Shy and Retiring …


       A ‘fresh’ early morning – October 2017

Okay, so the ‘shy’ is no longer accurate, but ‘retiring’ will provide me with a renewed freedom. My second career (retail), has now ended and I’m a few days away from my 65th birthday. I’ve worked and paid my dues for fifty years, and I’m ready to chill-out.

What lies ahead?

I’ve listed a handful of projects to get me underway which includes a couple of days revisiting the various items in my garage, shed, and of course the attic. Apart from those small, ongoing jobs I’ve got a couple of major redecorating tasks lined up.

I’ll be continuing to draw and paint, but new hobbies on the horizon are baking and organising a vegetable patch. If the baking idea works out and I’m not totally useless I’m not worried about weight issues because I’ll also be continuing with my cycling. As recently as the weekend past I’ve ordered a new mountain bike to complement my racing bike. There are times when a writer who rides, needs to tangle with tough terrain.

In keeping with the purpose of this blog, this post is about my writing, but I’ve given an introduction to put recent followers in the picture about the person behind the titles.

I will no longer be going out to play my public part in the rat-race, but I believe my writing will be enriched by a more relaxed attitude to each day. When I stepped down from management a couple of years ago I felt a weight lifted, and my creative output rapidly increased in volume and quality.

Where will my writing go in the future?

I began with poetry and moved on to short stories before novels and novellas. My best work has been in the area of Thrillers and Romance, but I’ve also ventured into Sci-Fi and Erotica. Having attempted and realised the difficulties, I’ve left behind the option of writing for children – which is a very specialised craft. I believe we should all be aware of our limitations as well as our abilities.

I’m considering attempts at Horror, Paranormal, or Fantasy, but I’ll be leaving them until early next year, by which time my three present WIPs will be at an advanced stage.


How will I tackle such things as new genre?

Personally, I find an early morning, long, solo cycle ride an ideal environment to let the mind wander. While getting dressed I listen to appropriate classical music, and as I set off on my ride I consider the genre on which I want to focus. I’ll report back as and when I have new ideas developing.



What else is in the pipeline?

I’ve created many of my own covers, but used a designer for the thrillers and romance novels. I’ve been in touch with my cover designer and as we reach the new year I hope to have professional covers to support my fact-based fiction series, A Life of Choice.

What about paperback versions of my books?

This is an idea I’ve toyed with over the past two years, but I’m cautious.

It is a time-consuming task, and from all I’ve heard, the pricing is too high and not competitive. Yes, it would be nice to have my work in a physical format, but I’d prefer to be producing stories.

What’s in the mix for the near future?

To celebrate 48 years since I signed up to serve ‘Queen and Country’, there is a military theme to my final freebies. I will then end the monthly giveaways. As a thank you for all who read this post, there follows a couple of dates for your diary.

What else is cooking?

I’ve no doubt a few of you who have read my work will have smiled at the thought of me baking. At the present time I have no intentions of creating a new blog based on my new hobby, but for amusement I might slip in the odd photo of my efforts – successes and failures, although I hope to have many more of the former.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and intentions. All comments are welcome.


19 thoughts on “Shy and Retiring …

  1. Julia Lund

    I’m sure you will have a fulfilling retirement – in fact retirement is probably a misnoma, as it sounds as though you are moving seamlessly from one busy life to another. I shall look out for you on Bake Off – I have no doubt your cakes, buns and pies will be perfectly formed, and your bread beautifully risen. Wishing you much happiness in this next phase.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Julia. I’ve been on holiday this past week to ease me into the idea, and I haven’t stopped. 😀 I’ve been reading, writing, and cycling regularly. On Friday I spent two hours at an adult art class demonstrating and ‘coaching’ on charcoals and watercolour pencil. 🙂


    1. Hi, Patrick. Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I was out early this morning and apart from a slight chill, the wind strength gave me something to work at. 🙂
      Sorry to hear about the knee issue, mate. It was my knees which stopped me running, and I only got back to cycling about fifteen months ago – and I love it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Stuart

    I can associate with the cycling, Tom. For me, walks by the river are when I get ideas and characters talk. I look forward to your published results. And I haven’t forgotten you promised to try sketching in the snow! Are you waiting for somebody to loan you a chalet in Switzerland or shall I just pray for a white Christmas?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sarah, and thank you for the visit. The chalet idea sounds nice, but not to worry, I’ve already made a few preliminary sketches. I’m presently toying with mono rather than any colour, but we shall see. Thanks again for the challenge. I used those two recent ‘loch’ pieces in my demo at an adult art class on Friday and they went down really well. Interesting results from the class. 😀


  3. As I’ve found, Tom, there’s really no such thing as retirement (until the final call to bed) and I feel sure that a man of your calibre will continue to give all to the projects you embrace. It’s a great new beginning, and I love the sound of your intentions for the future. Here’s to good health and may you live long and prosper… didn’t someone else say that once in a galaxy far, far away?…. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks, Lesley. I’ve used the past week to get my head around the idea, and the rest of my life and my full-time writing career is underway. 🙂 Yes, somebody did once use that ‘live long and prosper’ line in a galaxy far, far away, and on one of my rides I may get in touch … 😀


  4. I’m sure you’re gonna dig retirement, but it sounds like you’ll be just as busy as if you were working. That’s a good thing! Keeps you motivated. Keep riding! I wish I had more time to get out and ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, and thanks for dropping by, Eric. I use my racing bike for longer rides (like this morning’s early 20-mile), but I also use a mountain bike through the week to let me do the track and road thing.
      Two days ago I had to ‘retire’ my old mountain bike when the high-ratio went into a mechanical spasm. It would have been too costly to repair such an old machine so I’ve treated myself and ordered a new 21-speed, which I pick up tomorrow.
      Fortuitous that you should pay a visit today – I’ve finally reached ‘Transmute’ on my massive TBR. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry to hear about your bike, man. I just built up a 29er mountain bike and have been having a blast rolling around on it. It’s such a different experience from the cyclocross bike I do my distance riding on. Hope you enjoy Transmute!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha, I could probably draw the details of the gearing, but I can only dream of being as technically able as you, Eric. Glad to know you’re having such a good time. 😀


  5. It’s wonderful to see the constructive ways you’re embracing retirement. This new chapter in your life sounds exciting, and I have no doubt you’ll succeed with the baking venture. After all, baking is just another form of art. Your cycling and can-do attitude will take you into an awesome future! Wishing you the best. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and thank you for stopping by, Anne. Yes, I want to give it every ounce of energy. I have said to more than one person, I’m not a ‘foodie’, but I keep active enough to enjoy a cake or a bun, so why not try to make my own? I’ve also suggested that baking is simply ‘sculpture with nice food’. 😀 Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Tom,

    I retired 6 years ago and never looked back. I tell people that I am in my third career and that I am the chief exec of myself. Besides my writing, I have my 2 writing groups, my quilting and some voluntary work as well as family and friends, of course. As ex military you would appreciate a memory quilt I have recently made for a friend whose husband died suddenly. He had a career in the Royal Navy and served in the Falklands. She passed on his polo shirts with various insignias of ships he had served on and I featured these. I also did one with his shirts. I’ll be passing those over this week.

    You will love being in charge of yourself. You are extremely organised and disciplined and I foresee great things ahead! I’m well into Amsterdam Calling at the moment and enjoying Dan as a character. Now, I wonder whom he might be based on! I look forward to a Life of Choice Part 5, having been with Jim since the beginning. Keep up the blog, too! All the best…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Barbara. Thank you for the visit. Yes, I’ve suggested I’m setting out on my third career, and I hope to emulate your example and success. Another one of yours is on my TBR (Based on Lies). 🙂 Your quilt work sounds amazing and I’m sure will be greatly appreciated. I’m glad you like Dan – and as you know more than most, I put a little bit of myself into all my male leads. 🙂 A Life of Choice Part 5 is to be read through one more time during this coming week, before formatting and publication next weekend. 🙂


  7. Good luck in your retirement. I’ve been retired six years and I’ve enjoyed every minute. There is a world of opportunities and things to do. Be happy!

    Liked by 1 person

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