Lots of good news today – I’ve sold my short story, Painting from Life, to Eternal Press in Canada, so have been busy signing contracts and filling in forms for them in order to prepare for e-publication. It’s great to be able to find a home for that particular story as it’s one I’m still very proud of, even though I wrote it some years ago. In addition, it was originally sold in 2004 to a small publisher that has now been liquidated (and to be honest they were never that great anyway), so it’s nice to think it’s found a second home. It’s a tale of art and obsessive, misplaced love in most unusual circumstances, and no sex either so something of a ground-breaker for me. I can see I’m going to have to think about adding a short story section back to my website too. In the meantime, watch this space for buying details...
However, at the same time, the first port of call for my piece of flash fiction, Night Bees, has rejected it (the fools, the fools!) so I’ve sent it out to the next possibility on my list. Grrr, honestly, can’t people see I’m a literary genius?? They obviously couldn’t have read it properly …
This morning, I’ve been finishing up the first draft of the minutes I did on Friday. It’s good to be able to tick another job off the list, even though I doubt anyone will be checking them until January. Most of the University is away now as term ended last week. Being on holiday hours and being able to leave at 5pm rather than 5.30pm is great too – it’s that last half-hour that breaks the camel’s back, you know.
I’ve also been attempting to get my head round the mysteries of the Freedom of Information publication scheme. Oh joy. I had to read the documents four times before a glimmer of light entered my existence. I am attempting to do what seems to be expected, but as it’s all new I’m not convinced I’m doing it right. I fear I will have to throw myself on the boss’s mercy when he’s back in January. Hmm, no change there then.
Went to my final reflexology session of the year at lunchtime. Bliss – just what I need to set me up for Christmas. Talking of which, I actually felt quite mellow driving into work this morning and listening to ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ on Classic FM. It’s a great carol. Lordy, do I detect a weakening in my normal Scrooge-like approach to the Big Event? Surely not …
In the meantime, we still don’t know what’s happening with the central heating – Lord H is going to ring the plumber today and see if he might be able to pop round over the next couple of days. Well, we were expecting him yesterday (he didn’t come) so we’re probably entitled to chase. Again, watch this space. Still having the hot water back on is totally marvellous, so we’re not complaining – yet! UPDATE: We have our central heating back, hurrah! The blessed Mike (may his name be praised) is popping back at some point to tweak it but at the moment we have both heat and hot water, so we're smiling. Well, laughing hysterically and stroking radiators actually, but I don't want you to think that we're weird.
And the lovely Sharon has kindly put five star reviews of both Maloney’s Law and A Dangerous Man on Amazon which you can find (respectively) here and here. Thanks so much, Sharon – I really appreciate it.
But there's more and my cup indeed runneth over. A reader called Lizzy has given the eBook of Thorn in the Flesh a five star review on Amazon US and says the following:
"I agree completely with the Sarah Watts review [Note - this was another five-star review]. I'm not a reviewer, just a reader but after reading this book I just have to say how much I liked it. Its a story that just builds and builds and goes to places that you won't expect. I just couldn't put it down. This is a book that you won't forget for a very long time. I am now an Anne Brooke fan and will be reading all her works."
Gosh, thanks, Lizzy - I hugely appreciate that too. I also hope you like any of my other books you might read - I don't want to let you down!
Tonight, I’m planning to go to see Gladys and take her some smaller chocolates that she might actually be able to eat, poor thing. And I really must find out what time the Christmas Day services are, seeing as we didn’t darken the door with our presence on Sunday (shame on us …).
Talking of things spiritual, here’s today meditation poem:
Write my name
across the sky
and wait for the light
The heat of your hand
unveils the secrets
of the heart.
I've just finished Paul Batchelor's poetry chapbook, "To photograph a snow crystal". An interesting writer for sure, and though I didn't get some of what he was trying to say, there were several poems in there that were utterly stunning. Favourites included Tristia (historical lament), Afterwards (bitter elegy to a failed relationship) and the glorious series of "poetry-bites" that makes up Snow Melt. Definitely one to watch, in my opinon.
Oh, and the Christmas edition of QI is on later on – must watch that. And wasn’t last night’s Larkrise to Candleford wonderful? Lovely to see a real classic ghost story at Christmas – the ideal time for the genre of course.
Today’s nice things:
1. Selling a short story
3. Sharon’s review of A Dangerous Man and Maloney’s Law on Amazon
4. Lizzy's review of Thorn in the Flesh
5. Good carols on the radio
Anne's website - reeling from so much good news today!