Tag Archives: inspiration

Little Acts of Kindness

Last Wednesday I was having lunch with a colleague when I was given the opportunity to witness an extraordinary interaction. At the table across from me sat an older man and his granddaughter who seemed about school age. There’s nothing unusual in this. I’m sure there are lots of Grandads out there who spend time with their grandchildren. What was particularly noticeable about this pair was how willing they both were to use that quality time they had.

“Mum might get back tonight,” he said to her. “That’ll be nice, won’t it?”

The little girl smiled. Her eyes were filled with adoration for him. “It will,” she agreed.

As they ate their meal they discussed their days. She was telling him what she learned in school. He told her what he had been doing in the garden and what activities he had planned for them when they got home. Again, I know many of you are reading this thinking, ‘that’s nice Alison but what’s so unusual about it?’ Well the minute they sat down the Grandad stuffed his phone away in his pocket and it was never removed again throughout the duration. Not once did his interest wane in what the child was telling him.

In a world where the use of social media is making us more and more distant from real life connections it was nice to see that there are still some people who make a point of spending time

with loved ones. It’s too simple nowadays to pick up the phone and check Facebook or Twitter to see what’s happening, even when you have real life people in front of you. I am quite a frequent people spotter as I’m sure you can gather from this little anecdote but nowadays people spend such a great deal of time in a virtual world, no one seems to take time to view what’s around them. I’m guilty of it myself. Travelling from Edinburgh to Inverness via train gives you a lot of chances to see some of the beauty that Scotland has to offer but the entire journey all I am likely to see is my news feed or emails.

That man and his grandchild gave me some food for thought. Spend some ‘real’ time with your family and friends. Enjoy the wonders that your surrounding have to behold. Social Media is a marvel in making the world such a connected place but remember that nothing can ever replace the true interactions with your loved ones.

Vivika is author of thriller novels and graphic novels. She is also founder of the RAGDOLLS UK FOUNDATION  which supports girls and women with TURNERS SYNDROME.

To check out titles in the Shady City series click below:

Click HERE to join music teacher, Vincent, as he takes on his most difficult pupil yet in MAESTRO. 

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Click HERE to join artist, David, as he tries to salvage his fading reputation in the community with a new MUSE.

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Combating the Negativity

Being a writer can be a dream come true for most people. For many it can also be a nightmare. The very nature of the craft means that we are baring ourselves to public scrutiny and it won’t always be good. For some, this just comes as part of what to expect. However, it worries me that there are up and coming authors who have exciting, vibrant and much loved stories but the badgering they receive before they have even left the ground has put them off. There is nothing more tragic than a story that will never be told.

It does take a very thick skin to succeed as a writer but what chance do up and coming authors have when they are shot down at first attempt? All I can say to my fellow writers who are starting out is don’t give up. Don’t let the negativity of others stop you. There will be readers who don’t like your book – that is unfortunate but all art forms are subjective. There will always be people who are just deliberately going out their way to be mean. The new digital age seems to have given them a platform to vent their poison to a wider audience. It is easier said than done but ignore them and let your writing speak for itself.

It’s a very true statement that an author can have one hundred great reviews but it is that one nasty one that will resonate with them. It is also true that people are more likely to be spurred into action (in this case writing a review) if they are feeling bad about it. How can you combat that? Trust in your own skill. Trust that you have written the book that you wanted to write. The rest will fall into place.

One thing that is also very upsetting to see is that authors (of various levels) are putting other authors down. The life is hard and alienating enough without us turning on each other. Why do that? Jealousy is the easy conclusion. They don’t like that someone else has written a book. There is no need to be jealous. The world is such a big place. There are so many different stories to tell and different ways of telling it. There is plenty of room in this world for all of us.

Support your authors. We are a large community but if you embrace it I’m sure you will see we are also a very loving one.

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