Daily Gratitude Challenge Day #16: Hobbies and Interests #DailyGratitudeChallenge

I’ve just read a really cool blog post by this blog I’ve been following Suzy Speaks. It’s day sixteen of her challenge she has set, for herself and her followers to write about a different topic they are grateful for and follow the  #DailyGratitudeChallenge. While it seems I’ve missed fifteen days of great topics, I’ll jump in today as hobbies and interests are something I’m deeply grateful for, in fact they kinda make me who I am.

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Astrology and The Solar System:

I’m a qualified astrologer with a diploma in astrological studies. The study of the solar system from this science I’m  extremely grateful for, and my love of this subject. It started out while I was a teen, if you remember the shop Woolworths I stumbled across the annual astrology book for Aquarius, with a horoscope for each day of the year. I bought one ever year! Until Woolworths when into administration of course. The love of the stars, Moon, planet’s energies never left me. I ended up completing my studies about one or two years back.

Why am I so grateful for this science? Well, while many think this is ‘woo woo witchy esoteric stuff’ (and I would agree LOL), if helped me to understand me, life events, where I am going and even confirmed that, yes I am born to be a writer or working the journalistic field. Simply by a detailed study of my own birth chart, with my actual date and time of birth. Basically, astrology give me a lot of healing and direction in life. When I studied the chart of my son and other people, I was amazed at the accuracy I had from friends whose charts I read. I was able to confirm things about their life, or experiences I could not have known. In the case of my son, it also confirmed his approach and experiences with learning.

The study of the Universe will never leave me, I follow it closely and look at what’s happening in the world, and the planet’s energies. Overall, I am grateful as this skill I have learned has helped me to help others heal as well as myself, and it’s just a cool thing to say, ‘yeah I’m an astrologer’ LOL.

 

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My Sewing Machine and Fashion Design:

My nanna died when I was fourteen, her name’s Lucinda. She never worked she had eleven children, she was a homemaker and my grandfather worked. She arrived in the UK  with my grandfather from the Caribbean islands, and basically looked after all the family. It’s her I owe my interest and skill with a sewing machine to. She loved to sew, and I later on at school I  picked the subject ‘textiles’, which is now what we call ‘fashion design’ all these years later, as an option for my GCSEs at school when I was fourteen. I gained a C grade, not bad. It was in this class I learned how to use a machine, sew and express myself creatively with fabrics and materials. I also really loved my teacher, she was Italian if I remember correctly and so funky with her dress sense.

Later on, I started to collect dress making patterns for clothes, got my own machine and just before I had my son I was obsessed with making dresses. (That I had to wait until I had him to wear, as I was pregnant) . It took a while, YouTube, buying books to understand the patterns, and learn the craft to a more advanced level but I did it! I’ve not made a dress in about six years, since he was born. But I have my dress stand, and I named her Lucinda after my nana. As I write this I  feel like I should really go fabric shopping and do something.

In London, there is a high street called Goldhawk Road if I remember correctly, that has shop after shop after shop of fabric stores! I remember spending a lot of time there, and money before I had him.

I am grateful for this interest and hobby as, it really gave  me something to smile about when I was in school. I  looked forward to the classes, later on in life it also gave me a great sense of patience, working with accuracy, and learning the art of how to create clothing from materials. I am also grateful for it as I was heavily pregnant in the summer months, which was no fun and found myself indoors a lot of the time. My sewing machine and this interest gave me a pass time when it was too hot for me to leave the house.

 

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Civil Rights, Law, Politics

I just love this! I have an interest in all the above, I would not say it’s a hobby at all just an interest. That said, I am grateful for my interest in this area as it has allowed me to be able to make educated decisions, statements,  have opinions, and hold views on certain things that are backed up by rights and laws I am aware of, or have researched and can interpret.

I feel that this interest is probably something else that shapes me as a person, I won’t stand for anything that looks like it could be some kind of injustice, or breech of civil and human rights.  I am grateful for it as it has allowed me to be invested in causes such as women’s rights, human rights and the black lives matter movement.

Take a look at this cool daily gratitude challenge on Suzy Speaks and join in!

 

Writing Prompt: Dancing! #RagtagDailyPrompt #RDP

I’ve followed this blog RagTagDailyPromps for a little while,  today managed to log on just when they posted the prompt for the day so, I’ll take part today…’Dancing’

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One thing I just looooooooooooooooooove is dance, to watch it, do it, and learn it too! When I was about maybe seven  or eight years old, I attended my first ever dance class. It was ballet, tap and modern dance that I fell into. I kept this up until  about maybe 1999. I stopped as I suffered a knee injury! As a result all these years later I still have what the doctors called ‘fluid  on the joint’ of my right knee. It’s the reason I have trouble bending down or sitting on my knees, well, that and the fact that I’m the wrong side of thirty-five now LOL

One of the most fond memories I have of my dance classes is, when we did a choreographed dance to ‘ born to make you happy’ by Britney spears. I loved Britney as a pre-teen and teen. ( I still do if I’m honest with myself), but this song as a youngster in the 90s I adored, and really enjoyed the contemporary dance our class learned. We had a fantastic teacher, I remember everything down to my leotard I wore, sadly not all the steps. I’m thirty-seven we’re going  back to 1999 a long time ago!  Here’s the video for old times sake. As I play this in the background while I type, I still remember the words. Check out Britney’s moves! I love her.

 

 

 

Later in life, believe it or not, I actually learned the dance movies to Britney’s ‘Slave For You’. That was when this song first came out. I can’t get enough of the way Britney moves her body!! Generally when she dances. I find her a very talented dancer, many disagree and feel she’s ‘taught’.  While this is true, just like say Beyonce you can Brit has natural talent.  I learned the routine from @1:36 time stamp  to @1:53 it’s not even two mins BUT, it took a lot of practice,  laughs, pausing, and sweat LOL

 

 

I really like belly dancing too over the ‘lock down’ period this year, during the pandemic, I have watched some YouTubers who give classes. I even bought a scarf with bells to wrap around my waist while I TRY to do the routines. These days I don’t really dance that much, as in classes,  I feel that my knee would not be able to support doing any  highly choreographed dance that well, but I do still have a love for it.

When I was in my twenties I spent a hella-lot-a time in clubs with my girlfriends, before I became a mum or had any really responsibilities in life. Each weekend we headed to central London,  to the array of clubs we had back then.  In my early teens and twenties I was ( and still am) a massive fan of soulful house music and the UK’s ‘Old Skool Garage’ anthems!  In east London there were some great places, also the club ‘Fabric’ back then was a spot we’d go to a lot.

I can’t pin-point exactly what it is I love about dance, or any kind of exercise that is dance based. For example pilates, aerobics, yoga and even pole dancing! It could be the music, and my love for that. If there’s a song I love I automatically feel like moving to it sober or not LOL. I also like how good it is for the soul, I find it releases ‘happy vibes’. If time was not a problem I think I’d love to try to learn how to pole dance, but classic pole dancing that’s elegant as well as pole dancing for…well gentlemen’s clubs LOL ( Why not!)

I would also like learn salsa, it is a lot of fun. I only ever did one class with a girlfriend as it was more like  her finding a ‘date’, rather than something we’d do each week. In all honesty, it’s time for me between juggling life and writing, I just don’t have the time. If I did, I would love to return to dance classes — gentle ones due to my knee and see if I’ve still got it!

Do you like to dance? If so what do you like to dance to? Do you have a favouite song or music?

Writing Prompt: Tell Us About Your English Teacher… Damn! Okay

Stealing one of the personal blog prompts today from 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers .  Wow my English teacher in what we’d call in the UK ‘secondary school’ I guess ‘high school’ to the rest of the world, in a nutshell he was a bit of  a mess! LOL.  I won’t name him, for now I’ll call him Mr. X.

 

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Where did I go to school?

In the depths of south London, Mum actually sent me out of the local area to school. At the time she didn’t feel the standard of education was great in our local area.. It was just a short bus ride away, about no more than thirty to forty five minutes from where we lived. It was a mixed gender school also, generally the school did have a good reputation back then. Lots of parents sent their children there. The only thing was, while the general reputation of the school was good….some classes were unruly! My English class was one of them LOL. Not me personally, when I was in school I behaved well, I was there to learn. I actually really enjoyed this subject, languages and design and technology too this is where I excelled. But my classmates were a hoot, to say the least. It was mainly the boys, we had a group of popular boys who loved to wind up our English teacher. There was also one particular female student who had a big problem with listening and behaving. To me, sitting at my table I just bit my lip and tried not to laugh!

What was your teacher like?

At the time when he taught my class Mr. X must have been in his late thirties to early forties. He was tall, very skinny! Had long, stinging , dirty blond hair, ALWAYS wore black and had bad breath. Thinking about it now all these years later, I bet he was some kind of goth. I left school in ’99 at sixteen, but it never really occurred to me why  he may have always wore black.

