Tuesday, 9 March 2010

World Book Day 2010, Valkyrie Sanctum designs, books and Huddersfield Literature Festival 2010!

Well it's been a very busy week for me in the a very literary but also creative manner.

Due to my work at the Library I rediscovered my excitement for World Book Day which I hadn't really experienced since I left secondary school soooo many years ago now.

World Book Day occured this year on Thursday 4th March 2010 and in preparation and celebration of that date me and my boss Terry held several short reader interviews with students and staff to find out what books made them laugh, cry, what was their favourite when they were children and what they're reading now. Nice to say each one gave a great range of answers and it was interesting not only to find out which books affected who in what way but also their reading tastes. We then blew these interviews along with photographs into large posters and put them up on a large notice board both inside and outside the Library.

We also put out a random selection of books from a range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction - in order to tempt the inner bookworm in all of our students. Although a teacher was one who got curious the most.

I've also been designing some more logo's/symbols to represent my blog and as you may have noticed I've changed the colour scheme recently, mainly less purple so it's a bit brighter but I am keen to revamp the whole thing. I want mainly a page header that actually fits across the top that uses text and images better so the text is more easy to read as sadly no matter which colour I put my title in white is the only one that you can read nearly clearly against the variety of pictures I've used. Currently I'm working on an intricate and more mythical design where the 'V' is formed by two long spears with their tips meeting in the middle and the 'S' is the Midgard Serpent entwined in and out of the 'V'. At the moment it's all still in pencil as I try to bulk it out and add detail but once the over all design is finished and in colour I'll photograph it to put up on here for you to see.

I'm still whittling my way through my backlog of Writing Magazine issues, currently half way through December 2009 so just got January, February, March and now April (which has just arrived) but it's making me feel better about my writing with each debut author profile I read or interesting article. I've also just finished reading a Douglas Adam novel 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' which was good until the last few pages where its chaotic nature finally ruined it in the manner that I didn't realise the story had ended  until there was nothing left to read. However I did like the portrayals of Odin, Thor and Valhalla and the character Toe Rag is definitely based on Loki. But sadly the ending itself was a mess of unfinished ends I felt, somehow all the twists and turns throughout the novel didn't really come to a fulfulling end. My next book is one lent by another colleague Judith titled 'Crusaders Gold' by someone I can't remember the name of. It's a thriller to do with history and something to do with the Holy Menorah and Vikings. It's the viking bit I'm interested in but already read the first few pages and it is good so far. I've got a few more books to read after that, in particular one titled 'The  Real Middle  Earth - Magic and Mystery in Medieval England' which was lent by a friendly history teacher who knows I'm into that era. You can see which books I've read, liked or disliked and what I'm reading at present and will be in the future by visiting my Virtual Bookshelf on Shelfari.com http://www.shelfari.com/valkyrie1008/shelf . Set up one of yourself it's entirely free and rather coool.

Now I come to the most recent developement which is to begin tomorrow which is the 5th annual Huddersfield Literature Festival.

However I am sad to say I didn't make it onto the Fiction Short List with my shorter and rewritten version 'I am No Angel' but I am trying not to be selfish about it by going along anyway to find out how much competition I was up against. You can read the short listed winners at http://www.litfest.org.uk/ .Yet I am still getting some writing goodness out of this as I am invited to attend Michael Stewart's Short Fiction Workshop tomorrow afternoon with a group of students from the college I work with. Not only was Michael my former tutor and writing mentor but he has been a strong player in organsing much of the Festival and is the genius behind the Grist Anthology of New Writing (that competition opens in May - for more details visit www.hud.ac.uk/grist ). His workshop will be a nice boost and reminder about all the essential rules about writing fiction which he taught me for 3 years. Although I still remember the main and most important one 'Show don't Tell'. I'll be taking my camera along for some memory photographs and to assist with two students from the College Magazine group who are also attending and doing a short interview with Michael/

My main fun will be in the Festival Open Evening at the Peacock Lounge later that same night where the winners from the Festival Writing Competition will be announced. Me, my boss Terry and Ellie who teaches the magazine group are going and we're hoping it will be an enjoyable night hearing from the winners of the competition.

So hopefully after tomorrow night I'll have lots more to show and tell with photographs and gossip from the big opening night.

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