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The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


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Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com

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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sudden Crash ...

One minute you're riding the crest of a wave.  Things have been going well with regard to getting the book into stores ... but now the real test comes - will the general public buy the book?

I decided that I can't put any more energy into that side of things now as it's getting stressful.  I can recognise the signs in myself nowadays and have pulled back a bit.  I have to be clear about the fact that while I need the book to sell to make the whole project work, I can't risk losing my coping mechanisms (poetry and photography) as casualties to materialism.  The consequences would be dire for me if that happened.  I struggle as it is getting from day to day.  Sometimes it's all I can do to just check emails and stuff.

I distracted myself yesterday and today by seeing what's happening in my garden.  I found quite a few ladybirds around my shed - and among them, three different species of ladybird having a mixed race orgy ... confirmation that spring is in the air.

The leaves seem to be coming late this year though and there are less garden birds.  Maybe they're feeding in other gardens :o)  So far I've seen the odd coal tit, blue tits, robins, starlings, pigeons, blackbirds, a wren and those pesky squirrels! 

Squirrels are a brilliant example of animal intelligence, they certainly leave some humans behind in their ingenuity when it comes to raiding the bird feeders.  I found the bird feeding station toppled over sideways the other day.  I ended up securing it with guide ropes to stop it happening again.  The station is about 7ft tall and I had put barbed wire around the stem pole to deter the grey squirrels but they just used the various strands as steps to get to the goodies.  I changed tactics by removing the barbed wire and applying engine grease to the main pole.  I haven't seen a squirrel anywhere near the pole since.  Fair's fair though, I do leave them some food in other places.

I still have to process some photos from Dunkerque and Amsterdam.  It seems such a long time since I sorted out a batch of shots.  I might sort them out tomorrow.

Time for some more games of scrabble on Facebook!

Night

Wolf

Sunday, 28 March 2010

The back held out!!!

What a month!  First 4 weeks of the highest pain level I've experienced in my neck and shoulder for a little while now and then after getting that sorted the lower back plays up.  It was going into spasm and then locking up with pain.  I got it under control though and had a good dance tonight.

I left early though as I didn't want to push it too much.

The book stuff's going well.  49 Waterstones stores have 'Words of a Wolf' in store now and the reviews are up to 9.  I'm really touched by the words that have been left by people that have read the poems.  Start buying folks, the project needs you.  I've approached Barnes & Noble in the USA to see if they're interested in stocking the title.  Keep your fingers crossed for me?!  Thanks for that link Mat :o)

I'm looking forward to Easter now as I get my kids over for a few days.  They want to eat some lovely, spicy food and play monopoly!  Must be the genes I passed on.

Tonight the wolf is smiling.

good night  :o)

Wolf

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cuadros - Tim Lee Exhibition 26th March - 9th April 2010

Hi Folks the above exhibition is taking place at the Cuadros Gallery on 1A Heathcoat Street, Hockley, Nottingham.  NG1 3AF.

Copies of 'Words of a Wolf' will be available at the gallery for the price of £6.99.

If you live in the Nottingham area, pop in see some great art and support the project by buying a book?

Cheers

Wolf

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran is the first stage of a larger project with the following aims:

1) To raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans.

2) To show how beneficial creative activities such as photography & poetry can be when used as coping mechanisms for PTSD

3) To sign-post veterans to organisations that can help them and their families.

4) To put on a national exhibition of my work and raise more awareness of PTSD - using some of the funds raised from my book.

An extract from the foreword:

'In his writing you'll find a rawness and honesty that we're not used to in society, as well as some uncomfortable truths. Stick with it though because the reward is a deeper understanding of the lives of ex-servicemen and women – about what can happen when the parades are over and the uniform comes off but the damage is still there. It will give you an insight into their relationships and family dynamics too, and maybe why so many of them fall apart.'

The book is currently available from Waterstones and Wolf Photography. Some copies are also available from 'Combat Stress' and Best of Books, Edmond, OK, USA.

I am hoping that the exhibition will start in about 18 months time. There is a lot to plan and a lot to research with regard to finding venues that are sympathetic to the cause. So far the following agencies have signed up to have their banners on display at the exhibition: The Veterans Agency, The Royal British Legion, Combat Stress and Help 4 Heroes. I’m hoping that we can reach veterans and their families via the exhibition and raise more awareness of PTSD, how it affects Veterans and their loved ones and how the Veterans can get help and support and perhaps also give them space to consider whether taking up some form of creative art or therapy would give them a coping mechanism.  I'm also hoping that we can raise some money for the charities named above by way of collection boxes.

So far the book has sold in the following countries:  Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Scotland & Wales.

If you'd like to know which Waterstones stores currently have the title in stock, please click here.

I hope you will buy a copy and help to support this project.  I've posted the customer reviews below. 

Regards

Wolf

Customer Reviews


Overall rating:
4 out of 5
Ams, Canada

A different view of a two-legged wolf
20 March 2010

My father had PTSD. I have PTSD. If you have made it this far, go ahead and buy this book. Proceeds will help fund a national poetry and photography exhibition.

This book has given me personal insight into the mind of a man, a father, a partner, a soldier and a police officer...a human being suffering for having done what he could to follow 'the rules' to help and protect others. This book helped bring me healing. I am very thankful these words were written and published alongside the photos.

While PTSD affects not only verterans, the fact remains that many troops will be coming home soon, creating an even more widespread issue. Learn what you can to help support the troops coming home. Don't turn away because of fear or ignorance of how you can help. Join the 'Words of a Wolf' Facebook page!



Overall rating:
5 out of 5
Nance, USA

Moving, uplifiting and inspiring
10 March 2010

To me, this is definitely a keeper and something I will read again and again. I somehow find peace in almost all of the poems and can connect with many of the feelings put forth, even not having PTSD myself. It is surely something that everyone should read as I think everyone can connect, in one way or another, with what has been written.


Overall rating:
5 out of 5
chelley, Plymouth
Age: 43

brilliant
09 March 2010

This book arrived at a time of immense grief for me having just lost my dad. the words made me laugh cry and explore my feeling over his death and the realities of life. these poems are not just for those who suffer or live with someone suffering from PTSD but those suffering from grief within thier lives.

Well done Wolf you have made the world a better place not only with your pictures but have now made it better with your words. xx


Overall rating:
5 out of 5
Best
Age: 27

Really brought it home
09 March 2010

Being a veteran isn't the only thing this is about, but when I read Words of a Wolf, it really brought into sharp relief - and 'sharp feels as though its the right word - something of what it means to be a veteran, though I don't wish to assume it's been like that for anyone else, with respect. I'm not, and haven't been, any kind of combatant, and this has meant that I've not really understood, but reading this has, in many ways opened my eyes to some things that Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon spoke about for WWI - a war that was a very long time ago and only now really in the history books.

For me, the Words of a Wolf, bring into the present, into my history, place into context, for me, the struggles and the sacrifices that (without being a jingoist) our armed forces personnel make - Words of a Wolf give some expression as to the cost of it all- the cost that seems somehow, even though I didn't ask for it, still seems, somehow, 'in my name'.

I felt deeply moved reading Words of a Wolf.


Overall rating:
5 out of 5
Devon dame, Exeter area, Devon
Age: 66

Excellent reading
08 March 2010

This is a great book, well written and illustrated. The images reflect the emotions felt when writing the poems and it is very moving. It has helped me tremendously - everyone should read it.


Overall rating:
5 out of 5
siggi, CALAIS,FRANCE
Age: 43

i can only recommend this book
07 March 2010

I am a german living in france and like a ex soldier from the foreigner legion, i feel very concerned over this desise. this book its very well writing. the poetrys are maked to make you thinking about what you lived in the soldier time and make you feel better , i think that its make you easier feeling in your allday life. read it and love it siegfried


Overall rating:
5 out of 5
taff, Plymouth england
Age: 42

fantastic book
07 March 2010

im an ex soldier who suffer's with ptsd and this book hits home of what we go through on a daily basis the poems are excellent and i recomend that you buy this book its fantastic .

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Why don't Veterans with PTSD get the help they are owed?

It's a question that I ask myself everyday whenever I think about people that I know who are going through the mill.

There are many reasons, so I'm going to try to explain some of them and maybe help shed some light on what happens to the Veteran. These words are based on my experiences and don't necessarily apply to other veterans, but, there may be some similar issues.

Seeking help for a mental health condition is one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life.  I did it not long after my son was born.  I knew that something was wrong with me and that it was related to Northern Ireland but I was afraid to voice my feelings about the issue ... and that was a closet that I definitely didn't want to step into.  After discharge from the RAF I'd been left on my own.  I wasn't screened for PTSD and wasn't told about the condition.  With hindsight I find this strange as, apart from some of the incidents I was involved in, some of the people that I'd been working with knew that I nearly blew my brains out about a week before leaving Northern Ireland.  The only thing that saved me was having an 'out of body experience' ...

It was dark, about 0300 hours,  All was silent.  The human world had clocked off and gone to sleep ... making way for the creatures of the night.  A barn owl ghosted across below me, flying left to right.  Then it happened ... it was as if I was pulled out of my body  - very quickly and violently.  I remember shouting 'What the fuck ... !'  Then I was mesmerised.  There was a guy sat where I should be sitting.  He was dressed in combats and had his sub machine gun in front of him.  His right hand moved down and undid the flap of his pistol holster.  He pulled out the pistol and cocked it.  His head didn't move  Apart from the movements of his hand, his body was still ... rigid.  He pointed the pistol at his temple and moved it toward his skull ... agonisingly slowly ... his finger curling aound the trigger at the same time. 

As the cold steel of the muzzle touched his temple I felt the same on my temple and suddenly realised that I was watching myself!  I moved the pistol away, pulled out the magazine and ejected the round, making the weapon safe ... then I put the magazine back into the pistol and holstered it.  My hands started to shake ... like afer the other times I'd been involved in an incident.

As the first rays of light filtered through the cloudy morning sky, I locked my emotions away again.  I told my oppo about it and he told my Sergeant.  With hindsight, I reckon nothing was done in any official capacity as I was getting ready to join the civvy police ... or was that just the policy for us in those days?  Only do something if you really have to?

I guess releasing the poetry book has made me feel more vulnerable but it's also opened a door that's making me write about the things I went through.  There are veterans that have been through much worse than my experiences and they're walking around like injured beings ... wary ... not trusting of human society.  Sheltering up where they can.  Surpressing their feelings and not tusting anyone with them ... not even themselves.

The system never gave me help.  I had to go and find it.  I left Northern Ireland, physically, in 1985.  Mentally it will always be with me.  It took 10 years before I was given any help or support.  When I look back over that journey. I realise I was kept ignorant of the condition ... and I do mean kept ignorant, I remember the many people that said  that they thought something was wrong with me and that it was tied in with the 2 years I did there ... police officers that trained me in the Met, police supervisors that wrote reports on me, doctors that had seen me.  Yet none of them had taken that first formal step to refer me for help.

Can you imagine what it's like to sit in front of a stranger and to open up those scars of everything that I've been through in order to get some help?  It's hard enough doing it when you're sat with a competent mental health practitioner.  Imagine how hard it is when sat with some muppet that clearly doesn't know how to interview people?  The basic interview skills are missing, he hasn't had the courtesy to read all the reports that were sent up weeks before the intial interview and is now trying to open up all my scars in another one hour interview where he will assess whether or not I will get any help.  He'll never know how close he came to becoming a red spot on the wall of his little office that day.  I can't remember his name or his face now.  He ceased to exist after the formal complaint was made and they referred me to someone experienced in PTSD in Veterans and police personnel.

I've been in Nottingham for over 2 years now.  I know what treatment works for me and that meds aren't the answer.  They're frightening.    When I was serving in the Metropolitan police in 1987, my GP there tried me with something; they were small greenie blue pills.  I tried a couple and they interfered with my alert state, so I binned them.  I've seen what they've done to other veterans since.  Some of them are so much worse off as a result.  Nottingham has yet to provide me with adequate care, even though I have a war pension and the appropriate paperwork that says I am supposed to be a priority patient.  I have been paying for my own weekly counselling for nearly two years now.

There's been some serious maladministration on the side of the GP's surgery too.  Their answer is that they work with what their given (meaning their admin staff and systems).  That difference in the work ethic doesn't help my cause, epecially as I've managed high pressured work offices since leaving the RAF and taken the responsibility to rectify any errors to do with maladministration and then setup systems to ensure that the same errors were never repeated.  What's the result of their maladministration?  Last year my treatment with 'Combat Stress' was delayed for 5 months - nearly half a year.   This year they haven't entered communication with my counsellor who, while not employed by the NHS, has to take the responsibility of co-ordinating communication between the GP and mental health services.  I had to insist that the GP copy him into any communication (especially as I'd signed a form of authority to facilitate this) as he seemed to be the only one that was telling me what was going on and wanted some clear continuation of care for me as his organisation can only treat me for 2 years at a time.

Our battles as Veterans never end.  Once we have been awarded a war pension, we endure mental rape every 2 years or so at a time to ensure that we still warrant that level of war pension.  Then we have to keep fighting for the treatment that we need ... and often end up hurt worse through the system's inability to provide the appropriate care that we need.

There are so many Veterans that don't even get past the first hoop with regards to their war pension, that don't get interviewed by an empathetic practitioner and are subjected to redicule.  They give up; the pain of the interview process isn't worth the repetition.

They're the ones we have to reach.  We have to educate the bad practitioners too ... and if necessary, take formal action to have them removed from that office.  This requires information to be collated and shared.  So if you're a veteran and have had a bad medical interview experience, start documenting it.  Do it here or do it on your own blog and place a link to it here.

It's time for the public to start helping Veterans .. but we have to give them the bullets.  Help them to help you.

That's partly what the exhibition's about ... reaching Veterans ... making them aware of people that can help them.  It's also about giving Veterans an idea of how creative arts may be able to help them cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Wolf

One of the songs that meant a lot to military personnel and civilians alike ...

Imagine

by John Lennon


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today


Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Waterstones finally take delivery of 'Words of a Wolf' ...

Some branches of Waterstones actually have 'Words of a Wolf' in stock  now.

If you'd like to know which stores, simply click here.

You can also buy the title direct from my website too if you wish - http://www.wolf-photography.com/.

Click here to read the reviews re 'Words of a Wolf' on Waterstones website.

Later

Wolf

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Cultures, War, Politicians and Western Societies ...

I was having a discussion with a friend on the differences between Native American, Asian and British culture; about the differences and generally about attitudes and my experience of those cultures.  What follows are my thoughts following that discussion:

You're right about the clash in cultures of Western, Asian and Native American societies when you look at the histories of those cultures. These are very general observations based on my experiences of meeting people from different cultures/tribes:


Most NA tribes, many years ago, lived with the Earth. They repected the Earth and only took what they needed to sustain themselves when it was needed. Much like a wolf pack. The idea of owning parts of the Earth was alien to them; the concept having been brought over to 'Turtle Island' (what some tribes called what is now the USA) by Europeans.

Their warriors were ferocious but balanced. Apart from healing and community issues, a lot of their ceremonies seemed to be aimed at personal development. Women were respected and listened to as an important part of the tribe and people seemed to understand that balance within required you to accept that you had both male and female energy inside of yourself. Some of the tribe's were ruled by women. Warriors were expected to be balanced within themselves with regard to the male - female energy too.

The whole tribe nurtured the children of the tribe. No one went hungry and everyone defended the tribe and their young ... again, like a wolf pack .

When the Europeans went over to Turtle Island (as you probably know) they sezied lands, killed off the buffalo to starve the tribes into submission (and also set up about exterminating the wolf) but the worst thing they did was imprison tribes that had roamed the lands to parcels of land that are, in the main, useless in terms of farming etc. You only have to visit the Rosebud and Pineridge reservations to see how bad things are for the people ... to this day. The Dakotas in the USA are comprised of three tribes: Dakota, Lakota and Nakota. There never was a tribe called the Sioux and I never use that word to describe their tribes. The term 'Sioux' was given to people of those tribes as an insult ... it meant something like snake in the grass ... but the traditional people of the tribe will never refer to themselves as the Sioux. It's a huge issue for elders and traditionalists and the people are trying to do something about it, but, as Jay White Hawk told me, 'Where do we start?' Websites like this one are a good place: http://www.dlncoalition.org/home.htm.

They were subjected to biological warfare: the blankets sold or gifted to them at certain trading posts contained smallpox. Their culture and language was lost to them, their children taken away and sold into slavery and alcoholism, abuse of women and drug dependency was what some of the tribes were perverted to.

It's a familiar cycle wherever the European nations went to conquer foreign lands.

For the Lakota, they have only recently been allowed to start learning their language again. In the Red Cloud school they're being taught about their nation's spirituality ... but only in the final years, having endured catholicism for the formative years.

The issues are still live for some of the tribes. When I was visiting the areas in 2002, the police in Rapid City were less likely to do anything about a dead Native American man or woman found in the street, passing them off as '...Just another drunk injun'.

The Navajo do much better for themselves but I feel that a lot of that has to do with the 'codetalker' issues of WW II. There are still tribes that have their lands confiscated (eg for the building of a dam).

These are all current issues by the deomocratic government of the USA; a land that wants to wave the stick of correction at other cultures and countries, when it hasn't even the decency to tidy up its own affairs for its own people. It brings a question into sharp relief for me: If you care so much about human rights and genocide, why haven't you tidied up your own back yard? And what are the real reasons for the current conflicts in other nations on foreign soils? Could it be that the real reason is that you're after their natural resources and that you want to bend the cultures of their lands to the will of western infuence?

I won't go into the ecological issues here ... but they're huge too and will need to be addressed properly and soon by all the Earth's nations as our current use of the Earth's resources is not sustainable. Will this lead to more wars? Probably.

On the issue of global terrorism, I have this to say: The USA were sending funds to help some of the terrorist parties achieve their objectives through NORAID. This is something that the US government knew about and didn't stop. Just like WWII, the USA only got involved when something happened on their land. How many British troops suffered as a result of that money passed through NORAID? How many Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters saw someone they love slip away in one way or another?

As for the Asians, my experiences are limited to India and Pakistan. I grew up with Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Christians. Most of the differences seemed to be over religion ... BUT... in the communities that I grew up in Leicester, I don't remember any divide when it came to Community issues. The Hindus were further ahead as they were better established in the area.

Both India and Pakistan have recorded incidents of current violations of human rights against people on grounds of religion: this being mainly that Pakistan persecutes hindus and India persecutes moslems. It's the old game of people killing on the grounds of religion differences, same as a lot of European countires, same as the USA. How many times have you heard senior military commanders mentioning their god in a statement preceeding war? It's been cleaned up more now under 'political correctness'.

I've read parts of the Bible and the Quran and I never saw anything that condoned murder or genocide. They breach the teachings of their own religion. When I served in Northern Ireland I walked away from all organised religions, simply because I saw them as methods of control and domination over the sheep in society and I was sickened at what people will do others in the name of their religion ... but I'll tell you this much, the IRA were pussies compared to what a fanatical muslim extremist will do in terms of a terrorist attack.

I was very angry when we got involved with the USA in Iraq 2 and Afghanistan because for once in my lifetime, we had peace - Northern Ireland was over, our lads and lasses didn't have to be killed in theatres of operation anymore. The first gulf war was a righteous action - we responded to a request for assitance - did the job and got out. But then the politicans went and stirred a bigger hornet's nest than they'll ever know; One that's on our door step and has threatened to divide our country in the same way that Northern Ireland, India, Pakistan, Palestine and the Balkans have been or are currently subjected to.

India was huge, colourful, vibrant! Yet tinged with such despair by the issues of child labour, child prostitution and the antics of some impoverished people, who would walk around begging for money using a dead child as a tool. Yet India felt free and there's an air of optimism there swimming amongst the poverty of the nation. The caste system still has a hold on their society but it seems to have lessend a little. It has the same vices as any western culture, just cheaper.

When I visited Pakistan I saw a huge difference. A country under islamic law, with some punishments as severe as Saudi Arabia ... but the energy and feeling that you were in a controlled state was tangible ... I could taste it in the air. Yet even this country has vices available ... for the right price.

I haven't been to Israel but what's going on there? A nation is doing to another what history shows was done to it in the past? The term holocaust stirs up all kinds of horrors. What words would people use to describe what What Israel is doing to Palestine? England isn't that brilliant on the issues of Jews escaping Germany during WWII. A ship containing a few hundred Jews was turned away from our shores during the war ... only to return to mainland Europe where the occupants were interned in various camps. Every nation has its skeleton in the cupboard .., we just have to look is all ... and with an open mind.

