Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Importance of Fruit and the welcoming touch

Book News:

It is a matter for general astonishment on all sides that during February when it was offered as a free story, How to Eat Fruit was actually downloaded 4,800 times. Ye gods and little fishes, that's more than a 1,000 times a week! I know at least a couple of those who took the punt didn't enjoy it, but I hope some of the others did. Now, just imagine how big a smile I'd have if it hadn't been free! But in any case it's lovely to think of 4,800 readers, or potentially so - therefore a BIG thank you to all who clicked on that button! Well gosh.

A Woman Like The Sea now has its earlier review up at Queer Magazine Online, so thank you to Victor and Anders for that. In addition, if during March you buy A Woman Like The Sea, than you can get any other of my Untreed Reads books with a 40% discount - so there's another good offer to whet your reading appetite. Keeping with Untreed Reads, I was pleased to see that The Girl in the Painting was No 3 on their international bestseller list for February, gosh again.

Reviews this week so far have been as follows:

The Delaneys and Me gained a 4.5 star review at MichelenJeff Reviews.
At the same review site, Entertaining the Delaneys gained a 5 star review.
And Brady's Choice received a 5+ star review, so that was thrilling, I can tell you. Gosh indeed! And thank you to Jeff for reviewing all those so kindly.

Not to be outdone, Sunday Haiku was briefly at No 68 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart, and I even managed to reach the 110,000 word marker in The Executioner's Cane, huzzahs galore and put out the bunting. Heck, I might even finish the trilogy one day - who knows.

This week I've reviewed Ron Butlin's Vivaldi and the Number 3 for Vulpes Libris, which is a musically surreal short story collection that it's wisest not to consume all at once. And recent meditations are:

Meditation 494
The shadow from the sun
retraces the silent step

for a paste of figs
and bitter tears

so one man’s grief
exceeds the worth

of the truth carved out
through all the years.

Meditation 495
Do not trust
the messengers of Babylonia,
do not let them in:

they’ll admire
everything you own then take it
when they leave again.

So do not trust
the messengers of Babylonia,
my friend:

they come
with gifts and smiles but they’ll only hurt you
in the end.

Meditation 496
To be remembered for water
is how to begin

so still the tongue
and let the brightness in.

Life News:

A difficult week, health-wise, but also positive really. Without the HRT, I've been all over the place so I finally bit the proverbial damn bullet and went to the doctor this week about my mood (low, if you're asking). I did the mercifully short (as I didn't have my reading glasses) test she gave me and we discovered I'm 9/21 for anxiety and 8/21 for depression. Which apparently makes me moderately, but not severely, depressed. So it's not all bad news and gloom really! Lord knows it could be worse ... Anyway, the upshot is I'm now on my first medically-prescribed anti-depressant (ah, welcome to mid-forties womanhood indeed ..) which is called Cipramil. Yes, of course I looked up the list of side effects on the NHS site but it was so long I thought I'd stop reading before I jumped out of the nearest window. Ha! Anyway, I'm now on Day 2 of the new Happy Pills and am feeling surprisingly perky. Which must be psychosomatic as they're not supposed to kick in for at least 2 weeks. I can't take the St John's Wort with these, alas, so they're on their own, the pesky little devils. We will see, eh ...

On a happier note, I have decided, along with the lovely Kirsty at Vulpes Libris, to give up worrying for Lent. I was toying with giving up chocolate, but hell I could do without the pressure right now, so an attempted lack of worrying seems like a better idea. I've also enjoyed finishing off the story of Joseph and his brothers at bible study this week. Now there's a disfunctional family if ever I saw one. Too much favouritism is never anything but a dangerous game, my dears ...

I also spent a lovely lunchtime at Wisley yesterday, though I'm afraid there were no cupcakes and the cappuccino just isn't as good as at The Savill Garden, but nonetheless the camellias were out, alongside some gloriously scented daphne sprigs and irises, amongst others. It was all very relaxing which was just what I needed really. And I've popped in to see my former neighbour in Woking today, so that was good to catch up.

I'm hoping all this positive input will help me through the no doubt agonising final episode of the increasingly grim South Riding on TV - I am still traumatised by last Sunday so who knows what I'll be like after the weekend. Someone get me some happy TV to watch, soon!

Finally, I am beyond thrilled to announce that it's now official: UK students have voted our University as the most welcoming in Britain, and my boss gets to have a few words in the article too, hurrah! Good for Student Care is what I say - we all put a heck of a lot of work into Welcome Week arrangements and changes (which takes up a good portion of our year and takes me a month to recover from afterwards!) and it's lovely to think that the students do get something out of our efforts. Well done to them and us, and here's to this year's Welcome Week also - the champagne's on me ...

Anne Brooke


Jason Shaw said...

Great news on the great reviews! What a boon and delight (sorry I'm in love with the word 'boon' today!) It's all jolly nice and smile worthy.

Health wise is not so smiley, though it should be. I misread your depresent pills name for Campari which I thought was strange to get from the Doc's but in the short term may have the same effects. Then I reread and though, well at least it's not not common old prozac with it yuckky poo pants side effects (I rememebr them from my younger days!)

But, I guess life is like that, it never runs smoothly. When one aspect is gowing wonderfully well another side is perhaps under a cloud of the dark sort. But I have no doubt, you're mood, just like the summer, will come good eventually! Here's hoping anyway!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Jason! - much appreciated on all counts! The campari sounds grand - will have to suggest that to the doctor, I think ... :))

Big hugs to you!


Megan said...

big congratulations on all your latest successes Anne - and very best with the health issues. Sometimes pills can help to bridge the gap...
Have a lovely weekend,
m xxxx

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks so much, Megan - that's what I'm hoping! Hope your w/e is wonderful :))