Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mummy Misfit's Magic Moments (2011)

It’s been a hectic few months for a Mummy Misfit and as 2011 draws to a close I’ve been reflecting on my year.

In early June I published my first book on Kindle - all very exciting and nerve-wracking but I received great reviews and was relieved to find I’d made the right decision to go Indie.

I now have two books on Kindle and in paperback and the long and exciting job of marketing and promoting is stretching out ahead of me.

So … what have been the highs and lows in the year of a Mummy Misfit?

  1. Hubbie woke me at 2 a.m. to tell me I’d had my first unbiased praise on Facebook.  The joy of knowing that someone I didn’t know had found my book and was enjoying it had us up and out of bed in the kitchen with a glass of wine and jumping for joy!

  1. I blogged every single day for three months - I wrote about everything from my how I got my 38C’s to periods, dream jobs to imaginary holidays.  Then I realised I just couldn’t keep it up - I could be writing another book.  My daily musings became weekly and the pressure was off.

  1. I went from Twitter virgin to addict in the space of a week.  When my husband told me I should join, I poo-pooed it - what could Twitter do for me?  Now I get an attack of the heebie-jeebies if I don’t get my ‘Twit-Fix’.  I even dream about it!  But I’ve met some great people and it’s helped to sell heaps of books.  I learnt a harsh lesson quite early on - you can’t trust everyone but I refuse to listen to my mum when she says that nobody on there is real!  So what does that make me?

  1. A literary agent changed his mind within the space of 24 hours about representing me.  My work was “excellent with a strong voice and great dialogue” and the next day I was “too commercial!”  Go figure!  I give up on them and will continue to fly solo and work my socks off for myself.  I will get that six part mini series!

  1. My marriage survived getting two books out there and editing the second.  Many late nights and hissy fits (me!) were involved but we got there in the end.  I would fight to keep every word I’d written but I know he’s usually right and would back down in the end.  Twitter friends gave me permission to poke him in the eye if he got too bolshie but I refrained - I did sulk a lot though.

  1. My clever son designed both of the back covers and also helped with a tricky bit of formatting for Kindle.  Sixteen year olds have their uses and it lifts my heart every time I sell a book and I hear him shout, “Go, Ma!”

  1. I’ve been through more highs and lows than I ever thought possible in this past year.  I’ve gone from having complete faith in myself and what I’m doing and then I’ve had days when I find my work dominating my life and I just want to throw the towel in.  Another book sale, a great review or a happy tweet from someone can change all that in an instant.

  1. The day I received my first hard copy of the book felt surreal and dreamlike.  It arrived on the day we’d decided to go to St Paul’s to check out Occupy London and I remember drifting around the streets thinking “I finally have a copy of my baby!”  I now have them both in paperback and I can quite happily sit and stare at them for hours.

  1. I’ve realised that writing is something that I have to do - maybe it’s the frustrated actress in me coming out in another way but I need to do it.  People like what I write and that feels good.  It was very flattering to have readers begging for the sequel and it meant the world to me.  BUT  I’ve got to put all my time into getting these two books talked about and I’ve decided to ban myself from working on a new book until Easter.  I don’t always listen to myself though, so who knows?  But that’s the plan at the moment.

  1. I’ve realised that writing isn’t a lonely profession any more.  There’s always someone out there to chat or moan to.  I’ve made some real friends - some writers, some not, but I know I can always find someone to connect with.  Poor old Barbara Cartland would have been all alone in her negligee and feather boa - I don’t know how she did it.

So that’s my year in brief and I’m very excited at the prospect of 2012.  I don’t believe in New Year resolutions but I do believe in having a dream and the drive to see it through.

I wish all my readers a very happy and peaceful 2012 - watch this space, Mummy Misfit is going to be hitting the ground running.

My books can be found on Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

When Ananda met Amanda

Today my blog is a series of questions posed to me by the fabulous Ananda at ‘Books to Remember’.  Check out her blog and her great review of the diary.

Thank you Ananda and here goes.

Describe Mummy Misfit in 3 words
Bitchy, funny and warm.

Where does the idea for Diary of a Mummy Misfit come from?
My son has been privately educated and we’ve struggled to do it - I was the Mummy Misfit at the school gates - no designer handbag or holidays abroad for me because all our money went on our son’s schooling.

Can we sense a bit of Amanda in Libby’s character?
There’s a lot of me in Libby - I felt awkward and was made to feel like a second class citizen on many occasions.  (I may have to move out of London now!)

If she wasn’t Mummy Misfit she would be - Mummy ________?
Mummy Who Doesn’t Belong!

Do you sing in the shower?
I love my deep bath at night and at the moment my son is obsessed with Pink Floyd so I enjoy humming along while it’s blaring from his bedroom.  I HATE the nights he listens to Radiohead (husband’s fault!)

What annoys you the most - people, situations etc?
Snobbery, inequality, racism, rudeness and people who lie or distort the facts.

Five things Ms Egan can’t live without?
My family, humour, sleep, cigarettes, white wine.  (Bad mummy!)

How much does it take for Mummy Misfit to become ‘Monster Mummy’?
If people lie or have a different set of rules for themselves I will most definitely become ‘Monster Mummy’.  I am fiercely protective of my family and I won’t be told how I should live my life.

Is there someone like ‘Fenella’ in your life?
There is a Fenella in my life and I love her dearly.  She’s been made larger than life for the book but she was the basic outline for the character.  Had it not been for my ‘Fenella’ I may not have survived prep school!

Is there a time when you say to yourself - “Damn, I’m acting like Libby now?”
Often!  I’ve had many mad Libby and Fenella nights and I’ve also panicked about school fees - I lived to tell the story though!

What qualities do you admire most in people?
Resilience, a good sense of humour, generosity of spirit and the ability to take the pee out of yourself.  I love people who can turn a boring time into fun.

All Ms Egan wants for Christmas is ………..?
For my family to be happy - I’m saying no more.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
No!  I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  New Year is just another day as far as I’m concerned - make changes in your life when you feel they are right!  I HATE New Year’s Eve - always have.

Your reaction to a bad (negative) comment about the book (if there were any?)
I have been fortunate to never receive a bad review for the books - YET!  (But I am prepared).  Somebody once told me I was the most boring blogger EVER and needed to get a life and that upset me for a while.  Then I stepped aside, deleted their comment and realised there are weirdos out there who deliberately want to upset.  I know I have a life and also that I have lived an interesting and exciting one.  I also know I have my followers who love my books and my blog so … stuff the rest.  You can’t please everyone - I learnt that as an actress.

