Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Paper planes and publishers

As one of Lord H’s Christmas presents, I excelled myself and bought him a block page-a-day calendar which when finished each day can be made into different types of paper plane. My, what fun he’s getting from it. Fun which is doubled when you realise that the office also bought him a similar paper plane calendar (what does this say about Lord H??), so he gets the chance to make and play with not one, but two planes a day. Different ones as well. Hurrah! It’s giving him hours of pleasure, and actually I quite like them too. So the long winter evenings in the Lord H & Brooke household are simply flying by, m’dear (pun intended) … But where the heck are we going to keep them all?

Today I’ve been staring at the screen at work, feeling glad beyond belief that there’s not much on so far – as I am laid low by women’s troubles again (of the more regular variety this time). Goodness me, life is indeed a veritable medley of song. Or it would be if I wasn’t feeling like a used-up sponge that’s been through several traumas without appropriate counselling or a convenient source of chocolate. Still, thank goodness for hot water bottles and Deep Heat cream. Two items made entirely for women, I’m sure.

Heck, I had to wake myself up by thinking about holidays. Lord H and I have – I think – decided against Sardinia after all, as it seems to have only one plane a week which goes from somewhere obscure like Luton at the dead of night. Does anyone actually know where Luton is? No, I thought not … Instead, we’re leaning towards Madeira at the moment, possibly via Jules Verne Voyages ( If it comes off, this will be one of the few times Lord H allows me to go on a holiday that doesn’t involve seeing eight museums and sixteen art galleries (at least) every day without the help of any lunch breaks – though he does sometimes allow me an ice cream at around 4pm if I’m lucky and if there’s time. In fact sometimes I think he has an evil and manically active twin who is switched at the last minute onto the plane so that the real Lord H actually stays at home doing what he likes best – playing Sim City on the computer and reading about theology. Hmm, that would also explain why he only ever drinks tea on holiday and at no other time. Either that or I am actually married to two husbands after all. The plot thickens …

And, talking of plots, I’m half-pondering on my closing scenes for “The Gifting” – maybe a nice battle, or at least a psychological one. That always ups the ante. How I love a big finish. After all, isn’t that what fantasy is all about? On the other hand, what do I know? As it’s my first fantasy novel, I’m writing blind here. Maybe I’ll give it a pink lizard and a time-travelling wife. That’ll slay 'em on the shelves. Might even start writing some of it (the end stuff, not the lizard – trust me …) tomorrow, depending on what mood I’m in and whether my sponge mentality has livened up a little. You never know. Not, I must add, that this means I have actually finished the darn book, nor indeed am I anywhere near – as I merrily dot around in whichever section I’m writing at any given time. Though I think that when I do finish, I might host an online non-launch party, on the assumption that I can look forward to the usual responses from the powers that be ...

In fact, maybe I’ll enclose my own set of reply slips with my submissions which publishers can use to save them the effort, comprising (a) We love it but it’s not marketable; (b) We love your character but hate your plot (c) We love your plot but hate your character (d) You are a straight woman, therefore you are not deemed suitable to write in this genre. (Tick whichever is applicable). And, yes, these are all replies I’ve received over the years, sometimes all in the same letter. And I’m not even mentioning the rejection I received for a novel I hadn’t written from an agent I hadn’t actually submitted to. Hey ho, I must be such a stalwart on everyone’s reject listings that they send me a “no” on an annual basis, just in case. Still, good to think that they know my name for something … Maybe, on second thoughts, I should produce a book of rejection replies (though no doubt it’s already been done …) – which would be a damn sight easier if I didn’t ritualistically spit at said replies, tear them up into unhealthily small pieces and mutter pre-Christian curses in their direction whenever they turn up. There’s a lot to be said for routine.

Which brings me to another problem. Why aren’t I writing any poetry except my weekly haiku at the moment? I had something of a surge just before Christmas, but now the patterning muse seems to have deserted me for warmer lands. Perhaps it’s true that poetry is only for the summer. In which case, there’s no ruddy hope for me at all, as I don’t think we’ve had a summer in the UK for about a decade or so. Ah well. Maybe I’ll write something about booking a holiday, or Lord H’s strange tea habits. We’ll see.

Today’s nice things:

1. Paper plane folding
2. Holiday thoughts
3. Novel plotting.

Anne Brooke


Anonymous said...

I think you should change tack completely Anne and write a poem about Toblerone!

Holiday booking sounds a damn fine idea.

I had such an exciting day today I had to be dragged out of the office by the cleaners - not.

I have almost finished the project with hubbie and am now itching to get at the Big Idea.

I've got my note book in my bag for when I am at work at lunchtimes or I shall slip off and pretend to do the filing!

Sue xx

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, no - the toblerone poem is definitely yours, Sue!! And holiday booked as of now - hurrah!



Jackie Luben said...

Excellent Anne. Always good to have sunshine to look forward to. And how organised too. I don't even think of booking till I realise May is nearly here.