On The Up

The last few weeks have seen me in the grip of a downward spiral into depression, a condition that has blighted my life at various points ever since I can remember. A few days ago I hit the bottom but, as ever, I found the strength to start the slow, laborious climb back up into “normality.”

I recall a conversation I once had with a counsellor where I lamented at my ability to get back up even when I didn’t want to. My rationale was that, by giving up, I would be spared the trauma of being knocked down again. As soon as the words were out of my mouth my heart had already answered the question for itself.

I’m too damn strong to stay on the floor.



Papering over the cracks.

Woke up this morning feeling like hell and I think it is about time I faced up to the fact that I am barely coping. My social life is non-existent, I spend excessive amounts of time on line reaching out into cyberspace for company. My writing is suffering as is my health.

The future stretches before me and there are so many wonderful opportunities there for the taking. I have the ability to become a successful writer, my first grandson is due at Christmas and I have the small but significant finances available to create the environment we need.

But first I have to come to terms with Grief, that frightening, soul destroying process that I have spent months avoiding.

I miss Sam.

I miss my little boy.

And I feel so alone.

We lost him on May 21st 2009, I had carried him for 16 weeks and a routine scan revealed that he had died. What should have been a  wonderful moment descended into a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. He slipped away the following morning at home. We held him, tiny as he was, and the ensuing drama of physical pain, emergency surgery and blood transfusions left us both reeling.

Will life ever be the same again? 

loads of pics 228


Sam’s Little Garden.

Jude The Obtuse

In the spirit of the CYAW meme, Jude The Obtuse (or the lovely martcibe  to you and I) has contributed this eloquent piece.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

“Call Yourself A Writer ?” Meme

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?

My lack of self-confidence means I often qualify what I say with ‘just’. Or end it with ‘apparently.’ It’s a bad habit apparently.

2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

I really hate the word ‘dystopia’. Lots of comfortable middle-class people set out to write ‘dystopian’ novels. We’re all doomed apparently. Reviewers use it far too often as well. Dystopias are no more realistic or believable than utopias. Both generally make for bad fiction.

3. What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

I tend to dislike most of it. Better to fall in love with the process than the product. The best writing I did was the most difficult but it touched and moved the most people in ways I could never normally contemplate. That was when my sister was dying. Where it came from I don’t know. It was visceral and real and removed of any posture or dishonesty. Not really proud of it, but it was my best by far. The rest is just filler. I used just again.

4. What are your other favourite blogs ?

They’re not really writing blogs but the three I probably visit the most are ;

The F Word Blog
Wears The Trousers

5. Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

Regrets are a bit pointless but perhaps unavoidable. There is acres of journalism I could have done better. I sometimes regret the parts of myself I’ve given away online. I have self-disclosure tourettes when I’m tired. I’ve told the wrong people the wrong things at times. Which comes from having a largely trusting nature. Most of the time though, it’s write and be damned.

6. How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. It’s one of the most natural things in the world to me. It’s hard to quantify really, like asking ‘what difference has food made to your life’. Without it I feel wrong.

7. Name three favourite words


8. …And three words you’re not so keen on


9. Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration ?

I’ve always found Virginia Woolf really inspiring/interesting. It took me a while to get into her work, but when I finally did it was a revelation and I’d like to be buried with her books. She wrote so much interesting stuff and her take on gender and writing I largely share. She was a great advocate of the androgynous mind. Could be an awful snob at times but nobody’s perfect.

Writers I really enjoy are ; Thomas Hardy, Daphne Du Maurier, Patrick Gale, Orlanda Figes to name but four off the top of my head. There’s so many really.

10. What’s your writing ambition?

To keep doing it till I die. And to touch people with what I write. Simples.

11. Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about ?

Oh, go put my name in your favourite online bookstore’s search engine and see what you find. Other than that, I’d really reccomend Patrick Gale as a popular writer with an amazing grasp/understanding of human emotion and the intricacies of families and relationships.

I don’t tag, but if it feels good do it. As I might say if I was groovy/embarassing.

Posted by Martcibe at 06:39

“Call Yourself a Writer?” Meme

I was recently tagged on this meme by nickdaws.

In his post; Nick was asked and then answered a number of questions about his own writing. He then tagged several other writers, including myself, to answer the questions as well. So, without further ado, here are my responses…

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing? 

My, dark, and lots of words ending in “ly”

2.  Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

Great, then, lots of words ending in “ly”


3. What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

My poem, “A Love Story”.  It’s a two finger salute to all the people in my life who tried to destroy my love of writing and poetry. “You stole me” but, hey look, I wrote a great poem from that experience. You can read it in the Mocha Moments page of my blog.

I wrote a song for the Queens Silver Jubilee when I was seven and it was professionally recorded and sent to HM. I received a thank you letter back.

When I was 15 I came second in the National Letter Writing Competition organised by the Royal Mail. I won £50…a fair sum in those days. I gave it to my parents as we were in the middle of the Miners Strike and money was tight.

Recently I was involved in the Poem in a Box project with York St John University. I had several poems published on digital screens that were displayed at several sites around York. One of these sites was York Minster and I still get a buzz from that.

4. What are your other favourite blogs?

There are some wonderful writing blogs out there. I’ve barely scraped the surface yet so just off the top of my head for now


nadine laman






5. Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

There isn’t a thing I regret writing, it’s the stuff I haven’t written that I regret.  Luckily, I can change that now.

6. How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

On a personal level, being able to write again has made a profound difference on my self-image. I can now begin to nurture myself in a way I never could before. My most important piece of writing is everything I have written and everything I shall ever write. When you have been deprived of oxygen for so long doesn’t every gulp of air tastes as sweet as the first?

7. Name three favourite words 

Holiday, Laughter, Mummy

8. …And three words you’re not so keen on

Morning, Stop, Pingu


9. Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

My partner Nick Boardman. Despite dyslexia he has more qualifications than you can shake a stick at, an Honours Degree in History and a published script. He has also directed Amateur Dramatics and has just finished his first novel Star Maniacs. Nick’s quiet tenacity is inspirational.

As a child I read many classics and was influenced by The Bronte’s, Stoker, Dickens and The Shelley’s. Later in life I discovered Jean Plaidy, Catherine Cookson, Stephen King and Patricia Cornwell to name but a few. A nice eclectic mix and I keep discovering new inspiration all the time.

I am also inspired by Ghandi and try to apply at least one of his quotes/teachings to my day.

10. What’s your writing ambition?

I would like leave a small legacy for my children/grandchildren in the form of a book. I shared a bedroom with my Nana for 17 years and she would tell me stories of her (rather controversial) life in the 1920’s onwards. I taped her telling these stories for posterity but, after she died, the tapes went missing. I was devastated.

Of course, if someone offered me a 7 figure advance and a villa in Tuscany for the rights to my work it would be churlish to turn it down…don’t you think?

11. Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about.

 I would like to mention mywriterscircle where I have received some great feedback and in depth critique on my work. The forum really is like a big family, very supportive and informative and no cliques.  

Keep track on my blog  for updates on the hugely anticipated Star Maniacs Official Website which is in development right now. It’s going to be huge.
So that’s me, then. In accordance with the rules (see below), here are the names of four other writer/bloggers I would like to tag






 Obviously, there is no obligation on anyone to do this, but I’ve found it a very interesting experience myself, and would love to see other people’s responses too. And, of course, anyone with a blog is more than welcome to take part in the meme – you don’t have to be tagged first!

The Rules

If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my post here, then link to three to five other bloggers  and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link back to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a “published” or “successful” writer to respond to this meme.

Have fun, and I look forward to reading more responses

Room Makeover: Potential Disaster!!!

Our new workspace project has been put under threat by a cat. 😦

This beautiful  feline decided to enter Chez Boardman for a visit, much to Pesky Kids delight. Unfortunately he liked what he saw so much that Pesky Cat decided to mark his new-found territory in the manner that cats do.

Despite my best efforts the living room carpet is now a smelly write off and we are desperately trying to clarify if this disaster is covered by our contents insurance. If not, we will be forced to cancel our makeover. Watch this space for updates.lineup_cat


 It’s no use. After numerous attempts at trying to solve the problem we had no choice but to remove half of the carpet in an attempt to rid ourselves of the evil smell. Tomorrow we begin the process of spending our precious savings, not on the beautiful items we envisaged, but on a cheap bit of cotton twist. September Room Makeover has been thwarted…by an incontinent feline. 😦

September Room Makeover

September sees Pesky Kid’s return to nursery so, for 3 mornings a week, leaving me to enjoy a few hours of uninterrupted writing and reading pleasure.

Also in September my Room Makeover Challenge begins. On a budget of £150 I will attempt to change thisdepressing H O


into a spectacular work space like thisgorgeous

OK…I totally admit that these pictures are not mine…but I think you get the general idea and I also think it would take an extra zero on the end of my budget to achieve this exact look. However, I will be posting genuine before and after pics and you can keep track of my progress (or not) on this blog).

The Bits In Between


On a lighter note, Alex, Nick and myself went to view two adorable baby guinea pigs and am delighted to say that they will be joining us in mid-September when they are old enough to leave their Mum. Having already been christened Arthur and Brian (we are big Monty Python fans…laugh if you must) we look forward to welcoming them and my head is already buzzing with ideas for a childrens book based on their adventures.Guinea pigs

My love of reading anything and everything has prompted me to volunteer to write some book reviews for simon and schuster (http://www.simonandschuster.com) and I look forward to receiving my first “literary fix” very soon. I have also had the great pleasure of reviewing the wonderful Festival On Lyris 5  (http://www.mywritingblog.com). Many thanks to Nick Daws.

 My Nick (starmaniacs1 on Twitter) is busy writing his radio play and recruiting some amateur artists and composers to contribute to the StarManiacs comic strip soon to be seen on a specially created StarManiacs website. Exciting stuff!!!And, as if this wasn’t enough, there is a collaboration in the offing between himself, York St John University and the Theatre Royal to perform his published pantomime Robin Hood in February 2010.

NHS. Proceeds form the charity will go to Leeds General Infirmary and York Hospital in appreciation of their care of our Pesky Kid during and after his heart surgery in January 2007.           

Watch this space for updates!!!

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