Ramblings Blog 2021

August 2nd 2021
Month ten of sales is upon us.
As I reflect on this book, it gently reminds me that at the end of the month it’s 2 years since the loss of Mark. It was a standing joke when he was here, that he started every birthday on Australia time, and finished it on UK time so that he got ten extra hours. He did that until the end. Due to the time differences, “the day” is 30th august for the UK and 31st August for Australia. He even got his extra hours in for that. I always smile thinking of that.
I am very proud of the book, it’s raw and honest. That honesty has over the last year helped a couple of new friends that I have made, widows theirselves. The book has also been accepted into the library of Camp Widow in America.
I often wonder whether there is a book or article or even a series of articles in me, about the grief journey, my journey. It’s a journey that is different for everyone with grief. I was thinking last night about all the words and phrases that were thrown at me after Mark. The “you’re strong”; “he wouldn’t want you to be sad” and so on. Do those phrases help? If not, why not? How do they feel from a widows point of view? Maybe that book is in me. Maybe it’s something that can help friends of widows and widowers in examining their behaviours and words. Sometimes, the words that we think are helping, can be the worst thing to say. Who knows. I might have to give it a go. If I do it and it helps one person, it’s well worth it.

July 27th 2021

As I look back to the poems in the book, it makes me think of all the emotions that were,  and still do run through me. Some things have changed in the last 2 years. Some haven’t. Some never will.

What hasn’t changed?

I’m still a widow. No longer part of the Hattersley double act. No longer “The Madhatters”. That’s not going to change.

What has changed?

One thing I notice is that the emotions are settling. Someone wise once told me that it would happen one day. Things would just feel different and she was right. (I wonder if that person in WA is reading this and smiling).

Sadly along the way, some friendships change and that made me sad. Everyone handles grief differently but I am incredibly grateful for those who stuck with me and supported me.

What will never change?

I’ll never forget every memory I had with my husband, but I have to make new memories and bring new traditions to my life. It will all take time and that I know. I will never ever forget the best thing that happened to me but I also know that my life must take those steps into a new domain.

I  was privileged in my life to find that one person that made me whole. I was lucky to find that one person that changed my world, my soulmate. Not everyone in life is that lucky.

I  was.

July 21st 2021
Going through the loss of a spouse is traumatic. Its heartbreaking and it leaves a hole in you that will never be filled. Something is always missing. Using words to express feelings is something that I find cathartic. Those of you that have read my work will have noticed that.
Writing Ramblings gifted me a few things. I realised that my writing had not left me. It had been something I had done years ago but the creativity was still in there somewhere!! It also enabled me to get my first published article. It gave me some new friends, those in my situation that really got it. They really knew how I felt. It also gave me pride.Yes, these grief poems gave me pride. Pride in my writing and pride in myself.
This book has sold in UK, Australia and USA. Who knows how many? I am by no means a best selling author and neither did I expect to be. Here I am and I am rapidly approaching the end of July and my first royalties . Am I nervous? Yes, who wouldn`t be!!
What happens, happens! But I can say…..I did this!

July 15th 2021

When I think of this book, I am always drawn to remembering Mark. After all, he was the reason I wrote it, my inspiration! The photo that I have shared today was taken on one of his many hospital visits. This one in particular was taken on a discharge day. He was coming home and I think the smile says it all! 

Despite all the hospital visits, ICU stays and everything else that was thrown our way…we still made every time a good time. 

Ramblings is in month 9 of sale and at the end of this month, the first royalties will be in. Eek! How did it sell? Did it sell? 

The article I was discussing last week, entitled “2” is up online and ready for viewing –

 “2” – what I have learned.

I hope that those of you who read through it, can understand just a little of how a widow feels. Everyone has their own grief. Ive heard it likened to a backpack that you cannot remove. Sometimes it is right as a feather and other times heavy as rock, but you cannot ever remove it. 

