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Tea

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I love tea.  Wonderful stuff. Nectar of the gods blah blah.

It is particularly wonderful stuff when one is putting the finishing touches on a pre-thesis report that one has slaved over all month. It is a beautiful pre-thesis report.  Look at the graphs! See them shine!

And then the tea abruptly stops being wonderful stuff and the beautiful pre-thesis report stops being a beautiful pre-thesis report and vanishes in a soggy electronic splutter.

That was last night. Currently, Spot the laptop looks like this:


And I have just about stopped hysterically laughing like a drain.

Fingers crossed, it will dry out and come back to life. Unfortunately, I have to assume it won't, meaning I have 24 hours to reconstruct my report and prepare for the hour-long seminar I'm due to give Monday lunchtime.

Welcome to Report Death March 2010. 
Oh ****.

An evening out: Books! Readings! Free Wine!

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One of my favourite things about Not Living In a Tent Anymore (besides the obvious luxuries such as ceilings, hot water, internets, beds, & Real Food) is that if is far easier to Do Stuff.  Nocturnal fieldwork does tend to cramp one's style rather and toads aren't known as party animals.

This evening, I wandered around eating fresh-raspberry&cream pastries, visited the site of The Bone House (ie.  Spa Fields Burial Ground -- 2acres, room for 2000 corpses -> 80,000 burials + "corpse shredding")  and ended up at the China Mieville (1) /Cory Doctorow reading/discussion event hosted by Clerkenwell Tales Bookshop, moderated by Rob Sharp of English PEN(2).

Or rather, it was supposed to be in Clerkenwell Tales. It was actually next door into a rather spiffy old church with a splendid teal-blue ceiling and excellent acoustics...which was rather fortunate as the microphones were on the blink.

Books! Readings! Interesting Discussions On Stuff! Very Drinkable Free Wine! 

Any one of those is far more exciting than sitting in my tent, waiting for it to rain. Also, even when combined, they involve 100% fewer marauding cows.
The event (which was live-tweeted by @CherylMorgan) ended somewhat earlier than expected, as one poor woman developed medical issues, but it was still a jolly nice night out.  Picked up one of Cory's books, a second copy of China's Looking For Jake (swans stole the first copy (3) before I finished it ) and Kraken

I have no clue whatsoever what Kraken is about, except  it contains "lots of specimen jars and the Natural History Museum".  I love the latter and the tunnels(4) below work are full of the former, so yay etc etc and so-forth.

Alas, I had to hoof it homewards immediately as I have a Report of DOOM to compose.  Must do this more often (though I bet the SF events at Forbidden Planet aren't nearly so civilised.)

- - - - -
1) I imprinted on China's early novels at some vulnerable teenage stage -- to the extent that I wrote my final AP EnglishLit exam paper (my A-level English equivalent) on Perdido Street Station, knowing full-well the "lack of literature" would fail me.  Like many of novels I loved as a teen, I won't reread them now. I'm too afraid they won't be as magic as I remember. ;-/

2) English charity devoted to literature and human rights.

3) Seriously. Swans. Never trust the buggers. You leave a book open by the side of a pond-- you come back to find it guarded by swans and cygnets and being shat on. Then it falls in the water.

4)  The tunnels are really an extensive system of cellars, full of the junk a large organisation
accumulates over the decades. Down there are many Mysterious Things in Bottles, such as pickled axolotls, a billion-and-five-buckets-of-dolphin-brain, and a dead baby in a jar labelled "antelope heart" rediscovered among Victorian pickled frogs. To avoid paperwork, I'm told the baby was recently smuggled by train to a mysterious gentleman in Scotland. What the hell he's going to do with it, I have not the foggiest.

In honor of old-school skiffy: II

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I was chatting to shweta_narayan  and rose_lemberg last night about a certain type of Old Skool Skiffy. 
 
So, Good Peoples of the Internets!  Inspired by Shweta's post here and brought to you by the various Table Of Contents Fails and Outbreaks of Stupid (and the gentleman professor who recently told me biological science -- my field --  is "no longer real science, it's too full of girly"), allow me to present to you the first four SIX issues of BoobieShips & TitRockets a PROPER Skiffy Magazine.


Boobieships Issue 1

Issue 2:


Issue 3:
Issue 3

Issue 4 (a collectors item, due to a printing error!)
Issue 4

And ALL NEW, Issue 5:


Issue 6



As you can see, BoobieShips & TitRockets houses only the Best Speculative Fiction the world has to offer. Top Quality Stuff. If the table of contents is strictly male, strictly straight and strictly white, well, it is an editor's job to choose to best.
- - -
Meanwhile, I'm still participating in the Clarion Writeathon
1. Clarion Page<-Sponsor me here!
2. What this is all about + Sponsorship Incentives

Clarion Write-a-thon Report: Week 3, Thursday

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Words: 504

Work in Progress: "The Poisoner of Coltrane Manor" + Untitled work 

Topic: ye-olde 'murder in a country house' denouncement & final scene

Genre: Fantasy - alt. history/mystery

Fun Plot Point of the Day: embezzlement and brandy


Declared a  Draft @ 4041 words.


London Weather Report: Overcast & Muggy

Event of the Day: Macaws outside my office windows, Screaming Their Little Heads Off.

Other Event of the Day: I got bored of the page layout. Sadly, I'd have to pay for the London city skyline, so let's randomly have the capital of Ukraine, instead.

Writeathon Week 3, Tuesday & Wednesday

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Last of the missing updates!

 

Wednesday

 

 

Words: 1770

Work in Progress: The Poisoner of Coltrane Manor

Topic: ye-olde 'murder in a country house'

Genre: Fantasy - alt. history/mystery

- - - - - -  

Tuesday

Words 2232

Work in Progress: The Poisoner of Coltrane Manor

Topic: ye-olde murder in a country house

Genre: Fantasy - alt. history/mystery


Decorative Garden Ornament of the Day:

(Oh I want one of these)

Super Big Belated Writeathon Update: Week 2

Hat thing
I went to the Hampton Court Flower show last week and then straight on to visit family near Gloucester (where the internet tubes were full), so updating proved problematic.

However, words did happen! I won't bother everyone with the daily counts (because I cannot find them!), but here's a grand total:


Words: 3922

Work in Progress: "The Unusual Case of The Girl, the Train & Miss Marple's Knitting Club"

Topic: Mystery, Lovecraftian horrors & saving-the-world-through-knitting

Thing: Declaring a Draft!

Total Words in Draft: 5776 (will need pruning)


Weekend Weather Report:
Just look (I borrowed a dog)



Flower(s) of the Week:



LINKS!
1.
Clarion Page<-Sponsor me here!
2. What this is all about + sponsorship Incentives

Writeathon Updates to Come

Hat thing
Having a spot of bother with my internet connection, but the writeathon continues!

This is a place filler for Week 2's missing updates!
Hat thing

I was up early this morning and didn't have a chance to post my morning log. Well, better late than never!

Words Tuesday: 1331

Work in Progress: "The Unusual Case of The Girl, the Train & Miss Marple's Knitting Club"

Total words: 1798

Topic: Mystery, Lovecraftian horrors & saving-the-world-through-knitting.

Genre: Slipstream?

First Line thing: It must be confessed: it was a dreadful party, even before the murder.

London Weather Report: Decidedly and unexpectedly grey

LINKS!
1.
Clarion Page<-Sponsor me here!
2. What this is all about + sponsorship Incentives
Hat thing
Week two already!

Words Monday
:
2136

Work in Progress: Anatomy of a Siren

Topic: Georgian anatomists & sea monsters

Genre: Fantasy

Random line thing: " The siren is pickled in spirits; she was beautiful once."

Progress thing: Anatomy of a Siren is 2800ish words... and much to my everlasting shock, I may have a first draft.

*pokes it*  Yep. That's a draft. Where the hell did that come from?


London Weather Report:  Sunny! With sun and a bit more sun. Also, sun.

Animal of the Day:
Disgruntled llama




*Technical problems continue and the write-a-thon's sponsorship notification emails STILL aren't being sent. Until they they fix it, I won't know who has sponsored me, but Thank you! if you have!**


LINKS!

1.
Clarion Page<-Sponsor me here!
2. What this is all about sponsorship Incentives

Clarion Write-a-thon Report: week1 Weekend

Hat thing

Words this Weekend: 928 (typed) & 3 pages (handwritten)

Work-In-Progress: Straw into Silk "DRAFT" // Anatomy of a Siren

Topic: Rumpelstiltskin /alien planet mash-up // Georgian anatomists & marine legends

Genre: SF // F

Progress thing: Draft declared for "SiS" (lots of dead wood in there, but that can be chopped later). My goal is 4 stories during the writeathon; this is the first.

Fun thing: mimicking Royal Society articles from 1766.

Other Fun Thing: Until the end of July, all of the Royal Societies journals in their digital archive (from 1665 on) are available online FREE. That's 350 years of science free! Whoo! Science! http://royalsocietypublishing.org/info/archive

London Weather Report: Gorgeous!

Picture of the day:
Saturday (You Go Boris Johnson)

During my afternoon walk, I discovered it was the day of the Pride parade. Central London was very cheerful and colourful and full of people.

Sunday
Outside my window



**Technical problems continue and the write-a-thon's sponsorship notification emails STILL aren't being sent. Until they they fix it, I won't know who has sponsored me, but Thank you! if you have!**

LINKS!

1.
Clarion Page<-Sponsor me here!
2. What this is all about sponsorship Incentives

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