Wheel of Fortune

It’s that time again – the time I should be getting some freelance work done, so I write a blog post instead.

Last weekend I went to York for a friend’s birthday. Sorry we went, and had our first experience of being recent-test-passers on the motorway, in an old old (borrowed) car with no power steering which coughed and hrrrmed its way from 30 to 70 in about ten minutes. Speedsters.

Anyway, while in York, I had my fortune read for the first time in my life. For £1, by an old man with a monkey puppet, in the middle of the street. Definitely legit. Definitely accurate.

He did the whole ‘swing a necklace over my hand and it’ll answer a question’ thing, which failed dismally to move much at all. “It’s a very faint possible yes,” he said, as we all stared at the motionless pendant. My question was ‘Will I buy a better car than the one we drove down in?’ so, you know, hopefully he’s right. It’s possible the answer hinged on whether we survived the trip back.

Then the fortune telling cards, where card#1 claimed that I have a friend not to be trusted (is it you?). No one has noticeably screwed me over yet, but now I’m braced for it, untrustworthy one.

cards_

Half a google later, and I can confirm they were these cards.

Card #2 says I have good news coming in the mail, apparently. “Definitely by post,” said the fortune teller. “Not by email.” Nothing’s come yet, mind. So far just a ‘leave’ leaflet, of the type we seem to be getting daily. I ripped up the last one and left it stuck out of the letter box on the other side of the door hoping whoever is dropping them in will take the hint. Rebellion fail: it escaped the mailbox and blew all over the garden. Really, though, campaigning is fine, and I’ll listen to factual information, though you’d better believe I make the effort to research that ‘facts’ I’m told (unless a fortune-teller says it. Then I’ll believe every word). But this is the sort of sneaky pamphlet that starts out with ‘You’re probably wondering how to vote. Here are some not-at-all skewed, completely unbiased facts that we have re-worded slightly and left out important details from’ and ends with ‘if you had this information before we even joined the EU, would you have bothered to join WOULD YOU WOULD YOU HUH IT’S A WASTE OF SPACE OBVIOUSLY VOTE LEAVE’. Not biased at all. No. *rolls eyes*

I will freely admit that I am biased on a totally personal level, and the clarified facts keep me that way. But beyond that the idea of the bunch of self-involved government wankers that actually were elected having total power – without the unelected folk from other countries enforcing useful things like human rights – scares the shit out of me. I could go on. I won’t.

Anyway. Cards three-to-five basically said I ought to be coming into some money. Lots of money. I’m susceptible enough that I actually started hoping maybe this meant I was getting a writing grant I applied for. Ladies and gents, I didn’t even get shortlisted. So. *sob*. But if you want to rebuild my dreams and faith in street-corner fortunes, please do send me some cash. Safe to say, by the way, that that particular no-win stung a bit. I wallowed for, oooof, at least half a day (am Teflon, these days. Feeling so brave that I even, in an email regarding music, wrote the words ‘I’m thick-skinned, I promise’ and then wondered if that really applies to the music stuff yet.)

The wound also healed quite fast courtesy of a couple of things. One – a new story out! On the brilliant Loss Lit site, no less, which is full of the sort of sad, strange, dark, lyrical writing I adore, so I’m pleased to be in it alongside such fab writers as Vanessa Gebbie and Josephine Corcoran. You should, of course, go and read the entire Bumper Issue 3.

And then the wonderful Georgia Bellas, of Mr Bear’s Violet Hour Saloon, got in touch to say she’d picked out a couple of previously published stories to read out on Boston Free Radio that evening. (You should listen to the podcast every week, by the way, if you like stories and poems. It’s a gem.) I was especially chuffed that she chose to read ‘Lost to Dolly’, which was written as a radio piece, really. The other story was ‘Sea Monster’ – it was a creature themed show (there’s links to the published versions of both stories on my stories page). God, but your words sounds different when someone else says them, don’t they? Sentences there that I’d forgotten I strung together, but they were just right. Anyway, have a listen HERE if you wish.

Back to the fortune: so, loads of money apparently incoming. Also an opportunity I should grasp immediately because it will not come again. This was translated as “you’ll see something I want to buy, but when I go back it will be gone, so you should by it straight away”. But I think fortune-speak is flexible, so I’m twisting it to my own ends and using it as a kick up the bum for things that I’ll save for later entries.

OR maybe that money comes from a change in jobs! A fork in the road, says the fortune teller of the seventh and final card, a new opportunity, a new job, a life alteration. I mean, this could just be that the Mega Project is at the printers now and will be in people’s hands very very soon, and if I’ve somehow got something very wrong I could be out of a job? [As I, perhaps unwisely, admitted to a board member, I’m torn between it being a success because I worked so bloody hard on it, and it crashing and burning horribly so that I never have to do that work again. (I want it to be a success, of course. My name’s on it for heaven’s sake – and that thought makes me feel a bit nauseous, so moving on…)]

Huh. I think that actually the fortune teller might have told my 2015 fortune. Job, money, opportunities, untrustworthy friends. Yup.

Oh well.


BOOKS: I have finally (after ekeing it out) finished Beastings by Benjamin Myers, which is so richly written I had to read it a bit at a time, then digest. The ending made me want to be sick and also cry. Hell of a combination. And I’m halfway through Terry Pratchett’s non-fiction stuff, and I’ve started The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Can’t speak highly enough of that last one. I had to read the first three pages out loud because they are just so *nnnngh* (<noise trying to relay total perfection). I need two copies so I can underline stuff. It is also, unfortunately, the sort of book that’s written so much the way I want to be able to write that it’s simultaneously inspiring me and crushing me. (Sample convo with Coffee Monster, after I made him read the first three pages. ‘It reminds me of your stuff.’ ‘It’s exactly how I want to write.’ ‘It’s like how you write, but distilled, like the between parts are gone that aren’t like that.’ ‘You mean edited?’ ‘No. Yes? Wait…’ ‘But I DO edit my stuff!’ ‘Um.’ *sulk*)

MUSIC: I pulled out the Southway CD we bought off them on the street a couple of years ago and have been enjoying. Also very recent (like, this morning) discovery of There There, who are synthy and lyrical. Also more Eve Conway ‘cause she sang her EP a week or so ago at an open mic night and I adore her voice. And for Gothic ennui and historical, wonderful weirdness, The Black Sheep Frederick Dickens just shared their single Shrines.

The week in numbers

Warning – this entry will disappoint you. Too tired to actually think on things, here’s a very brief round-up of the past ten days, not including nice dog walks, meals, sleep and binge-reading Alice Munro.

Continue reading

Of mice and men

In our flat we measure the start of winter from the day the mice move in. It’s like Tom and Jerry here at the moment, but with three really inept Toms (one human and two dogs) and a Ninja-Jerry who can magic the food (snickers, mostly) off the traps without setting them off, but occasionally sets off a trap anyway for the fun of letting it slam down onto thin air. Continue reading

Next time, Gadget

The problem with failing to write anything for a while is that occasionally I do actually have things to write about. And I really, really do – a load of things including the Bare Fiction launch, Manx Lit Fest and the incredible talks and performances I saw, and the Furies launch.

But I’ve just tried writing that post and I’m too tired and distracted to do any of it justice. Also, putting it all in one post is like trying to pack too many marshmallows into a mouth – uncomfortable amounts of goodness exploding all over the place and not actually being much fun – so please bear with and I think I’ll have to try and get each section up in parts. Continue reading

What kind of blog reader are you?

 

These things are so accurate! If I do enough of them, I might truly know myself...

These things are so accurate! If I do enough of them, I might truly know myself!

 

What colour is your aura? I got RED aura

You got RED aura. This shows that you stood out in the sun today, cheering for your friend as he ran the London Marathon in a rather impressive 3:18  on what felt like the hottest day of the year so far. You are glowing with the enjoyment of a day well spent, and also with the intake of Apricot beer, which tasted great but went straight to your head. Continue reading

This post will change your life*

If I had the Power, I would occasionally add an extra day to the week. Just when it was needed; just another 24-hours to do all the little things that aren’t really fitting into the usual days of the week. (It’s kind of late right now, and the clocks are about to jump forward and steal an extra hour, so I don’t have the time or inclination to think of a suitably Hellenic name for the extra day. If you can think of one, then please, answers on a postcard or in the comments.) Continue reading

Excuses, excuses…

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away (for some of you) and very, very near (for the rest), there lived a not-so-young woman. The woman lived a life of relative ease, having a job that she mostly liked; a roof over her head (sometimes, when the rain doesn’t cause it to cave in [true story]);  story-based ambitions that meant she spent a lot of time making stuff up in her head; didn’t have to deal with princes, having met a far more appealing woodsman; and had two wolves who doubled handily as hot-water bottles, thus keeping the heating bill down. Continue reading

Of no interest and no import

Is there some sort of connection between hair colour and food preference?

About a week and a half ago, I decided I was tired of being a redhead. General maintenance just became more effort than I could be bothered with, not to mention that all the touch ups were destroying my already thin hair (I mean, it’s fairly fine anyway, but Crazy Thyroid Time resulted in quite a lot of it falling out and it’s only started to grow back in the past couple of months). Continue reading