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review 2018-03-25 08:19
Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Despair - Theodore Isaac Rubin

I enjoyed reading this book and was impressed by the content, presentation of ideas and language used. Most of the ideas where familiar to me on some level, It would seem I had never thought about them as whole and their implications to me. I have always kicked myself when I made mistakes (thought this was helpful to me) and tried to hold myself to high standards.


This book is made up of four sections:

1) An Alternative to despair - is an overview of the ideas in the book.


2) Self-Hate - describes how  our high standards are really impossible standards and how we kick ourselves really hard at the moments we should be kind to ourselves. The section also discuses how this behavior is hateful to ourselves, as we should hold ourselves to realistic standard and not kick ourselves when we are down. It also explains a bit about the origins of this self hate.


3) Compassion - describes how we can be compassionate to ourselves. By first understanding ourselves better, then deciding what we want and can realistically achieve. Then directing  our energies towards these goals.


4) The destructive culture - this describes ways in which our culture(s) encourages us to ignore our humanity, we then treat ourselves in ways that are unhealthy. This encourages self-hate.


At the end you should (I did) have a better understanding of the quote at the start of the book "If one is cruel to himself, how can we expect him to be compassionate with others?"

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video 2018-01-02 14:32



01134 is a psychological horror/drama set in Japan. It’s sad. It’s strange. It’s a tad creepy in places. It’s… well, watch the book trailer and decide.

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text 2017-09-21 05:52
Tree Therapy, Indian Summer - Facebook vignettes


Tree Therapy

Most days I get ahead of the morning. I’m up and busy with the mindless tasks that paradoxically fill my mind. It’s good to be engaged, interested, anticipating the challenges and rewards of the day unfolding.


Then there are days I awake anxious and for no particular reason. I don’t indulge these moods but despite my best efforts they prevail. I become disconcerted and irritable. Little things seem difficult, difficult things seem insurmountable.


On days like these I’m more keenly aware of intolerance and bigotry, of ignorance. I despair at people’s motives and am appalled by their actions. Frustration gives way to anger, gives way to cynicism, gives way to a feeling of hopelessness.


I’m running out of optimism. I know for a fact that everything is not going to be all right.

I would surrender, but to whom? I would retreat, but to where?


Nothing constructive or creative will happen until I shake this pall of despondency. I gear up and head out.


Even as I approached them my mood begins to lift.


The Maples of Kensington. Eight stately giants – so huge, so proud, so magnificently impersonal.


These are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), the largest of the Maple family perhaps 300 years old, maybe 50 metres high. Being tightly clustered they have developed a narrow crown supported by a trunk free of branches for about half its length.


I stand beneath them, I press my palms against their bark, I take a deep breath and listen.


And they speak to me.


High in their lofty branches the leaves rush and whisper and their sound soothes and reassures. Slowly their benign energy renews my confidence and restores my vitality. The desolation passes, and I feel unburdened, at peace and prepared.





Indian Summer


The summer had inhaled
And held its breath too long*


A strange mood ascends on me as summer slowly draws to an end.


The days have a listless quality, time seems suspended. There’s a feeling of deja vu – though not of an experience, rather an emotion, a dream sense, vague and inarticulate.

It’s like a lost memory – tinged with warning.


It’s about ending – something good, something sweet and easy. It’s about something approaching – new, different, challenging. The anticipation of change sends a ripple of foreboding, but I feel resigned, accepting.


One afternoon I find myself at Trout Lake, the local swimming hole.


When I was a kid the entire family would walk here from our home on East 4th. Sometimes I’d go with my neighbourhood buddies. It was a different world then, no structured play dates, we roamed free seeking and finding adventures. Most of these people are gone now, yet standing on the shore I can hear their happy voices, catch glimpses of them splashing into the green water.


This lake was witness to many rites of passage and figures prominently in my writing. The beach is small and less crowded than I remember. The raft I nearly drowned trying to swim to is not so far. Could it possibly be sixty years since I swam here?


Suddenly I’m enveloped in a sense of longing for a phantom life that almost was, but never will be.


I run across the hot sand, splash through the shallows and dive in.


The water is cool, slightly murky, exactly as I remember it and for brief seconds it washes the years away. I kick hard, go deeper, then roll over. Up through the depths the sun sparkles, shards of diffused light. I’m eight years old until I break the surface and look back to shore.


They’re gone.


And I’m still here.




*From Coming Back to Me, written by Marty Balin,
On Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, 1967


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs



Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6HEU

Facebook https://www.facebook.com

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text 2017-09-01 06:12
01134 - book release



So, about that short story…


I started writing the idea back in December 2016 while I was passing through Kansai International Airport. I was just starting my winter vacation and was thinking about cracking on with Glade. Unfortunately, those good intentions got lost in transit and ended up somewhere else entirely (apparently, they ended up on an island passing the time playing cards with a Lost and confused manuscript). They have since returned to the wardrobe I tentatively call ‘home’, having stowed away on a passing cargo ship before hitching a ride back up to Osaka and making themselves a cup of tea.


So, while my good intentions and I parted ways, I found myself stumbling upon an idea whilst making my way through the airport. One thing led to another and I ended up with a short story.


The story is called 01134.


Life is sometimes that phone call

you wish you had never got.
That train you wished you had missed.
That person you wish you had never met.
Sometimes we take a wrong turn. We lose our way.
We slip through the cracks.
Sometimes it's our fault. Sometimes it's not.
Sometimes we are nudged, other times we are pushed,
screaming into that empty abyss.


Sometimes we just close our eyes and fall.


For Tatsuya, it may already be too late...



01134 is psychological fiction set in Japan. The blurb doesn’t really give much away, but… well, there is this fella you see… called Tatsuya… and he is in love.


Those that have read advance copies have described it as being ‘sad’ and/or ‘unsettling’. So, if you like feeling sad and/or unsettled then this is just the book for…. umm… yeah… it’s also a ‘cracking good read’, too. Honest.


There will be no separate cover reveal this time around since… well… you can probably see it on the right of your screen or at the end of this post. The woman on the cover is a singer in an up-and-coming Japanese rock band and a part-time model. I searched high and low for the look I wanted. Trust me, it’s not as easy as you would think to try to convince someone to pose for a cover shoot, least of all in Japan! Fortunately, Asuka graciously agreed to let me take some shots and, well… all I can say is that the cover looks beautiful in print.


01134 is available in digital and print from Amazon stores near and far (well, quite far).


In the meantime, here is the opening…




It’s 12:12am. The white numbers on the screen are crisp and clear in the dark. I should be asleep.


Tiredness drapes her arms around me in an attempt to draw me back beneath the covers. I try to shrug her off.


The screen on my phone dims as I wait. Time no longer ticks. It is digital now. Clinical and perfect. A constant reminder of the emptiness that flows through our quiet lives.


I blink. The screen now reads 12:13am. I let the screen darken and set the phone down on the floor by my bed. Tiredness whispers sweetly in my ear and I don’t think that I can resist her for much longer. I’m not sure I want to.


I reach out for my phone again. The screen springs to life and I type in my four-digit passcode. The screen shifts and I check my messages, hoping that perhaps I missed one. I didn’t.


I drop the phone back on the floor, lie back and close my eyes. Sleep eludes me.

I don’t sleep well. Not anymore.


Not since I killed her.


Copyright © Crispian Thurlborn 2017AVAILABLE NOW IN AMAZON STORES!

Source: wyldwoodbooks.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/01134
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review 2016-08-28 15:21
Begeisternder Reihenauftakt, der es in sich hat!
Hope & Despair, Band 1: Hoffnungsschatten - Carina Mueller



Wahre Gegensätze ziehen sich an und finden somit immer zueinander. Doch im Falle von Hope und ihren Schwestern bedeutet dieser Gegensatz und deren Aufeinandertreffen absolut nichts Gutes.


Als wahres Geschenk des Himmels wurden der amerikanischen Regierung vor siebzehn Jahren zwölf übermenschliche Babys übermittelt, als Dank für die Verheimlichung und Rettung eines damals schiffbrüchigen Ufos. Sechs Jungs und sechs Mädchen an der Zahl – die jeweils für die guten und schlechten Gefühle der Menschen stehen und diese auch beeinflussen können. Mittlerweile sind aus den damaligen Babys ehrfürchtige Jugendliche herangewachsen. Doch das Glück welches einst auf Erden kam, ist mit einer düsteren Vergangenheit überschattet. Als kleine Babys wurden sie getrennt und unter verschiedenen Voraussetzungen und Absichten großgezogen.


Währen Hope und ihre fünf Schwestern für das Gute im Menschen stehen, wurden die fünf Jungs den kriminellen Machenschaften nähergebracht und dienen der Gier nach Geld & Macht. Nun ist die Zeit der Abrechnung gekommen und für die Improbas heißt es ihre glückseligen Probas aufzuspüren und ihnen das heimzuzahlen was ihnen und den Menschen wiederfahren ist. Doch Hope gelingt die Flucht und fasst den Entschluss ihre Schwestern aus den Fängen der Improbas zu befreien. Jedoch ist es einfacher gesagt als getan, denn ihr Improba Despair ist ihr dich auf den Fersen und seine Abneigung wächst mit jeder Sekunde, die sie sich auf freien Fuße bewegt…


Meine Meinung:


Mit stetig wachsender Neugier habe ich die Rezensionen zu diesem Buch verfolgt und konnte es kaum erwarten mich selbst von der Handlung, den Protagonistin und dem Schreibstil von Carina Müller zu überzeugen. Jetzt wo ich das Buch beendet habe, kann ich nur von mir behaupten:“ Teil 2 muss her und das so schnell wie möglich!“


Die Leichtigkeit mit der die Autorin an die Handlung herangeht und den Inhalt dem Leser vermittelt hat mich total umgehauen. War anfänglich vielleicht etwas Verwirrtheit bei mir zugange bezüglich des Auseinanderhaltens der Probas und ihren Gegenspielern den Improbas, so kristallisierte sich es während der Handlung immer deutlicher heraus, wer zu wem gehört und welches Gefühl in ihm steckt. Am besten gefielen mir ganz klar die beiden Hauptprotagonisten Hope und Despair. Sie werden von der Autorin sehr detailliert und ausgeschmückt präsentiert und so kann man sich am besten in diese Beiden hineinversetzen.


Hope macht ihrem Namen wirklich alle Ehre und ich mochte sie von Beginn an. Sie strahlt mit allem was sie tut Hoffnung aus und doch hat sie auf eine angenehme Weise viele weitere Eigenschaften, die sie so liebenswert machen. Vor allem stecht jedoch neben der Hoffnung der Mut heraus, denn sie ist im Gegensatz zu ihren Schwestern sehr selbstständig, hat vom Genuss des wahren Lebens gekostet und auch die harten Seiten dessen kennengelernt.


Despair ist ihr als Gegenspieler sehr sehr ähnlich. Klar kann man behaupten, dass es auch daran liegt, dass er ihr Improba ist, aber auf gewisse Weise unterscheidet er sich dennoch von seinen Brüdern und durch diese etwas unsichere Art und Weise, wirkt er nicht nur unschlüssig, sondern strahlt auf böse Art etwas Sanftes aus.


Der Schreibstil von Carina Müller ist jung, spritzig, fesselnd und abwechslungsreich. Spielt er nicht nur mit den Gefühlen der Protagonisten und des Lesers, sondern auch im rechten Moment mit Spannung und Nervenkitzel.


Das Cover finde ich unter anderem sehr gelungen, weil es dem Leser einen Eindruck von Hope & Despair verschafft. Die Gegenüberstellung der Beiden passt zum Inhalt der Handlung und spiegelt diese in vielerlei Hinsicht somit wieder.




Ein grandioser Auftakt einer faszinierenden Reihe, die mich mit ihren außergewöhnlichen Protagonisten, einer fesselnden Handlung und einem genialen Schreibstil voll und ganz begeistern konnte!

Source: www.carlsen.de
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