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Brain drain


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!




Finished – Bring on the treats!


So, the book is fully edited ahead of the deadline and the Amazon bods have done their work…it’ll go on sale on 31st March. People are still pre-ordering which is pretty awesome! Grateful.


Only when I finished my book did I give myself a treat and rest the brain day, it started with a lie in and I got my hair cut, the job that I’ve been putting off for a couple of weeks because it’s been all about the book…it felt sooooooooooo much better, tidy, textured…I could have kissed the stylist but THAT would have been just a tiny bit wierd🙂

Instead I bought myself rewards.

Apart from my book I have been killing off more OCD rituals and analysing the why’s for the what’s that I do – that works on a “face the fear = reward” basis. Like loyalty points in stores.

So, as spring is sauntering in to being I bought a few new tops, one is white with the butterly designs in relief so for want of a much better desciption it is a butterfly doily top!

One of the others has the words “C’est la belle vie” printed over the flowery design.

You know what? I realised on the way home that when I was very depressed the only way that I’d have bought a top with a message like that on it was if I felt like being sour and sarcastic. Now? I can say it and wear it, honestly and with pride which gets a big fat YIPPPEEEEEE from me.

After a day of indulgent treats I enjoyed a takeaway, sloped off to bed and woke up to see the solar eclipse this morning. Cool. An eclipse always reminds me how tiny we are in the universe. If the sun didn’t show up or the moon decided to park itself in front of the sun that would make us has-been life forms in an instant. Ooooooheeeerrrrrrr.

After the eclipse we’ve had a bright sunny life affirming kind of a day.

Have a great weekend and remember to treat yourself for your achievements.

Now, what to work on next…I’m thinking, I’m thinking…




An Organisation Helping Support #Writers and #Authors: Please Pass On

I love this!

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!!)

A, B, C – Anxiety Borrows Creativity


At the end of last week I looked at what I wanted to work on before the end of the month including competitions that close on 30th June and publications that are closing for submissions over the summer.

As I tried to work out how I could achieve my gargantuan tasks confidently and competently my OCD and anxiety voice started to murmur that it all had to be done, every opportunity had to be taken or I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

And the strangest thing happened, although it’s perfectly logical too.

My creativity, inspiration and flow lessened as the business end and my unrealistic expectations of myself, the should do’s and the must do’s, drained the writer me of fluidity and entertaining writing.

I couldn’t find strong ideas and I wondered about the standard of work that I was producing, the twists for the plots lacked something…the sparkle just wasn’t there.

However, I am proud and delighted to say that my creativity came back before Monday dawned – when I took the pressure off myself, realised that I, as my own boss, can pick what I work on rationally not because the calendar says that in X amount of days the month is ending but because the inspiration, the nugget of a plot is there to be nurtured.

Interestingly, I haven’t done one of the pieces of work that I had deemed essential last week.

I’ve been working on something strong, non fiction, that a week ago hadn’t even been a whisper in my mind and it’s going well, thankfully.

I am sure that if I want to enter any competitions in the coming months then the work will be completed and of a better standard than if I tried rushing something through for June.

The world isn’t going to end whatever I submit to wherever, whenever!


Anxiety up = frustration until I remember that I enjoy and love writing for writing’s sake. Yes, whilst I need to make a living that should not at my wellbeing’s or my writing’s expense.

I’ve been taking care of my Mum this week too as she’s been ill so in a “God works in mysterious ways” manner events refocused my priorities and perspective as soon as she needed me to help out.

Competitions and deadlines come and go, but helping someone through a tough time and keeping my brain happy and healthy are always going to be more important.

As my therapist reminded me, in January 2014 starting this career still seemed like a far off dream but now I’m living it.

The moment should be savoured. I’m taking time to smell the roses. 

I guess the future will turn up when it’s ready.

Have a great day.