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Books, books everywhere

1 Jun

There is so much I want to read at the moment, and so little time.

We moved house lately, and we no longer have our dog, which is a deeply sad story that I can’t bring myself to tell. Writing that sentence alone brings a lump to my throat.

I should be writing more, but I’m finding work exhausting still, and I keep getting ill (combination of many people in quite a small space, air conditioning, and fatigue) so my novel hasn’t been touched since I started at my job.

On the bright side, I have so far (according to my record on Goodreads) read 47 books this year – granted, about 15 of them are Animorphs books so about four should really count as one, but I raised my reading target to a hundred books by the end of the year. I have a strong contender for next year’s book of the year already, but The Bloggess is releasing another book later this year, and there be a lot of time twixt here and new year, so it’s all to play for. I mean, read for.

The gang (the least ‘street’ gang in the world) have lately been playing a lot of Sherlock Holmes related games, and Orphen has taken a massive interest in Risk Legacy lately. If you haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t), Risk Legacy is sort of like a Risk tournament. You play about 15 games in total with different objectives each time, and the game gets ‘scars’ from previous battled. Orphen has written a very impressive bit of back story for the game, and we’re all really enjoying it so far.

We hope to break into RPGs soon (I’m pretty sure RPGs are a type of weapon, but I refer to roleplaying games as we’re not much for actual violence), starting with the Firefly RPG. I’m going to be gamesmaster, which should be interesting since I have NO IDEA what I’m doing even after I’ve nearly finished the guide. Anybody got any tips?

Luckily, Kjarl has a work friend who’s going to help, and he’s even going to GM our first session. I’ve only ever done online roleplaying, so this is something new, exciting, and gratifyingly nerdy.

This was a pretty comprehensive catchup post. Thus it ends.

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1 Year, 97 Books, 1 Winner

5 Apr

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time for that most prestigious of completely unheard of awards, that supreme honour of being recognised by a customer services agent as a good writer, that award with no prize and a readership of around five….the Tapdancing Lexicon Book of the Year!

I read lots of books this year (just shy of the 100 I was shooting for), in my usual eclectic mix of mystery, fantasy, science fiction, crossover fiction, and classics, but one book – one series, really – stood out to me above the rest.

There was definitely a last minute bit of competition. I was given the first three books of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series for Christmas. Aaronovitch’s series is British (duh) and modern which does tend to raise it in terms of books I can relate to, plus it’s about wizards, it’s dark without being oppressive, and the mysteries and plot twists make it impossible to put down.

But.

The Iron Druid Chronicles.

Wow.

Kevin Hearne’s series follows the life of Atticus O’Sullivan, a 2000 year old druid, as he struggles to stay alive in a complex world full of living mythologies. Every pantheon of gods you can think of is represented in these books, but most notably the Irish Tuatha Dé Danann, who I have been fascinated by since I read The Hounds of the Morrigan for the first time.

Most importantly, however, this series has the best character ever to come out of a work of fiction. He is brilliant, witty, brave, and supremely loyal. I refer, of course, to Atticus’s dog, Oberon the Irish wolfhound.

The books are liberally scattered with geeky jokes, which will always delight me and make me feel validated, plus they do a nice job of recognising different cultures.

So, if you’re looking for an excellent fantasy series that’s not too ‘high fantasy’, that will make you laugh and cry, and create the effect of having a book superglued to your hand, I can’t recommend Hounded enough as a starting point.

I gave it as a Christmas and birthday present three times in two months.

Books read 12/3/2014-12/3/2015

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*
Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*
The Martian by Andy Weir*
Orion Arm by Julian May
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen*
Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris*
The Power in the Storm by Tamora Pierce
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch*
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch*
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch*
The Fire in the Forging by Tamora Pierce
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett*
Feed by Mira Grant
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch*
Deadline by Mira Grant
Blackout by Mira Grant
Countdown by Mira Grant
San Diego 2014: The last stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea by Mira Grant*
The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell by Mira Grant*
Parasite by Mira Grant*
Symbiont by Mira Grant*
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch*
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
The Healing in the Vine by Tamora Pierce
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris*
A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris*
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris*
The Julius House by Charlaine Harris*
Dead Over Heels by Charlaine Harris*

*50 books read for the first time

Reading stuff

20 Feb

So, it’s been nearly a year since I started recording every book I’ve read – I’ve been having a bit of a resurgence in recent weeks as I started to get used to my job. It turns out the reading list gets ridiculously long tacked on at the end of posts so I’m going to see about connecting a goodreads account up with the ole blog by the 12th of March. I’m still hoping to reach 100 by then!

I’m also going to announce my book of the year, which will be an exciting event for the author involved. Everybody likes to win an award they’ve never heard of with no prize from a person they’ve never heard of. Awards night is extra glamorous too. It’s basically me sat at home on my laptop wearing a onesie.

Currently reading:

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

The Healing in the Vine by Tamora Pierce

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Completed since 12/3/2014 (84)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*
Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*
The Martian by Andy Weir*
Orion Arm by Julian May
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen*
Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris*
The Power in the Storm by Tamora Pierce
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch*
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch*
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch*
The Fire in the Forging by Tamora Pierce
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett*
Feed by Mira Grant
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch*
Deadline by Mira Grant
Blackout by Mira Grant
““I guess I just know how to show a girl a good time.” I opened my door, sliding out of the van. My boots crunched on the broken glass and gravel covering the pavement.
“Then what are you showing me?” asked Mahir.
“I’m not sexist. I can show a guy a good time, too.””

Countdown by Mira Grant
San Diego 2014: The last stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea by Mira Grant*
The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell by Mira Grant*
Parasite by Mira Grant*
““I just want to know what I’m going to be freaking out about before I waste energy freaking out about the wrong things. Conservation of panic is important.””

Symbiont by Mira Grant*
“Curiosity is what it looks like when you’re in love with the world.”

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch*
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
““Got that gun?” Peter says to Tobias.
“No,” says Tobias, “I figured I would shoot the bullets out of my nostrils, so I left it upstairs.””

Underground, overground, wombling free

25 Jun

That title works equally well for what I did on most of my holiday and also for the fact that I’m watching a lot of tennis lately!

We got back from the Isle of Wight a week and a half ago, and since then I’ve been running through quicksand a bit. Last week started out with a day of panic attacks that stopped me from functioning basically for the entire week, though I did have a great meeting with my Prince’s Trust mentor on the Tuesday. He agrees that finding a job is actually the first step towards building my business, so I can stop worrying about money so much, so that takes some pressure off.

With Wimbledon going on, I’m probably not going to have time to take part in this month’s pictonaut challenge – I had an idea about an inverse fairytale but now the world shall never know!

Many games were played whilst we were on holiday – I think there was only one night where we didn’t play, and we half watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture instead. Holy homoerotic subtext, Batman!

So, here’s the table as it stands:

Now Orphen and I are lagging behind

Now Orphen and I are lagging behind

We also played several rounds of Pandemic, which is really hard. You play co-operatively against the game, trying to save humanity from four diseases, which you can name yourself. We had:

  • The Zombie Apocalypse (of course)
  • Stupidity
  • Yawning (we wanted something contagious)
  • Floyditis (After the dog. Symptoms include drooling, obsession with my fiance, excessive waggliness, awful farts, and inappropriate boners)

We played three times, and although we did get better, we never progressed past curing one disease. We got Yawning once and Stupidity once. We never eradicated it though. We must continue playing until we improve!

Currently reading

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*

Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
“From stone’s point of view the universe is hardly created and mountain ranges are bouncing up and down like organ-stops while continents zip backwards and forwards in general high spirits, crashing into each other from the sheer joy of momentum and getting their rocks off. It is going to be quite some time before stone notices its disfiguring little skin disease and starts to scratch, which is just as well.”

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*

Pawn by Aimée Carter* (I thought it was by Ally Carter when I picked it up, but it’s still really good!)

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Completed since 12/3/2014 (19)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
‘“Did you mail a picture of your penis?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Would it make it better if I said I was mailing pictures of someone else’s penis?”
I’ve thought about that question for fifteen years and I still don’t have a good answer.

Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
“Thor, if they made a greeting card which said: congratulations to you on your army gathering skills…I would buy you one” – Tony Stark

I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

*First read

Review – ‘For the Win’ by Cory Doctorow

29 May

Wow, I finally finished it.

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

As you can see from my reading summary at the bottom of my posts, I’ve been reading For the Win since back in March, just before I started blogging again. It’s been quite a ride.

For the Win is different from any other book I’ve ever read. It has a large cast of main characters, many of whom are people of different nationalities and races, and the story slowly draws them together to form a movement.

Right away, Doctorow introduces the concept of gold farmers, people (usually teenage boys in developing countries) who gather gold in MMORPG* videogames and sell it on to rich people who want to level up fast and have lots of in-game wealth.

Because there’s a market, there’s a supply, and so sweatshops form in India and China and other countries where bosses work the gold farmers into the ground for limited pay. There’s also people hired by the game companies to combat the gold farmers. In response, a character named Big Sister Nor and her friends start organising a union.

In theory, it’s a young adult novel, but I don’t think I could have stuck with it as a kid – there’s a lot of economics talk in there, which would have probably caused young adult me to zone out completely. However, as a somewhat-older-adult, I learned more about economics from this book than I have in the rest of my life.

The book focuses largely on the intersection between economics and labour rights, and Doctorow has taken a bold step in setting large amounts of the novel in Asia, with most of the book written from the Asian characters’ perspective. He paints vivid pictures of Dharavi, a poor area of Mumbai that is one of the largest slums in the world, as well as life in urban China. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of research that went into this story, written by a Canadian-British man.

Doctorow writes from the perspective of a Muslim girl, poor Chinese boys, a Jewish American boy who wishes he was Chinese, and all have their clear voices and all are believable and sympathetic. Oddly, the character I struggled most to relate to was the one main guy who was actually an American adult man. Though probably not that odd actually, since I’m a British woman.

I’m struggling to word this review in the same way I struggled at first to get into this book – it’s kind of too big for me. Read it. And Little Brother, too. Cory Doctorow has lots of worthwhile things to say.

*For those not in the know, an MMORPG is a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game such as World of Warcraft.

Currently reading

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate

Completed since 12/3/2014

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate

Information Overload

3 May

The past few weeks, as I barrel towards six months of being unemployed, have been very difficult, as I’ve been hit by a spot of depression and weird sleeping habits. We also interred the ashes of my sister in law a week ago, which was very difficult for my fiance and his family and me.

As searching for work has become painfully routine, I’ve found that my head constantly wants to be learning new things. This week I’ve memorised the locations of all 50 US states and made a start on learning the locations of all the European countries. I’ve also got times tables memorised up to about 12 x 24.

I’ve been working on social media marketing for my mum’s jewellery, and the combination of this and the memorising stuff sort of lead to a HEADSPLOSION that really stopped me from sleeping earlier this week.

I’ve managed to knock out another few hundred words of my short story, and have made a start on my copywriting portfolio. I attended an interview in Bournemouth on Monday, which seemed to go okay, although I was a little spacey.

Basically, so many things floating around in my head that my head is not in a happy place.

I have made progress on reading things though!

Currently reading

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
‘Rincewind had been generally reckoned by his tutors to be a natural wizard in the same way that fish are natural mountaineers’ 

Completed since 12/3/2014

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
‘Love is pretty important. It’s like wearing a suit of armor. It makes you strong.’

Come and see the violence inherent in the system

1 Apr
Halo 4 hero Master Chief

Master Chief, the main character of the Halo games (except Reach)

Yes, that’s a Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote. If you recognised it you can pat yourself on the back.

The system I’m actually talking about is my Xbox 360, so not exactly Albion, but I was going for a sort of sideways connection because of the violence.

I’ve been playing a fair bit of Halo 4 in the last week or so, because when you’re feeling stressed and frustrated there are few things quite as cathartic as mercilessly slaying your fellow Spartans in multiplayer mode.

I don’t play a lot of video games, largely because I can’t afford to buy them, but Halo has been one of my favourites for about six years now. My friends and I have spent many a happy hour killing each other, other people, and various Covenant and Promethean forces.

If you don’t know much about Halo, it’s a first-person shooter (where you play as one person, and, well, shoot people) set in the future, and you usually play as a Spartan, who are like super soldiers in funky armour. To be honest, I haven’t played much of Halo 1-3, although I do own Reach, which is a prequel of sorts.

