...what it might be like to be a young black mother in the white / male dominated fiefdom of the UK capital of the North in the 1980s / 90s?
I may be able to tell you.
In yet another departure from my global apocalypse ramblings, I have done battle with my IT demons and produced my first straight-to-e-book book in a literary experiment that cost me at least half a dozen more grey hairs.
Albeit that I piddled about with the text post proof-read, introducing new typos AND that the process of uploading the damn thing – which should have taken 20 minutes - took me three days.... it is done. And it is available. And here is the obligatory blurb.
‘Maybe I’m not a Pigeon !’
(My Lives & Me in Ten Houses)
by Amanda Baker
In 1988 the capital of the North elected its first black woman councillor. Now, after a stint in law (without much order) she has produced this genre bending, humorous, sortofanautobiography. Bizarre memoirs wrestle for space with amusing anecdotes. Painful revelations, apocalyptic short stories, satirical blog posts, flash fiction and other extracts from her published writing are marshalled to serve up this appetizing offering.
You may get dizzy as you ricochet from a creepy encounter with pre PM Tony Blair wearing can-you-really-walk-in-those tight trousers to a near death toilet experience. Hang on as you are flung from hitchhiking with a ginger tom cat on a lead, to accidentally becoming a stand up comedian via child~prefers~pear~to~Nelson~Mandela shame.
There is love, loss, and a house renovation that makes Grand Design look like a Lego project, finally splat landing in the congealed spaghetti of the fostering process. All in an off the map literary mashup from this mixed-race, mixed up, Brown Girl Outside the Ring.
“...it was the shape of things to come. I’d been elected to Newcastle City Council despite having no political aspiration. In the future I was to be a finalist in a national BBC sitcom writing competition despite not owning a television, a quarter-finalist and finalist in two separate national Stand-Up-Comedy competitions, despite not being a comedian. In 2014 I voted SNP in the referendum even though I am neither a Nationalist nor a Scot.
The thing is never to let logic get in the way of the unexplored path...”