Enter a new Pseudonym?

Diversification Idea Musing… feel free to comment or ignore as you like…

This is something that has been growing steadily since the summer. As you know, Kira Morgana writes children’s books and up until now, they’ve been illustrated by  Maria K.

So I was playing around with one of my favourite short story forms last summer – the tricky but satisfying “Dialogue only” –  and I inadvertantly created, not only a whole book of stories, but also a set of characters that seems to grow exponentially every time Puff gets bored…

Someone suggested that I get them illustrated. Maria didn’t have enough time to do it – she’s got a full time job and is also busy translating and writing herself… so I had a go at it.

This was the result:

Practise Page: Sleep

Now, I wasn’t all that happy with this one (which is why it’s a practise page) but my friends and family loved it as much as the original dialogue stories, so when I started the new term on my art class, I decided to develop it as a project…

It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own now and is developing nicely.

And now I have a dilemma.

As I have said, up until now, I have kept all my children’s books under Kira Morgana. But I am enjoying doing the illustration for Author & Muse and would like to expand into doing my own illustration for my children’s books.

I’ve been signing the illustrations of the Author & Muse stories with MEW (Kira Morgana is too long for the space) but should I do that with the illustration for my children’s books, or  should I just use my real name (MEW is my initials) of Mandy E. Ward, or should I just keep it to Kira Morgana?

What do you think?


**Keep an eye out for a new page on the site – I’m going to add my Ilustration work here once I have worked out what name to use!**

It’s Sunday… time for some rambling thoughts!

Well actually it’s Father’s Day. The one day of the year when men are allowed to be all soppy and sentimental… and will allow their children to be all soppy and sentimental over them as well.

Being connected to quite a few people from all over the world through facebook can be entertaining, but it can also be useful for keeping up with your family.

My cousin is currently wandering around Europe as part of her degree and because she won’t be with her dad today, she wrote him a poem on his FB wall.  It brought tears to my eyes because it is so expressive.

Other friends are posting pictures of their dads and telling us why they feel their father’s are so special. Some of these stories are funny, some are sad, others are a combination, but the fact remains that every single rememberance is full of one emotion in particular – Love.

Love is the glue that holds families together and even in those families that have been split apart by distance or tragedy, the love shared is the stretchy, elastic that keeps you linked.

My Dad is in New York. He moved there with my step-mother a long while back and even though he is five thousand or so miles away, I can feel the elastic between us, stretched tightly and tugging on my heart. So I thought I would try and explain to you what makes my Dad special to me…

We’ll start with a blast from the past…

Puff the Magic Dragon is one of the few songs I can remember my dad playing and singing to me when I was little. It is the reason that my muse is named Puff and that I love dragons.

Puff the Magic, Storytelling Dragon

My dad likes to design things and as well as producing things for his Second Life obsession, he is also a Master Craftsman and an Artist.

Dad’s Artwork

I associate the smell of wood with my dad; he taught me a lot about crafting just from letting me hang around his workshop when he was turning and because of what I’d learned from watching him, I was able to pass my workshop safety on the Lathe without actually having any lessons on using it.


So I decided to use my craft to create something for him  – a poem:

To Dad

I miss you a lot,
You’ve been gone a long time,
You are my dad,
You age like good wine.

You taught me about fish,
You taught me about wood,
You taught me to know,
The bad from the good.

You showed me the beauty,
That comes from the heart,
In music and crafting,
You gave me the start.

Now Puff is my muse,
I know he’s not new,
And I will never lose,
The love I have for you

It’s not perfect, but then again, my dad isn’t perfect – what human is?

My Dad and Step-Mother

My children have a wonderful Father.

TOH isn’t perfect either; but he is loving, funny, playful. He enjoys discovering new things and teaching the children about them. He can always be counted on to entertain them with paint or clay or animation and he’s not above chasing them around the supermarket with his “tickle fingers” making them shriek with laughter…

*rolls eyes and sighs*

TOH and one of his favourite creatures…

He loves animals and if we had the space (and money), I am convinced that he’d have so many cats that I wouldn’t be able to turn around for fear of tripping up! If it were legal to have tigers and large cats as pets, TOH would have a White Tiger and a Snow Leopard as well – he’s had to make do with adopting a Snow Leopard through the WWF instead.

Everyone’s father is special in some way and I devoutly hope that my children grow to appreciate theirs, even when he takes up the role of Disciplinarian / Chief Embarrasser / Daughter Protector as they turn into teenagers.

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers, no matter where they are, may your elastic bonds never snap.

Feature Friday…

…what is it?

Well, actually it’s Show and Tell day, when I acquaint you with something I have found (on the net or otherwise) and give you a few salient factoids about the object/website/picture etc, etc.

So, what am I going to show you?

* * * * *

One of my favourite  EVER Google Doodles…

On 9th June this doodle appeared on the homepage –

The Doodle was in celebration of Les Paul’s 96th Birthday and as well as being a great deal of fun (you can record thirty seconds of yourself playing with the strings and then you get a link that plays it back to you), brought back some very happy memories for me –  sitting listening to my Dad play the guitar and if I had been especially good that day, he’d sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” to me.

This is one of the most beautiful songs about the innocence of childhood that I know.

I used to sing it to my children to get them to sleep and when the book came out a little while back, I snapped it up – especially as there was a CD with it featuring the soothing voice of Peter Yarrow, one of the original singers.

Puff, the Magic Dragon (Book & CD)

My six year old daughter loves it so much that just listening to the CD can calm her down. It’s useful at bedtime as well, because if she’s sleepy she’ll just drift away to the music.

I still want to learn to play the Guitar – maybe one day I’ll be able to and then I might be able to sing it to my grandchildren; assuming either of my children decide to make me a grandmother!

But it was Puff that set me firmly on the Fantasy course and made me love Dragons so much – he’s the reason that I call my muse “Puff” as well, although my Puff is blue and purple, rather than green:

And obviously this representation of him is a Star Pet, but Puff holds a very special place in my heart and always will.

So, what memory from your childhood does this Google doodle bring back? Follow the link below, have a play – maybe even record yourself! But please come back and tell me about the memory it evokes and why it is so special to you.