A Case Study

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Cozykids’ physical store — photo by Giorgio Papadopoulos, designed by MALVI

During the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, e-commerce retailers in Greece had to face an unprecedented situation.

One of MALVI’s clients, Cozykids, is a Greek company that sells a wide range of toys, children’s furniture and decorative items. Their management started to discuss contingency plans as they watched the coronavirus spread.

I’ll jump the gun a little bit and give away the ending: The work we had done at MALVI with their brand strategy long before the arrival of the pandemic eventually made their sales take off during (as well as after) the lockdown in April.

Let me tell you the whole story. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This was impossible.

He was lying in his bed, in a pointless attempt to force himself to go to sleep, his heart racing in his chest. He was staring straight at the wooden ceiling of his bedroom, trying to find a fault in this absurd story. Even a tiny little inconsistency would do just fine. It would be enough to reassure him that it was all in his head, so he could dismiss the whole thing and get some much-needed sleep.

The more he thought about it, however, the more sense it made to him. Everything clicked into place so perfectly, it was annoying. He kept doing the math over and over, sometimes putting his hands in front of his face to count on his fingers. But nothing changed; the numbers pounded on his conscious mind relentlessly. Amelia Galbraith was born in 1737, which made her 119 years old. She got married to Angus in 1774, at 37. Angus was injured two years later, and died in 1814, when Amelia was 70. She had got all the dates correct that evening. To make things even worse for his tired and confused mind, it all matched perfectly with the information that Miss Woggle had provided over the course of the past few weeks. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Dr. Foxx, who had taken this opportunity to have a biscuit, was silently studying his notes. He was desperately trying to decide what was the best question to ask next, as he realised that most of what Lady Galbraith was saying indicated she was utterly disoriented in time. Her unreliable memory confused her, and making conversation was becoming a more and more frustrating experience, almost with every minute that passed. The whole process was now equally frustrating to the doctor himself, as he realised he was running out of time. Poor Mrs. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

It was such findings that had pushed Dr. Foxx to explore her relationship with Lord Galbraith in depth, looking for specific links with her recent emotional state. He was hoping to discover evidence that would help him establish whether her love for Angus was affecting her brain to such an extent that she was unconsciously prolonging her life because of it. He was very curious to find out how much an individual’s lifespan is influenced by their sheer determination to live longer.

When he had started these conversations with her, he was very dubious in regards to the validity of the “romantic theory”. In fact, he had set out to prove it outright wrong, so he could dismiss it once and for all and put an end to the seemingly endless arguments with his colleagues who embraced it. However, as he was learning more about Angus and Amelia’s relationship in recent weeks, the idea didn’t seem entirely irrational any more; at least not as preposterous as he had initially thought. He gradually became less and less confident that his pragmatic view on the subject was adequate to explain longevity. After the last few times he had made conversation with her, he had reached a point of ultimate ambivalence, the two opinions bearing equal weight in his mind. …


We’ll understand you so much better

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Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

I haven’t planned or outlined this article, but I already know it’s probably going to be the shortest thing I’ve ever written. Because I’m a writer, I need to keep writing more things. I can’t linger over a story forever, I’ve got to get to the next one.

There’s a simple reason for this. Or maybe five reasons.

When I finish something, I feel accomplished. Even if it’s the shortest story in the world, it’s complete. And this makes me feel good. It also helps me to keep writing. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Part 1 of Deathless is here.
Part 2

“Good heavens, Amelia!” Mrs Woggle said as she rushed into Lady Galbraith’s bedroom. “Why didn’t you say I’d left your window unlocked?” Squinting and turning her face to one side to defend herself against the rain that was bursting in, she pushed the large window shut.

Dr. Foxx had also entered the room right behind her. He had a quick look around but didn’t notice any damage, apart from the plush, wool carpet underneath the window, which was soaking wet. Amelia Galbraith was lying comfortably in her bed, covered with a thick blanket, watching the two of them with an unusually calm expression on her pale, wrinkled face. Her appearance indicated beyond any doubt that the old lady was going into a steady decline, as much as her behaviour did. In recent months she had lost weight, and her cheeks were sucked in, her cheekbones protruding quite noticeably, not unlike the cheekbones of a skull on a pirate flag. Dr. Foxx couldn’t help noticing that her cheeks were now sucked in a lot more than the last time he was there, which wasn’t more than a week ago, making her cheekbones even more prominent. Her face had changed so much, that he caught himself staring. People do change a lot faster when they’re near the end, he thought. …


Examples from fiction and nonfiction to see what works and what doesn’t

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Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash

I now know how to write a great story. Oh, yes, I do. How do I know? Because I see how people react to my stories — both fiction and nonfiction. Simple as that. And it has nothing to do with techniques and tricks and methods and all the practical stuff. Let me show you how it’s done. It’s simple.

What Doesn’t Make a Story Great — An Example From Nonfiction

I’m going to use an example from Medium here, but please don’t think this is a “how to write a Medium story that makes money” kind of story. It’s rather a “how to write a great story” kind of story. By great story, I mean any kind of story. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Part 1 of Deathless is here.

He left his coat on a bench on one side of the spacious kitchen and sat next to it, taking off his boots, while Mrs Woggle was dealing with the cups and dishes in the sink.

“So, tell me about her day,” Dr. Foxx said. “What do I need to know…”

He paused.

“Is that blood on your finger, Mrs Woggle?” he asked, squinting as he tried to make out a brownish smudge on her hand. …


How to turn the lockdown into a life lesson

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Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Our Lives Are Changing

A strange thing is happening in the world right now. We are all taking rather extreme precautions against a threat that’s invisible to most of us. And, even if we are healthy and safe, we suddenly have to live a different life.

I live in Greece where there are 821 confirmed coronavirus cases and 22 deaths. That’s nothing compared to more than 3,200 deaths in China and 7,500 in Italy right now [updated, March 25th].

Yesterday I had to go out for a doctor’s appointment, and the city was almost deserted, even though the consequences are not (yet) serious in this country. In fact, nobody I know knows anyone who has been infected so far. …


Who decides how long you live? A story about love.

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

The wide, cobbled street, with its unusually tall cypress trees and a handful of mansions scattered thinly along either side, was already scary enough at night without the pouring rain. The horses were struggling to keep their pace in the freezing wind and against what looked like a wall of water rising in front of them.

The carriage driver had to hurry, though, despite the adverse circumstances, for that was the order he had been given. He was pushing the horses really hard, and he occasionally had to crack his whip over their heads to urge them to go faster.

His sole passenger peeked out of the carriage window hesitantly, as if he was afraid that someone might jump out of the darkness and attack the carriage. I’ll never get used to this weather, he thought. I’ve never seen so much rain in my life. Mayborough’s reputation as the wettest town in the country couldn’t be more true. He stared at the rain for a few moments longer. He then shook his head as if to push away the unpleasant thoughts and, looking away from the window, he reached to the inside pocket of his overcoat. …

About

Kyros Vogiatzoglou

I write fantasy. I love lemon desserts & dragons. Lead Strategist @ MALVI (www.mal-vi.com). Let’s keep in touch: https://jo.my/letsconnect

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