*Membership spots not really limited!
*Membership spots not really limited!
Awesome! My mom's friend and her kids are gonna be in Singapore towards the end of the month, so if you see two bratty Sri Lankan kids, kick them for meDavid Bird wrote:I leave in two weeks to go to the Phillipines and Singapore.
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Up late again. Very bad. Need to
get a Second Life Sketch written in
the next few hours. Which will be
a bastard, because the grid's been
grinding so fucking slowly over the
last week. Have barely been able
to manage being inworld for five
mins at a time over the last week.
There's a real End Of Days feeling
about SL for me right now: Voice
is going to finish them off unless
they get smart fast.
It sometimes occurs to me that The
Smiths had the perfect pop career.
A single every three months, one
album a year. Take out the touring,
and that would be a wonderful work
rate, wouldn't it?
Of course, that was back in the days
when mystique still lived. Don't see
it so much anymore. Now we can
pretty much see into the colon of
even non-entities like the mouthy,
horse-faced Sade tribute act Amy
Winehouse on YouTube on an hourly
basis. And a search for actual news
instead delivers pages of Britney
Spears crying painfully after a
private custody hearing. Even
though she was clearly one of those
mad fame-craving children that
LA pod-houses squat out year on
year like a humanoid factory, I
find myself feeling sorry for her.
She should have been able to exist
as a perfectly made-up and
perfectly lit pop confection, a
virtual creature, and then allowed
to fade away into a real life when
her time was done. Instead, we
get presented with her daily, almost
retching with pain and fear, her
weak chin pulled back into her neck
as her mouth twists with the agony
of trying to hold back hot tears in
the face of a bunch of people with
cameras. Puffy eyes behind huge
ugly sunglasses. It's no wonder they
all go mad.
Coming out of a restaurant once
with Patrick Stewart and Wendy
Neuss, I walked into paparazzi
waiting for him. As they cranked off
their shots, Patrick said, "well, you
can't tell Niki you just went down
the pub now, can you?" And then
he turned to them, smiled, and
said, "Thank you." It takes a
certain perspective to know that
those glass eyes can turn nasty. I
imagine that, like tipping a cabbie,
you never know when a painless
"thank you" will do you a favour
down the road. And that snakes
should be respected, if only for
the harm they can do.
Wow. That was a tangent, eh?
I have an confession to make.
I have ordered a man-bag.
According to a Lifehacker thing
someone sent me this morning,
they are also referred to as the
"go-bag" or, wonderfully, the
"machismo tote." Zoetica insists
on calling them "man-sacks," but
she's a sick little monkey.
I've just gotten sick, finally, of
stuffing everything in my pockets,
especially in summer when I can't
wear my long leather jacket. And
I'm always missing something. The
Bluetooth keyboard for my phone,
or the hands-free set, or plasters,
or a book, or...it goes on. I really
needed a knife the other day,
and of course it was in the drawer
at home (a big Swiss Army blade,
which actually should have been
in the trug, but still).
I was already in the process of
refining my kit -- I bought Niki a
Sandisk 1GB mp3 player, and then
nicked it off her for the San Diego
trip, as my own Archos 20GB is
very heavy and bulky and I needed
to buy back some bag space. And
I like it well enough, with noise-
cancelling earbuds, that I've ordered
one for myself. But when I started
thinking about what else I really
need to carry... Bah. Man-bag.
So I've ordered a Storm bag. Not
a huge one, but I like the design, a
distressed PVC and textile mesh.
Well, as much as you can like a man-
bag. And now I'm planning the kit.
Chief among which is a hand scanner.
I test-drove an optical pen-shaped
text scanner a few years back, but
never really got on with it -- and in
any case, I need to be able to scan
images on the road, and a camera
shot won't always cut it. So I've
bought a Docupen with a 1GB card
-- the size of a long pen, it'll scan
to A4, and store a hundred images.
Three different kinds of Moleskine,
with pens and pencils -- getting out
of the habit of carrying paper and
pen was probably a bad idea, I don't
(I suddenly wonder if the Docupen
will USB into my phone?)
Treo, keyboard, spare keyboard
(a Belkin infrared), phone, phone
keyboard (bluetooth). Victorinox
survival kitbag with a Swiss Army
Champ in there. I need to find a
decent monocular, I think. Sling
the Cybershot in there (the 7.2MP).
And the Sandisk 1GB.
Man-bag. God, I am so sad.
I was just talking to Brubaker about this, and apparently I haven't
covered it in a Signal or anything.
:: WARREN'S INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED AND FUTURISTIC
SYSTEM FOR DISCOVERING NEW MUSIC ARRRRR::
Go to http://www.piccadillyrecords.com on a Monday, when they
update. Click on the genre of preference in the left-hand bar,
and then click "magic mix" on the page that follows. You see,
the Mancunian geniuses at Piccadilly rip 40-second excerpts
of every one of the week's new releases that they've received,
and put them up on the website in associated playlists, the Magic
Mixes. Clicking "magic mix" will stream each genre's playlist
straight to your WinAmp or shiTunes. Therefore, at your
convenience, you can listen to a chunk of everything new that
Piccadilly, one of the best record stores in Britain, gets every
Step One B:
You can, in fact, stop here, and order the CDs or vinyl from
Piccadilly, who operate a flat-out excellent mail order system.
Next year, I'll probably start using it again. But I made myself
stop ordering CDs on January 1, because I'm floating in the
fuckers. I'm spending a year mp3-only.
So if you're me, and you're not ordering CDs, what do you do
next? I go first to http://www.emusic.com, where I have a
monthly subscription that allows me to download 90 DRM-free
high-end mp3s in every 30 days. This is the first place I
search for anything I like from the Piccadilly stream.
(Yeah, I could go straight to Soulseek. But I happen to like
Now, eMusic are very good, but often a little slow about
obtaining indie stuff. So, sometimes, I'll be out of luck. At
which point, I go to one or all of these:
As a last resort, I'll try iTunes or one of the 7digital stores.
But I don't like DRM on my music -- iTunes+, as well as
being a horrible scam, is still way too spotty to be really
useful -- and I find 7digital extremely unreliable.
MySpace. Seriously. I'll quite frequently take a band name
from Piccadilly and plug it into google for the band/act's
MySpace page. Which will, of course, always have four
of their songs on there, some of which will often be up for
free download. MySpace is still a phenomenal tool for music,
and that's nothing Fuckbook will ever touch. One of the
best parts of my internet day is always checking the add
requests, finding bands in there, and clicking to their profiles
to discover new music. I usually link the interesting ones on
warrenellis.com under the "::currently listening" rubric.
There. Staggeringly complicated, isn't it? This is why I am
Internet Jesus and you're an ordinary person with friends
and a life.
* Funny: http://clubofmars.ning.com/ is probably one of the biggest
groups on the Ning system now. Pretty daft for something I only
activated as a toy for you all to play with. Huge amount of activity
there now, blogging, videos, photo uploads. Plenty to waste that
valuable work time with.
* I'm in the middle of wrapping up a ton of script pages to send
to Avatar, and finishing CASTLEVANIA with the other hand (it's
in the "donkey work" stage now, writing the connective tissue,
polishing up bits, fixing/hammering awkward sections). So I'll
probably remain pretty uncommunicative for the rest of the week,
beyond the first thing in the morning/last thing at night blogging
passes and managing the really fucking frightening amount of
messages I get at http://www.myspace.com/warrenellis.
* But I did note that apparently the Gene Hunt role in the
ill-advised American remake of LIFE ON MARS is going to
good old Colm Meaney. And god knows Meaney's made some
crap to pay the mortgage, but he tends to elevate a thing --
or at least let some light into it -- just by showing up. So I
might give the remake a look after all, even though it's
almost guaranteed to be a train wreck...
Well, yeah, I think it's definitely
autumn now, as I'm now back in
the long leather jacket. High
winds, driving rain, and persistent
cold. I think we'll be picking the last
of the cucumbers tonight, and
giving up on the tomatoes -- not
enough sunlight for them to ripen.
Gales took down the mini-greenhouse
last night -- luckily it's all soft
plastic and wire shelving, and was
empty but for some curly-leaved
parsley that would probably
survive a nuclear exchange. Will
pull the last of the lettuce when I
get home, too.
My spare-time (ha!) job for this
week is considering a new book for
Marvel. I don't really have the heart
to pursue the book Mike Wieringo
and I were going to do with a
different artist, so I need to
generate something else to fill the
schedule. This means reading
through a frightening amount of
research material, looking for a
Marvel property that sparks
something. In practise, this actually
means editor Nick Lowe and I
terrifying each other with old
Marvel stuff. Illuminator, the
Christian superhero! Torgo, the
alien fighting robot! Nick's fixated
on Dum Dum Dugan, nonogenarian
bowler-hatted deputy director of
SHIELD and WWII Howling Commando,
but he's not going to beat me down
on that one, the bastard.
So, yeah, this afternoon I'm half-
blind from spending last night reading
the Wikipedia page listing every
single comics title Marvel ever
published. I know what I'm looking
for -- something that can carry an
approach to the page that I'm
calling, in the privacy of my own
head, NewPulp -- but it's not turned
up yet. Not recycling pulp tropes,
but an approach to the page itself,
the panelling, the colouring, the
cuts and the text load.
Just wrote a very brief thing for
ROLLING STONE on BATTLESTAR
GALACTICA, dunno when that
appears... Next month, maybe?
Also have a commission for Forbes,
of all places, to get to next week...
For those who were interested in
this -- and for those laughing at
me, you bastards -- I sorted out
the kit I'm carrying in Teh Bag.
The bag itself is a weathered-looking,
leathery satchel thing -- not enough
pockets, not really big enough, but
it'll do for now. It contains:
* Sony Cybershot P200, 7.2
* A ruled Moleskine and a blank
Moleskine -- one for notes, one
* A black Pentel gelpen, a cheap
* 1GB Sandisk Sansa mp3 player
with noise-cancelling earbuds.
* Treo 600.
* Treo foldaway keyboard (no
* Baggallini travel pouch zipped
into the back for holding bank books
* Docupen R800 handheld mobile
* Nokia N73 phone.
* Nokia bluetooth foldaway
keyboard for the N73. Which is
amazingly useful, as the phone has
excellent email and websurfing
* Dynamo windup micro-torch.
Which has its uses, believe me, as
we tend to take weekend breaks in
the country, often miles from any
* Gelert 8x21 monocular. Also
for country travel.
* Victorinox Swiss Champ knife and
survival kit. Not my favourite
Swiss knife, but since I can't find my
Huntsman, this'll do double-duty
in the garden. The survival kit
holster it sits in has useful pockets
-- I can get rid of the signal mirror
and other Ray Mears-style stuff
and repack it with plasters and meds.
Also comes with a handy sharpening
* Currently MIA -- a wind-up phone
charger I got for Xmas.
Obviously, I can't leave the country
with any of this shit. But in daily
life I always found myself wanting
one of these items and not having
them on me. I mean, clearly there's
something wrong with my life that
I'd find myself deep in East Sussex
woodland, miles from civilisation,
and wanting a monocular (or a
signal mirror, come to think of it).
But one day I may need to whittle
myself a coracle out of a tree
stump and then fashion a sail out
of ferns, bark and forty feet of
nylon cord. In the dark. While on
National holiday, here in the mother
country. But not for me. Too
much to do. Hit a slowdown point
on two jobs, where I can't quite see
where to go next. Mike Moorcock
had a formula for that, when he
was writing fast: descend into a
minor character. But that doesn't
always work when you're writing
in 22-page units. Not getting
enough bloody sleep is the problem,
but deadlines don't move.
Reviews continue to come in on the
novel. Mostly positive, amazingly:
I've had two or three beatings, but,
to my great amusement, one of
them seemed not to have read the
book -- "quoting" things that aren't
actually in the book is always a red
flag -- and the others seemed to
have had their sense of humour
surgically removed. On the whole,
I seem to have gotten away with it.
Which was the absolute best I could
hope for. Though if I ever meet the
Entertainment Weekly reviewer
who called what I do for a living
And last week I wrote a couple of
hundred words on BATTLESTAR
GALACTICA for a Rolling Stone
feature on the autumn US tv
season. I'm presuming that'll be
out sometime next month.
Back to work.
Subterranean Press are to produce a special limited edition of
CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, with a new cover by my old friend
Clayton Cubitt, better known to the world of pervert photography
as Siege ( http://www.claytoncubitt.com/).
All editions will be signed by myself and Siege. Siege, of
course, might just wipe his cock on the signature sheets.
Hell, so might I.
All details live at the following link:
http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/ ... -little-ve
I would ask you to remember: I'm not the publisher, nor am I the
vendor, distributor, postman or any other bloody thing, and cannot
answer any questions that may surface like gristly lumps in the
sewage treatment plant of your mind.
Someone's just unearthed a post I wrote on, I think, MySpace, possibly
a year ago. And I don't remember writing it. Which doesn't bode well,
really. It may have been one of those "hey someone else is looking
after my daughter I can drink the entire whisky cabinet" weekends.
The post reads:
"I have decided that the next stage of my Conquering of the world
requires that I take a flock, or perhaps coven, of Internet Wives.
"For the men reading this, I believe I also require an army of
Eunuch Guards to attend them.
"It’s a horrible fate for you all, I know, but you can’t stand in
the way of the Future."
What's worse: I am completely sober (if hopped up on Turkish coffee),
and I'm wondering if there isn't some kind of web badge or merch
I could get out of this. If people are freaky enough to wear the HOLY
SLUT ARMY t that Donna Desborough knocked out, then maybe
an INTERNET WIFE t....
...no. I need more coffee. And possibly a slap.
Just found this out: if you order the Sub Press limited edition
of CROOKED LITTLE VEIN by the end of Tuesday, they'll
knock $15 off the cover price.
http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/ ... -little-ve