#atinylife Launch

Reader, it was the day of my book-launch party.

Excitement was replacing anxiety, bolstered by a pretty updo and the decision to wear that dress. The box of books had been arranged by friends into an enticing display as I’d emptied the bins.

Gathering, greeting, performing, signing – signing! and finally, dispersing.IMG_8214

I’m used to coming home, thinking ‘I should’ve said this thing, I shouldn’t have done this thing.’

I’m not used to going home deeply happy, having sold all those books on the display. Books of a story I wrote. Signed copies going home with new readers.

Once the venue had been tidied and swept, corks had been popped and the night was nearly over, I got into bed, and read. I always do. Someone else’s story, a world they had created.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

#atinylife Knee


The warmth of his comfortable weight.

His hand fiddles

with my thumbnail,

his feet dangle

to my knees.


His hair as 

soft and fluffy as

the inside of his favourite jumper,

a perfect mess of haywire strands,

always in need of a cut.


His breathing inhales, exhales through my body:

lift, then relax.

The angle:

a view of angelic eyelashes.


He leans into my chest,

content, safe.


being pinned to the chair

by this sweetest of distractions,


all the other things I could be doing,

should be doing,

I stay here.



Let me savour this moment,

for those for whom the moment never comes,

for the years and years beyond this day

when he won’t sit on my knee anymore. FullSizeRender (15)


And 140 words is not enough,

to describe this,

the feeling

of my son

sitting on my knee.

#atinylife Beats

Amidst steaming cobbles, Pennine poetronica trumps Mojo nostalgia any night. People who should know better cram into tiny bars and throw themselves around as one pulls out his tiny pleasure device and intones beat poetry to electronica.

They could spend £100 seeing Neil Young, but as summer storms dissipate, this is now, don’t look for it, it’s gone, Xanadu, no beard required.

FullSizeRender (16)

Dan Pink knows you can take success and stick it: Linux, Wikipedia? Created for nothing, given away, that’s why it works.

Stuff your Glasto too, consumers, no money in this. Greater rewards make worse work. Like bygone fetishists, they welcome pleasure in plain packages, but here there’s no pain and no shame.

No Arts Council Punk Poets here. Typical. Too idle to make their own youth movement. Our fault, for giving them all those lifts.

Northern Beat Poets Rule.


#atinylife June


The phrase ‘June is busting out all over’ was surely written by a parent with school-aged children. Before the summer holidays begin, every end of year concert, fundraiser, family festival, and good time is held: in June. June collapses under the weight of FUN. On any given Saturday you could be in at least three different places: Treefest in town? Fundraiser? Or the show that was so good last year?

Last year, by the end of term, I was a wreck.

It’s meant to be fun!

So this year, I’m going for the bare minimum.

Gigs on three weekends, a party on the other, my book launch, a friend’s dance show, and my son’s sponsored walk, teacher’s gift baking.

Yep. This is the bare minimum.

I hope to make it to July – to freedom – without breaking myself.  And just…breathe.

#atinylife Walk

My name is Will and I am 8 and I am doing a ten mile sponsored walk for refugees from Syria. I will be donating money to UNICEF. My Beaver Group challenged me to ‘make the world a better place.’ My mum showed me a project about my grandad (who was a Hungarian refugee) that my cousin Sandy wrote with my Auntie Becky. My grandad had to walk from Hungary to Austria. He was 14. It was not safe for him and his sister to live in Hungary any more. He and the other refugees walked over no man’s land. The people in Austria rang the church bells to show the refugees which way to go. At the end of my walk we will go to St Marys Church and ring the bells. If you want to sponsor me, please click here. IMG_7995

#atinylife Sticker

The things in my house can become part of the furniture.

Some of them are the furniture.

I see, but don’t see, that picture on the fridge every day. I certainly don’t remember the work that went into it on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday I was opening the bathroom cupboard, and for once I looked properly at the sticker.

Its back reflects neatly on the mirror-door. It’s faded: once bright colours muted.

But I can still remember the day we got it: when my husband’s daughter was in Primary school, and they had an open morning for parents. Mr HB and I both went, and we got the sticker which says ‘Good try,’ for participating in one of the games.

It was so many years ago that the sticker is part of the furniture, holding the memory in place.


#atinylife Meet Shani


For as long as I can remember the paranormal has fascinated me.

As a child I preferred darker stories and devoured Ruth Manning-Saunders twisted fairytales. I also had an appetite for horror films and loved nothing more than cosying up with my family to watch a scary movie on the box!

Although I kick-started my writing career in the romance genre, I switched to paranormal as it’s where my heart lies. I’ve also had a lot of knowledge passed down to me from my mother who has an intellectual interest in the Occult, so in a way I’ve grown up with the paranormal all around me. It simply makes sense that there’s a spiritual world as well as a material one. Meet Shani

Regarding fellow authors, I’m inspired by the greats such as Shirley Jackson, Susan Hill, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.