If you want to win a shiny advance copy of The Blue Handbag, pop over to Goodreads and enter this competition. Quick – time’s running out!
On a vegetable note, the garlic is harvested, and I have a big punnet of blackcurrants waiting to be made into sweet dark jam. Now, fried potatoes for breakfast.
And here’s something I liked from over at whiskey river - thanks whiskey.
In the morning I mused
It won’t return, the magic of life
it won’t return
Suddenly in my house the sun
became alive for me
and the table with bread on it
and the flower on the table
and the glasses
And what happened to the sadness
In the sadness too, radiance.
- Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky
The Spectacular Difference
PS someone has bought what will be my third novel Thaw on Amazon – was it you?! I’m approving the final proofread changes this week – I’ll tell Ruth she has a good home to go to already. Hurray.
A week I’ve set aside to work on the 2nd draft of my work-in-progress, Joe in Amsterdam.
I shall also be:
Eating raspberries straight from the canes.
Stroking Fatty‘s belly.
Wondering where my widget has travelled to.
Warming my face in the sun.
Reading Widsom 2.0 (what Buddha says about people who are addicted to the internet).
Making a white chocolate cheesecake.
That’s my week – I hope you have a lovely one planned.
It’s strange when celebrities die. We think we know them, and maybe we do a bit – as far as it is possible to know anyone without stepping into their skins.
I’m sad for any losses, and especially sad for the unfulfilled, the parts where the light never shined. We never know what choices we ourselves would make if we’d lived someone else’s life. So here’s to Michael. And to Farrah, and to all the others.
Happy weekend x
Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer
We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done – the unpacking, the mail
and papers… the grass needed mowing…
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.
And then we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if a widget were a kind of bird? ‘I saw a Great Spotted Widged this morning, her blue and green wings were stunning’.
I did see a widget this morning of the ‘a handful of stones’ variety, and it was perched on the side-bar of Planting Words. Scroll down… scroll down… see it?
Every day it will automatically update itself with a small stone written by a different author, direct from my blogzine a handful of stones. Clever, eh?
It was written by Gary Wilson, who has contributed some lovely stones to the blogzine in the past, and who blogs at Writing Dramatica. And you can get your very own widget, blue and green wings and all, by following the instructions here. It’s free! Here’s the link again (because I’m very excited about it) tadaaaa!
Many thanks to Gary, and hip hip hurray for widgets.
It all depends on your point of view. I’ve harvested my favourites from the Facebook thread that grew from the Tiny Lizard post – thank you Jim, Clare, Emma, Peter, Neil and Matt. Try not to wet yourselves laughing.
What’s red and sits in a corner?
A naughty strawberry!
What’s brown and sticky?
What’s brown and sounds like a bell?
What’s red and invisible?
What ticks on the wall?
Dog walks into the bar with his arm in a sling. Says, “Ah’m looking for the man who shot mah paw.”
A bear walks into a bar and says: “I’ll have…. … … … … a pint of Harveys, please.”And the barman says: “Why the big pause?”
Duck goes into the drugstore and buys a tube of lipstick. The shop assistant says, “Are you paying for it now?” and the duck says, “No, just put it on my bill.”
All I got for my last birthday was a pack of sticky playing cards…..I found it really hard to deal with.
I was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murdering my orchestra conductor.Apparently because I had bought a Stradivarius in 2002, an Amati in 1998 anda Guarneri in 1990, the police said I had a history of violins.
Altogether now… GROAN.
Any similar jokes in the comments section please. That should keep us all going for a long time.
A man walks into a bar with a newt on his shoulder.
The barman looks at the creature and asks the man what he calls it.
“Tiny,” replies the man.
“Why’s that?” asks the bartender.
“Because he’s my newt!”
That is my kind of joke. (Thanks Ed)
When I wrote this post, the counter (bottom right) was at ten thousand exactly. It’ll be more than that now, because you’re here. I think that is a cause for celebration. Sticky toffee pudding and a blob of very thick cream for lunch will do it. Thank you for reading!
My most wondrous publisher Snowbooks have launched a new magazine today.
If you sign up, you’ll get “free extracts, samples, insights into writing and publishing, as well as exclusive special offers to White Magazine subscribers.”
You can also read the first chapter of my next novel, The Blue Handbag, in this issue – not available in the shops til the 1st of August. Meet Leonard and his dog Pickles. I hope you like him, I’m very fond of him indeed. Go on, off you go.
Thank you all for your support on the bad review post (below). I’m OK, really I am : ) I’ve had so many glowing and lovely reviews over the past few months and it’s good to have a practice at something less positive. I am fully intending to be famous, so I might as well get used to the praise/blame thing now ; )
Finally there’s a new interview up at 100 Readers today – meet the lovely Erin Pringle (who was passed her copy of TBH by Michael Kimball).
Finally finally, I planted out my purple sprouting broccoli at the weekend. Last year there was a butterfly in the (netted) veg patch and I thought ‘oh, one butterfly can’t hurt’ and let it be. A few weeks later I’d squished hundreds of caterpillars but they just kept coming and my purple sprouting broccoli had more holes than non-holes. This year I’ll invest in a butterfly net.
“A bit disappointing. The story ambled along for ages, giving no indication of where it was going, with lots of rather pointless looks at the main character’s youth. There’s also the mysterious letters that have no purpose in the story until the very end, when the reason for them is revealed totally out of the blue.”
Is that true? Is my book disappointing and rather pointless?
“The Letters flings the reader up onto an edge of adrenaline fuelled frisson before dropping you into fur lined ruts where you could happily luxuriate forever.”
What about that? Which review is true?
I think both are.
Here’s what started me thinking about this. I found this short review of Michael Kimball’s How Much of Us There Was. “…possibly the dullest book ever written.” Horror! How could someone think that about such a moving, exquisitely written, profound book?
Then I remembered that for that reader, it WAS probably the dullest book ever written.
It’s very important for all of us to remember this. Maybe it’s especially important for us writerly types, who (if we’re very lucky) have to listen to a lot of praise. Here’s what the Buddha said…
“Praise and blame and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.”
And a great quote by Dereke Bruce, which also gave me the excuse for the photo for this post:
“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.”
Look what I made! Isn’t it pretty.
I was shocked to count 72 blogs when I’d finished collating them from my different blogs. It’s a wonder I get any work done at all. There are so many wonderful blogs out there.
If you have Planting Words on your blogroll (or any of my blogs) and you’d like to be added to a new section I’m going to create underneath, send me an email with your blog url on it and I’ll add you to the list.
PS confession… I’m making small forays onto Facebook again, and I checked my Amazon rankings once yesterday. I told you I was an egogooglaholic! But it feels much more under control, like eating four squares of chocolate a day, and I’m keeping my evenings and weekends laptop-free. Keep an eye on me ; )
PPS have wonderful weekends.
My garlic is nearly ready to pull from the earth and dry in the sunshine. Last year it lasted us from July until Boxing Day, when I planted the remaining two bulbs for this year’s harvest. I didn’t realise before last year that the papery lilac husk around each clove started off fleshy and pale green. Mmm, garlic.
Another site for writers to distract me… Red Room. Anyone use it?
I’ve just spotted that Book Depository are selling the hardback
of The Blue Handbag
for £12.93 including p&p worldwide – bargain. Snowbooks do make gorgeous hardbacks – they’re the same size as the paperbacks and lovely quality. If you’re a more patient or more strapped for cash you can pre-order the paperback
too, only 44 days to go until publication! Yay! And don’t forget that if you read the book you can have a mini-interview published on 100 Readers
if you fancy it.
Happy Thursday. Here’s a poem you should read out loud.
Suppose I say summer,
write the word ‘hummingbird,’
put it in an envelope,
take it down the hill
to the box. When you open
my letter you will recall
those days and how much,
just how much, I love you.