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 HAVE SOMETHING WICKED TO TELL YOU, ABSOBLOODYLOOTELY, I’M CURRENTLY QUERYING AGENTS/PUBLISHERS RE: MY NOVEL.

SO STAY POSTED.

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AND THE MOST AMAZING CAT’S PYJAMAS.  XXX

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Living in The Shadows

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse – following in Mary’s footsteps – and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire. At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda’s darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so? There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.

I’d recommend reading Living in the Shadows by Judith Barrow. This particular novel is the third in the series, published by Honno Press: ‘Honno is an independent co-operative press run by women and committed to bringing you the best in Welsh women’s writing.’

The first two books are: Pattern of Shadows and Changing Patterns. I read Living in The Shadows as a standalone. Whilst it can be read as a standalone I’d recommend that you read it as part of the complete series.

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My review:

Without a doubt Living in The Shadows is a lovely family saga set in the 1960’s following the lives of three families, the Howarths, the Booths, and the Schorrmans. I really enjoyed this saga which reminded me of a TV soap (of the highest quality,) in so many respects.

To begin with I have to admit that I found it a bit daunting as there are a whole host of characters to get to grips with, and I made this worse for myself by not getting acquainted with them in the first two books! As well as this the novel is written in an unusual style with short chapters, telling the story from the viewpoint of individual characters. But, by the end of the book I felt as if knew all of the characters personally, and shared in their sad moments, worries and dreams. Judith has a talent for bringing the reader into the moment, employing the full use of all the sensory organs, creating a visual, and auditory delight. The dialogue flows well and all in all this is a very confidently written book. My favourite part of the story focusses on Victoria, a wilful young woman who runs away from her home in Wales to join a hippie commune. Sadly this decision ends up being far from a good one. The promises of freedom and happiness that she hopes for, turn out to be empty promises made by Seth, also known in the Commune as The Master.

As well as this there is a particularly villainous bad guy and the final few chapters are both sad, and riveting. 

My rating:

4 stars.

I was the lucky winner of a giveaway of Living in The Shadows via Brook Cottage Books Here’s the link to their post, and their review:

http://brookcottagebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/review-giveaway-living-in-shadows-by.html

Further links:

http://www.honno.co.uk/

http://www.judithbarrow.co.uk/living-in-the-shadows/

http://judithbarrowblog.com/

 

Have you read Living in the Shadows, or the previous books in the series?

Do comment if you have.

Bye for now, come back soon….

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

One-Liner Wednesday: You Piece of Chicken!!

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My one-liner for Linda G. Hill’s #1linerWeds this week is : This is how the poor chicken or should I say the cockerel got a bad name!

Just look at him, he looks a downright rascal doesn’t he! He deserves the title: You piece of Chicken!!

This is silly. I realise that but that’s okay. The odd silliness is allowed. This expression, you piece of chicken, is a bit of a family joke. My youngest daughter coined the phrase. We use this secret coded message when someone annoys us. Being a household of three women and only one man we tend to be a bit naughty and sometimes use it when we are ganging up on the only male in the house! Wicked witches. My poor hubby!! When he does something annoying we whisper: ‘ he’s a piece of chicken,’ and giggle….

It’s all in fun of course! No one was hurt using this expression….

Families are funny that way, we all have these strange idiosyncrasies.

With this one-liner in mind, I thought I’d do a piece about the things that tend to irritate me.

I came across a post a while ago from the lovely Jenny at Neverland about the things that irritate her:

http://jennyinneverland.com/2016/01/19/so-i-was-a-little-bit-irritated/

I have intended to do one myself so here goes. These bug bears are in no particular order, just take them as they come. Do feel free to make paper darts out of them. No. 23 on the list is bound to crawl, so make sure you stamp on it before it takes over your household. If that doesn’t work get a full strength insect killer to eradicate it just to be on the safe side.  Do hang in there until the bitter end.  No. 24 will be worth the effort, I promise. No napping, you might just recognise someone you know.

 

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  1. People who take pleasure in being rude. Why? Come on you Rotten Tomatoes! This behaviour is unacceptable. Being nice doesn’t cost you anything! Don’t walk into people. You might just hurt someone, especially if you are particularly huge beefy tomato and they are a petite cherry tomato. It would be like a tank coming into contact with a mini. Think. Behave you Rotten Tomatoes!

 

 

2. Bad Tempered Customers. When I was working in retail there were a few annoying customers who made a fuss about all manner of things but one of the most common complaint was paying for 5p bags. This is Government law now so bring your own bag and stop complaining. If you forget then dig deep and find a 5p. Your purse will probably be glad that you got rid of some of that spare change.mask-1027226_960_720[1]

3. When folks are always late. This one stems from my coming from a family who are obsessed with time keeping! We are always on time, often we’re early, so these habitual latecomers are bound to irritate me! They swan in as if it’s their goddam right. Sometimes they make matters worse by not apologising but ….. and now here’s the interesting thing ……. they get livid if you keep them waiting in return. Some are even more wicked and play sophisticated tricks on you, knowing that you hate to be late. They offer to take you to the station to catch your train, start fiddling around at the last minute, and you end up rushing to catch your train. Or worse still you miss it. I could write a whole post about this one…

4. Over sensitivity. We all get moments when we feel sensitive. I get that. I’ve been there. But what I don’t understand is when the over sensitive person in question shows an inability to be sensitive to your needs in turn. It has to work both ways.

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5. Spitting. The only kind of spitting that’s okay is sausages, and burgers, spitting on a BBQ, any other kind is disgusting. Yuk, as is picking your nose and toe nails in public, etc, etc. Keep those disgusting habits for the bathroom, away from others’ eyes!

 

6. Bad listeners. This can get a bit annoying…. It tends to often be the domain of people who like to talk about their lives rather than take the time to listen to others.

7. Swearing in excess. We’ve all come across this one, you’re in a pub and a group of people are swearing. It’s not just a few words it’s every other word.  I can’t stand this. Okay the occasional swear word is understandable if you’re angry, or upset. Perhaps you have just crashed your car, stubbed your toe, or broken your ankle, but just peppering your speech with expletives for the sake of it is pointless, and ugly.  There are no prizes for this pastime!

