Sorry about the sporadic posting. It feels slightly strange writing this blog while I’m away from Dorset, but I had a lovely chat with Jocasta and she was insistent that since I also talk about writing, publishing and cake, that it’s perfectly ok.
Mr S and I went to Palm Springs with our friends Jeff and Kelly. It was properly hot – unlike L.A. which is currently under the ‘June gloom’. We lazed by the pool and got scolded by the dapper elderly gentleman in room 12 who informed us that the hotel rules specifically forbade drinking and glassware by the the pool area and we were in ‘direct and deliberate contravention’. Thereafter, gin and tonics had to be slurped quickly and in stealth.
We took a trip by the ‘fastest rotary cable-car in the whole world’ (I know, the posters were everywhere), which not only whisked us up the mountain at breakneck speed, but also rotated 360 degrees so that you could feel sick, I mean get the view, from every angle. Mr S took many photos and was very happy.
On the way home Jeff took a detour via Joshua Tree national park so that we Brits could see a proper desert. It was hot. And dry. And weirdly beautiful. We drove into the park for 30 minutes and then stopped the car to go for a short hike. Almost immediately we all fell silent. The stillness is complete and unnerving. I think of our home in Dorset as quiet. We have very little noise from the modern world: occasional hums from passing cars and the constant chatter from the birds, the sound of the wind in the plum tree and the buzzing of the flies or bees. The quiet in Joshua tree was utterly different. We sat on sun baked rocks and listened. Here is a picture of me, uncharacteristically still and quiet. Mr S had to snap a photo as evidence.
I’ve been going through the copy edited manuscript this week. I had been slightly nervous, that the copy editor would point out thousands of errors and everyone at Sceptre would realise they had made a big mistake after all. In fact, she said lovely things about the novel and made only minor corrections. These ranged from amending my punctuation (my use of commas can be a little creative), fixing typos, occasionally re-wording a sentence for clarity and also once or twice pointing out an anachronism. My mum has also been going the m/s with a toothcomb (what the hell is a tooth comb, by the way?) to triple check all my nature references.
We are here to work as well as hang out with Jeff, Milly, Alice and Kelly, so have been taking meetings. Elinor and Stan have also been in touch, and there is some exciting news to come…so watch this space!