Monday, July 31, 2006

Reflexology and editing

A fairly relaxed day today - with some very enjoyable moments. My editor for "A Dangerous Man", Sean Wood from Flame Books (, rang to say he'd nearly finished the editing process and would be sending the edited MS over to me by email over the next week or so. Which is good news! - it will be great to get my teeth into it again and sort the dang thing out. He says there's no major structural changes required (thank the Lord!), but he does want stylistic changes and a rewrite of Chapter One - which he's going to suggest things for. So I'll look forward to that during August. I feel very exciting about getting to grips with Michael, my main character, again. I've missed him.

Reflexology at lunchtime was wonderfully relaxing - but Sue, the therapist, is leaving to return to New Zealand at the end of August. I shall miss her - she's been lovely - but I can see it's a good career move etc, as she's setting up her own business out there and it's where she's from. There'll be a new therapist, Emily, taking over though - so all is not lost!

At home, I had a very enthusiastic email from one of Lord H's colleagues saying how much she'd enjoyed "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" - which added to the general joyfulness of the day no end! She's also an Essex girl - from Witham, a place I used to know very well. Also had an email from Writers' News magazine ( as they hope to do an article focusing on "A Dangerous Man" in October. What with that and the hoped for Writers' Forum magazine article, maybe autumn will be my season this year? Oh, and one of my poems, "Almost a cyclist", has been shortlisted in the King's Lynn Writers poetry competition. Riches abound today indeed - thank you, God!

Also, I've been hunting around trying to find somewhere to explore the spiritual side of life - as I'm getting very little out of church at the moment - and have come across an organisation who help people explore God and their spiritual journeys outside the normal church structures - - they seem okay and mainstream (in spite of being involved with the terrifying Greenbelt! - say no more, please ...) and are going to send me details of like-minded people in Surrey. It seems a step forward, but I'll see how it goes.

Today's three nice things (goodness, there've been so many...!):

1. Speaking to my editor
2. Writers' News wanting to base an article on my work
3. Lord H's colleague enjoying "Champers".

Anne Brooke

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Golf & lunch

A wonderfully lazy morning due to there being no church today - thank the Lord! I made the most of the lie-in. Got up late, sorted the car out, made a shopping list and watched an episode of "My Family" - always makes me laugh. I love Nick - no, I love them all. Goodness, the non-church-goers have all the luck - would that all my Sunday mornings could be like this!

Golf with Marian & Siegi - we all did very well today, I thought - though I was better off the tees than on the green. Isn't it always the case? The day when I'm brilliant everywhere on the course will be the day I know I'm in heaven. Lord H did particularly well, beating the lot of us, and so very nearly got a hole in one on the 9th - shame it only just missed the flag! Then a long, barbecue lunch at M & S's. Marvellous.

This evening, I plan to be very lazy - though I do have to ring Mother, do the morning's washing up and sort the rubbish out. Other than that, it's crap TV and bed. Bliss.

This week's haiku (as I'm soooo fed up with reading boring hospital poetry - get over it, people):

Give me no more rhymes
about hospitals and death -
take me to the air.

Today's three nice things:

1. Not going to church
2. Golf
3. The "My Family" DVD.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Amazon review and Flame news

Another very positive review on Amazon ( for "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" - thank you, Prospero! Much appreciated. It really cheered me up. Have spent most of the day doing more to "The Gifting" - it came a lot easier than yesterday, thank goodness, and I have even finished (I think!) the mountain scene, so am ready to move to the skies' episodes. I'll pause it there, until at least tomorrow - no point starting a new strand now. I feel less guilty about being on the computer at a weekend, as Lord H is out taking photographs. Hope he'll bring back a takeaway when he returns - which would be heaven ...

Oh, and Flame Books ( have contacted me about their publication of "A Dangerous Man" - apparently, Sean, my editor, is working on it, and should be in touch soon. It was so good to get the message, as I've been feeling twitchy about it, and wondering pathetically if I've been forgotten. I suppose it's hard to see it from the publishing point of view, as to them I imagine months flow by quickly, whereas to me, each minute without communication seems like a day. At least! Good to know I'm still in the system though. I'll have to learn publishing patience!

Was glued to a double bill of Star Trek on TV over lunchtime - bliss! And tonight it's the Sound of Music programme on finding a new Maria - the Surrey hills will no doubt be alive with the sound of music - and I'll certainly be singing along! Heck, it should have been me - I could have been a star!! But I grew too tall - oh damn, that's my ballet excuse. Ah well.

Today's three nice things:

1. Amazon review
2. The email from Flame
3. Star Trek x2!

Anne Brooke

Friday, July 28, 2006


My first back massage by Pip in her new company home today - a half-hour of bliss. Booked another for next week too - so Friday is becoming my chill-out zone. The half-hour seemed to whizz by and felt like only five minutes.

At home, I did my weekly review of work on the Bewrite ( site, the Writewords ( site and printed off a short story to review from the You Write On ( site. Ooh, and "Maloney's Law" is now Number Six in the YWO charts - it would be nice (with my competitive hat on) to get a little higher but I'm not holding out much hope! Also uploaded a new poem onto the Writewords site, and Joanie has (once again - thanks, Joanie!) been the first one to comment - a positive response, which is nice.

And struggled to squeeze out a few more words of "The Gifting" today - but, my goodness, it was an effort. I still have poor Simon on the mountain, and he's a bit to go yet before he moves on. It's too hot for him, and it's too hot for me.

Tonight, post-cleaning, I'm hoping to do more chilling-out but, in this weather, that most definitely isn't the operative word. Roll on the cooler weather.

Today's three nice things:

1. The back massage
2. The positive reponse to my poem
3. Finding some Vitamin E body oil at the shops, which I'm looking forward to using.

Anne Brooke

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ladies who lunch ... and golf

I haven't stopped once today. Lord H and I got rather hammered at the neighbour's last night, and I woke up at 4.45am ready to start the day - felt shattered later, and didn't drag myself out of bed till 8.30am, when Lord H was about to leave for work. Staggered around for a while, and then managed to get myself to Irene's on time for the Surrey Advertiser photographer to come and take photos of the three Goldenford authors ( - there's an article about us which apparently will be hitting the press sometime over the next two weeks.

Immediately after that, had lunch with a work friend who's now a temporary Lady of Leisure - she's off on a round-the-world trip in the autumn. Sounds like my idea of hell, but people should be allowed to fulfil their dreams - it ought to be law! During lunch we were mugged by wasps. They won. Then off to my weekly visit to Gladys - who's suffering from the heat and very confused. Then again, aren't we all? I didn't stay long, but I did manage to drop her birthday present on the table without her getting too stressed - she does hate fuss so. Mind you, as she's 90 next week, there ought to be a bit of bloody fuss. Hey, if it were me, I'd be telling the street and demanding jewellery and nubile young men (which probably means 70-year-olds ...)

To round off the day, golf with Marian. Hell, I was rocking - must be the hangover. Managed to get my best score ever! So I suspect I've peaked for the summer now, and should quit while I'm ahead. Ah, if only I had the sense.

And - joy! - someone I've been in contact with via the Independent Authors website ( has bought a copy of "The Hit List", and their cheque arrived today. A great shock - that one hasn't sold for a while ... Hope you enjoy it, Taff! But, to my mind, "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" is the better book.

Tonight I'm finishing off Lord H's theology typing and, if I can sneak it in, maybe I'll do the odd line of "The Gifting" too. You never know your luck.

Today's three nice things:

1. The Surrey Advertiser photographer (who recognised me from my poetry book launch two years ago - astonishing!)
2. Golf
3. Finishing the day still standing.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Counselling and neighbour

Phew. Another ruddy hot day. Managed to get as up to date as possible, and fiddled around with the work website a little. If only we didn't have to use Portal - it's such a pain.

Counselling with Zoe at lunchtime - I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find anything helpful to say as it's been too hot to think, but in the event I talked myself to a different place, which actually felt quite useful. I think I'm gradually realising the need to move away from old ways/habits of doing and thinking things - and the fact that I don't know how things will be is making me feel rather vulnerable. Actually I'm not sure what to feel as none of the old instinctual "buttons" are currently being pressed. It's an unfamiliar place, but I suspect I'll have to stay here for quite some time, rather than rushing through to the next point on the road. As a result, we decided to book in six more sessions to take me through to October, and also I'm going to mull over doing some more personal development type stuff. That feels like the right way to go at the moment - deeper, not further ahead.

This evening, it's dinner with the neighbour after drinks in the garden, so I'd better put my social head on. Hell, or maybe I'll just chill and let the other buggers do the talking. God, that would be good!

Three nice things of today:

1. Dave & Ruth at work saying how much they enjoyed "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" - thanks, guys!
2. Counselling
3. The cool bath I'm about to have.

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Writers and nutrition

Actually those two aren't specifically linked - though maybe they should be! Hell, we all need to eat. Didn't have a bad day at work today - sorted out those pesky minutes and had one or two other things which kept me going, so the hours sped by at an acceptable rate. Enjoyed the UniSWriters group at lunchtime - had so many manuscripts to look at that there was no time to do a writing game. And such a lot of good stuff too - it's a pleasure to be there. (And, as Chair, I'm always so bloody nervous beforehand, as I never know what to expect or whether they'll turn and rend me limb from limb ...)

At home, I did a quick spin through my emails, and then off to my nutrition/kinesiology appointment at 7pm ( - this time we looked at what the eyes can tell me (most interesting), and she also made up a special Bach flower remedy tincture for me, to see how I go over the next month. I'm doing well on food & drinking water apparently - hydration is all! Especially in this weather ... Have booked another session in 5 weeks' time and will be interested to see how I am at that point.

Too tired (and hot) to do much else when I got back. Did add a link to my website - Nik Perring's site (one of the Writewords - - authors) is now up there - - and his site looks good too - great stuff, Nik!

Three nice things of today:

1. Some positive comments on my Writewords interview
2. The way the day went generally
3. UniSWriters

Anne Brooke

Monday, July 24, 2006

Marrows and interviews

Felt shattered at work for most of the day - too late a night last night, I think. Must really aim to get to bed at a reasonable time (especially on a "school night" ...) and not get sidetracked or obsessive about finishing stuff - hmm, easier said than done, eh?

The last of the academic year's Steering Group meetings today - could barely manage to concentrate, which is a bit of a downer when I'm the minute-taker - plus there were a couple of items I had to present (bloody hell, how I hate that!). But I managed to stagger through them acceptably enough. I might even have made sense at one point - which just goes to show that miracles can still occur. Managed to get most of the stuff typed up into first draft during the afternoon as well - so thank God for coffee. (Yes, I've slipped and allowed caffeine into the system after my ongoing health kick - just one though, and it worked ...) But it's back on the normality tea this evening.

And Ruth has kindly given me an enormous marrow from her marrow empire (aka garden), which should keep Lord H and me going for a week. At least. Thanks, Ruth!

Back home, was thrilled to discover that Writewords ( now have the interview with me up on their top-level page. That's a nice boost on this very hot and humid day. I sound rather weird and obsessive though - and I was trying so hard to be otherwise! It is what it is, in the end, I guess! Also, astonishingly (as I can never ever get them to "bite"!), the Surrey Advertiser want to take a photo and publish an article of us three Goldenford ( authors. Well done, Jackie, on catching their interest! I'd better get that comb dusted down then ...

Tonight, I shall be typing up more of Lord H's theology assignments - it's only fair as I'm quicker on the keyboard than he is, and he needs to have them ready for submission quite soon, for the next stage of the planned diploma/degree course. He's decided to change from the external programme of London University (which hasn't been helpful - no tuition, no contact time - ye gods, how do they expect people to manage??) to the more local Diocese course. A sensible move, I think. Hope he gets in okay.

Have just finished reading Alan Jamieson's "A Churchless Faith". Incredibly helpful, and easy to read - not two descriptions often used together in relation to a religious book, I fear! It's made a little more sense of where I am now in terms of church involvement/growing lack of involvement. Nice to know that even if I withdraw from the weekly round of church stuff, it doesn't mean I am cast into outer darkness. Hmm. Or maybe I'm there already - it's all becoming clear now! We'll see ...

Today's three nice things:

1. Ruth's marrow
2. My boss (David) realising that I had absolutely zilch ability to be sociable this morning and withdrawing from the social fray (thanks, David!)
3. The Writewords interview.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A resignation

11am church today - so thank goodness for something of a lie-in. The service was fine, but the middle two hymns were very dull and went on for a lifetime. The sermon waxed lyrical about the wonderful example of the visiting preacher's aunt who'd led a very ordinary life, had never married but had spent her days looking after her parents and then a series of seemingly irritating old ladies until, one by one, they all died. This was supposed to teach us the value of charity - but actually I think the aunt probably murdered the old buggers - and a good thing too. They all sounded horrendous. What a life.

A couple of church people were kind enough to say how much they were enjoying/had enjoyed "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" - which cheered me up a little. We all agreed it's better than "The Hit List" - but, hell, people - what do you expect from a ruddy first novel?! At least I'm improving - one hopes!

And, finally, after the service, I told the churchwarden that I'm resigning as Sacristan, as I simply can't do it any more and want to withdraw for a while. It feels good to have said it at last. I hope they find a replacement sooner rather than later but, in any case, I won't be doing the job by Christmas. Thank the Lord.

Back home, had a very strange response from one of the people I'd reviewed on the You Write On ( site, which was actually much like his novel extract - too wordy, rather arrogant, and not thought through enough. Hmm, there's one person I won't be reviewing again in the future ...

Am going to spend the rest of the day chilling out and doing as little as possible. Hell, I deserve it.

Ooh, and I received my first personal/Goldenford hate email today - actually feel quite chuffed! - we/I must be making an impression on the writing world at last!

Today's haiku (inspired by a photograph in the local paper) is:

In the day's parched heat,
a gardener waters hedgehogs
hoping they will grow.

And the three nice things are:

1. Resigning as Sacristan
2. People liking "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice"
3. Being lazy.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lunch with Pauline & Tony

Travelled down to Kent with Lord H for lunch with Pauline & Tony - a very enjoyable day. Good to catch up too. Still very hot, though I think it's rained a little, thank goodness.

Lord H has kindly updated Jennifer's book cover for "The Gawain Quest", Goldenford's next book (, so I'll be sending that to Jennifer, plus more cheques from "Champers" sales. Talking of which, Pauline very kindly bought a copy of "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" too - much appreciated, thanks, Pauline! Hope you enjoy it ...

Tonight, it's dinosaur city on TV - along with the Golf Open. Hmm, is there a connection, I wonder? Anyway, dinosaurs are great, so I'll be glued.

Today's three nice things:

1. Chatting with Pauline
2. Pauline's pineapple upside-down pudding
3. Dinosaurs on TV!

Anne Brooke

Friday, July 21, 2006

Glyndebourne: Die Fledermaus

An early blog today, as Lord H and I are off in the afternoon to Glyndebourne to see Fledermaus. Hurrah! - the first of the season, and a lovely day for it too. We've booked our picnic so don't have to worry about packing, clearing or washing up. Double hurrah.

Popped into Godalming this morning to stock up on suncream etc, then, once back home, I started on my weekly review of work on Bewrite (, Writewords ( and YouWriteOn ( Had a lovely review of "Maloney's Law" on the YouWriteOn site - thank you, Pamela - much appreciated! Am also trying to get some more of "The Gifting" written, but it's a struggle today. I must get that scene in the castle finished soon or I'll explode!

And there's more news on the dreadful, long-running AA saga - some idiot called "Phil" rang me up yesterday at 5.45pm (what sort of time do they call that??) to ask again (deep, deep sigh ... don't they read our letters or listen to our phone calls at all??) what our complaint was about exactly. He then tried to sell me three months free membership and a joint discounted deal with Lord H. I told him his customer handling technique was crap, and he should be dealing with the complaint in hand and not soft-soaping us with dubious offers. He became terribly anxious and spluttery, and when I asked him to make me an offer then, punk, he said he couldn't do it as it wasn't policy. When I asked for £100, he said that was too much and he could only offer me £40. This made me laugh as the Special Investigations Unit have already offered me £50 - don't these guys get all their facts straight before they ring up??? When I told Idiot Phil (IP for short ...) that, he became even more spluttery and rather rude, and wouldn't or couldn't put me through to the Special Investigations Unit - not surprising seeing as IP rang at a ridiculous time for business to be done anyway. So I simply put the phone down on him. The man was a fool, and I certainly don't want him ringing me again. I suggest the AA should put IP on a basic customer training course for starters - he's not doing the business any favours, if that's his standard technique! Anyway, the upshot is Lord H is going to ring them today and give them hell, and we'll see what happens next. Honestly, they deserve it - if only they'd handled us with a modicum of intelligence and courtesy in the first place, the complaint wouldn't have come this far but there's not a hope in hell of me letting it go now. As far as I'm concerned, it's their fault entirely. Losers.

Oh and, speaking of yesterday, our night out at the theatre to see Rik Mayall in "The New Statesman" was fine, but nothing to write home about. The second half was better than the first, but I can see why I never really watched it on TV in the first place. And you've put on a little bit of weight there, Rik, I see ...

Which leaves me with three nice things of today:

1. The good review of "Maloney's Law".
2. Glyndebourne - in anticipation
3. And please no more idiot phone calls from the AA!!! - now, that would be nice ...

Anne Brooke

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lunch with Robin & Liz

Another hot day, but not as bad as yesterday, thank goodness. My, but we're a nation of moaners - if it's cold we complain; if it's hot we complain. Indeed, we'll never be happy. Did some more of "The Gifting" in the morning - but it was too hot to be really creative. Any excuse, eh ...

I was severely pissed off (or maybe bamboozled is the correct term) by Robert Hale publishers, who have said they can't consider "Maloney's Law" as it's been shortlisted in two national competitions and longlisted in another, and is therefore, in their view, deemed to have been "published" and they're not interested in reisssuing a previously "published" novel. Not a thought about that deliciously ready market which is there waiting for the first sensible publisher to come along, or for the fact that all three competitions were for unpublished novels. Very shortsighted behaviour, in my view - to turn down a novel because it's good enough to be placed in not one, but three major competitions seems very odd indeed. Perhaps, therefore, they'd prefer a badly-written text that no-one has seen yet? Cutting off their nose to spite their faces, no less. Still, it's certainly an argument I haven't heard before in the publishing world, so at least they're not dull. Hmm, not particularly bright either ...

Lunch with Robin & Liz was a very pleasant interlude from the morning's trauma - shame about the Harrow in Compton changing their menu to go posh though. No more baguettes & chips - we'll have to go elsewhere! Afterwards, I popped into see Gladys, and went through my "I'm a normal churchgoer and everything in the world is fine" routine - am getting quite good at that too. It's only fair - the poor thing couldn't cope with much else. If she really knew how things stood with me, she'd probably faint ...

Have decided to enter no more writing competitions other than those I've done well with in the past, such as the Writers' News ( awards etc. Another burden off the shoulders. Am feeling very uneasy though, and anxious inside. (Where else does one feel anxious?) . Which is a bit of a shame, as I thought I was doing so well. Time for another couple of calming pills perhaps? Or maybe it's the heat - it's hard to tell.

Tonight, Lord H and I are off to the theatre in Woking, so that at least will get me out of myself. And, God, how I need that sometimes.

Three nice things of today:

1. Lunch with Robin & Liz
2. Liz discovering she's actually 5'1" instead of just 5' (way to go, Liz!)
3. Getting a nice comment on my haiku on the Writewords ( site.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Counselling and two rejections

A bloody hot day. Too hot to think in. Once again, the fan spent most of the day two inches from my left ear. Managed to do a bit of work on the care services website though. Had another session with Zoe (the counsellor) at lunchtime. It feels as if I'm treading water at the moment, but that a shift is taking place inside in terms of the way forward. I think on Sunday I'm going to say that I no longer want to be sacristan at church. Have discussed with Lord H and he's okay about it. Well, maybe not great, but okay - which is probably all I can expect. I think I need to give religion a rest for a while, and see how things go. Whatever, it's all very exhausting and a bit scary - but at the same time rather liberating. I'd like to shed a lot of stuff, and not worry about refilling the gap. Space and time 'r' us, I think.

A round of (rather hot!) golf with Marian after work - very enjoyable, but I only beat her by one point - oh no! We weren't bad both off the tee & on the green - hurrah! I even got a par on a hole I never have before. Double hurrah! Mind you, that won't happen again in a hurry ...

Got home to find that Robert Hale have sent my "Maloney's Law" submission back, saying they don't deal with novels which have already been published, albeit privately - and they think it must have been published as it's been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award. Well, bloody hell, where have these people been? Don't they know anything about the literary world?? I ask you! Everyone who's anyone knows that the HBN Award is for unpublished novels. "M's L" has never had an outing - and it really ought to! I intend to email RH and tell them so, in no uncertain terms - or I would if bloody, bloody Compuserve was anywhere near working this evening (I am writing this on another server which doesn't - unfortunately - hold my email account ...). Though, having said that, I'm not sure I actually want them to consider my stuff if they're quite so dumb! Added to which, Happenstance Press have rejected my collection and sent a queasily "nice" (or, rather, "nace") letter telling me (a) how much they liked my stuff but it "wasn't quite right for them" (don't these people have other dull cliches they could use?? - a bit of originality would come in handy sometimes, you know ...) and (b) how "nace" I am - well, sod that for a game of soldiers. They're definitely off my favourites list (once I get back onto the bloody computer properly) and they can take their irritatingly "nace" phrases and stuff them up their arses. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, dearie. I won't be bothering with you again.

Three nice things that happened today:

1. Counselling
2. Golf
3. My Nutrigold order turning up (makes a change, and takes another load off the worry sheet).

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reflexology and religion

Hey, with a title like that, I could sell millions! A very hot day today, but it's going to get hotter tomorrow. Joy - not. Spent most of the day boiling and working on the website. Reflexology at lunchtime was a much-needed chill-out zone. I was so chilled I fell asleep for a few minutes and dreamt about prawn toasties. Strange. I also spent some time thinking seriously about leaving church for a while. It's becoming more of a definite thing. We'll see. In the meantime, I've found a website for church-free Christian faith advice/guidance - - I may join up and see what they offer more fully.

By the afternoon, I'd thankfully managed to grab the one remaining fan left in the office and placed it six inches away from my face. Bliss. Couldn't hear a thing, but at least I wasn't so hot.

This evening, Lord H and I are off to the Archdeacon of Dorking's house for the last of our Diocese Summer School events - supper, plus the hard sayings of Jesus. Perhaps the food will soften us up for the kill?

Today's three nice things:

1. Reflexology
2. The Spirited Exchanges website
3. The cool bath I'm about to have before going out.

Anne Brooke

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Lunch with Julia

Average working day - nothing to write home about (as it were). Managed to get the Steering Group minutes done and dusted (goodness, I'm full of cliches tonight), but still have the agenda for next week's meeting to sort.

Still, a nice, chatty lunch with Julia from UniSWriters cheered me up, ready for an afternoon of catch-up with the website. And then the joy of Tesco shopping - but, hell, at least it's air-conditioned! It's so bloody hot everywhere else.

Lord H went up on the roof this evening to try to scare our resident wasps off again - hope it works this time, as I can't stand the stripy-jumpered beasts. There seem to be a lot of them about this year too, damn it.

Got a tip-off from fellow writer, Margaret Gill, about a new website which might be useful for small-time authors - - so have made contact with them to get "The Hit List" and "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" up on their site. Will also send them a couple of copies of each, in case they make any sales (though most of the money, if any, comes to the author which is good). I'm a great believer in these independent enterprises - something has to knock the boring old mainstream publishers/bookshops off their pedestals one day soon.

Today's three nice things:

1. Margaret's tip-off re
2. Lunch with Julia
3. A relatively early night - I hope - bliss!

Anne Brooke

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

A secret day off

A day off from church today - or almost. I decided during the week that, instead of the usual round of Sacristan duties and church, I'd sneak off and try out the Cathedral Eucharist instead. Lord H kindly agreed to do my stuff for me. Actually, it felt really good to face a Sunday when I didn't have to be responsible for anything. But I felt rather let down by the service - it was pleasant enough, but I didn't feel at all connected with what was going on, although the singing was nice. Didn't go up to Communion or anything demanding like that - but slipped out before the general melee started. It might have been better if I hadn't bothered at all - maybe my problem is my current church, but Church in general; it simply doesn't seem to fit any more. Hmm.

Still, some good news on the writing front. Irene's review of "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" is now on Amazon ( - many thanks, Irene! And "Maloney's Law" is number 6 in the You Write On ( top ten. If only it can rise a little higher ...! Oh, and Lord H tells me that Dave the organist at church loved "PC&AJ" and is considering putting a review into the Parish mag - goodness me, indeed! Glad you liked it, Dave, but will the parish be able to cope?...

The rest of the day has been fairly lazy - though I have done some more marketing stuff, and written a poem for one of the Writer's News ( competitions - which I have now uploaded onto the Writewords site ( for comment. So maybe not entirely lazy then.

This week's haiku is:

Let us walk, I said,
down by the bright evening sea
where the salt birds sing.

And the 3 nice things are:

1. Irene's review
2. "Maloney's Law" being in the Top Ten
3. Dave the organist enjoying "PC&AJ".

Anne Brooke

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dentist and facial

Now, there's a combination. This morning was my appointment with the dental hygienist (Lord H wimped out and has gone to Brighton instead to take photos - but I have booked us both another one in December, aha!, so he cannot escape so easily ...). She seemed to think I was doing very well, and my teeth are much improved. Thought of asking for a lollipop, but decided that perhaps it wasn't quite the thing ... Still, I had a scrape (ouch!) and a polish (mmm ...), so I am now smiling broadly at everyone I meet in order to show off my new shiny teeth.

