¦ dialling in from Newcastle Airport ¦
I flew 320 miles to spend a couple of days in my new favourite cafe in the world. The Wild Trapeze.
I got exactly what I wanted. Some business. A lot of chill out. Had an email from an editor of a Japanese Cthulhu Mythos fanzine wanting to commission me to write something small but original for them. Nailed it in a day and 3 coffees. Also met up with my man of PR angles and great Ideas, Mr Floyd Hayes who is over from New York on a visit. Big thunder storms overhead. He and I walking around Jesmond Dene. Storm breaks and starts spilling heavy rain through the trees. Found sanctuary in the beautifully renovated Dene House, now a suave hotel. 4 pints of a local ale later, we’re drifting through the high-humidity and dense mist that as the storm refused to move away entirely. Took some photos. Jesmond Dene, special place for me.
Now waiting for the skylanes to carry me back home. Bristol. Although being here 3 times in the last 5 weeks, Newcastle is feeling a lot like a home from home again. Those who know me will be aware of the closure I have been through recently, meaning this place is no longer filled with ghosts and painful memories. This is a good thing.
I finished writing a new novel last week. Oakfield. Sitting in the Arnolfini cafe. First draft. Typed the last words. Stopped. Stared. Had that weird feeling you get when you realise there is nothing more to write. It is done. Of course, now comes the big edit. Great feeling to have this one finished. Oakfield is a piece of work that has taken 25 years to bring to this point. Significant then.
Life is going through a swirl of change. So it feels. Old traumas resolving themselves. New opportunities opening up. Had an interesting encounter last week which I splashed across Facebook:
“I freaking love life. One minute you’re dealing with crap and the next moment you’re sat next to a character and you realise the full flavour of humanity. I went out for sushi tonight solo. Waiter tried to wedge me in between some folks. I said, nah, I like that open space over there. Grabbed the seat. Few minutes later another solo sits next to me. Tattoos all over, including one on his face. Interesting vibe. We get talking. Bang. Life story. Incredible. Hyper interesting. He appreciated the fact I referenced the Hindu Sunwheel tattooed to his forearm and did not ask the dumbass question about Swastikas. American accent (from Bermuda) but with posh English accent (boarding schools and a house in Tetbury), racially diverse with strong colonial background – we spoke openly and frankly about perceptions. Just, truly, a character. Somebody I could literally drop into a novel and say, go for it, do something, make a mess. It’s not what you know. It’s who you know. And who you meet.”
No contact since. Don’t expect it but you never know how the various threads of life can weave together ahead of the next horizon. People you meet now and are incidental can become pillars of the future past.
Had a great session of Yellow Dawn last night with the usual suspects. Much horror and tension. Always fun to see their faces shaped by a helpless grimace. You can read the write-up here.