Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias, Shalom, Hi……

May 3, 2011 § 6 Comments

 I am in the throws of changing my career. I no longer want to be a web developer, I want to to be a writer. I am nearly 40 and want to make positive steps towards a new career before my 40th birthday. My head is now full of opinions, stories, anecdotes and literary musings. I want to release them on an unsuspecting public.

I may write something you are not happy with, let me know. Your opinions matter. I may say something that makes you laugh, let me know, so I know to write more of the same. Your happiness matters to me.

That will do for an opener. I don’t want to go on and bore your eyeballs out. I sincerely hope you enjoy my writings.

Margarets War . . .

June 14, 2011 § 13 Comments

November 28th 1942

After ordering her usual small black coffee, Margaret sat alone at their usual table for the first time in her life. It had taken her two years to find the courage to come alone. It had been that long since her husband Ralph had mysteriously disappeared off the coast of Normandy in 1940.

Coffee rationing was imminent and Margaret was taking advantage of what was to be her last coffee for quite some time. Absorbing every memory and feeling, she hoped somehow, would bridge the void in her heart.

A single large tear rose from the corner of her eye. It was a tear of both joy and sorrow. Ralph had been a loving husband, she could never forget how wonderful he was. He was a caring, doting father. He is missed by all, but mostly by Margaret, his loving wife of  20 years.

The memories of a thousands happy conversations, soft tender touches and deep loving gazes into each others eyes, across their table, were still heavily prominent in her mind. As she gazed down at the dying swirls from the last stir of her spoon, she questioned everything the M.O.D had told her.

Nothing added up, she repeated in her mind, drowning out the bustle of other coffee shop residents. But there was nothing she could do. Colonel Tenet had warned her on the day of the hearing. The world was at war and her problems paled in significance, sorry but that the truth of the situation – he coldly added.

Margaret had fought the M.O.D for over a year to find out the truth of her husbands disappearance. Putting her new marriage, the bond with her children and her fading health at even greater risk. The situation had consumed her.

Margaret stood, shaking with bated breathe, infront of the M.O.D council as Tenet spoke. She had stayed strong throughout the whole affair and to hear Tenet’s words brought a darkness and loss over her. She fell forward onto her knees, no longer able to stand. She held her heavy head in her hands and cried uncontrollably. The situation had obviously taken its toll. She surrendered her faith, feeling lost, helpless and unsupported. None of the attendees moved to help, only watching blankly at the unfurling proceedings.

The echoes of silence were heavy in the brooding air. Margaret was left in a heap on the dusty wooden floor. Tenet respectively looked on and tried to empathise with the feelings, the pain and the anguish Margaret would be feeling. “What have I done?” he deliberated.

Tenet slowly rose from his seat. Quietly walked from the bench into the back room of the courtroom and closed the door behind him. “It’s done”. He cursively announced.

“Good . . . .  jolly good. So, she thinks I’m dead? Are you sure?” Agent Ralph Peters retorted. A single large tear rose from the corner of his eye. “So it’s over, she can move on, good . . . . jolly good”.

After the passing of some time, she summoned the strength to leave the courtroom. Slowly make her way down Whitehall towards Kings Cross Station. She boarded the 14:32pm to Pickering and headed home to pick up the pieces of her fractured life.

It seemed the longest train journey of her life. Margaret thought many times of getting off at any other station than her home one. But the thought of leaving her children, the children she had with Ralph, kept her going. She parted from the empty cold mists of Pickering station and made her way through the town to the corner of Willowgate and Burgate to their favourite coffee shop. Maybe it’s time to move on and put this behind me, she mused and paused before opening the coffee shop door breaking the wartime silence of the streets, allowing the stir of the shops occupants out into her new life.

After ordering her usual small black coffee . . . . . . .


This piece was inspired by prompt “She thinks I’m dead” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon xvi page. I have just started writing. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope you enjoy!

My new life as a wannabe writer – II

June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well here it is, as promised, my update on my life as a wannabe writer . . . . . two. A little early, but I have finally found the time to sit infront of my mac.

I need to admit, it’s been a difficult second month. After making the very positive decision to move away from web development, I have already found myself being sucked back into the matrix, to pay the bills.

I wish I’d made this decision before I had children, a house and other financial responsibilities – *coughs*, Taxes. Oh how hindsight is the most cherished of all thought processes as one gets older. I also wish I knew how to bottle hindsight, I have a youth market that would love it and pay a handsome sum for its powers. Although the government wouldn’t be able to tax it, so it would be classed as illegal. Oh crap, oh how the powers-that-be spoil everything Sorry, just a rant – I don’t do it often.

