Monday, 18 October 2010

Gone visiting again!

Off on my travels again! Today I am visiting Catt's rather lovely blog where she foolishly offered to ask me some questions and then couldn't get a word in edgeways.

See you over there!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Fabulous at Fifty!

It will not have escaped regular readers' notice that the Romantic Novelists' Association has been busy celebrating its fiftieth birthday all year.

This week saw the launch of Fabulous at Fifty, a fascinating selection of reminiscences from 1960-2010 (psst - do you know how we identify historical romances? They are set pre-1960, ie pre-RNA).

Being us, we needed to have a celebration to launch it properly, so we gathered for a truly sparkling lunch in the RAF Club Ballroom.

Shiny, I mused, as I innocently offered to decorate the tables.

I also decorated the book display, the mini-exhibition assembled and annotated by the indefatigable Jenny Haddon (the impressive gold decorations are Jenny's - the sneaky sparkles are mine)

and anyone foolish enough to come within reach.
Oh, and as with the best parties, there were presents.

It was just fabulous. And judging by the great fashionable lunches of the past,

some of us are keeping up traditions.
(There was chocolate too)

(And this really special bit of the exhibition)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day 2010

This year's National Poetry Day has the theme of "Home". This got me thinking, because there are two sides to everything. There's the part of me that loves my house and my things and everything I've built up over the years. And there's the writer part of me that's been-there-done-that and just wants to be on my own, to shut myself away for days and live in my own head without distractions or duties.

The best way I can illustrate it is with two contrasting poems.

For example, on the one hand, there is:

Ephemera is Me by Jan Jones

Home is a long swathe of responsible
Piles of memory
Backup upon backup of me.

It’s things
Stuff I’ve chosen
Or been given and chosen to keep

Home is my food in the fridge
My mugs in the cupboard
The familiar where I expect to find it

So if you’re asking in your simplistic, minimalistic way
If home could be somewhere else?
Why yes
But I’d have to bring all of myself with me.

You got a truck?

And yet on the other hand (and I love the allegory in this photo), there is:

Counting Links by Jan Jones

This is me
holding things together
fists clenched in my security, in what I have to do

here I am
with what I need to survive
pale fronds pulling me down, smothering hastiness

anchored by responsibility

because someone has to be

See what I mean? Two sides to every person and every place. I can't be the only person who feels like this, can I? The trick, I guess, is in how well we balance them.