Journal of a Z-list author

Anne's scarily honest journal

New blog address
annebrooke
Sorry for the long gap in blogging.

Just to say that I no longer blog at LJ. Instead you can find my journal at: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com

Many thanks!

Anne

Nightingales and Fruit
annebrooke
NB: For links, please copy and paste: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com

Life news:

Lord H and I went for a group evening walk in Bookham Common earlier in the week, and were lucky enough to spot - and hear - our first nightingale of the year, hurrah! We also spent some time attempting to track down a cuckoo - often heard but rarely seen - but sadly it proved elusive. Ah well, you can't win 'em all.

It made up for the fact that work has seemed to drag on and on this week - I swear I'd be beavering away for hours and when I looked at the clock it would be only 9.30am, sigh. Mind you, yesterday wasn't helped by the fact that I had a headache all ruddy day, and a tricky two-hour long meeting to minute over lunchtime, so I really wasn't in a good mood at all. At the end of the day, I could barely concentrate on anything anyone was saying, and I collapsed on the bed when I got home and slept for an hour and a half. And the headache was still there. Despite the fact that I'd taken the upper limit of headache pills, deep deep sigh. At least, I managed to wake up in time for Midsomer Murders on TV though - it's my mid-week brightener. And today, thank the Lord, the headache has gone. Still hugely tired however.

The other thing about last night was we had a three-hour power cut starting at 10.30pm - when I was about to go to bed anyway, but Lord H lost some stuff from his computer but he can remember what it was, thank goodness. However, when we rang Southern Electric, there was a recorded message saying that our planned power cut would last until 1.30am. Planned???!! Surely, if it was planned, they should have told us? I noticed the whole street was dark and some of the neighbours were wandering around with torches, looking confused. None of us knew a thing about it. What if we'd had people round for dinner? (Okay, a rare event, but you get my meaning ...). The Water Board at least have the courtesy to leave us a note when there's a planned loss of service - you would think that Southern Electric would have the sense to do the same! Anyway, Angry of Godalming has sent a snippety email to them setting out my complaints, and I await their response. Which apparently takes 3 days to arrive. What are they up to over there? Filing their nails? Waiting for inspiration?? Perhaps they can't find the ruddy electricity socket to turn on the computer ...

Thankfully, today is proving rather better - Jane H has popped round for coffee this morning and so we've had a delightful chat & catch-up. And tonight, I'm out in London to see Jane W. So many Janes, so little time!

Ooh, and I'm utterly delighted we now have a Conservative PM again - honestly it surprised even me (a dyed-in-the-wool and deeply instinctive Tory) how much it felt like coming home and how very pleased I was. By the way, I apologise in advance for this very honest statement, as I know how very left-wing most of my friends are, but actually I do feel that as I'm very happy for everyone around me to follow what politics (or religion) they wish without me making a big fuss about it - or indeed any fuss at all - then I hope they'll show the same courtesy back to me ... It's also delightful to see such a rainbow cabinet and I do hope it makes things better for the country - but of course the main and extremely pressing issue, and one that the nation deserves an answer to, is now that we're Tory-Liberal, will they be combining the party uniform so the men can wear blue-and-yellow striped ties instead of the one-colour options? We wait with interest for this issue to be resolved ...

Writing news:

All very quiet on this front. I'm beginning to feel I've been forgotten by any publishers that might be out there. Ah well. However, I'm carrying on with The Executioner's Cane, and also delighted to see this review of How to Eat Fruit.

Meanwhile, the lovely Kirsty McCluskey and I have published a review and article about Haiti at Vulpes Libris. Food for thought indeed.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

Parties and politics
annebrooke
NB: For links, please copy and paste: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com

Life news:

Am gradually getting to feel a bit better, hurrah, though I'm still dosing up on catarrh remedies and blowing my nose for Britain. How delightful. I've taken to carrying wads of tissues and 2 handkerchiefs everywhere with me, just in case. A girl in her prime can enjoy several.

Still, I did manage to get round the golf course fairly unscathed with Marian on Friday - we haven't played for ages, what with Easter and conferences and holidays and such like, so it was nice to get back on the course. Neither were we as bad as we'd feared we might be. Also lovely to see two beautiful song thrushes on the course. Talking of which, Lord H and I enjoyed seeing a deer in the garden yesterday evening, and we also spotted a garden warbler (a lifetime first!) at Pulborough Brooks on Saturday. Huge excitement but really what a dull bird. It has absolutely no distinguishing features except a very lovely voice. Almost like a template for all other warblers, which at least have more interesting markings, poor thing.

Meanwhile, the election excitements continue. Lord H and I were rather bemused when watching the film of David Cameron going home after election night to see that he had to ring the doorbell of his own house in order to get in. What???!? Is he just too posh to carry his own key? Or does he expect the butler to open for him? Or perhaps the lovely Samantha doesn't allow him to carry housekeys? The plot thickens indeed ... Perhaps, Lord H says, it's because he and Nick Clegg got on so well during their first date that Dave gave his keys to Nick so he could call round "for a quick chat" later? Lordy, but then people wonder where I get my book ideas from?? I fear Lord H is not as innocent as he seems ... Best to keep a close eye on the "Dave & Nick talks" and see if they exit their meetings with their hair messed up and wearing each other's ties. You heard it here first.

Anyway, this weekend's favourite headline comes from The Sun: Squatter Holed Up in Number 10. Yes indeedy. Say no more.

Today, we've helped our friend Liz celebrate her 60th birthday party with a buffet lunch and flowing champagne. Though I did think it was probably best not to let the champers flow my way, what with the drugs. As it were. We didn't stay too long due to (a) illness, and (b) a deep-seated terror of parties. But happy birthday, Liz, and here's to 60 more of the same!

Writing news:

Not much to report this weekend. I'm carrying on writing more to The Executioner's Cane, and I'm also continuing with my erotic straight short story, The Boilerman and The Bride. 3000 words and rising. Ho ho. I've also sent out a couple of submissions, one of which is the possibility of a haiku chapbook. We'll see how that goes, but it would be nice to have a poetry collection out somewhere, however small, that I haven't had to produce myself. I don't think I'm as bad a poet as my poetry sales actually indicate, hey ho.

Talking of which, I've written two haikus this week and here they are:

All that voting angst,
tremors of expectation -
and no-one in charge.


Suddenly the sky
is filled with swifts: boomerangs
piercing silent clouds.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

Bitterns and bunting ...
annebrooke
NB: For links (as I can't get them to work in LJ, sigh), please copy and paste: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com

Life News:

Am still sick, groan. I did manage to get into work on Tuesday to deal with my 90 or so emails I'd gathered over the weekend, but the boss sent me home at 3.30pm saying how awful I looked. Can't say I blame him really. I just couldn't stop sneezing and my eyes were red and raw. Nice. I didn't go in yesterday as I felt so shattered with it all. Though I did feel better around lunchtime. False dawn however, as I fell into a significant relapse yesterday afternoon, and haven't got myself out of it yet. How I wish the sneezing would come back - it might take this terrible catarrh nausea/exhaustion thing away. Ho hum.

So I've cancelled my planned Clarins massage this afternoon (lying on back with catarrh - not a good idea ...), but I have gone to my Alexander Technique lesson, which surely must have done some good. Oh, and I've voted. I desperately wanted to vote for the Pirate Party, but decided I wasn't quite dressed for it. I'm the only one out there wearing a fleece and a woolly hat, but hell I have to keep my ears and neck warm somehow.

However, some nice things have happened. There's a lovely video clip of a booming bittern and the John Lewis ad remains its utterly gorgeous self.

Writing News:

I must first of all say how utterly gobsmacked I am at getting my first quarterly royalty statement from Amber Allure. Ye gods, but I swear they've managed to sell more of my books with them in three months than I've managed with all my publications in three years. And more. I actually have decent royalty money, for the first time ever - so a heartfelt thank you to Trace, Karin and the team, and let's hang out the bunting. Amazing stuff! Not only that, but I'm told that they've already sold 200 copies of The Delaneys and Me (which is at No 6 in the Amber Allure April Bestsellers chart) and it only came out in April. Which just goes to show the old adage that Sex Sells is undoubtedly true. As Lord H says, best try writing some more of it then! I do hope those of you who've been kind enough to buy any of my stuff have enjoyed the read, and a special thank you to you.

In other book news, I'm pleased to say that you can read an excerpt of The Girl in the Painting and get a 25% discount till May 9th - but be sure to follow the instructions in the link. I've also gained a 4-star review of The Secret Thoughts of Leaves at Goodreads and a 5 star review of Give and Take at TwoLips Reviews, so all that excitement is making up for any health issues, hurrah.

Ooh and the free download of my gay romance story, A Serious Business, is now available at the Queer Magazine Online bookstore, along with a variety of other lovely free e-reads - enjoy!

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

Tea and sympathy
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 2 May 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

A Serious Business ...
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 29 April 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

(no subject)
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 25 April 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

Leaves, Angels and interviews
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 21 April 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

From the ashes of disaster ...
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 18 April 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

Contracts and consultants ...
annebrooke
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Anne's Journal of 15 April 2010

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker's Journal

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