Through The Decades

Writing and publishing Failing Flynn Matthews is on hold for now as moving house may be happening quicker than we thought (panic!) so this past weekend has seen a flurry of activity and this morning I took another car load to the charity shop. I’m not sure how we accumulated so much and if we ever needed it all.

Sorting through our belongings I unearthed many memories. From the decade of my life I call the Carefree years (age 1-10) I found my first teddy and a framed picture that hung on the wall above my bed.

Isn’t my teddy cute?!

From the Awkward years (11-20) books, loads of them! Some my Nan gave me, beautifully illustrated but battered from the 1930’s.

From the London years (21-30) a huge A4 binder with examples of typesetting – you know, the old way we used to print newspapers! I learned how to set type during my Occupational Therapy course – loved that module!

Typeset by me – ok, ok these words were cool at the time!

From the Child Rearing years (31- 40) there is so much and it’s hard to let go of anything – everything has a memory whether it be of our children or family. Sorting through the thoughtful gifts my mother bought reminded me of how much time she dedicated, sitting for hours playing games, doing puzzles and reading with them. It reminds me of how much I miss her and how much our children and her other grandchildren have lost out on since the dementia took what makes her, her. It is a cruel disease. We still have her to hold and hug but we do miss how she would have been without it.

My Mum and kids spent many hours having fun with these 🙂

The next decade I will call the Finding Myself years (41-50) – first I was ill but on the upside I finally put pen to paper and wrote. My first short story was published and I haven’t stopped writing since. I think it’s the first interest I’ve actually stuck with. My past is littered with discarded hobbies: pottery, water colour painting, oil painting to name but a few.

And now we come  to this decade – no name yet as it’s early days however we’re going on adventure and renovating (sort of) a property and are trading this:

for this:

Very excited 🙂 Wish us luck! Publishing and writing will resume shortly! 😀

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We’re off to see the Wizard

I’m coming to the end of my holiday and had some good news waiting for me when I got back from Rome. My short story We’re off to see the Wizard has been accepted for Bridge House Publishing’s 2016 anthology ‘Baubles’.

It’s dedicated to my mum and is another story about dementia – although it’s fiction I’ve drawn on my relationship with her and my experience of working in a dementia unit. Losing a person to dementia is sad but there are real moments of joy. It helps to remember them.

Here’s a photo of a cobbled street at the Roman Forum – not yellow bricked though!

dav

Murmuration

Snowflakes – an anthology by Bridge House Publishing was published at the weekend.

Snowflakes Small

Click on the cover to go to Amazon UK

My short story Murmuration is in it. It’s about a married couple where one partner has dementia. Although it is a work of fiction its storyline is a personal one.

My mum has dementia. She hasn’t known who I am for a good few years but there are times when she will look at me, smile and say, “I know you don’t I.” For a split second there’s that connection with her, with the past, with what might have been, what we’d be sharing now if she didn’t have the disease.

And then there’s my dad who despite his own health issues cares for her with patience, love and understanding. It can be exhausting however he still finds the time to be there not only for her but for others too.

Murmuration is more heart warming than hard hitting but I hope it gives a little insight into being a carer and shows some of the symptoms a person in the latter stages of dementia may experience, and how those precious moments of recognition are a joy for their family.

A murmuration is a flock of starlings. A talented friend of mine Tina Huckle at Love Alice Photography supplied the beautiful photograph for Murmuration in the book trailer. It was taken on the Somerset Levels.

Book trailer: