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
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
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01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
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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 - 30/04/2017
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

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Go take a look here. This has to rank pretty high up on my 'Laugh? I almost pissed myself!' list... Make sure you check out Saruman and Sauron's desktops...

And when you've looked there, go here. Make sure you wait to read what appears in the 'error message' box...
[19.8.2016 - Alas, these no longer seem to exist, although the error message you do get is quite funny. The flickery background hurts the eyes though...]

And here's another. Go here, Click on Watch This Movie!!!, wait for the page to load (it's Flash so might take a moment or two) then click on Twins... I cracked up...



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Monday, September 27, 2004

R.I.P. Tracy.

I held her in my hand for a little while - she was soft and surprisingly heavy, it was a little like holding a sleeping mouse. Ken took a couple of photographs while Kai made her a tiny cardboard 'coffin' and wrote Tracy on the top in his prettiest script. We wrapped her in tissue paper, put flowers over her (hawkweed, soapwort, rosemary - there's not much in the garden at this time of year) and buried her beside the medlar.

Still don't know what happened, although it looked to me as though her abdomen was distorted: it's possible something disturbed her while she was upside down on the roof of the tank, she fell, and ruptured it, apparently one of the most common causes of death amongst tarantulas.

We'll miss her.



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Sunday, September 26, 2004

No reaction when we (gently) prodded Tracy's legs earlier. We'll take her out of the tank tomorrow: Kai wants to give her a 'proper burial', bless him. Thanks to everyone for sympathy and good wishes. Kai said earlier he was glad it was quick (which it must have been) rather than a fungal or mite infection (which can apparently happen and would be long and drawn out): he already accepts that death is a part of the process of living, knows my thoughts on the subject, and is pretty OK about the whole thing, luckily.

And I will ring the shop, onna, though we know she was perfectly healthy and had three normal sheds before this happened, so I don't think it was any inherent problem. They may have heard of something like this happening to another spider...

Members of the British Tarantula Society open forum (I registered on Friday in the hope they might be able to help) were of the opinion that it was a bad moult and she got stuck in the old skin - rare, but it does happen. I'm not certain myself: the fact that she was eating and climbing the day before makes me wonder - plus the fact she wasn't moving, much less struggling. But it's academic now, and these things happen, sad as it is.

I'd like us to get another, as and when Red Knee spiderlings become available. Ken's not too keen, but then he wasn't too keen in the first place. But the agreement was always that I'd look after them (as well as Kai) and that hasn't changed. We'll see how we go.

At the moment I'm trying to convince myself that I do not want a snake...

Glad you liked the picture, Valkyrie! I'm really quite chuffed with it.

It's been a bitty sort of a day. We watched RotK again, so Ken could see it (so much of the scenery of the films has a visceral familiarity for me, which adds to the effect. Edoras has resonances of Glastonbury Tor, while Minas Tirith makes me think of Mont St Michel, a place I love.) Still not enough Legolas though...

Then a last Twinfix before the dvds were taken back, site maintenance for Jenni and the IAVMT, and the usual 'Sunday getting ready for Monday' type things, and I'm finally settled to get a little writing done - without headphones, dammit, they keep cutting out. Must have a loose connection somewhere in the cable...

Labels: ,


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Saturday, September 25, 2004

[happy sigh] So we watched Return of the King... love that film. Not enough Legolas though...

Twinfix (again) later...

Snaffled from Lutra's Pond:

Her! <points finger at Joules> I blame her for this obsession with long legs and snake-skin boots...!

Joules (as Twin) and chibi Lutra

[and from the comments...]

(Joules) [sigh] I get the blame for everything! [frown, then smirk] Is it because of my fine taste and sense of discrimination when it comes to pretty boys? [beg]
(Lutra) ... or could it be that I'm easily led...? Baaaaa! [smirk]
[pout grump prods with a shepherd's crook - heh, better than a razor!] I'll take my good taste and discrimination elsewhere then, shall I? (no more lemons for you!!)
Eeeeeep! Nononononononononono! [clinging to leg] Take me with you!
[blink] [Sudden vision of self dressed as Twin staring down bemused at chibi clamped to leg]

I worry about my mind, sometimes...

