Summer? You ready?

As summer approaches and birds start to sing,

We come out of lockdown with a familiar ring.

The idea of freedom and having lots of fun,

But we still need some caution, from every-one!

The rule of six is with us again,

But let’s stick to it carefully, so then

When we look forward to holidays

Watch matches and see plays,

Let’s remember the long game is within our gaze.

I want no more lockdowns for all of our days.

Arguing for Arguing’s Sake

Recently I have noticed people arguing more and more for the sake of it. Here are my thoughts about this:

Whatever you believe, however strongly you feel about something,

Not everybody views and feels the same as you.

You may try and twist their arm, using powers of persuasion,

But everyone has the right to view and feel differently.

We don’t have to start fights about viewpoint,

It is easy to listen and show understanding.

There is no need to force your opinion on somebody,

So long as both sides get to be heard.

When one side shouts loudest, it doesn’t mean they are the only ones right,

There are two sides to every story and two people beneath opposing views.

Cannot we work alongside each other without the pressure to all follow one route?

Cannot we all debate and discuss without dictating and taking sides?

You can be friends with everyone and anyone, no matter their views on society or lifestyle.

Here’s to an accepting world. A peaceful one. A less argumentative humanity.

Stories and more stories…

Having been very busy for the last few weeks, I thought that it was time to restart blogging, at least once a week. I find the process of writing about books, mental health and the media in general very therapeutic. I also like a good old catch-up. I hope you will come along for the ride.

Recently I wrote about three intriguing books that I enjoyed and learned a lot from. Carrying on my reading journey, I am exploring one of Joanne Harris’ early books, ‘Sleep, Pale Sister’ and Matt Haig’s ‘The Humans’, alongside ‘Let it Snow’ (mainly because of my obsession with winter. All are brilliant so far and very different, yet all have strong characters and plots that carry messages which mean they are relatable and page-turners.

Looking around at what is going on in the news it is distressing to see the conflict that has arisen over the Royal family, and especially the issue of mental health. We could definitely do with more love in the world right now. However, it seems that love doesn’t sell quite so well. The most successful stories and movies and TV shows are those involving conflict, controversy and promote debate.

Having said that, of course, everybody loves a good drama. I find that when I write something dramatic, it is really important to show varying perspectives of the unfolding story. For me, multiple characters tend to present their angles on things. In my first novella, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost‘, I told a tale of devastation from the point of view of a husband, a friendship group and the children of the original characters. It was my aim to consider the impact of suicide on a group of individuals, and especially to talk about the long term implications of this upon the children.

My next book is a YA mystery which is all about one guy (Drew) and his close friend and will take the reader on an adventure through his eyes only. It is not my usual approach but in this case it felt right to follow events from his perspective and to lock onto the elements that came into play, as they emerged. A peculiar house in the countryside is constantly covered in black birds who seem to be watching everything that Drew and Siobhan do. Since a chance encounter with it, the house begins to play a massive role in their lives. Drew is trying to pass exams, deal with bereavement, care for a grandparent and protect his friends from a threat that looms in the background.

As the spring begins, I am getting back into my writing and, as well as editing this novel, I am writing smaller narratives on Wattpad and have got about a third of the way into a crime story. This is going to be a rollercoaster of emotions. I hope that I can do it justice.

As lockdown ends and the sun starts to shine, I hope that everyone is feeling optimistic about the new year. More to come from me. Please consider following and trying one of my short stories.