Category Archives: Notes

First 1000 Words

So, I’ve started to write ‘the book’…I know lots of you out there are going through the same thing, or indeed have already made it through to the other side of this vastly daunting, yet hugely rewarding experience. However, after a few stop-starts, I have made the first 1000 word hurdle.

Sure, it may sound pretty insignificant in the grand old scheme of things, but, I feel immensely proud. Firstly, because I have persisted even when I have sat here night on end blankly staring at the screen, willing my creative mind to explode onto the keyboard and propel my fingertips over the keys. But slowly, it’s coming, and with that, confidence and my self-belief is growing the more I see flourish on the page in front of me.

Secondly I wanted to share. To celebrate, to inspire and motivate.

Here’s to the next umpteen thousand words! Eeek!

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…it’s only in our darkest days, we truly see the light…

random thoughts

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List of Published Poetry

So, I finally got round to getting my backside into gear and sitting down to write out the list of works I have written since the start of this year which have been (or will be) published. All pieces should be available to find and read on this blog!


  • Untitled – The Winter…’ has been published in Into The Shadows – A Collection of Poetry. This is available via Amazon and Waterstones (UK)
  • Closure‘ has been published in Poets In The Spotlight by United Press Ltd
  • Untitled – Oh Mother…’ will be published in the anthology A Mother to Me by Forward Poetry and is scheduled for publication in September
  • All of Me‘ will be published in the anthology Endless Love and is scheduled for publication in September plus it will also be published in the anthology Between The Lines by United Press Ltd.
  • Early Morning‘ will be published in the anthology Spirit of Spring which is scheduled for publication in October. (This is also the poem that was one of the 250 winners to be included in next year’s National Poetry Anthology 2014 which is a huge achievement for me after only starting poetry proper this year).


Thank you for all the support so far on my blog. Every like, comment and suggestion is always welcome and I am trying to get back into the swing of things with regards to writing new pieces as soon as possible. Appreciate all your visits!!



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Quick Update

Just a very quick update before I go to bed! (It’s 00:35am)

More new poetry will be released onto the blog very soon, that’s a promise, and at some point this week I’ll post about the news I have received regarding various pieces I have written that are to be included in Poetry Anthologies in the UK between September and May next year! Exciting stuff! I will list the publications and indicate which pieces correspond in due course.


Well that’s the quick update!


Speak VERY soon.



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Coming Soon…

Just a quick note to say that after a prolonged hiatus that was longer than intended, I will be returning to the blog on a regular basis again. Now having a job, I find less time in the night when my creativity is really at its strongest. So really I wanted to let you guys know that I didn’t disappear, I will be back very shortly, with new prose and pictures!

Thank you 🙂


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Out of Work? You WILL be ok

jump-for-joyWell… Where to start?

Firstly I will just explain that for the past year I have been unemployed, and for those of you in the same situation you will know how hard this can be. Especially in today’s current economic climate, where there are now on average 50 people applying for each new job vacancy, the challenge is so much greater and that’s when there are jobs on offer in the first place!

So the past 12 months have been a struggle, both financially (benefit cuts and increase in living costs in the UK have changed things drastically for those out of work) and mentally. When most people imagine being out of work, they think, “Fantastic!” assuming that they will have all this free time to do things, sit around watching daytime television, going shopping, hanging out with friends and just basically living life without having to worry about the stresses of the daily grind.

It really isn’t like that. First of all, the majority of your friends will be at work themselves. So trying to arrange things to do with all your spare time will be tough. Your income, this will barely allow you to get through a month without having to make sacrifices, be it food, treats, going out at weekends. If you’ve budgeted to save money before, this is the ‘take no prisoners’ version. It’s tough.

So you’re struggling financially to get through the weeks, and months, but then you realise it’s taking it’s toll on you personally. If it’s not the de-motivation from not receiving responses from all the job applications you send out, it’s the lack of interaction from other people, the loneliness, the self-doubt and guilt you start to feel being out of work for so long.

The monotonous days merge into long dark nights, and the further you go on like this the worse it gets, and the harder it is to drag yourself back up.

But NEVER give up. You must persist and try to stay positive. As I have learnt, after all this time out of work – it pays off eventually.

Yesterday I received a call with an offer of employment. The relief, joy and release that I felt after so long was unmeasurable. You see, it’s not just ‘having a job’ to me. It’s having a life. Being employed gives you motivation, it gives you freedom, gives you reason to get up in the mornings and get into a routine. It pays the bills, it introduces new friends and it gives you a place in the world again.

So as of next Tuesday 28th May, I’m back to work. I am picking up my suit trousers from the Dry Cleaners this afternoon and prepping myself for the first day of training. I just want other people to know that if you are struggling, and down, and feel that there is no hope, or light at the end of the very long unemployment tunnel, then stay strong. It WILL happen for you.

I hope it happens for you too.

I am scared, I am excited but most of all… I am ready.

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Mini Milestone – A Thank You

ImageJust a huge thank you to each and every one of you that has visited this blog so far, I really do mean that. But to get to the big 500 already is amazing! I hope that you continue to pop back and see what else I can entertain you with! Be it new Poetry, Photos or works of Fiction…. (coming soon)

As I am finally getting to grips with this whole Blogging culture I will be a lot more active and ‘vocal’ from now on, and hope to generate more of a presence and interact with you guys a lot more too!

Take care for now everyone, maybe we’ll speak very soon! 🙂

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The Liebster Award Nomination – A Thank You


The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers, and nominated by fellow bloggers. Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

I never would have believed, 8 weeks ago, that my humble little ‘Photo-Poetry’ blog would be nominated for this great award. So a huge, huge thank you goes out to Anne over at Self-Help for Creative Deprived for this amazing nomination!

I’d also like to thank each and every one of  you that has or continues to visit my blog, and likes, comments or shares. It means so much to know that what I put out there is enjoyed by other like minded people and makes the creative journey that little bit more extra special.

Here’s the all important Liebster rules!

  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
  • Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate for the Liebster Award.
  • Go to each blogger’s page and let them know about the award.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

I guess I best make a start on tackling the above list then!!

Eleven facts about me:

  1. I was born Matthew Thomas Aspden, son to Thomas & Norma on a cold wintry night in November of 1979
  2. I occasionally struggle with extreme mood shifts, which used to last for weeks on end, but have learnt to recognise the triggers and hopefully cope and deal with them better now.
  3. Growing up I wanted to be many things, all creative, but a novelist, television presenter and animator  were the top 3
  4. I have always found it difficult to truly explore my creativity, but poetry blogging has really shown me that it doesnt have to be daunting or tasking.
  5. I am a huge Doctor Who fan – those that know me personally will testify this!
  6. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee….I cannot function without that first hot cup in the morning, and cannot relax without that last hot cup at night! I can honestly say I will never tire of Coffee!
  7. Asthmatic, I still smoke albeit not a packet a day, but know it’s probably not the best thing I could do to my body. But I do enjoy it, and I won’t quit until I am absolutely ready.
  8. I have been unemployed for almost 1 whole year now, and it’s something I am really trying to rectify by applying for lots and lots of jobs locally! The current employment climate doesn’t help things, but all I can do is remain hopeful, positive and determined!
  9. I do not have massive circle of friends, but those I do have, I cherish every moment. Quality over Quantity every time. X
  10. I have been thinking about expanding a bit more into short fiction on my blog after my Weekly Writing Challenge entry racked up the most likes and comments of  any other piece so far published. I mean, it speaks for itself really, I do enjoy it too!
  11. I enjoy making other people laugh, usually at my own expense, but I don’t care. There isn’t enough laughter in this life so whatever I can do to contribute – I’m there.

Anne put these Questions forward to me:

Why on earth are you blogging?

It’s crazy right? But personally, I blog as a means of therapy first and foremost. Being a creative person I find it’s the best way to express my feelings, thoughts, ideas and they come out in the entries I post be it words in poetry or images in photography.

What keeps you going when blogging?

Sometimes, if I’m completely honest, I feel nothing is there to keep me going and will have these awful thoughts that the most recent post will be last as I won’t be able to come up with anything else worthy of sharing! But then I am reminded that people who visit the blog have liked and commented, and I know that there are other people who in some small way, will appreciate some of the things I do. And that, really does keep me going.

Who is your role model? Who gives you the most inspiration? And why?

