Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: 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.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Sunday, September 30, 2012
A lovely long lie-in, followed by a fairly leisurely shop (easier to go with it than try to battle the rampaging hordes of mutoid Sunday shoppers....). fish finger sammijs for brunch, big pig for dinner then Doctor Who. The angels remain as scary as ever. Quite a pleasant day on the whole.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Nineteenth part of New World - Home Comforts 1 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
In other news... gah it's been a day...
Actually it's been a very good day, if a long one that's left me with an aching back and hand, and I've accomplished everything I set out to do - two washes (incl bedding) since the weather was so good, stripping/blanching/freezing what little sweetcorn survived (it's only a medium sized bagful but it's good to have a little at least), racked and bottled wine, lifted the carrots (four. Four effing carrots. That's the sum total of our carrot crop this year thanks to the effing weather...) so Kai could hoe, dusted upstairs and down, emptied bins, cleaned bathroom floor, vacuumed right through the house, and finished Poppy 6.19 (as well as continuing with the role play). K&K went to Bath for the afternoon, so I thought I'd take advantage of the time to try to get organised. And do some housework, which was badly needed. Maybe I can have some time off tomorrow...
Moonrise tonight was so pretty. Ken tried to take photos but we don't have the right equipment. But anyway, this gives the general impression.
Tf: Prime was... ack, so good... but Smokescreen has now gone past cute and is fast approaching irritating.
And lastly, here's another SS/Alexis fanvid - another great piece of music (much softer than yesterday's, this one). Yes, they both have a bit of the same content, for obvious reasons. Can't be helped.
There are a lot of other such fanvids out there but most of them are songs I'm not that keen on and/or the video quality is pretty poor, so this is the last one I'll post (unless I find something really good.)
Back to tumblr. A little later I shall continue persevering with Transformers: Energon (decided I'd try to watch the whole of the Unicron Trilogy). It's hard going though. That truly obnoxious brat Kicker has a girlfriend who looks like a creepy little porcelain doll...
Friday, September 28, 2012
Busier than my usual Friday. Sundays are usually the busiest day of the week for me, so I've been trying to take Fridays as easy as possible over the last month or so so I at least get something resembling a weekend off. Today started off with a slow page of nextPoppy written while skyping with Lutra - then the next lot of client stuff arrived... I was still working on it at gone six this evening. Back's aching from sitting too long.
Eh well. It helps pay the bills. And since the TV took an hour to boot up this morning we absolutely are going to have to replace it asap before it dies completely.
You probably remember that of all the versions of Starscream, Armada is probably my favourite. And you'll also know that I have a fondness for fanvids. This is a real favourite - I love the music (even if you're not interested in the subject matter give the audio track a listen, it's great. Fingers crossed it doesn't keep stalling...) and as for the story...
At one point (well, two really) Starscream defects to the Autobots. The girl is Alexis. She was the first human to try to befriend Starscream. And yes, she and Starscream could have had one of the great romances of all time IF
Oh, yes, and the green crystal is one he brought back from Mars that she had made into a pendant. It cracks in two at the moment of his termination...
Back to Poppy. And tumblr role-play.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
This is the Decepticon warship the Nemesis.
And THIS is the UK designed and built electric sportscar the Nemesis.
I WANT ONE!!!!
Later edit: Well, that's (Poppy Tales) Prowl's alt form sorted!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Not a marrow...
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Eighteenth part of New World - Alarms and Excursions - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Monday, September 24, 2012
An entire day of client stuff!
Next Poppy chapter a page and half in and I had a sudden brainwave as to how to resolve a plit popint I had written my way into a corner with. (Not being a fan of the 'with one bound he was free' deus ex machina school of storytelling...) So shall be working on that tonight.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
It's cold! That horrible damp cold of the start of Autumn. We've had to put the heating on. And I had to pull the lion over me while we watched Dr Who (which was fun, but felt horribly rushed...)
Saturday, September 22, 2012
guh... didn't sleep very well and brain has gone. Just.. gone. Working on autopilot...
Got the rest of the client stuff done though.
We appear to have something trying to move in...
