Sunday, December 16, 2007
Airmail abroad usually takes 5-7 days so normally there would still be time to rush it to your humble shack in the Alaskan wilderness, except I notice that the last posting date for Christmas airmail has actually now passed, so maybe not. But it might get there in time anyway, I always send these books out as soon as the order arrives.
Of course, having a copy of Lonely Werewolf Girl arrive a few days after Christmas isn't such a bad idea anyway. It might go a long way towards healing the damage you've done by buying your sister a really crappy present, or throwing up in the kitchen at your parents' little Christmas soirée for the neighbours.
My kettle broke! Just stopped working, without warning. And this only days after the hobnob biscuit crisis came to light. It's like the Gods are against me having tea and biscuits. Am now heading to the shops to buy some cheap replacement, before settling down to hurl abuse at the television during the Arsenal Chelsea match.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Making things worse, an unexpected biscuit crisis arises. Or cookie crisis, depending on where you're reading this. Very mysteriously, hobnobs have disappeared from the local supermarket. I'm baffled. And perturbed. Hobnobs form part of my staple diet. I need regular tea and biscuits to keep on writing. This could delay my next book by months. Years possibly.
They still stock chocolate hobnobs, but I don't eat them, I need the plain variety. What can have happened? I wasn't expecting a biscuit shortage; sometimes it seems like you just can't depend on anything.
Well, with work grinding to a halt here, I better just plug some friends -
Ivy Webb's new CD
Next Door But One's new music
Sammi's fiction magazine, Neonbeam.
Friday, December 07, 2007
I get a lot of email about Thraxas, the series I wrote under the name of Martin Scott. And a lot of people leave messages on the Thraxas website, asking about the next book. So I thought I'd write a blog about it, so as I can have somewhere to refer people, when they ask about it.
The situation with Thraxas is: I wrote eight books in the series. They were published by Orbit in Britain, Baen in the USA, and quite a lot of other publishers around the world. The first book won the World Fantasy Award, and Thraxas has been translated a lot.
However. Orbit didn't want to publish a ninth book. Baen did, but after a long time, contract negotiation between my agent and Baen broke down. This was over a rights dispute, rather than money. I'm not going to go against my agent on this. You can't just give a publisher whatever they want in a contract.
So. I thought both Orbit and Baen did a good job with their publishing of Thraxas, but at present there is no publisher for a ninth book.
There is another side to all this. Really, in the past couple of years, I haven't paid as much attention to Thraxas as I should have. A few years ago I was overwhelmed by agoraphobia. At the same time, my writing career took a nosedive, leaving me without a publisher for anything, including any books under the name of Martin Millar, all of which went out of print. When this happened, I found it hard to get going on anything.
After some time, I got things moving again with the publication of Lonely Werewolf Girl. This has gone very well, but it took all my attention. More or less at the same time, Soft Skull in the USA re-printed The Good Fairies of New York. This has also gone well. So, writing career now going rather better.
However, given the agoraphobia, and general career problems, I didn't have enough energy to really apply myself to Thraxas. Possibly if I had I'd have sorted something out. But for the immediate future, there isn't any prospect of a ninth book coming out. I regret this, but I don't feel too badly about it. Having eight books published in the series was quite a success really, more than I expected when I wrote the first one. Thraxas is a fine character and I'm pleased to have unleashed him on the world.
In other news, I'll soon sign a contract for a Greek edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl. Next year should see its publication in the USA, Italy and Greece.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Ha. Lonely Werewolf Girl fights its way to the top of the bestseller charts. All right, it's only the chart for werewolf books at Amazon UK. But I don't get in many bestseller lists, so I'm pleased anyway.
Also in the Amazon werewolf bestseller list: Dances with Werewolves - Memoirs of a Spanking Model by Niki Flynn. Hmmm. I suspect that despite what the Amazon chart says, this may not actually be a werewolf novel. But it sounds like an excellent work anyway.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The first edition has almost sold out. I'll be reprinting after Christmas, and I'll fix some of the typos then. I have someone helping me with this now. But when I was preparing it originally, there wasn't a great rush of volunteers.
Also, Soft Skull will publish the book in America next March. No doubt that will be much better proof read, and typo-free.
Meanwhile, possibly people could regard the typos as charming. Or even as in accordance with the spirit of punk rock, which has always inspired me. I had the choice of putting out this edition myself in Britain, or waiting another year for the American edition to be imported here. So I'm glad I published it, typos or not. Possibly, in years to come, these mis-spelled first editions will be a distinctive and valuable items.
* or maybe not *
It's thanksgiving in the USA. I had a thanksgiving dinner one time in London, courtesy of my friend Kate, who's now back in San Francisco. It was great. As well as the turkey there were various pumpkin-related dishes, including, I seem to remember, pumpkin bread. That was interesting; the only time I've ever eaten pumpkin in any form. It's not something you normally encounter in South London. It was a really good dinner.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Faced with the alarming choice of complicated modern technology, I opted cheerfully for a DVD player from the supermarket which came in a plain white box and cost £19.99. I am pleased with this. I like cheap, utilitarian electronics from the supermarket. In the same way I like their cheap, functional T-shirts.
It works well, and I was enthused enough to buy copy of Cabaret, one of my favourite movies. Cabaret is such masterpiece, I love it. Why, I wonder, did Liza Minnelli never star in anything else?
It was sometimes said, as a criticism of the film, that Liza Minnelli's fabulous performance as a nightclub artist made a bit of a mockery of the whole story. Because the whole point of the story, really, was that the character she was playing was meant to be a lousy cabaret artist. Which is a fair criticism, I suppose. But it's still a great film.
* money money money, money money money... *
Excuse me, I was just humming one of the songs.
Joel Grey is excellent, as the Master of Ceremonies. Many years later, he turned up unexpectedly in season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He actually stabbed Dawn! But Dawn was quite an annoying character anyway.
I may now be inspired to watch more films. I do have fourteen movie channels on cable, but I rarely watch them. You would be amazed how many poor films my cable network can show on fourteen channels.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Quite why the crowd at Carter gigs always chanted You Fat Bastard at the stage I'm not certain. But it's a fine chant anyway, and I've always been happy to join in. And when the band were introduced by a near naked Jon 'Fat' Beast, it was particularly appropriate.
I'm not much of a music reviewer so I won't go through it all, but I really had a good time and I thought the gig was great. They played a lot of songs I like, and remember fondly, particularly The Only Living Boy in New Cross, and Glam Rock Cops, and they finished off with a really epic version of Sheriff Fatman, which was just brilliant.
So I'd congratulate Les and Jim for producing such a really fine event.
Afterwards I was exhausted. I'm not used to going to gigs these days. I'd forgotten how packed it can be, and how loud. My ears were ringing. I called in briefly to Ian Watson's indie club across the street, then my friend Angus gave me a lift home.
Carter's appearance in London drew back to the city all sorts of people I hadn't seen for a long time, and was really pleased to meet again. Daz, who I used to share a house with in Streatham, came down from Manchester, and the next day we watched football in the pub. We've watched a lot of football in pubs together, in our time.
Also back in London was Cerise, who also used to live in the house in Streatham, and now resides in Hollywood, producing movies and being successful. I talked to her about life in LA, and felt quite envious of her being there, really. I met other old friends too. It was an unusually active weekend. A lot of activity for a man who spends most of his life either writing at my computer or watching TV. Three days of socialising, in fact. I'm worn out.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I get an urge, for instance, to see what Joy Division there is on youtube, and watch Transmission, a single I bought in 1979, and still have, in its picture sleeve. I go on to watch them play a few more tracks from their first album, ending up watching Atmosphere by which time I am fairly gloomy, and wondering where the last 27 years went. Sigh.
What personal memories can I dredge up about Joy Division?
→ The NME wrote a glowing live revue, which I read in 1979, and went to see them, in the YMCA in Tottenham Court Road, London. This was before their first album was released. It was a brilliant gig, being one of the few times I've ever been really impressed by a band live, before hearing their music on record. They were so powerful, even if you'd never heard any of their songs before. Ian Curtis was a very strange figure onstage, with his odd hand movements, like he was having fits.
→ I saw A Certain Ration at the same venue, but I can't remember if it was the same gig as Joy Division, or a different night.
→ When the first Joy Division album came out, a few weeks later, I rushed to buy it. It was on sale cheap in Virgin records, for some reason.
→ At the same time I bought the first Joy Division record, I bought an album by The Swell Maps. I think I played that once, and never listened to it again.
→ I bought my copy of the single Transmission in the original Rough Trade Shop, in Portobello Road. I used to go there a lot.
→ One time John Peel abandoned - or at least threatened to abandon - his voter's choice top fifty songs because everyone kept voting for Atmosphere. And about 1980-81, all the new bands on the John Peel show sounded something like Joy Division.
→ It was a surprise that Love Will Tear Us Apart was quite a big hit at the time, and it felt good that it was successful, but rather sad at the same time, with Ian Curtis having committed suicide not long before.
→ After Ian Curtis died, and the band reformed themselves as New Order, I went to see one of their earliest gigs. I have some notion that it might have been their first gig, but that seems unlikely, somehow. Maybe it was their first gig in London. Anyway, it was good, but it wasn't the same, of course.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
This comic features Faith, and starts off with a flashback to the epic scene where she fought Buffy at the end of season three, and Buffy stabbed her. This whole sequence was one of the best things ever. I was awe struck at how good this television was. A highlight of Western culture, as far as I'm concerned. Right after Buffy stabbed Faith, she had to let Angel bite her, and drink some of her blood, in an orgasmic scene which involved much moaning and writhing around on the floor. It was great stuff.
My friend Ivy Webb has her first album out, which I've just bought from iTunes. It's taken Ivy a lot of time and effort to get this release and I'm hoping it does well for her. Ivy is American and lives in London. She has a beautiful voice. If you happen to be someone who does music reviews of any sort, I'm sure she'd be pleased to hear from you.
Not long now till Carter USM's re-union gig in Brixton, I'm really looking forward to this.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I have considered demanding to see the manager, and having him send a team of workers to search the storerooms, and bring me a rhubarb crumble right now, but I fear it might degenerate into some sort of argument. I don't like to argue in shops, though I have found it happening in the past. I'm not sure why. Some deficiency in my character, no doubt.
Local Shops In Which My Presence Is Not Entirely Welcome:
The Hardware Store
Stormed out after furious argument over deficient pot. Took it back with broken handle and they accused me of dropping it on the floor! Scandalous and untrue. Almost came to blows with the owner and can never go back.
Argued over price of saline solution. How much do these people think they can charge for a little salted water? Criminals. Surprisingly vehement quarrel with the manager. I'm convinced he was drunk at the time.
Not actually banned, but staff came to regard me with hostile suspicion after prolonged angry dispute over their mis-handling of the whole potato labelling situation. I will never forgive them for trying to make me pay more for these potatoes at the checkout than the price on the shelf. A complicated argument as to which potatoes the price on the shelf actually referred to eventually sucked in the check-out girl, the floor manager, the duty manager and the general manager, but still failed to fully resolve the disagreement. But Morrison's has closed down now. Ha. That will teach them.
The Post Office
Am angry with them after being asked not to bring my bicycle in there. I go in the damn shop every day. One appearance with bike wasn't going to hurt anyone.
The Other Post Office
Discovered, to my distress, that the staff at the other post office were uniformly rude and unpleasant. Have now been obliged to revert to the original post office. But they'd better not give me a hard time about anything.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I thought it was all fairly dreadful. Quite possibly because I'm just getting old.
On the other hand. Under the broad category of Guitar Bands Play Their Singles Which I've Seen Live Onstage a quick scan of my memory banks brings up the following -
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Roxie Music - Virginia Plain
Hawkwind - Silver Machine
Deep Purple - Fireball
Slade - Come On Feel The Noize
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Love In A Void
Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose
The Adverts - Gary Gilmore's Eyes
Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes
The Clash - White Riot
X Ray Spex - Identity
The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
Family - In My Own Time
Jesus And Mary Chain - Never Understand
The Ramones - Suzy Is A Punk Rocker
The Rezillos - Can't Stand My Baby
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
New Order - Blue Monday
The Fall - How I Wrote Elastic Man
The Pixies - Gigantic
Carter Usm - Sheriff Fatman
The Damned - New Rose
And there are no doubt many more which escape me at the moment.
Does the current NME chart compare to that list? Pah. Modern guitar bands. Hah.
* shuffles off, stooped with age, shaking fist at everything *
Monday, September 24, 2007
The Italian contracts arrived for Lonely Werewolf Girl, which will be the first foreign translation. So that's good. I haven't signed the contract for the American edition yet, but if all goes to plan, it should be published in the USA next April.
Meanwhile, you will hate yourself forever if you don't take advantage of the opportunity to buy a fine signed copy of Lonely Werewolf Girl from my own sales page at lonelywerewolfgirl.co.uk. Really, failure to do so will be a blunder from which you may never recover. I urge you to buy it, simply for your own good, before your life collapses in ruins.
The picture is a draft of the cover art for the new Tor edition of The Good Fairies of New York, coming out in America next June.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Unfortunately, the show moved swiftly on to the operation itself. I was surprised to see the surgeon making an incision in the woman's navel. Then he slid a tube from her belly button right up inside her abdomen and into her breasts, and inserting the silicon from there. Apparently this produces less scarring. It was however, rather grisly to watch. In fact by this time I was regretting watching it at all. The programme tricked me. One minute it was all 'Hey look at my breasts' and the next minute it was gruesome surgical procedures.
However, if a character in any of my books ever needs a boob job, I now have a lot of background detail to write about. Personally, I think an entry point underneath the arm seemed a less troublesome approach than going in through the navel.
* Says new breast-enlargement expert Dr Millar *
When Agrivex goes shopping with her Aunt Malveria in Camden Market, I think she'd take her new clothes home in this bag -
Monday, September 10, 2007
But this was followed by great misery on Thursday as my eye suddenly became sore. Realising it was undoubtedly a very serious condition, I rushed to the doctor, quite prepared to brush the receptionist aside if she gave me any nonsense about waiting for an appointment. Fortunately for all concerned, I was ushered in to see my doctor fairly quickly
Several minutes and a quick examination later, I was on my way to the chemist with a prescription for a small tube of anti-biotic cream. My so-called doctor claimed it was a mild infection which would clear up in a day or two.
I was unconvinced. I mean, can you trust these doctors? I trudged home, fully expecting to live out my few remaining weeks in agony before dying of some terrible eye disease.
OK, my eye is feeling better now. Possibly it wasn't terminal after all. But I still feel the doctor didn't take it seriously enough.
Have retreated to the couch with emergency duvet, stored in the living room for just such times of crisis, and will drink tea and watch Buffy till I recover.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
If I was to put out an electronic version of Lonely Werewolf Girl, how would I do it? Is there a standard format? If not, what's the best format? Does it need to be available in more than one format? How do you make it? How do you sell it?
(And once you start selling downloadable versions, what's to stop people from just copying it and stealing it?)
I'd be grateful for help about these, and any other related questions. I would rather the e-book was my own, available for sale from my own website, than done through some third party service.
Over the past few years, several people have actually given me e-book advice. However, adhering to my normal policy of total incompetence, I've forgotten all their advice, and lost their emails.
So if anyone can help, either by answering here, or emailing me, I'd appreciate it.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
However, I saw some on TV last week, while idly channel surfing, and it included one of my favourite sketches - The Poetry of Ewan MacTeagle. MacTeagle is a Scottish poet, a gruff character in a kilt, and he composes such memorable works as -
Lend us a couple of bob till Thursday. I'm absolutely skint.
But I'm expecting a postal order and I can pay you back as soon as it comes.
and then there's -
Oh give to me a shilling' for some fags and I'll pay ye back on Thursday,
but if you can wait till Saturday I'm expecting a divvy
from the Harpenden Building Society
And, my favourite, his great masterpiece -
What's twenty quid to the bloody Midland Bank?
Which does make me laugh. The subtext to the sketch, really, is a joke about Scots being mean. Being Scottish, I've occasionally found this offensive, but usually find it funny.
In my local supermarket, there's a machine where you can take your small change, and it changes it for you into pound coins and five pound notes. I've seen people pouring bags of pennies into this machine. But it charges you a commission of 8 pence in the pound. So for every pound you pay in, you only get 92 pence back.
I'm outraged at the thought of this. I would never do it. Never ever. Even if I had thousands of pennies I would stubbornly haul them all to my bank to get the whole value, rather than pay an 8% commission. Nothing would induce me to pour pennies into this machine. It's just throwing money away. I'd crawl over broken glass, clutching my pennies, to avoid doing this.
* says Martin Macteagle, Scottish author *
The Monty Python Sketch is here -
Saturday, August 18, 2007
* Surely this man is doomed to end his days sleeping in a cardboard box in the supermarket car park *
Yes, you may be right. I've always assumed that's what going to happen. However, against my expectations, the American edition of The Good Fairies of New York has sold really well. It's now sold more copies in the USA than any of my books have in Britain. Because of this, Tor - world's largest science fiction publisher - are going to issue it next year as a mass-market paperback, thus making it more widely available and, presumably, selling more copies.
So perhaps I will not end my days in the supermarket car park after all, holding out a McDonald's slurpee cup for pennies, but will instead earn enough money to remain warm and cosy on the couch, watching my collection of Buffy videos and occasionally shaking my fist at the football on TV.
Lonely Werewolf Girl will also come out in the USA next year. It strikes me that it's worth reminding you that if Lonely Werewolf Girl eventually sweeps the world, you'll regret even more that you didn't buy a copy right now from my website, because if you do you're getting a signed first edition. This will be worth a vast amount of money in the future, with book collectors wringing their hands in despair, crying out "Oh, if only I could find a signed first edition of that book, I'd pay anything for it." And then you'll have a highly valuable item, probably valuable enough for you to retire to that luxury villa in France you've always wanted. So don't say I didn't warn you.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Which set me wondering about when I first saw Siouxsie. I remember seeing her in the Vortex, which was a post-Roxy-type place in London, at the end of 1977, maybe 1978. It was a small club. I probably wouldn't have guessed that night that she was heading for a 30 year career.
And I think I may have seen the Banshees play in a pub before that, in 1977, but I can't quite remember for sure. The Nashville, maybe? I definitely saw them again in 1978 at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park. They were playing with The Adverts, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, and The Models. Hmm. That seems like a lot of bands. Maybe I'm conflating two separate gigs.
These were all good gigs. Unfortunately, remembering them now makes me feel around 90 years old.
Struggling back to the modern world, there's an interview with me in the entertainingly titled Nude Magazine. No, I didn't pose naked. It's not that sort of magazine. I just gave an interview about Lonely Werewolf Girl. But if I had posed nude, it would have been OK. Yes it would, don't argue. Hey, for a man who saw Siouxsie and The Banshees in 1977, I'm in good shape. OK, reasonable shape. As long as I don't have to move around too quickly, I'm fine.
I see that Nude Magazine includes an article on Fantagraphics. They published Love and Rockets. I loved that comic. I wonder where mine are? I must hunt them out.
And now, I have a new Buffy comic to attend to.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
They sell them on at a profit to their specialist collectors, and I'm fine with them making a profit because the process nets me a hefty book sale and some useful exposure.
Not that I'm expecting any of my blog readers to buy these books. I know you're all poor, wretched, and hard-pressed to pay the electricity bill. In fact only yesterday you were searching down the back of the sofa for a few pennies to buy cheap wine from the supermarket.
However, there do exist people with money to buy a few of the finer things in life - like for instance a book doodled on by me - and they're selling well.
Here are my doodles, taken from the pictures at their website. As you can see, my artistic talents are not overwhelming.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I finished the new Harry Potter book, which I liked. Also, realising it was some time since I'd read any Shakespeare, I took Henry V with me to the dentist, and read most of it on the bus.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height.
Actually that didn't inspire me for the dentist very much. Nonetheless it's a great play, and stirring. Well, it's a great play to read, I don't think I've ever seen it on stage.
Meanwhile am pondering next story for Skin Two magazine. May have to call in volunteers to take part in incredible perversions, for research purposes.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
But who knows? Perhaps the thistle fairies Heather and Morag will make it onto the screen this time, thus enabling me to move to Hollywood and lounge around a swimming pool, surrounded by glamorous young starlets. I remain optimistic.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I took this very personally, and felt crushed afterwards. The fabulous Mystique is the only reason I watch these stupid X-Men movies. Without her the whole thing is completely pointless. She'd better make a comeback in the next film or I'll have some very harsh words to say about the whole affair.
Poor Mystique. Perhaps she needs me to nurse her back to her full mutant strength. I could see us being happy together.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Buffy season 8 issue 4 arrived, completing the first story arc, which was very enjoyable. But they're having a month off before publishing the next issue! Lazy swines. Don't they know they have a responsibility to produce regular new Buffy product for people like me? It's an outrage.
As you can see from the cover, Dawn is still a giant.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
So stuck did I become on this that I was forced to seek internet assistance. I actually found a video on youtube.com of someone doing the jump I was stuck on, using a slightly different technique to the one I was using.
After four days - yes four days - of trying, I finally succeeded, and am heading rapidly towards the final conflict. Ha. It's terrific game-playing for a man of my age.
My reading/signing in Crystal Palace is on Friday the 29th. Come along. Buy books. Or, if you have some feeble excuse for not coming along, like for instance you live in a different country, you can buy Lonely Werewolf Girl over the internet from my website. My internet book sales are going quite well, better than I've ever managed before.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I have some Russian copies of Thraxas too, and a Russian Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation. So I've sold quite a few books to Russia, over the years.
Yesterday a photographer arrived to take pictures for a piece in The Sunday Telegraph. I did an interview about Lonely Werewolf Girl which will run on the 8th July. That should help things along. The photo session was quite long, but stress-free. The photographer was a pleasant woman. I used to worry about being photographed, in case the pictures didn't look good. These days I'm fatalistic about it. I realise I'll never like any photographs of me, so I might as well just accept it.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Careful internet investigation revealed the substance to be a naturally occurring substance, for flavouring, so they claim. Hmmm. Probably manufactured in some dubious eastern European factory. I chanced it anyway. As a rhubarb crumble it wasn't bad, but I remain dubious about potential harmful additives. The full lethal effects may not show for a few days yet.
Really, there should be more pure, additive-free food, for people like me who don't like eating strange chemicals, but who are also too lazy and incompetent to cook for themselves.
Here are a few pictures from my book launch last week, taken by my friend Trish -
Reading at the launch
Side view of Angus, Crissi and Peter, in audience
With book and notebook,wondering what to read next
Close-up of aging features
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Also, I don't think I'd prepared enough, and didn't do my readings all that well. In the end I sold quite a lot of books so I suppose that means it was successful. But it could have been better, and afterwards I feel a little let down.
On the positive side, my brother gave me a lift there and back. Though it was a long journey I didn't suffer from agoraphobic panic as I feared I might.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Here's a piece about the book in the UK SF Book News.
I was exhausted after addressing envelopes. I planned to lie on the couch watching TV to recover, maybe for several days. However the Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition arrived in the post so I had to get down to playing it right away. The past few days have seen some fine gameplay on my part, as Lara Croft fights her way through Peru, wiping out the world's last remaining T-Rex in the process. There's no denying it, Lara Croft does have a genocidal approach to wildlife. But if these gorillas and tigers keep attacking her, you cant really blame her for mowing them down.
And talking of T Rex. They will play a prominent part in the soundtrack for my book-launch at the Boogaloo in Archway Road, next Tuesday, along with many more of my 70s favourites. I'm looking forward to it, but may regret having to tear myself away from Tomb Raider.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
As for internet orders, they also should be done on time, though anyone who knows me would not be astonished if something went wrong with this, like for instance I lose all the addresses they're meant to be sent to. But I'm concentrating on not being so incompetent, even if it means interrupting my normal schedule of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.
So, you can make your internet order from my website, and you get a nice signed copy of the book. Or, if you prefer to support the giant wheels of international capitalism over the plucky independent author, that's OK, you can order from amazon.co.uk instead.
I've been doing some publicity for Lonely Werewolf Girl, several interviews, which is good. During the course of this I met my long time friend Angus, also good. When I first met Angus, he was doing a fanzine, and now he contributes to the Times, the Telegraph, and the Guardian, so he's doing well. We had a lot to talk about, particularly football, as Angus is a Newcastle fan, and Newcastle fans have much to think about these days, what with the new manger and everything.
An email arrives from Amazon. We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in Tomb Raider are also interested in Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 (PS2).
Look, I'm a serious author. Do I seem like the sort of person who would be interested in a child's Playstation game about pirates? Well all right, maybe. I'll think about it.
Friday, May 25, 2007
for instance -
I took my normal Sainsbury rhubarb crumble out of the oven and it was burned on top! I was mystified. I am prone to careless accidents in the kitchen so I could possibly have pressed the wrong buttons on the cooker, and baked it too long, but I didn't think so.
I retrieved the packaging from the bin and examined it suspiciously. I discovered they'd changed the recipe, and the cooking time! Though the packaging looked exactly the same. It's thoughtless behaviour on the part of the manufacturers. If they secretly change the product and then sneak it into exactly the same packaging, how are people meant to cope? Finer cooks than me would be defeated by this. Now I'm upset at this interruption to my routine.
and also -
I had a frozen apple crumble in the freezer, as a sort of emergency back up. But I decided to throw it in the bin. But as it defrosted it was leaking water all over the place. The kitchen floor started to get wet. I was baffled as to what to do about this. So I decided to lay it in the bath till the water ran out. Quite rational behaviour, I'd say. But I wonder what would have happened if I'd suddenly taken ill, and collapsed, maybe? Emergency services would break down the door and find a soggy apple crumble in the bath.
''He's obviously in a poor state of mind. We'd better take him straight to the psychiatric unit."
Apart from this, my agent is in negotiations to re-publish my out-of-print back list in the USA. Six books, or something like that. Which will be good if it happens. But I'm manly concerned with these crumble problems, really.
Am recovering from life's traumas with issue three of new Buffy comic.
Friday, May 18, 2007
To my dismay, though the shelves were bulging with various cereals, there were no Shreddies. I felt stricken, and scanned the shelves quite frantically. There were definitely no Shreddies there. I immediately felt gloomy. Other shoppers were forced to make detours around me as I stood there, shoulders drooping, faced with the prospect of trying to think of anything else to eat for breakfast, a task I knew I wasn't up to.
Eventually I settled on a packet of Malties, which are Sainsbury's own brand of Shreddies. I studied the packet very suspiciously, hunting for harmful ingredients, which I feel any unfamiliar food is bound to be full of. They hadn't actually listed anything harmful on the packet, but really I don't trust them. It was with a very heavy heart that I trudged home with the packet of Malties. Breakfast had been ruined, and everything else seemed bound to go wrong as a result.
No sooner had I arrived home with the hostile and unfamiliar breakfast cereal than news arrived that Veronica Mars had been cancelled. My favourite TV show, cut down after only three seasons. I felt a temporary rage at the TV executives who'd taken this monstrous decision, but it soon subsided into depression. No Shreddies, and no more episodes of Veronica Mars. I was defeated in life.
Have taken to lying on the couch with Buffy comics. No one can expect me to do otherwise. You can't be writing books when this sort of thing is going on.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I don't think this is such a good thing. It's hard enough trying to get books into bookshops, without asking them to take two different titles in a short space of time. Pleased as I am to have The Good Fairies back in print, I don't want it to harm sales of my new book.
But who knows, it's difficult to predict these things. Perhaps it won't make any difference. Perhaps it will help.
Well, I failed in my attempt to reply to all my recent email and messages. I just didn't answer everyone. Which leads to a rather familiar feeling of guilt. Ever since I made my first website, in 1997 I think, I've received quite a lot of friendly correspondence. I like this, and I always try to answer, but sometimes I don't manage. Then I feel guilty about it. I expect people hate me for not answering. Ho Hum.
Possible reasons for not answering email:
Ennui renders me unable to get off the couch
Despair at having to do stuff
Too much football on TV
Despair at Arsenal's poor form
Distracted by OCD/agoraphobia
Completely defeated by life
New Buffy comics arrive
48 hour Sabrina the Teenage Witch marathon on the Disney Channel
And then of course, since I wrote the story for Skin Two fetish magazine, there has been the almost continual stream of visitors, as the world's most glamourous and kinky women stream towards my house, eager to join in with the Bacchanalian orgies. So I have been very busy, what with all the bondage and spanking and stuff, and then making tea for everyone afterwards. I always endeavour to be a polite host. And this all takes it out of me, as I'm not as young as I was, and need a good rest after these endeavours.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I realise a book launch may sound like rather a dull event but at my launch you can drink at the bar and listen to music. Although I should warn you that I'm selecting the music and I haven't lost my fondness for Led Zeppelin and early Deep Purple singles. But who doesn't enjoy the powerful guitar solos of Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore? Almost no one, I'm sure. So my launch will be fun and I recommend you turn up.
Today, sitting at the computer, I heard a buzzing noise and looked down to find a wasp the size of a vulture about to attack my leg. I vaulted out the chair like an Olympic athlete and fled the room, not venturing back till well-armed with a rolled up magazine and a hunting net. After some fierce combat, I shuffled the killer-wasp back out the window from whence it had arrived. It was a long struggle, and it took some determination to overcome the beast. And it made me realise, once more, that the only safe thing to do is stay indoors with the windows closed. From now on, I will forgo fresh air in an effort to prevent these ravening creatures from invading my house. Otherwise it's only a matter of time before some killer insect - possibly unknown to science - stings or bites me, I plunge into immediate anaphylactic shock, and die on the way to hospital.
* looking on the bright side *
Anyway, wildlife permitting, I'll be at the Boogaloo in North London on the 12th June.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Well, this was a problem. With my agoraphobia, I'm not in range of any comic shops. I phoned up Forbidden Planet and was horrified to learn that issues one and two had sold out, and they weren't expecting any more in!
This led to a burst of frantic activity not seen within these walls for several years. Though I'm quite capable of staring into space for days at a time, I was galvanised into taking some firm action. Within minutes I was on eBay. And, even though I don't find eBay that easy to use, I located issues one and two and bought them immediately. Then I called the comic shop and placed a subscription so I'll get the rest of the comics delivered.
I regarded all this as strong, forceful, and decisive behaviour. When a Buffy crisis appeared, I rose to the challenge, and solved it instantly. If the United Nations needed a commissioner to look after World Buffy affairs, I'm sure I could qualify for the post.
Issues one and two arrived through my letterbox yesterday. All is right with the world again.
The launch for my new book Lonely Werewolf Girl will be at the Boogaloo Club in Archway Road on the 12th June. More on this later. (Will it be a problem for me, getting to the Archway Road? Yes, a big problem.)
Sunday, April 22, 2007
So I'm sorry if I haven't replied to you yet, I will still try to answer everyone's messages.
I also got a lot of new subscribers to my blog. I fear they may be in for some disappointment as it sinks back into its normal content of obsessive thoughts on rhubarb crumble, complaints about Arsenal's poor performances, and sad tales of how I still miss Buffy.
When I recovered from the huge mass of correspondence and ventured into the world again, I decided it would be a good idea to add all the most fabulously beautiful gothic/fetish models on Myspace as friends on my new Lonely Werewolf Girl page. I mean, gothic/fetish models are bound to like werewolves. Not that I believe in stereotyping people or anything.
It does mean encountering quite a lot of 'This page is set to private,' and even 'Go away, don't add me.' Ha. These people don't know who they're dealing with here. It takes more than a hostile Myspace page to keep me away.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I so much admired Kurt Vonnegut that his death got me thinking, quite nostalgically, about the first time I encountered his work. In 1976 my first proper, post-high school girlfriend lent me Breakfast of Champions. She was at university and she had the book as part of her Modern Studies course. Which was something of a surprise in itself, because I didn't know Modern Studies was even a subject. (Back in those days, British universities only taught academic things like English, History or Maths. They hadn't yet moved on to awarding degrees for watching TV or making balloon animals.)
She was a great girlfriend. But more of her later.
