Tag Archives: #blogging

Lockdown – an acrostic poem

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Loneliness

Ostracised

Captive

Killing time

Depressed

Oppressed

Withdrawn

Never ending…….

 

 

 

I’ll never take some things for granted again…..

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Three months ago, on 23rd March 2020, the UK was placed into Lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Three months later, on 23rd June 2020, we are slowly emerging from this surreal isolated state. It’s been a challenging time to say the least.

Now I’m not about to go on and on and on about that dreaded virus. There’s more than enough in the news about it!

What I have done though, as I’m sure many of you have too, is to reflect on what I won’t take for granted again.

1- I won’t take for granted the freedom to come and go as I please.

2- I won’t take for granted being able to shop at my leisure without having to queue up outside the stores and to being able to find what I want on the shelves when I get inside.

3- I won’t take for granted the enjoyment of going for a drive, playing my music, even if it is only the daily commute to work and back.

4- I won’t take for granted the pleasure of social conversation with people I don’t share a home with.

5- I won’t take for granted the simple pleasure of sitting down for a coffee and a heart to heart with a friend.

If nothing else, the last three months have been a reminder to appreciate what you have in life because overnight it can all disappear.

Personally, I can’t wait for that first coffee catch up.

 

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

Sunset – medicine for the soul

Spending time outdoors in the sunshine in the highlight of the day during these crazy times we are living through. Even the Scottish weather has taken pity on us mere humans and been glorious for the past couple of weeks or more.

Usually I’ve been walking along the coastal route, enjoying a regular meander along the beach and filling my lungs with salty sea air but last Friday evening it looked as though Mother Nature was going to treat us to a spectacular sunset.

Time to change route to get a better view!

So, instead of heading down the steep hill from the house, Boy Child and I headed up.

What a view!

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With time to spare before the sun actually set, we decided to explore the woodland to the west.

Not a soul in sight. Birds were singing in the trees. A gentle breeze was rustling through the leaves. It was peaceful. Calming. Serene.

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SO good for the soul.

We eventually followed a path that brought us out at the back of the a local caravan park and guess what we found? A park and some swings!

 

I love swings! (yes, I know I’m a big kid)

Having channelled my inner child for a few brief moments, we retraced our steps arriving back at the car park just in time to watch the sun sink behind the Argyllshire hills.

WOW!

Here, take a look but this doesn’t do it justice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96IQZIEHGGk

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Sometimes you just need to pause and take in the beauty of the world around you and appreciate all that you have.

Stay safe, folks.

xx

Sunflower Art Therapy Session

Sunflower quote

I had last week off on annual leave from the day job at the salt mine.

What to do? Where to go?  The answer to the second question was not very far due to the current lockdown restrictions.

So, faced with the first question, I opted to put my week to creative good use. Well, Book Baby 6 isn’t going to write itself, is it?

First though I needed to-declutter my mind from all thoughts of “work”. What better way to do that than to spend an hour or two on a different creative pastime – colouring in.

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One of the things I’ve loved most about the long drives I’ve taken with family, while visiting the USA, was  watching the endless fields of sunflowers pass by as we drove down the highway so, when I stumbled across this design, I knew it was perfect to get me in the mood for focussing on Book Baby 6.

It worked 🙂

The sun shone all week allowing me to indulge in some al fresco creative writing (and some sunbathing.) Oh Happy Days!

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By the end of the week, I had written around 10 000 words and turned a corner with the storyline. There’s a long way to go yet but I’m now one notebook nearer the end.

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(credits to the owner of the sunflower quote- sourced via Google)

 

What to do when the pause button gets pressed on the world….

If in doubt, head to the beach….. well, I self-isolate there on a regular basis anyway.

The sun was trying to shine. The seabirds were swooping and crying. The tide was out meaning Boy Child and I were able to avoid the coastal path for most of the way and stay down on the shoreline. Ok, I might have ended up with slightly wet feet but, for almost two hours ,was heavenly. No news updates to scaremonger. No fretting about the days to come. No stressing about whether the supermarket would have milk or bread or loo rolls next time I need to visit. It was simply a walk along the beach on a nice Spring day. with my son. To look at these pictures you’d never know there was anything wrong with the world.

 

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(Yes, a rare picture of yours truly)

 I even managed to pick up some “treasures” to add to my collection.

Stay safe, folks.

 

You Never Know Who’s Looking….. and where they are from….

Feb 2020

I rarely look at the viewing stats for my blog. Occasionally I’ll take a look to try to gauge how popular a post has been but, in general, I don’t study the stats page on here.

However, I checked it out recently and was left with an unanswered question- how would someone who lives in Qatar find my wee blog?

That got me thinking (Oh no, here she goes again I hear you cry) Where else is everyone from that has kindly taken the time to view my blog this month?

