Find Joy- Favorite Places #SundayStills #Photography


Find Joy however you can

Many of us are scared of what is going on in the world and frustrated with the restrictions this unseen enemy has placed upon our lives. But I challenge you to go through your photos and find the places, or things, that bring you joy. Soak up that feeling and don’t give up- we are in this thing together {{hugs}}

Sunday Stills- Favorite Places

Sunday stills is a weekly challenge created by Terri Webster Schrandt. This week she chose FAVORITE PLACES. Stop by and join the challenge here.

Cherry Blossoms against a cerulean blue sky

I’m blessed to be living in my favorite place. DH and I were both born and raised in north-western Alberta, against the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Winters tended to last seven-to-eight months and could be incredibly depressing if you weren’t into snow sports.

Our summer holidays were often taken on Vancouver Island, Canada’s rainforest. We fell in love with the land and the people and dreamed of one day living there.

Imagine my joy when that dream became a reality!

Our new home- full-time RVers
Cherry trees in full bloom in our park
Goofy grandson at Butchart Gardens
Fisheye shot of Esquimalt Lagoon
My brother here for a visit
Mural at Chemainus
See the resemblance? DH posing, lol

We may be stuck at home, but photos are a wonderful way to lift our moods.

Stay safe everyone!

Spring is coming- Green #SundayStills #Nature


This week’s #SundayStills Challenge from Terri Webster Schrandt is macro shots of GREEN. You can take part here

Daffodil just before it bloomed with a few strawberry leaves in the background
Corn husk from last year’s crop- fancy hairdo!
Ladybug wandering along the stem of a broccoli- I think?
Clematis after flowering

Share your macro shots- we’d love to see them!

Pacific Northwest- #SundayStills #Photography


Sunset at Esquimalt Lagoon. Can you see the Blue Heron?

This week, Terri Webster Schrandt gives us the challenge of showing our state/provincial symbols on #SundayStills You can join the challenge here.

From the Spirit Bear to towering cedars, British Columbia is a land of beauty and mystery.

Fog lingering after one of our winter rains.
It’s cherry blossom season!
Canadian Navy patrolling our waters.
Inter-island ferry
Our provincial bird- Stellar Jay

Share some of your favorites- we’d love to see them 🙂

Nature’s Wonders- #SundayStills #photography


Nature is filled with wonders- we only have to open our eyes to behold the beauty.

This week’s #SundayStills #challenge from Terri Webster Schrandt is Near and Far. You can join in here.

Above is a photo taken last summer looking from the back of our postage stamp yard, forward. See the apple? First year tree and already producing!

Upon closer reflection, I found this cute little guy wandering the leaves.

My girl, soaking up the sun.

Hide and seek.

Our jungle.

Enjoying nature’s bounty.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to slow down and just breathe ❤

Photo Challenge- Early #SundayStills


This Week’s Theme- Early

Terri Webster Schrandt poses the question; what does early mean to you? Check out her post for Sunday Stills here and join the challenge!

Early love
Early morning hockey practice
Early morning ferry ride
Early morning snack
Early flowering crocus

What does early mean to you?

Mr. Sagittarius by M J Mallon #NewRelease #Poetry


Who Is Mr. Sagittarius?

And what is his connection to twin brothers, Harold and William?

When Harold dies, he leaves a simple memorial request

Will his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the magic of the garden ensure that she does.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It features a variety of my photos including: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and even some Halloween poems!

I doubt I would have created Mr. Sagittarius if it wasn’t for these two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement.

Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a story about the circle of life, with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year and sibling relationships.

Huge thanks to my amazing cover designer and formatter: Rachael Ritchey who has done an amazing job creating the ebook, paperback cover and graphics.

Get your copy today

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084DQV3HW/Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DQV3HW/

Contents include:

THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW (story and poem plus photo of a dragonfly)

GOLDEN WILLOW TREE (poem and photo)

ROBIN: ETHEREE (poem and photo)

LIFE LESSONS FROM BUDDHA (poem)

LIFE LESSONS FROM CATS – poem – (photo image via Samantha Murdoch)

MR. FROWNING TREE (poem and photo)

RAINBOW CHILD – story – (image of Tourmaline crystal via Samantha Murdoch)

FRIENDS FOR TEA (poem)

THE CANDY CORN MONSTER (Halloween poem)

CANDYFLOSS CRITTER (Halloween poem)

MR GHOST WITH EASE (Halloween poem)

DREAMING AT HALLOWEEN (Halloween poem)

ODE TO LOVE –ETERNAL (Ghost/love poem)

LOVE TAKEN BY DEATH: DIAMANTE (poem)

GHOST: SEPTOLET (Ghost poem)

A FACE ON BARK: ETHEREE (poem)

LOLLIPOP SUNSHINE TREE (poem and photo)

FOR MR. SNOWMAN (poem)

SERENA’S CHRISTMAS BUBBLE MONSTER (humorous story and photo)

BUBBLY SNOWMAN KISSES (poem)

THAT TWINKLE IN HER EYES IS MAGIC (poem)

THE OLD MAN OF SNOW AND THE SNOW SNAKE (story)

MY HEART IS A CAVE (poem)

MR. SAGITTARIUS (story)

MR. SAGITTARIUS DIED THIS DAY IN THIS SNOW DROP GARDEN (poem/prose/photo of snow drops.)

Love (story)

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Other Books by M J Mallon:

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Coming in 2020

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer.

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilation –

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre –

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019 –

“Dexter’s Creepy Caverns” (Short Story)

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 –

“Ghostly Goodbye” (Short Story)

My author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Author Bio

I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/

I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators  and Cambridge Writers

As well as this I run a supportive group with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.

February is National #Bird Feeding Month #Nature #SundayStills


Since moving to the west coast, DH and I have quickly become avid bird watchers. Being in Canada, we know how important it is to have food out for our feathered friends, but I hadn’t realized February was National Bird Feeding Month!

Check out Terri Schrandt’s interesting #blog to learn more and to participate in this week’s #SundayStills Challenge.

Here are some of the many birds we have on the island:

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Something Old #SundayStills #Photography


Hugh Roberts from Hughsviewsandnews blog is hosting Sunday Stills today and the subject is old. Stop over and check out his pictures- so interesting!

You can join in here: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2020/01/12/have-you-found-the-secret-of-old-items-sundaystills/

Hugh asks the question; what does old mean to you?

For me, it can be the giant cedars we have here on the island.

Canada’s largest tree is the “Cheewat Cedar” on Vancouver Island (left), which measures 18.34 m (60.2 ft) in circumference and 55.5 m (182 ft) in height. It is almost beyond belief that this enormous matriarch, a western red cedar with an estimated age of 2,000 years, is as old as Christianity.http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/text/01-Cathedral-Grove-1.htm

DH by one of the smaller cedars in the grove

Or it could be the Rocky Mountains, rising up like fists to the sky.

Mount Robson is the most prominent mountain in North America’s Rocky Mountain range; it is also the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. 

The dinosaurs can claim they’re old dating back 66 million years ago.

Driftwood sculpture on local beach

And then there’s my childhood photos- old to me! lol

What does old mean to you?

Keeping up the Traditions #holidays #family


Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

The quote above is particularly apt as the years go by.

When I was a child, Christmas meant decorating the tree we went into the forest to collect. My mom would pack up a lunch and bundle us in warm winter coats, mitts and toques, and then away we would go, my dad driving us deep into the woods where the very best trees were hidden.

We’d traipse through deep snow, broken only by Dad’s footprints, until we found the perfect tree. Not too big, not too small, even branches and a crown made for an angel.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

A few days later, we could finally decorate. Lights first, then garland, tinsel, and ornaments- some we made and some passed down through the family. Then Dad would add the tree topper and our living room was transformed into a magical place!

Years later, when I married and had my own family, we switched to an artificial tree for the holidays. They’re convenient; you don’t need to fight with the lights, and it’s better for the environment.

But, the magic was gone.

Other traditions took its place- family breakfast Christmas morning before the exchange of gifts. Afternoons spent outdoor skating or tobogganing while the turkey cooked. The passage of time marked by those who joined the festivities, and family members we’d lost.

Then my grandson was born.

Christmas is made for children. The wonder on their precious faces fills our hearts with love and joy. They remind us of the magic of our youth and the importance of family.

My grandson

Then, my daughter was given the opportunity to gain her masters degree, but it was across the country and suddenly Christmas was down to DH, Mom and I.

I’m not complaining, many people spend the holidays all alone, but I have to admit I’m floundering.

We went to look at lights last night, DH and I, (Mom stayed home) and it was nice- quiet, but nice.

It’s so different looking at lights without snow on the ground and freezing cold air in your lungs! lol

What do you do to allay depression during the holidays?

I’m trying, really, I am!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas

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