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!

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.

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AND THE MOST AMAZING CAT’S PYJAMAS.  XXX

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Above photos courtesy of Google and Bing images. Cartoon me  image via : http://bitstrips.com/

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Posted in Inspiration, Writing and Blogging | Tagged | 211 Comments

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Distance

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I didn’t know if I would find a photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo prompt- distance – but it’s strange how sometimes distant things can literally be on your doorstep. Yesterday a flower peeped out from above me as I walked home from work. I saw a tempting triangle of sky – a promise of a mysterious place beyond it to explore. This little piece of sky is my distance shot, it leads to the river pathway that exists in my novel The Curse of Time, which is currently with beta readers awaiting critique. So distance can sometimes refer to something within your grasp which still seems far away like my  intention to publish. Both that piece of sky and my goals are a step away but if I try really hard, and believe in myself I will get there!

In Hugh’s words: For this week’s photo challenge take or choose a photo that shows an object that is in the distance. Maybe it’s a building or a wonderful view that contains an interesting object or scene that, although it is in the distance, shows up really well in the photo? Maybe you can spot where you are headed to from a plane or train and you’ve managed to capture it?

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken which defines Distance.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 26 – ‘Distance’
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section so other participants can view the post.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for a step by step guide on how to create one.

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Do pop over to Hugh’s blog to join in the challenge: Hugh’s Photography Challenge: Distance

Hope you like my distance shot. Have a lovely week…

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.

Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her  spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. 
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a  barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her  bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain  murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. 
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. 

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and  inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Oak and Mist by Helen Jones

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Goodreads Synopsis:

‘Alma, even I do not know what he is capable of…’

Things couldn’t be better for Alma. She’s returned the lost Sword to Ambeth and is finally with Deryck, Prince of the Dark. But what’s really going on? Deryck is struggling with his father, who wants to control Alma, while Alma is struggling with her best friend Caleb, who doesn’t trust Deryck one inch. Plus it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with her life in the human world. Falling in love shouldn’t be this difficult. But things are about to get much worse…

Quests and friendship all fall by the wayside when there’s romance to be had. Plus, spending time with handsome Deryck is much more appealing than with an increasingly angry Caleb. The Light are always on about making choices, so they shouldn’t have a problem with her choosing to be with Deryck. Besides, he’ll protect her from his father – won’t he?

No Quarter, the second instalment of The Ambeth Chronicles, now available as a paperback or e-book on Amazon.

My review: 

Oak and Mist by Helen Jones is the first book in a YA Fantasy novel series. In my opinion this novel would appeal to younger YA readers who enjoy a well described beautifully detailed fantasy realm, coupled with sizzling romance and a hint of darkness. The main protagonist is a fifteen year old girl called Alma who is pushed by a bully into an alternate world. In this strange land she  finds that she is the one prophesied to find the lost Regalia of the land of Ambeth. This startling revelation frightens and intrigues her in equal measure. A huge weight is put on her young shoulders – if she doesn’t succeed Ambeth and the human world will be lost to the mercy of the beautiful but potentially menacing Dark Lords. An ominous threat hangs in the air…. What will life be like if the Dark lords get hold of the regalia? Will they continue to create foul creatures such as the Galardin?

The Taliath bracelet allows her to do short stint time travel hops so she can return from her own land to Ambeth safely, and burns if a dark lord comes near her.. This could be a bit of a problem if she hooks up with Deryck, (the Dark Lord’s son,) the burn marks might be a bit of a downer!

On the whole the characters are well rounded, this is particularly true of Alma, Caleb, and Alma’s love interest, – Deryck. There is a fair amount of romance in the story which will appeal to YA readers. There is also a sense of Caleb’s frustration at Alma’s obvious attraction to Deryck. Caleb would be a wiser choice for Alma but Alma (being a red headed lass,) goes for the ‘bad boy!’ This adds an interesting element to the story – a love triangle between the opposing forces of light represented by sweet Caleb and dark in the form of the more experienced (one supposes,) Deryck.