Christmas is all ABOUT - _______________________?
Children and making it magic for them.  Even with a sixteen year old I want him to have a great time, to feel loved, cosy and special.
Hubbie and I exchange our stockings on Christmas Eve - our quiet time together with a glass of port.
If I’m totally honest, the rest of Christmas is about family, friends and a huge dollop of stress!

I would like to give huge thanks and hugs to Ananda for her varied and fun questions and to wish her, and all my blog and book readers, a very Happy Christmas.

Ananda’s 'Books to Remember' can be found here.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is on Kindle and paperback.

The sequel, The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit is also on Kindle and paperback.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Darker Side is Here!

Mummy Misfit is a tad excitable today so this post will be short and sweet.

It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year for me - son’s last week at school, mum’s birthday, finalising the Christmas shopping - and in amongst all that I’m launching the sequel to the diary.

Yes, I have in my hands the preview copy and, I have to say, it’s beautiful. It is now available to buy in paperback and for Kindle.

So normal service will resume with my blog next week but today I’m chasing my tail to get my book out there and talked about.

Thank you to all of those who have been eagerly awaiting “The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit”.  I really hope you enjoy - and if you do, please leave me a review.  Your words help to sell mine.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at Lulu.
The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit is available on Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at Lulu

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Open House Continues

Last week’s ‘Open House’ blog was so popular I thought I’d continue with the daft theme this week and invite more questions from Twitter friends.

Here goes - a mixed bag again.

@foreignwriter
If you could go back in time to the day you were born, what would you tell your parents?
Firstly I’d apologise to my mum for the pain of childbirth and then I’d tell them both not to worry about me - I’ll be a sensible girl and do OK with my life.  And I might add (for my own safety) “Try to stop my older sisters dropping (or chucking) me downstairs”.  It makes a sibling feel unloved!

@BookstoRemember
What would you change about yourself?
I’d love to stop being a worrier, give up smoking and have a new bladder.  One glass of wine and I need to pee - two and I’m in agony.
What’s the most stupid thing you did in the name of love.
I wasted ten years on the wrong man because I was too much of a coward to go solo.  It wasn’t until I met my husband that I saw the light.

@moiraken
If you could pull a Christmas cracker with anyone dead or alive (but not husband or son) who would it be?
That’s an easy one!  It would be my lovely dad.  He died when I was eighteen and I didn’t get to pull enough crackers with him.  He always made Christmas so special and I miss him every day.
Also, how brilliant are penguins??!!
They are so brilliant my son has a collection of approximately 150 stuffed ones, plus badges, buttons, and ornaments.  He developed an obsession with Pingu and it grew from there.  Thankfully, he has now stopped.  I’m often told I’m too black and white in my thinking but as, @mark747eagle pointed out to me last week, nothing is so clear cut - even penguins have yellow feet!

@Beth_Hammond
How many times do you swear in a day?
Now this is a tricky one because my in-laws read this!  If I’m totally honest - a lot at the moment as things are a bit stressful in the Misfit household.  Hubbie and I like to shock one another with a stream of the worst just for a laugh.  I also make up swear-words, usually when driving.  If someone doesn’t give way to me, they’re a ‘stinking great snot bubble’.  My son is sixteen and has never sworn (apart from an accidental ‘shit’ at about two) - he thinks it’s unnecessary and, deep down, I agree with him.

@KimTheBookworm
What would you like Santa to leave in your stocking this year?
Well I know he’s leaving me a gorgeous pair of knee high leather boots because I’ve bought them myself (from my mum) but I’d love a Kindle, a complete new wardrobe of clothes and more boots - I love boots.  I might get a satsuma!

@mark747eagle
If you couldn’t write, what would you do for a creative outlet?
I dabble in most crafts - knitting, card making, ceramic painting but I also love to host themed dinner parties for my mad friends - I take lots of care in co-ordinating my table and I plan mad games and tasks.  I also play Guitar Hero with son and hubbie - I’m always the singer and, at the time, I reckon I’m pretty hot.  I’m probably not!

@rickkypicard
Is there anything in life you couldn’t forgive or do you continue to hate?
I believe I’m a forgiving person but, if somebody seriously harmed a loved-one, I would be unable to find forgiveness in my heart and I would do everything in my power to hunt them down.
And can you name all the flowers that are out in your garden at the moment?
I live in a London townhouse so I have the typical tiny courtyard garden.  It’s very secluded as it’s surrounded in Pyracantha - lovely white flowers for the bees in the summer and red berries for the birds in winter.  The rest of my garden is in tubs so I have the remainder of my summer blooms - Hydrangea, Busy Lizzies etc.  Phew, that felt like a botany lesson.

And now for the humdinger!

@drakestonehotel
Given the state of the global economy is it acceptable to have a tortoise as a pet?
I have serious concerns for this twitterer’s mental health but will answer anyway!  I think a tortoise is an excellent choice of pet during these hard times.  They are cheap to keep and cost nothing whilst in hibernation.  Handy hint - NEVER drill a hole through their shell and thread elastic through them.  My dad did it to mine because he kept ‘running’ away!  (A) it hurts them and (B) if they do go too far, they ping back!

So there you go.  I never said it would be sane or normal but it’s nearly Christmas and we all need a bit of a laugh.  Hope you enjoyed.

‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ is on Amazon for Kindle and on Lulu in paperback.  ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ will be released the week of 12th December.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

When Mummy Misfit Met Michelle Betham

Today I'm welcoming to my blog, fellow Indie writer and friend, Michelle Betham.  She has three novels on Amazon for Kindle, 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise', 'See You at the Show' and 'No Matter What'.  She is currently working on Illusions of Love, the sequel to No Matter What , which she hopes to release early next year.

So, Michelle, those that know you will already be aware that you love to write while listening to music - often rock and often loud(!) - is there ever a time when you have to have complete silence to work?
During the editing process I sometimes have to have complete silence, because I like to make sure that I have total concentration when I'm editing my books.  I wouldn't say it's silence all the time during the editing process, but there are certainly instances when I have to turn everything off and let the silence take over.

What works best for you when you are having a bad bout of writer's block?
I get the iPod out and listen to certain songs, songs that I just know will give me a kick start and get me back on track.  Music is very important to me and it's a huge influence when it comes to my writing.  But, if that doesn't work, I'll take the dog out for a nice long walk, just to clear my head.  That usually does the trick.

Coming from a theatrical background, do you think that helps with your dialogue?  I read Too Much Trouble and it really is the strong point of the novel.


Thank you. :)  Yes, I think it probably does help with the dialogue, to some extent.  Being in a theatre environment you are constantly aware of having dialogue all around you, and I think I've subconciously become more aware of how important conversations and the way they're structured can be to not only a good theatrical production, but also to books.  I love writing dialogue, and it's so easy for me because I just think of everything as if it were a play or a movie and write it from that angle.  That's definitely my performing arts background coming out there!

I know you love the writing and style of Jackie Collins but if you had to pick one either writer you admire, who would it be?
I just love horror writer James Herbert!  I'm a bit of a horror fan and his books have been the only horror books I've read that have managed to keep me awake at night because I've been so scared!  He has the ability to create such a sense of fear and anticipation in his writing, and I really admire that.
I also love Stephen King, and Lisa Jewell is one of my favourite chick lit authors. I love her books!  Sorry, was I just supposed to pick one!!

What's your typical working day?
Well, once I've done the usual rounds of vacuuming, tidying the kitchen up after breakfast, making the bed (you know how it is!) I make a cup of tea, settle myself down at my desk and begin by going over any emails or messages I need to answer.  Then, when all of that's finished, I like to try and get some work done on whatever book I'm writing at the time.  I much prefer to write in the morning, for some reason, usually giving the afternoon over to preparing and writing blog posts and doing a little bit of book promotion. 

As Indies, we're denied the traditional book launch - what would your dream launch be?
Oh, now, that's a good question!  I think my ideal book launch would be a small but select party for those that have helped and supported me.  It would involve a nice meal with lots of champagne, chocolate souffle for dessert, and Bradley Cooper handing out Ferrero Rochers... sorry, that's my vivid imagination working over time again!  But it would be a lovely little low key affair, I think, because I am quite a shy person.  Dinner, drinks and dancing. That would be my perfect book launch.  Oh, and a nice new dress and some fabulous shoes... and I'd have Lee Stafford do me hair... I'm on a roll now...

Roughly, what's your time frame for a book from start to uploading to Kindle.


Let me think... usually, on average, I'd say around 6 - 8 months, but it usually depends on the particular book I'm writing and how picky I'm being over the editing.  But it's around 6 - 8 months, give or take.

If one of your books was made into a film but the director insisted you played a female role, who would you like to play and why?
Ooh, that's quite easy that one. I'd love to play India Steven, the character from my epic contemporary romance No Matter What!  She goes from legal secretary to movie star, almost overnight, living in L.A. and hanging around with gorgeous movie stars, so I would absolutely love to play that role!  Especially if Keanu Reeves was starring alongside me!!

Do you have any ideas to work on when your current project is finished?
I have a few more ideas that I'd love to work on once I've finished Illusions of Love, including another chick lit novel, and a couple more edgy romances.  I'm also thinking of writing a follow up to Too Much Trouble in Paradise because I think there was a lot of life left in those characters, and I've got a great idea for a sequel!

Thanks Michelle, it was great chatting to you.

Michelle's books can be bought at Amazon for Kindle, PC or Smartphone (using the free app).
Here is the link to her blog.
And she's a great Twitterer @michellebetham 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Me and My Big Mouth

It’s going to be a long post today as firstly I had the bright (read 'daft'!) idea to do an ‘open house’ blog and invite questions from Twitter, and then I was nominated for a blog award by @Amy_Jayne_.  Her blog can be found here.  This requires me to reveal seven things about myself and pass the award along. 

So, first up - my revelations - forgive me if you’ve read some before but there are only SO many things I’m prepared to share!  Also I’m going to keep them brief so that I can cover all my Twitter questions.

  1. I was in Grange Hill.
  2. I lived in Hollywood for six months.
  3. I suffered from secondary infertility - fell pregnant at first attempt and then never again.
  4. I could happily live on Marmite toast, avocados and chocolate.
  5. I used to teach adult literacy.
  6. I worry about everything.

I hand this award over to @michellebetham, @WriterDove and @Laurel_Mayer for their lovely and varied blogs.  Check them out and also Michelle and Laurel’s own book links.

Now … on to my Twitter questions.  I didn’t expect to get quite so many and I want to be fair and answer them all, so grab a chair and a coffee …

@foreignwriter
If you were stranded on a desert island with a comedian, who would it be?
This is an easy one!  It would have to be the gorgeous Tim Minchin.  Stunning to look at, talented and hilarious.  He could make me laugh whilst tickling the ivories.  For anyone who doesn’t know him, he writes intelligently witty songs and plays a mean piano.  Check out ‘Confessions’ below but be warned, it’s rude!



@WriterDove
If you could have written any other book which would it have been and why?
I’d love to have written some of the Maeve Binchy books.  ‘Quentins’ or ‘Scarlet Feather’.  Also any of Lisa Jewell’s.  Both writers take you on great journeys with in-depth characterisation.

@mark747eagle
Why do you write under a nom de plume?  What will you do after the sequel and how do you and your husband celebrate the launch of a book?
I chose to write under my maiden name to protect myself from the bitchy mothers!  After the sequel, Mummy Misfit will be put to bed.  I’m working on a novel which is totally different in style but will hopefully deliver a laugh or two.  Hubbie and I celebrate with a meal and a big sleep - we’re normally exhausted.

@moiraken
What made you laugh the most, what flavour crisps would you put in a sandwich and what luxury item would you take in the jungle?
My husband and son make me laugh all the time but if I had to pinpoint one real side-splitting, eye-watering moment it would be when hubbie and I were first dating and went to the cinema to see ‘Ghost’.  Not really a film you would expect to get a laugh from.  Until we saw the opening credits - the producer was Howard W Koch and the director was Jerry Zucker.  A Koch-Zucker production!  The film was ruined for us (and those around us) as we were unable to stop giggling.
Crisps in a sandwich would have to be cheese and onion - the best.
Jungle luxury?  Me in the jungle?  Yeah, right!

@rachelgully
If the whole world stopped and listened to you, what would you say?
I’d say stop squabbling over bits of land or oil or religion.  We’re humans sharing a world, let’s do it peacefully.

@MrsMac3
Do you ever pretend to be on a chat show and, if so, who’s interviewing you?
Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only weirdo who imagines this scenario!  I’d love to be interviewed by the stunning Julian Clary - although I’d be slightly concerned that he’d be prettier than me.

@missmootastic
If you were Prime Minister for the day what would you change?
I’d put a stop to greed in the world of finance.  I’d bring back old school education with the three R’s and stick to it!  I’d stop people coming into the country - sorry we’re full.  I’d make those choosing to live in our country live by our rules and I’d bring back smoking in designated pubs, restaurants and clubs.
I wouldn’t be popular!

@Scarberryfields
What can I do to help other Indies like you to sell books?
Write great reviews, tell friends, Tweet, blog and continue to do the great job you’re already doing.

@michellebetham
What’s the best live gig you’ve ever been to and why?
That would have to be when I went to see Curtis Stigers perform in the Pizza Express in Soho.  It was an intimate concert for about 50 of us.  He played all the jazz standards (forget the long-haired pop image you’re used to) and he kissed me!!  Nuff said!

@BookstoRemember
Do you think a modern woman needs a man to feel complete?
This is a tricky one!  I couldn’t live without my husband, he’s my best friend, but I know many women who live independently quite happily.  My mum was widowed at 54 and has lived alone for 30 years -it’s not been easy for her but she’s a strong lady.  I’m not so strong.

@Joannie67
How do you keep a perfect manicure when doing the chores - do you wear Marigolds?
I never wear rubber gloves - I hate them.  Hubbie does all the washing up (lucky me) and I always re-do my nails after a big clean.  I hate chipped or broken nails.

@pintsizedmoo
What were your favourite comics when you were growing up?
When I was about eight I loved Twinkle.  As I got older I moved on to Jackie.  A funny story … my dad bought me a copy of Twinkle to cheer me up when I had bad period pains - I was fifteen!

@SeaglassStar
If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Oh boy!  The one album I can answer with absolute certainty is Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle’s ‘One From the Heart’.  A beautiful soundtrack to a crap film (Frances Ford Copolla).  It’s the combination of the dirty, ravaged voice of Waits with the bell-like clarity of Gayle (again below). When I put this album on, I can’t turn it off - I’m there to the end.
And now I have to cheat!  The other two albums would be compilations made by me because I like such varied stuff.  Sorry!



@Snowqueen2607
What’s the most satisfying thing about being an Indie author?
That would have to be when people who don’t know you contact you and say they love your work.  Making friends with my readers has been a real unexpected bonus.
(the above Twitterer has a book soon to be released on Amazon for Kindle - ‘The Tangled Web’ by Lacey Dearie - check it out, you’ve got to support the Indies!)

And finally … the oddest question of the bunch but I have to answer it …

@drakestonehotel
If you were to marry an aardvark (!) who would be your best man, where would you marry and where would you go on your honeymoon?
OK!  I’d plan to marry on a remote Caribbean island.  I’d take my husband as my best man, dump the aardvark and have a much needed holiday with hubbie!

Now that was a bit of a marathon!  Hope you enjoyed.  That Twitter bunch are a mad lot but I thank them all for their imaginative questions.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.  The sequel ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ will be released mid December in both formats.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Grooming of Mummy Misfit

I’ve wrestled with the idea of blogging on this subject for a couple of months now and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I should - if only to save other people from being fooled in the way that I, and many others, were.

We constantly tell our children to beware of strangers on the internet - don’t believe that the friend you’ve made on a games website is really the same age as you, never give out personal details etc.

And yet I didn’t follow my own advice and that’s when I found myself being groomed and duped - lied to and led on.

A very foolish Mummy Misfit, I know - I’m not proud of myself but it happened and I’ve moved on.

Here’s my story.

Back in June 2011 I joined Twitter - a true Twitter virgin (as opposed to the addict I am now!).  I made friends, chatted, promoted my book and generally had a high old time - learning the ropes as I went.  Who would have guessed the importance of one lesson I’d be taught.

I spent many a happy night chatting to ‘Eric the Gay Rainbow’ - being an incorrigible fag-hag, I was having a ball with our cheesy one liners and daft banter.  He was aware that I had lost my closest gay friend a couple of years ago and I believed that Eric and I were beginning to build a genuine friendship.

We began to email one another and (stupidly) I began to trust him.  When he spoke of coming to England from the States, I was delighted.  We’d finally get to meet!

We arranged a date for a themed dinner, here at my place (with hubbie and a couple of friends - I may be stupid but I’m not that stupid!) and then the September storms began in New York.  Suddenly it was looking like he may not be able to fly out.

I could have accepted this - you can’t mess with an act of God.  But gradually the lies began to build - one minute flights were OK but he had no one to look after his cat, then suddenly he had a cat sitter but his flight was delayed.

At this point the alarm bells were beginning to ring but I still wanted to believe him.  I was constantly being told different things, e.g. arrival Gatwick then Heathrow, but none of the flight information tallied with the checks we made online.  A call to the hotel I’d referred him to also drew a blank.

I eventually received a tweet on the day of the dinner to say that he was about to board his plane but would be delayed until much later in the evening.  “No problem,” I told him, “I’ll save dinner and we’ll wait for you.” L'il ol’ perfect hostess, moi!

The long and the short is, he never showed, never gave an explanation and probably had no intention of even leaving the country (assuming he/she/it was actually in New York in the first place!).  I also know he arranged to meet several gay guys he’d met on Twitter - again, a no show.

First off, I was hurt - I’d put my trust in someone who I’d believed might become a real friend and I’d been made to look a fool.  Then the anger set in - what a complete and utter time-wasting fantasist!  Then the reality hit - I needed to be more careful and protect myself on Twitter - sometimes gut feeling is not enough.

Naturally, his Twitter account disappeared.  He obviously wasn’t going to hang around to deal with the backlash from the people he’d so cruelly messed about.

BUT … he’s back, under another name - ‘Rick Rainbow’.  I contacted him and tried to get some answers or at least something half way to a decent explanation.  I got nothing - other than he wishes me well.  Gee, thanks!

So, I don’t like snitching but I feel that it’s only fair to let other Twitterers know that he is not to be trusted.  I can’t sit back any longer and keep quiet.

All I can do, other than ‘out’ him, is to thank him for teaching me a lesson - he turned a trusting, genuine individual in to a suspicious cynic.

I just hope he can rest easy in his bed at night but also that he eventually finds peace - because I don’t believe he can possibly have that right now.

Don’t forget Diary of a Mummy Misfit is not only available on Amazon UK or US for Kindle but also in paperback at Lulu - she’s not to be messed with!!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Holding Mummy Misfit

BLOGGING A DAY EARLY TODAY AS I HAVE EXCITING NEWS

I’ve given birth again!

I pushed and grunted, sweat blood and tears and I finally got to hold my baby.  Only this time I made hubbie do quite a lot of the work too - no sitting back and mopping my brow this time, buddy!  You can get involved too.

Yes, my paperback has been delivered and is now available to buy at Lulu.com.

OK the conception wasn’t quite as much fun as before and the gestation period was longer than an elephant’s but I got there in the end.