An early lunch, and then into Guildford for a glorious Clarins facial. Ah, what would I do without them? Bliss. Had an age-defying one this time, so I am now only 24. Obviously. Also met briefly with Darren to give him his novel back, post-editing. Have done my best to encourage him to have a look through what I've said, change whatever he feels is right to do so, and then get the damn thing off to at least ten agents. If you ever read this, Darren - please take note. I have no idea why he's so unconfident, when he's so bloody good. It's a mystery. He also kindly bought me a lovely bottle of pink champagne (very appropriate) as a "thank you" gift - which will be very much appreciated, I'm sure - thanks, Darren! Oh and, while in Guildford, I also looked for slippers (how domestic I am - but hey at least I've managed to avoid the lure of labrador and pipe), but ended up with some lovely blue "posh" shoes from M&S instead. Nearly slippers then.

Back home, I settled down to do a few more words of "The Gifting" (at last! At last! - it feels good to be back, if exhausting), and have managed 1000. Also good news on the "Thorn in the Flesh" front - John ( says he's "extremely impressed" so far and is enjoying it. Phew, that's a relief - I've been really worried about my agent's reaction to the second novel of mine he's seen. Maybe he'll even keep me on for a while then. There's always hope.

And the invitation from MBA Literary Agents to attend the Harry Bowling Awards prizegiving evening in September has arrived, so have responded to that. I'm allowed two guests, apparently, so will be taking Lord H, and John. It's like having a bodyguard really ... I'll have to buy a new outfit. Maybe it's time for another shopping trip.

Tonight, Lord H is taking me out for an airing. My turn for a drink, I feel. Or several.

Today's three nice things:

1. John liking "Thorn in the Flesh".
2. The Harry Bowling Prize invite.
3. Being praised by a dentist - a veritable first!

Anne Brooke

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Editing and Debut Dagger news

Shopping in Godalming this morning. Astonishingly, I managed to get everything on my list, including a new set of Bible study notes which might (please God) be less painfully evangelical than my current ones. They're for women too, so at least I might get a sensible perspective on things this time. One hopes. And catering for my obsessive order compulsion, they start in September, which is exactly the same time as the ones I'm now ploughing through end. There must indeed be a God!

But, talking of which, had a painful conversation with the man in the Christian bookshop - his eight-year old daughter died in January very suddenly and he was selling raffle tickets for the hospital she'd been in. I bought a book of them of course, but felt there was nothing I could say at all. A terrible thing - I was amazed (and moved) he could even talk about it. I wouldn't have been able to, and I have no idea what being a parent is like. It makes you wonder what it's all about, and why.

At home, I finished editing the rest of Darren's novel, and have arranged to see him tomorrow when I'm in Guildford to hand it back. I think it's great stuff and I love his heroine, but I'd like to see more of her story (apart from the battles) drip-fed in through the text, as we deserve to know more about her.

Some (sort of!) good news - the CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Debut Dagger Awards apparently longlisted "Thorn in the Flesh" this year, though it unfortunately didn't quite scrape into the shortlist. It was lovely of them to let me know (when they didn't have to) and it's really given me a boost today. And I also got a very positive comment about "Maloney's Law" from the You Write On ( site. To cap it all, the Writewords ( people have asked to interview me, which of course I'm more than happy to do! And Roger Morris (author of the wonderful "Taking Comfort" - which is an extremely classy novel) has just finished "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" and loved it. Hey, many thanks, Roger - that feels nice too!

Hmm, now I've finished my editing job, maybe I'd better get back to "The Gifting" sometime and see where I've left poor Simon then ...

Three nice things of today:

1. Being longlisted in the Debut Dagger awards.
2. Strangely, the short, in-depth conversation with the bereaved shop-keeper parent (reason for being in this list: it was a real conversation, a rare event these days ...).
3. Writewords' request for an interview.

Anne Brooke

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Faith and the body

Two Diocesan summer schools today. This morning was "Remembering the Body", which was really brilliant. We did two meditations, the first of which I found difficult but it did calm me down. The second was a breathing exercise we did towards the end of the session and I found it absolutely wonderful. The tutor guided us into focusing on our breathing, and "breathing in God". I wasn't sure about this at first, as I always find concentrating on my own breathing makes it harder to breathe and relax at all, but this time, and somehow, it worked; from nowhere, I pictured the woman in the Gospels who is desperate for healing as she's suffered from bleeding for twelve years and wants to grasp the hem of Jesus' cloak to be cured. It was, for a few moments, as if I was her, and inside I felt raw and desperate. When I grasped the hem of Jesus' cloak, he turned and offered me the whole cloak instead, sitting down and putting his arm around my shoulders so I could lean against him and just breathe. It felt really important, and I was overwhelmingly happy and tearful at the same time. I'm still feeling churned up just thinking about it. It's not often (and hardly ever in the last few years) that I've had - or acknowledged - that kind of experience.

At the end of the session, the tutor mentioned that she would be running a "Remembering the Body" retreat next year. God, I really want to go on it. Oh, and she also recommended "body mapping" - where you draw out the shape of your body on paper, together with a figure behind it - perhaps a faith figure, such as Christ - and then mark on your body drawing the things that matter to you now. I think I might do that sometime - it might help me get in touch with how things are with the physical me - and God knows how much I need that! I also liked the tutor's calling the body a "sacred space" - it seems more personal and internal than calling the body a "temple" which, to me, also seems distant and external.

During lunch, I (as ever) didn't want to talk to anyone else, so I ate in the car, and then wandered round the Cathedral shop and bookshop. No sign of a nice notebook I could use as a "Thanking Journal", so maybe I'll just try and find three nice things every day which I can add at the bottom of my blog. And there were no alternative (or indeed any) Bible reading notes that I could see - so shame on you, Guildford! I'll have to look in Godalming tomorrow.

In the afternoon, the session was "Faith and Sexuality", with a particular emphasis on same sex relations. Some interesting discussions, and acknowledgement of different understandings of the way we see our bodies. Thinking about it, I tend to see the body as "bad" and to be covered up - maybe if I see it as more part of myself, I might get more of a sense of who I am. Something to think about certainly.

And this evening was golf with Marian - very enjoyable, but I messed up the pond hole, darn it - again! Back home, the AA have sent flowers and apologised for the disasters we experienced in June, together with a promise for £50 compensation. To be honest, as long as I get the cheque - which is, after all, only a symbolic gesture - I'd be happy, but Lord H is not amused. Which resulted in a nasty row, and he's now gone off to his intellectual Diocesan Summer School eveningin a huff. And to be honest I'm not happy either. I think I should have a choice in the matter after all - I'm the one the AA neglected, not him! Ah well, no day can ever be perfect, can it?

So, three nice things which happened today:

1. The breathing meditation
2. Golf
3. The pink blinds in the Diocesan Education Centre, which contrasted wonderfully with the grass outside.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Not a bad day at work today. Did more induction week preparations and catch-up. Reflexology session at lunchtime - marvellous. Felt really chilled and relaxed afterwards, so have booked another couple of appointments. And in a fit of uncharacteristic holy enthusiasm, I made a mini-altar for myself from the Rejesus site (, which I have hidden in a place at my desk where I can see it but no-one else can. It wasn't that easy to work out the instructions though, and I had to end up using sellotape and faith. A rare combination.

Also, filled in my review form (groan!) - have tried to be honest with what I think the year has been like, but I do so hate filling in those wretched forms. I'll be glad when the review is over!

Great news on the holiday front - we're booked into Devon, so something to look forward to over the summer, thank the Lord. Now I've got the confirmation, I think I'll ring and book some treatments too in the hotel's ( health & beauty centre. Hell, I deserve it!

Tonight, Lord H is out at the "Reconciliation and Other Faiths" evening (another Diocesan summer school event) with the Bishop (no less), so I think I'll do some gentle editing of Darren's novel. By the way, last night's course offering of "Reconciliation and Confession" was very interesting, and certainly made me think. Maybe confession isn't something I'll entirely ignore in the future after all - might be worth a shot, if I ever have the courage! Another part of my health & wholeness kick maybe?

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Choc ices and confession

Hey, good title. Maybe I could use that one day ... Not as bad a day at work as yesterday. Thank the Lord! Managed to get the first draft of the minutes out for checking, plus an agenda for the next meeting in two weeks' time. I must be rocking today. And the few people at work I told about my broadcasting success with "Ten things I know about Life" ( seemed to enjoy it so that cheered me up a little.

Walked round campus at lunchtime, and sat for a while next to the lake, watching a moorhen eating grass. Do moorhens eat grass? That's what it appeard to be doing anyway. Quite relaxing actually. It's not often I allow myself time to do nothing - must try and factor it in more regularly. Might make me rather less subject to these dreadful mood swings, if nothing else. And at the end of the day, the boss brought us some choc ices, so that really made everyone feel great. Boss of the Month award is definitely his for July.

Tonight, Lord H and I are out at the first of our sessions at the Guildford Diocese Summer School, entitled "Reconciliation and Confession" - so we'll find out all about how it fits into the Anglican psyche. Answer- very secretly and with much embarrassment, I imagine. Still, it should be an interesting subject. Was talking with Lord H about church over dinner just now - and we both agreed that, at the moment, it's like a huge "church monster" sitting in the corner of the room which you have to keep feeding, and it's giving nothing back, damn it. Surely there must be another way of being a Christian and having some kind of relationship with God other than church? - as church certainly ain't doing the trick right now. I simply see it as another business function I have to perform. And I'm not sure that's what the good Lord intended ...

Anne Brooke

Monday, July 10, 2006

Student Care Services Steering Group

Lord, how I hate Mondays. It was a real effort today and everything I did seemed to be weighed down with lead. A real feeling of dragging myself through the effort of it all with zilch sense of actually achieving anything. First of all, we had a meeting about the university's annual fund, explaining what it was. Nice to have a meeting I don't have to minute though, damn it! And it was fairly interesting. Eased straight from there into a brainstorming meeting about the new student mentor role and risks associated with it. Ye gods, I'm bloody good at finding worst case scenarios and running with them. Death, fire and flood, along with illicit affairs and drug dealing, here we come!

After that, I was plunged into the SCS Steering Group meeting (help- something I have to minute!), during which I had items to present, which is my idea of hell. I shouldn't be expected to take minutes and present stuff - it's too much! I also felt cross as for one of the items I'd actually been putting a lot of effort into, I got zilch thanks and a ticking-off for not doing enough. Damn it, I'm only one person, and part-time at that! I can't produce ruddy miracles.

So, my afternoon was spent swinging from irritated to seriously depressed, and 5 o'clock couldn't come fast enough. Mind you, in the middle of all that, Southern Counties Radio broadcast my "Life" piece - which I only just found out about today, damn it - so no chance of recording it then. I'll have to wait for the CD to be sent to me. All that fame and glory, and not a ruddy person to hear it - typical!

At home, yet again no-one's picked up on "Maloney's Law", surprise surprise, and there's no word from my agent that he's been able even to think about looking through "Thorn in the Flesh". Even if he should like it (which, frankly, is becoming less certain by the mile as the minutes tick by ...), I'm bloody well not giving up on "M's L" and shall continue to send it out to anyone that asks. If it's good enough to be shortlisted in major competitions, why the f**k can't it be published?? Ruddy publishers - they can't tell their arse from their elbows, to be frank. That's f***k, of course.

Still, have had a couple of positive comments from the Writewords ( site about the latest section of "The Gifting", which is much appreciated. So maybe all is not lost, and I should remove the (metaphorical) knife currently pressed against my (also metaphorical) fevered brow. Mind you, if people enjoy what I write, it probably means it will (a) win awards and (b) never have anyone want to publish it at all, if previous history is anything to go by. Sometimes, I really hate this life.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Groan - had to get up to prepare for the 8am service today, which isn't a great move for a Sunday morning. At least Lord H gets to stay in bed - lucky him! It was a bit dull too, although the visiting vicar was perfectly nice. And - hurrah! - our new loo works, so no more crossing my legs until I can get to go home. Was flummoxed however by one of the congregation being nice to me and (genuinely) asking me how I was, although I don't think I coped very well with the enquiry. Sorry, Jane H - but I'm grateful you asked. Believe me.

Lord H went to the 11am Family Service, which our new ordinand, Roger, was taking before going off to do a year in Bramley church. It's seems the height of lunacy to me to train someone up to do our local services, and then send them off elsewhere for a year. Still, as everyone knows, the C of E is run by a bunch of old farts (sorry re language, but it's true ...) who are still hanging on to rules made in the 1950s. Or that's the way it appears. Anyway, there was a celebration lunch for Roger in the village hall afterwards (for his ordination? Or his escape from us for a year? Hmm ...). Again Lord H went, but I bunked off; too much church and church gatherings are bad for any sense of inner peace. Instead, I had a much-needed nap, edited more of Darren's novel, updated my website and cleaned the car. So it was a worthwhile decision, all in all.

Actually, the more I think of it, the more I feel that I don't really want to be going to St Peter's for a while. The decision I'm slowly (or not so slowly ...) coming round to making is to resign from being Sacristan, as I don't think any of it fits any more. Not me, not the way I am, and not the way I'd like to be. I suspect I might make it official by the end of July - or perhaps August - and give them 3 months' notice. At least, that would give time for someone else (some other poor bugger!) to be "sworn in". Surely to God, there must be some other way of relating to that great and mystical Being other than the sheer effort of church? I live in hope. And, in the search for where the journey might take me next, I've ordered a couple of books on Amazon ( Alan Jamieson's "A Churchless Faith" and "Journeying in Faith", both of which deal with, and give helpful advice about, what to do if you want to be a Christian but aren't finding church-going remotely helpful.

Just finished Jake Arnott's "Johnny come home" by the way - not bad, and better than other of his novels (no matter how award-winning they might be, I've never got on with them ...). At least this time, I liked the characters, and the ending was suitably bleak to appeal to my current state of being. Ho hum.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Haircut & 70th birthday party

Haircut today - thank goodness, as I was beginning to look like a yak. Did my level best to persuade hairdresser to purchase a copy of Champers, but she just wasn't biting, damn it. Still, her loss ...

Lunch at a my old poetry tutor's 70th birthday party down the road - he didn't want presents, so I gave him a copy of - yes, you've guessed it - Champers. Quite a nice party and they have a lovely garden, but I'm not a great fan of crowds of people milling together. It was good to catch up with an old poetry friend, Angela, though. Lord H and I left at the right time however, as another acquaintance, whom I don't particularly care for, was arriving, so it was good not to have to pretend friendship for too long. Damn it, I can't stand the guy! Don't much like his poetry either.

An afternoon spent watching "Star Trek, the Original Series" and also "The Next Generation", as both pilots were on TV. Bliss. Nice to see those old shaky sets and fashions. Then, later on, it'll be "Doctor Who" and Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" with Rupert Everett. Bliss again.

Have also done some editing of Darren's novel - the fight scenes are good, but I do think he needs to thin them out a bit so we have more normal scenes, perhaps including the monk's relationship to the other characters, in between. That would give a greater depth, to my mind.

I've added a book publication section to the Guildford Writers ( site, so we get more exposure for our work there. And - joy! - Nell's wonderful review of Champers is at last on the Amazon site ( and ripe for the reading.

Anne Brooke

Friday, July 07, 2006

Reflexology & dreaming

A session of reflexology this morning, which has made me feel very chilled. I think though that, in some ways, I do prefer the sessions I have at UniS, as they're much more relaxing. That said, today, I almost fell asleep when my left foot was being worked on and had the glimmerings of a dream: I was walking into a bare room with thick cream-coloured walls, and there was an olive tree in leaf against the far wall. I walked into the room and laid down the novel I'm most worried about at the moment ("Maloney's Law" - why, oh why doesn't it sell??...) next to the tree. It felt surprisingly good to be there. Hmm, quite religious for me, I suppose, but there you go. Inner nourishment is obviously the key right now.

On the way home, I listened to (if that's the right phrase ...) the two minute silence on the radio to remember the London bombings of last year. A terrible event indeed. Why can't people learn that we're all human, and need to work through things together? Why does there have to be fighting and such anger? Surely one day, there'll be one people, one world and one community - or perhaps that'll only be true in heaven. A dream to pray for anyway. In the meantime, we have to remember the dead and those who miss them.

Did some more editing of Darren's novel again today - slow and steady does it, I think. Also had a late afternoon nap, and then popped into Godalming to do some shopping. Managed to get everything I needed (including another fan to replace the one Lord H and I broke yesterday - doh!), except the Christian bookshop was shut, so I couldn't search for a more normal set of Bible notes. Do they do any for fed-up Christians with a hatred of church but a sneaking suspicion that God might not be as bad as expected? Or maybe I'm asking too much ...

And, hurrah, I've booked our holiday! Lord H and I will be off to Devon later on for four days' golfing and relaxing in our usual bolt hole, the Highbullen hotel ( Looking forward to great food, reasonable golf, an excellent cream tea or two at Exeter Cathedral (which does the best cream teas in the known universe, it has to be said) and maybe visiting Treacle, the Golden Guernsey goat I sponsor at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm. Hope he's not as enthusiastic as last time - I think he forgets how large he is now! Might even book a beauty treatment or two as a treat. For me, not the goat. We'll see.

And, oh hell, better start the cleaning soon. Bugger.

Anne Brooke

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Editing "Wildblood"

A day of gentle editing - am still enjoying Darren's novel, "Wildblood", but have to take it slowly in order to put comments in. It's intense stuff, a la DH Lawrence, but that's part of its attraction. The battle scenes have eased off now and we're getting more of the heroine's background and developing relationship with the monk, which is nice.

Nap this afternoon, and a visit to Gladys. She's drooping in the heat - aren't we all? - but bravely got rid of a wasp which was beginning to unsettle me. Talking of the wretched beasts (how I hate wasps), a nest is developing at the edge of our flat roof, so I hope I can persuade Lord H to tackle it over the weekend. Will have to promise him chocolate and beer as a reward - at least!

Have registered for the Rejesus ( site, and am taking their six week prayer/slow down programme - not too onerous, thank the Lord, but it makes me (a) slow down a little and (b) think. Which must be positive.

A slow evening planned, with probably more editing.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Counselling and convent life

Open day at UniS today. I covered some of the late morning, and an hour or so of the end slots. I always find this sort of thing - um, relating to people I don't know; trying to sound knowledgeable when I haven't a clue about anything; you name it really - difficult, but it wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. People even seemed to believe what I say - now and then that feels quite good.

Counselling with Zoe at lunchtime. Talked about how angry I'm feeling about church stuff and how bitter I'm feeling about publishing stuff. At least saying these sorts of things gives me some kind of understanding/control over them - otherwise it all just gets out of hand. We also discussed how important I feel it to be at the moment to draw back a little from the amount of things I get involved in - or let myself get involved in. In fact, I feel most nearly myself when I'm on my own - people simply take bits of me away and never seem to give them back (thieves! thieves!); maybe it's time to seek personal nourishment more often and live the kind of life I'd like to. Instead of the kind of life other people (damn them!) would like me to. More nights in and less involvement with the outside world, Carruthers, please ... Sounds like heaven to me.

Uploaded the next section of "The Gifting" onto the Writewords ( site this evening and have one very positive comment back already - thank you, John! Also Paul Bavister from the Writers' Conference ( emailed to say how much he'd enjoyed the two "place-orientated" pieces (both from "The Gifting") I'd sent him. Hell, that feels good too. Thank you, Paul.

Tonight, watched "The Convent" while Lord H was out at Village Hall committee - though he came back early as the Chair wanted to watch the football ... Enjoyed the finale - as I've enjoyed the rest of the series. The concept of the women's personal journey is one I very much relate to right now. Talking (somehow) of which, I've decided to cancel my subscription to the "Daily Bread" Bible reading notes - they're not doing me much good, although one of their writers - Lucy Winkett from St Paul's - is absolutely fantastic in everything she writes, and I would advise anyone - no matter what their religious persuasion - to gobble down everything she says, as the woman is great. Honest and real and human. Not attributes one would normally associate with a priest - so good on you, Lucy. I think she's the reason I've hung onto "Daily Bread" for so long, but now it's got to go. Now if only she'd do a book on her own, rather than sharing with others ...

Am also thinking of using one of the online Christian spirituality sites - - more often, as it's actually quite good. Surprising for a religious website - and thoughtful too. I enjoyed looking round it today.

Oh, and I wrote a poem - "Things to do in winter" - which has been dancing round my head for while. Best to get these things out in the open ...

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Guildford Writers

Not such a bad day at work today - managed to get a lot of web stuff done. Went to the VC's presentation about the way forward for UniS - goodness, what a horrible management phrase. I must have been taking too many of those damn executive pills. Damn it. Anyway, he came over as rather more human than VCs should really be expected to be - maybe he's taking something too? - and cheered me up by saying that at last we're going to have an English Department. Hurrah for sense and the arts, I say.

Wandered round the art exhibition at lunchtime and bought some of the cards on sale. Dithered over a glorious papier mache snail, but where on earth would I put it? Even it was only £10.

And good news on the admin career front - we're in the process of streamlining all our endless committees (hurrah!), and the Pro VC has apparently asked for me to do his admin/minutes for the new chocolatey Student Affairs Committee - which is at a higher level that anything I've done there before. The bribes must be working then ...

Came home to find that Borderlines Magazine (Gawd bless 'em) have accepted my poem, "Silken", and will publish it in December. That's cheered me up. I'm not a complete writing dork then. Not completely anyway.

Guildford Writers ( this evening - very lively indeed. Good fun too. Took the next part of "The Gifting" along for comment, and it went down well, with some good critique coming back. Much appreciated - and I shall get onto it soonest.

Anne Brooke

Monday, July 03, 2006

Shopping at Tesco - twice

Yes, shopping at Tesco, once at lunchtime for non-perishables and once after work for perishable stuff, has probably been the highlight of my day. It's been extremely dull. So dull it's probably an art form that some bright spark will probably find a way of packaging and selling to a publisher as a celebrity biography. Aren't most of them done that way? Hell, isn't most of publishing done that way? Even my one meeting - which would at least have got me out of the office for a while - was cancelled. Damn it.

As you can tell, I'm (a) depressed, and (b) pissed off. So, situation normal then. Came home to a rejection of "Maloney's Law" by Myrmidon Books. Bastards. They obviously have no idea of class. So spat liberally in their general direction and wiped them from my website favourites list. Not at the same time. Or at least not without a tissue handy. I think a mature response to these set-backs is always the only way.

Am also thinking of changing churches, or maybe sneaking off on the Sundays I'm able to and seeing what other strange folk do. Or maybe - a concept which is a lot more attractive right now - giving the whole thing a miss for a while and seeing how it goes. Hell, I've done that before, and it's so nice getting off the religious treadmill now and again. One wonders if the Good Lord ever felt the same - and, if so, I can't say I blame him.

Have just finished Gill James' children's book, "Jason's Crystal". Good series of adventures, a nice main character and a subtle message. Her writing simply flows, and leads you on - I love it.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lunch with former vicar

Patronal Festival at church today (for St Peter), and our last vicar but one came down to take the service. Nice to see him again but the thought of church was just too depressing - too many ruddy people all wanting something - so I slipped out after the sacristan bits were done and came home. Which made me feel a lot better - even though it meant Lord H had to do the server bits and prayers on his own. Still, he should be used to me bunking off from religion by now ...

Whilst at home, I finished off my read-through of "Thorn in the Flesh" and sent it off to John ( for comment. So the morning wasn't completely wasted. He says he can get round to it in the next week or so - God, I hope he likes it. Not sure what the hell I'm going to do if he doesn't. Mind you, the big question is: can he actually sell it? We have yet to find out on that one ...

Lunch with Sandy & Simon from church, including the aforementioned vicar. More people there that I'd thought, which was overwhelming, but I kept my head down and tried to say as little as possible. Dave the Organ bought a copy of "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice", so that cheered me up somewhat. And Anne Eve, our churchwarden, has just finished reading it and apparently enjoyed it - calling it a cross between Maeve Binchy and "La Cage aux Folles" - hmm, some strap line there!

Once home again, uploaded the beginning of "Maloney's Law" onto the You Write On ( site - will be interesting to see what comments come back from that in due course. Also sent off six poems to Roundyhouse Magazine, to see if they might like any. Not holding out much hope though - I'm obviously in dark mood all round today. Hey ho, no change there then.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Day at Kew

A day out for Lord H and me at Kew. Beautiful weather for it. But, my goodness, it's larger than I thought - we must have walked miles and my feet are throbbing. Particularly enjoyed the rose garden and also the Japanese garden - I love those; they always make me feel so peaceful and together. Must be something to do with the rocks and lines of gravel. I could sit and gaze at it for a lifetime. There was also a stunning display of garden photography to admire.

Watched Part One of the "Dr Who" finale on TV tonight - great stuff! Not only cybermen, but daleks too - what more could you ask for? Am already looking forward to Part Two next week.

Also carried on my read-through of "Thorn in the Flesh" - am about halfway through now, and making a few last minute changes. Isn't that always the case? Was somewhat floored by a very negative critique of "A Dangerous Man" on the You Write On ( site. It seemed highly unfair. Still, it's only one opinion and my publishers, Flame Books ( obviously like it. Doesn't stop the reviewer's opinion hurting like hell though. Damn it.

Anne Brooke