8. Insincerity. Another pet hate. I can’t bear it when people say something they don’t mean. Just be honest, don’t say I’m going to miss you so much and then never get in touch. Or I’d love to read your blog and then never do so. That one really hurts! Yes I’m a bit sensitive about that one! Or act all nostalgic and pretend you like something when you don’t just to impress someone. Say what you mean, and do what you say.  So whatever you do, don’t be insincere unless your livelihood depends upon it……. If you’re a salesman!!

9.  Control Freaks. Sometimes you’re in a desperate hurry and you have to leave but the person you are with tries to tell you their life story just as you are about to disappear. What’s with that? Is it a kind of control thing?

10. No humour. Lads and lasses with no sense of humour. We all need humour to survive in this world that we live in, so fire it up, keep it burning, don’t douse it out.

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11. No sense of adventure. When you ask someone about their holiday abroad in some exotic destination and they reply in one boring sentence that tells you nothing: ‘It was nice.’ As if they’d just been to the end of their road and back. I tell you it is like pulling teeth. Perhaps they prefer to talk about their visit to the dentist? Why are they so reluctant to fill you in on all their holiday details? Perhaps they went to a nudist camp and don’t want to say! I’d love to hear all about their travels abroad, nude bits and all, so this really, really, disappoints me!

12. Liars. Yes, these exist, some swear that they don’t ever lie but believe me they do. They’d swear on their mother’s grave that they’re telling the truth, but it’s all lies. So unless you’re Pinocchio keep those lies to a minimum.

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13. Over inflated Egos. People with an over inflated ego, who think they are God’s gift. Just get off of your cloud and come down to reality. Nobody’s perfect, believe me. We’re all flawed humans. All of my best friends are imperfect human beings and so am I, that’s what makes us so interesting. Perfection is boring. Imperfection is alluring.

14. Obsessional guys and girls. Chill. What’s with all that cleaning, dusting and tidying? Unless you suffer from OCD then of course I forgive you. Life is too short. Take a break, put your feet up, the boring housework can wait! But reading can’t!

Take a tip from this fellow he knows how to relax! Isn’t he cute? cat-1054524__340[1]

15. Lack of respect. This one appeared on Jenny’s list too. Respect other people and their choices. Whether it’s the books they read, the films they enjoy or perhaps their sporting pastimes.  If you would never consider playing golf in your lifetime that doesn’t mean that you should criticise your friend’s interest. Same with writing, or any other activity, if the person loves doing it be a good friend and encourage them to continue, and be happy for them when they share their successes. Okay, my dad has so many golf cups and medals that I’ve kind of lost touch but I think it’s lovely that he is still enjoying playing golf at the ripe old age of 87. Go dad…. You’re my hero. golf-990379__340[1]

16. Unforgiving. Sometimes you have to forgive and forget to move on from past hurts. Life is too short to be unforgiving. This one’s a difficult one.  I suppose in extreme circumstances forgiveness is hard to accept into your heart, but in principle it is better to forgive, and move on. Otherwise you can harbour hate, and be held back from recovering yourself. I’ve dug up a whole philosophical debate with this one… Perhaps it’s time to move on to….

17. Lack of Positivity. Some folks just can’t seem to be positive. They’re all doom and gloom. Morose and Miserable.  What’s with that? Try to be positive. I know life’s hard andpositive-725842_960_720[1] competitive, but try.

18. I can’t see it. There is a tendency for people to be unsympathetic if they can’t see an illness but that doesn’t lesson its impact to the sufferer. I suffered with terrible problems with my balance following a severe inner ear infection many years ago and believe me it was horrendous. My ears are still shot, and the problem recurs if I am stressed. The ‘I can’t see it’ scenario is also true of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. It’s not a physical illness but it is debilitating. According to Mind, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year.  So be kind, and supportive if you know someone who is suffering. see-1019991__340[1]

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19. Bullies. I can’t stand bullies, and any form of aggression. We all come across bullies at some point in our lives. In my case I have done so at school and in the work force too. If only we could weed out bullies, pluck them out by the roots. But sadly this isn’t possible. There is only one way and that is stand up to Bullies.

20. People who rabbit on. Some folks rabbit on about the most mundane things. Their bowel movements may be of supreme importance to them but they really aren’t gripping my interest. Sorry. Moving on…

21. People who snore. I know it’s not their fault but really? Don’t you know that you’re damaging my health. I need my sleep. Often snorers are also prone to doing other wonderful things like sleep walking, grinding their teeth and lashing out in their sleep. Just wonderful. I need protective armour on, a CCTV camera to check what the sleep walker has been doing plus an ability to switch of my hearing overnight.

22. People who scratch. Hey, what’s this? It follows on from no. 22. Some people scratch their skin in their sleep. This is beyond irritating. I should know, my daughter sometimes does it and sharing a room with her is…. an itchy, noisy, business. Poor wee soul, eczema isn’t nice.  So unless you are a monkey, or have eczema, please don’t scratch!

 

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23. Nits, aka head lice.  Shame we can’t groom ourselves like they do in the monkey kingdom… This particular problem is now thankfully in the past but I still have nightmares about it. Gross. How can you send your child to school with a head teaming with nits, especially if the child in question is doing Hairdressing GCSE? Ugh.

I never realised that so many things annoyed me, that’s quite a lengthy list… But no. 23 is an odd number somehow that doesn’t seem quite right, wait.
 24. I reached 24. But I can’t think of anymore…… So I’ll make one up. Writers. Boy you’re an annoying, solitary, crazy, obsessive bunch, all you think and talk about is writing. Oops, what am I saying? That’s me!
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That’s about all folks….

I must be a bit of a miserable so and so, Jenny only had 20, I have 24 moans. Well, perhaps I will be forgiven as I’m a lot older than Jenny. Given that, four more ain’t too bad! But no more bug bears,  for now. Next time I should do a list about things that make me happy. I’d have to have at least 24 smiley lines of glowing positivity or else I’ll be in trouble.

If you’d like to hop aboard Linda’s one-liner Wednesday here’s the link: http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/10/one-liner-wednesday-a-disco/

What about you? What are the things that you find annoying?

