State of Me

I've been too too long away from here (not long enough, do I hear?). So, what's happening?

I directed my first play-reading last Wednesday. We read Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World Louis de Berniers' play for voice (heavily under the influence of Dylan Thomas) of a few inconsequential weekend hours in the life of Earlsfield. 45 parts read by eight voices and a narrator, and it was lovely. I tried to recreate the radio play experience, so the audience brought duvets and pillows and had a nice Sunday morning cuppa while the players were scattered among them and read. Might try it as a one-act --it's mercifully short, and an intellectual challenge to stage.

We're off travelling again. This Thursday I'm in That London for the Gollancz autumn bash, where I shall try not to be the drunkest person in the room. Last year's was the last time I saw Rob Holdstock. That's a dark thought. Then, week after, we're in Belgrade, courtesy of my publisher in Serbia, Goran Skrobonja. Looks like a lot of fun. Two weeks after that, Paris for a Le Fleuve des Dieux feature, then back to Nantes for Utopiales. It's a bit later this year, so there'll be no biking around the Loire, alas. Pedalling in to the Bon Laboureur hotel at Chenonceaux, after a miserable drizzly day and fixing a puncture by the side of a back road (with which the Loire is very generously provided, which makes for great near-traffic-free biking) was unforgettable --and the dinner very very good. The cheese-board looked like an art department model of Mos Eisley. Tours, Chenonceaux, Chambord (right by the chateau, I mean, right by the chateau) Blois, Chaumont, back to Tours. Buns of steel, darling! Buns of friggin' steel. Not this year, alas.

In February, in fulfillment of 50th birthday self-promise, we're going to New York. I've never been. Hence the promise. Two flights ex-Dublin (via AMS out, LHR back) for £580 seemed pretty damned reasonable. So, Collective Mind of LJ: what's indispensable in New York if you have four and a half days (and we like the quirky and quintessential and the hidden histories of cities)?

Writing-wise, I'm rattling through Planesrunner (that 'YA' book you may have heard about.) Momentarily ran into a sandbar looking for a patois for airship families, and then hit on it. Polari! Yes, this young person's book features a secret gay slanguage. I'm a huge fan of Polari. Bonaroo, and fantabulosa. I'm also putting together a new proposal that, I think, sends me off in a new direction; as I've said before, I don't want to become self-parody.

And I'm laying a wood floor in the attic. We're rearranging the furniture at McDonald Acres because slimmeroftheyea can have a music room for practising the viola da gamba. So everything is being booted up a floor.
  • Current Music
    Kate Bush: Hello Earth

One final Islamophobia piece

.... and the last and best word is left to The Onion: Man Already Knows All He Needs to Know About Muslims
"I learned all that really matters about the Muslim faith on 9/11," Gentries said in reference to the terrorist attacks on the United States undertaken by 19 of Islam's approximately 1.6 billion practitioners. "What more do I need to know to stigmatize Muslims everywhere as inherently violent radicals?"

"And now they want to build a mosque at Ground Zero," continued Gentries, eliminating any distinction between the 9/11 hijackers and Muslims in general. "No, I won't examine the accuracy of that statement, but yes, I will allow myself to be outraged by it and use it as evidence of these people's universal callousness toward Americans who lost loved ones when the Twin Towers fell."

"Even though I am not one of those people," he added.


I still think this was the best version

I stumbled on all this while looking for something totally unrelated (doing a book outline, oddly): a montage from the old BBC 'Chronicles of Narnia'. The music is infinitely better than the Disney version. Not sure how it would stand up now, but it had the genuine sense of magic that the new ones sadly lack.

That Geoffrey Burgon could write a tune... (thought I think this not the original). Ah, the days when ITV (well Granada) could do drama --and kick the BBC's ass.



This, is, as I comment elsewhere, is all over teh intahwebs, but it bears reposting. Via the World SF Blog, Elizabeth Moon raves at the Crescent Moon. It's hard to know where to start--- but; are there other religions in the US that offend your sense of civil society because of their differences, or is it just Islam? And that weasely little 'many'... And once you start playing historical tit-for-tat, it goes all the way back. 'You started it', 'no you started' is no way to end it. Get your comments in fast before the post gets locked or deleted, but, please, be polite. We're better than rant.
  • Current Music
    Noah and the Whale: Blue Skies

Dervish House + No Alibis Hootenany

Saturday September 11 2010: 12:00, Custom House Square Belfast
An afternoon of literary shenanigans and music from No Alibis Bookstore as part of Chilifest and the Open House festival. The Dervish House launch (I know I know) with readings (and actors!) at 12:00 ,music, Colin Bateman at 2, then Live Radio Theatre: The Wireless Mystery Players present: The 39 Steps. More fun than you can shake a stick at.

ask LJ.

Clarion West and Pacific Northwest report soon. In the meanwhile, work question. In the dayjob, we're producing a series for Channel 4 It goes into the old slot after Channel 4 news, and it's real people's takes on contemporary religion, ethics and morality. We're looking for people in poly relationships --or any other alternative take on monogamy-- who'd be happy to talk for just three minutes. Take a look at the link and you'll see how open, direct and non-judgmental our approach is. If you're interested, email me at the dayjob address --ianmcdonald(at)waddellmedia(dot).com, or call Laura on +44 2890427646...