The best intentions don’t always come to fruition. Once this would have sent up stress and tension, now I take a more laid back view. There is, after all, something very artificial about making resolutions on a certain date, which you promise yourself you will keep to for the rest of the year, regardless of what life throws at you, good or bad.
So, 2017 no New Year’s Resolutions, just a determination to do more of the same. After all 2016 was not a bad year.
It began with the publication of “Picking up the Pieces.” During which process a great number of lessons, some painful, others not were learned.
Most important of all being, a thorough proof-read is vital. A good editor even more so. Thank you Peter Coleborn and Jeanne Wood.
What worked really well was the tea party I gave to launch the book. I kept it small and local. Cake was baked and wine chilled, friends and neighbours came and books were sold. Best of all, it was an occasion that everyone enjoyed and out of it came a sense of community that we hadn’t had before. Also, for me, it was another validation of myself as a writer.
The autobiography project was another boost. Being asked to ghost write the life story of a local person was challenging, although my subject Wilhelmina Slight, couldn’t have been better. Not only was her life story fascinating, but as time went on she recalled more and more, so there was an abundance of material to chose from. And cake. At every interview she produced the most delicious coffee and cake.
That was followed by the Hot Air Literary Festival. Where I was on a panel on how to get published, talking about the place of the Indie Press in the publishing world. Thank you Penkhull Press and Tristram Hunt.
At the end of the summer came the Live Age festival and another panel with fellow local authors. Jan Edwards, Ralph Alcock, Susan Bolton and once again Peter Coleborn, whose Alchemy Press has won well deserved awards, provided the professional view of small press publishing.
In the autumn, I hosted the annual Reading Cafe at the Gladstone Pottery museum and later on took part in my first public performance, “Our Lives in Art” with the Ages and Stages Theatre Company at Keele University.
Following that came the Christmas show put on the other drama group I go to. It was a condensed reading, thank you Jenni Spangler, of “Christmas is Cancelled” a play I wrote for a cast of thousands, which Jenni reduced very successfully to seven voices.
In the meantime, Jan and I set up 6×6 Reading Cafe at the City Library in Hanley and made regular appearances on 6Towns Radio.
And I wrote 65,000 words of my new novel. Edited the second edition of “Clear Gold” and read and commented on ms from other writers.
To round off the year my story came out in “Weird Ales 2” and was launched at Sledge Lit.