March 20th, 2012

(no subject)

Today I'm paying for yesterday. Not surprising at all, really. This means taht I shall do everything I promised, but otherwise I shall stay off the computer. I shan't start tidying up the remaining things-that-need-tidying (of which there is one more since last night, for a stack of papers next to the desk decided to migrate to the floor) - I shall rest. My right eye has decided it's going to respond to the stress and I'm back to where I was a few days ago with pain and fatigue. Not surprising, really.

My three things yesterday (in order of appearance) were a cold, the eyething and the break-in. There - I've listed them. Now maybe I can get back to normal life? I miss my usual state of overwork. I like my usual state of overwork!

Except I have to rest. I shall balance bedrest with watching Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is indirectly work, after all. And I can't get to the library to get the next set of books until later.

I should have got those books yesterday, but yesterday was eaten up. I shall apologise to the books when I meet them. I'm up to last checks before the final bit of research, since I rejigged everything when the eye went - today's books are all on the Martin Guerre narrative, just to see how that fits into what I'm doing. If I rest now, I should be able to start reading them later and by the end of the week I won't be impossibly behind. Behind, but not impossibly so.

(no subject)

I have good news (for a change). Some of the pieces I thought were stolen, were merely...rearranged. In the tangle of surviving jewellery, I found my Past Times necklace, for instance (though not the Past Times brooch, or my Becket pewter brooch from Elizabeth Chadwick), and the first piece of jewellery I ever bought for myself (20c at the Royal Melbourne Show). There's still a lot gone - it's an evil list of lost past, but more of my memories remain than was first obvious. Why the thief did this messy rearrangement is anyone's guess. My personal guess is that he was looking for cash. I don't have cash - it's the price of doing what I'm doing - all my money is earmarked for its various earmarked things. Anyhow, there are some things I shall miss. And there's a lot more (inexpensive, but full of stories) taht I still have.

On the phone with my case manager, I explained that I didn't want replacements for jewellery where the story would stop, only for those things that the story would continue.

Addendum: This insurance company is *very* good. They replace things where possible and do all the pricing and stuff themselves. So far, they've also done all the paperwork. And they've worked out which things are a priority for me and which things need time.

Women's History Month - blog guest, Kylie Chan

One of the people who got me started in my love of spec fic was D. C. Fontana. When I was a child in the early seventies, I’d sneak down to the tiny black and white television in the basement, hunched over in a corner hoping nobody would catch me and laugh at me, and watch the classic series of Star Trek when it came on reruns. The show’s writer would come up on the screen:

And I would worship the ground he (had to be a he, right?) walked on. Every storyline was completely new and utterly mind-blowing. Space exploration, aliens, the future – all of this enthralled me. I went to the library and looked for stories by D. C. Fontana and that led me (in a roundabout way) to Fontana Science Fiction, a publishing imprint of the time which had nothing to do with her but was producing leading edge spec fic. In between Star Trek and my newly discovered library books, I was in heaven.

It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the D stood for Dorothy. She started out as Gene Roddenberry’s secretary (at that time it would have been ‘of course’) but went on to write teleplays for just about every show on the television in the sixties, seventies and to some degree the eighties. Not just sci-fi like Star Trek or The Six Million Dollar Man – she worked on Bonanza, Dallas, Kung Fu, Streets of San Francisco, even The Waltons. I watched all of these when I was growing up.

She helped write the first episode of The Next Generation, ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ (which is being remastered and looks wonderful), and wrote some episodes of DS9. She wrote fiction under the pen-names of Michael Richards and J. Michael Bingham as well.

With the wisdom of hindsight, people have looked back and criticise Ms Fontana’s work as being unimaginative, over soap-operatic, ‘trite’ and ‘naïve’. But back then, I was excited and her episodes of Star Trek were the best television I’d ever seen. It was something completely different from anything I’d seen before, and I wanted more.

She led me into the vast world of speculative fiction, and completely changed my life. I wish I’d known at the time that she is a woman; it may have inspired me to start writing much earlier in my own career.

Kylie Chan married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Eastern China, lived in Australia for ten years, then moved to Hong Kong for ten years and during that time learnt a great deal about Chinese culture and came to appreciate the customs and way of life.
In 2003 she closed down her successful IT consultancy company in Hong Kong and moved back to Australia. She used her knowledge of Chinese mythology, culture, and martial arts to weave a story that would appeal to a wide audience.
Since returning to Australia, Kylie has studied Kung Fu (Wing Chun and Southern Chow Clan styles) as well as Tai Chi and is now a senior belt in both forms. She has also made an intensive study of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and has brought all of these together into her storytelling.
Kylie is a mother of two who lives in Brisbane, and her website is at
Kylie’s Publications:
Dark Heavens Trilogy: White Tiger, Red Phoenix Blue Dragon
Journey to Wudang Trilogy: Earth to Hell, Hell to Heaven, Heaven to Wudang