Tag Archives: horror

Writers that influenced me Part 3

Roald Dahl was one of the first two authors I first discovered and loved throughout my childhood and got me into the habit of reading because of how much I enjoyed their works; the other author was Eric Hill, I was a major fan of Spot the dog.  But Roald Dahl really knew how to identify with children and think like them.

Roald Dahl was one of the first authors I experienced who actually understood how children think and how children might behave in certain circumstances and I enjoyed and respected that about him.

All too easily adult authors try to avoid the snotty nose kids covered in mud aspect of childhood and try to portray children as mini adults and it isn’t accurate!  Many people try to show that children can be brave too, but Roald Dahl fully understands that a growing person often feels fear; especially when they are alone in the world dealing with some pretty big stuff going on around them, how often children are disregarded and ignored by their elders, often in reality children are made to feel inconvenient even by those that care and love them.

He did all of this whilst never deviating from the fact that although some children can rebel and do nasty things to their elders, they still have a certain amount of innocence about them and I admire the balance he had in his stories.

Christopher Moore’s books are hilarious and I read them whenever I am having a hard time, because he is just so funny!  I love how he plays with ideas and makes fun of the aspects of society which seem to be the most serious.

Although most of his books is all about humour he never deviates from excellent high quality storytelling and never forgets the real seriousness of the lives he is writing about, because although he is a light hearted absurdist he is also very dark. 

Again I believe his books have shown me how to write in a balanced kind of way.

Ransom Riggs books are absolutely wonderful, when I first read “Tales of the peculiar” my first book I ever read from him, I actually thought he was an old European storyteller from the times of the brothers Grimm or something and was actually genuinely surprised to find out he is a contemporary writer. 

Reading his books gave me the confidence to realise that the way he wrote the stories is not outdated and it has a certain charm that contemporary readers still enjoy, I always liked this style of storytelling. 

Again I loved the darkness in his books and he sometimes portray the ickiest things with light-heartedness, he has an excellent imagination which shows me that anything you can dream up can be accepted by readers, because he has done it.  There has been times where I felt my own works were too light about the dark aspects of my own stories, where I felt I should think about reader sensitivities, but in doing so I lose myself and my readers will lose too as there are many out there who likes this kind of stuff – I am not alone.

Ransom Riggs is very good at showing how different cultures view things, that not everybody thinks and feels the same and that if magic was part of our reality there are many things we must consider about how magical cultures will be so much different to our own, in such fantastic ways.

Happy reading.

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Who influenced my writing Part 2

Susan Hill’s books taught me how to effectively write spooky narrative but also how to convey the fear and the confusion that occurs in people when they are unsure of both their sanity and the reality around them.

She is very good at portraying self-denial of the senses whenever supernatural events occur and is very effective at sudden and fantastic twists in plot.

Susan Hill also taught me through her book “I’m the king of the castle” that you never know what is really going on in a characters mind, that sometimes things are just on the surface and the events that come through her books are often a shock even to the reader.

George MacDonald’s books taught me that you can play with uncomfortable ideas and he can do so in such a gentle way, that readers almost forgets what it is he is writing about subject wise.  I remember reading his book Lilith and was surprised at how well he skirted around the religious sensitivities and turned this character almost into a fairy tale, he wrote about the dream state and life and death as though it was a beautiful journey and in some cases it can be.

Edgar Allen Poe is one of the main reasons why I love horror and poetry.  I really love gothic culture and the macabre and he really explores the depths of human emotion really well, he was beyond his time.  He didn’t portray the human condition in airs and graces, he put down the most rotten of all of humanity down on paper in all its rawness and left you feeling either numb or depressed right after you have read his works – but nonetheless it left you feeling in awe of his creativity.

He really showed me how to reel in my reader’s emotions and play to their hopes, dreams, dreads and fears.

He really knew how to play in the dark.

Happy reading!

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Who influenced my writing? Part 1

Over the next few days I will be choosing three authors who has influenced me the most in writing and why; what did I learn from them by reading their books and so on? There will be eighteen in total and they will be placed in alphabetical order each day. Enjoy my first three;

Suzanne Collins showed me that writing about politics is necessary, particularly fictional politics, because politics is a major factor in every bodies lives whether they are interested in it or not.  Nobody can escape the politics of their country or their culture and their lives are influenced by it more than they realise!

She showed me that the government can eventually become anything and do anything and that it is our job as writers to think of all possibilities that could occur to arm the public with the knowledge to understand political trickeries. 

