Sunday, 15 July 2012

Oh god, it burns.

Finally found the time to answer the lovely Devin Berglund's Buccaneer Blogfest questions (sorry they're late! Two of the three full-time staff of CQ are currently out of commission so I'm holding the fort. Badly.) I get to the question 'what do you like to write about?' and there is a strange cracking coming from the kitchen. My confusion lasts about two seconds, before being replaced by a facepalm and swearing.

Yes, in an example of grand failure of multitasking, the pasta I put on the boil an hour ago boiled dry, sizzling away quietly as it seared itself to the bottom of the plan.

As an extra bonus, filling a cleaned pan with new pasta and newly boiled water, I managed to pour said boiling water over my foot. More swearing ensued.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest: Yes, but WHY?

Why you did you start blogging? What are your goals for your blog?

This blog at least, is a purely frivilous affair. The main reason it exists is for myself and Mat to post things that make us giggle and for me to share behind-the-scenes snippets of the indie publishing business (there aren't as many of those, but there'll be more as time goes on).

The blog does feature occasional reviews, but I also post these, along with interviews and more offically posts, under my ID at the Curiosity Quills blog. These are mostly to share my thoughts on the books and blogs I read and enjoy. You know. Serious things. Valuable things. I cross post them sometimes, to show y'all that something of worth occurs inside my skull.

The things exclusive to this blog though?


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We are living in a material world

Every now and then, you look back through Blogger or Wordpress, and find a post your wrote, drafted, decided to come back to - then never did. This is one such, a 'traumatic' (in self-depricating inerverted-commas) experience that some with a small number of viciously guarded presious possessions might appreciate.

This is from a few years ago, as I've now had my own house for coming up five years, and while things are still Hard Work as a single female with a household to run, I at last have gathered a few more precious objectject to my person to hiss around, tail thrashing, the mortal embodiment of Smaug. In number comes security, the knowledge that the the loss of one such Precious is a small part of several valued personal treasures, no a whole hoard lost.

Early on, however, each item was an icon, a sliver of pride encased in glass or metal or plastic, each a talisman against desitituation. These were the items that proved my worth and, as such, I applied far more emotional weight to these scant Objects than I do now, at a stage in my life where it's possible to (with the correct, deliberate act of psychological force) gain distance from these objects, and remind myself I am more than my possessions, that I can have succeeded without their presence as a reminded.

It's not an easy thing. I'm still not good at it. I still cling to the beautiful, special, loved objects I have aquired.

Here, in testament to how 'not good' I truely was at it, and how 'not good' I remain at it on the inside when I'm not looking:

I am a materialistic person. Not in a grabby way, I feel, but things and stuff make me happy. They do not have to be big or expensive, they do not have the be plasma televisions or sports cars or big diamonds, but purchases of nice, good quality things please me, for a long time after their purchase as well; every time they are picked up or used or even dusted, I enjoy them, lining my nest with them like some courting bird.

Since buying my house, I have not had much money spare. Bits here and there spent on projects and things, but I work a modest job and it does not leave huge sums sloshing about. As a result, the majority of my household things were begged, borrowed, old, or bought from Ikea, and the idea was to systematically replace them with nice things, one by one, as presents or as and when I could afford a little treat.

In my kitchen is (or, not to ruin the plot, was) a shelf, on which I kept the few 'replaced with nice things' items in my kitchen, a modest enough assortment of some hand made water glasses with little glass watermelon slices in and matching jug, two bone china mugs and a set of six etched wine glasses my Mum and her husband gave me for Christmas.

Friday while I was at work, this shelf crashed from the wall.

My nicest things in their little display spot where I could smile at them when I went past, reduced to a couple of kilos of shattered glass (which of course had to be meticulously cleared up from all over the kitchen and hallway).

