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

  • New Europe by Michael Palin
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Ox-Tales anthology
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
  • The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie (possibly a reread)
  • Husli the Dwarf
  • Winter Birds
  • Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (reread)
  • Wish I Might by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • A Walk in the Countryside A B C (National Trust and Nosy Crow Books)
  • My First Touch and Trace 1 2 3
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
  • A Secret Vice by J. R. R. Tolkien (edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins)
  • A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Narrow Corner by Somerset Maugham
  • Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham
  • Le gout d'Istanbul (anthology) (skimmed)
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Blue Nowruz by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
  • secret beta read!
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain
  • The Mewlips by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • Just for This Moment by Kait Nolan
  • To Err is Human -- To Float, Divine by Woody Allen (short story)
  • the collected works of Beatrix Potter (Folio Society edition, over 30 books)
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman) (only half read)
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • Millions of Cats by W Gag
  • Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
  • Discovering You by Brenda Novak
  • Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
  • Report from the Interior by Paul Auster
  • Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  • The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (reread)
  • They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
  • The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts
  • The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter (reread)
  • A Mother's Confession by Amanda Palmer (lyrics and liner notes)
  • Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean
  • Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, in A Tolkien Compass
  • Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay (poem)
  • For my Wife, Navid by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • An Evening in Tavrobel by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • The Lonely Isle by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • Bilbo's Last Song by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem)
  • Ancrene Riwle, preface, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley (poem)
  • Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Young Magicians edited by Lin Carter (anthology; includes two poems by J. R. R. Tolkien and all of rumble rumble rumble rumble drum belaboured by C. S. Lewis, referred to in The Last Battle)
  • Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien
  • The Devil's Coach Horses by J. R. R. Tolkien (essay)
  • Guido's Gondola by Renee Riva and Steve Bjorkman
  • Save Our Public Universities by Marilynne Robinson (essay in Harper's Magazine)
  • Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
  • Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  • Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
  • Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
  • Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
  • Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html