in a holding pattern until being published is strangely delicious.

darlings

we’re in a Deeply interesting holding pattern.

due to the nature of publishing cycles, we won’t be asked to Talk about the book until sometime later this year (for the magazines with Long Leads – as they call it in the Business) – the beauty-of-blogging (and there is much beauty there) is that we can have a conversation with another blogger who wants to write about the book just a moment before going to Press (preferably on the Princess phone – but how much nicer over a cafe creme in a Foreign Airport) and still see a Review and a Link and lovely new people to comment and *blush* – we profoundly-hope-enjoy-the-book in a few seconds flat (depending on how fast the blogger’s Typing Speeds are).

gosh.

hang on a moment.

we just got a little #memoryShift when we said Typing Speeds.

it reminded us of Lucie Clayton (do you know about Lucie Clayton?) – it was where Very Pretty (code for early-to-marry-Well) gels (posh English for “girls”) got “finished” (if their parents couldn’t afford a Swiss Finishing School) in typing and deportment and Typing Speed improvement so they could get a job as a Secretary and ensnare some nice but dim chap.

what’s that you say?

er, no.

we didn’t go to Lucie Clayton.

but many of our friends did (or Le Cordon Bleu if they were meant to marry Well to someone with Prospects of a Foreign Posting in the Diplomatic Service).

how were We “finished”?

good question.

let’s see – late night clubbing under the arches by the Pier in Brighton, waitressing on saturdays, long walks in the rain along the Sussex Cliffs (in despair, but with notebook to record teen angst for posterity – and no, we didn’t keep them) and University adventures (where we’ll send Emerald soon to write about Those – *significantlooktocamera*).

back to Today.

so while we Wait (to talk about the book and Other writing-ness), what do we DO?

there’s Consulting and special advising and Meetings and interesting (many curiously fulfilling) work stuff to do – as who we are in RL – and a Launch (which we’ll get permission to talk about if we can) Rather Soon of something digital and Stylish.

and of course we have to tell the story (because it is being Terribly Insistent) of The House on Church Row and deliver it to our Literary Agent in New York (such a delicious sentence) and see if anyone loves Emerald and wants to Publish her and then probably start writing out Laurel………

*lookstocamera*

have we told you about Laurel before? we already wrote it as a screenplay – or a scenario as the French deliciously call it – but it wants to be a Novel too – here’s the Movie Version synopsis:

Releasing Butterflies | 

A Hollywood executive gets fired for being toxic and finds out she can’t get hired. The last job in town is running a half-way house for teen girls straight out of rehab. She takes it. With both hilarious and poignant results and the wayward teens help her get her career back – but does she want it?

*looksintomiddledistance*

*coughs*

yes.

thank you for asking.

it *is* somewhat autobiographical, darlings.

and while we Wait – we Study.

yes, study.

you see we’ve been Busy for a Decade (or more) and yes, we read and saw movies and Travel(l)ed but it was all squeezed in around the Day Job and NYC and Life and so forth.

we’ve been exhausted for a long time – which probably and no doubt created you-know-what – so to be Completely Honest – we’ve been Studying and LOVING IT.

we Request Materials from the Library system here in Los Angeles (they are most mystified when we pick up, on average, 5 books a week and return them almost instantly, we binge-read – in an Attractive way we hasten to point out).

and find Treasures in used bookshops in Pasadena and beyond.

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and meditate or just sit quietly and think in front of a full moon…………OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and sleep eight hours a night (haven’t done that in forever – if ever, actually). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and dream of travel writing (when we can leave the country again which we can’t until we get – or get turned down – for a green card – more on that when – well, when We know ;-)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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and we Swim (sometimes at night because as you can see – it’s lit par nuit and heated) – ah, the sound of Laps by moonlight. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this one is for JW/1 – we’ll be attending this and Reporting back, dear digital cousin!viewer-1

the latest gift from the Postman – Thrilling!!viewerwe may Even go back to School with some of the Advance from the book……………..who knows (well, we will a bit later – going to visit Los Angeles Film School at 11.30AM today, darlings).

you see – there’s Lots to do.

it’s sort of our own Finishing School Curriculum when you think about it.

which is Terribly delicious.

 

to mcnally jackson for a granta evening with some charming brazilians

we are feeling Terribly cosmopolitan and serious and Literary and thoughtful and quite moved by the experience this evening at McNally Jackson with our Brazilian novelist friends under the auspices of Granta (now edited not by our former colleague from The Independent Mr. Jack, as it was when we last checked the masthead, but by the charming American, John Freeman, with a learned yet inclusive authorial love of writers and their work.

In a recent interview he said:

“Reading’s a private, intimate experience. But to know what it feels like to read a book you haven’t read, you need to have someone write to you about it, which is what a critic does: explain what it feels like to spend a few hours inside a book.”

tonight’s event was no exception – a small, intimate experience – downstairs at the bookshop – with a handful of literary critics and some deeply charming writers in town from the Iowa Workshop, some of them from Brazil, in fact, where tonight’s evening took our focus.

oh, it was Most Enjoyable.

but our favo(u)rite moment was when the novelist J. P. Cuenca took command of the microphone and started to read…..

unlike other readings that we’ve attended, the author seemed a tiny bit unfamiliar with his own material (we had a similar experience once when a Celebrity was reading from her widely reviewed roman a clef and seemed to have come to the page fresh, as it were, and was heard to remark after “I must read it, that bit sounded really good.” You had to be there. Or not)

And then we realized what was going on!

J.P. Cuenca was reading someone else’s translation of his original work which was, of course, in Portuguese.

it all made sense.

because for a split second, we got Rather Confused.

may we share a paragraph or two from the Granta edition of J. P’s (may we call him JP?) work?

The word ‘community’, a euphemism for favela used for decades by journalists, samba composers and sociologists, became synonymous with cultural patrimony deserving of protection, manifesto, patronage by the state, walls. It always was or may yet be too late: the favela is still at war. It discovered in itself the restorative nostalgia for the Rio de Janeiro of the golden years of the bossa nova and, for some, the military dictatorship – a longing for the past that, until then, was the exclusive property of the retired crowd living in carpeted apartments at street level.

p. 220 Before The Fall, J. P, Cuenca
– Granta: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists

isn’t he a Glorious Writer?

after the reading and discussion there was a general milling about and some flirting over the books-in-translation

what’s that?

why yes, we Did ask a Question – thank you for asking.

what was it about?

oh! happy to oblige.

it was about Brazil’s relationship to Portugal today with regard to literature and language and J P’s answer was curious and wonderfully physically illustrated with some strong hands illustrating how “savage” the refined former colonists now find Brazil’s way of mis-treating and cutting up and making-musical and changing and not respecting and turning inside out and up and over and through into Something Very New – Thrilling response indeed. We did enjoy it.

when we walked out of the shop two Brazilian writers stopped us and said:

a Very Good Question.

and we nodded in a Terribly Literary way to say thank you (because we thought it was a very good question when we asked it and we were Ever so pleased at the theatrical physicality of the response with flashing dark eyes and the word SAVAGE wrung out of a gutter-al-lower-range. wonderful).

we slipped out quietly and walked down the street, musing on the evening.

as we turned down onto lafayette we saw the single red light bulb denoting the passageway down into the depths of Pravda and smiled back towards the bookshop. It looked like the milling around the vinho tinto was going to be extended into a late night of Passionate discussion about Literature and Rio and favelas and military supervision and the rise of Brazil and the necessary nature of writers and………yes………the novelists and writers-from-Iowa seemed ready to settle in for a long, late night.

not for us.

we needed to write to you.

*now don’t forget to buy your copy of Granta: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists from McNally Jackson itself (Greg – if you’re reading this – we’re sending you a copy tomorrow in the post to celebrate your most recent trip to Rio – we heard it was utterly splendid).

UPDATE:

darlings – look who “re-tweeted” us!

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Gosh.

You go to bed and wake up with laurels.

How nice.