Sunday, 14 December 2014

You can’t please everyone all of the time…

Do you know why I love books so much? Because each one of us can read the same book and come out the end of it with a very different perception, opinion and experience. And why do you think that is? I think it is because of our own perception of life, our experience and our outlook on life itself. That’s my own personal opinion. Let me know what you think.

It is like life really and I have written about this a few times now – how our experiences in life can give us a ‘slant’, opinion or perception of life issues. I absolutely know I am a different person than I was twelve months ago. I am much tougher now and I think I understand life more. I am totally amazed how many adults do not understand the difference between being truthful and being abusive. I suppose it comes down to the contents of my blog a couple of weeks ago – integrity, dignity and common decency. You can throw poor education into the mix too. 

It’s great to see that Twitter have improved their blocking service this week, giving us all peace of mind whilst we are online.Caio #Twittertrolls

Menieres - #TreeSelfie

This week has been a bit of a nightmare because of the pressure the stormy weather puts on my ears. Challenging! I always know when I am about to have an episode. My head becomes really fuzzy and even the simple tasks become difficult. I forget what I am doing and find it hard to concentrate. This usually lasts a day but this week I had three days of it. After the fuzziness, comes the dizziness. I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I have only ever fallen over once and that was pre diagnosis. I take extra care during this period but it is very unnerving. My confidence slips to an all time low and then I get really frustrated with myself, start wondering why I am even bothering! But I do because I don't want to give in to IT and I want the boys to see that, even in adversity, you can be strong enough to overcome anything.  Luckily the 'dizzy day' was yesterday (Saturday) so I stayed in with the boys. All in all I have done pretty well this week, only physically losing two hours because I had to lay down. The rest of the time I have muddled through and managed to get some work done. 

I know my condition is getting worse. I am waiting for another hearing test. Whatever the prognosis, I could be in a lot worse a position. 

The Menieres Society’s facebook page has kept me entertained during this time. Reading other peoples’ experiences and life stories has helped. In addition, the society has launched an awareness campaign, the #TreeSelfie:

This is my #TreeSelfie – I hate selfies. I blame the short arms !! (That’s my excuse anyway).

Your support would be amazing. If you also tag me on social media and will share and RT your posts.



I was asked this week if I have made any mistakes in writing.  The answer is categorically YES.  BUT isn’t it better to make mistakes than not try at all? I certainly think it is. I also know that, thanks to lots of fellow authors and lots of other inspiring people, I am developing as an author each time I lift up my pen. Like with any new profession, you are going to make mistakes but you learn from them. Looking back, I would have done things differently but I didn’t know then what I know now. That’s life, isn’t it? 

The best decision I have made is to connect with other authors through social media and other Menieres sufferers too. Both sets of people have really helped me to develop and understand my new career path and my life. Very often you feel alone and when people are permanently beating you with a proverbial stick, you start to doubt yourself. It is only natural. However, it is much easier to continue on your chosen path if you know there are other people going through exactly the same process as yourself. Their words of wisdom and encouragement are priceless. They have taught me that you will receive criticism, some justified, some not so but don’t let it stop you from achieving your dreams. You will know which criticism is given for the right reasons and which has ulterior motives. I have learned to turn negativity into positive energy - to be better, bolder and braver. I’m really proud the boys have caught onto this too and it will help them through their lives. Don’t shy away from criticism, embrace it. 

I have decided to give myself a break this year. I will be doing some writing but from the 19th December until the New Year I am going to spend time relaxing with the boys. We have been through so much this year and literally haven’t stopped. It’s a good time to chill and recharge my batteries ready for the onslaught of 2015. 

Have a great week everyone. I am looking forward to the schools breaking up on Friday and the church service Friday morning. Stay safe everyone x

The first three chapters of Beyond the Past are posted on my website to give you a taster 



Lots of love 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Life is certainly what you make it…

I suppose settling for a life you don’t love would be the safest, most sensible and ‘grown up’ thing to do, or so we are led to believe. LIFE IS FOR LIVING. Opportunities don’t just present themselves, you need to make them appear. Day to day life is so incredibly hectic right now – training three times a week in Sheffield, writing, promoting books, writing websites, blogging and Christmas preparations and not to mention cooking, cleaning, bills, running the house – you see what I mean! It’s funny but the more I have to do, the more I am inclined to knuckle down and work hard. Less jobs means I postpone them. I never knew how important time managements skills would be but time is the most precious commodity. 
In fact, this is the clock from my living room.It is wearing the Cat in the Hat, hat from Dr Zeuss and every time I look at it, it reminds me of the Grinch - mean, taking time away from me! (Yes this is how my mind really works!). Time is definitely not my friend at the moment but I do make the most of every minute I have, which is probably why by Friday evening I am on my knees!!  

The beauty of writing is it can be done anywhere and I do it, ANYWHERE! People often ask me how on earth I can write in noisy places such as the cafĂ© at Sheffield University Sports Ground or crowded pubs. In truth, I switch off. If you talk to me when I am writing and I don’t respond, it is more than likely because I have zoned out. I do it all the time. For goodness sake, the boys play rugby in the house around me so I’m used to noise and dodging flying rugby balls!

This week I started writing my third book – THIRD. Can you believe it? It has a working title, ‘You Can’t Have It all’ but it will change, I know it will, because I’m not struck on it! Another crime thriller. It is DCI Fisher and DS Davies’ first case after uncovering the truth behind Mark Smith’s tormented life. DCI Fisher is awaiting a decision on yet another promotion and it is putting a strain on his and Phillipa’s personal and professional relationship. It will be set in Wetherby, the police station is based there but will feature lots of Yorkshire places. There will be a few surprises too!

Being on my own raising the boys and keeping us afloat single-handedly while trying to establish myself as a writer means I don’t get the opportunity to sit down and reflect on how far we have come in the last twelve months. It’s only when I am asked to sit and talk about it that I realise what we have achieved this year. On Friday I was a guest on Tempo FM’s Women’s Hour. Leading up to the event I had my usual nerves but honestly, I don’t know why I worried. I had a ball. Bairbre McKendrick was brilliant and made me feel so at ease that I quite literally forgot we were on air. I normally don’t like talking about myself, much prefer to talk about the boys but it was easy to discuss things thanks to Bairbre’s flawless interviewing techniques. I had an absolute ball. It was my first experience in a radio studio and I do hope it will not be the last.

Driving home, I had the opportunity to reflect on this year. It was only eleven months ago when Beyond the Past was released into the world. ONLY ELEVEN MONTHS! In that time, Wes turned sixteen, passed his GCSE’s, earned his place in Sheffield Eagles academy and has started his A levels with one eye on a University place. Lucas has turned eight, loves his football and scored a hat trick two weeks ago (which we are all so proud of, no more so than himself), surpassed all expectations in reading and Maths and started writing his own book. I have had my FIRST ever book published, designed and launched a website, had an official book signed (courtesy of Sant Angelos in Wetherby), had articles in local papers, appeared on local radio and launched an award nominated blog. I hardly recognise my timeline on all my social media sites. It’s packed full of authors, inspirational women, fabulous like-minded people as well as true friends who have supported my mad quest to follow my own path. Who said I wouldn’t make it?

I know I am really hard on myself but that drives me to keep going. I know I am a better writer now than when I started three years ago. I am super proud of the last eleven months. How we have all kept going when people did their best to knock us off course. I am super proud of my job as a Mum and of myself for overcoming some pretty high obstacles. Most of all I am super proud of how the boys have embraced our new life and how they have risen to the challenge of making the most of their own talents. 

I am not perfect and I know I have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn but I keep developing. That is what I want for the three us – to keep developing as a family and as individuals.  We’ve all made mistakes – some HUGE ones. We can’t change that but we can learn from them and grow as a result of them. That is what life is about!

My message to you all this week is :

Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and it is OKAY to get things wrong. HAVE A GO! Please, don’t sit there wishing. You WILL regret it, I’m sure.


Thank you to everyone who voted for my blog. The decision is now with the judges. I will let you know how we get on but I am truly humbled by your support.

  Have a fabulous week -

Be awesome

If you are lucky enough to have a Christmas party, please enjoy it but keep yourself safe.

The first three chapters of Beyond the Past are posted on my website to give you a taster 



Lots of love 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Whatever happened to integrity, dignity and common decency?

I may have to get on my soap box a little this week – well actually, a lot. A few things have really bugged me this week no more so than Black Friday! A concept thought up by big business to market their products in an ‘artificial’ sale, well that’s my definition of it anyway. It frustrates the hell out of me that the majority of people fall for it, exactly what retailers are hoping for. I was so embarrassed and to be honest, ashamed of those people that were willing to fight over televisions and other goods just to grab themselves a ‘bargain.’ Let’s be frank, retailers could quite easily knock their prices down and attract more customers all year round, not just playing on the mad consumerism that Christmas has become. Maybe a step backwards to look at the bigger picture is required.

This happening, in the same week as Good Morning Britain launches their meal donation campaign with the food banks and Trussell Trust, made it even harder to stomach.  I find it really repulsive that normal, hard-working families are forced to use food banks to feed their families because of the minimum wage and zero hour contracts yet people are fighting over televisions! What is the world coming to? 

It’s exactly the same with the NHS. How can the NHS fund pills that reduce the appetite for drinking alcohol yet can’t fund some cancer treatments? No-one has a choice with cancer!! The world is turning upside down and the wrong way round. I have little faith in most political parties and politicians. There are some really exceptional MPs that fight for their communities and to make this country a better place BUT the majority of them are career MPs, using it as a stepping stone for bigger and better things. That is what we should be addressing. Are we all so blinded by the media and what we are told is good for us, that collectively we cannot stop all the spin and lies we are told? We all have a responsibility to take a really good look at ourselves, our communities, our country and our world. It is so easy to pick out political scapegoats –  immigrants, benefits cheats - yet we never stand up and actually make the politicians, media or businesses accountable for their actions. Let’s face it they are the ones that control our lives.

They don’t fool me at all. The government announced this Weekend £3 billion for the NHS. My first question was where is it coming from? My second was, if it is there, why wasn’t it being spent in the first place before we hit crisis point? And my third reaction was I bet it is not new money at all, it’s just a ploy to make us all think of how great our government are. YOU DON’T FOOL ME!!! 

Whatever happened to integrity, dignity, accountability and common decency? 

I grew up with Star Wars and absolutely love all the films. My nickname is R2D2 (all body no legs, apparently!). Isn’t it a great shame that people tried to make the trailer an issue about race. It never, ever crossed my mind when I saw the trailer that the storm trooper was black. NOT ONCE! And why? Because not once I have ever thought any one of us is different, better or superior! We are all human beings, shouldn’t that be enough?

The biggest lesson I have learned this year is how some adults behave is truly despicable, yet these people are the one’s teaching our future generations. I do wonder what sort of world my children’s children will have by the time they are parents themselves. Let’s hope I have taught my children enough to use their right as a human being to address the imbalances in the world.

Now I have that off my chest, I can move forward and pick the next book project. I have ten to choose from and I thought it would be easy to pick but I love them all. I have whittled it down to three and I may have to close my eyes and stick a pin in one of them to choose – I mean in the paper not my eye!


UK Blog Awards

I am so overwhelmed with the support I have received for this blog. I’m happy to discuss any topics constructively and your feedback has been amazing. The closing date for the blog awards is Wednesday 3rd December. The links are below if you wish to make an old woman very happy (well, I’m not that old, am I?)

The blog is entered into two categories:

Arts & Culture Vote Now

Lifestyle Vote Now

When you have voted you will receive an email confirmation. Please, please vote. It would mean so much to me.

Beyond the Past

I hope you all have a fabulous week, filled with lots of love. Enjoy your preparations for Christmas but remember

It's only ONE DAY -

Be awesome

The first three chapters of Beyond the Past are posted on my website to give you a taster 



Lots of love