The Official Website Of The Maverick Author
I had a serious emotional setback as a young child. By the age of 24, my depression was so severe it was misdiagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. However, when psychotic depression became apparent, I received more appropriate treatment, and for example, I am still on lithium.
Despite both my "label" and my catastrophic breakdown, I didn't give up. I continued, and earned a masters degree in computing, and I extensively studied poetry writing with Alison Chisholm (leading to my many publication acceptances.) I started playing piano aged 21, and reached an early college level of performance. That led to me successfully teaching the instrument to others. I had three permanent computing jobs, holding the final one for 13 years, before my 2010 redundancy.
I remarried in 2015, after being made a widower in 2012. My second wife, Michelle, soon gave birth to Rose Megan Holme, our only child, who was stillborn.
Since 2015, I've helped facilitate poetry groups with recovering drug and alcohol users, as well as solely running a creative writing group, within a charity for vulnerable people. I ran a piano group for mostly retired people, albeit for one term. And I've been in the spotlight further, as an open-mic poetry performer; in both Manchester, and to a lesser degree, in some of its surrounding areas. In fact, creativity undeniably helped me, and it has helped others that I've had the pleasure of meeting.
The thing is, I have probably recovered from my psychosis. It helped that I never allowed myself to be a victim, and therefore, my insight and validations had opportunities to increase. At least it looks that way, because you can never be 100% sure of avoiding a relapse, after such a profound nervous breakdown. Logically, the chance is higher than zero! So I wrote "Embrace your aloneness", which is a combined autobiography and nonfiction, that contains a collection of relevant poems.
"Embrace your aloneness" isn't full of my own personal stories, of little direct help to the reader. It is not an excuse to talk about myself. I'm not famous. No-one is interested in me per se. It offers self-help...
Effectively, part 3 of "Embrace your aloneness" is my "I am" book. That work can strongly stand alone. And "The complete verse 2000-2018" is for those who are loving my writing and want more, even without a self-help element, because good poems like "Did Neil Armstrong wear thermals?" are in it...
STOP PRESS - LATEST ESSAYS
On the 12th and 13th of April (2021) I wrote and shared a 1600 word crystalisation (for seekers?), appropriately named "What is truth?" By the first week of May, my essential 1100+ word treatise, "No", was finished, subtitled "A shortcut to assertiveness."
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"Embrace your aloneness" : "An honest, raw and searching collection of prose and poems that never concede to the anger they could, instead they express beautifully, pain, loss and grief, with tender insight. I found empathy in these words, which is surely the whole purpose of blackening pages. Michael narrates this work throughout, finding a fine balance between the poetry and commentary in the presentation of his journey, which I now understand to be heart breaking, generous and full of human kindness."
~ Oliver James Lomax, Poet
"I am" : "A revealing read that opens up questions to why we subscribe to the choices we make, with regards to trend, image and conformity etc. (to shape our identity). It made me question if the choices I have made regarding these and other paths, were taken purely for their assumed function or more to form an identity."
~ Darren Lea-Grime, Bicycle expert, Musician and Poet
"Embrace your aloneness" : "Many thanks for the copy of 'Embrace Your Aloneness' which I read with pleasure and admiration for your endeavor! Syncretic forms are difficult to handle, but you've managed it with fluency and grace.
The book is very powerful in delineating the roller-coaster of your history, with its emotional and mental disturbances, and the distribution of material between prose, poems and photographs is very persuasive. I don't think you could have found a better way of dealing comprehensively with so much material!"
~ John Anthony Connor, Retired professor of English, and a FRSL