Writing was the thing that got me through. There are continual good and bad days. Memories creep in when you are least expecting them but you know what? Thats ok. In the words of  podcaster and novelist Nora McInerny….Its ok to laugh and cry too. 

July 9th 2021

I am currently working on a new article. Part of the process of this article was revisiting my poetry book. I hadn’t read it for some time.

The  one thing that went through my mind was ‘did I have a favourite poem?’  It’s a question I was asked recently but one I never had an answer to. Well, after reading my book, here’s the answer.  How do I choose? There were so many in there that were all favourites for different reasons. I couldn’t pick out a single poem to highlight. So, here are a few. 

Number 2 was a particular favourite as it commented for silver wedding, the last we would share together.  Number 3 was. favourite. It talked of my favourite Christmas. Mum, Dad, Mark and I . Everyone enjoying a good time. I have some special memories from Christmas 2018.  Number 5 is extra special. Its about my brother and I.  

Poem 7 is a favourite as it celebrates the life of my parents and memories we all have. 12, 12, 16 and 18 are special too. You can see where this headed can’t you. How can you highlights a favourite?

For some reason the final poem, entitled 102 days resonates with me more than the other ‘grief’ poems. I think this was a time when I realised that it was approaching Christmas and he wasn’t here. He really wasn’t coming back. He wasn’t in hospital or away anywhere. He had gone. It started to sink in!

The article that prompted me to re-read the book is called “2”. A simple title for a simple reason. Next month is 2 years since I lost my husband. Over those two years, lots of things have happened…good and bad, happy and sad. The article will re-examine how life is now and what I have learnt along the last 2 years. That article should be ready to upload by next weekend!

July 3rd 2021

July. Month 7 of the year….already!!! 

Ramblings is in its 9th month of sale and this month, the first royalties trickle in. 

Next month is two years since I became the forty something widow when I lost my handsome husband. In that two years so much has changed!

In the last two years I have spoken to many widows.
In the last two years I have written a couple of articles on the subject.
In the last two years, Ive made some beautiful friends, other widows who know how I feel without me having to explain or justify a feeling.
My book is now in the reading library of “Camp Widow” – Im incredibly proud of this. Many more women have access to reading it and knowing how they feel is normal. To feel low or sad is normal. To want to scream at the world is normal. To want to shut yourself off from the world is normal .
If my book has helped  one person….I have achieved something good.

June 20th 2021

Here we are nudging slowly towards the end of June. Half way though the year. Halfway towards the forty something widow becoming fifty!!! 

Sales ranks are a weird thing. If anyone knows what they mean, contact me please! Ramblings sales ranks jumped a massive 3,000,000 places in the last few days. What does that mean? Ive sold some? Ive sold more than everyone else on poetry or have I sold nothing? Well, when the royalties come in, I’ll know! 

Ramblings is my grief. Ive said this before. It’s raw. It’s brave. It’s unfiltered. There are no boundaries. Im a writer, not a talker. My grief path was, and will always be, through my words. 

Good things have come from this book. It is now in the reading library of @campwidow – an organisation that holds weekend retreats for widows to share stories and get support. It gifted me a friend, through my Dads photography site, who is a widow. We’ve been communicating for some time. The book and my articles went to a widowed friend of hers. 

The fact that this book has helped a few people work on their grief is amazing. The fact that this book gifted me friends is something I never anticipated. The fact that this book, while raw and unfiltered, served to show friends and my family my feelings. It allowed friends in particular behind the doors of Mark and my marriage to see the closeness we had.  The fact that is with @campwidow is amazing. The fact that it’s sold some (I don’t care if it just 1!) in Australia, UK and USA tells me that I did something right. 

June 1st 2021

So, to follow on from last month…am I still neurotically checking sales ranks? Yep, sure am!  I actually don’t know why I am because I have no damn idea how the things work. Like Ive said before, if it was as easy as you sell a book, rank goes up…..but I know its not. 

Anyway, I will have a little more of a clue by the end of next month as my first royalties will be coming in. Thats a scary thought…royalties. What if there aren’t any? I am realistic enough to know that I am not a worldwide best seller and nor did I ever expect that  but …if I make a few dollars Ill be a happy woman. At the end of the day, if I have sold a few, then I am a published author. A friend of mine once said “you sold some in Australia, uk and in the states so surely that makes you a world renowned author”. With friends and support like that, what more do I need?

Ramblings remains out for sale and please do leave your reviews. Good , bad or indifferent. As an author I learn by a review so I am happy to hear bad reviews too. 

So, as my next publication is about to hit the online stores, thank you for your support of this one!

May 2021

We find ourselves stumbling heading into the 5th month of the year. This month “Ramblings” heads into its 7th month of sale. Trust me when I say, every author can tell you exactly how many months/years their book has been in the world!!! 

The Ramblings Facebook page continues and is updated fortnightly. It is a work in progress and I am currently working on a few ideas for it. I posted last week that I will answer any questions that you have on ramblings, so please get in touch and send them to me!

I find myself becoming neurotic in the respect of checking amazon sales ranks daily. sales ranks are not as simple as ‘if you sell, your book goes up’ and so on, there seems to be more to it. Suffice to say, my UK sales ranks are moving in the right direction so I am going to hope that this is a good thing!!! 

If you were lucky enough to be gifted a signed copy or if you bought your copy of the book, please head to amazon and leave a review. Id love to see what you all think, positive or negative. There was a negative review from the States where the reviewer stated the free sample did not allow him to see what he expected to see. He wanted free poetry I think!!! 

Thank you all for your continued support and sharing my news. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. 

April 2021

It seems to be flying by. Time that is! ‘Ramblings’ has been out in the world for 6 months now. I know I have sold in the US, the UK and Australia. I know my friends says that makes me a world renowned author!!!

Since my last blog, I have designed and built a Facebook page dedicated to the book. Please check it out in the link. It’s in its infancy right now but will be a work in progress.

Ramblings Facebook page

March 2021

March sees Ramblings enter its 5th month of sale. In some ways, it feels that it has been out in the world for years but in others,it feels like days! Doesn’t help that I am not a patient woman I suppose!!!

Ramblings was written raw on grief and high on memories. There’s the perfect description of it right there, my friends.  When you lose someone, especially a spouse, the grief is unprecedented. Since this grief, I have been thrown into the grief of losing a parent (3 weeks ago).

I look at this collection of poems and am immensely proud. I have to be patient to see how its selling but I guess anyone who has a book will tell you that they compulsively check amazon sales rankings!! I do too!

I am also incredibly proud of how my work is developing,both as a poet and as a storyteller. I look at Ramblings and look at work now and can see developments in style as well as differing content.

February 2021

Welcome to the second month of the year already.  It seems to me that Ramblings has been on sale for so long, I have to remind myself that February is only month four of sales. Early days in a books lifetime. 

I remain incredibly proud of this book. Written in a time of sadness and grief but punctuated with happy memories to lighten the load, so to speak. The poems in the book all flowed naturally.

I have had many questions about the book and continue to receive excellent reviews. Its all about being patient now and letting sales and reviews work their magic.


January 2021

We head slowly into 2021 and month three of “Ramblings” being for sale. For me, as an author, it feels like it has been out there for ever! I often have to remind myself of how little time it has had to be seen.  My Amazon Author page is up and running. I have a bio in place and have managed to secure the bio in 5 languages including English.  I have uploaded some photos now from the book and the book reviews are all there to see too. 

Its  all about patience and promotion. Press releases have been sent to varying magazines. Due to covid, libraries and schools are not doing readings so social media has been my weapon of choice. Each month I am doing something different. January was my press releases and getting myself out on GoodReads. February will be a Q and A. 

Thats the plan so far! Onwards and upwards!