Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

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!







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My Kyrosmagica Review of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

My review:

Just Listen is enjoyable, a fairly light read given its underlying subject matter.  The main character is Annabel, the youngest sister of three girls who are all encouraged by their mother to model.  Annabel’s best friend Sophie is popular, and being around her seems to have elevated Annabel’s status, but Annabel feels uncomfortable around Will, Sophie’s boyfriend. In time we learn why this is. Just Listen roused my emotions but in my opinion it could have been a more thought provoking read if it explored the personal emotions, and trauma of Annabel being attacked, and her immediate response to that more realistically but instead Annabel chose to remain silent and I found this quite frustrating. Okay, the reader is meant to take from this that she couldn’t bear to tell anyone and I understand that but nevertheless it just seemed a little unrealistic given the circumstances. There are a wide variety of themes that are explored in this novel: anorexia, sibling relationships, families, secrets, boy/girl relationships, sexual assault, and friendship difficulties. The writing is marked by a fair amount of telling which at times slows down and overburdens the narrative.

 Overall, I  would rate this 4 stars, due to the points mentioned below:

 Just Listen’s  strengths lie in its:

Portrayal of family life, particularly sibling relationships, the dynamics of the three sisters is where the real emotion of the novel lies. I found myself really moved by certain chapters in the book which explored the relationships between the sisters.

Owen’s character is another high point of the novel he really brought the story to life for me, in fact I would say that he is perhaps a more engaging character than Annabel. Annabel by the very act of withholding her emotions, comes across as quite frustrating. I felt great sympathy when I discovered what had happened to her but I desperately wanted her to confide in Owen but instead, to begin with, she ran away. I do get why she did this but nevertheless I wanted her to do the right thing and tell him and stand up so that other girls wouldn’t go through the same thing. 

I liked how Sarah Dessen explored this very human tendency to judge people by their looks, and by other peoples’ reactions to them, rather than looking deeper and discovering for ourselves that everyone can be different and more complex than we expect. Owen,  is a perfect example, he sits apart from everyone, is immersed in his music, needs anger management to handle his emotions, but there is so much more to him than those  simple facts alone. Even family members can have an unexpected side to them, a case in point is Annabel’s mother, who turns out to be tougher than we might imagine.

The multitude of secrets and hurts that lay buried waiting to be discovered, are fascinating, particularly set amongst the pressures to be the perfect skinny, flawless beauty in the much desired world of modelling.

 Music really felt like a character in this novel, and played a pivotal point in the storyline which was such a nice unexpected touch.

This is the first Sarah Dessen novel that I have read, on the whole I enjoyed Just Listen, especially the detail regarding the sibling relationships in the latter part of the novel.

I’d recommend Just Listen to readers of YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick lit.


Have you read any Sarah Dessen books, do let me know if you have.

Bye for now,



Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Tales from the Garden – Giveaway – Personalised Fairy Tale for you and your family.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica:

A chance to have a fairytale written about you, your family and your garden, what a lovely idea from Sally at smorgasbordinviation. So proud gardeners this post reblog is just for you.

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

Over the coming weeks there will be a number of guest posts that cover a different aspect about ‘behind the scenes’ of Tales from the Garden and I am very grateful for the support and kindness of those who have offered to feature the book. Thank you too, for all of you who have shared on social media or reblogged the launch post as this has spread the news far and wide.

Rather than give away free copies of the book; I thought that I might do something slightly different.

A personalised fairy story featuring your own garden and family.

I would like to offer three of you the chance to have a personalised fairy story written about your garden with two or three photos included. Perhaps of a special place within the garden that you are particularly fond of. It might be from a garden from your childhood or…

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Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge #72: Life and Give


This week Ron’s words are Life and Give. I was struggling with these two words but this morning I had a eureka moment, which was quite strange considering I had a few too many glasses of wine last night and I didn’t expect to wake up full of ideas! Amazingly I didn’t have a hangover, in fact I felt quite clear headed, strange indeed. I made myself a cup of tea and then I looked at my birthday cards sitting by the windowsill, and my friend Christine’s card caught my eye, with these cheeky words:

“The Older you Get The Better You Get Unless you Are A Banana.”

Typical Christine she likes to have a giggle! Well I’m grateful for her funny card reminding me that I’m getting on a bit, as it has given me an idea for this week’s haiku words, Give And Life. Her card is very appropriate too as I happen to love bananas, but having said that there is nothing quite as unappealing as an overripe banana. This squirrel knows he’s munching away at a very tasting looking banana, but could it be his last banana? Do any of us know when our time will come? So enjoy every mouthful of life that’s what I say, don’t just nibble half hearteningly go at it with a big bite!



Banana Love

Give me one big bite
Before your jaws clench honey
Adios sweet life

Poor squirrel I hope I didn’t knock him off his happy munching spot, he looks pretty healthy so I’m sure he will munch his way through many more tasty bananas.

The next haiku is not cheery in nature perhaps its the result of my reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, my current read.

If you’re interested in writing a short story here’s a link to the Stephen King Guardian Short Story Competition, closing date is 18th December, 2015.



Car of death

I can’t embrace life

This car gives death bites

I’m a murderer.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

My mind really does work in mysterious ways! All this from a birthday card, it’s amazing where inspiration can take you to, so keep an eye out for those unexpected sources lingering everywhere.

Here’s the links to Ronovan’s blog to join in the haiku fun:


And his excellent advice on how to write a haiku, I like to refer to this from time to time to refresh my memory:


Bye for now,



Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving

Here in the UK we don’t celebrate this which seems a bit of a shame to me as I love any excuse to celebrate and to eat a hearty dinner! Enjoy your turkey, save me some pumpkin pie, have a wonderful time, and thereafter the very next day don’t forget that it’s Black Friday, shopping day, for those on the look out for bargains.

My two main things to be thankful for at the moment are my new job working at John Lewis (this means I won’t be out shopping on Black Friday as I’ll be working,) so I’ll have some spare cash for Christmas, and for book marketing/book cover design in the New Year.  Also I have heard back from Hilary Johnson Author Advisory service, they have made some wonderful suggestions regarding my manuscript so now I can take some of these ideas, and get editing…. At last, I feel that I have some direction, and know what to do next. That’s definitely something to feel thankful for.

So a tip, if you need some advice about your manuscript do try Hilary Johnson, don’t procrastinate for ever like I did. Here’s the link to find out more: http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/

So I am going to be a very busy bee, or should I say partner, that’s what John Lewis call their employees!

Have a fun packed Thanksgiving.


Bye for now, I’m off to put my feet up and read a book.

My current read is Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams!! I shall be telling you all about that soon, I just hope it doesn’t give me bad dreams tonight, there is a particularly vicious car in the short story collection which I don’t like the sound of one little bit! That car is hungry…. just make sure you aren’t its next dinner!!


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx


#Blog Battle Week 37: Arrival





It’s a while since I’ve done a #Blog Battle so today seems a good day to remedy that, the theme this week is  Arrival and my story genre is: Science Fiction, Human Interest. I don’t usually write Science Fiction so this is a bit of a change for me.   I read an article on my plane journey to Glasgow about the advances in technology expected by the year 2035, I found it fascinating so this is why I decided to write a story with a Science Fiction slant, I coupled this with an idea that arose from the recent events and loss of life that tragically occurred  on the weekend of Friday the 13th of November.

So the message behind the story is simply this: if only life could be simpler, perhaps we could live in harmony with each other. This is my dedication to the victims and families of the victims of recent atrocities, my heart goes out to you.



My Sweet Arrival

I stepped into the True-life booth. The empty booth had no visuals or sound to begin with it, it was dark and devoid of life, but then a cry filled the small booth, tugging at my heart strings; it claimed my heart and set it fluttering with sheer joy. Such a needy cry, a cry I remembered so well. The baby shrieked, its newborn lungs filling the booth with its plaintive cries. I held my baby shielding her from the world, crying into her newborn eyes, sharing my story with her.

Her due date had been the ninth of January but of course this strong minded individual had other ideas, a Christmas baby sounded much more exciting! She arrived early, two weeks before her time, greedy to meet the world. A perfect unexpected gift born on Christmas day, her birth recorded in the local newspaper, already she was a celebrity! The first of many sacrifices began, my schedule was no longer mine to organise, and instead a tiny child stole my heart and my day. I ate mouthfuls of Christmas dinner on the ward instead of a hearty meal with all the trimmings at a neighbour’s house! Yet, this unexpected celebration was altogether more wonderful. Her floppy body, and inability to feed would have fooled many but I was not fooled. A mother always knows her child. From that moment on her strength of character was apparent. She started her quest for liberation, stepping away from me whenever she could, this whirlwind toddler chatted to strangers, hid in shops, sang on stage, and when no stage was to be found she sang wherever she could, airports being her favourite gig. Our holidays away were spent chasing after her, as she scoured the beach searching for mysteries in each and every grain of sand. Her future was mapped, like her grandfather before her, she would travel to the furthest shore, see each and every delight of the world. She knew how to wake us up, shake us into taking notice of her, such power in those tiny lungs, that delicate body. The love was overwhelming, immediate, and everlasting.

