When you know what you know…

When I first decided I wanted to write, I had a fantasy that I would write a book, get an Agent and a Publisher and enjoy a life of writing forever…


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OK OK you can stop laughing now!

The reality is that writing a book is bloody hard work and publishing and promoting it is even harder!

I’ve long since given up on this idea but I’ve discovered something far more valuable in the process.

The small gains are so gratifying and exciting, I wonder whether I’d even really like the lazy author life. I’ve discovered that self publishing is not only fun, but I retain control!

Control of the book, control of the book cover, control of the pricing and control of the promotion.

After reading Firefly Magic by Lauren Sapala, I realised that I can do this and that the way my brain works, although it is different from many others, (read weird, kooky, crazy…you choose) is ok, and most of all EFFECTIVE.

After all, if Lauren can do it so can I!

So, here’s an excerpt from my book which will be free on Amazon this weekend! If you like the sound it, head on over and download a copy – don’t forget to leave a review if you can!

“Mia was a little girl with a big personality. Standing no more than shoulder height to my 4’11” she was tiny even for year 7.

Her father being mixed afro Caribbean and her mother white, Mia was mixed race. She sat before me, her milky brown skin and dark brown eyes set within an elfin face almost hidden by a shock of hair falling in ringlets to her waist. The ringlets were partially tamed by a small clip placed on top of her head. Mia sat on her hands, legs swinging as they didn’t reach the floor; and she rocked back and forth.

Mia had rather a pronounced tic in her right eye which I found distracting but in a strange way, also made her endearing. Mia rocked back and forth looking at me, her hands still firmly under her legs. She began to grimace in the way a small child would when they are getting angry. Her bottom jaw jutted out and her open lips revealed gritted teeth. Her eyes were now fixed and wide open, staring just past me. Was she about to have some sort of seizure? I felt myself becoming concerned, but I held my position as I felt there was more to come.

Sure enough, after a few seconds, Mia let out a loud, low “Grrrrrrr” and her head began to shake. Mia had now firmly fixed her pretty brown eyes on me and, as I looked, I saw it. Slowly, very slowly and starting at her eyes, Mia began to smile, an almost manic, mischievous smile. What was she trying to tell me? What did she need me to know or do? I held my position still further and the growl began to morph into a low-pitched demonic laugh. Her legs were now swinging in opposing directions and she threw her ringlets back and stared up at the ceiling, looking back at me periodically, I suspect, to check I was still watching her. This went on for about 2 or 3 minutes. The tiny demon in front of me was pulling out all the stops. I sensed she wanted me to intervene or try and stop her, but I didn’t, partly because I wanted to observe the behaviour but partly because I was fascinated by it. The more the performance went on, the more I began to like this girl.

When she stopped, Mia looked at me quizzically. Her head was cocked to the side like a puppy. The facial tic returned, the rocking subsided and the hands remained, as they had been all along, under her legs.

“I hate this school, I hate my Dad, and I hate everyone except my Mom! I want my Mom!”

Mia’s demeanour changed, her spine curved backwards into a C shape and her face was screwed up like a toddler who had been refused a new toy. She was frowning. I really had been subjected to a full show here.

Finally, I spoke. “Wow” I said. It sounds like you have lots of feelings about lots of things. You say you hate your Dad, and everyone and the school and you want your Mom?”

“I just want my Mom! I hate my Dad!””


Thank you for reading and please get your copy of the book here or by clicking the cover image

Book cover


A FREE Gift from me to you

stone artwork
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In the spirit of Valentine’s weekend and to share the LOVE…

I’m excited to reveal that my book will be free on Amazon this weekend!!

All orders on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th February will be FREE!

It talks about some of the amazing young adults I have worked with and graphically takes the reader on their amazing journeys.

What are you waiting for – get on over an order your free copy on Saturday. Click here or on the book cover to order


Book cover

And PLEASE leave a review… for those of you who are fellow writers, you know how important reviews are

Thank you and if you are interested in what I’m doing, you can follow me on Twitter too!

Recent posts…

Get down off the Hook!

An Introvert’s Hell

Let them Try – Can Young Adults Change the World?

Attachment-Do we really have a generation of Velcro kids?

photo of two persons wearing white shirt
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When I first came across “Attachment” I was very early on in my counselling studies and I found the concept very simple. I studied the work of John Bowlby and Harry Harlow. Bowlby theorised that attachment “issues” such as withdrawal and inability to interact, arose in children whose relationships with their primary care-giver; usually their mother had been either non-existent or damaged in some way. Psychologists later went on to theorise types of attachment and to argue about whether attachment behaviours and reactions in children are learned or inherent from birth.

Later, Harry Harlow thought it would be a good idea to deprive baby monkeys of their mothers by separating them at birth for the first few months of their lives and then monitoring their behaviour when they were re-integrated with other monkeys. The experiment had horrific effects. The baby monkeys indulged in disruptive behaviour, such as screaming and holding themselves rocking back and forth. They were bullied by the other monkeys and they also displayed self-harming behaviour. Further experiments found that when baby monkeys were provided with two “surrogate” mothers, one was a food source and the other, a doll wrapped in cloth; the monkeys developed an attachment to the doll and would cuddle it when strangers appeared, or they were scared in some way. They only visited the food source when hungry and returned to the doll for the rest of the time. I find the whole thing particularly distressing!

So, we now know how “attachment theory” works in principle. I hear the word a lot in my work and it seems to be one of those words that can be overused. It also seems to be portrayed as a bad thing.

Is Attachment “Disorder” a Disorder?

Attachment behaviours displayed in babies include clinging and returning to the person or people (or doll) they have decided is their primary caregiver. The caregiver does not necessarily have to return the favour (like the monkeys and their fake “mother”). Babies are drawn to those who will protect them and help them thrive, its basic human instinct.

Like any human instinct which is designed to protect us, we get pretty good at it.

Fast-forward 11 years and we have a teenager. Perhaps they don’t feel supported at home as their relationships with parents are changing. Perhaps their parents are absent, either physically or emotionally or perhaps they are cruel and uncaring. Teachers have the unenviable task of teaching 30 plus students and are not able to act as caregiver.

I was never that good at maths but to me…

1 teenager – care = trouble (think deprived monkeys here)

Bring on the school counsellor, student support specialist, caring teacher or adult. Our job is to listen, to not judge and to take these young adults at their word, giving them unconditional positive regard.

This helps

They become attached

To us…

Is it wrong? Or are they perfectly performing human beings?

I often experience this in my work and early on I was very scared that a young adult would become “attached” to me. I now feel differently.

Of course, they will become attached!

One of the roles of the caregiver is to support the child and to eventually guide them on their own path.

That’s counselling isn’t it?

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