Because I am sometimes too argleflipping dumb to live, last night, waiting for hellhounds to eat their supper,** I decided to roll up my next hank for Second Sweater***. I was going to need the second ball soon, it would be a nice mindless, even soothing, task, in its repetitiveness, and the only thing I had to do is PREVENT IT FROM GETTING SNARLED UP.
You see where this is going. I rolled up about 80% of the wretched thing without mishap and then . . . I have no idea what happened. The gremlins shouted, Hey! Yarn rolling in progress! She’s getting away with it! STOP HER! And they did. Golly frelling howdy did they ever. And, because my stress level is totally off the planet† I instantly entered orbit around Sedna and was pretty sure I’d stay there till I got the slumgullioned thing untangled . . . which is to say that I’m even shorter of sleep today than recently. ††
But Pavlova was provided with an adventure that further served to wake me up at least briefly. I’ve told you before that I brought hellhounds home mid-October—in fact exactly the mid-October Thursday that a town near here has a Fun Fair, one of those appalling things with Rides and Junk Food and Shoot Something and Win an Ugly Prize stalls and NOISE. Especially NOISE. You can hear the thing several miles away, as well as recognise the flickering Mordorian glow on the horizon. My hellhound puppies were way too traumatized by coming home with me that Thursday six years ago for any consideration of further excesses, but I think of bringing puppies home every year at this time, because the fun fair posters are everywhere. And here I am, bringing another puppy home.
But Pavlova has been here four days††† and so far as I can tell is up for anything. So because I have so much free time for socialising my puppy I bagged her again and we went to the fun fair. In the rain.
When I first stuffed her in the bag‡ she was all, No! No! Want to play! I wasn’t running up the walls of your kitchen‡‡ nearly long enough and I’m sure I was about to convince Chaos to play with me!‡‡‡ But as we got closer to the scene of anarchy and pandemonium she quieted down because, you know, wow. I think even my nine-and-a-half-week-old (mini)§ hellterror was impressed. I wouldn’t go near a fun fair if I didn’t have a puppy to socialise, but it was impressive, not necessarily in a good way. About halfway through, as we strolled the perimeter, she started ducking down into the bag briefly and then popping out again, as if taking a few deep breaths in the dark and (comparative) peace. Or possibly wiping the rain out of her eyes. I could have used a bag to duck into myself. But her heart rate never changed so I assume she put it all down to another of those weird human things, like being praised and given food for having a crap. Well, yes, if you want more crap that’s the way to go about it. . . .
* * *
* You’ll get another KES here in another day or two. Probably Saturday night. But right at the moment I haven’t got time to write any more eps, and I’ll get paranoid if I drop below ten or so ahead of what I’m posting. Give me a few more days to get used to fitting Pavlova into a schedule that was already creaking at the frelling seams, and I’ll be able to start up with KES again. I’ve just found out a plot development that makes me laugh and laugh. I had suspicions, but . . .
** Pavlova of the beach-ball tummy blessedly crashed out in her crate. Which is now on the kitchen table, not the Winter Table over the hellhound crate. Which means there is now no kitchen table. There is, however, still a Winter Table to put plants on when the temperature starts threatening to dip below freezing. ARRRRGH. THERE IS NO LONGER ANYWHERE IN MY KITCHEN FOR ME. But hellhounds were absolutely not going to put up with being the ground floor with a puppy on the first floor. Not only wouldn’t they eat their supper—they usually finally, wearily, only-to-please-the-hellgoddessly, cede the point and eat their supper inside their crate rather than out of it, although we’ll have been playing tiddlywinks over the floor for some time previous—but I would keep finding them crammed in the furthest corner of the kitchen looking miserable and threatened.^
^ Maybe you need to know my hellhounds, but that tail-wagging in the video is not happy, welcoming tail-wagging, it’s The End of the World Has Arrived placatory tail-wagging, with the humped backs and the low heads. They are since chiefly manifesting the Archimedes Fallacy. Remember Archimedes when Wart first meets Merlin in THE SWORD IN THE STONE? There is no boy.
There is no puppy. But they still don’t like poltergeists overhead.
*** Diane in MN:
Have I mentioned that I’ve started another sweater? No, I haven’t finished the first one.
So why are you supposed to have finished the first one?
Thank you. This one’s a completely plain crewneck pullover. Far fewer bits to fit together. Or not.
† Did I tell you, first night, I half-waking-nightmared that I’d killed her? By putting a towel over her crate to block out the daylight since we were getting to bed rather late as usual. I had SMOTHERED HER. Actually I hadn’t. There were, you know, gaps. But I have the meanest superego anyone has ever had.
†† But I have a new ball of yarn. And the hellhounds ate supper before I finished untangling. How’s that for a kick in the head from the god of irony. Who is in league with the yarn gremlins.
††† FOUR DAYS? FOUR DAYS?
‡ Not for very much longer
‡‡ RAAAAAAAINING. And while hellterrors appear to be impervious to the elements, she’s only little.
‡‡‡ And the Pope is not Catholic.
§ I got a blast from Olivia last night by email. SHE IS A MINI AND HER EARS ARE GOING TO COME UP. Hee hee hee hee. I had no idea Olivia was going to be so much fun to tease.
FIVE DAYS. TILL PUPPY.*
I’d gone to the big pet warehouse last week to view my options. The place gives me the whimwhams: it’s the size of Hyde Park, they should issue you roller skates at the door.** First you pass the glassed-in seas full of fish***. Then there are the vast enclosures down the centre that you have to skate/pony trek around, which contain 2,011 varieties of rabbit, plus hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, wombats, armadillos, capybaras, kinkajous, marmots, and rock hyraxes. By the time you get to the dog-paraphernalia section you’re losing the will to live.
And then you look at the prices of the kit you’re going to have to buy and you finish losing the will to live.† GIBBER GIBBER GIBBER GIBBER EEP EEP EEP EEP. Dogs are expensive.†† You don’t want a dog. How about a nice diamond tiara? The initial outlay is less, and the upkeep’s . . . a steal.
I had a run at the hellhounds, because the majority of their kit was rolled over from the previous generation of whippets. After that it was just food . . . except they don’t eat . . . and vet bills. Olivia is selling her puppies with the insurance already in place and, never having had pet insurance before, I’m doing it this time. I’m just about tearing holes in my cheque with the nib of my pen, I’m so doing the pet insurance thing this time.††† Meanwhile, back at the containment issue. . . .
I did have one bright idea. On my way to the pet warehouse this time I stopped at the farm store. They have some dog stuff—including crates. I bought a slightly less flash item, it’s missing out the gold tassels‡ and the cubic zirconia, but it’s essentially the same flapdoodling crate, for ONE THIRD of what it cost at the pet warehouse.‡‡ The cheezy plastic carrying crate, which I had to buy at the warehouse, and which Pavlova is not allowed to outgrow till she and the hellhounds are excellent friends‡‡‡ cost ten quid more than the medium-large proper metal crate. The plastic carrier is already riding around next to the hellhound box in Wolfgang, to hellhounds’ mild but disinterested puzzlement. Oh how little you know, you poor trusting innocents.§
* * *
* I think I’ve got her call name sorted. Peter asked, and I told him, and he said, what about her nickname? I said that for the moment she’ll remain Pavlova on the blog, but I added that there had been other suggestions, and his vote is May for Mayhem THANKS SO MUCH, MY SYMPATHETIC, SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND. PAVLOVA IS GOING TO BE YOUR LITTLE NIGHTMARE TOO FOR SEVERAL HOURS A DAY, YOU KNOW, EVEN IF YOU GET TO TELL ME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT PUPPY, AND I WILL TAKE HER AWAY AT NIGHT.^
^ Very late at night. You could suffer a lot before I take her away.
** Well. Possibly not roller skates, precisely. I never really got over the ‘dangerous’ stage of roller skating. But a pony would be nice.
