Reflections and my new life
So, it’s the day after 9/11. I can’t really believe it’s been eleven years since I sat watching that day unfold on television in my kitchen. But then, I can’t believe I’ve been married to my wife for those eleven years, too.
The media is understandably fixated on the anniversary (well, everyone but NBC, it seems) and I can understand that. It was an event that changed our lives.
Okay, I’m not going to navel gaze about the impact and the fallout from the destruction of the two towers – that’s not why I called you here.
I was reading an article by one of the survivors of the Twin Towers and something he said reverberated; “I’m alive and I’m here.” It’s easy to forget that some days.
I know I’ve talked about being grateful before, but it’s something I’m continually having to remind myself. I’ve got a pretty good life and I’m doing things I want to do. Well, the money could be better… but no, it’ll happen.
My first LitFest
I was fortunate enough to attend a small literature and poetry festival last weekend in a little town called St. Clémentin, Deux-Sèvres region of France between Nantes and Poitiers. A poet friend of mine, who I’ve been helping with a poetry book, suggested I might be interested and, once I’d contacted the organisers, found myself on the bill talking about this self-publishing lark. Not a bad thing, as I’m trying to make a living helping people publish their books.
It was a great weekend! I met loads of writers, poets and readers of one kind or another (both French and a number of ex-pats) and spent a lot of time talking about, well, ‘stuff’. My session went well, with the time just evaporating. Lots of good questions and made a few contacts as well for future work.
I also got to see several sessions with Helen Dunmore, a poet and novelist from England. Author interviews/talks aren’t always helpful, but listening to Helen talk about writing and what works for her, I came away feeling motivated and positive. Her advice on support groups and participating in local creative things, no matter how small, was particularly timely.
I got to chat to her between sessions and it was heartening to hear an established traditional press author say that the mainstream publishers were going to have to change the way they do things — not a typical response these days.
I’m counting it a success (regardless of how many books I did or didn’t sell) and it resulted in me being invited to a Writer’s Weekend near Limoges at the end of the month!
What I’m doing now
So yes, if you hadn’t already heard, I’m working to build a business helping individuals get their work published. It’s something I can do on my own – as my better half says I don’t play well with others, particularly in an office – and something I can do just about anywhere.
If the maxim’s true, that there’s a novel in everyone, I expect to be helping a lot more authors, poets and artists get their books out there.
I just helped my childhood friend Karen Leh publish a book she’s had kicking around for a few years now. Go get it – I really enjoyed it. There’s more in the pipeline and I’m sure I’ll let you know when they’re available!
And ‘I’m alive and I’m here’ – and it’s a pretty good place to be!
You can find more information on authors I’ve already helped and my services at www.gunboss.com