Monday, August 24, 2009

Bob who?

Heard a good Bob Dylan story on the radio this morning. Apparently His Bobness was playing a concert with Willie Nelson - I didn't catch the name of the town, think it might have been somewhere in New Jersey.

Bob decides to take a stroll through the Latin quarter, and someone reports seeing a suspicious old vagrant hanging around. A police car shows up and the 22 year old female officer questions Bob. He doesn't necessarily expect her to recognise his face, but surely she's familiar with his name? Nope, she's never heard of him, and the Bobster is driven back to his hotel in order to verify his identity.

I gather the girl took some stick from fellow officers down at the precinct. The chief offered to play her some of his old Dylan albums, but the musically challenged lass had never heard of vinyl either..

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mr Tibbs update

For those who have enquired after Mr. Tibbs, my giraffe-necked cat, here he is again. I've added a couple more rings and he's starting to look positively Egyptian, I think.

The cat flap is becoming a bit of a problem for him - difficult to negotiate with dignity - and I might have to alter the dimensions soon. He is finding it easier to flush the toilet, however, which is a bonus for us both.

I've ordered steel rings for his next extension, currently pencilled in for early October. I thought we might have some fun with fridge magnets. Mr. Tibbs is nothing if not an exhibitionist, a feline boulevardier, and some extra bling never goes amiss when he's doing his rounds of the cafe-bars.

I must repeat my earlier warning - please don't try this at home. Very few cats are suited to the giraffe-necked way of life, and I don't want any irate parents contacting me to say that they've come home from work to find their moggy trussed up in washing line or TV cabling or whatever.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

First review for X Isle!

Two months before publication date, X Isle has just received its first review. Take a look, over at Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books. The resourceful Mr. Ripley somehow managed to get hold of a printed proof copy, and I'm very glad that he did, despite the fact that at this point there were a number of final corrections yet to be made.

It becomes impossible, after a while, to judge one's own work. Editors too, through being so closely involved in the process, reach a point where they are no longer able to read with fresh eyes. Bits of text are inserted, bits are chopped out, last minute changes are made...a final polish...but is it actually any good? I'm sure none of us have a clue.

So then it's up to the bookseller, the critic, and the reader to deliver their verdicts. I can do nothing but sit on my hands, waiting to discover whether all the effort has been worthwhile. Mr. Ripley's top accolade, a five-out-of-five, is a tremendously encouraging start and I'm truly grateful.

Maybe now I'll be able to settle down a bit, and get on with some work.

Monday, August 03, 2009


These extraordinary little pieces are sculpted by artist and musician Ged Casserley. I think they're great, though maybe not for the faint hearted. Ged tells me he uses bits of actual insects in their construction - wings, legs, feet. Presumably these are insects that have lived a full and productive life, and died a natural death, before Ged gets his hands on them. Remarkably steady hands he must have too, in order to manipulate such tiny objects.

Here's a link to more of Ged's work, at the online Saatchi Gallery: