Friday, 5 December 2014

A quick update

Just a quickie because its very late and its been one hec of a day but I have to tell you.
I got a call yesterday fro the hospital asking me to go in for a blood test today and as a result of those which showed continued improvement they took my neck line out. The doctor says he can't say how long it will last but he reckons it will be years. He can't be more specific because recovery after this length of time is unusual so he doesn't really have anything to go on.
I am blessed.

Monday, 1 December 2014


I don't quite know how to say this so I'm just going to spit it out.
To cut a very long story short it appears that my kidneys are waking up . I haven't had dialysis for 10 days and after a blood test today I was told that I am off dialysis (for now but fingers crossed for long term) and to come back for another blood test in 2 weeks time. I thought it might be weekly blood tests so that ion itself is a bit of a result.
I feel like I have been re-born.
Happy day.

Sunday, 16 November 2014


...Ellen needs a George.

Do you want....

.... to meet Ellen and George?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Time frame.

As I said in my last real post on here I'm getting me head down and working on BTL because there is something about it that I can't give up on but the thing is I know that I can't give up everything for this one project. I've spent a long tome on it as it is and I have other things that are a WIP and maybe one of those is "the one." So with that in mind I think I am going to give myself 6 months to get it right and maybe another 3-6 months to find a taker for it. If nothing comes of it then maybe its time to print a copy for myself and call it a day.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Not a sign of madness.

The latest info on my other journey can be found here. Please feel free to have a look because they say talking to yourself is the first sign of madness.

Work in progress

I'm trying to get my head down and re-write BTL now that I've found the right voice for my MC. It's proving quite a task, involving a lot of changes but I'm determined to do it but need to accept that it could take a while.
I've said before that there is something about this book that means that I can't give up on it and I'm sure that I can't be the only one that has felt this way about something that they've written. Can I? Please tell me I'm not.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Flying the nest

There will be a couple of short stories winging their way to a certain magazine in the morning. They are two that I wrote recently with the old pink pen and there are several more where they came from. They are still sitting in a note book though so they won't be going anywhere just yet.
I've also finally found the right voice for the main character of my book BTL. I just can't seem to give up on it no matter how I have tried to walk away from it.
Not much of a post I know but there's not been much happening.

Monday, 8 September 2014

A question.

As most of you know I have been out of the short story game for a while but flushed with my recent success (I do realise it was just one download but its a start) over at Alfie Dog Fiction I'm looking to submit some of the stuff that I've been working on recently.

So my question is, is it still okay to submit more than one story to the same place at the same time. I have a couple of stories that I hope Norah might be interested in.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

At last

I have several stories on Alfie Dog Fiction and finally one was downloaded. Now I know that its not a lot to get excited about but it made me smile. The story that was downloaded was called last Supper and is a story that would never be published by the usual outlets so I'm really chuffed that someone chose to read it. I just hope that they enjoyed it.

Another one

I wrote another thought about my kidney journey and you can read it here.. I mention it only because I don't want to be talking to myself. That sort of thing is madness.

On a different note one of my short stories was downloaded of t'internet. I know its not much to write home about but its been a while since I had any success and it put a smile on my face. I also mentioned that fact on Facebook, something that I haven't done before because most of my friends don't know that I dabble with writing. Don't know what made me announce it today.

Monday, 1 September 2014

I don't know how well this will work but I have decided to blog about what's happening re my kidney problems. It's not properly set up yet but I have written my first post and its here.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Okay so its been a month since I last blogged. What can I say? I'm a bad blogger but I will try harder.
Had some, I was going to say disappointing news yesterday but its not really. It turns out that Himself and are not compatible blood wise so he can't donate a kidney to me. And while it would have been lovely to come off dialysis sooner rather than later I hated the thought of him putting himself at risk for me. How could I live with myself and his kidney if his side of the operation went wrong?
I think I need to write about how I feel and what its like waiting for the call that could well probably will (hopefully) change your life. Book or blog? Book or blog? Decisions decisions. I just know that when times get tough I find it therapeutic to write.
Please don't think I'm despondent though. I seriously feel better than I have ever felt in my life. I have the love of a very good man and I have two healthy children that I could not be more proud of. I am very lucky.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

How long??

Apparently I stated this blog 7 yeas ago. That doesn't seem right somehow - how can it have been so long? I've just had a look back at the sort of thing that I was writing back then in July 2007 and a lot of it is the sort of thing that I write about now. In addition to that drivel, I also had a past of what I'd done (writing wise) that week and another with what I planned to do that week. I was a little horrified to see that I was working on NMBK. What????? That can't be seven years ago. That particular WIP is probably still exactly where it was back then, However what really horrified me was that if I was working on NMBK then, BTL would already have been finished. BTL my baby that I think is really good (naturally) and everyone who read it was going to feel the same way. Might be time to give up on that dream.
Maybe I'll call the last seven years my apprenticeship.

