Those of you who follow my blog know I am one of the readers for the Sussex Coast Talking News. Each year we are asked to produce a 35minute magazine with items of interest to the listeners, historical, travel, personal or local. This December I am planning an interview with someone who will talk on ” Singing for Health,” as this is something I take part in and believe it has undiscovered benefits.
I also have a festive short story to read,based on the activities of a group of elderly ladies who decide to put on a show. It’s too long for our charity event but I might put it into an anthology at a later date. The gig was advertised in the local paper today and may be in again next week but as it comes out on a Thursday and the gig is on a Friday it may get missed. I’ll try to find a picture of a similar event to liven up this post.
Nothing ever goes right, does it? Two of us went leafletting the area round the venue for Tunes and Tales this week and the next day I came down with a heavy cold.
Then one of the musicians pulled out and a reader who had said she couldn’t be there said she was coming after all so I’ll have to redo the programme.
Tickets are selling slowly so I’ll have to go out this afternoon when I don’t feel like it and try to badger some more folk into attending. Well, it is for a local charity.
Do I dress as I did last time, the Master of Ceremonies look, ( see photo)or wear a fancy skirt that I bought in Mauritius and can never find a time to use it? It’s covered in colourful jungle and animals but it’s long and frilly. I don’t know.
Some of the readings are Christmassy although it will still be November. It seems to come earlier every year. Maybe I’ll be able to think more clearly when this cold goes away.
After my debut performance at Woodies folk club I am now back to planning for our Charity Gig on November 23rd at Lancing Leisure Centre.
The Sea Scribes and the Friends of St Barnabas are combining to host a “Tunes and Tales” event with stories, music and the odd verse. We shall have a raffle for the charity and a prize for the lucky ticket and a number of folk musicians have offered to play and sing between the readings.
All I have to do is work out a programme. The writing group members will be timing their contributions next week and then I need to slot them between the other performers. Last time it ended too soon so I have a few limericks ready to fill in the spaces. We also have books for sale. St Barnabas is our local hospice and almost all of us know someone who has been involved with the charity or used their facilities. Not only will I be offering our novels but we also have anthologies for sale which will make ideal gifts.
Yesterday I went to the Self Publishing Exchange run by new Generation Publishing in London. Two of us travelled up from Worthing, recognising that the journey would be longer than usual because there were no trains on the Brighton Line. What we hadn’t reckoned with was, on reaching Victoria, we found there were no underground trains on the circle and district lines which meant, instead of going direct to our destination, Charing Cross, we had to take in two more stops on two other lines which meant walking up and down stairs and slopes and arriving at the college exhausted and late.
Once the event restarted, after welcome coffee, we were treated to some interesting panels with a variety of speakers on editing and marketing but, by lunchtime it became obvious that we were only scratching the surface. There was so much more we could have learned given more time. In fact, the scope was so broad it could take a whole weekend. This was followed by group ‘pitches’ to experts in the field and we were happy to find out more about New Generation and hear advice about approaching agents but, of course, did not know what the other groups were discussing.
On the way home we were offered seats on the underground but as we were only going one stop we declined the offer which made me think about how we were perceived. It all started when I asked about libraries in the panel session and realised most people thought they were redundant. Then a speaker almost suggested printed books were also unnecessary and I began to feel old. When I arrived home I looked in the mirror and tried to imagine what I looked like to other, younger people and came to the conclusion I must look like an old woman whose ideas and attitudes belong in the past. It was nice to be offered a seat but I think maybe it means I shall from now on be dismissed as unworthy of attention – the ‘invisibility’ of the old has arrived!
I had a challenge from the man in the mobile library when I was bemoaning the fact that rhyming poetry was unfashionable. ” No-one writes rhyming verse any more,” I said and then discovered at least two authors who are doing it successfully. He replied, ” Nobody has written a poem about a mobile library,” How could I resist?
You don’t need a flying carpet or a ship that sails the sea
For every kind of magic’s in the Mobile Library.
Let your imagination feed on tales from yesterday
Or solve a crime or find a love to wash your cares away.
You’d like a book with big, bold print? There’s plenty here to take
And picture books and paperbacks a thirst for knowledge slake.
Or in the Land of Might have Been, when you’ve a book to try
Give your imagination wings and, as a wordbird, fly.
Thinking about the book show I was wondering what other writers might like to discuss and realised that one of the fun things about being a self publisher is deciding on the cover for the book. Traditional publishers like to have a separate style for each of their writers so that readers can recognise the books by each author and I realised I had been doing that, too.
The Lane books had scenes on the front with a rather old fashioned font. The Never books looked more modern and spikey and the one odd book, the romance, had a cartoon rather than a photo. I wanted it to look chick-lit without being pink!