January 27, 2012

Mostly coherent. And with lots of footnotes.



Eeek. I’m so conflicted. I want the rest of the week to go sloooooow for you but I want it to go fast for Jodi.

It was less than a fortnight ago that I finally really noticed that Jodi’s frelling* novel** is coming out on the SAME GLAMFARBING DAY THAT SHADOWS IS DUE.  How frigglegobblasting unfair is THAT? 

http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/2012/01/exclusive-reveal-incarnate-by-jodi.html *** 

* * *

I rang handbells tonight—rather to my own astonishment.  What’s worse is that the other three ringers are getting steady enough that It Was Decided—not by me—that it was time for some evil fiend or other to start calling bobs—you remember bobs (and singles)?  It’s not bad enough you have to learn the frelling method line in the first place, or rather, in handbells, lines, plural, and each pair has a different set of lines with a different relationship between the two bells so in a minor method with six bells it’s like learning three different methods and in a major method with eight bells it’s like learning four different methods, at the point when you’re beginning to get through a plain course more often than you aren’t, someone starts calling bobs.  Bobs mix up the order of the bells so that what bell two or three was doing is now being done by (say) bell five or six—which also changes the tune, which is a clue you’ve come to depend on without realising you’re doing it.  Bell methods are all basically canons, you know?  Everybody rings the same pattern, it’s just each bell starts at a different place in the pattern.†  But how you swap places when some ratbag calls ‘bob’ ALSO VARIES.  Ohmigods, he just called a bob, do I run in, make the freller, run out, am I unaffected, can I just burst into tears and dash out of the room?††

            I won’t say we did it well.†††  But we were doing it.‡  And I noticed something.  The big boys, which is to say Colin and Niall, are always handing us peons great steaming heaps of . . . twaddle, for example that it’s actually easier to ring on eight bells than it is on six.  Don’t make me frelling laugh.  Counting to six is sordid enough.  Eight bells means two more chances to go wrong.  Except . . . if you live long enough to be ringing on eight at all, to have (more or less) learnt all four of the plain courses on the four different pairs of bells for your method, in this case bob major . . . they have a point.  Things don’t happen quite as fast on eight bells as they do on six, because eight bells have to ring in each line before anything else can happen in the next line.  Calling it ‘more time to think’ is a bit extreme‡‡ but . . . well . . . we did stagger through a short touch.

            I find it pretty funny that bell ringing is one of the things keeping me sane right now.  But with the counter-computer effect there’s also the feeling that I need to go on believing in myself as a bell ringer while I get used to this no-home-bell-tower thing.  So I scrape myself off the seat of my chair and go ring.  Last night was one of Wild Robert’s wandering monthly spectaculars‡‡‡, this month, crucially, at a tower I could find in the dark, so I went.  And it was okay.  It was good.§  And maybe my new footloose status is an opportunity to ring for Wild Robert more often. . . . 


* * *

* . . . says the author who HATES ALL AUTHORS who have books coming out till she gets her frelling manuscript FINISHED AND TURNED IN. 

** FIRST novel!  For anyone coming to the party late, this is Jodi’s FIRST EVER PUBLISHED NOVEL!!!!   A brand new shiny fresh just-published book is always a major chocolate, champagne, velvet, rhinestones^, heavenly choirs and beautiful young man/woman driving the Rolls event, but your first book . . . well.  Despite the ghastly ravages of Menopause Brain I totally remember the whole run up to BEAUTY’s publication. 

^ Really good rhinestones.  Possibly attached to All Stars. 

*** I think it’s a really good trailer too.  Mostly I don’t like trailers.  I know they’re all the rage and anyone who is anyone has trailers^ but mostly I don’t like them.  I like this one. 

^ I don’t have trailers 

† While you’re singing ‘row, row, row, your boat’ the person ahead of you is singing ‘gently down the stream’ 

†† This is fairly easy to do with handbells.  It’s a little harder to perform effectively in the tower. 

††† Some of us did it better than others. 

‡ And I kept thinking of things I have to go back and do to SHADOWS in the next five days while we were ringing plain courses, so maybe bobs were a good idea.  WHA’?  WHA’ YOU SAY?   What are you doing in my sitting room?  Why am I holding the leather strap-handles of two little bronze bells? 

                  The problem with turning a book in unfinished is that it’s . . . unfinished.  I know it’s unfinished, Merrilee knows it’s unfinished, my editor knows it’s unfinished, the janitor’s boyfriend’s dog knows it’s unfinished.  But I want the storyline to read roughly the way it’s supposed to even if I use ‘ecphonesis’ three times in the same paragraph^ and the scene with the eggplant and the philosopher really should come out altogether.  So I keep making notes of the things I need to stick a temporary storyline patch on, to get it through (I hope) its exam next week.  

^ I don’t think I do use ecphonesis three times in the same paragraph.  Maybe twice.+ 

+ I mean, I use ecphonesis, usually rude, frequently.  But I don’t often hang around to label it as such. 

‡‡ If you’re bungie jumping off the Chrysler Building instead of the Empire State, the 200 feet it’s shorter isn’t really going to matter if your bungies break:  you’re still going to die. 

‡‡‡ Where several people said to me, hi, Robin, how’s it going at New Arcadia?, and I said, ah, hmmm. 

§ And I was still holding my line when everyone else went horribly wrong in the Cambridge.  Wild Robert was, of course, mad to be trying to ring Cambridge at all with the people he had available, but this is Wild Robert’s way:  and you will probably find you can ring all kinds of ridiculous stuff with Wild Robert’s beady eye on you.  I was, for example, ringing Cambridge despite havoc in other areas of the ringing chamber—and I’m pretty sure the woman who was the most out of her depth went home saying, you know, I got through three leads of Cambridge, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but that’s Wild Robert. . . .


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