Category Archives: Writing

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Mental Awareness Week 10th to 16th May ~ Search for the Pearl Inside …

Reading about Mental Awareness Week on the Scottish Book Trust website there were two post which caught my eye:

The Callan Gordon Award is open for authors between between 18 and 35 years in memory of the tragic death of Callan, when he took his own life at 28 years through mental illness. Here’s Iain’s story, Callan’s Dad.

My heart goes out to Iain, who is still going through pain at the memory of events in 2011, ten years ago. Here’s the link to the award:

The Callan Gordon Award 2021

This is a way of supporting young Scottish authors too!

The second post on the Scottish Book Trust relating to Mental Awareness Week is how best to improve mental health by getting out and about in the natural world as described in Brian Kerr’s book How to Value a Skylark, The Countryside in a Time of Change.

The Scottish Book Trust describes 15 wonderful books and so, if you can’t absorb yourself in the natural world right now, then why don’t you settle down and relax and read one of these lovely books at home. I’ve only read The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd in this list and it magically transports you to the wild places in the Cairngorms.

That brings me neatly to my little book of encouragement which I began writing as I was leaving my teaching post at Barnfield Further Education in Luton, giving young people a second chance; a book much needed as we emerge from lock down. The title speaks for itself:

Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself

A Gift Book of Encouragement for Young Adults

 

To be released on 25th June 2021

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Bereavement, Reflection and Moving Back into the World

Bereavement

There are those touched by this pandemic in a way which will live with them for the rest of their lives;

there are those who have really struggled with the isolation and it has adversely affected their mental well being,

and there are others who have sailed through and managed to ‘get on with life’ quite cheerfully throughout.

Of course there is overlap too.

Sometimes I think it is hard for each group to appreciate the other’s situation.

I have been overwhelmed by the love and sympathy from friends, family and the wider community of Kinghorn when my Mum became ill and my father died of Covid back on 10th January.

Normal life ceased.

Dad died at 93 years old. He had been retired for longer than he worked, he had enjoyed a good healthy life, dancing and travelling with Mum until two years ago…. and the end was thankfully very quick. He didn’t suffer too much so we were told.

Mum is still unwell, but she is being well cared for and we can speak to her on Zoom and phone (which we could rarely do when she was in hospital.) That’s all I can ask until, hopefully, I will see her again.

Reflection

My writing life ceased, although I continued with obligations for others when I could. Certainly at a slower pace.

…but my Dad wouldn’t have wanted me to wallow.

On reflection, two days before Dad  passed away, my last conversation with him was so positive. Looking back, he was thinking of me and the wider family and not himself.

‘You are happy up in Fife?’ he asked.

‘You’ve got a good life there, haven’t you?’

As I stood looking out over the Firth of Forth, as a container ship floated into my line of vision, I remarked, ‘I wish you were standing here with me Dad.’

At the end of our conversation I told him I loved him. Not something I have said very often in my whole life.

Looking back, we were both saying goodbye, and that is a comfort.

Moving On

Neither Dad nor Mum would want me to wallow anymore though.

As well as supporting other authors, part of my psyche is to create, to write and to let the words and ideas flow, later moulding them into  a form just right for sharing.

I hope to begin to focus on my projects again.

And so, slowly but surely, I will return to a ‘real’ world. Not the ‘normal’ before lockdown, but a different normal, building my confidence to be part of the writing community once more.

  Mum and Dad with us on Guernsey only   Three Years ago

 

What am I going to do in my writing life in the next few months?

  • Continue writing my current project ~ another Mystery Inspired by History
  • Publish a little book of encouragement for your adults, needing support finding direction on life following this pandemic
  • Get together poems I have written in the last few months about dementia
  • Promote my two mysteries.

…and that, I think, is enough for now.

MURDER, Now and Then will be only 99p on Kindle from 22nd February to 1st March 2021

MISSING, Past and Present will be only 99p on Kindle from 1st to 8th March 2021

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Filed under Memoirs, Mystery inspired by history series, Writing

Review, Reflect and Move Forward to 2021 (and a festive Giveaway)

If I knew in December 2019 when I reflected on the previous year what I know now, would I have made different plans and had other aspirations? Who knows!

2020

Early March

               Click cover for link to Amazon

… saw the launch on my second ‘mystery inspired by history’ novel

MISSING Past and Present

at the last social gathering in Kinghorn, a cheerful event held at the Station Gallery.

 

More used to face to face bookish activities rather than on line, I must admit to have struggled with social media this year, having spurts of activity, interspersed with period when I just could not get my head around it.

(Like everyone, being unable to visit my elderly parents was a constant worry; both having dementia but attempting to live independently. It is only when the security rug is swept away that you realise just how much loved ones rely on visits from family)

April/ May

I worked on a little book of encouragement for young people who need direction and a bit of positivity; a project I began a few years back. I hope for it to be released February, March 2021. Watch this space for a cover reveal in the new year. 

June

 

 

Unable to be creative I worked with local ladies in Kinghorn to prepare

‘Kinghorn Lunch Club Social Memories;’

a lovely little book which, among other wonderful ideas, was a much needed morale boost for our elderly folks during the pandemic.

Click on cover for link to Amazon.

 

 

 

July

I actually began to write again, focusing on the sequel to MISSING.

August

With infection rates lower, the highlight of the month was visiting my elderly parents which was a mixture of heart wrenching moments but relief to be with them.

September/ October/ November

Working with fellow Eventispress author Brian Kerr, whose third book 

How to Value a Skylark ~ The Countryside in a Time of Change

will be launched in January 2021.

(meanwhile my parents were hospitalised not with Covid and transferred to a care home, where both are now cared for and safe. I still long to see them but when it is safe to rwsume my regular visits down south ~ the culmination of a very stressful and upsetting time. So hard not to be with them when they needed us most!)

Click on cover for more information about Brian and the book. 

 

Charity Sales

Sales of Kinghorn Lunch Club Memories and The Healing Paths of Fife (currently sold in aid of Kirkcaldy Foodbank which covers Kinghorn, Burntisland and surrounding areas as well as Kirkcaldy) 

£673

has been raised to date!

I would love it to reach £1000 as soon as possible!

On reflection, in the writing world I have some achievements to be cheerful about in 2020.

What do I long for in 2021?

~ First and foremost to see my parents and to spend some quality time with them. Both having dementia, I cannot make up for a whole year lost, but I want to do my utmost to make their lives as pleasurable as I possibly can.

~ Secondly I wish Brian Kerr every success with his new book. 

I’d like to reach my goal of £1000 through the sale of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’

Yes, of course I would love you all to read ‘MISSING Past and Present’ and with that in mind I am willing to give 10 ebooks away if you’d like to email me ~  dianariduna@yahoo.com

…and finally I’d like to wish you all a safe Christmas,

        …that you’ll be vaccinated soon in 2021

                  …and that you can be reunited with your loved ones as soon as possible in 2021.

 

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Marketing your novel, MISSING Past and Present, The Healing Paths of Fife, Writing