Tag Archives: reading

Monday Coffee in Lockdown

Come on in and grab a seat. I’ve taken the liberty and separating our sofas so that we adhere to the two metre rule. It’s wonderful to see you again. Grab your cup and remember to put it straight into the dishwasher to avoid contaminating anyone around you.

It’s unfortunate that our usual haunt has closed during this lockdown, but it does give me a chance to host our coffee catch up in my ethereal lounge. Time seems to have slowed and everything has taken on an apocalyptic appearance, especially venturing outside. I know it sounds terrible, and I really shouldn’t do it, but I’ve adopted the reference of ‘walkers’ used on the television show, The Walking Dead, to describe those souls traipsing past my house making their way to the forest just down the road. I fear them, each one a prospective carrier oblivious to the inhabitant that is growing within their healthy bodies.

I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that a trip to our local food store is not dissimilar to bathing in a septic tank filled with clean water. Chances are, you won’t see the germs but they will certainly be taking liberties with your clothes and exposed skin. Gloves are pointless as they just add to the contamination of different surfaces. You might not catch anything but the person two metres behind you won’t be thanking you when you’ve touched all the metal railings, containers and unwrapped food with those ‘safe’ gloves. If you don’t believe me, find a pair of clean gloves and spray a little paint on the fingers. Now go touch all your precious surfaces and see what happens.

My cynicism is born from spending too much time reading about the non-conformers – the free thinkers – who assume this is just a bunch of bull. ‘Scare mongering tactics’ and ‘utter nonsense’, and my favourite: ‘the government is just using this to control you’! I wonder what you think of those comments? How far should we accept what we’re told to do before saying: no, this affects my civil liberties? Do you feel the same way?

Considering I’ve been locked away for more than two weeks, I have to admit I haven’t found this lifestyle much different to my normal hermit lifestyle. The big difference is running my Writers Club Online, though my Zoom meetings have taken care of face to face group discussions. The children love it and have adapted well to the new norms. Social distancing was something I happily practiced anyway and travelling as little as possible is just sensible to reduce your carbon footprint.

Do you notice how fast technology is being developed now that we are facing a new war. Is this our version of an industrial revolution that sets a precedent for working at home to become a cultural norm, reducing travel and therefore activating a movement for climate change? I wonder if those who work from home will want to return to the office after tasting the opportunity to be closer to their families while accomplishing those same roles. I know it won’t be the case for everyone. Some will balk at the idea of being trapped at home. Others though, might appreciate it. Definitely something to think about in a future, especially with housing shortages and office blocks standing empty for years.

Maybe the future will see less office space eating up our central business districts and instead, housing estates with forests, play areas and facilities taking precedence over those spaces so that workers live closer to CBD’s but work remotely, time sharing office space. Just a thought.

Anyway, it’s nearly time for me to prepare for my webex meeting with my writers from Wooden Hill Primary. Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you think our future holds.

Stay well and stay safe.

Space Dust – Day Three After Cecily

Welcome back to Space Dust’s journey across different blogospheres. A big thank you to Cecily for hosting us yesterday.

Today, we have stopped off at my blog so that I could share a bit more about the book with you and, maybe give you a snippet of the next book! Continue reading

Bona Fide

A child approached my desk at work today and asked a question:

“Did you compete in writing competitions

when you were our age, Mrs D?”

My curiosity as to why he would ask such a question was stalled by my need to flex my credentials, describing writing competitions I had won from a young age and my experience of writing poetry and stories throughout my youth. Watching his expression of surprise and then understanding, I went back to my original response and asked him, why?

He surprised me. He said, “Because we do a lot more writing competitions now, more than before. I thought that it was because of you!”

It took me a moment to think about this. I couldn’t deny the fact that I supported and campaigned for many writing opportunities within the school – it just didn’t occur to me that I was huge part of the influence – or, at least, the children thought so. Being a part of a wonderful literacy team that pushes for children to have these opportunities didn’t necessarily mean that I was the reason for change. Maybe it had always been there, but not so prevalent as we have it now with all the clubs and enrichment days.

