Before I start this post for real there are two things I would like you to bear in mind.
First, I stopped working some years ago. I took a ‘sort-of-semi-retirement’ so I could concentrate on writing, something I wished to do from earlier times, but one which life would not allow.
The second, is to consider the perception of how slow and boring life becomes when one leaves employment, or being self-employed (as I was in the last half of my working life.)
I now have a few years of being a professional author. That means I make my living, my income from writing. Well, mostly from writing. Some of it comes from my artwork, but that only happened because of my writing.
As I said above I took, to all intents and purpose, early retirement. I had long become disenchanted working for other people and faceless organisations. Even as a self-employed business owner, that’s a restaurateur and later a food industry standards consultant, I was not happy about getting out of bed simply to chase my butt off baysitting people who should know better, no matter what level of fees they were willing to pay.
For me, the money did not factor. My health, wellbeing and quality of life became my prime concern. After all, we are all aging and I wanted to do a ton of ‘stuff’ I had, as yet, not done. A bucket list if you will.
So,one day I jacked it in.
Just like like.
I took a year out.
My wife and I hardly saw home that year; instead we chased the sun around the globe. Well, as far as the US of A going West and, in the opposite direction, the UAE. ( Don’t you just love acronyms?)
I love travelling, it is something I have done since the age of fifteen and I have no intention of stopping… yet. But that year, I think I spent twenty days in the UK, but not all at once.
If I am not travelling or writing my travel blog ‘Wild Geese’ I am gardening. I grow fruit and vegetables, keep fish. (I used to have chickens too) all in a wildlife friendly environment(I am thinking of getting some honey bees.) I have three ponds with frogs and newts and such, which attract a plethora of other wildlife, as you can guess.
Fitted in between travel and tending the grounds, I shoehorn in some time to write my books. I have several at present, from a children’s book called ‘The Rabbit Joke’, a humorous novel about abduction, short story collections, poetry, a cookbook and even one, ‘ICONIC’ about great musical legends, it contains my artwork.
If I am not writing a book or a blog, I have several, but three main ones; ‘Wild Geese’ a travel blog, as I mentioned above and ‘Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind’, where I write about writing for writers. The third is ‘A Little more Fiction‘ where I share some of my short stories and flash fiction. Of course, I occasionally find time to post here, on Virily, too.
If I am not doing any of the above, I am attending my art.
I have several collections like ‘portraits, ‘Bodies’. VooDoo Karnaval’ and ‘Cityscapes’. But most well known, to date, is ‘Boggle Eyes’ a series of humorous distorted portraits, many of people I know and the work in which I offer to create a ‘Boggle Eye’ image of anyone who would like me to.
Sometimes, people have a ‘Boggle Eye’ made of a friend or family member and give it as a gift. You can see this collection and many other of my works on my art website HERE.
I got into creating digital art as part of the undertaking when I donned the mantle of an author.
Books, you see, need covers and covers need designing and making. I soon found the restrictions of pre-made covers and the template offered by book ‘publishers’. None offered me what I was looking for and, at such an early stage of writing, I was not about to spend out on commissioning a cover from a specialist, besides I am fiercely independent in so many ways, not to make my own cover was like creating some unfinished work, like not naming your own child.
One thing led to another. I started to create more and more artwork, became involved in international artwork organisations, curatorships and galleries… and well… the rest is history as they say.
Along with my writing and art, I have always been a great supporter of other indie (independent) writers and artists. It is only by assisting one another, helping each other out, in a myriad of ways, can any ‘unknown’ or new creative even begin to become noticed. Happily, I became a member of several internet ‘groups’, the #Awethors and APC (of which I am a founding member) are two of the best I am associated with.
Another thing which grew is a magazine I started as a newsletter. This has now become CQ International Magazine which has a readership in eighty four countries around the globe. CQ Magazine grew from nothing to becoming part of CQ International Publishing, which now incorporates PeeJay Design, TOAD Publishing and FAV Cinematograph.
Remember, as I said at the begining of this post, I stopped working some years ago.
I took ‘early retirement’ so I could relax and enjoy my hobby of photography and to write ‘the odd book’ in my spare time.
The problem is I don’t have any spare time. In fact, I only have enough time to scribble this post before I must undertake other pressing engagements.
I was hoping to fit far more into today, to get many more tasks completed, but somehow time has slipped past once again, it is already dusk and I am wondering… where has all the time gone?