Anne Brooke's Blog – May 2007 Archive (28)

Rain stops play ...

It was nice getting back into the swing of the Glyndebourne ( season last night, but I have to say that Lord H and I were rather disappointed in their production of "Macbeth". Though, whatever they do, the play will of course be more powerful and more human than anything in the known universe ... The singing was first-class, as ever (as far as I can tell anyway - the singer playing Lady…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 28, 2007 at 3:52am — No Comments

Eyebrows and operas

Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday, who'd been to a Chinese healer and had had a face reading. Apparently, he'd spent one-and-a-half hours reading her eyebrows. One-and-a-half hours!!! I mean: weird, or what?? Especially as the friend in question has eyebrows that are barely visible, even though she doesn't pluck them. It appears that such eyebrows mean that you're the sort of person who only does one thing at a time and can't multi-task well. Bloody hell, I…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 26, 2007 at 11:08pm — No Comments

The Surrey woman ...

Today, I have been very "Surrey". Played golf this morning - much better than last week, thank the Lord (I couldn't have stood the shame ...) and I even sunk a hugely long putt to get four - hurrah! I know that won't mean anything if you don't play golf but, believe me, it's pretty hot! And I beat Marian, aha!, so honour has been satisfied. Not that I'm a competitive stressed-out bitch at all of course ...

Back home for my haircut, and Lynda arrived early, just as I was considering…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 26, 2007 at 12:50am — No Comments

Counselling and competitions

Got into town early today and posted the first completed version of The Gifting, plus synopsis (hurrah! hurrah!) to The Literary Consultancy (, where it can fester away for a while waiting for a report to be done. It's such a relief to get it away onto the next part of its journey. Which is ironic really, as Simon does a great deal of journeying of his…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 25, 2007 at 1:33am — No Comments

The secret life of shops

Shops are strange places indeed. Lord H came home last night with a pack of kiwi fruit emblazoned with the legend “Wash Before Eating”. Well, I have yet to find anyone who actually eats the skin of a kiwi fruit, but there you go. Lord H thought they’d be better off adding a label saying “Open This End” for the hard of thinking. Could be useful for eggs too.

Waving goodbye to Lord H this morning was something of a shock actually. I’d said goodbye at the front door and then rushed to…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 24, 2007 at 4:50am — No Comments

Writing City and the sins of the Church

Got so involved with The Gifting synopsis & timeline last night that I decided to miss “New Tricks”, though I have videoed it instead for later. This part of the process is taking longer than I thought, probably as it’s a longer novel, I imagine, and I’ve put a lot of different strands in it. The timeline is helping sort out a few oddities too – as I knew it would. I’m keen to finish by the end of this week before Lord H and I go on holiday – being a true OCD (Obsessive…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 23, 2007 at 4:15am — No Comments

The black sheep bites back ...

Received a charming (err, not …) email in my inbox last night from my cousin – whom incidentally I haven’t heard from in nigh on twenty years – telling me what a bad person I am to not be attending the family get-together in July and what good and holy people the rest of my family are. He also very helpfully pointed out what some of my crimes actually were (goodness, how sweet!) and, as the piece de resistance (sorry, can't be arsed with the accents ...), crowned the whole self-righteous,…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 22, 2007 at 5:41am — No Comments

The Gifting - completed!

Have worked like the proverbial today and have now done my entire first pass through the Gifting edit - hurrah! I even think it might hang together okay, but then I always think that at this stage. It doesn't mean anything. And at the same time, I think it's pants - but that's normal too. It's probably both - simultaneously. That wouldn't surprise me either. It's panned out at 124,215 words long, which is 401 double-spaced pages. Aha!

My head is now packed with ideas for…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 21, 2007 at 5:40am — No Comments

Editing tics and dinosaurs

Oh lord, more editing tics today - now I can't seem to stop writing words with "some" in them. Somewhat, someone, sometime and just generally some. I'm attempting to put them in the cage with all the a little phrases which I'm also finding. But don't worry - I'll put them in another novel soon, I fear. Hmm. As you can tell, I've spent a large part of the morning and early afternoon sorting out The Gifting, and I'm now at the start of Chapter Thirteen - of…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 20, 2007 at 7:26am — No Comments

The editing queen

Ye gods, but I've done so much editing today that my brain will probably explode soon - so beware of any sudden noises in the ether. Am now up to the start of Chapter 10 (they all get longer from here on in, so don't get too excited), but will start that tomorrow. I can do no more tonight.

And, yes, I know all the "experts" tell you to put the first draft away for a month before working on it but frankly, m'dears, that never works for me and I can't ever be arsed to wait that long…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 19, 2007 at 3:30am — No Comments

A medley of writing thoughts

The very talented Amanda Mann ( has put a fascinating series of questions on her blog today, and invited me to answer them too - which I'll try to the best of my ability. I'm not a great believer in the concept of "tagging", but if there's anyone else out there who'd like to answer them too, feel free to have a go!

1. Do you outline?

Not if I can help it… Continue

Added by Anne Brooke on May 18, 2007 at 12:38am — No Comments

Cacti and cockroaches

Another battle to circumnavigate the building cages into work today. Goodness me but my exercise quota will be overshot at this rate, what with having to walk halfway round the campus to get into the office. Well, that may be a slight poetic exaggeration, but heck I always exaggerate. Tee hee.

Oh, and Lord H and I have been chuckling at the funny test papers someone sent him yesterday which can be found here: …


Added by Anne Brooke on May 17, 2007 at 5:58am — No Comments

Rain, writing & reviews

Lordy, lordy, more rain. How I love these early UK winters we’re having. Have been forced to wear my fingerless gloves and scarf at work today, plus put my little owl-shaped desk heater on. I’m beginning to feel like something sad from a minor Dickens novel. If there are any minor Dickens novels …

It was a voyage of discovery getting into the office today – the builders who are taking over the campus have moved all their wire fences so that the stairs between the car park and where…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 16, 2007 at 5:44am — No Comments

Rain, cunning plots and an evening in

Took an age to drag myself up this morning – must be the effect of all that weekend activity. Can’t be the bottle of wine we finished off last night, oh no, of course not. Alcohol never passes my lips (I take it intravenously …). Quite a slow day at work really, though I’ve chased a professor or two, just to keep my hand in. Can’t have the management having an easy time, you know. The boss is off today, but has emailed me, asking me to arrange a meeting for the strangely named FIG Management…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 15, 2007 at 5:38am — No Comments

Rained-off golf and some quick PR

Frightful weather today, Carruthers. Honestly, no wonder Blair is going if he can't control the weather any more. Good riddance is what I say! Spent this morning typing up the Goldenford ( minutes (at last!) and writing a press release for us. Which I have now sent off to the usual suspects. I'm hoping Writers' News (…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 14, 2007 at 3:32am — No Comments

Naked men and cocktails ...

... as it were. Nice lie-in today, brought on by yesterday's social whirl. I must say how lovely it was to meet Clayton ( at last and to be able to have such an inspirational in-depth chat about writing and this strange world of books we find ourselves in. Thanks, Clayton - enjoyed it very much! Also lovely to meet Bryony and catch up on the last year over pizza and wine.…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 13, 2007 at 6:37am — No Comments

Of humility and excellence

Was working through the personal strength questions in my "Authentic Happiness" book this morning whilst on the exercise bike (and, yes, I was peddling ...) and have found out that my humility score is excessively low (no surprises there then) but my appreciation of beauty & excellence score is rather high, thank you very much. Pause for bowing and self-congratulatory applause ... Lord H attempted to cheer me up about my appalling lack of humility by suggesting that perhaps…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 12, 2007 at 12:44am — No Comments

Lunch and Goldenford

Enjoyed the opera last night, but have to say it wasn’t the best production I’ve seen, and I was very tired, so found it hard to concentrate at all. The sets were nice and the singers were good – but I wasn’t convinced by the band. Not that I’m musical at all (heck, I can’t even read the stuff) but it just sounded off-key here and there to me. I was also a bit disappointed with the spectacle side of it – Ellen Kent operas usually have something exciting happening – eg real golden eagles,…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 11, 2007 at 8:01am — No Comments

Interviews and Aida

Managed to squeeze in the first pass through my HagsHarlotsHeroines ( interview today, as well as having a good look through later on and sending it to Laura ( for comment. I hope she likes it – or most of it – I’ve tried to be as honest as possible, but am…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 10, 2007 at 4:26am — No Comments

Summer Schools and treasure hunts

Ruth was back at work today, which was great as I’d missed her last week. It was rather quiet. She brought with her tales of gorgeous weather in Mull, peculiar fishing trips and chocolate ginger biscuits. Hmm. Lovely. Good for my circulation and my hormones – what more could one want?

This morning, I have made more phone calls from work than I normally do in a year. I rang Marian (golfing partner) to give her the name of the new National Trust property that Lord H and I visited last…


Added by Anne Brooke on May 9, 2007 at 5:43am — No Comments

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