Action-packed day today. I typed up the last section of "The Gifting" from my scraps of paper - which is a great relief as I finally have Simon in the last main journey section of the novel - the water section. And he's almost in one piece too. So good for him. Haven't a bloody clue what he's going to do while he's there, but I'm hoping something will turn up. Water-monsters anyone? Hmm, maybe not. I'll have to wait and see.
And I've finished my edition of "Borderlines" poetry mag - loved the offerings from Andrew Mayne and Helen Burke - absolutely stunning poems. I do sooo love it when I can read a poem, expecting nothing or not very much, and suddenly everything about it makes my skin tingle and my toes dance. You're taken out of yourself and put somewhere else - somewhere totally exciting - in those circumstances and, believe me, it's bliss. And it's not really something fiction can ever do, no matter how wonderful. Anyway, most of the rest of the collection was just dull nature poetry, which always makes me yawn. And it's a shame that they put "breast" instead of "breasts" in my own poem, "Silken", thus giving my naked female character a rather Amazonian feel. Ah well, I tend to count myself lucky if people actually spell my name right, to be honest. Life's too short to kick up a fuss when the great gift of publication has been dropped into one's lap indeed.
Lovely to see also that "A Stranger's Table" is now on the Poetry Monthly Press (http://www.poetrymonthly.com) website in their bookshop (http://www.poetrymonthly.com/page11.html) - but again odd to see the misspelling of "novelist". Ah well, the wonderful Martin did get my name right though, so no complaints there! I'm told that it should get picked up by Amazon at some stage, so shall keep an eye out for that. And maybe "A Dangerous Man" will be on there on Amazon one day too? You never know your luck. And thank you to Irene (http://www.myspace.com/ireneblack) who has let me know that she has just received her copy of the novel and is apparently admiring my "fantastic" language and street cred. Gosh, thanks, Irene - there's two statements I'd never expected to hear bandied about with reference to me. Mind you, my language has always been fruity. But, really, I wouldn't know street cred if it hit me in the face one dark night behind the bike sheds. It's all Michael's doing.
This lunchtime, I played golf with Marian - we had a good round, which was unexpectedly empty of other golfers even in spite of this week being half-term. Sad news about her father though, who died two weeks ago and was buried last week. Then again, he went quickly and he was 94 with a (still) very full and active life - so actually I think that's the best way to go. My own father was ill for years and died very young - only in his forties - so part of me envies Marian that she had hers for so long. Even so, not a good time for her and the family.
Tonight, I'm off to London to see Jane W (who, by the way, was the first person ever to read "A Dangerous Man" and gave me enough honest encouragement to continue beating away at publishers' doors, so I shall remain always grateful for that - thanks, Jane). We're going to visit the Gilbert & George exhibition at Tate Modern (http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/) as we both enjoy their stuff. Naturally, a few gin & tonics are called for, plus some food somewhere. But, also sadly, one of Jane's friends died a few weeks back - very suddenly, from a heart attack, and he was only 47 - so it's obviously a difficult month in terms of personal loss. This kind of thing always seems to happen in winter, and is shit. Honestly, the older I get, the more I think how fragile life is. Pack as much as possible in now is what I say. And, as I say to Lord H at every opportunity, keep exercising ...
Ooh, and well done to Nik Perring (http://nikperring.blogspot.com) for another rave review for his marvellous children's book, "I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?", and also to Roger Morris (http://rogersplog.blogspot.com) for more deservedly rave reviews for his historical crime novel, "A Gentle Axe". Well done, both!
Anyway, here are today's nice things:
1. Reading two utterly gripping poems
2. Getting Simon to the last leg of his journey (ye gods, I'll have to make him more sandwiches soon - the poor bugger will be running out ...)
3. Seeing Jane.