Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reflections of a winter's eve

Waiting for the internet this evening is like waiting for Christmas, when you're nine years old. If I'm right, it's something like thr middle of Saturday night in the States, so I imagine servers everywhere are shut down for maintenance. Certainly Payloadz was, an hour or two ago. Unlike, they don't have a message which pops up, telling you they're doing something disgusting to the machinery. Payloadz just sits there like the proverbial bump on the log, and leaves you assuming you timed out. So, if you're buying the ebooks there, and if this happens -- give them an hour and try again. The service is actually excellent, and the occasional lapse for oiling up the gears is understandable.

Speaking of ebooks, the screenreader version of NOCTURNE went up to Payloadz this afternoon (hence, the jousting with the system while it was down). If you've been waiting for this one, let me save you a trip to the website:

Get NOCTURNE from Payloadz.

This is the format which suits Palm and iLiad, Sony Reader, Pocket PC and so on. I don't actuially have one of those gadgets, but folks tell me they're handy, esp. if you have a hell of a lot of time to kill on the bus or train. I'm eternally grateful that I don't have to commute.

(There'll be a newsletter from DreamCraft in the next couple of days to announce this ebook, but if you're reading the news here, you're ahead of the bunch. The other thing in the newsletter will be the raft of freebie screensavers which have been promised for some time. And at this point, the only ebooks which are still pending are the screenreader format of WHITE ROSE OF NIGHT, and AQUAMARINE -- which I'm still working on. I know, I'm slow. Head cold, winter blues, and work.)

Not that you'd have known it was winter, through most of today. It was the perfect winter's day, I suppose, with bright blue skies and far-from-cold winds. As nice as this is, it ain't what we need. We need rain, more rain, then some more rain. Showers are supposed to get themselves back into gear next week.

Incidentally, if anyone in the frozen north is remotely interested (Hi, Toshua!), I'll link you through to the weather forecast page for this neck of the woods:

Bureau of Meteorology, SA Page. There are pretty cool maps and radar loops.

I don't think we actually have weather here. Now, Alaska has weather. Boy, do they have weather. One of the great things about the State of Alaska is that, so long as you're not among the mountains, there is nothing to impede your view of the sky. Looking from Anchorage out toward the Gulf of Alaska, the sky looks exactly like a weather map on TV ... and it's huge. (The downside to this is, you can see the next squall line coming in, and you know ahead of time exactly how cold and wet you're going to be in three hours!)

In some ways I guess I kind of miss the weather. Skating through the parking lot to the grocery store (Aussie readers: I'm not kidding you!), and going for a walk at breakup time, and suddenly finding myself thigh-deep in water, because the ice-cover on a massive 'puddle' was too thin. Realizing that the temperature inside the the freezer cabinets in the store is warmer than the parking lot outside!! But you were aware of Mama Nature, you actually felt the weather in your face and knew you were standing at the very bottom of an immense ocean of air.

By contrast, this part of the world has an amazing ambience for most of the year. Only in summertime do you begin to feel overpowered by the weather gods, who seem to have decided to turn you slowly on a spit.

The winter blues are about to be alleviated with a bottle of honey mead. It's made by a local company called Maxwell's, and there's nothing like it for brightening up a chill, dark evening:

Here's their page ... I like the Viking icons on the labels. So there you have it -- Maxwells. The winery is a couple of hills over, at McClaren Vale.

Weather-wise, if last night's life Tour de France telecast was anything to go by, the south of France (city of Toulouse, specifically) is having the exact same weather as ourselves ... but it's summer up-over. Makes you think.

Here's a note to end on which would put a smile back on the face of any writer. The old DreamCraft edition of NOCTURNE is starting to show up in the hands of rare book dealers. Now, you can get the ebook for under ten dollars, and the Lulu paperback for under thirty. The asking price for the DreamCraft 'rare edition,' with my paw print on it, is eighty American. And that's grand.

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