*** Don’t try to buy any of these. The clerk will look at you with deep suspicion, and send for their specialist, who will emerge from some dark hideaway bearing a clipboard and a condemnatory expression, and she will then ask you 4,312 questions very few of which seem to have anything to do with the possible purchase of fish, and, when you’re worn down and off balance from trying to remember the name of your aunt’s second dog^ and whether perhaps you have a secret crippling aversion to live bloodworms^^ they spring it on you that you will be obliged to buy not merely a tank, but a circulator, an aerator, a heater, a punkah, a punkah wallah, a widglebadget, a plastic statue of a deep-sea diver and special water from Atlantis. And their home visitor will be in your area next week, and will need to approve your set-up (in triplicate) before you’re allowed to take your guppy or your goldfish home. And did you wash your hands before you came out? And did you comb your hair?
^ My aunt didn’t have a second dog. Which explains my failing in this respect.
^^ Any sane person has an aversion to live bloodworms. But I fed live mealworms to my robins and pieces of cut-up day-old (pre-dead) chick to the raptor on my wrist during that fabulous Day with Raptors a few years ago . . . WHICH WAS TOTALLY GROSS. But it didn’t ruin the experience. I could learn about bloodworms.
† Speaking of losing the will to live. THIS COMPUTER CONTINUES TO DRIVE ME FRELLING INSANE.^ Plus little teeny minor issues like re-frelling-inputting all my auto-text and shortcut-key things, like the symbols for my footnotes: AND WINDOWS EIGHT HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN HAS SHEETS MORE SYMBOLS THAN XP DID, AND IN NO BETTER OR MORE LOGICAL ORDER THAN XP DID. How many ways can I say ARRRRRRGH??
^ And furthermore I’ve just had an officious little pop-up from my argleblarging virus software for pity’s sake telling me I should close and reopen IE because it’s taking up too much memory. GET. STUFFED. FRELLINGLY.
†† . . . GO AWAY. I’VE NOW GOT SOME FRELLING RESEARCH WINDOW POPPING UP AND SAYING, WE CAN’T FIND ‘††’ WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO DO ABOUT IT?
I DON’T WANT YOU TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I WANT YOU TO LET ME WRITE MY BLOG ENTRY IN PEACE.
Um. Where was I? Dogs are expensive. Yes, but, quarter-gram by quarter-gram, nowhere near as expensive as fish.
††† Although PAVLOVA IS GOING TO BE SCINTILLATINGLY HEALTHY. SCINTILLATINGLY. HEALTHY. IN EVERY WAY. AND A GOOD EATER.
‡ She’d only chew the tassels off anyway.
‡‡ Salaries for the specialists, including CPD^ seminars in scowling and intimidation, are extortionate.
^ Continuing Professional Development, over here. Don’t know what it’s called elsewhere.
‡‡‡ If I’m lucky she WON’T outgrow it. No channelling of inner standard [size^] bullie grandmother, please.
^ Standards can burgeon up to eighty pounds. Minis SHOULD TOP OUT at half that at worst. I’m kind of assuming a short-legged square hellhound. But she’s a girl,+ she might be smaller. Yessssssss.
+ And I am going to like having a girl around again. I bought her a pink food bowl. It’s one of these Guaranteed Does Not Tip Over things. Hahahahahahaha. Whoever they are, they have never met a real puppy.
§ GUILT GUILT GUILT GUILT GUILT. No, no, they’ll love her, they’ll think she’s a terrific idea, they’ll all get along great . . . eventually.^
^ Because I don’t have enough to worry about I was thinking . . . I have been planning to do the rolling-generations thing this time since I brought the hellhounds home six years ago because Life Without Dogs is unbearable but while you’re in the early grieving stage you can’t just go out and buy another dog(s) . . . and as you begin to get over the early grieving stage you start thinking do I really want to go through this again. Staggered generations is obviously the answer. But I wasn’t actually planning on doing it this soon. So does this mean I have to buy or adopt a FOURTH dog when Pavlova is six and the hellhounds are twelve?
Tonight’s blog may be short. My faithful workhorse laptop at the mews which has been trying not to die for months now . . . wigged/kirked/gonzoed out big time last night while I was in the middle of writing a KES ep.* I keep KES in batch files of about ten eps each and I’m near the end of the current batch and yes I back up, back up and back up so at worst I would’ve lost ONE ep but one ep is bad enough and it would still be EXTREMELY BAD FOR MORALE to see an entire batch file of KES go mega doolally before disintegrating into component pixels. This did not quite happen. But I did finish the ep on Astarte and email it to myself and then went trembling back to the cottage and posted from there.
