Tag Archives: #MondayBlogs

I will write 500 blogs…..

When I posted the most recent part of my Silently Watching story, WordPress sent me a notification.

It was my 500th blog post!

WOW! How did that happen?

It feels like a lifetime ago when I sat down and wrote then posted my first blog back at the end of 2013.  Missed it – here’s the link December | 2013 | Coral McCallum (wordpress.com)

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to post at least once a week to my new blog page and I’ve somehow managed to stick to it for over seven years.

The creative journey has wound its way steadily through the pages and although it took me until 15 April 2015 to finally publish my debut novel, Stronger Within, I am now six books in and working on the seventh. Stronger Within’s “birth” will always hold a special place in my heart. Stronger Within —-the dream’s come true! | Coral McCallum (wordpress.com)

My confidence has grown since those early blog posts (although I still get anxious about posting some articles) and over the years I have self-disclosed on a few topics. I’ve shared my innermost thoughts with you. I’ve shared poetry and fiction. I’ve introduced you to several fellow indie authors. I’ve tested the creative waters and introduced you to my characters to gauge the reaction. I’ve shared some hopefully interesting facts. I’ve shared my photography with you too.

And you know what? I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Writing for me, weaving that story, is my escape from this crazy real world we all live in. It’s become like oxygen to me, and I need to write to keep going.

So that said, I’ve a book to write and hopefully many more blog posts to share with you.

None of this would be possible without you though.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting the first 500 blogs!

Love n hugs

Coral xx

Sunset – medicine for the soul

Spending time outdoors in the sunshine in the highlight of the day during these crazy times we are living through. Even the Scottish weather has taken pity on us mere humans and been glorious for the past couple of weeks or more.

Usually I’ve been walking along the coastal route, enjoying a regular meander along the beach and filling my lungs with salty sea air but last Friday evening it looked as though Mother Nature was going to treat us to a spectacular sunset.

Time to change route to get a better view!

So, instead of heading down the steep hill from the house, Boy Child and I headed up.

What a view!

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With time to spare before the sun actually set, we decided to explore the woodland to the west.

Not a soul in sight. Birds were singing in the trees. A gentle breeze was rustling through the leaves. It was peaceful. Calming. Serene.

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SO good for the soul.

We eventually followed a path that brought us out at the back of the a local caravan park and guess what we found? A park and some swings!

 

I love swings! (yes, I know I’m a big kid)

Having channelled my inner child for a few brief moments, we retraced our steps arriving back at the car park just in time to watch the sun sink behind the Argyllshire hills.

WOW!

Here, take a look but this doesn’t do it justice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96IQZIEHGGk

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Sometimes you just need to pause and take in the beauty of the world around you and appreciate all that you have.

Stay safe, folks.

xx

Socially Distanced Scavenger Hunt

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A dear friend posted this on Facebook on Easter Sunday morning. Now, I’m pretty sure she meant it as an idea to support frazzled parents entertain their equally frazzled children during lockdown however….

Well, I like channelling my inner child.

As I set off for my daily wander, I had a screenshot of this to hand. Technically, I did have a child with me, Boy Child, but not entirely sure he qualifies any more LOL

Some items proved to be more of a challenge than others. Believe it or not, there wasn’t a bird to be seen! And an acute shortage of spider’s webs! ( I think the spider that spun the web we eventually found must have been drunk – not the best web! Spider’s webs are also extremely difficult to photograph in the sun.)

So, here’s what we found..

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Well, Laurie, how did I do? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Walk a mile…. well three…in my shoes

Two weeks into lockdown and I suspect most of us are struggling with this current world pandemic. I know I’ve had my moments.

One thing that is helping to keep me sane ( well as sane as I ever am – just before anyone else says it!) is my daily “authorised” excursion. I appreciate that I am extremely lucky in to live in a beautiful part of the world with some stunning views on the doorstep.

The daily meander usually follows the same route…well I am a  self-confessed creature of habit.

The daily meander takes me to the beach.

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My soul needs to be soothed with the feeling of sand under my soles. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve been combining these walks with an almost daily photography challenge. It’s amazing what you take note of if you actually take the time to open your eyes to the world around you and look.

There have been various themes so far

Flowers

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Rocks

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New Growth, New Life

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Sandscapes

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And maybe my favourite so far …. the challenge to find something every colour of the rainbow (ok, I struggled a wee bit with blue , indigo and violet)

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Still chasing rainbows and  dreams….told you I was a creature of habit.

Stay safe, folks

 

xx

 

 

 

 

Daisy….. an acrostic poem

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Days lengthening; sun shining
All seems so normal
Isolation, social distancing for everyone’s sake
Surreal- is this really happening?
Yes – and we’ll get through it together

 

 

Stay safe, everyone

xx

You Never Know Who’s Looking….. and where they are from….

Feb 2020

I rarely look at the viewing stats for my blog. Occasionally I’ll take a look to try to gauge how popular a post has been but, in general, I don’t study the stats page on here.

However, I checked it out recently and was left with an unanswered question- how would someone who lives in Qatar find my wee blog?

That got me thinking (Oh no, here she goes again I hear you cry) Where else is everyone from that has kindly taken the time to view my blog this month?

The results surprised me! 22 countries in just 29 days- WOW!!! (I’ll list them at the end for those who want to know which ones)

Then I began to wonder – what attracts people to a blog? In all honesty, I’d love to know the answer to that one as I’m sure many bloggers would!

That thought devolved into – what is a blog and where did they originate?

Cue a bit of Googling…..

 

The generally accepted definition of a blog or weblog, as they were originally known, is “a discussion or informal website on the World Wide Web (why does that feel like an old-fashioned term?) consisting of discrete often informal diary-style text entries (posts)”

 

I guess that about covers it!

 

Other blog traits are that posts are always displayed in reverse chronological order.

There are numerous blog hosts but WordPress currently hosts around 30% (estimate) of all blogs. I struggled to find any numbers to substantiate this but one article suggested that six years ago WordPress had 75.8million blogs listed.

Weblog is a term coined by John Barger in December 1997 then, around eighteen months later, a gentleman called Peter Merholz jokingly split the word into the phrase “we blog”. Shortly after that Evan Williams of Pyra Labs used the term “blog” as both a noun and a verb   – “to blog”- meaning to edit or post to one’s weblog. The term “blogger” followed on naturally.

So, who was the first “blogger”? That’s a point of debate but two possibilities are:-

1-Justin Hall, a journalist and entrepreneur, who began blogging while he was student at Swarthmore College PA in 1994

Justin Hall

2- Ty Inc are recognised as the first company with a commercial blog, In 1995 this took the form of an online diary where customers could vote for the beanie baby of the month. Love beanie babies!!

ty beanie

As an indieauthor, I’ve discovered blogs are a great way to try out new writing genres, market your books, connect with your readers (well, you’re reading this, aren’t you?) and to introduce the world to other indie authors. It can also be a means to get something off your chest but, on the whole, I refrain from ranting via my blog.

For me, personally, this wee blog had been the keystone in my creative journey. I started it on 29 December 2013 to help me overcome my fears of letting people read what I write. (Here’s the link to that very first blog – https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/deep-breaths-and-begin/ )

As I reflect now on those earlier blogs, I’ll admit some were better than others. Even now, some are better than others!

But, if you’d told me back at the end of December 2013 that people in 22 countries would have visited my blog in one month, I’d never have believed you.

Another achievement in this surreal creative journey.

Thank you – without YOU, this blog would slip by unnoticed.

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Countries

UK

Algeria

USA

Italy

India

Poland

Turkey

Netherlands

Australia

Canada

Brazil

Qatar

Malaysia

Germany

Greece

Romania

Spain

Russia

South Africa

Bangladesh

New Zealand

Argentina

 

 

 

A Dragon’s Tale….

For those of you who have read my Silver Lake series, you will be familiar with the Silver Lake dragon.

The dragon is “born” in the pages of the first book in the series, Stronger Within, when Lori draws it for Jake as a gift.

“Will you sign it?” asked Jake, immediately embarrassed for asking.

With a smile Lori autographed the piece with her distinctive Mz Hyde signature and passed it back to him. “If the band wants to use it, I’m ok with that. If you want to use it as a beer mat, I could get upset,” she joked lightly.

 It’s mentioned in every book in the series in a different guise.

In reality, the original drawing of the Silver Lake dragon (she doesn’t have a name as yet) was gifted to me by a very talented, special artist friend of mine, Fiona Knox, to say “thank you” for taking her to see Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators live in concert in Glasgow at the end of 2014. (There’s a whole other rock n roll story there but that’s one for another day.)

The original drawing has been framed and hangs in my hallway. It’s very much admired. Me- well, I love it to bits!

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The dragon first appeared on the cover of Stronger Within in April 2015.

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She made a second appearance in February 2016 on the cover of Impossible Depths – well part of her did!

Actual cover pic

In April 2017, the dragon made her third appearance. This time it was on the cover of the third book in the series, Bonded Souls.

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Around this time, it was also transformed into a limited edition pin by Lost Girl Creations.

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And also a limited edition guitar pick.

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Then last December, when Shattered Hearts was launched, the dragon featured again on the cover.

