I’m flying to London tomorrow so I can be there bright and early on Friday morning to deliver this—there’s only, like, a couple of places left (I think!) but it’s not too late to book yours (I think!)—and since right now I’m probably having a mild panic attack involving too much coffee and a Power Point presentation, I don’t have time to write a proper blog post. So instead I’m going to share with you a number of things that have very tenuous links to me flying to London tomorrow to teach a self-publishing course at Faber Academy on Friday. Okay? Okay.
1. Midnight in Paris
Paris is my favorite city in the world even though I have spent nowhere near as much time as I’d like there. Also right now I’m on a bit of a Paris reading binge: I’m in the middle of The Paris Wife and Time Was Soft There is up next. So Midnight in Paris is the perfect in-flight entertainment. I rented it from iTunes, which I found out like two days ago I could do. Only problem: I may burst into tears when the doors open and it’s Heathrow outside instead.
Paperchase is my favorite store in the whole wide world, except here in Ireland we don’t have any. We only have small Paperchase concessions in other stores, and we only got them in the last couple of years. (Whatever.) But London has over 20 Paperchase locations. When I first became a Paperchase fan, they had something like three stores in the universe and no online shopping, and I once made a trip to Manchester, England just to spend an afternoon in their flagship. So this is QUITE EXCITING. Especially since in Ireland we seem to pay the exchange rate plus an extra 20 or 30% just for kicks, so shopping in the UK will be a bargain by comparison.
I only have a couple of hours to spend strolling around London, but that doesn’t mean I can’t google “Best bookstores in London” and see if any of them are near where I’ll be. Turns out there’s loads, including the largest bookstore in Europe which is apparently Waterstones Piccadilly. Which also has a Paperchase. EXCUSE ME WHILE MY HEAD EXPLODES FROM JOY.
4. Google Street View
I have a fear of not knowing where I’m going when I travel by myself. Coming out of train, bus and tube stations is a great way for this to happen. For example, the directions might say “10 minutes walk from X station” but how do you know what street you’re on when you exit the station? What if there’s no street sign? What if you don’t want to stand there looking lost in case that’s just what muggers are looking for? What if there’s no one nice around to ask for directions? What if they’re actually a serial killer and now they’ve just led you to their secret death lair? And so on. And on. But Google Street View solves all that. I simply go to the address of the station, and then follow until I get to my hotel or wherever. Then I know exactly where to go when I’m there for real, plus I can suss out how many Starbucks are along the route. You know, in case of emergency.
5. Cheap Flights
Here in Europe we have a love/hate relationship with the bargain basement airlines that fly us around for €9.99 ex. all taxes, charges, your luggage, a seat and a life jacket. If you’ve heard people ranting about Ryanair and don’t know why, watch the video above. It also has lots of Irish swear words.
6. Another Self-Publishing Course
If you can’t get to London, I’m off to Dublin in two weeks to do a one-day self-publishing course with the Inkwell Group. And while there’s no big Paperchase there, there is a Muji…
If you’re nowhere near London or Dublin and you’d still like me to help you self-publish, you can always read this instead.