zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
I dithered, with my icecream post last night, whether to tag it 'earthquake' because as time goes by and we return to daily life, daily life remains tinged with earthquake. But this one is definitely all about the earthquake.

After September, every building in the city got red, orange, and green placards depending on its damage. After February we got them again. At work, photocopiers and other electronic equipment got red, orange and green stickers. There was a lot of triage going on.

After February, initially there was only one red zone, which was basically the CBD. It got subdivided into zones that allowed various levels of entry to business owners and the public, but it was The Red Zone.

Then there was the sewerage map. There's a huge red zone (most of the eastern city) which didn't so much mean that there'd never been problems elsewhere, jut if there were problems elsewhere they had to use portaloos rather than chemical toilets. Up to June, the red area was slowly getting encroached on with green, meaning you could stop using the chemical toilets and go back to porcelain. My house got into a green area, but there were some red area houses just across the street (plus once I'm in a habit it's easier to continue even when it's an annoying habit) so I held off. There was quite a lot of green, actually, but then the June 13 quakes happened and someone took a vast red paintbrush to it; now there's just a few green patches.

(Incidental note: red vs green really is not ideal for colorblind people, even if it is tradition. They should add texture.)

The new set of zones that everyone's talking about now, though, is zones for land. My land is zoned green, though I've got a number of colleagues in red (not worth rebuilding on, owners will get government compensation), orange (needs more assessment), or white (hasn't been assessed yet).

On government compensation for people who had the unmitigated gall not to be able to afford insurance like all decent citizens:

You've got a choice: you can give this person a lump sum now so they can get back on their feet immediately and be a productive member of society. Or you can give them installments later when they're on the welfare system. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that paying for something upfront is always cheaper than paying for it in installments, right? Same thing. Really you owe it to yourself and your taxes to just give them the money now, because it'll cost you less in the longterm.

(For some reason, lots of twitter folk could not understand this.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
I believe I forgot to mention that, when my next door neighbours were moving out for the second time (I think they weren't very happy with the fixes their landlord put in place, or maybe just the big aftershock we had shortly after they moved back in was the last straw; by the way the house next door to me is now available for lease if anyone's keen) they had a container on the street for all their furniture and so forth. And the container was TARDIS-blue. And when you turned the corner from the main road, you saw it end-on and with part of it blocked by lampposts and it looked just like the Doctor had parked there for a refuel.

But that's not the cool thing. You see, inspired by this, and portaloos -- especially one I saw in that same TARDIS-blue -- I came up with:
The TARDIS lands in Christchurch. A local bursts through the door, then looks around in bewilderment. "It's bigger on the inside," the Doctor starts to explain. "I can see that," says the local, "but where's the loo?"

This is also not the cool thing. Because while I was failing to get it to a tweetable length, @entomocephalous tweeted the far superior:
Just saw a Porta-Loo painted up to look like the TARDIS. It's smellier on the inside. #thisisawesome #eqnz

I promptly said a politer version of "Pix or it didn't happen", but alas, none were forthcoming. A couple of days later, I saw it myself while on a bus; and a few days after that I took my own camera with me on the same route. Alas, the bus went by too fast and I decided fate was determined to leave us without proof.

But -- and this right here is the cool thing -- today my Mum got the photo! <happy-dance>
zeborah: I found this humerus (humorous)
Conversations on a bus:
Three teenagers (two girls and one boy). One of the girls was rehearsing her defense for the school board of trustees about drunkenness at school. It wasn't that she got drunk at school, see, she got drunk before school and just happened to still be intoxicated when she got there. Also when she gave some drink to another student it was because said student wanted it, not because she'd peer pressured her or anything.

The conversation turned, as conversations do. In due course the boy was telling how once, when a friend had been pressuring him with "Bros before hos", the boy retorted, "Mate, chicks before dicks."


The Press cheerfully mentions that over 50% of the buildings in the CBD may have survived. This is a stunningly glass-half-full mode of reporting for the Press these days. Also, I shouldn't read the newspaper while waiting at the supermarket checkout: going shopping is enough of a punch to my emotional immune system as it is, and today is pouring with rain and I spent all morning looking after part of the church fair's white elephant sale so resilience has been going steadily down all day anyway.

(On the plus side, at said fair I got two skirts for a dollar, and some violets, and some feijoas in red wine which I'm planning to take to friends for a dessert with the plan that she and I can eat the feijoas and he can drink the wine. I restrained myself from going near the book stall, it seemed for the best.)


