Monday, October 20, 2008

Reviews, meetings and the Queen of Mean

Had a lovely email from a reviewer of Thorn in the Flesh this morning who is halfway through the said work and was sweet enough to email me saying I am obviously “ridiculously talented” and why aren’t I better known? Ah, it’s a mystery, Jay – I think it might be to do with my red hair and Essex accent, both attributes being pretty low down in the authorial gene pool, ho ho. Either that or when I speak to my agent, the poor man has trouble remembering my name. Anyway, your comments have much cheered me on this bleak Monday so thank you for that! And I think that might even become my new strapline: Ridiculously talented, but nobody knows who she is … Hey, it works for me.

Meanwhile, at work, poor Ruth is off sick today, so I had to rush around sorting out hardship loans on her behalf. I only hope I’ve got it right and people get the money they have applied for. I am reassured however by the extra checks Finance will no doubt give it now they know it’s me. And I hope Ruth gets better soon – it’s the week of Pirates of Penzance at Haslemere Hall and the first night is tomorrow. It’s no show without Ruth, you know – she’s the singing star of the office. Lord H and I are going on Thursday.

I am also rejigging meetings that people can’t make and squeezing them into minuscule gaps where possible. I can only hope we have rooms on campus where I can put them once the dates turn up, but I’m unable to think that far ahead at the moment … On top of all that, I rushed around some more at a virtual level in order to redo the timetable for Wednesday’s Open Day, as one of my people has dropped out of the rota. However, Health and Counselling have saved the day – thank you, thank you! – as ever, so I am hugely grateful to them.

Lunchtime found me minuting the Steering Group and hoping that nobody drank all the water. We’re in a special room on campus at the moment where jugs of water cannot be delivered (no, don’t ask …) so we have to pay for bottled water, groan. Therefore I purloined all the bottled water left over from the last meeting and filled my school satchel to take it along to this one, thus reducing our actual water order. I am indeed the Queen of Mean, but hey we’re paying for all this. And here at the cutting edge of education, every penny counts. Christmas? Bah, humbug … Don’t turn the heating on – just put on a jumper and shiver, and all that jazz.

I have therefore spent the afternoon typing up the minutes and trying to look efficient. An expression that takes a great deal of emotional commitment, you know. After work, I’m off to the University Book Group to give my comments on Colm Toibin’s The Blackwater Lightship. As they are wholly negative, I foresee a lively discussion, at the very least. UPDATE: it was great and very lively - although none of us rated the book very much, we all disliked it for different reasons. Fabulous!

Finally, another important day today:
Time since the submission of The Gifting to mainstream publishers with no response: 5 months. Only one month to go to the six-month celebration then …

Today’s nice things:

1. My undiscovered “ridiculous” talents – whatever they may be!
2. Living it up as the Queen of Mean (Water Division)
3. The book group.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - it's ridiculously talented, you know!

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