One Liner Wednesday. Cement.

© willowdot21

“If a house is home, family are the cement that holds everything together. ” © willowdot21.

Part of LindaGHill’s One-Liner Wednesday.

Ritu’s Book Release and Chickpea Curry Lit Series.

Today I am delighted to have the one and only Ritu Bhathal here to discuss her book Marriage Unarranged. Where it’s going and how it has grown.

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Firstly welcome Ritu it’s so good to see you again. I am always so excited to have you visit!  Now tell me how do you feel about tackling some taboo subjects in this book?  The broken engagement, the shattering of family honour and the fact that your girl is so definitely in the right and saw the light in time.

Thank you for the lovely welcome, Willow, it is good to be back here! You know, I never intended to be a writer who writes about more serious issues, but as this story took hold, I realised that I could use this book as a platform for bringing some of these taboo subjects into the public eye, but without being overly serious. I don’t mean to gloss over them, but to highlight them in a manner that is easily accessible for all.

I get that Ritu and I think you have found that fine line to walk. Would you like chai or coffee and of course some cake… Hubby has even made some scones and we have clotted cream and jam. 

I’d never turn down a cuppa, Willow, after all, I am Indian,where chai is one of the most popular beverages, born in Britain, where we all love a quintessential cuppa, with connection to Kenya which is also a tea-growing country! And scones? Yes please… please let’s not argue over which comes first, the jam or the cream… it all goes down the same way!

Lol yes indeed it does, we don’t need to argue the cream and jam…no more than we would about whether the toilet roll is hung on the holder to come from above or below. Now you have Aashi’s elder brother who I feel has something he is hiding. Do you think you could discuss this with us? 

Dear Sunny, the gentle, but protective older brother of my main character, Aashi will actually be the focal character in book two. Again, something which showed a hint of colour during, and at the end of Marriage Unarranged is something I felt would be another taboo subject to tackle. I have sown the seeds about him questioning his sexuality… Book two will reveal all! Shhh!

Right my lips are sealed! More tea, another scone Ritu?

You are spoiling me, Willow! I’d better leave another scone, but I may take one home with me. Another cuppa would be perfect!

Yes of course, do take a few scones with you they are not bad are they?

So many big issues to address I think you are very brave. This one, stand-alone book has just taken on wings, with so many twists and turns, so many surprises! Sis…where do you see everyone going next. I for one can’t wait.

Thank you, Sis! Yes, I never, for one minute, thought that my initial venture into writing a novel would result in a series, but if I am honest with you, my characters speak to me, rather loudly, and when I finished, there were other secondary characters who wanted their story told… as well as readers who wanted to know more, so that is why the second in the series will focus on Sunny, and the third will be based on Bali, Aashi’s other brother… and I have another meaty storyline for that one too, based on some personal experience, but it’s not my story, it’s theirs! 

There could even be spin-offs or novellas, but we have to wait and see.. let me get book two written, first!

Oh! This mystery man: he is so perfect but he has baggage too. I love that you have tackled so much that is taboo. You have bought it to the front and fore and I love that. 

We all have baggage, don’t we, Sis? Aashi’s ex-fiance is an example of the way some people view their sons, and how he can do no wrong, even though he clearly has. Her new love interest, Arjun, is, in my eyes, perfectly imperfect! Again, his ‘flaw’, though we shouldn’t view it as such, is something that many in our community shun, so why not add it to the whole Taboo spice mix I have going on!

But, I must say one thing. It is important to remember that this story is set in 2000, so there are some aspects that may not be relevant to the thinking of today’s youth. Think of it as a Modern, Historical, Desi Story – Chickpea Curry Lit at its finest!

I can do that, yes I can. Hey, shall we open a bottle of wine and we can toast your future 💜💜

Why, that sounds delightful, Sis! Thank you, so much for inviting me over! Cheers!

Release News about Ritu Bhathal’s Marriage Unarranged.

The new rerelease of Marriage Unarranged, rerelease on 6/6/22.

It will now officially be part of a series, The Rishtay Series with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.

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The blurb

It all s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ended with that box…

The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set.
New Millennium ,exciting beginnings, new life.
Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets?
A stranger who’s hiding something…

Coming Summer 2023 , book 2 in The Rishtay Series

About the author

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a side line to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Not only is Ritu a famous author she is a lovely friend of mine 💜.

