Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Competition to win a copy of: Rascals Sing at The Opera House

The memory of being in the choir at Primary School inspired my children's book:

I remember being in the choir at primary school and looking forward to our school competing in the singing festival. I happily went to choir practice every Saturday morning for months, but then one day we were all asked to sing the scales individually. Our class teacher and the music teacher said someone was singing out of tune.  I was so nervous when it came to my turn to sing that I did sing out of tune. I was immediately banned from the choir, but after seeing my pouty face, the kind music teacher must have felt sorry for me. He decided to let me stay in the choir, but only if I promised to mime during the festival and all through choir practice. I still went to practice every Saturday, but I didn't always mime. I loved singing and would sometimes get carried away and sing out loud, to the frustration of the two teachers. My voice was checked again and I was allowed once more to sing, but a few weeks later I was told to mime again. The music teacher couldn't understand why sometimes I sang okay and other times I sang dreadful. I was still allowed to go to the singing festival as long as I promised to mime when we were on the stage.

Of course, I did mime, but was later scolded by my female class teacher for wobbling my head about too much and opening my mouth too wide. LOL. I told her that I was going to be an actress when I grew up. Not impressed, she pressed her lips together and rolled her eyes at me.

After that concert, I was never able to sing a note in tune, ever. My confidence was gone. But I still love to sing and do all the time. Needless to say I often get things thrown at me or people walk away with their fingers in their ears. Maybe the reason my voice went bad was because before this photo was taken, I had had an operation to remove my tonsils, but was later to find they were growing back and I had to have another operation. Or maybe my confidence to sing just disappeared into thin air. Who knows, but something good happened because of it all. I'm a positive thinker and this experience and memory inspired me to write the children's book:

Now, for a competition. The first person who guesses which child in the photo above is me, will win e a free copy of Rascals Sing at The Opera House, either a paperback, or an eBook if they prefer.

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Me and Her, A Memoir of Madness by Karen Tyrrell

My 5*****Star Review of:  Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness by Australian author, Karen Tyrrell


Once I started reading Karen Tyrrell's story I couldn't put it down. What a brave woman to write a memoir of her mental illness and forced hospitalisation. That takes courage. From what I gather, people experiencing mania are enjoying it and don't think they need help. This memoir gives an insight into the mind of the author, while she's experiencing mania and how she felt about her husband's intervention. Not only will this book help people with bipolar, it will also help their family, friends and colleagues. Though Karen was ill in most of the story, her husband and kids suffered too. Maybe even as much as she did as it went on for a few years. My heart went out to her husband, who was battling a long-term illness of his own as well as caring for his family. What a wonderful man. I hope this book will help to stop discrimination against people with a mental illness. This story story shows they can be productive and determined people as well as being artistic.

Though the story was sad, I laughed a lot while reading it. Karen Tyrrell is a funny lady. I don't know if she was trying to be funny, but some of her thoughts had me in stiches, not to mention her antics and sneaky ways of finding out things. She'd make a great detective. Though she wrote her notes while ill, she knew she wanted to be a writer. The real Karen was in there for the ride too and she wasn't letting anyone stop her from writing. After reading this book, anyone with a loved one suffering from mania would better understand that not all of the things that the patient is doing is part of the illness. The healthy person is still there with goals that are attainable. I love the way she worked out why this happened to her and her determination to publish her memoir. She wrote about her mania, or hyper-mania, but she didn't mention having a deep depression or suicidal thoughts like I've heard can happen with bipolar, though she did suffer from insomnia, anxiety and stress, and did have Post Natal depression years before. Maybe her husband got her the medical help she needed before a deep depression set in.

There's so much information in this book for anyone suffering bipolar disorder. And their families will have a guide of what to do, which is great because it would be hard getting someone suffering from mania to willingly go to a mental health hospital. Karen Tyrell is a genius and I'm sure her story will save many lives. I'd give this book ten stars if I could, but I'm only allowed five. Keep writing, Karen Tyrrell!

To purchase this amazing book on Amazon go: Here

To go to Karen Tyrrell's website go: Here