20th June 2022

Good evening folks. Not much to report from the last few days. I’ve been writing dribs and drabs here and there. Tomorrow I’m aiming to get stuck into the next pass through on Black Blood.

I have been working on a piece about my lack of confidence but I feel like I’ve crashed and burned with it. I feel a little like I went off in about a dozen different directions with it. I might give it a little time and see how it settles.

On Friday I went canoeing with my brother and his partner. We went to Herne Bay and stayed in a patch of water protected from the sea by a break water. We’ve been tried to do this last year but were rained off. To say I stepped out of my comfort zone is an understatement, but I stayed out for about ten minutes or so and I did enjoy it despite the anxieties it was stirring up. I didn’t go out again, instead sat and wrote my thoughts down and chatted with my brother and his partner.

Despite the slapped looking face I was enjoying myself

I love the coast and want to get down there more often. Maybe not hopping in an inflatable canoe that often but getting down and enjoying the sea air is going to be good for the soul.

Right, I’m off to watch a movie and then bed. Have an awesome one, folks!

Good Afternoon, 31st of May 2022

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing?

Today I have edited 7408 words of Black Blood, adding 87 to the overall word count. That was a little bit of a slog but I got in done in about two hours or so.

I’ve also set up a few posts to go on my Ko-Fi page, including one flash piece which has gone live today. I was feeling a little behind with this so I got a few posts set up so I don’t have to worry about it too much for the next week or two. I do offer a membership in addition to one-time tips. Here I post an original short story each month in addition to bonus content. All for £1 a month!

Something I do want to touch on is that this month is the first that I have worked everyday in a very long time. For those of you who don’t know I have anxiety and depression, amongst a few other mental health bits and pieces, but my medications dosage was recently upped and I’m very much feeling it. Two months ago if I wasn’t feeling like working, I’d not. (when I say working here I mean writing. With the day job I haven’t missed a shift in a little over two years). At the moment I am working each day even if it’s just a few words while on my day job’s break. On days when I’m not at the day job I’m getting stuck into editing and making sure I get a decent start early in the morning and am normally done by midday. I’m making sure I have breakfast on these days and am getting a lot of little bits and pieces done that I’ve been putting off.

When I’m at the day job it’s a little different but I’ve found I’ve still been coming home (after a morning shift) and getting at least a little editing done. That’s normally in addition to writing something before work while sitting in my car, and during my break.

Max is waiting for me to finish so we can go play ball.

I’m feeling much more organised as well. I’m making notes on Black Blood on things like building a chapter to a conclusion to character motivations. I’m also listing what I’ve posted to Ko-Fi because knowing me I’d end up putting up the same story twice! I’m sure most people will be okay with a slight hiccup like that but people are giving me their money so I’m trying to be as efficient as possible.

I have had a hit to my self-esteem recently (I look hideous etc.) but I know how to rebuild that. I’ve done it, with help, recently and I know I can do it again.

Raven helping with editing this morning.

Life is moving in the right direction and I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can able do the things in life that I’ve always dreamt of.

Good Morning, Sunday 18th April 2022

It is a gorgeous sunny day out there, and I’m at my desk because I need to get some words wrangled!

My aim for today is to do my final pass on Zombie. I’ve added in the rewritten ending and have a load of notes to work through for it and then I’ll hopefully be done with it. The notes aren’t like massive rewrites or anything like that. A lot of them are notes from my editor that’ll help build the characters and the world, and have it make more sense.

I do have a video that I need to get some more work done on and I’d love to post it today, but I’m kind of bottling it at the moment. Just that self-doubt creeping in again.

My plans for my Ko-Fi page are moving along, albeit it a little slowly. I’ve almost got the first year’s worth of content lined up. I’m just going to go simple and have it as one short story a month and then with additional bits and pieces added in as and when I can. I’ll be open with what I want to do when it comes to memberships, in time I’d like to change it up a bit but for now I’m going to keep it simple.

