Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Branding, minutes and more reviews

Relatively early to bed last night, so feel much less like a squeezed-out sponge today, thank goodness. Mind you, I’ve been feeling specially cheered by “A Dangerous Man” ( reader reactions, including Jane H’s brother, who thought it was excellent (thanks, Jane’s brother – much appreciated!) and Ruth at work who thought it was terrifying and gripping (thanks, Ruth!). Both comments mean a lot.

Also, Rhian from Crimeficreader ( has at last received a copy of ADM for reviewing – the first one is still wandering around Wales somewhere – and says she thinks Flame have done an excellent job on the look and layout. Yes, I think so too – so thanks to Flame for that. Now, all I have to do is wait for Rhian’s review … scary …

I’ve also managed to get the Goldenford ( minutes done – we’re looking forward to the publication of Jay Margrave’s “The Gawain Quest” in June, and are also looking into our first non-fiction book, focusing on eBay sales. It’s nice to ring the changes, and I hope they both do well. They deserve to. Oh, and in case anyone is curious, as of this point “Pink Champagne and Apple Juice” has sold 104 copies since last June. This may be small fry to you big hitters out there, but I’m always pleased when I go over the 100 marker. Believe me, it doesn’t happen often. Oh, and … um … actual sales of “A Stranger’s Table” ( – rather than those I’ve given away as review copies or presents – is six. Which just goes to show that (a) poetry doesn’t sell, no matter how many awards you may have won for the contents, and (b) you should never produce two books in one month, as one will suffer big-time. Well, I’ve certainly learnt my lesson there, believe me!

This lunchtime, we had the Student Support Services Branding Project meeting – which isn’t, as Lord H thinks, a cunning plan to brand students when they join so we always know which department to send them back to. No, even we in the shires aren’t that cruel. Yet … aha! No, we’re trying to link different support services across our very higgledy-piggedly campus together so students can access everything they might need when they see our new brand sign. This should prevent them getting lost and milling round weeping. Oh no, sorry, that’s what I do when I can’t find my way (again) to the Management School. I have, as Carol at work tells me, special geographical needs … heck, I always knew it! All that said, it was a really good meeting (shock! horror!) – I feel quite inspired about our hoped-for improvements. Lots of website & new brochure stuff for me to do – I like to get my teeth stuck into something. Hope it works out all right.

Oh, and joy! Les M at the meeting told me (with real astonishment in his voice) how good the poems in “A Stranger’s Table” were – heck, that’s cheered me up no end as regards the poetry! Now if only I can persuade him actually to buy something …

And, talking of which, I’ve (possibly sadly?) written a poem about Michael. Maybe this is another way of saying goodbye. Again, we’ll see. Here it is:

A Dangerous Man – a final act

I want to write something
to say you’ve been here,
both friend and enemy
at different times,
sometimes at the same time.

You’ve never been dull,
even when I have been so.
Gripping, seductive, wild
in a way I can never be,
you’ve enticed me away from my self
towards a deeper self
I’d never know before.

You’re a part of me,
you see,
though I set you
as a man apart,
someone I talk to
in my mind’s dark caverns,
someone who talks to me,
whose story I can tell,
have told now.

Michael, you’re still so close
that I can feel you moving
under my skin.
My blood pulses with yours,
your limbs align to mine.
You’re the life I’ve never dared
to live
and at the heart of it we are one:
my tantalising shadow
to the sun.

Tonight, I’m worshipping at the great Tesco’s mall, and then it’s an evening in – at last! Might try to catch up on “Life on Mars” which I videoed yesterday. We’ll see.

Today’s nice things:

1. Getting nice reader feedback for “A Dangerous Man” & “A Stranger’s Table” – hurrah!
2. Michael finally arriving in Wales successfully – phew!
3. Selling 104 Champers all in all.

Anne Brooke

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