But now I fear for every step that she takes, I long for her to stay by my side, because the world has become a volcano of smouldering hate. I return to the booth often to sooth my nerves, to try to take me back to that time when life seemed simpler, kinder, and altogether gentler. Hate roams the world voyaging far and wide it seeks to destroy us all with its evil kiss. We live in dangerous times, the target is our youth, our children who we have nurtured, whom we love.

In this time of unmatched technology, human accomplishments are phenomenal, yet we cannot live in peace. Our intelligence and progress has been our undoing, we have no purpose in life anymore, robots, our very own creation, manufactured to be articulate, clever, and purposeful have ensured that there are no jobs for us. So with nothing to occupy us we set out to destroy what we have built, piece by piece, bit by bit, the earth crumbles. We have been so blinded by our own capabilities, now we must pay the highest price, the loss of our dear children.

Last week my friend’s daughter was murdered. Her demise was bloody, and sudden. So cruel, she had been an angel, a sweet young woman just starting her life. A piece of me died that day, and can never be resurrected, so I go to the booth often to try to remember what it was like twenty years ago before the atrocities began. But try as I might it only gives me temporary comfort, and I leave feeling sadder than before. No advances in technology can sooth my friend, her heart is broken, fragmented by loss, and nothing can restore her to the person she was before. I see it in her eyes, now they stare, holding her suffering in blank pools of sorrow when once they used to sparkle.

They say that life is sweet but for me it has lost its gloss, and this shiny gloss has been replaced by clenched sorrow for my dear friend. The stark line of her tragic lips hold an unspoken story of a living nightmare that no booth however advanced, can ever erase. If this is progress then I long for mankind to return to the simple moments that we have lost, but technology is forever advancing taking us further and further into the abyss. It will be our undoing, I whisper into the booth, but the booth doesn’t respond. I look down at this computer generated baby and realise that we have no true enemies but ourselves, my sweet, dearest, child.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Do share your views I’d love to hear your opinion on my #BlogBattle story.


If you’d like to join in with BlogBattle or vote for your favourite entry here’s the link to Rachael’s blog:


Bye for now, do come by Kyrosmagica again, I love visitors.




Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx


Ronovan Writes BeWoW, Haiku Challenge, and Writer’s Quote Wednesday


Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry PromptChallenger #71: Cover and Colour: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-71-covercolor/

For this week’s Haiku Challenge Ronovan has suggested two words beginning with the letter C that kind of sound like each other….. the letter C sounds like Sea, so, let me tell you all about my long love affair with the sea!!

From a very young age I have always loved the sea, always will, there is something about the sea that makes me very contented and joyful, so this haiku is to celebrate the sea, in all its strength and vitality. Of course sometimes the sea has a dark side too and can be a destructive, violent force, claiming lives in great tragedies but it is also a source of great joy, perhaps that is why I love the sea so much, you never can begin to imagine what the sea is thinking, and you must always, always respect its power and majesty. So this haiku is my post for Ronovan’s #BeWoW, which sets out to: (“Be Writing on Wednesday to Be Wonderful on Wednesday and make the world a better place to visit.”)  For this #BeWoW I’d like to celebrate the world around us, and the beauty that lives in the deep oceans of our world: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/bewow-2/



Cover Seven Tenths of My Heart



Cover seven tenths of my heart

Colour me with all your floats

Don’t leave me drowning


Colourful splashes

Spread to golden sunset dreams,

Substance of delight


 Cover me with love,

A colourful breath away,

Home in the oceans.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Ronovan’s helpful links:




Writer's Quote Wednesday

For Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday: http://silverthreading.com/2015/11/18/writers-quote-wednesday-bewow-paulo-coelho-magical-places/

I’d like to shout out about this fabulous quote about the sea:


(The above photo was taken in Portugal, on a family holiday.)

“There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that was as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace it’s audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had a playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed the children about, knocked lilos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret little chuckle”
Cecelia Ahern, The Gift

Cecelia Ahern was born on September 30, 1981 in Dublin, Ireland. She is the daughter of the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. On 14th December 2009 it was announced that Cecelia had given birth to her first child with partner David Keoghan, a girl named Robin. She was secretly married on 11 June 2010 in County Kildare, Ireland. Her older sister, Georgina Ahern is married to Nicky Byrne of Irish pop group Westlife. Cecelia was a member of the Irish pop group Shimma who finished third in the Irish national for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. She attended Griffith College Dublin and obtained a degree in Journalism and Media Communications.

Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS. I Love You when she was twenty-one. It was published in 2004, the number 1 bestseller in Ireland for 19 weeks and sold in over forty countries. The book was adapted as a motion picture directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and released in 2007 in the United States.

Her second book, Where Rainbows End (US title: Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) won the German CORINE Award in 2005. She contributed with short stories to charity books and is also the co-creator and producer of the ABC comedy Samantha Who?.

Her other works include If You Could See Me Now (US title: A Silver Lining), A Place Called Here (US title: There’s No Place Like Here) Thanks for the Memories (US title: Desire Lines) The Gift The Book of Tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed my post, celebrating the sea in all its wonder, bye for now,



Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Mindful Monday – “With a Little Help from My Friends”

Marje @ Kyrosmagica:

Colleen’s Mindful Monday post caught up with me today on a Tuesday, which happens to be my birthday!!! I have to say Colleen’s post celebrating the help and support she has had, is one of the reasons why I blog, the sense of community in the blogging world is immense. So I just had to reblog this and share this lovely cheery message.

Originally posted on Silver Threading:

Welcome to Mindful Monday! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

The best things in life aren’t things – they’re friends. Friends are the people who come into your life and touch your soul with their laughter and kindness. Real friends are the people who help you attain greatness as a person. I am honored and blessed to have two such friends, writer and author, Melissa Barker-Simpson and writer and author, Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes.

While I was absent from my blog the last month or so, occupied with my…

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#MondayBlogs: Drive Thru Shine!! Good Luck: Exams!! #NanNowriMo


It’s Monday again, and I’m doing another #MondayBlogs post, brain child of @RachelintheOC. http://badredheadmedia.com/what-is-mondayblogs-and-why-you-should-be-participating/

To inspire and motivate all of you sitting exams and tests, I’m focusing on one precious short and sweet word, Shine.I know that my youngest daughter Gina is starting her mock GCSE exams this week so this is especially for her, and all of you currently studying in schools, colleges, and universities. Gina is a clever lass who excels at course work but finds exams pretty tortuous so that’s why I’m harping on about this. if you saw last week’s #MondayBlogs post you will have seen my photo of my eldest daughter, Natasha Mallon’s artwork, this week I’m featuring another piece that she did whilst studying GCSE Art, the above leaf drawing which I have entitled:


One word, but that is all you need. Shine.

This sentiment is also for all those #Nanowrimo writers out there who are insanely working towards their 50,000 words, you have my admiration, respect, and awe. I’m doing a bit of editing and writing short stories quite feeble in comparison but I’ve got a bit of an excuse, well sort of. I’m starting a new job this week, the day before my birthday! So at the moment I’ve got my daughter’s mock exams, a new job, and as well as this I’m waiting for feedback from The Hilary Johnson Author Advisory Service:  http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/ regarding my manuscript. How Exciting!

Getting back to my birthday, don’t ask me how old I am I won’t tell you, I’ll let you guess…. I’m not a day over…. ????

I hope to work this new role alongside my blogging and writing but it probably does mean that my posts will not be as frequent as before. This is the moment when I sigh dramatically for emphasis. Such is life, how am I going to pay for Christmas and book marketing otherwise? Still they say Quality is better than Quantity so I do hope that I will still manage to achieve some Quality and keep you entertained.

I’m going to be super busy. Let’s face it pretending that I’m still fairly young takes up oodles of energy. Anyway I do hope that I will shine and remember to keep on top of everything! A friend of mine gave me a bit of a mobile phone tip –  she puts alarm settings in her phone to remind her to do what she needs to do, when she needs to do them, I might have to resort to this tactic so I don’t forget anything. I’ll leave off my birthday reminder, I’m not too ancient to remember it’s my own birthday!  YET !!!!

So remember to Shine, in whatever you do, achieve your very best, reach for those intellectual stars,  give those exams a bit of an almighty ninja whack in the chops!

Shine, Smash, Sock it to ’em!

And same with that #Nanowrimo writing word count, whack it into submission, you’ll have it praying for mercy, I know you can do it!!

Shine, Smash, Sock it to ’em! NANOWRIMO!!

Oh and to conclude this drawn out waffle, here’s my final thought, it’s about driving. Did that topic come as a surprise? There was a clue in the title: Drive Thru Shine. Whatever is Marje @ Kyrosmagica on about now, you might ask? What has the word drive got to do with the word shine?  Well they both kind of sound the same, well driving and shining do, and they both take you places. Driving plays such an important part in all that we do, it gives us freedom to go where we want, when we want, and how we want. The word drive is synonymous with ambition. There is no doubt in my mind that passing my driving test was one of the highlights of my life! That sounds a bit sad but it is true, I managed to finally get my driving licence after I got married, I wasn’t seventeen, I was a bit older.  But, if you happen to be sitting a driving test right now and you are a bit dreamy like me, you have my sympathy,  let’s just say driving tests, examiners and me ended up knowing each other real well. Maybe I should re-write that last sentence it sounds kind of a bit dubious!!! No matter, I like to make you laugh!

So my driving shine tips would go like this:

  1. Don’t ninja punch the driving instructor that will be an instant fail! Not saying that I ever did this, of course not, even though perhaps I felt like it after I found out I didn’t pass.
  2. Don’t worry about no. 1 that’s just me, you’ll be fine, keep focused, pretend that you’ve already got your licence, that the examiner isn’t right there with you by your side, watching you like a hawk, waiting to slam his clip board into the dashboard for that emergency stop.
  3. Whatever you do don’t let go of the all important steering wheel. That wheel is going to take you places, believe me, I’m behind it and if I (the  xxxx ? times failed driver can drive you sure can too!)
  4. Don’t hit that brick wall, it really won’t impress the examiner, and it won’t make your parents too happy either, or if you happen to be a more mature learner, it won’t do much good to your bank balance!
  5. Breathe, this is the first rule of thumb for any exam situation, if you forget it you might just pass out, and that is not to be recommended. Take deep comforting breaths, even if the examiner looks at you as if you are a tad odd, he’s not marking your personality quirks, he’s marking your competency.
  6. Do some yoga the night before, light some aromatic candles, meditate, it really does help.



Good Luck!!! All you exam students, Nanowrimo’s, potential drivers….. Shine Ninja’s!!

Bye for now,




Shine Ninja Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx


Paris: My Thoughts Are With You



This is the bridge I cross to go home, it seems a safe place to traverse but in reality where is it safe to be?

Yesterday afternoon I crossed this bridge and the sun shone.



and today the light seems to have been forcibly stolen from the world.

Paris may seem far away to some but many have visited this city and sampled its charm and elegance. It is so sad that death and destruction has been suffered in this beautiful French city.

I have fond memories of Paris, visiting as a young woman, a black and white painting, painted by a local artist sits in my old bedroom in my parent’s house, painted when I was still a youngster. I wonder what that young woman would make of such tragic events? Somehow the painting tells the tale, I was squinting into the sunlight, my facial expression sad.

It seems to me that light and darkness follow each other and at times darkness prevails in a very devastating and destructive way. My heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with those who have lost their lives in this terrible atrocity, and with their families. I hope that one day a better time will come and the world will be a more peaceful and united place.



All About Writer’s Groups Plus On-Line Writing Resources


I found this quote on Pixabay and it seemed oddly appropriate to my intention today which is to share with you some information and advice about joining a writer’s group, and to inform you about Virginia Bergin’s forthcoming scheduled talk at Cambridge Writers, in December, debut author of sci-fi, apocalyptic/dystopian horror-thrillers, The Rain, and The Storm.

Writing Tip: Don’t wait for the storm to pass, don’t wait for the writer’s groups and opportunities to come to you, go out and find them, even if it is pouring with rain and you’d rather stay in and watch telly! Go out, switch the telly off, learn new skills, discover new friends, dance in the rain if need be, sample all there is on offer!!

I am very fortunate, as there are several Writer’s groups here in Cambridge. I joined Cambridge Writers over two years ago, and I’m so glad that I did, I have found it a wonderful source of help and support.  I’m coordinator of the Children’s Writing Group, and the go to person if you’d like to find out more about the group: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/members/51_marjorie_mallon

So with this in mind I’d like to share with you my twelve reasons why I think it is important to join a writer’s group.

Reasons why you should join a Writer’s group:

  1. It enables you to meet with and share ideas with other writers on a regular basis.
  2. There are often special evenings with visiting authors coming to discuss their novels/writing.
  3. As well as this you might find there are discussion sessions on particular topics which may be of interest to you.
  4. You will meet with a wide range of people, this is a certainty, writers tend to be an interesting bunch of people!
  5. It tends to be a supportive environment, with more experienced writers, (some of whom have been published,) giving invaluable advice and help to new writers.
  6. Yes, Positive criticism is offered, but it will be done in a way that is constructive and helpful rather than upsetting and demotivating.
  7. You have the joy of reading out your masterpiece in front of a small select audience of fellow writers who listen attentively and then pass comment.
  8. No 7. may sound a bit daunting. I have to confess this was a bit scary the first time I read out my story  but you will soon find that it doesn’t bother you anymore. It is such a confidence building exercise!
  9. Often there are differing groups which you can attend, depending on the size of the writer’s group. Cambridge Writers caters for poets, writers of long prose, short prose, travel writing, and children’s writing. You may try forms of writing that you have never tried before, in my case I am now finding myself drawn to short prose, travel writing, and I’ve even written a few pieces of poetry!
  10. There are all sorts of ways to get involved, in my case I have taken over as coordinator of the children’s writing group. In my new role as coordinator I have been able to use my social media contacts to find a speaker for the next author’s event, Virginia Bergin debut author of The Rain,  and The Storm is coming to speak at Cambridge Writers on Tuesday 1st December:  http://virginiabergin.com/
  11. It is fun! You will meet new friends, drink lots of tea and coffee, consume a ridiculous amount of biscuits, cakes, and crisps, and might even go to the pub afterwards!
  12. It is far better than watching the telly, if you join I promise that you will never be bored again! Boredom what is that?
If you are in the vicinity of Cambridge, do come along to meet Virginia. Here’s a link to find out more: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/meetings
As well as this we are also very fortunate to have a wonderful script writing group in Cambridge that you can get involved in if drama is your thing. I have been along to this a few times and sampled what they have to offer and have to say I was very impressed. I even had a go at some acting, which was such fun: http://www.writeon.org.uk/

There are also a plethora of on-line writing groups too, one that comes to mind is Rachael Ritchey’s Weekly Writing Blog Battle.  I’d definitely recommend this friendly bunch of Blog Battlers, do join in the fun:  http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Esther Newton is a writing tutor that I met with in person this August at the Bloggers Bash event in London. She has a great blog with lots of writing prompts, a weekly writing challenge, and writing competitions, and markets for writers. Check out her current Flash competition, get your skates on if you want to join in, the deadline is this Sunday, 15th November: https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/flash-fiction-competition-2015/

Sacha Black, one of the principal organisers of the Bloggers Bash, also has Writespiration prompts, writing tips, and resources on her blog. Here’s the link to her current writespiration prompt:  http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/11/11/writespiration-66-2-sentence-horror-story/

Via Esther Newton and Sacha Black I found out about the Guardian Stephen King Short Fiction Competition, up to 4,000 words. The closing date for this competition is 18th December: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/oct/30/stephen-king-short-fiction-competition-send-us-your-stories

Dan Alatorre offers a Flash Fiction Challenge which you can get involved in: http://danalatorre.com/2015/10/09/flash-fiction-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-2547

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has a Friday Fictioneers event, a 100 words writing challenge: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/

I’d recommend popping over to see The Secret Keeper’s wonderful blog and Writing challenges: http://thesecretkeeper.net/writing-challenges/

A flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch, this one has been recommended to me by fellow WordPress blogger Geoff at Tangental:  http://carrotranch.com/2014/11/06/flash-fiction-rules/

If you are inclined to writing poetry there are also lots of ways to get involved.  I’d recommend Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

Ronovan is also starting a new prompt this Friday, Friday Fictions Challenge, I must be psychic!! Here’s the link to his blog to find out more about this too : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/friday-fictions-challenge-1/

Also there are sites such as Wattpad, a free writing community for writers and readers: https://www.wattpad.com/

Describli, too, an online community “that uses writing prompts to spark creativity and connect readers and writers.”  https://describli.com/

And of course there is Nanowrimo, which I must confess I have never done!! One day perhaps, here’s the link to find out more about this online National Novel Writing Month: http://nanowrimo.org/

So what are you waiting for!!! No excuses there are lots of ways to get involved, either to start writing or to progress your writing.

No doubt numerous other bloggers offer word prompts and a range of ways to get involved, so if I haven’t mentioned you here and you would like to be on this list do leave a message in the comment field below, and I’ll add you too.

Hope you found this list of resources and advice helpful.

Bye for now, I’d love to hear from you!


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx