Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CONF 502: MOVING

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Guess what, my new next door neighbour is an author! She's about my age and has a daughter about daughter's age. I wonder if we will be friends? We are going to the garden square fireworks on 5 November, perhaps she'll be there? Or perhaps not. The irony is we're moving because we're so broke but the flat is a sitting tenancy in billionaire's row. Our new neighbour is as successful a writer as I am struggling. That doesn't mean she won't be friendly of course, except she's got other homes as well. When she's there she probably goes in and out of her house through the discreet underground car park so I doubt we'll ever see her. Am looking forward to meeting the other tenants in our house, though. All I know so far is there's a professor of Islam, an actor, a theatre director and the first person who ever won Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

CONF 501: THE FANTASY AND THE REALITY



It's a bit too peaceful here. The vortex of calm, I fear, before the next round. The boxes are packed with all that can be put away. Masterlists of masterlists have been edited down, according to which, the only people who need to be informed of my new address are Tesco and Sainsbury. Charity shops all over Twickenham are full of our stuff and I am on first name terms with the lovely Men from the Tip. On last visit even managed a discussion about Christianity and Buddhism with a Sri Lankan atheist. Only two things left on eBay now. A shabby pine table (currently bid to £1.03) and two astronomical telescope glasses which need more grounding ( no interest at all).

I even managed some writing yesterday. Not the novel, which is no more than a distant memory at the moment, but an 800 word article for a Venezuelan glossy on the Phantom of the Opera. A bit of blab to go with partner's photo there of le Grand Escalier.

Did you know the first Phantom movie was made in 1925?

Have also been frying my brain researching laptops. Daughter needs a PC one for her ICT work, the Apple spreadsheets don't transfer to the school computers, and let's not forget little me here who will also need it for a bit of writing here and there whilst she's at school. Have settled on a mid-range Toshiba from John Lewis which might even be in our clutches this time tomorrow.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Five HUNDRED!

Booker winner Anne Enright has a short story in the Guardian today. Quite wonderful, I thought.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

CONF 499: ABSENT

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Thanks to Publisher's News' daily update emails, have been able to keep a quiet eye on the Frankfurting goings on. Was pleased to see the agent I'm working with in there, securing a six figure deal for a first time author. Another hot-selling book was described as both commercial and literary, hooray, and why not. If literary means, as I understand it, layers of depth, there is no reason at all why a book shouldn't be both (Austen and Dickens and all that). But then today's Observer had a long piece on the agent shake-up at PFD and the insanities of trying being a writer these days. At least I've kind of learnt that already.

I haven't been at the computer much lately. Not only moving house but my mother has died, she was 95 and severely mentally disabled, she had a miserable existence in the Home for the past few years and so it's come as a bit of a relief that her suffering is at an end, though of course the longer-term sadnesses are going to seep out over the months to come. My cousin also died, suddenly, which was a big shock and another is seriously ill. So all that on top of moving house means I'm having to be kind to myself and not get too worked up about anything.

Now I am going to cry. Have just seen this, from Matthew Clark, on Facebook:

'Hi, this is a link to an online petition to try and get rid of the bendy buses. The reason I do this and why this petition was made, is that if you've seen the news this week, you may of come across an incident that took place 5am Monday in Ilford, where a lad of 21 got dragged under one of those bendy buses. That lad was my best friend, Lee Beckwith. This had been a horrific tragedy, since he was a truly great and charismatic guy with a big heart. These vehicles have caused too much bloodshed. If you could take a minute out to add your name to this petition Lee's friends, family and myself would be extremely grateful. Thanks.

Please pass it on.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

CONF 488: HOORAY

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Well, the verdict's in, there are some slight concerns, but overall the agent is happy with how it's panning out. Now I need some hunkering down time to get the final draft nailed and sealed. I am looking forward to it. But WHEN? I could get an early morning habit going, but there's too much happening at the moment for that to be wise. If I give myself the deadline of Christmas, that will give me one half term after we've moved house to get it done.

Writing workshop last night. I didn't read but drank rather a lot, belched a bit and pinched most of the cheesy crisps which happened to be in front of me. The standard is so high now. A pleasure to listen to, but I have to really be confident about something to consider reading, even amongst such good friends.

Today's Times has another one of those why writers write pieces in today, which I, personally, can never get enough of. I spotted it in the hairdresser's - you won't hear me say that more than once a year. However, I think I have found somebody I like, at last, after all these years of self-snipping and miserable one-off forays. She was nattering away to the bloke before me and I sat in the reception bit quivering with dentist-like dreads of natter coming up. I don't mean my dentist fires off questions about my work and my holidays but, you know, the same horrid waiting room dread feelings. I started to plan. When the inevitable question comes, do I say I'm a writer? Or a journalist? Or a scouring pad advisor? Or what? But not only could she cut, she had instinct & knew I wasn't up for the blab. Hooray. I Have a Hairdresser.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

CONF 487: PLAN OF ACTION

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Well, I gave the agent a tiny, polite nudge. She got back to me immediately &, as I assumed, the looming Frankfurt Book Fair has kept her busy. She is going to try and get back to me before she goes. If she doesn't manage to, I mustn't panic and keep reminding myself that unsigned authors have to be a lower priority than the clients already represented. I know what I have to do. Block off a couple of weeks to do the rewrites, and nothing but the rewrites. That won't be possible until after I've moved house on 1st November so am not going to beat myself up about it.

Tracey Emin's column the Independent this week: Writers writing about writing are (is?) a fairly common sight, artists less so, because they can't paint about it I suppose, or maybe some do. How many other writers can identify with her anxts? I'm guessing 99%.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CONF 486:

Blank. I am. Blank blank blank.

Used to write once, haven't written since before the summer holidays, that's July, early July.

Very busy in other ways. Can now spend whole days not even wondering if I'll ever hear anything, if I'll ever have time to write again & just assuming all of that was part of another summer life.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again another day.