Thursday, December 13, 2007
Next up is to get back to Kieran's Kiss, and start work on the twisted version of Rapunzel I've been thinking of - caffeine deprivation causes strange thoughts to trickle through one's brain-pan.
Still haven't completed the trauma of Christmas shopping for everyone (more money!) and the car has to go in for a service, which means that for at least six months into the new year there will have to be some serious retrenchment (but no decamping to Bath unfortunately, as one will still have to work.
We have frosty weather, but no snow. However, I am going even further into the frozen north tomorrow so it may be a different story there.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Have I pur-chased all of the required cadeaux? No. I've still got some quilting to fit in for other people as well (which were going to be my money-saving presents, except that I'd forgotten about them so instead of having three months to do the accent quilting and turn various panels into wall hangings, I now have 2 weeks!)
Staff do tonight, so shiny new shoes will hopefully be worn (if the rain holds off - they're satin, so I don't want them to stain if it can be avoided)
London in 11 days! Yay! Visit some art galleries and museums, have a bit of a chill before the holidays begin in earnest.
Have just finished reading Dancing With Werewolves by carole Nelson Douglas - very interesting take on vamps & werewolves; a good addition to the paranormal stable; so I shall be reading her again. Also finished Lara Adrian's third Breed book Midnight Awakening - loved it. The only annoying thing is that the fourth one is not out until March next year. :pooh:
Friday, November 30, 2007
But, I'm moving on with the novel(la?) so I won't complain; I'll just admire those who have done really well and broken through the 5ok mark.
On a sideways note, Sven is going well - and I'm on target for him! Yay!
However. I have noticed that, despite the outline, I am now on Chapter 5. I say despite, because according to the outline I should still be on Chapter 3. More has gone on than I'd planned out initially. Does that happen to a lot of people? You plan one thing (x will happen in chapter 2 and then y in chapter 3) and then find that a, b, c, d, and z also took place in chapter 3 and lo! chapter 5 has arrived? It was planned as a novella, but at the moment I'm at just over 14K and I've only just started ch.5 of the 12 I was aiming for. :sigh: I won't think about it now. I'll sort it out in the editing process.
It is interesting though, because I had thought that an outline would make the writing easier in the sense that I wouldn't deviate as much but I seem to have had aha! moments along the way, just the same. (Aha! they could do that, here, and then this could happen - which means this will happen and...what does it say in the outline again?)
It's nearly the weekend! Woo-Hoo! I am so tired. I need a holiday, I think. Well, only another 20 days, or so and then it's off to Londres for some exhibition viewing. Sort of relaxing!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- Reach 20K on my WiP
- Make soup (and get to eat it this time)
- Tidy the back room downstairs - this is not my goal per se; it was assigned to me by chum #1 as she did the front room; and, to be fair, most of the stuff in the back is mine. I just don't have anywhere to put it. I need an attic, and some proper, old sea chests!
I do have some housework to do in my room as well, but beyond changing the bed and whipping the hoover round, that may have to wait until next week. (Furniture shifted/ shelves up etc.)
There will also be dog training/ walking etc. in there as well but hopefully I will have some time to myself to press on in both writing and reading.
Carpe diem and all that!
Mood #1: bit peckish - just about to have a coffee break
Mood #2: not too bad. Not brimming with joy and harmony, but I'm okay!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Tha Spa was great! I felt so relaxed (and full, the food was great) I didn't want to do anything for the rest of November! Hot rooms, steam rooms, ice scrubs (refreshing, but you did have to psych yourself up for it the first time, especially when chum #2 helped out by rubbing it all over my back when I was bent over doing my face! It was a bit...brisk, you might say!) Swimming, loungers with twinkly music and sparkly lights and a relaxation room with a giant fish tank - very nice.
Then it was back to work and busyness. :phhbbbbbt!:
Weekend passed in a blur, although I was very tired. Probably need to lose some weight, as I usually get tired if I'm too podgy, so- no more mince pie testing before Christmas. :sigh: Well, I have a load of vegetables (and I still have 2 huge pumpkins) so I shall make soup this weekend. Healthy, keeps the cold out, uses veg up if it's a bit too 'tired' to be steamed.
Writing progress - not very shiny. Unfortunately, I have yet to master the art of writing in my sleep, but I shall work on that. Until then, I'll just have to slog on. It's unlikely I'll achieve the winning of NaNo (not unless I have a raging case of insomnia between now and the end of November) but I'm still Sven-ning so everything is still moving forward; it's just that rather than it being a case of 'Gallop apace ye fiery footed steeds' (apologies to Will S. for potential misquoting - I'm not looking it up this morning) it's more a case of 'Plod on you faithful plough horse, for yea there is hot oat mash at the other end of this wacking great field of malodorous mud' - or some such.
I need more coffee, obviously.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It is wazzing it down. And I was trying (unsuccessfully) to change out a bust headlight bulb in the rain. Left-hand side of the car? No problem. Right-hand side? There's a hose thing in the way, and I can't get a grip on the retaining clips for the bulb with it there. But, I'm worried that if I undo it, I won't remember where to re-connect it when I'm done. So I'll be having a wail at my little man as soon as (or at anyone who does know what goes where and can put it back again without having a case of OCD all over Henry's innards).
I have managed to do 11,727 words on NaNo (16,874 with Sven - woot!)
I went for a coffee break, thinking I'd write a few more notes on KK or plan a short story due in December, and instead ended up starting a sideways take on Rapunzel. It's partly because I'd been thinking of doing something for Eternal Press' Twisted Fayrie Tales theme. Which was due today. But with doing NaNo, I didn't get the idea formulated. I had a vague notion of the 'twist', but it wasn't until today that I had that fleshed out, and knew how it started. I may work on this tomorrow. Don't know, at the moment, where it could go when done. But, I like the idea so we'll see how it goes.
I'm at a spa with mater and two chums tomorrow (mater's birthday) and although I will take a book, I know that if I don't take any paper/ writing implements I shall be climbing the walls before we get to the three-course lunch, and forget most of the good things I think of. (Eden Hall Day Spa, Nottinghamshire. Chum #1 says it's very nice & she's not very girly in the way of spas and titivation, so high kudos from her. Will let you know if I feel relaxed when I get back!)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Sven is going better for me than NaNo, but at the heart of it NaNo is fun and any progress achieved is a good thing, even if I don't hit or top 50K. (And hey, there're two weeks to go and miracles can happen, so who knows?) (Edited to add: not meaning to say that Sven is not fun, it's just that Sven is going on until January, so there's less personal time-management trauma for me!)
NaNo = 10,123
Sven = 15,270
In other news, we may have snow tomorrow (if the weather decides we are high enough). Certainly, on the map, it looks as though we will get it; luckily we have plenty of coal. Even so, one of my tasks tomorrow will be to go into the woods and gather sticks for kindling, just to help get the fire started. This is the third night in a row we've had the fire lit, so I think this is it for the winter and it will be in now until about March.
Luckily, we don't need to light one during the day. It gets banked at night and as it burns down the ash covers the embers so that when we come to light the fire again at 17:00/ 18:00hrs the following night, we've still got glowing embers to work with, and the house is still warm as well. (Although with that, it helps that we now have people living on both sides as that keeps the house warmer).
Well, after that boring update, I'm for a quick Blogroll then off to bed.
And, before I forget (again!) Amanda - the whole album Black Parade is great! Very dark in tone, but melodies are mostly upbeat. My favourites are: The Sharpest Lives, Sleep, and Famous Last Words.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I haven't outlined Phelan's book yet, but most of chapter 2 was devoted to him and Alexei. With it meant to be Kieran & Tamsyn's book this time, it may be that I've devoted too much to A&P. I'll keep going for the moment and see if it's better divided later, or kept as is.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I have written 3,505 words of Kieran's Kiss. As far as NaNo is concerned, I'm about 7,000 words behind where I should be. As far as I, personally, am concerned...yeah, baby!
She are flowing like rivers of hunny. Me liek hunny. Srsly.
No, really. It's going well, and I'm enjoying it. I'd spent so long planning that damn thing that I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to get into the writing, but so far so good. I've just been hindered by work and an inability to get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later (if I try, it's not a pretty sight!)
So, forward motion is being achieved! (And congratulations to Zette, who has already sailed past the 50K mark)
Been at work for 30mins and I'm tired already!
Need. More. Coffee.
Monday, November 05, 2007
And I'm behind on NaNo :o(
Dog Whisperer came on Saturday, basically, the dogs aren't confident in us being the alphas so they're doing the job; so now we have to convince them that we are it. Going ok so far - they've thrown a few paddys. BB is the best, because he's the youngest I think so is more amenable to change. The girls are being cows at the moment - hopefully this will improve. Soon.
Anyway, more work on NaNo to do (while trying to avoid surfing the interweb - the perils of broadband!)
How are y'all doing? How's Sven going for those who NaNo not?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So, NaNo wordcount will be updated on Friday (once I've typed up all of the handwritten notes from today; and then hopefully most, if not all, of the rest will be typed directly onto the pc.
How are you doing? If you're not doing NaNo, how much is Sven making you sweat?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
According to a BBC article - here - in the early Christian tradition, souls would be released for 48 hours on All Hallows to walk the world. It is also said (although I can't find a definitive source, but I believe this stems from the Celtic tradition) that the walls between the worlds thin at this time of year, to allow spirits to pass through - I do remember, as a child, lighting a candle on a windowledge for the dead. Although I'm not sure if that was so they'd know where to come or where to pass by? (It's a mystery!) Don't know if anyone else does this now?
It seems like a nice idea to me, to do it this way, almost like an annual wake for those who've gone (but not as solemn as All Souls). A sort of European Day of the Dead?
Samhain is also seen as being the end of the harvest (hopefully a successful one). With all the rain we've had this year, at the wrong time, there may not be as much celebration for the harvest we've had (or there may be more, I suppose, in thanks for what didn't rot/ refuse to grow/ get washed away).
I had good crops in the allotment (apart from the peas - buggers wouldn't grow this year at all) so I am thankful, although I still need to do more next year to supplement the food bill. Hopefully, next year will be a little less bizarre, weather-wise. Hmmm. Maybe I should get some corn-dollies?
So if you're celebrating Halloween, All Hallows, Samhain or any of its variants, I hope you have a good evening and a lovely celebration! (And I hope you don't meet any Nightmares or bogles on the road home!)
For all those doing NaNo...00.01hrs = Bum In Chair, Hands On Keyboard! Good Luck!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Book I: Kieran's Kiss
Book II: Phelan's Fate
As I said, they'll probably change (and that's if they don't get put straight into a drawer, never to see the light of day, while I work on something else!) But I wanted something in the title field other than - Err, :frowns furiously: ????? Wha?
Temp: Warm, I'm on the sunny side of this building
Some excitement this morning, as a fire drill was deemed necessary. Not too bad standing in the sunshine, but in the shade it's was a tad...brisk! And the siren was insanely loud, but we had to pass under it twice so we walked with fingers in ears down the stairs.
I've got a reader interview up on Nalini Singh's weblog, so go and have a look! Check out her books if you haven't already. Her paranormal romances are excellent - Slave to Sensation; Visions of Heat; and Caressed by Ice (and I'm waiting with bated breath for Hawke's story, even though it's not the next one. :sigh:)
Monday, October 29, 2007
Well, I'm taking Thursday (and possibly Friday) off - I'm meeting some chums down in London, mid-afternoon on Thursday. But it does mean that I can start NaNo just after midnight without having to worry about getting up at 06:00hrs to go to work! (Let's hope I can stay awake that long!) But at least I should be able to get my head down over the weekend and get cracking (and actually get some decent wordcount up on Sven and NaNo)
I also have a cold, which is annoying. Everyone seems to be off with ailments at the moment; either bum knees or colds/ flu etc. Thank God for hot lemon & honey (or hot cider if you don't have to go anywhere!)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I am putting of the IKEA visit until tomorrow, as I've got a few things to do while the house is quiet and I've got it to myself (housemate is working today)
Unfortunately, there is no cake to go with this amazing sense of well-being, but one can't have everything. ;oD
Music: none - for some reason if you try to listen to music on the pc and go on the internet at the same time, the music wobbles as if the batteries are running down. Most bizarre.
Mood: Upbeat - I am steadfastly ignoring the rest of the house which also needs the domestic touch of Thor.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Ahem. Will calm down now. I've had two late nights at work this week, and didn't get home until nearly 23:00hrs last night because I had to phone the Dog Listener before I left work. She will be coming out to see BB and the rest of the pack in November, to teach housemate and moi how to be - not just top bitch - but top dog overall. At the moment BB thinks "I'm the MAN! So I'm in charge, yeah! I'm gonna bark-a-lot and protects my wimmins." Grrrr.
So, that's the behaviour we're going to knock on the head, so to speak. Part of the training will be around how wolf packs interact (and as we have a pack of border collies, who are quite close in attitude, apparently to their wilder cousins, this will be useful). I will update when we have been trained.
On the writing front, managed to iron out (in my head) a few wrinkles that had been bothering me. Got halfway through an outline of chapter 10, but I know I'm going to have to go back through the outline and tweak - I'm also going to put the scenes on notecards so I can shuffle them around more easily (thanks Amanda for reminding me about the notecards option!) I was going to attempt the post-it route, but to be honest, I don't have anywhere to put them up as, if there's a space on a wall, I try to cover it with a bookcase full of books. Anyway, I have bought notecards; I have plenty of highlighters so I can colour-code which scene is in a particular character's POV; and I've nearly finished the outline - I hope. Have I forgotten anything? Hmm. No doubt anything I've forgotten will make itself known pretty quickly and I can tweak it later if it doesn't stop the writing dead in its tracks!
Listening to: Monster by The Automatic
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Chimney's been mended, but apparently we need a completely new one (and the roofer thinks, looking up and down our street, that most of the houses need new chimneys and roofs as we've all still got the originals - which are now over 100 years old and look it, what with bits falling off etc.!) So that's a joy for our landlord to deal with!
Half term this week, so not too many students around (also meant the drive to work was gloriously quiet)
Sad note: England lost the Rugby. Sigh
Thursday, October 18, 2007
1. there was frost on the grass
2. there was floating mist above all of the fields/ ponds/ trees etc.
3. I had to scrape the windows of my car before I could drive to work this morning
Is this a problem?
Well, I'm still waiting for the chimney to be fixed (half the chimney pot in the chimney, the other half on the roof - no fire allowed until mended, so says the chimney sweep). No other form of heating.
So, wooly nightdress, socks and a hot water-bottle; and the dogs are allowed on the bed to act as additional hot water-bottles (although that doesn't always work as sometimes I wake up wondering why I'm getting a draft, and it's because I've been shoved to the edge and everyone else is curled up cozy as you please!) phhhbbbbbt!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Now I have a headache and want to go home and lie down! It's dark. And raining. (It is, in fact, a dark and stormy night! heh heh heh
And there's hardly anyone here - don't they have work to do?
Edited to add: Completely unrelated, but I have fallen in love with My Chemical Romance's Black Parade album. Never heard anything by them before, can't believe I missed them! They're great.
(Although, reading my outline I have a horrible feeling it's going to be crap - but, crap that's written (rather than just thought) can be re-written to be better, so...glass half-full tonight!)
Mood: Hot, tired, but not so dizzy now I've had something to eat.
Music: It is as quiet as a...library? heh heh heh
Monday, October 15, 2007
Check out the Seventy Days of Sweat blog for details of who's taking part, and, if you haven't already signed up...what are you waiting for?
Anyone who's also doing NaNo can use some of the spare days now, in preparation for the absolute insanity.
Good luck to all involved!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Chapter outlines are going well, but I'm breaking to do a short story and then I'll be back on the outline of novella #1.
Mood: Tired - done a few student sessions today & I'm going home now.
Music: Hindi Sad Diamonds from Moulin Rouge: disc one
Office temp: 21.9 deg. C
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The Archangel Within (An Archangel Quiz)
Uriel - "God's Command" or "The Fire of God". Complacent, quiet, strong willed, loyal and short tempered you are most like Uriel. You are most likely someone who hates incompetence (people who make excuses/etc). You are into the belief that a persons actions speak louder then words, hence your quiet nature. You may seem cold and distance yourself from others, possibly because you are afraid of getting hurt or you have been hurt before and under the bias that everyone is out to get you. However once you open up, you are not so bad. You are very loyal and have a strong sense of justice that borderlines on vengeance due to your temper. You are most likely highly stubborn and can be, at times, as unmovable as a mountain when it comes to standing firm on the topics you care about (or petty issues).Biblical Facts: Uriel guards the gates of Eden and presides over Tartarus (Hell). His stern gaze is said to send chills through angelic brethren, human, and demon alike. When he enters battle he makes a ferocious war-cry which is enough to make any demon wet themselves.
Take this quiz!
| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code
Friday, October 05, 2007
So I went over to the 'guided' format. So far, so good. We shall see!
Monday, October 01, 2007
Apparently, the UK is set to have a colder, drier winter this year so we'll have to go out wood-gathering soon to supplement the coal for the fire (no central heating - welcome to the 21st Century in the north!) But, regardless, I do love this time of year.
The Fresher's have all begun to settle in, and second and third years are making appointments for research help which is good. The last two weeks have been nightmarishly busy, with quite a few late nights, but hopefully that will tail off a bit now and settle down into the normal schedule. Especially important as I want to do the second Sweating with Sven and also, hopefully, NaNoWriMo as well. Not that I'm insane or anything.
Mood: I still have a bit of lergy, but generally...I'm OK.
Listening to: Save Me by Remy Zero
Temp in Office: 19.7˚C
Friday, September 21, 2007
That's all it took this year.
Four days to get the Freshers' Lergy from the new students.
I am so unamused.
Head stuffed, head aches, hot-cold-hot. I would like to lie down for a few days but it is not to be. :mopes:
Music: Final Battle from Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri
Friday, September 14, 2007
1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top ten results.
Well, writer's at number ten. I suppose I should be grateful it's on the list!
What does this mean to me? The start of a new academic year and the appearance of students old and new, most of whom don't want induction, instead they want to sign up for various sports and find out which room their modules are being taught in and where the best part-time jobs are going. Ah well.
In another couple of weeks things will start to settle down and the pace of work will die back from franticly hectic to just busy. We shall see!
On another note, I have a few short projects to complete (first draft) this weekend and, as I have most of the weekend to myself, I should be able to do it in relative peace and quiet. (Apart from the howling hounds, of course!)
Mood: Fed up of waking at 05:45hrs, but generally okay.
Music: None. The office door is open and such is frowned on. Will have to dig out the iPod.
Temp: 22.9˚C (but it is a very grey day)
Friday, September 07, 2007
There's a three day wait for an acknowledgement, but, as I sent it on a Friday afternoon I may not hear until further into next week.
But, it's done! Gone!
Ghosts and Monsters next!
Edited to add: have had an acknowledgement on the NBR piece. Nothing to do now but wait until November when I'll know if it's in or not! Onward and upwards!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Nearly hometime which is great because I just want a nap - not enough fresh air today. I slept in and have been slightly wrong-footed ever since. Early night tonight, I think. If I'm home in time I'll go and fetch the dogs with the housemate, otherwise it'll have to be a bit of weeding to restore the equilibrium.
Listening to: What Shall We Die For? from PotC3 by Hans Zimmer (not that I like this soundtrack or anything!)
Mood: Tired, but okay
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Mood: okay, nearly home time.
No music, just the wind whistling round the office windows.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Right then! A fair bit of editing needs doing and I need a closing couple of sentences and a title as well, but then it's done. Is it literary? Is it crap? Is it literary crap? Hopefully, not the latter two but I shall ask an impartial reader to have a scan before I embarrass myself by sending off something completely dire!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Listening to: I see dead people in boats from PotC3 by Hans Zimmer
General air of wellbeing: I'm hot, I'm cold, I'm hot...I think I have a cold.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Writing's going ok - not done more on the novella, but I've been working on a piece for Nothing But Red, and that's going well so far (although it can't be said that I'm whizzing along right now).
Office/building move number two went well although the stock is still being unpacked and interfiled (and we've been told that we need to lose another 100 shelves of stock because it won't all fit! How we're going to achieve this fairly I have no idea, at the moment I'm envisaging piles of books at the ends of each bay of shelving). ***Everything's. Going. So. Welllllll!***
I haven't updated the 'I have read' list in the sidebar since I went on holiday in June, the list is quite large now, hence my putting it off but if I get some free tinkering time this weekend I'll have a stab at updating it. At the moment I'm reading Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens and loving it. Saille T'Willow is a lovely character and it's annoying that I have to wait until lunchtime (or worse, until I get home) to read more. I'm also re-reading my Lois McMaster Bujold SF - I'd forgotten what a great character Miles Vorkosigan is, very humorous wit.
Mood: Quite chipper, actually
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I am just so tired! And hungry. I've done no writing since my last post, but I'm hoping to get back on the ol' horse now that the worst of the trauma is over (I hope!)
Time for a banana though I think!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I'm trying to do a bare bones outline on each chapter and so far I'm not that far ahead of the actual writing. I've found that trying to plan significantly ahead didn't work. I had to write something to begin with to discover where I was going to outline. Which doesn't make much sense to me, but if it works who am I to complain?
I'll be switching over to long-hand shortly as this is not the most ergonomic of layouts and my arm's hurting now so I shall print what I've got and run with that.
Plans for this evening: write more; read Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller; have a bath with candles, incense and relaxing music - possible Ludovico Einaudi and chill. (And maybe come back online to visit some of my WG's)
On iTunes: Church of Glass from Oscar & Lucinda
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Initial piece is 30K novella.
12pt Courier (at 250 words per page)
4 pages per day = 30 days to complete = 1000 words per day
5 pages per day = 24 days to complete = 1250 words per day
6 pages per day = 20 days to complete = 1500 words per day
12pt Times New Roman (at 285 words per page)
4 pages per day = 26.25 days to complete = 1140 words per day
5 pages per day = 21 days to complete = 1425 words per day
6 pages per day = 17.5 days to complete = 1710 words per day
When you look at the numbers, they don't actually seem that great/ challenging. When you're sitting in front of a computer or have notebook in hand getting those words (and good ones at that) can be extremely frustrating!
On NaNo: Blush Response from Bladerunner
Temp in office: 22˚ C
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sign up now (closing date is Friday the 13th July) for Alison Kent's Seventy Days of Sweat - a multi-author commitment to write between 4 and 6 pages a day (depending on the length of your book/ novellas) reporting back on Alison's blog at regular intervals to let all the participants know how you're getting on.
The challenge started on Sunday the 8th of July and runs until Thursday September the 20th - 75 days, but that's so that those who are attending RWA don't have to write then.
So far, 213 people have signed up - who's next?
I'm still thinking about it - I'm usually a coward about putting my commitment out there, but I am thinking seriously about it. If only because - with so many other people looking on, commenting and participating - lack of commitment would become blindingly obvious
Edited to add: What the hell - I'm going to do it. I want to get this novella done.
**In other news, I have paggered my back (again - this time it's the prolapsed disc) which has resulted in shoulder/arm pain on one side and an investment in paracetamol and super-strength anti-inflammatories. The worst part is being unable to sleep well at night because there is no comfortable position - only one less painful than any of the others. Hours to get to sleep and then I keep waking up so by the time I have to get up for work it's autopilot. I wouldn't mind if I could put the 'not able to get to sleep' period to good use, but I'm so knackered that I can't even think straight. (Okay, whinging over - time to think shiny, happy thoughts!)
On Nano: Snow White Queen by Evanescence
Temp in office: 24.3˚C
Mood: Tired, and not feeling shiny right now.
Monday, July 02, 2007
The holiday was great - absolutely gorgeous farmhouse (I slept in a four-poster bed!). BB loved the garden, which was huge and fully enclosed (although he barked at the cows in the next field) and I had some great walks along the coast.
I didn't write anything (not even a postcard) and on the one hand I feel bad about it, but on the other hand I read 20 books in 9 days and slept a lot. All in all I feel much better, even though I've spent the better part of today catching up on all of the e-mails that arrived in my absence and planning what I'm going to be attacking in the next couple of weeks at work. (Publications, publications, publications. And moving libraries. Yay!)
Still going through all of the feeds on my Bloglines index, so there may be something of more interest to post than "what I did on my holiday" (but knowing me, I wouldn't count on it and you've probably already come across it yourselves anyway by now!)
Side note 1: Many thanks to the wonderful Anya Bast - I won a copy of Witch Fire by participating in the comments on The Bradford Bunch blog that she contributes to. I can't wait to read it!
Side note 2: The latest issue of Mytholog is now out. Free reads, so check it out!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Oh. My. God.
I can cope. I can!
Just tidying up my workspace in case I get moved to my new office while I'm away. I have (now irrelevant) paperwork going back to 2001 - the recyclers are going to love me!) I will leave the windowledge until I get back, no point in overdoing it!
I'm really looking forward to the holiday. I'm going to do some writing, but I'm also going to take the opportunity to catch up on some trilogies I haven't read yet. Ah, books.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I read a fair number of novels set in and around this time period and it's not unusual for any given character to refer to the 'war' or for a hero to be scarred by his experiences on the Peninsula. Even if you don't read any of the accounts written by eyewitnesses of the time the cold, hard statistics are enough to provide a rough (and horrific) idea of what it may have been like.
According to the British Battles website:
The British, Belgians, Dutch and Germans lost 15,000 casualties or 1 in 4 engaged. The Prussians lost 7,000. The casualties of the French army are estimated at 25,000 dead and wounded, 8,000 prisoners and 220 guns lost.
This may not seem many in light of modern warfare's capability for destruction, but for one day's fighting when your main weapons are cannon, rifles and swords (and horses!) it's quite a sobering achievement.
Friday, June 15, 2007
One more week and I am on holiday! yay! But, on holiday I have no computer so any writing I do will have to be done by hand and then typed up when I get back. Oh noes!! How easily we are lured by the joy of tech.
The shifter novella is taking shape, although I need to get more speed on.
Dream of the Day: One day I will have a laptop of my very own.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Click here for the full post.
Even with only 1-2 releases a month, it will be interesting to see whether this makes a significant difference in the number of Samhain books available in stores. I'm presuming that Samhain will also continue to release titles in print, apart from the new imprint, so perhaps we'll see more titles (some/ any Samhain titles) in UK bookshops? (Apart from Murder One in London which is already very good about having print titles from Samhain, Ellora's Cave, New Concepts and others). My local Waterstones (formerly Ottakers) is small but also appalling in its range of stock; my local independent tried to be too like them in order to hold onto the market and now is just as bad and we won't mention WH Smiths at all. Grrrrr. (Borders - please don't go!)
Listening to: Drink Up Me Hearties from PotC3
Temp in office: 23.1˚C
Mood: Tired and cranky
Friday, June 01, 2007
Anway, I digress. Although I did/do love PotC3, I have to say that I love the soundtrack more (by Hans Zimmer). Gorgeous, sweeping music that makes me want to have a sailing ship of my own and stand at the wheel whilst sailing east of the sun and west of the moon!
I am in fact listening to it right now - and we loves it, we do. Ahem. The theme melody that runs through the previous two soundtracks is present again, but there are some new variations that really get your heart racing especially in the tracks: At Wit's End, Up is Down, and Drink Up Me Hearties. The (brief) first track Hoist the Colours is quite emotive (and horribly addictive in the sense that it's short enough and rhythmic enough to get stuck in your head for days! It's been three days and I've still got the words running through my head!)
Listening to: Singapore from PotC3
Mood: Quite chirpy, thank you!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Following on from this, the AG reports that S&S have backtracked slightly, accusing the AG of overreacting but also saying that the rights reversions issue will be looked at on a book-by-book basis.
Read your contracts carefully, talk to a contracts lawyer (or your agent) if you don't understand something and don't sign something if you don't understand what everything means or you're not happy with what's on the contract.
Thanks to Alison for the heads-up.
Also, for a different take, have a look at Juno Editor/ Paula Guran's blog entry on this.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I had an unpleasant series of thoughts last night. I'd finished typing up what I'd done so far on the short I'm working on and then thought of how it could go better in first person, with completely different characters and set in a completely different country! Does this mean it's not going well? ;-) Sigh. I'm not changing it. I'll finish it, then if I think it's unmitigated crap I'll either do a re-write or stick it in the drawer of 'work to draw lessons from, but that should never see the light of day'!
On a happier note, the visit to my papa's will mean plenty of reading time so I can get stuck into Lara Adrian 's 'Kiss of Midnight' (and hopefully the new Jayne Ann Krentz (The River Knows - writing as Amanda Quick) that I swore I wouldn't buy in trade size, but would wait for the mass-market version will arrive tomorrow, in trade format, before I go.
Side Note 1:
There've been posts and comments pinging their way across the blogosphere about the e-publisher Triskelion and their un-invitation to attend RWA here. Quite a bit from both sides of the debate at DearAuthor (all the entries are from the 16th of May) and the comments on SmartBitches are quite interesting as well.
Side Note 2:
Jessica over at BookEnds, LLC has put together a (brief) sub-genre encyclopaedia to 'give you a better idea and understanding of what publishing professionals are talking about when they mention a specific sub-genre.' Click here for the full post. (the comments are pretty interesting too.)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The BH itself went well. It was the two extra days I took that completely left my control. Pseudo-nephew no.2 was ill and I was recruited to hold the fort while p-n no.1 was collected from school. Then I helped out round the house and got home late.
Following day, same pattern (but I started earlier) although I did manage to read half a book and do another page of my short.
My respect for those who run their lives round children has increased. Hats off to you ladies & gents!
My state of knackeredness was not improved by BB - who decided that he wanted to go outside 4 times on Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday (I'm dreading tonight - but it's not as if I can ignore him - I'm the one who has to clean the carpet if I do, so getting up is the lesser evil (but eeeevil it is - the only time you should be up at 04:40hrs is if you've stayed up (to read/ write or party), you're going on holiday or you've got a hot date. Toilet duty - no.))
I will try to post during the weeks that follow (weekends will be out as I'm away and Internet access is unlikely)
Friday, May 04, 2007
Laura seems to be getting a lot of support from authors and readers across the blogosphere (irrespective of whether they like m/m romance or not); unfortunately, she apparently didn't get the same support from the organisers of the convention. The ones she'd paid good money to.
On a different note, more insanity sprang up at the start of the week - directed at Karen Scott. You can read DearAuthor.com's take on it here.
Have the Sith Lords taken over, or something?
On Nano: Track 15 of Enigma's MCMXC a.D. (yes, I loaded it onto iTunes without being online/ typing in the track titles - I was in a rush ok?!)
Mood: Tired because BB got me up four times in the night, but looking forward to the Bank Holiday Weekend (#1 for May!) I won't be back at work until Thursday so that's cool.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I'm tired at the moment, because I'm still recovering from Sunday night (or rather, Monday morning). A lady lives across the road from me, and she has a habit of locking her man out so it's not overly unusual for me to be wakened (or kept awake) by him wailing her name, swearing, and demanding to be let in while pounding on the front door/ back door/ windows. Sometimes, I get to hear the police asking her to open the door. Sunday night/ Monday morning I was kept awake until c. 02:30hrs and the police came twice. It could have been worse - she didn't actually say anything this time, normally she screeches back like a fishwife.
Unfortunately, the yelling made B.B. want to bark so I had to keep telling him to be quiet (especially now that we have neighbours on both sides).
So, now I'm tired. Hopefully I'll have caught up by Wednesday as I have a half day and visitations to make and I want to work more on my short.
I have discovered why the pc is sooooooooo sloooooooow.
Apparently, it only has 256MB of RAM. My father was amazed that the damn thing actually got as far as allowing itself to be turned on, let alone ran programs. It is a miracle of hardware. (Thank you Compaq - you are obviously gods among computer manufacturers!)
So that will have to be taken care of soon. Yay, more jobs.
Temp in office: 22.7˚ (still no window control)
On Nano: Spaceman by Babylon Zoo
Mood: Tired, hungry (it's nearly lunchtime and breakfast wore off hours ago)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Let's talk about sex. Those of you who are uncomfortable with the subject, feel free to bail out now -- I'm likely to get pretty raunchy.
Still with me? I thought so.
When we make love, most of us have a particular goal in mind: that moment when our entire body seems to stem from one central point, every nerve-ending tingling wildly as fireworks assault our brain.
That moment, of course, is orgasm, and anyone who has experienced one (or two or three) -- especially with a willing and enthusiastic partner (or two or three) -- knows that it can be an exquisitely pleasurable sensation.
But are all orgasms created equal?
Of course not. The quality of our orgasms is directly related to the quality of the fun and games that precede them, not to mention our emotional bond with our partner, and our willingness (or unwillingness) to surrender ourselves fully to the moment.
So what, you're probably wondering, does any of this have to do with writing?
Check out the links for the full post and thanks to Alison Kent for posting about it.
On Nano: Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean II
Mood: Just had lunch, followed by chocolate, so really, I feel quite... shiny!
Temp in office: 25.1˚C (and the windows are still not in our control!)
Monday, April 23, 2007
Went well in the allotmenteering sense (runner beans, squash and sweet peas planted); the reading sense (re-read Glass Houses and Touch the Dark and then read the Dead Girl's Dance and Claimed by Shadow - I wish I could forget I'd read them so that I could re-read them all over again I enjoyed them so much!) Weekends are too short for a bibliomaniac.
Didn't get much writing done, but had a couple more ideas for short stories so we'll see what will come out of that.
I'm off this afternoon as I have a little talk to prepare for this evening, but if I can get the prep work done in short order then I'll have the house (and the computer) to myself.
On Nano: Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean II
Mood: Quite chirpy, and looking forward to lunch. Mmmm - lunch.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Murderous trees (I will finish you off now that I've changed the start), digging the allottment and stripping the bathroom walls. Bathroom - wallpaper - steam... not a good combination.
I am also going to finish re-reading Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires - love them!) so that I can read The Dead Girl's Dance.
I have also just (last night) finished reading Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward. Now I want to re-read the series so far. If it weren't for the money to buy books and paper for the printer, work would be a serious PITA! (whinge/ whine/ moan - I'll stop now!)
On Nano: Ikke noget
Mood: Glad it's the weekend (but I don't want to do digging or DIY - not shiny, no it's not.)
Monday, April 16, 2007
Ah well, can't have everything. Managed to get a good start on a 'hungry trees' story (I seem to have issues with murderous trees at the moment - I'd better cut down on the cider and try something else!) I'm wavering on the voice of the narrator so that will need to be tidied in edits as sometimes he comes across as a normal 17-year old and sometimes as if he's swallowed a dictionary!
Sun is shining, I'm indoors wanting to be outdoors, but, nose to the grindstone and off to do more work.
Temp in office: 24.3˚C (and we can't open the windows!)
On Nano: None, I'm boring today.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I'm taking annual leave for the rest of this week. One's chum has a job interview tomorrow morning (for her own job bizarrely enough, and at an ungodly hour of the morning as well which seems a bit cruel and unusual) so once that's done we will be consuming chocolate, taking the dogs out and basically having a bit of a jolly.
I've got a couple of shorts (flash/ drabble pieces) ticking over in the back of my mind that I want to tease out, and yesterday I had (what I thought was) a great first line. (Bathtime is just full of inspiration!) So that's all jotted down and waiting for continuance.
I have had great difficulty reading in the last couple of weeks, re-reads or new books. I just can't concentrate. Where I have managed to read a couple, instead of taking me 2-3 hours as per usual, I've been taking 2-3 days. And not caring! It's just not right. I hope I'm not going through another down phase. The last one lasted for about three months and it was awful - I didn't read anything, didn't buy any new books. Maybe my brain just needed a rest, but it was quite - distressing is too harsh a word, but it was along those lines. (Although, one book I did manage to read was Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing. Lots of mini-essays & very good).
I shall visit my papa this weekend, so perhaps the quiet at his house (and lack of interruption) will help. We shall see.
Enough whining! The sun is out. I'm off this afternoon, and there is work to be done.
On Nano: Nothing - it's still in my locker.
Mood: Lergified (again!), but relatively positive!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
And...the holidays are here! Term paused last week so no late night tonight (yay!) or next week; and the little darlings will be back the week after. But in eight minutes I will be off for five days! And one of them is my birthday! (I won't say which one, suffice to say I'm still in my thirties.)
On the NaNo: Nothing. Absolute silence.
Mood: Happy, happy, happy!
Monday, April 02, 2007
In other news: I've got Broadband - sort of. Had to get a wireless adaptor because the phone line and computer are in two completely different rooms and the ethernet cable's too short. The BT setup won't recognise the adaptor so we're supposed to set up a wired connection first and then go to wireless once that's done (although obviously the problem with the wires means we can't do this).
However. The (Belkin) wireless adaptor found the Broadband Hub no problem and connected to the Internet. So we are and we aren't connected if that makes sense? Or we are and we shouldn't be? Perhaps we need a little man to come out and have a look to make sure we haven't mucked something up.
Ain't technology grand?
On the Nano: Every little thing counts by Janus Stark
Mood: (Temporarily) confused by tech
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Haven't done any more on Mirror of Andras - need to do some more on that tonight as I've had an idea for a slightly different direction to take it.
Mood: Tired, but ok
On Nano: Beyond the Pale by The Mission
Friday, March 16, 2007
Start at the beginning with Tiger Eye
Go. Read. Enjoy.
"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you." --
On Nano: Taking Over Me by Evanescence
In other news: Samhain Publishing has just got RWA recognition, so congratulations to Samhain and all of its authors!
Mood: Pretty damn upbeat y'all!
On the Nano: Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I may try it tomorrow.
Friday, March 02, 2007
It's Friday!!! Yay!
I want to work on my flash piece (150 words) and also a short story (3,000 words) this weekend - get them written up and then into editing. Then I will start up with the bears again - I haven't been ignoring them but other stuff came up that I needed to get submitted so... back again.
I read, on Wednesday, Linnea Sinclair's new novel Games of Command and it is fantastic. The characterisations of Kel-Paten and Sass were great, but I have to say that Kel-Paten stole the show as he struggled with his burgeoning emotions for Captain Tasha Sebastian; emotions that, as a cyborg, he shouldn't have. I really felt my heart clench when he thought he'd lost everything and this is certainly going to be a favoured re-read along with Gabriel's Ghost, An Accidental Goddess and Finder's Keepers. Secondary characters were interesting, and the furzels were great. For a review that's more articulate than one from me try here. But basically: Go, read, enjoy.
Want to learn more about Linnea and her books (yes, you do!) go to her website here - she's very kindly put some free short stories up for people to look at as well.
Listening to: L'Esprit des Gabriel from the Da Vinci Code
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Instead I've been re-reading some of my comfort reads. You know the ones - you don't have to concentrate too hard and they leave you feeling as if you've had a great big hug, you're wrapped in a warm blanket and you've just drunk a huge mug of hot chocolate (that didn't make you feel sick) all at once. Which would probably be really messy if you did it all at once in real-life but as this is just a metaphor* it's ok. No spilt hot chocolate or first degree burns.
*Who knew that there were so many elements to the metaphor - we won't go into when I last did grammar but I'm sure we didn't cover all of these then.
I've entered two pieces in the Binnacle ultra-short competition, submitted one short piece to a magazine and now I'm working on 3 short pieces (well, really one short at 150 words and 2 ultra-short at 50 words apiece) for another writing competition that closes on Friday.
Considering the fact that I have problems finishing longer (i.e. novel-length) pieces, is the allure of flash the fact that it is so short and therefore it's rather difficult not to be able to finish a piece? Although shorter, it is certainly no easier to write as you are condensing as much of the essence of the story as you can into that brief collection of words and I find I have to remind myself that just because I, the writer, knows something - it doesn't always come out in the writing itself.
your character sends a radio signal to the sun, which takes c. 8.19 minutes to get there. (You just know I looked that one up don't you?) In your flash piece you may refer to that without taking the time (or using the word count) to explain that when your character says "Eight minutes there and back again, but how long between?" he's referring to the there and back again time of the signal and that he's wondering how long it will take the machinery at the other end of the signal to act on the instructions.
I know that's what I mean, because it was running in the back of my mind at the time I wrote the piece - but I've found that with flash pieces (especially those that come in under 200 words) that if it needs explaining (and my writer friends felt it did!) then you should leave it out/ change it - because in short pieces you don't have the 'room' to explain and a WTF?! moment half-way through a 150 word piece is not necessarily a good thing! (I've also found that, short pieces or not, it's extremely useful to have people you trust to ping ideas off as they can point out those WTF?! moments so you can check whether you want to leave them in or not).
I am enjoying writing flash and the feeling of achievement that finishing and submitting them creates can't be denied.
Even if they don't get selected for anything, even if they don't make a shortlist or warrant a 'thanks for your time' - the act of completing and submitting has done wonders for my self-confidence.
I can do this. Next time it'll be for something a bit longer, and the time after that for something longer still.
Mood: Productively happy
Listening to: Kelly Clarkson - "Behind these hazel eyes"