Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dictionary delights and a stroll in the sun

Woke up feeling somewhat calmer today, thank the Lord - maybe the happy pills are kicking in? A relief to us all, I'm sure. Have been further cheered also by the good news that The Oddville Press will be publishing my short story, Candy and Catharsis, in March, hurrah! I'm particularly pleased with that one as (a) it's my attempt at a literary comic short, which I've been told by "those in the know" is something that cannot be done, and (b) how can you not be pleased with a short story about one dictionary word's (Catharsis) overarching love for another (Candy) and his brave, dramatic, traumatic and ultimately peculiarly satisfying pursuit of the Word of His Dreams, aided and abetted by his close friend, Categorical Imperative (don't call me Imp)? All of which takes place in the magical mystical world of the New Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2004 edition. Oh, and I can guarantee you'll learn a few new C words on the journey (of the pleasant kind, of course - this is a high-class dictionary, after all ...). I certainly did. Bet you can't wait for that one, eh ...

Other good writing news is that my short story, Painting from Life, is scheduled for a May publication date by Eternal Press, where I'm concentrating on my more customary themes of art, obsession and the sinister. Always play to your strengths is what I say. After all, I'm probably the most sinister and obsessive woman in Godalming. If not Surrey.

Mind you, against all this excitement, the universe has not abandoned its sense of balance, as I've also had a 55-word fiction rejected by a publisher I thought might take it. Ah well. I might let that one be for a while - I seem to be doing better on the longer fiction after all.

Anyway, today Lord H has whisked me off for a calming and soothing walk at Polesden Lacey, which has been really wonderful. The sunshine and unexpected warmth has been glorious, the sky was a deep rich blue, the grounds were awash with snowdrops and crocuses and we even spotted our first bee and butterfly of the year. Astonishing really how February this year has given us our most vicious experience of winter and also the onset of spring. A month of two halves indeed. We also found that Polesden has been given something of a make-over and now has new toilets and a new restaurant. Being something of a toilet fetishist (a civilisation can be judged purely and simply on the state of its loos, to my mind), I naturally had to try them out. Three times. I was fairly impressed - particularly with the no-touch taps and the fact that one of the basins was lower than the rest to cater for small people or wheelchairs. The down side was that on my final visit I did get rather confused about where the exit was (well, I'm not good with directions, even when I've been to a place before ...) and ended up trying to exit the building by way of the disabled toilet. Which was especially annoying as a small group of women were watching me struggle - couldn't they have simply put me right and pointed at the way out?? No, too much to ask, I suppose - and probably more amusing to see if I worked it out at all. Sigh!

And while I'm in a more soothed frame of mind, here's this morning's meditation, which start off in gloomy fashion but is redeemed by a more tongue-in-cheek ending, I hope:

Meditation 75

Everything is seven times worse
than you thought it would be:

fevers blind you;
the rich land crumbles to dust;

your children are snatched by wolves;
great cities fall to nothing;

and the sound of a leaf on the wind
makes you run trembling away.

All in all,
it seems a lot of fuss

about a few false gods.

Tonight, there's not much on that we desperately want to watch, so Lord H and I are planning to make inroads into our DVD of the Love on a Branch Line series - not something I've seen before, but Lord H is keen and says it's weird and comic - so probably really rather us ...

Today's nice things (more than yesterday, thank the Lord ...!):

1. Short story acceptance
2. A publication date for Painting from Life
3. The National Trust (Gawd bless it ...)
4. Poetry
5. DVDs.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - trying not to swallow a whole dictionary, at least not all at once ...

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