Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The Italian cover!  Nell goes to Italy...

Saturday, April 16, 2011


"Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered. 
"Yes, Piglet?" 
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you." 
 A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

I have been thinking about things not said.  I love this quote.  I love the simplicity.  I love that nothing is spelled out but that feeling of safety, friendship and returned love is utterly captured.  

I have been thinking about how good writing works.  How to write a feeling without explaining the feeling.  How to grab a moment and make it sit still long enough to become perfectly realized.  It is not easy to do.  I think it is all about recognition.  That is the root.  To see yourself in a character or room or time or place or awkward situation pulls you into the writing.  It becomes familiar, personal, meaningful, important, yours.  I know that feeling.  I know the small moment of cocooned relief Piglet feels holding Pooh's hand.  Such good writing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Home to the Sun...

I love it here.  I really do.  London in the spring is is a city of green postage stamp squares, blurred by pale fluffy blossoms and brushed in pastels.  It is a blooming, stunning city.   But, it does lead to some eccentricities.  The warmth is fleeting and tenuous and does not visit the shade.  The rain is quixotic and cold and lands in puddles and then gets thrown around by buses that move disturbingly fast.

I wear sundresses in the warmest part of the day but in order to do that I have to carry a heavy bag with me.  Inside the bag are 1) a book--always--a bit like Linus and his blanket, 2) clothes--lots of clothes: socks, tights, jumpers, jackets, hats and a scarf.  As the day cools down I put on more and more layers until the summer dress is lost under a whole sheep's worth of wool and underpinned by heavy boots and topped off with mittens.  The effect is bizarrely Victorian.

This lovely city also holds so many of the people I love best in the world.  The easy, short hand communication of long broken in, lived in, much loved friendships is a marvellous thing.  On Saturday, Sadie and I decided to nothing but watch movies.  We went to the HMV in Victoria station and bought movies and then spent the evening at her house tucked up in the sitting room, utterly happy.  When I am back in Hawaii, in another life, a million miles away, I will remember nothing of what we talked about and everything about that happiness.

Yesterday, I was on a bus on my way somewhere else and suddenly I did not want to go somewhere else.  So, I hopped off in Vauxhall and called my friend Dan who lives just there.  He cooked a roast and I sat on the sofa.  It is a magical precious thing to spend random, ordinary, unhurried time with old friends.  It makes me want to stay.

But I have that restless, about to go feeling that comes with a flurry of changed tickets and frantic packing.  It is almost time...