Monday, July 28, 2008

Sony e-book reader

Nathan Bransford recently blogged that Sony will be opening up their reader to files by competitors. I've been secretly wanting an ebook reader since I found out they existed. I wanted a Kindle when they first came out although I think it is ugly but I'm thinking maybe the Sony.

At this point, it's just talking as I don't have 300$ to spend on a reader. It's still cheaper to buy actual books. Don't go thinking I don't like paper books, the smell, the feel... nothing makes a house look cozy like walls covered by bookshelves. Like all proper bookworms, I rewatch Disney's Beauty and the Beast for that scene where he gives her the huge library. I would have fallen in love with a much uglier creature if he'd given me that place.

But you have to admit, ebook readers, like iPods, are damned convenient. It's the diffence between carrying 30 CDs in your bag or 4 days worth of music in mp3. I know, I know, maybe it's illusory. Who reads 160 books at the same time anyway? Not me, I stick to three or four. But you never know when you might feel like reading something else. Or when you might need a quote. Imagine going to college with just the one tiny reader instead of the 3t textbooks? Think of the children!

Plus, for us future editors, having all the stuff we have to read on hand can't be bad. I just hope they don't start putting games on it or I'll never get any work done.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer reading

If you are ever in La Rochelle, go have some ice-cream at Ernest Le Glacier. It's on a little street by the port. It is awesome ice-cream. I'll have to write to them and suggest Lucuma ice-cream, though.

If you're in need of something to read this summer that is related to publishing, here's the list we were sent as suggestions by the uni:

Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies

MA in Publishing/International Publishing/Publishing and Language/ Digital Publishing/ European Master in Publishing

Suggested preparation reading


Giles Clark and Angus Phillips, Inside Book Publishing, 4th edition, Routledge, June 2008.

Carole Blake. From Pitch to Publication. London: Pan. 1999.

Editorial Management

Gill Davies. Book Commissioning and Acquisition. London: Routledge. 2004.

Marketing Management for Publishing

Alison Baverstock. How to Market Books. London: Kogan Page, 2007. Fourth edition.

Jan Nathan and Thomas Woll: Publishing for Profit: Successful Bottom-Line Management for Book Publishers, 2006

Design and Production for Publishing

David Bann. The All New Print Production Handbook. Hove: Rotovision. 2006.

Erik Spiekermann and E M Ginger . Stop Stealing Sheep and Find out how Type Works. Berkeley: Adobe Press. 2003. Second Edition.

*Mitchell and Wightman. Book Typography A Designer's Manual Libanus Press. 2005. ISBN 0 948021 66 7* Website:

*Please purchase a copy of this book in advance of the start of term as you will need this for the first week*

Monday, July 21, 2008

Run over by my own karma?

I think we'll just say this blog is updated randomly throughout the week :) Makes me more spontaneous and loveable, don't you think?


I am now in La Rochelle and have easier internet access although I'm still stuck with a stupid Azerty keyboard. Whoever thought it was a good idea to invent different keyboards for different sides of the pond should have been charged for hate crimes. I keep typing q instead of a. I haven't thought so much about my typing since I got my first computer back in the Dark Ages (yanno, before iPods).

Still don't have my own 'puter so I haven't been able to do any writing. As usual, I am now full of great ideas for it and no sign of the writer's block I experienced while in Peru and nothing else to do all day except write. I must have been a horrible person in my last life.

Still no word about where I'm going to be living but I did hear back about the Random House scholarship. I didn't get it. Well, I didn't expect to anyway. I'm still waiting on the Hachette Livre one although it'll probably be a no as well. I really feel bad having mom pay for my studies although I insist on repaying her as soon (and as often) as I can. The student loan option is still open although I probably should get around to it sooner rather than later.

Maybe I should sell a kidney online. In the mean time, I'll go see if I can't find opportunities for getting some good karma credits.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rare species: a Brookes related post!

I still haven't gotten word about where I'm going to be living. We've talked about it on the 2008 Publishing M.A facebook group. I was relieved to find out I'm not the only one who hasn't heard back about halls. There are also several who will be house hunting in September so if it comes to that, I might be able to move in with my future classmates.

By the way, I don't know if I mentioned it before but everyone in the program I've friended on facebook is very nice and friendly and most of us like the same things. Some of us are planning on meeting up during the first week of September, get to know each other in advance... Pretty cool.

Those who have gotten rooms in the halls are mostly in Cheney Student Village in the post-grad block. It'd be awesome if we could all end up in the same place! We could rewatch Firefly every night! Yay!

I'm the sex

Still in Paris but only until tomorrow morning. I have so many pictures I want to share but it will have to wait until I can get the internet on my own computer.

Today, I went with my mother to the Pere Lachaise cemetary. That's where most of France's (and elsewhere's) important and famous are burried. We found Edith Piaf, Colette, Gericault, Paul Eluard and Oscar Wilde. There are many more but mom was tired. There are also a lot of monuments to the dead of both world wars, especially the victims of the death camps.

It was a great trip, the place is very nice. Some areas are better kept than others. For the most part, it is not sinister or anything.

Coming back, mom stopped at a lingerie store where they were having a sale. I ended up buying some La Perla stuff. I feel like a dirty mistress in a CSI epsiode.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So, this keyboard is incredibly annoying.

Anyway, we went to Normandy and spent the day there. My cousin's children were there and they are so sweet and affectionate! I love them! I expected a horrible day but ended up regretting we were leaving. They are that cute!

Still, on the train back I was about ready to collapse. I have never been that tired! I was sure I wasn't going to make it! But I did and I hope never to feel that lousy again.
Yesterday, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and walked all the way down the Champs Elyses. We got home exhausted but it was worth it. I love Parisian buildings! They are so beautiful! Not the modern square boxes obviously but the older ones with the sweet little windows with tiny balconies.

I'm loving this city although crap hasn't stopped happening. The 14th, our luggage arrived but we weren't home. Then, the concierge and the plumber had to get into the house through the balcony to turn off the water and broke a lamp. I don't know what they did because it looked as though the thing had exploded! we found broken glass in the toaster!

Then of course, we had no water. We were filthy and couldn't shower... They cut it off again today. It sounds like it's back on but...

I still have no idea where I'm gonna live in Oxford. The Brookes PIP thing says no decision has been made yet. I joined the publishing M.A group on Facebook and it seems like a lot of us are going to be in Cheney postgrad accomodation. I hope I can be there too.

Speaking of the others, we've all friended each other on Fb. It looks like we all like pretty much the same things! It seems like all those years of not having anyone to share my interests with are at a spectacular end! Woohoo!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good beginnings

It's 5h30 am in Paris and I haven't slept yet. Stupid jet-lag.

I'm trying to write as quietly as possible because I'm not supposed to be using this computer. It's one of those annoying keyboards with the "a" in the wrong place.

It's all gone wrong from the start. First, I got , my period the morning we left. Oh joy! 24h travelling over the Atlantic with the cramps fro, hell and a lame Jack Black movie about so,e video store. We arrived the day before yesterday to find out that the one hour wait to leave Caracas (Venezuela) was our luggage being left behind. They were supposed to arrive yesterday morning and of course, they didn't. We're hoping to get our things tomorroz now because today everything is closed. It's the 14th of July, Prise de La Bastille. And I don't even get to go see the parade and fireworks. Dammit!

You know what's great? Everything I own is in those suitcases. Including all my papers which I'll need in England. My offer letter from Brookes is in there! We better get our things back or I'm flying to Caracas and kicking some serious butt! Ok, probably not. But there will be tears and cursing.

And they better not have been opened!

Anyway, we still went to visit Notre Dame yesterday. Paris is indeed gorgeous and I'd show you some pictures if only the camera cable weren't in the suitcase. Stuff is expensive but Air France is going to reimburs the cost of the new underwear we bought (sexy stuff *wink*). Today, we're going to Normandy for dad's birthday so we're getting up relatively early so no sleep for me it seems.

I'm gonna leave you now. I'm afraid someone will wake up and realize I'm on the computer (which is not ours). I'll try to post again as soon as I can.

Happy Bastille day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A taste of Peru

I don't feel like blogging about the future today. So, this is not a post about Brookes or any related subject. There will be plenty of opportunity for those later.

Instead, I'm gonna tell you abouta Peruvian dessert and even give you the recipe. No, this is not going to become a food blog. Hey, this stuff could probably be made in the uni dorms on a tight budget, so I guess it is a university post. How about that? :)

Suspiro de/a la Limena.

This is probably one of the most pornilicious ultra-sweet things I've ever had. It's hard to describe. It's pudding-y at the bottom but not thick and light and fluffy on top.
It's so easy to make too. It sounds complicated because of the syrup but it's not as involved as it looks.

Basically, you boil one can of condensed milk (about 1-1/4 cup), 1 can evaporated milk and a cinnamon stick stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Let it stand for about 10 mins. Beat 5 egg yolks and add a tsp. of vanilla essence and slowly incorporate into the milk (I personally slowly mix about a cup of the milk into the eggs first before mixing that with the rest so I'm sure the eggs don't get scrambled).
Pour into individual serving cups or one big cup (I think individual is better). In a saucepan, combine 1 c. of sugar and 1/4 c. of port wine (or any sweet-ish liquor or heck, even water, basically, make a syrup) and boil until it reaches soft-ball stage (spoon a bit of the syrup into a glass of ice water and squish it between your fingers. It should, appropriately, form a soft ball of sugar.
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff and slowly pour syrup into them, beating constantly until the meringue is cool. Top the cups with a layer of meringe and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

This thing is crazy good! I just had a couple of spoonfuls because I'm on Atkins and this stuff is loaded with carbs. Hey! I couldn't leave this country without having some Suspiro de Limena!
It is extremely sweet so it's a good idea to share one serving with someone else because it probably gets overwhelming quickly.

Another thing that is crazy good is Lucuma ice-cream. Lucuma is a tropical fruit grown in the Amazon area of Peru. It looks a little like an avocado but has bright orange flesh. It's not eaten natural but is awesome in desserts. It's the most popular flavor for ice-cream over here and you can find lucuma cheesecakes, puddings, mousses... anything. They have Suspiro de Lucuma which I haven't tasted but I'm sure is nice and this other thing "Crocante de Lucuma" also untasted by yours truly but I want it! Anyway, the ice-cream is to die for! It has a soft, nutty flavor and something that is entirely lucuma-y and I don't know how to describe (heck of a writer I am, eh?). Very, very good. If you ever visit Peru, try it.

Another thing I love is Chicha Morada and Mazamorra Morada (heh, I just bought some of that). Mazamorra is made from Chicha which is made by boiling cobs of purple maize. It's an incredibly refreshing drink that's easy to make at home (I make my own)...if you can find purple maize.

I also loved Camotillos, basically, candied sweet potatoes. Mmmmh! Again, extra sweet.

Okay, enough :D I'm making myself hungry and I promised myself not to eat all the Mazamorra AND Frijol Colado today.

Oh, by the way, I finished packing and am horrified at how much I have to leave!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm dieing a little bit inside

I'm mostly done packing.

I'm sitting in my room, on the floor. My left leg is cramping and all I can think of is how I only have three more days in this country which I have LOVED. I'm sorry, I'm getting all emotional and that's not really my style.

As usual, I feel like I'm leaving a country before I even got to know it. Funny thing is, I've seen more of Peru in these seven months than I have of countries I have lived in for 5+ years. I really like it here, I'd stay longer if I could. So, I have three days to say goodbye to it and I don't know what to do. Should I go back to all my old haunts (as in Larcomar and Jockey Plaza)? Or should I play tourist for these next three days? Both options seem unatractive and shallow.


I think maybe on Thursday evening I'll ask if we can go to San Ceferino. It's a fancy, expensive restaurant that's literally next door. You pay European prices but the food is ten times better than anything I've had at fancy restaurants in North America (as is always the case in Peru, bless them). I adore their Ostrich in Mustard Sauce and it would come as a nice circle end as this is the first place I ate at when I came (it was almost New Year). It will be a special dinner.

Closure, you know?

I know I have another two months in France ahead of me but France doesn't feel like a holiday. After all, it's really just "going home" in a way, even though I never really lived there. Not to mention, I will be staying with my aunt for half of that time. I foresee many evangelising sessions ahead (I'm determinedly Pagan, sorry aunty).

My sister came into my room earlier and exclaimed "Oh my God! This room's gonna be so empty!" I thought it was so unconsciously sweet because, really, I don't have that many things of mine in here so it won't be empty in a literal sort of way.

Well, I'll leave you and go be all introspective.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One week left in South America!

Ack! I thought I had at least two but it turns out we're leaving for France next Friday!

As you can imagine, things have started to get hectic with my mother running all over the place dragging me to her favorite markets for clothes shopping. She's screaming at my youngest sister right now, sister is crying, other sister's getting involved now, how long until my father joins? Hahah! Is there a family that isn't crazy?

I'm driving mom insane because I'm not doing any packing yet. I hate packing. It's so final. I've liked it here very much. The food is awesome even if I can't have as much of it as I'd want. (Oh! Now mom's trying to pick a fight with me. She's wasting her time.) I loved the places I've visited, in fact, last night mom dragged youngest sister, dad and me to a farewell party for one of her colleagues which was held in the "Bus Parrandero", the Party Bus. We did a very short tour of the center by night while drinking and dancing. It was ok. Would have been a lot more fun if there hadn't been older folks but one of mom's young colleagues hit on me for a while! He's cute as hell so it's all good. Maybe it had something to do with me wearing that blue and black girly top I mentionned in an earlier post *winkwink*.

I've bought so many new clothes, I feel like a bleached blonde TV teen-girl (you know the type). I still have to get new jeans.

I'm going to be in Paris for a week, I was thinking I'd go visit Oxford while I'm there but there are so many places I want to visit since I took a history of art class that I don't know if I'll have the time. I might just leave it for when I'm living with my aunt in Normandy and do it alone.

Anyway, all this to say that if I don't post as often as I should, please don't hold it against me. I might have been murdered by my parents in a fit of travel-packing rage.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Like I said, he's going insane

Yup, my dad is losing it.

When my parents moved to Peru, they rented a house that came with all the furniture so we have a lot of stuff that just stayed in its boxes. Last week, my dad started opening boxes compulsively and getting random fits of rage. "What do you mean leave the boxes closed? What if there's stuff in there that you NEED?", "Get into the garage and look through that stuff! NOW!" etc.

Funny and scary at the same time.

Today he was convinced I absolutely needed my kung-fu uniform although I haven't used it in over four years. I keep telling him to leave the boxes alone. If I boxed it, it means I don't need it immediately and keeping everything packed will make it sooo much easier when I settle down in my own place and they have to send me my stuff. But he's sure there's big important stuff in there. I think what drives him even crazier is how (apparently) relaxed I am. He was shredding up bubble-wrap with a knife earlier, furious because I was baking a cake for my sister instead of doing important things like...oh, I don't know... ripping up my old baby clothes (mom is going to kill him when she finds out).