On clocks and watches and the passing of time

Photo by Brooke-Campbell

When I left the navy, I took off my watch and let time lose track of me.

Okay, that’s got my pompous litfic-ish catchphrase (that I coined on that day and have never forgotten) out of the way. On with the post.

My friend Kari Trenten asked this on Facebook:

Random question while I research…do you like clocks? Do you enjoy old fashioned time pieces or do you carry around something modern to tell time with?

It’s a fine pair of questions, and her curiosity jogged my memories of something very dear to me.

All through my childhood, my favourite clock was my Nan and Grandad’s. It’s a Napoleon’s hat-shaped mantle clock of pale reddish-blond wood that used to chime pleasantly on the hour and give a part-chime every quarter hour too.

A hundred years old now, I should think, it had a lovely delicate tone. It was quite heavy, about ten inches across its base, maybe six inches high and four inches deep, and contained a fine working mechanism that no one was permitted to touch except Grandad.

It sits in my Mum’s house now. After some years of neglect, she had it renovated to keep time accurately, but decided not to have the chime fixed.

She knows it’s the only thing I want to inherit. My memories of Nan and Grandad’s home are a treasure. It was a sanctuary for me, that place, and the clock was always there. When it comes to me I will certainly have its chime restored.

Ghost story in space Damage Control released to celebrate PRIDE!

Damage Control cover

A Christmas ghost story in space starring two brave young women engineers who happen to be in love, this previously published title is now rewritten as an adult novella and released to celebrate PRIDE.

“Damage Control is action, love and loyalty all wrapped around an intriguing Science Fiction puzzle.” USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR KIM KNOX

Kath Preston and Jen Stenberg are damage control engineers in the generation starship Romeo, 582 years into its 800-year journey from frozen Earth to humanity’s hopeful future on planet Nirvana. When they were schoolgirl best friends, Romeo’s population was doubled to 10,000 by taking on survivors from its stricken sister ship Juliet in the disaster that claimed the life of Kath’s hero father Peter.

On Christmas Eve seventeen years later, in the space of a single 24-hour duty while the people of Romeo are preparing to enjoy the holiday, can Kath and Jen step into Peter’s hero shoes when the actions of a murderous rogue crewman and the lurking ghost of the Juliet conspire to threaten Romeo’s safety and the lives of those they love?

DAMAGE CONTROL is available to buy from these outlets.

Achievements

Photo by Perla de los Santos

My brain is operating at slow ME speed today, and that’s no surprise, because I’ve been working it hard to meet an open call deadline.

The open call was at Tor.com, the SFF publisher who were inviting submissions of science fiction and fantasy novellas. The submission window was open from the 1st to the 15th of May, and they announced it in the middle of April.

I didn’t have anything ready to sub, but one of the titles in my ideas file jumped up and down shouting, Me, me, me! It was for an alien invasion story called Quiet Resistance.

All I had was a single-paragraph idea and a small cast of characters, so I had to start from scratch and crack it inside a month. And of course I was still (still am) recovering from a winter of scarily bad health. But I threw myself at it in a nothing ventured, nothing gained frame of mind.

And crack it I did, helped and encouraged by my friend and crit partner Deb McGowan. I submitted it last Friday, four days inside the deadline, and I’m happy with it.

Then, next day, I took part in the international ME Awareness Day. It’s held on 12th May every year, and this was the first time in several years that I was able to participate. Only online, of course. That’s where I live as far as the outside world is concerned. But I wasn’t alone in that, because so many of us #MissingMillions do exist only online for the outside world, when we exist at all.

I took that theme of invisibility and the ME meme Can You See Me? – and wrote a brief explanation beneath a nude selfie.

Eek! I can hear you thinking. WTF, David?

Don’t worry. It’s an arty rear view with my bum in strong shadow. Only my legs are on show, really. It’s still there on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, if you want to read it.

So I posted that and then spent a few hours sharing posts and photographs from other people with ME who were each participating in their own way in our day of awareness.

And then I crashed. No surprise there. It’s Monday now and I’m just surfacing. Carefully. Being as gentle with myself as I often urge my chronically ill friends to be with themselves.

You know what? I’m chuffed to bits with my achievements. The novella subbed and the day of action actioned. Chuffed to bits! 🙂

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