To begin with, we have a winner in the random draw for a doodle-icious book. This was open to anyone who advertised our auction/sale on their own blog, Twitter, Facebook, or megaphone from the top of their bell tower/castle/block of flats/apartment building/London Eye/Empire State Building/Seattle Space Needle/Machu Picchu*. And our winner is: danceswithpahis, from our very own forum. Three cheers for danceswithpahis: hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! THIGH, THIGH, GORBLIMEY!
Now then, speaking of doodles. The three doodle-icious books in the auction went for rather higher than I was expecting, plus I’ve had another commission from a mad—I mean, a wonderful human being who really really really wants a doodled-up DEERSKIN and is willing to pay rather astonishingly for it.** I originally said that you’d get another doodle beyond the three-doodle minimum for every $10 increment in the auction, which is still true. But since I’ve got some slack to hang myself with, I’m going to conflate some of them so I can make a few larger, more interesting doodles as well as some standard, simple doodles. Um. Watch out. I’m growing dangerous with a drawing pen in my hand.
Blogmom has also sent me the first wodge of doodle orders and . . . rrgllmmmph hee hee hee hee. Some of you have a rather flattering if significantly untrue idea of my skills. I’ll do my best. And you’ll probably have some warning because the, ahem, new, original ones I’ll hang here (without attribution) before they’re put in the post. But just to say . . . what you get may not be quite what you had in mind. But the New Arcadia bells thank you.
Please remember that it’s only poor Blogmom doing all the admin—and only me doing all the doodling, and only Fiona doing the packing up and hauling off to the post office. We’re doing the best we can***, but it’s going to take a little while. Unless Fiona’s day job bites her and we have to reschedule, she’ll be taking what I hope will be the majority of the sale/auction results to the post office on the 25th of this month. I’ll tell you how I’m doing nearer time.
One last important thing: orders that haven’t been paid for or have a PayPal payment pending by the 20th of October† will be cancelled. If we were a company with staff we could both let it run on longer and send you gentle reminders of the deadline.†† But we aren’t. You’d be amazed at the amount of stuff there is to keep track of in just a little auction. Okay, I hope you’d be amazed.††† Having a prompt, no-bones deadline KA-CHUNK is merely a trying-to-keep-things-a-little-under-control‡ measure and you won’t be drummed out of the forum‡‡ or anything if you miss it.‡‡‡
Speaking of things that are taking longer than planned: Blogmom has generously agreed to put off her Caribbean cruise till the auction/sale is rolled up and put away like Christmas decorations by the middle of January§, but she’s not going to put the new doodle window up till she’s had at least two good nights’ sleep in a row and can remember her own name. She or I will let you know . . .
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In one of those The Universe is Messing With Your Head conjunctions, today was the day Vicky had ordained that I would help with the teas-for-pensioners at the church hall. Teas-for-pensioners has been going on off and on for years, mostly depending on there being someone who is willing to organise and run it. At the moment, Tuesday afternoon tea and cake is being run by the bell ringers and for a ridiculous amount of volunteer effort, including making the cakes, we’re allowed to keep the proceeds. With five of us slicing, pouring and washing-up . . . I guess we may have made £30. Okay, £35. Tops. In two and a half hours I could have drawn how many doodles—? Never mind. It’s one of those community things, and it was pretty amusing, at least to a people-watcher. The way the hall is set up, the kitchen runs along one side, and there’s a long open counter most of its length, like what you might see in a café, where the waiters hand over their orders and pick up the food. So when you’re not pouring or washing-up you have a grand view of the proceedings. Vicky and Roger and a non-ringer were on the wild side, while another non-ringer and I were in the kitchen. I managed to overhear frustrating pieces of what sounded like several really good feuds, and one of pensioners has a crush on Roger.§§ And I swear Vicky could sell ice floes to a penguin, not that the home-made cakes needed much impetus to fly off the table onto individual plates.
