Dream of the Dolphin
a.k.a.
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore

Free Story!

Friday, February 25, 2005
 

Yes, I do things like that...

Don't you hate it when you get songs you inadvertenly made up about your jump drive stuck in your head?

And now for some meme sheepage (okay, so some of them aren't terribly impressive, but I'm young yet):

Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't
  1. Been invited by the Russian government to perform with a choir in two of the ten greatest concert halls in the world.
  2. Jumped (deliberately) and fallen (accidentally) off of cliffs.
  3. Lived out the squeeishly fangirlish dream of being hugged by both Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd.
  4. Sailed through the largest whirlpool in the Western hemisphere when the captain's timing was off and it was at its most turbulent.
  5. Held a Macleay's spectre on a regular basis.
  6. Gotten my griffin on the cover of a book.
  7. Made saying good morning to a 3000-year-old teenage boy part of my morning routine at work.
  8. Been on a panel at a major university to talk about how cool my Biology job is.
  9. Starred in a radio commercial in the 8th grade.
  10. Nearly drowned in an estuary in New Brunswick, and later turned that into a conflict at the heart of my first published story.

( 12:45 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, February 21, 2005
 

Ah! Crap...no... um.... YAY!

Yesterday proved exceedingly odd, as it seemed nothing good could come without a moment of panic and temporary upset.

I did my first day of Digital, which went off exceedingly well, despite an extremely tense moment in the morning that had me doubting if I'd make it to the museum at all.

Digital can be extremely nerve-wracking, as it's an odd combination of gallery facilitation/theatrical performance, on a subject about which I know only a little. If Egypt is a pond on which I can identify all the lilies floating on the surface, Bio is a pond in which I can identify all the surface flowers, all the fish, weeds, reptiles, amphibians, planktons, algaes, etc., plus give you a fair amount of depth calculations and sonar readings while I'm at it, as well as a far amount of information on any streams or creeks running in or out of that pond. I'm perfectly happy splashing around in Bio. Digital is much more stressful, as I'm constantly looking down at my toes and wondering if anything down there is going to come up and bite me on the ass.

But I have a tendency to worry overmuch about things, and despite a few forgotten announcements (like photography, reminded as someone snapped a picture of me at the start of the show), it went off pretty well.

Then there was Lena. I'd been really looking forward to meeting up with Lena for the last digital show, but 3:30 came and went, with no sign of her, nor was there any sign of her at 5, when I eventually left the museum. I'd made it as far as Robarts before my phone rang. Lena has terrible luck with airplanes (last time I saw her, at the ICFA she'd arrived six hours late thanks to flight cancellations and delays), and a flight cancellation put her at the ROM three hours late, without baggage. But despite this shaky start the evening ended up being subdued but most enjoyable.

I highly recommend the movie "Saving Grace". It was a Chris recommendation to me -- a lovely movie in which a middle-aged small-town (more of a hamlet than a town, really) British woman attempts to save her home by cultivating marijuana in her prize-winning greenhouse. It's one of those "laugh so hard you cry" movies, and I'm definitely adding it to my library.

And, as always happens after getting together with one of the Tensors, I've gotten the writing kick again. Hurrah!

( 2:20 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, February 18, 2005
 

But Where Are the Large Friendly Letters on the Cover?

So, I've seen the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer and, well, I'm leery. It just looks so very... unBritish.

There are certain things that you can Americanize, and certain things you can't. I mean, how many attempts have they made to make an American Fawlty Towers? Some things work because the heart of them is the very Britishenss of their characters and the way they interact with the universe.

Oh, I'll go, and I'll be openminded. And the more I watch the trailer, the more I think "well, maybe". And Alan Rickman as Marvin may very well sell me. But I'm not quite as excited about this movie as I was.

...

And in sadder news, I'll be out of touch tomorrow, as I'll be at my Grandfather's funeral. If you're one of the many, many people visiting this weekend, I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

( 12:34 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Tuesday, February 15, 2005
 

Looking Back

Today was pretty rough, but I am extremely grateful that there are helping hands waiting for me when I get home.

Dad sent me these last night. He was looking through our old photographs when he found them (not sure why, but judging by the age and using my keen deductive powers based on the stratigraphy of photographs, this'd be where the most pictures of us with Grandpa could be found), and sent them to me with a note that he found them very appropriate and prophetic.



Dem bones

I couldn't have been more than four or five, and I barely remember this trip -- it was way back before the last major ROM renovation. But I think these photos are pretty conclusive evidence that even then, I knew where I belonged.

Pity it took me so long to realize it.

( 12:19 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sunday, February 13, 2005
 

Hanging In

I'm doing okay, as long as I don't slow down enough to think about it (which means I have to read myself into exhaustion before I can go to bed, but hey, at least I have good books).

In the meantime, this is for those who, like me, want a much-needed dose of humour: Superman is a dick.

( 10:48 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Saturday, February 12, 2005
 

Donald Johnson
b. October 19, 1923
d. February 12, 2005

I headed up to Newmarket to meet up with my parents today, and from there we went to the hospital to see my grandfather. He was obviously in a lot of pain. We watched as the nurse switched his antibiotics with a morphine drip. But he opened his eyes when my mother called to him, and though he was unable to speak, he smiled. Our being there made him happy.

He died about five hours later.

Mum says that someone told her sometimes people hang on just long enough to say goodbye. And it feels like that's exactly what he did. We were there when it mattered. We had a chance to say goodbye. And he died knowing that he was loved.

And all I can think right now is how glad I am that I took the day off work to go and see him. Because in the end, that's what was really important.

Goodbye, Grandpa. I love you.

( 11:14 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

That's My Boy!

It gives me great pleasure (oh, you have no idea) to present to you the cover for FANTASTIC COMPANIONS, forthcoming this April from Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

World, meet Variel Shenareth. Variel, meet the world.



I am so very, unbelievably pleased with this, I can't even put it into words. Yes, that's Kayla and Variel. My creations. My griffin. On the cover of a book.

As I may have mentioned before, Variel is far and away my favourite of the characters I've created. He's been in my head, in one incarnation or another, since 1994. Alexandra once told me she believes Variel is my animus, and I can see her point. He's become enough of an independent personality that I know his responses so well that he can interact with the world in his own way, and when someone posts something about griffin on the newsgroup, those who've dealt with Variel actually sit and wait for him to respond.

And now he's about to be unleashed upon the world.

ODYSSEY was special, my first published story, and wonderful. I'm immensely fond of Zac and Lys, and will no doubt be visiting them again. But Kayla and Variel have been in my head for over ten years. This is something really, really special.

I am so freaking proud of this.



...



And much as I want this to be an expressely happy post, there is some bad news -- the radiation treatments aren't going well and my grandfather has taken a turn for the worse, so I may drop out of sight suddenly and longer than usual. I don't think I'm going to get a lot of warning. But I'll keep you posted whenever I'm able.

( 1:30 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, February 10, 2005
 

ZOGG is Coming!

Life continues merrily on apace. Our first choir performance of the term is ridiculously soon -- next month, as it happens. I'll post more information when I'm up to digging through my bag for the poster.

Via TNH, I have learned of the horror that is Zogg. All humanity fear the power of ZOGG! Just put down anything you're drinking first.

Since learning Ben Browder is joining the cast next season, I've decided that I need to watch Stargate SG-1. One-and-a-half seasons into the 8 seasons of catching up to do (I couldn't pick a short-run series, noooo) and I have to say, I'm enjoying it. Oh, there are times when I want to hurt the writers:

ME: Hmmm... Your Stargate has no power, you have an astrophysicist on the team, and there's a massive lightning storm approaching. Okay, let's build a lighning rod. Ummmm... build a lightning rod. Nooo, build a lightning rod. Come on, lightning rod. Lightning rod. Liiiiightning rod. Oh, look, the army guy with no science background figured it out half an hour after I did. ::sigh::

But the two leads make up for it. Oh, Sam and Teal'c are okay, in their own way. But O'Neill and Daniel are both really good (despite occasional bouts of scenery-chewing), and more importantly, they have some serious buddy-chemistry going. They're both heterosexual characters, but there was a moment, when Daniel's in crisis and O'Neill just gets down and holds him, that I finally clicked in: Ah, so THAT'S why people write slash. I understand now.

Still no word on the super-cool job I need. But I remain hopeful.

The challenge story progresses (anyone still writing has until February 14). Speaking of slash, it's a Fiona and Allison story. Though reading this Renfaire anthology we got at the bookstore, I've realized that I want to write the story of how those two met. Soon.

I agree with Ruth.

And the new bookstore is painted. Countdown to the move begins.

( 1:18 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Saturday, February 05, 2005
 

Curse My Overactive Imagination

Erin, this is where you stop reading.

I have a habit of freaking myself out through expansination. I'd scare the bejeesus out of myself every time I saw the silhouette of the Christmas tree against the window at night when I was coming back from the bathroom. But the worst expansination I have right now, and the one that gets me every night, is the kitchen door.

When I go downstairs to use the bathroom every night (I have a bladder the size of a walnut, so I do this often), I have to walk down the hall to the bathroom. At the end of the hall is the kitchen, and straight ahead is the door to the deck. There's so much light pollution that you can usually see out that window pretty clearly.

And EVERY TIME I walk toward it, I keep expecting to see a face at the window looking back at me.

( 11:41 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, February 02, 2005
 

Pornographic Weather

Strange news today. Anyone who concludes a weather report with "and here we see it bumps up against the ridge so we don't get a lot of penetration" seriously needs to figure out what he did to piss the writers off. And I don't care what they say -- like the Pantages and the O'Keefe, I absolutely refuse to call it The Rogers Centre.

On the writing front, I'm 400 pages into rereading and making notes on the manuscript. After this, I have to go through and make the changes on the computer, write the scenes I need to add, and rewrite the ending. I'm hoping to have it out the door by March 1st. I'm also probably insane. But there you go. I'm still working on the Russia fundraiser (now titled "The Space Between"), and I have an illustrator for the Kesh stories now. We're working on character design, which will take a while so I think in the meantime I'll post the first half of chapter 5 in the next few days.

And there is big career movement going on at the ROM. I can't really talk about it yet (I SO don't want to jinx it), but bear in mind which really big exhibit is arriving in March. If things work out the way I hope they do, I'll be getting up every day and thinking "hurray, I'm going to work!"

Wish me luck.

( 11:52 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sarah Jane Elliott
The often frustrating progress of my life and writing...

(Once known as "The Mystic's Dream", now known as "Dream of the Dolphin", but inclined to change title depending on what's stuck in my head)

Okay, I liked "Confessions of a Post Graduate Pity Whore" a lot more than I thought I would. That line is still hilarious. But I've started writing again, so it's time to go back to before. :o)





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