Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Edgar and an Ill Wind

It's been a bugger of a week: I left my Macbook Air on a plane on Sunday night, and have spent most of the rest of the week doing things like being on the phone to the backup service, learning that the tracking software I'd thought was on there was on there, but hadn't been activated, buying a new computer, etc. I didn't get the thing I was meant to be writing written. I was grumpy.

But, I spent the wasted week getting healthy and in shape and juicing things. And I now have an iPad, with which I am starting to fall in love. (Weirdly, I much prefer my Nexus Android to the iPhone. But never liked the Xoom, and still don't - I have one, but mostly use it as an Audible player, and attempts to use it to write on, with a bluetooth keyboard, early this week were just painful. But I started falling for Amanda's iPad in Edinburgh in August, bought one for myself on impulse, and started writing on it, and discovering that writing on it was easy and pleasant.)

And this morning I got an email telling me that the thing that I would have been working on all week, that I'd already lost 15 pages of...

...was now going to change so radically I would have wasted a week's work if I'd been working on it. So I am happy.

And the thing I've been holding fire on for a week just sorted itself out, too. So I got a week off I would never have had in real life, even if it was a grumpy one, and all has worked out for the best.

And I learned on Monday morning I was nominated for an Edgar Award, by the Mystery Writers of America, for my story "The Case of Death and Honey". I don't write many mysteries, and I've never been nominated for an Edgar Award before. So I was thrilled. (The story, from A Study in Sherlock, isn't online, but you can read about it here.)

My friend Dr Dan just wandered by with a CD. "I see all these photos of you," he said, "that do not look like you at all. Here's a photo I took of you this summer that I like. It looks like you."

I liked it too, partly because you can actually see some of the grey on the side. There's stuff about getting older that I don't like - mostly having to do with eyesight - but I'm enjoying most of it. I like feeling that I have a face that looks like something; when I was young I was convinced I didn't look like anything, and wore dark glasses and big leather jackets so people would have something to remember. But these days I have a face that feels like mine, even if, sometimes, I catch myself in the mirror looking disconcertingly like my father.

It's been really wintry here, but today it warmed up to not-actually-evil, and I was able to pull out my phone and, more importantly, take off my gloves to take shots of the dogs. Who are too often invisible against the snow.


Lola, hoping a squirrel who ran up a tree will run down again, so that she can catch him and turn him into a squirrelly chew toy...

Lola visiting a frozen river...
And some of the beehives, all wrapped up for the winter. The bees are inside, in football-sized clumps, vibrating and generating heat.


It's the Chinese Year of the Dragon, so I just drew a wobbly dragon for my Chinese friends. He's based on a picture I saw of an ancient dragon who had three toes but was still Chinese...

I don't know if anyone's going to be able to see this photo posted here, in China. Last time I was there, this blog was cut off by the Great Firewall, but I post for it anyone who can: 恭喜发财

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