Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... 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.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
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
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).
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Took a wee while last night but AC7 is now reorganised, with the 'l&L stories shunted over from the Side Stories index. Time to start on the rest of the story...
Ken's tried his new pendrive now, and is very happy with it. Loaded 25 megs of data from his computer upstairs in 2 minutes: copied it across to mine down here in 60 seconds (though we had a moment of anxiety when my machine stated it didn't have a hi-speed USB connection and therefore the transfer speed would be slower. Heh, like we care!) Would have taken him about 3 hours and 20 floppies previously. (It's on my machine because I have the broadband connection down here: my computer is used for all heavy-memory, i-net and emailing tasks, and Ken is doing a lot of genealogy at the moment.)
[growl] And the haddock change direction again... It'll take me a day or two to get used to it.
Not sure what to do today...[grin - when in doubt, write a lemon...]
Friday, October 29, 2004
[blink] Aaaaaand my blog posts total suddenly jumps to 1,037... Might be a side-effect of the Blogger maintenance they've just finished doing, perhaps?
Main news for today is that I've finally despaired of trying to keep up with the various fiction update emails I send out. I'm so thoroughly pissed off with having emails bounce back to me because
A) the member has moved servers and not told me, B) their inbox is full, C) most irritating of all, the server isn't allowing multi-recipient emails through because they might be spam...It just takes too long now to deal with it all - and I'd much rather spend the time writing and I'm assuming most other people would prefer that too - so I'm withdrawing the facility. Instead, I've set up The Updates Blog, where I'll note everything fiction that I update - including the Twinfics and the Twinfic Lemons - with the sole exception of Haadri, since that has its own blog anyway. Anyone who wants to keep up to date with what's being posted in the Zone/Darkside/DarkRealm/Matrix/Safehouse13/The Vault, please bookmark and check every now and then. I'll probably still mention them here, for anyone that reads this regularly, though.
The general consensus for Juet is that I should try to get it published, so I'll give that a go first (if/when that doesn't work, I'll post it on the site). And I've been asked if there might be a sequel, with more info about the world-frame and culture... Well, I won't discount it, but I've nothing planned at the moment. We'll see.
I'm glad we didn't make it up to Special Reserve on Tuesday. I've now had the chance to try Rix (the new mp3 player) out, and the sound is absolutely abysmal, tinny as hell and to actually hear it over the traffic the volume has to be up almost to full, where the distortion is so bad it hurts. I've tried changing the equaliser settings, even tried plugging in Nappa's headphones to see if that helps, but it doesn't. I'm very very unhappy with the thing: it'll have to go back as well. Planning a trip up on Monday (Kai's back to school, so will have to take him another time) - fingers crossed for a smooth resolution.
As for the rest of the day... Lutra's latest AC7, Match, now coded/uploaded. It's another completely gorgeous chapter - go read!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Ken thinks I should see if I can get the ficlet published in one of our Sci-Fi magazines (not that we have that many!). I still don't think it's good enough - not to mention it's a hell of a lot of fuss for such a small thing. If I do send it off, it'll be four weeks minimum before I hear anything. And I won't be able to post it on the site for at least a year, if that, if it's accepted.
Can't decide what to do. Will probably end up taking the easiest option as being the least stressful.
... miracles still do happen...
I often dream stories while sleeping, but usually get woken up - by Kai, by Quyn barking - before the end, so lose the conclusions. Today I got to the end of the story as I was slowly waking, and was able to remember it all. It's now typed up and awaiting Ken's comments (Lutra's read it as I was writing it): Juet, a little three page original ficlet. I think I'll post it on the site - it's not good enough to try to sell.
[grin] Nice feeling though!
[blink] Apparently I'm a .* wildcard. Figures.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Great day! Great chatting! And watched Reloaded and Revolutions, since Wendy hadn't seen either. (Need to skim the latter again tomorrow - if I can get the bloody DVD to stop jumping and sticking - as there are a few things I need to check...) [GLOMPS Wendy] Great time - it's never long enough though, is it...?
(We ended up not going up the Horfield yesterday: comatosity struck and I couldn't wake up 'til gone 1 pm. Ken just let me sleep on. Probably did me good... Will plan the trip for another day very soon.)
I never mentioned the results of the drawing attempts, did I? They were pathetic - completely useless. I'm giving up for the meantime: it's too frustrating not being able to produce what I want, and it's not like I really have the time to spare. And I'm a writer, not an artist, in any case. So my apologies to anyone I'd half-promised pics for. I may try again at some point, if I feel inspired/have haddock/brain-finger-eye co-ordination gets itself in gear...
[grins at Valkyrie] 'Haddock-paddock'... I like that! Wonder what sort of fencing would work best...
Monday, October 25, 2004
OK... For anyone who thought I'd not be updating while away from home, scroll down a bit, Carol let me blog on her computer this week...
Sunday was great - run out to Porton where to our amazement they had a sun (aka camel) spider! Astonishing creature, one of the ugliest spiders I've ever seen, with huge fangs. £35, not bad at all given that their half-grown Red Knee was £99. Kai managed to do his usual, charmed one of the staff who caught a locust for him, opened up the sun spider's tank and let us watch the thing catching it. And slowly biting it in half. Very impressive... Now that is an arachnid I really wouldn't mind getting. Not so easy to look after though: need to provide a desert-style habitat, hot in the day, cold at night, with damp sand so it can tunnel. The staff member I spoke to said a three foot long tank, with a cool damp half and a hot sandy half separated with a pane of glass that it could burrow under as required, would be the best habitat. Not so easy to set up. But at least it's easy to feed - eats anything that moves...
They also had a halloween crab. Unfortunately I can't find a pic, but it was dark purple and pumpkin coloured with a cute little mask-like marking over its 'face'. Oh, and having now seen the price of snakes, I won't be getting one, much as I'd like to. Until I get that best-seller, anyway...
We ate at a Harvester pub on the way home - gorgeous meal, then Kai and Carol both ordered a Honeycomb Explosion dessert... ooops. The biggest sundae we'd ever seen, vanilla ice-cream drizzled with caramel sauce and filled with bits of Crunchie. It defeated Kai, alas, though Carol managed it... I had a Rocky Horror - hot chocolate sponge with chocolate sauce topped with Cornish ice-cream and whipped cream with flaked chocolate. Only half the size, luckily, since it was very rich and very filling, especially after my volcano chicken (spit-roasted half chicken with a deliciously ferocious chili sauce. I do like hot 'n' spicy...)
While I remember... [grins] Funny thing happened the other week. Carol tells us she was sitting at the computer when Bella came in and froze, staring under her chair. Carol assumed that meant spider and lifted her feet in a hurry: Adrian caught the offending beastie in a glass and showed it to Carol. Who looked at it, frowned, and announced, "That's not a spider, it's a harvestman"...
(Should I explain that? Carol's an arachnophobe, and until we got Rosa, as far as she was concerned a spider was a spider was a spider. But not any more... Kai's explained the difference between the different arachnids, and despite the eight legs a harvestman IS NOT a spider. Well, it makes a difference. I never had a problem picking up harvestmen in my hands, whereas I wasn't at all keen on handling spiders. Heh, my bratling, the aversion-therapy expert...)
Lovely run home, sunny and colourful. Hundreds of emails awaiting - even though Ken had trashed the spam - including a bunch of Purgatory sporks. [growl] Home half an hour and I get nagged for an addy - after waiting a month for my last one to be replied to...
Copied across the photos, mp3s and ZoneAlarm4 from Carol (many thanks! Kai's clock pic now on his own site, so you can delete from yours at your leisure. And I'd forgotten how much I like Call Me! Cheers!) Photos will be uploaded when I can find half an hour to resize and post. Oh, and Ken likes the look of the Dimage 3, but I think he wants something with an even higher resolution. Definitely into an upgraded recharger and batteries though - save a fortune on my AAAs for my tablet pen and new mp3 player (hereinafter Rix. Wonderfully simple plug'n'play, drag'n'drop tracks straight onto the hardware without any software required. Great stuff!)
Several other parcels were waiting as well, including one from onna containing the Haibane Renmei anime on DVD. I don't know this one, but it looks interesting. [GLOMPS onna] More when I've had a chance to watch it.
I did, however, treat myself to a Twinfix this evening (after Spooks, which I thought was an excellent episode!) And this time I paused the DVD at the very start of the freeway chase: I was sure you can see the driving twin's eyes over his shades at one point. [sigh] I was right, you can. Beautiful, dark (which they would be given the light conditions) and perfectly human eyes. Soddit. Second time I've got eyes wrong in fanfic...