Publishing on Kindle was great, as it got me on the path to selling my story and building a group of followers, but there’s nothing quite like holding a real life copy of your work in your hands.  It’s a proper book with a glossy cover, spine, pages and everything!   And holding it means I can do the all important ‘sniff’ - hope I’m not the only one with this weird habit, but I do like a good noseful of book odour and you can’t do that on a Kindle. (And shouldn’t be seen doing it in a library, trust me!)

My news was received with excitement from friends, family and my Twitter buddies - you know who you are, guys, and I truly thank you for helping to make my day so special.

And suddenly I saw copies of my book selling - it was really quite surreal.  The world of the internet got the word out there within minutes and my book was being printed and shipped.  Wonder if I’ll ever see a copy in a charity shop?  Now that would be funny!

As I hold my work in my hand, I’m preparing to give birth again - the sequel is almost ready and this time it will go to Kindle and hard copy at the same time.  More pushing and grunting and uttering the words “I’m never doing this again!” with a murderous look at hubbie.

So forgive me if this blog sounds a little over excited but I have to admit to feeling a little giddy.  I might even put on my best frock and pearls tonight and have a bit of a party - it’s a long way from a book launch but I never would have dreamed I’d get this far and I think I deserve to celebrate.

Mummy Misfit lives!

You can now buy 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' in paperback at LuLu (or US site) and also for Kindle at Amazon UK and US.  The sequel, 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit', coming soon!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Have You met Ms Jones?

I’ve written (or ranted) about Liz Jones before (see link) and since then I’ve stuck to my guns and haven’t read any of her articles - why put my blood pressure up because of some dopey trollop’s misguided opinions?

But my hubbie drew my attention to this article and, well done Liz, you’ve taken me to new heights of anger.

Never has a more selfish and odious specimen of woman-kind walked this earth.  She careers through life moaning and whingeing, firmly believing she’s never in the wrong and that she should always get what she wants.

If you’re not familiar with the lovely Ms Jones, let me fill you in with the Lonely Hearts Ad I’d write for her:
                                                                                   
Feminist, early 50’s
Unattractive
Bunny Boiler
Seeks sperm for her own selfish needs

Think that says it all really!

She has endless failed relationships behind her (never her fault, of course), claimed to hate children and never wanted her own.  Then, when she realised she might be ‘getting on a bit’, she tricked her partner (who she wasn’t even that keen on) by, and it pains me to say this, taking the contents of a used condom and ‘upending’ it in the hope that she’d become pregnant.

And her defence?

“I don’t understand why more men aren’t wise to this risk - maybe sex addles their brain. So let me offer a warning to men wishing to avoid any chance of unwanted fatherhood: if a woman disappears to the loo immediately after sex, I suggest you find out exactly what she is up to.”

So, having recognised it’s ‘unwanted fatherhood’, she then adds salt to the wound by saying that she has friends who have done the same thing - some successfully - who now have children by men who either never get to see them or are forced to pay child maintenance.  My heart bleeds for the children and fathers affected by this selfish manipulation.

Understand why I fear for my blood pressure?

She (and her ilk) firmly believe that it’s their God-given right to have a baby and will go to any lengths to get one.  Her partner had already said that he wanted to use condoms as he didn’t trust her - says it all really, doesn’t it?  Thankfully, her attempts failed and the Stork was wise enough not to bless her with a visitation.  I actually question whether or not she’s fit to look after her cats, let alone a child.

Surely this ‘act’ is theft?  She was stealing something which didn’t belong to her for her own purpose, without permission or discussion.  And, yes, I feel that women who claim to be on the pill for the same reason are just as guilty.  A baby should never be created purely because a woman has decided she wants one.  ‘I want’ doesn’t always get - that’s life, I’m afraid.  I’d love a night with Curtis Stigers, and hubbie wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a touch of Kylie (both without procreation!), but it’s still not gonna happen!

I have no issue with career women who have a last minute panic to find a man and start a family - my issue is with those who do it deceitfully.  How can they create a life based on lies and a total disregard for others?

Ladies, if you’ve left it too late, bad planning I’m afraid!  But if you really feel you have to have a baby, there are sperm banks for that sort of thing where you pay for what you want not thieve.

And if my argument hasn’t yet convinced you of Ms Jones’ madness, this is the same woman who dropped fake tan on her partner’s immaculate cream carpet and then removed a light-bulb so that he wouldn’t see it. Psychopathic?

Liz Jones gets paid to wind people up - I’m well aware of that - and, boy, does she do a good job of it.  Anyone want to pay me to wind people up?

So that’s it - I WILL NEVER READ ANOTHER OF HER ARTICLES IN MY LIFE.  In my opinion, they should carry a government health warning, as should the other bunny-boilers like her when they’re out on the town looking for an unwitting donor.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is on Amazon for Kindle and now also available in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Off My Trolley!

Grab your coat and purse because today you’re coming on my weekly food shop.  You might want to pop a couple of Prozac or a healthy glug of vodka before we set off because I do it cold turkey every week and wouldn’t recommend it for a first time trip.

So… we’re in the car with 84 year old mother - she comes along every week to do her shopping at the same time - shopping bags, check.  Trolley keys, check.  My sanity, oops!

Once we’ve parked the car in the underground car park, I take the stairs (lift phobia) after finding someone to escort mum (phobia of being alone in lift) and we meet upstairs by the trolleys.

This is where we find that they never have the small trolleys which my mum prefers.  So we wait … and wait … and wait.  Eventually our patience is rewarded, only to find that the bloody coin won’t fit in the slot but after much jiggling and shaking we have lift off.

Mother sets off and I return to release my own trolley … and of course there’s now a shortage of the bigger variety which I favour.  So the wait resumes, followed by the ‘jiggly coin dance’ and ‘Supermarket Sweep’ begins for me.

The trick is to get all my shopping done, paid for and bagged up before my mum finishes so that I can then help her pack hers away.

Not so easy when I bump into her at just about every other aisle and I’m sent off on mini missions to retrieve various items as ‘shelves are too high’ or ‘can’t remember where they are’.  I probably end up doing about five complete laps of the supermarket in a trip - but that’s fine, I just treat it as my weekly work-out.

So I’m finally at the check-out and, although I always go to the lovely Marcia on Till 5, Sainsbury’s have a new initiative to process your items through the scanner as quickly as is humanly possible (or Marcia cops it).  This leaves both Marcia and me in a bit of a sweat but, hey, it’s cheaper than the gym.

Now comes the part that drives me mad - the ‘Pick a card, Any card’ moment.  First I need to locate the one I’m paying with, then I need to find my Nectar points card, any discount coupons and lastly my car parking ticket.  I’m then rewarded with a receipt as long as my arm, my cards and a sheaf of ‘money off’ promotions that I know I will never use.  Oh and we now have a new incentive - the slip of paper which informs me how much I saved by shopping at Sainsbury’s or, joy of joys, explains that I could have shopped cheaper at Tesco and I’ll be rewarded with a penny off next week’s shop.

