Monday, 15 August 2011

Birmingham Riots - The Aftermath

Birmingham City Centre post-riot wasn't the scene of devastation that I had expected. I had seen clips on the tv news of young people smashing windows in New Street, one of the main shopping thoroughfares of Birmingham, adjacent to the Bullring. Somehow I had expected every shop front to be smashed but only certain shops had been targeted. These included JD Sports, The Carphone Warehouse, both stores of H & M, Boots (I read that this was for the perfumes and aftershaves), a newsagents (perhaps for cigarettes?) and for some reason, Specsavers. This immediately led me to think that the Birmingham riot wasn't so much about rioting as looting. On Saturday, there was a heavy police presence and on huge video screens were cctv pictures of those who are still wanted for questioning. The city centre, though, seemed to be as busy as ever and the mood was convivial. Of course, I do not know what the scenes were like in Handsworth, they may well have been worse. And my deepest sympathies go to the families of the three young men who died defending their community.

 I had gone to Birmingham for a regional meeting of the Romantic Novelists' Association. There had been some email discussion beforehand as to whether the meeting should go ahead but most of us had decided to carry on as normal. There were eight of us and, as well as talking about our various writing projects,  we discussed having a presence on Facebook and Twitter, how important that is to get one's name 'out there', and the benefits of having a Kindle. The latter is not something I've given much thought to but having to hang about the city centre both before and after the meeting before I could catch my train home, I can see that it would be quite useful. As well as most of the books available for downloading being cheaper than paper books, it gives previously unpublished authors the opportunity to get one's masterpiece 'out there'. As the software to do this is free from Amazon, it's certainly something to think about for the future. (Are you listening, Santa Claus?)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Empty Nest Syndrome?

Been busy this last few weeks finishing my rewrite of my second novel, Bitter Sweet Fellowship. I've now sent it off to the New Writers' Scheme of the Romantic Novelists' Association for to be evaluated by an established author. Fingers crossed for a good report!

It's only been two days since I posted it but I feel like my youngest child has left home! I really miss my characters, not to mention the writing! I didn't feel like this when I finished Save The Last Dance For Me because I always planned Bitter Sweet Fellowship as a follow-on using a few of the more minor characters from Save The Last Dance For Me. The epilogue in the latter hints at the continuation of the story. Now, though, I feel lost. I'm sure I'll be ready to tackle something else soon. As I've said before, I can't not write .......