A day off fretting about my personal responsibility for letting a highly morally suspect writer into my writing life, and hence into the lives of my friends and colleagues. I DO feel this responsibility and hurt, and it will take a long time to get over it. People tell me to move on. And of course, I will.
However. Today was wonderful from start to finish! Look.
Train to London, where I had a blissful, indulgent and necessarily cathartic lunch with the novelist and poet Sue Guiney, at The Wolseley in Piccadilly.
Conversation ranged from the state of independent publishing, to how our books are doing, to what we are working on now, to plans for leaping on the technological bandwagon, to ‘isn’t this Bandol nice shall we have another glass and what about sharing an apple strudel?!’
We parted company with me feeling very jealous that Sue is off to Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat tomorrow.
Over the road to The Royal Academy, where I joined the queue that snaked in the bank Holiday sunshine, waiting to buy tickets for the Kuniyoshi exhibition.
From their website:
The Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition on one of the greatest Japanese print artists, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). Featuring over 150 works, the exhibition presents Kuniyoshi as a master of imaginative design. Open until 7 June.
It was very different, great fun, and packed solid. As always, I get inspiration everywhere, and after the exhibition I went and sat with a few cups of tea for an hour or so, in the RA courtyard café, and wrote a story on the back of some scraps of paper. I shall post the story next.
Then, I walked to Soho, to Romilly Street, and down into the basement of no 23, where Salena Godden’s Book Club Boutique weekly literary and music event was hosting the launch of the paperback version of Nick Hogg’s Show me The Sky.
Cor. Blimey Moses. Has to be one of the BESTEST things I have been to for YONKS. (Is that enough capitals??)
Here are the rest of the line up… but there was also a lovely talented singer/flautist, who was Czech…if anyone can tell me her name, please do and I will add it in here.
Nicholas Hogg’s novel, Show Me the Sky (Canongate)
Salena Godden, punk poet and singer, and writer (article on her and her forthcoming book, here.)
Salena Godden's short stories and poetry can be found published in various magazines including Drawbridge; Rising; The Illustrated Ape; Nude Magazine; Salzburg Review; Trespass; The Gay Times; Le Gun; Litro; The Guardian; The Camden New Journal & Plectrum. Her work has also featured in many anthologies; Penguin’s IC3; Canongate’s Fire People; Serpents Tail’s Croatian Nights; Hodder & Stoughton’s Oral & Dedalus The Decadent Handbook. This spring, 2009, her writing will appear in two brand new anthologies; Punk Fiction & Dwang, alongside the likes of Dan Fante, Cathi Unsworth & Billy Childish among a great many others. HarperCollins / HarperPress won the auction for her debut childhood memoir Springfield Road to be published in hardback in spring 2010.
Simone Felice (who is a bloke)
And his writing is HERE
Simone Felice is the author of two novellas, GOODBYE, AMELIA and HAIL MARY FULL OF HOLES, and numerous short stories, poems and songs. He is a founding member of The Felice Brothers and his new band The Duke & King makes its UK debut on May 26th at London's Bush Hall. He is at work on a new novel, BLACK JESUS. He lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
Nikesh Shukla is a writer, rapper and Saved By the Bell enthusiast caught between the cityscapes of Bombay and the green and pleasant land of London. His writing has been featured on BBC2, Radio 1 and 4, Resonance fm, Tell Tales and he has performed at Apples and Snakes, Soho Theatre and Glastonbury in his quest to destroy the perfect metaphor. He recently completed his first collection of short stories, I’ve Forgotten My Mantra, and records under the name Yam Boy, and with the group The D’Archetypes. Nikesh Shukla on Pulp.net HERE
I read a story to a packed bar. Could have heard a pin drop, bless em all. Summat called Road Kill - to do with war and explosions (very good for the psyche at the moment!). Seemed to go down OK. Got home at 1.00, and wrote for an hour.