Saturday, 18 June 2016

A PLEA…. From a MUM




I know I state the obvious but it has been a terrible, terrible week. Innocent people have been murdered going about, getting on with their own lives. The truth is – I am heartbroken. Heartbroken for the victims and their families and friends whose lives are changed forever.  I am totally gutted the UK and USA have become countries where division and hatred have flourished to a point extremists can actively promote and exact their hatred on innocent victims. 

Human nature means some people, with certain characteristics, will always take things to the extreme – we are fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. However, decent human beings know the boundaries and don’t cross those boundaries – knowing they violate common decency and, in some cases, the law. 

I have taught my boys to be honest, tolerant and to fight for social justice and equality. It's been tough because I have swum against the tide of feeling, even within my own circle of friends and family. I feel angry and deeply hurt that the very people elected to represent these same values are undermining me and the majority of decent human beings. I also feel a sense of responsibility for allowing this hatred to happen! I didn't vote for the ones who seek to divide us but maybe my voice has not been loud enough to drown out the hatred and vile intolerance. Maybe I have not done enough to stop this from happening. Yes – I have debated until hoarse, attended demonstrations, meetings and campaigns BUT somehow I feel I have not done enough to make this world a safer place for my children and other children across the globe. 

Extremism MUST be met with love, kindness and reasoned debate. Silence does not work but neither does resorting to their kind of name calling. All us decent human beings have to now SHOUT louder and unite to ensure we achieve peace and stability. A world where our children can go out, have fun, explore and return home safely, fulfilled, excited from experiencing life. I want a world free from extremism and war. 

Some will read this and scoff – we can't achieve it! WE CAN and WE MUST!

I have become increasingly ashamed to be British. We, as a country, are at a crossroads – please, please let's choose the right path.

My tribute to a wonderful, inoffensive, tolerant and courageous Jo Cox will be to continue her fight to bring about a better world, not just for me or the boys but for all of humanity.


Friday, 10 June 2016

A TOAST...to the FUTURE



It's coming up to the fifth anniversary of the day I began to think about writing my first novel, Beyond the Past. On paper, it seems like an incredibly long amount of time. In reality, it feels like only yesterday. So much has happened during this time. I'm not going to lie, it has been a very tumultuous period – more downs than ups, if I'm honest. Has it been worth it?  Too right it has!

When I started that first novel, I was not just a complete novice at fiction writing but totally naïve about how people would react to my change in career and how cut throat the book world actually is. I cannot believe how many obstacles I have had to kick and crush to get where I am today. I'm not where I anticipated I would be but I am in a much better place than the day I started. I have an awful lot to be thankful for.

I never thought this blog would ever be read let alone be as popular as it has been. I started it to log our new life for our future family generations. It is hard to remember all the events, good and bad but I want my children and grandchildren to be able to look back and know that you can overcome adversity and follow your dreams. I don't expect everyone to understand that but it matters to me.

Who'd have thought, five years ago I would have a successful blog, a published book, two pieces out in the marketplace, another work in progress and I would be delivering talks in schools. Little old me! 

I have learned so much about the industry, my craft, the marketing, the dishonesty, the exploitation of writers and artists and about myself. I am not the person I was five years ago AND that is a good thing…why? Because it proves DEVELOPMENT. I am a great believer in continuing to learn and better myself. No new career or success is achieved overnight. It takes time, dedication, self-belief (in between the self-doubt) and a whole lot of hard work to make a success of anything in life. I have learned to be flexible, resourceful, patient and resilient. More importantly, I have learned to trust my gut instinct and not the noise other people want to make. MY LIFE, MY RULES. 

A first draft is great satisfaction BUT it is only the beginning and a very rough plan of the final product. I rushed publishing Beyond the Past due to personal circumstances but now I have learned to take my time; to craft work that I am happy with – at least 98%; I'll never be happy 100%...ever.

Standing by your own beliefs and actions does attract some undesirable attention but it shows great strength to stand alone in a world that is determined to box you into a category or label. I suppose I would like my ultimate legacy to be 'I defied all labels, low expectations and ridicule. I got there…eventually.'

Whilst I wait for the market to respond to my current work, I have lots of planning to do and lots of new ideas formulating – this is what happens when you say 'no more drama' – not in the writing sense! What will be, will be. My children are healthy and happy and we ALL have great things to look forward to.



