Vignettes and some Kilea news

My friend C's front door has a holy peacock on it

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.

Shoreditch, towards the Gherkin building

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.

An old industrial building in Shoreditch

On the side of a former Tea warehouse, there are lots of rather forceful missives

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, Time for Tea”  – I’m not sure Orwell would approve of this hijacking.

A gritty looking street - called Cotton's Gardens.

In contrast, C's windowsill in Bow, like Shoreditch, also in East London

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.



Filed under consolations of writing, Planning, The Now

10 responses to “Vignettes and some Kilea news

  1. Oh oh oh. . . . I’m holding my breath. Go Kilea!!!

    Okay, I can’t hold my breath that long, actually, but I’m sending good vibrations over the pond.

    I tweeted once or twice, but then I realized that nothing ever happens to me. If I’m not at work, I’m writing. Or circling the park. Surely there’s not enough in my existance to warrant a tweet, so I abandoned it. But Erika Marks, Lisa Golden and Sarah Wesson are pretty active, I believe. Enjoy!

    • Ha, I wouldn’t recommend it, for your health…I’ve thought that it’s like trying to yell at a glacier to go faster, it will go at the pace it goes, and all the energy of it is going on (hopefully) underneath, changing the landscape around it – making a space for itself.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    Congratulations! I just subscribed to you, tho’ if you asked me how I did it I couldn’t say. I’ve found that sometimes new blog posts don’t show up in my in box. I’m sure I’m doing something wrong or not checking some little box. I’m very lame when it comes to technology. Usually I just roam my favorite blogs and hope that I haven’t missed anyone. I’m looking forward to reading more of you.

    • That’s what I do for the most part – it’s somehow more satisfying. Thanks for coming along, sorry I didn’t respond to your earlier comment. Brain frazzle is the only excuse.

  3. I, too, am sending good vibrations over the pond for your novel.

    I’ve considered tweeting, but I’m still not convinced of its value, and, like Averil, my life is pretty boring.

    • Thanks Paul!

      My life isn’t 24/7 literary exuberance, but I do find a lot of things worth reading online. I’m still trying to understand what twitter is all for though.

  4. Congrats on the good news!

    Personally I prefer tumblr to twitter, but I do use both. I started my twitter much more recently though–sometime in November. I miss all kinds of happenings on twitter because I don’t spend a ton of time on it and I don’t follow too many people, but I enjoy popping in and out. I’ll probably become more comfortable with it over time.

    • Thank you! So far twitter seems harder to get into, so I’m hoping like you are that it will become more familiar and navigable. There is something a little more satisfying about Tumblr, even if it is less popular with the lit crowd.

  5. Sounds like a hopeful trip. Your pictures are fun, tea really is that important!
    I ‘m excited for your possibilities Helen. Fingers and toes crossed.

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