Sunday, July 27, 2008

Forum per fans italiani di Ragazze Lupo

An Italian reader tells me she's started a forum for Ragazze Lupo, the Italian version of Lonely Werewolf Girl. It's here. So if you happen to be Italian, I recommend going and registering and leaving some posts on her forum.

My agent has sold rights for Chinese translations of Lonely Werewolf Girl and The Good Fairies of New York. Well, when I say Chinese I mean complex, or traditional, Chinese, which is used for writing in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. As opposed to Mainland China, which writes with simplified Chinese. (I may have got this completely wrong, and just insulted billions of Chinese. If so, I apologise) But anyway, some Chinese versions of these books will appear in a while, which is all to the good.

I was obliged to do some travelling, for family reasons. This was extremely stressful. When it was over I sank onto the couch in front of the TV and resolved never to move again. I will spend the rest of my life slumped on the couch watching TV. Watched Spiderman 3. Terrible film. Hurled abuse at the screen during some particularly awful scenes. Was mollified by old episodes of Star Trek Voyager, during which I continued to lust after Seven of Nine in a cheerfully nerdish manner.

Among the multitude of household accidents to which I'm prone, I think the 'bike pedal against ankle' is the most painful. You leave your bike in the hall and walk past it without thinking, and then your ankle crashes into the pedal. It's so painful. I seem to do it quite often. Suspect I have clumsy genes, for which there is no cure.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pears. Hah.

Am currently feeling annoyed about pears. What use are they? You buy a pear and it's always too hard to eat, so you leave it in the kitchen for a while and when you check it, it's still too hard. And then you turn your back for five minutes and next thing you know it's turned into some blackened, soggy mess and you have to throw it out. There must be about three minutes in the life of a pear when it's actually fit to eat. The rest of the time it's either too hard or it's gone rotten. I'm never buying another pear. As a fruit it's completely hopeless. The only thing that would make it worthwhile would be if they had some sort of alarm attached.

Suffered a complete catastrophe with Avatar Playstation game, when I over-wrote the wrong game memory. An elementary beginner's mistake which I thought I wouldn't make any more. But I was wrong. I lost loads of progress in the game. Was disgusted. Went grumpily to my computer to write something, but really I wanted to be playing my Avatar game. Stared at computer screen with loathing. It's lousy being an author. If it wasn't for all the sex with the world's most glamorous women, I probably wouldn't do it at all. Remembered that new Buffy comic had arrived that very morning, so abandoned computer with relief and read Buffy instead. Warren is back. Hmm. I'm not that keen on him as a villain. But I like that Amy the witch is still around, because she's been in Buffy ever since episode three of season one, and that's a long time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meandering On

Am buoyed by various recent events -

* Mass market edition of The Good Fairies of New York selling like hot cakes. Do things still sell like hot cakes? I can't think of another expression. Anyway it's selling well.

* This good review of Lonely Werewolf Girl in Bookslut. Bookslut is a really fine name for a literary site. Good site too.

* Only nine days till first Arsenal pre-season friendly. All Arsenal pre-season friendlies now shown on TV, even the most obscure matches against non-league opposition. This is more like it, it's what I pay the cable company for.

* Watching Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, an episode of Buffy from season two, and always one of my favourites. Xander's love-spell goes disastrously wrong and everyone falls in love with him except Cordelia. Even vampire Drusilla falls in love with him. I never tire of this episode.

* Healthy leek and potato soup from the supermarket. Well, they say it's healthy. It comes in a cardboard carton instead of a can so that seems quite healthy, really.

Spirits dampened only slightly by sore leg. Probably only a strained muscle, but may in course of time turn out to be a serious wasting disease which will eventually confine me to a wheelchair, we'll just have to wait and see how this turns out.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Obsessive Sticker Disorder

Last week in the comic shop, I wasn't quite sure if I'd already bought one of their issues of Naruto. The assistant offered to put it aside for me, so I could check, and then buy it later if need be.

I found later at home that I did have that issue, but hadn't got round to reading it yet. But I noticed something amiss. The issue in the shop had been wrapped in plastic. My copy wasn't wrapped. It could mean only one thing. Another 'missing stickers' scandal. I knew the issue in the shop had free stickers in it, but the one they sold me didn't have them.

I felt perturbed at this. I wondered if I should ask them to change it. But they wouldn't do that if I read it first. I'm not very good at reading anything and keeping it in good condition. So I left it unread for a whole week, which was quite frustrating.

The week went by and it was time or my next visit to my therapist, for agoraphobia, which is the only time I come close to the comic shop. I've been trying to make this journey on the bus recently, and have had some small success. These bus journeys have been a definite improvement, which is one reason to keep going, much as I dislike my therapist.

Anyway. I put the manga in my bag and set off. I'm always anxious on buses these days, though I never used to be. I got on the bus and it was quite crowded, which makes it worse. There was a small infant on a woman's lap, next to me. At the next stop, another mother struggled on with a pushchair containing another infant. Both small children looked at each other quite enthusiastically, and then embarked on a prolonged screaming competition. Between them, the two infants managed to make an extraordinary amount of noise.

Some way into the screaming competition, the bus ground to a halt at a temporary traffic-lights at some road works, and just sat there for ages. Feeling anxious from agoraphobia, and with children and babies all over the bus now screaming the place down, I didn't feel too great, all in all. (Though I try not to get too annoyed at screaming infants, out of sympathy with their harassed mothers. If it was me in charge of the infant, I'd be hopeless at it.) When I eventually reached my destination I lurched off the bus, more or less defeated by life.

If you arrive gloomy or anxious at my therapist's building it's not the sort of place to cheer you up. It's actually a small National Health Service mental institution; a grimy, run-down 19th century building which looks like it was built for incarcerating criminals. Behind locked doors there are some seriously disturbed people there, and you meet them sometimes, wandering the corridors. In the waiting room, it's not much better. People talking to the air, people standing facing the walls, people who've been shepherded there by some weary relative, and just sit there looking lost.

It's a really grim place. And I don't like my therapist at all. I'd like to ask for a different therapist but this would no doubt lead to me being put on a waiting list for several more years. We sat and talked for a while. I was bored, and still not recovered from the anxiety of the journey. Most of the time I was wondering if I should ask the comic shop to change my manga for the one with free stickers.

Points against - the shop assistants may think I'm an idiot.

Points for
- I'll get the free stickers.

Points against
- I am really too old to be worrying about free stickers.

Points for
- I want the stickers.

Points against - They might refuse, leading to ugly scenes. May never be able to return after flouncing out in a bad mood.

I still want the stickers. Made up my mind to raise the issue. After all, I buy their comics every week. Entered shop, walked to the counter, and immediately raised the subject, in a polite manner. After some initial resistance - the assistant asking me if I have a receipt for the issue I've got, and me saying no but I'm in here every week and you probably recognise me - they were quite nice about it. Friendly, even. They exchanged my unread copy for the one wrapped in plastic, containing stickers. I was pleased. Slightly humiliated, but pleased.

I took the bus back home, stopping off at the supermarket where I bought a rhubarb crumble, also satisfactory, because there have been recent disappointments. Arrived home with comic feeling worn out. Stupid therapy. Maybe I should have discussed the 'free stickers' problem with her. But I don't think I tell my therapist anything that's really important to me.