Sunday, 26 March 2017

Hope, unity, peace & kindness will prevail

Well, it’s Mother’s Day in the UK.  If I’m honest, I just don’t get it. I am lucky enough to feel blessed everyday with the boys. I see this as another day of exploitation. I know… I’m a party pooper! But I do. What is it for... other than to make us feel pressured into spending money on one single day of the year on useless things as cards! Millions of pounds spent on items read once then, either discarded or kept in a cupboard never to see daylight again – not to mention the damage to the environment.

I much prefer the boys to make me feel like a valued Mum every day and they do. There is no need for Mother’s Day here because every day I am a Mum and a very proud one at that. If you do celebrate the day, I hope it is all you expected it to be and more.

Last night, Lucas was head chef and Wes the sous chef. They made me a fabulous meal - Fajitas. It was such a special moment, seeing them both work together and produce gorgeous food. I am truly blessed.
It was an horrendous week last week. The attacks in Westminster brought home the horrors of this world, more so for me was the Mum who had finished work and was going to pick up her children. My boys rely on me and the thought of not being there… BUT we do have to remember all that is
Credit : Unknown
good too. The acts of bravery and selflessness of all the people who helped the victims last Wednesday and every other atrocity. As we celebrated Red Nose Day on Friday, Lucas’ Head made a fabulous speech that summed up exactly how I feel. Whilst these acts of violence are tragic and appalling, there is an awful lot of good in this world. Remember that please. The media go overboard on their analysis and hypotheses of atrocities but very little is said about the wonders of the world and the human race.
Hope, unity, peace and kindness should always prevail – exactly the reason why I back Jeremy Corbyn. We share the same values. I look at every single one of us as human beings trying to survive in a world made tougher by selfish individuals capitalising on peoples’ fears. I include some politicians in this! Let’s not let them…eh? Let’s be the ones who say, “enough is enough”. Not just to terrorism but to State terrorism... to illegal wars and invasions!
On a personal level, I did have a wobble last week. It is tough starting out on a new path but even more so when you have an illness as unpredictable as Meniere’s. I felt like giving up on Friday – why bother? I had a good cry and a moan to Wes… he is a superstar. He reminded me of why I am putting myself through the Masters and the cut throat business of writing.

Today, I feel stronger than ever… maybe hitting rock bottom from time to time, makes us stronger and more willing to continue the fight. I don’t have a choice… I am not the type of person to give up especially when I know the long-term effects of the Masters and my writing will take us much further than giving in and getting “a proper job” which is unattainable with an unpredictable illness. In the words of Chumbawumba "I get knocked down but I get up again... you're never going to keep me down..."

This weekend, the Formula one season started and I am feeling the effects of the 5am starts! I am so excited Ferrari won the first race but I'll reserve my full celebrations until later in the season. Still, it was great to hear the Italian national anthem on a Sunday morning. #ForzaFerrari
The fight goes on…
Much love

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Writing is right for me…

I've been struggling with The Nanny. The elements were not working well. I did what I learned from a great writer… I walked away from it. About an hour ago… it came to me. I had just sat down after making cookies with Lucas when a new character popped into my head. It was the missing link in the story. One extra sinister character and my cast is complete. Sometimes, walking away produces the best results.

I'm in need of the day being extended to forty-eight hours! Okay I exaggerate but you get the picture. I am absolutely loving what I am doing – being Mumsy; writing; studying; research and being me. I don't think I have ever been this motivated or enjoyed my life as much as I do right now. I may not be perfect but I am trying… hehe… some would probably say "very trying!"

I've been doing a lot of reflective thinking recently.  Thank you to the narcissists who plagued my life – they've given me some incredible material. Writing is most definitely, the best therapy.

The Nanny

Now I have the final piece of the jigsaw, I am editing the Treatment and the Beatsheet. Then, the script writing can begin... again.

Hidden Torment

The outline is completed, as is the character list. For me, the hardest part is naming the characters. The next step is to write the beat sheet including a rough outline of the scenes.

Logline: Dirty secrets damage innocent lives.

Master's Degree

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, my Master's degree is in Information Technology. I don't like to admit it… I'm a geek! My undergraduate degree was in Business Information Systems including strategic management of IT, systems analysis and programming – javascript, PHP, Mysql, etc. The shock on peoples' faces when I tell them is quite extraordinary and a little annoying! People love to stereotype, especially single mothers!

The Master's degree has reignited my passion for research and discovery. My dissertation is investigating ways to deliver a modern and flexible ICT curriculum in secondary schools to engage more young people in ICT. 

I admit, it is very tough… much tougher than I expected.  I love the challenge. I am determined I can work my way out of the mess Meniere's put me in. NO PAIN…NO GAIN! This is a personal fight, one I WILL WIN! 

I am blooming loving every bit of it! It is even easier knowing I have the boy's full support. I won't lie… it is exhausting and some days I think "why am I doing this?" Those moments are becoming less and less and disappear when I look at the boys. They motivate me. I must be doing something right… distinctions across all modules so far. 

The more I have to do, the more I get done, yet I still have time to enjoy being a Mum and relax. No idle hands here nor time to worry what other people think. The self- doubt has even subsided. I am on a roll… in the right direction and totally in control.

Right, I'm off to do some more creating… one more week until the start of the F1 season. Forza Ferrari!!! It's been a long, not so lonely winter! 

Have a productive week… most of all HAVE FUN… the world needs more smiles.
Much love

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day – WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Whether it be teaching our children equality and tolerance or taking direct action to change our and others' lives, all of us CAN change the world in our own way.

I never had much encouragement to follow my dreams as a child. I gave up on them because I believed my peers! It is hard to stay motivated and swim against the tide. But… what I didn't understand then… I certainly do now. There was a culture back then of "how dare you want to better yourself." I now know so many suffer at the hands of their peers… "you can do well if you don't do better than me…" or "you should know your place…". How many of our children feel this? How many women feel and go through this? I know I am not alone. I didn't have the courage or support to follow my dreams and decided, with peer pressure and ignorance, to skip University and go into work – looking back, it was not a bad mistake…it was a bad choice. Still it turned me into the person I am today. I learned from my bad choices.

On International Women's Day, I want to reach out to women who think, like I did, that their ambitions are just dreams… they are UNTIL you ACT ON THEM! I have learned the hard way and my headstone will say "Here lies Pam Charles… she got there in the end!" I feel I wasted so much of my life… yet also feel that time has brought me to where I am today. We are more resourceful than we give ourselves credit for.

This is my ten tips for changing your dreams into reality. In no way am I an expert… I'm muddling through life like any of us but if I can help one person, it has been worthwhile.
  1. Start with baby steps. I did it in secret. I didn't tell anyone I was writing until I was ten chapters in. 
  2. Make a list of what you want to achieve – the end goal.
  3. You then need an action plan. Don't expect overnight success. I made the mistake of underestimating how hard it is to break into writing – the cliques, the exploiters, the long drawn out processes and bureaucracy and the opposition!
  4. Seek help from the right people. I received so much support from other writers… people I hadn't met but now are friends of social media along with new friends I have picked up along the way. I am so grateful for their support.
  5. No one is going to come and pick you out… BE SEEN! Announce "YOU ARE HERE"…it is scary at first but it becomes part of your journey. Learn to shrug off the nastiness and don't rise to it – a mistake I initially made.
  6. Stick to your action plan BUT be ready to adapt. You are about to embark on a roller coaster (Ronan Keating was not wrong!) with highs and lows. BE PREPARED BUT DON'T GIVE UP!
  7. Do lots of research – knowledge is power.
  8. Keep a journal of your journey – what works, what doesn't; what made you happy; what gave you total despair. Reflect on both your successes and failures. Embrace the failures as much as the successes – they teach you so much.
  9. This is a loooooonnnnng journey. Unless you get lucky, you must grind out success.
  10. Most importantly… ENJOY IT! Remember why you started and your ultimate goal.
If I can do it with all my insecurities, anxiety and Meniere's, you really can do it – whatever "IT" is. Don't be afraid and don't be part of the "if only I'd tried!" brigade. You are so much stronger, braver and smarter than you give yourself credit for and that will grow on your journey.

I am more inspired everyday by the boys being impressed by what I am trying to achieve. They drive me on especially on days when I am on the brink of giving up. Please, do not settled for what is… if it is not what you want. I wish I'd given myself this advice when I was fifteen but then again… I am a much stronger person and a much better Mum because of those bad experiences.

My boys have my 100% support in whatever they choose to do. Lucas has decided he wants to design and build things… he is ten! I love that he knows at this stage what makes him happy. We will sit down over the next few weeks and go through what he will need to do to meet his goal – it will give him a sense of perspective and how much work is needed. I don't think it does any harm for them to understand to achieve their goals, they will have to work hard.

Masters Study

I had another wobble last week but it's all good. I've learned my wobbles and self-doubt drives me on to continue towards success. I don't allow people to exploit my self-doubt anymore either.  The shame is on them.

The studies are going well. My Masters dissertation is: An agile governance framework for the development of the ICT curricula in secondary schools to ensure future sustainability, adaptability and flexibility.

I'm changing the world… my way.


Hidden Torment

This is a new project which started in the early hours of Monday morning… as a dream. By Monday afternoon, I had the back story, the character list and a full story line with plot.

Logline: dirty secrets damage innocent lives

After the success and enjoyment I had with Streetwise, this will also be a script but for film instead of television. It deals with anxiety and mental health issues stemming from childhood relationships, affecting decisions made in adulthood. It is a really ambitious but I enjoy tackling social issues. It's my passion to tackle difficult issues.

The Nanny

This is progressing well. I've been watching the Northern Ireland Assembly elections with interest. It is incredibly ironic that Brexit from a UK Government referendum could potentially unite and resolve a three hundred year's dispute. Interesting times…

Whilst I am writing this, the Chancellor is delivering the budget and I can feel my blood pressure rising. How on earth after all the austerity cuts and damages to services, has the debt increased? Where has the money gone? It is a travesty how people do not question it and there is no accountability!! 
Right, I'm off to write a Masters paper on Green ICT strategy. Have a fabulous week. 
Go get 'em!
Much love