Her books showed me how to write characters that are trying to survive dense political control and how to overcome them in ways which inspire others, rather than just being a rebel without any real cause outside of themselves. 

She has also taught me through her writing, that even the most disgusting creatures deserve love and respect, because she is certainly the only writer I have ever read that actually made me feel sorry for and cry over the death of a cockroach!

Neil Gaiman showed me that writing has to be fun and you should play with ideas no matter how silly they appear, all ideas are worthy and all ideas will find people who love them! 

He showed me not to be afraid of my own sense of humour or my sense of darkness either and that everything about the worlds you build should have some kind of balance to them. 

He showed me to find sense of humour in dark things and to find dark things in the light!  He is very clever at this in all his works! 

Also no matter who the character is, their position in society, their outward personality, everybody has a hidden side, a fun side and he shows this well in his works too! 

Stephen King showed me not to make my writing too pretty because it doesn’t help your readers identify with your world.  In order to make a realistic world you need to put in some of the bad nitty gritty stuff occasionally.  People aren’t perfect, people falter and have flaws and every character you write about must show their flaws as much as anything else.

If you are writing horror, you have to get over yourself and your own sensitivities in order to write it more effectively, because if you are uncomfortable and squeamish and give yourself nightmares over what you are writing, then congratulations you are a horror writer that is going to succeed!

I’ve learned that you can find the most fearful or disgusting thing about anything if you put your mind to it, even a gentle walk in a flower meadow will have its horrors!  A dead rabbit lying amongst the flora rotting away with maggots and flies, or an earwig hunting aphids on a bellflower:

Thank you for reading! 

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The fool tried

Slimy wet rose upon white bone was held within his hands

Freshly skinned skull staring back at him from his palms with hollowed eyes

The smell of victory abounds

The sounds of mortal screams echoed all around

He stood proud and tall and that wasn’t all

His victims heart had only just stopped – the fool

Fool to think he could do him down

That he could win the war

But he showed this fool he was wrong and his heart is now on the floor

Too many have suffered the same fate

But many believe they are strong

And now they lie in a deathly sleep

And their families mourn their song

A pile of skin by the killer’s feet is a sentiment of his fate

For one should not believe they can burn the devil’s gate

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Woah what have I done?

I have been keeping very quiet about a certain little underground problem; I say it’s underground because it hasn’t actually directly been aimed at me exactly, only through hearsay.

I have the hearsay of online acquaintances that a certain vlogger has been doing her utmost to try and tarnish my reputation behind the scenes by friending anyone connected to me to get any details about me and to basically, lie about me in parts.  These online acquaintances have warned me she is doing this because of jealousy – I don’t know why, because I have never had a book published whilst she has!

I am embarrassed that this is going on behind my back, because I dislike drama llamas and I don’t engage with gossip and things like that generally, unless it gets too out of hand and it is getting out of hand because I am actually becoming concerned of the reputation of the person doing this. They don’t realise it, but they are killing their reputation with their venomous behaviour and though they are being nasty about me, I am concerned for them!

Their YouTube is slowly experiencing a death, because they prefer the quickness of Tik Tok, but they are using Tik Tok wrong.  In fact dangerously so, because they are spouting discrimination and hatefulness at every turn at a quick fire pace without realising of the consequences that this could have on their own personal lives.

Nobody wants to work with someone who is a poisonous, backstabbing, bully – to put it mildly.  I know these are strong words, but I am saying it how people would see it, if they are watching what she is doing.

She doesn’t realise that this is not a reflection of how professional she claims to be in comparison to other people who seem to be less so – it’s a reflection of her as a person and so far she is not projecting a nice persona that endears people to her – basically shooting herself in the foot in the process, when she desires the opposite effect.

She is struggling to maintain her career as far as I can see, yet, she is doing everything that is counterproductive to try and reclaim it.

This is the danger of fast paced vlogging – people can do quick-fire posts about heated discussions, defame, delete, discriminate, delete, as and when they please and they think they can do this without observers, seeing!

An example of this would be, my son, after hearing the rumors about this person decided he will go and see who she is and what she is saying.  He was horrified when she called me a C— and then deleted that comment twenty minutes later.  Why she has singled me out in particular I have no idea.

