A Post and Packaging

Last year, back when I had time on my hands and no job I read a really interesting review for a book on Bruce’s inimitable site (which you can find on this very word) by retired Norwegian ambassador Nils-Johan Jørgensen. Later that day the publisher offered to send me a copy of the book for review, naturally I was well up for it and wrote the review, a few days later (also on this very word).

I forgot all about that specific review, what with life and other books and shiny things to distract me, when out of the blue an email arrived from the author thanking me for my reaction to the book, which he liked and would I email back my address so he could send me two of his other books as a thank you (reviews will follow throughout the year, naturally).

One email and a rather out of character smug(gish) post on Facebook later and I was still excited, only to be even more ecstatic when the package came through with not two but four books and a rather nice letter as well.

Four's a Treat

Now I’m not normally one to take half as much pride in what I achieve as what others do but I have to allow myself to indulge a little here, and as I was mentioning my good fortune to random people when out and about and how it felt good to feel like I was getting somewhere with my blogging, one guy said it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  To a certain extent I agree but in order to get networking, there has to be a degree of knowledge on one’s chosen subject.

If I hadn’t spent ages reading and then writing (and rewriting) reviews then would the guys from Book Guild Publishing have gotten in touch?  It’s the same for everybody, you enjoy something and analyse it, looking at it in ways other people don’t, based on your own experiences and it is that which is eye-catching for such people as the BGP people I imagine.

Once again blogging has shown me that things I never expected can happen, connections made that I never considered before..well if I’m being honest, I enjoyed west of the west wind that much that I was hoping they would remember me as a reviewer, for the yet to be announced South of the South Win…but this was totally unforeseeable.

All of us have the capacity to push beyond what we expect and it really can lead to some fascinating collaborations like Christy and Resa’s post, combining Gowns and Poetry, for example. The opportunities are out there we perhaps just need a new way of looking to actually see them.

The most precious moment of the whole experience though was one simple line in the letter which just goes to show that the power of words can never be underestimated.  Ultimately it shows me that through my love for books I am on the right path on this unpredictable adventure and I can’t wait to see where it leads next.

Crackin' One liner

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45 Replies to “A Post and Packaging”

    1. Percipient, I like that word. Any book adventures that befall me will have a ticket with your name on so you can join me wherever we may end up.

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  1. Hi Steve! Reading your last paragraph, I am reminded of the words of Dumbledore: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic–capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” 🙂

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    1. A wise quote my friend! It is amazing how often a kind word can make a difference and sometimes a phrase comes along that just makes one stop and reread it and speaking of words, your ‘mail which has been sitting in my drafts for a few days will be finished in a little while!

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    1. It’s taken a lot of effort to get where I am but I love that I can perhaps inspire others to keep writing about what they love and that they keep grabbing those opportunities.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s thanks to your review sirrah that it happened, so thank you for that. Free books do make me happy, especially unexpected ones.

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  2. Congrats, dude 🙂 Also, I love ‘I was mentioning my good fortune to random people when out and about’. I have visions of you flagging down traffic and pouncing on people in post office queues 😉

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    1. Haha, I didn’t think of flagging down traffic, I really should do that. queues are great for keeping people captive and of course talking loud enough involves everybody else. I’m normally not too talkative but well, I was a in a bit of a good mood and couldn’t help myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How absolutely charming. You should be recognized for your defense of books; what a lovely way of putting it. If you were a super hero (and I think perhaps you are), you would be the Defender of Books. Your cape would have a small slit in it so when you were flying it would look like an open book.

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    1. It was a lovely line, one that I had to read a couple of times and seriously contemplated taking to work where I would ‘just happen’ to discover it and get myself some attention, sense prevailed though and I kept it pristine at home instead. That’s a groovy idea for a cape, as long as I don’t have to wear my underwear on the outside as I feel that rather defeats the point. I have started to become that sort of person that leaves free books around in random places when I have finished with them (as long as they aren’t really good that is as I have a quality collection to uphold) as everybody knows the best defence is free stuff.

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          1. A friend of mine is a cartoonist and she sent me a cartoon of me as a superhero. I have an L on my chest and I’m flying through the air. She even made my dog into a little bird so she could fly with me. It’s fantastic and I put it above my desk when I need encouragement.

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            1. That is awesome, I sense a some sort of big Hollywood style film crossover. What a lovely gift, that would always be something that would keep me encouraged and inspired. Any time you fancy fighting crime, let me know!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. It was wonderful and just goes to show the generosity of people, I shall continue on my humble way and see what happens next with the blog, that’s the beauty of our community, anything could happen.

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  4. Congratulations and well done, Ste J! I clicked all your links and have been enjoying reading about books that really appeal to me and I know will appeal to my younger daughter as she loves this kind of read. She I know would love those illustrations too. I am so glad your reviewing skills have been appreciated by Book Guild Publishing and what a wonderful letter to receive from an author!

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    1. I published the review in April last year so this was a complete shock to me, I have another wonderful book with pictures that you may like when I get around to writing it and of course both or Mr Jørgensen’s other books will get an airing over time. I think I should do more books that are inclusive to younger readers, now I wish i would have kept the books I amassed when I was small.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is so easy to get rid of books when young! Either parents insist on it to make room (or we do) or we are embarrassed by books we liked a year ago and get rid of them before our friends see them. I never had many books as a girl – I used the library all the time. When my daughters were small I bought books for them as I wanted them to have what my parents couldn’t afford to give me – their own books to have and hold. I got them the books they wanted as well as the classics and ones I had loved when I was young. I have kept all of the best ones (my husband cannot understand why!) and I am still adding to them when I see treasures in 2nd hand bookshops. We’ll need another house soon to keep all the books in.

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        1. It is strange that a kids, we get embarrassed about wonderful memories and books that have been with us for years, still we don’t know better at that age. You can never have too many books and to be keeping treasured copies is wonderful and will always give you that tactile sensation of the past. A house full of books sounds great, when I win the lottery I will do that and then constantly build extensions to house my new buys.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. That is wonderful, Ste J! To hear directly from the author would be a treat. I review (for free) a book/month sent via a library journal – never do my words feel as free as what I write on my own time. Your method is much better…and more fruitful.

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    1. I came across West of the West Wind through another blog, so it pays to network as well. It was great to get validation in such a nice way as well.

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  6. I don’t know where to begin. And, if I do begin, the comment would end up resembling your post. This is absolutely magnificent! And you absolutely deserve it! And I am very happy for you!

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    1. Thank you my friend, it really made my day, I really do need to follow up such a kind response and work more on my writing, typical timing that after such a thoughtful gift, I go and get busy with work and a bad back. I shall be back on it soon though!

      Liked by 1 person

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