Monthly Archives: November 2006

McKennitt News

To promote her new album An Ancient Muse (which is quite good, although I’m only halfway through it so far), Loreena McKennitt will be appearing at the Galeries Laval location of Archambault (1545 Le Corbusier Blvd, Laval, QC) on December 2 at 14h00. It’s a bit of a commute outside Montreal, but it’s the only appearance she’s doing in the province at the moment. No concert dates have been announced yet, either, but I’m sure there will be.

fps Auction Launches Today!

The fps: the magazine of animation week-long online auction to raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society goes live today! From today (that’s Wednesday, November 22 for those of you who haven’t checked yet) to Wednesday, November 29, 2006, anyone with Internet access will be able to bid on animation-related items put on eBay by fps.

Click the banner to be taken to the page that lists the items up for auction. The auction page also features a button that will take you directly to a form through which you can make a donation directly to the Canadian Cancer Society via the fps parent company 5×5 Media, if you wish to make a donation without participating in the auction. But hey — if you do participate, you get cool stuff as well as donating to a very worthy cause!

Here’s a sample of what’s available (snitched from the ever-lovely and -talented Kino Kid, as was an earlier sentence, because she is so very good with words):

* Original artwork from Steve Rude, Joel Trussell and Dave Alvarez, donated by the artists
* 2D and 3D animation software from Toon Boom Animation, Softimage, Autodesk, and e frontier
* A signed copy of Amid Amidi’s book, Cartoon Modern: Fifties Animation Design, personalized for the bidder
* A signed copy of Jeff Smith’s Bone Volume One in hardcover
* Anime DVDs, UMDs, CDs, and posters
* Ninja Tune’s ZenTV compilation DVDs, including animated videos from Mr. Scruff and Kid Koala

Please help us spread the word, and to raise funds to help improve the quality of life for those living with cancer.

Unexpected Mailbox Joy!

There was money in my mailbox today! Well, not actual money, but a cheque in US funds that I wasn’t expecting. I did a tech read for an excellent book in early October, and I completely forgot that the new consultant contract I’m working under pays me separately for things like that.

And you know what? Not only does this cheque completely cover what I paid for my new cello pickup, I will have extra left over. Which means I can buy both the new Loreena McKennitt album and Thomas Pynchon novel being released today without a twinge of guilt.



I began editing down and rearranging Chapter 8 of ESTC today. I took things out and added other things in, and I’ve got pretty much the same amount of words that I began with. More carrots, though, so that’s an improvement. (Carrots are the new measurement of how close to being finished a piece of writing is, after a discussion among friends of how inadequate word count alone is at reflecting completion started by Ceri. More carrots mean the piece is closer to being complete, including thinking and research and polishing and so forth.) Alas, carrots do not render down to a neat little summary the way word count does. So this paragraph will have to do to satisfy posterity.

I left Il Maestro e le Figlie di Coro to percolate for a few days, and went back to it tonight. This is still at the stage where word count reflects progress, because it’s about getting the story down in words, and so:

Total word count, Il Maestro e le Figlie di Coro: 27,423
Total words today: 2,312

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m aiming for this to be around 60K words long, 70K max, as it’s a YA historical. So it’s roughly about a third of the way there. Not a third of the way done in terms of carrots, however, only word count. Although most of the broad planning for this novella is done, I won’t know how many carrots there are until the first draft is finished. Or I may have a better idea where things stand carrot-wise once I’ve written this second major part of the story, as the third part will be the aftermath.

All in all, a very good day.

Back To Work On The Book That Will Probably Not Be Known As ESTC

I just got the MS back for the spiritual pregnancy book, with the assurance that it feels good and hits the general mark at which I was throwing the ideas.

I am one huge sigh of relief. The problem with being the first to write a book on a particular topic is that you have zero context in which to place it.

I now have two weeks to tweak it and add the things that resolved in my brain the week after I submitted it. And I’ll try to lose another three thousand words or so, to get it closer to the target MS length. Some time away from it has already helped my perception of the work, for which I am truly thankful.

While I do that, we’re trying to come up with alternate titles because marketing’s concerned about the obscurity of the main title. I’m hoping that working on the MS will get my mind going on that too, because over the weekend I drew a complete blank on the problem.

Concert Recap

After every concert we put on, I want to come home and journal about how this was The Best Concert Ever! And what that says to me is that I (a) enjoy them, (b) feel confident about our capabilities, and (c) the concerts go really really well, (d) the presence of an audience adds that extra edge, and (e) the concerts are fun. And evidently the audiences agree with me, because they keep coming back.

Last night was excellent. I’ll be riding the high for quite some time.

For my part, I was concerned about my performance in the Beethoven. September and October were horribly busy months, where I couldn’t practice as I wanted to practice (which quickly became the way I needed to practice), and trying to catch up in November proved extremely difficult. I’m proud to say I pulled it off: I didn’t savage the really difficult bits, only twice fell apart and stopped playing altogether for a bar or two, and nailed some of the stuff that had been really stonewalling me. The entire orchestra melded into a seamless Beethoven-playing machine, and achieved some sort of para-Beethoven performance that even we didn’t anticipate. Not that we expected it to go badly; it’s just that we’d never played it quite like that before. Everything else on the programme went smoothly as well, but the Beethoven simply overshadowed it all.

Also, my debut as a triangle player was a triumph.

The house was about three-quarters full, which was very gratifying because there’s nothing worse for a performer than to look out into the audience and behold a sea of empty seats: it’s demoralizing. And in the end, three people who I hadn’t been expecting showed up as well as the three I knew would be there. Thank you t!, Jan, MLG, Jeff, Paze, and HRH; your presence meant a lot to me. (Plus you got to enjoy some really, really fine music.) And I appreciate all the well-wishes for our season opener left in form of journal comments and phone and e-mail messages from those who couldn’t make it, too.

And I discovered that having a dress rehearsal the morning of the concert date itself does dreadful things to my sense of time and the day’s schedule. I’m thankful that this was an exception to the rule.

Next up: the first section of the Messiah!


This concert is going to rock. I also have a percussion solo, or more correctly, I play when everyone else is playing but I play the only example of a particular percussive instrument in this concert. (Yes, I play the cello. Apparently I also have a secret identity. Don’t worry, Mousme, your job is safe.)

My only regret about the day is not being able to share the fun over at the ADZO household this afternoon, because I really, really could have gone for a relaxing family birthday thing with good friends. (Well, I also regret not being able to go to band practice today to test out my new cello pickup, but that can happen next weekend.)

The concert is at 19h30 tonight, folks, and the location and directions and particulars can be found here. It’s public, and the more the merrier!