Day Three of the, This Is Lockdown. Blog Tour.

Hi everyone welcome to a socially distanced tea and chat with the very talented and lovely Marjorie Mallon.

 Well make yourself comfortable and enjoy your cuppa and cake while we chat.

Oh, thanks so much for inviting me over Willow, I like nothing better than a cuppa, cake and a natter! What scrumptious cake!

1 Now we already know your reasons for writing this excellent book  but which of your personal entries says the most about your feelings on lockdown.

Oh, thank you, Willow. My personal entries… now that’s an interesting question! I think there will have to be two: one light and one dark. The saddest one, (Stay at Home,) because we all fear the worst case scenario, counterbalanced by the happiest outcome, (Grandad Is Coming Home.) 

Stay At Home – (Family – Trigger Warning) 

Rich lays in bed.

His wife has just put his profile picture up on Facebook with the caption ‘Stay at home.’ His breathing is laboured, his thoughts petrified. What has he brought into his house? His wife, children and new baby, what has he done?

Regret flows through his veins, entwining with the progress of the deadly virus. He acknowledges his failings, softly whispering for forgiveness to a God he never knew he had.

His thoughts rage, condemning himself for his stupidity. He’s an idiot who carried on as normal, mixing in groups, laughing at the virus, putting up funny jokes on his Facebook profile page. Now the virus has him, it is gripping his chest, punching his lungs for his stupidity and carelessness. It is laughing at him.

Next door he hears his baby daughter crying. A tear spills from his eyes. He can’t get up to feed her, he can’t hold her in his arms. His wife’s footsteps come rushing, her voice soft and gentle as she tries to calm their baby down while he is certain that her terrified heart beats to a tune he cannot touch.

The baby is quietened. He guesses she’s been fed, nappy changed, tucked back under the covers. Safe. Or is she? He can’t see his family as they are in the living room next door to his isolated bedroom, but he knows his wife has opened her Facebook page to read more grim accounts of death. His photo has been shared again with the caption begging their friends and family to, “Please Stay at Home.”

The word please shouts but will people listen?

Fighting through fever, he tries to focus, to listen for his son. Where is he? He struggles to hear. He fears that he might notice a new sound, a cough, perhaps, a dry, wheezing sound. 

Nothing. Not a sound.

Instead, he coughs, his temperature racing.

Then he hears his son’s voice, scared. “What’s wrong, mummy. Why are you crying?” 

“It’s okay, Jonny,” his wife soothes. “Look, I’m keeping busy, cleaning your Lego, then you can play.”

“Where’s Daddy?” asks his son.

“He’s in bed, Jonny.”

“But, I want to play with him,” Jonny whines.

“He’s sick Jonny, we have to let Daddy rest.”

He can’t see his wife, his sweetheart, his son, or his newborn baby and this breaks his heart. But he knows how rigorously his wife will clean their son’s toys. How she will pop each piece of Lego in the sterilisation liquid before drying them meticulously.

A mother’s love is unstoppable.

But he can hear his wife. “Go play,” she says, sighing.

His son shouts, “Yay,” as if it is a normal day. “Can I go to the park?”

“No,” his wife yells. Then her voice pierces the air with even more urgency. It is a knife to his heart. “Don’t put things in your mouth.” 

His son is crying. “Sorry, mummy.”

“Oh, darling, I didn’t mean to shout at you.”

His son sniffs, and his wife consoles.

Rich continues to listen, but he hears nothing. It is silent for a time. He imagines his son building a fortress to keep the virus out. His wife watching him, marvelling at their young son, wondering who he will become. A scientist who will cure deadly viruses. Or a doctor who will save patients.

By now Rich is struggling to breathe, but he can’t shout for help. He can’t risk infecting his loved ones. He has to be a grown up. This isn’t the flu. This isn’t the sniffles. He knows that now, but perhaps it is too late. If they stay away, perhaps they will be safe. 

The virus will decide.

© Copyright M J Mallon

***

But, to counterbalance it, there always has to be hope:

Granddad Is coming home! 

(Flash Fiction – Uplifting)

Grandma couldn’t believe it; her husband had survived. 

At eighty-seven he was in the at risk group. Someone was looking after him and it wasn’t just the NHS! She looked at his photo in the news, walking arm-in-arm with an NHS worker. He was wearing a face mask, and yet he looked like he could take on the world. The nurse’s face glowed with joy, happy to share some good news about his recovery from COVID19 pneumonia. The image was shared all over the world, gobbled up by viewers desperate for some cheerful news. 

