Thursday, 31 December 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR...2016 is going to be AM-AAA-ZZZING

I am posting this a little early for us in the UK but the New Year has started across the world. I hope 2016 brings everyone peace, good health, happiness and success. 2016 is a new year. Grab your opportunities and wring the life out of them.

Enjoy and celebrate


Monday, 28 December 2015

All’s well that ends well



This is my last blog of 2015. Can you believe it? Another year gone – not sure if another year wiser but definitely another year older and greyer!

My home town is Leeds and I love being a Yorkshire lass. It has been truly devastating watching the horrendous floods unfold around us – we are in the middle of Otley, Wetherby, Leeds centre, York, Tadcaster and Castleford. We are the 
fortunate ones but my heart truly goes out to everyone affected by these, in my opinion, preventable events, especially when our politicians were warned in advance that this could happen. As an Insurance Broker of twenty years, I have helped families and businesses get back on their feet after disasters and I tell you it is soul destroying to see all your hard work swept away when you have done everything in your powers. Let’s hope the government listens this time and do not arrogantly dismiss the expert opinion. My love to you all.

It has been two years of a hard slog to finally get peace from the spiteful people who tried so desperately to ruin Wes’ chances to play rugby league. They failed but it was a nightmare period for us especially when I was fighting Meniere’s and developing my writing career. Thankfully, they have now finally moved on and we can categorically say PEACE at last.

Christmas for me is about the children. They take over – decide on the food and the entertainment. I know it’s not the done thing but I want them to look back on Christmas as a peaceful time of year. We are so busy all year running between work, school and Sheffield that it is just nice to have some family down time. We have no rules, no plans and it works for us. Thankfully, the boys are sports mad so we spend time watching programmes I love too – World’s Strongest Man, Darts, Football, NFL and others. It’s great. On top of that we play board games – scrabble, game of life, frustration, ludo, trivial pursuit (although Lucas calls it Truppy up the soup!). Even the cards and dominoes came out this year. We have had such a laugh. It has been truly relaxing and magical.

Christmas Eve we had an amazing day at the cinema. I got to take my two gorgeous boys to carry on my childhood love of STAR WARS. WOW! WOW! WOW! I have goosebumps thinking about Lucas’ excited face when the titles started. I’ve loved Star Wars all my life and that’s a lot of years! My nickname is R2D2 (all body and no legs apparently!). It was truly magical and amazing. I love that they love it as much as I do. In fact, Lucas is obsessed! He is my very own personal Jedi knight. Well done and thank you Disney – another family dream and memory created.

Before moving into 2016, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support this year. You have no idea what it means to me and your support has helped me to realise my dreams. You kept me going when it all looked so hopeless. Thank you and I wish you all the very best in 2016. I hope you go and make your dreams come true.

2016 is OUR kick ass year. It feels like the last couple of years have been sowing seed years and have been blooming frustrating at times. BUT, 2016 brings us so much hope. 


  1. Wes is in the Sheffield Eagles Academy/Reserves.
  2. Wes will be going to Uni this year and he reaches 18!! My baby…time flies!
  3. Lucas turns 10 and is growing into a very clever, level headed young man, determined to achieve his goals – can’t imagine where he gets that from!
  4. I have supervisory backing for my PhD and hopefully, fingers crossed, financial support for 2016.
  5. My second book will be published
  6. My TV scripts will hopefully be accepted
  7. I will continue to write and have lots of new ideas and storylines.
  8. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell will continue to provide new hope and decency to this country.
  9. My lovely Dad will be 70.
  10. I will continue to raise awareness of Meniere’s disease – one day there may even be a cure!

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 



So you see, life may have been tough but 2015 set up 2016 to be a very special year, not just for me but for all of us. We are working tirelessly to achieve our success in spite of all the obstacles thrown at us. We leave 2015 a stronger, closer and better educated family. However desperate it has seemed, we have survived again.