Some of the subsidiary characters could have perhaps been developed a bit more – I didn’t get much sense of Alma’s mother and at times I found her reaction to Alma’s popping out at all hours to go to the park (to make her way to Ambeth,) a little underplayed. The interaction between Alma and her best friend Sara could perhaps have been been developed a bit more too. But I do see that this would have to be carefully done so as not to distract from the quest aspects of the story.

At one point in the novel Deryck refers to Alma as a dolt. I have to say that I’m not sure if many YA readers will know what this word means… but I suppose it doesn’t take much to find out! There are a few typos, and minor phrasing issues, but these do not distract much from the story.

I felt that the cliff hanger and revelation at the end of the book provided an interesting twist but perhaps the ending could have been curtailed at an earlier junction – at the point of the revelation to draw the reader into reading more. I was left with a bit of a …. is that it moment at the end…. having said that I do think this series will develop and I’m interested to see where Book 2  will take the reader. Particularly as there are many similarities between my writing and Helen’s – we both write about light/darkness. I hope that the darkness aspects are developed more in the second book…..ha ha !! Hopefully we’ll see Deryck being a real dark lord… given the title of the book – No Quarter – I reckon it sounds likely! How exciting!

My overall recommendation – Definitely read Oak And Mist, it is an entertaining fantasy story. Its strength lies in its beautifully descriptive writing, and believable dialogue set in an intriguingly magical realm. The plot is simply written but manages to keep the reader entertained and interested throughout.

I have a guilty confession: I tend to be a bit lazy about reading sequels to books – I really have to like them a lot to do so – but I am really looking forward to reading No Quarter, Book 2 in the Ambeth Chronicles: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26101561-no-quarter

Author Bio:

Helen Jones was born in the UK, then lived in both Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that inspires her; when she was a child she did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with her and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

Helen has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog at http://www.journeytoambeth.com and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. Ambeth is not the only world she plans to visit in her books, but it’s where she is now.

When she’s not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate. She’s now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds.

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MY RATING 4 STARS

Book Vector Designed by Freepik

Designed by Freepik.

Have you read Oak and Mist or No Quarter? Do let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear your opinion..

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

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#SoCS: Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Break/Brake

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Today I’m joining in a new link up for me – Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. In her words: ‘Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “brake/break.” Use one, use them both, but whatever you do, enjoy!’ Here’s the link to join in: Linda Hill

Ritu from But I Smile Anyway and I were having a blogging chat about our kids exam nerves so that got me thinking that I’d like to write a post and a poem about that…The prompt words sounded pretty relevant to how I’m feeling at the moment. My youngest is going through her GCSE’s and this is such a trying time for her (and me!) as she suffers from exam anxiety. This dates back to her doing her SAT’s. She works so hard, and often I have to tell her to have a break! Well the upshot of this is she is well and truly exhausted and been pretty ill this morning at 6 am. So she needs to press on the brake a bit, slow down, focus less on the exam emotions regarding the exam she has just sat, and concentrate on getting ready and rested for the next one.

So with her in mind and all students taking exams at the moment here is a little GOOD LUCK poem with a crazy touch of humour to cheer you all up:

 

The Poor Invigilator Needs A Defibrilator

 

Factor in a break, a well-earned rest,

Press that brake pedal,

Breathe….. It helps to..

Fill your lungs as you count,

Whatever you do don’t vomit it out!

 

Can you imagine the mess you’d make?

The half-filled exam paper covered in puke,

Poor invigilator’s face turning stony,

Pulse weak, he’s having a bald-headed fit,

‘At least no one’s died,’ whispers some bright git.

 

Press that brake pedal,

Take a big breath in,

And let it all out,

Don’t rip the exam paper to shreds,

Heads turning as you run out for meds.

 

Press that brake pedal,

Take a big breath in,

And let it all out,

Don’t turn as white as a sheet,

Tip over your chair, and fall at the invigi’s feet.

 

Press that brake pedal,

Take a big breath in,

And let it all out,

Don’t pick that juicy zit,

Splattering blood all over your exam script.

 

Press that brake pedal,

Take a big breath in,

And let it all out,

Whatever you do don’t run out the door.

The poor invigilator might need a defibrillator.

 

Press that brake pedal,

Take a big breath in,

And let it all out,

Pray for the invigilator!! It’s time to believe,

Breathe, Break, Brake, Blast that paper….ACHIEVE!

 

Show those teachers at school,

Your mum and your dad,

That pesky invigilator,

Your kitty, your dog, the stuffed bear,

Those wonky exam tables and chairs.

 

Show ‘em a thing or two…

Shuffle those D’s to C’s, C’s to B’s,

B’s to A’s A’s to A* s, shuffle them all.

The good and the bad and the ugly too!

Breathe, break, brake… you can do it! ATISHOO!!

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

GOOD LUCK in your exams.

Do feel free to comment in the link below. Do you suffer with exam anxiety? If you do are there any things you find helpful to cope? I’d love to hear your tips..

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

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Posted in #SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, Humour, Poetry, Positive vibes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

VOTE for your favourite UKYA Book Bloggers #awardukyabbloggers

Vote for your favourite UKYA book Bloggers. Reblogged via Lunaslittlelibrary.

The UKYA Book Blogger Awards are OPEN!

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Let me give a big shout out to the wonderful helpers this year:

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books
Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin
Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf
Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks
Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks
Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday
Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels
Cintia @ Reflection of the Books
Emma @ Howling Reviews
Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit
Jesse @ thatjessebloke
Kaavya @ outlookonabook
Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet
Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover
Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog
Virginie @ Chouett

28 UKYA bloggers made the UKYA Book Blogger Awards LONGLIST year
to find out who they are visit just visit one the helper’s blogs.

Congratulations all!

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Now it’s time to vote for those that made the shortlist.

Voting closes on Friday 27th May 2016.

Happy voting!


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VOTE NOW! Annual Bloggers Bash Awards NOW OPEN

Vote now!!!! The Blogger’s Bash Annual Awards are now open, get your thinking caps on…

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VOTE NOWThis is it. The waiting is finally over.

The Bloggers Bash Awards are now open for voting.

We had a HUGE number of nominations, over 350, so thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate.

Voting Closes June 9th at 12pm. The winners will be announced on June 11th at the Bash. If you can’t make it then a winners post will go live at 5:15pm on June 11th.

Choose carefully, you can only vote ONCE per category. There are 10 awards, (so it’s a long post) make sure you vote in them all.

Good luck to all the nominees.

Disclaimer: The committee has done their best to coordinate the nominations and to ensure, where possible, we gave nominees a choice of which category they wanted to be in. Due to time constraints and limited resources this may not have always been possible.

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#MondayBlogs: (Totally Not Serious) Author Bio Generator

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I discovered this Totally Not Serious Author Bio Generator via Helen at Journey to Ambeth, and as I like a giggle I thought I’d have a go and share it for Rachel Thompson’s ,#MondayBlogs.

See if you’d like to try it out –  the more crazy and humorous the better! Her link is at the end of the post – so do visit her blog to congratulate her on coming up with this awesome idea. By the way I’m currently reading Helen’s book Oak and Mist and will be reviewing that soon, so do keep an eye out for that.

Just fill in the blanks!!!!!

(your name) was born (time, place) and grew up in (place, dimension etc) learning to (do something odd). They left (your birthplace) for (a far flung destination) where they (did something amazing). (your name) now lives in (somewhere fabulous and unusual) with their (living companions). When not writing bestselling novels, (your name) likes to (do some sort of unusual and creative hobby).

I kind of got a bit carried away with mine, it started off as a short paragraph and grew….. into a mini story… I really enjoyed this! This is about 90% true,  ha ha…… I had an unusual childhood!

My Funny Author Bio:

 

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Marjorie Mallon was born many moons ago in the Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore, otherwise known as The Lion City.  She grew up in a high rise heaven scraper in a mountainous court in Hong Kong.

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Her Far East stint was cut short by her crazy parents who decided that the relentless humidity, fabulous food, and endless parties were too much to bear.  They dragged her spotty soul to the frozen wasteland of Scotland. Kicking and screaming she left her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy too. Relentless tears and a posh attaché briefcase made this girl a target for primary school bullies. In this new regime she was duty bound to master Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, farting, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. Some say that this Scottish coming of age convert heard tell of the root of all evil: the thing that lives in hiding beyond the ken of the kilted sporran!

As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad Ronald. On one such occasion steel bands were playing Calypso music. A silver barracuda swam by. It viewed her snorkelling bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. This began a pattern that has continued to this day. With dogs’ fangs replacing barracudas’ teeth, she returned to her mother’s birthplace, Kuching, otherwise known as cat city. Her friendly Malaysian relatives introduced her to a ferocious dog called Blackie who sniffed her frightened butt. She must have smelt pretty terrible -it was a scorcher of a day – poor Blackie whimpered and ran away! It didn’t end there……more animals became a feature of her adult life. Notably an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies!

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She still monkeys about as much as possible, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain any murderous dogs, knife wielding maniacs, or over-protective monkeys.

It’s rumoured that she lives in the calm punting Venice of Cambridge, with a six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and two enchanted daughters. These youthful babes are often seen surfing the country park lake before the soul stealing trees awaken.

Of course after such an insane upbringing her author’s mind has taken complete and utter leave of its senses and she now lives in a fantasy world where her family and complete strangers pay her millions to write all day and every day. When she’s not writing bestselling novels, she likes to eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, and surfs to the far reaches of the moon to keep her abs trim. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the adventurous mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with Ch’i lin (or K’i lin), the Chinese Unicorn. This mythical creature radiates a myriad of extraordinary colours, and has a voice that sings like a thousand wind chimes.

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart’s desires, remain as young at heart as you can – and  inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you…

 

I loved writing this!!! It was such fun……Do have a go and don’t forget to link it back to Helen’s original post:   Helen’s Link 

Can you guess what’s true and what I’ve made up or embellished?

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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7 really useful ‘How To’ articles – Getting the word out on WordPress

Fantastic ‘How to’ WordPress article from Sue Vincent, a must see, so reblogging it.

Sue Vincent - Daily Echo

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A few weeks ago I had a bit of a blip in the stats. Both visitors and views went up to several times the usual numbers. I was curious, especially as there hadn’t been anything of exceptional note published that day. The normal haiku, a couple of reblogs, and a couple of posts that were relatively lightweight. Nothing that might have been able to explain the hike in the figures.

There were no more ‘likes’ per post than usual… it seemed odd and, though not at all ungrateful for the extra traffic, the blue spike in the graph sort of bugged me. It reminded of that universally recognised digital taunt… the middle finger.

Was it telling me that I should stick to lightweight stuff if I wanted these kind of figures? That fluff is preferred over substance? I know that simple posts, easy on eye and mind get more of…

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Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge

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I really feel in the mood for a Haiku Challenge this week. It’s been ages since I’ve joined in Ronovan’s challenge, sigh, I seem to be struggling to keep up with all the things I want to do, such is life. Never mind I’m here now at this present moment ready to write some haiku. Yippee!!

The challenge words this week are rain and lightning. Very fitting.

On one day this week I was on playground duty in the local primary school supervising the kids at lunch time, except it started raining so we had to have wet play… no this isn’t some kind of water fight as the name would suppose … it’s when the kids have to stay inside when it’s raining. Not the most desirable outcome for us adults or the children. Children need to let off steam… Especially, when the Year 6’s have their Sats…So I was really pleased for them and for myself!!! Ha Ha ….that it stopped raining and they were able to go out and play ball and run around a bit.

The first haiku is with the kids in mind:

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Puddle Temptation

Enormous puddles

Draw kids near sweet temptation

Lightning burst they run

 

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The above photo is of my hubby getting very wet in Brighton – he’s very fond of thunderstorms so this haiku is for him!!

 

Rain Cleanses The Soul

Rain cleanses the soul

Lightning palpates heart’s desires,

Thunder struck we yield.

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Hope you enjoyed my haiku.

