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Showing posts from February, 2008

Published Book Review

I forgot to post this earlier:
My review of Lord John and The Brotherhood of the Blade is out now on www.bizimanadolu.com - just click on the tab on the left-hand edge of the screen, and when the list of columns opens up, click on my name under "English".
Very exciting!

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I finished Love in the Time of Cholera last weekend. My only other experience of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the lovely short story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. Perhaps I should have read one of his pre-Nobel novels instead, because, right now, I’m having a very hard time liking this book.
Mind, this is a very subjective opinion. I may be confusing dislike of the characters with dislike of the book, since when I step back and try to be objective, I find I don’t have any complaints about Marquez’s writing style, even in translation. It’s fluid, it has lots of rich detail and original metaphors, it pulls the reader along. I just don’t like the world it’s pulling me into – a place where everyone, both men and women, seem so caught up in social trappings that from birth to death they never experience one moment of pure unadulterated freedom of choice. Conversely, they’re free to act in all sorts of despicable, morally deprived ways (adultery, hate mail, thieving, etc.), yet they don’t…

Books I'm Reading VI

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Eagle Strike (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz (reasearch! ha ha ha)
Claudius the God (halfway through)
The Heart of A Peacock by Emily Carr (halfway through)
The Jerusalem Bible (finished the Old Testament except for the historical books; rereading the New Testament)
The Clicking of Cuthbert by P. G. Wodehouse (short stories; halfway trhough)
Stoics and Sceptics by Edwyn Bevan (possible relative??)
Tales Before Tolkien short stories (almost finished)
Der Ruf der Trommel (Drums of Autumn) by Diana Gabaldon (reading at intervals)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (ditto)
Paradise Lost by John Milton (ditto)
The Divine Comedy: Hell by Dante (ditto)
Australian Short Stories (ditto)

Finished Books
Christian Behaviour by C S Lewis
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (3rd reread)
The Temple of Diana at Ephesus by Falkener from 1865
I, Claudius
Heretics by G. K. Chesterton
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (se…

Naming Characters

I love coming up with character names. Sometimes they just appear, from something you've read or heard or feel, based on how the story first comes to you. Sometimes they’re based on analogies to people in real life who you’ve drawn inspiration from but want to protect.
Last names/surnames are usually harder – sometimes for those, as well as for secondary characters, I may go searching. For instance, I needed a last name for Charles and Oliver in my short story He Ain’t Heavy. I wanted an English, Welsh or Scottish last name, and one that seemed rather rare and not too obvious. It’s hard to Google that sort of request, so instead I kept my eyes open among the books and so on that I was reading at the time. A little while later, I found just the name I was looking for (McKerrow) in the newsletter of the Osler Library.
Another, more recent example: I needed Roman names for a lot of the secondary characters in The Face of A Lion, so I Googled and Gutenberged authentic Roman texts (such…

Books I'm Reading V

Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson (finished)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (3rd reread; finished, now onto Dragonfly in Amber!)
The Temple of Diana at Ephesus by Falkener from 1865 (finished)
I, Cladius (finished)
Claudius the God (halfway through)
The Heart of A Peacock by Emily Carr (I can't wait - if I go to Ottawa I'll get to see some Emily Carr paintings at our National Gallery)
The Jerusalem Bible (at Micah)
Heretics by G. K. Chesterton (halfway through)
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (halfway through; it's growing on me)
Tales Before Tolkien short stories (almost finished)
Der Ruf der Trommel (Drums of Autumn) by Diana Gabaldon (reading at intervals)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (ditto)
Paradise Lost by John Milton (ditto)
The Divine Comedy: Hell by Dante (ditto)
Australian Short Stories (ditto)

Where I've Been

Yes I know I haven't been updating regularly. I have actually been rereading and editing The Face of A Lion for the past week, just not quite as diligently as I had hoped. I'll be signing up for Round Three of the 70 Days of Sweat to really force myself to buckle down. And I've been participating in the first lines/paragraphs/pages thread over on the CompuServe forum and gotten some great feedback (thanks guys!).
...aaaand I've also received feedback on the first page from a real-live
reader (Hi Mack!). The verdict? Needs more action *g* Don't worry, there's definitely lots of action in the book, but this is a great clue - I'll have to work on tightening the pace.

Something else I've been busy with: planning trips! I might be gonig to Ottawa next weekend and there may be a road trip to the States in June... Details to follow!
Now onto the Books I've Read update...

Meme from Jenny

I'm not sure how any of these questions relate to each other...
1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
I'll echo Jenny: "If you consider lifelong commitment serious. *g*"
2) What was your dream growing up?
I wanted to be a cat vet too! And a writer (which I am now *g*). And a
copy editor - which I do regardless of whether I get paid/recognised.
3) What talent do you wish you had?
Hey Jenny, maybe I should just repost your answers verbatim. I wish I
could sing too - enough so that I can sing a lullaby without hurting a
child's ears.
4) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
Whisky. Or something yummy and fruity.
5) Favorite vegetable?
Well broccoli's not my *favourite* :-) Hmm... carrots, I suppose. Or
eggplant.
6) What was the last book you read?
Finished? Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson.
7) What zodiac sign are you?
Scorpio. With an Aries ascendant (as I found out back when I actually
obsessed over this stuff).
8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.

The Face of A Lion - update

Here's where the book stands:
First draft 99% complete. About five scenes needing to be finalised, plus the very end.
First two chapters entirely rewritten and now c. 1000 words less.
I need to check for continuity of dates, references, etc.
Confirm all the historical references.
Ask for adivce on things I did not know I needed advice on - e.g. what snakes feel like.
Reread/edit for language, theme, story arc, etc.
Reread.
Query.
Perhaps by the summer...

Ha! I Don't Use a Single One!

I followed a link over to this agent's blog, which lists 25 cliches used by writers of Young Adult fiction, and I'm proud to say I don't do a single one of them. Some even sound downright silly to me - who has that many characters with eyebrow scars? And Austin sure can sing! Even though his creator couldn't carry a tune to save her life...