Zoom Steam Poems A Reading and getting by #Giveaway #pandemic #makingthebestofthings

Hi Y’all and welcome to my May Showers author event. Every day but Monday and Friday I will have a special guest sharing their feelings or tips for dealing with how things are with this Pandemic Or whatever they like to discuss. There is a huge giveaway with lots of prizes so read to the end to see how to enter! Our second Guest is Vickie Johnstone. Welcome, Vickie!

Hello from London, UK!

First of all, I have to say a massive thank you to our NHS for doing an amazing job. They are heroes.

I’m entering week eight of staying in. I’m okay with it as it’s for a bigger cause, but I love going out, seeing new things and socialising, so the word ‘weird’ doesn’t quite cover it. I think we need a new term. Maybe The Big Freak!

I’m lucky to have three housemates who have probably saved my sanity: two humans and one furrball. One still has to go to work full-time and the other part-time.

I talk with my parents on the phone as they live far away, and with my boyfriend every day, although he used to be allergic to phone calls (funny what lockdown does), and we discovered Steam, which you can download to play games with friends online. So now I’m addicted to Cluedo! You can be Frankenstein in the Wild West if you want to!

To keep up with friends, we’ve been having Zoom parties. I’d never heard of Zoom before and I am so glad they built this thing. My boyfriend puts on gigs in the real world, so he asked some bands to record their acts ‘live’ and streamed them. About 600 people tuned in (which was more than actually came to his gigs!). A group of us had a fun Zoom party while we listened with crazy hats and beers. It was great to see friends’ faces.

For April, I did NaPoWriMo (a poem a day) via Napowrimo.net and posted the poems on my blog, Vixie’s Stories. This kicked my lazy writing butt by giving me prompts and I’ve filled a notebook!

There are many courses online – something for everyone. I signed up for two: 60-minute writing (CityLit) and short stories (Curtis Brown). The first one is over Zoom, so you can see your teacher and your classmates. If, like me, you find it trippy to be stared at by yourself, you can turn off your camera. I’m loving it. I also found some freebies, including a fantastic course on personification at the Chicago Poetry Foundation with a lovely teacher. Those use Google Classroom.

My friend, JD Mader, has a website called Unemployed Imagination. At the weekends, he runs 2minutesgo, where anyone can write. Those taking part also read and comment. This has saved me during writer’s block many a time. Everyone is welcome.

I went on furlough from work after the second week of lockdown and I was battling a resurgence of anxiety. Does anyone else have this? I rang my GP and his advice helped, and I go for long walks to green places. Nature is a wonderful healer. Hobbies help too, along with talking to other people about anxiety, because it’s common – even though you might feel alone. There are many websites and helplines online too.

Finally, something surprising happened. My singer-songwriter uncle was inspired by one of my poems to write a song. This amazed me. I liked the way he used some of my words to create something new and he gave mine flight. Now I think of songs as little poems with wings.

All these things have helped me over the last two months. I guess 2020 is showing me what I value most: people, health, animals, nature and writing. It is also teaching me this: don’t worry so much and smell the roses – you’re only here once. Unless I’m reincarnated as a cat, which, going by the pampered life of our furrball, can’t be too bad.

This is a little poem I wrote on April 4, about lockdown. Have a gorgeous day.

When

When this is over

We will meet

And it will be as if

The weeks did not exist.

It will be like yesterday.

We will fall into place

As old friends do,

And talk of simple things

As we always did.

We’ll be slightly wiser,

And place more value

On transient things

When this is over.

Title: Kiwi in Cat City

Series if applicable: Kiwi Series of 6 books.

Kiwi in Cat City, Kiwi and the Missing Magic, Kiwi and the Living Nightmare, Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle, Kiwi in the Realm of Ra and Kiwi’s Christmas Tail. The series contains illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

Amy, James and Kiwi the cat go on different adventures involving catnappings, jewel thieves, giant mice, time travel, haunted houses, Father Christmas, pyramids and more. The fun stories contain positive messages about loyalty, friendship, honesty, bullying and the power of friendship.

Author: Vickie Johnstone

Cover designer: I designed the cover using a stock image.

Publisher: Vickie Johnstone

Genre/heat: middle-grade, so for ages 7-99. No heat rating, unless cats rock your socks.

Pages: 155

Blurb:

Book 1 in the Kiwi Series about a magical cat. Furry fun for ages 7-99. With illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

Have you ever wished your cat could talk or wondered where he/she goes when you are not around?

Kiwi is a black cat with a big secret – she is magical and comes from a city of catizens. One night when the moon is shaped like a cat’s claw, Amy and James follow their pet cat to see where she goes. With a flick of her tail, Kiwi turns the kids into kittens and leads them to the blue-lit Cat City, where the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to investigate a catnapping and Kiwi meets her nemesis.

Kirkus Review: “Though the book is a mystery, the bloodshed-free crime means that the book is safe enough for younger readers to enjoy, and funny moments – provided by the bumbling Paws and lots of “cat” wordplay – keep the story light. The sleuthing will captivate young readers… Cats, a dash of fantasy, and a puzzling mystery are a recipe for a fun read…”

Buy links:

Amazon US: www.amazon.com/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE

Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/vixie

Kobo: www.kobo.com/gb/en/search?query=vickie%20johnstone&fcsearchfield=Author

Book Depository: www.bookdepository.com/author/Vickie-Johnstone

Barnes & Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Vickie%20Johnstone%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Excerpt:

This is me reading chapter one: https://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.com/p/listen-to-story.html

Meet Vickie:

Hi, I live in London where I work as a layout sub-editor on magazines. I love reading, writing, films, the sea, art, animals, nature, rock music and travelling. I have written 16 books.

Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle (book 4 in the Kiwi Series) was a Finalist in the Children’s Books category of the National Indie Excellence Book Awards 2013. It also gained an Honourable Mention in the Children’s Books category at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival. I Dream of Zombies was a Finalist in the Horror category of the National Indie Excellence Awards 2014.

Stalker Links:
Blog: vickiejohnstone.blogspot.com
Twitter: @vickiejohnstone
Website: Kiwiincatcity.com
Merchandise: www.zazzle.co.uk/kiwiincatcity
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4788773.Vickie_Johnstone

FB author page: www.facebook.com/AuthorVickieJohnstone
FB Kiwi in Cat City page: www.facebook.com/KiwiinCatCity
FB poetry page: www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopePoetry

Backlist

Day of the Living Pizza and Day of the Pesky Shadow (detective comedy/fantasy); the six-book Kiwi Series about a magical cat; 3 Heads and a Tail (romantic comedy with a dog as the hero); The Sea Inside (fantasy adventure); I Dream of Zombies and Haven (zombie series); Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Mind-spinning Rainbows (poetry) and Life’s Rhythms (haiku)

Coming soon:

A new collection of flash fiction and poetry, as yet unnamed. And hopefully a novel.

Now for the prizes! Vickie is offering a Paperback copy of Kiwi in Cat City – individual prize Grand prize package – Ebooks of 3 Heads & a Tail and Kiwi in Cat City. There are two grand prizes. #1: Grand Prize #1: grand prize total of $45 in gift cards, a paperback book, eBooks (both mm and M/F) and a personalized book bag. Grand prize #2 (for dark MMromance lovers only) The entire Don’t Audiobook Collection by Jack L. Pyke and lots of individual giveaways. Be sure to comment if you have a preference on MM only or Mf only or you may get something you don’t like.

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