Beth’s partner, Dan, inexplicably vanishes from her life and nine years later she is still struggling. In the intervening years, she has learnt British Sign Language (BSL) and got what she thought would be her dream job, supporting deaf students in college. However, she finds she still feels dissatisfied with just about everything: from working life to sex life, domestic life to social life, it’s as if the traumas of her past will forever mar her future.
Through her work, Beth meets a group of strong-minded, pragmatists who show her how they’ve adapted to challenges of having a disability.
Is Dan’s disappearance the primary source of Beth’s sadness? Can her new friends help to shift her perspective on dealing with life? Will learning BSL prove to be significant after all? And what really happened to Dan? The answers may be quite unexpected.
The themes and characters of Senseless are moulded by the challenges of deafness and disability but the book is not ‘about’ disability per se. More succinctly, it’s about ordinary people bumping through the ups and downs of life like we all are.
It was so cold when Beth pulled herself out of Rick’s overheated car that by the time she’d walked the fifteen steps to her front door, the metal door-handle felt wet instead of cold to her frozen fingers.
‘Fuck, fuck, fuck’ she chanted as she fumbled with her key, seeing a frozen cloud coming from her mouth. The only light was a faint glow from the distant street lamp but even that was obscured by an overgrown bush. There were no lights on in the house, indicating that Dan was already in bed. He would usually leave the porch light on if Beth still hadn’t come home from a long working day. He’d sometimes leave a note on the door for her too: Come to bed immediately! Or welcome home sexy!
Tonight there were neither of those things. She was worried about Dan, he’d been in a strange, uncommunicative mood for the last several weeks. His sullen moods were very unlike him. After asking a few times if he was okay and getting the brush off, she had decided to ignore it and wait for the real Dan to come back. It was probably just work stress, he had mentioned budget cuts.
All Beth wanted now was to get this bloody rigid bra off and curl up in bed next to a calm, sleeping Dan hoping he’d wake up in a better mood tomorrow.
She was so tired. She and Rick had driven a 400-mile round trip to attend the annual national conference for Better Solutions UK. After a 4am start to get there, they’d left the conference at rush hour and it felt like they had never managed to get over 20mph the entire journey home, passing the time fantasising about leaving their jobs and starting something new that they actually enjoyed.
The Better Solutions honchos were a nasty corporate money-grabbing bunch of wankers in her opinion. Beth spent most days driving across the majority of northern England to care homes or supported housing developments to demonstrate her wares and try to persuade over-worked, underpaid staff that the place couldn’t manage without a Better Solutions bath hoist or a state of the art wheelchair ramp.
She could see the glazed look of most of the staff, ushered in to the demonstrations during the precious quiet minutes of their lunch breaks. Her van would be packed with free Better Solutions pens and free Better Solutions mugs to keep them happy while she broke her back slugging the equipment around and feeling like an idiot.
Better Solutions were, of course, very generous with their bonuses to the best sales people but the actual wages were laughable. She had done pretty well out of her ‘success’ but not everyone was so lucky.
Rick was adamant she should do something else. ‘Beth’, he’d tell her ‘you’re 34 years young, what the fuck are you doing languishing in this pissy job?’ He had a point; maybe she was just idling? Who knows, maybe this weekend would be a good time to research about the training she would need to get to where she wanted to be.
When she got in, the dark house was freezing. Had Dan not had the heating on at all tonight? She went to the lounge and bent to turn on the glass-fronted faux-flame gas fire, holding out her hands to the flames. Ignoring her mother’s voice in her head saying ‘don’t do that Bethany, you’ll get chilblains’.
That’s when she noticed the envelope on the mantelpiece with BETH written in large black letters on the front. Had Dan left a welcome note after all? He’d never used an envelope before. She lifted it down drowsily, tempted to just put it in her pocket to read in the morning. Something about the formality of the sealed envelope made her open it though. When she pulled out the folded piece of A4 paper there was just one short line in Dan’s best cursive. Bile rose in her throat as she read the words:
I have loved you so much Beth, I’m so sorry. D xx
It feels a very long time since I wrote that I had received my first structural edit from Gill. In fact, it was November 7th so only 3 weeks ago.
Those three weeks have been pretty full on with fitting big blocks of writing time into my normal schedule. It has meant eschewing some things- mainly email and Facebook so not that drastic.
I have worked bloody hard I must say and wrote the final…
More excitement here. The first draft of Senseless has been returned to me from Gill the editor.
I am very delighted with the edit. Yes, there is a lot to be done but the ideas that Gill has for bringing the story out more effectively are fantastic.
