Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rain, writing and reviews

Lordy, lordy, more rain. How I love these early UK winters we’re having. Have been forced to wear my fingerless gloves and scarf at work today, plus put my little owl-shaped desk heater on. I’m beginning to feel like something sad from a minor Dickens novel. If there are any minor Dickens novels …

It was a voyage of discovery getting into the office today – the builders who are taking over the campus have moved all their wire fences so that the stairs between the car park and where I work are totally shut off. Which meant I had to rootle around at the back of the café block and attract the attention of a passing cleaner who was able to let me in the back way. As it were. All of us had the same problem, and we’ve all found a different route round it – honestly, they should give us a ruddy medal. People forget about our little office when they plan stuff like this – I’m sure nobody knows we’re here at all. In the past, we have actually been completely locked in one winter day and had to call Security to let us out. My, how they laughed.

Anyway, we’ve had an office delivery of new first aid boxes for the residences wardens, which has caused much excitement here. Perhaps we should get out more? If only it weren’t so wet. Anyway, the boxes are a lovely shade of green and are very soothing, so it’s cheered us all up. Even without the need for the contents.

Ooh and Sharon from MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/aonia) has given a very generous-hearted review to A Dangerous Man on her blog today, which can be found here:


Thank you, Sharon! I’m really glad you enjoyed the read. And, as I said in reply to your blog, I certainly think your Dean from Snow Angel and my Michael would make an interesting pair of protagonists. Now there’s a scary thought!!...

Managed to get the last major chapter of The Gifting under wraps. Hurrah! Now I’ve only got the final closing scenes to go. Plus the one extra scene I need to put in earlier in the book, and a whole lot of editing to do, and I’ll be laughing. Phew. It is beginning to feel good even to have got to this point. Lord alone knows whether (a) my agent will like it or (b) even if he does, whether any publisher will take it (seeing as I am of course invisible to them all), but I think I’ve done the best I can with it. Anyway, we’ll see.

Oh, and I’ve done a piece of flash fiction for the Writewords (http://www.writewords.org.uk) Flash Fiction II challenge – which was for a piece of writing of not more than 500 words set in a zoo, where a character has a life-changing experience in under five minutes. This is my attempt:

Over in five

Minute One:
I enter the zoo gates with my son. Should have taken him to the match this afternoon, but couldn’t get the tickets. Left it too late as usual. That’s what Amanda always says. Maybe she’s right. So the zoo this time and not the footie. Never mind. Amanda will be pleased it’s educational. Once she finds out. She was in a rush this morning when I picked Danny up. Couldn’t seem to get rid of us both fast enough. I was hoping to have a chat with her, maybe see if we can go out one evening this week. After all, we’re not divorced yet. There’s still time.

Minute Two:
I’ve forgotten the smell of zoos. Or how expensive they are. Should have just taken Danny to McDonald’s. Though I suppose the smell’s the same. Only difference is one meat’s dead and the other’s alive. As far as I can tell. Though with some of these animals, I’m not so sure. Danny’s enjoying it though – look at the expression on his face. At times like these, being a father’s the greatest. Only wish we were a family again. What? Yeah, sure you can have an ice-cream, love. Just the one though – don’t want to spoil your lunch.

Minute Three:
Wonder if I can think up a decent excuse to ring Amanda? Sometimes I just want to hear her voice. If I say something light about Danny, she can’t get cross. I’m trying my best after all. What? Yeah, the tigers are great. I haven’t seen one before either. Well, not for a long time. That’s right. Like cats but scarier. We’re not frightened though, are we? No, mate, I thought not. You and me, we’re two of a kind. Hey, I’m just going to give your mum a quick call. Let her know where we are. Hold onto my hand and I’ll see if she answers. What’s that? I …

Minute Four:
… Weird. I recognise that ring-tone. Sounds like your mother’s, Danny. That’s funny, isn’t it? And at the same time as I was ringing too. Hey, I wonder if she’s here. Is this where she was rushing off to this morning? Did she tell you? No? Never mind, she might have come here for a day out herself – after all, she thought we were due for the footie, but I never got to tell her. Let’s see if we can see her. She can’t be too far away.

Minute Five:
At first, I don’t know it’s her. There’s a woman. Long fair hair. Maroon raincoat. She’s in the queue for the ice-cream van. Not just waiting either. She’s kissing someone. Someone tall and slim. Wearing a Burberry jacket. Danny’s fingers are cool in my palm and I cling to them tightly. Her phone’s ringing but she’s too engrossed to answer it. My skin feels cold and everything changes. Come on, Danny, I whisper. Let’s look at the tigers again.


Oh, and during my lunchtime walk around the campus, I see the builders have completely blocked everything off again, so I will have to wait for a passing cleaner, no doubt, before I can escape for the evening. Sigh.

Tonight (if I get home at all …), Lord H & I have an evening in. Bliss. And the second part of “Holby Blue” is on. I loved Part One, which I saw on the video last night whilst doing the ironing (pause for huzzahs at build-up of Wife Points …), so will look forward to tonight’s offering very much. Great characters & great plots, with a good balance of tension and humour. What could be nicer?

Apart from the return of my website of course - thank you, UK Hosts - I'm back!!

Today’s nice things:

1. Sharon’s review
2. Getting near closure for The Gifting
3. Writing a piece of flash fiction.

Anne Brooke
http://www.annebrooke.com (yes, I exist!)

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