Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chinese Good Fairies

Here's the cover of the new Chinese language edition of the Good Fairies of New York, to be published at the end of this month in Taiwan. ( ISBN 9789861736518 )

My name in Chinese, I think  -  馬汀.米勒

(I'm saying 'Chinese' here, but that's probably not quite accurate, because there are different types of written Chinese.)

Here's some of the blurb from the back cover -

Notice the important words, in brackets in English - Jane Austen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Sex Pistols.  Good choices! I'm pleased to be known as a fan of Buffy, Jane Austen and the Sex Pistols. All three were at the top of their genre.

It also mentions Thraxas. I am at this moment planning to write a new Thraxas story, and publish it as an ebook. This will happen some time, though I'm not certain when.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mysterious Painted Mark

Outside the front door of my block there are some small metal covers, all marked 'stopcock.' Recently one of these metal covers has been mysteriously painted blue. I'm very suspicious about this. Why has it happened?

I walked down the block, looking at the other entrances. There are similar small metal covers on the pavement outside other doors. None of them have been painted blue. Or painted at all.

It all seems very suspicious to me. And a little worrying. What can it mean? At present, I'm leaning towards it being a signal to aliens. At this moment, they might be looking at my front door through giant telescopes, and thinking 'that's the place.'

Less likely, but not impossible, assassins have marked my flat for a sudden deadly strike.

Could it be a secret sign, like in The Hobbit, when Gandalf scratches a mark on Bilbo's door, and all the dwarves arrive, thinking Bilbo is an expert treasure hunter? Hmmm. Actually, I've always thought that was quite likely to happen to me one day. I'm sort of expecting to have to help dwarves battle a dragon at some time or other.

It all bodes ill. Secret and mysterious marks outside your house can't be good. I don't like it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Malveria's Shoe Catastrophe

Here is a digital painting of Queen Malveria, by Sam Causon, which she's posted on her deviant art page. I am very fond of this image.

An angry Malveria, with flames flickering around her eyes, is complaining to her friend and fashion designer Thrix MacRinnalch that the heel on her new shoes has broken. It was a very upsetting experience for the Queen. Though, as Thrix does point out, she shouldn't really expect a fashion item like these high heels to survive a harsh environment like the Great Volcano. It's an early scene in Lonely Werewolf Girl, and writing that scene went a long way towards setting the tone of the book. I remember being pleased with it at the time.


I'm not so pleased that every time I log into Facebook an advert appears on my page inviting me to try a 'Mature Dating Service.' Hum. Is this advert targeted specifically at me? Surely there is some mistake. My targeted ad should say something like 'Hello you handsome young stud, here are some glamorous movie stars who want to meet you.' Must send Facebook a strong complaint about the mix up.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

More Computer Problems. Sigh.

What a trying week. My computer broke down, again. I had to have a new hard drive fitted last November, when it was only a couple of months old, and now it’s happened again. A complete hard-drive failure. I had to take it to the Apple Store in Regent Street to get a new drive fitted.

This has shaken my faith in Apple somewhat. Their support and free repair service has been really good, but it’s quite unsettling to have a new MacBook Pro and be on my third hard drive in eight months.

Naturally, the whole thing was very stressful. I was meant to go last weekend but several hours before setting off I managed to pour boiling water over my arm in a shocking household accident. This was really painful, and as I ran my arm under the cold tap I was envisioning myself in a hospital bed surrounded by drip-feeds, skin grafts and anxious relatives. It didn’t turn out to be that serious, though it did hurt dreadfully for a few hours before starting to feel better. By the evening it was all right, if very red. But it had put me right off visiting the Apple store.

The next appointment I could make was last Saturday. That was a poor choice of day. My agoraphobia made the visit difficult anyway, and it became worse as I arrived to find that it was iPad launch day. The Apple store was absolutely besieged by eager customers. There seemed to be several million people there, all wanting iPads. There were assistants and security guards shepherding the vast crowd in all directions. As I stood at the foot of the stairs, waiting for my group of people to be allowed upstairs, I realised that I’d picked a very bad time to visit.

“I’m afraid we’re running late” I was informed. I nodded gloomily, and settled in for a long, quite anxious wait. I couldn’t really blame the store, as the place was absolutely crammed with people wanting iPads.

At least the repair was quick. They’d replaced my hard drive by the next day and I’m now back in business, after the fairly tedious process of reloading my new operating system and software and work files and so on. Urgh.

Will this hard drive last longer than the others? I hope so.