A very different week for me this week. Instead of sweating and being bitten by ravenous mosquitoes in Atlanta, I am instead, taking shelter from the rain in leafy, pleasant Britain.
An urgent need to find a place to live has brought me across the Atlantic, masked, sanitized and tested, to the gentle rolling and sheep speckled hills of Somerset. It’s barely 65 degrees out, so I am wearing jeans and scratching the recent bites I received doing yard work to get the house in America ready for sale.
There are benefits to being in Britain though. I started my journey in Glastonbury (to get yet another Covid test, this one needed to hopefully allow me back into the USA later in the week).
Glastonbury is a charmingly bizarre place. Lots of folks here dress like wizards and witches, full regalia mind, cloaks, staffs, long white beards. Not for a special occasion either, this is just a normal Monday morning in this town. The shops here really only sell books of spells, magical charms, wind-chimes, crystals and as many pointy black hats you can shake a broomstick at. It’s partly to do with the Arthurian folklore based around the famous Tor, that does indeed eerily dominate the skyline for miles. But it’s not JUST that. This place is a genuine draw for the displaced and the unconventional, those who refuse to adhere to the norms (whatever they are) of society. You can call them hippies and gypsies, but overall the people of Glastonbury embrace their charms, oddness and uniqueness.
My taxi driver told me a story, that one day, without warning or introduction, a stranger appeared in the town dressed entirely as a Roman Centurion, the full regalia, armor, plumed helmet, sword, ankle boots, the whole thing. He would march around town, silent and aloof , never made a single friend and never appeared out of costume (uniform?) and then two years later disappeared without a trace. Nobody knew who he was or why he did what he did. How wonderful is that? The actual word “wonder-ful” was made for that nameless stranger – morituri te salutant!
I expect to have lots of rushing around time, interspersed with hours of waiting for the next appointment, all stretched out over three days. In the downtime I really want to catch up with my writing. The visit to Glastonbury has been a good reminder that reaching for the differences is a good muscle to mentally stretch. The progress on the new Sci-Fi hasn’t exactly stalled out, but it isn’t blistering along either. It can be too easy to fall into the mundane, the overworked trope. I am going to harness my inner wizard and don my plumed gladiator Galea and go strut my stuff, unfazed by the stares of passersby (only in a more quiet, self-effacing and indoors-y manner).
Different and wacky are not just cool, they can be great. In the world of writing, this means that you should shake things up a bit. Be different from your competitors by presenting something new to readers or showing them an innovative way to introduce new and fascinating characters. If it’s done well enough, people will flock to your website for more information on what makes you unique and buy more books! So don’t let fear get in the way of being creative with how you market yourself or your products—go big (or go home!). You never know where success may lie; if there is one thing we know about humans, it’s that they love exploring novelty and pushing boundaries.
BTW – fingers crossed I ace this Covid test. The alternative is a 10 day quarantine and i neither have the time to spare or a place to spare it in.
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