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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Happy Times

Three weeks now since I wrote my last blog entry and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Two weeks of those three we spent in Spain, visiting our old haunts and seeing a lot of our old friends. The majority of those were at Torrevieja Christian Fellowship (TCF), while others were close friends of ours outside the church. It was great to see everybody and an absolute joy to share our time with them all. I picked up a chest infection while we were there, and am now on anti-biotics. Hopefully it will soon be gone. When we got back it meant a lot of catching up to do on-line and dealing with stuff that couldn’t be sorted in Spain. But a big event we had to look forward to was a weekend raising money for the charity Words for the Wounded.

Words for the Wounded was founded about four years ago by the best-selling author, Margaret Graham. Patrons of the charity include Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and Paddy Ashdown (former Liberal Democrat MP) The idea behind it was to help authors publicise their work while raising money for the wounded servicemen. The charity is fairly well established now, and almost all the money raised goes to the servicemen.

The event kicked off at Woodies restaurant in Chichester where a lunch was held together with the opportunity to buy books published by the Chichester Independent Writers (CHINDI). All the authors donated a large percentage of their sales to the charity. Margaret opened the meeting with a brief summary of how she founded the W4W and also something about herself. There were about fifty people there. After lunch the main speaker was introduced. This was Elizabeth Buchan, a Sunday Times best-selling writer and a member of the Costa Book Awards judging panel. Her talk was funny, entertaining and packed with one- liners that resonated with all of us.

In the evening we had a party at a local pub in Chichester where more money was raised with donated prizes being raffled. This was well attended. And the following morning, Sunday, we had a ‘Book Swap’ breakfast at Carluccio’s in Chichester. This went down really well and many of us managed to sell some books, (me included!) The whole event raised £903 for the W4W charity: a magnificent achievement and a feather in the cap of two of our CHINDI writers, Jane and Chris for organising and managing the event.

Having almost reached the end of the year, CHINDI still has one more to go: the One Big Launch (OBL). This will be another fun evening of entertainment and books. Nine of us are launching our latest paperbacks. Should be fun. It has been a massive learning curve for me and other members of the group. No doubt we will have learned a great deal which should stand us in good stead for next year. Meanwhile it’s back to reality and more writing. Wish me luck!

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