Sunday, 31 January 2016

Goodbye January 2016…





Well, our January has been super productive and in many ways a positive start to 2016. Lucas has been amazing, working so hard at school and really putting the effort in with his football and cricket training. Wes has been super stressed, mainly caused by adults stressing him out over his A Levels. I hate that – I get that they want them to do well BUT please, putting them under stress for your data is no way to get them to do well. It’s important they are focused yet relaxed. The brain does not work well when it is stressed – trust me, I know! Rugby pre-season training has been tough but he thrives in tough situations and that makes me super proud. Keep it up boys x

The month has been marred by two things for me:


  1. Sadly, the number of people who we have lost that had such an influential part in my life – from David Bowie and his breaking down of boundaries; Alan Rickman for his undeniable talent and many others including today, Terry Wogan. It does make you sit up and take note of your own mortality. It has even made me more determined to keep going and leave my individual mark on the work, just as these icons of my childhood did. 
  2. The blatant racism and hatred that is engulfing the world. It is appalling politicians are stirring up divisions for their own sick agenda. We are all human beings!! Well, all us decent folk, who believe we are all equal regardless of race, religion, gender, ability. Labels are specifically designed to cause oppression. ‪#‎dropthelabels


PhD


Well, I did it. The application for and PhD proposal has been submitted. Why shouldn’t I try and fulfil this? Why? I’m sick of doubting myself or rather, sick of people putting doubts in my mind. The best way to silence your critics is SUCCESS. Whilst looking for my degree certificate, I found this - my outstanding achievement award.

The only obstacle is FINANCE – the story of my chuffing life! However, I am very resourceful and where there is a will, there is a way!



Writing


I’ve regained my focus and composure, instead of flitting from half-finished projects. Before Christmas, I was unwell and lost. Now, I have bounced back and could not be any more organised if I tried. I aim to complete six projects this year – we’ll measure the success at the end of the year.

Beyond the Past



Have you had the chance to read it yet? Would you like to review it for me?
Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Available from:
Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK
Kindle
Amazon US
Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0

New Ideas


It is so frustrating… to get half way through a job, wake up in the middle of the night or be on a school run when a new idea hits you! I pray my Meniere’s sodden brain will hold the thought until I can write it down. I have, in the past, sat for a whole hour in a lay-by at the side of the road and written my new idea on the back of tesco receipts – honestly I have! That is how Streetwise started.

Like today – a new idea has been formulating all day from an article I read this morning. I’ve broken off from the ironing and from writing this blog, to scribble notes down. I literally have over thirty outline ideas and I really wish I had enough time to sit and develop them all NOW. I know I have to be patient but every new idea is super exciting. Patience is not one of my virtues and contrary to popular belief I do have a few.

Editing


Beyond the Lies. What can I say? It’s a blooming good job only one person, other than me of course, has read the original manuscript because it has been well and truly butchered.
When I wrote Beyond the Past, I admit I was totally na├»ve and just wrote it, from the heart, no holds barred. The more I learn my new craft, I realise I made loads of mistakes and take little comfort in the fact that very famous authors write they made the same mistakes too. 

This new novel is better structured and actually demonstrates how much I have learnt over the past year.

My first novel was not perfect but you have to start somewhere. If you don’t try, how do you know if you can hack it? I’m not going to kick myself over the mistakes I made – there’s plenty of other people who will do it anyway! 

I keep editing, keep writing and more importantly, keep learning.

Right, I’m off to put the homemade lasagna in the oven. Make this week, the week you decide to follow your dreams.

Love you all.


Sunday, 24 January 2016

When you’re drowning…swim harder and faster



In October, I had a complete meltdown. I was struggling with Meniere’s, my confidence was at an all-time low and I was struggling to keep my head above water. I was DROWNING. I couldn’t get myself out of the downward spiral. I was annoyed I felt that way which only made it much worse. However, what made it even worse was the incessant abuse and criticisms, based on lies and assumptions, made by people who claimed they knew me that then passed onto people who didn’t know me. Suddenly, complete strangers became critics of my life. All from lies and assumptions made from people who had never taken the time to really get to know me. It was totally ridiculous and should have been meaningless – it is now, but when you’re at rock bottom it is really hard to ignore. It really knocked my self-esteem to the point that I didn’t want to leave the house. 

Until, I exploded!! Oh, I definitely topped the Richter scale!! That day I realised keeping a dignified silence bred some of the assumptions and lies. That day, I decided to fight back – TO SWIM! Oh boy I am so glad I did.

I took professional advice, they helped me to regain some perspective. I realised certain people will ALWAYS gossip, certain people will ALWAYS criticize you, certain people will ALWAYS hate what you do because it’s you doing it., Really, though, do they matter? I was letting these people influence my life by letting their spiteful, malicious behaviour control me and stopping my recovery and me living my life my way. I don’t EVEN know some of them!! They won’t be celebrating my successes with me. My professional help made me realise people hiding behind aliases on social media, with less than fifty followers, were nothing but trolls and meaningless in the grand scheme of my life and what I am trying to achieve for my family. Sometimes you need to take a step back and gain perspective. That is what I did and I am so thankful for the help I received. My focus is on my boys, my work and building a better future for my gorgeous little family.

I’ve made it crystal clear where I stand with the people that matter, they know who they are. The rest of the ‘no marks’ can continue with their silly games. I DON’T CARE. I have never felt inner peace like I have now. I have clarity too.  Since the turn of the year, yes in just twenty-four days, I have achieved so much. All the things that felt overwhelming have been dealt with and the Meniere’s is under control at present – hope I haven’t just jinxed it!!  I have cleared the back log of jobs and moved new projects forward – in 24 DAYS! 

So thank you to those who sniped, bitched and trolled me. You managed to knock me down and almost drown me. BUT – I SWAM! SWAM! SWAM! Our life is so much stronger and happier. We are more determined, more focused and more content than we have ever been.


Beyond the Past



Have you had the chance to read it yet? Would you like to review it for me?

Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Available from:
Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK
Kindle
Amazon US
Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0


Beyond the Lies


The edit is so going so well. I am thrilled with the results so far and not far from moving to the next, dreaded edit of GRAMMAR and STRUCTURE! Oh, the joys! Nah I love it really.



Streetwise


I have entered this into the RedPlanet TV screenwriting competition. You have to be in it to win it. Fingers crossed.






UK Blog Awards


This week has been such a productive week. On Monday, the voting for this year’s UK Blog Awards opened. I am thrilled to be short listed in two categories for the second year running, up against some tough opposition.

Lifestyle  & Arts and Culture Categories

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16 
Voting is open until 9pm 25th January 2016. You can both on both categories once a day every day until the closing date.If you can spare a couple of minutes and vote.

Your support, as always is very much appreciated.




PhD



Well, I did it. I finally finished the proposal and submitted it. It was a confidence boost to get a response from one of the UK’s leading experts in this field saying the proposal was ‘concise and detailed…a strong application’.

2016 I will return to study. This is a very personal goal of mine and I desperately want to achieve a PhD…for me.

My life is not perfect BUT it is pretty close, especially now it is calm and peaceful. The three of us are so busy building our dreams, it is nice to spend our spare time as quality family time. We love being at home, playing board games and enjoying each other’s company.

Do me a favour, will you? Life is too short to let other narrow minded people to bring you down. Rant, rave by all means but still follow your dreams. Success is a wonderful way to simply say… “I told you so!”

Have a fabulous week and go get ‘em…your dreams I mean