t want to end up alone and on one of those bloody ventilators, and neither does your dad.”

Her words are powerful, I can hear them so clearly. What can I say? It breaks my heart that she is saying this to me.

I don’t respond but my inner voice yells: I hate you virus. I feel the unspoken words filling a vast space which tightens in my gut.

We continue to talk about symptoms, as if we can protect ourselves, if we are knowledgeable enough. The latest indicator is shivering, she tells me. I already know this, I am well informed. We’ve both had the shivers recently but who knows whether it’s fear that’s making us shiver? My daughter asks for her phone back, perhaps her minutes are running out, she appears oblivious to my dread of hanging up.  Her youthfulness makes her less astute. At last, Mum and I talk about Skyping at the weekend, an obvious preliminary to saying Goodbye.

 Once I’m home I replay the conversation over in my mind and realise I missed something. We called mum in the afternoon and she never naps during the day. Is she ill? Is she alright? Was she shivering now?

This is COVID19 worry; It is relentless. I doubt I will ever forget how it feels.

It brings guilt too. Why didn’t I Skype her yesterday? It has a voice, this virus it’s accusatory.

There will be more to come in the diaries soon. I’m a bit behind with them.

Hope you are all keeping well and safe.

A new review for Mr. Sagittarius:

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

And a fairly new review for The Curse of Time:


Eloise Sousa‘s review Apr 13, 2020
really liked it
YA Dark Fantasy that will keep you riveted

A fascinating twist of events shakes Amelina’s world, awakening her to the power of crystals and her family’s legacy.
An enjoyable read with well-written characters who keep you on your toes as they drive the action forward.

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

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

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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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COVID19 Diaries 22nd April – 25th April #news #author #features #writing #family #tapas #fun

Photo by Sarah Trummer from Pexels

22nd April, 2020

Isolation for Writers

I continue to share my Isolation for Writers posts on my blog. It’s great to feel as if I am doing something to help writers during this crisis. My recent guests have been: Catherine Fearns, who has published three Amazon best-selling crime thrillers with Crooked Cat Books/Darkstroke, and she also writes as a music journalist. https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/22/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-catherine-fearns-crookedcat-crime-thriller-author-isolation-covid19/

What Have I been up to?

I wrote a new poem for my author friend Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge. It’s a haiku. You can read it here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/23/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-174-photoprompt-haiga-haiku-tree-nature/

By early afternoon I knew my hubby would be chaffing at the bit if I didn’t do some chores around the house. Window cleaner, that’s my new job role! It pays no cash but keeping my spouse happy counts towards extra brownie points. Of course, I’d much rather be writing… Eldest daughter, Tasha assisted and she’d much rather be reading. Hubby bought a special gizmo to help with the job. A no streak device – I never trust gizmos.

Well, the gizmo worked for a while until it started flashing red – a re-charge. Apparently, the re-charge takes two hours. What to do now… sit in the garden perhaps.

I know what to do… You guessed it… hide from hubby…

23rd Apri, 2020

We did a yoga video in the morning… it was great.

I had this idea to get mum and dad a treat. A delivery of food so they wouldn’t have to go out and brave the shops. What a joke! I ordered from a company … but there was no mince…

How can you make burgers with no mince?

Later on when Mum started cooking she realised the garlic was missing too… But, she also mentioned it was tasty. Hope mum’s delivery next week has some mince… Hello! Hint Hint…

24th April, 2020

Isolation For Writers

Today, I featured Jackie Carriera on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/24/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-jackie-carreira-writers-authors-isolation-covid19-coping-advice-inspiring/

Jackie is an award winning author, playwright, world citizen and huge movie fan She is also a very generous lady as she kindly sent me two of her books: The Seventh Train and Sleeping Through War, looking forward to reading these.

What Have I Been Up To?

In the morning I joined in author Lizzie Chantree’s writing sprint at 10.30am (to edit my YA romance.) Lizzie’s supportive Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

In the afternoon I braved the supermarket. I had tapas and cocktail ingredients to buy! Lockdown has it’s positives!

25th April, 2020

The highlight of the day came as my hubby David was washing his car with a jet power washer gadget which I’ve never seen before… When did he buy that? An unexpected visitor – what excitement – arrived at our door. It was Gina’s friend Elise who had popped round with a present to thank Gina for the present she’d had for her birthday! How eccentric to give your friend a present when it’s your birthday. Lockdown does that to people. Sweet. The two of them chatted for a while (at a safe distance,) and then Gina came in carrying her present looking much cheerier for having seen her friend for a while. The gift bag contained a lovely goodie bag full of treats. Lucky girl!

Earlier in the day I emailed my mum who’s getting fed up. She is very active for a 78 year old lady. Apparently, she has been doing Spring cleaning and painting but has now had enough of it. I don’t blame her!

I’m a bit worried about the painting… I hope she hasn’t been climbing up ladders!

The other funny thing about today is I forgot what day it is.

I submitted a 300 word piece to be featured in Writers Write – CoVID-19 Reflections on Quarantine on Saturday 25th and I completely forgot all about it.

Lockdown does that to you, you forget what day of the week it is.

 I’m pleased to say it was accepted for publication, along with several other excellent entries: https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/reflections-on-a-pandemic/

In the evening, we had the tapas meal which was more tricky than I expected as our bottom oven wasn’t working.

It took forever to make all the little bits and pieces. The predominate ingredient seemed to be CHEESE – cheese balls coated in breadcrumbs, melted cheese Camembert (which my daughter Gina spelt Cannon Bear on the shopping list!) I thought that was kinda cute – she has always struggled with spelling being somewhat dyslexic – and Nachos with cheddar cheese. We also gobbled down home made wedges, sweet peppers filled with rice, chorizo and tomatoes, cold meats, sausages, cucumber strips and olives. All mighty tasty. The only slight disaster was the Camembert which imploded in the oven. It must have been those Cammon Bears getting up to mischief! Still we saved what we could, it wasn’t too bad.

I didn’t care too much for the Aperol cocktail concoction that the girls insisted upon but they loved it. We dressed up and took some photos by a flowering plant in our garden. It was a great evening which seems odd considering all that is going on in the world. It seems our only way to cope is to try to fill our days as best we can.

During lockdown it’s the little things that mean so much. Family time is precious.

Before I go, perhaps I might suggest a little Lockdown reading:

My poetry, prose and photography book – Mr. Sagittarius

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

I just discovered a new review, thank you Adele <3

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

My YA Fantasy – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone.

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Images of Esme The Mirror Girl and The Creature via Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/

You can see the images in full on Carolina’s blog: Characters Illustration – A Collaboration with Author MJ Mallon – 1st Stop Blog Tour! #ABRSC

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Coronavirus Diaries #COVID19 #Blogging #Anniversary #Six #Years #Book #Reviews

Hi all, yesterday was my six year blogging anniversary – I am a bit of a slow coach celebrating but better late than never. So it’s happy six years to me!

And it has been. Happy. The last month maybe less so, but there are positives: spending more time with family, relaxing more, (apart from when I’m feeling anxious,) and having more time for writing which is a big plus.

Here’s my latest news of the family, writing, blogging kind… plus a poem about a golden dragon at the end. He is worth the wait as I promise he will take you places…

18th April.

Daughters and I were doing our nails again when I found a very soggy biscuit in my crisps! Ugh. Disgusting.The crisp manufacturer admitted that his was probably a build up of flavouring rather than a biscuit! Perhaps they might give me some free crisps… We’ll see.

Started doing blog posts about Coronavirus and isolation for creatives, Richard Dee is my first guest. I post about this on Book Connectors and receive more interest than I anticipated. In fact, I am somewhat overwhelmed and have to request that I get back to a few people ….

19th April

My 300 word submission to Writers Unite Blog is accepted for publication on next Saturday. Yeah! Spoke to mum and dad on Skype and a little worried to see that my dad is coughing. Apparently, their neighbours have given them a settee which is in their garage. Hope they maintained social distance when they accepted it into their property.

