books i've been reading, doctor who, kids' books i've been reading, telly

I tend to view this nation Through the condensation

on a dirty glass…

I have conjunctivitis, and thus am bespectacled, instead of being becontact-lensed. Grr, I say. I’ve had contacts for decades now, after suffering through many youthful years of Jarvis Cockeresque NHS frames. (Due to not being a Sheffield-based indie-electro nerd-poet, but a stumpy Welsh schoolgirl, the potentially chic qualities in these babies – girlish pink version, natch – were somewhat lost.) The frames may have improved over the years, but I see they still haven’t invented ones that don’t mist up when you open the oven to see how burnt your dinner is. 😦

Finished Good Omens, which is an odd mix: half-brilliance (Crowley and Aziraphale), half what-why-what-who-are-these-boring-people? (the Them), and a pay-off that just about rescues the wobbliest non-structure imaginable. Given that it was written by two people, it’s tempting to wonder if the good bits are attributable to one and the, er, other bits to the other. Very funny, though. Now on Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, which came up in conversation with Beloved British Editor. I read Love That Dog a while back and liked it a lot, although it owes a lot to the likes of Beverley Cleary: this is more along the lines of ‘proper novel’, and although it’s heading for a reveal you can see a mile off, it knows it, and is just holding your hand, touchingly tightly, along the way.

UK press samplers arrived today, so I now have a glimpse of the cover for Big Woo (minus shiny/glossy effects): very fetch. US version is in the post, but Beloved US Editor warns that the ‘shocking’ pink has turned out not so much Punk as Pepto-Bismol. Apparently the real thing will be less likely to invoke thoughts of indigestion. Like Jacqueline Wilson’s recent overseas editions, there’ll be a glossary in the back of the US one to explain what the likes of fish and chips are, which is…bonkers. No clarification for ‘WTF’, but ‘biscuit’ needs a paragraph or two? Better that than I am forcibly required to send all my characters to the Dairy Queen of an evening, though. (That’s where y’all hang out, yo?) I foresee some transatlantic cackling, anyway: apparently the handful of US-based characters I’ve included are all a bit too ‘I say, Father, might one invite Perkins for tiffin after cricket prac on Sunday?’ for comfort. Got to love an editor who can mock you and make you grin in the same sentence.

Utterly failing to make progress on Book 2, but there’s the ghost of an idea flying around my head. Am now waiting to swat it, and see if it’s a butterfly or a gnat. Quite fun, while the deadlines are still mistily distant. (Possibly that’s just my glasses. Bugger.)

Watching Stardust (oh, clingworthy film of loveliness, truly you do deserve the crown of ‘A Bit Like The Princess Bride’), watching Davison-era Doctor Who (Time-Flight: just watch it with the commentary where they take the piss, or it’s unendurable), watching Steven Poliakoff’s Joe’s Palace (umm…it was ok? But could he possibly write something that isn’t set in an outrageously posh person’s house where an outsider comes in and reveals the hollow heart of it all?)


16 thoughts on “I tend to view this nation Through the condensation”

  1. Don’t swat a butterfly, catch it gently. And then squish it if it turns out to be a gnat. Hope sore eyes better soon. xxx

  2. It’s still fluttering about some feet above my head: assuming it doesn’t poo on me this seems a fair plan.Eyes not sore at all: specsavers lady seemed most bewildered that I wasn’t in horrible discomfort, but they felt fine. Presumably this is why contact lenses don’t bother me… Am now wearing new special (ie more expensive) lenses that are supposed to knacker them less.

  3. Your weak attempt at capturing modern teen counterculture (oh, I’m soooo awkward! lololol) is insulting to writers, readers and anyone else who has a respect for the art of fiction. Sadly, your ‘book’ is merely a symptom of the horrific trend plaguing today’s youth: a resistance to anything perceived as popular which has, ironically, become overwhelmingly popular. Since your book has been published already, there is little to be done in your case but by golly, someone needs to stem the tide of hack writers with nothing to say.

  4. Oh well, can’t please everyone, etc.

    James, I suggest you go and have a nice cup of tea, and read something else to take the icky taste away. I’ll be over here, wondering what ‘a resistance to anything perceived as popular which has, ironically, become overwhelmingly popular’ means, and writing something else you won’t like. I imagine we’ll both survive till morning.

  5. James, do you mean that young people like to think they’re terribly misunderstood ‘outsiders’ (making stuff like emo music big business)? I’m not sure there’s anything new or trendy about that. It’s simply what young people are like – wanting to be different and fit in at the same time. It’s one of their endearing/irritating traits. If you seriously find it the former you might want to avoid fiction aimed at or about young adults.

  6. James (if that really truly is your name), I suggest you stick to playing blues and jazz, and avoid reading anything that might offend you. If you seriously want to stem the tide of ‘nothing to say’ writers, there are plenty of other published books that could come before Susie’s and certainly plenty of blogs. Perhaps even your own, if you’d been honest enough to give your real name and a link along with your comment. Meanwhile are there any other books you’d like to burn? And how else can we help you get over yourself?

    PS Susie, I happen to *love* Good Omens and both of the authors. Seem to remember an argument we had about whether Terry Pratchett is, in fact, God.

  7. ‘nothing to say’ – James, may I suggest you read Big Woo again – slowly and carefully. There is a ‘message’ in there – perhaps it was a little subtle for you! Obviously the main aim of the book is to entertain – it is very funny – and what is wrong with that? But there are many many ‘teen’ books out there which have two dimensional characters agonising about their boyfriend/weight/family/friendship traumas without any depth or attempt to make young people think. This isn’t one of them.

    And what does (Susie I dont know how to make that into italics?!) ‘a resistance to anything perceived as popular which has, ironically, become overwhelmingly popular’ mean? Is the horrific youth trend resisting the popular internet? or blogging? cos I am not sure they are you know.

    My guess would be that James is no longer a teenager?! or knows any?

  8. Hello Susie,
    Big fan of book – Big Woo, making presentation on it for school – I’ve sent you an email at –, not sure if thats right, but you know…
    Could you please answer a few questions for me to put on my presentation?
    1. What was the reason for writing this book?
    2. Are there hints of you in any of the characters – e.g. Serafina67?
    3. How long did it take you to write Big Woo?

    Thank you for your time and help,
    Helena S.

  9. Hi Helena! I did get your email, thank you! I’ll reply properly there. Best of luck with the presentation: would love to hear how it goes. xx

  10. Hey, Susie!
    Guess what, I can’t get onto my emails!!! Do you mind replying to my next email on my hotmail account (the E-mail on the profile commenty thing)- Don’t worry if you don’t have the time!
    Thank you for your help Susie!!!
    ❤ from Helena xx

  11. Susie! Hey, Soooooosie! Get out of bed and write some more. Your blog is exploding. Wonder if thimblebrain will ever come back? (lovely expression Rarg, must remember that one)

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