Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Steampunk and Stamps and Badges Galore!

Aare we halfway through this round of ROW80 yet?

I feel as though I've hit the middle point, mainly because I have some scenes to type up, which rather dissipated the editing-on-screen flow I had going. By which I mean, I missed editing night on Monday. I knit instead, so if I edit on Thursday, it'll all balance out.

I love my schedule and want to stick to it; this was a case of letting my head cold (sick again? since when does this happen to me?) act as a procrastination excuse, when I'd already had the entire weekend off to do nothing but read.

There's never enough time for reading!

I just donated to save Perrot's Folly, a Tolkien landmark in Birmingham. I've driven past this building, but I'm hoping that by the time of my next visit to the UK, it'll be open to the public:

Lookit! Steampunk wallpaper! I like this one because of the tentacle, reminiscent of the 'mistress' in my story Druid's Moon:

Does anyone else get lots of promotional mail? Ever since I started blogging regularly, and writing a few more book reviews than usual, I've gotten one or two emails a day promoting book releases, art exhibitions, speakers' tours, and so on. A handful are interesting and a very few actually lead me to ask for a copy of the book being promoted (I got one about the latest MAD Magazine collection and immediately replied saying I was interested, but never got a copy of the book).

Every once in a while I get weird stuff (like a promotion for an author who is, apparently, 'in Russia like Neil Gaiman is in the US', an an exhibition on recycled plastic made into supposedly designer bags and shoes).

And the other day, I got one from the US Postal Service:

In the email, they say: "Today, the U.S. Postal Service introduced the Global Forever First-Class Mail International stamp. Priced at $1.10 each and offered in a pane of 20, the Global stamp offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world. The Global stamp also may be used to mail a 2-ounce letter to Canada. ... The stamp showcases the beauty of planet Earth with an artistic rendering — a composite of images created from satellite and 3D computer technology data. In this image, the Atlantic Ocean is flanked by North and South America, Africa and parts of Europe. Art director William J. Gicker selected this depiction of Earth by Italian artist Leonello Calvetti. Greg Breeding designed the stamp."

I like the idea a lot. If I lived in the States, I'd send postcards to friends worldwide!

I quoted Heinlein in my last post on what human beings should be able to do, and so I figured now's a good time to revisit my science badges. The original badges are on the Science Creative Quarterly site.

The closest I've come to geeky arts and crafts was knitting more than one Doctor Who scarf

I try, within the limits of my own knowledge

I add this badge, even though I haven't set fire to things in a good way. Burned a friend's sweater with a Bunsen burner once. And I'm not allowed to own a toaster oven any more.

Does studying medical history count? Fascinating stuff.

Mostly because of the Kraken-type creature in Druid's Moon

Love my New Yorker rejection card!

Who doesn't know what a tadpole is? Or looks like?

I try. Especially lately, as I've been following Coldest Journey on Twitter. Antarctica is so interesting!

Speaking of donations, actually, here's the blurb for Coldest Journey: "Sir Ranulph Fiennes is leading a team of explorers to conquer the last great polar challenge: crossing Antarctica in winter. Their remarkable attempt aims to raise $10m for Seeing is Believing with match-funding from Standard Chartered, provide crucial scientific data and form the basis of an invaluable education programme." And finally:

My sister has a telescope! And fellow Forumite Ron sometimes shares photos from his telescope.

Which badges would you earn from the Science Creative Quarterly?

I wish I could have done the re-introducing myself blogfest, but I'm still catching up on all the fascinating blog posts I missed while ill. More links coming soon!


J.L. Murphey said...

I get a lot of promos in the mail.

Jack said...

Do you write Steampunk?

There never is enough time for reading, I agree. I have a stack of books by my bed and it takes me so long, it seems, to get through them.

I hope you can hold the rest of the colds at bay. They can be so sneaky, coming when we least need them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The badges are really funny!
I get a lot of email requests to feature stuff on my blog. I direct them to my guest post guidelines and usually never hear from them again...

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Deniz,
Yup, I get waaaay too much junk mail to do with books and 'author services' and such.

Innerestin' badges. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Oh, thank you so much for the link to those steampunk images. They're great inspiration for my current project!

Awesome badges!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh how I wish I could stick to a schedule! And how I wish I could knit! LOL

I do get a lot of promo mail too. Can't say it doesn't irritate me. But it is what it is!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I especially like the New Yorker badge, and if "free drinks" mean "free Cokes and Frappuccinos", then I DEFINITELY wouldn't mind getting those.
I've gotten promotional mail too, if by that you mean the kind that ask you to advertise their products on their blogs. I don't respond to most of them, though, because even though the advertisers claim to have read my blog and also claim that their products relate to what I write about, they've been wrong every time. For example, one company offered to send me some free adult toys (ahem), if I advertised them on my blog. I declined.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Steampunk wallpaper? SOLD! I'm getting me some retro-victorian goodness. Thanks for sharing :)


Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, you must be popular to get all these promotional emails!

I'm sorry you're sick. Everyone's been coming down with colds. Feel better!

Lara said...

Awesome wallpaper! In the immortal words of Tina Fey, "I want to go to there..." [g]

Susan Fields said...

I hope you feel better soon! And don't worry about taking time off while you're sick, you need the rest to get better.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. yes recover, do what you need to do ... I love the wallpaper - it's not something I use ...

I must get to see the Tolkien tower next time I get to Birmingham - probably fairly soon as my god-daughter is at Uni there ..

The badges are a fun selection ..

and I don't get email requests and the one or two that are strange - get removed a.s.a.p. as do the odd comment on the blog .. cheers Hilary

Ciara said...

I LOVE Steampunk. Huge fan!! Great wall paper. I receive a lot of requests like that.

Kymele Des A Lo'ra said...

Deniz, you make me want to check my spam folder more often. And what incredibly fund badges! I'm not sure which one I was more...

(btw, how many levels of fire are there? :-D )

Deniz Bevan said...

I'd like to Jack, but haven't had a proper story idea yet...

Thanks Joy and Eagle!

Thanks for coming by, Carolina!

Ooh, I'd like free coffee too, Neurotic! I used to respond to all of them, even if it was just no, but it doesn't seem to make a difference either way.

Glad you liked 'em, Jamie and Ciara and Kymele!

Thanks, Theresa and Susan and Hilary - I think I've finally shaken it for good!

Me too, Lara!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Be Careful, It's My Heart by Kait Nolan
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Mr. Garden by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Untitled by Claire G (poem)
  • Possum Magic by... (read by Claire)
  • The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • Dark Sonnet by Neil Gaiman
  • "Birds of Passage" by Peter McArthur (poem)
  • Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in the New York Review of Books (conversation)
  • "Fear"by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • A Simple Act of Kindness by Carol Drinkwater (short story)
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten (short piece) (already added this?)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (Remembered Death) by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Les dernieres jours de nos peres by Joel Dicker
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Jamadu: Pippa et le crocodile (a Coop storybook)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Hide and Seek Pig: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Postman Bear: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Fox's Socks: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Tolkien's Gedling by __ and Andrew Morton
  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
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