Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Face of A Lion Update

I'm about two pages away from being able to scrawl The End on the manuscript! Also, since I already started editing before it was completely finalised, I'm roughly halfway through that as well - on Chapter 20 of about 35.
Yet for the past couple of weeks I've been finding it hard to get motivated - or disciplined, whichever you prefer - and have mostly been futsing around with my research notes and typing up already-written scenes and printing it all out to see what it looks like.

If anyone knows of a YA contest or even a short-story contest for YA or middle grade writing, please let me know! I need some flint and tinder to spark up my kindling.

Meanwhile, I've been reading quite a bit (so what else is new?) but as December comes in tomorrow, I've *got* to finish all the books that I'm still in the middle of, in order to do a year-end review of my Books Read list (see sidebar). I wish I had kept these lists from about age 10, but it's also exciting plan a look back at my first ever list.

I completed another hat as well and have an afghan, scarf, dog bed and vest still in the works.

I'll try to find a good snip from The Face of A Lion to post tomorrow!

Friday, 21 November 2008

The Only Tea I Drink

besides Earl Grey, of course :-)

Cats of Istanbul

Courtesy of Snail's Tales:
Part One
Part Two

6 Strange/Quirky Things About Me...

I tagged myself off Linda's blog! Now I'm tagging you!

1. There are way too many quotes in my head. No, not poetry, unfortunately, but The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers, etc.

2. I just don't like tea. I mean, I don't mind it, and I love the idea of it, but give me a latte any day.

3. I memorise numbers. I can't do much with them, but I remember them all, old phone numbers, combinations, etc. Also, if I have a list of things to remember for a test, or as part of a To Do pile, I can remember them all if only I remember how many items there were.

4. Currently, I've got 6 knitting projects, 1 nearly-complete novel, 1 complete but unedited novel and 3-10 new writing projects on the go. And yet I'm a total time-waster...

5. I can bend my pinky finger all the way back to touch the top of my hand.

6. National anthems make me cry :-)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Best Cruise Ever!

Here it is!

Birthday Slacker

Between my birthday yesterday and a very busy work week, I've barely done anything but catch up beta reading and post fly-by comments on certain blogs, the forum and our accountability circle. Not to mention poor Sven, who's probably wondering what became of all my high-falutin goals.
My only goal for the rest of this week is therefore to write at least one scene. Maybe two. There's a great post about that today on Sven's page.
And to catch up on all the pontificating going on, including this great thread over at the accountability circle...
Also waiting for news from Australia :-)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Round Four is On!

Sven's back! Round four of the Seventy Days of Sweat started yesterday - I'm meant to be writing and/or editing at least 850 words per day. Here's hoping the Accountability Circle helps keep me on track!

In other news, Jo's website is up! Visit her here.

So Many Google Books...

...So Little Time is the title of a recent post by Snail's Tales, about how many interesting books there are on Google Books, and how there's just not time enough to read them all.

I can't read books on the computer, my eyes glaze over and I get distracted; instead, my method is to print them, four pages per sheet and double sided, which sometimes causes squinting, but at least I can curl up on the sofa or in bed or carry them on the train, etc. Most importantly, I can make notes in the margins; sometimes these 19th Century books have some squiggly sentence structure and some equally squiggly ideas.

Here are a few that are on my To Read pile:

A Scots Grammar of Turkish:

Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes, sequel to Tom Brown's Schooldays, which is sadly out of print:

Journal of A Tour in the Levant, in three volumes:

Trickster Travels:

A guide to single women from 1936 (this one is not out of print, but I'd like to read the original edition):

A book of classic English fairy tales written by a Welshman:

Robert Graves' guide to writing:

European cartographers in the Ottoman world:

Someday I'll read these, and then find some more...

Friday, 7 November 2008

99 Bottles of... What is That?

Which one of these doesn't belong?

On the left is some well-preserved Ballantine's and on the right some aged Buchanan's. But what's that in the middle? Why, it's Coroner's Whisky! That's right, Sodden Death - topped with a skull and crossbones. Here is a close-up:

Following which, we have an exhibit of some old glass bottles, featuring Pepsi-Cola:

And an old bottle of...

Yes, it's wine. Gaziantep Burç (horoscope/zodiac sign) Wine from Turkey. Unlike the Ballantine's and Buchanan's, this bottle was empty, and so could not be tasted. Somehow I doubt it would have aged half as well, however.

Continuing the dusty theme, but returning to writing, here is one final item. I wish I had bought this and brought it home:

Sunday, 2 November 2008

70 Days of Sweat Round Four!

It's ba-ack! Starting 10 November. I really need Sven to get me into gear, and back into Austin's world...

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
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