Compliance

Mask, Surgical Mask, Virus, Protection

Back in the spring I heard a phrase on the news that I thought was valid. It was reported that one of the reasons the timing of social distancing restrictions was delayed in the spring was due to COMPLIANCE. How long would people cooperate with and obey what was being asked of them?

I can only relate what I have seen here in England, and the rest of UK. Now I know there have been a minority who were always going to do their own thing. They seem to think the virus is a hoax and that all the measures being taken are ridiculous. Why they think the government would try to cripple the economy if this was a hoax – I am not sure.

However, on the whole, the majority of people in this country did comply with social distancing requirements in the spring. Most people did what they were asked to, and I don’t think we should ever take that for granted. Most people were unselfish, self-sacrificing and creative in finding new ways to keep their spirits up despite the change in their routines and the restrictions on their freedoms. People knew this was serious and they wanted to do their part to make a difference. And they did!!!! It was very impressive and it made a big difference.

Face Mask, Mask, Coronavirus

During the summer months, restrictions were lifted. For some people life seemed to become more like their normal way of life. Seven months later and now in response to rising numbers of infections and hospital admissions, the government are once again bringing in restrictions. So far, they have been trying to do that in a more targeted, localised fashion.

Half of my family live in Wales. They are going into a full lockdown from Friday for a whole fortnight. But they are ready to cooperate with what is asked of them, as they have done all year.

If you have been watching the UK news, you may be aware that in some areas there does not seem the same level of cooperation as there was back in the spring.

Virus, Protection, Coronavirus, Woman

Now it is not my desire to call judgement on that. I work in the NHS, so I am mindful of the damage to physical health, but I am also very aware of how mental health is being stretched.

The concern over people’s livelihoods is a valid one and I am not willing to wade into a very sensitive situation. For those who are hard pressed economically or in debt, anxiety and stress can be a huge threat to mental and physical health. So I don’t think it can be ignored that after already losing income throughout 2020, some are extremely concerned about the prospect of their income suffering even more.

I am more worried about the conversations I have had with some of my patients and friends here in London. I have heard some strange things of late. Some are extreme. There is one patient who I dread seeing because he is so disdainful of everything to do with this virus. He insists it is a hoax, he accuses the government of all sorts of crimes (I am not a fan of politicians but I think this patient us unbalanced in his outlook) and he has gone so far as trying to physically remove our PPE and deliberately coughing to make it clear how he feels about the measures people are taking to protect themselves and other. I wish we could ban him from coming anywhere near us. But generally I prefer to deal with him speedily and efficiently so he can leave us and the rest of our patients in peace.

Bar, Restaurant, Coffee, Black Table

But then there are those who have just had enough it would seem of limitations being put on their social lives. Someone told me the other day that they had plans to go out for meals in restaurants pretty much every day the following week with different friends and family. They told me they would tell the restaurant that they were living in the same household – in other words, they were going to lie in order to be able to socialize freely with whoever they wanted. Right.

I totally understand anxiety over income and why that would make people feel the restrictions placed in certain areas are a further threat to their livelihood. I understand and empathise and I know that there is no easy answer to that issue. But I struggle to be as sympathetic with those who are willing to lie so that they can socialise with whoever they want That is not something I can approve of. The whole idea of a social bubble was to help life be bearable for those who are isolated. So get in a social bubble and stay in it. Claiming to a restaurant that you are in a social bubble with your fellow diner in regards to a dozen different friends is showing disregard for the tremendous sacrifices many are making.

People, Man, Travel, Adventure, Alone

When this person told me their intention I gave them a little food for thought. I mentioned that I had been reading a lot of posts from Canadian bloggers who reported being on their own for Canadian Thanksgiving for the first time in their lives. I asked this person, how do you think people in England would feel if they found themselves alone for Christmas for the first time in their lives?

This issue of compliance is a worry. I think the government do want to keep children and students in education. I think the government do want to keep most businesses open. So that leaves them with the activities that are classified as more under the umbrella of recreational or social, where they can bring in restrictions. The more people take liberties, lie about their social bubbles, just do whatever they want and try to find loopholes to justify their actions, well….everyone is going to pay for that.

