The Middle Years: When the kids grow up... and everything goes tits down

By Liz Fraser

Indispensable and hilarious* notes on midlife (*possibly)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lifeshambles goes to...NOT Leicester.

Ooooh, hello my lovely Shed Friends.

I’ve missed you.

Lifeshambles continued its Global tour of… a very small patch of the globe, with a visit to the Off the Shelf Writing Festival in Sheffield, which it turns out is not the same as Leicester.


This trip was for my Part 2 of the big Writing Motherhood series organized by Carolyn Jess-Cooke, (below, left, next to the author Rowan Coleman) whose poetry I have raved about before, and shall do so again.

It’s excellent. 

In true Lifeshambles style I managed to go to my own book reading and leave the pieces of paper on which I had printed all the words I was supposed to be reading, at home.

I then realised that I’d left the USB cable, which would allow me to make my dongle talk to the outside world and thus email the document to the people in Sheffield (not Leicester) who have a printer and could print it all out again, at home as well.

I then realised that Sheffield is not Leicester, and bought a new train ticket.

[Given that I managed to go to the Cheltenham Book Festival and end up in Bristol by mistake, this geographical confusion should surprise nobody.]

It was all beautifully Lifeshambly.

The talk itself was great fun, with lots of laughs and another really interesting discussion with a room-full of mothers (and two dads – hurrah. Always think it's SO important to hear the dads' perspective in these talks too) at one stage or another of parenting speaking very honestly about their experiences and struggles, and joys.

It was all going so well I threw in a little cha-cha-cha at the podium, JUST COZ. 
Nul points there...


What I love about doing these book readings and Q&As is learning what the audience responds to, and what they want to ask, and talk about more.

That all helps to shape the book, and make it contain more of the issues that really seem to resonate with readers, and the things that they want to read about, and feel reassured about. Or just LAUGH about.

It’s as much my experiences of the Middle Years as everyone else’s.

This makes the whole process of crowdfunding a book before you’ve finished writing it fantastically useful for both writer and reader - something I’d not thought of before.

So if you want to make YOUR mark on the book, or contribute to the conversation in some way…just drop me a line!
What do (or did) you find difficult, challenging, surprising, or wonderful about the Middle Years of parenting - be it in terms of your relationship with your children, your partner, your boss, your parents….or, of course, with yourself?


After the Sheffield event I dashed down to London to the wedding of a great writer friend, to eat wedding pork pie (SO much better than cake!) and get sloshed.

A wedding, the invitation for which (containing the, umm, location….) I had left at home.

Ahh, it’s all in a good day's Lifeshambling :-)


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