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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Dream Machine – 9 steps to reach your dream!

Click to enlarge, then click right to save
As promised, here it is: 1 step a week to achieve that dream of yours.

First, what is it? It’s a 9-step tool – in the form of a chart/process – to formulate, analyse, plan, check and reach your dream. 
Second, what’s a dream? A “dream” can be a goal, an objective, a desire, or even…a dream! I prefer to use the word dream, even in a professional context, to cover all of these. It makes it more exciting. BUT, look at these two examples:
a)      Oh Lord, if only I were a millionaire, then I could do whatever I wanted…
b)      I want to publish a book.

The first is NOT a dream. It’s a wishful thought, a “poor old me” statement, vague and not very concrete! A millionaire through what? A miraculous rain storm with gold coins flooding down instead of raindrops? A forgotten auntie who turns up at your door with a treasure chest full of diamonds? A lottery ticket that – if we are to believe the governments of this world – suddenly transforms you into a being richer than Bill Gates with no effort required?
The second IS A DREAM. And it is concrete. And when you do publish a book, then it might even make you a millionaire in the process! So dreams are realisable. And remember, what may appear a dream to one, may be different for another. For example:  

Tom’s dream is to publish a book. Sally’s dream is to go on a world tour. Pete’s dream is to meet the love of his life. Charlotte’s dream is to live in New York. Raja’s dream is to spend a holiday trekking in Mongolia. Jose’s dream is to own and run a philosophy café. Hakim’s dream is to be a rock star. And Michaela’s dream is to ensure a university education for her son and daughter. These are dreams: and they can be reached.
Third, the proof: A few years ago, something happened to me – I lost my job. And with it, self-esteem, comfort, security, pride, etc. I was in my 40s. And if you’re 45 and above in France, then the chances of finding another job quickly (if ever, as unfortunately the case now appears), are very slim indeed. I took a look back at the past, and a look forward to the future: and decided the moment had come to reach my dreams. I dug up something I’d come across while training as a coach, modified it slightly, re-named it “the dream machine” and used it.

So I wrote a book and started my own business. A year later Amazir was published, without using an agent (almost unheard of), and it went to 2nd place in a national UK literary prize. And my little business, much like a toddler, slowly learnt to walk and is now running despite the obstacles the country I live in puts in its way. So here is your chance too. Because another dream I have – à la MLK – is for EVERYBODY to reach their dream and – why not – taste happiness! So do it. 

Here's Step 1 - easy! You've a week to think about and do it before Step 2 next week. What d'you think?

See Tom's second dream reached using the 9-step tool at

Click on the image to download.


Monday, 20 October 2014

It would be nice to know you

Dear visitors to this BlogSpot,

It would be nice to know you – and that’s from the heart. You’re 3,757 to visit this stop off on your internet journey – from France, the United States, the Ukraine, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, Algeria and even Nepal. And other places too.

I personally know some of you. And I think, in these very tough times, it would be nice for you all to have a say too. Send me a word, drop me a line. Make a comment. Speak to me of your hopes and dreams, work, family, sadness and joy – and if you want, I’ll post you on the blog with a message to the world. Send a mail to this address:  and I’ll get back in touch.

So times are tough. It has been said. But they seem tougher now than ever. Taking a step back and looking at the last 30 years or so, nothing much has changed on certain fronts. Recession has been constant. Most of the same old faces are still around, telling us what to do or promising us what they cannot keep. We are taxed until life becomes more like survival than living. Wars are fought. Extremes still sow panic. Systems stay absurdly the same. And England still hasn’t reached the World Cup final (!).  But there are beautiful moments too. And we must continue, must we not? We must believe, hope, fall in love, gaze across the hillsides and walk by the sea, start families, and follow dreams – for that’s what counts and what keeps us afloat.

Your visits to this blog certainly help me, that’s for sure. They give me a hope that maybe I can offer something. That maybe you in turn will be able to give through the work that you will endeavour.   And that maybe what I write can offer the world something too (by the way, a percentage of everything I write goes to charities – see posts - so your gesture of buying and reading my books helps both others and the world progress. And if, by bad luck, you can’t find the means to buy, then a jolly review on Amazon, a Like, Tweet, Star or any other weird and wonderful positive gesture would help just as much!). So thanks for your visits, thanks for your effort, however long or however brief!

Talking of teens - I was a dreamer!
The new book of poetry – 36 Exposures – has just been published, with an end-of-year aim to donate to Vibrance Care Homes UK. The novel published in March, The Kingdom of Emptiness, needs help and promotion – for it may well be a story that changes the world for the better! And just for you, I’ve decided to post something that I learnt a few years ago and that has helped me achieve my own dreams. It’s a coaching tool: HOW TO REACH YOUR DREAM IN 9 STEPS. And because I can’t technically upload the full thing in a document on this blog, I’ll be doing it in steps – all 9 of them over the next 9 weeks. It works. For me it did. And for those I’ve trained, coached and helped, it did. So you can benefit from it too.

But before we begin (this coming weekend), it’s necessary to have…A DREAM! So get thinking, get dreaming. Maybe you’ve already got one. If you haven’t – and it’s very often the case – then go back to when you were a teenager or even before. You remember – when your sleep and idle moments were filled with dreams! And if you still can’t think of a dream that you want to achieve, then ask yourself: “what if I woke up tomorrow? What would my perfect life, my perfect world be like?” And there you’ll find your dream.

Kisses to all. And raising a beer to you too. Hope to hear from you soon and look out for the coming weekend and the first step in reaching your dream!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

36 Exposures Goes Live

Scribd. has place of honour to be the first outlet worldwide to feature Tom's collection of poetry - 36 Exposures. Give Scribd. a visit and remember:

A poem is a page, if that. A stolen five minutes away from the crowd, the office, the computer, the phone, the expectations and the obligations. It’s like a quick and passionate kiss with a love – exciting, reassuring, rebellious and true. It pierces the heart of the wider world but strangely is pointed directly at you. Enjoy.

Tom xxx ;-)

Listen to the artist in you!

The signs that something “arty” is about to happen

Ever felt that second’s-worth of Oh? Ever had a moment of Ah! And what about that distant nagging sensation that lingers long after the idea you had wasn’t written down? And do all these come back sometime further down the line?  

Most probably yes. And most probably a sure sign that there’s a wordsmith, song-smith or even art-smith deep inside you, well frustrated that you won’t listen to its call. And can you blame it?!

For many years I battled with these muses and their tweaks, signs, messages and grumblings – and turned a deaf ear to them with an excuse to do other, more pressing things like work, phoning a friend, filling in the tax form, or most importantly dozing off in front of an England World Cup football match.

These last four years, I decided not to. And I heeded their call. That made the muse – or muses – very happy. For there’s nothing worse in life than considering yourself beautiful and not being looked at. And Muses are beautiful. Since then, notebook, back-of-an-envelope, computer and even the mobile have seen scribbled down thoughts and ideas the moment the muse awakens.
Here are some of the signs: a checklist, if you like. 

1.      An “Oh”, an “Ah!” or an “Ooh” when visiting somewhere different – something has triggered a thought, emotion or memory deep inside you.

2.      A puzzled feeling when settling down to sleep at night – something you can’t quite grasp  (and I’m talking about the sign the muse gave to you here, of course)
3.      As the days pass, a restlessness. You often glance out of the window, fidget, catch yourself frowning in the hallway mirror (Is that me??)
4.      After the restlessness, hesitation and blunder. Here, you do things like pick up the toast before putting butter on it, or worse pick up the toast with the left hand and the butter with the right – all the time forgetting that a knife is needed in the process.  You put on odd socks. You forget your keys in the door, the grandmother you left guarding the supermarket trolley by the special offer beer and wine shelf.
5.      The slow spread of grumpiness in you turns to the irascible. You begin to throw insults at the telly and the England squad wandering dreamily about the pitch (yes, I know the sweltering heat is usually to blame, as well as the French referee). The f-word is used unsparingly for minor mishaps. You get angry.
6.      Finding no positive way to express itself, the anger turns to the blues. You listen long hours to Bumble Bee Slim records and consider taking up the harmonica. You might decide to examine the clouds in the sky for long moments, generally bemoan the state of the country and its cohorts of bureaucrats, and focus on every dismal piece of news the media dishes out to you.
7.      You drop it – the whole damn thing and especially that nagging voice in the back of your mind which says “what a waste!”
8.      And it is then – at that precise moment – that you should peddle backwards, seize a pen and paper, and scribble for all you’re worth! YES – even if you do snub your nose at them, the Muses always offer you another chance to capture what they’ve been trying to tell you!  
9.      So the idea is written. It takes shape and a song, story, work of art, and poem is born. And Gawd Blimey – all of a sudden you feel pleased with yourself, on top of the world, and life seems the most wonderful thing.
The lesson: Listen to the muse you have inside you – and always have a pen and paper handy!
Tom Gamble ;-) 


Monday, 13 October 2014

36 Exposures – Go Live imminent!  

The final stages of editing are coming to an end and it looks as if 36 Exposures – the collection of poems and dittologies – will indeed be on your virtual shelves very soon! The collection is dedicated to Maurice Henry Gamble and a percentage of all sales of 36 Exposures will be donated to Vibrance Care Homes UK where Maurice spent many years of his life, helped by the wonderfully dedicated and caring staff who work there (thanks goes out to Marilyn for a beautiful account of Maurice's life at the home) .
A pre-launch snippet from 36 Exposures:


When you come, usually brusque in step
With a smile and the way you have of stooping slightly
Forwards through the finishing tape to the future,
So the magic begins.
It startles me – these sudden magpies and their ritual dance,
The unexpected opening of doors and sunshine just on us.
And why should everything reveal an interest,
The mundane uncover such wild and wonder?
It is the beginning, I know – but it still enchants.
We have not touched, just talked.
And yes, you old, ageless conspiracy –
You’ve hooked us on a lovely spell.
Copyright 2014 Tom Gamble


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Why poetry loves the digital age

Travel somewhere else on your commuter train. Take a break from the crowd. Sneak out into the office grounds and spend lunchtime in the park. Take your Reader, pick up your book, switch on your mobile and steal five minutes to look! The faster we go, the more poetry beckons us. 
Poetry. I believe there’s a future in it. A poem is a page, if that. A stolen five minutes away from the rush, the office, the computer, the phone, the expectations and the obligations.

It’s like a quick and passionate kiss with a love – exciting, reassuring, rebellious and true. It pierces the heart of the wider world but strangely is pointed directly at you.
Tom Gamble

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A freshly exposed front cover!

After a day at the publisher's, here's the latest proposal for the front cover to 36 Exposures. Watch out for the launch date - coming soon!

Do you have a completed manuscript? Are you looking for a trigger to set you on the way to becoming a published writer? Do you have a story or poem you believe in? If so, take a look at the competitions page at the Society of Authors and...go for it!