Thursday, February 19, 2009

Night-time poems and the post-birthday world

Had a great time out with the gals last night, though we all agreed Edwinns in Bramley is shockingly expensive. £10 for a glass of wine?? Heck, you could buy the ruddy vineyard for those prices, especially in these credit crisis days ... That said, their treacle tart & clotted cream was to die for and I am still hyperventilating at the very thought of it. Mmm, lovely. However, I should have listened to Jane H (hello, Jane - you were right!) and stuck to the decaff coffee, as at 1am this morning, I was awake, alert and could have started a full day's work, if I ever remember what one of those is. It took me over an hour and a half to get back to sleep again. That said, it's not all bad news and grunting, as I made up a poem in my head whilst awake, managed to remember it and write it down when the real morning turned up, called it Moonflawed, submitted it to Ink Sweat & Tears webzine and they have accepted it for future publication (thank you, Charles!) - so that's put a smile on my not-fully-awake-and-unlikely-ever-to-be-so face today.

Talking of poems, here's this morning's meditation:

Meditation 73

On the sacred table
keep the bright lamps

let the priests’ bread

be nourished
by the light

that watches
your every step

stone-cherished, completed.
Remember the debt

you owe
and who will pay it.

Maybe there's something to be said for a good dose of caffeine once in a while then, if only for the productivity stakes ... Though these have been rather lacking for good old Hallsfoot's Battle as I have only just managed to scrape my way into the 92,000 word zone, with little chance of doing more to it before the day is over, I fear. Still at least I have ideas for what to do when I go back to it - and we're getting to the scene in the book where Ralph and Simon actually meet up for the first time since The Gifting, so that should be interesting. Particularly as the deeply wicked mind-executioner is masterminding (sorry!) it all.

And talking of plots, the lovely people at Dreamspinner Press and I have been working on a web blurb for The Bones of Summer which I hope will be finalised shortly. It's making me realise there's more to it than even I'd realised: relationships; religion; murder; memories. Lordy, where will it all end? Just like the home life of our own dear queen indeed ...

This afternoon, I am off to Guildford for my regular session of Clarins facial and back massage, and I must also post an updated contract addendum to Eternal Press for the short story publication of Painting from Life. Here's hoping the Post Office queues aren't too unbearably long.

After all that, it's a quick dash back home and turn-around as tonight Lord H and I are at the theatre seeing Pack of Lies - all about some distinctly unusual neighbours. I'm hoping it will keep us on our toes and we'll be able (at last! At last!) to admire the name plaques on the back of our seats. Lordy that's so sad it's almost psychotic, but I am really so excited I might well be sick. Which says it all about the extraordinary size of my ego ...

Meanwhile, on the reading front, I've finished Lionel Shriver's The Post-Birthday World. It's a challenging novel but, I think, a classic. It takes one moment in Irina's (the heroine) life and then spins two different, unique but cleverly mirrored stories from whether she did - or did not - succumb to the temptation of kissing her friend Ramsey. The first third is truly wonderful and I loved Irina, the second third is abysmally dull and I hated her, and the final third is miraculously clever and exciting and I came to accept her. Much like the course of one's life, I suppose. Anyway, the ending is pitch-perfect and, all in all, it's damn good, brave, human and ultimately very satisfying. Yes, that middle third needs a good seeing-to (as it were) but - much like listening to a Wagner opera - you need to go through that pain in order to comprehend the genius of the finale. You should read it.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry acceptances
2. Poems
3. Getting a little more of Hallsfoot done
4. Thinking about the Bones blurb
5. Clarins massages
6. Theatre trips
7. A genius of a book.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - pursuing its own mirror existence, several times over ...

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