Join in the rant. Have a gossip. Do tell.

Disclaimer: the author of this blog post takes no pleasure in moaning please ignore everything I have said.

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

One-Liner Wednesday, Writers Quote Wednesday and #BeWow: Coffee

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I had the idea for Linda’s One Liner Wednesday #1linerWeds after reading  fellow blogger, Brian Lageose’s post about the woes of aging: https://lageose.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/10-more-signs-that-your-body-just-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/

My one liner is: He would kill for a coffee.

Brian’s wonderful post has a multitude of one liners which I have highlighted below in bold. These ones particularly made me laugh:

You wake up in the morning and you aren’t really sure who you are.

Tick. Sometimes I wake up and have this uncanny feeling that I am my mother…. apparently we looked the split image of each other when I was born. The older I get the more I seem to look like her….. Other times I get dead limbs…. you wake up and your body just isn’t living… your left arm or right arm, or whatever part of your anatomy has died a death. A sort of living nightmare of what it will be like scenario, scary, so in terror you slap that unresponsive limb until it submits. One slap just doesn’t do it so you really hammer at it until it gives in. Sigh…

Things hurt that shouldn’t

My knees creek. If I could oil them I would but sadly that isn’t an option. Oh and cramp, it strikes whenever it fancies. One evening I’d been grocery shopping. I backed my car into the drive and a vicious cramp struck with no warning. Thank goodness I wasn’t driving anywhere far. I jumped out of my car and did a little cramp jig, hopping about, hoping my neighbours wouldn’t spot me!

Your bladder has been secretively removed and replaced with a defective piece of crap made in China.

Yep, so true. I pee all the time, this is annoying especially when I am right in the middle of watching my favourite TV programme. I have to get up and pee. When I’m shopping I need to take a break at regular intervals to pee, etc. Then my daughter says:  “You have to go again? You’ve just been mum.” Ah, the joys of youth, she just doesn’t have a clue what it is like to need the loo. Really need it. Sadly one day she will know….

Coffee = A Will to Live.

No. 4 on Brian’s list ain’t me! I’m still a youngster!!!

Okay that’s a bit of a joke but I can function without coffee in the morning… Nevertheless Brian’s words sum it up for so many: “For someone my age? The coffee stops me from taking your life when you ask an otherwise innocent question about how my day is going. Not kidding.”

Brian’s brilliant one-liner about coffee brought me back to a particular experience many years ago. My brother had travelled down from the rugged shores of Scotland, from the capital city Edinburgh, no less, to visit me in Cambridge. Everything went so well to begin with but ……the very next morning disaster struck. He greeted me looking a bit dishevelled and started riffling in my cupboards. His horrified expression suggested that he was getting more and more distressed. In a terrified howl he uttered the words he hoped he would never have to say: “Where is the ****ing coffee?” I can’t remember his exact words so I might be doing him a disservice here but an expletive or two might be in order to convey his sense of total utter outrage.

There was no coffee. Not a grain. Nada.

My heart sunk. I knew in that moment that the last grains had been mercilessly boiled, and drank the previous evening. What a terrible sister! As an avid morning tea drinker I had forgotten all about the coffee that my brother craved to kick start his day. His messy hair seemed to stand up in spikes of rising accusation. His face turned grey . He looked as if he wanted to take the word coffee and slice the ending off (coff…. ee,)  to replace it with coffin. Mine. He began pacing to and fro, and then in one swift movement, he grabbed a cigarette, and made for the door. He tried to open this exit way barring his escape but it was locked. Oops. His turned back to me, eyes wild with fury. I rushed to get the key. I opened it. He slammed the door behind him. But if looks could kill I’d be dead. Past tense. Finito.

Shortly after he returned, caressing his precious coffee jar. He put the kettle on to boil. He poured that first exquisite cup, that elixir, he drank it, replenishing his soul.

He returned.

A human.

Thank heavens.

I had been spared!

 

But my stress levels had hit the roof! I needed a calming herbal tea to recover.

Hope you liked my one-liner Wednesday!

I’m sure Brian and many of you morning coffee drinkers will identify with the sheer horror of such a disastrous moment!

If you’d like to join in with this regular Wednesday blog event here’s the link to Linda’s blog:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/03/one-liner-wednesday-you-know-that-feeling/

This is also my post for Colleen at Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Ronovan Writes #BeWow: Be Wonderful Wednesday and Be Writing Wednesday: http://silverthreading.com/2016/01/27/writers-quote-wednesday-bewow-ian-mcewan/

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https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/bewow-blogshare/

This might seem like a strange #BeWow post but my point is this: if you can take an unfortunate experience and turn it into a lesson then I do believe it can be a wonderful thing to do. I have never forgotten this experience. It is now indelibly stored in my memory in large exclamation marks…. !!!!

We all learn from our mistakes! We all make them, nobody’s perfect. We’re all on the same path, some young, some a little older than others but we are all walking our way towards the twilight of our lives. So let’s support each other. Laugh at the ups and downs and whatever you do next time you have a family member visiting make sure you don’t neglect them like I did. Little things can make their visit wonderful. Whatever you do don’t forget to have a full jar of coffee, a glass of their favourite wine or whatever creature comforts they crave. These little treasures really can be a lifeline to make them feel at home.

Here are three wonderful quotes about the undisputed joys of coffee:

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“What do you want?”
“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Bones  

“Black as night, sweet as sin.”
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys   

What about you? Are you a morning coffee, or tea drinker? Do comment, I’d love to find out.

Bye for now. Off to make myself a coffee….. This is what I need in my cupboards just in case… and those cakes look scrumptious too!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 10 Faces

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When I saw Hugh’s Photo Challenge this week I knew that I had to join in the fun.

I had just the photo in mind, and here he is, Mr Frowning Tree.

Isn’t he extraordinary?

I photographed him some time ago when I was working as a Christmas temp at John Lewis. I was on my way to work one morning, and there he was greeting me with that wretched face. I had to stop and photograph him, I couldn’t walk pass without doing so. I have to admit that on that particular morning I just wasn’t in the mood for work. He knew it. I knew it. I just wanted  to spend time blogging or writing!! Anyway, I saw his sad face and his monumental frown had me in stitches.  He knew what I was thinking: There is nothing as fulfilling as spending time being creative. So that sad tree kind of frowned in sympathy, cheeky so and so….

