Related to: 'Walking with Angels'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Psychic Case Files

Tony Stockwell
Authors:
Tony Stockwell

Missing persons, mystery suicides, haunted houses and murder...Tony Stockwell is regularly asked by victims of crime and their families, to use his psychic powers to help investigate cases, often criminal, that have not yielded to conventional methods. In this fascinating collection, he opens his case files, including: "Suicide or Murder?" in which, at the request of a family, Tony investigates the death of a young boy who was killed in an apparent suicide, which Tony believes involved foul play. In "Missing Children", two children mysteriously disappear while their mother's back is turned. Years later, Tony reads for her and finds a clue to their whereabouts...And many more...This is a treasure trove for anyone who is interested in the realm beyond our own.

Yellow Kite

Embracing Eternity

Tony Stockwell
Authors:
Tony Stockwell
Yellow Kite

Spirited

Tony Stockwell
Authors:
Tony Stockwell

Andy Cope

Andy describes himself as an author, happiness expert, qualified teacher and learning junkie. He has spent 10 years researching 'positive psychology' culminating in a 'PhD in Happiness' from Loughborough University. He has developed a series of keynotes and courses centreing on themes of happiness and flourishing, which he delivers in businesses and schools across the world. Andy has written several best-selling personal development books, including The Art of Being Brilliant, and is also a best-selling children's author. His Spy Dog series has enjoyed huge global success.

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.He has been featured widely in international press, appearing in Vogue, NYT, FT, Entrepreneur, Men's Health and Esquire, to name but a few. He also makes regular appearances on TV and online, having been featured on BBC, Dr Oz, Netflix and TED.Andy currently lives in Venice, California, with his wife Lucinda.

Annie Kagan

Annie Kagan began writing songs at the age of fourteen. At fifteen she was signed by a producer from Columbia Records. At sixteen she was performing in New York City cafes and clubs. After ten years as a songwriter and performer Annie returned to college, graduating with honours and became a Doctor of Chiropractic with a successful private practice on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Attracted to Eastern spiritual traditions, Annie studied yoga and pursued an intense meditation practice. Following her inner voice, she left her career as a doctor and abandoned her hectic city life in search of serenity in a small house by the bay on the tip of Long Island.Annie returned to songwriting, collaborating with Grammy and Emmy award-winning producer Brian Keane. Brian's high regard for her lyrcis inspired Annie to join a writers' workshop. While Annie was writing her first novel, her brother Billy died unexpectedly and began speaking to her from the afterlife.She is excited to bring together her talents as a lyricist, performer and healer in order to touch the lives of others with Billy's communications from the other side.

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet is an essayist, novelist and translator. He is the author of Thinking in Numbers, Embracing the Wide Sky, and the Sunday Times bestseller Born On A Blue Day. Tammet is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He lives in Paris.

Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Since 1995 he has lived in Vancouver, Canada.Eckhart Tolle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) which is widely regarded as one of the most influential spiritual books of our time.Eckhart's profound yet simple teachings have already helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.Eckhart is a sought-after public speaker and teaches and travels extensively throughout the world. Most of the teachings are given in English, but occasionally Eckhart also gives talks in German and Spanish. In addition to The Power of Now, Eckhart has written a book designed for meditative reading entitled Stillness Speaks. A book consisting of selections from The Power of Now is also available, entitled Practicing the Power of Now.

Emily Rapp

A former Fulbright scholar and graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon and Slate among other pubblications. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a James A. Michener Fellowship at the University of Texas-Austin, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence fellowship at Bucknell University. She is currently professor of creative writing and literature at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a faculty member in the University of California-Riverside MFA Program. For more information on Emily, visit her website, http://emilyrapp.com.

Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds is a journalist specialising in mental health, technology, science and feminism, writing for WIRED, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and VICE among others. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her early twenties, and since then has been raising awareness and supporting other young people with mental health issues. She also co-founded the Words by Women Awards in 2016.

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is one of the most influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She's the author of many books, including the New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, in more than 35 languages; and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has an award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.gretchenrubin.com twitter | facebook | instagram

Jonathan Hoban

Jonathan Hoban is an Integrative Psychotherapist and Founding Director of central London practice Creative Counselling London Ltd. Born in Wimbledon in 1975, Jonathan spent his formative years walking with family and friends in the green spaces of Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. Jonathan trained to be a counsellor after he received personal therapy and reaped the benefits from it. His gratitude arising from the process led him to want to help others in the same way mental health professionals had guided and helped him. He has since developed techniques, philosophies and methods to help clients reconnect with their sense of power, confidence and intuition.Jonathan developed the concept of what he and others refer to as 'Walking Therapy' as an alternative method of therapy, and then went on to launch his 'Walking Therapy London' practice in 2014. His work has been featured in print, digital, and broadcast media in outlets including the BBC London News, The Telegraph, The Independent, Readers' Digest, Stylist Magazine, Stella Magazine, You Magazine, The Daily Mail, Women's Health, BACP Therapy Today Magazine, and Contemporary Psychotherapy.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Marian Green

Marian Green (born 1944) is a British author who has been working in the fields of magic, witchcraft and the Western Mysteries since the early 1960s. She founded and continued to organise the Quest Conference held every year in the UK and has edited the magazine Quest since founding it in 1970. She created the Green Circle, a network of magicians and pagans in 1982.She was previously a council member of the Pagan Federation and the editor of Pagan Dawn.Green runs residential and non-residential weekends and correspondence courses through the Invisible College, which she founded. She is the author of over 20 books. Her manuals are widely used in the witchcraft community.

Mooji

Mooji (Anthony Paul Moo-Young) was born in Jamaica in 1954. As a teenager he moved to London, where he later worked as a street portrait artist and then as an art teacher in the local college. In 1987, an encounter with a Christian mystic inspired Mooji to 'walk out of his life' - an expression he uses to convey the profundity of that meeting. In 1983, Mooji travelled to India, where seemingly by chance, he met his Master, Sri HWL Poonja, or Papaji, as he is affectionately known by his devotees. At Papaji's feet, whatever still remained of an active ego was finally uprooted. Recognising Mooji's radiance, people from various parts of the world soon began to approach him to simply sit in his presence and to ask questions regarding their search for Truth. The capactity to guide them arose spontaneously in him. While Mooji's presence exudes compassion and devotion, his unity with Truth is also potently shared through self-inquiry, the unsparing light of wisom which dispels the delusions and suffering common to human experiencing. In his direct and open interactions, each one who meets Mooji with a genuine urge for freedom is pulled by his profound unconditional love and the power of his pointings into the recognition of the infinite Self we already are. Mooji continues to share Satsang worldwide with all who yearn to discover their true nature.

Noble Smith

Noble Smith is an award-winning playwright, video game writer and author of the fantasy novella Stolen from Gypsies. He is the former media director of an international human rights foundation where he served as executive producer of feature-length documentaries, including the highly praised 'Protagonist' and 'Neither Memory Nor Magic' (featuring the voice of Viggo Mortensen). Noble has been a Tolkien devotee since childhood, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

Padraig O'Morain

Padraig O'Morain has practised mindfulness for 25 years and taught mindfulness for more than a decade. He runs workshops in his native Ireland where the inspiration for this book was sparked by an encounter with a very busy woman who took 4 years to get to one of his courses (and still had to dash to a meeting in the middle of it) and who has since reported that mindfulness changed her life - for the better.

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1988 to 1997, he taught at the University of Virginia. An award-winning teacher and researcher, he worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the Alice project.

Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker, New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 3 million books in print, came storming into the UK market in 2008. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil. Visit Ted Dekker's website at www.teddekker.com and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/teddekker and follow him on Twitter @TedDekker

The Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exiled religious and temporal leader of Tibet and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, is recognised internationally as a spiritual leader and statesman. He lives in Dharamsala, India. Nicholas Vreeland has been a practicing Tibetan Buddhist monk since 1985, when he was ordained by the Dalai Lama. Since 1998 he has been the Director of the Tibet Center.