© willowdot21: Here we are with another famous author Marjorie Mallon.

Throwback Thursday – #38 Visits to Doctors and/or Dentists.

Lauren is choosing our prompt for throw back Thursday. She said: “We are back in our usual groove now. Last week Maggie asked us about how we were led to the music in our lives.  This week we’d like you to think back to those early experiences visiting the doctor and/or the dentist. This topic should again be one that everyone relates to in one way or another.”

This week’s prompt is: Remembering Visits to Doctors and/or Dentists

There are many adults with severe concerns about going to the doctor or dentist. The fear of doctors, known as iatrophobia, is often strong enough to provoke “white coat syndrome.” Normally healthy blood pressure can soar in the presence of a medical professional. Dentophobia, or fear of dentists, often occurs alongside iatrophobia. I’d like you to think back to your early medical and/or dental visits.

As usual, you can respond to the following questions as they are, or you can use them to spark your own memories to write your post.

1) Where doctor/dentist appointments a regular part of your childhood?

Yes they were, we were a sickly bunch so Mum was often trolling off on the bus to see the G.P. with one or other of us. Also mum and Dad were very keen for us to look after our teeth so dental trips, which I hated were regular too 🤣

2) Did you go for well-checks or just when you were ill or in pain?

We only visited the doctor if we were I’ll, occasionally we had just a check up at the dentist.

3) Were you frightened by the medical professionals? If so, were there specific reasons?

I was and still am not happy visiting the dentist. I can remember our childhood dentist now he was a small and very bad tempered man. We were all scared of him.

I don’t remember being scared of the doctor ever, he was always very nice. We always had the same doctor unless it was an emergency. Our family Dr brought all of Mum’s nine children into the world. He knew us all and he was wonderful with mum who could get very nervous. We did have more than one Dr but our main Dr was Dr. Musgrave. He must of been a nice man I remember his name and his face even after over 52yrs. I remember the Dentist’s name too but for very different reasons it was Mr Paul.

4) Were your parents afraid of medical professionals?

I dont think they were ever scared of them but I would say they were in awe of some of them .

5) Was waiting in the exam room stressful to you?

No not really, just boring. It was however very stressful when I was older and waiting with my own children, trying to keep the quiet and well behaved.

6) Did your early visits result in your being afraid of needles?

No but I am not their biggest fan.

7) Does the sight of your own blood bother you?

No, but that of anyone else I know does!

8) Did you ever have the need to go to an emergency room?

As a child, not often. But I do remember one incident when I was about four. My brothers were not allowed to play football in the house but they were kicking a ball around the living room. Someone had taken the fireguard off the fire to empty the hot cinders from the grate tray. …..the ball hit me I fell I put my hand out to stop my fall. My hand went into the fire and boy it hurt. I remember it being wrapped up and then we had to walk up to the bus stop, then wait for a bus. Luckily the bus passed Acton hospital where it was sorted and dressed. Then back home on the bus! We never had a car.

9) Did your early experiences impact your current attitudes about medical care?

No really though I have always had plenty of respect for most medical staff. When I was a child all medical staff were held in awe by us mere mortals. Specialists and Surgeons were treated as tin God’s as we’re Staff Nurses, Sisters and heaven forfend Matron.

Its different these days….sadly not better or even as good. Unfortunately the NHS is on its knees.

© willowdot21

The NHS staff who looked after my mother in law and celebrated her 100th birthday with her just before she died of covid.

Jemima Pett’s Latest Release Zanzibar’s Rings.

Today I have the pleasure of the company of author Jemima Pett. Jemima has joined me today to talk about her new book: Zanzibar’s Rings (Book 3 in the Viridian System series).

Firstly let’s find out about the author. Jemima has been an independent author for over ten years, with twenty titles published, and plenty more in the notebook waiting to be written. 

Jemima Pett

Jemima Pett

Jemima reckons she has read all of the science fiction in her local library, and most enjoys alternative universes, time travel, consequences of social change and unusual ideas surrounding alien species.  Her favourite authors include Anne McCaffrey, Fritz Lieber, Poul Anderson,  Becky Chambers, Matt Haig, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Clare O’Beara, Jennifer Ellis…  She also loves series – once involved with characters she loves to read their continuing adventures.

She has degrees or diplomas in maths, earth sciences and environmental technology and studied with the Unthank School of Writing while she lived in Norfolk. She now lives in Hampshire, where she enjoys rewilding her garden, raising organically grown vegetables, and birdwatching.

Tell me Jemima with all this going on in your life how do you find time to write ?

In truth, I have no idea. I think when I’m writing, everything except the guinea pigs gets left behind. It helps that I’m not in full-time employment any more–and in fact I class writing as employment, so that makes it easy to prioritise it as ‘work’. But I do tend to write in blocks, when I can dedicate my time to it.

© Jemima Pett.

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Let’s hear about the story from Jemima.

A galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access… and how will spaceships in flight get home–or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But why does anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fix itself? Just flying through Zanzibar’s Rings solves the problem–as the Federation’s Fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.
This third book in the series wraps up the adventure that started with The Perihelix and continued with Curved Space to Corsair. It is a self-contained story with references to previous events, but no prior knowledge is required.

This sounds sounds so exciting Jemima where did you get the idea for this saga.

It came a little at a time. Pete and the Swede arrived in my head pretty much as full-blown characters, everyone else snuck in later. I did several short stories featuring them before I decided to make them in to a series, and after that, as with my other work, they tend to take control of my pen and make me write what they want.

Tell us Jemima when you develop your story which comes first the characters or the plot.

Characters. It helps if I can find a title to write to, as well. I suspect that comes from most of my writing starting from flash fiction prompts. These days I set out a four line plot: situation – problem – nasty twist – possible solution. It helps me when I wander off in the wrong direction (or when the characters do!)

Did you write stories as child Jemima and were they science fiction then ?

My first story was environmental! The Enchanted Stream (I found it the other day and realised I’d been giving it the wrong title) is simply the story of a stream’s journey to the sea. If I wrote anything else until I went to college it was probably adventure or horses, but I remember maps and drawings, not words. The first thing I wrote while I was at collage was so scorned by a person I thought was a good friend, I stopped writing completely.

Oh! Jemima that’s so sad but at least you overcome the bite of their harsh words, well done you.

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I first met Jemima at Blogger’s Bash l believe it was 2017/2018 and she is such a lovely person. Here is a photo I took at the 2018 Bash.

Jemima Pett © willowdot21 2018

Thank you for joining me today Jemima it was a pleasure to have you here, do  you fancy a cuppa and some cake? 

Yes please – and I was looking through my Bloggers Bash photos the other day, looking to find one of Mary. I saw several of you! I’m glad I recognised you in them – I can’t put names to most people. Looking forward to another Bloggers Bash now the avirus (as my gps call it) is leaving us in peace (hopefully).

That’s a great thought to finish on Jemima, hopefully better times to come and success with the books.

Social media links:Visit Jemima’s website at jemimapett.com or connect with her at BookBub,TwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram and Pinterest.


ebook links (pre-order and launch offer $2.99 until late March)Amazon ~~~ Apple iTunes ~~~ B&N (Nook) ~~~ Kobo ~~~ Smashwords
Good Luck with the Book Jemima ! And thank you for visiting me .

News about The Art Of Spirit Capture.

The Art Of Spirit Capture. ©Geoff Le Pard.

Good morning one and all. Today I am delighted to be hosting my good friend Geoff Le Pard.

© Geoff Le Pard.

He arrived on my doorstep looking like this. Well I had to ask him in I really could not leave him outside, what would the neighbours think.

It wasn’t so much what he was wearing, though, that threw me but more the aeriel sticking out of his head. Anyway he’d bought cake so I did what I always do in these circumstances and put the kettle on.

So Geoff, The Art Of Spirit Capture , that’s an intriguing name for a book. Knowing you the content will be as unusual as the title.

Here lets get that hat and aeriel off , it will save a lot of damage on the wood work.

Can you tell us, Geoff how did you find your Characters and the Main Protagonist for the book?

In all my fiction, character is as important as plot, at least to begin with. Eventually plot begins to take precedence so I’m sure the story hangs together and is credible. But finding my main characters is crucial and I often default to people I’ve known down the years or come across in fiction to start my hunt. 

The Art started life as a 500 word piece with one main character, the inventor of the spirit capture, Ben Wood. Logic would dictate the story followed him but I soon decided that wasn’t how I wanted to go. 

