Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

einstein gif

I ummed and ahhed about reviewing this on here because of the recent allegations against Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don’t bother reviewing every audiobook I listen to or every book I read, so it wouldn’t have been a deliberate exclusion were it not for the fact that I really love NdGT and would certainly have written it up without a second thought before. I’ve been googling him a lot lately to see if there’s any more news about the investigations into his conduct and am anxious to know the outcome.

In the end, I’ve decided to write it up because, whatever NdGT may have done, the science still stands up, and this isn’t just his book as it was written in collaboration with two other astrophysicists he taught with at Princeton, Michael Strauss (a notable astronomer) and Richard Gott (a time travel theorist).

When I say the science stands, I’m taking a leap of faith here. As discussed previously, I am no mathematician. Anything off the cuff tougher than long multiplication and I’m stumped. Long division I can just about manage with a piece of paper, but that’s it. I’m an actual maths thicky, but I enjoy learning about the broad outlines of theoretical physics and like to watch shows and read books about it. I did do a ten point beginners OU course years ago titled Galaxies, Stars, and Planets, which was very interesting but I never could grasp the maths bits. I passed, but it wasn’t with flying colours!

This was like a more interesting version of the textbook I had for that course. There’s a lot of maths, which I couldn’t have begun to understand even if I’d had the book in front of me. Listening to the formulas read aloud I just zoned out. I couldn’t even picture it with all the weird numbers and the Greek letters and shit. I mean, I know what lambda looks like, for example, and they did say what it represents but… It was in one ear and out the other. All I took from one particularly lambda heavy equation is that you can use maths to determine what a planet is, which I hope was the key point.

Rather a lot of this went over my head if I’m honest. If you’re talking the theory of relativity I can follow, if you’re talking in detail about observations made that confirm relativity I begin to struggle, and as I’ve said, if you’re discussing the maths of theoretical physics, I’m completely stumped. My last PopSci audiobook, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, was too basic. This was too complex for me and covered a lot of virgin territory. There was stuff about strings, for example, that I’ll have to revisit because it was new to me and I’ve forgotten all of it already. It was wibbly wobbly timey wimey, but beyond that, I couldn’t say.

At almost eighteen hours, it was also very long, and Gott and Strauss’s essay were a smidge dryer than NdGT’s. However, he gets to relate stories about going to a Hollywood premiere of Contact or getting stuck in the middle of a media controversy over the status Pluto (it’s the largest Kuiper Belt object so far discovered, Jerry).

plutoplanet

Overall, this is not a book for beginners, nor is it a book for audiobook enthusiasts as there are a lot of diagrams and equations brought up that you don’t have access to in an audiobook. However, if you are simply looking to enjoy some lectures and aren’t worried about the nitty-gritty elements, I think it’s pretty good.

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Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh

bumbletea

Welcome to the latest instalment of Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Books and Mispronounces Words. Today we are discussing Death in a White Tie, a Roderick Alleyn novel about blackmail and murder during a particularly rough London season.

I’ve not read any Roderick Alleyn novels, but I went into it knowing who Roderick Alleyn was at least, and how to pronounce his name. It’s “Allen”, like Ned Alleyn, for whom he was named (and whose name was sometimes written Allen, as per Professor Wikipedia, providing a clue to the pronunciation even given Tudor accents). Bumblesnatch never got the memo, however, so this is 3.5hrs in the world of Roderick Allayn. If you thought “Pengwing” was something, treadmill your way through this.

The story is a fairly simple one. Alleyn asks a civilian friend, Lord Robert, to help him investigate a case of blackmail. Lord Robert is clocked and then murdered. There are various aristos with motive and opportunity, each are questioned, and a few minor queries are made. They eventually all meet at Scotland Yard where Alleyn confronts the murderer. There’s also a subplot in which he gets off with an artist called Agatha Troy.

It’s a pity Lord Robert died so early in the story because the voice chosen for him is amazeballs. It is Eric Idle doing his Noel Coward impression in The Meaning of Life. Honestly, sounds just like him. Very amusing! A few other voices are obviously part of Bumbles regular repertoire. His cabby sounded like Roger Mason in The Spire, and the voice came out again when a few of the other characters got angry.

Overall I thought this was alright. I was a bit apprehensive because the story is abridged, but it was fine, and the performance was good apart from the “Allayn” business. That is borderline unforgivable, but I was won over by the strength of the voice acting. Also, I greatly enjoyed him reading Casanova, in which he butchered various Italian words. I can’t be too critical of this. It is par for the course with his reading. And listening to audio stuff has schooled me on how to pronounce Marvell and Catullus in the past. You don’t know until you hear someone else say it.

Anyway, BC has mangled his way through two more of these books, so I guess I know where my next two months Audible credits are going.

The Spire by William Golding

bc funny face

Yet more Benedict Cumberbatch, best of all the readers on Audible. And this is a book I wouldn’t have listened to if he hadn’t been the one reading it. I had more than enough medieval cathedral building ploughing through The Pillars of the Earth, which is quite a good novel but very very different to this.

Dean Jocelin believes it his calling in life to build a spire on top of his cathedral. The cathedral was built with minimal foundations and cannot support the extra weight, but he progresses with the plan nevertheless, careless of the human and financial cost of the project.

And there is great cost to it. The building—which everyone accepts is folly but continues nonetheless—ruins the master builder, empties the church, and takes the lives of two people Jocelin cared about. Unchecked, his descent from delusion to full-blown psychosis continues as the spire goes up until eventually he is removed from his position.

But this isn’t the end of the story because more than the cathedral lacked foundation. Jocelin is brought lower still before the end. Interestingly, however, when the book closes, the partially complete spire still stands, though it is only a matter of time.

I don’t think listening to this as an audiobook before reading the text was a good idea. It’s a complex novel, and I think I would have benefited from time to mull it over as I went through. Also, though Bumblesnatch read as superbly as he always does, I was surprised to find afterward that The Spire is written as a stream of consciousness. That was completely lost to me.

I also would not recommend this to people with mental health problems.

Did I think the book was good? Yes. Did I think Bumbles did a cracking job reading it? Of-fucking-course, he was amazeballs. Would I read it again? Personally, no, but that’s my baggage, it’s nothing to do with the quality of the book.

2018 Round-Up

This was a bit of a shit year for me. Not quite an annus horribilis, but my mental health was poor, motivation and ambition, low. I’l be glad to see the back of 2018.

Looking back on this blog over the year I find a ridiculous amount of Tom Hiddleston related content as I work my way through his entire backlist. That will continue into the next year I’m afraid, partly because it’s taking me for ever to get up the will to watch it all, but mostly because my mum has been spying on me and she does not like him. Turning this into a full-time Hiddles stan account will be sweet revenge.

lol ricecake

when will your fave, mum?

latin piddles

handsome and charming and clever

hiddles kiss.gif

flawless disney prince

benedict cumberbatch

also benedict cumberbatch will be here reading audiobooks.

Poetry and historical gay stuff should continue next year too. And I’m going to introduce a Trojan Day I think, which will be like Loki Day but with Trojans instead because I like Trojans. So expect some Trojan related content but not every month like Loki Day is. I’ll recommend David Gemmell’s Troy books now as it’ll probably be ages before I get to re-read them, but they’re focused on Aeneas and Andromache (who is bisexual in this story, if you’re just in it for queer characters). To up the gay content, I may have to extend it to a Classical day and re-read all the Mary Renaults or something. We’ll see.

This year I “read” 91 books according to Goodreads. That’s not at all accurate as it includes a lot of audible stuff, re-reads, and misses out some books I read at the beginning of the year before I got my new Goodreads account. I think I probably read sixty to seventyish books, which is a slow year for me normally, but it’s still a deceptively large amount as these were mostly pretty short. However, I did read an enormous amount of dodgy Loki fanfics for a Loki Day Post and then only managed to squeeze out a few hundred words about them. Bit of a waste of time in the end!

These are my favourite books read this year:

The Centaur of Attention—CB Archer

Look at that title! That’s a cracker, and there’s plenty more goodness inside (including a dedication to yours truly). The College of United Monster books are pure silliness. Read this one and then read my fanfic Top of the Class which is set in the same world and features more centaurs. Also as CB is a character in the book, you might want to follow him on twitter and see how well I parody him!

The Order of Time—Carlo Rovelli (read by Benedict Cumberbatch)

I loved this book so much I listened to it three times! It is beautifully written, excellently read, and as with all science books, comfortingly grounding.

The World’s Wife—Carol Ann Duffy

Love her! Love these poems. She’s an actual genius.

The Great Lover—Jill Dawson

A perennial fave of mine that I think I’m going to re-read again early next year. Recommended to Rupert Brooke fanciers and those who enjoy lighterweight lit-fic.

