Book Review.

When Breath Becomes Air.    Written by Paul Kalanithi.

Book Review.

The honesty and openness of Paul Kalanithi are astonishing. He turned his tragic circumstances into a study of how a patient-doctor relationship has a profound effect on the psychological aspect of a terminal illness.
I guess that the writing process in some small way was therapeutic for him and allowed his pain to be transferred into words of wisdom for others to take comfort from.

Although some might be put off by the blurb if they have suffered loss themselves, it is written so well that the reader will forget the diagnosis and read into the much deeper messages about life and death that he succinctly puts across.

*****  Five star GoodReads review from me.

 

Authors work is never done.

    Authors work is never done.

Writing can be a solitary pastime, it is also a period of reflection. However, for myself, it is an opportunity to be creative, to give birth to fictionalized characters and create a world for them to live in.

Imagination is a wonderful gift, enabling freedom of thought. Did you know that the process of reality and imagination follows different paths?

Researchers have discovered that visual information from real events travels upwards towards the parietal lobe in the brain from the occipital lobe. It appears that the opposite is true for imagined images. These travel along synapses from the parietal lobe towards the occipital. Fascinating is it not?

Returning to the statement ‘An author’s work is never done.’ I refer to the promotion and marketing of a book once completed. In actual fact, the promotion often begins prior to the first books being printed. For example, the teaser statements on social platforms such as book cover reveal. The many social platforms for promoting books are brilliant in terms of reaching large amounts of would be readers. However, in our multi-media world, one needs to be seen and heard as well as read.

It is the public appearances no matter how small a gathering that genuinely connects the writer with the reader. With this in mind, I try to attend a variety of local events in order to promote my books.

 

 

 

 

Recently I attended ‘The Lowdham Book and Ephemera fair which was held at The Village Hall, Lowdham. Having met a number of other book enthusiasts it was brought to my attention that there is soon to be a Book Festival to be held there between June 2nd– 29th

The line-up looks incredible and includes many award-winning authors: Victoria Hislop, C J Tudor, Joanne Harris, and Miranda Seymour Karen Bailey.

Children’s author Michael Rosen will be chatting about his own remarkable story and local poets Jane Wyles and Fiona Theokritoff will be sharing their poetry.

Tickets for these events are available from The Bookcase, Lowdham. Notts. 0115 966 3219

Hope to see you there.

Renaissance – Florence

Recently while away on holiday, staying on the beautiful Island of Vir Croatia, I found myself in the unusual situation of having no book to read. My daughter was attempting to read this herself, but with two active children to care for and a number of projects on already, she kindly suggested that we share this masterpiece of work.

‘My story begins not with my birth but a murder; committed the year before I was born.’

Wow! what a brilliant hook. How could I not be intrigued?

Painting Mona Lisa was written by Jeanne Kalogridis published in 2006 by St Martin’s Press.

The story begins in the heart of Florence, April 1478 – The Renaissance Period. It is a tale of historical fiction and mystery.

The monk Savanarola was preaching of hell, fire, and brimstone against the Borgia pope with his evil decadence and lustful behavior. He preached that the rich citizens of Florence would suffer greatly if they did not repent.

The handsome Giuliano de Medica is brutally assassinated in the magnificent Duomo of Florence. This leads to the unfolding of events amongst which is the tale of turmoil for the family of Lisa Di Antonio Gherardini Giocondo. Known simply as Madonna Lisa. Her beauty is captured by the famous artist Leonardo from Divinci. However, there is more to his desire for the painting of Madonna.

This is a tale of love, passion and the worst kind of betrayal.

 

Book Review

 

 

I am willing to put my hands up and admit that from time to time I check out my own books on the Amazon Book Store.

Having said that! It is purely for professional purposes you understand.

As is the case with Amazon searches, a number of books appear on the screen and from what I gather of the process the books with the most reviews or sales tend to pop up on the screen first. As is the case when I search for my debut novel ‘Alice’

‘Still, Alice’ written by Lisa Genova is always the first book to catch my eye. Recently while visiting my local library, I came across the said book and decided to review it using the Goodreads platform.

See below my Goodreads review.
I chose this amazing book from my local library where I am a member of The Book Club. The title of the book caught my attention due to my own debut novel having the title of ‘Alice.’ Both books about true to life events. One written by a neuroscientist and the other a nurse with a BSC in Biological Science.

‘Still Alice’ is a compelling account of the newly diagnosed world about the main character Alice Howland a cognitive psychology professor. Married with three children at the age of fifty she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The story follows her journey through a rapid downward spiral of disease progression.
Written in the first person Lisa Genova gives a well-written insight into the world of Alice. Having worked with dementia patients myself and conducted some of the cognitive tests, I was impressed by the way the author weaved these tests into the story without making it too medical.
Although heart-breaking, there are moments of humor within the story and realistic family dynamics.
I gave four stars because if I am honest. I was a little disappointed with the ending.
In terms of truthful fiction with accurate accounts of moving downwards through a spiraling health-related condition. ‘Alice’ written by myself and published by Austin Macauley publishers is still available to purchase from Amazon and other book retailers.
Alice by K.L Loveley

 

 

 

Autism Awareness Day.

Autism Awareness Day

 

For those of you who have read ‘Love, Secrets And Absolution’  and got to know Alfie who was born in the early seventies, you will have realized that in terms of diagnosis we have come a long way towards recognizing the early signs of children on the Autistic Spectrum. However, there is still a long way to go with respect to raising awareness.

This week, the first week in April 2019, people all over the UK will be marking Autism Awareness Week. The fundraising event set up by the National Autistic Society (NAS) aims to raise awareness of the condition and encourage people to donate to fund campaigns that help those with autism.

For my small part, I wrote a fictional account based on a young boy from a working-class family based in Nottinghamshire during the well-documented miner’s strike of 1983 in the United Kingdom.

 

 

If you are interested, the book published by ‘The Globeflower Agency’ is available as an E-Book and paperback from Amazon and other book outlets.

 

Move Over You Diva

Move over you Diva.

A few weeks ago I found myself in a recording studio. I was not singing you will be glad to hear. I was, in fact, recording the Audiobook for my collection of poetry ‘Chameleon Days’. It felt very exposing to be reading out my poems. As I was standing in the air- locked booth, headphones over my ears, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I should curb my dialect a little.

Also let me explain that in my opinion, unbiased of course! I believe that my voice can come across as perhaps a little shrill. However, luck was with me that day as I was just getting over a head cold and my voice miraculously sounded deeper and a little husky at times.

Spending hours speaking words I had written and listeningChameleon Days to them reverberate in my head was an interesting experience. Needless to say, the constant talking – which some might say I should be used to, was more difficult than I had imagined.

As I said, I was in the latter stages of a head cold so as a consequence needed to take regular sips of water to lubricate the old tubes. This in itself caused a problem. The young technician informed me that the microphone was picking up my rumbling stomach sounds. He kindly pointed out that I would need to repeat part of the poems again. Of course, I happily obliged as I was beginning to feel like an important artist, a diva even; with the huge microphone in front of me and the over-sized headphones balancing on my small head. Although perhaps petite might be a better description.

My publisher from Globeflower Books who came along with me to the recording studio was a great support throughout the process – encouraging me with the tone and pace of reading.

It was genuinely a good experience. I am looking forward to listening to the audiobook although it may be a little disconcerting listening to my own voice.

World Book Day 2019

 

Celebrating World Book Day in the United Kingdom.

 I cannot think of a better gift for a child, than a book or a book token. Growing up, these were always my favourite gifts; and even now as an adult, I count book tokens and books amongst my favourite things.

On World Book Day, every child in full-time education in the United Kingdom is given a voucher to be spent on books. How amazing is that?

What could be more magical than reading to a child? Stories open up a world of wonder, feeding the imagination and educating at the same time.

My mum who is ninety years young at the end of the month remembers with great joy the books she read as a child- amongst them was Milly Molly Mandy , written and illustarated  byJoyceLankester Brisley.

 

A night to remember

 

Friday night I had the privilege of going to The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham to see Professor Brian Cox present his Universal World Tour 2019, with special Guest Robin Ince.

Along with my brother David who has a keen interest in Astronomy and 7000 other enthusiasts   I sat mesmerised listening to his lyrical, romantic approach to astrophysics. as he entertained the audience with his engaging presentation.

I have long been a fan of Mr Cox – an English Physicist who serves as a professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.

Probably best known to the public for his work as a science broadcaster and presenter of the popular BBC Wonders trilogy, Horizon and Stargazing Live.

His book Human Universe based on a BBC programme written with Andrew Cohen head of the BBC Science Unit and the Executive Producer of the BBC series takes pride of place on my bookshelf.

 

Kindfulness.

 

 BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND TO EACH OTHER.

 

The latest buzzword that I have only just been made aware of is kindfulness. I’m a bit late to the game, having previously embraced mindfulness.

I also discovered that during early December 2018, Barnardo’s one of the many charities I support have developed a new fundraising initiative. Kindfulness week. How wonderful is that?

Intrigued I set about educating myself around this concept and discovered that a British Buddhist monk, Ajahn Brahm was named as the pioneer of the trend.

In a nutshell, it appears that while mindfulness encourages us to be gentle with ourselves, ‘Kindfulness’ is about directing our energy gained from mindfulness at others. Thereby being of mutual benefit. After reading this, the first thought that entered my mind, directed me back to my studies with the Open University while studying for a BSC in Biological Science. Rightly or wrongly, I thought about nature and symbiotic relationships.

Kindness needn’t cost anything but a second of your time. A smile to a stranger, a helping hand to someone in need and to be sensitive to, and concerned about the suffering of others.

The first step is to alter the way we speak to ourselves and others. Be kind to yourself and be less critical – think about what you would say to a friend or loved when they are having difficulties.

Create a more positive frame of mind and dare I say it? Love yourself, be kind to yourself and spread that feeling to others. Who knows it may be contagious?