A boy called Tracey

bean the younger

When I was boy I was free to be.

A shopkeeper asked, ‘Alright, sonny?’

They laughed.

For I was a girl.

I was Tracey.

A tomboy.

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Short hair, cords, my bike another limb.

Climbing trees, scabby knees,

Scaletric and Subbuteo.

Star Wars and Pac-Man.

A pocket full of string and things.

They put me in a dress on Sunday.

I sulked.

Waiting to be boy again.


When I grew hips and boobs – always bumped and bruised.                        

They took me to get my first bra,

Imprisoned in a tight piece of fabric.

I took it off.

I couldn’t embrace Woman.

She was uncomfortable and awkward. 

Quiet and shy.

She stole my boy.



I wore my hair in spikes to keep

everyone away from her.

The one with monthly blood and armpit hair,

The stealer of dreams.

I mourned for boy.                                                                       

When I was free – to be.


But I couldn’t hold back the rise of Woman, however hard I tried.

She swallowed me up,

And spat me out.

I tried lipstick and eyeliner.

It felt too weird.

All those blossoming figures.

I hid mine under over-sized shirts and baggy trousers.

A tobacconist asked, ‘Are you 16 Sonny?

‘I’m 18. Oh, and by the way – I’m a girl. (Tosser!)’


Listening to Led Zeppelin and Sinead.

They called me Bean.

Bean was me.

An artist,

A thinker,

A dreamer,

An adventurer,

A Stiney lovin’ kindred spirit.


A guitar playing, moss hugging, castle sketching, jolly japing, journal writing, tarot reading, car singing, tea drinking, late night dancing, stoke the fire til sunrise and talk til we pass out, lover of life!

And a sometimes slightly moody Beanie.


Quietly brooding,

Tick tock,

Holding it in.

Breathing through the shifting tides.


Then a Mother.

With shaved head and dungarees.

Feet in the Earth and head in the clouds,

Daughters in dresses.

Twirly whirly, sequins, with stain laces.

We dance to the Spice Girls and paint our nails.



Sending out shoots.

Twisting and curling,




A Woman who was once a boy called Tracey

A Woman who is free – to be.

me girls


Changes – David Bowie


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A Piece of Me


The toils of Man

The spoils of Man

The twisted coils that blind the Man.

A bird without wings

Dreams of flight,

A bear without claws

Powerless to fight.

When shadows rise up like a wall

Boundaries crossed

Childhood lost

Family pulled and pulled.

And home – home is a fragile word

A finely woven girdle of roots

A gossamer veil lost to the wind

A small breath released

Yet never inhaled

‘Run away child – run while you can!’

You hear the Earth whisper,

‘You are, my Husband, my Wife

My Brother, my Sister.

I am your home, wherever you roam.’

Fingertips searching

A trinket hidden in your pockets deep

Buried like bones

Together we weep

We grieve

Of what was not to be,

Of ‘Once upon a times,’ and ‘Long, long agos.’

You can take a piece of me.

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Writer, may I introduce you to Artist

This week, I’ve been struggling to visualise Sylvie in my current WIP, ‘The Lost Song’. She’s been a bit of a blur, not settling in my minds eye.

While she appears as a silver Maine Coon cat in this world, in another world she’s a teenage girl.

My artist self instinctively reached out for a pencil and a sketch pad, and within a few hours and many drafts, Sylvie started to come though, and with her came a sense of clarity.

I don’t know why I haven’t ever really introduced the Writer and the Artist together before. Until now they have been working independently to one another, often they are happier that way – they can be solitary birds sometimes.

However, I’m kind of hoping they may wish to become more acquainted from now on. It has inspired me to sketch other characters and scenes within The Lost Song.

The meeting of writer and artist could prove to be most fruitful indeed!

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I Wonder, I Wander


Thoughts are like jumping beans. They do not work logically from A to  B – linear, as you would expect. Instead they take us through tight spaces and over prickly bushes, under the deepest darkest blankets, eventually arriving at some kind of conclusion.

As Mr Tolkien once said, ‘Not all those who wander are lost,’ often wandering is the surest way to find enlightenment. There is something that happens to the thought process when you walk and talk at the same time. The act of involving your limbs seems to bring forth new ideas and find ways of resolving problems. I wonder if our logical minds are so busy with the physical body that our thoughts are free for a moment to wander about and play, like children set loose in a forest.

So, if you find yourself stuck in a tricky situation, take yourself out for a wander and listen to your thoughts.

Writing needs a little nudge every now and again. Often our logical minds get too involved in a story and start to confuse things. In my experience writing is not a logical process. It is thought in its purest form, so it’s very messy indeed.

I feel that my job as a writer, is to allow my thoughts to wander, to take me into those sticky situations, those deepest darkest places. And I will follow and listen as they talk. Taking note of their wisdom.

I wonder if  thoughts come from our hearts, not our heads.

Which is why we have crazy thoughts sometimes, ones that our logical minds have to work really hard to rationalise. And if they can’t, the thoughts are dismissed.

A writer takes those thoughts, those waifs and strays, and nurtures them. Breathing life into those weird and wonderful misfits, giving them a voice.

Which in turn is why a reader gains so much pleasure from being led into another world. It’s a direct connection with thought.

A connection to our heart’s desire.

I wonder.


I wander.