I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t for one major thing – the personal attack on my mixed ancestry and suggesting it’s fake and that everything about me is fake. Also ageist comments; Personal attacks like this is discrimination – it’s illegal! Don’t claim to know things via presumptions when you don’t know someone, as it will come back to bite you some day! If this continues, I will be forced to take legal action.

But because I am a person who doesn’t like to engage in drama and I like to mind my own business and wish the world luck and love – I am not going to mention their name here… why?  Because they’ve contacted enough people who know me, that the people who have been contacted by her, can already guess who the blazes I am on about.

There is only one mega bully online that is making herself famous by her vitriol of many people, not just me.

I do not like to react quickly to things like this and I have said before, that my blog posts are usually written in first draft only.  But because I don’t want to take the bait, I have edited this post six times over the course of ten days!

No doubt she will shoot herself in the foot again by posting multiple tik tok videos screeching about it whilst also having a certain grace in not naming me directly too.

Why she has decided to single me out is beyond me as we have never engaged in a conversation and we are poles apart in the genres of which we write, she is mostly a sci-fi, thriller author, whereas I am mostly a fantasy, steampunk and horror writer.

Because I am concerned for her career and her reputation, I believe it is time for me to broadcast that what she is doing is not only ruining her own future with what she is doing, but she is also engaging in illegal activity whilst doing so.  Ageism and all forms of discrimination is a crime and she can be taken to court for it, just thought she should know.

People, especially this day and age find all forms of hate grotesque and she is emulating so much venom with every post she is doing, that she is going into very dangerous territory on a personal level.

I fell into the trap of people pleasing because some things she was spreading about me was getting to me; I felt the need to try and prove everything I am doing all the time and I felt that my way of writing was wrong – but there is no right or wrong way to write.

I am not going to prove anything to anyone, because I don’t have the time and the energy to do so – whether they believe I am a writer or not, I don’t care, because I know I am one and I write profusely every day, even if I often forget to update what I am doing online to the world. 

I have a son to take care of, a house, myself, my partner, my pets, my garden, generally having a life as well as reading and writing.  Not sitting back like some young lonely sad creature who wants to bully the world because things aren’t going her way.

It is sad when some people feel that the only way to become famous is to become some kind of motor mouth of poison, of hatred, of shocks and taboo!  It’s really sad that there are people out there who have no pride in themselves that they can do this.

I bring nothing but love to people, because this world is a harsh one.  I love everybody, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I will fight for anybody who needs it; however, I am easily hurt and once I am hurt, I don’t forget, but I do tend to forgive eventually. 

I have so much love to give, it’s a shame she didn’t want to try and contact me to make friends and that she chose this route to reach out to me.

People who know me offline have always said I am a very motherly person who would adopt the world if she could; this has been something that has been said to me, even back in high school – which is why I was once nicknamed “The mother raven” I was a goth, but I loved everyone and tried my best to help the world.

The writing community is a lovely one to be a part of, when things aren’t so vicious. It’s a shame there are people out there who wants to spread evil in the world and damage communities as well as personal confidences.

That is all I am going to say now.  For me, this should end things, though I am sure in some way it may have fuelled the fire in her – but I am not responsible for how she chooses to react to the world and what I say.

However, I am responsible for my own words and actions and I take full responsibility of those words and actions and I wish to no longer engage in this vitriol – because I am not going to become one of these writers who have some stupid historical rival with anybody!

For me, I wish that anyone who engages with this person to remain silent about any more things she has to say about me.  I don’t wish to know.

Thank you for reading!

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Top 10 non vampire movies

Finding nemo

The Devil’s Advocate

The end of days

Snowpiercer

The hogfather

The witches of Eastwick

Mad Max (1979)

Minions (2015)

Rear Window (1954)

Hook

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Witchy roots & faeries

What got me into fantasy and horror as a genre?

My family history is really to blame for me loving fantasy and horror, because my family history is pretty unusual in fact, absolutely overrun with weirdness.

It mostly stems from my maternal line all this weird stuff, my grandmother is half Romany and my grandmother once told me that there are witches within the family; I never really truly believed her though I liked the thought that we had such a weird and diverse family history – but in 2017 I found out the truth when I did my own genetic research.

It turns out that my family had cousins who were victims of the Salem witch trials not only on my grandmother’s side of the family, but also my grandfather’s side of the family as well – her husband. 

My family names which were involved with these trials are Howe, Bishop and Crawley – though Crawley managed to escape from her persecution by running away in the night to a different town, here in the UK, around one hundred years after Salem, because our family fled back to the UK after their cousins were lost to the Salem trials.