Today, I was with my daughter in Ely. We were prom dress shopping. We went to a charming shop called Something Special and we found just the right one. The amazing thing was it wasn’t one she had picked. I spotted it! C’est Moi, the Fashionista! It had no price tag on. Eek, but she tried it on anyway, and I prayed it wouldn’t be too expensive. It fitted her like a glove. This in itself was a big bonus as she is so petite that finding a dress is no easy feat. This is the moment when she transformed from a very pretty sixteen year old into classy, and beautiful. The dress is simple, elegant, with just the right amount of detail for her to look like a total knock out.

She just loved it. Of course this midnight blue gown was way over my intended budget. I tried to make her see sense but as we left the shop, she kind of worked her magic on me. Of course she convinced me!! We only walked a few yards down the road, and then we were heading our way back to the shop much to the shop assistant’s amusement and the rest is history. Anyway, that sad tree has a lot to answer for, he’s probably chuckling now, cracking his bark, with splinters of spontaneous laughter. My poor wee bank account…..

So how did my daughter manage to work her magic on me?

Easy.

We mothers just can’t resist their daughters when they look so beautiful. But, as an insurance policy she promised to get A’s and B’s in her GCSE’s and to help with the price tag…. Clever lass. So I can’t complain.  Perhaps this will spur her on to do extraordinary things….

This is when my day out with my daughter turned into an extraordinary day.

We had such a lovely day in Ely, it was such fun. The sun shone. We walked down to the waterfront and took loads of photographs. This is a common interest as we are both photography mad. I banished the thought of my money blues by suggesting that we visit a free event at the Babylon Gallery. Yes free, can you imagine? The Gallery is right on the waterfront. There is a very interesting exhibition at the moment called Time and Time Again, by Helena g Anderson from 20-31 January. Today is the last day, so hurry if you want to go see it.  It totally took my mind off the state of my bank balance. In fact it was such a wonderful idea to go, as my daughter is doing GCSE Textiles and is a keen photographer and this exhibition really inspired her.  The main theme of the exhibition is “an opportunity to look at the changing nature of time on the human condition, where one sees the body deteriorate but the soul remain omnipresent. Women and girls were photographed in 10-year increments, ranging from 0 to 100 years old.”

Startlingly we recognised one of the photographed faces, a friend of my daughters. Isn’t that quite amazing? It can only happen in Ely you know, you must visit!

More about Babylon Gallery here:  http://www.babylonarts.org.uk/gallery/view,time-and-time-again-helena-g-anderson-2031-january_1906.htm

My photos of Ely will shortly be on my Instagram account so if you’d like to see them please follow the link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

I just love Ely. It is a must see place to visit, with its beautiful cathedral, lovely places to eat, riverside restaurants, and independent bookshops.  Moreover, I just love spending time with my daughters, even when they cost me a fortune.  I even found a dress for the Bloggers Bash too. It was in the same shop, fortunately the price wasn’t in the same frowning price tag league!!! But it was really pretty. So two dresses bought in one day, ouch…. what a day!!

Yes, I’m intending on going to the Bash again this year. I went last year and it was such fun. A day not to miss….

More about the Bloggers Bash this year via Sacha Black’s blog. The date is 11th of June, so do put it in your calendar. By all accounts it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome event. I just can’t wait.

http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/10/01/the-bash-is-back-the-second-annual-bloggersbash-2016/

And my account of last year’s event:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/the-bloggers-bash-oh-what-a-day/

Want to meet the organisers and attendees from last year? :

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/meet-the-bloggers-who-attended-the-first-annual-bloggersbash-held-in-london-on-august-1st-2015/

 

bloggers bash 2016

 

Here’s the link to Hugh’s blog if you’d like to join in his photography challenge:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/01/26/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-10-faces/

Here’s Hugh’s advice on what to do if you want to join in:

This week take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face. Rather than taking photos of the faces of people or animals try and capture an object that looks like it has a face.

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 10 – Faces.”
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 below so that other participants can view your post.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica XX

FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #11

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Today I am joining in with Ronovan’s Friday Fictions, a writing flash fiction challenge. Here’s the link to his blog if you’d like to join in too:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/friday-fictions/

His prompt this week to :

Use the first line of one of your favorite songs and begin your story with that line. (REQUIRED)

  • Word count of no more than 300. (STRONGLY SUGGESTED but I don’t want you to let it get in the way of creativity.)
One of my favourite bands are Stereophonics and I just love Indian Summer, and so does my husband, though I think he fancies the girl in the video! That’s ok as I kind of fancy Kelly Jones so we sit there quite happily watching Indian Summer together!

 

My flash fiction challenge is inspired by the lyrics of Indian Summer. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/s/stereophonics/indian_summer.html

 

Here’s my flash fiction challenge:

 

A Weeping Watercolour.

Every time that I see her, a lightning bolt fills the room. Fire floods my belly. I’m picking up the pieces, living each day alone. I try to hack it but I can’t handle it no more. This is a reservoir of loneliness with no escape.

Our poignant reunion, a gash in my heart. You went back to your jealous husband. I returned to my sad lonely home. Suicide fills my thoughts. I play a game of chance, tiptoeing on top of precarious ledges, hoping that I will fall. But the lover in me climbs back to safety, to life this life alone.

I long for one last kiss that’s all I desire. I lie. I need one moment to stroke your silky skin by the firelight. My longing letters remain unanswered. My words fall, tumbling like brushstrokes on a nude painting. I can see each contour of your skin as I pick up my paintbrush, longing to paint you again.

My painting is finished. I sit back and enjoy your company, dearest, I talk and you, you listen but you don’t reply, only your eyes smile at me, your body glowing with desire. If only you could climb out of the canvas and join me here by the fire. It is raging, roaring. The light from the fire longs to caress your skin, as I do, but your sad eyes stare at me, killing me with your thoughts.

How you love your husband.

How you will never leave him.

I have been a fool. I cannot bear this pain. So I tear your painting piece by piece, ripping it to shreds.

My tears fall, cleansing you from my mind, erasing the last shreds of your painting little by little until you are just a weeping watercolour, a foolish memory.

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

 

Please do comment on my flash fiction I would appreciate your overall opinion, and any areas for improvement. Thanks.

Love can be such a destructive force if it is not returned. Or if love has left the happy home. A lonely wretched journey can follow. It always saddens me when I hear about friends suffering in such a way. If only we could erase the pain as easily as we create it in the first place. But life is never that simple. No magic carpet can carry it away…. If only.

That’s it. No more words.

Just a heartfelt wish for happiness for all my friends, and those suffering in such a way.

Hope to see you again soon, there is always a warm welcome here at Kyrosmagica.

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Much love Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Bye Bye Retail Hello Writing!!!!!

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As some of you might know from a previous post: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/retail-inspiration-yuletide-style/

I have been working as a Christmas temp in John Lewis Cambridge, and yesterday was my last day. It has been quite an enlightening and interesting experience in many ways. I started off with oodles and oodles of training. John Lewis puts a lot of priority on staff training so if you want to go into retail in a serious way this definitely is the company to work for. Or if perhaps you might be a student looking for some extra cash while studying, or a return to work mum looking for their first venture back to work…. Or a hopeful author a.k.a someone like me….. Whoever you are John Lewis will take you on if you are prepared to work hard.

Amongst the till training, laws about selling knives, and other hazardous substances we learnt all about different kinds of fire hazards, including chip pan fires!! Hence the funny photo at the top of my post…… An extinguisher would be very appropriate if you happen to work in their staff canteen, and are regularly using industrial sized deep pan fryers. But somehow they didn’t warn us about lesser hazards and potential injuries such as the kimble gun, paper cuts, or staple accidents, etc, which happen on the shop floor!

Here are some of my amusing highlights, I hope you like them:

  • I tend to be a bit accident prone. I managed to cut myself, on shelfing, prick my finger with the point of a kimble gun, drawing blood. This sharp needle like device is used to secure tags to gloves, hats, etc. As well as this a fellow member of staff also stapled her finger at the till! Quite a feat, I’m not quite sure how she managed to do this……
  • Not content with that alone, in the stock room I nearly squashed a fellow member of staff between the unsuspecting racks of clothes, by moving the large winding rack without checking anyone was in there. Oops. I’m so glad she alerted me to her presence up a ladder. She shouted! I would too! It’s bad enough climbing up ladders without being at the mercy of people like me….
  • I’ve had some odd requests from customers and witnessed some strange ones too. A gentleman asked me to take a photo so I asked him what he’d like me to photograph, and he said himself, dressed in his John Lewis jacket and cap. Then he asked me for my impression of the overall look. He was quite handsome ,……
  • One day a man came to my till and said he had a business meeting and he needed to buy something more suitable to wear so he proceeded to buy exactly the same designer black polo shirt, and jeans that he was currently wearing.. How strange, there was no difference at all, and the ones he was wearing didn’t even look worn. It does make me wonder why? Why would he spend so much money to buy exactly the same clothes, in the same colour? Was he about to murder someone in his current set and he needed a clean outfit for later? Ah, this is what happens if you write, you imagine scenarios everywhere… No one can escape your scrutiny.
  • At the till point one of the younger members of staff, a particularly cheerful young chap, who seemed to be particularly keen and vocal in his enthusiasm for customer care was asked to model a children’s hat for a customer, he obliged. It was a monster woolly hat, that covered the majority of his face like a balaclava. Afterwards I remarked that I wish we had had a polaroid camera behind the till to take his photo as evidence of his embarrassing moment.
  • On my last day we had fireworks at the till, well not real ones, just bubble wrap being popped by a nineteen year old co-worker who likes to burst the bubbles on the wrap. Of course it was quiet at the time, she didn’t keep the customers waiting!!
  • There were hugs, a card, with the following message from my boss: “Thanks for your support over Xmas, good luck with your writing, you may be the next J K Rowling!!” No pressure then! Last but certainly not least a pressie of Double Choc Chip Biscuits from Liberty London. Yum… Looking forward to eating these this weekend on my trip to London to go prom shopping for a dress for my daughter!

 

All in all, experiences are what make writers, they furnish us with ideas, and ideas can come from anywhere, from behind a till, in the stockroom, talking to people…….

 

I am very happy to have had this particular experience…. oh and the pay packet will come in handy as I will have a lot of expenses over the coming months. Thank you John Lewis…..

 

Now it is time to settle down and write. I am so excited, I just can’t wait!

 

I have received an illuminating writer’s report from The Hilary Johnson Authors Advisory Service: http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/ on my manuscript, Krystallos.

 

I know what needs doing, so from Monday I shall be immersing myself in writing…… with a view to editing parts of the manuscript, making some necessary changes, and then self-publishing….

 

But to do that I will have to put my sad hat on, one of the Writer’s Advisory Agency recommendations was to make my main character much more afflicted by sorrow at the beginning of the manuscript, so with that in mind I will have to try and read sad books, immerse myself in a general theme of sadness…. so that my main character, Amelina, will engage with readers on a more personal level. Teenagers like to dwell on the dark side of life and this is something I have to remember to do….
More about that and my progress editing in later posts to come….. Keep me at it, please don’t let me slack. Pester me…

 

So with editing in mind I am currently reading a book that found me quite by chance. It’s nice when that happens, I saw it at the park and ride bus stop on the way to work, (a free read donated by a fellow traveller.) I’m so glad I picked it up as it is quite a short, interesting, and sad read.
Look At Me by Anita Brookner, here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

 

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A lonely art historian absorbed in her research seizes the opportunity to share in the joys and pleasures of the lives of a glittering couple, only to find her hopes of companionship and happiness shattered.

 

So book bloggers/enthusiasts, do you have any book recommendations for sad books? Do let me know particularly if they have a young, preferably female main protagonist.

 

Lots to be done but now the path is set, all I have to do is walk in Amelina’s shoes, and hope she will lead me to the light…..

 

Bye for now,

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared

 

 

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages. 

 

My review:

I loved The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson right from the start. The title itself just sums up the story so well, it is long, and diverse like the age of the main protagonist Allan, and it whets the reader’s curiosity by being so crazy sounding.

What’s not to love about a hundred year old man who climbs out of his old folks home to escape his own wretched birthday party?

The party organiser,  Director Alice, isn’t exactly a bundle of riotous laughs, she’s a party pooper if there was ever one, so it’s no wonder that strong minded Allan opts out. There is something so appealing and admirable about this centenarian who still has that spirit of adventure well and truly centre place in his heart, even if he is not quite as quick on his feet and his bladder control is somewhat lacking!

The Hundred-Old Man had me chuckling, and thoroughly entertained throughout.

This is a very cleverly executed book, it manages to take us on a journey to diverse parts of the world, Sweden, Russia, USA, and encompasses such a wide range of genres in one book: humour, romance, an adventure story, shifting time periods,  from orphan Allan’s present to his very fascinating past as an explosive expert, referencing major events and names in history and world politics, such as Stalin, Oppenheimer, Harry Truman, Charles D Gaulle, Lyndon Johnson, Winston Churchill, ….. which astound the reader with  Allan’s part in them verging on the extreme scale of preposterous but somehow still manage to retain an element of far-fetched believability for the narrative to be successful. The author manages to carry  this off by sticking to the novel’s premise and allowing The Hundred Year Old Man  to be an extreme case of crazy from the very start to the finish line. I  liked that!

WARNING: Readers beware, you must be willing to suspend rational belief, and join in this adventure in a light hearted way, or this novel will just not work for you.

Allan is on the run, (except he can’t run,)  from the police after stealing a suitcase full of cash from a young man, his actions are justified in the following manner: “When life has gone into overtime it’s easy to take liberties,”   thereafter the reader would suppose that the young man, (who turns out to be a criminal element,) would be a serious threat to Allan’s wellbeing. Wrong. Don’t let Allan’s age fool you, rascal Allan is not to be trifled with!!

On his crazy travels this non-politically driven, Vodka swilling ancient befriends a petty thief, a hotdog stand owner who has made it an art form to study as many subjects as he can, (the list of his almost occupations are long and varied!): a doctor, welder, vet, literature expert, etc, etc, and a red haired lady, renamed the Beauty, with a penchant for expressing herself with expletives, who is the proud owner of a dog and a pet elephant called Sonya.

A series of unfortunate events happen, which don’t seem to phase Allan at all, including several murders giving rise to wave after wave of black humour. So you name it, this novel has it all in extreme bucketful’s.  In fact in my opinion, it packs an almighty explosive punch, that gets your belly heaving with laughter!!

So definitely without a doubt The Hundred Year Old Man is one to grace my favourites shelf, and if you haven’t read it what are you waiting for? Go get a copy….

My rating: 5 loud preposterous crazy chuckling stars!!

Doctors Prescription: Preferably consume with a strong shot of Vodka (Allan’s favourite drink,)  to increase your reading adventure.

 

Have you read The Man Who Climbed Out of The Window? If you have do let me know your opinion…

 

Just some of my favourite quotes:

“Allan looked at the bus and then at the suitcase, then again at the bus and then again at the suitcase. It has wheels, he said to himself. And there’s a strap to pull it by too. And then Allan surprised himself by making what – you have to admit – was decision to say ‘yes’ to life.”

“People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.”

                   “Never try to out drink a Swede, unless you happen to be a Finn or at least a Russian.”

“There are only two things I can do better than most people. One of them is to make vodka from goats’ milk, and the other is to put together an atom bomb.”

“I shall destroy capitalism! Do you hear! I shall destroy every single capitalist! And I shall start with you, you dog, if you don’t help us with the bomb!’
Allan noted that the had managed to be both a rat and a dog in the course of a minute or so. And that Stalin was being rather inconsistent, because now he wanted to use Allan’s services after all.
But Allan wasn’t going to sit there and listen to this abuse any longer. He had come to Moscow to help them out, not to be shouted at. Stalin would have to manage on his own.
‘I’ve been thinking,’ said Allan.
‘What,’ said Stalin angrily.
‘Why don’t you shave off that moustache?’
With that the dinner was over, because the interpreter fainted.”

“Imagine that, death was just like being asleep. Would he have time to think before it was all over? And would he have time to think that he had thought it? But wait, how much do you have to think before you have finished thinking?”

Bye for now, hope to see you soon….

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

Ronovan Writes Haiku Prompt Challenge: Crystal and Hope

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Well with a prompt like that from Ron there is just no way that I wouldn’t join in with the Haiku prompt challenge this week. Who could say no? Not me for sure.

Here’s a link to Ron’s blog if you’d like to join his weekly challenge:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-79-crystalhope/

I just love Crystals, and they feature in my writing.

Hope and Crystals kind of go hand in hand don’t they?

But perhaps with light there is always a touch of darkness, so with my haiku I am going to focus on the idea of unrequited love.

We all have at some time in our lives experienced differing degrees of unrequited relationships. In my experience I remember one such case when I was very young, it wasn’t love,  it was a touch of infatuation.  I fancied this young chap, and to be honest I kind of made it pretty obvious that I liked him. We did go out on a date but it was no fun at all, he  just dumped me in the middle of the night in Edinburgh not caring how I got home or if I got home.  In his eyes I think it was a bit of a prank to play on me, he must have thought I had been chasing him and perhaps he didn’t even fancy me. Anyway it was very upsetting and the memory of it still remains with me to this day. But it did teach me one thing, anyone that behaves in such an uncaring and unpleasant way can’t be worthy of my attention let alone of a relationship with me. So this curly haired young chap did me a favour in a way, his behaviour made me a little more reticent perhaps in chasing after a boy. I never went out with curly haired boys ever again! Instead I chose dark haired guys with straight hair, played it cool, let the boys do the running and the boys seemed to like that! So girls, take a tip from me, keep an aura of mystique and let the guy do the chasing.

Thereafter nobody broke my heart, not that he did, but he dented my pride. I have been lucky in love, and for that I am very blessed, so the haiku at the end of this blog post ends on a positive note.

So with that in mind let’s return back to Ron’s prompt words Crystal and Hope, by introducing you to a photo that I took of a very special crystal grotto,  isn’t it spectacular?

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I wrote a post way back about this amazing place called Juniper Artland where I photographed this grotto, “The Light That Pours Out Of Me,” by Anya Gallacio, so perhaps if you’ve been following my blog for a long while you will remember it. If not, then here it is, (it’s always worth a multiple visit, so do click on the link):

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/jupiter-artland-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

Juniper Artland is a must see recommendation f you are ever in Scotland, it really is an amazingly inspiring place, here’s some of the other links on my blog in which I feature my response to sculptures at this wonderful Artland (via my photography and poetry) :

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/my-friday-image-juniper-artland-sculpture-firmament-by-anthony-gormley/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/my-friday-image-and-poem-landscape-with-gun-and-tree-cornelia-parker/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/my-friday-image-and-poem-a-worldwide-web-shane-waltener/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/my-friday-image-and-poem-the-weeping-girls-laura-ford/

So this is my haiku inspired by Anya Gallacio’s magnificent Crystal grotto:

 

The Grotto of Unrequited Love

 ;

His  promise ring sits,

Crystal bright on my finger,

Mockery of  hope.

 

 In  tearful pieces,

Hope’s sweet embrace lost in stone,

Cruel, a clear cut edge.

 

Pain’s ocean rages,

Knife to fortune’s longing heart,

Hope’s pathway crumbles.

 

Crystal deep ridges,

Bury far inside my soul,

Desire groaning.

 

Luminous moment,

Lips lock hope’s tomfoolery,

Final kiss goodbye.

 

Fool I, to want you,

Curly haired lover,

Hope’s cheeky prankster .

 

Reverberating,

Darkness fills my soul, echoes,

Past sorrows return.

 

Transient moments,

Now, forgotten, forgiven,

Replaced by love’s light.

 

In Crystal Grotto,

Forever, hope, sparkles bright,

Love finds its sweet way.

 

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

 

Do comment and let me know what you thought of my haikus, and of course the amazing  Juniper Artland.

Today I’m off work, so I’m doing a bit of blogging this morning, then off to Tai Chi, later in the day I have lots of chores to catch up on, sigh, if only I could do them like this!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

Source: David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

My friend Jade at Scatterbooker wrote this wonderful tribute to my hero David Bowie, which features his top 100 books, I just loved him and his music, he was such a creative and wonderful soul. So sad that he is no longer with this, but no doubt his music, and his special uniqueness  will live on in our hearts. The world has lost a true artist,  RIP David. x

https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/david-bowies-top-100-books/https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/david-bowies-top-100-books/

#Girllove Blog Challenge

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Thank you to Janice at On the Land for tagging me in the #Girllove Blog Challenge. You can see her awesome post about this here: https://ontheland.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/girllove-blog-challenge/

#Girllove challenge, launched by Lilly Singh, a.k.a. Superwoman, on her  YouTube Channel. Lilly Singh is a Canadian vlogger, actress, comedian, and rapper, age 27. She is tired of ‘girl-on-girl hate’ in schools, workplaces, and social media, so she decided to reverse trends by promoting #GirlLove.  In her empowering video  young women speak out  about their respect and gratitude for other women in their lives. Proceeds from video views will go to the Malala Fund to help educate girls around the world. The goal of the fund is to “enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities”.

Lilly’s challenge was to compliment other women in social media using the hashtag #GirlLove.  In the blogging world the challenge has become more detailed.

Here’s what you do for the #GirlLove Challenge:

  1. Tell your followers who inspires you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis. 
  2. Tell your followers who inspires you in real life, a woman you always interact with.
  3. Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your #GirlLove post!

If you get tagged, do the post on your own blog. If you want to do it anyway, do it anyway! Add the tag ‘Girl Love’ to your post, so we can see them all! Let’s start 2016 with LOVE for each other!

Janice has a really wonderful blog so if you aren’t currently following her I would really recommend that you rush over there right now and remedy that.

Janice chose some wonderful female bloggers for the #Girllove accolade,so do visit their blogs.

I was so thrilled that she mentioned me! Thank you so much Janice. I think your blog is just wonderful too.

My favourite #Girllove celebrity is Bethany Hamilton who I have mentioned before on my blog. She survived a shark attack, was left with an amputated arm, but overcame this and went on to inspire young people with her amazing surfing skills. Do read about my tribute to her on my #WQW post for Colleen’s Writers Quote Wednesday:  https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/?s=bethany+hamilton

My real life #Girllove person is undoubtedly my mum she is a rock,I have so much love and respect for her.

There is a wonderful list of truly inspiring celebrities on Marie Claire, my favourites are Aung San Suu Kuy, 1991 Nobel prize winner for peace,  Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Shami Chakrabarti the director of Liberty and Oprah Winfrey. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/celebrity/pictures/35170/30/marie-claire-s-most-inspirational-women.html

I don’t normally do tags any more but since it is a while since I’ve done one I decided it would be nice to take part and do a shout out for the fantastic blogging lasses out there, and when I got started I couldn’t stop! My first few names kind of grew to rather a long list, boy the sweat is dripping from my brow.

Here are my #Girllove nominees, I could have gone on and on as there are so many bloggers on WordPress and beyond that I admire and enjoy following, so I broke the rules and went beyond the five nominees. But, I had to limit myself a little so I decided to limit my choices to my favourite pastimes, so there are authors, book bloggers, photographers, artistic and creative bloggers, and jewellery enthusiasts. Oh and a humour choice blogger had to creep in, where would we be without a chuckle?

Here they are in all their glory:

Vashti, an enthusiastic and friendly writer who enjoys taking part in many of the on-line activities that I enjoy too, such as #WQW and Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge. She has such a lovely About Me page that by the time you finished reading it you feel as if you know her, and want to give her a big hug.

https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

Lynz, this lady has a flair for real cooking but more that that she has a remarkably painful and captivating story to tell. She has just recently started a new venture on Fridays, doing a shout out to make us aware of other bloggers in the community that she particularly enjoys and likes. http://lynzrealcooking.com/

Colleen of Silver Threading is re-creating herself during her retirement, sharing, “stories, dreams, poetry, and good old-fashioned wisdom tempered by humor.” As well as this she is the coordinator of #WQW Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a contributing book reviewer and part of the team  on Lit World Interviews  and Authors Support Authors. Can’t get any better than that! This lady rocks, with a capital R!!

http://silverthreading.com/

Charley loves many things that are so dear to my heart namely: “books, baking, theatre, visiting places, home.”  Perfect, bliss, such a lovely lass!!
https://booksandbakes1.wordpress.com/

Jade at Scatterbooker is a book reviewer who just loves books of all genres, hence the blog name Scatterbooker. She has a lovely cat called Zeus, and lives in Melbourne, lucky girl! A cat and the beach, I get so jealous of her cat and beach photos on Instagram….

https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/2015-review/

Heena is a lovely lass, a “Writer and Author. Her first book, “Deceived, a psychological thriller, is due to be published in the later half of 2016.” She has two blogs one of which is dedicated to her love of books :

http://heenarathorep.com/
and her book blog: http://thereadingbud.com/

Galit of Coffee and Notes is another fellow Instagram enthusiast, and a lovely lass,”a writer of Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, YA, Science Fiction as well as a blogger, book reviewer, a declared coffee addict, a gamer and an avid reader.”

https://coffeennotes.wordpress.com/

Helen is a writer, “When I’m not writing I like to walk, paint, shake my thing at Zumba class and study karate. I have a black belt (helpful when writing fight scenes) and a very nice husband (helpful when writing love scenes)” Blush, blush Helen!! I met the lovely Helen at the Bloggers Bash in August 2015 in London.

http://journeytoambeth.com/

Esther is ” a freelance writer, copywriter and writing tutor for The Writers Bureau.” I met her in person at the Bloggers Bash in August 2015 and she is as lovely in person as she is on her blog. There are many resources on her blog for would be authors so do check it out: https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/

Sacha: Is the brain child behind the Annual Bloggers Bash. This lady does so much for the blogging community and works tirelessly whilst holding down a full time job and looking after her young son. So do check out her blog:
http://sachablack.co.uk/

Ali : Another star, this lovely lady is also an organiser of the Annual Bloggers Bash. What can I say? It was so lovely to meet Ali in person. Do pop over to her blog to say hi, you won’t regret it, Ali’s blog lives up to its wonderfully storytelling name….
http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/

Annika. Writing has been Annika’s passion since childhood. She has a fascinating blog, and is such a friendly,  encouraging lady, a real Swedish gem:
https://annikaperry.wordpress.com/

Debby, is a “nonfiction memoir writer who likes to write about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Her intent “is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.” Debby has been a star, often retweeting me on twitter, thanks so much Debby for all your support.
http://dgkayewriter.com/

Sally has a truly eclectic blog and does so much to support and encourage other bloggers. Definitely one to follow. :

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Val  like myself has Scottish routes, (my father is Scottish and I lived in Edinburgh as a child, and teenager.) Her blog is all about finding your middle ground, and a sense of the importance of balance in life. Being that when I was younger I trained as a holistic therapist and practised for a while, this message is dear to my heart:

http://findyourmiddleground.com/

Rachael, is the wonderful organiser of writing #Blogbattle that I enjoy participating in from time to time in this blog. She has a lovely About Me page, here is a short snippet that I particularly related to: “Who am I?  Well, I guess I’m just a girl who grew up but isn’t growing old on the inside.  I’m just a stubborn person who refuses to let go of some hopes and goals.  I’m  a faithful woman who desires to speak truth in love. I’m not special to everyone, but I’m worth it to someone.” You’re definitely worth it Rachael, so many times over…

http://rachaelritchey.com/

Lucy, at Blonde Write More loves a touch a humour and I do too, she is also a Bloggers Bash girl who I met in August 2015, and this talented lady won the Funniest Blogger Award. As well as this we both like to engage in Writing on Rachael Ritchie’s Blog Battle too.

https://blondewritemore.wordpress.com/

Ritu, “a working mum of 2, loving  wife, daughter, sister, friend to many… I started this blog to just air views, and reminisce,” I’m all for reminiscing Ritu… especially with a smile…:

https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

Edwina likes to look at the lighter side of life, and I do too, at least most of the time! With delights such as Wacky Word Wednesday, and a shared enthusiasm for haiku too:

http://edwinasepisodes.com/

Diane is a Romance writer, who “talks to her cat, reads 2-3 books at a time, constantly searches for new vegan recipes and creates her characters. In her spare time, she loves camping and building dollhouses.” Do check out her friendly blog:

https://ddominikwicklesromance.wordpress.com/

Suzie: was at the Bloggers Bash in August 2015, and has an awesome blog, definitely one to follow. She is the face behind the #SundayBlogshare. As well as this she won the Services to Bloggers Award at the Bloggers Bash 2015 and The Most Inspiring Blog Award. Like me she likes to Instagram too. What are you waiting for, pop over to Suzie’s blog for a chit chat….

suzie81speaks.com/

Sarah of First Night Design shares my love of all things creative. Where would we be without these beauties? ” art, design, theatre,  history, food, cinema and more.”

https://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/

Inese is an incredible photographer, capturing those moments that mean so much and she is such a very friendly, chatty blogger, a definite delight to follow:

http://inesemjphotography.com/

Julia, has a truly sumptuous blog which features her love of the colour red. Take a glimpse at all she has to offer in terms of photography, fashion, yummy food to devour, movies, writing, and quotes:

https://myredpage.wordpress.com/

Irene shares my love of gemstones and jewellery. She lives in sunny Spain. Lucky lady!  Do check out her lovely blog:

http://irenedesign2011.com/

All the above bloggers are totally awesome, friendly, lovely, supportive people so do check them out without delay!

I’d also like to mention that guy bloggers are incredible too and I do hope that one of the male bloggers might do a #Guylove post!!! To celebrate all those incredible male bloggers out there who do a fantastic job encouraging, and inspiring others in the blogging community……

Otherwise I’ll have to put on my suit and tie and pretend I’m a guy …. so I can do a shout out…

Any offers Guys??   …. Hurry,  the alternative could be embarrassing!!

Bye for now, much love,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica