I want to say a HUGE Thank You to everyone for supporting me in 2022. I haven't published more new books this year, but it doesn't mean we weren't busy after the pandemic and the lockdowns. So this year, I got out and about and into the community. The year started with me doing my 100 steps daily on social media throughout March to help raise awareness about cerebral palsy and raise money for Cerebral Palsy Cymru. I am delighted to tell everyone that I am conversing with the wonderful people at the centre about how we can raise even more awareness and money next year. Shortly after, my publisher, Clare Thomas, and I had the pleasure of visiting the incredible Cerebral Palsy Children's Centre in Cardiff. We also held a Cake and Tea Morning at Fleur De Lys Rugby Club in aid of Cerebral Palsy Cymru and raised over two hundred pounds.
Also, this year, I took the unknown step of starting to attend Networking Events in and around South Wales. This has not only helped me become a more confident person but has also allowed me to meet some incredibly talented people and reconnect with acquaintances from the past, which has been a revelation.
At my first-ever networking meeting. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing some old work colleagues, Lyndon Price and Katharine Skellon, who are the co-directors of Sudol Media.
Here is their website if you want to find out what incredible services they offer:-
They have more than forty years of experience in the media industry. Lyndon and Katharine have been a great support since we've reconnected, and I'm so happy that we are now back in touch. They are both lovely people. We now regularly bump into each other at different events, and we've even visited The Senedd, the home of The Welsh Parliament, together with my Publisher Clare Thomas. You can read all about our visit here:-
Besides getting active on Tik Tok back in March and trotting around my living room, all for a good cause and the networking exploits, I have also dived into some songwriting collaborations. These days I prefer to write songs to brief, again, with the desire to make a difference and show others with disabilities that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Always remember talent is born, not made. So I have been progressively working this year with Clary Saddler, one of the co-founders of Forget-Me-Not-Productions, a fantastic inclusive art and assistive technology organisation that specialises in working with people with complex physical and cognitive needs.
Here's their website where you can find out lots more about what they do:-
We've worked on some great briefs this year and pitched to incredible singers worldwide. We've had some fantastic opportunities to pitch songs to Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Garth Brooks and some great record labels. As of yet, we haven't managed to get our songs placed. Still, the most important thing for us is that we enjoy getting creative when we can and are honoured that these opportunities are coming our way. Never give up.
Furthermore, Clary invited me to Swansea to meet another disabled songwriter, Mr X, who has cerebral palsy like me and is non-verbal. It was great to finally meet him and collaborate on writing a fantastic country song we hope to get a cut for in the future so we can inspire other disabled songwriters and encourage more people like us to make music and break into the industry.
You can read more about how we collaborated and overcame the barriers associated with our disabilities here. Nothing stopped us:-
I also had a song called 'Fast And Loose' that I wrote with their lead singer James Warren placed on The Korgis new album this year. The Korgis are a hitmaking 80s band and are best known for their song 'Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime.' Getting a significant song placement is an incredible achievement for me, and I hope we get to write some more killer songs together in the future. Also, this year, I have had three other songs I've written with Al Steele placed with and released by Evesham Singer Jamie-Louise Dobbins, who has not only recorded them brilliantly and filmed some fantastic videos for all three songs but has had her three songs signed to Amurco Licencing, who are a TV and Film Licencing Agency which we are excited about.
Check out here Youtube Channel:- https://www.youtube.com/@jamie-louisedobbins4819.
So, as 2022 draws to a close and we end another year. It's time to turn our attention to what's in the pipeline for 2023. Would you like a spoiler? Oh, go on then. Plans are already underway for the publication of not ONE but TWO new books, with the first set for publication in the spring. The first of the two books will be my memoir about my life living with cerebral palsy. I want to use my life experiences with having cerebral palsy to educate and reach out to a more diverse range of people and show them that despite having differences and with a little more understanding, disabled people can strive to live independently or/and co-independently and successfully. Then, later next year, there is a second 'Max' children's book on the way, with this one being about educating children on how to accept and, most importantly, help other children with speech impediments to communicate in a way they can feel accepted and included in everyday life. I can reveal that some of the characters in Max And The Magic Wish return in the second book, along with some exciting and magical new ones. Stay tuned.
Last but not least. I want to thank everyone who has supported me on my incredible journey. I hope you continue to do so because I couldn't have come this far without your help. I want to also thank each and one of my songwriting collaborators for being so awesome and allowing me to have a voice. Finally, I want to thank my book publisher, Clare Thomas, for being by my side every step of the way and for believing in me.
See you all in 2023! It's going to be epic!!
Don't forget that both my children's books are available on Amazon. Here are the links:-
Max And The Magic Wish (All about disability and acceptance):- https://amzn.to/3OcCk7Y.
Paddy The Polar Bear Teddy (A magical space adventure story about courage, wisdom and friendship):- https://amzn.to/3zvZ7aZ.
The Disabled Writer