Today I’m blogging at Here be Magic about different sorts of magic in fiction. Will you come over there and tell me your favourite sorts to read and write? Thanks. 🙂
First things first: our kids are home safely from Tunisia. Huge relief.
They had no acccess to English language news during their week there, so had no idea our warships and planes were busy bombing Libya every night. Now they’ve caught up, they understand the naked hostility they got from most of the hotel staff and locals. It’s hardly surprising if people in Arab countries get stressed when western countries start bombing their next door neighbours. They can’t be blamed for thinking if there’s one thing that’ll guarantee humanitarian intervention by western governments, it’s having oil under your soil. Nor should we be surprised if they treat a small group of harmless young people as representatives of the aggressors.
Anyway, our kids are home safely. They want to go back and see more of the country when times get happier there, but for now we’re happy to have them cluttering up the place and filling the house with noise again.
We had a good week without them. Doesn’t that sound terrible? It’s true though. Apart from twitching every time we saw the TV news and praying they’d come home okay, we really enjoyed having the place to ourselves for once. (Well, us and the 37 creatures we had to feed and care for: 2 dogs, 3 cats, two turtles & three loaches in tank A, 17 tropical fish & 10 apple snails – that’s three generations – in tank B. It’s like a full time job when half the family goes away and it’s great to hand that responsibility back to the girls.)
So, apart from keeping the small zoo fed, watered, exercised and cleaned, we had a free week. The kids left at midnight on Saturday to drive up to Bristol for a 6am flight to Monastir, and next day we prepared and ate Sunday roast alone, just the two of us, for the first time in 29 years. We knew for a fact it was 29 years to the day, because Saturday was our eldest’s birthday. So that was a bit of a Wow… moment while we thought about how much has happened in those years but how close in time it still seems to that first year of our life together.
It was great to walk around naked again. What? It’s my house! I learned to avoid Elvis in my raw state (especially after I stripped off in the kitchen and bent to load my clothes into the washing machine, only to have him greet me with a cold nose up my backside. You know when you’ve been Elvised!) but otherwise it was just like being free and easy in our first place beside St John’s Lake in Cornwall all those years ago.
We played like a pair of daft mischievous kids all week. It’s lovely to laugh like that again. It reminded us of the people we really are and we fell a little deeper in love, even after all this time together.
So, I mentioned a big week ahead. There are two things.
Genre for Japan goes live today and the auction will stay open until Sunday night. There are some fabulous lots! Honestly, you have to see it to believe it. My lot is Item 7, but I’m small fry compared to some of the genre giants who are offering stuff. Go look!
And the other thing. I was sure there was something else…
Oh, yes. That’s it. My novel The Weaverfields Heir comes out this Friday. 🙂
Press Release: Time to Donate Prizes!
We’ve all heard the news and seen the horrific pictures coming from Japan in the aftermath of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami – and no doubt we’ve all wondered how to help.
Following the example of Authors for Japan, where bids are now closed, we’d like to introduce Genre for Japan, a chance for the comics, science fiction, fantasy and horror communities to unite and show our generosity to those who need it right now.
We are planning to run auctions for genre-themed prizes and we need YOU to donate. We are looking for really fantastic prizes: examples might include signed first editions, coaching sessions with agents for that perfect submission letter or original artwork!
Some of the prizes already donated include a year’s supply of books from Tor, signed artwork from Solaris Books and editing/critiques from professional authors and editors.
The prizes will be auctioned on our website, through JustGiving, in aid of the British Red Cross Tsunami Appeal.
If you have something really special to donate, please drop us a line at [email protected] including information such as a starting bid amount, a sentence or two about the item, and whether you wish to send the prize to a central collecting point or would be willing to post it to the winning bidder. Photos would also help us to list the item, if relevant.
The deadline to receive offers of prizes is 25th March (THAT’S TODAY!) with the auction set to begin on 28th March.
Genre for Japan is organised by:
Amanda Rutter: reviewer and webmistress at Floor to Ceiling Books
Jenni Hill: editor for science fiction, fantasy and horror publishers Solaris Books
Louise Morgan: author and interviewer for the British Fantasy Society
Ro Smith: writer and reviewer; blogger at In Search of the Happiness Max
Alasdair Stuart is the editor of Hub magazine.