What's the common denominator in the negatives of these countries? Materialism, greed and corruption. I would say that probably every govenrment in the world has an element of this. The only thing that differs is the scale and the individual country's ability to hide it. While recent events in the UK with regard to corrupt politicians may have bought the matter into the limelight for this nation, it won't be long before the British public will have forgotten about it and it'll start up again but in a more creative way, that'll be harder to detect.  If it had been a person in any other job that had been caught fiddling expense claims, you can bet anything that they would have been sacked on grounds of 'gross misconduct' as that act fits into the the term 'theft by deception'.  It's a simple demonstration how we have a class system in this country that DOES affect how the law is administered here.., justice isn't as blind as some would have you believe.

I worry for the UK when I see the different factions fighting against eachother. British people come in all shades, sizes, sexes, sexual preferences, religions and ethnic backgrounds. At a time when we should be celebrating our differences and sharing them to enrich our collective culture we're beaing subjected to the old rule of 'Divide and Conquer' ... and the people need to ask themselves why.

Some of it is that vine effect (passing on a bad experience to another) - it goes beyond families. There are people that truly hate people of other races, cultures, religions and nations - often from some personal experience that coloured their judgement. The British public must not allow anyone to think for them. They must learn to see the issues for themselves and make up their own minds and not be blindly swept into a frenzy of hatred based on ignorance.

As far as troop deployments go, the British public must all understand that the Armed Forces are not run as a democracy; we go where we're told and do the job we're told to do. However, I feel that no country should be allowed to make a decision to go to war as the USA and UK did against Iraq. That should have been a United Nations initiative. I also feel that it's unacceptable to deploy troops with the remit of carrying out an observation role only where they are clearly witnessing acts that breach United Nations International Law. The UN need to focus more on policing the issues effectively instead of hiding behind ineffective resolutions.

We have police in the armed forces for a reason: sometimes soldiers, sailors and airmen go overboard on their actions and the consequences can be dire. If someone shot someone illegaly, you charged the person that did it, not the pistol or rifle. By the same standard our troops are the weapon of a democratic society. Their role is to achieve the objective and stay alive, in sometimes lethal conditions. The British public should regard them as the pistol. If they feel that the action/engagement/battle was wrong ... they shouldn't go after the troops, (they're already policed) they should go after the politicans that pointed the gun.  I don't feel that politicians are always accountable for their actions, often hiding behind the 'spin' doctors.

Most people in any culture that I have experienced, want a peaceful existence and they tend to live that way ... and it's always possible, providing we encourage people to think before they act and then to act responsibly. We should all be sufficiently evolved as humans now to know that war is wrong ... but that sometimes we may need to step in as peacekeepers under the auspices of an International collective responsibitlity.

Ask yourself this:  Who benefits from war?  Do munitions have a shelf life or sell by date?  What happens to munitions that are about to expire date-wise?

Some military actions are necessary ... but not all of them. 

Later

Wolf

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Do you get those nights ...

I've had an old injury flare up.   I was in a bad road accident in 1995 that wrecked my body in certain ways.  I still get what feels like new tears in my neck and shoulders.  The resulting pain is higher than my threshold can bear at times and I end up yelping like a wolf that's just had it's paw stepped on.   It's bad enough that my sleep is frequently disturbed anyway because of the PTSD, however, I'm not even able to get those winks at the moment because the pain gets worse when I lie down.  The average feeling these injuries generate are a feeling of someone poking me with a spear ... right into my back via my shoulders or neck ... and then it feels like the spear's being twisted around, pulled and pushed.  It's a shame you can't do a swap with a bloke that's into BDSM or something ... I'll have the gorgeous, latex clad woman and he can have the pain without having to actually stick bits through his flesh.  Sound fair?  Answers on a post card :o)

At the moment the pain's worse than it's ever been.  I can't even go dancing, which is one of my coping mechanisms for PTSD.  I wonder how many troops would laugh at that?  Wake up fellas!  Salsa clubs are ace!!  You get to dance with some lovely ladies, exercise and socialise  : D

The book sales are going well.  I had orders for another 32 copies today.  All the funds should be able to pay for the reprint of a 1000 copies.  Then the real work starts:  generating enough money to make up the pieces for the exhibition and renting of the gallery/venue.

I need to find 9 venues in England and at least 3 in Scotland and Wales.  Ideally for a month a piece. 

I seem to be coping okay with all of this at the moment.  I get times when I just seem to stop in mid thought or mid stride.  That's a sign that I'm doing too much and I take the time to de-stress and then I sit and do some meditation and some therapy.

