inspiration from The Crab Nebula - A Supernova Remnant


The Crab Nebula - -a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula - is 6500 light years from Earth. One light year is 5.88 trillion miles. The distance that light travels in a vacuum for one year. When we reference "the universe", it is so far beyond what we can seem to imagine. The possibilities are infinite. The creation is amazing and awe-inspiring. Imagine what types of intelligence has evolved out there with technology 1000 times or more advanced than our own. Past-present-future merging into the eternal now. Other dimensions beyond measurable time. Consciousness expanding here and hereafter. And we think we have it all figured out 🙂

Inspiration from Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Review

Unbroken, based on a true story by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabisquit)

 This story, which I finished as an audiobook, was one of the most engaging stories I have ever read in my life. The inspiration was in the fortitude, courage, and creativity of Louis Zamperini.

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

Zamperini went from a delinquent childhood to becoming a world record-breaking marathon runner, only to be drafted into the army and sent on missions as a bomber in the Pacific in World War II. 

The incredible but true story starts from there when he struggled to survive for 36 days on a raft against sharks, hunger and thirst, sun and storms, only to end up landing on an island and being taken to a POW camp.

What he endured there and in other camps was brutality that targeted him among others and he needed to survive this if he could. 

" Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will." - Audible  


As an audiobook, it was an extraordinary experience to listen to the story narrated masterfully by Edward Hermann. It's no surprise that on Audible there are 49,470 reviews with an average rating of 4.6out of 5 stars. 


Unbroken is an inspiration and testimony to the resilience of the human mind, body, heart, and spirit that we all have to some degree within us.

Critic's Rave Reviews

"Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler’s eye for a detail that makes a story live." (Newsweek)

"A master class in narrative storytelling.... Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Ambitious and powerful.... Hillenbrand is intelligent and restrained, and wise enough to let the story unfold for itself. Her research is thorough, her writing crystalline. Unbroken is gripping in an almost cinematic way." (The New York Times Book Review)

“[A] one-in-a-billion story...designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.” (New York)

“Staggering...mesmerizing...Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.” (People

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

“Hillenbrand...tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.” (Time)

Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.” (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run


Five Ideas for Inspiration for October

 Five Ideas for Inspiration in October

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

October is a month of change, transition from Summer to Fall, from light to increasing darkness in the days, colder weather, rain, brilliant leaves that fall and sail with the wind, candles and approaching holidays, Dias de Los Muertos and Halloween traditions, Fall harvest, and more time indoors.

Here are five ideas for inspiration in October:

1) Start a creative project

A creative project can be anything that you've thought about doing and have not started yet. Whatever it is, creativity will be involved in how you plan it, have ideas about it, engage in it, and take actions to create it. This first act of creativity may be to start it. Once started, commit to follow through with it daily, and maybe set a goal to continue until the end of the year.

2) Celebrate Halloween differently

Besides the usual routines of visiting a haunted house, or pumpkin patch, or decorating the home, consider adding something different. For example, when I lived in Denver the Botannical Gardens had an amazing authentic celebration of Dios de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico. Another idea is to carve pumpkins with unique faces that you can find on Google and display them on your window or front porch.

Scary movies and books are prolific, and if these have not been a part of the routine, seek out unusual experiences with both or either. I am listening to the classic novel Dracula as an audiobook for the first time. This is the original story and it is very engaging, building suspense in every chapter. It is a masterpiece and now I know why.

3) Listen to inspiring music every morning (or whatever time works)

Whether on YouTube or with headphones try adding one inspiring song in your morning routine or whatever time works in the day. By adding more music in October, the month will take on a different vibe, and may enhance your life in ways unknown until you try it.

4) Plants seeds of inspiration for the New Year

Whatever inspires you now take it to the next level and add something new. The New Year will be upon us soon and October is a good time to start planting "seeds of inspiration" or ideas that will inspire you through the rest of the year and into the New Year. In one year from now you might have a tree. 

5) Create and read an affirmation every day until the end of the year.

Here's a template to work with or create your own. By affirming this every day you are infusing the most positive thoughts about your life in a concentrated form. 
Today I am most grateful for ___________________________.
These are the reasons why I love my life or will love my life: ________, _________, _________, ______________.
I am continuing _________- a new project and committed to practicing it every day until the end of the year. I enjoy the love and connection with my family and friends, especially ______, ______, ______, ______, ______._________ 
October can be a month to be remembered this year, for those things that we started or created that provided us inspiration in the months that followed. 
Carpe Diem

The September Secret Revisited

If there was one secret that was revealed to you in September...

