Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Live Author Talk

Those bloody motorbikes can’t they stop! 1 A.M. no chance I’ll get any sleep. Tomorrow’s the live show. Never done this before. What will it be like? I’ll soon know. Introverted writers, tonight at 9 p.m. I’ll talk live. Bound to be a problem with the connection. We’ll get there… I did it! I listen, damn, I can’t see my weird mannerisms, but I can hear them. Perhaps I should have had some water instead of that glass of wine, stupid faux pas, one or two!


On Saturday evening I participated in my first Facebook live interview with horror and fantasy indie author A. F. Stewart’s Between The Pages Book Chat. I’m sharing it here so that others can see that even if you are daunted, (terrified) by the idea of speaking live, you can still give it a go. Looking back at the recording there are things I wish I’d said and some I wish I hadn’t said, or repeated as much! It’s funny how we waffle… or I do anyway. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn and improve. It’s not perfect but the main thing is I tried. I’m giving myself brownie points for that!

And wondering if I seriously need a haircut! Looking like a lock down woman…

I’ve also been participating in Carrot Ranch Community 5 at the Mic, which is a grand opportunity to share your writing to an audience, in a safe space. You can start by being an audience and then move on to reading your work.

More about that here:

At the Carrot Ranch blog you can also listen to Ellen Best, Anne Goodwin, Paula Moyer, and Bill Engleson: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/06/saddle-up-saloon-one-shy-of-a-six-pac-at-the-mic/

So, how you feel about participating in live recordings. Have you tried? Does it make you want to hide?

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Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Charli Mills encourages writers to participate as readers or audience in 5 at the Mic, (video recordings of live readings of our creative writings.) I’m there, (with my humorous tale – the bubble monster,) along with Bill Engleson, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin and Ellen Best all sharing our writing gems by reading aloud!

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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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.

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The last time my eldest daughter left home I wrote a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch which I entitled The Riptide Suitcases expressing my emotions at my daughter moving abroad.

The Riptide Suitcases

The riptide hid in two shallow suitcases. Foreign tee-shirts lay crushed against jumpers, jeans pressed unfolded next to sandals and boots. I lifted my daughter’s larger suitcase up; it was heavy but not as heavy as my swirling heart.

No traffic impeded our journey. The ripples began early, too early. We shared coffee but didn’t eat. The departure gate beckoned. The riptide began. It burst out of me. I cried, no I wailed. Guilt crashed against waves of sadness. Sadness wrestled and drowned my heart. Never again will I feel such depths of emotion. My adventurer, daughter had gone.

Here is the link to that piece of emotional flash: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/18/september-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

That was three years ago. Natasha stayed in South Korea for a year and absolutely loved it. I’m so proud of her for taking that courageous step, to travel to the other side of the world to teach English takes a considerable amount of guts especially when you don’t speak the language and you are so young. She was the youngest EFL teacher in her school, newly graduated from University.

You can see a little about that here: (unlike her mum she never really got into blogging, she only wrote two blog posts! )

https://tashainkorealand.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/this-place-sure-has-soul-my-first-trip-to-seoul-south-korea-part-1/

It’s been such a confidence boost for her. What an experience!

Today, she is travelling again but not so far this time – to Glasgow to study to be a secondary English Teacher. I wish her luck, happiness and success.

I wrote about our trip to Glasgow, ( looking for accommodation,) and a poem here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/03/06/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-167-poetschoice-haiga/

Why Scotland? Natasha has always loved it. My hubby and I always make Edinburgh our home-from-home, so it’s no wonder that at least one of our children might decide to stay there…

This is my piece of flash:

This Life

Three years ago, we said our goodbyes at the departure gate before that first flight. How I cried. I wept for a day, and the next day I wept without weeping. My darling daughter gone so faraway. She braved how scared she was. Now, she is adventuring again – not so far this time! And yet her friends miss her already. I miss her already. This is life, young adults are always moving, taking those steps to independence. They never leave your thoughts. They’re always a part of you, wherever they are.

Daughters always stay in your heart.

***

It will be my youngest daughter’s turn next – Georgina – and then it truly will be empty nest syndrome! Still, I still have her for now… Yay!

Having spent so much time with both of them during lockdown I know I will find it especially hard.

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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:

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19th July – New Release: This Is Lockdown #Anthology #Compilation #Diaries #Poetry #Flash #Stories

Thrilled to say that tomorrow is the launch day for This Is Lockdown, a compilation of diaries, flash fiction, poetry and short stories, an anthology: from the ‘isolation writers,’ on the topic of isolation for writers and creatives during COVID19, plus brilliant poetry and writings.

Blog Tour and features coming up….

19th July – Promo at M J Mallon’s blog – Recap of all the great promos: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/19th-july-new-release-this-is-lockdown-anthology-compilation-diaries-poetry-flash-stories/

20th July – M J Mallon – Quotes from the collection: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/20th-july-release-day-this-is-lockdown-compilation-anthology-writing-authors-lockdown-poems-flash-diaries-contributors/

21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-write-stuff-with-m-j-mallon.html#more

22nd July – Ritu Bhathal – Blog Tour and Excerpt: https://butismileanyway.com/2020/07/22/this-is-lockdown-blogtour-marjorie_mallon/

23rd July – Richard Dee Blog Tour and Review: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/this-is-lockdown/

24th July – Debby Gies D G Kaye ( Q and A, Excerpts and Early Review) https://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-this-is-lockdown-anthology/

25th July – Marian Wood – Final Day of The Blog Tour. https://justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk/2020/07/25/this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

Early Promos:

10th July Lorraine Macehttp://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

A huge thank you to those who featured us during the pre-release:

13th July: Sally Cronin: 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/comment-page-1/#comment-316239

14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A):

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/

And on 17th July I shared a double promo for two books:


17th JulyDouble Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park’s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons:


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/

18th July Sally Cronin a 5 star review: 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/

I’m thrilled that Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val have contributed a piece about their fundraising venture #CommunityMasks4NHS sharing their amazing face masks for the NHS health service and free masks for charities and not for profit organisations.

To date Jane and Melissa have raised a staggering £30,000.

And the masks are really cool! Here I am wearing a sea themed one. Yes, I am missing the wee fishes! No snorkelling for me… No holidays abroad. Sigh. So, I am spreading the word… get yourself a face mask, perhaps one for each day of the week!  

The awesome contributing authors are old friends and new…

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Humorous Dark Comedy,) 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, (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

I’m so glad I started this project, it has connected me to new friends in the author world and strengthened ties with old pals too.

Sweet.

There is such variety in This Is Lockdown… something for everyone.

In fact, Willow referred to it as:

A piece of living history…

Poetry, diaries, writings, humour, thoughts, feelings, fears and hope.

Without hope the human race is lost. Keep hoping for a better world.

I hope you enjoy This Is Lockdown, I truly enjoyed writing, compiling the anthology featuring numerous authors and bringing it all together – it is my first anthology!

Kindle Buying Links:

Amazon UK link: 

Amazon USA:

Universal link:

mybook.to/Thisislockdown

What an experience it has been. I’ve learnt new skills: how to use Kindle Create and how to design an ebook cover.

So, what’s next – the paperback perhaps? I may hire someone to help, decisions, decisions!

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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/

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Of This Is Lockdown: Book and Blog Tour – Becoming The Muse

Thank you to Beaton for this wonderful blog tour post for the release of This Is Lockdown. It is currently on preorder and will be released 20th July. Available via Amazon Kindle.

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

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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

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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.

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