Sunday, April 2, 2023

Bike shed live...

As bloggers, we share our words but seldom our faces and even less so our voices.  But when it comes to books, there's a tradition of authors promoting their work. Last week I did just that with an online launch of Views From The Bike Shed - and a writer's guide to blogging.

I often struggle with publicity but was delighted to be supported by blogging friends and humbled that some truly great writers took the time to attend too. As usual, our discussion started with blogging but ended up touching on writing and the world in general... There were some interesting questions that included the importance of blogging, whether AI will make creative writing less relevant, and how I approach writing from life.

The launch was recorded by my publisher Cinnamon Press - and you can view it here.

Or try this long link.

I'd love to hear what you think about it.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed the online launch and it was a particular pleasure to hear you reading the posts from your blog. And of course both Nobby and I loved the brief appearance from Oscar.
    Cheers! Gail.

  2. Hari Om
    Ditto Gail's comment! I confess, that was my first time ever on a Zoom call (having only used Google Meet for similar); it was a bit different than I imagined not seeing all participants' faces, but actually that worked well, the focus quite rightly being on you!

    I would add that I pick up the book each day and read one 'post' at a time. Will be writing a review by the end of the month.... oooh actually, will make it my FFF for April! YAM xx

  3. That was an enjoyable halfway, will finish later

  4. Thank you for putting up the video - helps the technically challenged enormously. Delighted to hear you reading the extracts, too.
    If AI thinks it can replicate my blog it will be a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

  5. I greatly enjoyed the discussion and above all, your reading. There is something magical about listening to the author reading his own words. I think that it might be something to do with our age-old tradition of gathering around the fire and listening and sharing our stories with one another since the days of our hunter/gatherer ancestors.

    I thought that the question of whether blogging and writing essays are similar or different quite intriguing. I think that they are similar in a sense that they both represent a point of view. Both forms are open-ended or at least, this is the style of essays that I enjoy most. One of the fascinating definitions of essay is from Adam Phillips, a psychoanalyst and essayist and he defines the essay as follows:

    “An essay is a mixture of the conversational and the coherent and has, to me, the advantages of both. There doesn’t have to be a beginning, a middle, and an end, as there tends to be in a short story. Essays can wander, they can meander…The essay is very rarely a fanatical form, it seems to me, partly because you’d just run out of steam. It would just be propaganda of the most boring sort. In order to write a compelling essay, you have to be able to change tone. I think you also have to be reflexively self-revising. It’s not that these things are impossible in other genres, but they’re very possible in essays. As the word essay suggests, it’s about trying something out, it’s about an experiment.”

    I think that a lot of bloggers can appreciate Phillips’ reference to the etymology of the word, 'essay', which comes from the old French 'essai', as an invitation to try and to experiment. It is interesting when you said in the podcast video that you usually start out with “a notion” in your head when you write a blog. Whether this notion will survive and flourish or not becomes apparent in the process of writing.

    A good blog, like a good essay, can draw you in ever deeper, leaving you longing to read more after you come to the last full stop.

    May I also say how delightful it was to see Oscar in the video. If only we all had a beautiful muse like that in our room, we will be turning unforgettable phrases forever.

  6. I tried to comment earlier, to no avail, so trying again. It was good to hear you read the posts and to listen to the discussion.
    As to AI, if it thinks it can reproduce my blog it is a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

  7. Writing a memoir, as I do, I often find myself using creative techniques such as combining characters, changing timescale s, setting up characters to shoot them down for comedic effecy, which is valid because memoir is different from from history or autobiograthy in aiming to capture an impression rather than the boring reality.
    ps I still have that Derek Booth book. I remember his tip to mark on of the bottler in the tent with P so as not to confise it with your water bottle.

  8. I like the tradition of authors promoting their work.