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 :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]

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.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
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
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Earthian
Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: 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...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   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.
   Sketchbook


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
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
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
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
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
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
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
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 - 30/03/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/04/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017

Monday, September 29, 2003

Well, it looks like whatever the bug is it's only really nasty for about 48 hours, which is great, though it leaves grogginess and mild cold-like symptoms behind. Temperature's back to normal, though, and Kai should be fine for school tomorrow. I'm sure it's the change of season - happens every year. Blasted nuisance...

Thanks for the emails, folks. Will get back to everyone when I can.

Onna - new wallpaper - the soft, easy-on-the-eyes grey colour? I like it, works well with the purple and pink.

Working on F13 - coming together very nicely so far, though it's raised questions of the book's chronology. Which I have no doubt I can solve with a little thought.





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Sunday, September 28, 2003

Apparently the big spiders we keep getting in the house are called Cardinal spiders (Ken said something about them being the spids that frightened Cardinal Wolsey - not a myth I'm familiar with...) I mention it because one crawled out of Ken's wardrobe earlier. [sigh] But he caught it and disposed of it, so that's OK...

Kai's poorly again, poor bratling. Temperature of nearly 102, but reasonably chipper with it, so I've doled out the Calpol and we'll keep him home from school tomorrow.

I want a Flaming Prince clone: he's adorable! 'lestrel smiley







[grin] Ken fancied fish and chips tonight: he went to Sainsbury's to pick up some oven-cook fish and arrived back with battered HADDOCK, saying he thought it might perhaps be useful to me! At which Kai piped up asking if I was going to dance with it!

       I do love my family…

Managed a couple of pages of Adjustment, the next 'l&L chapter, but it's hard going. I know why, too - I'm overextended, and something has to give, and it'll probably be the Zone…

I think a good friend's email sparked it, commenting about the Alliance Chronicles, the annoyance of dangling plot lines, and liking a rounded ending to each book in a series. Which is what the Alliance Chronicles is, after all. I've completed nearly six AC books in the last three years, along with everything else I've had on the go - and it's a pretty thankless task. Yes, I have a wonderful core of readers who do give feedback, and whom I value greatly, but the rest? Nearly four hundred of them? Just as well I'm not a feedback junkie.

It hurts, though, when I spend hours of my time creating background tiles and hand-coding hosted stories, only to have the writers not even acknowledge what I've done. (I gave up expecting thanks years ago. 'Thank you' doesn't seem to be in most people's vocabulary any more.) Why the hell do I bother, I ask myself. And that's without mentioning the writers I have contacted to ask if I may host their stories who haven't even had the courtesy to reply.

This year has been very hard. Ken's course of medication has meant that not only has he been unable to work, but that also, for the first time in years, we don't have a book coming out, which means that money is very tight. (Just what we need with Yule three months away.) We're pinning a lot of hope on the Haadri Cycle: it does have the potential to be a money-spinner, in the right hands (and I'm refusing to think about the struggle to get it into the right hands: if I start worrying about that I'll have trouble finishing the re-write…)

WordWrights is paid for up until March next year. I have worked fucking hard to make it attractive and appealing and user-friendly, and I know it's paid off: today's stats show we've had 28,395 visits since March 31st this year (a substantial number of them to the Zone). People like the site. But after March 2004 - we'll see. It's not a cheap site to run.

As far as the AC goes… well, the story is plotted out to AC 7 or 8, with a bit of a jump after that to the 'l&L stories. I haven't discussed with Lutra how far we want to take those, yet. The penultimate, credits and final chapters are already written - roughly; they all need revision closer to the end - and can be opened at any time, so at least there is a finish to the whole thing. Heh, we'll see how it goes.
       I'm tired - tired in the Brit sense of gritting my teeth and grimly hanging on because there's nothing else I can do. I've had to be self-reliant for so long I don't think I'd know how to let other people help if they offered.





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Saturday, September 27, 2003

Interesting... Kai is watching one of his spider videos, taped from one of the Discovery channels, about Rick somebody who hunts tarantulas (to film/classify/collect specimens for study): he's just tracked down an absolute beauty in Venezuela. It's the most gorgeous electric blue with an orange-gold abdomen, really lovely. Wouldn't mind one of those! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!) they're considered to be rare...

Can't decide what to do. Next AC? Next 'l&L? Next FirstLight (a new second plot chapter)? The CCO808/LotR crossover Valkyrie inspired? Or should I make a start on the special Zone Yule card I have in mind? Ack, decisions! I need clones....





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Friday, September 26, 2003

But before looking at the next AC, I finally got round to doing something I've been meaning to do for a while, registered for Sophos' virus information live feeds and created a virus info page for the site - find it here. I've opted for the lists with the latest 10 virus alerts, and the top 10 current hoaxes: I think the feed is constantly updated, since Sophos take their job so seriously, though I can't confirm it. But at least it gives anyone who wants to check an idea of what's doing the rounds at the moment!





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[sigh] Lutra's away for the weekend, so is Sue (no, you didn't say you were going, Sue...), and Resh and 'vette! Carol's still here though (at least, I assume you aren't going anywhere this weekend...)

And speaking of GoodTwin - check this out! Fantastic site, thanks for sending me the URL!
Time to look at the next AC...

[growl] Large spid on the wall above my desk - can't reach the bloody things when they get up there, had to get Ken down to shift it...





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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Ho hum... That was the Autumn Equinox, that was. I blinked and missed it. It's amazing to realise that just a month and a half ago the temperature was in the 90s, and last night it was close to freezing. I do like the weather here, such glorious variety...

Only one spid last night - though it was on Kai's ceiling, so had to be dealt with right away - and none the night before, which is suspicious, since they usually invade when it rains... Or am I just being paranoid? [thinks, shakes head] no, they really are out to get me...

I really need to get my next two reviews - Modesitt's Archform:Beauty and Issue 6 of the Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (subtitled Australia's PULPIEST Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine) - finished before I continue reading the next books, The Moon's Shadow (Catherine Asaro, seventh book in the Skolian Empire series, not even published in this country, apparently. Which is a pain, as I'm rather enjoying it and would like to read the rest of them... I can see shades of my own writing style in hers, most intriguing) and Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings (LotR as it relates to world mythology; should be interesting!)

Back to it...

Onna, dead impressed with your progress in Japanese! And Talon, glad you like the latest offerings. Should be more Zone posts this weekend.





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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

[cross post to Haadri blog]

[clipped from onna's tree]

Alright, Joules! Haadri is up! Looks like you had fun with the planets! Excellent!

[big grin] Yup - thanks to you recommending the Flaming Pear software - an infinite variety of planets and moons, suns and starry backgrounds for just £24? One of the best investments I ever made! [GLOMPS onna for the recommendation]

Off to look at the next chapter. The follow-up to Seven is bubbling…





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[happy grin] Haadri now up and running!





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Monday, September 22, 2003

At last! It's rained on and off all day. Happy garden!

[clipped from onna's tree]

A'lestrel is probably male (result 72%masculine, 28% feminine)
What does your LJ writing style say about your gender?
LJ Gender Tool by Hutta

No surprise there, then...

Off to work on gifs for the Haadri site...





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[grumble] How the hell have the two big spids in the bath got in? The bloody window's closed tonight...

I feel like I'm under siege...





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Sunday, September 21, 2003

Only had to evict one spider last night - admittedly it was on Kai's ceiling, which meant my lugging a stool up from downstairs, so it was the nuisance equivalent of two I suppose... Haven't checked up there yet tonight.

Been playing with the Haadri site today - quite pleased with what I've accomplished. Will carry on tomorrow!

[growl] Spoke too soon - there's another bloody eight-legged monster above the landing window tonight, too high for me to reach without the stool... At least it's not quite as big as the one that was in the bath...

This is definitely the worst year for spiders I've ever known, not only the number but the size of the buggers. Can I blame global climate change? I know that for the past two years my eucalyptus tree has had flowers and berries (which hadn't happened in the previous eleven), my bay tree ditto, and this year the quince not only flowered but fruited, which it's never done before. Warm climate plants all.

It's worrying. Winter's drawing on and we're only twenty feet above the normal level of the river - though I suppose the intervening two parks would soak up a lot of any flooding...





