On Being Creative, A Mother & Bipolar

Thank you.

I just wanted to thank you, my established followers, and you, my new followers for supporting my writing.  It means so much.  You are all wonderful.

Thank you,

Tabby x


Sometimes, I come off my meds and it can be for varying reasons. But the one that never changes is my visceral need to ‘feel’.  My medication is wonderful stuff.  It keeps me from being actively suicidal or embarking on high-risk behaviour (you know, the fun stuff).  It keeps me fat.  It keeps me flat. It keeps me slow.

So sometimes, I stop taking them to feel again and this is what it’s like.  This jagged, blunted cycle that I am for the rest of my days and nights.  Dedicated to all of you who know what even some of this feels like. xuntitled-crazy

Meet Mandy. She’ll be homeless in a week.

This is a mother, a friend, a writer, a wife, and a wonderful person. For some reason, this is the only way she can get help. Please, Please think about contributing even if it is a tiny amount. Thank you x

Angelika Rust

Briefly before we went into full editing and publishing mode for Hearts & Other Dead Things over at Cake & Quill, we got a last minute submission. I wasn’t quite sure it actually fit the theme – the whole book is full of rather thoroughly broken hearts and sarcasm and that story was surprisingly full of hope – but the writing was so beautiful, no way could I have said no. So mandyI met Mandy, and as it is with writers, you connect, and you learn a bit about each other.

Mandy faces quite a few struggles. Her husband and son have Aspergers Syndrome (for details about that, look here), her husband additionally suffers from spinal problems that might land him in a wheelchair. Of her two daughters, one might have Aspergers as well, or a related issue. The house they’re yet living in is actually too small, plus their landlord…

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Meet Mandy. She’ll be homeless in a week.

Briefly before we went into full editing and publishing mode for Hearts & Other Dead Things over at Cake & Quill, we got a last minute submission. I wasn’t quite sure it actually fit …

Source: Meet Mandy. She’ll be homeless in a week.

Unbound Pledge Reward

One of the best things about being with Unbound is creating the rewards that supporters receive when they generously pledge.  For £150 pledgers receive not only their names in the back of the book, signed copies and tickets to the launch party but also a personalised poem written by me.  I love writing poetry so these challenges are really enjoyable.  I posted ‘Our Boy, Jack’ earlier and here is the second one written for a dear friend Johnny whose twin loves are South Africa and his sons.

I’d love to know what you think and please consider pledging for my novel if you haven’t already.  Just click on Unbound ^^^^^^ up there.   Thank you so much!  Tabby x


When Africa was my dream, my heart

It’s red earth blistered beneath my feet

A hard lemon Sun blasted it’s radiance

And the veld was baked hard like copper.

The South spread out in waterless plains

And Fever trees blessed an endless sky.

Good wine settled deep in our blood.

The braai spit hot, the dogs panting

For meat, ears flattened for an easy hand.


Afrika still visits late some nights

When the fire is down to ash and

Memories cut me to my weary wick.

Reaching for the warm, dull glass

By my elbow. Breathing in the

Comfort of leather and the weight

of dog on my feet. I remember Connal’s

hair, whipping in the choppy wind.

Eyes fixed ever forward, loaded with

Spirit and a gift for light. More at home

With the bush lifting the lions song

Than the mechanical grind of the West.


Now the ripe, green pitches of Sussex

Stay my hand, as heads leans in for

The knock of leather on willow.

Two boys in whites delivering runs.

And wickets before a jammy tea.

My life means something here with

you. Your boyish sweat is sweet and

I will always be your guard, my soul

alive with the weight of fatherhood

A polished, eager stone in the shape

Of someone constant and perpetual.



Unbound in Glasgow

On Friday night I had the great pleasure of attending a reading by three of my fellow Unbounders. It was held in Spoon Café in Glasgow who very generously opened late for us. Spoon Café is run by U…

Source: Unbound in Glasgow

Jack’s Day

I’ve been horribly neglectful of my blog and I apologise to all my followers.  As you know, I am now an Unbound author and raising pledges for my book, Blood On The Banana Leaf.

One of the rewards for being my 50th supporter was a personalised poem for my friend Jilly.  She was keen to have something to read to her 4 year old, Jack.  He is a wonderful boy and they are very nature-friendly and outward bound so I hope the poem below reflcts that.

Jack’s Day

See, Jack, see the rosy sun begin to rise

A morning mist gives little drinks to bees

The birds begin to sing their first,

the moon will rise before their last.

See how the mountains range & beam

In their Sunday best they are proud to gleam

Goats a bleating on hillsides green

Chewing softly, they are gentle things.


See, Jack, see the wind that runs on speedy legs

Through tree tops full of nests & speckled eggs

Look! A lizard sunbathes in the tea-time sun

It’s tail sways in time with nature’s dozy hum.

The lawn is green, the sky so blue,

The stone so cool, the sweetpeas new

The long shadows begin their journey old

As afternoon blazes green & gold.


See, Jack, see the Swallowtail on a flower

Taking sips before flying on, hour after hour

See those fields of corn, yellow glinting in the sun

Ripening quickly through the Summer’s run

Field mice squeaking, tails a leaping.

Dusk comes down and from the dark a-peeping

A wise old owl of many years, hoots and swoops

Til glowing moon dips low and he must roost.

See, Jack, see your comfy bed & toys all near

The stars are out, the night is here

Cuddle up with Mum and Dad,

Read a book and feel cosy glad

A glass of milk to bring you happy dreams

You’re eyes are sleepy, droopy things

Smile once more & stretch your toes

Goodnight, our Jack, we love you so.

And please remember to pledge for my novel & at the very least have your name in the published book as a supporter @  Thank you x

Going Forward

I love poetry and Charlotte is one of my favourite poets. Just read it all and weep.


I’ve learned to walk through water,
to breathe tiny breaths.
You lick the salt from my skin
but it falls from your mouth
onto a barren bed. Sweat and blood
dissolve then reappear like invisible ink.
The pool I lie in is stagnant,
droplets levitate just out of reach.
Bone and sinew recoil, expand, one foot
in front of the other.

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Blood on the Banana Leaf

A great friend. A great writer x

Angelika Rust

Today I’m not trying to sell you any of my books, honestly! Quite the opposite, in fact. Well, almost the opposite. I’m still trying to sell you a book, just not one of mine. And you can’t purchase it yet either.

Tabatha and Clari Tabatha Stirling (left) and Clari, one of the women who inspired her to write Blood on the Banana Leaf

Sorry, I’m babbling. I’m excited. Here’s why: For a little over three years now, I’ve been part of a very fine community of writers, kind and supportive people, highly creative, some brilliant minds among them and oodles of talent. If you had asked me at any given point during those years, who’ll be the first in your group to become famous, my answer would have either been Adam Oster or…Tabatha Stirling. And now it looks like I wasn’t too wrong.

Tabatha’s book Blood on the Banana Leaf has been…

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