And today, with joy totally failing to abound, I brought the no-longer-new giant non-economy-size laptop to the mews and am trying to use the fffffreller.**
I am not happy.***
* * *
* No not last night’s. I’m still holding at about ten ahead of what you guys see. Barely. There seem to be one or two other things going on at the moment. I seem still to be working on SHADOWS. I am, with terrifying slowness, addressing the doodle backlog^. And I have a puppy arriving in six days.
^ The terrifyingness of the slowness aggravated by my latest mandate. Which I will tell you about some other evening. For the moment . . . suffice that Doodling Is Happening.
** For those of you with better things to do with your minds than remember my tech embrangles, the old laptop was clearly on its way out the beginning of the year. So I bought a new laptop. Kicking and screaming when the archangels told me that I had to get over XP and move onto Windows 7. Noooo. Nooooooooooo. You’ll be fine they said. 7 is a sensible, friendly OS. Yes, and the moon is made of chocolate chip ice cream^, I said. So I bought it so that I could get over the Early Self Destructive Stage of learning to use a new OS before I started the third and final draft of SHADOWS. The last thing I wanted to do was start whacking at, and, more to the point, be whacked at by, a new OS while I’m trying to write the FINAL draft of a novel.
And then New Giant Super Flash laptop turned out to be a dud. And . . . this is when I get rude^^ . . . unless NGSF turns out to be the best computer I have ever spilled crumbs into the keyboard of, I will never buy an HP again. Because HP headquarters wasted an incredible amount of my and the archangels’ time, and their, HP’s, money, which means their customers’ money when they put their frelling prices up again, flailing around with this computer. If they had any dregwarted concept of customer relations, when they couldn’t fix it in . . . let’s say . . . a week, they should have given me a new one. But they didn’t. They dorked around, and dorked around, and dorked around . . . it was something like two months before I had the thing back again, by which time I was inevitably, helplessly well launched into that final draft of SHADOWS.^^^
So I give the ex-laptop presently lying on the piano bench in a confusingly computer-shaped heap of exploded processors and toasted hard drives and bent chips credit for trying. It hung on till I got SHADOWS turned in and its has not been the only voice moaning, for pity’s sake McKinley are you EVER going to finish it? And it can hardly be blamed if the prospect of further weeks of tweaking stretching off into the unknown foggy future was too much for it.#
^ It’s full or nearly full tonight, and it’s a nice clear night and . . . the moon looks like it’s made of chocolate chip ice cream. You know all those conspiracy cover-up theories about the moon landing? This is the real one. Pssst. The moon is made of chocolate chip ice cream. And they don’t want us to know.+
+ Seems to me it would give the space program a big fat boost, but what do I know.
^^ Rude? Moi?
^^^ And a good thing too, since it took me about four months rather than four weeks.
# And Raphael is coming on Wednesday to carry the dead warrior respectfully away and . . . just check that there isn’t some resuscitation flimflam a clever computer angel could perform on it. The original plan had been to strip everything off but Finale, the big fat music-composing programme—a lot of the old laptop’s problem is that it ran out of memory about two homeopathic software updates ago^—and leave it plugged in next to the piano. ^^
He will also be bringing several pints of fresh blood plasma, platelets and red blood cells to help repair the damage that two days of Windows 7 has done.
^ Homeopathy has many virtues but it doesn’t seem to attract good computer programmers.
^^ It’s perfectly true that laptops are more or less portable, but this one has been less for quite some time, since its battery died and it would cost nearly a new laptop to replace, and if you’re going to pretend to compose music at all you had really better have external speakers, even if they’re laughable witzy ones (yes).
