Isolation for Writers – Guest Post: Ritu Bhathal #Author #Writer #Poet #Blogger #COVID19 #Coronavirus #Isolation #Thoughts #Writing #Reading

I’m so thrilled to have Ritu join me today.

Ritu and I have met on several occasions at Blogging Bashes in London and we ‘clicked’ just as much in person as we do in our lovely ‘online,’ friendship.

So welcome Sis! When Ritu knew I was offering fellow writers a chance to join the online discussion about COVID19 – this crazy world we find ourselves in, she jumped at the chance.

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Ritu coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is Ritu’s answer:

Coronavirus.
COVID-19.
Unprecendented.
Social Distancing.
Quarantine.
Self-Isolation.
Lockdown.

These are all words we have heard countless times in the last few weeks.
What have they done?
Brought a wave of panic into your life?
Or are you someone who has taken to it rather calmly?
Well, for me, it’s been a bit like this.
When we first heard about this strange virus, schools were still open, yet I had students going off sick with mysterious illnesses for a week to ten days at a time.
Then the government called for school closures, followed by social distancing, and the UK version of Lockdown.
I say UK version because, though all non-essential businesses have been closed, we are still allowed out to exercise once a day, go shopping for food, and schools still need us teachers, but in a different capacity; as carers for the children of Keyworkers.


Once I got over the initial worry and shock of what was happening, I got excited.
This meant more time for me to get creative, when I was home. Book two has been started but had been languishing for a couple of months, as the business of daily life took its toll.
But, just because you have time, doesn’t mean you automatically switch to the creator of four thousand words a day – well, that doesn’t happen to me, anyway.
My creativity has been hit-and-miss to be honest.
I thought all this time would mean I could write, do some courses I signed up for but never got a chance to access, more promotion, lots of reading…


The reality has been quite different.


To start with, I am in school on a rota system, so I could be in for one or two days, but I don’t know more than a week in advance.
And there is the joy of having both kids and Hubby Dearest at home as well, so no time was distraction-free time either.

I sit with my laptop open on one of my home days, WIP loaded up, ready to write up a storm. Nothing comes.
I open a book to read. But I can’t get into it and put it down after a few pages.
Then I remember those courses. So, I manage another couple of modules on a creative writing course.
But no words.
After the first ten days, we were in official Easter holiday mode. Technically no different to the last few days, but I felt, mentally, that I was on a break.
I discovered online writing sprints on several Facebook groups that helped, and in a few days, I did double my wordcount.

The joy to read came back.

But then official term started again.


And I have now got online learning to do for school too, to justify us all being at home, even though we are still planning work for our children to do at home. As well as still needing to go in periodically.


Another killjoy to my writing spree.


I’m trying to be practical still have work, but I need my play too, which involves reading and writing.
So, I have taken time to re-plan and structure my WIP, and while doing that, I have got my juices flowing, again, I think.
My aim is to do school-based work in the mornings and use after lunch time to look at my creative projects, be it writing, courses or research for the WIP.
The evening is filled with family time, walks, cooking, reading, watching films and TV, and if I feel inspired, a little more writing time.
I’m under no illusions. At one point I thought I would end this period with a mainly finished first draft, but I don’t think that will happen.
I’ve had up days, days where I have felt productive in all areas of my quiet life, then there have been days where I have barely wanted to leave my bed.

Those days are the days that suck my creative well dry. The days I watch the news and the world gives me nothing to be hopeful about. The days I had that call or message to say a loved one was ill, or had passed away (twice, so far).
Still, I’m just thankful that I am okay, we are all healthy, and that, in itself, is the biggest thing.
I’ll keep trying to write, but I won’t beat myself up if nothing comes. These are crazy times. Messing with our heads.
If I can’t write my own words, I’ll read others. I’ll teach myself new things to make my words, when they do come, better.

But I won’t stop trying to write.


(Oh, and I discovered TikTok! Heaven help us all!)

