Screamie Wimmin Anxiety

I have a fear and dread of hysterical out of control shouting screamie women. For the past twelve months I have been regularly challenged by women who have, for one reason or another, wanted to scream, shout and attack me. 

My landlady followed me around my home shoutng at me and calling me names. I hadn’t done anything to her. I had merely pointed (again) to the black mould patches.

The fear and anxiety which follows repeated attacks in your own home is vile. It is an occurrence which I have lived with for most of my life. Many women have enjoyed the reaction I have to being under attack.

My doctor cannot help me. I need psychotherapy in order to properly witness the early childhood stuff, in order to find a way to move on.

When you attack me, I crumble inside. When you raise your voice and call me names or put me down, my body has a chemical fight or flight instinct. Except the fight part has never worked properly. I tried many times as a child to hide from my mother and, all trough adulthood, I have feared women who abuse.

Growing up I was told I was too sensitive and should be more able to manage the shouting and name calling. It is only now in peri-menopause that I can even begin to understand that I have a choice here. I have to find a way to deal with bullies. The time has come for me to stand in front of these screamie wimmin and tell them, ‘it isn’t attractive, I think you are disrespecting our sex and if men acted in this way we would put them in jail.’

In order to do anything like that, I have to disengage the ‘flight’ mode of whatever chemical reaction or learned habit it is that happens to me. I cannot avail of psychotherapy because it is too expensive. All I can do is regulate my breathing.

I have a genuine fear of my landlady and she is due to arrive in Scotland from Germany any time soon.

My landlady has a pattern of evicting her tenants in order that she has a wee cottage for her Summer holidays. She would like to evict me rather than repair her property and does not want to do this legally.

Legally, your landlord now has to apply to the courts and state one of twelve reasons for eviction. A solicitor’s Notice to Quit is no longer sufficient.

All my life my home has been under threat. I have been under threat in my own home. And I am not alone. I belong to a community of mothers across the Highlands who are regularly forced into flitting, shifting, starting again and again and again.

How many times in your life have you been homeless?

How many times in your life has someone screamed abuse at you, in your home?

How many times have you felt the threat of losing your home?

I tremble. I stutter. My hands stop working. My eczema returns, with asthma. When you come into my home, my safe place and threaten me, my child, my life then I die inside. When you yell and scream and hurl your toxins at me, I want to leave my body and be as breath on a breeze. You scare me with your poisonous projections. Your anger makes my stomach heave and turn.

The landlady is due to arrive in the country for her holidays.

I am not ready, I do not feel able, but I am going to do it. I am going to stand tall and breathe and face the repulsion and disgust I feel for women who feel the need to yell, scream and abuse others.

 

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The Burnett Law

Here,  on the other side of the fence where truth and kindness are our daily actions, where the war for love blasts our lives relentlessly, Scotland’s housing crisis is robbing me of my previously patient and forgiving stores. Up here in the Highlands, basic housing needs are not being met, and, when challenged, tenants are being regularly punished for attempting to bring their homes up to reasonable standard.

I wish to propose a new law. It will make it illegal for a landlady to punish a tenant for reporting repairs. I want to call it The Burnett Law.

The Burnett Papers is a growing document of emails, reports and witness statements, which I will carry to the first-tier tribunal next week. There is new legislation which has some leverage against absentee negligent landladies and I am making full use of it. When I moved to this house, a previous tenant whispered in my ear. “Document everything” she said. And so I did.

Here in the cheap seats we hold tight to the bits of love we find. We gather close to those with hope still in their eyes. We know the world is turning harder, more full of the love of money as the root of all evil and we do our best to choose love in everything we do. The most loving, the kindest thing I can think to do is to take my landlady to tribunal and document the experience in the hope it gives another woman strength to say no to the never ending intimidation and abuse of landlords towards their tenants.

You are not alone. There are thousands of us every week, bullied out of our homes for asking for repairs. We are not begging for carpets to replace the ten year old bare worn ones. We are not wanting prettier paint for the kitchen. We want warmth. We want clean air to breathe. We want to be safe in our homes, to raise our children.

There are slugs travelling through the wall in the bathroom where the tile fell off. The wall is blackened and fetid. Last year it was re-tiled, in places, to cover the damp. This year, as the house dries out, the tiles are falling off again. My daughter stepped in a slug, in her bare feet, in the middle of the night as she went for a pee.

Sometimes, in the war for love, we have to shout loud and clear. We have to demand better, even when we know the consequences.

I asked my landlady two years ago about the black mould. I asked her again last winter. She did nothing about it. Instead, she began to insult, abuse, disrespect and threaten me. When I showed her the rising damp in the kitchen she yelled and screamed at me that I was a liar. When I directed her to the cupboards where our belongings were destroyed by black mould, she yelled that I was crazy, that no one liked me and that I was just a liar. She reminded me of my mother when I told her the old man was abusing me. She immediately threatened to evict me and has done everything in her power to make life as uncomfortable for me as possible.

Single mothers like me usually stay quiet, for fear of eviction.It is time to stop. It is time for change. it is time the homeless and the landless asked for equality, demanded the love and kindness needed to be able to remain in one home to raise children. Single mothers are a fairly downtrodden sub-class of society, permanently tired, with self esteem issues, just getting by, doing the best we can, for our children. We try not to make a fuss because we are kicked out, moved on, shifted from scheme to estate to village on the whim of the powerful.

There is no insulation in this house I rent and love and call my home. Zero insulation. All heat escapes through the walls or the roof. I am in fuel poverty because of my heating costs. My landlady knows this. She has known about the mould for years. Even with the stoves burning, the radiators running from big orange propane bottles which cost a fortune, plug in heater on full and a dehumidifier, we were still cold all last winter.

I am not alone. This is common practise across the Highlands of Scotland.

This is not a blog for the greedy or the hate filled. This is not a blog for minds poisoned by the need to bully. This is a blog to remind you that you deserve love, kindness and decency in every area of your life, even from your landlady.

 

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Becoming Indie

Self publishing and Indie author sessions

Are you thinking about self publishing? Do you want to be an indie? Are you fed up with the rejection letters from traditional publishers? Have you got a fire in your belly for your book? Are you ready to take control and bring your book to the world?

This is a course for the determined, for those wishing to empower themselves. This is a course for the serious emerging indie, those wishing to develop audiences and those traditionally published authors who want to take control of their backlist

It is common to suppose that you write the book, then your publisher sells it. You imagine your book of beautiful words and pretty sentences will bring thousands of pounds to your bank account and you can just lie back, rest, maybe write another.Unfortunately, this is no longer accurate information. 

Authorship is a business. You become your product and you have to demonstrate to agents, publishers, literary industry and fans that you are worth investing time and effort in.

Audience engagement with your product, before your product is available, is now commonplace. Writers wish for fans as they write, so that there is a market waiting for their book. We engage with our potential readers before our novels are even at first draft. As independent authors and publishers we actively seek out the folk who will enjoy our words, in order that we may one day sell them a book, or indeed, buy a book from them.

There are many questions to consider. In this course you will be examining the nuances of publishing, the etiquette of Twitter, how to find book reviewers. You will learn how to create a book which looks as good, if not better, than a traditionally published one.

  • What will your book look like? Will you design it all yourself or will you ask for professional assistance?

We take time to explore the online world of authors and readers and the many thousands of sites where stories are sold.

We look at the self published books with professional input and we examine the covers, layouts, designs, formatting and ISBNs.

We look at audio books, Amazon Author Central and Kindle Direct Publishing.

Print on demand companies work with indies to help distribute physical copies of your book. Which print on demand company best suits you is subjective and dependent on pricing, benefits and relationship. Building a relationship with your print on demand company is vital.

  • Where do you want to sell your book? Will it look good on a bookshelf? How attractive can you make it? Who will it appeal to?

Some people are simply not comfortable revealing their poet-identities. It takes time for folk to take on the role of indie. Insecurities are the main barrier, in my opinion, to stepping up and publishing your gorgeous stories on your own blog. 

To overcome this, I have been teaching the shy retiring emerging indies to create public personas which they are comfortable with. For instance, one student did not wish to be known as a poet, so I helped him create an alter ego for social media sites. 

Here is an example of an alter ego, or second self, which I created for a client. 

https://nibsnaturenotes.wordpress.com

This is where he can publish rants, insights and wisdoms and fans can engage.

On Facebook he is Nib Doula, with pages called Nib’s Nature Notes

He also has Twitter, Goodreads, Kobo, Pinterest, SmashWords, Google Plus, Instagram and Literary Hub accounts, with audiences of hundreds on each.

I built and connected all these sites. Nib wrote the content.

