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Revamp of my first two books

A post of few words, simply to introduce a relaunch of my first two books.

First book jacket     Second book jacket

Inspirational books that leads to self-development, life transformation and healing. Mind, body and spirit, reflection on life, family issues and karma.

Available now on amazon UK and US at cheaper prices. Featured on kindle, createspace and now on extended platforms of online books shops etc.. My third book on health will be out by the end of October. Excerpts/introductions for all three, are found under ‘categories’ or ‘recent posts.’ Will be grateful for any reviews, if you happen to buy one of my books.

Thanks for viewing. Many blessings 🙂

P.S. If anyone sees strange adverts at the bottom of my posts, they are not mine. Somehow the managers of wordpress allows for some adverts to appear on peoples’ posts, which we are not able to control. Something we have to tolerate as part of this free service.

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Substantiating the journey of my first two books

I started writing some years back as a therapy, which gradually turned into my first book renamed ‘Assigned From Beyond.’ At the time, I felt like a pregnant mother about to give birth, as it was as though I would explode with the myriad of past impressions, that were haunting my mind like adverts on a film reel. It all descended on me like a burst dam and all I could do, was to keep writing whatever came through and trusting that flow. I didn’t judge myself in the process, as that’s one of the worst things a writer can do. I find that it creates subtle mental blockages. When I satiated all that needed to be expelled from within me, I began to fine tune it all. It was by no means an easy journey, as I was extremely trammeled by various external factors as well.

By the time I reached a place where I was approaching different publishers, who mostly of course,  compensated my painstaking effort with endless rejection letters or exacting fees towards publishing my work, I by then, felled victim to a harrowing problem with my head. This naturally, suspended any further literary engagements for a good few years in which, what I experienced unequaled hell; unable to walk, unable to speak. It didn’t help matters, when in the midst of all this turmoil, my 13 years relationship ended, as my partner walked out on me to find someone else, soon after.

I literally crawled myself back into a state of activity, as my surroundings didn’t allow me to simply get well. Shooting down the moon, I finally ended up composing my second manuscript renamed ‘Fate’s Mantra’ again as a coping mechanism to deal with all the traumas and what wasn’t far from PTSD.

Reliving the past, I attempted several publishers who rewarded me with practically the same responses as I initially encountered with the first manuscript. By this time, I resigned any further endeavours towards the publishing industry, which assumed itself to be Goliath and I, David.

I began to fully concentrate what was left of my debilitated energy into getting well, when finally, I was offered a publishing contract; albeit it wasn’t the type of publisher I had envisioned, which was why a year later, I excused myself from the company and self-published. One has to start from somewhere, even if that place presents itself with attributes that are modest, not to put too fine a point on it. The other option is to keep trying, if you have the mental and physical resources to do so. A fellow writer’s first book was rejected 78 times until he later won a prestigious award, after which his sales rocketed overnight.

Having authored two books under such excruciating and incredulous circumstances, I forgive myself for any imperfections that the reader’s eyes may catch. I had to do it all myself, with limited and challenged faculties. But I did it with the idea, that essence is more important than form, when one is faced with such intractable situations. I did my best and that’s all anyone can do, really. 

Lorem ipsum “Neither is there anyone who loves, pursues or desires pain itself because it is pain”.

My last words for any new writer:

Just take the first step and pen down a few words at a time about what you believe in. Chances are, others will believe in it too. Not everyone will like or compliment your work, as that’s just the nature of the world. You cannot please everyone. Never judge yourself as you are writing. Trust what is coming through, as you can always go back to proofing your work when you’ve completed what you’ve set out to do. Be patient with yourself, because it takes time and perseverance to accomplish anything.

It’s good to have a dream, but keep it realistic. Don’t write to become the next millionaire author, because it’s very unlikely many of us ever will. But simply write because it’s what you love to do. If it’s meant to be published, that will take its own natural course. You just do the work and the rest will unfold in time. When you’ve reached thus far as to start approaching publishers (if you don’t take the self-publishing route), never start doubting your ability to write, because of rejection letters. Try not to take it personal and do remember to inquire if publishers charge an author fee. 

I can’t stress enough to have someone other than yourself, (preferably someone with a good acumen of the English language) looking at your finished draft. You would have to be that exceptional a writer, to spot your own flaws and mistakes. Keep going; you never know where the journey will take you.

All the very best on your journey and wishing you all success 🙂

Please see my post called ‘Thank you all,’ and my other post on writing called ‘writer’s block.’

First book jacket    Second book jacket

Available on amazon dot com, UK and US. Also now on kindle, expanded platforms etc.

