Thursday, 11 June 2009

Kindness of Strangers Blog Tour 2009 : Michael Harling author of "Postcards From Across the Pond"

Today I'm joined by Michael Harling, an America author living in the UK who has just embarked on his: Kindness of Strangers Blog Tour 2009. I am his first stop on a geographical tour of the UK & US. Please make him welcome.
Below, Michael tells us a little about himself, his blog tour & his amusing experiences of visiting Cornwall:

The First Step
11 June 2009


A wise man once said, "A journey through 1,000 blogs begins with a single post," or something like that. As this is my first step, I ought to introduce myself and my mission.

I'm an American expat, formerly of New York State (up where the cows live, not in The City) now residing in a market town in West Sussex. I wrote a book about it and managed to get it published, but none of this makes me anyone special. In fact, there is very little about me that is special, which is why I wanted to do something different, and why I am attempting to tour the blogsphere using other people's blogs.

Cornwall is a great place to begin. Kat, a woman I have never met, has graciously agreed to let me camp here for the night and post on her blog. She has, at this early stage in the tour, captured the spirit of this adventure, and I hope that spirit finds its way to others (or this is going to be the shortest epic journey since my buddy Chris Collins talked me into hopping a freight train to Toronto with him when I was twelve, resulting in embarrassing incidents involving the station manager, the rail road police and our parents, and absolutely no forward movement).

So, Cornwall, where the land ends, or beings, depending on your point of view. As an American, it's more Land's Start for me, but that doesn't make the theme park and tourist tat surrounding that particular outcropping of rocky shoreline any less tacky. Still, I was thrilled to see it when we visited a few years back, even if they did try to charge me ten quid to have my photo taken by the famous sign.

Cornwall was lovely, quaint and full of pirate lore—everything a visiting American could want. Our little holiday cottage was crammed with appropriately pirate-coastal-town knick-knacks and located at the end of a short lane so narrow we could barely squeeze our tiny Daewoo Matiz into it. Also, I might add, I was mugged by a particularly raucous sea gull in St. Ives while enjoying a tasty ice cream cone and a stroll by the sea. It was really quite startling, and left me with sore head and just an inch of the pointy end of the cone. Shouldn't they be served with ASBOs or something? Or shot? We have seagull in the States, but not one ever tried to rough me up and rob me.

That notwithstanding, Cornwall was a nice place, and it's good to be posting from here—the titular culmination of Britain and a location I have actually been to and enjoyed—on this first of (one hopes) many stops on my tour of Blog World.

It should be fun, as long as they keep the seagulls in check.

Visit Michael & learn more about how you can become part of his Kindness of Strangers Blog Tour at:

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Multiple Character Disorder

How many characters and story threads can you hold in your head at any one time?

I’ve been considering how many characters and story lines I hold in my mind. I am writing a young adult novel, have two partially edited children’s books, write short stories and Haiku and am always jotting new story/character creations down in my notebook. In addition to this I am an avid follower of about six TV dramas, read fiction daily and watch films. Then there is the daily interaction with ‘real’ people and their characters and stories.

Add to this the fact that when I read, write or watch quality drama I become totally involved with the characters and their individual stories. I’m probably crazy but I find myself thinking of these imaginary characters and their lives even when not reading/writing/watching TV. I ponder over their plights and look forward to learning what happens next – especially with my own creations which are more than real to me.

Whilst considering all this I soon realised that I have a strong ability to be able to follow a large quantity of multiple stories and characters. Not only that but I am constantly expanding the possible characters in existence by creating new people in my imagination.

So do I have a fiction based multiple character disorder? Sort of like an addiction to people and their stories.

Is there a limit to how many characters/stories I can hold within my mind?

I’m thinking that this may be a typical gift/disorder found amongst writers. So please tell me – does this multiple character and story hoarding sound familiar to you?

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