Thursday, 29 May 2014

Calling all Bloggers, let's make a difference to a little dog's life.

In 2013, Suzanne Yancey a dedicated animal lover and doggie rescuer received a plea for help from a friend in Peru, regarding a dog, who had spent its entire life tied out on a roof in the baking sun.  

This dog was Mako.


Suzanne was able to save Mako and fly him to America, where she was waiting to change his life for the better; however, Mako’s years in the sun had done more damage than Suzanne had anticipated and he was later diagnosed with skin Cancer.

Mako has since undergone the first bout of surgery to try and remove the Cancer in his skin cells; however, they currently have no way of telling if they have successfully caught and removed all of it. 

On top of this, they also cannot be sure how long Mako may live, as they are uncertain how fast the Cancer will spread if the surgery proves unsuccessful.

So why do we need your help?

Mako currently lives with Suzanne and her wonderful collection of rescue dogs, but due to issues Mako has with larger dogs and some smaller more dominate dogs. Suzanne is unable to keep him long term, which means Mako needs to find a forever home.

Given his Cancer and the uncertainty surrounding his life expectancy, as well as his aversion to some dogs, Mako is not the easiest little boy to place. As a result Suzanne needs to reach as many people as possible if she is to have any hope of getting this beautiful boy the forever home he deserves.

Mako is a smart, sweet and incredibly intelligent dog, who loves people and snuggling close to them. He has suffered so much in his relatively short life already and deserves to live out the remainder of his life in a happy, loving home.

Suzanne is asking only 1 dollar for Mako's adoption and a signed contract in order to find him that special place. She is also willing to drive up to 1000 miles from her own home in Langsing MI, in order to up Mako's chances. 

She will also be paying for the the next bout of surgery which will hopefully remove any remaining cancer; however, after this it will be up to his new owner to decide what they want to do with regards to Mako's treatment, should the cancer return. 


Finding Mako a home is a big ask and Suzanne is doing all she can to make it happen, but in order to spread the word about Mako  and make peoples aware of  his story and current search for a new home, she needs help. 

Help we in the blogging community can provide. Maybe together, we can increase his chances of finding that special soul, who will see past his cancer and the question marks that surround his life expectancy in order to give him the home he deserves, so that he can live out the rest of his days in bliss.

If you want to help share Mako’s story please contact Suzanne Yancey at crested@sbcglobal.net

So come on, let’s use our blogs for something good and help find a little dog, his forever home.



Love and hugs Joss xx

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Bridge to haven book review

I waited for the Bridge to haven, by Francine Rivers with baited breath, when I preordered it way back when. The date I would receive it continued to change until after a while I forgot all about it. So when it landed on my doorstep one morning at the beginning of May, I was over the moon.

I have been a huge fan of Francine Rivers ever since I read Redeeming love for the first time over a year ago. She is skilled at developing realistic characters, which are incredibly easy to relate to, because like most of us mere mortals, they are fighting inner battles with self doubt, misunderstanding and often a sense of unworthiness, but her stories are far more than just great characters. They are incredible journeys of self discovery.

In bridge to haven the story begins with a young woman in labour, searching for a hidden place to have her child, it's early in the morning, people are starting to stir and she's fearful of being heard. She heads for the edge of town, see's a bridge that crosses a river and settles for the dark space beneath.

There, the rushing water muffling the young woman's moans, a child is born and there she is left, as her mother hastily covers her with a jumper before fleeing back to car.


             


Now, I'm not one for spoilers, so I'm going to do my best to tread carefully from now and tell you my thoughts. 

First of all the book gripped me from the off and that longing to know more didn't fade as the book went on. 

It was also an  incredibly believable read. At no point did I think, well that's a bit far fetched or a little to convenient, but then I never have, when reading a Francine Rivers book.

As always I loved Francine's characters and her honesty, because she admit at the end of the book that she had an internal struggle of her own, whilst writing, in wanting one of the characters to be too perfect, to good, but of course, she fought the urge and instead made the character in question, human like the rest of us, but no less lovable in my oppinion.

Bridge to haven focuses on the imperfections of each and everyone of us. The mistakes we are destined to make in order to grow, the lows we have to face, the highs we forget all to easily and the defining moments in our lives, that open our eyes so that we may grow.

I loved this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a read that's got a little more substance. 

I'll deffinately be reading it again. 

Love and hugs 
Joss xx






Saturday, 24 May 2014

May in the Solheim household

Well, I promised yesterday, that I would be back again today and posting about what my family and I have been up to, so far this month.

Well May is always a big birthday month in the Solheim household, not just because Dan and I both grow one year older, but because several of our family and friends do too. Including my Nan, my mum and my awesome bestie, Sammy.

So Happy Birthday everyone!!

                            

As you do for birthdays we planned some fun days out. My birthday fell first and Dan took me off on a drive around Cornwall, a magical mystery tour if you will, but it was no ordinary tour, oh no! Dan took me to several of the locations that were the inspiration and settings for some of Daphne Du Maurier's books. Such as the house on the strand and Jamaica Inn. I adore Daphne Du Mauriers work and so I was over the moon with excitement and squealed like a school girl when I saw a sign informing us that we were entering du Maurier country.

It was an amazing day out and a nice reminder to get out more and explore the beautiful county I am so privileged to call home. Gotta love Cornwall. 

For Dan's bday it was a day out to digger land. The weather was glorious and digger land is amazing, especially their stunt show. My mum joined us on this trip and a great day was had by all, even if mum did get a little sick on the Spin-dizzy lol. Feeling sick not actually up chucking you'll be pleased to know. Lol

I did good for pressies too. An awesome very bright and colourful kitchen knife set from the in-law's and this amazing custom cake that completely blew me away.




A Beautiful necklace from my mum, that has a J on the front and proud author Jossie xx, inside.



A great box set of books from Sammy, some money from my Dad and from my hubby and son. Well la few things actually, a years subscription to Grammerly, bless them, an indoor bunny complete with indoor/outdoor run, lots of toys and a soon to arrive playmate, just waiting for the baby bunnies to be big enough to sex, so we don't end up with babies. So until dandelions new playmate arrives, here's Dandelion for you too Awwww over. :)

                               

Also an extra and really special and unexpected gift from my hubby is this: 

                      

Not long after we met my hubby brought me a bracelet exactly like this and every time something special happened in our life he would add a charm. A few months ago. My little terror of a son, got hold of my charm bracelet and in his bid to see how it was all connected together proceeded to completely pull it apart and destroy it. He then hid the broken bits away so that by the time we found it a couple of the charms had been lost; however, most thankfully, were found. Dan, bless him, went above and beyond because he didn't just replace the bracelet, he found one exactly the same asthe one my son had broken and brought it for me. Now all we have to do is take the charms in and get them reattached. How a amazing is my hubby. :) 

So as you can see it has been a pretty great month so far. What about you? Are you having a good May? 

Love and hugs Joss 

P.S. An extra little May giggle for you. Hubby and the Mini quad, it's to funny.

video







Friday, 23 May 2014

I'm back and I have a plan. :)

So, I’m back after a surprisingly short break and though right now I cannot guarantee how regularly I will be posting, I have, in my little break from blogging, come to some conclusions.

Firstly, I seriously need to focus on being productive, while trying harder not to sit around worrying about things I cannot change, such as the situation with BOB.

Yes I am worried about him and the way he is letting his life go right now, but we all have a journey to make and sometimes we have to take a whole lot of wrong turns, in order to find the right ones.

BOB is really racking up the wrongs right now and it scares me and worries me because no matter what I adore him, he is one of my best friends or maybe that’s WAS one of my best friends, I don’t know anymore, but at any rate you can’t just switch off from caring about someone, it doesn’t work like that.

That’s been a huge part of the problem for me of late. I guess I feel like people expect me to no longer care and if I show even a hint of caring for him, I get the whole “look at what he has done to you” speech. 

I know what he has done is bad. I do. I am not delusional about that, but he isn’t well. He is in a really bad place mentally right now and so I figure, to a degree, I have to cut him some slack.

So I have decided, to pray. It’s the only thing I know that I can do for BOB right now, that has any hope of being beneficial. So, I’m gonna give it to God and try to focus on my own life and just hope that one day, BOB will find his way back onto the right path again.

I wish I could say I came up with that idea all on my own, but sadly I did not. I have been reading a book that kind of deals with the subject of bad choices and how sometimes we have to go to a very dark place before we can see the light. I guess God figured I was in need of a bit of a hint and so he popped Bridge to haven by Francine Rivers through my letterbox just when I needed it most. I actually pre-ordered the book ages ago and they kept changing the release date. So I’d pretty much forgotten about it. So Thank you God and Francine Rivers.

