Discovery Day and other stories

This has been a really odd year, so far. David Bowie’s death completely floored me (I’m still prone to bouts of crying and think I will be for some time to come), and my aunt had died (also of cancer) just a few days before. It was a lot to take in all at once. I didn’t even read any books for about a fortnight, which is so out of character for me as to be almost unheard of.

But on the 24th of February, I had a theatre date with my good friend Joanne Harris, so even though I was feeling decidedly rough, I made the trip to London to meet her and to see Adrian Lester in Red Velvet. Adrian and I follow each other on Twitter and when I indicated I’d love to see the play, he made sure I was able to get tickets (thank you, Adrian), as they were selling fast. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo, GollanczFest, writing, writing, writing

How does it always arrive so quickly? Every year, at the end of November, we think, wow, that’s it for another year. A year! And then December arrives, with all that comes with it, and then it’s new year and all that comes with that, and then we’re into February. By which time, one quarter of that twelve-month wait for the next NaNoWriMo is already over. Continue reading

Storytime, with Joanne Harris

It’s weird when something happens, some event, that blows your mind so completely that it takes ages to process it enough to write about the experience. That’s part of the reason I’m only writing about this now, something that happened a month ago, an event so special, so magical, that it’s hard to find the right words to describe how it felt at the time. But I’m gonna try. Continue reading

Where do you go shopping?

Glad to have inspired this post about language. Word nerds, unite!

beewaxing

Divided by a common language – Part 2

Dawn, from the Brighton Plot Bunnies writers’ group, took to Twitter to express her annoyance about the transition in British English that has led to “shops” becoming “stores”.  This would seem to be an American influence, since store tends to be the US preference for describing retail emporia, so I responded by blaming Kristina, who is an American member of Brighton Plot Bunnies.  The topic had actually come up in a discussion with Kristina a day or so previously when she mentioned that her sister-in-law’s car was “in the shop”.  In British English, a car would only be in a shop as the result of a serious collision with a plate glass window.

Americans use “shop” for a place where work is carried out – a workshop – whilst the English use it to mean a place where you can buy goods. …

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Iguanas, Chameleons and Crayfish

When I asked my kung fu instructor what I should write about next, these were the suggestions put forward. I’m not entirely sure what that says about my kung fu instructor or my classmates in general. I was trying to avoid a rant, which is why it’s been a while since I last posted, but no matter. Iguanas, chameleons and crayfish aside, there have been some strange goings on in the UK of late. By some odd *ahem* “coincidence”, a lot of those things have happened since the general election last March, when 24% of the country (yes, that’s ONLY 24%…) were – I hesitate to cast aspersions on people I don’t know, but I’m going to, anyway – 24% of the country were dumb enough to vote Conservative. Continue reading