Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
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01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
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01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
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01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
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01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
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01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Monday, June 30, 2003

Ooops. Meant to add a post while it was still Sunday...

The dig went well! They managed the six layers, and reached bedrock on the sixth, a soft, porous red stone (sandstone I think, Ken's the geologist). A few finds: pottery, clay pipes, bones (see, we did find the sheep!), melted glass, coke, coal - Ken will clean and inspect them tomorrow - and a rather strange trench 45 centimeters wide filled with glass and dark grey/brown soil that we're a bit puzzled about. It looked as though it could have been the foundations of a wall - it was quite straight - but there were no stones or hardcore... But all told it was a fine weekend for them both, and we think our flint scraper might have been the one that was mentioned on the TV on Saturday night (I scanned and Ken uploaded to our site report almost as soon as they found it, a very early find).

Reshenna sent me this earlier - I cracked up! They need to be said aloud...

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes
1) That's not right..... Sum Ting Wong
2) Are you harboring a fugitive?..... Hu Yu Hai Ding
3) See me ASAP..... Kum Hia Nao
4) Small Horse..... Tai Ni Po Ni
5) Did you go to the beach?..... Wai Yu So Tan
6) I bumped into a coffee table..... Ai Bang Mai Fa Kin Ni
7) I think you need a face lift..... Chin Tu Fat
8) It's very dark in here..... Wai So Dim
9) I thought you were on a diet..... Wai Yu Mun Ching
10) This is a tow away zone..... No Pah King
11) Our meeting is scheduled for next week..... Wai Yu Kum Nao
12) Staying out of sight!..... Lei Ying Lo
13) He's cleaning his automobile..... Wa Shing Ka
14) Your body odor is offensive..... Yu Stin Ki Pu


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Saturday, June 28, 2003

It's BIG DIG Weekend!!

And Ken and Kai are out in the garden, in blazing sun, digging a metre-square pit. They're supposed to dig six layers, 10 centimetres deep each: they started at 10 am, it's now 4.30, and they've reached the bottom of their second layer. "We'd do it quicker with more people..." hints Ken... [smirk]
Our house stands in the grounds of what was Kensington House: this pic shows how it looked in 1826-7 (the red cross indicates the sheep whose bones they're hoping to find...).

We've found some interesting things in the garden, in the past: heavy carved masonry (used as hardcore under the old concrete path we dug up), bits of huge ammonites, lots of bits of clay pipes, antique bottles, even a rifle bullet, but so far all they've found is a flint scraper. It's a lovely little thing, mind you, in perfect nick.

Saw an unusual sight last night: a small swarm of little grey bees (probably only about 20 or 30) had crawled amongst five of the seedheads of the sorrel at the top of the garden and snuggled down together for the night. Damn cute it was - sprays of sorrel bending slightly with their weight. Didn't take a photo, unfortunately, and they'd gone again by the time we checked this morning.

The AGM went well - welcome to our new members, if you read this!

And in other news... Leaving Home and First have now been posted in the Darkside, but I'm not sending the update yet as in conversation with Lutra earlier (actually discussing how far I could go with Shinju - [evil smirk] that'll make more sense when you read Slash...) I had the idea for another of my unpleasant little interludes... Well, I did say I was in the mood to torture someone... Angelfish should be finished and posted later tonight, then I'll email the update.



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Friday, June 27, 2003

Happy First Anniversary, Blog!

[evil smirk] Gremlins now posted - just click HERE.

And remember, it really pays to be nice to your gremlin...


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Thursday, June 26, 2003

[Transplanted from Talon's Nursery]:

Joules, I'd apologize for Sazuki's er...temperment, but I have no control over her.... She's just an all around pain. Actually I'm surprised she's not being more cooperative for you...she made her presence as an actual gremlin known after you spread it around you were doing fics and pics after all...bad tempered little chit...

But then I changed her hair to be long and straight, as you said, and after that she gave me no more problems. Well, not with her picture, anyway. But you're right, she isn't exactly the sweetest-tempered individual I've ever met... Don't worry, you can't control gremlins. You can sometimes reach a compromise with them, but that's about it.

Onna, thanks for the info/advice. I've managed to make it work just using PhotoShop and Alchemy Mindworks' GIF Construction Set Professional, no need for anything more fiddly than a fairly up-to-date browser. I'll try Flash some time when I can spare a haddock or five.

Gremlins is ready to be uploaded, shall do that shortly after midnight - so anyone who hasn't yet said whether I can quote them or not, please email me asap!

Lutra's Okami and Shinju backstory is just shiveringly droolworthy. I do so love this pair... Should be able to post it at the weekend. And my fic is taking shape in my mind already - as is Devon's first Agency case (actually I should get that written first, it's all plotted...)

And then there's Perturbation, the next AC chapter, to finish, and Geoff has sent me three books to review this month (two of them are the first and second in a series. A thousand pages in all. Gee thanks Geoff...), and it's the BRISTAL AGM on Saturday... Funfun...

Better go see if I can tidy up the Carli animation some more, still not really happy with it...


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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

[snarl] My gremlins animated background tile looks wonderful. It's also four megabytes big, which is useless. Even halving the lossy value only brings it down to 2.6 megs, which is still hopelessly huge. (That's using a combination of PhotoShop6 and Alchemy's GIF construction set.) Looks like I'll have to give myself a crash-course in Flash, which I was hoping to avoid. Or make smaller gifs and have them tile across the page. Or I might end up just using a static tile for the time being...

And the Carli animation looks horrible - going to have to redo it...

<rant>It's all Ken's fault for upsetting Butch. I arrived back from collecting Kai to find Ken on my computer, which is fair enough, he only has a standard dial-up connection on his computer upstairs and I agreed when we bought mine he would use it when needed, since mine has the broadband connection and all the software. (Butch doesn't like it, but has learned to put up with it.) However - I was working on Taipo in PS6 before I left, and didn't close down because I was going to continue after I got back. And my graphic software conflicts with both ICQ and Explorer, as I've learned through trial and error and Butch sticking his bloody great oar in. Or maybe his horns, it has the same effect.

So Explorer crashed - six times, Ken said - taking with it all my system tray icons and gods know how many files have been shunted away to mysterious destinations in Butch's fit of pique... Ken knows my machine is both eccentric and temperamental and I have said that the graphic software causes problems (though of course his memory isn't wonderful at the moment so I'm not too surprised he forgot) - but he carried on trying to make it work instead of ringing me to ask what the problem was... [snarl] I had to completely reboot, which takes ten minutes (I loathe XP) and even then it limped for a while...</rant>

Still, all the gremlins are done now except for Sazuki (and the Carli animation, of course) which isn't too bad. They're all a lot paler in my pics than they are in Vreality, because the background is going to be very dark, and I'm not entirely happy with all of them: Butch, Murphy, Dram, Jet and Ayzur are OK, and Farorn isn't too bad, but Taipo is far too pale and I haven't managed a metallic gleam (will try your suggestion later, Valkyrie, thanks), but they are after all my interpretations of the descriptions (and in one case a drawing) that people sent me. As always it's a learning curve - I'm still discovering how to use PS effectively...

Carol, you'll have to forgive me smirking: I just knew (and Butch grinned evilly and said "oh really...") when you said that no gremlin would DARE infest your machine that it was only a matter of time before it made its presence known... Asking for trouble, that... Hope you get the spreadsheet back...

Right. I need to do something destructive after a day like this. Hn. I need to torture something - whose turn is it next...?


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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Clipped from onna's tree: -

Well, I know of at least one other gremlin in the household who has been with me for years, the Jewelry Gremlin.

ACK.... You have my sympathies... I have an emery-board gremlin. Which with claws like mine is a more significant thing than might first appear...

And Murphy hates VCDs when the yaoi, whether implied or blatant, hasn't come on almost immediately. He keeps screwing with my Mirage of Blaze vcds, which play great on the DVD player, but freeze up the entire computer, not just the player.

I haven't dared try to play pre-recorded DVDs on the computer, I'm too afraid of what Butch will do... He loves Ai no Kusabi, will only play part of Gravitation, anything else... I shudder to think...

Netted in Lutra's pond:

"#FD9CEE"One of these days, Joules, I'll find a way to thank you properly for letting me play in your universe...
"#FD9CEE"[bashful smirk, bap] Don't be daft. The whole thing has been enormously enriched by your participation. It simply wouldn't be anywhere near as satisfying (I'd say good but that sounds boastful...) as it is if you weren't here.

And I have Lutra's permission to... play... with Shinju and Okami.... [very large bright-eyed grin]...


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Ohhhh Kayyyy... That's the pics for Jet and Ayzur, Butch, Dram, Farorn, Murphy at rest and the animation for Murphy working finished (now just have to make them transparent for upload). Tried an animated background tile too - looked OK in the trial, will need to upload it and get peeps' opinions. Still have to finish three frames for the Carli animation, and colour Taipo (it's the metallic bluish skin that's giving me pause...) Sazuki is just fighting me the whole way, she doesn't seem to want to be coloured... But we're still on track for Friday. I'll need the fleshies whose gremlins are in the story to check the page first - probably Thursday: it's going to be very graphic-intensive (the sort of page you start loading, go and make a cup of tea and come back later, and that's without using Flash!) unfortunately, have to see if I can get the size of the files down a little, and I'll need to know if the codes work OK.

Heh, the story was supposed to be a one-off, despite having that open ending (which I nearly always do these days just in case I feel inspired to continue a fic) but everyone's assumed it's the start of a series... Far be it from me to disappoint people. Though I like Carol and Sue's idea of selling the notion to a computer magazine and writing an ongoing (illustrated) tale in byte-sized bits. (I could still post it on the site, either well after it had been published or in a different form. I'll have to check the legal angle there.) At any rate, there will be more tales, though whether I make them X-rated and post in the Zone (as Lutra... sorry, Carli wants) remains to be decided.

Onna - there are gremlins everywhere! And yes, I'm certain Murphy terrorises everything with that 'tool' (as you so delicately put it! [grin]) the horror...

Lutra's five pages of Okami/Shinju PWP are just delicious...

Harry Potter... well, I suppose we'll get around to buying bk 5 at some point - after we've finished struggling through bk 4... We (I mean myself and Kai, to whom I've been reading them over the last few years, up until about a year ago, although he's a bit old for bedtime stories now perhaps...?) thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, but by the time we got to bk 3 it had lost its sparkle and all seemed a little fomulaic, and we lost interest somewhat. Not that there's anything wrong with formula writing - most authors do it - but I prefer some surprises, something new and different rather than the same plot over and over again (it's why I gave up reading Anne Rice books. No, that's not strictly true, I have tried to keep up with them, but after the unbelievably self-indulgent insomniac's cure of Tale of the Bodythief I stopped enjoying them. Ditto Brian Lumley's Necroscope/Vampire World series'.) Heh, I suppose my own work is formulaic to some extent, certainly the material that's posted on the site (the better work, the writing designed to be published in paper book form, is a different matter entirely)...

I'm wittering. Better get back to something creative: next AC chapter is in progress, may continue with that...


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Sunday, June 22, 2003

Well, the response to Gremlins has been pretty enthusiastic so far, with several helpful comments (that I've incorporated into the text). And I've done three versions of the background tile (now need to get my head around animating it...), so as long as no crises rear their ugly heads, Butch behaves, and I can get the rest of the pics done, it should all be ready to post for the 27th.

Ring - the original Japanese version - is on Sci-Fi tonight, videoing it while I write, trying to soak up the cadence of the language.

Have the plot for my next Dystopia chapter; will make a start on that soon...

Oh, and Zone membership currently stands at 341. When/if it reaches 350 I will [grits teeth and knows she's going to regret it] do another family portrait - for the 'l&L stories....


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Saturday, June 21, 2003

I should be in bed, it's 3.30 am and the sky is bright blue outside - Happy Solstice all! - and I've had a heavy week...

So, quickly...

Kai's appointment went well: he has a little difficulty with indirect questions (which I already knew) and some socialisation problems (ditto) but there's no apparent pathological or psychological symptoms: he is, to quote, "a delightful and mature child" - which is quite likely why other children don't like him. And which is of course mostly my fault, for treating him as a self-aware individual all his life (which has never precluded silliness and cuddles and giggles and daftness...) [sigh] The therapist is going to arrange to observe him at school and see if she can come up with strategies for coping. I really don't want him to go through school/college feeling like an outcast - it was bad enough that I did. At least the 'system' is more aware and geared up to cope with this sort of thing these days. Will update again when we know more.

The first draft of Gremlins is finished: I need to rewrite the end, and expand it in places, but it's OK, I think. I do need feedback for this one, though, so will be sending out the sneak peeks when I'm more or less happy with it. Still need to work on the pics...
Tired, and the bags under my eyes have bags of their own (not a pretty sight as I confirmed with a glance in the mirror - Medusa got nowt on me....)



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Friday, June 20, 2003

ROFL! Snaffled from Valkyrie's Aerie....
Magic Number14
PersonalitySunshine And Blue Skies
TemperamentA Yo-Yo
SexualWhatever, Whenever, Whoever
Likely To WinA Swimming Badge
Me - In A WordEffervescent
Brought to you by MemeJack


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Right - that's Soar finished (I think). Once Lutra's scanned it I'll send out the sneak peeks.

Moving is also done, Equerrry's Monologue is coded and posted ready for the link, and Leech pt 3 [*shudder*] is almost ready too. And my two reviews are finished and emailed off. Time to turn to Gremlins...

I actually did a roughish version of the Murphy At Work animation tonight - I quite like it in a nauseous sort of way: think I've achieved the brief.

Decided I'd accomplished so much a drink wouldn't go amiss tonight, so opened a couple of miniatures we bought about a year ago: a 40% proof cinnamon schnapps with real gold leaf floating in it [....rrwoooof....!!] and a 45% vodka with a pickled agave worm at the bottom. No, I didn't eat the worm... I don't eat meat with no bones, remember, and I won't let my ningen eat it either... It's... strong....


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Thursday, June 19, 2003

[smirk] Kai's latest project from art class - to copy the sketch at top right. He's very proud of this one - quite rightly in my opinion! Heh, I should look out the Radittz card he did for me for Mother's Day...[edit 1012 - can't find the sketch [sigh]]

Netted in Lutra's Pond:

Um... I think I may have bothered Joules a little with pt 3 of Leech. : /

"Bothered" she says. "Bothered"? It's only my nastiest nightmare made flesh, that's all....

How'm I supposed to go back to writing a light fluffy sweet end to Soar after that?


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Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Ken says Many Thanks! to everyone who sent good wishes. I think he had a good day...

Moving (the next Darkside Dystopia chapter) is now finished, and Lutra's Leech pt 3 is looking good too. Soar (the next 'l&L chapter) should be finished by the end of tomorrow (maybe tonight if I can get the second review done). I'm hoping to post all three, plus a new hosted DBZ story - Equerry's Monologue, by Spug - at the weekend. (This latter is a little gem. I never imagined a Nappa story would move me to tears but Equerry damn near did!)

Have now watched two episodes - they're screening one a day - of The Sentinel and enjoyed them (it helps, of course, that Blair is just too cute for words...) It's fairly standard US buddy fare (think Starsky and Hutch with a twist), but fun for all that, and surprisingly violent for pre-watershed, though of course we are talking Sci-Fi Channel here... And yes, the slash potential is apparent even this early on...


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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Clipped from onna's tree: -

Evan has been surprisingly quiet, but still giving me ideas to try. He just has not been insistent about drawing, which has been a relief.

[growl] That's because he's been over here, fooling around with Butch... The pair of them are giving me no bloody peace: my backlog of pics to draw has doubled in the last few days...

First review done and emailed off, seven pages into Soar, and the next Devon bit of Dystopia started (next Devon bit of Purgatory too, though hassles with time zones/work/etc make it far less easy to keep that moving at a reasonable rate. I checked, and it's nearly a year since I started writing in that continuum: so far I think the story has moved on three weeks or thereabouts...) Little bit more to Gremlins as well... "stay on target..."

Lutra, are Pixar the peeps who did the Quarxx? They were wonderful!


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Ken's Birthday...

Nothing special planned: a quiet day with Ken doing whatever he wants to do (which these days is a treat for either of us!) - probably diving into his genealogical backlog. I'm cooking us steak with all the trimmings for later, though, and we have a mint Viennetta for dessert. And The Sentinel starts today: having seen the trailer Ken thinks he'll watch it too, see what it's like...

Kai's first behavioural-assessment appointment is at 11.30 on Friday - bit of a nuisance since I'll have to take him out of class for it, but I'm glad it's finally come round. Good to know we're doing something positive about the situation.

[snarl] Still having email problems...

Heh - back to it...


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Monday, June 16, 2003

Ah, that's better - I have my comfortable chair back. Whether the repair will last for long, however, is open to debate...

I have a love/hate relationship with the Monday morning Tesco run. Yes, it's very satisfying to grab the bargains and decide on the week's menus while trolleying round the supermarket - but then I have to carry it all home... Today's was about average, perhaps a little less than normal because whatever I did to my left shoulder some months back makes carrying anything very heavy in my left hand problematic, and when I got home I weighed it all. 3 stone in all (that's 42lbs to those who don't use our wonderfully eccentric Brit weights and measures), 2 stone in the rucksack, another 1 stone (14lbs) in the bags, carried about a mile in hot (for the UK) sun. (Does this count as training in weighted clothing?) And I do this at least twice a week, very often three times, and walk briskly at least two miles a day (to and from school with Kai). Surely I should be fitter than I am?!

