January 9th, 2009


Where's the money coming from?

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff had signed checks totaling more than $173 million in his office desk ready to be sent out before his arrest, U.S. prosecutors said in court papers on Thursday asking a judge to jail him.

- reported by Reuters, this morning.

Shiny Review

Dirk Flinthart reviews Shiny over at www.coolshite.net and has some very lovely things to say.

It’s the 21st century. Why are we still killing forests to make crappy magazines that become landfill after one reading? Why aren’t we downloading the content we want to our portable devices, reading them where and when we want, and leaving the trees to soak up all that CO2?

Ah. Wait. This is a website. Evidently you, at least, have entered the present. You’re not alone, though. May I introduce Miss Shiny? Just ‘Shiny’ to her friends. After reading the first four issues, I suspect there will be many.

Shiny is a new-era fiction periodical. (A “magazine”, in the old world - but without paper, it becomes something new. And I don’t want to call it a “webzine”. It isn’t, and I completely hate the term anyhow.) It publishes science fiction and fantasy in simple, easily read pdfs. It’s cheap: an issue will cost you $3, and you can bundle issues to bring the price down farther. They take Paypal. And the whole thing is operated out of a simple blogspot website, which is updated by a range of rather good writers and fans talking about all sorts of stuff to do with speculative fiction. On top of that, the fiction is very bloody good: three nice, long, completely original stories per issue, by writers who definitely know what they’re doing.

Read the rest of the review

It’s a great idea. It’s a brilliant idea. It’s simple and it’s gorgeous, and you owe it to yourself to give it a visit.

Look out for Issue 5 coming your way early this summer with stories from Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sue Isle and Emily Mah Tippets.



So I'm still not sleeping well. Falling asleep well after 2am and then dragging my arse out of bed at 8.30 and rushing around like a madwoman but half asleep.

Last night I was disturbed by a bright light suddenly lighting up my ensuite. And my very first reaction was: am I being abducted by aliens? And then I did that sort of unsure, slow motion walk into the bathroom to investigate just like they do on those cheesy reenactments. As I was doing it, I was thinking, "Wow people really do do this then." Followed by "why are you checking it out! Why? Why?! Nothing good EVER comes from investigating it!"

I'm sure it was probably one of the cats next door setting off an outside sensor light.

Still, I had to watch the tennis for a while just to be sure. And so no grey ghostlike presences came and took me in the pitch dark.

And then I dreamt that there was a thick, long python in my bed. And that my dad had to remove it for me. If you've ever met my dad, you'd know he would so NEVER do that! And he certainly wouldn't have used one of Dexter's black bags for disposing of bodies and carrying of killing instruments to do it with.

Anyway ... I'm wondering if my mind is still in the literal - big, thick snake sleeping in my bed or whether it was some hidden other message. I don't like that I keep dreaming of snakes. It popped up later in the dream as well.



Yesterday was a complete time vortex. My body clock is still not properly reset and how can it be when I eat my lunch at 2 and my dinner at 8? Must get regimented over the weekend to fix. I hate being tired.

Thursdays essentially are - get in, get coffee, check emails, make sure world hasn't exploded, go to team meeting. Do small amount of work after meeting before pilates. Die in many different ways. Eat lunch whilst trying to focus yet feel faint from pilates in hot room, somehow it's 3.30 already. Rush around trying to do things. Home time.

I'm actually enjoying work a lot at the moment. I think that's mostly to do with feeling up to date with my filing, understanding how the systems work, what I need to do with the work I currently have on and what is expected of me. Keeping my desk clean is very satisfying and all these things are important to understanding how I can keep my personal motivation going. I noticed that even when procrastinating yesterday on big tasks, I was finishing up small ones like filing or replying to queries etc. Working in other words. A sure fire way to know I actually am enjoying things at the moment. And the workload is steady, not crazy. Though it *is* only the first week of January.

After work, I met up with crankynick for coffee. We shot the breeze and talked shit and suddenly it was 8pm. Lots of good talk and food for thought. And about a billion things I should get off my arse and do. Course, I was knackered by the time I got home last night, answered some email, read and edited some reviews. And then it was time for my alien abduction scare.

Hopefully I will find time to be more productive this weekend. Though I am off to Shakespeare in the Park tomorrow night with my work crew. And random other things to do and people to see.

Time. Time. Time.

And all I wish for is that I could read faaaaaster!!!

I love a plan that comes together

I finished work at 5pm, wandered out to my car whilst hunting around for my keys in my bag to no avail. After several minutes I decided to look inside my car, and hello, they were still in the ignition, behind a locked car door.

Ugh ... I didn't think the lack of sleep was getting to me - I've been most impressed with my work output having met all my deadlines this week (which NEVER happens, I no longer ask for extensions, my wording is - I'll need an extension, thanks). But no.

Anyway. Turns out being a member of the RAC is a good idea. As is having put the sticker on my car with the number to call. I went back inside, gave them a ring, turned on my computer, worked another half an hour and the man called (lost, cause he didn't listen to instructions and hung up as I was giving more) and seriously took 3.5 secs to open my car. And I was only 30 mins behind schedule.

So I stopped past my uncle's on the way home, watched him being terribly shocked when I opted for tea instead of coffee: Why? What's going on? (Parallel universe, my friend, slipstream and wormholes...) and had a bitch about Twilight. I have decided to plunder his DVD collection whilst he is travelling on study leave later this year (when 3 of my 4 books will have gone to press. I'll be lost for things to do!).

So then I spent another 2 hours doing things on the internet. And now it's 10.40 and I have achieved NOTHING.

And am sleepy now. No sewing done this week - perhaps the issue of craft mojo has nothing to do with creative outlet v infatuation and more to do with simple lack of energy.