I had a little waiting around time yesterday while I picked up a prescription, so I walked down to St.Georges church and sat in it’s grounds for a little while. It was pretty nice and calming down there. (managed to find a plot hole fix as well). It was nice just listening to the world for twenty minutes, letting my soul absorb the space.

I can be very critical of my hometown. I think it’s one of many towns that is slowly dying and one of the things keeping it alive is its proximity to London. As I walked through town yesterday I couldn’t help but look at all the flats being built. Some into every nook and cranny going, while others are being rammed into old buildings. Gravesend feels like its become a bed for the workers who travel to London each day. I don’t like this. We’re not a B&B. This town has some amazing history and I’d love to see it bloom.

Now, I don’t keep track of the politics of the town, or the mechanics of administrating a town, but I’d like to see more done to build this town that has some amazing people in it. There are so many empty shops, so much litter on the streets (the street cleaners do a great job but it’s a never ending battle for them). We need to change the mentality of those who call Gravesend home.

Right, I’m off to get some words edited. You all have a lovely day.

Good Afternoon, 13th April 2022

Howdy folks!

Today I have written about 1600 words on a short story. Added the new ending to the zombie book, and done background work on Penal Earth. I’ve also spoken to a publisher about a couple of ongoing projects that unfortunately seem to be on hold at the moment, and I’m about to look up some submission calls.

I need more days like this! I easily have the time, but my own self-doubt and anxiety get in my own way. It’s not even imposter syndrome, it’s just me self-sabotaging out of fear of the unknown. I need to get out of my own way and just do it! I know I can, I know I’ve got good stuff to get out into the world. So let’s stop fucking about and do it!

Okay, rant over. I’m off to play some GTAV while I wait for a phone call.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, a dream you’ve had, just go for it!

Raven ‘helping’ 🤣

Good Morning, Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Good Morning!

I have tea, Raven is climbing over my printers while Dizzy is sitting staring at my from besides my chair. A scrap is imminent….but I’m awake. I’ve got a late shift today so I wanted to get up and get cracking early and for once it feels like I have done. There was no ‘snoozing’ of alarms. No rolling over for ‘another five minutes’ which always turned into at least another half an hour. I have an Amaranthe playlist via YouTube playing and I’m ready to get some words cracked out. I’m even dressed!

So, what’s the day got planned for me. I’d like to knock out another thousand words of zombie. I think that is very achievable. Just plug away until about midday I think and then that gives me a little time for lunch, half an hour on GTAV and a few other bits and bobs before heading off to work.

That all sounds really straight forward. It’s not. I’ll be editing as I type of the hand written draft of zombie. So I’ll be having to think on the go and I’m going to try and read the scene before I type it up so I know what point the scene is taking the story to. I am feeling quite a bit of pressure with zombie. This will be my first release and it’s got to be right. I don’t want to be that person who puts something out into the world and it’s poorly put together. Typos, spelling mistakes, bad layout, and so on. I trust my editor, she is incredibly good at what she does and I know she won’t let me embarrass myself.

They’re behaving…….for the moment……

But, I’m pushing through. I’m not letting my self-doubt stop me. I’ve had far too many months where that doubt has had me dragging my heels on writing. I know the why of this, and I’ll talk about it one day but it deserves more than a few sentences in a daily post. I know I can do this. I know it’s time to step up. And I know I keep repeating this, but that is more for myself. It’s me keeping that positivity at the forefront of my consciousness.

Self doubt, imposter syndrome, what ever you want to tag it with, is a prick. It’s a horrible feeling and one that when it takes hold it can shut me down in a heartbeat. But it will not win. It may gain ground by winning small battles but I will win the war.

Scruffy selfie!

Ko-Fi Link:

“I’m always good, me,”

I work at a supermarket and when I’m not on the shop floor I’m on a till. When customers ask me how I am I more often than not I’ll reply with “I’m alright, I’m always good me,”

Even when I’m not okay I say it, and I’ve been thinking about this and the mindset I’ve got growing of seeing the best in life despite what I’m feeling. There are times when I’m feeling down and not as positive as I’d like to be but I still say it.