It was still two and a half hours on my feet when I could have been at home at my desk. So I’d better go draw something, and then sing something and then go to bed.
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* Hey. We got very good feedback on the Machu Picchu shout out.
** We are not making any more exceptions or taking any more commissions right now. I’ve got too much to do—and thank you very much!!! for giving me so much to do!—but I need to get on with what there is. If you find that you simply cannot live without a doodled-up something or other, there will be an opportunity later. Have some chocolate and be cheerful.
*** And Blogmom deserves a medal.
† There are a few of you still waiting on final totals for postage and insurance. Don’t worry: Blogmom knows who you are, and if we need—which, please the gods, we will not—to extend the deadline for you, we will.
†† I would be out in the street if it weren’t for two things: Direct Debit, which means you can tell your bank ‘pay these people’ and they’ll do it for you automatically, and the fact that things like the city council do send you (fairly) gentle reminders that your council tax is seriously due.
††† I think I hear some hollow laughter. Clearly a few of you do have some idea.
‡ Cough cough cough cough cough
‡‡ Or blocked on Twitter. Sigh.
‡‡‡ But you’ll be very very sorry not to have the doodle of Wolfgang repelling the taralian army or Darkness playing the piano while Chaos sings. Joking! Just joking!
§ An extremely ill-judged metaphor in this household.
§§ Roger is my age. And took early retirement. I can’t retire, but that’s another issue.
THIS IS YOUR LAST DAY. THIS IS YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY TO BUY A BOOK OR BID ON SOMETHING IN THE BELL-FUND AUCTION/SALE.* The doodle option will stay up another week** but everything else shuts down tomorrow at 2 pm Chicago (Blogmom) time. Step right up, folks, step right up. The bearded lady and the sword-swallower right this way, just as soon as you give me all your money.
I’m uncommonly shattered for some reason. Maybe it was that invasion of berserker cauliflower last night . . . no, wait, I do know what it was: both hellhounds ate supper with almost no fuss whatsoever. What? Chaos has officially given up supper—he submitted the form a good fortnight ago but he’d filled it out wrong so I got to send it back—and Darkness only eats on the nights that having me pry his jaws open to get a remedy powder in is going to be just toooooo boring. You can almost see him considering it when I put the bowl of food in front of him. But I’d barely started my first game of Montezuma 2*** when . . . crunch crunch crunch. Crunch crunch. I had to put Pooka down in the middle of a game.† But the entire experience was such a shock to the system I had to lie down and read for a while.†† And then repelling the attack cauliflower took a while.††† And then there were the cats. And then it was dawn. And then the horrible man‡ across the road went to work.‡‡ The sound his frelling car makes on their gravel driveway is a lot like very large hellhounds eating supper. . . . Sorry, I’m raving.
So. I’ve been doodling. Some madwoman who wants to spread the joy‡‡‡ asked for a heap of sleeping puppies doodle for DEERSKIN. Glarg. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to simplify this into a standard doodle, but here’s a first trial run:
Someone else wants a spider in the corner of a window for SPINDLE’S END:
I may have a go at the spider dangling from a sleeve—my doodle-orderer’s other suggestion—one of these days in my copious spare time, and find out if drawing Ikor’s shiny ribbony sleeve is rather satisfying in an OCD sort of way, as I suspect it may be.
. . . And the medium-large friendly squid wants not to be forgotten.
Now go buy something. Please.
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* And, guys . . . you’re seriously missing out not having a better run at TULKU, or CHUCK AND DANIELLE, or CLOCK MICE. I know this is my blog—and my bells—but I’m recommending them. Highly.
** I don’t know exactly when this will happen, but when Blogmom has recovered from doing all the making-it-work about the bell fund^ I’ve asked her if she can figure out a way to hang a more-or-less permanent^^ doodle-order window down the side of the blog somewhere. We’ll worry about what to do with the money if it turns out there is any.
^ I believe I heard something about ‘Caribbean cruise’.
^^ Or let’s call it indefinite, which is what my visa to stay in England says. Very unsettling, ‘indefinite’ rather than ‘permanent’. I’ll be good, officer! Really I will! —Er. I do get to complain, don’t I?
*** Sigh. You were right. Montezuma 2 is available for iPhone. Why it didn’t appear instantly and say Buy me! when I asked iTunes for it is one of those little mysteries, like why my audible downloads are so easily led astray by bad companions and are found days later in the wrong part of town with nothing left but a headache and a vague memory of something about Long Island Iced Tea^ and spandex.
† There doesn’t seem to be a ‘cancel this game, hellhounds are eating’ option. Oh well, my player rating is always pathetic.
†† I don’t suppose any of you out there want to recommend an origami book? I dug out my ancient Dover reprint of beginner origami and ordered the FOR DUMMIES origami but neither of them is the least bit inspiring. I want something that makes me go ‘ooh’. I’m, you know, shallow.
††† It was a vengeance raid. I ate the emperor a few nights ago. Very tasty he was too.
‡ Actually he’s a very nice man. Except at 7 o’clock in the morning.
‡‡ Wait a minute. It’s Saturday. What was he doing going to work?^
^ Yes, I work seven days a week. I’m free lance. It’s the down side to being able to work in your dressing gown and not comb your hair. And stay up till dawn.
‡‡‡ Too late. I’ve been mad for years.
You’ve still got a fortnight left to buy or bid on something! The New Arcadia Bell Restoration Fund auction/sale is live: http://robinmckinleysblog.com/bells/
. . . . Bluuuuuuh, continued. Service ring this morning was interesting. I was clinging fuzzily to the treble and then Niall called for frelling Cloisters. It’s not that it’s difficult—it isn’t—but it does require that the treble wake up and pay attention. Then I came home and drank tea till I was in danger of rattling off my chair. . . . I am going to my voice lesson tomorrow. I don’t know what I’ll do once I get there, but I am going. And, gods save both of us, I have an old friend I haven’t seen in over a decade passing through Mauncester on Tuesday. It would be nice to be speaking in complete sentences. I suppose I could just shove doodles at her. . . .
To all of those anxious people posting to the forum and writing me little apologetic emails: I am not keeping track. You won’t be drummed out of the forum if you don’t pony up for my bells. Bidding in the auction and/or buying a doodle or a book is supposed to be fun. It’s not required. Sure, I want to raise funds for my bells, but trust me, I know about being short of money. If your roof fell off last night, you can buy another shingle for the price of a doodle. I totally understand. Also, because I am me, I will probably totally screw something up during the auction/sale—there will be opportunity for any screw-ups or falling into technological chasms to be sorted out because there will be me to sort out. This is the good side of not being amazon, okay? Don’t worry. *
And now . . . how about an opportunity to win a doodled up book? All you have to do is spread the word.
Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it! Win a doodle-licious book!
Help us publicize Robin McKinley’s Sale and Auction in support of the New Arcadia Bell Restoration Fund! Tweet it, Facebook it and blog it and you will be entered in a random drawing for a signed and dedicated doodle-licious Robin McKinley book of your choice with five** doodles to be scattered through the text at the author’s discretion.
Please note that this person, while unfortunate, will nonetheless be welcome back next week, because he*** is still following the Tower Bell Ringer’s First Rule which is never let go of the tail end.
* * *
* I love it. Me saying ‘don’t worry.’ hahahahahahahahahahaha
** Blogmom originally said ten doodles and I said GLEEEEEEP. Even the auctioned books only start at three. But you never know, I might be inspired.
*** I think both these victims of circumstance look rather he-ish. The main thing is that you can tell by the fact that their shoes have discernable heels on them and are therefore definitively not All Stars that neither of them is me.
Okay, here we go. Knock yourselves out. Please.