One might say I’m over-thinking it, but this child’s answer touched a nerve. You see, I have been fighting a complex for many years. The stigma of who we are when our super-writing coats hang back in our caves while we go out into the real world to fill our coffers has confused me. Am I a writer pretending to be a librarian or am I a librarian pretending to be a writer? Can I call myself a writer if I have not produced a book in that last few years or can I call myself a true librarian working part-time?

All these questions float around and stew…and stew…and stew! The way I identify myself during introductions has changed too. When I first decided to become a fully-fledged writer, I shyly mumbled that I was a wannabe author. After my first book, my shoulders pressed back and I declared my author status to friends and acquaintances. Now that a few years have passed since my last novel, I’m back to being a Librarian – the title of author gathering dust at the back of my cave.

Drawing back to my earlier conversation with said pupil, it dawned on me that I am one in the same person. I am a writer, author, librarian, sad cow who hypothesizes over her silly titles when she has so little time as it is and mother! I’m influencing young minds to read and write and enjoy it.  I’m fulfilling all roles, titles, whatever-you-want-to-call-it and it’s okay. I don’t have to be one thing and not acknowledge the other. As long as I stay true to my profession: someone who shares in the experience of the written word, in whatever capacity, I am being true to who I really am. And that pleases me immensely. I am a bona fide writer/librarian!

It’s a trivial thing but something I wanted to share with you. Do you find certain roles/titles waylaid as you plough through life? What’s your take on this subject?

Flash Your Fiction!

Opportunities to participate in various writing competitions or flash fiction challenges pop up frequently throughout the year, giving everyone an opportunity to flex their grey matter, whether a literary genius or novice writer. Yup, I’m looking at you!

Colleen Chesebro, the Faery Whisperer, has kindly shared an active flash fiction challenge from Charli Mills at Carrotranch.com, which I’ve posted below.

Why not take up the challenge and see what you can free from the depths of your imagination?

Here is the prompt:

January 3, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Send a link back to myself in the comments or to Charli at carrotranch.com and share the love of writing with everyone you know.

Here’s my attempt at the flash fiction challenge…

Shadows grew as the winter sun faded behind the neatly packed houses. Children scampered in for tea and street lights twinkled to life. She sighed, unclenching her fingers and loosening her jaw. Another day – gone. Still no sirens, no-one searching for her. She was one of those shadows, forgotten from the light footsteps skipping home for tea. Her skeletal fingers traced the remnants of light filtering through her cramped prison. Sun-kissed skin, now wrinkled, stretched and cracked at the effort. Yes, she was now just a memory of the little girl who once lived at No. 15.

Now it’s your turn! Share your thoughts – its always great hearing from you.

Kennings At Monday Coffee

Have you ever heard of a Kennings poem? Continue reading

Prepping

Uni starts in a few day’s time and I’m trying to wrap my head around all the basics required just to start. The forums are like live snakes swirling and hissing with comments and information of various people’s thoughts. Some have already completed week one and are discussing week two! Eek! What have I signed up for?

While I tackle the demons inside me, I have one over riding emotion: determination. I want to complete this course and learn to hone my writing skills. A writer’s peak is never reached with exploring and extending one’s reach or capabilities. This is my mission. There is every possibility that I will fail or circumstances will force me to quit. Until that obstacle is reached, I’m persevering.

It’s strange to think the year is almost out and I’m make a resolution. I guess the celebration of a year’s death and the new birth of the next year is not the only time we can make resolutions!

If you had the opportunity to make a resolution or pursue your dreams, what would you wish for or do? Let me know in the comments section or send me a message. It’s always good to hear from you.

In the meantime, ill bid you farewell.

My brain is fried and I need to sleep. Librarians don’t make good zombies!

Nightly bye.

Wine o’ clock

I love long lines of traffic, moody children complaining in the back and the scowling sky threatening to cry out to the world below. Love the stress of trying to balance a workday with after school clubs and meetings for four different children preparing for their new year in a new class (two at new schools!). Love the plucky looks of parents eyeing out my dog hanging out the back window as I park because he’s decided to make himself sick and nearly die, and me spending sleepless nights watching over him then going to work.

