Friday, 15 November 2013

Poems and publications

Quite a few people in recent days have been asking Marcia about the poem from which she quoted in Forgotten Laughter. They want to know where they can read it. Well, the answer is here. The poem was written by Marcia's sister, Bridget, and has not been published. Very few people who write the occasional poem can get their work into print. Of course it is possible to make these available in this electronic age and so I decided to explore and see whether or not there are any web sites devoted to just that. I Googled "web site for poets" and came up with a few that looked quite interesting. However, you do need to know how the internet works to make this work for you and not all poets do (Bridget is one of these).  Anyway, enough: here is the poem.


I sat there in the window
Looking down below
At the cobbles in the courtyard
Dusted white with snow.
The scene was very peaceful
The air was very cold.
The lights from the windows opposite
In the darkness stood out bold.
I sat there in the window
In the evening without light.
I wished I were a grown-up
And could go out in the night.

I stood there in the courtyard
The cobbles wet with snow
The windows all around me
Had a welcome glow.
I stood there in the darkness
Wondering which way to go.
People hurried past me
Keeping their gazes low.
The night was very silent
The air so very cold.
I wish I were a child again
And had a hand to hold.

Thinking of snow, this last week we had the first frost of the winter. The lanes up on the moor were quite icy and so the time has come to bring into shelter some of the pots out in the garden so that what is growing in them has a better chance of surviving and a good start in the spring. It really is amazing how quickly time flies by for it seems as if it was only the other day that Marcia and I set off to start looking for the setting of the book she is now writing. That was one of those brilliant late spring days and so was months ago. Where have they gone?

Marcia with some of the readers after her talk at the Taunton Literary Festival.

We received an email from Chris Smale (Transworld's representative in this part of the world) yesterday with some pictures of Marcia at the talk she gave for the Taunton Literary Festival which is hosted by Brendon Books. This was, as you know, the last function in what is now last year's writing year (simply because the last function after publication day marks the year end) and so we now start all over again - except, of course, that Marcia has been working on another book since that day in spring.

Taken last spring from the corner of a field behind Torcross where
we spent many hours while Marcia connected with her new characters
Publication day is, in one sense, a double event: the arrival of a brand new book in hardback plus the paperback edition of the book first published last year. Readers who turn up at signings and talks have the perfectly reasonable expectation that Marcia will be able to talk quite intelligently about these two books without realising that this is quite difficult. Putting The Sea Garden to one side for a moment, since finishing Postcards from the Past she has written and finalised next year's book (to be called Indian Summer) which will come out in 2014 and is hard at work on the next one (it has a working title but that might be changed so it will remain a secret for now) which should be on the book shelves in 2015. Each book deals with a completely new bunch of characters - although we know that we often come across old friends as well. So, when Marcia looks blank when someone asks, "Will Oliver be able to work from the Tamar?" please understand that for a long, long and, for her, embarrassing moment she has no idea what the questioner is talking about. Really, no idea: she has moved on - which is how it should be.

This week we have Spike, a miniature poodle from the other
side of the Atlantic.