Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author of The Week and Daughter of The Year?

Book News:

Gosh, indeedy, but I appear to be in the running for Author of The Week over at Pants Off Reviews - which, you may remember, recently gave me a rather nice review for upcoming gay literary short story The Heart's Greater Silence. Well, if you like, you can even pay them a brief visit and vote for me - and many thanks if you do. Honestly, I'm blushing ... No, really.

I'm also pleased to see that gay erotic short story Dating the Delaneys is now finally up at Amazon US, and Amazon UK - and for a while it was even at Number 69 (no, please, say nothing, people!...) in the Amazon UK charts, so that was very heartening.

Meanwhile my Twitter ebook giveaway fortnight went quite well (it ended yesterday) and I had nearly 40 new followers and gave away about 20 ebooks, so I hope everyone enjoyed their reads. I know some did, as they were kind enough to comment - thank you! I'm planning another giveaway in February to coincide with the advertising campaign for fantasy novel The Gifting - so watch out for that one too. 2012 is the Year of the Giveaway, that's for sure.

Finally, I'm thrilled to announce that the final part of The Gathandrian Trilogy, The Executioner's Cane, has been accepted in advance by Bluewood Publishing (many thanks, Paulette and David), so I need to get the edits sorted out and submit it properly to them by the summer. Am very much looking forward to getting my teeth into that one, hurrah.

Here are the latest meditation poems for you:

Meditation 615
The ocean of blood
connecting a family
cannot be denied:

it’s a wild current
where strange feelings
dance or hide

and when the wind shifts,
the waters press down
in this overwhelming tide.

Meditation 616
The clash of great armies
swallows up the air
and is never silent.

Its echo sings
in the sky
and drifts

across the treetops,
tainting all ages
and people to come:

a memento of pain
when the fighting
is done.

Meditation 617
Perfection lies
not in the wanting
but the waiting

as the whole universe
from the brightest star
to the smallest

blade of grass
lies in grave

knowing one day soon
it will come
to pass.

Meditation 618
Out of the quiet shadows
into the full light
and noise of the day

you creep blinking,
with hands which stutter
for a safer way

and you know
the path is always forward
so you cannot stay.

Life News:

Great excitement once more on the garden front as our dogwood hedge has been delivered, so we'll need to plant that in over the weekend. I'm praying for sunshine then, as I no longer have a working brolly, alas. Not that a brolly would be useful when planting a hedge, but there you go, eh.

Yesterday's girly fun was finding one of my colleagues in automobile distress in the car park after work, as her battery was flat. Heck, I've been there so often that I had every sympathy (K and I still wake up screaming at the memory of the time the battery on our rickety old removal van died on the main roundabout linking the A12 to the M25. My, what joy that was ... though the mention on the Radio 4 traffic news was nice). Anyway, as I'm the only person on the planet who actually has jump leads in the back of her car, we managed to get it started though I admit we did have to Ring A Man to ask how to put the jump leads on. Yes, I hear you laughing, but probably not as loudly as the Security staff were as they watched us on the CCTV, hey ho ... Girl Power "R" Us, but only after we've powdered our noses.

And today we've had a recommended builder round to give us a quote on our loose tiles and guttering at the back of the house. Ah, what innocence there is in that statement. After getting to the top of a very tall ladder (me - please admire my courage at this point ...) and crawling round and over the roof (him), it is fairly obvious that the roof of our lovely new house is Not A Happy Place. The cement is disintegrating, hence the falling tiles and damaged guttering and, actually, none of the roof tiles are fixed to anything as a result and can be lifted off without any effort at all. Meanwhile at the front of the house, someone has done a veneer cementing job to fool the casual passerby (a category which, evidently, included our surveyor, sigh) and added chicken wire to keep the tiles on. Chicken wire! Whatever next?... There'll be no damn eggs from that, I fear. Ah, Carruthers, I foresee trouble ahead and a Very Big Bill (as it were - and please excuse appalling Use of Capitals, but really it's that kind of a day). Ah well, we  hadn't planned on having a holiday this year - and maybe best to make that two years. Groan.

Add to that a bit of a Tricky Moment with Mother (TMM for short) last week during our regular phone call and all is jolly interesting indeed in Elstead this week. Mother was telling me all about a woman she met on the bus into Colchester who visited her dying father every day at the hospital, come rain or shine, and then came out with the fatal thought (Note to people: never ever say this phrase or anything like it to anyone if you don't really want to know the answer ...): I don't think any of my children would ever do that for me, would they? Ah, Manipulation, you are indeed a dying art. My less than kind answer to this was: No, probably not, but isn't that what nurses are for? Hmm, I suspect I'm not in the running for Daughter of The Year this year, or any other year indeed ... Situation normal, then.

Finally, as I come from a family of both victims and survivors of this disease and am on the Hit List for testing when I reach 50 (always have something to look forward to, is what I say), I'd like to bring to your attention that this week is Bowel Cancer Awareness Week - so don't forget to get involved and save a life, maybe even your own, especially as it's one of the easiest cancers to cure if it's caught early enough. Keep well and keep going, as they say!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK


jason shaw said...

I think that's a jolly good advertising programme for you. 40 new followers in a week is darn good going. Impressed.

So is author of the week, I;ve voted by the way, as should everyone else reading this.

As for mother, well she asked the question, she got the honest answer. Never lie to mothers, that's my advice!

Anne Brooke said...

Well, everyone loves a freebie!! :)) And thank you for the vote! - you are now my Beach Boy of The Week, hurrah!! Though, actually, you always are.

And you're right - lying to mothers is a very dangerous game, yikes :))


Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Hi Anne - so sorry to hear about your roof. I wonder if you have a case for some comeback against the surveyor?

We had our whole roof re-done shortly after we moved in and my one bit of advise is to check that your roofing contractor has notified the local Council's Building Control IF you are putting either lighter or heavier tiles on the roof than you have at the moment.

Despite our requests to our contractor to do this he didn't and ploughed on regardless. Building Control then turned up 'after' the whole roof was done and failed it and said our roof supports weren't strong enough for the weight of the new tiles. This meant that a huge section of tiles had to be removed to get a very heavy beam put in (I really had to fight our contractor to do this as he didn't want to know!).I ranted until he did the work (and withheld part of his money) as without Building Control's certificate we would have had trouble selling the house in the future and our roof may have sagged.

This is a quote from a Council website that explains it better:

"If a roof is being recovered with a material substantially heavier or lighter than the original covering, an application is required. For example, where a roof was originally covered in natural slate and is being re-covered in either concrete tiles or artificial slate, an application is required."

Hope all goes well and it's only sections of the roof that need replacing. Failing that, may the scaffolding and roofing guys at least be up to 'diet coke man' standards :-)



Anne Brooke said...

Thanks so much, Sue - good advice indeed! The guy yesterday said the tiles were fine and didn't need replacing - it was just the cement and felt were damaged so he could redo the tiles, no problem.

Will keep an eye on the whole thing though for sure and am getting other quotes. Watch this space!!!

Love & hugs


Megan said...

Fabulous story news, Anne. You are as unstoppable as ever.
mothers - good luck xx

Anne Brooke said...

Ha, thanks, Megan! Now all I have to do is to persuade people to buy the trilogy ... :))

And HUGE well done on all your exciting news too - wonderful stuff!!


Val Kovalin said...

Hmmm, jump leads must be what we call battery cables. Before I dared to put them on, I'd have to Ring a Man, too, probably my long suffering husband. Those kind of things make me very nervous!

Anne Brooke said...

Yes, that would be them, Val! We did get nervous when they sparked but Husband said that was normal :)) At least we didn't scream!