Quick question

Can anyone tell me if Jill at WN is open to submissions at the moment? The reason I ask is that I know she wasn't accepting submissions for a couple of months a while back so I just wanted to check.

Friday, 25 July 2014


I've just submitted a short story that I started God knows when but ages ago, found when I was flicking through the WIP folder, finished when I was on dialysis and edited when I was on "the sick." I'm glad its finished and gone because I really like it so fingers crossed in fact everything crossed.

Help please

I was reading through a couple of blogs this morning, you know, catching up with what's been going on, making the odd comment or two, and I fear that I have pressed something that I didn't mean to. As a consequence I now cannot see posts from the blogs that I follow on my dashboard. Does anybody know what I have done or what I can do to correct it.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Now or never

Some of you may already know this but for those of you that don't, I have spent a good chunk of the last month in hospital. The first time was just a couple of days for a couple of planned procedures. This was shortly followed by just over a week when both sites became infected and I was running a temperature of 40.8 then when I got over that one of the sites ruptured (fistula) and I had an arterial bleed all over the kitchen. That meant surgery that day to tie off the fistula and another stay in hospital until the surgeons were happy with it.

The reason that I am telling you this is that this last thing, the arterial bleed, scared me. Never during the whole of the last year, not even when I was in critical care, I have ever thought that I wouldn't get through this thing. But that Sunday, first of all in the ambulance going to hospital and then while I was waiting to go to theatre I was scared, really scared. I don't mind admitting that I was very relieved to wake up afterwards.

To get to the point though, and there always is a point I just sometimes tale my time getting there, it occurred to me that I have to do this thing now ....or never as the title says. I've dabbled with this writing thing for a long time but to be honest I haven't done it with any real enthusiasm for a few years. No enthusiasm isn't the right word (but its said so it stays), effort is probably a better one. I haven't put he effort in. I haven't written enough, I haven't submitted enough etc. etc.

That has to change and recently it has to a certain extent. The pink pen has been out and had written maybe half a dozen short stories and last week I rediscovered my love of current novel NRIMH which I haven't looked at for a long time and I added about 10,000 words to that. All of these are at the first draft stage and need working on but its more than I've done in ages.

I don't expect to become a millionaire from writing, I never did, but its the pleasure that I get from getting work accepted and published that gives me a buzz and if I'm going to do it I have to do it now because what was it Ronan Keating said about tomorrow never coming? Well one of these days it won't and then it'll be too late. Now is the time to get serious.

One final thing I should mention though is that I am fine. I am currently off work sick and have been for 3 weeks but I would have been off this week and next anyway as I had holidays booked. Other than the two open wounds I have at he two surgery sites I'm as good as I was 6 weeks ago. These need to be repacked a couple of times a week but seem to be healing nicely. Oh and one last thing, hopefully I'll be going on the transplant list in about 8 weeks time.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

False alarm

This week the post man delivered an envelope that I had addressed. Oh no, the dreaded SAE - it could only mean one thing - a returned submission. But hang on, the envelope was thin like it I=only had one sheet of paper in it. Maybe it was an acceptance.
However, when I opened the envelope there was the standard rejection letter and the cover sheet from the story that I had sent them. It was a magazine that I've never been accepted by before and for  a couple of seconds I thought that I'd finally got my foot in the door, Sadly it was only a false alarm.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

What a year

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my time on dialysis and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm not happy about having to go to hospital three evenings a week even if I have made a lot of new friends amongst my fellow patients, but I am happy to be alive. so given the alternative I guess I'm happy to be on dialysis though naturally I'd rather not be. Does that make sense?
Oddly enough my hair which started to grow curly following my chemotherapy somehow doesn't seem quite so curly tonight which is a bit weird.
As I'm sitting here tonight, just me and my thoughts, I can't help wondering what the next year will bring.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A little more info

A few of my blog land friends have shown interest in my reading project and after a comment from Teresa it occurred to me that I should have given you a bit more info about BTL.
Its 70,000 words long and is aimed at anyone who enjoyed the stories behind Ghost and Dead Like Me.
I thought I'd better mention it in case anyone wants to withdraw their offer. There's still time of anyone else wants to throw their hat into the ring.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Minor success

This happened a few weeks ago but I forgot to mention it.
After my recent lack of success on the writing front I decided to go back to basics so I wrote a couple of letters and sent them to magazines. I was reading one of said magazines a few weeks ago when low and behold there was a letter from me.
Okay so I know its not much but it made me smile.

An invitation

As some of you already know it is my theory that this is a conversation between friends and therefore once something has been said it can't be unsaid. By that I mean that whatever I write is what you get, unedited warts and all. However as I write this I'm thinking that I may for the first time break my own rule and delete the whole lot. However if that is the case you'll never read it so will never know so what the hell am I prattling on about.
Basically this is what I am thinking. At last I hear you cry.
This is the thing. Remember my book BTL? I've had some interest from agents and publishers but not enough to take it on. I got very excited when one of them was very excited but alas it was not to be. So my idea is, and trust me I am getting to the point, I am looking for one plucky volunteer to read it for me. An author of many books but who would not like to be identified said it was a "page turner" if that's any encouragement to volunteer. I would just like to know what one regular reader of fiction thinks about it.
If you are game for the challenge please contact me either via this blog or at
I realise that I am asking a lot and my finger keeps hovering over the delete button but no its been said so can't be taken back so I'm going to press publish before I change my mind.

Friday, 23 May 2014

I made these

Well technically I grew them but I made this

or at least I was when I took this photo. I meant to take another one of the finished product when it was cooked but I ate it before I remembered. I have to say it was very good.
So that's 2 more ticks off the list.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Is this Summer?

What a beautiful day. That's 3 in a row. Let's hope this isn't summer. It was lovely walking Zac this morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and there was the sound of a church bell ringing. It was idyllic until some dipstick drove about 80 mile an hour along the road with his dodgy exhaust fit to explode. I was going to do allsorts when I came back but so far I've done nothing but eat breakfast and read blogs etc.
Oh well, too hot to garden now and the ironing can keep. I'll be making Sunday lunch in a couple of hours though. No matter that you can fry eggs on the pavement, my men need their Sunday roast and Sunday wouldn't be Sunday without Yorkshire puddings.
I had my hair cut on Friday and there was a lot of it so I'm please I got rid of that before the weather got better. My hair thinned out after my treatment last year but now that its growing back its really thick and curly - a great insulator.
Zac is curled up in his favourite chair having a snooze after our walk. He looks very comfortable. I might take a leaf out of his book

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Number 36 - tick

Number 36 on my fifty/50 list was to take this season's family fantasy football competition seriously. Well now that "this" season has become last season I can announce that I ticked that one off my list. I still came bottom of the league but at least I took it seriously.

Naughty Girl

I am a very very very bad blogger. Note to self - do not leave blog on its own in cyber space for so long again.
What's happened since the last time I was here? Well, I was offered the job that I applied for but I turned it down. Turns out that when it came to it my attachment to my current location was too strong. My boss was okay with it. She said she wasn't surprised and sometimes we need to do something that makes us realise how important something is to us. My assistant's not best chuffed though because she wants my job. Hey ho.
I've also been doing lots of writing with the pink pen. That means that there's lots of stuff written in notebooks that all needs to be typed up, edited, reworked etc. so must get on with that.
I had a "test for transplant" the other day. This one was for my heart and the technician said that everything looks fine but I guess I'll have to wait until I see me doctor to have that confirmed. Don't see him until June 4th.
Had a lovely birthday back in April so that's number 50 marked off the fifty/50 list .
The tax man sent me a letter telling me its time to fill in my tax return - is he having a laugh? I owe him about a fiver.
There's probably more but I can't remember it at the moment so I'll be back later. Right now, following a text message late yesterday afternoon from number 1 son inviting himself to lunch to celebrate the end of the football season and a dash to the butchers for  a bigger joint, I'm off to roast a pig.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Extensions etc

This might sound like a bit of a cop out but I have decided to extend my Fifty/50 year project by 4 months. That is pretty much the time that I was out of commission last year due to my kidney issue.
On a different front, I have applied for a new job, well its the same job really within the same organisation just in a different location. So maybe its not that exciting after all but its something that I wasn't thinking about this time last week or even as recently as 3 days ago. My boss suggested I apply for it on Thursday morning, I decided to do it on Friday and filled the form in this morning. However I'm perfectly happy where I am at the moment so it won't break my heart if I don't get it.
Also with the passing of another financial year I fear the Exchequer  will not be getting rich on what it gets from me.
So here's to new starts

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Mother' Day Wish

I have had such a lovely day. The nest was full and after lunch we just sat around chatting and laughing and it was great. There were times when I wondered if I would see today but I have and I am soooooo glad that I did.
Hope all you mother's out there had a good day too.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Did I really write that?

The other day I was rooting through my "writing drawer" looking for something when I came across several sheets of paper that had something written on them. I was in a rush to get to work but I was intrigued to know what it was so I tossed it in my bag and forgot about it. I remembered it yesterday evening when I was on dialysis so I pulled it out of my bag and read it.
It turned out to be a short story that I'd written God knows when I don't know why it never got any further than this rough draft but I actually liked what I wrote so I'm going to take it further now.
I also wrote a rough draft last night. It was a very rough draft mind so I'm not sure how that particular project is going to work out. Hey but at least I wrote something new.

Not a bad life.

What an absolutely glorious morning it is though I don't imagine its as warm as it looks. I think I'll still wrap up well when we take Zac for a walk.
Just had to say that because its how I felt when I opened the curtains.
And life's a bit like that now. These days I get a real joy out of a sunny day like this and I find that I appreciate the little things that this time last year I would have just taken for granted. I also catch myself dancing sometimes. Despite the fact that I have my health conditions that you all know about life is good and I feel blessed.
I posted the story that I was editing the other day so if Norah could see her way to accepting it I'd feel even better.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Two more ticks

I'm going to come up short completing the Fifty/50 list but I did tick off 2 more this week. Firstly I made pierogi and they were luscious. I was going to take a photo but they were eaten before I could get the camera. I could maybe take one of the ones that are in the freezer. And secondly I gave flowers to someone who wasn't expecting it. One of my volunteers has been a great help to me recently and I bought her flowers to say thank you. She was completely taken by surprise and her reaction was lovely.
I'm going to try and tick a few more off in the next month but the ones I miss I'll try and complete next year.

How could I forget?

How could I forget the joy of editing? Hope you're picking up the hint of sarcasm in that sentence. As usual my problem is knowing when to stop. I tweak and then I tweak some more and just for good measure I do it again. I've just had to force myself away from it and it will be off in the post either tomorrow or the day after.

Friday, 7 March 2014

And another apology

Okay, so after apologising for being a bad blogger its now been another 2 months since the last time I blogged.
I won't bore you all with the details but essentially I am no longer dialysing at home and will never be again. I am now going to the hospital three evenings a week after work and don't get home until at least 11.30pm so I've got yet another routine to get used to. I 'll have a while to get used to this one though as it should be like this until I get a transplant whenever that may be. Hopefully I'll be able to go on the list this summer.

Anyway, that wasn't the reason I came on. I'm not criticising myself because last year I had other things on my mind, but well to be honest my writing successes have been almost nil recently and I'd rather like that to change. So I'm going back to basics and writing like I used to when I had more success. However I've been out of touch with the short story world for a while and I just wondered what was new out there and what's been happening.

Also if anyone has any tips on how to regain my mojo, I'd love too hear them

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Apologies from a bad blogger

I knew it had been a while but I was appalled to find that its over two months since I've been here. Poor neglected blog. However, I am going to try and start making amends right now.
Since we last spoke I've been busy doing not a lot really. I am now doing my dialysis at home which has involved a new routine which does mean that I don't visit cyber space as often which is good in one way because it means that I deal with the real world but also results in blogs becoming neglected. After a few teething problems that seems to be sorted now and so far so good. I'm no longer going to the hospital three times a week and I returned to work full time the week before Christmas.
Ah Christmas, I missed all that in blogland too. The day itself was a bit of a wash out for me because I'd picked up a sickness bug but I still had a good time and it was lovely to have all my menfolk round the same table at the same time. I saw in the New Year in bed hooked up to my dialysis machine watching the fireworks over the Thames with a glass of brandy in my hand. It doesn't sound very much but I actually enjoyed it and I was full of optimism for the new year which hopefully will be better than the last one.
As for writing, I've done a couple of first drafts but nothing really serious. My new routine and going back to work properly has taken a bit of getting used to but its getting better day by day.
I've also ticked another couple of things off my list
I've packed up a couple of boxes of dog food for  the rescue home. They haven't gone yet because Himself won't let me take them on my own because he's scared that I'll come back with another dog.
This was the other thing that I did - I had a pint. At the time that I did it, that pint was half of me daily fluid allowance but it was so worth it. I wanted to have a pint because it was something that used to horrify my mother and it was my way of saying I'm a grown up now and I can do what I want. Strange thing is when I told Mum what I'd done she just asked if I enjoyed it. Mothers eh!!!
That's all that's coming to mind at the moment but if I think of anything else I'll be back.
Bye for now,