Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Scotsman Abroad | We Need to Talk

I suppose it's fair to say that the summer's behind us. The summer holidays certainly are.

For most folks—most adults, I mean—that's got to be good news, because instead of treasuring them as we used to do, we tolerate them, if we're honest. The weather is an almost constant disappointment, except for the midges and the mozzies. The entertainment we all enjoy the rest of the year round goes away, and in its place? Big budget, lowest common denominator nonsense that leaves the likes of us with The Great British Bake-Off and little else to distract ourselves from the influx of children suddenly under our feet in the street.

But as a full-time teacher, a regular reviewer of books—books that take me ten times as long to read as they used to do—a columnist for and, lest we forget, a boyfriend to my better half of damn near a decade, the summer holidays have, in recent years, come to mean something very real to me: a chance to make some changes. To finally follow through on a few long put off promises. Maybe even realise the dreams I've dreamed for decades.

The thing of it is, the summer holidays also represent an opportunity to rest, and most years, that's about all I end up doing.

This year, though, I figured fuck it, I'll catch my breath when I'm dead, and in the seven weeks of the summer holidays, I made some of those long-delayed changes. I kept a couple promises—to myself and my nearest and dearest. Readers: I even realised a dream!

Not to start the show with the show-stopper, but folks, I finally stopped smoking: a nasty-ass habit I picked up when I was 15 and swore to shake before it was too late.

I started running. First a mile every morning. Then two when I found one wasn't quite cutting it. These days, I don't feel right about my routine until I've finished a 5k.

Last but not least, like many readers, I've always nursed notions of writing stories of my own. Truth be told, I don't know if I have a novel in me, but as it happens, I do have a few short stories. One of those—the first work of fiction I ever submitted, in fact—a 2,000 word tale called 'Let's Play'—is widely available as of today.
We Need to Talk features original work from Daisy Buchanan, Robert Sharp, Kim Curran, Andreina Cordani, Amy McLellan and over a dozen more—all stories inspired by (very) difficult conversations! 
All proceeds are given to the women's cancer charity, The Eve Appeal. September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, and [Jurassic London, in collaboration with Kindred, is] proud to support their efforts. 
The lovely paperbacks are exclusively available through Foyles, who are currently selling the book at a chunky discount (seriously, it is under a fiver). For those of a more digital inclination, the ebooks can be found on and
Just to be published would have made my summer. To be published by a publisher I have such immense respect for, alongside an array of properly awesome authors, and in support of such a phenomenally positive cause?

I can hardly begin to express how very much being featured in We Need to Talk means to me, but it'd mean that much more if I could share it with a few of you.

If you like it, let me know!

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