• Stephanie Hammond

How Old Do You Feel?

These tulips are past their prime, yet to me they are even more beautiful than when they were at their peak. A lesson here for me when looking at the outer form of my fellow humans, perhaps?

When my father-in-law was in his 40s he had a pretty bad stroke that left him almost paralysed. He never did recover full use of his limbs. By the time he was in his late 40s he could barely dress and feed himself. One day he asked how old he was and when we told him, I was amazed at his response. This man with a broken body marvelled: "Am I really? Am I really that old?" What a shock to me!

Another lesson came a few years later, when I was about 36. I took a trip to visit my Aunty Ash, taking my 1 year old daughter with me. My aunt was excited to introduce me to a few family members I hadn't met and organised a luncheon where we could get together.

The conversation was lively and I was enjoying hearing how we were all connected, and the stories of the great-great family members I knew nothing about. I looked around the table and was amazed that I hadn't met any of these distant cousins before. I was grateful that my aunt was inspired to get us together. Soon the topic of age was raised. My daughter of course was the youngest, then me at 36, and the rest were all in their 60s and 70s.

They all agreed they didn't feel a day over 25 and I was surprised to realise I felt the same!

So now I'm a septuagenarian as well. And as my daughter tells me, finally at middle age. And how old do I feel? Well, ageless really!

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Last Days in Atlantis. (Historical fantasy - for young adult+ audience)

Mari is thrust into a position of responsibility as the warrior leader of the Atlantean Hill People before she's ready. She strives to make choices that are best for her and her people against a backdrop of deception and intrigue. She becomes entangled in the power struggles between her people and the rulers of the City of the Golden Gates. 

Events test her trust in the traditions of her people and her confidence in those who are dear to her: the Elders, her mother, and the young man she is expected to share her future with.  Mari believes she has failed the task and struggles to overcome her feelings of grief, guilt, and betrayal as she strives to survive the tumult around her. 

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This is the first of my children's stories about Beatrice, a young angel-in-training with one large wing. Beatrice Learns Compassion, offering a different approach to bullying, was illustrated by my granddaughter, Bella, when she was 10-years-old. It's suited to children of all ages.

The Kindle version is available from Amazon. Print copies are available to purchase through the contact page