I kept a daily journal from age 16 – 30. I recorded facts, thoughts, feelings, dreams, nightmares, and inspiration. Sadly, I no longer have them. They were destroyed in a fire. How did that happen? The answer is in my soon-to-be-published memoir.
Stumbling Along A Difficult Path
I wrote a little after that. You know how it is? Life got in the way, and there always seemed to be other matters that demanded my attention. I did the next best thing to writing I told anyone who would stay long enough stories. Stories of my life. The stories I wrote in my journals. It seemed to come naturally to me. This isn’t that surprising, as my Grandmother once shared with me that we are descended from a long line of storytellers.
In February 2016, tragedy struck my family. Following that moment, a blessing emerged from the proverbial ashes of pain and suffering. Although not one that was immediately seen as such. The tragedy was the death of a loved one, and the blessing was a blank notebook from the deceased belongings bequeathed on the understanding that I would make good use of it.
Inspiration was slow in making itself known. However, by keeping the thought at the forefront of my mind and listening intently as I had learned over the years, I did uncover what I felt was the best way to honour the memory of that one that had passed.
Each day after my morning stretches, twenty-minute exercise, and shower, I wrote three things I was grateful for—a book filled with gratitude. I was beginning my day’s business with an appreciative attitude, bringing a feeling of well-being and life-affirming energy, except for the first entry, where I described life for those left coping with this loss as like stumbling along a thorny and dimly lit path.
New Love In My Life Leads To A Dream Job
A new love entered my life in 2019. Circumstances that were less than ideal followed. To keep our love alive, I chose to uproot myself from Salford and move to Birmingham, which wasn’t all bad as it was a Penthouse Apartment in a building opposite the Cadbury factory in the quiet suburb of Bournville. The building had been the Headquarters of the company. A week later, the UK entered the first period of lockdown as we faced a worldwide pandemic from a virus we referred to as COVID. The immediate effect was that the job market put up barriers as companies had to find a ‘new normal’. Until then, we realised my chances of getting a job were slim. My new love asked me a question in the midst of all this.
‘If money were no object and you could do any job, the job of your dreams, what would you do’?
‘I didn’t need time to think it was something I dreamed about it. I would become a writer. I believe I have a book in me’.
‘Then do it’. My new love replied. ‘We’re in a decent financial position with my job’.
‘It was a great delight and joy to share an exciting new job title with friends and family. I was now a househusband/ writer, which is someone who writes in between cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry and the million and nineteen other things it takes to make a new Penthouse Apartment in a COVID fortress into a home.
I wrote the bones of my book idea in about two weeks. Six months later, I had the first draft. A long one, too, a staggering 130,000-word first draft. I took a break from my novel for a couple of weeks. During this time, I revisited that first entry from my book of gratitude. This led me to rework a short story I submitted to many publications and magazines, including those online and in competitions. I got a steady stream of rejections. I wasn’t downhearted as I went back to working on the first of many edits/ rewrites of my WIP.
A little over a year since I had started writing I got an email from an online magazine whose editor said they wanted to publish my story. That day, I held my head high and legitimately called myself a writer. https://madmagz.com/magazine/1933351#/page/51 The piece’s title is ‘Oh Mum’ a fiction based on the loss of a loved one. The editor said, amongst other things, ‘…he has a way with words‘ and ‘…this moved me‘.
I have taken my WIP as far as my skills allow, and the next step is to find my editor. One that will work with me to give my memoir a proverbial ‘final polish to make it sparkle to attract the attention of a potential publisher.’
In addition to the above, I’ve created this website. I’ve started a blog and promised to develop and publish new content on Mondays at 07:00 (GMT). I’ve done that for a year now, and I have kept my promise. I’ve established and set up social media accounts on the usual suspect sites where I have been making my presence known, making friends, and beginning of a readership. To all of you, I would like to say thank you. Your feedback, comments and support have been invaluable to me.
I look forward to growing this community in 2023 with a ton of exciting stuff coming. With your continued support, I know that I will achieve my long-term ambition of becoming the best writer I can be. Providing you with a continual supply of moments where you can suspend your disbelief and experience a moment in an oasis within your imagination, you feel just a little less rubbish and can take a figurative breath.
Join My Journey
One of the most important questions to answer when writing a blog is
Why Should You Read My Blog?
I have a blog at https://www.tomgalewriter.com, and I say you should only read it if you read my published work https://madmagz.com/magazine/1933351#/page/51. If this stirs you, then read it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. I don’t think my blog will serve you.
I believe that 2023 is going to be like a ride on the tallest, scariest-looking, stomach-churning roller-coaster in the world. Figuratively speaking, the past two years have been that ‘chunk-chunk climb to the top of the first plunge’. My senses are heightened and tingling with anticipation. My next move is to hold hands with you next to me and behind me and feel every moment of what is to come screaming at the top of our voices as we do. For the non-screamers, you could come up with a list of people or things you would curse if you had the power. So F *** You COVID, for example. Yell your list of curses instead. The screaming will cover it up, and no one will know except us. Deal?
I’d hate for you to miss out. The cost? Click the like button, sign up, and get as many of your friends, family, colleagues, and club mates, near and far, to come too.