Sep 30, 2009

So this week I found the most perfect writing spot, this place in Prenzerlauer Berg that TIME OUT told me was "pretentious" during the day because everyone seemed to be "working on a novel." Given my own pretensions to novel writing, I figured this place was perfect, especially as MERMAID is (over)due in one week and if I write in my apartment I am liable to accidentally FALL ASLEEP or watch an episode of the RACHEL ZOE PROJECT or MY ANTONIO on itunes. Plus I love me some pretentious writer types, what can I say. Even now when EVERYONE I KNOW is a writer, when I hear that someone is a writer I think "oh!" and feel vaguely fluttery. It's a sickness, really.

Anyway, so it's just the loveliest area, this part of Prenzerlauer Berg, with these uneven streets and sidewalks, like cobblestone but maybe not actually cobblestone, I don't know, but sort of leafy and cobblestoney and the streets lined with cafes and these elaborate wedding cake type buildings with tons of flowers dripping off the sides and fancy little windows and moldings. And this cafe is perfect for very practical reasons, like it has outlets and wireless and big tables and it's empty enough in the day that you can stay for hours working, and plus it feels like it's always dusk there, it's lit by faint lights and lamps scattered throughout, and everything is a bit ragged, old couches and old dinette tables and rickety little wooden tables for salt and pepper and napkins, and there are at least three rooms, so it's all sprawling, and big big windows that just add to the twilight effect by letting in that smoky dying sky. It's autumn now, so the sky's darker and the sidewalks are filling with dead leaves and everything sort of smells like smoke... Oh and I did not mention the cheap wine and all them cute boys sitting around talking (I am convinced) about Hegel.

Anyway, finding a perfect place to write is very important for one who for purposes of MEETING (extended) DEADLINES must write ALL THE TIME. I have also, as it happens, found the perfect place to eat, right down the street from my apartment, this sweet little family-run restaurant where the owner might one day tell me that "the fish today is very good!" and I say OK and then he brings out a WHOLE FISH that his son had caught the day before in Bavaria and when I look at that dead almond-covered thing in horror he comes and takes the head off and debones it and then it's the most delicious thing I've ever eaten.

In future post-deadline news, I am very excited that Joi will be here a week from next Monday, and that amongst other very exciting things we shall be seeing this. An "evening of reading, music and conversation with Nick Cave"! And Blixa Bargeld! And in Hamburg, where HEAD ON (GEGEN DIE WAND) took place, and if you haven't seen that movie you must see it as it is one of the best films ever, incredibly intense and gorgeous and sad. We're going up for the day with this girl Jen I haven't met yet but who is a friend of Sheena's, and we'll look around Hamburg and stay the night. I am very excited. It only occurred to Joi and me LAST NIGHT, however, that Mr Cave and Bargeld might be roodly speaking in GERMAN, but I am quite sure we will magically understand it all due to the deep love we have for them and if not we will just charmingly stomp our feet and demand that they repeat everything they've just said in English.

Right around then ERIC arrives in Berlin as well, and will show us/me all kinds of wondrous things about this city, and it is Eric of course who made me come here in the first place as he's been having a passionate love affair with this city for the past several years and is the one who convinced me that I would love it too. He is also almost finished with a beautiful beautiful haunting novel that is set here and that has very much set the tone of this city for me so it will be lovely to see him as well as to go to some of the main places he's written about, with him. Plus I will meet some of his friends, including this actress who plays some glamorous supervillain on a popular German tv series but is sweet as pie in real life.

The day after Eric leaves I'm heading to LONDON, for the first time, and going straight from the airport to meet my publicist and new editor at Headline, the company that published Godmother and will be publishing Mermaid in the UK, as well as other members of the team, and I hope to meet up with some other friends before heading down to PORTSMOUTH for a few days to stay with my friend Lisa, who will be taking me to Brighton and to her favorite castle and (hopefully) to meet with her ex who is a FALCONER. We will also spend at least one evening watching Elizabeth Taylor movies and painting our nails. I would also like to note that my round trip flight came out to a total of THIRTY EIGHT DOLLARS, which done blows my mind. I knew that flying around Europe was cheap, but I mean really.

After that I'm flying back to Berlin and then taking the train down to AMBERG, this old old town in Bavaria, where my old friend Lisa lives with her husband and three kids, and we will also be going around to castles, including the CINDERELLA CASTLE, and to see falcon things (that's for a new project, by the way!) and generally being gorgeously super medieval.

And then I will be back in Berlin for a couple of weeks and then at the very end of November my other friend Lisa is planning to visit from NYC, and we'll hang out in Berlin a few days and then head down to Prague for a few nights and then to Vienna, where Tink's close friend Evelyne lives with her beau and brand new baby and where Tink and Aoife will be visiting at the same time so we can all meet up and hang out and be EXTREMELY GLAMOUROUS. I have also proposed that we spend a day in BRATISLAVA but I do not know yet if Lisa thinks that is as good an idea as I do.

I really like planning wondrous glittery future events, what can I say.

I would also like to note that I am in love with this creature:

And this Little Mermaid drawing by Edmund Dulac:

Speaking of little mermaid drawings, the other day I was in this amazing English book store debating whether to get this incredibly beautiful (but huge and heavy) folio version of Hans Christian Andersen fairytales, with illustrations by W. Heath Robinson, or this one, also gorgeously put together and much smaller and lighter (much better for traveling!), but filled with these most fugly illustrations. I showed the owner and was like "what are these awful things?" and we were both stricken with horror until he looked inside and realized they were done by HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN himself. Sigh.

The end.