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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

**Free Books Alert** Giveaways This Weekend.

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A group of authors giving away books during lock down in this group. Click here to discover.

 

April Romance

A group of romance authors giving away books during lock down in this group, all heat levels and multicultural . Click here to discover.

 

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Love stories that take characters to ‘new levels and directions’? Me too! Check out this group of authors giving away some freebies this month. Click here to discover.

Friday Rambles And Reflections

I thought of doing a writing prompt today, using one of  my books to see what’s under today’s date. Then I thought nope, just write! And say hi to all of the existing and new people who have decided to follow my blog here. Welcome and thank you!  Of late I’ve been mainly interacting with a lot of shared work, releases and promos from other authors and book reviews, so why not do a personal blog today. I went a little quite on the personal blogs as I was working hard with my co-author Didi, to get The Suspenseful Collection #2 done and dusted, our release date was just this week! I’m really proud of us.

So it’s Friday?

It sure is but I had to double check lol, when I woke up (again), I was not sure what day it is and had to check my phone. I’ve been on ‘lock down’ since mid-march, and not left the house for anything other than food. It’s been tough kinda, as my son wants to see his friends as do I, I’d love to go out freely when there’s nice weather , but in all honestly from following the news I’d rather be at home.

It’s late afternoon now and the sun’s out. I’m  in the garden following a BBQ lunch randomly, due to the nice weather. My son’s in his paddling pool and well, just felt like a ‘free day’ today, no homeschooling,  no real routine just chilling in the small outside space with some wine. I feel a bit drained today but not in a negative way at all, just a bit reflective on the world really, and how we’ll all return to some kind of normality, like before the pandemic?  If that’s even possible some time soon?? What do you think? How are things where you are in the world? Do tell me.  Since mid- March I’ve been following the news in every corner of the world, from my living room and  it’s been heartbreaking at times. I do hope you and your family have not been touched by this virus.

Has ‘Lock down’ been  positive in anyways?

A few weeks back I wrote about the positive things to  take from lock down and the coronavirus here.  as at the time I felt ‘it’s hard but surely there’s a positive.’ I still do feel that way. Personally it’s helped push me with my writing a lot!  This week Didi and I  had a joint phone interview yesterday, which we’ll share. But in other news, I’ve added a good chuck of words to my romantic crime thriller, and sent the proposal to my publisher to see if they are interested! And revamped a story idea I had, which will now be the third book in my Romance In The City series!  I will hold on to this one though and self-publish that.

 

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Works In Progress…?

  • I’m very excited! As in a few weeks I will share the cover reveal for this romantic suspense, that I will self publish in my Romance In The City series with you!!  I  don’t plan to release this until  later this year, but will put it on pre-sale.

 

  • Sacrifices  my historical romantic suspense, I’m waiting for the cover design from my publisher, that is in their release schedule for August!! I will share it as soon as I have it.

 

  • Right now, I am writing my romantic crime thriller and aim to have that completed in  the next three months, and  if my publisher likes it, hopefully that can be squeezed into their schedule for 2020 some time.

So over all, ‘lock down’ has been helpful for me with regards to writing. I’ve not really be able to work from home during the day much, mainly evening and write at night. The outcome is that I have one WIP with added word count, and one addition to my series! Brilliant, so stay tuned.

Generally though with  this madness that’s going on in the world, I’ve been okay. At times lost my mind lol but I all honesty, I feel like while this virus is taking lives left right and centre I’m better off inside. There’s talk of schools opening in May…. I don’t honestly think I will be sending my son back. I will home school him for the rest of the academic year if need be, my son’s  school have been amazing with organising this for parents and sending us resources. Plus I was a teacher myself for ten years, so it’s no problem for me to continue his education with their resources, and the wonderful online resources I have found for his age group. Call me paranoid, but I just don’t think I can bring myself to allow him back so soon.  Has your part of the world re-opened? What about your children will they return to school this academic year?

The Bookworm in me…

I’ve also done a lot of reading, sometimes a book in one day! I can’t remember the last time I actually did this, or even had time to. I’ve raided Netgallery for some good books to read and review. I’ve really been drawn to non-fictional stuff. I think part of this is because of the lack of outside contact, I feel like my brain is shrinking and vocabulary limited to anything ‘virus’ related lol.

So from me to you, hello friends!  Happy Friday, I hope you’re well and your family is too. Have a wonderful end to your week! And do let me know how you’re getting on generally with the change in life since the pandemic in the comments. It be great to hear from you.