Welcome Back Bookfests! Happenings across the Globe

Literary Festivals and Contemporary Book Culture by Millicent Weber

A Little Back Story

Like most performing arts, literary and book festivals are slowly returning in a new, hybrid format that includes both live in-situ and remote online audiences. As one of my favourite indulgences, hearing authors read and talk about their work is something I find captivating, inspiring and uplifting. I am not alone in this experience, as a good deal of qualitative and mixed method research projects are beginning to unearth and demonstrate similar outcomes, not least of which is Dr Millicent Weber’s multi-site ethnography of various events in Australia, USA, UK and beyond.

While Millicent Weber’s (2018) book emerged in the couple of years pre-pandemic, the insights remain valid and can certainly still inform event planners and researchers alike, going forward. They did, in fact, help to inspire and inform my own mixed methods ethnography of audience experiences at the Ninth Belfast Book Festival, 2019. Here are a few extracts from my dissertation – I found the project exciting and enjoyable and hope that comes across! Firstly, where did book and literary festivals spring from?

“…While book signings have been part of author promotion for decades, the consumption of literary festivals operates on a much more expanded level, with their diverse programmes and a more interactive dynamic between audiences and presenters.  This world of Literary and Book Festivals displays both cultural and commercial aspects, and is linked to an upsurge in reading groups, to the recent expansion of the Independent Book Shop industry, and with the tendency towards arts promotion through the festival model, globally…”

What are book festivals for? For authors…

“…Authors spend a good deal of time on tour when promoting a new release and as such are becoming more and more like musicians and others in the performing arts. Book sales and book signings have become ubiquitous features of all events that form literary festivals…”

And for book lovers, it’s…

“…the informative, inspirational and pleasurable qualities of event experiences, feeling combinations of being ‘fired up’ and ‘spellbound’… It was also clear that the Festival provides many patrons with opportunities to connect socially and to share celebrations with family and friends…”

Ultimately…

“…Literary festivals are open for business: for authors to engage with their audiences; for aspirational audiences who desire personal growth and wellbeing; for organisations with plans for social engagement; and for marketers who seek to help consumers fulfil their needs, hopes and dreams…”

Here is a little potted summary of the project findings:

  • motivations and experiences were described by audience members across three emergent categories:
  • Cognitive-cultural (knowledge, empowerment and literary activism);
  • Emotional (inspiration, feelings, passions, hero worship and author charisma);
  • Social (connecting and sharing resonant atmospheres in ritualised, liminal spaces of escape).

(click here or on the image below to view my presentation on the design, findings, insights and recommendations).

What’s happening around the world?

Finally, book and literary festivals are thriving again as Dream Vacation Magazine has listed the Top 25 literary festivals worth a visit – I’m choosing Berlin next, travel permitting… what’s your choice?

Happy Reading

Dawn is coming: On Dune old and new

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My first reaction was ‘Oh No!’

I dreaded the day a Dune remake would appear because I cannot imagine anything better than David Lynch’s classic, if controversial, 1984 movie; nor can I see anyone supplanting Kyle MacLachlan as the young Paul Atreides.

And yet…since I saw the list of new cast and crew members, I am warming to the idea of a fresh incarnation.  No one forgets all the previous ‘Dr Who’ embodiments, after all, so why not anticipate the intrigue of a new Dune? With Blade Runner 2049‘s Denis Villeneuve in the director’s seat, excitement is mounting. And Call Me By Your Name‘s Timothée Chalamet will play the young Duke Paul, while Charlotte Rampling fills the role of Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam.

The Novels

I came to the novels after the film, an experience that, to begin with, actually enriched the film even more for me, then made me thirsty for more on-screen portrayals of the richly detailed sequels and back stories.

Themes that stood out to me in the books, much more than in any filmed versions so far, are the rich descriptions of the various ecologies of the planets, and the mind-bending cosmology and parapsychology of the navigators and the space they fold to enable instant transportation across distances of light years.

Herbert‘s imagination is captivating and the novels are a perfect combination of readability and sophistication. I think it’s time to re-visit the books and to build anticipation for a new dawn on a new Arakkis. Roll on Dune.

Into the Zen Zone: My Big Three Inspirations for 2019

image of book cover ten to zen by Owen O'Kane

ten to zen book by Owen O’Kane

1.  Hot off the press, psychotherapist and workshop facilitator Owen O’Kane’s book ten to zen is a welcome, practical guide to developing a meaningful, do-able meditation and mindfulness practice as part of everyday life.

As the author explains,  this ten minute daily routine is more of a workout for the mind than a rigorous regime. Just like a physical health drive, ten to zen is designed to keep our brain, mind and soul healthy and effective.

By explaining and describing each step of the ten minute workout, ten to zen helps us to lean back from stresses and strains for a brief breathing space each day,  ultimately enabling us to master anxiety or fear and to embrace and transform our experiences into  joyful living.

Still working my way through the book, I will testify that already I sense a shift in my perspectives and a more optimistic and connected relationship with family, life and the world.

Highly recommended, click the mage or in-text title for more details (I claim no affiliation to any sources linked or cited, just keen to spread the word), and here is the full citation: O’Kane, Owen (2018), Ten to Zen: Ten Minutes a Day to a Fuller and Happier You, UK: Bluebird.

 

2. While appreciating the fresh take on mindful living in ten to zen, every once in a while I revert to the Master of Zen for the western world, Jon Kabat-Zinn, for his deep yet accessible, and again highly applicable, works. So now, re-reading Full Catastrophe Living wherein there are so many gems and nuggets of wisdom and insight, I have to say the world is looking rosier by the minute.

My first encounter with Dr Zinn’s wisdom was through his numerous recorded talks on YouTube, as well as a free audio-book of Wherever you go, there you are. Here’s a brilliant starter for ten that enlightens us to the facts that we are not our thoughts, they are self-limiting phenomena and don’t need to be fought, just liberated. Here’s ‘Your Thoughts are Bubbles’:

 

3. I never cease to be amazed at the ways in which each teacher shares these profound truths and joys of mindfulness and meditation in their own unique, inspirational voices. Perhaps it is that they are all coming from different traditions and disciplines, and that in itself is an uplifting and enriching encounter. This is something that struck me in an intense way when I received my most recent new year reading list title, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haimin Sumin.  The format is quite different, with wise comments and quotes set out almost like a poetry collection, interspersed with beautiful and captivating illustrations by Youngcheol Lee (2012, UK: Penguin Life). This is my night-time book and certainly worth finding. I wish you all a peaceful, inspired year for 2019.

Journal Me Mindful

Rumi quote: The wound is the place where the light enters you.

Hi Folks, welcome and apologies for the haphazard (in fact almost absent) nature of posting over the past few months. I have been on a challenging journey to do with Health and WellBeing. Yet, now that recovery is dawning (in the distant horizon but there nonetheless), I am coming to realise that it has also been a voyage of discovery, in fact a re-discovery of the amazing benefits of mindfulness meditation. The feelings of connectedness, calmness and of being back on track have given me a tremendous lift and I owe this turnaround to several sources.

Firstly, a doctor here in Belfast at the Synergy Clinic, who takes an integrative approach, has helped me in a massive way with information, reassurance and naturopathic prescribing. Taking charge of your own health is a very empowering experience.

Next, the Chopra Centre 21 day meditation series, currently ongoing, is a welcome resource and I am currently at Day 8, finding the mantras and messages meaningful and the practice greatly calming. Their journaling resource section is a welcome addition and I print out my journal entry every day. It is a useful resource and well worth reading back over for extra motivation and inspiration.  Here’s the link to the current meditation series.

https://chopracentermeditation.com/

 

Then I found the book Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, which is full of the most up-to-date, enlightening information and instruction and together with the CD, offers an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation. This is most promising to me and I plan to build it into my new found daily practice after I complete the Chopra Centre 21 days. cover of the book Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

 

I would thoroughly recommend them all and wish everyone well on your journey of life.

 

 

 

Opening Image citation http://www.openhandweb.org/rumi_%20wound%20_light_enters

Previous Older Entries

complexwales.wordpress.com/

Creating the space for other people to do something useful.

just write 4radio

The Site for Radio Drama Writers by John Morrison

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Bullet Point Reading

Key Takeaways From Books!

Witchcraft & Wicca

Children Of Artemis

Tim Verdouw

Product Reviews

Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado

Academic, Critic, and Editor

The Bookworm Shelf

Come forth into a fairytale world.

ADITI MALIK

Parenting Educator

irishjournalamcp.wordpress.com/

Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

A Pearl Clutcher

cultural commentary from a pearl-clutching hysteric

Edoardo Magnotta

Benvenuti nella Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale

FM Design

Contemporary architectural design for hospitality, heritage, retail and home

Web Design and Content Creation

Web Design, SEO & Copywriting in Kent

Charlotte Sheridan

Coaching Psychologist, Writer and Photographer

No Wasted Ink

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

Children's Book Writer

A resource for writers

Jimmy's Internet Marketing Business Blog

Using Internet Marketing to drive new clients to your business

TV Channel Info

Resources for TV Channel Developers

DAILY MOTIVATION

Be your true self.

Dr. Eric Perry’s Blog

Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

FM Design

contemporary interior and exterior design for hospitality, arts venues and commercial retail

Positiveshores

shared experiences of mental health and wellbeing support through the eyes of a youth mentor and teacher aide

IMSuccess.me

Internet Marketing - Product Reviews and Trending Articles

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

Townlands of Ulster

Exploring County Down with my camera, one townland at a time

The Familiar Strange

A blog. A podcast. A social fact.

CinePunked

Love Film | Talk Film | Know Film

Roberta McDonnell

Writing | Researching | Marketing

The Ogham Stone

The Best Writing By New and Established Writers

wake up and smell the humans

The website of Sean Crawley

Asylum

John Self's Shelves

ALEPOLL'S ART

Artwork and Illustrations by Alessandra Pollicini

The Book Addict's Guide to MBTI:

Literary, Historical & Fictional MBTI

Christoph’s Content Corner

Content strategy, livestreaming/podcasting and content marketing tips

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'

Wildly and Dangerously Free

The Map is not the Territory, the Word is not the thing it describes

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

spanishwoods

thoughts from the forest

%d bloggers like this: