Thursday, 4 January 2007

Mystery Poem, Builders and Pastry

Apparently one of my poems was read aloud on Terry Wogan's radio show this morning. My sister Evelyn told me this in an email, and I honestly don't know a thing about it. I haven't submitted any work to the BBC.

My friend Wendy has just phoned me to say she'd heard it on the car radio around 7.30am. She was on the way to work at the time.

A rapid Google search didn't identify any other poet with the same name as myself, however. Then again, it can't yet be presumsed that everyone has internet access. So, I'm still none the wiser.

As I write this, the house is in a state of controlled chaos. Screaming drills and stomping workmen’s boots, hammering and sawing herald the arrival of B-Day! That’s Bathroom Day, in case you wondered. Our old and extraordinarily vile bathroom suite is currently sitting on our front lawn awaiting proper disposal. Upstairs, in what truly is the smallest room of the house, various repairs are starting to take place prior to the installation of our sparkly new Italian-designed suite.

Meanwhile, I am doing my utmost to ignore the cacophony in order to concentrate on editing and polishing three Dark Fantasy stories, Frog, New Year’s Day and Swap. I had thought I'd already polished these stories as well as I was able. However, fresh eyes often put paid to this assumption!

These short pieces are linked by theme as well as by geographic region, and will possibly be placed together as A Wirral Otherkin Trilogy. Not only do I need to translate them from my native UK English into American English, but also ensure that the formatting is as required, which is why I have just ordered a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, as recommended by the prospective American publisher. If a publisher wants submissions to be set out in a particular way, then there is nothing to be gained by ignoring their guidelines and sending them what they don’t want. Well, nothing apart from a rejection slip, that is!

As can probably be gathered, I am not doing a particularly good job of ignoring the builders – hence this post. Perhaps I should use this as a vaguely plausible excuse to put the kettle on and eat one of the last mince pies. Cancel that last idea – I made them, and my pastry is terrible. No, really, it truly is; I am hopeless at making pastry. Even the frozen variety, which requires only to be rolled out once thawed, is not altogether fail-safe in my hands. Almost without exception it turns into semi-digestible cardboard.

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