Life Beyond My Wildest Dreams – Book Launch for ‘Dancing in the Rain’

When I embarked on recovery from alcoholism in 2002 I was told that in sobriety I could find a life beyond my wildest dreams. At my very early stage of that journey, sobriety itself was exactly that; I felt I needeed no more. My life was on track and that was all that mattered. I was in a state of euphoria that led me to believe nothing bad could ever happen to me again now I was sober; I was exempt from all life’s possible ills. How very naive I was.

Three years later my right foot started to become weak; it’s a long story and not the main point of this post but I mention it as it has some relevance. I was at the beginning of a long and arduous path of investigations and tests which was to cover a duration of six years, culminating in a diagnosis of progressive multiple sclerosis. The euphoria was well and truly squashed and I felt short changed. The life beyond my wildest dreams had been snatched away from me very cruelly and I was angry.

A great deal of hard work was necessary for me to come to terms with everything and I put my life on hold while I processed what was happening. During this period of time something was stirring in the depths of my soul and as a consequence of my thoughts and feelings shouting at me to put them on paper, I stumbled upon poetry. Or maybe I should say poetry stumbled upon me. I began blogging in order to share my poetry and gradually met other bloggers who began following me and I followed them. A community of like minded people developed and most of us are still following and supporting each other today.

Now to the main point of this post!

In March of this year my poetry book ‘Dancing in the Rain’ was published by Bennison Books. If this isn’t life beyond my wildest dreams, then I don’t know what is!  It was a wonderful experience working with the publisher and I learned so much, both about poetry and about myself. I am fortunate to be part of a wonderful writing group, and my tutor suggested a book launch and said he would host it for me. This was such a privilege.  After a struggle to find an appropriate venue, I finally discovered that The Heart Cafe, Enterprise and Arts Centre in Leeds had a room the perfect size. The book launch was last Friday the 5th June . We had a fabulous evening and all my family and friends were there to support me. I read three poems, Glenda my very dear friend from the writing  group read three and James our tutor read the final two. I was also interviewed by him – another new experience! It was a very successful and happy event. Adversity can sometimes present us with gifts we could never have imagined. A life beyond my wildest dreams? I think so!

The book is selling very well and has already raised an impressive amount of money for The MS Trust to help them in their valuable work.

Below are some photos of the launch and for anyone who has the patience and inclination to watch the video,  the link is below.

Thank you to all my blogging friends for supporting me along the way with encouragement and love over the past few years. Im sure that without you none of this would have happened. There are wild dreams out there for us all;  we simply have to reach out and catch them.





62 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 12:40:18

    Such a wonderful post! You have accomplished so much and you’ve only just started. Congratulations on the book! I wish you all the best in all your current and future endeavours. 😀 xx


  2. Trackback: Dancing in the Rain: official launch « Bennison Books
  3. Bennison Books
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 13:52:48

    Absolutely loved the video of the event, especially the readings – it was a wonderful occasion (also covered here:


  4. lscotthoughts
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 13:56:38

    Wonderful post, Chris, and I couldn’t be happier for you! I love your writing and your book, which I often refer to! Sending much love! xo


  5. John Looker
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 15:06:53

    Congratulations on your launch, Chris. I enjoyed the video – it’s good to see and hear you live, flanked by friends, and I very much agree with your tributes to Deborah Bennison at Bennison Books.


  6. Cynthia Jobin
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 15:29:09

    The video is just great, Chris. I very much enjoyed the interview with your tutor, who seems like a lovely man…it certainly brought out your native sweetness and heart. I was glad to hear that in reading you totally forgot everything but the poem itself….you did a fine job with that, too.
    My congratulations to you, and thanks (also to your videographer) for letting us peep in on what was certainly a wonderful happening.


    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 13, 2015 @ 20:20:09

      Thank you Cynthia. Our son flew over from Ireland specially for the launch despite a hugely busy schedule and he brought his video recorder thingy with him and set it up on YouTube. I wouldn’t have known where to start! 😊 I still have a lot of work to do on my reading voice but this was all good stuff in the learning process I think.


  7. naijaprincess007
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 15:40:57

    Thank you for sharing not only your poems but your testimony, because I am going through a similar situation eliminating the alcoholism. You have opened my eyes as well as encouraged me to be focused and determined to see this out.



  8. Polly
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 17:13:07

    Aw…what a lovely post, Christine. So happy to see your launch went well, and the photos are a delight 🙂 x


  9. Laurel's Reflections
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 17:41:12

    Well done Christine! Even though we’ve never met in person, you’ve been such a supportive and inspirational friend. I am utterly delighted for you – your poetry has touched so many hearts, and your humility, humanity, and honesty (on the rough day as well as the hopeful ones) are valuable beyond words. Smiling in joy at your successes, despite all challenges x


  10. Peter Wells aka Countingducks
    Jun 13, 2015 @ 18:13:20

    For no reason at all I feel so very proud of you and what you have accomplished. What you have made out of difficulty and then adversity is really beyond measure. I look forward to getting my own copy. You are an example to us all


  11. tikarmavodicka
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 07:42:56

    Congratulations! Christine. 😊
    Having your poetry published and launched! Is such a wonderful accomplishment. 😊
    I’m so happy for you that the process of writing, publishing and launching your book has been so positive for you. 😊
    I wish you and your book much continued success!
    (((Big hugs)))
    Xoxo 💓


    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 14, 2015 @ 09:31:08

      Thank you so much Tikarma for this lovely supportive comment; it truly warms my heart and your support has been part of my getting this far with my writing.

      (((big hugs)))
      xxx ❤️


  12. samatwitch
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 09:11:05

    Congratulations and well done!


  13. Léa
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 13:14:53

    Wonderful post, wonderful launch! Of course I knew it would be. I’ve got my copy and love it. You are always such an inspiration. It was a delight to be able to see you and hear your voice, and I was there at least in spirit. Now, I am looking forward to your next book… 🙂 xxx


  14. Jennifer's Journal
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 14:33:55

    This is wonderful, Chris. And great news: I just bought the kindle edition on It was finally available this time when I checked! Happy, happy! 🙂


  15. journeyintopoetryj
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 15:05:32



  16. Polly
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 15:37:39

    I’ve just finished watching the video’s Chris and am moved to say how much I enjoyed your own and your friends’ readings – beautiful – thanks again for sharing :0 x


    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 14, 2015 @ 16:37:16

      Thank you Polly for taking time out to watch the whole thing. I’m pleased you liked it. I still need to Inprove my reading of poems out loud but I will get there. It’s all very new to me. Glenda’s readings were excellent.; she used to be an actor so I think that has helped. She coached me a little a week before and managed to get me to slow down but my voice till lacks expression I feel. 😊


  17. Minuscule Moments
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 04:20:18

    Chris so excited for you, you look and sound amazing congratulations on the book. I know how wonderful it will be as your first book was most enjoyable and I still pick it up to get some inspiration for art and writing. Its right by my computer. Hope to get the next one too.


  18. Climbing Downhill
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 19:03:04

    I watched it all and feel like I know you better. The best part was hearing your poetry read, especially by you.


    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 21:04:34

      Thank you for taking time to watch the video. I think I need to practice reading my poems aloud; Im not used to it, it’s all very new to me but I thoroughly enjoyed the launch. It was a great experience.


  19. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 23:15:39

    Chris, what a wonderful and much deserved event that must’ve been! I’m thoroughly enjoying your book of course – just savoring every poem. Congratulations that it’s selling so well. Still intending to email you soon. 🙂 Sending hugs!


  20. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 23:19:38

    P.S. I love seeing the photos and will watch the video later on the computer. (Am viewing this on my cell.)


  21. Wendy L. Macdonald
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 20:56:08

    Christine, I enjoyed hearing you read out one of your poems, As usual I ended up tearing up. You write with such tenderness. I’m loving your book, dear poetess. ❤
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀


  22. Jane Thorne
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 14:25:01

    Life can weave some very special strands indeed and your’s sparkles with such vibrancy Christine. I am so very proud of you and it was a privilege to be there with you at your book launch. This is just the start of your writing journey and you are flying with it…I love you very much ❤ and am so very proud of you ❤ xXx ❤


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jun 25, 2015 @ 14:33:55

      Thank you so much precious friend. I was so happy you were able to be there with me! I cant believe we didnt get a photo of the two of us together!! I would have posted that here too! It was a very special evening made all the more special by your presence. It feels a bit like a dream now! But it was real! Los of love and huge hugs xxxx❤️Xxxx


      • Jane Thorne
        Jun 25, 2015 @ 14:51:03

        It happened my lovely, it really did, but I get what you mean by it feeling like a dream. I look back and think….’Did that happen?’ It did and I got to hug you properly and we had time to natter and I felt so cosseted staying with you all..bless John for his cooking. I close my eyes and I am back on your sofa, nattering with you and looking out on your garden. We’ll do it again….promise. Hugs and so much love to you. ❤ xxx always

    • journeyintopoetry
      Jun 25, 2015 @ 15:59:47

      Something lovely to look forward to! xxx❤️xxx


  23. Suzy Hazelwood
    Jul 20, 2015 @ 01:05:45

    What an exciting year for you Christine, and so lovely to see you in those videos!♥ I have to admit book launches are not something I normally enjoy, not sure why, but I just prefer to appreciate the books and not so much the trimmings. But when it’s someone you know of, it’s quite a different feeling. And lovely to see your family involved too!

    Your book is still on my long list of books to buy. I’ve not only been saving my money through serious lack of it, but I’ve had hardly any time to think about opening an Amazon account and buying anything at all! But finances have replenished now and Amazon is on my list to go and do some long awaited shopping very shortly. It will be so lovely to have a book written by you Christine – I shall get there in the end!! 😀


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 24, 2015 @ 14:45:15

      Thank you Suzy! The book launch was entirely on the suggestion of my writing tutor who said we must have a celebration of the book. I had never given it a thought! He is such a lovely man, and also a well known poet in the north so this was a huge privilege not to be missed. 😊.


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