19th July – New Release: This Is Lockdown #Anthology #Compilation #Diaries #Poetry #Flash #Stories

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.

Blog Tour and features coming up….

19th July – Promo at M J Mallon’s blog – Recap of all the great promos: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/19th-july-new-release-this-is-lockdown-anthology-compilation-diaries-poetry-flash-stories/

20th July – M J Mallon – Quotes from the collection: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/20th-july-release-day-this-is-lockdown-compilation-anthology-writing-authors-lockdown-poems-flash-diaries-contributors/

21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-write-stuff-with-m-j-mallon.html#more

22nd July – Ritu Bhathal – Blog Tour and Excerpt: https://butismileanyway.com/2020/07/22/this-is-lockdown-blogtour-marjorie_mallon/

23rd July – Richard Dee Blog Tour and Review: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/this-is-lockdown/

24th July – Debby Gies D G Kaye ( Q and A, Excerpts and Early Review) https://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-this-is-lockdown-anthology/

25th July – Marian Wood – Final Day of The Blog Tour. https://justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk/2020/07/25/this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

Early Promos:

10th July Lorraine Macehttp://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

A huge thank you to those who featured us during the pre-release:

13th July: Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/comment-page-1/#comment-316239

14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A):

https://chantelleatkins.com/2020/07/14/this-is-lockdown-q-and-a-with-mj-mallon/


15th July Beaton Mabaso https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour/


16th July Willow Willers: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/day-three-of-the-this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

And on 17th July I shared a double promo for two books:


17th JulyDouble Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park’s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons:


https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/17/17th-july-promo-hot-off-the-press-new-releases-wisp-ii-sea-dragons-and-this-is-lockdown-fantasy-dragons-and-covid19-anthology-compilation/

18th July Sally Cronin a 5 star review: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

I’m thrilled that Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val have contributed a piece about their fundraising venture #CommunityMasks4NHS sharing 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…

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Humorous Dark Comedy,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams  (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Katie Hutton.) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (blogger, African storyteller.).Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger)  Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS

I’m so glad I started this project, it has connected me to new friends in the author world and strengthened ties with old pals too.

Sweet.

There is such variety in This Is Lockdown… something for everyone.

In fact, Willow referred to it as:

A piece of living history…

Poetry, diaries, writings, humour, thoughts, feelings, fears and hope.

Without hope the human race is lost. Keep hoping for a better world.

I hope you enjoy This Is Lockdown, I truly enjoyed writing, compiling the anthology featuring numerous authors and bringing it all together – it is my first anthology!

Kindle Buying Links:

Amazon UK link: 

Amazon USA:

Universal link:

mybook.to/Thisislockdown

What an experience it has been. I’ve learnt new skills: how to use Kindle Create and how to design an ebook cover.

So, what’s next – the paperback perhaps? I may hire someone to help, decisions, decisions!

Sharing Options:

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for this special feature of This Is Lockdown which is currently on pre-order, releases 20th July.

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Sharing Options:

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: Good Vibrations

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!

Respond by June 23, 2020https://carrotranch.com/2020/06/19/june-18-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Sharing Options:

Sally Cronin: Lockdown #Poetry #Thoughts #Isolation #Writers

Photo by Jordan Benton from Pexels


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.

© Copyright Sally Cronin 2020

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.

Here is the link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/

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.


Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
Amazon Author Page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-smorgasbord-blog-magazine-and-sally-
cronin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

Thank you so much for being my guest Sally and for contributing an article and poem to This Is Lockdown.

Sharing Options:

Some news: My Blog Now Has A Mailing List!! Wannabe Subscribers!!!

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.)

Newsletters:

04/12/2022 Newsletter Dec 2022 – New Poetry Book and Cover Competition for Golden Healer

29/09/2022 Newsletter May 2022 – Come Join My Team

27/01/2022 Newsletter – Launch of YA Paranormal Fantasy Golden Healer 

09/25/2021 – November Blog Tour, plus Reviews and Community News

08/22/2021 – Incredible 5 star reviews for Bloodstone, votes and MJ’s own reviews.

