I’m a published author in a book!

Had a very enjoyable time yesterday at the wonderful Dorchester library for the launch of the Dorset Stories Project paperback. It’s called This Little World and it’s a collection of 500-word stories from writers of all ages who wrote about our lovely county. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that I went with one of my fellow writers from The Writers’ Study – the group I belong to that meets fortnightly.

At the end of last year, Dorset Writers’ Network had secured funding from the Arts Council and elsewhere

Fellow writer Maryanne Ashurst and I at the book launch

Fellow writer Maryanne Ashurst and I at the book launch

to arrange a series of writing workshops around the villages of Dorset, and in some schools. They were run by experienced writing tutors who gave us encouragement to go off and pen a story about Dorset.

Those deemed the best of the resulting tales have been put together in the anthology that was launched yesterday. The book is now available to buy on Amazon.

During the day, before and after the launch, we were invited to take part in a series of workshops on such disciplines as Writing for Young Adults, Writing Dialogue, Online Publishing and more. We also met novelists Kathy Sharp, Laura E James and Kate Kelly, who told us about their different routes into being published authors. They were generous with their time and advice.

It was a wonderful day apart from a few hiccups regarding coffee supplies (help!) but it was a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring day and fabulous to meet most of those involved in the project; whether as organisers, facilitators, tutors, or writers. Bravo Dorset Writers’ Network!

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A very unusual wedding

I have to hand it to my best mate from school days, she wins the prize for the most unusual wedding I have been to, and I have been to quite a few. Ali is a part-time music journalist, so what better way to celebrate than link it to a prog rock music performance.

So after the more usual registry office nuptials, followed by family sit-down meal, the rest of us were summoned at 5pm to St John’s Church in Farncombe. We started off in the church hall with a glass of fizzy, finger buffet and polite conversation. Anyone looking through the window at this scene might have had an inkling that this was not your usual wedding by the attire of the guests. For most had band T-shirts, jeans, leather jackets or more hippy-like flowing ensembles. The bride wore a black and purple gothic-inspired long dress; the groom a striped shirt, black tie, colourful waistcoat and chinos all topped off by a splendid grey beard.

At 7.30 we were summoned into the beautiful main church. Unbeknown to us, this is a regular venue for concerts. We saw an enjoyable support act of Alan Reed and friend, and then the main event, a concert by Lazuli, a French rock/percussion group who are currently over on tour. They are well-known to Ali and her new husband Martin and extremely talented. The music I would say is rock – with some unusual instruments as well as the more normal guitars and drums. There are definite North African influences in the sound and it helps if you speak French! It was quite a weird feeling watching a noisy concert, complete with flashing lights, in the sanctity of a church but I guess these days it is good to use the buildings as community venues to help with the running costs.

All in all it was a great evening, and one I shan’t forget. It was a privilege to share my friend’s great day in this way.