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 café 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 

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