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The Briar and The Mouse


On reflection – all things said,
I should take heed where my feet tread.
Off the beaten path they roamed
Far from comforts of my home.
They led me to a patch of briar,
That really was not my desire.
It snagged and caught me in its trap,
My mouth did scream, my arms did flap.
It was no use. My cries were futile,
When, before my eyes a wee mouse did pootle.
‘Help me,’ I gasped, ‘I think I’m stuck!’
The mouse replied, ‘What rotten luck.
You know, you should not fight and struggle.’
Then the mouse hopped over and gave me a cuddle.
My body relaxed where I was braced,
His little arms wrapped round my waist.
With my tiny friend right by my side
I breathed though the pain. I laughed, I cried.
Through the pressing doom and gloom,
I saw red roses start to bloom.
The thorny stems about all loosened,
Which brought me to this neat conclusion:
If ever I’m bound by my own resistance
It’s okay to ask for a little assistance.
And the mess in which I often tangle,
May not seem so bad from a different angle.
So, next time my feet they do wander,
Of that bothersome briar I shall but ponder.
Not to struggle against its painful hold,
But relax and let the mess unfold.
For beauty lies in the strangest of places,
And comfort is found in the tiniest embraces.

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Plastic Sea

A polymer tide touches the shore
Finally Llyr can take no more.
Riding the breaking waste
Of bottles, rubber soles, bags displaced
Things of no consequence that nobody needs,
Or that never should have taken seed.
Llyr rages like thunder, “What have you done?
You’ve littered the Land with your things by the tonne,
Now you dare to discard what you no longer crave
And leave it to rot in a watery grave.
But rot it does not, for billions of years
This stuff won’t simply disappear.
Enough of this nonsense – it’s time to stop!
You can’t bury your crap in my world – you cannot!
It’s strangling and tangling the whales and the turtles
Suffocating them, filling their bellies with nurdles.
Particles of petrochemical waste
Leaves a decidedly nasty aftertaste.
Within the folds of time Mankind is young
Like a child you’re still learning your right from your wrong.
But I think you forgot
(or perhaps you’re losing the plot?)
I’ll remind you: you’re a visitor – nothing more
It’s not right to destroy what is not rightly yours.
So, please, Mankind, hear my warning – take heed
Or we’ll all drown in your shitty convenience greed
In your rubbishy, self-inflicted pollution
Put your heads together NOW and find a solution!’
LLyr disappeared beneath the sea of plastic
Muttering, ‘This situation couldn’t get more drastic.’
A polystyrene cup floats by on the swell
‘Will the fools listen – I guess time will tell.
Their actions will decide their fate
So they’d better act now, before it’s too bloody late.’

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The Little Things


I resolutely resolve to not try and change a thing about myself during the next year and instead quietly enjoy my small moments of achievements.

Why must I feel bad for not losing that extra stone in weight that I’ve been carrying for that last six- years? Or for not working harder – or not cleaning out my fridge!

We’re all quite good at disappointing ourselves for not reaching our goals and not so good at congratulating ourselves for the smaller and more subsequently far braver things that we do on a daily basis.

We might take time out of a busy day to enjoy a quiet moment, despite the disapproval it might receive, and still manage to feel bad about it, or politely decline a request to do something (after all, it’s okay to say no) and feel guilty that we’ve let somebody down. Instead, why can we not look upon these things as positive actions of self-preservation and give ourselves a pat on the back?

So, this year, lets congratulate ourselves for the small things we do manage to do, rather than burden ourselves with unrealistic expectations.

I should’ve been working on my novel this morning, but instead i’ve been pondering and writing this post.


I’ve just written 208 words this morning before the day has begun. Good on me!

Small achievements should never go unnoticed.

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Mash Stories Shortlist

Yippee! One of my short stories has just made it onto the Mash Stories Competition Shortlist!

Mash Stories is a competition where writers can submit a short 500 word story which must include the three randomly selected words. This time it was Mug, Happiness and Converter

When I first discovered this competition last year, it caused a bit of a stir among members of my writing group. Mainly because once you submit your story it goes off to the judges to be considered for the shortlist. You then get feedback from the judges on your writing: why it didn’t make it through, things to improve or change.

When you write, feedback from a neutral source is such a valuable thing. So quite a few members of our group entered and some were shortlisted one actually went on to win that round, he then became a Mash Stories judge (as did another member of our group).

I’ve entered seven stories in total – this is the first one to be shortlisted!

Needless to say I feel I have reached a happy milestone.

To read The Last Wish, follow this link:

The Last Wish

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The Moment


Once upon a time a moment was born.

It waited patiently for someone to acknowledge its existence – but sadly, the moment was always missed.

Until one day, someone a bit like you, reached out and grasped the moment passionately with both hands.

‘Why do you seize me so?’ the moment asked.

‘Because you are precious,’ someone replied.

And the moment, feeling so utterly appreciated by someone, became golden.

The golden moment, shared its radiant glow with someone, until they both felt contentment, making every other moment, they had ever experienced, however dull and insignificant seem worthwhile.

‘Yes,’ the golden moment whispered to someone.

And, in return, someone smiled a knowing smile.

Together they lingered, knowing only peace, until eventually the golden moment passed, becoming a beautiful memory, caught in the edges of someone’s smile- twinkling like a star in someone’s eye.

Someone – a bit like you.

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Winner of the Writers & Artists Killer Fiction competiton

A month ago, I entered the start of a crime novel I’ve been working on, ‘Golden Hour’, into a crime/thriller competition run by Artists & Writers.

Now, i’ve entered quite a few competitions over the last year, so I wasn’t expecting to actually win!

Not only was my story chosen by agent, Diana Beaumont above hundreds of others, but I also got the chance to attend the ‘Writing Crime and Thriller Fiction conference’ last month in Bloomsbury house. It was great day, packed with information on writing crime fiction.

I have had great feedback on my novel so far – which has been a welcome boost to my confidence as a writer.

So, for now, I now plan to continue with ‘Golden Hour’ with a view to submitting to agents next year…watch this space!

If you would like to read my winning entry, follow this link:


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