There will now be an unscheduled deviation from experimental poetry to bring you TOP NOVEL NEWS…


I’ve exceeded 80k. I’m still not done. In terms of plot, I’m at the final location required (around which a fair amount will now transpire) but… well, the end won’t be here for a while. It may not take that many more words, but I have plans to completely rearrange what is the last lot of old/new content. Therefore, this Thursday will be an editing/confirming my timeline session plus the addition of some more key scenes. All things being equal, and assuming everything can be done that is desired this week…?

I’m hoping to say the plot’s done sometime next week.


It is odd watching my old self’s work become new again, and very satisfying. There’s also increasingly less fear at cutting out old things that don’t work and replacing them with more relevant content. Looking at the work every day, it is evolving at about the same speed that I am… not massively fast, but still good enough when placed against everything else that needs to be completed. So, the next time we talk about this, there should be completion in the air.

I’m not sure how that’s going to feel when I know I’m done, either.

Poetry Archive :: Reflections

Yet again, this poem ended up far more personal and revealing than was first planned. It’s odd how that happens, that the generic starting point almost inevitably sublimates into something far more subjective. In this case, this poem ended up being the final poke required to make some much needed change in my personal life. This week has become hugely significant, and I’m cautiously optimistic looking forward that the next few months will be hugely positive in terms of change.

It probably helps too that spring is coming.


This critical look, mirror reflects my
Thousand tiny imperfections right back.
Harsh neon light, nothing for confidence
Exacerbating, inner fears attack.

However hard life gets, do not forget
Reality is larger than perceived.
Refractions merely part of complete whole
Perpetual truths much more than first believed.

There needs to be some time to look within
Constant desire to ponder, then define
Each change then slowly grasped and understood;
Gradual evolution over time.

Every instance offered will be taken
Fresh chance to reassess, refining still
Life a balancing act, seeking challenge
With focus on maintaining fortune’s thrill.

In the end, all I have is within me
Reflection’s gaze only real truth that’s known;
Let all that I am be the catalyst
Continuing consciousness nurtured, grown.


Poetry Archive :: What You See

As we are exploring the visual in this month’s content, it seemed only appropriate to have some personal musings on the nature of understanding and vision. As you get older, the obsession with what others think of you becomes progressively less important. There are far more significabt things to concern yourself with, after all, and in the next few weeks, I’ll be using that mindset to create both micropoetry and haiku.

What You See

Stop, not one more word
The point is missed: what you see
Fails to represent.

Your vision is flawed,
Remains myopic: step back
then, consider change.

Sometimes glacial,
Progress remains: step forward
Regardless of time.

From the ashes, each
Destruction of self: rising
Ready, try again.

Start, be the difference,
Give me your hand: what you see
Could be so much more.

You Oughta Know :: Two

Yesterday, quite frankly, was one of the most important days I’ve had since this whole project began.


Progress on the Novel had stalled. Twelve days of minimal movement, if at all. The problem, such as it stood, was my insistence that plot needed to go a certain way because that’s been the plan since I began in 2001. Except I couldn’t write what was needed, the narrative complexity was simply too much for my poor brain to cope with. This week, at the Gym, I’ve been doing negative repetition: this is when you make muscles work in a manner which feels contrary to what would normally build strength but in fact quite the opposite.

It was this reverse approach that finally allowed me to break the writing deadlock.

In the end, all the sparkle and glamour was unnecessary. What was required was understanding that showing and telling are far more flexible constructs than first considered, and I could do both without compromising anything. I don’t need to be at this point in the narrative anymore, and it is time to move on, and the cupboard allows all that frippery to become pointless. One more short scene and finally I’m into a bit of narrative that will be fun to write. That was the big issue: this bit needed to happen, but I didn’t want to.

Without the push to do stuff I don’t like, none of this would be taking place.


What looked like an improbable finish date of March 15th is now seeming far more doable. It will still require editing, yes, but only the second half. Completion totally with a measure of editing by Easter is now the next goal. This is totally unchartered territory to boot, close to 80k words of original work. I’ve already got people lined up to read once I’m done, too, and there’s no real fear or anguish over that either. Amazingly, I’m looking forward to feedback, and I frankly won’t care if people don’t like it. Right now, the bigger goal is to get to the end.

What matters more to me now than popularity is the completion. Writing has not become a means to change the World just yet. However, in my own part of that whole, it is more significant than at any point in the last 51 years, and that’s just amazing.

A reckoning is fast approaching.

You Oughta Know :: One

I’m not here for your benefit.

The more progress made, the further down the road travelled, comes a realisation that matters to nobody but me. Every time a personal record is bettered, or a target attained, this is not cause for celebration. A lot of the time, it isn’t fun either. Hard work is not, on certain days, its own reward, whatever the fuck the motivational posters might tell you otherwise. Those people who look comfortable and secure in their public personas… I have no idea how that happens. Faking it til you make it is a waste of good time and effort.


