Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself. Colleen’s prompt words this week express my morning breakthrough in such a wonderful way. I’ve been writing my prologue for Book Two of The Curse of Time and I had a BREAKTHROUGH. The words flowed so effortlessly I wanted to do a happy dance. As I was beetling away writing the prologue I suddenly had an unexpected flash of inspiration. I’m going to start each new chapter – (Puzzle Piece,) with a Cinquian! Bring it on.
Wait a minute, I have no clue how to write a Cinquian. Never fear… Colleen is the Queen Bee of mentoring! She is a fabulous source of inspiration and her blog is full of useful information, so without further ado, I popped over to read up on how to write a Cinquain. I discovered there is a reverse Cinquian too. Boy, this is getting exciting! More happy dance! What a morning…
Here is a tiny excerpt (unseen until now!) about Cinquians from the first (unedited,) draft of the prologue of The Curse of Time – Book Two – Golden Healer:
I’m so stressed. My go to when I’m stressed is writing. Poetry. It’s my number one anxiety solution, a bunch of words in a tight format make me feel better. But somehow I don’t feel in the mood for Tanka. There have been too many weird changes for that. I need a new more challenging form of poetic expression. I’ve heard about Cinquian. It’s very formulaic, first line is the title, second line add two adjectives that describe the title, third line stick in three verbs that express action, fourth line are four words that shout out feeling or describe more and the fifth line takes it back to the beginning. Closure. That appeals. The fifth line is a synonym of the first line. Sounds good. If anything will take my mind off my present anxiety this will do it. I feel it in my gut. Cinquain. I like it. It sounds like a cash register. Not that I’m materialistic but I feel a Cinquian coming on. Bring it on!
So to my Cinquain. I’ve used synonyms – Quantum Leap and sign.
That last line was a struggle. I had one of those ‘can I really do this moments.’ But I like a challenge so I didn’t give up. Then I found the word. Auspicious. Oh, I do like auspicious! I hope it brings me luck. 🙂
Any feedback for this novice Cinquian writer would be gratefully received.
Bye for now you lovely peeps,
Date for your Diary! My paperback is due for release mid April. The pre-release blog tour begins in April with my #ABRSC club pals, followed by a release tour with Neverland Blog Tours. (Jenny Marston is also a #ABRSC member!) http://neverlandblogtours.weebly.com/
My Social Media:
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Our Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:
Circumstances of Childhood.
By John W. Howell
It is my great pleasure to welcome John Howell to my blog. John’s book Circumstances of Childhood is available to purchase today, October 1st which happens to be my brother’s birthday! So, with that in mind I decided to post this today.
Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.
This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.
Here is the blurb:
When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?
Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.
His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.
If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.
Here is an excerpt.
I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.
When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?
I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.
For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.
“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
John’s other books.
Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Today, I am delighted to welcome S C Skillman to my blog with her blog tour post and discussion about inspiration.
By SC Skillman
For Marjorie Mallon
Inspiration, Motivation, and Keeping to the Path
Being an author in today’s world is a much tougher journey than one might ever believe, when one first conceives the desire to write stories.
I was inspired at the age of seven by the adventure stories of Enid Blyton and wanted to write exciting stories like hers. Essentially my desire was to write about girls my own age doing thrilling and dangerous and intrepid things quite out of my own daily experience. I created two girls called Marilyn and Sylvia and wrote many stories about them. They were good, brave, beautiful, clever and talented, everything I wanted to be. In other words, the desire was for transformation.
And this is why I believe we read fiction. Our longing is to be transported from out of our own lives, our own minds, into the mind and heart of someone else, to enter into a different world, to be inside someone else’s skin, to share his or her joys and sorrow and hopes and dreams.
Listening to conversations and observing people and the interaction of their personalities has long fascinated me and is a large part of my desire to write. I wrote a detailed daily journal throughout my teens and twenties, which ran to many volumes, and in it I would often record conversations I had been a part of or had overheard, and observations about people I knew, including family relationships.