In the 500 word piece you had to be in the know to take advantage of Ben’s discovery and invention. It was something that was being kept secret, to stop Ben being overwhelmed. A sort of mutual understanding amongst the locals to keep quiet. 

It would better, I reasoned to begin the book with someone who knew nothing about the captures and their effect and have him or her discover what they were. And as is often best in fiction, put him or her in some jeopardy once the secret was revealed.

More tea vicar..I mean Geoff, it’s your dress, it is confusing me. Where did inspiration come from?

There is a Bill Forsyth film that I love. Local Hero came out in the 80s and made me fall in love with the Highlands of Scotland. It also has one of the great instrumental pieces in film, from Dire Straits, one of my favourite bands.

The lead character in Local Hero is a stressed oil executive from Texas who is dispatched to Scotland to persuade the locals of the benefits of allowing the oil industry in. He is bemused, out of his depth and beautifully played for a patsy as the locals, who want the money the oil will bring. They exploit his conviction that they will be against the exploitation. I wanted to capture a little of that confusion, that reversal of roles.

In the film there are several ‘characters’ amongst the locals and I knew I wanted to populate my community with a similar range. But also to give them differing and overlapping motivations. 

Thus Jason Hales, recently single, redundant, with his brother in a coma and now homeless became my hero. His is a journey for sure.

Well all I can say is I am looking forward to reading this!

The Art Of Spirit Capture, here is the Blurb

Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked; and Christmas is round the corner to remind him how bad his life has become. 

After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future. 

While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbour so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?

Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption and good cooking.

Now if you don’t know of Geoff Le Pard and his blog TanGental where have you been? Here is his information and a list of all his fabulous books and where to buy them.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

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My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com.

So you are off now, are you Geoff it was so much fun to have visit and tell us all about the new book.

You can buy it here

Hang on Geoff you’ve left a strange looking jar in my kitchen. GEOFF! GEOFF!!

An interview with Candice Louisa Daquin. Part two.

Hi everyone as promised here is part two of my interview with Candice Louisa Daquin.

Candice Louisa Daquin.

Now if you missed my first interview with Candice you find it here

Here is her bio because it shows what an amazing woman

Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Born in Europe, she work in publishing for The American Embassy and Chamber of Commerce. Before immigrating to the American South West to study and become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing as a therapist. Daquin has worked at Jewish Community Centers and Rape Crisis Centers both in Texas and Ontario Canada. Her area of specialization is adults sexually abused as children. Prior to publishing her own poetry collections she regularly wrote for the poetry periodical Rattle and The Northern Poetry Review. Daquin is currently Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, a feminist micro-press. 
Daquin’s poetic work takes its form from the confessional women poets of the 19th and 20th century as well as queer authors writing from the 1950’s onward. Her career(s) teaching critical thinking and practicing as a psychotherapist have heavily influenced her work, with explored key themes including, sexual-dysfunction, sexual-abuse, parental-relationships, mental illness and queer-identity. Daquin’s work is also significantly imprinted by Audre Lorde, Françoise Sagan, Angela Carter, activist Egyptian physician Nawal El Saadawi, Navdanya seed bank creator/campaigner Vandana Shiva, Pablo Neruda, Israeli PM Golda Mier, Toni Morrison and feminist philosophers bell hooks, Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.
As a queer woman of mixed parentage and passionate feminist beliefs concerning equality, Daquin’s poetry is her body of evidence. 

Welcome back Candice it is lovely to have you visit again. Could we discuss your Gadtroparesis and your macular degeneration. I think your story will help many others.

It’s a crazy story. In March 2017 I went to New England for a short vacation. Prior to this I had been probably the healthiest I’ve ever been no joke. I was in Salem (!!) and around 1 in the morning I began throwing up uncontrollably. It lasted 24 hours I thought it was food poisoning, the Dr I saw said more likely a virus picked up on the plane. I made a full recovery and thought no more about it. In June I had the same experience out of the blue, but having not eaten I knew it couldn’t be food poisoning. I was perplexed because I tend not to throw up unless very sick. The ER (I’d been throwing up for days unable to keep food down) thought it might be heart issues. I didn’t see how. But I went to a heart dr who said I had a murmur but it couldn’t be related. The feeling was in my chest though as well which was weird. A long time later I learned when you have severe stomach issues, it can mimic heart attacks because you feel a terrible anxiety and fluttering and pain in your chest area, but it’s really your stomach. In August after no answers, I began throwing up again, this time it didn’t go away or stop. I threw up every single day every single thing I ate, for months on end. I went down to 80 pounds and was very, very sick. Due to having a bad primary care Dr it took a while to get hospitalized, when I eventually was, they ran every conceivable test. No answers. Eventually months later, a Dr said they thought it had to be sudden onset Gastroparesis. I couldn’t believe it. I was told I would have to go on disability for life, and I would never be able to eat solids again. I decided I refused to believe this and I kept searching for a better specialist. After seeing quite a few I found one who said no it’s not Gastroparesis per say, it’s Gastric Arrythmia which is treated differently and that’s why I was not improving. I tried every kind of alternative medicine but nothing worked, eventually one drug did help a bit, but mostly I think time and changing what I ate and exercise helped the most. By diet changes I mean I was vegetarian since I was a kid and that’s not a good diet for someone who needs to avoid vegetables (which you no longer can digest) but I didn’t want to quit how I ate so I just ate more frequently and smaller and tried hard to juice a lot of what I ate. It was a very challenging time. Since your stomach produces what you need for your mental health it sent me into a very dark place. Not knowing what was wrong, not having family support, was hard. Now I realize I am much better but I will always live with this, which many do, with chronic illness. I try to make the best of it and be glad for it not being as bad as they originally thought. It has changed my life a lot because I cannot eat out with friends which was one of my favorite things to do, as was sharing a bottle of wine or something simple like that. I get sick more or less every month but I try really hard to get past the set-back and keep going. During all of this I was also told I had premature (very) macular degeneration. I’m an optimistic person so at first I really didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. Now it has been confirmed. I hope to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t lose their central vision as that means everything to me. But given my young age it seems likely it will be hard to avoid. I haven’t given up hope but it’s been really hard, especially as people don’t really know what to say and I can’t blame them. 

Oh! That was a real rollcoater of a health journey. I am so glad you persisted and got the correct diagnosis. Still not an easy one to accept but better the devil you know, don’t you think. The eye problem too is a hard one to accept but I have friend who was diagnosed with the same at the age of twelve ..she still, at 29 has central pinpoint vision…. I know everyone is different but I do hope this can help.

Can we discuss your work with Indi Blu(e)


I came on to Indie Blu(e) as a guest editor for WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED because as a Psychotherapist and having worked in three Rape Crisis Centers, the #metoo movement meant a lot to me. I wanted to help raise awareness. Since then I stayed on as an editor and began to do more and more. Years before, I worked in publishing but wasn’t expecting to slip back into working with a publishing company. It’s been edifying and hard work. It is a very thankless task at times, but I do believe it makes a difference and that’s all that counts. Our publications have mostly been social justice in theme and I am very proud of that. We have also produced some outstanding stand-alone authors books. Working with a small group of mostly women has been very fulfilling and I can honestly say my time at Indie Blu(e) was one of the best ‘jobs’ I have had, because of what we stood for, and tried to effect. The downside being we do a lot for very little and are all chronically ill, which at times can be challenging. 

Can we also discuss you work as a Psychotherapist and if you like some of the work you have done  in Community and Rape Crisis centers.


As a Psychotherapist I tried to work only with groups I knew I could benefit. I am not good working with kids or teens. I like working with adults and older adults, as well as minority populations because where I live, black people and hispanic people are more reticent and mistrusting of therapists who have traditionally been anglo. I think being mixed-race and foreign I broke through that a bit as most of my clients have been people of color. Additionally I worked with Jews and the LGBTQX population. I was offered to work with rapists in jail but I literally couldn’t do it. My speciality is working with adults who were molested or abused in childhood. I would say I’m good because I care and that’s so crucial. The system however, is broken and that really bothers me because I believe in socialized healthcare for all and that it be affordable if not. 

Candice I was wondering if you would be willing to talk about why and how you came out.