My grandmother was rather good at telling me about family traditions and taught me a lot of things, which my mother thought was a load of old tosh and old wives tales; but I followed my grandmothers advice on more than one occasion and things always worked out for me whenever I got stuck in life – so it is something I have learned to live by these days.

Witchcraft and gypsy magick seems to run in my blood and there is a lot of weird things I’ve been taught over the years about what it is to be a true witch, with real witch heritage!

My grandmother held off teaching me anything before I was seven years of age, because a true witch understands that before the age of seven spirits can over take a child and make them act like changelings – non-humans and they will never get back their former child if they allow them to mess around with magick sooner than this!

You can tell if a child is meant to be a witch for several reasons within the family – the most significant thing is having green eyes, which is probably why green eyes are rare, it was common knowledge back in the witch burning days.  The next significant thing is being able to remember their dreams and being a sickly child; because the magick messes up our bodies and because we’re young we’re not strong enough to control it. 

Some people believe that green eyes is a sign we are descendants of the goddess Hera and some say it’s where the word heretic comes from, but I can’t vouch for the truth of this, because I don’t know! 

But what I do know is, there is a section of my mother’s family who believe we are descendants from Dionysus, but again, I can’t vouch for the truth of this either!  I know the Italian side of my family believe we are mixed with Greek and Jewish too, but that’s one of the four lines in the past five generations where I have Italian blood.

But that’s another conversation.

The family name Crawley is linked to the family name Crowley too, as the Crowley’s changed their name to become more distinctive and I’ve yet to find a link to the man himself – you know who I am talking about!  My grandmother is sure however he is a second or third cousin to her as she met him at a family reunion around 12yrs of age – she was born in 1932.  Again, I don’t know whether this is true or not, because I haven’t found a link in my research to him.

Why would this influence my love for fantasy and horror?  Because it was part of my bonding process with my grandmother or nan as I called her!  She taught me that in order to be safe going out you need certain trinkets, her particular favorite is the Cornish pixie, if you have that on you and people cause mischief with you, the pixie will ensure they get into mischief too!

I wasn’t inclined to believe about the pixies too much.  But something strange happened when I was twenty five and I went out to a local woodland with a boyfriend (of whom I was having doubts about) – he was being his general obnoxious self and then there was a big rustle up in the trees above us – acorns fell on his head hurting him, when he complained about it there was cheeky maniacal laughter coming up from the tree and the acorn pellets got worse and worse until he grabbed me by the hands and ran out of the woodlands with me!  I laughed and warned him of my heritage once again and how he shouldn’t be so bloody cheeky with me!  We broke up four months later.

She got me into the habit of leaving an offering out to the spirits of the house; because if they are not fed often enough they’ll make the house fall into disrepair!  They will also protect the house from burglary and other things.  I believe this, because I am paranoid about forgetting to do the offerings and I have had two near burglary’s happen, one occasion a burglar tried to break in and the garden gate fell on them as they ran away – the burglar was someone we knew, because they couldn’t help saying that there are weird freaky things in the window and when he decided to leave – the gate fell on him!  But we noticed the back door of the house looked meddled with and we had to change the locks because of issues with it.

This person also claimed that the joker soft toy in the bedroom window waves at him from time to time, but that’s not a mechanical toy, so it must be the Nisse (my gran never called it Nisse, she always called it the hearth folk) playing about!

There are lots of things like this that happen over and over again in my life and many things I won’t talk about here, because if a witch reveals too much about their actual family spells it makes the spells null and void for all future generations.  This is how you can really tell a true witch from someone who just likes to play about.  It is also the reason why certain famous spell books don’t work for some people, but some people they do, because the spirits can sense the bloodlines, but some spells still don’t work or work as effectively as they did for those who originated them, because they get weaker with corruption outside of true magick circles.

Earlier on in the life of the internet you could tell real magick from fake, because magic, magick and magyck – had different significant meanings, which no longer stand in today’s society, once again, thanks to corruption… usually corruption of the wannabes rather than religious intervention! 

No spirit will hurt a true witch, but they do hurt those who are not pure in heart with their spells or who are not part of spiritual bond that blood gives; they will particularly hurt those who intend to do spells based on selfish reasons and revenge.  Because a true witch has no reason to make revenge spells, because their protective spirits and the spirits of their ancestors would already be enacting a vengeance plan for them, if they feel that the witch truly suffered innocently.

Also witches never charge for their skills in spell making or fortune telling, because the spirits will work against them as their skills are a gift and should not be abused for financial gain – however, a true witch and true fortune teller will ask for a donation, this is better than to outright charge.  A donation is acceptable to the spirits, charging for your ability is not!

This is why you will know a true witch, if she asks you to pay for your own spell ingredients so that she can use them to help you, and then you know she is genuine!

Spells from a true witch work faster than those who are merely wannabes!

Also a true witch knows that if a witch curses another witch, that within twelve years they will feel the nasty effects of what they have done, because witches have a code of protecting each other which must never be broken!  Also a true witch can feel the spells as soon as it is cast on them, though they won’t always know where it came from!  It is rumoured in my family that we were the originators of the idea of witch bottles and four thieves vinegar, but again, whether that’s true or not I don’t know! 

My nan told me that a witch is a witch not because they worship devils, that’s just carnival games to excite the masses for some – they are witches because they are descendants from supernatural beings such as pagan gods, faeries and even dragons – because in the far east they believe dragons can live lives like a human and that they have special magical abilities.

My nan also told me that I had Chinese in my ancestry, she was wrong, I found the link she meant, they were actually Vietnamese.  My grandmother is not very clever or academic, she never read books outside of supernatural or occult memoirs – but she knew a lot of Vietnamese traditions purely by word of mouth through the family.

My grandmother on my father’s side of the family also had some fantastical stories about our family history too – though she is not from witch or gypsy lines.  She is from quite a pronounced aristocratic line, a contrast to my mother’s family entirely!  Though her father was Irish and once spoke of tales of how the family is rumoured to be descended from the Tuath Dé Danann.  At the time I had no idea what that was, but I learned it was fairy folk of Ireland! 

My grandmother from this side of the family also spoke of a family banshee, but I was terrified of those stories and I wouldn’t acknowledge them as true, until my first ever death in that side of the family – when I did, indeed hear a distressed long cry and screech outside all night, the night before I learned that Great auntie Edith died!

I learned over the years that you can talk to the banshee and even comfort her, something I never found in myth as possible – she now only softly whimpers, whenever a death occurs and she gives a longer warning of three days before now.

I love weeping willows, but it is not wise for me to be under them for more than a minute, because of their reaction to me.  I always find myself tangled up in their branches and leaves, like the tree is trying to embrace me – I laughed about it when I went on a picnic with my gran, she panicked and because she was disabled and couldn’t walk over to me, she screeched at my cousins to get me away from the tree quickly!  When I settled back down with her, I told her I was fine, the tree didn’t hurt me.  But she said, no, if I hadn’t of got them to get you out of there, we would have lost you! 

I called her silly, but she looked at me with the most serious and stern look I’ve ever seen in her eyes and she said – never go under a weeping willow if you can help it, not all of them, but some have a spirit in them that can sense where your blood is from and the tree will hold you tight until you go back to that world!

Back to what world?

Fairyland!

I laughed at her, but she hit me with her walking stick and told me not to be foolish about it, because if I had got trapped in fairyland a minute is a century if I were to come back and what will happen to me then?

Amongst my skills of being a writer, musician, gardener and poet, are also skills in clairvoyance, clairsentience, healing and fortune telling!  I don’t like to touch people unless I know them well, because if they are sick and I touch them for more than five minutes at a time, I can sense their illness and take it within myself for a few moments, whilst they get relieved of symptoms.  But I have learned how to alleviate that for me in the past few years.

I remember once when training at work – a method of bonding with our colleagues I was made to hold hands with two people and hold their hands for ten minutes straight as part of the exercise and I fainted within three minutes; it was not apparent until fifteen minutes after I collapsed when I asked the two women I held hands with, if they have any serious health problems?  When they asked why?  I said because if I touch someone over a certain period of time I take on their health problems, she was terrified because she had a heart problem and she couldn’t apologise enough, I calmed her down and told her, she wasn’t to know this sort of thing could happen, it’s highly irregular!

Weirdly enough my dad is the seventh born and my mum had several pregnancies in which she is sure I’d be her seventh child too, so it’s no wonder my powers are more significant than other members of the family who chose to stay true to our heritage!  I know according to the other practising witches in the family they believe I am the strongest of the lot – whether it’s to do with the significance of my birth as a seventh child of a seventh child we’re unsure, but I was also born on a full moon!  3rd October 1982 if you want to check!

