Big excitement this week as my literary short story, How to Eat Fruit, is now published and you can find out more information here. You can also see the book trailer, which gives a good feel for the story, I think. I'm also very pleased that I've already had my first 5-star review from Sarah Black, who kindly calls it "a lovely, lyrical story". Thank you, Sarah. And an equally big thank you to Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads who is responsible for publishing it.
Still on the book front, I'm very pleased that A Stranger's Touch has received a 4-star review from Rainbow Reviews, and a 4-star review from Diane at Goodreads - thank you, both, for that. And another equal thank you for the 3-star review from Kassa, who's obviously taken a lot of time to think through the story, even though they found it puzzling. In some ways, I find I actually don't mind so much whether people like my work or not (many don't!) just as long as they think about it. Is that a sign I'm coming more to terms with what I do and where I want to go with it? Hell, who knows ...
Other hugely exciting news for me is that the lovely Penelope Cline has come up with yet another stonkingly good cover - this time for The Gifting. Needless to say, I'm utterly delighted with it and think Penelope is a total genius. Am hoping to self-publish this one in late spring or early summer, if nothing else more enticing turns up, so it's good to have something to look forward to for later in the year, hurrah! And thank you, Penelope - again.
Finally, on the writing front, I've uploaded another episode of The Prayer Seeker's Journal where Michael is beginning to take steps to further his religious quest. You also get a cunning picture of my local vicar here in Surrey and his rather nice and bookish house. Write what you know, eh ...
In my other world, Lord H and I have been to see not one, but two astonishingly good plays this week and I can thoroughly recommend them both to you. First up was a rather exciting offering from Alan Ayckbourn in his subtle, witty and very clever play, My Wonderful Day. Something of a slow-burn but oh yes it's worth it. The last half is a corker with a fantastic and beautifully paced ending. The actress who plays the 9-year old child is astonishingly good for a woman who's apparently 28 years old, and I had no problem believing her stage age. The gestures and awkwardness of a child are spot-on. I thought she was a young teenager. And, as a local review mentioned, she can convey whole sentences with her eyes. Fabulous. But panic not - it's not a child's play at all. Simply a very clever take on how adults can seem to children. I also loved the soon to be ex-wife. She was great. Maybe she could have come into the play earlier, but that's my only caveat.
We've also seen the deeply moving and sharply acted Hanging Hooke, a new play about lost 17th century genius, Robert Hooke. Bloody good acting, bloody good play. If you get even a quarter of a chance to catch it, go. You won't regret it. Actor Chris Barnes give a tour de force performance. It was a pleasure to see it.
Oh, and I at last have a second pair of glasses which work for seeing the computer, hurrah! So I can actually see what I'm typing - hell, that might make a difference to my future output indeed. And, okay, it means two pairs of glasses instead of one but if it means I can see to read and write and don't get headaches, then I'm laughing. Ho ho.
And today, Lord H has taken me out to a lovely lunch at The Squirrel in Hurtmore. A pub we love, so here's hoping it doesn't go downhill soon - as seems to happen to all of the pubs we've loved round here. The incredible excitement however was that also having lunch at a table a few down from us, with his young family, was actor and comedian Hugh Dennis. Well, gosh! Luckily Lord H didn't tell me till later on, otherwise I would have been hyperventilating and begging for an autograph all through the meal. I think he's amazing! Still, when I finally got to see him in the corner, I behaved with appropriate style and charm - ie I ignored him, giggled in a fan-girl manner and ran out of the pub, um, hyperventilating. God, but I'm cool. Not. Ah well.
This week's haiku:
Frost glitters the air
and the gardens are sifted
with snow. Bitterly.
Anne's website - always stylish in the face of stardom, as if ...
The Prayer Seeker's Journal - getting to grips with matters of faith, slowly