Yup. It has been fun. 

Suffice it to say, I am declaring it wine o’ clock and all my worries be damned! As I pour my glass of Shiraz and slip into my oversized pjs that don’t match but are the most comfortable clothes I possess, I feel bubbles of excitement fill my body. The thought of a night of relaxation with XXX on Sky (yes, of course I love Vin Diesel but not in the way you would think – I want to be him, not be with him!!) and my secret stash of Turkish Delights just waiting for me, I plan on forgetting the pending appointments for the week ahead, the deadlines on books I still haven’t finished writing and my start with the Open University where I will be studying a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. 

Yes folks, the future may be bright and filled with opportunities, but just for tonight, I’m taking a break. 

Please, be kind and leave reviews for my books. I will try to keep posts flowing on my blog but they will be intermittent (as they have been for the past few weeks). Apologies if I miss your posts. I will try to keep up but a few will fall through the cracks. 

If you need me, send me an email or contact me through my social media sites. I’m still around, just focusing on not drowning under children, work, studies and pets! 

Hugs to you all. 

Monday Coffee: Home

I have reached home.
Today I took the steps leading me to the future, the place I want to be. I sit here revelling in the feeling of achievement I so rarely get to enjoy and…I am in awe.

Sometimes wishing is not enough. Sometimes, settling only gets you so far. But I have to ask myself why, on this journey here, did I question the fundamental right of anyone to pursue more than what their goal is? I ridiculed the idea that pushing further would reap rewards of happiness and success equally. I postured the idealism that greed is the main source of pursuit, leading down a slippery slope to materialism and superficial lifestyles. I know it is. 

But here I sit. The hunger is dated. I have reached the point where I want to be and that gurgling murmur of delight escaping my lips is not one of greed or want; it’s the sound of knowing that taking the risk to reach my happiness was not complete madness.

My happy place: a wet log covered by a doggy sack to keep my posterior dry whilst I type this drivel. 

My view – exquisite! A soft clearing half way up a hill overlooking the valley of wild grass and heather below. The sound of crunching leaves behind me as Henry pursues the heady scents of foxes and birds in his happy state. I can’t say everything here is perfect. As I crossed the gulley surrounded by gorse bushes, I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. And once in the clearing under the tall redwoods, my celebrations were greeted by a dead bird lying on the damp grass. Not to be dissuaded, I moved further away after praying for its little soul. Yes, if we have souls, so do the beasts that co-habit this earth. There, I found my log, riddled with woodworm and all things unpleasant. This is where I sit, content. 

Sometimes, pushing for those dreams is definitely worth it.

Book Tuesday with Teagan

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. I have the pleasure of introducing a good blogging buddy of mine this week: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. She has been visiting many bloggers’pages over the past few days, spreading the exciting news about her new book. If you’ve been lucky enough to follow her blog, you’ll know that she is the queen of pantser writing. Her unique 1920’s based stories take her readers to a forgotten era, serving a delicious mix of home made recipes to tantalise readers as they delve into her stories. 

Without further ado, I’ll let her do the talking!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Thanks for joining me and please remember, reviews help authors! Have a great Tuesday. 

#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic Author Spotlight Guest Posts – “The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff,” by Eloise De Sousa

Colleen has me in her spotlight!

Word Craft ~ Prose and Poetry


Welcome to my Author Spotlight Guest Posts

“I have started a new feature on my blog, called Author Spotlight – Guest Posts. As you can see from the image above, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an interested author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.” ~Colleen~


One of the best ways to meet new independent authors is to experience their writing. For my special guest author, Eloise De Sousa, this required her to step out of her usual writing genre and enter the world of fairies, myths, and magic. This is difficult at best for most writers, but not Eloise.

The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff,” is a fantasy series written by Eloise which I will update with future episodes as she writes them. Make sure…

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