Monthly Archives: July 2014

Thrips In My Tea

I hate thrips/thunderflies/thunderbugs/corn flies/whatever the heck you want to call them, they’re little bastards.  I find them EVERYWHERE and it makes me mad.  So mad that I wrote a poem about the little feckers.

Thrips in my tea
Thrips in my tea
Thrips thrips thrips
One just went and died
Inside my computer screen
Broken pixel trail left behind
Like snot from a snail
Backwards and forwards
Frozen in the pixels
Bastard thing
Couldn’t have gone
Another three inches
And out of sight?
A tick on the white
Just upwards from middle
But always in sight
Thrips in my soup
Thrips in my soup
Thrips thrips thrips
I’ve eaten three today
At least

My 100th Post: The Best Of Blog Tour

This is my 100th post, and so I have decided to try and get 100 views to my blog today!  I have been failing to have much traffic lately, barely a handful of viewers per post, which means that even my dear friends and family may not be reading anymore.  It’s ok, I still love you – but I want you back!

The goal of 100 views is perhaps a too high, since so far the only post of mine which has gotten close to that was my Eurovision post on Conchita Wurst, and that got 90 views that day.  And that was only because of random people who had searched for the busty Polish girls and instead got my post.  Sorry, fellas.

So I’m going to have to try really hard to get people interested in the nonsense I spew forth from my keyboard.  Let’s just consider this post a Best Of Blog tour, in the hopes that at least some of what I write is appealing to the general public.

Every post you read gets me one step closer to 100!  So click away!!  Read, enjoy, or roll your eyes and look at pictures of hilarious animals instead.  Just do it after you click.

So perhaps you’re reading this because you like writing, and that is what this blog is supposed to be about.  Maybe you want to read topical posts like Worldbuilding with my discussion of Ursula Le Guin’s awesomeness or The Mirror of Fantastic Vanity in which I call out Neil Gaiman.

Or maybe you, like myself, struggle with finger-stalling brain-demons and would appreciate Mental Bran Flakes.

Perhaps, instead, you’re only here because I have Facebook press-ganged you into it, or a friend of a friend has posted this link.  In that case, maybe you’d rather read something random and potentially humourous like The Spider and the Flute: a sleep-deprivation-inspired tale of arachnid tragedy about which critics, by which I mean the only person who commented (looking at you, md456), have proclaimed: “I have not felt this sympathetic for a spider since Charlotte’s Web.” Or maybe Hobbies, or “the tale of the boob coaster” where I had an R-rated yarn-craft disaster.

Are you one of my falconry friends?  Or have a passing interest in things raptorial?  How about A Falconry Rant where I bitch about the ignorant masses at my old job as a display falconer, The Austringer’s Lament where I wax lyrically about the hunt, or There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question – No Wait, There is where I give up on people in general as having common sense at all.

Maybe you’ve read all these before because you’re my mother and read everything I ever post (I love you!), or maybe you’ve never read any of them and have a new-found appreciation or concern for my mental state.  Whatever the case, thank you for taking the time to read what I write.

This will also be a test of how far this platform reaches.  I have decided that the avenue of self-publishing is the only way for a new writer to break into the industry currently, as much as I long to one day hold one of my books in solid printed paper.  So without the weight of a traditional publisher behind me I will be needing to do all my own marketing and advertising, and that’s the real reason I created this blog.  An author needs to be in charge of her own online presence and so this kind of self-advertisement, however uncomfortable it makes me, is part of the game.

So read, my pretties, read!

Hipster Collie Approves

Leaving the House and Inspiration in Spoken Word

I’ve been working slowly through the ideas in my head, and I feel like this novel will either be pure madness or absolute brilliance.  I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and maybe has never been done before.  It’s definitely forcing me to think outside the box, at least.

And I found myself struggling, as always, and so I made a point of leaving the house as much as I could last weekend.  I think I spend Friday through Sunday mostly elsewhere, with the Munchkin in tow.

I know that when I’m having a tough time, whether creatively, mentally, emotionally, I hermit.  And while hermiting is all well and good at times, it doesn’t ultimately help things.  I also realised that over the last few months I had barely left my house apart from grocery shopping and dog walking.  Even as blind as I can get to my own problems, I knew that wasn’t a good thing.

So I squared my shoulders, put on my brave face, told myself I was a big girl and could face the world outside my front door and did things.  I was social, I talked to people (real, grown-up people!), I wore outfits that were not chosen based solely on comfort or how quickly they’d stain.

It was kind of a big deal.

And in the car on the way home from Somewhere, one of those days, I felt inspired.  Inspired in a way that I have not felt for all my hermitage.

I have this weird thing where I sometimes feel self-conscious even if I’m alone in my own house, as if some nebulous consciousness is aware of what I do and say, and I’m aware of the possibility of that nebulous consciousness.  So I never feel like I can read out loud, or sing to myself, unless I direct it as a silly ditty to the dog or baby, because that’s safe and okay to do.

But I had been given a fantastic book, Steering the Craft, an Ursula Le Guin writing workshop in book form.  The first exercise was to enjoy spoken language, to play with word-sounds, as language was always intended to be heard.  I hadn’t been able to get up the nerve to start speaking, or reading, out loud to myself at home.

But I was out, in my car, with Munchkin sleeping in the back seat and the dog in the boot.  I was on a road that was winding me between hills and then suddenly opened into flat fields on either side.  I had an amazing view of the quintessential fine Scottish summer day – that is to say, it was threatening rain and brilliantly sunny at the same time.  In the distance there were swathes of purple-grey clouds with discernible downpours falling in straight rivulets, but clear bright blue behind me.  It was really breathtaking, and if I’d been able to stop and take some photos I would have loved to.  I’d never seen a sky like it.

It inspired a poem.  I love poetry, it’s something I do for myself when I want to write but don’t have a full story.  It’s a snapshot of a moment.  And this moment was spectacular.

I started composing, out loud, in the car.  I repeated phrases and tweaked them.  Past tense, present tense, adverb, adjective.  If anyone had heard me they would have thought I was suffering some kind of mental breakdown.  I worked it aloud in spoken verse, and when it was done, I told it to myself again, and again, and again, for the rest of the journey home.  I didn’t want to forget it.  And I haven’t, since.

That moment of inspiration would have never happened if I hadn’t left my house, no matter how hard I sometimes find it to do that.