I came out because I am gay and it seemed futile to try to pretend otherwise. I have always known although I did date one boy seriously when I was a young teen. I am not bisexual, I am not attracted to men sexually or emotionally but I respect all diversity within the LGBTQX rainbow. That said, I think lesbians don’t do themselves any favors and I wish we had more of an identity and less judgement within the lesbian ‘label’ including women who love women and don’t want those women to be dressing like men. I am definitely an odd duck as a lesbian. I get on better with straight people over-all which is weird. I think whilst it’s important to be proud, it’s also a very, very lonely life at times, and whilst I would not change who I am, I get tired of it sometimes. I came out because most gays I know are in the closet and I thought that’s partly why things can be hard for us. Things have changed a lot. It used to be that gays couldn’t marry or have legal rights. I had tremendous troubles during that time and I don’t forget, hence why I try to raise visibility and remember the struggle. I know some people get sick of it and I can appreciate that too but we all have our path. I love writing love poetry about women who love women. SMITTEN is the anthology I have worked on that I am most proud of for that reason. 
I get frustrated sometimes at how the media or whomever, pick the ‘popular’ trending authors/writers/poets and overlook really truly talented ones. I don’t know how people who don’t fit the trending boxes, succeed, it is much harder than it was, when if you were talented, you usually could succeed. Now there are so many more variables and it’s exhausting trying to compete which so many people for just one (badly) paid job. I can see why creatives leave, and many do after a time. If I have one regret it’s that I wasn’t better at science and just did a job where it’s not as hard to go in and do your thing and succeed. The creative world is very competitive and cut-throat. Oh, and ageist. 

Thank you for answering that question so openly. As a straight , what ever straight is, woman. I hear what you are saying and I completely agree. .

Thank you again for joining me and answering my questions so honestly. It has been a real pleasure to have you visit again and to open up so freely on all the subjects I brought up.

*********

Here is where you can find Candice Louisa Daquin.

on Facebook.

soundcloud.

The Feathered Sleep.

Candice’s Amazon page.

Thank you Candice.

An interview with Candice Louisa Daquin.

Hello everyone, I am very excited today to welcome Candice Louisa Daquin from the amazing The Feathered Sleep.

Firstly let me tell you a about Candice.

Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Born in Europe, she work in publishing for The American Embassy and Chamber of Commerce. Before immigrating to the American South West to study and become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing as a therapist. Daquin has worked at Jewish Community Centers and Rape Crisis Centers both in Texas and Ontario Canada. Her area of specialization is adults sexually abused as children. Prior to publishing her own poetry collections she regularly wrote for the poetry periodical Rattle and The Northern Poetry Review. Daquin is currently Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, a feminist micro-press. 

Daquin’s poetic work takes its form from the confessional women poets of the 19th and 20th century as well as queer authors writing from the 1950’s onward. Her career(s) teaching critical thinking and practicing as a psychotherapist have heavily influenced her work, with explored key themes including, sexual-dysfunction, sexual-abuse, parental-relationships, mental illness and queer-identity. Daquin’s work is also significantly imprinted by Audre Lorde, Françoise Sagan, Angela Carter, activist Egyptian physician Nawal El Saadawi, Navdanya seed bank creator/campaigner Vandana Shiva, Pablo Neruda, Israeli PM Golda Mier, Toni Morrison and feminist philosophers bell hooks, Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.

As a queer woman of mixed parentage and passionate feminist beliefs concerning equality, Daquin’s poetry is her body of evidence. 

******

Welcome Candice I am delighted that we have this chance to chat. I want to introduce you to my friends and followers because for a while now I have been drawn in by your marvelous work.

Tell us Candice what has bought you to were you are today, eg: shaped the person you are and made so strong?

I’m not strong. I just survive. I actually think I’m probably too sensitive. I wasn’t shaped by much other than my struggles which might sound negative but I’m a very positive person despite this. I have had too many struggles and I do wish I hadn’t but I know many others who have had worse.

I think you are a very strong woman Candice and I admire how you work so hard to help others. Who and what have been your influences?

I haven’t been influenced by very much. I grew up with very talented family and that influenced me but since then not so much. I suppose being very educated has helped me although I like to learn out of school more. I’m influenced by literature probably the most and psychology and science. I’m a huge science geek and quite an academic despite hating school I love research and learning. 

Can you say why you write, what moves you to take up the pen or keyboard?


