Sweet, sweet September

September is simply beautiful. The sun comes up with a chill in the air so you have to button your coat and the sunshine still brightens your eyes. I’m ready to wear boots again and walk the dog in the dark with my hands in my pockets and my collar turned up. It’s also the saddest month for me, bittersweet perhaps. When the rain comes I want to get soaked through with it I’m so tired of central heating and wearing old cardigans and hair that takes ages to dry and skin that really suffers the cold. Okay so we’re not there yet, there’s still time for the winter chill to really set in. It’s my favourite time of year, I feel as though I can retreat, I can step back and look at things. The year gone, the year to come and all of this hurtling past and the hurt you get in your throat when you realise something’s not forever.

Genius or Not will being going live in the coming months, a web based writing project with some of the finest talent around. I have to say that so far it has made me feel acutely vulnerable, writing 20 lines and publishing them whether they are indeed genius or indeed not. I wrote every day to start with, but have picked pieces out, which I don’t think are magnificent specimens of language at all. I’ll just have to wait and see what readers make of it!

My book, Bite Your Tongue When You Give Me My Name, a collection of ‘early’ poems will be available in paperback in the next week or so. Don’t buy the ebook version as it now differs radically from the paperback version. The book contains crucial moments in my poetry writing, loosely confessional writing and charts a personal writing journey, looking back and challenging the moment. I wanted Chipmunka to publish it as they are a mental health publisher and all of the work in the book was written whilst unwell, I am a manic depressive and I’ve spent the majority of my life ill. I have been stable now for six months after taking an antipsychotic depot injection once a week. I never saw my life without bipolar before but I’m painfully real, everything is acutely clarified and real.

I’m going to be part of a medical experiment in November, beginning to look at ways to treat bipolar, by being part of therapy groups and seeing if they help my recovery. I’m looking forward to it even though I know it won’t be easy, having to talk about how the past few years have been and face up to it all again. I’m not so optimistic as to think I won’t ever have another episode, but I can see me being well for the forseeable future at the very least. It’s still amazing that I can say that.

One thing the depot does that might sound strange is it prevents me from crying. I have emotions but often they feel choked back. I don’t feel that I can show emotion like I used to. It also gives me a lot of prolactin hormone so I don’t have any periods and I have side effects that I take pills for, like uncontrolled movement. I get so drowsy I can fall asleep sat up but I use some of the side effects tablets when it’s bad because they’re kind of uppers. The thing I hate most is that it makes you put on weight and believe me, try and hard as I might it’s near impossible to lose. I also take Lithium and Lamotrigine and Zopiclone, the former two as mood stabilisers and the latter to get to sleep. When I try to sleep with the Zopiclone I don’t sleep much but the sleep I get is filled with the most horrendous nightmares that wake me up stone cold. I think I’ve been taking it that long my body doesn’t know how to get by without it and I am dependant on it. I have always had sleep problems. The Lithium and Lamotrigine can make me throw up all night if I don’t have a bowl of cereal when I take them, and get to bed pretty quickly and get to sleep before they start to make me sick. It’s all very glamorous I assure you.

My son’s just finished his first two weeks at school, and my daughter is in the last year at primary school. I write while they’re at school and when they’re home it’s an endless assault course of ironing and cooking and washing and keeping in line. I don’t mind it. I’m a recluse with a big imagination and I love poetry.

My latest review of Nik Perring’s Not So Perfect stories can be viewed at www.theshortreview.com

My Chipmunka book Patterns of Mourning can be published from www.chipmunka.com Please note that Bite Your Tongue When You Give Me My Name will be available in 1-2 weeks and is best bought in paperback if you check in in the next couple of weeks

My upcoming yet untitled book will be upcoming with www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk which is well worth a browse, they are oozing new and established talent and promote both written and spoken word.

Thanks for dropping by!