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Saturday, April 30, 2016

A First Book is truly the closest to an author's heart

I love interacting with people who share my hobbies - so I have an online group of photography enthusiasts where we share our photographs, then  comment on and critique each others work.

Then there is the 'real people' photography group where we go out on regular photo expeditions.

I also have a Bridge group where we meet and interact on a regular basis and play Bridge. 

Ditto for a Flower arranging and a painting group.And then I have a couple of online groups where authors from all over the world share their thoughts and ideas. Each of these groups has helped me evolve as an individual and I've learnt a great deal from all these people and I hope that in some way, I've been able to reciprocate too.

Today's story is about one of the Books and writers groups where I started a discussion board last month.

The topic-"For many authors, their first book is closest to their heart. What about you? "

I got numerous responses and while I will name some of the authors, I wont name the others.

One of the earliest responses, "On a personal level, yes. It was the most touching and the one which has left its impression upon me for the rest of my life. When you attempt to reconstruct your family's history you have to remember all elements of its history both tragic and hilarious whether you wish it or not. But the tragic elements have far outweighed the hilarious ones, unfortunately.."

Then there was this one-"I quite agree. Starting college at age 52, my first book came from my final research paper, for my final class, for my BA degree in 2006.Four years later, I expanded this 5000 word paper into a 70,000 word book for my first MA in 2009. While at the same time, my second bookcame from my thesis for my second MA in 2010. Everyday life is providing the content for my third book, to be out soon. "

Here's the most amusing one-"My first book is closest to my waste basket!"

After a couple of days and many more responses later, it  was time for me to chip in- which I did by saying-

"Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.I 've frequently debated this with some friends and colleagues.My first book, 'A Safe Harbour'is based on so much of my own career in advertising, and inadvertantly, the joys and travails of the job have crept in. Will go through all your links and posts in detail and would be happy to hear from more of you!

Then followed many more pretty much the same vein as mine

Faraaz Kazi-"That's true. Truly Madly Deeply will always hold a special place in my heart". 

Mary Jane Clayton-"Yes, my first book, Brittany's Rose, truly is closest to my heart. It's about my granddaughter who lost her life to leukemia. It's about how believing in the unbelivable leads to healing. After 20 years of writing in my journal about coiencidental events, I finally learned to give them meaning. My hope is that these amazing messages from my granddaughter will help others who are still grieving a loss to find peace of mind.."

And here's the one that I could truly classify as one of my 'life changing moments'-a response from an author called Elaine Benton ( but before that this is a short bio of Elaine's).
Elaine was born in England, diagnosed at the age of five with Gaucher disease; a rare inherited disorder, for which there is no cure. At the age of 44, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Battling two diseases, Elaine's writing is inspirational and quite extraordinary. Elaine's book "Parkinson's, shaken, not stirred" is a collection of poems offering support and comfort to fellow sufferers and caregivers, relating to their daily struggles. From personal experience she has written with stark honesty and humour, something patients and doctors rarely get to read which has captured world-wide attention,giving a fresh perspective from the patient's view--

Elaine Benton 
( pic courtesy Elaine's Amazon page)

Elaine Benton-"I have to admit that my first book is very close to my heart. I put my heart and soul into it and it is about my personal experience of suffering chronic disease, whilst maintaining a cheerful and positive attitude. I am almost finished my third book, and know all too well about agents rejection letters, and as I'm running out of time, self publishing was the solution for me. 

When one of the others on that panel debated the concept of 'self publishing' her answer truly moved me-

 "I quite agree that many of the great writers were penniless, or had to wait years until their works were finally recognised and published. You are correct in saying that "self publishing" as great as it is offering many people who do have talent the ability to get their books out there in some form, there is no doubt that an established publishing house taking on one's book is, as you put it, in an entirely different galaxy. I write because I love to write, believing I am writing something of value that is unique. I am not writing to become rich, and have so far not made a penny, and this does not bother me. I write because words seem to come from my soul and I want to get them down on paper, so that those who could gain support/comfort would not feel alone in their daily struggles. Some of us are not afforded, good health, time and money required to travel this route. I have contacted many publishers, but due to being in poor health, time is of the essence here, and eventually I self published simply because I am running out of time. I have had no help as regards contacts with publishers, and have barely enough energy to finish my third book and continue to write my daily blog that is being followed by fellow sufferers and care givers around the world. There is nothing I would love more than to have a publisher take me on. This is the number one item on my "bucket list", so if you or anyone out there reading this message would like to take a minute and visit my site and if after reading, you feel you know of someone who may be interested, I would be eternally grateful. 

Wishing you all a great day. "


Could I say any more than that?

Suffice it is to say that I haven't used my blog to publicise any other author but this is a blog post with a difference.Do check out Elaine's blog, and I know, you will emerge as different person.

Pretty much in the same way as I did....

NB-This is a re run of a blogpost I wrote some time back

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hearing the sound of a siren as an ambulance goes past

There's something chilling about the siren of an ambulance and  I feel the same way every time I hear it. Right from the time I was a child, I've always wondered about the person inside that ambulance and what exactly he or she is going through at that point in time.

(Image Source- Internet )

But what is even more chilling is the way that drivers sometimes choose to ignore that siren, particularly in the peak rush hour ( from about 6-9 pm).

Yes, we all know that traffic is terrible and we are all battling it out, hoping against hope that we might get home ten minutes earlier. 

Yes, we are all hungry, thirsty and tired and possibly want nothing better than that hot 'cuppa' with something to munch along with it.

Yes, tomorrow is yet another working day and we are all a part of the daily grind.

But just stop and think for a moment- there is someone inside that ambulance in urgent need of medical aid. It is precisely those minutes that you want to shave off your drive back home that might make the vital difference between life and possible death of that same person.

Think about it the next time as you refuse to let an ambulance pass by .

God forbid, one day that person in the ambulance could be someone you love ...

Or who knows..

One day it might even be you.....

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A lesson re-learnt from two little boys-Try, try and you will succeed.

Delighted with his find

Many, years ago I read a story of Robert Bruce of Scotland and the spider.From what I recall, the Earl had been fighting the English for a very long time and at one point, he was at his wits end-would he ever manage to defeat his enemies? 

Then one day in Rachrin, off the Irish coast while he sat terribly troubled in a small cottage where he was in hiding, he witnessed something that was to give him a new lease of life and victory. It was just something as small and inconsequential as a spider trying to spin a web and move from one beam to the next.He watched the spider try six times and fail in each of those attempts.He told himself, were the spider to succeed then he too would be able to fight the English, yet again, and win this time.( for he too had tried and failed six times already.) 

And miraculously, the seventh time the spider was lucky! 

His web held and he was able to 
get across to the next beam.

And that was all that Robert Bruce needed.Never looking back from the next day on wards, he went on to become King Robert Bruce of Scotland.

Something similar was witnessed by me some time back and I think the photographs will really tell you  the story.

Try, Try and Try again
And they really did- Succeed!
After finding this piece of thermocol, this little boy and his friend, tried, tried and then some more, before they were able to ride these waves and how!

A lesson that I re-learnt, nothing ever really comes easy, ask those who have failed and then succeeded...