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Patriotism Is Not Enough

Friday 24th January. Quiet weather, cool and dull. No rain! No wind! It's a miracle, I might be able to oil wash the fruit trees today if I get round to it. Remember Edith Cavell? Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone... (or something like that) That's an artist's impression of her in the picture, softer but not too far off the existing photos and it's there so I can encourage you to sign a petition calling for her image to get onto a £2 coin, as a counterweight to that glorious warrior, Lord Kitchener. Don't know about you, but I am finding this World War One love-fest hard to stomach. At least, thinks I, they could have had the grace to celebrate the end of the hostilities, not the beginning. But it doesn't work like that, does it? There wouldn't be much point in this big soppy love-letter from one World of Warcraft to another, if it was about the guns falling silent. Edith Cavell was an Aleutian Trilogy icon; her monument in St Martin's place attracts the attention of Bella, in North Wind, ; I took that "patriotism is not enough" message to heart in my nineties feminism. Being a gender warrior is not enough, lay down your weapons, make peace in the battle of the sexes... Seemed like a good idea at the time.

The BBC ran a kind of "where are they now" feature on nearly-made-it people from WWI, including one of my personal icons (can't really count Cavell in that category), Franz Marc . The judgement on Edith Cavell said, "she wouldn't have been famous if she hadn't got shot". Hm. She wouldn't have been such a gift as propaganda material but if you check out her career, I think it's a crass comment.

Anyway, you'll want the bad news about the Gagging Law. The House threw out the Lords' revisions: secret lobbying by big business will now continue unabated, whereas charities and ngos will face the restrictions and have to bear the burden of increased bureaucracy undiluted. Also in the news on this issue, some mildly interesting candid MP responses to clictivism. What I was saying about being able to express my opinion? In some small way? They really do not like it. Voters should not have opinions. I should just shut up and vote.

While I still can.

Smashwords: a pointless challenge?

I've been meaning to try Smashwords for years: have just embarked on preparing the text of Bold As Love for the dreaded "meatgrinder". Wow, this is complicated, and it doesn't help that the Style Guide is written in an almost impenetrable US dialect (which probably tells me something). On the plus side, if I can create a completely clean virgin text, it will not only be eligible for conversion into every different kind of epub imaginable, it will also be a thing of beauty. I can use it to refresh my primitive Amazon Kindle version of the book (which would probably improve reader satisfaction) and I will get that daft feeling of elation utterly pointless challenges give you: like collecting all fifty gold skultulas, figuring out the Angular Isles puzzle, or beating the Savage Labyrinth with no potions. On the minus side, when I looked at the smashwords site (at last) I was surprised that the library seemed so thin (isn't smashwords supposed to be huge?), and a little disconcerted by all the very, very stern warnings about making sure my content is fit for the innocent eyes of under eighteens. . .

Ah, it turns out I had the Adult Content filter on. Different animal without that. And I really don't think I need worry about my content.

Anyway, I've started so I'll finish. If I get accepted for the Premium class, fantastic! It might make up for never having snagged that pesky last Big Octo.

Looking forward to going out to Peter's birthday dinner tonight (not his actual birthday, date of his actual birthday is a closely guarded secret, I have no idea why). And next week, what excitement, I get to talk to the Arboriculture Department (Somewhat under a cloud, since the Save Our Tree affair, but I think they're okay really) about my young windsown elm tree. Which is not sick, thank god, but has got big enough to be pruned, and I need to ask an expert.


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