Tag Archives: life skills

‘What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other’ or ‘A Truly Social Media Free Holiday’

For two weeks every year I like to leave Twitter, Facebook and my blogs behind me and have a total break. I’m getting more and more content with this as the years pass. At first I panicked. I wrote blog posts to schedule automatically and tweets to appear through Hootsuite. You can do all of this if you:

a) pay an expert to do your marketing for you

b) have the time to do so

or c) just cannot bear being silent for a couple of weeks or more.

I used to ask ~ Will my followers get bored and desert me? Will I have to start again when I get back? Will the world still turn without me?

It is strange for the first couple of days. I am tempted to turn on the internet using my smart phone. You may laugh here but I have never had Facebook or Twitter or even email on my phone. Too intrusive on real life. The man in the phone shop raised his eyebrows when he saw that I hadn’t even discovered the App Store.

I resisted temptation for the first couple of days ~only just.

By the third day I started to relax ~ to forget the pull of all of these time sucking activities and then I noticed something which made me smile and frown at the same time.

At restaurants while hubby and I were learning to talk to each other again we noticed whole families who sat at their table glued to their phones, sharing the occasional joke or two they’d read from friends back home. On buses and on the beach too! By the end of the holiday we were even feeling quite smug about it.

In fact, we enjoyed talking so much that we have vowed to turn the TV off during supper each night back at home, to sit opposite each other and chat about our day. It’s been so refreshing for our communication skills and our relationship as a couple. You should try it.

What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other!

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Filed under Holidays, Occasional Posts, Social Media Networking

My Living Space ~Writing and Office Maybe

It’s been a while since I had my set up of a wee office down in Bedfordshire ~ six months in fact since I’ve had my old Dell main frame computer in full working order  after our move to Fife last December. I bought it to have a computer which was rarely connected to the internet for manuscript security, to be a workhorse alongside my laptop. It had a bit of a glitch which needed sorting, then a couple of wires needed to be replaced ~ lost in transit we believe.

DSCN2983[1]Here in Fife we have decided not to have an office space per se but a pleasant space for creativity, whether it be hubby playing his guitar, a quiet place to read if the television has a programme which does not suite one of us or a place for me to see where creativity takes me. The room now contains an overflow wardrobe, shelves with records (the vinyl kind) and family photographs, an unobtrusive desk but also an old futon – an insurance policy if we happen to have a house full of visitors and need another bed. (but it is also a place to relax.)

I’m glad that it is a living space rather than an office.

Today I am sitting at the desk for the first time, trying it for size, ambiance and comfort. DSCN2984[1](I’m managing without a proper chair  at the moment.) An occasional glance out of the window distracts any train of thought I might have had as I watch a large container ship glide along. Edinburgh is across the water.

I am in no hurry to write. Our priority has been to settle in at home but also within the community of Kinghorn and we are feeling truly blessed to be so welcomed. What I do need to do is to update records and send out end of tax year summaries to the authors in Eventispress, our publishing cooperative. That is a job for next week.

Apart from that I am taking a deep breath from my writing life to see what happens. I’ve been learning that new opportunities only arise if you make room for them in your life and it has been a wonderful time, albeit a tad scary, to take a step back, wait and reflect.

Being here fills me with joy but above all I feel an over riding sense of peace – wondering what will happen next. …

 

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Filed under Occasional Posts, Writing

Multi Genre ~ Who on earth is the target audience?

Writing a multi genre book caused a few challenges and I’m still not sure whether I chose the best path. Having said that, of all my books, it was most fun to write!

The Genre I chose were Memoir, Travel, History and Fantasy. This list was not exhaustive. I could have added ‘Motivational and Inspirational,’ and certainly added ‘Self Help’ when looking at BIC categories on Amazon and Nielsens.

Now I needed to think of  the target audience for my new book ‘From Redundancy to Rejuvenation.

The book – I call it that because it’s not really a novel – is multi layered too because the book is a bit quirky. These are the following themes running through and thus the possible target audience:

  • a smattering of poetry ~ this would appeal to those who enjoy exploring senses and feelings in words. I could describe the sensation of being made redundant after a life time teaching but somehow I found poetry so much more dynamic. The places I loved leant themselves to verse so well too – just looking about me made my heart sing, if you’ll excuse the cliche.
  • snippets of history ~ It seemed right to add paragraphs, almost asides, of the facts and people who inspired me, and I wrote them as if I was writing a short news item.
  • memoir ~ I wrote about  what really happened to me; where I explored and how the experiences changed my perceptions along the way.
  • travel ~ The book tells of a journey, almost a pilgrimage, as I walked along The Fife Coastal Path; not all at once but in easy chunks. I like to think that my descriptions transport my readers so that they are walking along side me for a wee while. Walkers would love this book, immerse themselves in the scenery and hopefully be inspired to follow in my footsteps.
  • fantasy ~This was the more light hearted theme, making ‘From Redundancy to Rejuvenation’ an allegory for life – almost a parable. As I walked I met all kinds of strangers in my imagination; real characters from the past. We walked and talked; sometimes we went on a journey together but on each occasion I learnt a little more about myself.
  • a writer’s life ~  a theme running through the book is how to become a better writer through many of these conversations and so it would certainly appeal to authors too.
  • letting go ~ This one underlies almost every chapter. What is holding us back in life to to reach our potential? Do we sometimes have to let go of the most precious things in our own lives to be free to be what ‘God’ intended? Although the purpose of this book is not to be overtly religious, it is certainly spiritual and I hope that my grapple with faith seeps through the fabric of my words to the very end.

And so I have a multi genre book which is also multi layered in style. It won’t appeal to everyone but to readers looking for something a bit different; those who might be searching for answer themselves; those who have been through some kind of huge change in their lives; authors finding their way; those who love to find new and wonderful places to walk but also to those who like to see and feel a sense of history in the places they visit. If you enjoy fact, facts and more facts then it might irritate, since I explored the essence of The Fife Coastal Path and its people, rather than an in depth study.

Since the cover is so special it would make a lovely gift too, for anyone who appreciated the beauty in the world around them!

It was a bit of a gamble – a risk many would say – but it has also been a lot of fun.

‘From Redundancy to Rejuvenation ~ A Writer’s Fantasy Walk Along The Fife Coastal Path’ can be ordered from all good book shops. It is also available on line at:9780993260803

Waterstones.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com (where you can see the first five star review from across the pond!

 

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Filed under Book reviews, From redundancy to Rejuvenation, Memoirs, My books, plans, publishing, Writing