Poem: Shadow Girl

She’s a heavy thing, this shadow girl, this shredded one

I know her well, tried to shake her off long time ago

But she was there the whole time, claws in

A vampire, bloodsucking, soul draining parasite

I got to drag you around with me the rest of my life?

No knowing why she came back, only maybe she was hiding

Teasing, biding her time, playing the long game

She’s on my back, on my shoulder, in my mind, behind my eyes

She’s the dark, spite filled voice in my head

She said, hey you thought you’d got rid of me, thought you’d get free

Thought I’d gone forever, but no such luck

I’m here to fuck you up

She says, you fuck, how did you let this happen

You used to be so in control, when I had you, you were mine

I had you in line, and you had a spine

Now you have no edges, didn’t you like them better sharp

Now you have no lines to define you except the ones on your face

She promises me peace and satisfaction

She promises me a different reflection

give her back the driving seat, the controls

If I let her in, then she will do it for me like she did before

and I will be happy, like I was before.

Poem: Another Day Like This

Another day like this

Comfort in favourite t-shirt

The one with the stars on it

And daughter’s old hoodie, the big blue one

And jeans that need a wash

And don’t look in the mirror

On another day like this

Where my feelings are red raw and stupid

Exposed, like the true me when my face is too fat

Because I ate too much, like the old me

Can’t show a face like this to anyone

On a day like this, I could laugh, I could cry

I could take you wrong, misread the signals

Muddle the intentions

Suspect the worst

Oh no.

Another day like this

Author Interview: MJ Mallon

It’s been a while since we had an author interview here on The Glorious Outsiders, so it’s a real pleasure to welcome back Marjorie Mallon, who writes under MJ Mallon to celebrate the release of her latest book, Do What You Love. The new book is a wonderful collection of poems, flash fiction and photography and is certain to make you smile. Here is my review, followed by the interview with Marjorie!

“As other reviewers have said, this is an overwhelmingly sweet and positive collection that will not fail to make you smile during these tough times. A well written and thought provoking collection of poetry, flash fiction and photography, this is an inviting read and can be read quickly in one sitting. I loved the conversations with the Fates, as the author reflects on stages of her life. There was a lot I could relate to in this book, and as with her other works, I appreciate the author’s love and appreciation of nature. A wonderful, heart-warming collection.”

1. What inspired you to write this book?

After the pandemic I’ve been keen to share some inspiring and uplifting writing. Life has been hard for us all, and the precious joys of life really matter, like spending time with family, friends, and walking in nature, as well as embracing change and being brave. This change within me happened around that time when a group of authors, poets and bloggers came together to share their thoughts and I released the anthology This Is Lockdown.

2. What came first, the photos or the writing?

Interestingly, in a lot of cases the photos! I’m inspired by art and photography so I suppose that isn’t too surprising. Some of the family and friends poems were inspired by heartfelt experiences, so in that case, writing first.

3.Do you have a favourite type of poetry?

I love autumnal, (autumn is my favourite season,) and nature poetry. I appreciate short forms of poetry like haiku and tanka, in which just a few words can convey so much.

4.It’s a warm and loving book, is that what you had in mind?

Yes! Definitely. I hope that everyone reading Do What You Love will find something relatable within its pages. The poems, photography and narrative within may remind them of a friendship, a difficult time in their lives that may now have been resolved and the many challenges that we face as human beings. And yet, we are strong, we overcome, and we should embrace creativity and do what we love!

5.What are you working on next?

Probably, my YA Fantasy coming of age series The Curse of Time – I’ve written #1 Bloodstone, #2 Golden Healer and now I’ve started work on the next book which is primarily set in the Land of Shadows. A different book… but there are similarities. In this tale, there is also an emphasis on family, and friends, and even though this series has elements of dark fantasy, (with mental health aspects,) there are humourous characters such as Aunt Karissa to lighten the story.

Writing YA Fiction help keeps me young!

Other than that, there are several projects on my hard drive waiting to be fine tuned – time will tell which wins the prize to be finished next.

I tend to be a bit of a mood writer.

6. Do what you love is a wonderfully positive message, is it a mantra you live by?

I try to. I believe that when you open your heart to creativity lots of new opportunities and happiness can come your way.

7. What else do you love?

Mindfulness, walking in nature, trees, travel, art sculptures, the sea, and tai chi. I have been fortunate to find a tai chi class here in Portugal. I spend several months here and the rest of the time in the UK. It has been wonderful doing tai chi outside in the sunshine!

8. What is your writing and creative process like?

Unplanned. It tends to evolve. I like it that way! Perhaps like a painting or a photo, we are never sure how it is going to turn out until it is finished.

Thank you Marjorie and good luck with the new release! Here is the blurb and the links!

Blurb:

Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do. With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future. The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me

create clouds of sweetest joy

to do what you love

hold fate’s hand as we venture

near and far on life’s journey

Release Date: 25th November 2022, able to preorder via the following links.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

And links to Marjorie’s other books:

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown, (poetry, diaries and flash fiction – kindle) http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

November Writing Challenge: Addiction

At the start of every month I ask my Facebook followers to suggest some writing prompts and challenges and then I post the one I chose at the end of the month. This time I picked ‘Addiction’ which was a one word prompt. What came to mind was a list poem so here it is:

Image by Rilson S. Avelar from Pixabay

Addiction

Addicted to dinosaur remains

Fossilised ideas

Dirty pleasures

Heating homes

Running cars

Getting there faster

Building roads

To better boost business

Addicted to plastic

To the convenience of forgetting

It sits in the earth forever

We breathe it in

Drink it, eat it

Feed it to babies

It flutters in trees

It drifts on the seas

Around the neck of a seal

The beak of a bird

In the stomach of a whale

Addicted to shiny new things

Neat front lawns

Weeds killed efficiently

Packages delivered on time

Addicted to right now

Addicted to cheap food

To burgers and nuggets

And penned in pigs

To horror and murder

Mined diamonds

iPhones and slavery

To turning a blind eye

To what doesn’t concern us

Addicted to capitalism

To what we need, what we want

To infinite growth on a finite planet

To investment

But not in nature

But not in the wild

Addicted to believing we are important

To slaughtered hedgerows

Felled trees

Filthy oceans

Polluted rivers

Addicted to ourselves

To speed, to need, to want, to greed

Unable to see

Addicted to the end