We're pretty certain Tracy is dead. It's been nearly 36 hours, her legs are now flat on the substrate and she hasn't moved at all. Going to leave her another 12 just in case, but it's looking increasingly unlikely. I think I'm more upset than Kai - I was very fond of that spider.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

[... bleurgh...] Bed at 04.04. Woken at 08.09 by worried bratling sitting on bed telling me Tracy was lying on her back not moving. (Quite what I was expected to do about this I'm not too sure - try mouth to mouth resuscitation or something?) It's now 10.00 and she's still on her back not moving... It's too soon for another shed, and she was up and about eating quite happily yesterday: I have no idea what's wrong. Will see if I can find any info on the tarantula sites we have bookmarked after updating here.

Publisher has come back to us re: the possible book commission; the sales team like the idea, now we need a flatplan (for anyone who doesn't know, that's a page by page 'storyboard' of the whole book, including suggestions for illustrations. We'd normally expect to be paid something at this stage, but apparently this publisher does things differently.) Once the flatplan's been approved, the whole project will be budgetted and then we'll be offered the contract. (Generally speaking this is fairly standard for non-fic.) The wordage has been reduced a little, to 30,000 words from 35,000 in 144 pages, which will help with meeting the deadline.

So there's still nothing definite, but it's looking promising. We'll start work on the flatplan on Monday: If I remember rightly we managed to complete a first draft flatplan for our first book in two days, so this one shouldn't be too difficult [she says, realising uneasily that that sounds like famous last words...]. The editor is in London next week, and it would be good to have the plan done in case we need to speak.

Kai's back to school today. I have a persistent nagging headache and low-grade sore throat, but at least my voice has come back (lost it yesterday, oh joy...) so it looks like we might have got off lightly this time.

Van Von Hunter is amusing at the moment: the story's back to the Flaming Prince, who is just so adorable - go see #112, don't you just want to give him a cuddle and tell him everything will be alright?... Lutra and I decided he shouldn't be expected to even attempt evil despotism: he should be in a big luxurious castle with a big strong wo/man (or several) to look after him and take all the difficulties of reigning from his shoulders so he can sit around eating walnut cookies, looking pretty and making grandiose plans that will never be put into action....

[shakes head] Not quite composted this morning. Going to need a nap later...

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Equinoctial Greetings!

We have a poorly bratling. He stayed home yesterday, feeling ill, but seemed to be OK this morning so went in. But I had a phone call from the school at lunchtime, and had to go collect him. His glands are swollen under his jaw, and he's lost his appetite a bit, but other than that he's not too bad; no temperature (and it's not mumps, he's had his MMR), and he's currently cheating at Monopoly with Ken... I'll probably keep him home tomorrow though, just to be on the safe side. And wait to see if I go down with it [sigh].

We've been watching Shoebox Zoo, a new BBC children's programme at 6.30 on CBBC. It's rather good! Kai is definitely into it, looking forward to each episode.

Kai also announced he likes Britney Spears and wants a dvd of her song videos... (I'm saying nowt - though I did rather like the Toxic video.) For once the timing's good: it's available at Sainsbug's for £12.99, and Yule's coming up...

Looks like Ken's off gallivanting for the day on Saturday, so Kai and I will rent some dvds and have a lazy time (I need a Twin fix in any case).

Aaaaand in other news.. It appears that Rosa isn't ready to shed yet, she's eating again. Tracy's new tank is nearly ready for her to move into - might try that tomorrow.

We haven't heard about the book commission yet - although we don't know what time the meeting was...

And I'm about to start the next AC chapter.


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Monday, September 20, 2004


But I have now posted Separate. Will organise the links and the proper intro page tomorrow, too tired right now. Story takes place immediately after the last time we see the Twins in Reloaded...


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Sunday, September 19, 2004

Done. Well, mostly - a few small things to clear up tomorrow then the whole outline can go off. Not bad for a weekend's work, and the chapter outlines will be very useful for the flatplan too.
But my hands are sore: need a couple of days rest. Some sleep might be useful too...

