A little over seven years ago, I was in a bad place. I had split (oh, let's be honest - she left my ass) from my long-term girlfriend. I was working an awful job for a boss who was bordering on criminal. and I had withdrawn my last £10 from my credit card.
That was it. When that £10 was gone I didn't know how I would continue. Food, travel, rent, repaying the numerous debts I had - all of it was to be sorted with my last tenner.
I was handed a lifeline. Being ex-staff of the bank, I was told to come in the following day to sort a consolidation loan. This is not the choice I am talking about - I had no option.
The woman in the branch (we'll call her Bethany because I love that name and I don't recall hers) broke just about every rule to get me a loan which, in reality, I didn't qualify for. She consolidated all my debts and left me with about £300 to live on. More importantly she issued a new credit card and cut it into pieces in front of me.
Here is the choice: she offered me PPI insurance. I took it up as a way of thanking her - she would have received commission based on the sale.
About eighteen months later I ended up in hospital, diagnosed with MS. I was able to claim on the insurance I had taken out as a thank you. This insurance saved me while I was in hospital.
I had made an important choice without knowing.
I started writing while in rehab and found success in the independent press almost at once. Among the (awful) poetry and short stories, I had the first three parts of what I planned to be a bi-monthly superhero story published.
The Blue Jackets was well received by the half a dozen who actually read it.
I made an important choice. I ditched the project and, not before long, the publisher ditched me.
I wrote many short stories (I have somewhere close to fifty dotted over various anthologies) but The Blue Jackets kept coming back to me - I wanted to know how it ended!
So, about three or four months ago, I decided to revive the story. My first job was to recombine the three short stories into the single novella it had been conceived as, plus a major rewrite and edit.
The finished piece is with my beta readers before I turn it over to my cover artist and the unleash it on the world. While this work is being completed I am working on the 2nd book.
Alongside that I am resurrecting my online activities. This blog and soon a redesign of the website and relaunch of the twitter and Facebook elements.
So what has brought about my change of heart?
The loan I mentioned earlier has been in repaid (well, in a little over 90 minutes from the time of writing this) and a massive, crushing weight is being lifted from my shoulders (ugh! cliche!)
It's fair to say - I'm baaaa-ack!