So the convention last weekend was four whole days of delicious writerly funs. And then the con-cold got me. Well, technically, I think it was the first-week-in-new-job-cold but as it started at the con I’m calling it a con-cold!
The con. was great… lots of interesting publishing related chat and lots of meeting new and not-so-new writerly folk. Too many late nights and a lot of nice food… well, what’s a con. without nosh ey?
Highlights for me were the sheer number of local published authors who were there sharing their experiences, and Marc Gascoigne from Angry Robot who was likewise passing on lots of interesting bits-and-bobs.
Very glad I went.
No doubt there will be some con. related posts to come, but for now I’m heading back to bed for another sleep. (Stuupid cold!)
If you are partial to photos as inspiration then check out these images over at 500px (click the captions).
This one totally sparked my imagination to head off into mud people and beings that are born in from the earth itself…
Horses horsing around, but it has the feeling of a battle or siblings slugging out their differences…
Next week, quite aside from starting my new job, I’m going to a convention. This is a delicious luxury because it’s an excuse to do nothing but hang with other writers for four days and talk about… well writing of course.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t come back from such an event without a sense of inspiration and excitement about their work, which is slightly ironic considering no one actually gets any writing done during the convention! Still, writing is a solitary kind of thing and it is amazingly nourishing to be sociable in that writer-way.
Secretly I think our writing demons (muses if you prefer) get together and let off steam about how useless their humans are. They feel better about us. We feel better about whatever troublesome WIP we have going on!
This week was a little sad for me as I saw a cafe I’ve been writing in for years and years (and years) close it’s doors. While it’s not the only cafe haunt of mine to have closed, it is the one I’ve written in with almost every writing /creative buddy I’ve ever had. *Sniff*
I can only hope that whoever takes over the property will open a cafe with even better seating and equally tasty coffee.
Some years ago, a group of writerly friends and I got a little bit excited about the interrabang. That’s a relatively new punctuation mark combining ? and ! to express the WTF moments in life.
Courtesy of my friend Sofie Bird I was introduced to a humorous but actually really good idea for some other new punctuation marks here.
My favourites are the Superellipses (for a super dramatic pause) and the Andorpersand (to replace writing and/or). Knowing me though, I’d probably mostly use the Sarcastises.
There aren’t a lot of games I like playing, but the ones I like, I love. Mahjong is one of them. As it’s the start of the Chinese New Year I thought it good timing to buy myself a Mahjong set and tell you all about it!
Mahjong is a bit like playing Rummy, but has a lot in common with many card games in that you try to get specific combinations of ‘cards’ in ‘suits’. In Mahjong they’re actually tiles with different Chinese characters and symbols on them.
What Mahjong has that card games don’t, is all this lovely cultural detail.
For example, when the tiles a shuffled – after laying them face-down on the table players push them around with their hands – it’s called the twittering of sparrows. The sound the tiles make as they bump into each other does actually sound like birds chattering.
Among the types of tiles there are Winds relating to East/South/West/North, Seasons, Flowers and what we call Dragons in English, but are characters with multiple meanings.
I also love the way that the walls of tiles you build at the beginning of a ‘hand’ are supposed to be built carefully, with no gaps that evil spirits can enter by.
It’s a really simple game to learn. Mind you the scoring system is conversely very complicated, but then I like a game where the person who wins the ‘hand’ doesn’t necessarily get the highest score! Besides, you don’t have to score the traditional way if you don’t want to.
One of the few goals I have for this Year of the Snake, is to find some willing people I can teach Mahjong to and try and have a monthly – bi-monthly Mahjong night.
If that happens, then I can justify buying myself a really nice set to replace the teeny sized set I bought. Though I’m liking the miniature -ness of it.
These images are always a sort of made up composite but I think this one is particularly beautiful:
This is a NASA image I believe, but I’ve lost the attribution.
Don’t usually do the gif thing but this one caught my attention and imagination.
I heard a news report about The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, who study risks “…from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change”.
Hang on a minute, isn’t that what sci-fi writers do?
They should add a writer or two to their group of experts. After all, we mightn’t all be scientists, but we’ve probably spent most of our lives thinking about these issues!