3/9/9 Magic fingers broke down computers again so looked for the Alexander Romance which Houben’s, Helena and Waterstone’s didn’t have but the last had branches in Dublin which did, and Guildford, the nearest being Trafalgar Square which had one copy. En route Mrs Crawley offered to publish the book; it wouldn’t cost me too much.
2/10 Coming from paying off visa met Mrs Crawley coming in to settle dead brother’s estate. I asked how much publishing the book’d cost me. She was bemused; it’d be profit-sharing and was with Paul Carroll, an editor.
13/10/ Fitted in Sainsbury’s for Observer recommend sardines and corned beef before washing up, setting recorder and going off to Kate and John’s for drinks and food before meeting: us and John Elliott. Kate had anecdote about moon exactly same size of disk as sun. John E read next bit of Human Pages after showing us his e-reader he’s reading Quentin’s The Lovers on. I brought them up to date on my being published by Mrs Crawley and read beginning of the book. They had difficulty with the man, an adult consciousness in a child.
17/3/ Forgotten to put out public letters for copying Mrs Crawley asked for yesterday. With Elaine’s help when it swallowed my cuttings successfully used copier. Bus on diversion uphill to avoid Sheen Roadworks to deliver to an unrecognising Mrs Crawley – “John! From the library!” – in déshabillé thus obviating finding out about the book’s publishing.
18/3/ Mrs Crawley apologising for her dishevelment.
25/3/ While talking to John Marriage sighted Mrs Crawley who excused herself she was in a hurry, adding we might be in tomorrow’s paper, meaning her and Courtland’s I suspect.
27/7/10 Asked Mrs Crawley about ‘the book’. She’ll update me whenever.
13/8/ Gave people direct access to blog and added item on CORRESPONDENCE, the book Mrs Crawley’s publishing.
14/8/ Found out Mrs Crawley had neither the book nor CORRESPONDENCE. Interesting though her motive might be, fact is she has made a fool of me. Told Quentin congratulating me on being published I wasn’t. Of course I was angry, not as much as at Kate though. In same coach as Jacqui at Hammersmith, joined her and Tricia who’s a policewoman as was another of the lesbian writers in the gay bookstore. They advised against killing Crawley.

My purporting publisher, who shall remain anonymous to protect the guilty - you know who you are, Jacyntha - and I, who am a guileless innocent, have been at cross purposes. She's not as green as she's cabbage looking - more, purple broccoli. When she said she might as well publish my book, I naturally assumed she meant what in all modesty I call the book but as a concession to you and convention will agree to call 'the book', which, and I said, I didn't think commercial (because of your conventional expectations of what a book might be, certainly nothing as nonpareil as ...'the book') but no! she meant by "your book" my other book, /CORRESPONDENCE, which is I'd thought commercially viable.

CORRESPONDENCE is the book of the archived correspondence between me and a friend who wished to be a published writer and which, when published, will be her magnum opus. She was short-breathed as a writer and said she put as much into her letters to me as into her poems and plays. It was after an encounter with her and her lover I started writing to her because even if I made her love me she'd slip back to the type he was. Writing letters was good practice for her. More than that was required that could not be and should not have been consciously contrived and wasn't. At some point we had to fall out that she take back her letters and return me mine. Then we had to make up and after a while she give me back my letters while leaving me with hers though of course keeping mine from the break-up. Only in this way could it be a correspondence to be read as such instead of one side of it, one voice. A correspondence is more interesting, two voices rather than one and, if you think of it, not that common. I also had to obtain the right to all the letters, hers as well as mine, which she does give in a late one. She almost knowingly co-operated at the unconscious level.

The effect of this unconscious contrivance is art. To end with there is only the one voice, hers, lamenting losing love though I'm there, we're still corresponding but since she's keeping my letters I don't have mine. It's an aesthetic illusion that's also true since I was leaving her for here.

Then there's the MacGuffin: who was her lover? I stopped her telling me when we were talking. She took the hint and never tells in the letters. It gives the potential reader something to keep her or him interested.

[I don't know how this got here. Look at the date to it. Langton's has closed. The group's moved to Parkshot college where it's amalgamating with a clique of unpublished but pushy wannabes.]

I'm combining Richmond Trees with the Writers' Group in this blog to save bother. The group meets in Langton's bookshop every month on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm. Our custom is to read whatever we choose to bring, possibly with copies for people to read and refer to. We confine ourselves to constructive criticism though I have noticed breaches in that decorum on the part of one of us who shall be nameless, John, who made the same criticism of my writing as I'd thought of his, but of course was too well-bred to say, viz that I could never think what to say about it and it was more of the same. We also set a topic for whoever wants a hook to hang their writing on. This is not much observed. The August meeting was a tad flat after I'd read and ended sooner than usual.

Jacqui Knowles, one of our published members and near prize-winning finalist with her novel, Arusha, is having a meet and greet along with Claire Rooney on Saturday at 3pm in Marchmont St (Russell Square) at Gay's the Word.

  • Ki Publishing's Book Shop Front
  • For my first experimental blog for Richmond Trees I've simply inserted - and when I say 'simply' I mean after considerable difficulty countering Jacyntha's attempt to send me and the Richmond Library staff insane, as is her wont - my most recent action on behalf of keeping our natural environment as natural as possible for us to have something natural for our souls to be receptive to against the council and its agents whose only principle is action on it to our detriment.

    Editor Richmond Informer
    Dear Sir

    I take it Mr Woolf from Ham is not a cyclist whose self-interest would be served by his proposed bridge.

    Landscaping should pose no problem since that would get rid of the remnants in Ham Wood and Fields of any natural environment and be in line with council policy to have it completely made over into something other.

    If the London mayor is involved in funding, the bridge would be part of a Sustrans network of tracks for cyclists who could whizz through our no longer natural environment regardless of the Open Spaces Act which lays down the conditions of the council’s ownership as that of managing the riverside lands for the public’s recreation and exercise on it and expressly forbids metalled roads or anything much beyond a path made by feet. We already know Sustrans contributes to the Strategy to get what it wants so there’s no problem there for a council which itself instigated that Strategy and has already broken the law in respect of both roads and footpaths, making us, the public, accessories after the fact.

    Finally, the bridge would complement the historic restoration of The Great River Avenue which the Open Spaces Act neglects to mention since it moved the focal point off Ham House and onto use of its grounds for the public. There was an avenue in a line perpendicular to the midpoint between the front of Ham House and the river. Only the pompous could call it The Great River Avenue since it went nowhere, therefore had no path along it, certainly no road, stopped far short of the river and was purely additional decoration for when Ham House was the focal point for its visitors who might catch a glimpse of the river far off as they walked up to the house. Since the then occupants of the house didn’t regard that avenue as significant and a glimpse along it didn’t constitute recreation or exercise for the public, the Open Spaces Act didn’t protect what would encroach on the public’s use of the land - and which does, in contravention of the law, with the philistine bisecting of Ham Wood and Fields whether it’s in line with the perpendicular to the midpoint or completely bogus ‘restoration’ of the historically insignificant.

    I can see no reason then why this bridge should not be built. It meets all the council’s criteria.

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