Author Bio
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ritubhathal
And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon: Author.to/RituBhathal
Buying Link: myBook.to/PoeticRITUals


Buying Link: http://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

And my review of Ritu’s book: https://mjmallon.com/2020/02/09/book-review-marriage-unarranged-ritu-bhathal-arc-review/

And my review of Poetic Rituals: https://mjmallon.com/2017/10/26/my-review-of-poetic-rituals-by-ritu-bhathal/

Social Media Profiles
Blog Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com
Author Website: http://www.ritubhathal.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RituBhathal
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritubhathalwrites/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RituBhathal/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bhathalpadhaal/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56854412-ritu-bhathal
Mix: https://mix.com/butismileanyway
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritu-bhathal-48941648/
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@ritubhathalpadhaal

Ritu has been a great blogging/author friend. Like me Ritu believes in Team Work. It’s great when writers and creative souls come together to try to help each other.

We both support each other with book launches and the like because that is what friends are for.

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Isolation for Writers – Guest post: Willow Willers #COV1D19 #Isolation #Writers #Poetry

Hi Willow. Welcome!

I’m so happy that Willow can join me today. She is an old blogging friend, who I have met in person at several blogging bashes. An old friend in the logging world is referred to as a Blogging Sister!

So welcome Sis! When I mentioned my Writer’s In Isolation series I knew Willow would come up with something really fantastic and she has.

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Willow coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is Willow’s answer:

I really don’t know if writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope any better or worse than the rest of the population.  In fact, I don’t think I am coping all that well. I seem to be busier now than ever I was before Covid19 reared its ugly head. I really find it hard to find time –  to sit down and work on my blog – and the family even though they are not living at home, they take up most of my time. 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.

Marje: Indeed it should Willow. I am so glad that blogging has helped you and continues to help you cope with your current situation. It’s tough and I know you have had your share of problems. The poem which I’d like to feature today originally appeared on your blog in February and it is eerily true to life at the moment.

Willow: “I had no idea then how close to the truth it was, though I do hope the outcome is better than the one I predicted.”

Here’s Willow’s Poem:

The planet was struggling it’s true

From space it was no longer blue

It was suffering from millennia of wars and abuse

People pleaded for change, no use.

Most people tried to help Earth

They knew the planets worth.

Then came the plague

No respecter of king or knave

It cut through the ranks and top brass

No preference for age or class

It sent weak, old or young to the grave.

It emptied the streets and Malls,

Pubs, clubs and church halls.

It stopped the planes and the trains

The fat cats lost their profits and gains.

Huge nations brought to their knees

As scientists search for the keys

To the elusive cure to rid all of the bain.

Just when it could not get worse

Hate joined fear with a curse.

The people turn on each other

Neighbour, husband, wife, sister, brother.

Empty shops, no fuel they could not stand

Then all civilian movement was banned

The crops and animals died on the land.

Drones flew over head, all was scanned.

Mother Nature watched with a tear

Chaos in weeks, rebellion, extinction within a year.

*****

© Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/02/25/the-plague/

Bio – Willow Willers

I am the mum of three boys  all now grown and flown to live their own lives. Luckily they do keep in touch and visit often. I now have  two beautiful grandsons.

When I started this blog I had not long come home from hospital after an accident in which I broke my back, for the second time. I was in hospital for a month and had three operations.

It has taken me a long time to recover, I am still recovering but every day my body is getting stronger. It has taken a huge toll on me mentally I had to retire early on health grounds, I had to come to terms with finding out people I thought were friends were not. I had to make a new life for myself. Things I could do easily have become difficult. 

Writing poetry and prose has helped me a great deal.  I have made so many wonderful friends through blogging I think it has definitely saved my life. 

Marje: You have been through so much Willow. Bless you. You’re such a resilient, and amazing person.

Willow continues to amaze me – here are just some of her wonderful blog posts to give you a tiny flavour of who she is:

For the series What Day is It Anyway?This is part of LindaGHill’s #WDIIA :

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/what-day-is-it-anyway-monday-20th-through-to-thursday-23rd-april-2020/

Photo prompts and various other blog link ups:

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/thursday-photo-prompt-otherworldly-writephoto/

Song Lyric Sunday, Familiar Places.

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-18-2020/

Willow loves to share fabulous song videos on her blog. Here’s James Blunt… singing his beautiful heart out.

Thank you so much for being my beautiful guest Willow.

What a great poem, and a fantastic music video too. Thank you for sharing these with us.

Willow has been a great friend to me – beta reading, reviewing, encouraging, and sharing my blog tour posts like crazy! She’s a truly supportive person and has a wonderful blog.

So this is a Thank You to her for all the wonderful things she does.

Photo by Řaj Vaishnaw from Pexels

Do pop over to say hello.

Stay safe and well everyone.

Collaborative Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/

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Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 136 #PhotoPrompt

 

 

Who’s blue bike is that?

Oh wait, I see your shadow

Two bikes and two chairs

Two fruit scones, butter and jam

Two old friends sit by the light

 

To enter Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge follow the link:

 

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 136 #PhotoPrompt

 

 

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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A Huge Welcome To Artist Carolina Russo #Art #Music #Nature #Creativity

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome artist Carolina Russo to my blog. I consider her to not only be a talented artist but also a dear, sweet friend with whom I have a lot in common. We both share a great love of the beauty of nature, art, crystals, jewellery and music.

Such synchronicity!

Tell us about your artistic journey. Where did it all begin and what defines you as an artist?

First of all, I want to  thank Marje for inviting me to this interview and  for preparing these great questions. I appreciate  this very much. What a nice opportunity to be featured on her Blog.

Now about the beginning of my artistic journey… well it all happened the day I was born 😉 I am very thankful for the gift of  my artistic talent. I realized that I was very creative as a child. I loved drawing and creating things, and by the time I was a teenager I knew this was my calling. Creating art was what I wanted to do. My father is an Artist and I learned a lot just by watching his creative methods and  observing him working on his beautiful oil paintings. I was born in Italy, raised in a beautiful country which is bursting with Italian art, creativity, and history. I studied Art & Design and Jewelry design in Italy. I also have experience in Fashion, Graphic and Illustration Design.  I always wanted to be an Independent Artist with the ability to create freely  – which is what I am focused on right now. I have just redesigned my Blog yesterdayafter.com and included my own Carolina Russo Shop where I sell all my Art. This allows me to have direct contact with those who reach out to me. I also offer art on a commission basis and I love to collaborate with other inspiring people. If you like you can read more about my creative journey on a guest post I wrote a while ago here: https://yesterdayafter.com/the-designer/creative-journeys/

You create jewellery as well. I know your collections are ‘nature finds.’ What is it about nature,  salvaging, recycling, restoration, and transforming things that attracts you?

Pure Nature is one of the most beautiful things on our planet and needs to be preserved and not to take it for granted! I love nature and I love animals. I find it to be fascinating when I come across some wild nature finds of any kind, but especially fossil seashells, beautiful unique stones and other interesting little pieces of nature. I like to think when I find fossil seashells that they have been smoothed and shaped by the ocean waves with the helping hand of sand and rocks and that they are here on this planet for millions of years and saw it all!  I love to create unique pieces of jewelry with natural gemstones and crystals combined with my nature findings. Sometimes I also like to draw directly on stones or seashells adding my art  to their surfaces – to bring these discovered objects back to live a life in a different dimension – where they can still shine, bringing the magical vibes of nature to us.

What is your favourite crystal? And why?

Well this is not a easy question! I love so many crystals. I like to find out about their meanings and the energy of their healing powers! I love Blue Quartz because is a soothing and calming  crystal. It brings a relaxing and peaceful vibe to any kind of situation. Rose Quartz is known as the ” Love Stone.” This beautiful crystal emits strong vibrations and energy that clear and purifies, opening the heart to promote love in any situations.  And of course I like Sapphire which is my September birthstone. I like that it symbolizes purity and wisdom.

