The Shopping Habit

 

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One definition of ‘addiction’ is ‘the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something’ and this definition brings one of life’s pleasures to mind: shopping.

I don’t think I’m actually addicted to shopping, but I do believe I could easily become addicted, given the chance. Living in the country, miles from any shops, is a help or a hindrance depending on your point of view. I think it’s a help, but if someone wants to throw some spare cash my way, I’m willing to test the theory.

What is decidedly not helpful to a shopping addict is the advent of internet shopping. A while back, when I was driving north with He Who Prefers Not To Be Named, I noticed an enormous, huge, ginormous Amazon warehouse had been built within ten miles of our home, ‘Just for us,’ we agreed. We are both seriously addicted to buying books on Amazon. It is just too easy. However, I have curbed my need for the services of the said warehouse: most of my Amazon purchases now are eBooks.

Research shows that many people buy things they don’t need, some buy things they don’t even want and most of these folks are a bit concerned about their shopping habits, some admitting they are ‘addicted’ to shopping.

In the developed world, merchandisers play to this addiction. Millions of Pounds, Dollars, Euros and Yen are spent every year on advertising. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Advertisers play on our emotions, telling us we deserve more and better than we have, assuring us that our life will be enhanced if we buy their products. It rarely turns out to be that way. In the words of an exceptionally wise man: Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses. (Luke 12:15) and another wise man: A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

No wonder many shopping addicts are concerned about their shopping habit. They may well have come to the same conclusion – that it is just not bringing them satisfaction. But how to cure the addiction? Often professional help is needed. Identifying the underlying problem is necessary. Having a supportive friend or relative is helpful.

~~~

Several things inspired me to write my novel, ‘Making It Home’.

Being just a teeny bit addicted to shopping was one. The thing is, I can live fine without it until I’m there, in the shopping mall or on the High Street, then I feel as though I’ve failed some test or other if I go home empty-handed. And I know I sometimes fall into the category of buying things I like but I don’t actually need. I mean, do I really need yet another ‘wee top’?

What is it about shopping that gets me?

My addiction is under control now, though it was never a serious problem. In my case, it wasn’t need or loneliness, but it was dissatisfaction with my looks and my figure. I had lost my sense of identity while raising our children and hadn’t found it again yet. I was constantly looking for that perfect dress, the one that would make me look tall and slim, those perfect jeans that would not only be comfortable but would make me look young and vital, that special wee top that would make me feel young and pretty again.

In analysing that, I got caught up in the idea of writing a story about someone who – unlike me, I hasten to add – just couldn’t stop buying things even when the money had well and truly run out. I thought it would be interesting to explore what her underlying problems could be and help her find some help to deal with them.

The discovery of a deceased relative’s secret addiction to shopping was another inspiration, albeit a sad one. Who knew Auntie J was filling her home with purchases she had no use for, filling cupboards and rooms with unopened carrier bags, receipts dating years back still inside them with the items she’d bought: the overwhelming sadness of her loneliness clearly unabated by hundreds of shopping trips? Who knew? Childless and widowed years before, she lived far from extended family and had few friends, mostly by choice, being a very private person. Reluctant to visit or be visited, her secret was only discovered when her home had to be cleared for sale after her funeral.

I used my overwhelming sadness to tell a little of Auntie J’s story in my novel, Making it Home, allowing a fictional character to carry her secret and share her loneliness. I like to think she might have enjoyed the alternative ending.

Making It Home

41C9fKLVtzL._UY250_ Kate had a home, but her heart wasn’t in it – or in her marriage. So she left them both.
Phyllis had a home – and her heart was in it – but she wanted something more. So she shopped.
Naomi had no home and her heart was in cold storage, frozen by grief and fear. So she shopped.
They found one another in a department store in Edinburgh.
The trouble with ‘retail therapy’ is, you can overdose.
As friendship grows between these three women, they help one another face up to their problems, realising along the way, every heart needs a home and it takes more than a house to make one.

Christine Campbell Amazon Author Page

~~~

What about you? How do you feel about shopping: love it or hate it? Do you know what compels you to shop, or is it something you have to force yourself to do when you need a particular item? Please share your shopping thoughts and stories, good or bad, in the comments. I’d love to read them.

~~~

Why Did You Write That Book?

Readers often wonder what inspired a writer to write the particular book they have just enjoyed, and it’s a fair question to ask, since the novel may deal with a subject that is somewhat out of the ordinary or a place they have never been. I know I find it interesting to have some background information about a book I have enjoyed.

What about you? Let me know in the comments if you feel the same.

For me, It is the same with a series. I like to know a bit of background, if possible. I love if I can find out what experience or snippet of information inspired the author to write on that particular subject.

The series I am currently writing, The Reluctant Detective Series, is about Mirabelle, a rather eccentric lady whose daughter went missing. While searching for her daughter, Summer, she builds up a network of contacts and, with the help of them and her friend, DI Sam Burns, she finds other missing persons and is able to reunite them with family.
People become aware of her expertise in this area and begin to come to her for help. Reluctantly, she becomes a bit of a private detective and her home becomes an unofficial missing persons agency.

The inspiration for this series springs from personal experience. I grew up not knowing my birth father and, over the years, concocted many stories to explain his non-appearance in my life. As an adult, I became a very private detective, since I was my only client, and set about finding out who he was and where he was. It’s a theme I return to in many of my writings.

41QJW-AUatL._UY250_ Family Matters, my first published novel, revolves around a woman whose husband abandoned her and her two young children. She’d like to know why, and what happened to him. Eleven years later, after her son dies, she discovers that he’d been trying to trace his father, so she follows the steps he took in an effort to find out how much he’d uncovered. In this book, I draw on some of the procedures I used to trace my father.

41C9fKLVtzL._UY250_Making it Home has, as part of its theme, leaving home and whether it’s possible to make one’s way back. The main protagonists are three women who become friends and help one another overcome their different problems while each works out what ‘home’ means to them and where ‘home’ is.

41WL0eRCVLL._UY250_ In Flying Free, the main protagonist loses contact with her father, when she and her mother leave the family home when Jayne is still a young child. So, in effect, it is she and her mother who are the missing people in this novel. The story traces Jayne’s efforts to come to terms with the why and how of the situation.

517rcMAIR-L._UY250_ Here at the Gate is a story of a secret past, one threatened with exposure. Who is Mhairi? And why is she so afraid of what her daughter might find out when she traces the family tree.

~~~

In researching for my novels, I found that:
Approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing—every day.
This includes both children and adults, but does not include Americans who have vanished in other countries, individuals who disappear and are never reported, or the homeless and their children.
That’s somewhere around 900,000+ a year.

In Britain alone, an estimated 250,000 people go missing every year. Many of those cases are resolved by police; just 2,500 people remain untraced more than a year after they disappear, some of them stay missing long after a year, ten, twenty, thirty years and more.

But that can still mean those who are contacted by police or other authorities do not return home and that families are not told if their loved one is alive or safe.
A closed case simply means the police are confident that no crime took place.

And how many of these missing people are children or young teenagers?

It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year.
800,000 children in the U.S; 40,000 children in Brazil; 50,500 in Canada; 39,000 in France; 100,000 in Germany; and 45,000 in Mexico; 230,000 in the U.K.
And in most of the developing world—including Africa, Asia, and Latin America—no one is counting missing children.

These figures, while chilling, also show me that the fictional stories I have written or will yet write are a drop in the ocean compared to the true stories no-one is writing.

I know how it feels for someone to be ‘missing’ from your life. I wonder how many of you know that feeling too? If you feel you’d like to, please feel free to share your story in the comments.

~~~

In The Reluctant Detective Series, Mirabelle is mostly able to find young women, in their teens or early twenties. Those who have not been missing too long. Though her expertise stretches further, and, with the help of her network of unusual contacts, she’ll have a try at finding anyone.

Searching for Summer Final

The first of the series, Searching for Summer, is mainly focused on Mirabelle’s search for her daughter, and the building up of her network of helpers. As her reputation for finding missing people grows, she becomes increasingly involved in other cases, the reluctance of the title of the series being because each case takes a bit of the focus off Summer.

Traces of Red, the second book in the series, is almost ready to be released, so, if you haven’t yet read Searching for Summer, now would be a good time to do so. It makes a great holiday read, absorbing enough to make your journey pass quickly or to keep you resting by the pool.

~~~

Tagged again!

Hello everyone! I was invited to participate in another tagging Blog Hop by Vashti Quiroz-Vega, a delightfully exotic name and a delightfully exotic lady. Vashti writes a blog which you can find at http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/writing-process-blog-hop/

twitter-profile

Vashti has published a novel called The Basement, a tale of angst, teamwork and solutions, treasure hunts and adventure, and facing fears. It is a focus on the small world of one group of preteens and the very real and wondrous world they face. You can buy it on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Basement-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/dp/162510555X/ref=cm_rdp_product

There are a few simple rules to this blog tagging:

1/ I must answer the four questions below.

2/ I must link back to the person who invited me to this Blog Hop.

3/ I must name four writers who will continue this Blog Hop and notify them.

Questions:

1) What are you working on?

I’m in the later stages of editing my NaNoWriMo novel. Its working title has changed several times and at the moment it is ‘Enough’  but I can’t make up my mind if that’s a great title or a terrible title. Any comment on that would be most welcome.

The novel is about Mhairi, a mother and grandmother who knows she did some terrible things when she was young, but can’t remember if she committed the heinous crime she was accused of. The trauma at the time and subsequent medication blacked out the memory, allowing her to built a good life with a loving husband, family and friends.

Her past feels like it belonged to someone else.

But now her daughter’s project is threatening to blow her life apart, exposing her for who she was. Rhona has decided to trace the family tree, to delve into the past and search out its secrets. Like a bloodhound, she refuses to be distracted from the hunt. Mhairi has to keep one step ahead or go on the run.

 2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

The last time I was asked this question I kinda opted out by saying that every writer’s work is unique, and I stand by that, but perhaps, in fairness, I should give you more than that.

I think my work differs from others in the genre in that I don’t think it quite fits into any genre.

Yes, it is Contemporary Fiction, written about ordinary people living here and now. Yes, it is General Fiction, which could appeal to men and women, old and young, and it is about coping with extraordinary ordinary problems. But it is so much more than that. My novels have an element of suspense in them, often a bit of crime and detection, sometimes romance, sometimes Family Saga, always exploration of relationships. They are character driven but with a strong plot line too. So, if any of you have read any of them…could you please tell me to which genre they belong?

3) Why do you write what you write?

I write about things I care about and things I am fascinated by.

I have always been fascinated by how someone can just walk away from their life, their family, their friends and disappear, leaving no trace, only heartbreak and worry. I explore this concept in my first novel, Family Matters.

Being happily married and surrounded by family, I care deeply about the loneliness others suffer: the causes of it and the solutions. I’m also fascinated by the modern phenomenon of shopping addiction, and its causes and cures. So, in my second novel, Making It Home, these are the areas I investigate.

My third, newly-released novel, Flying Free, takes a look at another subject I feel passioately about: recovery for victims of childhood abuse. I don’t know that there is ever a true recovery, but it is important to try to help there be at least a measure of healing. In Flying Free, the main protagonist’s life has been blighted this way and the story traces her route to recovery, in as much as that is possible. It is an ultimately uplifting, optimistic book.

4) How does your writing process work?

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘pantser’. Writing as I feel and as it comes. I try to have a notion of where I’m going, but it isn’t usually clearly mapped from beginning to end. The things I have a clear grasp of are who the characters are, what they want, what they need and what stops them getting it. And I know how the story ends. Apart from that, I like to go where the story takes me.

Look for the Blog Hop to continue next week at these sites:


Alana Munro, the author of Woman Behaving Badly, a book that attempts to understand women and to make sense of the huge expectations women place on each other. How can we avoid toxic women? What bad behaviours should we be looking out for? This book attempts to understand what is really going on between the females in our life. Alana is a great supporter of other authors and her blog is rich in writing tips, author reviews and other great stuff. Link for Alana Munro: http://alanamunroauthor.com

~~~

Dyane Ford, author of The Purple Morrow, book 1 of her adult fantasy series. As one reviewer says, ‘The Purple Morrow leads the reader on a romp through a detailed fantasy world at war.’ Another calls it, ‘A light fantasy with great characters.’ You can find out more about Dyane, her book and her writing tips on Dyane Ford:  http://droppedpebbles.wordpress.com

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Stuart Turnbull, a poet and author of stories both short and long, including the wonderful Tweeties, stories in 140 characters or less. Great fun. You can check out Stuart’s writing on his blogsites. I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself.

Stuart Turnbull: http://diamondsanddross.blogspot.co.uk

~~~

Amanda L Webster, author of two books, Loosely Collected: A Book of Poems and NaNoWriMo Gone Wild: The Quest for 50,000 Words. Plus she writes an amazingly helpful blog, which you can find at  http://writeontheworld.wordpress.com

~~~

All blogs I’m certain you will enjoy for various reasons, so do visit them and be entertained and amazed.

Enjoy!

Home Free on Friday

FREE on AMAZON KINDLE

FRIDAY, 10th & SATURDAY, 11th JANUARY

Making It Home

THE book cover

In the run-up to the release of my third novel, Flying Free, I am offering you the chance to sample my writing without it costing you a penny. You can download it for free from Amazon Kindle wherever you are.

If you prefer reading an actual book, Making It Home, is also available in paperback, but I’m afraid that’ll cost you the price of a cup of coffee and a cream cake.

Let me tell you a little about Making It Home:

Kate had a home, but her heart wasn’t in it … or in her marriage.

So she left them both.

Phillis had a home, and her heart was in it … but she wanted something more.

So she shopped.

Naomi had no home, and her heart was in cold storage … she didn’t know what she wanted.

 So she shopped.

They found one another in a department store.

The problem with ‘retail therapy’: you can overdose.

As friendship grows between these three women, they help one another face up to their problems, realising along the way, that every heart needs a home and it takes more than a house to make one.

A contemporary novel about women who want more.

~~~

Link to download for FREE: http://bookshow.me/B00BR9YS0G

~~~

Reviews of Making It Home

By CJ Heck on June 8, 2013

Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

This wonderful book is one of my newest all-time favorites. Christine Campbell
has written a masterpiece, a book worthy of everyone’s bookshelf. I wouldn’t
be at all surprised to see it made into a movie — the characters are incredibly
real and the emotions evoked are profound. There were several times when I held
back tears and, by the final page, I no longer fought them and let them flow.Move over Nicholas Sparks, you have new competition in Christine Campbell.
This woman writes from a heart of gold to the hearts and souls of us all.
If only I could give it ten stars ..
Respectfully submitted,
CJ Heck, Author
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase

In this book we meet Kate, who has a fairly normal life, but it is slowly unwinding like an old clock and she is beginning to realize that it is time for a decision about what kind of life she truly wants. Phyllis, an older woman who befriends Kate, helps open Kate’s eyes to how much she has been sleep-walking through her life. They both recognize that Naomi needs their help but they can’t quite work out how to offer that help or what all it will entail.So far it could be any politically correct book on the “women’s literature” market – but this book rises above that. The characters deepen and when men come into the story they start out almost as caricatures and then find their own realism as the women in the book begin to see them as real people with real thoughts and ideas. The people in this book stay with the reader and seem to grow even after the book concludes. It is a gentle read that sinks into your mind and soul and gently helps you change your assumptions about others.I am really impressed with this author and with this novel. I recommend it to anyone who isn’t looking for a cookie-cutter story-line. “Making it Home” doesn’t come at you with a message or a sermon; it simply shares the lives of the people in it and lets you decide for yourself. This book gives me the same peaceful experience I found reading D.E. Stevenson’s work – but updated for modern times.
~~~

Amazon.co.uk links.

paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Home-Christine-Campbell/dp/1849237743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

ebook: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-It-Home-ebook/dp/B00BR9YS0G/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364061887&sr=1-1

Amazon.com links:

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Home-Christine-Campbell/dp/1849237743/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389111343&sr=1-1&keywords=making+it+home+by+Christine+Campbell

Kindle edition:  http://www.amazon.com/Making-It-Home-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B00BR9YS0G/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1389111766&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=making+it+home+by+Christine+Campbell

~~~

REMEMBER!
The Kindle edition of Making It Home is
FREE
on FRIDAY 10th & SATURDAY 11th, JANUARY
~~~

That’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Got Me Into…

image

I’d love to have someone to blame, but, really I haven’t. No-one forced my arm. No-one bribed, begged or bundled me into doing it. It just seemed a good idea at the time.

I’ve signed myself up for NaNoWriMo.

Usually, when I write a novel, I deliberate over the story for months, writing plot lines, scrapping them, starting again, abandoning them and finally just getting started to write hoping the plot will take a natural course. But I do usually have the characters pretty well fleshed out in my mind. By the time I start to write, I have usually lived with them in my head for months, getting to know them and how they feel, how they act and how they speak.

Having just finished my third novel, while I am waiting for it to come back from my proofreader, it seemed a good idea to start another. Since I have the next two almost finished and another well underway, it would have been the easiest thing to get on with one of them, but, hey-ho! Folks were all talking about the fun they were going to have in November writing a novel from scratch in a month. 50,000 words in 30 days, just under 2,000 words every day for the month of November. What a fun idea! What a great discipline to have to put distractions aside and get on with my writing every day.

So, in a mad flurry of  bonhomie, I decided to join the gang and signed up for NaNoWriMo…National Novel Writing Month, to those of you who have never heard of it before.

My first thought was to take one of the novels I had partially written and use the month of November to get it finished and licked into shape, but then, on further reflection I realized that would just not be in the true spirit of the challenge, so I have plunged myself into a completely new novel with only the vaguest idea of where it is going and who is going to be in it. So, plotter or pantser? This time round, looks like I’m certainly going to ‘fly by the seat of my pants’…always supposing I’m going to fly at all. Gulp!

To be continued…

If you feel inclined to read my previous novels to get a handle on my usual writing style, they are available as paperbacks and eBooks on Amazon and Amazon Kindle:

Family Matters

Making it Home

and you’ll find the link just over there > and up a bit^ right under the video clip introducing me to you.

Can you tell? I’m beginning to feel just that little bit manic.

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Making It Home by Christine Campbell

Here are some of the things other people are saying about my book,

Making it Home.

~~~

First of all, Megan, of ReadingInTheSunshine

I want to talk about the cover first – I really like it! It’s a very simple cover, an everyday scene that you might regularly see on a journey home in the evening. But that is what makes it such a brilliant cover – it is familiar, it is comforting, and personally, it made me smile, thinking of all the journeys I’d done with a beautiful sky like that.

In Making It Home, we meet three women, who are all different but find a friendship in each other. They also find they have one thing in common: they want more from life. Can Kate, Phyllis and Naomi be happy with the life they have? Or can they find the courage to reach out for something more?

I really liked this book! One of the things I liked most about Making It Home is that Christine has created three women who could be our best friend, neighbour, aunt and so on. The characters aren’t perfect women with flawless make up and rich husbands, instead they are real, true-to life women that all of the ladies out there will be able to relate to, and that is what makes this story so compelling to read! Personally I love when an author writes about real women, about the struggles and problems that real women may face everyday, and creates realistic scenarios that could be exactly like what the readers could be going through. I am certain readers will be able to relate to Kate, Phyllis and Naomi in some way, whether it is their personalities, their individual situations or the friendship that these characters have with each other.

The characters were very well-drawn and written, I loved the friendship and the bond that the three women created with each other, ad I enjoyed reading and watching this friendship grow throughout the book. I was hooked to the characters individual stories and set of circumstances, I desperately wanted to know how they would progress and on many occasions I was cheering them on from my seat! I liked all three of the main characters but my favourite was Kate.

The novel unfolds at a great pace and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to read this. Making It Home is an absorbing and compelling story about three women, the friendship they strike up, the journey to discover meaning in their life, and knowing that support, love and friendship can be found when you least expect it!

****

Such a lovely day today, in blustery, wet Scotland.
Usually, it is the view from my bedroom window that brightens my day. Today, a different ‘view’… A review!
Thank you, Megan, of ReadingInTheSunshine.

~~~

Just checked my reviews on Amazon.com for the first time…hadn’t thought to do that before. Duh! The .uk ones come up automatically. Lovely surprise. Two great reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars I Keep Thinking About This Book! 1 April 2013
By Lucinda Sutherland – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
In this book we meet Kate, who has a fairly normal life, but it is slowly unwinding like an old clock and she is beginning to realize that it is time for a decision about what kind of life she truly wants. Phyllis, an older woman who befriends Kate, helps open Kate’s eyes to how much she has been sleep-walking through her life. They both recognize that Naomi needs their help but they can’t quite work out how to offer that help or what all it will entail.So far it could be any politically correct book on the “women’s literature” market – but this book rises above that. The characters deepen and when men come into the story they start out almost as caricatures and then find their own realism as the women in the book begin to see them as real people with real thoughts and ideas. The people in this book stay with the reader and seem to grow even after the book concludes. It is a gentle read that sinks into your mind and soul and gently helps you change your assumptions about others.I am really impressed with this author and with this novel. I recommend it to anyone who isn’t looking for a cookie-cutter story-line. “Making it Home” doesn’t come at you with a message or a sermon; it simply shares the lives of the people in it and lets you decide for yourself. This book gives me the same peaceful experience I found reading D.E. Stevenson’s work – but updated for modern times.
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Novel! 18 Mar 2013
By Dr. Johnson C. Philip – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a contemporary novel that is of a genre different from what I usually read. Thus I read it for a change and was pleased at the way the plot unfolds.It is the story of three women: Kate who had a home but whose heart was not in it, Phyllis who wanted something more than her home, and Naomi whose life was frozen by grief and fear. They meet each other by accident, become friends, and felt they should help each other. On the path of discovery that life is much more than what they think, the author develops the plot in a superbly captivating manner.I enjoyed reading this novel, and I am sure that you too will enjoy reading this novel, provided you are used to reading in this genre.

Uphill Struggle, Steep Learning Curve…or Top of the World?

This has been, correction, this is, so much fun!

Ever since I uploaded my previously published novels, Family Matters and Making It Home, onto Amazon Kindle, I have been on a Steep Learning Curve.

After years of sitting on a mountain of words I’d written, protecting them from censure, hiding them in the deep recesses of my laptop, I let the first of them see the light in 2008, the second in 2009. It felt as though I’d reached dizzying heights. Because they were published by small, independent publishers, they were POD, print on demand, so available on Amazon, able to be ordered but not stocked in bookshops. I was shy about promoting and advertising them, but, even so, managed to sell a respectable number. I was On Top of the World.

Meantime, we were in the middle of an earthquake I’d been trying to survive and ignore without being swept away by. The whole world was changing, reforming around me. The landscape looked different and I noticed another peak had emerged nearby. One I never thought I could attempt to climb. Little over a month ago, I donned my hiking boots and started up The Steep Learning Curve of internet marketing and media. I hammered in my first peg and uploaded my books on Amazon Kindle.

The view looked good, hanging on to that shoogly peg. Wanting to make it more secure, I hammered it home by emailing, texting and facebooking my contact lists, telling them about my venture into this Brave New World.

Inching up the mountain, I hammered in another peg, I started a blog. This blog. Let the fun begin!

Some of my pegs are proving difficult to hammer in. I wobble now and then in the Google+ community, trying to make a contribution to some of the great chat threads there without falling into the self promotion crevasse or overstepping the rules. I haven’t quite got to grips with Twitter. I’m making lots of mistakes, missteps, stumbling a little, hanging on to the last steady peg and trying again. It’s a bit of an Uphill Struggle sometimes, learning how to link one thing to another, how to make all these social media tools work to my advantage. Now and again I feel as though I could easily get blown off the narrow ledge I’m clinging to. Thankfully, there’s always someone there to gently tug on the rope, remind me I’m not alone, help me keep going. And oh! I’m enjoying the adventure!

All I can say to other reluctant mountaineers, other media-scared authors: put on your hiking boots, come join me. The view up here is magnificent!

Glenfinnan2

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