All the very best for 2016. May the force be with you…



Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Highs of Lows of 2015




Honestly the biggest lesson of 2015 - you could save hundreds of people from a burning building and some people would still paint you as the villain. That’s life. Let them get on with it. If people are stupid enough to believe it, then that is their problem. I would rather do what is right than back off and let someone else do what should be done. 

Exposing peoples’ lies is one of the hardest and bravest things to do as is standing alone and standing up for your principles. I could have a much easier life by turning a blind eye and letting people walk all over me and my children. However, what sort of life would that be? Even worse, what sort of example does that set for my children? I may have to work on the delivery of my exposure (no-one’s perfect!), nonetheless 2016 will be the year of building on this year’s foundation of eradicating all the issues that have caused previous problems and held us back from fulfilling our dreams and having a peaceful life. I am proud of myself for sticking to my beliefs, not so proud of leaving it so long. 

I have received continuous criticism of my parenting skills yet I have two very grounded, well-educated and clever boys. What’s more important than any academic results, is their understanding of life and how society works. They have a good grounding in social justice, truth, honesty and a phenomenal work ethic. They are developing as leaders not followers. SO to all my critics – my boys aren’t perfect but they are perfectly aware of how to work effectively within society without being single minded bigots.

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 


My Top 5 successes of 2015


  • Seeing Wes develop in his rugby league career. No obstacle has been too high.
  • Seeing Lucas overcome health problems to excelling at school and turning into a boy who is confident to debate politics with adults!!
  • My re-connection with the Labour Party. I have always been a socialist and had socialist values but I lost connection with the Labour Party. They became too right centre for me. To accept austerity was the breaking point and Ed Miliband posing with The Sun! Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are two of the most intelligent and arbitrary men I have come across in politics. The fact they don’t compromise their core beliefs is a breath of fresh air for me. I am proud of standing my ground, often standing alone, for many years and super proud we now have a leader who will serve the people of this country for THEM not for personal gain.
  • I have developed so many new skills this year – planning my PhD study, book promotional work, marketing, book-keeping, script writing, editing, proofreading, the list is endless. For so many years, my brain was stagnant doing the same job day in day out. I can honestly say THANK YOU MENIERES.  I may have days when my brain won’t work but on the days that is does – WOW! WOW! WOW!
  • Learning the art of script writing. Another new skill I would not have developed had it not been for a forced change in direction. The feedback I received from an industry specialist for my FIRST work has spurred me on to follow my quest for success.

I am so thankful


2015 has very much felt like a development year and may not have reaped any financial rewards yet, I am richer than I think… money is NOT everything.

I want to thank Wes and Lucas for their unwavering support through this year. They know how tough it has been yet they have never stopped loving and supporting me. We are an invincible team. I am so, so proud of all three of us, sticking together and working through the good and bad times. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their successes at school and in sport. We have built a very secure family unit. 2016 will be amazing, I know it will. 
 
Thank you to all the doubters, critics and cowards hiding behind their keyboards. Without the lows you created, I would not be sitting here reflecting on how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. Most of all, thank you to all my unknown supporters this year - you've bought my book, followed my social media and blog. I appreciate all your support.

I am a very proud Mum, writer, socialist and caring human being.

So, this is my last post before Christmas. I want to wish everyone from across the globe a very safe and happy holiday season. All the children and families suffering this year are in my heart and I wish everyone the very best for 2016… make it YOUR year.







Thursday, 10 December 2015

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!



One thing I learned from publishing my first book – DON’T RUSH IT! It’s easier said than done especially when you’re the sole bread winner AND broke! However cautious you are, you can still get caught out and I did, big time! It was a fabulous lesson and it taught me to be bold and brave yet cautious and careful. 


I have so many projects on the go at the moment but I love being busy and creative.


Streetwise



Logline


In a dark world of unimaginable tragedy and paid, angels and heroes emerge as shining beacons of hope. All is not lost.


Description    
    

Life’s path can change at the blink of an eye or detonation of a bomb. In Leeds, Rob Kennedy should have been planning a wedding not a funeral. Consumed with guilt and grief, suicide seems his only option to end the perpetual nightmare. A single act of kindness saves him from himself. In Birmingham, Georgina Harding escapes the paedophile ring she had become imprisoned in by her mother’s boyfriend. At sixteen, living on the streets is a safer option. Coleen Green is hiding a dark, violent past living with a new identity until her worst nightmare re-appears. Three lives worth saving yet their paths are about to cross with potentially lethal consequences.