Honestly I question that a lot. I prefer helping others publish than writing. I have never found writing therapeutic. I mostly do it because I keep involved with other writers. I have been told I’m a good writer but I don’t tend to think I am because I come from a very talented family who were very brilliant and I know what brilliant is and I’m not. I am always interested in how people form self confidence or believe in themselves or have egos as I have none. I tend to see people and life for what it really is and not kid myself. A lot of people seem to have over inflated egos. I like supporting those who don’t have faith in themselves and who need support because I know I’m good at that because I compensate for not having had that myself. I know it can make someone’s life so much better. I do love to read and I read as much as my work schedule allows. I cannot imagine not reading and recently getting a diagnosis of macular degeneration when I’m not even middle aged, really scared me and made me wonder if I would be blind and unable to read. People say things like: Oh well you can learn braille but I think we all fear losing our sight and it wasn’t something I was expecting at my age and along with my other physical illnesses it’s a bit of a downer, but I try to be positive and hopeful. I’m not a fan of social media which I know is a handicap but I really find social media exhausting emotionally. I would be glad to never go on it. But that said, some of the best people I have met have been via social media. I prefer face to face and old fashioned ways of doing things ideally. 

I am not a huge fan of social media either I am never confident in that setting. You say you lack self confidence but come from a very talented family, were they and are they supportive to of you. I would love to discuss this more with you in our next interview. For now let’s talk about your writing and your books.

I’m most proud of the editorial positions and concepts I’ve been involved in. I loved working on ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’. In Europe I worked in publishing then I went into Psychotherapy now I do both. I work too much. I love working helping others especially with disenfranchized subjects and people like sexual assault, metoo, racism, sexism, homophobia. I loved SMITTEN as it was for the lesbian community which I am part of. The Kali Project was about indian women and their struggles, it was a huge beast of a book and very hard work but so worthy. Both SMITTEN and Kali won Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. I was so happy for the hard work we put in and those of the writers and artists. We also work on stand-alone author books. I was the editor of Devika Mathur’s book Crimson Skins and I’m working on Zinia Mitra’s first collection now. I love helping artists and authors flourish. 


Can we now discuss Indie Blu(e) and Through The Looking Glass.

This was Christine Ray’s idea and at first I wasn’t sure if it was going to work because I worried it would be too depressing. But it really has succeeded in large part because Christine rarely has a bad idea. I got really into it and began to invite people I knew to submit and it took off, we’re all so happy to be a voice for mental illness, especially as most of us have had the experience of being stigmatized. It shocks me that people are still stigmatized. Indie Blu(e) really is the best company to work for, now that I am part of the upper management I see our hard work really evidenced in the community. Our goal was never profit, but helping those disenfranchised voices have a platform. I’m so grateful to Christine and Kindra for taking me on. I have given a lot to the company because I really believe in it and what we do. We’re bringing out But You Don’t Look Sick shortly and that’s about invisible chronic illness. Ironically all three of us have chronic illnesses which makes it hard at times to juggle all that we do. In my case I work full time as well as Indie Blu(e) but have had to cut my hours because of Gastroparesis. Fortunately I am still able to work. Helping others gives me meaning. Cruel people and indifferent people take away my joy so I try to be what I want to see. 

This is so interesting Candice I am going to print where people can find you and your books. I would love you to join me again and if you are willing we could discuss how you feel about your diagnosis of macular degeneration and also the Gastroparesis. You are a beautiful and multifaceted woman and you have so much to offer.

You can find Candice Louisa Daquin on Facebook.

soundcloud.

The Feathered Sleep.

Candice’s Amazon page.

A Job Description For The Writer’s Pet #amwriting

Calling all ambitious animals a note from Lucy Mitchell.

*****

#WritingCommunity

Sometimes, the best part about writing is that my dog is always snoring nearby, offering sleepy moral support as I sit at my desk, agonizing over my latest fictional romance.

Read at source

An interview with Author, Jane Dougherty.

Today I am very excited to have the very talented Jane Dougherty to visit and discuss her latest book. This is a new adventure for Jane as this is a poetry book.

Hello, Willow. Thank you for inviting me to talk about my very first book of poems. 

Hi Jane it’s great to have you here do sit down and have a cup of tea, tell me what made you decide to write a book of poems about the elements

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I write a lot of poems, every day, and although I post many of them, there are still lots left. Some of them I have been keeping because I think they deserve a bit more than to be just one blog post among thousands. A themed chapbook seemed like a good idea. Every time I do some physical sorting, weeding or clearing out, I hurt my back, but sorting poems is a relatively safe activity. When I looked through the scores of poems in the homeless folder, they all seemed to fall into a few main themes, and the first theme I tackled was water. 

That makes a lot of sense Jane, I am all for saving my back too. When did you first start writing and was there a specific reason.