Some of that is the ‘faking it ’til I make it’ mentality. But what I’m not doing is ignoring what I’m feeling. I’m listening to my body, looking at why I’m feeling like that. This is what I’m doing for all my moods. The more I know and understand what’s going on inside of me; mind, body, soul, the lot. Then I’m going to be able to draw myself to the elements that give me the most positive experience of life.

The biggest element that I’ve noticed which affects my mental health is tiredness. So, that is one of the major parts I’m focussing on improving. I’ve started adjusting my sleep patterns a little, but I think there’s a lot I’ve got to suss out with it. At the moment I’m focussed on getting my head down earlier on nights where I have early shifts. I’m also watching my intake as the day progresses. Definitely no energy drinks after about 3pm, as little sugary snacks after about 7pm (this one I think might be a little harder). I’m trying to wind down my head a little bit as the evening progresses as well. A little less proactive mind, and a little more passive input. Movies, TV, books etc. Gaming does relax me, as does writing and blogging, but those are both pastimes that require proactive thought. Other things are more passive. I can let them enter my mind without them firing up my creative mind too much. Something proactive makes me alert, brains firing and it’s harder to let my mind rest.

Getting good sleep makes all the difficulties of life easier to manage. It makes the fog less thick.

Realising The Fear

Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.

Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.

Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.

I’m finding this book really helpful.

I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.

Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.

This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.

One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.

My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.

As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.

I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.

I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.

I am moving forward.

9th August 2021

Good evening, folks! How are we all doing today?

I’ve not done any writing today, but have been seeing to a few other bits and bobs. Spent some time in the garden as well this afternoon.

I am suffering some sunburn from yesterday! And I’ve felt quite reflective today as I process all the emotions of that day. I’m feeling good overall though. I feel like I’ve got a bit of a bounce in my step and I’m feeling more settled. And I dare say when I was in town I felt a wisp of confidence tickle itself through me. Self-confidence is something I’m eager to work on and build up more. Each day I’m feeling better in myself. I’ve not felt this calm in as long as I can remember. I feel more capable than I have in a long time as well.

Our sorry looking sunflower (with photobomb from Max).

I’m just feeling good! I’m a little scared this energy is going to seep away again, but I’m learning new ways each day to keep my mindset strong.

Right, that’s all for today. I hope you’ve all had an awesome day! And I’ll be back tomorrow.

Be kind.

I little mouse I disturbed when I moved a piece of corrugated steel. Well, there was like half a dozen of them but this poor little one was the only one who hid like this.

Breaking Away From Fear and Anxiety

Today I went to where my old boarding school at Dumpton Gap is. I wasn’t planning on documenting the experience at all let alone as I did, which is why it might seem to start suddenly. I’m going to write it verbatim, as I wrote it. I hope you all enjoy it.

As I sit here on the concrete water break thing I have a desire to go and walk through the surf, bare feet. I have the urge to go into the English Channel up to my waist. Up to my chin even. I didn’t bring a swimsuit. I don’t even own one that fits. I don’t even have a towel!

I have no reason to be scared of the sea. I do fear open water. The sort of water that my feet will never touch never be able to touch the bottom. I’ll never go too deep in the water. Chin deep, no. but waist deep, why not?

For today I’ll sit here and drink this can of Pepsi Max. I’ll let the breeze off the sea wash over me, giving me that hit of sea air salty sea air I remember from so strongly from childhood.

It’s emotional sitting here. Seeing my old school abandoned and left to crumble is heart breaking. My two years there changed my life in many ways. Most of which I hadn’t haven’t even realised yet.

If I had the money I’d buy it and makin make it into a retreat and a centre for young people. That’s a pipe dream though. In this world of raping our heritage it will likely be torn down and an ugly block of flats built that doesn’t fit.

On a clear day we’d look for France on the horizon. Today it’s a clear, beautiful day but I can’t see our European neighbour. I see Haze. I’ll be buying some binoculars, a beach towel and some swim shorts for my next visit to the coast.

I am going to go into Broadstairs, but I’ll take a gentle drive and save the walk along the beach front for another day. I can feel wisps of anxiety creeping in, in and I don’t want to push myself too hard.

This is so much more overwhelming than I thought it was going to be. The salt air, the sound of the waves gently crashing in. The wind across my bare skin. The beautify of it. Why did I allow fear to stop me ex exploring this for so long?

I finally get the courage to sit on the breakfront. My hands are shaking and I need to pee, but the wave splashing mere feet from my feet occasionally splash on my legs and it feels good.

I only realise now how crippling this irrational fear had been.

The water in my eye I tell myself the tears in my eyes are because of the breeze but I know that’s a lie. Its emotionally overwhelming.

I get the best view of my old school from here. Such a beautiful building. The one that replaced it, I drove by. I’m sure its very good and but it lacks the character of Gap House.

I’d forgot how the sea could be two different beautiful colours.

Sitting in my car I see seagulls atop the roof of Gap House. Its character is still there. A lack of maintenance, no care for it will ever erase that.

I’m going to take a slow drive into Broadstairs town now. Curious for the memories and emotions that’ll conjure.

Does this qualify as a pilgrimage?

The beach is called Dumpton Gap. This is my second stop in as many minutes since I pulled away from where I was parked.

I couldn’t park in Broadstairs. So I drove back to Dumpton Bay, having decided to walk along the seafront.

I have a yearning to be here. For the sound of the sea and that salty sea air. Even the raucous seagulls. My parents go on holiday to Paignton each year. my dad spent a small part of his childhood there. I thin kI understand why he is drawn back there now.

Is this where I belong? on the coast? Id This feels like somewhere I shoaled be striving to end up.

Time to walk the short walk into Broadstairs.

Those two shades of colour of the water, the greener of the two seems to be where the bay begins. I’m sure theres a scientific reason for this. for me its just beautiful.

This time down here I look at the haze on the horizon and can just see darker shapes. Is this France? or boats.

Is this just nostalgia? or is this where I belong.

I walk along the top of the sea break. Yes there is fear a section of concrete will break away and I fall, but I was sitting on it not that long ago. I know the chances of it breaking are slim to nothing. I walk along it in the hope of the surf splashing up.

I remember walking along here when I was young. With fellow students, teachers and house parents. The older children could walk into Broadstairs town without adults but in at least pairs. Not along the beach though. We had to have an adult with us if we went onto the beach front.

It feels good being out in this air. This is not a million miles away. It’s a simple drive. There is nothing except my own fear holding me back.

This overwhelming but it feels good.

I’m craving the sand between my toes. The sea water on my feet and around my ankles. I must be able to find a beach towel somewhere. I know I don’t need one but I feel like I do.

As I approach Broadstairs town and beach it strikes me me how I’ve just walked a walk I haven’t done since I was eleven. That’s 28 years ago. I wouldn’t have been able to do this even three weeks ago.

I’m looking at hotels and wondering what their rates are. I need more time down here.

Walking on sand in trainers remembering how different it is to walk on. On the walk back I will be barefoot.

I always forget how big, and arrogant seagulls are.

I’m full of regrets and a little anger at not having done this before now. Of not exploring more.I’ve been saying for years I want to get out more, see more of the UK to start with. Realising how much fear and anxiety has held me back, that I’ve allowed to hold me back, hurts. But I’m not letting this sour the day. This is fuelling the urge to get out. The more I can do this, the more I overcome these fears that have no reason to exist.

The next time I come to Broadstairs I will park at Dumpton Gap and make the walk. It’s good for my soul.

This feeling is alien to me. My head should be screaming at me to flee, get back to my car and get home as quickly as I can. Even the fact my car is a ways away should fill me with anxiety. It’s not though. This calmness, this peace isn’t alien. It’s what I should be feeling. Not fear and anxiety.

I don’t find a beach towel, but I do walk through the sand barefoot. The sand is cold in the shade and hot, but not unbearable, in the sun.

I almost walk back along the concrete barefoot but it’s just a little too harsh for comfort.

I’m looking forward to the walk back. From Dumpton Gap to Bay to Viking Bay, and back again.

I’ve brought trinkets and notebooks (they had awesome notebooks!) in th a couple of the shops at Viking Bay. I spend a few minutes w off the seafront in the town, but not long.

As I start my walk back I realise the tide is slowly going out. I stop to watch th as seagulls skim the surface of the with a precision that I can’t comprehend.

The seaweed is so pretty as the retreating tide exposes it.

I watch the people swimming and admire them. I we don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough or a strong enough swimmer to do that. I’m okay with this.

Is promenade the right word for this concrete path? It seems to fit but I’ll look it up later.

As I walk back to my car I feel I’m walking a little quicker. Not much but just that bit faster. I don’t think it’s anxiety. I think it’s where that feeling of being overwhelmed is softening. There’s been times where I’m feeling almost fuzzy headed. So much to feel. So much to take in. I think It’s going to be a few days at least as I’m processing all this.

Maybe this quicker pace is an urge to get home? I think my mind, mind body, and soul are ready to be in my safe space again. I’m not panicking though. There’s no tightening in my chest. No thumping heart. I’m just ready to take a nice and steady drive home.

Thinking of driving I realise I wasn’t nervous or anxious or scared driving down. This pleases me.

It has struck home just how much I’ve let fear and anxiety ruin me and my life. I’m not going to dwell on it though. I’m not going to let it fester.

My brother has inflatable canoes. Maybe we could bring them down here one day.

This urge to go home isn’t stopping me from stopping and writing my thoughts down.

I hadn’t planned to document they but I had that need to. I’m glad I brought my bag with notebook and pen. Although I haven’t touched my iPad of the book I brought with me.

Money is tight at the moment. But I can afford the fuel and I had a small budget that I’ve stuck to. I’ll be more prepared next beach trip.

I’ve always had a fascination with the sea. I wish I hadn’t let my fears suffocate that.

I haven’t spoken to many people. I regret this but thats something hat will come with more time and exploration.

I feel a little silly and weak with what I’ve felt today. Even sillier for realising just how much I’ve let fear and anxiety ruin my life.

I set out today with only a vague feeling that I needed to do this. I didn’t know what I was hoping for. What I’ve discovered is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

As I sit on this bench, my car a couple of hundred yards away, I’m fearing that I’ll loose this urge ability to act on the urge to explore. That the fear and anxiety will take it from me again. I can not let that happen.

This was something I had to do on my own. I’d like to these with someone else to share the experience, but somethings I need to brave on my own. To build my confidence.

I’ve stopped at a services close to home. I should have stopped sooner, got a drink as I haven’t drank or eaten enough today. But I did go over my budget a little and I’m close enough to home not to worry about it.

I haven’t been watching the clock on the sat nav on this journey. Not long ago I would have done. I can feel anxiety, but it doesn’t feel as dominating as it used to be.

Now I’m home and reflecting on the day I feel more determined that ever to continue this exploration. Yes, summer is almost over but that’s not going to stop me.

Today was a hard hit. A hard realisation of all the time I’ve lost. Now’s the moment to make sure I don’t feel this way in twenty years time.

Good Morning, 1st of September 2021

Hey Folks, I’m sitting here trying to write and sod all is happening. I’ve looked at the documents that I’ve been working on recently and nothing. I’ve tried getting started on a new short I’ve been thinking about, nothing. Even writing this is hard. The words just do not want to come out.

It’s been a long time since I’ve struggled like this. I know a lot of it is non-writing elements. In particular fatigue. But even then I can normally push through and get some words down.

What I’m going to try and do is get 250 words written. Thats it. Start small and start building it up. Look at it like last year when I was trying to get back into the rhythm of it all.