Tag Archives: random

5 Happy Things: March 2018

Snow at Salisbury cathedral

Where did February go? * blinks* Well, I’ve been doing ok this month, problem clients and minor anxiety notwithstanding. Things that have made me happy include…

1.The three anthologies that I have been editing – with co-editors, thankfully it’s not just been me! – have a launch date and a launch party planned! I’ll be in Oxford on the 8th June for those, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the stories. Despite having read them multiple times, I still think they’re fantastic, and one keeps making me cry every single frickin’ time I read it. I am evilly wondering how many other people it’s going to have the same effect on…

2.Snow! We got another coating mid-March, and I was lucky enough to get out for a walk early in the morning. The Cathedral was beautiful, and while the daffodils and birds were Not Happy, I quite enjoyed it.

Roman Holiday film poster

3.I’ve been re-watching Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, and I’m always astonished by how quiet Rome is. There’s no people! No traffic! I love the film, too – I think I like it better than Breakfast At Tiffany’s, even though there is Slob Cat in that one.

4.A board game called “Honshu“, which I played with the Salisbury gamers. You have to build a city with cards, and it’s quite non-dramatic – but in a fun strategy way! I like the mix of tetris-style thinking and trying to get as many lakes as possible. We also played Seven Wonders this week, which was enjoyable – I like Sid Meier’s Civilisation games, and I liked the variety of ways Seven Wonders uses the resources.

5.Wonderful friends! I got an Easter parcel from a friend in Belgium, a lovely postcard with a sloth on it, a box of fun writer-y bits from the awesome Ellen Crosháin (who, by the way, has a new book up for pre-order – and it’s awesome. You should totally read Cruelty and then order the sequel) and various emails from my lovely aunt about birds, cake and snow. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing people in my life 🙂

Myths and Legends, or Where Marvel Gets Its Stories

So I’ve spent some of the past six months randomly texting a former colleague and now friend with things like, “Did you know ‘Cerberus’ means ‘Spot’?” and “Let’s have a story about the time a pretty Roman threw all the chickens overboard!”

It all started because he’s a Marvel fan, and was telling me about this awesome set of films called The Avengers which feature a certain Norse Thunder God and his sneaky, trickster step-brother. And so I told him the story of the time Thor and Loki dressed up as women and then slaughtered everyone. Because that’s the sort of story that I tell at random times when someone mentions how much they love The Avengers.

And I got a look of part horror, part astonishment. “How do you know this stuff?”

(Yes, Ant, I know it wasn’t quite like that. Shush. This is my story, and I’ll tell it how I want.)

“Well, they’re all taken from Norse myths…” at which point it became clear that I read too much, and also that stories of trickery, drinking and fighting always go down well.

I admit I kinda skidded off the Norse mythology at that point because a) I left that job and it’s a bit harder to tell gory stories via text, and b) I couldn’t remember exactly who fucked over (or fucked) who at any given time and needed to look it up. So we got onto Good Solid Roman Tales Of Morality Fit For Children Of All Ages, including dear Claudius Pulcher throwing the chickens overboard and Gaius Popillius Laenas being a badass with a walking stick – which may have included the line, “Now Rome’s a pretty big bully and they could have sent in armies to lay waste, cause gnashing of teeth and wailing of wimmen and all that. They sent one little old man with a walking-stick and a few unarmed pretty-boys for the look of the thing.” What can I say, I like making fun of the Romans. They’re such a stuck-up bunch.

But in the course of my wandering, I remembered a site that I LOVE. It’s Myths Retold, and it’s amazing – and does a whole bunch of different mythology, not just Norse and Roman, and I highly recommend getting lost in it. I did point my friend at it, but I think he enjoys getting his weeks randomly interrupted with bloodshed and multiple Whatsapp messages – so hey, I’m not going to argue. I have now read up on who Freja was fucking at any given time (and for what particular piece of shiny ornamentation), but I think the next one we’re going to do is “How Loki Fucked Up Majorly, Or How He Got The Prettiest Of Pretty Boys Killed And Then Got Himself Drooled On By A Snake Until The End Of The World”, or possibly for something more light-hearted we’ll do  “How Thor Created The Tides By Drinking Too Much”, which is an awesome story.

Gotta love Norse myths.

Random Writing: The Bells

The start of something, inspired by a peal on a Saturday. It’s still quite rough, and I’m not sure where it’s going yet! I may turn it into a flash piece.

It never fails to surprise me how, two cities and a continent away, the sound of the bells can still wake me from my sleep, bringing me bolt upright and sweating into the musty darkness of my room.

It was another life away, that peal – although it was not one, never one. There were bells for mass and ceremony, liturgy and matins. There were bells for birth, and marriage and joy; bells for death and separation and trouble.

And bells for disaster.

It is always that peal I hear, deep in the night. The slow, solemn thud of the ringer against the largest cloche; the deep, throbbing tone ringing out across the rooftops, shaking the birds out of slumber and the mortar in the walls, shaking the cobbles and the bricks, shaking the air itself as it bestirred all of us out of our lives.

Danger. Danger.


Trying an arty skill

I’ve been having a play with some book covers recently. I’m usually the first to admit I’m not the best person to do them; I’ve got a fair sense of design but I just don’t have the right eye for it. Give me words and I’m happy, but design…eh.

But the opportunity came up, and it’s not going to hurt for me to try – so I’m playing!

I’m getting to use these wonderful images of Tarot Cards by Matias Del Carmine (yes, the images have been legally obtained before you ask). I’m currently playing with compositions and fonts…

We’ll see what comes of it!