I am attempting a feat most hazardous for a mere mortal male - the perilous art of multi-tasking.
Over the months and years of giving talks about the tvdetective books, I have come to find a kind of formula for how I structure the sessions and what I say.
I use the words "kind of" advisedly, because it's a point of professionalism and pride that I tailor each for the individual audience and what I think they want to hear. And they all react differently - sometimes most unexpectedly so - which often prompts some very hasty rethinking!
But, there are certain anecdotes and insights I know will usually work, in either proving entertaining or poignant, and I do tend to fall back on those.
No longer, however! I'm adding some more variety.
Part of the reason for that is that I don't want to get bored with giving talks. I think that it's a privilege, for people to want to come and hear my musings. And if I'm not enjoying it, how can I possibly expect an audience to do so?
It's also about the old story, the one I've mentioned several times before in these blogs - needing to challenge myself and innovate.
But there's another, more practical reason, which is moving in fast. It's now just two months until I go on a cruise where I'm giving six hours of talks. That's far more than I've ever attempted before (and not all in one go, you'll be relieved to hear), which means I need to test out some new material.
So, if you're coming along to a talk in the next few weeks (and there are a few scheduled; see the News and Events page for more - www.thetvdetective.com/news.html ), please forgive me if I need the occasional pause to think and work out where we're going next. It's all for a good cause!
I'm enjoying thinking through some new things to say, because it's forced me to consider where I am in my writing life, what it all means to me, and where to go next. And that's no bad thing, to stop occasionally and take stock.
It's also had the benevolent side-effect of making me think what a lucky chap I am, and I very much like that. A little gratitude is good, in my humble view. It offers a warm glow, which is much appreciated as the days shorten ever onwards, and the chill winds of the winter begin to sweep in.