The Last Time


There is no easy way to do this, I realise, so it is just going to happen.

Once upon a time I’d pick a WordPress theme on how it looked. However, now I realise there’s a lot of functionality required that a) I don’t have the time to mess with and b) needs to be inbuilt into my preloaded experience. Therefore, starting today, the look of the site may change on an hour by hour basis, depending on how I feel and what I can find time to do.

The plan is to play with various themes and find something that suits my purpose, before designing new graphics around it. If I were a smart or clever individual I’d have ‘under development’ signs everywhere but no, there is neither the need or desire to stick that amount of effort into process at this stage. When I find the right layout, we’ll stick.

Time for a good old-fashioned faff.

Time to Change

Time to Change.png

December marks six months since my Patreon began. Since then I’ve learnt a great deal about not only myself, but what I’d like to do with this project (and the online space) going forward. Therefore, starting next week, a lot of stuff is going to change. I want permanent archives for all the various articles I’ve produced, and space to expand that process into new and exciting areas. However, I am only one woman, and all this web design work’s gotta be done by somebody.

Therefore, starting next week I’ll be rearranging pretty much everything to make it easier to access. I’ll be adding new features to the site, bringing some projects out of mothballs, and saying goodbye to others, in anticipation of a new, streamlined experience that will go fully live in January 2018. At this point, the only things unlikely to change are my logos: everything else is up for debate. This will give me space to store everything in a sensible fashion (I hope) and make me future-proof at least until the end of the year.


The plan is to get better organised, write more stuff that I really enjoy and cut back on what I don’t, which will be mirrored and augmented by my Patreon relaunch. They say reinvention is key in order to keep things fresh and exciting, right? Well, here we are, getting all excited again as to what is possible in the time available… not just essays, but fiction, with a more creative use of social media. Could this mean video and audio? I couldn’t possibly comment, but you may want to watch this space for developments. #JustSaying 😀

Thanksgiving Poetry

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the interest this poem generated when it was initially published. I’m also wanting more and more to experiment and push with Twitter’s increased character limit. I’ll be taking a week off the poetry next week as a result to try and come up with some new ideas to stretch the format.

Enjoy this sequence.


To start again, new life
Devolved from fear and strife.
They left their homes to sail
Across an ocean pale:
This destination seen
Brighter than homes had been.
A chance to start anew
True freedom to pursue.

Thanksgiving comes around:
Remember those who found
That new land as their home,
No longer need to roam.
Freedom came at a price,
Forgetting sound advice
Ignoring those who made
Those early deals with trade.

Destroying native lands
With blood upon their hands
A thoughtlessness inept,
History must accept.
Beginning here the seed
Progress should not impede
To live together whole
No one group in control.

The time has come to stop
This introverted crop:
Rude people who believe
Removal will achieve,
A somehow better place
Selected human race;
Only those who will fit
Their land of of hypocrites.

To give true thanks is great
But only if your hate
Of those who aren’t like you:
Is cast aside, untrue.
Make this the time to change
Priorities arranged,
To see the World as one
Family, we become.

Which Way?

The purpose of taking November off from ‘organised’ work was twofold, as those of you paying attention will know. Firstly it was to get NanoWriMo not just to 50k words but beyond (which is what has happened, more on which will be retro posted in the next 24 hours.) Secondly, but probably more importantly, this month was to take a look at what my Patreon produces, and to see if what I’m asking and offering is fit for purpose. This is the moment where my conclusions are cohesive enough to make public.

Not Enough Content I Enjoy Making


Poetry has been the revelation since June: that I can write it, and that occasionally it hits the target. However, poetry was never my primary goal when I started the Patreon. To produce output I enjoy, and to do so consistently, is taking over increasing amounts of time I’d like for fiction and other projects, and as result it is probably time to reassess generally how much of it is written and when. The same is true of the Book of the Month essays, and what will now happen going forward is an acknowledgement that creativity is being stifled by possessing too rigid a framework. That’s why my November Instagram project has stalled: there’s insufficient nutrients required to feed the idea.

What this means is that I’ll be deleting the November ’30 Things About Me’ posts on Instagram and starting fresh in December. Next month there’ll be more thought given to meaningful content I enjoy making, not just things to fill space. Planning is important, but only if I can stick to timetables, and that means becoming flexible with pre-planned output and occasionally being more spontaneous. Just occasionally though, because you and I both know what happens when you let the plan go out the window…

More Fiction, Less Fact


One of the overriding advantages doing critical essays for three weeks out of four is that it allows me to have time to write fiction in the spaces in-between. However, what became increasingly obvious as time went on was I much preferred the stories to naval gazing. Therefore, starting next month, there’s going to be an attempt to do more of the fiction with an emphasis on shorter stories and other forms of storytelling (looking at you Instagram and Twitter.) I like the Book of the Month ‘concept’ and what has thrown up, but for now want to be focussing more on the borders between what is real and what the Internet tells us is the same.

Therefore, the Book of the Month ‘concept’ is being retired to every third month, beginning in January 2018 with Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction. There’ll be more on this, and on how the BoTM concept will change in the next few weeks.

A Better Portal, Properly Organised


The biggest single takeaway from my feedback is that people like what I’m doing, and want more of the same. To make sure this happens therefore this website and the layout therein are not really fit for purpose. They weren’t to begin with but the last few months have gone to demonstrate that I need better presentation and more organisation at this end. More importantly, Patreon itself is not selling me as I would wish, and that too needs to be altered.

