Posts Tagged ‘London’

Post-Several Things …

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

If I’ve been silent recently, it’s been for good reason … s.  Mid-December, I cruised through the Caribbean … Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and more … with The Nation magazine.  This meant I combined intellectual and political pursuits with snorkelling … I’m sure you can appreciate that this was an excellent mix for MOI!  After the cruise, I spent two days in New York City dashing from store to store with Lost and Found in London in hand.  Unlike Toronto, the response from the independent bookstores was mildly luke warm, if you get my point.  Barnes and Noble on the other hand was quite welcoming and I’ll report on that later.  It was a great way to BE in NYC … as an author promoting her latest accomplishment.  And then, Christmas with my lawyer/writer brother and part of his family in Toronto, plus my Mum.  It was a good month all in all!  Best of the season to my readers!

Time to Get a Job!

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

This book business isn’t lucrative!  First, it’s difficult to get enough media attention to publicize the fact that my books are sitting on the shelves of several independent bookstores waiting to be purchased by happy readers … Word of mouth just doesn’t cut it!  Sure, a sale here or there, but much more momentum is required.  Second, I’m getting two dollars for every book that’s sold.  How many thousands do I have to move before I can eat and live comfortably?  Do the sad math!  Yes, after all the work I’ve done to make Lost and Found in London a reality, the reality is that I can’t survive … Nine to five awaits.

Snowball Effect …

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Of course, who would expect a self-published, first-time book to go viral in 2011, with all that competition?  I didn’t, so I am very happy with the response to my book so far.  But it’s progress has to be compared to the snowball effect … slowly, but surely building, expanding.  Today, I sold two books to a man who saw me being interviewed on CKWS TV here in Kingston.  Saturday, I’m signing copies of Lost and Found in London at local Novel Idea … slow and steady we go!  But, not one major media outlet I’ve contacted (other than CKWS) has responded.  Sometimes the snowball melts a little!

Onward Online …

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Now that my books are nicely settled in Toronto and other bookstores (just the beginning, of course), I’ve updated my website … … Another trick in this author’s bag of … So, go to my website and check under Book (yes, really) to find Readers’ Reactions, and Where Available … I love the reactions so far of many friends and others … from my 87-year-old aunt to a businessman in Cairo … Who knew I’d please so many with my words??  Yes!!

Small Wonders …

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I’m in a whole new phase of my writing life … the post-writing part to be exact … Now, instead of sitting in front of my computer creating or correcting, I’m out promoting, distributing, and selling my book!  I think this is definitely the fun part … Did first bookstore reading, first online mag interview, organizing first launch … Yes!

The Waiting Game …

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Have been so frustrated with cover and interior design process with self-pub company that I finally called and demanded to speak with a supervisor … Got one, stated my concerns … She had a look at the interior design page breaks and admitted they were “ugly.”  She then promised that both cover and interior would be fixed up by Tuesday … Will this actually happen?  And will I like the results?  Publishing self or otherwise shouldn’t be this tough for an author.  But it certainly has been for me!

More Editing Nightmares …

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Is it me, or do other writers come across editors who simply don’t respect them?  By this, I mean editors who take a writer’s precious work and words and make changes, without any sort of indication.  So, you get your manuscript back from this so-called editorial expert, and realize there are changes buried here and there … a word distorted, a ridiculous bit of punctuation … This is my second time experiencing this as I try to get my book, Lost and Found in London, published … I’m going to complain to the editorial higher ups.  It must be stopped!  Write on!

Sexing Up My Life!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

In the crowded lift (elevator) descending from our meeting on 21st Century Issues at the London School of Economics, Chris and I formally introduced ourselves – and then headed to a bar.

Before I continue, I must point out that, in reality, there was a third person in the lift, who came with us.  But he got purged as I tapped away on my computer!  In fact, my book isn’t strictly a true story – and it isn’t completely a work of fiction.  It’s faction!  I’ve played with my own life like some kind of superhuman force – and made it “sexier”, more effective.  Wouldn’t it be nice if it were always that easy?

I removed my friend Robert from the picture (sorry Robert), so that Chris and I could carry on a conversation which quickly got down to the self-transformation point of the book, novel, work of faction.  In fact, Lost and Found in London weaves constantly between what actually happened and what makes for a gripping story.  Because of this, I now have a greater appreciation of the creative process!

Once we were seated in a dark corner (not true), I began to fill Chris in on my latest ups and downs in life – mainly downs.  The home I’d had in the lovely North London village of Hampstead had been sold, forcing me to leave any day.  And, of course, U.K. immigration authorities had put a time limit on my stay.

“My London world is falling down around me,” I confided.  “I don’t want to go back to Canada and have no idea what I will do when I get there … I guess I’m a lost soul at this point in my life.  Not something to be proud of.”

Chris tapped his wine glass against mine.  More to come …

Shall We Dance?

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

I’m taking time out from my usual narrative re: my book Lost and Found in London to tell a short tale.  In its own way, it’s highly relevant when examining the links between the personal and the political! 

A couple of days ago, I was at a party with friends, dancing with Freddie, 84, the husband of my pal Naomi, 78.  Because we were always the only couple on the dance floor, we were hard to miss.  At one point, a tall man approached our table, crouched beside me, and told me a little about himself.  He was an American with property in both California and Montana, and he spent two months a year somewhere south and hot.  (Music to any Canadian’s ears in the winter.)  Would I like to dance sometime?

I’ve met this type of moneyed man before – who conveys the magnitude of his wealth within five minutes!

He then introduced himself, noting that his first name was Kermit, like Kermit the Frog.  I smiled sweetly and told him I’d heard of another American Kermit – Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of President Teddy.  That Kermit masterminded the first successful CIA overthrow of a democratically-elected government – in Iran, 1953.  (All the Shah’s Men:  An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer).

I didn’t mention this to the poor fellow, but Kermit Roosevelt’s work in Iran was so effective the U.S. government asked him if he would do the same thing in another country the following year!  Although Kermit turned down the job, the equally-legitimate government of Guatemala was toppled in 1954.

 I never did get that dance!  Any idea why, dear Readers?

“Rating” Men (Human Beings Actually)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Chris, the man who became my Life Coach, and I met at a meeting on 21st Century Issues held one evening at the London School of Economics.  In other words, something substantial brought us together – as friends.  It wasn’t just lust across a crowded room!

Years ago, I lived with a charming, fun-loving man I met at the Parliamentary Press Club in Ottawa, Canada.  Our inebriated attraction was instant.  People around us commented on it.  A couple of days later – yes, just a couple – he moved in.  After that, he loved to recount how, on our first encounter, he was “a face on the barroom floor.”  Although it was great fun at first, the relationship was a disaster!

I tell this to explain why my meeting with Chris boded much better.  We first interacted when he chaired a workshop on war and peace.  We were both very much anti-war – and the hideous death and destruction it causes.  It wasn’t a terribly romantic venue, but it meant that we knew exactly where we each stood on a very key issue facing the world.  Once you have something that fundamental in common, there are fewer surprises.

In fact, I have an informal list in my head of men (people) I have little use for – and it’s quite extensive!  Men who promote war, rather than negotiate peace; men who support the genetic modification of plants, animals, and humans without seriously looking at the consequences (The Biotech Century by Jeremy Rifkin); men who aren’t interested in renewable energy and would rather see nuclear plants and waste spread around the globe; men who unsustainably mine, log, and fish (plunder) our finite natural resources.  And that’s just a beginning, a taste!  Sadly, the list grows as I learn more about the planet’s problems. 

When Chris and I ended up in the same elevator after the LSE meeting, I knew that, whatever else I might find out about him, he had passed a very important first test!