Category Archives: knowledge base

New history blog coming 1st April 2017

Hi, hello and long time no speak…been lost in freelancing world, which was rather lovely;-)

Just to let you know that there’s a new blog on here from 1st April- My new history blog historynomystery.wordpress.com (You’ll find it on Amazon too.) is going live on 1st April 2017.

Fun, educational, informative and captivating history facts…Go on, take a peek and join me in my love of history.

Find out what happened on particular days in history. See you there…fingers crossed!!

 

Jo

 

And it wouldn’t be this blog if I didn’t do this:

Celebrate!

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I was reminded this morning of how I used to be, people who know you “from before” a brain blip tend to send your mind right back, to “another” you.

I recalled how reluctant I was to say that I was ill, how I backpeddled from treatment, how I refused medication for my OCD/PTSD for around six months and how when it all looks gloomy the thought of defining the sadness with big medical terms is enough to depress you – when you’re already depressed!

Here’s a news flash for anyone who feels like this at the moment:

I only started to heal when I got treatment, accepted the diagnosis, cried my eyes out (I put them back in) and then took meds – only 60mg in my case – but my long suffering therapist thought she’d have trouble even getting me to take 5mg of anything!

Therapy does make you better, I know it’s a long road and sometimes it seems neverending, but enjoy the moments in which you claim YOU back and can review the past with a knowledgable smile and gratitude that thanks to experts and rebalancing a chemical imbalance your life is yours.

Sure, it will be different, you will be stronger – no one goes through a mental health crisis without learning who they truly are – but that, in its own way is empowering. Cool, huh?!

Don’t let the bad guys steal your life, get help and the future opens up like a rose bud.

If anyone is down today I recommend this: Thanks Jo:-)

 

 

Brain drain

Hi

It’s been a while, time flies! I hope you missed me…what? you didn’t notice I’d been away…Charming!!

thJ7EILSRXAnyhow, I’ve been a busy bod freelance writing a lot of diet, fitness, superfood, exercise blogs and lifestyle articles…it’s amazing how you think you know a subject fairly well but there’s always more to learn! I’ve switched white bread for wholemeal and increased almond eating…apparently they are very good for you. I live, I learn.

It’s lovely when you get good feedback too, thank you to anyone who gives me a fab review, I appreciate the compliment and I know that you don’t have to comment. It’s great for the soul though.

What’s not good is that I’ve been naughty…slapped wrists time…I worked without taking a day off for almost two weeks and guess what? My brain and body kicked my butt! As much as I love a searing headache, feeling overtired and wrung out like an old dish cloth (NOT) I have to remember that my OCD, anxiety brain needs a rest or I’m playing double jeopardy with my recovery which thankfully has been very good these last few weeks. I’m fine now and lesson learned – the hard way. Hmmm.

I’ve also been working on a new book for my series Royal Rifts, this one is on Mary Queen of Scots and her marriages. Stormy! It will be out in the spring. Publication date to follow.

Well, that’s me, and my brain and writing life for the last few weeks so take care and remember to rest your brain cells. They’ll be glad you did!

 

Joanne

Reach out, make it a goal.

Hi

It’s Monday, fancy a superduper fabulously brilliant pep talk/great idea?

Excellent! Have a read of this…Pretty please with a cherry on top!

Think serious, think goal for the week/month/year/millenium.

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I’ve just been reading an article about women who have chosen not to have children, not because they are horrible people with no compassion but they just don’t feel maternal and so feel it would be worse for them to bring a child in to the world that they don’t really really want than to conform with the status quo and procreate. One of the women pointed out something that I instantly related back to mental health although the two matters are entirely different. Bear with me, it’ll make sense.

She commented that a girl could get pregnant legally at 16 but not having children was not the traditional expectation, NOT having a child was somehow unacceptable and deeply frowned upon.

In the world of health and illness I would say that there are things which are considered more acceptable and others less so. Imagine “I’ve got diabetes” versus “I’ve got depression.”

Chances are that diabetes will get a sympathetic smile, a question like, “do you take insulin?” or “how does it affect your diet?” and the chemical defect in the body will be “acceptable.”

Now, let’s look at “I’ve got depression.”

Possible comments are “Buck up/Perk up/Snap out of it.” “What’ve you got to be depressed about?” “Oh yeah, I was ****ed of last Tuesday.” or “Are you on happy pills?” All accompanied by a wary or dismissive look or gesture.