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And, yes, when the final book in the series comes out in 2021, she will be there again somewhere.

The Silver Lake dragon really is at the heart of my creative journey. To me, she symbolises the dream coming true. She represents all the hours spent writing, typing, spellchecking, proofreading and editing. She’s the visual representation of my “book babies”. I could waffle on for hours but you get the hint.

She’s also a symbol of  love and friendship.

Last weekend, the Silver Lake dragon was recreated once more. Immortalised forever as a part of me.

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Yes, I am now the indieauthor with the dragon tattoo! 😉

(Huge thanks to Tubi at Forevermore Tattoo in Glasgow)

 

If you want to read more then check out the Silver Lake series today

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

If you want to see more Lost Girl Creations check out their Instagram:

https://instagram.com/lostgirlcreations?igshid=1vyoy9do0tfw3

If you want to see more of Tubi’s work check out his Instagram:

https://instagram.com/tubiengipsyheart?igshid=1s4x6fr12ux90

or Forevermore’s website

https://www.forevermoretattoo.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clock’s Ticking…..Book Baby 5 is almost here…..

The clock’s ticking and the To Do list is growing with last minute things…. Yes, it’s almost Book Baby 5 “birth” day.

I literally have a To Do list for the week…. don’t believe me? Here it is:

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That’s the simplified version! The rest of it is still in my head.

 

So, with just over a week to go till Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts arrives, am I ready to let it fly free?

Eh….maybe……

Shattered Hearts release date promo pic

 

The Kindle e-book version is complete and uploaded (still to double check that…) It’s also available for pre-order via Amazon – links are at the bottom. I set myself the target of obtaining 25 pre-orders and I’m still a few short… just saying 😉

 

The final paperback proof has arrived and I am still checking the corrections I made. Once that’s done, I need to upload the final document to Amazon.

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eARC copies have been circulated to various book bloggers (If you are a book blogger and wish to review Shattered Hearts please let me know.

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The book launch day is almost, kind of, sort of planned out- I still need to finalise that then source the necessary photos to accompany it before scheduling all the posts on my author page.

Missed the invite? Not to worry, here’s the link. Please feel free to drop by on the 6th December.

https://www.facebook.com/events/411240452895257/

Book promotion is an ongoing challenge so I’ve been promoting Book Baby 5 while continuing to promote the other books in the Silver Lake series plus standalone spin-off Ellen. I find book promotion soul destroying, if I am being honest. It is the toughest aspect of being an indieauthor. So, in the interests of ongoing book promotion, the purchase links are also at the bottom.

Over and above, I still have this blog to write plus gig reviews to post, two social media fanpages for a real live rock star and the day job to do. (Yes, I work full time)

Oh and I’m a writer so there needs to be some time set aside to write…..

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And so it goes on…..

This is where my mantra really comes into play

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These last few days, like the last few days before the arrival of any baby are stressful and filled with expectation. I just hope that the “birth” of Book Baby 5 is painless!

 

 

Shattered Hearts

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

Silver Lake series

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

Ellen

Amazon.com link     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link   http s://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

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Enjoying sunrise from 3000 miles away

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Three things in life that I love are the beach and watching the sun rise and set. Actually managing to achieve these becomes more of a challenge at this time of year however I have a secret weapon – well, a virtual secret weapon.

There is one beach that I love but, unfortunately, it’s 3000 miles away from the place I call home. This is the beach that I have based my Silver Lake books around and its been way too long since I sank my toes into its sand.

And my secret virtual weapon – a local webcam.

One morning last week, the blue light of early dawn ( the photo above) caught my eye as I logged onto my laptop. It was 11am in the UK and 6am at the beach( or was it 7am – the clocks changing has me confused about the time difference!) .

For once I had time to spare and therefore  the time  to watch the sun rise over my beach. Want to see?

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and finally at 9am the town of Rehoboth Beach was starting to come to life and go about its day.

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I might not have physically been there but I could taste the salt in the air, hear the waves lap up on the shore and sense the town of Rehoboth Beach coming to life. It might have been a chilly October sunrise but it warmed my heart.

 

Sometimes all you need is a little imagination and you’re there……

 

 

 

If you want to check it out for yourself, here’s the webcam link

https://www.livebeaches.com/webcams/rehoboth-beach-boardwalk-webcam/

The Motivational Power Of The Humble Post-It Note

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I’ve confessed before on here that I’d be lost in life without Post It notes. I use them daily both at home and at work in the salt mine but did you realise the motivational potential they contained?

No?

Read on….

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and my personal favourite

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So, go on, make someone’s day today or tomorrow or the next day or whenever you think they need some kind words and leave them a Post It 😉