Goodbye and Hello

Dear Blog

It’s been two years of highs and lows, laughter and tears, but now it’s time to call it a day. It’s not you…it’s me. I’ve changed and it’s time to move on to pastures new. The future is full of opportunity and excitement and I’m ready to be part of it all.

 I’ll be moving  my things out gradually as I organise my new place.

I know it’s a shock but there really is no other way. We had the best of times and I’ll never forget you.

So sorry

Kate

P.S My new address is http://kate-boardman.blogspot.com/ and you’re always welcome for coffee.

Time To Shine. The 2nd Anniversary Blog Post

Two years (and three days) ago I set out on an exciting journey to create my personal writing blog. Back then my situation was easier, I had more clarity and va va voom. Little did I know that, within a few short weeks, I’d be stepping onto a personal rollercoaster that would throw me into a maelstrom of fear, pain and despair.

It is hard to look back on that time. The losses, the prejudice, the self-abuse and the crippling depression that led to my relationship breakdown but I made it. There are episodes I just have to accept and grieve over and move forward. Yet there are others where I can stand proud at my tenacity and courage. I have fought for my children, my relationship and, at one point, my life. And I won.  As a result, I’m in a calmer, happier place than ever before.

My health is fractured but not broken and I’m not the same person as I was simply because I chose to be a better one.

As for writing, I realise now that this is my final challenge. Fear is what holds me in check. I fear success, even in small measure. If I do it right then I have to do it right over and over again. That’s a massive undertaking. But so is life and haven’t I already climbed higher mountains?

It’s time to shine.

The Winner Takes It All……….

Mid July finds me still locked in a writing slump and, while my newly erected Argos shelves strain under the weight of my eclectic library, I have yet to make it to the end of a single book.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Some rather important competition wins recently have given me the slightly surreal feeling that fate (or whatever you wish to call it) is handing me a wake up call.

First up is the Indie Author Guide by April L Hamilton which is described as a ‘roadmap to success’  and offering

 ‘an exclusive insight to the latest technology and step by step instructions for making the most of it’

Sounds very impressive, especially to a complete novice like myself.  Check out this link. http://aprillhamilton.com/iaguides.html

The next prize came for Tony Eldridge in the form of a e-book Conducting Effective Twitter Contests which, presumably is a good way to promote your books by basically giving a few away. I suspect though that there is more to it than that as  Tony is himself a published author. I could write more but I feel a link to his site would do more justice. Feast your eyes on this. http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/

My next prize came from Roger Parker over at the impressive http://www.publishedandprofitable.com/ 

It’s (wordy) title #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-sized Ideas for Creating Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles  by all accounts, does exactly what is says on the tin.

Three months free subscription to BookBuzzr was the next gift.  BookBuzzr technologies can be used to engage with Facebook fans, create buzz on Twitter and generate interest through contests and giveaways. With over 7000 subscribed authors to date,  BookBuzzr is a powerful tool for writers. Find them here http://www.bookbuzzr.com/

My final win is a Blackberry Bold iPhone from a random Twitter competition. It wasn’t apparent to me at first that this would be useful as a marketing tool as well, but I have been assured by my more technology minded friends that it will be a useful ‘bit of kit’. So it’s goodbye to my Nokia Pay-as-you-g0 (£10 from Tesco) and hello 21st Century gadgets and gismos.

Now with this kind of arsenal at my disposal how can I not succeed?

By not actually writing anything….that’s how.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee (and brioche).

 

The Safe Haven

It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog but, in a way, that’s been a good thing. As my condition worsened so my fragile grip on sanity. It’s been a long and painful journey and it’s not over yet.

I’ve re-read this blog from start to finish and have decided on a fresh approach. I have published a new blog where I can pour out my feelings of despair and hope regarding my ‘evil skin’ and the maelstrom of erratic thought processes that it fuels. This leaves my main blog free to be used for it’s intended purpose. To write and to promote my little talent to the world.

So, from now on, I will spare you from the onslaught of negativity that has crept into my world and make this space my personal haven. I come here to be Kate Boardman the writer/poet and the demons are barred from this place.

Welcome. :-)

Treatment Diary Week 2: On Fire

WARNING: Contains pictures some readers may find distressing.

I’ve been unable to make any more appointments since my last post due to an unexpected setback. Last year I broke two ribs on a fun fair ride and was dismayed to discover that the medical massage I received at my first treatment had opened these back up. I queried with my doctor as to how this could happen but he merely shrugged his shoulders and said that ‘ribs are funny things’. Not funny when you’ve got them though.

Now I discover that my skin is, once again, infected. Whether that is down to my rib injury or just plain bad luck I’m unsure but it means that I am back to being housebound and pumped with antibiotics. As of yet no one has suggested anything to alleviate my mental distress. I am tempted to ‘self-medicate’ but am aware that alcohol will merely exacerbate the problem.

My home disintegrates around me and I am forced to rely heavily on my sons father to fulfill Alex’s needs. I’m utilising the internet, have credit on my phone and I’m becoming quite adept at asking for help and saying no when asked if I can attend appointments. I refuse to give in but sometimes, usually at four in the morning when the pain hits its peak, I waver and begin to wonder if it’s worth carrying on with this miserable existence.

I have decided to post pictures of my condition just so that people will get a better idea of what I’m up against. As you can imagine, they are not pleasant. Please be warned and If you choose not to I totally understand.

Kate

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Treatment Diary: (Week 1) So It Begins….

I was up early on Monday morning. My mission was to book treatment for my psoriasis at the Chinese Medical Centre. After an initial consultation with the doctor I was taken into a quiet room where he inserted fine needles into my arms and legs. There was no pain just a slight tingling sensation that was not unpleasant. Then I lay there for approximately forty-five minutes and just let myself drift. It ‘s a lovely experience to be able to switch off the constant chatter in one’s head and I took full advantage of the opportunity.

Having spent a year hovering between intense pain and the fear of inevitable flares, my mental health can only be described as fragile. My thoughts, from waking until sleeping, are constantly focused on my illness. It affects everything from relationships,  social life,  ability to parent even right down to basics such as personal hygiene. I admit that at some points I have over indulged in alcohol (a common problem amongst people who suffer chronic illness) and , at my worst point, considered suicide.

However, Monday brought a sense of purpose and a promise of hope.

When the acupuncture was over I received a medical massage. I lay there and was basically pummelled,  pushed and chopped. The Doctor was determined that no knot would go unpunished. It was quite painful at first but what did I expect when my body had been subjected to a year of pain, stress and tension. Every muscle in my neck, shoulders and back was  as hard as rock but the benefit was immediate. I swear I walked out of there a couple of inches taller and a few pounds lighter.

We discussed my course of treatment and it became clear that the problem needed to be treated from the inside. I was advised to avoid alcohol (not a surprise) and also fish and seafood (which was a surprise). I was given an herbal infusion to drink twice a day and a pot of cream to strengthen the affected skin. The main treatment however was to be the acupuncture and medical massage once a week for ten weeks to detox and restore body balance. Unsurprisingly my immune system is low. My first brush with psoriasis came six years ago during my marriage break up. The condition was treated at the Chinese Medical Centre and I was clear within a month. It’s reappearance (I believe) was triggered by two miscarriages in the space of nine months. During one of these miscarriages I almost bled to death,requiring emergency surgery, morphine and a blood transfusion. Little wonder that my immune system is compromised.

In conclusion, this is not going to be a ‘quick fix’ solution and I don’t expect to be totally pain-free for a while yet. However, I am already feeling the benefit. My outlook is increasingly positive, I am handling the pain better and I look forward to my weekly sessions. I now have a sense of purpose and feel more in control of my life. Some may argue that this is a placebo effect and I don’t doubt that the power of positive thinking can have as much effect on a person’s health as conventional or traditional medicine can. What I will say though is that I find myself in a better place than I have been for a long time and, placebo or not, it feels great.

Weekly updates to follow.

Kate

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Frantic February, Political Activism and Muffins

As February speeds to its ultimate conclusion I thought it time to reflect on my achievements thus far. The highlight has to be winning the Hallmark #TMantic competition mainly through the sterling efforts of friends and followers who voted for me during a nerve-wracking, rollercoaster week.  Too many people to thank individually but you know who you are.

I also have an entry in a Haiku competition and await the results of a couple of others. February also saw me indulging in a little political activism spurred on by my horror at proposed cuts in Children’s Cardiac Units, respite centres and the potentially dangerous DLA reforms. Sometimes even a career procrastinater like myself can be jolted into action.

I’ve revamped my blog, hosted a guest post, sent out the call offering product reviews and have identified my first subject for my #hometourist season (due out in March). 

On a social level I have hosted a  birthday party for a friend and also a mini reunion with some ex university pals. I even managed to attend a hilarious writers tweetup where the main topic of conversation was muffins. Make of that what you will.  ;-)

So why do I still feel as though I don’t ‘do’ enough?

I’m guilty of making unfair comparisons between myself and my peers. I read a plethora of excellent stories, poetry and blog posts churned out, seemingly effortlessly, by writers whom I look up to and aspire to be. It is, dare I say, envy and my inner ‘sensible’ self realises that I may have slightly lost the plot (little writer pun there).

No one should ‘aspire’ to be anyone but themselves. Allow yourself to be ‘inspired’ by others but remember that everyone sings their own song, follows their own path and dreams their own dreams. What a terrible world this would be if we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.

I’m reminded of the scene in Life Of  Brian where the crowd repeats the mantra ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ and that sole voice at the back pipes up ‘I’m not’.

Vive la difference

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