Neat Things

wedding tree

This conversation slipped my mind, but it’s a neat thing nonetheless. Back in December, Pascal wrote:

I am contacting you about a picture you have taken, called “wedding26”. I have used it in an artwork piece of mine.

It’s an awesome picture, and recently a local band asked if they could use that image for their cd demo design. And since you own the copyright to the picture, they need your permission to use it. Full credit will be given to you and your wife for the CD’s picture.

I, of course, granted permission. I was pleased that he asked, and immensely flattered.

The picture comes from our wedding, specifically the portion of the honeymoon that took place in a bed and breakfast in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Well into the countryside, we were treated to acres of rolling hills, the occasional photogenic power transmission tower (they can be especially photogenic on a prairie) and this one tree, which someone had attached a swing to.

The juxtaposition between this single large tree and acres of waving grass was remarkable, and a surprisingly memorable moment from our honeymoon.

The Trenchcoat Farewell Project continues to make slow but steady progress. I finished the layout for Trenchcoat 4’s The Graveyard of Time and Smaointe, meaning that I’m about 60% done. I’m searching for pictures that will be suitable for Distractions and I still have some scanning to do for The Captive Sleuths, though my father’s scanning of over 75 of Martin Proctor’s illustrations certainly helped move the project forward.

Cameron Dixon tells me that he will have a first draft of the Trenchcoat 0 story Shepherd Moons done this Saturday. He sent me what he has so far, and it’s just marvellous. Really neat! Cameron, you’ll be published someday. Lastly, with luck, Pat Degan will be able to supply illustrations for two more stories in Ninth Aspect 2. This extra material should serve to ensure that the project finishes strong, rather than petering out with “reconstructed” material.

Come June 21, a great silence will befall North America and Europe… at least, for those people perusing certain websites. The eerie silence will continue for, oh, about eight hours.

And then all hell will break loose. There will be a gaggle of voices saying “didja read it? didja like it?” and an assortment of squees from this quarter, I’m sure. If it turns out that somebody has died, there will be several impromptu funerals and wakes.

In short, it will be marvellous.

What am I talking about? Well, J.K. Rowling has announced that she has finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book — which at 255,000 words is the longest yet of the series — one third longer than the Goblet of Fire — will be available in bookstores on June 21, 2003.

This will probably be everything the bookstores will hope for. Hordes of people will line up on the night before the release — a behavioural trait previously reserved for blockbuster movie releases. And, give J.K. Rowling credit, kids will have a very thick book to read over the summer.

I won’t be standing in line. I’ll give it a week for the crowds to clear, and then I’ll buy my own copy. For me, I’m looking forward to the reinvigoration of Harry Potter fandom. Although Harry Potter fandom is the largest currently in existence, it’s very disorganized, and I think it’s largely dependent upon the release of new material. I noticed a drop-off in activity as the wait for the new book went from months to years, but come June, fandom will be delivered the equivalent of a sugar-rush. What does everybody think of the new book? What’s in store for Harry and his friends? What fanfics will be contradicted? What will be seen as prophetic? What new twists will arise in the shipping debates? What will H/H’ers do if Ron and Hermione kiss?

If you don’t understand a word of that last sentence, trust me, it’s probably for the better. But for those of us for whom this warning comes too late: party on!

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