I wrote the first draft of this in four weeks and two days – I know this as I was two days over the deadline I gave myself! This is the first script I have written so I have had to learn the trade whilst writing. It has been really hard work but I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it and I am really proud of the outcome. I’ve had very constructive feedback from industry experts and now I feel I am almost ready to let the big wide world see it. Only almost though.

I don’t know how other writers feel but I dread writing the synopsis especially as it is for agents and publishers. It is the only time I struggle to get words down on paper. I know it is psychological and that makes it worse! I have taken my time with this synopsis, in fact I am still working on it. In all honesty I have spent more time on the damn summary than on writing the piece of work. I defy anyone to say writing a summary of the work is easy when you have invested so much in the detail of the work. 


There’s quite a few plots intertwining. It is essentially a story of homelessness and how changes in fortune can shape your life for better or worse. The marketing starts in earnest once I have completed the synopsis. IT WILL NOT BEAT ME!



The Nanny



Logline


Be careful what lies hidden in the past of the people you trust.


Description


Sometimes the past cannot be laid to rest without direct intervention. John and Martha O’Grady were victims of the conflict in Ireland. They may have survived but witnessing the death of their parents and grandparents at the hands of the IRA had left indelible horror on their young minds. Orphaned, they were split up. Martha was sent to a convent and John adopted and moved to Manchester. Thirty years on they are about to be reunited only to find the horrors of their past re-appear.



After struggling with the synopsis for Streetwise, I thought I do this differently so I wrote the synopsis first! BIG MISTAKE. I do plan the storylines but I like to have the freedom to develop and change. Writing the synopsis first meant the structure was too rigid – so, I changed the synopsis!! 


I woke up this morning and had a brain wave!!! YES, me – fancy that! If I change this story around a little, the suspense at the beginning will be even greater. So that is my next job. I suppose my favourite part of writing, other than making up new characters, is the flexibility and creativity it allows me.  I am a flexible person trying to cultivate a new career. I’m not perfect and I make lots of mistakes but I won’t ever give up. 


So, over the last few months I have learned to trust my instinct, keep an open mind, remain flexible and never be too afraid to admit you’re wrong and start again. WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! As in any new career, unless you are super human, you will not be perfect at your first attempt. TRY! TRY! And TRY! Again!



Beyond the Past




Converting this to a script is fascinating as now I can see why adaptations from books to screen are different. Books have so much more written detail. Doing this project is giving me a greater appreciation and understanding of the whole creative industry. Why oh why did I take this long to follow my dreams??



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




I know there are lots of you waiting for the sequel and it is written but after working on these other projects and improving my knowledge in the industry, I see many changes to the first manuscript, more than I would have made twelve months ago. I promise you the wait will be worth it. This is my Christmas holiday project when I don’t have to break off for the school run and sports events. I can get up at 5am and work through until the boys appear from their pits at around lunchtime – I kid you not! We have a very laid back approach to the Christmas holidays  - we as in the boys! I still work. Our Christmas is probably not like ‘traditional’ Christmas – no over indulgence and no structure. It is a time when the boys recharge their batteries and CHILL. 


2016 promises to be a busy year and that is just how I like it. I keep breaking off these projects when a new idea springs in my mind BUT once they are written down, they are left. Now I have about twenty potential ideas and only one pair of hands. Maybe 2016 will see a lucrative deal that will enable me to hire a marketing assistant. We shall see but you can rest assured I won’t be taking anyone on until I can pay them a decent living wage!


Right, you’re up to date with what I am up to. I’d be interested to hear any other writers’ opinions of the dreaded ‘S’ word – synopsis I mean. Actually, feel free to send me any comments – clean of course!!


Enjoy the rest of this week and the weekend. It’s nearly Christmas!!! AGAIN!