November 11, 2016

Time, time


Yes, two days, um, nights, in a row, posting to the blog.  It won’t last.  But I don’t want to leave that evil asshole on the opening screen of my blog for any longer than necessary:  Twenty-four hours is plenty.  But . . . having just mentioned him, here on what will now become the opening page, does that mean I have to write again tomorrow?  Hmmmm.

Time, time, was one of Peter’s phrases.  I cannot believe how much time time TIME TIIIIIIME it takes just adding one thing back into your weekly schedule.  Um.  Maybe two.  Well, maybe three.  Trying to wake the blog up counts, or counted, till the malnutrition and bronchitis splintered me, and it will count again.*  I wasn’t committed to going to Mass with my monks once a week when I was last having weekly voice lessons and Samaritan shifts either.  If Nadia insists on keeping me in a late-morning slot it makes the juggling act even more extreme because I can’t go to morning Mass and make it to the other end of the frelling country** for a voice lesson and the drive would wreck the fragile post-Mass serenity*** although it might have been interesting to discover what effect chanting penitential rites would have as warm-up to singing Mozart.  However all such questions have been set aside as I croaked through recent weeks.  I need to hustle Nadia now however in the hopes of a lesson or two before Christmas shuts all such trifles and fripperies down†:  I would like to be able to scare people on the other side of a small room with my carol singing, and all stresses, including trivialities like legal suits by the local crown court and bronchitis, make my voice go into hiding-behind-the-parapet-and-squeaking mode.

But how to begin to catch up, or slot back in, with the blog and any readers who haven’t given me up as a lost cause? The daily adventure of the hellmob?  Singing dismal and maudlin folk songs whilst hurtling?  Conversations with Peter?††  KNITTING?†††  Bell ringing?‡  The failure of Third House to sell and the oh-God-details-I-hate-details of trying to prep it to let for a year or two and see where the foaming tides of Brexit may have left us by then?  I think I need to slip into the blogging business again gently.

* * *

* IT CERTAINLY DOES. I’D FORGOTTEN HOW LONG WRITING A POST TAKES.^  Also I may have an ulterior motive.  Mwa hahahahahaha.

^ And I’m out of practise trying to herd footnotes. Which make cats or bell ringers or Sam volunteers+ or hellmobs look like a doddle.

+ Or St Margaret’s band members for the evening service. At least summer is over#, when there were Sundays we were getting by with three. When one of the three is you it’s a lot harder to pretend that strange background keening noise isn’t you singing.

# Aaaaaaaand . . . still no probate.~ Less than a month to the first anniversary of Peter’s death.  Just by the way.~~

~ The latest interesting development from my delightful bank’s closing my private nothing-to-do-with-my-husband account and stealing all my money last May is that some of the direct debits that they killed and then reinstated . . . re-died, to coin a term. Only about a third of them did reinstate, and I’m still struggling to keep up with all the stuff I haven’t had to think about every frelling ratblasted month, because I can’t INAUGURATE ANY NEW DIRECT DEBITS TILL I’M OUT OF PROBATE but I assumed those that had successfully reconnected would STAY reconnected?  Noooooooo.  That would be too simple.


** Anything over five miles is my idea of the other end of the frelling country, and this would be nearly thirty miles. I’m pretty used to the commute to my monks but Nadia has moved to Somerset.  Nearly.  The Somerset that is the opposite direction from my monks, if you follow me, so if I were pelting from monks to Nadia I’d have to squeal back through New Arcadia on the way.  Feh.

