Thursday, 27 August 2015

Lions, tigers and bears …oh my!

Life’s great at the moment, apart from the Menieres blips. We did it! We survived the
season. Last Saturday was our last away game in Oxford. I love Oxford especially as it is so close to by spiritual home, Silverstone! It’s funny how some places grab your heart and stay there forever. But there’s no place like home! I love being a Yorkshire lass. We have some truly amazing places in Yorkshire. 

On Tuesday it was Lucas’ 9th birthday. We had three days of birthday celebrations just for HIM. I think it is too easy to forget that he doesn’t have any choice but to be involved in rugby league. If I’m honest he doesn’t enjoy the sport at the moment due to what his brother was put through at his amateur club and witnessing abuse at professional games. Lucas is a sensitive and caring little boy. He doesn’t like shouting and certainly doesn’t like disrespect. He is a work in progress and has the season has gone on, he has started to get involved again. He loves being ball boy at the home games.


Lucas is our Dr Doolittle. He talks to animals, insects and he is our spider saviour. I kid you not. When he was away one weekend, we had a giant spider in the house. Wes, Erin and I gave it a wide berth. Couldn’t bear to even look at thing! Anyway, Lucas came home, walked upstairs, picked the spider up and brought it down in his hands – he freed the spider, not before he chased his big brother with it first. I’ve never seen anything so hilarious in all my life. He is my HERO!

For his birthday treat, we went to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It is a truly magical place.  The organisation, through their foundation, rescue animals and give them a home. They are involved in international breeding programmes for endangered species and have three new tiger cubs and Amur leopard cubs. Their work is amazing. We had a brilliant day. Lucas was so excited to see the polar bears and well, the tigers and lions were…well…chilled. 

P. S.  LOOK at the smile on the lion's face!


Menieres Madness

Menieres is beyond ridiculous at times. My ears are becoming a real life barometer. I can tell you in advance when the storms are coming. I find it so hard and frustrating when my body will not allow me to do things I want to do. Some days it is so bad I have to write everything down! I mean everything! I can’t even string a sentence together – I know it is hard to believe but I swear to you it is true! I have had a couple of days of feeling sorry for myself which makes me angry with myself for feeling sorry for myself! The trouble is when I’m not well I start to go over the things I have suffered over the years and then wind myself up without actually dealing with the issues. So, in my new found optimism I have decided to hit every demon head on so that I can accept angels into my life without the heavy baggage of the past. I never want my children to look back on their childhood and feel unloved and unwanted. My greatest achievement will be Motherhood and so far so good…even if I do say so myself!

September approaches


Autumn is by far my favourite season – the colours, the cold brisk mornings and the optimism of a new season. 

I think the mood of hope and optimism in our house comes from the mood surrounding the labour movement. For the last twenty years or so I have questioned my allegiance to the Labour party. I have seen them move towards the right wing and I have found it increasingly difficult to support their actions. So it is a breath of fresh air to watch the great debate around Jeremy Corbyn. If I’m honest he is not as left wing as some of my beliefs but he is definitely my cup of tea. It’s frustrated the hell out of me how so many people believe everything that is written in the papers or spouted by our politicians. They only tell us what they think we want to hear. Social media has played a massive part in getting the message across and I have always said that if social media had been around in the 1980s, the face of our country would be totally different now and we would have had truth and justice a lot sooner for Hillsborough and Orgreave.

It really saddens me how labour have allowed the voting to become another debacle but I hope the peoples’ voices are heard and there is no manipulation of the results. HOPE, JUSTICE, INTEGRITY – never thought those words would be used in the same breath as British politics again.

Writing Projects


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

Streetwise


Well it’s been sent off! I’m excited, full of hope, nervous, afraid of rejection – all of these at once! BUT you never know if you don’t try. The worst case scenario is they say no. I’ve faced plenty of them in my life so another one isn’t going to break me anymore.
The story is set in Leeds (surprise, surprise!) and tells the tale of fate bringing people together under extraordinary circumstances:

            Life’s path can change in the blink of an eye or the detonation of a bomb. Rob Kennedy should have been planning a wedding not a funeral. Consumed with guilt and grief, suicide seemed his only escape from his perpetual nightmare until a single act of kindness by a real life guardian angel, saves him from himself.
Twelve months on, unable to trace each other, Rob and Kate’s paths are about to cross once more in extraordinarily circumstances.”

The Nanny


This week I found myself in a bit of a dilemma – three storylines I have I really, really like and couldn’t decide what to write next. Short of doing a rock, paper, scissors by myself (!!), I let the stories choose me. So, my next work is The Nanny. It was the right choice as I am already well into formulating the characters. 

I have so many projects on the go at the moment and if hard work paid off, I would have enough money for…some new tyres for my car! I will NOT give up regardless of how many people are waiting on the wings to see my fall flat on my face!
My other ongoing projects include:

  • Editing Beyond the Lies
  • Mr Fluffington and His Feathers
  • Behind the Painted Smiled
  • The tortured soul of an unwanted child.


I am so into all these projects. In between editing I am frantically writing. Variety is the spice of life! I am not short of work thankfully and one day I am sure my hard work will be rewarded…sooner rather than later hopefully.

This weekend is the last bank holiday of the year in the UK. We live less than a mile away from the Leeds Festival so the roads around us our gridlocked for a while. I hope the weather is fabulous for the festival goers and I hope you are enjoy the bank holiday – the next one is Christmas!!! 










Monday, 10 August 2015

With hope in our hearts... that 'P' word again!



One word… Hallelujah!! 


I have spent the last twenty years as, what felt like, a lone voice banging on about socialism and the unjust, unfair and unequal country we live in all orchestrated by greedy, egotistical politicians and bankers. Well I feel totally vindicated and finally, yes finally I feel we have a labour movement that is rekindling the community spirit that evil Thatcher snatched away. The mood is swinging towards hope, dignity and actually us acting more like decent human beings. I’ve never bought into the ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude and I don’t want anything for nothing. I’M NOT ALONE! I’m not a political analyst. I am a hardworking Mum that just wants hope for the future of her children! And I care.

My values are simple – hope, integrity, truth and perseverance. I don’t want anything handed to my children on a plate. They have to work hard to achieve their goals. They’ve been taught that from an early age but the goal posts can’t keep changing just because they were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They have also been taught that we look after those less fortunate than we are. We are blessed with each other and reasonably good health. Not everyone is but it is not for us to sit in judgement, scorn and sneer at the people who need our help. Don’t get me wrong, the liars and cheats out there need weeding out and dealing with. BUT, and it is a big BUT. Why should someone who has paid into system all their lives be denied treatment or help because the government in their ivory tower say so? The government should serve the people of the country and NOT the other way around. If something is not working for the majority then it MUST be changed.  Since the 1980s the government and the press have manipulated the truth and propaganda to demonise everyone other than themselves and their beneficiaries. I include the majority of Blairites in that too. Popularity politics rather than working politics, that’s what I call it. Rather than looking at the real solutions, the problems have been glossed over. The migrant situation, the cost of utilities, the state of the banking system, the state of manufacturing, the poor state of education, student debt, lack of sustainable living wage jobs and much, much more come from bad decisions made in the 1980s and we are paying for them now. The sad thing of all some people believe everything that is written in the press! 

Before you write Jeremy Corbyn off, read the policies for yourself. 

Thatcher’s legacy includes
  1. Selling off of all the countries’ assets to all her allies glossed over with the promise of lower prices and better infrastructure. Instead we have higher prices, threats of power cuts and infrastructure that is paid for by US!! Think of what those profits could have provided to the NHS if we had still owned the utilities. What do we have to lose if we look at changing a system that is not working for the majority of us?
  2. A closure of pits purely for self-indulgent, egotistical gratification that SHE beat the miners not for economic reasons. Thatcher used the police force against her own people. Isn’t that what we condemn in other countries?
  3. The injustices of Orgreave and many people who went to prison for their democratic right. People have criminal records for defending their right to work. Let’s not forget that.
  4. Hillsborough – I can’t say much due to the inquests but suffice to say we know the truth is coming just 26 years too late, far too late.
  5. Then the worst, most vile cover ups of all – Savile and god knows how many more involved in the sex abuse cases. Thatcher fought for Savile’s knighthood!!
  6. SHE de-regulated the banks – SHE wanted free enterprise!! Funny how people forget that when it comes to discussing the financial crisis.
This is only a short list. My blood boils.

The 1980s was mob rule, just the mob held offices and pretended to be pillars of the community and thought and still think they are above the law. The trouble is we have not had a labour movement since pre Thatcher. Labour are the worst opposition party EVER and even worse in Government, when they are prepared to drop their principles to chase self-gratification, fame and votes.  The election result proved people wanted a clear difference and when they couldn’t find it, it was better the devil you know!

I went to see Jeremy Corbyn for myself. I like to form my own opinion and I liked what I heard before the meeting. He speaks my language. No flowering up, no spin, just from the heart. Let me tell you – he is no one but himself and so much more humble than I had imagined. He is incredibly articulate, passionate and honest. He offers sensible policies that are not out dated but fit into a brighter future for our children. He has consistently produced straight forward discussion papers and welcomed input in a truly democratic way – yes democracy actually working!!

All I want is hope for my children. Both the boys are clued up on British politics. What excites us the most about Jeremy’s campaign? It has people talking, yes saying the ‘P’ word. Can you imagine that? The greatest taboo being broken by a working class hero from Islington. No wonder the Eton and Harrow boys are running scared. An informed electorate and nowhere to hide. I’m surprised they haven’t called a Cobra meeting just to discuss it! 
The cat is out of the bag! People are talking and I couldn’t be prouder that we are finally growing into a community again – for that Jeremy is already a winner! It will be an uphill battle with the lies and rhetoric from the Tories, the media and the plastic Tories that once hijacked the labour party. Cometh the hour, cometh the man? NO! Cometh the hour, cometh the PEOPLE! 

Back to the day job…

Synopsis & Treatments


Why is it I can write a screenplay draft in 3 weeks yet I can’t write a synopsis or treatment. It is TOTALLY psychological. Because it IS so important in getting interest in the work, I want it to be perfect which means I second guess myself. I always write a plan and a brief synopsis before I start writing. In reality, the story evolves and changes from the original plan anyway. The only time I suffer from a shortage of what to say (I know you’ll find that really hard to believe) is when I sit down and write to tell someone about my beloved work! It is CRAZY! I am blaming the brain fog this week from the Menieres – I love excuses, NOT! Does anyone else become petrified at writing the synopsis?


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

Rugby League


What a week last week. Both the reserves and Hallam won their games. It was really exciting to see these lads really enjoy playing and it was a real pleasure to watch. They had fun and that is what the sport should be about. It is always a bit sad when the season draws to a close especially with such a great set of lads. Wes has improved so much and it has been a real delight seeing them all grow and become such good friends.




LFC


Just a little note… IT’S OUR YEAR BOYS!! So I’ve been saying this for the last decade but it IS our year – at least I HOPE so and we all should have HOPE IN OUR HEARTS.

I know some people will not be happy with me for writing this post but do you know what? I will always stay true to who I am and what I believe in. No amount of money in the world gives anyone the right to mistreat another human being or sit in judgement. I am who I am and actually I quite like me.

Have a fabulous week and enjoy your freedom…






Monday, 3 August 2015

Don't be a dream snatcher

I’m going through a period of being angry with myself. Angry that at the age of fifteen I didn’t know what I know now. I know it sounds ridiculous but it is how I feel. I let others talk me out of what I wanted to do and wanted to be. If only I had been as strong back then as I am today. 

I have just finished writing, editing and preparing my first ever script for television. I am incredibly proud of the work. I realise now that, whatever I had wanted to do back then, it would have been wrong. Not because it was the wrong choice but because it was me. I never understood why the backing was not there. I do now and know I couldn’t have changed anything other than not being weak and showing the resolve I have shown in the last few years to overcome some very high obstacles. Some lessons can only be learned the hard way.

That feeling of being unsupported follows you into adulthood- trust me it does! I loved my husband and was with him for sixteen year. I admit I was with him for the wrong reasons, he was my way out not my future.  For years I thought there was something wrong with ME. Actually, there was. I was listening to other people too much and not listening to ME. It has taken me until the age of forty seven to realise what has happened and I could have landed on the moon and it would not have made a blind bit of difference to how I was treated by people. Haters are going to hate! Even now when I hit a massive achievement or we celebrate the boy’s work, there is always someone there to ‘insult’ or ‘belittle’ us. It stings but not as much now because Wes can see it too so I am not imagining it. I simply say to myself, ‘there it goes, dodge the knife.’

This is why I support the boys 100%. I am their mother. There are enough haters in the world driven by jealousy, ignorance or both. If I can’t give unequivocal support in this mean, cruel world then there is no hope at all. I am their safety net…their bank…their taxi. BUT… not their DREAM SNATCHER. I know lots of people say you mustn’t let children dream because it damages expectation and confidence when they don’t achieve it. What a load of B*******. Sorry, but it is. That is why there is little aspiration in so many young people. I detest seeing adults knocking young people’s confidence and hope. What’s wrong with you? Are you scared your children will be more successful than you? Or scared your least favourite will actually surpass your favourite?

As parents, we don’t have the right to stop our children from dreaming and believing they can achieve what we think could be or should be impossible for them. That is how humans surpass expectations. BY TRYING. What if all the fabulous Nobel peace prize winner’s parents had suppressed their children? Why shouldn’t every child have a go at being the one that succeeds against all the odds? 

The only difference between children from lower income families than wealthier families are the outlook of hope, perseverance, opportunities and confidence to believe in themselves. Taking away hope means they don’t persevere to reach those opportunities and that in turn lowers their self -confidence and expectations. One misplaced comment or a barrage of psychological abuse can kill off hope and start a negative spiral. Just ONE!!

Don’t discourage their dreams. Instead, educate them. Tell them what they need to do to achieve their dreams. Research it if you don’t have the answers, help them put together to achieve their goals. They will follow it or decide it’s not for them BUT it is their choice.

Contrary to popular belief, my boys have chosen their own paths in life. Neither have been under any pressure to pursue particular routes. Wes was in the Huddersfield Town football academy at the age of six. I asked the insurance brokerage I was working for at that time, if I could finish one hour early on a Monday evening to get over to Huddersfield via the dreaded M62. I had to fight and almost lost my job over 1 hour in spite of working 12/14 unpaid hours extra a week. The boss’ PA told me months later he objected to MY son being picked to play football. HOW PATHETIC. 

Anyway, Wes was in the academy for about nine months when he discovered rugby league.  He was adamant at such a young age that he was going to be a rugby player. So we sat down and discussed what he would need to do to achieve his dreams. I told him he had 100% support providing in return he worked hard at school and did his best. Bless him, he has worked so hard. Now we are visiting universities in between training three times a week, four in August and playing. Last Friday, he came home from training absolutely buzzing. It was an incredibly tough session but in his words, ‘the tougher the better’. He loves a challenge. The tougher the session, the greater the satisfaction, the bigger the smile! THAT is what dreams are made of.

Lucas is now embarking on the same exciting journey in cricket. It is the glint in his eye that gives it away. I’ve seen that look before and I couldn’t be prouder.

Don’t discourage your children. Give them hope, confidence and opportunities. We have been to hell and back, due to people being hell bent on stopping us fulfilling our dreams. Guess what? We are still here and we still have our dreams. We are still SMILING!

Streetwise

My screenplay is done and off to a selected production company this week. I don’t agree with mass flooding of the market, plus it costs a blooming fortune! From my experience with my first novel, I am going to take my time and choose what is right for me. Let’s hope the company love the concept and the characters as much as I do. I have really enjoyed working on this project and can very well see a sequel coming… if successful of course!





Next Projects

I have so many ideas and projects to work on. In the next few weeks, I am picking up Beyond the Lies again. The first draft was written a while ago but I didn’t like it, not all of it but some aspects of it. You see, I wrote what I thought people would want to see BUT that is not me. So I’m re-writing and staying true to me. I’m not afraid to reprimand myself and start again – that comes with age I think.

Then it is definitely onto to script writing again. This, I think will turn out to be my niche. I love it and if you love your job, you’ll never face a hard day at work again even when you work hard!

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 

I can write anywhere - yesterday was in my garden. Today I am writing this in the car park of Sport Sheffield! Wes is attending a full day training with Sheffield Eagles. People say to me you give up so much of your time for your boys. No I don’t. I spend time with my boys doing things that make us ALL happy. It’s cold on touchlines and sometimes very painful but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. When they fulfil their dreams, my legacy will be their success and happiness even if they change course one thousand times until they find what is right for them. Where there is a will there is a way. 

Personally, I love the flexibility of writing but most of all, I love the creativity.
Thank you for reading my posts. It does mean a lot. Writing it is very therapeutic.

Keep HOPE in your heart and have a great week.