Monday, January 30, 2006

And I Only Took These In December

tower morning
Originally uploaded by Flyingsquid.

On a mostly chilly, somewhat grey, but very changeable day in late December, Trev and I went to see the Chihuly glass sculptures at Kew Gardens. I've finally got the photos all up on flickr. Start with the one above for the full tour.

Vladmaster 3D

On Saturday night, we went to see a performance by Vladmaster . The Viewmaster was one of my favourite toys as a child, and I have to admit, still is. I'd bought the Italo Calvino set last year, and loved them. Nonetheless, I went feeling a little trepidation. A night spent viewing Viewmaster reels in a room full of people doing the same had the potential either to be seriously cool, or the lamest thing ever.

It was seriously cool. The stories are creepy and poignant, the use of the medium is more inventive than I had imagined it could be, and doing it in a room full of people and hearing them laugh, go 'ew!' and change frames along with you makes it even better. If you get a chance to go to one of these performances, do.

The only thing I wonder is, what do Customs think of you, when you come through carrying an entire suitcase full of Viewmasters?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Blog this Conversation

We, especially in Britain, most especially in London, live in a surveillance state.

Last night, I was discussing this with Pat Cadigan (who I mention because she is famous, and therefore all over the net anyway), Al (who I mention because he is convinced no one will be able to find him on the net from just the name 'Al') and several other people. Someone mentioned there's a statistic for the number of CCTV cameras per person in London, and it's very high. And then Pat's husband said (not an exact quote) "yes, but it's not the cameras we need to worry about. I'll bet you at least five people at this table are blogging this conversation. Or at least some aspect of the evening."

And you know, he was right.

And I couldn't find an exact statistic for London, but Britain as a whole has apparently one camera for every 14 people.

Monday, January 23, 2006

This Week I Have Been Mostly Editing

Done this week: Synopsis (the one I'll now work from, not the one I'll send out) for novel A. Working on the missing middle scenes for novel B. One short story ready to send out.

Also, I'm still vacuuming pine needles out of the carpet. They seem to have migrated all over the flat now.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Nose In A Book

Mine, in fact. The first new MS of the year, or the first few chapters thereof. I had hoped to get roughly twice as much done on it this past week, but it does now have most of a plot, and some sub-plots, and the secondary characters are sorting themselves out and beginning to insist on larger parts.

I'm also revising two other novel drafts, and have a newly-revised short story all ready to send out as soon as I get around to buying some envelopes.

I hope I can keep this level of industry up all year. It's all the more amazing for being January, a month I usually spend attempting to hibernate...

Friday, January 06, 2006

The D Word

Yesterday, my resolve finally broke, and I went shopping in the sales. At some point in the wee hours of the morning, when I couldn't sleep, I suddenly remembered having seen a blue velvet jacket while out doing my Christmas shopping, and thinking to myself at the time 'must remember to see if that's cheaper in the sales.' After that, I had even more trouble getting back to sleep.

So I went looking for it. And it was on sale, but the only one left was a size too small. I could get into it, but it was just that bit too tight across the shoulders, and it was also not as flattering as I had hoped. But never mind, for I found several other things, all of them irresistible and cheap. And they're also things I needed more, for the reason I did not buy the blue velvet jacket earlier was that I had just bought, as a present from my mother, the Perfect Jacket, which is black and piratey-looking and very flattering indeed. So now I own several new tops, one of which is going to be the perfect thing to wear underneath the Perfect Jacket.

There's only one problem. The Perfect Top also came only in one size too small. (Or in my size in cream. I don't do cream, and it's stretch lace, so no chance of dyeing it.) So I did something I haven't done since I was a teenager, and thought 'yes, but it will fit if I lose a bit of weight.' And not only will it fit, but so will my favourite skirt that didn't fit last summer due to the dress-size or so I gained last winter.

There go years of successfully avoiding the New Year's Resolution to Diet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Small Moment Of Thankfulness

We didn't go visit my family for the holidays this year. We went last year, we'll go next year, we skip the alternate years. As is usual when we don't go, I spent Christmas day feeling homesick, especially after the family phone calls, and Boxing Day feeling only a little less so.

The small moment of thankfulness came yesterday afternoon, when I realised that if we'd gone, we would, at that very moment, be in a plane somewhere over Canada. Or perhaps, even worse, still waiting in an airport.

Today, actually, I'm feeling even more thankful, at being spared the jet-lag.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Hm. It's that time of year again. New Year's Eve, despite the fireworks, always depresses me - I find it more of a time for guilt, for thinking of all the things I ought to have gotten done, but didn't, over the past year. (I should point out that this feeling happens even when I've had a very productive year. Maybe some year I'll be so productive that I'll be happy on December 31st, but it hasn't happened yet.)

New Year's Day, I like. Today is a day for planning, for grandiose ideas, for telling myself this is the year I will get enough done. So this year, I will:

1. Post more often to my blog *
2. Get more exercise
3. Watch less TV **
4. Actually revise and send out some of the dozen or so short stories I've written over the past year, had friends critique, and left in the drawer untouched ***

*(does anyone who blogs not do this one?)

**(I should point out that 2 & 3 ought to be easy, given how little of the first and how much of the second, I spend my time on.)

***(This is the one which was biting me hardest last night. I have no real excuse for not having gotten around to it months ago.)