*** IF I WEREN’T WIRED OUT OF MY TINY MIND it might not be quite so fragile. Remember that the area court in Greater Footling wanted to sue me for non-payment of council tax?  And that I had sorted this out?  You didn’t think that was the end of it, did you?  No, of course not, you are intelligent grown ups with your own stories to tell about local government.  I then received another letter from the Greater Footling court system thanking me for paying up till 1 October, but that they still want me to pay up to the end of the year or they were going to sue me anyway.  Point one:  all three houses were, as of my at that time most recent conversation with the local council, paid up to 1 September. Greater Footling, for reasons best known to itself, is only suing me for the Lodge.  The local clerk in theory had removed the whole court-case thing because my situation is unusual, and she explained that if you fall behind on your council tax they will demand you pay up to the end of the year. What? Whose bright idea was that?  Most people fall behind because they’re having cash flow problems, not because they’re in probate, their bank is heli-skiing with their money, and all real-world business admin makes them cry.  So you sue someone for more money because they’ve already graphically demonstrated they don’t have enough money?  Is the government trying to make people homeless?  Or oblige them to feed their children out of the dustbins behind Macdonalds?

But perhaps I digress. I have already referred (repeatedly) to the fact that the last two or so months have been prey to a broad spectrum of diversions, and one of the results of this is that I didn’t pay the October house tax instalments on the first of the month like a good little anal-retentive control-freak stooge would.^  Midway through the month when my legs were working better and I was coughing less and I really was going to go tackle the city council AGAIN because I’d had NO paperwork yet and according to the clerks, this being one of the few things that, over the months, everybody I saw agreed on, I should receive individual monthly invoices reminding me in the politest possible way^^ that I was due to open a vein for the benefit of the council office again, and specifying the quantity they planned to tap. . . . Now I repeat that midway through the month I had had NO PAPERWORK concerning my monthly council tax bills.

Then I received three envelopes from the city council on the same day.  Declaring that I was in arrears.  And for the three houses that all come due on the same date, remember the SAME DATE thing, organised to make it easier for me, a bear of very, very little brain?  Yes?  You remember? . . . for these three simultaneously-due houses I received two first reminders and one second reminder. So with the mind-bendiness of the simultaneity situation I can also remark that the paperwork I hadn’t received included the first reminder for the third house.  Except it wasn’t for Third House, it was . . . oh, never mind.

^ My biases may be showing. But what would you rather expend your even-more-than-usually frustratingly limited energy on, friends you don’t see often enough or possibly haven’t seen in years, OR paying your frelling council tax?  Anyone who says, oooh, I’d pay my tax, of course, is banned forever from this blog.  I’d further suggest that I’m going to sneak into your house and hide your chequebook, except that nobody but the elderly hopeless like me uses cheques any more.


† With my voice, voice lessons are unequivocally trifling fripperies

†† I’m becoming pretty shameless about this. The locals can just get used to the scraggy old lady chatting away hard to a rose stuck in the ground in a corner between two sarcophagi.  The hellmob has.

††† I certainly must tell you about THE THING I ACTUALLY FINISHED.

† I’m still all in black. I got up this morning, late, having once again watched the dawn come up before I got to sleep, stared at the clean laundry I haven’t put away yet^, and reached for the black jeans and cardi I’d been wearing yesterday.  I went bell ringing at Crabbiton tonight and the other American eyed me and said, so, are you in mourning?  Yes, I said.  And then we did some wailing and bitching about the evil asshole before we got down to the serious business of trying to weasel out of ringing at Madhatterington on Sunday morning, Madhatterington’s bells being not only possessed by demons but they sound like a train wreck, so the ringers’ agonies aren’t even worthwhile.

^ I usually only bother to put away stuff I don’t wear that often. Something I’m going to wear again in the next day or three, why waste the time?  I only need half the bed to sleep in.

A wide glittering variety of arrrrrrrgh


We’ve got three or four degrees of frost out there* AND THE FRELLING MONKS HAVEN’T TURNED THE FRELLING HEATING ON IN THEIR FRELLING CHAPEL. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO COLD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.** At least when you’re Street Pastoring you can, you know, fidget.*** Although the big problem with SPing in the COOOOOOLD is that you’re supposed to stroll, so you can catch people’s eyes and check for passed-out drunks in alleyways and things. The Street Pastor Amble. It’s a skill. I haven’t got it. When I walk slowly I tend to fall over. My sense of balance—which used to be pretty good; I was one of those people who could run on Maine so-called beaches, springing gazelle-like from rock to rock†—has been programmed for speed since I first waveringly clambered up a coffee-table leg and launched out into the perilous unknown of the living-room floor at the age, I believe, of eleven months. About most things I’m the slowest person on the planet†† but it’s like walking is trying to make up for deficits elsewhere. I WALK FAST. I ONLY KNOW HOW TO WALK FAST. And falling over when you’re a Street Pastor does not look good. I’m working on my amble.

Anyway. Street Pastoring can be very, very, very cold. BUT NOT AS COLD AS SITTING STILL IN A FRELLING CHAPEL WATCHING YOUR BREATH SMOKE AND TRYING TO THINK ABOUT GOD.††† You kind of get distracted by thoughts of When Is This Torture Going to End and It’s Only December. I spent November telling myself that it wasn’t that cold yet‡ and that I’d start bringing a blanket again in December. And then I missed last week because the monks were having a doodah that crude amateur members of the public were not invited to and so tonight . . . well, I brought a blanket, and it’s a good thing or I’d have FRELLING DIED OF EXPOSURE. It was a near thing anyway.‡‡

But I also saw my monk beforehand, and as I said to him as he let me in, just seeing him cheers me up ‡‡‡  so I can’t moan properly.  Listen, all you loyal blog readers, a little of why I haven’t posted in yonks-frelling-plus is a little bit the thing about how if I stop posting every night I’ll stop posting altogether, but it’s mostly because my life has taken a violent turn for the absolutely shitty, and I’m not coping too brilliantly. There are days when I’m not coping at all. This blog has always been Days in the Life . . . but that’s been mostly predicated on the idea that I can find something in the daily round that is modestly amusing and can be amped up for public consumption, and the opportunities for funny are sodblasted thin on the barren, meteorite-crater-pocked ground lately. As is my energy level for spin doctoring.

The one contrariety I am admitting to, and which I tweeted about a few days ago, is that THIS IS A NEW COMPUTER. AND DO I HAVE TO BOTHER TELLING YOU THAT IT IS DRIVING ME BANANA NUT TWIST SUPERLATIVE SUPREME BONKERS WITH EXTRA FROSTING. No, I didn’t think I had to tell you that.§ And my old laptop died SPECTACULARLY about twenty-six minutes—okay, maybe it was twenty-six hours, but it was also a Saturday—after I took delivery of this one, holding to its aged and flaming bosom as it crashed burning, a certain amount of stuff that hadn’t been transferred yet, and while in theory YES EVERYTHING IS BACKED UP, um, WHERE??????

And at this interesting juncture I’m going to leave you, because I have to get up what passes in my world for early tomorrow, I have a friend to visit in hospital. . . .

I hope I will post again some time this week. It’ll be a good sign if I do. Prayers, positive thoughts, well-disposed corn dollies or anything else of a spiritually uplifting nature, most welcome. §§

* * *

 * ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. HOLD THAT ARRRRRRRRRRRGH. Meanwhile, we have three or four degrees of frost out there and any geraniums I missed in the dark are toast.^


** More ARRRRGH. As above.

*** EVEN MORE ARRRRGH. Maybe I’ll go knit, I mean knit, something.

† Well maybe not precisely gazelle like

†† WRITING BOOKS, for example. Whimper.

††† I’m sure I saw ice crystals on the Host we were supposed to be contemplating. I really hope heaven is warm.^ 

^ Hey. We all get to heaven. It just takes some of us a few more millennia+ than others.++

+ Possibly spent in small rooms with large blackboards writing something like ‘I will not murder people who misuse “lie” and “lay”’ six hundred and forty-seven gazillion times.

++ And I said warm. I didn’t say fiery inferno and demons with pitchforks and nasty laughs.

‡ And it wasn’t. I just don’t sit still any better than I walk slowly. My blood goes gelid and viscous and stops circulating. Both my congenital fidgets and walking speed may merely be the result of having lazy blood that has to be PRODDED to keep circulating.^

^ Don’t I feed you enough VITAMINS? I feed you SHEDLOADS of vitamins. Grrrrr. +

+ I hate taking pills. But supplements are one of the things that got me off the sofa again after the ME stomped me flat, and keep me off the sofa# now. I know supplements are controversial. But I’ve proved their usefulness to my own satisfaction many times by the simple expedient of running out of something occasionally and working backwards when the symptoms the thing I’ve run out of is holding off start coming back. I haven’t found the vitamin or vitamins that will plug the gaps in my memory—although the idea that this is the shiny improved supplement-supported memory is pretty terrifying.

# Mournful looks from hellhounds~

~ Smug look from hellterror, who can fit on my lap in a chair when there isn’t time for a proper sofa.

‡‡ In spite of the two turtlenecks, two wool cardigans, heavy leather jacket, wool gloves, heavy long johns under the 501 Levis, two pairs of socks and wool inserts in my All Stars. COLD. COOOOOOLD.

‡‡‡ Go with it, he said, grinning.

§ All those earlier ARRRRRGHS? Well, for example, the ‘function’ and the ‘control’ key have swapped places. I use flapbloodydoodling control all the time. For example you hit control-i for italic, okay? You hit function-i and NOTHING HAPPENS, except to your blood pressure. For another example, Raphael, in theory, gave me a PINK FONT option in the drop-down menu here in Word. If you start a new document . . . it’s in pink. Which I probably don’t want.^^^ But if you look in the drop-down menu for pink . . . it isn’t there. You have to go frelling dive^ for it in the Colour Hexagram, which is not^^ user-friendly.



^^^ I’m in pink now because I had to copy and paste format-free into a fresh document to get rid of some SODITDOODAHANDTHEHORSEITRODEINON hard line breaks that I have no+ idea about where they came from or anything else, and having just spent about twenty minutes GETTING RID OF AUTO-BULLETING EVERY TIME I WANTED TO INSERT A FOOTNOTE++ I’m feeling a little harassed. +++ I’ve also had to reinstate the shortcuts for my footnote icons and let’s not even APPROACH the interesting time I’m having with IE.




§§ And I apologise about KES. But you don’t want me doing any final tweaking to half-finished eps at the moment, trust me. It would not end well.

Street Pastors Stub Post Night


It’s throwing it down out there, like a bully throwing rocks, but there’s already so much standing water it’s not surprising that more rain bounces.  We’re having the occasional spasm of thunder and lightning for interest.  I’m a little worried about tonight’s commute to Mauncester, even though I know every sub-micron of that road, including where the invisible black water collects and does a before-the-Gates-of-Moria thing if you’re in the wrong, you should forgive the term, stream.*  But I’m also half expecting a last-minute email from our team leader saying that SPing has been cancelled by police order because the current frothing down the main pedestrian precinct is strong enough to pull anyone even slightly the worse for wear over** and anyone at all wearing stacked-sole stilettos.  Or, speaking of current, that the entire city has shorted out, including the pumps at the pubs and the shot dispensers at the club(s).

But I do want to make a start at responding to what you all said about last night’s post.


My agent also tells me that the internet has moved on and writers aren’t blogging any more

Have you suggested she should go tell John Scalzi? (And many, many others, FWIW).

Yep.  Graphic example of what happens when you’re careless about using someone else on your public blog.   I’d already had a whap up longside the head for misquoting her from Merrilee herself.  I don’t remember what she originally said, only that I came away with the impression that I was now an Old Fogey for continuing to blog—and half a dozen helpful people have sent me links to ‘why I don’t blog/don’t blog any more’ posts in the last month or thereabouts, so I was probably feeling kind of . . . oppressed.  But all that said I still knew I was making a silly generalisation and on a public blog you can only do this to yourself.

What Merrilee did say last night, and this time I am quoting, from her email:  I did not say writers aren’t blogging anymore — I said YOU DON’T NEED TO DO IT EVERY DAY AND THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

Okay?  —By the way I think John Scalzi is sui generis.   I just write a blog.


The self centred is largely because I don’t have to worry about hurting my own feelings if I go over the top,

. . . I find I have to do the same thing in my sermons. Especially because sermons are so often about our frailty and failings as humans and what we should or can or should want to do about it (and, even though I’m Jewish — and thus, hardly ever discuss God in public, even at temple, because Judaism is primarily about people — occasionally even where God might play a part in all this), I often need examples of people who are misunderstanding some basic precept of existence. And I’m not going to use someone I know. Likewise, I’m not going to use some internet/urban legend story about someone I don’t know. So my only choice is…me. I come out as a total, self-centered dweeb in my sermons. I can only hope that the rest of the sermon convinces my congregation that I’ve overcome this week’s version of dweebishness enough to be brilliant about it. (Or at least funny. In sermons, if you can’t be brilliant, be funny. If you can’t be funny, be brief. The perfect sermon is all three.)

YES.  EXACTLY.  THIS.  THANK YOU.  Not that I write sermons***, but if I want to get a point across?  If I want to say something . . . unflattering?  If I want to dandle a buffoon before you in the hopes of making you laugh?  Yes.  I can only use me.


. . . I’m glad that I was wrong in taking you too seriously because I do think your anecdotes are funny,

Oh good.

. . . and I do relate them to my friends, all the while laughing that a writer I have loved my whole life is a “cranky”, “old” lady as you often make yourself out to be in the blog.

Well, it’s like being self-absorbed, volatile and having a talent for seeing the dire in things.  I am cranky, and sixty-one ain’t young.  It’s what you do with the bits and pieces you decide to use in public.  But if you’re laughing I am succeeding.

It wouldn’t surprise me… if the blog hasn’t further confused the issue of Who I Am As A Real Human Being

Yep, guess I was confused . . . due to my not catching on to the hyperbolic nature of your stories and rants . . . but I am glad, too . . . a little glad? Still sorry I upset you . . .

‘Appal’ is the word you’re looking for here.  THEY THINK I’M TELLING THE TRUTH?  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

. . . because now I can be in on the jokes along with everyone else.

Oh good.

I do like your blog! Can we be friends again, Hellgoddess? . . .

Snork.  Yes, of course.  And apologies for ironing out your footnotes;  I couldn’t figure out how not to confuse everyone hopelessly, including myself.

And thank you, all of you forum commenters.  I’m telling the real, true, unyanked-around truth that I could not keep my energy up for blogging if some of you didn’t talk back sometimes.  THANK YOU.

* * *

* That may be a Britishism, stream for car lane.

** Which means they won’t get far away from home, since ‘pre-loading’ is the order of the standard night out.  Note:  ugh.

*** Or that I know how to be brief

Blogging and the blog



I need a disclaimer: I sometimes roll my eyes at the way we readers mollycoddle you with our flattery and commiseration. Furthermore, after becoming more familiar with your blog over this past year, I also thought that things might be improved in your case if you didn’t look at things in such a dire light. But then I read some post where you write how you worry that your readers must perceive you as inordinately over-dramatic and that your response to this would be that your blog is the outlet for all of these spewing emotions and that you are not as self-focused during the rest of your day. Then I realized that my equivalent of your blog is my daily journal, and I certainly am self-centered and overly dramatic there.

Boldface mine.  No.  Wrong.  Good grief.  On a public blog?  Are you frelling kidding?  Smoke and mirrors, remember?  I am self-centred and overly dramatic, but what you read on the blog is a shtick.  It’s a persona built on the fact that I can get good mileage out of dire and overly dramatic—although I admit it’s supposed to be funny.  I’m trying for funny*.  The self centred is (as I have also said on the blog, although you seem to have missed it) largely because I don’t have to worry about hurting my own feelings if I go over the top, and I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s by taking the mickey wrong.  I tweak other people only as far as I think I would let them tweak me, if they had a public blog that a lot of strangers read.  I may get this wrong but I’m trying to be responsible—and I as a subject am always safe.  Also—and this relates both to the smoke and mirrors and to how far I will go using other real people on my blog—I have a privacy fetish.  I’m very well aware that it would only take some basic Google fu and a little time to find out all the ordinary realworld ™ details about my life, but all the aliases are there partly because it’s fun for me, partly because I’m doing unto others as I would have them do unto me and partly because it’s an indication that an essential aspect of my blog shtick is misdirection.