It runs from NOW till 2 pm Chicago USA time* Sunday, 9 October.**
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* Because Blogmom is running the back end, and that’s her time zone
** Doodles may run longer. We’ll see how it goes.
Today has been a ratbag ME day wherein not all my complete sentences are compl. . . . And I find myself standing outside some door or other staring at my keys and wondering what the one thing has to do with the other thing.* And Mondays are voice lesson and ringing at one of Colin’s towers in the evening. Oh, and earning a living.
Remember first and foremost that as ME goes I have a mild case. But it is interesting the extent to which you can sometimes learn to manage your shortcomings. I was talking to Niall about this coming home from bell practise tonight—that first time I began learning method ringing I had to give it up when the ME felled me. I did have to give it up—I spent about eighteen months not able to do anything but lie on the sofa and watch BUFFY—but I remember the six months or so leading to that culminating takedown. There were a lot of days like today, where everything is foggy and slippery . . . but I had no idea how to cope. The only thing I knew how to do was fight back—which is the wrong answer. You have to learn to . . . slip and fog yourself. You don’t confront ME as an enemy—or as an equal; you’re not equals—it’s stronger than you are, which is your First Lesson. And I don’t, after all, find the enemy model all that useful; I know some people do. But the ME is part of me. As someone with a chronic, lifelong case of Low Self Esteem, self-hatred is a real and constant danger as well as an incredible waste of time and energy. Let’s not go there. So I don’t (mostly). I’m a 59-year-old female Caucasian mezzo-soprano bell-ringing rose-gardening storyteller with bad teeth, hellhounds and ME. Nu. Deal.**
In my experience you have to learn to slip and fog individually for each activity—and I’ve been ringing bells longer than I’ve been taking voice lessons, for all that bell ringing is a deeply alien activity for someone with my shape of brain*** and singing is pretty normal for almost everybody—and I’m on the right side of the line in that I can carry a tune.† Which is another way of saying that today’s voice lesson was not the most superb I’ve ever had, although some of that is the frelling Italian. Today was not a good day to be trying to sing in a foreign frelling language for the first time for Nadia.†† But I did come away with some new stuff written down in my notebook and a wary sense that it might some day be possible to remember that I’m only allowed five vowel sounds.†††
I came home and found an email from Niall wanting to know which house to pick me up from. Of course I went bell ringing. I clawed what neurons I could find out of the shadows, dusted them off, tied them up with twine, and went. And while I was about as reliable as a plastic tin-opener, we did ring Stedman and I did successfully ring several evil coathanger singles, and they’re becoming positively familiar, which means I’ve learnt how to slip and fog my way through Stedman (doubles), which is good. The shocker of the evening was the Cambridge—having been dragged by the hair through a plain course and preparing drearily to stand my bell, Colin kept us going through a second course which, after I had totally frelled the beginning because I was expecting to stop . . . was about as good as I’ve ever rung Cambridge at all. Which isn’t very good, but it’s nonetheless a testament to my increasing slip-and-fog skills.
I then came home again to a lot of questions about the auction from poor Blogmom, who is trying to make the practical end work . . . and the last neuron I had I blew on Cambridge. But I thought I could at least answer a few of your questions.
|PamAdams wrote on Mon, 25 July 2011 12:15|
|Have I missed something or is the auction not posted yet?|
Don’t worry! It’s not up yet, but Blogmom is feverishly working to get it ready.
She would be less feverish if I had given her everything she needed. But we are getting there. Truly.
I don’t think you’ll be able to miss it when it does go up, as I expect there will be a blog post or several with big pink text.
I think that’s a fair prognostication. . . .
. . . Robin has nearly 3,000 people who “like” her Facebook page, and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter. Even if there is a certain amount of overlap, that’s a great many people. Imagine if we all gave $5 to help save the bells. That’s a lot of money! Granted, it isn’t terribly likely that EVERYONE from FB/Twitter would give. But if even half that number did- 3,000 people times $5 each is 15,000! I know that I could manage $5 for sure!
Remember the doodles. There will be $5 and $10 doodles. You aren’t expected to throw money at me! I will throw doodles back! And, since you mention it . . . $15,000 would do nicely, thank you. . . .
. . . I will bid as much as my graduate student budget allows! . . . I’m also eyeing a copy of Knot in the Grain (if Knot in the Grain is on the list…I can’t remember) and a foogit doodle. Yay, foogits!
KNOT wasn’t in the original list because I . . . forgot. But it was in the list by the time (blushing slightly) I read this comment. And a foogit doodle is entirely possible.
. . . I’d pay at least $10 extra for an autograph . . . And I would go for a doodle as well. I’m on one of those exceedingly strict student budgets but I’d be willing to go without a lot to support you and the bells. (Heck, I’d go without tea for a while if necessary. And tea is one of the essentials of life.)
No, no! You mustn’t try to go without tea! That would be dangerous! [says the tea addict, trembling at the thought]. Present plan is that all McKinley hardbacks in print will be available, although that rhythmic thumping noise you hear is Blogmom and I beating our respective heads against our respective walls as I change my mind again.
I would ABSOLUTELY pay a premium for a signed copy of Sunshine! . . . I was worried all I would be able to afford was a doodle (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with your doodles, I will still be buying one either way I am quite sure). This is a great idea, especially for those of us across oceans who can’t attend book signings. PLEASE do this! Think of the bells.
I am thinking of the bells. No, don’t worry, the signed-with-doodle books are now firmly on the list. Details to come. As soon as I figure out what they are and Blogmom has patiently explained to me (again) that they’re hopelessly unwieldy and I have to think of something else (again).
So are the doodles going to be auctioned, or will they have set prices?
Set prices. Doodles ($5 and $10) and signed-with-doodle hardbacks (probably $35 for any/all) are for those of you who don’t want to get into the auction thing.
You could do the doodle on bookplates (or bookplate-sized paper); Jan Brett does this to good effect, autographing bookplates.
Jan Mark is a proper artist. I’m a writer who doodles. My doodles are just a value-added joke to give this charity gig some . . . er . . . fizz.
Thank you for considering autographed books with a doodle! I would definitely like one, and would have a hard time not being greedy and going for two. And a separate bat doodle, of course.
Excellent. Very excellent. I like greed in a contributor. Have several doodles while you’re at it.
Susan in Melbourne
In the Project Management world that I inhabit we refer to the concept of ‘scope creep’ when people have lots of good new ideas, usually long after the budget has been established.
This made me laugh and laugh. Scope creep indeed. That’s exactly what’s been going on, and why it’s taking Blogmom so long to get the back end built . . . and why we are not taking any more ideas, new or creepy . . . I’m creepy enough without help. But it’s also why you’re going to have autographed and doodled flat-rate books as an option, so what a good thing someone spoke up before the portcullis crashed down.
And . . . thanks. Thanks very much. I’ll thank you even more when it’s all over . . .
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* Or just now, when I filled the electric kettle with water and turned it on. I then went into one of my little dazes and came out the other side staring intently at the right rear burner on the cooker, listening to the water coming to a boil and wondering what the significance^ of boiling water plus back burner might be. Unh. Well, on the days I have a brain, I put my teapot on that burner, fill it up with peppermint leaves and hot water, and put a tea cozy over it. On days I don’t have a brain, I stand there staring.
Days like this I’m afraid I’ll forget to feed the hellhounds. They’d probably be delighted.
^ ‘Significance’ is a very good word to remember on a day like today. It could easily have been the whatsit of boiling whatsit plus back whatsit.
** Sure. Puns intended.
*** Lots of fantasy. No maths.
†† Che Faro—that hoary aria from Gluck’s Orfeo—doesn’t count. My Italian is no better in it, but all those funny syllables are familiar in this particular context and order.
††† And furthermore I have to choose the right one every time. Cheeeez. But I want to be able to sing in Italian. If I don’t get any farther into foreign repertoire I can live with that. But I want Italian.