Tag Archives | writer

Advent Thanksgiving: cool kitchenalia

grr argh buffy whedon apronMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – and today, novelty kitchenware.

Firstly, if you’re going to be preparing food then you’d best wear an apron. What better way to express your love for all things Whedon than with this jaunty ‘Grr Argh’ apron from Cafepress? They also have a ‘Browncoat’ apron, which would be brilliant if only it were brown. Call me OCD but I couldn’t wear a lemon yellow apron with the word brown on it, though I would like to see someone try to get Jayne Cobb wearing one. Shiny.

star trek enterprise pizza cutter think geek

Suitably apronned, you may now adopt a devil-may-care approach to cutting pizza, perhaps using this AMAZING Enterprise pizza wheel. I would have to hum the Star Trek music while slicing, and I just know I’m going to think of the clever pizza/Picard pun that’s eluding me *after* I publish this.

r2d2 peppermill think geekPizza too bland? Not enough spice? R2D2 to the rescue, in the form of this peppermill. It probably doesn’t beep and warble when it grinds – but it should. death star cookie jar think geek

Two Star Wars options for dessert – you know the Empire would have the best sweets, full of delicious, nasty sugar and over-processed flour. Remember the edible clone troopers I linked to before? Darth was breathless and puffy from diabetes, not evil. Whereas the rebels would be all hemp and granola, not a snickerdoodle in sight. Here’s a Death Star Cookie Jar from thinkgeek, and a Darth Cake tray from Incredible Things. Luke, I am your baker.

darth vader cake tin

Lastly, somewhere to stash any leftovers. Bento boxes aren’t really my thing, as they seem to only be for tiny portions, not the Bowley-sized hunks of food I prefer. Anything from Studio Ghibli is always good, though, and this Ponyo bento box is super kawaii. I’d have difficulty eating anything fishy from it, though, without feeling like I was eating one of Ponyo’s sisters. Vegan treats only.

ponyo ghibli bento box

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Advent Thanksgiving: Nico and Warhol as Batman and Robin

andy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photosandy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photosandy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photos

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Have you already seen these? Quite possibly the best photos I’ve seen this year (thank you Chris) these were shot for Esquire in ’67. I’ve been searching for an explanation, ideally an accompanying article, but can’t find much. It seems to be a stand alone photo shoot, presumably in tandem with Warhol’s excellently titled film, Batman Dracula.

andy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photos

The Throwing Muses gig I blogged about last month was in the same venue as a free exhibit, Warhol is Here, at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. What a way to spend the evening – we had fish n chips, Kristin Hersh, cold beer on a moonlit balcony over the sea and Andy Warhol. Very special. I hadn’t seen the three prints below, and they are now my favourites, especially the one for Chelsea Girls.

warhol levis poster

warhol women in revolt

Chelsea Girls poster warhol


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Advent Thanksgiving: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor coverMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

This one’s  a no-brainer. If you haven’t already seen my gushing review of this for the BFS, click here to read it.

When I started doing book reviews it was because I thought it would be cool – I’d just joined the British Fantasy Society, and when they tweeted that they needed more reviewers it seemed an ideal way to get involved. Plus, hey, free books!  I was right, it is cool, and perhaps book reviewing should get it’s own Advent Door as it’s definitely made 2011 fun. I’ve discovered new writers and read great books I might not have found out about otherwise, often before they were published. It’s connected me to other reviewers with similar tastes, and now I review for Slacker Heroes too.  It’s hard to believe that this time last year I didn’t have a blog and hadn’t ever reviewed a book (except out loud, ranting, raving or recommending to my friends).

But when I offered to get involved with reviews there was another factor, apart from coolness and book-greed. Hope. I knew that Laini Taylor and Stacia Kane (two of my favourite writers) both had new books out soon. I didn’t expect it to work out, but I crossed my fingers and squinted my eyes up and hoped I might get to read one of them early. I was willing to risk reading bad books by other people if it meant I was in with a chance of getting one of theirs. I didn’t think I actually would, but you gotta hope, right?

daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor fan art

But I did! Hope works, people! The reviews person at the BFS had approximately 90 seconds grace between sending out the ‘Would anyone like to review ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone‘ and getting a shrieking, capitalised response from me, begging for the review copy. Which I got. W00t!

I then panicked that the book might not be as good as I hoped, that my high expectations would sour it, and I left the book on my table for a while. I worried. Then finally I began, and loved it. Phew. I still want more Dreamdark books, and I miss Magpie and her band of crows. But Karou and the warring angels were a sumptuous substitute for the sequel to Silksinger (ooh, so many Esses) and now I have two Laini Taylor series to recommend. Marvellous.

(Just need someone from Harper Collins to send me an ARC of Sacrificial Magic now… #cheeky).

Here’s a great trailer for the book, and another link to my review.

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Guest Blogging for Mslexia

**Trumpet fanfare please, I’m very excited about this**

mslexia logoI’m going to be a guest blogger for Mslexia next year! I’ll be posting from January til March on what it’s like to be writing fantasy, vs literary fiction. No, I won’t just be saying the most obvious thing – Never Judge A Book By It’s Genre. I’ll be writing about the different things fantasy/SF writers have to think about, e.g. not only ‘is my character’s voice consistent’ but also ‘is this magic system consistent’. There are big pluses to being in a niche – it’s easier to find friends, get clear about what you’re about, stand apart from the crowd – but it can also be frustrating, when people take your writing less seriously because it has dragons in it. I’ll link here as my posts go up, and in the meantime you can see my tiny profile here.

If you haven’t heard of Mslexia, you’ve missed out. It’s a quartlerly magazine about writing and featuring writing. Their mission: ‘Mslexia is dedicated to encouraging, nurturing and empowering women writers to produce, publish and have their work read, with the parallel aim of improving the reach and quality of women’s literature.’

And the name?

Mslexia means women’s writing (ms = woman lexia = words). Its association with dyslexia is intentional. Dyslexia is a difficulty, more prevalent in men, with reading and spelling; Mslexia was created to address a difficulty, more prevalent in women, with getting into print… Read the article ‘Three cures for Mslexia‘ written by Editor Debbie Taylor from the launch issue of the magazine, which analyses some of the issues at stake.’

One of the first things I did when I decided to take writing seriously was subscribe to Mslexia, and I love it when a new issue arrives. I take myself off somewhere and squirrel down to read it, highlighting competitions, lit festivals, good advice. Their blog has already had some great contributors, so I am thrilled to be able to join in. In fact, I just ate another mince pie to celebrate. Hope to see you there in January.

mslexia cover

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