Wednesday, 19 December 2012

End of ROW80 Round, Year-end Goals, and Romantic Friday Writers Snip!

A Round of Words in 80 Days ends tomorrow!

The current round, that is. Thanks to NaNo, I met my major goal, which was to get Santiago and Mawdlen's story, Captive of the Sea, down on paper. Also sent a few more queries for Out of the Water. But I've stalled on the editing, so my goals for next round will involve more of that, in better structured fashion. I might have to start doing some early morning rounds again; it's just so much easier to be productive earlier rather than later in the day, after work.

As for all the goals from the past year... back in January we posted yearly goals on the Compuserve Forum. I've met quite a few of mine:

Edit Rome, Rhymes and Risk. I did, but on paper. I haven't yet entered the edits on the MS...

Keep agent-hunting for Out of the Water. Ongoing.

Try to write another short story or two and submit them somewhere, and edit the darn plot bunny story already. Sort of done. Rejections.

Think about cutting back on blogging from three days a week to two. Done! My new schedule is awesome!

Knit more. Don't gain weight. Done. Ish. I love bread.

What have your goals and goal-making been like this year?

I've got a wee snip for the Romantic Friday Writers Challenge!

"For this Holiday Spirit blogfest, we are looking for excerpts involving fiction or non-fiction stories of family tradition, favorite/unique recipes, inspirational articles, etc.; that represent the essence of the holiday spirit."

To keep it short, I've knocked off the scene directly before this, wherein we find out that it's holiday time, and Baha bargains for some Turkish coffee (kahve) to share with his wife, Rosa. It's the 15th Century, and this is the first time either of them have tried coffee:
The inner door opened and she dropped her knife among the vegetables, poking her head round the kitchen arch. "You're late!"
Baha met her halfway down the corridor and encircled her in his arms.
"What's that smell?" She wrinkled her nose, sniffing at his cloak.
"Kahve." He produced a muslin wrapped package from his satchel and she took it from his palm.
The smell grew stronger, and she opened it to find a fine-ground powder, like semolina wheat but the colour of black beans. There was a strange contraption called a cezve that went with it, a sort of bowl the size of her palm, with a long handle.
"You hold it over the flame," Baha said, taking her hand and leading her to the kitchen brazier. He grabbed a cup off the shelf. "A measure of water, and a spoonful or half a spoonful of the kahve, depending on how many cups you wish to make. I think there's enough there for two, if you’d like to taste it."
She filled the cup twice with water and poured it into the cezve at his direction, adding the ground kahve from the muslin.
"It comes from a bean," he explained, stirring the mixture with a spoon and holding the cezve over the fire. "I tasted some today that a merchant brought from Yemen, and he gave me the rest in exchange for my work."
"I suppose he thinks you'll buy more from him tomorrow."
"I might, at that. It has a strong flavour, like nothing I've ever tasted before." The liquid began bubbling on the surface and he poured some into each cup, enough to coat the bottom.
"Don't drink it yet," he cautioned. "It has to boil three times."
She watched as the kahve bubbled again, and again he poured a little into each cup. After the third time, he topped up the cups and set the cezve on the shelf. He clinked his cup against hers.
She peered dubiously at the murky liquid but took a tentative sip. The kahve warmed her tongue, bitter and sweet at the same time. A knock came at the door and as Baha went to answer, she tidied up the kitchen, finishing her kahve as she worked. The drink seemed to heighten her senses, so that the fire seemed warmer and she heard Baha's murmured words to the messenger from down the corridor.
Market in Turkey

Can't wait to see everyone else's snips!


Jeff Hargett said...

Yes! Bread! Love it! Italian, French, Yeast rolls, homemade biscuits, sourdough... oh, gotta run ask my wife for a favor now. hehehe. Merry Christmas!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I love this little scene. I also love Turkish coffee. Yum.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't believe I've ever seen knitting and not gaining weight listed together...

M Pax said...

That market looks wonderful.

What admirable goals you have. Keep going at them and you'll get there. Seems like you've made a ton of progress.

Denise Covey said...

Deniz, you've had another busy year. That's a great little Christmas snip you have there. I loved reading it. I love the pic of the market too. I love markets in exotic towns.

Happy Christmas!


Ann Carbine Best said...

Excellent writing, Deniz. And I love that Turkish market picture. Would LOVE to see that!

Happy week to you, and Happy Christmas!
Ann Best’s Blog

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations on meeting those goals!

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on reaching your main writing goal!

I love bread, too. Mmm.

Love your excerpt!

Lara said...

Congrats on reaching most of your goals! What's on the agenda for next year? [g]

Great snippet, by the way.

Donna Hole said...

I'm a fan of bread! My middle son (Geek Boy) will make a plain bread sandwich: a slice of white bread between two slices of white bread with nothing on or between it. Geek Boy's consistent complaint is that there isn't enough biscuits or bread in the house.

How awesome that you've met so many of your year's goals. Congrats.

This story was great. Full of culture, and a recipe, and excellent characters in a unique setting. This feels like the start of a "tradition" and fits well with the RFW Holiday Spirit theme.

I've missed your voice at RFW. Thanks for participating. And have and awesome end of year celebration Deniz :)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. love the snippet - and I really want to know what happened next and if it's the 15thC - that messenger could be dangerous news ..

Congratulations on achieving so much - here's to a very happy 2013 and have a love Christmas and New Year in between .. cheers Hilary

Li said...

Sure am glad I didn't post any goals because I don't think I met any of them! Love the excerpt, felt warm and could almost taste the coffee while reading it.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much everyone! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, very appropriate to the season, no? :-)

A great idea, Donna. Think I'll have a bread sandwich for supper. Okay, maybe a bit of butter or maple syrup...

Sally said...

I love the way you describe the way the coffee smelt and tasted and what effect it had after drinking it.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much, Sally!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Deniz,

Happy Holidays! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Congrats on accomplishing many of your goals.

I could almost smell the coffee in your charming excerpt.

Like you, I have been knitting like crazy to. Cold, snowy, and windy in CHicago,,,, you could never have enough scarves and hats. Currently working on a checker bordered one in midnight blue for myself ... a belated Christmas gift for ME.

Yes, I would love to do a feature for your knitting blog. HOW FUN.

I also have to watch the weight. I've been baking up a storm lately, but I do manage to burn it off at the gym, but barely.

I thought about you and Montreal this Christmas. I wanted to spend it there, but unfortunately the finances wouldn't allow it. I am aiming for next year! I spent it in charming town three hours west of Chicago with small mountains and LARGE hills... JUST LIKE MONTREAL! LOL. So at least I had a bit of that feeling while there.

I hope all your dreams and aspirations come true in 2013....ALL the best,


Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you, Michael! I'm glad you liked the snip.
ooh, for the knitting blog, I'd love to feature photos and so on - unless you'd like to write a straight out guest post?
Mmm, baking... I was supposed to make pumpkin cheesecake but couldn't find any pumpkin, so I made chestnut cheesecake instead - yum!
Did you guys get as much snow as we did? 45 cm in one afternoon, eek!
Hope you have a wonderful and exciting 2013!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • ***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***
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • 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
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at