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9 May 2017

Yes, SHERLOCK HOLMES; FAMILIAR CRIMES is out with Wildside. And for those who may not have run into my system yet, I write doubles. That is two 50,000+ word books in one volume. So Familiar Crimes has two books, each with its own title within that overall title for the volume.
I enjoy doing shorter books, they feel more ‘right’ to me with Holmes as the subject. I do know that I don’t usually like reading the full-length books, once they get up past 60,000 or so I find myself wondering why he hasn’t solved the mystery yet. So when I started with Beastly Mysteries, I was more confortable doing two shorter books per volume. And then there are the ‘Mandalay’ books, CATALYST was out December last year and I’ve signed contracts for CATACLYSM. Their natural length seems to be writing about 25,000+, so three of them and a short story, still add up to a reasonable book length, and are fun to do. So enjoy.
I am also definitely planning – bar hell or high-water – to attend the Conclave III natcon in Auckland next year. (Run by old friends Keith and Jacqui Smith who always put on a great con,) and I am considering offering a tuckerisation at the auction there (for one of the Holmes books,) please let me know if anyone would be interested. If there is interest, then I will. (Oh, and for those that haven’t met THAT term, it’s from Bob Tucker’s habit of auctioning off the right to have your name as a character in a book.) It’s more usual for SF/F, but wouldn’t you enjoy hanging around with Holmes and Watson? If so, this could be your chance.

3 May 2017

Back about forty years ago friends and I really enjoyed a TV series called FAME. It was great, good dialogue, characters, and plot and the singing and dancing was superb. I wished for years that it would come back. And then I accidently caught a TV programme, “Victorious,” this morning. It seems to be an updated version of Fame. Arrrggghhh. That has to be one of the most pathetic shows I’ve seen in a long time. Fame felt real, the characters felt real, this seems to be a frothy confection of all singing, all dancing, (all endlessly squealing) plastic robots. Every movement is phony and exaggerated, every speech is as if they’re reading it from a teleprompter. Makes me wonder who MADE this mess, and why they bothered – and why Prime wanted to show it. Wouldn’t it have just been far better – and a lot cheaper – to rerun the original?

Not that I had to in the end, but incredibly April here saw 270 mms, or just under eleven inches of rain land on my farm. The hens – completly furious – all moulted and went off laying. And Mopsy, one of my ewes lay down and died. Not surprising since she was 17, but I’m mildly sad. On the other hand it isn’t as if she didn’t have a VERY long life for a sheep, and a good one. I’m only hoping now that May won’t be quite so wet, in fact it looks as if it may not be, but it also looks as if the weather is going to vary that by being colder instead. Sigh. Swings & roundabouts.