Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rhubarb Crumble Cannibalism Terror

While shuffling round the supermarket, checking ingredients in products in an obsessive compulsive manner - which I do, obsessive compulsively - I noticed that the microwavable rhubarb crumble contained something called L-cysteine.

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

Fake Reviews

Checked to see how sales of The Good Fairies of New York are doing in America. Still seems to be going OK. Glanced at the customer reviews, seems to be doing fine with them too, which saves me the trouble of faking any. I’m not above faking the occasional customer review on Amazon, to boost sales.

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

Lonely Werewolf Girl Myspace Foolishness

Suddenly gripped by the fear that someone else might register as Lonely Werewolf Girl on Myspace, I registered the name myself. Quite why I was gripped with this fear, I don’t know, but anyway I was. So now my new book has its own Myspace page. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. It seems a bit odd, really, but I’ve done it now.

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

Review of Local Rhubarb Crumbles

My first ever food review.

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

The Moon and the Stars

I went outside to watch the moon turn orange, as the earth moved between it and the sun. Suddenly I felt a terrible change coming over me. Next thing I knew it was four hours later, there were mangled corpses at my feet and there was blood on my fangs...

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 *