Thursday, May 28, 2009

CONF 594: NOT WAITING


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My favourite walk of the moment is an evening stroll around and around the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens. One of those magical places that happens to be smack in the middle of London. Virginia Woolf lived nearby as a child, as did J M Barrie as a grown-up who still wished he was a child - Peter Pan's landing stage is nearby. This summer we have tickets for a staging in the gardens. It's a high tech in the round with a 360 degree screen where you get to fly with the characters. The first poem about the fairies, Kensington Gardens by Thomas Tickell, was written long (long being the word) before Barrie though, in the early 1800s.

Have now heard from my agent. She likes my edits and the ms has gone to the publisher. Thanks for the comments about the agonies of waiting but am feeling no anticipation, good or bad. There's no lurking by my e-mail in-box with baited breath this time. I've been through this so often now. I know now that the opinion that comes back will just be the one opinion of one editor. If she likes it then great, if she doesn't I'll be moving on.

There's still more to do to make the writing side of the second half read smoothly but with this rewrite the story has strengthened quite a lot. It isn't going away and that's all that matters really. As long as there's food on the table and all that. Which there just about is at the moment. I've been living on air for so long now. Have made it through so far I don't fear going under as much as I used to.

Part of the reason for this new equilibrium is because the roof over my head is more secure, albeit with its own set of magnificent problems I wouldn't wish on anybody, but also because I've been reading and rereading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth and The Power of Now. They have, literally I think, kept me sane. Beyond sane. Calm and enjoying life mostly. I'm completely with Oprah on this one and really do think they're some of the most important books ever written. I normally keep shtoom about these things apart from mentioning them to a few close friends. All I can say is they've seen me through a difficult time and have permanently changed my perspective.

' "One day I'll make it". Is your goal taking up so much of your attention that you reduce the present moment to a means to an end? Is it taking the joy out of your doing? Are you waiting to start living? If you develop such a mind pattern, no matter what you achieve or get, the present will never be good enough, the future will always seem better. A permanent recipe for permanent dissatisfaction and non-fulfillment...' Eckhart Tolle

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CONF 593: POTTERING

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No news from agent re publisher. Still editing like mad, hoping to get as much done before the feelings of hope are drained away and despair sets in again.


Last Saturday I took a different route to the market and came across Brompton Cemetery, had a little look around and decided to go back the next day for the tour. I do like wandering about on my own but am also a sucker for guided tours. Beatrix Potter used to live just beside the cemetery. They've found lots of names of her characters on the tombstones, fuelling the theories that, as it used to be a market garden, it's the original Mr McGregor's Garden. As well as Nutkins, above, and Mr McGregor, there's a Tod, a Mr Brock, a Peter Rabbett and Jeremiah Fisher. The man in the grave behind received the VC for bombing an airship which landed on a convent killing several nuns. He survived but was killed weeks later in an aerobatics display.


The tour leaves the Fulham Road entrance every Sunday at 2.00 and lasts for nearly 2 hours.

Arts & Crafts design by Edward Burne-Jones.





Emmeline Pankhurst, her grave still tended with fresh violas.


The whole place was designed as an outdoor cathedral, based on St Peter's in Rome. There's an open day on July 19th. Every year someone brings a wind-up gramophone to singer Richard Tauber's grave and plays his old 78s.


Rubbish photo of my shadow.. Won't be able to make the open day as it's daughter's 15th birthday but am hoping to go to Kensal Green's on 4 July, and still have to see the most famous of them all, Highgate.


Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.