And on an entirely unrelated subject, Separate - the second Matrix Twinfic - is almost ready to post. Another one that insisted on being written (last week before the commission outline came up)...

Onna, are my emails reaching you?

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Friday, September 17, 2004

[bleary eyed] First chapter outline went off at 10.55 pm my time: reply came back at 4.04 am my time saying it was just what she needed - so no need to rewrite and we can use that format as the basis for the other chapters. The first of which is now outlined and annotated: Ken and I need to brainstorm the next, after dinner (and a nap for me, I'm knackered).

So far so good. If we get the commission, the desired deadline is Feb 2005, the absolute deadline March 2005, for a publication date of Feb/March 2006. We'll work as usual, with Ken doing the necessary research, the introductions to the chapters and any needed brainstorming/corrections/amendments, while I do the bulk of the actual writing (Ken's writing style tends to the academic, and most of our joint books require a more informal approach). Can we do it? Yes we can, though it'll be a little tight, and of course there's Yule in the way. Never mind. There are no obstacles, only challenges, and we all know how much I enjoy a challenge...



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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Right, review written, checked and away, and I've done a fair bit of work for the possible commission already: barring catastrophes there shouldn't be a problem sending it off later today. Though I forgot to say that the rest of the detailed breakdown (of the other nine chapters) will be required by the end of the day next Monday (11pm our time, 5pm their time) for a publisher's sales meeting on Tuesday. (What I'm doing at the moment is a dry run to see if the editor needs more information to take to the meeting. If you can call a phone conference a meeting, that is. If she's happy with the first chapter we'll then write up the outlines of the others in the same style ready to send on Monday. If she's not, I'll have to rewrite. Whatever happens, it's going to be a hectic weekend!)

... which may mean the next AC chapter will be delayed. I'd rather not, but we'll have to see how we go.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

... memo to self - when you've finished reading a book for review, review it right away, don't leave it 'til you feel like it: 1. you probably aren't ever going to feel like it and 2. you can bet your arse something else more important will come up in the meantime.

Like the detailed breakdown of the first chapter of the possible commission, plus the book's overview, by the end of the day tomorrow.

[growl] My own fault for not getting on with it. Eh well. Busy night tonight...

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Flying haddock...

One of those days where to do anything at all I've needed to do three other things first - most of them along the lines of creating style sheets and removing extraneous html in our various sites. Made a start on my own site example page (and in the process found - or rather didn't find - the original site screen caps (apparently misfiled) and had to make them again. [sigh] Not Butch this time - at least, I don't think so - I have well over half a million files on this computer (including programmes and system files) and no logical filing system (I normally rely on my memory. Which is fine, as long as I can remember where I filed everything, which of course I can't. Add to that Butch's misfiling and Ken saving files in places I would simply never think to look and you have a near perfect recipe for chaos. Or possibly Arkaos. I need a PA/secretary/organiser...)

Where was I? Oh yes...

Kai's site now corrected (mostly, there's still a little stray code on one page I need to revise when I'm less frazzled), as is Early Heaven. Jenni's index needs tweaking, and Haadri needs a non-frames page. BRISTAL doesn't even have a style sheet: it needs near complete rewriting, will have to do that in stages. Luckily it's not too big. Unlike WaveWrights, which has 81 different backgrounds including those in the (other) Zone. Not looking forward to that, not least because by the time I've finished, there'll probably be something new I need to add or amend. Heh, Forth Bridge time!

However, it was very satisfying to code up Lorna's site from scratch, put it through the WC3 validation checker and find everything correct and DDA-compliant. Maybe time to work on elegance as well as accuracy, now. (On that subject, I found this, which made me chuckle. At the time I was actually trying to verify that the Merovingian's restaurant is called Le Vrai, as everyone/where seems to imply: it's amazing the things you can find when looking for something else...)

Mystery Men was on Sci-Fi Channel last night - a deliciously silly film with lots of relatively famous faces. I videoed it and Ken and Kai watched it this evening: both enjoyed it, though Kai was heard to ask "when does it start getting funny?" even though I'd warned him it took a wee while to get going. (Grinned over PMS Avenger: "I only work four days a month - got a problem with that?") Heh, there are far worse ways to spend a couple of hours...

My review of Just Desserts is due on Thursday. I meant to write it last week, but that accurséd plague of flying haddock wreaked havoc as usual...

Back to it.

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Monday, September 13, 2004

It took a bit of doing, but Kai did finish his homework and tidied his room... The homework was quite fun: Ken was working on book spreads upstairs so I helped bratling. Science definitions. Dissolve, evaporate, solution, condensation, solvent... Kai was able to do most of them (with a little prodding): the couple he wasn't too sure about he looked up in the dictionary.

AC6 is now finished and AC7 started - though of course a big chunk of it's already written; the 'l & L story will be shunted into 7 once I've written the first couple of chapters. Then we have the fun of finishing that section (it will be fun, too!)

Anything else? Worked a little more on Lorna's site, made a start on a second Twinfic (for a break - it's been hectic...), discussed book spreads with Ken. They have to be with our agent by Tuesday, with the publisher by Wednesday, so it's a bit of a rush. No guarantee of the commission at the end of it, of course, but that goes with the territory. It would be a fun book to write, so keeping fingers crossed!

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Saturday, September 11, 2004

4 pm and I'm tired already!

Mind you, I was up early and over to the Reptile House before breakfast (new tank/substrate/drinking bowl and crickets). Kai didn't want to come with me, which did speed up the whole process. And I've finally put the holiday photos into a gallery - find the thumbnails HERE (fairly big pics, so please give them time to load). [GLOMPS Carol]

Sorted out Jenni's Guestbook last night, and rewrote Lorna's site to CSS/html (instead of a database-driven vbs/asp format that was wholly non-DDA compliant), although there are a couple of tricky bits of coding I haven't quite finished yet. Will have those done by the end of the weekend.

And I've had the [ping] for a second Twinfic. [sigh] No. Not yet. Aftermath 4 first! Then Double Vision. And Haadri...

On the subject of the AC, Lutra's next chapter - Reformation 2 - is now posted in the (other) Zone. I'm intending to have Aftermath 4 finished by Monday midday, and will update when it's posted.

Better get organised to make dinner...

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Well that was hectic...

The day started off badly and got better. Very nice when that happens. Let's see... call from Chelsey about a possible book commission; transfer of Jenni's site finalised and cgi scripts installed (I've changed the colours of the guestbook to match the site, but can't work out how to code to access the 'view' function. I'm sure it's just me and my rusty cgi - and tiredness, I'm knackered, because - ); John Cabot Open Evening with Kai. We actually went straight from school, thinking we'd go and pick up the larger tank/waterbowl/substrate/crickets for Tracy since it's in roughly the same direction, spend a little time admiring the beasties in the Reptile House, let Kai have a run in the park, then get the bus up Two Mile Hill. Except the Reptile House closes at 1pm on a Thursday...

So we walked to John Cabot. Two miles up a busy, winding hill in 25 degree heat. Then spent an hour wandering around the College before repairing to the Assembly Hall to hear the Principal speak, along with what seemed like hundreds of other sprogs with their parents...

Actually it probably was hundreds - an awful lot of people want to get in, and after seeing the place I'm not surprised. It's wonderful, all of it. And it greets you with the most amazing sense of bright-eyed enthusiasm and dedication. Fantastic place. Kai seems keen (though he was so tired by the time we got back - 9pm - we didn't push for a reaction tonight) - we'll have to see how we go, but I'd love for him to go there, and I tnink he'd love it too. Heh, may be more info posted when I'm less tired.

I'm also taking him to Broadlands school open evening, on September 21st - that might be our second choice, depending on how we feel about it.

On a complete tangent, Tracy was drinking from her waterbowl earlier. Which doesn't sound very interesting, except that she was head-down perched vertically on the tank side above the water when she did it. [sigh] We have an acrobatic tarantula...

