My mind is a little jostled today, along with my body, so please excuse the slight disorder here. I made it back to the city of smoking chimneys at one thirty last night, after a long but blessedly uneventful bus journey – but most importantly, after a successful trip to London.
The visit was not at all about sightseeing, and most of the time was spent nattering, dining, browsing and film watching with friends. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures around the East End, in Bow, where C lives, and trendy Shoreditch (I love calling it this, and wish they could rename it on the signs) where I met my friend G on Kingsland Road and where there is a Vietnamese restaurant for everyone.
“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, Time for Tea” – I’m not sure Orwell would approve of this hijacking.
I am happy to report that the meeting with my agent went well, aside from delays in her flight. I sat waiting for her in a pleasant cafe, drinking tea and reading of the exploits of Isabella Bird in the Rocky Mountains. All snow, wild beasts, ‘ghastly vistas’ and handsome ruffians with ‘neglected tawny curls’ – the wrought Victorianness of things keeping me well occupied.
The news on Kilea is that the wait will continue: word has not been received from all the editors the manuscript has been sent to – this apparently is not uncommon, and so is not something to fret about. The agent will be sending them a nudge to let them know I have won the Unbound Press Best Novel Prize, which will hopefully sharpen their pencils a little. It may be months until I hear more concrete news from these parties, and until then I can’t share the other good piece of news I had on the novel (I don’t want to speak out of turn and hex my chances).
There are a few things I can be doing – writing this blog for example, and continuing to reach out to fellow writers and readers.I’ve started a twitter account, as you can see down to the right under the bird noises (@HelenMcClory): I’d love suggestions of people to follow as well as anyone who’d like to follow me. Mine will probably feature a fair amount of ephemera alongside articles of interest. I’m still chary of the brevity of tweets, but hopefully there will be ways to connect to others, and that poignancy and poetry are there to be found.