*** Why is the default document heading full of Stupid Styles? Why does it keep RESETTING itself when (apparently) I breathe widdershins on some dinglebrained hyperlink? Why do new emails ping as they come in, but there’s no helpful little box that appears briefly in the corner of your screen to tell you what it is and whether you should go look at it now or not? Why is ‘select’ buried several layers in at one end of the screen and ‘copy’ is visible in the toolbar at the other end of the screen? Why are there sixty gazillion gradations of type colour and no PINK?^
^ You have to go ferret around in the customisable. Give me a frelling BREAK.+
+ Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to blog/retweet this since VikkiK sent it to me: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/28/147590898/they-did-it-to-pluto-but-not-to-pink-please-not-pink
I did know there was no pink in the rainbow—it’s the sort of thing people who like pink keep having pointed out to them—but I hadn’t realised the Other People were trying to make something of this. So the rainbow is defective. Get used to it. Pink rules.
I went to Birmingham on the train again today.* Southdowner picked me up at the station and took me off to Tiptoe on Cludge to play with Lavvy and her puppies . . . again. I’m spending kind of a lot of money and travel time on some random litter of puppies, aren’t I? Even if they are southdowner’s grandpuppies** and as cute as a box of Green & Black’s.***
So . . . Olivia rang me up out of the blue this week. Oh hi, I said, puzzled, since even if she were coming to Hampshire again with a load of the small, furry and four-legged, New Arcadia isn’t that much on her way, and it’s not like I’m one of her . . .
Olivia believes in cutting to the chase. One of my buyers has dropped out, she said, and I might be able to talk her into changing her mind, but I don’t want to. I want my puppies to go to people who really want them.
Oh? I said, my mind instantly leaping off its flywheel and spinning till it smoked.
And I wondered if you might be interested, she went on.
My mouth fell open. I may have said ‘aaaaugh’.
You don’t have to decide immediately, she said hastily. But—well—you seemed fairly serious about wanting to be put on the list for next year, and I just thought . . . if you wanted to think about it and get back to me. . . .
I don’t have to think about it, I said. I want one.
Olivia laughed. Southdowner seemed to think you might say that, she said. But you really can take some time to think about it. Talk to your husband or whatever.
My husband will be delighted when he gets over the shock, I said. He’s worrying about what to give me for my sixtieth birthday this autumn. He can give me a puppy.
So of course I had to go look at them again. Olivia works insane hours, and pretty much my only opportunity to see them before they get much older was this afternoon.
So I went this afternoon.
Oh my gods I’m about to have a BULL TERRIER PUPPY.†
I can’t go on calling them ‘white girl’, ‘coloured girl with broad blaze’, ‘coloured girl with narrow blaze’, and Little Prince Charming. So in keeping with the food theme in this family . . . Scone is the white girl, Croissant has the narrow blaze, Pavlova has the wide blaze, and the boy is . . . Fruitcake.
I do have some puppies-in-action photos, but they’re mostly blurry: this was indoors in poor lighting. But I might post a few more anyway . . .
* * *
* Which was amazingly fine for a Saturday, until a bunch of drunk out of their gourds football hooligans got on at Barnstorming on the way back to Mauncester. I hate Barnstorming. Barnstorming is where the famous occasion when Peter and I nearly never made it home at all happened. . . . Train staff? Are you kidding? They didn’t want to stick around to deal with this lot either. Arrrrgh. At least they were the friendly end of drunk.
** In Fiona’s admirable phrase
*** Anybody here not know that G&B makes my FAVOURITE DARK MINT CHOCOLATE, without which I CANNOT LIVE?
† And no, I don’t even know which one!!!^ I don’t hang out with show dog quality much. I’m used to the see-which-puppy-comes-up-to-you-I’ll-have-that-one school of choosing, plus performing a few probably bogus tests to help you avoid the pushy thug and the cringing neurotic. Darkness came up to me immediately and started untying my shoes, and Chaos . . . you’ve heard the story of how I ended up with Chaos, haven’t you? So as I’ve told both Olivia and Southdowner, I’ll love whoever I end up with, and two or three years from now I won’t be able to imagine anything else, like I can’t imagine life without Chaos (so to speak). But apparently this is an unusually nice litter—Southdowner says that if you’re looking for breeding/showing quality you usually choose by discarding, and there are no obvious discards here. So the head of the puppy-acquisition queue hasn’t quite made up their minds yet—and Olivia and Southdowner are both a little anxious about me as a first-time bullie owner, so of whatever’s left they’re going to give me the quieter one.