The content of your blog (eg WordPress) allows potential readers to access your world and you. Audience engagement is vital. I like to win one fan at a time – they are more loyal that way. I ignore the haters and the trolls. I build security systems into blog sites in order that trolls can’t leave their poison.

(For those of you who don’t know, internet trolls are people who need to project negativity by leaving hate speech on your sites. A bit like the sad little man up the road who shouts at everyone because he is feeling angry).

Writing content for blogs is as important as the content of your book and you give it as much consideration. Recording your spoken word pieces and uploading onto You Tube should be done as professionally as possible. The time to publish your blog is when the demographic for your identified target market is likely to be online. For instance, the demographic for Nib Doula’s target market are on line on Sunday mornings, reading blogs they have bookmarked on Friday evening commutes home from work in the city, so I published his rants and poetry at 4pm on Fridays, stayed online to engage with any clickers on any social media site and then recorded the positive reactions by either adding friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and WordPress and collecting email addresses.

These are the rudiments of audience development for writers. There is a whole lot more to learn and many wonderful indies ready to help and assist you.

I teach you how to build the sites, maintain them, link them, and unless you purchase a domain name, your online identity should cost nothing. That’s right. You do not need to spend money on a website. 

  • How does my book get from the print on demand company and onto the bookshelves in shops?

The world of Search Engine Optimisation is the art of tricking the Google algorithm so that your website appears on google search pages. It is aided by Adwords. Amazon have a similar system with categories and keywords. It takes a bit of learning and practice to understand both systems. You will make mistakes, we all do.

  • Do I really need an editor or can my friend do it?

In order to understand all this, and much more, you need to access courses and workshops facilitated by indie writers. I love Joanna Penn and The Alliance of Independent Authors. The Times and The Grauniad also offer self publishing workshops.

I offer online tutorials of two hours duration.

I have found that three sessions of two hours each and even total beginners can build, upload, own, publish, share, comment, engage and feel comfortable with social media, whether as their genuine self or as their alter ego.

Once you have established yourself online and are contributing content to the digital world, you will gain followers. You then have a potential income source. These are the people you sell your book to, and then you encourage them to tell their friends.

I offer online or face to face classes on author branding, SEO,  the costs of self publishing, how to network, how build your author platform, how to find a designer, the types of computer files required for print on demand companies and the type of files needed for Kindle or Kobo or SmashWords.

Payment is £40 for each 2 hour session.

Sessions are online, unless otherwise agreed.

Once payment has been received, I will be in touch to set a date for our first consultation.

The first consultation serves to ascertain your needs and what you want to do with your book. We then build a plan of where to start, we begin creating your author profiles and then I teach you how to find your fans and readers, reviewers, peers, support networks and other Indies, as well as spoken word events, submissions to journals or competitions. Each week you build your skills and knowledge until your book is ready to publish. We then find a suitable launch pad. 

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Becoming Indie

Are you thinking about self publishing? Do you want to be an indie? Are you fed up with the rejection letters from traditional publishers? Have you got a fire in your belly for your book? Are you ready to take control and bring your book to the world? This is a course for the determined, for those wishing to empower themselves. This is a course for the serious emerging indie, those wishing to develop audiences and those traditionally published authors who want to take control of their backlist.

It is common to suppose that you write the book, then your publisher sells it. You imagine your book of beautiful words and pretty sentences will bring thousands of pounds to your bank account and you can just lie back, rest, maybe write another.Unfortunately, this is no longer accurate information. 

Authorship is a business. You become your product and you have to demonstrate to agents, publishers, literary industry and fans that you are worth investing time and effort in.

Audience engagement with your product, before your product is available, is now commonplace. Writers wish for fans as they write, so that there is a market waiting for their book. We engage with our potential readers before our novels are even at first draft. As independent authors and publishers we actively seek out the folk who will enjoy our words, in order that we may one day sell them a book, or indeed, buy a book from them.

There are many questions to consider. In this course you will be examining the nuances of publishing, the etiquette of Twitter, how to find book reviewers. You will learn how to create a book which looks as good, if not better, than a traditionally published one.

  • What will your book look like? Will you design it all yourself or will you ask for professional assistance?

We take time to explore the online world of authors and readers and the many thousands of sites where stories are sold.

We look at the self published books with professional input and we examine the covers, layouts, designs, formatting and ISBNs.

We look at audio books, Amazon Author Central and Kindle Direct Publishing.

Print on demand companies work with indies to help distribute physical copies of your book. Which print on demand company best suits you is subjective and dependent on pricing, benefits and relationship. Building a relationship with your print on demand company is vital.

  • Where do you want to sell your book? Will it look good on a bookshelf? How attractive can you make it? Who will it appeal to?

Some people are simply not comfortable revealing their poet-identities. It takes time for folk to take on the role of indie. Insecurities are the main barrier, in my opinion, to stepping up and publishing your gorgeous stories on your own blog. 

To overcome this, I have been teaching the shy retiring emerging indies to create public personas which they are comfortable with. For instance, one student did not wish to be known as a poet, so I helped him create an alter ego for social media sites. 

Here is an example of an alter ego, or second self, which I created for a client. 

https://nibsnaturenotes.wordpress.com

This is where he can publish rants, insights and wisdoms and fans can engage.

On Facebook he is Nib Doula, with pages called Nib’s Nature Notes

He also has Twitter, Goodreads, Kobo, Pinterest, SmashWords, Google Plus, Instagram and Literary Hub accounts, with audiences of hundreds on each.

I built and connected all these sites. Nib wrote the content.

The content of your blog (eg WordPress) allows potential readers to access your world and you. Audience engagement is vital. I like to win one fan at a time – they are more loyal that way. I ignore the haters and the trolls. I build security systems into blog sites in order that trolls can’t leave their poison.

(For those of you who don’t know, internet trolls are people who need to project negativity by leaving hate speech on your sites. A bit like the sad little man up the road who shouts at everyone because he is feeling angry).

Writing content for blogs is as important as the content of your book and you give it as much consideration. Recording your spoken word pieces and uploading onto You Tube should be done as professionally as possible. The time to publish your blog is when the demographic for your identified target market is likely to be online. For instance, the demographic for Nib Doula’s target market are on line on Sunday mornings, reading blogs they have bookmarked on Friday evening commutes home from work in the city, so I published his rants and poetry at 4pm on Fridays, stayed online to engage with any clickers on any social media site and then recorded the positive reactions by either adding friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and WordPress and collecting email addresses.

These are the rudiments of audience development for writers. There is a whole lot more to learn and many wonderful indies ready to help and assist you.

I teach you how to build the sites, maintain them, link them, and unless you purchase a domain name, your online identity should cost nothing. That’s right. You do not need to spend money on a website. 

  • How does my book get from the print on demand company and onto the bookshelves in shops?

The world of Search Engine Optimisation is the art of tricking the Google algorithm so that your website appears on google search pages. It is aided by Adwords. Amazon have a similar system with categories and keywords. It takes a bit of learning and practice to understand both systems. You will make mistakes, we all do.

  • Do I really need an editor or can my friend do it?

In order to understand all this, and much more, you need to access courses and workshops facilitated by indie writers. I love Joanna Penn and The Alliance of Independent Authors. The Times and The Grauniad also offer self publishing workshops.

I offer online tutorials of two hours duration.

I have found that three sessions of two hours each and even total beginners can build, upload, own, publish, share, comment, engage and feel comfortable with social media, whether as their genuine self or as their alter ego.

Once you have established yourself online and are contributing content to the digital world, you will gain followers. You then have a potential income source. These are the people you sell your book to, and then you encourage them to tell their friends.

I offer online or face to face classes on author branding, SEO,  the costs of self publishing, how to network, how build your author platform, how to find a designer, the types of computer files required for print on demand companies and the type of files needed for Kindle or Kobo or SmashWords.

Payment is £40 for each 2 hour session.

Sessions are online, unless otherwise agreed.

Once payment has been received, I will be in touch to set a date for our first consultation.

The first consultation serves to ascertain your needs and what you want to do with your book. We then build a plan of where to start, we begin creating your author profiles and then I teach you how to find your fans and readers, reviewers, peers, support networks and other Indies, as well as spoken word events, submissions to journals or competitions. Each week you build your skills and knowledge until your book is ready to publish. We then find a suitable launch pad. 

Please use the contact form for any queries and for banking details

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Private Writing Tuition

I have no formal qualification in teaching. Instead I have a gift for it. I have a talent and it has taken me a long time to admit it. Thanks to HI-Arts and Emergents, I benefitted from a fifteen year apprenticeship in novel writing and self publishing. Because of Creative Scotland’s funding for emerging authors, and Scottish Book Trust’s dedication to the book, I managed to attend workshops with Scotland’s finest poet teachers, academics and visionaries. I update and enhance my skills regularly with retreats at Moniack Mhor or similar. I am completing my first draft of novel three and I regularly enter short stories in literary journals, often published. My first novel is called The January Flower and it is available on Amazon (please leave a review).

My attitude to writing novels is that the words and stories should flow from the heart, then be shaped by some learnt techniques. The exercises I teach are not based on deconstruction of famous wordsmiths. I don’t demand clever insightful prose from my students. There is no vast reading list of highly acclaimed geniuses.

I teach you how to pull stories out of the nonsense in your head and then shape them into poems or stories or novels. I teach you how to start writing creatively, with highly creative techniques, exercises and homework.

  • This is a kitchen table/ coffee table service.
  • Payment must be made in advance for this service.
  • Once payment has cleared, I will read your work and offer to meet with you to discuss your needs.
  • Initial appointment lasts one hour, with in depth critique of your work.
  • Cost: £40 per session, payable by bank transfer.

Here are some of the reactions from former students;

“One session with Orla and I haven’t stopped writing since” – Laura.

“Thank you Orla, you really listened to what I needed and gave me the confidence to get published and enter competitions” – Amanda Gilmour.

“Your classes were the highlight of my week” – Viv.

“Thank you for taking the time to read everything I ever wrote and show me ways to put it together” – Christine.

“You are so insightful and patient” – Jake.

“Orla is a sublime and gifted creative writing tutor” – Napier Marten.

I am dedicated to all things writerly. I am interested in your stories and how you wish to tell them and I have years of experience nurturing the curious potential author or poet.

If you have a novel tucked away in a drawer, or the back of your head, please get in touch. If you have a dream of writing the stuff of your lived experience but have no idea how to start, then I may be able to help.

Please use the contact form below for details on how to make payments.

 

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RECLAIM Your Grandmother’s stories with Orla Broderick

Do you yearn to reclaim your family’s secrets, lies and legacies?
Do you wish to restore the old stories Granny told at bedtime?
Did Nana whisper half truths of hidden happenings?

In this course I teach a mindful meditation technique, based in science, to extract the tales of dark times, drama, retribution, resolution and love you have secreted away in the recesses of your brain. I believe understanding and employing a little neuroscience and psychology aids writers to reveal lost or forgotten worlds.
Somewhere in your subconscious unconscious you have stored all the stories you ever knew. I designed this course on the way our brains create neural pathways to process the events of our lives and the way we shape narratives.
The technique is based in both the science of the brain and also Buddhist exercises. It is a new approach into the art of writing. Rather than intellectualising the mechanics of storytelling, you learn how to engage your inherent natural storyteller.
I teach you how to switch off from the dross of daily stressors. You learn how to see, then sit with, then own the stories you hold. This is a technique I call the ‘brain balance’. I lead a mindful mediation, often with sage or candles, to help you build neural pathways into the half truths you heard and the stories you collected from many generations. I teach you how to access your store of language, lived experiences, handed down home remedies and how they came to be. You might cry, you might get angry. You learn to write it out in another technique called the ‘free-write’. The free write is a gorgeous tool creatives have enjoyed for centuries to unlock the stream of pure consciousness. We detach from our inner critic, we switch off our internal editors, we release our intellectual wordsmith from our lives in order that the stuff of dreams, fantasies and inherited story may flow onto paper.
This is neither hypnotism nor an opportunity to wallow in the luxury of creative dreaming. This is a course for writers wishing to work hard writing, re-writing, discussing, inventing, re-writing until the life of a grandmother is written.

In a series of timed writing sketches with props such as vintage images, old maps and sparkly bras, you learn to create depth of humanity. You learn to ground her in the earth of a place, with all the language and culture she needs to be real. You learn how to place dialogue on a page, and why. I show you how to weave plot with home remedies, with tension, with colour, with texture in order that story is art.
You learn why we switch off the brilliant writer and step aside to permit Granny the freedom to tell her tale. Her history is yours to shape and share. The wisdoms, perils, trials, tribulations, battles, passions and actions of your Granny are yours to reclaim, restore, re-tell. By giving her voice, you empower her to reveal her secrets. You become the conduit for her memories.
I have found that students who practice my ‘brain-balance technique’, followed by a free write, as part of their daily writing habit have enhanced their creative flow exponentially.
Participants may work on either a real grandmother or a fictitious one.
This is a twelve week course. Workshops are day-long intensive writing challenges with online critique and Skype sessions. Bookings open on September 1st 2018

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