Word craft ~ Prose & poetry “MEET THE POET,” Featuring @Marjorie_Mallon

Welcome to a new feature on wordcraftpoetry.com, which highlights the poets in our writing community. Get to know the people behind the poetry and the books. It’s a great way to share our love for writing poetry with others.

Today’s guest is Marjorie Mallon. She’s a frequent participant in our Tanka Tuesday challenges. I’ve known Marje since we both started blogging back in 2014! Time flies when you’re having fun!

Author and Poet: Marjorie Mallon

AUTHOR BIO

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

On the 17th of November I was born, in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit.) My early childhood was spent in Hong Kong. During my teen years, my parents returned to my father’s birthplace, Edinburgh, where I spent many happy years. As a teenager, I travelled to many far-flung destinations. 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 have almost flown the nest, but often return with a cheery smile to greet me.

During the day, I work in an international sixth form with students from around the world. I’m the meet and greet lady who welcomes them to their new college and issues them with late slips when they don’t get to their lessons on time!

I write YA fantasy, paranormal, horror/supernatural short stories, flash fiction and short form poetry. More recently, I have produced and compiled an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown. Following on from this, in February 2021 I will be releasing Lockdown Innit, poems about absurdity which will be available in kindle and shortly after release in paperback. 

I’ve been blogging for many moons at my blog home Kyrosmagica, which means Crystal Magic. From time to time I write articles celebrating the spiritual realm, inspiration and my love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

My eclectic blog shares my three loves: reading,  writing, and creativity. I adore reading and have written over 150 reviews on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

Marje has a new book out called Lockdown Innit. I had to ask her what the word “Innit” meant. Basically, its British slang for “Isn’t it?” That should give you a clue as to the humor in this poetry collection. Here’s a bit about the book:

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

Preorder Buying Links Lockdown Innit Releases TODAY: February 26th

Kindle Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VW81Q53/

Kindle Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VW81Q53/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56949934-lockdown-innit

Universal link for kindle: https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Our Interview

Marje, what got you started writing poetry?

I started writing poetry and diaries at a young age. Then, other distractions came along: boys, followed by marriage, work, and children. I know that sounds somewhat cliched, but it took me a long time to rediscover my interest and love of poetry. If I hadn’t started blogging, I might never have. My re-introduction to poetry began with Ronovan Writes poetry prompts, I wrote short form three line haiku to begin with. Thereafter, I joined your weekly Tanka Tuesday, Colleen. I’ve never looked back. Colleen has an outstanding poetry blog full of advice on all types of poetry.Through Colleen’s guidance pages, I’ve had fun trying many different forms.

What is your favorite poetry form?

Ah, Colleen, that is a difficult question! I still love the Tanka form, preferring it to Haiku as it gives me two more lines to say what I’d like to!

I also love poems that form a shape on the page, such as the Etheree and the Cinquain. In my new poetry collection Lockdown Innit there is a wide variety to choose from, including free verse poetry, a Tanka, and an Etheree.

I tried a couple of new forms— the daisy chain form which was fun and the decastich—Egg timer Poem, which I discovered via this link on your blog, Colleen:

The Poet’s Collective features an index of Syllabic Poetry Forms. Check it out!

Here’s the detail of the poems I tried:

Egg Timer – A decastich (10 line poem)
Syllabic 5/4/3/2/1/1/2/3/4/5
Unrhymed
Formulaic: The last five lines are the mirror image of the first five lines.
Centered or not, at the poet’s discretion.

Daisy Chain The last word in the line becomes the first word of the next line. To end the poem, the last word is the same as the first word.

The Butterfly Cinquain: An  unrhymed 9 line poem.
syllabic, 2-4-6-8-2-8-6-4-2 syllables per line.

Here is an example of the Butterfly Cinquain form from Lockdown Innit:

Image credit: MJ Mallon
Horses
 Grazing on grass
 Unaware they are watched
 Still, like symmetrical statues
 Nose down
 Three leafy shrubs oddly aligned
 How bizarre this scene is
 My eyes observe
 Lockdown

 © M J Mallon

The image of the horses captured my attention so much that I used it as a focal point for my book cover image. The collection focuses on the strange things I have observed, felt, or experienced during lockdown.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Keep on writing!

I regret I didn’t return to writing for such a long time. When I became a mum, I devoted all my energies to my children and lost myself a little. I do, and I don’t regret that. I have two lovely girls who mean the world to me. It’s only now that my much-loved daughters are young adults that I’m finding more time, energy and enthusiasm to write.