Above all – whether you are working or playing – remember that the most effective measures we can take are:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS
  • DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
  • SELF-ISOLATE IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS

and if the authorities where you live ask you to then please

  • WEAR A FACEMASK
  • COOPERATE WITH THE RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIALISING
  • KEEP A DISTANCE FROM OTHERS

This is all temporary. It’s hard but it’s temporary. When you are in the midst of a challenge, a trial, you may well wonder, “when will this end?” But when the hardship has ended you appreciate more than ever what really matters and hopefully you will have learnt to develop strong qualities.

Eye, Eyes, Face, Portrait, Woman, Girl

If you are struggling emotionally with the strangeness of this year, please be assured that is perfectly understandable. There is nothing wrong with you! These are challenging times and admitting that you are overwhelmed, or dealing with increasing anxiety is normal. But disregarding the measures being taken and deciding you are going to socialize with whoever you want to keep your spirits up is likely to upset others. Do keep talking though. Phone, email, blogging – it’s a good idea to keep in touch with those who seem balanced and practical when it comes to dealing with life’s challenges. Being completely alone with your worries can put you at risk. So connect, but connect with people who are responsible and wholesome.

Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?

As promised, Jack and I have read through the entire STORM IN A TEA-CUP Series and I have tried to edit out the typos. It’s hard to read. Jack and I laughed about some of our story, but we also found some of it hard to re-live. Still…all that matters is the happy ending! This was the first part. You may have questions, but remember there are more posts to come. And yes…this post is about Jack and me.

(Brace yourself for a little bit of a weepie…make yourself a cuppa before you read this one.)

He told me that what I had done was courageous.  He said he and I should have talked along time ago.  He said it was the right thing to do.  I had already asked him once three months earlier, and he had made excuses.  He said he should have made time to sit down with me and talk…he regretted he had not.

He suggested we sat down at our dining room table in the huge kitchen dining area. Then those life-changing words: “Would you like like a cup of tea?”  That seemed like a very good idea.  It would give me something to fidget with while trying to hide how terrified I was.

Cup Of Tea

So, for pretty much the first time in three months he did something kind… he made me a cup of tea.  With my tea-bags and my milk.  He made two cups of tea, one for him and one for me.  He even made it just the way I like it…stewed tea – strong enough to make hairs grow on your chest – with a tiny splash of milk.

Here is what followed:

  • He told me that he had been a coward and that I had been courageous. 
  • He told me that he had never felt so close to another woman. 
  • He said he was totally out of his comfort zone, that he had no idea what he was doing. 
  • He wanted us to be friends. 
  • There had been a lot of pressure on him.  Many people had expressed their curiosity in the dynamics of our flat. 
  • Many of his friends and co-workers had been teasing him for months that a romance would develop between he and I. 
  • It had made him very nervous around me. 
  • He apologised for his behaviour and he wanted me to know how bad he felt. 
  • He realized he had made me feel awkward.  He told me that had not been his intention. 
  • He said I should never have been made to feel so uncomfortable in my own home.
  • He paid me extraordinary compliments…beautiful words I had never heard in my life.

My face must have been a picture.  He used expressions I was baffled by!

The man I am telling you about had been making my life miserable for months.  He had been hostile, grumpy, rude, inconsiderate.  He had said some very unkind things about me to his workmates…some of whom sought me out and had told me what he had said.

Who was this capricious man?  At that point he was my flatmate, one of them.  Six of us were sharing a huge flat.

cookies

I remember him moving in one August weekend. I was nice to him and his friend who moved in at the same time and would be sharing a bathroom.  I really was super nice. I went out, I thought the two of them would prefer to be on their own to unpack and settle into the flat. But before I left, I told them they could use my tea and coffee and milk. I even told them they could help themselves to some biscuits I had baked. That was a nice thing to do – was it not?  How many neighbours actually do that nowadays?