– excerpts of each found to the right of my page under ‘Categories’ and an introduction to my completed third book, under ‘recent posts.’ This will be out by the end of September.

My author page on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/thenovelist

An excerpt from ‘Fate’s Mantra.’

An excerpt from chapter 11 below picture…

My second book, now available on amazon UK and US and will be on kindle, expanded platforms etc in a few weeks.

Second book jacket

…We returned to Calcutta from where we got directions, to instead go to Sikkim in the Himalayan mountains, where Tibet borders to the North. We had a temporary stopover in Siliguri at our sister temple, better called a Matha, normally having an āśrama, phonetics Ashram attached, for hosting primarily, monks, though times have changed.

We were already at the foothills of the Himalayas and the gateway to North East India. The Matha was in need of financial support and therefore had little to offer. I was in need of a shower and had to accept pouring water on my body next to the Matha, under a  makeshift shower cabin of aluminium sheets, nailed to erected posts. I was practically starving for want of something proper to eat, but had to eat fruits, as there were no place suited for cooking something hot. The simple food of the Matha was too spicy for my stomach. We had to therefore leave very quickly, the next few days after.

In the hired van to Sikkim, we realised halfway in the journey that the driver had been drinking  alcohol, when the vehicle almost tilted off a baleful cliff, overlooking sharp stones and rocks, lying alongside a river. Sitting in the front of course, my partner could smell the breath of the driver, as he leaned next to him when the van tilted. Furious, he freaked out on the partly inebriated fellow, whose eyes were indeed red from having had however many gulps of alcohol. I started praying for my life, as we couldn’t stop in the middle of nowhere on the mountain to take another transport, which infrequently ran in that direction.

The weather was very chilly when we finally arrived. Although trying to escape the socially depraved areas to be in more mode of goodness and freshness of the Himalayas, where we landed, wasn’t any much better from what we had left behind. Hilly and very wanting, it fell into the same category. We spent the few weeks watching an entertainment network to cope with the uncomfortable coldness, as I continued to get electrical shocks from the immersion heater placed in a bucket  of water to have a shower.

Not every place I had to cook, as when we viewed the kitchen facilities in the Hotel we stayed, like we habitually had to do on previous occasions, it was clean enough to have a hot meal from. Here I learnt about the benefit of LSD, a yoga pose to aid digestion, by lying left-side-down without sleeping, to take the pressure off the liver for twenty minutes after eating. I had a few Sikkimese dresses made and walked about a little in the village, but the excitement being a little too much in such a rainy, damp area, we returned to Calcutta with a much sober driver.

Our next terminus was Jagannātha Puri, on the Bay of Bengal. Sitting by the roadside as we made our way to catch our train, was an elderly Indian gentleman, chanting on his  japa mala and wearing the same neck beads as ours. He called us over to ask who we were and where we were heading off to. He soon revealed that he was a qualified palm reader and subsequently, looked at our palms. He told me to chant more and that we should stay no more than two weeks in Puri. We couldn’t get to ask him why, as our train was about to leave. We gave him some donation and left to catch our ride.

Arriving in Puri dhāma, another holy place, we were greeted with a statement written  on the side of the Hotel we tried to book ourselves into. The ingenious interpretation of  the English vocabulary read, ‘these bicycles, for tourist permission only. If you taking, you will be pay for!!’ Beside which, a security guard in brown uniform stood, wearing  typical flip-flops and holding a stick, watching over the bicycles stacked up against the wall. A case of  ‘if you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice, does not notice you.’ Therefore, why bother noticing, such a notice.

Again, moving from one Hotel to another, because of the uncontrolled speech of my partner, thinking it was his duty to educate others towards the mode of goodness, had us making more enemies than friends. We eventually got a Hotel directly opposite the beach. In one swelter, the forceful waves almost broke my spine and pull me into the ocean.

On another occasion on the same stretch of sand near the beach, I was buying green coconut water, locally called daab. The unsatisfied seller, started chasing me on the beach. Holding a machete in her swarthy skinny hands and looking like a witch, with unkempt  hair swaying in the breeze, she speedily walked towards me, as I was going back to where my partner was basking in the sun. I started running and she too picked up speed after me, until I was rescued by a few English speaking locals who deflected her lunatic advances, shouting at her to go back to her hovel.

Trying to find yet another Hotel from where we were, to be directly on the beach front, I had to avert my eyes from a raunchy couple in a room, a concierge thought was vacant  for us to stay. All three of us, suddenly enveloped in a morally awkward moment, when our six eye balls fell on a tourist, engaging in graphic ‘horizontal jogging.’ The shy concierge could disintegrate into thin air from embarrassment. Nothing sacred anymore in the holy dhāma and practically under the nose of the famous Jagannātha Puri Temple.

It was our sign, or rather mine, to leave at the end of the two weeks warning, that had been playing on my mind, when my partner left me waiting near the main road, under a mango tree to get a transport. Already shell socked as I was, a being, having a distorted face without any hands and only one foot, moved towards me on a crutch. Frightened out of   my wits to see him suddenly appear from nowhere, I almost wet myself. We eventually managed to put some money, afterwards, in his shirt pocket and left…

The synopsis from my first book

My first book renamed ‘Assigned From Beyond’ is my true life story, written in the third person with a sense of humour.It’s about my 18 years growing up in Jamaica and how I perceived life back then. I wrote it for my own therapy and hope that in some way, others can relate to aspects of it. You may view the synopsis here below:

Assigned From Beyond

Synopsis

Unfolding during the early Eighties in a remote village of Jamaica, this true life-story depicts a little girl’s heartfelt dilemma. Out of place and unable to fit in with the too predictable scenario of her friends and family members, Allison, the protagonist, grows introspective and becomes almost autistic.

Interwoven with vividly authentic dialogues, each sequence in this psychological drama is tempered with a sense of humour, satirically shedding light even upon the darkest times in her early life. Instead of the usual joys of childhood, the vulnerable girl is never allowed any time to relax or be playful, but has to satisfy with the void of her longings for a proper human life, continuously bombarded with a huge volume of tasks. Somehow, she manages to keep both her faith and sense of self, in spite of growing up in such an unhealthy atmosphere.

The story strings together a garland of seemingly unrelated incidents of the child’s innumerable calamities, adding to her already strained relationship with the antagonist, her harsh and insensitive father, Frank, who constantly dishes out his corporal punishments, cleverly camouflaged as discipline. With his military background, he carries on an inveterate inheritance of hatred, not just of his family but also toward his own self; gradually manifesting as the adversary of his own daughter on the battlefield called home, wherein his frustrated wife Joan appears to remain distantly involved in the troublesome upbringing of their only daughter.

Allison finds herself drowning in an ocean of suffering, tossed and turned by the forceful waves of woe, made worse by her parents’ lack of care and attention, even to her basic needs. On top of this deprivation, her father seems to go out of his way to impress upon her that, as the only girl in the family she is a most unwelcome burden. Appearing as the black sheep, she feels without hope of ending her destiny of despair, so heavily conditioned by an unfortunate and stigmatising birth.

Stereotyped and enslaved by typical yet unfounded speculations, none of the members of the family help in solidifying her sense of belonging. Impelled from deep within to fulfill the intense yearnings of her heart, she ponders about the quality of her own life and that of other beings; her mind remaining full of questions to which no one, whether young or old, can provide fully satisfying answers. In her personal quest to live in truth, Allison clearly sees through both her immediate and extended family’s mindless following of outdated traditions, based on their more or less conscious choice to misread and misinterpret religious scripture, just to maintain the status quo.

Isolated and devoid of even one true friend, Allison seeks solace in the bosom of Mother Nature, resorting to comfort herself with the company of her pets and other animals with whom she forms deep emotional bonds, sympathetic to the predicament of suffering their karma of captivity.

Impoverished in more ways than one and constantly at loggerheads with each other, her parents fail to notice that their only girl-child is growing up, not just physically but indeed emotionally undernourished. Consequently, when not experiencing a gross type of suffering, Allison is left coldly and plainly ignored. Even when falling prey to numerous illnesses, she knows it is only in a matter of life and death that she will be taken to the local doctors. Up against this mistreatment and faced with an apparently endless stream of adversities, the teenager rapidly runs out of coping skills, reaching the peak of her justified anger.

Wishing to break her mental chains and seriously contemplating to physically reciprocate with her father’s unrighteous ways, the traumatised girl prepares herself to embark upon a courageous journey, to finally leave behind the overgrown wilderness of all that negativity.

Dreaming about escaping to London where her concerned uncle Ivan lives, she hopes against hope that Providence will somehow permit her the escape, as Ivan becomes increasingly aware of her shelterless situation and eventually agrees to sponsor his niece to a new life there.

Eventually, the moment of truth arises, whether Frank has enough sense and parental care to allow the teenager to leave the family behind. Predictably, he maintains his unsympathetic disposition. By the will of Providence, he finally agrees to her needing his urgent cooperation. Spurred on by a rumour that a group of local thugs are planning to molest the young lady by carrying out a gang-rape, Frank makes the necessary arrangements, however grudgingly, for his daughter’s speedy send-off from the tropical island, into a new chapter of her unpredictable life in the United Kingdom.