At this time I had no clear ambitions. I'd always liked writing, but I didn't think there was much chance of me ever producing a proper book. A proper book being, for instance, Jane Austen. I was in fact quite annoyed with Jane Austen for being long and dreary. Later I came to realise that Jane Austen was neither long nor dreary, and was actually a mighty genius. But it took a while before I realised that.
So when my girlfriend lent me Breakfast of Champions, I was just astonished. It hardly seemed like a novel at all. It contains a lot of little ink doodles. It's written in a series of short paragraphs, jumping from character to character, situation to situation. Absolutely nothing that could be called dreary. I loved this because I've always had a short attention span.
This made me think, well that's a good way to write a book. I could do that. Or at least I could do the short paragraphs bit. So I did. I just adopted Vonnegut's style of chapterless, short paragraphs, moving from one part of the story to another. After some years and several failed attempts, I managed to produce something worthwhile, and it was published.
However, the wholesale borrowing / theft / plagiarism of Vonnegut's style for my early books isn't my only reason for loving Breakfast of Champions. The book features the immortal Kilgore Trout - an author so steeped in failure, so shabby, defeated and unsuccessful, that you can't fail to warm to him. Poor Kilgore Trout's stories are printed mainly as filler in porn magazines, and they often don't even pay him. In Breakfast of Champions, Kilgore Trout is old and decrepit, and he's about to let the world know how badly it's treated him.
There have been occasions when, after writing for a long time, and then wandering out absent-mindedly to the shops, I've caught sight of myself in the supermarket mirror. I suddenly realise that I've forgotten to get shaved for several days, I've apparently managed to spill soup down my T-shirt without noticing, and I'm bearing a strong resemblance to the beggar who's sitting outside the shop. And I've thought to myself - My goodness, I've turned into Kilgore Trout.
But I've found that quite a comforting thought really. Especially during times when I've not been successful, of which I've had my share. Because Kilgore Trout, while shabby, defeated and ignored by the world, has his own dignity. He's a worthwhile person with a great imagination. He's smart, even if the world doesn't realise it.
Yes, I'm very fond of Kilgore Trout. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many authors, in times of trouble, have mused on the heroically-defiant Trout, and felt better about themselves.
Kilgore Trout is wise enough to realise that he's actually a character in someone else's book. In Breakfast of Champions, he meets his creator, Kurt Vonnegut, who is himself a character in the novel. Trout, realising that Vonnegut has the power to do anything he wants with him, shouts at him - "Make Me Young!" Quite a reasonable request, and one which I might echo if it turns out I'm merely a character in someone else's novel.
What else might I ask Kurt Vonnegut to do, if it so happened I was one of his characters? Well, about that girlfriend who leant me Breakfast of Champions. She was witty, intelligent and beautiful, and strangely fond of me. So, naturally, I ruined the relationship by being young and stupid.
* shakes fist at my youthful stupidity *
I might ask Kurt if he could write all that a bit better this time. You know, make me more sensible at an early age. And maybe make me a bit taller. And with more hair. And definitely selling more books.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I haven’t been to the Brixton Academy for years. In fact, it’s quite a long time since I’ve been to a gig anywhere.
I’m sad to hear of the death of Kurt Vonnegut. He was a great writer and I really owed him a lot in terms of inspiration. I particularly loved Breakfast of Champions. I read that before I had anything published, and after reading it, I thought about writing in rather a different way than I had before. Slaughterhouse Five is another brilliant novel.
Currently reading : Somerset Maugham - Collected Short Stories Volume Four. Another of my favourite authors. Satisfyingly unfashionable.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Santa’s little Helper. Dammit I miss Sabrina the Teenage Witch on TV.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
It’s not easy getting your books well displayed in stores. So I’m relying on the good work of the Turnaround reps, and the excellence of Simon Fraser’s cover, and some good fortune for getting the book well-distributed. If you’d like to go into bookshops and ask for the book - possibly banging your fist on the counter - that’s always a help too.
Other books on the front cover of the Turnaround catalogue - a Fantastic Four collection, which I like the look of. And The Black Death, also potentially interesting; there’s nothing like a good plague. And also A Year on the Bog. I don’t know anything about this.
I put some short extracts of Lonely Werewolf Girl on my website; You can read them there, or download them as a PDF here.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Immediately suspicious of this, I checked on the internet and was staggered to find out that this food additive is made from human hair. I would have thought that food additives made from human parts were the stuff of wild urban legends, but really, it is. What's more, this seems to have been widely reported already. It's an old story in fact. So does everyone else think this is fine? Because really, there is absolutely no chance of me eating anything containing an additive made from human hair. I feel quite ill at the thought. But I feel quite ill at the thought of a lot of foods, really. I have many problems with food.
If you're looking for an online magazine to which you can submit your fiction, I recommend taking a look at Neonbeam, which is edited by my friend Sammi.
And when you've done that, go to my Lonely Werewolf Girl myspace page and add it as a friend. And buy the book from my website. These are gentle reminders just now, but as the date of publication approaches I'll become more insistent about it, probably ending up outside your house shouting up at the windows, and throwing stones.
Monday, March 26, 2007
I am untroubled by bad reviews, in the press or by customers, but I figure faking a few good reviews on Amazon is a legitimate way of promoting your own books. Well, legitimate in the sense of lying and cheating. Still, I’ve not been obliged to do this in this case.
* Martin Millar is top author, buy all his books *
My agreement with the distributors was that The Good Fairies was meant to be re-released in Britain in March. Now it seems to be April. I don’t know why that is, and I can‘t be bothered to find out. It will arrive soon anyway.
So. April, The Good Fairies of New York arrives back in Britain. June, Lonely Werewolf Girl comes out. Around September I should once more be an international star of literature, invited to Hollywood to write movies and party with glamorous starlets. Yes, things seem to be moving in the right direction.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Which gives me the problem of making friends for the page, because, you know, I don’t want my Lonely Werewolf Girl Myspace page to be mocked by other more successful pages, laughing at it and calling it names.
So, if you’re reading this, I suggest you hurry over to Lonely Werewolf Girl on Myspace and add me as a friend, thereby saving me from public humiliation.
Simon Fraser drew me a new icon for the page, based on the cover he created. He’s been a great help in this publication process, the whole thing would have been a lot harder without his help. Simon has started an online comic, Lilly Mackenzie and the Mines of Charybdis which I also recommend you start reading.
Myself and Simon have vague plans to reprint an edition of Lux and Alby Sign On and Save the Universe, some time, but we haven’t got round to it yet. We should, really, it’s a good idea.
Now I’m going to register for a Paypal account, for online sales of Lonely Werewolf Girl. No doubt this will be difficult, and possibly alarming. Sigh.