 07/23/2021 – An Invitation To Join My ARC Team  –  Book Sirens

05/06/2021 – Thrilled To Announce I Have A Publishing Contract!!!

03/02/2021 – FREE FOR SUBSCRIBERS NEW RELEASE!!!

 02/27/2021 – Welcome – New Release: Lockdown Innit Poetry

02/23/2021 – FREE FOR SUBSCRIBERS NEW RELEASE!!! 

01/22/2021 – January Newsletter: 5 star reviews of Mr. Sagittarius  and a free kindle offer today 22 January on Amazon

12/13/2020 – Happy Holidays! December Newsletter Kindle and Paperback Sales and much more! 

10/26/2020 – Halloween News, reviews and authors features

09/20/2020 – Want to Be Spellbound? Do You Dare?

08/12/2020 – Bookish News, and Photography Tips

 07/16/2020 – Blog Tour and Release of This Is Lockdown

06/30/2020 – First Official Newsletter – Book Alert & Free Book! 

Why?

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.

Thank you in hopeful anticipation.

I’ve created these three social media thingy me jigys via Canva

Sharing Options:

COVID Diaries: 26th April – 30th April #Coronavirus #Thoughts #Fears #Anxiety #Writing #Blogging #Family #Life

26th April 2020

Today, I decided to approach Spillwords to see if they would publish one of my poems. I decided upon the dragonfly as it is one of my favourite poems/photos from my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius. I didn’t realise that Spillwords don’t take images with writing – so I spent a good while making the following graphic on Canva which I’ll have to use elsewhere

Today, I featured Willow with a Coronavirus poem and a James Blunt song. Very nice.

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/26/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-willow-willers-cov1d19-isolation-writers-poetry/

The Coronavirus series continues to be popular.

Hubby has been building garden chairs and I have been washing windows… Our weather during Lockdown has been really good but apparently according to Gina it is about to deteriorate.

The girls and I did an exercise online class in the afternoon around 2pm but it was too hot and on top of that the area we were exercising in seems to have suddenly become infested with ants. At one point Gina shouted, “I’ve got ants in my hair!”  Which made me feel very itchy. Natasha was also scratching and I was slipping everywhere as there are only two exercise mats – I used an old blanket which wasn’t much use.

So not exactly the best exercise session that we’ve done. It was comical though!

27th April 2020

I featured Sharon Marchisello on my writers in isolation series on my blog today. https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/27/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-sharon-marchisello-coronavirus-covid19-writers-isolation/

I didn’t take part in Lizzie Chantree’s writers sprint this morning, (I normally do,) as it clashed with the timing of Natasha’s PT session with me! And somehow I didn’t feel in the mood today. Monday’s seem to be the same whether you’re working. or not. And today I feel a bit low.

Here’s the link to Lizzie’s Book Group for writers sprints, tips, and lots more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

I did an exercise session with Natasha in the morning. It was a really tough one I thought I was going to pass out. But I completed it.

We went for a walk in the country park in the afternoon. Kept seeing robins everywhere – a good luck omen perhaps?  The ducks were playful too. One came straight at us as if it was showing off and then whizzed across the lake, its mate came to join him but he was having none of that, he zoomed away.

We chatted to my mum on the phone she  seems down at the moment as does Gina. This protracted length of time cooped up together is getting to all of us.

I saw a black crow picking food from a bird table on the way home – they always give me the creeps – so black and menacing looking, before and during Coronavirus I keep seeing them. This is the third one I’ve seen. So strange. I hope it is not a bad omen. It’s a day of conflicting emotions, both good and bad.

I also saw my friend Mary Enna and Godric with their beautiful husky dog out for a walk. It has the most amazing blue eyes. We stopped for a while – them on one side of the road – and us on the other. We talked about bread making, she suggested I make sourdough loaf which doesn’t need yeast. Like the sound of that – may try it this coming weekend.

In the evening we had a family tiff in the kitchen. Kitchens seem to be the prime area for disputes to arise. The kitchen is the undisputed danger zone. Hubby always pokes his nose in the cooking even if he isn’t eating with us. (Sometimes he likes to cook his own food.) This interference in the food prep caused a stroppy atmosphere and then hubby went outside for a time, sat in a chair by the patio and pulled his hood over his face to hide from us all.  Gina saw her opportunity – she took his photo! When he looked up he said “I hope no one took my photo!

Of course not… If you believe that, you believe anything!

I wish I could escape and go to see my parents in Edinburgh… This is beginning to get to me. I am missing them so much. The conversation I had with mum today wasn’t right. She’d talked to my eldest daughter Tasha first, they’d chatted and chatted. No problem. But as soon as I spoke to her everything changed. Her voice sounded disjointed like she wasn’t forming her words properly. Mumbling. I pressed the phone closer to my ear, my shoulders tightening.  “Mum, you sound  strange. Are you okay?!” She spoke up a bit, “I’m lying on the bed and the phone’s a bit far away.” I acknowledge the ridiculousness of my fear, mum’s phone is simply too far away from her as she speaks. Her voice becomes clearer; the mumbling words are gone. “Is that better?” she asks. “Yes, I can hear you now,” I reply. The familiar feeling of panic pressing on my ribcage disappears for a moment. I realise I’ve been holding my breath. I need to take another calming breath to steady myself. And then she admits she’s terrified of catching this horrible illness. I can hear her fear and that frightens me. I imagine her on her bed, clutching the duvet towards her, her eyes welling with tears moistening the fabric. I want to hug her and be there for her. I should be there for her. She says, “I don’t want to end up alone and on one of those bloody ventilators, and neither does your dad.”

Her words are powerful, I can hear them so clearly. What can I say? It breaks my heart that she is saying this to me.

I don’t respond but my inner voice yells: I hate you virus. I feel the unspoken words filling a vast space which tightens in my gut.

We continue to talk about symptoms, as if we can protect ourselves, if we are knowledgeable enough. The latest indicator is shivering, she tells me. I already know this, I am well informed. We’ve both had the shivers recently but who knows whether it’s fear that’s making us shiver? My daughter asks for her phone back, perhaps her minutes are running out, she appears oblivious to my dread of hanging up.  Her youthfulness makes her less astute. At last, Mum and I talk about Skyping at the weekend, an obvious preliminary to saying Goodbye.

 Once I’m home I replay the conversation over in my mind and realise I missed something. We called mum in the afternoon and she never naps during the day. Is she ill? Is she alright? Was she shivering now?

This is COVID19 worry; It is relentless. I doubt I will ever forget how it feels.

It brings guilt too. Why didn’t I Skype her yesterday? It has a voice, this virus it’s accusatory.

There will be more to come in the diaries soon. I’m a bit behind with them.

Hope you are all keeping well and safe.

A new review for Mr. Sagittarius:

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

And a fairly new review for The Curse of Time:


Eloise Sousa‘s review Apr 13, 2020
really liked it
YA Dark Fantasy that will keep you riveted

A fascinating twist of events shakes Amelina’s world, awakening her to the power of crystals and her family’s legacy.
An enjoyable read with well-written characters who keep you on your toes as they drive the action forward.

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

Sharing Options:

COVID19 Diaries 22nd April – 25th April #news #author #features #writing #family #tapas #fun

Photo by Sarah Trummer from Pexels

22nd April, 2020

Isolation for Writers

I continue to share my Isolation for Writers posts on my blog. It’s great to feel as if I am doing something to help writers during this crisis. My recent guests have been: Catherine Fearns, who has published three Amazon best-selling crime thrillers with Crooked Cat Books/Darkstroke, and she also writes as a music journalist. https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/22/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-catherine-fearns-crookedcat-crime-thriller-author-isolation-covid19/

What Have I been up to?

