Jasmyn Party

I seem to have neglected the blog a bit recently. This is partly because of the party I had for Jasmyn last week, which took a lot of preparation. Those ice swans don’t carve themselves, you know . . .

 

Here I am with the giant swan, stuffed full of champagne. The swan, that is. Not me. Not by that point anyway. That swan weighed almost exactly the same as I do, which I found quite strange.

Here I am with fellow Princesses of Fantasy Fiction, Jaine Fenn and Suzanne McLeod:

Please note that, despite what this photo may suggest, I am not a freakishly tall person. It’s just that Jaine and Suzanne are both quite petite, and I was wearing heels. I dislike being called Gigantor to my face, and am likely to react unfavourably towards anybody who does so.

In spite of my earlier fib, I did not carve the swans myself. Ice sculpting is not something I can add to my list of talents. But I did help make the cupcake mountain:

Three hours. It took two people three hours to decorate the thirty eight cupcakes on that stand. They tasted good though – once I got over the fact that people were actually going to eat all our hard work.

Jasmyn really suited itself to a themed party. When it went dark, all the twinkly lights in the marquee came on and made it look gorgeous. I think, from now on, whenever I go to start a new book, my first thought should be: will this make a good party later?

It was a great evening. A great night, actually, as I didn’t go to bed until seven o clock the next morning. A sure sign of success in my book. Big thank yous to everyone who came and made it so much fun. It just wouldn’t have been the same sitting in the marquee and drinking bottle after bottle of champagne all by myself.

 

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Moose At The Seaside

This weekend I am in Cornwall with Moose. My parents were going off to stay at their house in Looe and asked us to come so I decided that me and the Dinky Dane would go along so she could get a bit of a seaside holiday.

It was quite a long drive but Moose was fine apart from being sick about an hour after we set out. I’m sure the shriek of: ‘Ew! There’s puke everywhere!’ probably wasn’t the sort of thing my Dad wanted to hear coming from the back seat – especially as it was his car we were driving in.

But a fine time was had by all once we finally got there. It’s taken us ages to get anywhere because most of the people we’ve passed wanted to give Moose a fuss. I’d say about half of them recognised that she was a Great Dane. The rest thought she was some kind of Dalmatian cross, or even a Dalmatian. This always surprises me because Moose doesn’t just have black spots, but big black (and some blue) splodges all over her coat. Besides which, there would have to be something very wrong with a Dalmatian puppy for it to have a head that shape, and paws that big. One woman actually had the audacity to suggest that she was a ‘little bit of everything’! A mongrel no less!

  ‘Madam,’ I replied coldly, ‘I’ll have you know that this dog is fifteen hundred pounds worth of pedigree, show standard, harlequin Great Dane!’

But, these slurs on her breeding aside, Moose has had a lovely time. She walked on the beach and came into pubs with us, and met lots of people. There’s something nice about the fact that people will always come up to you if you’re walking a puppy. I’ve answered so many questions about Moose during the last week. And the fact that people want to come up and see her makes me warm towards humans more than I would usually.

Before we came I went to the pet shop to buy her some new things to take on her first holiday. I came out with a whole load of new chewy bones and some toys, including an evil looking crocodile, and a big fluffy rope monster, of which I’m rather fond. I love buying Moose stuff. Especially when I get a new thing out of the bag, and she hears the rustling, and looks up at me with that sweet little face. She’s also becoming a bit of a lap dog, which I suppose could be a problem when she’s big . . . But what the heck – Loki sits on my lap just fine, and he’s a fully grown Doberman. Besides, I’d sooner cut my own hand off than tell her she can’t get on my lap for a cuddle when she’s tired – even if she does happen to be covered in sand at the time.

Whilst walking around Looe, Moose met a fully grown blue Great Dane called Hamlet. Even for a Dane he was a very big boy – and extremely handsome with it. But although he was just five years old he was already starting to go grey around the muzzle. The one downside of Danes is that they don’t live very long. Eight years is the average but some only live to six. When I look at Moose I can’t bear the thought of her living such a short time. But for now I’m taking comfort in the fact that when we went to visit the breeder we saw Moose’s great-grandmother, and she was eleven years old. Moose has to be long-lived too, because I love her so much. She’s the best thing to happen to me in quite a while. She makes up for all the bad stuff – as animals very often do. And I will love my publishers, Gollancz and Headline, until the day I die for enabling me to buy her. Ditto for every single person who bought a copy of The Ninth Circle – even if they thought it was shit. Doesn’t matter so long as the book was bought (but obviously I would prefer that they didn’t think it was shit). Still, I got a Dinky Dane out of the book deals. Can’t complain at that.

If you would like to help keep Moose in toys and dog food, or, possibly, contribute to the next animal in my menagerie (I really want a sphyinx called Gretel and a bull terrier called Daddy), then feel free to buy a copy of Jasmyn, and Lex Trent Versus The Gods, when they come out. Heck, buy copies for all your friends and relatives too, and then perhaps I will be able to get Gretel and Daddy!

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