2009-07-21 10:04 pm

Oh dear hell...

I'm seriously thinking about acquiring a portable Mac of some description. I've been weighing up the pros and cons, and it's starting to look like drinking the Cupertino Kool-Aid might make a reasonable amount of sense.

Why, oh why did I have to look up Scrivener?
2009-07-17 10:44 pm
Entry tags:

Diana Wynne Jones

This evening I went down to visit Diana in hospital, to see how she is after her recent operation.

And I'm happy to report that she seems well.

There's colour in her cheeks, she's conversing normally and seems to be able to get around reasonably well. The staff seem fairly happy with her, too - the current plan is to send her home early next week. I was there for about an hour (visiting hours are pretty heavily restricted on her ward) and I didn't see anything in that time to make me at all concerned. I did, however, hear tales of hospital food .

If people are interested, I'll post further updates as time and her recovery progress.
2009-05-04 09:36 am

A Grand Day Out

Yesterday saw me making my merry way into Town for Sci-Fi London, which had decided to try having a few authors in as an experiment. A bloody good experiment, if you ask me - certainly from what I saw and the people I talked to the reaction was good.

My day started with The Brightonomicon, which was more fun than a barrelful of monkeys hopped up on laughing gas. We had a script, and more or less read it out, but there was an awful lot of improvisation, smart-arse heckling (at each other - the audience didn't get a look-in!) running gags and silliness (including a spontaneous outbreak of The Star-Spangled Banner, which worked perfectly in context with the scene) that just popped out of having that cast together and letting us go. There's talk of us getting us to do it again, and that works for me. What could have been a very dry table reading just picked up its skirts and became a real performance with the cast having as much fun as the audience.

That led to a conversation in the bar and pub about how great radio is as a medium for telling stories, and that led to people whose work we admired, and that led to mentioning one of my heroes (the great Orson Welles), which went on to film, back to radio, then we ended up on Vincent Price, and... You get the idea: great pub conversation. Then it was back on stage for the panel on Contemporary Urban Fantasy, which made some interesting points about the spread of work within that classification (I mean, we're really not going to ever shoehorn my stuff into the sexy vampire shelf, are we?) and why it's a fun sandbox to play in. Then it was back to the bar.

And the evening was where a whole different side of the festival opened up for me, because I started talking with the film people. There was a lot of funny, smart insightful conversation as we compared our respective worlds - similarities, differences, types of cynicism and passion, yet more love for Orson Welles (and a lot of love for my favourite film of his, F For Fake, which filled my heart with joy). On top of that, there was even a chance to talk about food and restaurants and cool stuff in London for visitors to do and pretty much anything that entered our heads - it was like the best kind of conversations that happen among the writers I know, just with several different accents and new directions from which to approach very similar issues. I ended up being the last one out, and ended up having a cheeky extra with some more great people before finally dragging my tired butt onto a Night Bus for the journay home.

I'm not going to do  the name-dropping thing, but the people involved will recognise themselves. It was great to see everyone - friends old and new - to swap ideas and jokes, and to hang out with a bunch of incredibly cool people. Special thanks to Robert Grant, who put together the lit programme, and to Louis Savy, who put the whole damned thing together (and provided the chocolate). Thanks for letting me be a part of that, because it was Something Else.

PS: Thanks to Sara, who brought me coffee in the green room at the exact moment I was starting to flag. You are a rock star.

2009-05-01 03:58 pm


I'm going to be signing books at Borders in Cardiff on Saturday 30th May between one and two o'clock. And I'm rather looking forward to it.

I hope people show up...
2009-04-21 03:06 pm

A small point

Censorship is bad.

We know this. Many of us do what we can to fight against it. This is right and proper, and  the way that things should be. We have a duty to protect the right to free expression, even - especially - when the opinion being expressed is one with which  we disagree.

But I'm getting sick of people screaming about censorship where none exists. The whole "Amazonfail" debacle over Easter was a cock-up blown out of all proportion by sensationalism and idiocy, and now I'm seeing more cries of people's net access being censored because browsing to 'adult' sites is turned off by default with certain mobile internet providers. I had this with Vodafone, and opening up my phone to as much smut as I wanted took precisely one phone call to prove that I was old enough to legally behold a pair of breasts.

So here's a point I want everyone to think on for a second: if you keep crying wolf like this, nobody's going to pay any attention when things start going wrong for real. You might have the right to shout about this all you want, but do me a favour and mediate that with a little common bloody sense, OK?