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Is it just me, or is anyone else having problems with the 'net at the moment? What with emails coming through sans their embedded .jpgs (OK, no real problem there), at least one of my daily comic checks apparently vanished (I mean that Firefox isn't even returning an error page, it's simply not recognising Catharsis at all and reloading my home page...), and Jenni's site, despite Moose authorising the transfer, is now apparently, according to WHOIS, caught between the Moose nameservers and the Supanames nameservers (no idea how that happened, I'd have thought it wasn't possible) and inaccessible... And of course Blogger itself has fallen over too, timing out, not allowing posts...

That's not to mention the spate of hacker attempts my firewall has alerted me to in the last three days - fifteen in one hour at its height - all from Korea. (And that's just the new attacks, I don't bother with alerts for repeats.) All very aggravating.

Still, Aftermath 3 is now posted and I'm trying to get a move on with Double Vision pt 6 (I'm estimating 7 parts in total, so I'm nearly finished). And one more chapter each from Lutra and myself and the Sixth Chronicle is done!

Which also means that the end of the Chronicles as a whole is in sight. I'm still on target to finish it by Yule, despite diminishing enthusiasm and lack of haddock.

In other news: town shopping was successful. Even managed to pick up Fake 2 (which Ken promptly commandeered and put away for Yule for me) from Kathie's Comics. (They had 3, 4 and 5 too, but Kai needed new school trousers.) And Forbidden Planet had Demon Diary 5 and 6...

Forbidden Planet also had the busts of the Matrix Twins, six and a quarter inches tall and gorgeously detailed - and £37.99 each... I was actually looking for one of the McFarlane figures, thought it might make an interesting companion/contrast for Vash, beside my monitor... Heh, what a crossover that would be... [smashes the [pinging] lightbulb. Nonononono I'm supposed to be finishing projects, not starting new ones...]
Where was I? Oh yes.

They didn't have any McFarlane Twins. Probably just as well... [sigh]

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... need haddock... can't keep up...

Aftermath 3 now posted in the (other) Zone. One more chapter from each of us and the Sixth Chronicle is finished - which means we're getting closer to the whole thing being finished...

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Monday, September 06, 2004

Typical. Wettest August on record, the sprogs go back to school and we get a heatwave.

Busy week this week. BCP meeting tomorrow evening, John Cabot Open Evening on Thursday, and a Neighbourhood Watch meeting on Friday. Need to get into town to hunt presents too, on Tuesday - brother's birthday in two weeks...

Still gobsmacked over how big Tracy is, easily a little bigger than the palm of my hand with her legs stretched out. And amazingly furry! She's beautiful, and Kai's delighted with her... Having tarantulas in the house has had one unexpected bonus. Tonight Kai came running through from the kitchen saying there was a big spider there: I went out to see, only to find it was a smallish sized tegenaria (for some reason I always want to call them stegasaurs, must be the shape of the word...). OK, pre-Rosa I probably would have thought it was a big spider, but not any more. (Caught it under a glass - didn't want to hurt the thing - which Ken then took from me to empty in the garden. Only he miscalculated the toss and the spider ended up in an orb-weaver's web: the orb-weaver immediately scuttled over and began wrapping the tegenaria in silk preparatory to eating it... [sigh]) Probably just as well, though, it's September, and as I think I said last year our house becomes bug-central in the autumn...

Discovered that the microwave makes my screen flicker. Only very slightly, but enough to give me a headache. Tch', there's always something!

And Kai has made a lightning detector. No idea how it's supposed to work, but it looks - interesting...

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Friday, September 03, 2004

... bloody hell...

Tracy was up against the rear wall of her tank earlier, stretching: she's doubled her size again! The big fat abdomen that looked too heavy for her yesterday now looks tiny - and her legs are so looooong... BIG pretty spider...

I tried to take a photo without flash: not sure if it'll come out or not but if it does I'll post it here.

September, and suddenly the shorter evenings are more noticeable. And I'm well behind with my Yule shopping this year, better start thinking about it I suppose.

Aftermath 3, the next AC chapter, now started...

