Thursday, 2 July 2020

Desiderata - what does that mean?


GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
Original text

For some, this is a deep text which is thought-provoking. For me, it was an eye-opening moment when I realised that my sharp-tongued father actually had a lot of spirituality in him. 

He laid in his induced coma as we said goodbye and I pleaded with him to bring me the songs he wanted for his funeral as I had forgotten what they were - although I felt very sure 'those were the days of our lives' by Queen was one of them. Sure enough, not 48 hours after Dad took his last breath, Mum came into the room with a puzzled look on her face and a small piece of faded, striped paper between her thumb and index finger. 
     'it's got all his songs on it and 'ere what does this word say? Desa - desari..?' Dad had listed his wishes including Desiderata to be read at his funeral. The words above list the thoughts, feelings and hopes I have (as you likely know by now) and Dad and I could have had some wonderful chats around this; if only he had let his barriers down enough to tell us of his dreams and thoughts.  Never mind, at least now I knew he had this level of spirituality in him and just kept it quiet through embarrassment. Yet the funeral debate came and people said it was too long to be read out during the service. I was insistent, 'Dad wanted it, we are reading it all.'

The order of service booklets had Desiderata printed through the middle so the people coming to pay their respects could take home those words and reflect on them as I had done. Wise words. 


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Bestseller in a hard hat

We are having major renovations in our house and felt it was important to take some time off as a family and chill out. During this weekend off is when i discovered my latest book "Covid-19 How it made us feel" (an anthology) hit the best seller list on Amazon. I was chuffed! The videos in this series are: Panic as we get news of the renovations starting why are we tearing down our walls? Renovation project delayed


Monday, 22 June 2020

Bestselling author on Amazon

Bestselling author on Amazon 

What a surreal title to write for this post. 

Yes, me and my writer friends have made best seller status on Amazon in two categories. And we are stoked!

Twelve weeks from idea to publication, overcoming censorship (see this post: ) and getting the books out there. Now, people are holding them and beginning to read our anthology. 

What is this book?

So it’s not about the science behind the virus but rather the thoughts and feelings of people who lived through it. It’s ‘how it made us feel’. 

Here are a few excerpts: (and of course you can download a sample from Amazon too for free). 


All of us so different. Different lives, different countries, the same planet. Colour, belief and age see no barriers just now. Human beings, susceptible to the Covid-19 strain of Corona Virus. 

How has this been for us, different, humans? What are our experiences, thoughts and feelings? Will we feel the same as each other and live the same days – or have we had different journeys?

This time in history is unique. We all initially, thought we were invincible. Until the numbers showed every day just how easily this virus was spreading. We started to realise the very real risk of dying from it. Everyone knew someone who had it or knew someone who had sadly died from the virus and that motivated us to all follow the rules, stay indoors and tut at people who didn’t seem to be following the social distancing advice.

Human lives everywhere have been affected by this global pandemic and all of us have seen a myriad of emotions evoked during the lockdown. A few of us decided to journal our experiences to share in this anthology and piecing the tales together you can see a common theme uniting the human race yet all of us with vastly different voices. 

Then the positivity began to arrive towards the end of April 2020. People were beginning to realise the positivity of being home, the lack of worry for the usual things despite the concern for the basic right of survival. 
One of the loveliest things is to walk without a watch. Life began to feel very different in many ways. Memes trickled their way through social media, speaking of ‘high maintenance’ ladies who regularly had eyelashes, eyebrows, nails and roots taken care of by a salon which was unable to open just now.  Those greys got longer, google answered ‘how to remove acrylics at home’ and ‘how to cut your fringe with nail scissors’ and men began to shave their heads. Facebook and Instagram stories saw photos of men with almost bald heads and smiles in a submissive fashion, occasionally a shoulder shrug. 

Asthma During Covid 19

     You will feel this is it, you become short of breath, go a little hazy, because you are knackered you may think this is it…..sod it I have had enough and give in. However the body being the marvellous invention it is, re-energises and as quick as you feel faint, you regain air and life itself.
You tend to sleep upright, with more pillows than before, a drink on the bedside table but most important of all is that blue inhaler is visible at all times and to hand. It could, and does, save your life thought the day and night. Just to see it and then have it at arm's length is comforting. It's like living in a portable plastic case, ready to go into action at the press of a finger.

COVID-19: A Final Year Biomedical Science student prospective. 

Megan Kerr

We had months left of university, months with our friends and months to prepare for our future. This turned into days, then just hours before students hastily returned to their homes around the world before the lockdown grounded us all. We had our last lecture together and did not even know.

My memories of university are not going anywhere. I will remember them for the rest of my life. It is not the way I wanted to finish my degree. It’s important to stay positive during this time and stick together. I have seen a community of students who have never been so far apart, come together and support each other with admiration. Everyone’s COVID-19 story will be different, and we will all have our own unique challenges, but the important thing is, we will get through this.  

Tesco Worker 

I haven’t lived through the war but blimey, I can only imagine something like this was seen in the war times.  But they didn’t have supermarkets then from what my Gran told me. It was a separate shop for the meat, the veg, the bread and stuff. I’m not even sure if they had things like rice and pasta back then. They must have had toilet roll I assume. Although Gran had this metal thing screwed into her toilet wall with greaseproof paper inside it.  Mum told us we had to rub it together to try and make it softer and hope it might mop up some of us kids pee. Odd set up if you ask me. 
     I carry this guilt with me that when I used to sit on Gran's loo, I picked out the dried-up grout from between the lemon-yellow tiles and let it fall to the floor.  Took my mind off how cold it was sitting on her toilet seat. It felt like porcelain, but I’m sure it wasn’t. 

Ben Odero
The day the schools closed
He told us that we would be safe. He told us that we had nothing to worry about. Even when our neighbours across the globe began to shut their doors. Back then, there were only whispers of a situation, far away from us. So far removed we didn’t have to worry.
It was so easy for us to stick to our routine – to fill the pubs, the clubs, the parks. We didn’t have a care in the world. The biggest commercial concern was what we’d get up to in the weekend. I have no excuse, I was the same. Between my love to find new books and the love of seeing new things, I wanted nothing more than to explore the rest of the world. See what else is out there for me, become someone new.
    I remember the first day there was a rumour of work shutting down. We still didn’t take it seriously. 
    “Who else is ready for some annual leave?” A colleague asked. “I needed a break anyway.” 
    If only we knew.

No rain, No flowers
Louise Usher

The twins did themselves proud on this day. Unlike me, who felt angry at it all.  She deserved better and to be honest, I felt we did too when we heard there were other family members there who were not immediate family.  Channelling that anger, alongside the pleural pain, I decided to get in the kitchen, play Kisstory up loud and batch cook shepherd’s pie and carrot cakes. 
     Exhausted, I had to take to my bed for a few more days as my illness seemed to get a grip of me. Was I doing too much? Had I created too much movement? The pain was horrendous and I resorted to taking lots of Tramadol to try and ease the sensation which was making me grumpy.  Maybe it was the tablets, maybe something else but my mind seemed to start to harbour unhealthy thoughts.  
     I’d heard many people were feeling the same, experiencing highs and lows in their mood, and the NHS pop-ups were now including ‘how to look after your mental health’ on the laptops and mobile phones throughout the UK.
     I’m aware of my mental health enough to keep safe.  But here I was feeling angry, in pain, unwell, not sleeping, upset stomach, missing my life a little, missing exercise, dance, my special people.  Some friends grew closer and messaged lots, while others seemed to have vanished into the ether.  Understanding what others might be going through wasn’t so easy either, there was time to message, so why didn’t they? But we all had our own, very real, challenges at this time.  People worried about money, work, the economy, buying kitchen rolls and eggs. Even the simple stuff felt like a punishment, missing their routines and workouts, setting the alarm and singing along to the radio on the way to work. I guess we all internalise that differently and I do try to be one of those humans who is understanding of others, whatever their journey is.  But sometimes my journey feels harder than I would like it to. Sometimes I wonder if I have the strength to carry on, knowing my health is potentially going to make things difficult going forward in later life.  I pull out the drawer next to the bed and look at the next dose of Tramadol I should be taking and close the drawer again quickly.  

Should I move these? It’s a big box. 

* * * *

Over the coming days and weeks I am delighted to share reposts of the readers with the brand new books! I have just a few of the limited edition paperbacks for sale here:

Or you can get your copy directly from these stores:

Paperback directly from Author:

My other books are now republished too if you like my style of writing and stay in touch for the updates of the next project!

Delayed: Romance novella (fiction) -

Lighten up (getting that Bikini body)

Getting Started with the law of attraction

With much love and eternal gratitude as always

Louise xoxo
© Louise Usher. All rights reserved.