Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Welcome to Wednesdays!

Hi there

Welcome to Wednesdays on Bella's blog!  I'm starting off a new series of discussions entitled Writing; The Alphabet in which I will be taking a letter each month and either writing or inviting another author to write a piece on that topic.  For May we're going to start with 'A' (naturally) and our topic this month is 'A' is for Adversity.  This will comprise authors writing about ways in which they are coping with/overcoming adversity in order to function as a writer.  I'm starting the series with a piece about myself:

'A' is for Adversity

Coping with Cancer

            I promise you this isn’t a sob story about my battle with the ‘Big C’.  Yes I am coping with Breast Cancer, and yes it has been life-threatening, but I’m getting there.  Still only four years into remission I’ve had a few scares along the way with more lumps and operations which didn’t quite go as planned, but the fact that I’m writing this proves that I’m currently winning the battle.
            In March 2013 I was in hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, England, recovering from a large operation which almost claimed my life, but, as I keep telling my family, only the good die young!  While staring at the ceiling, contemplating my life (as you do), I began to think about my life and my biggest regret, I realised, was never becoming a published author.  I have always enjoyed writing and had a batch of stories which I had never actually sent off (never thinking my work would be good enough), and I had done several writing courses which I had never actually put to good use.  I decided then and there that as soon as I was back on my feet again, I would do something about it.
 I always enjoy meeting authors, so when I saw an event called ‘Smut by the Sea’ advertised on the internet, I persuaded my hubby to come to Scarborough with me to check it out.  It took about four hours to get there, and the hotel we had chosen to stay at looked beautiful from the outside.  The room, however was below ground level and had no windows.  Needless to say, when the fire alarm went off early on the Sunday morning we were not happy!
            The event – which was not held at the hotel, I should add – was inspiring and the authors were very friendly and quite happy to answer my myriad questions.  I had never written erotic fiction and had never actually contemplated it until I met this wonderful, enthusiastic bunch of men and women.  I bought several books (of course!) including one of the event which was an anthology of short erotic tales based in and around the sea. 
            On the long journey home I started imagining what I would have written if I had been one of those authors, and starting jotting down some notes.  The notes became a story shortly after I returned home, and the ‘short story’ soon became a 32,500 word novella, the first in a series, and thus ‘Sirens and Sailors’ was born.  That first book, ‘Last of the Sirens’ was accepted by Siren publishing and released in November 2013.
            As I write this I am taking a sneaky break from writing the sixth and final book in the series, which has covered MF, MM, MFM ménage and some BDSM along the way, all intermingled with a story which is actually about a myth set in the future!
            Unfortunately, cancer brings with it a load of other illnesses and conditions which are often exacerbated by the treatment, and I find that fatigue, along with osteoarthritis coupled with osteoporosis effect me more than anything else.  Like any of the millions of other people coping with the disease, I had to learn to deal with these tribulations, but when my employers announced another increase in my hours I had to admit defeat and resign.  If you listen to your body it will tell you how much you can cope with, and I knew my health was deteriorating again.  Giving up the day-job meant a lot of changes for the whole family, but, like everything else in life, you learn to manage.
            For me, this has meant that I am now in a position I had only ever dreamed of; being at home for my family and being able to write.   Being my own boss has taken away a lot of the stress and enables me to rest when I need to, and, touch wood, my health has improved.  Apart from my family, writing is now my life – and life is great!

Next Wednesday - Caitlin Reynolds will be talking about her kidney transplant.

Join me on Friday when I will be meeting Suzy Shearer.  Until then,  enjoy whatever you're reading and/or writing this week.


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