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A Post and Packaging

29 May

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 Comments

Posted by on 29/05/2015 in Blogging

 

Tags: , , , , ,

45 responses to “A Post and Packaging

  1. shadowoperator

    29/05/2015 at 19:10

    Congratulations, Ste J, for being recognized as the percipient and laudable fellow you are! I hope you have many, many more bookish adventures ahead of you.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      29/05/2015 at 19:50

      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.

      Like

       
  2. shadowoperator

    29/05/2015 at 20:22

    And I will gladly be accompanying you!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. Maranda H.

    29/05/2015 at 21:57

    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.” 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      30/05/2015 at 14:21

      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!

      Like

       
  4. Andrea Stephenson

    29/05/2015 at 22:50

    What a great connection and gift! As you say though, it’s not just luck that these things happen, it’s also hard work and commitment.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      30/05/2015 at 14:06

      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

       
  5. gargoylebruce

    30/05/2015 at 00:47

    A little bit of acknowledgement for hard work never goes astray, especially when it leads to FREE BOOKS! Well done you.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      30/05/2015 at 14:00

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

      Like

       
  6. Lucy

    30/05/2015 at 09:27

    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 😉

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      30/05/2015 at 14:10

      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

       
  7. Letizia

    30/05/2015 at 20:03

    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.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2015 at 12:43

      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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      • Letizia

        31/05/2015 at 13:22

        That is so great! Another attribute of your superman-book status for sure.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          31/05/2015 at 21:31

          I have often thought I need a massive ‘S’ on my chest now you come to mention it.

          Like

           
          • Letizia

            31/05/2015 at 21:41

            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.

            Like

             
            • Ste J

              31/05/2015 at 21:46

              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

               
  8. Jill Weatherholt

    30/05/2015 at 23:03

    You deserve this recognition, Ste J. Well done! Such a nice gift.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2015 at 12:38

      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.

      Like

       
  9. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    31/05/2015 at 18:49

    Well done Ste J…you’re definitely the bees knees when it comes to reviewing books 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2015 at 21:28

      I do my best, I’m still a work in progress but with every challenge I think I slowly get better.

      Like

       
  10. Jilanne Hoffmann

    01/06/2015 at 06:18

    Yes, you must write (and rewrite) as if everyone is looking and reading, because you never know who may turn up on any given day. Congrats!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      01/06/2015 at 18:21

      I think a lot of luck is required in this game but if its a question of plugging away as well and getting better then I will certainly go for it.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Jilanne Hoffmann

        01/06/2015 at 18:33

        The race goes to those who persevere. Keep plugging!

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        • Ste J

          01/06/2015 at 18:35

          Wise advice I shall do so and if anybody reading wishes to offer me a job in books, then I would be most grateful.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  11. clarepooley33

    01/06/2015 at 13:01

    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!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      01/06/2015 at 18:26

      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

       
      • clarepooley33

        01/06/2015 at 19:16

        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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        • Ste J

          01/06/2015 at 19:50

          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

           
  12. LuAnn

    01/06/2015 at 23:35

    I knew one day you would be recognized for your love of books and those amazing reviews that you write. Well done sir! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      02/06/2015 at 17:07

      Credit where its due, it is the continued support from wonderful people such as yourself that encourages me to keep going and pushing me to write betterer.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • LuAnn

        02/06/2015 at 21:19

        Betterer…hmmm. 😉

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        • Ste J

          03/06/2015 at 18:17

          I like to make grammatical mistakes sometimes just because it amuses people who know me better than that.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • LuAnn

            04/06/2015 at 15:01

            I knew that about you. 🙂

            Like

             
  13. RoSy

    02/06/2015 at 17:10

    You da man! 😀

    Like

     
  14. angela

    06/06/2015 at 03:35

    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.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/06/2015 at 21:35

      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.

      Like

       
  15. Resa

    07/06/2015 at 20:55

    Thank you for the link!!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      08/06/2015 at 20:39

      Always happy to be giving people the opportunity to read a fine post by two very talented bloggers working in union.

      Like

       
  16. anna amundsen

    10/06/2015 at 18:39

    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!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      11/06/2015 at 18:17

      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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