2014, The Year That…

2014, The year that…

I ran a mile for Sport Relief. Grew a dodgy moustache for Movember and wore a Christmas jumper for Cash for Kids.

This year, I’ve done more for charity than ever before. Combined with my donations to Children in Need, Stand Up To Cancer, Cancer Research, Text Santa, the charities gaining from the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge, buying poppies and Help for Heroes wristbands, I’ve helped raise or donated more than £500 to good causes.

 

 

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Some say charity begins at home. For some that is certainly the case but, in my opinion, that’s a somewhat selfish attitude mostly from other people who put the cost of something they can easily do without one week before helping less fortunate.

 

2014, The year that…

We had a proper family holiday for the first time in a good few years. Not a few days away glamping like the previous few years but a whole week away in a hotel at the family favourite resort of Blackpool. And we enjoyed not having to cook or clean… we relaxed, well, as much as you can do with two hyper-excitable boys. And with the weather we had that week, we could easily have thought we were somewhere abroad.

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2014, The year that…

I published two novels. A personal achievement for someone only used to writing short stories.

Offside! and Caught Playing Offside make up the Shane Henderson Diary Series. It’s the story of a fictional professional footballer as told by himself. I first had the idea of the story a few years ago and over the space of time and a few changes, the first part was published earlier this year and the concluding part just a few months ago. Whether I have any success with it or not remains to be seen but being honest, I really don’t care. I set out to do something and went past what I initially wanted to achieve. I’m happy with that and proud of myself for doing so.

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So that’s my personal highlights of 2014. I’ll tah a few blogging friends on Twitter who’ll hopefully give us theirs.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes to all my readers.

And thanks!

JTD

Knowing When To Call It A Day

There are some important things you need to be a writer… imagination, a story, patience and time. The latter, I just don’t have. Too many late nights will confirm that.

It was never my dream to be a writer and it certainly was never my intention to publish anything I’d written. Writing short stories was something I did as a hobby because I was good at it at school. After leaving school and growing older, writing became an escape from reality where I could live the life of characters I’d created in my head – mainly that of the fictional footballer in The Shane Henderson Diary Series.

Publishing some of my short stories only came about because it was suggested that I give it a go. So I did. I published two short stories I’d written a few years ago. I then fictionalised my diary account of a trip to America and published that.

Then followed something new for me, writing a novel. That was something well out of my comfort zone of writing blogs and short stories but I did it. And then I wrote another.

But writing the second novel was a struggle. A struggle finding the time to do it mainly. Unlike a few writers I know, I have a full time. I’m also a dad to two young, lively boys. And I sacrificed time I should have been spending with them to write. That’s not time I’m willing to sacrifice anymore.

After completing and publishing the second part of diary series I’d been working on, I said I was taking a break. I didn’t know if it was going to be a permanent break or not at that point. Now I do.

Jamie Tucker Dougan, the writer, is on hiatus. It will be a long one and it might just be one that I won’t come back from. Not until the only time I’m sacrificing is my own time.

Jamie Tucker Dougan, the blogger, will still be around here and there though.

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Adios for now… and may the force be with you!

JTD

Movember

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The first thing you think of when you mention Movember is a load of guys with dodgy looking top lip fuzz… or moustaches if you want to be proper and correct. But there’s more to it than trying to look like Burt Reynolds in his Smokey and the Bandit days or Tom Selleck’s Magnum PI.

Movember is about raising money for men’s health issues, like prostate cancer, other cancers and men’s mental health issues like depression.

This year, I’ll taking part along with a few of my work colleagues. And my motivation for doing this is because 1 in 8 men in the UK are diagnosed with a mental health disorder… and I’ve been one of them.

I’ve been lucky, I took the steps needed and been able to cope with my issues but some men are not. Many men find the stigma associated with mental health lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment, which in turn often prevents them from seeking help and taking action. The aim of Movember is to change this.

