The Big Share

Libraries have always been an integral part of my life. They are about so much more than books. They provide knowledge, ideas, creativity, space to think, time to breath and so much more. They are free to all, which is a rarity.

Today sees the start of ‘The Big Share‘, and I would encourage you, if you can, to participate.

Little Free Library is a non for profit organisation that inspires a love of reading. It is known that children growing up in homes without access to books are generally 3 years behind children in homes with lots of books , but Little Free Library is not just for children, it is for everyone. The free book exchange libraries help to build better access to books for everyone.

This weekend ( May 17th – May 19th) is a celebration of the organisations 10th anniversary.’The Big Share‘ is an invitation to book lovers everywhere to participate. Here’s how:

  • Stop by a Little Free Library (they are in over 90+ countries)
  • Take a photo of your visit
  • Share on social media with #LFL10
  • You’ll be entered into a prize draw for a $20 e gift card for the LFL store
  • Spread the word!

There is a map on the website of where the LFL’s are. If you can’t find one you can start your own!

Now more than ever I feel we need to find ways to encourage reading for all. Little Free Libraries are one way to improve social equity – in my book (pardon the pun), that is a very good thing indeed!

Read & Vote

This week I have a piece of flash fiction in AdHoc Fictions ebook. Issue 170, the theme is ‘need’. Try and guess which is mine – sorry, I’m not allowed to tell you! Why not pop on over and take a peak? Read and vote for the piece that you like., it really is that easy! Enjoy.

The Journey…

My current work in progress has been a long hard slog. It has danced fast and slow, and at times come to a halt. There were moments when I wondered if it was to be an ‘eternal’ work in progress, destined to be placed on the back burner and dusted off every now and again. But I have pulled myself together and viola!

As many of you know, I have been working on an historical fiction novel for the past few years. This has involved an enormous amount of research. I have read books both fiction and non fiction, spoken to historians, and tried to get under the skin of the time period. I have realised that amidst the changes brought on by moderisation and technology, hidden within the cracks of wars and disasters, lies a truth which transcends everything – we, ‘people’, we don’t really change that much. Certain aspects of who we are have remained constant. Like night following day we continue to love and laugh and cry. It has been a wonderful journey, full of so much richness and discovery. Quite what I shall do once I finally hang up the red pen on this one I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is that it has been well worth the ride!

Sing That Song Girl…

With The Brits oh, I mean The Bryts (I’m so old school…) held last night, I got to thinking about how powerful and inspiring music can be.

Music connects with me in a way not much else can… except…books!

Music reaches into my soul and shines a light into places that are often left in shadow. Maybe it evokes a memory or a feeling. It plays around with parts of me that don’t surface as often as they should.

Recently I set myself a challenge to create a soundtrack for each piece of writing I either completed myself or read. It has been an entertaining and enlightening experience! My musical taste is eclectic to say the least, and I have spent hours pondering whether a character in one of my short stories is more into rock than jazz! If truth be told I would probably want all of my characters to like jazz, but that’s a whole other blog post!

So, what pieces of wisdom did I manage to garner from my quasi experiment? Above and beyond the obvious fact that both mediums tell stories and the sheer good fun of it all?

I’ve learnt that in order to be brave you must be vulnerable. It could I suppose apply to any art form, but my drugs of choice are books and music. They are as interconnected in me as blood and DNA. They exist to compliment each other not to compete. Buried within the words of both is a truth, shared just with me. The wordsmiths have been brave. They¬† have laid out their vulnerability for all to see. The least I can do is try to hear and understand.

Happy New Year – Again!

2018 spat me into 2019 before I felt ready! The good news is now I’m ready! So, belated New Year greetings!

I have a plan for 2019, well sort of. I slumped my way towards the end of last year after an action packed Spring, Summer and Autumn. I don’t have a crystal ball but this year is not about puppies or kittens or any other sort of fluffy fur-balls as far as I’m aware. This year is about my writing. Thanks to my wonderful diary courtesy of Charlie at Urban Writers Retreats I can hold myself to account. I shall be either patting myself on the back, or slapping myself around the face, depending on how things are going! I’m happy to report so far no faces have been slapped! 🤣 Happy New Year!

To Be a Good Writer…

Sage advice from the man himself –

To be a good writer, I believe that one has to read a lot of books. Fifty a year would be a good place to start, but twenty five would work... Stephen King.

I shall be putting this good advice into practice over the holiday season.

Merry Christmas everyone x

The Best Present Ever!

When I was young I desperately wanted a doll for Christmas. Not just any doll, a special Tiny Tears doll. It’s quite profound to think the doll I was taken with was a doll that cried.

We never had much money, and the doll was expensive. I prayed Santa would make it happen. I didn’t hold out much hope, I had not been the perfect child!

Christmas came, and low and behold, the baby was born – I had obviously behaved better than I gave myself credit for! Alongside my treasured Tiny Tears, I was given books by my grandfather – Ant and Bee, and The Cat in the Hat. I was 5 years old. I named my doll Trudy. I washed her, played with her and read her bedtime stories. I was in Christmas heaven.

My euphoria lasted all of about 3 days. My naughty little sister decided it was time for dolly to have a ‘makeover’. She poked out her eye and gave her a nasty red pen rash! It was time to take dolly to the hospital – the prognosis was not good. After my initial hysteria, I grew accustomed to my unsightly doll, who was now rocking a funky eye patch, and freshly cut hair. I would sit for hours reading books to her. I even took her to the library! Over the years my love of reading increased – my doll playing not so much!

I loved that doll, but I loved reading more. It was the year my love affair with books began.

I couldn’t tell you what happened to Trudy, but the books are safely here with me and always will be.

Giving a book for Christmas is so much more than giving a present. Books have staying power, you don’t discard them for the next best something or other – they are the best. Sometimes you re-read them, sometimes you pass them on. Books hold so much power, sometimes I think we forget just how amazing they can be. They have the power to change our opinions, the power to make us feel, the power to open up new worlds, the power to teach, they can make us laugh and cry… I could go on and on, but you get the idea – books are powerful!

Giving a book is as personal as it gets. You are giving over a piece of yourself and saying ‘this speaks to me, I hope you enjoy it.’

This Christmas I challenge you to think about a book you wished more people knew about, then gift it to a friend. It is the season for giving after all.

If you’ve read a book you wished more people knew about, please pop a comment in the box below and share the love…