It is only stuff. Things. I feel like it says something unpleasant about me that I was not simply disappointed but really very in-tears upset. It is not so much a silver lining as a 'that could have been worse', but I am frantically glad this happened now instead of in three weeks time when my kitten would have been home alone (Moden-day-Verity note: the kitten refered to here is now 3 years old and a fat, fluffy, gorgeous grandmother, Lily.) It looked like a bomb in a glass factory. If she had been in the kitchen when it fell she would have been horrifically injured, possibly killed, and even walking through that room after it fell she would probably have been badly hurt from the huge amount of glass on the floor. That would have been something to be in tears over. But indeed, here I am, a materialistic little person drinking out of her chipped Ikea mugs with snobbish distain, and crying over broken trinkets.

Did you just say...?

We're a bunch of deaf buggers in this house. Here's a selection of recent mishearings, which yes, even in real life, are always "did you just say...?"

Mat: ... and you're silent
Adam: Did you just say "and you're a salmon"?

Song 'Open Book' on Rabbid Rabbids: I just need something to focus on
Adam: Did that lyric really just say "I need something to fuck your son"?
Mat: You're doing better than me and Verity, we hear "something to fuck us up."

Francis: ...and if that guy has a blood clotting problem
Verity: Did you just say "blood cotton flotsom"?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Cat-related high-horse

I trry to avoid getting on my high-horse.

This is part because I have the self-worth of a slug, and therefore struggle to get into the moral high-ground even when it is clearly mine, but also in part before people who declare possession of the said 'moral high ground' are largely amoral, sycophanic lice feasting on the corpses of fallen saviours far more virtuous than themselves, and being grouped with them them makes my stomach heave.

Occasionally, however, a cause is so simple, so clean and clear and unambiguous, that I can stand beside it, puff myself up, point at it, and declare;

this is a thing worth being enraged about. Be enraged, oh ye masses.

My ability to be socially responsible is thus expended. I am spent. Don't let it be in vain. Spread the word; tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell the multitide about which you couldn't usualy give a shit.

Casual, thoughtless cruelty is beneath us. Don't let anyone, president or pauper, think their callous actions affect no one.

That awkward moment

The awkward moment when you realise that, as professional you might be in relation to the work of others, that when it comes to your own writing, you write 5000 word in a caffine and booze fueled fervor, then pare it back to 3-4000, rediting whille sober.

Not entirely certain how common this is.

An alarming realisation

A little context here (for once).

I use Chrome on my PC (desktop computer, as used for gaming and large-scale stuff) and Safari on my mac (laptop, used for travelling, and those days when getting out of bed or off the sofa is just... to hard). As a rule, I do not use IE. It is made of offal, and occasionally sacrifices the children of grieving widows. It is not a web browser to which I feel any great loyalty or companionship.

There is, however, an exception to this, a strange anachronism born of Google's unique quirks, which is to say, that multiple sign-in does not work on Blogger at all, nor properly on Google+.

I have three google IDs: a ID, used for any CQ related correspondance (AKA most email-related things); a ID, left over from old days when that domain meant something to me, and still attached to various legacy items, such as my G+ ID; and a address, used for my freelance work and, importantly, for my blogging. This blog.

The important point is that both Blogger and G+ use your 'primary login' when clicking links that use their services. So which, good people, which to have as my primary?, so I can use G+ links, or, so I can use Blogger? Or sign out and back in to each ID (not to mention re-signing-in to my address as a secondary sign in Every Damn Time) every time I want to use one or the other? No, that last option does not pander to my innate laziness. What to do, dear readers? What to do?

Simple. I keep Chrome, my main browser, logged in to as primary, with and as secondaries, so I can read my mail, and then, I in my sneakiness, I in my creative ways to be lazy, keep IE as a secondary brower. This, this is logged in to the address as primary ID and, in fact, only ID, allowing me to open what is essentially 'my Blogger program' in the form of IE, with Blogger as its homepage, existing only to blog.

Which extended preamble brings me, at last, to the reason, the gripe, for this post:

Dear god in Heaven, my blog looks like Hell under IE.

Seriously, where are my title fonts? Why is the text column too narrow? Why, infinate, blurry, cosmic deity of the unrepentantly atheistic, but who still want something to swear at when they're annoyed, does nothing work properly?

Hot damn I hate Internet Explorer.

Sapping your shit stores

I... I... I'm feeling some weird shit. I feel like I'm starting to give a shit!

