Kindling good…

I got a Kindle!!! Hooray!

Benji counterscooped my mum and got me a shiny new Kindle as a pre-birthday present! Curiously enough it arrived on my nameday! That worked out perfectly!

The Kindle is great! In the end I decided to go for the simple and cheap one, when I realised it did have a keyboard option after all. Not a touch one to be sure, it’s a 5-way controller, but the comments option is there and the keyboard isn’t and that is all I wanted. Also it is much less hassle and money than importing it from the States. Kindle Touch was also meant to be more sluggish.
The report and comparison of the three Kindles, that helped me in my decision, can be found here.

Kat’s Kindle looks like the pages are printed and getting books off the internet is really easy! It can be done from the Kindle itself, or I could just be browsing the net at work getting things and when I get home and turn my Kindle on they automatically get downloaded onto it, usually within a few seconds! I could probably do the same from my iPhone app but I have yet to figure that out.

And one of the most amazing things, to a dandelion mind like mine, is the way the screensaver is always on! You switch the kindle off and a picture materialises (yes, from ink material) on the screen. It’s usually an artsy-fartsy image of pens, pencils, printing press letters, typewriters… I heard a crazy theory that once you’ve got some books downloaded onto it, the front covers of those can also become screensavers but it hasn’t happened yet. Either way, the screensaver mode consumes no battery and it lovely and this fascinates me!

I have downloaded a few books and a fantasy magazine and the reading has begun. The first magazine referred me to some new fantasy books that I now want to download as well. I just need to make sure I don’t start spending crazy amounts of money now!

In other news, the Halftone and Photoshop pictures of things other than cats are now online and running. You can find them here.
Again, they are “crafts”. How sad!

There’s a few submission deadlines for Aevelynn Frost this Wednesday, and a new story on the way, but I doubt it will be done by then, or within the word limit.

Vampire empire…

I feel like there is a new post due. I have stuff to say but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to compile enough material to put together anything of great value that would not be too vague…

But I have found out this! For only about £18 pounds I can get to Pisa, Italy… and from there for as little at €12 to Constanța, Romania!!!
To be sure, Constanța might be a pretty portal town, but sadly it happens not to be located in Transylvania, which is where I want to get. However, I will for now assume that accommodation and transport in Romania is fairly cheap, until I’ve done some further research. Yeah, you know where this is going…

It appears that in the little villages in Romania, people still treat their dead to food and water for 40 days after their death lest they dislike the discomforts of their dark resting places and come back to life as strigois to haunt their living relatives. An incident occurred back in 2004, when a dead was dug up, his heart impaled on a stick, burned and the ashes, mixed with water were given to his niece to drink. She was the one who’s blood Petre Toma came to feed on every night in her dream.
A more detailed version of this story is available here.

Another story mentions practices that one would not expect to witness in the 21st century. During the time before burial, a corpse has to be guarded in order to make sure no cats, rats, dogs or birds hop over the body. Cats even get locked up because they are always up to no good, aye Whiski? The wife sleeps with a cloth between her legs so her dead husband cannot come back to claim her… Although apparently nothing works as well as a nail through the heart.
It would be good to hear all this from the locals, if its true…

I do not believe in vampires. And it saddens me greatly that they do not exist.
Nevertheless I am aspiring to be a fantasy writer and I’m hoping they would come to life in my stories at least. I have also noticed that I find it much easier to write when I write from experience. Hence my desire to go and see the country for myself. It helps with descriptions, duh!
Even though the story didn’t take place in Transylvania, I always thought just the name sounded cool enough to seek it out. And while I’m there, I may as well check out Vlad the Impaler’s castle, if I can find it. Sounds good? Yeah!

Fantazia…

This has been a most unproductive week at work, thanks to Ancestry and my search for across-the-pond relatives, which has lead to a few amazing discoveries. But they gradually became fewer while the frustration at not being able to access documents was almost continuous by the end… Eventually I spent most of the time researching living families which could really just complete all the info in a blink of an eye should they bestir themselves and reply to my messages. Gah, (prospective) family! Typical!
Today is the last day of free access and tomorrow, I think, I will get ancestry membership. I am still considering leaving it until I get more info from the Slovakian archive but who am I kidding, I’m way too curious!

Either way, after a week of spending my evenings (and days) in front of a computer screen, tonight I decided to read instead. And the autobiographical piece Dreamsongs by my favourite author George R R Martin,  inspired me to writing my own novel. I have to say that writing a book has always been something I wanted to do. As a child I even wrote a short adventure “book” which I submitted… somewhere… but obviously never heard back, because in the hindsight it was truly atrocious. Nevertheless, they could have at least returned the manuscript, bastards! (So I could burn it and pretend it never happened.)
Yet I like to think I have come a long way since that shameful time. The desire to write and publish something is still there, the inability to write is gone… or so I have to hope. Surely I am a bit more skilled now and a bit less pretentious.
For one, I don’t want to start with a book this time. A short story, with lots of action and a twist or a revelation at the end would be sufficient. And sex, there has to be sex. I sure hope there was no sex in the “book”.

And because I am now much less confident than I was as a kid, I will have a chance to come up with a cool pseudonym! Ideas?