Monday 27 October 2008

Read All About Them

This is another of those less then subtle attempts at self promotion, and why not? There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The Triond website has published three of my short stories (Faith, Hope and Chastity; The Office Bicycle & Dandelion Clock), but the best of this is that I will get paid each time they are read (!!). It isn’t a lot of money but it will soon mount up the more times they are read; and nicest of all, they are free to read. You don’t have to register or pay a fee or anything; you just have to click on the link.

Faith, Hope and Chastity ( explores one of my favourite themes, evangelical Christianity and sex. Daniel is a twenty-five year old Christian and a virgin, who only believes in sex within marriages. His world is turned upside down when he meets Kate, whom he believes God has sent to him to be his wife… This story looks at how such narrow Christianity screws up an individual, because Daniel is so much the victim of his believes.

The Office Bicycle ( is set in an office and revolves around a woman how has a reputation as a slut, which she has cultivated by telling endless stories of her sexual exploits and one-night-stands. But why is she doing this? Why do we create the images of ourselves that we do?

Dandelion Clock ( is about a dysfunctional family having a family picnic. It is seen through the eyes of a disappointed mother, as she looks at her family around her. (This is the shortest of the three).

Please check them out and have a read. You can click on a tab to say if you liked it or not and you can also leave comments about the stories. Please do, I value any feedback.

I intend to publish more stories on this site so do keep an eye on my profile ( because that will contain new links as each new story of mine is published there.

Happy reading.


Saturday 13 September 2008

Work, Work and All Work.

I’ve been silent on this blog for far too long, and my only excuse is that I’ve been so busy. It’s been a combination of my job been so busy and having to sort out the sale of a flat, there’s been so little for writing and I’ve missed it. I know this sounds like a little chorus of “Poor Me”, but it’s just what happened. It is strange how much I missed writing, it’s there in my blood.

Well I’m back on the horse, so to speak, and writing a lot. Things have eased up a bit, mainly because we’re on two weeks annual leave and have time to ourselves. Martin has been taking lots of photographs and I’ve been writing.

Next week I’ve got a half page opinion piece in Nursing Times. This is about healthcare’s poor attitude to weight loss and obesity. Basically, in England, the opinion seems to be if you’re over weight it’s your fault. There is very little help for people trying to loose weight.

I have also gone back to writing a series of short stories about a vicar’s wife who solves mysteries. This may sound like a twee ripe-off of Agatha Christie but I want to grow the stories very much in modern day. These stories deal with jealousy, patricide, blackmail, murder and deception. I choose an amateur detective because I know so little about police procedure it would have been laughable but I wanted an amateur detective that was at least passably believable. With a vicar’s wife I can have a character would has a reason to be involved in other’s lives. Different members of her parish come to her with problems and she solves them, though I hope the problems reflect far more on the twenty-first century then the nineteen-thirties. There’s an American publisher I hope I can interest in them, I just have to write enough of them.


P.S. The picture I’ve posted with this is one of my partner, Martin’s.

Monday 11 February 2008

My Part in Lesbian and Gay History Month.

It’s the first, full week in February so it’s LGBT History Month and again I’ve been involved. This year saw the third Nursing Standard special edition for LGBT History Month and again I wrote for it. Previously I have been Guest Editor, this year we saw a Lesbian Guest Editor, but I wrote one of the feature articles.

My article was a look at homophobic violence and what nurses can do for people who’ve been victims of it (I don’t use the word victim lightly). We have seen a rise of homophobic attacks, which frighteningly seems to have increased with all the new rights we’ve won. Nurses can often be the first healthcare professionals who come into contact victims of it yet its a subject that is rarely talked about. My article was a simple guide for nurses faced with a victim, I didn’t go into any details of what causes it or how to psychologically treat the effects of it, it was just a simple guide for what to do if a nurse is faced with someone who’s been homophobically attacked. It did give me my first double page feature in Nursing Standard.

The Nursing Standard LGBT History Month special is something I believe strongly in. Nursing is seen as a “caring” profession yet there is so much ignorance about LGBT issues in it. When I was a student nurse (all those years ago) I was faced with a wall of homophobia from my follow student nurses, it was a shock at the time. During my nursing career I’ve seen so much ignorance, often not willful homophobia but ignorance driving homophobia, and yet Lesbians and Gay Men are still many nurses’ patients – even if the nurses don’t realize it. The only way to open peoples’ eyes is information, is writing about the issues in the nursing press (who still carry a lot of influence).

I started writing for the Nursing Standard with their first LGBT History Month special, now I regularly write for them as a freelancer and I’m not going to stop any time soon; but the LGBT History Month special is still so important to me. As a student nurse I could never have imaged any nursing publication having a Lesbian and Gay special, they rarely carried any articles about any LGBT issues: I don’t want to go back to that time.


Saturday 5 January 2008

A Win At Last

Last month and back in May, I blogged about the threat to the funding of the London HIV prevention serving gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), even though London has a lower rate of HIV infection (from men who have sex with men) then the national average. Last month there was a proposal to actually cut the funding for this by over thirty percent.

When this was announced there was an out-cry, which included lobbying of MPs, Ministers, local PCTs and a petition on the Downing Street website, and it has all paid off. NHS London (The Strategic Health Authority for London) has stated that there will be no cuts in funding for HIV Prevention, that there is plenty of money to fund HIV Prevention work to both gay men and the Black African communities. Previously London PCT’s said that there wasn’t enough money to fund both, therefore they would cut the funding for gay men’s HIV prevention. NHS London has reviewed this, at board level, and said there is enough money to fund both.

We can take a moment, sit back and give ourselves a pat on the back. If we hadn’t complained to our MPs and PCTs, if we hadn’t signed the petition on the Downing Street website, then these cuts would have gone ahead. Gay men’s HIV prevention services would have been cut by a third. I am amazed and delighted that so many of us raised our voices together in protest, we really achieved something.

The question does remain, why did the London PCTs try and cut this funding by a third? What was their agenda? I know I could get deeply paranoid thinking about this, but the question does remain.