Those bloody motorbikes can’t they stop! 1 A.M. no chance I’ll get any sleep. Tomorrow’s the live show. Never done this before. What will it be like? I’ll soon know. Introverted writers, tonight at 9 p.m. I’ll talk live. Bound to be a problem with the connection. We’ll get there… I did it! I listen, damn, I can’t see my weird mannerisms, but I can hear them. Perhaps I should have had some water instead of that glass of wine, stupid faux pas, one or two!
On Saturday evening I participated in my first Facebook live interview with horror and fantasy indie author A. F. Stewart’s Between The Pages Book Chat. I’m sharing it here so that others can see that even if you are daunted, (terrified) by the idea of speaking live, you can still give it a go. Looking back at the recording there are things I wish I’d said and some I wish I hadn’t said, or repeated as much! It’s funny how we waffle… or I do anyway. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn and improve. It’s not perfect but the main thing is I tried. I’m giving myself brownie points for that!
And wondering if I seriously need a haircut! Looking like a lock down woman…
I’ve also been participating in Carrot Ranch Community 5 at the Mic, which is a grand opportunity to share your writing to an audience, in a safe space. You can start by being an audience and then move on to reading your work.
This is an excellent video tutorial from Dan Alatorre. He reads from his introductory story in the forthcoming anthology Spellbound and discusses the story processes that he employs to create mystery, ambiance, vitality and atmosphere.
What do you include when you write a short story? What does it mean to show and not tell? How much setting is appropriate, or description? These and other writing tips are here in this 53 minute vi…
Thrilled to say that tomorrow is the launch day for This Is Lockdown, a compilation of diaries, flash fiction, poetry and short stories, an anthology: from the ‘isolation writers,’ on the topic of isolation for writers and creatives during COVID19, plus brilliant poetry and writings.
I’m thrilled that Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val have contributed a piece about their fundraising venture #CommunityMasks4NHSsharing their amazing face masks for the NHS health service and free masks for charities and not for profit organisations.
To date Jane and Melissa have raised a staggering £30,000.
And the masks are really cool! Here I am wearing a sea themed one. Yes, I am missing the wee fishes! No snorkelling for me… No holidays abroad. Sigh. So, I am spreading the word… get yourself a face mask, perhaps one for each day of the week!
The awesome contributing authors are old friends and new…
The flash fiction below is based loosely on a true story! I’ve been asked to beta read twice recently. One of those beta reads was a little different…
Good vibrations can come in the most unusual ways! A friend of mine asked me to beta read for her. She mentioned that her story wasn’t her usual style of writing and she was using a pseudonym. With various writing projects on the go, I didn’t give it much thought. I knew I’d help her, as she’s always supported me.
When I started reading the manuscript, I soon realised what she meant. This was a sensual read. I ploughed on; completing the beta edits of the romantic erotica in record time!
June 18, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes good vibrations. What is unfolding? Is someone giving off or receiving the feeling? Where is the story situated? Gather some good vibes and go where the prompt leads!
Welcome to Sally Cronin, a huge supporter of the indie writing community. Sally has kindly offered to contribute to my latest writing project: This Is Lockdown.
It’s a compilation of my diaries, short stories, flash fiction, poetry and articles, plus poems and pieces of writing from an array of international writers, authors and bloggers – the ‘Isolation Writers,’ featured on my blog.
She shares her tributes to all those who have kept us safe, educated, fed, and cared for during this crisis, her thoughts on reentering ‘normal’ activities, a poem inspired by our current situation, plus her reflections for the future.
Double Etheree – Silver Lining
I believe there is a silver lining to isolation. A chance to reassess how we effectively use one of life’s great commodities so often wasted and lamented yet measured so accurately each day. Time can be fleeting or last a lifetime and it seems there is little to spare. But during this brief hiatus I have come to understand that clocks do not decide how I use this gift. In the future I will live and love more.
Thanks very much Marjorie for inviting me over to share my thoughts about the recent three months of lock down and the prospect of moving forward.
Firstly, I really want to pay tribute to the health care workers in hospitals, care homes and those who have continued to visit individuals in the community. We tend to forget when we look at their uniforms that they are also grandparents, mums and dads, sisters, brothers and grandchildren, who have the same concerns we all do about what is going on in the home, not just in their place of work.
Also those working on the front-line in supermarkets and pharmacies that have turned up each day, cheerfully, to make sure we have food on the table and medication delivered.
Parents too have been challenged by assuming the roles of teachers as well as playmates for their children in the last three months, and judging by the photographs and captions on social media, with mixed results. Humour thankfully has been sustained over the last 12 weeks, but I do know that many have struggled with the enforced isolation.
What I would like to focus on in this post, is how three groups of our society are going to cope with the next phase of re-entering the outside world.
I notice that there are already articles on how to minimise the impact on our pets, who have enjoyed having their families at home with them all day, and that includes leaving them for small amounts of time to get them used to be alone again. Humans also need help adjusting to the new world we will find when we reconnect with society.
This includes those who have been classified as vulnerable, primary school children and those who have had their treatments for life threatening diseases put on hold for over three months.
Those classified as vulnerable I am officially in the at risk group because of my age rather than underlying health issues, but I must say that having shopped in the designated times, I probably will continue to do so as long as they continue… There do not seem to be many early risers at the moment with schools still shut, so I tend to shop in isolated splendour, rolling up and through the checkout without any delay. I do wear a mask and latex gloves and use hand sanitiser as well. Once home I get in the shower and wash my hair and glasses at the same time… shoes stay outside for the day upside down in sunshine or get wiped over with Dettol. I do think it will be a while before I discard these precautions, however safe they announce it might be.
However, one of the issues identified, is covid-19 phobia amongst many elderly people who have become used to having their groceries delivered, and total absence of outside physical contact with family and friends. We have been informed regularly, that with the lifting of restrictions there could be a second wave of the virus, and that it is highly likely that there will be another lockdown when the winter flu season starts later in the year. It does not exactly inspire confidence when it comes to leaving the house and mixing with strangers again as we used to.
This is reinforced with the continued advice for those over 70 or with a long-term underlying conditions, to remain indoors with medication and food deliveries where possible, indoor exercise or in the garden and minimise time spent outside the home and contact with others.
Services such as day care centres which provide such an important physical interaction with others, and also an opportunity to leave the house, have been shut during the lock down. Unfortunately these will remain closed until social distancing protocols have been put in place. But, many elderly will still be too afraid to take advantage of them. Those with families living close by will I am sure, find it much easier to make steps towards the new form of normal. But, for those who are living alone, it will be far more difficult.
Age UK is still doing great work with personal visits to the home, and outreach programme online and by phone, food shopping and other activities. There is a comprehensive website covering Covid-19 and how they can help should you feel that it might be of help for yourself or for a family member.
Primary School Children Teenagers in the main are used to living their lives online, and whilst they will have felt the restrictions on their movement in the last three months, they will have kept up their previous relationships and pastimes such as gaming as normal. But younger children, who don’t have access to the Internet in the same way, are at risk of missing out on a crucial time of socialisation with others. When they do return to school or start for the first time in September, there will be physical distancing methods in place that are going to severely restrict how they communicate and play with each other. Sitting alone in a square metre in the playground during breaks and in the dining room is not going to help them integrate into a class community.
Teachers are going to be challenged within all age groups, to not just educate, but be the guardians of personal space. And with teenagers that is going to be tough and almost impossible to enforce outside of the classroom. With the younger children there is likely to be a long-term effect on how they interact with others unless their re-integration is carefully managed.
Those with life-threatening health conditions The health service is stretched under normal circumstances, but with the lifting of restrictions on elective surgeries and essential treatments for diseases such as cancers, there are going to be even longer delays for patients. It must have been an extremely stressful time for hundreds of thousands of people, and desperate for parents with children who needed urgent treatment.
They are talking about an 18 months waiting list for elective surgeries but hopefully those requiring life-saving treatment will be at the head of the queue. And perhaps all the private health beds that were paid for, but never used, could be taken advantage of now to speed the process up.
An opportunity for us all. Even though I have worked in the nutritional field for over twenty years, I realised that I needed to take a close look at my own lifestyle and diet and make some changes. I don’t need prescribed medication, but it is easy to slip into bad habits, particular in lock down. The key risk factors that have been identified for a poor outcome from catching Covid-19 are related to obesity, including high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. These conditions are all reversible with changes to diet and lifestyle, and whilst it can be challenging, it may lower our risk of becoming infected as we re-join the community.
Thanks again Marjorie for having me over and sharing my thoughts and poem…
Thank you Sally, it has been a pleasure, sharing your considered thoughts and lovely poem.
I’ve finally taken the plunge after six years… yes it has taken me this long to add a subscribers email pop up. You can also subscribe by clicking on the image above, (that will take you to a landing page to subscribe.)
I had a feeling it would be tricky to do and I was right.
In fact, it is probably the worst blogging job I’ve ever had to do… EEK…
But, the good old happiness engineers helped me. So, I hope it works…
I’d love it if you would test the subscribe to my blog via the pop up! Yes,there is a pop up on my blog which you can add your email address to. I promise not to spam you with lots of unnecessary emails. Just the odd hello, some freebies and news from time-to-time.
I have some new releases coming!!! Next up is This Is Lockdown, my diaries during COVID19, short stories, flash fiction and poetry and the featured ‘isolation writers,’ authors and bloggers sharing their poetry and pieces.