The prompt words this week are destination, and guide. I chose to use the synonyms haven and guiding spirit. I created the above Tanka which leads to a short, but oh so relevant excerpt…
An excerpt from my YA/Paranormal Fantasy the Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
A hazy image materialised into a multitude of glistening sparks which transformed into a vibrantly glowing object. I heard the pounding hearts from each of us becoming louder and more distinct as we gazed at the object. The sparks coalesced, no longer separate entities they’d joined to form a spirit or a ghostly apparition. The specter sparkled like a million candle lights, speaking to each of us, in a wisp of a voice that drifted like the wind.
The spirit addressed me, knowing I possessed the gift to understand the crystals. ‘You have called me forth to open your heart to the truth. You must accept who you are and not be afraid. Embrace your true self. Encourage others to do the same. Then you will be a truly magical person, able to rekindle your family’s happiness. Beware those who want what you possess.’
The spirit turned and pointed at Joselyn. ‘Joselyn, you must move on from your past and accept the challenges of the future. Don’t be fearful. Your confidence will grow the more you follow your dreams.’
The phantom floated above us on invisible currents and pointed at Ilaria. ‘Ilaria, you have no more to fear from the children who taunted you. Your laughter protects you from their wickedness. Heed my words and use your skill wisely.’
Jade was last, and the spirit hovered near her face. ‘Jade, you possess the skill and craft of working with animals. You must cherish and nurture it. Be faithful to your friends, and most of all, beware of those who may lead you astray.’
When the spirit finished speaking, the ghostly form drifted toward the candles and hovered above them. Slowly, the flames were extinguished one after the other, and we found ourselves sitting in total darkness. The phantom had vanished. No one spoke. We were shocked into a stunned silence. Ilaria switched on the light, and with one glance, we all knew things between us would never be the same again. That night signalled the beginning of our own personal voyages toward self-discovery.
© M J Mallon 2017/2018
Hope you enjoyed the Tanka and excerpt.
Bye for now,
My social media links:
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Welcome to Kyrosmagica, Shadow – the black cat who features in my book – The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I’m so glad you agreed to this interview opportunity today to help me promote my book which I hope to release this summer. You are such a handsome fellow and quite the gent I hear. Today, we’re going to discuss all manner of things and we will also have a #mentalhealthawarenessweek discussion about anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.
Tell me about yourself…
Purrrrr.… Thanks for being so welcoming Marje not everyone is so kind to cats. Luckily, I have a lovely owner Amelina who cares for me. I discovered her one day when I was playing in her garden; I peered in the window and I knew she was a special person so I stayed. I’m persuasive that way, one purr, and a stroke of my sleek black fur and humans can’t resist me!
When you say not everyone is so kind to cats does that mean you have had a rough life?
Oh, to answer this question I have to think back in time. The strangest thing happened to me one day. I felt this abundant change in my spirit. One minute I was chasing birds, playing with the mice in a field and then kapow, it hit me. I felt this overwhelming feeling of change. I felt different, overcome with these overwhelming feelings of goodness. But, the goodness felt alien, like it belonged to an earwig or something! The weird thing is in rare moments I feel like I’m someone else entirely and that someone else isn’t nice at all. One day, I experienced this intense moment of evil flooding my poor furry body, it only lasted a second but it shook me up real bad. I’m still trying to recover, my fur is all matted and ruffled. Shadow shivers…
Oh, my goodness that sounds horrible!Perhaps we better change the subject. Could you tell me why you’re called Shadow?
That is a very perceptive question. Shadow twitches his whiskers while considering it. I think it’s because I arrived in the Scott’s house when something good happened that revealed something bad. I represent yin, (shady side,) and yang, (the sunny side,) light and dark, but I am more yang – of sunny disposition – than ying. My tiny moments of ying disturb me…
Yes, life can be full of perplexities and this story is a fine example of that. I prefer the simple things in life… exploring, enjoying the sunshine, lying on the grass, hanging out in my garden, chilling, eating, playing, cuddling, purring, and looking adorable!