The Nanny


150 pages into the script and I've torn it up…well not literally but I've started again, which is a common occurrence for me. I LOVE IT EVEN MORE NOW – the characters are stronger, the story line bolder and the backdrop is perfect. It was just, well, in the wrong order. I've recently spent time watching television dramas, particularly how they are put together; the moves from scene to scene; the sequences, etc. I'm super excited where this story goes. The Troubles in Ireland have always fascinated me. As I have always said, 'one man's terrorist, is another man's freedom fighter.' Before anyone is offended, I am not condoning any forms of violence whatsoever. I do want to make sure I do this story justice. I think I am on the right road.

My tip to any new writers – don't be afraid to tear it up and start again. Only accept what you are truly happy with.

From September, the writing will be part time to my studies but not for long. More reading…more research…more discovery. I am a very lucky lady.

EU REFERENDUM

I tell you, it's a miracle our television is still in one piece. Only two weeks to go! I'm so ashamed at what this campaign has degenerated into, from both sides. The blatant lies, fear and racism has been astounding and post referendum, regardless of the result, there will need to be some serious repairs required to certain peoples' reputations. Or, rather, they have finally shown their true colours. 

The EU is like the rest of the world, riddled with fraudulent, unfair and unequal capitalism but whether we are in or out, that will stay until we can fight against it. Here's the thing – if we leave, the power will be transferred to the Brexit Ministers who I deeply mistrust with the NHS, workers' rights and contract negotiations. They can do a lot of damage in four years.
The main reasons I want to stay in the EU :


  1. Take away the borders, labels, languages and we are all the same. Human Beings.
  2.  I want my children to understand the importance of cooperation, diplomacy and peace. 
  3. We can't fight environmental issues and be eco-friendly alone.
  4. Extremism only survives through fear and war. Together we can end extremism, alone we can't.
  5. For all the negativity of the EU, we must remember all the good it has done, least of all the peace it has achieved with our neighbours.
  6. But most of all, I want to be a part of a greater world – standing shoulder to shoulder with our closest neighbours to fight for fairness and equality against greed, manipulation and tyranny.

My advice to anyone – Do what you believe is right but whatever you decide, PLEASE VOTE.

JordanF1
F1 testing

Right, the weekend is about to start. We're off to the NSPCC dream car event this weekend; some much needed 'petrolhead' family time… oh and it's the Grand Prix too… oh... and it's the start of Euro 2016. EXCITED!

Have a safe, fun and happy weekend. 


Friday, 3 June 2016

Positively re-focused


Just a quick post today – I don't want people to get the wrong impression that I do this full time. It's amazing when you cut out all the noise and negativity and re-focus, how much work you can get done. Not only that but the new ideas start flowing again. Every cloud has a silver lining – you just have to find it and focus on it. Last night, a very strong new book, or script (not decided yet) idea developed. This thriller is about a respectable businessman who uses the internet to troll and commit a series of crimes. It is in its very, very early stages of development – a side of A4 notes stages. It is so exciting to create new characters, locations and relationships.

Website

I have neglected my website a little recently, well actually a lot. It's tough keeping up with writing, admin, new ideas, editing, proofreading, marketing and web design. I spent yesterday updating and re-writing the pages. I love coding – I know I'm a geek - there is a great sense of achievement when the coding works. Obviously the downside is when it does not work! It has to be so precise; only one character out and the whole thing may not work. I suppose it ties in with the whole creativity theme for me. The thrill of starting with a blank page and creating something from just a small seed of an idea. The sense of achievement is immense.

You can view my website here.

The Nanny

As with all my writing so far, the starting point does not always make the finish line. Sometimes, I write what comes into my head, then go
back and shuffle the sections around to increase the intensity or impact. I then have to go back and insert sections to make it all make sense. It works for me. Self- assessment and reflection are vital tools to grow, not just as a writer but as a human being. One of the exciting aspects of writing is, starting with an idea and absolutely having no idea where you will end up – a bit like life really.

I had a wonderful birthday on Wednesday, thoroughly spoilt by my little family. I am so grateful for our time together. Life is way too short to not appreciate what you have. They motivate and encourage me, as I do them. Together, we are moving forward into new exciting chapters of our lives. Are you with us?

Have a great weekend. Next week Wes is back at school – final push on the 'A' level exams.  Lucas has an extra week off. His school saves all their training days for one week – helps with cheaper holidays. Unfortunately, it is only a good thing when your children go to the same school but as I have learned, you can't please everyone. Anyway, Lucas and I have some really lovely mummy/son time next week – in between the Xbox and my writing! Then it will be only 6 weeks to the main summer holidays – where is this year going?

Please…

NEVER stop dreaming… NEVER stop learning and most of all…NEVER stop loving.