Friday, 27 January 2012
2. I've been craving stir fry from the pre-prepared veggie packs since the beginning of the year and consequently thinking wistful thoughts about Sainsbury's Market in Pimlico... Sigh. But today I walk into my little local Delhaize and discover they've decided to honour Chinese New Year by stocking the "Wok" range, including those veggies.
3. I discover Scramble with Friends, and it's a lot of fun. I particularly like the encouraging automatic voice which ups its enthusiasm according to word length: good! Excellent! Amazing!
Monday, 23 January 2012
(Since I haven't 3BTed in ages, I hope you'll forgive me for having six today.)
1. I feel so inspired after my dailyish writing exercise that I decide to skive work and type up chapter one of my current WIP (work in progress), Primary Season. I'm not behind on my work, so I don't even need to feel guilty.
2. My favourite thing about Twitter is being able to communicate with authors whose book I enjoy. In the last couple of days, I've tweeted with three who are important to me, because I love their books and in some ways want to write like them, and in odd ways perhaps have things in common with them too, things that make me feel a kind of kinship with them. This makes me happier than I can begin to explain.
3. I am on time to orchestra for once, and I walk in to see two teenage girls messing around on the piano, playing and singing "In the jungle, the mighty jungle", or rather "dans la jungle, la terrible jungle"... There is something of an unadulterated simple pleasure in this, of their joy in each other and in music and in being young.
4. It's long and complicated to explain, but I have hope again that Inevitable may yet be published, when yesterday I felt nothing but despair and an irresistible urge to go the Kindle route.
5. When I buy my train ticket, the lady behind the counter spots the Guernsey sticker that has been on my flute case since 1996 (!) and we agree it's a lovely place. Such great memories, too...
6. Picking out my book for tomorrow, since I've almost finished the one I'm currently reading, I spot a notebook on the shelf. And yes - it's my blue writing prompts notebook, the one with half written fan fic and scenes for the new novel and generally lots of useful, useable stuff. I thought I'd lost it. I am relieved and ecstatic that I haven't.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Friday, 13 January 2012
It did nothing to convince me of the appeal of the Republican Party, though I was reassured that at least one person was calling them out for their increasing radicalisation and homogenisation. But really, I'm not sure it was meant to. It was easy to read, engaging and honest - what you see is what you get with Meghan, and that is one of only a very few traits we share - and you know what? To my shame I almost welled up when John McCain lost.
And it also gave me a lot of useful background information for my second novel, Primary Season, the first draft of which I wrote for NaNoWriMo. For all its brilliance, The Audacity to Win wasn't very helpful on how tough it is to be a woman in politics, or on those authentic details - bag calls, weight gain, ephemeral relationships, the impossibility of having clean clothes - which I need to make Aaron and Louisa and their world seem real.
So thanks, Meghan. Your book was just what I needed.
Still, though, I'm going to give it a go with tonight's episode, "Guns not Butter". I love this one, because Donna is my favourite, and she is brilliant here, when she tries - and almost succeeds - to find a Senator to whom the President urgently wants to speak.
In doing so, she walks straight into the baggage claims area of National (Washington National Airport, known by some people as Ronald Reagan Airport, though never by anyone on the West Wing, firstly because Reagan didn't exist in their world and secondly, I would guess, because Democrats only refer to it as "National"). Walk straight into baggage claim! With no passport! No flight to catch! Everywhere I've ever been you go through baggage claim before customs, and only then do you get to come out and meet your enthusiastic placard-holding greeters.
But not on American internal flights. I was very confused by this when I flew into LAX from Dulles. (Sorry, that's me showing off with my "I'm so knowledgeable about America" insider speak. LAX is Los Angeles' main airport and Dulles is one of Washington's.) Baggage claim is a bit of a free for all. Anyone can walk in. Which is one of the many things I found disorientating over there.
At one point, she also tries to call "Dirksen". This is a reference to one of the three buildings where Senators have their offices - Russell and Hart being the other one. And as for Will being an Eaton valedictorian, that means he gave the speech at high school graduation and was probably the highest ranked student in his year. And it's nothing to do with Eton College - it wouldn't have surprised me if Will had been educated there, but I'm glad Aaron Sorkin did not make the mistake of placing an American tradition in a venerable British education.
All clear now? Good.