I don’t keep a daily journal.  It’s not because the blog takes up equivalent time and it’s certainly not because the blog provides genuine catharsis.  It’s because I don’t find the naked truth about myself all that interesting.  I’m a storyteller.  I take facts and yank them around. This includes the blog.  Something else I’ve said, I thought often but perhaps not often enough, is that I rarely lie by commission on the blog.  I lie by omission every day.  It’s not just leaving stuff out.

I’ve said for years—since I first started receiving embarrassingly personal fan mail, which means shortly after BEAUTY was published in 1978—that it’s true that readers know a lot about me (cf embarrassing fan mail declaring that the letter-writer totally understands me) but they don’t know what they know.  Because of the storyteller.  Because of the yanking around.  I think all writers write from their guts—what else is there to write from?**—but I may do it a bit more transparently and—er—enthusiastically than some.***

It wouldn’t surprise me, although as a poll this is a nonstarter, if the blog hasn’t further confused the issue of Who I Am As A Real Human Being rather than reading only all those made-up stories.  Because I’m starting with my life.  Not with dragons and pegasi and vampires.

I began the blog because my agent told me to.  It was no burning desire of mine.  I’ve turned it into something I can do, and even mostly enjoy†, although regular readers know that one of my regular moans is about the limitations of that can.  I’m bad at writing short;  if I stopped doing it every day I’d start trying to make the more occasional posts better which would take even more time.  Which is also the reason I rarely write about big important real-world stuff however much it concerns me privately, because I’m not going to be able to do it justice without tapping into my professional story-writing energy which I (mostly) manage to keep separate.††  And I have a huge mental block about writing book reviews††† because I know how much even the wrong praise can hurt or discourage, and acknowledgement of subjectivity may not cover all a reviewer’s errors.

My agent also tells me that the internet has moved on and writers aren’t blogging any more.  Sigh.  This blog having become something I can do, something that gives me some, however off centre, public profile, I am unwilling to give it up and try to learn to do something else—since we’re all now supposed to have some kind of visibility as ourselves, not just as the things we do, the stories we write, the song cycles we compose, the forty-foot rusty steel sculptures that terrify the children in the city parks.

But this blog is what it is.  I know that.  It’s not meant to be awesome and deathless.  It’s only supposed to be amusing.‡  And no writer gets it right every time, either in a multi-draft novel or a once-through-with-safety-pins-to-hold-its-hems-up blog.  I suggest that the next time I . . . roll my eyes at the way we readers mollycoddle you with our flattery and commiseration you give my blog a miss.  There is an infinity of ways to waste your time pleasurably on the internet.  It’s not worth sticking around somewhere if you’re not having fun.

* * *

* Mostly.  Peter’s stroke, for example, is not funny.

** Which may be a revelatory remark.  But as a reader I find books that feel to me too much written from their authors’ heads uninvolving.

*** Peter doesn’t get nearly as much embarrassing fan mail as I do.  His readers rarely declare that they have known him in previous lives and that their souls are intertwined with his for eternity.

Including the forum.  If people didn’t comment I’d lose the will to blog.

†† And maybe not at all.  True nonfiction and I are a trifle wary with each other.  Possibly because I don’t believe true nonfiction exists, and I get hung up negotiating the shape of my subjectivity.

††† Frelling ratbags anyway.  I would like to figure out a way over/around this.

‡ Which, you know, is hard graft enough.

Okay, thanks


Dhudson wrote:

Dear Robin,
Yes, I read KES, often. Please do not even think of NOT posting them. It would be tragic.
Thank you !

I like the direct approach.

Fine.  I’ll stop thinking about it.  Listen, everyone, and especially everyone who was kind enough to post a comment last night, while I love reading comments* I really wasn’t trying to make anyone feel guilty.  You don’t have to post comments!**  It’s not required!  I’m not sending out large muscular persons with whips and chains to remonstrate with those of you who don’t!  I just need to know occasionally that I’m not talking to myself here.***  And KES, being a New Thing and fiction† is a special case.  Especially, as I say, because I want to go on writing her, and am intrigued, and sometimes whapped up longside the head, by the different sort of freedoms and restrictions of doing it here.


Yes, yes, yes, I’m DEFINITELY still reading Kes. . . .I tend to save the Saturday night blog for a moment that I need a treat.  


Always before the next one comes out, but sometimes on Monday or some other, less-generally-good-than-Saturday day. When I found this blog five or six years ago (I have read every single entry since then),

::Beams more::

I remember thinking, “It’s a little bit like a short story from my favorite author every day.” And Kes actually is.

::Is now feeling her face cracking from all the beaming::

I don’t say much very often . . .  but I’m always reading and [KES is] my favorite.



I *love* Kes!!! I don’t always comment, because “Oh, yay! I’m so happy she’s remembering to buy the milk for the hob!” and “Sigh… I adore Sid so much… I can’t wait to see more of her!” don’t make very interesting forum posts. But I get excited every Saturday night!

Well I find comments like that interesting.  Just sayin’.


Oh please do not stop writing/posting Kes’ story! My dog & I would be devastated not to know how their story goes on!

Not to worry.  At worst I’ll make you pay.

But I’m lazy,

You are not lazy!  YOU ARE NOT LAZY!  None of you people apologising for not posting comments is lazy!  I just need to know you’re READING!

But whatever the reason, please, from one sighthound fan to another–please don’t take away a story where the sighthound is shaping up to be actually heroic. . . .

Yup.  Definite heroism in future.  Heh heh heh.  ::evil author laughter::

(She wants to be Sid almost as much as I want to be Kes.)

Queue forms to the right.  AND I’M FIRST.


Yes, still reading Kes. I would happily pay for installments, whether on an on-going basis, or gathered up tidily every now and then and put between covers.

I’m told by wiser internet junkies than myself that making people pay for stuff on line mostly doesn’t work very well because so many users expect on line content to be free.  I don’t know.  I would have thought that you get six free eps, say, and then sign up or not.  But the current semi-plan is to sweep Part One together with a little Additional Material, and produce some kind of hard copy version for some kind of money.  And—thank you.


Yes, we’re reading, we’re reading! Please don’t stop!

Not stopping!  Not stopping!

I’m also hoping that you’ll find a way to moneytize this,

Thank you!  Me too!

through print-on-demand once it’s done or some such. I’d like to support this, and you don’t have a tip jar.

A virtual tip jar.  Snork.  I like it.


Ack. No, no, don’t stop KES! I anxiously await each week’s KES installment with bated breath. Truly. Any lack of commentary on my part is simply because I loathe waiting and getting any story in teeny dribbles that I have no control over makes me want to gnash my teeth and go buy expensive yarn (along the lines of the whole “I knit so I don’t kill people” thing).

Hee hee hee hee.  Yes, I’ve noticed I kill far fewer people now I’m knitting.  And what’s a little light puncturing among friends?

I don’t blame you for this, oh, no.

Of course not.  You’re obviously a calm, fair-minded person.

I admire your calculating writer tactics that keep me panting for more. But I don’t have to be happy about it.

No.  Just keep reading.

I will endeavor to comment more (but please don’t ban me if said commentary – in the heat of the moment directly following the reading of the week’s episode – happens to contain somewhat snarky remarks about conniving parsimonious authors who refuse to satisfy my desire for instant gratification ARGH).

Well if it’s any comfort, remember I’m only a few eps ahead of you, and worrying about what happens next.  Fortunately something always does.  So far.  But from where I’m sitting the story  unrolls into the hazy distance very satisfactorily energetically.  Pity about the ‘hazy’ however.  I would like to get more sleep.


Stop Kes? Get rid of Kes? NO, NO, NO, NO, PLEASE NO!

Okay!  Okay!

I don’t comment because it’s boring to read the same comment every week: “Loved it. Can’t wait for the next installment.”