Loud and clear a message is sent back to the unfortunate sufferer: “Depression = Not acceptable.”

Hmm, that’s not fair.

It took me far too long to accept that depression is also a chemical imbalance, there is no real difference between the two illnesses if you take them back to the words chemical imbalance. Insulin is seen as necessary medication to live a normal and rewarding life, anti depressants are given a derisive name “happy pills.”

So a person with depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD etc. is classed as what? Weak? Lacking? hey, that’s YOUR BAD not the sufferer’s. They can quite easily feel weak, swamped, like they are deficient, alone and fighting themselves and the world’s stigma so they really don’t need any additional unhelpful comments.

BTW: Yes, sufferers know that you think you’ll say something wrong and we’ll burst in to tears so you subtly avoid them/the subject but please be brave, you don’t have to hold a psychology degree to help…how’s about these comments plus a smidgen of your precious time instead:

“Do you need to talk?”

“Can I help?”

“I’m here for you.”

“Remember, it’s an illness nothing to feel bad about.”

“You are 100% NOT WEAK. It’s a chemical thing.”

“Don’t be ashamed, the medication will make you feel more like you.” 

As a sufferer even knowing that you aren’t alone can feel like a miracle when your brain seems to be working against you.

So, if there is someone around you who is suffering from a mental illness they may just need to know that you’re on their team not chief judge, jury and executioner of any of their remaining self esteem. Reach out, a small gesture moves mountains. 

Alone is a lonely place, everyone knows that! Give someone a hug, give their brain a friendly smile and not an unfortunate comment.

We all know that stigma can be overcome, please be a someone who does that rather than a someone who helps to build the crappy stigma pile up to the sky.

THANK YOU!

Have a fab week.

Joanne

Work, rest, play

Hiya

Happy weekend! penguin

I’ve been a busy bee again this week (love it! Thank you God!!) so I’ve been tuned out of the world and tuned in to freelance work. A biproduct is that my trivia loving brain gets to learn lots of trivia that I didn’t know that I needed or wanted to ever know. I am going to be a “not quite expert” on lots of diverse subjects one day soon:-)

I’ve also been working on a new royal history quiz book. The ones I brought out last year went well so, as I haven’t done one this year yet, I’m doing one now in between the freelancing. It’ll make a fab Christmas present me thinks.

Yesterday my brain/body decided that it wanted to rest, it sent me back to sleep for an indecently long lie in – 10a.m. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, just like I was “stuck” to my lovely warm cozy comfy duvet.

So, having written an article and now this blog, I’m off to work on some more quiz book questions before I officially switch mode to quiet chillax – Order me chicken jalfrezi, fab movies, a great book, yep, that’ll be me today just after 4pm.  Ahhh bliss!

Have a fab weekend.

Joanne

 

 

 

 

 

Made it to the weekend;-)

Hi peeps

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Enjoy your weekend and remember to relax, your brain works hard and it needs a break…give it a treat, make it smile.

I am forcing myself “Little Miss Workalot,” to take the rest of the weekend off, no popping on to the laptop for a “quick” write or plotting for the children’s book I’ll be working on next week, my brain is telling me it wants a short time out from work. In fact, I think it’ll probably ask for a lie in tomorrow morning!

The rugby world cup started last night so the TV and news is full of that and the Davis Cup tie of GB vs Australia is also happening as well as a gazillion football matches so if you’re a sporty bod you’ll be blissfully happy in Blighty…I’m not that sporty, don’t get me wrong, I respect the talent and appreciate the dedication of all concerned but I’d rather read a good book. (Or write one!)

Or should that be read two? Yet again, I am reading more than one at a time…a chapter of a history book followed by a chapter of a novel in rotation. That is unless a really page turning, “I can’t put this down unless you chop my hands off” good bit compels me to keep reading. Ahhh happy days! This is an embarrassment of riches I love.girl-308360_640

I’ve finished editing my book due for release 1st October and have done some freelance work this week and learned stuff while researching that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know that I would ever want to know.

Oh yes, and to the client who asked me to write an article about football betting strategies I had to respond that “a newborn baby has a better concept”of all that…see, told you I wasn’t sporty (and I have the coordination of a cross eyed bat. No, really!) I hope that he found someone that knew what the heck they’d be talking about.

Take care

Joanne

 

Daylight!

