where the writers are
Coffee, chat and flowers


No golf today, I'm afraid - but Marian and I had a good coffee and catch-up session at the club. My, how posh we sound, ho ho. She had a fantastic holiday and is now determined to visit Florence for longer than five minutes (they were on a cruise) - which is a sentiment I entirely agree with. Florence is of course one of the best cities in the world, along with Prague. I love them both for different reasons and can never decide which is my favourite. Both, probably. Though Florence has the best men. You can't go wrong with an Italian.

Anyway, after that I strolled through Godalming to pick up the essential local shopping and was delighted to tick off everything on my list without having to walk too far. Result! I even picked up three bunches of glorious narcissi which smell like heaven and have made the flat feel like we're in the middle of springtime. Even as I write this, I can't help but smile. I do so love flowers with scents. Bliss.

Back at home.com, I have been working - with far more ease, thank goodness - on Hallsfoot's Battle. That's another 1000 words done so the grand total now stands at just over 46,000. Simon's reacted to Annyeke's story and is now set to have his first encounter with (a) the Gathandrian Library, and (b) what the mind-cane can do if he lets it. Hell, and I've just thought of how that scene might begin, so thank goodness for typing, eh. My inspiration comes entirely through my fingers, I swear it. I have no brain for writing. Or not so I've noticed anyway. It's all in the keyboard. Which should really have its own agent, if life were even halfway fair ...

I've also been setting up a PDF file for the lovely and highly talentedJulie Balloo who hopes to publish her first novel, The Rose Lane Musical Society, later this year. If it's anything like the rest of her work, it's going to be THE read of the winter, so I'm hugely looking forward to getting it once it's out. Actually I can't wait - hurry up, Julie! We need more kick-ass reads here in the shires.

Because, talking of books, I've just finished Fred Vargas' (shock - it's a female author!) Wash This Blood Clean From My Hands. Which is basically a crime novel set in Paris. It's well-written enough but curiously uninvolving, and the first third is actually so agonisingly sloooooow that I lost the will to live and was forced to weep into my tea several times. It would be so much better if the main character, Commissaire Adamsberg, was remotely pleasant or had some inkling of how to be a warm human being. Unfortunately he doesn't possess any of those gifts and I found myself having strangely alluring fantasies based around taking his ridiculously oversized ego and shoving it up where the sun don't shine. Either that or forcing him to endure something slow in simmering oil. Sigh. I wish. On the other hand, the secondary characters of the adorable sidekick, Danglard, and the marvellously cool Retancourt are worth their weight in gold (and Retancourt is a Rubenesque kind of a lass so that's a lot of gold). I strongly suggest they spear Adamsberg with the nearest trident (you'll need to at least flick through the book to get that reference ...), chuck his body in the Seine and set up shop on their own. That would be a far more involving story. And in that case I would definitely buy another. But with Adamsberg looking set for a few more looooong-winded plots, I fear that won't happen. So you see how much I need Julie's book!

Tonight, I'm really going to have to clean the flat before someone sends round the Environmental people or before we are buried under an avalanche of old newspapers. And there's enough TV on to keep me going. Plus pizza and garlic bread to look forward to. Bliss.

Today's nice things:

1. Coffee & chat
2. Narcissi
3. Getting on with Hallsfoot
4. Hearing about Julie's book
5. TV.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website: go on - treat yourself to a click! ...