The Transition

Today I saw a man standing in the middle of Leeds town centre with two boards hanging off him.

At first, I thought, ‘He is probably advertising a club.’

But I read the writing, because when one sees writing, one reads it. It is inevitable. It was just regular writing. Nothing brilliant or fancy or popping. Just blue words on a white board.

The words said, ‘If you like reading books, please take a flyer.’

Or SOMETHING like that. And I do. Like reading books. Dream of writing a book, that is. A wonderful fantastic book.

So I asked for a flyer.

What has this guy got to say?

Well, he wrote a book. He said that he had a dream to be in the league of JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins, and a New York Times Bestseller.

Well, that is certainly a dream, alright.

He is very humble in his words. He says he thinks he wrote a special book, and he is not going to try to convince us that it is the best book, but to keep him in mind if we are looking for something to read.

His name is R J Tomlin and his book is called The Transition.

If you like reading books, check it out. I do not think you will be disappointed. And I do think that somebody who hangs boards on his back in the middle of town centre with a big smile on his face deserves to have his book read.




352 Days Left

I got job today. Well, not today, but today is my first day. It’s minimal wage, and only for two hours a day, because I can’t go full time until I get me a first class degree, but its something.

I still feel like a failure though.

My husband pointed out that I have been running an online business for two years and not even scratching the surface of a liveable income. He is right. He reckons I have no gumption and spend more time and effort making excuses rather than doing anything productive with my life.

‘Where’s that book you said you were writing?’

‘Um, I’m writing it.’

‘Where’s that translation company you wanted to set up?’

‘Well I am studying a full time course, you know!’

‘You could stop your tuition that pays you peanuts and start your company, but no, you just have excuses, always excuses, and I am so sick of it.’

He is sick of it. I am sick of it. He is sick of me. He is also sick, which doesn’t help his frustration. I made him so many cups of tea and tucked him up in bed and brought him all his meals and made sure he was warm and comfortable in a clean and tidy environment. He is so cold to me though lately. It hurts me a lot, but I don’t have time to mull over it or confront him about it because I have all these assignments and now the job and in between that and chauffeuring my brothers to school I don’t have any time to talk to him.

I don’t blame him, really.

I’m upset, though. I know these things bother him a lot. They bother me too. Maybe it’s tough love.

I know we are at very different stages of life at the moment; he is a successful automotive engineer full of ideas for the future, liasing with other engineers about how to make software to promote the green lifestyle etc etc. He is innovative and hard working and aspirational. I am still studying full time. And he is right. If I spent more effort chasing my dreams, I would have made something of myself by now.

‘You’re 22,’ he said, ‘what do you have to show for it?’


My mum would say I have a driving license, I have an online business (which pays me peanuts), I’m working towards a degree, I bought a car. But those are things all adults should work for. If I didn’t have any of those things, given the opportunities I have in life, I would really be a failure.

I don’t have a real degree. Yet. My business is not at its full potential, and I could have made it so, had I worked hard enough. I have been writing a novel since I was eleven years old. When Christopher Paolini published Eragon at age 15, I thought, ‘I’m gonna publish mine by the time I’m fourteen.’

Did I? I’m 22 now. Did I? No.

So I feel like a failure. I keep doing this. I keep saying things and talking the talk but not walking the walk.

But all is not lost. I have been 22 for thirteen days. I still have 352 days left.


Photograph of Venice