So now I'm working on the sequel. And I need to do some location scouting. Specifically, I'm looking to make a trip up to Yorkshire - little place called Malham Cove, not far from Skipton. It's a gorgeous place (so I'm told) and all I'm planning is having a nice walk round, maybe take some pictures, do some sketching, the like.
Only, I don't fancy making the trip up on my own, especially since I don't have a car, so navigating the public transport might be... shall we say interesting? And not something I'd be comfortable doing solo.
So, if anyone happens to have a car, or a rail-card and a good sense of direction, a sense of adventure, and some free time any point between the 23rd and the 27th this month, and fancies a quick jaunt up North, could you let me know?
I can pay petrol money, and if we're coming from a long distance, my Gran lives fairly close by and would almost certainly be happy to put us up for the night if a stop-over is required, so no money is required - just time and a willingness to put up with me :)
You can grow up, fall in love, lose yourself, find yourself again, break a cycle, make a decision or slay some demons.
I think, this last week, I've done a few of those. I've also turned 25 and finished writing a novel. Which, co-incidentally, takes place over the course of one week in September, and completely changes the protagonist's life.
When I say "finished" - I realise I'll probably have to go back and re-draft a few more bits a few more times, but this draft is the first one I can honestly say feels "complete." The plot is there, the structure is there and unlikely to undergo any substantial changes, the characters feel properly developed, and events are hooking together and linking back to make a cohesive whole.
I'm feeling fairly positive.
The bigger question is "what now"?
Well, First thing is I'm entering it in the Mslexia novel competition. Have done, I should say.
Then I'm going to start working out all the business shit, like how to write a synopsis and cover letter and all that jazz.
Then, if I don't hear anything from Mslexia, I'm going to start sending out to agents and publishers.
I'm also going to take five minutes to wibble in a corner, because this shit just got real.
If anyone actually knows any agents or publishers, especially those interested in the field of Speculative Fiction (SF/Fantasy), then I would be most interested to hear from them...
Goodbye to You - Michelle Branch
Life For Rent - Dido
You're Lovely to Me - Lucky Jim
Isobel - Dido
Linger - The Cranberries
Here With Me - Dido
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Ocean Drive - Lighthouse Family
Santa Monica - Savage Garden
Life is a Flower - Ace of Base
Rotterdam (or anywhere) - Beautiful South
Lucy - Divine Comedy
I Like - Divine Comedy
The Blue Cafe - Chris Rea
Ain't No Sunshine - Lighthouse Family
Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden
Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
*Tonight's the Kind of Night - Noah and the Whale
Walking in Memphis - Ok, ok, it's the Cher version....
You Took the Words Right Out Of My Mouth - Meatloaf
There Will Never Be Another Tonight - Bryan Adams
Work in progress, but yeah... Eclectic much? XD
Firstly, Y'know the diesel punk LARP Doug and I have been floating ideas for for a while now? It now has its own blog/LJ community! Please come along, see what you think, and offer opinions if you have any you want to share. There's not a lot up at the moment, but setting documents and other fun stuff will be turning up sooner or later, as will any news as to where we are in the planning stages of making this a reality.
It can be found here...
Secondly - and this one is mostly for Oxfnordites - I'm considering running a tabletop.
Setting: OWOD Mage
Concept: Umbral space pirates. Vaguely Atom punk, vaguely Fireflyesque, probably taking the piss out of Trek somewhat.
Characters: Tradition Mages - no restrictions, but run anything really off-the-wall past me first.
Tone: Lighthearted, pulpy adventure fun.
Place: Mine and Doug's as-yet-unnamed house
Who would be interested? And when can you make?
However, I've just heard that two of the buyers we had lined up for other pups in the litter have fallen through, and we have two adorable little bundles of black and white fluff who still need homes to go to.
So if you, or anyone you know, might be interested in a pedigree sheepdog puppy, likely to be highly intelligent, of very good temperament and suitable either as a working dog or as a pet, please, please, please let me know.
Here's one that's going around at the mo; what do y'all really think of me?
That was remarkably awesome - even if I can't walk much today...
• The costume standards and the overall look of the event was fabulous. The levels of immersion in places like the arena were pretty good as well, partially because of said awesome costume, and the lack of needing to call damage.
• The absolute lack of faff. No long lines for character packs or ref questions – even the philosophy was perpetrated remarkably smoothly and quickly. Huzzah to all the refs/crew/god persons!
• The Aynukmelita! Absolutely awesome, all of you, but special mention to my fellow Physicians, and Zabi, bringer of good things.
• Speaking of which – the watermelon of hydration, baklava, shisha, Fangria/Sungria and other yummy things that were provided. It’s great being a Carthaginian!
