Sunday, March 29, 2015

Somebody's got to do it.

 I've been showing an international group of journalists around La Palma for the tourist board. So I took them to all the most beautiful parts of the beautiful island, and we ate in the best restaurants, and we had good conversations and I got paid for it.

But then I suppose that somebody has to do it.

On Saturday we watched the sunset from the dome of the enormous Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de Los Muchachos observatory. As usual, it was spectacular to watch the sun set into the sea of clouds beneath us.

Even the people and their shadows looked amazing.
Then we went up to the Roque itself where we saw the twilight and Venus (on the right) through the Muchachos themselves.  ("Muchachos" is Spanish for "young men". With a lot of imagination the rock formation looks like a group of people.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

At Bleeding Last!

I finished the second edition of "A Breathtaking Window on the Universe" in July 2013. Almost immediately, I started work on the Spanish version. But I got interrupted by family holidays, distributing books, and writing "The Seer's Stone" and translating it into "La piedra ocular" (while local government subsidies were available.) That took longer than anticipated, as these things generally do.
Meanwhile I was tour guiding, blogging, writing the odd short story (some of them were very odd) doing an online course about moons, and sometimes even doing housework.

Family holidays came around again. Then I was I was tour guiding, blogging, writing the odd short story, learning about oral story telling, applying for governement business coaching and cleaning up after a mouse.

I sent "La Piedra ocular" off to the printers in October 2014 and re-started work on the second edition of "Una espectacular ventana al universo". Yay!

I got the coaching. Double Yay! And almost the first thing my coach said was, "You really, REALLY need to do something about"

So I abandoned my secnd edition again, and sorted that out, quick before I had to pay for another year's hosting at I planned it all out (see and got it up, and killed it before I could take a backup. (See

That meant that I had to pay for an extra year's hosting anyway. So I went back to the much-delayed second edition.

And tonight I finally, finally sent the changes off for professional proof correction (absolutely necessary with Spanish)

I still need to buy an ISBN and double check half the URLs, but it feels like a major (and long overdue) milestone.

I'm going to have some champagne.

Monday, March 16, 2015


The factoria de innovaciĆ³n (Innovation Factory) held a presentation of their work this morning, and I was invited to exhibit my books.

So I did. The Spanish ones, anyway.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day

For those sane people who don't know, March 14th is pi day, because if you write March 14th the American way, it's 3.14, yes? Actually, the first five digits of pi are 3.1415, which made this year a bit special. In fact 9:26:53am was super special because pi is 3.141592653 (and the rest). It's tradicional to eat pie on pi day, which is probably why the idea caugh on. I mean, how much of an excuse do you need? But as usual I was too busy to muck around rolling out pastry, so we had shepherd's pi.

Friday, March 13, 2015

R. I. P. Tery Prattchett

Buggerlit millenium shrimp!

And other expressions far too foul even for Old Ron.

I hope he's sitting in Death's strange garden, with the Death of Cute Kittens purring on his lap.

(No, the Death of Cute Kittens isn't in the books, only in my head. She's inspired by the Death of Rats, of course. And yes, she has a pink velvet bow around her neck.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


I really need to finish translating the second edition of "A Breathtaking Window" into Spanish. I was working through all the minor changes from the English second edition, seeing which ones needed to go into the Spanish version (most of them). I came across a URL on my page, and decided that the best thing would be to move it over to now, so that I could put the new one in my book. I had to move star island by May anyway. Part of my grand Unify-the-Blogs plan.

So I moved it over and it completely overwrote the whole ****ing site.

The one I spent about a month on - or was it six weeks?

And I didn't have a proper backup for lack of disk space.

It could be worse though. I got the site ready (all the visual stuff like colours and background images) at, and I still had the file I used to transfer it. And I know how to do stuff. But I still have to transfer over posts and pages from lapalma-island, and re-do all the writing stuff. The page of my publications took bloody forever, because of all the links I had to check. I suppose that's good in a way, since it's due to selling a lot of stories over the years. It's a fuck-ton of work, and this week I have three morning's work at the Roque and a translation for the Tourist Board. And the Tourist Board are in a hurry.

So the second edition in Spanish is postponed yet again, although it's a lot further forward.

And I am not a happy bunny. For one thing, I'm very cross with myself. I know how important backups are. I should have gone out and bought a ****** flash drive.

Oh yeah, at the time I didn't take the backup, I had no money. And the next week, I had money but forgot about it.

Oh well, it'll all get fixed eventually. But I'm still not happy.

So in the mean time, there will be sporadic updates to this blog again.