Tomorrow is forecast to be the last good day, weatherwise, this week, so I'm planning to take Kai up to Horfield to the Briz Special Reserve store to ask about Nappa. A two-bus-ride up the Gloucester Rd: we'll walk back down to town checking out the second-hand shops, Kai's still looking for clock mechanisms for his projects. Practically a day trip by the time we're done. And there I was looking forward to a restful day. Ah well - the exercise is good for me. So they say. (No idea who 'they' are but if I ever find out I shall have words with them...)
Then Wendy's visiting Wednesday - looking forward to that! And then I suppose I'd better start writing this book...
[GLOMPS Carol and Adrian] Thank you - we had a fantastic time! [GLOMPS Sue] Good to argue with you! [grin - just joking].
Wanders off growling "This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway, this is the road to hell..."
Saturday, October 23, 2004
The museum was wonderful: we had a personal guided tour since we were the only people there. Small - just the one room - but packed with fascinating stuff. We have a lot of pics but will post them on Kai's web later.
There was a cider museum there as well, a lot of old equipment, with a very professional home-produced video showing how it was used to make cider the traditional way. Interesting...
On the way back we stopped off at Corfe Castle. It was closed (and unbelievably windy), but we'll definitely need to go back and explore - amazing place.
Then home and Reloaded. [happy sigh] Twinfix. Haven't done a lot of drawing yet though. Oh, and Ken tells me my 400th Zone member has just confirmed: suppose I'd better think about a picture to celebrate...
Adrian has taken Kai to see 5 Children and It while Sue is here and we watch dvds and talk booksfilmswritingetc... Fun!
Friday, October 22, 2004
[happy grin] Yesterday's shopping was a great success. No, I didn't manage to get any Yule pressies (well, only one, and that was accidental), but I did find a Matrix: Reloaded ex-rental DVD for £5. (Yes, I know I'm getting it for Yule. But that's weeks away. And I was going to rent it for Wendy coming up to visit next week [beg] and that would cost £3.50...) We watched The Matrix last night (Carol had never found the time to see it): Reloaded tonight when we get back from the clock museum.
We checked out the The Clock Work Shop. This place is amazing! You have to ring the bell for entry, and the cheapest clock we saw in there was £2,650: there were two clocks on the first landing awaiting repair, one from 1700, the other 1760. Kai was entranced - and the staff loved him... We walked out with a 31-day wall (or mantel) clock (one that had been taken in for repair but ended up being given to the shop for pieces as the repair would have cost more than a new clock) for bratling to examine and see if he can fix. (I just loved the way he stood and explained to the owner how to release the tension in the springs so they can be safely removed. He got it absolutely right too...)
Kai wanted to see the City Mill while we were in town, so we popped in for a visit. The river's swollen at the moment from the rain we've had, and the mill race an amazing sight. And of course we forgot to take our cameras...
Better go get ready to head off!
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Nice - if slow - run over: delays through Bath and Salisbury so we were a little late, but so were Carol and Adrian so that was alright. Dropped into Sainsbugs on the way to pick up fish and chips for dinner. There was a helicopter parked in the car park. (Of course there was, this is me after all...)
Shopping tomorrow, probably. [grin] That's Yule shopping, not retail therapy. I don't do retail therapy...
Right - packed, everything organised, just need to get the last few things done. And wait for my mane to dry [sigh]...
Lutra's latest chapter - Connection - now posted in AC7. It's gorgeous! (There's also a tiny Twinfic lemon in the Matrix section...)
Bus is at 3.40. Can't wait! Fingers crossed for inspiration (and hand/eye coordination) while we're away...
Monday, October 18, 2004
[growl] Another "I've gone off Mondays" Monday...
Took Kai into school, switched on Nappa for the walk to the PO then bus into town - to find that the new playlist I downloaded last night was scrambled. Switched off, and couldn't switch back on again no matter how I tried. No power. Changed the batteries (always carry a spare, when it goes it goes without warning). No joy. Marched grimly to PO - I need my musekick, especially after only 3 hours sleep - where I tried to ring Ken, only to find my phone battery was flat.
Went home, set phone battery to quick-charge, plugged Nappa into computer and managed to get the power on, only to have error messages flash up. Uninstalled/reinstalled software, but again could not switch on. Think it's died. Ordered a new mp3 player from Special Reserve ([wince] using money we don't have yet): will enquire about getting Nappa fixed when I get back from Winchester.
Hence was an hour and half late getting into town... X39 Bath-Bristol bus (one of which sailed past as I was approaching the bus stop, necessitating a 15 minute wait for the next) doesn't stop right outside the bus station any more, it stops a five minute walk away. That'll be fun with luggage and bratling on Wednesday!