• Even if everyone hates you. Being stretched so thinly, and suffering the Death of 1000 Cuts from the combined forces of Rome and Egypt, whilst IC was hell and bastardry, OOC meant we had plenty to do, and really upped the ante for the arena game, and the strategising.
• Even if the gods hate you – being their bitch does create a whole lot of plot.
• Hence the moment on the Quest of Epic Fail / the Quest of We’re Definitely Dead Now – thank you Eshmun... when I was mentally going through what I would have to say if we got horribly captured, and how I could weasel my way out of it...
• The moment after said quest, when I had a strop after losing a patient and got given a good talking to from about half of Carthage telling me to buck up.
• Being a physician is awesome. I really love the alternative ways of fixing people, rather than stitching them up. My alchemy set was great fun to play with!
• And I was a jammy, jammy git with bead draws. After treating most of Carthage (many of them multiple times!) only getting 2 red beads, and no black. I think I shall have to make it my mission to become known as the best healer in Carthage.
• The perpetration of Philosophy was actually great fun – I love the mixing of potions! Plus the moment when a ref pointed out that the marking on the back of some of my quint tokens actually meant that one was worth 5... So... much... quint! *evil laugh*
• Friday night’s blood-bath... and no I don’t mean in the arena, I mean being requested to deliver the Lioness’ baby. Also the desperate attempt to remain calm and not panic when informed that said child was unlikely to be quite normal...
• The cthulu-child phys-rep was amazing and awesome though!
• Aggressively bowing to the Egyptians
• Semi-naked Greek/Carthaginian wrestlers. And being requested to stop for the moment, please, because the Pharaoh’s appearing immediately behind you and it wouldn’t be appropriate...
• The Shah who wished to do 1000 impossible things – that is such an awesome concept, and I hope dbsurfeit is having as much fun as he looks like he is!
• The massive battle between Greece and Persia over Babylon on the Sunday. That. Was. Epic!
• Overall, the cohesion of the event. It felt like a big game with 5 teams, and everyone was involved and doing things, and everyone working towards this one goal – that of bringing about their team’s victory. It was a really different feel to any other larp I’ve played, and that was great.
Down with Rome!
• The Rain and mud. Fuck you, Dagon, that stuff’s unpleasant.
• And then the Sun. Baal, you can die in a fire too.
(Come to Atlantis, they said, Lovely weather, they said...)
• Sunburn – on my face, which I should have been more careful about, and my scalp, which I don’t think there was much I could have done about – except for getting my hands on a headscarf sooner.
• Accidentally standing on a still-glowing cigarette end in bare feet... Though on the plus side, I did get an ice-pack from first aid, which was wonderful.
• Not having the full philosopher’s brief – and indeed not knowing it even existed before the Saturday night – which I assume must be due to late booking.
I am creating a new filter!
This will be for arty and crafty kind of things - dress-making projects, LARP kit, Pwnies*, things of that nature.
I will not be including any of my writings on it, but anything else creative is fair game.
If you would like to be included, just drop me a comment :D
*customised My Little Ponies
"The AHRC was told that research into the "big society" was non-negotiable if it wished to maintain its funding at £100m a year."
WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY IS THIS PIECE OF EXCREMENT??!!?
HOW THE FUCK HAVE THEY BEEN ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS??
Ok, let's take the caps-lock off for a minute, and look at this a little more sanely.
Academics are said to be furious (YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT THEY'RE FURIOUS - THEY HAVE BLOODY GOOD REASON TO BE!!) over the fact that the AHRC funding - which any PhD student will tell you is like gold-dust made from hen's teeth at the best of times - is now only contingent on academics researching what the government wants - ie this Big Society BULLSHIT to try and give it some sense of legitimacy. THAT'S FUCKING BLACKMAIL!!
Seriously, Camoron (BASTARD, FUCKING BASTARD) and his cronies have "clarified" - yes, the Guardian are using scare-quotes here - a major piece of principle (The Haldane Principle) which says that they aren't allowed to dictate what research money is spent on. And by "clarified" we mean "trashed".
In the words of one Cambridge Academic (professor Peter Mandler):
"The government says they have rewritten the Haldane principle but they have junked it, basically. They say it is now their right to set the priorities for how this funding [is] distributed. They have got the AHRC over a barrel and basically told these guys that they cannot have their money unless they incorporate [these] research priorities. Willetts was negotiating nominally, but the word is that it has come down from the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, Vince Cable. Almost everyone who hears the story is upset about it."
And in the words of another (A principal at an Oxford college, who did not want to be named) :
"With breathtaking speed, a slogan for one political party has become translated into a central intellectual agenda for the academy."
I just... I'm so angry I can't even speak coherently.
This is not, as one individual who is not going to be named, has said "the government's money" - if it were, I would have less of a problem with this. I would be happy to see David arsewipebastardshitforbrains Thatcher Camoron digging into his own overly-deep pockets and providing funding for whatever research he likes, thus keeping people in much needed employment, but that's never going to happen. This is taxpayer's money he's wielding like the sword of Damocles. And how DARE he. He - and this government, quite frankly - is wreaking havoc upon our society, with no fucking mandate to do so. How long before he starts attacking democracy itself, so he can stay in power? It would be a supreme irony to have helped out in Libya, all the while not noticing our own little home-grown fascist bastard of a leader.
And I'm actually rather impressed so far. I'm only 2 episodes in, but what I've seen is encouraging. It's very feminist in some senses - at least in the sense that it portrays just how subtly (and not-so-subtly) the odds are stacked against women in the legal profession (just as they are in all professions), and the kind of rough deals they get lumbered with. It's a drama series, so they don't get everything right, because they're following a story*, but so far they've managed to deal sympathetically and sensitively with issues of sexism, abortion and rape. Not perfectly, you understand, but issues were brought up, and handled without the usual cack-handedness. One or two statements, I still feel, should not have gone un-challenged or uncritically appraised, and there were a few moments when I thought "oh shit, they're going to drop the ball on this" - but the ball turned out to be a bombshell, and it worked.
Personally, I think that some anvils need dropping, and they didn't quite do that, but all in all, it's worth a look, and I may well buy a copy of the DvD for my best mate (who happens to be a barrister) for her birthday...
Oh, and it's got Maxine Peak and Rupert Penry-Jones in it - always plus points :)
*example - one of the trials in the first episode should have been liable for a miss-trial or similar because the barrister brought up the defendant's previous... oops...
( Cut to avoid spoiling your day )
The music industry's hard enough to crack into for women as it is, but when you have to put up with that kind of hostility? I'm surprised any of us bother.
My husband vevaphonics is forcing me - forcing me -to do the 200-situps challenge. I am attempting to skiive off as much of this as humanly possible.
I cannot do a single press up, and have no desire to be able to do so.
My knee is borked and I don't even do my physio exercises to sort it out.
I am not on a diet. I fail diets forever. I love chocolate, and have no intention of quitting. I refuse to drink diet coke, eat diet mayonaise, or anything reduced fat, low fat or "lite". And we eat too many takeaways, and rich food but man are they yummy.**
The house is a mess, and I don't clean or hoover as often as I should.***
I made no New Years Resolutions this year, and I don't feel guilty about that in the slightest.****
I refuse to be "like an adult" - I like my life, and if I die young, at least I die happy. And probably fat.
I don't know how vevaphonics puts up with me...
* When we move, we might get a Puppy and eventually fix this problem.
** Ok, we need to cut down on the takeaways. But at least we do get plenty of veg, and quite decent food, even if the portions are a bit big. We're not bad when it comes to cooking!
*** Though, actually, I am planning to do some spring cleaning... whether or not this actually happens... well, we'll see.
**** Except for giving up the cigarettes. Again.
DISCLAIMER: I have no problem with anyone who is trying to be Like An Adult. This is not at all a comment on them - I think it's a great thing, and I wish them the best. I'm just not up to the task myself right now, and I'm sick and tired of feeling guilty for failing at it.
Ok, the point of the blog is to chart my year in terms of the books I'm reading (hence Ma Vie en Livres). I'm keeping a record of every single book I read this year, and giving a short review of each one.
I'm probably mad, but if you want to pop across and review my reviews, or see what I've got my nose in today (Wolf Hall - though I'm only a few chapters in, so no review yet) or argue about my taste in literature, or just support me, the blog is here.
Either that or the internet really does give stupid people a licence to air their misfortune to a wider audience.
Earlier in the year, on my Serious Blog, I expressed my annoyance at Depression Facebook Statuses that did nothing, and were fucking disengenuous to boot.
Then later I got pointed in the direction of this article, by the wonderful theviciouspixie , and recognised the similairites. Full disclosure here - I particpated in the handbag one; mostly because I can't resist a good double entendre, and though I'd like to pretend to be the epitome of what it means to be a feminist in this day and age, even I fuck it up on occasion and engage keyboard before brain. *headdesk* mea culpa.
Then, we get onto Movember. And actually... well, this one seems quite well thought out. The concept of Sponsorship has reared it's head, and the idea of actually doing something fun that also benefits others.
And then finally we get this.
