Category Archives: christmas

2016 is here already – Don’t worry


I hope you have had a fabulous holiday time and I wish you a happy, peaceful, healthy, joyful new year!! (To those who overindulged, I hope your hangover has gone by now!)



Our Christmas decorations are coming down today:-( and the holidays seem to have passed by in the blink of an enjoyable eye – but here we are already on day 2 of 2016 with the rest of the year like a huge blank page ready to be written on.

My aims for this year, apart from – spreading joy, love, positivity and hopefully a bit of helpful wisdom while appreciating my blessings – are to build on the progress that I made last year, both in my writing career – thanks to anyone who’s bought/read any of my books – I officially LOVE YOU! and also with my OCD/PTSD/anxiety which has improved miraculously over the last couple of years. In fact, talk about Christmas miracles and I can tell you that an OCD habit (or ritual as it’s known) that I wasn’t able to shake off on several attempts just magically disappeared on Christmas morning, I simply wasn’t doing it. See, miracles do happen. THANK GOD!!!!:-)

As I couldn’t stop myself from writing completely over the Christmas holidays I have got about 9000 words of a book about the Hanoverians written. Call me crazy but if I don’t write for a couple of days (which is rare) I get what I call itchy fingers – in other words I need to write, my hands are ready to spill what’s jumping up and down creatively in my brain on to my laptop and they can’t wait!

I have also indulged in a bit of poetry – I hope you like this one, it’s a reminder to me but will work for all!


Don’t Worry

This today will soon be yesterday

Let’s make it the best we’ve ever written

For each tomorrow is a chapter away

We often forsake our now for it, bitten or smitten


Try to live in the moment, savour each one

That’s a hard lesson to learn and maintain

But your mind wants to be in the present, having fun

Smell the roses, see sunsets, feel gentle rain


It’s not easy to be in the here and now

There are many invitations to fret, false clues

Tomorrow is a mystery, a tremor or still, for now

It will explain itself soon but it isn’t motivated by the blues


Tomorrow’s blank page betrays invisible ink what if’s and when’s

Willed for answers won’t always be found in our today

Questions unanswered, we take up our mental pens

Where we normally write a far too dramatic play


For when the dreaded tomorrow morphs in to today

Our fears quite often are found to never have in truth lain

Yet for hours, our eyes off course, they’ll have led us astray

A new merry dance for us to review on memory lane


Plus, being human, we flick back to see our faults

Liberally douse our life tomes in inner critic stress

Instead try to live in the moment without thunderbolts

Read each word you write and enjoy the ink blots, they’re heaven blessed.


Have a wonderful 2016 and remember to treat yourself well and kindly – everyone should feel special!







Mrs Santa – Fun Christmas Poem


Tis the season to be jolly so here’s a fun Xmas poem…enjoy!


Mrs Claus

The keen little elf said “Err, hello.”

In a tiny voice, not an elfin bellow

“Have you seen Mr. Santa Claus?

Is he in his office behind those doors?”


Mrs. Claus smiled her kindest smile

Newbie elves were sweet, just like a new child

For she and the toy making crew knew

That her husband was turning the air blue


Not in the office, paperwork amassing

But outside in the chill enduring a gassing

The poor beardy guy was again falling prey

To back drafts caused not by his sleigh


The reindeers were enjoying giggling fits

The mayhem was courtesy of Mrs. S’s titbits

She would insist on giving the reindeer molasses curry

Before their MOT’s she’d get cooking, all of a flurry


It’s a strange coincidence Santa thought

As some fresh air and his breath he caught

That it’s always somehow a curry dinner the night

I say the next day it’s MOT’s and practice flights

Dishing up for all, Mrs. S would sweetly smile at him

And say that she’d cooked up curry on a whim

Poor Rudolph’s nose never lost its glow

After the 1924 vindaloo went down below

“Daydreaming, Mrs. S?” Her sleeve was tugged by elf, Ed

“You’d better give it five minutes,” she knowingly said

“Or it won’t only be your clothes that are green.”

Ed frowned, “Whatever, lovely lady, do you mean?”


“Well, Santa’s doing reindeer MOT’s in the snow

With last night’s dinner he’s meeting ho ho ho!”

“Surely you’ve not indulged in foul play, Mrs. Claus?”

She folded her arms, grinned through the pause


“Ask the elder elves, they’ll tell you Santa won’t let me take flight

Or steer the lovely reindeers on any Christmas night

Always it’s a no ho ho when I ask but he’ll get the hint one day I’m sure

In the meantime for his Christmas roses there’ll be spicy manure

And for us an annual work day bonus of entertainment galore!”


Have a fab rest of the day and holiday season, Joanne :-)X

Quick Plug!


I hope everyone is enjoying December, so far it’s been writing busy, fulfilling and with lovely surprises for me so that’s all good. Great start to the day, a Christmas story of mine will be used on Bedtime FM soon – thanks and Yay!

And this lovely tome went on sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle this morning too. Another Yay and a Thank God! Some people have already bought it!!! It can be borrowed too – shameless plug moment!!


Here’s a little present from me to you…a senryu poem! I wrote this last Christmas time but it’s just as, if not more so, needed this year…


“Wrote to Santa Claus

Asked for wars and hate to cease

A gift of world peace.”

Have a great, safe and full of love and peace week,  Joanne

Bonus flippant Yay…I’m a Celebrity is OVER!!!! not a lover of it, as you can tell.



The Writing Itch, Reading and Farewell 2014.


I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that you can still move after being gluttons.

I still have about a ton (rough estimate ha ha) of chocolate to eat. I’ll struggle on – somehow!

Over the Christmassy days I didn’t write but by Saturday morning I needed to write, like an itch that needed to be scratched, and so I entered three competions and I wrote a poem about my 2014 which I’ve pasted in below.

I’ve been reading a lot in the last few days, a little of War and Peace, that equates to a 150+ pages so I’m progressing nicely through Part 2, some of a biography about Alice of Athlone, one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters, and a book that I haven’t read since I was at school (20 odd years ago.)

I found “The Very Bloody History Of Britain (Without The Boring Bits) The First Bit.” by John Farman by accident while browsing on Amazon and it was as funny to me yesterday as it had been then.

I recommend it if you are new(ish) to British history and want to learn in a “fun and with comic illustrations” kind of a way.

The rediscovery of a book from the past was a surprise bonus gift this Christmastime.

Tolstoy is beckoning today, War and Peace needs stamina but it’s a fabulous book.

I think the Russian influence is taking over my book purchases too, I’ve also bought a biography on Catherine the Great but I love history so no complaining here!

I hope you have a very happy and healthy 2015 and thanks for following me. It’s really appreciated. X

Speak to you next year!!

2014: Miracle Upon Miracle

At the start of this year my mental health was not what it should be

The weight of OCD and PTSD were expertly overwhelming me

But these last twelve months have shown me that miracles are real

That the hand of cards from the deck is not always a rum deal

Team Jo, as I’ve christened us, Mum, the therapist, doctor and I

Have worked solidly to strengthen me and answer the whys


But it must be acknowledged with gratitude and unrelenting zeal

That without God’s love, precious faith and His ears open to appeals

I, a mere mortal, may have let my fighting spirit gasp, stutter, die

But there’s a wondrous light peeking from my reawakening eyes

Life is returning, the illnesses are fading and to them I shan’t yield

I have walked a stony path but blessedly supported I approach healed


As the New Year bell sounds delicate buds of bountiful joy I can foresee

I reflect that in 2014 the true Jo came back and she is alive within me.


Christmas wishes



This is my last blog of the week so I just want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and may all your dreams and wishes come true.


 Christmas Wishes: Senryu. 

Wrote to Santa Claus

Asked for wars and hate to cease

A gift of world peace.



Have a fabulous time.



Reading: more eyes please!


My Kindle is stocked with great books to read over the festive season and probably well in to 2015.

Just one teeny tiny issue though…I am going to need more eyes to read them at the same time!!

penguinAs I write I am part way through

Tolstoy’s War and Peace…a must read and a test of stamina!

Two historical biographies – research for articles/books etc.

A Maeve Binchy novel, A Week In Winter – it flows beautifully.

A book on writing articles.

And Lillie Langtry’s autobiography, she was one of King Edward VII’s conquests, in case you’re wondering who she is/was.

So, the fact that I have just bought two royal history books and another book on writing means that I need about 9 pairs of eyes!

I have always been an avid reader and I’ve forever been starting books and setting them aside for a day or two to read something else. E.g fiction for three days and a couple of days non fiction to mix it up – unless I am 100% engrossed in a book then  the others can wait! The last book that I read which I couldn’t put down was Les Miserables and before that Jane Eyre.

I missed that book for weeks after I’d finished it!

The great thing about being a keen writer is that it goes hand in hand with being a dedicated reader. YAY!!

People who don’t read books are missing out on so much magic.

Anyhow, I have to go Christmas food shopping so there’s no reading time for a couple of hours yet today!

Have a great weekend and remember there’s only a few more sleeps to Santa!!



Bit excited!



As the title says I’m a bit excited!

I pitched an idea to a local publication and they are mulling that over for their website.

I was pleasantly surprised and grateful when the editor suggested that I write an article about myself and life with O.C.D./P.T.S.D. for inclusion in their print magazine in a couple of months time.

I realised as I was writing the short piece that:

1. It means a lot to be living my writing dream.

2. The mental disorders didn’t hijack my life or my goals forever and I’ve come a long way in the last year or so.

3. It’s an opportunity to write about my life as I do on my blog, reach and inform even more people which can only help to banish the misconceptions about mental issues.

I’d call it a fabulously welcome early Christmas present!

I  feel amazed when my work is accepted or gets published somewhere and I don’t ever want to lose that astonishment, it’s good for my soul!

A flash fiction piece made the grade the other day too!

I wrote this poem recently for my anthology It’s Christmas!  I hope that you enjoy it.


Tommy Turkey: Legend

Scared Thanksgiving Turkey

Farmer Jones had once had a kindly look

About his cheery self when they’d first met

But frankly, he’d blotted his copybook

When he’d mentioned their weights to the vet


This morning he’d told Tommy and his friends

That they were wonderfully plump, fat enough to go

As they had no pocket money for a day out to spend

They reasoned it was to Old Grisly Gobble & Co.


Tommy thought no chance! They’d taken a vote

Agreed to a mass exodus, they wouldn’t be Christmas dinners

Tommy had written Farmer Jones a firm farewell note

He was sure that hats would be doffed to the great turkey winners


In his turkey crown and cape Tommy had left the farm

He’d seen The Great Escape he well knew what to do

That night he started an “Eat Sprouts and do turkey’s no harm!”

Campaign with pigs in blankets on the evening news

Poor old newsreaders looked utterly bemused.



The note read:

Dear Farmer Jones,

Ho ho ho and off we go! With the ‘snips and sprouts we’ll not pout

With free flowing gravy fresh from the spout

Love (Yeah right) Tommy and  his turkey heroes! 



Happy “it’s nearly Christmas!”

Have a fab rest of the week.











I’m a big kid!



Merry Christmas!

I’m Christmassy and a teeny bit excited…but not drunk, I just like the pic!…because I’ve put together some funny Christmas poems over the last couple of days and compiled a mini anthology called It’s Christmas! (Out tomorrow 19/11/14 or possibly late today.)

From Tommy Turkey: Legend to Party Animal Pete it’s been great fun and even if no one ever buys it, borrows it or even glances at the cover on Amazon I’ve had a fab couple of Christmassy indulgent days – I even ate my first panatone of the winter to be festive!

Yes, it was DELICIOUS! I wish that I could claim that it was homemade and I am a brilliant cook but hey, I can write and my sister got the culinary skills – seems fair to me!

A few years ago she sent us her homemade mince pies all the from Canada to the UK…mince pies travel well. (and if she happens to read this she can always take the last line as a walloping great big hint ;-)X

Tomorrow I’ll be back to non season related work…might sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer to start the day…nope, I’m not a great singer, yep, you want my sister for singing ability! Athough be warned: I painted her recorder with nail varnish once because I was fed up with the screeching that her playing inspired so she can’t do EVERYTHING!

Heehee Naughty? Moi (innocent face!!) Her revenge: She started to ply the clarinet AND the guitar – or Guitaaaaaaaaaargh!

Have fun peeps

Joanne (only 36 days until Christmas…I just KNEW you’d wanna know!!)

So many subjects to write about!



My brain has been super-duper productive this last week or so which is fabulous.

However, I can only assume that it has been so busy coming up with new ideas because I told myself that I was going to work on a longer fiction piece for a while which must have sent my creative brain cells into “ha ha, that’s what you think!” mode and this week I have set aside the editing from last week, the new fiction project and the new article and I’ve written three short non fiction e-books.

I love finding out about things so researching is never a problem, even before the OCD turned up I used to get excited by learning, now that OCD has focused that even more I can get lost for hours finding out about something that until the idea popped in to my head I hadn’t really considered that I was overly interested in it.

Curious but true – my brain is a home for the most unlikely trivia, especially words and history related.

One of the books I wrote was on the meaning of colours,  colour psychology and their use in marketing.

It was great fun to do and it was inspired by a comment my therapist made which set me thinking…I had been watching a Garfield cartoon (guilty pleasure) and his orange-ness had triggered a memory that we needed to process and disarm so that it didn’t affect me anymore (PTSD.)

She said something along the lines of “orange means things in psychology, interested. Hmmm.”

That was it, curiosity heightened and here we are a book later!

Orange apparently means new beginnings, creativity and confidence among other things so I am going to thank good old Garfield for triggering the memory that set me on the path to a brighter day and a book! The marketing side of colour usage I already had a broad knowledge of anyhow thanks to my previous life in offices.

The other books were about confusion over words and animal names.

Yes, diverse!!!

Now I’m off to find out about Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (Marie Antoinette’s mum) as I ponder on which of the ideas my lovely brain has conjured up to work on next.

Have a great weekend and remember that we’re only 39 days until it’s Christmas.

If you’re Christmas shopping…Good luck, it’s busy out there!


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