#Throwback Thursday: Chasing Daylight byEugene O’Kelley

 

Approaching death, doing it in style

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chasing Daylight is the honest, touching, and ultimately inspirational memoir of former KPMG CEO Eugene O’Kelley, completed in the three-and-a-half months between his diagnosis with brain cancer and his death in September 2005. Its haunting yet extraordinarily hopeful voice reminds us to embrace the fragile, fleeting moments of our lives-the brief time we have with our family, our friends, and even ourselves. This paperback edition features a new foreword by his wife, Corinne O’Kelley and a readers’ group guide and questions.

“Voicing universal truths . . . shared . . . simply and clearly.”-Janet Malin, New York Times

“Words to live by.”-Kerry Hannon, USA Today

“One of the most unexpected and touching books you’re likely to read this year.”-Edward Nawotka, Bloomberg News

“An honest, thought-provoking memoir . . . O’Kelly has many lessons to teach us on how to live.”-Steve Powers, Houston Chronicle

“[A] well-written and movingbook.”-TheEconomist.com

Our Review for Chasing daylight

I have been reading a beautifully written and thought provoking book this week, called, ‘Chasing Daylight’ by Eugene O’kelly. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, for all sorts of reasons.

For a start, it is all about how he handled the fact that he had only months to live following the discovery of several brain tumours.  I thought it might be hard going, considering I almost died from a heart attack myself two years ago, and still feel I am on borrowed time sometimes.

I started to read, pleased to discover that he handled the news well, that he was determined to die with dignity… all very profound and somewhat comforting to me. He goes on to describe how  he said a pleasant ‘goodbye’ to all his hundreds of friends, and I found myself looking back at my own life. At what I had achieved, and what I hadn’t, and how many people’s lives I had touched.

Three quarters of the way through the book I began to feel sad – not for him, but for me.
You see, I know now for sure that my life has not been that exciting or profound. Too much heartbreak and disasters for a start.
I have been a loner for most of my life, which will probably be a good thing, as there won’t be masses of people saddened by my passing.

That’s if I decide to go (I am still undecided about that!)

Dylan Thomas once said that he would ‘rage against the dying of the light’ and I agree with him, as I still feel there is something I haven’t done or achieved yet, but there is still time!
Time to think about all the things I still want to do, or see, or achieve. ‘Never too late’ is fast becoming a mantra and I wonder what will happen next?

There is a lot to be said for dying suddenly. No time to worry about it or try to plan it, neither of which is very desirable. Mr O’kelly learned to meditate and unwind using water, something I have been doing all my life. Rivers, waterfalls, the sea, all have a deep profound effect on me. The only thing that does, actually.

So, ‘Chasing Daylight’ was sad but uplifting in a way. The fact that his illness was painless was a blessing and to be desired by all of us, and possibly what stops this book becoming a harrowing reading experience…

No Wings… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

No Wings

Did Heaven send you

When the sky broke?

Did the angels let you fall?

Did I catch you in time

To see your wings unfurl?

Did the light blind me

Mangling my thoughts

From a time before?

When sound had meaning

Words spoken held true

A time when spells

Were written on the wind

To change the fate of those outside

When Knights rode on white horses

And maidens changed their fate

With a token hidden beneath his sleeve

Of silk and lace

A whisper of hidden promises

Should the Knight be bold and win the day

The lady’s hand would be his to take

No knight’s ride is planned today

It is only I that stands in your way

With a token held, my promise sealed

Within a ring of gold…

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#Jaye’s Journal: January Week Two

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The New Year and the new month were slipping past me at an alarming rate, as I suffered the throes of one of the worst colds flu I can remember having and I was becoming more and more depressed.

I wasn’t doing anything, couldn’t think straight and I suddenly realised just how close to despair I was getting.

I was having small moments of pull yourself together girl and quite a few just have a look at the WIP… but nothing was working. Two weeks of solid inactivity, but it felt like an eternity.

Every now and then, I would have a day when I seemed better and the head would clear, only to be extinguished when the paracetamol wore off, leaving me a pathetic sniveling heap again. It wasn’t just the aching joints, headache and streaming nose, it had affected my eyesight too and I really didn’t need that to deteriorate too. The cataracts were doing a grand job of that!

I have been trying to keep on top of the emails and other small jobs, but anything else didn’t bear thinking about.

But that was the thing, I had been doing a lot of thinking. Not enough, obviously, to get me doing anything creative but at least the grey matter was trying to function. My WIP was beginning to haunt me. I knew it was a mess, with different piles of pages depending on what I was researching at the time and somehow never tidied up. Before I could move in any direction, I would have to sort through the entire 60.000 words and put them in working order.

And this morning, that was what I did. The germs have retreated enough to allow a little get up and go to creep back into my life, and I now have a working copy of my manuscript.

Yay!

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#Wordle 385 #Poetry

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Cardboard cut-out

The prophecy spoke of changes, strange times ahead

Of a girl with monochrome eyes, shades of black and white

I immediately thought of a mixed up yin and yang

I read the text three times, underlined before the week ends

With no idea who sent it, I dismissed it

My mind retained the thought of such strange eyes

I barely slept that night.

How can my mind slip in and out of dreams so fast?

So many black and white movies

As I moved from one to the other

There was no interaction, which was strange for me

I felt invisible.

The last dream before waking

There she stood on the clean white sand, blue seas behind her

The sun setting, walking towards me

A black and white cut out, shining through a heat haze

I felt as though I looked through strange glasses

This last dream stayed with me all the way to the store

I needed coffee

There she stood outside with yin and yang eyes

My cardboard cut-out

Advertising a new black and white barley twist

She wasn’t there yesterday, so who had sent the text?

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Our Review for Don’t Touch by Barb Taub #ScienceFiction/Fantasy @barbtaub

 

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Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it.
Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family “gift.” Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between.
Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by a monster who feeds on children’s fear. But it’s their own inner demons they must defeat first.

 

Our Review

Lette wakes up on her thirteenth birthday and inherits a terrible problem.

A problem she neither wants nor needs.

Despite the seriousness of her plight, I was impressed by her sense of humour and the way she gets to grip with her often distressing problem.

Don’t Touch is, without doubt, a fascinating, delightful read. Extremely well written, I read it in one sitting. I followed Lette eagerly as she sought a solution, surprised by her ingenuity. Such an unusual story had me laughing at times, sad at others and I loved the romantic entanglements too.

I must confess, I loved George, the cat! Such a character, he tried his best to put a normal slant on Lette’s far from normal life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Don’t Touch and can heartily recommend it.

 

Excerpt

“I was having a terrific dream that Rag was carrying me into my bedroom. The bed dipped as he lay down next to me, and I could smell cinnamon and lemon. More, I wanted more, so I scooted closer and stuck my nose into his neck. I felt his hands move down my back and realized… Not a dream.

My eyes flew open, and my head shot up.“Ow!”

He was holding his hands over his bleeding nose and yelling and laughing at the same time.

“Raguel?” I asked cautiously. When he nodded, I ran for a wet washcloth. The bleeding had stopped by the time I got back, but he eyed me warily.

“Are you still mad at me, Lette?”

“I was asleep, you stupid ex-angel.”

 “Um… Is this one of those boundary things?”

I gently wiped the blood from his face. “That depends.”

He took the cloth and wiped his hands. “On what?”

 I sat down on the bed and said in the most serious voice I’d ever used with him, “On why you left. And why you came back.”

He sat next to me and took both of my gloved hands. “I left because I saw what you were willing to go through to save Stefan. And then I heard you tell him you loved him. There were so many times I wanted to call you and argue like we used to but I kept remembering you telling Stefan you loved him.”

I started to protest but he put a finger over my mouth and continued. “Oh, and there might have been some cellphone smashing. I couldn’t stand the thought of riding on the Metro, so when a friend in France needed my help for several weeks I went without a phone or laptop. I only came back because Stefan sent a message through Poppy. He said that you were just friends. And that I was a shit for making you cry.”

“I don’t cry.”

He wiped the tears from my cheeks. “I know. And I am a shit. But that’s not the amazing part.” He kissed me, and in about a nanosecond I completely forgot what we were talking about. I might have also forgotten my name. I’m pretty sure I moaned a complaint when he pulled back to continue talking. It wasn’t fair. How come he could still talk?”

 

Biography

In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them consulting with her occasional co-author/daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.

 

Best Review

Georgia Rose

5.0 out of 5 stars

Perceptive and witty, I can’t begin to tell you how entertaining this book is…

Until now I had viewed the Null City books from a bit of a distance thinking that I don’t really do fantasy, let along urban fantasy – whatever that may mean – and I’m certainly not YA so these can’t be for me. Right? Wrong…how wrong could I be? I was hooked from the moment I read this:-

‘Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it.’

Lette (short for Roulette, fabulous name!) is our heroine here and she has a pretty tough time from the moment she hits 13 and inherits the family ‘gift’ where whatever she touches each day changes form. Some days this is great, diamond rings and opals appear alongside cup cakes for example, on other days life becomes precarious when her touch causes things to levitate or explode. Lette learns to cope. She wears vinyl gloves all the time to protect others and isolates herself to live alone. Stefan arrives in her life one day encouraging her to come with him to Null City where they can live a normal life. Stefan, you see, has his own family legacy he is trying to escape from and for a brief time Lette is able to experience the blossoming of a romance. The ‘cure’ of Null City doesn’t go to plan for Lette and she has to move on making another contact with Rag, an ex-angel with boundary issues, along the way.

I can’t begin to tell you how entertaining this book is. I’ve loved Taub’s writing on her blog for a while now, it’s perceptive and witty and this book is no different. A strong, beautiful heroine (who doesn’t see herself as that) with a superpower that is both humorous and heart-breaking, an original story, handsome hero’s with their own tragic pasts, a hopeful but ultimately doomed romance and plenty of action…oh and there’s an evil cat, George, …what more could you want in a book!

 

 

The Good Witch… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

 

The Good Witch

She had a problem parking her broomstick

A witch in training, a candle spell for love she can do

Yet more was needed, this she knew

Our world in shadow, dark thoughts abound

This is why she is here today

Her past forgotten, her mind a blank

Her only thought is of today

How to blow the shadows away

To leave this world as it should be

With love and laughter, with rainbows bright

Where children play out at night

All harm dispelled by magic new

A witch in training, her wish made just for you…

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Ancient Evil…

New Year, New Feature: a Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt

 

This is our first contribution for Diana Wallace Peach new monthly word prompt Challenge! This is truly an awe inspiring image…

 

 

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Image by Stefan Keller

 

 

Ancient Evil…

The frozen face of a still white moon

Hung against the starless sky

Remembering Zolon crouched below

His hand clenched on ancient evil

Where men were swallowed

Bones crushed by ice white teeth…

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The Clock… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

The Clock

Time that never ends

Ticking, beating out a rhythm

That endless noise they say is silence

My ears bleed, my mind screams

Trying to remember

The clock has blood on its hands

I am outside looking in

I hear bones breaking, flesh yielding

I cannot write such dark passages

Of a love gone bad

The look of peace on her face

Happy to be gone from this life

That look haunts me

Did love, mercy guide my hand in this?

Did I take the life I love so well?

The sickness changed the one I knew

The shell left behind

No longer holds the love

That held me to her

That ticking clock has beat its last rhythm

As I lay down beside her

I hear the ticking clock no more…

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