You can do it

Never give up on what you love – a short story of hope.

When I first made the decision to write, more precisely to write a Children’s Picture Book, I set to it with great passion, words flowed easily, naturally and instinctively. I knew what I wanted to write, I knew my character, I knew his story (I lived with him!). I trusted myself.

Once written, I read it to friends and family who enjoyed it and I trusted them. I was very happy with what I’d produced and so set out to discover how to find a publisher. I did what everyone does when you don’t know something – I Googled.

I read up on the subject, I studied tutorials, I absorbed tips and techniques.  Quite confident that I had a suitable letter and short biography and I’d followed each of the Publisher’s submission guidelines, I sent out 5 manuscripts (my story) to 5 publishers and immediately received 5 rejection letters.

However, I had read Stephen King’s autobiographical piece that said he received hundreds of rejections before having his first book accepted. I had also heard an author tell of how she celebrated each and every rejection as a mark that she’d tried.

With this sage advice in mind, I acknowledged that I needed to hone my craft and learn more about writing and the publishing process. This is where I also learned of writer’s having doubt, insecurities and anxieties either when writing or after submission. I ploughed on.

It wasn’t long after, on a writing workshop, that I wrote a new story and sent it off the next day to a Publisher. This time it was accepted and I had a contract for my first Picture Book. It was a time of elation and celebration.

The following year was a whirlwind as I learned what was involved when launching and supporting the marketing and sales for a new book. I was well travelled, worked hard and at one point exhausted, yet still riding on the thrill of becoming an author.

It’s a year on and I’ve continued my studies and learning from others, I enjoy every minute. An email arrived last week asking me to call at the Publishers for a chat and I am delighted to say they are publishing my second Children’s Picture Book. Only, it isn’t my second book, it’s the story I wrote that day furiously, passionately, instinctively, the day I decided to write.

The story that was initially rejected is now being published. The trust I had in my friends and family who liked it, the trust I had in myself is justified.  Why am I telling you this, because sometimes we rely on experts and other people’s opinions too much. We too easily lose faith in ourselves. We don’t put up much of a fight in the face of disappointment. It’s easy to believe we aren’t good enough. Well don’t. Have faith, have confidence, and have belief. You are good enough, you can do it.

Never give up on what you enjoy and love. It will reward you one day.

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The Fickle Hypocrite

It’s Day 30, the final day of Napowrimo, 30 poems in 30 days. I may have let a few slip, I was busy living so I have experiences to write about. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and I’ve hated the challenge, I’ve found it easy, I’ve found it difficult. The objective of writing every day has been achieved and I feel better for it. My grey matter has been exercised and stretched.

In true hypocritical and fickle style, after two days of ranting and protesting about form, I’ve attempted a Haiku. No doubt the purist academics will point out where I tried and missed, (the last line may be a scandalous 6 syllables?) but that’s never stopped me doing what I want. I’ve also written the same poem in my “unclassical” way. The prompt; “a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion.”  (and yes I told a story because I am a storyteller)

I Dream of Devon (Rickety Haiku)

 

Steam train whistle blows

Sea breeze, tugging kite, baked sand

Rockpool discovery.

 

I Dream of Devon (My Way)

 

Steam train whistle

Sea breeze

Tugging kite

Baked sand

Cool drink

Rockpool discovery

Melting Ice cream

Carefree laughter

Salty kisses

Devon

 

My Poor Abused Friend – Poetry

In youth, you were hypnotic, inviting reciting,

invocation with intonation,

around a campfire charms and incantations

uniting the village, outlet of emotion,

stories told of heroic devotion

conquering enemies, stealing love’s kiss

of purest love, of Heaven’s bliss.

but academia tied a knot ‘round your neck

restricting your voice, removing choice

cutting, shaping, controlling, conforming,

boxing your soul into stanzas and form

with counted metre they drove the stake home

Elitists emerged declaring “this is the way”

confining performance to plays and stage

in plush theatres for the rich who paid

the poor

left out in the cold.

Heralded as art your heart lay dormant

amongst dust and cobwebs still conformant

but a spirited few saw through, sought out

your cindered Beauty; “Truth will out”.

and so your time has come, it’s now.

the yoke that choked is smashed and broken

words are alive and passionately spoken

your energy taken up by a youth, who

taste and chew the new true you,

the devout, who speak out, shout out, call out,

slam down, throw down,

giving the low down,

honouring

your crown,

standing on streets, stamping feet to your beat

whilst denouncing cheats who held you

captive.

You are once more free to be

unleashed beauty

with depth of sea , height of sky

asking why

of you and me, bearing souls,

uncovering truth

appealing to old whilst captivating youth

not held to a page or strapped to a stage

accessible to all, who hear your call

hearts open wide allow you inside,

bring darkness to light,

revealing scars and bites,

what lies beneath, wounds and grief

making sense of confusion, turmoil and pain

and through you

we discover

we are all the same.

Dust

A shirt is shaken, sprawled over a board.

Her smile is fixed, eyes glazed

hours pass by as the iron runs.

Life evaporates with the steam.

The corpse is well turned out,

the headstone reads “she kept a tidy house”.

 

Dust piles upon dust

falling layer upon layer

dancing on sunbeams in shafts of light

piercing silent rooms.

Bed clothes lie ruffled.

breakfast pots sit in the sink.

 

No-one cares they run through fields

climb over styles

gather mud on their boots

eat picnics on blankets

whilst the tap drips into a bowl

waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

Wind-blown hair, sun burnt skin,

smiles light up the meadow,

birds chatter along with laughter

on the breeze, the dandelion clock

sends parachutes to mark the hours

of this endless day.

fun in fields

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

 

Apparently low self-esteem is the cause

that darn inner chimp’s at it again.

I don’t feel worthy or up to the task

when it’s overwhelming, too much of an ask

so I distract my feeble brain.

 

tidy

I choose to re-arrange, to sort, to file,

to categorise, to wash, dry and fold

to put off the job I’m loathe to do

(you may even find me cleaning the loo!)

whilst the larger task stays on hold

 

I beat myself up, notice I’m hiding away

from a deadline that’s looming larger each day

my brain is prioritising short term wins

an alphabetised spice rack and emptied bins

as I wash the pots and put away.

 

The answer: to forgive myself, releasing pent up emotion

the specialists say the result will be

facing the future optimistically

being the best I can possibly be

propulsion into forward motion

 

Another tactic is a sideways manoeuvre

sneaking up when my cranium’s not looking:

To ponder and pontificate on the what would be

Ask myself quite casually

“What would my next move actually be

if I were to start this project, of course hypothetically

because I’m not actually going to do it, silly”

 

Psychologists at a University in Ohio

formed a Procrastination Research Group

They delved and discovered this theory, this truth

Of taking oneself out of the no-go loop

Of getting on and doing what is needed to do.

 

Did they quickly arrive at this conclusion?

or did it take them a while?

I wonder how tidy their shelves are,

if their papers are chronologically filed?

(I’d like to see if their rest room gleams)

I ask with a sceptical wry smile.

 

Day 17 of Napowrimo- I completely missed out Day 16 (I love my kids more than poetry. Sorry! ) and now I have gone off piste with this one…. but it’s apt. Procrastination, my favourite past time.

The Tale

The Tale

 

Trust was betrayed by my

curious fumbling fingers

Disappointment flashed across

Grandma’s eyes

I felt the pain like a physical blow.

 

Side by side the old couple

had sat on the mantelpiece.

Been proudly displayed

to her red lipstick friends

who peered through a fog

of chemist shop perfume

and hairspray, nodding their approval.

 

I emptied my piggy bank

on market day

bought a new little lady.

I presented my gift

wrapped in a blue striped paper bag.

 

Her eyes lit up and as she set

the old girl down next to her mate.

My heart sank;

She was half the size

of the old man.

 

old man and lady

I’d failed yet Grandma beamed.

More precious than a trinket,

she now had a tale to tell;

the tale of a granddaughter

who tried to make amends.

 

Today is Day 12 of Napowrimo and the above is my response to the challenge: write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it.  I still own the ornaments shown above, which have no aesthetic beauty but are extremely dear to me as I hope my poem explains.

 

The Topline

It’s tough out there.

Really? Once More?

As it was the last year

and the year before

and before and before and before?

 

It’s guaranteed we’ll smash our targets

we’ll exceed every goal

the bar charts show

every year in growth.

The percentages are permanently  flashing

We gave the competition a thrashing

although….

 

One thing intrigues, regarding your peaks

of the increases you frequently speak;

surely they emerge from troughs?

but they’re  not spoken of?

 

We lead from the front,

we’re leading the charge

we’re grounding our clarity

we’re driving hard

we lean in and rise up

a positive outlook

in the right direction

gaining more and more traction

we come to the table

we’re ready and able

in a tough landscape

a snapshot in time…

will always see us

deliver the topline.

For goodness sake man!

Give it a rest!

It’s tough in here too,

let’s just do our best.

The Window

The Window

 

I stood on a chair and watched from the window.

Hours went by.

You came home happy and drunk.

I looked out into a sea of parents

wiped my make-up off

and walked home alone.

On the eve of my Wedding

you spent the night at your boyfriend’s.

My bridesmaid helped me into my dress the next day.

When my daughter was born you went shopping

for something suitable to wear for photographs.

I held her close with a full heart.

Now you view my work on gallery walls,

return home and watch from your window.

 

child at window

It’s Napowrimo Day 4 the challenge today was to write a sad poem using simple words. I love this style, plain and direct and leaves the reader to elicit the emotional impact.

 

Vision Board for 2019

Activate Your Vision Board 2019 ImageActivate Your Vision Board for 2019  

by local author Nicola Hulme

Get excited! It’s time to focus on what you want.

Following the sell-out success of previous years’ Vision Board Workshops, I’m delighted to offer you two New Year dates:

  • Saturday 12th January, 2019 at 10.30pm – 1.30pm or
  • Saturday 19th January, 2019 at 12.30pm – 3.30pm

at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery

Using a Vision Board literally changed my life; I became an author, a poet, a public speaker, a workshop leader, personal effectiveness trainer, found a new man and a new home too. My life is filled with abundance and it started with a Vision Board.

Let me share this process with you. You don’t need experience and all materials are provided. I’ll show you how simple creating a board is, before revealing how to activate the board to use it to its full potential – therefore unlocking yours!

Put a fire in your belly in 2019 – get excited – positive change is coming.

Book now to secure your place: Tickets £25 Car parking is free

Book your ticket here – Eventbrite

*Places are limited so book early using the Eventbrite link to avoid disappointment.

Take stock of what is happening in your life and dream of improvements you’d like to see. We are so busy in everyday life we forget to stop and look at the direction we are heading in. A vision board allows us to create our ideal world, and identify the things that truly matter.

I’ve been using a vision board for the last 8 years with some breath-taking results. My studies into personal effectiveness over the past 20 years allow me to call on expert theories to support and enhance this technique.

Let me guide you through the steps to make this simple tool effective in your life.

Held in Stockport’s beautiful Art Gallery, it’s a perfect setting to appreciate how powerful visual images can be.

Let’s make 2019 a fabulous year for you.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to message me via Facebook or Twitter

Facebook: Nicola Hulme – Author

Twitter: @nichulmeauthor

Mobile: 07817324294

FAQs

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please feel free to message me via Facebook or Twitter

What’s the refund policy?

I have a no refund policy for very good reason; I want the room filled with positive people who are committed to making things happen in their life. This positive energy helps everyone in the group and ensures the workshop is a success. It starts with a commitment to turn up 🙂

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, I will have a list of names on the day

Is my registration fee or ticket transferable?

There are two workshop dates available in Jan 2019, if there is space on another date I will try and accommodate you where I can.

Modesty and Joy

Simple Joy

 

It was the practical low heeled brown boots

that first caught my eye

my glance cast sideways so not to embarrass

the subject of my attention.

Secretly I studied her slender legs

leading up to the hem of a brown floral dress

and the crocheted cuffs of a sensible beige cardigan.

The modesty of attire surprised me.

Authors on their book launch night

are lavish and elegant

coiffured, polished and primed

but not so this lady.

I liked the understated look,

the quiet confidence of a writer

who had no need of a façade.

Her body of writing shining on its own merit

with no false vanity.

I adored this lady before she spoke a word

Davidson, Rowland, b.1942; Lady Reading a Book by Lamplight