Sharing the Words and Art
All month we have been discussing women who have or are making a difference in the world. Today’s featured woman makes a difference through her writing, music, and love of faith and family. However, today she is being featured for her future endeavor which begins tomorrow.
Kayleigh McLeod is an author with seven books on Goodreads. Her bio, in her own words is this: “Confession time, I’m a fantasy addict! For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the concept of magical worlds. I was the kid with dragons doodled around the edge of her school work, the one with her head constantly buried in a book. As a teen, I shunned partying to play Magic the Gathering and DM Dungeons and Dragons games. Through the years, I’ve always made up stories and took characters on amazing adventures, in the privacy of my own mind. Now I want to share them with other people. I live with my husband and cat in Nottinghamshire in England. When I’m not writing (or planning something I’m writing) I’m usually working, reading, playing bass for my church’s worship team, playing computer games (World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Pokemon, Minecraft) or drinking tea. Mmm, time to put the kettle on…”.
She has two series already out with three books each and has just released the first of her third series, “Heir of Power”. That is quite a feat but it is what she is planning for August that has put her on our post for today. Like most positions in the arts, writing can be quite the competitive sport. Everywhere we turn, in every field and venue of life, we have choices. That means that the entrepreneur needs to stay focused in order to reach and secure their customer. Most do not do this by giving their competitors free advertising but that is exactly what Kayleigh McLeod is going to do in August. Why? Because Kayleigh is not just thinking of herself; she values her readers and respects her fellow writers. That definitely makes her a woman of distinction.
On her website, during the month of August 2018, McLeod is featuring a blog a day written by thirty others in addition to her. I’ll let her explain: “We’re all going on a Summer Blog-a-day! Throughout August we’re going to be holding a new event packed with summer reading fun. Each day we’ll be visiting a different blog that has a free short story or excerpt for you to read to get a taste of a new author’s work or see more from an author you already love. We also have bloggers revealing their all-time favourite summer books! This is the ultimate way to find your next poolside read. We also have giveaways and other surprises too!”
Generosity in this competitive world is sometimes hard to find. However, during the month of August it will be a great supply at http://kaymacleodbooks.com/summer-blog-a-day-2018/ and you can access it whenever. Now perhaps you are thinking this is self-promotion but really, it is about getting people to read and that has health benefits for all of us. Reading is a proven stress reliever and the person who is not stressed out will never pick up a gun and start killing innocent victims. Reading also has other health benefits and finding new books to read is therefore a healthy step forward towards better living – one of the purposes of this blog.
A study released in Neurology Magazine found that reading and similar activities reduced the rate of cognitive decline in dementia patients. Researchers examined the brains of 294 patients after death and found a slower rate of decline in patients who reported more early-life and late-life cognitive activity, such as reading, writing and playing games. “The study showed that mentally active patients — ones who read and wrote regularly — declined at a significantly slower rate than those who had an average amount of activity,” notes NPR’s Annalisa Quinn.
Other studies have found that the more immediate benefits of reading include an increased tolerance for uncertainty. Psychologists at the University of Toronto, for example, had participants read either a short story or a non-fiction article, and then tested their tolerance for uncertainty. Participants who read the short stories were less likely to need cognitive closure, a need to reach a quick conclusion in decision-making and an aversion to ambiguity and confusion. The fiction readers, especially those who claimed to be avid readers, were better able to think creatively and not get tied down to one specific idea. Supplementary studies have proven that reading exercises underworked parts of the brain.
Kayleigh McLeod has a love affair with dragons so let me end with this quote by George R. R. Martin, author of “A Dance with Dragons”: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” I hope you will check out Kayleigh’s summer blog-a-day and pick up some new titles to read. Reading reminds us not only of our world past and present but of the possibilities of the future. It does this by improving our health and better living for today and tomorrow. It not only is time to put the kettle on (or in my case, get some more ice for my iced tea since living in the southern USA means it’s hot in August!), it’s time to go open a good book, relax, and improve my life. Check out http://kaymacleodbooks.com/summer-blog-a-day-2018/ and make a difference in your life!