Wednesday 27 July 2016

Man Engine and book launch

Well here is the Man Engine, a wonderful piece of creative engineering that is touring Cornwall in celebration of Cornwall's mining heritage. I saw it on the news the other day - this has been kept secret in its creation - and was blown away by it. How incredibly clever and brilliant, using parts of machinery from South Crofty and other mines. Definitely have to go and see this! To see for yourself, go on the BBC Spotlight site and view it on Monday evening.

Tonight I am going on a singing boat trip over to St Mawes organised by another of Claire's choirs. We're all taking supper to share, then when we get to St Mawes we will sing on the quay (weather permitting) or inside the pub if it's chucking it down. Then we will sing on the way back! And my darling Moll - who is looking very fine in her new hair cut - is coming with us. Doubtless she will try and eat everything, but there you go.

Lastly, next Tuesday is my book launch and exhibition of Celia Creeper's paintings at A Curious Hall, from 6-8pm. Last year was great fun, and we're hoping this year will be too and sell lots of books. And we will sing!! I went to a very interesting reading/music book launch last weekend which has given me ideas for some events I might do with another writer friend.

And lastly thanks to my friend Glynis who has been helping me with some pitches. Thanks Glynis - you've been brilliant.

Wednesday 20 July 2016


These swans appeared as we got home from a sail a few weeks ago to say hello and, like Moll, ask for food.

Last Thursday we were setting out for a lovely sail - it was a fabulous afternoon and I am learning more and more every time we go out. Only thing was, it took us longer to get back than wed anticipated and I got a bit cold and we ran out of food and you do not want to be around me when my blood sugar drops too low. So - next time we will take a picnic and even more clothes. But our boat is lovely and Moll is getting used to her lifejacket - I think, deep down, she knows she looks rather good in pink. This was when she wasn't wearing it, and got a bit cold so we wrapped her in the sail cover.

The heatwave hit us on Saturday so I had my first swim, then on Sunday Mr B had to sweat back to the Midlands in horrendous temperatures. I was being interviewed by Radio Cornwall yesterday afternoon, which went well, though I didn't like to leave Moll in the van as it was so hot, so she came with me and had to wait in the office outside the studios while I was on air. The interview was interrupted by a scratching at the glass door: Moll was indignant at being left out of the gig and wanted to know what I was doing.

Mr B listened online and rang me straight after, and then later that evening. "What was the feedback like?" he said, all excited. "Er - there wasn't any," I replied. "You are it. Oh, except for a friend who texted to say she'd missed it."

Admittedly it was shorter than last time I was on, but any publicity is good, and I found out yesterday that the second Poldark series starts on 4th September. So we'd better start getting some more Poldark publicity going soon! Any ideas most welcome....

Meanwhile, I am in need of a bit of cheer so we are off to see the film of Absolutely Fabulous tomorrow evening. Nothing like a bit of escapism....

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Writerly events

This is actually the view from where we rehearse, on thursday mornings, as the Suitcase Singers, which has absolutely nothing to do with this post but is one of the many reasons why singing with the choir is so uplifting..

Apologies for the silence, but my life has been full of writerly events, and little time for work (i.e. earning money). At the beginning of this month we had a sort of trial launch for my Poldark book and Celia's paintings which was quieter than we would have liked, but some dear and true friends came along to buy books and afterwards we went, with another friend, to Chapel Porth and then walked along the cliffs, so made the most of the day.

Last week the Penzance Literary Festival was on, so on Thursday night I sang, as part of Jig the Quavers (our smaller group) at Telltales at the Admiral Benbow. A lovely venue and a great evening - and congratulations to Heather for brilliant compering of the event!

The following day I gave a talk in Penzance with Rachel Lambert (forager and writer of two books) and Lisa Woollett, whose two books about the sea are truly awe inspiring. My friend Fi Read acted as interviewer, and it was a privilege to be part of this festival in such lovely settings. I have to say, I have been feeling less than inspired about life over the last few months, so it gave me a real lift to arrive at the Lit Fest with my box of books, be given a badge as Contributor, and to sit on a stage and be interviewed as a proper author. Years ago I used to go to these festivals and look at Proper Writers and wish to be one of them.

Once you are, of course, you realise that it's a very different ball game. You need another job to finance writing books, but I hadn't realised that at the time. And I did feel proud to be an author, and proud of my books. Which was a much needed boost.

Mr B took me down to the pub that evening for a lovely end to the day and then I collapsed in a heap the following day, and on Sunday we did a car boot.

Totting up my takings, I realised I'd made £15 in book sales at the Lit Fest, and £80 at the car boot. "Does this tell you something, do you think?" said Mr gently.

This week has so far been taken up with going backwards and forwards to the garage in Penryn more times than I care to think about - my van failed its MOT yesterday and, as I write, it is being welded in time (I sincerely hope) for me to attend the Holyer An Gof Publishers' Awards at Waterston's in Truro tonight. My second book, Walks in the Footsteps of Cornish Writers, has been nominated by my publishers. Looking at the list of other authors, I haven't got a hope in hell of winning, but it will be interesting to go along and see who else is there.

And the life will get back to normal. Back to pitching ideas (thank you Glynis for your brilliant help so far, I'm not trying to avoid work, promise!) and we hope to get in a sail before the end of the week.

Next week I am going to see the movie of Ab Fab. Good escapist therapy I think.....