Friday 4 September 2009

Sunflowers like dinner plates and Australian Champagne

Yesterday I was just trying to gather my thoughts to complete an article about Sunflowers 005 John Fowles’ The Magus for Norman Geras when there was a knock on the door and I was confronted by the man from the florist with an armful of sunflowers like dinner plates. This lovely bouquet was from Sherise, Celine, Gillian and Maura at my publishers (Headline) to celebrate publication day for The Woman Who Drew Buildings. Headline knows brilliantly how to mark the day. Thank you wonderful Headliners.

Of course we will have the proper big launch party very soon, but the day one’s book is out there in the world is is so very special and the flowers were a great start. 

Mid afternoon my friend Avril came with chocolate and we had coffee and talked of writing which must do justice to our work with the women in prison( see last post). Also we talked about what a joy and privilege it is to write for a living and the importance of staying positive in an uncertain world. We laughed a little and cried a little and came away smiling.

So I  didn’t get back to the Magus article.

Later, I went out to dinner with my clever friend Judith Gates and we drank Australian champagne to celebrate my publication day and her discovery of a relative born around 1760 something who shared a name with her husband Bill (or William as it says on the record). Just think of it – born before the French Revolution! Just imagine!

No getting back to the Magus article after that.

But today I have finished  the Magus piece and sent it to Norman.  So this post celebrates a task enjoyed and completed. Celebrations all round, then.


PS We had Australian Champagne (called something else, of course…)  because that was what the restaurant had. In fact it was very, very good…


  1. I've arrived here by a serendipitous route I can hardly reconstruct but am pleased with where I've ended up. Fowles is a long time favourite of mine. I haven't read The Magus in many many years but when I was at university I knew a young man who was writing a thesis on every change in wording and punctuation between the two editions. Will your article be available online? Congratulations on your new book. The title is wonderful. I'll make a point of looking for it.

  2. Welcome Mairi
    Though not a poet I have enjoyed the concepts and ideas on your site and think I see their relevence to writing in general.
    It would be interesting to get hold of an essay on differences between the two editions of the Magus.(They must be out there). What I would like to see would be clues to JFs state of mind, I think. Of course the early successes of his novels - from The Collector onward - allowed JF to do this extraprdinary thing... I wonder how many writers would like to re-write their first and best work??
    My Magus article should be posted on Norman Geras's site soon I think. I'll check back with you when it's there.
    I hope you come back again,

  3. That sounds like a perfect day! Congratulations!!!



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