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” 
― Roald Dahl 

September 4 2022

If there was one secret that was revealed to you in September that had the effect of changing your life, or transforming the way that you viewed the world and universe, or inspired you beyond your comfort zone, would you be willing to receive it ?

We can easily get into patterns of thought, behavior, routines, habits, and even the seeking of new ideas in a way that the seeking becomes just as or more important than the idea or information itself. And it's all good. 

Sometimes we may feel as if we are in a box, even if we try to "think outside of the box". Sometimes we may feel that there is no box at all. 

Yet deep inside us we also know that there are many mysteries yet to be revealed. These may be hidden secret treasures. Secrets that are only revealed at a special time or place.

September is here. The seasons are changing. We don't know what may happen in our life  during this coming month. Is there a possibility that in this month, September 2022,  a secret will be revealed to you?

Be open to the possibilities. You never know until it happens.
updated notes:
Dear Reader, thank you for reading this blog.
When I published this original blog post in August 2018, little did I know that I would meet my future wife in September.  Maybe subconsciously I knew that something big was about to happen. Consciously I had no idea. Yet, I incline to be open to all possibilities, and that's a good thing, as we fell in love and were married in June 2019. Life can have its unexpected surprises. My hope for you is to have at least one, however big or small, in September.
Carpe diem. Seize the day.
In deep gratitude,
David Brown   

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"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine." - Ludwig van Beethoven

10 Unusual Ideas with Inspiration for Aging and Wellness

10 Unusual Ideas with Inspiration - for Aging and Wellness

by David Lawrence Brown

We all need inspiration for aging and wellness. 

Both aging and wellness are areas in which we have so many choices, some more commonly known than others. Here are ten unusual or different ideas that might help our aging and wellness. Anyone who has reached age 50, 60, or 70 has the subject of aging more prevalent in their perspective on life. This is especially relevant for baby boomers in 2002 between the ages of 58 and 76. 


“This word ‘anti-aging’ has to be struck. I am pro-aging. I want to age with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve and energy.”- Jamie Lee Curtis 


The quote by Jamie Curtis is a great one. However many may not hold this same view. The ten ideas presented here are in the same spirit as Jamie's inspiration of aging "with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve and energy". 

 Our Mental Attitude Towards Making Changes in Life

For many including baby boomers, making changes in our life, even small ones, can sometimes be a challenge. We get set in our routines and our ways. We may have challenges to whatever extent. Whatever the challenges, can we love and embrace our life with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve"? 


The ten unusual ideas are broken down into two categories below, mental-spiritual-emotional, and physical health. Some ideas may seem more "unusual" than others. One in particular - CBD - is listed in both categories as it has both mental and physical benefits.



1) Atomic Habits - Transform Habits = Transform Your Life 

 How can small changes create big results? We might like the idea of changing our routine to include something new, yet to be committed to it might have challenges. If we had a system or track to run on and actively use to create changes in our life that are unusual in their distinction from other systems and provide the inspiration to stay with it, then it might be worth looking into. Atomic Habits is a best-selling book and a system that now has a track record of working for many people. It may be usual for some, and it may also be unusual for many more. Check out this video and get inspired to buy the book. - YouTube video- James Clear....


2) CBD for Mental and Emotional Health

"Many people use CBD to curb symptoms of many common health issues, including elderly people. According to a 2020 nationally representative Consumer Reports survey, 20% of Americans 65 years and older said they'd tried CBD, up from 14% from the prior year in 2019." -WebMD  Research studies show that CBD has strong potential to help with neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, panic disorders, stress, coping with illness, depression, improving mood and sleep. Learn more about the benefits of CBD for Baby Boomers >



3) Turn Off, Tune In, and Drop Out - 

This might be unusual for many however try this for more peace of mind. Turn off the news unless you can watch without having your buttons pushed and get triggered into the expected response. Tune in to your freedom of thought, choices, and intuition including The Divine Spirit or Higher Power if you are not an atheist. Drop out of the "torrential and turbulent winds of the hurricane", whenever possible, and enjoy a new perspective on life. In an article in Psychology Today, learn about the effects of TV and news."If the TV program generates a negative mood (anxiety, sadness, anger, or disgust), these experiences will affect how you interpret events in your own life, what types of memories you recall, and how much you will worry about events in your own life."

 The Psychological Effect of TV News >

4) Include Peaceful Meditation in your Daily Routine

This may not be unusual for many, yet it probably is for many more. Meditation can provide inspiration and peace of mind in this fast-paced world. Research has described other benefits. At first, you might be bombarded with thoughts and it is not peaceful so you might want to stop there. Stay focused on a mantra or idea such as love, gratitude, or your belief in a God or Divine Spirit. At some point, those thoughts might diminish, and you go deeper into a peaceful state. Stay there and enjoy. No rush to come out. Even twenty minutes a day can do wonders. I have practiced meditation for many years, first thing in the morning. Sometimes I will add one in the afternoon. With our busy lives, that may seem like a lot. Even fifteen minutes in the afternoon can be helpful. Learn more > Why Meditation is Amazing


5) Fun and Games - Lumosity Brain Training

Play games and puzzles online to improve your memory, cognition, problem-solving, and brain activity. Lumosity is helping people keep their brains challenged. That's why they created a simple online tool to allow anyone to train core cognitive abilities. From neuroscience to visual art, they combine many diverse disciplines in an engaging brain training program — making cognitive research available to everyone. They collaborate with over 100 leading researchers, clinicians, and teachers from institutions around the world. I enjoy a lifetime subscription. Learn more >


Here's to Your Physical Health

While we rely on doctors to help us, there has been a trend now for many years to seek out things that can also help our health. Fitness, and diet, are well established. Certain foods or herbs are heard of and researched online. 

1) In Praise of Walking (with an Audiobook)

We have the common knowledge that walking is a good routine and that we can also enjoy music with our pods at the same time. However, there's an unusual twist on this idea....use atomic habits to be inspired to integrate a walking routine, and listen to an audiobook instead of music. It could be a best-seller, a classic, or a book on walking such as "In Praise of Walking". "A hymn to walking, the mechanical magic at the core of our humanity. In this captivating audiobook, neuroscientist Shane O'Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking can confer upon our bodies and brains, and to appreciate the advantages of this uniquely human skill" (Audible) Get inspired by listening to this audiobook while you are walking! free download on Audible with a 30-day trial. 

2) CBD Physical Health Benefits

Hemp-based CBD that has no THC has been the subject of increasing research studies since it was legalized in the U.S. in 2018. Sales of CBD have doubled in the past three years and are expected to double again in three years. Research studies show promising potential for a wide variety of physical conditions including cancer, epilepsy, anti-inflammatory, pain relief, blood pressure, sleep.The potential benefits of CBD seem quite extensive. 

Learn more about CBD >  The Benefits of CBD for Baby Boomers



3) Yoga and Qi Gong 

 Yoga has become very popular and yet it still might be considered unusual by many baby boomers who think that it might be only for a younger crowd. Not the case. I was so inspired by my first week of hot yoga that I went from a ten-day to thirty-day to a one hundred-day challenge to take one hot yoga class every day, and I ended up at 114. Qi Gong is not as well known as yoga so it might also be considered "unusual". Practiced by millions of Chinese for centuries it started becoming more popular in the West in recent years. You don't need to seek out a studio. Check out Judy Young's Qi Gong - Eight Pieces of Silk Brocade on YouTube. 



 4) 5 Cups of Green Tea a Day?

Green tea is not unusual. It is commonly known and can be bought at Costco as well as online and in many stores. What is unusual is drinking 5 cups a day for aging and wellness. Who would have known some years ago? Yet now it is more commonly known that green tea has health benefits. Will our doctor recommend it? Probably not. So we do our own research and learn that green tea has different benefits. Here are two :

>Polyphenols - natural compounds that can help reduce inflammation and fight cancer.

> Harvard Health Studies published a paper "Green Tea May Reduce Heart Disease Risk"- "A number of studies have looked at possible links between green tea and cardiovascular disease. A study of 40,530 Japanese adults found that participants who drank more than five cups of green tea a day had a 26% lower risk of death from a heart attack or stroke and a 16% lower risk of death from all causes than people who drank less than one cup of green tea a day." - Harvard Health Studies 

5) Get into Nature Physically and with Amazing Drone Videos

If you are not able to get into beautiful nature on a frequent basis, consider the beautiful nature videos with drones where you are soaring over waterfalls, canyons, mountains, oceans, and anywhere in the world. Of course, being there is preferable, yet it may not happen that often except on vacations. As an example, enjoy Nature's Healing Society on YouTube.While they have soothing music at a frequency such as 432mz to have an effect, it can also be watched with the sound turned off while you choose your own favorite soothing music or audiobook.

Inspiration and Gratitude while Suffering? Is it Possible?

From Chapter 20 - Serious Illness,  Inspiration and Gratitude - book on Amazon

Millions of people suffer from chronic disease, disability, pain, cancer, and a wide range of challenges to living a healthy life. Yet even during a serious illness or health challenge, some express their appreciation of life and gratitude for all the things that they can still experience. When Johnny Depp made a surprise visit to a Children's hospital in Australia dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, it was not just a quick visit. Johnny Depp made an effort to visit each room and tried to meet all the kids, including those in isolation. "He took the time to engage with them and make them smile and laugh," one staff member said.

In the video (shown at the end of this post) that I have watched several times, one young patient was so deeply amazed and appreciative that seeing their joy and the surprise gift from Johnny Depp was inspiring. The video is an excellent example of the many acts of kindness and support that are provided to those that have serious challenges. 


There are many handicapped people who have a serious illness and yet also use gratitude to enhance their experience of their quality of life. These people are "gratitude warriors" in my perspective as they are focused on being grateful even amid terminal illness, loss of health, permanent or temporary disabilities. At first, it would seem unusual to have gratitude for anything during a serious illness or handicap. Yet it is not unusual at all for those who have various conditions and use it. 

At another children's hospital, gratitude is described as a part of a group's process to understand that we are much more than our suffering.

"It occurs to me that our drawing group was counting our blessings. It also occurs to me that our blessings were many. We talked about hospital stays, surgeries, and how needles really hurt; we also talked about the fun of soccer, the cuteness of cats, and the awesomeness of best friends. The things we love won't cure our illnesses: There still will be medications with rotten side effects and symptoms that make us feel lousy. But they can make our illnesses easier to bear. Even on horrible days when pain is unrelenting, and hope is dim, these "good things" we carry within us sustain us by reminding us that we are more than our suffering. "Psychology Today - "Cultivating Gratitude While Living with Chronic Illness" by Katie Willard Virant 

The drawing group was composed of children who are living with chronic illness. The drawings were reminders of everything there was that can be enjoyed in life; favorite games and toys, family, activities such as sports, TV, reading, and favorite foods. "…we are more than our suffering."

 This is the key takeaway from this article. Whatever the "more" is in our life that is separate from the suffering, we can have gratitude for that. Is it possible to have gratitude for the suffering also? It would not seem "normal" to have gratitude for suffering. However, one woman, Christina Tidwell, has gratitude for what her chronic illness has taught her. Her story is common for so many that have chronic illnesses. After years of suffering, she decided to change her story. 

"After years of confusion and suffering, I was finally able to take control of my life by becoming my own advocate, being mindful of what food I put into my body, and learning my own disease triggers and how to reduce flare-ups. I focused on decreasing stress, incorporating mindful movement and exercise back into my life, and gathering a supportive healthcare team." She has a Health and Nutrition Coaching practice called Live Well, is public about her chronic illness, as well as her gratitude for what it has taught her. In one of her blogs "On Gratitude for Illness" she writes: 

"What if today, instead of diagnosing, monitoring, analyzing, treating, and trying to fix your chronic illness, you took a moment to step back, do nothing and simply be thankful for its place in your life. Yes, thankful for the thing that causes you pain, fatigue, confusion, loss of control and at times suffering. If you're all "Yeah whatever lady, I didn't ask for this, you don't know what it's like," hear me out.

 Illness is our body telling us that something is out of balance. It's our body trying to get our attention so we can work towards fixing the imbalance. Having an illness in any form is not something anyone asks for, but if we can view illness as an opportunity to slow down, quiet down, and listen to what is going on internally it can be used as a great tool for healing and personal growth." 

 "Illness offers us a precious opportunity to investigate our lives without judgment, diagnose the root cause of what might be contributing to an illness, realign ourselves spiritually, and do what we can to make our bodies ripe for miracles." - Lissa Rankin, MD


Alternatives to traditional medicine have been increasing for years, yet respect for traditional methods also exists. A key takeaway from Christina Tidwell's story and work is the inspiration of gratitude that motivated her to make changes in her life after "years of confusion and suffering", and that changes can be made now if needed without having years of suffering. It does not mean that the disease may go away, but the attitude of gratitude and the idea of listening to what the body is saying is important wisdom. And this can be inspiring for those who are suffering, their caregivers and loved ones, and those who learn about their stories.

From Chapter 20 - Serious Illness

Brown, David Lawrence. Inspiration and Gratitude . David Lawrence Brown. Kindle Edition.

In Silence We Speak

 In silence we speak

not with our words but from our souls

Our broken and healed hearts

Our depths of memories

with grieving, gratitude, forgiveness,and more

In silence we hope....

for more silence

Like in the eye of a hurricane surrounded

By turbulent winds of change, of chaos, of loud thunderous sounds

That impose upon our inner silence, our peace of mind

In silence how many will shout, scream, howl, and weep

yell, and vent with anger, frustration, and pain

that has seeped into their souls and possibly also into the collective subconscious

of humanity, and then is hopefully released, healed, and reborn

In silence we hold fast to our spirit, our life, and our sanity

we speak not with words but with love

in those sublime moments of beautiful music, of nature, oceans

and waterfalls, that pour the living waters into our souls. 

In silence we speak to our self, and then we listen

to that still small voice that speaks to us

to our heart and our soul

that is connected to a Divine Spirit

who speaks to us in silence

and in love

Why I Love George Elliot's Middlemarch

 Middlemarch - George Elliot's Writing Style, Humor, Wisdom, and Storytelling

"If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence."
- George Elliot

I love George Elliot's writing in her masterpiece novel Middlemarch as it reflects her timeless wisdom, subtle humor and satire, knowledge of human behavior with complex characters, and insights into historical events of her time and before in England. 

 George Elliot was Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880.) "Although female authors were published under their names during her lifetime, she wanted to escape the stereotype of women's writing being limited to lighthearted romances or other lighter fare not to be taken very seriously. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as a translator, editor, and critic." - Wikipedia 


I had heard of Middlemarch, her masterpiece, before and dismissed it initially based on some comments in a Facebook group, as well as the length. Then after joining a book club that focuses on classics and with a deep dive analysis of the great books, I decided to start listening to Middlemarch as an audiobook, my preferred method of experiencing storytelling. 

There is an excellent introduction video on Middlemarch. Benjamin McEvoy is an expert in classics and he has ten tips in this video on how to enjoy this book, considered one of the best novels written in English. 


The prelude to Middlemarch is profound. It captured my attention as it refers to a Spanish mystic Saint Theresa who is well known, and whose life is relevant to the story as well as here and now. I knew from the prelude that I would enjoy this book.


Her writing is dense with the wisdom of human nature, humor, irony, history, and sublime storytelling. It is not only an enjoyable experience of the story, but a confirmation of her ability to engage me between the lines and have a deep effect on my soul. The audiobook of the famous classic Middlemarch is narrated masterfully by Juliet Stevenson.


  The prelude is quoted here in full:


"Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many-volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her? Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self-despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order.  


That Spanish woman who lived three hundred years ago was certainly not the last of her kind. Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion. With dim lights and tangled circumstances, they tried to shape their thought and deed in noble agreement; but after all, to common eyes, their struggles seemed mere inconsistency and formlessness; for these later-born Theresas were helped by no coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul. Their ardor alternated between a vague ideal and the common yearning of womanhood; so that the one was disapproved as extravagance, and the other condemned as a lapse. 


Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict aTs the ability to count three and no more, a social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile, the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are much wider than anyone would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favorite love stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heartbeats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centering in some long-recognizable deed."


At the time of this writing, I have completed 12 hours of this 35-hour, 38 minute audiobook. I have been so inspired by both the story and the narration by Juliet Stevenson that I needed to post this on this blog, and briefly describe why I love George Elliot for her gift of writing and inspiration for life, with all of its flaws. 


If you want to be inspired by great art in the form of this novel, and as recommended as an audiobook to experience the storytelling with Juliet Stevenson, then try a free trial with Audible and get the book as a free download. If you cancel you can keep the book. Link below. Enjoy.

Try Audible Plus

Shakespeare in Love Revisited

Remember the Movie? 1998 - Time Flies -

Shakespeare in Love - Is it Time to Revisit It? 
You might remember (24 years ago) the endearing movie  that included Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth and Judi Dench. The fictional story is a comedy about Shakespeare falling in love with Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) while he was writing the play Romeo and Juliet. There are many references to actual quotes from the play, historical events, and the movie has an authenticity of the times. The humor is exceptional. It won seven Oscars including best picture, best actress, best supporting actress, and best screenplay. It's a must see if you like good movies and have not seen it yet.

 The trailer on YouTube will bring it back to memory, or inspire you to watch it for the first time or maybe to view it again. The video is a deeper dive into another story about Shakepeare especially for those like myself, who have not been able to get into the actual plays (until this year), and like a good story. 


Hamnet - a Very Popular Modern Book About Shakepeare's Life

 from Amazon

"IONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life ... here is a novel ... so gorgeously written that it transports you." —The Boston Globe

England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on.

A young Latin tutor—penniless and bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family’s land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is just taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever." 

I recommend experiencing this story as an audiobook, and it can be downloaded free if you subscribe to Audible's free trial then cancel. The prose is beautifully written as describe in a review also on Amazon: "The reader of this novel will be challenged by the urge to press ahead and discover how the story unfolds, but resisting all the while to savor the stunningly gorgeous writing. In any time, but particularly during this time of the pandemic, grief and the yearning for some shred of consolation are treated with such graceful and sensitive measure. An unforgettable literary gift."