Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

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This is  my writer’s blog about me and my crazy journey to becoming a half decent author.

Well how did I start writing? It was quite odd really. I used to write as a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester, Mr. Popularity, everyone loved him. He liked to venture afar and we would often have to rescue him. I remember one occasion in particular, my brother and I ended up trudging through the woods, in Blackhall in Edinburgh, to pick him up from a house in the vicinity. He ended up at the most peculiar places. One time he chose to visit a house with thirteen cats!

Here he is looking very much like a tom cat with attitude!

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I told you he liked company. So it seemed natural to  write about cats,  and I kept a diary. My dad was and still is one of my other great sources of inspiration.  He has travelled extensively to the Far East, and Middle East and is a wonderful raconteur.

As far as my writing is concerned the inevitable happened.  I was the typical teenager. I got distracted. I found boys, discos, parties, and my writing suffered. Somehow I didn’t pick it up again for a very long time. This is a regret. A massive regret. But what can I do? I can’t travel back in time, I don’t have a Tardis. So I just have to accept that the time is right now.  You see, I’m still this young girl at heart, just stuck in an older and maybe wiser body. I have experienced more, travelled more, lived more, so hopefully that will make me a better writer.

Several events came together to ignite my desire to write again. First of all I read a lot.  At the time I was reading Dorian Gray and it was definitely a novel that captured my imagination and set my mind free. Also my eldest daughter was studying GCSE Art and I took a sudden interest in art and photography. I’m not saying that I can paint or draw, though I wish I could. No, I enjoyed watching her artistic development and I enjoyed sharing ideas with her and encouraging her.

All of these influences helped me to write my first book, a children’s/YA fantasy set in Cambridge, which I hope to publish soon. The female protagonist in my novel is a teenage girl who paints a puzzle of art. But it is by no means a novel simply about Art. She expresses her sadness, and discovers her magical powers, through the medium of painting and well the rest you will find out when you read the book. Lets just say that a lot happens and I think that it will keep you entertained!  Well I hope so anyway.

Also I know this sounds crazy but my other source of inspiration was a black cat, a  throw back to Chester.  I had never seen this strange black cat before and suddenly he just started appearing in our garden. There was something different about him. He appeared  like a miniature panther, all glossy and splendid, looking for attention, with his mesmerising eyes, I fell under his spell. He liked to show off, he would disappear into thin air, climb to ridiculous heights, or chase his tail around the garden like a demented clown. He just had to play a part in this book too. Lets just say he has a subsidiary part to a main character, who is male, young and very interesting too, just like him. That was the beginning. Looking back I am amazed that from just a few initial thoughts my idea just seemed to grow and grow. Now my debut novel is nearly ready for the final edit. How did that happen? I couldn’t be happier in fact if I had a tail, I’m sure I would be whizzing around and around chasing it with excitement!

Update: I am in the process of editing my novel with a view to self publishing this year. More about that soon. I will continue to add news to this from time to time, or post individual updates on my blog.

Bye for now, xxxxx

 

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #145 Beautiful&Curse

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The prompt words really attracted me to Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week…. (It’s a long time since I’ve joined in as I have been so busy!) as they relate beautifully to my manuscript – The Curse of Time, which I am close to finishing! I’m doing what I hope are the final edits – you never know if it is truly completed until you send it to your betas/editors!

I’ve written two haiku and used Canva to make them visually pleasing. The second one is using my own photograph of a nasty looking shadow!

Life can take youhigher than anyother kind of drug.

Life can take youhigher than anyother kind of drug.

To join in with Ronovan’s Prompt – I think the deadline is today, hope I haven’t left it too late: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-145-beautifulcurse/

Bye for now,

Have a lovely Sunday.

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This antibiotic will ruin you. 

Shocking real life damage done by a particular strand of amtibiotic. Reblogging so others are aware and avoid Flouroquinolones.

Mountains and Mustard Seeds

4739Hi there, we need to talk. My name is Amy Moser. I have almost written this post at least 20 times and got too overwhelmed and abandoned it. Well here goes…

The antibiotics you took or are taking for your sinus infection, UTI, skin infection, laser eye surgery…ect…may have already damaged you.

Cipro, Levaquin, Avalox, nearly every generic ending in “quin”, “oxacin,””ox,”…are all part of a large family of antibiotics called “Fluoroquinolones.” The FDA finally updated their warning on these antibiotics as of July 2016. They site “multiple system damage that may be irreversible. Permanent you guys. Here is the link for the warning if you are a doubting Thomas: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm500143.htm. Take a gander real quick if you are reading this with an eyebrow raised. Trust me, I wish I had been given the opportunity to soak up this information before it was too late.

In 2010, I took…

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Three Year Anniversary!!!

My Third YearBlogANNIVERSARY

Yes, its official my baby Kyrosmagica turned three this week! Where did those years go? Now that I’m past the infancy stage I’m puzzled. I have no idea where that time went. I can’t really say… but what I can say is this, I have enjoyed these years mightily and have grown so much as a person. Forget Popeye’s spinach, blogging has been amazing for my confidence. I’d recommend it to everyone!

In fact, one of my recent posts has been featured in SCBWI’s online magazine – self publishing discussion with authors Debra Edwards and Camilla Chester: Words and Pictures.

Recently, I set up a new initiative on Facebook – my Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.  I have a new baby! It’s doing well and I can see it growing which is lovely.

What is is about?

Don’t worry it is not a cult! LOL… It is a friendly community of authors/bloggers/book reviewers working together to support each other in a multitude of ways – e.g. by writing or sharing reviews, highlighting author spotlights/book launches/interviews, and posting writing/poetry/blogging tips, or tips about writing reviews, or discussing general topics of interest.

DON’T FEEL THAT YOU HAVE TO DO ALL OF THESE!!!! LOL!!

Also, I hope that it will be a place that you can ask for help and advice if you need it. Writing can be isolating so feel free to find some writing chums here. Just join in as and when you can. Any content about books is really welcome whether it is pretty pictures of books you’ve read, or libraries you’ve visited, etc. Also occasionally do feel free to post news to tell your blogging friends what you are up to. Especially, if you’ve just published a book, won a prize, been nominated for an award, or you’ve been somewhere creative, interesting, or exciting! For instance, I posted my British Museum photos which I had uploaded using Ripl, which I thought might be of interest to fellow Instagram enthusiasts.

 

Thank you to all the contributors and to my fabulous Administrators: Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies.

I’d like to share the following links that have recently appeared on the club page:

A writer’s dilemma – when to use which or that? A post by Adirondack Editing via
https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/04/21/editing-101-34-when-to-use-which-or-that/

A get fit and healthy campaign that bloggers can join – Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/lets-walk-a-marathon-the-internal-fitness-programme-coming-next-week/

Colleen Chesebro’s review of author Seumas Gallacher’s Savage Pay Back, which gets five stars but apparently isn’t for the faint-hearted! More about that here: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/21/colleens-book-reviews-savage-payback-book-3-in-the-jack-calder-crime-series-by-author-seumas-gallacher/

Debby Gies interview with Sally Cronin: https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-guest-author-sally-cronin-whats-in-a-name/

Norah Colvin shared Ten Things About Poetry and Me – J R Poulter and J R McRae: https://gumbootspearlz.org/2017/04/21/ten-things-about-poetry-and-me-j-r-poulterj-r-mcrae/

Debby Gies shared J. E. Spina’s Summer Reading For Kids of All ages https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/summer-reading-for-kids-of-all-ages/

Norah Colvin shared readilearn’s author/illustrator interview with Chrissy Byers. http://www.readilearn.com.au/meet-author-illustrator-chrissy-byers/

Marsha contributed a post about how to share Guest Reviews to her blog http://marshajustwrites.com/a-book-reviews/

Debby shared Sally Cronin’s interview with debut author Paige Adams: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-tales-of-ejoma-dual-realms-book-one-by-paige-addams/

And Sally’s airing of reviews of authors John W Howell and Marcia Meara: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-john-w-howell-and-marcia-meara/

If you are interested in joining the club do pop over to the Facebook pages.

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club – General/Enquiries Page

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club – Member Page

You are welcome to leave a comment on the Facebook general enquiries page above, or here, or email me: marjma2014@gmail.com to find out more.

