|Credit: Lean In|
|Credit: Lean In|
|Credit: From Paycheck to Purpose, Ken Coleman|
My name is Myron Edwards and I am an author, it has been one month twenty-eight days, and fourteen minutes since my last piece. Like so many authors I started small. I got roped into it by a mate of mine who I played drums with in a rock band. He had a friend who wanted some help with his hospital radio show. Now I confess I had never written anything before, but I thought why not. It started with shorts, just simple one-liners, before moving on to longer sketches. What was particularly good was that we got to perform them on air. I suppose that gave me the bug.
A consequence of our writing was that we had a lot of surplus material and we were unsure as to what to do with it. This next stage was the beginning of my addiction, one of the places we submitted our material to, was ‘The Two Ronnie’s at the time one of Britain’s greatest comedy duo’s and our material got on, at no less than the Christmas show, okay it was just a one-liner but it went out to over 50 million people on Christmas Eve.
From then on I was hooked. Following the success of the ‘Ronnie’s’ we both needed more we started on ‘Hudd Lines’ a radio show with a wonderful comedian and actor Roy Hudd who fronted the show. This quickly became a habit, as we would work over the weekends and then rush to the BBC in Portland Place for the material to be accepted. The main Producer at the time was John Lloyd MBE, he was ex Cambridge and was a real help to us. He encouraged us all the way and we kept producing.
John went on to produce shows like ‘Not the Nine O Clock News’ which we also contributed, to ‘Black Adder’ which is also one of his. By now our names appeared on credits regularly and it would be no problem for me to get through at least ten to fifteen one-liners a session. ‘Hudd Lines’ was great but I wanted to try something different, maybe something a little stronger. I settled on ‘Weekending’ , a satirical show that was broadcast on a Friday. It was Produced by Gryth Rhys Jones who went on to star in ‘NTNON’ and ‘Smith and Jones’ among many other programmes. The late Douglas Adams of ‘‘Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ also produced ‘Weekending ‘shows and he used my stuff.
My routine now extended to Sunday night check for stories and write them, Monday up to the BBC for script approval, Wednesday broadcast Paris Studios Regent St, to check on material submitted, Thursday ‘Weekending’ script submission, Friday back to Paris studios for broadcast. As you can see my obsession was beginning to take over, I had a delicate balance between my working life and my writing one, I tried to keep it hidden for a while, not admitting to too much material at a time, but eventually, my work began to suffer. I thought I would try to do it alone, maybe if I wasn’t so dependent on just these shows I could be more selective, it worked for a while when I got picked up by Scottish TV for a new show ‘A Kick up the 80’s’ starring Tracey Ullman, but my plan backfired with the success of the show and I was soon back on the wagon, my efforts to break away quashed.
At the time I was a travel agent and I was employed at JWT one of the World’s biggest Ad agencies then. My role was travel Manager looking after the needs of the agency. Several of the creative guys asked me about my writing for the BBC and one even suggested I should look to become a copywriter. To be frank, I had no idea what that meant, but he explained that if I could think from an advertising kind of way about products in the same way I did my comedy, I might be successful. So he suggested taking the copy test. He stressed it was not easy and no one had passed it in three years, so I thought why not maybe this would be a good way to channel my addiction and earn good bucks from it too. I discussed it with my then-wife, who said as long as the mortgage was paid she didn’t care.
I passed. Unbelievably my test was one of the best they had ever seen and I was invited to submit some ads from previous campaigns and change them. I did that and with these and the copy test combined I got elevated literally to the third floor to what was described to me as the ‘Cradle of Creativity’ and even though I was the latest ‘baby’ at 27, I felt proud to be there, for this is where the doyens of the ad world held court.
Coming from the ground floor and in a suit as well, my usual attire, I felt like a square peg in a round hole, as the residents seemed to have abandoned all dress codes and wore exactly what they wanted, mostly jeans, and T-shirts, trainers or boots. My immediate boss was a leading light in the ad world, Terry Howard, who is a direct descendant of Catherine Howard, wife of Henry the Eighth. Terry was a creative genius; he had created so many great ads and campaigns that his wall was adorned with countless numbers of framed awards. To be selected as a protégé of this man was a real privilege. I was given my first brief a dog food commercial. Within 10 days of arriving in the Creative Department, I had my first TV commercial.
My mood was set. I had come into a world that I liked, I could prosper here in more ways than one and I could hone my addiction to the way I wanted it to be rather than let it dictate to me. All was going so well, until BANG!
STRIKE! For the first time in commercial television history ITV went on strike, it was a strike that would last three months. Most of JWT’s revenue was from TV ads, losing that left a massive chunk in their finances, and the only advertising left was radio, press, or posters. I was kept on for a year, but like a few of us let go when the realisation of the strike hit home.
