Sunday, October 13, 2013

Execution, film and a church mystery

Book News:

This week, gay-themed fantasy novel The Gifting found itself at No 90 in the Amazon UK Fantasy charts, while the last in the Gathandrian Trilogy, The Executioner's Cane, was at No 78 in the Amazon US Gay Fiction Charts and No 56 in the Amazon UK Gay Fiction Charts. And don't forget the whole Gathandrian fantasy trilogy is FREE so there's nothing to lose, hey ho.

Not to be outdone, the 2nd in the trilogy, Hallsfoot's Battle, found itself briefly at No 76 in the Amazon UK Epic Fantasy chart, so that was a bit of a boost to the struggling writer too, hurrah.

Meanwhile, gay erotic romance The Art of The Delaneys gained a 4-star review at Goodreads, which commented that the whole of the series was "pure entertaining smut." Exactly what I intended, so I was very chuffed by that!

I'm also very pleased indeed to note that romantic short story Dido's Tale has now had over 50 downloads at Smashwords, and that's a FREE book too.  Never say I'm not generous with my fiction, eh ...

This week's poetry is about Wasps and Sunlight, and can be found at my poetry site, as usual. Happy reading.

Life News:

A very busy end of week here in the Surrey outback and, indeed, I seem to have shoehorned all my social activities, not to mention church dramas (see below), for the month into two days. Heck, no wonder I'm exhausted. On Thursday night, there was an extra rehearsal of the upcoming Elstead play at ours to try to iron out one or two problem sections. This ended up with me playing all the characters who couldn't be there on the night, in order to give everyone else a good chance at some practice. Heavens above, I should be granted my Equity card on merit alone, my dears. My performance was a tour de force, naturally, ho ho.

On Friday, M and I managed to squeeze in a round of golf in between the rain showers (or maybe deluge is a more accurate word), and I also had another fabulous haircut at the Elstead salon (many thanks once more, Steff). In the evening, K and I went to see Lincoln at the Elstead cinema, and really enjoyed the experience - lovely to have all those local adverts during the interval, including one for the upcoming play. No mention of my valuable support, however - I must have been left on the cutting room floor, oh the shame!

Goodness, though, but the first half of Lincoln is very wordy. And tough if, like me, you don't know US history and wonder who the heck these people are. Lincoln had children? Who knew! I was also confused because I didn't know Lincoln was the same time period as the US Civil War, but I accept I might have been getting him muddled up with George Washington, who apparently was earlier. However the second half was much better, with more actual excitement and less talking. The decision scene was superb. I loved the 3 Stooges, and the guy who was all for racial equality and had a relationship with his black housekeeper which was very sweet (Stevens, possibly?). I also loved all those wonderful beards and moustaches, and of course Daniel Day-Lewis nailed it. As ever with Spielberg though, he went on and indulged in cringe-making sentimentality after the film's natural end. It should have finished when Lincoln walks out into the night to go to the fateful theatre performance where he was shot. We didn't need the bit with the crying sons and the equality speech - way too tacky. But hey, that's Spielberg for you - he's never recognised The End when it arrives, oh well.

Yesterday, I baked Devonshire Honey Cake - it wasn't as good as the last time I baked it, as I managed to burn it a little, but the honey glaze has covered up a multitude of sins and it tastes fine, phew. We also popped along to the Elstead book sale, and managed to get six books for £2, go us. A real bargain indeed.

I'm rather bamboozled by a telephone conversation I had with one of the church ladies, however, which went something like this:

Church Lady (CL): Please could I speak to K?
Me: Of course. Can I tell him what it's about?
CL: We need to know where you live.
Me: (I give her our address, assuming this is for the church records: they're always asking us where we live, then losing the information and asking again, sigh): OK, no problem, is that all?
CL: No, not really. I can't tell you, but Mrs X (another church lady) needs to talk to him about something and wonders if she can come round to discuss it today. Now we have your address.
Me: I'm not sure if we'll be in (a lie actually, but a Visitation by Church Ladies is always a Moment of Horror and To Be Avoided ...). If you tell me what it's about, I can ask him though.
CL: Um, I don't really know, I can't say. I'll ask Mrs X. (Sound of CL asking Mrs X, who is actually in the same room as CL but for some reason won't speak to me on the phone.) Mrs X - Anne asks what it's about - can you tell me?
Pause and murmured conversation away from the phone
CL: Mrs X can't talk about it on the phone, but needs to come round and see K and you face to face. Can she come round now?
Me (still lying for Britain): I think we'll be out. Can Mrs X give me a guide as to what it's about, please?
More muttered conversation.
CL: I'm afraid she can't. It's a face-to-face matter. She's going to come round now. Will you be in?
Me: It's unlikely (making plans to flee the country and hoping the passport is still valid). We may be out. Are you sure you can't talk about it on the phone, or ask Mrs X to tell me, so I can tell K?
CL: No, that's definitely  not possible. Mrs X will come round. But if you're out, what will Mrs X do?
Me (now laughing hysterically): She'll probably have to wait a long time, but at least it's not raining.
Puts phone down.

Church ladies - really, they're a puzzle wrapped in an enigma, bless 'em. My dears, it's a mystery. Anyway, the upshot was that Mrs X never came round - though she might well have done while we were out. But K and I are having great fun wondering what it might have been about that makes her want to talk to K face to face, but not me on the phone. Has she discovered some terrible secret about me that she must tell K before it's too late? Goodness, I do hope so, as that would be amazing! K wonders idly if Mrs X has discovered my secret affair with the vicar's wife, which would certainly be something for the November edition of the parish magazine, eh. Ha! I was too busy dealing with tea coming out of my nose at that suggestion to comment. The plot, however, thickens ...

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Biblical Fiction UK

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