publish and be hugged.

darlings

as we lie back on the movie starlet counterpane….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe’ve been thinking a lot (always a slightly dangerous activity)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA about Why People want to be published.

because there seem to be Quite a few people around us who, well, might have Wanted to have written a book (too) and, well, haven’t quite got round to it (yet). so when they see a copy of the book SOMETIMES (and only sometimes) there’s a – how can we put this – rueful smile when they see IT.

HTSSIACW

of course Morrissey sang it wickedly at his best (and with a lovely slightly shiny blue blouse)

it doesn’t matter at all.

we wish them well.

in fact we wish they’d just get on with it and write the bloody book and publish it.

because…..

*looks_around*

they CAN.

what’s that?

oh.

well there’s a Big difference between wanting-to-write-and-communicate-with-the-World and what’s perhaps the True Reason:

wanting to be Validated by the Establishment

(book deal, critics, cocktail parties, protection from poverty, escaping from one’s Past)

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for a start: not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Establishment doesn’t run things anymore (and it stopped throwing really big parties when the accountants became mgmt and started looking at the “numbers”).the court(ship) of public opinion (and direct to consumer publishing via mr. amazon and the like, blogs, sharing, social feeds) is Us.

(and are Ever so grateful to Miss French Navy for sending us this clipping about our article in Harper’s Bazaar Australia)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is DELICIOUS.

so there you go – we’ve said our piece.

publish and be hugged.

nobody’s stopping you (but you – as the sages say).

and we’ll be the 1st to buy a copy. but you knew that. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin other news:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.17.52 AMthe DIVINE Miss Vickie Lester has written a blog post featuring the Scar (which is ever so happy to be mentioned, it’s been a while)

htssiacw_p102-3

htssiacw_p104-2now just in case you’re Very Young, Miss Vickie Lester’s Post features a picture at the top (providing Context and Hollywood deliciousness) of the divine Elizabeth Taylor (not who-we-are-in-RL).

co-in-ci-dent-ally – we have a Quote (about) Miss. E. Taylor framed on our wall from a vintage copy (1981, we believe) of Interview magazine where Mr. Warhol talks about how famous people have this entree to each other that brooks no need to stand on ceremony. 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhaving been around a few famous people in our Time, we can confirm this is True.

there’s a subtle nod of recognition – just like in the corridors at a particularly grand school – between the chosen beauties and those-who-will-run-corporations (while those-who-will-write furiously take in the Scene). 
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talking of Fame and wanting-to-reach the Top, we happened to catch Stage Door (1937) last night (that’s a slightly understated allusion – we deliberately picked up the DVD while retrieving the latest cache of Requested Materials at the library). 

have you seen it?

the snappy dialog(ue) is Genius.

I see that, in addition to your other charms, you have that insolence generated by an inferior upbringing.

Hmm! Fancy clothes, fancy language and everything!

Unfortunately, I learned to speak English correctly.

That won’t be of much use to you here. We all talk pig latin.

And I use the right knife and fork. I hope you don’t mind.

All you need’s the knife.

stage-door-holy-females

If you were a little more considerate of your elders, maybe Mr. Powell would send his car for you someday. Of course, he would probably take one look at you and send you right back again, but then you have to expect that.

Is that so?

Do you know, I think I could fix you up with Mr. Powell’s chauffeur. The chauffeur has a very nice car too.

Yes, but I understand Mr. Powell’s chauffeur doesn’t go as far in his car as Mr. Powell does.

*giggling*

now that’s writing. 

there were two men’s names on the screenwriter credits (although you know that only the last people who touch a script get credited, right?) but there was something so Heartfelt and dirty (in a good way) and Real that we KNEW the person who wrote the Original words *must* have lived in a boarding house (or similar) for theatrical “girls” in the late 1920s in the sniper fire of midtown manhattan.

bingo. 

edna-ferber

“The writer is a writer because [she] cannot help it. It is a compulsion. Sometimes it is called a gift, but actually it is an urge for expression that simply cannot be denied.”
Edna Ferber. 

“Is this, they ask, the story of your life?…Yes. My inner life. The life of imagination and creative ability. Writing is a lonely work but the creative writer is rarely alone. The room in which one works is peopled with the men and women and children in the writer’s imagination. Often they are difficult—but rarely boring—company. This is a fortunate thing, for they are with one day and night, they never leave while the book or play is in progress…” (A Kind of Magic, 1963)

darlings – will you excuse us?

we simply *must* click over to the Los Angeles County Library Requested Materials department to request EVERYTHING by Edna Ferber.

we shall return.

with pictures.

gosh. guess who is in good housekeeping tomorrow?

darlings

such exciting news!

who-we-are-in-RL is going to be on Newsstands TOMORROW (not literally we hasten to add, but inside the glossy pages of a Very glorious British Magazine) in GOOD HOUSEKEEPING.

GHUKMarch2014the Lovely Editors at Good Housekeeping gave us a preview of our piece and we popped it on our other site and (due to the miracles of the h y p e r l i n k i n g properties of internet protocol) it’s here for you to read.

but – we hasten to add – do (if you’re in England tomorrow for business/pleasure) – pop into a newsagent and buy a copy just so we keep the print business flourishing.

*winktocamera4*

 

 

the loyal toast (not the one with marmalade) and Doric Columns

decked out in a long black dress, pearls and ballet shoes, we paused outside the private club on the upper east side, Very near Central Park and decided to take another quick walk-around-the-block before entering the hallowed portals of the establishment.

It’s been a Very Long Time since we wore anything but Prada motorcycle boots or Dr. Martens or slightly camp chunky patent shiny sandals so the dainty shuffling of a long dress floating out behind us and the low shimmy of a ballet shoe was Rather Odd.

Eventually we did our best grande dame expression and swept into the joint, trying to keep our gloria-ness intact among the swirling staff offering canapes that would not have been amiss at a bash thrown by Henry VIII, love.

we cannot divulge the nature of the event but there were Strong Pillars of the British establishment and hence a swift recall was required of English Etiquette (bidden to Stand for the Loyal Toast! we are slightly embarrassed to say our cry of “THE Queen!” was a Tiny Bit behind the others and we tried not to giggle as we imagined a stage in south london festooned with bunting and a drag act on next).

In America, as we’ve been for over a decade now, there are (in our humble opinion or IMHO as the chaps on dial-up bulletin board chat rooms used to say – of both genders – or all three genders – that got you scratching your head ;) there’s a blended gender in tech. That’s all we’re saying for now…..) Definitely Rules of Life. But they are usually straight forward. One has to Learn the english ones. And to be honest, we’re not sure we were paying attention all those years ago.

Yet it was a lovely evening.

As you can see from the image below – a beautiful place – and we Adore beauty.

As Noel Coward suggested (in his diaries, we’re not channeling him, but OH how we wish we could….), we had three pieces of conversation prepared – amusing anecdotes, twinkly eyes engendering, that sort of thing………but we can’t recall them now – in the soft sunday light of morning – ah, yes, there was one – a school-days-reverie about Larkin, too involved to recount but Very Precious.

Have you read any Larkin recently?

The Establishment adore him.

May we share one with you? We are Catching a Train ourselves, in a couple of hours, so this one feels apt…..

Whitsun Weddings – Philip Larkin

That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept
For miles inland,
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth;
A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped
And rose: and now and then a smell of grass
Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth
Until the next town, new and nondescript,
Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
The interest of what’s happening in the shade,
And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls
I took for porters larking with the mails,
And went on reading. Once we started, though,
We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls
In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,
All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

As if out on the end of an event
Waving goodbye
To something that survived it. Struck, I leant
More promptly out next time, more curiously,
And saw it all again in different terms:
The fathers with broad belts under their suits
And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;
An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,
The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes,
The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that

Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.
Yes, from cafés
And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed
Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days
Were coming to an end. All down the line
Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round;
The last confetti and advice were thrown,
And, as we moved, each face seemed to define
Just what it saw departing: children frowned
At something dull; fathers had never known

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
—An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,
And someone running up to bowl—and none
Thought of the others they would never meet
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.
I thought of London spread out in the sun,
Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

There we were aimed. And as we raced across
Bright knots of rail
Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss
Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail
Travelling coincidence; and what it held
Stood ready to be loosed with all the power
That being changed can give. We slowed again,
And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.
Philip Larkin, “The Whitsun Weddings” from Collected Poems. Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Phillip Larkin.

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux,

Isn’t that lovely?

We must Pack.

A night in the country awaits…………

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glorious Gloriana

well that Is delicious news!

we are currently engaged in our post-therapy-reading-of-the-british-newspapers at a Local cafe and whooped with amusement and joy to see that the Queen (of england) is building (well, her subjects are doing it one presumes although Everyone Knows the Princess Elizabeth was a car mechanic during WW2 and is Very accomplished a Barge called GLORIANA.

It’s all for a celebration of her diamond Jubilee (gosh, has it really been that long since the street parties, flag waving, victoria sponge cakes, mother’s pride moist with sandwich spread and cheddar and pickle – and Coronation Chicken if you were posh and like your chicken with a taste of the Raj – and Ribena moustaches and speeding off your pigtails on Tizer?)

The Naming of Gloriana is but a shimmer in the realm of cultural coincidences – nothing to do with us, of course.

although we Are spending an evening with the Establishment ce soir.

Yes.

#sigh

we’ll be in a long black dress and ballet shoes and pearls.

but the dress is from Comme Des Garcons.

Just so You know.