Tag Archive | Holidays

Easy Life?

Who said life was easy?

My mother died when I was a teenager. Many years have passed but I’m still learning about her, not from family or friends. When she married my father she distanced herself from the only friend she had and there is no family.

My mother is still a mystery to me. I discovered many things about her after her death, through letters and legal documents. Photos revealed a woman who was a far cry from the old-fashioned, prim and proper mother I knew.

Writing has helped me sort out my feelings and offered perspective. Friends never understand how I’ve forgiven her for the miserable childhood  I had.

As a mother I’ve struggled to understand the hows and the whys. I also missed the special bond most mothers and daughters have when a grandchild is born. Knowing this would not have happened didn’t lessen the void. Seeing friends with their mothers sometimes hurt.

Life is a long path of recognition and learning. Not so long ago, it finally dawned on me that more than having just grown up in difficult circumstances, my mother was suffering from a mental illness.

It all came clear to me that morning. Why did I never even suspect it? I was raised not to question things, but I did. I kept it all to myself. But my mother, well, I was so afraid of her. She was so strong, indomitable.

All the crazy spells, smiling and screaming the next minute, throwing a basin full of water at me in public, trashing my room in the middle of night while raving.

Still, I didn’t click. Because for years I lived with guilt, like many children who have suffered abuse, I thought it all my fault. I was conditioned to believe everything that happened was somehow my fault. It’s not easy shaking those labels.

Her son from a previous marriage is schizophrenic. I wasn’t told this until after she had died. It was not something my mother wanted known, another secret under the carpet. I didn’t even find out he was my half-brother until I was 12. He terrorized me through my childhood. I remember my mother taking him to this centre, it was only years later that I learned what this centre was.

So here I am, all these years later, proud mummy to my gorgeous children. Who said life was easy? But one thing is for sure, you learn something every day, and with love you cannot go wrong.

Author to Author with Scarlett Bailey

So pleased to have Scarlett on my blog today, makes me feel all Christmassy. Mince pies anyone?

 

 

 

  • What inspires you the most when writing

It seems to be that ninety percent of writing seems to be like walking uphill in diving boots, but then suddenly without you even noticing it, you a skiing down a mountainside at top speed, because you are right there, in the middle of a scene, and everything is flying. It is a most exhilarating feeling, and it’s the promise of finding that fleeting moment whilst writing, that makes me want to keep doing it.

  • Plotter or pantser?

I’m a plotter, I’m a very exhaustive plotter, because I’m worried about losing my way or faffing or waffling too much, but the most interesting plot twist in The Night Before Christmas was not in my very extensive 20 page plot, it came out of the blue – so it just goes to show, you can’t plan for everything!’

  • What would you like people to remember most about you?

My recipe for Boy Scout’s Baked Beans which can be found in the back of The Night Before Christmas….(Only joking) I don’t know. For being rather nice, I hope. And not always eating all of the After Eights in one go without sharing. Not always.

  • Do you ever get fed up with your own stories?

Not so far. Writing The Night Before Christmas was an enormous amount of fun, but then writing about Christmas and kissing and snow and kissing wasn’t ever going to be too emotionally draining…

  •  I often write amidst chaos. What about you? Absolute peace or hustle and bustle?  

Utter, utter chaos, lots of bits of paper I need to file (bleugh) and things that have to be tidied up (double bleugh) and empty cups of coffee that should be washed up (you know what I think about that, BLEUGH). It all works fine until I have to find something….

Scarlett also has a little treat in store for you. Be good now and you get to read a chapter of Santa, Maybe ( Scarlett’s Advent Calendar short story )

Find one behind the door every day: http://adventcalendr.com/scarlettbailey/

 

You can also find Scarlett here:

@ScarlettBailey on Twitter

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scarlett-Bailey/114529108652745

Watch the book trailer here:

watch?v=aAlTnauvFek

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Blast the little buggers

A Healthy New Year to you

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We did, excuse me while I cough, we mad the most of it.

It wasn’t the end of the world. We had the flu a week before Christmas so I nursed my children as best as I could. Needless to say, we didn’t do the whole Christmas dinner thing. None of us felt like eating. My daughter, she’s the healthy one, had already recovered by then and enjoyed sausages and chips.

Still Mother and Father Christmas managed to wrap all the presents. We sat by the fire, had a coughing competition. I won. It doesn’t matter, we were all together and we had what we needed, warmth and love. We watched an amazing number of films. Our Disney culture is up to speed.

The mad writer never stopped writing. I’ve been very creative the last few months, more books to follow…

I’m now taking antibiotics for sinusitis and tracheo-bronchitis to blast the last of these little buggers. I don’t make New Year resolutions. My wish is to stop having coughing fits, especially the night ones which keep me awake. Sleep please!

It could be a busy year, with all this writing. Plenty more where that came from. Another busy year then.

Happy and healthy New Year. What do you wish for?

Auld lang syne!

Happy New Year!

I’m afraid I’ve not been around much lately. I haven’t been well and have concentrated on writing and family. It’s funny how no matter how ill I become, I’m still able to churn out the words. In fact I’ve never been so productive. Yes, I have finished another novel and have already started on a new one.

I spare a thought for all the people who are not so  lucky, who might not have a family to turn to or who might not have a roof over their heads. Holidays time can be a painful reminder of the loved ones we have lost or the bad turns life throws at us. We have to keep going however difficult it might seem. There will come a time when we will find ourselves happy and cheerful again, when we’re able to turn the page.

All the best for a happy and healthy new year.


Why I love Thanksgiving

Ok, so I’m not American and I don’t even live in America, so what do I know?

A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend some time in California. I was still very young and it as at a time when I was still vulnerable, trying to overcome a difficult period in my life.

I was made very welcome in America and it was not just because of the “cute British accent.” It took me a while to shed some of the layers I had wrapped around me. I made fabulous friendships there, ones I still treasure today. I met people who cared enough to take down my barriers. Away from all the trauma I had encountered, I felt free for the first time in my life, free to be me.

When Thanksgiving came round the corner, I received many invitations. I spent it with my boyfriend’s family and it was a wonderful experience. I saw and experienced people coming together, happy to be reunited, neighbours, friends and family were all truly welcome .

I hear all the cynics saying how they dread spending time over the holidays. I’ve been there, if you had known my family, you would know those were not happy times. That first Thanksgiving however made me realise that it doesn’t have to be like that, that there are people who care and love each other unconditionally.

These days I have my own family, for which I am truly thankful, I have my own two little miracles and I survived against all odds. One of these very special who I shared my first Thanksgiving with will be with us tomorrow. We all have  stereotypes imprinted in us, I try to ignore these as much as I can. There is good and bad everywhere, perfection doesn’t exist but we can all do our best to make our world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving!