Saturday, 12 May 2012

Walkies, Writing and Cryonics

A bird in the bush...

It feels weird going for a walk with only one dog in tow.  Even Emily keeps looking behind her and waiting, as if half-expecting Ygraine to emerge from behind a clump of long grass.  Emily's missing her life-long buddy too.  And the heap of old jumpers between the wall and my computer desk feels very empty.  Ygraine always snoozed there while I worked. 

I have begun compiling short stories for the forthcoming sequel to Dark Tides, which I've called Dark Waters.  However, since planning these two short story collections I have re-released the two Amazon Shorts ebooks, A Wirral Otherkin Trilogy and Quiet Lives, thinking that as they were already in publishable condition it would be silly to leave them gathering dust on a shelf.  A bird in the hand..., etc.  Compiling Dark Waters, I realised that too many of the stories which I'd earmarked for that project already feature in those.  So this project will have to slow down a bit until I've written some more material for it.  No problem!  Surely it's more useful to be patient and take time over a project, than rush to finish it and feel it's not as it could be.

I don't mind including in a collection one or two short stories which I've already published as stand-alone shorts for $0.99 each, but not more than that.  Otherwise, it reminds me of those tedious greatest hits albums by certain mega-famous rock bands who re-release the same dozen songs in a different sequence, add a demo which had previously been consigned to the bin (and call it a rare recording, or a thrilling insight into their creative process or some such tommy-rot), slap on a bright new cover and hey-presto, it lands on the sale racks just in time for Xmas.  Yawn!!!

I attended an interesting seminar last week, which was run by the Co-Operative Funeralcare in Birkenhead.  We were shown around their facility behind-the-scenes by a friendly seventy-year old man who said he loves working for the Co-Op and doesn't want to retire.  We saw the garage, where a fleet of gleaming black limos and green limos (for green funerals) were neatly parked.  We saw the stacks of brand new, plastic-wrapped coffins fresh from the factory in Scotland, and shown a choice of designs. 

Who would have thought that a cardboard coffin isn't, after all, the cheapest option?  There were some melamine ones with pastel butterflies and quotations from Richard Bach printed on them.  We were also shown their cold room and the room where people are embalmed, which can also used for emergency autopsies, and the Co-Op's own dedicated chapel which can be used by people of any religion or no religion at all and which was rather pleasant.

Only two kinds of funerals were mentioned - burial or cremation - so obviously I raised the issue of cryonics.  I got the impression that this hadn't been given any consideration at all.  At the moment the Cryonics Institute has 84 British members, (I don't know how many British members Alcor or other cryonics facilities may have), and Britain has the largest number of cryonicists outside of America, and it is a growing number too, so it deserves a place in the repertoire of any forward-thinking funeral company.

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