Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I called in at West- minster Library on Charing Cross Road to reserve a copy of the new John Osborne biography and the librarian cautioned me, 'That will cost you £1.50.!' I told her it was still cheaper than buying the book and she had to agree; she could see from the compute screen that it costs £25.

I don't usually reserve books here. In fact they have a very good selection of new books, inlcuding lots of thrillers, my favourite genre. I almost daren't go in there when I have a big pile of unread books and newspapers beside the bed.

As it was, I came away with a book called 'The Unfinished Novel and other stories' by Valerie Martin. Well, I couldn't resist the title and the blurb promised a collection of soul-searching stories about artists. The first of the collection was a first-person-narrator story about a about a painter with a very good twist at the end. I read it, fittingly, in the National Gallery after I'd left my Chinese class and found the timing was all wrong for films at the Haymarket Cineworld.

I've been revising a couple of my own stories to enter in the Senior Moments competition, closing date 15th June, so it's good to be reminded of successful examples. I try not to get too discouraged by comparisons. I was astonished to read that Annie Proulx revised Brokeback Mountain 60 times!

I actually bought a book at Ottakars at the weekend -Creative Writing, in the Teach Yourself series. I'm enjoying it as its is very readable and practically inclined, and I was sure that the author's name must be a made-up one, as it's Diana Doubtfire. However, in the acknowledgements she refers to a husband and on with the same surname, so it must be real.

I am pleased because I think I've found a suitable writers' circle which meets fairly near to where I live. I found it on the Internet and contacted a woman who gave me quite vague directions to a cafe at Crofton Park. There's a park and a railway station of that name but no road that I can see. Still, there can't be all that many cafes. I've asked for more precise directions.

I'd been to the BFI Library earlier today to research for my Jane-Austen-on-film feature, but hadbeen destracted by a book called 'From Screenplay to Film: Brokeback Mountain' with essays by Annie Proulx, and the scriptwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana - fascinating and very useful for the redraft of my Ang Lee piece.

Brokeback Mountain is one in a collection of short stories set in Wyoming and is in of my bedside pile . Never mind - less than two weeks now before I get a chance to catch up.

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