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Right... First news of the day is that Tracy is half way through her third shed. Though I'm a little concerned, as she's chosen to flip upside down very close to her burrow, and the exuvium is being pushed partially inside it. Hoping that won't cause her any problems: disturbing a tarantula during the shed is dangerous (for the spider, I mean). Will keep an eye on her over the next couple of hours.

We think Rosa may also be getting ready to shed - it's about time, she's off her food, and has been spinning silk in the last few days.

I've finished reading Hal Spacejock Just Desserts... It's wonderful! Dry, wry and very funny indeed...

"Think about the henchmen in every film you ever saw."
Ace screwed up his forehead. "What about 'em?"
"Any of them get paid? No, they get dropped into pools with sharks, poisoned, chucked into boiling mud, drowned, shot, knifed..."
"I get the picture," said Ace.
"You and me - " Barry gestured. "You and me, we're henchmen. The curtain falls once we've done our part, followed by lighting rigs, gantries, large pieces of machinery..."
"But this ain't a film!"
"All good fiction is grounded in reality, my son. Where there's smoke, yet another bleeding henchman is going up in flames."....

.... "I don't like that idea. There could be dangerous gangs of criminals roaming the streets."
"So lend me the gun."
"That would be more dangerous to your health than the gangs."
"I'll get hold of a gun sooner or later. You might as well give me that one."
"No," said Clunk stubbornly. "You've given yourself life-threatening injuries with cutlery before now. I am not putting a high-powered firearm in your hands."
"High-powered? I thought it was just a little thing."
"It's not the size, it's where you point it."

I chortled all the way through...

OK, it's 11pm and Tracy is the right way up, scrunched up but looking fine. And bigger. Heh, you'd think I'd know by now that she knows what she's doing...

Had a go at the drawings for Beautiful Day but the fingers just weren't cooperating, so I've uploaded the story without them. I'll maybe try again later. You can find the story via The Vault, or just click here to go straight to the introduction...

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[SNARL]... It wasn't the code, or me being incompetent. It was PhotoShop pasting a piece of Word .doc text into the background layer of my .jpg instead of the graphic I'd spent an hour designing. [glares murder at Butch, who has also rendered IE non-functional tonight - not that that's any great loss...]

I didn't find out until in desperation I tried to c/p the graphic into a new background.

But it works now.

Still trying to tackle the illustrations...



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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

[pleased grin] Beautiful Day has an enthusiastic thumbs-up from those who've had a sneak peek - including (GASP) Ken!

Heh, to explain that: Ken's reading preferences are quite specific, and don't include fanfic - until I pointed out that I use my fanfic writing to explore techniques etc, he wasn't at all happy about my indulging in it. He reads my original fiction, but nothing else in my repertoire (which includes Dystopia, most emphatically not his thing, as he pointed out when I told him about it!) But I asked him to read Beautiful Day just to see what he thought, and he likes it. Quite a lot, I think. [bemused] At any rate, he's told me to hurry up and get it posted in The Vault so other people can read it...

So I've spent the afternoon, while Ken took Kai to Keynsham, struggling with a recalcitrant piece of CSS coding that will not do what I want it to do, and which is essential for the overall look of the page (and there Ken agrees with me). It's driving me spare. I can't upload the page until I've got it sorted. Though that being said, I want to see if I can do a couple of illustrations for the story as well, which is going to take a wee while. Or not, depending on how well my brain/fingers/pencil coordination fares!



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Turns out the clock Kai bought is a bit more special than we thought.

Ken went 'net hunting to see if he could find out more about it. This is what Dave West Clocks said:

Winterhalder and Hofmeier are possibly the most famous of the German Victorian clockmakers. The firm was started by Anton Winterhalder in Schwarzenbach, Germany in 1810, taking Anton Hofmeier into partnership in 1850, with the business finally closing on the death of Winterhalder's last son Linus in 1910. A large part of their output was made for Britain and the quality of movements and cases is always very high...

Kai's clock's case isn't as elaborate as the one shown on that page, it's a little more like the one shown here (down on the page, not the grandfather clock at the top!).

Seems like it's about 100 years old and could be worth over £300!

Not bad for a £15 clock from a second hand shop, ne? [grin]



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