Got up early today to do a spot of last minute shopping in Godalming - and managed to find a couple of items to supplement Lord H's gift pile, so that was very pleasing. Even more pleasing is the fact that I've even remembered to wrap them - some years ago, I thought I was all done and dusted with Christmas preparations, until I came to about 11pm on Christmas Eve and realised that I hadn't yet wrapped anything. Sigh ... what a last-minute scrabble that was. Not to be repeated. This year, I am the Goddess of Preparation. I mean, ye gods, I have even remembered to removed the butter from the fridge just now so it won't be as hard as iron when I get to the stage of making my rum butter later this afternoon. Lordy, but I'm good. And yes, my rum butter is the best on the planet. No competition. It even beats my mother's hands-down, and she was the one who taught me. Ha! Not that I'm ever competitive of course ...
In the meantime, I've added another 1000 words to Hallsfoot's Battle and am just about getting to the final scenes of the Third Gathandrian legend. Phew. This astonishing feat of endurance brings me to the magic number of 70,000 words so I've treated myself to a mince pie to celebrate. Yes, I know - I'm totally out of control but, hey, it is Christmas.
And, talking of matters spiritual (of a sort), here's today's meditation poem:
Offer the best
of what you have:
red and purple wool,
spices, bronze, linen.
Still, what marks you
are the simplest of oils
and a handful of silver.
There's a lot of book news today as well, which is very heartening (is that even a word??). First off, the good people at the Kindle Forum have asked me to lead a book club focusing on Thorn in the Flesh as several of their members are reading and enjoying the eBook version. Naturally, I'm delighted to accept and indeed to be asked (thank you, Kindle People!) - so I believe this will take place sometime in the spring of 2009. Watch this space. Even better, buy your copy (either ebook or paperback) now via the web link in this paragraph and get ahead of the game when the excitement starts! You heard it here first.
I've also just seen that Maloney's Law has been nominated in the Gay Fiction category of the Lambda Awards. It's lovely to be up there with the likes of Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster, even though of course it's a nomination and not a shortlisting. Ah, a girl can dream, eh. I don't think I'll be chosen, but it's nice to be amongst the greats if only for a while.
Keeping on the subject of Maloney, I'm also thrilled to see that Ann Somerville from the Uniquely Pleasurable review site has given an honourable mention to Maloney's Law in her 2008 Book of the Year list. You need to scroll down to get to her choice, but she says something hugely special about the book which made me get quite emotional (a rare event indeed) so it's worth the scrolling. And thank you, Ann.
Still on the subject of reviews, and not forgetting A Dangerous Man, I was also ultra-chuffed to see that a reader called Loukie has given ADM a good review on the Goodreads site and says the following:
"This is a dark and powerful tale. I was drawn into Michael’s life and the all-consuming passion to express his vision in black and white drawings. Ms Brooke has a fluent style and her depiction of both lower and upper class London life is totally convincing. The tension builds and builds until it is impossible to put down the book. Not an easy story, but I heartily recommend this book for a meaty read, thought provoking, disturbing, very well written."
Thank you hugely, Loukie - that's very much appreciated. Disturbing is probably my middle name by now. Or is that Disturbed?...
So, I'm going into Christmas feeling very happy indeed. Well gosh. I have heat, hot water, some good book news and of course the wonderful Lord H to keep me on this side of sanity, so what more could I ask for the season? I hope you all have a lovely and peaceful break, and I shall see how we all got on and whether any of us have any mince pies left when I next blog at the weekend.
Happy holidays to all!
Today's nice things:
1. Getting all Lord H's presents and wrapping them (hurrah!)
2. Rum butter
3. Getting to 70,000 words in Hallsfoot
5. Thorn in the Flesh being included in the Kindle book club
6. The Lambda nomination for Maloney's Law
7. Maloney's Law getting an honourable mention in a Books of 2008 list
8. The good review for A Dangerous Man
9. Um, Christmas - there's good news in that somewhere, you know!
Anne's website - wishing you all a very happy Christmas