So, praying and giving my BOB problems to God is the first step on my list.

Step two, get more focused on real life. I have spent way too many years playing second life and I do love it and it is a good escape, but the last few weeks with my internet being terrible. I have achieved a lot more than normal and feel so much better in myself for it. Including a massive de-clutter of my living room, which has really been a long time coming.

The room looks so much bigger now and far more inviting. Although I still have an old fish tank to get rid of, if anyone wants it.

I think having a clutter free and clean home goes a long way to making you feel better.

On top of that I have started penpaling again which I am really enjoying as well as spending more time with my hubby and son, which has been so much fun and you see that’s the problem with second life. Sometimes you escape so far into a fake world you forget how great the real world is, when you make the effort.

Step three:  get organised.

I have note books and folders everywhere. I need to get more organised and so I have purchased 3 large adorable folders. One for ideas (currently scattered on scraps of paper all over the shop and in note books galore. ) and the other two for notes on my current works in progress. Yep I plan to only have two works in progress on the go at a time and as I can’t bring myself to work on any of the BOB projects, namely those he was helping me with before everything went wrong. I am going to focus on deciding on a new project to begin. Something I hope to find as I am gathering together all my ideas into my new, ideas folder.
Step four: Start Ludo’s service dog training again.

I need something to do that is fun and I love working with Ludo and teaching him new things. I have already started on calming him down and my bestie Sammie is going to help me get him past his nervousness around other dogs, which got really bad after he was charged by two very large ones, whilst out on a walk one day.

I need Sammie’s help with this, as Ludo  just  jumps on the scooter and hides behind my legs, or yanks around the scooter now whenever he see’s dogs coming. Making it very hard for me to help him deal with the situation calmly, plus controlling a petrified dog  and a mobility scooter at the same time is not much fun.
So Sammie is going to take him out for some walks and help boost his confidence with dogs, as well as take him out around town and teach him to greet others calmly, instead of Ludo’s normal approach of,  “OH MY GOD, I DON’T KNOW YOU, BUT I LOVE YOU. LET ME JUMP UP AND GET IN YOUR FACE AND SMOTHER YOU WITH KISSES.”  Which naturally not everyone finds as endearing as Ludo thinks they should. Especially when he is muddy.

Step Five: Get writing, be it doing a prompt, writing exercise or blog post. It doesn’t matter but I do need to get writing again, because the longer I leave it without writing the harder it will be to dive back in later.

        


Well that’s it from me for now, but I’ll be back again tomorrow all going well to tell you a bit more about what I have been up too and possibly introduce you to a new furry friend or two. 

Love and hugs
Joss xx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A break from Blogging

Hi all.
I have decided I need to take a break from blogging and just relax for a while. My head is in a whirl wind and I just need to figure out where I am going from here and what I want to do.

I will be back as soon as I am more with it and know where I am going.

love and hugs all
Joss xx

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Express yourself, Insecure writers support group and What's up Wednesday


The Expresss meme is back after a break during the A to Z blogger challnege month of April.

Hosted by Jackie@ bouquet of books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests  this is a weekly blog hop that allows bloggers to get to know each other better by using their prompt to write a post. This weeks prompt is to take our favourite book, turn to page 89 and share the 8th and 9th sentences.

My favourite book of all time is Redeeming love by Francine Rivers.


Francine is an amazing author, with incredibly well developed characters and beautifully crafted stories. I really related to the main character in redeeming love, who goes by a lot of names but primarily Angel, because like her I doubt my self worth and have at times believed that the bad things life was offering me, where all I deserved.

I could read this book over and over again and I cannot say that about to many books. So let's open it up and find, page 89 and the two sentences required for this prompt.

Here they are:
"Could you stop long enough for a talk?"
"not this time."

These two sentences really don't do the book justice so below I include the books blurb and some awesome quotes from the book itself. Enjoy!

Back cover blurb:

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.  Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael Hosea obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does…the One who will never let her go.  A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love. Over 1 million copies sold!

