In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”

The Shadow of Fear

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Flight or fight
They say
But that first day
The looming shadow
The bully
I was pinned
Couldn’t run
Couldn’t fight
Jellified with fear
Neither response available

For many years
That shadow stalked me
Until one day
I fought
And it fled

The Shadow of Fear

Posted in Adoption, Family

Exactly 3 years ago today! (via

We remember this and are still thankful for the support we had and still get.

Posted in General

your words are hurting my child (adoption & foster)

Some interesting thoughts here that I hadn’t considered.

lovin' adoptin' & autism

your words are hurting my child
We are not an island unto ourselves, other people are involved in our lives, and therefore our child’s life. We can’t control those friends and families words, but we do need to be aware of them.

When a child comes from trauma, they have a heightened awareness of the world around them. Words can not only be hurtful, for a child who has a painful past and is always on alert, they can cause other fears or bring underlying ones to the surface.

For years we struggled with what family members said around our adopted children, it was as if some of them had no filter (well, truthfully, they don’t). I’m sure many of you can relate, whether it’s family, friends, or acquaintances you run into consistently, some people simply aren’t aware of what their words do to our kids or us.

Our daughter, Payton, used to worry a lot…

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Posted in Fantasy Fiction

Game of Thrones – a thought – Spoilers

I may be way behind everyone here but a line in the trailer for season 5 prompted a thought.

Way back in Season One we saw Jorah Mormont receive a letter from Varys. Shortly after there is an assassination attempt on Daenerys. It’s all set up to look like he has been spying on her and is supposed to kill her – but changes his mind – as he has fallen in love with her.

But – what if that was not the case? What if the letter was a warning about the assassination attempt? It makes more sense now – Varys has been supporting Daenerys all along – he is playing a much bigger game than anyone realised. He is working towards bringing the Targaryen’s back to the Iron Throne.

Which means Littlefinger has underestimated him sorely. And in the battle between Petry Balish and the Spider I would much rather see Varys triumph.

Posted in General, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Technology, Writing

Editing Tool

Thought I would share this tip as it’s helping me out no end.

I have as you may or may not known already published my first novel Mankind Limited. This was my first foray into self publishing – while it has been well received I have not yet started to do any proper marketing yet – something I am pursuing now.

I have received some helpful feedback though and this includes a few people pointing out a number of errors and typos. Now I have read it over and over and I still missed these. The problem being that your mind sees what was intended rather that what is there.

For example. This is one I have since found.

“Flakes of paint fell on their on their shoulders.”

Now not only did I not see that but neither did two friends who read it through for me.

So now I am working through creating a second edition – fixing all these error and I have discovered the best way to find them.

Test to speech software. Having the text read out by the computer really shows up the errors like this.

My problem has been that I have quite an esoteric system. I work on Linux – Free and Open Source operating system  – specifically Ubuntu (well Kubuntu to be totally accurate). So the options are less – though when you find the answer its invariably free!

So in case there is anyone else out there struggling with this here is the answer courtesy of this site but added here to save you scrolling 🙂

It utilises SVOX and the popular (cross-platform and free) office suite LibreOffice

Combine SVOX tools (pico) with LibreOffice:

SVOX (pico) tools are easy to install and brings good quality voices in Ubuntu. Install it:

sudo apt-get install libttspico0 libttspico-utils libttspico-data

You can use LibreOffice in combination with SVOX (pico) tools by install the “Read Text” extension and you obtain a “GUI” for this excellent TTS software:

Set up Read Text Extension’s options with Tools – Add-ons – Read selection…. Use /usr/bin/python as the external program. Select a command line option that includes the token (PICO_READ_TEXT_PY), you may want to experiment some of them.

Now you only have to select some text in LO Writer, Calc, Impress or Draw and click on the icon added as a tool bar (a speech bubble in my case but I have heard this varies).

So there you have it – watch out now for the relaunch of Mankind Limited AND a new  and very different book coming soon!!

Posted in General, Review, Writing

Heart of Darkness

I have been listening to Heart of Darkness on Audible.

It’s depressing me. But not in the way you might think. Sure, it’s a dark read – delivering its brooding condemnation of colonialism in its age and of humanity in general. Conrad’s slow pulse beats out like a dying man’s fleeing soul.

But that’s not an unusual read for me. Or an unusual film or music – I’m a Leonard Cohen fan – who in many ways is the Conrad of music.

No – it’s the sheer mastery of the languages shown with the tale. Your read (or hear it) and feel like you should put down your pen, slide away your keyboard and never write again for you’ll never get close to anything like that.

And read in understated eloquence by Kenneth Branagh put the final nail in the coffin.

The Horror. The Horror.