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

  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta read!
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
  • Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • 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