If you have a few pounds/dollars/euro to spare and would like to donate to the cause and laugh at my fuzzy top lip progress, you can visit my Movember page here ~ http://mobro.co/tucker29

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Thanks!

JTD

The End?

Having completed what has been pretty much three years work, I find myself a bit lost as what to do next because I have nothing new in the pipeline, no fresh ideas, no stories in my head waiting to be written.

The Shane Henderson Diary Series in some shape of form has been the only story in my head since the autumn of 2011. Everything I’ve written, every idea I’ve had since then has been put into the two novels that form that series. Creatively,  I’m exhausted. So, I’m going to do what I pretty much decided to do during my summer holiday, I’m stepping back from it all. I’m having a break. Whether that’s a permanent break or not, well only time will tell on that.

To be honest, the whole writing, editing, publishing, promoting thing has left me disillusioned and somewhat frustrated. Not because my books don’t sell all that well, I’m not in this for the money, but because despite the amount of books I’ve sold, I have very little feedback. I don’t know if I’m wasting my time or not. Well, my time is more important being put to other things rather than worrying about the writing world.

I’ve written and published two novels and three short stories, something I never planned to do put damn proud of myself for doing.

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JTD

You can purchase my books at www.amazon.com/author/jamietuckerdougan

 

 

#standuptocancer

“The day is finally here. The day when we tell cancer that enough is enough. The day we Stand Up for every single person whose life has been touched by cancer. It’s time for all of us to stand as one, because no matter who you are or where you come from, we all want the same thing – an end to cancer.”

I have been a supporter of various cancer charities for years. Cancer has played a big part in my life because it’s taken people close to me and my family.

My dad 41 years ago.

My step-dad last year.

My friend and neighbour last year.

My wife’s gran two years ago.

At the moment, I know of at least four people either battling or have battled cancer in the last year.

The statistics are that one in three will be affected by cancer, there are four people in my house, not hard to work that one out. Hopefully though, there will be a cure in my lifetime or the lifetime of my boys and that statistic will change. Sadly, at the moment we all know someone fighting it or have lost to it.

Tonight, Channel 4 TV in the UK will be having their “Stand Up To Cancer” night. I’ll be watching and I’ll be donating.

You can too by visiting the website http://standuptocancer.org.uk/

I'm standing up to cancel!

I’m standing up to cancer!

Offside! for Free

In the build up to the release of Caught Playing Offside on 20th October, part one of the Shane Henderson Diary series Offside! will be free for Kindle from Amazon.

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From Friday 17th to Monday 20th, you’ll be able to get part one of the series on free download.

Enjoy!

JTD

Assuming Too Much?

Last week, a teenage Liverpool and England player asked the England manager for a rest. Boy did that open a can of worms across the media, both in press and social. Everyone and their granny gave their two-bobs worth…

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I  agree with what’s being said here. Though being a Scotsman, I’m more concerned about how fit our players are. But I’m also a Liverpool fan and cringe every time there’s an international match featuring Liverpool players.

Just because players earn excessive amounts of money does not make them super-human and able to play, train and travel without getting a bit tired now and then. There a mental as well as physical side to being a professional sportsperson.

There’s the argument that all footballers do is kick a ball about for 90mins a week, train a couple of days a week and spend the rest of their time on a golf course, at a racecourse betting on horses, splashing their wealth in casinos and getting rat-arsed in nightclubs. The reality is that a professional footballer will put in the same hours in a working week as most of the rest of us. They still have lives away from football, like being husbands and dads. We don’t know what they do when we don’t see them kicking that ball around. We only assume from what we’re told via press and gossip.

Don’t assume all you read in the press and gossip magazines is true. They may earn stupid amounts of money but that isn’t their fault. That’s the fault of the idiots willing to pay them that and us for being stupid enough to spend a weeks wages to go and watch them or subscribe to TV services that show the games and hence generating the money for the clubs to pay the stupid wages.

Put it this way, if your employer offered you £300,000 a week to do your job, would you say no thanks, I’ll stick to minimum wage?