Friday, 29 May 2020

BOOK RELEASE: SOLANGE an ebook by Linzé

Will she get the future she wants?

M/F/M Erotic vampire romance (18+ only)

  Solange knows that she is not like the average woman who frequents the bar of her two vampire lovers. When the vampire king's messenger stirs everything into a near disaster, she knew things were about to change forever.

  She knows that being human in a threesome that includes two deadly and powerful male vampires will take everything she has to keep them together. 


  Solange never lacked courage or intelligence, and demanding to see the king could result in something that she may not be prepared for: the enforcement of the centuries-old execution decision.

  The history behind the decision made her even more determined to prevent their relationship from being destroyed over a long-dead woman's mistake.


  Is her courage and commitment to this relationship enough to convince the king or is there another way to get what she wants?

Buy links

Smashwords     Apple Books    B&N    Kobo


Thursday, 28 May 2020

Art Journal 2020: The Stoic Virtues

I should probably have started my Stoic art journal entries with the four cardinal virtues, but for some reason I couldn't decide how I wanted to do them. But this week I did, and here they are: courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom.

As usual I also added a quote for each virtue from one of the stoic philosophers.

I kept the background plain, and made the decorations with stamps, and permanent markers. The numbers were done with a stencil and coloured with a Caran D'Ache Luminance black colour pencil. The background to the numbers were done with a stencil and ink.

art journal image of stoic virtues courage and justice, quote from Seneca, quote from Epictetus, artist Linzé Brandon

art journal image of stoic virtues temperance and wisdom, quote from Marcus Aurelius, quote from Epictetus, artist Linzé Brandon

Until the next entry from my stoicism series in my art journal, stay safe!
💜 Linzé

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Art Journal 2020: Resilience

I think this art journal entry speaks pretty much for itself. Took me a while to find the right quotes from the Stoics. It is an ink drawing over a gouache painted background.

Stoic quotes on a gouache painted background with bare ink drawn trees, artist Linzé Brandon

Until next time!
💜 Linzé


Thursday, 30 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 26 - Z

Zucchini flower by Linzé

Not one of my favourite vegetables, but I have to say that I do like eating the flowers. But here is a gouache painting (using it like watercolour paint) on watercolour paper.
 
gouache painting of zucchini flower and leaves on watercolour paper, artist Linzé Brandon

And with this painting, I have to say goodbye to the #AtoZChallenge for 2020. I hope you enjoyed all the creative posts and that you will remember to pop around in future for more posts about my creative life and those of other authors and artists.

Until next time!
💜Linzé 
  

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 29 - Y

Yellow Fungus by Linzé

This yellow fungus appeared after a few days of rain in September 2017. It grew out of the wooden structure supporting one of our rainwater tanks. I have only seen it that once and never again.
Drawing done with Caran D'Ache museum aquarelle pencils on white paper.

colour aquarelle pencil drawing of yellow fungus growing on wood, artist Linzé Brandon


Tuesday, 28 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 24 - X

X-stitch by Linzé

I found this little cross-stitch kit in a magazine. I cannot remember when or which magazine, sorry. I did think that it would be a good project (and appropriate) for this time of isolation and it is small enough that it can be completed in a few hours.

So I stitched it, made the background as per the instructions and now it is hanging on my pin board right next to my table in my workshop where I spend my time drawing or painting.

Good vibes only cross-stitch project mounted on green felt, stitched by Linzé Brandon


Monday, 27 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 23 - W

WAIT by Michelle Kemp

wait - a poem by Michelle Kemp on a background of the setting sun in the bushveld

Life is busy and stressful. Even during this time of lock down when we are forced to sit at home all day, we remain busy. 
Personally, I find it very hard to do nothing. Often, I will be doing at least two tasks, even when binge watching a series. I think this is true for many of us. Gone are the days of standing in a line, doing nothing except possibly striking up a conversation with a stranger.
Now we are constantly entertained and kept busy; millions of activities at our fingertips. This is not to say that it is a bad thing,  we just do not know how to be still. We are living in a world of instants; we demand gratification at the click of a button; we cannot stand to be bored.
The very act of being so busy and stressed is prized; the black circles under our jumpy eyes are seen as some sort of twisted trophy that says we are successful. In this period of uncertainty and our rush to digitise in order to remain productive, I feel we are missing a vital message. WAIT.
The world is telling us to stop for a moment and breathe. This message is clear that we need to un-busy ourselves and try to capture the time we are losing to our so-called productivity. Wait, while the Earth recovers. Wait, while we look around and appreciate the silence that has descended. Wait and then wait a moment more.
The world is literally forcing us to take a breath, to reset and to reconsider what we are actually achieving. We need to reassess our priorities: is that email really so urgent that you miss the sunset, the work call more important than listening to your child sing, no matter how terrible they are. We are being called to WAIT.
We are too afraid to do nothing, to be alone with ourselves and our own thoughts. How terrible that we have been using the constant stream of busy noise to muffle our quiet inner voices. If we could just take this time, as it is, and wait.
Wait and see if that little voice actually has some vital things to say. Wait and listen to the silence until it feels comfortable. Wait and just be, be with ourselves and learn to the love the people we are, not the polished products we show the world.
Wait, until waiting becomes a state of being, a place where we can thrive instead of fear.
Wait, just wait.



Sunday, 26 April 2020

Reflections on life during #LockdownSAExtended

Linzé's Sunday Thoughts and Things

I have been taking stock of life during lockdown. For me it has been busy with working, drawing, painting, supporting some friends, and issuing creative challenges to some of the ladies in my writers group.
Then last weekend the lab I work with, received permission to start working again. So we did this past Wednesday. At first it was weird driving on one of the busiest highways in the country without traffic. Sure there were other vehicles with me on the road, but the only things I had to focus on were staying in my lane, keeping to the speed limit, and generally just driving. I can tell you this though: it never felt so far to the lab than it did on Wednesday.
Coming back was just the same, except that I had a traffic police officer drive behind me for a while before going past me as I made my way to my off-ramp to go home. Not an unusual occurrence for them to do that, but for some reason it was more nerve-wrecking than normal.

What did I manage to achieve?

I had to ask myself that because 30 days (and counting) is a long time to be living a life outside of the norm.
I decided to make a list (yes, the engineering brain cannot get away from those):
  1. I did at least one drawing every day. Some days I did more than one, and sometimes I did a painting with gouache. I am busy with another one today.
  2. I managed to write 20,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. I was not happy with what I wrote, so don't hold your breath that those words will ever see the light of publication. No joke, sorry.
  3. I sometimes managed to walk more than 7000 steps, but definitely not every day. I am not a fan of exercising, so there is nothing more to report.
  4. Did I read? Yes, I got caught up on three issues of a magazine I subscribe to electronically now, In the Moment. Definitely worth looking into if you are on a personal journey of growth.
    ink drawing in monochrome of frangipani flowers and leaves, artist Linzé Brandon
    One of my Inktober52 drawings
    I am also reading a non-fiction book, but it is slow going so it might take several more weeks for me to finish it. It is fascinating reading, I just don't spend much time with it though.
  5. Did I gain weight as many of my online and face-to-face friends are complaining about more and more? No. That was the biggest surprise of this whole situation: I managed to lose 4kg. No diet. No exercise (see point 3 above).
I just didn't have time to snack so much as I normally would. In fact, last week Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm, was the first time since lockdown started that I wondered what to do with myself. It was odd, but the feeling didn't last long when I spotted my (still) unfinished cross-stitch project that I started 10 years ago.
I am not finished yet, but there is progress and I guess it will not be too long before it is finished.
But lockdown is not over. Here in SA we are on a 5 stage lockdown strategy. Right now, until 30 April, the whole country is at stage 5. From 1 May we go to stage 4, but thereafter the level will not be the same for the whole country. Different provinces, and even communities, may go to different levels going forward depending on the rate of infection from the virus.
Where I live we have a well organised community service (mostly to fight crime) but it also functions as a communications channel between our local councillor, the police and other government agencies when required.
So the weeks ahead will definitely be interesting.
Until next time - stay safe and be responsible to yourself, your families and your communities at large.
💜Linzé

Saturday, 25 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 22 - V

VIOLET by Linzé

Violet is one of my all time favourite colours. For the letter V I decided to play with pencils that I have that do not belong to a set. Most of them are purple or violet - no surprise! 😂

I found two Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer pencils and one Caran D'Ache Supracolor II in my pencil cabinet and decided to use them. The CD pencil was still in its plastic package. Mixing colour pencils from different manufacturers are usually not a good idea since the pigmentation and lightfastness will not be the same.

This time I just played a bit to see how they would look when activated with water especially since I don't have any more of them to do a multicolour drawing. I found a stencil in my collection and used that instead of drawing from scratch. I think the end result looks rather nice.

I used Monte Marte Premium watercolour paper, and a Monte Marte 16/0 brush to activate the pigments since my watercolour brushes are too big for the fine detail in the ropes.

Monte Marte watercolour pad with a drawing of three ropes with aquarelle pencils and a brush, artist Linzé Brandon


Friday, 24 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 21 - U

UMBRELLA by Linzé

I did this all ink umbrella frame for a miniature art exhibition last year. It is a card 7 x 7 cm made from fine art paper with its own envelope.

miniature ink drawing of umbrella frame on beach, abstract art, artist Linzé Brandon,


Thursday, 23 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 20 - T

TIME by Linzé

My next art journal entry in my Stoicism series this year of #JournalArt2020. It was done with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a Faber-Castell PITT marker for the text. The size of the leaf is 100% since I picked up the leaf and then traced it directly on the journal's pages before colouring it.

colour pencil drawing of leaf, Faber-Castell Polychromos, artist Linzé Brandon



Wednesday, 22 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 19 - S

Shilpa Suraj on Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters

(a guest post)

Divorced,’ ‘Ice Queen,’ ‘Snob,’ ‘Homewrecker,’ ‘Damaged’ – These are just some of the labels applied to Alisha, the heroine of Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters. Whether they are deserved, true or even just required, labels are less about who the person truly is and more about how people wish to slot them.
When I was growing up, relatives would often tell my parents to stop giving me ‘ideas.’ Because a girl having actual ideas would be the worst thing in the world, wouldn’t it? And my parents telling me that I could study as much as I want and grow up to be whoever and whatever I want were the worst possible ideas they could give me.
What society called giving me ideas, my parents called allowing me to dream. To reach higher, to aim further and to aspire for the world, if that’s what I wanted. No matter how far fetched my goal, their answer to every ambition I espoused was ‘Why not?’ 
And so, I grew up without worrying about societal prejudices and familial judgements. Unfortunately, I also grew up. And when you step out of the comfortable cocoon of your childhood and your parents home, you realise just how difficult it is to escape, to ignore or to deny the rest of the world’s opinion on you and how you should live your life. 
Difficult but not impossible. And that’s why I faced the world with the same bravado that Alisha does in Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters. For when your loved ones have your back, it’s easy to face forward with confidence. 
When my protagonist, Alisha, walks out on an abusive relationship, she doesn’t feel the need to justify her decisions to the world. And for that, she is labeled arrogant, snooty and in the eyes of men ‘available.’ 
Labels – Not true, not required, not deserved. 
If only, we could learn to be humans first, to view others as humans first. People often say, “Children are a blank slate. It’s what the world writes on them that then defines who they become.”
I think it’s true of each one of us. We are a blank slate. And we should write our own stories. Not the stories that the others would like us to script. 
Just like Alisha eventually did. It’s only then that we truly own our happy-ever-afters.