Boots has returned to her ordinary self, ie restive with outbreaks of annoying, and the vet's battery of tests all read back in the normal range.


There are all sorts of things I keep meaning to say, but I've forgotten them all. Oh! One of them was that I worked out what's been splitting my skin open when I empty my chemloo tank; I then put one bandaid on my finger and one bandaid on the jaggedy part of the tank.


At work I'm still bouncing between three locations, though one predominates. Unfortunately it's the one I hate the most. It's deathly quiet; we share with people we don't know that well and they complained about the beeps of our virtual reference application, so now we need to wear headsets if we want to notice our customers calling us. The only redeeming feature of this place is that it has my computer in it -- my actual computer from my actual office, with my lolcat version of the 5 laws of library science taped on and my rights to modify the software on it which IT accidentally-on-purpose left me because they trust me not to modify it too much. And on Monday we get a new manager and he's going to be sitting at that space.

Sigh. Oh well. At least I worked out how to get my desktop picture (of The Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library) onto the other computers I have to use. Why I mentioned work was really to keep on with the alcohol theme, because in one of the other locations the tiny little tearoom has, next to the coffee and tea and milo, two bottles of wine. They must have come from some function or other. No-one would ever actually open them on worktime, but I feel it's comforting just to know they're there.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Things that don't seem like an excellent idea #1: Rubbing a cut on your knuckle as you go to empty your chemical toilet in the communal tank. I don't think it came into contact with anything more problematic than the basically-clean exterior of my own tank. I rubbed hand sanitiser into it until it stung while I was there, and when I got home washed it thoroughly and slathered with more hand sanitiser and then Dettol antiseptic cream. No signs of gangrene yet.


In my previous post I meant to wax more philosophical on the progression from the early day or few of relying on our own stocks of water; then a week or so of queuing for water; then boiling all water, and now six and a half weeks later being able to wash an open cut in it straight from the tap.

(Still to come: not needing to conserve it for the sake of the sewage system; and not needing to have it chlorinated anymore. Not sure which will happen first.)

...I don't have much philosophical to say about it. Just that it's fascinating to watch the regaining of civilisation. When I see people on Twitter complaining about how we haven't fixed all our roads yet (apparently Japan has or something? I know they've fixed some roads super-rapidly, but all of them to brand-new? I'm sceptical); or people in the news complaining that a hotel and Civil Defense are conspiring to keep them from retrieving their NZ$27,000 engagement ring (the building's yellow-stickered! that means it's safe for the public to wander through in search of a ring, right?!) I can only assume that either they're really really really tired, which is perfectly understandable, or that they don't have a clue just how bad the earthquake hit us.

And when it's a Tweep who lives out of town, or, well, the $27,000 engagement ring speaks for itself -- I find myself favouring one of these possibilities over the other.

The thing is, lots of things broke. People have fixed a lot of things. And it's not anyone's fault, nor even government's, that the huge lot of things that have been fixed remains almost overwhelmingly outnumbered by the lots of things that broke. There's a whole scaling issue here, folks! <flail>

I think I shall walk to my parents' this evening instead of busing bussing going by bus; see if it loosens up some of these rocks in my back.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Updated Wordpress on my church website and was reminded yet again that doing this always destroys the tweaks I've made to the banner html and css. Fixed them, yet again, and this time saved copies to my computer.

Watched The Princess Bride with my friend last night. I love that movie, I just wish I could turn off the part of my brain that keeps noting that Buttercup doesn't get to do anything except be pretty and helpless (mostly helpless).

The Orbiter bus route (which wends around the suburbs instead of going through town) has been doing a crescent since it restarted after the quake, but today for the first time it completed the circle again. I came back from my friends' that way. It didn't look too bad (occasional dairies in need of demolition aside) - of course, because it was the fact that things were much fixed that allowed the bus back there - but you could see all the patches in the roads, and there was a point where the speed limit was reduced first to 30kph then to 10kph.

It's raining. Our wastewater system is hyper fragile at the moment. If oxygen levels at the thingy plant reach a certain level the whole city will get covered with sewage fog or something.

So I got home and first thing I noticed after the purple windowsills (not taking photos right now, it's raining and also daylight saving ended so it's dark) was a package in my mailbox, containing sachets of chemicals for chemical toilets. Have lodged a question with the city council's twitter folk about whether one can mix'n'match these with the original liquid chemicals we were delivered. In the meantime I opened the bag to pull out the instructions which were obscured by the sachets, and thus was enabled to read the line about not getting the sachets wet until they're in the toilet lest they dissolve prematurely -- just as a drop of rainwater from the lip of the bag rolled inside.

Hopefully they're not like Gremlins, and will survive a single drop.

Anyway, living alone I do actually have plenty of liquid chemicals to last me a good while yet.

Apparently the mobile library is visiting this neighbourhood twice a week now. This a) is awesome b) reminds me that I've got upwards of 50 books I was going to bookcross in the library's absence. Oh well, it's still absent 5 days a week.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Taking the bus is tiring. I think it's not so much that it takes anywhere from 2-4 times as long as usual; I think it's mostly that it's really hard to resist looking out the window and seeing the ruins of used bookstores (bricks and books comingled), and of churches (open-air pews and curtains flapping in the frame of a stained-glass window), and of houses.

If you live in anything resembling an earthquake zone, resist the temptation of firewalls. A firewall seems like such a good idea at the time, but it's really really not. Not if you want four walls.

Some houses and walls remain standing thanks to hastily-erected wood-frame buttressing.

Army tanks in full camo continue to crawl our streets. Yesterday on Moorhouse I saw a couple handing a bunch of flowers to a soldier. I smiled. Then I realised that the flowers were lilies and were more likely intended to be taken to somewhere like the CTV building. Cut for stout hearts )

On campus a hastily erected sign says "City bus". I learned in due course that this meant a bus belonging to the city, not a bus going to the city; in fact the only bus-belonging-to-the-city that passes there is one of the few that never goes to the city at all. Communicated this to some minions of the Progressive Restart folk so hopefully it will wend its way up the chain and get something done about it before things are back to normal.

Not the new normal. The new normal changes every few hours. The eventual normal, I guess.

I got enough energy to call the plumber; he'll contact me again next week. Shower pressure seemed normal today. I don't understand that shower; never have, really, it's just I know what settings worked in the old normal.

Last night I smeared toothpaste on my toothbrush and then noticed a drip fall from the tap: I'd wet the toothbrush under the tap instead of with kettle water. I stared at it for a while but was too tired to boil it then and there, so just rinsed it with the kettle water and went on. If I get gastro I know who to blame.

The Fraction Liquefaction video made me smile the other day. (Warning: May not be comprehensible to those outside ChCh/NZ.) This morning I watched it again and it made me so cheerful I cried. Cried properly for the first time. My eyes have leaked before, sometimes heavily, and occasionally I've managed a half-hearted sob but until now that's as far as my energy's extended. So having a proper cry was fantastic; albeit poorly timed, because then I had to rush off to catch my bus.

We drove over the bridge on Moorhouse, newly repaired. It felt disconcertingly vertiginous.

They had counsellors at work today. The original plan was for them to be in offices for us to visit, but one seemed to have got bored waiting for someone to turn up because he came out and wandered the workrooms instead. He seemed satisfied when I told him that I'm okay with not being okay: that is, it's rather evident that I'm an utter mess at the moment and happy as I was feeling this morning there was never any way I'd be able to get through a conversation with him without my eyes leaking, but there's no point attempting to fix it with sympathy or counselling or sleeping pills(1) because there's nothing to fix, really; it would be more worrisome if I wasn't feeling crappy. Been here before in September and I know how it goes: I just need rest and time.

(1) I mention sleeping pills not because I've been sleeping badly (I'm not) but because the doctor spontaneously offered them to me when I went to my regular checkup the other day. I declined but accepted the offer of a flu jab instead. Flu jabs are like breath mints: if someone offers you one and you're not allergic you should always accept it.

Today I also talked to my manager about next week's timetable; sounds like it can be arranged so I can go in for longer chunks of time (possibly less often, that doesn't matter to me so much) so I don't keep spending more time travelling than on campus. --Though a later email doesn't take this conversation into account. Meh, no doubt the situation will change a couple times more over the weekend.

Picked up my asthma medication from a pharmacy nearby that I never knew existed because I always went to the one in the mall.

On the sewerage system:
"The first task was to flush silt out of all pipes, which was expected to take up to four months, before assessing the damage and beginning repairs." [Source: The Press]

The sounds of the earthquake - I love how she says "Ooh, there's a big earthquake" in approximately the same tones as one might say, "Ooh, it's started raining". Of course then the earthquake keeps going, so, yeah.

The house keeps making little #eqnz wobbles today. I don't understand. Ken Ring didn't say anything about 1st April!

My back door is going through a phase in which the lock actually works as intended. (When it doesn't work as intended it still works, it's just when you unlock it it stays locked so you mustn't pull it shut behind you unless you've got your keys with you. Of course since the earthquake you have to make some effort to pull it shut behind you anyway so that's all good.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Had a lovely relaxing day/night with friends and their baby, who did an impressive projectile vomit all over my clothes. Just felt a bit guilty about putting said clothes through my friends' washing machine and wasting water, though they assure me they're on a separate water system there. Anyway, nice and relaxing and then mid-afternoon Monday I went to catch the bus home and got a cellphone call from my painter to say the supply pipe to one of my outdoor taps had burst bigtimes so he'd called in a plumber to look and put in temporary repairs (which arrangement I ratified verbally and most gratefully) but there might be no water overnight. I said no problem, I've got about 12 litres stored in the pantry again anyway on the "Disasters: they can always get worse" principle.

(The pipe was apparently heavily rusted. The earthquake may or may not have exacerbated the problem. I suppose I can try passing the cost on to EQC and see what they say. The bill, while not insignificant, won't break the bank otherwise.)

Since I was doing shopping on the way home and buses remain highly irregular both painter and plumber were long gone by the time I got there (a bit exhausted from the long ride and irritated from a fellow passenger determined to complain about slow buses rather than be grateful that we have buses at all, or at least just read a book while waiting as I'd been doing before he interrupted to complain at me). The bill left for me was quite emphatic, with all-caps and everything, that this was a temporary repair only and the pipe needs proper replacing as soon as possible. But water still worked, once it had run rusty-orange and cleared again, so that was good.

Also when my sister came to spend the night she brought 3 litres of actual drinking water, which my mother had fetched from somewhere without contaminated water.

The water pressure was a bit dodgy though, so I wasn't overly surprised when I attempted to take a shower this morning and found there wasn't enough pressure for the shower to work. (It's an electric system, heats the water as it comes through, so presumably doesn't work unless there's sufficient water to heat; certainly this seems a wise failsafe.)

Had various things to do today and worse yet, various buses to catch to do them. I ended up just not going to choir tonight because I'd barely got home when I'd have had to leave -- the last bus crawled horribly slowly around Moorhouse and Fitzgerald. Plus and also I've been tired to the edge of tears all afternoon so holding them back through choir too, especially knowing I've got another long day tomorrow, would be too much. I could probably have made a bit of time to call the plumber from work, but right now it's actually far easier to just revert to earthquake mode and have sponge baths.

After all, it's not like I need to even fill the tank in the toilet--

[Interlude: in which she remembers that it's time to empty the toilet, and goes for a walk while there's still a smidgeon of light left outside. Cut for those incurious to the workings of chemical toilets. )]

--and I have plenty of clean clothes and dishes so could last a while on my pantry water. However the painters, judging by how they moved some stuff out of a sink I rarely use, seem like they do need water more than I, so I guess tomorrow I'll phone the plumber and see if he's available to finish the job.

I have a mug of fresh water at my feet (segueing on from a quarter-mug of wine. I rarely drink wine even at meals but today's the third day in the last half-year when I've got home and decided that it would be appropriate to swallow some wine. I think it's more for the gesture than anything else) which Boots is expressing interest in. This isn't proof that her waterbowl needs refilling, as she expresses interest in most things I eat or drink, but it reminds me that it does in fact need refilling. And that our tapwater is currently chlorinated. Fortunately the kettle is full of cold boiled-the-heck-out-of water, and if you don't think chlorine is part of heck then you haven't heard the reaction of 350,000 ChurChurians to the news that our precious aquifer water is to be so tainted. (Gastro bug, meh. Chlorine, NO, THEY BE STEALING OUR WATERS!)

<holds head a bit>

Days like today are why I bought chocolate and pizza at the supermarket the other-- No, wait, yesterday.
zeborah: On the shoulders of giants: zebra on a giraffe (science)
Found just enough space in the toilet-room to put it while letting the door still open and close. Reread all the instructions, pulled everything apart and put it back together, and finally felt confident enough to pour the chemicals in the waste tank and the water in the water tank. Spilled splashes of both. Hopefully this isn't an omen for when it comes time to empty the tank.

Have now used it a couple of times. It's kinda cute: one sits as normal, then once you're done you close the lid and pull out a lever on the front, which opens the bottom of the bowl and lets gravity do its thing. For extra cleaning power, you can pump a pump which squirts more water into the bowl. Then you push the lever back in (thus closing the bottom of the bowl) and pump the pump, which puts water into the bowl just like a regular Western-style toilet.

When the waste tank is full (or not yet too heavy to carry and it's a convenient time of day so you're not too worried about people staring - I'm still pondering this; dawn might be okay if that's before kids start leaving for school, but I haven't kept up with the sun's peregrinations recently) you unclip the seat/water-tank combo from the waste tank. (It's automatically closed because the lever's pushed in.) It's got a handle for carrying and another opening for pouring into the waste emptying silos on every other street. Then you clip it back together, add more chemicals to the waste tank and water to the water tank and you're good to go.

In the night, the city council sends tankers along to empty the silos. It's terribly ingenious and depressingly older-than-medieval.

In other news:
  • washed hair and clothes and dishes and put a bowl of soapy boiled water in the sink outside the toilet and filled more bottles with boiled water and bleach. So much water! Water's terribly useful, when you come to think of it.
  • sunburn has graduated from yesterday's lizard-skin to itchy itchy itchy! Continuing to moisturise
  • dropped another bunch of books at the busstop around lunch, all gone by evening
  • sister gave me a romance novel called "Capturing Annie" and I read the start of it. It's so terrible it's hilarious. We've agreed it's especially fun if I only read it while she's in the room so she can enjoy the noises I make when the captain's muscles contract at Annie-disguised-as-Jem's bold gaze. (Important note: I know not all romance novels are terrible, even the mass production ones. But this is one of those which is. I have a couple of others on my shelf - well, on the floor - though I have a special fondness of the science-fiction one where occasionally the author remembers that this is a science-fiction novel so you can't have just a mirror, it's got to be a bit of technology called a reflector, and then in due course our Hero and Heroine heal a world with the power of their love. I mean, literally, they heal everyone on an entire planet with this power generated by their love. It's awesome.)
  • got unduly distressed at a headline reading "Anzac Day in park". I thought, "What, have I lost track of time so much I missed Anzac Day? But no, that can't be right, we'd have got the day off work. I distinctly remember not getting the day off work." And then I read the article in which they were talking about plans to celebrate Anzac Day next month in the park (rather than at the war memorial next to the Cathedral).
  • brought home 4 of the jars of peaches Mum and I bottled before the quake. I see peaches in my future!
  • aftershocks continued through the afternoon, a bit more than most days. Wobble. Wobble bang. Bang. Wibble. That kind of thing. They're mostly background noise, which some people don't even notice, some notice but don't care (mostly this is me), and some have their stress levels ramped up by it.
  • So apparently Earth Hour was this evening? They didn't really advertise in Christchurch but Twitter was full of comments about how we've turned off the lights enough to last us until 2018, etc. My favourite tweet was a suggestion to celebrate Earth Hour by going outside and spitting on the ground.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Worked while my house got painted on. It's gonna be awesome especially when they start with the purple ("troubadour" though I don't think troubadours were particularly renowned for wearing purple, but anyway) and all the people who got pained expressions on their faces when I mentioned purple will be proved wrong, haHA!

More or less after work I wandered down the road a bit for three purposes:
  1. to see if the corner shops whose walls used to be perpendicular to the ground but after the quake were attempting to form a funky W shape were in fact now more reminiscent of this photo:

    [ETA: Okay I shouldn't have tried to hotlink. Try http://twitpic.com/4cyyg5.]
    And sure enough they were.
  2. to see if my wee library of books had disappeared from the busstop. Not only had they all disappeared, but someone had tagged the sign I'd made. Ah Linwood, never change! I'll make another sign and put book-protection plastic on this time.
  3. to see if the updated city council map was correct that there's a place to pour one's toilet waste in the next street over. Sure enough there is. It says "Human waste only" and "Beware of splashback!" and has a bottle of hand sanitiser duct taped to it.
I'm still gearing myself up to using the actual chemical toilet. Have been reading the instructions and looking at it mistrustfully. There's a water tank and a waste tank and a bottle of chemicals, and there's levers and knobs and lots of dire warnings.

I'm slightly disappointed that no-one commented about the exploding toilets I mentioned. Seriously, exploding toilets! However this is outweighed by the amount of disappointment I contain that the newspaper didn't use the opportunity to comment on the possibility that the contents of said exploding toilets might hit the bathroom fan.