With all this in my heritage, all these strange tales and occurrences, how else was I to spend my life but wanting to learn more about the supernatural and absorbing myself into it all?

I have to admit a lot of my family stories and experiences will be found in my novels, but I won’t share too much about the magick, because of those reasons I’ve already explained above.

But as I have said in previous posts, my life has been very spiritually enriched and blessed and I am happy to have such a life, no matter how lonely it makes me!

What bought this post on? 

I was scared of my witchy roots for a few years because there have been one or two discriminating people in my village, so I swept it under the carpet.  But like always the spirits have a way in keeping their own safe; so those discriminating people left the village to go to retirement dream spots away from here and they were replaced by likeminded folk.  It’s a funny old world isn’t it?

If I hadn’t been an absorbed writer, I probably would have followed my cousin and nans encouragement in trying to be a fortune teller, healer and clairvoyant of donation only and struggled on through life trying to make ends meet that way – outside of my normal day job – a history of my former occupations will be another post.

I have restarted my crystal and tarot card collections again recently, you know it’s a myth that you can’t use your own tarot if you buy it, don’t you?  A myth to deter Christian children from partaking in witchy pursuits! 

Thanks for reading!

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What not to say to a zombie & gifts

Things not to say to a zombie

What a load of old rot!

What’s that smell?

Are you alright?

Do you actually have a brain?

You’re hopping mad!

Bite me!

What should you buy a zombie for Christmas?

Fly spray

Fixatives

Insensitive gifts would be a coffin and a spade

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Things you shouldn’t say to a vampire!

I like you, up to a point!

You’re a bloody nuisance!

Fancy a steak?

Bite me!

Fangs for the memories

You need to go out and catch some sun!

You’ve got bats in the belfry!

Have you seen yourself lately?

Whatchya fancy to eat?

Once bitten twice shy!

Stick it to the man!

I want a shish kebab

I think I’m bleeding!

Bloody Hell!

Fancy a bloody Mary?

I’m cross with you!

Have you ever been baptised?

You’re my wing man!

Occasionally I find you a bit loopy!

You look like death warmed up!

You’re cold hearted!

Amorte!  “to death in Italian”

Should I open the curtains and get a bit of sun in here?

Do you fancy a nibble?

You suck!

Lap it up!

You’re very hypnotic

Blood is thicker than water!

You’re my battle companion! 

It’s of a grave concern

Tomb it may concern! 

I love you to death!

I’m going to break your heart!

Neck and neck!

You’re pulling on my heartstrings!

I’m bored to death!

Upon reflection isn’t a sigh of relief for you to know that my vampire stories aren’t comedies!  My vampires are part of my dark fantasy and horror works, they were not meant to be humorous, but me being me, I can’t help but think of fun things regarding my vampires from time to time – but this stuff doesn’t really belong too much in my personal vampire series. 

I have thought about having a separate comedy vampire series I’d like to write, but I really am unsure of taking that plunge due to the amount jokes already in the genre – many I have used above!

Thanks for reading!

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Books saved me from crime

I haven’t been raised to be who I am, I was raised to be something quite different and I fought against that system heartily because it felt wrong, corrupt and somewhat evil.

I read ferociously, reading was my weapons against self-destruction.

I am glad I took the quiet path and found solace within the pages of books – because the other path would have been a huge detriment to myself, my life, any offspring I had and perhaps a loss of art from my perspective – because the alternative path would have been a life of sordid means and running away from problems, skipping town to town to avoid being tracked by my past abusers and potentially I would have followed one of my older siblings into a life of crime.

Instead the path I took was a weird one, for the type of family I was raised in.

My mother often told me she was disappointed that I appeared to be some kind of flake, some kind of weird little creature who sat in dark corners reading books and seemed alien to what she said was a normal person’s idea of fun!

So what did my mother think was a normal person’s idea of fun?  Going out Friday and Saturday nights drinking themselves into a stupor with your friends, gorging on take aways and BBQs wherever possible and bothering the doctor about your strange back pain, without telling your doctor that you recently fell off a balcony with an 8ft drop because you were too drunk to realise what you were doing!  Oh but that’s not all, pick on the quietest person in your group and make them do things they’d never do without your cajoling and bullying – oh such fun!

Then on Sundays spend all day cleaning the house whilst worshipping God in the form of watching biblical movies in dead silence. 

