Reflections – More than just bouncing light

It has been a week for reflections. I found it difficult to watch all the news coverage of the one year anniversary of the first Lockdown. It made me want to scream to think that if only we’d locked down hard then, we could have been like New Zealand, that perhaps we could have saved so many lives and livelihoods. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. We were naive, unprepared, and totally stunned by the onslaught of Covid 19. Now we know better, I hope.

What is lost is lost. We will mourn the passing of loved ones. We’ll lament the loss of a way of life, a way of thinking. It’s the simple things that get me, like a movie showing a packed restaurant or a bunch of people sitting close together, hips and elbows touching, arms slung over shoulders and around waists. And, oh my goodness, how I long to be in one of those snaking security queues at the airport. You know the ones where they bend the lines of passengers around the belted posts. You keep catching up with the same family/couple/group/weird stranger and either avoid eye contact altogether (not my thing at all) or give a smile, a sigh of solidarity, make a quip, start chatting, and by the time you get through security, you know all about each other. (That’s more me – actually, come to think of it – I’d fall into the weird stranger category!)

One good thing that happened this time last year was that Castrum Press published my book, Rejuvenation Book 1, in the Rejuvenation Trilogy.

We’d planned a big launch in No Alibis Bookshop in Belfast, but that had to be cancelled, of course. At the time, I worked hard to not moan about it when so many more were suffering worse things. But as a friend pointed out, I was allowed to be disappointed – and I was. I figured that by the time Rejuvenation Book 2 was released (summer 2020), there might be hope for a launch party of some kind… but you all know how that played out. But not to fear, there was always Rejuvenation Book 3 (autumn 2020), but by then, things were looking worse on the pandemic front, and my books were sent out in silent launches like ships from a foggy harbour!

But despite the fog, readers found the books and read them and liked them! And for that, I’m hugely grateful. So to celebrate the book birthday this week, I decided to announce a special event. I’m having a Zoom Book Club, hosted by the fabulous Rachel Toner, a local writer and arts event manager. This will be an opportunity to discuss the plot, gossip about the characters and ask me your burning questions about the Rejuvenation Trilogy. (Why did X do Y? Who was the bad guy really? What was Granny thinking when she…?) No holds barred. The readers direct the discussion… though just keep one thing in mind. This is not a critiquing session. If you didn’t like something/someone in the books, it’s too late now for me to change them – they are already published! (Dare I suggest fan fiction?)

Here are all the details if you would like to join us for the Book Club – everyone is welcome, but there will be spoilers, so it would be best if you have already read the Rejuvenation Trilogy.

Sunday, April 25, 2021, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM (British Summer Time) *

Tickets are free, but registration is necessary at the following link

Feel free to send questions in advance through this contact form, and you can ask questions on the night too.

I look forward to seeing you there.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and blogging…This month’s blog posts have been all about keeping positive despite having had another summer of travel plans cancelled. It helps that spring has come creeping into the garden, unfurling leaves and fattening out buds. My Instagram posts have been dominated by spring flowers.

There is so much to look forward to if we can just push past this next wee while, and hopefully, before too long, we’ll be back to travelling and queues and hugs. Until then, see you on zoom!

Byddi Lee

*7.30PM BST is the following time in other zones –  California 11.30 AM, New York 2.30PM, Paris, France 8.30PM