Thursday, May 24, 2007

Counselling and competitions

Got into town early today and posted the first completed version of The Gifting, plus synopsis (hurrah! hurrah!) to The Literary Consultancy (, where it can fester away for a while waiting for a report to be done. It's such a relief to get it away onto the next part of its journey. Which is ironic really, as Simon does a great deal of journeying of his own.

Also good to get back into counselling with Kunu - who unfortunately has broken her wrist whilst on holiday and will have to have it in plaster for six weeks. At least it was the end of the hols rather than the beginning though - but it just goes to show that holidays are dangerous places ... Anyway, this week, we talked about my family and childhood stuff - which seemed fitting bearing in mind my cousin's mealy-mouthed email last Sunday. Bah we say to him (still), bah! It struck me (indeed, I think it struck us both) that I've probably spent the first twenty years of my life trying to fit in with what the family wanted and hiding as much as possible so they couldn't find me out. Not a great scenario for much development as an individual there then ... And, since leaving home, I've spent the last twenty years trying to work out who I actually am. So I'm probably up to the teenage years round about now then - all over again, dammit! And also I don't think church has helped much - it's just another traditional environment I can try to conform to and hide in. Hmm, so that one didn't work that well either. So here I am now, putting myself firmly outside the bosom of the family and the all-encompassing arms of the church, feeling the wind whistling through the gaps (wherever they may be), but thinking like I might know myself a little better for the first time in ... well ... forever. Hey, it may be chilly here in the twilight zone, but the view's nice. There's still just enough light to see it by ...

Well, I always did say that Kunu was a woman who relished a challenge.

Anyway, on the way home, I popped into see Gladys, who's looking perky but has obviously forgotten everything I told her two weeks ago about leaving church. Ah well, at least she remembered for a while. And she's enjoying the new poetry book her niece has just bought her - Matthew Arnold, which brought back some happy memories for me. Gladys does love her poetry. I left when the Meals-on-Wheels lady turned up - but not without making a brave attempt (thwarted cunningly by Gladys) to steal the food to save me making lunch. Ah, foiled again, eh ...

At home, I've prepared my monthly poetry competition entries and also a submission to the next poetry magazine on my list. I'll get them posted tomorrow, so expect the rejection back by COP Saturday. Knowing my luck! And I've fleshed out the outline for The Bones of Summer - bloody hell! I've done an outline without starting the novel first. That's a first for sure! The change in writing practice is just too much for me and I shall have to go and have a lie-down soon.

Tonight, Lord H and I are at the theatre, seeing Priestley's "Dangerous Corner". We can't be arsed to cook so we're eating there - I've ordered smoked salmon, which is my utter favourite. Honestly, I could eat smoked salmon every day and never have enough.

And I've just finished reading Joanne Harris' "The Lollipop Shoes", which is a sequel to the adorable "Chocolat". Hmm. Have to say I was sorely disappointed with it - the beginning and ending were good (though the ending was rather cliched), but the middle needed the stern hand of an experienced editor to cut the flab. It really could have done with being slashed by a quarter. And, to be honest, I had real trouble differentiating the voices of the three main (female) characters - I kept having to go back and work out who on earth was speaking, which was tremendously irritating. I'm actually really sorry to have to write all this, as I count Harris as one of the best novelists of this generation, so I hope she's back on form for her next one ... In the meantime, if you haven't read any, I recommend "Five Quarters of the Orange" (her absolute best, in my opinion) or "Gentlemen and Players".

Today's nice things:

1. Counselling
2. Sorting out my writing admin
3. The theatre.

Anne Brooke

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