Gotta go, Boots wants food. I was thinking of starving her a while longer so she'd catch and nom more of the flies that have been bugging me, but then one of them landed on my back and she launched herself at it and caught my back with her claws. She apologised very prettily, with lots of rubbing against me and looking cute and so forth, but I have my suspicions.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Went to choir, grabbing a sub on the way. Alas, as I expected they couldn't accept my coupon which is only valid at one of the Subway stores in town. (I think said store is still standing, but since neither I nor its staff can get to it this is a bit of a moot point.) Credit still works though.

Choir was a bit tiring but not too bad and by the end we actually got to the point where we were all listening to each other and our chord tuned just right, liquid sunshine.

Afterwards I got someone to drop me off at a bus-stop, intending to spend the busride home reading. Instead however I got an empty bus and a bus driver who started off with "Aren't you going to sit at the front with me?" and took my mild protest that I had a book to read as a conversational gambit: "Oh, what's the book?" and well, one doesn't want to be rude when one has been acculturated not to be rude, so I ended up chatting with him for over an hour. Mostly it was an okay conversation (primarily about the earthquake. The earthquake makes marvellous fodder for smalltalk) but occasionally it got mildly creepy (eg he complicated my sense of humour. You know, not creepy-creepy, but unnecessarily personal-creepy) so when he asked me my name -- and given that he was going to be dropping me off right at the end of my street and in fact (though I didn't know it at the time) was only persuaded not to drop me off right at my door by the fact that I'm on a dead-end street so he couldn't drive down it -- I promptly told him "Jane". This may have been a tactical error because normally I only do this with people I know I'll never see again, and with bus drivers one doesn't know; some I continue to see for years going on decades.

So if anyone's ever on a bus with me and the driver confidently addresses me as "Jane", please try not to look surprised. Just because I occasionally give people a fake name doesn't mean I want to be rude to them. :-(

The official earthquake blog says:
If you have been delivered a chemical toilet, and the water supply has been reinstated to your property, please continue to keep and use the chemical toilet to reduce pressure on the sewage system and keep pollution out of rivers.
So I guess I'm supposed to use the thing and occasionally lug my waste on a half-hour walk zigzagging through my neighbourhood to the nearest disposal point. Really I think I preferred the hole in the garden (though, admittedly, that's less discreet now that I'm getting more visitors and the painters are back working again).

I may start investigating a) exactly how far the disposal points are (so far I have only a map-derived guesstimate) and b) exactly how this doodacky's supposed to work anyway. Who knows, the results of my investigations may make me more enthusiastic. I don't think they could make me much less so.

Why don't I have a tag for toilets? This clearly must change.

Oh, forgot to mention: now that I can clearly not write my awesome post-apocalyptic Christchurch novel (dammit real life intruding on the territory of fiction) I've been trying to work out what I can write instead (once I've finished these two short stories I'm working on. One of which I may have to put aside; the basic shape is severely broken; the other one should be fixable though). And I want to get back to science-fiction, which means I have to ignore all my fantasy ideas.

(This is almost political sort of. Fantasy ideas are coming more naturally to me at the moment, because I'm mostly reading fantasy, because most of the sf I come across is... excessively privileged for my current taste; or if not so, then just not to my taste otherwise. Not all, but most. So it's a struggle to think of sf ideas that aren't Yet Another Military Space Opera, but while it would be tremendous fun to write Yet Another Scheming Nobility this feels little more original. (Oh, earthquake brain. I had to look up the word 'original' in the thesaurus.) Um. Point being, I believe there ought to be more sf that I'd like out there, but as I can't find much of it at the moment, it behooves me to write it.)

I've loaded myself with various other constraints in the kinds of stories/protagonists I want / don't want to write about right at the moment. Suffice to say that it took me a while to think of something. (I even briefly considered a version of the sky-falls-down story in which no-one actually dies, however I concluded that this would more or less miss the point of "post-apocalyptic" without much alleviating the depressing "Oh God not again" nature of another Christchurch disaster.) Fortunately however I have a store of half-started story ideas from my early 20s, not all of which are Star Trek clones -- even if many of them are clones of spin-offs from my first Star Trek clone. One of these can be further tweaked and will be a really fun story, once I work out what happens beyond the middle of chapter 2, with the potential for thoughtfulness too if I feel the urge, so I think I'll in due course try writing that again from the start and see what I come up with.


zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

September 2017

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