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Saturday, September 20, 2003

... ack I'm tired... But Breakthrough is mostly finished, just few little tidying up bits to do in the morning, then I can post it and Makeup in the Zone. I suppose I ought to think about my next Dystopia chapter soon too - and I'm not going to bother listing everything else I want to do, if you've read this far you probably realise that even if I made it to the next millennium I'd never finish writing everything I want to...

Still, draft copies of the the last and penultimate AC chapters are now prepared in case anything happens that I can't complete the story in the meantime! That's kind of satisfying - I do so dislike leaving things unfinished, even if it does sometimes take me years to complete them...

Heh. Bed soon! I'm maundering...





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Friday, September 19, 2003

[sigh] ... last episode of The Sentinel... torn between being glad they left it there, before there was any risk of it turning into a bog-standard buddy cop show, and wishing it had gone on much much longer. Last time I actually sat down, watched and enjoyed a show so much was years ago, when Sci-Fi showed the whole of Babylon 5 back to back...

[netted in Lutra's Pond]

We're getting shown Dr Who at the moment, right from the beginning. The cubs are enjoying it, but they're waiting for the colour eps...

D'you think it's their age? Kai's thoroughly into it too, though we've picked it up from much further in. Tonight it's part 1 of Robots of Death - daft looking robots but what a wonderfully camp bunch of humans! - I don't remember it, but then I was never a real fan; used to watch the odd ep or two if it happened to be on.
[trapped at the Mousehole, of the second of last night's spiders]

hmm... This implies BIG. <shudders> Nope, don't want to think about it...

No, you don't, and you don't want to think about the one I found in the bath when I finally staggered up to bed at 6.30, either. Kai put a ruler down beside it while Ken took a photo: Kai tells me it was 12 centimetres (nearly 5 inches) long. This time Ken trapped it and released it way up at the top of the garden. Tch', three in one night is a bit much...

Kai was in my side of the bed when I went up, restless with the snuffles, high temperature and a very sore throat. We don't like him missing school, but he's really not well, poor bratling, so he's been home today, curled up on the sofa with a pillow and blanket, watching TV. He's very good about being ill though, doesn't complain, bless him.

Breakthrough, the next AC, is started: hoping to finish it tonight if possible.





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YAY!!!

YES! The Haadri transfer is now through: I have the ClaraNET 'coming soon' page up. Will work on that tomorrow - uh, later today - and hopefully have the whole thing live and pretty by first thing next week...





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[grumble] I am be-plagued with spiders tonight. One largeish one in the bathroom, then when I turned back to tonight's CSI ep after ICQing with GoodTwin [hugs! thanks so much for your feedback - means an awful lot!] there was another rather larger one scuttling across the carpet... Got it into the beaker on the second try, though I might have damaged one of its legs. Ah well, I'm sure it can manage perfectly well with seven...

Speaking of which, just finished Seven. Sort of. Though it's more like an intro than a proper story (more info on the Haadri blog). Now going to start the next AC chapter...





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Thursday, September 18, 2003

Good - just had confirmation from Network Solutions and ClaraNET that the Haadri transfer has gone through without my having to do anything more. I can start playing with the site in about 24 hours - will spend some time over the weekend getting it into shape and hopefully finishing Seven to upload to the Library section.

Haddock. Need haddock...





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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

[cross-post to Haadri]

[happy sigh] Sue, thank you for that little gentle nag - see the result it had? F07 completed, fairly happy with it, I think I've hit the right tone, certainly to start with. I can now gradually, happily, increase the content and description little by little in subsequent scenes.

And as for F08… well, I've already thanked Lutra for letting me bounce ideas around - and look what happened! I'm really, really pleased with this chapter (when was the last time I said that about any of my own work? Have I ever said it about any of my own work? I can't remember…), think I've excelled myself in the characterisation, indirect lead-ins to several major themes and subplots (for subsequent books in the cycle, not just this first one!), and a some teases for the reader. Working on it has also clarified, in my mind, a few elements of the overall plot that weren't entirely planned out: I now know how to handle them and where!

Altogether an enormously satisfying couple of days.

Now off to look at F09/F10. Things start getting… complicated for a while.

Carol, thanks so much for your comments - reassuring to know I'm on the right track. Sue, you too - and please, keep on nagging…





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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

F07 nearly finished, but I'm tired now and really think I'll have to continue tomorrow...

[netted in Lutra's Pond]

(nicked from the Mousehole:)

The new computers arrived in the office today - [snip] - worst of all - it has AOL pre-installed!!!! I'm not sure if my reaction (spitting, crossing fingers at it) was a little OTT...

No, that sounds perfectly reasonable, Goodtwin. I'd not want any of that invasive crap anywhere near me either... : )

I was checking doxdesk earlier for more info on parasites and came across another site with an interesting quote on it:

AOL's own tech support admits that--- oops!---installing AOL may make your system unable to connect to other ISPs, and that--- oops!--- your internet-sharing software (such as Win98's ICS) may no longer work. But these aren't bugs. It's the software installing itself in exactly the way AOL intends. You simply have to do things the AOL way, period.

To be accurate, this is an old article (AOL5), but as far as I've been able to find out AOL has got worse, not better. Yet another reason why I won't touch AOL with the proverbial bargepole. And I love the way that site calls AOL a parasite! lestrel smile

Kai has decided he likes Dr Who - specifically the Tom Baker Doctor (he has taste - he was the best of the bunch...) Teatimes are now quite interesting: The Sentinel at 6, Dr Who at 7, and poor Ken hasn't watched a 6 o'clock news in months!





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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Small short-term secret project - a Sengoku/Helena CCO808 lemony PWP for Valkyrie's birthday - favourably received. (It'll be posted in the Zone in a few day's time.)

And I finally gave in and set up the hosepipe to water the special plants (medlar, acer, my callicarpa) - and Kai and I indulged in the traditional hot Sunday afternoon occupation of "chase the screeching with laughter sprog around the garden with the water from the hosepipe", in the course of which said bratling managed to get delightfully wet! First time we've done it (I haven't needed to use the hose for - three? four? - years) but I somehow don't think it'll be the last!

Re: skanky...

From Valkyrie

According to my daughter (as this wasn't a word used when I was a teen), it means disgusting, slutty, old and used, normally quite ugly! It's usually applied to a girl... guys are whores, in the same manner.

Thanks for the New Zealand meaning, Leyanna!

realdictionary defines it as 'repellent, loathesome, foul'.

So - any other definitions, folks?





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[grins] OK - Taunt now coded/uploaded. Small short-term secret project well underway. And it occurs to me this last week has actually been amazingly productive! Nice feeling...

Onna, glad things are improving!

[Transplanted from Talon's Nursery]:

*grins* teaching spellcheck to learn "skanky" just tickled me for some reason...

OK, now I'm intrigued. Exactly what does 'skanky' mean in the States? Where I'm from it describes something disgustingly stiff and spiky with dried semen - and by extension someone who doesn't give a damn about personal hygiene. [shudder] Very offputting...

Cultural differences - don't you just love 'em? lestrel smile





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Saturday, September 13, 2003

.... it's quiet.... too quiet....

It's Bristol's Open Door weekend - days when places that are usually closed to the public (like the Redcliff caves and the Masonic Lodge) are open to visitors - and Ken has taken Kai to Brislington Villa (at least, I assume that's where they've gone - this was the site open on the screen when I finally managed to stumble downstairs: I vaguely remember Ken saying he was taking Kai out to an Open Door location but I was half-asleep at the time...) It's a lovely day for the trip - sunny and warm.

Lutra has finished her latest Dystopia chapter, Taunt: I am in awe of the way she handles elements of the female psyche most of us would prefer not to think about - and does so in a way that makes for compulsive reading. Damn fine writing! Hoping to code/upload later today, when Lutra's done a final revision. [glares through the core of the planet to Oz: kick housemate off the computer and talk to me!!]

Right.... back to it while I have some peace and quiet...

I do like the spellcheck facility - especially the 'learn' option!





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Friday, September 12, 2003

Finished Demons. Will revise the Other Anime index page tomorrow and send the update.

Ken saw the consultants at the hospital today, almost his last visit. He has four more weeks of medication, then the course is finished. Around about that time they'll call him in to let him know the results of this last blood test, and one of two things will happen.

If it's clear (i.e. the course has got rid of the damned virus) he'll have to go for a blood test in six months, then another six months after that. If everything's still fine at that point, my understanding is they'll give him a clean bill of health. If, however, at the meeting in a month's time (or after the first six-monthly blood test presumably) the virus is present, they'll give him a break from medication, then put him on another year's worth, same ribavirin but a different - weekly - injection.

Needless to say neither of us want to have to struggle through another year like this last one... Fingers crossed everything's worked OK.

Tired...





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Thursday, September 11, 2003

Hn. Well, that's chapter four done. With a little luck I should be able to get the final chapter finished tomorrow. Be nice to be ahead of myself for a change.

Um.... suddenly a spellcheck button appeared on the editing toolbar, along with a (very irritating) roll in side bar... let me guess, blogger have been mucking around with the templates again...





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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The annoying thing about making background tiles is that I can never be sure they'll look as I want them to on other people's screens. It's fine if the colours are either very dark or very light, I can adjust the text colour accordingly. But vari-coloured and shaded backgrounds - that's a little trickier... I think I tend to make them a little too light, but better that, in my opinion, than have the reader have to adjust their screen brightness and contrast (I loathe having to do that to read a website).

Anyway, three of the proposed five chapters of Demons (heh, how original...) are now complete, and I've finished the bg tiles for them. We should have the whole thing finished by the weekend, as Lutra says: although this could easily carry on, I don't have the leisure to start yet another epic. I've also gone out on a limb, rather, as one of the main characters is one I've read about but never actually seen in an anime, so I've no idea whether I have his behaviour or speech patterns right or not. (I've extrapolated from what I know of anime in general and this genre in particular, and I'm familiar with the character type, so I hope I haven't gone too far wrong!) I'd be very interested to know how successful I've been!

That being said, I think the story works quite well anyway! (And once this is out of my system I can get back to what I'm supposed to be doing...)

[clipped from onna's tree]

the pin is from Naruto, who is the blond on the right. I just saw the first ep in the Anime Club last Friday (forgot to mention that earlier) and those headbands mean they passed their ninja test. Well, they are magical ninjas.

Ah, thanks onna. I searched for Naruto when I read that. Hn, interesting...

Congrats on the anniversary, Talon!

[grumble] Butch has a new trick. Every time Ken uses my computer, the gremlin takes the word wrap off my notepad docs...





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Monday, September 08, 2003

[netted in Lutra's Pond]

<smirk> I'm getting better at lemons...
I've finished the Hokochu fic - Joules seems pleased with it. : )

Pleased with it? Pleased, she says? It's delicious! [licks lips] And guess what? Oh, you don't need me to tell you, not really, do you... No, of course not... I'll probably have it done by Wednesday, then I'll post both of them together.

And I've decided to institute the LLB for the Zone. No, nothing to do with Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen - this is the League of Lesser-known Bishounen. There are plenty of them around. Hokochu, of course, and Mephisto (the tasty bishie from Yoshiaki's Monster City who gets about as much screen time as Hokochu, and who is the subject of my sequel), Raoul, Lancer, Gren, others whose faces I can see but whose names I'd have to look up, like the long-haired cutie from Goshogun: the Time Étranger... [grins]

Heh, back to it...





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Sunday, September 07, 2003

That's Jude's new website, VoiceMatters, finally up and live. (Not my design, this one, I just did everything else!)

Crisis is coded and ready, but I can't code Desert until Lutra's got back to me - hopefully later tonight.





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[blinks] Heh - Crisis (the 'l&R pwp) is finished. Well, the first draft anyway! Only six pages, but then, it was only meant to be a short. Hopefully be able to post it with Desert, tomorrow. Um, later today, I mean...





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Saturday, September 06, 2003

[grin] Well, that's Desert, the next 'l&L finished - my part of it anyway, Lutra will check it over later (there are a couple of sections she needs to look at). With a bit of luck I can code/upload tomorrow. And since I have the plot - and since Lutra has shown me the first couple of pages of The Groom, the Hokochu fic, [yummmm...] and inspired me - I'll take a shot at the Radittsu/'lestrel pwp tonight...





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Yup - and now the same has happened to Lutra's Pond and The Mousehole...





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[SNARL] I have just noticed that the blogger team are buggering up the templates yet AGAIN. I've now lost the *Dances with Haddock* bit of my sig for this blog. Why the F**K can't they leave things alone!?