Walked into bus station to find it being demolished.
Yes, fair enough, I do vaguely remember hearing news about it being redeveloped (let's face it, for the primary bus station for a major city it was a disgrace...) but wasn't aware of when it was happening. Now, apparently... Ticket office was closed - tickets being booked and sold from a narrow portacabin at the far end. Got in the queue, got to the teller, his computer packed up. Got back in the queue (at the front), finally bought tickets. Remembered to check that the Southampton bus does still go from its usual platform. Crossed fingers it doesn't rain on Wednesday as the bus station no longer has a roof...
[shakes head] Just as well I have a sense of humour, bizarre though it might be, ne?
The rest of the town trip went reasonably well, though, managed to get nearly everything I went in for, including Kai's watch. And later I managed a cycle's nap, which helped kickstart the brain in time for Spooks.
Hm. Did anyone else think that Tom was acting just a little OOC? As a way to write the character out of the series I suppose it was as good as any. (Though why go through all that angst at the end of series two if this was going to happen so early on in series three? Is he going to resurface (pun intended) later on...?) Adam makes a good replacement, even if he does seem too good to be true - at the moment...
Had an email earlier with a link to Japan for the Uninvited - a very interesting site with some excellent links. Well worth taking a look!
Can't concentrate on anything serious at the moment - gearing up for my break I think - so working on a third little lemon Twinfic, Sugar. Should have it finished tonight...
Sunday, October 17, 2004
The 2003 Battlestar Galactica pilot was on Sci-Fi last night: had it on in the background while writing. As Sci-Fi, it's pretty good - a little grim, but then the basic premise is grim (if a little silly). The acting's not at all bad, the fx fair, the action well paced. If the original had never been made, it would work well.
Unfortunately the original was made, and the new series really can't replace it. The new version lacks charm. Any trace of humour. The original actors were pretty - the new ones aren't. (And I still don't see any reason to make Starbuck female - especially when the female is almost exactly the same as the male version, a cigar-smoking, pyramid-playing, authority-hating crack pilot - unless it's to appease the homophobes who read too much into the 'relationship' between the original Starbuck and Apollo . Starbuck - the original - was cute. Something of a cad, but cute. Kara Thrace isn't.) And while it's good to see strong female characters - that includes the President - in a sci-fi series it's not enough to persuade me to stop and watch.
Such a pity...
The same can't be said of Hex, however - a new British series on Sky 1. I'm thoroughly enjoying the pilot episode, so much Ken's going to video next week's for me to watch when I get back. It's fascinating.
[from Lutra's Pond]
Lutra: The school had a fund-raising thing this afternoon so after lunch the cubs and I trotted off to the Malvern Town Hall for a combined school choir/Stonnington City Brass Band performance.... Cruella de Ville song from 101 Dalmatians sounds remarkably like a sleazy strip-tease anthem when played by a brass band. <snigger> Kept myself amused for a little while there with some lurid mental images... (Matrix Twins in Dalmatian skin coats? Don't ask... :) Joules (in comments): [blink] Oooh! And I'm planning to try some Twins pics when I'm in Winchester too... Dalmatian skin coats...Hmmm... It worked! Can't explain it but it worked. <g>And then on ICQ:
LOL. I can see it working, actually... with big turned up fluffy furry collars... ......... ......... and nothing underneath.... <quiversqueak, legs go weak> (hey that rhymes!) oh oh YES!![sigh] That's my challenge for this half-term sorted, then...
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Restless, a second lemon Twinfic, now posted in the Matrix section of the site.
At some point very soon I have to replace my tablet pen's nib (it came with two replacements), it's worn down so far. Then again, I use it all the time, only ever use the mouse to right-click. The company say just use a pair of pliers (or teeth!) to pull the old nib out of the barrel then push the new one in. I can't believe it can be that simple. I'm sure something's going to go wrong and I'll have to get a new pen - or even worse a new tablet...
OK - Thorne. I somehow doubt any of this is accurate as I don't really know you. All it will indicate is how you appear to me!
