Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Book Review: 50 Years in the OR: True stories f Life, Loss, and Laughter While Giving Anesthesia.


The First Book about the Unsung Heroes of the Operating Room

Ron Whitchurch has the observation, wit and insight of a modern day Mark Twain and the eyebrows and mustache to match."

— Koco Eaton, MD, ABOS, Team Physician, Tampa Bay Rays


“An extraordinary book which brilliantly and compellingly conveys the day-to-day workings of the operating room.” 

— Kevin M. Sweeney, MD, board-certified neurosurgeon, former chief of Neurosurgery of Mease hospitals in Dunedin and Clearwater, Florida


It’s a busy time for the anesthetist during surgery. Keeping a watchful eye on the patient’s vital signs and being prepared for any possibilities that might develop are an anesthetist’s prime focus. Each case is unique, whether it’s a scheduled surgery on a healthy patient, an emergency or a critical illness. They all require analytical judgments along with many skills to manage them.


Ron Whitchurch wrote this wildly entertaining book to offer a firsthand look at what happens after patients are anesthetized and what challenges the staff face in keeping them healthy and safe. 


50 Years in the OR gives readers an intimate sense of what it’s like to be the only person in the OR who knows the heartbeat-to-heartbeat status of a surgical patient at any given moment.


The Back Booth

On a cold, snowy evening in January, as we were doing a late case, a call came into the operating room from the owner of a beer tavern downtown. He wondered if our surgeon could come by the bar when he was done working and check out a patron he was worried about. The surgeon said he’d be glad to as soon as he finished the case. I told him he wasn’t going to check somebody in a bar at this time of night without me, so after the case off we went. The tavern was in the middle of downtown Bemidji, and because of the weather and the hour, nobody was out on the streets. We walked into the place and were greeted by the owner from behind the bar. He gestured toward the back, where a row of booths stood, telling us that the fellow was in the last booth on the right. When we got there, we found a thin, older man sitting upright and leaning against the back of the booth and the wall. His arms were on the table, his eyes closed, his head was cocked over to the left and a half-full glass of beer sat in front of him. He was not breathing, his face was a deep grayish-purple and he was quite obviously dead. The doctor and I both felt for a carotid or radial pulse and, of course, there was none. When we returned to the owner and announced our findings, he slapped his hand on the bar and announced loudly, “I thought so. He hasn’t ordered a beer in over an hour.” I couldn’t stand it and burst out laughing.

Unusual Delivery

One bitter-cold winter Wednesday morning, a call came into the OR that a car had just arrived in the ER with a woman in the back seat who was about to have a baby. I was working with our new lady gynecologist that day and, fortunately, we were between cases so she and I quickly rushed downstairs to the ER receiving entrance. There in the driveway was a dirty, beat-up, old four-door sedan that looked like it had been driven to the hospital through a hayfield. The driver, an unkempt young man, jumped out yelling, “Hurry, my wife’s having a baby!” We opened the back car door to the sound of a muffled groan, followed by the cry of a newborn. The doctor climbed into the car, exclaiming, “Oh, look at this beautiful little baby! What a good job you did, Mom!” The lady had pushed her baby out onto the filthy car seat which had pieces of straw lying here and there. I was with the ER nurse standing right by the open door and we noticed a hint of a barn odor coming out of the car. The doctor quickly clamped and cut the umbilical cord, then handed the baby boy out to the nurse who wrapped him in a couple of blankets and rushed him inside. With the help of two orderlies, we got Mom onto an ER cart and took her inside too. The baby went upstairs to be cleaned up in a special section of the nursery, called the “suspect nursery,” dedicated to babies born outside the hospital. Mom stayed in the ER until our doctor got the placenta delivered, then she went upstairs to be cleaned up too, since her appearance rivaled that of her husband’s. There are a lot of small rural towns in the large area surrounding Bemidji, some with a population only in the double digits. These folks had come from one of them and were part of a commune living out in the country. Mother and baby did fine and were discharged after a few days. They had one unusual request, though: They wanted to take the baby’s placenta home with them and eat it. According to what they told the nurses, it’s a very healthy way to bond with your newborn. There are even cookbooks for placentas.

Ronald Whitchurch. 50 Years in the OR: True Stories of Life, Loss, and Laughter While Giving Anesthesia

This book is an account of over thirty years in the medical field. Some stories so unbelievable that you can only think it must be true. It ranges from comical too scary to life changing moments throughout the author’s career.

With the stories you notice the changes in the medical field, how procedures have changed and become modernized. No doubt the author led an interesting life.

I found it refreshing and insightful. It gives you glimpse in this field you only see or read from a doctor’s perspective. This field though gives you new light on how far the medical profession has come and how people perceive it.

It is written with clear knowledge and understanding while the author’s writing is truthful and witty at the same time. Sharing firsthand experiences after his diagnose of multiple myeloma was truly touching. It invokes so much empathy within. God always knows what we need and when. This can be seen till the end.

I want to congratulate the author with the writing of this book. This is truly a wonderful milestone he can be proud off. May you experience continuous health in your golden years. You are blessed and highly favoured.


Editorial Review

Review From the OnlineBookClub.org

How would it feel to be a passive observer in the operating room? What if the observation lasted fifty years and involved much more than just the surgical procedures and anesthesia? 50 Years in the OR: True Stories of Life, Loss, and Laughter While Giving Anesthesia was authored by Ron Whitchurch. It is 332 pages long and was published by Loon Lake Press in 2020. The book is composed of 112 stories on different procedures and their outcomes and others outside the operating room. The author's work and extensive experience in anesthesia spanning over fifty years are evident in the book. His storytelling prowess is topnotch as well, and in this way, all readers will enjoy poring over the stories.

The introduction contained many impressive praises for the book, and my expectations were raised to a new high. I was not quite sure whether they would be met upon reading it, though. I am delighted to record that every expectation was surpassed. The author used funny titles and included humorous conversations without reducing the gravity of medical procedures. The stories reveal both pleasant and ugly experiences during Ron's practice. They describe both moments of elation following successful operations and full recoveries and the harrowing ones after the loss of a patient.

I had an opportunity to read firsthand information about the common and the strange both inside and outside the operating rooms. I enjoyed devouring the book for many reasons. The stories were organized in a way that I did not get bored following them. An impenetrable cloud of gloom would be hanging over the operating room at one time, and, before long, I would be smiling. Further, a heavy dose of humor in some stories left me chuckling. True to the commendations, the book was captivating and informative.

Why should you consider reading this book? All nurse anesthetists and those interested in the field will benefit immensely from the experience of the author. They will be introduced to many inevitable circumstances and appreciate how creativity could be applied. Ron's treatment of every patient as a distinct individual with genuine compassion will undoubtedly inspire many. For readers not in the medical field, this book will cause you to appreciate the roles the medical personnel play. There are valuable lessons on workplace injuries, alcoholism, and hygiene as well.

There is nothing I disliked about the book. The language utilized was straightforward, and complex terms and procedures were described in simple words to aid comprehensibility. Editing was also professionally done. The most unforgettable incident was where the team recognized what the problem was and knew how to treat it but were prevented from doing so. The feeling of powerlessness was almost tangible, and I could not stop wondering how the doctors and nurses were feeling.

I heartily rate the book four out of four stars. I recommend it to all health workers, especially nurses, and readers interested in operating room stories. It is unsuitable for young readers and anyone averse to gory scenes. The book also contains a few expletives.

Ron is the author of the new wildly entertaining book, 50 Years in the OR: True Stories of Life, Loss, and laughter while giving anesthesia.

Learn more about Ron, this book and some of the amazing people he’s worked with that have endorsed it at www.50yearsintheor.com.
Ron Whitchurch earned his R.N. from Abbott Hospital. He graduated from the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia and began working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in 1971. He enjoyed a long, eventful career in the OR before he retired in 2018 at age 76. Ron and his wife, Lonni, live in Florida.


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Living in Cleveland with the ghost of Joseph Stalin by Marc Sercomb



It's the summer of 1953. Calvin Jefferson Coolidge is thirteen years old when the ghost of Joseph Stalin appears to him in his Aunt Evelyn's cluttered Cleveland attic and wants to dictate his memoirs to him. "I want to tell my side of the story," Uncle Joe tells him. "They're giving me one year to set the record straight, so we need to get started right away." Calvin's life is falling apart at the seams. He's a misfit and loner whose only friends are famous dead people. He loves polka music and Westerns and sometimes wonders what it would be like to kiss a girl. His con man father is in Florida looking for his bipolar runaway mother. His cousin Buck is abducted and experimented on by aliens. The lady next door wants to coach him in the ways of love. His pastor thinks he's headed straight for Hell. His English teacher thinks he's a savant. The school psychologist wants to have him committed. His shrink thinks he's just plain nuts. Sometimes, Calvin believes it too. Everybody's trying to figure out what makes Calvin tick in this quirky, fast-paced metaphysical romp through the heart and soul of 1950's America. 

Book review

When I bought the book on a recommendation, I did not know what the word 'metaphysicalin' meant but it sounded intriguing. According to the Collins Dictionary, it means, 1. relating to or concerned with metaphysics, 2. (of a statement or theory) having the form of an empirical hypothesis, but in fact immune from empirical testing and therefore (in the view of the logical positivists) literally meaningless, 3.(popularly) abstract, abstruse, or unduly theoretical, 4. incorporeal; supernatural. After reading it, it still sounded Greek to me, but it describes the book perfectly.

Young Calvin Jefferson Coolidge—his actual name—found himself in a conundrum. A mystery so big that he could only play along and allow the events to play out. Since his parents fell into 'difficulties', young Calvin had to live with foster parents. They laid the foundation that truly helped him to navigate through the rest of the story. It gave his footing the balance to make sense of the unfolding events after his abduction. He became richer because of that. Not richer in money, but richer in people and life skills.

At thirteen years of age, he had a lot to deal with. But when he met Joseph Stalin's ghost, it became apparent why he first had to live with the preacher and his wife. Without giving away spoilers, it was clear that he became a solver of ghosts' problems. Like a magnet, historical figures drew to him, finding in him a person who they could tell their side of the story without judgement. I mean, they are after all dead.

It is indeed a metaphysicalin story that takes you on Route 66, through different states, in a mad dash where his Old Man teaches him to outwit unexpected customers from their money, phantoms in need of saving and telling a story, trained by Tolstoy which became published in a New York magazine.

The author wrote the story in first person, exploring the world through a thirteen-year-old's eyes. The characters he meets, a lively bunch that wants to teach him the ways of life through their own set of beliefs. But with the Bible as his source, it was interesting how he stayed true to the course of life. How he stayed to be logical-positive through it all was because of his strong character and own set of beliefs. An old soul trapped in a young boy is maybe the best way to describe him.

This is definitely a book for a specific reader and not something I would have picked for myself but worth the read in the end.


One day in the summer of 1953, the Old Man "sprung" me from foster care. I was playing in the front yard by myself when he showed up in a big shiny car. "Where did you get this?" I asked. "Never mind. Get in." "Wait – I need to get something." I ran into the dining room and grabbed the Bible from the table. Then I ran back outside and got in the car. "Is that all you're bringing?" the Old Man asked. "Mrs. Welles is praying upstairs. I can't get my suitcase without her seeing me." "Don't worry, kid. I'll buy you a new suitcase." We pulled away from the Welles' house and left town. The Old Man saw the Bible in my lap. "What's that?" he asked. "This… is the Word of God," I said reverently. "Oh, brother…" the Old Man shook his head. He wasn't really that old. He was only in his early thirties, and still looked pretty good. But to me, he's always been the Old Man. We drove up to Los Angeles. On the way, I told the Old Man about the Bible stories I'd been learning. I told him how Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt because they were jealous that their Old Man liked him best. Then I told him how Joseph won Pharaoh's favor by interpreting a dream for him, and how Pharaoh was so grateful that he put him second in command of all of Egypt, and how Joseph ended up saving Egypt from famine. Then I told him about Salome's dance that got King Herod all worked up and how she asked Herod for the head of John the Baptist, which was brought to her on a platter. The Old Man listened intently for mile after mile. When I was finished, he looked over at me and said, "You know, Sport, those are just stories – like fables, or myths." "What does that mean?" "Fake. They didn't really happen. That book's nothing but a bunch of fairy tales." "But Reverend Welles said they're true. Reverend Welles said that God wrote this book Himself." "Yeah, well he would, wouldn't he? That's why I came and got you, before he had time to really mess you up." "But, I like these stories." "You just listen to your Old Man on this one: you can read that book for entertainment, as long as you remember it's about as real as Peter Pan." I let the Old Man have the last word, but I still couldn't help thinking that somehow, my time with the Welleses wasn't just a mistake or accident. It was my first inkling that there might be a divine providence woven into the inscrutable tapestry of the universe. Or something like that. You can take it to the bank.

About Marc Sercomb

Marc Sercomb was born in Salinas, California. He grew up in Southern California and attended California State University, Northridge, where he studied Journalism and English Literature. He currently resides in the foothills of Los Angeles with his wife, Robin. He has been a teacher for 23 years.

He wanted to write a book about the miraculous resilience of the human spirit and the unexpected kindness of strangers and enemies during dark and dangerous times. Of "Picasso's Motorcycle" he says, "This story kind of haunted me for a while. That's how I knew I had to write it."

If you liked "The Book Thief" or "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas," you'll like this book.

More info at Marcsercomb.weebly.com

Reedsy  / Goodreads / LibraryThing / Barens and Noble / Amazon 






Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book blast and review: Keto for Life by Barbara Miller. A 28 Day Fat-Fueled Approach to Weight Loss.


First and foremost you will be given clear explanations as to what you should be eating and why, as well as, what you should not be eating and why. I believe that understanding why you keep gaining weight no matter how or what you do boils down to "what you eat." This book will provide answers to the whys plus provide wonderful satiating recipes that are laid out for you each day to make it easy. There are over 125 recipes and you do not have to worry about the right ratios of fat, proteins and carbohydrates as I did it all for you. There are no counting calories or weighing portions, just prepare, eat and enjoy! Never diet again! The low fat high carb diets are a disaster that have never worked and never will. Kick the tasteless fake foods to the curb and allow yourself to enjoy the satisfying flavors of real food. The ketogentic diet is the way humans were meant to eat. It is simply the right balance of the macronutrients, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Eating high fat foods, low to medium protein and low carbohydrates is the formula to ultimate weight-loss. This is the opposite of what our government's food pyramid tells us to do. I suffered for many years with irritable bowel syndrome, and it made my life absolutely miserable. Once I began eating the foods you will find in this book, all of my symptoms disappeared! The ketogentic diet will switch your body from burning sugar or glucose for fuel to burning fat. This process puts your body into what is known as ketosis. You will notice your energy levels stay stable throughout the day as you pull your body out of a yawn state. You should not have to spend your days with low energy, foggy thinking, and food cravings. The ketogentic lifestyle will give you back your life. In 2015 Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard, along with Dr. Dariush Mazaffarian discussed their findings regarding low fat diets in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Mazaffarian declared, "Low-fat diets have had unintended consequences, turning people away from high-fat foods and towards foods rich in added sugars, starches, and refined grains. This has helped fuel the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes in America. We really need to sing it from the rooftops that the low fat diet concept is dead. There are no health benefits to it."

Barbara J. Miller started writing romances because she was running out of reading material and all her copies of her Georgette Heyer novels were becoming dog-eared. By day she works as a business analyst; by night she runs a retirement home for aged horses, dogs and cats. On the week-ends she spends a lot of time in Regency England, creating heroes and heroines to fight the Napoleonic Wars, shock London society, and set the countryside in an uproar. Her accomplice is her computer-expert husband Don, who is one of her biggest fans.

Barb admits to enjoying the research as much as the writing, and has the books to prove it. France used to be in the dining room and England in the living room. Now that she has taken over the upper story of their old farmhouse as an office at least all the books are one floor. This saves a tremendous amount of time when she is trying to confirm an obscure fact in the middle of the night. Under the name Laurel Ames she produced eight Regency-era historicals for Harlequin, one of which was nominated for a Rita in 1994. Now, she writes as Barbara Miller. She is a member of the Western PA Chapter of Romance Writers of America and also edits The Laurel Wreath newsletter for them. You may email her at scribe@cvzoom.net.

Keto for Life is an informative book that really helped me to understand Keto. I have been considering Keto for a while now, but could never really understand the diet. But since I read this book by the author Barbara Miller, I got a good grasp on why it is not only a diet but a lifestyle. 
I struggled for years now with a wheat belly. No matter what diet I tried or how much I exercise, I do that annoyance stays there. I always feel uncomfortable in my skin, not to mention clothes, and envied the women with a flat tummy who looks amazing in an A-line dress. 
Then to learn that my growing waistline is in fact the signs of obesity it stung. But in a good way. It really gave me the knowledge and the hope that I can overcome this wheat belly once and for all. 

Each section within the book tells me in layperson's terms why sugar, wheat and grain is considered demons and why my body doesn't need it. It gives practical advice on how to approach it from day one. What to expect and how to reach my required weight and waistline. It is amazing how much they riddle our food with the wrong ingredients that give us a false sense of satisfaction when in fact it does nothing to enhance me.   

Though she writes from the American government's perspective and how they manipulated the food resources, we suffer the same lies within our countries. Asking questions and approach it with the knowledge people like the author provides gives us the power to not only confront but actually do something about it for ourselves. We are not puppets. We can think for ourselves and make sound decisions on what we learn. This book is a good starting point for it.

I appreciated the time the author took to explain the advantages of eggs, cheese, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, to mention just a few in our diet. Then at last we come at the fun stuff. 
Eating is fun, especially when it benefits us. 


Just to stir the appetite here is a look at Jumpstart Week 1, Monday Breakfast, Scrambled Eggs and Cheese with Sausage Patty, enough for one person. Already I like this diet since scrambled eggs are my favourite breakfast. 
Jumpstart Week 1, Monday Lunch, Sirloin Steak and Salad.

It is practical and I for one is looking forward to the new me in a beautiful dress. But first I have to throw out those demons. 

Thanks for the opportunity to read the book. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Reading List for 2021 and service pricing.


Book blast services


For $5 payable to my PayPal account you get:

South African Authors: contact me for banking details. Make sure about the exchange rate before payment.

Once I receive all your information about the book, I create a book banner unless you have one which you will prefer.

I need the following information:

  1. Book cover in JPEG
  2. Synopsis
  3. Excerpt (Though optional, it is a good way to show your penmanship.
  4. Buy links
  5. Social links
  6. Bio of author
  7. Picture of the author.

This is a permanent URL - My blog runs from 2012, so the posts work long after you have forgotten about it, so to speak. You can add it to your website and share it with your circle.

I share this to Pinterest (2.9mil followers), Twitter (8000 followers), and LinkedIn. The blog's RSS feed is connected to Amazon, Goodreads and AuthorsdB, which means within 24 hours your book is advertised on these platforms.

 It is quick and easy.

Just contact me and let's get your book out there. A book does not sell itself.

Contact me at inspiringreads@gmail.com for Book Blasts and Reviews. 

 What I will be reading in 2021

This year I want to focus more on the classical reads. Learning from these well-known books will make my writing clear and concise. Last year I have learned more about the craft of writing but realized my learning/reading is lacking. I have read only a few classic books over the year and I want to rectify that.
So this is my list of classical reads.  

What is your favourite classical read? 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Book Review: Shamus Dust by Janet Roger. Poetic murder at its best.



Two candles flaring at a Christmas crib. A nurse who steps inside a church to light them. A gunshot emptied in a man’s head in the creaking stillness before dawn, that the nurse says she didn’t hear. It’s 1947 in the snowbound, war-scarred City of London, where Pandora’s Box just got opened in the ruins, City Police has a vice killing on its hands, and a spooked councilor hires a shamus to help spare his blushes. Like the Buddha says, everything is connected. So it all can be explained. But that’s a little cryptic when you happen to be the shamus, and you’re standing over a corpse.




Janet Roger was apprehended for the first time at age three, on the lam from a strange new part of town. The desk sergeant looked stern, but found her a candy bar in his pocket anyway. Big mistake. He should have taken away her shoelaces. She's been on the run ever since.


Website: https://www.janetroger.com/


Before this book, I have not heard of the word shamus meaning private detective. I was intrigued and agreed to read the book.

The narrative of the story is so poetic in deliverance that I repeated certain paragraphs to remember it, reading it out loud just for the pure joy of it. The rhythmic pulses added more glamour to the story, layered in the deep snowy streets of 1947 London. The descriptions so vivid that I was walking the streets literally, experiencing the sights and sounds of this popular city in proximity. Indulging in the flavours of an era gone by.

The scars of World War two were still visible but lives went on, fortunes were made and police officials still easy to bribe. Add a mystery of a hidden Roman Coliseum and the secrets of the privilege, and you have a story that is waiting to be discovered.

Private Investigator Newman found himself in the middle of it all as bodies dropped on Christmas Eve. Pulled into a world where the same-sex attraction was still forbidden and men would rather die than divulge their secrets.

Finding missing people might be his forte, but for this American PI, it was no smooth ride. Together we could sift through the evidence, talk to the people involved and followed the breadcrumbs as we indulge in the history of Roman Empires, beautiful women, well-built men and fast cars.

The plotline draws you in at each page. The added characters lifted the bar as they added suspense and more secrets to it.

Truly a well-written book that belongs next to Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie, Heinz Konsalik and Stieg Larson books on your shelf.

Outside in the garden a robin took a dive off the top of a frosted plum tree, landed on a windowsill and started hopping around in the snow. So picture perfect that if he could sing as well as dance, they’d put him under contract at Paramount.


The silhouette of a single-engine Lysander skimmed a fret of trees, silent as a gull clipping wavetops, crossed the Oxford road close to stalling and floated weightless out of a sky dripping starlight. It yawed and dipped over a frozen swell of Quonset huts at the airfield perimeter, adjusted its trim and for a long moment let you hear the whisper of its motor, then glided in over a curling ground mist. It kissed the strip twice lightly, like Proust greeting his grandmother, and when it put its tail down I turned away from the car and followed Henry to the sliding doors of a hangar.


I kept my ribs stiff and stooped for the ticket, got it between my fingers and stopped dead. Slotted under the counter, in a line of bags and umbrellas, there was an air force khaki Gladstone with a metal initial fixed on each strap. The matador was eyeing me, wrapped in a scent as tight as her yellow dress. “Well, what do you know. You take somebody for a customer and it turns out he’s a gentleman. What a flutter-brain cluck!” I put out a hand to the countertop and straightened up. “And I took you for drum majorette. We’re both flutter-brain clucks.”


An outdoor coat hung beside the file drawers. Rubber overshoes warmed against a heating pipe behind the desk. There was no window. The only decoration was a framed picture on top of one of the cabinets of a sleek navy frigate edging into Malta’s Grand Harbor. It was barely creating a bow wave, on the kind of hot June afternoon that can make even a warship look serene.


The bright room was on the snug side of intimate. It had no windows. Only two steel-tube chairs across a bolted-down table, so narrow you could feel their breath in your face, as sour as their mood and as permanent as their point of view. I hadn’t seen either of them before. Two City detectives, one older and seated opposite, the other younger and leaner and on his feet, with the chiseled look of a Hero of Soviet Agriculture.



Wednesday, November 4, 2020

8 Books for Freelance Writers

Article shared from Non-Profit Copywriter.com. 

Freelance writers – and those who want to be one – know one of the cardinal rules of the writing business: “To be a writer, read a lot.”

Use this list to gain know-how for building your freelance writing business, whether you’re pursuing the writing life as a copywriter, content writer, blogger, book author, or freelancer for publications. 

I hope you’ll add your suggestions for books for freelance writers in the Comments below!

Secrets of a Freelance Writer by Bob Bly

Now in its third edition, Bob’s book is considered the authoritative guide to making money as a commercial writer. Bob’s career as a copywriter is legendary. He explains why corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofit organizations, the government, and commercial clients need all kinds of writing projects and also how to get started freelancing, market yourself, and run your business. Great bonus in the appendix: model documents and resources to get you started. (More about the book here.)

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Allen

Moira draws upon 30 years as a freelance writer in this step-by-step guide to getting started as a freelancer. She takes you through the fundamentals: finding markets and how to write for them (articles, online writing, commercial writing) as well as managing your day-to-day office tasks (getting paid, keeping records – even setting up your office.) This book is a solid start-up manual if you want to make a living as a freelancer. (More about the book here.)

The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman

Peter’s blueprint to building a successful freelance writing business is packed with practical advice for copywriters and business writers. His focus is on the nuts and bolts of getting started as a commercial freelancer for larger companies with skills are transferable to any freelance writing niche. (More about the book here.)

Back for Seconds by Peter Bowerman

In this sequel to The Well-Fed Writer, Peter unpacks how-tos for finding freelance writing assignments in smaller or unusual commercial markets. Back for Seconds is a comprehensive and valuable roadmap for making money as a freelance writer in a down economy or a specific niche – plus like the rest of Peter’s work, it’s fun to read. (More about the book here.)

Writer For Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger

The winner of the 2013 American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award, this book explains how to make a steady paycheck from your words. Kelly's focus is on articles and books – her primary writing vehicles – but her professional principles are transferable to all kinds of content and she touches on 16 other lucrative markets for freelancers. If you want sound, honest advice about making a sustainable living from writing, read her book. (More about the book here.)

How To Make A Living as a Writer by James Scott Bell

This book from a former attorney and best-selling author, columnist, instructor and speaker explains the formula for financial success as a writer: you need to write both quantity – a body of work, not just one novel, even if it’s lucrative – and quality. Two dozen short chapters are laced with practical advice from how to write an elevator speech to the basic structure of a fiction plot. While the book is geared towards succeeding as a fiction writer, its principles touch on nonfiction markets, too. Bonus: I’m a nonfiction writer, but Jim’s book made me want to write fiction! (More about the book here.)

How To Make A Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging, and More by Joanna Penn

Joanna has become a leading voice for author entrepreneurs and in this book she explains how to develop an “author entrepreneur” mindset by creating multiple income streams. The key is to focus on scalable income: those writing projects you create once, repackage, and sell over and over.  Use her book and the rest of her How-To series for writers to achieve financial independence as a writer. (More about this book.)

Jumpstart Your Writing Career & Snag Paying Assignments by Beth Ann Erickson

I love Beth Ann’s voice – down-to-earth and practical – that she uses to guide you through the first stages of launching a freelance writing career. This book is organized in short one- or two-page snippets that you can use to follow like a series of steps.  (More about this book.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Book blast and Review: Unlock Bliss by Dr Zeev Gilkis

Meet the master of the art of self-transformation!
Dr. Zeev Gilkis has experienced so many transformations in his life that he is a virtuoso in the art of change. In this inspiring memoir Dr. Gilkis will take you on an extraordinary journey through the many stops in his rich and diverse career. He went from being a "couch potato" geek, whose only workouts were playing chess and bridge, to becoming a surfer and triathlete, who competed in a triathlon, for the first time, at the age of 66! Not only that; after defeating advanced stage cancer he became a healthy and happy person. He shares everything with you in this book, in a perfect balance of anecdotes, popular science, and true wisdom that will help you unlock new paths to happiness. Rise above the slump and experience life with a smile. Read and discover his secrets... 

 Unlock Bliss is book three in the series Younger than ever. I never knew happiness has a formula. Dr Zeev dissected the topic in a mathematical way that I found interesting. Taking every scenario into account, he came to insightful conclusions. 

It is only when we face a valley that we are forced to seek the answers for ourselves. In Dr Zeev’s life, cancer was his motivator to become better acquainted with his body, mind, and spirit. Tapping into the resources available to him, he made it a scientific quest that led to his health, happiness, and the joy of life.

The book is written in an understandable way where I learned more about his driving force, as well as the more technical deductions he had discovered. Each step took him closer to a world of bliss, a very apt name for this book. Through the many stories as examples of his conclusions, I understand the why and also learn how to apply it to my own life. 

Each chapter concentrates on a specific subject. Through crafty illustrations, you learn how to make good decisions. How to play a game or invest in the stock market. Being a sufferer of headaches myself in my younger years, I can relate to his drive to find the solution. In my case, I had to learn to relax my jaw. But it cost me many visits to the hospital before that to find the ‘cure’. Once we recognise the triggers, we know what to avoid. Our brain is a wonderful machine that tells us what to do if we are willing to listen. The trick is to listen. 

I appreciated the summary at the end of each chapter. A recap or one-liner of what you have read in the simplest form. 

Through this book, I got to learn his way of thinking, his love for his children, his undying love for his wife, and his dedication to living life to the fullest. He is unashamed of his choices and what he has accomplished while paying it forward in a humble way. His drive to grow an inspiration to the younger generations.

Happiness is not about what you own. Happiness is staying in the present and enjoy what you have. This is apparent within this memoir. Once the big stones are in place it is easy to add the rest, but the key is to have the stones in place. This truth is evident throughout the book. 

This is a book a layman like myself and a scientific person will enjoy. His rational conclusions are valid. Something that I have to learn though is to stop being frustrated about the things I haven’t accomplished yet. My frustrations are my driving force but reading the book I realised how silly it is. In the end, I forget to enjoy life as well. It is a fine balance every person should learn to implement in their lives. 

Despite the globalization and social networks, the family is still the most important anchor in our life. Studies show, that one of the key impacts on happiness are the relations of children with their parents. It is not surprising, they were the first to give us encouragement, and to believe in us. So naturally we don’t want to disappoint them, and are happy to show them how well we manage and succeed in our life. I strongly believe that the first feedback we got from our parents stays with us for a lifetime and has a major impact on our self-esteem and self-assurance. Even when they get older and don’t have direct influence on our lives anymore, we still want to share with them the challenges we face, the progress we make and to hear their feedback. It is important for us how they see us: Winners or losers. If we receive the trust of our parents at an early age it strengthens our self-assurance and paves the road to success, let’s remember that, as parents. From my early childhood I admired Bobby Fisher. Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (1943 - 2008) was an American chess Grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many, including myself, consider him the greatest chess player of all times.

In 1972, he won the World Chess Championship beating Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in Reykjav√≠k, Iceland, publicized as a Cold War confrontation which attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship ever. But in 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title and lost it. The 2014 movie “Pawn Sacrifice” allows a glimpse into Fisher’s life. It seems that despite his unprecedented achievements he was never happy. Bobby Fisher never met his father. His mother refused to tell him who his father was. I believe that his lacking “half" his parents could have been the major source of his weirdness and unhappy life.

Time summary

√ A lost pinch of gold can be found, a lost pinch of time, never.

√ Time is the most precious resource; it’s priceless, because it can’t be bought.

√ The modern man is losing some of his joy of life, because of being always in a hurry.

√ Does watching or listening to the news really contribute to our daily life and wellbeing?

√ It’s possible to measure time by events, the more events and experiences we have the longer our real life is. 

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