Writer Susan McCartney is becoming something of a local celebrity with her feisty poetry performances. And here she is with copies of her books containing her poetry and stories – many of them written in the Creative Writing course at Kinsley and Fitzwilliam.
Can you believe that before attending the course she had never written any poetry at all!
Getting published is every writer’s dream. It’s what keeps us creating stories and poems and what keeps us going creatively, even when we feel nobody may ever read what we’ve written.
Used to be that agents and publishers were the gatekeepers but that’s not the case these days because the digital age has made it an achievable dream for many. Of course, that’s not to say it’s easy to become an indie author – there are so many options that it can be daunting and confusing. Where do you start?
The creative writing group at Kinsley were lucky to have help at hand in the person of indie author and local entrepreneur, Roy Lacy. His book, de Lacy Chronicles, has just been published on Amazon priced at a very reasonable £6.99. It’s a fascinating look at history through the eyes of the de Lacy family.
Roy took us through the whole process of publishing on Createspace from writing through to editing, proofreading, selecting a title, creating a cover and then marketing the book.
As he said himself, there is nothing better than holding your own book in your hands, unless it’s seeing somebody reading it.
Did you like school? Hate it? Endure it? Maybe you loved it or you couldn’t wait to leave. School is a nerve-wracking and embarrassing place for many but if you suffer from dyslexia, it can be so much worse.
In an emotionally charged piece this writer really captures the feelings of a child struggling to cope with reading difficulties and how those experiences impacted on her for the rest of her life.
The doors of the school swallowed up my tiny body. I froze as if I was going into a trap. So many times people have tried to trap me with words and puzzles, so many words. I would sit quietly and hope nobody notices me. Please don’t notice me. My mother walked beside me and I try to hide behind her full flowing skirt but don’t feel comforted. She will tell them to make me study, she is against me too. Why don’t they understand how hard it is for me?
As I enter the room there are numbers and words, letter and faces. The faces that will end up judging me in the end, laugh and jeer at me later as I twist my words. How can I stop it from happening? I wish I were somewhere else and not in this huge room that scares me so.
Years go by, I walk down the daunting hall of Junior High. There have been no answers as to why I am who I am. I just sit and cry. Most of the kids that I grew up with are here. Years of jeers and laughter weighing down on me. I sit in the back of the room and hope no one notices that I’m there.
It was the day I had to stand in front of the class and speak: My history presentation. It was the day and my name was called. I walked through the aisles to the front of the class. I try to make myself small. Insignificant. I want to get past this quickly. My face rises red through body heat. My project chart shakes in my hands.
I am an academic, social and emotional failure. In my inability to hold a conversation I twist my words and phrases to the point of mutilation. I look away from all of them, make eye contact, that is what they tell us to do, but I can’t. Trying harder will not help. I get frustrated and aggressive and anti-social behaviour results from these tensions. But I can’t blame myself. Don’t hate myself. Don’t fight myself. Don’t strike out.
I drop my chart and begin to shake again. I look at the door and feel trapped. Can I make it to the door without anyone stopping me? Another girl shakes her head and asks the teacher if we can get on with it.
I want to take control and tell people. I want to communicate. If only they can be patient with me. I have something to say. It’s not my fault. The words jump off the page. It’s not my fault. My hand moves around the paper. Searching for the words. The words change on you and go blury. It’s just not my fault.
And to that one teacher that passed back my history grade and told me in front of the class, marry well in response to my grade for the presentation. I say, it didn’t kill me and it did make me stronger.
Move over Bridget Jones. The new girl is on the blog. This is Caroline Davenport’s piece, inspired by Blue Monday.
Friday, December 30th 20:55
Well, 2016 is almost over thankfully, it’s been hell.
Been looking at the photo in my end of year review on Facebook, what happened to me.
Gained some weight, well okay a lot of weight. Never seem to feel well. Oh and lost my boyfriend.
Saturday December 31st 09:44
That’s it woke up feeling rough, going to have to do something about this. New Year tomorrow, so New Me.
That’s it from now on my mantra will be “New Year, New Me” #NewYearNewMe
Saturday, December 31st 12:34
My friend shared this on her Facebook, it’s amazing, I’m starting right away, well actually I’ll start tomorrow as I am at a party tonight so I can’t give up alcohol, can I?
I’ve printed it and stuck it on the fridge to remind me. #NewYearNewMe
Saturday December 31st 23:09
Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me and Dave are back together.
Sunday, January 1st 07:35
Had set the alarm for a run, but it’s too early and I feel a bit yuck. Coffee that’s what I need.
Read this great article about losing weight in the bath.
Sunday, January 1st 12:00
Well, the weather was rubbish today, and I realised I didn’t have any running shoes or clothes. So walking to the shops to see what I can get in the sales.
Have spent the morning looking at apps that will help me.
Sunday, January 1st 14:00
Wow, town was a longer walk that I thought, went to get a drink and cake. Now sat here with water and an apple. #NewYearNewMe
Sunday, January 1st 17:00
Knackered, I had no idea how unfit I was, had to get a taxi home as I had so much stuff.
I got new running stuff, and stuff for yoga. Also, a blender so I can make smoothies and my own soups. But best of all I got a Fitbit.
Sunday, January 1st 18:30
New trainers and running gear on, new Couch to 5K app ready. Wish me luck.
Sunday, January 1st 20:55
God, I can’t move, but I’m sure it will get easier. My feet ache and I have a blister. Really fancy a packet of crisps. Off for a bath in my new Detox, Weight Loss Bubble Bath.
Monday, January 2nd 06:36
Early to bed early to rise, that’s what that website recommended. That and setting time when you can eat, then only eating at those times. My times are below
06:30 – 07:30 Breakfast
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
17:00 – 18:00 Dinner
Nothing outside those times and no snacks watching TV.
Monday, January 2nd 08:15
Just seen a post on Facebook about the 1000 walking challenge, got to be better than running. I’ll still build up to running, gotta sign up to a half marathon in June. But I’ll walk as well.
Monday, January 2nd 09:45
Fitbit set up, walking to Tesco to buy fruit to make smoothies. Aiming for 10000 steps a day.
Monday, January 2nd 13:33
Back from Tesco, Fitbit says I only walked 3560 steps, must be more than that. I’ll have to check its working right. I’d forgotten how heavy fruit and veg was, crisps are lighter. Got some exercise DVDs as well.
Anyway missed lunch so just had a smoothie, raspberry, parsnip and carrot it was different but lovely.
Monday, January 2nd 17:45
Just had dinner Grilled Chicken and Hummus. No run today as it’s a rest day was going to have a walk but as it’s raining and I walked to Tesco earlier decided to stay in and watch Exercise DVD.
Monday, January 2nd 20:00
Watched DVD’s knackered and I didn’t even do the exercise, thought it best to watch first make sure I know what I am doing.
Tuesday, January 3rd 18:00
Late for work today.
Wednesday, January 4th 19:24
Didn’t last night as after walk to yoga and back I was shattered.
Going well – have lost some weight I’m sure I am must buy some scales tomorrow.
Thursday, January 5th 06:45
Up early been up most of the night, got bad stomach pains.
So been research diets, just trying to decide which one, have got it down to these.
The Grapefruit Juice Diet.
The Blood Type Diet. …
The hCG Diet. …
The Cabbage Soup Diet. …
The Baby Food Diet. …
The Magnetic Diet. …
Cotton Ball Diet. …
The Lemonade Diet.
Thursday, January 5th 10:00
Nipped out from work to buy cabbage soup, seems you can’t buy it ready made.
Thursday, January 5th 12:30
Smoothie for lunch, not the best one tasted a bit earthy must have been the carrots maybe I will peel them next time. Went to market and brought loads of cabbages and more fruit for my smoothies.
Thursday, January 5th 19:00
Realised I don’t actually know how to make soup, so brought a soup maker from Argos, being delivered tomorrow.
Saw Dave tonight he said it was about time I lost weight.
Friday, January 6th 10:00
Got my soup maker can’t wait to get home and try it.
Friday, January 6th 23:45
Up late tonight. So Starting from ground zero (01/01/2017).Very pleased to report I have done 8.3 miles in my first week despite work and the horrible weather meaning I needed a dry coat and boots every time I went out!
And… I lost 7lb too I think, obviously as I only got the scales today so working on what I was last time I was weighed at work in the summer. Next week new Fitsteps class and diet to add into the mix.
Watch this space. This girl is on a mission.
Saturday, January 7th 08:00
Up early been for a run, well more of a run and walk, the weather is really cold, may have to look in the sales for a treadmill, I’m sure I can fit it in my bedroom or the living room.
Anyway off to make my soup.
Saturday, January 7th 12:00
Soup made its great, looking forward to this. Realised today I’m almost vegetarian now, not how that happened.
Saturday, January 7th 14:30
Off to a birthday party, been trying on my going out clothes, but nothing really fits, all a bit tight. Off to town to buy a new outfit to show off my fabulous new body.
Saturday, January 7th 17:45
Can you believe I had to buy a size 18 still, very odd I reckon the manufacturers have changed the dresses sizes, I mean all this exercise and diet I must be losing weight right.
Anyway walking to party tonight, can’t wait. The dancing will be good exercise too.
Saturday, January 7th 22:40
So tired. Parties stink when you are hungry, can’t eat any of the buffet and can’t even have a drink.
Dave danced with some young blonde lass, couldn’t get his eyes off her. He said I was boring without a drink in me.
Sunday, January 8th 06:00
Up early again, not sleeping well, I think it’s because I didn’t have a nightcap. I wonder if wine counts as alcohol, after all, it’s only grapes so part of my five a day. I could add it to my smoothies; this would make them taste better as well. And if it’s to help me sleep then it’s medicinal.
Sunday, January 8th 10:00
Off to my mums for Sunday lunch, can’t wait will make a change from Cabbage soup, getting a bit sick of it, to be honest, I swear I smell of cabbage all the time. May have to try the lemonade diet; I know soda is on my list of foods I’m not eating but it’s part of the diet, I’ll just not drink cola, etc.
Sunday, January 8th 13:00
Walked to mums, my feet are killing me, got blisters, maybe I shouldn’t walk so far in high heels.
Sunday, January 8th 15:30
Dinner was basically pile of veg and meat, no potatoes, no Yorkshire pudding, no dessert and no wine.
Sunday, January 8th 20:00
Feel guilty found some biscuits in kitchen and ate one without thinking.
Sunday, January 8th 22:30
Not sure about this Lemonade diet it makes me burp all the time.
Monday, January 9th 17:00
Not been well today had really bad stomach ache, then had a massive poo that hurt. My mum said it’s because I ate lots of meat yesterday and I’m not used to it now.
Monday, January 9th 20:00
Brought some little rubber bands with magnet on they go on your big toe and stop you feeling hungry.
Missed Fitsteps tonight, so watched my fitness DVD’s again.
Tuesday, January 10th 23:00
Someone on Facebook posted walking in circles the other day, and I decided to be a hamster today and walk around and around the building at work.
14 laps around and 3.28 miles later, this gal is exhausted!!!!
Wednesday, January 11th 20:10
Given up with cabbage and lemonade diets clearly not working, and I have wind all the time. It was Sarah’s birthday today she brought cake, of course, I didn’t have any. I wonder if there is a cake diet?
Wednesday, January 11th 21:17
There isn’t a cake diet, oh god I really want cake now. Does carrot cake count as real cake?
May try the Atkins diet.
Wednesday, January 11th 21:17
Not trying the Atkins diet, just read this.
Wednesday, January 11th 21:17
Think I might detox tomorrow, I read about having days off eating.
Thursday, January 12th 13:17
I was sent home from work after I fainted, so off to bed.
Thursday, January 12th 18:55
I’m so hungry and tired, not sure this water only day is such a good idea. Don’t even have the energy to watch my exercise DVD’s. I could really do with some chocolate.
Friday, January 13th 13:00
Oh, Friday 13th. Oh dear, hope nothing goes wrong. I’ve got my lucky rabbit’s foot just in case.
Back at work, just want to cry. Weighed myself and I have gained weight. Only managed to walk 28 miles in two weeks, I’ll never get to 1000 miles at this rate.
Friday, January 13th 22:00
Been out for a meal with old friends, had a lovely piece of smoked salmon. Great night, feeling much better.
Saturday, January 14th 20:00
Great day been out for a walk, ran on the treadmill, feeling on top of the world.
Bikini Body on its way.
Sunday, January 15th 22:00
Looking forward to another week of exercise and diet, I think I’m not losing weight because of all the muscle I’m building.
Monday, January 16th 06:30
Back at work, Up early. Went for a run. Feel great. Positive thinking that’s the way forward.
They said on the radio that today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year lots of people phones in saying they were in debt, had failed their New Year’s resolutions, were overweight.
Not me Positive Mental Attitude.
Monday, January 16th 07:20
Not going well, stubbed my toe on the treadmill, ran into bathroom, got blood all over the bedroom and landing carpets. That’s not all then slipped on floor and banged my shoulder.
Monday, January 16th 09:44
Not got to work yet ended up in A&E, not because of my stubbed toe or hurt shoulder. No came out and slipped on the wet leaves, I mean wet leaves not even ice. So now sat waiting for x-ray.
Read an article about making positive changes to your life, ditching the fad diets, clearing out the old.
Monday, January 16th 16:30
Home from hospital. Now for some changes.
Monday, January 16th 20:30
Had time to think today, decided to make some changes.
Have dumped Dave he was demoralising me
Binned all the cabbage, may still make soups and smoothies occasionally though
Listed the treadmill and Exercise DVD’s on eBay
Emailed work to resign, I’m going to work for myself
Booked a walking holiday, I do actually like walking
Bought myself some decent walking boots.
Sent an email to volunteer at Dogs Trust
Feeling great and enjoying my burger and chips with a coke, with my besties, Thank you, girls, for being my friend.
#NewYearNewMe #FeelingPositive #PMA
Another poem on our theme – a piece of free verse this time and a look at what’s going on in the wider world on Blue Monday.
January 12 blues
January 16 – blue Monday.
If the the pseudo science is to be believed.
The four horsemen are descending.
A humanitarian disaster is affecting the NHS,
If some people are to be believed.
Snow storms are pending.
And the government is blamed
The railways are blamed
The airports are blamed
When people are inconvenienced.
But why are people so gloomy?
Media always put the worse possible construction
On any piece of news.
Politicians seem to think history started in 2010
When they are not behaving like ten year olds
in the House of Commons,
reported with great glee by the BBC.
“Sumer is icumen in”
As the song has it.
It mentions Cuckoos.
Which are very rarely heard
Oh dear, I’ve really got the blues now.