 

Loki Day: Loki does YouTube

loki comicon

Well, Loki does Comic-Con and some Comedy Central ads, but I’ve found them several years too late on YouTube. Honestly, I typed “Tom Hiddleston reading poetry” in once, an hour after I watched Thor, and for three months afterward the recommended videos were a collage of his face.  Which at first was great because that’s content I would gleefully click on, but after the initial hour watching him be charming and do impressions and talk French and dance, even I got a bit sick of him being above average at everything. Mr. Mulberry had gone from laughing at his jokes and choosing the videos to saying things like, “I bet he only learnt French so he could chat up women.”

I had a similar problem on Pinterest. For a short while the feed was nothing but vegan food and Tom Hiddleston 24/7, which can get a bit tiresome after twenty minutes when you realise you still haven’t looked up the recipe for jalapeno  dip you went on there for, but you have pinned 56 gifs of him holding a baby leopard (which, by the way, is my kid’s favourite YouTube video because “that man has a Loki face”). Pinterest send me a daily email with umpteen photos of him, buffalo cauliflower wings, and egg free cakes, and every few weeks I bother to open one and then spend another twenty minutes in the Pinterest sinkhole. (ETA: Since I originally wrote this six months ago I’ve downloaded the Pinterest app and have got in the habit of opening it whenever I’m sat on the loo. I checked today because I knew this post was coming up and was horrified to discover I now have seven thousand pictures of Hiddles pinned on my pinterest, which I think says a lot about my lack of bladder control and how low my bar is for pinning content.)

Loki, however, I could still watch incessantly. If you type Loki into the search on YouTube, you get “about 2,670,000 results”.  These range from “Why is Loki So Hot?” to deleted scenes in which Loki hangs out in a portaloo or fantasises about his coronation, the maths behind Loki’s falling for half an hour, Loki receiving therapy, to Loki at Disneyland (Loki is an actual Disney Prince OMG!). There’s an enormous amount of cute cat and dog videos where the animal has been named Loki. You can learn how to dress up as Loki and paint your face like him. You can watch shippy videos of him with almost anyone. Basically, there’s rather a lot of Loki. He is a popular character!

I’ve picked these three videos out as they feature the real deal MCU!Loki. Let’s start with Comedy Central ads.

 

Mr. Mulberry made me watch this years and years ago and I was amused, though I didn’t really get what was going on, having no clue who the character was. I only became interested in Loki when I found out he is pansexual and genderfluid, so I just smiled and nodded and let Mr. M giggle his heart out. They are funny, though! And very cute. Those precocious little kids are adorable.

 

Next up is Loki’s surprise appearance at Comic-Con. Now, if Mr. M had shown me this video instead of the last, it might have made a Loki stan of me five years earlier. It has a lot of energy, and the crowd’s excitement really comes through. Everyone is enjoying themselves, most of all Loki who is finally getting the attention he deserves. Also, the “My wife loves you!” man is hilarious. My husband would be the one going around starting a support group.

Actually, to be fair to Mr. M, when I started taking an interest in Loki he got super jealous, and not how you’d think. He gave me The Talk. I wasn’t to spoil his “Piddles”. I totally spoiled him, however, because Mr. Mulberry cannot share. Piddles was his, he found him, I wasn’t supposed to like him, damn it. Too late! We’ve been through similar over Shane Dawson and Santa Clarita Diet. 95% of the crush I am attempting to develop on Benedict Cumberbatch is just to wind up my husband, because Dr. Strange is his favourite Avenger. Everyone needs a hobby and frustrating Mr. M is mine!

Anyhow, Loki is getting all the love in this video, and it’s rather fabulous. I would like and subscribe!

Video number three is Loki playing two truths and a lie. But Loki isn’t very good at telling the truth. Cool mic drop though.

 

The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry

ode less travelled

Way way back I mentioned I was re-reading this. When I started, I was diligently doing all the exercises, most of which involved writing lines of iambic pentameter, but as time went on and the school holidays began, I didn’t have time to spend on it.

I’d left the book at Rhyme and picking it back up a few weeks ago I decided not to bother with the exercises this time. Fry makes the point that practising metrical writing is like practising scales on a piano, which I think is useful if you want to be a professional poet or piano player. I don’t think I’d be any good at either.

Obviously, I’m a writer, but if I write bad prose, well, it’s bad prose. No harm done, and it never held many a bestselling author back. But bad poetry? That’s a crime against humanity.

That’s where this book comes in. It’s a how-to guide to writing poetry, laying out the basics of meter, rhyme schemes, many different forms, and there’s a brief section on diction at the end. I think if you’re trying to write poetry it would be a good starting point, though reading a lot of poems might be a better bet. If like me you enjoy poetry but have no formal book-learning on the subject beyond a GCSE or equivalent, it is handy for picking up a bit of the lingo and is a good aid for understanding why poems work as they do. Once you can see the nuts and bolts of a work, you have a new appreciation for the skill that went into it, not just the sentiment.

However, this is not some dry textbook, nor is it just the sort of airy-fairy nonsense that treats all poetry as a spiritual experience (there’s a little of that toward the end, but it’s not gratuitous). This is Stephen Fry! Personality and opinion abound, and he is, as usual, very funny. Many of the poems he wrote as examples of the individual forms are witty (some of them are downright bawdy), all the explanations are clear and concise, and he throws in just the right amount of background on poems and the poets who wrote them to make it interesting.

I didn’t agree with all his opinions. He calls Robert Graves a dunderhead for one. Apparently no one can mention Graves without pointing out he was a total arse.  But as Graves is the hill I will eventually die on, and he is my arse, I laughed and then disapproved immediately afterwards. Also Fry has strong feelings about free verse, which I support to the extent that I feel he’s right that the best free verse still has some semblance of poetic form, but I felt like he could be a bit too down on it in general at times. Contemporary poetry, too, is scathingly attacked. But his standards are his standards, and the big take away from this book is that Fry likes his poetry to scan. If you disagree, this is not the book for you.

Personally I agreed with Fry more times than not while reading this book. He’s old-fashioned, desperately uncool (is there anything cooler than being uncool though?), and very much set in his ways. He’s the educated old man version of me.  And, just when you think you’ll never be half as clever as he is and therefore cannot write even a line of verse, he reminds you that none of the really good poets were scholars and that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t taken the Classical Tripos and swum in Byron’s pool, you can still write decent poetry. But it would help if you read some decent poetry first.

What I particularly liked about the book is that it didn’t shy away from the fact that if you love poetry you’re assumed to be a bit of a melt. Melt is British slang for a man who is perceived to be unmasculine—in the very narrow and frankly outdated sense of what it is to be masculine, of course. Fry, while extolling both the charm and technical skill of a line from Keats The Eve of St Agnes–“And Madeline asleep in the laps of legends old”–describes his feelings thus: “Very sensitive cardigan-wearing reading-glasses on a thin gold chain old poof who runs an antique shop and yearns for beauty.” And what’s wrong with that?!

As a beginners guide, I think it’s a good one. It served as a useful reminder of the technical aspects of poetry, and it made me laugh. It has slowed down my reading considerably as I now tend to approach poetry with a more clinical eye, scribbling a pencil mark on each stress and counting beats on my fingers before turning my attention to the rhyme scheme and other tools, but the experience of reading ends up being richer for it in the long run. It’s worth a read if you appreciate poetry.

Rumpole

rumpole

If you are British and my age (thirty-five) or older, you’ll know Rumpole from the telly show, Rumpole of the Bailey. My dad loved Rumpole. He had the Rumpole Omnibuses on his shelf in the downstairs toilet and always watched the show.

I didn’t read any Rumpole until my mid-twenties when I read Rumpole and The Penge Bungalow Murders. It’s the case that makes Rumpole’s name, and it’s the story of how he ends up with “She who must be obeyed,” AKA his wife Hilda. At the time I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, but I didn’t reread it, so, much like the James Bonds, it ended up at the charity shop after the big book clear out at earlier this year. That book, one of only three Rumpole novels, the rest being short stories based on the tv show, was the first I listened to in this radio adaptation and it was a great reintroduction.

Rumpole is a fantastically fun character. Immensely proud of his principles and his ability in the courtroom, and a regular quoter of Wordsworth, he somehow manages to avoid being an utterly pompous arse. Rumpole is the great defender of the criminal underclass and devotes his career to helping them avoid jail, preferring the legal aid cheque to any better paying civil suit. He likes cheap wine, unpretentious people, and steak and kidney pudding. You can’t help but love him despite his many and varied faults, not least of which is his treatment of poor old Hilda, and his willingness to defend the indefensible.

You also can’t help but love his creator John Mortimer. I don’t know if Mortimer ever identified as team queer, but he was certainly a champion of the queer community. He defended Gay News at an obscenity trial, gave the West End its first on stage gay kiss in his play, Bermondsey, and was, it seems, quite taken with some of the other boys when he was at boarding school before taking to ladies when he finally got near some.

