Here is my friend Jo’s mum’s chair in the garden, with The Blue Handbag resting over one arm and a nice cup of tea in the other. Wouldn’t you like to step into the photo and sit down?
It’s the newest photo from a small batch at my Facebook ‘fan page’ (it still feels a bit embarrasing to have set up a fan page!) of my books in the wild – just to prove to me that they do exist out there.
I’d love you to take a photo of any of my books wherever you are in the world and send them through to me (email@example.com) and I’ll put them up on Facebook.
Talking of The Blue Handbag, Leonard has done me proud and Catherine has written a very kind review of the book over at Juxtabook. ‘Utterly delightful’, she says. What a lucky writer I am.
The Blogsplash numbers have reached 110 – you can see who’s signed up recently here. It’s also reached its first Hebrew blog – cool! Here’s the latest tweetable blurb if you’re willing to send it out again: 890 Bloggers needed: Blogsplash on 1st March next year. http://bit.ly/JxqFs (a big thank you for any retweets!)
In other news, I’m on day 5 of not looking at Facebook or my Amazon rankings except on Fridays… You know about my egogooglaholism problems, and so I’m feeling (cautiously) quite pleased with myself. Meditating again in the mornings is helping, as is a kinder diet and lots of journalling, but it’s a bit chicken and egg as always. I think my extended time away-from-it-all at Amida helped the most. Being able to find the space and then sit in/with it – that’s the secret for me.
I hope you can find your own spaces today and try not to fill them up again. Happy Wednesday.
My new mystery novel The Blue Handbag has just gone down to £5.99 on Amazon UK – or if you’re not in the UK you can get it for £6.20 with free worldwide delivery from those jolly people The Book Depository. Again, it’s not officially released yet, so shhhh! Leonard and his dog Pickles would very much like to meet you.
I’m interviewed with the rest of the Snowbooks crew on Strictly Writing today – everyone else’s answers were much funnier.
Also I have a signed copy of John Tarrant’s ‘bring me the rhinoceros’ now (very kindly sent to me by the man himself, as a swap for my small stones) and so I’d like to give my unsigned copy away to a good home.
It’s about koans, which are a kind of Zen riddle, but it’s pretty accesible and I don’t think you’d have to know anything about Zen to enjoy it. It’s very wise and I know I’ll be returning to my copy again and again. There’s an extract below to whet your appetite. If you’re in the UK just send me an email and I’ll pick someone out of the hat at the end of the week. If you’re in the US or elsewhere feel free to enter if you’re happy to pay the postage, but then frankly you might as well buy yourself a shiny new copy of the book – sorry!
What makes a human life real and beautiful is available in every place. An insubstantial and alienated life – eating a hearty breakfast of a cardboard photo of corn flakes – is always on offer but its consolations are not consoling. In order to embrace a handmade life, you do have to be willing to deal with [...] awe and fear. But you have to deal with awe and fear anyway, and when you pay attention, a continual turning towards the genuine just happens.
I love that last bit. Pay attention, and a continual turning towards the genuine just happens. Here’s to that, and here’s to giving us the strength to turn towards all the messy and difficult bits too. John blogs at Zenosaurus.
I’m feeling grateful for this blog today, and to you, for reading. We’re in this big old boat together, after all. Thank you.
To mark the publication of The Blue Handbag in a few weeks time, I’ll be giving away ten books.
The competition will be ‘first come first served’, and it’ll be launched in my newsletter a month before I open it up on the blog (if there are any books left by then).
If you’d like to enter early, make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter before the 1st of August putting your email into the box on the right and ticking ‘Fiona Robyn’s Quarterly Newsletter’.
You can sign up for one/more of the others too, but the competitions are all on the Quarterly one.
I’ve currently got more than 800 subscribers, and it’d be lovely to make 1000 – if you have any friends who might like to give them a try then do send them my way! If it’s easier I’m happy to subscribe people if you send me their email addresses – it’s easy to unsubscribe if they get annoying.
PS Shhhh don’t tell anyone but I think The Blue Handbag is available early on Amazon UK…
Well – sales of The Letters seem to be going well, and before I even have a chance to catch my breath I have another book out!
I can’t wait to introduce you to Leonard – a gardener who becomes a reluctant detective after discovering some mysterious facts about about his wife after her death. I am so fond of him. And his twin grandsons. And his dog Pickles. Find out more about the book here.
It’s just the hardback – you’ll have to wait until August for the paperback (although you can pre-order on Amazon here) – but Snowbooks do produce very gorgeous hardbacks so I thought I’d let you know just in case you fancy treating yourself or someone else.
You can get it on Amazon UK for £16.99 here, or direct from Snowbooks here.
PS I know the cover is ultra-girly but if you’re a man you could always cover it up with a brown paper bag if you want to read it in public. Unless you’re already secure in your masculinity, of course, in which case there’ll be no problem…