Despair, Depression – Give up or Fight back?

I wrote this post a while back but it bears repeating. Depression is an ongoing battle and so many out there are fighting to climb out of that hole. Shout out to all those fighters, carry on. Fighting!

What is Despair? A state in which all hope is lost or absent. Depression? A mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity; Sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy.

Despair and depression grab you by the throat and slowly strangle the life out of you. They make you blind to the bright colors in your life so that all you can see is gray. A cold lifeless gray. It can be so seductive, so easy to surrender to it. 

What brought on this topic you may ask? I was thinking how a lot of us, potential writers and closet writers, are discouraged in writing, in following our dreams. You want to be a writer and people tell you it’s a pipe dream, give it up. Others tell you that you’re wasting time, give it up. More believe it’s just a hobby you’re fooling around with, that you’ll give it up soon enough. And there are those who laugh at you and believe you could never write anything worth reading and advise you to give it up. 

Those three words again: Give It Up. They go round and round in your head until they’re all you can see. And discouraged, you decide it was a foolish dream to start with after all and you GIVE IT UP. Then you go through your whole life incomplete and without hope, your life as gray as you are inside, devoid of the bright colors that spark up your soul.

How many of us fight through despair, depression every day? Through the loss of hope, through disappointment? 

The key to dealing with despair and depression is to not quit. NEVER give up on yourself. People might bring you down but believe in yourself. It’s the most powerful tool you could ever have – self-belief. 

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Fight for what you want. Give yourself a pep talk. Be your own inspiration, your own warrior.

Exercise frequently – believe me, it helps to have a physical outlet for all the frustration, disappointment, sadness bubbling inside of you. I recommend swimming if you can, it clears your head.

Relax with your favorite movie or TV show. All this helps in strengthening you for the obstacles in your life. 

Dream as big as you want, because dreams are what keep our souls alive. (So long as your dreams are legal and don’t hurt anyone, of course.)

Whatever you want to do, be it to write, to sing, to tame lions and sharks, go for it. Make a start somewhere. Try. Even if you fail, at least you’ll know you did your best. That you tried. Do it for yourself, not for others. The moment you start, something inside you unfolds and everything in your world shifts and becomes clearer. You have purpose in your life. 

There will be days you will be so full of hope you’ll be bursting with it. Anything will seem possible.

And there will be days when life cuts you to small pieces and you feel like you can’t get up. You have to get up, keep going, keep enduring, keep fighting. If you don’t fight back, you’re just lying there in the middle of the road and telling the bus of life to run you over. 

Treasure those days of hope and keep fighting on. Start now! 

Best of luck!

S.R. McKade

Book Review – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

I finally read Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and just in time for the new Netflix tv show based on the book.

It’s such a heartbreaking story, about a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her and she threw it away.

I’ve seen that some readers have left low reviews saying that Hannah let small things get her down, that she died for nothing.

But they weren’t small things. Hannah’s suicide – it was such a waste. But that’s how depression works. Insidious. How it creeps up on you and you don’t notice until it’s too late. How your life feels hopeless. If you’re not strong enough, can’t will yourself out of it, it can drown you. And when you’re drowning, you’re unable to call for help, unable to accept it when it’s given.

She got to a point where she lost any self-respect for herself. She didn’t have the willpower or the courage to do the right thing. That, more than anything, drowned her.

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? For people to be considerate? This book didn’t just portray Hannah’s decisions but the other kids involved in her life who were selfish and who used others to benefit themselves. How many of us can say we would have done the right thing in her shoes? It’s easy to say it, but harder to live it when you see the injustice and cruelty happening around you. Do we really know what a person is truly going through?

The one I felt the most for, was Clay. It’s the people left behind who are the ones who hurt the worst.

Jay Asher wrote a story which emphasized real issues that are happening in our high schools, issues like bullying, peer pressure, sexual abuse, stalking, rape. High school should be a safe place and instead, it’s a minefield. How many kids end up drowning under those problems? How many are like Hannah? Who don’t have anyone to talk to, someone who listens to them? Who are misunderstood? Who feel invisible or who are crushed down by other people?

Thirteen Reasons Why was a well-written story. Maybe it can sensitize others into thinking of the consequences of their actions and give them the courage to do the right thing.