(That's what's left of Kai's old log scramble.) Whatever it is - fox, perhaps? badger? - has burrowed out the wood and started digging into the ground. Not sure whether to leave it or to investigate further... (Can't get any closer: there's rotten wood under the grass and the chippings and I don't want to crush anything/hurt myself.)
Oh, and the Tf: P ep - wonderful. Gotta love Smokescreen...
Friday, September 21, 2012
One of those days today, difficult to get started, everything was a trial to do, and nothing got finished. [grump] Better tomorrow, I trust.
Labels: nowt really
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Do you think I can find an online pic of G1 Starscream and Megatron standing together so you can see the height difference? Can I hell...
[grump] Megatron is a bit taller than Starscream, but not all that much. Which is why Megatron's transformation into a gun that Starscream then uses as a weapon is so snigger-worthy to Lutra and I (and, really, anyone else who visualises it. Not to mention why the hell would Megatron entrust himself in his vulnerable alt mode to his mortal enemy? As Lutra said, "this wasn't very well thought out...")
So - Megatron transforms into a Walther P38 (the Cybertronian version, not the terrestrial one, clearly), in the process reducing himself from a form bigger than Starscream to this ->
Here's a close-up. Nice design, but a true wtf moment...
Agent back from holiday - back to client stuff. NextPoppy coming slowly.
Oh, and I found a cheap copy of The Man From Earth, so we now have it.
Later edit: Remember I said the RiD version of Starscream - Dark Scream -'s alt form is a squirrel? There is a toy available on ebay. It's too pricey right now. I think I may have to get one eventually though, just to be perverse. And because I'm finding the thought of SS as a giant flying squirrel funnier and funnier...
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Pretties for a sunny Autumnal morning...
Cheerful chilli peppers.
And bathroom phalaenopsis.
APAG AGM this evening - and I have another meeting to go to tomorrow night, oh joy...
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
[g] I found one of these on ebay going for a song, as the ubiquitous 'they' do say, so once he arrives my Unicron Trilogy Starscream collection is complete.
And when HoS SS arrives, I do believe I'll have a representation of every Starscream from every continuity. Well, except Shattered Glass but I'm pretty much resigned (though not happy) to never getting one of those. And I'm not counting the abomination Dark Scream from RiD (he transforms into a Japanese giant flying squirrel. Come on!!) or the Kre-o versions (Lego? Really??) I'm not interested in tracking down all the different variations with in the continuities either - that can just get silly. But overall that's not bad going!
You probably remember that I need to use an ergonomic keyboard so as to put as little strain on my hands as possible. Such keyboards are not that common or easy to find: Micro$oft make the one we usually go for, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (wired of course. We don't use wireless if we can possibly avoid it). They cost around £50: not exactly cheap, so I do my best to look after it.
But I have noticed, with the last two I've had, that the characters rub off more and more speedily. This isn't such a problem if you're an adept touch-typer - but I'm not. I'm going to uncharitably assume, since it's Micro$oft, that this is to force the user to buy replacements more often (let's face it, it wouldn't be that hard to make the keys partially transparent with the character embedded in the middle so it couldn't rub off).
Anyway. This is what I've been struggling with for the last six months:
Lutra has found my typos on Skype quite amusing - 'plit popints' anyone? (Should read 'plot points') - but I've been getting more and more irritated with it. I've tried painting the characters on in the past but no matter what I tried they rubbed off again very quickly. So Lutra suggested painting them on and then covering them with sticky-backed plastic (in the best Blue Peter fashion!)
So yesterday I bought some Tippex at the Post Office, and this morning cleaned the keyboard and had a go...
Heh. The Tippex is horribly thick and gunky and dries unbelievably quickly - but I'd started, so I finished...
Yeah, I know, looks like a four-year old did it. But I'm a writer, not an artist (Jim)! Main thing is I can make out where the keys are now, and the keyboard will last a little longer (I do have a spare but given the finances the longer I can keep 'em going the better).
Hm... Perhaps I can say it was inspired by Picasso...?
Monday, September 17, 2012
Busy Monday. Got a lot done though, and should be able to spend tomorrow on my own writing.
And I'm sure there was something more I meant to say but it's gone...
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Usual Sunday. Shopping, generally getting organised for the week, playing with snake, making dinner, getting mouse out of freezer to defrost for snake's meal tomorrow... All fairly mundane stuff.
I asked Lutra if I should worry about finding this unbearably cute, and oddly apposite for Seekers.
She said yes I should... [g]
(The three at the back are the Rainmakers. The green one is Acid Storm, the yellow one Sunstorm, and the blue one doesn't have a name that I've been able to find. So Kai and I have decided he shall be called Drizzle.)
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Seventeenth part of New World - Onwards and Upwards - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
In other news... I've brought the pepper plants in from the greenhouse in advance of the colder weather: they have buds and flowers and I might be able to persuade a few more peppers out of them before the winter really gets going.
This week's Tf: P - whoa!! dark... Extremely satisfying though. And the newbie - Smokescreen - is so damned cute!
[sigh] And now I have to not read any of my usual blogs/tumblr/deviantArt until after I've watched this week's ep of Tf: P on Youtube. I narrowly avoided reading a spoiler half an hour ago! And spoilers DO NOT WANT this week. Too scary stuff...
Poppy now three pages in.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Starscreams to date. No background: I'll be doing another when HoS SS arrives, and will worry about the background then.
This pic is a link to a much larger (2000 px width) version, with, obviously, much more detail!
(Lutra, did we decide what a bunch of Starscreams was going to be called?)
... better get some work done now...
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
And today went a bit pear-shaped, as they say. Hopefully tomorrow will be better...
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
It's been a while since I drew anything... I'm umming and ahhing about getting a second, role-play account over at tumblr and playing Armada Starscream. Some of the others there are immense fun, especially High Gloss Finish (Knock Out), Ask ST-3V3, and Ask Starscream and Knock Out (not safe for work, this last one, and avoid if you don't like slash). Anyway - would need a pic for the background so thought I'd give it a go. Needs more work but it's not too bad.
And Cybertron Starscream arrived!
The usual high standard of design and manufacture - and one thing I like about the Unicron Trilogy figures is their sturdiness. They are solidly built and very tactile, unlike the Prime figures which, while beautiful, are too delicate to handle with any lack of care.
I should make a start on next Poppy...
Monday, September 10, 2012
Usual busy Monday, quite a bit of client stuff.
Gave Feather her first meal. Fascinating to watch. Held mouse in the long tweezers provided and wriggled it around just above the substrate: she fixed on it, crept forwards very slowly then lunged, grabbing it in the middle of its body then wrapping around it. I kept tugging it (to simulate it wriggling) until she pulled it away.
Then she bent it in half and swallowed it.
Wasn't expecting that - I thought she'd fineagle it around until she could swallow it head first. At one point all four of its paws and its tail were hanging out of her mouth...
Happier snake now. I'll give her another mouse on Friday, then next week see about a rat.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
So off we went to Almondsbury Garden Centre to buy baby rats and chicks for Feather...
There's only a bus every two hours on a Sunday, so we had to do a bit of hanging around. However, got good advice from the fish and reptile experts and came back with two packs of rat weaners and one of medium mice (which are slightly smaller than the rats and which I'm going to start her off on, tomorrow). They didn't have any chicks - will ring ahead next time and make sure they have some in stock.
So here she is.
Such a pretty snake...
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Heh. Entire day spent going backwards and forwards between the dog show at the park (now have a couple of hundred photos to pick through to put on the website) and home. Knackered, legs are killing me (from standing in the sun and walking) and I have another busy day tomorrow.
But at least the Dr Who ep was highly enjoyable, for once. And in a moment I shall watch this week's Tf: P episode (before making a start on the photos...)
I also bought another Starscream for the collection cheap from ebay - Cybertron Starscream, a somewhat obscure one, so obscure in fact the only online pic I can find is the other ebay one here. Not as pretty as Armada SS but for completeness' sake... Transformers: Armada is the first part of the Unicron Trilogy: Transformers: Energon is part two and Transformers: Cybertron is the third and final part. And yes, there is an Energon SS, so I suppose I'll have to keep an eye out for him too. I am trying to watch it (Energon, that is) - it's all up on Youtube - but I got as far as half way through ep two and almost gave up. The main human character is so bloody obnoxious you just want to slap him hard, repeatedly, and make him shut up.