I’ve had a difficult week trying to find the time to commit to the blog and feeling suitably guilty that I haven’t kept it up as much as I said I would. I am going to try harder this week.

I have, however, been working on a new children’s rhyming book. An idea I had a while ago. I have uploaded the front cover design. (not actual size) I would love to hear your thoughts. I am hoping to have it completed for the end of July. I will then present it to a publisher for (fingers crossed) publishing. I will then use the revenues, if any, from the book to finally move away from web development and live my life as a wannabe writer like I have planned.

If anyone has any advice on getting a children’s book published, I would be extremely grateful. For the first time in my life, I am out of my comfort zone.

I would like to thank everyone (again) for your help advice and support over the past few weeks. Without you, I wouldn’t be progressing as fast as I am. My confidence is definitely increasing as a writer. A big shout out goes to Marantha, of GHOSTWRITER fame, for her support and warm, lovely comments all over my blog. And to Monica, of Amalias Story, for her grammar and lessons in languag tuition. It is appreciated.

Thank you for reading my blog. I will be blogging again sometime this week with something more interesting.

Wait for my signal . . . .

June 3, 2011 § 11 Comments

THERE HE IS – GET HIM, was all I heard as I walked through the main gates of my school. I looked over at my left shoulder to see Kevin Haigh and Dean Hughes running as fast as their 13 year old legs could carry them in my direction. I turned in an instance, knowing full-well they were after me, and dug the fronts of my new Reebok trainers into the pavement and started running towards home. Home was only three streets away, down New hill, but it may as well have been on the dark side of the moon. It felt like an eternity from hearing those words to seeing my front door.

As a thirteen year old, I had already experienced more than my fair share of confrontation and violence at school and at home, so a run home from the school bullies was all part of my daily grind. Anyway, it kept me fit and in preparation for Sports Day. Not that I did very well on Sports Day but I had to look at my bullying in a positive light or go through what I had gone through when I was Ten years old all over again. I wasn’t prepared to do that.

Dean Hughes was the cock of our year, for those of you that are not familiar with the term, it means the hardest, most violent kid there is in that particular year. He was a big lad for his age. I would secretly call him Dim Huge. Never to his face, that would have been suicide. He dwarfed everyone else in the school, even the year five kids. His size definitely contributed to his status. Kevin Haigh on the other hand was a short, squeaky, mixed-up kid who lived directly across from my house, in another house of course. He followed Dean around like a three-legged lap dog. He did everything Dean asked him to. The muppet.

It all started in Mrs Martins’ Pottery class. Dean was being a real pain, as usual, creating pottery willies. The rest of the class however were doing their very best to create little teacups, as per the teachers brief. In all honestly, mine looked more like a small bag of knuckles, but at least I was trying and being a good student – for once.

Dean wasn’t happy being annoying on his own, he needed an audience, and found a victim in me, to elevate his status that little bit more. He saw my teacup and decided to drive his gnarled-up fist straight through the middle of my creation while cackling like a hyena. I saw red. I stood up, grabbed my teacup and pushed it straight into the middle of his face. Every kid in the class turned to look. There were gasps and moans of disbelief. Then there was silence, deathly silence, it seemed to last for ages. All you could hear was the whirring of the kiln as it warmed, ready to receive our clay offerings. Willies and all.

Dean froze for a moment before standing up, bringing him clay-covered hand up behind his ear then throwing it into the middle of face. He must of had a lot of clay on his hand because I didn’t feel it as much as I would have expected. I immediately fell to floor from my wooden stool, I looked up and stared up at Dean and the rest of the class who’d gathered to see what would happen next. Dean stood above me pointed the gnarly clay hand at my head and said – “You’re dead you freak, you’re dead”. He appeared to mean it, but I didn’t feel dead. I did feel a little bit freaky with the other kids staring at me, but I definitely didn’t feel dead. I felt alive and, at the time very lucky . . . . . . but I was soon to discover, not for long.

I overheard as Dean turned to Kevin. “We’ll get the little turd after School, wait at the main doors, when I see him, we’ll pounce. Just wait for my signal.” Kevin nodded in agreement. I was prepared for the worst.

I spent the whole of the day looking over my shoulder and staying away from anyone who knocked around with them. I was aware that word would spread fast that I was around and what was inevitable after school would come a lot sooner. I was even tempted to skip school, but getting into trouble with my Dad would be a lot worse than anything Dim Huge and lap-dog Haigh could dish out. They didn’t use leather belts and slippers.

Every stride felt like one step forward and six steps backwards. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. They were gaining on me. They must have been quicker than I was, somehow. Dean sure could run fast for a fatty, I kept saying over and over again in my head. I dug my trainers further into the ground and leant forward to make myself more streamlined. I had seen it on TV when Daley Thomson ran the one hundred metres. He put his head down so he could go faster, but my rucksack ruined it. I couldn’t stop to take it off, it would have been curtains for me. I had to just go for it.

I must have ran through every kid walking home trying to duck and dive to lose them. But little did I know, I should have run in a straight line. The quickest distance between two points. I will never forget that, thank you Mr Woodward (my Maths teacher).

It was too late, I had managed to get to the bottom of the lane at the top of my street before Dean, or Kevin – I didn’t see who had done it, I was flying through the air, legged me up. My face hit the mud. As I stopped, the rucksack went all the way up over my head and off my back. Dean and Kevin started kicking me and punching me in the back of my head, all of a sudden my dad came out the house shouting, “What the hell’s going on here?”, he walked over to where I was laying and picked me up with one hand from the mud. He was very strong my Dad, fat but strong. Before anyone could explain, he sent Dean and Kevin packing. “Get back home you little bastards. And you, get up them stairs. I’ll teach ya to fight outside my house and show me up, you’re getting my belt. When will you ever learn?”

“But Dad . . . ” I manage to chelp before he stopped me. “Do you want me to give you it out here, in front of everyone?”, he screamed as he pulled me towards his face, our noses almost touching. He may as well have done. Everyone knew what was coming. Everyone in our street knew what would happen if I got into trouble or made him look bad.

Dean and Kevin knew what my Dad had done to me the previous night and came over the next morning to apologise for getting my into trouble.

Less than two hours later, Kevin drew a massive willy all over my Picasso-esque tree painting in Mrs Whitehouse’s art class, so I threw a pot of paint over his drawing. Sufficed to say, I made it home that night and there wasn’t an apology the following day or the day after that or the . . . . .


This piece was inspired by prompt “Wait for my signal” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon XIV page. I haven’t been writing for very long. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!

Apologies . . .

May 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

Happy Tuesday morning too all.

I would just like to send to al,l who have sent comments and compliments, an apology for my late replies. I have had internet difficulties for the last week or so. It has nearly driven my mad being away from my blog and not being able to write – I do feel an addiction coming on. As long as Virgin Media behave themselves, it won’t happen again. I have now replied to all of your lovely comments and I will be dropping by your blogs to catch up and add my own comments.

One last thing, a big thank you to everyone who has spent any time on visiting my blog over the last few weeks, it is much appreciated and giving me lots of confidence to continue writing.

My new life as a wannabe writer – I

May 25, 2011 § 13 Comments

25th May 2011: 10:00am

Wow – writers block for the first time. Feels weird, like jet-lag with a hangover and a feeling of losing my favourite teddy (Rusky). The more I think, the worse it gets. Time for my 6th coffee. This is odd, I can create a 1000 word creative piece without too many issues, but writing about my first month in my new life as a wannabe writer (as the title indicates) is a different matter. I can’t get lost in the emotion, the strange worlds, thoughts and musings – it’s a real world, my world.

Right, I’ll try again later. In the meantime, I’ll take a photo of my creative space, my writing heaven, so you can see that I inhabit a real space and have real things, it’s the internet – you never know. It probably looks staged and too tidy, but I live by the “A tidy desk is a tidy mind” principal, it works most of the time. I am still shaking the shackles of a web developers analytical, structured existence.

I wrestled with whether I should put an image of my writing space on this piece or a picture of Rusky, but as Rusky is away visiting my son, it was inevitable my workspace won that little battle. Rusky will be back soon. I will put his image up soon – he’s a handsome bear.

25th May 2011: 12:16pm

Right . . . . got it.

I started this blog on 3rd May 2011, after deciding to change my entire career from being a successful web developer to a wannabe writer. I found sitting in front of a computer and facilitating others greed wasn’t what I wanted to do for the last part of my life. I have spent the last 10 years sat infront of a pc/mac creating social networks, systems and services while losing my own social life. And to some degree, my soul. You can only spend so long programming till 3am every morning before your health starts to deteriorate and you start losing who you are in the matrix of zeros and ones. So here I am, I have made the decision and I am spend as long as it takes to make as much of a success of my writing as I did in my other life as a web developer. Welcome to my journey . . . . . time for another black coffee.

25th May 2011: 14:16pm

I have spent that past month dwindling my bank account down to dust, buying all the books in the world with an interesting cover or books I felt I needed to read to have a respectable level of understanding of the literary world outside of my mac and the internet.

I have read everything from Animal farm to Dan Browns: Digital Fortress, from The Catcher in the Rye to A Perfect Day for a Bananafish, from The Lord of the Flies to WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency. I am trying to read as many genres of books as I can to give me a greater understanding of writing and the literary world I am to live in for the rest of my life. I must admit, I am struggling with picking up a romantic novel – I just don’t know whether I could commit to reading a soppy story of girl-loses-boy, best-friend-fancies-girl, girl-and-best-friend-marry. I live in fear that I will enjoy it and it may be the genre I am naturally suited.

I would like to write political conspiracy thrillers. Gritty and exciting with car chases and gun-fights. Actually I could just write about Saturday nights in Doncaster, just kidding, it’s Friday nights which are like that.

If you could suggest a good romance novel, that would be helpful. Thank you in advance.

I have only written a few posts on my blog. Some based on my life’s events, some based on prompts from various websites, mainly InMon from BeKindReWrite and some from sparks of inspiration from overhearing a conversation on a train or being sat in a coffee shop. I am using my blog to experiment with writing style, meet like-minded writers and hopefully put my writing career on the right path.

I already feel honoured to be part of all those keys around the world, being furiously tapped for hours and hours, creating wonderful worlds and writing about interesting experiences. I have already changed my outlook on my life and the people in it. I genuinely feel this could be the change I needed. I am healthier, happier and less stressed with everything and everyone.

I feel a great sense of honour and pride that some writers/bloggers, I now class as literary friends, have already spent precious time involving themselves in my blog and are actively engaging in my writings by leaving comments. It means a lot as I need to build my confidence in my new career as a wannabe writer. Sending love and peace to you all.

My declaration to you: I will try to blog everyday and keep my blog interesting. I will actively promote friends I meet and participate in their blogs. I will be open, kind and honest. I will continue to be open to criticism, comments and discussions about my writings. I will do what I can in my power to aid in the success of others blogs. I will add a new post on this page at the end of every month to keep you up-to-date with my progress.

I hope you enjoy my writings. I would love to hear your thoughts. Your thoughts, comments and criticisms are just as important to the success of my writings as the writing itself.

I have a few questions, I hope you wonderful people can help me with.

1. As mentioned, can you recommend a good romance novel I may enjoy?

2. What was the hardest part of getting your first piece / poem / novel / short story published?

3. If you had to go back in time to the start of your literary career over again and could leave yourself a note to help your career go more smoothly the second time, what would that note say?

4. Where is your space for writing?

I would like to thank anyone who engages with this post, or answers any of the above questions, in advance. I know time is precious and at present, yours more than mine, so I really do appreciate it.

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

In a world of consumerism and capitalism, it’s inspiring to know that there are some people who believe we can survive, be happier and live a more fun filled existence without our branded nonsense. This is extremely wonderful and a must see  . . . . http://www.ted.com/talks/arvind_gupta_turning_trash_into_toys_for_learning.html

Thank you for dropping by, I would love to know your thoughts.

Touched the son . . . .

May 24, 2011 § 24 Comments

Saturday’s were always the same. Wait for my Dad to let us out of our bedroom, usually after he’d been to the toilet. Go downstairs – quietly. Sit on the sofa in silence, making sure our feet weren’t up on the cushions. Wait for Mum to come downstairs to see if she had a black-eye, I couldn’t look at her if she did – Dad would stare and frown at me. Dad had the bushiest eyebrows in the world, they scared me. Dad scared me.

Dad would sit in his usual chair beside the door to the stairs reading his paper. He was the gatekeeper to all of our nice things in our bedrooms. You see, I couldn’t have toys downstairs, it would make too much of a mess, plus Dad doesn’t like the noise children make. And I couldn’t play upstairs because the noise from the ceiling would disturb him while he did the crossword in the paper. I understood, he needed to concentrate. Sometimes I don’t know why Mum and Dad had children. There are three of us, me – the eldest, my younger brother and my youngest sister.

My sister is from a different man. Mum said that’s why my Dad was so angry all of the time and took his anger out on her. But that doesn’t explain why he took his anger out on me. Why I made him so mad and why he threatened to put me in a children’s home if I did anything wrong. It doesn’t explain why he would smack my face so hard it felt like it was touching the sun and shouted like he was trying to crumble the house to the ground, if I looked at him in a certain way. It also, doesn’t explain why I was locked away in the cupboard above the stairs and couldn’t come down, all day, to play with my friend. I could hear my friend laughing outside, playing with his other friends. Maybe I was a bad child and I deserved it.

If I could talk to my Dad, if he would listen, I would ask him what was wrong. I would tell him I loved him and I didn’t mean to be naughty. I would tell him, he could love me and I would loved him back for always. I would explain that I didn’t mean to make him mad, I used to have dreams about that.

I used to have dreams . . . Saturdays were happy days.

I used to have dreams . . . I was happy.


This piece was inspired by prompt “I used to dream” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon XIII page. I have just started writing. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!

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