Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore Author spotlight. I am inviting authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. If you would like to participate you can find all the details: Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments
The first author who is sharing her amazing story with us is Harmony Kent.
After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.
Indie Author Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:
The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved – The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015 – Elemental Earth (YA Fantasy Fiction) – Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015 – Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction) – Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry) – Interludes (Erotic Short Stories) – Moments (Short Stories and Poetry) – Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings) Backstage (Erotic Romance)- Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)
As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. Harmony lives in Cornwall, England. Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.
Do or Die? by Harmony Kent
Debbie had a choice to make.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.
In the end, a book saved her life. Ironic, really, because she’d loved books since early childhood. Make-believe had kept her going through the hard times. But the book that saved her life, as it turned out, wasn’t anything to do with fiction. …A Heart as Wide as the World by Sharon Salzburg.
“The Buddhist teachings have the power to transform our lives for the better, says Sharon Salzberg, and all we need to bring about this transformation can be found in the ordinary events of our everyday experiences.”
So, instead of leaving this mortal coil in a coffin, Debbie shaved her head, donned the robes of a novice, and entered a Buddhist temple.
Another irony because she had eschewed all forms of religion years ago. Yes, the universe has a sense of humour!
The days were long, and the life hard, but after 13 years, a beautiful butterfly emerged from its chrysalis and spread its wings. Even as maimed as it was.
Have you ever heard the saying that the universe never gives us more than we can cope with? Sometimes, it seemed like that dear old universe couldn’t possibly pile on more, and then it did. Hah.
Fate pretty much left Debbie alone for the first 6 years of Zen monastic training. It gave her the space to face her demons and yank the skeletons from her closet. And when she’d, finally, found peace and contentment, and existence wasn’t such an all-out struggle all the time, the universe decided to give her ‘more’.
A routine surgery for varicose veins went about as badly wrong as it could without actually killing her—and that point was hit-and-miss for a while. She’d never been so poorly. Ten weeks in the hospital, with about 7 or 8 of those confined to a bed with the cot-sides raised and tubes and wires just about everywhere.
The rehab was horrific. Here’s where Debbie’s years of meditation came in so useful. All she could deal with was to take each minute at a time. And at all costs, avoid thinking back to what was, or attempting to look forward with terrified a ‘what if’?
Three years of physical struggle and turmoil went by, and in the end, Debbie elected to have the severely injured leg amputated. Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t provide her with the relief from chronic pain that she’d hoped for. It did, however, give her much greater mobility.
More years passed, and eventually, Debbie felt that the time had come to return to the world. So, aged 40 and disabled and utterly alone, she left her robes behind and grew her hair. Oh, and she also wrote her first book, The Battle for Brisingamen. Something she had never had the confidence to do, despite her ardent desire and love of writing as a young child and adult. Harmony is the translation of the Japanese name she received upon taking Buddhist ordination, and Kent is the area in which she lived at the time of writing Brisingamen. So, in 2013, Harmony Kent was born.
And then she made the decision that would change her life yet again. She moved to Cornwall. It felt like coming home. Breathing out. And being where she belonged. Being a Yorkshire lass at heart, she fit right in with the locals. To her mind, the Cornish are much like the Yorkshires, only in the warm south instead of the cold north, and with a strange accent! (Tongue in cheek.)
Despite making lots of friends and enjoying many successes, she remained alone. Sometimes, she expressed her feelings in poetry:
One friend persuaded Harmony to join an online dating site, and dutifully, she gave it a go for a while. Then she got fed up with the lack of honesty and cavalier attitude of the men she encountered there. One Saturday night, while most everyone in the neighbourhood attended a birthday party for a local whom Harmony hadn’t met, she deleted her online profile, looked upward, and declared, ‘I’m happy to spend the rest of my life alone.’
Once again, the universe displayed its exceptional sense of timing and humour. The very next morning, her friend introduced Harmony to the man who would become her husband.
Both wary, they took things slowly and carefully. But they soon discovered that they were soul mates. It had taken a while … a lifetime … but they had found one another at last.
They married in May 2019 and so far, anyway, are living their happily ever after. They get up to much silliness, and Harmony has discovered that it can be quite a lot of fun of an evening—while in the wheelchair to give her residual limb a rest from the rigours of the prosthetic—to chase her husband around the house!
The groom’s first job: picking out the confetti!
©Harmony Kent 2020
A small selection of books by Harmony Kent
One of the recent reviews for Polish Your Prose
Polish Your Prose was precisely the type of self-help book that I wanted. Harmony Kent has written an excellent guide for editing. Perhaps what I enjoyed the most was her clear examples of the misuse of specific areas in writing and grammar, followed by several better alternatives.
Some of the specific areas she writes about were basic (use of contractions, introductory clauses), but the author does not spend too long on any one topic. As someone who needs brushing up with some areas of grammar, I appreciated her clear and concise examples. One of the common themes is the need for consistency in one’s writing. There was plenty of information that was useful to me
Thank you for joining us today and I know that Harmony would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.
If you would like to participate you can find all the details: Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments