Tuesday, 21 June 2011

How did you get here and

why are you reading this? My now-friend Jane over on How Publishing Really Works has just commented on similar matters on her blog. I am trying to remember how I reached her blog in the first place.
I think it started with the Whirlwind. I had been feeding her books from my collection of children's books. A great many of these come from the 50's, 60's and early 70's. I collected most of them from second-hand shops in the early 70's with the vague thought that they "might be useful one day". They have been, but not quite in the way I planned. Back then I thought I was going to be a teacher. Life had other plans for me.
There was a long period when I could not even access my own collection. I went back to do more study. I tutored to keep body and mind (if not body and soul) together. There was no time to read, no time to explore the city I went to live in and learned to love, there was no money to buy books and no time to think about writing anything but the thesis and the letters I had set myself to write.
But, I knew the books were there. My father kept most of them safe even when my mother was saying they should be passed on to other people.
Now the Whirlwind and other children read them as well - and sometimes information about the authors is sought on the internet.
Because the Whirlwind wanted to know I found some of Elinor Lyon's books were being reprinted by Fidra - and that Elinor Lyon was still alive. I had tried to write to her while I was living in London but there had been no reply. Her previous publishers had simply failed to pass the letter on. Perhaps they did not have an address for her. I asked Vanessa Robertson at Fidra if she would pass a letter on? Of course.
A letter was sent and answered - with enthusiasm. I am sorry we did not make contact sooner. I still carry on an e-mail correspondence with her son, a witty and intelligent man I hope to meet some day.
And, just as importantly, there was Vanessa's occasional blog post in which she mentioned Jane and Nicola Morgan and other people. I have come to know them all virtually. I may meet them in real life one day or I may not. There is no writing support group I can join here so they are my writing support group even though they do not read what I have written. Vanessa has read one effort and was very encouraging.
I did not have time to write creatively until recently. I know that sounds as if I am making excuses - anyone can find time to write - but I was writing other things. Oh there were times when I would put ideas down. There are outlines there and, in the past few years, there have been some rough drafts of entire books. Now I can, in a still busy life, make time - and I am going to go on making the most of it while I can.
But, tell me, if you are reading this - how did you get here? It matters to me.


Anonymous said...

How did I get here?

I was reading some publishing/book blogs and on one I noticed Catdownunder in the blog list ... thought it had to be someone from Down Under, and turned out to be someone from Down Here, my part of Down Under. (Three hours drive away is well within my part of Down Under!)

It was the downunder in the blog title which gave it away!

Judy B

catdownunder said...

And then I found you because you commented - and we have an excellent virtual relationship!

Sarah Pearson said...

I think I found you through Nicola Morgan. I liked the comments you left there which is what made me click your name. I read all your archives and have followed you ever since.

jeanfromcornwall said...

You left a comment on Jean Miles' blog, which stirred my interest. I keep coming back because I am still interested. That and the family connection to Australia - though the cousins are mainly in and around Perth.
My verification word is "command". Unusual for it to spell a real word.

Anonymous said...

Ah you admitted you were writing a blog Cat - and I did a little homework on the 'net and found you! Chris

catdownunder said...

Ah Sarah and Jean - you found me the way I found you!
As for you Chris, you got more help than that I think?

Frances Thomas said...

I like to follow Cats wherever I find them!
(nicola morgan's blog is the serious answer to this)

Frances said...

Yes, Nicola Morgan's blog for me too.

Danielle said...

Well I have to ditto Sarah Pearson and Francis - your blogname and your comments on Nicola Morgan's blog were too intriguing not to follow up with a visit.

Caroline said...

You left a comment on my website on 9th December 2009 (I had to trawl through!). I think we came across each other via the Fidra blog. Could all that time have passed?

Miriam Drori said...

If I remember correctly, it was Nicola Morgan's blog's birthday party and you commented on my blog. That's when I realised you were more than a purring pussycat. :)

Donice said...

I came, fairly recently, through the link on Jean Miles' blog. I don't think I have enough evidence to make a General Statement, but my few favorite blogs combine some interest in knitting with wonderful literary sensibilities. I'm glad I found you.

Anita in SE IN said...

I followed a link from Jean's Knitting, about something, found you interesting, and stayed.

Anonymous said...

I think my daughter suggested I read your blog, or I came to it via Jean Miles's (which she also reads). The "downunder" caught my interest, too.

I think she's the Alison who somtimes comments.

I have left comments a few times, and many more have got lost in the ether. I guess they are not meant to get through to you!

I find many of the topics covered (eg, the possible loss of libraries, the short-sightedness and or/veniality of politicians) are also current here in the UK.

I enjoy reading your wide-ranging blog and the comments from such an interesting group of people.


catdownunder said...

Oh Nicola - you have a lot to answer for! Thankyou!
I think Jane (over at How Publishing Really Works) had a blog party before that as well. I know I spent a fascinating evening "purrowling" into other people's blog sites.
Thankyou followers!

Whirlochre said...

I'm having a blog trawl morning and followed you form Nicola Morgan.

Catdownunder is a great name — presume it's a pseudonym.

catdownunder said...

Pseudonym? I am a cat! I live Downunder!