20th April 21, 2020

Mum sent my daughter Tasha a text asking about apps for their local community group. Tasha couldn’t work out what app she meant. Mum mentioned it as if it was the only app in the world! She’s not very up to date with social media so I thought it best to call her which I did. I explained apps, the basics of how they worked and promised to get back to her with more details via Skype. Also, I sense she is getting bored and frustrated being at home, so I suggested that she sews some masks! She has loads of material including elastic. That will keep her occupied. I even said she might want to make some for us. To this end, I sent her a couple of links on how to make them. Who knows she might make loads!

This tells you how to make a face mask without sewing if you want one quick: 

https://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie/


And a more detailed instruction suggesting use of thick material such as cotton pillow cases or t shirts (doubled up for extra thickness.):  

https://sarahmaker.com/how-to-sew-a-surgical-face-mask-for-hospitals-free-pattern/

Dad is still coughing so I’m worried about him and have asked Mum to check his temperature. He often coughs during the Spring/Summer and all year round for that matter so it is hard to tell whether it is one thing or another. Like me he has Allergic Rhinitis all year round.

Chez moi we did a gym workout in the garden – just my eldest daughter Tasha and I. My youngest daughter Gina is still asleep as she always tends to be until Midday. Boy, Tasha worked me hard but we had some giggles about my dodgy knees which always helps. I forgot to put my head scarf on, so my hair was dangling everywhere,and my glasses were falling off my face in downward dog.

Lol.

In the afternoon we did a bit of Spring cleaning. Cleaning isn’t my favourite pastime but needs must. Unfortunately, I chipped my lovely nail polish which made me cross! To make up for it I made a huge pot of Chilli Con Carne in the evening – comfort food. Everyone enjoyed it and every last drop was gobbled down.

I’m a bit worried about my youngest daughter, she’s been feeling anxious – this enforced stay at home is getting to her and to her boyfriend too. I have to keep an eye on her. Bless her. Her boyfriend lives far away. Apparently, she was telling me that some of her friends’ parents allow them to see their boyfriends. Risky tactic. I can just imagine letting them pitch a tent in the garden to spend ‘private’ time together! Oh my… Not in my house… Staying alive comes before love and kisses right now.

I’ve noticed I have this continuous headache whilst I am in the house, as soon as I go out the door it vanishes, miraculously – obviously a stress headache. When will this end?

I try not to dwell on the death toll, and the Government’s management of the crisis but I am worried. Particularly about the lack of PPE for nurses and doctors. This  is unforgiveable. They are our troops at the frontline; they should be protected. Without them, what would we do?

Today I wrote a book review of The Enhanced League by C. S. Boyack:

Recommended reading especially if you are missing the baseball season: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/18/isolation-for-writers-creatives-artists-and-book-bloggers-richard-dee-guest-author-isolation-coronavirus-thoughts-family-life-cov19/

And I received a new 5 star review for Mr. Sagittarius from Author/Poet Camilla Downs:

“I absolutely adore this book and will be sharing it with my 18 year old daughter. I enjoyed the different styles of poetry and prose mixed together with photography. It flowed beautifully. An uplifting, magical, sweet gem of a book.”

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3291542791/

And I discovered this review for Mr. Sagittarius on Amazon, thank you author Priscilla Bettis:

And also a few days ago I had this from Willow:

Customer Review

willow willers5.0 out of 5 stars A magical story told in poetry pose and photographyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2020What a magical Webb 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.

Thank you to all those who take the time to read and review. I so appreciate you, x

It’s my six year anniversary! Six years blogging can you imagine? Where did that time go? To celebrate I did some work on my next poetry and photography collection, collating all the poetry, images and placing them in order. I discovered three poems I wrote about dragons six years ago! I loved all three of these and they will be going in my new book.

Here’s a sneak peak of one of them that took me on an adventure…

Golden Dragon

Oh,

Mighty Dragon  

your fiery dare,

 Gleams in a challenge,

No childish mask,

Highlights your eyes.

Golden elixir promises,

Hang in the air.

Lining up

to slide off the curve

Of your celebrated tongue.

A challenge!

Adventuress, take a ride.

Will I,

or forever still,

 Remain in this moment.

Too fearful

To slip on temptation’s back.