[growl] Email playing up, downloading intermittently...


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Oh now, that's just wonderful. ClaraNET are 'migrating customer email boxes to new storage' - there'll be no email available for 1-2 hours (or maybe 6...) Still, at least they've got a status page up explaining what's happening... Heh, and let's face it, most of their users are all safely tucked up in bed by now and won't even know it's happened by the time they come to check their mail.


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Sunday, June 15, 2003

I've come to the conclusion that I'm best working on fun things at the weekends: prolonged concentration is difficult with boisterous bratling (especially when he's trying to read what I'm typing over my shoulder, the little horror!) racing back and forth. I swear he's going through another growth spurt - his school trousers are a tad above his ankles now: in January they were at least two inches too long... I need to ask the school office tomorrow about his wearing shorts (knee-length Torankusu-type) over the summer.

I don't think I ever said, but we were successful in the 'best lawnmower bargain' hunt - Flymo Turbo Lite 350, £99.95 (or thereabouts) if you bought it in the store: £47.99 (+£5 delivery) over the internet. Less than half price!! I'm sure they have the price wrong... Sturdy metal blade too, instead of the little plastic thingies the old machine used (and which did us all of one mow if we were lucky). Not bad, ne?

[grump] It's terribly annoying to send out a Zone update and have mail bouncing back, 'mailbox unknown'. I know people do change email clients, and Zone membership is hardly a high priority on anyone's list, but it's still a nuisance.

I'm happier with Farorn's face, at last, and think I've got Ayzur's tail right. Will try to get some more done on Gremlins tomorrow.

Two pages into Soar, the next 'l&L, a nice relaxed chapter after the recent bout of torture (which hasn't finished, I'm afraid...) It may be relaxed, but I'm not: one of the wheels on my chair has half-broken, and I'm on a horribly uncomfortable dining chair while Ken tries to fix it (yes, I know I have the ergonomic back chair, but I've done something to my knee and it hurts to put any pressure on it). Will see how long I can put up with it.

Back to 'l&L!

[Is it my imagination or have L'Oreal now taken the "because I'm/you're worth it" off the ads they're screening at the moment...?]


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Saturday, June 14, 2003

[smirk] Well, that's T9 finished and posted: it's amazing what I can accomplish if properly motivated! So now I can read the story with a clear conscience. Almost.

Lutra's next Dystopia chapter - Leech pt 2 - is also posted... I'm so enjoying this...

We've been watching Strange since it started (the pilot was sometime last year if I remember rightly), and I think we've finally decided it's growing on us. Richard Coyle makes Strange an intriguing and somewhat unsettling character: Ken prefers Canon Black (Ian Richardson). Definitely odd, but kind of compelling.

Total Recall is on (again) next - talk about a change of pace. Think I'll read Sympathy for the Devil instead.


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Friday, June 13, 2003

[grits teeth] ARGH.... I do wish writers would put the pairings of their stories in their intros. I've just found a multi-parter (Sympathy for the Devil) that I simply have to read... only I've had to hunt back to find and save all the chapters, taking time I just don't have right now... (mind you, I'm just as bad - I rarely do it either...)

Still, I've got it all safely saved now, and promised myself I won't touch it until after Transposition pt 9 is finished and posted (I can motivate myself, sometimes). Which means this is going to be an interesting week: T9, the next AC, Gremlins (and the pics), two reviews for Crowsnest... I have a continually lengthening mental list of pics I want to do... And I'm being nagged from two directions now to get a bloody move on with FirstLight!!!... [haddock... clones... TARDIS... immortality... eep...]

On the subject of T9 [ICQ]:

[Joules] Now where did I get to? Ah, yeah - R, S and the Klingons... heh, am I going for rape and torture here?
[Lutra] NOOOO!.... last minute clever escapes, tricking the Klingons into taking the ki restraints off!
ROFLMAO!! but that's not my style....
[thinking quickly] a change of style can be a challenge...
But I don't want to disappoint the readers... think of all the angst - R trying to protect S, getting caught, suffering, escaping... hey, I like the sound of this!
[licks lips].... I see what you mean... damn you, you're corrupting my fluffy bunny again! : )
[smug smirk]

Of course, whether I actually do write it that way I haven't yet decided... though it fits nicely with the overall plot...

I find I'm almost looking forward to Kai's summer holiday - I'm determined to get this drawing backlog cleared this year. And GoodTwin's planning to come over for a week! [GLOMPS Carol] Which is always inspiring...

Back to it...

(fingers crossed for ratling and Talon - and the cat cartoons are hysterical, thanks onna!)


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Well, that's my Z-torture fic finished: it's posted on the Dragon Wing Yaoi list for now. I'll post it to the Zone next time I do a proper update...

[sigh] And I've done it again... JJ has another chapter of Alternative Arrangements in progress (I can't wait!) and I said, in a fit of rashness, that if she posted it, I'd make Transposition pt 9 the next thing I write. She's hoping to have it done by this weekend. I'm aiming, therefore, to have T9 ready by next weekend. Finally!!

Butch has been having an awful lot of fun this last 36 hours, cheerfully corrupting the Alternative Arrangements .dll file so I couldn't open it in any application, in fact it crashed them all... (I ended up moving everything else into a new directory and just deleting the old one, with the corrupted file in it, then saving the chapters and pics again). Then Irfanview crashed every time I tried to open the transferred fanpics... Tried opening them in PS, which was fine - and when I went back to Irfanview that was also fine. And THEN the bloody icons in my system tray kept timing out and refusing to reload from the programmes file so I couldn't use them! (Seti@home and PopKill, primarily - need to disable the latter to access some of the oft-visited sites. But unchecking the 'hide inactive' in the Start menu sorted that out...)

All I can say is that if this is Butch's way to let me know he wants the story written and the pics finished, this is NOT the way to go about it! I've wasted hours today trying to get everything back to normal... [growl scowl]

Still, Force is done. Feel happier now, though I'd still have preferred to read someone else's fic...


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Thursday, June 12, 2003

[sigh] It's a bit much when the only decent thing on TV is an old episode of Kung Fu...


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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Hn... If you type 'Zarbon torture' into Google it brings up pages and pages and pages of... pages, with Zarbon and torture on the same... page (tch' - too many pages!) - but not, alas, in the context I want... Still searching - there must be a way of expressing exactly what I'm looking for in a way that'll work for the search engines... Will probably have to write it myself though. Which is OK, it's about time I did some more to Fugitive... (now there's a thought. My art's improved since I last did anything there...)

On the subject of pics: 'saru's basically OK with the Farorn pic, but I'm not happy with the face, so will need to work on that a bit, and I can't get the end of Ayzur's tail right [growl]. Will have another go tomorrow. I've started colouring the finished pics though.
And then there was the conversation on ICQ earlier...

[Joules] I'm happier to try more complex pics... speaking of which, I have a hankering to draw a proper R/Zb bonking pic...

[Lutra] *faintly* what do you count as a 'proper' bonking pic? what you've done so far is pretty bloody proper!
I mean a good and proper thoroughly 'arms and legs and tail and hair everywhere backs arching expression of ecstasy type bonking' pic...
....................[fans Lutra]....

[swallowing, wide-eyed] that would be... nice...

[smirk] Later. Let's get the gremlins sorted first. Off to write some more...


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OK - over the last few days I've written two AC chapters, three pages of Gremlins, and drawn six of the wee beasts: I need a break for a few hours. And I'm just in the mood to read some Zaabon-torture fic and I'm the only person I know who writes it... [tries for chibi eyes and fails dismally, resort to big eyes instead] Does anyone know where I can find some, please?


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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

[blink] Uh, right... I've just finished Concern, my latest AC chapter... Well, I had to really, because it comes before Lutra's Progression pt 3, which she finished first and I beta-ed today... So there'll be two new AC chapters posted later tonight (that's assuming I can get Kinu's pic finished. It is really, just the background is refusing to cooperate...)

Onna, thanks for the PS tip. I may end up animating the pic, though, to get the effect I want...


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Monday, June 09, 2003

[groan] Was woken up at 8.30 this morning by workmen throwing scaffolding onto the pavement opposite from a truck... In the great tradition of workmen they have since disappeared, of course... Anyway took advantage of being awake too early to draw some more. Carli's done, and Jet, and Sazuki's party trick (two of these creatures will need to be animated), and I've made a start on Littlesaru's Farorn. Now off to work on Carli's wings...


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Two pages into Gremlins, Taipo, Dram and Sazuki off to their respective fleshies for their feedback, and I'm going to have to devise a vocabulary for the story... [sigh]

AND WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH BLOGGER!? Not today's complete loss of service - I mean the fact that it keeps eating my bloody archives and then giving me an error message when I try to republish! [snarl] Gods I loathe terran tech...


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Sunday, June 08, 2003

OK.... Reverie is finished pending Lutra's feedback on a couple of vital issues: should be able to get that posted on time (not sure about the accompanying pic - see how it goes.)

Gremlins is bouncing! Onna likes my vision of Murphy, and I now have Talon's notes for her gremlin Sazuki - she's fairly clear in my mind. I'm half-way there with Taipo, and know how I want to portray Jet and Ayzur. And I've written down a whole load of scenarios for the story. Heh - looks like being an interesting week.

I'm sure part of this surge of activity was Hedgehog sending me all those mp3s. They're wonderful! And I can't write without music. I've been playing it loudly (for me, that is!) all evening, all stuff I find energising, from Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark to Design for Life, Side and Whenever, Wherever (did I ever say that for me, Shakira IS Cloud? Possibly not. That has now been rectified.)

[sigh] But it's late/early and I really should think about closing down...


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Clipped from onna's tree: -

Well, I suspect Murphy will be just fine however he looks, since I do not have any preconceived notions or any clue what he looks like.

But I emailed you a copy so you could see! Didn't it arrive?


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So that was 13 Ghosts... Cross between The Cube, Hellraiser and Aliens, wasn't it? Still, I used the time to draw onna's gremlin Murphy. I'm absolutely certain he looks nothing at all like the image onna has of him, but that's OK - if you don't want him, onna, I'll use him elsewhere; he won't go to waste! Also drew his sidekick 'wee dram' (a.k.a. Dramataphyde - a toe-fungus, I'm informed), the rat's gremlin, but not so happy with that one, needs some work...

And Reverie is just about finished (finally) though Lutra has to read it first to check a couple of things. Hopefully I'll be able to post it Monday. Planning to revise my St George's Day picture a little and add it as an illustration - I'm really rather fond of that pic!


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Saturday, June 07, 2003

[evil grin] Well, Gremlins is shaping up very nicely. So far I have Butch, Valkyrie's Taipo, Sylverthorne's Jet and Ayzur, and I've started on the story. That should perhaps read 'first story', but after what happened with Flight and Fancy (i.e. I haven't yet made the time to continue it) I'm not going to promise anything... So come on the rest of you! Where are your gremlins?

I never thought I'd adopt a neko, but the ones Sylverthorne recommended are just irresistible. Find them in the panel to the left!

Parcel arrived from fellow-Lexxian Hedgehog this morning, returning my Lexx season 3 tapes and enclosing a whole load of my favourite songs on mp3 (including Windmills Of Your Mind, which I've been hunting for years), and some positively delicious graphic software! Can't tell you how chuffed I am... [GLOMPS Hedgehog, ignoring the prickles...]

Kai at the video rental shop - "They're still making Pokemon films? That's sooo last century..."


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Clipped from onna's tree: -


Oh, how yummy is THAT boy, Joules! Evan is eyeing him so watch out! I am SO envious of your foreshortening skills!

That is so strange - Lutra called him Bruce too... He doesn't seem to mind too much, says Bruce is about as inappropriate as Butch... Oh, and he also says he'll take on Evan any time. Doing what, exactly, I didn't dare ask...

I'm glad you like him - I've grown fond of him over the years (and he's been with me since I got my first ever Amstrad word processor...) But I cheated with the foreshortening - had Kai lie down in the position I wanted and drew from life: he's very used to me doing that now, gets a kick out of it since he likes my drawings. The nice thing is that when I've drawn the position once, I can usually (not always, alas) remember it for the next time.

And yes, I'd be happy to at least have a go at oekaki as long as it's semi-private...

Lia's artwork is so beautiful...


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Friday, June 06, 2003

Kai got another award today - for literacy this time!

Kai's Literacy Award
He wrote an amazing story about tornadoes and schoolboys, and wrote it very quickly as well, five chapters in a week! [proud mum. Proud Kai too!] See what I mean about the extra writing homework helping? Everyone's delighted, including Kai (although we do have a trade-off of speed for accuracy at the moment. That being said, the words he's mispelling tend to be the more unusual ones anyway. We'll get there!)

He's thoroughly into tornadoes at the moment, videoing every documentary he can find on the subject, and tonight we rented Twister for him (hoping it's available on dvd - he really wants the film to keep). I'd forgotten quite how dramatic a film it is - we all enjoyed it. And since the film-rental place is doing several special offers - 3 films for 3 days for £3, and fairly new films at £2.50 each for three days - I got out a selection: Spy Kids (which we've rented before and Kai enjoyed - I was writing so missed most of it - and which has Alan Cumming as Fegan Floop, which is why I want to see it again!), Rasputin (for the ever-luscious Alan Rickman, one of the few men I like in a beard and moustache) and 13 Ghosts (the trailers look good). Bit of a film-fest over the weekend, then...

I've noticed, particularly over the holiday, that Kai is reaching that separate age - he's less my child and more a developing individual, responsive and interactive. It's quite wonderful and leaves me feeling slightly awed: we walk home discussing things like why did Magneto work with the X-Men when he's supposed to be the villain? (cue debate on ends justifying means, ruthlessness and doing what one believes is right). Of course, we also discuss what mutant powers Kai has, and what X-Man dad is most like (which one I'm most like come to that!) - he is only eight after all...

As you can see, the film had quite an effect...

And a parcel arrived from Sue: -

Heh, if only I could...

Sue assures me it's not an order...

I love it! The rose makes it so incredibly British and polite!! (Glomps Sue!)

Back to Reverie (five pages in, now...)


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[growlgrumble] I have this awful sneaking suspicion I've cocked up the AC timeline somewhere, and have Fa'saayen back on R'ren'nkh'ia while Suguri, Ti'zheenan and the hostlings are still there (the aim was to have them keep missing each other until the forthcoming confrontation...) I am now hunting though previous chapters trying to get it sussed (because of course I forgot to include it in the Timeline .doc) Dammit, I need someone to keep me organised!

Had an email from Sylverthorne, who is also on Mahrayne's side and very cross with Kel. (Just thought I'd mention!)

Remember back in May I mentioned Butch, the cute bishie gremlin who infests my computer? Well, about thirty seconds after I'd posted that he upped and demanded I draw him. Heh. Would you deny someone/thing that could reformat your hard drive while you were sleeping? I think not....

His name isn't really Butch, of course - I can't pronounce his true name - but he likes Butch because it's so inaccurate. And you can't see his tail or piercings in this pic, which probably means I'll have to draw him again sometime soon. And he has a tendency to change his skin, mane and eye colour at whim (he says it's boring staying the same all the time) but this is the combination he prefers. He's very possessive (it's taken me a year to get him to allow Ken to use my new computer without crashing/corrupting files - which isn't bad, since it took me two years with my last computer - yes, he moves from my old to my new computer every time I upgrade) and surprisingly protective, bless him. I turn a blind eye - mostly - to the things he gets up to while I'm not here. This pic of him was influenced by Sylverthorne's lovely artwork. Oh, and Lutra - he's as tall as he chooses to be at any given moment...

He adores lemons (like you couldn't tell just from the form he's taken?), leather, fur, chunky males with tails, lizards... Hn. Have I influenced him, or should I blame him for my own obsessions?!

Heh - whatever. I'm very fond of him really...

Butch. MY gremlin. Anyone who invites him into their computer needs their head examined...

[sigh] This pic was supposed to celebrate the blog's first birthday - 27th of this month - but he insisted on it being posted early...

[groan, sinks head in hands] the obstreperous little sod now wants me to write his own story/ies...


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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Mined in Pris' blog:

[Of Zorun] He needs some SERIOUS help.

This is very true. But they don't have the equivalent of psychiatrists or psychologists, or even counsellors, so he's not going to get it. Zha'haabron might be able to help, but he won't do anything without being asked, and since asking for help is a sign of weakness to a Saiyan, it's unlikely to happen. Unlikely, but not impossible - change is an ongoing process.

And no, of course Mahrayne isn't Saiyan. The comments were meant to show how much freedom she had, that her situation was better than her fellow females on Hassina (who get no say in which male they end up with) and the Saiyan females (who, once claimed, risk death if they take a lover without their mate's permission, which is almost never granted: remember what Zha'haabron had to do to make the Saiya-jin-no-Ou give Leteetza her freedom? And even then she's not really free, as she is the first to admit...).

It seems that everyone should walk on egg shells around the Saiyans. No one else should have any other culture than that of the Saiyan way... It was the fact that the rest of the family seemed to be blinded where the Zorun/Mahrayne thing was. If it was the other way round I would be thinking the same thing, it's the actual situation that has me confused not the people.

OK... The Saiya-jin have no objection to other cultures (if they did there'd be no Alien Quarter, and no other species would want to live on the homeworld - and an awful lot of beings do...) - generally speaking they respect other cultures, and they certainly don't dictate how other peoples should live, think or act: it's too much effort, for one thing, causes resentment for another, and makes it much harder for the Empire to be a success.

However, they expect to be accorded the same respect. Regardless of anyone's feelings about their culture (or lack of it) it has served them well for millennia. It's changing, slowly - the fact that Saiyans are happily and openly bonding/claiming/partnering aliens, even at the highest level and with the obvious approval of the Saiya-jin-no-Ou, is proof of that - but it's very unlikely that the fundamental rite (for want of a better name) of claiming will ever change. It's too deeply engrained in the Saiyan psyche for that to happen.

Mahrayne didn't have to live with the family: she could have requested quarters in the diplomatic corps' HQ. But it suited her - suited everyone - for her to remain with them. It was both a big honour (they're the rulers of the Empire, after all) and a big responsibility (she's the Hassinan representative onworld, and the happenings at the palace are always under scrutiny - everyone always knows what's going on). Under those conditions a certain degree of compliance with the customs of your hosts is both to be expected and, frankly, a good idea. To do something so wrong (to Saiyan perception) is hardly appropriate behaviour for someone in Mahrayne's position. It has repercussions too: even if the Saiyan part of the family were able/willing to forgive her, they could hardly have made that public - besides the outrage all claimed/claimee partners would have felt, there's a good chance that any Hassinan onworld would have been attacked and/or killed simply because one of them had threatened something so sacrosanct.

Mahrayne's been studying the Saiyans since she came to live among them. She's talked to Leteetza, she knows the effects of claiming. Sure, Leteetza at least could have objected more strenuously - but she simply didn't believe that any Saiyan would try something so... un-Saiyan. Kelapa knew what she was doing. She also knew something of how Zorun had suffered in the past. She really has caused immense problems all round...
Does that make the situation any clearer?


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Transplanted from Talon's blog: -

Ahem...point of order...Mahrayne was a non-breeding female. As I understood it and recall, and I may of course be wrong...she would have never left her father's house, ne?

Quite right. I was making a general point (and obviously didn't make it very clearly!) It was more to do with the fact that on Hassina that's the way things are, and the females simply accept it (remember Pirum?), they aren't allowed any choice, and they all grow up knowing that - so if Mahrayne had been a breeding female she'd have been in exactly the same situation - if not worse, because at least she got the chance to choose whether she joined with Zorun or not. And she got a lot out of it - enjoyable sex with a nice hunk of male Saiyan, and children, which she'd always wanted...

I think it's unfair for 'rayne to be so ostracized for this "mistake" when held up against what she's done for the family as a whole...I mean, way back on her first day, she SAVED Ti'aasaan's LIFE!!!

I know - ungrateful lot, these Saiyans, aren't they? Seriously though, it's the Saiya-jin way of life Mahrayne and Kel have offended, and Ti'aasaan isn't Saiyan. The R'ren'nkh'ian part of the family don't completely understand what all the fuss is about, but also don't wish to make matters worse. More on that over the next few chapters... And yes, OK, my comment should really have read nearly everyone who has commented...

Valkyrie: I agree re the 'cheeky schoolboy look', it works really well, and Alan Cumming is a real cutie anyway (there are some very nice pics here [edit 2013 - no longer exists]) If I ever do write the fic(s) (and I'm strongly tempted) don't worry, you'll get sneak peeks...


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Tch' - and then I forgot to say thanks, Pris, for your feedback and comments! I'm very pleased you're enjoying the AC - long may it continue!


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Tuesday, June 03, 2003

.... speechless....

(But not for long.)

I can't remember when - or even if - I last saw/read a sequel that was better than the first in the series. (Well, except maybe the AC, but that's different...)

X-Men 2 is simply FABULOUS. Kai was on the edge of his seat, and I got so involved with it I failed to note the inevitable plot-holes and errors (because no film is perfect. Except perhaps The Company of Wolves.) Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine - and damn sexy with it. There's something terribly attractive about a (fictional, I stress, fictional) character who deals out death so beautifully and completely without a qualm. And as for Nightcrawler...

Yes, he's different from the comic incarnation, and the two cartoon versions, and I couldn't care less - I think he's gorgeous, and no that's NOT because of the blue skin and golden eyes (what lovely eyes, too!) though obviously they don't do any harm. I'm sooo glad the creators didn't go for the fuzzy look: the tattooed effect is much more eerie... And I'm sure I can't be the only person to see that delicious masochistic kink, all wrapped up in the heavy religious elements of his character. I don't remember the full story of Kurt's origins - and I daren't go check through my original comics because I know what'll happen, I'll get sucked in and won't resurface for days and I can't spare the haddock, James... - but turning to religion to cope with the exigencies of life is a well-worn path, I suppose, and certainly plausible... oh gods I feel a story coming on... [growl] Not until you've written the next 'l&L/AC5 chapters you don't.... Ack, going to buy the dvd as soon as I can, already want to watch it again to start picking up all the little things I missed first time round - and I want a closer look at Nightcrawler's expression when he was shot, it didn't look like pain to me... I can't wait to see the next film! Because there must be a third film. Any takers for a Dark Phoenix plotline?


Meanwhile, back in what passes for reality chez the Kittens Apostrophe (or Aposthorpe, as the Royal Mail will keep calling it...)

Lutra's Soulsis had some interesting observations on the AC...

Why does Zorun get all that sympathy? He has hurt so many members of the family but still they feel nothing but sympathy for him?? Whereas Mahrayne, who did not hurt the family is thrown out?? I mean most wife bashers say they are SO sorry after they put their wives in hospital but they keep doing it: Zorun seems to keep doing it too, so why the sympathy there??? Also did Mahrayne not say that she did not want to be claimed? And also was it not because of her sister that Zorun stuck his thumb in his mouth and went off and sulked?? I have no sympathy for selfcentred, selfabsorbed, basher, Zorun...

Well, the short answer is because I want him to - but that's a real copout and the question's a fair one... You have to bear in mind Saiya-jin culture and the basic Saiya-jin temperament (in my continuum, anyway): 1 female to every 6 males, an aggressive, possessive and quick-tempered species. For 25 years - more than half his lifetime - Zorun had suffered the most appalling violence and abuse from his brother, and even prior to that it wasn't an easy life. His self-esteem is about as low as it can get (it's been beaten into him that he's worthless for too long for him to be able to overcome it), he's been betrayed over and over again, everything he's ever loved has been taken away from him, and he responds to violence with violence because it's the only way he can deal with the pain.

When he first appeared in the AC, no-one liked or trusted him, but over time he proved himself worthy of both, especially once his history was known. And he's only ever hurt two members of the family - Hijau and Ti'aasaan - WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT, and then only once. Every other time has been with everyone's consent (and of course, every time a Saiyan is hurt they recover to be even stronger and more powerful than before, which puts an entirely different slant on the matter). Yes, he claimed Mahrayne without her consent - but she was carrying his child, he believed that she loved him (and let's face it, being claimed by a Saiyan who loves you and whom you at the very least like beats being farmed out with a bunch of other females to a male you may absolutely loathe but can't escape from.) It's happened to other Saiyan females: you learn to live with it, and after all, it guarantees you love and protection for the rest of your life. He hurt Mahrayne ONCE, when he claimed her. The rest of the time he did everything possible to prevent her being hurt, allowing her a freedom completely unheard of amongst Saiyan females, and doing everything he could to make her happy.

And how does Mahrayne thank him? She allows Kelapa to claim her, placing him in an intolerable position. Please remember he was perfectly entitled to challenge and kill Kelapa over his mate (and no-one would have blamed him for killing Mahrayne either - it used to happen...) But he didn't. He loved her enough to endure what would to any other Saiyan be a deadly insult, even though it placed him under a great deal of additional stress. Finding out about Alida was really only the final straw (to use a much-hated cliché): he couldn't even be alone with Mahrayne when they were alone, something that was and still is vitally important to him.

Mahrayne and Kelapa struck at the absolute heart of personal relationships in my continuum, and they won't be easily forgiven for that - if at all - by the Saiyans.

Lutra and I are fascinated by the way this whole issue has polarised Zone members opinions - those who've commented on it either take one side or the other really quite fiercely! (We're actually gobsmacked and really chuffed that it's generated so much real feeling!) What particularly intrigues me is readers' response to Zorun - you see, where Lutra is dealing with issues of personal freedom (or so I believe, no doubt she'll correct me if I'm wrong), what I've done here is to describe what happened between me and my first husband, but reversed: he treated me the way Mahrayne treated Zorun (only he didn't bother to ask first), and with very similar results (except that I most certainly don't love the sexist racist lying bastard any more and haven't done for many a year!) I wonder if people would have the same reaction if the roles were reversed, and Zorun was the one who philandered...?

And yes, Pris - I'm still trying to get the family trees organised, but it's not an easy project! >;-D Will give it top priority though, as things are just getting more and more complicated... Soon as I can, I promise...


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ROFLMAO!!! Sneaked a peek at my Welsh dictionary. No Raddish, alas, but Rabbit is cwningen. And Carrot is moron... (I'm sayin' nuffink...)


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Watched the first episode of the new season of Spooks. Loved the ending - yeah, that's the way to deal with terrorists you can't get rid of yourself! Then decided I didn't want to wait til next week to see the second ep so turned over to BBC3...

Not going to give any spoilers, but it left me wondering whether the Beeb are brave, irresponsible, or just insane... Nice to see Alexander Siddig in a different role, though.

Eh oop, back t' Reverie...


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Monday, June 02, 2003

.... knackered....

It's been a fun week, all told, but tiring. After the fun on the river on Thursday, Kai went to Weston-super-Mare for the day on Friday, with Thomas (the year above Kai at his school, lives over the road) and Thomas' mum, Jenn: he had a wonderful time, but was very tired on Saturday, so we had an easy day. On Sunday Thomas came over for the day: Kim rang and came over to take us and her two (Jo and Sarah) out to Hengrove Park for the afternoon - great fun! Today I took bratling into town, looking for sandals (which we found) and birthday presents: we have four birthdays this month. Actually did quite well, but it meant trawling around the city centre and our feet are killing us now. Kai's now watching X-Men prior to our going to see X-Men 2 tomorrow. Oh, and I bought myself a Welsh dictionary...

And on the subject of language, onna's posted a wonderful article here, on the subject of archaic words and how they drop out of use. There are some beautiful examples: I particularly liked merry-go-sorry and brangle - though I'd have to be careful with thrip, I know it as an insect pest that can damage house plants. And I've heard day-break called sparrow-fart before...

Anyway, this inspired me to ask if I could have Ken's precious 1834 copy of the New and Enlarged Dictionary of the English Language down here with the rest of my dictionaries (he's said yes because it's not in very good condition, falling apart and decidedly tattered. Hardly surprising at 169 years old! Even so I'm supposed to be wearing acid-free cotton gloves when I use it...) The print is tiny, and it has little epigrams and homilies at the top, bottom, left and right of each page - 'Use time as though you knew its value' particularly caught my eye in the U section! Some of the entries are - shall we say, brief? Such as 'Watermelon - a plant' - and there aren't that many colloquialisms, but there are still some little beauties amongst them. Following on from onna's 'lubber-wort' there's 'lubber, lubbard' (lazy idle fellow), 'perpotation' (the act of drinking largely) and its partner, 'guttle' (to eat greedily): 'spiss' (close, firm, thick, hence 'spissitude' - grossness, thickness) and I rather like 'spurcidical' (speaking obscenely). Not personally of course, except with good cause...

Such as my apoplectic rant on discovering (on a DB version of Macbeth whose [censored] [censored] [censored] "writer" had 'translated Shakespeare into English to make it understandable'..... [SNARL] I was therefore gratified to see that the article on onna's blog was written by an American with an obvious love for and appreciation of language...


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