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Friday, September 05, 2003

[VERY big grin] Searched on Google and came up with this (Alas, geocities no longer exists...)- scroll down and click on [hokochucomp]! It's fanart rather than a screencap, but it's close enough to the original to give some idea of why it had the effect it did... [snarl] MINE!!!





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[satisfied grin] Well, I managed to finish three of the five things I set out to do today, and of the other two, the ClaraNET webspace isn't ready for the upload of Jude's website yet, and I need to wait for confirmation before I can transfer Haadri, so those aren't really my fault. That's not bad though, I think.

Kai's fascinated by the bouncy egg experiment Lutra has going, and wants daily updates. I've told him if it works, he can try it himself next week. (He was very impressed with the Huntsman spider webpage, by the way, and says 'thanks' for posting the link!)

The 'licious blue-skinned bishie-villain is called Hokochu - and Lutra's going to write me a Hokochu fic… [licks lips]… can't wait! Mind you, there's always the danger that that will turn into something much more - look what happened when she wrote Ambassador for me…

And on the subject of our favourite tenshi and Zasshu, Lutra has written some of the next 'l&L chapter (which is set to be another joint one) so I shall play with that tonight… [smirk]… Rompling on R'ren'nkh'ia, mmmmm….





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Ceramic fridge magnet

WAIII!

Arrived this morning from GoodTwin! Love it! I don't know where you find these funnies but they're wonderful... Thank you! [GLOMPS Carol]

Goals for today:

Finish beta-ing Rat Pack (finally! Sorry it's taken so long, Valkyrie) - will do that first.

Next Purgatory Devon chapter with Reshenna (ongoing throughout the day).

See if the webspace is ready to upload Jude's new site yet.

And I've had confirmation that BusinessServe have cashed the cheque for the Haadri transfer out, so will have a go at transferring in to ClaraNET. The last time I spoke to their customer support I was told that transferring .co.uk domains was simple, since there's only one registrar (Nominet), but .com is a little more complicated as there a lot of them (BusinessServe use one in Melbourne [waves at Lutra] while ClaraNET use one in the US). Well of course, it couldn't be anything easy could it?

And I need to reply to an email I've received from a post-grad studying for their MA who likes my Analyses of Lexx Season 3 and would like to use them in a thesis (giving due credit of course) - quite flattering that!

And then I can get back to my own stuff...

Better get a move on, hadn't I!





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[growlgrumble] I knew it, I just knew it, and for once I said it early (over in the Mousehole). Five minutes ago, in the bathroom, dark shape out of the corner of the eye, this morning's spider. On the wall. FAR too close...

Fortunately it did stay put until I could.... umm.... move, grab a beaker and a postcard from the bedroom (yes, we do actually keep them handy for just such occurrences, they fit nicely over beakers to make sure the creatures don't crawl out...) catch the horror, and throw it out of the window.

[grump] It's September 5th. The invasion usually stops around the second or third of October. It's going to be a loooong month....





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Thursday, September 04, 2003

[gasp choke wheeze] Oh lords.... Another beauty from OkapiPrincess, the tracker-down of hysterically funny LotR spinoffs and spoofs... especially for fanfic writers ... (Thanks for sharing, Lutra!)





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[blink. blinkblink] Well that worked! At least, ClaraNET has accepted the transfer and sent all the login and ftp details... Once the space is available (24-72 hours) I can upload the pages and submit to the search engines (never let it be said I don't do a thorough job!) Then it's finished! 'ooray!!

Right, back to F07...





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Great Mysteries of Life no. 17: why does all the other washing always end up inside the duvet cover...?

[shakes head] It's no good. I'm really not a morning person (well, unless we're talking 3-4am after being up all night, that is...) Actually went to bed early last night (12.45!) and woke up at 6.45 (before the alarm), so thought I'd take Kai into school, pick up shopping on the way back, and that way I'd have a good long stretch to work on F07, after doing the last little bit to transfer Jude's new website to ClaraNET (heh, what was supposed to be a two-hour job has turned out to be closer to two months). Changed the IPStag at Fasthosts, as advised, and went over to ClaraNET to complete the online transfer form. Only to find they had an internal server error and I couldn't access the form. So I rang them. (I tried to ring them yesterday as well, to get the IPStag, but their call traffic was so high I ended up emailing an urgent request for it instead - the answer arrived this am.) Call traffic still high: 45 minutes later I finally got to speak to someone...

Just as well I hung on, as this was a new problem they weren't aware of! Tech support are now investigating and should have it cleared within an hour (they'll give it high priority of course, since this raises so much revenue.) I'll try again in a couple of hours and see what happens - the way this has been going I won't be at all surprised to find there's another problem at Fasthosts end...

Ah, autumn, season of moths and incoming spiders... On the way into school Kai asked me what 'we' should go for next, after Airy's been set free. Apparently he fancies a Harvester (he assures me it's an arachnid but not a spider): they eat dead flies and other insects. I think his aim is to gradually work up, getting bigger and bigger creatures all the time, with me getting used to them, until I agree to a tarantula. Bright - if crafty - bratling I have...

Not sure it'll work though. There was a large spider in the bath this morning - too big for me to pick up. I was hurrying to get Kai off to school so asked Ken to get rid of it. Arrived back and checked bath before running the water for a shower - no spider...

[Me] "You got rid of the spider then..."
[Ken] - pause - "The spider's gone, yes..."
"So you didn't get rid of it..."
"Well, it's not there any more..."
"So now we've got a bloody great spider hiding somewhere..."

Moral of the story? Always make sure you have time to throw the spider out the window....

At least it wasn't hiding in the towels or the shower curtain... then again, if it had been at least I'd have known where it was... I swear this house becomes Bug Central in September...





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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I forgot to say - a small pin came with the CD. Can anyone tell me who this pair are?

unknown anime pair





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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

AnK lily

[Happy dreamy smile]

A package arrived this morning, with the Ai no Kusabi CD Ambivalence... It's fabulous, gorgeously sensual music, and as for the ending track, Eternal... [blissful sigh] Just wonderful. [GLOMPS onna] Thank you so much...

(... and now Raoul is nagging for his sequel...)

Kai's had a good day. He quite likes the first of his two new teachers, has made a few new friends, and enjoyed the literacy and numeracy classes he had today. It's a great start to his new year!Ambivalence CD cover

Ah, Lord of the Rings...

[netted in Lutra's Pond]

Okapiprincess sent me this Lord of the Rings article... still giggling...

It had me in hysterics! Wonderfully silly - and unfortunately uncomfortably close to the truth.

We're looking forward to getting our own copy of The Two Towers - going to pre-order the four disc extended version for our anniversary. I can't wait - loved the film, and Ken is looking forward to it as well. And my folks and brother are coming up for Yule - should keep us all quiet for a few hours.

Ah well - back to it...





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[satisfied grin] Well, Deliberation isn't quite finished, but it's getting there.

But I think I'd better go fall over now...





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It's always slightly sad when summer ends. Kai's back to school in nine hours or so, a new class, with some new children, and no doubt a whole new load of problems. We'll weather them as normal, but I could do without the anticipation...

Ken took Kai and Quyn up to the fields for a walk this afternoon: it's a nice place high on a hillside with a great view over the city and Dundry. We've picked sloes there (for sloe gin) in the past, and on occasion you can even find the odd psilocybin mushroom. (Which reminds me, I started a filk about that once. Now what the hell happened to it...?) It was a nice way for Kai to end his holiday. Me, I got everything ready for him for school, then continued with Deliberation (next AC).

Still hoping to finish it tonight, but we'll see... And before he went to bed Kai drew the most magnificent (and very accurate) picture of a spider - no doubt he could tell you which one - which will be going on his own blog, if I can ever persuade him to sit down here and let me talk him through how to use it!

While I think of it - many thanks to onna and Lutra for your wonderful, encouraging comments about the competition pic. To the few other people I sent it to, I'll assume you aren't interested in any more sneak peeks and stop clogging up your mailboxes.

Back to Ti'zheenan, Fa'saayen and Suguri...





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Monday, September 01, 2003

[trapped at the Mousehole]

Oh, and for those interested you might care to check out the full size Sporks here. (Sue)


....

ooh er.... [glances nervously at Haadri pre-readers and even more worriedly at A'lestrel] Kai goes back to school tomorrow - I'll dive straight into FirstLight then, honest...





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[grin] Gratuitous violence on a Sunday night!

Been a long time since I saw Tango and Cash - forgot how much fun it is!





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