The results surprised me! 22 countries in just 29 days- WOW!!! (I’ll list them at the end for those who want to know which ones)

Then I began to wonder – what attracts people to a blog? In all honesty, I’d love to know the answer to that one as I’m sure many bloggers would!

That thought devolved into – what is a blog and where did they originate?

Cue a bit of Googling…..

 

The generally accepted definition of a blog or weblog, as they were originally known, is “a discussion or informal website on the World Wide Web (why does that feel like an old-fashioned term?) consisting of discrete often informal diary-style text entries (posts)”

 

I guess that about covers it!

 

Other blog traits are that posts are always displayed in reverse chronological order.

There are numerous blog hosts but WordPress currently hosts around 30% (estimate) of all blogs. I struggled to find any numbers to substantiate this but one article suggested that six years ago WordPress had 75.8million blogs listed.

Weblog is a term coined by John Barger in December 1997 then, around eighteen months later, a gentleman called Peter Merholz jokingly split the word into the phrase “we blog”. Shortly after that Evan Williams of Pyra Labs used the term “blog” as both a noun and a verb   – “to blog”- meaning to edit or post to one’s weblog. The term “blogger” followed on naturally.

So, who was the first “blogger”? That’s a point of debate but two possibilities are:-

1-Justin Hall, a journalist and entrepreneur, who began blogging while he was student at Swarthmore College PA in 1994

Justin Hall

2- Ty Inc are recognised as the first company with a commercial blog, In 1995 this took the form of an online diary where customers could vote for the beanie baby of the month. Love beanie babies!!

ty beanie

As an indieauthor, I’ve discovered blogs are a great way to try out new writing genres, market your books, connect with your readers (well, you’re reading this, aren’t you?) and to introduce the world to other indie authors. It can also be a means to get something off your chest but, on the whole, I refrain from ranting via my blog.

For me, personally, this wee blog had been the keystone in my creative journey. I started it on 29 December 2013 to help me overcome my fears of letting people read what I write. (Here’s the link to that very first blog – https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/deep-breaths-and-begin/ )

As I reflect now on those earlier blogs, I’ll admit some were better than others. Even now, some are better than others!

But, if you’d told me back at the end of December 2013 that people in 22 countries would have visited my blog in one month, I’d never have believed you.

Another achievement in this surreal creative journey.

Thank you – without YOU, this blog would slip by unnoticed.

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Countries

UK

Algeria

USA

Italy

India

Poland

Turkey

Netherlands

Australia

Canada

Brazil

Qatar

Malaysia

Germany

Greece

Romania

Spain

Russia

South Africa

Bangladesh

New Zealand

Argentina

 

 

 

An Exercise In Patience (poem)

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Piece by piece
Attention to detail
Testing times or timing the test?
Impatience not an option
Endeavour rewarded
Nearing completion
Congratulations abound
End goal achieved with endless patience

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Silently Watching at the Bone Moon- Beyond the Door…..

dark-angel
As the large oak door swung open, his heart was pounding in his chest. Beyond it, he could see a dimly lit room dominated by a large alter-like table.
“Go on,” whispered Trine anxiously. “Don’t keep them waiting.”
Pulling himself up to his full height, he took a deep breath and stepped inside.

