Stepping it Up

12 Nov

Whoop whoop!  I am about to begin the next stage of my adventure.

In less that a week I shall be jetting off to Peru.  The plan (Plan A of probably several) is to spend three nights exploring the capital Lima before heading up the coast to the second/third largest city that is Trujillo.

I have been warned to watch out for and avoid the hoards of pickpockets and bag snatchers who will be waiting for me in the arrivals hall, I have totally confused myself about which cab, bus or colectivo is the safest way to travel to my hostel and, oh dear, that reminds me, I don’t have a hostel booked yet either.

Havana

Havana

When I wake up in a cold sweat at three am I have to remember that I negotiated Havana by myself, and I call up images on Google to remind myself that Lima is quite the cosmopolitan city, not some Dickensian slum, albeit with a tendency for gatherings of riot police.  I have decided to stop reading the guide books for now and just see for myself.

I have spent the last five weeks catching up with friends and family, sorting out mundane yet vital things such as backpackers insurance and I have had a lost filling replaced at the dentist.  There are still a myriad of jobs to complete before I depart but I am not quite so stressed about them now.

I shall be spending my first three months in Peru working as a volunteer for an NGO (non-governmental organisation/charity), and then after that: who knows!  Plan A (still) is to visit Machu Picchu, go see Lake Titicaca (that one is for my mum) and then explore South America whilst blogging and hopefully picking up travel writing commissions.

I need to write.  I can’t think of any worst punishment that not being allowed to write, other than not being permitted to read. In my old life I had written sixty thousand words towards my novel and countless short stories and articles, most of which were shoved in the back of a drawer but since I have started out on my journey with Scarlet, I have become more focused.

Last weekend I accompanied my friend – herself a published author – to the Festival of Romance Book Festival.  We stayed at a great Bed & Breakfast with a lovely host who cooked possibly the best full English that I have ever had in the Bedford Park Hotel, and I had some time to explore the market town of Bedford.  I have never written romance in my life, but I was totally blown away by the people that I met and the camaraderie and support amongst the group of writers and readers.  There was nobody at the event who underestimated the dedication and hard slog that it takes to get your words out there.  After the awards ceremony I met some of the winners of the new talent awards who are about to realise their dreams and who have been awarded publishing deals.  I saw agents and publishers supporting their prodigies and engaged with the whole host of writers who were networking and supporting each other.  People described themselves in various ways; authors, writers, hybrid authors, self-published, bloggers or readers, to name just a few titles which were bandied around.  When I talked to people I struggled to describe myself as I am just setting out on this journey, but then somebody else summed it up perfectly.

She described herself as a ‘new writer – not yet published’ – a description which I am more than happy to adopt.  And I blog – therefore I am a blogger.

My small following at the moment is a side-effect of police advice which was to keep a low profile on social media sites (if some of the police have their way, I would not use ANY form of social media), but after meeting so many fabulous writers who are following their dreams, and more importantly, actually seemed interested in mine, I have decided to ignore the police advice and go for it.

I may be opening myself up to future problems because despite my blocking ArseWipe (my ex) from Twitter he can still read my posts; but I need to balance that against my ambitions.  How can it be right for the police to suggest that I should not follow my preferred career path, rather than preventing  somebody who has a police record and a criminal conviction for harassment from bothering me?

I shall go to Peru and I shall raise the profile of my alter-ego Scarlet Jones by reinstating my Twitter and Facebook sites.  I will  prioritise my ideas for my fledgling online business and I will challenge the police and the law to protect me rather than ducking out of their responsibilities.  Attending the Festival has given me a timely nudge and it has reminded me why I resigned from my job, gave up my flat and left my life as I knew it

South American posts will take priority and I will update them frequently, sliding my European Adventure posts in amongst them.  I had been posting retrospectively (in an attempt to create a smoke screen around my whereabouts), but that needs to change and posts need to be more immediate.  Just in the last twenty four hours a senior police officer has contacted me and has advised me that he is going to investigate the incorrect information that I had previously been given.  I appreciate that the law relating to cyber crime can barely keep up with the advances in the new technologies, but that is not my problem.

So bear with me whilst I rebuild and launch Scarlet’s public face.

I am a new writer, not yet published and a travel blogger just setting out on the journey of a lifetime

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4 Responses to “Stepping it Up”

  1. Carol November 13, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Sending best wishes to you. I so enjoy reading your blogs looking forward to the next stage of your travels so exciting ! :))
    Carol Crawford

  2. Ali Powis November 13, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Can’t wait for the next post. So exciting

  3. Concha November 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    About bloody time girl! Your writing is wonderful and no one should stop you from what you want to do, go for it. XXXXXXX

  4. Terri Nixon November 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Whoohooo! Fabulous sense of building excitement here, and such determination and belief in your plans it shines through every word. I can’t tell you how pleased I am you’re going to stick two (possibly metaphorical, probably not!) fingers up to Arsewipe and the police, and bring your work out into daylight where it can be enjoyed by your friends, and devoured by those who turn to you for help and experience.

    Mega-glad you enjoyed the weekend! Your help was invaluable, and if you’re around the UK this time next year I’d love to do it again!

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