So that’s it for now, I have to read through my manuscript. I’m on the final push, this baby is past the toddler stage – she has to stop her tantrums!

Before I go I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me. I’ve got a little question which you might like to answer below… How long have you been blogging, and what has it done for you? Please feel free to leave your answer and one link that you’d like to highlight in the comments below. Many thanks. 

 

Bye for now,

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Illustrating the Truth about Publishing a Children’s Picture Book

Reblog about how to publish a children’s picture book – via JJ Brown’s author page. The lovely book is Birds of Paradise by Pamela S. Wigh who blogs at Roughwighting.

J.J.Brown Author

I welcome author and writing teacher Pamela S. Wight to the blog today to share her path of publishing a illustrated children’s book, a process that took her favorite story from dream to reality.

Pam is an inspiring teacher and I learned how to boost imagination in storytelling in her creative writing class. Here’s her tale about her book that’s just out April 15, 2017, Birds of Paradise with illustrations by Shelley Steinle. Please help me congratulate them!

Birds of Paradise Front CoverBy Pamela S. Wight

How does a children’s book author find the perfect illustrator and publish her book? By not following the “rules.”

At least, that’s how I found the artist who captured my birds, Bert and Bessie, for the children’s book, Birds of Paradise. I’m so pleased with the result that I will never return to a “normal” way of publishing.

Of course, in the publishing world, what’s “normal” these…

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 30 – Wish & Magic

Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge

Colleen Chesebro and I share quite a few interests in common, as a matter of fact we do find that when we do those quizzes on Facebook we sometimes get the same results! This morning we both ended up being like the moon… with a dark and a light side!

It’s my good friend Colleen’s birthday today so what better way to celebrate than to write her a Happy Birthday Tanka.

There will be no moons, dark, or light aspects to the birthday wishes as Colleen’s prompt words: wish and magic are much more suitable for a birthday poem. Colleen is a big fan of fairies, and I’m sure she’s partial to cake, and no doubt appreciates the wonder of rainbows so I thought this might be just right.

Birthday cake rainbow,Glowing with magic wishes,Fairy guests arrive,Gliding on light-hearted wings,Linger awhile, rest and play! (1)

A very happy birthday to Colleen, and all the best for a fairy special day!

I wish I could spend your special day with you and your winged fairy guests. Enjoy!

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NOMINATIONS for the 2017 Bloggers Bash Awards are now LIVE #MondayBlogs #BloggersBash

Nominations for this year’s Bloggers Bash are open!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

The Bloggers Bash is now less than 2 months away, which means the ABBAs (Annual Bloggers Bash Awards) are back!

Every year, we run a set of awards nominated and voted for by you.

And if you don’t know what the Bloggers Bash is, DAMN you should.

It’s an annual get-together for all bloggers from all platforms from all over the world, although it’s hosted in London. 

Wanna come meet your blogging buddies?

Each year we stage a two-step awards ceremony.

STAGE 1 – You ‘NOMINATE’ who you would like to see listed in each category.

STAGE 2 – You vote for your fave bloggers.

READ BEFORE NOMINATING

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Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.

I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…

Here are some of my photos:

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That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!

And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…

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My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…

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Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.

Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…

And she approved of my photo…  The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!

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Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.

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Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.

Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:

http://marshajustwrites.com/accidental-tourist/

https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-the-swamp-fairy-colleen-cheseboro/

http://allanhudson.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/4q-interview-and-excerpt-with-guest.html

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/friday-roundup-on-a-thursday-13th-april/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-d-g-kaye/

https://jennyinneverland.com/2017/04/14/bloggers-revealed/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/12/guest-author-sarah-brentyn-where-i-spin-self-doubt-into-a-post/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/14/guest-author-d-wallace-peach-room-to-breathe/

All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.

Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email marjma2014@gmail.com, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.

All the best for a lovely Easter.

Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram

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That Twinkle in her Eyes is Magic

 

Buried,Two dear husbands,Five years ago they say,Holding back unspent daily tears,She sighs.

The following piece of poetry was inspired by my working as a lingerie stylist at Rigby and Peller.

It’s a Cinquain  which I discovered about on Poetry Zone.
A Cinquain has twenty-two syllables in five lines (two, four, six, eight and two).

Here’s the full poetic story:

 

That Twinkle In Her Eyes is Magic

Buried,
Two dear husbands,
Five years ago they say,
Holding back unspent daily tears,
She sighs.

It weeps,
Her loneliness,
Pressing to her breast bone,
Tender solar plexus aching,
Poor Dear.

Adjust
Her shoulder straps,
So they don’t dig so much,
It’s my job, but it’s more than that.
Much more.

Offer,
Her tea, coffee,
Water, no saccharin,
She only wants love, and lovers,
Listen.

Drinking,
Every word,
I gulp down her sweet life.
Thirst-quenching her lonely sorrow.
I see.

Her friend,
Met on a bus,
A random meeting place,
A common thread both are widows,
Both lost.

They found,
One another,
Instantly became friends,
A little lighter, the laughter,
Became.

Curtains,
New silhouette,
Her friend gasps, ‘Beautiful.’
She says it and really means it.
I smile.

Sometimes,
Words wrap heartache,
In kind tender tissue,
To keep a safe, invincible.
Parcel.

Shining,
Her reflection,
Glows with vivaciousness,
Twinkle eyed desire, magic,
Captured.

Husband,
Third time lucky,
He’s on his way to her,
Doesn’t know it yet but he is,
Old news.

Even,
If he’s younger,
He’ll not dare outlive her,
I see her living ninety plus.
Diva.

A fact,
Not a figment,
Of some kind of fiction,
Clearly have it all figured out,
No chance.

I am,
Spellbound and lost …..

In her new reflection,
The mirror shines with glowing praise.
It basks.

© Marjorie Mallon 2017 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Hope you like my Cinquain.

Bye for now, have a lovely Sunday.

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My social media hang outs:

Blog: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Author Support Club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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SCBWI: Lunchtime Social Self Publishing with Debra Edwards and Camilla Chester

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On Saturday 11th March, I attended my first SCBWI event: The Lunchtime Social – Self-Publishing Discussion with Debra Edwards and Camilla Chester, held in Cambridge at De Luca Italian restaurant. Author Helen Moss coordinated the event.

First to arrive, Alex Mellanby, author of The Tregarthur Series, followed by Peter Hayward, writer of educational stories: Learn with Alex and Anna, Jamie Stevenson, picture book illustrator, Caroline Laidlaw, educational materials author, and two new members Dan Greaves, and Tanya Farrugia, illustrators and picture book enthusiasts.

Norfolk children’s fiction and YA author, Debra J Edwards began the discussion by regaling us about her inspiring journey to writing. She left school at the age of fifteen and returned to University, graduated and became a primary school teacher. In 2003 she made a resolution – to write a novel. Not only did she accomplish this, but she has now written four: a trilogy about tooth fairies, Aggie Lichen: Pilp Collector, Aggie Lichen, Pilp Collector: Hero Required, Arty’s Revenge, and Marvin’s Curse her first YA novel.

Initially, Debra’s route into publishing was plagued by rejections which she kept and placed in a folder. Undeterred, she secured an agent but lost her. She is now a proud member of Golden Egg, an initiative overseen by Imogen Cooper, previously Head of Fiction for Chicken House Publishing.

‘Golden Egg provides talks, workshops, and one2one editorial support.’ Golden Egg Academy.

Debra admitted that she chose the self-publishing route because she is a ‘control freak.’ She did just about everything she could herself, apart from employing a book cover illustrator. She set up her own publishing company: Purple Ray Publishing, organised a business account, ordered ISBN’s, bought barcodes, (simple mistakes can happen so authors make sure you put the correct bar code on the right book!) She opened an account with Waterstones, as well as Gardners Wholesalers – and negotiated a wonderful deal, 35% rather than the industry standard of 55 %.) The only relinquishment of control came in the form of her first book cover. She had intended a fairy image on the front cover of Aggie Lichen, but soon realised that this wouldn’t be cool for young boys so instead she decided upon a star! Now that Debra is an established author, she has reverted to her initial idea of fairies. Debra comes with a plethora of promotional material to hand out at schools: bookmarks, postcards, business cards, and ‘a don’t forget to review note,’ etc. She has discovered that E-books haven’t been very lucrative, and neither have bookshops, as they normally take a cut of 50%. Instead, she has made most of her profit from attending schools, doing talks, and workshops. This involves a lot of time, and personal engagement with schools – she’s a busy lady emailing up to three hundred schools a week.

