SHARING A PART OF THE BLUE HOUSE (as promised)
For my first ‘official’ blog of 2018 I thought it might be nice to share a small part of my first romantic novel (published in 2016 both in English and Dutch) with you. There has been a fantastic amount of reactions to my WordPress blogs so far and I try and answer each and every one of them. I think at the very least that is polite when people say such nice things and ask to be added to the feed.
First of all where did the inspiration come from? Well a lot of the things in the book are my own personal experiences and some true, also the stories about the places visited, but it is a romantic fiction novel about two people Grace & Matthew.
They know one another in totally different circumstances but meet up unexpectedly at an event at the end of December 2016.
I actually attended the event ‘White Planet’ hosted by a long time friend of mine in the north of Holland. So the beginning of the story is about my own experience during that event. It was that same afternoon that I suddenly heard the title of the book in my mind. We were being asked what our goals and such like were for the New Year and I said I wanted to write something different, a novel, fiction, something that I could make up in my mind, not based on just sharing information or my own experiences.
From that moment on the book began to take form in my mind, I had a title, two main characters and I liked the idea of going from the two of them telling the story chapter by chapter. Of course I had some help too from a friend, again I did not expect this to happen, but it did and he gave me insights about his real life work, which formed the character Matthew in the book.
But in the end, no matter who was involved, this is a romantic novel and has no bearing on people in real life, hence the correct disclaimer.
It was just as if the words fell out of my fingers, I started in the New Year and it was all done and finished by the end of the month. I made a plan: set down the backbone of the book in some notes used some special writer’s software, which helps to keep me on track, and also who is who in the story. It was just as if the story was writing itself.
Sometimes I would read bits out to my own family asking them what they thought and all sorts of things happened whilst writing. For example I was just writing the part later on in the book where Grace has to drive Matthew’s Tesla car. She is hopeless, cannot start it and then my own phone went. A very good friend of mine told me a real life similar story during the conversation. I was flabbergasted to be honest; I had just done several paragraphs on exactly the same subject!
Whilst writing it was as if, each and every moment brought some sort of confirmation, or something happened, perhaps something as insignificant as a song on the radio, as if the universe was constantly sending reminders and things as if to say, this is good, keep going.
Once finished and edited by my own daughter, what better day in any year than to publish a romantic book, than on St. Valentine’s Day, 14th February and just by chance the time was exactly 14.02 when the book was literally published.
The first reactions were incredible, people loved it and a lot of my friends here in The Netherlands said they wanted to read it, but why not in Dutch. Never done that ever before. So another friend helped me with a translation and the Dutch version was published too. Date 20th July 2017. This again made a nice numerological combination(20 07 2107)
Since publication quite a number of things have happened apart from sales and good reviews. The Dutch version is nominated for the Harland Book Award 2018 (results will be available in April 2018).
Also the Central Book Library choose this book out of the hundreds published every day, and shared the first 17 pages for free via their website. This gave me a top hit on Google for a day.
Yes, the Blue House has been a real experience, in both languages and the thrill of seeing both of them side by side is quite something!
So I thought it might be nice to share the introductory pages, which copyright the text as both books have ISBN numbers (obligatory). The lovely quote from Jeff Brown at the beginning is one I love about words. He read my very first manuscript (Impossible Love) and said he liked the style and the story so much. Great encouragement, he is a well-known Canadian author with several publications to his name.
So this is really how it all began.
A REAL SHORT PART FROM … THE BLUE HOUSE
‘Words so powerful. They can crush the heart or heal it. They can shame the soul, or liberate it. They can shatter dreams, or energize them. They can obstruct connection, or invite it. They can create defences, or melt them.
We have to use words wisely.’
Jeff Brown ©
THE BLUE HOUSE is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely coincidental.
Copyright © Jill Kramer 2017
All rights reserved
Published only in The Netherlands 2017 by Brave New Books
Edited by: Nelian Chabot-Kramer
Publications in other countries and Dutch translation: under negotiation
KRAMER, Jillian, Elizabeth
THE BLUE HOUSE, A NOVEL
Where do I begin to tell the greatest love story of all time? A story that all started in a magical place: White Planet, in a high dimension far, far away from here. A serene place, totally white, beautiful and intense feelings of love are everywhere.
