My Own Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave.

Silver Linings

Firstly, I’m so pleased that after weeks of having blog technical problems, everything is sorted. So, hello again my lovelies! 😀 xx

Secondly, I simply cannot get my brain to accept that it is November already. All Hallows Eve has passed in a haze of heightened sugar and badly written hammy horror and suddenly the nights are full of smoke from blazing bonfires and the familiar shrill whizz of fireworks.

We’ve had a mild Autumn, a thankful tiding given the rare and gloriously sun-drenched Summer we enjoyed this year, with its bounty of flowers, butterflies and bees, its azure skies and hard-baked earth. Ah…what bliss!

But, as the clocks have now gone back, reminding us that Winter is truly at our doorstep, and the dull days linger less and less, with darkness descending earlier each day, there is no escaping that yet another year is drawing to a close.

So, where has it gone?

Have you achieved the goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year? – in those heady moments of New Year’s Eve, when everything is exciting and fresh and the year ahead seems like an endless Pandora’s box of possibilities and opportunities? Or, has the year passed you by in a blur? pandora's box

For me, it’s definitely been the latter, but I have optimism for the next year, after all, 13 has never been a lucky number for me, so 2014 should be fine, eh?

But, there have been some good things this year, apart from the lovely Summer, and the support of family and friends (you know who you are!) and my adorable white wolves… earlier in the year, while on Goodreads, I was contacted by a rather nice chap called Rob Tucker. He had just co-founded a new website, ReadWave, dedicated to showcasing new writers and the best short stories for readers to enjoy and share. He kindly invited me to join ReadWave as he liked my work and asked me to spread the word, which I did, diligently telling all my mates about this amazing new site which many of them have now also joined. readwave_full_logo[1]

The beauty of ReadWave, unlike other writing sites, is that there are no forums to get embroiled in petty arguments with infantile minded trolls cruising the net to pick a fight because they have nothing better to do. It’s just all about the stories. Read what you want, comment if you want, like and share if you want, it’s entirely up to you. They have some truly great stuff on there. I’m thrilled and rather humbled that all my work seems to be popular and is well received, and I’ve even had the honour of having a piece ‘Staff Picked’, they now call it the ‘Editor’s Choice’, reserved for the very best work. Woo hoo!

This has been a particular solace to me this year, as due to this damn illness and the strange mental effects it has, my short-term memory and concentration are totally shot to hell, which means that I really am incapable at the moment of being able to focus on anything long enough to sustain a thought through to its conclusion. (I won’t tell you how long it takes me to do each one of these posts, it’s truly embarrassing).

In other words, novel-writing is totally IMPOSSIBLE. The plain truth is, that since I got sick back in Jan/February, I haven’t been able to touch any of my book projects. As weeks became months, I stopped crucifying myself over it and just had to let the frustration and anger go, I could no sooner do it than fly to the moon. My physiotherapist told me to take things slowly, in my stride, that part of my re-cooperation after such a huge vestibular collapse, was to do small things. Try to read. Try to write a sentence. To take the mental challenges as slowly as the physical rehabilitation. Walk before you can run kind of thing. walk before you can run

Reading was impossible for the first couple of months due to swirling text, then I simply kept zoning out, reading the same page over and over like some zombie or a toy whose battery had stopped. Over the summer though, I had a breakthrough, I was able to read my first book since February, it took me a LONG time, but I did it and I retained what I read…well, most of it. Then I read another book, and another, and another, all great mental exercises (also my friend Lindsey Parsons fantastic debut novel, Vortex, was such a pleasure to re-read). Again, over the summer I tried writing and kept zoning out again. A simple thing like writing a letter, would take hours and hours of stopping and starting and resting. But weirdly, one thing I found I was able to do, as I had done before I got ill, that somehow didn’t require that heightened level of concentration but just simply flowed naturally out of me, was write poetry and short stories!

And so, after the frustration and failures of not being able to do anything, I found after many long months, that I could still do one thing and do it well. So, I have a HUGE thank you to say to Rob Tucker. That unexpected encounter on Goodreads gave me a creative life-line, like this blog, which in turn has helped me in my recovery. Rob doesn’t know any of this, but if he reads this and I hope he does, THANK YOU!

The icing on the cake, was when he recently asked me to become a Staff Reviewer on ReadWave, which I gladly accepted. Then finding out that another short story I’ve written is going to be published next year by a lovely UK-based publisher (unlike my last one!) and that I’ve been asked by several authors to provide illustrations for them for their books, all wonderful small things I can do!

All this has taught me, that although times can get very tough and bleak, there is always a silver lining out there, you’ve just got to keep going and look for it!

😀 xxxx

English: Silver Lining The end of a cold storm...

48 thoughts on “My Own Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave.

  1. Sophie, I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time, but I’m thrilled things are turning around for you. Congratulations on publishing your short story. That’s such wonderful news. You’re an inspiration to writers everywhere, especially those who have struggled with illness. Keep writing and keep us posted.

    • Oh honey, thank you SO much, that’s so sweet of you! Yes, I’m thrilled that I’ll have a couple of short stories being published, and it certainly helps to get ‘back on the horse’ Just looking forward to when I’ll able to get back to novel writing. Thanks, Tricia! 😀 xx

  2. Debbie Young says:

    Hi Sophie, I’m so glad things are looking up for you and what exciting news about ReadWave – I’ll take a look at that site now, as I’ve very interested in sites like this. You might also like, a similar site that’s just been set up recently, and which I’ve put a few stories on, also, just launched, Another site that you might really enjoy at this stage is a programme run by a Buddhist writer friend of mine, which focuses on “mindfulness” and the writing of tiny pieces of observational poetry or prose, concentrating on observation of one very small thing each day –

    Well done on having such a positive, optimistic attitude throughout your health ordeal – I am sure the experience will make you a richer, better writer, and who knows what other great writing projects may come out of it in the end?

    Best wishes, Debbie

    • Thank you, Debbie! Some great websites there, cheers, I’ll check them out. I’ve been on writing sites for many years, I started on then then htpp:// also but ReadWave is a lovely easy site for showcasing poetry and stories without getting bogged down in forums with trolls.

      Thanks, Debbie, yes it’s been a tough year and certainly all my plans have had to go on hold as regards to book projects, but I’m hoping that once I’m over this, I’ll be back with a bang! 😀 xx

  3. […] My Own Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave.. […]

  4. hierath says:

    I’m so happy you’re on the road to recovery, wishing you a better 2014! X

    • Thanks, Joanne, yes, I’m hoping I’ll be back to my bubbly self next year and able to get back to novel writing as well as seeing some great fantasy/sci-fi conventions like BristolCon! 😀 xx

  5. Brilliant to see you looking forward Sophie, and so glad that you are finally seeing a silver lining after the dreadful year you’ve had. Take care honey 🙂

    • Thank you, Andrea, you’re such a sweetie. Yes, I think it’s so important to look for silver linings. I’ve been very lucky, that although my illness has been life altering it’s not been life threatening in any way, there are so many other people who have much harder times, so I thank my lucky stars really.

      Onward and upward, eh? Thank you honey. 😀 xx

  6. It’s so good to hear you’re on the road to recovery at last Sophie,it’s been such an awful year for you! As Tricia says you are an inspiration to all of us and I’m sending all my best wishes for a really great year next year! Thank you so much for the lovely mention, I’m so thrilled you liked Vortex enough to read it twice!!
    I haven’t been on Readwave as much as I should have since joining (only really to read your awesome stuff!!!) it does look like such a great place though, congratulations on becoming a staff reviewer and getting your story published! Massive hugs and best wishes xx

    • Ah, thank you my darling! You are my dragon buddy. 😉

      Well, I was thrilled to read Vortex twice myself and believe me, I rarely read books twice, I’ve got to really love them to do that!

      Yes, ReadWave is a great site, having said that, I really must pop in on you guys on autho, it’s been too long since I’ve been there. But thanks hon, tough year, but getting better thank the gods, and writing short stories and poetry has definitely helped! 😀 xx

  7. It’s lovely to know you’re steadily finding confidence again after many months of being slowed by battles and drastic energy shifts. Small is beautiful ☼ Will check out RedWave soon.

    • Thank you, Ashen. you are kind. Yes, small steps and small stories are a great way to get yourself back into the swing of things, creatively and are great for the soul!

      Look forward to seeing you on ReadWave soon sweetie. 😀 xx

  8. […] My Own Silver Linings PlayBook – The Road to Recovery and ReadWave.. […]

  9. M T McGuire says:

    Flippin’ eck. I knew you were having a hard time but blimey, I had no idea it was that bad. As a frequent suffer from mild vertiogo (no not alcohol induced from hayfever and the like) I can really sympathise. But I had no idea you were going through something as utterly grim as that. I can only salute you for your endurance, perseverance and for possessing a healthy dose, not only of stiff upper lip but also British chipperness in the face of extreme poop! Phnark.

    As somebody who knows how frustrating it is to when you can’t be creative, I really, really sympathise. So glad you’ve found a way round it. As soon as I finish this wretched trilogy I will have a look at read wave and the other links posted here.

    Good luck, god bless and good health. SOON.



    • Thank you honey, you’re so sweet.

      Yes, it has been a bloody awful year to be honest, but I’m on the road to recovery thank goodness. The hardest thing has been not being able to do what I used to take for granted, whether it’s driving or writing, and not having that creative release has been hard. So it’s definitely helped to find a way round. Just, always try to keep smiling, though it’s not always easy…our beloved family cat of 17yrs has suddenly fallen ill over the last two days and it all rests on the next 48 hours as to whether she’s going to make it or not. 😦

      • M T McGuire says:

        I really get that about taking your health for granted.

        Very much hoping your cat makes it. Mine died just over a year ago. He was an absolute character and even now, few days go by when I don’t think about him.



      • Thank sweetie, yes, will certainly be avoiding stress from now on.

        Thanks, so sorry about your cat honey, horrible isn’t it. I still remember my old cat, Kitty, who lived 17yrs too and was run over by kids racing through the village. Things are still very much touch and go for Mimi, she’s in for a third night at the vets, very jaundice and weak, her liver is failing and she has refused to eat for 5 days now which is very worrying. Fingers and toes crossed. Cheers, honey. 🙂 xx

  10. Kay Kauffman says:

    Yay, Sophie! I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better. It’s about time, eh? I’ve been feeling so foggy lately that I’ve had trouble writing, too, but I think it’s just a cold. Still, it sounds like things are going wonderfully for you now! Here’s hoping it keeps up! 🙂

    Also, hugs to your cat. I hope she improves.

    • Thank you sweetie, and yes, it’s about time I started turning that corner! That’s the worst isn’t it, when your creative juices are flowing but your brain won’t co-operate. 😉

      Thanks honey, hoping Mimi recovers, fingers and toes crossed.

      • Kay Kauffman says:

        It really is! Every time I have a few minutes to myself to write, my brain turns to cotton and I can’t think. But when I have a million other things to do? Brain won’t shut up! Must be a writer thing. 😀

      • Lol, probably is, the problem is, I never had a problem before I got ill, I used to have the concentration of an elephant…er…well, you know what I mean, but now? Nope, just can’t do it, I can write tiny snippets, but that’s it, my brain seems to be programmed to just be able to cope with short pieces and that’s it. Lol, perhaps I could write a novel in 140 tweet characters?

      • M T McGuire says:

        You can write a novel like that, it’s how I have to (because I’m a Mum rather than through any health thing). However you need to be organised, re-read everything regularly so it keeps going in the right direction and be very, very patient. Seriously glaciers move faster than progress on my book.



      • Lol, perhaps we should rename ourselves ‘The Glacier Girls!’. Thanks honey. But it is frustrating when you see everyone around at full steam ahead, having started their books the same time as mine, who have finished and published them and are onto the next one, it just leaves me thinking, “Hell, there’s no way I can do that!” I’m definitely NOT a book a year girl – a two-year cycle at best. For me, before I got sick, I was trying to juggle writing with a very full-time job, like you, being a mum which is another full-time job, it leaves you with limited time and mental space to fit everything in. Now, my brain resembles mushy porridge! 😉

      • M T McGuire says:

        Fret not, it’ll come back. Just fill it with other things so there’s lots of fuel when the creative cylinders finally start firing in line.

      • Thanks, MT, I am hoping that’s the case! 😉

      • Kay Kauffman says:

        I’ve seen that done! Well, I’ve seen it started, anyway. I think the author gave up and deleted the Twitter feed, but he was writing a novel 140 characters at a time. It was called Sleepless, and I thought it was fascinating. I’m not sure it’s something I could do, but then again, who knows? I’ve apparently begun thinking in haiku form, so I guess anything is possible! 😀

      • Interesting idea though, isn’t it? 😉

  11. M T McGuire says:

    It’ll come back.

    It is frustrating, though, isn’t it? If I tell you I published my first book at about the first time Will’s first came out… or Jim Webster, whose written five in the space of my two. And they’re good. It’s not even like I can console myself that mine are quality! Phnark. But there are others like us who write slower…. we just see the people streaking ahead because they’re going at the speed we want to go at. That’s my theory, anyway.

    And if you think about it, glaciers are cool…. 😉

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I’m lucky to get an hour a day to write, and that’s on my lunch break from work. Between work and kids, it’s hard to find the time to write, but I think you’re right about how we see the people going at the pace we want to be at and not so much the slower ones. It’s reassuring to know there are others out there who don’t write at a breakneck speed, because I feel like I must be about the slowest writer on the planet.

      And I think Glacier Girls is an excellent name. 😀

    • Oh I know…I totally lose count of the number of books Will has created, I know it’s in double figures now, while I’m still plodding on No.2 and fiddling with No.1. And yes, us Glaciers are ultra cool! 😀

  12. […] I was looking at this post, earlier and a few days before that, this one. […]

  13. M T McGuire says:

    Bless you, you flatter me ambassador. I was so impressed with this post that it’s precipitated one from me about my Mummy Meltdown – partially over other stuff but definitely also because my creative mojo died on me. I reckon we’re all feeling it this time of year with Christmas coming up and all.



    • You’re creative mojo WILL come back with a bang honey, just need to get the silly season out of the way. 😉

      • M T McGuire says:

        Mwah ha hahargh that’s true although the mojo is OK now. I should probably explain that the other post I was inspired to write it for was one from a Mum with a 3 year old and a 5 year old who was finding life really hard… which you do when you have a 3 year old. So it was when McMini was 3 that my mojo fled for several months. I had to stop writing and I spent the time drawing all my characters, which is strange because I can hardly do drawing at all at the moment (it’s much harder than writing but it used to be the other way around).

        Hmm, I’ve not been hugely articulate there, but I hope you get the gist of my rambling.



      • Lol, totally. I doing a lot of drawing at the moment as my writing seems to be restricted to poems and short stories. But I definitely need to be ‘in the mood’ to do either, the mojo has to be working or it’s just no go. Well done you though, for the juggling act. 😉

  14. I was on Readwave a couple of years ago. I uploaded over two dozen short stories. They cut me off and kept my stories … thieves and liars all of them.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that mate. I heard from a friend that Readwave were shutting down and got an email from them basically saying the same thing, so I quickly took all my stories down. I hated doing it as I had about 6,000 followers and the stories had attracted great viewing figures and comments, but the whole thing made me nervous as hell. So sorry to hear that you didn’t get your stories from them, that’s awful. Have you tried contacting them? I think Robert Tucker is on Goodreads? Best of luck mate, hope you get your work back, that sucks. 😦

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