To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (allegedly) and also World Book Day, I spent an afternoon in our local independent book shop, Walter Henry’s of Bideford, in the company of other local authors. Putting an author in a bookshop really does need some kind of government health warning, especially as they also sell rather lovely wooden toys. I just wanted to rush out and buy copies of everything all the other authors had written. You can see the one I did buy in the picture alongside some of my own but there are several more on my wanted list. It was lovely to see our books on display. Thanks to fellow author Ruth Downie for the honourable mention in her blog about the afternoon. This week I have been in author mode, working on my forthcoming online ‘writing up your family history’ course for Pharos Tutors and putting the finishing touches to my booklet about how to inspire young people to get involved in family and local history. You would not believe how many historical novels there are for children and I could only include a selection.
I have also, possibly, been inspired by my fiction writing colleagues to branch into the world of novel writing. It was either write a book or do an MA in experimental archaeology. I decided the latter may have to wait as it a) costs money and b) might be too restricting a time commitment. So research has begun, watch this space but probably not for a very long time.
Then there have been some technological challenges. I was invited to make a short video for World Book Day and to mark the launch of Libraries Unlimited. This was a bit of a performance, not least because I was in seventeenth century clothing and wanted a background that lacked things like light switches. I was born in the wrong decade for video taking to be an everyday occurrence and I don’t have a mobile phone. That’s a lie, I have an ‘emergency phone’ that does just that, makes phone calls and inevitably is never about my person in an emergency. It is pay as you go and I think I have put £15 of credit on it since I moved 10 years ago. Anyway lacking a phone or tablet, I enlisted my partner in crime to take the video using my camera. The first take was quite good but we had turned the camera sideways and I had no idea how to turn the resulting video back the right way round (I later learned that this can be done). Not wanting to give my adoring public cricks in the neck we did take 2. Not quite a good as take 1 but take 2 it had to be as by then I was near the deadline and I still had to work out how to send it to the person who was collating them. That took two attempts too.
Then finally finding the frustration of my internet dropping out at vital moments (which it has been doing for the past few months) I telephoned my provider and spent half an hour allegedly ‘fixing’ this. This involved a great deal of turning the router on and off, watching for lights on the router and reporting back to the person on the other end of the phone. Imagine the scenario, no mobile phone remember so I am on the landline in bedroom one. ‘Please turn off your router’, I am asked. I leap off the bed run along the landing corridor, launch myself at the spare bed in bedroom three. Stand on my head to get under the bed (which is heavily populated by my book stock), turn off said router, rush back down the corridor to report that mission is accomplished. ‘Have the lights gone out?’. Back down the corridor, launch self at bed, stand on head, etc. etc. This scenario was repeated numerous time over the course of the next half hour. At the end, some improvement in internet consistency but it has been decided that I need a new ‘super fast’ (that will be a relative term) router so the whole procedure was a waste of time.