bluewhale

(no subject)

The downside to my using this blog again is that it’s likely to take me over a week to get around to saying what I’ve been up to. So you’ll have to put up with my daily write-up of my days at the Edinburgh Festivals being nearly two weeks in arrears.

Sunday
The first thing I saw was the rear of a caravan between Rosedale and Pickering which very nearly led to my missing the train and fucking up the whole few days. But somehow I managed to get there, and arrived for my business of the Sunday evening, La Belle et la Bete by Philip Glass. This was a showing of Cocteau’s film with the soundtrack removed and a new one played live by the Glass Ensemble, complete with new singing parts more or less lip-synched with the actors on screen, turning the film into a ready-staged opera. This was clever stuff and the music was far better than I expected (I’ve only heard this before in a poor-quality audience recording), but I had one niggling annoyance, which was that the last time I looked, Glass was a member of his own ensemble. I know he’s slowing down a bit and it’s not exactly like turning up to a U2 concert without Bono (which I know many of you would find preferable, you cynical old boots), but I did feel a little short-sold on this. Still, you get what you get and he could hardly get out of Tuesday’s show, so I ignored this and enjoyed the evening.

Incidentally, I was surprised to notice that I was one of the younger people there - most of Glass’s audience seemed to be as old as he is. I don’t know if this is because they’ve aged with him, or if he’s just the modern equivalent of a good old sing-song. Perhaps his music has gerontifying effects. I wished they’d warned me thirty years ago.

This ended early enough for me to take in what I thought was the must-see show of the fringe, Miranda Kane’s The Coin-Operated Girl, about her experiences as a sex worker. Unfortunately, it turned out that a line on the map didn’t represent a turning so much as a hundred-metre jump off a bridge, and it wasn’t that must-see. I decided I had two more chances, and called it a night.
bluewhale

Oblique Strategies

Well I never, Oblique Strategies actually works. I couldn't develop this fortnight's story idea, so I went to an online site and got the card "Humanize something that is free from error". A bit of a tall order, especially since the only thing in the story that's really free from error happens to be gravity, but now I'm not stuck any more.
bluewhale

(no subject)

Anne took her horse and her unpaid downtrodden groom to Thornton-le-Dale gala, she came a strong last in the first class but was able to get fourth out of seven for the “handsome horse” category, which means she won a rosette. I once again won the category for person allergic to the most number of things in a field, and accepted my prize while impersonating a human-shaped pile of mucus.

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bluewhale

(no subject)

One thing I learnt at Whitby last week is that no matter how many Goths are on the dancefloor, no matter what music is being played, one Goth will apparently be performing the hokey-cokey.

I also learnt that no matter how many steampunk accessories you're wearing, no matter how many people are trying to take your photo in town, you didn't arrive in a fucking airship and that's that.
bluewhale

(no subject)

I returned to the Aesthetica exhibition at York St Marys as I wanted to see if Sara Brannon’s Mary was as interesting to watch as it was to read about (she’d taken an old film and compiled the scenes that featured only the lead actress, in order to raise questions about voyeurism and how film treats women as erotic objects). Unfortunately I was distracted by the screens showing the runners-up, so the answer may have been “no”. I didn’t like Josephine Sowden’s The Lillies of the Field at the time, but it’s rather grown on me since. But I was completely blown away by Sutre by Madaleine Trigg, and have only written all this so I can link to it again.

I can’t, incidentally, explain to anyone quite why I was blown away by it, so I don’t propose to fail again here.
bluewhale

(no subject)

Sex in London edited by Elizabeth Coldwell appears to be out at last, and that rascally rapscallion Neil James Hudson has inflicted his depraved imaginings on the pages in the form of a story called "The Woman From Aldgate West". Don't read it, you'll only encourage him.
bluewhale

(no subject)

I actually escaped from my cage a couple of times this week. We went to Fraggle’s Film Festival where the surprise film was Galaxy Quest, which seems to a perfect example of the kind of thing it’s satirising. The cinema itself had been refurbished to make it look like a cinema, and I was accused of being British because of my sense of fair play in the quiz.

Then during the week I went on a York Contemporary Art Walk, all four of which terms earnt their keep. First off we went to the Aesthetica prize exhibition, the most interesting of the stops in my opinion. I didn’t really get a chance to properly inspect everything, I’m particularly curious to see if Sara Brannan’s film is as interesting to watch as it is to read about. We then went to the Railway Museum for an exhibition and short film about the Beeching cuts (Tories cutting services? If the past is another country, it has a strong sense of cultural imperialism). We finished up at the Kentmere Gallery, which seemed in fact to be a house in which someone had left a load paintings lying about. It was interesting, but I had to leave as I became worried that I was eating one of the sculptures.
bluewhale

The writers what they patronised

I'm not really happy with Radio 4's "The Show What You Wrote" - I think they missed the word "bless" from the title. Nobody asked for special treatment or a "showcase" for new writers - all we want is to have our scripts considered along with everyone else's. This is a ghetto for new writers, not an open door.

I'm not just saying this because I'm a fucking amateur who didn't check the deadline until it had passed. Oh well, that means I've got two deadlines before the end of the day. At times like this I ask myself, what would Douglas Adams have done?
bluewhale

Aplut

My story "Aplut" is now online at On The Premises, and my embarrassment at being published so much is allayed as the editor points out that I only get published in issues that are prime numbers. I'm not due again until issue 23.