This is Hattie, who I thought of when writing about Spike. Do you have a picture of a Jack Russell Terrier or a dog who might have travelled with Natalie through France and Spain? When I was choosing a dog I stopped many unsuspecting dog owners in the street and took photos of their dogs. I could have used anyone of them. If you have a small dog and a copy of my book, see if you can get a picture of your pet and the book, or your pet and your book and link it to the page.If you have a book staring a dog It would be fun to know about it.
It’s at times like these you realise that you are a better writer than photographer, but the dog and the book are there.
You can send a tweet to @brendahSedgwick with a photo. The pictures can be tranfered to my facebook and shared.
Before writing Marriage, a Journey and a Dog I knew little of Millwall Football Club. When I realised they played Manchester United in the FA cup in 2004, they were the perfect choice for Alan the football fan.
Alan’s obsession with football left him with girlfriend problems he didn’t understand. First his wife left him and then Natalie (heroine) didn’t fancy him – at all. Both big disappointments to him.
When he met Gerry (Natalie’s husband) they found common ground in having a sport obsession.
With the two characters obsessed with sport, men reading the book have laughed as they relate to an all consuming love of sport. Women sympathise with Natalie for what she has to put up with and feels helpless to change.
I’m sure he isn’t typical of Millwall fans as his hygiene habits and communication skills are not good.
I follow Millwall on twitter and amuse myself checking on their results. It feels personal if they win or lose.
I have been asked about Henri Marcel, the French artist I quote in Marriage, a Journey and a Dog..
Henri Marcel is remembered for his quotations as well as his art. He was a part of the cubism movement that changed the face of art.
Pablo Picasso was credited with cubism’s creation, but there are other examples of this style of art. As with all artists and creative people there is a reliance on what you have learnt and your environment, mixed with your own creativity. It was Picasso that brought cubism to the forefront in art.
This is a link to cubism art pictures – Cubism Art
I came across these in Le Louvre. I’m not sure how old they are but they are described as ancient.
George Keyt 1901 – 1993, is a famous Sri Lankan artist and as far as it is known he had no contact with Picasso and his associates.
George Keyt is worth knowing about – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Keyt
Henri Marcel was a part of the cubism movement, creating his own distinguished style – hidden in many ways, but a great discovery if you find him.
Quotes about Henri Marcel in Marriage, a Journey and a Dog.
This is where it all began.
This is when I realised what my life could be
Henri Marcel. French Artist 1938-1996
Once outside on the pavement, I notice a small house, squeezed between the shops, on the wall there is a brass plaque to Henri Marcel. I have a book about him from a charity shop. He painted pictures then ripped them up, repositioned them and painted the new picture, similar to Picasso and cubism. The colours he used were bold and the reconstructed paintings vibrant. Some of his paintings are of people; others of buildings. So he lived here for twenty years until he died in 1996.
‘I am always doing what I thought I couldn’t do because I learn something’ is the quote under his name.
“Yes, Henri!” I say out loud. I mustn’t let Gerry see me talking to myself, and clasping my hands with agreement!
Alan might offend me when I’m vulnerable, so as much as he might be useful I decide to try this one on my own and hope I’ve benefitted something from my one and only past experience of cycling.
‘I am always doing what I thought I couldn’t do because I learn something’ I reflect on Henri Marcel’s words. ‘Remember Natalie, you made it through France and Spain’. I pinch myself at the thought.
As his paintings are held in private galleries they are not available on google. Maybe, one day there will be an exhibition.
“To tell the truth is often distracting, Make what you will of me.” Henri Marcel.
This school in Sri Lanka needed a relaxing and happy space which could be used by teachers and children so I set about a renovation.
In an overcrowded school for 1000 girls . I felt that a new library would give the school a heart and encourage the wonderful teachers.
We have given some books and are sending out more.
The parents of the children at this school have irregular work and reduced income.
Bureaucracy means that change happens slowly and with a shortage of money, nothing was getting done. I was grateful that they let me in and trusted me. I look forward to seeing the school again later this year.
What a privilege to see the smiles on the faces of the children and teachers.
Manitas de Plata, the gypsy guitarist, died earlier this year. His music is full of the raw excitement of the flamenco dance. Picasso described him as a greater man than himself. They remained great friends until Picasso’s death.
YouTube has many of Manitas de Plata’s concerts, they are well worth playing. His story is fun to read.
This is so interesting to my book. Natalie, the heroine dabbles in the flamenco dance and Picasso runs a thread through the story. I love it when my story of romance, humour and sadness also has a interesting depth.
Thank you Manitas de Plata’s for cheering up my hard working days.
It’s exciting to have readers in America and to read their blogs and books written in America. We have had many long holidays in California driving from there across Arizona, visiting Las Vegas and being amazed by the Grand Canyon. We were delighted to drive the PCH ending up in San Francisco on July 4th. We stayed on the Little Venice Canals and rode bikes on Venice Beach. As I write the list, I think about how thrilling it was to stay there. Life isn’t long enough to go to all the wonderful places. I would love to see more of the US and the rest of the world, but I have been lucky and I guess you can’t see eveywhere. Sri Lanka takes up our travelling time, with my husbands research programme and my teaching there. These are the children at school last Christmas. The children at school are 80% Buddhist, and the rest are Hindu, Muslim and Christian. They all celebrate each others religious holidays.
Who knows if we will have the opportunity to return to US. We hope so. The book Marriage journey and A Dog is undergoing its own journey into print and I will let everyone know when that happens. I hope my updated book will reach readers in America. It is due to come out in April – all professionally published this time.
Natalie, is 40 and her life changes completely. This is the essence of the story.
I remember thinking that life wasn’t what I wanted it to be at 40, but that it would stay the same, but my life did change completely. How do you know when you make changes that they are for the better? You hope, but plan thoroughly, keep your thoughts sober and chat things over with trusted friends.
Natalie is forced to take steps into the bigger world and she starts from Portsmouth, near her home in the South of England.
This is the view of the Spinnaker tower, an icon of Portsmouth West Quay shopping area and docks.
France and Spain take Natalie on a personal journey that opens up her future and closes her past. She returns home for her 40th birthday party and her whole life turns upside down.
The book has been updated and will be professionally published in April, both as an ebook and paperback. More news on that as the weeks go by.
Thank you to everyone who downloaded the original version and for all the encouragement.
I’ve been told the cover design can sell the book. Yesterday I stood back in Smiths and looked at the top 20 books and tried to decide which book I would buy because of its cover. My answer was none.
So why would I take a second look? I decided first the title, and then the genre, before the writer. The blurb on the back cover became the next step.
Some covers I found decidedly uninspiring, but I have bought books on the recommendation of friends. In fact, most books I buy because a friend enjoyed reading it or I heard about it on radio.
A seriously good cover, with raised gold wording and beautifully designed can make me wonder if the cover is better than the content.
Tomorrow I am going to see a publishing company and I will discuss my cover. I think I can design it, but might come stuck on the technical side.
What would happen to sales if inside the cover was a note saying, ‘designed by the author.’ The variety of covers might be fun and make them interesting to look at. I guess, if money is no object you might as well hand it over and let other people do it and if you are a well known writer it will sell anyway.
Book covers are not like old record covers and only if it is a first edition cover, in excellent condition is it worth anything and not necessarily considered a work of art.
Is there a place for more creativity?
Jan 2015. I’ve handed my book over to the professionals and that included the cover. I’m waiting to see their suggestions. I am told that if your book stands out in a genre, it could be wrong as customers looking for a genre look for similarities. I am learning. When my new cover comes I’ll let everyone see it.
I looked at the picture of Kizzy, my son’s dog. I often look after her when I am in the U.K. and she keeps me company at home on writing days. Sadly, I had news that she died today. So I won’t be looking after her anymore. I guess a new one will come along before too long. He can’t live without a dog.