Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Singing, rejections and Bill Bryson
Singing plays an enjoyably large part in my life at the moment. We have several big gigs over the next few weeks, the first being last Saturday where our three choirs took it in turns to sing in the courtyard at Trelissick Gardens near Truro. In between Seamus played the accordion, there was a bar and if the weather had been a little warmer you might have felt you’d wandered into some Mediterranean walled garden.
Then at 9.30pm we all (audience included) set off down the narrow winding road to the King Harry Ferry which takes cars over to the Roseland. When the last cars were off, all 100 of us singers piled onto the ferry, followed by audience with blankets, hats, thermos flasks and all manner of warm stuff.
Then we all sang as one choir. It was just amazing, singing into the still of a May night while the water lapped around us. The inky darkness was soft and welcoming, carrying our voices with care. If it was half as good to hear, as it was to sing, that can only be a wondrous thing.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that night. 100 singers together is quite something, but on a ferry in the middle of the river made it just magical and everyone sat, transfixed. The evening cast fairy dust over all of us and really did make me believe that in Cornwall, just about anything is possible.
Back to normal and I am trying to get an agent for my memoir of Pip and another walks book. Three rejections but all such encouraging ones about my work - and all saying that publishing is so difficult right now….
This week, on a completely different tack, I am off to interview Bill Bryson in London. That sounds so blasé but in fact I’m still pinching myself over this one.
“What are you going to wear?” cried my mother last night over the phone. “And what about your feet?” – she is clearly concerned that, at the age of 53, her daughter is unable to dress suitably for interviewing such an Important Author.
One advantage in having a small wardrobe is that there is little choice, so I had the clothes bit sorted some time ago. I am more concerned with having spare batteries for my tape recorder, making sure I have my questions and notes. (I sorted the clothes bit long ago) and getting the publicity lady’s mobile number in case my train’s delayed.
I know I will be extremely nervous beforehand, but it’s good to have nerves. It ensures that you do the job properly. But I am really looking forward to the interview. Someone who can write as magnificently as Bill Bryson does must just be a real pleasure to meet. So think of me on Thursday…..