When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.
I am happy to share a guest post about redheads. Enjoy!
Patience isn’t a virtue generally attributed to Redheads. We are oftentimes perceived as a fiery bunch, prone to the rages, frequently gobby and volatile. We are furnished with a variety of nicknames, our discrimination remaining socially acceptable and our Emojji representation sadly lacking for far too long. Now I don’t pretend that this stereotyped feistiness is without a degree of accuracy. Like many of my hue, I’m pretty mild mannered but when buttons are pushed and triggers are fired, I go off like a nuclear bomb leaving uncannily similar levels of destruction. As a child, I was a menace. My mother, feigning the vapours, will tell anyone who listens that aged two, in a fit of pique over the fact that my baby brother was the centre of attention, I ran laps of the church during his christening, dress over my head, flashing my frilly knickers and giggling like a banshee. “It’s that red hair”, my relatives muttered. It wasn’t. It was the devil that resides permanently on my shoulder, the one that I have yet to silence, even as I approach the Big 4-0. Hair had nothing to do with it.
However, I would like to throw this little nugget into the arena, a swerve ball for your consideration. Faceflop, Twatter and Instaprat are regularly filled with of souls bemoaning their inability to fall into slumber. The heat, their partner, the worries of the world all cited as the cause whilst the cure for their ‘greasy insomnia’ eludes them. Their patience is the thing they’ve run out of, their frustration with their sleepless state making them grouse and grumble. The three word statuses, “I can’t sleep”, “Got no sleep”, “Awake all night” are both accusatory and attention seeking.
But you see, I don’t sleep. I never have done. My parents tell the horror stories of an infancy in which my poor, teacher father taught class after class of Secondary age herberts on little more than a few hours sleep each night. As a child, I would read in my bed until the wee hours of the morning, absorbing books like oxygen. As a teenager, late nights in clubs were welcomed, occupying the hours that I’d always experienced alone. As an adult, it is unusual for me to be in bed before 2am and I sailed through my babies’ night-feeds as I waited for them to wake up.
I’m not sure why this is the case- I have never sought medical advice nor do I bemoan it. Nothing about me seems to suffer or lack from this state of snoozelessness and it is simply part of who I am. I love a sneaky sofa nap on days when I am not at work or occupied but these are a little treat rather than a necessity. My patience for this restless state is endless because oh, my, the things I get done. Chronic insomnia grants me a solid four hours of the day that my friends do not get. I have the gift of time.
As a student, I would volunteer for the late shifts at the bar where I worked, come home to a sleeping house and then silently clean. I was like a beer-scented cleaning fairy, my bemused housemates awaking to the scent of furniture polish.
Now, as I approach *grits teeth* middle age, this gift of time has given me another massive reason to love insomnia. A couple of years ago, I started to write books in those silent, glorious hours when the world sleeps. I am a person who writes books. Not an author yet, I think I’ll know the moment when I feel able to call myself that (perhaps I need to purchase that Kaftan or a few bangles) but it’s not yet. In those still, rippling, generously bestowed hours, I have written book after book. The words have flowed in a way that I can’t explain. I
honestly can’t. The poxy, sodding editing has taken me forever but the flesh on the mental bones? That took no time at all. I wrote my first book, which I hope to release at the end of this year, without really recognising the passing of the time as I typed. The original manuscript turned out to be 650,000 words long. Longer than ‘War and Peace’. Absolutely ridiculous. I’m still editing that one down to a more digestible length but even now, I can’t tell you know how I wrote that volume of words or even recall how long it took. ‘Not long’ is all I can offer.
‘Love Punked’ was the fourth book I have written but it was the first to be ready for public consumption and so I’ve sent it out into the Amazon jungle, seeing how it gets on. When my youngest child, who I love endlessly for the rogue that he is, royally banjaxed the District Sports Relay by dropping his baton , my first thought was, “Ah well, at least the book’s got 5*s on Amazon”, as my son laughed like a drain and then ‘Flossed’ at his horrified teammates? I’m a terrible mother………
I guess the point of this ramble (ah yes, there is one), is that one man’s curse is another man’s cure. One woman’s burden, is another one’s blessing. I am a Redhead (fake now, bloody grey hairs) who doesn’t sleep and who has a nuclear temper when pushed too far. Many would see this as a triple patience-tester, a triad of misery. Me? For me it’s material and time to write about it. Free, unending material and time.
Night all, sleep well! X
Thank you, Nia Lucas and RachelsRandomResources.
About the author
– I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.
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