Sunday, 31 August 2014

What a week!

It’s been very much a week of reflection and coming to terms with issues I’d swept under the carpet for far too long. Now onwards and upwards.  I have spent some time this week readjusting my goals and aspirations, all achievable of course. It’s true was doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or insane – can’t quite decide which, but I suppose there is nothing wrong with being an eccentric writer, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I really embrace being different and pushing the boundaries of the ‘norm’ even if it is not intentional at times.

Oh Boy! The most stressful part of this week was not the hectic birthday party but organising uniform and new footwear which in this house includes school shoes, trainers AND football boots. I hate shopping – HATE IT!!

How on earth can shoes bought less than two weeks ago suddenly be too big for Lucas? 

I mean battleship BIG! A Friday night trip to the shops for replacements was not what I had planned but it did make me laugh because only my kids’ feet can shrink in two weeks!

Lucas has decided to concentrate on football and not play rugby league. Seeing his brother treated so badly by his amateur side has really put him off the game but I am sure once he spends time with the Sheffield Eagles family he will learn to appreciate that not everyone in rugby league behave so badly. So for now he is playing football, which started again this weekend and it was great. In fact, Saturday morning, I was standing on the touchline writing most of this blog in between beaming with pride at how well Lucas behaved and listened. Multi-tasking is my forte, as it probably is for many Mums. The sun made an appearance which is always a good sign, not that I expect every weekend to have sunshine – we do live in the north of England!

Part of my week reflection included whether I should take on part time work. Looking for part time work to pay the bills on top of the new business, writing books and bringing two boys, reminded me of why I am working on building up a new business, writing books and bringing two boys up. There is a massive lack of part time work for Mums to fit around school. In fact, ZERO! All of my projects are long term and not short term cash flow fixes but I refuse to give up on my goals. My choice is to persevere with being temporarily broke and be here to help develop the boys into decent human beings and to ensure Wes gets a fair crack at fulfilling his ambition of being a professional rugby league player. 

Being an effective Mum is so under supported and under-valued. So I will continue to fight the financial wolves at my door, be temporarily broke and be here to help the boys and work on my goals and hopefully in the future, I will provide employment for Mums who need a genuine part time, flexible job in order for them to be there for their children too. And the first thing I'm going to do in the morning is shout 'WHITE RABBITS' it may work and bring me some good luck.


The books have arrived for the book launch and signing and it is getting super exciting. I am waiting for the posters and invites which should be here in the next couple of days. I am really looking forward to spending the evening with the lovely people of Wetherbyhour and at my favourite place, Sant Angelos. If you have not been yet, why not? You really are missing a treat and the tribute nights are AMAZING! Trust me, go along you won’t be disappointed.

I have decided this week to finally plan a social media campaign and combined scheduled tweets with live tweets. I did start out with this plan but it fell by the wayside when I went into headless chicken mode. Now I am focused and am going to practice what I preach – take one job at a time and complete it well. That is until some urgent job lands on my doorstep and I have to ‘reschedule’ or should I say, ‘jumble’ everything up.


My next target, oh yes I still have other ideas!! My next target is to master the art of screenwriting and what better way to practice than to change Beyond the Past into a script. It is half way there with the amount of dialogue but I have always wanted to write scripts ever since seeing Shoestring – do you remember Shoestring? With Trevor Eve? Lol now you know how old I am, a bit like last week when I posted a status about being like Kato out of the Pink Panther films and jumping out and surprising Wes – no one remembers Pink Panther?? Or maybe they are just not admitting to it.

A massive congratulations to the Sheffield Eagles Under 20s who reached the Academy Grand Final on Friday night and a massive shoutout to the Hallam Eagles who have had a remarkable unbeaten run ALL season – that is some achievement and demonstrates the future of the club and the commitment by all. So proud Wes is part of the club.

I really can't believe he starts A Levels on Tuesday and he is in the academy - where did the last sixteen years go? Still, so so so so flipping proud!

And WOW! WOW! WOW! We have Mario fever in our house. Liverpool’s win today was a much needed lift into the start of the school term routine. I have a great feeling about this season and can’t wait to see them play again. The football is how I remember it in the 1970s.However, I have one complaint – Capital One cup organisers are very, very inconsiderate on making Liverpool play the tie against Middlesboro on Tuesday the 23rd September when my book launch is. You could have at least consulted me first haha.

