Dead

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A short poem I wrote a while ago.

Poetry was always my first love. I would write poem after poem. I have books filled with them. In fact I met my now husband on a poetry site.

Enjoy.

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I lay here and listen.
Silence
except the distant drone
of cars, and vans.
And a dog ,somewhere out there in the night.
barking.

 
The stars are silent.
They just twinkle away.
‘we are here’
‘we are here’
but really they are already
dead.

 

 

 

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Black Scab.

This is a short story, Although it is not really a full story it is part of a an assignment from a course I am doing at the moment. The assignment was to describe a situation from a child’s point of view. Something monumental to the child but in less that 500 words.

I chose an imagined scene from the Miners strike of 84-85.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners’_strike_(1984%E2%80%9385)

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It is perhaps difficult to imagine the scene. But this played out in many pit villages across yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. The strike of those two years, not only ruined the mining industry in the UK. but it tore families apart. Those who decided to work to support their families and those who stood with their brothers, on the picket lines that became the focus of anger, retribution, but also hope and camaraderie.

In the end, it only prolonged the inevitable.

What Margaret Thatcher started in the name of progress, ended the coal industry and the beautifully diverse communities and people that huddled around its warmth.

 

This story is for those of you who lived this.

Day in day out.

It is for you all, whatever side of the line you stood on.

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The crowd towered above me as we nudged our way through the picket line. It was difficult to see just how many people pushed and shoved through the sea of legs but dads hand squeezed mine tightly as he moved me slowly forward. Somewhere behind me I could hear my sister Louisa crying, her shrill call piercing the grumbling shouts of the men as they protested our voyage through them.

“Call yourself a miner? Scab!” Someone shouted and I felt dads hand tighten around mine. “Go home, think of your brothers.” someone else called but dad said nothing keeping his head down. Before us I could see the faded green door of the doctor’s room. Mr Griffiths the pit medic stood hands on hips watching us push our way through. He had known my dad since my birth, nearly twelve years ago but he did nothing to help us. Soon he was lost behind the tide of men sweeping us up towards the pit.

“C’mon princess, not too far now.” Dad’s voice drifted through the angry shouts and I looked up at him. His eyes briefly locked with mine and I saw the fear and hurt flash for a minute before he pulled me forward again. From somewhere in the crowd I heard cries of anger and then the whistle of eggs as they flew through the air. One exploded in a mass of yellow and white goo that ran down dad’s back but he continued walking. I stared at the shell pieces as they trickled off his green jumper wondering why these men, our friends and family were behaving this way. What was happening?

At last dad pulled me into a large whitewashed room and sat me on a plain bench by the window. He ducked back outside and returned minutes later with mum and Louisa who sobbed silently into dad’s jumper, her eyes red and swollen. Mum looked shocked and sat down heavily by my side her soothing questions towards me coming out in sobs and sighs.

“Never again Graham. We can’t keep doing this.” As she cried dad knelt down beside her and took her in his arms. For a moment the room was silent but for the soft crying. When mum had quietened he placed Louisa in her arms and patted her head softly. He held out his arms to me for a hug. I fell into them and smelt his familiar smell, mints and cigarettes. It clung to him like a cologne.

“Everything’s ok,” he muttered over and over as he stroked my back. “Everything will be ok.” Outside the crowd of men shouted angrily and the whine of police sirens punctured the air. Noticing the man behind the desk for the first time Dad walked to the counter and placed his rough hands on the table.

Dads voice shook as he asked the man behind the counter for the wages he had worked for as the shouts of anger and fear rose and fell outside like the sea in a storm.

Dad had said we would be ok. But I knew at that moment. Things could never be alright again.

From a miners daughter.

Marie x

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Where have I been?

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Hello and apologies for not writing on my blog for a while. It seems that I apologise far too much for the lack in content. Unfortunately , sometimes the real world gets in the way. or should I say the real world takes precedent.

Two weeks ago I climbed a mountain in Cumbria. For those of you who read my blog but are not based in the UK Cumbria is quite often known as the Lake district and is situated on the west coast of the United Kingdom. It is a place of beauty that suppresses anywhere else in the UK, but is most definetely on Par with the west coast of scotland. A place I have also visited.

Being a yorkshire girl, born and bred it is quite a strange admission for me. That Cumbria holds my heart and my soul in a way that Yorkshire never really has. It has something that calls me back. A deep longing. It is the only place where I go on holiday that I never want to leave. Without it in my life I feel empty, like something of me is missing.