(Yes, Loading Ready Run amuses the shit out me me)

Buccaneer Blogfest post: the introduction

Buccaneed Blogfest post prompt:

Introduction: Tell us a little bit about you and your blog. Post the sign up linky for this blogfest in your post. Include your other social media links so we can follow.

Why do you blog? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What is-

Okay, I'm just not this existential. Let's start over.

House of Pixie exists for one of reason, and one reason only. My life is utterly ridiculous, and I need a place in which to chronicle its bizarity. This blog provides structure.

For those of you who reached this blog through devious means (read: via the Buccaneer Blogfest or such related social media antics), my name is Verity. I am one of the directors of indie publishing house Curiosity Quills, the sponsor of this blogfest, and the only one of the 'core team' based in the UK. I live with my wife, Francis, my housemate of a year plus, Mat, and his boyfriend, Adam.

On this blog you are likely to find a curious mix of publishing tidbits (tales from the front line of editing, or behind the curtain of book production), and ridiculous snippits of life with me, Mat, Francis and Adam. Many of these posts are very short, slivers of out-of-context conversation which we think might amuse you, or might make you roll your eyes in baffled disapproval. Some are funny. Some are obscene. Some are informative.

These tangy, colourful, mixed bites of professional and domestic life are the core of existing in the House of Pixie. I hope you enjoy them.

Verity's posts for Curiosity Quills:
Verity: G+ - Facebook - Twitter
Mat: Facebook - Twitter

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest

Yarrrr, I'm a pirate-stereotype, matey! Cucumber sandwich?
Banner by Cody Underwood

Well now, if there ain't a first time for everything! This July I'll be taking part in a blogging event run by the fabulous Sharon Bayliss and Coutney Young - the Buccaneer Blogfest. Four weeks of (largely book-related) post-promts and questions, inter-blogger interviews and general amusement.

Click on the banner at the top to find out more.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The return of Dripping Cunt

A friend and I, discussing this quote from a previous House of Pixie post:
To anyone out there, male or female, who writes erotica. Cunt, is not a sexy word. A reference to "her dripping cunt" in the middle of a sex scene does not evoke 'hot and visceral'. It makes me curl my lip in disgust and read something else.
Trey: The word 'cunt' doesn't bother me. It's just 'enh'. The 'dripping' part does. WAUGH.

Verity: Really? Interesting! See, for me, 'dripping cunt'; bleugh, twitch. 'Juicy pussy'; gawf at the cheesey writing.

Trey: I have a visual mind. I hear 'cunt' and it doesn't bother me. Unless it's being used to describe the woman and not the woman's part. ;) But imagine what images come up with 'dripping cunt'. To me, 'juicy' doesn't describe sexual parts. It describes food.

Verity: Indeed!

Trey: I read 'juicy cunt' or 'juicy cock', and all I envision is Dolcett.
(Can't unsee now; you're welcome)"

Verity: Nah, I translate 'juicy' as 'food', too, tbh. Specifically, jello in a vagina-shaped mold.

The attraction of salad

While at the London Book Fair this year, I had the pleasure to talk to a bunch of the ladies from Ellora's Cave. They also gave me a big pile of books. For anyone who doesn't knew, Ellora's Cave publish utterly shameless porn. Yum!

A friend was visiting and, as if often the case when people visit, I attempted to foist books upon her, as I cannot read all the review copies I get, and would rather someone review it. So, I give away books to people who promise to post at least an Amazon review.

I hand her a two Ellora's Cave books, tell her what they are, at which point we do what any normal person would.

We open the books to random pages, and start reading passages of fuckery to one another in deadpan voices.

Important aside! To anyone out there, male or female, who writes erotica. Cunt, is not a sexy word. A reference to "her dripping cunt" in the middle of a sex scene does not evoke 'hot and visceral'. It makes me curl my lip in disgust and read something else.

Half an hour of childish giggling later, Carly, the friend, opens Tempting Demons to a random page.

Carly: Oh! This page doesn't have sex on.

Verity: ... really? What's happening.

Carly: Some chick eating a salad.

Verity: Awesome. Alright, you have can have these two, I'll read that one.

Cause I mean, really. Who doesn't love a good salad?