Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time to go home...

Early finish today (worked 'til 9 last night) so I shall go home to get changed and then over to m'mother's to use her laptop - our PC is not yet re-connected after having been fitted with an ethernet port and a shiny USB 2.0 port. 21st Century, baby. Oh, yeah!

::ahem:: Anyway. I shall use the time to re-draft my Model of Perfection outline for NaNo ready for Saturday - I'm working until 1pm but should be able to get cracking in the afternoon. After I've set the cawl on to cook. If I can get that planned this avo then I'll work on getting my short done so that the decks are clear and ready for the off.

And, Chum #1 has found a number of internet cafes within easy reach of the farm where we're staying at the end of November, so I'll be able to upload my totals after all!

Iz pleased.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free ebook from Juno Books...

As a special Halloween treat, Juno Books has a FREE ebook (PDF format) for you! Five frightening classic tales–all written by women–that should send a shiver or two down your spine. FIVE CLASSIC GHOST STORIES: A HALLOWEEN TREAT FROM JUNO BOOKS includes:
  • “Let Loose” by Mary Cholmondeley (1890)
  • “The Striding-Place” by Gertrude Atherton (1896)
  • “The Lost Ghost” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1903)
  • “Kerfol” by Edith Wharton (1916)
  • “Spunk” by Zora Neale Hurston (1925)

    Go here to download a copy.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Iz cold...

    Long day at work today, and the building renovations go on. Men in hard hats and fluorescent jackets have been ripping out windows and putting new ones in all day (accompanied by horrifically chilly drafts) and now the building refuses to get warm. I've also just used up the last of my milk in a rather strong cup of coffee, so now I'll have to wait until I get home to have another one. (I don't really like instant coffee without milk.)
    I'm regretting not putting a pair of gloves in my coat this morning as I could really do with a pair about now.

    Lots of people are gearing up for NaNoWriMo in preparation for next month. I'm going to be doing it again - even though I probably won't be in a position to upload anything as it's doubtful I'll be near an internet anything for the last week. (But, you know, I may surpass 50k in the first 3 weeks so that won't be a problem, right? ::rolls_eyes::) No idea what I'll be working on, although I may re-draft the outline to a novella and start again. The secondary story was shoehorned into the original projected length so a litlle re-working should place it more comfortably without things feeling rushed and crammed into too few words. Hmmm. That would work, actually.

    No afternoon off this week (meetings, meetings) but that means I get to save some more hours to be used later, so I may actually have Christmas Eve off instead of having to work it.

    Speaking of Christmas Eve, in a roundabout way, does anyone else follow the tradition of listening to / watching / reading aloud ghost stories before bed? Chum #1's family have always done this (usually M.R. James' stories) and she's continued this and I just wondered if anyone else did it too? If you do, what ghost stories? Or do you make up your own?

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Hey! I can almost see the weekend from here!

    Well, I am suitably punished for staying up past my normal 'school' day bedtime last night--I'm absolutely cream crackered. Hopefully I'll be getting my second (first?) wind before my meeting at 2pm!

    I stayed up to finish the book I was reading (isn't it always the way?) and then it took me ages to get to sleep. Someone was doing DIY in the house next door until about 01:30, and I was a bit frustrated that I'd had to read books in a series out of order. A couple of weeks ago I bought Josh Lanyon's Man, Oh, Man! (non-fiction) and in that he had some excerpts from his Adrien English series. Interest piqued I ordered the first three and because life does this to me I got books 1 and 3 at the same time but book 2 has not yet arrived. I finished the first book--Fatal Shadows--yesterday (enjoyed it, although I thought it could have been longer) and wanted to dive straight into book two; I hesitated for about, oh, five seconds before giving in and reading book 3--The Hell You Say. Hopefully book 2--A Dangerous Thing--and book 4--Death of a Pirate King--will arrive at about the same time and I can read them all together. In order.

    What I like most is the character of Adrien. He has a great voice which makes his personality come across well in the first person form. The mystery and romance are intertwined, with a little more weight given to the mystery but that works really well. The relationship tensions come across especially well in The Hell You Say: Adrien's relationship with some of his writing group; his staff; his mother; and of course his relationship with Jake, not to mention the tentative friendship building with Guy. All were very well drawn and came across as people rather than characters (if that makes sense). Adrien really comes over as the kind of guy you'd like to know.

    Anyway. Looking forward to the tardy volumes' arrival so that I can read all four in one go. I am valiantly ignoring my TBR pile. If it ever fell on top of me I'd be one dead librarian; crushed under a mountain of unread books, their pristine spines a silent reproach to my obvious lack of dedication in whittling it down.

    Also recently read are: The Fifth Sorceress - first in a fantasy trilogy by Robert Newcombe. OK, but not brilliant in that, I didn't really like the main character. He was supposed to be 29 but acted like a very whiny 19 year old (going on 9) and the wizard chappy got on every nerve I had. I'd have decked him. But, I have the other two books so I shall read them anyway, just not yet.

    I re-read Magician by Raymond E. Feist - loved it all over again. Can't find my copies of Silverthorn or A Darkness at Sethanon so I've ordered replacements (but at least all of the covers will match) and I may re-read Faerie Tale now as well.

    I've taken Stacia Kane's Personal Demons off the shelf and that will be the next to be read in the fiction line, and I've got some non-fiction (oceans) to read up on too.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Progress XXXVI

    Total words: 3520
    New words yesterday: 437
    Ashe: Is confused & angry
    Konstantin: Is frustrated & angry
    Weather: Snowing

    This isn't flowing as well as the last one. Normally in a lunch break I can crank out 1K longhand with little to no problems but, as you can see, I barely got over 400 words before running out of steam. I'm going to keep going rather than go back and try to fix whatever it is that's not working, but I think that in the revision(s) there will be a lot of rewriting to do, to correct whatever it is that's gone tits up.
    But, I do like the characters of Ashe and Konstantin so that's something. I just need to get their dynamic right - I think that's where the brain tickle is coming from. ::mopes::
    Once that’s sorted – and it may take me another couple of thousand words or so, I can go back and rewrite it with the dynamic in mind; but at the moment it seems I need to write it badly in order to get it right.

    Anyway, it's all practice and so never wasted.

    Listening to: A builder's radio somewhere else in the building
    Mood: Tired. Few more hours to go before I can go home.

    Monday, October 06, 2008

    Another quick update...

    Just got back to work after being off for a few days with a stinking head cold. ::booooo!:: I've got a cough, but I don't think I'm contagious anymore and I don't fall asleep at the drop of a hat either.

    Done another 1K on the short so will aim to get that finished this week and into first revisions, and then I've got the novella to do third revisions on before returning to the paused novella that I'm going to expand. 20K is too short, there's too much I want to go on there (secondary storyline has more depth that I need to into), so I'll bump it up to 40k-60k I think and see how that goes. It may go up - or down - in revisions anyway, so I'm not going to hugely panic in the first draft.

    Dog walking when I get home - get some fresh air into the lungs, mud up the leggings etc. and then some sort of sausage casserole for dinner, I think. Chum #1 is making it, so I'm not entirely sure of the ingredients. Pumpkin & butternut squash soup to be made next weekend. I have the ingredients so I shall be culinary. I may even go the whole hog and make bread! Lovely.

    Time to go. Hopefully tomorrow will be a tad less frenetic.