I’m here to admit some days this is horrible.

‘If you don’t like cycling, then stop’ my husband says, each time I do a ride where it is a struggle physically. His advice is based on a sound concept: he enjoys what he does hugely, but has never struggled with shortness of breath or a lack of physical strength. He is not stressed by large groups of people or the perception others have of him. He is lucky enough to have that easy comfort in abundance, and it would be fair to state that is one of his most attractive qualities. I don’t, and all the things he takes in his stride can often just stop me in my tracks. Yet, I’ll be back on a bike, and I’ll keep working on all those things that vex me, because I don’t like them.

Life is not just about being happy.


The most satisfaction gained, ultimately in my own head, is doing the stuff that’s difficult. That never used to be the case, of course, but as I’ve grasped the importance of using time well, that desire has risen and will not be quelled. Sure, it would be fabulous to just sit back and do nothing, but that achieves nothing. The real, tangible progress made on writing is in direct response to my determination not only to get fit but to stay there and do more. Without the physical exercise, none of this would ever have happened.

Sometimes to get what you want, you need to be unhappy.


There are two parts to this post for a reason, because the flip side of getting upset and angry when things go wrong is not, as my family sometimes believe, an attention seeking ranty pants moment. The oddest things count as motivation for writers, and I am only beginning to grasp the reality of why stories matter so much to me. It is creating worlds where I feel comfortable to live, that make sense in my head as not simply ideals, but what ought to be the norm going forward.

Writing is no longer therapy, but a way to gain long-term satisfaction.

Dark City

Ooh hang on, I don’t have a March Content header, lemme go fix that…

Today is all about the things that stop me doing what needs to be done. Some writers would consider them as ‘inner demons’ but they have many names: procrastination, fear, Imposter Syndrome… and the list goes on. This week, I can’t focus on completing tasks, and am limping through the week on a day by day basis. Each morning, I slowly chip away at a rapidly decreasing list of Things to Do and if by Friday that means that half the month is planned, I will probably still not be satisfied.

You really are your harshest critic.


If I use an exercise metaphor here, these are the days when you just have to do the miles. It becomes a rhythm, after a time, that is progressively easier to grasp. Call it muscle memory, simple familiarity in repetition, but the process of a daily blog post for many years has allowed the foundations of routine to grow from many different places, not simply with my writing. Putting in the words, even when you don’t want to, is not a waste of time if the next day you throw all that work away. Without the effort and impetus, nothing changes. It took me a while to grasp that intractable truth, but now I have it you can bet your life I am not letting go.


I have this slogan on a favourite, battered green t-shirt, bought for me by my husband at a cycling show. It is the reminder to me that it does not matter how long something takes to do, as long as when I start it is finished. This is the impetus to complete the Novel, to keep chipping away at entering contests, to refine my poetry technique and try new stuff like the Aesthetic Haiku. If it’s worth the time to think and plan, then it is worth the effort to complete. This has also taught a separate lesson over time; knowing when to stop something when it isn’t working.

You cannot be an expert at everything, however hard you try.

I started the J Word project as a means to learn to draw. Three months in from that start point, I’m still no closer to that goal… and it won’t happen, despite people’s assertions that it could. Ability is not holding me back. The problem, such as it is, comes from knowing that to do this well I’d have to stop writing to do so. There are simply not enough hours in the day left with everything else, and so then I have to make a choice. If asked to choose between drawing and exercise, or writing and drawing, there will only be one winner in both cases. Exercise and writing are what matter most right now. However, there is no denying the importance of the strip as a creative outlet (and stress relief) and therefore it stays… but in a different format.

This is part of the miles that needs to be done right now, so I find a way.


Therefore, I will limp my way through the week, celebrating the victories whenever they happen. Hopefully, by Friday I will be able to see the end to at least a couple of the long-term objectives on the table, and a sense of accomplishment as a result.

Whatever happens, the words will continue to make me stronger.

Experimental :: The Poet Sits

At feet, I wait
one moment’s chance;
hands on belief.
Maybe, I could
attain these heights:
small brilliance that
he holds, to see.

Look up, with hope
for confidence
within a heart
too scared to beat.
Might pass me
wisdom’s gift, distilled
chipped from a soul
of artistry.

Then comes a spark,
awareness blooms,
from too long spent
in darkened rooms.
No need for this
to validate, a life
that’s mine to own,
path I walk alone.

The poet sits
no longer awed,
as mentor moves
no need to grasp.
Perhaps it’s time;
stand tall, ignore
the need to feel
beholden, tied.