Monday, March 27, 2006

Student Care Services Steering Group

Rather a dull morning - managed to get the minutes of last week's Student Experience Group proofread and out for checking. Worked on the website and then it was the Student Care Services Steering Group over lunch. Having lunchtime meetings with no break really drains me. I can never get the energy levels up during the afternoon to get much of the minutes written up, although I did try. Thank goodness it's vacation time now and I can leave at 5pm, instead of 5.30. Somehow it makes all the difference.

At home, I had another review on "A Dangerous Man" from the YouWriteOn website ( - this time they enjoyed it but didn't find Michael, my main character, very attractive. Funny, but I find him fascinating and poignant. He's always been the strongest voice of them all in my head and, to be honest, I'm not changing him now. But I can see he - and indeed my writing - is an acquired taste. Also had a brief comment on my poem, "Still Life by Jo Baker", from the UK Authors website (, but it wasn't very helpful - just asking for a copy of the picture. It's not really turning out to be a real critique website, not in the same, useful way as the Writewords site ( is. Still, any comments are always happily received - as for all desperately needy authors.

And the edited version of Chapter Five of "Thorn in the Flesh" has turned up from the JBWB website ( - goodness, it's taking an age. I hope I can get it finalised by the summer but at this rate I'm not holding out much hope. All useful stuff, but they must be very busy over there, which doesn't help me much.

Have - thank the Lord! - finally finished the amazingly dull "The Crimson Petal and the White" by Michel Faber. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea why on earth everyone raves about it - or perhaps he just has a lot of literary contacts who owe him favours? To my mind, the first third of it is the only good thing and the rest is excrutiatingly meaningless and should have been cut by the first decent editor who saw it. I like the quirky authorial voice (the best thing about it) but it doesn't appear after the first few pages until the end, as far as I can tell. Then again, I was skipping vast chunks due to life being too short, having no interest in any of the character by then etc etc. I'd rather watch grass grow.

Anne Brooke

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