Was thrilled yesterday to get an email from an old school friend whom I haven't heard from for ages - it really made my evening, and my morning today indeed as she replied to my reply, hurrah! We're currently trying to make a date for catch-up, now we're both over our 2006-ish traumas (God, what a year that was ...), so hope I'll be able to see her soon. Not only that but the thrice-blessed woman has actually gone and ordered my books through Amazon - for which huge thanks indeed. This means that for the first time in a long time my Pink Champagne and Apple Juice (http://www.goldenford.co.uk) Amazon rating has gone up to 5 figures instead of the usual 6, and A Dangerous Man (http://www.flamebooks.com) and A Stranger's Table (http://www.poetrymonthly.com) have both received their first rating entirely. Doubt any of them will remain at the 5 figure marker for long though, but it's nice to see for today at least.
And talking of Amazon, Michael has received his first review!! A five-star one at that. My cup indeed runneth over. The link (but be warned - it does carry some spoilers so look away from the next paragraph now if you haven't read it yet!) is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Man-Anne-Brooke/dp/0954594568/ref=sr_1_4/202-0915331-5590251?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176304434&sr=8-4 and the actual text is:
“I read this book in two sittings. My first thoughts were God! I wish I felt as passionate about anything as Michael does about his art … 'Fingers, hand, pencil even thought are one ... as the glow burns ... explodes like a shock of water'. The whole time I was thinking this is how a writer feels, an artist feels … For me he became a man obsessed with his need to understand and to try to express the dichotomy existing within him. To understand how to make sense of existing in an alien external world full of darkness and acute, cutting edges so at odds with his gentler sensuous vulnerable interior life. Jack, the urbane, the sophisticated, symbolised all he aspired to. As I read on I felt this was the nub of the real tragedy, a man torn between two such potent desires and that there wasn't going to be an easy answer. But I was totally unprepared for the final part. This novel reaches the height of true tragedy. I couldn't bear for Michael to destroy the man he loved, the gentle, the sensuous, loving part of himself. I found it more grievous to bear than anything I've ever read, at least Othello was torn by motives of jealousy. But the final pages of ADM revealed the horrific dilemma of a young man programmed by his abusive background and in the last resort unable to escape it. I wept for Michael, I wept for the pity of it all. This is a far greater book than the much acclaimed 'Line of Beauty' which lacks the driving energy of your theme. It just has to do well.”
End of Spoiler Alert! And huge thanks to Megsl who gave me that review. I really appreciate it. I'm glad too that you think it's better than Line of Beauty - especially as that was a book I couldn't stand, even though it won the Booker. Lord knows why - a load of twaddle to my mind, and dull twaddle at that. And nothing at all like the 80s. Michael, bless him, wouldn't have got on with any of them.
The rest of my day has been spent scribbling more of the childhood escape scene in The Gifting. It's flowing a lot easier today - again, Lord knows why - and I'm feeling quite enthused about it. So much so that I suspect the scene will be longer than I anticipated at the outset and will take on something of its own life and length. Which is good news for me if that happens as really, m'dears, I don't have a fecking clue most of the ruddy time what I'm supposed to be doing. And also good news for Simon, as it's a key scene which unlocks much of what has happened. Again, I hope. But honestly who can tell? If bloody LOB won the bloody Booker, ye gods, none of us is safe from disappearing up our own arses. And, yes, you can quote me on that.
By the way, did I mention Michael got a five-star review on Amazon?
And I really must say how utterly marvellous last night's final episode of Life on Mars was. It had me gripped all the way through, and the ending was full of wonderful twists and turns which we just soooo right. The final scenes were perfect. In every sense. Which, as I mentioned to Laura on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/lauracwilkinson) earlier just goes to show that we have every right to kick the buggers who say that TV is not an art form into permanent touch. From last night's viewing (and indeed other programmes) it most certainly is. But, hell, I'm going to miss Sam & Gene and the gang. Pass me the ruddy tissues ...
Speaking of which, there's not a ruddy thing on TV tonight, as far as I can see, so I may have to watch a mindless video (an art form in its own right, surely) or scribble some more of the novel. We'll see.
Oh, and did I say that Michael got a five-star Amazon review? He's really so pleased.
Today's nice things:
1. Michael got a five-star ... hell, you can guess the rest
2. Hearing from my old schoolfriend
3. Having a day when the writing seemed to work - hurrah!