The storyline is pretty easy to pick up, and the controls are now instinctive to me. It is extremely entertaining to play on easy with a parent. I shall provide a snippet of conversation typical of playing with my mother:

“Where are you?! I can’t see you!”
“I’m over here. See? I’m bouncing up and down.”
“All I can see is grass.”
“Okay, you’re looking at the floor. Move the little joystick under your right thumb up. No, your right thumb. The other right. Oops, too far, that’s the sky. Bring it back down. Theeere you are. Now follow me.”
“I can’t see you again.”
“That’s because you’re running into a wall. You need to turn around. No, you just turned all the way round and now you’re facing the wall again. Oops, here’s some bad guys. I’ll kill them all while you try and face the right way.”

One of my friends has had much the same experience playing Halo with her dad, so from this massive sample of two I conclude it to be universal. That’s SCIENCE, y’all.

Waiting for Multiplayer Matchmaking to happen takes some time, so I’ve been able to get some reading in too.

Currently reading

For the Win by Cory Doctorow
“Organizing is a kind of tax on human activity. For every minute you spend doing stuff, you have to spend a few seconds making sure that you’re not getting ahead or behind or to one side of the other people you’re doing stuff with.”

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling (This is the Chamber of Secrets in Spanish – it creates moments of marvelous misunderstanding such as when I thought it was saying Vernon Dursley was an immense bigot but actually it was just saying he had a huge moustache)

Completed since 12/3/2014

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Persuasion by Jane Austen

“‘I could bring you fifty quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconsistancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.’

‘Perhaps I shall. – Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. education has been theirs in so much high a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing.'”

Captain Harville and Anne Elliot in Persuasion. This was published in 1817, people. Still so relevant, and relevant across less privileged groups such as disabled people and different races as well.

An endless round of interviews

27 Mar

When last we met (it totally counts as meeting if I write and some of you read and one of you comments, right?), I was geared up for an interview in Salisbury. That went well – I got through to a second stage, which meant I had to compile an email communication – and I’m still waiting to hear back. Meanwhile, I have another interview lined up, this time in Southampton. I keep getting interviewed, so I guess my CV is well written. I’m a CV badass!

(If you’re American, a CV is a resumé, FYI)

Meanwhile, I had my first appointment with my Prince’s Trust mentor on Monday, so the process of organising my business plan begins. Ooh-er.

First of all I need to organise a portfolio of my work so far. That means I need to find my work so far. I also need to purchase my domain name and build my website.

I worry, though, about conflict between my forthcoming business and any jobs I may get. What if they won’t let me freelance? The Prince’s Trust won’t approve the business without proof that you’ve run it for a little bit.

So, anyway, it’s all go in Pipland.

Settlers of Catan - image from the Settlers of Catan website

Settlers of Catan – “I’ve got wood for your sheep”

Sunday saw holiday planning with my friends and also a bit of a marathon gaming session. We played Ticket to Ride (congratulations, you now have that song stuck in your head), which I lost after dramatically failing to…well…win. This game showcased a very poor level of knowledge of North American geography among well educated British people in their late twenties. (“New Orleans, where are you? Oh. I was looking in the North.” etc.)

We played Settlers of Catan twice, but I can’t remember who won because it wasn’t me. I think my friend John won. I lost. Both times.

This losing streak has got to stop, people!

Settlers of Catan is an excellent game, with elements of chance and skill and the opportunity to say “So, are you saying you’ve got wood for my sheep?” and also lots of saying:

“What do you want? Wheat?”
“Two wheat”
“To woo”

Because we all like to sound like owls when we trade for resources.

I haven’t managed to do much reading over the past week, always disappointing. Here are the scores at the moment:

Currently reading

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

By the Pricking of My Thumbs  by Agatha Christie

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Completed since 12/3/2014

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

So basically I started a load more books instead of finishing the ones I was already on. Way to go, me! I’m taking a slow day today because I sometimes underperform in Friday afternoon interviews due to tiredness, so maybe some reading progress will be made!

(I acknowledge that this blog post is all over the place)

Novel Progress: 39012 words