A home-made Adipose from Glammer to Raeli
Posts Tagged ‘jem’
A couple of days early, but it worked for us!
I had an amazing visit to the local Maritime Museum today, under the guidance of the most excellent Liz. Raeli and Jem had a brilliant time exploring the museum itself, which combined display and video material with some fabulous tactile exhibits such as wheels to spin, enormous brass bells to ring, and the hull of a ship for small people to hide inside (possibly this was not actually there for that purpose).
After stocking up on loot from the shop (an activity book and pirate craft project for Raeli, a pirate slinky for Jem, a book about female crewed ships for me) we were taken upstairs to view the sekrit stuff, namely the archive and private library, plus the many staff. I have to say this is the first time I have used writer credentials to get behind the red velvet curtain of anywhere! The girls were well behaved for a good 10-15 minutes as Liz showed me some of their digitised images and shared some gems about the history of the Derwent river. I already have extra Nancy ideas bubbling away, and plan to go back for more visits when not encumbered with two children with a patience time limit (well, the toddler, anyway. Raeli was a jewel the whole time, and charmingly fascinated with the place).
I’m almost at the end of the draft of the first Nancy novel, and while I’m very pleased with the writing and most importantly the scene-by-scene structure, it’s not ready yet. Now that I know which time periods are going to be relevant to the story, I need to do a lot more research on what Hobart was like in those specific times, and figure out for myself what Nancy and Sylvie Napoleon were doing during those specific years.
Jem turns two today! Sadly she has come down with a horrible virus and is not feeling very festive.
I skipped my Friday links post last week, because… well, you know. It was one of those days. I have so many links building up, though, I thought I’d better get one in now or I’ll end up having to produce a whole magazine by the time Friday comes around again! Also, some of my links are in danger of looking severely dated…
In other news, it is raining. Grim, vengeful rain. How else would you expect rain that holds off all day and then starts while I am EN ROUTE to pick up my daughter for school, with the baby in the back seat, so I don’t even get a head’s up that maybe today was not the day to put the baby in soft slippers? In other news, Jem has grown so much now that her feet entirely stick out of the stroller, and the plastic rain cover for said stroller. All of these facts are related.
Deb Biancotti is interviewed by Alisa at Galactic Chat!
Fabulous roundtable about (global) Women in World SF – every comment is packed with intelligent, thoughtful ideas. I am delighted such a thing exists in the world. Some important questions are asked, like – why is it so easy for urban fantasy to be excluded from any discussion on spec fic? And why is it that crime readers are so much more open to female authors than SF readers?
The roundtable was in response to this original post by Joyce Chng about women outside the English speaking world are doubly marginalised in the science fiction field.
Maureen Johnson takes on the writer of that Wall Street Journal article (podcast), on the topic of whether YA fiction is getting too dark for teenagers to be allowed to read – fabulous radio and it’s cool to see how articulate Maureen is in person. It’s irritating that the final word goes to a caller who is obviously just out to plug his own book and hasn’t actually been listening to much that has been said in the conversation, and I was disappointed Maureen didn’t get to comment on what he said, but for the most part I think her point of view came across clearly and the conversation was absolutely one worth having.
This post by Tricia Sullivan is getting a little long in the tooth now, but I think it’s absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t already. To put it and the conversation it responds to into context, it’s also worth reading these two posts by Cheryl Morgan: Here We Go, and Further Thoughts. There is some intelligent, interesting conversation in the comments of all three of these posts.
I’m still chewing over my thoughts on the upcoming DC reboot, and this is one of the best posts I’ve seen exploring some of the problematic aspects of regressing storylines, particularly when it comes to female and minority characters.
It’s amazing how fast it returns. A week of writing 1000 words a day, and it’s already feeling a lot easier, both to sit down at the computer, and to stay there for the full 1000 words without getting all twitchy and restless. The book is coming easier, and I’ve solved some major problems with it that had been bugging me for a while. Funny how writing a book actually makes the book, you know, get written. It’s a foolproof method, really.
Jem’s speech, which had been lagging behind her climbing, hugging and animal impressionistic skills, has recently been coming on in leaps and bounds. She has two two-word phrases now, ‘more toast’ and ‘Doctorrrrooo’ (generally while pointing at any pictures of well dressed Englishmen). We have also discovered that ‘jam’ and ‘yum’ are indistinguishable terms. Her favourite so far is quince jelly.
The cutest thing in the universe may very well be when I ask whether the girls want cereal or toast for breakfast, Raeli says ‘both!’ and Jem echoes, ‘bofe!’ These are the things which do not last, and need to be pinned down in memory.
Also this week I have inhaled the entirety of Downton Abbey, thanks to the encouragement of @zeft as well as the rest of the internet.
It’s Friday! I wrote 5000 words this week! Smug, cheerful and almost caught up with the week’s tasks. To make up for being so disgustingly pleased with myself, I present Friday links!
Via my Mum, who tries regularly to catch me out by knowing something on the internet before I do, and almost always crashes and burns, an interview with a new young Doctor Who writer, Tom McRae, who is not only contributing to the most mysterious episode of the next half of this season, but also is staging an interactive Doctor Who play for little ones. Who believe in Santa.
Jeff VanderMeer presents Women of the Supernatural: A Tartarus Press Sampler, which looks gorgeous, and features a story by Australia’s own Angela Slatter. Kudos to Angela, it’s not every day you share a TOC with Edith Wharton.
I think we were a little dismissive of the Pottermore announcement last night on Galactic Suburbia (and Twitter, and and and). Some other perspectives: Hoyden About Town report on some of what is being offered on the new site, while The Guardian explores some of the marketing genius behind the announcement, and the site itself. I think it’s pretty disingenuous to suggest, as several journalists and bloggers have, that this is something that other writers will in any way be able to replicate, but I also think that anything which takes the wind out of Amazon’s sails (heh, sales) as far as ebooks are concerned is fighting the good fight.
(my main thought on all this is… so, those bestseller lists that everyone’s relying on to promote their ebooks, they’re about to take a bit of a beating, aren’t they? Suddenly that 99c price point can’t be looking too hot…)
Speaking of ebooks, I was inspired by Sarah Rettger to download Babs: A Sub-Deb by Mary Roberts Rinehart from Project Gutenberg. As Rettger suggests, this is great fluffy YA fiction, with a very appealing voice, which happens to have been written in the 1920′s. I’ve inhaled a good chunk of the book already, despite the rather annoying quirk of including all of the protagonists spelling mistakes.
Ben Peek takes down rape apologist Scott Adams for his stupid, offensive Pegs and Holes post, with that elegant balance of outrage and cynicism that Peek does so well.
Three female scientists at the top of their field are interviewed about the challenges in their lives, whether they have the same chances as men to build successful careers, balancing work and family, and the advice they would give to the women who come after them. I think the best thing about this article is the focus on three women in similar positions rather than a single woman to represent her whole field, as they provide a wider perspective and often disagree with each other. Because all women aren’t the same – shock!
Penni Russon writes about the choices (and non-choices) about having or not having (wanting, or not wanting) children, in a beautiful post. I always love to read Penni’s posts about motherhood, because the way she looks at the world has such a gorgeous balance of pragmatism and romanticism.
In closing, Jem and I watched this on Sesame Street this morning, and at the risk of over-exposing you to the adorableness that is Neil Patrick Harris, I had to share The Fairy Shoe Person:
On Tuesday night, the ever wonderful and community-minded Hobart Bookshop hosted a launch for me and The Shattered City, Book Two of the Creature Court. As a delicious bonus, Love and Romanpunk was also available for sale. I had been a little uncertain about whether to launch this book – considering each volume of the trilogy are coming out so close together, I had fretted a bit about whether I was over egging the pudding, or expecting too much of my family and friends. But I was talked into it pretty easily, and as I said recently to someone else – you have to celebrate the wins. After several years of no book to launch, I absolutely need to mark the successes while they are happening.
Also, as it turns out, my family & friends have been developing a bit of a taste for book launches. Bonus attendee points to Isabel, who since the last launch has bobbed her hair, acquired a pink flapper dress, and on the day itself scored herself a cloche hat as an early mother’s day present. Now that’s commitment!
The reliable and mighty-voiced Dirk Flinthart drove for three hours to launch my book, and I was startled to realise afterwards that he had never done so before (the launching thing, not the driving thing) – what with Craig Wellington last year, it looks like I have a habit of giving people their launcher debut! Dirk gave a lovely speech, showing how long we have known each other (TEN YEARS) and how familiar he is with the development of my work, as well as his utter faith in where I’m going next. It was exactly what you’d want from such a speech, and considering that the majority of people in the bookshop knew me, it was nice to have something so personal.
There was wine and book chat, and general loveliness. I am terribly grateful for my rent-a-crowd, who can comfortably fill a bookshop, but are also willing to buy books – not only the pile of The Shattered City, but the pile of Love and Romanpunk was beautifully eroded, and I got to sign many, many books. Thanks to Mel A for giving me a head’s up reminder beforehand that I was going to have to think of new clever things to write in the books! Being witty on cue is terribly stressful.
Then of course there was what has become a family tradition – the dressing up of the children! After several experiments, Jem proved to be less than keen on a costume, so I put her in a jungle t-shirt and a tutu. Raeli meanwhile had known for ages what she wanted to be: having dressed up as a mermaid for Seacastle and a black cat for Power and Majesty, she had her heart set on a lion costume. Unfortunately, what with one thing and another. I ended up having to source the costume on the day itself, and was faced with very limited choices. Luckily she is a creative little thing and was happy to think outside the box for her lion-y look.
I was also excited that there were a few (only a few, admittedly!) people there who I didn’t even know personally! Who also bought books! Bless their little cotton socks. There was even a committed future reader from the US who contacted the bookshop to order Power and Majesty and The Shattered City ahead of time, so I could sign them for him! With so much love & support, it’s no wonder that I’ve been feeling terribly inspired to get on with writing the new book this week…
I’ve been watching with a sickening feeling the fight to keep Britain’s libraries intact as the conservative government hacks and slashes their funding. It’s just awful. And maybe ours in Australia aren’t under current threat, but who’s to say that next time the Liberals get in we won’t be in the same situation?
Libraries are so important, and those of us lucky enough to live in countries that have a thriving library system need to remember that.
Tasmania has a fantastic crop of state libraries, all linked by computer so you can order a book from their wider catalogue and have it sent to your local library. I use this service a lot, as I don’t have the leisure to browse shelves with two children – I discovered last week that my now-walking-with-confidence toddler Jem is a right library rampager, and was shocked to be overwhelmed with the memory of chasing Raeli around the same aisles, something I had completely forgotten.
So yes, I order books or CDs I want, and pick them up when they come in.
Both my girls love the local library. It was one of my regular haunts with Raeli when she was tiny – we often went to the Rock n Rhyme baby sessions together, and she had her own library card from the time she was six weeks old. Okay yes, I often take my own stuff out on her fee-free card, I’m only human!
Raeli had her birthday a few days ago! We’ve had what feels like a whole week of birthday/holiday activities, culminating in the Big Superhero Party which felt like a crazed, sugary blur at the time, but people seemed to enjoy. Raeli informed me that it was even better than last year, largely because of the pinata (which from our POV was a dismal failure redeemed only by the fact that no one was actually hurt during the whole excruciating procedure). At the end, there were lollies, so no complaints from the kids.
Apart from the change in theme, from fairies to superheroes, I had planned to run the party the same as last year: simple food involving opening packets, I don’t make anything myself except the cake and fairy bread, sausages on the barbie for kids & parents alike, my Mum madly running the games (everyone needs a Glammer come birthday season) and no fuss. Naturally it got far more complicated than that, not least because, well, do we remember how last year I had a little 5 month old baby? THIS YEAR she’s a running, jumping, bouncing, psyched up little dynamo, and it took the 15 or so adults at the party to keep track of her. I’m not used to a feisty baby. Raeli was energetic but not one for hurling herself off furniture. Jem topped off the party by eating everything. Seriously. All the things. Once the big kids had abandoned the picnic cloths and gone to play games, she plonked herself down and ate more than her own body weight in chips, cheezels, biscuits, watermelon and… oh, I don’t even know. Hear that? That’s the kind of mother I am. I have no idea what she ate. I just know that she looked really, really smug about it.