Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Beautiful and Wonderful Things in the Post -BSFA magazines

I felt a huge surge of pride when I opened the post on Monday and saw I had received copies of Vector and Focus  - the magazines of the British Science Fiction Association, of which I have been Chair since June. 
Fantastic cover art by Kev Rooney

Of course, I've always thought the magazines were pretty ace; Vector is the association's critical journal and features some great articles and critical analysis concerning contemporary and classic science fiction - mainly in literature. I sometimes write reviews for it, but haven't got anything in this issue (in the next one I have). I'm particularly looking forward to reading the features on Adam Roberts' and Stephen Baxter's work... picture me later with my feet up and a pot of Lady Grey on the go and some Elizabeth Shaw mints to nibble (rescued from a party... nobody wanted them. Nobody wanted delicious minty chocolate!!! What is the world coming to?).

I've popped Focus foremost in the piccie though because I'm particularly proud to have had the chance to be involved with the editorial work. Guest editor this issue was the fantastic writer Kim Lakin-Smith (my Matron of Honour at my wedding this year!) and the cover features a plate illustration for a new edition of her gorgeous first novel Tourniquet. The artist, Kev Rooney, is from Northampton and is a creator of beautiful gothic artwork and stories. I quite honestly think it's one of the best writing magazines out there, and the current issue focuses on writing groups.

My byline! Mostly Kim's...

Kim, Kev, Shana, Alex, Steve, Clive and all the contributors to the magazines... awesome job!

In frugal news:

  • I went to my brother and sister in law's house to deliver a birthday present and came home with two courgettes from their allotment and boxes of raspberry and chilli tea. OH and I are now fighting over who can grab the most tea. We love this tea! Thanks, bro!
  • I made an amazing pie from the free apples I got from said same allotment the other day. I used a Good Housekeeping Dutch apple pie recipe, but used almond essence instead of vanilla as I'd run out of vanilla. Looked ugly as it exploded from the glut of apple filling, but was very yummy.
  • Getting ready for Christmas... used my Cokezone points which were going to expire on 15th to grab a sporty present suitable for a young nephew. I had been going to get makeup, but they'd stopped the offers already. Too bad as I smashed my foundation and blusher on Saturday by accidentally dropping them. I endeavoured to rescue as much foundation as I could, only to realise I was smearing tiny little particles of glass onto my face. Not recommended. Best thing about the Cokezone points - they were mostly gained through picking up litter in my messy street. I am a litter-picking hero! You threw money away fools! Almost as good as  the time I saw a guy deliberately throw an unwanted receipt on the floor of a petrol station - only it wasn't a receipt, it was his tenner change! You didn't want it, I'm having it, foolish man!
  • Number of homemade birthday cards made this week so far - two.
  • After a discussion about blogs at the weekend, I promise never to waste time or resources on bunting. Sorry if you like bunting.
  • Trigger warning! Also, apparently people can become enraged at the sight pictures of food, so sorry for the below, which is indeed of my lunch. But I made it myself out of very cheap ingredients: olive oil bread was made using Carrs breadmaker (I don't have a machine; I am my own breadmaker) brown bread flour - currently on offer in Sainsbury's at 80p for 2kg, which works out at around 15p for a 1lb loaf. Quite yummy too - just switch olive oil for your fat in a regular quick wholemeal bread recipe, and knead in oil instead of dry flour, and it picks up the lovely, rich olive oil flavour. That's served with carrots and a yummy mushroom and bean pate. This is using up beans left over from another recipe. I know brown sludgy stuff isn't everyone's idea of yummy, but I like it. It's basically half a tin of black-eyed peas, drained (currently on offer 4 for £1 at Sainsbury's), plus about 1/4 pack basic mushrooms, chopped in large chunks and cooked down in a pan (97p punnet), 28g of cheddar (offer 800g for £5.00), and salt, pepper, sage and parsley to taste. Whizz together in a food processor until slightly coarse. This makes 4 good portions for 35p. Whole lunch here cost around 16p!
Paper plates make lunchtime feel like a party - yay!

Ooh - and I may be able to do a bit of copywriting using Textbroker as I've been accepted as a 4* writer. Cool!