If it wasn’t for books I would have successfully ran away by the age of fourteen, I knew at that age the only people who’d help me on the street were the bad kind and I was near enough prepared for it because I needed a way out.  I knew from past experiences of other women in my life that once you are in that kind of life, it is hard to get out of it, but I very nearly took that chance.  Thought that maybe I’d earn my way out, but you never do.  The big kick which knocked sense into me was that I had a cousin who had the same notion – only she had the guts to actually do it and came back home in tears, black and blue and with a new found drug addiction only a year older than me, she didn’t know, like I did back then, that it’s not only sex they get you into for money, but drugs too and in order to sell it, you have to take it yourself like a good sales person.

Fifteen years down the line, it killed my cousin. She was murdered when she was clean of drugs for nearly 2yrs as an effort to win her kids back from welfare and stumbled across her old dealer who was desperate for her to buy again! It could have been me, if I chose the same path.

Drugs was a big issue for me, because I saw the damage it did to several of our relatives growing up, drink and drugs are bad, very bad, it changes people heads, make them do stupid things and then they fall apart in tears because they genuinely didn’t meant to ram your head into the wall fifteen times, they were just stressed that’s all!  So I never wanted to experiment or be lead into it.  Several near misses though of people trying to sneak it into me, but I was paranoid around strangers and never accepted food or drink from anyone just in case!

No, after what happened to my cousin I decided to stay as the quiet one of the family, lock myself away in my room because if I didn’t, I’d usually end up the night’s entertainment!

They treated me like a circus freak, something to poke fun out of, to test, experiment with, to scare, to have a laugh with her, see what she’ll do next, like some kind of trained monkey or puppet.

Despite all of this, they still had the audacity to call themselves god fearing Christians!

If it weren’t for books, I wouldn’t have wanted to be a writer.  Because I thought movies were just movies, people playing pretend and they made something good together; it didn’t occur to me until I watched several Stephen King movies with my horror loving grandma that I kept seeing in the credits “written by Stephen King” over and over again in most of the movies I watched.  I knew when I went to markets and charity shops that Stephen King books were everywhere and I decided to collect and read them at the age of 9.

My grandma was very encouraging – another horror fan in the family made her feel less lonely.

I realised at the age of nine most books I liked were movies and that movies very rarely come from other places; I liked movies and I wanted to watch my ideas on the TV or at the cinema.  I wanted the world to visually see what I see in my head or at least adaptions of it.

Books are a love – but mostly I love movies, I am very stimulated by vision and art.  I learn better with visual cues for example – I have mild dyslexia and dyscalculia as well as ADD and Paul thinks ADHD.  If something visually pulls me, I lose concentration on other things because of the interest it holds.  This can be difficult at times because I can zone out on people if I find something visually attractive about the environment around us, fashion, hair, or even a beautiful person – now that one can be awkward!

So, I am really writing in the hope that my books make it to the movies and if they don’t then I have a plan B.  I will give my first book out to publication and if there is no interest from movie producers to make something of it, then I will have to bore myself to tears to learn technology where I can create my own movies online.  How?  I don’t know, but I hope it won’t come to that!

One major type of book that saved me from a life of sex crime etc. was non-fiction psychology.  From the age of 9 I taught myself how to pacify aggressive people without becoming too submissive or self-deprecating, how best to react in violent situations and how to talk to angry people.

Now it works to a certain extent on a vast majority of people and I have been commended in work for excellent customer service and hospitality skills, but there is a small margin where the advice can actually make some people more aggressive with you – my mother is one of those.

If I didn’t emotionally react to her behaviour with me, she’d get absolutely hysterical, come close into my face screaming and then slap me repeatedly about the head, because damn it, she is going to get the reaction she wants because she needs to feel her power over me!  Because she is insecure, that’s all, my fear and tears make her happy, because it verifies to her that she is strong and she is still alpha.

It wasn’t until my mastoid surgery when I was seventeen that she was positively shitting a brick about hitting me, because I have a vulnerable spot at the side of the head would could be lethal if bashed.  So she tried other tactics to hurt me in other ways, usually the legs.

In 2012 it was a book called “Toxic Parents” by Susan Forward that helped me finally tell someone outside of the family and family friend circle about my mother.  They responded in horror, they were a nursery worker for my son Henry.  They got me a nurse and a family support worker to come and speak with me and then the police came to give advice too.  Unfortunately their advice was, get her out of your life or it may affect your ability to care for your son appropriately, meaning that we could take court proceedings to put your son into care until we feel that you are safe!

