Sunday, May 19, 2013

Glyndebourne and gardens

Book News:

I've finally given up hope of pesky Eternal Press/Damnation Press ever stirring themselves to give me back the rights to literary gay short story Painting from Life. So I've republished it myself with a lovely new cover (which is far better than their one, bitch bitch ...) on the Kindle.

Here's the blurb:

Painting from Life is a short story about an artist who discovers that his muse is not at all what he expected. Indeed, love is never what you think. When a painter goes beyond the degree of intimacy that provides the connection between him and the older man who is his newly-discovered muse, he is forced to undergo a re-evaluation of the true meaning of love.

There are a couple of reviews about the story you might find interesting:

“This short story is haunting, intense, and unlikely. At just about 15 pages, the author has delivered a stunningly gripping story about an artist and his obsessions ... the artist slowly and inevitably becomes the sole caretaker of an older man, Peter, while using the man as a model for his work that is only now gaining success. The author manages to use just a few words and descriptive phrases to convey intensity and emotion that is clearly felt ... The implications and subtle meaning go far beyond the obvious and continue to resonate well after the short story is done. Crisp, vivid prose works incredibly well with vibrant characters all uninhibited by the short length. For those that enjoy a fabulous short story that truly makes you think and leaves you wondering well after it’s done, I highly suggest Painting from Life. The themes of art, death, obsession, love, selfishness, and need are all played out beautifully in this complex and complicated story.” (Manic Readers)


"More emotions are evoked in this short, haunting story than many longer works I’ve read in recent months. It gets classified as a love story, or a GLBT piece in many places I’ve seen it discussed, but I’m reluctant to so easily define it. The relationship between the painter and Peter, the elderly man, isn’t nearly that cut and dry ... Nothing sexual ever occurs, but the narrator finds energy and passion in his work with Peter as he never has before. Peter, in turn, cannot bring himself to characterize their relationship as anything familial ... The give and take between the two satisfies needs in both of them ... The complexity of the relationships is served amazingly well by the lyrical, edgy prose. It offers just the right amount of clear, original detail to paint a picture with words, without getting excessive or too artsy, and intrigues me into pursuing more of the author’s work. Strong, original voices are like gold. This one pays off.” (Book Utopia Reviews)

If you fancy a short intense read, then do feel free to pick up a copy at Amazon UK or Amazon US. Many thanks indeed!

Other nice book news this week is that gay paranormal story Martin and The Wolf gained a review at ARe Cafe, which I'd not noticed before. They say:

"Martin and The Wolf by Anne Brooke is a gracefully written paranormal novelette that takes a fresh perspective on the werewolf legend … The story's appeal lies in those fascinating disconnects where Lucas's aggressive wolf personality causes him to stand out from the camouflage of his courteous but reserved British countrymen. Even better is the first-person narrator Martin's puzzled but unflappable acceptance of Lucas." 

Gay comedy Tommy's Blind Date gained a 4-star review at Goodreads, and another gay comedy, Who Moved My Holepunch?, was reviewed at Top 2 Bottom Reviews, who say:

"Who Moved My Holepunch? is an easy, fast paced story with fun characters and a good story line … Read the book! Recommended."

Many thanks indeed to all readers and reviewers who take the time to publish your comments - I'm very grateful, that's for sure.

Life News:

I've given up with my new village dentist rather, and this week went for a second opinion concerning my recurring toothache (really, my dears, crying at the dining table because eating is just so ruddy painful is not a healthy state of affairs, no matter how many times the first dentist said I needed to "let it settle down", ho hum). The Godalming dentist seems very nice and much more willing to actually take the pain away, rather than give me more, well gosh. Anyway, I'm now on a week's supply of strong antibiotics and I have to say it's truly amazing to have a mouth that's almost pain-free. It's like a minor miracle, I can tell you. I just hope it lasts once the drugs stop on Tuesday ...

This weekend, K and I have done a lot in the garden, planting at the back to fill in the current gaps we have there. So the sunflowers, zinnias, sweet williams, snapdragons, fuchsias, to name but a few, have all gone somewhere, and we've potted on the dahlias as well. There's more to be planted, but we need to wait for the late bluebells to die off before we plant on top of them. I don't want to rip out the bluebells just yet as they're all doing so well. The garden is really starting to come alive with flowers - oh and the early rhododendron is beginning to bloom, and the azalea is all but out, hurrah.

This week's cake is the one held over from last weekend when I was too ill to bake. So it's an Orange and Almond cake, and very nice it is too.

Last night, K and I attended the first night of Glyndebourne and had a very good time indeed. Ariadne auf Naxos was very well done, though it's an opera I suspect you only really need to see once, and was about ten minutes to long in reaching the very nice and well thought-out ending. Still, a good time was certainly had by all, as they say. Plus I have to say how utterly stunning the Glyndebourne tulips are looking. I don't recall ever seeing them before as they've usually been over by the time the opera season starts, but honestly they're just amazing. I particularly loved the raspberry-ripple type tulips, and the beds of yellow and dark mauve ones, as well as the combinations of pink and white mixtures. A feast for the eyes indeed.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

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