Going with the Flow

‘Going with the flow’, ‘In the groove’, being in the right place at the right time, things falling into place/feeling right…  So many phrases for a phenomenon that most are aware of but which cannot be scientifically proven, or is it simply coincidence as I’m sure my skeptic/atheist older son would profess, and yet for me it is real.

#thewriter and I have read many books from the Mind, Body, Spirit shelves over the years which have helped us in all sorts of ways at difficult times, helping us to make sense of a puzzling world, sorting out what we believe… and many refer to this phenomenon: The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks, Michael Neill’s Life Coaching, Dr Robert Holden’s Happiness Now to name but a few. The idea that all will be well if we let life unfold at it’s own pace rather than pushing against the current or trying to force things to go faster, and listen to our inner guide.

The last two weeks have contain fine examples of times to listen. Our younger son (23, volunteer & part time support worker, living at home) has been applying for jobs for several months, at our instigation, with no result. He was perfectly happy doing what he was doing, and learning and growing so much too, but parents think they know best… Then suddenly, completely unexpectedly the Forestry Commission where he has volunteered for a day a week for over two years suddenly asked if he was up for a six month contract whilst someone was off sick.  He’s a lovely boy and was sad to hear about the sick leave but over the moon about the work. It’s exactly what he wants to do. Nothing definite then though, it had to be approved by the higher powers. Two days later he gets a phone call to say he has an interview for one of his job applications – a 9 month woodland trainee course 200 miles away. He was equally excited about this offer but suddenly it felt confusing because he couldn’t do both. What if he didn’t get a definite offer for his local forestry before the interview for the second… on the other hand if you want a sign that you are on the right path, in the groove, on the right track, going with the flow, this was a pretty good one.  Sure enough a definite offer came through for the local job with the people he’s been working alongside for two years, with time to decline and apologize to the other – who, of course, was delighted at his good fortune. This left the well meaning parents thinking, if we’d just left him alone and hadn’t nagged him into endless hours of job applications the last few months would have been a little less busy and stressful! The job he wanted has appeared at just the right time. He now drives (he’s a cyclist and has resisted learning until he needed to), one of his support worker jobs is coming to a natural end and he is ready. Of course in six months time when his contract ends we’ll have to remind ourselves of this and not repeat our unhelpful behaviour.

The second example of ‘coincidence’ occurred today. Last night #thewriter sat up ’til midnight for a Skype call to a school in China. They had invited him to visit in person but he’s not a great traveler, more a stay at home and write and read books type. Then this morning, here come’s the ‘in the groove’ moment, I find an email from Shindig asking if Andrew Norriss would be interested in video conferencing to celebrate the launch of I Don’t Believe It, Archie!’s paperback edition in the US.

Coincidence or Universal Alignment? Well it doesn’t actually matter. I just know that the feeling of being on the right path is much more comfortable than resisting and/or forcing things to go a particular way because I think I ought to but doesn’t ‘feel right’. Why fight against the current and feel uncomfortable when life is sending signs that another path might be the way to go. It might all be a matter of interpretation, and I know the skeptic son would have a lot to say about that sort of hooey but he’s young. And although he probably wouldn’t agree he is actually very good at listening to his inner voice and is allowing life to unfold beautifully.

So I wonder where the river of life will take us in the future. Just have to relax, listen and then see…

Inviting an author to visit…

Andrew 'book signing' at George Heriots Sept 2010We get many letters from teachers inviting Andrew to visit their school. Two arrived on the same day this week, two very different letters.

Letter 1

(As far as we know we have had no previous contact with the teacher and she does not name the school.)

Hi Andrew
I am currently putting together activities for a School Book Week next March.
Do you have any dates free during the weeks beginning 4th or 11th March when you could visit us in (name of town)?
Look forward to hearing from you.

Letter 2

( No previous contact with teacher or school but we had been contacted by Kate, a School Library Service Librarian. This correspondent gave her name, position and the name of school)

Dear Jane,
Kate forwarded her email to you, so I hope you don’t mind me contacting you direct!
Kate visited our school recently and introduced one of your books to us. The children (and teachers) thoroughly enjoyed the story and so I was wondering whether your husband could visit our school? World Book Day is on 7th March next year – would there be any possibility he would be available then? Would I be able to ring you to discuss this date or an alternative if this one is not suitable? So many questions!!
Kind regards, 

Both invites are for the same week in March which has in fact been well booked up for some time, but decisions were easily made about how to reply. The first letter gets a simple but polite ‘No’. I’m afraid if you show no knowledge of or interest in an author’s books you are unlikely to get a visit. The second teacher has been offered an alternative date as it’s hard to say no when you know your books are enjoyed and appreciated. 

I wonder if these letters reflect back on the teaching of letter writing in school. We have had many children’s letters sent by teachers which have been written as a class lesson. ( I remember one lot which came out of the blue and didn’t even have a covering letter from the teacher). Some letters are short and formulaic, whilst others are more inventive and interesting to read. The few letter that have made their way from individuals via the publisher are special, as they have been written by children who really love Andrew’s books and it’s clear from their letters that reading and writing have not come easily. Real effort was involved. 

We made our children write ‘thank you’ letters by hand on paper for all their birthday and Christmas presents as they were growing up. It was not always easy but they got done and 2 lines was not enough! The turning point came for our second son when his godmother wrote a ‘thank you’ letter to him. He was so thrilled to receive a letter addressed to him in the post, to get the thank you and to hear her news, that ever since he has cheerfully set to and written idiosyncratic letters which have delighted the recipients. I wonder if children who get replies from Andrew feel the same. 

So if, as I suspect, few children write or receive letters at all these days how can we expect young adults to know how to write appropriately for any situation, or have any awareness of the impact their letter on it’s arrival. 

By the way, teachers take note, popular children’s authors like Andrew Norriss are in particular demand for Book Week in October and World Book Day in March so if you want a visit then you’ll probably need to book a year in advance to get the author and the day that you’d like. And it’s worth doing, as having a real author whose books you’ve read and enjoyed in your classroom can have a powerful impact on children’s enthusiasm for books and reading! 

Books by Andrew Norriss

Click on the book covers for a synopsis.

Aquila 2 –  the sequel to Aquila

Read an excerpt: Aquila 2 – Chapter 1


Read an excerpt : Ctrl-Z – Chapter 1

Click here for review  on Trapped by Monsters  and here for review on Amazon

Aquila – Winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book Award

Read an excerpt :  Chapter1 pages 1to4
Click here for a review.

The Unluckiest Boy in the World The Unluckiest Boy in the World

Lancashire Children’s Choice the for Fantastic Book Award for 9-11years.

Read an excerpt:  The Unluckiest Boy in the World – part of chapter 3

The Touchstone

Read an excerpt: The Touchstone Chapter 1

The Portal –   Winner of the Bedfordshire Children’s Book Award

Read an excerpt :  The Portal-chapter 1 Click here to read a review.

Bernard’s Watch –  Made into a brilliant TV series.

Read an excerpt:   coming soon…

Matt's Mllion

Matt’s MillionMade into a brilliant TV series.

%d bloggers like this: