Journey

Everybody has a book in them, or so it's said. But it's something else again getting it onto the page and to a place where it might be shared.

I have been writing since I was a young child. Always, my dream was to see my name on the spine of a book. Books gave me life, a dream to live by. Through their portals I could escape so easily into other worlds. Books also saved my life ... yes, really!

This is the story of my books and my journey as an author, including a very personal view of my journey through Life. I hope it will inspire and give hope to writers and readers young and old.

Getting published can be a waiting game. It's hard .. and getting harder. But then sometimes it can happen in an unexpected way and suddenly, we truly are living our dream. And we realise that it isn't after all the winning that is important, but the journey that is ours along the way.

I would love to hear from anyone who connects with what is written here. A signed copy of any of my books is available. You have only to write and ask:

janineharrington53@gmail.com







Tuesday, 15 December 2015

LONELINESS


Loneliness is a cancer that incessantly eats away inside, with a hunger that can't be ignored. Oh, don't get me wrong ... you can put on that public face if you're practiced enough and no-one will probably know apart from those who share the experience. After all, people are used to the obligatory: 'I'm fine!' It's all they want to hear.  While inside, life is anything but fine. It's at Christmas when it hurts most - the loneliest time on earth because there's no escaping the carols, the festivities, the decorations and trees, shop windows begging you to buy, everyone smiling and happy, looking forward to holidays and spending time with family, not to mention unwrapping all those gifts on Christmas morning. Living alone, especially when you're unexpectedly thrown into a mix of emotions that don't fit with the 'season to be jolly' because the man you love chose to walk out on a marriage you believed was fine, already with someone who has already taken your place ... it leaves you isolated, vulnerable, at odds with the world around you. You're not a part of the planning of Christmas, the annual dilemma of whose turn it is to visit, or where you're supposed to be.

Memories pluck at the already raw open wound making it bleed.

Once upon a time Christmas was special. 
 
As a child, we didn't have much money, but we were rich in every other way because we shared, we had family, and more than anything else in the world, we knew we were loved beyond measure. On the night before Christmas, we'd lie listening to rustling of paper, whispered voices, footsteps creeping across the floor, shadows moving through a chink of light as our doors opened and shut. Our eyes remained tight shut. We cuddled the promise of our stockings on Christmas morning being full of little trinkets, pencils and crayons, chocolate soldiers and clocks ... with the bag of shiny gold-wrapped chocolate pennies and a satsuma wrapped in silver foil at the bottom. Outside our front door, always there would be a mysterious cardboard box of hidden treasures to see us through the day. Father Christmas really did exist! As well as food, there would be a gift for each of us. Meanwhile, clad in slippers and dressing gowns we'd excitedly make for the tree where, underneath would be a host of gaily coloured paper covering all shapes and sizes. For a while we'd simply touch and feel, trying to guess from clues we found there. But first ... breakfast. Second, dress. Third, there was the Church Service to attend, a cup of tea and mince pie to share with the congregation after which Dad shook hands, giving out gifts from under the tree to the children. Laughter and joy echoed all around us as a family as we stood on parade in our Sunday Best like the Von Trapp Family in 'The Sound of Music'. I remember the anticipation, the excitement, hearts fluttering as we drooled over gifts still waiting unopened under the tree. But then, this part was really the best time of all because once we were there, Dad handing us each a gift to be opened with just the one main present kept till last, however long we lingered with the wrapping for Mum to keep for next year, the greatest excitement of the day was almost done. We'd each have an Annual - a 'Bunty' or 'Princess' for me, 'Look & Learn' for my sisters, with a 'Paint By Numbers' set of pictures and Enid Blyton mystery to keep me busy the rest of the day. I remember the Noddy Theatre I received one year, Lego bricks to create villages and parks, miniature gardens to put together and plant with plastic flowers, racing cars on a track which needed to be set up (mainly for Dad's benefit!) We weren't born into an age of technology, with war games, i-pads, computers, techie games ... I'd love creating a pretend doll's house from an old grocer box, or a little shop, with lots of little packets of sweeties, dressing up as a shop keeper willing the rest of the family to play. Always, there was a family game ... Monopoly, The Memory Game, Buccaneer, Scrabble, Careers ... (I still have them today in a box under my desk!) The rest of the day was tradition. In the afternoon I'd settle to cutting out and dressing cardboard cut-out dolls from a wardrobe of clothes. There was plenty to keep us occupied. It was the only time we ever had a roast, when chicken tasted extra special because it was a rare treat, with roasties and veg, and oodles of gravy, followed by Christmas pud with sixpences hidden inside.

Memories can be cruel. It's times such as this I crave those times of childhood innocence when everything was so simple and I knew I was safe, protected, loved.

Loneliness thrives on memories, happy memories and sad ... especially when you have no idea how much of your marriage has been a lie! Loneliness happens for a variety of reasons, but it's the same mix of emotions of isolation, vulnerability, despair that can drive you to the brink. There are widows and widowers who say that the death of a loved one is easier to bear in many ways, because at least it draws a line, leaving sorrow, yes, but also gentle, happy, strong memories that can never die. They tell me they couldn't bear the thought of a loved one walking out on a marriage without warning, tainting what has been, leaving behind a confusion of betrayal and lies, not knowing any more what is real and true. More so because of the constant daily reminders ... Christmas cards arriving in his name as if he hasn't really gone, post needing to be re-addressed and passed on, everyday things that are impossible to do because he was a Carer as well as a husband. Hours can go by in a haze of pain on bad days, when you know nobody is coming to the door, leaving you feeling all the more isolated and alone.

When you do go out, on stepping back through the front door, the silence is deafening, immediately immersing you in a tsunami of emotion, while an ocean of tears chokes the inner scream. You put the kettle on, reaching for the TV control just to fill the house with sound. But then everything is related to Christmas. People laughing and joking, flooding the room with an agony of memories, filling your heart with a desperate aching longing for today to be so different to what it actually is.

How can Life be this cruel!

In among all the everyday feelings of loneliness when it often becomes easier to stay in, cocooned, cradled in the womb of home, surrounded by the familiar even if it means being alone; at Christmas you've also got to deal with the lack of company and a family to share it. There is no Christmas spirit! You sit on the sofa and drift, thoughts reaching back in time, trying to gain a different perspective, to bring back another way of Life ... richer, wealthier in all the ways that count most.

Decorations?

A tree?

Forget it.

Maybe there are crackers left over from last year to decorate the table, a token bit of sparkle and pizzazz. Cards deck shelves and mantle. I read and re-read the sentiments, wishing I could somehow magic those people here from memories of the past, along with family and friends now departed.

Christmas dinner?

What's the point!

Usually days drift into nights drift into days drift into nights seamless, never-ending ... a constant flow of Time. Evenings, weekends and holidays are worst because there's no way to find any kind of routine. Besides, these are times when families are together, out for the day, sharing time with one another. And that hurts like crazy!! At Christmas everything is accentuated. The void between those who have and those who have not is wider. I stare into the abyss, and the abyss stares back at me. Darkness becomes a friend, although I've become afraid again of the dark and lights need to stay on to get me through the night. But can I find the right bulb for my touch lamp at the side of my bed? I buy a bulb with an assistant's help, but the damn lamp is still not working. It means the slightest noise and I'm jumping ... having to constantly check and re-check the house, even under the sofa and behind the TV!!


'I promise ... you'll never ever be afraid again!'

He spoke those words to me back in the beginning.

'You have me to protect and look after you now!'

I trusted those words with a passion. He became my Sanctuary. His words cloaked the darkness of past years so effectively it was as if they had never been. So why did he renege on his promises?

'... for better or for worse, rich or poor, in sickness and in health ...'

Did he even mean them as the words left his mouth, or was it all one almighty con? I'll never know.

All I do know is that loneliness becomes a living death ... a cancer that continues to eat away inside leaving just crumbs to try to get you through another day ... night ... day ... night ... day ...

 All paintings/drawings copyright Janine Harrington






Thursday, 10 December 2015

A PRIVATE WAR


My younger sister saved my life last night. 

