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 | 229 Comments

Good News!!! I’ve Won An Ad Slot!

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I’m thrilled to say that I’ve won an ad slot on Jenny in Neverland’s blog in November – how cool is that! This is truly awesome. I’m so looking forward to having this opportunity for some promotion. Especially, as by then hopefully I’ll have my novel ready to be published! It is currently with my second beta reader, my daughter Natasha (who writes also, and reads a lot too!) for edits, and then will come back to me for final edits. Before this, it was beta read by Graeme Cumming who did a wonderful job of the first draft edits. Thank you so much Graeme for all your help. Graeme blogs at: Graeme Cumming. Do check out the review that I did for his book Ravens Gathering:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-ravens-gathering/

So here it is the tweet with the good news!

Jenny is doing some wonderful posts on Mental Health Awareness Week so do pop over to her blog to support her in this very important and worthy cause. I just checked out her blog and found a massive amount of book giveaways! Here’s a link to that post to see what I mean: Jenny in Neverland Mental Health Awareness Week Giveaways.

I have more good news to tell you, but I’m keeping that for another post…

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

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Glasgow Inspiring City Award

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As you’ll know from my previous post Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park I’ve recently been to Glasgow with my hubby for a few days away. We stayed near Kelvingrove Park and I was lucky to be able to get a chance to visit The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum which is ‘located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style in the 1920s, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.’ Wikipedia Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s great art collections. It is amongst the top three free-to-enter visitor attractions in Scotland and one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom outside of London.’ Glasgow Life Kelvingrove Museum

So I thought I’d share with you some of my photos of my day out.

I walked through the park and came upon this guy on the bridge.

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Then I saw this very fine path leading up to this magnificent looking building.

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And then a little sculpture within the grounds .. The Vital Spark Puffer by George Wyllie

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And this one too..

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And I walked round to the Argyle Street museum entrance too. Here it is standing proudly like a jewel of beauteous splendor on a hill.

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Closer it doesn’t disappoint. Look at this! What an imposing building.

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Inside it is just as magnificent. I arrived in time for the organ recital – do you see that tiny dot of a man in the middle of the photo wearing a white jacket playing the organ?

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Take a look at these white floating heads There’s something quite eerie about them!! …

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And this…

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There are 9,000 pieces on exhibition or thereabouts, don’t expect me to count them all individually – this is what I read somewhere. Judging by what I saw I could well believe this. My advice is don’t be a tight Scotsman! Pop some money in the donate box – this really is an amazing art gallery and museum, and a few pounds wouldn’t go amiss to show your appreciation! At the moment there are three exhibition on too:

Then it’s time for a coffee.

There are two options for cafes. Either you can grab a quick sandwich in the centre hall of the museum gallery, which is fine if you’re in a hurry. But if you’re not, I’d advise you to treat yourself to a drink, cake or lunch in the KG Cafe in the basement.  That’s what I did and I didn’t regret it. Here’s why… beautiful views…

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Glasgow is an inspiring and welcoming city. I’m leaving you with my final photo of these beautiful flowers which adorn various places of interest in the streets of Glasgow.

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Have you visited Glasgow? Do let me know if you have. Perhaps you might want to take a look at this: Newsquest Scotland Inspiring City Awards

Bye for now, stay cool…

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Marje @Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

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46 Top Websites to Promote Your Book for FREE

Reblog from Savvybookwriters. A whole bunch of sites to pomote your book.

Savvy Writers & e-Books online

Book Store Stand out Against Thousands of Books

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Added June 23, 2013:

Dear Reader:  This list of websites, which we compiled in March 2012, grew in the meantime to almost 100.  Please visit our two new blog posts with even more possibilities to announce your work for free:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/50-web-links-to-let-your-book-go-viral/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/part-2-45-more-websites-to-promote-your-book/

All three blog posts are officially copyright registered.  To link to our blog posts, and let your own readers know about these websites, please use the RE-BLOGGING link on top of this page.  Thanks!  Please learn about re-blogging here:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/re-blogging-vs-copyright-infringement/

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Original Article from March 11, 2012:

1. Goodreads
Use your free membership to promote yourself and your books. Reviews are essential and reviews on Goodreads site help your book to really stand out to millions of visitors.

2. Wattpad
Wattpad has experienced explosive growth since its inception and has become the world’s most popular destination to publish and…

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Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park

 

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I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days, with my hubby  – for a short holiday. Like my dad he’s a keen golf fan. We’ve been to the Golf Open at Troon. We had a day there together – practice day  – and the next day I had a day to myself in Glasgow to do whatever I fancied. Not being the type to fuss too much about shopping I decided to have a wander in Kelvingrove Park – which happened to be very close to our hotel, The Lorne Hotel. It was quite a sunny day so I stopped for a treat, my favourite:  a chocolate wafer which is basically a tasty chocolate covered wafer filled with marshmallow sandwiched together with vanilla ice-cream. What a supreme feast!

