Once upon a time the London marathon made me cry

It’s on the telly this morning. There was a time when it broke my aching heart, but I’ve been over it for years.

I came home from war, hurt, badly hurt, but still with my young action man mindset. Determined to make my limbs work again and get back running and stuff. Watched the London marathon from my day bed two years later and vowed I would run it one day.

By the time it was on the telly again the following year, my arms and legs were moving but not in the old way, certainly not in the old way, and I’d had my severe ME/fibromyalgia diagnosis. Chronically ill. Crash course in knowledge I didn’t want.

Still action man in my head. I’d got my limbs working and nothing was going to stop me from running that bloody marathon sometime.

Well, guess what, action man. A year later, everything had crashed from overdoing everything and the London marathon on the telly taunted me into hot bitter tears. Never gonna happen, mate. Never. Just, never. See this bottomless pit? You’re in it. Right in the bottom of it.

All that was about 20 years ago. I’m over the London marathon now. It can’t make me cry anymore. I found another marathon. Two really.

One, the ME/fibro one, came without me looking for it or wanting it. I’m still running it. No choice.

The other, learning how to write novels, the one I started to keep myself sane, is also a long distance run. Six titles published so far. Number seven on its way in May. That’s a marathon I can enjoy. Take it at my own pace. At ME and fibro’s pace. At my life’s natural pace. It doesn’t hurt me. Doesn’t make me crash and burn. It’s okay. My life is okay.

Yours will be too. If you’re reading this and hurting, I love you, and you should love you too. Your life will be okay. Be gentle with yourself.


OMG! It’s Friday already!

Not only that, but we’re in April now. Tomorrow night will see the final of this year’s The Voice UK.

The Rugby Union Six Nations is long gone, as is the last ever season of Dancing on Ice.

Before we know it there’ll be the football World Cup in Brazil, maybe a week or two of summer weather here in the West Country of England, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on the telly, then Christmas, and that’ll be it. Happy New 2015.


Another month slips by

Just realised I haven’t posted anything on my blog for five weeks. Better revive this thing before it sinks below the waves.

I’m mentoring an unpublished writer in a popular and well-organised three-month program in the Romance Divas community. It’s going well. My mentee, Diane King, is working hard and we have a clear view of the way ahead.

Family got hit with a virus this month. Chills, aches, sickness and blinding headaches. All of us, even the little ones. Loadsafun. Just crawling out from under that now.

Only one month to go until my YA gothic fantasy GIFTED will be released. Looking forward to that.


Life just got real after a slow and ugly winter, so here’s a quick update as I sweep through the room.

1. Our new baby granddaughter Alanah is healthy and happy, and her mum is recovering well. All a happy family.

2. I finished reading Dream Gold yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I got straight back into the story I started reading in school forty years ago, and although the plot ended the way I’d expected it to, David Severn’s descriptions of the stormy sea along Cornwall’s rocky coastline were so powerful I immersed myself in them and loved every minute of it.

3. Getting ready to go and have stinging stuff squirted in my eyes this afternoon for my annual check up. Wonder if it’ll be the same monosyllabic, condescending consultant who grunted incomprehensibly at me in his windowless little room last year. That’ll be fun.

4. I’m writing again. Honestly didn’t know if it would ever happen, but I’ve finally recovered sufficiently from last October/November’s steroid reduction to sit and type. More than that, actually, Much, much more. I hoped I was coming out of the long tunnel when I started living with a new story in my head, and it stayed and grew. But you know how capricious hope can be, so I took it steadily and didn’t make myself any promises. Until last weekend when I decided it was time to see what shape this story will take, and I got 2.5k good words down. Nothing during last week – unsurprisingly because Alanah arrived, but also because I was exhausted from my weekend writing – then another 1k this weekend just gone.

I’m fine with it being a slow write. If I get it finished it’ll be a slow read, so writing it slowly feels right. I’m writing it like poetry. It’s deliberate litfic after all, and that’s another first for me. I wrote a lot of poetry before I started learning how to write novels. Won two prizes for it and even wrote a play in verse which the creative director of our regional theatre loved but he was outvoted because, money. So I haven’t written poetry for nearly twenty years, but in crafting this book I’m using the same skill set. And that feels good, too.

I have three more steroid reductions to go and goodness knows what state they’ll leave me in. But for now, while I can write, I’m loving this story.