We went to a party together that weekend. All six of us were invited to a party in the flat two floors above ours. So many at the party were curious about him moving into our flat. People seemed to be watching the two of us. I tried to ignore it. I tried to act natural.  I think I learnt then that living with a celebrity can become a nightmarish experience.

I remember the first Monday morning…my other five flatmates were up early getting ready to leave the flat for work. I was on late shifts that week (2-10pm) so I did not need to get up as early as they did. But I had overheard him singing at the top of his voice while he was showering. There were only three inches of plaster between his room and mine. It made me smile even though he had woken me. We had not had chance to discuss rules…so rather than wondering around in my nightwear, I showered and dressed before I went into the kitchen to make myself breakfast. 

open french doors

I had a habit of opening the French doors of my room and letting fresh air pour into my room before I made my bed.  I had left the door of my room open while I came into the kitchen.

I heard his voice…he seemed full of excitement to be in a new flat.  Everyone had remarked we were going to be the coolest flat in the neighbourhood and they were expecting lots of parties.  I was sitting at the dining table eating cereal as they were all leaving to travel to work.  He must have stopped outside my door.  He was asking the others where I was? Had I slept in? Was I going to be late for work?  I called from the kitchen.  He came to the doorway and looked at me with surprise. I told him I was on late shifts that week. He looked disappointed. He thought we were going to travel into work together. Maybe he realized that meant I would not be around in the evenings that week.

I think that was the last time he actually seemed happy to be in the same flat as me.  For the next few months I would see him being friendly and jovial and laughing with our friends and coworkers.  Then we would walk into the flat and he would ignore me.  He seemed to be failing to suppress a strong dislike for me, because it was manifest in so many ways that he did not want me in the flat with him.

cyberbully

Looking back, I guess it was mostly external pressure that caused problems. People were saying some really shocking things. In the end I started to note down what I was hearing. It filled both sides of eight A4 pages…most of which admittedly was just teasing. However, a good portion was insulting, degraded comments insinuating he and I had a very “particular” type of relationship.

He was probably just as dismayed as I was at the comments people were making. It is hard to define the perfect way to handle that kind of challenge. How do you shut people down without fanning the flames of curiosity?  I found myself saying things along the lines of that there was no possibility of a romance developing and listing the reasons why.

I used to laugh that putting up with a man whom you are living with but not in a romantic relationship with, means a romance is highly unlikely to develop.  A flatmate who never empties the bins, (I am astonished that every male flatmate I have had believed in the magic bin fairy…oooh I am going to get myself in trouble with any male readers) leaves stacks of dirty dishes around the kitchen sink and is noisy, smelly and untidy…and who brings dozens of other single men round to the flat to add to the general man-stink of the place (apologies yet again to any male readers)…well, for fairly obvious reasons there is a distinct lack of warm feeling growing in your heart towards such a flatmate.  I thought that was both a humorous and logical way to stop people from teasing me about him.  My strategy failed.

I kind of blame him.  When his friends and workmates teased him, his reaction was like a teenage boy at school.  He said, “No way!”  He said, “I think she has OCD, she keeps tidying up after me.”  Even worse, he said, “She is a wonderful woman, but she is not attracted to me.”  I don’t think it was deliberate on his part, but he was actually just throwing fuel onto the fire.  The teasing intensified, the level of interest in everything that went on in our flat was shocking.  Social media websites seemed to be making my life unbearable.

Some of his friends started stopping me when they saw me, to tell me what a nice guy he was and that what he really needs is a good wife who can match his mind but is also happy to tidy up after him.  His manager saw me one day at the flat, and had a quiet word with me in the kitchen.  He said to me, “So you are his future wife”.   I felt tearful more than once because they were talking to me about a man who apparently was repelled by me.  I did not want to let a bad word about him creep out of my mouth…but inside he had me in agony.

Telescope, Binoculars, Guy, To Watch

I think you would either be very entertained or very bored if I related more of the hundreds of comments that were voiced about my flatmate and me.  As I mentioned, they range from cute to crude, from ridicule to outright rude, from droll to dreadful, from silly to slanderous, from vile to vicious.  People seemed to be watching our flat, watching my ex-flatmate and I.  If we looked at each other, someone had a comment or a joke to make.  If we did not look at each other, someone else would pry as to what was going on between us.  It was wearing me down and making me feel desperate, it was making him grumpy.

Sure enough, I asked him very early on if the two of us could talk about it and see what we could do to discourage all of the gossip.  He did not seem to want to talk about it though.  His behaviour towards me made life very uncomfortable.  I did lots of nice things.  I am a great believer that if someone has a problem with you one of the best cures is to cover it over with kindness.  I did wash a lot of his dishes.  I regularly cleaned up the kitchen after he had been a messy puppy.  He seemed to use my tea, coffee and milk all the time, which I never made an issue of.  I baked cakes and biscuits and always made sure he could help himself to them.  I have tidied up after him, even picking his underpants up from the floor when guests were coming.  I have cleaned his mouldy leaky food spills up from the fridge.

venus.jpg

I do not try to subscribe to generalisations (even though some of them are frankly hilarious) – but he is the only man I have ever faced inordinate communication difficulties with – to my Martian flatmate, I really may as well have been from Venus. Or else, he had all the communication skills of a teenage boy (sorry to any teenage boys reading this, but on the whole it is true!).

He seemed to like those things, but he was very strange in his behaviour to me.  Cold, hostile, silent.  Despite that, I sincerely was pleased to have him as a flatmate.  I enjoyed his noisiness, he seemed to be an unquenchable fountain of fun and life.  It was great to come home and find so many people in our flat.  I genuinely was happy to wash up and clean up and tidy up after the messy pup.  I kept on trying to provoke a kindly warm attitude from him.  It did not work…and it started to distress me deeply.  I had never been living with someone who behaved as if they had a huge grievance towards me.

Finally, three months later, there we were.  He made me a cup of tea and we sat down and had the conversation I gave you a few glimpses of above.  Bizarre!

Just think, all I had to steady my nerves was a cup of tea that he had made me.

In case you are wondering whether there is a happy or a sad ending to this story…I have to tell you…that cup of tea was the beginning of the end of me:

(More to come…If you have not already read it…take a look at my post “Peanut-Butter Cookies” which will give you more insight into what was developing.)

Permission To Promote

ready for rhtaLittle by little I have been scrutinising and correcting the three novels in my LEARNERS AT LOVE series. I have lost track of how many times I have updated the manuscripts of each book. I am so pleased with them. I loved carefully reading Annabelle’s story again. I read part of the third book on the train journey up north, and Jack laughed at me when he saw tears trickling down my face. But it is emotional! I love the way Book Three developed.

Now that I am happier with the three books, I am going to start promoting them more. I have told my family that now I am happier with them, they can tell their friends about them. I am going to get some Vista-cards printed advertising them and I am going to visit local independent book shops and local libraries. Jack has given me lots of ideas. He also now has permission to promote them,, but subtly. I don’t want them on his social media pages, but I said he can mention the books to people he knows, but only when it is appropriate.

He said people might want to buy the books as gifts in coming months. I must say, I do find that exciting. We have so many friends who love reading and the thought of them reading Annabelle’s story sends flutters into my heart.

Books Block

I love the characters, I have been living with them in my head for eighteen months already. I love Annabelle, but I also love Chris, Dean and Robin. I love Burt and Pearl. I love Gina. I love Ralph. I love Stephen and Fiona. I love Maggie and Angharad. All of my friends who have read the books so far come back to me and tell me who their favourite characters were (most love Dean Mathers!) and what they thought of twists and turns in the storyline. I love receiving feedback. It makes something that was very personal something I can share with people I love.

Managing The Depression Puzzle

CARAMEL'S CORNER

Today I am going to review one of the most impressive books written by a blogger whom I respect immensely. Of all the books written by WordPress bloggers that I have bought and read, “Managing The Depression Puzzle” written by Ashley Peterson, the creator of Mental Health @ Home, is one of the most useful and valuable.

I have to read a lot of health related material in connection with my role within the NHS. As well as having relatives and friends with mental health challenges I also have had a taste of trauma, despair and intense emotions after some of my own experiences. Here is a quote from the World Health Organisation on the subject of mental health:

“Mental disorders afflict hundreds of millions of people in every part of the world and impact on the lives of their loved ones. One in four people will be affected by mental disorder at some point in their lives.

Depression is the single largest contributor to worldwide disability. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are among the most severe and disabling disorders.

Although huge numbers of people are affected, mental disorders remain hidden, neglected and discriminated against.”

World Health Organization (WHO).

It is my belief that some people are still frightened about the subject of our mental health, even though all people, people of all ages and cultures, should be aware of what can impact both their physical, emotional and mental health. The value of a health professional like Ashley Peterson writing articles on WordPress about mental health and producing comprehensive books is highly appreciated.

Ashley has already published three books and I bought and read all three in fascination. I am reviewing “Managing The Depression Puzzle” because it is so fresh in my mind.

The most important thing I wanted to mention to you is that right from the start I love the tone of this book. I felt as if Ashley was an experienced guide and was holding my hand and reassuring me, as she explained all sorts of facets of a mental health diagnosis and the array of potential treatments to aid recovery. As I mentioned above, there is still so much fear as well as stigma about mental health. So to read this book and to feel as if I was not on my own, but Ashley’s calm and wise voice was going over things step by step, and at a pace that was comfortable to read was very helpful.

Student, Typing, Keyboard, Text, Startup

Ashley clearly knows her subject. Her professional experience shines through from start to finish. She has been careful to cite her resources which makes her work even more authoritative and authentic. But if you know anything about Ashley, you will know she has been there, and she has the T-Shirt! Yes, one of the most significant factors in reducing fear and providing reassurance is the way Ashley candidly mentions her own experience throughout her book.

I mentioned earlier that I have had some challenges myself, and at times it was irritating when people told me what I should do to “get-over” it and move on with life. I have started reading some mental health resources and given up quickly because they were so unrelatable and frankly provoking.

But I did not feel this way at all when I read Ashley’s “Managing The Depression Puzzle“. I never felt patronised or pressured towards one treatment option. Ashley dignifies her readers in presenting clear information and allowing them to determine how useful it is to them. I especially appreciated that, because decisions on medications, therapies and matters like spirituality may be deeply personal. Whoever you are, whatever makes you “you”, Ashley communicates a respect for you being the one who is equipped to make decisions.

Communicate, Brainstorm, Logo, Face

She is careful not to endorse on the basis of what has worked for her, explaining how different we all are, and that what may work for one person may not work for another. But in providing information on a wide range of treatment options, from medications and therapies, from physical factors such as nutrition, exercise and sleep to perhaps more emotional factors such as pleasurable activity, creativity and spirituality, Ashley looks holistically at all of the aspects that can add up to make a significant difference to any of us who are aware we need to address mental health challenges that are impacting negatively on our enjoyment and satisfaction in life.

This book is excellent for anyone who has experienced any form of depression or another diagnosed mental health condition. I think it a great aid for those working within a medical field. However, even if you have not (or perhaps we should say not yet) had to avail yourself of professional assistance to support your mental health, a very large section of Ashley’s book still of great benefit. I say this because all of us have good days and bad days, all of us find it hard to maintain balance. So in the process of detailing and discussing all of the factors that can make a difference to our mental health, Ashley has shone light on how all of us can be aware of how becoming unbalanced, or neglecting some of the factors that make you “you” and me “me” overtime, can be detrimental to us.

We live in a world that is changing rapidly. Perhaps so far, your life has been relatively calm. But what if your stress levels began to increase and your mental health began to suffer? The last few chapters of “Managing The Depression Puzzle” deal with some of the frightening challenges that may come along with a mental health crisis. Yet again, Ashley provides tremendously reassuring practical suggestions that indicate that even if your darkest fears came descended before you, there is so much help available.

