Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Vacuum-sealed Blog.

It has recently been explained to me that I'm 'blogging in a vacuum' (or maybe they said 'blogging vacuously ...hmmm) - I'm commenting and providing guest posts on other blogs, sharing content via Triberr, Twitter, Facebook etc. but I'm not really doing much on my own blog. I haven't invited anyone around for a cuppa, to do an interview or scribble down a guest post.


If I told you I was shy you'd laugh your heads off, wouldn't you? Well, the truth is that I'm not sure anyone would consider it worth their while; I mean , I only have 7 followers on this blog (hello lovely people!) and around 1000 page views per month, so would other, serious, 'proper' bloggers be horrified if I asked them along to play?

Only one way to find out - I'm going to ask a few people round and see if anyone agrees to do it. Maybe try to fill an interview and guest post slot per month?  

Blogger and author friends - you have been warned!!!

PS: If you're one of those keen, helpful types who feels up for an interview/guest post type appearance already, then let me know - just in case I get too shy to ask!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A wonderful affliction.

I first became aware of my 'affliction' around the age of 6, in church of all places. Picture the scene; packed church, everyone in their Sunday best, visiting cleric in the pulpit, old pipes sighing and shifting, heat so stifling that the feather on the hat of the lady in front of me was drooping. I was trying to concentrate on the sermon, I really was, but my mind was drifting and I was thinking, 'What if someone passes out in all this heat - how would we ever get them out? What if the organ started playing by itself? What if people wilted in the heat like flowers? What if the roof opened up and a crowd of angels drifted in, bringing glasses of ice-cold Coke to revive us all?' I could almost see each of those things happening in front of me, could almost taste the Coke and hear the clinking of ice-cubes in the holy glasses.

Children use their imaginations all the time - during play, during day-dreams, whilst a parent is reading a story to them. They do it unconsciously and without embarrassment - some for longer than others - and most people expect that children will eventually 'grow out' of using fantasy worlds, pretend friends and beliefs in dragons, fairies, goblins and the like as they become more self-sufficient and learn more about how the real world works. 

I have never grown out of using my imagination and I really never want to be cured of it. How awful to be stuck in a queue and not be able to imagine the people in it starting to boogie, being zombies in disguise, or the guy in front of me turning out to be Channing Tatum ( a recurring theme for some reason!). Thankfully the importance of children hanging on to this ability is being recognised; how can a child study history - events and eras that they were never a part of - unless they use their imagination? How else can they learn to invest in their future selves if they are unable to imagine how they want their future to turn out? What about those children who will one day invent ways for us to correct the mess that we have made of our planet? Those who will find cures for disease, those who will write books, create TV shows and fabulous movies that entertain or educate - all of these start with the wonderful affliction of an active imagination.

Monday, 5 November 2012

My humble (and most sincere) thanks.

Ok, I admit it - I needed a wee cuppa before heading to the book signing last week. I sat in the cafe with my mum, daughter, son (he decided to come along in the end - but only because his mates were going!) & daughter's friend, sipping tea and pretending that I was cool, calm and collected when I really had a bad case of wobbly legs and one of those 'open-mouth-and-vomit' kind of feelings.

The walk down to Waterstones was a blur - I think I spoke to some of the staff on the way in but I've no idea if I was coherent or just mumbled 'help me, help me, help me' over and over. Then the table was in front of me and I was sitting down and someone was asking how much the book was and... 

I met old friends, new friends and complete strangers; signed books, talked about characters, heard Halloween stories that just HAVE to make it into a story somehow, was presented with flowers (thank you very much!), shook hands, had photos taken and almost before I had time to was all over!


If you came along and had a chat, shared your stories or bought a book then thank you - you made my day! Big, big thanks also to the staff of Waterstones, Coleraine - your support and encouragement are wonderful. Looking forward to next time...

Very nervous !!
Flowers for me?!!! Awwww.

Meeting some Twitter pals ! :-)