When I was writing Senseless, I felt frustrated at times as I had a picture in my head of how I wanted the book to be but somehow seemed unable…
I have left you in peace long enough so it is time for an update.
Note first off that, as promised, the word ‘campaign’ had been dropped from the subject line. Senseless is now 101% funded :) You can still pledge, as I said and it is not too late to become part of the project, get your names in the book when it is printed and get a copy hot off the press before it goes on sale to anyone else. Pledgers…
This will be the final blog headed Senseless Campaign News.
Why? I hear you ask
Because the campaign is finished!! I'm sure you got an emal from Unbound yesterday with the news or have seen my Facebook enthusiasm but just in case not. SENSELESS IS 100% FUNDED!
I feel slightly overwhelmed :) I have found the whole Crowdfunding process exhausting but exhilarating. Not only has it been wonderful…
Well, something unearthly is happening now :) 8 days ago, I posted how fab it was to be 76% funded. I am now 92% funded.
8% left to fund and then the publishing process will start!
Here is a brief rundown of what will happen:
1. I will be assigned an editor and Senseless will get a thorough structural edit (is my writing clear? Can I re-phrase or expand on anything to make…
Well, wow again, we have got to 76% funded and we’re only on day 48. Time for a final push, any help with sharing the project very very much appreciated.
I had a great weekend with the Calvert Trust but no photos yet although most of the activities seemed to involve going down anyway and so definitely not symbolic of this constantly ascending Crowdfunding! Giant swings, zip wires and abseiling…
I usually do an update on a Friday but will be away this weekend so Thursday it will be :)
We were 66% last week and I said the next boulder milestone for me was 75%. Well, we are already at 72% and climbing. I have a little mention to Jill Lickley and Debbie Watkins who have been amazing at spreading the word about Senseless. I am sure at least half of you know one or other of them! THANK YOU…
We did it!!
End of week 5 (that’s 35 days) and made it to 66% funded (that’s TWO THIRDS!!!). Put that into perspective: Unbound suggest 90 days for funding a project, that’s another 55 days from now and we have already arrived in what I feel is the home stretch. Uncanny! Masterful! Amazing!
I think I have mentioned once or twice that I can’t wait for Senseless to become real? The biggest…
Hello! Just been looking at the Senseless project page and we have reached 65% funded! Only one little percent gets us to the 66% boulder milestone I would love to reach by Friday. (Friday marks the end of week 5 since launch date)
This time last week, we were at 56% so, again, pretty awesome.
An odd thing happened today, I was alerted to a link to an article that mentions my first book Catch…
I am really stunned now :) Just over a week ago, I was on 39% with 93 Senseless supporters. I am now, incredibly, at 58% with 106 of you!
Each week I think ‘pledges may slow down and plateau for a while, that’s ok’ and then you have other ideas.
Last Sunday was THE most unbelievable day. I turned on my computer in the morning (I still use a good, old fashioned desk top pc) and checked my…
Hello Senseless supporters.
Wow, I hoped to get back from the weekend and be at 33.33% but I was actually at 37% (now 39!).
I mentioned that no one had splashed out to name my horse and then by some wonderful, alchemic magic, someone did! I do know who it was and know too the new name of the horse but neither will be revealed until Senseless is in print :) That is just fantastic, so many…
Hello again esteemed Senseless supporters. We have now made it to 30% and the ONE THIRD milestone is in sight!
I am going away this weekend to spend some time with others living with NF2 at the Can You Hear Us summer gathering. Very excited about the indoor climbing session and meeting Llama babies (calves?). we have planned.
The best of the best would be to come back and find support for Senseless…
Cool news, there are 70 people on-board the Senseless Campaign! I know several people who rarely use the Internet and never use Social Media or do on-line shopping. These friends can still join the campaign by asking someone else to pledge on their behalf. The kind person who does so can then enter the pledger’s details so that their names will still appear in the book and they will receive copies…
Two days ago, I was over the moon that Senseless was 12% funded and on its way towards becoming a beautiful book.
I never expected to be updating again so soon that you have just got us over the 25% mark! That is in less than a week (Unbound suggest 90 days to reach the target). At this rate, Senseless will get there in under half that time!
Let's try to keep the momentum going!
Wow! The Senseless project is already 12% funded!!
I am getting beyond excited :) is there a word for that? Thank you, you amazing people
By pledging, you are now an esteemed supporter of the Senseless project and I am so excited about sharing the adventure with you as my manuscript is transformed into a beautiful, polished book by a very gifted team of people at Unbound. This can only happen…
These people are helping to fund Senseless.