One of the most helpful aids to managing your own depression puzzle or mental health challenges is somebody who knows what they are talking about. Not only have they studied the subject inside and out, but they have also experienced what it is like to go through a mental health crisis and to try different treatment options to aid their recovery.

Ashley Peterson is an absolute treasure! Through her writing she is making an invaluable contribution to mental health resources. I am sure that not only will you be impressed by her in-depth knowledge, but also you will find that in candidly sharing so much of herself, she provided reassurance and that feeling that you are not alone in the sometimes frightening field of mental health.

__________

You can find out what Caramel has been reading in her very own little reading corner, as she published book reviews of books written by WordPress bloggers each Saturday.

If you have any recommendations, please leave a message in the comments below.

CARAMEL’S CORNER

It’s A Pea-Souper

As soon as I saw Fandango’s picture prompt in this week’s FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE, I thought to myself, “That looks like a pea-souper”. What is a pea-souper? The link below takes you to the Wikipedia explanation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea_soup_fog

Have you ever been in a pea-souper?

When you feel your life has become a pea-souper…and you are lost in fog so thick that you can barely see your foot in front of you, without knowing how you became so lost and not knowing how to get out of this pickle – do not despair.

Look up – even in a thick fog you can see the stars.  Take the next step in front of you. Then take another small step. Someone can see exactly where you are, how you became lost in this fog, where you have been wandering and what you need to do to get out of the fog.

__________________

This was my response to the picture prompt provided in this week’s

FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE

FFFC

I painstakingly produced this post using the block editor and it was an interesting learning curve for me…to say the least. Is that a nice way of putting it?

No electronic devices were harmed in the production of this post…despite the frustration of the user, who was trying to make sense of the block editor.

Feeling Totally Stoked!

Person, Young, Woman, Girl, Skirt Today I woke up to the very happy thought that I have a week-long holiday ahead of me. Yayyyy!!!

Jack is with his parents this weekend, but he is coming to stay for for a few days after he has been able to catch up with his own family (who live at the other end of the country). So I am spending the first day of my holiday doing something I wanted to do for a long time – walking for hours. I am going to take a walk through the beautiful London parks near to my little nest.

I wanted to check out some WordPress posts before I headed out (especially SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY selections) and I came across a post from Iain Kelly Iain Kelly, who has very kindly read and reviewed my first book “We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves“:

BOOK REVIEW: WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES by MELODY FINCH

dfhygdI am so grateful to Iain, not only for reading Annabelle’s story, when it is not the genre he would usually opt for, but also for publishing a very complimentary review. In my head, my book was kind of chick-lit (I know that’s not very PC) with a sprinkle of grit, so it means so much that Iain has rated it so positively. Iain is also spot-on about the areas I need to give more attention to. I will work on those points – I promise! But I am totally stoked about the very kind comments he made.

Iain Kelly, author of THE STATE TRILOGY, is not only a fabulous fiction writer himself, as I am sure many of you will know, but he also reviews books published by independent and self-published authors. If you have a book that you would like Iain to review, he invites writers to leave him a message so he can take a look at your book.

Why We Need Taylor Swift

fhldsbsJack said something random to me the other day, which was well motivated but didn’t make sense to me. He suggested that my three books could become a way to raise money for mental health charities. Afterall both of us have been passionate about our work for non-profit charities.

I reminded Jack that the money my books have made so far would make a disappointing donation. (ALTHOUGH EVERY PENNY COUNTS AND THE BACKBONE OF MOST CHARITIES ARE REGULAR SMALL CONTRIBUTIONS.)

He has more of a business mind than I do and more of a creative mind. He said we need to market the books, and get big names involved. My face contorted at the word “celebrities”. Well he whittered on for a while with all these ideas that frankly I was ignoring. But then he said something that did capture my attention.

Chromakey, Shooting, Film, Movie, SceneJack started talking about how much money could be made if a production company dramatised Annabelle’s story. (You see how he appealed to the part of me that cares so much about my main character and wants people to get to know her.) He thinks (and I think his feelings for me are blinding his judgement) that there is great material in the book, especially the contrast of Dean Mather’s character and the dip into the music industry that is part of the story.

He said that submitting the lyrics of the songs in the books to powerful song writing forces like Taylor Swift and the writers she has worked with (I did point out to him that Dean’s band Mildew are supposed to be a grunge rock band) and seeing if they would be willing to produce a track (or all three tracks) and use it to raise money for mental health charities. Top recording artists can generate enormous sales/streams etc. Although I am not someone who approves of lots of money lining the pockets of individuals, I do approve of lots of money getting into the hands of responsible charities.

We ended the conversation with me laughing at Jack’s ideas. But I think any writer can relate to how much it discombobulated me. For anyone who has written a novel (or a three part series), the thought of seeing the story as a movie or a television production is so exciting.

  • I would love to see the town of Blackwood with it’s white picket fences and lovable vintage generation (and of course the nefarious gossipers).
  • Empire State Building, New York CityI would love to see Annabelle and Chris in New York.
  • I would love to see bad boy Dean Mathers and Mildew play at Madison Square Gardens.
  • I would love to see the Switzerland scenes – they would be breathtaking.
  • I would love to see the English countryside scenes in West Berkshire – and the beautiful estate at Inkpen. That whole English wealthy class, tweed jackets, wellington boots, horses, dogs, going for shoots culture that Annabelle is baffled by.
  • I would love to see the key events of the book…happy and sad being dramatised.
  • I would love to see these amazing minor characters – Ralph Crabbe, Gina Ward (my personal favourite), Burt and Pearl, Dean Mathers, George and Carol Riley, Stephen and Fiona Grainger, Nick and Anna, Angharad and Maggie (even Jenna, Amber and Margo!) on a screen.
  • I would love to see a talented actress who could one moment be a beautiful energetic woman become someone who is overwhelmed with guilt and her mistakes and unwilling to communicate with those who care about her.
  • I would love to see two great actors play Chris and Robin – and leave the audience split between who they like the most and think is best for Annabelle.

Person Holding White Printer PaperYes Jack knew just how to pull on my heart strings. But by myself I have no power and no resources to turn a story I wrote into a tool that could generate money for charities. I would love to sign it all over to those who knew how to produce entertainment. It would be immensely satisfying (as any other writer would agree) to see what started on the dashboard in my head and became Annabelle’s story, jump from page to screen. I would love someone like Taylor Swift to take the three songs and make them something that could make money for charities. It would be sooooooooo exciting to see those words become real music.

Jack dreams big. He dreams big on my behalf. I have no head for money making at all. I chose the minimum charge when pricing my paperback book, which means every time someone buys a paperback, Amazon make some money but I do not make a single penny. I make $1 each time someone downloads a Kindle copy.

If I thought the LEARNERS AT LOVE series could be a fund-raising tool for charities, I would be totally stoked. But I don’t have the expectations Jack has for my writing. It is very sweet of him though. In a way, that’s what Annabelle did for Dean. She believed in him. She saw the teenager who played the guitar in a basement with his pals, become an international rock star.

Write, Notebook, Pen, Woman, Hand, PaperI am still going over every page, every paragraph, every punctuation mark editing my books to perfection – and I feel as if I may be doing that for weeks to come. I also think the cover for Book Three needs to be more similar in colour to the first two books.

Meanwhile there are new characters in my head that want to have their own story told. They will have to wait though. I want to do Annabelle Riley justice and give her my full attention.

If Annabelle ended up becoming a fundraiser for mental health charities (which is what Jack wants her to be) then that would be the absolute dream ending for the character I am so proud of.

But I will say this…it is very touching to have someone who believes in you. Jack and I may have different dreams. But it is inspiring to hear him come up with all these ideas. I am someone who enjoys writing. I have worked thousands of unpaid hours for charities and I don’t have a business or money making mind. I try to avoid owning anything other than the contents of one suitcase. I wrote a dramatic story set in exciting locations, but I don’t know how to take a decent photograph (and have to use Pixabay images for all my blogging posts). I wrote song lyrics for each of the three books but I don’t have a musical bone in my body – that’s why we need Taylor Swift.

I would love to hand over the books to people who know how to make money, make screen productions and make music – and for them to become a fundraising tool. I would love any profit generated to end up in the hands of mental health charities who help people in times of crisis. That is something I am sure Annabelle Riley would feel passionately about. That is something I feel passionately about.

Apparently…It’s World Book Day

bukThe BBC News had a report featuring children around the country who will be engaged in reading activities in recognition of World Book Day.

So I thought…since it is apparently, World Book Day…why not drop a post on you to mention that Part Two of The LEARNERS AT LOVE Series is on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. This part is called WHERE IS THIS PLACE THEY CALL “HOME”?

It continues Annabelle’s epic journey as she learns about herself and about love. I loved this part of her story.

You may have seen my posts a while ago about Part One of The LEARNERS AT LOVE Series, which was entitled WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES.

Thank you so much for the wonderful support and encouragement. Writing the story of a young woman who wants to be happy but has been afraid to seek help with her mental health been an amazing journey. Publishing it and receiving feedback from others has been such a joyful experience!

 

At the moment I am fine tuning Part Three, but it is taking me longer than I hoped because I have so very little spare time at the moment. But it is 80% there. I’ll let you know when Part Three is live and kicking on Amazon.

Ashley Is Amazing!!!

Young Woman, Lying Down, Female, PeopleMy rather ridiculous work schedule continues unabated! So I have to admit that due to the lack of time and some mega headaches, I have not been able to write many new posts over the past week.

However, all is not lost! Not only do I have a lot of posts scheduled to be published over the next few weeks (SCHEDULING IS THE BEST FEATURE ON WORDPRESS!!!), my very patient friend has also published Part Two of my LEARNERS AT LOVE Series. Incredible! When it is live on Amazon, I will tell you all about it!

I came home tired on Wednesday evening and found a beautiful surprise waiting for me on WordPress. The amazing Ashley Peterson, the creator of Mental Health @ Home, had reviewed Part One of the series, entitled “We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves”. I can’t tell you how much it encouraged me to see Ashley’s review! Take a look at what she says about the book in her post below:

Book Review: We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves

We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves: Part Of The "Learners At Love" Series by [Finch, Melody]I am very grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received. I have been making little tweaks to my manuscript over the past couple of weeks, trying to make sure any spelling or grammar mistakes are corrected, and adding a few details that will link to Part Two and Part Three.

Who would have thought that writing longer fictional stories and seeing them in paperback form would be so exciting?

If you have a novel in you, go for it! Please do. Even if only three people ever look at your book, I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see your story become something real. The hilarious thing is, my friends and family are asking me to sign their copies. They are loving the idea of Melody Finch being a published author.

I am not very technical, but hopefully the link to the Amazon page showing the Kindle version has carried over. Or…if you go to Amazon and type MELODY FINCH, you will see the book available in Kindle and Paperback.

Thank you again Ashley, and all the other gorgeous bloggers who are just so awesome!!!!

Curl Up With A Book This Week

prom

For the week of hearts, chocolate and flowers

The weather forecast says cold wintry showers

So stay in and enjoy the best of Netflix

To make sure that you get your romantic fix

Or if you’d prefer to curl up with a book

Then I invite you to take a little look

At at a story of friendship and mental health

Of a woman scared to be left on the shelf

A tale that will bring you laughter and tears

Read how Annabelle overcomes all her fears…

 

OUT NOW ON AMAZON – IN BOTH KINDLE AND PAPERBACK VERSIONS

THE FIRST PART OF THE “LEARNERS AT LOVE” SERIES

“WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES”