Showing posts from June, 2010

50 Followers - 50 Days Marathon begins NOW

es! Thanks to Scorpio and Barbara for following me - I'm now at 50 followers!

Thus begins the 50 followers celebration 50 day marathon, first mentioned here. Here are the rules, for myself and for any that care to join me!

1. Write every day, at least 150 words
2. Blog about it every day (this is to force me/you to check in)
3. Link to this post on your blog if you're so inclined
4. Have fun!

PS don't forget to enter the contest below to win a copy of Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose.

PPS add author Jill Murray (Ethiopia FAQ & fun facts) on Facebook and ask her to send you a postcard from Ethiopia!

Two Contests and a New Blogfest

ip down to the post below and, if you haven't yet done so, sign up to win a copy of Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose! Thanks again to Jo for mentioning my contest on her blog.

I've also entered the Vive La France contest - a great way to keep up with Nicole's lovely, yummy posts on French wine, food, markets, you name it.

Tessa's hosting a blogfest in July - a death scene blogfest! I finally realised that, yes, I do have a character that dies, even though I don't want him to. But there's no cure for TB in 1492, so pass away he must. Join the blogfest here, and post your own scene on 18 July. This means you, Claire!!!

Contest! Win a Copy of Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose!

oanna Bourne's latest, The Forbidden Rose, is out!

For those of you who don't have your very own copies yet - or are waiting for another reader to return the library copy - you're in luck, because I've got two copies to give away. I won three Advance Reader Copies on Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research and, while I'm devouring my own copy, the other two are up for grabs!

Jo had a recent blog post on her dog, and that inspired the rules for this contest:

Leave a comment telling me either:

a) the names of the two donkeys in The Forbidden Rose


b) about your own furry/scaly/prickly writing companion.

A comment earns one entry in the draw for the winner, blogging about the contest earns another entry, and Facebooking earns another entry. But you've got to come back and let me know you've done all these things, and link to them, if possible. You can Tweet about the contest too but, er, I'm not on Twitter yet, so unless it rolls over ont…

Ten for Thursday - What's in Your Bag?

alli's tagged everyone on her bag meme, which she got from Sangu.

Clearly, Talli hangs on to the same bag for much longer than I do, which is to be commended - it's fun to find stuff you'd forgotten you had! Unfortunately, I get very restless with bags, purses, backpacks, what-have-you and switch 'em up constantly, necessitating a clean up every time.

I've had the current one for about a month. It's nice and large, so I'll probably get tired of it before the end of the summer, cos large bags prompt me to carry at least two books, the notebook with the latest scenes from Out of the Water (Rose's story!), printed snips of others' writing to read and comment on, and other heavy items (papers add up to a lot of weight!).

So let's see what's in the Mary Poppins'-bag like space (besides tree-derived products)...

1. A coin purse that contains memory sticks and keys, as well as a lovely bookmark made by Claire, but no coins.

2. Alpaca fibre! Jus…

The Versatile Blogger Award

any thanks to Tessa for the versatile blogger award!

Here's the task that goes with it:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
Thanks Tessa!

2. Share 7 things about yourself.
a) I'm on vacation! Well, back now, but still on vacation in my mind.
b) Our two cats are 6 and 7 years old - I want them to live to 40 to beat the oldest cat on record.
c) I don't like tequila.
d) If I could (i.e. wasn't afraid of big loud machines) I'd be a carpenter. Besides being a writer, of course.
e) These days, old movies are the only ones I really enjoy (things like Fletch Lives, Grumpy Old Men, The Great Outdoors, that sort of thing)
f) My favourite language is Welsh.
g) I love bluegrass!

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently (recently being a relative term) discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
a) Kait!
b) Karen!
c) Marsha!
d) India!
e) Nicole!
f) Aubrie!
g) Pam!
h) ZanMarie!
i) Step…

The Writing Journey

little while ago Rachel had a detailed post about her writing journey, and the various things she's learned about herself and her writing.

It made me think of what I might have learned, not necessarily since I began writing, but at least in the past few years, when I've begun considering writing not just as a hobby but as something I can actually pursue with a view to publication.

