Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Anemone Kitson: Undercover Mermaid

The very best four words I've written today. It's been a doozy. (C'mon, I'd watch it! I bet when NBC cancel The Bionic Woman they come knocking at my door.)

I am cross with myself, as I managed to miss both Flight of the Conchords and Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe last night, due to them being

a) on BBC4
b) do you need more than that?

For fear of missing more vital televisual delights, I have carefully scoured today's Radio Times online, and found no equivalent peaches. This afternoon Five (not Channel Five, just Five) offered up Robin Cook's Terminal, which I thought was in rather poor taste until I remembered that he's already dead. (Is that worse, maybe?). BBC3 this evening has
Help Me Anthea, I'm Infested, which, rather pleasingly, suggests that the realisation 'Oh no, my home is being invaded by a plague of vile soulless creeping things' will inexorably be followed by a whoop of 'ANTHEA TURNER!' The sole highlight of the evening is ITV4's offering of an episode of The Professionals, which according to the RT is a documentary. In which Doyle gets shot by some Chinese people. I am reminded of all those times my heart leapt when I saw University Challenge: The Professionals listed, and truly believed that my dream of Ultimate Crossover Television had come true at last...

In the absence of better (oh, who am I kidding, I am absolutely going to end up watching The Professionals), here are the Conchords demonstrating why they are undubitably the inventors of rap. There ain't no party like my nana's tea party...

interviews with Billie Piper about Belle du Jour: brace yourselves, Who fandom is about to explode


Cooking some kind of vegetably tomatoey thing in an effort to nourish myself. Man cannot live by bread and Haribo alone, no, nor woman neither.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

You were served by: Lionel Hutz*

I went to Co-Op, and all I got was this lousy magnificent idea for how to fix a bit of my rewrite. (And pink wafer biscuits: they're the new black wafer biscuits, did you hear?) It is all about how my main character is supposed to be writing a novel, but keeps being distracted and updating her blog inst...oh, hang on.

Today work sent me to Christ Church College, to pick up some leaflets from a man who wasn't there. (Neither were the leaflets.) If only someone would invent an electrical speaking telephonic device to avoid such catastrophes! Then again, I would have missed out on meeting the Christ Church porters (or beadles, or bulldogs, or whatever they call the chaps in the bowler hats over at The Hice), who are lovely. Possibly they were charmed by the way my University ID photo has two large staples across my forehead, giving me a raffishly modern Frankenstein's monsteresque je ne sais quoi: possibly my failure to use the phrase 'Where is the Harry Potter Dining Hall?' made them extra perky. But they ran around like anything for me, and even chased one of their number out of the gents in the hopes he could help. I thought they were supposed to be terrifyingly stern?

My laptop is covered in pink dust now. Utterly True Fact Of The Day: they make pink wafer biscuits out of the crushed shells of those shrimps you get in cinema pick'n'mix. With just a dash of Mavis Cruet.

*This is what it said on my receipt, as all the self-serve tills are claiming to be Simpsons characters at the moment. It was all Harry Potter last year. I miss having my change given to me by Dumbledore...

My own completely incomprehensible handwriting. Shoulda been a doctor.
Tedious work-related email.
My-So-Called Life on dvd. Mmm, Jordan Catalano...

Monday, 24 September 2007

Sarah Jaaaaaaaane, that is her naaaaaaame

Aaaaand she iiiis, reeeally gooood, ooo-eee-ooooooo...

OK, so it doesn't have the same theme music (which is a shame, as the one it does have would make Delia Darbyshire cry), but The Sarah Jane Adventures is basically old skool Doctor Who with money thrown at it. Which makes it a very very wonderful thing indeed. 2-part stories so we get a cliffhanger! An older person hero who is brainy and a bit mental! Actual skience! AND I used to walk past her house on the way home from school every day, which makes me practically her companion. (Ahem.)

They have traded in the eggbox spaceships and chromakey in favour of prettier explosions and people who can act, which is a touch radical. And it suffers a little from forelock-tugging to New Who (not to mention prop-borrowing, which is presumably the sole reason for the return of the still-not-at-all-interesting-or-funny Slitheen). But there remains something relentlessly uplifting about the mere existence of a kids' show which centres on a MILF who saves the world by being quite clever.

When I am a lady of a certain age, I would like to have a big attic full of space junk, a computer for a husband, and to fight crime. I'll pass on the tin dog, though.

Of course, this is not Sarah Jane's first foray into spin-off land, so for your delectation here's the opening credits for K9 and Company (scroll ahead to 3.52, unless you want to sit through an awful lot of diddly-dums). Warning: unintentional hilarity within.

the three Rs:

Philip Reeve's Larklight. Victorian space pirates ahoy!

editing, editing, editing

Scrabbling around YouTube looking for Garth Marenghi's Darkplace clips. Can't imagine what put it into my mind...

Friday, 21 September 2007

Dining with Dinosaurs

Most of the time, being a writer involves coming up with rubbish excuses to avoid doing any actual writing. Making tea. Making some more tea. Attempting to excavate peanut butter from inside one's laptop after an ill-advised toast/facebook interface. Going to Co-Op to buy more tea, even though you already have tea, and then making tea with it. It's a rollercoaster ride.

Occasionally, the distractions are a bit more jolly.

Yes, that is a dinosaur's bottom, and those are the beautiful people of the book trade. The Bookseller Retail Awards took place in the Natural History Museum, which turns out to be a rather smashing place for a party - not least because you half expect a burly security guard to flick on the lights and yell 'What the bloody hell are you lot doing in here?'

In the absence of Scooby-Doo-esque shenanigans, we concentrated on looking enthusiastic about learning who had won Supply Chain Initiative of the Year, and not talking about the McCann case. I met the completely lovely M.G. Harris, a fellow children's writer whose Joshua Files will be out in February (a sort of 13-year-old Indiana Jones, blogging and not-quite-snogging his way to Mayan gold: sounds like larks), and who not only lives about ten minutes from my house, but is also gloriously nerdy about Blake's 7 (anyone who will namecheck Chris Boucher in casual conversation is all right by me). As for the resident slebs, it turns out that Antony Horowitz is surprisingly orange, Tony Parsons is unsurprisingly oleaginous, and Dara O'Briain is unflappable as well as very funny, compering away despite the twin distractions of a malfunctioning microphone and Tiny there in the middle of his audience.

As befitted the location, it was an educational experience too: apparently one never leaves a publishing do empty-handed. I'm not sure whether eating a free chocolate bar declaring that Cathy Kelly's new novel is like 'Chocolate Therapy' will make me read it: it definitely makes me wonder if people will not read mine (or, more to the point, booksellers won't put it on shelves) if they aren't bombarded with gratis confectionary first. Perhaps I should ensconce myself outside the nearest Waterstone's on publication day, and thrust Jaffa Cakes at unsuspecting passers-by...

In any case, the food was great, the company greater, and 'I was eating some fishcakes with a bronotosaurus' is the best excuse for not having written anything all day I've yet come up with. Can I do it again next week, please?

the three Rs:

Margaret Mahy's The Changeover. Again.

Synonyms for 'Joey Deacon'. God, children were horrible in the 80s.

Laundry, Toblerone, reversing the hinge on my new fridge door.