Related to: '100 Ways to Be As Happy As Your Dog'

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

100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

From the bestselling author of One Hundred Ways For a Cat To Train Its Human comes a new guide on how to improve your own life by learning from your cat.Content, living in the moment, finding pleasure in small things - your cat knows exactly how to get the best out of life. So let your cat be your guru as Celia Haddon shows in 100 ways how adopting their outlook can lead to our own happiness. Stretch out, relax, find a warm spot - and enjoy purrfection.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Joy of Cats

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Anyone who lives with a cat will know of that strange and mysterious bond that grows between human and animal and which can bring such joy and fulfilment. Cats make houses into homes, heal stress and provide fun and entertainment. In this exquisitely produced anthology, drawn from the writing of cat lovers through the ages, Celia Haddon offers a testimony and a tribute to that unique and rewarding relationship between humans and their feline companions in which cats, in their utmost complexity, remain among us, but not of us. Above all, she reminds us of the truth of why cats matter.

Hodder & Stoughton

The First Ever English Olimpick Games

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Quirky and funny, while also being a serious account, this entertaining little paperback takes a historical event, THE FIRST EVER OLIMPICK GAMES, and looks at what it reveals about life in England in the seventeenth century: the history, monarchy, religion and politics. In a delightful manner, Celia Haddon tells the story of an incongruous mix: a Cotswold field and the Olympic Games and so brings history to life in a direct, readable and enjoyable way.The founder of the games, Robert Dover, was a lawyer and 'the Great Inventor and Champion of English Olimpicks'. He had the support of James l who had himself written about suitable, manly sport, partly in answer to the Puritans who thought all games led to sin and sex. From the start Dover's games were a political, as well as a sporting, statement.The Civil War put an end to the games. They were revived by Charles ll and continued into the 19th century when a Victorian Puritan vicar put an end to them on the grounds of licentious behaviour. Today they are still held - but as a shadow of their former glory.

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Secret Thoughts Cats have about Humans

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon
Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Find Its Inner Kitten

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Purrfect ways to understand the meaning of your inner kittenhood and humans, ­ the dysfunctional species that stifle your inner kitten joy.Finding your inner kitten is about finding serenity and peace. It's never too late, at any age, to have a happy kittenhood. The secret of this lies in your ability to integrate and transform your experiences with an inferior species, humans.Stop relying on humans to fulfill your physical, emotional and inner-kitten needs. You must take responsibility for your own welfare. Humans are emotionally inadequate. They cannot understand the purradigm of the cat-human partnership. Humans expect lifelong loyalty and love, failing to understand that this is the human part of the relationship. Their inevitable disappointment warps the relationship.Bowls of food are no substitute for proper hunting. The hard wired instinct to eye, stalk, pounce, tear off feathers and eat prey is unused and the inner kitten is unfulfilled.Catnip mice are no substitute for real mice. Humans enjoy playing with them. We cats do not recognise them as mice though we will occasionally join in this silly human game ­ out of sheer good manners. Don't miss Celia Haddon's new book, 100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat, a guide on how to improve your life by learning from your cat.

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train Its Human

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

At last, the handbook all you cool cats have been waiting for! One hundred easy ways to discover the joys of a purrfectly obedient human.Though humans cannot speak cat, they vocalise repeatedly. Most of their vocalisations are meaningless and can be completely ignored.In urban areas, fun can be got from hunting human objects such as mink stoles or old underpants. For some reason this kind of prey is usually greeted with human laughter.To get a male human off an armchair, jump on the back of it, hold down his head with a firm paw and lick his bald patch.Purring right into the ear is one of the kindest ways to tell a human being that it is time to get out of bed.Don't miss Celia Haddon's new book, 100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat - your guide on how to improve your life by learning from your cat!

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways to Say I Love You

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Adam Hills

Adam Hills is an Australian comedian and television presenter. Alongside his stand-up, he is known in Australia for hosting the music and quiz show Spicks and Specks and the talk show Adam Hills Tonight. His combination of positive uplifting comedy and spontaneity has seen him receive a number of awards and glowing reviews along the way. In 2012, he hosted a one-off series for Channel 4 airing over 2012 London Paralympics called The Last Leg. Now in its 12th series, the show is one of the most popular shows in the UK. This is his first book.

