Monday, 10 October 2016


Having lived with anxiety disorder for over twenty years, writing has been a great friend. It allows me something to turn to during the dark hours and helps me explore the emotions and confusion I often feel. While I essentially write books, I have found poetry to be something that allows me to focus. This is one I want to share for #WorldMentalHealthDay

Once I was a warrior, equipped to be on the front lines of life.
Now I step up naked on the battlefield, walled in by doubt.
My only defense is your mercy, my only weapon is silence.
When the demons are pulling upon the strings in my mind
I can only wait until they tire of their cruelty,
And abandon me like a cat with a sparrow,
Coldly watching my efforts to take flight again.
But my allies rally and I draw from their strength
Believing my victory is certain
And with this belief I advance on the front,
The laurels of achievement awaiting me.
But the battle is short lived, and uncertainty like a crane-swing returns.
My war cry becomes a suppliant blubber
And my jaw droops for want of breath.
As my heart hammers upon an anvil of fear.
My wounds are deep and I gaze at the sword in my hand
Beckoning my fall upon it,
But what sort of soldier would I be then
And at what cost to those around me?
For now, I must contend to stay broken on the field,
And blurt out the words I loathe to utter.

“Help me.”   

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Graham Norton's couch

A tribute to the best Talk Show host ever. Thanks for the laughs. 

Graham Norton’s couch

How does an artist measure success?
What would you call fame?
Is it awards or trophies or just being the best?
Is it the face, the works or name?
For me, there is just one accolade,
The gauge upon which I will vouch,
I’ve finally made it, I’ve made the grade,
When I sit on Graham’s couch.

You can keep your fancy Booker Prize,
Be gone, you Academy Award,
Pulitzer, Nobel and other highs,
Tend to make me rather bored.
But lead me to this prestigious throne
No longer to grumble and grouch,
From that time on, it will always be known,
That I sat on Graham’s couch.

And of course I would have to be among
The other guests that night.
But my placing on that red chaise longue
Will not be taken without a fight.
The closest one to Mr. Norton
Is by no means any slouch,
So pause and put this in proportion,
I’m first on Graham’s couch.

The closest to this worldly host
The object of his attention,
Not just as some celebrity roast,
But an artist in ascension.
A tribute worthy of remembrance,
Not some Oscar in my pouch,
What an achievement of transcendence
When I sat on Graham’s couch.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why I chose to go down the self-publishing road

The lot of an Indie author is not an easy one, but the sense of achievement at the end of it all has to be the greatest feeling ever. I've done it! The dream has become a reality and my creation is out there.

In a drawer sits two full length novel manuscripts that I wrote once upon a time, one of them over twenty years ago. I tried to get a publisher, but the process was both expensive and time consuming. I had four children and money could not be spared on something so frivolous. I lost confidence and in the end gave up. One day I might take them up again, update and self publish them.

I began writing The Finest Line in May 2012. Through Kindle Direct Publishing, it was self-published to Amazon in August 2012. It cost me no more than the price of a few drinks for the people who helped me create the cover. I brought two more books out within a year of that, and they both did great, one of them going to #1 in Erotic Thrillers. Within a year of publishing The Finest Line I was making a full time income with my books and could devote my days to writing. When I say that self publishing is the most liberating accomplishment for writers, I mean it.

It is the answer for anyone who has long held a the passion to write and be published. They have a story in them screaming to be told. Well, I for one want to hear your story. It shouldn't be up to the traditional publishers to say whether your story is good enough or not. It's yours, and you want to share it with the world, whether others like it or not. Maybe it won't do so well, but who cares? I write for me, and I have to love my story before anyone does, and when I do, like any proud parent, I want to show my baby to the world. They don't have to like it, but it exists.

I've read all the dismal articles of the poor quality of Indie authors, the typos, the grammar, and mostly I think that's rubbish. Yes, I've actually read several stories, littered with mistakes, but the story itself was incredible and I am richer for having read it, and I am so glad the writer had the courage to put it out there. Failure is not several mistakes in your work and some bad reviews. Let the readers have their say, but remember, you did it, when they didn't. You are a success because you did put it out there while others are still dreaming about it, and who knows, maybe you do have the next New York Times bestseller within you. It just needs few trial runs before it comes out. With every book you put out there, you learn from it, and your writing can only blossom.
Would I ever go with a publisher now? I don't know, I'd like to say no, and I have given this a great deal of thought. I love being Indie. I love all those long hard hours of writing and getting ready to publish. I love that it costs me nothing. I love that I can finish writing a book and have it published within a few days. I love that my books belong to me alone.

And what is this all about anyway? It's about my passion for writing which has existed since I wrote my first poetry book at four years of age. It's about the first fifty page novel I completed when I was eight years old and the first full length novel I wrote when I was twelve years old. It wasn't about money, fame or reviews back then. It was because I had to write and haven't stopped my entire life, but now I can share my writing with the world. You don't have to like my stories, but they're out there, published, and I love them.

#PoweredByIndie #selfpub