Dear sweet Jesus... please tell me this is Satire. Please tell me that this is the same vein as the F-word article... please tell me that this is taking the piss out of the notion that the only valid contribution women can make to charity is via their breasts or vaginas, and not espousing that notion in the first place...
I mean, obviously it is satire. Obviously. But I still want to get a big rubber stamp out and slam it down over the video just so there's no doubt whatsoever. Because the world is full of morons, and people like me who occasionally engage keyboard before brain, and Dear God do I *not* want people to take this seriously...
Oh, and those ones about people being eaten by dragons, or killed on the Death Star? Funny the first time dudes. Getting very old now.
Today is Remembrance Day.
I have qualms with calling it “Poppy Day” or even sometimes “Armistice Day”, because I’ve always felt that was missing the point.
This is the day we Remember, and as fewer and fewer of us are left who actually do remember from personal experience, it is becoming more and more important that the torch is passed on to those generations born after 1945.
This isn’t a day of tribute. We, in this country, do owe a debt of gratitude to those soldiers who fought and died to keep us British and free of foreign rule, but we also owe the same debt to almost everyone of that generation. The contribution of non-combatants; those ambulance drivers, medics, code-breakers, munitions factory workers, Land Girls, and everyone who kept the country running while the soldiers were away; cannot be discounted. Yet we have a day to remember those who died... and a lot of people have forgotten why we do that. Not because they deserve more thanks than those who survived, but because it is important to remember the toll that warfare takes. It is important to remember how high is the price that can be valued in human lives.
The best way we can pay tribute to those men and women who have lost their lives to conflict is to make sure that no-one ever has to pay that price again. And for us to be able to do that, we need to remember the horror, not the glory of warfare. Because it’s all too easy to see the ritual, and the Last Post in the same light as all the other ceremonies and rituals we have in this country – something in the nature of a school assembly that must be endured before we get a half-day holiday.
This year, back in September, I went to Europe, and while I was in Poland, I spent a day at Osweçim – the little town that we know by its German name: Auschwitz. The experience was a harrowing one, but one I am glad that I had. You hear about it in history lessons, but hearing about it, and actually seeing the gas-chambers, the rows upon rows of huts and places where huts once were at Birkenhau, the tiny cramped cells in the prison block where people were made to stand five at a time without light and barely any air, the scaffold and the firing wall, the piles of personal effects still kept in the museum, the piles of clothing and human hair, it is a very different experience. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like before liberation, and even attempting is painful.
Poland is a beautiful place. The countryside in September is almost like Britain. You can walk around the little gravel streets between the red-brick huts, down the rows of trees and grass, and for a moment think that this is just another Autumn day. And then you remember. You are standing in the place where, literally, millions of people were murdered. Not one by one, but en mass. This was a cold, clinical, destruction line; a factory for death. It is chilling to think that such atrocities happened in a place that so looks like my home country. The thought that struck me most was; if it could happen here, it could happen anywhere. And that is why we cannot become complacent. We cannot think that it can’t happen, wouldn’t happen here, not here, because it did. It happened in a place just like home – which was home to some – and we cannot forget that, or else it will happen again.
I have heard that the experience of seeing the battlefields in Belgium is a similar experience, and I hope one day to see those as well. Because it is important that we understand, and more importantly, that we Remember.
( Details )
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)
Now, hang on a second...
Ranger/Cleric? ... Is that not just a Druid?
I mean, I'm even the requisite alignment! (apparently)
Or did imaginary me decide to shoot herself in the foot and go for Unnecessarily Complicated, because she was drunk/on drugs/looking for a challenge?
And looking at the breakdown... I very nearly got "Bard" in that combo, and I might as easily have worked out Neutral Good (which is what I thought I'd get, tbh.)
I would totally not survive well in D&Dverse...
( Breakdown )
I am passing the time by thinking up ways to not-be-in Liverpool. So far :
I've visited Manchester to see how my Sis is settling in at uni,
I'm off to Coventry tomorrow - anyone who's in the area who'd like to see me, please give me a poke, because that could be made of awesome :)
I've utterly failed to organise a raiding party to pillage Northumberland (this will be done in the future though!)
And I'm at least trying to get out of my own headspace by doing various creative stuff, such as making costume for M&M / DuD / etc, failing to write, and reviewing stuff for the lovely deboires .
Also, it's a palindromic date today!
And of course, you know, people born today are more likely to be great leaders or psychopaths... or Superheroes!
If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?
(Answers on a comment-shaped postcard please)
*This is a triumph. I'm making a note here: Huge Success!.... **
**You got that reference? You utter geek :p***
***Though not quite as geeky as if you spotted the other CG reference in this post...