* hangs head, unable to cope with the modern world *
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I have little interest in food, and can become both bored and gloomy trying to think of anything I want to eat. I’ve recently lost weight and am looking a little skinny. Having discovered I’m fond of rhubarb crumble, I’m now trying to eat them regularly, to avoid fading away to nothing.
Iceland - Nice pie, recently increased in size. Cooks OK in oven.
Proportions - Slightly too much rhubarb, not enough crumble. Risk of ending up with last bit of rhubarb and no crumble to go with it.
Availability - usually to be found in shop. Have been occasional disappointments. Also, Iceland only opens till 6pm. Often, after day spent on couch staring into space, I can’t get there on time.
Purchasing problems - you can queue for a long time in Iceland, there are definitely times when there aren’t enough people working the check-outs. Quite possible to get stuck in queue behind enormous woman with a trolley containing more food than I could eat in a month.
Still, crumble is good value for £1
Risk of meeting dangerous mad people in the shop - Severe
Feelings of misery and hopelessness
engendered by shopping in Iceland - moderate
Sainsbury - Also nice pie, and cooks OK but needs longer than the recommended time or you risk having soggy crumble.
Proportion of crumble to rhubarb - too much crumble, not enough rhubarb.
Availability - usually on the shelves, but there have been weekend disappointments.
Purchasing problems - Not many. Check outs usually well-staffed, with occasional lapses. But Sainsbury is cold sometimes. I like to be warm and comfy doing my shopping. I hate it if the shop is cold.
All in all a good pie, but £1.69 seems a little pricey to me.
Risk of meeting dangerous mad people in the shop - Moderate
Feelings of misery and hopelessness
engendered by shopping in Sainsbury - low
[I note Sainsbury has recently introduced an exotic ‘pear and blackcurrant crumble.’ Surely pears aren’t meant to be made into crumble? Pears are meant to be put in tins.]
Cost Cutter - No rhubarb crumble at all. But they do have an independently produced apple crumble, to which I have occasionally succumbed. It’s too sweet really. Cooks OK, but is a little soggy. Still, at £1, it’s good value too, and it’s usually there in the freezer. And the shop is open late every day, which is a point in their favour if it’s late on Sunday evening and you just crave a hot pudding.
Risk of meeting dangerous mad people in the shop - Very Severe
Feelings of misery and hopelessness
engendered by shopping in Cost Cutter - high
Sunday, March 04, 2007
OK, that didn’t happen. Well, not the blood on my fangs bit. But I did watch the eclipse of the moon, and it did turn orange, and very impressive it was too.
So. Impressive lunar events and an Arsenal victory made Saturday a good day. Arsenal have been suffering recently, done down by ill-luck, poor refereeing decisions and a scandalous campaign against them by the Football Association. But Arsenal will emerge triumphant, as our galaxy of young stars sweeps everyone before them next season.
I notice it’s not long till the final Harry Potter book comes out. Not that I am the sort of person to get obsessed with Harry Potter.
* currently marching on Parliament with 'Bring Back Dumbledore' banner *
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I find it a little annoying that the characters never look the same as they do on TV, but perhaps it’s reasonable for the artists to interpret them in a different way.
Now, having read a few of these Buffy graphic novels, I have an overwhelming obsessive urge to read them all. I may be forced to fork out a substantial sum on buying the rest of them.
I’m looking forward to the new Buffy comics. Really, I should be writing them. I’d write a great Buffy comic. For one thing I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Buffy. And I have a Sunnydale High School T-shirt. And I played the Buffy Playstation game Chaos Bleeds right through to the end. What more qualifications could you need? Dammit, I should be a shoe-in for the job.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Electra Glide in Blue was made in the 1973. I notice there were a lot of good films made around then. Maybe the 70s were good for films. I don’t know why. They seem quite different from films made today.
Hmmm. A brief perusal of internet film sites reveals that I’m not the first person to note that there were good movies in the 70s. Several million people have already made this observation. OK, I told you I didn’t have anything original to say.
Some 70s films I like - The Godfather, American Graffiti, The Warriors, Annie Hall, Cabaret, Superfly, Death in Venice, Dirty Harry, Enter the Dragon, The Last Picture Show, Don’t Look Now, Manhattan, Star Wars, The Conversation, Klute, Charley Varrick.
Of these films, the best two for both being made in the 70s and also showing what the 70s were like, are The Warriors, and Superfly. These are two of my big favourites.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I’ve no idea. I notice that after I copy something onto a CD I never seem to look at it again, so probably none of it is important. The CDs just lie there, taking up space.
Nonetheless I am pleased with my new pen. Except I will inevitably lose it. Perhaps I should have bought one of these pen holder things. You know, with little holes in it for keeping your pens in. But I expect if I was the sort of person who kept his pens all neat and tidy, I probably wouldn’t be an author.
* that makes no sense whatsoever. *
I know, I was just groping for some sort of reason for my catastrophic untidiness. Living room carpet currently hidden beneath ocean of papers, clothes, plates, CDs and other assorted junk.
* shakes fist at carpet *
Living TV are now repeating the first series of Veronica Mars, which I didn't see, so I've been viewing this eagerly, through the night. She's so plucky. You can't help admiring her.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
No doubt when my tins of food arrive their is general rejoicing among the cats as they stampede towards their feeding bowls, with cries of "We're saved! Millar has sent supplies!"
Possibly I am a hero among homeless cats everywhere.
Or, more likely, the cats wander over to the food, turn their noses up, and wander away again, muttering "You expect us to eat this? Are you crazy?"
The new series of The OC has started off well. Unfortunately this is the last series. It's been cancelled in the USA. Sigh. All TV shows I like get cancelled. I fear for the future of Veronica Mars.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
This led, inevitably, to the Great Sock Crisis which threatened to overwhelm me recently. I discovered I had hardly any left. Some had worn out, some had been transported to different dimensions via the washing machine, and I suspect the rest may have been hidden by mischievous house fairies.
Yesterday I had to visit the dentist, a longer journey than I normally make, and not one I relish. Fortunately, this dental visit involved no pain or suffering. I was in and out quickly. Emboldened by this, rather than hurrying home as quickly as I could, I rushed to the Marks and Spencer in Brixton and loaded up with supplies, ending the sock crisis with a decisive purchase of a seven-pack of cotton-rich footwear. Feet are now well supplied with comfy new attire.
That was good. But by this time I really felt I'd been out the house too long, and I became more anxious, and had to hurry home.
So. A small success. Though as you can tell, I'm not making much progress with the agoraphobia. Self-help is not really going well. I'm on a waiting list for more therapy, but I've no idea when it will arrive.
A new Buffy comic, written by Joss Whedon, is on the way! This is quite an exciting development in the Buffyworld. I've never really taken to the Buffy comics before, but it's good to hear that Joss is now going to continue the slayer-story after the end of the TV series. No doubt I will have a lot more to say about this later. Endless amounts, probably. OK, I will never stop going on about it.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I just took a copy of it from my friend Andi Sex Gang's website, which has been revamped recently. (Andi is here on myspace) The photo was taken while I was reading at one of his album launches, a few years ago. That was a great event, probably the most entertaining launch I've ever attended. It was organised by another friend, Kate Schermerhorn from California, who you can also visit on myspace.
I've been friends with Andi Sex Gang for a really long time. We've occupied the same region of South London for many years. I even have a copy of his pre-Sexgang single tucked away in my record collection. His first band was called Panic Button, and I can remember their single being played at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, during the intermission. Which was fitting really, as Andi always liked the old Ritzy, being a connoisseur of film.
Two enthusiasms I share with Andi are ancient Greece, and Marc Bolan. Both of which have inspired me at times, and I'd guess they've both inspired Andi too.
I greatly admire Andi for his indomitable attitude and spirit. I've known him to have some tough times but I've never known him to lose heart. I'm delighted to see he has a lot of new product available, and is doing well. (Andi, incidentally, has a good claim to be the originator of Goth.)
Here's another picture of me reading at that launch -
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Am now wondering about new career of writing blogs asking people to send me stuff. I can see some possibilities here.
I watched parts of Flesh and Heat, two Andy Warhol films. Although investigation reveals that they weren't actually directed by Warhol, but by Paul Morrissey. I found them to be some of the dullest, most boring films I've ever attempted to sit through. Why anyone likes them is beyond me. Possibly I'm missing something. After all, I'm not a fan of art-house cinema. My favourite movies are Clueless and Ghost World, and I hold Miss Congeniality in high regard.
Flesh and Heat both star Joe Dallesandro. I can see he was an attractive guy, and he spends a lot of time wandering around naked on screen, but is this enough? I mean, would I be prepared to sit through a really tedious film just because it was full of attractive naked women?
* yes of course *
Well, there you have it. I rest my case.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
* yes, several times. *
Well, I just thought I'd mention it again. It is my blog after all, and I'm entitled to complain about stuff.
Not unconnected to career not going well, I once more failed in a bus journey, being defeated by agoraphobia. This definitely has the upper hand at the moment. Ho Hum.
Agoraphobia didn't exactly prevent me from writing - in fact you might think it would give me a lot of time for it - but the attendant anxiety did, and the OCD, which seemed to come with it. I did mean to write something in these blogs about OCD, but so far I haven't got round to it. It's a strange condition though, and difficult to explain. Fortunately, I've found it more susceptible to therapy and self-help than the agoraphobia, so it's a good deal better than it used to be.
Also fortunately, I don't suffer from depression. In fact, I'm a reasonably optimistic person. I'm sure the re-emergence of The Good Fairies, and the upcoming appearance of Lonely Werewolf Girl, will greatly improve things, leading to fame, money, and a sordid affair with Angelina Jolie, carried out in motel rooms while Brad is away in Africa, adopting more children.
Mention of Transylvania reminds me that Buffy actually met Dracula one time. Not one of my favourite episodes, but not as bad as I feared it might be. A few days ago I came across Buffy on Sky, and, once more, was unable to resist watching, though it was again an episode I've seen many times. The Prom. Ah. The Buffy prom was so great, I couldn't do it justice here.
Here's a moment that never fails to bring a tear to my eye, as Jonathan presents Buffy with the Class Protector Award.
Unanswered questions from this episode - who was Jonathan's date? How did he find someone to take to the prom?
Monday, January 15, 2007
This is a severe loss, not only because of the fab version of Gungamai by Quintessence, but also because I really felt like listening to I Keep Singing That Same Old Song by Heavy Jelly. Heavy Jelly were really - as almost none of you will be interested to hear - Skip Bifferty, recording under a false name, for contractual reasons. Which is quite a well-known story to anyone with a dull and pedantic interest in early 70's and late 60's obscure British prog rock / psychedelia. And I have never been one to shy away from dull and pedantic interests.
Dammit I really want to hear that Heavy Jelly song. Not surprisingly, there is no sign of this obscurity on iTunes, or Youtube. I will now have to tear the house apart, looking for this old cassette.
Nice Enough To Eat
1. Cajun Woman – Fairport Convention
2. At the Crossroads – Mott the Hoople
3. Better By You, Better Than Me – Spooky Tooth
4. We Used To Know – Jethro Tull
5. Woman – Free
6. I Keep Singing That Same Old Song – Heavy Jelly
1 Sing Me A Song That I Know – Blodwyn Pig
2. Forty Thousand Headmen – Traffic
3. Time Has Told Me – Nick Drake
4. 21st Century Schizoid Man – King Crimson
5. Gungamai – Quintessence
6. Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal – Dr. Strangely Strange
Aarrgghh there are a lot of good songs there, I must find it again.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The Spartans' heroic resistance against Xerxes and the Persian invasion in 480 BC was the subject of a previous film - 300 Spartans, in 1962 - which wasn't too bad but suffered from being low budget. I expect the new film will have a huge budget, but I fear it will be hopelessly inaccurate. Who knows though, perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Maybe it will be a great movie. Will hope for the best.
The Spartans were heroic in the face of overwhelming odds, but so were the Athenians. Shortly after Thermopylae the Athenian navy, under the brilliant leadership of Themistocles, destroyed the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis, which sent Xerxes fleeing for home. Salamis could be said to be the battle which saved western civilisation. (Yes it could. Don't argue.) Soon afterwards, the Greeks defeated the Persians at Platea and Mycale, thereby ending the threat from Persia.
Hmm. I could make a really good film about all this. Well, if I could make films that is, which I can't, obviously. So I'll just have to stick to complaining about other people's.
Continuing on the theme of high culture, Desperate Housewives starts its new series on Channel 4 tonight. I'm looking forward to this. Season two wasn't so good really, but I'm hoping for a return to form.
* which desperate housewife would you most like a date with? *
Hmmm. It's a difficult choice. Gabrielle is the most attractive, but I think Edie Britt would definitely be the most fun to be with.
"Edie, I've got this filthy and perverted story coming up in the January edition of Skin Two, and I thought you might like to... eh... maybe act out a few highlights... well... eh... OK, never mind. Sorry for bothering you... "