Lord H and I got the year off to a suitably holy start by going to church for Epiphany today. Ah, the Epiphany hymns - you really can't beat them. Fantastic to sing Earth has Many a Noble City (the tune is in the link if you have that facility - so don't be startled!) once more - the perfect combination of literary focus and tune. It always gets me that one, and all the more so, sadly, in the current political climate. Anyway, after the service we chatted to Jenny, one of the priests, who was delighted to find out that I was hoping to double my church attendances this year to twice a month. She did suggest that I shouldn't overdo it though - we don't want God to get too much of a shock after all ...
Talking of matters spiritual (of a sort), here's this morning's meditation poem:
To create light:
out of almond blossom,
buds and petals
to catch the sun.
It will illuminate
each small death,
each small prayer.
For the rest of the day, I've been working on Hallsfoot's Battle and I now at least have Ralph back in the kitchen with the servants, attempting to formulate a plan. He's going to have to work hard to get into Jemelda's good books though, especially after the disaster he's made of most things (see The Gifting - should you ever get the chance - for that particular series of cock-ups ...) so far. And the Lammas Overlords are not known for their humility, so it's going to be a tough call. Still, it's at 73,000 words now, so we're getting there. Slowly, slowly.
I've also finished my short story about travel, and I'm thinking of working on a long short story about Moses' wife. Well, I have three or four longish Bible stories (or my interpretation of them, which so far includes secret lesbianism, poisonings and the odd murder or two) rattling around, so maybe it's about time some more joined them. We'll see.
And there's good news about my short story submissions. The Rose and Thorn Literary Ezine has accepted my story, A Lonely Place (a tale of a man in a lighthouse facing huge decisions about his life), for their Winter 2009 edition. Well, gosh, that's certainly good news to start the year with! And it comes with a small payment too, which is rare for me and very welcome indeed. Double gosh. Enthused by that unexpected success, I've sent out two more short stories and two more poetry selections, so we'll see how things go.
Late this afternoon, the ground floor neighbour knocked on our door to say that there was water running down his walls and please could we help. Naturally -and bearing in mind the amount of stress our various water disasters have caused both the neighbours recently - we inwardly groan and leap with the proverbial sinking hearts to the rescue. After much confusion, we discover that the middle neighbour's washing machine has gone horribly wrong so, as he's out, we've made it as good as possible and put down towels to mop up the flood. Lord H will leave him a note - but the Big Moment of Joy (and yes we do know how wrong admitting that actually is ...) comes when we realise that for the first time in many weeks (and CAPS are deliberate here) a domestic disaster is actually NOT OUR FAULT!! Triple gosh and golly. Whatever next? Oh Lordy, let's not ask ...
Tonight, I will be glued to the marvellous Larkrise to Candleford, and hoping to get a decent night's sleep before the horrors of the return to work tomorrow (groan) ...
This week's haiku (as we've seen so many of these birds in the last day or so) is:
We greet the new year
with goldfinches: something bright
in a dark winter.
Today's nice things:
1. Good hymns
2. Writing more to Hallsfoot
5. A short story success
6. Realising we are not always the Bringers of Domestic Disaster ...
Anne's website - celebrating unexpected success