S.R. McKade

Bookworm Calendar

It’s been two months since my last post and I keep telling myself I’ll do it – write a post and the pending reviews awaiting me but you know what they say about resolutions?
They’re only as good as the people who keep them and right now, I’m falling off mark (*hangs head in shame*).

On the brighter side, (*head’s holding up high again, moment of shame already forgotten*), I just took one of my fantastic fiction breaks,  where I go on (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/) to have a nice time browsing and drooling over what new books will be out next and when.

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Of course, I already have a Bookworm’s Calendar as follows:

 

Release Dates Title of book
21 March 2017 Bound Together — Christine Feehan (that’s today, yay!)
09 May 2017 Dead Man Walking — Sherrilyn Kenyon
30 May 2017 Shadow Reaper — Christine Feehan
Come Sundown — Nora Roberts
06 June 2017 The Silent Corner — Dean Koontz
05 September 2017 Secrets In Death — J.D. Robb
Dark Legacy — Christine Feehan
01 August 2017 Dragonsworn — Sherrilyn Kenyon

Imagine my excitement when I saw that Nora Roberts will have a new book out on 05 December 2017 titled, YEAR ONE, Book 1 of the trilogy, CHRONICLES OF THE ONE. And this excitement is different from the one over the list of new books to be out because YEAR ONE sounds like a different style from Nora Roberts’ usual. There’s a dystopian feel to it and the synopsis is amazing. Don’t take my word for it, see below:

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Synopsis:

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Genre: Fantasy

I can’t wait for this book to be out. The anticipation alone’s playing hell on my nerves and I only just found out about Year One, like, an hour ago, lol.

Here’s to delightful releases of amazing books to come.

S.R. McKade

 

 

Review – The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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Synopsis: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopian

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

I finally got around to reading The Host. I watched the movie when it came out and loved it. I told myself I definitely had to read the book. But you know how it goes with TBR (To-Be-Read) lists – you keep adding books with big, greedy eyes on little time to read but you just can’t help yourself. And voilà, that’s how you know you’re a bookworm. I recently re-watched the movie and loved it all over again. I decided I better read the book this time.

So I started reading it and I got hooked in. So much so, that I was up till 2 a.m. reading. I found it enthralling. Stephanie Meyer did a great job in writing a sci-fi story that was interesting, emotional and fun. Her imagination is a marvel. The way she wrote about those lives Wanderer lived in the other worlds—I could picture them.

Her writing was a joy to read. The emotions practically jumped out of the page. Poignant, emotional, well-written and fantastic story-telling. Five stars and straight into my favorites and to-read-again pile.

I’m so glad I watched the movie before reading the book. This way I got to enjoy BOTH the movie AND the book.

Regards,
S.R. McKade

Dream = Hope

“I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
― W.B. Yeats

What are we without dreams? Often, I ask myself why I write, why I keep at it even in view of criticism and negative reviews. I know the answer, even when discouragement makes me question myself again and again.

The answer—I write because I have stories to tell, stories that won’t let my mind rest, stories that need to be told. Words have power. And by writing the stories in my head, I bring them to life. Give them power.

Of course, I want to write a bestseller, touch thousands of lives, maybe make them better. What writer doesn’t? But I write because I have to.

We wake, work, do what needs to be done, deal with our responsibilities and obligations, go to sleep at nightsome, exhausted. Others, restless, unable to sleep with our busy thoughts or worries keeping us up. And we wake up to do it all another day, and another.

Food, water, exercise and work feed our body, education our mind.

Dreams feed our soul. They are what give rise to music and books. To art. 
“Dreams nourish the soul just as food nourishes the body. The pleasure of the search and of adventure feeds our dreams.”
― Paulo Coelho

Without dreams, a soul can wither because there is no hope. What are we without hope but hollow shells?

I wonder sometimes if dreams aren’t what give us courage—the courage to face the hurdles of our lives day after day. I believe even in the hardest times of our lives, we should have dreams, for they give us hope. Hope for a better future.

S.R. McKade

Review – Soundless by Richelle Mead

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From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon. Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever….

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
Describing conversations through sign language, depicting a silence that speaks more than a thousand words, making emotions resonate through it – can be a tough job for an author. But Richelle Mead managed it with an excellence that left me in awe of her writing.

As a reader, her writing made it easy for me to visualize Fei’s world, the harshness of her life and the lives of the villagers, the crippling decisions and choices all of them have to face.

Amidst this world of silence, the emotions of these people came through loud and clear. How they couldn’t even allow themselves hopes and dreams – vital elements that we can’t do without. Their fears and despair, pain and sorrow, Li Wei and Fei’s courage and strength of character, their sacrifice, their love and duty, jumped off the page.

The story came alive for me, and that’s a must-have quality for a great book.

Soundless has an interesting plot-line and excellent writing, to the point where the flow of words was a joy to read. I enjoyed this book very much.

For a first-time stand-alone, Richelle Mead did an outstanding job. Added to that, awesome cover! Highly recommended.

Regards,
S.R. McKade

Free Ebook Download: Kat’s Salvation – A Short Story by S.R. McKade

Anyone who likes a good short story with a dash of romance and a happy ending, try Kat’s Salvation. It’s free for download. Enjoy!

Cover KS Synopsis:
They met…
Fell in love…
Then tragedy drew them apart.
Will Kat and Luke find their Happy Ever After?

Free Ebook – Kat’s Salvation by S.R. McKade

Review: The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower #7) by Stephen King

The seventh and final installment of Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga is perhaps the most anticipated book in the author's long career. King began this epic tale about the last gunslinger in the world more than 20 years ago; now he draws its suspenseful story to a close, snapping together the last pieces of his action puzzle and drawing Roland Deschain ever closer to his ultimate goal.

The seventh and final installment of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga is perhaps the most anticipated book in the author’s long career. King began this epic tale about the last gunslinger in the world more than 20 years ago; now he draws its suspenseful story to a close, snapping together the last pieces of his action puzzle and drawing Roland Deschain ever closer to his ultimate goal.

Genre: Horror, Fantasy

Review: 5 of 5 Stars

It’s the end of an era, the end of a long-fought battle to reach the Dark Tower. A long journey of loss and pain, joy and tragedy, love and hate.

I can’t believe it’s over. Or maybe it’s not.

The ending left me in shock and disbelief. I still can’t quite grasp that Roland’s quest ended like that. My heart broke for him, for he always was my favorite, he and Jake and Oy. It’s so not fair.
At the same time, a little voice inside me says it couldn’t have ended any other way. That it was Roland’s fate, his curse, his damnation.

I did love Susannah’s ending. Stephen King did an awesome job there. He also did a great job in projecting an uncertainty and tension of whether Roland would make it to the Dark Tower, if he would really be the one to reach it. It wasn’t until almost the end chapters that you knew for sure who would make it to the Dark Tower.

The Red King was kind of funny in his insanity and made me laugh. Patrick was a delightful addition to the group. And Oy, ah sweet, brave Oy.
I found the last Dark Tower book tragic but very powerful. The ending, the knowledge of Roland’s fate broke my heart.

Ramblings

Waiting is one of the hardest, strenuous things in life. Waiting for the stuff you bought on Ebay to finally get here already. Waiting for that promotion you’re tirelessly working for, night and day. Waiting for an agent or publishing house to reply back and not just with any response, mind you—a positive one.

Waiting to get started on that project you’ve been yearning for since forever. Waiting for things to go your damn way for once. Waiting for news of a loved one at the hospital. Waiting for the One to finally show up on his freaking horse and ride off with you in the sunset.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting’s one of most damnedest, nerve-racking, trying things—on your mind, your emotions, your health. Hardest on your soul.

I’m one of the most impatient persons in the whole damn world. And patience—don’t get me started on freaking patience—is so not a virtue. I wish I had the patience of a monk, one of those Buddhist monks for example who seem to have an unending well of patience. How do they do it? Trust in a higher power? Ye Gods, they can wait forever.

However, even though Patience is not a virtue, Impatience has one big downside. By wishing for things to happen faster, you lose something very special. The ability to savor life as it goes by, to appreciate every moment that comes, be it good or bad. Because once time slips by, it never comes back again, unless you have a time-travelling machine, of course. Or if you were a hot, totally cool vampire who had all the time in the world.

Isn’t there any vampire out there who’d turn me into one and offer me eternal life, please?

Oh, the things I could do if I had all the time in the world. Waiting would be a breeze. Ah well, one human life is all we get and we have to make most of it.

Live it well.

Regards,

S.R. McKade