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Autistic spectrum who’s the weird one?

Autism is not intrinsically a disability, but the way society is organised makes it so. Downloadable poster to help people understand this.

Just a very quick post inspired by an item I saw on Facebook and shared because I agreed with the sentiment.

The original post was made by http://autisticnotweird.com/ who of course I give full credit to for putting my own thoughts into good words.

One of my characters, Maarten, who appears in “Time Tunnel to West Leighton” and “Time Tunnel to Ironbridge” is autistic.

I have created a hi-resolution image because someone I know wanted to make a poster for their classroom, and I’m sharing it below because I couldn’t get it to go through on Facebook uncompressed. The format is A3 300 dpi so should be easy to convert to PDF for printers.

I (Oliver Tooley) am autistic although I was never diagnosed. Two of my children are diagnosed and they get help to cope with society as it currently operates. Yet, as the words in this image imply, it’s all those neurotypical people who are weird, not us.

I think it’s fair to say this is partly tongue in cheek, but there is a serious note backing it up.  

You need to click on the image to open it up full size, then right click to save.

 

It says,

“I’m autistic, which means everyone around me has a disorder which makes them say things they don’t mean, not care about structure, fail to hyperfocus on singular important topics, have unreliable memories, drop weird hints, and stare creepily into my eyeballs.

So why do people treat me as the weird one?

Because there are more of them than people like me.”

 

Alliance of Independent Authors

I signed up (as Oliver Tooley)  for ALLi which is the Alliance of Independent Authors. It has been highly recommended to me for some time now by various people and I’ve been putting it off, but I think it will be a useful tool in the long run.

Actually, I must confess I haven’t yet really seen how useful it might be but I have high hopes. I’ll let you know in future if it works out.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning on joining yourself, I’ve posted a link below. (sponsored) You can join if you are planning to self publish, or have already self-published a  novel. You can also join if you are a professional author with 50,000 + sales a year, or if you provide author services. (I didn’t think Blue Poppy was quite ready for that side of things yet).

Alliance of Independent Authors /

 

And the Wolf Shall Dwell – Audiobook and FREE Kindle deals

Brand new audio-book available now, FREE Kindle offer coming soon.

When Joni Dee approached Blue Poppy Publishing with “And the Wolf Shall Dwell” I was worried that he was based in London. We were, and still are, a small publisher based in North Devon and it is harder to work at a distance, where you can’t pop round with a box of books.

Nevertheless, the story is a gripping read and Joni did already have a large number of pre-orders for the paperback and hardcover editions which covered the first print run nicely, so how could we refuse?

Now Joni has taken the next step on his publishing journey and produced an audio-book version of this stunning contemporary political espionage thriller.  You can get it here UK Amazon link or from Amazon in your country, universal link .

What was the bit about FREE Kindle?

Oh yes, if you haven’t already read “And the Wolf Shall Dwell” and you just want the Kindle edition, you can get it free for a very limited period only, starting on Tuesday 3oth October. Just follow the  universal link or do a  search on Amazon for “And the Wolf Shall Dwell”, by Joni Dee.

Also, if follow Joni Dee on Twitter and RT his tweet about the audio-book then you can be in with a chance to win a free code from Audible.

North Devon local bookshops

Support your local bookshop.

We’re blessed with some wonderful bookshops in North Devon and here at Blue Poppy Publishing, our long term aim is for all books to be sold by retailers, while we only deal with wholesale. For now you can buy our books right here from our website, but if you want to support your local book shop we would love that too, even though we make less money on the deal.

Here’s the lowdown on your local book shops in and around North Devon.

  • Ilfracombe Bookshop” – 99 High St, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9NH – 01271 864545
    This is a wonderful book shop with shelves stacked high with stock and the owner Paul will cheerfully order books for you. As well as books, he stocks a superb range of artists materials, catering for the many amateur and professional artists in the town. There’s no website so if you’re in town pop in and say, ‘Hi’.
  • Tarka Books” – 5 Bear St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 7BU – 01271 267090
    An unassuming frontage on the one way section of Bear Street in the centre of town opens into a large space crammed with books, although they have more second-hand books they do stock some new, particularly children’s books. Website.
  • Sol Books” – 2 Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1HB – 01271 327319
    Although this shop is almost entirely second-hand and antiquarian books, they do specifically stock books by local authors, including Blue Poppy publications.
  • Waterstones” – 42 High St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1BZ – 01271 374433
    The national chain is a vital part of the overall book retail market.  Think of it as a game of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ but instead it’s ‘Amazon-Waterstones-Indies’ The Barnstaple branch is large and open with a great range and, like all bookshops, they can order any book in print. Website
  • Walter Henry Books” – 12 High St, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AA – 01237 425727
    A beautiful spacious and well stocked bookshop in the centre of Bideford. hey don’t have a website, but there is a Facebook and Twitter account if you want to get in touch.

Honorary mentions

Tiverton

Liznojan Books” – 25 Gold Street, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6QB
Liznojan is one of the newer bookshops in Devon, opened in 2017 by mum and daughter team Jackie and Kayleigh. It’s not just a bookshop, it is a community hub with local art and craft, and independent magazines, as well as an organic cafe. It really is a gem of a shop and well worth a visit if you are in town. Website

Crediton

Crediton Community Bookshop” – 21 High Street, Crediton, Devon, EX17 3AH

Another lovely independent bookshop serving Crediton and the surrounding areas. Spacious and well stocked, offering a range of events throughout the year and working with local schools on things like author visits and book related events to promote reading. Website

Axminster

Archway Bookshop” – Church Street, Town Centre, Axminster, EX13 5AQ

You enter through the Gothic arch of this ancient stone building and find yourself in a large shop spread over two floors with a magnificent spiral staircase. As well as a huge range of stock there is, as you might expect, personal recommendations, and an ordering service which even includes local delivery. As usual, the shop is a community hub with things like a book club and they are a sales outlet for local ticketed events. The website is sparse but is a starting point.

Sidmouth

Paragon Books” – 38 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8EJ

Paragon books (not be be confused with Parragon books the publisher) has graced Sidmouth’s shopping scene for over twenty years. With a range of over 5,000 titles, as well as CDs and DVDs, you should find what you want, and if you can’t they can order for you. They also have greetings cards and paintings from local artists. They host author events and sell tickets for other local venues. Find out more on their website.

Topsham

Topsham Bookshop” -27 Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0HD

A large bookshop set over three floors, although mostly out of print and previously loved books, they do have some new books of local interest. Website.

Newton Abbot

Waterstones” -7-9 Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2QH

Set in the centre of historic Newton Abbot; like all Waterstones you’re sure of a professional service and a great range of books with an ordering service, and occasional author events. Website.

Torquay

Waterstones – 15 Union Street, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1

Website.

Exeter

Waterstones (High Street)” – 48-49 High Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3DJ

Another large bookshop over four floors. Book Group meets on the first Thursday of every month (excluding November and December) and there are regular author events.  Website.

Waterstones (Roman Gate)” – 252 High Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3PZ
Spread out over three floors with the children’s section on the ground floor, a cafe on the 1st floor and a quiet section on the 2nd floor (sensibly far away from the children. Website.
TBC

 

 

BBC Radio Devon interview with David Fitzgerald – “Fitz”

Dateline: Friday 5th October
Time: 12:09 – 12:19 approx

Well yesterday was an experience and tremendously interesting, and fun.

David Fitzgerald is a lovely bloke who managed to sound interested in my maundering nonsense. I just hope I didn’t send all his listeners to sleep.

I got in touch with the show with considerable trepidation, fearing that I would either be ignored, or worse, rejected as not sufficiently interesting. (n.b. this is why I self-published in the first place, because I dread rejection far too much)

Contrary to my worst fears, Elsa got back to me almost immediately and, to my huge surprise, offered me an interview the very next day! 

So there’s me driving down to Plymouth (I had thought the BBC Radio Devon studios were in Exeter) on Friday morning, and waiting in reception, then being brought through by the delightful Elsa and introduced to Fitz.

I knew I wouldn’t have long, and I tried to splurge as much information as I could in an incoherent stream. Fitz managed things with utter professionalism and natural charm, bringing out some of the important points I had glossed over, and making sure I could plug the website.

You can listen again using the BBCs own iPlayer app, This requires an account and you have to be signed in. My interview is at approx 2:09 into the three hour programme.

If you live abroad, or if you can’t bring yourself to sign up for an account, then I have made a  recording of the specific bit for you to listen to.

I left thinking of a hundred things I wanted to say but didn’t but listening back over the interview I got about ten minutes and covered almost everything I could have hoped for. Thank you Fitz, and BBC Radio Devon.

Until next time.

Launch Day MMMM

Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem,
– and a Sprig of Mistletoe. –

I am writing this at 10:00am on Saturday 29th of September and the brand new book is here and available to buy but ONLY in bookshops or from our shop.

If you are coming to Barnstaple Library today from 2:00 – 4:00 pm there will be fun and activities, a chance to meet some of the authors and get them to sign your book. We will get a few extras signed too for those who can’t get there.

We would LOVE you to buy the book from your bookshop!

“Why?” We hear you ask, “Surely you get more profit if I buy directly?”

Well yes we do, but Blue Poppy Publishing is a publishing company and in the long run we hope that everyone will buy our books in bookshops and we won’t have a retail operation at all.

If people order our books from local bookshops there are two major benefits.

  1. Bookshops make money which helps the local economy.
  2. Bookshops find out we exist and that there is demand for our books.

This book is not available on Amazon!

“Whaaaat?”

You heard! There are technical reasons why, but we decided not to even try to overcome them at least for now.

This book is ONLY available from us or from UK bookshops.

ALL UK BOOKSHOPS.

If you want to buy a copy in Birmingham, or Manchester, or Nottingham, or Sheffield, or Aberdeen, or Belfast, or London, just go in and say, “Hello, can you order me a copy of ‘Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem – and a Sprig of Mistletoe’. It’s from Blue Poppy Publishing.” They will look puzzled and then type it into their computer, whereupon you will see their little face light up as they find it. Just in case that doesn’t work for any reason give them the ISBN 978-1-911438-53-3 (you don’t need the hyphens but it’s easier to read that way.

They will then order it and take your details to let you know when it arrives.

You pay £6 they make a small but certain profit and everyone is happy.

 

 

The Dreaded Facebook Jail

Getting booted off social media for no good reason SUCKS.

Link to Ian Nathaniel Cohen’s website  See below for story.

Authors need to promote their work, so they use social media like Facebook and Twitter etc. to try and encourage punters to visit their website.

Then for sometimes seemingly arbitrary reasons, Facebook takes it upon themselves to lock your account.

“You seem to be posting spam. Please complete this Capcha to prove you are not a bot.” is just a gentle one.

I got forced to change my password because I posted a comment on a school’s Facebook page thanking them for making one of my books a ‘set book’ for their year 4. – Huh?

They let me back in when I assured them that my post was not spam. Yeah, they actually took my word for it. Bless!

But you don’t have to get booted off completely for it to be a right royal pain. Pity this poor author who has been banned from linking to his own website, even though there is literally nothing wrong with it.

See for yourself. https://iannathanielcohen.weebly.com/

Ian Nathaniel Cohen is such a regular Joe from Miami FLA who has written a umber of academic works and what looks like a rip-roaring pirate adventure The Brotherhood of the Black Flag. Go check him out and show him some love.

 

On the Order of Intensity of Meaning – Angry

In the light of the current admonition  against ‘adverbs of degree’, I was thinking about words for angry, and how they relate qualitatively to each other.

I could have started with any number of adjectives, but this happened to occur to me on the subject of ire, so I’ll start with that. If there is a smattering of a response in the comments which does not relate to buying aids to sustained performance in an intimate setting then there may be other similar posts to follow.


Let’s try to put these words in order, starting from the least severe and working up.

Let me know if you think I should change the order, or if I have missed any out (probably) or included any that are too obscure (unlikely!).

Rules :

  • There are no absolutely wrong answers. I am as interested in how others perceive these words and their meanings as what the dictionary actually says.
  • I didn’t use a thesaurus or a dictionary, but you can.
  • Try to avoid straying from the core meaning of ‘annoyed’ so not words like ‘hurt’ or ‘upset’.

 

My list :

  1. Put out
  2. Miffed
  3. Peeved
  4. Disgruntled
  5. Irate
  6. Annoyed
  7. Angry
  8. Furious
  9. Incandescent
  10. Apoplectic

 

Updated list :

  1. Put out
  2. Miffed
  3. Peeved
  4. Irritated
  5. Disgruntled
  6. Annoyed
  7. Angry
  8. Irate
  9. Furious
  10. Incandescent
  11. Apoplectic

 

Now I am wondering about “irked”

Old photographs Poles Montaland genealogy france

Other People’s Ancestors

When researching your family tree, you can’t help but turn up interesting stuff about friends of the family who are no relation to yourself. I have been writing about my great grandmother, Fanny Chalk Austin, whose memoirs I have edited and expanded and published on Kindle. UK Link  –  Global link 

I have since been digging out old family photographs and hit a rich vein in a big old scrapbook that my father had. In it, there are photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to lots of my own family, but also some which bear no relation to my tree. (as far as I can tell)

Photographs of a wonderful looking woman who, judging by the pictures, had a vibrant sense of humour and a ‘jolly-hockey-sticks’ approach to life. Her name was Dora Boobyer, and I haven’t the faintest idea how she connects to my family. But it was a pleasure to be able to send the images to a genealogist who has researched her in their tree.

I also have several photographs of a French family who obviously had a major impact on mine but it is not clear why. My great-grandmother honeymooned in Paris, as did my grandmother, at Hôtel Britannique, and it looks likely that at least one family member had strong connections with Britain, but I still haven’t pieced together the puzzle and it isn’t even MY puzzle.

Granny Poles had three children, Louise, Richard, and Harry.

Louise married a M. Montaland apparently in England AND France.

I’ll continue this story later and add the photos. I have to go to a bookshop now to promote my physical books a bit.

Ilfracombe library Book Giveaway event

Friday the 15th of December
3:30pm – 6:00pm at Ilfracombe Library

Every child (age 0-16) with a valid Devon Library card, who comes to the library in Ilfracombe on Friday 15th December, between 3:30 and 6:00 pm will receive a FREE copy of “Dr Gnaw” the latest Felix Whiter book, and sequel to “For Cats’ Eyes Only”

This event is once again made possible by Ilfracombe’s very own David Tubby. Olli will be there with the illustrator Amii James to sign books. David Tubby won’t be able to make it but he has arranged for none other than Father Christmas himself to be there in his place.

make sure you have a valid library card

Check your card is up to date, or if you don’t have one, head on down to the library and get one. You don’t have to register at Ilfracombe, as long as you have a Devon Libraries card, and are 0-16 years of age, and you come into Ilfracombe Library at the time stated above, you will get your book.

See you there.