Yet another image from the vaults, I’m afraid; my camera is away having its sensor cleaned*. So, let’s travel to Mexico again:
That is the view over the centre of Guanajuato, a former silver town and currently thriving cultural hotbed, located in the state with the same name. A beautiful and unique location; plenty to see, and always something happening. I saw Cafe Tacuba play a gig at the city’s baseball park while I was there, which I can safely say was one of the most extraordinary gigs of my life.
[* Yeah, I know; I haven’t had it very long at all. Apparently this is one of the curses of low-end dSLRs; the first shot taken with them may loosen up some small shred of plastic left over from the manufacturing process, which then lodges itself on the sensor and puts a noticable smudge on every image. I know it wasn’t a sloppy lens change on my part, because I’ve not changed the lens since I bought it. Selah.]
Well, you all know the big news of the week already (unless you’ve drifted into VCTB for the first time, in which case you may ((or may not)) be interested to know that I just got the job I was after). The realities of this decision are just starting to sink in properly, now – it’s a little scary in a way, to be throwing myself on my own mercies. It’s easy enough to respond to the demands of a regular employer, in that you either get out of bed and go to work, or you get sacked pretty swiftly. In a month from now, half of my time (and theoretically my income) will be my responsibility to arrange as well as work for. Some serious hardcore discipline is going to be required in order for me to become a morning person! I’m rather looking forward to it though – responsibility has great rewards to offer, along with the imperatives.
In keeping with this new sense of independent self-determination and professionalism (stop laughing at the back), I think it’s time I sorted out a new front-end web-presence. VCTB will, of course, be staying as my place for personal ramblings and science fiction output, but I’ll need something a little less homely to act as a gateway to my freelance activities. I think I may well start a second blog at the same time – something to chart what will hopefully be the steady rise of an independent creative worker, and maybe act as an advertisement for my services at the same time. Watch this space!
Held up against the dawning of a new metaphorical era, the other events of the week seem a little pale. On Sunday night I went to see a band so that I could review them for Pennyblack Music. They were called Gym Class Heroes, and I couldn’t stand them – which made writing the review fairly challenging, as I strive for honesty when reviewing, and giving an accurate description of a band while making it plain that they were very much not your cup of tea is tricky to say the least. I must have done okay, though, as my editor at Pennyblack accepted the first version I sent in. I’ll link out to it when it goes live. I should be getting a handful of CDs in the mail for reviewing, too – the only thing better than new music is free new music!
The only other arrival this week has been a copy of Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music, which is my first review job for Strange Horizons (thanks, Niall!). It looks like it could be quite interesting – it’s an anthology of short stories about (or connected to) music and musicians, interspersed by essays by musicians about music and fiction. Niall figured that, given my prior ranting about the similarities between genre writing and genre music, I’d be the ideal candidate to take a closer look at it. And how could I refuse?
As mentioned before, there’s a few books on their way from the wonderful people at SFsite, but as they’re coming from Canada I have no idea when to expect them. No doubt one of those little red cards from the Post Office will materialise at some time soon.
Perhaps somewhat foolishly, considering I’ll be partially self-employed (and hence quite skint) as of next month, I’ve made a few purchases on the good old interwebs this week. First, practicalities – a copy of this year’s Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook from Amazon (which I can write off against tax – self-employment rocks).
Secondly, long-range forward planning on the luxuries front – a pre-order of Ascendancies, the forthcoming Bruce Sterling short story collection from Subterranean, which I’ll not recieve until its publication in September (which reminds me, that David Marusek collection must be quite near being released by now).
And thirdly, utterly frivolous but equally irresistable, one of those Science. F**king. Fiction. T-shirts that Warren Ellis linked to – it probably says a lot about my cultural history that, as much as I know it shouldn’t be so, those things represent a certain apogee of awesomeness in my world. So if you’re going to Eastercon this year, you’ll be able to spot me easily enough – I’ll be the scruffy hippy with a profanity-emblazoned T-shirt, digital camera and dictaphone. Do come and say hello, won’t you? 🙂
That’s about all the excitement I have to provide you with this week, I’m afraid – today’s been my long Friday, and tomorrow is my Saturday on. But hey – it’s been my last long Friday, and tomorrow is my penultimate Saturday on! This positivity lark is alright once you get the hang of it, you know … so, Friday Curry time; a ritual that may have to be foregone in months to come, so I may as well enjoy it while I can. I hope you all enjoy your weekends, too.