Showing posts from August, 2010

Where'd the Week Go?

hat happened? I haven't posted since Sunday? And yet there's been so much going on:

Diana Gabaldon's Czarina of Traffic on the forum is celebrating two years of her blog, here. And Diana herself has posted a few snippets here and there of scenes from Book 8!

I started a thread on the forum regarding expository paragraphs, those grand, sweeping descriptions of events that cover weeks or more, and relate everything as a summary. Rather than skipping time altogether and later relating it through flashback, this sort of description, I think, moves the reader along with the characters in real time, only quicker. One of the other forumites called it a moving sidewalk, which I think is a pretty apt description.

In case you missed it, Kait's got the next installment of Forsaken by Shadow up, here.

You've heard of Gutenberg and Google Books, now India's got a list of other places to get free e-books!

Have I mentioned The Orientalist Gallery before? Some absolutely gorge…

Middle Grade and Young Adult Scavenger Hunt

marks the spot!

I've adapted this from From The Mixed-up Files:

Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction Scavenger Hunt

1. Find a book whose author’s first name begins with the same letter as yours.
My find: Can't find one that I've actually read, so we'll go with last name starting with a D - Matilda, by Roald Dahl

2. Find a shelf less than half full and pick the third book from the left.
My find: A shelf less than half full? I don't have one of those! Okay, there's one that has space for a few more books, and on there we've got a Welsh book Deian a Loli by Kate Roberts (in Welsh)

3. Pick a shelf at random and look for the shortest book on the shelf.
My find: William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience

4. Find a book with the word “secret” in the title.
My find: The Secret Garden by Frances H. Burnett

5. Find a book featuring one of your favorite characters; pick the book to its left.
Character: From Anna by Jean Little; my find: Kate by Jean Little


ollection of images and songs that have inspired me over the past couple of weeks:

First up, from a family history narrated in Ladino, a lovely photo of Columbus' caravels:

Then there's the song Nothing Has Changed by Ryan Bevan, here.

And... confirmation that I'm not the only one to suffer from the fear of writing something stupid.

Finally, from Christopher Columbus avenue in Montreal, a bust of Isabella:

Countdown to Marathon's End and Books for Young Readers

he 51 Day Marathon Ends Tomorrow! I struggled slightly at the start, but ever since our wild and crazy writers' house party (dangerous too; at least two of us nearly suffered real-time injuries and one of us did!) I've been on a sweep, a roll, a grand roller coaster ride, and... No, somehow, I'm still not quite near completing the book, though I'm already at c. 60,000 words. I have at least 10-15 scenes more to write but keep getting sidetracked with more romantic episodes that may or may not make it into the final MS.

For bits and pieces of Out of the Water to read, go here.

If you're following Kait's serialisation of Forsaken by Shadow, go here.

I subscribe to the Pandora newsletter; this amazing bookstore has at least two branches in Istanbul, but ships books all over the world at very reasonable rates. Their stock is continuously expanding and covers both Turkish and English books.
In a recent newsletter, I noted the following in the Books for Ages 11-14 Se…

Notes from Underground Contest

uite frankly, White Nights and Notes from Underground are two of my favourite novellas by Dostoyevksy. And now there's a contest named after the latter: The Literary Lab's second annual Genre Wars Anthology, "Notes From Underground" contest.

The best part of this contest is the 'free form' entry: you can enter up to five pages of whatever you want, be it poetry, writing, photography, flattery, a resume, an idea, anything!

I found it very hard to limit myself to five pages; should I include poetry? should I talk about all my ideas and not include any actual writing? In the end, still on a high from the recent house party, I included three scenes from Out of the Water and two scenes from the house party. One of the snips from the novel is Baha's letter to Rose, which she finds after his death. Read it here.

(And yes, sometimes I start my blog posts with random phrases just so I can slip in a gorgeous Drop Cap.)

Handwriting Tag

es, still glowing from the, as ZanMarie calls it, houseparty alchemy. I'm up every morning, writing; something which was like pulling teeth before but comes effortlessly as flowing water now that I've gone back to my natural fit, romance. I'll post more snips of Rose - this time from the real wip, so no more Lord Rochester, unfortunately - soon, but if you can't wait, head on over to the forum and check out our latest venture, the Toolbox!

Meanwhile, a handwriting tag from Tessa! Alright, I tagged myself, so I hereby tag anyone who comes across and reads this.

Answer the following, in your handwriting:

1. Your name/Blog's name
2. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
3. What are your favorite letters to write?
4. What are your least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: "The quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
7. Your favorite song lyrics are?
8. Make sure you tag 7 peo…

A New Romance!

irst, a note - I've got 12 days left in my writing marathon; I've written maybe 20,000 words since I started. And yet since last Friday, when our houseparty started, I've written close to 40,000 words! Unfortunately not all usable in the main story; though I've learned even more about Rose, Baha and Arcturus. It's such a freedom to write in a context and setting that's pre-defined, where all that's left is to throw your characters in with those of other writers (like Claire's!), and have them interact with each other. All sorts of adventures, brawls, tender moments and frightening scenes take place.

Speaking of romance, here's a scene from Rose and Lord Rochester's ongoing passion, which is going to be nipped in the bud soon. They have a few hours left together at the houseparty and then, as far as they know, they will be parting for the rest of their lives...

The garden was silent.
From beyond its edges came calls and shouts, the laughter of the…


ehold! Another snip from the house party going on at the forum (full story here).

This one features Rose and Lord Rochester (thank you Adderbury!) at dinner time; I post it here because it reveals a lot of the plot for Out of the Water:

Rochester piled a plate high with meats and fruits; anything he could find that he thought Rose might never have tasted, including potatoes and tomatoes. He tossed a couple of oranges into the pocket of his ridiculous apron, for pudding. They perched together on a single wicker chair, and he fed her bits and pieces from the plate, delighting in her rosebud mouth, her dainty manners and the way, when she thought no one was looking, she licked sauce off his fingers. He'd brought a tiny smear of foie gras on some homemade bread, and began explaining it to her, when she interrupted.
"I've eaten that! In France, at the inn..."
She might never stop surprising him, this girl. "When were you ever in France?" He asked. Suddenly she wa…

Writers' Party Time!

re you looking for a rollicking good read? Adventure, magic, romance, brawls and civil wars, a king in danger and two demobbed brothers in conflict... Not to mention my own Rose, her dying friend Baha and the monk Brother Arcturus from Out of the Water and Austin and Kedi from The Face of A Lion.

The link to the full story - still not finished! is here.

And here's another snip (the first one is here). If you're meeting her for the first time, Rose is 18 years old, from 1492 and has just been whisked to a house party taking place in Georgia in 2008 and met a young Lord Rochester, courtier to Charles II:

Rose tightened the laces on her - what had Meredith called it - caftan, and fanned herself with one of the paper plates. It was sticky and even hotter out of the water, though there were plenty of cool drinks spread out around the tables. That lovely pink mixture she'd heard Emily calling fruit punch was absolutely delicious. It was amazing how many varieties of fruit they ha…


othing says summer like postcards!

Here's one I got from Jill from Ethiopia:

And here's one from Tessa from Spain: