You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2007.

I’m away writing. This is a good thing. No computer. (Probably) even better. Notice my shaking hands.

However. I’m resolved. And relieved to be getting my head down with the new novel (by which I was ambushed two weeks ago). And some more poems. And some of the memoir.

It’s cold where I’m going, and maybe not even much sun. The heat will have been off since October.

And yet. The views are spectacular. I know them and love them well.

Til then.

Just a little one. Just a little prone to it, me.

It’s a sidebar widget, songs on it. I’ll try to keep updating it with whatever makes my skirt fly up. At that moment. Look left and you’ll find it, close to the bottom of the page. Requests, anyone?

On a completely different musical note (sorry) – went to M’s first proper concert last night. She was the youngest performer, held her violin with considerable panache, her head high too, ponytail perched. Despite a rather quavery quaver section (eighth notes for Americans, I think!), she did herself and us proud as lead desk in a band of five under-9s. Bless.

As in ‘watch out, it’s just going to keep coming!’. I’ve never known if this is a saying unique to my mother, or of the Southern US in general. If anyone has an inkling, do let me know…

There’s good reason to make such a comment this morning, though, because another fine review of Losing You has surfaced, this time from the Authortrek site. Despite blushing from the ‘flavour of the book’ section, I’m of course delighted — here’s most of the review bit, about which I’m blushing too, come to think of it (hence the pink):

This is a truly fantastic first novel from Patricia Debney, which all kicks off when Marilyn’s son Lewis asks “What happens when you die?” The prose and the plotting are very subtle, but also deliciously enticing. It’s not a surprise to discover that Patricia Debney’s short stories have been published in various anthologies, and that she is an award-winning poet…Her characterisation is superb, as Losing You is masterfully split between the narratives of Marilyn and her friend Hilary, along with very convincing portraits of their husbands…So, hats off to Bluechrome for recognising another brilliant writer.


Anyway, glad to see plaudits directed at bluechrome as well. Us authors have been swishing our hats off to the fastest growing publisher in Portishead for some time…


Rachel Sarai’s VineyardAlso through today from Authortrek is a super review of Deborah Rey’s Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard. Which, coincidentally, I’ve so nearly finished myself! I won’t say more yet — but it is thoroughly engrossing.

All this just as Losing You comes out in paperback — and when Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard isn’t even on general release yet.

So watch out.

Much of the day now I’ve spent registering the changing weather and reflecting on the life and writing of Elizabeth Bishop — long-time favourite poet of mine, too easily below the daily radar somehow.

It’s rare for me to take a break of any reasonable size in a day, so I surprised even myself when I told good friend Nancy that yes I would listen to the Radio 3 programme she’d forwarded to me on Bishop, and soon.

I’m glad I did. Presented by Lavinia Greenlaw, this 50 minute programme is a striking, acutely sensitive celebration of part of Bishop’s creative and physical geography, located in Great Village, Nova Scotia. Listen if you get the chance. I was completely gripped.

Today is a rainy day, and it’s Tuesday. Although yesterday was rainy too — more on that later. Anyway this morning M had her Grade 1 ballet exam. All well. I had the very peculiar experience of peeping through the skinniest little gap between two doors, and seeing her beaming face as she petit jete-ed, hands on hips, then chassee-ed across the room, her arm rising to the diagonal as she went. For most other things she was out of my line of vision, but her shiny slicked back hair and sheer delight will stay with me for quite a while!

DissonancesLast night I had what turned out to be the real pleasure of going to a ‘bulk’ bluechrome reading at the Poetry Cafe. Trains being what they are, I missed the first reader Mike Hogan, but settled down to enjoy Leah Fritz, Ruth O’Callaghan, and finally Nigel McLoughlin. I was particularly taken by Nigel’s work, and bought his new book, Dissonances, which I read cover to cover on the way home. With great enjoyment, I must say.

Oh, and it rained. The whole trip. While I was walking around London. No umbrella and a wool coat. Bleh.

If you’re interested in more bluechrome happenings, a good way to find out about them is by joining the wonderful world of bluechrome on facebook. A great stable of writers there — and entertaining to boot.


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.