There is a great party going on thrown by the Authors of Authors Billboard. There are so many fantastic prizes, giveaways, and exciting authors to chat to. So do come and join us. I won’t be doing a chat slot because of my eyes, as you know I have Acute Angle Glaucoma so I wouldn’t be able to keep type out messages to the huge number of visitors to chat to. But I’m here telling you all about this incredible party. Just click on the link in the first image.
NEW BOOK ON THE WAY.
I have been working on a new novel and have decided to explore a new genre – Psychology. It includes clinical and humanistic methods of treatment, a budding romance, and the symptoms of a popular and brilliant psychotherapist, It is chilling, yet touches the heart, surprising and traumatic. I do not have an ending yet, that is to come as the therapist and the clients tell their stories.
Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:
Diary of a Therapist
‘I can’t sleep Rache. Last night I lay there, tossing – sweating. I was soaking wet, so were the sheets. I had to get up and change my nightdress. Then to top it all, the duvet was wet. I just didn’t have the energy to change it.’
‘Come on, you’re doing well. You were more probably churning up about coming today, but you’ve done it. You’re sitting here, for the first time since Tom…look, just stay a little longer. Next time it will—’
‘There won’t be a next time Rache, my head’s exploding. What’s here for me without him?’ I feel my throat dry up. ‘I’m sorry, Rache, I’ve got to leave – I’m no good to the patients like this. ’ Scooping up the remnants of the foam, I let them drop back into the cup. ‘He’s in my dreams every night.’
Poetry is beloved by authors throughout the ages. Way back in the mists of time, the poem began in the form of a story told by a traveling poet or shaman. Of an evening, the villagers would gather on the village green and warmed by an open fire enjoyed the magic of ancient verse. Throughout the centuries, the simple verses developed into lengthy historical accounts, fables, sagas, and the fairy tale.
I cherish the memory of my great uncle, a man of the welsh valleys. He was both a coal miner and a scholar, as called in those days. Uncle Will spent many years down ‘the pit’ primarily at the coal face, as did my other great uncles and aunts. Often the men worked in waist-high water.
In his spare hours, Uncle Will was a schoolmaster to the village children.
The image above relates to the children that would have worked in the mines at the time the poetry shown below was written.
In his later years, suffering from silicosis and wearing the blue scars of the coal miner, my uncle worked solely as the village tutor. I can still picture his small study where, in a hand-carved wooden bookcase, he stored fine literature ranging from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens and to the poets whose work survived the centuries.
It was as you can imagine a hard life for the mining families of the ‘valleys,’ but for me, as a small child, it was a time of joy and wonder, Even the name of the family’s humble cottage, Fairy Glen held enchantment. In the twilight of the evenings, I would await the sounds of the miners, covered in coal dust blackening their faces, singing in full voice as they marched home from the mine, their way lit by small candles in tin helmets. I was one of the children who would rush out to be hefted upon coal dust shoulders to join in the songs.
I would wait while the men bathed in the two tin baths by an open coal fire. After the family evening meal, Uncle Will would lift me on his knee and read from the treasured book.
I often think on those evenings, where beautiful baritone or tenor voices filled the living room accompanied by the robust mezzo or soprano voices of my aunts singing beloved hymns or operatic arias. Sometimes they would include popular songs or carols. But my most cherished memory was of Uncle Will reciting the works of the great poets. Some of the poetry dwelt on the beauty of nature and some to the poverty of the day, the pathos of children dying from starvation or women begging for a crust of bread. For a child, it was a mixture of infectious joy, magic, and heartrending sadness revealed in the golden leafed pages of the family book of poetry.
So my love of poetry and writing was born.
When uncle Will passed away, he left me his beloved book. With yellowed pages and battered cover, it was a family heirloom that I treasure. The title is ‘The Thousand Best Poems in the World.’ The Dedication reads, This series of books is hopefully and lovingly dedicated to the Unity of Man.
The Preface is beautiful and echoes the voice of the day given hereunder.
‘This little book of poetry contains fully half of the poetic gems of the world collected together for the first time. Campbell defines poetry as ‘The Eloquence of Truth.’ Shelley defines it as ‘Man’s best Thoughts expressed in their best language. In their happiest moments.’ And indeed, poetry contains the noblest of human thought expressed in the most telling, the most pleasant and the most easily remembered form……’
The Preface ends with the words, portraying the effects of poetry on the reader.
‘….poetry has been appreciated by millions in the past, and I believe that hundreds of millions in the future will more frequently take up their favourite (English spelling) book of poetry to read themselves, or say to some dear friend in the spirit, if not in the words of the best poets of humanity:-’
‘Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling and banish the thoughts of the day.
Come, read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
…. Shall silently steal away.
I would so love to include a couple of incredible poems from this treasured book, but I have only so much space for this article. So I hope you will enjoy those I will put in the post for next month.
There is no date on this editIon. I have searched the Internet and can only find one with the same cover with a ‘circa 1900.’
Last time I wrote for the Newsletter, it was about the source of a language spoken and written. I still intend to do more on that subject, but for the time being, I would like to share some thoughts on the promotion of books old and new.
In the very
beginning, I had a publisher, but that was quite short-lived. I switched to
Indie and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of choosing when and what I would
like to write. I also have this urge to write across the genres, so it doesn’t
help my being discovered by some publisher who is going to offer me a six-figure
income, fame, and the number I in Kindle
Amazon. No, I don’t think that’s going
to happen. So I shall stick to saying tongue in cheek, I am pleased to be
writing for myself.
So onwards and upwards. I see Amazon now has a
genre named Mashup, which suits me. At present, I am writing an erotic comedy
and also a semi-serious medical book, following that is a historic trilogy
weaving away in the back of my mind. They are all so different in genre though.
I didn’t mean to write erotica, and maybe it isn’t. Instead, it could be sweet
erotica!! Nothing (cough – cough) ever
happens if you know what I mean. But there are some humorous, side-splitting
thoughts lead to the visibility of an author’s works. For a few years, I relied
on Facebook, Twitter, and the occasional Google Ad but now I find the latter can
be pricey and often ineffective. Especially as Facebook has insisted on Author
pages, therefore keeping the main news thoroughfare free of authors promoting
their books or readers searching for them. The author pages are a good idea, as
authors can freely interact, concentrating solely on our books, but where does
that leave our pool of would-be readers? I notice there is one author page that
centres on readers and writers and, that is great, but so far, it seems to be
the only one! But, still I feel especially with FB, we authors are not allowed
to engage with the general public for would-be readers and buyers. I have found
that putting my novels on the Authors Billboard website does engage with the
ill-health, I have been off the scene really for some time, but before this
period and now on recovering, I’ve just had a couple from India asking for two
of my books that formed part of a trilogy. I had unpublished them while I
renewed the covers. I feel sure the people read the first book of the trilogy
in a box-set.
Now, to come
to the subject of visibility, there are some brilliant authors out there who
are most probably feeling disheartened as the usual outlets of FB, Google, and
Twitter fail to bring a response from would-be buyers of their new books. I was too, as I put on a new comedy, having
never written in that genre before only to find it was to put it politely a
‘bummer’ I’d tried FB and Twitter to no avail and then I got caught by those ‘TWEET
‘sites where they happily promise to get the book viewed by thousands upon thousands
of readers, only to see my happy comedy die and sink like a brick to the
little low and vowing never to write comedy again, a friend, a fellow author,
kindly showed me the way – promotion sites – yes, I know they’ve been around
forever, but these are different, they do promote and effectively. I am stunned at the response from using just
two of these sites. My book shot up into the stratosphere in the Amazon Satire
genre. So a big thank you to my friend. I realize now promotion means
visibility through authentic promotion sites to the general reading public – no
promises of thousands of tweets, no assurances of honest reviews, just pure advertising.
So I shall stick like glue to them.
I hope this
helps some authors out there. Don’t feel disheartened; you know you can write.
You have created something precious; something never read before, an original
work – a creation. It’s like a new tree never seen before, yes it might have a
trunk, branches, and leaves, but it is an individual. You’re good, even maybe a
genius, your book can be the next high flyer; the next no. 1. It’s not the book
that is failing; it’s the visibility that is lacking. It’s rather like the fairy-tale,
the princess imprisoned in the tower or another hidden away sleeping for a
hundred years. The prince searches for them bringing them awake with a kiss.
However, the author does not have a prince
or a kiss. Neither do they want their book to languish for a hundred years? The
Indie becomes a one-man band, a writer, a cover artist, and a banner-waving
promotor of their precious book. It is here that the trustworthy promotion
sites come into play saving the sleeping novel with the kiss of trustworthy promotors.
So nurture your creation, nurture it with authentic promotion sites – google
them. I wish you every success. Visibility on the promotion sites is the way.
little addendum, my book soared, but now it needs a cannon to shoot it back up
into the dizzy heights of the paid lists. I realize you have to keep it
up. One promotion is not enough, and you
have to promote and promote. So good luck dear authors, I am glad to be with
you all again and wish you every success.
Zach’s dream of opening his own veterinary practice seemed
out of reach. He could just about afford
the rent on his one bed flat above the Co-op. Then he received a phone call
from the local solicitor.
He’d inherited a decrepit manor. There were holes in the
roof, some walls had caved in and there were only a couple of habitable rooms.
That was enough for him after his tiny flat. He was delighted to learn he’d
also inherited a small fortune, but only enough to renovate some of the manor. That
was fine by Zach; he had time to restore the place, room by room. He could even
hope to open a small practice.
But, the solicitor did not warn him about the complications
– the strange inhabitants and the strange importance of the chickens – lots of chickens.
Only a week or so after moving in, there was a car crash
just outside the manor. Zach became a hero, saving a young woman’s life. He promptly fell in love with her. But how could
he win her heart? Her infant son was in danger – how could he save him? Then
there were the chickens….
Listen to the Chicken came as a surprise to me. I was writing a supernatural novel but then things began to happen. Bad thingx – tragic things – good things and then I ended up chucking the supernatural and writing comedy. The result is the birth of Listen to the Chicken. Oh yes and a warning – a message that I hope will save others unneeded fears and grief.
So this is a longer post but one I needed to write.
I love good health – banal statement but true. Never had a really bad day for years. Okay the normals – flu yep – kidney stones yep – Raynauds yep, all very common. But I own to a gritty determination and some brain cells to help me on my way.
When three lethal illnesses knocked on my door, I battled
through. I’m not very brave, but I made it. Then one day, I went to the optician. I couldn’t
see the subtitles very well on the TV. I thought nothing of it and just looked
forward to an eye test and some ‘glam’ new frames.
The first optician said I had tiny cataracts, but nothing to
worry about, only I did need stronger glasses. I was pleased to choose some ’glam’ frames. But,
I wasn’t happy, even with these new glasses; the sub-titles were still fuzzy. I went to another optician, who said I had
medium cataracts; I just needed my new glasses adjusting. So I thought I’d have
more ‘glam’ frames with tiny crystals on the rims. After two weeks of wearing them, I could
hardly see the TV sub-titles I was also seeing halos. So my gritty
determination raised its head; I went to another optician; this guy’s office
was in an old house tucked away in a side street. But he’d treated pilots in the Royal Air Force
– he was brilliant. After an hour long examination he said quietly
‘I’d like to send you to the hospital – see a consultant.’
I still didn’t think too much, nothing could be as bad as my torn oesophagus, which still isn’t good but it’s okay. I can still eat.
Could it? Could it be as bad as a torn oesophagus? Oh yes it could. I went along to see the consultant at the hospital eye clinic. Nice guy, about sixty years old, brilliant and brutal. So after an hour long examination, two nurses suddenly entered the room and stood either side of me. The Consultant drew up his chair into the middle of room and sat facing me. It looked like an interview with the Godfather. He said. ‘Look I’m going to give it to you straight. I want you to understand this is serious.
I nodded. He said, ‘you have Chronic Acute Angle Glaucoma.’ I raised my eyebrows – never heard of it, but I waited.
He said, ‘you need treatment immediately. I’m not going to beat about the bush; you have a serious condition – very serious. I want you to know – you need treatment now.’
I nodded, still not worried really. Why was he talking to me
like this? Did he think I was a moron? Of
course I understood what he was saying, yes, I needed treatment. Then he took a
breath – this is true – absolutely step by step.
He said, ‘it’s like this, if you don’t get this treated, you
will go blind. It happens in seconds. One moment you’ll be talking to me and in
the next thirty seconds you’ll be blind. If you don’t have treatment you will
go blind – everything will go black. We
won’t be able to get it back.’
I just sat still – couldn’t react, couldn’t think – just listened.
I felt the nurse’s hand on my shoulder. I knew then why the nurses were in the room.
But I didn’t have fit of hysterics; I went still – silent.
I looked at him. Silence.
Then he spread his arms wide. ‘I mean this, you must have treatment, you can’t not have treatment. I’m going to give you a list and I want to you study it. You’re now an ‘Emergency’. Until we start treatment, if you have any of these conditions – nausea – headache – blurry eyes – see halos you get to a hospital fast, we’ll only have six hours to operate to save you going blind.
I nodded – numbly and left. Hubby was downstairs in the
waiting area when I appeared. He walked over to me and I whispered. I don’t
know why I whispered, ‘got some news – tell you outside.’
I didn’t. Riding back in the car with Brian I was mainly
silent, – very unusual for me. I just said, ‘tell you when we get back.’ He could
tell I didn’t want to talk. How could I? We were on busy main roads; I just
didn’t want a car crash. I’m, sure he’d have been okay, but that was the way I
was thinking then.
Two minutes away from
home I saw the daffodils on the central island of the roundabout. Beautiful –
yellow – bright yellow daffodils. I drank it all in. I wanted to remember them.
I wondered if I would be able to see them in my mind if I went blind. Anyway, once
back indoors, I actually made some coffee, then sat down and said, ‘‘Brian, I’m,
going blind. ‘
There’s no good way to say it.
The next morning I sat in front of my PC and thanked God I
was a touch typist. At least if I did go blind, I could type. I could still
write. But my typing wasn’t that good. I wouldn’t see the mistakes. Could I
afford an editor? But my passion wouldn’t die just because I was going blind –
would it? I’d find a way, maybe dictate it? Would I be able to tell a story
instead of writing it? I now have tears
in my eyes writing this. I haven’t cried, up until right now – four months
after the verdict.
So anyway, I realized as I waited for treatment, I could laugh or cry. If I got all morbid, my family would cry, my friends would cry, my cockapoo would cry. And she wouldn’t know what she’s crying about. No – I had to laugh. Yes – laugh. Not hysterical laughter, just laughter – I desperately needed that in my life right then. That very morning I scoured the TV for comedy films. I was half-way through writing a chilling novel on haunting, I decided to rewrite it as a comedy – laugh at the blackness to come. Yes that’s it, I would write comedy. I’d also watch comedy films, and read comedy books.
Short history: as a child, I wrote comedy spats at school –
even the headmistress came to see them; they were ridiculous and childishly funny.
Then I wrote jokey little stories to my sister ill with TB in a sanatorium. But
then things happened; my life changed. I
was ten and I grew up fast. I turned to poetry – more and
more. Later, I turned to psychology. I came from an abused childhood, with
a social phobia – crippling, but in a way it gave me direction. Now I’m just so
glad I studied to be a psychologist. To
keep it short, I had twenty years of love, sadness, tears, laughter and
incredible clients whom I loved and who loved me back – we still do.
I decided to ‘change direction’, as I call it – I turned to
writing; back to my first love.
So that brings me back to that first morning, when I decided
to face the threat of blindness with laughter in my life.
I turned to Amazon and picked up a book by Nick Spalding, ‘Checking Out’, seemed appropriate, a comedy. I was laughing in minutes but before that, I didn’t like comedy books, wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole and here I was alone in my study, reading Nick’s book laughing and in stitches –true!!!, This guy was my saviour, brilliant. I didn’t think anyone or anything would pick me up so fast. Thank you Nick. You don’t know me, but I’m thanking you. I thought the comedy might just break the morbidity of the dark world of blindness. It did more, Nick’s book, picked me up, swung me around in whirl of laughter, and saved me. I love him – always will. I love Ricky Gervais too, I watched his films – all that were on TV and his stand-up comedy shows.
So just to finish the tale, back at the hospital a few days later after the diagnosis, they realized I had raging blood pressure – who wouldn’t after that sentence? They couldn’t do the operations – boring a hole in my irises and other things. So the race was on to get the blood pressure down; I was on the verge of a stroke now and spent two days in hospital. Thank God the meds kicked in.
I had moments of terror, why – why were they waiting to do
the op’ when it was such a lethal condition? But, I had to leave it to them.
We won through; it took twelve weeks of A & E treatment, drops, waiting and laser operations – twenty minutes long. I had to stay still whilst they did the laser. I did I was terrified.
Now the good news – four months later. The good doctors and nurses, saved forty per
cent of my sight. They can’t restore it, but Lord, I can see. That’s all I want, I don’t care if I wear
pebble glasses, I don’t care if I still can’t
see the subtitles on the TV. I don’t
care if I can’t see that car on the road racing towards me and Lucy – my cockapoo.
There’s always someone there to see me across the road. You know, I never realized just how kind and helpful
strangers can be. So many good hearts holding out a hand.
Writing this four months later, after treatment, I’ve finished my first comedy book, ‘Listen
to the Chicken.’ By the way, I can still see those daffodils in my mind. Of
course my eyes are deteriorating but the doctors tell me they can control it
now. But – oh yes, but, they can’t promise. Maybe the condition will outlive
me, I don’t know, I don’t care – I think. Right now and for some time I can
see. I can get on with writing – comedy.
So dear friends, I’m sitting here today and for the very
first time I’m writing about it – I just couldn’t before. But now, I’m listening
to music – the golden beat of Magic Slim and the Blues Jeans Blues Band – bliss
and writing another comedy.
I feel good and I want to say to all of you dear readers out there, that have this bloody condition, there is hope – experts who can save or prolong your sight, you just have to do all they say, have the lasers, the operations, take the drops and laugh – yes laugh – read a comedy book!!! Of course there are fears, I’m not a robot, but just read the book.
So now I realize the reason why the doctor was so darn blunt. He was trying to save my sight. There must be some sufferers who haven’t listened to him or other doctors, some patients who haven’t turned up for the treatments and then one morning woken up blind. So please, don’t waste any time – have your eyes tested regularly. Two opticians didn’t pick up my condition, the third one did – thank you God. So don’t accept blurry sight. Just keep searching for the optician that agrees – there’s a reason why you have blurry eyes.
Acute Angle Glaucoma
is very rare, only 2 percent of the population have it. One more thing, if you
have the gene, make sure your family are tested too, the consultant told me I
had to warn each member of my family to have regular eye tests.
So back to ’Listen to the Chicken.’ It saved me during those months. I loved doing the cover too. I also love to paint; the paintings sold all over the world. But I’m just sticking to the writing and digital art right now!!
Love you all.
P.S. As I said, just writing the second comedy book. Haven’t
got a title yet. I think it might be ‘Follow the Cockapoo!!
Do pour a cup of tea, I have the cakes. We can have a nice chat together.
Due to illness over the past eighteen months, I have not been able to post my usual articles and images. Happily, I am now recovering and the energy is flowing back again.
The illnesses which thankfully are not the lethal kind, but nevertheless impeded any interesting activity on the blog.
I will, however, have some interesting news on these three ailments which I think will be able to help others suffering from the same debilitating experiences.
Actually, two ailments are really interesting which led me to explore a whole new diet and a loss of two stone in weight which I managed to accumulate over the years. I was not obese but at 5ft. 2inches or let’s say 63 kilos, I had to take the next size up from what was once my normal size, to be able to zip up a dress or pull on a pair of leggings and another size up to hide those nasty little tyres!! Like any other lady, I like a sleek fit but that was proving impossible. I dislike cardigans or jackets to cover dresses or jeans. But, however much one can find some delightful cover-ups, they are still that, coverups. So what’s the point of buying a gorgeous outfit only to hide it with a cardigan!!
I wouldn’t recommend the illnesses but definitely, the diet is really healthy and a delightful way of losing the odd pounds. Mind you, you can say goodbye to fudge covered in chocolate and mouthwatering double cream raspberry ripple ice cream, lemon meringue pies, etc., My mouth is watering writing this so although the new diet is exciting I would like to indulge now and then, but it just isn’t possible, not unless I want another endoscopy, you know – the operation where they push tubes down your throat that wind down into y our stomach and stretch your esophagus – and no anesthetic!!! Well they do offer a sedative so no pain is involved just my own cowardly terror. I cannot imagine why some people refuse to have sedation. I wanted – begged for a general anesthetic but they refused and I must say, the sedative did work. But I would suggest you have the throat spray as well which freezes the throat so you don’t feel anything going down your throat prior to your gut. I have to say this just in case someone just has the sedation and feels something, then you might come back and tell me off. So yes you’ve guessed it, GERD is involved but for some of us with that condition, other ailments jump on the wagon.
Let me explain. I was thoroughly enjoying life, the children had grown and flown the nest so I was free to indulge in my passions, writing, painting, blogging and even selling books, quite a lot actually. But then one sunny day I opened a tin of salmon. One of my favorite foods to have alongside a fresh green salad with beetroot. I couldn’t resist having a forkful. Within seconds, I felt this lump in my throat. Well, it was lodged in the chest area. I didn’t think anything of it, after all, I was having trouble swallowing tablets as well. But to my annoyance, this bolus like lump wouldn’t shift. I ran around the garden literally but still couldn’t budge it. So I had to forcibly get it up and I won’t go into that. Anyhow this happened on another three occasions when I was eating,
Hubby said I should go to the doctors but I wouldn’t hear of it. It was just a glitch, nothing to worry about. A week later I had to attend my local surgery for results of a blood test. As the nurse was finishing typing up my notes I said, ‘Umm, I hope you can help me, it’s nothing really, but I have this lump in my chest whenever I eat.
The nurse swiveled round to me, a vacuous smile on her face and said. ‘I’ll just ring doctor.’
I sat back. ‘Oh – but it’s nothing really.l’
She smiled kindly and phoned through. To cut a long story short within days I was in the hospital. I would have been in before that but it was a weekend. So Monday morning I was on the operating table having an endoscopy.
Oh my God. I had a dreadful two days waiting for this blessed procedure, by which time my blood pressure rocketed even though I tried meditation, breathing exercises the lot, but it went even higher.
Before the operation, the surgeon kindly asked me why was I so afraid? To which I replied, ‘well I can’t stand the thought of having things down my throat, in fact, it’s one of my worst nightmares.’
He replied ‘But you won’t feel it.’
I replied, ‘I asked for an anesthetic and was told I could only have sedation.’
He smiled and said. ‘You won’t feel a thing. Really.’ he took my hand gently. ‘Really, I promise.’
I looked down. ‘It’s not that so much it’s something else as well.’
He smiled ‘Tell me.’
I said, ‘I might punch you.’
He sat back, ‘Why?’
‘Well because I’ll see those tubes coming towards me and I’ll just start punching. I really don’t want to but it’s a kind of natural instinct you know? My grandfather was the boxing champion – knocked out the reigning champion during the war.’
Seriously, I said that I’m not kidding.
The surgeon laughed, ‘I promise I shall be putting you out. It’s one of those drugs where you forget the instant I do something.’
I frowned. ‘I have an excellent memory. What if I remember and I start swinging.?”
He creased up laughing, ‘I promise you, you won’t.’
I still didn’t believe him, but I see I’ve written enough for today. I don’t know how much I can write in one on these blogs. So I shall tell you the rest next time.
Have a lovely day folks.
I will be putting on my new book images and details, as well tomorrow or the next day.
Forgive my absence from here. I have now recovered from two bouts of illness and am feeling good, stronger and raring to go again.
I thought I would share this great offer from two sets of authors offering delicious bites from their new novels. This gives you a chance completely free to taste and decide which box appeals to you. It could be you are hungry for both. Great appetite for the cordon bleu of the book world. I know spicy bangers and buttery potato mash can be tempting, and beefburgers topped with red hot chilies tongue tingling, but the taste bomb explodes with mouthwatering delight on biting into these enticing 3-star cheffy morsels.
Sssh – I have to whisper this, they’re free – YES – FREE from http://bit.ly/2BB12mg
Have fun dear readers. I will be back soon. The Voice will be on again on Saturday and I cannot wait to see Will.I.Am Been a fan of his since the Black Eyed Peas. I have two choices, to get out the Sharaz or knitting. I think he deserves the Sharaz!!!