Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Big News

I am not sure how you go about announcing something like this...whether it should be in a hushed, modest manner, or indeed shouted from the rooftops.

You see it's the first time it's ever happened to me.

An unsolicited approach.

Yes, it's the first time I've been approached in such a way.

And I don't mean the flirty looks I get from the driver as I heave my trendy shopping trolley onto the busy bus on market day.

"Shame you're too young for me" he said last time, beaming from cheek to cheek.

I blushed, and then reddened even more when I jumped off. I might have complained but remembered it was the first chat-up line I'd received in a long time. I could always go in disguise next time. Fake moustache, curly wig, trench coat, you know, the kind of thing that resembles the cocktail of characters from the '80s TV comedy 'Allo 'Allo.

But no, it wooz not zees kind iv approrch.

This unsolicited approach was indeed a welcome one, making a sudden appearance in my Inbox, a refreshing change from the ones that promise to increase my manhood, make me a millionaire or sell me a fake qualification.

It was the kind of email that made me jump up-and-down, venture down to London in my high heel shoes and wait excitedly for the next step.

And the next step has at last arrived. It's official.

So I am pleased to divulge that the mystery approach has led to a contract, one which I recently signed and sent back by registered post to none other than Ebury... accepting... a book deal... for The Rubbish Diet.

Yes, a book deal... the offer of an opportunity to write a book about zero waste, which will be added to their amazing Vermilion list, alongside authors such as Martin Lewis, Edward de Bono, Oliver James and Gina Ford.

I feel honoured.

I could never have guessed that when I created The Rubbish Diet blog seven months ago that my learning experience would be applied to a book of the same title, to be published next year.

As you can tell, I am very excited. What a great opportunity. What a dream.

Of course, the hard work really begins now, as I turn my experiences into a guide that will hopefully inspire even the most sluggish of recyclers to dip their toes into the world of slimmer bins.

I know there will be plenty of time for acknowledgments, all of which will be included in the book. However, I really would like to take some time out to thank in particular Ruby in Bury for inspiring me to blog and of course Kate McFarland and Daniel Sage, creators of St Edmundsbury's successful Zero Waste Week challenge, without whom this blog would never have been even a notion.

The Zero Waste Week in March seems so long ago now. Since then it's been a whirl of support from Ruby and Jo Beaufoix accepting their own Rubbish Diet challenges, followed by Mrs Green who took up the challenge in June and is going from strength to strength preparing for her very own Zero Waste Week. Thanks too to John Costigane, whose enthusiastic support I once met with modesty, but have since learned to appreciate very much.

I am utmostly grateful to my friends who have followed my challenge with interest, to all the readers of The Rubbish Diet blog who have supported me at every turn and to all the contributors who have joined in the newly created Carnival of Trash. To list everyone individually would be impossible, but whether you have dipped in, lurked, commented or linked, thank you so much for being there. Your contributions are truly valued and have helped make this blog what it is.

The biggest thank you goes to Almost Mr Average, The Bin Monitor and the Junior Waste Saboteur, my Almost Average Family, who have not just thrown me new challenges but have allowed me time to write. Their support, and sometimes lack of it, have both been immeasurable. I will always be grateful and hope that in years to come they will enjoy rubbish memories and much more.

Last but not least, huge thanks go to Kirstie my editor, for not just getting excited about bins but for her faith in my writing and providing me with this incredible opportunity. I promise I will not let her down.

Gee, listen to me, I've got an editor. The next thing I will be telling you is I've got an agent...and it's true, I have... and I am very grateful to Patrick Walsh at Conville and Walsh for signing me up and representing me.

Phew...I've got a feeling the acknowledgments section is going to take up some space. I'd better make sure there are some pages left for some hints and tips about Zero Waste.

So as I turn from blogger to author, I hope that you will forgive me some absences as I bury myself away with my manuscript and the new learning curve that awaits.

I haven't forgotten about my update about Switzerland, but deadlines await.

I will be back to reveal more very soon. Hmm, I'm not sure if that's a threat or a promise.


Frog in the Field said...

Brilliant! Congratulations!!
I've not noticed this before! eek! sorry (at least I'm being honest!)
I'm going to dig in and consume your information, buy the book and reduce our waste.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news, Mrs A. This is a great opportunity for you to spread the good word.
Thank you for the kind reference. For my part, you are the first, and best, contact in the world of Zero Waste.

Anonymous said...

well, you know how I feel about it! There is many a happy bunny dance that has gone on around Chez Green in celebration of your wonderful news.

I'm as excited as you are and wishing you so much success and happiness.

Enjoy writing the book and feel proud that you are responsible for helping people to change their lives for the better.

As John says - you are the number 1 woman.......

Big love,
Mrs G x

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Well done. Your message deserves a wider audience!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Almost Mrs A! I hope the book will be as funny and thoughtful as the blog (no pressure!)

katyboo1 said...

Great news. Thanks for commenting on my blog, by the way. I will be popping in to see how you get on.

Unknown said...

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Congratulations!

Christina S said...

Yaaay! The big news at last. Congratulations Mrs A - this is much deserved and I am sooo looking forward to having a copy of the Rubbish Diet on my bookshelf!

Thanks for the mention - it's an honour to have inspired you to blog, and in return you are really inspiring me too - this is fantastic! xxx

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhh thanks for the mention my sweet, but the main person in all of this is you and your fabulous inspirational blog. You have given so many of us time and patience and energy and have definitely changed our lives for the better. Like Ruby I can't wait to add your book to my shelves. Hugs. :D

Anonymous said...

YEY!!! You did it! What a well deserved opportunity - am so excited and, like everyine else, can't wait to have a (signed) copy!! Go Mrs A! XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Margaret's Ramblings said...

Well done! well done!! well done!!! Wow, what a buzz. I wish you great success. One life can change in a moment but you have changed many.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Many many congratulations - I only discovered you recently but I am so pleased for you. I do hope you weren't sobbing as you wrote out your thank you's.

Well done and good luck with it.

A x

Anonymous said...

whooping every time in that very modest English way? Whichever - well done you.

Almost Mrs Average said...

My goodness, where do I start...

Hi Frog - Thank you so much for being up bright and early and sending the good wishes. No apology needed. I didn't shout about the blog because I thought people might be more interested in watching paint dry. LOL - I'm glad the paint dried in the end though. I'm now looking forward to your see how you get on with your waste ;-D

Hi John - no probs and the reference is much deserved. I admit it took me a while to get used to a strange man from Scotland flying my flag, but I am very appreciative that you did and I love the fact that despite not having met, you're no longer a stranger. As for the first and best, thank you, that's very kind, but it's the joint effort, the teamwork that really gets the whole thing moving, allowing society to give itself permission to change its ways. ;-D

Hi Mrs G - Thank you so much for your support and can I join you in the happy dance now that I've stopped jumping up and down. I am so proud that you're part of it and of course you will be featured. Not sure I deserve the number 1 woman title though, I think it's more the women's team, with the news of Tracey's book launch as well as your successes and everyone else out there, we've got a great group to carry the flag. ;-D

Hi Russell - thanks so much for your support and for your kind words on your blog the other week. I hope I won't let you down. :-D

Hi Despairing - LOL, thank you for the pressure, I actually do need it. Also, thank you for being there from very much the beginning. You're doing a fab job up in Scotland, maybe we should get you and John chatting. ;-D

Hi Katy - Hee hee, loved your fear of coming to East Anglia. Hope you've managed to get away safely. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts, it will be nice to see you again. ;-D

Hi Muppet - great to see you and thanks so much for the well wishes. I'll be popping back over for a visit sometime soon, when I get some dedicated surf time back...one thing I'm missing at the moment. ;-D

Hi Kristen - Thank you so much for popping by and for your kind wishes and for your spirit in getting involved in it all. ;-D

Hi Rubes - well what can I say. Perhaps we should send a huge thank you to Mr Pamplin, for him suggesting that I visited your blog in the first place. Then again, perhaps it should all come down to Mr A....If he hadn't got his job and we hadn't moved to Bury St Edmunds, and I hadn't relaunched LETS and hadn't advertised it on Freecycle I would never have got that email from Mr Pamplin suggesting I visited your blog...