Hiyapenguin

I been so busy in the last week working on various writing projects that today was going to be a day off BUT I woke up wanting to write something so, here I am. This might give me my writing fix so that I can relax for the rest of the day! Or, knowing me, I’ll keep writing!

Apparently there was daylight during my week in writing hibernation, I think I saw the sun once or twice but I’ve been absorbed in writing and editing a childrens book, doing a couple of freelance jobs and researching for my new history book.

The childrens book, The Amazing Treasure Hunt, is sitting with a publisher now so fingers and toes crossed that all is well…I might cross my eyes as well – Feel free to join in!!

The history book is part written and I’ve been building up the data so that I can write like a ninja from tomorrow onwards!

Meanwhile, I think I’ve sourced an artist for my “coming soon” children’s story website and I’m waiting on news for another couple of freelance jobs.

I’m so grateful and I guess relieved too when the client says that they like what I’ve produced, it really energises me to tap away on my laptop and let my imagination run wild.

Have a fab day,

 

Joanne

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Happy Saturday!

Hi

I hope you’re having a great weekend.

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I’ve had a great week doing freelance writing work, proofreading and indexing for a few clients. I’ve blogged about technology, written an article on Britain in 2015 and worked on tightening a children’s history book.

Variety is the spice of life…love it, love it, love it!

Alongside this I’ve been structuring and researching for my next royal book so my brain is currently lying in a hammock having a rest…no really!

A fantastic stress relieving tecnique which relates back to what I was told to do by my therapist a couple of years ago…to have fun ON PURPOSE… for example, yesterday I went on to Youtube and played the following fine examples of culture:

The Muppet Show theme

Manaham Na Na Na Na Na

And Beaker doing Ode to Joy!

We’ll I’d been concentrating for hours and every brain cell needed a rest, I think everyone should have their own designated five minute ha ha break in a work day.

It’s fab for your health!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for reading this.

 

Joanne

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Freelance Work

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Besides writing my own book I have been lucky enough to get some freelance work this week too…YAY!

One job was to write some information about pets and another was proofreading and editing pieces related to child development. I loved the variety, hopping from subject to subject keeps all the writing fresh.

I was concerned that by leaving my history book I’d lose the thread a little but actually, it reignited the energy because I came back to it fresh after a few days. I hadn’t even realised that I would benefit from time away from that project. Fab huh?

Hopefully those freelance jobs were the first couple of many, fingers crossed.

Incidentally, the switcharounds triggered the OCDing part of my brain, about facing new things, would the work be good enough for the client? insecurities, can you manage the workload? worries etc. but the worry was thankfully all in my head! – the clients gave me great reviews (thank you!) and I didn’t spontaneously combust.

So, if you’re a writer I’ve learned that you can benefit from taking a break from your beloved project… and if you’re a freelancer pleeeeeeease don’t go for the same jobs as me!!! I need to keep my supply of chocs and sweets up, you know how it is!!!

Have a fab weekend.

Joannefrog-296971_640

 

 

Time travel

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Hi

I’ve just left Regency England after a day editing my book (The Royal Race Of 1818) so my mind is more Jane Austen than J.K. Rowling at the moment.

I am loving the history, the learning and writing to editing process, it’s like taking a loosely moulded bob of clay and crafting it with care in to a refined piece that people might just fingers crossed want to spend time with.

Actually, it’s just as well it isn’t clay I am totally rubbish at art – words yes, artistic doodlings and makings uh-oh no no. I admire the people who can.

I’ve been working indoors and it’s so warm and the sun is shining I have been hankering to get outside, you know, to do creativity al fresco but I know me – I’d get out there, think ooh it’s a bit breezy, too hot, the sun’s in my eyes or shhhh pesky kids playing down the road and the distractions would make me want to be inside in peace and solitude. Gotta love being human! So I’ve stayed in to save on movement effort.

Fab news: Banished some old items that reminded me of the era that triggered the OCD and post traumatic stress on Saturday, the refuse/garbage bods will take them away forever tomorrow…seeing them made me really sad but it was cathartic…more of the pain is out of my system. YAY.

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Note to self: I must remember to hydrate…I get engrossed in work and forget that being parched is not a good thing. Thirsssstyyyyyy.

Another note to self: I deserve a cheeky takeaway tonight, I’ve decided.

 

Have a fab week,

Joanne