Melancholy is perhaps not that right word, but it is some feeling that I simply can’t explain. Not with enough meaning. When I leave, I feel like I am leaving me behind.

Until the plans me and my husband have come to fruition only fleeting visits will be had. But I know it is the place I want to be.

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A photo taken by me. Half way up High Cup nick.

 

I have chosen to have a real break from social media. Especially Facebook. It zaps everything that used to be good about me and my personality and replaces me with someone I dont recognise.

I don’t know if you have ever felt that way? Are we way too reliant on a society that lives behind keyboards and screens. I have a sinking feeling that we are.

And strangely, I don’t miss the drama and the snide comments. The blatant ignorance and rubbish that facebook sinks into our psyche without us even realising it is doing it. I like the me I am without it.

A few days ago I had an episode where I felt like I had no reason. I wasnt suicidal. I’ll put that out there. But it was a time when I needed someone and I felt as if I had not one person I could turn too. Neither in the real world or the fake one I have made for myself. I sat here, firstly on my own and then later when my husband came home and we talked until my throat burnt and my eyes had no tears left.

And the next morning I decided that I had to change who I was. And that is what I have been doing.

A week on, and I am feeling that spark, that old me and it feels good. I have started eating better, exercising more and believing in me as a person,as a writer. As a good person again.

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So I have been on two journeys, and I guess for both of them I am still on them.

My next big step is too close social media down even more, do away with turning to people who can’t make me happy. If I truly am not. Turn from those who don’t deserve to share me and my journey. And thats not being big headed, or vain. Its being real.

Something that social media lost a long long long time ago.

Until the next time.

Be good to each other.

Or be a tw@ Your choice.

Marie x

I will be posting more content I promise. Please subscribe and keep up to date with my journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to pimp things out!

delusions of literacy

After discussing life, the universe, and everything, with my publicist, the amazing Mickebeatingy Mikkelson, we’ve settled on a release date for Y’keta in early May.

So it’s time for pimping posts.  Starting, oh NOW, I’ll be posting once or twice a week just to remind everyone that Y’keta is coming. I cant wait to see what you think of his world!

It’s an ancient and magical place, but not always a pretty one, as Y’keta discovers. But sometimes pain is the greatest teacher.

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Lately.

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This is a poem for my Brother, who passed away nearly two years ago.

 

Lately.

I thought I saw you
standing there,
by the shed.

watching me, watching you.

But it was a trick of the light.
wood grain,
pareidolia.

I heard a voice
yours?
calling me from across the street.

I strained my head to hear
you
a memory replaying on loop.

Am I forgetting you?
your smell?
your voice?

Lately.

Everything I miss about you
Is  what I need.

For A x

The Tunnel.

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Swearing warning

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One of the tentacles wrapped around Danny’s neck as he pulled against the rough edge of the tunnel. He could feel the tiny veins in his neck popping as his vision blurred and the thing squeezed.

He couldn’t die like this he thought as his mind jumped between accepting his fate and thinking up an amazing escape plane. Time was running out. As the monster dragged him towards him in the dark tunnel he saw the graffiti he had sprayed earlier. The red paint looked more like blood now and Danny whimpered. He didn’t want to die here. Not here with this thing squeezing every bit of his seventeen year life from him.  Twisting he searched the floor for something, a weapon. His hand rested on the aerosol can he had disposed of earlier. In a second the idea formed. With some paint still inside he might have half a plan. Twisting his body he inched towards the thing in the shadows behind him. It let out a gurgle of surprise as Danny angled the can and sprayed where he thought the eyes should be. In the darkness he couldn’t know if he his shot was accurate. Until he felt the tentacle relax a fraction and the monster released him. spotting his only chance Danny ran.

With the thing behind him bellowing Danny headed for the light that signalled the tunnels entryway. The beast was behind him and was catching up. His trainers slipped in the thin stream of runoff at the centre of the track, but he couldn’t fall now. Stopping now would mean death and  Danny was determined that today was not his day.

Flying from the pipe Danny kept running until the breath in his throat caught and he fell heavily to the ground breathing in the dust that billowed around him in a cloud.

“What the fuck was that?” he spat when the air had cleared. His hands trembled as he looked back at the pipe stuck from the ground like an artery.