For a moment Grandma pondered the strangeness of life. What was God’s plan in all of this? She had no idea but her heart filled with happiness at the thought of her dear husband coming home. 

© Copyright M J Mallon

2 What lessons will you take away with you and learn from when we finally find our way out of these Covid19 days.

To live life to the full, treasuring each moment. Life is a precious gift and one we should be respectful of.Relationships with my family of four: hubby, and two grown-up daughters, Natasha and Georgina have deepened. We’ve spent so much time together. This is one positive to come out of COVID19. Especially, as Natasha and Georgina will be flying the nest at the same time this Autumn. Hubby and I will be empty nesters! I shall miss them so much. Lockdown has also been an opportunity for me to continue on my mindful journey. Before this all happened I studied mindfulness, which helped me a lot. I’ve learnt to appreciate the quiet, the beauty of nature, observations and thoughts which come and go, and, to love our planet. The skies shone during lockdown, as if the world appreciated our peacefulness – no airplane trails, less cars on the roads…It’s a delicate balance and one we should be mindful of. 

Would you like another

3 Do you think that lockdown has bought your family closer together.

Ah, yes, I definitely think it has. We’ve always been close, but now we are closer. Also, I think my daughters have grown up and regressed too! It’s a strange thing, on the one hand they have shared more grown up discussion and on the other they have become childlike again. I think it often happens – if you spend a lot of time with your parents you become little people again! I adopt a little person persona when I visit my mum and dad and I’m no a youngster! 

4 Did you have any Covid panics .

Yes, my hubby was ill right at the beginning. It may have been COVID but we aren’t certain. He’d been in Austria skiing near the Italian border. Everything was shutting down and all his friends became ill with flu-like symptoms. With no testing in the UK, we couldn’t be certain, but I think it is likely. I had an off-and-on series of not feeling well, shivers and the like, but no other symptoms. So who knows? There have been other COVID panics, my mum and dad as they are older and both have health issues. I’ve been in a state of constant worry about them. Also, I worry about my youngest daughter as she is asthmatic, but she keeps on reassuring me that she only gets stomach bugs! The diaries section of the book candidly shares all my thoughts, fears and hopes.

5 What was the item you found difficult to get in the shops and did it frustrate you.

Toilet paper, pasta, thermometers and hand gel. Toilet paper was the most frustrating item. I hated seeing how it affected other people too, particularly the elderly. 

6 I think this book is piece of living history do you agree. 

Ah, what a lovely thing to say Willow. I’m so touched. It’s my hope that it will be. One day, when I’m an old granny, (hopefully I will be but not too soon,) I will pass This Is Lockdown to future generations and say – this is what happened during lockdown in the UK in 2020! 

7 What will you miss about being locked down.

Time to write, time to create books, time to breathe in a world which rushes all the time and time to be with my family. 

Thank you Willow for the marvellous questions.

Thank you to all the contributing authors including your good self who have made this collection and anthology very special to me. 

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS.

This Is Lockdown

The Blurb.

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

This Is Lockdown buying Link:

Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB?pf_rd_r=NPA6S5SQJ30A6VYX87Q5&pf_rd_p=e632fea2-678f-4848-9a97-bcecda59cb4e

Amazon US link:

https://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB

Bio

I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my parents Paula and Ronald, only sister to my elder brother Donald. I spent my early childhood in a mountainous court dwelling in the Peak District in Hong Kong.


It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return with a cheery smile.

Sometimes when the mood takes me, I adopt an alter ego, M J – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!


When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practice Tai Chi and Yoga. If the mood takes me, I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

My favourite genres to write are: YA fantasy, magical realism, and various forms of poetry. I blog about books, writing, photography and inspiration at: https://mjmallon.com. 

I enjoy writing articles celebrating the spiritual realm, my love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious. One of my greatest pleasures is reading. I’ve written over 150 reviews at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/


I’m a member of a professional writing body. SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators.

Links: 

Authors Website:https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/

Blog Tour: Dates
14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A) .
15th July Beaton Mabaso
16th July Willow Willers (Q and A)
17th July – Double Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park‘s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons at M J Mallon’s blog.

18th July Sally Cronin – Promo/Review!!!

Launch week:

20th July – Launch Day Promo M J Mallon – Lockdown Quotes.
21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog – promo
22nd July – Ritu Kaur BP
23rd July – Richard Dee
24th July – D G Kaye ( Q and A)
25th July – Marian Wood

Thank you for joining me Marjorie and I wish you every success with this Marvelous book.

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