You live in California. Is this the perfect location for your art or do you miss your birthplace –  Italy? 

Well I love California. It is a beautiful place, but of course I miss Italy as it is the place where I was born and  grow up. I have been in Italy most of my life. My parents, brother and family are all there and it doesn’t often happen that we get a chance to see each other. Life events happen and the long distance makes it more difficult. About the location of my art I honestly  don’t  need a specific place to be able to create, this is one of the beautiful sides of being an independent artist. I can be artistic and create anywhere, and I love that! I mostly sell my creations online via my shop on my website. I actually just redesigned my Blog and included another section which is my Carolina Russo Shop https://yesterdayafter.com/shop/  where I have direct contact with customers anywhere in the world who are interested to my Art. All of my latest collaborations were  overseas in Europe. I am so happy about this, because I can work anywhere as long I have my supplies and an Internet connection. I paint at home in my little bunny hole studio.  I like to do everything by myself and I print all my Limited Edition Fine Art Prints of my paintings on my own. I want to give a 100% service to those who choose my art. I love to prepare my prints personally by adding final touches when I sign and pack them. I like to work on my pieces from the beginning of creation to the end to make sure that my customers have the most beautiful experience when they purchase from me.  My watercolor paintings and Limited Edition Prints are sold around the world – Europe especially England, Scotland, Germany, Norway,  USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and more.

I believe you create music album covers too. I’d love to find out more about this. And your favourite musical artists.

This is a great question!  Yes I do create music album covers.  It has always been  a dream of mine to create art for music artists and to collaborate with them. Recently I collaborated with  UK music composer Nu-San and created the cover for his soon to be released new Album “Nu Nostalgia” and I am so looking forward to seeing my art on Vinyl and CD.

Nu_San Album Cover ©CarolinaRusso_WBT1 (1)

This is the link to my Blog post about this great collaboration – I don’t know the exact release date yet but it would be sometime soon. https://yesterdayafter.com/2018/04/18/art-for-music-preview-album-cover-a-collaboration-with-nu-san/

I love music and of course I have my iconic bands that have accompanied me my whole life. On my Blog I often post about the music I like and follow, or mention new artists that capture my attention. Of course I have my favorites and right now I listen to Independent music artists like the Scottish band The Twilight Sad . They supported The Cure in their latest 2016 Tour and they are blossoming  in the music world. There are a few more music artists that I really like: I’d like to mention a band called Frightened Rabbit, sadly they lost their front man Scott Hutchison who recently died. If you follow me you will remember my watercolor painting Tribute of him, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my Limited Edition prints, is going to Charity and donated to SAMH Scottish Association for Mental Health, to help raise awareness for suicide prevention. Scott Hutchison Tribute Portrait_s (1)

As an Indie artist myself I love to support other indie artists and bands, like German band RIGNA FOLK and their front man Viktor Nordir – we collaborated together with a  video. I have created a combination of their music with my art you can see the video “Stillness” here: https://yesterdayafter.com/2017/11/17/art-inspiring-magic-stillness-video/   

I also had the opportunity to Interview Ewian and  James Radcliffe. I came across some of these great artists through my Blog and amazingly we have become friends, and through this friendship I had the opportunity to interview some of them.  I have a specific music taste, and maybe what I like doesn’t suit everyone, but I like to share what I find interesting. One of my Projects is a Collection named “ART FOR MUSIC” a series of artworks inspired and dedicated to  music artists. In this project and series, I have created artworks and portraits using several media, traditional watercolor paintings, ink drawings, digital art, photo manipulation. This art series is  featured on my Blog for the music artists that I have the fortune to collaborate with.

Like me you love to write poetry as well. Your poetry has been published in Spillwords, Visual Verse and Praxis Magazine. Have you a favourite poem that you’ve written that you’d like to share with us?

Thank you for your mention about my poetry, yes I love to write poems, Haiku, 50 words stories and short stories, I also like to illustrate them with my own photography or watercolor paintings. One of the future projects on my bucket list, is to create an illustrated book that includes my art and writings. I started writing poems when I was a teenager. I don’t write every day,  I only write when something inspire me, or when words comes  whispering to my mind and soul, silently and suddenly. Then I let the words flow from me. I am pretty pleased with my creative writings, I had some great feedback and I am very happy that some of my poetry is now published in nice Anthologies. It feels great to have my name listed amongst author contributors.  I love all of my poems – there is a lot of my own emotional experiences and deep feelings in each of them. Thank you for asking to share a favorite poem, I like to share : Emotions
https://yesterdayafter.com/2015/11/09/emotions/


It was brilliant collaborating with you. I love the portraits of two of my characters: Esme and The Creature that you created. Do you have a favourite character from the Curse of Time that you’d love to paint in the future?

    
We had a great experience during the making of your book!  I loved to collaborate with you and see two of your characters coming to life. You gave me some pretty good descriptions, precious details and information that helped me to visualize the characters. I loved to paint both of them especially as they represent two completely opposite looks.  Esme is sweet and delicate and so is the painting, while The Creature Eruterac is a pretty creepy creature.. I am not sure if my painting is creepy enough as your description of him was…LOL I love both characters designs and in my opinion it is beautiful to have some illustrations in a book. They sure add a special touch, also if they are only two images like you did it helps the reader to visualize the story more, sometimes art can reach out where words cannot. And now to answer your last question, I love Esme but I already painted her, so my next favorite character to paint would be Amelina, I am so looking forward to see what  happens next.

I want to thank Marje again and everyone that has taken their precious time  to read this interview. If you would like to see more of my work and discover more about me and my creative world please visit my Blog at yesterdayafter.com. Carolina xxx

Before Carolina goes I’d like to say how lovely this interview is and I’d love to share with you this gorgeous portrait that I had the good fortune to win via a blog post competition on Carolina’s blog. She chose the perfect portrait to send a fantasy enthusiast – Alice in Wonderland which is lovingly crafted in coffee and watercolour! 

IMG_20180909_093612_557

 

Thank you so much to Carolina for sharing her fascinating artistic life with us.

Bye for now,

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Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Founder of #ABRSC – Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

M J Mallon _ YA Author

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#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.

1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising.  Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and  is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago!  Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch.  Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.

Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:

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8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out,  I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support ClubMy fellow administrators of the group are Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.

Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.

 

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In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note.  There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…

Bye for now,

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My Links: 

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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#Weekend CoffeeShare: Sailing

 

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Hi Campers… oh no wrong club, sailors…

A Very Warm Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share which is hosted by Diana at Part-time Monster.  To join in this fun sharing idea do pop over to Diana’s blog: Part Time Monster Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee –

I’d say that I’m recovering from a sailing adventure!  And since I arrived back home I’ve been craving sugar and drinking frothy caramel lattes. Would you like to join me for one? I promise it will be calorific heaven, I might even serve it in a little coffee cup dinghy!

Last weekend we were away on a friend’s sailing boat. So I thought I’d invite you to come along with me to see some of the lovely places we went to. The photo featured at the top was taken at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

We began our yachting adventure in Southampton. With lots of goodies stowed aboard for our journey: food, wine, and an abundance of savoury and sweet treats we set off. It was quite a feat that Fat Bottomed Girl even got going! Who’s that you might ask? Stop being so cheeky. I know what you’re thinking… but… it’s the name of the well stocked sailing boat. Of course!

Our captain had everything covered, even providing yours truly and my daughter with sailing jackets, and of course obligatory life vests for everyone..

Here’s Captain Jon, our sailing aficionado.. (He’s been sailing since he was twelve…) with my hubby David on the right, sharing a Father’s Day bromance moment! Ahhh..

