Books, Lifestyle, Technology, Teen Novel

Editing Out Lockdown

I hope that everyone is still staying safe and well during these very uncertain times that we find ourselves in.

The past 3 months have been the most turbulent and bizarre times I can ever recall. I’m sure this is the same for all of us.

Right from the start I became determined not to succumb to despair and tried to find solace in my writing as a distraction from the horrors we have had to endure.

I wrote a teasing little blog here some months ago now, which briefly introduced my plans to write my first ever novel. I should say that a lot has happened since then and lock-down has offered me a rare opportunity to throw everything but the kitchen sink at it.

When I posted previously, I had just finalised my first draft.  I rather naively thought that this would be the holy grail and the final preparations would be a breeze.

Since then I have spent several years adding, refining and cutting out sections and it felt as though I was getting nowhere with it for a while.

Life in Furlough has given me a rare opportunity to hammer that final nail in the coffin and I’m excited to announce that I’m almost there!

I have a few final editing queries to address and then I intend to send it off for a final proofread before preparing the final manuscript.

In the coming weeks I plan to reveal more and more info about the novel, including the big title and front cover reveal along with the blurb details.

All I can say for now is that I hope my brain-child helps to make a statement about issues in society, such as addiction, technology and fear. My book is a non-fiction fantasy that aims to trap readers into a warped new world that will only spit you out when its finished with you.

If this sounds like something that might just be your street, feel free to watch this space for regular updates and sneak peaks.

You can also sign up for a newsletter below which I plan to drill down into more of the nitty gritty and also include exclusive offers for the book release.

At the moment I’m simply planning to publish for Kindle devices, but this is open to change depending on demand.

My aim is to get things done within the next few months so hopefully I can give you something different to enjoy as we try to endure this new normal.

I look forward to letting you know more soon.


Environment, Pandemic

Leave Our Lungs Alone

amazon rainforest deforestation 2

This year has been tough and tragic for people across the globe. Not since the 2nd World War have we seen pain, suffering and death on such a grand scale. The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly the struggle of our generation and one we will tell our grand-kids about in years to come.

Or should I say ‘we hope to tell the next generations about it in years to come!’

Now the reason I say ‘hope’ is not derived from the fear of a complete wipe out of the population, due to the virus. No, these extreme concerns are born out of the even larger struggle of our generation. This is the elephant in the room; climate change.

For many weeks I was able to take some comfort from all the sorrow, fear and difficulty of these terrible times as I watched nature being gifted the break it so vitally needed. Transport and pollution across the world had diminished and it was clear just from looking out the window that mother nature was reclaiming her rightful throne again.

 As soaring spring temperatures continued to pummel the UK throughout the main months of lockdown, I was however, troubled by the thought that climate change is a very real threat in spite of the virus.

These fears were soon to be consolidated in a sickening sitting of the evening news one night. Aside from all the usual horror, a story was broadcast that shocked me to my core.

Whilst the world has been held captive by the corona virus, a mass of unscrupulous criminals have been mindlessly hacking away at the Amazon Rain-forest illegally. With the focus of Brazil’s authorities, cast solely on the pandemic, the prevention of illegal logging was no longer being enforced. This basically meant that greedy tree fellers were free to do what they wanted and they did exactly that. It is believed that illegal logging had doubled on the same time last year during the initial month of lock-down and up to 2,000 square miles had now been cleared during that time.

I felt physically sick after absorbing the implications of the scandal.

It was quickly confirmed that the damage caused, had well and truly trumped all of the eco gains made by us all in these times of isolation. To me this felt like another stab in the back.

For those who might wonder why this news felt like such a big blow to me, I will try to explain what it means in layman terms.

The Amazon rainforest is arguably our most crucial ally in the fight against climate change. It is common knowledge that trees absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and expel oxygen in return. The Amazon’s trees play an overwhelming role in this process and also have the ability to form weather conditions.

Some people call the Amazon rain-forest ‘the earth’s lungs.’

Now as difficult as the image is, those illegal loggers could be compared to the corona virus that looks to destroy and consume our lungs. The loggers are doing exactly the same to the earth’s lungs. There comes a point where the virus overpowers our lung’s ability to cope and I fear exactly the same is going to happen to our home if things are allowed to escalate any further.

What worries me most is that Brazil’s current government sound reckless and greed fuelled. They should be at the epicentre of the climate emergency response, when in reality they are exactly the opposite.

Given that we are all focused on the fight against the virus, it worries me that this problem will continue to get ignored. The problem I see is that if it does slip under the radar, the virus will be the least of our worries.

Ironically, they say that the destruction of natural habitats is one of the main dangers to new viruses being unleashed around the world. I honestly believe they will soon become more frequent. I see this current pandemic as a warning call from mother nature. We really need to listen to her cries.

It sickens me to realise this harsh reality.

I guess all I can do from my isolated existence is call out to everyone online to raise awareness of what’s going on.

After what has been everyone’s worst year yet, let us hope that some good can come out this and we can save the rain-forest. If not, I think we should all prepare for things to get a lot worse yet.

Interested in environmental issues? Check out some of my other related articles