Anyway, like I said the class was a little troublesome and he spent a lot of his time shouting, mainly at the same students. His favourite line was ‘siiiiiiillllleeeence!’ Then, he’d slam a book or his hand on the desk, *cringe*. Nope, nine times out of ten that did not work, and he ended up splitting up the tables of students. In the end he gave us a seating  plan, so certain students couldn’t sit together.

As a teacher, looking back now all these years later was he a good one? No, not really. I say this as I myself after I left school went on to be a high school teacher, and spent ten years in the profession in the classroom. I worked my way up to head of my subject. On reflection compared to what  I know now , after teacher training he wasn’t a good one.

Did I learn…? Very little. Partly due to the class behaviour, but when the class was under control even then as I sit here and think, ‘what did I learn from Mr. X?’ I draw a blank!

Was it his fault? Hmmm it’s  a hard one. In all honesty, I think he was at that stage of what we call ‘teacher’s burn out’. When a teacher is so jaded about the profession they just collect their pay and that’s it.

Did  you get on?

In all honesty, I never really interacted with him much! I was one of the good kids there to learn, I just sat back and watched the ‘show’ every lesson. The battle of wits between him and the unruly kids. Did he ever shout at me? Yes, there were times when I got so bored I would talk, doodle, not really tune into what was going on. You could hardly blame me though if you were a fly on the wall. Did I ever talk back to him? Yeah, a couple of times as in all honesty I was one of the good kids, I felt ‘why are you picking on me!?’ as any teenager would at that time.

So in a nutshell, while English was one of my favourite subjects at school, sadly I never had a very inspirational or even dedicated teacher. It was more ‘crowd control’ at times in my lessons. Which is sad, because yes my grades in English did suffer, generally. And of course he did predict me and a lot of that class with low grades…. did I get a low grade  for my GCSE exams? yeah I got a C grade. This is not ‘low’ technically A-C is good, especially back then this was the 90s. But I was capable of so much more.

What happened after school?

Believe it or not, after school when I left I re-studied  English. I went to what you could call an  ‘online’ community school and sat some extra tests for another English qualification. I came out with a B, now that’s more like it! I didn’t do this right away, I was probably in my early twenties as it was at this point I was searching for work, and what I wanted to do. Employers (at the time) wanted A-C grades in English, okay I had that I got a C but I wanted to re-do it so I did.

Generally I feel on reflection that my English teacher at school had a lot on his plate, but even if the class was golden he was very jaded and job hardened I think, on reflection.  Sadly my English teacher did not spark my love for reading or writing, this came myself! Just something I enjoyed with little inspiration from the person who really introduced myself and classmates to it. You can’t win them all I guess!  I  don’t think I would go back and change things, as in the end it panned out okay. I just hope if Mr.  X is still alive if he ever thinks about his time in the classroom, that at some point in his career he can look back and say, ‘I loved that job even if class 7PU were little shits’ LOL.

 

 

 

 

So… It happened again, I got another magazine gig!

I think you really need to listen to the Universe when it ‘talks to you’ and shows you your ‘path’. Many of you know me well if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I like to research, write, read and look at the facts and make an informed decision. It could be due to my career and work before I started writing romance. 2017-2018 I held a magazine editor and columnists’ post I loved it!! It’s a shame that the founder of the magazine couldn’t hold down what we started. But, I felt that magazine writing is something I’d love to do more of.  Via support for #BlackLivesMatter from this side of the Atlantic, I landed a new job as a columnist again for Aspiring Authors Magazine! Man, I’m so happy. I found out from another author they were seeking articles on black culture and the whole ‘black lives matter’ movement. So, I sent my original idea for a blog post across, and landed a role.  The magazine has a focus on connecting authors around the world, especially those who are minority writers. And helping to further them in the industry.

Check them out below! My article will be in the June edition, and I am mulling over ideas for the rest of the year’s features. Thank you Universe!

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You can now subscribe to Aspiring Authors Magazine LLC click on link below and order your May copy of magazine or subscribe to receive the next 7 issue(save $5 per issue if you subscribe) You can also get PDF version viewable on most all devices…. Click on link below…..

Writing Prompt- What’s On Your Mind, Right Now?: This Week’s Global Events

Well, it’s been an eventful week to say the least, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it the world has experienced it. George Floyd’s death is still ( rightly so) making headlines. Also, the ever changing statistics regarding Covid-19 ,and let’s not forget what I would call insulting or outrageous comments from Donald Trump.  It’s been a week so I’ve stolen one of my own blog writing challenges from 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, ‘what’s on your mind, right now?’ You know me, never one to shy away from a well articulated and deeply reflective POV.

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Was it Murder to the 2nd Degree?

I’m not American, as you know so I did have to research firstly what murder to the 3rd degree was, in terms of American law to understand the first charge against  Derek Chauvin. In all honesty, from what I read it ( 3rd degree murder) came across to me as an outsider, non-legal person, non-American just someone trying to understand what this  type of murder is, that 3rd degree is  ‘unintentional’. My first thought was, oh hell no! I know what I saw eight minutes and forty-six seconds of restraint? While being told ‘ I can”t breathe’ You wanna say that’s ‘unintentional’. Then, I read up on the 1st and 2nd degree. In all honesty again, as a person looking in objectivity yes, there was ‘malice’, ‘intent’ and I would argue ‘premeditated’ aspects of that officer’s  actions towards George Floyd. Therefore I’d say from what I saw it was more like 2nd degree murder. Many that I had exchanges with in discussion on social media felt, there was not really a premeditated action. I personally looked at the evidence 1. that officer knew George  apparently they had ‘history’ 2. that officer had a string of complaints against him (which went un-handled) evidencing his ‘premeditated’ actions and ‘malice’ towards men of colour. But hey, who am I ? Just a member of the public trying to apply the evidence to the law, fairly and remove my own personal feeling. I know what I saw, and I know what I read about the definitions of murder and yes, I believe murder to the 2nd or even 1st degree is correct.

Trump’s Never Ending Insults

Yes, insults that’s what I’d call them. I remove how I personally feel about his tendencies as a human being, and focus on what comes out of  his mouth. He has made two very insulting comments this week, especially with regards to George Floyd ‘ looking down from heaven.’ I don’t need to remind you what he said, if you’ve been following the news you’ll know. His tweets have been made highly public. Then, there’s the comment about what he has done for African-Americans…. I’ll wait, because I can’t see what has been done. Apart from efforts to divide American people with his comments, racial slurs he has historically made about Africa the continent, Chinese people and God knows what else. I won’t even rant on about this, but in all honesty the man is insulting and a disgrace…I said it. I’m not the only one who feels this way, and you don’t have to be an American to see it. Celebrities, as well as members of society, black, white, brown, and anything else are disgusted. I understand he has supporters and honestly I hold nothing against them, it’s just the insults from him I find hard to comprehend or support.

World-Wide Protests! And Pressure!

Oh I felt so proud when London showed up, and marched in the streets in support of George Floyd. I am loving the fact that world-wide people are coming together France, Ghana, Italy, Syria you name it. I’ve seen the support and I’m sure you have too. It’s wonderful to see people of all colours saying, ‘I Can’t Breathe’.  Not just for George Floyd, but every person of colour who is some kind of ‘public enemy’ for not just for police brutality, but society who have some kind of distaste for them simply for skin colour.

Which brings me to a point, while I am loving the fact that white Americans and white people are showing support, the whole ‘if they fire stand behind me’ that’s happening across the water in all honesty I’m not loving. I believe it sends the wrong message, as a person of colour I don’t think we can walk around hoping there is a white person to ‘stand behind’ and protect us, stand beside us, friend. If you want to support us, I’ll say it again beside us in union we don’t need to stand behind you. We’ve ‘stood behind’ for so long it’s 2020 not 1960. But, don’t get me wrong people of colour welcome your support with all our hearts. And I see the kind, good, and loving message that is trying to be sent with ‘if they shoot stand behind me’ or white people standing in front of non whites at protests who are marching for equality. We see it!  We love it! We want you there we do! And thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but reflect on the other side of the coin. Would beside be better than behind? Maybe? I’m just saying.

Covid-19

Man, I am at a loss with this. Yesterday I read a article on the death tolls and how many feel, protests and breaking ‘lock down’ will bring a new surge of illness. Yeah… I hear this,  really I do. My only thought on this is BE CAREFUL keep apart, wear masks, and have organised protests if at all  possible. Maybe I am a little naive in saying this, how can you have ‘organised protests’ when there’s so much passion? Covid-19  is serious, and something we do need to tackle. I listened in to a talk show on Thursday, the discussion was ‘are people right to put lives at risk, in order to protest’. My view was, if you’re not ill then you are free to show support and try to stay at a distance. It made me think though, how important the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ campaign is to some, so important many Londoners and those around the world have given Covid-19 the middle finger to march or support and change. Power to you!

There’s still not much evidence on the impact  on children with Covid-19 and if they can be key carriers. My son has not returned to school I still won’t send him. I wrote about that a little while ago.I still support social distancing and lock down where possible, for those who a vulnerable with health. I have become a ‘keyboard warrior’ showing my support for change in the world right now.

Online Racism…

Let’s think about this. Last week I saw a high number of very openly racist, derogatory and down right disrespectful comments on Facebook.  Some were from law enforcement too, teachers, nurses and people in a position of ‘trust’ in society in terms of their jobs. I joined the force with an active group to shut it down. I’d like to encourage you also, if you see these kind of posts shut it down, contact the employers of the racists and show them the evidence of how their employees are behaving. I wrote about that a last week also.  Do what you can, if you can’t be on the street protesting keep an eye out online. Last week, I saw more than ten racists fired, their employers put out public statements! Well done, stamp it out we don’t need it.

So, that’s my account of the world right now, and how I’ve been taking part to show support for #BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe. And while I’m at  it, I just want to say saying ‘black lives matter’ does not mean no one else does, but saying ‘all lives matter’ ignores the fact that can be statistically supported that, black and brown lives are wiped out the most in society. By police or other members of society who are ‘trigger happy’ I call it, and happy to kill first and ask questions later. It can’t be ignored,  it has gone on for too long, the statistics are ear-watering to read. Black lives matter because they are wiped out more than others, simple. Until you can dispute that point with evidence based figures and statistics they will ALWAYS matter,  it does not mean no one else does not. It’s evidence based that they need to be focused on and highlighted that they matter.

Have a wonderful weekend! Keep well until the next ‘rant’ LOL.

 

 

 

 

Why Does He Trigger You?

Yet again I woke up in a real reflective mood, I  checked the news to see what’s going on. I’m  Just thinking out loud, I woke up this morning and looked at my son, but I looked at him different. I didn’t see his pretty eyes, long braids, beautiful face and cute smile with missing teeth and admire him 😆. Nope, for a good minute or two I stared at him and I saw him in ten years aged sixteen, well over six foot. (His dad’s 6’3 and already my boy is over half the size of me I’m 5’5 😳), I imagined facial hair, long braids and his natural powerful build and stance that make black men so amazing to look at fully clothed💯.

 

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Then I wondered if the world will still see his beauty, that I see and what makes him a black male as a monster, would ‘Karen’ call the cops on him for the entering a location. Would society see him as a threat. I really hope not and there’s only one way to ensure that 😤 I’m telling you, black Americans and all supportive white Americans keep applying that pressure people around the world are supporting you apply it where needed, don’t let these modern day slave masters and wolves in sheep’s clothing who’ve just swapped their whips for a uniform and a gun get away with it! I don’t care who doesn’t like what I have to say about the law enforcement, they need to show me something different before I can change my POV. If the police in Europe aren’t such savages towards men of colour why do they need to be 🧐 that is a statement not a question!

The case that hurt me the most was probably Trayvon Martin’s, I still think about it but I think George Floyd’s has topped it after watching that video and also the man who was jogging a few weeks back it really hurts me still. Black men, brown men, we love you, you are needed and I love you from the bottom of my heart even if I never had a son, I just do. There’s something about you that has the world on edge, you’re capable of so much if given the right resources and start in life, I think that itself some don’t like the idea of 😤.

Anyway I’ll try not to rant today, I said try… not promise 😆 depends what’s on my timeline  on Facebook and in the news today 😤💯. Good morning though.

#blacklivesmatter
#justiceforgeorge

Dear African American Man -An Open Letter #JusticeForFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe

In the last twenty four hours I’ve been pretty disgusted ( more than normal), about the police brutality against men of colour in America.  After I viewed the video of George Floyd’s death while surrounded by four police officers,  while one of them had his knee on his neck while George said ‘I can’t breathe’  I took to Facebook. I followed some reports, then  I wrote an open letter to African American men just randomly without over thinking it, well  for all men of colour. I’m sharing it here today as It means so much to me in-light of what’s going on right now. If you feel just as disgusted as I do, do something anything it could be so small. Advocate, provide encouragement, share news reports and most of all apply the fucking pressure where needed for change!! America’s statistics of deaths of black men at the hands of police and society in general is not the ‘norm’ , or standard any country should aspire to! Compared to the rest of the world it’s very worrying.

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Dear African American man,

I don’t understand what’s happening in the USA, why there are so many deaths at the hands of police officers. It’s very hurtful for me to see as a non American, in my part of the world it’s not something we experience so often. But if this is read by any African American male just know while the world is against you, I’m here still in your corner, praying for you, I still support you, and no matter what reputation you’ve gained globally, or in your own country I will never give up on you. You’re not perfect I know 🙄, no one is and your lives are full of challenges from:

The police.
Society.
Men who look like you.
And women who look just like me. Some put you down and feel ‘you ain’t worth shit’ in such general terms, when it’s not ALL of you.

Truth is, to me you’re worth so much more than gold. Your style, your strength, your physical build, your mind, intelligence, the different shades you come in 🥴 everything about you ‘dazzles’ me and some times when I look at some of you I blush 😉 you’re amazing. 😍. I love all of it and you too, I always will. I feel so proud of you and to have been blessed with a son. Whether it’s a black British man, African American man, Caribbean man or African man you are just the shit!! 🖤✔️🙌🏽 Don’t forget that.

But seriously, I wanna ask you a favour can you please come together and stop killing each other and intelligently reclaim your credibility and place in society? You’re stronger together than as enemies. Right now, you’re at war with others it’s time to bring out the ‘intelligent, inner warrior’ in you. Malcolm, Martin, Marcus etc you know these names what advice did they have for your survival? Think back 🤔. Please stay strong, out of trouble, and fight back against the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual attack on you.

Keep safe! With love, your number one supporter.
Kim.

 

#BlackLivesMatter    #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe

The Long Weekend- Reflections, Energy and Rambles

Good morning and happy Sunday! I’m really trying to slowly get back into this ‘just writing’, personally and from the heart with updates and rambles.  I  miss the daily writing prompt challenges from WordPress, it’s been a good few years they stopped it. I was just trying to search WordPress for a blogger that does daily challenges, or picture writing prompt challenges without much luck. Can you recommend a great blog to follow that does these? 

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Reflections…the last week in my world ‘locked down’

Anyway, another week down, another week in lock down too in my house. And another week of no school! Last week, I did a lot of reflection on the return to and re-opening of schools.  Not much has changed in my mind on further reflection. However yesterday I did find a fantastic resource to help with home schooling those that are continuing with this. A children’s author on Facebook shared her handwriting books which are available on Amazon, really inexpensive and look good! I snapped one up to keep us going until September.

Home schooling generally is going well I’m trying to be consistent with it, in all honesty I have seen the improvement in my son’s overall abilities in writing and spelling. So that I am thankful for.

Last week, I also got the edits back finally from my publisher for Sacrifices. A historical romance with a touch of suspense, I wrote about a year ago. I’m really keen to get going on the ‘early edits’ as they called it, as I’ve not actually read my work since they accepted it back in February.  August is set to be the release date, not long to go. I’m also really excited to see what they do with the cover, based on the brief I gave them as this is unlike any other story I’ve created before. I enjoyed setting a story in the 1950s-1960s and right in the height of the civil rights movement across the USA. It was a challenge, but a different and enjoyable one.

Last week’s Highlights…

We had some nice weather last week, and the BBQ was pulled out too. I do love a good BBQ I seem to be getting better at it LOLZ. It’s only a tiny one but it does so well, I hope next week and over this long weekend we get some more sun so I can make use of it. I don’t plan on leaving the house or taking any trips. I myself and family are staying very much in ‘lock down’ and social distancing. I thank the goodness for the small outside space to get some fresh air.

This morning read a few blogs here that I follow, many people have  highlighted the front of this weekend’s New York Times newspaper. It has 1,000 names on of those who have passed away from Covid-19. I was really touched by it ‘1,000 people, damn’ I said out loud in disappointment. And that’s only those that have been recorded, I’d take a bet there are many more.

Talking of Covid-19, over this last week I had a conversation with a friend who is living over in Brazil she told me, that their president has been against the ‘lock down’ all along! And as a result, the country is really losing it’s battle against the virus. I asked myself how could anyone be totally against it? Just look at the statistics, it’s eye watering reading over the amount of cases and deaths. But…. I won’t rant on.

How are things going with the management of Covid-19 where you are? I’d love to hear in any comments.

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Fresh energy…Reiki Anyone?

This weekend for me has been a very relaxing for me, I’ve not done much apart from read. But, I did sign myself up to an online Reiki course which  I am soooooo excited about, I was up until about 4:00a.m I started the course’s reading materials. It’s an online course and I was originally looking at an offer I saw for a soap making course, something else I wanted to learn how to do. (May as well up-skill myself during the pandemic aye). The Reiki course was on offer so I could hardly pass it up, but it wasn’t the price that really attracted me (even though it’s an absolute steal!) Those of you who know me well, know I really enjoy things like metaphysics, physics, astrology the strange and unusual so naturally I’d be drawn to this. However, a few months ago I had my first ever Reiki session performed on me….from a distance too! The practitioner was in a place in the world I have on my bucket list to see— New Orleans, USA.

She’s a qualified practitioner of Reiki of course, and many of you may wonder if this would even work at a distance….well it did! I felt the ‘energy’ transition to me it was wonderful I felt great after, I really needed it. At the same time, I relaxed on my sofa as she did the Reiki for me and at one point, I felt like I was being pulled off my sofa. Seriously, I kid you not this really works!! Don’t doubt it. Have you ever had a Reiki session? What’s your views on it?

There are three levels to the course, it mainly involves reading and some meditations in order to qualify to a level that you can teach others. There’s also a part on charging crystals with Reiki energy. I don’t think I’ll teach it even if I complete the Reiki Master level, but I’d love to carry it out on myself or others.  So far,  listening to the lectures has been very interesting learning about the founder of the energy healing method, and how it made it’s way from Japan to the western world. So this is my new ‘up skill’ course for the rest of this long- term lock down. And learning how to make soap.

My plan for today is, to finish reading a horror book I have for a book tour, listen into some of my Reiki course lessons and generally chill. If the weather picks up, may even crank the BBQ up. Right now, it’s pretty cloudy as I sit out and write this, today may not be the day but I remain hopeful for this afternoon’s weather! I hope you have a wonderful long weekend, and keep safe wherever you are! What are your plans?

 

What’s On Your Mind, Right Now? – Parents vs Return To School and Covid-19’s Influence On Our Decisions

I’m just thinking out loud really, and allowing my fingers to move across my keyboard. I’ve actually stolen a writing prompt from my own book 365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers. ‘What’s on your mind, right now?‘  You see I woke up this morning thinking deeply about parents around the world right now, and how many of us are ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ as my own mum would say. Debating what to do about returning our babies no matter how old they are back to school vs the need to earn a living even if there’s a risk to our babies. Then I just finished home school my son about ten minutes ago, left him to get on with whatever six year old’s ‘get on with’ when their parents aren’t looking LOL so I could do some blogs. I got interrupted  as I received an email from his school. Since school has reopened a couple days a week around the 12th May, they’ve had just twenty kids return over three classes! Part of me wasn’t really surprised, the other half was absolutely  heartbroken that they went back. He attends a small private school with about  no more than fifteen kids in his class, so it’s a small school. Twenty returned over three classes has got to be less than a handful of kids per year group, but they are still there! I asked myself why? Why have these kids gone back to school!? If I could I’d baby sit them all I’d do it…then I thought about my sanity LOL.

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I’ve read all the articles and listened to all the news reports in every corner of the world, since I’ve been locked down officially since 11th March. The newest worry being the Covid-19 impact on children. Especially, after it was thought that kids are less at risk, seems there’s something else that attacks their body.  I read one today, and how it attacks the vital organs. This is what made me decide that my son is not returning until September to school, earlier this month when some opened and the news reports started to surface I just could not do it to him, or myself. Many parents can’t even make that decision, many parents might forced to send their babies back to school. This is what crossed my mind as I woke up this morning. I felt incredibly blessed that I work at home anyway, so it’s not a thing to keep my boy off. But it’s damn near impossible to work as he is young, and not a teenager who understands ‘ I’m working keep the damn, noise down boy!’ My sacrifice is only to work when I should be asleep, and sleep when  I should be working. But many parents their sacrifice is actually safety because they need to return to work so their kids have to or must return. I sat with that thought all day today, and even more so when I got an email from the school.

It’s so sad, and I feel incredibly …. what’s the word I wanna say ’empathetic’ or maybe even ‘sympathetic’ towards all parents who have had to return their babies to school. If you are one of these parents reading this my heart and love goes out to you.