I found this on the internet this week - SO TRUE 

Well that’s me for this week. I have to go and organise uniform, packed lunch and school bags but first the dreaded shower call that will be met with cries of ‘not yet’, another ‘five minutes’. What Lucas doesn’t realise is I start the call ten minutes before I intend to shower him anyway, that way he thinks I’m giving him extra time – LOL works every time. Wish me luck! 

I hope you all have a lovely, trouble free week. Spare a thought for all those who live in uncertain and dangerous times.

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

That damned ugly black cloud

The great thing about doing a blog is you soon realise you’re not alone in how you feel, you’re treated and your views on  life. I really thought no one would read my blog but the feedback has been phenomenal. Sorry it’s a bit late this week but we had a little matter of an eight year old's birthday to celebrate and what a celebration it turned out to be.

This blog has taken me a while to write. Robin Williams’ untimely death was a great shock to the world. For me, it was a reminder of how lonely this world can be and that the ugly black cloud can cover even the most brightest of people and lives.

I’ve been there! On the brink of taking my own life! That admission will upset some people (or not!) but I have! More than once! What saved me? My children. So, why tell the world now? Why not? I have been too ashamed to admit it before now especially when I look at the reasons which all relate to nasty, ignorant, vicious and vindictive people I have had the misfortune of allowing in my life. I am also ashamed of how I have let people manipulate me.  I am NOT ashamed to admit it though. Life is incredibly hard and people can be very judgmental. Until now, I’ve let other people’s opinions, perceptions and ideals all influence my life and stunt my own personal growth. Thank goodness I didn’t act on those dark thought processes! 

The problem we have as a society is ignorance and fear. If life is not lived in a certain way, designed by media propaganda and a previous generation’s expectation of what life should be, we are not ‘normal’. I defy anyone to explain to me what is ‘normal’. My advice, for what it is truly worth, is live YOUR life YOUR way. Don’t fall into the trap, as I did, that you’ve failed because you are not in a ‘normal’ 2.4 children ‘family’, you don’t have a ‘normal’ job and you don’t live a ‘normal’ life.  Even when I turned to members of my own family for help, I was told to ‘just get on with it’ or ‘pull yourself together’. It’s very hard to get help when you don’t know what is wrong. You can’t put your finger on it. It took me ages to get out of the dark spiral and I found it’s much easier for people to ignore it than help you through it. The turning point for me was being diagnosed with Menieres. On really ill days, my then partner would say, “I like you like this because you’re vulnerable.” The thought of someone who is supposed to love you relishing the fact you are ill, repulses me but it made me realise how strong I must be.  This weekend has made me reflect on growing up, relationships and my life and I can honestly say, hand on heart, it has put so many ghosts to bed. I no longer care or are interested in other people’s opinions of my life. I’ve managed to bring myself back from the brink of self destruction, raise two damn fine children, set up my own business and have my DEBUT, yes my first EVER book published. 

We all have an individual responsibility to ensure we are kind, considerate and supportive. That’s why I am kind to people – not because I’m a sociopath. My motive in life is solely to be a supportive and proactive member of society and to ensure my children grow up to be the same. I support charities that mean a lot to me personally. 

Round 25 of Super League is dedicated to the State of Mind charity – it’s an incredibly innovative and proactive charity supporting mental health in the rugby league community. Please take time to support them.

Because of my past, I ensure my boys understand the importance of being able to talk openly about any subject. They know they can talk to me about anything and they do, literally anything! They know I won’t judge them and no matter how bad things get, I will always be there to support them through it. I've also taught them how to listen to understand not to listen just to reply. All too often people do the latter to dire consequences. Our close relationship is what I am most proud of.

Now I celebrate every achievement like it is our last. I embrace being a single mum and I support the boys 100%.

GCSE Results Day

The results day came and I don’t know who was more nervous – I do, me! Not because I didn’t have faith in Wes but because I know that the results are wrongly manipulated. Anyway, we arrived at school and he decided, quite rightly he wanted to go in with his friends. So Lucas and I sat, and we sat waiting for him to emerge. Other students came and went, and still we sat there. It was worse than waiting in the dentist’s! Finally, I sent him a text saying ‘you are killing me right now lol!’  He came sauntering across to the car with his usual poker face, something I have never mastered. Pleased as punch, he read through his results – 1 A, 6Bs, 2Cs, 2 Distinctions and 1 merit. I am so incredibly proud of him especially knowing that this is on the back of giving 100% to the scholarship. What is even more important, he has given himself a decent ‘leg up’ to the next level, A Levels. He can now take the ones of his choice – Chemistry, Maths, English & History. Hard work provides choices. You just have to sign up for it.

8th Birthday weekend

Last week was such a big week for us. I booked a long weekend away to Lucas’s favourite place in Southport – go karting, golf, table tennis, amusements and the beach. For my eight year old this is heaven!! I paced all my work out so I could have four days off, just concentrating on having fun and family time with the boys, especially after GCSE results day.

You really know you are doing well as a parent when your boys tell you they miss home when they are not there. I think this will resonate with many parents who set up their own business or follow their dreams, you do worry about your kids missing out. We are on a shoestring budget until the book sales and the business take off and I do worry that the boys are missing out on lots of things but they reassured me this weekend that they love the life they have. They enjoy the sports they are involved in and they love the pyjama days. I suppose I can stop worrying about them now and get on with being a successful writer and business woman – well, I won’t ever stop worrying.

Lucas has told me he had an amazing weekend and wants to go back again next year.He is also super excited he can have Mario on the back of his LFC shirt!!! Great signing and looking forward to seeing him play.

We came home Bank Holiday Monday to have his birthday party and what a party it was. My sister decided to do her Ice Bucket Challenge at the party much to the delight of the children especially Wes who took great delight in ensuring she was thoroughly soaked. The younger guests were disappointed I wouldn't let them do it. It was a fabulous day and more importantly Lucas hugged me and told me it was his best ever birthday and could be do it again Tuesday - both Wes and I need to recover first!!

Beyond the Past – Kindle Offer

Sod’s law, the weekend I decide to stop working and concentrate on some quality time with the boys, Amazon decide to place my book on a Kindle offer. I promised myself I wouldn’t work over the weekend away so I frantically set up some twitter and facebook statuses and it’s a good job I did. Southport does not have any O2 coverage!! Maybe someone was trying to tell me something haha.

So what does September bring?

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I don’t know what it is but to me it’s always the start of something new, perhaps as the schools go back, it allows me to take stock and plan for the rest of the year. This September seems very different to the last. Having the weekend away and spending time with the boys made me realise what is important and that certain things that have happened in the past have taught me very valuable lessons, particularly in how to treat my boys equally and fairly. So this September I am moving forward with such clarity and determination that I scare myself! Only joking but it’s exciting and I feel renewed and refreshed.

Book Launch and Signing


I am so grateful to Catherine at Sant Angelos in Wetherby and Jo Maltby at Wetherbyhour for their support for my book launch and book signing. I wouldn’t want to have held my first event anywhere other than my little piece of Italy in Wetherby.


In Beyond the Past, DCI Fisher and DS Davies are based at Wetherby Police Station. Thank you Wetherby for being such a lovely town. I hope you can all come and see me.




Beyond the Lies


I decided this month to put this on hold for a couple of weeks while I concentrate on promotion and marketing of Beyond the Past – there’s only so many hours in the day! However, once the boys are back at school work will continue with a new deadline date but I’m not telling you when, not yet.

Mr Fluffington and his Feathers.

Lucas is busy working on his children’s book and I have to say his imagination is fabulous and I am really enjoying working with him, even if he is bossy!

Sheffield Eagles Academy

Wes starts pre pre-season work for the Academy although to be fair he has worked over the summer to maintain his fitness and has been very strict with his diet although he did take a day off for Lucas’ birthday. He is a determined fellow and I will be there every step of the way supporting him.

A massive congratulations to Leeds Rhinos for the Challenge Cup win. Thoroughly deserved.

On reflection, we can always do things better. Don’t forget your past but use it to drive you into the future. I’m going to be working on some promotional work this week and getting ready for the return to a routine that is far from ‘normal’. Have a lovely week and GO GET THEM!

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US