Sunday, April 03, 2011

Butterflies, Brits and bestsellers

Book News:

Sad to say, this weekend sees the end of British Fortnight at Brief Encounter Reviews, and what a fantastic fortnight it's been. I've learnt a heck of a lot about my fellow UK gay fiction writers and, if you missed my slot (as it were), you can find it on 22 March. Many thanks, Tam & Jen, for arranging it all, and thank you to everyone who took part.

Good news this week is that I've broken the 120,000 word marker in The Executioner's Cane, with only the last chapter to go, plus the epilogue. Lordy, but it's been a mammoth task and I was beginning to think I'd never reach this point. Once I've finally written "The End", I shall collapse for a month and not write a thing, and certainly not another trilogy, please God no. Though, hell, but I'm going to miss Simon and the Gathandrians, not to mention the mind-cane - they've been part of my ruddy life for so damn long, I can't think what I shall do without them ...

Also today, you can find an interview with me at The Accidental Author, where I discuss art, handbags and the vital importance of coffee. Many thanks to Jesse for arranging it and asking such great questions. Meanwhile, I'm happy to say that The Girl in the Painting is once more in the Untreed Reads bestsellers' list - for March it came in at Number 3, so I'm very pleased with that. I have no idea why that particular story continues to be quite so popular, but I'm glad it is! Thank you to everyone who's bought a copy, and I hope you enjoyed it.

At Amber Allure Press, all my books can be found at a 25% discount during April, so don't forget to treat yourself to a scintillating shopping experience for spring. You know you want to ...

Recent meditation poems are:

Meditation 512
The last thing he sees
is the royal garden

wrapped in night-time quiet,
the scent of daylight flowers

still hinted on the faint breeze
that lifts his hair

as the distant stars look down,
majestic and unaware.

Meditation 513
It’s a history
not of kings
or people
but of objects:

bronze columns and carts,
tanks, shovels, lamps,
sacrificial bowls and coals
and incense.

All the paraphernalia
of rich and poor
who in this, their story,
live no more.

The Sunday haiku is:

The duck stalks my bench:
expectation on her beak,
water off my back.

Life News:

The middle neighbours seem to be playing silly devils again, sigh, and this time not with us. They've apparently laid claim to both sheds and their contents in the garden, even though only one of them belongs to them, and the other one is the ground floor neighbours'. Also it appears that the new middle neighbour might (if he ever arrives ...) consider (from what he's been told by them) that all the garden belongs to him, when in fact he only has the rear section of the back garden and nothing whatsoever of the front. Another deep sigh, eh. The upshot is that I've advised the tenants of the ground floor to let the ground floor owners know this is happening, and of course we're prepared to help them hang onto what is theirs if we need to! Lordy, when will it all end? I do so wish I was out of here ...

On the up side, I enjoyed golf on Friday with Marian, and she beat me by one shot on the last hole, oh the shame of it! Still we were neck and neck up to that point so the crowds (should there ever be any) were going wild with excitement, hey ho. And The Mentalist was great in the evening so rounded off the week quite well. Not only that but I've started wearing earrings again - when I'm depressed I just can't bring myself to care enough to change them (I think I've actually worn the same fall-back pair for about two or three years now, which should really have told me something, if I'd bothered to listen ...), but yesterday and today I have put different pairs in. Maybe the anti-depressants are working? I do think they might be and I hope it continues, hurrah.

Yesterday, K and I had a lovely lunch out at and a walk round Wisley. The orchid display in the Greenhouse was particularly stunning and is well worth a visit if you have time - it last until the end of April. We also loved the sense of spring coming to the garden - with the camellias, rhododendrons and daffodils out in all their splendour, and huge amounts of butterflies. We saw in one half-hour a brimstonean orange-tipa tortoiseshell and a peacock butterfly. So many out so early in the year - it was astonishing really. Wisley also have a brand-new bird-hide and, though we didn't see many birds there, we did see a grass snake about two foot long (enormous!) swimming along the river. I've never seen any snake swim so that was a first for me. It stayed quite a time too which was wonderful. The yellow collar behind the head was very obvious.

Today, of course, it's Mothers Day - and Mother (Gawd bless 'er!) woke us at 8.45am when we were enjoying a much-needed lie-in to thank us for our presents. Still, I only have myself to blame for being a lazy stop-in-bed - as a farmer's daughter I should be ashamed of myself as my inheritance is that I should be up at 6am daily and working out in the fields. Dream on!... Anyway, Mother is off to London with her theatre group for a concert and I hope she has a fabulous day. Tonight, it's the joys of Lewis on TV, and I can't wait. It's got to be better than the new Midsomer Murders, that's for sure.

Anne Brooke


Megan said...

Love that duck Anne.
Go and buy yourself at least 3 new pairs of marvellous earrings. And a bracelet,
Megan xx

Megan said...

ps isn't Brimstone the best name for a butterfly? x

Anne Brooke said...

Tee hee, thanks, Megan - it was a very determined duck! 3 new earrings sounds nice, but a bracelet might well be a step too far! :)) Hope all well with you!


Anne Brooke said...

And definitely about that butterfly too - and they're soooo pretty :))


Jason Shaw said...

Gosh, 120,000 words, that's an amazing amount, really amazing, I don't know how you do it. Even after a blog post of say 200 words I have to have a lay down in a darkened room with a compress on my head!

Seriously, well done! Pesky neighbours, I feel for you, I really do, I've always been lucky with good neighbours, excepting the Polish prostitutes on the top floor of Devonshire when I lived there, well it wasn't so much them as the heavy foot falls on the stairs of their not so gentlemenly visitors!

Sound like a nice week, oh I love Simon thingy in The Mentalist.

Much love for a good week!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jason! I have a permanent compress on my head, you know ... :))

Hope your week is going okay!

Hugs galore