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…..

21 comments:

Jenny Beattie said...

Oh gosh, I shall definitely think of you. I am rather jealous; he's one of the very few writers who make me laugh out loud. Good luck (which I'm sure you don't need) and enjoy. JJx

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, JJ. I intend to enjoy, once I've got over my nerves!

Vermont Designs said...

Don't forget your handbag!!! 8-)

Flowerpot said...

No, Shelagh, I think I will have it superglued to my chest!

Akelamalu said...

Oh 100 strong choir on a boat sounds just magical - I wish I'd been in the audience.

Wow Flowerpot, interviewing Bill Bryson - that's a dream come true! So do tell, what ARE you wearing?

Flowerpot said...

Ak - yes it really was magical. As to my clothes - lemon yellow trousers, blue check shirt and red short (wedding) jacket.

Morton S Gray said...

Hi Flowerpot,
Do you need someone to carry your bag? Your batteries? How exciting. Have fun and please blog about your encounter. Mx

Talli Roland said...

Bill Bryson! Colour me VERY jealous! Best of luck and please give us a full report.

liz fenwick said...

What an amazing experience...singing on the ferry and another one to come. Good luck with the interview.
lx

Liane Spicer said...

That evening sounds simply magical.

I love Bill Bryson. When I need a good laugh I turn to the part of A Walk in the Woods where he describes his distrust of the American south. Or where he and his friend think bears are about to enter the tents and kill them both. Or... *sigh* Love him.

You lucky thing.

Jennifer Perry said...

Thank you for sharing the picture, and the feeling, of the music, the singers, the water, and I love this line "The inky darkness was soft and welcoming, carrying our voices with care."
how perfectly lovely.
Bryson interview should be fun, and I look forward to reading it.
Someone gave me his book "A Walk In The Woods." I laughed, cackled and guffawed. Now I'm living in Asheville, NC, and can tell you he was right about the mountain folks.

Flowerpot said...

Jenifer - good to meet nyou. Will report back re BB!

Flowerpot said...

Liane - he is very funny so am really looking forward to meeting him.

Flowerpot said...

Liz - it was brilliant! Just starting to get nervous now......

Chris Stovell said...

Now you've got us on the edge of our seats. As Jenny says, I'm sure you won't need good luck. Enjoy it and tell us all about it.

The choir experience sounds amazing, I can't sing to save my life but I'd enjoy hearing you all.

Philipa said...

Thinking of you today. You have the weather for it! Hope you have a lovely day and Bill Bryson is lovely xx

Flowerpot said...

|Phil - it was a good day and BB was great. Did feel somewhat jetlagged after all those trains though!

Flowerpot said...

Chris - will update on BB next week. It was all somewhat surreal but great.

Flowerpot said...

Liz - our next gig is at Watergate Bay which will be amazing!!

Flowerpot said...

Talli - report coming up next post...

Flowerpot said...

Morton - you would have been more than welcome! All details next week....