Friday, November 25, 2016

Watching 'The Crown'

So I've recently started watching this Netflix production... so interesting and beautifully made! I'm particularly intrigued with the portrayal of Princess Margaret.

Once I'd conceived the basic idea for my novel 'Cape Town' and set myself the goal to actually write it, I attended a 'Write Your Novel' workshop presented by Catherine Bush at Ryerson University. I believe it was on the first evening that she gave us the exercise based on that game 'Two truths and a lie'. You write them, read them out, then people have to guess which is a lie.

Now, I can't remember what lie I told, but everyone guessed wrongly: that one of my truths was a lie. I told them how I'd been presented to Princess Margaret. Yes, this is true. At the time she was the patron of the Royal Ballet School and came to White Lodge one day on an official visit. Because I was from the Commonwealth, I was one of those lucky enough to be presented to her. Before she arrived, we were taught a special, non-balletic curtsey... as you can see in 'The Crown'.

Princess Margaret was every bit as beautiful as Vanessa Kirby, and her complexion! Truly she deserved comparison to her second name of 'Rose'.

This is where it happened. Sorry you can't actually see the steps or the terrace where she stood!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Writing success - What does it mean?

So this was a longer break than I intended, but here I am with a new post at long last.

This morning I received a phone call from a friend. She'd been so kind as to put us up in Montreal for the weekend although she herself was away, and as a 'thank you' gift I left her this:

Yes, a copy of my novel, published in 2012 after many years of hoping and working, and once again a recommended read from the Canadian Children's Book Council. Which doesn't mean that adults, both women and men, haven't read and enjoyed it.

Blondine began her phone call by saying, "Can you guess why I haven't phoned or emailed?"

I chuckled. "You've been reading my book."

This was an informed guess, based on feedback from many readers who said they couldn't put it down and read until the early hours of the morning.

Anyhow, she loved the book and we spoke a little about that, and how much of it was auto-biographical (certainly informed by my life but hardly anything directly), and the companion volume I'm busy writing. But afterwards, I started to think about success as a writer. The trouble is, the goal posts keep moving i.e. at first, you just want to be published, then you want to do it again only better, and so on. For me, however, the fact that CAPE TOWN is out there, on the bookstore and library shelves (and if not, you can order a copy) and available as an ebook really signifies success to me. Because this is a story I feel that needed to be told and I'm so happy that I did!