MAY I JUST REITERATE HOW MUCH I FRELLING HATE FRELLING WORDPRESS? IT JUST LOGGED ME OUT AS I PRESSED THE ‘PUBLISH’ BUTTON FOR TONIGHT’S KES. WHICH IT THEN ATE. GULP. NO TRACE. YES, OF COURSE I HAVE THE ORIGINAL AS A WORD DOCUMENT, BUT I DO FINAL TWEAKING IN THE ADMIN WINDOW, WHICH I THEN HAD TO GO TO THE BIG STUPID FAFF OF DOING ALL OVER AGAIN BECAUSE WORDPRESS SUCKS DEAD BEARS. THANKS A LOT, YOU PIECE OF CRAP, WORDPRESS. THANKS EVER EVER EVER SO.
* * *
WE INTERRUPT THIS WAS-WORKING-JUST-FINE-THANK-YOU-MICROSOFT-YOU-PIECE-OF-**** BLOG POST TO ANNOUNCE THAT I’VE JUST SPENT ABOUT HALF AN HOUR TRYING TO FIND OUT WHY MY IDIOT COMPUTER WENT PING ON ME AND NOW EVERYTHING IS RED AND UNDERLINED AND IN SOME KIND OF EDITING (?) MODE THAT I CAN NEITHER FIND NOR TURN OFF. AND IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT OF COURSE SO IT’S NOT LIKE I CAN RING UP AN ARCHANGEL AND SCREAM. I EVENTUALLY COPIED AND PASTED ‘TEXT ONLY’ INTO A NEW DOCUMENT WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE SOLVED THE IMMEDIATE ISSUE . . . BUT I HAVE TO PUT ALL THE BOLD AND ITALIC BACK IN, DON’T I? AS WELL AS REVIVE THE LINKS. I ALSO HAVE TO GO TO BED. SO THE FOLLOWING MAY END A LITTLE ABRUPTLY.
* * *
Why are the cutest, the very CUTEST, the DIES FROM CUTE/GORGEOUS* knitting needle cases/rolls/organizers ALL FOR SHORT NEEDLES? CRUMMY LITTLE DPNs AND FRELLING CIRCULARS?** AND CROCHET HOOKS. CROCHET HOOKS!
Ahem. I’ve been wasting time on Etsy.*** Generally speaking I avoid Etsy† but . . . one of the frelling knitting frelling sites I’m on the (frelling) email list of had a TWENTY PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING sale for the bank holiday. Twenty percent. Off EVERYTHING. Now I pay attention to twenty percent. I will look at fifteen percent . . . but twenty percent, I’m doomed. And so . . . I was doomed.
I’ve been eyeing up Rowan Big Wool for a while because everybody seems to love it and I’m a bit of a wannabe Rowan junkie although their magazines make me crazy, all those undernourished tragic Pre-Raphaelite-haired women†† wearing clothes that I don’t even understand how to look at let alone be able to read the blasted pattern and make the things. But then there was this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/heartbeat-3 †††
I want to make this. Well, I want to try to make this. I wasted an INSANE amount of time this weekend, The Weekend of Twenty Percent Off, trying to decide what colours to (try to) do it in. The other thing is . . . needles. GIGANTIC frelling needles. 12 mm and 15 mm needles.‡ They look like police truncheons. The little needle case I bought long, long ago ‡‡ is, ahem, full, and the addition of police truncheons is not a viable storage option. Hence Etsy. . . .
To be continued.
* * *
* Of course I want a dies-from-cute/gorgeous knitting needle case. I could keep them in a plastic bag if I were a plastic bag sort of girl. I’m not. I’m amazed you’d even ask.
** Which all look like garrottes to me, okay? Cooperate, you yarn, or I’ll garrotte you. And DPNs just scare the grrzmph out of me. I subscribe to way too many knitting magazines, and the bottom end of these give you FREE GIFTS!!! every issue.^ Cheezy plastic DPNs and ditto crochet hooks that weren’t broken out of their mould properly so they have little catchy rough places that I’m sure will contribute to the crocheting experience significantly, are popular. They are not improving my attitude toward these outliers of knitting at all.
^ Just by the way the modern coinage ‘free gift’ makes me NUTS. Here, have a gift with strings and caveats. Have an unfree gift. WHAT? Of course ‘free gifts’ that come as part of the PURCHASE of a magazine or a box of cereal or whatever the flapdoodle aren’t free by definition. So what ‘free gift’ is, is the double negative that makes the positive, or in this case the double positive that makes the negative . . . all right, all right, it’s late and I’m mushy-brained. Still. I think there may be a principle here.
Enter at your own risk. It’s the biggest indie-stall craft market in the universe. It will eat your days, your brain, and your credit card. You will also, slightly depending on what category you’re browsing, be caught up short by . . . amazing things that people have (apparently) made and are (apparently) expecting other people to buy. You know, as in spend money on. Amazing. There are a few of these even in the relatively harmless knitting supplies area.
Which brings me to Regretsy, a site honouring—if you want to call it ‘honouring’ which you probably don’t—all that people should not have hung out there in public with a price tag. However I am not going to give you a link to Regretsy—you can look it up—in the first place because the general tenor is RUDE and the opening page is . . . well, it’s not family friendly, and in the second place because she seems to have shut it down? The archive is still there—and jaw-droppingly fabulous reading it is too if you’re into that sort of thing. I find I start feeling as if I’ve eaten too much cheap chocolate too quickly but still . . . wow. You can look her up too—April Winchell—who has a web site that is a sort of very large Regretsy-style collection of the bad, the awful, and the seriously squicky, whose boundaries know no, uh, bounds. You want people being jerkfaces? Go there. She’s very funny. But . . . rude. You were warned.
However, on the subject of the successful deployment of rude, one of the shops on Etsy is http://www.etsy.com/shop/beanforest
which I discovered because FOR SOME REASON people kept sending me a link to this button:
Which I still haven’t ordered because every time I try I find myself running up a tab of about thirty quids’ worth of kitchen magnets (of course I want them as kitchen magnets) and . . . no.^ For example, upon further investigation of the deep luxuriant richness on offer, this one makes me fall off my chair laughing:
. . . Okay. I’ll behave now. Probably. But speaking of FOOTNOTES which I OFTEN AM like NOW^^, several people have sent me a link to a recent xkcd post: http://xkcd.com/1208/ Be sure to do the mouseover thing.
^ My refrigerator isn’t large enough.
^^ I’m sure it’s all very meta-whatsit to be talking about footnotes in footnotes.
† For all the reasons detailed in footnote *** above.
†† Most of the Brotherhood however would be appalled at the starved-teenager look.
††† Is anyone else getting a little cranky about the months’-old THIS JUST IN!!! opening page on Ravelry trumpteting three million users? Fine. They have three million users. I’m impressed. But I was impressed a long time ago and I think they might take the ‘just’ out.
‡ Heartbeat only requires 10 mm, but http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/may-2
is 15 mm. I thought I might finally try a hat. Especially a hat with none of this circular nonsense.
‡‡ Two years, I think? It was two years ago this past winter that Fiona tied me to my chair and showed me how to knit and purl and cast on and off while I begged for mercy, wasn’t it?
Some things may be looking up. No, no, nothing about ARCs and books scheduled for publication in September*. Both hellhounds ate lunch today for the first time in weeks. Of course then we had an unexpected meltdown about dinner, arrrgh. However, eating was eventually accomplished at dinner as well . . . and then they got all cranky about Pav getting bits of chicken for afters too. Guys. Your neurosis is showing.
But I was thinking despairingly today . . . I may not only be starting to hope strenuously that Pav doesn’t get too big to pick up**, I may spend my declining years specialising in dogs that are small enough to pick up.*** It is the simple truth that Other People’s Dogs are starting to undermine my delight in my own dogs. Yes. It’s that bad.
I think it was two days ago I was giving Pav a last quick sprint around the centre of town. It was after dark and New Arcadia is not known for its heady night life. There were only a few people on the street. Two of them were standing talking to each other outside the Troll and Nightingale. Between them was a lying-down dog.
I am paranoid, but like the old joke goes, even paranoids have real enemies. This dog was just lying there but I knew I didn’t like the look of it, and I had taken note that it was not wearing a lead. I think we’ll not worry about it, I said to Pav, and picked her up. I then strolled out into the street, so we would be passing Ominous Dog at a little distance instead of possibly invading its private space by passing it on the, you know, public pavement.
We hadn’t even come level with it when it LEAPED to its feet and came barrelling straight at us, barking and snarling with all its hair up. OH GREAT. THIS IS GREAT. I REALLY GOT UP THIS MORNING SAYING PERHAPS TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE. I yelled, which is what I usually do in these situations, bellowing is less embarrassing than shrieking and if by any chance the human involved is going to do anything this is a SUGGESTION THAT THEY DO IT NOW.
They never do, of course. In this case as I yelled I swung around, on the theory that fewer dogs will attack a human than will go for the hellterror in the human’s arms, and Toxic Purulence Dog swerved off at the last minute, circled around us and came up behind me again. I don’t suppose I did feel its hot breath on the back of my neck but I felt as if I was feeling its hot breath on the back of my neck. Not a small dog. Just by the way.
Its human said, Awwwwwww, he just wants to say helloooooooo.
Words failed me, which is just as well. You can neither argue nor reason with these troglodytes—and in this case I guess there is more going on than mere denial. This guy’s getting off on his evil dog, in some weird passive-aggressive way. Toxic Purulence Dog eventually peeled away and left us alone, and I, even more eventually, put Pav back on her own feet.†
I was out with Pav after dark again tonight†† but we were at the other end of town. We were walking past one of the sports grounds which was all lit up because they were playing one of those men-in-shorts-kicking-balls games. I therefore couldn’t see much into the dark beyond, but I was pretty sure I was seeing . . . an off lead dog and a human. I picked Pav up. As we got closer . . . IT WAS TOXIC PURULENCE DOG AGAIN. How did we get so lucky? And it ran straight at us††† while its human said, Awwwwww, now, Uncle Wiggly‡ . . .
It swerved off again, a little sooner this time. Small favours. I tracked it going down the other side of the football field and thought, we’ll just take an extra loop around the hedgerow so we don’t all arrive back at the car park at the same time.
I was nonetheless looking around like Ripley in Aliens as we got close to the car park and . . . saw a large familiar-looking dog just jumping into a car. ‡ We lingered a little longer before venturing to cross the tarmac and . . . violent, hysterical barking broke out from the car we’d seen. I risked looking over my shoulder and . . . yup. Toxic Purulence Dog. Slightly muffled by being behind a closed window.
Here’s the really incredible bit. The troglodyte lowered the window so Toxic Purulence Dog could jam its head and shoulders through the opening and scream at us. I wondered in a cool detached way if TPD was actually going to get out and come after us again. . . .
What is the matter with people?
* * *
* SHADOWS’ official pub date is the 26th of September, if you want to draw a big red circle on your calendar. I Remember the Good Old Days when authors got their first copies weeks before the rest of the world did. Now it’s the other way around. With pre-orders and things readers who are not merely enthusiastic but organised may have your book in their hot little hands weeks before your publisher’s warehouse sends it to you.
** I can’t think of Pav as ‘small’ however. She’s just . . . low slung. She’s so frelling solid.^ When I think of a small dog, I think of the sort of critter that you’re afraid of breaking if you pick it up wrong or hold it too tightly. It’s not merely a question of weight: Pekinese are solid little beggars. Bichon Frises, in my admittedly limited experience, are not, although they may weigh half again to twice what a Peke weighs. While I’m not going to try dribbling Pav like a basketball^^, I’m quite sure she’d bounce and come up smiling.^^^
^ Even if she’s too thin.+
+ . . . mutters: she is not too thin.
^^ and am only occasionally tempted . . . STOP EATING THE CARPET. STOP EATING THE SOFA. STOP EATING THE HELLHOUNDS’ BED. STOP EATING YOUR LEAD. STOP EATING MY JEANS/SHOELACES/SOCKS. STOP EATING . . .
^^^ Love the bullie grin. Just saying.
*** My second to last dog will be a Yorkshire terrier. Then I’ll get one of those mobility scooter things and have an extra-large basket put on the front in which can ride a mini-bullie and a small whippet.^
^ Hazel, at nineteen pounds, all of which was leg and spine, curled up on your lap beautifully. Pav, at twenty-seven pounds, doesn’t fit in your lap at all, partly because she’s a rectangular solid and doesn’t bend very well.
† Pav was all, Okay, that was fun and exciting! What’s next? I was shivering with adrenaline and had to sit down for a minute. No, no, no, said Pav. Sitting down is not fun and exciting. Perhaps if I eat your shoelaces you will be aroused to take an interest.
†† I spent most of the afternoon IN THE GARDEN. Which I will probably tell you about tomorrow. (*&^%$£”!!!!!, etc.
††† And Pav sat up Very Straight and said, Ooooh, this is fun and exciting! —She’s been freaked out a couple of times by big dogs rushing up to her, even big friendly dogs. I would love to know what she’s thinking when we’re having an encounter while I’m carrying her. As I’ve said many times, she’s very, very good about being carried, because of all that holding when she was a baby; picking her up is, in fact, a good way of telling her to calm down; nine times out of ten she collapses instantly.^ But what she is thinking while Armageddon is racing toward us? ‘I’m taller than he is’? ‘Nobody goes up against the hellgoddess and lives’? ‘Wheeeee’?
