Finally today, I’m delighted to share an extract with you on the blog tour of Hector: At Ground Level by Gary Finnan. Enjoy!
BOOK BLURB & INFO
This Little Book is about being present to the wonders that exist around us At Ground Level, discovering all that we fail to see when we spend so much of our lives chasing bigger, better, faster, more, endeavouring to fly higher.
Everything else seems much more desirable around us than ourselves, or our lives and loves, after a long day at the slug farm.
When do we decide how to proceed with the life we have built thus far: Joy, Passion,
Marriage, Divorce, Suicide, Enlightenment? Choices we have made. What if you built from a place of strength rather than always feeling diminished and unfulfilled? A life built upon the life you have, rather than the elusive life you imagine, yet fear. Build a great life in balance with your best self and your nurtured relationships. Transformation is seeing the hidden gems that truly exist in plain sight.
We have all heard someone say, The grass is greener on the other side. Is it?
Most of us were 4 or 5 years old when the belief structure we made with life set in: I
am stupid, I am weak, I don’t deserve, etc. We engaged believing that we should spend
our lives proving that we are who we believe everyone else thinks we are. Breaking the
cycle of doubt is essential. Loving self is the first love.
The grass is greenest where you are!
Published by: Norlightspress.Com on 17th December 2019
Formats available: Paperback & eBook
Hector dropped from his mother’s womb, into the brisk air of the burrow, landing with a start on the rough straw-covered floor. “Number seven” she gasped, too young for so large a first litter.
Six others were already there, squirming with blind eyes, driven by instinct to feed at all costs.
Hector, or #7 for the time being, joined the wriggling pink fray in pursuit of the elusive teat. Life started like this, and one could only assume that it might get better.
Wisdom and general belief claimed that for most, life would improve; it started with struggle and a heavy dose of ignorance. This was life at ground level.
At school and from an early age Hector was never quite able to understand Dick and Jane, The Big Red Ball or the unusual shape of the number 5 amid the mumblings of his teacher, Miss Pettigrew.
Hector’s memories of remedial reading, of being “slower” than normal, sat heavy upon him. He knew no better.
“God help the little bugger when we start with sums,” he heard them whisper. It all became a blur, albeit a consistent one, struggling to pass a test or just keep up with the rabbits or weasels in class.
It all felt just like running last in a race, never understanding why others could run so fast, so effortlessly, never breaking that tape with a puffed-out chest. Why? Who knows?
He knew no better.
Mediocre was a word he had not yet discovered but was entangled in by circumstance of birth.
Nothing changed over his early years other than the skill to hide the fear, cheat the system, and cheat himself with life’s little shortcuts through the brambles. Duck and dive, move, and twist Hector learned. “Push him through,” they whispered.
Still, cautiously they countered, “Hedgehogs can turn if provoked, be careful. They can also display considerable charm should they choose to.”
Discovery of an above-average histrionic ability came as an epiphany after many falls, thanks to Miss Gail, a fine golden albino ferret, his teacher from the Scottish Highlands. Her gift was promoting Hector from playing a stoic tree at the edge of the stage to a small part with dialogue, and admittance into the chorus of the school play. Hector resolved instinctively that he would simply finish one step at a time and sing along the way.
Hector’s parents, Maggie and Drew bestowed upon their brood of seven a fragile birthright amid muddy fields and waterlogged hedgerows.
Drew was what you might call a well-oiled old bastard. He had all the classic traits of a Hedgehog: short stubby legs, the customary prickly exterior when pushed too far, and an underbelly much softer than he would have liked to admit. Drew styled a furry chin and a pair of narrow eyes, constantly on the lookout for a bit of fluff who would listen to his tales of wonder, his could-haves, and should-haves. With a weakness for the potato beer and prickly bitches, Drew grumbled on. It would be years before Hector understood any reasoning or fostered any respect for these survival methods that Drew conveyed to his fledgling son.
Now Maggie, Hectors Mam, was something else, a proper Queen. In fact, she was a proper Gin Queen. Whereas Drew could go without the potato beer for days and even weeks, Maggie danced the gooseberry gin trot all too well. Maggie was a tiny specimen. She would sit like a butterfly on Hector’s knee at teatime years later, jabbering of all she could have been and might be if Drew let her go.
Maggie had started life in the lowest burrows of the highlands, crowded and waterlogged, with eight to a nest and hunger at the door. Drew had been Maggie’s escape, one rung up the ladder, not high enough to see the moon in the meadow beyond, but just enough to escape the drudge. With these odds against him stacked against the burrow wall as heritage, Hector was determined to go at least one more rung up that ladder.
aboUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Scotland and raised in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Gary Finnan splits his time between Sonoma Wine country in California and his farm in Aiken South Carolina, along with his wife Eva and two daughters. Gary is an award-winning inspirational author.
Organised by: Love Books Group
Thanks to Kelly & Meggy for inviting me on to the tour, and to Gary for sharing an extract with us.
Have a wonderful day all, and enjoy your Sunday!
Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.