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Quiet Reflections or Loud Bangs!

The thing about this time of year is it gives us that time to pause… and to think and to reflect… Something we ought to do far more often. We become so engrossed in the small dramas and the things that, on reflection, don’t matter, we forget to appreciate the things that really do matter. Gratitude is top of that list.

Be thankful for it all. For all of this, for this moment and for everyone we hold dear.

This has been one hell of a year in so many ways, beginning with turning 50 (how’d that happen?) and then, of course, getting married! The one-year anniversary fast approaches.  Again… how’d that happen? It has been a year punctuated with a bunch of mini honeymoons before the big one, a wonderful new literary agent, a story collection published, a new gym… a journey pathed with new and old friends… each one of them precious and important.

How many times have I said it? I mean it: life is change. So embrace it for all its uncertainty and unpredictability. and for making life wonderful and exciting.

I am also aware that this marks the closing of a decade and we can all reflect on those changes.

Here are some mad highlights in pictures from the blog!

2010 found me starting this last decade giving up my day job to finally live the dream and I have never looked back. It also saw Rosie, my beautiful cocker spaniel, come into my life, what a blessing she is. Completing the furry family, our two angels: the cats Cagney and Lacey. That year really marked the beginning of a special journey for me to who I am truly meant to be. This January is when I have been going it alone as a freelancer for ten years. While financially it has never made me as rich (not yet but it will), it has made me richer in every other sense. In the ways that matter. And finding happiness in your job, finding a passion to get out of bed for, but not just that, to open your eyes with utter excitement, is TRULY the most wonderful thing in life. I feel so very blessed.

wedding 6

19.1.19 A Symmetry in dates!

 

2010 saw the publication of Gentle Footprints and Hay, big things for our small press.

Lazy sit Rosie

2013 was a HUGE year for me with the Commonwealth shortlisting; that opened doors, winning the Bath Short Story Award and then, of course, the publication of my novel While No One was Watching.

A year or so later I got my first agent and  I moved my life to Essex so that saw the biggest change of all.

In 2015 I met Mal, my yoga teacher… and the rest is history, almost a decade single and I learned you can love again. You can have it all. What a blessing.

I finally sold my house and said the final farewell to my life in Wales and, in a way, to Lee although he never leaves me, he is in me not in a house… but selling it meant  Mal and I could move in together here in Essex in 2017.

Keeping the momentum going, there have been successes and there have been sad moments but all in all I would say this has been a pretty amazing journey. I have a new agent, the lovely Camilla and exciting things light the path ahead for us. Oh and a trip to LA in the fall too and before we know it, it will be Christmas again.

One of the things I love about New Year is the pen folded into the furrow of a new diary, all those blank pages. It’s new calendars, it’s a sense of restoring the balance, refocussing. Something we need to do a lot more often.

It won’t all be plain sailing but that is life, but with a grateful heart and always having things to look forward to, no matter how big or small… the movement will always be in the right direction. We can do anything!

Tomorrow I will pack away the glistening lights and the sparkle of Christmas for another year and look at my clean office and those blank pages and smile.

The future awaits… new decade… thanks for the past ten years, it’s been a blast and now we can embrace the next years.

Are you ready?

 

HNY

 

So thank you to every person who is and has been part of this wonderful journey… and I hope you will be part of the next chapter.

 

The best really is YET to COME!

 

 

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Reflecting

It is amazing to think that I left the mountains of beautiful Wales and my lovely little house five years ago this coming week. Wow. It was the beginning of a new journey. All I knew for sure was I planned on continuing the writing dream I had started and my editing business… and that I was on a mission to get fit and healthy.

Now when I look back I can count so many blessings. Truly.

Had I not gone to the gym that week and signed up I would never have got so fit, or met so many great people… including of course the love of my life.

I have a lot to be thankful for… Who knew a gym was all I needed! Of course that’s not quite true. It’s about a right time, right place, meeting the right people. Thank you ❤

So, I have been a gym bunny five years! That’s a lot of classes… two a day on average, five days a week! 💪

Yes indeed so much to be grateful for. Now a new gym but a million good memories behind me… and a million more new ones ahead. It’s all part of the journey.

My editing business is going strong and the writing is my other true passion. This week have been writing in the Austrian mountains on our delayed honeymoon… awaiting news from my fab new agent.

If I have learned anything in these past five years, it’s this: life is a journey to be taken one moment at a time. People matter, memories matter and it can be as beautiful as you choose. See good not bad, be strong not weak, live in hope, not fear. Thank everyone who has been part of it, don’t dwell on bad, remember good. Everyone and everything makes you who you are. Love it all.

I send love to everyone who has and is part of this glorious adventure. And I say thank you.

Most of all to my lovely husband for putting up with my madness! Here’s to having it all! 🥂

 

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Three things you need to know

 

YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR MY MENTORING PROGRAMME HERE FOR ONLY £99!

SEEKING 10 WRITERS with short stories or novel in progress who want to take part in 6-week online Mentoring Programme Aug to mid-Sept. 2 online tutorials/week plus a critique of short story or chapter. SPECIAL INTRO RATE £99 per person! Email for info writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk This is the first time of running it so offering it at a hugely discounted rate to see if anyone is interested. We need 10!!! I will set up a FB group and encourage interaction. We might even meet at the end if people can get to London! STARTS AUGUST 5th!

🙂 🙂 🙂

YOU CAN BUY MY NEW SHORT STORY COLLECTION HERE!

You can buy signed copies of my short story collection through my website in the UK: LINK SIGNED

You can buy my book on Amazon UK here: LINK

You can buy my book on Amazon US here: US Link

🙂 🙂 🙂

 

YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THIS TWITTER ACCOUNT… YOU WILL SEE WHY LATER! 

This is what happens when characters become REAL…

Debz 1Signing my book at the launch 19.7.19 St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, Essex

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Do you know who you are?

You only get this day once.

You only get to wake up on this very day once.

You only get to make a difference today once.

Sometimes we get so preoccupied with the trivia of our lives we forget this simple fact.

So did you say it today?

Did you say: I love you. I don’t ever want to live without you. You changed my life.

Did you say it?

This comes from my favourite TV show:  Grey’s Anatomy and trust me, I barely watch any normal TV ever anymore as it’s mind-numbing to me and full of things I could not care less about. I find a good drama and I immerse myself in that.

Here’s another quote:

 

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years It’s that it only takes one person…one moment to change your life forever. To change your perspective. Colour your thinking. To force you to reevaluate everything you think you know.”

And I remember the episode when they used what they say to someone who comes around in hospital after massive injury as a metaphor for life. So here it is:

Do you know where you are?

Do you know what’s happened to you?

Do you want to live this way?

So I give these to you.

What’s the answer? Are you happy? If not… change it! And start right now TODAY.

Lose the things that do not allow you to move towards the goal — to being exactly who you want to be. Do it now. Right now.

Have a great week everyone!

Did you say it?

Do you know who you are?

Are you ready for change?

Greys

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When a plan comes together…

There is nothing like the feeling when the advance copy of your book arrives!

And here it is!

Book

If you are local to Essex then please do come to my launch event! Or if you are local and unable to come then I  can sign a copy for you 🙂

July 19th, St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, Essex 7 pm — 9 pm

Friends further afield, if you want a signed copy then I  can arrange that, £9 for book plus postage. I need to check what that is!

Or you will find it on Amazon!

This is a collection of seventeen short stories: most of them competition winners, runners-up or shortlisted. Some are previously published and one or two brand new ones! This includes the one about my grandad in Changi that is a very personal story. It’s called Goldfish Parade and is the final one and the longest one in the collection.

The Stories

 

Learning to Fly: Winner of the inaugural Bath Short Story Award, 2013.

Mirror Image: Runner up in the Aeon Prize, 2010.

Chutney: shortlisted (regional final 3), Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 2013.

We Went There: 3rd place in Leicester Writes Short Story Competition, 2017.

I Am Wolf: Published in Gentle Footprints launched at the Hay Festival by Virginia McKenna, 2010. Featured on Mariella Frostrup’s The Book Show At Hay and Loose Women.

Graffiti: Runner-up Chapter One Promotions International Short Story Competition 2010, published in winner’s anthology Graft and in Tales from the Upper Room.

The Red Queenpublished in In The Shadow of the Red Queen, 2009.

Rats in the AtticWinner of the Sunpenny Press Short Story Competition, 2010, shortlisted in Carried in Waves and recorded for radio, 2015.

Thinking in CirclesRunner-up in Book A Break Short Story Competition, 2017, published in With Our Eyes Open winners’ anthology.

Director’s Cut: previously unpublished but awarded a distinction on my MA Creative Writing degree.

The Theory of Circles: Nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, 2015. Published in Unthology 3, 2014.

Because Sometimes Something Happens 3rd place in Leicester Writes Short Story Competition, 2019

When the Bees Die: Previously unpublished.

Four Minutes in AprilWinner of City Writes Competition, 2018.

Paper Chains: 2nd place in Leicester Writes Short Story Competition, 2018.

JigsawFirst published in Making Changes anthology, 2008.

Goldfish ParadePreviously unpublished.

Book 2

If you do have a copy and enjoy it please feel free to leave a review on Amazon! Thank you!

 

 

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Changes Come Unexpectedly

So you might have gathered that change has been something in my thoughts recently and motivating some recent actions. Hence this short series of blog postings. While change can be unpleasant, like who really enjoys stepping outside of what they know and feel comfortable, perhaps even happy, in… but it really is true that without change there is no growth.

Life is a story with an arc, a shape, with events along the way, ups and downs. You need both. That is, after all, the essence of story, and story is life.

We learn and grow through change: by embracing and not being afraid of it. Be that in where we work, what we do, where we train, all kinds of things and places that have become part of our lives. Friends too can come and go although I am truly blessed with some lovely friends who do still want to be at my side, be that physically or from a distance but there when it counts. That’s all we can do, give love, receive love and hope that the people we care for remain to share the ride.

I had to make a decision last week I was reluctant to make at first, but actually, I realise now was absolutely the right decision. I wanted to support my lovely husband who in turn felt it was time for a change, so new workplace, new opportunity for growth.  And that lead me to follow him. Some might be surprised…  but if life has taught me anything it’s that we need to change to grow and learn and I am blessed because of this opportunity.  It’s been less than a week but already I feel connected to something. Do you ever get that feeling you are where you are meant to be? You might not know it when you first think about it, you might even resist it to start with but it really is better to stand back, not to overthink it and let what is meant to be… be. Only then can you truly see it for what it is.

You must stand back from everything to see the beauty. To fully appreciate it.

 

white_rose-1280x1217

The white rose is for remembering. I offer it to you…

And that dear friends and scribes is me — right now. I love my work truly and with passion: my writing (now almost 1/4 into the new novel), I have my lovely new agent — it’s the waiting game now with my novel. I love my work and the best part of my editing work is engaging with and meeting other writers, be that virtually or face to face. And I love my hubby, my friends, my family, my adorable pets and my life at the gym. In fact, the change will bring more changes since I am trying new things that are challenging me to grow. How wonderful is that?

But last of all, I  think when we look forward we can sometimes spend too long looking back. Looking back is wonderful for showing us how far we’ve come and what wonderful memories we have made along the way. These are forever, even when we forge a new path, they still count and the love you felt when you made them — good ones, that never goes. Sometimes we have sad memories too, everything has its place…  look back but don’t live there… hold it dear then move on. Look ahead, there is so much more to come. We are who we are because of every experience we have ever had and every person we have ever met whether they are still here or not. We need both dark and light, good and bad, hills and troughs, without one we don’t get the whole ride, and I, for one, want the whole experience of living.

Everything is about balance. If it is meant to be, it will be. If it feels too hard, that will pass.

I will leave you with my poster about my forthcoming book launch! Anyone local and who fancies the trip to Essex… you are most welcome! What I learn from life I write through my characters. You will meet all kinds: a child looking for his father and trying to time travel to change things so he is still alive and he can finish the jigsaw, a Holocaust survivor who grows carrots for chutney even though he hates carrots and he hates chutney. You will meet a woman who is having to put her old dad into a home but uncovers a secret that changes everything she knows about who she is, a woman who can’t yet grieve her husband because she doesn’t know who he really is… not until she meets the other wife. You will meet a tomboy dealing with the death of her brother in Afganistan, learning to live again, you will even meet my grandparents in there.

If you can’t come and are local I can save you a book and sign it. Or you order one from me but we need to add postage to the price.

Or you will find it on Amazon!

Book Launch Poster

 

Don’t be afraid to step into the unknown because you never know what is waiting for you…

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Endings and Beginnings

Today has special meaning.

 

Today is Rosie’s 9th birthday, our adorable cocker spaniel.

Rosie

Today is the day my lovely new agent starts submitting my novel to publishers.

209409-Believe-Good-Things-Will-Happen-And-They-Will

Today I start a new chapter…

Memories

I have some wonderful memories from the past almost five years since I moved back here; never realising when I did how my life would change. Never knowing how many friends I would make, meet the love of my life, become part of something special and rewarding…  But today is the start of a brand new chapter. I will embrace and look ahead…

New Chapters

Embrace every moment!

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