^ The tenth time, of course, there is major blood loss, and you feel as if you’re holding onto a small exploding galaxy.
‡ Not Its Real Name
‡‡ I hope I’m imagining it that the troglodyte waved at me.
. . . the scheduled programme continuing our discussion of life, art, performance and Good Enough* . . .
. . . to moan.
I’ve only—pretty much just this minute—got the copyedited SHADOWS back to my editor’s assistant’s (virtual) desk. It’s in the contract that your copyeditor will be from another planet and imperfectly drilled in earth mores.** This one was, in fact, better behaved than most. I thought I was getting off easily*** until . . .
Part of the problem is that trying to produce anything but the plainest of plain text on a computer makes my brain flurg into bread pudding. I can’t deal with electronic notes in the margins.† So my editor’s ever-patient assistant printed out a hard copy and sent me that. †† It took me a while to realise that those little faded grey streaky things are actually what significant house-style††† changes look like when electronic marginalia is forced onto paper.
My style is not house style. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH. . . .
I took Wolfgang in for his yearly legal-requirement MOT test on Monday.
He failed. He’s seventeen years old, it takes a little while for the parts to come in. I got him back today‡ . . . just in time to howl out to Ditherington this evening to return my sheet music from the concert I didn’t sing in with the Muddles, which if the librarian doesn’t return all of he can’t check out the music for the next concert . . . which, yes, I am going to try to sing in.
All of this would pass as fairly standard Life Stuff. However. Remember The Wall?
Somewhat against my better judgement—but it’s always easy to be wise in hindsight—I was talked into agreeing to the fellow who started work on Monday. He’s built dozens of brick-and-flint walls. Hundreds. Millions. He knows EVERYTHING about building brick-and-flint walls.
He poured in a lot of concrete on Monday and covered it up to set or jell or coagulate or whatever cement does. He was going to start again on Wednesday. I heard a lot of talking going on Wednesday morning, but then hellcritters and I set out on our double commute to get all of us down to the mews without benefit of Wolfgang.
That evening my neighbour rang me to say THE WALL BUILDER HAD QUIT. HE’D DONE ONE DAY AND HE’D QUIT.‡‡
My neighbour now wants to go with some other frelling friend of a friend of a colleague’s cousin’s small-appliance repairperson’s mongoose. I want to hire someone we know something about. She and I had nearly half an hour on the phone tonight, talking at total cross purposes, because she wants her way and I want mine. She’s already booked this joker to come talk to us tomorrow. He’s very nice! she said to me. You’ll like him! Whether I like him or not is beside the point.
I am very tired. . . . ‡‡‡
* * *
* I meant ‘good enough’ as a positive thing. I apply it positively. I make myself crazy—you may have noticed—I wind myself up, I force myself to fail by setting the bar too high.^ Good enough means I can achieve something and recognise it as achievement and not some flavour of failure. I personally feel it gives me room to have both good and bad days: on the good days it’s a springboard and on the bad days it’s a support.
My affection for this approach may partly be my age again. I remember when the concept of good enough hit the media and the self-help racks. I was raised to believe that anything less than A-plus, 100%, a gold medal and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star^^ was not good enough and that sackcloth and ashes and a life of social exile and sixth-rate chocolate were the only alternative. Good enough was not only a HUGE relief but it also meant you could try stuff without ruining your reputation (if any).
And possibly your grade-point average, depending on the school. This is one of the things that even at the age of seventeen or twenty and going or going back to college, and I was not a subtle thinker at seventeen or twenty, made me kind of nuts. Here you are attending full-time an Institution of Higher Learning and . . . you only dare take stuff you’re reasonably sure you can get good marks in, because education isn’t really the goal here, having a good-looking transcript is. This was in one of the eras when a liberal-arts degree was about as useful as a rubber pogo stick^^^ so you didn’t want to smash the poor flimsy thing up any further by taking risky classes. I’m not sure what quantum physics looked like in the early 1970s but I totally wouldn’t have dared. I did however weaken my poor sad BA by taking music, which I did not get wonderful grades in. Fortunately I subsequently found a way to escape my doom of sackcloth and ashes and the sixth-rate chocolate. . . . Social exile? Eh.
But Good Enough came along before I had permanently crippled myself by the weight of the chip on my shoulder.
^ Yo, I’m a Shetland pony, not an Irish hunter.
^^ If they can give stars for walking on the moon, I’m not too fussed about how they define ‘entertainment industry’.
^^^ Although I’m not sure even a proper steel and titanium pogo stick can be classified as useful
** It’s either that or the questions that have no connection with reality as you understand it are some kind of plant, seeking to discover if you have dangerous hidden personality traits that might lead you to go suddenly mad with a banana frappe at a crowded shopping mall.
*** Aside from an extreme case of Not Able to Focus on These Words any more
† My editor handles this just fine, and she’s nearly as old as I am. I tell myself she does a lot more of it than I do. She’s, you know, an editor.
†† I think I told you about the FedEx man not delivering it when there was no one home despite the fact that it said PAPER and MANUSCRIPT and ZERO VALUE and PLEASE LEAVE and NO SIGNATURE REQUIRED all over it.
††† Ie Chicago Manual of Style or whatever. Grammar and punctuation and all are somewhat mutable and publishing houses usually have a standard way of doing things, although the choices Teacosy Press makes may be somewhat different from those of Zombie Revolution Books. Aside from their contrasting approaches to acquisition.
‡ I am VERY GRATEFUL to the weather gods for giving us two non-sequential good days for walking. Hellhounds and I enjoyed the walk back from and out to Warm Upford very much. Something went right.^
^ But the question is, will there be four of us shepherding Wolfgang to and from his MOT next February? SHE’S BEEN HERE FOUR MONTHS. DON’T YOU THINK WE COULD ALL START TO GET ALONG?
‡‡ He’s decided he can’t do it for what he claimed on his estimate. Is this spectacular incompetence or a spectacularly crude attempt to jack the price up?
‡‡‡ And I haven’t even told you how copying seven pages of Zerlina’s Vedrai, carino^ took ten minutes because every page jammed. Some of them several times. Feeding pages in one at a time didn’t work. Fanning them between each page didn’t work. A whole new trayful didn’t work. I. HATE. MY. PRINTER.
^ If I like it, or anyway Nadia likes me singing it, I’ll buy the book. I worry about copyright even when the bloke’s been dead hundreds of years.
One Slightly Used Puppy. Free to a Good Home. It doesn’t have to be a very good home. Just a reasonably good home. A moderately good home. A home.
WHOSE DEMIURGE-BLASTED IDEA WAS DOGS? IT’S A REALLY BAD IDEA. REALLY. BAD.
I woke up too early this morning when Pooka chirruped at me. It was my dog minder saying she had flu and couldn’t hurtle today. Arrgh. Too much input. Atlas was telling me that the reason Phineas’ gutters are coming off, and, in the process, ice-stalactiting my little hamamelis to death, is because of the roses. That’s the wall that Mme Alfred and Mme Gregoire riot up and over—well, you’ve seen the photos. Mme Alfred is, or rather, was, reaching about ten feet nearer heaven from the roof of Phineas’ three-storey house. Unfortunately she and Mme G are also prying the gutters free of their brackets. Pruning once-only flowering roses this time of year means I’ll probably have precious few flowers from either of them this summer, Mme G in particular, who is an early bloomer. Whimper. Atlas was also hauling my dead refrigerator off to the dump to make way for the shiny new (Lilliputian*) refrigerator due to arrive on Wednesday.** Atlas is easy to have around—it’s one of his major virtues—but it’s still another two feet in a small cottage that already contains fourteen of them.
Meanwhile Theodora’s Strong Young Men came back today and carted a skip’s worth of rubble away and I don’t like having lots of strangers in my face. And while it does look better it also makes the hole look bigger.
After extreme ditheration I decided to take my entire furry complement with me this afternoon. We could gambol on Drollbody’s green before going on to Nadia. The gambolling worked out reasonably well although there were far too many other gambollers to risk the troika. And then when we got to Nadia . . . I was trying to put a blanket over the lying-down hellhounds, especially Chaos, who really feels the cold, but every time I got out of the car they stood up again. All right have it your way it’s probably not that cold anyway. But when I got inside and looked out the window . . . there was frelling Chaos having stuffed most of his long-legged self onto the shelf behind the back seat where the dog bed lives, staring agonizedly through the rear window at me, two glass panes and a lot of cold air away. Feh.
The lesson itself went better than I expected: when I’d warmed up this morning my voice was about as rich and elastic and resonant as an underfed kitten squalling under an upended bucket. At the end of it Nadia said, you should take that one to Oisin. —Eeeep. This is Purcell’s Evening Hymn which I started work on with Blondel and have gone back to and I looooooove it. She said I should think about bringing my recording thingy again, that I might be pleasantly surprised. . . .
So possibly I was reeling from the shock of all this. I’d already told Colin that I wouldn’t come ringing tonight, on not enough sleep plus full double hurtling I was going to be trashed by bell practise time. And then I decided to go after all. The ringing was not too bad, largely, however, because we were drubbing our beginners and while I am capable of going entirely wrong on anything, I have a relatively sturdy autopilot for plain bob doubles even when the brain has closed for the day . . . and was positively enjoying, in a twitchy, ouchy, oh-dear-been-there-done-that-have-the-t-shirt way, the struggles of Reynold ringing his first plain courses inside.
I had brought Pavlova, of course, she can still just about fit in her travelling crate by judicious folding. And then on our way out IT ALL WENT HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY WRONG. It was dark, right? As we went through the churchyard toward the cars. And I belong to the get-it-away-from-them-first-and-find-out-what-it-is-second school of puppy management, my reflexes and my paranoia polished to diamond brilliance by the vicissitudes of dealing with hellhounds. So I already had my hand in her mouth . . . before . . . I . . . realised . . . what . . . I . . . now . . . had . . . a . . . handful . . . of. A large handful. There was struggling, and the substance got spread around rather liberally . . . and there was only the outside cold tap that people fill their watering-cans with . . . but you know I am not complaining, at least there was an available cold tap. And oh my hearts and flowers, was there ever language. Including the ‘I am LEAVING YOU BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD’ variety.
We got home and I burst through the front door shouting for surgical spirit†, went straight to the sink and began maniacally washing my hands. Peter, having been dozing on the sofa, woke up enough to say, oh, hi, did it go okay? IT WENT FINE. I ALWAYS COME INDOORS SHOUTING FOR SURGICAL SPIRIT AND START DOING A LADY MACBETH WITH THE INDUSTRIAL DETERGENT. Then I went back out to Wolfgang AND WIPED DOWN EVERYTHING I HAD TOUCHED WITH SURGICAL SPIRIT. Pav, a trifle shaken by events, went straight into the bathtub and emerged smelling of lavender.††
So a nice clean slightly used puppy. Any takers?
* * *
* But Lilliputian is A LOT EASIER to lift over the puppy gate than a full-sized refrigerator would have been. A full-sized one might have been a Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel situation.
** Some time Wednesday. They’re going to ring me at SEVEN IN THE MORNING. SEVEN. IN THE MORNING. TO TELL ME WHICH FOUR HOUR SLOT IT WILL BE ARRIVING IN. SEVEN. IN THE MORNING. I’ve barely gone to bed.
They are at least delivering it, you know, at all. I am disgracefully and mortifyingly retro about manuscripts, and dealing with my editor’s electronic queries on SHADOWS made me CRAAAAAAZY . . . I make similar attempts to cope with modernity every book, and fail . . . and I eventually printed out. So my editor’s assistant, bless her, sent me hard copy to begin with of the copyedited object. I only have a fortnight to turn the thing around, although Zandria says all the queries are of the ‘do you want this comma here?’ variety . . . but someone obsessed with how punctuation affects the rhythm of the sentence or the paragraph^ can struggle a lot over a comma. Anyway. I have a fortnight.
And the mutton-brained UPS man^^ came on Friday when I was not there and took it away again. IT’S A MANUSCRIPT, YOU MORON. IT SAYS SO ON THE PACKAGE, ALONG WITH ‘DOES NOT NEED TO BE SIGNED FOR.’ IT IS WORTH ZERO FLOGGED ON THE BLACK MARKET. WTF, YOU OVERDONE PORK CHOP?
So this jerk has just stolen nearly four working days from me thanks ever so. It arrived today. But it arrived when Atlas was there to take receipt. I wouldn’t have been able to write a blog tonight if Mr Pond Slime had taken it away again, because I would have been busy hunting him down and KILLING HIM. And recovering my package before the bloodstains penetrated too far.
^ SOMEBODY TELL ME WHY MY EAR FOR THIS KIND OF THING IS SO FRELLING DEMANDING WHEN I CAN’T KEEP A RHYTHM BELL RINGING TO SAVE MY FREAKING LIFE.
^^ It always is a bloke. There are female mailpersons but I have yet to see a girl courier.
† Rubbing alcohol
†† Peter, who is a wonderful human being, cleaned the crate.