To sail the secretive seas,

Witness the wonder of sunsets,

Smell the sweet aroma 

of Waterfalls,

Discover Dry Deserts

And Tempting Temples.

Cavernous Canyons,

Concealed Caves,

Resplendent Rainbows,

Rippling Rivers,

Incandescent Islands,

Languid Lakes,

Majestic Mountains.

Too many splendours.

Dazzle me,

I step back from

Tempestuous skies.

 Foolish, I.

Must I question

When I can do.

Trust my ever growing,

Heart’s desire

Please

Sweet

Mighty

Golden

Dragon

Take me,

With

You!

Phew, that dragon was a long one!

Love dragons.

Hope you are all staying safe and well.

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

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Coronavirus: #COVID19 #Epidemics #Polio #Thoughts #My #Week #Writer’sUnite #Writing

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

My week… well, those glasses look just like mine. Thank you Suzy Hazelwood for the lovely free image!

15th April

Not been feeling too good myself today. I had a strange stomach ache and the shivers. But good news a new review today from Willow about my poetry, prose, photography collection Mr. Sagittarius.

I felt a bit better later on in the day and wrote about two swans that my daughter Tasha and I had seen on the river yesterday.  I wrote a short haiku poem about the swans for Colleen’s Chesebro’s poetry challenge.

Here’s Mr. Swan.

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/15/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-173-synonymsonly-haiku/

16th April 16, 2020

Across the UK, 12,868 people have died, up by 761 on Tuesday.

Such a shocking headline. In my heart I believe if we had locked down earlier the death toll would have been so much smaller. One has to look at Greece to see that their swift decision to lockdown early on resulted in very few deaths.

Coronavirus Cases: Greece 17th April

2,207

Deaths:

105

Recovered:

269

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/how-greece-is-beating-coronavirus-despite-a-decade-of-debt

Sadly, we were not sensible in the UK. We should have paid attention to what was happening around the world.

Now, our lockdown in the UK is to be extended for another three weeks as we flatten the curve.

17th April

I slept badly, which I have been doing a lot. The lockdown is beginning to get to me. So, rather than lie in bed I dragged myself out of bed, started writing and drafted this blog post.

Coronavirus isn’t the first epidemic that the human race have suffered and sadly it won’t be the last. But for many, it is our first real experience of an epidemic and that in itself is frightening. I’ve been thinking about previous epidemics, particularly Polio which has been around for thousands of years. There are interesting comparisons between the two. Both are highly infectious, some Polio patients had no symptoms, most people did recover but a proportion died. Rather than mention all the statistics with regard to the two I’d just like to reiterate we’ve struggled through these trying times before and we will do so again. Most hospitals in the 1950s had limited access to iron lungs for Polio patients unable to breathe without mechanical assistance and now we have amazing advances in medicine but sadly there are shortages of equipment and PPE due to the vast numbers involved in some countries.

Polio struck at the young mainly. Can you imagine? Conversely, Coronavirus seems to be more dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health issues. Which again is terrifying for people with elderly parents and relatives. One striking difference between the two epidemics is our modern ability to travel, allowing viruses to be transferred to different parts of the world. In the 1940’s outbreak of polio there were no cruise ships, or aircraft to take people to worldwide destinations.  

It gives some comfort to know that there will be a solution and it should come quicker. Scientific research and expertise has advanced massively since the Polio epidemics. Intensive care medicine has its origin in the fight against polio.[145]The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk.[9] (Wikipedia.)

So sit tight, and stay safe. We will get through this. A vaccine will come.

In the meantime do check out this link regarding a breathing technique that helped J K Rowling recover from Coronavirus.

Links:

https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/07/doctor-reveals-breathing-technique-helped-jk-rowling-recover-coronavirus-12519

19th April

I am submitting a 300 word piece to Writer’s Unite see link below

In twenty years, what will you tell your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic? Submission deadline Midnight ET on Friday, April 24, 2020https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/covid-19-reflections-on-quarantine-invitation-to-essay/

And some links I discovered on the Facebook group Book Connectors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1466353170351020/

From Lisa Lowell – The World is Closed So Open A Book – https://magicinthelandlisalowell.wordpress.com/

From Kate Jayr – https://bubbitybooks.blogspot.com/2020/03/tips-from-natural-self-isolater.html/

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Coronavirus #EasterSunday #Fears #Family #Keepsafe #Grandparents #Grandma #Hospital #Anxiety #Worries

Easter weekend started off so well with the promise of sunshine, lovely food, Zumba in the garden and barrel loads of chocolate, and a new book review.

