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Community

By Gay, Happiness & Joy, Love & Relationships, Paganism, The Web, ThinkingNo Comments

Human beings are social animals and since even before the beginning of language, we developed and engaged in communities.

I, like you all are part of many communities. Including (but by no means limited to): my immediate family, my locality, nursing, gay, authors/writers and pagan/spirituality.

I love being part of every community that I am part of, but like any community I don’t always agree with or like all members.

On exceptionally rare occasions, I get into conflict with a community member. Sometimes it’s like we can’t see what brings us together as community members. Like we are too focused by difference, rather than the similarities.

It is always sad when this happens and even sadder when we can’t agree to disagree. What is difficult for me to accept, is that sometimes there is no resolution to these disagreements.

I have apologised for any offense caused. I have empathised, trying to understand another’s point of view.

I have explained my perspective and thinking. I have explained my feelings. I have sought resolution.

But unfortunately there was no resolution wanted on the other side. Perhaps with time, there may be resolution. Perhaps there may not be. But at least I’ve tried.

Best wishes & Write soon,

Antony

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A Random List of Things I Like & That Make Me Feel Good

By Happiness & JoyNo Comments

Here’s a random list of things I like and things that make me feel good:

  • Quality time with my family & friends.
  • Reading – being transported into a different life or world by an Author.
  • Being Creative.
  • Writing.
  • Having an adventure – such as the one I’m having at the moment in India.
  • Spending time walking in nature on bright and warm Summer’s days. Places like Rivington an Wales.
  • Watching shows, performances and gigs.
  • Laughing.
  • Making others laugh.
  • Caring for others.
  • When people write ‘Love you Always’ in a card.
  • Receiving a message that makes me smile.
  • People smiling.
  • Complements.
  • Small acts of kindness.
  • Waking up pain-free.
  • Having such a good conversation that I loose track of the time.
  • Watching a film that makes me so happy or sad that I cry.
  • Easing another’s suffering.
  • Sunshine.
  • Warm weather.
  • Blogging.
  • Sunbathing.
  • Naps.
  • A long, hot and relaxing bath.
  • Listening to music in the bath.
  • Birthday cards.
  • When someone says: ‘I just saw this and thought of you.’
  • New notebooks, especially Paperchase ones.
  • Seeing a sunset.
  • Uni-ball pens in various colours.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
  • Intimacy.
  • Pop music.
  • Lit Yankee Candles.
  • Low lighting.
  • A new hair cut.
  • New clothes.
  • New technology devices.
  • Playing Civilization 5.
  • Dancing.
  • Imagining having tea with Gandalf, Dumbledore and Mary Poppins.
  • Waking up after a good night’s sleep.
  • Having no where to be and nothing to do.
  • Watching Victoria Wood, French & Saunders, Lilly Savage, Jack Whitehall and Russell Howard stand-up again and again. To the point where I know the script word for word.
  • Colouring in – focusing on staying in the lines.
  • Carrot Cake.
  • Nice coffee – in particular a Starbucks hazelnut latte or Douwe Egberts.
  • Cinnamon buns.
  • Looking through old photos.
  • Looking through Memory Boxes.
  • Unexpected, spontaneous dinners and meals out.
  • Chocolatey goodness.
  • Cinema trips.
  • Sweet Popcorn.
  • Finding a pound in the pocket of your winter coat, the first time you come to wear it as the weather gets colder.
  • Imagining that I live in the countryside, in a nice small cottage with a well-stocked larder.
  • Imagining what I’d do if I won the euro millions jackpot.
  • Re-living happy memories in my mind.
  • A brew.
  • Doing a good job, in whatever I’m doing.
  • Films that capture my imagination or make me feel something.
  • Watching musicals.
  • Imagining being able to fly.
  • Crystals.
  • Dinosaurs and everything dinosaur-related.
  • Minions and everything minion-related.
  • Watching wildlife documentaries, where animals show love and care towards one another.
  • Writing lists.

What are some of the things you like? What makes you feel good? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,

Antony



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21 Writers I Admire

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, ThinkingNo Comments

As an avid Reader I have a list of writers I admire. The list is below and is split into genres. The writers are listed in alphabetical order by their surname’s, so the order doesn’t indicate the preference. Along with each Writers name (and link to their official website) is a bit of blurb as to why I admire them.

General Fiction

ps-i-love-you-book-cover 1. Cecelia Ahern – Her first novel P.S. I Love You shot to the top of the best seller charts and was later turned into a film. I admire Cecelia Ahern because the subject of all of her books is: the strength of the human spirit. Her books are also superbly written.

Related Reviews: Book Review: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and Book Review: How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern.

2. Emma DonoghueRoom first novel of Emma Donoghue’s that I came across. I admire the concept of Room, along with the stylistic telling of the story. I must admit that I didn’t know that Emma Donoghue has written so many books or done the variety of writing that she has in her career. I may well pick up one of her many published books in the future. Related Review: Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue.

shopaholic-series-book-covers 3. Sophie Kinsella – She is most well known for her Shopaholic series. The idea really was just ahead of it’s time in terms of predicting the credit crunch. I admire her because of her appeal to a wide audience, her light and easy-to-read style and because she previously wrote in her real name: Madeleine Wickham.

After writing as Madeleine Wickham she took a break from writing and came back with The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic written as Sophie Kinsella. She used this name to see if she could get her work published as a new Writer and because her work was different than that of Madeleine Wickham.

I’m looking forward to the release of Shopaholic to the Stars. Related Reviews: Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.

4. Isla Morley – She makes this list for her second novel Above. I admire Morley for this novel for so many reasons: it’s well written, it’s a great idea, it’s perfectly paced, etc. It’s the only book I’ve ever described as phenomenal. Related Review: Book Review: Above by Isla Morley.

5. David Nicholls – David wrote One Day, a brilliant love story. I love a good love story so admire him for this story set over a lifetime. He has written Starter for Ten and The Understudy, both of which I want to read. He does some acting as well.

the magicians assistant 6. Ann Patchett – I discovered Ann Patchett through her novel The Magician’s Assistant, which I am currently re-reading. I admire this book’s brilliant opening line: “PARSIFAL IS DEAD. That is the end of the story.” Ann Patchett’s writers voice had me hooked from page one, till the very end. I admire her for writing this is a beautiful story and telling it expertly. Ann Patchett has since become a voice for independent book stores and authors which are other reasons for my admiration.

Ann Patchett’s other novels are The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, Bel Canto, Run and State of Wonder. All of which I want to read. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett.

Fantasy Fiction

The-Magicians-Guild-Trudi-Canavan 7. Trudi Canavan – A friend introduced me to Trudi Canavan’s work and I’m so glad he did. I admire her intricate story telling and the sheer number of books and trilogies she has completed.

I’ve just finished reading Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan, so expect a review soon. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Guild (Book 1) by Trudi Canavan.

8. Steven J Mepham – He is a good friend of mine, who is currently working on his first novel. His ideas, plots, characters and description are all exceptional. When his first novel is published it will be outstanding and I will be reviewing it here.

9. J. R. R. Tolkien – I discovered Tolkien when The Lord of the Rings films came out. I’m yet to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I have read The Hobbit. I admire the longevity of his work. Related Review: Book Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (printed by The Folio Society).

Gay & Lesbian Fiction

In-His-Secret-Life-Mel-Bossa-Cover 10. Mel Bossa – I admire Mel Bossa for her writing style and tackling of tough subjects. She must be given praise as a woman for writing exceptional gay stories. I discovered Mel Bossa through her book: Franky Gets Real. She is one of my all-time favourite writers and now has a string of books to her name.

Related Reviews: Book Review: Into The Flames by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Franky Gets Real by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Split by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa and Book Review: In His Secret Life by Mel Bossa.

11. Yvonne Heidt – Heidt writes lesbian literature. I admire her for her writer’s voice, style and the care readers come to feel for her characters. I’m currently reading her novel The Awakening. Related Review: Book Review: Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt.

12. Adrian Lilly – I admire Lilly for the amount of work that he produces. He has a number of projects on the go at any one time, yet always maintains the quality of his writing. He writes gay-themed literature that thrills, without resorting to erotica to thrill the reader. I’ve read two books in The Runes Trilogy, which is a story about gay werewolf’s. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Wolf At His Door (Runes Trilogy Book 1) by Adrian Lilly and Book Review: The Wolf in His Arms (Runes Trilogy Book 2) by Adrian Lilly.

Spirituality / Paganism

ly-de-angeles-witchcraft-book-cover 13. Ly De Angeles – I admire Ly De Angeles for her clear and concise sharing of knowledge in her book Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.

14. Ellen Dugan – Wrote Elements of Witchcraft: Natural Magick for Teens, which I read as a teenager and had a huge influence on my pagan practice. Her engaging writers voice and good use of language engages young people well. She showed me the path to working creatively with the elements.

cassandra-eason-psychic-development-book-cover 15. Cassandra Eason – The first book I ever read in spirituality/pagan genre was Cassandra Eason’s A Complete Guide To Psychic Development. It lit my imagination and interest, leading me to collect a library of books in the genre. A Complete Guide To Psychic Development is one of Cassandra Eason’s many titles. Two other titles that I have read and enjoyed are Cassandra’s Psychic Party Games and A Year and a Day in Magick: A Complete Week-by-week Course to a Lifetime in Magick.

16. Judy Hall – I admire Judy Hall for her comprehensive title The Crystal Bible, which to this day is still my reference for anything I want to know about crystals. Since she has gone on to write The Crystal Bible Volume 2 and The Crystal Bible Volume 3.

advanced-witchcraft-book-cover 17. Edain McCoy – She shows her passion for all things pagan with her engaging writing style. Edain McCoy has a number of titles published, but my favourite is Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher. Many pagan books simply regurgitate the same basic information and offer nothing for someone who has been pagan for a number of years. In Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher Edain McCoy showed that she knows what she’s talking about and offered me new ideas to develop my pagan practice.
utterley-wicked-dorothy-morrison 18. Dorothy Morrison – Shows her personality in her writing style. She’s a strong, independent woman with attitude and her books are enjoyable, full of ideas and engaging. I like that she covers the darker side of paganism and witchcraft, not just the lighter side like many pagan/spirituality authors. A good example of this is her title Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions. The first book I bought on magic was her Everyday Magic title, which I have read from cover to cover repeatedly.

YA Fiction
19. Julianna Baggott – Is a poet who I discovered through her YA novels in The Pure Trilogy. The Pure Trilogy is hugely different from her previous work and I admire her for opening herself up to a new audience. Related Reviews: Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott, Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott and Book Review: Burn by Julianna Baggott.

gone-michael-grant-book-cover 20. Michael Grant – Michael Grant’s Gone Series is brilliant. It’s fast paced and has kids stuck in a dome, some of whom have powers. The series has a great plot, realistic characters and each of the books is an addictive page turner. I admire Michael Grant for knowing how to thrill readers. Related Reviews: Book Review: Plague by Michael Grant, Book Review: Lies by Michael Grant, Book Review: Hunger by Michael Grant and Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant.
Charlie higson - The Enemy 21. Charlie Higson – He is a author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio. I like everything about The Enemy Series. The concept, writing style, plot, pacing, settings, perspectives, characters and their development. I admire his ability to grip readers from the start to the end of each book and his history of creative diversity. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Fallen by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Sacrifice by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Fear by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Dead by Charlie Higson and Book Review: The Enemy by Charlie Higson.

I admire all Writers for writing. Not only are they creating something, but they are taking an emotional risk by sharing their work with the world. To write, edit and publish a novel also a major time commitment for the Writer.

I’ve noticed a theme about the Writers in this list. That is that many of them do a number of different creative activities. It might be writing in different forms (e.g. poetry, for TV, radio or stage) or do something completely different (yet equally creative) like acting, performance or artistry.

Which Writers do you admire and why? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Reading for Pleasure

By Amazon, Books & AuthorsNo Comments
Books I've Bought Recently

Books I’ve Bought Recently

Until recently I hadn’t bought any books for ages. I didn’t need to, what with the free ones I was getting from Publishers Publicists to review. But I noticed that reading had become like a chore and had significantly slowed down.

The great thing about getting books from Publishers Publicists is that I’ve discovered new authors and new books that I love. But it’s a mixed bag.

Sometimes I get books that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to read. That’s when it becomes like a chore. I count down the pages and force myself to read on.

I decided that I’m going back to reading for pleasure. So this month I’ve treated myself to several books that I want to read. They are in the photo above.

Left to Right Top Row: Gone by Michael Grant, Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback by Stephen Jones & Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French.

Left to Right Bottom Row: Hunger by Michael Grant, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks & The Fallen by Charlie Higson.

I’m already really enjoying reading again. I’m hooked and a few of these books and will review them after I’ve read them.

Write soon,

Antony

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