Saturday, June 27, 2009

Book discounts and distances

Here's this morning's meditation, which is longer than usual but I think it's what I wanted to say:

Meditation 157

Bound in flesh
you ask your question

but the answer you get
rips through skin
and bone, blood,
marrow, limbs
and even your hidden heart,

sending all you’ve known
and trusted in
spinning outwards
to a place
no man but one
has ever seen.

Earth, saliva
and that strange sparkle
of a possible truth
you can but guess at
will draw you on
unprepared, still unsung.

Yes, well, there's one to conjure with, eh. So this morning, we popped out to Godalming and I've posted my copies of The Bones of Summer out to those who wanted them, so thank you for that. It should be with you early next week, assuming the post office keeps on trucking. And on this totally glorious day, I've been continuing to scribble away with those notes on the pre-edit for Hallsfoot's Battle. I'm now on Page 300 of The Gifting, with 12 pages of notes. Only 167 pages to go before I can get to the actual edit then ... Don't wait up.

Mind you, it's not been so much of a battle as struggling to the end of Fiona Sampson's poetry collection, The Distance Between Us. I was so looking forward to this as I did enjoy her Common Prayer hugely. But I'm afraid this one left me cold. And deeply deeply confused. I think a large part of its problem was that it was way too personal and muddled. The poems obviously mean a lot to Sampson herself but were far too closed-off and with too many references I didn't get for this particular reader to feel enlightened. No doubt that shows what an intellectual idiot I am, but I do think that poetry shouldn't be this obscure. Yes, I understand the need for difficult poems that the reader has to work with to understand and I'm not against that concept, within limits - but this seemed to be taking that to ridiculous extremes. Poetry shouldn't be this impossible! That said, I did enjoy some of the shorter offerings, like The Orpheus Variation (for its tenderness) and In The Early Evening, As Now (for its clarity and the relationship between man and nature). And some of the individual lines in the longer poems were very powerful indeed, but I'm afraid this collection as a whole didn't work for me.

In other literary news, I'm taking part in the GLBT themed excerpts day at Love Romances Cafe so have posted an excerpt from the middle of The Bones of Summer. Not only that but if you buy any book (including mine!) in any format from Dreamspinner Press TODAY only then you get 15% off. Definitely an incentive to visit then ...

I've also done another round of poetry submissions and - in a last brave but probably totally desperate attempt to spread the anguish - I have finally submitted the first three chapters of The Gifting to the publisher that requested it two years ago, and which I asked the agent to do at the time, but I don't think he ever got round to as he hoped a bigger publisher might take it (ho ho). And of course I'm now way too humiliated to ask him about it. Naturally by now everyone will have moved on and it's a situation without hope, but really I've got nothing to lose by trying. Just this once, eh.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Pre-editing
3. Marketing Bones (and the discount!)
4. Poetry submissions
5. The temporary triumph of hope over experience re The Gifting.

Anne Brooke - having a literary day and staring out at sunshine

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