Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Writers, visits and books

Had a really lovely time at last night’s Thorn in the Flesh book group, so thank you very much, Sue & Susanna and Co, for your very warm welcome, a great chat, fabulous food and fantastic flowers. All very much appreciated! It’s the icing on the cake of a writer’s life indeed.

Meanwhile, today’s meditation is rather darker than yesterday’s, I fear …

Meditation 99

From the high rocks
and lonely hills

see how the lion
licks up its prey.

Even seven altars
and all the bulls

and rams in the world
cannot turn it aside

from its slow devouring path.

At work, I’m catching up on minutes and trying to make my desk look tidy, professional and organised. Hmm, don’t wait up is my advice.

The lunch hour was spent in the stimulating company of the University Writers’ Group. Some great manuscripts to look at and I think they enjoyed my “Who, What, Where” game. Something to think about for their homework anyway.

On the way home, I popped into see Gladys and filled up that constantly emptying bird table – really, the birds in Godalming must be as huge as elephants now, though at least that will make them easier to spot. I tried a different tack this time too - instead of trying to talk or be super nice and jolly (no, it doesn't sit easy, really ...), I simply walked in, ignored her usual shouts of "go away!", sat down next to her and tried to be still and focus on good thoughts (no, that doesn't sit easy either, I know!). She did a little more shouting, then she quietened down and we just sat in silence for ten to fifteen minutes before I thought it was time to go. Now and then I glanced at her and smiled, and she looked puzzled but didn't comment. When I got up to leave, she actually blew a kiss at me and let me touch her hand (which she usually hates). I said I'd see her next time and waved as I left the room. She waved back. It felt like progress. I might try it again and see if it helps us. Maybe words sometimes just get in the way.

This evening, I've written an article I’ve been asked to submit to The View From Here Magazine. The subject that sprang to mind was the utter and vital necessity of writers actually reading, which is something I feel passionately about. All the time. I don't know whether they'll like it and it's probably way too long, but thank you, Mike, for asking me.

And I’d like to recommend Janet Davey’s marvellous novel, The Taxi Queue. The only thing that actually happens in it happens near the start, when two men meet in a taxi queue, one married and one not, and spend the night together (it's not described, but that's right for this novel). From there everything changes on the inside, although most things remain the same on the outside. But it’s a tour de force of shifting shadows, modernity and the mystery of ordinary people. Almost an English Murakami, I think. You should read it.

Ooh, and I have my Winter 2008 quarter royalties for the eBook of Thorn in the Flesh so I am now eleven dollars richer, which comes out at c£6.00, so thank you, Leslie of Bristlecone Pine Press for that! Every little makes a difference here in the shires, you know.

Today’s nice things:

1. Flowers from the book group
2. Poetry
3. University Writers
4. Quiet thoughts whilst visiting
5. Completing an article for submission
6. Books
7. Royalties.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - a feast of riches and silence


Jilly said...

I'm pleased the book group went well, Anne - that must have been a scary thing to do.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly! These things are always scary - but I always enjoy them as I so rarely get the chance to meet readers in the flesh and chat!