Brilliant quotes from Redeeming love:

“...for some of us, one mile can be more to walk than thirty.” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

“I want you to love me. I want you to trust me enough to let me love you, and I want you to stay here with me so we can build a life together. That's what I want” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

“my love isn't a weapon, it's a lifeline, reach out and take hold, and don't let go!” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

“Mara, that's the life I want to give you. That's what I'm offering you. I want to fill you life with color and warmth. I want to fill it with light. Give me a chance” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

“As gentle a man as he was, as tender as was his heart, there was nothing weak about Michael Hosea. He was the strongest-minded man Joseph had ever met. A Man like Noah. A Man like the Shepherd-king David. A man after God's own heart.” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

“You said go to her, and I let pride stand in my way. You said she needed me, and I didn't believe. You said love her, and I thought it would be easy.” 
― Francine RiversRedeeming Love

Okay so now for my insecure writers support group part of this post.


The Insecure Writers Support Group was set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh for all of us writers, as a way of sharing our insecurities around our writing and getting some moral support. If you would like to take part too, or wish to show writers support, you can do so here.

My insecurities at present regarding my writing pretty much have me frozen in space. I have three novels that are completely to first draft, but I can't decide where to go from here and am tempted just to start another which I know is probably a bad idea.

Having not long lost my editor and being Dyslexic, I am nervous to edit alone. Yes, I have worked hard to improve my spelling and grammar, but I know that my Grammar is really still not up to scratch. I have signed up to the Grammarly site and paid for the service, but still I am nervous about going it alone when it comes to my editing.

My first book Insane Reno, despite getting good reviews isn't exactly selling great and I know it is because I am useless at self promotion.

I watch writers constantly pushing their work and think I need to do that. Yet, I cannot bring myself to actually follow through. It stems from my doubts about my first chapter. I wasn't happy with it but I let friends and my editor push me to publish before I was ready.

Even getting a publishing deal relatively easily does not help ease my worries, because so far my publisher doesn't appear to be that great, not when I look at what others publishers are doing for them. I mean quite literally he has done nothing beyond posting on the publishing page about the book and twitter a couple of times.

I am starting to wonder if I am really cut out to be a professional writer and really wish at times that I had kept my writing just for me and just for fun.

As I am frequently left feeling not good enough. Frequently looking at all the things other new authors are achieving and thinking I am not cut out for this.

I would be so much better as a reclusive author, but they no longer seem to exist. Everyone seems so out there and so much more organized than myself.

In short I feel I am stuck in a rut that I can't claw my way out of.

I hope everyone else is doing better than me right now.

hove and hugs.



What's up Wednesday is run by the lovely Jaime Morrow and her sister Erin L.Funk. You can check out their blogs by clicking their names. It's a really simple blog fest. Each week we answer the questions below and you get to learn a little about what we are up to.
  1. WHAT I'M READING
  2. WHAT I'M WRITING
  3. WHAT INSPIRES ME, RIGHT NOW
  4. WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
So let's get started. 

What I'm reading:

Fighting for Infinity by Karen Amanda Hooper.

I am struggling with this one and it is turning into a slow read. Karen Amanda Hoopers, Sea monster memoirs was a hit with me from the start and I adored it, but the Kindrily series has been okay, but hasn't really gripped me in the same way.  I may have to go back and re-read the whole series once she has finished the sea monster memoirs because my longing for more of those may have clouded my judgement of these. This is the big downside of an author writing two series at once. If you love one more than the other, you almost kind of resent the one you don't like as much every time it stalls the writing and release of the next book in the series you do love.

What I am writing:

Pretty much just blog posts of late. I have The first drafts for three books complete, but I am stuck in a rut and can't decide where to go from here. My instinct is to start another one but that is due to cowardice. No longer having my editor and just the grammarly software to help me has left me a nervous wreck.

What inspires me right now:

My husband, he works so hard and is always there for us. He is such a big inspiration and I am so lucky to have him in my life.

What else I've been up too:

Well we are renovating our bathroom at the moment, that's something good that is going on but mainly things have been pretty rough since my last What's up Wednesday. A friend past away and another friend ended up in the psych ward. So it's not been the easiest time, but I am starting to brighten up a bit now.

Well that's it from me
love and hugs all
Joss xx

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Subway’s, what are you doing?



So recently it hit the news that Subway’s were using  azodicarbonamide in their bread rolls. Which as I understand it is a type of rubber.

What was concerning about this, is the belief that it can cause  asthma and skin complaints as well as increasing the risk of cancer when used in cooked foods.

While Subway’s say they are now ensuring this is removed from their rolls, there is little comfort , as it can still be found in a lot of other processed foods.

Given the common occurrence of this substance, I could have forgiven Subways for the mistake; however, recent Subway choices have left me feeling alienated from the brand completely.

