Batshit Crazy

This week I made the decision to sell my car. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love driving but now I live in the city I simply can’t justify it anymore. The recent fuel crisis really brought it home that it was a no-brainer to get rid of it. Also, with all the climate change issues, I don’t need to be adding to our planet’s problems. I can easily hire a car if I need one or grab a taxi if my legs are aching from cycling or walking.

It has been a few days now, but so far so good. I wasn’t using the car much anyway. I already feel fitter and check out my new wet weather cycling gear in the video below!

I grew up in Cambridge so cycling is second nature to me. Norwich has gone a long way to improve the cycle paths so that helps, I can cycle almost anywhere barely having to hit the road.

Exercise certainly seems to help creatively, my mind already feels clearer. My current work in progress is another book of short stories. I’m hoping to publish in March 2022 so keep an eye out for updates. In fact, I’ve really plunged myself into it this week so this blog has been a little neglected. Not for long though because soon I will be featuring more authors. If you are an author (indie or otherwise) and would like to be interviewed here, please email me at myriadlifebooks@gmail.com. I’m not quite as crazy as I appear in the video so don’t worry…

The other thing I had to make a big decision on this week was to buy a new pc. My old one has given up the ghost so I am typing this on my laptop. This has slowed down my progress designing notebooks, but I will be back in action with that early November when the new computer arrives. In the meantime there are plenty to choose from here on this site or head to Amazon, you can find them under MyriadLifePhotoArt, MyriadLifeBooks, GavintheGull. Go fire up your creativity, they are beautifully tactile. For UK only

It’s about time I did another giveaway too so please subscribe to be in with a chance of winning a notebook or a copy of The Isolation Sex Stories. Visit my writing site PetraKidd.com to find out more about them.

If you have any comments, questions etc, please do get in touch. Until next time… dance like no one’s watching 😉

Are you old school or modern techie?

Technology is great isn’t it? You may agree or disagree but I absolutely love it.

I use my smartphone all the time to search the Internet, answer emails, update my calendar, check my mum’s OK, take pictures, post on social media, Whatsapp my friends, check the news, identify the stars I see in the sky… the benefits seem endless to me. My phone is always with me. Don’t get me wrong, I do not constantly look at it but it is not only a portable office, it’s a portable entertainment system too.

My main computer is like an old friend (it’s around 10 years old now) and I greet it each morning with affection. I love to work on it, and play… I write, do admin, watch movies, research and update my blog, edit pictures and create notebooks. I carry it out to my balcony on finer days so I can enjoy the weather as I work. I’d be lost without it.

Then there’s Alexa, always ready to play my favourite tunes. What’s not to like!

Yep, I am a 21st century girl, loving all the apps, the ability to connect with people all over the world and to constantly learn not only from home but wherever I go.

So why do I love to use notebooks? Well, I suppose it’s that old school thing, like when people don’t only stream music, they buy vinyl records or they don’t simply read their books via Kindle, they also like to thumb a good paperback. I also love to ride my bike even though I like to drive my car too.

Variety is the spice of life but there is more to it than that…

When I pick up my notebook it feels like a comfort blanket. There is still that sense that technology can let you down whereas a notebook can’t. Unless you spill tea over it or accidentally set it on fire or leave it somewhere, it’s there for you. Also, I love to see my handwriting, it doesn’t often get used these days other than to write birthday cards or notes to my boyfriend. It’s very noticeable when I don’t use my handwriting for some time, it gets scrawly as if I’ve forgotten how to hold a pen. I like to think of people years from now, coming across my notebooks and trying to decipher what exactly my life was about. I think of them as potentially historical documents (not necessarily all that important but they may be of interest to social scientists one day…) at least I like to think so.

I used to use different notebooks for different subjects but I’ve stopped doing that now. Quite frankly it got confusing. A fellow Gemini friend had the same problem while she was doing her MBA and was advised to stick to one notebook. I mention our star sign as I think it is in our characters to be easily distracted and have too much on the go at one time. |t’s good advice. I don’t spend time now trying to find the right notebook. Anything personal, business or writing related all goes into one and it’s much easier to find what I need that way. Others might disagree and if you prefer to have different notebooks for different purposes then that’s your prerogative, do whatever works for you!

I started to design and create my own collection of notebooks earlier this year and it has become a passion for me now. A nice tactile notebook is a real pleasure to use and I’m determined to create notebooks that writers will love to use. There is nothing more encouraging to write than having a trusty and attractive notebook by your side. It’s a great place to jot down those brilliant ideas that come into your head at 2am…When I started designing my own, it really made me think about what I use them for. As much as I love a simple lined notebook, I decided that shaded lines look good too and are pleasing to the eye. As I’m a photographer it was a no brainer to add my images to the covers and I created a square notebook with pictures of seals on each page as I love the character in their poses. So now when I write my notes, whenever I open up my notebook I see a cheeky seal which makes me smile.

Inspirational quotes are always useful too. I regularly use them as a pick me up when things don’t feel like they are going my way. It’s comforting to read the words of the great and the good to help me on my way. Recently I designed three notebooks with the titles ‘Be a star in whatever you do.’ There are three colours to choose from and inside you will find star quotes from authors and philosophers. Again, this helps with writerly and life inspiration. They have shaded lines inside. Subscribe to my website and you could be in with a chance of winning one of these notebooks. Read more about it here.

I have also created a specific collection of notebooks aimed purely at authors with titles such as ‘Novel ideas,’ ‘Writer with Attitude’ and ‘When inspiration strikes…’ I want authors to have notebooks that are especially for them as they feel like my tribe. I love to think of all those stories that will be created in my notebooks, some may even become famous, that’s a really special feeling!

At some point soon I will write a blog post about famous authors and their notebooks so look out for that.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more please hit the subscribe button.

If you are an author and would like to be featured on this website please email me at myriadlifebooks@gmail.com for further details.

Sometimes I leave my balcony office and get out on the water, I’m lucky enough to live by the River Wensum in Norwich. A day out canoeing takes all the stresses away. Please feel free to comment on this post, it’s good to communicate!

Come follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad – don’t be shy, come say hi. I also write books as Petra Kidd – I know you are going to want to read…

The Isolation Sex Stories…

Win an inspirational Star Notebook

Last month I gave away five Gavin the Gull notebooks to celebrate the launch of my new website. Here is Emma who was one of the lucky winners.

Be a Star in whatever you do.

This month I designed an inspirational star notebook in three gorgeous colourways: moss green & gold, turquoise & orange and purple & pink.

Inside you will find inspirational quotes related to the stars, and all of the notebooks have shaded line boxes inside to match the cover.

Hopefully you will feel inspired to get creative!

Each notebook has a tactile softback cover, you won’t want to put it down…

I have three of these star notebooks to give away. My apologies, but this giveaway is for UK subscribers only. Also, I’m afraid you can’t choose the colourway I send to you but they are all beautiful.

Scroll through the pictures below to see the notebooks.

All you have to do is subscribe to this website and I will drop your email address into my ‘good vibes’ rainbow mug on the 30th September 2021 to pick the lucky winners.

Don’t worry if you don’t win this time, there will be another giveaway next month.

Good luck!

If you can’t wait to see if you are a winner, you can buy the notebooks here on this website or via the Amazon links below (Amazon is best for overseas customers).

Purple/Pink Star Notebook

Turquoise/Orange Star Notebook

Moss green/Gold Notebook

Follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad and on Facebook/MyriadLifePhotoArt

I need a rubber neck!

Writers, how is your neck health? Read on about my experiences, this may help!

Wouldn’t it be great to have a rubber spine? I often think that. With so many hours spent at my computer, I often have to attend to my neck muscles even though I am careful how I sit and I do pay attention to my posture. I’m sure it’s a common problem for writers.

My neck issues first started in my early teens. One day, at school, I found I couldn’t move my head from left to right, I was stuck looking to the left. I didn’t know why it was stuck but when I got home, my mum said “oh, you’ve got a crick in your neck.” She got out a heat lamp and I had to sit in front of it for 20 minutes at a time until my neck began to ease.

For many years after that I visited osteopaths and physios approximately once a year. Their treatment worked for several months at a time before I would start to experience neck problems again. I didn’t stick with the same osteopaths, I would switch according to where I lived. Someone recommended a sports physio and he tried acupuncture which was good. But then when my problems continued he suggested traction. Now, my mother had had traction over the years for her far more serious spinal problems and she swore by it so I didn’t hesitate to agree with him. After the first session I didn’t notice any difference and the pain continued. He did another session and the pain got worse. I told him and he gave a funny little grin and said I would need more sessions. I went along with it for a little while but as things got worse instead of better I headed to my GP who blew his top. He told me to squeeze his fingers so I did and he said “no, I said squeeze my fingers.” I tried but I had no strength. He sent me off with a flea in my ear to have an MRI . “Don’t you ever go to that physio again,” he said, “he didn’t give you so much as an x-ray to find out what the problem was!” My GP was furious.

The MRI showed a narrowing between vertebrae but thankfully nothing too serious. For a few years I was given really good NHS treatment but there came a point where all they could offer were exercises which were fine. They did help but I felt I needed more guidance so I decided to try yoga. I didn’t like going to classes so I did a search on YouTube and found a lady by the name of Adriene. I’ve never looked back, I really wish she had been around all those years ago when I was struggling. Thanks to Adriene I manage my neck issues perfectly. It has taken commitment and practise but since I found her, I’ve never needed to see a physio again.

So if you are a writer (or someone who spends a lot of time on a computer) and suffer with neck/shoulder issues, I can totally recommend Adriene. Just search for her on YouTube and you will find she focuses on specific parts of the body as well as doing more general workouts. I’m not on a commission for directing you to her, all I’m letting you know is that it worked for me. If you are worried about a spinal problem, it’s always best to check with your doctor first, please do that.

It’s always nice to be comfortable when you are writing!

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If you are an author and would like to be featured on this website, please email myriadlifebooks@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad and @PetraKidd

Switching – my method of doing the things I’m not so comfortable with.

It’s a beautiful Norfolk day as I sit here on my balcony writing this. Instead of sunbathing, typically I’m writing, well actually I’m doing both but one by default!

Today I want to share with you some of my methods to motivate and block out negative thoughts, mostly learned during lockdown. This is connected to writing but can be applied to most life situations.

Luckily I’ve never struggled much with motivation. If the idea of a story bites, I’m off, burning to write it. For me, that works with any idea, as soon as I think of something, I want to make it happen. But like many other writers, I do sometimes struggle with self belief or a need to organise myself or I have to stop myself avoiding the jobs I hate.

When the COVID 19 pandemic hit last year, it came as a blessing in disguise. Suddenly I found myself getting up early, doing yoga, learning to meditate, finding out how to do simple coding, completing a cycle challenge for charity and writing a book of short stories – The Isolation Sex Stories. Instead of life getting in the way of the things I really wanted to do, suddenly, I simply did the things I wanted to do (within the safety guidelines of course). Lockdown gave me time to breathe, enjoy my own space and company and evaluate what I really wanted from life.

I know I was lucky, COVID has been a cruel visitor to so many.

When I spoke to friends, I found that some of them had quite liked the first six weeks of the world shutting down too. The later lockdowns were more difficult to get through. Now that peaceful time has well and truly passed and I’m back to trying to organise myself to get as much done as possible which isn’t easy with all the interruptions and distractions of the outside world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I’m enjoying a lot of the normality that has returned but my mind races again as I race to achieve all I want to and it can be frustrating.

I’ve learnt to look for answers from others on how they cope with the onslaught of everyday living, achieving goals and fulfilling ambitions. During my search on YouTube I came across a lady by the name of Mel Robbins. I watched an interview with Mel who came across as extremely honest about the troubles she had endured and how she now makes decisions using the 54321 method. I have in the past used a different method to avoid doing things I know I shouldn’t, like drinking wine every night or thinking of someone who has annoyed me or to avoid a horrible memory. I used to call it ‘switching’. The minute I thought of something I knew I shouldn’t think about I’d switch the thought to something more positive. It’s easier said than done but if you practise it, it really does work. It works in reverse too. If you procrastinate or put things off, which I admit I used to do from time to time, you simply switch your thoughts to getting that thing done without letting any negative thought enter or pull you back. You force the positive thought into your mind before letting the negative thought take hold. Mel will no doubt explain it better than I have so take a look. (Caution: Mel uses some colourful language at times so be warned!) Mel Robbins

Like everything else in life, this can be applied to writing. If you are thinking, ‘I don’t have a good idea for a story.’ Replace that thought with, ‘where can I find a good idea for a story?’ If you think, ‘I’m not a good enough writer,’ switch to thinking of something you have written in the past that you are proud of. If you think, ‘I can’t face promoting my work,’ switch to thinking, ‘how can I find a way to promote my work that I will enjoy?’

Ali Abdaal, again a YouTube motivator says that you need to work at the jobs you feel weakest at or like the least rather than always turning to the ones you find easiest or like the most as that’s the only way you will learn. This is very good advice. I always hated maths at school and whenever I have to do something figure related it gives me an unpleasant feeling deep in my gut. When I set up my first business I made myself learn spreadsheets and how to do figures. I even had to present a business plan to the bank. This was way out of my comfort zone but with support and determination I did it. I had to switch from thinking, ‘I hate maths,’ to forcing myself to be interested in it. Instead of avoiding figure related work, I don’t think too much about it, instead I try to throw myself into it before I think too much and end up avoiding it. This must be one of the most useful techniques I have ever had to learn!

What does maths have to do with writing? Well, if you are an indie author, unless you are doing it as a hobby, it is like any other business, the figures will have to add up. You will need to study marketing, how to promote yourself and your product. Some people are natural at this but many are not. There is a lot of advice available, but you will need to separate the wood from the trees or you could lose a lot of time and money.

Learn to love promoting yourself and your work, it can be fun.

Something I never used to do was ask other people to help. I was so shy and I still find this difficult. This time when I published my short stories I still felt shy about promoting them but with the help of a very talented professional I actually did the launch live on Facebook. It was nerve wracking to begin with but once I started reading, I began to relax and even enjoyed it. Seeing the comments from the viewers afterwards was one of the best experiences ever! They had been discussing the book between themselves as I read. It was heartwarming and gave me huge confidence in going forward to promote the book. I’d never have done this without help so if you can find someone who will help you, do it.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to other writers. I find Twitter a great platform to meet other authors and book reviewers. It seems to be the most interactive and supportive. #Writingcommunity is a useful tag to visit and use. By reading the experiences of others, you can only learn.

Every week I will share what I hope will be useful information for you.

If you are an indie or traditionally published author and would like to be featured on this website please email me at myriadlifebooks@gmail.com for further details. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you’d like to get regular updates from MyriadLifeBooks please subscribe using the form below. Please go ahead and comment if you’d like to share tips or information on this subject.

Follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad and @petrakidd– come say hello!

This week on the balcony… the tomatoes have been coming thick and fast now the sun has finally made an appearance. I’m waiting for my chilli peppers to turn red but I’m not sure they ever will! It hasn’t been a good year for strawberries, maybe I didn’t get them early enough or there hasn’t been enough sun.

Autumn is creeping in and soon I won’t be able to work out here (unless I buy a heater…) so I’m making the most of it. If you write outside, send me a picture and I’ll feature it on the website, I’m always interested to see where people create their masterpieces!

Heffers Bookshop – memories of my first job.

I always loved books so it made sense that my first job was in a bookshop. It was my first full time job and of course it was the best job in the world. I remember the interview as if it were yesterday. I instantly hit it off with the manager who was a bouncy ball of a man: kind, humorous and enthusiastic. In no time at all I found myself within what can only be described as a new family unit with him as the dad, the assistant manager an older brother and the other newfound siblings soon became playmates and confidants.

It wasn’t a big bookshop, it was the paperback branch of Heffers in Cambridge on the corner of St Andrew’s Street. Sadly it is no longer there.

For two years I gorged on books and tried everything: classics, crime, science fiction, biographies, horror and even a book on stocks and shares. We were allowed to borrow books which led to me reading up to seven at a time. Sections were assigned to us and we became responsible for stock checking and choosing new books from agents.

I have been lucky enough to work in many places with some wonderful people but this job stands out in my memory as where I had the most fun and one I found particularly enjoyable. I would cycle to the shop whatever the weather, come hell or high water and even during a hurricane, nothing would keep me away from work. Well, apart from one time when desperate to watch a Wimbledon match I made more of a slight cold than I actually had and wagged the day off. I lived to regret it as that was the one day in those two years that Clive James (the world famous Australian broadcaster, journalist and writer) decided to pop in and I had been dying to meet him. The assistant manager reassured me that I would not have enjoyed the experience as Mr James came in to complain that his books weren’t displayed in the window and was grumpy about it. Nevertheless I was disappointed and it taught me karma comes when you skip work. I never did it again.

I did however, find myself face to face with the rather condescending Jeffrey Archer one lunchtime. Alone in the shop I was forced to excuse the fact we didn’t have a copy of Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, he made his displeasure known “I can’t believe you haven’t got one in stock!” I squirmed under his glare. To comfort me, Neil (the comedian in our bookshop family) later suggested I should have retorted “I can’t believe you’d go with a prostitute Jeffrey but there you go…” I would never have had the nerve to answer back like that in those days and according to reports Mr Archer would have strongly denied it anyway. Later I learned from an article Mr Archer had a new year reading list and of course Under Milkwood was on it. Shame we let him down but I’m sure the main store on Trinity Street would easily have found him a copy.

Other celebrities would also drift in and out. Peter Cook left me gobsmacked with his extravagant mink coat and half a dozen floosies accompanying him. My brother used to listen to Derek and Clive Live which fascinated me as a child as I knew it was naughty and rude as well as funny, so to see him in the flesh taught me what ‘being starstruck’ actually felt like. I didn’t dare go to say hello but stared in awe from the balcony above.

I loved being assigned to work on the till. We did it in pairs. Selling provided a real buzz, especially at Christmas when the shop became super busy and we’d have long queues. One of us would ring up sales on an old cash register while the other would pack the books or look up titles for customers on a micro fiche (yes this was a long time ago). I remember finding Neil lying flat out on the floor one morning next to the cash register. Apparently he was trying to recover from a hangover. He lived on baked potatoes, a bookseller’s salary was never much and I felt grateful I still had the comfort of living at home. While I contributed to my upkeep, I still had money to go out and after a couple of wage packets I managed to treat myself to a pair of black leather boots I’d had my eye on for ages. The rest of my money was spent on books, either for myself or for my family. It felt wonderful to be able to treat them.

None of us particularly enjoyed stock taking but being a necessary evil we all had to engage in it and if we finished our section early, we’d go and help someone else with theirs. The manager tried to make it as fair as possible. Hairy Richard the hippy, the laziest of us all, amused us one time with his cry of “finished!” Having completed his section, he had zoned out on the bit where we were supposed to help each other but was quickly corrected. “No, you haven’t finished,” came the amused but collective reply.

Redheaded Barbara was a vegetarian, the first I ever met. She threw a party one time and I remember being astounded at the variety of dishes she produced. They were delicious and I still regret I didn’t become a vegetarian from that day on. Jane, a pretty and vivacious young student (bound for Oxford I believe) told us all about her uncle (or cousin, I can’t quite recall) Jeremy Irons who she adored. Patrick told us stories of his grandparent’s tempestuous marriage. We were young and had no idea that old people fought and locked each other in cupboards so we were agog.

Hayley, a bubbly lady who was always full of fun, caused a major gap in the bookshop family when she left to work as an agent for Penguin. The bright side was that she of course still used to visit us but it was never the same again. When major characters leave any story, the dynamic changes and we really felt it for a while.

Bizarrely I ended up with a stalker. This had nothing to do with working at the bookshop but a married of father of six who lived at the end of my road took a liking to me and would way lay me on the way into work. He wasn’t particularly threatening but determined to wear me down to go out with him. He even rang me at home. “Why don’t you take your wife out?” I said. “I don’t fancy her, I fancy you,” he retorted. Bear in mind that in my early twenties I still looked about fifteen. I didn’t take it seriously at first and thought that if I continued to rebuff him he’d get bored and leave me alone. Unfortunately he didn’t get bored and stepped up his efforts. One day I looked up and he was staring at me through the window of the bookshop. This finally really freaked me out so I asked my big brother the assistant manager to speak to him. I have no idea what Mark said to the stalker but happily I never saw him again. Although I felt very grateful to Mark at the time, it wasn’t until much later on in life I realised how seriously this could have escalated. My bookshop brother saved me!

In quiet moments we’d make up stories that began ‘it was a dark and stormy night.’ Neil and the managers tended to dominate this game but it was fun to listen.

We revelled in doing impressions of each other. Apparently my only quirk was that I always ran upstairs. Not a bad one to have a I guess but I wanted to be more quirky like them. My quirks hadn’t developed fully at that point, I’m sure I’m full of them now.

The agents were characters too, I remember Toby who worked for Arrow Books coming in with a big sucker mark on his forehead. It looked a bit like a love bite but I thought who gets a love bite there? He was quick to explain. Apparently one of his children had shot a toy arrow at him and the sucker had firmly stuck to his forehead. Oh the irony, what with him working for Arrow! I still wonder if the explanation was actually true or if something else had happened but he thought this a better story. His son must have shot that arrow with some force.

And of course, there were the in jokes. One of the department managers from another store would visit from time to time and because he had a moustache and dark hair, our manager would always greet him with the line “ah, the missing Lord Lucan!” They never ever got tired of this joke and it always made me smile. I had to look up who Lord Lucan was, that made my smile fade… The other thing the manager liked to do habitually, was go over the top when someone thanked him. “No – thank you thank you!” he would say over and over again. It’s funny the things you never forget.

Every day we had fun and met extraordinary people. One day I had a conversation with a very serious man who appeared to have no sense of humour at all. When he’d gone, Neil said, “Do you know who that was?” I shrugged, I had no idea. It was Roger Law, one of the creators of Spitting Image.

But it wasn’t just the well known and superstar customers that were fascinating, everyday folk were too. People who love books are always the best kind of people to know. I can’t remember having any rude customers because most people bond quickly over books. I can’t remember ever feeling bored or at a loss. How can you, with so many books to hand?

Sadly I lost touch with my Heffers family as the years went by and I often wonder where they are now but my Internet searches have never been fruitful. Perhaps it was all a dream after all… If by some weird chance any of you read this, please get in touch, I really want to know what you’ve been up to and that you are all well and happy.

As much as I loved Heffers and my bookshop family I knew I couldn’t stay there forever, there came a time when I needed to fly the nest. After two years I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone and I went to work for Cambridge University Press which was a big mistake. I didn’t enjoy it at all. The people were lovely but publishing academic journals held no appeal and my job was to proofread covers which took very little time so I ended up reading books all day which was nice for a while but I needed to have a job that challenged me. It wasn’t until many years later that I sat down to write a book myself but that’s another story…

If you have ever worked in a bookshop, please comment with your experiences and memories, I’d love to hear from you.

Please subscribe to read my future blog posts, find out about monthly book giveaways, meet new indie authors and see the latest in beautiful notebooks. In fact, all things book related!

Come say hello at Twitter too where I am @LifeMyriad

Bookshop photo courtesy of Radek Homola – unfortunately I couldn’t find a picture of the old Heffers Paperbacks but I love this one.

Hey thank you for subscribing!

I’m so happy to have you here and I hope you will enjoy my blog/website. If you are in the UK look out for an email this evening in case you are one of the five lucky winners of Gavin’s ‘Gulls just wanna have fun…’ notebook.

If you aren’t lucky enough to win this time, there will be another giveaway to subscribers in September – all will be revealed soon so keep an eye out. Sadly I can only do physical product giveaways to UK subscribers but I will work out some download giveaways in the not too distant future so you can enjoy a gift wherever you are in the world.

Of course if you would like to buy one of Gavin’s notebooks you can do so here or here. He loves it when he gets a sale, it makes him flap his wings and screech with excitement…

Here in the UK it is Bank Holiday Monday which doesn’t mean a lot to me as I am self-employed but if you are having the day off – enjoy!

I will be doing some writing, following up on the prize giving draw and hopefully picking a few more tomatoes from my balcony garden. I made a lovely brunch this morning which included some of yesterday’s haul including homegrown basil. I am working on some new notebooks too so it’s going to be a full and busy day.

If you are on Twitter come say hello I am @LifeMyriad and PetraKiddWriter Instagram.

This week at MyriadLifeBooks.

First of all I would like to say a massive thank you to all of my new subscribers. I’m super happy to have you here and hopefully you will find yourself a lucky winner on 30th August of one of my Gavin the Gull notebooks! Apologies that this giveaway is UK only but over time I will think up giveaways that can be downloaded wherever you are in the world.

If you haven’t subscribed yet and you love books or writing or both, please do. My ambition is to make this a site where readers can enjoy being introduced to new authors (indie and traditionally published) and writers can pick up tips and information I am learning as an indie author or share their own. My intention is for this to be a positive, supportive and interactive site.

If you are a new author and would like to be featured here, please email me at myriadlifebooks@gmail.com – check out my currently featured author Angie Bardot here. My aim is to build a Select 20 group that will rotate every three months. I love to do interviews as it’s always fascinating to find out more about authors/writers and how they work, so don’t be shy, get in touch!

I create notebooks because I love photography and design and enjoy using a nice luxurious notebook myself and it helps fund my writing ambitions. As the collection expands I will share my latest notebooks with you and create giveaways or competitions. Gavin the Gull has his own collection of course. He’s always willing to keep you company, especially if you have chips… If for any reason it is easier for you to buy my notebooks from Amazon (this is likely for overseas visitors) please visit the collection here or if you see a notebook you’d like on this site, just email me and I will send you the Amazon link.

This week I have been also been working on being an affiliate for Bittern Books who promote books from Norwich and Norfolk. As well as local history they also stock fiction set in Norfolk. I have had the good fortune to meet the brilliant Elly Griffiths in the past and recently I have discovered David Blake as I was kindly gifted The Wherryman. There is something very special reading books set in the county in which you live so I enjoy both these authors and can recommend their work, wherever you are located. Hopefully if you decide to read their books it will encourage you to visit Norwich (the city of stories) and Norfolk. Please don’t think it’s a permanent crime scene here!

In fact, Norwich is a beautiful city with medieval architecture, many historic happenings and stories abound. It truly is an inspirational place to live. If you love history, I know you would love it here. Further out the Norfolk Broads are magical waterways again brimming with stories as well as wildlife. Then of course there is the coast, wild and sweeping beneath those famously big skies. I sound like tourist information I know, but I am passionate about this place and I love to share it.

Gradually I am adding a collection of secondhand books to this site. Reading is for everyone but not everyone has the budget to devote to books so it’s always good to find something a little more affordable. If you buy a secondhand book and want to review it, please get in touch and I will publish the best reviews here. That goes for new indie authors too. If you see a featured author and enjoy their work, please share your review with me and again, the best reviews will get posted.

I mostly hang out on Twitter so come say hello there. You can also find me at Instagram and Facebook too. I look forward to hearing from you!

Every week I learn something new, here I share it with you…

In my hunt for places to promote my short story books I spotted an author on Linkedin mention a website named AllAuthor.com so of course, I popped along to investigate.

You can use AllAuthor for free or pay to upgrade. I was impressed at the number promotional tools you can get for free. My budget for promotion is small so anything free at this stage is very welcome. I already had my books on Goodreads but you can’t spread the net wide enough when you are marketing your books so I’m always on the hunt for possible outlets.

It’s easy to sign up to AllAuthor and you can generate mock up banners, gifs, video banners, book teasers and AllAuthor will also create tweets to promote your books. Every week you will get emailed a mock up banner for you to post on social media or however you wish. I couldn’t believe how much you could get totally free! It’s a fun and very useful site to use.

It is simple to add the URL for your books and start promoting straight away.

AllAuthor run fun things like cover competitions for you to enter (again this is free). You can add book awards, connect with other authors, add quotes.

If you have some spare marketing cash you can upgrade at a pretty affordable price. There are plenty of good reviews to encourage you.

If you are a reader it’s a great way to find new authors books and you can even buy signed copies.

I’m not being paid to promote AllAuthor, I just want to share information with you that I pick up along the way, totally impartial tips!

Let me know if it works for you or if you know of any other sites you’d like to recommend to writers and readers.

In other news I had a fabulous little crop from the balcony garden this week. At last the tomatoes ripened and I had a handful to pop in a salad. I’m excited to see that it won’t be too long before I have some red hot chilli peppers to enjoy too. The weather has turned wet so I’m stuck inside writing this week. Fingers crossed I’ll be out working on the balcony again next week…

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Please out my indie author site Petra Kidd

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – it’s good to connect!

Because everyone loves books – don’t they?

This is my third blog post for MyriadLifeBooks so hello there and thanks for taking the time to visit.

If you love reading books, writing books or have a thing for very nice notebooks this could be the site for you. I want this to be an interactive site where you leave your ideas and comments too. If you feel you have something useful or informative to say, I would love for you to do a guest post here.

I am also on the look out for authors who would like to be featured on this site. Check out my interview with Angela Bardot, the first author to feature here. In time I’d like to build up a Select 20 who feature for three months at a time so if you are interested please fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page for further details.

I would also like to build a directory of book illustrators, editors and proof readers so if you are interested in being listed please do get in touch (via the contact form below.)

Who am I?

I am a photographer who also writes. It’s hard to decide which I like best so I think I better call it a draw. That’s a point, I love drawing too but I hardly ever get to do it!

I’m based in the amazing county of Norfolk UK which is lucky for me because there is a lot to photograph and write about here. I live by the River Wensum in the city of Norwich, which is perfect. The river wildlife is ever entertaining and diverse, from the odd seal who decides to take a break from the coast, to a night-time fishing heron. The Swan Massive glide up and down regally as if they are the true owners of the river (they are). There are Egyptian geese, ducks and pigeons plus a stray dove who chooses to hang out with them whenever a human turns up with some nibbles. The seagulls provide a cacophony of sound and are typically experts in spotting chips or any food that gets dropped. Occasionally a cormorant will drop by too. Let’s not forget the bats who provide spectacular air displays at dusk and the less popular rats who boldly go wherever they wish – until Rentokill arrive…

I am also a real beach bum too when I get the chance, we are spoilt with amazing coastline here and I like to dip in and out of the Norfolk Broads (see more info about these further down) so I truly appreciate it all and I hope my photography reflects that.

Norwich is a fascinating place and even after all my years here I am still learning more of the history and what makes the city tick. It is interesting to watch it grow and evolve and this provides new photographic and writing opportunities all the time.

Writers of course use notebooks, (as do many people) so it occurred to me that I should produce my own collection using the images I am always out and about taking. I’ve no idea what took me so long to have this brainwave when it’s obviously a no-brainer, but sometimes I am slow like that! It means that you can enjoy the Norfolk views whenever you have to write something down. Even with people using their phones, tablets, pc’s etc there is nothing like the feel of a good notebook. I use one everyday despite the fact I write notes on my phone too, just because I enjoy writing in them and it makes a pleasant change from typing. It would also be a shame to completely lose the art of handwriting.

As well as the beautiful Norfolk scenery, my notebooks also feature my buddy Gavin the Gull with his handsome good looks and cheeky quips. He’s a gull with attitude, that’s for sure! There are quite a few of those notebooks as he’s always got something to say…

If you are a sailor or simply love life on the water, check out my Boating Logbooks. They are particularly useful here in Norfolk with all the waterways but of course could be used anywhere. The total area of the Broads is 303 square km (117 square miles) made up of 7 rivers and 63 Broads, most of which are less than 4m deep. Just in case you were wondering. (Info source Herbert Woods.)

There will be other themed notebooks added to the collection as it grows so keep checking back to see what’s new.

I like to keep my notebooks even when they are full up. Sometimes it is fun to check back to see what was happening last year or in any year for that matter. I love quality paper and tactile covers too, so of course, my notebooks have a lovely soft back 220gsm matte cover and 90gsm internal paper. Quality is important.

New notebook designs will be added regularly. If there’s a particular format you’d like to see, or if you need a cover designed for your own notebook/book idea please get in touch via the contact page. As an indie author myself, I enjoy designing eBook covers so you will see a collection of these for sale on this site in the not too distant future. Take a browse if you are already an author or even if you are thinking you might like to write a book one day. Look out for tips that I’ve learnt along the way and information I continue to learn. I know how hard it can be so it’s good to support other writers where possible.

I will share my photography, introduce you to authors whose books I think you might enjoy, write the odd book review and anything else bookish that catches my eye. Some of the author information will be repeated or expanded on my author site PetraKidd.com so it’s worth following that blog too if you’d like to find out more.

Before I sign off, let’s not forget my balcony garden, I do like to share updates on my micro fruit and vegetable farm. I work out there when the sun shines, listening to the sounds of the river and day dreaming about the people who pass by… they could well end up in one of my stories one day.

Please browse the site, I hope you enjoy it and that you will come back again soon.

Follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad and @MyriadPhoto
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Gavin the Gull

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