Tuesday, 28 August 2018

THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS


Recently, I watched The Theory of Everything.  It's a movie that’s been on my list for a while and my viewing came at exactly the right time.

Professor Stephen Hawking.  A man whose life epitomised making the impossible - possible.  When diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) aged 21 he was given a couple of years to live and and survived for fifty-five.  

And what a life he lived becoming a Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist and Author.  Translating astronomical theory into an everyday conversation.  I own a well thumbed copy of A Brief History of Time and when I read it makes me feel smart and intellectually insecure at the same time.  The whimsical first sentence enthrals me.

"We live in a strange and wonderful universe."

What I love about Professor Stephen Hawking is his spirit.  His undeniable passion for science and thirst for learning.  As his diagnosis progressed, he communicated at the end of his life by using only his left cheek to type the his words into a computer screen.  Embracing life experientially and with infectious self-deprecating humour with appearances on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory.  And who can forget the smile on his face as he experienced weightlessness at the age of 75. 

What a life. 

When he passed earlier this year the scientific community reacted with genuine grief at the loss of this inspiring soul and celebrated not only his unique contribution to their field but also his humanity.  Professor Stephen Hawking never gave up.  No matter what the limitations he always persevered.

Lately, I've been thinking about perseverance.  As a scholar of psychology and counselling, you naturally refer to your internal building blocks and last week I discovered the source.  I listened to my Mum talking about determination, how once she starts something she finishes it and I marvelled at her.  My Mum describes herself an in introvert and she is, however, she is also my rock, my champion, my guiding light and my dose of common sense when I need it most.  I'm so very lucky to be her daughter.  And when I grit my teeth, dig deeper and work harder, I call upon the inheritance my Mum gave me to go the extra mile. 

When you are doing what you love - what burns the fire of your passion, you feel so alive and inspired you exist within a world where the impossible is possible and nothing else exists.

Professor Stephen Hawking lived in that world and so do I.  I may not get there today or tomorrow but I’ll get there.  I always do.   Because I’m my mother’s daughter and I will never ever give up.



The composition, The Arrival of the Birds, by Johann Johannson from The Theory of Everything soundtrack is magical and I would encourage a listen.

Monday, 6 August 2018

FIFE FREE PRESS - 31 JULY 2018


https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/kirkcaldy-author-turned-her-dream-into-book-1-4776105

Monday, 16 July 2018

OUT OF TIME


It's taken me two years to start writing my new book. 

This was not deliberate.  The story was always lulling about in my head, like a cinema screen playing on a continual loop with scenes of rich characters bejewelled by circumstances and fate. 

For the last year I have been promising myself that I would put pen to paper and I did, I wrote a book.  But it didn't feel right.  Like I was writing the ghost of a story when the real one was actually buried deep within. 

Then life intervened, the study of psychology and counselling consumed me.  And as I learned to be mindful and elevate my self-awareness I asked myself why I was not writing the story I am meant too. 

The reason when it came was unexpected. 

Visiting Samye Ling recently, I explored the surrounding scenery and found myself on a pebble strewn beach as the Solway Firth flowed past.  The area glowed with sunlight and was held together with with a series of small waterfalls.  It was beautiful. 

Sitting down on the rocks with my notebook and dipping my painted toenails into the water to cool in the sun I started to write.  I finally started to write my new book, as it is meant to be written. 

And in the midst of writing, I paused as I got the 'why'.  Why I had hesitated, procrastinated and distracted myself.  It was because I needed to take a moment for myself.  It was because I had to stay still for me.  

I needed to be selfless in my self-care. 

I'm the Queen of busy, working without a pause, so much so I feel guilty for taking time for myself.  On that day watching the water trickle as nature decreed I realised the pause,  instead of a punishment in waiting had been the most precious gift. 

To write this story, I had to understand who I was and where I had come from and it was only once this process had been completed the gift was bestowed and the story in its entirety was revealed. 

Sometimes a pause, even for a couple of years, is worth every single moment and the learning is a treasure and in some cases it takes sitting by the river in the middle of the Scottish lowlands to see it. 

So if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; give the story time to float down the river and when it arrives let it sing in your bones.  Be out of time and embrace the learning. 

Its definitely worth waiting for. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

SHOWCASE - COLIN MCEWAN



I met Colin at a Fife Writes event.

In a sadly all too brief performance he exuded fun, self-deprecation with heartfelt lyrics that held an appealing combination of resonation and humour. 

With a talent for song writing and performance that shone through, please check out his work. 




Biography

Originally from Edinburgh, he moved to Glasgow in 1990 to be involved in year of culture, and became founder member a Theatre in Education company.  In the years since he has worked as an actor, musician and storyteller in schools and community groups throughout Scotland.

His writing and performance work is is a mixture of the personal and the wryly witty, a place to explore and articulate voices and experiences, both his own and those of others.




Saturday, 7 July 2018

THE KINSHIP CHRONICLES - THE PROCESS OF WRITING



I absolutely loved writing The Binding Veil.

When I think of the months I spent writing this book, I remember a feeling of unadultered childlike joy.  As I had become so part of the world I created in my head it became as real to me as the keys on my laptop. 

When I'm asked about The Kinship Chronicles and the process of writing, I confess I never intended for it to became a book.  I start writing a series of what I thought was short stories and my aim was to finish one each time I sat down to write.  Then I got curious about these people who inhabited my psyche and wondered what their story was.  Writing furiously as I tried to accurately describe the vivid images born in my head.  

I always say that when I wrote The Feathered Roots I was finding my feet, when I wrote Scatter of Kin I way and when it came to The Binding Veil I was loving it. 

The physical manifestation of a book feels like climbing towards the summit of K2, a physical and mental feat fraught with difficulty.  If you're going to get there you must train hard, do the writing, learn your craft, be determined as the world tries to take your attention away and be more resilent than you have ever been in your life.  When you feel like giving up, you don't - you grit your teeth and dig in your heels and keep going because you're in it for the long haul. 

Success is a personal journey, some say its to be on the New York Times bestsellers list.  For me, it was the day the book arrived.  Opening the box and holding the book that I had dreamed of and written was a moment and memory that will stay with me forever and a day. 

Celebrating these memories, I now find myself working creatively again with childlike enthusiasm and whenever I am asked about my new story I clap my hands together like a child.  I'm sure Gestalt in his study of unconcious body language would find this behaviour particularly intriguing. 

So TKC, my first bairn, thank you for all you have given me, and I let you go with love, pride and hope as you fly away and find a home wherever the wind takes you. 


ACCLAIM FOR THE KINSHIP CHRONICLES® 

*****
“If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, you’ll love The Kinship Chronicles”

*****
“Magical, dangerous and romantic, an absolute triumph for Cassie Kennedy.”

*****
“I was completely hooked with the book from the start. I absolutely loved the character development and got completely lost in the story!”

***** 
“This is a magical book that grips you from the start. It’s a lovely piece of escapism that touches your heart. I can see this book becoming a very big hit with readers of all ages. “

THE BINDING VEIL 

Amber’s dream of a happy family reunion has come true.  But all is not as it seems. As Amber and Aiden finally meet their father, the King, she is more confused than ever. 

As the delicate veil between good and evil, right and wrong is torn; Amber, Aiden, Duncan and Rose find themselves charged with saving both Sensio and Earth.  

Can they restore the natural balance in time to protect themselves, their kin and their worlds? 

The Binding Veil is the epic conclusion to The Kinship Chronicles®

Who will win?

THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS

Recently, I watched The Theory of Everything .  It's a movie that’s been on my list for a while and my viewing came at exactly the...