I have always enjoyed a good Subway’s melts, but hearing that a large number of subway’s stores are banning ham and Bacon from the menu, due to complaints from Muslims in the UK has left me fuming.
Why must Brits suffer because of the beliefs of a religious group who has chosen to reside here? In my opinion if you move to another country, you should respect that countries culture and beliefs. If you can’t do that, then don’t move here. It’s that simple.

Now that isn’t to say you cannot have your religion or follow it, you can. Just don’t try to force it on the rest of us, which is exactly what is happening with Subways right now.

It worries me that there is already a strong distrust and hatred for Muslims in the UK and things like this only increase that hatred.  A company trying to satisfy all its customers’ requirements is not, a bad thing, but Subways is not doing this. It is satisfying only its Muslim customers. Surely there is a way that both Muslims and Brits alike can be satisfied, where halal meat can be sold as well as bacon.



Yes, I know that Muslims worry about cross contamination and that not eating pork is incredibly important to them, but there surely must be a way for Subway’s to make it work in everyone’s favour. Perhaps a separate counter in their stores which only serve Halal meat, with members of staff, who only work on that counter and storage area’s specifically for the Halal meat.

I know this would result in extra costs, but surely it would have less damage than the customer losses of switching completely to Halal meat.

You only have to look on the internet now to see that huge numbers of people are opening slating Subway’s for this decision as well as making it clear that they will no longer be purchasing Subway products and this is not just those based in the UK. People in other countries not effected by the decision are also refusing to eat Subway’s, fully aware that Subway’s could take steps to make this a reality in stores all over the world, if they believe it to be successful here in the UK.

So what’s your opinion, is this political correctness gone mad or a good decision by Subway’s? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Love and hugs
Joss xx


                     

Monday, 5 May 2014

Psychometry in creative writing.

                           
Have you heard of Psychometry? Psychometry is the process of taking an object and picking up images, sounds and a sense of where it has been, what it has seen and the life it has led, simply through holding it and reading its energy.

 It's a subject that has intrigued me for a while and  as a result Tizzy, in my book Insane Reno, actually uses the process at one point, to try and reveal the past of her somewhat spooky new home.



Like Tizzy, when I use Psychometry, I can never be sure if what I am seeing is real or simply the work of my over active imagination. Which brings me to my point. Psychometry is great for creative writing.

Take any object no matter how mundane, hold it and see what pops into your mind, where has it been, what has it seen. From doing this I have developed some great story ideas and I have used everything from an old fashioned wardrobe key to a oily penny to garner ideas.

So here's a bit of a challenge for you. Find an object. It can be anything really, just something that speaks to you and intrigues you. Take it in your hands, close your eye's and let your imagination run wild.  Once your done, write down what you saw, pop it on your blog and leave a link in the comments below, or just pop the whole thing into the comments if you prefer.

I'd love to see what you come up with and if you found the process enjoyable or useful. Remeber you can use anything, be it an old wooden beam in your family home, like Tizzy, or a penny or maybe even a tatty old bear.

                       


Have fun with it and let your mind and your creative Juices run wild.

Love and hugs Joss xx



A to Z reflections 2014

So here is May, in fact we are a few days into may now and A to Z challenge is done, dusted and a pleasantly fading memory. I say pleasantly for although I loved doing it, April was a difficult month for me emotionally and there were times when I really didn't think I would be able to complete the challenge. 

Had it not have been for the people waiting so patiently for their dogs to go up, or the rescue charities that I had promised to feature, I would have bailed out for sure. 

It wasn't the most successful A to Z challenge for me and that is because you get out of A to Z what you put in and I really wasn't up to putting much in this year, due to the loss of a close friend who sadly passed away and the mental break down of another. 

I will at some point try to get around to checking out others posts, but I am still not quite up to that yet. Although I am back to reading everyone's current posts and commenting as well. 

I hope your A to Z challenge went as you hoped. I doubt I will be participating in the A to Z in the future, this year has left me far to drained, but never say never right. 

Love and hugs all 
Joss xx

Active blogging

There has been so much going on in my life of late that blogging has taken a bit of a back burner. I keep posting but I'm not fully throwing myself into the process.

This morning I was scanning facebook and it hit me that I spend more time scanning quite a lot of standard everyday post about peoples day than I do reading far more interesting blog posts and why? How did I become one of those people who trawls through boring facebook post repeatedly throughout the day despite the fact that I do find it boring.