There’s a gay-themed story too. The Gentle Art of Blackmail, which is about a relationship gone awry between a gardener at Keeble and a Professor of Moral Philosophy. Rumpole is an innately liberal character who cares little about what other people do in bed together and defends the gardener on a charge of blackmail after the professor accuses him to deflect any potential scandal. He ends up outing both men, but—and, as ever, I think this is particularly due to the talent of Bumblesnatch—it is done because he has no choice and you can tell he does not want to do it to them. Either the lad goes to jail, or the jury decides they were lovers and the payments that were said to be blackmail were just gifts.

Add to all the above the fact my number one audiobook person Benedict Cumberbatch was playing young Rumpole, I knew going in that I was going to enjoy these adaptations. Both he and Timothy West were perfect Rumpoles. He’s a comic but not comical character and they hit the perfect balance, even when he’s talking about “rubber johnnies” or ordering his tenth glass of “Chateau Thames Embankment.” He moves seamlessly between being openly rude to people, to quoting Shakespeare at them, and then making snide remarks again. Quite literally from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Sometimes you feel sorry for Rumpole, sometimes you feel sorry for Hilda, sometimes you want to bash Rumpole around the head and tell him he’s being an arsehole. But he’s always entertaining, and the cases are interesting, often interweaving with the subplots regarding his marriage and his relationship with his young pupil Phyllida Trant.

I don’t remember enough of the tv show to say whether or not these are loyal to any original stories. I’m leaning towards not, on a few of them, particularly the stuff with Phyllida. Rumpole was a lot older in the tv series and this is set much earlier. So I guess it’s a prequel of sorts. It’s good fun, anyway, and I’d recommend it.

Review: Kindle Paperwhite

Figured I’d post this review near Christmas in case it’s seen by anyone who is thinking of asking Santa for a Paperwhite.

I bought my first Kindle back in 2010. It was a Kindle Keyboard, the brand new model, and though it’s a bugger to use, I warmed to it. It’s just so convenient having the best part of a thousand books in your handbag.

My house is not just full of books, it’s littered with them. I’ve long since run out of shelf space and the latest acquisitions get piled up next to the sofa. Every few years I have a sort out and donate hundreds at a time to charity. Then I immediately buy a load to replace them.

My love of books is what put me off buying a Kindle until 2010. I didn’t think I’d enjoy reading as much on a device. I know now that was nonsense. I enjoy reading more than I enjoy holding books. There’s no advantage to having a copy of something on the shelf when you’re out and about and you’ve forgotten to take it with you, but the Kindle is always there.

I started reading more Romances when I got my Kindle. I’d read them before, usually queer ones, but the queer paperbacks were expensive, and you had to order them online because they were rarely in bookshops (you’d struggle to find an MF Romance in a UK bookshop, let alone a queer one). I went from buying a few here and there over the previous years to binge buying them for the Kindle. I’ve still got ones I bought way back when that I’ve not read yet.

So, my Kindle was a bit of a revelation. Fast forward eight years and the screen is damaged, the back has popped off, and it shuts itself down if you turn the pages too fast. It takes thirty seconds to put something in a collection— fine if you’ve got one thing, annoying if you have 100+ dodgy Loki fanfics to shelve, and if you forget to switch the wifi off the battery dies in days, not weeks. It’s on its last legs.

Enter my new Paperwhite. I was going to get the standard Kindle, but the Paperwhite was £35 off in the Prime Day sale, and it has a backlight, so I went for it. Truth be told, it’s a massive disappointment and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It’s not just an e-reader, which is literally all my Kindle Keyboard was, it’s a device for Amazon to sell you books. I bought the cheaper model , not realising you have to pay an extra tenner if you don’t want Amazon advertising to you. The bloody thing links to the Kindle Store, Goodreads too so you can buy books in your To Read folder, links to your Amazon wishlist, and recommends you books. It also couldn’t sync with my old-fashioned Kindle Keyboard, so the thousand books I have on it all need sorting into collections from scratch. Instead of switching it on and seeing your library it shows you the last three books you added and then three times as many it thinks you’ll want to buy and there’s no physical manual or explanation for how to switch it off on the Kindle itself during set up. They’d be better off prompting you at set up to switch it on and then you’d get the choice and wouldn’t be frustrated. I went online and moaned about it and customer services contacted me to tell me how to switch all the recommendations off, but I’ll have to pay a tenner to get rid of the ads, which I think is a bloody cheek. If they’d called them adverts instead of pissing “special offers” I’d have known what I was getting in the first place. And I don’t buy that bull crap about it being a discount and the Kindle being subsidised by advertising. Most devices are loss leaders, the profit comes from the content when you’re tied in. That was Amazon’s model with the original Kindles, and they’re in a significantly better financial position now than when they started selling them. I don’t begrudge them the profit (though I do think they should start paying tax and treating their workers better, and if that puts the prices up or reduces their margin then so be it), I just think when you buy something you should enter into a sales contract, not a contract to target you based upon your personal data. I bought an e-reader for the purpose of reading books on it, nothing else.

One more moan: the display is nowhere near the quality of my old Kindle, and it is still incompatible with some of the books.

But my ancient Kindle is showing its age so I might as well get used to the Paperwhite. I think I’ll keep it by the bed for reading at night and continue to use my battered old one for when I’m out and about. I like to take a break mid-walk in the park, find a bench and read for a bit. I’ll continue to use it for that until it finally dies.

ETA: Shortly after I wrote this review my Kindle Keyboard shuffled off this mortal coil. Having used the Paperwhite for some months now I can say that it’s every bit as annoying now as when I got it and my feelings haven’t been tempered in the months since. I still haven’t sorted the 1000 odd books on it because it’s such a pain in the arse, leaving the display cluttered. And it bugs the shit out of me that the books don’t download unless you select them whilst on the old Kindle they’d just appear automatically so they were always there to read. Unless you buy the 3G Paperwhite you can easily find yourself unable to access the books you want. Honestly, it’s an absolute pile of poo and I’m about ready to give up ereaders altogether when I think about it.

 

 

Oh mah gawd, my mum got Hiddles tickets!!!!!

hiddlesexcite

Ok, this was not that big a surprise to me because when it popped up on Google alerts that Hiddles was going to be doing Pinter at the Pinter I texted my mum and told her I’d literally die if she didn’t get us tickets for this. Because though I pretend to be a proper grown-up thirty-five-year-old wife, mother, bored housefrau and Romance novel writer, I am in fact a fourteen year old in the throes of a teenage crush on a movie star.

Thankfully my mum knows and understands this. She came good and got really good seats for TWO performances!

I’d tried to get some too. I bought a ticket to see another of my faves, Rupert Graves, in his run, pleased as punch because I thought that would get me priority access to Hiddles tickets too. It didn’t. Boo. But I needn’t have worried because I have the best mum ever who spoils me rotten.

She also can’t stand Pinter or Hiddles, so I know she really does love me because this won’t be fun for her at all. She suggested Hiddles be inserted into himself after hearing him read Sonnet 18 and has never forgiven him for it.

Never read poetry badly to a Mulberry because we will cut you, so help me God.

She has also questioned his masculinity and has made other disparaging comments about him. I don’t know why, he’s pretty much flawless and beautiful. I know these days he looks like a tramp someone cleaned up and dressed in a two thousand pound suit, but he’s still Tom Fecking Hiddleston Oh My God.

When I was eleven my mum took me to a Boyzone concert, with EYC and Sean Mcguire as the opening acts. She slunk off to the bar as soon as they hit the stage and left me and the gang of excitable preteens that had come along with us. She may be planning similar, lol.

Whatever, I will be excited enough for both of us. Squee!

ETA: Um… may have got tickets for two more performances. Just me though because there’s no chance my mum will go four times lol. Man, I really hope this isn’t boring.

Hurrah!

shitdone

I am writing again and it is stuff I intend to publish! This has been a long time coming. I’m very pleased with myself and kind of buzzing right now, having spent a few hours working on book related stuff. It’s not Vanessa Mulberry, but its creative work. I’ll take it.

Which reminds me, I still have not put my Mulberry self-pubs back on Amazon. I think I’m going to put them back up on Kindle Unlimited and ignore them from now on, bar finishing off the few I had in progress in my spare time. I’d decided I didn’t want to sell books anymore, but the truth is a bit of time and perspective made me realise how irrational I was being. I’m not responsible for the ills of MM Romance and beating myself up about everything that goes on within that community is silly. And I feel guilty about leaving my publishers in the lurch as regards my available books. While I can’t bring myself to return to the community and promote anything, I can at least put out the cheap and free stuff that readers might stumble across. It would be nice to think I could pay back the advance on The First Act if nothing else.