The Queen is Dead!

The announcement from Buckingham Palace at 6:37 pm UK time stated:

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.

I am heartbroken as so many people will be at the sad loss of such an amazing and courageous woman who set an example to us all. Long may she live in our hearts and our thoughts.

God save the Queen!

Consulting the Stars

Sometime I think that everything I ever learnt about how to write, I learnt from reading Ursula K. Le Guin novels [with humble apologies to my favourite English teacher]. Even now, I still find myself reaching for one of Le Guin’s works, not just for that spark of inspiration, but to remind myself on the how. How did she write this scene, capture that character, make it all work?

And just to interject here, Le Guin also wrote some edifying articles and posts. One need only look at her, “On Rules of Writing, or, Riffing on Rechy” to get a taste of her knowledge, wit, and insight. Certainly, you can’t do any worse than reading through her articles on writing, especially, and specifically, “What Makes A Story?”

“I define story as a narrative of events (external or psychological) which moves through time or implies the passage of time, and which involves change.

I define plot as a form of story which uses action as its mode usually in the form of conflict, and which closely and intricately connects one act to another, usually through a causal chain, ending in a climax.

Climax is one kind of pleasure; plot is one kind of story. A strong, shapely plot is a pleasure in itself. It can be reused generation after generation. It provides an armature for narrative that beginning writers may find invaluable.”

My research isn’t just confined to Mme. Le Guin. I also find myself referring to other SF luminaries such as Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and Herbert. They each have added to my knowledge, and to stretching my horizons well beyond Earth’s gravity well, and aided me in building my language of description. While I hope I’ve learned my lessons, I’m not naive enough to simply think I can stop learning. On the contrary, I know I will never—as a writer never mind as a human being—stop learning.

Not until they nail down the coffin lid and tell me to shut up already!

What day is it?

Monday on a Tuesday, that’s what.

I always come off a bank holiday Monday feeling like I’ve had two Sundays in a row, and then play catch up when I realise there was stuff I needed to do on that second Sunday (which should have been a Monday) that I now have to do today, a Tuesday, while still thinking it’s Monday. But when asked what day it is at breakfast, stare blankly at the opposite wall and mumble, “Wednesday?” in a confused state.

A senior moment? Maybe. But then again, the blurring of days since covid took over our lives has made every day feel out of sorts. So is it a wonder having a bank holiday throws the ‘new‘ routine out the window adding yet another wrinkle to the debate, ‘what day is it?’

But really, what day is it?

Pumpkin Spice

… And all things nice …

It’s started. It’s not even autumn yet, and worse, it wasn’t even September when they announced it.

Pumpkin spice lattes are back. Where? You know where … we all know where … they’re everywhere, damn it!

It’s getting too early. Like fall decorations, or halloween kitsch in the middle of August just because … just because what? Damn it people, I don’t need pumpkin spice lattes in August either. Didn’t anyone memo the Star place that North America’s in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record? No? Well, maybe someone should jot off a note and tell them to come back in October. Better yet, come back when Hell freezes over.

What? Grumpy? Me? Never. I just think autumnal drinks and holiday advertising should be two days out from said holiday slot and not two months in advance. And I certainly won’t be buying a pumpkin spiced latte from the Star place loaded with the equivalent of two-day’s worth of calories.

Hell no. I value my arteries too much to see my cholesterol level jump 3 points!

And you … what … what’s that you’re drinking?