jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Randon pic from August trip to Bali to make the post look prettier...

So what has happend this past week?

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In Oxford

Jul. 6th, 2013 06:30 pm
jacquelineb: (Default)


Spending weekend in Oxford with friends this weekend. Finally injecting some dragons onto the blog with the Dragon School above, and perhaps some blood with Inspector Morse below. :)



Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.


Jul. 25th, 2012 09:59 pm
jacquelineb: (jar lanterns)

Ramparts of Saint-Malo

We’ve been in Saint-Malo for two days. The first we spent on one side of the Walled City, traipsing around a headland. As always at the coast, I’m reminded of where I spent my teenage years. Photo below is particular reminiscent for me of home. Above is the ramparts of the Walled City, which you can walk around, and is surrounded by marinas and beaches. I tend to find something to grab onto, something for inspiration for writing, particularly historical places – certainly had it in Mont Saint-Michel, the dragons and dragon slayer not withstanding (no, I don’t need to write a time-slip story featuring a medievael monk and a pre-revolution prisoner, thank you very much! No, I really don’t…shut up brain). Here… I’m really just enjoying the weather, the colours, the sea and sky, the beachy aspects of it. My sister and I dipped our toes in the water – my mother told us we made steady progress down the beach, and were immediately stilled when the cold water rushed over our feet. And it was chilly, but I got used to it. Just so nice to back with this for a while.

We were pointed to a very nice seafood restaurant where we ate twice – really nice waiter working there, who also rescued my camera and phone when I stupidly wafted out of there without them!

View of the sea at Saint-Malo

Seagull at Saint-Malo

Oh, and these seagulls? HUGE!

Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (lady in green)

Feel like I’m finally emerging from something of a bubble I was lolling around in for the past week or so. Combination of some unfortunate stuff in my personal life, including something I noticed on Wednesday; my sleep pattern is a little off. I’ve always been someone who takes up to an hour to fall asleep, unless I’m utterly exhausted. But I’ve moved rooms recently, and the curtains in there are light enough so that I’m waking up with the morning sun between 5.30 and 6. Normally this would be great – yay, body clock working its natural rhythms – but it’s less great when you can’t get back to sleep and wind up having several nights of about 5 hours. Granted, this is not insomnia, but come Wednesday I was getting dizzy from just being upright, and my head has felt a bit fuzzy since. Black curtains which we do have in the house will be going up very soon!

Better today, mind, and I was able to get on with a few blogging things I’d wanted to do for a while. It’s a shame my head was the way it was, because I’ve been on leave for two weeks and had lots of time to write – life just got in the way, and resulted in me fretting about writing matters in general, which tends to lead to, guess what, no writing.

That said, I did get some more words down on a longer piece I have in the works, and in the good news, I’ve had some acceptances over the past week, which I shouldn’t talk about just yet, but suffice to say I’m pretty happy about.

And also! My first interview at someone else’s blog. L.J. LaBarthe has this interview up on her LiveJournal. I hope I’ve managed to sound at least a little intelligent rather than incoherent. ;)

Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (lilly)

Daffodils on Parker's Piece, Cambridge

One part of living in this country I really love? Seeing daffodils growing. It’s one of the first flowers I noticed when I arrived in March 2009, when the sky was still gray but greenery was beginning to return and flowers were starting to bloom. Daffodils of course being bright yellow are relentlessly cheerful flowers, and seem a perfect sign that winter is on its way out and spring and warmth are just about to arrive. This shot I took of them is on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge, but I’ll soon have a picture of the ones I planted in a pot outside the back door and in the garden too, because I unreasonably proud of them (unreasonably because they are just so easy to plant – into ground, and months later, up they come!)

Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

Week ahead

Jan. 24th, 2012 12:19 am
jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Photo of a snowdrop

It is fast approaching Tuesday (and my father’s birthday on this side of the world – Happy Birthday Dad!) and, oop, there it goes, midnight and I’m still up. Was at work today, er, yesterday, unusually, to take notes for a meeting – vaguely disappointed that a certain eye-catching lecturer who usually makes these meetings was not there, but somewhat made up for by another new distraction arriving. Back in later today, but I have Wednesday and Thursday off.

So what’s happened since Saturday? Little – Sunday was low-key, spent a good deal of time being fed by my housemate (he was cooking for visiting friends) and reading The Unicorn by Lise Gotfredsen – fascinating book and has rather rewritten much of how I think of unicorn’s – this is not Peter S. Beagle’s creature, as lovely and elegant and strong as she is. Giving me ideas that I don’t need either – not going to pursue them straight away, mind, but am noting things down as I read. Capture and keep, capture and keep – but I must not run after them.

I did manage something productive writing wise – contacted the publisher of the anthology I wanted to submit to but missed the deadline for, and checked if they’d still consider it at least as part of their regular submissions, and the response was yes, so that’s very good to hear. Would like to get it done soon, but that won’t be happening until Wednesday, but the pressure is slightly off and hopefully that will mean I can produce something good from it. I don’t quite feel I’ve gotten to what the crux of the piece is yet, what its heart is, so am hoping some more time with it will get me there.

Chinese New Year of course has come, and as many well know it is the Year of the Dragon. Will it be the year of my dragon? A year of getting some proper research done on the wretched thing? Let’s hope. Would like to kick off the Dragon Project, but when to find the time…a Thursday job perhaps. But now for bed, and to post more of ‘Water and Dust.’

And the snowdrops are out so you have a snowdrop picture today.

Photo credit: wwarby @ flickr

Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Been a full on week, and mostly dancing related; Tuesday teaching kicked off again, as did the Wednesday night class I go to, followed by a meeting on Thursday and a very late night dem-ing and helping run a ceilidh at a local barracks on Friday.

So today have done little that is productive. Met up with a friend for coffee, and watch Red Road in the morning on LoveFilm instant. Initially had it on my list because Tony Curran is in it (oh man, he’s lovely to look at, and on a fraction less shallow scale, impressed me as Vincent van Gough in Doctor Who and King Stephen in Pillars of the Earth), but came away exceedingly impressed with Kate Dickie’s (who I knew I’d seen before but it took a net search to realise she is Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones performance, and curious about director Andrea Arnold’s other films. Atmospheric, beautifully made and gripping (and just to show what a one-track mind I have, it also featured a very compelling sex scene, which I suspect one wasn’t meant to find hot, but, well…Tony Curran as I said.)

(Tangentially, I wonder what Arnold was trying to say with the many inclusions of random and not so random shots of dogs – I have my thoughts but that would give away the ending a bit much and it works better not knowing where it’s all going. Update: Interesting review (with spoilers) here that theorises not only on the dogs but the use of other animals in the film.)

But, now for some more sentences.

Continued from here

Brendan reached out to Marc’s shoulder, brushing over his skin, frowning as his fingers found the scratches. “You’re hurt.”

Marc’s eyes fell to Brendan’s fingers on his shoulder. Holding the rifle and the lantern, Marc couldn’t touch him back. He shrugged. “Just scratches.”


Brendan’s gaze shifted up to the night sky. Marc followed it. In their hurry, they hadn’t noticed the moon, not quite full, hanging in a cloudless sky.

Brendan grinned. “Now there’s a thought.”

Continued here

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jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Magnolia by Pierre-Joseph Redoute

We leaned in close, or bent our heads over the display cases, eyes as close as we could to the glass so see the detail of the art work. The small gallery was quiet, reverent, only disrupted when some other museum visitors crashed through the doors with only the Vermeer exhibition in mind. They soon left us, and the floral art of Redouté and his pupils, in peace.

The details of the flowers and leaves were lovely, and not just those – you could often see the tiny legs of the settling butterflies and lady birds. I enjoyed seeing not only his work but also his students – there was one piece called Sprays of lilac which was both precise and incredibly soft.

We did also go and see the Vermeer exhibition and the collection of treasures from the Hapsburg’s, both very interesting, but the Redouté has inspired me for a new short piece. Which is both frustrating but rewarding – assuming I can write it the way I’m currently envisioning it. Something with the delicacy of touch and how something so simple as that can be stunningly sexy. We’ll see.

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