Here's an enjoyable day in my life. Picture me in Borders. First, I wander around the shelves of novels, dipping into whatever takes my fancy. I have an eclectic taste in books, so I don't just make a beeline for one or two particular authors. Then, down the stairs to the non-Fiction, where I'm spoilt for choice with all the interesting topics. Armed with a pile of books, I find myself a chair - you know, one of those comfy, black, softly cushioned ones. The younger me would sit on the floor; I used to think those chairs were put there for old people.
Lunchtime soon comes round. But no need to leave. There's a cafe on the second floor. Over a pizza slice and a cup of frothy coffee, I do some people-watching. It's fun to fill in the dots, imagining the lives, personalities, interests, occupations of the people around me. All are potential characters for a short story or (when I get back to writing one) a novel.
After lunch, I lounge about reading magazines for a while, before returning to the books. There's a good selection of magazines here.
I'm back on the non-Fiction floor now, looking for mental health memoirs and day-dreaming about seeing 'The Dark Threads' among them. How would it look? Oh dear, there's a Davies too near the top of the shelves. I can hardly see it or reach it. Authors with surnames that get put at eye level are the luckiest. But you never know, it differs. There are 'D's' on the shelf opposite at eye level, so that's okay. My book in a big-chain bookstore? Could it? Might it? Will it? And if it ever does get there, will I be one of those cheeky authors who pull it out to face the front? Maybe.
And that's when I see it. Right there on a shelf, nestled in between 'known' authors. An anthology called 'Doorways in the Night: stories from the threshold of recovery'. The Local Voices publication. In Borders. I take it down, thumb through the first story in it: my autobiographical piece called 'Give Me Back My Words'. I just manage to stop myself from tugging at the arm of the man standing next to me and shouting in his ear, while pointing at my name, 'Hey, look! That's me!'
Excitement over, I spend the rest of the afternoon browsing, reading, browsing some more, reading some more... Should I take myself up to the second floor for a tea-break now? Maybe in a while when I get to the end of this chapter. This is the life.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention. I do sometimes actually buy books.