The beast groaned and Danny was sure he could smell the putrid stench of its breath as it descended back into the shadows.

“Danny?” Callie’s voice called from over the bank and she appeared late as normal. “was that you just screaming? Or were you trying to sing again?” she sat next to him and Danny shook his head. How could he tell her what had just happened? For a moment they simply stared at each other until Danny, finger shaking pointed into the mouth of the tunnel.

“Monster” his voice quavered and his hand returned to his knee.

“Monster?” she echoed and Danny shrugged. Pulling down the neck of his shirt he leant forward and showed Callie the marks around his neck. He could still feel the pressure squeezing and pulsing.

“Holy shit? The monster crap is true?” Danny nodded not wanting to be the one that leant more weight to the urban legend the whole valley knew about.

“It tried to kill me… down there.” Danny’s voice was returning to normal and he stared at the tunnel entrance. “What do we do?” he continued.

“We find the others and we get Kent’s camera. Then we get down there and get some footage, that’s what we do.” Callie said, excitement causing her voice to raise an octave or two.

“I’m not sure thats a good idea Cal, this thing is dangerous. It tried to kill me for fucks sake”

“True, so we get weapons too. This could be our way out of this shit hole. This could be the way we leave here forever.” She was right.. Grand Point was dying after the last timber factory closed a month ago.

The Grand Point Monster was real. It had near enough choked him to death down there. Resting his cool hand on the burning welts around his neck Danny shook his head in disbelief. Turning to  Callie he sighed.

“let’s get the others.” he agreed reluctantly. Callie high fived him and scrambled up the bank the way she had arrived, not waiting to see if he followed.

A groan of anger echoed up the tunnel and every single hair raised on Danny’s body as he shook his head.

Was this the way to escape the town he had lived in his whole life? Was it worth dying for?

Danny had the feeling he was about to find out.

 

Thank you for reading this short story. I would love some feedback if you would be kind enough to leave some.

Until next time.

Marie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding my voice.

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This blog post will be about something that I have struggled with a lot as I have grown as a writer. I am hoping that at least one of you out there will understand with what I am trying to convey. It is clearly only MY opinion.

Pardoning the pun, backstory.

All of my life I have written, As a child I used to write fake stories and provide my neighbours with newspapers. I lived in a small cul de sac and I imagine they  were amused by my attempts. I later moved on to poetry and then on to really bad angst ridden teenage books.

 

But It didnt matter then that no one saw my work because I had no idea how you became a writer. I had a few poems published in Anthologies, which looking back now were most likely vanity publishers. My love of the written word continued and I amassed a back catalogue of poetry running into the thousands.

 

It wasnt until six or seven years ago that I realised that I was good enough to write a real story, and thats what I did. I had had an idea floating around my head and so in an old book and with a pencil pinched from my sons stash I set to work.

Letters to an absent father was born and I loved it. Looking back with hindsight I was way to naive and way too trusting of my abilities. I stuck it on Amazon and my friends and family rated it. In a way families and those who love you do. But in honesty it wasnt ready. Other books followed and up they went on Amazon with the belief that this was the dream, this was where people would see me, my worlds and fall in love.

It wasnt.

It was about this time that I stopped and looked at what I was doing. With a further nine books written (now 13) I knew if I was going to take the art of writing seriously I would have to study it like a job. If I wanted it to be serious, then I had to be serious about it. And so with a brand new notepad I set about researching everything I could about an industry that doesnt make anything easy.

Over and over again after all of the basic writing rules the one thing that came out over and over again was that you had to know and have your own voice.

My voice.

The way that people will read my words and know it is me without being told. The way you know a Stephen King book without seeing his name. Or a J.K Rowling book without knowing she has penned it. But finding your voice in a sea of advice is almost like drowning in that same sea that has no live preservers or that many people who are willing  to hold out there hands and pull you on to their boat.

Alongside keeping your voice unique you have to work in all of the rules that make up becoming a writer.

You have to know how to start a book, yet keep your voice.

You have to know how to make the book flow and rise and fall in the right places.. but keep your voice.

You have to draw in the reader, make them care.. but keep your voice.

And you have to know all of this and weave it seamlessly into your book so the reader doesnt notice. Yet keep your voice.

 

You have to follow these rules but remain unique.. special, and your voice should sing its own song above the rules that will determine if you even get a look in.

And my voice is lost.

When I first started writing it was ALL about the words and the emotions. It was never about does this fit into the cubby holes of those in the know in this industry. It was never about am I louder than the structure? It was always about the charactors and their lives. It was always about me pouring out my heart onto the page.

It would seem by learning about the industry I have quietened my voice into a whisper than even I cannot hear. A voice that will never be heard because my insecurities are  drowning out every word I have to say.

I dont know who is to blame for that. Me for believing that I was good enough? Or the industry for making it so tough, so exacting that even if I had a great voice it would never be heard over those who can shout louder?

I wonder how many voices are lost because they give up. They see celebrities getting book deals on the back of their names because its all about the money. Clearly not about their voice. How many people never get heard because they do not tick the right boxes. What happened to different… or unusual..quirky..unique?

So for now my voice is silent. And it will stay that way until I decide if writing their way is what I want.

Or if a soft lilting song that whispers stories with no rules, the one that has always been mine. Is enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why so negative? The dieting game.

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First of all let me say I am not an expert in how the human mind works. But I have been overweight most of my adult life and so I feel I am qualified by experience. Something a lot of experts fail to understand is just important.

As I have gotten older I have seen the dieting industry as much more than a way to help people. Of course there are people who will no doubt comment on this post and say slimming world, or weight watchers have changed their lives. But do you know what the actual truth is.. they didnt.

You did.

It was you who made sure you followed their plan, and for that you paid for the privilege.

It was you who worked out or walked when you really wanted a bar of chocolate and to watch netflix.

You said no to a piece of cake, or yes to the lighter option when you wanted the lasagne chips and onion rings. YOU.

Stop giving a BUSINESS the power that YOU have.

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Remember that without the women, and men who go to these groups there buisness would fail. It is their job to make the plans doable, but not TOO successful. Because why would they let you fully succeed.. when that means you wouldnt need them any longer?

 

For the record these are the groups I have been too.

Slimming world X3

Weight watcher x2

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I have tried slimfast, herbalife and the cabbage diet and also the atkins diet. Amongst others

I am not a newby to the way the industry works. And it annoys me that they take YOUR strength and turn into their empire.

So what sparked this post?

Fat club

That one phase that I have seen on many of my friends walls on facebook and elsewhere.

Why not

Getting fantastic club

A new me club

Beautiful strong amazing women (and men) club…

Why FAT CLUB?

It sets you up to think that is all you are before you have even left your house, it tells you that all you are is fat and you so are not.

You deserve to think of you as wonderful. Before you stand on those scales in front of a group of women who all secretly hope that you dont lose more than them.

You deserve to believe that every day you want to be the best you are, whatever size you are.

And you deserve to be beautiful, fat or thin, small or tall.

 

So this is my plea to you.. life is SO short, but the world is SO beautiful. It is filled with a billion wonders and a trillion opportunities. Just believe in yourself, believe in the power you have inside of you to be the best you.

You are not what they want you to believe you are.

You are perfect.

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New year, new me?

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Apologies for not posting much (read at all) What with christmas and teh New year, two colds and other illnesses writing has been last on my list of my things to do.

Even now, the 2nd of January I am full of cold and post migraine so spending the day doing as little as possible.

So first things first Happy New Year 2017

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I hope that you spent your christmas well, whether that was in the presence of friends or family or with yourself eating way too much.

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Resolutions?

So it’s this time of year that everyone decides that this will be the year the make better.. how many of us have resolved to stop smoking/lose weight/exercise more and then fall off of the wagon by the end of january? Its difficult when we are surrounded by real life sometimes to try and get a happy medium for what works and what we would like to happen. Still If you have some amazing resolutions I would love to hear about them.

 

This year I have taken on the #walk1000miles challenge. They have a facebook page and its free. As part of the challenge myself and the hubby are intending to walk up Ben nevis

https://www.facebook.com/groups/walk1000miles/

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What I like about the challenge is that it can be done anywhere and although 1k sounds like a lot of miles it is in fact only just under 3 miles a day… doable for most people I think? Why not have a go?

 

In my writing I am aiming to get my NanoWriMo challenge book finished and get some of my finished books edited and at least out there. I guess people cannot make opinions if they are sat in a word document, gathering dust.

 

I know its a quick on, but I am needing more lemsip and perhaps a nap.

 

Be good to each other, and love.

 

Until then.

 

M xx