I went to a very special primary school—big shout out for Saint Patrick’s in Birstall—with a visionary head teacher. It was founded by Irish immigrants who wanted their children to succeed through education, and the nun who headed the school through the 1960s and 70s until she left to run a war orphanage in Sarajevo, believed in education, not just the three Rs. We learned about the natural world, about physics and how things work, we had an orchestra, learned calligraphy, meteorology, how to wire plugs and make cheese. And we were encouraged in all kinds of creative activity, all kinds of art, and writing; we all wrote poetry from the age of nine or so. I had an ideal environment for developing a taste for creativity and taking it seriously. Having a father who was a poet and sculptor and mother who was an artist and art teacher certainly helped too.

Your school and teachers sound very progressive and you obviously had a varied education. Would you like another cup of tea.

Tell me Jane who most influences your work.

It probably sounds strange, but there aren’t too many poets whose work I read and reread with boundless admiration. There are individual poems I love, but not many whole bodies of work and none remotely contemporary. Yeats is the poet I love the most and whose words, even when I don’t get all the mystical references, inspire and uplift. Francis Ledwidge too is a favourite and John Masefield, Walter de la Mare. All rather old-fashioned sounding now, in their clarity and lack of self-analysis. The poems point outwards rather than inwards, showing us the world as it is all around us, not how it seems at the back of a troubled head. 

You mention your parents  in the dedication of your book, were they influencal and supportive to your writing.

Both my parents died when I was still in the throes of having babies and bringing up young children. I hadn’t started to write seriously, then, but as I said earlier, they were both artistic and expected that their children would be too. I know they would be proud that I have finally got around to it.

Tell me Jane have childhood memories influenced you much.

I think that a happy childhood has been fundamental to making me what I am. It obviously wasn’t happy every single minute, and there are memories that still make me anxious. Tuesday, for example, will always be music lesson day, when I’d leave school early and walk up the hill to the music teacher’s house with fear oozing from every pore. But it was a country childhood, on farmland at the edge of a small town, and we four children spent most of our time poking about in woodland and along the banks of streams, listening and learning. Although I have enjoyed some of my time living in cities, I have always hankered after trees. Three years ago, we moved from the centre of Bordeaux to the countryside, with a large chunk of land of our own. Too much, really, but sharing a place with trees wildflowers, animal and birdlife, has been a revelation. Who knew there was so much life going on?

Now tell me Jane which do you prefer to write poetry or prose.

I write poetry for pleasure. It’s something that I do in-between doing other things. Often an image will strike me and I jot it down to find that it’s already working itself up into a poem. Poems are short and they can be turned out in hundreds of different ways. I can work with an idea or an image for half an hour and get something that pleases me. A novel is different. If writing a poem is like sketching, or shaping something in clay, a novel is like hacking at a slab of wood or stone. The frame of the story might be tenuous, the characters vague, and all I have to go on might be an opening phrase or an idea from a legend or myth, but it’s there. The hard work is in revealing the story trapped inside and maintaining enough interest in it, because it’s a long job. The two approaches probably complement one another; I write poetic prose and often write stories into poems.

Thanks a lot, Willow, for the opportunity to give some background to what I do and why. 

thicker than water

© mjdougherty

Book details

Link co.uk https://tinyurl.com/y2et7dcr
Link .com https://tinyurl.com/y5ueldrq
Link Australia https://tinyurl.com/yykla7nm

Link Canada https://tinyurl.com/yxu5azlk
Link India https://tinyurl.com/yy6qvle5

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

@MJDougherty33 

©mjdougherty

Jane’s Bio, so you know.

Jane Dougherty has wandered a bit from her Irish origins but still feels close to her roots, especially in the bit of green field where she now lives in southwest France. She writes incessantly, and hopes to continue as long as the ideas keep coming, and the scene beyond the window demands that she take notice.

*************

I have read Jane’s book, thicker than water. It is full of beautiful poetry. It’s a joy to dip into but I read it from cover to cover unable to stop. I can highly recommend it. Here is my favourite poem .

No Light

All is death and the ache
in the breast where the heart is
wave-wrought in cold seas
or on grey pavement, it whispers
in the spray of salt and blood,

There will be no moon this night
no petals on the rose

🌹© mjdougherty

Thank you for visiting Jane it really was a pleasure to have chance to chat.

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