Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gardens, sculpture and stories

A very lazy morning today. I must say that one of the good things about being on the mend but not quite well yet is the fact that you don't have to stick to your routine. Hurrah. Though you still have the safety of it to run to if you need to. Double hurrah. So this morning I thought about going to church, but decided that sneezing and coughing on the old folk was probably not a wise idea still, so had a lie-in instead. Bliss.

The good literary news of this morning is that I have finally tracked down the paperback version of Painting from Life on Amazon US. You can find it here. As you can see, the reason I've been struggling is that they have no idea how to spell my surname. Sigh. Still, I'm way too terrified to complain in case they unilaterally ditch me anyway for being too gay a writer, so I shall say nothing. Discretion is the better part of the proverbial, after all.

Before lunch, Lord H and I decided it would be a good idea if I did attempt to leave the flat before work tomorrow - I haven't seen the outside world at all since Wednesday, alas. So we've been for a brief but very relaxing walk round the Birtley House Sculpture Trail. Just beat the rain too. What stars we are. The House itself is actually an old people's care home and looks very charming - so Lord H and I are booking our places there in advance. Before the rush starts, eh.

For the rest of the day, I've struggled and groaned in the effort to squeeze another few words out for Hallsfoot's Battle and have just managed to get myself into the 119,000 word range. I really can't do any more though - it's making my head implode and, before long, I shall start to hate it and curse that wretched Simon in truth. Bloody scribes, eh - you can't trust them. Right now, I feel like printing the whole damn thing out and stamping up and down on it whilst foaming at the mouth and yodelling. Which is pretty normal for me at this stage in a novel, I must admit. But rather disconcerting for Lord H. Ah well.

I've now read Erastes' historical gay romance novel, Transgressions. The writing is certainly smoother than her earlier novel, Standish, but the characters in Transgressions don't really grab me, I'm afraid. This may of course be because I was so in love with the dark and mysterious Rafe, and the amoral, charming and criminal Fleury in Standish that nothing afterwards will ever be the same and I still think of them and wonder how they are even now - but I do feel that David and Jonathan (not a good naming idea, in my opinion) in Transgressions were simply too nice to be gripping. I wasn't wholly convinced by the Jonathan-as-witchfinder story arc either - though it was delightful I admit to be back in my home county of Essex for a large section of that. All-out favourite passage about Essex was:

"This is a strange county and it has more legends and evil associated with it than any other I know. It is also home to these mists which are strange, changeable and too thick to be natural."

Superb and soooo true! We rural Essex Gals have always been strange, changeable and too thick to be natural. It's part of our genes. I learnt how to drive in those dang impenetrable sea mists - and even now I'm pretty handy if I find myself in a car in a fog. It's all done by feel and instinct, you know.

Tonight, Lord H and I hope to finally get round to watching the video of Compulsion which we recorded some weeks ago and which I have been too ill or too busy to watch ever since. So I am gearing myself up for angst, naughtiness and trauma. Sounds like a normal Saturday night in my home county then ...

This week's haiku (with a hint of desperation):

Career of the week:
coughing, sneezing, spluttering
Queen of the Lemsips.

Today's nice things:

1. The paperback version of Painting from Life now being available
2. Sculpture parks
3. TV
4. Haikus.

Anne Brooke - definitely too thick to be natural
Cancer Research Race for Life - helping you help women with cancer


Nik Perring said...

Thrilled to hear you're better and non-housebound!

Ooh and your book should be in the post tomorrow (sorry for the delay!).


Anne Brooke said...

Yes, I've been allowed out for good behaviour - should I ever exhibit any! Looking forward to the book and thanks again.



Fiona Glass said...

How irritating that Amazon can't get your name right! But I think all that wiping the gay authors off the map stuff has blown over now, so you might be all right complaining to them...

Anne Brooke said...

I'll try to get my courage up, Fiona!