Sixteenth part of New World - Healing - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Friday, September 07, 2012
Quite a quiet day, all told. Two pages of next Poppy written - hoping to finish it tonight.
Oh yes - and I found this. The place is on the way to Wells. Fingers crossed for a lottery win!
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Into town to Wild Oats and Better Foods to stock up on organic gravy powder (use for thickening sauces) and pasta (special offers on at the moment!). Carried too much back but at least the fridge and cupboard are looking fuller.
Day off tomorrow - planning to work on next Poppy. I have a manic weekend ahead - Saturday is the APAG dog show (I seem to have been volunteered to take the photos this year) then Sunday it's the bus out to Almondsbury (nice run but there's only one every two hours, so the timing has to be good) to pick up frozen baby rats and chicks and some deep root killer.
It was supposed to be a pumpkin...
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Taking a break after all that dancing...
She's making herself at home. Haven't handled her yet but did a little tidying up in the vivarium - oiking out shed skin and shifting the bedding around to make it more comfortable in the hide - to get her used to me a little. She didn't mind, even when the lock dropped into the vivarium very close to her (could do with a new one, the plastic buffer is broken and I don't want to damage the glass) and I had to clip it back into place. Will try lifting her out tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Fifteenth part of New World - Hurt - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Later edit (9 pm):
What a day and 'alf it's been. First Animated Starscream arrived...
He's... magnificent. And large. [GLOMPS Onna, who forwarded him from the States for me as the seller only ships internally!]
And it was physio appointment, and he's very pleased. I have to carry on doing what I've been doing, increasing the exercises to a maximum of 12 per session and lessening wearing the splint when I'm not doing anything strenuous. If I don't need to see him within the next three months he'll sign me off and I'll be back with the doctor. He believes that, with the way things are improving, I should be approaching what will be normal for me from now on (which still means nowhere near as strong as the hand was originally, but I've lived with that for long enough, a little more caution won't cause any problem) at the end of that three months. So, still a way and some time to go, but things are definitely improving.
And the snake arrived!
You can just make her out towards the back. The vivarium fits like it was made for the space. (Later edit: she's the small dark thing, not the large pale thing, that's the reflection of the arm of the sofa...)
I haven't handled her yet - she was disturbed and a little stressed from being in the car from Severn Beach to Clifton, then in a friend's flat all day, then again in the car from Clifton to Brislington and into somewhere strange, so I'm letting her settle for at least 24 hours. She's very pretty, all shades of brown, and has a somewhat odd history. Apparently she was found roaming outside in Exeter, my birthplace, by a rather startled member of the public; taken in and a call put out for her owner that had no results; then fostered by Ken's workmate; and now she's home with us. I suppose that makes her a thrice-rescued snake.
Anyway - her name is now Feather (because she's a boa, you see), suggested by Vivienne Grainger (her nick, not her real name), my chief reviewer on FFNet and a very fine writer indeed.
Ken says he'll just call her Snake...
VERY tired now. Hoping for an early night.
Monday, September 03, 2012
Is... is that... a proposal?
Productive day. Client stuff, and I'm now four pages into next Poppy and have plenty more to say.
Rock Jocks. This is a must see!
Sunday, September 02, 2012
"Enjoying Starscream's interpretive dance..." (Lutra, on Skype yesterday...)
(Yes, he does have interchangeable hands - two for the left and three for the right, one of which is shaped to hold Megatron in his gun alt form. One of these days I'll pose him holding it, and you can see why Lutra and I find it snigger-worthy...)
Swans photos now posted here. Quite large images so please allow them time to load.
And the indoor hibiscus is doing very nicely, ta.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
For Kai's last Saturday of the hols and because it was nice weather, we bused to Wells and went swan hunting...
And we found 20 of them. I've taken photos of them all and resized/saved/named ready to go onto a page, but I'm knackered after all the walking so it will have to wait until tomorrow. (Annoyingly we missed six that we saw as the bus was leaving to return to Bristol. They'd have been easy to get to as well if I'd known they were there...)
So a little Poppy tonight if I can summon the energy, and a lie in tomorrow I think (it's supposed to rain all day). In the meantime, this is the bathroom phalaenopsis. It seems to like it on the windowsill.