One of the things that I've learnt about living with PTSD is that I have to be kinder to myself and allow myself all the time that I need to get to a space where I can function to some degree again.  It's an on-going process and some days are better, some worse.

I've been touched by the feedback from some of the people that have read the book.  It feels weird to me that an ordinary bloke can put some words to paper and generate the feelings that they have in others.

Time to see what the day has in store for me.

Have a good one

Wolf

Friday, 5 March 2010

Waterstones & Independent stores update

This list reflects the additional stores that have ordered copies of  'Words of a Wolf' today

Waterstones:
Yeovil
Weston-Super-Mare
Wells
Warrington
Walsall
Truro
Trowbridge
Torquay
Tiverton
Stirling
Southport
Solihull
Sheffield
Putney, London
Plymouth
Piccadilly, London
Oxford Street, London
Ormskirk
Nuneaton
Nottingham
Notting Hill, London
Northallerton
Newton Mearns
Market Harborough
Manchester
Liverpool
Leicester
Leamington Spa
Lancaster University
Lancaster
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Kettering
Islington, London
Huddersfield
Glasgow, Scotland
Elgin
Edinburgh, Scotland
East Kilbride, Scotland
Dorchester
Derby
Covent Garden, London
Clapham, London
Burton-on-Trent
Bristol
Bridport
Braehead, Scotland
Blackpool
Birmingham
Bath
Barnstaple
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abergavenny
Aberdeen

Independent Book Stores:

Best of Books, Edmond, OK, USA

I'm now at the stage where I need to print more copies and am having to decide on an appropriate amount of reprints without dropping myself in it and ending up stuck with boxes of unsold copies.  It's early days yet.
cheers
 
Wolf

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Publisher and book supplier ...

Well, it's all moved forward to that level now. 

Waterstone have ordered 21 copies through their distributor now.  I've been ringing up stores and talking to the managers and buyers to make them aware of the title.  The response has been very encouraging from most of the stores as they recognise that this project, for me at any rate, is about raising awareness of a serious issue rather than making money.

The difficulty is now weathering the storm of being overdrawn while the quantity buyers pay their invoices.  It's difficult being a small fish in a big pond when their focus is purely financial gain.

Of the 200 copies ordered, my spreadsheet shows that Waterstones stores have verbally told me that they will be ordering 55 copies so far.  Of that number 21 have been processed through Gardners.    The online sales are still coming through direct from my website.  The buying link is in the text below.  So far 22 books have been processed through Paypal and 20 direct to Combat Stress.  So that's a total of 63 books delivered now.

To that end, I wanted to put something on here that I have on my Facebook account (there's a group called 'Words of a Wolf' that is just about the poetry book - please join it and spread the word about it - and buy the book?!).

'I'm currently selling my poetry book, 'Words of a Wolf'. It 's part of a bigger project and has the following aims:



1) To raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans


2) To show how beneficial creative activities like photography & poetry can be when used as coping mechanisms


3) To sign-post veterans to ...organisations that can help them


4) To use some of the funds raised from the book to put on a national exhibition of my work


The title is available for £6.99 plus P&P from http://www.wolf-photography.com/graphics/books/Words%20of%20a%20Wolf/slides/wordsofawolf_cover_resize.html or you can purchase a copy from your local Waterstones Store.

The following Waterstones stores have either ordered the book or have said that they will:
Yeovil

Weston-Super-Mare
Warrington
Walsall
Truro
Torquay
Tiverton
Stirling
Southport
Solihull
Sheffield
Putney, London
Plymouth
Piccadilly, London
Oxford Street, London
Ormskirk
Nuneaton
Nottingham
Notting Hill, London
Newton Mearns
Manchester
Liverpool
Leicester
Leamington Spa
Lancaster University
Lancaster
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Islington, London
Huddersfield
Glasgow, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
East Kilbride, Scotland
Dorchester
Covent Garden, London
Clapham, London
Bridport
Braehead, Scotland
Blackpool
Birmingham
Barnstaple
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This list will be updated as more retailers commit to the my book.  So save yourself the postage and packing and buy a copy locally if you're out shopping.

Please join the group, ask your friends to join the group ... and buy the book to support this project.'


I hope that you'll support this blog as well and get other people to 'follow' it.
All the best

Wolf

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