Sunday, 31 July 2022
Out in the wilds
Feather Leaf has been quietly out in bookshops for a while now. Last Thursday I signed a few copies in bookshops in London. Lovely to see the book here in the window of Lutyens and Rubinstein ( where they are looking for someone to work!!!!!- dream job.... bookshop.. Nottinghill) WHile we were standing outside a couple walked past and were talking about the book.... strange, curious, very odd feeling.
Hachards was very exciting. Such an amazing bookshop who seem so far to be exempt from the ultra low efficient 'hub' that Waterstones operate which is damaging to readers, booksellers and massively damaging to authors incomes and diversity in book selling, but that is another story and one I really need to talk to the Society of Authors about. In the window was a beautiful old Underwood. So, inside we set up my old Smith Corona for some impromptu poetry.
I'm hoping by now everyone has received their copies of the book. People are beginning to find it in bookshops also, and I wonder what that experience is like, as all of you have been in it for the ride and the making and evolving of the book, so, what is it like to just come across? A friend (Jamie Normington) tweeted this wonderful photo ( he said there were five ravens nearby, circling) and it got me thinking..... could you tweet/ put on facebook/instagram if you use them, images of the book? It really helps to spread the word, to sell copies, but also, well, it is just lovely to see them living wild lives.
If you want to use a # then maybe #FLB&S and tag me and Unbound.
Also, if you wanted to make short films of reading from the book that would be amazing. I will do a few too.
Talking of instagram, I have a new account called Sharpening of the Day, which centres around pencil shavings! For now. This was yesterday, at Cambridge Folk Festival, on stage with Spellsongs.
Before I go I want to say a huge thank you to John Mitchinson and Rina Gill for taking me around bookshops in London to sign copies of Feather Leaf. Heroic driving from John. Rina bought Hannah the most beautiful flowers. I'm still in London, looking after her as she recovers from pretty hefty spinal surgery. She's doing well. Strong, fierce.
I picked up a book in London Review of Books Bookshop. By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, called Notes on Grief. In a way that is what Feather, Leaf is, and yet it is also light and life. Chimamanda's book is small, and perfect. It howls with rage against the loss of her beloved father, who died only a couple of months after my own. Reading about the breathless confusion of trying to come to terms with her loss, touching minds with another soul paying the price of love, well.... it is a beautiful book. Everybody's response to grief is their own. I didn't cry much, yet. I don't think it's something to be 'got over', something to 'move on from', rather something to learn from and live with, that sorrow, walking hand in hand with the joy of living, made more profound by being finite. I even took Chimamanda's book on stage with me, to keep it close. I think it is something I will return to, as I continue to try to make sense of life, of love, of loss and of time. The book is published by 4th Estate.
Tell me, are you prepared to write in your own copy of Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone? I have been using mine as a notebook... a store for feathers and leaves. Just wondered if anyone else would as there is that space in which to add.....