Stephanie Burgis
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mermaids, chocolates, and more
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Well, I finally cracked. For months, I've been seeing guidelines for pirate anthologies, pirate-themed issues of magazines...and nothing. Nada. Not a twinge of inspiration struck me. Today, I sat down to sketch out ideas for my next novel - and guess what came out? The beginnings of a very silly pirate story. (How silly? Well let me tell you: its current working title is "Mermaid Trouble".) Needless to say, it's completely the wrong time to start writing a pirate story, since all those specialty markets are either closed or about to close, and lord only knows how many pirate stories will be floating around the general markets afterwards...but how could I resist a pirate story? It could well be the only one I ever write. So I've happily let it hijack my writing time today, and I hope it'll keep it up the assault all this week to come.

I've spent the last couple of days re-reading Sorcery and Cecilia for the umpteenth time (and giggling just as much this time as always) and eating lovely little pots of chocolate pudding that came from--of all places--Mumtaz, the wonderful Pakistani restaurant in Bradford. Patrick was given 4 of them as free samples on Friday when he paid for a big order, and luckily for me, I'm the only one in the house who can eat them. (Patrick's vegan, and Maya's not allowed.) They taste exactly like the chocolate pudding I ate as a kid, and they come in little clay pots that I'm hoping to recycle as cups for mulled wine. Mmm...

We've also been watching the extras from Doctor Who: Season Two, which are really fun. I would never have guessed David Tennant's real accent, but it's great! And they all look like they're having an awful lot of fun as they film New Earth in Wales; London in...Wales; Scotland, we really have to go back to Wales soon! Maya is actually from Wales, of course, but I've only spent a week there, three or four years ago. Beautiful rugged castles, gorgeous cream teas, great bookshops--and, it turns out, it's a new center for British science fiction! What more could anybody ask?

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