Just over two months later I threw my official, in-store launch party. Those were heady days! Not that things have slowed down much since then. In fact, the past year has been one of the busiest and most productive of my life. But, it doesn’t end here. For the second half of 2017, I’ve set myself a few more BIG challenges…
From tomorrow, 1st June, I will be taking a three-month Facebook hiatus. I have deleted the app on my phone, and will only allow myself access to the site on my PC twice a day – 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 minutes at night – to keep on top of work-related stuff, and wish people happy birthday.
I really need to focus on the manuscript for my next book. The plan is to have it written, edited, and ready to start the submission process by year end. Yes, I have decided to give the traditional publishing route another go. And because the story is set in London, I figured it’s probably best I try find myself a UK-based literary agent and publisher.
On Saturday 5th August I am going to be presenting my Triad Talk at King Edward VII Preparatory School‘s PTA’s ‘Mom’s Brunch’ fundraiser. Sam Cowen will also be speaking about her latest book From Whiskey to Water. Sam and I believe passionately in facilitating dialogue around our lived experiences with addiction and adoption respectively. The more openly we can talk about how these things affect our children and our families, the closer we’ll be to creating a more compassionate, cohesive society.
The following weekend I will be doing a two-day intensive writing workshop with bestselling author and maverick indie publisher Melinda Ferguson (MF Books Joburg is an imprint of Jacana Media, one of SA’s most reputable publishing houses). The course is a birthday present to, and an investment in, myself.
In mid-September I am going down to Durbs for my 25-year school reunion and, if there is any interest, I am planning on tacking on a few extra days to do some Teen Talks at local high schools. Besides finishing manuscript #2, the main focus for the second half of 2017 is growing this, my flagship talk, as a stand-alone business. I am, in fact, in the process of crafting my Vision and Mission statements as we speak. And my booking agent is hard at work building a database of and emailing Life Orientation teachers. ‘Death by textbook’ is not a joke. Especially when it comes to real-world issues like sex and drugs. Teenagers relate far more to outside speakers and their testimonies / lessons learned than they do to the often sanitised, ‘dumbed down’ textbook material presented by their often old skool, conservative teachers. #TeachingWithoutPreaching
At some point I will also be making a few long overdue changes to this website – adding pages, combining pages, etc. I recently ‘unpublished’ about 98 per cent of the posts on my Jozibelle blog because I felt the content was outdated and riddled with too many dead links. But there are a few writing / publishing-related posts that I am going to repackage and upload somewhere here on this website. I believe it’s important we all share our intellectual capital to help pave the way, in whatever small way we can, for others who want to follow in our footsteps, in whatever industry we’re in. #payitforward
Before I love and leave you, just a quick reminder that ‘Umbilicus’ is now available in-store at Exclusive Books. If your branch doesn’t have stock, ask them to order a copy to be sent over from another branch for you. No extra charge! These are paperbacks printed and bound in South Africa, not print-on-demand copies shipped in from Amazon in the US or UK. It’s a win-win for our local bookstores AND their customers, as these copies are cheaper than their imported counterparts, we’re all supporting local industry, helping to grow our local economy, AND lowering our carbon footprint. #buylocal #supportlocal #localislekker #ProudlySouthAfrican
See you on the flip side! x