Saturday I received my first Canadian review for my YA fantasy The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. I was thrilled and posted about it on my Facebook feed.

But, this is what happened around lunchtime Easter Sunday.

My mum hasn’t been too well and in the morning her face swelled up from her right cheek all the way up to her eye. I saw how bad it was whilst skyping with her at 1pm. (My mum and dad live in Edinburgh.) I mentioned I’d google her symptoms and get back to her with some advice.

Well, I did just that but when I tried to call her back her phone was engaged. I rang and rang. I called her on the landline and on her mobile – still no reply. My mum never keeps her mobile on! It turns out she had been calling the 111 number for 45 minutes. That doesn’t bode well if you are gasping for breath and needing urgent care. Eventually, she got through and was advised by the doctor to go to the Royal Infirmary Hospital.

At last I managed to talk to her just as she was about to leave the house in a taxi. My dad was throwing a nervous fit about her going to hospital at this time, so near the peak of COV19. Rightly so. But, as she has glaucoma, not going could mean she might go blind.

He was also upset that he didn’t go with her. My lovely dad even called himself a coward. Poor dad, he’s thirteen years older than my mum. At ninety one, he’s no coward. Far from it, I reassured him that he did the right thing staying at home. Bless him.

So, what next? I called my brother who like me was worried, and a little upset that mum had gone out gardening and been bitten by something… Instead of staying away from unnecessary chores. Normally, mum and dad have a paid gardener to do their garden upkeep, but with the Coronavirus…

On the way to the Royal Infirmary the taxi driver kept mum entertained. He was a very chatty guy, (as is my mum who loves nothing better than a good old natter,) but his speciality is: doom and gloom. Poor mum had to listen to his thoughts on deaths, suicides, and all manner of Coronavirus horrors. Not really what you need whilst on the way to hospital.

When the taxi driver arrived neither he, nor mum could find where she was meant to be going. Her destination for treatment wasn’t A & E, thank goodness. She had to go to another part of the hospital, another building, a fair step, so it’s just as well my dad didn’t go with her. He would definitely have slowed her down.

No one else was there Thank God – No CoV19 patients – which I was worried about. The first thing they asked her to do was to clean her hands with the hospital gel. Good to know. She saw the doctor straight away who checked the swelling on her cheek and prescribed her antibiotics. And she was out of there as fast as her 78 year old legs could take her.

I suspect in a weird kind of way it was a little adventure for her. Being cooped in day after day does strange things to your mental health. And mum loves to chat and go out. Now she’s home, as a precaution she’s washed all her clothes, taken off her shoes and coat and washed her hands.

Hospital is really not the place to be going at the moment. But I understand that she had to go. Sometimes there is no choice.

Phew, now I can relax a bit. Please God. Keep them safe and well.

All seemed calm until…

The evening… when my youngest remarked that she didn’t feel well. This kind of announcement pre-coronavirus would normally be met with a general look of concern and a “What’s wrong?” But nowadays the response is heightened to: sheer panic, searching looks and examining symptoms. It seems that she has a stomach ache – I reckon anxiety has brought this on – about life in general, her study /work worries, and sadness at not seeing her Grandma’s and Grandpa. Grandma’s going to hospital probably triggered this. But, nevertheless I will be keeping an eye on her. Worrying times.

How was your Easter Sunday? I hope it was okay?

There are no certainties in this strange world we are living in. All we can hope for is that we stay safe and well, care for each other, and let kindness prevail.

Stay safe, don’t go out unless you have to. And only go to the hospital if your doctor advises you that you must.

I discovered these posts on Levine Lowdown – about the political, economic, and mental health aspects of Coronavirus by Guest author Sam Zweck and The Positives of Coronavirus. Please do read:

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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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