Spent the morning doing my monthly round of writing competition entries - mainly poetry this time. Mental note: must write more poetry. I'm so busy thinking of prose stuff that I may soon entirely forget the knack of leaving a blank space at the end of a line. Also edited the first four chapters of David Caldo's "A Florentine Masque". A very sensuous (you can almost smell the sweat) historical novel, but I'm still not sure about the lighter tone of the third chapter. Have tried to make it darker but at this point it's up to the author of course ...
Lunch in Godalming with Jean, a poetry friend. It's good to talk about real stuff, and she's one of the people I can do that with. She doesn't take the comic guff I defend myself with most of the time as worth her time, so I have to be more real than usual - scary but somehow liberating. It certainly makes me think. Afterwards, visited Gladys from church, who seemed particularly frail today. God help me, but I don't want to be old in that way. It makes me feel so vulnerable. Sad too.
This afternoon, I have attempted to book my sessions for the upcoming Writers' conference (http://www.writersconference.co.uk) but I'm not sure if my email worked. One can only hope. There are some good sessions there, on both poetry and prose, but no one-to-ones I like the look of, so I won't bother with them this year. My agent (http://www.sff.net/people/john-jarrold/about.html) is also going to the conference, so I have booked one of his sessions too - it will be nice actually to meet the guy at last. It's rather disappointing that I haven't met him yet, especially as he did promise me lunch last August, but I have to admit I'm not one of his high-earning clients. Hmm. Hope he recognises my name ... Now there are the Writers' Conference competitions to enter - it's a shame they're just so damn expensive. The entry fee seems ridiculous to me.
Have also - at last! - managed to book tea in London at Brown's Hotel for the Durham crowd on 17 June. Being the social secretary for that gang is just so bloody exhausting. It had better be a decent tea - not like Fortnum & Mason's! Still, it'll be nice to have an (almost) joint birthday and publication celebration with them.
Have just finished reading Patrick Gale's "Friendly Fire" - a fantastic novel. Slow start, I admit, but once you're into the heart of it, it 's a rivetting page turner. Much more focused and poignant than others of his novels I've read, though I do tend to enjoy his stuff.
Tonight, Lord H and I are out at the theatre in Guildford - "Losing Louis". Hope it's good. It'll be nice to sit still and not to have to do anything for a couple of hours. This week off has been completely shattering, and May and June are going to be a hell of a lot busier too. I must be missing my afternoon nap indeed.
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