That’s an excellent comment.  That’s the best possible comment.

My only complaint? They’re too short. **grumpily** Congratulations on success in writing short.

SNORK.  And on that happy note, I will end tonight, since it is getting late and I need to have a run at getting up early because I will have to get up early Saturday to go bell ringing.  Also something very exciting is happening in KES right now and I might write a sentence or two more of it before I go to bed. . . . Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha.


* * *

* Except of course when they make me scream with inarticulate fury.  Fortunately this doesn’t happen too often.  Most of you are very well behaved.  Thank you. My email inbox holds far more horrors.  I DO NOT UNDERSTAND how people can briskly negotiate all the obstacles set up to STOP THEM from BLINDLY attacking me with questions answered in my FAQ.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK, PEOPLE.  Every drogflamming week I get requests for ‘tips about writing’.  ARRRRRGH.  Part of the surrealism of this is that the tips-for-writing requests are often in letters that looked—up till that moment—polite and low-profile.  I know you’re busy, they say.  I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your books.  OH AND CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME TIPS ABOUT WRITING FICTION.  It’s been a long time since I was first learning to tell stories on paper—you never finish learning—but I keep feeling that there’s a major disconnect going on in these tip-requesting people’s minds.  Aside from an inability to read sentences like PLEASE LOOK AT THE FAQ BEFORE YOU EMAIL ME YOUR QUESTIONS.  No, the disconnect I’m thinking of is:  they’ve acknowledged that I’m busy.  Writing stories, presumably.  And hurtling, ringing, singing, gardening, knitting, doodling, reading, eating chocolate and being driven mad by technology^ if they read the blog.  They also wouldn’t be asking for tips if they hadn’t already discovered that writing is hard.  Are they really expecting a rabbit^^ out of a hat?  What on earth or orbiting Betelgeuse are they expecting me to be able to say in the twenty words or less I might have time for?

^ So Raphael came back today.  After he left, the laptop refused to close down, the iPad turned its volume off and wiped the saved-sites bar on the opening page of Safari, and Dove, the book of bell towers, froze and refused to open on Pooka.^^^  And because the letters have worn off the keys of my desktop and because frelling frelling FRELLING iTunes doesn’t flash the letters at you briefly I managed to put my password in wrong and had to change it which means THAT EVERY APP I OPEN NOW WANTS ME TO PUT MY PASSWORD IN AGAIN.  And again.  And again.  One of my current word-game addictions has to have GAME CENTRAL!!!! disabled every time I open the wretched thing.  EVERY.  TIME.  ARRRRRRRRRGH.

^^ Or a £1,000,000 advance

^^^ Theoretically I’m going on a tower outing Saturday.  Theoretically.  And the iPhone is the only one of my instruments of destruction that has travelling internet connection.  Also with me in Wolfgang will be a fifty-year-old Ordinance Survey map+ on the really quite reasonable grounds that bell towers tend to be on older churches and village back lanes haven’t changed that much, a five-year-old road atlas, and a print-out of Albert’s directions.  No, I haven’t chosen my SatNav yet which means Peter hasn’t bought it yet.

+ I can hear Peter protesting tomorrow that it isn’t more than . . . thirty years old.  Well, I’m pretty sure it was one of the ones looking a little worn when I moved over here twenty-two years ago.  I was fascinated by the OS and pored over a lot of the relatively local maps—or anywhere we were going all over the UK—in the early days, before I had 500 rose-bushes and subscriptions to 4712 magazines.

** Anne_d, if you want to be grumpy and lumpy and uncommunicative, you go girl!  I spend most of my life grumpy and lumpy and uncommunicative—ask most of the people who know me in real time—it’s just that I am A WRITER and have a particular set of writerly smoke and mirrors available for blogging.  Including KES.

*** I talk to myself everywhere else.  Why not online?

Officially fiction, as opposed to my life, which often feels like fiction.  I mean, I wish.

†† I’m going to try not to get distracted and answer a few more of last night’s comments, since there are one or two further points I want to make. . . .

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