ellenscult: (funky)
New things come up and I retreat back into silence and a few bottles of wine, curling up like a curly thing. DH needs rather urgent eye surgery - stressful and scary stuff. He'll be having it done on the 8th of September iirc, and we don't know if this will be covered by Optical Express or if we'll have to pay for it. Erm.... So anyway, that reaction isn't helpful at all. I've ditched the wine and am trying meditation instead (better for my liver, waistline, head and bank account, duh). I've started up my ME diary again, keeping track of what I do and what I eat, my mood and energy levels, etc, which keeps me more aware of how I'm doing, too.

[livejournal.com profile] palmersperry is visiting for a few days; we've been round IKEA and have taken the dogs out to Tardree Forest for a (slow) walk. Later today we're off to see HMS Caroline in Belfast, and weather permitting, we'll be off to the Giants Causeway, the Glens of Antrim and Slemish over the next few days. Today I'm a bit tired and slow, though - trying to get my brain into gear and it's just not quite happening, eh. *shrug*

Hmm... Let's see, DH is at the end of week 9 of his 3-month probationary period in his new job; the dogs are doing fine; I caught up on my laundry the couple of sunny days we had, and I've cleaned out the parlour some (always more to do). I'm making time for meditation, writing and Duolinguo (Italian). I'm working on uncurling and staying out from under that rock. Oh, and I have a sneaky ninja slug in my kitchen (I think it's migrated out into the living room overnight) - I keep following the trail and then the trail vanishes and there's still no sign of the bloody thing. Gah!

Right, time for a cuppa, then a pootle down to Belfast.

Notebooks

Jul. 28th, 2016 01:47 pm
ellenscult: (funky)
I have a thing about notebooks. Whenever I see them in the shops I have to have a look over them. I don't know why - maybe I'm expecting to find one mythical, magical notebook that'll fill with writing and drawings without me having to do any work at all. The thing is, notebooks aren't just the sum of their contents (or lack thereof) - notebooks are amazing combinations of potential, emotion, place, history, community.

These are my current notebooks (I have a drawerful upstairs): Notebook Photos )
So there you go. Notebooks. A hope, a promise, a memento, a legacy. (My father-in-law has diaries going back nearly 70 years - his own stack of little notebooks.) They connect me with family and friends, with the inside of my own head, with the past, and they hold promises for the future. They also remind me that even though I cut the grass (yesterday), I still need to hoover the stairs.

Flatpack-fu

Jan. 2nd, 2015 09:54 pm
ellenscult: (chomp)
I got almost 6 hours of unbroken sleep last night, more than I've had in a while. Slow start after everything yesterday, so of course we decided to go back to IKEA and get another one of those dog day beds. Hence more driving, lifting heavy boxes, picking up a carry out from the Chinese Court in Antrim, a bit of a row, flatpack-fu, furniture rearranging, general tidying and lots more hoovering and now I am stretched out on my day bed with Newton dozing beside me, Dante asleep on the floor on the other side of me, and there's the sound of snoring coming from the other room. I could just doze off myself, but if I do that I'll wake up in a bit and not get to sleep tonight, meh.

I have another fox cowl to finish, and Absolute 80s radio playing in the background, so I reckon that'll do me for the rest of the evening.

Another photo )

Writing done: a very little, but at least it's some. Wine drunk: none, hurrah!

Tomorrow I shall do some tidying and some writing and generally take things easy - I'm overdue a reaction day and as I'm overtired right now I think tomorrow's it, oh well.
ellenscult: (boats)
This evening I let the dogs out into the field next door. They ran around and played football and Newton did his best impression of a gazelle on the Serengeti. The swallows swooped overhead, the grass hasn't yet been cut for silage and I had Gilbert and Sullivan on my iPlayer radio. Naked Wines came through - it's my 39th birthday next week and I've been saving up since Christmas to buy a case of wine. It was meant to arrive on Monday but came today, so this evening I'm enjoying a glass of Kimbao merlot with some Thornton's espresso chocolate from AnnaMae (a relative-in-law). I'm taking this oasis as the refuge it is before I wade back into forms and life in general next week.

Oh, in case you're interested - Jonathan Cape are having a call for open submissions throughout June. Go read the guidelines and submit! I'll be sending in the first 50 pages of Squirrels in Space just to see what they say. Good luck!
ellenscult: (perky)
I took a day off from posting on Sunday, largely because I was very tired and mostly slept. I meant to start up posting again yesterday, but I looked at the clock and it had reached 1am, so I decided to post later on (i.e. now) and went to bed instead. And I forgot to put the bin out. Eh, meh, never mind. We should be all right for the next two weeks until the next general waste collection... *crosses fingers*

Dan has his parcel - he loves his copy of Where's My Tractor? and his Superman t-shirt. Hurrah! My twin wants me to put it into e-book format and stick it up on Amazon. Alas, some of the photos I've used in it aren't mine, and while I have permission from my twin to use her photos of Dan, I don't have permission from copyright holders to use some of the others, so I've been looking through my old photos to see if I have any that could replace those. I found a good photo of a Viking square-rigged sailboat which I took in Denmark on one of my glima course trips out there. I also indulged in an app for my iPad, the imaginatively titled Paper. It's surprisingly awesome and I've been playing around with it and to my surprise, despite my lack of anything approaching artistic skill, my drawings aren't terrible! *happy dance*

photos etc under a cut because reasons )

So at the moment, I'm thinking I'll draw the illustrations for Where's My Tractor? and if I can find my stylus, I may write the text over the pictures in Paper, then pull it all together as an e-book and pop it onto Amazon.

And that's pretty much all my news, so I'll put together tomorrow's To Do list and tootle off to bed. Night, peeps!
ellenscult: (passed)
Posting three days in a row? Surely not! Today, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I finished sticking pages in the book I've written for my nephew and I trimmed the edges, so it's ready to be parcelled up to post off tomorrow morning. It's called "Where's My Tractor?", and I picked up a little board book from a charity shop, which I've very cheekily stuck my pages over.

Where's My Tractor? )

So, there's that, which is a good reason to feel accomplished, I think. Other reasons are that I got up at 11, despite falling asleep around 4am (again!), prodded the pups, visited my in-laws, did a yard pickup (3 large dogs have 3 large bottoms and leave lots of large 'presents'), went to Lidl, put away the shopping, peeled and cooked a pan of roast veg, made a pan of veg soup, fed the dogs, unstacked the dishwasher, and knitted most of a cowl. I've even made my not-unsuccessful way through today's 5 minutes of Italian and French practice (DuoLinguo really is an awesome app) and made another Kiva loan.

Cue much tiredness! In a couple of minutes I'm going to kick the dogs outside for their last wee and give them their dentastix (best tasty ever!) and go to bed, where I'm hoping I'll actually fall asleep earlier than stupid o'clock, so tomorrow I can get up and Do More StuffTM.

Here's hoping tomorrow won't be another tired day! I need to go get the Tesco shopping, post Dan's book, pay the vet bill off and pick up more Loxicom for Planck, then head round to the council offices and pay Planck's dog license renewal. There's always more to do! G'night, y'all!
ellenscult: (Kipper)
It occurs to me that some people may find this LJ when they're looking for stories by ellenscult. Yes, that is me, but this LJ came first and is my way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Since most of them aren't too interested in reading my fanfic stories, I separated them out from this journal a loooong time ago. You can find my stories at the following locations:



You can also catch up with me (if you really want to) over on Twitter and tumblr, also under my 'ellenscult' username.
ellenscult: (Default)
It's legen- wait for it... )

wait for it... DARY!

Oh, now I remember what I meant to say! Duh! I'm on tumblr, under the username ellenscult. As usual. Another day, another sandbox, but this time with more animated gifs!
ellenscult: (decisions)
Thinking once there was a sea here But there never was a door )

The state of my inbox: nearly 90 e-mails.

Today's reading:
  • A Study in Doubles chapter 10 by Jupiter_Ash
  • Reflections by KSL
  • To Be a Man chapter 9 by closer
ellenscult: (funky)
Your scheduled dose of wtf: )

The state of my inbox: around 65 emails
ellenscult: (comesee)
in the wrong house, in the wrong ascendancy... )

The state of my inbox: under sixty-five e-mails!

Today's reading:
ellenscult: (bunk)
Blink. Blink. Yawn. )

State of my inbox: around 80 e-mails.

Today's reading:
ellenscult: (boats)
Good Morning, World! )

Anyway, happy extra bank holiday day to those of you here in the UK, and don't work too hard, everyone else!

Reading List )

E(again)TA: And now it's raining. Bah, humbug!
ellenscult: (girl writing)
My dad called to say one of his friends had died. Stan Barstow passed away on the first of August. He'd been one of my dad's close friends since some time in the 1950s, had been an infrequent presence in my life as I grew up, but he was a constant: kind, genial, wise, intelligent, gracious, good-humoured; a man who always had time for myself and my siblings.

He was one of the great British writers of our time; of course he was. But he was also the man who told my twin and I that he'd had a dream of beautiful women in long dresses flitting across his lawn at dusk, one summer party, making it clear that we were the embodiment of his dream. Exactly what shy fifteen-year-olds need to hear, putting us at ease among his distinguished guests.

Stan wrote A Kind of Loving, a novel that helped changed the face of English literature, following it up with other novels that cemented his justly-deserved reputation as a great writer.

He's not the only figure from my childhood to pass away; Glyn Hughes, novelist and poet, passed away at the end of May. Another of our unsung literary giants, Glyn encouraged me to write, going as far as to take my adolescent stories and offer me valuable feedback.

These men helped shape my childhood, helped shape my awareness of my heritage, of the bleak-hilled industrial background I lived among. They encouraged my literary pretensions and above all they were kind to a shy and awkward girl who fit in best among the pages of books.

RIP Glyn Hughes and Stan Barstow. Great writers both; I'll miss you.
ellenscult: (writing)
WriteCamp '09 is over. In roughly half an hour, I'll be heading out for parts north, namely Nottingham, for FantasyCon.

For anyone who's interested, my stats are: just shy of 6k words written - 1 story finished, 2 others worked on, & 3 pieces of 30 Minute Drunken Flashfic (posted over on [livejournal.com profile] the_proofreader. This isn't a huge amount for me, but it's a good start. I've also finished proofreading a novel and judged 5 entries into Hub's Bootstrap SF competition.

As for tourist-y things? I have done naaahtheeeng. Ho hum! Right, I must go rescue my pot of tea before it gets utterly stewed, since a thermos of tea is essential for a long drive. How terribly british! (It's raspberry tea.)

This evening, I'll be back with [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas. Thank goodness. And maybe, just maybe, a decent night's sleep.
ellenscult: (girl writing)
So, I wrote a couple of pieces of short fiction. One was a writing exercise for [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076 (which has had several weeks of writing group critique and polishing); the other is a '30 minute drunken flashfic' (exactly what it says on the tin). Neither of these is fanfic. Hurrah! And they're both over at my [livejournal.com profile] the_proofreader account. If you're interested. Apart from that, I'm in Cornwall at WriteCamp '09 with friends, attempting to get my head back into my own fiction, and occasionally succeeding. It's nice to remember that I don't suck at this, that I have actually sold stories to paying markets, and of all the things I can do, I do this best.

Of course, it'd be nice to be able to sleep properly, too. But hey, can't have everything. If the worst comes to the very worst, I'm going to grab duvets and pillows and puppy pile with anyone too polite not to get out of my way.

On days like these, my 'not quite an entire person on my own' is showing (aka being a twin, aka having been in long-term relationships from the age of 16, aka being very close to Aspergic, aka having a brain that really, really doesn't need drugs in order to give me funky out-of-body experiences).

It occurs to me, after all these years, that I don't like beds. I've never liked beds. I like piles of cushions and blankets and duvets. I love hammocks. I hate beds with a passion, but they're easier to snuggle in.

I miss [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas. I'll sleep properly when I get home.
ellenscult: (boats)
I went to writing group tonight. I have word porn: this isn't just Word Porn, this is Half Price Word Porn. My first Concise Oxford dictionary in 16 years; my first since I came to York to read English Literature. I think I paid less for this dictionary than I did that one. Group was good. Good feedback, good company. The Hussar is open again under new management; the wine glasses are a thing of beauty to behold and the ladies loo seats are a choice of zebra striped or Union Flag: both better than beige plastic and cigarette burn chic.

Cycling back was, as always, a war between past and present. The sodium lights and London Plane trees tug me back to the 1920s, even though the poplars have all been taken down. There's no more whispering as I head home along 5th Avenue. But the moon sailing up above, planet attendant, more than made up for the two youths on one bicycle in the shadows on the opposite pavement and the menace of a 'Hey you!' as I noticed them, noted them, and sped up.

On nights like tonight I am Toreador, moonstruck, my critical functions taken out by the beauty of trees, streetlamps, the moon. At least I'm not driving at sunset.

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