Coronavirus – #Treats, #Mood Enhancers #Fitness

On Sunday my daughters and I were talking about ways to keep as positive as we can. I’m doing my best to keep our spirits up but it’s difficult. We are all feeling stressed and anxious, which is only natural. My youngest daughter is parted from her friends and boyfriend which is causing added stress. My eldest is coping a little better but of course she is also missing her friends too, as am I. Perhaps, it helps that she’s a bookworm and writer like myself, but, even with our beloved books and writing we’ve been showing signs of anxiety: a tight chest. We tried to alleviate our stresses by doing a mini gym session in the house with resistance bands, weight ball, yoga mat, etc. Hubby wasn’t too impressed by us leaping around the kitchen! I wish the weather had been better so we could have done our workout in the garden.

Keeping fit is vitally important for mental and physical fitness right now.

Also, there is the problem of everyone being cooped at home together, some of us working, some not. On Monday 30th (I hate Mondays!) I had to escape for a while, to get away from hubby’s grouchiness so I disappeared for a quick walk to our local country park during my lunch break. It was a brief walk but it did me so much good.

Hubby hasn’t been well (he is much better,) and the night before he hurt his already dodgy knee climbing the stairs. So, that was a stress too. I didn’t fancy the thought of taking anyone to A & E at the moment. Fortunately, it wasn’t too serious. No wonder hubby’s grouchy with all the stress of work, money worries, and fear of the family getting ill, plus us three witches leaping around his kitchen, etc.

He is a outnumbered. Shame we never had a son!

What have I been doing?

I’m continuing to work on a part fictional/part factual compilation of short stories, poetry and flash fiction about the Coronavirus. My work count for that now stands at around 6,000 words. I’ve been working from home, (usual hours) and also I’ve been cleaning the house, of course.

And… I’ve been keeping an eye out for helpful links for you all.

Here are some which you might find uplifting, or useful:

https://jennyinneverland.com/2020/03/30/things-to-treat-yourself-to-after-lockdown/

Date Ideas For Couples During Lockdown

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/sir-chocolate-has-a-youtube-channel/

Bestselling Children’s Author Mo Willems Is Teaching Kids Drawing On YouTube

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-10-university-art-classes-free-online/

Below, I’m included some information about my poetry, prose and photography collection. It is receiving 5 star reviews! Mr. Sagittarius is an uplifting read, suitable for these difficult times.

Take care, and stay in! Unless it is necessary to go out for food, or a daily walk.

And remember

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise ― Victor Hugo

Available in Kindle Unlimited, in kindle and in paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

Early reviews: 5 stars from Ritu Bhathal https://butismileanyway.com/2020/02/29/february-2020-books-amreading/

And 5 star review from Colleen Chesebro: February 2020 Books #AmReading

Another 5 star review from Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/smorgasbord-book-reviews-poetry-and-prose-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

Coronavirus – Mental Health #apps #selfcare #mentalhealth

It’s a challenging time for everyone. So self care for family/flatmate/friends whatever grouping you find yourself in, is crucially important. Support each other, perhaps elect one person (or one might naturally be inclined to do so without prompting) to be the cheerful buddy to keep spirits up. If you are living alone connect to your friends, family and wider family via social networks particularly visual ones with face to face experiences such as Skype. You can still elect a buddy but a virtual one!

Top 10 apps like Skype: https://www.techlazy.com/apps-like-skype/

Limit your use of social media – keep informed but avoid too much scrutiny of sad reports which come up on your feed. Instead, focus on the positive, the humour, the real life stories of kindness and positivity you find.

For example there is this lovely Facebook group to share your children’s and your pictures of rainbows – Rainbow Trail: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681125849365623/

On A Personal Note

My hubby hasn’t been feeling too well this week and we’ve been wondering if he has the virus. It’s difficult to tell without a test. Our nerves are at breaking point, it’s been a very stressful time. Whilst keeping and eye on his illness my daughters and I have been extra careful, washing our hands, disinfecting like crazy because it is possible to have the Coronavirus mildly, or even to be asymptomatic. Hubby has been up and down but he seems on the mend, fingers crossed, so perhaps it was something else? We will still be vigilant.

I’ve recently started to work from home, as the UK like so many countries is in lock down. I’m shocked by the number of people who still continue to behave as if the virus is nothing to be feared, gathering together for barbeques, family gatherings and the like.

I know it’s nice to get together but seriously can’t you wait? We have to get to grips with this NOW before more people die, or get seriously ill.

Lecture over.

What have I been doing?

I have to say I haven’t felt like reading at all. I just don’t have the energy. But, my bookworm eldest daughter wasn’t having that! Bless her. She encouraged me to read some romance. She’s suggested My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and Die For Me by Amy Plum. Hum… I went for the latter. Enjoying it… apart from the title!

On the plus side I’ve started writing a little – my current project/s are flash fiction about the virus plus a YA short story set in a post pandemic world. Very topical. It’s a romance which is a different genre for me. Perhaps, I needed a little romance to cheer me up! I’m really enjoying writing this, especially as I always struggle to write romance. A positive I may have cracked it!

Work wise I’ve been working Monday to Friday same hours as usual. So no change there, keeping busy until 6pm every evening.

My daughters and I have plans to exercise, so with that in mind we have ordered some gym stuff to work out at home, or in the garden. Yes, a yoga mat! I might not be perched on a cliff face but life does feel a bit like that at the moment.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I hope you find these various mental health links, apps and learning possibilities useful:

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-to-stop-the-anxiety-spiralling-out-of-control-133166/

https://woebot.io/how-it-works

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/cove/

https://www.headspace.com/

https://www.futurelearn.com/

https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

Before I go I’d like to introduce you to a new found friend of mine:

Mr. Sagittarius.

My poetry, prose and photography collection released on February 16th. Perhaps you may like to treat yourself to a copy. I’d be thrilled if you do.

Mr. Sagittarius is available in kindle, full colour paperback and free in Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Buying link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Keep safe. Let me know how you are coping during these scary and challenging times and do comment below if you’ve found some interesting resources too.

Much love and hugs, keep safe.

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 72 Breakthrough and Movement

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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.

Employee Opinion Survey

 

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.

https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/02/20/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-72-breakthrough-movement-snyonymsonly/

Bye for now you lovely peeps,

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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/

curse of time

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:

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
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My #Review of Poetic Rituals by Ritu Bhathal

 

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

My review

Anyone that follows this blog will realise just how much I love poetry. I enjoy writing it, and reading it too.

Ritu Bhathal’s collection of poems is accessible, easy readable poetry that warms the heart and keeps you smiling. It would appeal to everyone. It’s not high brow, it’s very down to earth, human and touches upon so many topics that readers will relate to – such as the trials and tribulations of bringing up children, family life, and relationships. It’s very witty, and made me smile in lots of places.

The chapter headings give you an excellent indication of the breadth of poems covered:

Family Rituals, (children, motherhood, being a daughter and sibling, even a few poems about cats!)

Life Rituals – Life, Different cultures, Christmas and positivity – and Ritu’s poem But I Smile Anyway that is the title of her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

Rituals of The Heart. Tender first love and sizzling passion too !

Rituals to make you Smile. Lots of witty ones in this section!

Would I recommend it?

Indeed I would. I rate it 4 stars, a very lovely collection of poems.

 

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.

Amazon UK Buying Links -kindle : http://amzn.to/2xqb7rE

Amazon UK Buying Links – paperback: http://amzn.to/2yU1xks

Have you read Ritu Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals? Do comment if you have.

Bye for now,

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My social media links:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

 

 

 

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon  @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – my #Tanka – Calm & Wild

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:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/11814805/Sanjeev-Bhaskar-They-called-me-Paki-at-school-but-Goodness-Gracious-Me-was-cathartic.html

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.

 

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: CALM & WILD

Do comment, has your son or daughter graduated recently? Do you love the sea too?

Bye for now… much love,

My social media links:

Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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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!

Revive Old Posts Bloggers Link Up

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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….

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Juniper Artland – The Light Pours Out of Me – Anya Gallachio

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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!

Happy Blogging!

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Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Challenge

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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!!

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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…

Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka challenge

 

Bye for now,

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#MondayBlogs: Good Luck With Exams!!

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For #MondayBlogs hastag on twitter, @RachelintheOC, I’m sharing something very close to my heart, some Good Luck Wishes.

What kind of Good luck Wishes? The kind that means that your blogging break gets forgotten for a tiny moment. I’m currently on a blogging break, but I couldn’t resist giving everyone a bit of encouragement before the forthcoming exams. My youngest daughter Georgina will be sitting her GCSE mock exams next week so studying is very much a focus of my and her attention at the moment! Believe me all this helping her with Maths is driving me a bit crazy! Maths seriously gives me a headache! So, I thought I’d try to do something a bit creative to counter the logic of Maths, to balance the right and left side of my brain! I had a bit of a dilemma as I can’t draw or paint, though I do dabble in photography, so, with that in mind I’m sharing a piece of art that I photographed, a floral piece, that my daughter Natasha Mallon did while at school studying GCSE Art.

So Good Luck to everyone studying, doing coursework and exams at schools, colleges and universities. Keep focused and positive, work hard, eat well, hydrate,  breathe and stay calm, remember it is just a short spell of hard work and then you can party and have lots of fun!

Next Monday I will be sharing another #MondayBlogs art post to inspire you to achieve your very best.

Best of Luck, keep on smiling. This applies to those doing #Nanowrimo too, Good luck, I wish I was doing it too but life at the moment is just too busy!!

Here’s my contribution to the exam timetable I’ve been getting up and cracking a few eggs in the morning, omelettes or fried egg and bacon sounds good!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Nick and co at the Para-Tri Triathlon

This is so amazing and heart warming, Sue Vincent’s son competed in the UK acquired brain injury forum Para Tri Triathlon. A must see reblog.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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Where do I start? It has been the most amazing, incredible, glorious day. The road through Little Kimble had marked a turning point for my son and we drove through the sleepy village with a red kite watching from its perch in a tree beside the road. Any other day I would have stopped and grabbed the camera… today, though, even the kites would wait.

A red kire watches over the event A red kite watches over the event

We had left in good time, so we had taken a short detour via the route Nick had taken the first day he got the trike… and his first real taste of freedom in six years. A month later and we were on our way to the Paralympic venue of Dorney Lake, just outside Windsor.

Calm before the storm... Calm before the storm…

Once there we headed to the registration tent and I finally got to meet the rest of the team…

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Ronovan Writes #Weekly # Haiku #Poetry Prompt# Challenge # 55

 

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So what’s Ronovan got tucked up his sleeve this week?  The prompt words Five and Thrive are a rhyming pair  these two words suggest youthfulness, and doing well –  all in all a very positive way to go.

Maya Angelou’s wonderful quote and Ron’s prompt words bring to mind thoughts about a daughter of a family friend of mine who has been through multiple operations dating back to when she was just a baby. She’s such a brave girl, in all the time I’ve known her she has never complained about what she has had to go through. Sophie is now sweet sixteen, and an inspiration to us all, her positivity is truly a credit to her and her family. This first haiku is a special get well wish for this lovely lass who is currently in hospital after undergoing surgery. We wish her the very best, a speedy recovery and much fun and laughter in her life, she truly deserves it. xx

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For Sophie

You’re five times braver

This haiku is for you

 Thrive reach that summit

 

I’m certain you’ll thrive

Your five special qualities

Will always shine through

 

Positivity,

Braveness, strength of character,

Your love of life too.

 

(The final three lines aren’t using the prompt words

but they just seemed to fit so well……………)

 

So, with this positivity in mind let’s find five fun things to do:

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 Five Special Things

 

Five amazing tips

To thrive, eat, smile, laugh, create,

Be adventurous

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

Words good or bad, are my very own!

If you’d like to take part in Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge here’s the link: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-55-five-thrive/

Hope you liked this week’s Haiku. Do leave a comment I’d love to hear from you.

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx