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Little Book of Hope by Louise Hall

Writing.ie | Magazine | Tell Your Own Story | Writing & Me
Little Book of Hope

Louise Hall

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The past few months have been strange, to say the least. Living through a pandemic is not something most of us would have thought we would experience in our lifetime. Almost overnight, time slowed down and life stalled. The way we live our day to day lives has suddenly altered. We have had to adapt to a different way of doing things. The usual pace and rush of daily work came to a skidding halt and it made many people reflect on their lives and how they were living it.

Change can sometimes be good, but sometimes it can be cruel. This, many of us know.

I have been writing for over ten years now; fiction, non-fiction and short stories. My first three publications all contain themes of Hope. The first two non-fiction manuscripts were various accounts and testimonies from people across the world, (some well-known, some not so well known) about how they found solace from the troubles in their lives after visiting a small farming village in the former Yugoslavia. My third publication, which was my debut novel, told the fictionalised story behind this farming village which is now a popular place of pilgrimage.

Three years ago, I experienced huge change in my life when my father passed away. My sister had died ten years previously. Many will know how deaths within a close family splinters the heart and the world seems to shift and feel strangely out of sync.

Writing has always been my saving grace. I feel alive and present when I am writing. It is a passion. A pleasure. A joy. After ten years and four publications, I just want to write more. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

Last year, I decided I wanted to change the direction of my writing and try different genres. I wrote a new novel of the domestic noir/crime genre and submitted it to an agency in London late last year. Literary agent Sonia Land signed me up after reading it, and the novel is currently out on submission.

When the pandemic came, like many, I too had time to reflect. Sometimes we need to slow down to get a clearer view on life. So many people have suffered – in all different aspects in life. Many have been sick with the virus and sadly many have died. People have lost their jobs and the future seems uncertain. And the virus has not gone away. We are all trying to cope with this new way of living and it is natural that this dramatic change will bring with it, a multitude of emotions such as anxiety and stress – some of which we would rather not experience.

I’m all too aware of the physical and emotional effects of grief. And people are grieving in many different ways. I have been through my own dark times after my sister and father died, and I know how easy it is to lose trust in the world, trust in yourself. I know what it is like to lose Hope.

But I also know that it is never lost forever.

There is glimmering light inside us all. When the wind blows hard, it burns low. But if you give it shelter, it will once again ignite. And no storm will ever fully extinguish it.

A few weeks into the pandemic, I had the idea for Little Book of Hope. I imagined it as a little pocketbook that people can carry around with them wherever they go. It is something they can dip into whenever they feel the need. I want it to be a reminder of the gift of Hope that lies inside us all.

Over the past couple of months, with the guidance of my agent, I compiled Little Book of Hope which is now available to order as e-book or as print on demand from Amazon.

The book is designed to help you find your way back again – through reflections to guide you through the difficult times, together with: Family. Friends. Rest. Time – for yourself. Walk. Talk. Cry. Grieve. Meditate. Pray. Accept things. Patience.

It is dedicated to all those across the world who have lost hard but loved much – that they may re-discover Hope and welcome the beautiful pleasure of joy back into their lives.

It is a timely reminder of the gift of Hope inside us all.

Like all gifts, it should be opened.

‘For it is in giving that we receive.’ – St Francis of Assisi

(c) Louise Hall

You can follow Louise on Twitter @LouHallWriter or find out more at www.littlebookofhope.ie

About Little Book of Hope:

The past few months have made us realise that change is inevitable – sometimes good but sometimes it can be cruel and makes your world go out of control.

We might experience anxiety, low moods, night sweats, exhaustion or worse. We lose all hope and feel that there is nothing to look forward to.

Little Book of Hope helps you find your way back again – through Reflections to guide you through the difficult times, together with: Family. Friends. Rest. Time – for yourself. Walk. Talk. Cry. Grieve. Meditate. Pray. Accept things. Patience.

Dedicated to all those around the world who have lost hard but loved much – that you may re-discover Hope and welcome the beautiful pleasure of joy back into your lives.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Louise Hall is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and short stories. She has previously published two works of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it Means to Me and Medjugorje and Me: A Collection of Stories from Across the World published by The Columba Press. The latter was translated into Italian and published by Edizioni Piemme. Her fiction has been published in The Irish Times and been shortlisted for numerous competitions, such as the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Award, the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition and the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Pilgrim is her debut novel, published by Ireland’s oldest publishing house, Mercier Press. It has been widely received and endorsed by Man Booker nominee, Donal Ryan, and award-winning author, Carmel Harrington.

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