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C’est Moi, smiling widely… in my red sailing gear, you can’t see my hands but I’m sure I must be praying for good weather! WP_20160618_025

We’re all trying to keep the optimism up, by wearing our shades… all except me, with my compulsory glasses wearing. I have to see where I’m going. We don’t want any man or woman overboard issues. I say this because my husband has fallen off a boat a few times.. twice in the Mediterranean, and once in the UK, so it’s now best to keep an eye on him, and generally good advice to keep him away from the vino. Oh no, no chance! Only kidding, he fell off  last time while cleaning the boat on a boy’s trip (well that’s what he told me.) He hit his head and nearly drowned. Luckily one of his friends realised he’d vanished, and scooped him out of the water just in time. Quite a feat as he is over six feet tall.

So, on this trip we were hoping not to have to use this Man Overboard Rescue Sling. We did hear a few emergencies coming over the radio… but luckily the coastguard dealt with them pretty super pronto.

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My friend Diane is striking a laid back kind of pose. You can tell she’s used to this sailing lark! She isn’t about to do any life saving just yet, especially if it involves pulling a six foot man out of the sea. WP_20160618_023

Oh, mustn’t forget the two youngest members of the crew, my daughter Gina, and her friend Sophie. Somehow wearing the sailing attire seems to make them look a lot younger than they are… Sweet. Oh Dear she’s going to kill me for that remark..WP_20160618_031

Generally it was pretty much plain sailing. But there were a few we better pay attention to where we’re going moments, when all these yachts kept chasing us. Steady on!WP_20160619_008

Gina had a chance to take the helm. Here’s a sweet photo of the two of them… one to keep… as it was Father’s Day. Ahh…WP_20160619_001

We stopped for a bite to eat at a lovely bay at National Trust Nature Reserve – Newtown. As you can see it was a bit overcast, but nevertheless you do get a sense of the tranquility and unspoiled nature of the place. WP_20160618_033

For our last evening we splashed out and had a tasty meal at a very lovely restaurant in Yarmouth, called The George, which had this amazing restaurant with beautiful sea-views. As you can see the sky was now a hazy blue colour after being a bit grey!WP_20160618_052We also stopped for an ice cream at The Gossips cafe at Yarmouth, but whatever you do, do remember to keep that to yourself, as we don’t want that kind of information getting around..WP_20160618_049 (1)

We had a wonderful weekend.. though I have to say I still feel as if I’m in sleepy mode.  It must be that continual rocking motion. We had a long drive back home and stopped for fish and chips on the way back. Yum. All that sea air really makes you hungry!

Hope you had a great week. What have you been up to? Been sailing recently?

Hope you enjoyed my  Weekend Coffee Share post.

Cheers. What can I get you to drink?

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Hugh’s Photo Challenge Week 21 – Fresh

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This week I thought I’d have a go at Hugh’s Photo Challenge – the prompt word this week is Fresh. I had just the photo in mind, flowers….. I like to photograph flowers.

The bouquet below was a gift from my friend who came to mine for dinner a while ago. I like to photograph flowers when they’re still fresh and beautiful. I always think it’s sad when they die so this is my way to preserve them, and  keep them fresh for me to remember them at their very best. That way when I look at them I remember the occasion too, which is always nice, a lovely memory to retain.

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My friend and her daughter came round one evening for a meal, I went all Jame Oliver on them and made lots of fresh Italian food from scratch with fresh herbs, salad, and pasta!

It was a blast. Loved the company, the food and of course the beautiful flowers!

Here’s the photo of the salad (to the left,) it was so fresh, and inviting:  peppers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, oregano, cucumber,  and Greek feta…. It had a very fancy name:

Horiatiki saladhttp://www.jamieoliver.com/search/?s=horiatiki+salad

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I made Gennaro’s parma ham and red pepper with taglierini:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/search/?s=Gennaro%27s+parma+ham

To the right is my photo of the sauce. I’m afraid the photo didn’t quite do it justice. It was yum.

Enjoy!! There’s nothing quite like sharing home cooked food made with fresh herbs and love.

Oh, before I go I have some news for you. I’ve been particularly inspired recently and have been editing my WIP. (So I haven’t had so much time for blogging, apologies if I haven’t been taking part in all of my usual weekly activities. I’m really missing my haiku, writer’s quotes, blog battle, etc…… So I’m trying to do what I can when I can….)

Amazingly my WIP now stands at 84,338 words!! My baby has grown so much! It’s putting on weight, getting plump. I’m getting it ready for the final read with beta readers…. And I’m so much more confident with its progress…..

It’s now on Wattpad, and I’ve decided on a title.  Doing a happy dance… 

The Curse of Time. : https://www.wattpad.com/story/67166165-the-curse-of-time

Don’t be shy. Do have a read, comment… and share.

Thanks so much! I’ve really been touched by the enormous amount of support and encouragement I’ve had from the blogging community.

Love ya! xxx

 

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Don’t forget to pop over to Hugh’s blog to join in the weekly photography fun:

https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/04/12/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-21-fresh/

Do you like to photograph flowers too? And cook food? What’s your favourite types of food?

Do comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now, Happy Sunday, Happy dreams – fresh flowers and food!

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

In case you’re curious to find out more, do visit my links:

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/67166165-the-curse-of-time

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20419289-marje-mallon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

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

Tumblr: http://kyrosmagica.tumblr.com/

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#SundayBlogShare: Happy Mother’s Day Vibes

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Hi Everyone.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. HOPE YOU HAVE AN AWESOME DAY.

This mother’s been playing around with a new theme. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Do let me know if you like it.

I took the header photo at Cromer this New Year and somehow the image ended up looking more like a painting than a photograph so I thought I’d feature it on my blog. The jumping image above is from Pixabay, and seems a fitting image for my  Sunday message today: Those happiness vibes are on their way, jump for joy, Summer’s coming!

The lovely Suzie from Suzie Speaks https://suzie81speaks.com/ has a wonderful Sunday Hastag: #SundayBlogShare, on her twitter account @SundayBlogShare.

I will be following this #SundayBlogShare with a three day three quote challenge from Heena http://heenarathorep.com/ which will also be on the theme of happiness.. more about that soon.

My #SundayBlogShare is all about the many aspects of life that make me happy.

In no particular order:

  1. Sunshine. Yes those rays awaken me out of my winter grumpiness. I just love you Mr. Sunshine. I’m not a winter person so when Spring arrives I sigh in relief, at last the Summer’s coming…
  2. Beaches and the sea. I’ve always had a fondness for swimming, and beaches. This stems from childhood – I’d always be swimming, splashing around in an outdoor tropical pool, or a beach somewhere. I grew up in Hong Kong. My dad ‘s not your typical run of the mill Scot, he hates the cold weather so he did the unthinkable,  he escaped abroad, and married my mother, a Malaysian lady many years his junior. Rascal! He’s always been a wanderer, in fact if he had been born today perhaps he’d have had his own travel blog! That’s a thought. A lot of my friends thought I had such a lucky time of it going to visit my dad in far off places, but I missed him when he was away. To name a few of the exotic destinations he’s worked in:  The Middle East, Far East, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Caribbean, Africa, Senegal, Hong Kong… you get the idea.. Quite the adventurer..
  3. Eating. Yes I love my grub, be it savoury or sweet, spicy, asian, or good old-fashioned shepherd’s pie.. I love it all. I might have a skinny body but my little rounded tummy proves it.
  4. Family. Are so important to me my daughters are such a light in my life. I am so proud of them both, they’ve grown up to be such wonderful young women. I’ve been with my hubby since I was a teenager, can you believe that? Young love, it is the strongest, most passionate kind!  The extended family are my rock too. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have such a lovely, close-knit family. We might not be perfect but we are always there for each other.
  5. Mum. Being a mum is great and having a great mum is awesome. We mothers deserve a huge pat on the back.
  6. Friends. Where would we be without our pals? Pretty lonely and miserable I’d say. My network of buddies include those I’ve known for too many years that I’d to care to admit to, friends I’ve met in Cambridge, and pals I’ve met through social media. You’re all fabulous.. Love you all.
  7. Edinburgh. I love visiting Edinburgh – my old home town, that definitely makes me happy. My mum, dad, brother, and in-laws are still there, as are my old school pals! So it’s always nice to go back and see everyone. I particularly love to go up during the Edinburgh Book Festival, and The International Festival, which are both in August.
  8. Books. I adore reading, how those printed words transport you to a very special place, stirring up your emotions, making you laugh, cry or shout in protest. There’s nothing that makes me happier than reading a particularly sad book!
  9. Writing. Of course this would have to appear on my happiness list. The writing part gives me great joy as I create, but I have to say the editing is an altogether different experience, it is a troublesome kettle of unwieldy fish!
  10. Theatre. Film. Dance. I love going to the theatre, and to dance shows.  So whenever I can, I take the opportunity to go. Both of my daughters are  keen too, my youngest is a dancer and my eldest has always been fond of drama. Each August I always make a bee-line for the Edinburgh International Festival. I’d love to go to the cinema more often – this is on my to do list – when I pop along I enjoy it so much.
  11. Art. Photography. I love art, and photography. I’m not an artist, but I appreciate the value and beauty of artistic endeavours so much. I have developed quite an interest in photography which I hope to explore more in the future.
  12. Cats. I love cats, but sadly I don’t own one, my husband is allegedly allergic… it’s a shame really. I could just see myself as one of those writers with my cute muse the cat.. I can see all my imaginery instagram photos… perhaps I could borrow one? Any offers? A black cat would be good, or a cool ginger one with bags of character…
  13. Travelling. I love to travel to widen my horizons, though recently this has been difficult due to lack of funds.. !! Ah, having an eldest daughter at University has really cut into the household budget in a very nasty way.
  14. Baking. I’m not really a savoury cook, unless it’s curries, or stir fries, those I can happily do. My hubby is better at roasts, meat and fish dishes. I tend to be more of a sweet cook. I love my puddings, cakes and biscuits…
  15. Being a bit silly. I think I missed the ‘How To Be A Grown Up Workshop,’ so I’m still prone to being somewhat teenage-like at times. Personally I think that’s an asset if you want to be a children’s author. So no problems there.
  16. Alternative Therapies. I have a fondness for aromatherapy oils, reflexology, and all those weird and wonderful therapies out there. I am also curious about the Zodiac, and the Chinese Zodiac too….
  17. Crystals. I love crystals. The colours, different shapes and properties of crystals fascinate me.
  18. Blogging. Goodness me I can’t believe I nearly forget to mention that! That would be remiss of me. Yes, I love blogging. It’s such a wonderful way to make friends with like-minded people from all over the world to share  thoughts, feelings and observations. It’s the best.
  19. Haiku. I’ve discovered that I love writing Haiku… If it wasn’t for my blog I’d never of thought of writing haiku. I’m so glad I did.
  20. Jewellery. Another love of mine… how could I have left it to last? My favourites are earrings and bracelets. They can be costume jewellery, or more expensive, it doesn’t matter as long as they catch my eye! I hope I might be getting some little pieces for Mother’s Day.
  21. Chilling. Relaxing and doing things my own sweet way makes me happy. I’m not one to rush through life, though I do hop about a bit.. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the rabbit!

This post has been waiting patiently for me to write in response to an earlier ditty that I did about the things that annoy me: https://mjmallon.com/2016/02/10/one-liner-wednesday-you-piece-of-chicken/

Oops I have to confess that my moans outweigh my happy vibes! That doesn’t sound good…..Life is all about balance, so there you have it the Yin and the Yang of my happy dragon is somewhat overpowered by my stroppy, ferocious, dragon!

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Perhaps you’d like to join in and do a Yin and a Yang post too about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and/or stroppy!

Have a very Happy Sunday everyone, and a Happy Mother’s Day too! I’m going out later for a coffee/lunch with my daughter… what are you all doing?

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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