Sunday, October 26, 2008

Watery Ways gets a boost

The Oude Haven when I first lived there

Last Tuesday I was invited to give another talk about my books and writing, so this time I chose to focus on Watery Ways. The talk was at ANCOR, which sounds very grand but is just the name for the American Netherlands club of Rotterdam. The funny thing is that nearly half the people there were Dutch and not American at all. In any event, thanks to Hazel, the lovely English coordinator who organised it all!

In any event, it went down very well, and my Jodie was there doing a grand job of being my 'rent a laugh'. I explained how I'd come to write the book after my first year as a water dweller had proved to be so eventful. I then read a section of the chapter in which I describe trying to make a special stairway for my arthritic dogs to assist their passages in and out of the Hoop's roef - the Hoop being the barge on which I was living at the time. Jodie, bless her, found it so amusing all over again and was crying with laughter so convincingly that the rest of the audience were laughing with her too.

I think I'll have to give her an official cheer leading job....

It was good to go back and read some of those stories again, and even better to share the whole writing and publishing experience with some other people. Being a small group, I didn't sell all that many books, as I don't think they'd been primed about that possibility, but what does seem possible is that more talks could come out of it.

The pictures I am showing here are scans of the Hoop. It was such a beautiful barge, and I still wish I could have bought it for myself, but then again, I wouldn't have bought the Vereeniging, and that was meant to be. Even more importantly I wouldn't have the material for the sequel to Watery Ways, which is churning around in my head as I write...


  1. Hi Val,
    Your lifestyle is so vastly different from mine -- how COOL that our paths should cross. I'm going to have to go back and read and read some of your older posts to get up to speed.

    Isn't it nice to have a friend who laughs at all your jokes -- I have a buddy like that myself. Gonna have to call him and let him know how encouraging his laughter and loyalty is to me.


  2. Is that Sindy in the pic? Difficult to tell with my computer.

    I can tell you just love writing, and it shows Val. Sounds like fantastic evening. Laughter is the best medicine.

  3. Hi Val,

    hope you sell a lot of your books. I'm sorry , because I don't read Watery Ways yet, but the book lie down on my bed. I promise to read it next, but I must finish first "New England White" written by Steven. L. Carter.


  4. Hi Van, great to see you here, and yes, sharing the differences in our lives is one of the great benefits of blogging, isn't it?

    Grace, it is Sindy - well done! I carried on living on the Hoop for nearly a year after I bought the Vereeniging, and during that time I got Sindy.

    Stefan, thanks for dropping by. I enjoyed reading about your visit to the UK, so hope to hear some more about that too!

  5. It certainly looks a lovely boat, I Always enjoyed sitting in Disponibel's wheelhouse in the evenings watching the world go by

  6. Hi Val,
    Sindy looks so little on the Hoop! Congrats on the book talk. Slowly but surely, you are building your following...

    Right now, I'm dying for some writing time. Too busy, alas.


  7. Val you make living on the water have an etherial feel to it. While I am sure there are lots to contemplate in regards to boat maint. and other issues I am always taken by your words and how you blog about experiences! Maybe I will get courage to have to you read my book one day LOL!

    Thanks for the sweetest comments!

    xo Molly

  8. Hi Val!
    So glad your talk went well.
    Your daughter is a real gem!!
    This weekend I am going to order BOTH your books!!
    Fer sure.

    I have been SO busy with my in-laws, working,learning Mandarin and generally being a mom,etc.
    I've missed your blog and want to catch up and read more, so I will be back, I promise.

    Lots of love,

  9. I think that's fabulous, Val!
    Wish I could have been there for the giggles. Of course, with Jodie being a rather subjective audience, she would have insight on the story from a completely different perspective.
    if nothing else, i wish i were a fly on the wall...

    Things are rather topsy-turvy here, with all the furniture moved and my office in complete disaray. Painting, as you well know, can be a wee bit disruptive.
    We painted the oogie (aka mouldy and peeling) downstairs bathroom and it looks absolutely lovely! Difficult to believe I was loathe to pee in's now eye candy. LOL for a bathroom...
    We've started the kitchen and it looks absolutely classy - "Thunder Bay" blue with white trim. My oh my!

    So this is why my blogging has taken a bit of a droop. I do promise to return - I miss you soooo very much, too!
    With photos.

    facebook has nothing on blogging...

  10. Thanks Geoff, I sometimes see the Hoop when she comes back here to the yard for a bottom scrape, and always have a twinge of regret because the new owners have made so many modifications, it is no longer the authentic barge it used to be.

    Molly, bless you, and I would love to read your book. I've read all of Anne Marie's work so far, and it's great to be able to bounce ideas off other writers!

    Anne Marie, thank you my friend. Sindy was just a binky baby then.

    Sue, great and lovely to see you here again, and thanks for becoming a 'follower'. It was so nice to see your pic there next to Van's. He's precious and I love his blog as much as I love your's so don't stay away for long. I keep checking in ;-)

    Dale!!!!! It's so great to see a comment from you again. I can well imagine how busy you are, and your redecorating sounds hard work but heaps of fun too. Will you take some photos and do a post on the results...pleeeeease? You know of course that I'll keep nagging until you do come back, don't you ;-)

  11. Long time since I checked in. I've had lots to do. But I'm happy that I did now, to catch the news: there is a sequel coming up to the wonderful Watery Ways! I'll be buying it right away when it's out!

    This talk sounded like a very enjoyable event. Grand it might not have been, but all the more friendly and welcoming in atmosphere.


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