Book Links:  Goodreads Amazon

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Tuesday, 21 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 18 - R

Red by Linzé

My first colour drawing for the Intober52 challenge was a bit of a fluke - I didn't want to draw something similar that I have been drawing since the start of the challenge in January. In April the prompts are colours because of a sponsor of the event, and the illuminated letters were born. I have always loved old books and these really old books were copied and decorated by hand.
   So I have continued with the theme of the illuminated letters for both RED and BLUE. They are both featured here today for the letter R in the #AtoZChallenge.

illuminated letter B, hand drawn blue letter in Moleskine sketchbook, artist Linzé Brandon


Monday, 20 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 17 - Q

QUIRKY bird by Linzé

I did an online Sketchbook Workshop while in isolation and one of the lessons was this quirky bird. The artist/presenter of this lesson was Tamara Laporte (https://www.willowing.org). I loved the concept and shared it with the artists in my writers' group who also made their own quirky birds. But here is mine. Enjoy! 💜


quirky bird drawing with fineliners and black pen on white paper, artist Linzé Brandon

PS: Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love reading your comments, but I am still having difficulties replying. I do apologise and hope I can get this sorted out very soon. 💜 Linzé


Saturday, 18 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 16 - P

POT by Linzé

One day I was itching to draw something a little more challenging, so I decided to compose a still life. I photographed the greyish pot standing on a draped piece of black fabric I found in Francois' studio. I used my phone to capture the still life.

It was done with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils on black paper.

still life drawing of grey pot standing on draped black fabric, Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils on black paper, artist Linzé Brandon


Friday, 17 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 15 - O

Oryx by Linzé

A drawing I did a while back - white pencil on black paper. The photograph was taken by an ex-colleague who kindly gave his permission for me to use it.

drawing of an oryx in white pencil on black paper, artist Linzé Brandon


Thursday, 16 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 14 - N

Charlene Namdhari's A STRANGER'S AFFECTION

** a book feature **

e-Book
There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.” – Hannah Gadsby

Revenge is a deadly weapon. But it takes a special kind of vengeance to make a woman kill without remorse, to laugh without mirth, to challenge without thought. Kidnapped at seventeen, held captive and then forced into the world of crime, Nishani Scott Callahan defines fearless.

Back with her family eleven years later and ready for normalcy, fate strikes another blow. Abducted on her honeymoon, she’s severely assaulted. Fierce determination sees her escaping straight into the headlamps of a stranger's vehicle.

Billionaire Colton Black is hardcore. A man who treads a fine line between good and bad. He's got no time for love, until a rough pearl with dark hair and deep blue eyes lands in his lap, badly beaten and missing a chunk of her memory. Saving her means risking his guarded privacy, but her feistiness when she awakens catches him completely off-guard.

Equally unprepared, Nishani can’t fathom this ferociously controlled man who appears to reach past her scars to touch her fractured soul.

Will he be her salvation or her ruin?

AMAZON Kindle

About the Author

  Born and raised in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, she now lives in the City of Gold, Johannesburg. Charlene’s days are an energetic mixture of a full time job, a wife and mom to two beautiful teenagers and four dogs.
  She holds a law degree and is a passionate events manager. 
  Charlene enjoys travelling, a Mediterranean cruise being her most recent venture. She hopes to retire to a beautiful seaside cottage where she can spend lazy days on the beach drinking cocktails and focus all her energy on writing. She is of the firm opinion that one should not give up on a dream but rather make every attempt to get there no matter how long it takes. 
  Her love for writing stemmed from an avid interest in English at School, more so Literature and enjoyed writing short stories. She attempted her first full length novel fifteen years ago and although she loved the finish product decided she’d write mainly as a hobby and only recently sought publishing.
Believing writing is the wings to holistic escapism, she makes the time in her busy schedule giving life to her dreams of bringing together passion filled heroes and heroines in a happily ever after.



Wednesday, 15 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 13 - M

Memories of Moments by Andrea Vermaak


I have a small magnetic white board on the side of my fridge. When I first moved into my own place, I wrote, 

“The small, seemingly meaningless moments make the most extraordinary memories.” 

This quote (my own) is still there on that tiny white board because it’s so true in my life.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting many people and travelling a bit, but it’s not visiting Edinburgh Castle or London Tower, or meeting Just Jinger or The Parlotones that stand out in my mind as some of my fondest memories, nor could I say that they lie hidden in my heart as something sacred.
Edinburgh Royal Mile - photo by Andrea
Some of my fondest memories are those from my university days when we’d sit on the grass outside of the Humanities building. We’d “invent” coding for a virus that would ruin students’ assignments when they printed them from a Word document and laugh at our own ridiculousness. We’d come up with theories about why there were so many random mounds on campus. We’d almost believe that there really were invisible trees that we keep on walking into, which would explain any previously inexplicable headaches.

I will never forget how utterly happy I felt on the way back from an all-day rock show with my friends. The stadium’s catering plan fell short, so we were all parched, starving and exhausted. But I was lying in the backseat of a best friend’s mini on our way to Uncle Fouzi’s in Hatfield for a midnight feast and I couldn’t have been happier. I could lie and say that I was happy because the day was rather epic despite adequate sustenance, but honestly, I was happy because I was with two of my great friends, whom I love dearly, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world at that moment.

One memory I hold very closely to my heart is indeed one of when I was on a working-holiday in Edinburgh, but it almost definitely is not what you’d expect. A small group of us who were temporarily staying in a backpackers’ hostel decided to go out one evening. It was close to sunset. I can’t for the life of me remember where we were going, but I remember that we decided to walk down one of the many narrow closes that run off of The Royal Mile. Once we reached the end of the close, we suddenly stopped. No one said anything. We just stood side by side and watched as the last rays of the sun touched the buildings of New Town far below us. No photograph could ever capture the golden colours and quiet reverence of that moment. You could only feel it. You had to be there.

Photo by Andrea
You cannot possibly recreate any of these moments without losing something fundamental in the very fabric of their existence. They may seem frivolous and worthy of forgetting to most, but they seem to cling to my heart and mind. That is why the quote on the Winnie the Pooh magnet on my very same fridge rings true to me regarding the seemingly insignificant moments: “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”


Tuesday, 14 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 12 - L

Lemons and Lemonade by Carmen Botman


While I’ve been handed many lemons during my lifetime (who hasn’t?) there are a few big ones that have stood out.
I’ve always considered myself to be a writer – and this was my ultimate goal. I was utterly convinced that I would be a full-time writer one day, living in a remote cottage somewhere in the world, producing novel after novel. I completed my first manuscript a week before my eighteenth birthday. I was on my way to achieving my dream.
Big lemon number one was when I was told by my parents that I should consider studying something tangible – that is, something more tangible than writing. I ended up studying Occupational Therapy – a profession chosen purely by chance. While I still wrote some during my studies and after, this ‘lemon’ had provided me with a fair amount of job satisfaction and had afforded me the opportunity to live, work and travel abroad. I suppose you could say that I had made my lemonade.
In the years that followed I continued working as an OT and achieved some of the societal goals that are generally placed upon us. In 2010 I received the second big lemon, when my husband and I had to make an abrupt cross-country move for an indefinite period of time. My husband was furthering his studies and we ended up seeing very little of each other for about four years. But in that time, I met a fantastic group of writers who took me under their wings and during that period I was able to complete my first full-length novel and had my first short stories published. I had made some more lemonade and was once again on my way to fulfilling my dream – or so I thought. Just as my husband completed his studies, lemons rained down on us from all directions and we went through a rough patch with little time (or energy) for anything else but survival.
Then I became a mother – under immense lemon-like conditions. And three years after the first, we had another. Suffice it to say that my days had become intensely busy and blurry and exhausting. I suppose one could say that these were lemons being thrown in my way of becoming a writer. Well, if they (my kids) were (the lemons), then I had managed to make the most delicious lemon meringue from it! But every so often the yearning to write – to create – returns. Sometimes so intensely that it takes my breath away.
My point is this: Life will constantly hand you lemons. But we’re able to turn them into something much more meaningful. We don’t have to settle for the hand that we’re dealt. And yes, we may have to adapt the way we plan to reach our goals, but we don’t have to throw up our hands and cry ‘Woe is me.’ And we never have to give up on our dreams. On the contrary. Lemons are opportunities in disguise. We all have the ability to change things in our lives for the better. It might change overnight, or it might take years. But if you’re happy on your journey, does it really matter how you achieve your goals? If I had refused all those lemons, imagine all the opportunities I would have missed out on. No, I am not producing novel after novel, but I am happy with what I am still able to create after the kitchen has been cleaned and my boys are sound asleep. And being happy with and in yourself is all that really matters – isn’t it?

Find out more about Carmen on her website

Monday, 13 April 2020

A to Z Challenge: Day 11 - K

Kayelle Allen's A STOLEN HEART (a book feature)

After rescuing a half-alien / half-human child who's running for his life, warrior-turned-entrepreneur Luc Saint-Cyr stumbles onto a conspiracy at the highest levels of the powerful Thieves' Guild. Complicating matters, Luc's immortal ex might be involved.
Now Luc must deal with his ex, find a home for the child, squelch the flames of conspiracy and eradicate its perpetrators. As if that's not enough, an unseen enemy is undoing every good thing Luc accomplishes.
But when it comes time to give up the child to a family who can care for him, how will Luc bear to part with the adorable little boy who has stolen his heart...
Excerpt 
All this friendliness stank of a trap.
Luc Saint-Cyr paced the length of the Negotiator's observation deck and back. No short distance. The view of Kelthia's black seas from space filled one transparent wall. From here, Miraj City glowed like a million lampyris birds trapped in a net, subject to the whim of their masters.
His luxurious top-of-the-line private transport entertained twenty passengers in comfort for a month and navigated hyperspace without nav-crystals. But when the ship reached his king's monstrous bird of prey, Le Persequor would ingest Luc's vessel like a hawk gulping a flitting gnat.
Once Luc boarded, he'd be no more free than a lampyris, with his net the grace of his king.
He played the man's holovid again.
"Will you meet with me?" Pietas's calm tenor voice offered no overt danger. No concrete menace. No definable threat.
His king was smiling, but that meant nothing. Pietas smiled when commanding his panther to devour an enemy too.
Since receiving the message two days ago, Luc had replayed it at least thirty times. Dread choked him, each time.
No, this was too simple. Too short. Too cordial. Too... not Pietas.
Luc had verified the origin and veracity of the message, but still refused to believe it. Even he, the closest Pietas had to a true friend, received commands, not requests.
"I'm only one jump away from Kelthia. Uurah will let you know when we reach orbit. I hope you won't leave the planet before I get there."
Since when did Pietas say he hoped you wouldn't do anything? He flat out told you.
"Talk to you soon." Pietas reached down, off camera. From the motion, he had to be petting the panther. His smile pierced the holocam. "Can't wait to see you, Cyken." The scene went black.
A tap skipped the vid back to its final image. Luc zoomed in on his king's face. No wrinkles around the eyes, no lines around the noble mouth. Pietas had been reborn and the age difference showed. Makeup and poorly lit images hid plenty, but only an immortal with a planet-sized ego would think he could shave off that many years and the mortal public wouldn't notice. Why would he risk revealing their biggest secret?
Immortal blood brought mortals back from the dead.
They'd soon learned never to reveal what they were. The brazen entitlement of mortals to commandeer an immortal's blood for their own use put his people at risk. Had for millennia.
Luc looped back to the final sentence. "Can't wait to see you, Cyken."
As an Ultra, Luc had lived thousands of years among mortals, and had used hundreds of different names over his many lifespans. His Sempervian name never changed. Not to his king. To his king, Cyken was a family name. Family was everything.
But the disquieting way Pietas had crooned that last sentence layered implications Luc preferred not to consider. The man never missed an opportunity to flirt, no matter how many years they'd been apart. What issue did Pietas have with the word no?
And now this baffling holovid. In over thirty-four hundred years since their exile from Sempervia, when had the king come to him instead of summoning?
Luc powered off the vid. "That would be never."

A Stolen Heart, sci fi from Kayelle Allen

Want to know when this book is available? Like to have a free read before it's out? Join one of Kayelle's reader groups. You'll also get free starter books right away. https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups/

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She's also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.


Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Creative Life during #LockdownSA (with 20 days still to go)

The Challenge: 2020

I am sure you will agree that 2020 has not lived up to the expectations that we have set for ourselves on 1 January. But has it been that bad? Of course, for the people who were infected by the Covid-19 virus, it has not been fun at all.
For those families who have lost someone they loved to the infection, it is heartbreaking.
And for the politicians and world leaders trying to figure out how to keep their countries' economies stable (at least) and fight the impact of the socio-economic issues (still not yet determined) it is a nightmare.
But for those of us everyday citizens trying to make a living to keep ourselves afloat in this time of crises, how bad has it been, really? Did you have to tighten your belt because you are self-employed like I am?
Being basically a level headed and fairly optimistic kind of person, I have not done too badly I think. I did have some work to do, which I will be able to invoice soon, and thanks to two of my writers' group friends, have been kept busy artistically as well. Like me they are artists and I have challenged them to a few creative projects during #LockdownSA. It helps to keep busy, but more than that it helped us all to keep our drawing skills sharp.
The one thing that I often forget - despite putting it on my to-journal list - is a gratitude journal or art journal entry. Last week I made it one of our creative projects and to me, it was something to remind of all the things that I am grateful for. Especially now as we are entering an extended lockdown of an additional 2 weeks (until 30 April).
Do I look forward to going back to work? Of course, I am. Being self-employed as a test and certification engineer does not mean that I work from home 24/7. I need facilities to do my work that I simply cannot accommodate, nor afford, to have at home. I am fortunate though that my work environment away from home is with a small company where any physical interaction with other people can be easily managed - mostly because we do most of our work as individuals, not teams. I am still training a newer member of the team, but he is not that green anymore that close distancing is required all the time.
If you are in isolation, self-imposed or otherwise, I trust that the need to be so will soon be over so that we all can start working together to recover from this situation. Recovery will take time, and teamwork on so many levels that I simply cannot even comprehend the difficulties associated with such a strategy.
Right now all I can hope (and pray) for is that the leaders of my country, and those of your countries, will set aside their political agendas and work together with their people to move forward from this. And perhaps even have a good and hard think on dealing with such a pandemic in future. Because it will come again, the question is: how soon and how bad will it be the next time?

On a more joyful note - here are links to the A-toZ Challenge posts on the Broomstick so far, with a hint of some of the posts to come. Enjoy! 💜

ART by Melissa a guest post about performance art
BFF by Linzé
COVID-19 by Linzé
DINNER by Linzé EDINBURGH station by Linzé FUN art by Linzé
GREEN by Linzé
HOLISTIC health by Vanessa a guest post and art journal
INKTOBER52 by Linzé
JOY by Linzé

Looking forward this week ...
Tomorrow: K by Kayelle a book release
Tuesday: L by Carmen a guest post
Wednesday: M by Andrea a guest post
Thursday: N by Charlene a guest post

Until tomorrow!
💜 Linzé


BOOK RELEASE: SOLANGE an ebook by Linzé

Will she get the future she wants? M/F/M Erotic vampire romance (18+ only)   Solange knows that she is not like the average woman who...