Because my son did sustain a head injury earlier on that month due to my mother encouraging him to do dangerous things, such as deliberately climbing onto the dining room table to jump off it onto the floor, he was 14 months old and had only been walking seven weeks!

She didn’t want me to have children, you see, it wasn’t part of her plans.  She wanted me to stay home forever and become her nurse when she is old; she told me this over and over as I was growing up.  I accepted it, because it’s what daughters do, but mothers tend to want their daughters to thrive, be independent and happy in their own right too and usually good mothers want their daughters to expand their family, don’t they?

She didn’t.  She didn’t want what she called “more problems” that came in the form of new family members – she didn’t want me to go out alone and make friends, because she liked to micromanage my every waking moment.  It was hard for her to allow me to go into full-time work and she’d often sit in her car all day long outside my work place waiting to see what happens, if I leave early etc.

On some occasions I was ten minutes late in leaving the building because my boss required extra work, my mother would embarrass me by making a visit to the building demanding to know where her daughter is and how they can’t push me around into doing more than my times worth!

I often lost jobs because of her.

Because I knew how she liked to micromanage me and because I wanted to be a good daughter and keep my head down and please her the best I could, until I could convince her to allow me freedom and a family of my own – I decided to talk with her about me becoming self-employed with homework of some description, there was always an issue for her and that never worked.  Because she would become obnoxious when I was on the telephone (up until 2015 I had perfect hearing in the left ear), so keeping those jobs was a task too.

She revelled in telling people about how lazy I was, how she is stuck with a quiet reclusive freak of nature that is eating or starving herself to death periodically and has no enthusiasm for life whatsoever.  Not true, I had no enthusiasm for the life she wanted for me.

I had a lot of ambition until I gave up wanting.

When I was twenty seven I left her to move in with Paul, it was done sneakily but I had to do it that way.  By thirty I had to stop all contact with her, because she is a respected matriarch in the family that meant I had to say goodbye to everyone except for a small handful of relatives on my dad’s side of the family.

She would never know or appreciate that all I ever wanted in my life was for me to be considered a daughter that was good enough to stick around and help as much as I did.  Good enough to trust out alone, good enough to get chores done, good enough to deserve a good husband and family of her own and good enough and trustworthy enough to be humane enough to want to care for her mother if she ever needed it.  I didn’t need to be moulded and abused to do that, but she didn’t understand and I don’t think she really cares.

Because I messaged her in 2014, two years after not speaking to her and I said to her – I am willing to forgive and forget everything about the past, if she is willing to tell the truth to others about how my life was like and repair my reputation in the family and secondly I’d come back into her life if she could allow me to take full charge of my own life because after all I am a woman of thirty now with my own child – she said no, she won’t do that.

I said well just give me permission to live life how I want and I will work it out with the others myself.  No, she said, I won’t do that Tina, because I don’t agree you know what is best for you and as far as I am concerned, you don’t need that permission really, what are you playing at exactly?!

So I said to her – are you telling me then that I have got you wrong?  That you’ve always allowed me to make my own decisions and you never intended to interfere?  No she said – I never said that and you know what Tina, this is the end of the conversation.  I leave the ball in your court, come or go as you please, but I won’t change – I stand by the fact that you haven’t a clue about life and that you are a stupid, stupid girl and as far as I am concerned I wish you never have any more children, you made a stupid mistake when you decided to keep that one! (This was in reference to my Henry who was planned and is very much loved)!

I also wanted to point out, that the message came about because I wanted to tell my mother that I was hospitalised with an ectopic pregnancy and how my plans for a large family could be over and I was feeling suicidal over it – because all I wanted in life was to be a mother of a large brood.

Books have helped me heal from that too… books are magic aren’t they?

Thanks for reading! 

P.S my idea of fun is… picnics or eating out at buffets or country pubs with a large group of family or friends, rowing on a lake, visiting a zoo, playing with dogs, doing messy arts and crafts with kids and playing pretend with my creative and kooky friends, oh and swimming, I love swimming and gardening or being in a beautiful garden that isn’t overlooked! That’s the light side of me… there is a dark side too… What does that part of me like?

Once again friends or family around me, snuggling down with a horror movie – watching thunderstorms, creeping people out, telling a good story, having sex and generally being my weird self!

And guess what!  No drink and drugs for any of that is there? Well, erm, maybe the pub lunch eh?

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