Last week I frightened the life out of myself while stuffing half a tree load of paper into my purse.  I caught sight of my reflection in my ‘Superdrug Mirror Card’ - another one I forget to use but at least it’s there to remind me that I look like the Wild Woman of Bonga whilst shopping.

SO … my shopping packed and ready to go, it’s time to repeat the whole process with my mother - that’s if she’s finished.  If she’s not, it’s ‘park the trolley time’ and another wild dash round the aisles to complete her list.

Back to the till we go and the lovely Marcia deliberately slows down the scanning process for my mum - stuff you, Mr Sainsbury!  Marcia is a human not a robot and she recognises the fact that speed panics my mum.

Obviously the procedure is much the same as my own, except I’m packing someone else’s shopping and that’s a tricky business.  If I squidge my mother’s bread she’ll dock my pocket money - no seriously, we’ve had a bickering session at the checkout before now just because of the way I treated her sausage rolls!

The usual garbage spews from the till but mum never wants it so I end up with all her coupons too - by now I practically need a recycling bag to transport my bootie of ‘money savers’.

After our goodbyes and ‘thank goodness that’s over’ to Marcia, we usually find that one of us has been over-charged for cat meat, wine or ice cream - you know, the staples?!  So it’s time to queue up at Customer Service and another lap of the shop for me to explain where the pricing has gone wrong.

The trip back to the car-park’s a bit tricky too because I need to locate a member of staff to escort mother and two trolleys and then do a mad dash down the stairs to beat the lift and meet them when they arrive.

Two loads of groceries packed away and two trolleys returned, we’re ready to set off home.  On one occasion I returned to find that I’d been clamped because I’d gone over my hour and a half limit!  We’d spent nearly two hundred quid and they had the cheek to clamp me for the privilege.  Needless to say, I got off.

No one messes with the Wild Woman of Bonga after her Sainsbury’s workout.

But it doesn’t end there.  When I drop my mum home, I can’t park outside her house so I either brave all nine shopping bags in one strange sort of hunched over geisha girl type walk or I have to make several trips.  If it’s raining, I always opt for the geisha routine and then return to the car drenched to repeat the whole deal with my own shopping at home.

That’s when I get the call to find that mum has left the carrier bag with her lunch in the car.

Shopping online never looked so attractive.

If you enjoy my blog, why not give my debut novel a read?  The sequel will be out soon and you don’t want to be left behind. Available at Amazon for Kindle and now also in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Writer's Blog

I love reading blogs and tips written by other writers - published or otherwise - ideas that I can choose to use or discard.  So today I’m putting mine out there in the hope that just one of my suggestions might help someone on their journey to writing ‘THE END’.

I’m learning every day but I still have things that work for me and things that don’t.

HERE ARE MY TOP TEN TIPS

  1. I try to write something every single day - it keeps the continuity of my novel flowing and things stay fresh in my head.  Even if it’s only a few scribbled notes or a bit of rough planning, it really helps.

  1. I now accept that there will be days when nothing comes to me.  I might even know exactly what I want to be writing, and where the plot is going, but the words won’t come.  I take these days with a pinch of salt now - they don’t phase me like they used to because I know that a good day will be just around the corner.

  1. When the good days do come, I make the most of them and try to get as many words written as I possibly can.  I know I’ll always go back and edit heavily but just getting them out there feels so good.  When I look back on a day of 4,000 words I feel proud and know that I’m one step closer to my ultimate goal.

  1. I expect to hate my work as much as I love it.  It’s the bane of an Indie’s life - we never truly believe in ourselves.  There are days when I look over past work or my toils of the day and I think ‘Who am I kidding?’  That’s when I have to remind myself that I had an agent who had faith in me and publishers who expressed interest.  But the biggest incentive now is the people who have independently bought my debut novel and loved it.  They want a sequel, so I must be doing something right.

  1. Making friends on Twitter has been my saving grace.  Years ago, writing was probably one of the loneliest professions in the world - the writer, their mind and their notebook!  Now I tap happily away at my laptop and, when I want to have a moan or ask for a piece of advice, I know that at the click of a button I can contact fellow Indie writers like Michelle Betham.  In the writing community true friendships can be made on Twitter and I believe they are invaluable.  I think I’m right in saying that there have been many days that Michelle and I have saved one another from the brink!  Find your writing buddy and you need never feel alone again.

  1. As an Indie I’ve accepted that I will always feel guilty about how I should prioritise my time.  Should I be writing?  Should I be promoting?  I’m now totally guided by whether or not it feels like a day when things will flow.  If my characters have started telling me what they want me to do with them, then I don’t turn my back on them to promote.  Similarly, on the days the book has gone into ‘sleep mode’ I do everything to secure guest blogspots and reviews.

  1. I know that I can never edit and proof read enough. We uploaded the diary to Amazon and it must have been read over a hundred times by various people but there were still a few mistakes that my lovely Aussie sister-in-law picked up on.  They’ve now been amended but … shame on me!  I won’t let that happen again.

  1. Just last week I’d got myself totally caught in a trap - I knew where the plot was heading but my brain wouldn’t kick into gear to join the dots.  I took a tip from a writer’s website (apologies but I can’t remember who.  I know that’s really bad but I read SO many every day) and I wrote the key scenes that I’d mapped out and then filled the gaps.  Initially, I thought this would confuse the hell out of me but it actually made the book fly - before I knew it, the block had been lifted and I couldn’t type quickly enough to get my words out.

  1. Reading my work out loud (and getting someone else to do it) really helps to see if it flows - especially dialogue.  Sometimes I might know exactly what the meaning of a sentence is but, when my husband reads it out loud, it sounds totally different.  That’s when it’s time for an argument and a re-write!

  1. I’m now proud to call myself a writer.  OK, I’ve not been signed and I haven’t made millions but I have earned money from doing what I love.  As my nephew said, “Many people talk of writing a book, few actually do it.”  Well, I’ve done it and I slog at it every day with a sequel almost ready to go - I think that makes me a writer!

PS:  Expect to drink lots of coffee, smoke lots of cigarettes (if you’re a smoker!) and have many temper tantrums.

OTHER TOOLS REQUIRED:  A patient ‘other half,’ your own 'Michelle', lots of chocolate and loyal fans who spur you on!

Why not support a new writer and give my debut novel a go?  ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit'* is available on Amazon for a little over the price of a coffee but with a whole lot more laughs!  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

* replace with '.com' for USA/Asia and for a sneak preview

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dear Me ...

Dozens of celebrities have been asked to take part in compiling a book of letters to their sixteen year old self, based on what they know now.

Well, I’m no celebrity but I’m taking part anyway.

Dear Me

Right now the hardest decisions you’ll have to make are whether or not to squeeze a spot or what to wear to the disco at the weekend.

But life will get tougher.

When you’re crying in your bed at night about an unrequited love or pouring your heart into your diary because of your latest rejection, try to remember these are the good times and it’s all valuable experience.  Being sixteen is great but, sadly, it doesn’t last forever.

In two year’s time you’ll lose the best dad a girl could ever have asked for.  It won’t be easy and it will remain something you’ll never get over.  But you will have your fantastic mum for many years and, although it will pain you to see her age, you’ll become her best friend and primary carer.  There will be difficult times with her but you’ve been given the strength to cope and she’ll be grateful for that.

Your years at drama school will be among your happiest - you may not think so at the time, as combining those years with looking out for a grieving mum will often hold you back.  You’ll meet your best friends there - one who, although she drives you to distraction, will be with you way into the future.  And another who will sadly take his life - there’ll be nothing you can do for him though as he’ll be beyond help.

You’ll break many hearts - not intentionally - and you’ll often think you’re in love when you’re not.  But don’t worry because your soul-mate is waiting and it will all fall into place when you least expect it.

Sadly you’ll always be one of those people who get ‘close but no cigar’.  You’ll be excited to get offered the lead in a play at the National Theatre - it won’t happen, there will be cutbacks and your chance in the spotlight will be snatched from you.  Later in life, with acting behind you, you’ll come close to seeing your book in print only to see that fall in a heap too.  Just accept these things and move on.  Try to understand that they happen for a reason and just continue to do the best you can.

You’ll lose many people you love but the one who will leave the biggest hole is your Godmother.  There won’t be a day that goes by that you don’t think of her, she will always be in your heart.  That’s a good thing - cherish it.

Worrying will become one of the things you’re best at.  If you could just try to pin-point the day the niggles start, stop them there and then.  Once they set in, you’ll find them hard to shift.  Luckily, your soul-mate will be the complete opposite so you’ll manage to control it.

So every sixteen year old girl wants to know if and when she’ll get married - yes, you will, at the ripe old age of thirty and you’ll go on to have one very special child.  It’ll be a marriage made in heaven, so you don’t need to worry there, but you’ll have many tough times financially.  Don’t panic though, because the love you’ll have for one another will be so strong, you’ll survive anything.

I know you won’t believe me when I tell you that there’ll be some exceptionally difficult family issues to work through - doesn’t seem possible right now, does it?  I can’t tell you how they’ll work out, because at this stage I don’t know.  You’re going to have to be really strong when that time comes and accept that there are certain things you can’t change.  You’ll be heart-broken and I hope that feeling doesn’t last forever.

There’s not much else I can say really.  You won’t do a bad job of your life, you’ll have lots of fun and much to look forward to.  You’ll always be at your happiest when you’re creating something to alleviate your low boredom threshold.  Trust me, when you’re bored you’re not an easy person to live with.

Try to learn the knack of going with the flow - it will make life much easier.  Things will be what they will be and it’s not in your power to force things.

Enjoy the ride!  It’s a great one and don’t let fear hold you back.

Love, Me x

PS:  Don’t touch that first cigarette.  You’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available at Amazon for Kindle. Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My New Labour of Love

My babelicious Twitter pal, Miss Mootastic, has suggested the topic for today’s blog so, as she’s one of my most loyal and supportive fans, I’ve decided to run with it.

Miss Moo is one of the many people I’ve met on this self-publishing journey who have enjoyed what I write.  That was always my intention, to entertain people and create characters and plots that give people a laugh and leaves then asking for more.

And people have been asking for more.  More, as in a sequel.  My readers want to know what happens to the likes of my Mummy Misfit and her side-kick, the affluent and outspoken Fenella.

When I wrote the diary, and completed exhaustive editing, it was almost as if I’d given birth.  Yes, thank you very much but I don’t think I want to be doing that again too soon!

Then I got the slightest niggle of an idea for the sequel and started plotting and planning.  The first birth was still a bit too raw though so I left it on the back-burner to brew.  And of course, I always had the excuse that I was too busy promoting my firstborn and blogging.

But then I started to get proper unbiased feedback from people who didn’t know me but liked the way I write.  Suddenly I could feel the stirrings - I could endure that pain again and, actually, I’d quite like to.  The time was right, the book knew what it wanted me to say and I had to channel it.

For anyone who’s read my debut novel, you’ll know that the sequel couldn’t continue in the same vein - things are very different in the Mummy Misfit’s life by the end of the first book - so that gave me the perfect starting point for ready-made characters to be involved in a whole new plot.

Having already made my observations about certain types of bitchy mothers and the differences between the ‘Haves and the Have-Nots’ I could then take them to another level - I’m hoping that level has all the same humour but, this time, with a little more bubbling under the surface.

And so was born ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’.

Well, not yet born, still in gestation, but the pains are becoming more intense and the arrival is imminent.

I know Miss Moo will be at my bedside with grapes and flowers, telling me patiently to push - she wants this ‘baby’ by Christmas and I’m puffing and panting like a demon to deliver because it’s SO close now.

And in answer to her other questions - what gets my creative juices flowing and how do my books get written?

I’ll tell you how … lots of swearing, chocolate, coffee, whingeing to fellow writers on Twitter, use of the backspace button and the uplifting support of my readers.

If it wasn’t for you, there would be no point to it all.

Have you read ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’?  Do you have any blog suggestions or questions?  Happy to answer anything, so leave your comments here, Tweet me or visit my Facebook page.  If you haven’t read the diary, what’s stopping you?  It’s a little over the price of a cup of coffee and will keep you entertained for much longer!  You can’t come over to the dark side if you haven’t been on the journey so far.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available at Amazon for Kindle.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WARNING! Mental health services can drive you mad

Feeling low or having trouble coping?
Well I was fine half an hour ago but not too great now.

Suffering from anxiety or stress?
Yep, I am now.

Experiencing panic attacks?
Haven’t had one for years but could well have one coming on.

Suffering from depression?
Pretty pissed off at the minute.

Need support in finding or keeping a job?
No but I’m frankly surprised that half the people I’ve spoken to today have actually got one.

(The above questions were written on a Psychological Therapies and Wellbeing Service card given to me by my mum’s doctor.)

So how did I spend yesterday morning then?

I’ll tell you how … chasing up an NHS ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) appointment for my mother.

And, as usual, I’ve been pushed from pillar to post by NVQ-wielding morons who lack any common sense (do they do an NVQ in that?) and neither listened to my questions or had any real intention of taking responsibility for my enquiry.  And sometimes they just got their kicks from cutting me off.

My mother has been waiting for an appointment now for a couple of months and her GP has told us to chase it up - OK, shouldn’t be too difficult, except none of the numbers I was given delivered any joy.

At one point I was put through to a very sing-songy young lady who answered the phone with “OCDBDCC”  What?  And yet when I matched her ‘OCDBDCC’ with my ‘CBT’, I merely got a “What’s that then?”  And she’s working in mental health.  Heaven help us all.

While these people mess about at playing grown ups, my mother slips further into her depression and the grip of panic attacks, and I’m left to pick up the pieces.

Frankly if she is ever lucky enough to get an appointment, I don’t hold out much hope of it doing her any good.  The ‘health professional’ who initially assessed her had the handshake of a wet lettuce, the voice of a laryngitis-struck mouse (my mother is quite deaf) and the energy levels of a sloth on Prozac.  And of course, she had hairy legs with socks and sandals.  Not that this should make any difference to her ability to do the job but purlease - have some pride, woman.

I’ve achieved nothing - I’m no closer to an appointment now than I was when I started.  I may have a few more grey hairs and a larger phone bill but apart from that, nothing’s changed.

And, while we’re on the subject of mental health, my neighbour is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.  The police are here regularly listening to her stories of ‘voices in her head’ and ‘electromagnetic fields.’  She lives alone so we thought we’d try to help. 

I was told by the on-call nurse at the mental health helpline that they could only get involved if I was prepared for my comments to be reported back to my neighbour.

Well that makes a whole heap of sense, doesn’t it?  We’re dealing with a severely unwell woman who mistrusts and hates everyone and I’m meant to agree to that!

The world has gone mad and I think I’ve now joined it.

I’ll be next on the list for some therapy but, in the meantime, I’ll wait for my neighbour to stick a letter-bomb through the door.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available at Amazon for Kindle.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Up on my Soapbox

Today I’m going to be sharing five of my controversial views.

You might not like or agree with them, but it’s my blog and my opinions so read on and decide for yourselves.

Here goes with the first - it’s a biggie and has got me in quite a bit of hot water over the years but …

I DIDN’T HAVE MY SON IMMUNISED

Of course, as parents, this wasn’t a decision we took lightly and I spent most of my pregnancy reading up on the pros and cons.  I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want my son pumped with unnecessary drugs that, in this day and age, he didn’t need.  We live in London in a dry and warm house with a clean water supply, a healthy diet and in modern times.  Measles is not a killer - of course there can be complications, just as people can die from a common cold - but I wouldn’t have the fear of God put into me by alarmist Ad campaigns.  No childhood illness in the UK need result in a fatality, and we are scare-mongered into thinking they do.  I firmly believe that vaccinations line the pockets of doctors and pharmaceutical companies and I wasn’t prepared to put my son at risk purely to fund their jollies.
The upside is that, despite almost being ostracised by ante-natal mummies (“We’re protecting our babies so that you don’t have to!”) he was the healthiest of his group and avoided the constant ear, nose and throat infections - but, of course, that was just because I was ‘lucky’.

I NEVER LIKED PRINCESS DIANA

This one has caused many an argument between family and friends - how could I be so heartless?  I’m just being honest.  The simpering, shy, pathetic ‘head-down-thing’ did nothing for me.  OK, she was young and na├»ve when she married Charlie, and she didn’t have a great time with the whole ‘three of us in this marriage’ issue, but boy did she make up for it!
So I hear you ask, what is your real problem with her?
My answer, whenever I get shot down in flames, is I think she forgot that, first and foremost, she wasn’t a Princess or a heartbroken wife, she was a mother.
We all remember the fantastic shots of her cavorting with her boys at various holidays or on water-slides but would those images stick in her sons’ minds when they heard about the next man she was having a fling with or the fact that she might have been pregnant when she died?
Sorry Di - mother first, your needs second.

I HAVE AN ISSUE WITH LITERARY AGENTS AND PUBLISHERS

Now you can all jump up and shout “Sour grapes!”, but hear me out.
They don’t make sense.  Just this week I’ve been told that my work is ‘too commercial’.  Huh?  So what’s Jordan or any number of other celebrities who manage to get their dross published?
I’ve also been told (in the last week) “Don’t sign with anyone else, until I’ve spoken to publishers”, only to be let down the next day with “The publishing world is the worst it’s been in forty years.”
Have they asked themselves why?
New writing talent is now coming to the point where backs are being turned on the traditional route.  Agents’ days are numbered.  Check out my ‘Fabulous Feisty Indies’ (Michelle Betham, Laurel Mayer) and you’ll realise we’re a force to be reckoned with.
Be afraid, be very afraid.

LIVE IN OUR COUNTRY, LIVE BY OUR RULES

In countries where women are required to cover up, we do so out of respect for other cultures.  This is only right and proper.  When in Rome, etc.  And yet our country is heaving with muslims in burkha (covering the face is optional, by the way), posing a potential security threat, while others are demanding that Christians in certain professions should not be allowed to wear crosses for fear of causing offence.  You can’t have it both ways - demanding your own customs on the one hand while claiming offence at displays of faith by others.
We also have a growing problem with polygamy, where additional wives are given ‘single mother’ status and are hence causing a drain on our social security system through their entitlement to housing, benefits etc.  There is no onus at all for the man to fulfil his moral obligation to provide for his family - our society is actually paying for the population explosion within a culture that will eventually overwhelm our traditional family values.
Please do not misinterpret my comments as racism or faithism - I just think that our views on equality have become distorted (see previous post).

THE SMOKING BAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN OPTIONAL

Yes, we all know it’s bad for our health but some of us are hardened addicts - you must have seen us pathetically puffing up outside pubs, restaurants and clubs?
I believe that if businesses were allowed to promote themselves as ‘for smokers’ they would be booming.  Those of us who are stupid enough to be continuing with this revolting habit would be flocking there.
I, for one, would instantly head to a restaurant where I know I can quite happily light up after a meal rather than shiver like a leper in the cold.
Not big, not clever but true.

End of my controversies - told you that you might not agree, but you have the right of reply by leaving a comment … or freely expressing your opinions in your own blog!

If you want a bit more controversy, I had to publish my book in my maiden name as London mummies may never have spoken to me again.  I lived the life of Libby and that was how I was made to feel. ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ is available on Amazon (see .com site outside UK) - see what you think - should I have written it?  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.