The next few years pushed me back into the travel business, and although I tried to move away from writing, something always dragged me back. By now I had developed an idea for a new form of walking map that would help commuters in London, it was called Tubewalking, an easy way to get from A-B using a Taxi driver’s knowledge of London streets.
I also had my first child, and my wife was not in favour of me taking this venture forward, so much so that she saw a huge gap in our relationship and sued for a divorce.
I moved out but also pursued my venture, I would try to make Tubewalking a success and to a certain extent it was, money was raised for charity and more map books were produced. Sales were good but we never quite reached the potential that the idea had. The odd thing is that even today the premise remains a valid solution to congestion or strikes.
So whilst Tubewalking gave me an escape from my writing in one form or another, I knew deep down that something somewhere would happen that would put me back to where I began. It happened one summer on a visit to Cyprus, the home of my future wife’s family. Cyprus is famous for several things, Haloumi, Cheese, Commandaria a dessert wine, its wonderful climate, gorgeous beaches, and Aphrodite the Goddess of Love, the symbol of the island.
One of the most visited sites is Petra Tou Romiou, her so-called birthplace where she rose from the foam into legend.
I wanted to see the place, having heard so much about it, so we went to a restaurant close by for lunch. I looked around at the usual collection of tourist stuff, and I felt decidedly unimpressed. Why could anyone think that these collections of rocks in the water could have any significance to the Goddess of Love? It was then my obsession began again, for on the wall was a picture taken from the air of a figure in the sea, it set off in me a sense of belonging, a sense of all that I had tried to control, was now out of control, my mind could not control the energy flowing through it. Some people have an epiphany moment in their life, this was mine. I knew I had to write it, I had to get it down. But I would need to do it in stages, I could not rush it.
|Credit: Myron Edwards|
The real break came when we decided as a family to move permanently to Cyprus. This was my catalyst; I could finally get these imaginings out of my mind. The more I learned about the island the more I soaked up the history. I wrote the screenplay, and there it was done. Perhaps the spirits that inhabited my waking hours would now leave me alone. But I was wrong. After people read it they suggested that a book might be the way to go. I agreed, so I wrote a book, one copy to give to my wife for a Christmas present. She read it and passed it on, now things went quickly, I was told that I should get it published. I found a publisher in Nicosia, the capital, I sent the synopsis to him, he asked for the manuscript, and the next week we were signing contracts to have the book published not just in English but in Greek.
The publicity bad wagon rolled out, newspapers, and radio, all picked up the story and one British Film Company wanted to make the movie. My passion was rocking. And just like my JWT experience BANG, it all stopped. Cyprus was embroiled in a financial crisis and everyone pulled the plug. My euphoria evaporated, in a flash. I had a contract that I needed to see through to the end, even as by now the publisher had gone bust.
I was in remission, save for one thing, my job, because I was managing two demons, my book and my job, that being as a Creative Director for a leading Limassol ad agency. Intent on keeping concentrated on my work, I was able to control it better for a little while, writing in English and then having it translated into Greek did pose its problems, but as my TV commercials were mainly visual I got away with it. That is until a fire destroyed it all. Overnight the building next door caught fire and gutted our roof. WE were finished. And I was redundant.
It was then I turned back to writing, I had tried to keep my thoughts about putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard away, but it was now so difficult to resist as more and more thoughts raged in my head. Like most writers I slunk away into my private world, locking myself away to churn out words hundreds and thousands of them, and build them into the sequel to my first book that I knew I had no control over. Night after night I would drift into the bedroom, alone with my thoughts oblivious to those around me.
How I wanted to be a part of them, but I knew that until I had unleashed the demon from my mind I had to stay alone. Eventually, book two was finished, now with my former contract ended, I needed to find a new publisher. I contacted James Hill of Rockhill Publishing in the USA and told him about my books and he said he would be interested. I sent him my material and he liked the book and decided to offer me a contract on a pay-on-demand basis.
Soon after the first book was published, with the second due out the following year. I was trying to keep a lid on my writing with two books done, but somehow the story wasn’t finished, it just kept nagging at me that I needed to end it, I needed to finish it, and only then could I be free, or could hope to be. Book three came easily it rounded everything up and it helped me to come to terms with my addiction because I freely admit that is what it is,
Today, now with three books on the shelf, I have been trying to relax more, I have found a sponsor and she has guided me with my writing, so much so that she is looking to present a children’s book I wrote recently.
I have come a long way since those early days at the BBC. I have made many sacrifices, some of which I regret, but through it all, I have tried to remain true to the mantra of ‘One day at a time.’ Now I need a drink.
Learn more about Myron here.
|Credit: StyleMySoul / StyleMySoul.com|
|Credit: Sasha Laghonh, Sasha Talks / SMS Announcement|
Dr. Caldicott, Welcome to Authors by Sasha. As an accredited Australian and American physician who has contributed her medical expertise to Harvard Medical School, what inspired you to initially specialize in the field of pediatrics? This investment granted you an opportunity to establish the first Australian clinic for cystic fibrosis at the Adelaide Children's Hospital.
I had been working at Harvard at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center on a sabbatical with Dr Harry Schwachman, a pioneer in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, and when I returned home to Adelaide I realized that these children were essentially untreated at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital, so I said I can treat these children however the powers that be told me that I was not a pediatrician therefore I could not do that. So I said to my husband I’ve supported you in your medical training now it's my turn, so I worked 80 hours a week as a pediatric intern, passed the difficult exam to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, where upon I set up the first cystic Fibrosis clinic in Australia which now has the best longevity results in the country.
At what point in your career did you become involved with educating audiences about the harmful effects of radiation from a pediatric perspective? Was there a patient case, or current event that stirred your desire to raise awareness for managing a healthier global environment?
When I learned that the drinking water in Adelaide was contaminated by radioactive fallout from the French atomic tests in the Pacific and I wrote a letter to the paper outlining the medical dangers re people and children drinking radioactive water and eating radioactive food, thereupon I was frequently on TV educating the public as a doctor about these dangers and the public became outraged at the French so our Prime minister took France to the International Criminal Court whereupon it was forced to test underground.
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki represent the only time in history where the use of nuclear weapons were present in armed conflict. As someone born between these two historical events, how have your world views evolved towards humanity in general?
Well I was born on August 7 between Hiroshima and Nagasaki days so I was clearly destined to try and do something about nuclear weapons. I suppose I don’t really trust humanity which has always fought and killed, motivated I think by the testosterone imperative. It’s time women who compose 52% of the human race took over, if not, I believe we are doomed.
How can global civilians learn more about the presence of nuclear programs and their side effects without relying on the media?
Well I used to be on TV and radio all the time in the 80’s in the US as I had a wonderful Hollywood agent who worked with me for free, and in that way 80% of Americans were educated and frightened about the medical consequences of nuclear war, and that welling up of public fear led to Reagan and Gorbachev meeting in Iceland in 1988 and they agreed to then end of the Cold war but unfortunately that didn’t take place and we are now on the brink of annihilation with the war in the Ukraine with Putin suggesting the use of nuclear weapons.
The media is a tool that can be leveraged to communicate powerful messages to the masses. There are historical movements (i.e. women's movement and gay rights) which gained traction through mobilization of people without the strong reliance on the media. You've referenced "Nudes Not Nukes" in your speaking engagements. How did this social experience play a significant role in capturing the media's attention?
I was speaking in the Herbst lecture theater in SF with Patch Adams about Y2K and the media’s lack of coverage, when Patch said we should walk naked across America, at which point I asked the packed theater who would do that and every hand went up, so we stripped off our clothes and walked naked down Van Ness chanting “nudes not nukes”, and we broke the media impasse and were covered in the NYT the next day – so nudity works.
Do you believe the quality and outcome of social activism would improve if people focused more on raising awareness and less on commercially marketing their messages on virtual platforms?
I think that it is absolutely imperative that the media start to educate people about the medical effects of nuclear war. I am available as are many of my medical colleagues in Physicians for Social Responsibility, both on TV, radio and the press. I suggest that you all obtain a copy of IF YOU LOVE THIS PLANET from my website helencaldicott.com. It won an Oscar, is over 30 years old, is half an hour long and really packs a punch. It should be shown in every TV station -in America at least once.
Dr. Caldicott, as the Founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, you've shared the medical profession holds a sacred responsibility to serve patients who trust their doctors with their well-being. Do you suspect some doctors are starting to compromise their Hippocratic Oath in order to accommodate the commercial and political interests of the world?
I don’t really know that because most of my medical colleagues practice medicine to the best of their ability.
How can doctors remain cognizant of their primary responsibility without jeopardizing their principles like some scientists in our global community?
Well we all took the Hippocratic Oath and that is the basis of our profession.
You've authored eight books to date which include Nuclear Madness, Missile Envy and recently Sleepwalking to Armageddon. Sleepwalking to Armageddon captures the history and politics of nuclear weapons; at the same time explores the use and exploitation of nuclear weapons over the years. For this endeavor, you successfully assembled the world's leading nuclear scientists and thought leaders to assess the political and scientific dimensions of the threat of nuclear war today. What metrics did you apply to engage these subject matter experts which serve as credible sources to comment on such a controversial topic?
I have no metrics, I am well known as one of the leaders of the Freeze movement of the 1980s and hence I know many of these scientists and we work together.
In 2016, your work referenced there were at least 15 nuclear reactor sites present in the country of Ukraine. They were described as sitting time bombs. There are nuclear sites situated throughout the world including at least 48 sites within the United States; few minor sites managed by prominent universities. If these land mines were to go off, it would destroy all of civilization encompassing humans, animals and plants. Ideally we would want to cease the operations of these nuclear sites. Given the state of the world today, what precautionary measures can we take to slow the proliferation of these sites?
There are really no precautionary measures as they are all sitting time bombs filled with tons of toxic radioactive elements, as well as nuclear waste site, they will be dangerous for one million years, there in really nowhere to store this incredibly dangerous material and if a plant is hit with weapon of war, it will induce another Chernobyl and make millions of square miles uninhabitable, kill millions of acute radiation illness while millions more will be develop cancers over the coming years.
As noted in the 1982 Academy Award winning documentary, If You Love This Planet, audiences are told to change their life priorities to nurture a sustainable planet. Today people invest on fighting environmental challenges such as global warming and terrorism, yet they discount the nuclear arms race and its impact on the world. Is there some psychological dissonance present that prevents people from conquering an actual time sensitive threat that is more damaging than the other environmental matters?
It’s because it is not being discussed in the media and people are now uneducated regarding the medical consequences. Our work -PSR in the 1980s led to the film THE DAY AFTER which frightened everyone including Reagan who then said NUCLEAR WAR MUST NEVER BE FOUGHT AND CAN NEVER BE WON.
Dr. Caldicott, you've been encouraging the United States to take a bold stand against nuclear weapons for decades. It appears "ignorance is profound in the media '' which contributes to the lack of understanding of how nuclear weapons can destroy not only the planet but the solar system too. This impacts the emergence of new illnesses, contamination in our nutritional consumption and the overall health of each generation that is effected by radioactive environments. As a former radio host and lecturer at New School for Social Research, what call to action do you propose for all media sources in the United States?
Nuclear war will not destroy the solar system however I urge everyone reading this to download IF YOU LOVE THIS PLANET then after watching it go to your local TV station and demand that they play it .This will break open peoples’ psychic numbing and cause much political action and concern. It should also be played for all members of Congress in their offices as Tip O’Neil once did for our PSR film THE LAST EPIDEMIC.
What activities do you seek for mental stimulation when not you're not preoccupied with your professional engagements and social causes?
Gardening, cooking, reading and classical music.
Do you participate in any spiritual or personal rituals that keep you grounded to complement the serious nature of the work you perform worldwide?
As an accomplished author and filmmaker, are there any new messages you anticipate penning in the near future?
I might complete my autobiography.
Are there any self-development lessons you've acquired through your social activism as an anti-nuclear campaigner?
Dr. Caldicott, as a Nobel Peace Prize winner & one of the most influential women of the 20th Century honored by the Smithsonian, are there any new opportunities you'd like to prospect as you continue your five decade plus career?
No, I just want the precious life on earth to continue.
Please share with audiences how they can support your work.
Well go to my web page, helencaldicott.com and read all the books mentioned there that I’ve written, watch the films and videos and then your soul will be impelled and will know what you have to do to save the planet.
"If You Love This Planet"
|Credit: I Can Do It by Louise Hay|
In this concise yet information-packed book—which you can download the audio from the included link and listen to or read at your leisure—bestselling author Louise L. Hay shows you that you "can do it"—that is, change and improve virtually every aspect of your life—by understanding and using affirmations correctly.
Louise explains that every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. Even your self-talk, your internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought. Your beliefs are merely habitual thinking patterns that you learned as a child, and many of them work very well for you. But other beliefs may be limiting your ability to create the very things you say you want. You need to pay attention to your thoughts so that you can begin to eliminate the ones creating experiences that you don’t want.
As Louise discusses topics such as health, forgiveness, prosperity, creativity, relationships, job success, and self-esteem, you’ll see that affirmations are solutions that will replace whatever problem you might have in a particular area. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to say "I can do it" with confidence, knowing that you’re on your way to the wonderful, joy-filled life you deserve. Credit: I Can Do It @ Amazon & Hayhouse.
Credit: Tina Paterson, Author of Effective Remote Teams Meet Tina Paterson Meet Tina Paterson, business professional and the author of Eff...