Gosh, people have asked me this before and I have always struggled to define a single influence. I truly believe I have been shaped and guided by much more than one person as I have grown as an adult. OK, so I cannot honestly say who is my ‘role model’ but my inspiration comes from the events in my past and the people I have shared those experiences with. People say you shouldn’t live in the past, which to some extent is very true or else you will never grow and move forward, but, we also wouldn’t be where we are and who we are if it wasn’t for those days gone by, and I that’s why I like to reflect and draw on my past a lot.

If you could have any profession in the world (money does not matter), what would you do?

I think the number one profession that I think I would enjoy the most and be most suited to my skills would be travelling around the world, documenting experiences and people through my writing and photography for either an online publication or magazine.

What is your proudest moment in the last year?

If we are restricting this to 2013, then definitely having my poem published in print within an anthology of poetry from other writers. Just to have that recognition for your work and to see it printed in black and white…incredible feeling.

What is on top of your bucket list?

I can’t explain why, but it’s to travel around New Zealand and Australia. Something has always appealed to me about those places, and only hope that one day I will be lucky enough to get the chance to fulfil that dream.

If you could be a famous person for a day, who would that be?

Can’t I just be myself but famous? That would be easier! Um, I guess maybe somebody like the Dalai Lama, just to spend a complete day with inner calm and peace and total Zen, that would be awesome.

Cat person or dog lover? Please explain!

Easy one for me!! Dog lover all the way, I am definitely going to be getting a little furry four-legged friend at some point. The loyalty, character and companionship of Dogs is second to none and I genuinely believe as Humans we have a special link to our canine buddies. I just have to decide on a breed to choose!

For what can I wake you in the middle of the night?

Most likely nothing!! But obviously if I’m in mortal danger I would appreciate the thought! I could also probably forgive you if you woke me in the middle of night with an all round ticket to NZ and Australia too…

Would you read the book, see the movie or both?

Definitely both. I’m a huge movie  fan so I’d need to see the big screen version, but I love literature too and have witnessed adaptations that have differed greatly between the two mediums. I know a lot can be cut out from books when being adapted into a film, and I also like the fact that reading a book, you create the visual inside your head anyway, and it remains unique in that respect.

What does freedom mean to you?

Complete calm, and focus and knowing there are no restrictions to keep you from doing what you truly want to do. Most of the time it’s down to the individual to free themselves from their own restraints.

OK, so my 11 Questions to my Nominees are!!

  1. Do you have a particular theme to your writing?
  2. Do you believe in the saying ‘No Regrets’ ?
  3. What is your favourite season and why?
  4. If you could play one character in any television show in the past 10 years who would it be and why?
  5. Also, who would play you in a film about your life?
  6. Do you believe in 2nd chances?
  7. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being High) how do you feel today, explain why?
  8. Do you have a particular routine last thing at night before bedtime?
  9. Is there one thing you know you could never achieve but want to try anyway?
  10. Does true love really exist?
  11. If you were to meet your 10 year old self tomorrow, what is the best piece of advice you could pass on?

So now, here are my 5 nominess for the Liebster Award:

  1. I couldn’t verify if he has 200 followers or less, but I admire his blog so much, his voice and expression through his words is such a refreshing insight into his world – MUAGS , a very calming blog for me.
  2. Ann over at I Must Have Lost My Marbles provides a wonderful blog full of great humour to show us an insight into her world!
  3. Anne’s beautiful photography and well designed layout is definitely worth a visit at Anne’s Imagery blog
  4. Some lovely deeply personal poetry can be found on She Just Wanted Love a beautiful blog.
  5. A great well thought out blog from marta87 over at The Corner of my Imagination , check it out.

One last thank you again to Anne for thinking of my blog and believing it worthy of a nomination!

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A Thank You

I would just like to say a big thank you for all the likes and follows so far on my blog. I only started this last week and it means a lot! When I get my bearings proper on this site then I will begin to thank and comment individually, as I’m still finding my feet on here. Thanks again. Much love.

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First Published Piece

I am due to have a poem I wrote published for the very first time at the end of this month. It will be part of a larger anthology piece entitled “Into The Shadows – A Collection of Poetry”. So unbelievably excited and proud of this achievement.

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