I haven’t updated in a while properly, have I? So today I shall. I’ve been busy writing. Which is obviously good, but it turns me into a bit of a hermit who fails to notice the passage of time. I seem to have hit a creative vein at the moment, which means I’m likely to disappear again, so if I do, that’s what going on. I’m turning thorts into stuff. Yeah, that’s it. Thorts into stuff.
My lovely friend K. came to stay last weekend, huzzah! My kitchen did its usual trick of turning four days into mere minutes, alas, although we did fit in an emergency viewing of Roman Holiday, which has been judged by resident romcom expert Mr A. to be the best of its genre. The similarities to Notting Hill are definitely there, and I’m completely convinced now that it was an inspiration for Bujold’s The Vor Game, although things aren’t quite so jolly in that, of course. (My request for last year’s ficathon at Bujold Fic was a retelling of Roman Holiday with Gregor in the Audrey Hepburn role, so if you do happen to be in the small intersection of fans of both Lois McMaster Bujold and Dalton Trumbo, you can read the delightful job of this request that was done here.)
GlitterBoy was with us for much of the weekend too; we spent one happy afternoon admiring the famous Blanket O’ Love, and on the Sunday we drove out to Hemingford Grey, where we did a little adventuring across the meadow to Hemingford Abbots and also, more importantly, enjoyed the beautiful gardens of The Manor, Hemingford Grey. You may know this house better as the inspiration for Lucy Boston’s Green Knowe books.
The author copies of the Big Finish Doctor Who Short Trips anthology The Quality of Leadership were sent out this week. And jolly good it is too, so congrats to the editor Keith DeCandido and also thank you to him for taking my story. In case I haven’t banged on about it enough, my story is called ‘The Slave War’, it concerns the Second Doctor, Polly, Ben, Jamie, Spartacus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and it is about history and oppression and whatnot. It has been interesting from a writerly perspective to compare the narrative decisions I had to make about known events with what I guess were similar choices in the recent TV episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’.
Speaking of Doctor Who, I’ve not had much to write about this season, chiefly because I’ve just been enjoying it so much. Absolute delight to be sitting next to K. while watching ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’, as she racked up a mighty score ticking off titles of Christie novels (apparently there are twenty in total). I think my favourite episode so far this season might be ‘Planet of the Ood’, because I keep on thinking about it, although any moment with Bernard Cribbins has to rate highly. On the change at the top, I shall miss Rusty, because I have loved what he has done with Doctor Who, but I’m sure that five+ years is quite long enough to be doing something, so here’s to the new head writer and may it all continue to be smashing and to delight and make me cheer and cry and want to hug my tellybox.
My TV addiction at the moment is the peregrinations of the American democratic processes: no, not the Democratic nomination, but rather the heart-warming post-apocalyptic small-town soap Jericho. It started out oddly domestic, focusing a lot on the affair between the mayor’s eldest son and the owner of the town’s bar (Folks! Have you not noticed that a NUCLEAR BOMB HAS JUST HIT DENVER?!), and now has become a fascinating combination of Stephen King’s The Stand (but without the fantasy) and Octavia Butler’s five-minutes-in-the-future vision of America from the Parable books. Sometimes I can’t tell whether it’s sending up hero stories or is uncritical about them, but I like it so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt (and I think there’s even textual support for that decision). It’s interesting and well thought-through, so of course it’s been cancelled at the start of the season 2. Heigh ho. At least Boston Legal is back for another season, although the price does seem to be this. And this. Oh well, I don’t have to watch it, like I didn’t have to watch Ashes To Ashes.
FYI: I posted a while back that Le Guin had put on her website an MP3 of her reading from The Farthest Shore: there are a lot more MP3 on her site now, here, including readings from Always Coming Home.
Last night we shambled up to Wembley Arena to dehydrate while peering at the tiny distant figures of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant – Oh, that sounds grumpy! I really did enjoy myself! Highlight was the sudden realization that they were doing ‘Mattie Groves’ in tribute to Sandy Denny (it’s the thirtieth anniversary of her death this year), and also ‘The Battle of Evermore’ was pretty marvellous too. It’s ages since I’ve listened to that song, and it’s still magic, even the bit about the Ringwraiths, which could be naff, but is instead charmingly artless. Or possibly artlessly charming. So a grand night out, although I suspect nothing can top Chris Leslie singing ‘Reynardine’ wot we heard at the Corn Exchange earlier this year.
Right, that’s your lot. Back to turning thorts into stuff.