Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Scotts Daily Prompt, Writing

Blogging Struggles

It’s getting a struggle to keep going lately. I have missed four or five days of my own daily prompts – which I am about to go back and try to catch up on. But it all seems a bit pointless right now. None of the effort seems to be paying any dividends. It is not driving any sales of my books and I am not earning any other income from it.

But then again that was never the point – the main point is for my own mental well being – it’s my outlet. But now its reached the point of being a struggle to keep posting – even that benefit seems to be gone.

And on top of that – like many people, the cost of living is squeezing me and my renewal for the plan I am on is coming up and I simply cannot afford it. This doesn’t mean I have to scrap it all, but I would have to revert to the free plan and then I would lose my own domain name and possibly all the followers I have built up. Unless some kind millionaire happens upon the site (or a few less well off people make a couple of small donations via Paypal – see below) I don’t think I really have a choice.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com
Posted in Adoption, Family, Health

Autism a Colourful Spectrum

A reminder – for me – and anyone who needs it.

Amongst all the dreary advice and articles I have read I came across this comic. Which I think is just brilliant

introduction to colorwheel autism spectrum

The original article is here.

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Poetry, Writing

Whisky and a West Wing

By Scott Bailey © 2016

All around me
The walls of my life
Are tumbling down
In slow mo
I am watching
In slow mo
Wondering if
I will survive

Console myself with a
Whisky and a West Wing
Here it comes
The bluster and lies
Sugar coated
Mustard
Wonder which
Turning was wrong

All those choices
Drawing me downward
Further and Further
Darkness beyond
Wonder if
There in an exit
Will it end
If I am still

Silent and still
What use is will
When it is still

Posted in Health, Poetry, Politics, Writing

Kids

By Scott Bailey © 2021

What am I?
A stat?
A pawn in political games?
The means to fast gains?
Am I to be educated?
Or protected?
Am I a spreader?
A killer of the old?
Vulnerable?
Nobody has asked me.
About my heart.
My lungs!
My emotion!
My whole life,
Is in the hands of the greedy and corrupt.

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Poetry, Writing

A Holiday for the Mind

Modern life is frantic – filled with demands and crammed with stress.

We forget to tend to the mind – the part of us that has to deal with it all – balance all the spinning plates.

What if we could take a holiday each day – just a short one – a few minutes, half an hour – whatever it takes. Everyday.

Well, there’s a way.

Read a poem, absorb it – explore it, let it take you somewhere else. Think about other thoughts for a while.

And I have some – 365 in fact – one for each day for a whole year.

A Spring of Dreams

Check it out – give it a go and give your mind some R&R

Posted in Health, Work

Taking on negativity – one text at a time

As we can all do with a lift from time to time – here’ something from my day job. I usually keep that off here but – this is something different.

The world’s first texting switchboard… #TextForHumanity.

Send a positive message to a stranger. And receive one in return. Text JOIN to +1 833 421-4726. Proudly created with Mental Health America

https://www.textforhumanity.com/

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, NaNoWriMo, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

NaNoWriMo – Shall I?

I have been in a writing rut – in that I have done nothing new for ages. Life circumstances have been against me.

It’s time to take a stand against all that. I should set myself a challenge again and give myself the proverbial kick up the arse.

So I am considering going against all the odds and partaking in NaNoWriMo this year. I have completed it once but failed the following year due to some serious illness in the family.

These days, all the demands on me mean I don’t get any time to sit down and write – event doing this today is a very rare occurrence. I have been reduced to reblogging old content.

Well, those demands are going to have to take a back seat for a while. They will need to for my own sanities sake.

My plan is not to try and create novel, novella or even a part of one as I did last time. This time I want to use the push to create 10 drafts of short stories. Each around 5000 words long. I will then use these to enter some competitions with – maybe eventually publish them as a collection as well.

Well, that’s the plan. Let’s see how it goes. Lately, my plans don’t see the light of day – this is a last-ditch attempt. I need some success.

Image from Pixabay

Posted in Family, Health

Happy Birthday To Our Own little Angel

He would have been seven today
Had things gone differently
Who knows?
Being nearer to the hospital?
Or some other factor?
That we can never change
So now
I remember you
Every morning
Then shoulder the burdens
Of life
And the joys
Of your brothers

 

Read more about his short life here

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Health, Work

Normal service will be resumed shortly

Illness, workloads and life, in general, is just getting in the way at present. So only scheduled posts and others when I get the chance. Delays in approving comments and links (Sorry). Will catch up on doing my own Daily prompts all in one hit – when I can.

loading-645268_1280
Image from Pixabay

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Politics

Dancing Disaster

So this is a direct quote from Theresa May’s speech at the Tory Conference.

Leaving without a deal – introducing tariffs and costly checks at the border – would be a bad outcome for the UK and the EU.

It would be tough at first, but the resilience and ingenuity of the British people would see us through.

Was that supposed to be inspiring somehow? All I got from that as is this.

Doesn’t matter how bady we fuck it up – doesn’t affect us. You poor sods can bear the brunt of it.

Again

She is literally dancing on the graves of her victims.

II IMG_8455 2

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Health, Writing

Behind Again

Struggling again to find time to write or do anything at all that is not for someone else.

I am close to giving up for good – there doesn’t seem much point, snatching titbits of time to chase dreams that are ever less likely to come to any fruition.

So back to recycling for now.

Image from Pixabay

Posted in Family, Health

Happy Birthday To Our Own little Angel

He would have been six today
Had things gone differently
Who knows?
Being nearer to the hospital?
Or some other factor?
That we can never change
So now
I remember you
Every morning
Then shoulder the burdens
Of life
And the joys
Of your brothers

 

Read more about his short life here

Posted in Health

Man Down with Man Flu

Been a poor start to the year. I have been in bed ill for all of last week. Managed to crawl back to work today but recovery is still ongoing.

Normal service resumed soon

Posted in autism, Family, Health, JusJoJan, Poetry, Writing

Boisterous

For JusJoJan 2nd Boisterous

Boisterous

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Our boy is a bundle
Of boisterous fun
But he doesn’t know
When to stop the fun
And hurts someone
(Rarely himself)
Because of his mental health.
What to do?
What to do?
I am no expert
And no expert
Seem to know
What to do.
Move him on
Move him on
Is all we get
But we will not give up
Like them
His challenges will be his victory

 

 

In response to #JusJoJan, JusJoJan.

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Health

End of Year Nosedive

Well, this has not been the best of years. If stress were a commodity I would be rich. Think it finally caught up with me this week. Felled by a virus I succumbed to fever and panic and have been in bed for a lot of it.

Thus – I haven’t written any new blogs this week. While I will attempt to catch up it has somewhat scuppered my attempts to reach a target I was aiming for.

This year has been my best for views by far – I have already doubled the last best year. So looking for a new target I was aimimg for 20,000 by the end of the year. I am 800 short. Not likely to make that in the last 15 days of the year. Especially with the holidays coming up.

That said, I am still going to try! So prepare for an onslaught 🙂

Posted in Adoption, autism, Family, Health, Journal

One of THOSE days

So TV glamour aside – the reality of living with Autism in the family.

I ended the weekend totally exhausted. Went to work determined to leave it all behind me and concentrate on a major project which culminates tomorrow – when we retire two old websites and divert all the users to the newer current one. Tomorrow is going to be a late one.

First thing I get is a hitch in that process. Second – and before I get to look at that – another site we have has a major problem! It’s main functionality stopped completely.

Deep breath! Put aside the planned work for today – deal with this.

A phone call from the wife – Our youngest -the one with Autism – who has to face a long journey on a bus to get to school every day and has been struggling with it – has finally snapped. Just like we had been warning them – and asking them to change his transport arrangements – to no avail. He has flipped out and hurt other children. Now the bus company are refusing to take him anymore. Not even to bring him home.

So now we have an issue. I now have to get these jobs done quicker as I have to leave early to pick him up from school.

So bang – get one done. Bang get the other one done – need to get them tested and live.

Another phone call from the school.

Now – he has had a fall at school and had been rushed to A&E.

Got to get this fix live! Now! And leave!

Raced over to get him as my wife is in the hospital for heart cardiac rehab.

By the time I get him home and safe my heart is racing and chest is hurting so bad I think I might be joining her pretty soon!

I would say I can’t take many more days like this but this is becoming normal for us.

Oh for the easier days!

I am just thankful I have an understanding employer.

Posted in Family, Health

Coming Back to the Blog

The attentive amongst you will have noticed that I have been quiet lately. Posts have been going up of course – but they are the ones I scheduled a long time ago.

I have had other things on my mind.

Two weeks ago my wife went into Hospital to have a Aortic Valve and Aorta replacement. I dropped her off at Kings College Hospital and had to leave her. She was booked in for the op the next day at 12pm. The care was superb. Then and throughout. She was due to receive a new type of valve – described as the RollS Royce of replacement valves. The surgeon was one of -if not the top – in the country.

None of that helps when I was on the train heading home while she was left there. But I was not allowed to stay and I had to get back and take over looking after our kids. Grandparents are good but they have their limits 😏

It was the culmination of a stressful time. I had just started a new job – only been there 3 months and now I was having to ask for time off. On top of that we then received news that our youngest – who has autism is likely to be transferred out of his new school. The one he had been sent to because it was recommended as being the best school to deal with his needs!

It never rains…..

So the next morning I was up early. Got the kids off to school and onto the train back to London.

It was cancelled! No problem! I had left early just in case of something like this – the next train would get me there with 10 minutes to spare. So I am on the train trying to calm my nerves and Rachel’s with texts to say I was on my way – when they announced suddenly that the train would now not be stopping at Denmark Hill! Instead it would go straight to Victoria from where I would have to get a train back to Denmark Hill.

Shit! This meant that I was not going to make it. My wife was going into the most important operation of her life without me. An op that there was every chance she might not come out of.

I was not happy with Network Southeast at that point – to say the least.

I finally got there at 12.30. Rachel was still there! The op was delayed. Some good luck at at last!

So an hour later she went in and I got to see he off and wish her well.

She was in for 5 hours. During that time I wandered around the Denmark Hill area and had lunch though I couldn’t eat much. While I did that the surgeon went to work.

He cut open her chest, sawed her breast bone in two and then spread open her rib cage. This apparently puts a huge amount of pressure on the shoulder blades – almost to the point of breaking them. The nurses told us afterwards that when he saw Rachel’s ailing valve he was shocked at how bad it had become. He said she had been extremely lucky that it had not failed already. She had had a lucky escape there.

The operation went well. The breastbone was stitched back together with wire – which will remain there, the rest was done with normal stitches that will dissolve in time. Once it was over she was sent to the cardiac recovery unit where I was allowed to see her at last.

This was when the emotional wave hit me. To see your loved one with so many wires and pipes and dressings, looking so helpless is scary as hell. She was still deeply asleep, she had a breathing pipe down her throat which I knew she would have hated had she been awake. Even in her drug induced sleep she was trying to get it out and the nurses had to hold down her arms gently.

The care in this ward was again superb. The nurses had to watch the patients constantly. Never taken their eyes off them. They had little time for me but that was not a concern, it was how I wanted it.

Watching her there like that was hard, there was the fear mixed with the relief that she was through the worst. I was worried about how much pain she would be in when she awoke. Worried about what the future held.

But on top of that were memories. I had seen her in a very similar state before. All that came flooding back and I was back in another hospital room watching my newborn son die in my arms.

I nearly didn’t get through it all then. I was waiting for the time when they would wake her up and remove that breathing pipe. Then I knew that she would be more comfortable and that she would know I was there for her.

Before that time came though – visiting hours came to an end and they would not let me stay. they were very strict on that.

So I had to leave he to wake up alone and in a strange place. That was hard. It was a hard getting on the train back home – the only thing that helped was that I knew my kids needed me back home.

Yet this was just me – I was not the one who had been through the operation. I could not begin to imagine how Rachel was feeling – how she would feel when she awoke.

When I got home I rang to find out how awaking her had gone. The breathing tube was out and she had gone straight back to sleep. That made me feel a little bit better.

Over the next 6 days the nurses and doctors imposed an efficient, hard but caring regime in order to get Rachel back up to speed. She went from beings very drugged and unresponsive to walking around the ward in a surprisingly quick time. The staff were very understanding and took everything we said seriously. They were superb. We trusted them completely and therefore were able to accept the way they pushed her to recover.

She is now home. Still very fragile but improving slowly each time. We have had a close call, a brush with death. Rachel is under the influence of a lot of drugs so there are bad dreams, even hallucinations but she is already looking forward and feeling hopeful again.

For my part, it has made me think deeply. There are changes I need to make – just need to figure then out – and stop the everyday trivia from getting in the way of making them.

I would like to conclude this ramble by saying a few things. One  – a big thank you to all the staff at Kings College Hospital- especially Professor Wendell, and to our local Doctor who picked up the issue in the first place – an issue I suspect had been there for a long time but missed by her previous Doctor.

Secondly, an equally big thank you to our family who have all been there when it counted. Helping out with childcare and housework!

Thirdly – thanks to my new work colleagues for being so understanding.

Finally – I would just like to say – well done to my wife! I am so proud of how you have handled it with bravery and grace. I doubt I would have been as good.

But then – that’s why I married you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Haiku, Health, Poetry, Writing

Sore Heart

By Scott Bailey © 2017

My wife’s precious heart
Is in need of attention
The surgeon awaits

 

Well, these two prompt words could not be more apt! My wife is facing major heart surgery this weekend! Consequently – I may be a little quite on here for awhile.

 

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #170 Heart&Need

#Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

 

Posted in Family, Health, Journal, Work

Beers Against Adversity

I am not a big drinker, for a number of reasons. I couldn’t afford it! I can’t take it. I very rarely get the chance.

Well, I had the chance this weekend. And I needed it.

It’s been trying. My wife has been unwell, her heart condition being exacerbated by viruses and colds. We have money worries piling up and our youngest is struggling with his behaviour at school – we have been summoned! We suspect they have forgotten the fact that he has ASD!

So I had a works do – all expenses paid. I was only supposed to go out for a few – but you know – that third one always persuades you otherwise. Plus it was a bit of a celebration having passed my three-month probation in my new job.

So it turned into a full night. An epic night.

A very long hungover Saturday.

I have to say a big thank you to my wife who understood. It might be some time before I can enjoy something like that again. Despite how she was feeling she let me have that time. Even took the kids out the next day to spare me.

Now we have to face the next hurdles. A visit to the school. A trip to the hospital for her pre-operation checks, then waiting for the phone call.

In between, we are trying to squeeze in time for our eldest who is getting his time with us squeezed by all this. He wants to start clarinet lessons! That, I really want to nurture.

Somehow, strangely, against all expectations, a debauched Friday night has made me feel better able to face it all.

 

Posted in Adoption, Family, General, Health, Writing

Jounalling Again

Spent some time this evening looking back over very early posts on my blog – most of which were of a journal nature back then. It’s been quite emotional and informative. So much so that I have decided that I need to get back to it. In a few years time – if I read my blog now it will only have poems on it!

So you may see the odd one crop up now and then – though most I will probably keep private.

So to begin with anyway a quick precis of my life at it stands.

There have been a lot of changes.

Having lost one child we adopted – that was a stressful experience and a trying time. Now he is a loving member of our family – our son. Since he arrived we have also discovered he hs Autism. That’s a whole new cartload of stress – but at least knowing has helped and he is making good progress now.

All my old posts about my job were largely about the stress factor! This continued and continued until it reached a critical point. So now – and for other reasons too – I have a new job. I am three months in and so far – it has been the best decision of my life! So much better! A different world altogether. My only regret was that I didn’t do something sooner – but then this position was not there and it’s been ideal.

Finally, the other big thing in our lives at present is my wife’s impending surgery. It’s a major operation with hopefully life-changing – life improving consequences.

For all these reasons writing has taken a big back seat – but I plod on – as it’s the only outlet I have to keep me sane!

That and the occasional (very occasional) beer.

Let’s just see how long I keep up the journalling aspect this time 🙂

 

Posted in Family, Health

A Nature Weekend and Bird Watching Challenges

This weekend we decided to relax a bit and get out and about in the country. This was partly down to my musings about bird watching. My wife wanted to do some walking, as did I, rather than cycling this time around. The two things – bird watching and walking – immediately made me think of the marshes near us. Haven’t been there for years and what a surprise! It’s always been a lovely place to walk, now it has been taken over by a wildlife trust and they have made some great improvements – including installing some bird watchers hides.

After that, we went to a local woodland park that used to be a gunpowder mill. I have never been there – tough Rachel and the kids have. Again I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the day – and I am hoping there some ornithologists or keen birders out there who might help identify some of these.

Trying to capture swallows! Rare to see them these days and so low as well.

An oystercatcher? Or a lapwing? anyone know?

Again – what are these big black birds? There are some other angles later on. I think they may shags? Or are they just geese? I need a better telephoto lense.

I know this one! A heron in the reeds 🙂

Posted in Family, General, Health, Work

Bouncing Frogs and Manic Birds

It’s been a strange week. I have taken some time off. Partly because the kids are on half term. Partly because a week today I start my new job so not sure when I will next be able to take time off for a while. Partly because we are still reeling a bit from the news that my wife is facing some serious surgery. Finally, because our youngest, having been diagnosed with ASD, and the mainstream school he was at being unable to cope – he has changed schools and went for his first day there today. So We have had to support him in this – and his brother who now has to cope with the fact that his little brother won’t be at school with him.

For someone with ASD it had the potential for disaster. He has had so much change in his life already, now he has been taken away from all the friends he made at school and has to face a long journey on a minibus with strangers to go to a much larger – but admittedly better – school. He managed admirably on his first day. Time will tell what the effects will really be. At least he will get proper attention now. He has gone from a class or 29 to a class of 6! With 4 teachers!

But all that’s just life. There were some oddities during this time off.

The first was late one night when we awoke in the middle of the night to an awful racket outside our window. It was a bird giving an alarm call and going totally mental. We looked out the window and I caught a glimpse of a cat slinking away with a dead bird in its mouth. I feared that it had got one of the noisy bird’s chicks. My wife – who can’t stand to see an ant hurt – raced out in her nightie to try to find the cat – all in vain. But the bird was still making a racket. So Rachel turfed your’s truly out of bed to go and take a look. After hunting around and finding nothing for ages I finally discovered another cat lurking in the shadows. After shooing it away the bird was finally silent. All kind of weird but ever since every time I go out the front door the same bird flies down to a nearby fence and sings at me. Rachel is convinced it is saying thanks for trying to help.

We must have weird wildlife around here as it gets stranger. A few days later while cycling back from the park with the kids, we saw that one of our neighbours was giving away a mini trampoline. One of those with a bar to hold on to – for toddlers really. We snapped it up. Our youngest loves nothing more than to bounce. On beds, on my back – anywhere! Well, that night we started to prepare our living room for some DIY (painting). This – against my protests – turned into actually doing the painting and went on to 3am! Once we finally got to a stopping point I went out into the garden to put some stuff away in our shed to find – I swear this is true – our resident frog jumping on the trampoline!

The frog – actually a whole family – appeared a few years ago and can be seen quite often in the garden at night. This is especially odd as we don’t have a pond! Nor do any of our immediate neighbours!

I just wish I had it on camera.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow. Three more days then a job of ten years comes to an end. Will be very strange.

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Financial, Health, Work, Writing

Long Time No Write!

So this month is turning into a nightmare – writing wise – and in other ways. This has largely been down to the fact that I have felt ill for most of it. Running a high temperature and feverish. I can’t afford to take any time off sick and have been crawling into work, making it back home and straight into bed most nights.

All this has had a detrimental effect of our youngest’s autism and he has been a handful, to say the least – in turn, this has had a knock-on effect on our eldest.

To make matter worse – my car has been out of service. It has taken three garages to work out what it was and fix it. I started off using public transport at first but when the Bus broke down it just about finished me off. I ended up having to hire a car. So much money down the drain.

I was feeling a little better over the last few days but of course, there’s so much to do now to catch up. One of those things was to tighten the security on all the kids’ devices. That’s when I discovered that the Microsoft account on my eldest was not working. He could not log into anything – for example, One Drive as it was asking for a parent’s permission. Ok, I followed the steps but this did not work as it was insisting on a US based credit card. It proved impossible to do what they were asking. So I contacted Microsoft, who didn’t believe me. I spent 4 hours going around and around in circles. It appears that when setting up his account originally I must have set it to US. by mistake. Simple – they said  – get him to log in and reset the region. He can’t log in!

ME: He can’t log in without my permission!

THEM: OK you give him permission. I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you.

ME: I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you!

THEM: Just enter your credit card details at this link.

ME: The link I told you insists on a US. based credit card so I can’t complete it.

THEM: Ah, that would be because his region is incorrect. Get him to log in and change the region.

ME: @#@!ing hell! He can’t LOG IN!!!!

Four hours! Four hours of this before they admitted it can’t be done. Then they asked me to Fax them his details. Fax! FAX! Is the Microsoft help department still living in the 80’s! I can’t remember the last time I even saw a fax machine. I certainly don’t have access to one.

Starting to feel the mania creeping in!

Anyway, there was one bit of good news amongst all this garbage. I should be ecstatic and singing about it but all the rest has just left me feeling so drained I haven’t really had time to think about it properly.

I have got a new job! Accepted the offer and last week handed my notice in. It’s going to be a big change. Been in the same job for 10 years – time to blast away some cobwebs!

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Health, Poetry, Self Publishing, Work, Writing

Blogging Lull

I had one last week. May continue into this week.

I was on annual leave last week. Note leave – not really a holiday – most of the days were spent in hospitals, job interviews and other appointments. But still, did manage some days out with the kids including a trip to London to the Science and Natural History museum. Ambitious for us – especially with an autistic 4 year old. It was challenging but overall very worth it. Things were much better than other trips we have had so there has been improvement.

This week has started with my car breaking down on my first day back to work. Not a good start. However, things have improved with some good news – but that’s for later.

What writing I have been doing has been concentrating on editing my epic poems. One is terrible!  But lots of editing will redeem it. The other – which was originally supposed to be the libretto for an opera  – I still really love and needs little work. It might be the best thing I have written for ages. Maybe it’s just me. Will be interesting to see if others have the same preferences, is anyone reads them.

 

Posted in Family, General, Health, Journal, Work

What a Week

I have been quiet – nothing but my scheduled posts ticking away to keep the blog going.

There has been good reason. I just had the week from hell.

First, there was work. I have been feeling like crap but struggling to work only to get there and the stress levels have gone stratospheric. Everyone is feeling it and no-one – myself included is dealing with it very well – so no-one can support anyone else.