Funny old world...but I'm glad you're in it ;-D

Hi Jo - I just want to rush up to Mansfield and celebrate with Stinky Simon. I bet he's not stinky any more though (BTW...for the benefit of others, I should clarify that we're talking about your bin and not Mr B). Thank you for being there all along and for having the courage to take part in my mad idea ;-D

Hi Baba - thank you for all your support and for standing by me on the Maggot front. Keep those funny questions coming, as I love to scratch my brain and work out from afar what you can do with your rubbish. ;-D

Hi Margaret - thanks for dropping in and for your lovely comments so far. It's been great to have you on the blog and I too am inspired with what you've done in your garden ;-D

Hi Anne - Thank you too for dropping by. It's funny it hasn't been long but it feels much longer. There have been many tears of happiness along the way before I wrote the thank yous. The hardest part was having written so many thank yous and then having to cut them out. I would have loved to thank Bryan who helped me get the laptop so cheaply and the BT guy who fixed up our Broadband as well as thank my sister for her frugality etc, but it started to look more like This is Your Life. Unfortunately my inner editor got to work, which was hard. Anyway thanks again for your support in such a short time, I really appreciate it. ;-D

Hi PolythenePam - Thank you and thank you too for recently alerting me to your very own challenge. Please continue to inspire with everything you do...because people do catch on to the sense of it all. ;-D

Phew...that's the speech over. I know things are going to get busy over here and I really do appreciate everyone's support and encouragement.

Thank you. I've got my own congratulations too. My lovely friend Tracey Smith, who has led the way in downshifting and sustainable living is launching her own book in September and I am hoping to catch up with the old bird next month. Mrs G did a great preview of it on her MyZeroWaste site today so please go and have a look. It's called The Book of Rubbish Ideas. I know it will be inspirational. If you scroll down the list of Garbloggers in my sidebar you'll find her new blog...

If Tracey should be looking in, thank you too for all your radio advice and your confidence in me all the way. You're a real star. Can't wait to have a gab and a good catch-up and in the meantime, good luck. ;-D

Sharon J said...

Oh wow! That's amazing! Book deals are really difficult to land so it's obvious you've impressed them. Not that I'm surprised - your blog is really informative and thought provoking. I could never have done what you've done!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Missus!

Thanks for your 'thanks' lolol... mwah, mwah and all that malarkey too.

You go get 'em girl - well done for sinking it all, your book is going to be brilliant....

I'm just signing your copy of my first edition (get me!) and I'll look forward to the same.

Don't need to send you luck dear chum, just crack those words out and inspire the nation.

Love and respect,

Tracey Smith

Author of 'The Book of Rubbish Ideas'

(and dead proud of it!)


Anonymous said...

amWooooop wooooop wooop!!!! So glad it's in the bag! Thanks for the mention - got a little tear in my eye!!! Hope you enjoy the writing experience and I will also look forward to a signed copy!!! Sounds like next year's Christmas is sorted! ;o) Love & Hugs Kate x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Sharon - thanks very much for your kind message, I really appreciate it. It has been a remarkable experience and I am just over the moon at the opportunity. ;-D

Hi Trace - my radio mentor and now my writing mentor. I am looking forward to my special copy of that lovely scrummy book. Of course you'll get the same. Pair of authors as we are. ;-D. Let our amazing adventure continue xxx

Hi Kate - I'll not let you get off without a pat on the back and a huge dose of credit. I even gave you a mention on Radio Suffolk today, on Lesley Dolphin's sofa. She did wonder whether all my questions made you scarper off to Norfolk. I'm just so glad to have been part of the adventure and will be forever grateful for your help and inspiration. I really can't wait to pass you a copy...you'll soon have a groaning bookshelf with Tracey's signed copy too. Better get on with all that work now ;-D x

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