Friday, February 01, 2008

Your Messages


Your Messages was published yesterday, with a wonderful launch party at the Poetry Cafe. It was so amazing to have been part of such a wonderful literary experiment and online community and to help raise money for Kids Company. (If you would like to buy the book, clicking on the title link above will take you to Amazon)

It was a pleasure to finally meet the initiators of the project and editors of the book, Sarah Salway and Lynne Rees, who were both just as lovely as I had imagined them to be. (Warning: I think I might use the adjective lovely far too much in this post, simply because everyone was.)

It was a privilege to meet some of the other 40 contributors too, including Patricia Debney, whose novel, Losing You, is in my to-be-read pile, Caroline Smailes, whose first novel, In Search of Adam, and blog I adore, Clare Grant of the Three Beautiful Things blog and Leigh, another fellow Novel Racer.

The readings were all great. I think mine went reasonably well, the glass of red wine I had just drunk helped to ease any nerves. There was such a real sense of community among the gathered writers, some of whom, like me, were being published in print for the first time. Some had travelled a long way to be there, especially lovely Gina who had come all the way from Dallas, Texas.

When I first arrived Lynne welcomed me, gave me my contributor's copy of the book and immediately asked me to sign her copy. That set the tone for the evening, with books being passed around for signatures. During the break, I commented that this almost made me feel like a real writer, at which Sarah and Caroline, with whom I was standing, said in unison you are.

I guess I am now.

Three notable things:

1. Bluechrome produced a beautifully packaged book in just two months for Your Messages. A real achievement and it is a publisher worth watching, they have some great books on their list.

2. Back down to earth today, with a Tesco trip.

3. I've been doing some research on Creative Writing Masters degrees either in the London area or by distance learning. If anyone can help by telling me about their personal experiences of such courses, please leave a comment or email me.

17 comments:

Casdok said...

Congratulations!
Nothing like a trip to Tescos to bring you back to earth!!!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Sarah and Caroline are right. Thanks for blogging this, I would have loved to be there and it's good to know that it went so well. (Sorry I can't help re masters' courses - good luck with that.)

JJ said...

Oh Cathy, it sounds wonderful. I am glad you had a lovely time, and congratulations on your publication. Woo hoo.
JJx

Caroline said...

I'm so pleased to have met you and to have heard you read. It really was a 'lovely' evening.
xxx

Anne Brooke said...

Huge congrats! That's fab!

:))

A
xxx

Andrea said...

Hey Cathy,
Congratulations on your first print publication. May it be the first of many.
Andrea

Lane said...

Sounds like a really special evening Cathy and congratulations. Can't wait to get a copy of the book!

SpiralSkies said...

As Zinnia says, Sarah and Caroline are right - you really are a writer!

I'm thrilled that you're in Your Messages; I can't wait to get my copy.

I think we'll forgive your use of 'lovely' on this occasion :0)

(Can't help with the MA but would love any info you do find!)

Lacer said...

Congratulations!
Re: Creative writing masters - sorry not much experience on that (experience on that front mounts as far as a half way completed Writer's Bureau course, I wouldn't overly recommend it) however I do have a bit of experience in evening London universities, I got my Masters whilst working during the day by attending Birkbeck, which is part of the University of London, I don't know if they do Creative Writing (I did Microbiology) but it is a lovely place to go to university, I have fond memories of the place, so much so I'm hoping to go back and do a 2 year diploma in script writing at some point.

Cathy said...

Casdok - thanks!

Zinnia - yes, shame you couldn't be there.

JJ - thanks too.

Caroline - so am I anything like my cartoon? (Fatter, I know...)

Anne - :))

Andrea, thank you. You must join us blogging, I'll email you how.

Lane and Jen - hope you enjoy it.

Lacer- thanks for that. Birkbeck did sound really interesting, but I've just looked up their website and the tutorials all seem to start at 6pm which I could never make, as I have to wait for Hubby to get home from Central London before I can go in. I think childcare issues would just be a nightmare trying to do that one, though I may email them anyway just to make sure that info is still current.

PATRICIA DEBNEY said...

Hi Cathy

Lovely to see you too! A great night.

Re Masters: is Canterbury too far to come? Uni Kent have at least two London-based folks at the moment on theirs (ours). Maybe check it out? Also there's a prose one at Canterbury Christ Church. And one at Sussex Uni too...

Take care!

Cathy said...

Welcome Patricia.

Sadly Kent would be too far to travel (I'm the other side of London). Timimg of the tuition sessions is also important due to complicated home circumstances, so I suspect in the end I will apply to distance courses, but it is certainly interesting to have a look around!

Kathryn said...

Hi Cathy

Sounds like you enjoyed Thursday as much as I did. It's a weird feeling getting your first publication isn't it? I'm doing an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development at University of Sussex and attendance is every other Saturday. It's a brilliant course and I know that they also offer a straight Creative Writing MA too. Maybe worth a look if evenings are difficult.

Good luck with your search.

Cathy said...

Ooh, Kathryn, thanks for that info. Saturdays might be possible, I'll make some enquiries. I'm not looking for a place until 2009 anyway, as I want to finish with the OU first, but I just want to get a feel for what is around.

Yes I enjoyed Thursday very much. It was great to be able to put faces to names and as for being published, it still hasn't quite sunk in...

Cx

Jan said...

What a lovely upbeat posting; all sounds good.

trying to write ... said...

it was so nice to meet you ...
xoxo
gina

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Well done, that sounds great and really beneficial to your career. A trip to Tesco is a bit of a downer though isn't it!!

Crystal xx