And the first realisation this led to was that I had never before edited my own work. I thought a few rewrites equalled editing, and for some reason was content to finish a novel - and leave it! Now, I can spend a year or so writing and almost twice as long editing and revising and reviewing and rereading, until I know the story backwards and forwards and can still find places to cut or rewrite.

Like Rachel, I also have scenes I'm sure I've written, only to find that they exist in barely legible notes. Never mind the time I was reading a book and had already-written scenes stuck in between t…

And We Have A Title!

here. Having written the heading for this post, I'm sitting here wracking my brains for the umpteenth time. I've gotten tired of referring to Rose's story variously as "Rose, 1492", "the story that takes place in Spain, 1492" and "Rose's story". It's time I gave her a proper title, and...

Here it is:

Out of the Water

Edited to add a link to this tiny post I wrote, back when I was trying to come up with the title for The Face of A Lion, since I thought it was cute.

A Post-apocalyptic Story

was one of my favourite characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was the quintessential trickster of fairy stories, random and unpredictable, which is what made him frightening.

Writing in general is an unpredictable endeavour - one never knows where story ideas will come from. Our vacation put a huge dent in my plans for Write Your A** Off Day. On the other hand, I had a dream about a brand new story, which I might not even start writing for at least a few months, so here is the synopsis version:

Following a nuclear incident, with few people left on the globe, a group of scientists get together in a specific place and create a dome in which to safely house the remaining humans in that area. Many of them die while working on the dome, until only two brothers are left. One becomes the evil dictator of life within the dome, while the other, because he has a young daughter, lies low and tries to raise her as well as he can.
People continue to trickle in to the dome, in varying…

Shakespeare and Company

hakespeare and Company - the Paris bookshop where James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway hung out, among others - is launching a literary journal and a best novella contest (thanks to Nathan Bransford for the link). Their literary festival is this weekend, just in time for Write Your A** Off Day today - 3000 words or as many as you can do!

A Website for Middle Grade Authors

ow could you not love a blog that promotes middle grade authors and whose title evokes author E. L. Konigsburg? Not only that, they're giving away a quarter peck minus three (that is, nine) books, of which I've read Acadian Star by Helene Boudreau; if all the others are as good as hers, I hope I win the draw!

(The peck reference comes from the fact that I bought 1/4 peck of peaches from a roadside stand yesterday and found out that a peck is roughly 48 peaches, about 8 quarts worth. Imperial measurements are fun, but metric is so much easier to understand!)

New Snip - Action Sequence

athan's hosted another contest, where he asked for "the most compelling chase and/or action and/or suspenseful sequence".

Here's the snip I posted, in which Rose deliberately sets fire to a house where agents of the Inquisition are holding members of her family:

She edged as close to the field as she dared, sliding her feet one by one across the matted layer of wet leaves. She stopped with one foot actually on the grassy verge, crushing a fragrant clump of stray [mint], peering from one corner of the manor to the other, straining to recognise Arcturus’ face in the fireglow. If the flames did not reach the house at all, they would never have a chance to run with Tante Rita and the others.
No one among the inquisitors besides Armando and the two men who had brought her there would recognise her. If she could pass among them pretending to be a woman from the town... yet everyone, regardless of whether they had seen her before or not, would remark on her tattered clothing…

Character Questionnaire - Rose in 1492, with Google Images


I haven’t played a game in a while, so here’s a Google Game I got from Roni.

Only I’m going to play not for myself but on Rose’s behalf!

Favourite beverage: Now that she’s in Constantinople and it’s winter, it’s sahlep, a milky puddingy sort of yumminess

Hometown: Palos de la Frontera, Spain, up the road a couple of hours from this beach

but now she lives in Constantinople

Favourite TV show: Since there’s no TV in 1492, here's Rose’s favourite entertainment - watching her friend Baha, who’s an artist, mixing his paints. Or, wandering minstrels!

Occupation: Housewife (for now) (painting by Francois Bonvin 1817-1887)

Favourite car: No cars in 1492 either, so here's her first vehicle - an oxcart!

Favourite dish: Chicken and rice. Here's a recipe for Jewish Chicken from a medieval Andalusian cookbook:

A Jewish Dish of Chicken
Clean the chicken and take out its entrails, cut off the extremities of its thighs and wings and the neck, and salt the chicken and leave it. Take the…