We had a really, really fantastic time in Wales. The countryside was grand, the weather was mainly hot and sunny (except for one day), the hotel was wonderful, and the owners Ian and Alan made us feel completely at home. Not to mention Ian being an utterly superb chef. We'll definitely go back at some point, and I can't recommend it highly enough. I fell totally and utterly in love with this view too, which we came across mid-week:
Honestly, looking at it now is making me feel quite tearful as we're not there any more. It was so peaceful, we were the only ones around to enjoy it and I could have stayed much longer than we did. The birds were lovely too - new birds for this year (plus some lifetime firsts) were: red-breasted mergansers, wheatears, great black-backed gulls, ravens, choughs, puffins (hurrah - and really close up too!), fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots, bullfinches, razorbills (a wonderful bird and my new favourite), crossbills (amazing and probably my joint new favourite ...), redstarts, tree pipits, a wood warbler, and - last but not least - a rather large jellyfish. Astonishing really.
I also had the pleasure of reading V.B. Russell's new children's book, The Adventures of Granny Destross and CeeCee. A very enjoyable, imaginative and fun read which should suit children in the 8-10yrs old bracket (though I'm not an expert - but am guessing this as CeeCee is ten!). Definitely one for your young person's list.
Back now to the washing and ironing, and catching up on email correspondence too - what a lot of spam there's been this week, I see. Here's this morning's meditation:
There’s so much punishment
for sin deemed
to be sexual
that it’s astonishing
to find anyone left unharmed
over the earth,
write unknown words
and let the woman
While I've been away, there's also been good and very bad news on the literary front. The good news is this:
1. Two of my poems, Chicken-man and Dustward, appear in the inaugural edition of Apparatus Magazine and can be found here. Thanks so much for including them, Adam!
2. My interview about gay fiction and other matters appears here - and thank you so much to Margaret West for including it in her Author Spotlight series.
3. My biblical short story, A Small Betrayal, has been accepted by historical fiction magazine, Lacuna Journal, for their inaugural edition in October.
4. My flash fiction piece, Turning Point (which is actually based on real-life), has been accepted for publication in the University of Maine Ultra-Short Fiction competition anthology.
Always good to have something nice to look forward to indeed, though sadly I've been rather punched in the gut (well, it's exactly what it feels like) to discover that the small US publisher who had expressed strong interest in The Gifting has now ceased trading and didn't even have the courtesy to tell me. I found out yesterday by popping into their website and discovering the announcement. Honestly, I felt quite sick then and still feel totally winded by it now. The nagging headache and broken night's sleep hasn't helped either. If only I were back in glorious Wales and still ignorant about it, eh! I wish. Anyway, taking a deep and very shaky breath, I've sent the novel off again to my last port of call - and it will be the last, as I really can't take any more rejection of that particular book - and if they decide against it, then I'll self-publish and move on. In the meantime, I'm taking the happy pills and I've tried to cheer myself up by thinking of the publication date of The Bones of Summer this coming Monday and uploading the book trailer. Enjoy!
Today's nice things:
5. Poetry publication
7. Two acceptances
8. The Bones of Summer book trailer
Anne Brooke - somewhere between happy and sad - again!...