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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.. 🙂
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!
Colleen’s prompt words this week for Tanka Tuesday are Craft and Rise – (I used soar instead of rise.)
I thought I’d apply Colleen’s two prompt words to the act of writing itself. Without a doubt, all my blogging/writer friends will know just how consuming and frustrating writing can be! Perfection is desirable but so difficult to achieve! To succeed in getting the perfect words on the page is a bit like trying to capture the ebb and flow of the oceans. Sometimes you hit moments of perfection but mostly you’re fighting the tide of your own demons, the depth of your imagination, and how far your final words may take you.
So with that in mind, this is my Tanka for this week…
#Tanka Tuesday, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines
Phew, it took me ages to write my Tanka this week! My words were buried in the sand at the bottom of the ocean but finally, I managed to coax them up to the surface.
I do hope my Tanka inspires you. Perhaps one day that masterpiece might just reach your shore!
Keep on writing!
Bye for now.
What better way to start a New Year than to glance back in time? To take your own personal tardis and whizz back and reflect on all that you have achieved in the last year or so.
Perhaps you are still chasing a dream like I am?
The dream of being a published author, or poet, or renowned artist, or photographer. Whatever your dream might be there is bound to be a moment in the past that you’d like to share with your followers? Maybe an inspirational post?
Or there might be an article that you wrote a long time ago that meant a lot to you, and you’d now like to bring it to the forefront of your followers attention again.
Whatever the reason do feel welcome to join in with my new monthly bloggers link up. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s exciting!! LOL!!!
After a long struggle it does appear that 2017 will be my year to publish. I am feeling much more confident about this after all the ongoing help I am receiving from the marvellous blogging community. So with that in mind I’d like to share with you a post that I originally published in June 15th 2014. This post highlighted the extraordinary beauty of a crystal grotto that I visited in Juniper Artland. This grotto was one of my early sources of inspiration for my YA manuscript about a mysterious Crystal Cottage, which I have since entitled The Curse of Time. It is my intention that The Curse of Time will be at least a two books series, perhaps a three! With book one featuring The Bloodstone, and book two The Golden Healer.
So let me introduce you to my photos of the Grotto….
Aren’t the crystals magnificent? I was totally enthralled by these gleaming beauties. It inspired me to write a story about a hidden, magical, but vulnerable place . In time the story grew and grew to encompass several themes: light, darkness, shadows, myths, time, deception, et cetera, et cetera, and oh a curse, or two.
So next time you visit a beautiful place just stop for a moment and allow yourself to fall in love with it. You might just find yourself on a wondrous journey.
If you’d like to join in with my bloggers link up, please draw attention to your old posts by writing a short blog post as I have done and then add your links to the comment field of this post. If you wish you may use the photo at the top of this post as your blog post header.
Also if you wish you can link your posts to a popular hastag #Throwback Thursday #THT or if you’re posting on a Friday #FBF #FlashbackFriday. These are great link ups for old photos, or memorabilia…
More about that here: Lifewire – Throwback Thursday
Shake out your old posts and give them a new lease of life.
I do hope you decide to join in, the more the merrier!
Today, I thought I’d join in with Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka poetry prompt. I’ve never written a Tanka before. I have had some experience of writing haiku so hopefully, it shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, it’s just a case of adding two extra lines at the end of a haiku format, so instead of 5,7,5 we have 5,7,5,7,7…. in the first section you put forward the image in the reader’s mind that you want to convey and the final two lines should express the poet’s ideas about that image.
Colleen’s prompt words are:
Bloom and Late
So here goes… Be gentle on me it is my first Tanka!!
Ahem, I’m not quite sure where that last line came from…. LOL!!!
© Marjorie Mallon 2017 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
Do pop over to Colleen’s blog and join in the challenge too…
Bye for now,
In Sacha’s words:
So, your challenge this week is to boil your plot down to its simplest form. This isn’t marketing 101, don’t try an sell me your book like a pitch sentence. This is purely about plot. Tell me your entire novels story in three sentences.
If you want to join in, you can pop your sentences in the comments on her blog or in a blog post and ping back so she can find it. You have until 12pm on the 28th August.
No pressure… three simple sentences. Somehow, that sounds a bit unrealistic, simple sentences, there is nothing simple about my plot, convoluted, yes, but simple, No! But, this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time, because right now this is the kind of activity I’m engaging in… writing blurbs, author bios, etc, trying to get everything ready for my novel release this coming autumn.
Here are my three sentences:
Da da dee da,
Da da dee da,
Da da dee da!
Only joking… though I did think the da da’s had a certain ring to them, not sure about those dee da’s! Cup of tea perhaps? Sacha did suggest that we boil our plot! Maybe not… Perhaps I should indulge in a bit of FB? Twitter? Instagram? But no selling… OK, I could be nosey, see what folks are up to… Or I could go for the simple approach.
Right, no mucking about, concentrate Marje, stop procrastinating! You can do this…
Ah, I know what to do, doodle, get a cute doodle pad and write a few words on it:
That will do the trick… Don’t plan, just write…
By now, you really must be thinking this gal has gone a bit doolally twist… perhaps.
Enough! This procrastination is really becoming a curse.
Here is my contribution, my three simple sentences for my WIP: The Curse of Time.
Amelina Scott doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from the cruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow hides, crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten to bring Amelina full circle on the ride of her life.
I thought I’d elaborate upon this to make an initial blurb idea which would go very roughly something like this:
Sixteen year old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her prematurely aged father, cranky mother, a black cat called Shadow, and a self-harming mirror girl.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from the cruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow of two halves hides – Ryder’s mesmerising eyes and dark charisma draw her to him – but appearances can be deceptive. While crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten, Amelina’s spirit is brought against her will to a tranquil meadow in Grantchester. Whilst there she is encouraged by her captor to paint a bizarre puzzle of art, and all the while, a threat lingers groaning to turn youth into old age, and to turn neighbour against neighbour.
The verdict is out, hope that made sense, and didn’t bore you.
Bye for now,
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys. It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...