How can you get there? Well you can only go when you are completely ready to surrender and give in to everything. When you feel that you are at the truly right moment when you are willing to release your soul and fly free. White Planet is a place where everything is possible for everyone no matter what skin colour, race or creed.
Free your soul and allow her to visit a place, which is just amazing!
And this is how it all began!
This is a story that I would have never believe could happen unless I had actually been there.
It was the lull between Christmas and the New Year and I went to an event called White Planet. The date is 28th December 2016. White Planet is part of the Year End Celebration at the centre of my host who I have known for a long time. It’s a spiritual experience, I have been to many over the years but as he had decided to shut the centre at the end of this year, this is the absolute final event.
It was a long drive up to the north of the small country from where I live. Thick swirling mist, so much so that planes were being re-directed and airports shut but with good sense and slow speeds and the unmissable satellite navigation, which is a god-send, (I would never get anywhere without it), I arrive at the hotel I will be staying overnight and check in.
Dress code for the event is all white, logical really because that is the theme of the day. After I had checked into my hotel, and changed into my white outfit, set off once again in the even thicker mist to my destination.
The first thing that happened as I drove up into the car park was that two people got out of a very sleek sports car, one of whom I recognised immediately, a fellow member of the online workshop group I took part in 2016 and then someone I had never in my wildest dreams expected to meet at this moment in this place. Flabbergasted is I think the word I would use and total non belief that this is real, well it is for now, and I know this person well but in a totally different context.
The usual refreshments and the introductions and then the event begins. First of all we are all going to take a journey together and look back at the year that is coming to an end and decide right here and now which energy we are going take into 2017, which in fact is now only a couple of days away.
And yes, what energy do I want? – because this will set the theme for the New Year and I heard during the day that it is important not to focus on negative things that have happened this year and let’s face it, everyone can think of something negative to which we all gave far too much energy and thought to. What is the positive thought I want then to take with me into another new year?
Well actually it’s is quite easy when you think about what is your passion? What are the things that you love to do the most? Well actually I know the answer to that question because the thing I love to do the very most is to write and play around with words. Then I feel at ease and can enter a world of fantasy or facts. I was actually quite surprised that when the host of the event said that I have a talent for writing and 2017 is going to be the year when I write a book and achieve the fame I want. I actually had never thought about it that way, I write purely because I love to and not so much for best seller lists or recognition, it only takes one person to read my words and become inspired by them and that so far, has always been enough.
But it wets my appetite and the thoughts came for this book.
But back to the event …
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the first half of the event, apart from the fact that it was really excellent and food for thought, literally too because the drinks and nibbles in the intervals were excellent as well.
After a huge vegetarian dinner buffet and so much conversation that at times I forgot that I was supposed to be eating, because the initial shock has gone now and I am finding myself engaged in the most incredible conversation and hearing things that I had never expected to hear. I am so engrossed in the conversation that I don’t notice at all that a lot of new people have arrived for the second part of the event: White Planet.
Suddenly the theatre doors open and scented white smoke fills the room, which is so dense and thick. We are asked to walk into the room, which is rather difficult when you can hardly see and sit or lie down on the cushions on the floor. After the earlier experiences that afternoon of falling three times off my ‘Fatboy’ and having to have help to get up, I relented and took a chair.
We closed our eyes and in a long deep meditation made our way through dimensions in time to go to the White Planet. Deep breathing and exhaling and step-by-step we made our way. When I opened my eyes at the appropriate time, I could hardly believe what I saw, there were images everywhere, on the floor, on the ceiling, on the walls and literally everything was white. It was like being in a virtual white world and totally believable that I was actually there. I find it hard (believe it or not) to find the words to say how amazing it was. We saw images and holograms on one wall, the likes of which I have never seen before and then after a second meditation started to move our bodies in the rhythm of the music and tones.
I was suddenly aware that someone took my hand and I felt their long soft fingers entwine around mine, and the feel of someone close, moving like me, not touching, but very close. Eventually when we were told to open our eyes, it was not a surprise at all, but exactly the person I thought it might be.
Later during one of the intervals we went to the so-called ‘chill room’ to relax and move away from the music. It was just magical, completely dark apart from candlelight and on a huge sheet of glass on the floor, covered with crystal balls all reflecting the light of the candles, flickering images on the walls. I laid down on the piles of cushions and watched the laser images on the ceiling. It was all quite breathtaking and all the time I felt the same hand in mine and his physical body close to me.
I was very aware of a huge circle of light which surrounded us and just as if rays of light were shining all around. It was so peaceful and serene and a mixture of dark and light, pure energy all in one space.
The session comes to an end when the level of energy is raised even higher to bring 12 hours of magic to and end. It is just after 2am and after yet another snack and a cup of hot steaming coffee, people prepare to leave and go out into the starry dark night, and have to de-ice their cars. The mist is freezing and thick and I make my way slowly having said my goodbyes back to my hotel and get undressed and sink into bed.
My mind is swirling with the events of the day and I cannot get to sleep even though I feel physically exhausted. Eventually I drift off into interrupted short sessions of sleep to be awoken by the alarm at 08.15.
To be continued ….. in Chapter two written by Matthew
If you feel that you would like to read more?
This book (and the Dutch version) can be ordered through the site www.bol.com. Just type my name (Jill Kramer) into the search and you will find them. Bol only sends packages out to Holland, Belgium and Germany.
If you live in another country and you want to order, please send an email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Include your name and address and if you have a PayPal account, your email. This is easy method of payment and avoids exorbitant bank charges.
The price of the book is Euro 19,99 ex postage. Obviously different postage rates apply for each country.
Also attached is Chapter Two written by Matthew who has a completely different view all about White Planet.
Read on …..
Is this for real? And how many times have I asked myself this question over the past hours. I think back to that exact moment that I got out of my car and there to my amazement is one of my patients getting out of hers. Grace has always been one of my more ‘special’ patients. When I first met her way back in the summer of 2012 she had travelled a long way and also waited for a long time for a second-opinion with me. I remember that meeting well because she has such a story to tell about her heart and when I found out that she had had an operation on her heart way back in 1974 I realised that the names she spoke with such ease, had been the people who inspired me to become the cardiologist I am today.
She had a natural way with words. When I listened to her heart I remember exactly the dress she was wearing. It was a flowing summer dress, blues, lilacs and turquoise and she had a freckled tanned soft skin. She had no shame as she slipped the shoulder straps off and lay down on the couch so that I could listen to her heart. Her ECG was a mess, her heart was irregular and I could see from the echo that one of her valves was leaking slightly. I heard the faint sound of the clicking shut of her mitral valve. She fascinated me. She was the living proof all these years later that the pioneers of heart surgery were amazing at what they did.
The first thing was that I completely change her medication and arranged for a new appointment. Her complete and utter blind faith in me as she shook my hand and smiled was something that I still remember to this day. After she shut the door, I asked my assistant to get her notes from the National Heart Hospital in London, which took quite a while and I marvelled at the papers that lay in front of me: her operation notes signed by one of the most famous cardiologists in the world.
I spoke to her on the phone a few weeks later, when she came back from her holiday in Hawaii. She said she felt better and I made a new appointment to see her again.
Over the years we fell into a routine of regular check up’s and I remember each and every time I came into the waiting room to call the next patient, I would immediately see her sitting somewhere, her whole presence filled the room. She would always look up and smile and I felt myself blushing.
One particular time she was waiting in one of my clinics in the temporary building we were housed when huge building renovations going on at the hospital and the new Heart Centre was being built which would become one of the most advanced and state of art centres in the whole of Europe. It was the medical device clinic and most of the patients waiting were male and elderly. I came out of my room and there she was sitting there dressed in pale grey and a maroon coloured jacket. Her t-shirt was a mass of shining glittery things, which caught the light and her fair hair was flowing around her shoulders. I looked at her, said she was far too early but she nodded and smiled and seemed happy to just sit there and wait reading her book. I rushed through the clinic waiting for her name to be the next one on my list.
She was a joy and always made me laugh about something and after the we talked about her heart, we would always find some subject either about wine or food or holidays and I knew that I chatted on to her longer than I did with other patients. She had soft freckled hands, wore little jewellery (she did not need it) and her fingers were long and she had the most beautiful manicured fingernails.
Yes, she was a special patient for sure, she fascinated me right from the word go and also her story.
Two times we stopped and re-started her heart, it’s a pretty straight forward thing, and she always amazed me by her tenacity and most of all, her complete trust in me that everything was safe just as long as I held her heart in my hands.
I found out through social media that she was also a talented writer and she would often publish blogs and when she did one about me and how I looked after her heart, of course it became the talk of the hospital.
‘Never change a winning team’ she would always say, ‘you are the best doctor ever and I never regret for one single second that I came all this way to be your patient’.
I remember one time when she left I just had a huge urge to hug her, she was that type of person, and I asked her if I could. She laughed and said of course and as I wrapped my arms around her and felt hers around me, something stirred in me deep within. I couldn’t explain at the time.
One of her heart valves started to leak badly and at first I thought she might have to undergo a second open heart operation, but she brushed the idea aside as if to say, everything will be perfect because I know you will look after me.
I am happy to say with a change in medication her valve stopped leaking significantly and ‘our plan’ had worked, the operation was not necessary anymore and her only comment was: ‘see, I know you would just fix it all’. People may think that she was flippant but it was her total trust in me that touched me the most.
This Christmas turned out to be the worst in memory for me. I found out that my wife has been having an affair with one of my best friends and colleagues for quite some time and choose Christmas Eve of all days to tell me that she wanted a divorce and would be leaving in the New Year.
I blamed myself completely because I know I work so many hours every week and I am involved with all my patients and hospital life, but I could not understand how anyone could destroy years of memories in one short moment at the worst possible time ever of the year. We have been married for nearly 30 years and we live a comfortable life. She is the mother of my children for goodness sake, and she really wants to throw all this away?
I went and packed a bag and walked out and got in my car and went to my sister’s. No explanations whatsoever to my boys who were home from university for the holidays, and I found myself driving up northwards, totally shell shocked and wondering what on earth could possibly happen to sort out this mess. I was full of anger, I felt totally rejected and I asked myself time and time again, what have I done wrong? Why? Why now? Then the bitterness came up of how a person who I considered to be not only a colleague and a good friend could betray me like this and destroy the lives of two families? Questions and more questions and by the time I arrived at my sister house, I felt a complete and utter wreck.
Helen is my favourite sister, I have got three but she is the one I feel most comfortable with and as my car drew up at her house, she opened the front door and her arms, which I fell into and burst into tears.
What a Christmas it was and I felt guilty for forcing my presence on her and her own family, but she and I sat for hours late into the night talking and I could talk to her. Then she told me she was going to an event on the 28th and that she would phone up and get a ticket for me.
‘It will be really good for you’,
‘something completely different and you can just relax and go into a fictional world where love is the only thing you need to think about’.
Yes right, as if I want to think about love, when I feel that my own heart has been shattered to smithereens.
She managed to get the last available ticket and we set off in thick mist to this centre which was only a short drive away and as I parked my car I just could not believe my eyes who got out of the car next to mine. My English patient!!
Helen jumped out of the car, and went to her, they seemed to know one another (how??) and hugged one another as if they had been friends for a long time. As I got out of my side of the car and locked it, she turned around and her mouth fell open with surprise.
‘What on earth are you doing here?’
she asked. She was just a mass of white and glitter, she looked amazing!
Well, to say I was ‘gobsmacked’ would be putting it mildly. Helen was looking at me with a puzzled face and we went through the routine of introductions, hand shaking and walking inside.
Helen said she had been doing an online course during 2016 with Grace and that Grace actually worked with the team translating the words into English.
Of course and now I recall the one time her phone laid on my desk and I had seen her screen saver, which was one of the images I was now looking at on the wall in front of me.
With so many people arriving there was little time to talk and when the event started I could only look ahead and see the back of Grace’s head as she was sitting two rows in front of Helen and I.
We would have to wait until the first interval to continue the conversation … so I sunk back in this huge cushion and concentrated on the words being spoken and the images I could see and what was happening to me!
To be honest I am not sure what to expect really, of course I have heard about the golden ratio and Pi, but sacred geometry – the language of the soul – ?