That alone would be fine – not feeling well didn’t help matters.

It was a short week. But not for good reasons really. Thursday and Friday we were stacked with Doctors, Hospital and School appointments.

For my wife – who has what could be a serious, life-changing heart condition developing. We have to now wait for more appointments and results on that one. For now, she can hardly walk up the stairs without being out of breath as she is not getting enough blood. – Though it may also be being affected by her asthma so we have to see which is the worse factor.

While we were there we took our eldest son to the doctors thinking he had tonsillitis again. The doctor  – she must have some hunch – asked for a urine test. Three hours later they were on the phone telling to go to the hospital and get a blood test. So the next day was spent doing that – this involved me having to hold him down screaming and sobbing while they did it. It wasn’t painful but he has had some bad experiences with needles and hospitals before so was very freaked out about it.  It is heartbreaking.

So there’s more waiting for results – we don’t really know why either.

In the middle all of that – literally – I had to squeeze in a job interview!

Just as all the appointments and visits were done – my wife and both my sons went down with what appears to be the norovirus. They have all been very very sick. I have been up to my elbows in – well you don’t want to know.

My brain has been fried, I have had very little sleep and I need a year off. Can someone arrange that? Please?

One tiny bit of good news today – I reached 1000 followers at last!

Posted in Daily Prompt, Family, Health, Writing

Overwhelming

So today’s prompt is overwhelming. Couldn’t have been more appropriate. I wouldn’t say it was the last straw but I can see the camel’s back straining.

I don’t know what is happening but there has been a constant stream of bad news after bad news. Money, work security, autism, and health issue after health issue. Spent the entire day at the hospital today with no real outcome as such.

Normally I would say this is exactly the time to write – the get it all out – but today I am just too tired for it – to try and write poetry anyway.

On the flip side – I am also overwhelmed by the support from the family rallying around and helping out – even though many of the health issue bearing down on us belong to them!

Need some good news – a chink of daylight – just to aim for right now.

In response to the daily prompt Overwhelming

#DailyPrompt

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Health, Writing

Slow week

I have been languishing in a sick bed most of the week. So apologies for lack of responses and posts.

Away on holiday soon so it will continue to be sparse!

So have been reposting a few old ones for now.

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Health, Journal, Mankind Limited News, Review, Work, Writing

What a Week

It’s been a hell of a week – hence a quiet one on here for me.

My wife went to a very emotional funeral to send off her Uncle. While My parents got to see the granddaughter they haven’t seen for nearly 10 years!

My wife also had an appointment about our youngest’s diagnosis of Autism. While I had excruciating physio on my frozen shoulder.

On top of that, server problems of the worst kind meant that I was working well beyond midnight for half the week.

The result being I have had very little time this week. No time to write, no time to take advantage and spread the word about the wonderful review I received for my book (see what I did there) – other than retweet all the retweets!

So the stats are down and so my energy levels.

The plus side has been that the kids have spent a lot of time this week with my brothers and their families. And they have enjoyed that a LOT!

I cannot thanks them enough for their support this week and in recent weeks. It has bonded our family even more I think. Even if it did mean Uncle Daniel getting dunked in the swimming pool a lot and being roped into Batman Games all day and Aunty Carol and Aunty Charlie falling in the sea!

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Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Health, Journal, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Technology, Work, Writing

Thoughts and updates

So his blog has been a bit quiet lately – mostly reblogs. I was ill for a while, then my kids were ill. Work has been stressful as usual and life has been in the way.

But I have managed to do some writing, just not for blogging purposes. I have edited my latest collection of short stories. I have half of one very short one left to do.

This is the first round of editing. Basically rewriting them – they are very old so I was improving them. I am pretty much seeing them as first drafts.

The second round of editing will be proofreading and looking for mistakes. Then they will be ready for publishing.

So I have not dedicated so much time to blogging. That may continue! I will try to do Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge and something else every now and then. Beyond that, I will be mainly trying to market the two books I have already published.

On a more positive note – I got a new laptop – a hybrid laptop/tablet. It’s only small and not powerful but does exactly what I need – makes it easier for me to write even when I can’t sit at my desk and do so. It also means an end to my non – windows household but hey ho.

Next, I’ll be getting a windows phone! Only joking! But a new phone is on the books. Just have to decide which one.

Talking of phones – I was thinking about the article I wrote a while ago about phone snooping. What brought this thought on was something my wife said.

For work, I quite often have to go to our manufacturing partner, to drop things off, pick things up, sort out problems with testing etc. The place is called Simtek but for some reason, my wife always calls it Semtex. So when she said to me this morning, are you going to Semtex this morning – I suddenly had visions of alarm bells going off in some CIA listening station!

Oh well – getting arrested by the CIA might be just the thing to boost my book sales!

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Poetry, Politics, Writing

A low January

I have been ill. Very ill since before Christmas. Mostly I have been struggling to work but the week before last was forced to work from home. This week I could not even manage that.

That’s why the blog has been very quiet and I have been reduced to reblogging older stuff.

But anyway the reason I bring it up is that it seems everyone is ill. To lesser and greater levels I don’t know anyone  who is is not ill.

Call me paranoid but it does not feel normal. Something odd is going on.

And there’s an

NHS dispute going on.

Posted in General, Health, Poetry, Writing

Breakdown

By Scott Bailey © 2016

I’m having a breakdown
Pieces of me
falling away
Nail hammered
Into my skull
Nail hammered
Into the lid
Of the final bed
I’m having a breakdown

Come on in
Join in the fun
Let’s fly
The quivering eyes
Give rise to the sight
Slipping away from me
Come on in

Rage,
Rage,
Rage
Nothing but rage
At my age to much
To see
You see
Rage

I’m having a breakdown
Come on in
Rage, rage, rage.

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Poetry, Writing

Scars

By Scott Bailey © 2015

There is a small group of people
I do not know them
But they watched my tears
As I watched him die
And they carry that moment
In their hearts
I hope
They find it strengthens them
Like a scar
Or a broken bone
It does not me

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Fiction, Health, NaNoWriMo, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 9

 

Well, we are all home now. Little one much better but I am wiped out and need some time to recover. So writing this year off. Good luck to everyone else having a go.

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

#NaNoWriMo

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Fiction, Health, NaNoWriMo, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Crashed and burned. Spent all day in hospital yesterday with our youngest and looks like same today. So no words yesterday and probably the same today.

I don’t think I’ll be likely to catch up so think I am going to write  it off this year and get back to my short stories at a more relaxed pace.

 

 

 

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

#NaNoWriMo

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Another quiet week

Last week I was on holiday, this week I was quite ill and although I ploughed on by working from home, that took everything out of me.

So its been a very quiet couple of weeks. I need to kickstart some writing again.

Having a dilemma where to go next. I need to put more effort into marketing me existing books, and at the same time get something new out there to round out what I have. This will probably be short stories.

My dilemma is whether to try to some new ones – which is what I really want to do, or edit a very old collection I already have. The latter will result in getting something out there quicker.

First I need to get back to better health.

Posted in Family, General, Health

Been Ill

Had a fantastic day out with an old friend and the kids on Saturday – but started feeling ill while out and by the time I got home was in agony. Then fell quite ill and still recovering nearly a week on.

So that’s why I have been quiet 🙂

Posted in General, Health

Sickbay

Apologies for the silence. Have felt like death most of the week. Hopefully normal service will resume soon.

Posted in Adoption, Family, Financial, General, Health, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Forgetting it all for the weekend

So it seems the moment I signed up for NaNoWriMo the pressure from all sides of my life takes off like a rocket.

Work has become more and more stressful. To the point of the web site having major problems last thing Friday night. At this point I was so sick with stress I decided it would have to wait until Monday morning. I walked out and decided to try to forget everything for the weekend.

This was not easy, as I said work stress is building up and up, relentlessly. Getting tired of it now.

On top of that the pressure from our adoption is also growing – all the social workers and health visitors want a mass meeting with us – we are naturally stressing about this as we don’t know what it is about. The annoying this is that we feel we have made great strides in the last few weeks and the little one if definitely feeling settled, safe and his behaviour has improved dramatically. The problem is we don’t think they are seeing it.

And then there are financial strains, cars breaking down, things going wrong and family illnesses. All piling on and on.

So this weekend I though sod it all. Lets just concentrate on family time.

And we had a great time. On Saturday we took both boys to a local children’s centre and they had a great time. They found some bikes and played together lovely with them. Then Alexander went to one of his classmates birthday parties. It was in a cake shop, making cakes.

Although he could have stayed we decided that L would just cause chaos in such a small place with flour and eggs! So I took him down to the beach and we spent a great couple of hours together, the best behaved he has ever been. While Alexander had a great time making “Alien” fair cakes and eating marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain, L and I threw pebbles in the sea, raced the tide and sat an ate lollies while watching the boats. It was bliss.

On Sunday we went for a walk in the country side around the village. Again the kids were remarkably well-behaved, collecting leaves and twigs for a Halloween picture project mummy has planned.

I won’t say I wasn’t stressed – it was still there bubbling under but time with the kids and my wife has helped.

So despite all that – because of all that and to spite all that – I decided to plough ahead with NaNoWriMo. I uploaded the cover (see below) and synopsis. Using Scrivener I have made a very rough plan. Writing down some very rough scenes, mostly in order though a few may change. I think my next stage of planning will be to describe for each character how they change between each scene. So I get a little journey plan for each of them as a guide.

I still think there an extra dimension to my idea missing, but not going to worry about that at present. It will only be a first draft – I can add more to it later if I still think it needs it once i have finished.

Onwards

Cold Sanctuary

Cold Sanctuary by Scott Bailey

Synopsis:

Orphaned, wrenched from their home, can Gabriel look after his adopted brother? Can he find a voice to stand up for himself?

In an alien world, unwelcomed and lost, all they have is each other. They must endure a clash of cultures, adapting to a radically new life and dealing with deep-seated grief. Gabriel struggles to keep the promise to his parents to look after the brother he has waited for all his life whilst coming to terms with his new surroundings.

Can such a young mind take all the demands? And, when they are suddenly separated, can he find his brother again?

Their searches for answers, for each other and to fill the holes in their hearts leads them on paths of rebellion and revenge.

Posted in Adoption, Family, General, Health, Work, Writing

NaNoWriMo and life.

So those few who follow my blog (and despite nearly 500 followers I know only a few are regular followers) will have noticed a drastic drop in my output. Since finishing my year of a poem a day I have done very little since. This is despite my promise to myself to keep up the writing.

Well life always has its own designs on our plans. The old reason (excuse?) has been the lack of time. Its been a hard few months. We have been under a lot of pressure from all kinds of angles.

We are still trying to adjust to having a very full on two-year old join our family, and all the knock on effect of that. We love him dearly and would not change our decision but it is taking the wind out of our sails.

Talking it over the other day as we realised that one of the issues that has affected us in a surprising way was his age. When we signed up for adoption we, like many, were envisaging a baby. As you progress through the courses and the process it becomes clear that it is unrealistic, so we opened up our minds to a slightly older child. When it came to it, in our minds age was no longer an issue, and in some respects we could see an advantage in a two-year old. One of the driving forces behind our decision to have another child was as a companion for our oldest – who dearly wanted a brother or sister and had already been deprived of one already. A two-year old would be more ready to play and interact with him.

However the reality has hit us harder than we expected. When you have a baby – as daunting as it all seems, you get introduced to each challenge gradually. So when they are first-born, you have to learn how to feed, them comfort them, change their nappies etc. But their demands don’t go far beyond that – by the time new challenges come along you have just about mastered the first ones.

With adoption of a slightly older child, all the challenges come at once. Not only have you got to learn to change nappies but also how to get them to eat their dinner, deal with challenging behaviour and stop them escaping the push chair Houdini style and make their escape.

Now I hear you crying we don’t have to learn all that as we have already done it once. Well that’s true. But you have to get used to doing it all again, and its a bit of a shock to the system. I don’t envy people who are doing it for the first time.

On top of that, the support we have enjoyed in the past has slowly ebbed away. This is no fault of our support network, they have all had their own plan challenging life changes, and they all support us still in many ways. But the support of having someone there has fallen. For example – we haven’t had a night out together for over a year now. And the nights out alone can be counted on one hand. It takes its toll. On the one hand our sources of stress have bloomed while our outlets for it have wilted. It’s no one’s fault. Just one of those perfect storms of circumstances.

Throw in a few bouts of very bad illness, some natural disasters ( a flood and a maggot attack! Seriously!) and it all adds up.

And then there’s work. We are balancing on a knife’s edge of survival. We have run that knife’s edge for a few years now. It’s a situation of risk, where we could crash and burn or reap what could be ripe rewards. Those rewards draw ever closer but as they do the risk and the pressure increase. Due to my position a lot of the physical responsibility falls on me. No solely but were I to get something wrong it would tip the balance enough to crash it. We are all in that position at work really and after a few years of it, it is tiring. Many late nights home and sleepless nights worrying.

So that I hope is some sort of explanation as to the lack of output.

Two things further to say. Firstly – that all sounds like doom and gloom but it’s not. In all areas we are making progress. A few months ago we felt like we were drowning. A few weeks ago like we were treading water. Now – we are swimming strongly towards shore. It’s some way off – but we will get there.

Secondly. Many people would say that if I had a real passion for writing none of that would matter – that I would make the time to write. Maybe that IS the difference between a successful writer and an amateur. I do love writing – but I also love my wife and kids and I can’t put down my responsibilities to them for my passion. I think that would be selfish.

That said – I have decided to give myself a rather large kick up the arse in the writing department. I am going to try the nanowrimo challenge. (Maybe unofficially if it’s too late to sign up formally.) For those who don’t know it it’s National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word short novel in 30 days. (The official website is here http://nanowrimo.org/)

Now I have all the same everyday stresses and challenges but I thought – sod it! I am going to attempt it despite all that – because it is difficult not easy.

Trouble is I am fresh out of ideas! I mean I have loads – but ones I think need longer than 50,000 words.

If it comes to November the 1st and I have nothing still then I will attempt the technique of just starting writing anything and see where it goes. Not something I have ever done before, I usually have a plan, even if it’s very rough.

But in the meantime – if anyone has suggestions or prompts they would be welcome. Maybe a title? Or just a single word? Perhaps a concept to explore? I like combining two disparate concepts into stories, that normally enlivens things. So maybe if I get enough separate ideas I will combine a few of them.

So wish me luck! I need a lay down now to think 🙂

Posted in General, Health

Happy New Year

I am feeling to ill to make it to midnight – so happy new year to everyone out there – may 2014 bring us all our dreams

Posted in General, Health, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #144 (Drained)

Drained

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Every buzz and chime
On the phone
Is a worry
Something has gone down
Something is wrong
Another demand
On my time and my brain
Which are both drained
Something
Must change

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in General, Health, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poem a day challenge #142 (Sick)

Sick

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Feel as sick as a dog
Too much work not enough play
Dulling the senses

Get the previous ones here

http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in Fantasy Fiction, General, Health, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Further Challenges

So I have now got more obstacles to my poem a day challenge.

Firstly work! Its gone into overdrive. The only thankful thing is that the poems are a good tool for stress relief!

Secondly, eye infections. Seem to have flared up so finding it difficult to look at a screen for long – paper and pen are no better.

Thirdly – THE LAST DARK! it’s out! Its been delivered to my kindle and as a fan – I have the hard copy on its way too. So you may not hear too much from me until I have finished it.

The Last Dark by Stephen Donaldson

Posted in Family, General, Health, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Poem a day challenge #132 (Ups and Downs)

Ups and Downs

By Scott Bailey © 2013

From joy to worry
As sickness strikes yet again
Families hold tight

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in General, Health, Poetry, Work, Writing

Walls and Nakedness!

Well its been a stressful few days. Work had been full on (but nothing wrong with that!). Life has been equally full on, rushing to the doctors or the garage! My car is feeling as creaky as me – but as with me – nothing apparently appears to be wrong.

Alexander has been very demanding these past few days – not particularly naughty (well no more so) but aside from issue with listening to what he has been told, he has for some reason needed more attention than usual. Particularly from me.

Anyway – it has all meant that writing time has been in very short supply. Yesterday was the closest I have come to failing this challenge so far – just squeezing in a haiku just before midnight. Today I had a little more leeway but was finding it really hard to get inspired. Hitting the writer’s equivalent of a wall – and still a long way to go!

Couldn’t really think so instead tried to get my head around the final part of my book – literally a few more pages to do. This was equally unproductive but out it today’s poem formed slowly. It’s probably my least successful I think so far but at least I am getting words down on (virtual) paper. It all helps.

On a more surreal note. We witnessed a mass naked bike ride through Canterbury today.

Posted in General, Health

Ninja Pirates Ahoy!

Well didn’t get to write anything yesterday, it’s been a bit of a sick bay here this weekend.

Yesterday we took the car in for a check as we have an engine light flashing. Was just a faulty sensor so that was OK. Fully had the intention of taking Alexander out somewhere to run around as he has had an upset stomach and need some help there. However once we got back in the car my back started hurting.

It wasn’t a spasm or a pulled muscle like you would expect but rather came on like a very dull ache that escalated very quickly. The long and short of it being we were forced to go home as I could hardly drive. Rachel was also feeling ill so we all ended up on the sofa variously watching films and falling asleep. We then had an early night though stayed awake in bed watching Parenthood with Steve Martin. (which is a film I always liked and now appreciate even more being a parent. There were some lines that just rang true – particularly Steve Martins Line -“My whole life is Have To’s”)

So did not achieve much Saturday. Sunday we got up and struggled through housework. Went and got Alexander some stronger medicine. The we took him where we were suppose to go yesterday – to his favourite playground. One with a pirate ship in.

He straight away made a couple of friends and they played Ninja Pirates for over an hour. Getting him some much-needed exercise.

It was a sunny day with only a slight chill in the air so was lovely to walk along the seafront for a bit – even if I did have to carry a four year old most of the way.

Back home we had lunch and tried to get Alexander more comfortable but with no success. I did a water change on his tank so hopefully Pinkie and Goldie will be happier.

Mum and Dad popped over and brought over their old TV – it might be old but it will be the first flat screen I have ever owned. Alexander was keen to set it up straight away but we have to work out how and where we are going to do it first. PLus moving the old one is beyond me at present as my back is still hurting and it is the HEAVIEST tv I have ever come across – and I used to work in a shop selling TV in the late 80’s so I have lifted a few.

So as my eyes are sore now, it looks like this blog will be the only writing I will have achieved this weekend.

Never give up though.

Have to think about what I could write a poem for the Canterbury Festival. Need a spark of inspiration.

Posted in General, Health, Work

Crawling back to life

Well, after returning to work last Tuesday I promptly had to take the rest of the week off due to feeling very ill. Alexander joined me in this and was too ill to go back to nursery.

It was still an eventful week. A warning light had come on my engine over the last few days. I was going to take into the garage near me on Wednesday. However ended up ill in bed or being sick in the loo! Still it did not worry me as I was not going to be driving it until I was better – and then I would get it fixed. Other people had other ideas and being helpful got it booked into the garage for me! Where it still is being fixed.

I decided that enough was enough and that we had spent too much time and energy on this car, along with struggling with the lack of space in it. Something that was only going to get worse when we are successful in our adoption mission. (See – being positive there!)

The upshot of all this is I have a hire car for the week and will have a new one by the end of the week – by new I mean new – used – quite old actually but it the best we can do. It’s a triumph of function over form by which I mean it won’t be winning any beauty contests but will win our hearts by doing what we need it to. (6 Seats! Three of them in the front! It’s a Fiat Multipla for those who are interested.)

Anyway – this was all stress, stress, stress. There were better things going on.

This weekend was to be about Alexander’s 4th Birthday.

Friday night we received some good news – Alexander got offered a place in out first choice school – the local village one so that makes life easier.

Saturday, after picking up the car we went to get the fish for Alexander’s fish tank. However after they tested our sample of water it’s not quire ready for fish yet. Need to do some more preparation.

Then my parents, my Brother Adrian – his girlfriend Charlie and her son Sean came around for a birthday tea. Alexander had a great time opening some of his presents but most of all playing with Sean who he totally worshipped all afternoon/ He told him

“I really want a brother just like you.”

Much fun was had (despite being slowly sapped by the flu.)

The fun continued next day – we met up with My other brother Daniel and his fiancée Carol. We had lunch with them at the play gym and again Alexander had a great time.

Then we took Alexander to a kids show at the gulbenkian -“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”.

He had a great time – it was kind of like a mini panto.

All this feeling ill was put into stark contrast as on this Sunday two of my oldest friend are both doing Marathons.

Liz was running in the Paris Marathon which she completed – we were all very proud of her.

David – who is just mad – was running the first of his six marathons (in seven days) in the Sahara desert! The Marathon Desables. Mad Mad Mad. He is still going and doing well. Finger crossed for him!

Returned to work today which was a real struggle as I felt like I had regressed a bit this morning. Did a lot a resetting devices and upgrading them in the field.

Came home and after a quick bite to eat Rachel and I headed out to our SANDS meeting

This was quite hard as one of the regular people was quite heavily pregnant – we didn’t know as we hadn’t been able to go for the last few sessions. Rachel was quite upset but bravely stayed. She said for my sake but I am glad she did as I believe it helps her quite a bit as well.

There were more new people and some more hard stores to hear. Some cases that really sounded like negligence too. At least we aren’t faced with that – I think  that would make it worse.

We paid for our memorial stone now so that will be added to the SANDS Memorial garden in Ashford in time for the grand opening in July.

Also during the last week Rachel has done extremely well in her course. She has achieved her first target early and got really high scores all round. Very proud of her.

So an up and  down week summarised quickly there. Will try and do better this week and keep updated.

 

Oh.. and Maggie Thatcher Died

Posted in General, Health

Rachel collapsed

After only two weeks back at work Rachel, who went to work OK and happy suddenly collapsed with what seemed like stroke symptoms. She had spoken to my mum earlier who could tell she was not well so raced to work where there was an ambulance waiting already.

Once at hospital, they assumed she had been drinking! Once they got past that they insisted it was all in her mind and she should go home. Rachel would not accept this and could talk again by this time. Finally it was diagnosed as a Basilar Migraine triggered by Post Traumatic Stress.

Sometimes the NHS is just terrible.

Posted in General, Health

Visiting David and Lois

Went to stay with David and Lois for a couple of days. First night David and I went to the pub and got royally slaughtered. And had a great time chatting like we used to.

Next day we went to flying in his light aircraft. Lois and Rachel and the boys went to a play gym. Rachel was very ill though so in the end we drove home that night.

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