Friday, November 26, 2010

Conf 653: Win a Mop!

Snuk morning tea in today at Petersham Nurseries, a garden centre, cafe and restaurant just outside London which contains just the most exquisiteness of everything. The restaurant chef is, say no more, Skye Gyngell. Booked up forever but tea and cakes affordable and available. I'm not normally one for plates but did get a bit drooly over these and the whole elaborateness but simplicity of the table design.

An unusual week of many outings. On Monday I was at the Royal Literary Society for a talk about ghost stories with Susan Hill and Sarah Waters, chaired by Philip Hensher.  On Tuesday was at the scrumptuous Lutyens and Rubinstein bookshop in Notting Hill for a reading and Q&A session with Geoff Dyer. And last night saw Geoff Dyer again at bookslam. The great Diana Athill was supposed to be reading but she was sadly unwell and had to pull out at the last minute. Instead author Patrick Neate (who runs these fantastic bookslam evenings) recited a poem, Rupert Thomson also read and The Mind's Ear Orchestra performed. I say they, but it's actually the audience who supplies the creative input by conducting the 30-odd piece orchestra in any kind of style or sound they desire. Completely unique, fascinating and hilarious. Can't wait for the next bookslams, coming up in the new year are Howard Jacobson and Andrea Levy. Highly recommended.

On a more down-to-earth note a series of competitions has kicked off over on my Done & Dusted blog. The first prize may sound mundane but, I promise you, it really is worth having:


Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Conf 652: A (Short) Return to Fiction


I wrote a page of fiction the other day.

I've been so immersed in the non-fiction side it felt weird - but, yes, refreshing.

I then dug out my old file of 40,000 words of children's/YA (young adult) novel and read a random chapter at my writing group. I stopped writing it after my agent's children's department rejected it. I should never have sent it so early. But, as somebody said, the 'composting' has done it some good. It needs a total restructure and lots of rewriting but I'm looking forward going back in. In (ha) my spare moments.  

Meantime it's all go in ebook and non-fiction land. I was interviewed for Woman's Hour the other day. Sadly I didn't make the final programme (it was a Jenni Murray day as well). Being more concerned with chemicals in the home than neat and tidyness, I wasn't quite right for the Art of Housework debate (and if they'd seen the state of this flat!). However, I was hugely flattered to have been considered and 100 brownie points to my ebook's seriously good publicist. It does go to show how the whole world of publicity and communications is what authors need to embrace. To up your chances of getting anywhere, having a pro pushing your work forward has to be a continuum rather than a short-term strategy.

I've just been on my non-fiction blog recommending some budget Christmas gift ideas. If you're a kitchen gadget person at all I'd LOVE to hear your top 3 kitchen gadgets of all time if you've got a moment. Thank you!

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.