Well we are at mid November and I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by.Even though I have not published any new work I have been busy behind the scenes spending some time doing some professional development and I started up an new YouTube Vlog.The reason behind the Vlog is to talk about issues I feel passionate about and talk about how I incorporate some of these issues into my work.I also hope to use this channel to promote any future work I will be publishing.I have been learning on the spot all about Instagram and I’m currently addicted to watching Vloggers on YouTube, all in the name of research…obviously.
If anyone has experience with Vlogging and would l8e to offer me some advice and tips as a newbie then please feel free to reach out and of course when you visit the vlog please press SUBSCRIBE…thank you in advance.Starting a new channel is daunting at first and I would love to gain as many followers as possible .
BOOKS: well,I’m 75% way through my next novel “Behind The Mask” which is a LEsfic Novel that explores many facets of recovering from an accident which causes the lead character to loose a leg,The story goes very deep into what happens to the mental health of not just the victim but those closest to her but it’s not all bad…spoiler alert, there may be romance.Just to alert anyone interested in this new novel its more of an adult book rather than teen novel so please bare that in mind when it’s released.
As this year is rapidly coming to an end I just want to extend my sincere thanks to each and everyone of you who have supported my journey this year in any way, in particular a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me in the DIVA Awards. I can say in all honesty I still look at this picture and think I’m dreaming. I started this journey four years with no expectations or wild dreams but somehow I rediscovered my place and destiny. I love writing fiction I could never live without writing poetry now and to be given the opportunity to use this platform to support the causes I feel strongly about and to be a role model to others is a position I take proudly and I will carry on as long as I can. I am human like everyone else I have good days and bad but I only have to look at this picture and remember how far I have come and what I am capable of. A lot of my strength comes from your continued support so thank thank so much and I promise 2019 will be a busy and exciting year from me watch this space. I know it’s early but, Happy Christmas and I wish nothing but the best for you all.
Where I began
Before writing I spent 17 years as a Dancer and outreach worker teaching dance in inclusive settings. Meaning I worked alongside my colleagues in school/ college and Community groups which consisted of equal numbers of people with and without disabilities.
Over the years I must have taught thousands of children, young people and many groups of a mixture of ages both professional dancers/teachers friends and families of disabled people and other professionals working in the Health /Education and youth service sector.
Dance offered me a unique opportunity for me as a disabled person to showcase an ability I could develop and shed a positive spotlight on the world of disability instead of the sickly, patronising and ‘no hope’ kind of mentality I had spent my life surrounded by.
It instilled in me a new and exciting “I can do this and do it well” mentality, whilst becoming a role model for other disabled people and changing opinion and perception of what life must be like as a disabled person. Throughout my time as a dancer I performed on dozens of stages, up and down the country, have been featured on regional Tv and in local newspapers and have been spokesperson for the company I was so proud to represent on numerous radio interviews.
In some respects being in this kind of inclusive environment, I was spoiled as more opportunities arrived for disabled performers of all genres. The disability arts movement was a thriving movement gaining momentum all the time. As artists and as members of companies and organisations we were catapulted into the spotlight whilst we hopefully changed the face of the arts world for the better.
Being forced into making the decision to retire from this career that offered me so much, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to cope with… I relate it to a bereavement of sorts…letting go of what was.
However, all of the skills I learned during my time as a dancer I can now translate and am doing so as I fall in love more each day with my new passion of writing.
My mission as a dancer was to show as many people as possible what Disabled people CAN do given the opportunity therefore being a spokesperson came easy to me. I was representing part of the community which needed a positive spotlight distancing itself from the “poor me” mentality of old rather now its more like “go on, look at me.” And “this is what I do and I do it well”. So I am now stepping into the world of writing and campaigning for and about minority groups of society like, LGBT, Disability, Mental Health and other world problems I am passionate about such as animal welfare. I hope I can continue to be that spokesperson I was before in dance and show all aspects of the lives of people living within these minority’s and educate those outside of them for the purpose of better informing them and improving the lives and life experiences of many many people.
The three small images are of me during my time as a dancer in Solo, duet and ensemble settings, the larger image was taken this summer as I visited the venue where I stepped into the stage for the very first time as a dancer and fell in love with performing.
The venue has now a new role to play, but the memories came flooding back the second I stepped into it for the first time since I retired…which wasn’t easy believe me.
However, I can now look back on this time as a hugely successful period of my life and I hold thousands of fond memories I can recall on.
I have a strong belief that it was my experience of being a dancer/ teacher that has made me the writer I am today and hope to continue to develop into over time.
Soma Needs A FriendEnjoying a creative season
Well we are heading into the middle of March already where does the time go? I took some time off at the beginning of the year but I have been in the midddle of a very create time for about two months. I was thrilled to be interview for an article in the women’s magazine DIVA. in the articele I spoke about being a spokesperson for many different subjects and campaigns.we have just celebrated another international women’s day and I had the pleasure of high lighting five women who inspire me in some way.
towards the end of last year I released my debut Poetry Collection Ripples.I still have a handful of copies left so if you would like to buy a copy please email me at :email@example.com
the latest announcement is…. I have released my first Children’s Short Story.Soma Needs A Friemd can be downloaded in Kindle from Amazon.
my work does not stop there, later this year I will be releasing my next Full Novel, I am really excited about this. I have submitted a number of applications to be part of various collaboration projects and to a number of festivals…updates to follow when I hear anything. Please keep an eye open for any campaigns I support and help me get behind them.
i will update you all in the next coup,e of months but in the meantime thank you for all the amazing support. If you know of any children who may like my children’s short story do pass the information on.and if you would like copies of Ripples, please email me. Thank you until my next blog take care be kind and be happy. Xx
RIPPLES My Debut Poetry Collection
On any other day this would of course be a vitally important occasion but i feel that with the current political unrest both here and in other countries when it comes to LGBT rights then i think its even more important to write about it.Being homophobic and sticking to those beliefs doesn’t serve anyone well the homaphic individual, the gay person, the child learning about relationships in school. What homophobic people lack in my view is a decent education on the subject, knowledge is power is a phrase that springs to mind here! There is such a huge strain on the health organisations across the globe in dealing with patience who present with illnesses directly coming from stress and depression because of homophobic abuse, or fear of coming out therefore living totally miserable lives.Not to mention support needed by families who have gone through the tragic loss of a loved one due to suicide just because they are gay.Most people in my opinion who have a homophobic personality need just as much support in re educating themselves to the truths behind all the myths they have been fed which leads them to be homophobic in the first place. Im reminded here of the day i first came out to my own mother the very first thing she said to me after telling her was “you know you will gets aids dont you” This was a response purely based on the badly delivered tv advertisements campaign she had recently seen talking about the Aids epedemic in the 80’s.Non of her beliefs around gay men or lesbians was actually based on facts she had discovered for herself.sadly her reaction hurt me badly and i was forced to go reluctantly back into the closet until many years later once i had moved out of the family home and was living independently .It was when living independantly i began to attend events and that’s when I finally accepted my sexuality for myself and realised how important it was for me to be visable as a lesbian.When i reflect on lots of famous people i grew up with who came out i had such a warm familier feeling towards them a kind of knowing sence. I had in my head that George Micheal was gay at the peak of Whams career. Over the next few years after living alone, and exploring the bigger picture i began to research gay history, the important figures in this and the political movements for gay rights which again made me realise how much suffering had happened and how far we had come in my own lifetime, this then gave me an even bigger sence of pride in being a lesbian. I was no longer in situations whereby my sexuality came into conversation and i was almost apologetic for telling people i was a lesbian to the point where i can recall a meeting at an arts event where i had to introduce myself and the work i do and i was very clear to point out i was a lesbian and i actually said thats who i am and if you dont like it…i dont care!. As a disabled person i have been on the receiving end of more bullying because of my disability than most most of you have had hot dinners so i have grown up knowing that i am very different to the average person on the street so actually the time it took me to accept for myself that i was gay wasnt all that long.I finally had `a terminology, a reason why i had certain thoughts and feelings growing up.I get exasperated by people who call being gay a life style choice like its the same as what hair colour you want, what clothes you wear and what you do for a living is all a choice, the colour of anyones skin, whether you are disabled at birth isn’t a life style choice, your born that way, lesbianism isn’t a fashion statement a way in with the in crowd its who i am. Women in general over the history of the world have had so many battles for equality we live still in such a male dominant society its as if women get forgotten about theres so much about our lives today which is still not justified, like equal pay and being stereotyped in the media. Yes i agree that being a lesbian is only one part of being a women but with everything we have faced and fought for to have an equal place in society and with dangerous and scary times ahead with political changes happening globally all our campaigning and sacrifices are at stake. Its a scary world we live in when the leader of the most influential nation on the planet publicly mocks a disabled person asking questions during an election campaign and who has absolutely no respect for women or people from the LGBT community . We need more widespread education we need more understanding and empathy and tolerance for all kinds of communities and we need more lesbian role models from all walks of life to get the message across that its ok to be a lesbian yes its a huge pat of our identity but its not the whole of a person and that we can do anything and be anything we want. I am proud of my difference as a disabled woman and i am proud to be a lesbian i am not angry with anyone who may be homophobic rather i feel sad they have not had an opportunity to re educate themselves against the untruths they have picked up in their lives so far. I am here to stay i am a women and i am a lesbian and proud of everything i am and what i stand for.
Hello and thank you for reading my latest blog. despite not posting much recently that doesn’t mean i have been taking things easy..infact ive been very busy behind the scenes. although taking a short break from finishing my third novel i have been taking some time out to do some professional development, a refresher so to speak. I have been working through steps to raise my profile. You may have noticed that the look of my website is different, this has been a big project and i can only exstend my sincere gratitude to everyone who has been helping me do this…you know who you are!
so what’s been happening? I am delighted to have been selected to participate in the first DIVA Literary Festival taking place in Birmingham in November.I will be in the company of Literary royalty with fellow authors/writers such as Kiki Archer Val McDermid VG Lee and hot properties of the moment Helen Oakleigh Kate Bennett and a whole host of other amazing female writers.The event is being hosted by non other than Heather Peace…post twin births.The whole weekend promises to be a wonderful occasion and i am deeply honoured to be selected to participate so early into my career. I have applied to perform in the poetry platform at this’d years Lfest and i am waiting to find out if my application has been successful.
i have been dipping my toe into wider ponds and finding groups to join on social media.I recently joined an arts group based in scotland and i was delighted to participate in my first poetry open mic performance.This was a special victory as it was happening at a venue quite far away so i was unable to attend in person, but we were able to work together to arrange for me to perform via skype, demonstrating that more disabled performers can take part in events like this as long as the organisers are happy to think outside the box to make it money accessible.
i have begun a few new lifestyle rituals which have proved to be so useful to my working levels. I am able to write something however small every day i have increased the amount of poems i am writing a week and feel like i have found a real niche with my poetry.
i am hoping to secure a few more dates for appearances in the coming weeks and months and will let you all know as soon as i hear anything.
i feel like i have a renewed sence of energy to take things further so expect lots of news and activity online. With so many external influences affecting our sence of well being and so many political changes and unrest i leave you with this small thought, change is scary, but sometimes its so worth taking a leap of faith and go with it..to quote a line from a sweet kids moves used by the family of an adorable family who’s son is vey sick…keep swimming , the future is only just beginning.