#atinylife desk

tinylife deskSitting in front of the computer trying to write the great British novel, or an entire spoken word set, or at least redraft that story I thought was good but ‘needs more work.’ I am so fortunate to be at home while the children are at school. I am so lucky to have the tools I need. I even tidied my work space this morning, shoved printed poems into the recycling. I wrote a To Do list.

I got nothing.

At 11ish, I give up and go for a cycle. I am so distracted by the amazing weather that I forget to put my helmet on. It’s like a pastoral symphony out there: butterflies and everything.

If you write, you’ll know how this story ends. I got home with two ideas for poems and wrote one in the garden’s sun.

#atinylife HIVstories

Myths and stigma around HIV abound. No, you can’t get HIV from kissing. No, you can’t get HIV from sharing cutlery. Yes, people living with HIV on effective treatment don’t pass the virus onto their sexual partners.

The myths behind these facts might seem harmless, but they perpetuate HIV stigma – which seriously affects people’s day-to-day lives.Twitter Subs Open

The Positive Stories Project aims to use the power of creative writing and expression to challenge HIV stigma. Run by HIV Scotland throughout Summer 2018, the project will consist of a series of creative writing workshops for people living with HIV, a mentorship programme that pairs people living with HIV with professional writers, and a published anthology so that those living with and affected by HIV can share their stories with the world.

Let’s write to end HIV stigma.


#atinylife Arg! Kids!

I’m really sorry, but this is going to be one of those mum blogs. My kids are driving me insane!

Arg Kids


What do you do when one of your kids is so mean to the other one it takes your breath away? How can it take an hour and a half to get ready for school? How can you stop them from fighting when they just don’t? Even when you tell them once, twice … well, you get the idea.

Don’t even start me on how I try and fail to make time for me and Mr HB when they just. Won’t. Go. To. Bed. I’ve taken to hiding in my own bedroom at night.

I know I am SO LUCKY to get to be home with my children. I love them. They do my head in. Parenting is so difficult. Arg!

#atinylife Update

An update on the writing competition I was asked to judge last year:

it was really exciting to be asked, and I was glad to support SeaMab‘s work. I met with a co-judge, emailed with another. Together, we decided on Winners and Highly Commended entries in the four Sea Changer categories: Free, Joy, Brave, Hope.

I was looking forward to naming the winners here and on Twitter. But some wanted to remain anonymous, and the staff at SeaMab didn’t have time to put out an official announcement of the others. And I absolutely understand that – check out all the work they do!tinylife Update

It was (another) lesson: in writing, in life. Things won’t turn out how you’d hoped, but you can still feel positive about the bits that were super fun! Thanks to SeaMab for entrusting me with the job.

#atinylife blogger

I’m attending a conference in my capacity as a blogger next week, so I’m giving myself 280 words for the first time in this extended post on blogging.

I found it easier to write about reasons why other people blog! Like:

To make money

Some people apparently make a good deal of profit from monetising (ug, what a word) their blogs. To be honest, I have not even looked into how one might achieve this.

To write on a particular theme

I blog about lots of different things, because the blog is called tinylife, and life is lots of different things.

To bitch about other people/be deliberately polemic

I get in enough trouble already! Which is not to say that I don’t put my opinions in my blog, but there are ways of doing so respectfully. And if you find out what they are, please let me know…


Here are some reason why blog.

I wanted to commit to writing something every week


I think it’s important to prove, as a writer, that you can turn up every week and be consistent.

I wanted to put writing out for free

The places I submit to are often pay to view, and lots of pieces are yet to place anywhere. But in order to showcase my work, I wanted to put writing online in the public domain.

I wanted to build a community

And yay, I did! I’ve got some lovely readers who comment often (yes, you Jena, Joanne, Ann), and many more people who read and enjoy my posts. My favourite bit? When a conversation about a post leads all the way to another, guest post – like here and here.