I’ve mentioned before that my house seems to be mildly haunted, especially the electrical system. Actually, it’s a tossup between ghostly activity or fey mischief, but whatever the fantastical root cause, another weirdness happened yesterday. While I was working upstairs in the library, jamming to the Opera Babes, my subwoofer suddenly blared out male voices speaking incomprehensible gibberish. Definitely not Opera Babes. Since I was doing something with IE at the time, I thought I’d accidentally stumbled upon a website with annoying sound effects* and slapped the mute button on my laptop. No more Opera Babes, but the gabblespeak kept coming out. It faded away in a couple seconds as I stared with unnerved incomprehension at my speaker.
Today I’m playing some Loreena McKennitt and Vienna Teng, a pianist/vocalist yukinooruoni recently introduced to me, to see if that mollifies or incites the fey/phantoms to repeat their auditory outburst. So far, only lilting female voices.
In other unworldly amusement news, I discovered a little bit of whimsy that has restored a smidgen of my faith in society. There’s got to be greatness in a culture that comes up with The Necronomicon as a plush book for pre-schoolers. Yep, you too can give a lucky toddler of your acquaintance a plushy book that summons Elder Gods. I totally want one.
*[rant] I hate websites that play unbidden music or have sound effects, especially ones that don’t provide me the option of turning them off. If I’ve got my speakers on, it’s because I want to hear what I’m playing, not have some noise pollution foisted on me. [/rant]
Inspired by wicked_wish‘s LJ post of her new work area in their Seattle digs, I decided to likewise post images of my writing environment. My cluttered desk:
The shelf behind my laptop is where I store all my writing paperwork–a folder for each story to hold contracts, rejections, notes, and other editorial/agent correspondences, receipts, etc. Above it are the two shelves where I keep my contrib. copies (along with various family publications–the couple mystery novels my dad-in-law wrote, the library cataloging reference books my mom wrote, etc.) and, of course, the boring-but-obligatory office supplies.
Off to the left, in the sibling bookcase, you can see in a frame my very first acceptance letter, the one from Cicada for “The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile.” And dangling from the frame, my Phobos Award.
The pyramid painting above the printer is nice, but it’s more to fosteronfilm‘s taste. I’d like to replace it with something more Eugie-ish eventually, maybe an enlargement of one of my story illustrations.
On my right is my bookshelf devoted to the works of Tanith Lee, also surplus office supply run-off, and the postage scale I finally broke down and got. The picture behind the trio of dragons is the one Heather Hudson did for “The Storyteller’s Wife” in Realms of Fantasy.
The library also doubles as our guest room. As you can see, a lot of my stuffed animal collection lives on top of and within the bookshelves, or as dude_the–who has slept in there more than anyone else–puts it: “many, many fuzzy things with dark beady eyes that stare glassy stares of judgment from where they perch among your library of tomes as resolute as fluffy stones, bearing mute witness upon the world.”
– Saw that issue #21 of Faeries, with a French reprint of “Returning My Sister’s Face,” is out. Pretty cover:
There’s got to be greatness in a culture that comes up with The Necronomicon as a plush book for pre-schoolers. Yep, you too can give a lucky toddler of your acquaintance a plushy book that summons Elder Gods. I totally want one.
::stares:: I need one for my toddler. No, really. Too bad it’s OMFG $89.
“Too bad it’s OMFG $89.“
No kidding! Too rich for me, alas. Then again, it would enable Peri to summon the Old Ones. Might be just as well . . .
Very nice, Eugie! I should do some workspace pics too.
Opera Babes? Are they anything like Medieval Babes? 🙂
“Opera Babes? Are they anything like Medieval Babes?“
Sort of, yes. They’ve taken some of the classic opera pieces, like “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana and “Chanson Boheme” from Carmen and given them a bit of a modern kick. Makes the songs more accessible while still maintaining the power and beauty of the originals.
introduced me to them recently, and I totally love them.
I love Vienna Teng. Which CD do you have?
Congrats on having a messier work environment than mine 😉 (but then I do most of my typing in Matthieu’s one-room flat, and if there’s no order it gets hellish pretty fast).
I gotta find that camera to post pictures of my home…(and of Paris, of course).
“I love Vienna Teng. Which CD do you have?“
Alas, all I’ve got are the six MP3 samplers I downloaded from her website. Although her albums are going straight to my wishlist.
“Congrats on having a messier work environment than mine 😉”
*bows* Thank you, thank you. I think I work better in a cluttered environment. Plus, whenever we clean, I can never find stuff I need, and it aggravates me. I’d rather have stuff lying near to hand rather than have to rummage. Guess that makes me a slob both by proclivity and philosophy .
Whenever somebody cleans up my workspace, mind you, I can’t find anything…Guess I’m made to work in clutter too 😉
Vienna Teng’s albums are very good, although I preferred the first one, “Waking Hour”, to the second one, “Warm Strangers” (“Between” was a stunner, and “The Tower” is not bad either). But she’s a strong singer, and a strong songwrite as well.
Could be fey, or ghosts, or maybe some unshielded speaker cable that’s acting as an antenna and picking up an overly powerful radio station or wireless signal.
We used to be able to listen to a much-hated local station through my guitar equipment, or, on occassion, by touching the radiators, or – once – through my brother’s braces. Same station used to play hell with the equipment at the music store/recording studio where I worked.
I think that, after numerous complaints, the FCC finally required them to power down a wee bit.
I’m thinking it was probably a wireless signal rather than a radio station. It didn’t sound like a radio broadcast so much as someone speaking . . . in tongues.
The religious right does the speaking in tongues thing on AM talk radio, I believe… =)
Eep! I’d rather have ghostly and fey visitors than zealous sermon-type noises invading my library.
I am heartily amused to see where you’ve hung your Phobos award medallion. I have mine hanging in the exact same way (same side, even) on my Writers of the Future certificate.
Really?? Too funny! Now that’s a fine example of great minds thinking alike.
Do you have a whole shelf for things sent to you for Tangent?
Also, I love that you have an entire section devoted to Tanith Lee. She makes me squee like a lil fanboy. Ah, love! Heh…
“Do you have a whole shelf for things sent to you for Tangent?“
More like I’ve got a whole floor for things sent to me for Tangent! Previous years of hard copy ‘zines I store in a shelving unit outside the library (we’ve got bookcases and shelves throughout the house), for the current year I’ve got a big basket I keep them in for easy access–you can see the edge of it in the third picture; it’s the black thing on the floor in the lower right-hand corner. For collections and anthologies, I stack the ones I want to read in pile on the floor, and the ones I’ve already read I stick with the previous year’s ‘zines.
I thought my speakers were haunted too once. Turned out to be a neighbor with a HAM radio. 🙂
Hmm. What’s the range on HAM, I wonder?
When it happened to me, the guy lived right next door, so maybe we only heard it because he was so close to us. You might check with your nearest neighbors.
I was about ten or eleven years old at the time, and thoroughly freaked out when my stereo started speaking to me. I think I heard it once and sat there, trying to figure out what was going on, thinking maybe I’d just imagined it or something. The second time I heard it, I ran out of the room and told my parents.
Hee! When it happened, I was pretty surprised and shouted out something along the lines of “YEARGHHH!” right before I hit the (ineffective) mute button. The noise was pretty loud too, and between us,
, who was working downstairs, was mightily startled.
Loreena McKennitt is one of my favorites. And Enya, of course. As my cousin Jerry once said, “Even die-hard metal-heads love Enya.”
Yepper, me too! I’ve got four Enya albums loaded on my laptop which get pretty heavy rotation.
I very much appreciated seeing pictures of your workspace. Just now I want one like it. ::sigh::
You could try burning white sage around the speakers? Or if burning things is not practical, white quartz and peridot arranged around?
“I very much appreciated seeing pictures of your workspace.“
Thanks, sweetie. I’m always interested in seeing the environment that other writers work in too. I didn’t use to be a proponent of the “your own space” theory, but after trying it myself, I’m sold. Converting the library into a writing office has really boosted my productivity.
I gots quoted, I did. 😉
And, wow, OperaBabes rock. Thanks for mentioning them. I needed something to go with “Aria” on my iPod. They’ll do the trick, though I still don’t think anyone has pulled this genre off as well as they did in “Fifth Element,” which is a statment that can’t be made about much else from that film.
Opera Babes rock! Which is an odd phrase to cobble together, all things considered. All packed and ready for your exodus south?
It really does make all the difference, doesn’t it?
Though today I dragged the laptop back out into the living room again, as there was actually some freaking SUN for once 🙂
Eh, sunlight is overrated.
Although I have noticed a decided drawback to this setup. I see
less now than when we both had day jobs!
If you like lilting female voices, give In a Split Second a try. This is an ensemble fusing Celtic and North American influences, and has a very otherworldly sound. They have released 2 CDs, In A split Second and Infinite Fiction. Their vocalist, Surabhi, did a solo CD called Dreams of Sun and Sky (I think – haven’t got that one yet, only downloaded samples.
If you can’t find them through Amazon, try http://www.cdbaby.com.
And that’s a cool office, BTW. I drool over your books.
Re: Music Recommendations
Coolness. Thanks for the recommendation!