Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallows

Well, tonight is All Hallows, not only is it for 'Trick-or-Treating'/ pumpkin parties and jollification, for some it's also a time to remember the dead.
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


I've chosen titles for the NaNo novellas, although they're probably (most likely) working titles at the end of the day. I wanted to have a series title followed by the individual book title, but I'm obviously feeling too dense this morning because I can't come up with one, so that's on the backburner for the moment.

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?

Mood: Hokay!

Temp: Warm, I'm on the sunny side of this building

2 days to NaNo & counting!!

Well, girls and boys (lords, ladies, non-human bipeds, lycnathropes and all major and lesser blood-drinkers etc. and so on) we've got just under 48 hours to go to NaNo (if my maths is correct, which is not a given ^o_o^ ). Final plan is still 'in progress', but almost there (yay!)

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

Monday update

No new words, but I'm starting to set scenes out on notecards, just to make sure that they flow and mesh as they should. I have a horrible feeling I'm going to have some GMC issues that I need to iron out in the next three days, as reading back over what I've outlined, it seems to be a little wooly there. General motivation = ok. Personal motivation = dithering much?

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

Jobs (half) done!

Okay - it's 13:10hrs - the stew has been in the slow cooker for about an hour and 10 minutes; the computer table has been tidied (and dusted - oh. my. goodness.) and the washing up has been done too!

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

It's Friday!

The end of the week has come! Yay!

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

Temp: 22.3C

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Slow progress over the weekend...

I was visiting my father and I had some kind of bug that's been going round, but, back in the saddle now, so hopefully I can bring it back up again from today!

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

Autumn has definitely arrived (and winter's on the way)

How do I know this?
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

Final update for tonight

Okay! I've manged to do: 1,117 words of outline since 5pm. Not a lot, but I did do work work in between so not bad really.

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.

Partial update...

Okay, so far I've managed - in between more work, work - to do :drumroll please: 653 words! Not too shabby, although not a patch on yesterday. But, I am outlining rather than writing at the moment so I'm looking at it in a positive light.

(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, half-full tonight!)

Nothing so far...

It's 17:25 and I've just had a chance to sit down and check e-mail etc. It's been really busy at work today (and I won't be finishing for another four hours) but, hopefully I'll be able to add to my word count before bed. I've also got tomorrow afternoon off, so as long as I don't have to hunt down railway models for my Dad, I should be ok!

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

Update for Sven

Okay - 3,150 words on outline done today. Not bad, but it may drop off tomorrow as that will be really busy. But off to a good start!

Crack that whip, baby!

Sweating with Sven starts today! 93 days (70 days + holiday etc. allowances) to take us through to January.

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

Gearing up for Sweat & NaNo

Not a new exercise regime, per se, but I'm doing prep work for the Seventy Days of Sweat Challenge (i.e. 93 days including holidays) and the 30 day challenge of NaNo which falls in November.

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

What Archangel?

The Archangel Within (An Archangel Quiz)

Pretty Picture

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!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Had to re-do the site

Everything displayed ok in Firefox, but in IE half the sidebars were at the bottom of the page and I don't know enough about code to know what to look for, how to recognise it and then how to fix it when I found it.
So I went over to the 'guided' format. So far, so good. We shall see!

Sven Says...Sweat Some More!

Yes, the second round of Sweating With Sven is up on the site.

Check it out and sign up!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October!

Well, October has started with a little bit of a chill in the air. The rooks are calling and people are beginning to light their autumn bonfires to clear some of their gardens/ allotments. I love this time of year. You still get some sunshine, but the sun is a little paler and there's that nip in the air that says frost is coming.

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