At Good Books Bridport at the book signing. More conventional wine and nibbles, tea and biscuits. Enjoyed reading a bit of the book. Well, at least my friends like it it seems! All reviews welcome…
Many thanks to Jo O’Farrell and the volunteers at Good Books Bridport.
“Winds of Wonder” is the working title of the the third book in the White Gates Adventures series. The first in the series “The Kicking Tree” is officially released this week. The second, “Ultimate Justice” is in preparation for publication possibly early next year.
Winds of Wonder picks up the story of the original characters of The White Gates Adventures and introduces new ones along the way. As they travel around the universe through their white gates into fantastic new worlds they are wowed by the wonder of it all. But that doesn’t stop them running up blind alleys where wonder and beauty are ignored, brushed aside or deliberately destroyed as the desire for power and control becomes paramount.
Tina and I have just returned from a wonderful few days in Middleton, Leeds where we lived and worked in the 1980s. Much has changed – most, it seems, for the better. The Middleton Arms that features in The Kicking Tree has been replaced by a much more universally useful supermarket! Huge estates of modern housing have been built and new facilities added.
There are still many familiar faces in the congregations of St Cross and St Mary’s Middleton and we had a successful and very enjoyable book launch on Thursday, 19th competing with England v Uruguay. Those who preferred to attend the pie and pea supper rather than watch the match probably had the better time. At least it was more fun – and far less painful.
With Stephen Makinson who grew up in Middleton
The Summer Fair was an enormous success and the books went well too. I was talking to people and selling books throughout the day.
Thank you Middleton for being such an inspiration and so very supportive.
What a wonderful day at Queen Charlton Village Fete. I met many people of all sorts – some were clearly avid readers, others told me they hadn’t read a book in 25 years! A lot of interest in The Kicking Tree and some copies sold too. (Managed to give £28 to the fete fund!) Thanks to the fete organizers for their kind invitation to be part of the proceedings. The weather, by the way, was magnificent.
My next outing with The Kicking Tree will be to Middleton, Leeds. St.Cross Parish Room (LS10 4HT) where we are putting on a Pie and Pea Supper. This is on Thursday, 19th June at 7.30 pm.
I regret I did not look up the times and dates of the England matches properly and we are clashing with England v Uruguay! What a debacle for an England fan! However, it might be somewhere especially good for those trying to escape wall-to-wall football. And a way of avoiding the anguish as we play well and still … I shall no more. I am old enough to remember July 1966! (These days we think it is all over before we’ve begun!)
Those who read The Kicking Tree will know how sensitive I am to the horrific crime of rape. It destroys on every level of being. It is far, far more significant than a physical act. I am not a woman, but if I were I know I could not separate sex from the calling to motherhood. To be deprived of the freedom to choose a sexual partner is to loose so much – apart, of course, from the violence, the pain and the despicable ugliness of it trammeling over a God given opportunity to express love, commitment and creativity.
Many, many men think they can detach their sex drive from their identity. They think they can have physical sex without it affecting who they are. They believe the short-term thrill of sexual relief and power in dominating another human being is just an event that will not affect their lives. That is not true. It is about identity, being love and wanted and the honour of fatherhood. Rape destroys the males too. The self-esteem comes from having a willing sexual partner – having someone think you are special enough to enjoy the deepest intimacy. To take another just because he is physically stronger does not mean that at anytime a man has “possessed” a person. At the very point of violence a man has to build up a wall against the hatred that is diminishing him. From that moment onwards he has to find ways of dealing with the knowledge that he is despised. He can no longer be the person he was created to be without hating himself.
I do not believe our male dominated world cultures have begun to take rape seriously enough. Sadly, the horrific hangings of teenage girls in India is seen as horrific for the murders rather than the raping. Too often authorities, the police, politicians and governments turn a blind eye to this crime. Let us not deceive ourselves, this happens in the West too. In war, rape has always been used as a weapon, but it appears to be on the increase as access to modern arms has led to the greater intensity of long standing tribal conflicts or given opportunity for dictators to prevail over larger areas. South Sudan (with which I am associated) with all the current reported atrocities there is a prime example.
This Global Summit could be the start to changing this. It acknowledges that rape is destructive and addresses the culture of turning the blind eye. It acknowledges that women are fully autonomous human beings with a right to determine their own lives, and it takes this message to the governments that are represented here – and those that aren’t. What needs to happen now is that we extend this discussion, consciously, to all walks of life – not just in war.
I hope and pray that the conference concludes with clear and decisive rules by which we, humanity, can begin to change things in our world.
My first outing with The Kicking Tree will be on Saturday, 14th June at the Queen Charlton Village Fete from 2 pm. I shall be selling (and signing!) copies and will donate £2 for every book sold to the village fete funds.