Friday, July 25, 2014

Hidden London: - Marina Abramović

London is roasting and schools are out. The traffic has eased and everybody appears to be slowing down. The most exciting event for me so far this summer has been the exhibition by Marina Abramović at the Serpentine GalleryThe gallery is a pleasant half hour walk through the parks. 




"In a unique work created for the Serpentine, the internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović will perform in the Gallery for the duration of her exhibition:  10am to 6pm, 6 days a week. Creating the simplest of environments in the Gallery spaces, Abramović’s only materials will be herself, the audience and a selection of props that she may or may not use. On arrival, visitors will both literally and metaphorically leave their baggage behind in order to enter the exhibition: bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches and cameras may not accompany them. 
The public will become the performing body, participating in the delivery of an unprecedented moment in the history of performance art." Serpentine Gallery
I had to queue for around 40 minutes. Once inside I was ready to turn and run, fast and hard, but curiosity kept me there a little longer. Falling in with the general pace of things, I walked slowly through the rooms, returning to hug the wall in the main room, settled now, and happy to observe.

Then I had 'my' encounter, she came across the room, full eye contact, smiling widely, gently put her arm around me and took me for a walk. She went and found me a chair and I sat there for I don't know how long.

This was weeks ago now. I want to go back and see what's happening now. I might go this weekend.  I find it quite amazing that it's all still going on. Her energy must be incredible. She's startlingly beautiful. Ageless. At midnight she records a diary of the day.... you can see it here. Also online are the visitors' comments. I've just been scrolling down - looking to see if mine is there of course. We are all about ourselves. That wasn't it... I found it! But what a great read her visitors' book is:
"Silent Party at Marina's House."
"Amazing what you can make a group of people do just by setting an example. Huh? Bit Weird"
"I really don't know. I have very loud clicky ankles."
"Of course in the 70's we did it naked."
And here's me!

No. I haven't a clue.

So there you are, if you fancy it, you can go and take part in this extraordinary thing. Open until 25th August. Free.

Walking home, feeling a little floaty, I came across that empty flower meadow - in the centre of London...

Actually, I can't wait to return now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Free Ebooks With Digital Book Day - Authors join in now...

http://www.digitalbookday.com/

One of the most successful US indie authors, C. J. Lyons, has thought up this great initiative to replace the discontinued US World Book Night. Authors make one of their ebooks free on July 14th and post it on this site. On July 14th we all link to the Digital Book Day website and readers can browse and download as many free ebooks as they wish.

I will be offering Done & Dusted: The Organic Home On A Budget, my collected Guardian columns, eco household cleaning tips and various bits of domestic miscellany.

Read Jane Friedman's interview with Carol here. Authors interested in joining the fun, add your ebook here.

Digital Book Day: FREE on Amazon on July 14th

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fun While It Lasts



The Widow's To Do List is #4 in Amazon UK's Literary Fiction, Humour and #14 in Romance Literary Fiction. This one is hilarious - tucked in with all the Janes:



It's all thanks to Amazon KDP Select's Countdown system, which lets you reduce the price for 7 days in each 3-month period. The book then appears on an Amazon front page "Countdown offers of the day". So it actually gets to be seen by readers. This is the biggest challenge, to be seen. When it reaches the charts it then flips out to more readers seeing it. It might then find its way on to the 'also bought' sales pages of some of those insanely big name titles, or it might just sink back down again as soon as the price changes. Definitely fun while it lasts.