Of course, she doesn't know it. How could she? Sometimes there aren't words to express the tsunami of emotion, the ocean of tears reflecting the trauma within. We talked for the longest time on the telephone. We share such a close connection she can usually feel instinctively something is wrong, even when we're not immediately in contact. On this occasion I called her ... it could have been a final farewell. No-one can know how that feels unless they have plummeted those depths and lost all hope, all feeling, experiencing a vast emptiness around and within, yet at the same time, a depth of emotion impossible to describe. It's the reason that, tens of years ago, I began what I call 'Spirit Art', a way of connecting with my soul, drawing out what cannot be put into words. The above is the first I ever drew which, when in therapy, became my symbol of hopelessness. By drawing it on a whiteboard as I entered the therapist's room, it was an unspoken message: 'Help me! I feel this bad ...' 

The picture speaks of a dark place, caught between one place and another in a kind of no-man's land, not knowing how to cope, To Be, to even present a public face to the world outside. It speaks also of Child ... a child who is lost without anyone looking for her, no-one has heard her silent scream. She resides in a place of uncertainty and self-doubt, following a trauma from which there is no escape. The Child carries torment and grief, a lethal concoction of panic and fear, and a tragic aloneness, where there is no past, no present, no future, simply What Is.

The events of this year has brought this Child to this bubble of darkness, without and within from which she cannot move on.

Christmas. Somehow something was missing, and even as we entered 2015 I kept asking Tony my husband what was wrong. My instincts have never failed me. I might not always have listened nor acted on them, but my internal warning system was definitely sounding the alarm ... yet his response irritably indicted only that all was well. What would be wrong? Whatever I felt was paranoia. 

The month of March brought a new contract of work in London, so many many miles away from the north where we lived. I'd grown accustomed to waiting ... a Lady in Waiting, I laughingly referred to myself. But it didn't seem funny any more ... only lonely, living life alone, when all I wanted was to be with him to share our life together. Work it seemed was taking him more and more away from me, building a wall between us. Yes, he came home. But then again, more and more infrequently ... first after three days working, then five ... finally there was only Saturdays we shared together. And instead of bringing something back as a surprise to his faithful wife waiting at home with a warm welcome, or taking her to dinner, celebrating our reunion; Saturdays became a mad rush of getting everything done ... ending with me slaving over an ironing board with so many white shirts.

I think back and wonder how I could have been so blind, so willing to please! Yet hope spurred me on ... hope that one day that man I married would return, showing he'd missed me, replacing my loneliness with specialness helping me once more know I had the greatest gift of all ... to love and to be loved. Such a precious gem, but which needs constant polishing and refinement to keep it fresh and new, something to which we could all aspire.

Yet even when home, his mind was obviously elsewhere ... his mobile always beeping, insisting it be answered, while he sat at the computer various times of the day, and later and later at night before coming to bed. Where was the conversation ... the sharing ... a meal out ... a chance to dress up ... the laughter and love which had been such an intrinsic part of our union in days of yore ... even intimacy had gone. I waited, willing myself to be patient, sharing concerns when moments allowed until inevitably that point arrived when he upped and left particularly early one Sunday morning in July for London. I wrote an email trying to put feelings into words. He's a black and white person, a man of logic not emotion. So I put in a plea asking that, if this was to be our future, travelling up and down the country for just one precious day of togetherness, maybe we should move closer to his work. I used to travel with him, writing during the day, meeting up at night for a meal. Happy days! They could easily happen again ... 

His response caught me off-guard, and yet immediately gelled with instincts which had kicked in and remained since the beginning of the year. One Sunday morning, his email arrived. I was to blame! I had pushed him into this! Basically his email defined the end of our marriage. A line had been drawn. He wouldn't be home again. He had a house in London and ... as I was to discover because he inadvertently called me by her name ... a lady he'd met in the north. He'd been leading a double life and I have no idea how long it had been going on.

Lies ... deceit ... betrayal.

I had a breakdown. I'm just recovering from bronchitis/pneumonia. Our divorce is approaching finalisation. The year is coming to an end. Christmas, always special, is now a season of dread. Six months after that first defining email, it's like going full circle, back to the place the tsunami of emotion first began. Again, I feel broken, abandoned, rejected ... the lost and frightened child.

Inside, my fragile world is filled with pain. Memories of the past fall like a string of dominoes, cascading all the pain on top of me while I cry oceans of tears for all the wasted years. Yet, at the same time, because he keeps hammering home how much more he could have done, how much more he could have taken from me, from our home, I can't help but be haunted by what I must have done that was so wrong to justify being treated this way. An old quotation comes to mind: 'If I've been a good girl, why would all these people want to hurt me?' I was brought up to believe that only good things happen to good people. Only if you stray off the path, like Red Riding Hood, does the big bad wolf come to get you. Yet my PhD in Life had already taught me this was not so ... that evil preys on the vulnerable, the naive, the uninitiated, the unprotected, those who choose to see the good in others rather than reflect on the bad.

I recognise I've been in this place before, even though I vowed I would never be again. I feel controlled, threatened, especially as texts come through that I could lose so much more. Words can be powerful weapons, as can the manner in which words are spoken. And so it is that I exist. Period. But then, last night, I reached the edge ... looking into the abyss as the abyss stared back at me. Darkness. Somehow it seemed inviting. Could that darkness offer peace? It was the kind of thought that was sucking me in, drawing me ever closer. I'd completed the book for veterans. Job done. Yes, I am contracted for one further book by another publisher, the second in a two-part series about RAF 100 Group, 1945 operations, the aftermath of war, and a discussion about why they never received either the recognition or reward they were due. The first of the series is due out in January. But I just felt so alone, so vulnerable, so abandoned and useless. It was as if somehow I'd walked into a trap over five years ago, and now someone else controlled me.

What is a Life worth? Or rather, what is MY life really worth?

I was a Counsellor for tens of years. I know what I would be saying to me. But it wasn't words I needed, rather warm arms wrapped around me, embracing, enveloping me in protective love, letting me know I am needed, I still have something to offer, my job is not yet over, I am not yet done.

I telephoned my younger sister. Closing my eyes, it was like she was right there with me in the room. Into the silence we talked and shared our hopes, our dreams, past times, happy memories, speaking from the heart, reaching out across the miles, knowing instinctively we were each there for one another. We talked for the longest time, the ebb and flow of the tide of emotion spilling out words, endlessly pushing darkness to one side until, finally, her phone died. I had lost that connection. But she had brought me peace. Soon after, I curled up like a fetus in the womb of my bed, closing my eyes to thank God for bringing me through.

The Child was safe and warm, drifting into dreams, free of the nightmare of the past. 

My sister, knowing these days leading up to Christmas would be particularly lonely and difficult for me to cope with, had sent a box of advent gifts, one for each day of December. Little brown pots were numbered with the days marked on small pegs, and in each was a note offering me words of comfort, with a corresponding gift to open on that day. As I woke to a new day, a panic attack already gnawing at my stomach, tears streaking down my cheeks, I sat with my first cuppa of the day, drawing Number 10 to me, reading the precious note within. With loving words it bid me open a gift with the same number ... and with trembling fingers, I uncovered a beautiful grey fluffy jumper, reaching out to me like a warm hug.

Thanks Sis for being there for me with gifts and words of comfort, strength and support.  You are very precious and valued.

I love you xxx


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

NEW PUBLICATION FOR DECEMBER!!

Publishers: Austin Macauley
Available: 16 December 2015

Hardback:   £20.99 +pp
Paperback:  £14.99 +pp

Available from all local and leading bookshops
including Amazon and online outlets 

With author Stephen Hutton’s chapter on The Mighty 8th’s Squadron of Deception

Foreword:  
Wing Commander Dix-Weeks OBE, AFC, QCVSA


On the cover, sitting proud astride the nose of his aircraft is Canadian Pilot George Stewart DFC of 23 Squadron, based at RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk
 
*   *   *   *

This remarkable book brings together for the first time writings of RAF No. 100 (Bomber Support) Group and the 36th Bomb Squadron RCM, U.S. 8th Air Force. During World War Two, together they flew secret operations deep into the heart of Germany – identifying and jamming enemy Radar using new experimental equipment, working with Bletchley Park and the Y-Service, dropping and collecting agents of S.O.E., and helping the Resistance.
 
Over 55,000 men died in Bomber Command, the highest casualty rate of any Unit. On V.E Day, Prime Minister Winston Churchill praised those who contributed to victory, with one glaring omission – Bomber Command, of which this Group was a valued part. What happened to his stirring words: ‘The fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone provide the means of victory’?

Seventy years on, RAF 100 Group remains shrouded in mystery, many families still unaware of the role played by their loved one as veterans take their secrets to the grave. Only amongst their own do they talk and share, and it is at such times a glimpse of the young boys they were shines through, their eyes lighting up at a prank played, aerobatics in the air in celebration of a successful op and return home for crews, quickly followed by the sudden silence as together they remember those they personally knew who never returned.

They remain at heart Kindred Spirits, especially over the RAF 100 Group Association weekend each May as we gather for a Reunion in Norfolk, coming back to the bases where they once served, the sightless eyes of airfields still waiting .. hoping .. yearning to hear those Merlin engines in the skies.

This book represents a tribute, a Memorial to them all together with those who flew with them, proof of their existence, finally giving them recognition so richly deserved.

 *   *   *   *

AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Please describe what your book is about

This remarkable book brings together for the first time writings of both RAF No. 100 (Bomber Support) Group and the 36th Bomb Squadron RCM, U.S. 8th Air Force who flew in partnership with them, based on secret Norfolk airfields. Under Bomber Command during WWII, they were tasked with flying secret day and night operations deep into the heart of Germany – identifying and jamming enemy Radar using new experimental equipment, flying ‘Spoof’ missions to direct the enemy away from the main force; working with Bletchley Park and the Y-Service, and supporting SOE and the Resistance.
   Over 55,000 men died in Bomber Command, the highest casualty rate of any Unit. On VE Day, Churchill praised those who contributed to victory, with one glaring omission – Bomber Command, of which RAF 100 Group was an integral part.
   It seems Churchill’s stirring words: ‘The fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone provide the means to victory’ were misplaced as RAF 100 Group received neither recognition nor reward.
   Seventy years on, RAF 100 Group remains shrouded in mystery, families unaware of the secret and vital role their loved ones played in wartime as veterans take their secrets to the grave.
   As a founding member and Secretary of the RAF 100 Group Association, for the past twenty years and more I have continued to work closely with veterans and their families. I remain passionate about preserving both their history and wartime experiences, determined these brave but ‘forgotten heroes’ be remembered. This book therefore represents a tribute, a Memorial, proof of their existence and the manner in which they fore-shortened the war, saving many thousands of lives.

How did you come up with the title?

This is a book which has been twenty years in the making, given the unlimited access given to veterans' private diaries, letters, writings and photographs. I have been overwhelmed by the response by them, their families and friends in wanting to openly talk and share, offering a meaningful and deeply personal understanding to what their Group Squadron’s work entailed, the lives snuffed out before their time, feelings of the day, and how families react when a loved one dies and they discover unshared writings, Log Books, maps and other memorabilia tucked away in cupboards or attics of ones they loved. The title has therefore been there from the start, given the wealth of material, the voices of the departed, the need to be remembered and to know their work was not in vain, together with the bond of friendship and support that drew them close. Each life depended on the other, working together as a team. It has therefore been my promise to them to make public what they have given to me, so that others might understand truths and realise the price of freedom.

Who is your intended audience, and why should they read your book?

The book is intended for a readership of all ages, all walks of life. The stories contained within offer a fascinating insight into what it was like to be part of an active Squadron, sharing everyday life on an airfield, following what it meant to be part of an operation, and the aftermath of having witnessed the deaths of friends and colleagues, knowing they would never return. Both World Wars are now part of the curriculum in schools, and this book represents a history book which, rather than offering endless facts and figures in a conventional way, instead carries the voices of those who were a living, breathing, dying part of war, offering first-hand knowledge and truths which cannot be found elsewhere. For many, this book was the first and only time they will share their wartime experience. They do so now in the belief that it will make a difference, that the name of RAF 100 Group be known for the future, and that those who died be remembered as they remain forever young.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Readers cannot help but be moved by the poignancy of the stories told in the words of veterans who fought in a World War. The strength of their stories comes in teaching of the futility of war, the consequences of invasion and what it means for countries to come under enemy rule, how it feels when trying to bomb the aircraft rather than the people inside, and the price paid by so many that we might have the freedom we have today. It shows how people can make a difference when and where it matters most, especially when working together, the real sense of brotherhood amongst crews, and the kindred spirit forged between survivors which continues today through our RAF 100 Group Association where each and every person is valued.

What inspires and motivates you to write the most?

My inspiration originally came from the story of my mother and her wartime fiancĂ©, Vic Vinnell. 
   Vic was a Navigator and Special Operator who, with his Canadian pilot Jack Fisher, flew their Mosquito DK292 on secret operations, based at RAF Foulsham, Norfolk, in RAF 100 Group’s lead 192 Squadron. On 26/27 November 1944 they failed to return. Nothing was ever heard of them again. Their deaths remain a mystery, as does the operation on which they flew that night. It is believed they tried to land on the French coast, not knowing it was a mined beach.
   Today, I remain passionate about preserving the history and stories of this secret Group who did so much during the war that people aren’t aware of today, even the main Royal Air Force. Every day I hear from veterans and their families, or from someone new after a loved one has died, leaving behind a plethora of material they can’t understand, asking what RAF 100 Group means. It is a position of which I feel immensely proud and privileged, but which at the same time is deeply humbling, as I share so many different stories of these brave souls. It is they who continue to inspire me today.
 
Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now. If you could live anywhere you wanted to live, where would that be?

As I write, it is like stepping through the portal back in Time to the war years, living through the eyes of all those who have shared their stories with me. Once a year, we come together in Norfolk for a Reunion, and as we approach, we can almost hear the roar of Merlin engines, see the darkening shadows cross the fields, and understand the terror of both people on the ground and in the air as the Second World War raged on.
   I was born in Surrey. Both my parents had been in the RAF. I shared a happy childhood, where every day I found new stories to tell about the adventures I ‘lived’ in a dream world where a cardboard box became a pirate ship, the branches of a tree became bows and arrows. However, beneath the surface, I had my own secret world, my own secret war, where I was being hurt by people my parents trusted. I understood the dangers, but with no way out, had to endure a private pain. Only years later was my secret told, and I realised then how people put their own perspectives on what can happen in life. It taught me valuable lessons.
   Born disabled, with no real understanding of what was really wrong with me, and why we needed to visit the hospital two and three times a week, the world was a strange, mysterious, often dark and dangerous place with unexpected ‘beasties’ lurking which I needed to learn how to survive. Diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in later years, I discovered I can relate to veterans, particularly those who remain affected by war today. I became a Counsellor, working with vulnerable and ‘broken’ people in all walks of life. It expanded my understanding of human nature.
   Today, with a PhD in Life, I live in the north of England. Writing is part of my everyday life, an intrinsic part of self. I continue to work with and serve veterans around the world, and hear from at least one every day. We think of ourselves as a Family, supporting and sharing with one another, remembering birthdays and Christmas, especially giving time to those alone and/or in need. I create a quarterly magazine for the RAF 100 Group Association, bringing together new experiences and writings, paying tribute to those who have recently died, and the Association continues to grow, taking on members worldwide, including those who served with the 36th Bomb Squadron RCM, U.S. 8th Air Force who lived and served alongside RAF 100 Group in wartime.
   As far as where I would most like to live today, I am happy where I am because it is close to the sea. However, I am not someone who easily lives alone. Writing can become a very solitary isolating occupation. My life is filled with warm, loving, understanding veterans and their families, and I wouldn’t have that any other way. But I would welcome that precious gift of being able to love and to be loved by someone special … someone who will share the rest of the journey of Life with me.

Tell us something personal about yourself that people may be surprised to know?

I love reading children’s stories and the best time of my life was spent writing for my daughter Jo when she was a little girl. Now she is a writer herself and has travelled to many far and distant places around the world, getting involved in local communities. I also paint, and play the keyboard.

Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

I would love to meet veterans who died young in the Second World War and who were a living, breathing part of RAF 100 Group and its secret operations. Best of all, I would welcome meeting and sharing with Vic Vinnell, my mother’s wartime fiancĂ©. I grew up with her unworn wedding dress at the back of her wardrobe, and amongst my treasured possessions I have the many hundreds of letters they shared. It was her cousin who told me that when he stepped into a room he could make it shine … and yet he only ever had eyes for ‘his Nina’.

Which writers inspire you?

Enid Blyton was the first writer to inspire me. I could easily escape into one of her many worlds and live life through one of her characters. I went on to John Creasey and crime novels, before being drawn to personal experiences, particularly of wartime.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I still have so much material relating to veterans that my goal is to bring them out of the shadows and into the light where they can be enjoyed and shared by others around the world. I like to have more than one book on the go at any one time so that I write according to my mood of the day. To this end, I would therefore love to continue my Joe Maddison series, and write the third in the collection which is fiction, but based on old myths and legends which Joe Maddison, the unlikely hero; needs to unravel from the past to discover the hidden meaning for today.

What are your expectations for this book?

For this book RAF 100 Group – Kindred Spirits, I already have a long waiting list reaching around the world waiting to buy a copy. It is a book which has already come to mean so much to so many, while since sharing their personal experiences, there are a few in the book who have since died and their families are each wanting a copy which they consider to be part of the legacy their loved one left behind.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I am absolutely delighted that this book is finally emerging from the shadows, and that all these wonderful stories will finally be told and shared, these ‘forgotten heroes’ remembered. My hope is that on Remembrance Day the name of Bomber Command and RAF No. 100 (Bomber Support) Group can be spoken aloud, so that people will start asking questions, wanting to know more about who they are, what they achieved in wartime. Even 70 years on, these people who did so much in the name of ‘Freedom’, pushing the enemy back to their own shores, are not recognised or known.



WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!!



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

AN OUTPOURING OF THE SOUL


Sometimes words slip out in a stream of consciousness, and suddenly, I'm looking back at the woman I once was, waiting for my man to come home ... waiting for the unexpected gift ... waiting for a spark of understanding ... waiting with arms outstretched ... always waiting ... and waiting never made it come ... Now I am the Lady in Waiting for the Knight who will never again return Home!

                                       A lake of soulness, a place of sadness and space
                                       where I feel alone ... afraid ... unsure ...
                                       and more than anything, not knowing suddenly
                                       which way to turn.

                                      What do I say
                                      to make the pain go away?
                                      How to act
                                      to retract
                                      the tears that pour through all the years
                                      pooling in the lake of sorrow
                                      from yesterday, today, tomorrow,
                                      where that sense of grief prevails
                                      as if I've lost something precious,
                                      something special
                                      which was there ...
                                      but now is gone.

                                      Right now, everything feels like quicksand,
                                      the place on which I stand
                                      suddenly uncertain.
                                      I need to determine
                                      who I am, what I'm doing, where I go.
                                      The same old questions
                                      slipping through Time,
                                      pooling in this place
                                      of sadness and tears.

                                     I'm a lost and frightened child
                                     because I see things different.
                                     Is that so wrong?
                                    Why should it matter?
                                    Why does he care?
                                     It's what makes up Me -
                                     the Me he has to come see and know.
                                     But then, right now, it's not enough.
                                     I have to be tough ...
                                     But I'm just not like that at all!

                                     I cry ... I know why.
                                     And it isn't what He thinks!
                                     It isn't just caught up
                                     in machines I don't understand.
                                     There's so much more,
                                     while at the core
                                     what I really need is Love.
                                     Hugs and cuddles,
                                     gentle words,
                                     smiles, and ...
                                     Love.

                                     I feel things deeply,
                                     Is that wrong?
                                     Stress makes my head hurt,
                                     my heart ache.
                                     But instead of a good shake
                                     and shout,
                                     I cry instead with yearning;
                                    with aching, gnawing need
                                    and the plea
                                    to simply feel accepted
                                    Just the Way I Am.

                                    For that to be enough.

                                   He's there immediate with the phone.
                                   Does he get frustrated and shout,
                                   raising his voice at another
                                  when they don't understand
                                  what he's talking about?

                                  It must just be Me.

                                  I'm not enough, for sure,
                                 while others vie for his attention
                                 more and more and more.
                                 He's there for them.

                                 So what's the point?

                                 I'm supposed to accept the way it is,
                                 alone through the week
                                 while he's away working
                                 and with people, yes, yes;
                                 those who understand and know
                                 without him having to show
                                 them how to be, what to see,
                                 telling them to recognise the truths,
                                 the facts, the techie moves.

                                I write ... rubbish!
                                I paint ... so what's special about that?
                                I play, I see things in an unusual way.
                                So what?
                                You're not an idiot, he says,
                                but why can't you understand
                                the way I do?
                                Why can't you see and tell
                                and do
                                the way I am?
                                Keep to the Plan!

                               What Plan?
                               I've already said!
                               How many times does it take!!

                              What do you do ...
                              when all I want to hear is:

                               I love you
                               xx

                               copyright: Janine Harrington, 2015