To finish off here’s a word spiral that I discovered how to do via Vashti – Do pop over to her blog to see her fabulous word heart graphics and haiku from last week: Vashti Vega Haiku and Graphics! and also Ritu did a post too : Ritu – Creating A Spiral Word Graphic

Festisite Text Layout – Spiral

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Here’s the link to Ronovan’s Blog to join in the challenge: Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

Have a lovely Saturday.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Links: 

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Book give-away! | The Sweet Review

The Sweet Review Book Giveaway – Flawed by Cecelia Ahern – to celebrate her150 followers. Tweet, share, like, enter the giveaway to win.

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Hi everyone!

A while back I made a review on Flawed by Cecilia Ahern (you can read my review for it here) and recently I received a hardback copy of the book from the publishers! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got it in the post – it just looked SO beautiful! I have been waiting for a chance to do a give-away on my blog but all of my books are second hand. And as soon as I got this book I knew I should definitely do a give-away on it.

So, in celebration of 150 followers on thesweetreview, I am hosting a give-away for the book Flawed by Cecilia Ahern. 

The book is new and in good condition. It is a hardback copy of the book Flawed that came out recently. In one sentence, Flawed is a thrilling YA novel that tackles the issues…

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The Writer Q & A Tag

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Thank you very much to James Fahy author of The Changeling series and Hell’s Teeth for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Do check out his blog: James Fahy Author, and follow him on Instagram, he has an awesome page…………Jame’s Fahy Instagram Page

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating books, and writing. Also it’s a way to discover and make new blogging friends. So that can’t be bad can it?

Here are James’s Questions for me – and at the end of the post there are some questions for my Nominees. I believe I have to nominate ten but I like breaking rules so we’ll see how many I nominate…

  1. What book first made you cry, and why? The first book that made me cry. Um….I’m not sure it might have been a little picture book while I was in my pram…Need to ask my mum…..More recently I’m cultivating this crying book lark to a whole new level. There have been a whole bunch of books that have triggered my crying   – here’s some of them: Marcus Zuzak’s The Book Thief,  The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, You Before Me by Yoyo Moyes, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, Summertime, by Vanessa LaFaye, The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, The StoryTeller by Jodi Picoult, and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, etc… Most of these I’ve reviewed on this blog on my  A – Z Book Reviews. These particular books  definitely had me crying big time. But that’s okay as I love books that stir the emotions. They really make me happy! Nothing like a good cry, but I have to stop doing it in public places that’s too embarrassing!  Just in case you want some crying inspiration look no further than Buzzfeed’s 53 Books That Will Definitely Make You Cry
  2. If you could be any one of your favourite characters (your own or others you’ve read) for one day, who and why? I’d like to be a guy… there you are I’ve said it – confession time!  I’d like to write in the POV of a guy for the second  or perhaps the third book in the series of my current WIP: The Curse of Time….  I’ve been a lass for a long time, and getting inside a guy’s head will be a challenge so perhaps I’d like to be Dorian Grey  for a day ’cause I want to stay young and get up to mischief! Ha Ha!!  I see my Ryder character in my WIP: The Curse of Time developing into a modern day Dorian Grey – he’s a bit young at the moment but he’s heading that way!
  3. What is your favourite opening line from a book? I’m pretty taken with this opening line in this book: “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.                                       
  4. Do you have any odd writing rituals (has to be a yellow legal pad and a HB pencil for example) No, not really. Apart from lingering in my pyjamas longer than necessary and opening up the door to the Avon lady still wearing them. I swear she thinks I live in my pj’s. Oh, and I forget to drink, eat, brush my teeth, floss, and go to the toilet. Those ain’t so good. When I get to the serious hunger stage I rush off to have breakfast, and do my ablutions…. I’m one of those writers that tends to get their ideas really early in the morning, in fact they often wake me up, sigh…and then I have to get to it straight away… or if I can’t do so due to work or other constraints I’ll jot them down in a note pad and come back to them later.
  5. Have you drawn on real locations / experiences in your writing? Yes, a lot, I think our experiences shape us and in turn they shape our writing. Often this is at an unconscious level. Sometimes I look over what I’ve written and it scares me because to me writing is a bit like bearing your soul for your readers to pick your unsuspecting bones, and often those bones are startling even to yourself.
  6. What story scares you? Horror stories scare me, and up until recently I’ve avoided them! I never read horror as a teen, I was really into detective stories – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, comic books, and fantasy. I only started reading horror books in earnest (if you can call it that,) Halloween 2015. I joined in the red eye readathon and that did it – I found that I really enjoyed them. Shock, Horror! Of all the subsets of horror, psychological horror really scares the heck out of me. This type of horror draws the reader into the character’s thoughts and emotions. You begin to imagine that particular horrific event happening to you. In my opinion those kind of stories are the most scary. A recent example of this is the short story – Big Driver in Stephen King’s compilation of Short Stories Full Dark No Stars, in which a female writer is sexually attacked by a truck driver while driving back from a writing event promoting her work. That really struck home. That for me is horror at its most powerful, and it works so well combined with dark humour, which Stephen King is undoubtedly a master of.
  7. If you were told you could only read one book before being executed for your terrible, terrible crimes, what would you choose and why? My terrible crimes… oh that must be that Dorian Grey influence I suppose. No question it would have to be some steamy romance, one last heart pounding moment before I die!
  8. Have you ever met any of your literary heros, and if so, were they amazing, dissapointing or just plain awkward? I’ve met a few YA authors via events at The Edinburgh Literary Festival, The Cambridge Literary Festival, and been close to some at UKYA.  I think I’ve been pretty chilled about it all..  And nobody has been disappointing as yet… They’ve all been lovely.
  9. Which word / phraze do you find yourself always over-using and having to edit out? Smiled. Smile. Smiling. Cried, Cry, Crying. Yes it’s a light and dark kind of tale so probably these words are over-used….As it’s predominantly written in the past tense I had to be careful not to have to many was’s. At one point there were so many was’s it sounded like I had a wasp infestation. With words funnily enough I think names of people can be tricky. I ended up with two Emily’s at one point, and then I had to make one of them an Emma. She’s still an Emily in my mind…The Chinese girl in the book started off as Aurora or something like that ………….I can’t quite remember but Aurora didn’t sound right so I changed her name to Jade. The main character’s names have always been Amelina and Ryder, liked them from the offset and stuck to those.  Oh and I had to change the name of the dog, it started off as the name of my friend’s son. Somehow that didn’t seem OK, bit cheeky, so in the end I settled for Toby. Woof woof… I met a Toby while working at John Lewis… hope he doesn’t mind! Come to think of it my doggy character is a bit like the JL lad, lively to say the least! He went running every morning before he started work. Toby the dog would approve!
  10. Name three people you would have at your ultimate book-club/dinner party. (living or dead…or undead.) Oh this is a fun one! Maureen Johnson because she’s so witty, and would get the party up and running. Stephen King because he would be so amazingly interesting to talk to, and Oscar Wilde, as I just love Dorian Grey! There would have to be music too, so I’d sneak in some gatecrashers:  David Bowie, and Prince, because I loved them both, and they died too young. One last crazy party in their honour. Also I’d sneak in the lead singer from Stereophonics, Kelly Jones, who’d be my eye candy crush, and last but certainly not least, Bon Jovi. Two crushes – That would be some party!

I nominate these eleven  ….. amazing bloggers to join in, it’s not compulsory but you might just find it fun! Your questions are just below this list.

Annika Perry’s Blog

Al The Author

Vashti Vega

Sue Vincent

Helen Jones

Debby Kaye

Ritu

Linda Hill

Shehanne Moore

Caroline Peckham

Graeme Cumming

 

My questions for you:

1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

2. What’s your favourite genre of book and why?

3. Who is/are your favourite author (s) , poet (s)? What is it about them that inspires you?

4. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.)  too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

5. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored,  attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

6. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

8. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings?Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons…etc…Make your own observations …. and let me know..

9. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

10. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you ….

 

Anyone else who’d like to join in please do…

Well, that’s it then, thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to comment. Love ya! xx

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

James Fahy The Writer Q & A Tag

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