February 2019

Hello again, and thank you for dropping by. I had forgotten how exciting it is to see one of your books arrive in print. As you will see from my website’s new landing page, this has been a busy month for me with the publication of my new book The Memoir Course – just for you. It has been a challenge to put it all together and it is something totally different to my other books, but I hope it will provide the incentive for people to begin telling their own story. It is a small book, but packed full of information and tips to help you tell your own story.

It seems to me those of us who have lived through the latter half of the twentieth century have experienced the world changing more rapidly than at any other time. Society has moved at such a breakneck pace it’s easy to forget what life was like even thirty or forty years ago. Not just the material and technological things - cars, jet-travel, mobile phones - but our thoughts and values too have changed; who would have thought years ago gay marriage would be accepted - let alone legal? So what will be our world be like fifty years from now? The unknown future is one of the reasons we should record those changes while we still can, and share them with our family.

We have each lived a life unique to us. Its exclusivity is what makes it worth sharing. As I said in the introduction of the book, it is not necessary to be an experienced writer to share your story. You simply need to be prepared to take some time, and write it down to celebrate your life and share your legacy with others. The highs and lows we have experienced, the goals we have achieved, and those we have not, have all played a part in making us what we are today.

So now that the hard copies have been delivered and it is also available through Amazon and Kindle, there is the promise of an even busier time ahead as I plan new classes and presentations. Next month I will have some firm dates to add to my Speaking Page for my autumn Memoir Classes. Get in touch if you are interested.

Amongst the busyness, I still found time to do some reading, and after the great books I recommended last month, I did wonder if I would be able to match them, but there are so many good books out there I need not have worried. Beginning with an inspiring publication by TV presenter Leigh Sales from The 7:30 Report.

Any Ordinary Day - by Leigh Sales

As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories – and a terrifying brush with her own mortality – sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. … In this wise and layered book, Leigh talks intimately with people who’ve faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Expecting broken lives, she instead finds strength, hope, even humour. Leigh brilliantly … poses the questions we too often ignore out of awkwardness. Along the way, she offers an unguarded account of her own challenges and what she’s learned about coping with life’s unexpected blows. Warm, candid and empathetic, this book is about what happens when ordinary people, on ordinary days, are forced to suddenly find the resilience most of us don’t know we have.

I did wonder if the book would be harrowing and difficult to read, but although the awkward questions are asked, each of the people interviewed (and all have been very much in the public eye) answer honestly and told how they found the strength to continue. This is a moving and inspiring book, made more personal by the author sharing her own frailties. Do seek it out.

Now you See Her - Heidi Perks

To something lighter. My love of mysteries drew me to this one when I read the back blurb. I like to try new authors from time to time and this one won me over.

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth.

So what really happened to Alice?

With an ending that surprised me, this was an engrossing book from start to finish. I shall be trying to find others by this author. That’s all from me this month, so take care and enjoy the cooler months of autumn.

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