That same Saturday, same pandemic, after a visit to Bunnings…

My Meniere’s disease is acting up. The hearing in my left ear is particularly poor right now and I have pressure in both ears (which I’ve not had for a while). Not sure if it’s a COVID thing, a lack of sleep thing, or something else.

Anyhow, it’s leaving me just wanting to stare out the window. Need to get some things done but feel no momentum at all.  Edits to do, proposals to build, but hopefully timing can be made to work out. Very sorry to hear that Brisbane have been tossed back into lockdown, and rolled my eyes at the PMs statements on it. Very 2021.

Saturday morning, just a little later in the same pandemic

These entries are all, so far, just notes to me really. I don’t think I’ve left on any syndication, but the point is to get me a little more focussed on work and stuff, and hopefully this will nudge me.

Anyway, another Saturday morning. A first cup of coffee. Maybe a mild sore throat, possibly after the second Pfizer shot, so that may connect. Who knows? Today is all about making house decorating decisions, which is cool, and then a lunch with the family. Not pushing to make the day much more packed than that. It’s raining. Stupid cat came running in, as though that’s a surprise in this wettest of July’s,  and is now watching a door, fascinated.  Shrug.

Anyway, read a bit more of The Hood before bed. That’s just a very violent book.  Actually feel in the mood for something a little cozier, so may read another chapter, or drop in a dark, noir crime novel and then come back to it.

Momentous stuff, yes? In other plans, today is Locus column edits, notes on new book proposals, and trying to work out if I have anything useful to say about space opera…

Later in the evening, Friday, sometime during the pandemic

No reading yet. A long-ish feeling day at the day job, aware of other tasks to be settled. Home, tired and underslept, but took the family out for an okay pasta dinner in the nearby Swan Valley. Meniere’s played up mightily, but that’s probably self-inflicted. Made me think of heading for bed early, but instead…

Watched the second episode of season 2 of Ted Lasso, the most relevant TV show of the moment, which was fucking delightful, then a bit of Schmiggadoon, before sitting down to a dram. Opened a new Calvados cask-finished Kilchoman. Young with all that brings with it – a little punchy, very strong on the nose, but you can see how it might mellow down, how the citrus might settle and balance a little, and how a strong, underpinning sweetness might make this smoky beast some very pleasant drinking indeed.

Current plans for this weekend are: a lot. Let’s see how those play out. Editing to do and I do wonder if Thursday’s second Pfizer shot my catch up with me. We’ll see.

ETA. I’m thinking about space opera and how we view it now. Has it changed? That, and who is missing from the Library of America’s science fiction shelf. I have thoughts.

Early Friday morning, sometime during the pandemic

It might seem odd to look back to blogging for a way to focus, but I’m going to try. I used to blog a lot, many years ago, but social media and so on really has broken that down for me. I spend too long on other platforms, and I find them less satisfying.

Since this site has almost exclusively been used for broadcasting new episodes of the podcast, which happily continues, I figure most people have stopped reading it, which is fine. That means I can potter here with little consequence for a while.

This week I got my second Pfizer shot, drank too much whisky, went a little nuts, and did some actual novel reading. Although it’s less “my book” than I think it is for some other readers, I read and ultimately enjoyed Shelley Parker-Chan’s recasting of the story of the Hongwu Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, She Who Became the Sun. A powerful and engaging historical fantasy set in 14th century Mongol China, it recasts the rise of Zhu as the story of a young woman who chooses to take on the destiny of her dead brother in order to fulfil the destiny she believes awaits her. Parker-Chan balances the story between two fascinating characters – Zhu, a woman acting as man to first survive and then to achieve greatness, and General Ouyang, the last surviving member of his family who has made into a eunuch and a slave by the Mongol emperor.  The interaction between them, what the represent, and  what they mean to each other is the heart of the book. I’ll definitely pick up the sequel.

As for now? I’m reading the second of Lavie Tidhar’s Anti-Matter of Britain novels, The Hood. So far it’s violent and dark and about what I’d expect for a retelling of the story of Robin Hood. Will see how it goes, though.