If you were a month you would be: March If you were a day of the week you would be: Tuesday If you were a time of day you would be: 6 am If you were a sea animal you would be: an octopus (brightly coloured and probably magnificent...) If you were a direction you would be: deosil If you were a piece of furniture you would be: a telephone If you were a sin you would be: impatience If you were an historical figure you would be: Carl Jung If you were a liquid you would be: absinthe If you were a stone you would be: flint If you were a tree you would be: an acacia If you were a bird you would be: a sacred ibis If you were a flower/plant you would be: belladonna If you were a kind of weather you would be: breezy with high scudding clouds If you were a musical instrument you would be: a tambour If you were a colour you would be: royal blue If you were an emotion you would be: impulsiveness If you were a vegetable/fruit you would be: a carambola If you were a sound you would be: the twang of a bowstring If you were an element you would be: calcium If you were a song you would be: The World is Not Enough (Garbage) If you were a number you would be: 17
Busy-ish sort of day. Our agent emailed: the publisher is preparing the contract for the book, so looks like we have the commission. Delivery date is March 1st 2005: I'll start writing it when I get back from Winchester.
I've tidied, tweaked and uploaded the revised Music Inter Alia site - gone for shades of old gold and mahogany, looks better than the previous brown/blue/green design.
Rosa's behaving strangely. Again. Earlier she rolled back a section of her webbing (with the substrate stuck to it it looked like she was rolling back a carpet!), sat on the bare bit for a while, then rolled it back again and climbed the wall... [shrugs] I've given up trying to second-guess that spider, she likes doing the unexpected...
Valkyrie, Sue, glad you liked the "If you were" things. (The significance of the grey seal and pomegranate have a lot to do with the myths attached to them. And I truly admire ER1, an amazing woman and phenomenal statesman.) Thorne, do you want yours emailed or posted here?
And tonight? I'm in lemon-mode, either Twins or Haadri...
Friday, October 15, 2004
OK - Valkyrie! (I'd be very interested to hear how accurate I am - or more likely am not! - given that we've never actually physically met...)
If you were a month you would be: August (that's my August, the long warm days of summer over here) If you were a day of the week you would be: Sunday If you were a time of day you would be: 11 am If you were a sea animal you would be: a grey seal If you were a direction you would be: sunwards If you were a piece of furniture you would be: a window If you were a sin you would be: self-repression (well, I think it's a sin!) If you were an historical figure you would be: Zoltan Kodaly If you were a liquid you would be: sparkling water If you were a stone you would be: limestone If you were a tree you would be: a baobab If you were a bird you would be: a dove If you were a flower/plant you would be: ivy If you were a kind of weather you would be: bright winter sunshine on snow If you were a musical instrument you would be: a clarinet If you were a colour you would be: golden-orange If you were an emotion you would be: anxiety If you were a vegetable/fruit you would be: a pomegranate If you were a sound you would be: the wind through leaves If you were an element you would be: oxygen If you were a song you would be: The Climb (No Doubt) If you were a number you would be: 3
[beg] From me for Sue, because she asked for it...
If you were a month you would be: September If you were a day of the week you would be: Saturday If you were a time of day you would be: 4 pm If you were a sea animal you would be: a leopard shark If you were a direction you would be: straight ahead. If you were a piece of furniture you would be: a chaise longue If you were a sin you would be: intolerance If you were an historical figure you would be: Queen Elizabeth the 1st If you were a liquid you would be: XO Cognac If you were a stone you would be: obsidian If you were a tree you would be: an oak If you were a bird you would be: a European eagle owl If you were a flower/plant you would be: honeysuckle If you were a kind of weather you would be: hazy sunshine with rumblings of thunder in the distance. If you were a musical instrument you would be: a double bass If you were a colour you would be: burgundy If you were an emotion you would be: self-control If you were a vegetable/fruit you would be: blackberries If you were a sound you would be: the surf on a pebble beach If you were an element you would be: iron If you were a song you would be: That Don't Impress Me Much (Shania Twain - well, it has to be really, doesn't it!) If you were a number you would be: oh hell, I don't know! 7?Valkyrie, want yours posted here or emailed?
Carol, fingers crossed for Sake: hope he's OK and the treatment works. And that you don't have to keep taking him back...
Thursday, October 14, 2004
['alf-inched from onna's blog, 'cause I think these are fun and intriguing and I needed a break.]
If I were a month I would be: February If I were a day of the week I would be: Monday If I were a time of day I would be: 3.33 am If I were a sea animal I would be: a manta ray If I were a direction I would be: up. And up. And up... If I were a piece of furniture I would be: a mirror If I were a sin I would be: anger If I were an historical figure I would be: an instantly forgettable peasant If I were a liquid I would be: quicksilver If I were a stone I would be: Uluru If I were a tree I would be: Juniper If I were a bird I would be: a phoenix If I were a flower/plant I would be: a brassia maculata orchid If I were a kind of weather I would be: a torrential thunder and lightning storm If I were a musical instrument I would be: a synthesizer If I were a colour I would be: dioptase green If I were an emotion I would be: curiosity If I were a vegetable/fruit I would be: a cucumber If I were a sound I would be: breaking glass If I were an element I would be: meitnerium If I were a song I would be: It's My Life (Bon Jovi) If I were a number I would be: 13It would be a giggle to do these for other people!
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Ken took him into town last Saturday to buy a new watch. They arrived back with a very smart wristwatch, large royal blue face, black strap, proper hands: not expensive (£5) but looked as though it was. He was so pleased with it! Then today in the playground he lifted his arm to fend off a punch from a another boy, the punch connected and smashed the glass face... Kai insists it was an accident (though how a punch that hard could be an accident is a matter of some debate. The only reason I'm letting it slide is because Kai is going through a growth spurt at the moment, and is a little clumsy and coltish, so it's possible that he pushed his arm into the punch, doubling the force...) Anyway, I can't get into town until next Monday: just hoping the shop (in the Victorian Arcade in Broadmead) has another watch the same.
And he hated his PE class today. Hockey. I sympathised - then told him how much I hated hockey at school, how we were bussed to the playing fields for our lessons and how I frequently "forgot" to take my kit... The punishment for that was to walk laps around the playing fields, which suited me perfectly: I used to plot stories in my head while walking (heh, still do!!) So he told me that he'd yelped when the ball hit his ankle, and the teacher told him if he did it again he'd have to sit out, and I asked him why he hadn't, then? and he grinned and said he'd been strongly tempted! By the time we were half way down the road we were both laughing (like naughty schoolkids? [grin]), which made him feel much better.
And then at the tiny cramped second-hand shop we've recently discovered in Sandy Park Rd I found four silver-painted wooden picture frames (with black backing), while Kai unearthed a ship in a bottle that he fancied - all at 20p each...
Quite a successful walk home, all told.
This arrived for me in the post this morning, via the US publishers of Clairvoyance: Ken got a handkerchief in a similar design. (You can't see properly from the scan but it's a lovely fabric pouch, with the flap up to show the pretty beaded fringe on the inside.) Gifts from a reader who has asked us for a little help with a couple of troubling aspects in her life - which is very flattering, though she didn't need to send anything, we always answer queries anyway! In this case I think a little 'talismanic magic' might help: need to get that organised before I leave for Winchester, so Monday's trip into town is going to be busier than I was originally expecting...
But I've nearly finished this month's book review! A week and a half early. Geoff won't believe it. And no, I'm not setting a precedent!
Lutra's Shimmer and my own Sorrow, the latest AC7 chapters, now posted.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Oh SODdit... [growl] Hellboy's no longer at the Showcase: I was going to take Kai to see it the Tuesday of his half term holiday. Bloody typical. I, Robot and Thunderbirds are still playing, but not the one we want. We can rent it when it comes out, but I wanted to see it on the big screen... [grump] I suppose we'll have to go see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow instead.
Don't suppose Hellboy's still showing up your way, Carol? I tried looking and couldn't find it anywhere.
Oh, yes, I haven't said - we're off to Winchester next Wednesday, back the following Monday. Can't wait - and Kai's all bouncy and excited too!
In the meantime I'm back with the warped haddock again: I seem to be stuck at my 1017th post. Not that I'm bothered, particularly, it's just a little puzzling as to why it's happened...
Back to P10.
Monday, October 11, 2004
xXx, however, is big, colourful, simple-minded blockbuster material...
Fairly standard 'spy' fare, lots of action (including a rather fun 'snowboarding down a mountain in advance of an avalanche' scene), lots of things going 'BOOM', a terrific soundtrack (must see if its available), anarchy, violence, the threat of global destruction, thoroughly nasty but gorgeous villains - I knew Yorgi (the main baddie) looked and sounded familiar, even with the stubbly beard, moustache and shoulder length shaggy black hair, so I checked later: was Marton Csokas, who played Celeborn! He looks an awful lot better - not to mention damn sexy - playing dark and human. And at least ten years younger...
Heh, where was I? Oh yes.
