60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire. Bringing you news every Tuesday on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.
Hope you are good. My sleep pattern has taken a strange turn, leaving me with too few hours of it and a slight confusion as to what day it is – but I worked it out (phew) and here is my weekly post about 60 Postcards (apologies for publishing it so late)…
I am going to give you an insight into the book. I have found, on numerous occasions, that some people wonder if the book is simply made up of posts from my blog. It is a difficult one to explain. Of course, the postcard storyline is told in the book and I definitely used my previous posts as a guide and to reference from, however, the book is a stand alone piece.
I asked friends, Caroline and Luke, about their thoughts on the matter – I was interested in an outsider’s perspective from people who had both followed the blog and read the book. It seems that there are a few main differences that we were unanimous on:
Detail: Obviously the detail aspect is one of them. My blog posts are short, snappy and I focus more on the content than writing them perfectly. The book goes into far more detail about the places I go, the people I meet and how I am feeling.
Narrative: The blog, especially recently, is a lot more like a quick snapshot and is only available to read twice a week. The benefit of that is that posts can be read on their own – you can find out about the guys who created Gandy’s Flip Flops without necessarily needing to know what else I have been talking about. The book has a start, a middle, an end and a whole lot of chat from me in between. More on that soon in a chapter breakdown!
Trust: This is the strongest difference from blog to book. I have always been honest on my blog and will remain to do so, but the book goes a lot deeper. When Caroline and I were discussing this she said, ‘It’s like the book is the gateway’ to which I replied, ‘And the book is my home’. We then laughed a lot as we must have sounded very poetic (and a wee bit mental) to the people walking past. We went a lot further with the analogy but realised after a couple of pints, we should probably leave it as above, ha. It really is true, though. I don’t think, even when I began to write the book, that I knew how much I would tell the reader. I have put my trust in them – I don’t hold back.
I thought it would be good to give you a very brief chapter summary. If you haven’t read the book then this can give you an idea of what to expect and for those who have read it, I am putting a link or photo at the end of each one for you – something only you would understand (some are tiny – you may have to glance back through to see the reference)!
60 Postcards Chapter Breakdown:
1. Le Voyage
You join me for the journey to Paris for the trip where it all began. I introduce the Paris Crew (the friends who came along) and I set the scene for the tribute weekend.
Book readers only: RECOGNISE THIS PLACE?
2. Never Forget
We flashback to when I first found out Mum was ill and I talk about my trips home to the family and the Christmas before Mum’s diagnosis. I share a couple of bonding moments that I had with her. And there is a good reason for why I called this chapter, ‘Never Forget’.
Book readers only:
3. Sixteen Days
Sixteen days was the time between the day my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer, to the day that we lost her. This was a point where I went into more detail than I thought I would. Understandably a tough one for those who have lost to read and a chapter that broke my heart to write, but I felt it was important to share with the reader.
Book readers only: I am not going to put anything extra here and I know you will understand why.
4. Life as we (Don’t) Know it
Here I talk about the funeral and attempting to go back to work and life after it. I give a little insight into my take on other people’s reactions to someone who has lost (which I still remind people, were mere observations and never a judgement!).
Book readers only:
5. My Little Sister’s Wedding
The clue is in the title here. This is where things begin to lift and I share some comical moments of my sister’s magical day. I then go on to talk about a few other events throughout the year, leading up to the tribute weekend in Paris.
Book readers only:
6. The Tribute
This is a short chapter outlining the reasons behind the very title of the book. I describe how and why I came up with scattering 60 Postcards around Paris in memory of Mum.
Book readers only:
7. The City of Love
We are in Paris and I take the reader around the city with me as I describe our weekend adventure, leaving postcards as we go (and eating and drinking a hell of a lot of cheese and wine along the way).
Book readers only: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY
8. Paris Postcard Found!
Well if you were going to read the book to see if I did hear back from anyone, this is a bit of a spoiler alert – wayhey! (It’s ok as the blurb and press mentions do let you know!) I share some of the exciting messages sent by postcard finders with you, and how the tribute became something which connected me with people around the world.
9. The Dancer
This chapter is dedicated to just one of my postcard finders – a very special response for me as it linked to my bond with mum and my childhood passion.
10. Sharing the Magic
The blog was the very reason this book was picked up and I wanted to tell the book readers about how and why I set it up along with some of the incredible comments and messages I received along the way. This chapter is where some of the blog readers that have been following from the very beginning feature (hi guys!!!).
Book readers only:
11. The Running Couple and Game, Set, Love Match
Here I introduce yet another postcard finder response and I found that the finders and great links with my favourite couple, Mum and Dad. I go back to a few childhood stories and talk about the strength of my parents relationship which I will I forever be in awe of.
Book readers only: A tiny reference (one that I am still, to this very day, teased about)
This chapter leads me to another city around the world thanks to one of my postcard finders from Paris. While there, I scatter more postcards in the new city and embrace being a Brit abroad. Serendipity strikes as links are made that I never thought possible….
Book readers only: This girl plays a part in the magic….
13. The Return
You are back in Paris with me again, as I go it alone for ten days out there to explore the city once more. My best friend, Caroline, comes out for a few days and we have the most incredible experience, meeting several new characters while there.
Book readers only: Dinner with Caroline, Emily, Stuart and Jack – only you will know how they fit into the story!
14. The Show Must Go On
This is my summary chapter, reflecting on the tribute and how I am feeling about Mum. I also talk about a couple of surprise messages and finish things off by sharing a conversation with Mum I will never forget.
Book readers only: There is a link made from this bridge….
So there we have it – one very brief description of the book! But I hope it gives you an idea of what to expect. And to those who have already read it, thank you so much.
Speak to you Friday!