1. The Darkness Beneath - Free Copy
2. It's All About You - Read All About It!

The Darkness Beneath: Sex, Death and Trains, all Yours For Nothing (still!)*

*Terms and Conditions apply: you can get a free copy of my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, by following this link - but hurry! Only the first 100 people to sign up can claim a free 

It Is All About You!
Well we got off to a flying start with the first IAAY with a brilliant contribution from the irrepressible Maureen Hovermale, and nearly 800 people reading her piece, plus several comments. Thanks for being the cutting edge Maureen!

The next IAAY will be out Wednesday 27th June, and will feature one of the USA's top artists, Rebecca Venn. She paints and draws exquisitely and I'm looking forward to introducing her to you. 

If you're a writer, painter, musician or any other kind of creative person, and would like to take part, please have a look at the guidelines. You can contact me via the comments here or on Twitter: @mickdavidson.

Where Did All The Time Go?
I stepped rather niaively into having a guest contributor - for instance I hadn't though about the extra time needed to gather up new contributors and organise their material, and then add all that to the blog. But it's been worth it as I've had a lot more people visiting my blog and websites, I've made some new contacts with a variety of creative people (some of whom will be featured in IAAY - hurrah and thanks!), and one of whom described my idea as 'innovative'. Which I like a lot.

I like it because I've toyed with the idea of having a guest contributor for a while, but wanted to do something a little different to either a guest blog or a straight interview. Cutting out the middleman (me) and letting the contributor strut their stuff in their own way seemed like a good idea. Judging by the reactions I've had, a lot of other people agree. 

For me, creatvity is one of the most important things in life: it fires the imagination and takes us to places we never knew we would or could go to. It also forces us to expose our inner selves to the world, which is often very challenging. Despite this, I know that all the difficulties we experience are worthwhile. Not only that, we get to join a group of people who are fantastic to know, supportive, helpful and full of wisdom gained by travelling the same path. We might work alone, but we are not alone.

One of the things I hope comes from IAAY is that others will read it and become inspired to create as well. And if that happens, I'll be very happy indeed.

For the last two years I've been waiting for the British and Dutch tax offices to sort out my tax situation, which is pretty bad and only going to get worse. 

No, I'm not giving you the details, but let's just say the problem is five zeros long and multiple €ks high.

You wouldn't want it, but any donations will be gratefully received. 

Despite this, I'm remarkably chipper and upbeat, but that might be because I still don't know how heavy the train I'm standing in front of is: I find this weird.

Like anyone else, I can get down about a bad situation, but so far it's been just the opposite. Not that I'm wildly happy - don't picture my life as one long beach party (actually it's snowing here at the moment...) but I feel a sort of resistance to being down and a determination to not allow life and taxes to break my spirit.

I will know for sure how bad it's going to be within the next two weeks so my attitude might change and you may well find me drunk in a gutter somewhere, but that is not my plan.

So why is it that I'm not already seeking professional help? Why has the weight of the last two years (longer actually) not pressed me down so far into the mud that I'm already buried.

Ignorance is helpful: I can't really see how badly life will change, and I seek refuge in my writing, books and the TV, so perhaps that helps. Or is it something else? Am I tapping into a deeper human response that makes us stand up and fight when necessary?

I can't say and only time will tell. I've always been someone who takes the easier route, I frequently travel the green fields of dreams - indeed I've spent so long staring out of windows lost in other worlds of possibilities that I was a qualified  writer long before I put pen to paper.

(And I recommend writing with a pen to all writers who don't - I'd write everything by hand if I had the time and whoever had to type it out could actually read it.)

Of course, I hope that my new found resistance isn't just hot air and bluster because life is going to get very tricky, very soon and I need to get through it somehow. I do have a light at the end of the tunnel, and one day I'll tell you about how brightly that shines: I'm going to need to stay focussed on that beautiful light because I'm sure I'll be in the shit for the next two years, maybe more. 

In the meantime I shall fall back on assuming that I will make it back to the sunshine and that if I continue writing and submitting I will be published, that my books will become best-sellers and that I will earn lots of money and I will buy myself out of this dark corner. 

As you can see, my imagination hasn't stopped working and I'm still delusional and wildly optimistic about being enslaved to the literary world as I ever was; qualities every writer worth their salt has to have.

Fed Up Reading the same old Guff?
Banish those fed-up blues by reading the first three chapters of my second novel, an Anglo-Dutch bike-based romance, here.