I am sitting on our roof deck in Venice looking at the Pacific. This is actually the first proper sunshine we’ve had for a few days – L.A. has been under the ‘June Gloom’, or as we would call it the usual English Summer. You know: warmish, dampish and grey. Now the sky is blue again and filled with the most peculiar looking clouds, from here they look like shoals of squid with wispy tendrils.
That is the only dodgy metaphor for today. Mr S and I spent a long time yesterday going back through the m/s of Mr R, doing final checks. Mr S always pushes me to make my work better, even if it is midnight and all I want is bed, and failing that gin. (Be warned, this is what you get if you marry another writer.) The old adage is true: ‘a novel is never finished, only abandoned’. It is hard to let go, especially when Mr S is saying ‘are you sure, you can’t improve that? Is that sentence as elegant as possible?’ Yesterday we were still making changes that improved the m/s and Jocasta warned me that once the m/s has gone to the typesetter, I can really only make tiny spelling corrections. Once I pressed ‘send’ on the e-mail, I did want to crawl down the wires and collect the m/s for one last read.
On Sunday, we took a few hours out from the edit to go to the movies. In a cemetery. ‘Hollywood Forever’ is a cemetery in the heart of old Hollywood. Think broad avenues of tall palms, vast marble tombs inset with strange stone photographs of the dearly departed, set against the hills of Griffith park and the Observatory, and in the distance the ‘Hollywood’ sign itself. We sat on blankets having a picnic with around a thousands others, while Woody Allen’s ‘Sleeper’ was projected onto Rudolph Valentino’s massive marble mausoleum. A real L.A. experience.