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Showing posts from August, 2008

How Would You Take A Snail to Constantinople?

Speaking of fun toys...

Google Books is fun to play with, whether you have serious research aims or merely a penchant for reading old books (such as the Travels of John Mandeville from the 14th Century (the original is not available to Canadian Googlers, only American)).
I tend to search for Istanbul/Constantinople quite often, for the simple pleasure of reading travel items and geographical/historical works written with a Medieval, Renaissance or Victorian flavour. The places they describe are vaguely familiar and yet mysterious at the same time, speaking as they do of a Turkey I've never seen: population much less dense, countryside much cleaner, evidence of Islam everywhere but the cities more cosmopolitan than they ever appear now.
Recently, my uncle over at Snail's Tales searched for both Constantinople and snails, and one of the results was Method in Almsgiving by Matthew Weston Moggridge, first published in 1882.
As Aydın says, the book has nothing to do with either Consta…

Best First Lines in Romance

Vote for Pam! Over at Smart Bitches!

Checking In

Not much prgress to note - I'm on Chapter 11 of 35 (yes, I've added a chapter!), which still leaves 24 chapters (about 150 manuscript pages) left to edit. Don't even ask about the Q letters! The templates are getting all wrinkled from travelling back and forth to work with me, but I haven't advanced on them at all.

As for my new-book-buying ban - I've already got books lined up to buy when the ban lifts in October/November, including new Folio publications, and Hélène's new books!
An interesting part of this ban has been that, since I'm so eager to finish reading all the books I own and haven't read, I haven't been re-reading as much. I stared longingly at the Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers shelves the other day, but forced myself to turn away and pick up an unread book. I'm trying to finish After London, but it's the slowest book I've read in a long time, despite the interesting topic; more on this one when I finish it...

Pauline Baynes

Pauline Baynes, illustrator for J. R. R. Tolkien's and C. S. Lewis' works, among other books, has died (The Guardian and The Telegraph). I'm not sure where the newspapers are getting those Tolkien and Lewis quotes from; if anyone does, please let me know.
I always loved her thin lines and evocative facial expressions. To this day, I can not look at the picture of Tash in C. S. Lewis' The Last Battle - it frightens me no end. But her Lucy was always my Lucy, and I'm glad she did the cover of Watership Down also.

Dear Canada

I've been reading some of the books in the Scholastic Dear Canada series. Each book is the diary of a girl living through a significant moment in Canada's history. I say, "diary of a girl", because as far as I know, none of these books is told from a boy's point of view. And yet men do keep journals. What's going on here?

To date I've read:
A Season for Miracles, twelve short stories by twelve Dear Canada authors
Orphan at My Door and Brothers Far from Home, both by Jean Little
And I'm almost finished reading Marsha Skrypuch's Prisoners in the Promised Land. Marsha's also a member of the KidCrit section in the Books and Writers Community.
I'd like to read Janet Lunn's A Rebel's Daughter and Kit Pearson's Whispers of War, since they're my other two favourite Canadian YA authors, and maybe someday I'll read all the other books. But I'm not supposed to be buying any at the moment :-)

I've actually got glimmers of an idea…

A Productive Day

Yesterday I:

finished reading the Australian Short Stories book (all my cobbers should read it!)
went to work
helped my soon-to-retire mom buy a suitcase
bought groceries
did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom
made a salmon dip for Saturday's BBQ
made a salmon dish and some bulgur rice for supper
baked a gooseberry cake
finished scrapbooking the photos of our trip to the States

What does all that have to do with the novel, you may well ask. Well, even more importantly, I also:
Drew up a shortlist of agents and printed their submission guidelines.
Revised revised revised in a desparate bid to have the best First Five Pages possible for submission to said agents.

I'm still on nine pages. If I can just get it down to six...