Therefore, December will see me thank my Patreons with personalised Christmas Haiku, a seasonal thank you for their generosity and support, before I redefine all my Tiers  for 2018. All existing Patrons will be receiving physical gifts regardless of what tier they are on, with all rewards then going digital only starting next year.  I’m also committed to a full web redesign over the Christmas period, meaning that when we start the year anew in 2018, both Patreon and this site have a cohesive design and are far easier to navigate.

What this means in terms of content here is still being planned. I’ll have more news for you on that front starting next week.

NaNoWriMo :: 50 K DUN


Except… I’m not finished, not even close. I’ve provisioned two days next week to knock the last 20k or so off in a couple of sittings. I’ll make sure I commit to the Revision Camp that happens early next year. I just want to write more fiction now, not less. This entire process has revitalised my desire to tell stories, and will now serve to help me totally redefine how the Internet of Words goes forward. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed having to think again in a Universe of my own creation.

Let yesterday be remembered as the one which began the redefinition of my writing adventure. Let today be filled with the memory that I need to sleep better, and relax more too.

NaNoWriMo :: Day 20

Nanowrimo 2017

This post has taken a week to make it to this space: not because there’s been an issue with keeping to my plan (see the post coming up next) but simply because, yet again, time at the time wasn’t available. This was one of the reasons why NaNo’s failed for the last few years: I’d hit 50k and all impetus/ability to complete the work would vanish. You see, for me, this word count has always been restrictive, and I’ve been unable to pace myself to complete things once I started them.

Fortunately, a lot has changed in the last 12 months.


So, Day 19 had me at 40k and confident for the first time I could finish when I’d said. Then, came a problem, mistake I realise that had been made back in the narrative at about the 6k mark. I was devastated, because it had effectively ruined a key section of the flow, that quickly stopped me in my tracks. I left the file open on my PC going to bed Sunday night, and had no idea how I’d fix the problem. The solution, at least in my mind, was something that NaNo suggests you don’t do: go back and correct your work. This is supposed to happen in the revision stage, but there was a realisation that if I didn’t plug the hole, all my hard work would simply leak through.

So, today ended up being about going back to the start and retracing steps. Once the issue was addressed, work recommenced at a fairly swift rate and, all things being equal, I would have hit 50k by Wednesday… were my daughter not unwell Monday night. That stopped me originally writing this post at the time, and meant I was up at 5am on Tuesday morning and on a mission… and you can probably guess what happened next. What also transpired between that point and Wednesday (where we’ll pick up the story again) was a realisation that an awful lot needs to change so I can not simply write more fiction, but do so in a far less stressful fashion.


In this regard at least, NaNo has been an awesome experience. I got over my fear of commitment, and will finally have a work in December to revise next year. That’s a MASSIVE step forward 😀

If Leaving Me is Easy


Yesterday, instead of writing (as I’m spending a whole month on NaNo) I had a day of making.

I have two types of friends at present: those who will be really pleased that I made their Christmas present for them, and those who wish I’d bought them some alcohol… or a gift token, or something else that makes me look like I’m not some kind of cheap-ass. Forget for a moment the amount of personal effort and thought that goes into my hand-made gifts. After a while, some people get tired of this and simply wish I’d spend the money. This year, those friends won’t be getting anything, because I am no longer caring.


There comes points in every relationship where inevitably the path forward (or not) is defined by the actions of the people involved. Sometimes, this can happen without you realising the other person is even listening. Over the last few months, as I have pushed myself forward and into new spaces, it has been obvious that some people whom I care about are not really as keen about me as perhaps they once were. It is totally understandable, considering the complex set of variables at play which define how you interact as friends, that variance will occur. However, then you reach the situation  where it becomes apparent your path is not the same and that’s absolutely fine.

As I keep telling my daughter, not everybody in life will like what you are.


For those ‘friends’ who are online, sometimes the Mute button is all you need for a quiet life, except there are those people for whom doing this will cause more affront than currently exists, because they have no idea how much they annoy you. What ought to happen in situations such as this, and which rarely does, is that people have the balls to admit up front ‘yeah well I stopped listening to you for a while there because you really pissed me off but now I agree with you again everything is okay.’ Except for somebody like me, that’s quite hurtful. If you have an issue, we can work it out. If you don’t care about working it out, then maybe we shouldn’t be here to begin with.

The bigger, long-term issue with this selective hearing is that the serial offenders, people who have pissed off group after group of people yet still continue unabated, can keep doing that if no-one has the balls to go public with their concerns. More and more, the counter argument of ‘just don’t start drama, nobody needs it‘ is roughly akin to that bit in Pride and Prejudice where Darcy admits to Elizabeth that if he’d been honest about George Wickham at the start, he’d not have eloped with Lydia. Except, of course, without that plot twist our protagonists would never have become an item… so what is a girl to do?


This year will be remembered as the one when the past came back to destroy what many entertainers believed was untouchable popularity in a manner that is completely right and proper, considering the severity of the offences now becoming apparent. As I watch and slowly digest the manner in which respect and care was strained, ignored and flattened underfoot, it becomes even more important for me to maintain a personal integrity that reflects the person I am, both good and bad. I’ve made no bones about my mental issues, but some love to use them as a reason to control. Not any more.

I will do my best to be your friend: I can be polite and encouraging, perceptive and caring. However, there is a limit to how much shit anyone will take. Taking advantage of other people for your own end, parading them as your friend without asking permission, wilfully baiting or attacking their opinion to make a point or prove your superiority and then laughing about it in public… this is where I draw the line. You don’t use other people’s actions as a means to justify your own. Personal responsibility is just that. When I fail, I’ll make sure I pick up the tab. I expect nothing less from the other people around me. If those standards are unacceptable?

Door’s over there.