I sat down in the park and watched these guys – aren’t they fabulous? It warms the heart seeing young people out enjoying themselves having fun. Really exhilarating!

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Isn’t it nice to see such a lively park area? With youngsters doing flips and star turns on their bikes and skate boards.

I also popped over to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery which is a must if you’re ever in Glasgow. Do not miss the opportunity to visit. I will be doing a photographic feature about this wonderful museum soon…

To round off the day I found a pathway of steps via the park that led to Glasgow University. No wonder people tend to think that this beautiful University resembles Hogwarts, (even though Harry Potter wasn’t filmed there.) The view is certainly magical. Not too far away from the University is Ashton Lane, a hidden alleyway lit with fairy lights which is packed with pubs and cafes, supposedly author J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. I happened to have an evening drink and meal there with my hubby and a couple of our friends. We started off our evening at a very quaint bar and restaurant called The Ubiquitous Chip. Only in Scotland can the humble chip be elevated to such a grandiose name!

http://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk/

ubiquitous
juːˈbɪkwɪtəs/
adjective
  1. present, appearing, or found everywhere.
    “his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family”
    synonyms: omnipresent, ever-present, present everywhere, everywhere, all-over, all over the place,pervasive, all-pervasive, universal, worldwide, global;

Here are a couple of photos of the Ubiquitous Chip and its wee sister The Wee Pub at The Chip:

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Perhaps when my youngest is University age she might consider going to Glasgow University! What a magical place to study.. I wish I could have studied there.. I did study in Glasgow many years ago now… but I went to the then Polytechnic which is now known as Glasgow Caledonian University……

I felt such a fondness for Glasgow returning for this short holiday all these years later. Student days are truly one of the best moments in our lives. I just wish I could turn back the clock and relive them all over again. If only…

What about you, have you been to Glasgow? Or are perhaps studying at Glasgow University? Is it a magical place to study?

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...

 

My Links: 

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Twitter

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Facebook

 

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My Kyrosmagica Review of I’ll Give You The Sun

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

My review:

One of the best YA books I’ve read.

Fantastic characters, dialogue that sizzles with life. Ghosts that break things to try to communicate. Highly original.  I can’t recommend it enough for lovers of YA, and for authors who write YA, this is a must read.  Practically as near perfect as you can get, incorporating a wonderful mix of art, sculpting, twin sibling, and family relationships, teen experiences, coming out, love, secrets, and the sheer destructiveness of infidelity, in a powerful and emotional mix. The book is told via the alternating viewpoints of twins Noah and Jude who have been devastated by the death of their mother. Noah is struggling with coming out and coming to terms with his sexuality. Jude feels a responsibility to protect her younger brother but there is also jealousy, sibling twin rivalry… A sense that their grief for their mother’s death isn’t fairly shared.

The writing style is unusual, witty, and pretty much brilliant. A total favourite!!

Loved this so much. I hung on each and every word as if I wanted to drill the writing style of the author Jandy Nelson into my inadequate brain. As I couldn’t do this without injuring myself I filled the novel full of yellow post it notes highlighting all the quotes that I adored. There were masses of post it notes, and still are – haven’t taken them out yet!

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I loved its quirky little commentaries such as:

‘Every picture taken of you reduces your spirit and shortens your life.’

Eek… Oops perhaps no more selfies!!!!!

An abundance of facial hair indicates a man of an ungovernable nature.

(No question.)

Watch out for those hairy dudes guys!!

When twins are separated, their spirits steal away to find the other.

And quotes like this :

Her whole face is sparkling, especially the emerald-green wings around her icy blue eyes. Her pupils are huge black caves where bats live.

Oh, my lord isn’t that just the best…

And the character description  of Guillermo the Sculptor is so amazing and humorous:

He’s a skyscraper, impossibly imposing with his arms crossed now against his chest in a battle stance, studying me like I’m a new life form. Which really is pot meet kettle, because, wow, up close he looks like he just emerged from a pit of quicksand – a total swamp thing.

And the dialogue :

‘I lost the stars and the oceans too,’ I tell him.

‘This is terrible,’ he says his eyes widening inside the clay mask of his face. ‘You are a terrible negotiator. You need a lawyer next time. ‘ There’s amusement in his voice.

I smile at his. ‘ I got to keep the flowers.’

‘Thank God,’ he says.

And this!!! Poor Jude is battling with her boy strike!

Jude thinking about Oscar the Girl-Exhaler….  He’s looking at me in that way of his that should be illegal or patented, and it’s affecting my ability to remember things like my name and species and all the reasons a girl might go on a boy strike.

And loss and sadness:

I find her and find her and find her but I can’t find her.

Noah once told me he could hear horses galloping inside her. I got it.

There are so many quotes I could go on and on… but I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

Just get a copy.

My rating: 5 stars – of course.

See how many awards this book has won via  Jandy Nelson’s Authors Website: Jandy Nelson

Have you read I’ll Give You The Sun? Do leave a comment and let me know.

This is my blog post for #SundayBlogShare via Suzie at Suzie Speaks:  How To Increase Your Twitter Traffic With #SundayBlogShare

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...

 

My Links: 

 

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Wattpad

Facebook

 

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TENBY BOOK FAIR 2016 STORY COMPETITIONS

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: TENBY BOOK FAIR 2016 STORY COMPETITIONS

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Writespiration 91: The Hug You’ve Always Wanted

This week I’m joining in with Sacha Black’s Writespiration. The prompt is the hug you’ve always wanted.

This short edited excerpt to be 200 words is from my current YA WIP, The Curse of Time,  which I’m currently editing.

The main character Amelina really could do with a hug…  Any offers..?

Cruel Time Had Him Prisoner

Still feeling dizzy a wave of nausea hit me hard. The room spun around like I was on an enforced merry-go-round. I closed my eyes willing the strange spinning to stop. As my eyes opened, a narrow tunnel of faded kaleidoscopic images came to me in a giddy whirl.

First, I saw my dad playing his guitar, with my mum laughing by his side. Then, the day my dad disappeared, followed by the day he returned.

Buried memories….

All the moments I’d ever treasured, the mother and father I could laugh with, could hug.  

Dad’s homecoming should have been a celebration, but it wasn’t. I’d just turned fifteen. It had been two long years wait, for this – what a joke. A life lived within the clutches of a curse. A tear fell from my eye, and then another and another as I recalled the events of the past. Soon they were spilling, splashing on the canvas – watercolour tears of sadness.

I looked at my painting. For a second, I saw dad’s face on my canvas. His sad expression scratched a raw scar on my vision. Cruel time had him prisoner.   His watery old eyes stared back, begging me to help him.

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

If you’d like to join in with Sacha’s Writespiration here’s the link: https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/06/29/writespiration-91-the-hug-youve-always-wanted

Hope you liked my short excerpt. Do feel free to comment. Got my sand timer ready… LOL!!!

I don’t look very friendly in my cartoon me, but it’s all lies, I am really a nice gal… Most of the time!! It’s that sand timer – it’s making me anxious… I’ve got so much editing to do to wrangle this monster into submission. Humph, I’ll get there, but it won’t be today.

Time to attack the house with my magic wand…. Tescos with my credit card, and wash down all I have accomplished today with a cup of tea, or perhaps a glass of vino. Later…

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...

 

My Links: 

Wattpad

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Monday Funnies…

Shall be sharing posts at the moment as I am busy editing my manuscript. Though I do hope to do a Weekend Coffee Share post soon…. or some such thing… In the meantime enjoy some Monday Funnies via Chris at The Story Reading Ape. Have a giggle on me. It’s free. No premium charges on laughter. Enjoy.:)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Writing Narrative Endings – Infographic…

Writing Narrative Endings – reblog from Chris at the Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract from an article by Kristine Nannini – elementary school teacher, curriculum writer, educational blogger, and founder of Young Teacher Love.

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How many writing pieces have you read with the words THE END scribbled at the bottom? Yes, I know it’s the end. I always tell my students that they don’t have to tell me it’s the end. I should know it’s the end if they’re writing a good ending! The first time I see this in a student’s writing, I write THE END on a piece of paper, crumble it up, and throw it in the trash. It’s like a mini ceremony to say goodbye to THE END, and it sends a strong message!

Barry Lane said it best in his book Reviser’s Toolbox: “Don’t write endings, find them… Endings grow from beginnings and reveal themselves through clues within the story, characters, or ideas.”

The Infographic below was sourced from her…

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The Best Editing Trick I Ever Learnt

Currently editing and this gem of a post from Sacha Black caught my eye. Shall be trying this unusual approach.

Sacha Black

Editing TrickEditing is a bitch. I’ve written about the differences betweenediting and revisingbefore. But my dear friend Alirecently taught me one of the best, most practically useful lessons I’ve ever learnt when it comes to editing.

See, for a long time, I wrote, linearly, and then when I finished, I went back to the start and edited.

That’s good. But no matter how many times I did it, I still found a shit-tillion mistakes. Which resulted in a sort of crazed, goggle eyed, fuzzy haired – I’m going to commit arson on my manuscript – type look. It wasn’t pretty, my hairs curly enough thanks.

So, I listened to Ali and started tweaking the method to suit me. I’m going to share this editing trick with you, and hopefully it will help you to clean up your scripts too.

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