Monday, June 30, 2008

CONF 561: FEET UP

.

Manic 3-chapters-a-week rewrite schedule on hold whilst I wait to hear what's happening.

After sending agent early outline of brand new book idea pitched to editor last week, went to Rymans to buy files (keeping the receipt! for I now live in hope as never before). There are 4 novels in the air now, two nearly there, two not begun plus a 5th in a completely different genre very much on the back burner for now.

On way back bought strawberries and cream and spent most of last week with balcony doors open to the gardens watching the tennis. Have never done this before, but know partner loves Wimbledon and it really does seem to have helped his depression. He's actually out at the moment & at weekend we went and got his car running again. Hardly dare say it but the cloud may finally have lifted. As the week went on the strawberries were joined by elderflower, then beer, then Victoria sponge cake.

It feels strange, relaxing. Had to buy loads of extra papers at the weekend, Saturday's Guardian for the Leonard Cohen song lyrics (relating closely to main novel-in-progress) and Sunday's Daily Mail for the Bowie CD on top of our usual 3 weekend papers. Too many papers. More like a slog when there's that many. But lots of great reads, mainly the Mail's serialisation of Jenni Murray's Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter which is just so incredibly moving. I hesitate to say I can relate to it so well, when she's been through so much more than I have, but the moments of recognition just add an extra layer for me.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

NEARLY

.

nearly nearly nearly nearly.......

Sorry, I have just had an intensive 2 days of rewriting synops and working up the new pitches which are now just about ready to go.

The meeting was good. The publisher's offices are about a 20 minute walk from the flat here. I was going to walk, that way the timing couldn't go wrong. But then a bus came along just as I passed the stop, so I got on it to read through my new ideas notes. Then, after nearly driving into a wall, the bus did lots of reversing, three point turning - a huge great BUS this is, it took about 10 minutes - before swinging left and careening off in the wrong direction. Wrong bus. I leapt off & made it to the offices with one minute to go.

Felt like the church mouse peeking through the high railings at the massive modern building, publisher's name in 10ft high letters blazened across the front. The reception area was like a hotel, balconies running round the inside all the way up to the skylights, a multi-display of their books and a proper caff, which is where we went to chat. She's lovely, very friendly and warm and I think it went well.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

CONF 560: I GET REVIEWED IN THE USA!

.

Great excitement yesterday as, in an idle moment, I checked my US Amazon rankings (currently ranging from 5,636,146 all the way up to 1,368,468) to discover a new review for one of the non-fictions. Only review as it happens but a 5 starer - whoo-eay. Perhaps not, on reading it, more of a hmm puh. A brief mention in its own review is better than none at all I suppose. Story of my life etc. And he could have been VERY VERY disappointed in me, which he's not. He could have called me a lackluster, which I'm not. I am 'good'.

Book is good. Good information. This item WAS shipped to my military APO, however, VERY VERY disappointed in Amazon's overall, lackluster, unreliable (lack of shipping) to military APO addresses. In general, they've shipped to my military APO address about 60% (if that) of the time - for very basic items. Many purchases were not made because items can't be shipped to me, other items I had to have shipped somewhere else and pay additional shipping to get item mailed to me. Shame on Amazon! Unfortunately I've received NO good answer from Amazon!

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CONF 549: MISSING THE BOAT


Afternoon off at Psycho Buildings
celebrating author friend's gorgeous new novel The Secret Shopper's Revenge. Not only has it got one of the loveliest covers I've ever come across but reading the opening chapter made me come over all wobbly it's so good.

Psycho Buildings well worth the trip. We were next in line here, having a rowing row (you row, no, you can row, no you row, you row), standing on the (very improvised) jetty waiting to get on our boat. Then they decided it was too wet. So instead of floating above London as was the artist's intention, we had to wobble off the platform back to dry roof.

When I got home, publication news of my own. A message from agent forwarding complimentary email from editor at one of the big publishing houses. I am going in to meet her next Monday! It's not a deal yet, we have to talk, but it IS so close I can almost, almost touch it.

More exciting news is another celebrity is looking at two houses on our terrace. Next door neighbour author was here recently, being all very glam and limos hovering outside all the time. Funny how quickly we got used to seeing her though & I fast became more interested in her dishy husband. But if this one moves in I'm going to become an even more unbearable gawper out of the window, tedious name dropper.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CONF 548: THERAPED

.

Third week of therapy tomorrow. I have 6 sessions on the NHS because I am living with someone who has clinical depression which has been driving me nuts.

I had to wait 12 weeks for it, which seems crazy when it's supposed to treat people in situations that have become too bad to cope with, but my nurse friend ticked me off for grumbling. She said this was very good, at my old address I'd have to have waited nearly a year. In most countries I'd have to pay a fortune etc etc.

Anyway, it's good. Turns out I'm as balanced as can be considering all that's been going on. Talking about my situation regularly is the best thing for me and as my friends are helping me so much with that we're using the sessions to look at behavioural patterns that have been around since childhood. All very interesting! A bit like the Parkinson interview you never had, nattering on and on about yourself and your family background except you can be as rude and ungrateful as you like, putting all the dodgy bits in so that they can be 'picked apart' as she put it.

CBT isn't deep psychoanalysis but I noticed after the first session how much the word care had cropped up. In the 2nd session I mentioned this and told her about one of my recurring dreams about the forest pony I had as a teenager. We were not well off by any means, he lived in a field all year and it was my responsibility to look after him. I still have recurring guilt dreams that he's been there all these years but I haven't been to feed him or check his shoes so when I do go, in the dream, he's starved and his feet have grown long and curly. One of the things this therapy does is that it helps you to help yourself by changing your thought patterns. Lots in the subconscious presumably & last night dreamt that I took my pony to the blacksmith! Have also started treating myself a bit more, like having an espresso on the terrace of the cricket pavilion on Twickenham Green after dropping daughter off, instead of sitting hunched up with laptop in car. Talking of which, it had to happen one day. The other morning we'd been naughtily up late, watching reality TV fake wedding probably, & daughter was snoozing next to me in car & when I got to the school I just drove on and started driving home again, forgetting to drop her off. Something for her therapist 100 years from now perhaps.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

CONF 547: THE BENEFITS OF FAILURE

.

'Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I built my life...'

Head is (sort of) down racing to complete rewrite by end of term. The usual spurts of progress followed by despairing blanks and internet driftings. One of the best 20 minute procrastinates ever this morning, though, thanks to Amy Palko's post on J K Rowling's Harvard address.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.