Saturday, 28 February 2015

Foray into Fiction

Hi.  A reminder and link to my free books, as promised:

First, Topp Girl.  It's a kids' book, I wrote it under a pen name because it's such a different genre from my other books.  It got a couple of good reviews, which was encouraging, so I revised it and doubled the length.  But very few people were buying this book (or downloading it when it's free) because nobody knew it was there.  So I decided to start by blogging about it here, rather than setting up a whole new blog, Twitter account etc.  I might do that, under my pen name, once I have written a couple more in the series.

So, here's the link

Please pass the word if you can!

The other book which is free all weekend is Surfacing, my second memoir.  You can find that easily by searching Louise Gillett on Amazon.  Sorry, I know that's not a link, but it's Saturday and I should be with the family not on the computer and that's quicker than linking because I am a bit of an amateur on my iPad, which is where I am now...

Anyway, have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Eyes

Well, it's now almost 24 hours since my laser eye surgery. 

How do I feel?  I feel like the Bionic Woman.

I mean, none of it was fun.  The clinic was running about two hours late, so Paul and I sat around waiting for most of the day in a room full of other nervous people.  (Paul wasn't having the procedure, he was there to support me).  Luckily I had brought sandwiches with us because I always like to be sure of where my next meal is coming from.

We had arrived at the clinic just before eleven and I finally got called into surgery at about two o'clock.  I panicked halfway through the op and nearly didn't let them do my second eye.  Thank goodness I managed to psyche my way through it, because I didn't realise at that point that they hadn't even lasered my left eye, only cut the flap in preparation.  So I would have been left worse than when I had come in.  Anyway, I did it, and by about quarter to three it was all over and we were on our way home.  (The actual procedure took less than a minute on each eye).

It's a long story.  My eyes have not settled down totally and the glare from the computer is not entirely comfortable, so I am not going to write about all of it now.  But suffice it to say that I am really pleased I had it done.  It is going to change my life - it has already - in the biggest and best way.  Hurrah!

But there is a reason why they ask prospective patients whether they suffer from, or have ever suffered from, anxiety and tell you that you are not a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery if you do.  (I lied).  Having a panic attack in the middle of eye laser surgery was probably one of the worst things I have experienced (although not the worst, and it was worth it).  I would really not recommend having the surgery done if you are of a nervous disposition.  Or, if you decide to push ahead like I did, get a Valium from the doctor to take on the morning of the procedure.  Yes, it is me saying that, and yes, I am totally anti-medication (anti unnecessary medication, that is).

I am going to write more about this in a few days, probably in the Huffington Post, and I'll link to it here.  I am definitely going to become a laser eye bore (in fact I might have become one already).  It is all just so mind-boggling and enormous and amazing that it's hard to stay quiet about it. 

I am not out of the woods yet.  I guess part of my current elation is just due to relief that nothing awful happened during or just after the surgery.  I had a check up today and everything is going very smoothly but I will have to keep putting drops in my eyes and sleep with shields on them for another six days. 

For the first time since I remember, I can see clearly, naturally.  I don't think I realised how much my poor eyesight bothered me.  I had got used to contact lenses and glasses and I knew I was lucky to be able to see at all.  But now that my vision is - I have to say it - almost perfect - I feel fantastic!   

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

New Blog on Huffington Post today

Here's a link to my blog post on 'How to Recover from a Nervous Breakdown' in the UK Huffington Post today:

And the other thing is - I am having laser eye surgery - tomorrow!

I can hardly believe it, but in 24 hours from now I should have no further need for contact lenses or glasses.  I have been wearing my contacts for thirty years!  Yes, I am THAT old....

I have thought about having this done for a long time.  The main reasons I have not gone ahead before now are cowardice and cost.

But as for the cost - I am having the surgery with the help of interest-free credit, it's not a huge expense (about ten per cent of what it would have cost when I was young) and it's spread out over eighteen months.  Factoring in the cost of lenses and glasses the surgery will have paid for itself in about five years.

As for the cowardice - well, sometimes I feel the need to face my fears.  I think the result will be worth it.

I will post on here about the surgery after it's done.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Free Books all Weekend!

I just wanted to say, to anyone who is interested, that my new book, Surfacing, is free on Amazon all weekend.  I'll link to it on here first thing on Saturday morning - and, as usual, please pass the word if you know anyone who might be interested.

There is a reason why the title of this blog post is 'Free Books' and not 'Free Book'.  I have recently published a children's book, under a new pen name.  The reason for the pen name is that the book is such a different genre from my mental health ones.

But then it occurred to me that I was going to have trouble publicising the new book, unless I set up a new blog, Twitter account and so on.  Which I might do in due course.  Meanwhile, though, I thought I would tell you guys about it - again, do pass the word if you know anyone who might be interested.  It's also free all weekend, in the USA and the UK.  It's called Topp Girl, by Jenny Bell.  I'll create a proper link to that too on Saturday and also put the word out on Twitter etc.  Please review it if you can (read it first!) - all feedback would be very welcome as I am new to fiction and still learning what works and what does not. 

I have also just submitted a new blog post to HuffPost UK and I'll link to that too as soon as it's live.

More soon!