This Covid-19 has really shaken up life as we’ve known it for sure, and in some parts of the world governments are handling it very differently. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend on Skype in Brazil, she told me her president never agreed to the lock down. (OMG, right) and therefore the death rate in Brazil has been on a steady increase over these  last few months. My heart went out to this part of the world. I look at my own native country the UK, and feel that while we were so slow to move unlike other parts of Europe, one thing that we’ve got right is the financial support for those who need it who can’t work. But the health management part has been a bit of a disaster, as for the school’s management. I don’t see or even believe for one second as an ex- high school teacher that kids can ‘social distance’ at all!! And I don’t for one moment believe that when class sizes on average are around thirty in the UK, when I was teaching how they can expect teachers to narrow down classes to less than fifteen or whatever ridiculous number they suggested.

Then I think about the USA, and the outlandish comments the president has made around Covid-19, and even suggestions around drinking bleach!!? *Sigh* right now, I have so many views on what’s going on. And I just hope that every parent out there right now is able to make a decision on the return to school with safety at the fore front of their mind, and try not to let employers push you too much. I spoke to a girlfriend, she told me her kids will return a couple of days a week because her employer wants her to work from home still, but more efficiently. She has two small babies that are five years old – twins, so her work rate has dipped and her employers are throwing a fit. It upset me she is put in this position. Parents, please consider the pros and cons of this all, consider the reports on the impact of Covid-19 on children. Kids can’t and won’t social distance, my son can’t social distance to save his life LOL it’s his personality a very bubbly, touchy feely kinda boy. If he’s sick the whole house is sick, if he has a minor cold.

Ask your employer to stay home, apply for all the financial help your country offers and don’t be too proud to snatch it up!

Right now, I feel like home school should be an option for as many as possible, and the option to remain working from home. This would be my ideal world, and I know for many it may not always be possible. But, my thoughts are with you all.

How has your country or city handled the return to school? Have you sent your kids back? Why or why not? I’d love to hear how everyone is getting on do drop a comment.

Keep well everyone.

 

Writing Prompt-‘It’s A Text, Text, World’

‘How do you communicate differently online, than in person, if at all. How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?’

What a cool  short little prompt for today’s date. In all honestly I don’t actually feel or think that I communicate much differently online, than in person. The only real difference I think in my communication is it depends on who I communicate with be it online or in person, that might be a different style. When I think about this no matter how I’m communicating or who with, I’m always:

  1. Myself.
  2. Pretty straight forward I don’t tend to beat around the bush,  you get to a certain age and you  pretty much say what you mean. But that does not mean I’m mean, rude or nasty. Never at all, just honest.
  3. Articulate.
  4. Friendly.

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But the style may change depending on who it’s with.  If I am communicating with say my mum or son. I’m less likely to use swear words, well very unlikely actually. Same could be said when I was working in an office kinda environment, outside of the house, I wouldn’t really use bad language with co-workers. But, my style of communication was always the same as above in the  points. With friends then I guess I’ll let my guard down a lot more, and will use bad language or even with family members that I’m close with LOL.

In text messages, I think it’s the writer in me, my text messages are still written in full. No ‘text talk’ or things like wyd, or idn or idc short form. I remember having to ask someone what smh meant LOL. I didn’t know as  I don’t use the short form,  I even spell out the numbers , as if I was ‘writing, writing’  like a book or story. I’ve only really just noticed this now as I’m thinking about writing this.

Overall, for me I communicate pretty much the same in person as online, my personality is not really any different. When I do communicate online the tone is always relaxed, informal, friendly  just like in person. So nope, for me there is no real difference in how, just when it comes to who I communicate with.

How Do I Communicate Emotion In A Pure Written Form??

This is where this prompt get’s interesting for me,  from many of my book reviews the  feed  from readers a lot of the time has been that, this is something I do well with characters and in plots. And to be  honest, I don’t actually know how I do it… I can’t answer, but I guess it comes naturally when I just try to ‘think like the character’ or even ‘place myself in their shoes’ that’s all I do. I remove myself and what I would do, or even how I would act or what I personally think about whatever shit I’ve landed my characters in LOL and simply just try to communicate the emotion ( in writing) as if it’s really from them, and nothing to do with me. I really don’t know what else can be said, when it comes to fiction work. Just become the character or the situation that’s going on.

With my own personal communication via text, or email etc and putting across how I feel, in all honesty, I’m the emoji queen! I really am I do love to use them 🙂  With words, or sometimes there are certain emojis that just express exactly what I wanna say. I wish I could show you them somehow on this blog. If anyone is friends with me on FB I’m sure you’ll know what face I use a lot, when I’m in shock, can’t believe something or even just fed up!

And that’s it, that’s my communication style, what’s yours? ( If I could naturally there would be the thinking face emoji here).