First 1000 words of “The End of the Garden”


Since I was last posting I went through a series of Depressive Episodes before I found a regimen of therapy, meditation and supplements that helped. I’ve managed to go a couple of months without SERIOUS suicidal thoughts – actually considering the means etc. I have the odd few death wish thoughts but the’re relatively mild.

In other news I attended a discovery day for new authors held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road where Literary Agents Curtis Brown did a meet, greet and read for authors. The line was through the door and there were timed slots all through the day. I gave them the first three pages of my novel and they loved it. I need to try and get it finished this year and then submit it. They’ve given me a name to submit to so I’m now very motivated to think, act and plan as a writer rather than as a wannabe.

So pleased to present the beginning  of “The End of the Garden” by Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood. (1st novel on backburner, 2nd novel cooking nicely) Continue reading

I write because not writing isn’t working for me


My name is Smiley Yearwood and I am a writer.

This is my second Writing 101 and I’m for the sense of community, the daily prompts and the motivation to keep writing. For the longest time I have been suffering from depression and it’s only recently I have been officially diagnosed and started to leave denial behind and start moving up, moving on, moving forward.

I’m working on my first novel but it’s so easy to get caught up and weighed down by life and the novel gets nudged a little further into the future while you deal with the here and now.

Writing makes me happy.

You know when you have a draw packed full of stuff and it jams the desk? Till eventually you yank it open and empty EVERYTHING on the floor? Then you  work out what was jamming up the works and then put back in everything you need and throw away the stuff you don’t?

That’s me and writing. That’s why I write

Don’t be afraid of the dark


Don’t be afraid of the dark

Not trolls or jinns or the rare cupboard shark

You have a light in your chest that blazes away

And it lights up dark places to show you the way

No matter where you are you’ll always be you

And your light goes with whatever you do

Should you ever find yourself in a dark place

Remember that which dwells in the dark flees from you and the light you embrace

#OnRepeat: I am a missing planet


I am a missing planet
You know me from my orbit
From my effect on others
the way I make them spin off centre
moving in marvelous ways
Unseen treasure crossing your sky
Think on where I am not
then you will know where I’ll be
Expect me when you see me
I’m waiting to be discovered

OnRepeat: someone’s thrown a spanner in your difference engine


I’m blessed. I know because my mates tells me so whenever I talk about what I’m feeling and what I’m dealing with at the moment.

They ask me what’s wrong. I tell them how I feel and they insist on trying to make me feel better by reminding me how many people are suffering or worse off. I don’t know about them but knowing other people are suffering doesn’t make me feel better.

I get it though they’re just going at it the wrong way. Count your blessings.

Thing is when you’re depressed your blessings aren’t there anymore. You have a flat? Could lose the flat, could end up homeless, could have vermin. You have a job? Could get passed over for a promotion, could have another re-organisation, might not even like this f@#*ing job anyway. Depression is a death spiral you can’t pull out of your own. That’s the difference. It’s like someome’s thrown a spanner in your difference engine.

As mentioned before I’m a wannabe sufi. A sufi en pretence. I’m fasting at the moment for the month of Ramadhan and will do so for the next twenty days or so. 19 hours a day without food or drink. The mood swings I’m going through are Shakespearean. I’m rather dramatic company at the moment and if you were an audience and my life was a film you’d be applauding my dramatic shifts back and forwards.

With a spanner in my engine and dearth of coffee and fuel in my system I’m in trouble.

#Onrepeat: Reflecting myself


The gaps in the noise of the world are the windows of opportunity that allow me to hear my thoughts. Meditation helps some of the time. Often though there’s not the opportunity because of the pace of daily life.

Actually that’s a lie. It’s all about power. Having the power to slow down or speed up at your own volition is outside of my power while I’m working a 40 hour working week.

I envy the ability, the privilege to move at ones own pace.

More and more realise that the source of my depression is from the realisation of how unfulfilled my life has been. In fact that was the root behind the age reboot last year, 40 is the new 30 (The last 10 years have been awful I’m declaring a do-over)

Being Black British rather than African American I’ve been playing catch up with some of the vocabulary and cultural memes.

Nothing describes my current state of despair as well as the phrase “A dream deferred is a dream denied”

In other news the novel is taking shape, in a practical “I’m actually doing something sense” rather than the procrastinating “I’ve thought about it” sense. I can honestly say I only feel happiness these days when I am writing or reading. Everything else in my world is a numb blur rushing past my minds eye. Like a brain damaged patient doing physical therapy as I organise whats in front of me whats behind my eyes begins to organise itself into a steadily more coherent mass rather than the mess I usually wake up as.

Every now again when I’m unsteadily steering my way through my own personal storm I’ll think out loud.

More often than not I’ll say “I don’t even know who I am”
image

#OnRepeat: Chase Your Reality



“In the great tradition of these speeches, generally someone says something along the lines of ‘Chase your dreams,’ but I don’t want to tell you that because I don’t believe that. I want you to chase your reality.” Christopher Nolan

#On Repeat: On WYSIWYG


Familiarity breeds contempt. Something to think on the next time you recognise your own reflection

No-one who is used to having friends they understand and can understand them knows what it’s like to not be able to speak your mind with the people around you.

Nor can they understand the sense of relief when you lose your last solitary f*ck and you start speaking from the heart. It’s as if you’ve suddenly transmogrified into a evil universe version of yourself.

Like your non-identical twin has suddenly switched places with you. The same but not the same. The stranger in your skin. I’ve had that experience and I was as shocked and entertained at the words that came unbidden from mouth as everyone else in the room as I stopped speaking from the social script and said what I meant and what I felt. Truly felt.

We all wears masks. We’re not superheroes or supervillains but we all have a secret identity. The real us. There are very few of us who WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get.

We all lie. We all lie all the time.

Civilisation is held together by little white lies, half truths and fudged facts.

Have you seen the news? That was a trick question –  you haven’t. Chances are unless you are a journalist none of us have really seen the news. What we get is the processed meat product of TV not the raw dripping fresh meat fresh from the scene. We are as packaged and prepared and edited as the evening news. Within and without.

TANGENT: I loved Sir Terry Pratchett and I miss him as if I knew him personally. One of the scenes that sticks in my mind comes from the Witches novel Witches Abroad

Granny Weatherwax looked out at the multi-layered silvery world
‘Where am I?’
INSIDE THE MIRROR
‘Am I dead?’
THE ANSWER TO THAT, said Death, IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN NO AND YES
Esme turned and a billion figures turned with her
‘Where can I get out?’
WHEN YOU FIND THE ONE THAT’S REAL
‘Is this a trick question?’
NO
Granny looked down at herself
‘This one’ she said

#On Repeat: On Needs


Wants. Needs. Desires if you will.

We no longer differentiate what we want from what we need.

To expand and explain. I have £500 watch. (Its not worth £500 now but it was when I bought it) It’s the most “Luxury” thing I own. I need to tell the time. I wanted a good looking watch. I desired a Swiss watch because it was grown up’s watch and “MANLY” but I knew I didn’t need a Swiss watch. I knew I didn’t even need a watch because we are surrounded by clocks. Clocks on walls, on phones, on billboards, on screens. I could go without a watch quite easily never mind going without a Swiss watch.

Even then my mothers voice in my head made me buy a discontinued watch on a discount from a second tier watch maker rather than a bling-bling name. I wear it because it feels reassuring to wear something solid and well built rather than plastic-y. Even after all that I don’t wear a months salary on my watch and don’t wear gold on my fingers. Indeed Its asceticism in spirit if not in deed.

If you confuse your needs with your wants and desires you are are a slave to your ego.

We live in a world where no-one thinks they have enough.

Those “without” – think they need what they haven’t got. They are right.
Those “with” – think they need something better than that which they already have. Therein lies the problem. There is enough to go around but those “with” don’t share because they can’t tell their needs from their desires.

People need food. Certain heartless politicians will tell you that they don’t need to eat lobster or have refrigerators. Needs are absolute, the means to satisfying them change over time. Lobster used to be the garbage bottom feeder fish that was thrown at the slaves to eat and now its on the top table and the slave descendants are queuing up for (Processed) beef.

I went Sunday without eating for my own reasons, practical and spiritual. I had a meal of vegetables Saturday evening and ate nothing till this afternoon on Monday when I broke down and had myself a big fat tuna pizza.

24 hours on tea, water and protein shakes. You know you’re hungry when you’re watching Bear Gryll’s on TV and the wild animal he’s skinning looks good.

I was out walking and it occurred to me that there was last thing I owned which I could make do without and it was my watch. I was passing by a pawnbroker and went it on a whim to sell it. I would have to but their “watch” guy was out of office for the long weekend. But it’s a nice feeling of clarity to know I’m not attached to the watch on my wrist.

A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”

Live your life…


image