The changes in the publishing scene over the past couple of decades have held out a seductive allure to independent authors, offering power and autonomy. Yet the snares along the path are even greater. We have all these opportunities, but also there are many people pursuing the same dream, and recording their success and offering their advice on social media. This can prove overwhelming for sensitive, introverted creative people – which is the case with many writers.
So it can prove a lifeline when we find inspiring quotes to strengthen and uplift us. Here’s one, from St Paul: “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize.” And he also encouraged his readers with these words: “Only let us live up to all we have attained.”
Knowing that others have struggled for years and eventually, with persistence, won through, is a very helpful reminder for us when we start to doubt the value of our past achievements and allow it to weaken our faith in what we are capable of achieving in the future. My non-fiction book Perilous Path, an inspirational writers guide, contains several chapters which help authors to overcome obstacles in their path and how to use art and music as therapy as well as a source of fresh inspiration.
So, finally, what makes us carry on? We need to draw the water of inspiration and motivation from a reliable well. I found one particular saying of Sir Winston Churchill very powerful. When invited to speak to an audience of school pupils, who were all waiting to hear wise words from the great man, he said, “I only have five words to give you. Never, never, never give up.”
Today it is my pleasure to welcome Trent to my blog.
Here’s Trent’s take on inspiration. It’s fascinating …. I’m a dreamer too – I expect a lot of writers are – enjoy!
OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a dreamer. Not just any old dreamer, but a daydreamer. More than that, a daydreamer with an insatiable appetite to learn all there is to know about the world around me.
Typically, when we think of a daydream, we imagine someone dreaming about what they’d do if they won the Lotto, or found the perfect person as a mate, or made a great scientific discovery, or got a huge promotion, or… you get the point: people think of daydreams as improbable fantasies about the dreamer’s future.
Not me. (At least not always )
What if this legend is actually true, or if there is a basis in fact for that myth? What if, just beyond that latest scientific discovery that was recently announced, there is a deeper, more disturbing truth? What if I could see what you are thinking?
What if magic is real?
I am constantly on the move. I don’t have a Fitbit because I’m not concerned about the number of steps I do. Walking with people who do 10,000 a day, I know I do far more, at least if I include running.
There is something about walking that makes the creative juices flow. When I was in school and hit an impossible problem, I would just go take a walk and my subconscious would answer it. When I’ve researched some new discovery, or some ancient one that I recently decided to study, a walk makes me think about the topic. Thinking, of course, as I said above, leads to daydreaming.
And I’m a dreamer. A daydreamer.
Do all of my ideas for stories come this way, from a long walk? Of course not. I really enjoy prompts and typically write two flash fiction pieces a week. I think of doing the prompts as exercising my story writing muscles. Beyond the prompts, sometimes a complete storyline just appears in my head out of nowhere. And once I even had the idea for a book from a (real, night) dream (The Halley Branch, which will be the next book I publish). But typically, a longer, more involved work will be written in a series of walks.
A good example of that would be my book The Fireborn. It was born by just the type of daydreaming on a walk described above. I was thinking of history and myth and suddenly something gelled. I had a perfect storyline. As these ideas grew deeper and deeper, I realized I had a book on my hands, not just a short story. Over the next month, before I wrote a single word on “paper” (or electrons), I wrote the entire book in my head. Every time I’d leave the house, I’d pick up on The Fireborn just where I left off. Sure, I changed quite a bit once I started actually dictating it to myself and writing it out, but all of the main ideas were there.
In my opinion, anything and everything can be the source of inspiration for a daydreamer. There is nothing too large or too small. A word, a phrase, a photo or a drawing can often bring out an idea. Sometimes it’s a song, or even just a sound.
I started this blog almost four years ago mostly as a place to promote The Fireborn (I know, it took long enough for me to break down and publish it). Since then I have posted almost 500 works of fiction, from 100-word micro-stories to 8,000-word short stories. I have put up three serialized novels and am working on a fourth. They were all written because I am a dreamer. A daydreamer.
You can catch some of these dreams in my book of short stories Seasons of Imagination. And, of course, there is the longer daydream that I recently put out, The Fireborn.
I hope you enjoy my little daydreams!
Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Robbie and Michael Cheadle to my blog.
This is a rare treat, a sugary inspiration. Enjoy!
About Robbie and Michael Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, will be available in early July 2017.
Hello Marje’s fans! My name is Cat, and I am a 20 year old diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder. Writing is one of my main coping mechanisms for accepting my diagnosis, so I am thrilled to share a part of me with you today.
Bipolar sounds like a terrifying, debilitating, life-changing disorder…and it definitely is. At times. When I was locked in my 2nd hospital, after getting out of my 1st one only 41 days earlier, I thought I had gone absolutely insane. And in a way, I had. I was misdiagnosed with depression and misprescribed an antidepressant that ended up making matters worse. Hospital-worthy worse.
But my 5th psychiatrist listened to me and changed my meds, and my 12th therapist listened to me and believed what I said, and I stabilized in six months. And here I am!
I write when I’m depressed. I write when I’m manic. Okay…I mostly write when I’m manic. And I write when I’m stable. When I sit down and open my laptop, I have no idea what to expect from my brain. I have no idea which me will come out. But today I have a theme in mind, thanks to Marje’s suggestion, and that theme is using quotes to explain what bipolar is and what it means to me. I hope you enjoy!
Four Quotes to Help You (and Me) Understand Bipolar Disorder:
“I have traveled through madness to find me.” –Danny Alexander
I started experiencing my first symptoms of bipolar disorder when I was 14 years old. Before long, I self-diagnosed myself as depressed. When I wasn’t depressed, I thought I was back to normal.
I didn’t know that when I felt normal, I was actually feeling manic.
It started with hypomania, which is a less intense form of mania. A patient who only experiences hypomania is by definition a patient who is never hospitalized for mania. Patients without full-blown manic episodes are diagnosed with Bipolar 2.
My hypomania didn’t detract from my life. Sometimes I was impulsive, but that was written off as a teenage rebellious phase. Sometimes I talked really fast and bounced off the walls with energy, but I was just labeled an extrovert, maybe with a little bit of ADHD thrown in. My experience mimics many other patients who do not get diagnosed properly, if they get diagnosed at all. Hypomania often looks like normal.
I don’t know if it was growing up or going off to boarding school or college or what else, but the full-on mania came. I was hospitalized. Twice. This was partly due to my misdiagnosis of unipolar depression and subsequent treatment with antidepressants. Antidepressants like Prozac close the mechanisms in the brain that essentially “suck up” serotonin, leaving more happy neurotransmitters for the depressed person. But more serotonin in a person with bipolar can induce a manic episode. And it did.
So when I was correctly diagnosed, I felt a wave of relief wash over me, softly pulling me into the comfort of the sand bar and telling me that the storm was over. My psychiatrist, the first person other than myself, did not only acknowledge my madness, but he accepted it. And he helped me. I figured out who I am; I understood why I felt the things I felt and did the things I did for the first time.
“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.” –David Jones
I’ve been scarce on social media of late as it was my daughter Natasha’s graduation this week and we had several days in Brighton enjoying the seaside and celebrating her success.
It’s been a time tinged with a touch of sadness and oodles of happiness too. Sadness that she is leaving Brighton and her much-loved university – Sussex – but happiness and promise to come. I can’t believe that it has been three years. It seems like yesterday that we dropped her off at her student accommodation. Her time at Sussex University has had its up and its downs – her first year was tough, especially as she fractured her ankle early on (just before Valentine’s day!) and she lived in a third floor flat on campus, (not a good idea on crutches) at what seemed like the furthest point from her seminar and lecture theatres. More about that here: An Unusual Valentine’s Adventure!
But, she didn’t come home; she carried on, braved it out and showed great character. I admire her resilience greatly, and couldn’t be a prouder mum!
I’m so glad she studied in Brighton, as this has meant several wonderful visits there! I have a great affinity to the sea, I’m always happiest when I can walk on a beach – even the squawking sea gulls don’t faze me!
So my Tanka this week is with that in mind, and the promising future that awaits my daughter and graduates this year. Seize those opportunities guys before the seagulls snatch ’em up!
I was particularly struck by an inspiring speech that Sussex University’s chancellor, the well-known comedian Sanjeev Baskar gave. He said that he took ten long, difficult years of struggle before he became successful. More about that here:
So don’t be disheartened if you are back home living with your parents, have a pile of debt or are not successful straight away. To begin with Sanjeev Baskar @TVSanjeev wasn’t even accepted as a student at Sussex University, but look at him now. Such inspiring food for thought.
Do comment, has your son or daughter graduated recently? Do you love the sea too?
Bye for now… much love,
My social media links:
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
Today, I’d like to share with you a new idea I’ve had regarding Author/Blogger/Writer Spotlights. I’ve decided to blast this out on a Monday using the hashtag #MondayBlogs Bad RedHead Media – Monday Blogs – Why You Should Be Participating– I hope this is okay Rachel, @BadRedheadMedia (I’m not promoting my own book!)
I shall be offering the opportunity to guest post on M J Mallon – Kyrosmagica blog with a special theme that means so much to me – Inspiration.
I just love this quote by Audrey Hepburn:
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
Authors will be encouraged to write a short post considering these prompts.
- What inspires you to write? This should be personal to you, but might include suggestions such as: a walk in nature, overheard conversations, a new job, a travelling adventure, a trip abroad, meeting a new friend, or an old flame, art, music, books you’ve read….. The list is inexhaustible! A strange inexplicable desire to write. Witnessing an altercation or an event, etc, etc….. I’d love to hear your experiences!
- Inspiration to keep trying and improving even when the writing journey gets tough.
- How to overcome writer’s block by focusing on refreshing new inspirational ideas.
- Favourite inspirational quotes that you refer to and sites such as Brainy Quote that you find inspiring.
- Authors and blogging friends that have your back and encourage you to keep on writing. They can be inspiring to.
- Overcoming obstacles through writing and creativity – photography, art, and music as therapy.
The piece should be in the region of 500 – 1,250 words and can include any or all of the above prompt ideas. I shall need accompanying promotional materials – author bio and cover reveals, a short summary of your book/s, excerpts, links to your blog and book.
Alternatively, if you’d like to follow the traditional format of interview questions, or a simpler author spotlight/cover reveal I’m happy to do that to. I’m an easy going kind of gal! Do get in touch if you’re interested.
Would you like to guest post? Leave a comment below, or email me for more details: email@example.com
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
Fellow Administrators of The Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club: myself,
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon and @curseof_time
The prompt words really attracted me to Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week…. (It’s a long time since I’ve joined in as I have been so busy!) as they relate beautifully to my manuscript – The Curse of Time, which I am close to finishing! I’m doing what I hope are the final edits – you never know if it is truly completed until you send it to your betas/editors!
I’ve written two haiku and used Canva to make them visually pleasing. The second one is using my own photograph of a nasty looking shadow!
To join in with Ronovan’s Prompt – I think the deadline is today, hope I haven’t left it too late: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-145-beautifulcurse/
Bye for now,
Have a lovely Sunday.
Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:
‘Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.
Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!
Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise – Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.
She adds tips on how to –
- Create an engaging profile.
- Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
- How to design a defining header.
- Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.
Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google. The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.
There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest. Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica
There are chapters on how to:
- Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try… Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
- Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
- Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
- Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
- A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.
Would I recommend it? Are you kidding? Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.
Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,) – find me here: My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica
A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂
DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review.
Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog
Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!