Also, when I was younger, I lacked the confidence that I have now. I’ve grown so much as a person through blogging and writing. It literally has changed my life, and has introduced me to so many people, such a wonderfully supportive community. I’m blessed and obsessed! 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

That’s an interesting question. I wrote my first book, a YA Fantasy, The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone in a whirlwind of imaginative ideas. I woke up each morning with an action reel whizzing in my mind. This still happens to me, I often awaken with an incredible burst of energy, and rush to jot down a storyline. I still get a huge buzz when this happens. In fact, it happened to me this morning!

Writing your first novel changes your writing process. I was lucky to have so much help, support and encouragement with my debut novel. I owe particular thanks to Colleen for her meticulous beta reading, which became a full-scale kindness of her heart editing, and prior to that to Graham Cumming for reading through the first draft and commenting on many suggested improvements. It is crucial to have a fresh pair of eyes, beta readers, and a trusted editor to read your work. All of which I have, I am so grateful to my beta readers and to the blogging community for all they do for me.

All writers have weaknesses, or excesses! I excel at imaginative ideas but have to work harder at dialogue and plotting. To a degree, I still resist plotting. I prefer the ideas to flow organically, but the key is to get the balance right. Balance is as important in all aspects of life as it is in the art of writing. So now, I play to my strengths, making sure that I have all the unique elements on a page, in the correct quantities! Dialogue, engaging characters, scenes, peaks and troughs, all working together to ensure that the crazy plot stands up to scrutiny. I continue to work at my craft, loving each step along the way. I am pretty stubborn! I never give up, even if the task seems almost insurmountable.

And believe me, the second in my YA series The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer, is an immense challenge, one that I will work on completing later this year.

Lockdown Innit is my first book dedicated to poetry and nothing else.

My previous books, The Curse of Time, Mr. Sagittarius, and the anthology/compilation This Is Lockdown all include poetry.

This alone is indicative of how much I love poetry that it surreptitiously creeps in everywhere!

Thanks so much for stopping by Marje. I’ll make sure and add this book to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Book Store where I share the Amazon Author links to the books published by the regular participants of the Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge. Many of these books include poetry, short stories, and essays. If you’re looking for a gift, this is the perfect place to begin your shopping journey. Books make thoughtful gifts.

Look for Marje:

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

#ABRSCAuthors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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60 Comments

  1. What a lovely awakening! Just about to have my breakfast cuppa! Thank you so much Colleen for a beautifully presented and thoughtful post. It is such an honour to be your first guest on your new feature. Marje Xxx

  2. Continued success and enjoyment of being creative!!
    Cheers, Jules

  3. What a wonderful interview! I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Marje.

  4. How nice to meet you, Marje! Wishing you much continued success!

  5. Lovely new feature Colleen.. and fantastic to see Marje here…much enjoyed…hugs ♥

  6. D.L. Finn, Author

    I really enjoyed this interview and learning more about you, Marje. I agree how important beta readers and other helpful eyes are to a work in progress. I have your book on my Kindle. I look forward to reading it!

  7. Yes, beta readers and helpful eyes are so important. We owe so much to our helpers in this respect. Wow, thank you so much Denise. I’m thrilled you have downloaded a copy, I hope you enjoy! <3

  8. This is a great idea for a series! I look forward to meeting many more poets. Marje’s interview was an excellent kickoff!

  9. This is a great post, Marje. I enjoyed your comments about poetry. I also like tankas best. Colleen is an excellent coach to us all. Thanks for hosting Marje, Colleen. An enjoyable read.

  10. Awesome interview! Enjoyed leaning more about Marge and her book!

  11. Thanks, Colleen! <3 xo

  12. Fabulous interview sisters! Love Marje’s raw honesty, and always fun learning more about each of us. Hugs xox

  13. A great interview, Marje. Thank you, Colleen. 🙂

  14. Love this idea!!

  15. What an awesome interview, Colleen and Marje. I love how Marje rediscovered her love of poetry and now she has such mastery. Toni x

  16. Great post Colleen and Marje’s latest book is fab isn’t it 💜

  17. A wonderful new feature, Colleen, and so nice to see Marje here as well as learn more about her and her writing. I could completely relate to her answer about how her writing process has changed over time. That elusive balance between imagination and craft. It’s inevitable that we learn and change as we explore this life-long vocation. Happy Writing to you both. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Diana. It’s inevitable that we change through our writing journey… you are so right! It’s all the practice. LOL! I hope to hightlight more poets. We need a place for them to be spotlighted! <3

  18. A wonderful new feature, Colleen. I love Marje work. I have a couple of her books. My favorite style of writing poetry is free style. I love reading any type of poetry.

    • Brenda, just the fact that you love to read poetry is wonderful! The syllabic poetry is fun to write as you search for the right word to fit the syllable count. Keeps your brain healthy. 😍❤️

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