Support, smiles and writing…

It’s been a busy old month – I’ve had a bit of time off work and have enjoyed a few writing events which have been fantastic. The above pic is the ‘femme fatales of the north east’ – myself, Sheila Quigley, Eileen Wharton and Danielle Ramsay. This was taken at the event we did at Waterstones Newcastle in March. I love this photo – and I don’t love many that include myself in all honesty. This photo shows 4 incredibly strong women authors, who have become even stronger because we work together. We push each other’s work, we support each other and we became friends through these stories that we write. It still moves me incredibly and makes me so thankful that I have such supportive peers who believe in me as I do them. 

This event was a great success – its opening doors for us doing similar things at other venues so keep your eyes peeled. Events like this are a great way for readers to come and meet and speak to their favourite authors. We love seeing you! So if you notice an event you’re interested in please attend. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for further information re events. 

As well as receiving support from these wonderful women, and many others re my writing, I also get a lot from my friends and family. If you’re a regular reader of this little blog of mine, you all know I’m open about having an illness and you occasionally see some of the struggles I face because of it. My friends and family are so supportive of this – always there with a shoulder or a hand if I need it which is greatly appreciated. It’s been a really rough couple of months for my body. I’ve had a lot more pain, which is shown by my inflammation levels rising in the regular blood tests i receive. The fatigue has been a steady constant too which I do try and assist myself with but it’s so hard sometimes to get motivated when all I want to do is stay on the couch and not move. I’ve started on a second set of RA meds which in all honesty haven’t had a lot of effect and have to have a steroid jab shortly. When I first found out I had RA (almost 2 years ago now) I was both devastated and relieved. I thought RA was something old people got, the same as most people who know little about illnesses that they don’t have themselves. It took me a long time to come to terms with having it, and even longer to accept it – this I still struggle with at times. In those 2 short years, I’ve gone part time at work to facilitate taking better care of myself and am so grateful to be in a position where I can do that. 

But at times I do wonder what the future will hold. I often use voice activation software now to write – it takes some getting used to – talking instead of typing – but I’m getting there slowly. Writing provides great therapy for my depression – when I’m writing I’m less inclined to be taken over by the black dog though admittedly I do still have bad days. I’m a big believer that arts and crafts of any kind can give people an escape of sorts. Whether it be drawing, writing, reading or physically making things. It’s personal preference but I think if you have something like depression, then it gives your mind something to focus on that is outside of the black cloud. You might think I’m talking bollocks – and you might be right – but it works for me. 

I’m still humbled and awed at the lovely comments I receive for my books – I hope that feeling never goes away. It makes me believe each day that what I do is something precious – I love knowing that people are enjoying it and that they want me to write more. And there’s always the few who don’t – they (judging by my 1* reviews which aren’t many I grant you but still there) hate my writing and think I can’t write for toffee. But I thank them all too – because at least they bought it and gave it a go. At least they’re reading. Not every book will be to everyone’s tastes and that includes me. But I focus on the fact I’m enjoying doing something that brings pleasure to other people – writing is such a big part of my life that I can’t ever imagine not doing it. And no matter what happens with my RA – that will continue. 

So finally I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog – you are the reason I write it. Keep smiling, keep reading and most of all, keep being you. Much love. Xx