Oreos, Choughs, Research, and Letters of Note (with many photos!)

Although I meant to talk about editing and my crazy new ideas today, this post has been OBE.

Yes, it's Jubilee weekend, but no, there's no knighthood forthcoming (not even an agent! Though I'm still querying, and blogging about it at Misha's). I just like using the phrase OBE - Overtaken By Events.

All silliness aside, what I mean is, I was going to post about editing and a contest I'm going to run (speaking of which, Claire Legrand is running an awesome Cavendishlicious giveaway) but I can't figure out why my new phone won't let me email myself the photos that I need, and my chip reader is in my desk at work (I also haven't figured out where in the phone the chip is, yet).

On top of that, I was going to talk about the amazing Letters of Note website, but I seem to have lost the email in which I saved all the links to the best letters, by Tolkien and Lewis and Hemingway, and so on. So instead, I've got lots of random images and ideas to share.

To start with, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie! Here's me dunking:




Back in the UK, our first week there was National Stilton Week in England!
We enjoyed some Stilton and other cheeses at Helen's:


I took lots of photos of pre-1500 buildings, imagining that Rosa and, earlier on, her mother Mawdlen, might have stayed at one of them (ignore any chimney pots, lampposts and cars!):






A street as seen from Warwick Castle:


Some of the houses aren't as old, but have interesting connections: A crooked house in Canterbury...


...which inspired Dickens:
"a very old house bulging out over the road... leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below" (from David Copperfield)

I also learned about a rare bird:


And I might have spotted him:




I did some research at the Victoria and Albert Museum on metals I'm not very familiar with:

Pewter:


brass:


and bronze (the one on the left is 'Mounted Turk Attacked by a Lion'):


Suddenly I spotted a Dalek attacking shoppers through a window:



But we got away in the TARDIS:


Whew! Meanwhile, I couldn't help it; I went back really quickly through the Letters of Note site.

Here's Bill Watterson with cartooning tips,
C. S. Lewis on writing and pantomimes,
Charles Bukowski on censorship,
Henry VIII writing to Anne Boleyn in English and French with nary a comma in sight,
Helen Keller describing the view from atop the Empire State Building (you'll see!),
J. R. R. Tolkien on names and ancestry,
Roald Dahl on dreams and criticism,
Stephen King, age 14, writing a query letter to a magazine,
R. L. Stevenson writing to his father for money,
Stephen Fry on depression,
and fan mail from Wil Wheaton that I'm all envious about.

"THIS IS INSTEAD OF TELEPHONING BECAUSE I CANT LOOK YOU IN THE VOICE.
I SIMPLY CANNOT GET THAT THING DONE YET NEVER HAVE DONE SUCH HARD NIGHT AND DAY WORK NEVER HAVE SO WANTED ANYTHING TO BE GOOD AND ALL I HAVE IS A PILE OF PAPER COVERED WITH WRONG WORDS.
CAN ONLY KEEP AT IT AND HOPE TO HEAVEN TO GET IT DONE.
DONT KNOW WHY IT IS SO TERRIBLY DIFFICULT OR I SO TERRIBLY INCOMPETANT [sic]"

That's how I feel as I enter the last run of edits.
I can't wait till I'm done and can change my ROW80 goal to - draft missing scenes!
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