Al Murray

Al Murray is one of the most recognisable and successful comics in the UK with his alter-ego, The Pub Landlord. He has had two previous bestselling books, The Pub Landlord's Book of British Common Sense and The Pub Landlord Says Think Yourself British.Al's Britiish Comedy Award Winning ITV1 series Al Murray's Happy Hour has delighted both viewers and critics alike with his no nonsense treatment of his celebrity guests. Al's sitcom Time Gentlemen Please (Sky One) has become something of a modern day cult classic and his series, Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder (ITV1) saw him introduce a whole host of new characters and demonstrate his vast comedic range.Al has also released six best selling live DVDs My Gaff, My Rules, Glass of White Wine For The Lady, Giving it Both Barrels, Live At The Palladium, The Beautiful British Tour and Barrel of Fun.Al is back in May 2011 with a brand new eight part TV quiz show Al Murray's Compete for the Meat, showing on Dave. So get your brains ready with The Pub Landlord's Great British Pub Quiz Book, out now.Al's huge stand-up tours have made him one of the most popular live comedy acts in the country, with sell out shows including the O2 Arena. He won the Perrier Award (after a record four successive nominations) and secured Olivier Award nominations for both of his celebrated sell-out West End runs.

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Bob Fischer

Bob Fischer is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy fan who has previously enjoyed careers as a record shop owner, a solo singer-songwriter and a short-lived Elvis impersonator (one gig). He now works as a radio presenter for BBC Tees, a job that has seen him spill tea over Jack Charlton's antique fireplace and sing on a UK Top 10 hit single ('Bunsen Burner' by John Otway, No 9 in October 2002). Bob has also won a prestigious Sony Radio Award . . . just a bronze though, so don't get too excited. Bob has dabbled with writing before, but Wiffle Lever To Full! is the first major project he's ever actually finished. Or, indeed, started. He lives near Middlesbrough with a tall girlfriend who thinks old-school Doctor Who is 'rubbish', and a medium-sized dog that doesn't mind the Jon Pertwee era, but if pressed would admit to preferring Blake's 7.

Camilla Morton

Camilla Morton was attending fashion shows long before she was invited. She studied at St Martin's and worked on Vogue. She moved to Paris to polish her look, rather than her French, and worked for John Galliano at Dior. She has written for the Times, Telegraph magazine, Harpers Bazaar and Time, among others. Her first book, HOW TO WALK IN HIGH HEELS, has been translated into seventeen languages.

Celia Haddon

Celia Haddon is a bestselling anthologist whose books have sold well over 1,000,000 copies worldwide. She was the Daily Telegraph's pet agony aunt and is a reputed lover and worshipper of cats, having lived with them and loved them since she was a child. She has compiled a number of anthologies in their honour. She is also compiler of the best-selling One Hundred Ways series and a qualified cat behaviourist.

Chambers

Chambers is one of the world's most respected dictionary publishers, appealing particularly to word lovers and those who revel in all the quirks of the English language. Its extensive list of innovative language and reference titles includes the renowned Brewer's list of endlessly browsable dictionaries of phrase and fable, and covers English-language dictionaries and thesauruses for every level of user from school to crossword fan, from English learner to student of slang. Meticulously researched and expertly written, the highly acclaimed Chambers range has been at the forefront of presenting knowledge and learning in an engaging and accessible way since it was first established in the 19th century.

Christian Vieler

Christian Vieler is a photographer and journalist. He lives in Germany.

David Bramwell

David is the creator of the bestselling Cheeky Guides and author of travel memoir The No9 Bus to Utopia, ("packed with wisdom, humour and pathos." Tom Hodgkinson, Idler), which has since evolved into an award-winning one man show, Radio 3 documentary and TEDx talk. David is a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 and has made programs on subjects ranging from time travel to Ivor Cutler. In 2011 he won a Sony Silver Award for The Haunted Moustache. He is a regular contributor to Ernest Journal, co-hosts the Odditorium podcast and has written books on alcohol and hard words for Harper Collins. "A remarkable storyteller." (Radio Times).

Gervase Phinn

Dr Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, educational consultant and visiting professor of education. For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector - time that has provided much source material for his books. He has four grown up children and four grandchildren and lives near Doncaster. Visit Gervase's website, www.gervase-phinn.com.

James Bowen

James Bowen is the author of the bestselling A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB. He found Bob the cat in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.

Jessi Klein

JESSI KLEIN is the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and an executive producer of Comedy Central's critically acclaimed series Inside Amy Schumer. She's also written for Amazon's Transparent as well as Saturday Night Live. She has been featured on the popular storytelling series The Moth, and has been a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! She's been published in Esquire and Cosmopolitan, and has had her own half-hour Comedy Central stand-up special.twitter.com/jessirklein

Jo Tinsley

Jo is the editor and publisher of Ernest Journal, an awardwinning digital and printed magazine for the curious and adventurous. It is a guide for those who appreciate true craftsmanship, slow adventure and eccentric history. She worked on the launch team for Countryfile magazine, launched and edited Pretty Nostalgic magazine and co-authored Wild Guide: Devon, Cornwall and South West. She writes regularly for Countryfile, The Simple Things,The Guardian, Independent and greentraveller.co.uk. She has hosted Bristol's Biggest Indoor Picnic and collaborated on events at Wilderness Festival, Port Eliot and Eroica Britannia.