The One About The Phlebotomist and The Writer

Whilst having my blood taken this week I casually dropped into the conversation I was a writer. Or more precisely househusband/ writer.  That’s a writer who writes in-between cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, ironing and a million other things around the home. At which point the phlebotomist tells me “My niece is a writer. Do you have any advice for her?” 

This is the first time anyone has asked that question. I’m caught on the back foot and before I can stop myself I say “Don’t” This affords me the dirtiest of dirty looks. Backpedaling like crazy I add ‘unless you really have to’ Which gifts me another look. Puzzlement or bewilderment judging by the deep furrows on her brow.. Trying desperately to hang onto my reputation and possibly future reader, I offered this.

“I believe there are those who write because they enjoy it. It fills the time and they are being creative. There are others who write because they are driven to do so. Something inside them compels them.” The furrows were less defined then so I continued. 

“So, a question to ponder with your next tea and hobnob. Which do you think best fits your niece?  With one your response to her writing can be encouraging, with the other you will have to be honest.”

I was now presented with yet another look, a kind of ‘oh shit’ behind the eyes. Or ‘Christ I wish I hadn’t asked now’ look.

“Well you do have a way with words that’s for sure. Thank you. That’s given me a lot to think about.” She said.

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An LGBTQ+ writer living and working in Birmingham UK. A published writer whose new book (due Summer 2022) a memoir tells of how he as a young man in an Edinburgh slum from 1970 - 1990s fought through poverty, violent abuse, the Mormon Church, the British Army, marriage and fatherhood. Whilst all the while struggling to understand his sexuality and inner spirituality leading him to make a decision that could shatter his life and the lives of those he loves most. Will the weight of the past drag him back down? Or will he rise and triumph against all the odds? He has written short stories on of which titled 'Oh Mum' a fiction based on actual events published in an online magazine at in the Summer 2021 edition. He has written a clutch of Flash Fiction, poems, a radio comedy, and has a weekly blog on his website He lives with his partner and are engaged to be married.

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