I wrote a new poem for my author friend Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge. It’s a haiku. You can read it here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/23/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-174-photoprompt-haiga-haiku-tree-nature/

By early afternoon I knew my hubby would be chaffing at the bit if I didn’t do some chores around the house. Window cleaner, that’s my new job role! It pays no cash but keeping my spouse happy counts towards extra brownie points. Of course, I’d much rather be writing… Eldest daughter, Tasha assisted and she’d much rather be reading. Hubby bought a special gizmo to help with the job. A no streak device – I never trust gizmos.

Well, the gizmo worked for a while until it started flashing red – a re-charge. Apparently, the re-charge takes two hours. What to do now… sit in the garden perhaps.

I know what to do… You guessed it… hide from hubby…

23rd Apri, 2020

We did a yoga video in the morning… it was great.

I had this idea to get mum and dad a treat. A delivery of food so they wouldn’t have to go out and brave the shops. What a joke! I ordered from a company … but there was no mince…

How can you make burgers with no mince?

Later on when Mum started cooking she realised the garlic was missing too… But, she also mentioned it was tasty. Hope mum’s delivery next week has some mince… Hello! Hint Hint…

24th April, 2020

Isolation For Writers

Today, I featured Jackie Carriera on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/24/isolation-for-writers-guest-post-jackie-carreira-writers-authors-isolation-covid19-coping-advice-inspiring/

Jackie is an award winning author, playwright, world citizen and huge movie fan She is also a very generous lady as she kindly sent me two of her books: The Seventh Train and Sleeping Through War, looking forward to reading these.

What Have I Been Up To?

In the morning I joined in author Lizzie Chantree’s writing sprint at 10.30am (to edit my YA romance.) Lizzie’s supportive Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

In the afternoon I braved the supermarket. I had tapas and cocktail ingredients to buy! Lockdown has it’s positives!

25th April, 2020

The highlight of the day came as my hubby David was washing his car with a jet power washer gadget which I’ve never seen before… When did he buy that? An unexpected visitor – what excitement – arrived at our door. It was Gina’s friend Elise who had popped round with a present to thank Gina for the present she’d had for her birthday! How eccentric to give your friend a present when it’s your birthday. Lockdown does that to people. Sweet. The two of them chatted for a while (at a safe distance,) and then Gina came in carrying her present looking much cheerier for having seen her friend for a while. The gift bag contained a lovely goodie bag full of treats. Lucky girl!

Earlier in the day I emailed my mum who’s getting fed up. She is very active for a 78 year old lady. Apparently, she has been doing Spring cleaning and painting but has now had enough of it. I don’t blame her!

I’m a bit worried about the painting… I hope she hasn’t been climbing up ladders!

The other funny thing about today is I forgot what day it is.

I submitted a 300 word piece to be featured in Writers Write – CoVID-19 Reflections on Quarantine on Saturday 25th and I completely forgot all about it.

Lockdown does that to you, you forget what day of the week it is.

 I’m pleased to say it was accepted for publication, along with several other excellent entries: https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/reflections-on-a-pandemic/

In the evening, we had the tapas meal which was more tricky than I expected as our bottom oven wasn’t working.

It took forever to make all the little bits and pieces. The predominate ingredient seemed to be CHEESE – cheese balls coated in breadcrumbs, melted cheese Camembert (which my daughter Gina spelt Cannon Bear on the shopping list!) I thought that was kinda cute – she has always struggled with spelling being somewhat dyslexic – and Nachos with cheddar cheese. We also gobbled down home made wedges, sweet peppers filled with rice, chorizo and tomatoes, cold meats, sausages, cucumber strips and olives. All mighty tasty. The only slight disaster was the Camembert which imploded in the oven. It must have been those Cammon Bears getting up to mischief! Still we saved what we could, it wasn’t too bad.

I didn’t care too much for the Aperol cocktail concoction that the girls insisted upon but they loved it. We dressed up and took some photos by a flowering plant in our garden. It was a great evening which seems odd considering all that is going on in the world. It seems our only way to cope is to try to fill our days as best we can.

During lockdown it’s the little things that mean so much. Family time is precious.

Before I go, perhaps I might suggest a little Lockdown reading:

My poetry, prose and photography book – Mr. Sagittarius

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

I just discovered a new review, thank you Adele <3

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

My YA Fantasy – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone.

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Images of Esme The Mirror Girl and The Creature via Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/

You can see the images in full on Carolina’s blog: Characters Illustration – A Collaboration with Author MJ Mallon – 1st Stop Blog Tour! #ABRSC

Sharing Options:

Isolation for Writers – Guest post: Lynn Fraser #COV1D19 #Isolation #Writers #Anxiety #Concentration #Introspection

Welcome to Lynn Fraser, my next guest on my new feature – Isolation for Writers.

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Lynn Fraser coping with this enforced isolation?

Huddled in a circle of light I’m Lynn, writer, reader, mum, drinker of tea.

In many ways, my life in lockdown is not so different in its physical aspects to normal life. I work at home, health issues mean I don’t go out often, and me and mine are not the most sociable types. The main difference is in my head. I am more anxious and introspective.

I feel I’ve become like the ancients, huddled with my little family around the fire in a small circle of light. Awareness of the beasts, that paw and roar in the surrounding darkness, is causing heightened anxiety. When Himself goes to do the weekly supermarket shop, I fret while he’s away as though he’s gone off with his spear into the red of tooth and claw wilderness. Life seems fragile. Chaos rules.

The anxiety has affected my concentration. I’m struggling to read, fiction, in particular. I can’t seem to relax sufficiently to allow myself to be lost in story. Instead, I constantly scroll through news and social media for real life stories that, frankly, only heighten my anxiety. My heart races and I wave my flaming stick at the monsters in the dark.

For the first couple of weeks, I was finding it hard to write as well. This has hifted, but the introspection – looking inwards at my fire – has changed what I’m writing.

Firstly, I’m back to random journal writing – random describes the timing and content. I’m taking my pen for a walk and writing, not to record what’s in my head, but to find out what’s in my head. I’m not writing every day, it’s not a scheduled thing, like Morning Pages. I carry around my notebook and pen and write when I feel I need to.

My handwriting is appalling, so I’m not expecting future historians to be turning to me for an account of life in a time of corona. Secondly, I’m finding writing my official work in progress like wading through waist-high treacle. And, worse, it’s sucking me down. This week I reached the point where, without Lassie arriving with help in the form of a horseman in possession of a handy rope to pull me out (I’m thinking Paul Newman in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, but I digress – I do that a lot just now), I was pretty sure I was going under. The book I’m supposed to be writing is a sequel to my ‘laugh-out-loud’ story about school gates politics and a mum who will do anything for her kids. The wit is dark (think Fay Weldon) but the emphasis is on humour – and I seem to have lost my sense of humour. (I blame the nightly press conferences from Number 10 and the newspaper headlines and the people dying and the people stockpiling loo roll in garden sheds and the fact that I haven’t had a glass of wine since this whole thing started in case it compromises my immune system and home schooling and Himself’s taste in music and having to wash down my shopping with Zoflora – yeah that’s still on the shelves because why would you want anti-viral cleaner when you can get antibacterial – but, yes, you’ve got it, I digress.) I’m struggling to raise a snark, let alone a full on laugh-out-loud. I’ve lost my comedy mojo.

So, finally (I may digress but I have not totally lost my way), I’m writing something different, differently. I have a story that has been sneaking around the back corridors of my head for a while. It’s about a woman who finds herself and home in the place from which she ran away. It’s about true self and re-learning to trust and believe; it’s introspective. And there are witches. I’m releasing my hold on real,out there life and letting my imagination take control.


Things I miss:
My friends and the accompanying chat, wine/tea (and occasional bad singing)
Tea in a cafe
The sea (trip to the coast in May cancelled)
Having the house to myself
Taking life/flour for granted.
Things I’m grateful for:
My menfolk (and cats) with whom I huddle in the light
The people out there working to keep us safe and take care of us
Social media to keep me connected
My garden and my writing shed
To still be here
The words.

If you can still accept distraction, my novel is called ‘The Busy Mum’s Guide To Getting Away With It’, it’s digitally published by Orion and you can find it on Amazon, currently at the bargain price of 99p. https://amzn.to/2Y4B7ZB

You can find me on Twitter as @LynnAFraser and on Instagram (expect cat pictures) as @lynnfraserwriter.

It’s been lovely getting to know you Lynn. Thank you so much for being my guest on this new series. Witch stories… that really got my attention, as did The Busy Mum’s Guide To Getting Away With It! What a title…

Wishing you happy writing days, health and happiness.

Sharing Options:

Isolation For Writers, Creatives Artists and Book Bloggers: Richard Dee #Guest #Author #Isolation #Coronavirus #Thoughts #Family #Life #COV19

Welcome to Richard Dee, my first guest on my new feature – isolation for writers, creatives, artists and book bloggers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is author, baker, ex-seafarer Richard Dee coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is his answer…

Some thoughts on what I’m beginning to

think of as the new normal.

I’m Richard Dee, I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. Thank you so much, Marjorie, for inviting me to guest on your website today.

At last, I’ve found that some of the skills I learned are coming in useful.

Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.

When I’m writing, the ones in my head are as vivid to me as the one out of the window. There are several I go to on a regular basis, home to amateur detectives, space adventurers and quasi-Victorian society. Not only that, but there is also always the chance that I might find a new one to explore.

It used to be a bit of a nuisance, a bone of contention with other family members. Now I find that it helps.

Not only that, as an ex-mariner, I was always used to isolation, chugging across the Atlantic at eight knots to save fuel on a big ship with a small crew teaches you a few things about yourself.

There are things to worry about, all my daughters work in the NHS, on the front line, one in ITU, with a consultant physician for a husband, one is a midwife dealing with emergency admissions and the other is still training. They, along with everyone else who is putting themselves at risk to keep us fed and provided with light, power, empty bins and food to eat deserve our thanks and respect.

Things like getting food, getting exercise, keeping in touch with family and friends: things we all took for granted just a few weeks ago are now more important.

I watch the T.V. and wonder if we will ever live that kind of life, with all the socialising and outdoor action, again.

I’m glad that I have hobbies, things to do on a rainy day. Reading, cooking and gardening.

I thought that I would have so much more time to do things. But any task expands to fill the time allotted to it, so there is no more time than there was.

 Not that we were always out and about; there were jobs that had been put off because I thought they would take too long. Once I got started, I found that they were quickly done.

Meanwhile, I continue to write and publish. In fact, I’ve just had my Andorra Pett cosy crime series re-imaged, with all new covers by the tremendously talented Gill Trewick. They’re all available in both eBook (to buy and on Kindle Unlimited) and paperback at the following links:

http://mybook.to/Andorra

http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

PICTURE 4    

http://mybook.to/AreWeThereYet

I’d love to see you over at my website, richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, The Orbital Livestock Company, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor  and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.  

My Goodreads page is here.

Stay safe everyone

Thank you so much to Richard for being my first guest on this new feature on my blog.

Do check out my reviews of Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/03/30/bookreview-andorra-pett-and-the-oort-cloud-cafe-mystery-scifi/

And The Lost Princess:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/29/the-lost-princess-richard-dee-arc-bookreview-indieauthor-betaread/

Authors/creatives/artists/book bloggers who might be interested in sharing their thoughts on quarantine life, please do get in touch.

Topics such as:

Writing, reading, creativity, productivity/isolation during this time.

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

If you are interested in taking part in this new feature on my blog please email me on: marjma2014@gmail.com, or comment below.

Please share any photos you would like, thoughts, reflections, and of course your book links, book descriptions/photos, author bios and the like. All welcome.

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Sharing Options:

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