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Gorillas & Chickens, etc.


Yes, it's veggie box time again, where we get to delve into the contents of my recyclable container and discover what edible joys await us.

Potatoes
Carrots
Onions
Lettuce
Red Pepper
Turnips
Red Kale
Parsnips
Beetroot
Apples
Clementines
Bananas
Blood Oranges (result!)
Mango

What a great veggie box. Note no tomatoes.

There isn't a cabbage though, which brings me nicely to the subject of Robert De Niro. The other day I was reminiscing about Sesame Street (being raised on it) and I found this clip on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqHfser_9_s&feature=related

Robert De Niro: a good source of riboflavin.

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The editorial I posted on Serendipity touched on the sprawling tapestries of mass market fantasies like Steven Erikson' Tales of the Malazan and China Mieville's Perdido Street Station books, but for any of you bods that actually read things like detective books featuring the same characters, do you prefer a continuous strand, or are you happy to jump to and fro and hither and yon in a character's life?

His right royal ratness.

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Pootle here.

I'm very much looking forward to the new film version of Sweeney Todd, and a review I read of it alluded to a Scottish myth that was in part the inspiration for the story of the demon barber.

So, searching under the name of Sawney Bean, I came across quite the nastiest story I've heard for a while. Urgh. I dare you to google it. Who says crimes are worse nowadays?

I read about Sawney Bean and his murderous lot on this website:

http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/

It's a brilliant way to waste a few hours and also to gain some inspiration if you're a horror writer. My favourite story is The Vampire of Croglin Grange.
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This here is a link to Alice Tait's website:

http://www.alicetait.com/index.htm

I didn't know Alice Tait was the lady who did the illustration for the cover of Light Reading until I received a copy of the book and saw her name. She did such a stupendous job of that and I love her work. Am actually going to buy some when I get some money from anywhere.

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Pootle here.

I wrote a russian sonnet for a friend of mine who edits the poetry section of The Roundtable Review, and here it is on their website:

 http://www.roundtablereview.co.uk/roundtable/article.php?Code=188

It's about half way down the page. Russian sonnets are darned tricky things and it took me ages to come up with this one. I needed Hubby to count syllables and stuff.
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If you get penalised for passes in Mastermind, why pass? Why not have a wild guess? It might be the difference between winning.

Also, for those that didn't see it, it wasn't amazing or anything, but I rather enjoyed Rapunzel on the BBC the other day. Go see it using the iPlayer, if you like.

Oh, and there's a new issue up

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Tregolwyn Book Reviews is closing soon, which is a great shame as there aren't many places on the web that are dedicated to reviewing small press books that need a little love.

Recently they posted a review of an anthology that included one of my short stories about a polar bear:

http://www.sassoonfellowship.org/tregolwyn/id281.html

In the past they had also kindly reviewed Mean Mode Median.  And no, I didn't pay them or anything.
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Back to the regular delivery of the veggie box after Christmas:

potatoes
carrots
onions
broccoli
lettuce
red peppers
tomatoes (yucka)
parsnips
cavelo nero (yumma)
apples
clementines
bananas
oranges
avocado

A lovely lot of veggies to kick off the year. And another kick was swiftly administered to my backside (seamless joinery, there) by my agent, who reminded me that I had promised to deliver my new book in early January.

Oh dear.

Book not ready, and I get the feeling I was being hopelessly optimistic there in an attempt to impress her which has backfired somewhat. Still, she took it well and we agreed a new delivery date. 

Am now frantically scribbling and shouldn't really be blogging at all. I have absolutely no willpower, as you see.

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Pootle here.

Lots of interest amongst the MNW crowd regarding book titles at the moment. I thought I'd just mention the Diagram Prize, which is awarded annually to the strangest book title of the year.

Here's some of  the past winners:

1980 - The Joy of Chickens
1989 - How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Friendly Approach to a Lost Art
1992 - How to Avoid Huge Ships
1999 - Weeds in a Changing World
2000 - Designing High-Performance Stiffened Structures
2001 - Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service
2002 - Living with Crazy Buttocks
2003 - The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories
2004 - Bombproof Your Horse
2005 - How People Who Don't Know They Are Dead Attach Themselves to Innocent Bystanders
2006 - Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification

I'm looking forward to the shortlist for 2007.
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Whispers of Wickedness has just posted up a new Blue Pootle column about magical transport:

http://www.ookami.co.uk/html/blue_pootle_-_january_08.html

And the date for the launch party is set. 28th February. That's a Thursday. At Goldsboro books:

http://www.goldsborobooks.com/

6.30 to 8.30pm. All welcome. In fact, all actively encouraged. C'mon peeps. Make me look popular and impress my publisher.
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