Hello again! A view from London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 back on Tuesday morning:
The journey to the U.S. was fine. This morning I’m still in rural Pennsylvania. I stuck this photo up on Instagram yesterday:
A second post in one day? I know, amazing! But I couldn’t mix this with the previous one, really.
As I wrote the other day, I’m flying to New York tomorrow. Heading again for the city of my birth…
Although, technically, I’ll be arriving in Newark, New Jersey. That’s where the airport is. Not landing at JFK.
…Well, fine. You don’t like Amazon. But you take it out on readers?
A top of the hour news update earlier on Classic FM shared with us that some author – I won’t name him: I’m not interested in giving the person a “nod” even on my site here – is not releasing ALL of his latest book on Amazon. The full version will be available in brick and mortar bookstores only.
First, apparently there’s nothing else going on in the world that more warrants a “news” headline? Second, that’s not “news” anyway. It’s massive and free publicity.
Oh, and why is that author purportedly altering the book based on its retail source?
We met our late friend Kam’s younger sister, Ravi, for a meal last night in central London. They knew all these sorts of places. So while she had been to this restaurant previously, we hadn’t: La Porte des Indes:
It’s a French-Indian place behind Marble Arch tube station. If you are ever in that part of London, it is worth a try. (I also warn you, it is pricey.) Waiting for her to appear, we discovered, as you see on the Google page I captured above, that they do indeed make excellent cocktails:
I’m flying to New York (alone) next week for a 10 day visit to check on my father in Pennsylvania and also check on our house and “lock it down” for a Catskills winter – where temperatures can easily fall to -10C (14F) for days on end. Hopefully, no “local guests” have eaten it completely since I was there in June! You may remember what was awaiting me the last time…
This dawned on me as well as I explained that plan yesterday while I was answering a message from a cousin in Connecticut. Now married with two young sons, she and I grew up living around the corner from each other on Long Island – where none of our families now live any longer. With my mother’s one year anniversary upon us, she’d written me asking how my dad is doing these days.
The highly regarded political polling and prediction site FiveThirtyEight reported the other day that if only men voted, Republican nominee Donald Trump would overwhelmingly defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton and win the U.S. presidency:
However, the outcome would be vastly different if ONLY women voted. In that scenario, Clinton would, uh, thump Trump:
A year ago today – October 12, 2015 – my novelist uncle (and my godfather) died. Incredibly, my mother would follow her brother on October 26. It has not been a “good year.”
But my recent personal “trials” had actually begun a year and some earlier: on February 2, 2014. On that day we were told (while we were in America) that Kam, our friend of two decades, had died (in London) after several years of illness. Upon hearing the depressing news, I felt sadder and sicker than I had ever felt over a death before in my entire life. A few days later, I wrote about her here.
Naturally afterwards we others out here all have to live on, but being unexpectedly confronted with a reminder of a deceased loved one can be a harshly unpleasant and emotional moment that no one else quite comprehends. In this case, I was taken aback last weekend when I saw a late 2013 photo of her – only weeks before her death – in our Irish friends’ lounge. A little while ago, I ran it through the Prisma photo app, which in one format converted it into almost the otherworldly:
We went to a family funeral on Thursday in north London.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife’s uncle-in-law died at home in his sleep at 85. While there is naturally sadness, at the catering hall gathering that followed the church service and cemetery his son reminded me (perhaps he was also telling himself this as a way to deal with the loss) that his dad had been 85 and he had had (as they sometimes say in this country) “a good innings.” And his mother was coping okay so far at least.
I also bumped into a guy there I had not seen since he was at my wedding in 1999. His late father had been German, his mother (a close friend of the widow) is Irish/English, he himself raised in Switzerland and he lives there now with his wife, who’s Canadian. In case you are keeping track. (His wife did not come to England for the funeral.)
After posting yesterday about the controversy swirling around out there about a possible “unmasking” of the real person behind the “Elena Ferrante” pseudonym for the huge-selling novelist, I returned once more to my “1794.”
Initially, as I tapped away in Word again, I found myself distracted. The controversy pushed my mind to a related issue: Regardless of whose name is on the cover, “who” is actually inhabiting your fictional pages in the first place? If you write, this question is probably familiar to you.
How much of you is really on those pages, but which no one but you of course truly appreciates? And what are you consciously changing about “yourself”? And what is perhaps subconsciously there that’s “you” despite even your best conscious efforts to alter it?
Writing in the New York Review of Books, an Italian journalist claims he may have uncovered the real-life identity of a pseudonymous huge selling Italian author:
The perpetual “interest” some seem to have in who’s actually “behind the mask” – and in “unmasking” them.
LOTS of “Elena Ferrante’s” readers are apparently ***NOT*** happy about this effort. Social media is full of angry assertions it’s an unwarranted intrusion into the life of someone seeking to remain anonymous and merely write. One fear I’ve also seen voiced is that if it proves accurate it may well mean “she” will never write another book.