Next up to join the illuminating discussion, author, dog walker, Camilla Chester whose debut novel Jarred Dreams is suitable for ages 9 and above. Her second book, EATS ‘is a culinary adventure tale, full of twists and turns that will have the kids on the edge of their seat.’ Camilla followed in Debra’s footsteps but took a slightly different route. Camilla was shortlisted in the 2015 New Author Prize with the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury. Initially, she also secured an agent but found that this didn’t magically produce a publishing contract. So, she joined SCBWI and met Debra. Thereafter, she accepted an invitation to her daughter’s school to talk about writing. This positive experience acted as a catalyst; Camilla found that the children were so encouraging about her book. So with this positive reaction from her intended audience, she made the decision to self-publish with the support of Matador Self Publishing. Matador expects their clients’ work to reach a certain level of quality and in return for a fee they simplify the process for their clients. If your work is accepted Matador quotes a price based on word count. In Camilla’s case the cost to get her book produced was £700. This is the set-up fee; it doesn’t include structural editing or a proofread. Nevertheless, Camilla decided this suited her style of authorship. She stressed that Matador doesn’t free you from promotional requirements. There is still considerable marketing to do, and you must believe in yourself, and ultimately believe that you are a children’s author. The downside to self-publishing is cost; you have to pay for it all. The book cover to Jarred Dreams cost Camilla £500, and she purchased 1000 copies, at a cost of £1,610 (to break even and recoup her outlay she would have to sell 603 books,), as well as this Camilla spent £280 on promotional material. To counterbalance these costs Camilla set about recouping some of her expenditure by charging for talks.

Camilla closed the discussion by sharing her thoughts on the pros and cons. Self-publishing enables you to produce books more quickly – there are no soul destroying rejections or disappointing agents but it is expensive and there is no guarantee that you will get your money back. Don’t expect to sell your much-loved books to lifelong family friends! Camilla found this out the hard way. It tends to be difficult to sell to a wider market, international sales are notoriously hard to achieve, so like Debra, Camilla has benefited by targeting schools, bookshops, and her local community.

Author Links:
http://www.camillachester.com/
www.purpleraypublishing.co.uk

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Camilla writes for 8-12s. She has always written but after moving to Hertfordshire with her family in 2010 she enrolled onto an OU Creative Writing Course (receiving a distinction), joined several writing groups and then discovered the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) before publishing her debut, Jarred Dreams in 2016. Camilla’s second book EATS is out at the end of April 2017 and her third, Thirteenth Wish is due to be published in April 2018. In addition to being a Children’s Author Camilla runs a small dog walking business.

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Debra J Edwards is a children’s/young adult writer living in Norfolk. She is a long time SCBWI member and part of the Golden Egg Academy. Her first writing outing produced an MG fantasy series, Aggie Lichen. The books tell the story of a gang of feisty tooth fairies trying to save their world. They are both funny and ridiculous. I mean, teenage tooth fairies indeed. Debra has also published her first young adult novel, Marvin’s Curse, as an ebook. She worked secretly under cover as a ghost whisperer in order to bring something extra to her central character. Debra is currently at dragon slayer bootcamp perfecting her new YA novel, The Iron City.

Marjorie Mallon
Blog: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Author Support Club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Fellow administrators of the Rainbow Support Club: Authors Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies: D. G. Kaye Writer.

This report is featured in the SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators online magazine – Words and Pictures.

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 27 – “Light & Dark”

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….

Sinister Tinge

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.

Black kisses,Rich with Flecks of lightness,Mesmerise and puzzle,Tattooing your family'sHappiness dark. (1)

 

Ohhh, that’s a bit dark… but wherever shadows linger there is bound to be light.

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Haiku, Tanka and Haibun Challenge

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.

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