"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Literary Leanings & Gleanings

I now seem to have acquired a London literary agent as well as a New York one. (Both with the same agency so it's all in-house.) Met her for coffee yesterday at the National Gallery, so I had to go into author-mode and talk about my writing and my books--past, present, future--so she could set strategies.

When we parted I went next door to the National Portrait Gallery, where I'm always sure to find paintings of the subjects of my novels--past, present, and future. I was delighted to see that a full colour reproduction of one of my character's is now available from the image archive, so I ordered one and they printed it up for me and it looks fantastic. (I have a b&w already.) This new one will get framed, I predict.

Returned to my hotel to pick up a bag of books I brought for an author friend I was seeing later. Went to Piccadilly, to the huge-mongous Waterstone's there and sniffed around but didn't buy anything. (Yet.) As my friend and I were having tea at the Connaught Hotel just off Grosvenor Square--Claridge's was totally booked--I walked all the way there, following a familiar route. Piccadilly to Bolton to Curzon to South Audley to Mount Street. I needed to work off my afternoon tea before I ate it! When my friend arrived we were led to to a window table. We both order the custom house blend tea. The first course of tea was the sandwiches (salmon, egg, cucumber and cress, a sort of bruschetta of sun-dried tomoato. The second course was sweets, and I can't begin to name them or even do justice to their loveliness...simply too pretty to eat. Although of course we did.

It was raining by the time we left and just a short walk to Thomas Goode's for a browse. I then carried on to Shepherd Market where my date was waiting. We chose a Lebanese restaurant, not the usual one but one he'd been to by I hadn't. I ate carrot sticks mostly, nibbled at a starter, and drank a glass of wine. My tea was my meal for the day.

No photos. Shocking, I know. Yesterday was a camera-free day.

This morning was absolutely gorgeous and would've been great for photography. However, I had 17th century primary source materials advance ordered over at the British Library. Plus I needed to renew my 3-year Reader's Pass. And this was the only day I could do it. So off I trotted, very reluctantly.

My reference items had useful information. One, it seemed, was lost in the system and they couldn't order it for delivery in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room. But, after lots of time lost trying to track it down, and being given a microfilm and told it was on there (it wasn't) I learned it was available in book form, Open Access up in the Manuscripts Reading Room. (Oh, how I hate microfilm.)

And after all that, the information I was seeking wasn't there. The fact that it wasn't there is meaningful, so not a loss. But I had hopes of solving a riddle that, I'm increasingly convinced, is quite insoluble. It happens sometimes.

Tonight we're dining at our beloved French restaurant, back in Shepherd Market.

No comments: