This year, for the first time, I started to want a tattoo. I probably won’t get one (I’m suspicious that the urge coincides with the approach of a significant birthday; all of my exes had stupid tattoos that they either did regret or should have; all the people whose tattoos I like have skinny/buff arms and I may be confusing the two; I’m saving all my pounds for a shed at the moment #rocknroll) – but I love my tattoo mood board and will keep adding to it, anyway. Here are my favourite images from it.
You’re right, what I really want are wings, not tattoos, but I haven’t figured out how to get those yet.
I will graciously settle for a winged horse, if anyone has one spare.
New review now up at Slacker Heroes.
Margaret nodded, and David considered her resolute expression, and the way she packed away her weaponry with an efficiency at once beautiful and terrifying. Rather like the Roil.
“We’ll make them pay. We’ll wipe the blasted earth of them. I’ll not see another city fall,” Margaret said, as though she was capable of such things, as though she might singlehandedly save the world.
The Roil is a turbulent mass of darkness, death and monsters that is steadily filling the sky, destroying civilisation and heating up the world til it’s the right temperature for full scale invasion. You know when you look up and the clouds have swarmed over that blue sky you were enjoying? You shiver, and curse the fact that you left your jacket at home. Imagine something like that, but where the clouds are full of things called Quarg Hounds or Wit Moths, and they’re going to block out the sun, kill you horribly and then swarm out of your eyes. You won’t need your jacket any more, honey.
Jamieson’s novel takes us across the land that the Roil is overtaking, following a group of people with nothing in common but the desire to survive and/or destroy the Roil. Can a drug addict, a plucky young woman and a mysterious Old Man stop the encroaching destruction?
There’s a lot to like here, though in places I wanted more. The world building is intricate, imaginative and impressive and I am sure that what we see here represents an iceberg mass that, right now, only Trent Jamieson knows about. I love the variety of people who populate this country, and the thought that’s gone into the towns they hail from. There are the cavalier Drifters who live in the sky and despise the land lubbers, the merciless Verger assassins who kill for the state, and the scary Cuttlefolk, who seem to be man, bird and insect. I was reminded more than once of China Mieville and the original detail of his Bas Lag metropolis. That’s a compliment.
But on a smaller level, scene by scene, the book would benefit from more detail. I’d like to know about the rooms these people are in, the routes they take there, what’s inside their heads. There are missed opportunities to tell us more about this world and these characters. They travels for miles and visit cities they’ve never seen before, and barely react. The writing is so sparse sometimes that it’s more like an outline or a script than fleshed out fiction, which is a shame as I’m sure there’s more to tell. Too much is held back from the reader, which may be a tactic to build tension but can verge on confusion instead.
The nasty stuff is deliciously horrid, with gore and viciousness that Jamieson should be proud of. The concept of the Roil, and the way I can so easily visualise it, makes it a magnificent monster and one I don’t expect to be easily beaten. I liked that; it’s good to read something where I can’t tell if the good guys will win or not. A lot of people will enjoy the original world building here, and might not mind the scarcity of detail which made me balk. I hope so – let me know what you think.
No theme for this week’s links, apart from no-theme. And coolness. I’ve also included a new playlist for you, not styled as anything to do with writing this time, just the ear-worms of my summer. But let’s get to that in a minute. Firstly – breakfast!
Sarah Wilson found a great article about Hunter S Thompson’s rigorous, riotous breakfast requirements. I’ve always loved his writing, but never much fancied living with the guy, what with the whole ranch-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-filled-with-guns-dynamite-and-crazy-people asethetic he had going on. But this is the kind of breakfast I’d be willing to make a lifestyle change for.
‘. . . The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert. . .’
Read the full description here. Then come back to read about Monster Hair Clips. I know you want to.
Monster hair clips. Werewolf snouts. Tentacle belts. Visit Miss Monster’s store of Fantasy accessories and get your very own antlers. I have a big crush on this shop and I’m hoping to wear some of these to work and see who notices.
Fed and dressed? You’ll be ready for a photo of an enormous rabbit then.
Crafty Crafty blogged about this Big Yellow Rabbit, a sculpture by Florentijn Hofman which you can see if you are in Örebro, Sweden next week. Or now. I would love to walk around the corner and see something like this. I know my boyfriend thinks this is how I see the world all the time (He’s the prosaic one. I’m the trippy daydreamer).
Finally, here’s my latest 8tracks playlist. No writing theme this time, other than the fact that I write and I also like this. This summer my brain has looped these songs over and over, so for my own sake I’ve put them all in one place where I can get to them easily. You’ll see that my New Wave fetish continues unabated. The track by Television is over 10 minutes long, and totally worth it.
As always, if you only see a blank spot below, you’re using a browser which doesn’t like Flash. Click here for the music instead. Tracklisting below.
8tracks licensing requires that the second time you listen to a playlist it plays in random order. But all other times you should hear the songs in this order –
1 No Fun, The Stooges
2 Marquee Moon, Television
3 Thank You For Sending Me An Angel, Talking Heads
4 Kimberly, Patti Smith
5 Gravity Rides Everything, Modest Mouse
6 Gone Daddy Gone, Violent Femmes
7 Cattle and Cane, The Go-Betweens
8 This Time Tomorrow, The Kinks
Happy Weekend. X
The Etsy shop, Intergalacticdesign, is full of great switch plates – check it out here – and then visit Tickled Fancy for more very cool finds (and some perfect Mad Men art). She’s on twitter too, so I think a follow is in order – @whirringblender
I love colour. In galleries and shops I always gravitate towards the turquoise choker, the neon pink chair, the Paul Smith stripes. Monochrome is chic, but it’s not me. My muse/imagination/the pixie in my head who makes up stories and says things like ‘ooh, shiny!’ loves colour, too. The main character in the novel I’m working on, well – let’s just say she has an affinity with pigment. It was Autumn when I started writing about her, a season full of leaves and sunsets and flu-fever hallucinations, and she’s been throwing rainbows at me ever since.
Here are some images that I’ve grouped on Pinterest as a kind of mood-board for my heroine and the world she creates. When I’m not writing I try to feed my eyes and ears instead – Flickr, Pinterest, 8tracks and Last.fm as a break from Twitter and Goodreads – and this seems to keep the aforementioned pixie happy and ready to whisper more words for me next time I pick up a pen. It’s a fair deal.
Irresistable highway – I found Gene Davis’s work via this blog
I have already swooned on Twitter about how much I love Tina Mammoser’s work. Click the image for her site.
Wouldn’t this print look great over my desk? Print from ineednicethings.com
And I could wear this locket from verabel when at my desk, sat beneath that print. Go Go Writing Accessories!
The only problem I can see with having a front door this cool would be people knocking on it all the time. I mean, I couldn’t just walk past it, could you? Thanks A Beautiful Mess for taking the photo.
One of the reasons I love my Diana camera is because of the unpredictable colours I get. Here’s a couple of my favourites
And finally, my absolute favourite – here’s an image from New York artist Holton Rower, via wtf.com. Follow that link for a video of him making this series, called ‘Pour’ – looks like the best fun ever.