The items on this site are a total mish-mash of whole life but they all stem from the joy of Jesus making himself known to me when I was 35. It is not about religion, it is about life. So my writing is about celebrating living, whether it is exploring truth or coming up with stories and poems, describing walks, or designing greetings cards. The work spans about 30 years (as at 2022).
I didn't really start writing until my forties after I qualified as a Design and Technology teacher and my early experiences led to the poem 'Sir'. The pressure of teaching a practical subject with very limited resources made a sense of humour essential for survival. Even my supposed area of expertise was thin ice. When I was a boy I was thrown out of the woodwork class for the crime of splitting my mortice and tenon joint; three years later I failed my Physics-with-Chemistry O'level. Actually I failed it twice, the first time I got a borderline fail, grade F, and I was re-entered by my school in the hope that I might pass. I rewarded their kindness by sinking to an H, the lowest possible grade. Yet after 22 years of working as a graphic designer, there I was teaching woodwork, metalwork, computer-control technology, electronics, and all manner of applied science such as levers and gears and the properties of materials. The fact that I was regarded as successful by parents and colleagues and promoted to Head of Year was quite simply through the loving grace of God.
Some of my writing is just for fun, some with life-changing themes. Unlike self-disciplined authors who set aside fixed times and places for writing, my work is spontaneous and unplanned. I have written on a paper serviette in a cafe and squeezed tiny writing onto a small piece of paper on a bus. They are all quick reads, even the two novellas that I am told are too short to be real novels.
Whether you approach this site in the hope of encouragement or just plain entertainment, I pray that you will be blessed in reading just as I have been blessed to write.
So, why Freely Given? I have never got round to approaching publishers so I decided to follow what Jesus said to his disciples, "Freely you have received, freely give." More recently I noted that in the early church no-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. Even whilst Dave was building this website I read an amazing book called 'Conspiracy of the Insignificant' by Patrick Regan. In it, Patrick describes his team's work with youths in South East London. The work grew further afield, local authorities needed help, so Patrick and his team "felt like God had challenged us to keep giving away all that he has given us."
A note concerning copyright: Although all the material on this website is free for personal reading and download, I have retained the copyright of it all. I have done this for three reasons: firstly, it protects the integrity of the written work, the pictures and designs to prevent misrepresentation through editing and adaptation; secondly, it protects the work from being taken by a third party and copyrighting it themselves; thirdly, if in the future any work is published commercially, the full rights remain with me or with my heirs. I retain the right to negotiate terms or even to block publication if I deem its use to be inappropriate.
The morality of the copyright law: The fact that I have chosen to make this material freely available for personal use, in no way means that I expect others to do the same. I fully support the right of all owners of copyrighted material to charge for reproduction of their work. For many people it is their livelihood in exactly the same way the salary of employed workers is their income. Illegal copying is simply theft, and no different from appropriating someone's salary from their bank accounts. Please therefore respect all copyrighted material wherever you come across it.