It's time to switch my facebook habit into a blogger habit and so from now on I shall be heading for blogger instead of facebook when ever I get that browsing urge.

It's time to become an active blogger again.

love and hugs Joss xxx

Friday, 2 May 2014

Pet me Meow, what a great idea!

I've been keeping an eye open for interesting things to talk about on my blog and while browsing facebook today, I came across the Pet me meow, promotion video. 

As I watched I was amazed by what I was seeing and hearing about. Basically Jeff and Ashkan are trying to set up a cat cafe where people can go eat, drink, play board games and video games ect, while playing and enjoying the company of cats. Better yet they are working along side a local cat rescue. So the cats at the cafe, will all be cats in need of loving, forever homes. 

They are looking to raise funds to set up Pet me meow in Toronto, but they are apparently other cats like this around the world also. Include one in London. WOW!!

With so many animals in need of homes the world over. Is this perhaps a new and improved way of helping Animals and potential owners, not only get to know each other, but find their perfect match? I hope so. 

Watch the video below and let me know what you think? 





past the point of breaking

The whole of April was a real struggle for me and I'm still not back on my feet just yet, but I am working on it.

Last night; however, I hit a real low and I did something that I haven't done for, I dunno, eight or nine years now. I cut myself.

Self harm was something I used to struggled with really badly, it was a release, a way to feel human, to feel something solid in the periods of my life where I was struggling to make sense of the mad rush of emotions that were bombarding me.

I let myself down, my husbands and my friends last night, by allowing myself to reach the point where I needed that again and by not being strong enough to push through it without the release that self harm brings.

I just feel lost right now and I am not sure what to do or where to go from here. I feel like a terrible person for ousting BOB from my life when his depression is so bad. I feel like I have let him down, but I wasn't strong enough to cope with what he was doing to me and his other friends. To cope with watching him destroy his life.

I know he believes that by doing the things he is doing he is finding himself, but he is not. It is just another way for him to hide and I know if he continues to hide, he'll never truly find himself.

I hate letting people down. I hate letting him down, but I don't know how to help him and I am not sure anyone can. I think he needs to figure it out for himself and I can't stand there and watch him destroy himself, because it has been destroying me in the process.

Well this song song by Cher, pretty much says more than I can right now. So I am going to let her put into words what I am struggling to express.

Thanks for reading
love and hugs Joss xx


Thursday, 1 May 2014

false friends and never ending lies

Hello everyone,
Some of you may have noticed that though I continued to post throughout A to Z, I wasn't doing much else. I feel terrible for this and I will get around to visiting everyone's blog's and reading their posts, especially those who took the time to comment on mine, but April has been a rough month for me and had it not have been for all the people who were looking forward to me posting about their dogs, I would have bailed out of the A to Z all together.

Now that A to Z is over I wanted to take the time to explain just what has been going on.

I told you during A to Z that one of my friends had passed away and that another had been admitted to a psychiatric ward due to depression.

While he was on the ward, I was naturally unable to hear anything from him and his family, who are far from the nicest people in the world, were unwilling to tell me or any of his other friends anything.

This friend, has been my friend for almost 5 years now, I shall call him BOB so things don't get confusing. I believed that I knew BOB very well. I also thought that once he was out he would contact me straight away; however, I was wrong in this assumption. He didn't contact me until he had been out for a while and then chose to do so at 2 am in the morning. I put it down to the medication that he was on. As when I did talk to him he didn't sound all that with it. It didn't stop it hurting though, because I had been struggling to sleep and spending a lot of time very emotionally rung out, worrying about him.

When BOB did start contacting me again everything was different. He was constantly using his depression to make me feel guilty.

He was treating me and his other friends like dirt and when you tried to point out that his treatment of people was not fair he would instantly say I am just trying to figure out who I am, I am thinking about me. That's all well and good but you don't do that by hurting the people who are trying to be as supportive of you as possible.

In short he became someone I didn't know any more. He started running around on the game second life as a girl, going to nudist beaches which was something he had done before real life but which he had told me he now thought of as wrong, up until he started to do it again.

He was lying to people left, right and centre and just being out and out rude to all of his friends.

Now to give you a little more background, when I first met BOB I was a very different person than I am now. I was very social and I dressed like most people my age, not afraid to show a little skin, but never completely naked. I also swore quite a bit and had a lot of friends who had issues and weren't always perfect that I stuck by just as I have been sticking by BOB, because I know no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

BOB made me feel terrible for the things I wore, using God, to scare me into changing pretty much everything about myself and whenever I was there for people he didn't like he would use his depression to guilt me into spending more time with him and less time with my other friends. He would constantly tell me how he wished he was dead and made me feel as if I had to be with him all the time, or he might kill himself.

In my desperate bid to keep him from harm and knowing that at that time I was his only real friend I devoted far more time to him than I should have and in the process neglected not only my other friends but my husband too. While BOB continued to make me feel bad about myself. some of his favourite things to say were:

 You shouldn't swear you will never be a professional author if you swear.  ( to be clear I like most adults was aware of what situations were not suitable to strong language and which were not.)

You shouldn't dress like that, you attract the wrong attention. (when really he just didn't want me attracting any attention, because he didn't want me talking to anyone but him)

You need to lose weight.

I don't want you talking to them, I don't trust them, they are trying to turn you against me. (this was about people who had never said a bad word about BOB.)

Last night things all came to a head. When he was incredibly cruel to a friend who had, like myself, tried to be supportive of him and all his new experimentations. Myself and Smithy went to spend some time with BOB and found him naked on a virtual beach on sl, as both myself and Smithy have young children we asked BOB if he would mind putting some clothes on encase they came in. To which he clad himself in a tiny bikini which left nothing to the imagination, as did his friend, who like him was a man playing a woman on Second Life.

This made things very awkward for me and Smithy but things only got worse. BOB trying to impress his new friend had no time for either Smithy or myself and this morning I also found out that he was telling a pack of lies to that friend in private chat about both of us.

I have suffered from depression myself, but it does not make you treat people the way that BOB is and I am really only giving you the very tip of the iceberg here, because despite all that he has done, I do not wish to hurt him or bad mouth him to others. So I am trying to only cover the more minor stuff here, just to give you some degree of what has been going on.

On top of this he insulted my husband and Smithy's partner. Our partners have struggled with us contining to be friends with BOB give his treatment of us both, but they have not aired their feelings about BOB to him, they have instead, stayed away from him and respected mine and Smithy choice to continue to try and support BOB regardless of his treatment of us.

 As this month has gone on more and more lies have been made clear, when it comes to BOB. Including the fact that he has been telling people my life story and claiming it as his own.

It has been such a complicated situation, and I have tried to stand by BOB because he has helped me with a lot of things in the time I have known him, including helping give me the confidence to get my book published and supporting me through the death of one of my best friend, when I had not long know BOB. I feel terrible for walking away from him but his controlling behaviour, lies and  recent treatment of all of his friends has left me feeling very low. I cannot change anything about myself or walk away from my other friends any more in order to try and keep him happy. I feel that BOB needs help that I cannot give him and hope that by walking away from our friendship he will think about his actions and get the help he needs as well as be more honest with his therapist, friends and family.

To BOB, who I am certain will read this, I have this to say.

I love you to pieces and I always will, but I can't continue to allow you to try and control me or guilt me for having other friends when you do not. I have always introduced you to all my friends, not only on second life, but real life also and they have always tried to be friendly and welcoming to you. You have said yourself many times that you are a difficult person to get along with and not everyone is as tolerant as I am of the sometimes hurtful things you say and do. I am sorry for that, but I cannot control others and would not want to.

I have tried very hard to support you through all of this but your treatment of me and others has become too much and is now effecting my own mental health.
On top of that I cannot continue to sit there and listen to you insult my husband. I know you cannot relate to him as you are a very different person too him, but he is a good man, with a good heart, who works hard to support his family and who is an amazing Dad. I do not need to hear how you would not encourage boisterousness in Kye if he was your child, because he is not your child. He is mine and Dan's child and we will raise him as we see fit and I'm sorry but I do not believe that a father play fighting with his child and playing silly games is bad. Especially given how much Kye adores his father and loves those silly games.

I would be grateful also if you could stop passing yourself off as me, by giving people my life story as your own. If you want to build lasting friendships it is best to be yourself and not to try to be things you are not, because no one can keep that up forever. Lies have a way of being found out, just as many of yours have been recently.

I wish you all the best in life and hope you find what you are looking for, but sadly I cannot be a part of your journey any longer.

Love and hugs
Joss xxx