Category: R is for…


… is exactly what I had while reading KILLING US SOFTLY, by Red Dwyer. This is a powerful book with a powerful message. I encourage you to read it. However, you should know it IS intense…
and compelling…

REVIEW:
Killing Us Softly
By Red Dwyer
See this book and many others at Redmund Pro

I resisted reading this book at first. Why? For the same reasons we prefer not to discuss our wills, our pre and post death wishes. It sounds depressing. I’ve never had the experience, so I don’t need guidance. These are all the reasons a child will give, and it was the child in me speaking.
I don’t foresee this being something for which I need prepare. And I felt I would be making myself depressed and sad by reading about this woman’s experience as the spouse of a cancer victim.
But from the preface forward, I have felt nothing but enlightened and supported. It has become less important whether or not I’ll “need” this to prepare for similar such life events of my own.
I honestly don’t think I have read a more intelligent and straightforward book of any sort, in any genre. There is a peer (educated) to peer (educatable) dialogue going on between the author and the reader. And somehow, she had the strength and foresight to put into words every aspect of such a life changer as a spouse dying from cancer. I can’t imagine I would ever be able to think of all the things she has, that indeed need attention and decisions. Until I was already in the eye of the storm such an event would bring to my life and those who are a part of my life. Such a time is clearly not the best time to be rational and think critically. Even if I have read the book, I know there will be things defined or spoken of here that may not even cross my mind. So I will keep it for reference. Should the need arise.
KUSsCoverBut that mattered not, as I measured my progress through this calm, collected journey, related with the best perspectives one could hope for. There are many reasons for that. First, the author is as articulate and thorough as anyone I’ve known in discussing the ins and outs of this particular subject. She has done her research. But it’s more than that. She has the gene that calls her to share her experiences, not for the purpose of sympathy, but to teach, to guide. I have no doubt the author is an old soul, one who has witnessed far more than this woman could ever have in her lifetime now. And with that perspective and objectivity, she is a most capable educator, counselor – labels that go far beyond the role this book can have in the specific situation she writes of in “Killing Us Softly”.
Succinct and complete. There is no fluff. This is the real meat of the subject and she is telling it straight. When the author reminds us to question the medical professionals, especially when their attitude is condescending, or tired of your questions, it makes my shoulders a little straighter, I sit higher and remember how important it is to always come from my center. That place of strength that I have nurtured and fed. That I trust will keep me at my best in times of great stress or pain.
As she explains at the start, this IS so comprehensive because she had the presence of mind to document all of the issues she discusses as they happened or came to mind. I think there are very few of us with that kind of dedication, passion and purpose.
This book is intense and powerful. It is not for everyone. If you are a casual reader looking for a light read, read something else. However, if you are looking for a straight up experience being the surviving spouse of a cancer victim, I highly recommend this book. Or, perhaps if you are a student of human nature, the resilience, the struggles, everyday stuff, compounded by a very emotional situation, this book is for you. “Killing Us Softly” lifted my soul with the realization that we are stronger than we realize, but we must be smart about how we cope. This book can certainly be most helpful in that undertaking.
This book is probably best read in small bits, perhaps a chapter or two at a time. It is organized so well, that by perusing the table of contents, one can find just the situation that the reader might be struggling with now. Perhaps it is learning how to handle the medical professionals. They are knowledgeable, but they are not the ones who must make the decisions. Or perhaps it is the well-meaning relatives and friends, who also might think they know what’s best for you and your mate, child, cancer victim. When undergoing the great trauma, the emotional roller coaster of end stage, we may not be best able to make objective decisions that are best for all. So preparation is key. And knowing what to expect helps keep some of the surprise, and its relative frustration, elements to a minimum.
Finally, the author brings us back with her to her current life, a couple years removed from the raw nature of her emotions and fears and dreams she guides us through within the book. So we understand there is life after cancer. And with guidance and help, any one of us can get through to the other side, as did she.

EDIT 17Aug2013: I recently experienced a close relative involved in home hospice and realized just how much this book had prepared me for the end of life events. What an astounding book this is!

#deeplypersonal #author #intensely emotional #5StarReview

M3: Writer’s Spotlight: RE-Red
RedmundPro: Killing Us Softly
M3: Books I love

R is for… Red
D is for… Dwyer
K is for KILLING US SOFTLY

THE BELLMAN CHROCICLES by Robert Hookey
Reviewed by Janet Russell
Kindle format and Paperback format available on many online sellers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Half.com, Kobo, and many others online booksellers.

Reading this book felt Just like having a conversation with a friend after work… yes, a bit one sided, but Robert’s style is so friendly that with each story or anecdote, he draws me in, so I could become part of the story.

THE BELLMAN CHRONICLES

THE BELLMAN CHRONICLES

I enjoyed the story separations, which made it easy to stop and start again, reading in little spurts which is often my style.

I love the honest feelings he presented about the not so politically correct guests he had to work with. The stories were told in an easy friendly manner, engaging me in the very experiences he was undergoing!

There were lots of cliches in the book, but that’s the whole point of it. Robert wanted to show the reader that these cliche people really do exist!

And finally, Robert ended with a little of his homespun wisdom on various subjects from comic books, parenting, grocery shopping while hungry, Reality TV, and today’s hero’s for our kids to politics and human nature.

You gotta read this book! It’s warm and friendly, and funny and every point he makes will make you go “Yeah, I’ve always thought that too!”  It’s a feel good book in which we can all commiserate about the funny nature of our fellow human beings.

Thanks, Robert (he goes by The Hook on his blog You’ve Been Hooked) for a very entertaining time!

Oh, and for a Canadian, he’s all right in my eyes!

:)

You’ve Been Hooked
The Book of Terrible

Pathways to  Illumination by Christy Birmingham

Just released and available exclusively at Redmund Productions.

This book is a collection of honest and fresh moments in the journey of a woman starting with her having been seduced into a toxic relationship and ending with her independent, happy, extricated and enlightened

The author uses original and contemporary metaphors to take us with her on her journey to enlightenment. Like little bytes of life. Birmingham steers clear of the trite in favor of multidimensional and crisp imagery and language.

Some of the poems are strong and short, packing a powerful punch. One of my favorites is

“Moments

Moments on top of moments

Shatter

CrumblePTICover

Dance

Chase

Choose

And so we layer them like blankets

And huddle close for warmth,

While we look around for safety pins

And other ways to manage the moment.

…”

And in

“MY SHADOW

While I wrestle

Expertly woven words

Ripe and ready for picking.

…”

the author parlays masterful metaphors with awesome alliteration, both of which make you want to feel the words roll off your tongue. Good poetry delights when spoken.

I am taken by her sensual use of comfort memories (“pruning my skin” in the bath) to that very experience.

I have always been tickled by the phrase “expiry date” and enjoyed her whimsical use of it in “When Life Entered Me”.

Overall, I found this to be a very pleasant read on a soft spring afternoon. I was rooting for the protagonist from the very start. By the end, I found myself smiling bigger and deeper smiles. While it has to be somewhat introspective, it still felt like moments, experiences, emotions that were very familiar to me, and included me, though I’m sure our lives have taken very different paths. It mattered to me, while reading it, whether these poems were born of personal experience or imagination.  Wonderful to find they rose from both.

A cathartic, informative picture of what a toxic relationship can do to us, it serves as both as a wakeup call to avoid such things, as well as a healthy path to disengage from them.

Highly recommended reading!

A beautiful book of moving and intelligent poetry.

This book, by Christy Birmingham, will be available Monday, 15Jul13, exclusively at Redmund Pro.

Trust me, this woman can write some powerful poetry!

C is for… Christy Birmingham
P is for… Pathways to Illumination
R is for… Redmund Productions

Get the book HERE.

R is for… RUMSPRINGE

Day 18 of the April 2013 AtoZ Challenge… enjoy…

I may have forgotten to mention my theme – it is fractals, fractal art, everything fractal up to and including my new book Fractal Dreams! Have a look around my pages and such to see lots more fractals. Also, every Friday I post a FridayFractalFeature (fff, for short) for all to enjoy! Thanks for stopping by and engaging in the A to Z 2013 Challenge! This is my FIRST ever, so I’m pretty excited! So every day I will post a fractal whose title starts with the letter of the day… and perhaps other things fractal related.

R is for….
the fractal for R is: Rumspringe

RUMSPRINGE

RUMSPRINGE

Rumspringe is in my book, Fractal Dreams, which is available exclusively at RedmundPro.

Check out all my art at the following galleries:
RedBubble
DeviantArt

#fractals #AtoZChallenge #bloghop

Disclaimer: I am NOT a mathematician, so please forgive the uneducated tone of my definitions. I am an artist, so I try to explain the math of fractals to the best of my (limited)  ability.

Don’t forget to check out some of these other excellent AtoZChallenge participants:
Liz Blackmore: Writing Challenges
Pass the Sour Cream
Arlee Bird: Tossing it Out
Margaret Almon: Margaret Almon Mosaics
Rhonda: Laugh Quotes

 

… is exactly what I had while reading KILLING US SOFTLY, by Red Dwyer. This is a powerful book with a powerful message. I encourage you to read it. However, you should know it IS intense…
and compelling…

REVIEW:
Killing Us Softly
By Red Dwyer
See this book and many others at Redmund Pro

I resisted reading this book at first. Why? For the same reasons we prefer not to discuss our wills, our pre and post death wishes. It sounds depressing. I’ve never had the experience, so I don’t need guidance. These are all the reasons a child will give, and it was the child in me speaking.
I don’t foresee this being something for which I need prepare. And I felt I would be making myself depressed and sad by reading about this woman’s experience as the spouse of a cancer victim.
But from the preface forward, I have felt nothing but enlightened and supported. It has become less important whether or not I’ll “need” this to prepare for similar such life events of my own.
I honestly don’t think I have read a more intelligent and straightforward book of any sort, in any genre. There is a peer (educated) to peer (educatable) dialogue going on between the author and the reader. And somehow, she had the strength and foresight to put into words every aspect of such a life changer as a spouse dying from cancer. I can’t imagine I would ever be able to think of all the things she has, that indeed need attention and decisions. Until I was already in the eye of the storm such an event would bring to my life and those who are a part of my life. Such a time is clearly not the best time to be rational and think critically. Even if I have read the book, I know there will be things defined or spoken of here that may not even cross my mind. So I will keep it for reference. Should the need arise.
But that mattered not, as I measured my progress through this calm, collected journey, related with the best perspectives one could hope for. There are many reasons for that. First, the author is as articulate and thorough as anyone I’ve known in discussing the ins and outs of this particular subject. She has done her research. But it’s more than that. She has the gene that calls her to share her experiences, not for the purpose of sympathy, but to teach, to guide. I have no doubt the author is an old soul, one who has witnessed far more than this woman could ever have in her lifetime now. And with that perspective and objectivity, she is a most capable educator, counselor – labels that go far beyond the role this book can have in the specific situation she writes of in “Killing Us Softly”.
Succinct and complete. There is no fluff. This is the real meat of the subject and she is telling it straight. When the author reminds us to question the medical professionals, especially when their attitude is condescending, or tired of your questions, it makes my shoulders a little straighter, I sit higher and remember how important it is to always come from my center. That place of strength that I have nurtured and fed. That I trust will keep me at my best in times of great stress or pain.
As she explains at the start, this IS so comprehensive because she had the presence of mind to document all of the issues she discusses as they happened or came to mind. I think there are very few of us with that kind of dedication, passion and purpose.
This book is intense and powerful. It is not for everyone. If you are a casual reader looking for a light read, read something else. However, if you are looking for a straight up experience being the surviving spouse of a cancer victim, I highly recommend this book. Or, perhaps if you are a student of human nature, the resilience, the struggles, everyday stuff, compounded by a very emotional situation, this book is for you. “Killing Us Softly” lifted my soul with the realization that we are stronger than we realize, but we must be smart about how we cope. This book can certainly be most helpful in that undertaking.
This book is probably best read in small bits, perhaps a chapter or two at a time. It is organized so well, that by perusing the table of contents, one can find just the situation that the reader might be struggling with now. Perhaps it is learning how to handle the medical professionals. They are knowledgeable, but they are not the ones who must make the decisions. Or perhaps it is the well-meaning relatives and friends, who also might think they know what’s best for you and your mate, child, cancer victim. When undergoing the great trauma, the emotional roller coaster of end stage, we may not be best able to make objective decisions that are best for all. So preparation is key. And knowing what to expect helps keep some of the surprise, and its relative frustration, elements to a minimum.
Finally, the author brings us back with her to her current life, a couple years removed from the raw nature of her emotions and fears and dreams she guides us through within the book. So we understand there is life after cancer. And with guidance and help, any one of us can get through to the other side, as did she.

M3: Writer’s Spotlight: RE-Red

R is for… Red
D is for… Dwyer
K is for KILLING US SOFTLY

Whether then or now, whether right or wrong, whether won or lost, many have given their lives for their country and beliefs. We, the fortunate, enjoy the fruits of your sacrifice. We shall not forget.

… the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…

ARMISTICE DAY FIELD OF REMEMBRANCE

HONOR

ARMISTICE DAY

ARMISTICE DAY

Armistice Day American Troops in France (AP)

RELATED / SOURCES

http://seanlinnane.blogspot.com/2010/11/armistice-day-remembrance-day-veterans_11.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2008/nov/11/firstworldwar#/?picture=339561577&index=15

http://usflagstore.blogspot.com/2011/11/armistice-day-what-peace-looks-like.html

A is for… Armistice
R is for… Remembrance
V is for… Veterans

David Rakoff… RIP

(NSFW)!!!

Today is a good day for remembering…

RIP, Mr Rakoff… Thanks for the memories…

RELATED:
Huffington Post: “Saying Goodbye to One of My Favorite Writers

Boston.com: “David Rakoff, humorist with a cynical view

NY Times, Arts Beat: “A Storyteller Who Laughed at the World and Himself

NPR: “There Is No Answer At to Why Me

Open Culture: “David Rakoff Reads Personal Story…

Amazon: David Rakoff

Related:
Recollection of Memorabilia

Whole Earth Blog:

CNN

NASA

USA Today

NPR

Such experiments could perhaps lead to new discoveries about treating such things as depression and different approaches to behavioral issues like ADD or ADHD.

Ain’t science amazing!!

and a galactic bonus today:

source:
HuffPost: Science
Chandra X-ray Observatory: A Pinwheel in Many Colors

Filed under:
L is for… (laughter)
S is for … (Science)
R is for… (rats)
T is for… (tickling)
M is for… Messier 101

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