What is it like living in the Scott’s household?
Challengingggggg! They are such a strange family. The dad is half dead; the mum is stroppy and Amelina has this sister called Esme whose not a sister but behaves like one. Esme always seems to be up and down in her emotions. Her ying and yang are out of control. She is one confused girl and behaves like a prisoner to her own reflection. I listen to them nattering on… They all have a tragic story and mum, dad and Esme inadvertently tell me their individual stories. More about that in the book…. no spoilers! I know all of their secrets. I’m a snoop! Oh, and I nearly forgot to say Amelina has an aunt Karissa who owns a dog… UGH… a critter called Toby – most unfortunate. The bloody thing comes to stay, breaks things, eats all the time and causes havoc. The aunt drinks, tea, and alcohol too, and eats a lot, mainly chocolate unless she’s dieting. She’s always losing her glasses. Toby and her are quite a pairing!
My goodness sounds like you have to put up with a lot. Getting back to the stories – they sound shocking. Did one confession shock you more than the rest?
The dad’s and Esme’s are the worst. The dad because something has happened to him that is out of his control, (and seems to have impacted upon the whole family,) and I relate to that (after my weird overload of goodness episode,) and Esme because she self harms or did.
Self harm… that and other mental illnesses like anxiety, and depression, are a rising problem in our young people. What’s your opinion about it?
Kids nowadays have a lot of problems and it’s not their fault. I sympathise, I really do. The word pressure sums it up. Pressure to succeed, pressure to look good, (on Instagram, and other social media,) pressure to be thin, pressure to be popular, pressure to have the best-looking boyfriend/girlfriend, pressure to have money, pressure to get to the best Universities… the list just goes on and on.
There’s bullying too, and it isn’t just face to face like it used to be now its via social media too. It’s like there’s no escaping meanness, and rudeness. It’s so immediate, one little tweet, or nasty message via an Instagram shot can go to masses of your ‘friends’ in a mere second. So it’s not surprising that our young people often have mental health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression and self-harm. In the worst case scenario some resort to suicide and that makes me so sad. No one should ever feel that way, there is always help out there. Talk to your mum, dad, a close friend you can trust, a sibling, a counsellor, an aunt, anyone who loves you. Just don’t bottle it up that’s the worst thing you can do.
I’d recommend this excellent site if you are experiencing mental health issues: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/
All youngsters should own cats, Meowwww, cats are good for you. We have superpowers. Truly, we lower your heart rate, boost your immunity, help you relax – we release a calming chemical called oxytocin into your body, and that helps induce love and trust and make you smile. We increase your sociability, yes having cats makes you more sociable, and stops you feeling lonely. Purrrrr. We have a stack load of medical health benefits too: we reduce the risk of heart disease, and heart attacks. We lower your triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Hey, we even reduce your chances of having a stroke. See we cats are superheros! Oh, and top of all that we reduce the carbon footprint, not like doggies like Toby who eat a ton. We eat small morsels, fish, and catch our own prey.
Shadow picks up his paw and licks it.
If you don’t believe me it’s all here: http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-owning-cat/
Is there anyone in Amelina’s life who has an eating disorder?
Yes, there’s this girl called Emily, who struggles with her desire to be thin, and to be loved. I don’t have that problem – I know that Amelina loves me. Also, I take a lot of exercise to keep fit and trim. But, I have a huge heart so I cry real cat tears when I think about poor Emily and others like her.
Does Amelina have a lot of friends?
No, not loads, she’s smart that way, she knows it’s not the number of friends but the quality of friends. Though, not all of them are to my liking… Except me, of course… (I’m her best friend.) She has three close human friends: Jade, Joselyn, and Ilaria. Jade is Amelina’s best human friend. She is arguably the prettiest but the most spoilt. She has this huge house, owns horses, and gets everything she wants. Joselyn is the worrier, (this girl needs a cat!) and Ilaria is the joker, but I sense the jokes hide something deeper. My favourite is Ilaria because I like a laugh. The four of them play in a band and write their own music. It’s pretty cool.
