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Showing posts from September, 2008

Books, etc.

The book ban is officially over! As soon as I mail off my cheque to Folio, that is. Unfortunately, this does not mean I'm going to rush out and buy piles of books tomorrow. The Folio books were a one-off deal to keep my membership in, and until I make a serious dent in the Books By the Bedside pile, I'm going to try my darndest not to buy new ones.

That being said, this week is Banned Books Week - go out and buy/read a copy of Little Black Sambo or anything by Lois Lowry, Robert Cormier, Mark Twain, etc.

Meanwhile, I've had an interesting summer of not buying books - I've gotten free books instead! Let's see... I picked up both The Far Side Gallery 3 and Britannia Mews from those "free books" boxes people put on their lawns, I got a Peter Hoeg book that I haven't read yet from my uncle and a Robin Pilcher (son of Rosamunde Pilcher) and a Maeve Binchy from friends at work.

And of course I've been relying on Google Books a lot.

However, the best event b…

Hélène's New Book!

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Helene's new book is coming out!



And to celebrate, she's gaving a star-studded contest on her blog, and on facebook.

Enter every week and if you linked to the contest through this blog, please mention it!

A Limerick About Me!

Courtesy Jim Delaney, from the wonderful Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form:

Copy Editor

All my craft isn't mine: I devote it
To my fellows. A good (kindly note it)
Copy editor knows
How to fix up the prose
So the author might think that he wrote it.

"I've been up since 5.30 you know!" OR What Should I Do?!

Sort of. Monday and Tuesday I was up at 5 and got masses of revision done before leaving for work.

But it's really hard to get up that early on only 6 hours of sleep! I couldn't do it this morning, especially since I was having a really interesting dream about... something that involved paper anyway :-)

So now, with about 50 manuscript pages left to go, I'm stuck again. And the number of unfinished scenes is much higher than I thought and keeps growing.

Without abrogating my previous goals (especially that of having a complete, final MS by the end of November), I am facing a dilemma:

Do I keep plugging away at revisions or do I stop and return to creation mode and write up all the scenes that are missing?

The quote in the title, by the way, comes from Basil Fawlty :-)

Statistics for The Face of A Lion

Got this from Jen:

Word Count: 77000, but that's including some notes here and there.

Scenes: Scenes? Each Chapter is almost one scene, so about 35.

Characters On The Chopping Block: Haven't cut anyone yet. No one's died either. Hmmm...

Scenes On The Chopping Block: Not entire scenes (or maybe I can't remember) but definitely lots of commentary and strange reactions and people who don't belong in certain places...

Total word count loss? Not sure... it averages, you see. I cut two paragraphs, but then I add in a missing scene...

Scenes Left To Write: Too many. About ten.

Scenes Left To Revise: About 15 Chapters. Then I have to re-read the entire MS *again*.

My Next Move: Finish this week's edits, i.e. the 15 Chapters. Then print the MS and deal with all the highlighted bits (research to check, words to tweak, etc.), then type in (i.e. create) all the missing scenes, then print the MS and read it ALL!

Estimated Time of Delivery (to Betas): My original goal (from c. June…

I Love the English Language

Susan over at the Books and Writers Community posted a short poem using the words "baited breath" in an ingenious fashion; she got the poem from the World Wide Words site, which has a page devoted to weird words.

My uncle at Snail's Tales, when I forwarded the list to him, replied:

Here is a challenge: write as long a sentence as you can using as many words as you can from this list.

I took him up on it right away - oh the joy of playing with words! - and herewith please find my sentence (I didn't use any Q, U or X words, and used only those words with which I was familair on sight, and did not need to run to the dictionary for. There were quite a few words that seemed familiar, but which I wasn't really sure how to use. All the words from the list have an initial capital):

Abigail and her Attercop Absquatulated with my Bezoar, the Blackguards, and it was utter Balderdash because they were Bankrupt so I couldn’t Blackmail them, the Blatherskites, and I was so filled …

I Need An Intern

I used to need one to complete my catalogue of books, but I finally got that done myself (see bottom of the blog). I had no idea that Elance existed! I found out about it on this great blog.

Tasks I still need an intern for:

Type up all of the scraps and scribbles where I've written my dreams

Add the 200+ books I've gotten since I finished the catalogue

Create a filing cabinet with organized lables for all the articles/webpages/clippings/brochures/etc. I've collected over the years

Go through all the piles of "saved stuff" and extract every Folio catalogue, then make a comprehensive list of all the Folio books I want

Create a database to store every piece of advice/recipe/good idea/remember to look up/song quotes/poetry quotes/etc. I've ever collected

Make a master list of Books/Albums/Singles/DVDs I want

Find a use for all the 10-inch bits of wool I have left

Once I choose photos to be printed, have the photos printed, have some enlarged, and frame everything in the …

Google

If you Google The Face of A Lion, you won't see this blog on the first page, or even on the second page. Why not? You'd think I'd have mentioned the novel's title often enough, no?

How's the Editing Going?

Today's my first day using the Google Chrome browser. It is noticeably faster, and I like the "Paste and Go" option in the address bar. However, trying to access the settings involves a little bit of hunting - I tried to log into Blogger and it said my cookie settings were too high - well, I haven't changed those settings on Explorer in months, and Chrome is supposed to be picking up on that. Plus, I just entered a new post two hours ago without any problems; who changed my settings in that time? Ah well, small quibbles.

Onto editing. Yes, I've been editing for about three hours, including the time I spent with E. L. Konigsburg :-) I'm now exactly halfway through The Face of A Lion, which stands at 189 manuscript pages, with about five scenes left to fill in and much imagery to explore and dialogues to tweak.

I've started to wonder why this process seems so endless - in "real" terms, it hasn't been that long; I started the novel sometime betwe…

I Was Supposed to Spend the Entire Afternoon Editing...

...but I just spent the past hour re-reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for? Go! Go!

My Favourite Pen

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Some writers use computers. Some use typewriters, some use pencils.

And some of us use pens. We love our pens. We blog about our pens. If I had a typewriter from about 80 years ago, I would probably use it. But until I find or am gifted with such an item...:





As I say, until then, I will continue to use pens for all drafts and copy edits. Shorthand works best in pen and, though it's a pain to have to type scenes up later on, the process introduces an additional round of edits - those done while entering madly scribbled drafts in a slightly more polished form to the word processor (is "enter to" a verb?).

Now the moment you've all been waiting for: this is my favourite pen. The Pilot G-TEC-C4. The finest nib, the smoothest ink flow, the cleanest lines...



Plus it's available in every colour of the rainbow, and then some. The one and only drawback is that only the red, black, blue, purple and sometimes green pens are available here. The other colours, including my fa…

Lancaster Ontario - Cooper Marsh OR Abject Ignorance...

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Yesterday was a real summer day, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze. We spent the morning wandering through the Cooper Marsh Conservation Area near Lancaster, Ontario, and the afternoon at the pub.



Despite the distant hum of highway traffic in the distance, the walkways over the marsh and through the woods were quiet and peaceful, with only an occasional bird-call or cricket-chirp from the bushes and trees. Frogs rested in the deep grass. Here's one, the picture of relaxation:



Most places in the province of Quebec are named after saints; the most obscure and unidentifiable saints possible. For instance:

Saint Telesphore:



Saint Zotique and Saint Polycarpe:



Saint Clet:



Telesphore sounds especially mysterious to me; I hope he was an astronomer of some kind.

And now we come to the real moment of ignorance; if anyone can tell me what these trees are, I would be grateful and would try to lodge this information permanently in my brain.

First tree:





Second tree:



Third tree:



Fourth tree (birch?):



And …

Jamie and Claire WC Signs at the Pub

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If I Ever Knit A Sock...

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...I might try the Houdini sock!



Meanwhile, is there anyone who wants to travel to Kingston, ON on October 25th for the Drop Spindle class... If I haven't gotten to a Montreal Knit Night and learned before then, I'd really love to go to Wool-Tyme for the class!