Friday, 18 September 2009

Catching Up Day

I've got a day 'free' today to catch up on things, but it's already midday and what have I done so far? I' m still in my dressing gown. I've checked my emails several times (must be due for an interesting one), messed about browsing facebook, and looked at my book page on Amazon to see if anyone has reviewed 'The Dark Threads' on there (hey, yes, I've got two reviews now).

I've done no writing this week, except writing a long letter to a friend last night. I did a talk at the speakers club on Monday about writing tools and how they've changed over the years. It seems easier to talk about them than use one at the moment.

Oh well, I'm going to stop beating myself up for being lazy. I was busy last week and it looks like I'll be busy next week. I'll make today as relaxing as I please. Big decision to make now. Shall I get dressed before or after I get something to eat?

Friday, 11 September 2009

Bookshop Talk

I did my first bookshop talk last night. It was at the Saltaire Bookshop, an independent bookshop. At first I was worried at the thought that maybe nobody would turn up. I'd been on Radio Leeds earlier in the day, where I'd been allowed to advertise my talk at the end of the interview, plus publicity material had gone out in the local paper and other locations. But still (typical unconfident me) thought that nobody would want to bother coming.

As it happened, the place was packed! By the time half-past six came and I was about to begin, there was no room for everyone to sit down. My fears that nobody would come had quickly turned into, Eeeek! There are PEOPLE! I was bothered about the ones at the back who couldn't sit down and possibly couldn't hear me properly, though I did try to keep speaking loud enough, particularly as they had all paid £2.50 for a ticket (included glass of wine and entry to raffle).

I had from 6.30 - 8.00 in which to 'do as you want'. I tried to get a good balance of talking and reading for the first part of the evening, then we had a break (sold lots of books!) and then we had questions and discussion. There was a good mix in the audience of mental health workers, service users, and people just interested in books and perhaps wanting a 'general' read of a human interest story. I tried to make my points without being 'preachy' and to include things that would hopefully interest everyone.

The best thing for me was that once I got started, I stopped feeling nervous and I really enjoyed it. Perhaps this was largely due to the practises at giving talks I've had at my local speakers club.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Back to blogging.

Things have been hectic, and I didn't realise how long it is that I've been neglecting my blog. The distribution problem seems sorted now. Highlight of my week was going into Borders and seeing two copies of 'The Dark Threads' on the shelf in their Biography section. The manager said all branches of Borders nationwide have got at least two copies! Waterstones lagged behind, but I think it's available in most of their branches now. Amazon uk are about to get some more stock.

Local publicity has been good, with much more interest than I expected from local papers and radio. I think it's because there's a lot of interest just now in High Royds, the hospital that I was in, which has now closed down along with the other Victorian-built institutions.

I've got two talks/readings arranged so far: Saltaire bookshop next Thursday, and Guiseley Library on 22nd October. Next week a BBC TV documentary producer is coming to see me about a documentary he's making on mental health care in the UK from the fifties onward. In and among all this, I'm busy at work interviewing new volunteers for the next lot of training sessions which will be starting soon. It's all go-go-go!

And when am I going to find time for what I really want to do? I want to sit alone in my 'office' (a corner of the living room with my computer on a desk) and get on with my writing. I don't want to write about mental health either (that's done now). I want to resume my novel, and perhaps have a go at writing short stories. I'm not even sure that I want to bother trying to get anything else published, at least that's how I feel right now. I just want to WRITE. It's funny how the less time I've got to write in, the more I want to do it, but when I've got plenty of time I'm a lazy sod.