Tiffany Aching, Terry Pratchett Quote 2

Another quote from Terry Pratchett. Same book as last time (The Shepherd’s Crown), same portion of the book:

Granny smiled. She had always liked the scullery. It smelled of hard work being done properly. Here there were also spiders, mostly hiding around the bottles and jars on the shelves, but she thought scullery spiders didn’t really count. Live and let live.

She went outside next, to the walled paddock at the back of the cottage, to check on her goats. The itinerary of her thinking was declaring that once again all things were in their rightful place.

Satisfied, or as satisfied as a witch ever could be, Granny Weatherwax went to her beehives.

‘You are my bees,’ she said to them. ‘Thank you. You’ve given me all my honey for years, and please don’t be upset when someone new comes. I hope that you will give her as much honey as you have given me. And now, for the last time, I will dance with you.’ But the bees hummed softly and danced for her instead, gently pushing her mind out of their hive. And Granny Weatherwax said, ‘I was younger when I last danced with you. But I am old now. There will be no more dances for me.’

 

 

A Hat Full of Sky

Thanks to Calmgrove and this post, I am currently re-reading and thoroughly enjoying Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching YA novels. Presently, I am on the second of the series (A Hat Full of Sky) and I’m re-experiencing everything that I enjoyed during my first read. That first time, I read the books out of sequence, beginning with the last (The Shepherd’s Crown) which was also (I think) Pratchett’s last published novel. This, in no way, spoiled the reading experience – TP is careful to re-introduce characters, themes and important prior events at the outset of each book.

Similar to the comment during my post about Hokusai’s paintings, I will not attempt an examination of the novel (I’ll leave such writing to those who do it best) but will say that the whole series is one of the most enjoyable I have read and very, very uplifting.

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Image of the cover to the Doubleday edition of Terry Pratchett’s novel “A Hat Full of Sky”. Copyright Paul Kidby 2004.

 

iBook and job search

I’m currently juggling work on the e-book with job searching and personal computer swapping (and more general family life). Using an A3 sketch pad (my favourite work medium as I’ve mentioned before now), I’ve mapped out the general plot, making some significant decisions (alterations) as I did so. I’m currently using the excellent Worldbuilding website to make solid some of my more gaseous thoughts. I’m not sure how many contributors on the site are bona fide scientists  but the consensus of opinion on matters seem to give creedence to many answers.

My mate John has gifted me a copy of “The Seedling Stars” by James Blish and I’m currently reading “Surface Tension”. Although I won’t be using any of the ideas directly, I’ve had some ‘offshoot thoughts’ about aspects of my project. I love the way that James Blish explores the idea of existence in the narrative just as UKLG explores ideas about society in “The Dispossessed”. I read (present tense) both narratives as ‘thinking out loud’.

I’m considering producing the e-book as a Bandcamp CD and booklet before a multimedia iBook but will probably change my mind many times over the next few months.

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My friend John asked me a question about something I hadn’t considered – who is the audience for the iBook? I had to confess that I hadn’t really thought about it but that it would be suitable for all audiences. “Young adult then?” he suggested. Now I think about it, it couldn’t be anything else.

iBook project update 1

I’ve finally begun the iBook project in earnest. I’m recording ideas in an A3 sketchbook (my favourite planning format) and have made much progress. My decisions are provisional and may be drastically altered at some later point but I now have the following fairly concrete intentions:

  • The iBook will follow a loosely sequential timeline but will be presented out of chronological order.
  • The narrative will have several alternative timelines that will not be ‘author resolved’.
  • The reader will not need to follow the book’s sequential structure.
  • The book will make use of all of iBook Author’s capabilities – html widgets, video, audio, text, Javascript interactivity etc.

There are several apps which I have owned for quite a while but not used and there’s a steep learning curve to one of two of them which I’m enjoying scaling. I’ll post updates here as often as I can or I feel pertinent. Below are two video tests of video exports from the html within Tumult Hype.

 

 

RIP UKLG

I’m currently knee deep in supply teaching work and trying to work on the Earth Balm Music material, learning much about the limitless possibilities of music software and my limited abilities on the piano keyboard on the way. I have a day’s break today and just as well because I feel compelled to post about the passing of the great Ursula K Le Guin. The news has finally made up my mind for me – she is my favourite author of all that I have read (and she is in some high calibre company with Rosemary Sutcliff, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Philippa Pearce etc.). Her characters are so well developed, her books explore ideas about social systems and politics so subtly and she handles big plot moments so delicately. I’m about to radically thin out my book collection and I’m keeping all of my UKLG books as I know I’ll only regret losing them if I pass them on. Please, let her be known as more than just a science fiction / fantasy author because she was so much more.

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Photograph of author Ursula K Le Guin. Source Wikipedia, credit Gorthian.

Here is a quote from Ursula’s Wikipedia page:

Le Guin exploits the creative flexibility of the science fiction and fantasy genres to undertake thorough explorations of dimensions of both social and psychological identity and of broader cultural and social structures. In doing so, she draws on sociology, anthropology, and psychology leading some critics to categorize her work as soft science fiction. She objected to this classification of her writing, arguing the term is divisive and implies a narrow view of what constitutes valid science fiction. Underlying ideas of anarchism and environmentalism also make repeated appearances throughout Le Guin’s work

Next…

I thought that I might start taking my time and make a proper effort with the blog. Perhaps re-organise and give all posts a structure and may be even rename – take out the ‘Music’ from the title as it’s as much about books (and children’s in particular) as is it about Music.

Thoughts?

 

Photograph of meself on the North Yorkshire Moors.
‘Tis I, on the North Yorkshire Moors.

The Snow Spider

I’m currently reading Jenny Nimmo’s “Snow Spider Trilogy” and I’m part way through “Emlyn’s Moon“.  A change from Joan Aiken and “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” sequence.  It’s a very enjoyable piece of fantasy and well told. It’s very “Welsh” in character as are many of Jenny’s books. More of a children’s novel than the Joan Aiken and Ursula K LeGuin novels I have grown to love so much. It’s more linear in plot and less ‘themed’ than those novels. I’d be more likely to use the trilogy as class readers than the ‘chronicles’  of Dido and Sparrowhawk. Indeed I have used Jenny Nimmo’s “Griffin’s Castle” as a class reader and topic theme for school work.

I’m looking forward to reading how Gwyn’s story pans out and getting back to some Dido Twite.

A recommended set of novels for children and parents alike.

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