What about guys, does she have a regular boyfriend?
There is nothing regular about Amelina! She stumbled upon this guy called Ryder down a scary river pathway. I tried to follow her, but she shooed me away. The guy’s dangerous I don’t know why I know but I do. He has too much ying in his soul. I don’t trust him. He dresses all in black and has one green eye and one black. But sometimes that green eye looks red to me, like it is bleeding. Creepyyyyyyy. But, Amelina thinks he saved her, from what I can’t imagine, some prank probably.
Is there anyone else you’ve met through Amelina that has left a lasting impression on you?
Oh, yes, Kyle. Love him, he is Ryder’s best friend. He’s so snuggly and nice, I love to sit on his lap and purrrrr. Ohhh….
If you could sum your owner Amelina in words what would you say?
She’s poetic, artistic, musical, kind-hearted, magical and brave but makes mistakes. She is a flawed human, poor thing! Miaowwww.
Thank you so much Shadow for coming on to my blog today and telling us all about my forthcoming new book, The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I really appreciate it.
It is my pleasure my dear. Any time… Oh, before I go can I be cheeky and ask one question?
Yes of course you can Shadow.
It’s about Lily who models for me, can you set me up with a date? She looks real cute!
Of course I can Shadow, will do! I chuckle… imagine a date between yourself, (Shadow,) a fictional cat and a non-fictional cat, (Lily,) it could only happen in a writer’s life. Next time, (as long as Lily is willing,) we’ll have the date on Kyrosmagica… and she can tell us all about herself!
Shadow purrs a rich note of contentment in reply.
All above photos of Lily (our black cat model,) courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Samantha Murdoch – photography credit her son Alex Marlowe.
Please visit Samantha’s blog to see her lovely cats and stunning crystals: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com.
Samantha has recently started an Instagram account so please do click the link to see her lovely cats, (they are all supermodels,) and her crystals : Samantha’s IG account
She also twitters on here: Sam Crystal Cats – Twitter
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
My New Facebook club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Light and dark – what great prompt words from Colleen this week. I’ve always been fascinated by the interplay between light, and darkness.
Here’s my haibun inspired by a paragraph from my current manuscript: The Curse of Time, which I am currently in the process of editing….
The Black Obsidian paint pot called me next, beseeching me to open it. Just like before, it refused to do so. In frustration, I slammed it down hard. The pot exploded with a loud bang like a child’s burst balloon. As I dipped the brush into the paint, a gripping sensation overcame me. I painted in haste with a multitude of dissolving crystal paint flecks staring back at me from the canvas. A dark grey, bluish black, sinister tinge blemished the artwork. Shades of varying hues moved across the painting competing for supremacy in a powerful duality of light and darkness.
Ohhh, that’s a bit dark… but wherever shadows linger there is bound to be light.
I have no idea if this is a haibun or not! LOL… hope it is. My first attempt so if it’s wrong, please do let me know.
Well with a prompt like that from Ron there is just no way that I wouldn’t join in with the Haiku prompt challenge this week. Who could say no? Not me for sure.
Here’s a link to Ron’s blog if you’d like to join his weekly challenge:
I just love Crystals, and they feature in my writing.
Hope and Crystals kind of go hand in hand don’t they?
But perhaps with light there is always a touch of darkness, so with my haiku I am going to focus on the idea of unrequited love.
We all have at some time in our lives experienced differing degrees of unrequited relationships. In my experience I remember one such case when I was very young, it wasn’t love, it was a touch of infatuation. I fancied this young chap, and to be honest I kind of made it pretty obvious that I liked him. We did go out on a date but it was no fun at all, he just dumped me in the middle of the night in Edinburgh not caring how I got home or if I got home. In his eyes I think it was a bit of a prank to play on me, he must have thought I had been chasing him and perhaps he didn’t even fancy me. Anyway it was very upsetting and the memory of it still remains with me to this day. But it did teach me one thing, anyone that behaves in such an uncaring and unpleasant way can’t be worthy of my attention let alone of a relationship with me. So this curly haired young chap did me a favour in a way, his behaviour made me a little more reticent perhaps in chasing after a boy. I never went out with curly haired boys ever again! Instead I chose dark haired guys with straight hair, played it cool, let the boys do the running and the boys seemed to like that! So girls, take a tip from me, keep an aura of mystique and let the guy do the chasing.
Thereafter nobody broke my heart, not that he did, but he dented my pride. I have been lucky in love, and for that I am very blessed, so the haiku at the end of this blog post ends on a positive note.
So with that in mind let’s return back to Ron’s prompt words Crystal and Hope, by introducing you to a photo that I took of a very special crystal grotto, isn’t it spectacular?
I wrote a post way back about this amazing place called Juniper Artland where I photographed this grotto, “The Light That Pours Out Of Me,” by Anya Gallacio, so perhaps if you’ve been following my blog for a long while you will remember it. If not, then here it is, (it’s always worth a multiple visit, so do click on the link):
Juniper Artland is a must see recommendation f you are ever in Scotland, it really is an amazingly inspiring place, here’s some of the other links on my blog in which I feature my response to sculptures at this wonderful Artland (via my photography and poetry) :
So this is my haiku inspired by Anya Gallacio’s magnificent Crystal grotto:
The Grotto of Unrequited Love
His promise ring sits,
Crystal bright on my finger,
Mockery of hope.
In tearful pieces,
Hope’s sweet embrace lost in stone,
Cruel, a clear cut edge.
Pain’s ocean rages,
Knife to fortune’s longing heart,
Hope’s pathway crumbles.
Crystal deep ridges,
Bury far inside my soul,
Lips lock hope’s tomfoolery,
Final kiss goodbye.
Fool I, to want you,
Curly haired lover,
Hope’s cheeky prankster .
Darkness fills my soul, echoes,
Past sorrows return.
Now, forgotten, forgiven,
Replaced by love’s light.
In Crystal Grotto,
Forever, hope, sparkles bright,
Love finds its sweet way.
© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
Do comment and let me know what you thought of my haikus, and of course the amazing Juniper Artland.
Today I’m off work, so I’m doing a bit of blogging this morning, then off to Tai Chi, later in the day I have lots of chores to catch up on, sigh, if only I could do them like this!
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
I’m having a shot at taking part in Julia’s Camera Lucida photo challenge this Monday.
Do check out Julia’s blog it is wonderfully dressed in a most brilliant, sumptuous Red!
Here’s the link to My Red Page if you’d like to join in Julia’s Weekly Photography Gallery:
Julia’s chosen theme this week is : Divergent
The definition of divergent is things that move in different directions or that are far apart from each other.
Opposites, dissimilar, different, contradictory, reverse.
I decided to focus on shadows as the theme of light and shadow, and in particular good and bad characters, is one I like to consider in some of my writing. The photo below is one of my Country park photos that I took in the woods, I’ve cropped the image to make it seem more scary looking! I’m particularly pleased with this creepy shadow, what do you think?
The photo below is a striking shadow on the mottled ground, I’ve manipulated the image to make the shadows appear darker, thicker and more menacing. Creepy huh?
This is a gentler image of my shadow set against contrasting brightly coloured hexagonal paving stones. What am I up to? Is it really me? There’s no way of telling is there? That’s the fascinating thing about shadows they leave so much to the viewer’s imagination.
This is another photograph that I took at the country park, I’ve cropped the image to focus on this interesting pattern of lined shadows that caught my eye.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx