Sunday, 15 December 2013

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ghost stories, agents and other unrelated stuff ...

Well, I've decided to have some time off  - other than for sleeping. My work; creative response resources to help young people express difficulties and activities to help carers provide enriched care for  our elderly and people with dementia is now edited, printed, packed and ready to go.

So … I'm taking a holiday - not to a sunny island, snowy mountain tops or lazing on a beach lounger [although they do sound appealing right now] - I'll be dragging my children's stories kicking and screaming from the bottom drawer[s] of the filing cabinet[s] and e d i t i n g them at last!

A lovely literary agent has expressed a wish to read some ghost stories over the Christmas Holidays ~ and guess what ~ I have one somewhere, wedged into a rough card folder, lurking some dark void that has not seen the light of day for three years.

Late last night, once the sum of the family had taken themselves off to bed, I tiptoed back into the study and pulled on the bottom drawer of my trusty old filing cabinet. Fearless, I reached in to the fathomless void, bungled through the files like a predictable private detective in a mystery-suspense drama. Flitting about the rows of steel carriers, a fierce chill enwreathed me. [Okay, I hear you, that really is enough alliteration] I searched frantically for the Mystery at Ramper Pot. 'Got it', I said to no-one. But then brief shuffling sound. I couldn't see anything. But I could sense it. [did I forget to tell you that I'd left the light off?]. The springer was howling at the back door as a shadow dropped across the hallway. Maurice the stray smoothed around my calf as if nothing unusual was happening. He sniffed indifferently at the old card files loaded with paper and smelling of that old and used book smell that all seasoned readers know and love so well. And then it happened, just like all ghost stories, a slither of light, [should that have been a new para?] slashing through the window from strips in between the conifers. Another binding chill, much colder than the first …

to be continued … [which really means it's midnight and promised myself an early night].

So that will be my holiday, revamping Ramper Pot Adventures and hoping to submit something before real work begins again in the new year.

And here's to the nice agent - I'm really hoping she has time to read the real Mysteries at Ramper Pot or anything else lurking at the bottom my trusted old filing cabinet.

Note to the nice agent:
This is not an actual excerpt.
Note to anyone who's interested in my working environment:
The filing cabinet isn't actually rusty - just didn't want to let the facts spoil the story.
Note to self:
Stop procrastinating and get on with the real story.

I'll keep you posted - but maybe in the same way that gamblers do - they let you know when they've won but you never get to hear of the missed opportunities.

Hey ho, fingers crossed, looking up not down, not counting the chickens too soon, wondering whether my cup is half empty or half full …

See you all soon,
Gillian

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Pets medication planners … Help people remember ...

Help a busy, elderly or person living with early stage dementia to remember pet medications:


Pack of 5 in storage wallet £4.95 plus £1.10 pp to UK

email gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk


or visit Shop at www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Mini Workshops for Carers - Communities - Companies - Families

Half-Day & Mini Workshops

for Carers – Communities – Companies – Families

Dementia Awareness  ~  Social Interaction  ~  Dementia Friendly Society  ~  Living Well with Dementia

[A]    Help Carers Provide Enriched Social Care for Well-being

 Who for?

Residential Care Homes ~ Dementia Enriched Care ~ Assisted Living ~ Domiciliary Care

Carers ~ NHS Volunteers ~ Rehabilitation ~ Visiting & Befriending ~ NHS Samaritan Armies

What will we cover? ~ Example Content:

Dementia Awareness – Social Interaction – Time To Chat Prompts – Moments in Time Activities – Memory Box

Includes Themed Memory Box or Equivalent


[B]    Helping Companies & Organisations Provide Employee Awareness in the Process

of Building Dementia Friendly Societies

Who for?

Developing Dementia Friendly Societies - Companies & Employees ~ People in contact with the general public

What can we cover? ~ Example content:

Dementia Awareness – Body Language – Social Interaction Prompts – Acts of Kindness


[C]    Are You Caring for Someone who is Living with Dementia?

Who for?

Families – Friends – Carers in the Community - Volunteer Visitors – Befriending – NHS Samaritan Armies

What can we cover? ~ Example content:

Am I a Carer? – Building a Support Team – Body Language – Social Interaction – Living Well with Dementia

Doing Things Together – Memory Box – Autobiography – Journal – Self-care


Happy Days Workshops can be edited to provide social interaction training suitable for your care service, business, employee or  client base.

£79 per person

Attendance Certificates
Included per Group Booking – Choose one * from the following:
*Memory Box – *Sorting Box – *Picture Bingo – *3 x Packs Time to Chat Prompts –  *3 x ‘All About Me’ Memory Jogger Books
Contact Gillian Hesketh MA
Emailgmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk  / gillian@dementiaworkshop.co.uk
Tel: 01253 899163 – Mob:07971 953 620
Price based on North West areas.
Please phone or email me anytime to discuss your specific requirements, venue or participants.
World War II Memory Box DeluxeAll about mePicture Bingo, Dementia Workshop
* Prices vary according to: time required – number of participants – distance – venue – but will be consistent with and based on the above offer.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Agents - Publishers - Needles & Haystacks


This week I spent some time with a colleague who wanted to publish a series of children's stories. I was presented with a lovely potential product - a range of stories about an arthropod, actually a cute spider which were supported by some interesting illustrations of said spider and his friends. But as publishers don't have time to speak directly to the thousands of aspiring children's writers - and Agents are like finding a needle in a haystack [apologies for the use of  cliche], I could only offer some tips to get started and of course, my best wishes.

1.
If you want to attract the attention of an agent - it is important to show that you can market yourself.

Create a blog - this is free and easy to start up - I suggested Blogger of course as I find it easy to use and there are lots of templates, colours etc to choose from.
Load your blog with images, samples, how to's, stories about the said spider, contact information etc.

Set up a Facebook page - invite your friends - this helps build confidence.
Search out other children's authors, interact and link as friends - or ask for followers.
Link your facebook page to your blog and vice-versa



Set up a Twitter account - follow other children's authors - agents - publishers
You can make a backdrop to show your product.
When you have written a blog post - post a message on Twitter and send people to your blog site.

* Make sure there is a theme / style / colour / font that is consistent throughout your internet media.
[oops - I should pay attention to this myself]

2.
Contact local press and ask them to do a feature on you and your stories
Contact local radio
Expand this to national press and radio

3.
Join SCBWI - Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
This is a great group to join. Meetings with other authors - critique sessions - agent meet-ups - conference - socials

4.
Network - it may not be the specific people at networking events who can help directly but most people   would have a contact for you - ie a teacher / librarian / fundraiser / agent ?


5.
Make or have made a large version of your protagonist to take to events with you


6.
Do some voluntary work - Read your stories at fundraisers

7.
Contact libraries - offer to do readings in school holidays or at creative workshops

8.
Contact schools - offer to do a book reading
Be sure to include some learning or entertainment aspect

9.
Ask a local bookshop if you can do a presentation / reading - invite the press


10.
Enter competitions


11.
Use who you know - does anyone you know, know of someone connected to the literary, education, advertising, media, agency or publishing world?



12.
If you intend to contact agents or publishers - try to get your material to the 'actual person' who is responsible for the type of material you wish to market - and your audience.


13.
If you do contact agents or publishers - know your product inside-out
Know your target audience - Look at other authors' work / target market audience
Know where your book will be placed amongst other successful authors
Have some prospective customer evidence / feedback available
Know your product well enough to describe it in two sentences
Have a clear idea of your market age-range:

[Make a brief questionnaire for young children - Ask family, friends or school if their children can read your stories and answer the questions for you - chart this information]
Make sure your language, theme content is age appropriate [Ask teachers for opinions, notes or tips]

14.
Choose your goal[s]
What are the reasons these goal[s]
Choose your main goal
List all the things you need to do to reach your goal
Focus on the most important and most realistically achievable tasks
Plot your achievable list on a 12 month diary
Follow your plan towards your goal

15.
After all these tips, we still have online marketing to consider - ebooks - upload to Lulu - sell with Amazon - add to Kindle - ads on ebay - your own website with a shop to purchase your product[s]. All these routes to market will also require promotion. Just because a product is online doesn't always mean it will fly off shelves or wire itself to another person across the globe.

And so the coda; here is where we go back to the beginning - I began with your online presence and identity - marketing you, your brand, your product - this seems statutory nowadays. Last month I enjoyed an hour or two at a wonderful [annual] craft and vintage fair. One exhibitor displayed the most amazing, unique hand-made felt flowers and similar products. This exhibitor had no blog, website or place on the internet where I could review or purchase her products. Would she be at the fair next year? Where was she based? I had only been given her first name. The moral of my story: No sale.

Keep smiling and enjoy the process of finding a needle in a haystack.

Gillian









Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Teachers - Parents - Publishers ... Transition - Young People :)


Teachers, Publishers, Parents, please take a look at my new mini books to help young people look forward to Secondary School 
£7.95 each

Email me at gmhesekth@yahoo.co.uk
or Shop at www.happydayspublishing.co.uk

*Discounts for quantities

Monday, 18 November 2013

Don't forget your pets ...

Don't forget your pets - Pet Medication and Information Reminder ~
Shop at: 
http://www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk/product/pet-medication-reminder-cards/


Ideal Gift ~ 5 in a pack for only £4.95

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Arty words / Arty Lyrics / Arty Music / Arty Dancing ...

Of course, I've got to share this with you - what mother wouldn't want to?

A fabulous day helping out at the filming of Satellite, Little Boots' new single.

It's not all glamour and I can tell you, after forty trips up and down three flights of stairs, behind the famous Wurlitzer organ in Blackpool Tower Ballroom, in and out of shabby-chic dressing rooms seeped in celebrity history, pressing costumes and feeding the whole crew, I was pretty exhausted. Lucky to have friends and family joining in this fabulous day ...

You can listen to Victoria's new single, Satellite, here ... and see the amazing young dancer Analise ~ perform her spectacular moves ...

http://youtu.be/_CLGDHpWQH0




Enjoy,
Gillian

Friday, 20 September 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Dementia Ward ...


I just love facebook, twitter, linkedin for all the opportunities to network with people we might otherwise never get to meet.

Allow me to introduce you to Charles Schoenfeld, writer of  'A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to the Dementia Ward - Memoir of a Male CNA.'

It's available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Funny-Thing-Happened-Dementia-Ward/dp/1463770103
Kindle version also available.


“Remarkable insights of skilled nursing care from an insider! Married father of four retires, studies then becomes a CNA. During his seven years of service you’ll read about the “Secret Club,” drama, compassion, and even deer hunting. A must-read for every family struggling with the idea of moving a loved one into a nursing home. Inspiring reading for nursing home managers. Includes tips for visitors.”

Please feel free to share your comments.

Gillian

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Instead of becoming a novelist ... I did and do this ...


800,000 people or more in the UK are living with dementia.
25million of us have a friend or relative with dementia.
Not everyone will develop dementia.
As we're all living longer, we need to provide enriched social care for people with dementia.
Sharing everyday activities may help people with dementia to maintain skills and 
enhance a sense of  well-being.

Visit www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk for information, ideas, resources and gifts.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Introducing ... The Butterfly ...


I love this thought ...



and butterflies.

Check out my friend and colleague, Kim Chamberlain. - not that she's a butterfly, but she keeps developing new ideas and ways to keep our minds busy and our motivation motivating. Here she is:

Friday, 30 August 2013

Announcing Dementia Workshop Website is now live ...


Wow - great news - Happy Days Dementia Workshop Website is now live !

www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk

Also - see the video on youtube [needs an edit or two yet tho!]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVtPgQjWHzA

Any questions, let me know ... email me gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk

Gillian 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Share the Love ...

Loving sharing these books with you ...

Check out Kim's lovingly created works at:  www.kimaya.co.nz


New Zealand author Kimaya, specialises in children’s personal growth and development. Kimaya has a highly contagious enthusiasm for life and love of people; an illuminator of individual magnificence, power, passion and purpose. Her books relay this beautifully to readers from 3 years through to teens and young adults, including the child within us all.

A note from Kim: Through all my work and travel I’ve always gravitated towards roles that focus on mind, body and soul.  I have a number of qualifications and have worked in a wide variety of industries and careers but in all my work there has been a constant theme of holistic health and wellbeing.


Recommend:
Kim's books on love are such a joy to the senses. You can feel the warmth, see the glow and be transformed by all the love that surrounds you. "All the Flavours of Love" is truly the flavours of life itself because love is all there is. Arielle Faith Michael, Hawaii.




Sunday, 4 August 2013

It's a cat's life ...

Just helping out with a catalogue edit at Happy Days ...


... checking the print run categories are in order ...


trying to catch my attention with a reminder for my meeting ...


taking at cat nap after all the hard work ...


Patch ~ our newest member of staff seems to have settled in well.
No catastrophes so far ...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

People love to talk ... for Carers and people living with Dementia, friends, families, volunteers, NHS wards ...


People love to talk.

Enriching care with conversations couldn't be easier ... Memory picture prompts are easy to use and can enhance moments of time when providing enriched care for someone living with dementia.

Who can use Time to Chat memory prompts?
Hospital Volunteers:
If you are a volunteer in hospital wards, it can sometimes be difficult to initiate or continue conversations with patients who are living with dementia.
These wipe-clean picture prompt cards may help to trigger memory, prompt interaction and assist conversation.

Residential & Domiciliary Care:
Carers can keep these light-weight conversation prompts in a pocket for a ready to use at any time with residents or people cared for at home.

At Home:
If you care for someone who has dementia, striking a conversation can sometimes be difficult.
Pictures and text prompts may help to prompt memory and initiate conversations for families, friends and visitors.

Time to Chat ~ Memory Prompts
Helping Carers provide enriched care for our elders and people living with dementia.
Proto-type special offers: 3 packs for £24.50 plus pp

Choose from: Around World War II - Blooms and Butterflies 

Pets and Animals People We Know - Places

email gmhesekth@yahoo.co.uk for next day postage

Coming soon ... www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk for memory prompts, themed memory boxes, activities for residential care homes, social interaction training and more ... See you there very soon,
                                                                             
                                                                           Gillian

Saturday, 15 June 2013

New Books ... business plan ... camera ... action ...

So, is this enough for the bank manager?

After an expensive couple of days presenting my wares at a an exhibition of national publishers where I went along with my paste board table, embroidered table cloth and my newly acquired BnQ grey plastic shelf units [all perfectly useful by the way], I couldn't help noticing the professionals ... lights, cameras, book shelves [in chrome and matt black with angled shelves and rows of books in differing colours which presumably related to reading levels]. No-one could help but to notice them, their suave exhibition stands with glossy book covers stretching from end to end, their brightly lit environment where everything became uniquely clear [I'd not ordered a light], their smart approach ... need I go on ...

So here it is, my plan for the next exhibition ... and just maybe I'll find a bookshelf or two ... and save up for a lighting effect.

Gillian

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Monday, 27 May 2013

Just for fun, Batman, Sindy, Lego and the rest ...

What do you buy as a gift for a someone in their 50's - for the person who had everything?
For the person who wants to re-live their youth?

Batman - Sindy - Action Man - Lego - School Report - and more ...

Fun Memorabilia Pack £5.95    
plus £1pp

email: www.happydayspublishing@yahoo.co.uk
or phone 01253-899163


Call Me Old Fashioned ... you probably should ...


Call me old fashioned - out of date - behind the times ... oh go on then, I deserve it.

I have just found this:

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/sending-mail

shock, surprise and satisfaction all in one!

I had been going to the post office to get items weighed and priced for delivery and before that, [it gets worse], I had been guessing postal prices - which involved promising to post an item to Australia for £3.00 when it actually cost £7.35.

So, get out the kitchen scales, weigh your item to post and check it out on the chart:
First class, second class, letter, parcel, recorded delivery ... the list does go on a bit ...

Bigger surprise ...

You can actually purchase the postage on line and print off the ticket - no more queuing at post office main counters !!!!!!!

Brill - Terrific - Cool - kk - Yay - Happening ... and all of the most modern terminology I can think of to appreciate this brand new find.

Hey ho, just off to see what else is new [ish]

See you later,

Gillian

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The School Book is ready !!! Let's shout it from ... School mentors, counsellors, SEN support professionals, teachers, deputy heads, youth club leaders, carers centres ...

The School Book is Ready - 'Helping Young People' 

Let's shout it from the top of the mountains - sail it out across the oceans, fly it around the world ... or I could just pop into your office, classroom, staff meeting, corridor or stationery cupboard to show you the colourful, easy-to-use resources to help young people identify, express and communicate difficulties or broader needs to bring about earlier or more specific support.

The Master Copy is on special offer this week and comes with extra resources, usb flash drive and license to photocopy.

Please email me for content list and images - or to order whilst the Nasen Live Exhibition offer is on and take advantage of great savings.

Gillian Hesketh HAPPY DAYS PUBLISHING: 
gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk

Friday, 17 May 2013

Schools, Carers, Care Service Providers ...


Happy Days will be exhibiting at Nasen Live Reebok Stadium BL66JW on 22 & 23 May - SEN, Schools, Carers, Dementia Care Homes, looking forward to meeting you there ...

More information coming this week-end

Gillian
Happy Days Publishing

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Prepare for Independence ~ Young People ... Schools, Mentors, Young Carers, SEN, a way forward ...


Out Now !

Preparing for Independence ~ a creative interactive booklet to help you consider choices, prepare to make plans ahead, organise life 'stuff' and encourage well-being ...

All in one handy place for you to write, draw, express, plot, plan ... the choices are endless.

If you are are involved in the education sector; teacher, school mentor, support worker or carer support worker, this booklet is for you and/or your students.

This product has been made accessible by being priced to be affordable to organisation budgets.


email or phone Gillian Hesketh - Happy Days Publishing: happydayspublishing@yahoo.co.uk

Happy Days Publishing 01253 899163

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Momentum ... Goals ... Momentum ... Goals

Check out David Wallace Fleming  - Indie Literary - Interesting thoughts on technology and relationships, quirky quotes, interviews and more ...

Without goals, would we just stand still and quack quietly?

David Wallace Fleming is writer of self-termed, technical satire and author of many digital books including Not From Concentrate, Modern Manhood, and the social media novel Growing Up Wired.


http://davidwallacefleming.com/2013/03/13/the-audacity-of-momentum/#more-2904


Posted on March 13, 2013
Why do people stop themselves once they’ve got something started? Why do people stop short of achieving a goal, again and again?
Sure, part of the problem is the fear of the unknown but the other problem is a lack of setting goals. If a person isn’t moving toward a goal, then they’re just moving out into the unknown abyss of space. That’s scary stuff. 
Another cool thing about momentum is that it seems to be fairly scalar. If one keeps doing the same thing everyday, there’s no telling where one will end up.
A lot of times when people casually talk about momentum I think what they might really be referring to is inertia or the tendency of things to stay in  a given state of motion. If you ask people why things tend to stay in a given state of motion no one can really give you a straight answer. It’s one of those mysteries that we’re not really supposed to think about or ask questions about. What is inertia? What is mass? Why does mass have the properties that it has and why do those properties behave the way that they behave?
If a duck wakes up every morning and says, “quack,” then we might say that that duck had a certain inertia to keep waking up in the morning and saying “quack,” even if prior quacks weren’t all they were quacked up to be. We might say that said duck had a certain quack-inertia to its character.
Now, IF a second duck awoke each morning and quacked just a little bit louder than our first duck, then this second duck might also have a distinct and slightly greater quack-inertia. Now what’s gonna happen when these two ducks meet? The second duck is going to out-quack the first! This second duck is going to have a greater quack-momentum. This second duck will be a victorious duck and will be invited to all the best duck-parties.
Inertia is a scalar quantity of a system that describes that systems stubbornness. Momentum, on the other quack, is best for describing who or what will win when two systems come into conflict.
So, maybe this is the second secret to the audacity of momentum: not only do we have to set goals, but we have to become more competitive to prepare for eventual conflicts with our competitors.


Friday, 26 April 2013

Dementia WorkShop coming very soon ... Memory prompts ... and much more ...


Hello everyone, coming soon is a new Happy Days website where you can shop for social activities, memory prompts, memory boxes, journals, signage and much more ... Dementia Workshop will be available as soon as physically possible - hopefully just a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile if you require a catalogue or further information on any products, please email me:
gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk - or see further contact details on www.happydayspublishing.co.uk

Look forward to seeing you at www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk in the very near future.

Gillian

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Picture Bingo for Care Homes, our Elders, people with Dementia ...

Engaging in activities may help to stave boredom and maintain skills for people living with dementia.
Sharing activities can create an enjoyable experience and may enhance well-being.

Happy Days Picture Bingo contains A4 cards for up to 10 participants.
This multi-functional game has multi-uses - the display cards can be used for conversation prompts.
Picture Bingo is laminated for wipe clean.
25mm counters.
Picture Bingo £32.50
Email gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk £32.50 plus pp
Can be posted within 3 days.
Use under supervision only - may contain small parts.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Dementia prompts - World War II Memories... Newspapers £2.99 ...

Share and remember World War II and Coronation replica newspapers £2.99 each plus 80p pp [uk]
please enquire for other destinations


Email gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk
Pay by paypal or cheque
Posted out next days
Enjoy

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hello everyone visiting Artywords ~ I'm afraid that I'm soooo busy designing and developing memory prompts and activities for people living with dementia that I haven't got a nano second to write my children's stories or finish 'that' novel which has temporarily scurried away into the bottom draw of the filing cabinet !

So, please, hop over the www.happydayspublishing.blogspot.com and share the word about new resources to help carers interact with residents in residential care homes.

Getting to really know each resident can provide a basis for conversation and shared topics, prompt activity and help to stave boredom or agitation. "All About Me" is a subtly colourful booklet for people with dementia to share with carers, record social history, favourites and not-so-favourties. Extra care through social interaction may enhance well-being for both participants.

'My Memory Jogger' contains more space and is a special place to record life experiences, photographs and recollections. Designed to share with family, friends and carers to create conversation and activity, provide meaningful interaction and enjoyment.

See you at Happy Days Publishing blog
Gillian

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Happy Days Happiness

Wednesday was the 1st International Day of Happiness ~ Sorry my felicitations are late!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Interview ~ Gillian Hesketh by Rebeccah Giltrow

Thanks Rebeccah for making the interview so easy to do.
See more interviews, Rebecca's ideas and work at http://rebeccahgiltrow.blogspot.co.uk


Writer - Gillian Hesketh

I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Gillian Hesketh.  Enjoy.

Gillian Hesketh


pastedGraphic.pdf


Hello Gillian, can you please introduce yourself?
Hello Rebeccah, I am Gillian Hesketh and I am based in Lancashire, close to the historic market town of Poulton-le-Fylde - and ten minutes from the lively seaside resort, Blackpool.
How long have you been writing?
I feel as though I’ve always been writing - as if I’ve been learning a trade in my spare time - but I’ve been writing more seriously over the past eight years.
What first got you interested in writing?
I’ve always jotted bits and pieces down, snippets of poetry, motivating quotations but I got hooked during my degrees. One of my major studies was on triggering memory to access emotion through past experience. Using the photograph as a starting point, I began writing and haven’t stopped since.   
Were you a prolific reader as many writers seem to be?
Right from the start, I found reading unbelievably difficult, often having to read something two or three times - which can become quite exhausting. Over the years, I’ve come to realise I must have some dyslexic traits.
So, has the writing been easier for you?
I love writing and as writer’s know, it’s often a long process. I’ve always had a love of language, the shapes, the effect, even from a very young age. 
Do you attend a writing group?
I have enjoyed a variety of writing groups, writerly meetings, literature festivals all of which never cease to inspire me. I am a member of SCBWI - Society of British Children’s Writers & Illustrators - a wonderful organisation and a local Mastermind Writers Group formed by a colleague and friend of mine, Kim Chamberlain.
What genre(s)/types of things do you write? 
In my filing cabinet are the makings of three contemporary novels for the female market, a draw full with poetry and a hoard of children’s stories all waiting to burst out one day.
What drew you to this/these genre(s)?
Socially, I am a teller of stories, usually about funny or strange situations I’ve found myself in. I’m also fascinated by body language [93% of language is body language] and the balance of power and control in relationships - so I suppose all these come together in my women’s fiction.
What are you working on at the moment?
My interactive resources is the most enjoyable writing task I have ever undertaken so far - and the reason why my fiction is in the filing cabinet. Designing, writing and developing creative colourful, themed resources to help children, young people and adults identify, express and communicate any difficulties they may be experiencing is a very rewarding task. Bringing broader information to the forefront sooner may enable earlier support to aid positive choices and improve well-being. I have just completed Happy Days range of interactive activities, ‘My Personal Memory Jogger’, Memory Boxes, Sorting Boxes and Memory Prompts for people with dementia, their families, friends and carers - in residential care or at home. More information and shop at: www.happydayspublishing.co.uk
Have you ever had anything published?
Yes, I’ve had poetry and short stories published, really as a showcase. I do have an inexpensive short story on Amazon: ‘Summer Indulgence’-50% of proceeds raised will go to a nominated charity, the rest towards promoting Happy Days Interactive Resources to aid well-being: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Indulgence-ebook/dp/B005LA1CKG
pastedGraphic_1.pdf

Have you sent your writing to agents/publishers?  Have you received any rejections?
Yes, I have submitted various pieces of writing to agents and publishers. Yes I’ve definitely had rejection slips, some thumbed through scripts which felt promising and positive feedback too - but what I’m writing at the moment is much more fulfilling.
Would you consider self-publishing/e-publishing?
I would definitely consider self-publishing and e-publishing - but self-publishing also involves self-editing and massive marketing strategies. I’m considering e-publication of ‘My Memory Jogger’ and in the process of developing an ipad app for people living with dementia their family, friends and carers.
Are you interested in eBooks, or do you prefer the old fashioned paper-made books?
I love the idea that we can have our cake and eat it - paper-backs and/or digital technology to access all genres through an assortment of media. I am a champion of the paper-back though I have to admit, I love my kindle, mostly because it’s lightweight.
Who/what influences your writing?  Where do you get your inspiration from?
People, places, situations, contemporary social and emotional issues, colour, metaphor, language change ... My list is endless. I am a prolific note-maker.
What is your writing routine?  Do you write daily or just when you feel like it?  Is there a certain time of day where you are at your most creative?
I’m not sure I should admit to my current writing routine as it takes up all day and most of the night. Trying to get to bed before midnight is a constant battle. I should take my own advice: take a break, meet friends, chill out ...
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Do you have an editing process?  Do you have someone else read over your work?  Do you read your work aloud to yourself in front of the mirror?
I edit, then my little helper edits. Then I edit again, then my little helper edits again. We aim for perfection, but there’s always a sneaky comma in the wrong place or threee letters where there should only be two.
What is your writing environment like? 
So long as I have battery life in my laptop, luckily, I can now write in any place at any time with or without noise, music and interruption.
How important is it for you to share your writing?
It’s paramount for me to be able to share my resources to bring about early intervention and early support for children, young people and families. As we’ll be living longer,  we’ll need need activity and interaction to help us maintain skills, movement and a sense of purpose, so it’s important for me to share the activities I’ve developed with carers and care coordinators.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to writing?
Focus. Don’t give up. 
What advice could you give to a new writer?
Network. Immerse yourself in writing groups, courses or literary festivals. Find like-minded people. Set up a writing support group. Entering competitions helps you to edit your work to a format. Arrange to have something published in a local newspaper or magazine to try out your own voice - then nurture it. Focus. Don’t give up.
Would you rather write a masterpiece and only sell a handful of copies, or produce a badly written book and sell millions?
I would of course, like to sell my resources to millions and globally at the highest standard I can achieve. Who wouldn’t? I have many titles to work on and far too much spare energy. So maybe, when I’ve published every interactive resource I can think of, I’ll return to my novels and the children’s stories which happen to include: Ramper Pot Adventures, Scrambled Egg Pet and Stick People Have Feelings Too. [Just in case an agent or publisher happens to be reading this]
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?
I am lucky as I live close to a riverside path and a few minutes from the beach. I have little time for hobbies at the moment but I always make time to be part of a community choir. The only outdoor activity I am capable of is snow skiing.
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?
I have random and completely unrelated answers for this: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, Noddy, in fact anything Enid Blyton, all of the Roald Dahl collection, Catch 22, Joseph Heller ... another list.
Do you judge books by their covers?  How important is cover art to you as a reader and a writer?
I think the cover is one of the most important things to hook your reader. If the cover isn’t right for your particular audience, your potential customer will pass by it.
Would you like to see any of your work on the big screen?
Wow - who wouldn’t? I’ve written a play, ‘There’s No Fat in Champagne’ and would love to see that performed on stage - or maybe on the big screen.
Where can we find you on the internet?
I am Gillian Hesketh.  Please contact me for information on resources, products, submissions, visits: 
You can find me at and contact details at: website: www.happydayspublishing.co.uk 
Would you be able to provide a short piece of your work? 
As a break-away from my interactive resources, here’s a fragment from one of my novels, ‘Consequences’
~ Prologue: Unruffled by the silhouettes of vacated city life, the woman glanced blankly in both directions and crossed the road. A half open gate lured her into a grassy quadrant, its miniature gardens neatly divided by cobble-stoned paths and surrounded by gold-tipped railings. She felt safe there. An oasis in a concrete desert.  The woman perched on the edge of a bench, its wood velvety from the damp night air. `To my darling husband ~ My best friend`, its brass plaque read. Nearby, a tree trunk, horizontal, smoothly planed and polished, glinted in the dim light, reminding her of some giant jewel in a children’s fantasy story. `Cherish Our Brave Daughter, Charlie 1978 ~ 1989` the dedication read. Eleven years old. She considered the garden, her eyes sweeping from one nurtured corner to the next and back again. In a perfect harmony, nature had softened the disciplined lines into a leafy haven, its mystic charm trying with all its might to console the woman. Maybe some people did care. She stifled the thought. Unravelling the photograph and examining the creased up image, a swelling was forming uncomfortably in her throat. The woman’s lips parted as if to speak and slowly closed again and as if responding to the urgency of a mobile phone, she rummaged in her pocket, pulled out a folded handkerchief embroidered with her initial and dabbed repeatedly at her nose. What would her words be?
Gillian Hesketh © 2011
Thank you very much Gillian.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Enid Blyton Rare Book Opportunity ...

Hello everyone,

If there are any Enidy Blyton collectors amongst you, I just thought I'd share this rare book availability and information with you ~ or please pass it on to anyone who may be interested ...

Enid Blyton - Three Cheers Secret Seven
Illustrated by Burgess Sharrocks
First Edition - 1956
Published by Brockhampton Press
Board Cloth Coated Book
Good condition
More images available
£49 plus pp

email gmhesketh@yahoo.co.uk for more images or information
Many thanks,
Gillian

Friday, 15 February 2013

Hello ... for now

Hello everyone,

Thanks for dropping by over the past years, months, hours, minutes, seconds. 
I feel the need to explain that my work:- Resources to assist Early Intervention: Student Support, Young and Adult Carers, the Elderly, people with Dementia, their family, friends and carers, has taken over my life. This is one of the reasons I've not finished 'that novel', why I'm not entering poetry competitions or writing messages and observations for this blog.

Ahh, you've forgiven me. Have you? It's not the end, honestly. I have a few children's books to publish, including 'Ramper Pot ~ Adventures'2012© and especially 'Stick People Have Feelings Too' 2012©.

I'll continue to seek out an agent or manager.

But most of all, I need to market Happy Days resources and materials for children, young people and adult carers, care homes, people with dementia, self care for support workers ...

I will be popping back now and again with anything interesting, fun or random posts that I come across.

Meanwhile, pop over to my Happy Days Publishing blog, go to my Happy Days Facebook Page where we can easily get to meet each other - or tweet me [Happy Days @ Happy days pages]


See you soon, 
Gillian


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Networking ...


When your face is at the windscreen and your head is nearly through the roof, it doesn't mean you'll arrive at your destination any sooner!

That was the ditty I was chanting in my head when, this morning, I was once again on the last minute, zig-zagging my way through short cuts, trying to get to a Creative Perspective Patent and Trademark seminar slash network meet. Arriving at the correct street without the aid of a satellite navigation system and with ten minutes to spare calmed my psyche for a nano-second.  The street had been re-defined and was now barely a component of the newly styled one-way system. At the car park [two sets of traffic lights and a pelican crossing later], I had to alight from the car, make an olympic dash to a visitor desk, provide identification, sign a form, collect a badge and car park pass - to be placed on the dash in the car which was now resting comfortably in an iced puddle at the other end of the car park. Skating to the car, I slipped, [knew it was coming] pasted the badge on inside screen, then teetered to the opposite end of the university campus to gain access to the reception.

And no, the story doesn't end there. The three day industry convention was clearly the university's best kept secret. Even the receptionist didn't know about the lecture theatre's onslaught [I was hoping the inclement weather had made everyone else late too]. The secret, proven by the fact that I had been despatched to a specific circular lecture theatre and arrived mid song in the darkened venue with 30 tuned drama students raising their arms to the midnight. In true Miranda style, I looked back at the swing doors - as if it had been their fault but for the sake of the students, avoided an aside. A large woman with a badge and a friendly face [don't let the facts get in the way of a good story - she was only a size 12] ushered me from the building and pointed to another. Any. But not hers. Great, another icy fandango across the quadrant to what looked like my pre-war infant school of days gone by. Inside, a light aircraft on display. A light aircraft on display? Yes. And another man with a badge. Perhaps he could help? No. He was ingratiated with some sort of archive. A light at the end of a tunnel shone onto an A4 poster belittled by it's size 10 font:

Creative Perspective Convention  

Hoo - ray! I had arrived. Ten minutes late. I snook into the silenced room where a quiet man with a grey voice was telling his story. It was a good story. The man had created a truly successful hi-tech business. He proffered plenty of advice, motivating tips and suggestions. And then ... in a flash ... it ended. Everyone may have lived happily ever after, but I would never know. The audience scrambled out as if a school bell had rung for a fire alarm or the summer recess. I was left on my own at the back of the room. The quiet man whispered to another man with a badge then left.

So the moral of the story is ... Don't be late if you want to network.

And:
  • Find out about transport, location and parking before the event
  • Know exactly where you're going [phone up or email first for details]
  • Estimate how long your journey will take - including parking time
  • Always allow yourself extra time for delays
* Don't let the stress of traffic delays affect your driving or speed.

Happy networking,
Gillian