Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dogs, Artisan-Sorcerers and Cryonics

Never underestimate a Jack Russell Terrier
It's a pity this photo didn't turn out better.  I've tried tweaking it but the image suffers from poor exposure.  I had been busy in the kitchen and decided to check up on our two Jack Russells.  They'd dragged a cushion off the couch and taken it onto the patio.  And there they were, contentedly sunbathing in comfort.  I didn't want them to stand up before I had chance to take the photo, so I quickly put the batteries back into my digi camera - it devours batteries if they're not removed - and snapped this on Auto.  Is that cute or what, hmm?
It is as well that they enjoyed the sunshine as it's poured with rain almost non-stop since.  The car park behind The Concourse was largely underwater last night as Tim and I arrived for the Riverside Writers meeting.  We discussed several versions of the proposed front cover for Seaside Stories, as this project is nearing completion now.
I've been compiling a collection of five short artisan-sorcerer stories for an ebook.  It needs a covering title and a front cover yet, but the main body of the text is already compiled.  Three of these stories have been traditionally published previously in paperback anthologies. I thought it might be fun to bring them all together now three of novels in the series are available.
This year's Wirral Bookfest is now being promoted through local libraries.  It runs from Monday 8th October to Saturday 13th October.  Many of the sixteen events are free, and the programme includes talks about Wirral's archaeology from Dr Rob Philpott, an evening with best-selling travel writer Stuart Maconie, and a talk from crime novelist Sophie Hannah.  I'm not sure about the rational of the organisation.  For example, on the Tuesday there are three history-themed events, which is bound to dilute audiences for each despite being scheduled for different times at different venues.
Last week, I attended a course at Clatterbridge Hospital's Education Centre.  This offered a series of half-hour (ish!) talks on palliative care which were very interesting to me.  In my novel Fabian, one character dies, (I won't say who - you'll have to read the book!), and I wanted to incorporate a few forward-thinking ideas about this phase of a person's life.  Of course some readers will already have learned that I have a cryo-preservation contract already set up for me, and that my perspective differs somewhat from that of someone who has only ever considered burial or cremation.  However, the talks about creative therapies and were particularly interesting to me, from the perspective of my characters being artists and craftspeople.
There's a part in Rowan where Bethany Rose is telling Rowan how each time she creates something beautiful from pieces of old, torn cloth she feels as if she has healed some small part of her previous history.  Creative therapy works on several levels.  It gives the creator a break from thinking about whatever they're having to deal with health-wise.  It builds self-esteem as something lovely and/or useful is made.  It allows a person to express their emotions non-verbally, which for some people brings an outlet which they perhaps might not otherwise have.  It's fun! Let's never forget fun - it's one of the most powerful and vital ingredients in any life.

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