Yes, I have finally flew in from London and boy are my arms tired! (Sorry I couldn't resist). It was an amazing week and I can't believe how fast it flew by. Seriously, I almost wept when I had to get on the plane yesterday which is why I was so stroppy with the security guard who searched my bag before I got on the plane (this was after being searched like 3 times since I'd gotten to the airport. And seriously if you're not searching everyone's bag before they get on, don't tell me you're 'providing security' because you may have just let a terrorist slip by while you were searching my Tommy Hilfiger bag which isn't big enough to hold an umbrella let alone a bomb) I'll probably be writing quite a few posts on my trip over the next few days giving the highlights, so bear with me.
The day I left I received my 30 pages back from the editor from Pocket Books who's critique I had won through AAR's auction. Note to self, when you've just suffered a heartbreak, everything seems worse than it is. After I read her critique I just fell apart. I felt as if the universe was crapping all over me. Picking myself up of the floor, I wiped away my tears and read it again. Everything she said made sense and now I'm kind of excited to go back and make changes. I just wish I had gotten this critique before I submitted the novel to Llewelleyn Flux and The Golden Heart contest.
Things went from bad to worse when I discovered that I had booked the wrong date for my SuperShuttle (due to my lack of focus from the aforementioned heartbreak) which left me scrambling for a way to get to the airport. However, I decided to make lemonade out of lemon and I managed to grab a cab to Penn Station where I took the train to Newark Airport (quite nice for $15).
I was beginning to get worried about how the trip was going to go when we got on the plane at 10 p.m. and then sat on the runway for two hours. Apparently there was something wrong with the plane that they just discovered when we were about to take off. So instead of landing at 10 a.m. in London, I landed at noon.
But then things changed for the better once I arrived. After schlepping my bag from Gatwick Express through Victoria station to the underground to take the tube to Vauxhall, I finally arrived at Janine's house which I booked through At Home in London. She wasn't home but I couldn't believe how lovely my room was and there was a framed copy of the Romney portrait of Emma Hamilton over my bed! I knew that I had found a kindred spirit.
I quickly dropped off my bag and headed back out to Central London where I went to Mysteries, always my first stop in London, where I had an amazing tarot card reading from Barbara which cleared things up for me. Then I was starving, so I hightailed it over to Wagamama's which is this groovy Japanese noodlebar, for dinner. I was so hungry by this point that I could have poured soy sauce over my arm and eaten it. I scarfed down my vegetable gyoza and my pad thai which wasn't since it was Japanese. Then I headed over to Waterstones to browse through the books for an hour or two. What's cool about the Picadilly location is they have a wine bar upstairs.
I'm telling you I think that Borders and Barnes and Noble are missing out on a cool thing by not having a wine bar in their store. Plus the Picadilly branch is like 6 stories high jam-packed with books and they have more than one bathroom. I ended up buying Isabel Wolff's new book which I'm sure Red Dress Ink will publish at some point. Saw lots of biographies that I longed for including Claire Tomalin's books on Mary Wollstonecraft and Dorothy Jordan and at least 3 books on Mary Robinson. The biography section was so huge that it covered most of the 3rd floor in the store. Unfortunately book prices with the pound being so strong were unbelievable. 8.99 which is about $17.00 for a paperback and that's not even trade size, we're talking mass market.
By this time, I was knackered. Normally when I arrive in London, I hit the ground running, booking theater tickets, etc. But the long delay and everything just wore me out so I went back to the house around 8:30 and just sat in the kitchen with Janine, her other lodger Mark who was from Canada (he was in town looking for work and a flat for him and his girlfriend), and Janine's friend sipping wine and talking until I finally went upstairs around 11 to watch the end of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here," with Janice Dickinson of all people! Yes, the same woman who had her own hair and make-up artist during The Surreal Life is in the Australian outback with a bunch of D list English celebrities. It was hilarious!
So thus goes my first day in the UK.
Thanks for reading!