In Celebration of Friendship

Have you ever been moved or changed by a friend? I know I have. I’ve written before of the blessing it was (and remains) to know Chris Thomas. Our nightly chats about George Harrison and the other Beatles, and many more unconventional aspects of life brought great joy to my days.

My life is no memorial to her, but I live the way I do in part thanks to her example of how to face difficult circumstances. Tomorrow would be her 48th birthday, and although I will mark it in my own way, I thought it might be nice to spearhead something that others could take part in.

Without further ado, I present the ‘Birthday Love Blast for Chris‘. One simple random act of kindness is all it takes to be part of this event. It doesn’t have to be grand, and truly random acts of kindness often aren’t.

Feel free to spread the word among your connections on Facebook and Twitter (preferably using the hashtag #LoveBlast4Chris) and let’s get as many people as possible involved to spread the joy of friendship and love.

Chris stands beside John Lennon's piano in England, c.1982

15-year-old Chris stands beside John Lennon’s piano in England, c.1982

Latest review of Stones in the Road

My inbox has been full of surprises over the last couple of days. In March I submitted a Review Request to The Online Book Club so that they could take a look over Stones in the Road  and potentially help me reach a new audience. 

I wasn’t sure how long this would take, especially seeing as I could not provide any traditional purchase outlets. I informed the owner of the site about this, and he assured me that I would be fine. I duly submitted my book information without purchase links as he suggested. It wasn’t long before a reviewer expressed an interest, and today the review was posted on the website. 

3/4* – not too shabby, in my opinion. 

If you’re interested, you can check out the review here

Remember that you can still purchase Stones in the Road from the Publications link above. Just £1.50 a copy, with all proceeds going to METAvivor. If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, you can also add it to your Goodreads library. 

Thank you for your support. 

Twice Upon A Time is now available!

Twice Upon a Time

Dear friends,

I hope you are well. I am very excited to report that Twice Upon a Time, the new anthology from Kind of a Hurricane Press, is now available. Huffman’s collection features ‘What Expensive Teeth You Have’, my quirky take on Little Red Riding Hood. Rather than a sweet, innocent little girl, Red Riding Hood has become a contemporary teenager with all the attitude that entails.

You can click through to Amazon by clicking on the image above to purchase a copy of the book, or a digital version is available from the Kind of a Hurricane Press bookstore.

Hope you enjoy the story, and all the others that you’ll get as well.

Take care,

Casey

Speaking My Truth

Sorry for my silence here – it’s been a little hectic behind the scenes.

A couple of months ago, I discovered Ignite Cardiff. The first talk I watched was by Christina Thatcher, on the subject of writing about grief. Whilst reading up on the concept of Ignite Cardiff on Twitter, I discovered another talk. Claire Greaves, mental health advocate and Huffington Post writer, was talking about her experience of anorexia.

‘Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Sufferers can die from malnutrition, heart failure and suicide.’

I heard those words, and they stopped me in my tracks. That was when I turned the video off for the first time. Too many memories, few of them good. I didn’t think I’d be able to watch it again.

However, I decided to continue to follow Claire’s work, and duly discovered her articles for the Huffington Post. Within a few weeks, I heard that Claire had launched a project entitled ‘How Are You? Honestly!’ which aims to turn ‘How are you?’ back into a question, with an answer, rather than a greeting.

From the first, I understood exactly why Claire is doing this, and the importance of the project. I’m guilty of ‘I’m fine.’ So, I threw my support behind her as much as I could, and I’m delighted to say that the post with ‘nearly 5000 honest words’ went live yesterday.

Head over and check it out – and don’t forget to tell Claire I sent you. 🙂

https://mentalillnesstalk.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/how-are-you-honestly-the-campaign/

I’m already looking forward to ‘How Are You? Honestly!’ 2016.

Cause For Celebration

Celebration

The past few weeks have not been without challenges, first on an emotional level, and subsequently on a physical level. Although it is no excuse, I hope that goes some way towards explaining the silence here.

I have been taking some time to attend to my feelings by working with Megan Devine, through her 30 day Writing Your Grief e-course. This continues to be a very beneficial practice, as it has allowed me to think through aspects of my grief I had previously been reluctant to explore in any depth.

Thanks to the variety provided by the prompts and the safety of the framework, I am able to spend a little time throughout each day directly exploring how I am feeling.

This was my gift to myself after the loss of Fred. Other gifts have emerged from past losses, and one of these bore fruit today.

Five years ago, Lauren Muscarella approached me and asked whether I would contribute an article to her Trauma2Art project. At the time, inspired by Muscarella, I had just founded Navigating Cyberloss, a site dedicated to providing support for individuals grieving the loss of online friends. I jumped at the opportunity to work with Lauren to craft my story into something that might interest her audience, and bring attention to the topic that I came to call ‘cyberloss’.

My article told the story of my friendship with an Argentinian woman who loved George Harrison’s music just as much as I do, if not more. Chris Thomas taught me a lot about life and the best way to face difficulties. ‘Dealing With The Loss of an Online Friendship’, which appears in Alice’s Law: Honouring Lost Loved Ones and Finding Deeper Meaning, released today, marks my first attempt to put what Chris taught me about life and love into words.

You can find out more about Muscarella’s book, and order your copy here. It was an honour to be involved with the project, and also to be asked to provide an advance review. Alice’s Law is a testament to what it means to live wholly after loss, and make a path through the broken pieces.

If you wish to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/alices-law-honoring-finding-meaning/dp/193928841X

Have you ever found support through loss from alternative means? Will you be buying a copy of Alice’s LawHonouring Lost Loved Ones and Finding Deeper Meaning? Let’s talk in the comments. 

Microblog Monday: New Adventures

Today, I’m linking up with Microblog Mondays to share at least one new post this week. Find out more here.

I know things have been quiet around here. I’ve not been writing as much as I would like, but I remain hopeful that I will return to regular writing soon. I’m excited to share something that’s happening next week, though. In seven years of dealing with loss, I’ve found writing to be one of the most helpful things. So, I’ve started a local group for people who want to do just that.

PeaceThroughWordsposter

I’m looking forward to both providing a platform and exploring my own feelings in a new environment. Wish me luck!

I look forward to sharing a new Faber Quickfic piece on Friday.

Community News

It feels like I haven’t written in a lifetime. Ideas have come and gone faster than I could catch them. I’ve been filling the days that are no longer full of words with community building.

I’ve learned hard lessons in four years of online presence about community building – I think this time I’m getting close to having cracked it, though.

Why? Today, this happened!

200 likes200 fans on my little Facebook page. Something I never imagined would happen, if I’m honest.

Looking forward to the day when the words flow more freely, so that I can create more to share with you.

Until then, you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to see what I’m enjoying online at the moment.