July 2017


This post is about what happened to me this past weekend. It’s also about much more than that.

We were visited by a lovely Canadian couple. They stayed with us, ate and talked. We showed them some of the sites of Jerusalem: the Old City market, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Machane Yehuda market, the city centre and other neighbourhoods. The visit ended with an impressive light show projected onto the city walls. Then they left us to visit other parts of the country before returning home to Canada. The end?

 

With new/old friend on the Jerusalem's light railway

In the Light Railway

Not at all, because I left out the beginning of this story. Two eleven-year-old girls became friends at school out of convenience, and somehow that friendship grew to include visits outside school. One of those girls was considerably less popular than the other and so glad of the friendship that provided protection from the harsh treatment she’d endured from other girls.

That friendship ended without warning just a year after it began. The popular girl’s mother secretly took her daughter off to live in Canada. The other girl was left to flounder, suddenly vulnerable and exposed to bullying from all directions.

The girl who remained was me. The one who left was the woman who came to stay last weekend, over fifty-one years later. We met briefly four years ago, but this was the first chance we had to talk together.

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‘Weird’ was a feeling we both agreed on. I could be talking to her as friends do, when I’d suddenly remember she was that twelve-year-old girl who deserted me. And while I knew that what happened back then was in no way her fault, I appreciated her apologies. Her leaving led to six difficult years that determined the person I was to become, and none of it was her fault.

I’m so glad we met up again. And I might even have a chance to visit Canada.

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CoverMany thanks to all those who offered suggestions for a slogan to accompany the launch of my new book: Social Anxiety Revealed.

I decided I wasn’t the best person to judge this contest. I think when you don’t live in a country where English is spoken, sometimes words don’t ring in quite the same way, and slogans are all about that tinkling in the ears.

So I chose a judge – Jean Davison. Jean probably caught social anxiety herself as a teenager, although she wasn’t diagnosed with it (unsurprisingly, as social anxiety wasn’t known in those days). Instead, she was diagnosed with something she didn’t have, as told in her memoir, The Dark Threads. Thank you, Jean.

The winner of the competition is Catherine Kullmann with the slogan:

We need to talk about Social Anxiety

Jean felt (and I agree) that this slogan gets the message across most clearly.

Congratulations, Catherine! I’ll be catapulting a signed copy of Neither Here Nor There over to you as soon as I know where to direct it.

 

Many thanks to all those who entered my slogan competition. The result will be announced shortly.

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In the meantime, you’re invited to the online launch party for Social Anxiety Revealed on Facebook on August 22. All are welcome and you don’t have to bring anything – not even social anxiety!

There will be songs, videos, interesting information, competitions and guest appearances.

See you there in 37 days!

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I need a slogan.

Update for clarification. The slogan is supposed to say: you need to know about social anxiety.

I tried using a free slogan maker. It asked for a word and I gave it social-anxiety. It came back with slogans – lots of them. Slogans like these:

  • Get more from life with social-anxiety.
  • Make someone happy with social-anxiety.
  • Social-anxiety – empowering people.
  • Social-anxiety makes dreams come true.
  • Social-anxiety, try it you’ll like it!

I thought about these. For a second or two. Then I decided…

The Competition

I still need a slogan. Something that says that social anxiety is the next big thing. That everyone needs to know about social anxiety. That you should be on the social anxiety bandwagon, because you don’t want to get left behind. That soon only ignorant people won’t know what social anxiety is. That sort of thing.

That’s the competition. The person who thinks up the best slogan will win a signed copy of my romance with a difference, Neither Here Nor There. If the winner has read that book, I’ll think of a different prize.

How to Enter

Where should you send your competition entries? Write them here in the comments or send them privately, if you prefer, using the Contact me button at the top. I’ll announce the winner here, unless they don’t want to be announced, and will use the winning slogan for marketing my forthcoming book: Social Anxiety Revealed.

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This is such an interesting question: If we were all forced to wear a warning label, what would yours say?

I think in the past mine would have said:

Warning: BORING AND HESITANT

Now it would say:

Warning: APPEARS HESITANT AND BORING AT FIRST, BUT ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS AND YOU WILL BE SURPRISED

What’s your warning label?

I’m delighted to be able to reveal the cover of my non-fiction book, Social Anxiety Revealed, which is to be published by Crooked Cat Books on August 22.

Here’s the cover:

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I’m very excited that this is going to happen, and in only 48 days!

In the meantime, if you want to read more about social anxiety, please visit my other (new) blog, which is here.

What’s in the book?

  • A detailed, organised description of social anxiety and everything connected with it.
  • Quotations from many different people who have experienced social anxiety, showing the wide variety within it.
  • Humour – yes, even that.
  • Much more.