When 20,000 people were getting all excited about receiving emails to become a 'giver' for World Book Night, I was bitterly disappointed. I hadn't received an email with the good news. After a sleepless night and disappointment again in the morning, I decided to have a look at Twitter. I found the previous nights tweets from Julia Kingsford, Chief Executive of World Book Night, who tweeted how stressful it had been organising 20,000 emails but she added, it didn't matter because now 20,000 people were happy.
Any chance you could make that 20,001?I tweeted, not for one moment expecting a reply, after all it was a Sunday. Imagine my surprise when not only did I get a tweet but was told, 'You are a giver'. I'd entered the wrong email and so my email had bounced back. I apologised for adding to the stress but Julia, was very kind and told me no worries. So, I was, officially, a World Book Night Giver, 23rd April, but because my email was lost in the great big Internet in the sky, I didn't know what book I would be giving away to local homeless and kids in care. But, I hoped it would my first choice, Jeanette Winterson's: Why be happy when you could be normal?
There is a stigma attached to being homeless or being a kid in care and this book is filled with sparkling anecdotes about Winterson's own experiences of being adopted (Josie O Pearse, has written that adoptees are still 'in care' albeit living with parents and possibly siblings that are not their blood relatives) and homeless. Just reading about somebody else's experiences can really help, so that you don't feel quite so alone. Somebody, out there, somewhere, had shit happen and I won't use the word survived as that is inadequate, but Winterson saved the golden seeds, planted them, and now those flowers can be seen by thousands of others as they gently weave their scent of happiness throughout the world.