^ Where am I going to PUT IT in my miniature book- and yarn-stuffed cottage? I can’t move around in the kitchen now, because of the hellhound crate. And what will the hellhounds think?
The puppies will be ready to go to their new homes the beginning of October. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH
I am Very Short of Sleep. I tried to print out the first 1,000,000,000,000* words of SHADOWS yesterday evening. I knew it was going to be a less than happy, joyful experience, because my printer is POSSESSED BY DEMONS as SO MANY TECHNOLOGICAL APPURTENANCES BUT ESPECIALLY PRINTERS ARE. I cast my mind back, and I think I’ve always hated my printers, which live** to find reasons to refuse to print, but of course the current incumbent is most on my mind so I am convinced I HATE IT WORSE THAN I’VE EVER HATED ANY OTHER PRINTER.
Last night I got one—that’s one, that’s COUNT IT ONE page out of said printer before it jammed. ONE. ONE PAGE. ONE. Well, before it claimed to jam, which is one of its little jokes. So I opened all its stupid, sticky-catched doors and couldn’t find anything wrong of course (it very, very, very rarely has a paper jam, it just likes the attention), and hit ‘print’ again. Now it’s telling me there’s a Paper Mismatch in Tray, which is its default non-printing position.*** Usually if you yank the paper tray in and out a few times it will sullenly (and temporarily) accept its fate and print out a few pages. Not last night. I think the prospect of printing out lots of pages was giving it a more drastic than its usual case of the megrims . . . and so when I resorted to turning the bloody thing off, knitting a row†, and turning it back on again . . . there was a pause for warming up and contemplating its options before it shouted: TONER INVALID! . . . Which is a new one. I haven’t seen toner invalid before. New experiences are so refreshing. And then it ran through all the different toners individually: toner black INVALID! toner cyan INVALID! toner magenta INVALID! toner yellow INVAAAAAAAAAALID!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA GOTCHA!!!!!!!!
Whereupon I had a nervous breakdown and emailed Raphael. Who is an insane person, and checks his business emails even at 8 o’clock at night. I’ll ask Gabriel to get on it tomorrow, he replied.
Hellhounds and I hurtled back to the mews for dinner. And then—despite Peter warning me about the weather—we went home at our usual rrggmmph o’clock except, as you may recall, we are presently on foot, and hellhounds were TRAUMATISED, that’s TRAUMATISED by having to walk home in the RAIN. Now, granted, it was heavy rain, and if hellhounds were in the habit of listening to either husbands or weather reports they might have been feeling a little testy about my having ignored both these excellent sources of advice, but I’m pretty convinced they came up with the whole TRAUMATISED thing all on their own.
And they wouldn’t eat their supper. No, no, we couldn’t touch a morsel, they said, shuddering delicately, we’re so TRAUMATISED.
. . . And then Gabriel, bless him, rang first thing this morning.
I am very short of sleep.
Okay… so the dwarf doesn’t appear to be the landlord…
Well, if he is, Cathy and I need to have a more complex conversation than I realised. As I’ve told you I’m trying to stay about ten eps ahead of what I’m posting so I have some clue where I may be headed, and every now and then, while she gets on with her life, I send Cathy some new fragment of story info which has only just emerged . . . and I mean fragment. These tend to be so fragmentary that she would be forgiven for saying, um, you’re telling me this why?, except that they come with that charge, like putting your finger in a live socket, that says SOMETHING HERE.
Anyway. So far as I know Ron is not the landlord.
Do authors hate their characters enough to make them realtors? Oh, wait.
Hey. I have a friend who’s a realtor.†† Remember that KES is also a parody. I will send up anyone I can get my little hands on, Kes herself in particular of course, but everyone, and the horse they rode in on, and the street names of New Iceland, and . . . I’ve already told you that I’m really looking forward to writing the first scene/chapter of FLOWERHAIR THE INVINCIBLE—which you get a peek at, I think it’s next ep—but that doesn’t negate that somewhere down the line she has some trouble with attack mushrooms.
I’m working on some of Britten’s arias right now (Titania’s two big ones, from his version of “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and one from “The Turn of the Screw”) – he certainly does like to torture musicians. But it’s a good sort of torturing.
Wowie zowie honey, you’re in at the deep end. I think if your head will bend in that direction††† Britten is an absolutely fabulous education all by himself. One of my fantasies is to sing his setting of Auden’s Tell Me the Truth about Love but . . . not this week.
. . . this house is basically my dream home. Grottiness and out-of-datedness and possible Cthulhu and/or Yog-Sothoth in the cellar included.
Oh, me too. If I asked for a show of forum hands I suspect we’re in the majority. But that’s part of the fun (I hope). Parody and riffing on a favourite trope are very nearly the same thing.
I can’t help but wonder if Hayley is just a fan and doing her best not to totally fan-girl geek-out. Matching accessories notwithstanding.
Mother pin a rose on you.‡ I did wonder how many of you were silently having your suspicions. I didn’t know till, um, I think the second ep Hayley appears. I had the same initial reaction to her that Kes herself did. (No, damn it, we are not interchangeable, even metaphorically. There’s just a lot of overlap.) I still want to remonstrate with her about her footgear however.
As someone who normally bolts through a book, this sort of drip-feeding is….. causing me no end of anguish. (And then the author chuckles evilly…?)
Well, yes, I never turn down an opportunity to chuckle evilly, but . . .
I love this whole thing so much. But it really is torture, only getting a tiny bit at a time.
. . . tell yourselves that the only way you will have KES at all is like this. While I admit I hope she turns out to have some kind of long term, comprehensive, something-or-other future, I would, for example NEVER have written last night’s ep for a story that, you know, started life as a contracted book. KES is more work than I was, um, hoping, but she’s also even more fun than I was hoping. And I’ll take all the fun I can get. Especially when there are things like printers in my life.
::reads Kes 20:: ::reaches end of excerpt:: ::dies laughing::
‘dies laughing’?‡‡ You churl. Wait . . . wait . . . a new storyline is just coming into view. I can’t see it clearly yet . . . hang on . . . yes . . . it’s something about a violinist. Something . . . something awful happens to a violinist.
* * *
* I keep dwelling on how slowly this final draft and tidy-up and yank-together is going but as I organised the first lump for printing out I realised that one reason is because it has got long. It’s not in the PEGASUS category but . . . it’s not short. It’s not a cheerful little 75,000-word throw-off that it started life as. Well of course not. Who do I think I am. IT’S NOT LIKE THIS IS UNDER MY CONTROL, YOU KNOW.
** And caper and dance and laugh maniacally as soon as you’re out of your office.
*** It has paper size SETTINGS. It ignores these. You can carefully select the paper you’re using, and during the exciting hey-presto of PAPER JAM and PAPER TRAY MISMATCH it will have reset them. It will have reset them to a paper size that has never existed in the history of the world so that you don’t have opportunity to give it the paper it claims to want, to see if this makes any difference. I comfort myself with the thought that it wouldn’t.
† Waaaaaaaay better than that flimsy old counting-to-ten thing. I have no problem merely counting to ten and then committing murder. Knitting a row has an actual tranquillizing effect.^
^ Unless of course I make a horrible error.
†† And, if we’re counting, three friends who are accountants.
††† And no shame if it doesn’t, EMoon,^ everyone’s different, give me a minute and I’ll think of three major composers I can’t stick on any account.^^
[ep 20] is SO VERY MUCH what I needed tonight!!!
Oh good. ::Beams::
^^ You can take 90% of John Adams, Harrison Birtwhistle and Pierre Boulez, and 80% of Stravinsky and Ravel, and bury them in the back garden, for example.
‡ This is a common phrase, yes? It’s not just me?
My shout of laughter on the ending of Kes #20 just brought my office mates to my door. I believe they’re thinking that I’m the madwoman in the attic.
I think you might have a legal case for unacceptable working conditions. You might want to look into this.