The world of public speaking – UPDATE

Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

So, following the rip-roaring success of my first How To Do Everything and Be Happy workshop (back in November), there’s been no stopping me.

Monday I went and gave the same workshop to a fab group of Mum’s (Hello Jensine & pals!) who made me feel very welcome. Next month I’m speaking at a discussion group in Chelmsford. You already know that I’m one of the authors taking part in the Essex Book Festival (March 2012), and later this year I’m one of the tutors at Swanwick’s Summer Writer’s School (more on that nearer the time).

I’m also pleased to announce that I’m doing another Workshop on the 23rd February, with a follow up event on the 22nd March at the Therapy Life Centre here in sunny Southend-on-Sea, just a few doors down from Southend General Hospital.

So – I hear you ask – what exactly happens at these workshops?

Well, on the 23rd Feb we’ll briefly cover the three causes of unhappiness, make ourselves feel better by identifying and blaming the culprits, then move right along for an evening of brainstorming and happiness planning.

On the 22nd of March we’ll briefly re-cap the previous workshop, find out how you’ve got along and tackle any problems you may have encountered. We’ll also discuss the power of Boxing Day, and set about creating a Now List.

If this sounds like your bag then why not come along. Tickets are only a tenner (£18 for both events). To book simply call the Therapy Life Centre direct on 01702 433959 or via credit card over on the How To Do Everything and Be Happy blog.

In the meantime if you’d like to book me to talk at your group or society feel free to get in touch. You can find out more on the Talks and Workshop page.

The Frog and the Princess – a modern day fairytale for good looking authors

This is tale of the frog and the princess
an anecdote of charm that will capture your interest.
It has everything that a short story must
some mystery, intrigue, a conflict… and lust!
So my friends, let’s begin with the dame
the beautiful Queen’s daughter, of considerable fame
but alas, her passion for garlic and herbs
had taken it’s toll on her romantic Hors D’deurves.
One day, as she wandered, through the wood, by the brook,
she noticed a frog, who was reading a book,
and as it’s well known that frogs cannot read
she assumed he was the product of some evil deed;
perhaps an old hag had met up with a prince
and transformed him to frogness, where he’d been ever since?
So Princess Beatrice sat down by the water
and kicked off the shoes that her mother had bought her.
She turned to the frog, and said in a wisp,
“Hi, I’m the Princess, do you fancy a kiss?”
“No!” said the frog, “so please go away,
you’re an unwelcome blip, on a wonderful day.
I’ve come here to read because I’m not a dimbo,
and the last thing I want is a snog with a bimbo!”
“Excuse me!” said the princess, “but I object to your tone,
that kind of rudeness I will not condone.
You may be twisted and bitter from your life in this bog,
but if you won’t let me kiss you you’ll stay as a frog!”
“Well pardon me for breathing,” said the eloquent toad,
but into your fantasy I will not be bestowed.
Like you I’m a being in my own right,
and for basic frog privileges I will put up a fight.
Besides,” said the frog, “I am not convinced,
that I would be happier transformed to a prince.”
“But..” said poor Beatrice, “I don’t think you see..
I’m a beautiful Princess, don’t you.. fancy me?
I’m a woman of beauty, and will be queen of this land,
I can’t marry a frog… you do understand ?”
“No,” said the frog, “I’m afraid you’re sadly mislead,
if you think that you’re partner must be the same size in bed.
Think for a moment; why should it be,
that a princess can’t marry a frog such as me?
It doesn’t say much for young lady these days
if she looks for her partner through a hormonal haze.”
“No, no!” said the princess, “this just isn’t right,
this isn’t what happened to my good friend snow white
she ended up with a real hunk of a bloke
and nobody told her that she shouldn’t have spoke!”
“Ah!” Said the Frog, “but that was back in the days
when prize winning authors thought women were slaves
and believed that all women wanted in life
was to be chained up in the kitchen like a dutiful wife.”
“So, who,” she enquired, “is writing our lines?
Because whoever it is will get a piece of my mind!”
The frog smiled slyly and leafed through his book
aware that the princess was having a look.
“It’s a brilliant young author, called Peter A Jones.
Famous in fairy land, for his fictional tomes.
He’s a genius really, and still in his prime –
though some argue that he should forget about rhyme.”
“And.. what’s he look like ? ..this Author you speak of,
is he short, green and bald, with only one tooth?”
“Oh no!” said the Frog, “he’s quite a tall chap,
Girls far and wide want to sit on his lap.
For he owes his complexion to a diet of beer,
he looks just like George Clooney (if you’re not standing too near).”
“I see,” said the princess, “well thanks for the small talk,
but I’ve got to go now, to er.. finish my walk.”
“Hey!” Said the frog, “you can’t leave me here,
I thought we’d get married and live by the pier!”
“You’ve gotta be joking,” said Princess in haste
“I’ve got an author to find and there’s no time to waste.”
The moral my friends, is that when writing in rhyme
don’t take it too seriously, have a good time.
Because as all authors know, the words you may mince
but it’s incredibly satisfying to cast yourself as the prince.