Reluctant Blogging is the New Blogging

I’ve said it before. I know. But this time. This. Time. There will be blogging, as sure as there is half-price Cathedral City cheese.

I will make amends for all my excuses-excuses online absenteeism, beginning RIGHT HERE, with a pledge (yet another) to make monthly – and sometimes bi-monthly – contributions to the community in the screen.

The rhetoric is embarrassingly familiar to me now: a writer needs an online platform, i.e. a blog, vlog, podcast, website, instagramming, tumbling whatsit, in order to publicise their work to the world, in order to raise awareness of their writing, in order to sell more books, in order to make more money, in order to keep their children stocked with fidget spinners for the rest of their damn lives.

Otherwise…said writer’s career will wither and die like so many bad sitcom scripts and THEY WILL BE NOTHING.

I get it. I have good intent. Alas, however, I also have barriers:

1, children

2, children

3, shyness

Okay, so shyness is stretching a point. I’m actually not a shy person, but I’m definitely an introvert, so the concept of flashing my wares to a vast(ish) public makes the edges of my soul curl and crinkle. But I love writing, so I am duty-bound to make the grade.

It occurs to me that people use blogs for either information or entertainment. Unless you want lists of dos and don’ts on topics such as ‘Fast-Track Procrastination Techniques’, ‘Bubble Guppies Versus Paw Patrol: How to Manipulate Your Child with TV Programmes’ or ‘Writing the 2 Minute Plot Synopsis (…Because 2 Minutes is All You Damn Get)’, then I’ll aim for entertainment. Fun with words – and a few pictures.

A lot has happened since my previous pledge to blog (which perhaps explains the lack thereafter): my youngest shed his sweet baby disguise, to reveal his true identity as Toddler Destroyer Extraordinaire; I married and moved house; some very bad things happened in the political world; while various pop-stars of my youth popped their clogs. I, and this is the significant bit, also had several writing successes, which you probably wouldn’t know about, because I kind of *forgot* to brag about them online. So here’s the gist:

Firstly, my novel, Last Night I Dreamt of You, has been picked up by Goldmann (part of the Random House empire) and will be published in Germany and hopefully other territories thereafter. It is my first adult novel – a romantic mystery thriller set in Cornwall, my ode to Daphne du Maurier – and I’m intrigued and excited to see how it all unfolds. I will promise with all my heart to post updates on here. In the meantime, brush up on your GCSE German…

Secondly, I am delighted to have been taken on as one of the writer/editors creating content for the V&A Museum’s new website. As an Art History graduate, painter, and wannabe interior designer, it’s nothing short of a dream job. Plus, the V&A has long been one of my favourite London haunts, so I sometimes feel a little star-struck by the whole experience, should it be possible to be ‘star-struck’ by a large building (and all of it’s magnificent contents)!

My V&A work can be seen here:

Wedding Dress

And here:

Art Deco

Okay, so I’ve bobbed my head above the parapet and now hopefully you know a little more of where I’m at. I’d like to linger some longer, but a large piece of Duplo has just been flushed down the toilet. I guess I’ll see you in a month…

(…or five?)

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Learning To Be An Author Again

Yes, I’ve been away.

Feels like I’ve come back from the dead.  And I pretty much literally have.  (More on that another time…)

In short, I am now recovering from a life-threatening pregnancy complication.  All is good and I’m thrilled to be back at my laptop and back in the world of books books books…but, oh, oops, I’ve gained a tiny but perfect premature baby along the way!

So far, he sleeps, sleeps, feeds, poops, then sleeps some more, which is very conducive to blogging and resuming promotion of BORN FREE ELEPHANTS and IN THE GARDEN which, for those of you who are new to my work, are my latest children’s books.  But I know babies and I know that as soon as the prodigal son hits his due date and beyond, this is all set to change.  The luxury of time will become the race for time.  Half finished blog entries and one word tweets… I’m thinking ‘HELP’ or ‘BABYTAKEOVER’

So currently I’m nurturing a theory that it’s all about hours.  One hour a day to work on new words for the new novel.  One hour a day to edit said words.  And one hour a day to toy around with social media.  Everything else will be a blur of nappies, cuddles and milky lips.  Exactly where I’ll find these magic hours is yet to be seen, but here’s a clue…I’m currently typing left-handed whilst I jiggle, soothe, wipe baby puke and breast-feed…oy vey…

A Blog is Born!

 

Photo on 30-06-2014 at 11.08

Yes, a blog. Why, after all these years of obscurity, am I doing a blog? Because apparently, as an author/artist/illustrator, I need A PLATFORM. Like I need a hole in the head. Or a toddler with scabies. Or chocolate with no sugar in it.  But there you go, a platform is what my unsuspecting super-fans want. A platform is what they will get.

Lord knows the on-line community doesn’t need another thinly-disguised-as-writing-tips-but-actually-self-promotion list of bluuurgh. My content may, at times, contain writing tips. There will definitely be some shameless self-promotion. But I also want to deliver something that feels truthful, playful, hopefully entertaining, sometimes ranting, often excitable…in other words, a bloggy-manifestation of WHAT IT IS TO BE ME.

There may be lists. A bit of bitching. A bit of armchair psychology. A lot about WRITING.  A lot about ART. Oh and some smug, cutesy anecdotes about my children. No recipes (anyone who has tried my flapjacks will know that’s a good thing). And no photos of kittens in cowboy costumes.  Sorry to those who like kittens and cowboys.

As for the rest, WHO KNOWS?