Monday, August 29, 2011

The other side of paradise

Pattaya by night is a different place. And definitely not a place for kids, and yet...there were youngsters here. All these photos were taken in Walking Street.

I don't know whether to admire Thailand for being honest and open about their seamy side, or just sickened by what is the underside, I guess, of a great many cities in a great many countries. Is it better to be hypocritical like Kuala Lumpur? And hound women -- or pretend they don't exist -- when they try to earn a living this way? I don't know. I just know that I would like to be sure it was a choice of adults. I'd like to think they all had a choice.

I can tell you I didn't see too many truly happy faces, just plastered-on smiles that disappeared the instant the prospective customer did.

In between the girlie bars and the sex parlours, there are many legitimate businesses.

Even an art shop with an artist painting a portrait from a photo
And a temple -- with a wrapped up tree, and offereings
Here's a close up of the offerings
And here's a shot of the true beneficiaries of the offerings. Yep, those big eyes are alive...
A wig shop outside a bar and an indication that many tourists are Russian speakers. So are some of the sex workers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daytime Pattaya

I am home now, but here's some more from Pattaya Beach, Thailand.
The first thing you have to understand about this town is that daytime Pattaya and nightime Pattaya are two different places. And this is Pattaya in the daytime -- the beach.
Lines of umbrellas and  deckchairs
And boats, ready to take you out to the islands and the corals...or water scooters to zip around on
And paragliding -- a cat's cradle of towlines and speedboats zipping this way and that
And yes, a quiet corner for the kids to play in the sand.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wired in Pattaya...

A street scene. Wiring, temple and a black cat with a death wish.

Couldn't see the cat? Here's a closer look. Look among those wires...

I have an idea that Pattaya wiremen are a breed apart...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More from Pattaya

At the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya, where my husband was attending a regional meeting.
Sunset as dinner is served
Dinner overlooking the bay, dotted later with the bright spotlights of the squid boats
Inside the hotel, complete with waterfall

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life is full of surprises...

And I am quite surprised to find myself with this view from my window this morning.

Looking towards the hotel where I am staying, Pattaya Beach, Thailand

Monday, August 15, 2011

SF Worldcon in Reno

...will be on 17th-21st August, just  couple of more days. I wish I could be there, but I couldn't afford it. Instead I sent a bit of myself.

Last year, the con was in Melbourne and I did go. And during the course of the con I won a book in the Brotherhood Without Banners Charity Raffle.

Don't know who the Brotherhood are? Well, I can tell you they run GREAT con parties, but they are a lot more than that.  This is a brief descrition from their website:

The Brotherhood Without Banners is a George RR Martin fan group. Our primary mission is to bring together fans of GRRM’s writing for fun and discussion. Oh, and parties. Membership is open to everyone who is a fan of GRRM...

You can read lots more at the website.

Last year they had a whole stack of great books from authors as prizes in the charity raffle, but I remarked to one of the organisers that there wasn't a single book there written by a woman.  Now, as they are a great bunch of guys who really care about George R.R. Martin, about SF in general, and the reputation of the Brotherhood, they took my comment to heart. So this year, there is -- at the very least -- one woman writer represented in the raffle prizes! There is a complete set of the Mirage Makers trilogy, which has never been available for sale in the USA.

This year the raffle is in support of the Joplin tornado disaster relief fund. So if you are at Worldcon, support the raffle! You ever know what you might win!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have a new book out...

...for all my German readers, from Blanvalet. 

Der Heiler in the trilogy Die Inseln des Ruhms.

That's The Healer (i.e. Gilfeather)  in The Isles of Glory

Happy reading!

Kelwyn Gilfeather was one of my own favourite characters ever. I so enjoyed writing that man!
And yeah, I dunno what he's doing walking around with a spotlight on the end of a staff, either.

The third book, Die Magierin is due sometime in January!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Where I am now

I have not been posting much lately.


Our lounge room
What have I been up to? The very observant will notice that my word count in the sidebar has stalled for the past 10 days or so. I am 40% through the first draft, but I'm waiting for a bit of feedback from some beta readers. I've never done this before -- halted a book to get feedback -- but there is a first time for everything.

All my own work. Top 3 shelves - different editions
Having had trouble selling the idea for my next book has left me a bit adrift, doubting myself. I need to know whether to proceed with this one, or go back to The Masks of Yedron, or try something completely new. So I am waiting for what others think.

In the meantime I am catching up on some business matters, answering a backlog of emails and housework, enjoying the wonderful ego-boosting feedback I have been getting from readers of Stormlord's Exile...

And here for your edification is the lounge room of a couple who cannot live without books. The paper variety.