The room was circular, suggesting it formed part of a castle tower and was much larger than he’d anticipated. Behind the large table sat three male vampires. There was an empty seat to their right.
“Welcome, Son of Perran,” greeted the gentleman seated in the centre. “Come closer. We don’t bite.”
The vampire’s dark humour caused his companions to laugh.
“My name is Stefan. I am the head of the Court of Elders. To my left is Michael and to my right, Alessandro. We’re delighted you could join us at such short notice.”
All the runner could do was nod silently. His palms were clammy, and he could feel a trickle of sweat running down his back between his wings. Facing the three large male vampires was intimidating but, more worryingly, where was his mother? Trine had assured him that she was one of them.
“She’s not here,” said Alessandro, his accent revealing Italian roots. “We agreed it would be easier to talk if she weren’t here.”
Again, the runner nodded.
“My daughter has told us a little of your history,” continued Stefan. “The Court owes you an apology. Our errant sister should never have brought you into our ways. I am sincerely sorry she has damned you to this life without your full consent.”
“Apology accepted.”
“Most gracious of you. Thank you,” said Stefan with a slight bow of his blonde head. “Please tell us your story, Son of Perran. Start at the beginning. Start with your very first meeting with our wayward sister.”
Fighting to keep his voice steady, he told the Court of Elders about his first sight of the dark angel all those years ago on All Hallows Eve, about the bite and the broken fang on mid-summer’s night then the offer of a partial transformation. He could feel himself becoming emotional as he relayed the tale of how the partial transformation failed, about his Rabbia Sanguigna then the dark angel’s trip to Spain to acquire some of his mother’s blood. As he told how that too had failed, he grew angry and, by the time he was telling the Elders of his final meeting with the dark angel, he could feel his Rabbia Sanguigna rising.
Stefan raised a hand to pause him, poured something from a pewter jug on the table into a goblet and passed it across to him.
“Please, drink,” he instructed softly. “It’ll still that anger, son.
Without protest, the runner accepted the glass and drank deeply, tasting a strong, gamey blood mixed with alcohol.
“And then my daughter found you,” prompted Stefan calmly.
The runner nodded.
“And how do you feel about your vampire existence now, Son of Perran?” enquired Michael. It was the first time he had spoken, and the runner was mildly surprised to hear he was an American.
“I hate it,” he replied honestly. “Don’t get me wrong, the flying’s kind of cool but I don’t enjoy this life. It’s cost me everything I love.”
“That we can understand,” sympathised Stefan with a wistful smile. “You were tricked into it by that woman’s selfish obsession with you and her total disregard for our code of conduct and our rules.”
“She’s been a thorn in our sides for nigh on two centuries,” revealed Alessandro. “We tried to work with her, but she too was ill-conceived. Her creator was a fool. A drunken womanising fool. She’s always been head strong, self-centred and obsessive in her desires.”
“We welcomed her here,” interrupted Michael. “Tried to integrate her into the wider family but she wasn’t interested. She’s been a loose cannon for too long.”
“Trine said you want me to kill her for you,” he said, fixing his gaze on Stefan, brown eyes locked on blue. “Is this true?”
“Sometimes my daughter says too much,” sighed Stefan, a hint of exasperation to his tone. “She is, however, quite correct. We hope to enlist your help in ridding the world of this evil creature once and for all.”
“Why should I help you?” he challenged, suddenly finding a level of confidence he rarely felt.
“You can name your price, Son of Perran. Put simply, if we could kill her ourselves, we would but we can’t. You, however, have a distinct advantage over our centuries of experience. She’s bound to you. That gives you the upper hand here.”
“And I can name anything as my price?”
“Within reason, yes.”
Silence hung in the air between them as the runner considered his options. Pushing any last doubts to one side, he said simply, “I’ll do it on one condition.”
“And that is?”
“Once she’s dead, you kill me.”
The head of the Court of Elders looked to his two companions, who both gave a small nod of consent.
“Agreed,” said Stefan simply.

From the shadows behind the table there was a small barely audible gasp of “No!”

A Dragon’s Tale….

For those of you who have read my Silver Lake series, you will be familiar with the Silver Lake dragon.

The dragon is “born” in the pages of the first book in the series, Stronger Within, when Lori draws it for Jake as a gift.

“Will you sign it?” asked Jake, immediately embarrassed for asking.

With a smile Lori autographed the piece with her distinctive Mz Hyde signature and passed it back to him. “If the band wants to use it, I’m ok with that. If you want to use it as a beer mat, I could get upset,” she joked lightly.

 It’s mentioned in every book in the series in a different guise.

In reality, the original drawing of the Silver Lake dragon (she doesn’t have a name as yet) was gifted to me by a very talented, special artist friend of mine, Fiona Knox, to say “thank you” for taking her to see Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators live in concert in Glasgow at the end of 2014. (There’s a whole other rock n roll story there but that’s one for another day.)

The original drawing has been framed and hangs in my hallway. It’s very much admired. Me- well, I love it to bits!

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The dragon first appeared on the cover of Stronger Within in April 2015.

StrongerWithin_Cover3_SmallFile

She made a second appearance in February 2016 on the cover of Impossible Depths – well part of her did!

Actual cover pic

In April 2017, the dragon made her third appearance. This time it was on the cover of the third book in the series, Bonded Souls.

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Around this time, it was also transformed into a limited edition pin by Lost Girl Creations.

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And also a limited edition guitar pick.

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Then last December, when Shattered Hearts was launched, the dragon featured again on the cover.

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And, yes, when the final book in the series comes out in 2021, she will be there again somewhere.

The Silver Lake dragon really is at the heart of my creative journey. To me, she symbolises the dream coming true. She represents all the hours spent writing, typing, spellchecking, proofreading and editing. She’s the visual representation of my “book babies”. I could waffle on for hours but you get the hint.

She’s also a symbol of  love and friendship.

Last weekend, the Silver Lake dragon was recreated once more. Immortalised forever as a part of me.

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Yes, I am now the indieauthor with the dragon tattoo! 😉

(Huge thanks to Tubi at Forevermore Tattoo in Glasgow)

 

If you want to read more then check out the Silver Lake series today

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

If you want to see more Lost Girl Creations check out their Instagram:

https://instagram.com/lostgirlcreations?igshid=1vyoy9do0tfw3

If you want to see more of Tubi’s work check out his Instagram:

https://instagram.com/tubiengipsyheart?igshid=1s4x6fr12ux90

or Forevermore’s website

https://www.forevermoretattoo.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serenity, Solitude and Sunset

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“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.”

– Jeanne Moreau