Tag Archive | Book

In A Nutshell…

in a nutshell

Book, Starting Again, New beginning

When you think it’s done, that’s actually the time to start doing it.

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When I call Your Name…

Support, Love, Community, Together, Encouragement

As I write this post, the song from ‘Like A Prayer’ by Madonna hums in my head, except that I change it from ‘when you call my name,’ to ‘when I call your name.’

Indeed, it’s a prayer when we beseech others and they attend to us through the kindness of their hearts. Last week, I sent out an SOS post requesting for support from all of you to help me with pushing my new book ‘Unbridled’ and indeed I heard your voices.

Many of you responded with advice, tips, offers, reblogs, featuring and I am working slowly through the list of things to do. I am so thankful for the outpouring of support. I am down on my knees and bless God for being in the midst of the blessings of this community.

Indeed, your voice takes me higher. I am grateful and think of an African proverb that says ‘when relatives help each other, the community grows stronger.’ You are my relatives.

Below is a snippet of review from Aspen Book Tree Reviews

First, I do want to say that some of the poems may be triggering for those recovering from abuse.

Second, I want to say, this is beautiful poetry.

The free verse is strong, descriptive, haunting, lovely.  Jacqueline paints with her words. like an artist.

This is no Monet, this is a Helen Frankenthaler with her bold marks and colors.  There is a section which is written in relation to abuse and some of it is very dark.   Darkness is gut wrenching at times, but the light of hope that shines through is blinding.

My heart agonizes for the girl who has lived through excruciating torment.  But the woman she has become?  She is an Amazon; a warrior of her own heart.

I am very moved by Jacqueline’s words.  I already have my favorites and it’s amazing how Jacqueline reaches in and I feel the warmth.  The last 20 poems are exquisite and delightful.

I give this book a high recommendation, for yourself, for a friend… maybe for an Amazon you know.

Thank you, Jacqueline.  You are amazing.

To Purchase ‘Unbridled.’

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Before I dabbled into photography, I never knew that I would find such delight standing behind the lens instead of in front of them. It almost feels like a meditative prayer capturing images. It simply feeds my eye’s and my soul. Jacqueline

Hibiscus Flower, Bud, Bloom, Photography, Photo Quotes

Life is teaching me that I don’t need expensive treats to find deep satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from the cheap little thrills of life like a beautiful day, the happy laughter of a child, a pretty flower, a meaningful conversation, a well-deserved cup of brew, a good read etc.

There were times that it was hard to feel satisfaction. Times when raw pain made me wonder if the bleakness would ever lift off, but through writing, I find unquantifiable satisfaction.

It, therefore, goes as no surprise to say that seeing my books in print gives me pure pleasure.

My Latest Literary Accomplishment

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Every Little Step I Take – personal

Life, Gratitude, Higher Calling, Goals, Aspirations

The ring tone of the mobile cut into my reflection. I was just coming to the end of my evening walk. Answering the unknown number, her sweet Indian accented voice carried through and in a voice that I will place at 26 years, she chirpily informed me, Ms. Jacqueline, blah, blah, yadda, yadda… unfortunately, due to our employment policy, we can’t offer you the coveted position of events Manager since you are above 35 and too antiquated in my 4o’s (okay, I added this bit about antiquated).

Well, that gave me pause for mere minutes as I trudged up the bridge in front of me but the greatest emotion that I realized was that of relief that flooded me. An odd emotion I must say. I’ll analyze it later.

Let me give you a brief background. This is the latest venture in my attempt to find full-time gainful employment. One of the greatest challenges of being an accompanying spouse or should I say spice is the ‘not having a defined career and dependency on your spouse for periods of time that might cause discomfort.’

You could spend the better part of the time/if not all the time spent abroad searching for something suitable in the form of employment and yes, you learn frugality to the last letter y.

Except when one is up and pushing like I have to do each day – searching for freelance opportunities that come far and few in-between or occupying myself with things that enlarge my scope in the pursuit of my dreams to be a successful writer – one would probably end up a frustrated, emotional bag of chocolate cookie eating monster.

Over the years I’ve learnt to manage on what we can afford and sometimes squeeze out a bit for some side attractions but not having a strong earning power (yet) has stunted some things that I seek to do for myself.

If truth be told, my major interest for seeking this job is to earn in order to fund some self-development life-coaching programs that I want to attend and to save up to return to school next year without burdening my husband whose plate is full right now.

In my head, I was already trying to see how I would fit the job around my life that’s surprisingly full without a 9-5 job and was feeling somewhat stressed at the thought. Now, this explains my odd sense of relief when they informed me that they would rather seek a person with perkier body parts than mine, irrespective of the wealth of experience that I have to bring on board.

As a matter of fact, instead of feeling disappointed or upset about the rejection, last night I felt a deep sense of inexplicable peace and understanding. A quiet voice came to me with the verse of Jeremiah 29:11 saying:

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

By the time I went to sleep last night, I was all excited and grateful. I have no idea what lies before me, but I know deep inside me that God’s plans over my life are exceedingly bountiful.

I woke up this morning and quickly checked my emails. A notification I saw simply made me burst into tears and laughter. Tears at my foolishness and human sense of worry. Laughter at the beautiful surprise.

Gift and Gratitude

A voice said to me, go back to the work that you are doing. Go back and finish the book that has been dropped in your heart to write. It’s a book on ‘finding wisdom and purpose.’

The interesting thing is that I never had a plan to write such a book. I have novels that I am working on, but ever since the instruction to write this book came to me late last year, it has not allowed me much sleep and has taken precedence over the novels. I am several days behind due to neglecting it during my trip, but all things being equal, it will be ready by March.

All that I can say is that even when things are not looking the way we want them in our human eyes, keep your eye’s looking up. Be grateful for the much that you’ve been given, for out of it shall abundance flow.

To the sister who gave me this surprising gift, may your circle of blessings never run dry. May laughter fill your mouth and may praise remain your portion.

Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

Meet Mick Canning – Story Teller, Writer and Photographer Par Excellence

I love to interact a lot with my male counterparts in this space because I glean so much from their intelligent discourse and inspiring posts. Mick has been a supportive friend in here and I appreciate his acceptance to grant us a view into his life.

Thank you,  Mick and I wish you all the best with your endeavours.

Bits About Mick 

About me? Gosh, I’m not that keen on talking about me, although I’m aware that I should be a lot better at it than I am since this is the sortportrait1 of thing I get asked at, well, interviews! A native of the UK, I’ve spent a number of years working abroad, mostly in the Middle East, and generally traveling, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. I’ve always been a bit of an artist, writing and painting on and off for most of my life, but since my first visit to India, I found that both the writing and painting has been largely focused there.

Otherwise, I make a tenuous living as an outdoor activities instructor, especially climbing, although as I get older and my back gives me more problems, I find that I am looking forward more and more to retirement from that.

I like a quiet life, which is probably why I am drawn to writing rather than, say, night clubs and politics, although the things that get me fired up are injustices. I try to avoid controversy on my blog posts, but I’m sure that it does come through at times. I do care passionately about the environment, hate all forms of discrimination and intolerance, and cannot understand why anyone of any gender or race can be considered as inferior to any others.

I try to be a positive person, but when I read the papers or hear the news it seems difficult.

A bit about my blog

I started the blog a little over a year ago, being persuaded that it was the thing to do if I was to promote the novel that I was then working on. I’m not, as I’ve mentioned already, all that keen on talking about myself, and up until recently, I’ve regarded blogs as rather narcissistic self-indulgences. While there are obviously a few like that, I’ve been delighted to discover that there are (naturally) a whole range of blogs out there and that the majority are both interesting and informative.

I had assumed, at first, that all my posts would be about my book or at least my writing, but quite quickly it seemed to morph into a mixture of posts on writing, travel, a little about my other artistic endeavours (such as painting), a few slightly political pieces, and, naturally, a few pieces about myself. This wasn’t particularly intentional, and certainly not planned that way. Naturally, some of them I was more pleased with than others, and some generated much more interest from readers than others – certainly not always the ones that I expected to! A slightly random selection:

The Mad Woman of the Hill Station

Nepal – Everest Region

And finally, a couple of months ago I published a post about why I sometimes stopped following blogs, never anticipating the huge interest it would generate:

Oh heavens, why on earth did I follow that blog?

Having been blogging now for over a year, I am now hooked on it! I think that the best thing about it, for me, is that after I had been blogging for a while, I discovered that I had become part of a community.

On staying motivated

Motivation is quite easy, actually. I usually find I have something I want to say, and a blog post is just the right length for what I want to write. In my case, somewhere around 1000 words seems adequate, which is about the length of blog post that I am also comfortable reading. Anything much longer, and I find I am put off. Perhaps this is because I also follow a lot of blogs, and to see one that is several thousand words long makes me avoid reading it. There just isn’t time!

I do keep a notebook, naturally, as all writers do. And I have maybe a dozen unfinished blog posts at any one moment, so when I feel a little stuck, I can go to one of those.

A little down but more ups

That’s a difficult one! We all have times when we feel that, despite everything, we can’t think what to write. But so far, the blogging journey has been a pretty smooth one.

As for my other writing, I think the worst thing is when I have been working on a story for a long time and I read it back and have the sudden epiphany; ‘this is complete rubbish!’

Would you encourage others to blog?

Absolutely! Next question?

A day spent with Mick

Oh dear, there’s no such thing as a typical day. If I don’t have any outdoor work, and as a freelancer that happens quite a lot, then I declare the day a writing day. This means that I begin by catching up with blogs I follow, perhaps posting a new one myself (I try to post twice a week, but it is a bit flexible!), which might take from an hour or so up until lunchtime. Afterwards, I would try to work on my novel, or perhaps on a short story, for the rest of the afternoon. I usually try to go for a walk at some point, often to try to resolve sticking points in my stories. I find I think best that way.005-1

To distract me, of course, are all those little jobs that we all have to do. Everything from housework (my wife has regular work, so I do a certain amount during the week) to shopping, and then, of course, we all have family to see. I can usually rely upon the cats to distract me regularly, too. They seem to think they should be fed at least once an hour.

The future and beyond

I’ve had the blog for just over a year, now, and am quite happy with the way it is going. Without any real effort by me, the number of followers is regularly rising and I’m not yet experiencing any difficulty thinking of topics to post about. I do have plans to add a few extra pages so that I can put in extra pictures and details on various topics, but I’m in no rush!

As for my other writing, I’m currently working on a new novel, after publishing my first one earlier this year; Making friends with the Crocodile, which is set in Northern India and explores how women are treated by society there. I’m delighted that although I have not sold a huge number of copies – it is available as a print on demand paperback as well as Kindle on Amazon, and now an e-book on Kobo – I have had some lovely and generous reviews for it. Unfortunately, the POD book is not currently available in India, but I am now speaking to an Indian publisher with a view to releasing it there in a few weeks.

My new novel is also set in India, but this time in a fictitious hill station in the Himalaya.

Thank you for hosting me today, Jacqueline.

making-friends-with-the-crocodile

My recent thoughts…

Cybernetic blonde invited me for the quote challenge and my mind drifted to African proverbs.  Thank you, Brenda 🙂1465108007692[1]

From time immemorial, proverbs have been used by elders in my place to punctuate and convey important messages during a conversation.

When I was younger and my parents or grandparents spoke in proverbs, idioms, and all the wise words, I barely understood, but as I age, I find them worth ruminating over especially when I find myself in a quandary of thoughts.

“Even the best cooking pot will not produce food when no fire is lit underneath.”

“When building a house and the nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail?”

“If you run after two Hares, you will catch neither.”

These three proverbs above reflect the thoughts that have been going through my mind of late. So let me briefly explain them.

The first is an advice to myself that even though I have all the storyline of my second book known to me until I sit down and flesh it out as I should, those ideas won’t miraculously turn into a book.

The second one has to do with some mind distractions that I’ve been having of late. So many loose ends of things to tie up and I’m using them as an excuse to digress from doing what needs to be done. It’s time to drop that tack and get serious.

Lastly, I remind myself to taper off unnecessary things and concentrate. Running after too many things at once will all make me harried and at the end of the day, nothing would have been achieved.

So, back to tapering off, tacking with the right nails and cooking up those stories.

Do you fancy a whirl at quotes? Indulge 🙂

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath