Monday, 25 May 2009

2009 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Saint Lawrence Seaway II

Saint Louis Falls... The river:

...and the falls:

I tried uploading a video of the falls, but after an hour and a half, Blogger was "still working" so I've given up. It's only 5MB, fer cryin' out loud!

2009 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Saint Lawrence Seaway I

View of the Saint Lawrence River near Beauharnois, Quebec:

A closeup (sort of) of the island of Montreal, across the river:

A hovercraft!:

Saint Clement Church, 1843:

Why is there an owl next to the statue on the left?

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Research Weirdnesses

This post is my reply to Susan's questions: "What kind of research have you found yourself doing? What weird worlds have you explored?"
I agree with her that research is lots of fun, since you get to discover new facts and perspectives, learn about whole areas of vegetable/animal/mineral life and history, and uncover weird and wonderful new words.

Some of the (odder) topics I've researched in the course of writing:

Rituals of the Temple of Artemis
The Reconquista
Sea levels in Turkey over the past 2000 years
Was Columbus Scottish?
Musical groups in Montreal in the 1930s
Pub names in ancient Rome
Greeks and Armenians in Arnavutkoy, Istanbul c. 1910
How long it takes to drive from Halmstad to Stockholm
Riddles of the Greeks and Romans
The Spanish Inquisition
Hotels on Capri
Ottoman life and courtly customs in the 19th century

How about you?

HMS Sofa

I discovered Anne and May's blog through Nathan Bransford (also check out his link to the 24-hour air travel satellite video on YouTube), and learned that my sister and I are not the only ones that create cruise ships on sofas!

(Discovering a new author blog that I like is veery dangerous, since it adds to my Wishlist/To Be Read pile. The only trouble is reading the comments on the various posts; there're a lot of people out there for whom logical fallacy is a way of life. Back to the cruise ships...)

In creating the HMS Sofa, you collect all the items you will need for an afternoon's sail (a cat or two, your favorite drink, some knitting, a huge stack of books, puzzles and magazines, etc.) and veg for a few hours. No getting up! except to replenish your drink or maybe catch an errant ball of wool before the cat does.

I've been doing a lot of this lately. Although I have officially started the new WIP, I haven't gotten anywhere on query revision for the completed MS. I've just been sitting around a lot. I've had a cold for the past week, though, and so haven't entirely begrudged this downtime. *sniffle*

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Perfect Montreal Day

Here's a London day that inspired this post.
If I had my way, I'd be writing about a perfect Istanbul day, or a day somewhere in Scotland and Wales. But Montreal will do in a pinch :-)

9 am
Rise with the sunshine coming in the window. Shower. A table has been miraculously laid with almond croissants, eclairs, a steaming pot of coffee and a latte in a bowl, maple syrup, buttered toast and egg and cheese sandwich (all bread and pastries from Première Moisson), and at least four newspapers, the Montreal Gazette, the New York Times and some English ones. Monday or Tuesday (see below) would be nice for this, cos I could have the Saturday Gazette and the Sunday New York Times.

12 pm
All those newspapers and magazines and crossword puzzles, not to mention the coffee, would take a while. Noontime is a nice time for a walk, either in the neighbourhood or, better still, up on the mountain (which Oscar Wilde once called a "hill", rousing the ire of Montrealers of the time). It's a warm day in early October, and the leaves changing colour... An alternative destination is the Ecomuseum.

2 pm
Time to walk down the mountain, toward downtown. Any time is pub time, but early afternoon is best, when the terraces aren't yet full of the 5 à 7 crowd. Two choices: the Irish Embassy or McKibbin's.

5 pm
Can't stay longer than a few hours, because if it's Tuesday's there's a hockey game on! Time to head home, where supper is magically waiting. Could be anything, lahmacun from the local Armenian/Lebanese/Turkish restaurant, with ayran, homemade manti or borek with some olive oil dishes, or a nice big pasta dish a la Jamie Oliver... Although if it's a Jamie Oliver dish, it's usual lots of fun to make yourself.

7.30 pm
Puck drop! Go Habs Go! Now the table's got beer and snacks laid out for the game. And I've got a knitting project to work on at the same time...

Friday, 1 May 2009

Forumites' Books!

Those I've read to date (so much more on the wishlist!) that I would recommend:

Cost of Freedom by Carol Spradling

Acadian Star by Hélène Boudreau

all of Diana Gabaldon's works

Prisoners in the Promised Land by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Hindsight by Barbara Rogan

Have I forgotten anyone? Come check 'em out on the Books and Writers Forum!

Eeyipe! Thanks Claire! Post edited to add two very important books:

The Spymaster's Lady and My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne.

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • beta read! (JB)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
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