Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Candace Lott.

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve Candace Lott who has generously donated her time and skills to support the campaign.

Candace’s passion for reading, started out when she was a little girl. She loved  reading books with unique characters and a lesson weaved into each story. Reading was a clear escape to an adventure, whether she experienced a bad day at school or wanted to expand her knowledge. When Candace entered elementary school, she discovered a new love centered on writing. After high school, Candace enrolled in college and worked hard to improve her writing skills. After graduating college, it still didn’t occur to her, that she was born to be a writer. Until one day, God led Candace to her calling.

Candace is now, a ghostwriter, proofreader, freelance editor and voice-over actress.  Here, she writes about her life as a writer.

Have you ever heard that writing is an art form? Well, whoever said it, they weren’t kidding. Writing has been one of the most challenging adventures—I’ve ever signed up for. One because some days the writing process can drive you nuts. Does that word fit? Should I put this word, instead of that word? Will my audience enjoy this style of writing? Or will they hate it? What to do? I don’t know! Boo, who! And sometimes you have to start over from scratch. Because nothing works. Wowser! However, I wouldn’t change this writing phenomenon. I started writing early on as a child. Before anyone says, “how can a child understand writing?” Let me stop you! Sometimes people know early on. Sometimes you don’t get it, until you’re into your adult years. So, it has always been relevant in my life. From writing stories, poems, lyrics, plays, and now books.

The Child Writer vs. Adult Writer

The child writer vs. adult writer. Highly different. Child writer has tons of fun. No pressure. That’s my childhood experience as a novice writer. Child writer does it without second thoughts. Child writer doesn’t take him/herself too seriously. Adult writer doubts him/herself. Hyperventilates over the thought of a rejection letter. Fears judgment from others. Pours hope in receiving representation from publishers and agents. Anywho, like most things in life, if you want success and longevity, it will require much practice. Every day I write and then edit. Write and then edit—some more. The cycle continues. I am blessed to have earned both titles, writer and editor. Yay! Pretty lucky, eh? I’ll say, it serves a great purpose. Can’t have one without the other.

For more information on Candace Lott on her website or follow her on Twitter:  twitter.com/lott_renay

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: ‘The Story is Told’ by Martin Milner.

Martin Milner, a long standing colleague from my work in Wallasey, UK, has kindly donated one of his songs, ‘The Story is Told’ as the backing track for the promotional video of Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player.

Martin says:

“Music and education have driven my life and career since I can remember. Music making, and being involved with learning in a general way. I am not a fan of big institutions, although I have co-existed with some (eg, LIPA -Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, BBIS -Berlin Brandenburg International School).

I am a creative improvisor, and not just musically. Also a father, a poet, and I like to cook. Cycling through the woods makes me happy. So does meditating. I stand up for my beliefs and support causes such as anti-capitalist initiatives, community-building projects and good work generally, but not because I think it will make a big difference.

Maybe I’m too small to save the world, but I can help out in the neighbourhood.  After 30+ years as a singer-songwriter I finally produced an album of 13 songs in 2015, for the record. A second set is on the way.  Like the rest of you, I am too caught up in my own life to really pay attention to what people write in places like this. Anyway, peace and music be with you, dear reader!”

You can hear more of Martin’s work here.

Martin and I collaborated between 2007 and 2008, together with Nicki Dupuy and Andy Escott. We developed some exciting creative music opportunities with pupils and staff at Riverside and Somerville Primary Schools and the Oldershaw School in Wallasey, Wirral. Funded substantially by Youth Music and a host of other charitable donations, the project – Deschooled? Re-Engaged! aimed to bring about the inclusion of vulnerable and ‘at risk’ children aged between 5 and 14 years from the most socially deprived areas of Wallasey by ‘re-attaching’ them to learning and routes of positive personal development through collaborative working practices between musicians and educators.

You can read all about that project in The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning here.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Jessie Antonellis-John

Dr. Jessie Antonellis-John  has generously donated her time and skills to support the campaign.

An aspiring actress, musician, and writer in her dreams, Dr. Jessie Antonellis-John is actually a science educator.

She hails from New England but is happily relocated to the Pacific Northwest. She currently resides on the Oregon coast with her wife and two cats, where she writes curriculum by day and fiction by night.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by David Robertson

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve David Robertson who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.

This is how David and I came across each other in Leeds.

At a morning rehearsal at the Workshop Theatre, we learned to dance (as a couple) ‘La Comparasita’ while gliding over a corpse, in Mrozek’s Polish comedy, ‘Tango‘. David played a cynical, smarmy know-all and Nick, a callous brute of a butler. That horrific ending was strangely harmonious. Perhaps it led to our friendship, with the American director (Terry Conder) joining us.

Under the title ‘Three Way Split’, we went on to stage ‘The Dock Brief,‘ ‘The Zoo Story,’The Road to Emmaus’ (from a mystery cycle) and ‘The Madness of Lady Bright’ by Lanford Wilson which appealed to Nick. He changed his mind, however, and got a shock when he found the play was in fact to start. He went backstage and in the gloom asked a blonde where David Robertson was.  David gave him his Marlene Dietrich “Well, hello” voice, which knocked him sideways.

As well as setting up Three Way  Split, David was instrumental to a whole host of small scale touring theatre which toured across the UK including Swarthmore Studio Group, Pocket Theatre, Two Way Traffic, Wales Actors Company, Leeds Actors Company, Theatre of the Dales and recently, Hidden Leeds.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Jackie P. Gardner

We’re really lucky to have the support of artists from across the world for the Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player Campaign

Here, Jackie P. Gardner lends her support. Known for her work on Kemet FM, Jackie is a Nottingham radio presenter as well as an event host. She is a champion of local talent and has been voted as one of Nottingham’s influential women.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Janice Owen for International Women’s Day.

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve Janice Owen who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.

Janice Owen is a mother, writer and an ageing tennis player. For Janice International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on gender parity and women’s rights, on how far women have come, advocacy for what is still needed, and action to continue breaking down barriers. Since her schooldays in Kendal Janice has celebrated International Women’s Day, recognising the achievements of women, from different backgrounds and cultures, in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres.

Russia unknowingly set the trend on March 8th 1913, declaring the day, a public holiday and officially creating International Women’s Day. However in 1917 with men at war and with women at home dealing with hardships, food shortages and a government with selective hearing, tens of thousands of Russian women took to the streets demanding change. The unified cry for help paved the way for Russian women to be granted voting rights.

Represented by shades of purple and green, so apt for the English lawn tennis game, not to mention the cause of suffragettes of the past, the present and the future, including those WASPI women fighting for pensions. In a fast paced world of change, the game of tennis, for women, is no stranger to the fight for rights.

The Battle of the Sexes in 1973 saw a Billie Jean King victory over Bobby Rigg and was the catalyst for change in women’s tennis landscape, with Billie Jean King establishing the Women’s Tennis Association in that year. The tennis skirt is said to be the principal driver for revenue generation, with the women’s game outselling before that of the men’s. Politicians are no strangers to the court, with Donald Trump calling for another Battle of the Sexes to Make Tennis Great Again offering a $1m prize for a match between either of the William’s sisters and John McEnroe.

With Venus Williams at the height of her game, she declined the dual due to her overwhelming diary commitments. On the home turf of Wimbledon, Serena Williams argued for equal pay, persuading Tony Blair to support the cause. Janice reflects on her schooldays in the 1970’s, as a golden era for women’s rights crusaders within the sport of tennis. Young women in her school were forming their dreams, of life ahead with a world of possibilities beckoning. Building dreams, identifying first steps towards their goals and assessing the challenges in their respective journeys. In the words of Serena Williams, “Imagine you’re a little girl. You’re growing up. You practice as hard as you can, with girls, with boys. You have a dream. You fight, you work, you sacrifice to get to this stage. You work as hard as anyone you know. And then you get to this stage, and you’re told you’re not the same as a boy.”

Navigating it all is challenging with pressure both on and off the court to accomplish their dreams, and those of their children in all arenas of life. Imagine as a mother, as an athlete and as a coach your shared dreams with your children and you could be wearing the trainers of Judy Murray, motherhood with unexpected challenges, and unequalled pride. Janice sees International Women’s Day as a strengthened call to accelerate global efforts to reach true gender parity in a fast paced world of change where expectations for women continue to rise alongside lip service.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Alby James.

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve Alby James who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.

Alby James was born and raised in north London and is one of five children of immigrants from Jamaica who arrived in the UK in 1950. He attended local schools in Crouch End up to GCEs and Southgate Tech for A-levels, where he became politically active. He became president of the student union in his second year and went to the University of East Anglia from 1974-77 to study international development.

This is where he also cut his teeth as an artistic director for the theatre during his 2 years as president of the Student Drama Society. After a 15-year first career as a theatre director, (including nine years as artistic director of Temba Theatre Company, which toured nationally in the UK and in Europe) Temba, working in co-production with many London-based and regional theatres, helped establish cultural diversity in the treatment of the classics and a more mixed repertoire in the programming in British theatres.

Alby moved into film and television in the mid-90s and has since worked predominantly as a producer and script executive for films and TV series, occasionally writing and running training course for writers, directors and producers. He has been instrumental in helping the new South Africa to upskill members of the formerly disadvantaged communities in South Africa to be able to have careers in the industry as well as writers and writer/directors in Russia. Currently, he is working with the film industry to improve the opportunities for the UK’s black filmmakers and for them to co-produce with international partners.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Jason Biggs.

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve Jason Biggs who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.

Jason was born in Kensington London in 1968, the same year The Beatles released their double White Album, ironically this album becoming Jason’s all-time favourite. Growing up in Leeds from the age of 4 until 7 he soon found himself hanging around The Manor in Oxfordshire gegging in on Mike Oldfield while he was recording Tubular Bells.

He partied with Richard Branson and was living what seemed to be an idyllic life. His father was then forced to sell shares and suddenly Jason finds himself on the streets of South Shields, living with his grandmother in what seemed like a very threatening neighbourhood. It was tough, he took the knocks, kept it secret and then through a series of life changing events found himself at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts at the beginning of 1996.

Jason isn’t yet sure how he got there but thinks it may have something to do with a National Express bus, he may never find out. Until then he’ll continue working with the community, using his arts to help foster a better world for us all. He also plays in a 5-piece band, Mervin Gersh, check them out on YoutubeJ.

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: read by Anand Torrents.

This year, I’m planning to give Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player a major re-boot by publishing it with Troubadour books.  I’ve been fortunate to meet a Derby based illustrator, Paul Warren, who has provided a fantastic set of images for the book which you can see on the campaign page here.

I’ve also been very lucky to involve Anand Torrents who has generously donated his time and skills to support the campaign.

Anand Torrents Is a Gestalt therapist certified by the Institut Gestalt of Barcelona, (2015) and holds a degree in Philosophy (1994), issued by the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona). He was born in Barcelona in 1968; a traveler at heart, he has always worked in connection with education in his native Catalonia, and abroad (India, USA, etc). Anand is deeply interested in: Language diversity, Emotional intelligence, Multiculturalism, Outdoors pedagogy… and now tennis! Anand holds a Master’s Degree in Psychopedagogy, specializing in the adult population and he feels lucky to be currently working as a trainer of trainers in international projects; where he incidentally met Nick Owen… the rest is history…

L’Anand Torrents és un terapeuta Gestalt format per l’Institut Gestalt de Barcelona (2015) i és llicenciat en Filosofia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 1994). Va néixer a Barcelona el 1968; viatger empedreït, sempre ha treballat en relació amb l’educació a la seva Catalunya natal i a l’estranger (Índia, EUA, etc.). L’Anand està profundament interessat en: la diversitat lingüística, la intel·ligència emocional, el multiculturalisme, la pedagogia mediambiental … i ara el tennis! L’Anand té un màster en psicopedagogia, especialitzat en la població adulta i se sent afortunat de treballar actualment com a formador de formadors en projectes internacionals; on va conèixer casualment en Nick Owen … la resta és història ..