Category Archives: #am writing (and all things writing related)

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham – Empathy Blogswap

In order to celebrate the release of Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham, Walker have organised a blog swap. Throughout August a number of bloggers are hosting guest posts from our peers. Something to give us an insight into an issue we might not otherwise have come across. To step into their mind and empathise. I encourage you to visit other posts across the month to expand your experience.

Today I’m hosting Alba with her post on Acts of Kindness. You can read more from Alba on her blog Alba in Bookland here.

Acts of Kindness

One thing I love about the football World Cup is how it manages to bring people from all over the world together. Last month, we decided to organize an office pool in which you would select several teams and earn points every time one of your teams would score or win a match. Quite simple. But then in the middle of it, a colleague had a brilliant idea: let’s also collect acts of kindness.

So every day, we would check the news all over the world to find those little acts. It was amazing to see how this world event had affected the daily life of so many people, all from different nationalities and backgrounds and brought them a little happiness.

We even started printing our favorites and putting them in our office board, so everyone could read them. They definitely sparked more than one smile and even a few tears between our colleagues. So today I decided to share with you three of these acts of kindness:

1) How a deafblind fan is enjoying the World Cup thanks to his friends. Here is the video, if you haven’t seen it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-44657259/icymi-how-a-deafblind-fan-is-enjoying-the-world-cup

I actually studied sign language in university and met such vibrant and active people in the deaf and deaf blind community. We used to have weekend excursions to different places in Barcelona and it was always such a especial moment to be able to sign for the deaf blind so they could experience new places too. So this video definitely brought a lot of nice memories back. I should start volunteering again.

2) Mexican and Colombian supporters lift Egyptian fan in wheelchair so he can see screen in fanzone. Here is the photo, if you haven’t seen it: https://www.thesun.co.uk/world-cup-2018/6553124/world-cup-mexico-colombian-egypt-disabled-fan/

3) Japan and Senegal fans help to clean up World Cup stadiums. Here are the photos, if you haven’t seen them: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/20/sport/senegal-world-cup-stadium-clean-up-spt-intl/index.html

And a special mention to the fans that created the pride flag with football shirts to let Russian LGBT community know ‘they’re not alone’ (https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/worldcup/world-cup-2018-activists-in-moscow-create-pride-flag-with-football-shirts-to-let-russian-lgbt-a3885161.html)

I hope these kind images brought a smile to your face too. And remember, acts of kinds cost nothing but are worth a lot.

Thanks for sharing these wonderful positive stories Alba. I often think of the more negative side of football so it’s great to see how a common interest can bring people together. Definitely relevant to my job as an Occupational Therapist.

Book Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum … and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie…

As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

An uplifting story of friendship, unity and hope that highlights the important and topical issues surrounding young carers and young refugees.

I really enjoyed Siobhan’s Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon (which I’m just about to loan to a friend’s daughter) so I think this will be a fabulous read. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is out now.

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Payback by M.A.Griffen – Blog Tour Guest Post

BLACK BOOKS

by M. A. Griffin

I can’t tell you how excited I was when I first saw the cover to my new novel, PAYBACK.

I’d known the cover had been causing them a few problems. The design team knew what they were after but couldn’t quite get it to work. The wonderfully talented Helen Crawford-White was given the gig, and the publication date was put back as she laboured away; April became May became July.

Then the cover arrived, a pdf attached to an email. I was blown away. It was black, with cool, reflective gold foil lettering. And – I suspect I’m alone in this – I’d always wanted a black book. I have a thing about black books.

Here’s why. To me, black books are holiday books. I guess this goes back to the horror-obsession I had during my teenage years in the late 1980s. As my family’s summer break loomed each year, I’d pack black books about monsters. I remember James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog, Guy Smith’s The Crabs, Steven King’s stuff and Peter Benchley’s The Deep (which might’ve been more like dark blue.)

It’s worth mentioning that PAYBACK – a heist novel about a gang of anti-capitalist teenage thieves – has little relationship to my summer reading all those years ago. PAYBACK is a thrilling series of robberies, an exploration of direct action and its consequences, a story following powerful and idealistic young activists as they target corrupt organisations and redistribute wealth to the needy. It’s Robin Hood meets The 39 Steps. Nothing like King or Herbert.

Other than, of course, in the colour of its cover.

Black books do special things when you take them to a sunny beach or pool, and this is why I love them:

1. They absorb heat and nearly burn your fingers when you pick them up.

2. The glue that binds them melts faster than other books and the pages begin to separate.

3. Sand attaches itself to the tacky glue between the pages in fine lines. The book almost crunches as you leaf through it.

4. The covers often curl as they dry so your summer read assumes the shape of that elongated ‘m’ we use to indicate distant birds in childhood pictures.

5. Splashed swimming pool water gathers in beads on black covers. Each becomes a super-heated pinprick before it evaporates.

So there you go, folks – five very good reasons to pack PAYBACK in your suitcase this summer!

Cover design by Helen Crawford-White  studiohelen.co.uk

PAYBACK by M. A. Griffin out now in paperback (£7.99, Chicken House)

#Payback

Follow M.A. Griffin on twitter @fletchermoss and find out more at http://www.chickenhousebooks.com

Do check out the other stops on the tour.

Thanks to Laura Smythe and Chicken House for the copy which I’m really looking forward to reading and burning my hands on in this heatwave.

The #Selfie of Marion Faye – #amwriting

Over Christmas I read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and I was not a fan. However I loved the actual concept so I got it into my head to do a modern YA retelling which I started last night.

Thought I’d share the start of Chapter One to see what you think.

Click.

Click.

Click, Click, Click. Fifth photo lucky.

I’m lying in bed, right arm extend above me trying to get a natural shot that captures my “just woke up” face. But the pretty version, after I’ve combed my hair and brushed my teeth. Of course I know that no-one can smell my breath in a photograph, but I’d just know. Every time I looked at my profile I’d feel icky thinking that that was the morning I had night before garlic bread breath.

I got it. That perfect shot where my hair is spread artfully on the pillow, there’s a slight blush in my cheeks; Max Factor Rose Garden, and you can just see a hint of my piercing blue eyes opening. Almost like that Sphinx thing in that old Neverending Story film dad made me watch this weekend. Part of my “Proper film education”.

If I upload this there’s no way that Ian can ignore it. He’ll be shot with my laser eyes, caught in my trap. I hope.

I upload it to my account and use the Lark filter – it seemed apt for a morning shot.

Status – urrgh weekday mornings

Hashtags – #tooearly #morningssuck #bedhead #nofilter (okay the last two aren’t entirely true but needs must).

Within 30 seconds of hitting the share button I have ten likes. All from guys from school, but none from Ian… yet.

“Marion, you’ve got fifteen minutes to eat breakfast before I drop you to school,’ mum yells.

Make that five by the time I’ve put my uniform on and it takes all of that to make breakfast look insta worthy. I layer seeds and fruit and yoghurt in my super cute Cath Kidston pink floral breakfast bowl, take a quick shot and upend it all into a plastic container to eat in the car, chia seeds and all.

I balance the makeshift bowl on my lap and spoon the contents in left handed as mum sings along to whatever old person station she listens to in the morning. I’ve had to resign myself to losing the battle of secretly tuning the station to Radio 1 each evening, especially as she now takes the car keys up to her room rather than leave them in the key bowl by the door.

Instead I use my non feeding hand to feed my soul and check how my insta posts are doing.

#breakfastbowl #cathkidston #eatclean #chiasuperfoodness has 102 likes and one comment which turns out to be some spambot selling diet pills. Blocked.

But this morning’s selfie has 327 likes and 20 comments. My heart leaps and I scroll through the commenters handles, nothing from Ian. Just as I’m about to check through the list of likers another notification pops up.

Whov-Ian liked your post.

Operation “Get Him Back” has commenced. I can even overlook the Doctor Who nerdiness because of THOSE abs, which his latest gym shot highlights. I don’t like his picture tho. I’m not that needy.

I now look back through the comments on my pic which are all a variation on two themes.

“Well jel – wish i looked like that first thing”

“Looking stunning as always hun”

“You should totes make this your profile pic babe”

and

“Fit as”

“I’d like to wake up next to that”

“😍😍”

There’s one though that stands out, from an account called Duckfacersdie.

#fake #nofiltermyarse #getalife

I think – #potkettleblack but click on their profile anyway and up pops a feed of similar shots of girls with bubble font hashtags posted all over their pics and mine is the most recent. I don’t look at the comments here but report and block them too. Boy it feels satisfying.

I choose to follow the advice of babesunit8 and update my profile picture. I really do like how I look in this one, for once.

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