That it's an attempt to update Bond is pretty obvious, but personally I preferred it to the increasingly yawnsome Bond films (then again, as far as I'm concerned the only decent Bond was Sean Connery anyway. No-one else ever came close. I try to forget the shambles Roger Moore, one of the worst actors ever in my opinion, made of the rôle...) It's stylish (I don't think it quite replaces substance with style, though it does come close), fast-paced, and a lot of fun. Oh, and Vin Diesel is (mostly) pretty good in the rôle of Xander, too.
The film's a lot better than I was hoping. Not exactly demanding fare, but then we didn't expect that anyway. One to pick up if we ever see it going cheap - and I'd definitely watch a sequel if one was ever made.
Right, back to Palingenesis. I have this month's review to write this week too - and I should get the next AC done as well. But Haadri first...
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Oooh! Today my edit page says I'm on my 1017th post. Whatever caused the time warp, it seems fixed now...
Found a frame for my Twinpic - not the plain black one I'd originally intended, this is a wide wooden one, pine with a beautiful broad grain, stained brown (with the grain it looks like ripples of milk and plain chocolate - quite apt, I thought...) It's on the wall where I can see it without raising my head - gorgeous...
The flatplan is finished and off to the editor: now waiting to hear her appraisal.
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey was on TV earlier. Kai loved it! I mostly missed Crocodile Hunter - mostly, though unfortunately I managed to catch the bits where the prat insists on poking and prodding and otherwise abusing spiders and snakes. [growl] Respect for nature, hah!
Reign of Fire was interesting, grim and gritty and quite realistic (if you can say that of a fantasy). We rather enjoyed it - though I can see why so many of the comments on IMDb were negative. It's hardly big, colourful, simple-minded blockbuster material, and of course there's that line - "Only one thing worse than dragons. Americans." Planning to watch xXx when Kai goes to bed after Bremner, Bird and Fortune...
Saturday, October 09, 2004
... and it ended up being a twinfic lemon for Lutra. It's posted in a new subdirectory of the main site - the link is at the very bottom of the Twinfic index page.
[puzzled blink] You know, it's not altogether surprising I have trouble with haddock - and numbers. I know I reached my 1008th post here weeks ago, but that's the number that's still showing on my edit page...
Friday, October 08, 2004
This was waiting for me in the post this morning... (and yes, it's a real genuine photograph!) [happy grin] I love this pic.
TV's pretty dire this weekend (quelle surprise!) so we diverted to the video rental shop on the way back from school. xXx (because I want to see Vin Diesel in a non-Riddick rôle), Reign of Fire (just for the hell of it), and Kai chose Monsters Inc. and [shudderwhimper] Steve 'Crikey!' Irwin's Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course. (I've told him he can watch that tomorrow morning while I have a lie-in...)
Flatplan's close to completed: should be OK to email off by Monday at the latest.
And tonight? Toss-up between next AC, next Twinfic, or a new second-sub-plot Pal chapter...
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
[blink] My son told me off...
Hm. Better qualify that. I'm fighting off yet another bug at the moment - timing stinks of course, as we have to have the revised/detailed flatplan to the editor by Monday at the latest and I don't really feel overly creative right now - and in passing said my usual "I don't have time to be ill." (Which is perfectly true, I don't. Far to much to do.) Kai pouted at me and told me he doesn't like it when I say that, it's not fair that I'm too busy to be poorly. [bemused] Kind of cute, really. So I promised him I wouldn't say it in his hearing...
Took him over to pick up wellyboots and trainers at Avon Meads after school: weather's been so abysmal this week the wellies are badly needed. So Ken went to the BRISTAL meeting instead of me, and Kai and I watched the first part of TTT (watched FotR at the weekend, while Ken was on my machine 'netting for someone else). I printed out the map for him (the one in my copy of LotR is too small to be legible) and we plotted the different routes the various groups took. He's fascinated by the whole continuum: it's wonderful to be able to explain where the various elements come from and how they fit today. He thinks he'll read The Hobbit after he's finished his current school library book (grins at Carol; he's reading HHGTTG at the moment!) I remember broadly what happens in Hobbit, but suppose I'd better re-skim it to remind myself of the minutiae, because he's bound to have questions.
Forgot to say: along with RotK dvd we've also ordered the Ultimate Matrix Collection (for me for Yule from the folks: £41.99, 10 discs - Matrix, Matrix Revisited, Matrix: Reloaded, Matrix: Reloaded Revisited, you get the picture...), and Prisoner of Azkeban and Philosopher's Stone (we only have the video of the latter at the moment) for Kai. And the complete Ulysses 31 is now available on dvd! (Will try to get that next year.)
[snuffle] Wonder what I'm up to tonight?
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Meeting went well. BCP site updated, Jenni's site updated, IAVMT updated. Lutra's latest fantastic Dystopia chapter coded/uploaded.
I think that's enough for a Monday...
Monday, October 04, 2004
I've gone off Mondays...
Got to bed at three but couldn't sleep. Finally dropped off around 4.30-5(ish), then up again at 7 to take Kai to school - my choice, had to get into town to throw money at bank and it saves time if I go straight from the school. Pissed down on the way there; soon as Kai went in the rain stopped (too late, I was wet by then...) Bank, shopping, bus, Tesco, more shopping, stagger home with full rucksack plus three bags... And I'm supposed to be going to the BCP AGM tonight too...
But I treated myself to a (cheap) new pair of headphones. Backband ones, useful for me since I have to clip my plait on the top of my head now, otherwise I keep sitting on it/catching it in things, and the old 'phones had to sit too far forward to be comfortable. Not bad sound quality either.
For anyone who's fed up with 419 scams (the 'Nigeria' ones), this site, link posted by Carol on her blog, is a giggle! The Letters Archive had me laughing aloud....
Aaaaaand - play.com finally have the RotK Director's Cut boxed set to order (release date 10th December; allowing for Xmas post, just in time for our anniversary!) 48 minutes extra footage! More Legolas (I hope, anyway)! [happy bounce] Which reminds me... I have a vague memory of a mammoth RingFest being mooted, last time I was over, Carol (since Sue hasn't seen any of them). Do we still want to organise that in the New Year? I'm sure we can cope with 13+ hours of TV (we did for Trigun, after all...) Might be better held at yours, though - your TV and sound system are better and bigger than mine...
Wonder if I can squeeze a nap into the schedule?
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Kai, by the way, just adores the Twins cartoon - watches it nearly every day and knows all the words - loves "Just phase through the door you twit"...
Knackered. Going to go fall over now.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Handful, the next AC chapter, now posted - the first new chapter to use one of my newly created Zone stylesheets. There's something hugely satisfying about replacing a page and a half of old html code with one single line... (while I was at it I recoded the first two sequences of the first Chronicle too.) Not to mention the saving on memory! The nice thing about it is that it's a fairly mindless highlight/paste/save action (though then going through deleting all the <font>/</font> codes at the beginning of paragraphs is a pain in the arse), an almost relaxing thing to do at the end of an evening. At this rate I can have the whole of the WaveWrights site (several hundred pages) recoded in a few weeks, which will make it single-A rated at least.
Friday, October 01, 2004
[deep breath] OK - good and useful phone chat with the editor Wednesday, enthusiastic and keen to make the whole thing a success: won't be any problem working together as far as I can see! The first draft flatplan was accepted, now they need a much more detailed one, with specifics for the illustrations (at least one per page, and they're talking about organising a special photoshoot - no, not of us! - for those) by October 11th. Tight but feasible. (Also murmurings about a possible second book with the same publisher, they like our style, both personal and literary, I think...)
Heh, sorry it all has to be so vague, but I can't give out any specifics until/if we get the contract - and possibly not even then. May have to wait until just before the book's published. But I'll check with the editor: after all, it's free publicity!
...I'm eleven pages into a third Twinfic. [covers ears to drown out howls of ire] Yes I know I'm supposed to be doing two dozen other things. I'm in the irritating position of having a number of chapters partly written and awaiting completion - CCO808 Band pt 2, Double Vision pt 6, a further Jade chapter (and the blog), another Arslan Senki ficlet, and Gremlins Convention part 2, just to mention a handful of them. Then there's the Dystopia threads to tie up - Hoss, Alexei and Trey, Maria (at least Devon's fairly settled now...) - and of course the AC. I daren't even mention Haadri... oops, too late... (there's a partially written short story for the Haadri site outstanding too.)
So I get Twin-napped. Of course I do. Never fails. Lutra gets led astray by shiny sparkly things, with me it's shiny sparkly characters...[sigh]
Of course, if we get the commission everything else is going to have to wait (though I'm still determined to finish the AC by Yule).
I need clones.
Many thanks to everyone for their sympathy and kind wishes regarding Tracy. I know tarantulas aren't really what most people would consider 'proper' pets, but she was a part of the family, pretty and fascinating, and we do miss her even though we didn't have her for very long.