Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Booked

Am "proofing" the UK edition of the book. What this entails is staring at 300 pages till you go cross-eyed. If I stayed in my own office, I would eat my own hands out of sheer boredom. Instead and in an attempt to keep myself awake I have spent the last two days on a coffee bender round the cafes of the local market town. I am not proud of myself - I may have to start wearing a caffeine patch if this process takes much longer. Still I have found a cafe where they smile at you when you go in and which serves a great bacon sandwich. Yesterday I also spent an hour and a half in the new supermarket's cafe which has big windows and about the same amount of time in a hotel bistro which has deep and comfortable armchairs. Both yesterday and today I spent time in a big second hand bookshop.

This is a second hand bookshop like no second hand bookshop you have ever seen. It used to be a railway station which could be why so many men with beards haunt it. The only downside is that it is very cold so you have to wear your coat at all times. Either that or huddle in front of one of the blazing coal fires. A model railway track runs overhead and lines of Gerald Manley Hopkins and Tennyson poetry connect the columns of books. The original Victorian station is everywhere around - the pitched rooves, the ticket offices, the enormous clocks but books instead of trains carry people away. I looked at the door painted with the words "old waiting room", shelves of books reflected in its glass panels. I could see a fire burning in the darkness and the pages of a newspaper turning as if by themselves. Pushing open the door, I stepped into the room that waited for me. Pale green tiles and oak benches lined the walls. I moved along some chintz cushions, dumped my bag on the bench and pulled the table closer. As I hauled out the proofs to my "Should I stay or Should I go now" book and dug out my roller-ball, I glanced up at the huge hanging lamp. A wrought-iron lamp inscribed with fabled destinations - Shangri-la, Toytown, Camelot and the words "et in Arcadia ego".

19 comments:

sunshine said...

Wifey, you paint a picture like no other! I have never been to your station/store, but if I ever go I am sure I will recognize it at once.

Re: lambing post -- There is something so honest about animal births! When I was about 10, my veterinarian dad took me to the Cornell Univ. pig barns. I remember dozens of little piggies being born (probably more like ten or so). I remember it like it was just this a.m.

I have had 2 girls. Been there, done that, and have the frown lines to prove it! But I'm with you -- I so don't want to ever have another baby. Luckily, I'm 66 yrs. old!

Norman said...

What a FABulous setting for a bookshop. And (bad grammar I know) ...and the model railway et al. I just love those places. I know where to go if ever I'm in Alnwick.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

So nice to have you back with time to blog regularly, Wifey. The old Railway Station sounds quite magical, if chilly. It made me think of Harry Potter! M :)

mutleythedog said...

I would steer clear of the place if I were you - you will only be tempted to buy books and you already have quite enough...

Expatmum said...

Will have to look for that this summer, although I always find Gerard a bit depressing. What was that one - "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day". Sounds worse than I feel in the morning!

aims said...

Even though you find it tedious - it still is quite an accomplishment and you must feel a swell of pride sometimes when you are bored. There are few who get that far with their dreams of writing a book. Congratulations.

softinthehead said...

Well we won't leave you in charge of the marketing of your book after that post! :) Love the sound of the railway station, very whimsical.

family affairs said...

I like the look of your book....great cover x

Swearing Mother said...

Have pre-ordered my copy on Amazon, so glad to hear you've knuckled down to the proof-reading. How exciting!

What a great bookshop you've found, sounds a bit Harry Potteresque.

CrazyCath said...

What a beautiful romantic view! Your writing is lyrical.
And the latin - so appropriate! Living in this world and escaping to the next in books, especially in that setting, sounds quite magical.
I know it must be tedious, but keep going. It will be worth it in the end.
What an achievement!

girl with the mask said...

I agree, it will be sooo worth it. We need the book, Wife- persevere!

G.I.M

AliBlahBlah said...

Congrats on the book. I've really enjoyed reading, and remembering my many trips to 'Newton by the Sea'. Did you know Alnwick was recently voted the best place in the UK to live?

A far cry from Southern California where I seem to have ended up!!

I Beatrice said...

"Et in Arcadia Ego".

Ahhhh... that would be Sebastian Flyte and and Charles Ryder, wouldn't it? In the honey-filled days before Sebastian's fall....?

Take me back there, oh please do!

Caroline said...

I am delurknig to aggre that proofing is mind numbing. I have started to use Natural Reader. It's free and makes me stay awake. It may help.
x

lady thinker said...

It's extremely hard having to proof read one's own work - brain knows what you meant to say and reads it accordingly.
Send me a copy and I'll proof read it for you (free). I can always pick out the errors immediately. It's surprising how slack the 'modern' world has become. I've seen huge advertising posters printed with Permenent Errers on them!

Frog in the Field said...

Proof Reading, heck, and your own book? That can't be easy because you'll know what it all should say, rather you than me.
I once had a job proof reading legal documents, the typists would get terribly huffy and deny any mistakes.
I wish you every successs and of course, a best seller!

The Grocer said...

Still in the huff that you have deserted me for those in orange. There's no place like BB on a rainy day though.

Stay at home dad said...

I don't often go to railway stations...

I forgot how good your blog is. And congratulations on the book - a great achievement.

Jay said...

The link to the bookshop wouldn't work for me. Just as well, because a) it's too far away and b) we have no space for more books. Pity really as more WILL come into the house.

Is this your first book? Congratulations! I'm attempting one myself, and it's a lot of work - but I see it's only the beginning!