Showing posts from March, 2011

Harry Potter Blogfest, Steve Fuller's The Sickness and a Mini Misha Meme

ryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin? Which house would you be sorted into and who would be your mates if you were at Hogwarts?

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, / Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald, / Or young with scabby knees
Our heads could do with filling, / With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air, / Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing, / Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest, / And learn until our brains all rot."
My off the cuff answer was going to be Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood; one Gryffindor, one Ravenclaw, a nice mix of brave, brainy, mysterious and exciting.

But then I started thinking... I don't have to choose students from Harry's generation, do I?

I kind of wonder what it might be like to talk for a while with Snape, maybe visit Hogsmeade with him a couple of times. And I've always had a crush on Lupin. I wonder…

X is for Kisses... Writers' Marathon Tomorrow!

. x x x x.

As in kisses. As in romance.

Roni and Kristen and Talli had some great posts this past week on battling the romance stigmastanding up for the romance genre and defending chick lit.

I don't always read romance - it's not my preferred type of book to pick up at random, and romance novels usually aren't ones that I list among my all time favourites. Yet I look for romantic elements in every story I read and sigh happily whenever they're done well. Most especially, I've been writing in that genre for years now (with a few forays into literary, MG/YA, poetry and others) and it's the one genre that seems to get my muse working at a steady pace.

On that note, I may disappear from now until Michael's Harry Potter blogfest, as I plan to have a marathon editing session tomorrow. Nothing but me and the manuscript and a coloured pen. And coffee, oh yes please.

Meanwhile, Karen has a brilliant list of thirteen things we love about Lord John Grey.

Kait Nolan&…

The End of A Round of Words in 80 Days - What. I. Did.

sually on the end run of a marathon or challenge I'd be there in the trenches logging hours and hours of writing or editing (as I did with NaNoWriMo last year (though not the year before!)).

This time around, though, I'm doing overtime at work, so the last week of A Round of Words in 80 Days is a washout. Nearly - I woke up this morning with a fully formed scene and scribbled it out on the train ride in. It's so easy, suddenly, to write, when I'm supposed to be editing.

On the other hand... the weekend looms large with no plans. I hope to print out the entire ms of Out of the Water, hole up in a coffee shop (hopefully they have decent music playing) away from everyone and the internet, and:

1. rewrite chapter 1
2. condense all of the scenes between the time Rosa and Baha have their first, ahem, encounter, and the time they get married/arrive in Constantinople
3. line edit the last 90 pagesOn the other hand, as Kait says, ROW80 is all about what we did accomplish, and I …

Second Crusader Challenge and Sundry Items

avourite song of the moment:

Rach has posted the Second Crusader Challenge:

"Write a flash fiction story (in any format) in 100 words or less, excluding the title. Begin the story with the words, "The goldfish bowl teetered" These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional, and not part of the judging criteria), see if you can write the story in your own genre (eg if you're a horror writer, write a horror story; a romance writer, a romance story, etc)."

I can't usually work on more than one project at a time. So, since my brain is currently filled with Out of the Water, my historical romance set in 1492, and I was looking for a way to bring an animal on board (!), I'm going to do the challenge from main character Rosa's point of view. Here, in 99 words, are Rosa and Baha, sharing a stolen moment on board ship...

The goldfish bowl teetered as a sudden heave of the ship tossed her backward. B…

Penetrating Questions

inda Grimes posed some great questions the other day.

1. If you had to be turned into a vampire, a zombie, a werewolf, or a ghost, which would you choose?

My first instinct is to say ghost. But then, might you not pine away, living in a sort of purgatory? Vampire might be interesting - I wonder how I would handle immortality?

2. If you had to come back in your next life as a plant, what plant would you be?

A long-lived, hoary old oak tree with many twisty limbs. Perhaps an oak that sheltered a king.

3. If you were a painting, what type would you be?

Something intricate, something soft, something with hidden layers. Perhaps a Durer or an Emily Carr.

4. Let's get elemental. You're fire. Are you: A) a conflagration, huge and bright, but quickly extinguished, or B) a banked and smoldering ember, not giving off a lot of light, but sticking around and providing warmth for a while?

Definitely an ember. A burning coal in the depths...

5. When it comes to cleaning up life's emotio…

Reading Weekend Summary, Blackadder and an Upcoming Book Release

eading weekend is over!

I wrote a couple of hundred words, thought of three essential plot points (Round of Words in 80 Days check in!) and read the following:

After the Night by Linda Howard (skimmed the last half, as it got predictable)
Pirate's Price by Darlene Marshall (lots of fun! get it from Amber Quill Press)
Byzantine Provocateur by Melissa Bradley (erotic! look for my review coming soon to the One Hundred Romances Project blog)
Jean Little and Kit Pearson's stories in Dear Canada: Hoping for Home
The Panorama of the Renaissance by Margaret Aston (Folio Society edition)
The Cat Who Moved A Mountain by Lilian Jackson Braun
a number of stanzas from the 14th Century The Book of Good Love

And our book club meeting was discussing Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah's Key. Next up, Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty.

International Blackadder Status Day is on Tuesday! Should I post "so what was the chicken impression in aid of?" or "fortune vomits on my eiderdown …

Book Buying Ban or Reading Weekend?

uit buying books? Moi?
Impossible you say? Well, I've actually imposed a book buying ban on myself before.

Just look at the level I've reached this time around:

1 master list of books to buy, plus another list in my work email and in my personal email
2 amazon wishlists, on and
3 piles of books on my bedside table, plus two teetering piles on the floor
4 or so books read - hardly a dent - in the list of 180 books to read by 2015 (on the left hand side of the blog, a bit further down)
5 binders filled with research photocopies, printed books off Google and printed e-books (um, no, I don't have a Kindle. 1,500 book capacity? I'd fill it in a few months!)
Despite all that, I'm not ready to impose a ban yet. Instead, I'm having a reading weekend starting this evening, fittingly on a weekend where I've got a book club meeting. Also a family birthday, but you can't tell family you're reading and can't attend, can you? Maybe if you …

Today's Blog Tour - Contests and Giveaways and Nathan on Indie

athan Bransford has an amazing post about indie publishing, followed up by today's post which showcases some of the better comments to the first one. All of the points he raises sway me toward indie publishing.

As if I hadn't already been swayed by the likes of Susan Bischoff and Kait Nolan. Kait's having a sale on Forsaken By Shadow to celebrate the book's one year anniversary on 25 March!

My only trouble is that I doubt I can make the time at the moment for marketing, book cover designing, and so on. Perhaps if I can wrangle part time work in the future, then I can consider it. But for now...

Are you a winner on Talli Roland's release party yet? Congratulations on the paperback release of The Hating Game, Talli!

Lynette Labelle - who's teaching the class Hook, Line and Sinker: How to hook readers and reel them in ("Do you know how to hook your readers? I mean, really hook them. Do you immediately think it’s all about the first paragraph? WRONG! Well…sort…

ROW80 and Weekend Word Wars, Awards and Giveaways!

eekend word war, hosted by Hélène Boudreau! The war played out on Facebook - Hélène was trying to reach a certain number of words in her "SEAquel" to Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings, and I...

I was rather consistent about editing - did not log on to the internet at all until sunset on Saturday! But I'm supposed to be editing. Instead, I was writing... Arguably still necessary, as I've been filling in all the scenes that were missing from the draft. And I've got another idea for a scene to write tonight, in which the hero realises he must marry the heroine. Only none of this seems to involve the actual cutting of words, which is what editing is supposed to accomplish, no?

Need a day with no distractions, the printed ms, and a red pen.

Thank you to Michelle for the Stylish Blogger Award! I posted seven things about myself last week, so today I'll go with my goals for the last 13 days of the Round of Words in 80 Days:

1 Cut at least 10,000 words from the n…

Alan Silberberg, Turkey's Blogger Ban and the Whisky Trench Riders

ow then. I've not broached anything political on this blog before, but in the middle of Rach's Crusade, and all the fun I'm having reading everyone's writing blogs and research blogs and blogfest post blogs, and being so pleased that so many of you follow me, I've learned from Ayak that there's a ban on blogs in Turkey. Specifically, blogs hosted by Blogger.

Why this isn't getting more attention, I'm not sure. I know YouTube is banned in Turkey, and it boggles my mind that the population is more willing to seek workarounds (as all my friends there do) than actually protesting the ban.

What's frustrating is that my feeble brain seems unable to understand the legality behind this. According to World Bulletin, the site has been banned "following complaints by digital satellite platform Digiturk in Turkey, reported. ...after Digiturk filed a complaint against the website on the grounds that it violated the company's broadcasting right…

Hodge Podge - Anyone Doing NaNoEdMo?

ery all over the place sort of day today.

I got sidetracked in the morning by scene ideas for a story I'm not supposed to be working on until not only the current novel but its sequel is complete.

Then I got derailed by posting about my cats on the Compuserve Forum. And I still have two beta reads and two book review reads to get through, at least by the end of the week.

But enough about my lollygagging. Happy Saint David's Day! Is anyone else doing NaNoEdMo this year?

As I was editing like mad this past weekend, I discovered another WineLit snip! This one's short enough to include here...

From Out of the Water, the wedding night scene:

She was drowsing over the pages when a knock came at her door. She shook herself awake and crawled out of her bunk, holding the lantern aloft as she opened the door a crack.

"May I come in, Peri?"

She stepped back and he came through, bolting the door behind him.

"I have some wine," he offered, holding up a half-filled bo…