partlyopenbook: (strong)
A follow-up to the previous post, about how many books I'm reading at one time, and what sort of challenge it would be to read everything on the list.

I listed nine books that I am reading intermittently... and it was actually ten. I forgot Mrs Dalloway. My apologies, Clarissa, Virginia. 

DONE
The Reverberator, 7/28
Mrs Dalloway, 8/9

REMAINING
Muddle Earth
The Sea, the Sea
The Wings of the Dove
The Little Minister
Rogue One
The Templar Legacy
Down the Garden Path
Blonde

Blonde is over 700 pages, and I believe it comes close to Wings of the Dove as far as word count goes. Yikes! I haven't started reading anything else... a couple of smaller, non-fiction titles that serve a purpose as far as education goes, but nothing fiction. I'm trying to stick to the goal. 

In other news, I finished writing all of The Buried Cellar on Tuesday, 8/7, the day of the partial lunar eclipse... The book wound up being about 231,000 words long. Since I don't plan to send it out to a collection of agents or publishers, I won't have to drain myself by draining words out of the story during the arduous editing process. I started writing it in February. It is the first novel-length story (over 80,000 words) I've finished since 2012. 

 A lot of little things are getting finished, too. Some decisions, both giant and seemingly insignificant, have become clearer. 
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
After a conversation with a buddy (which took place only online, don't get excited, I still don't have friends), in which he declared that he no longer reads multiple books at a time—only one!—I decided to take a personal inventory. But, seriously, one book at a time? One?

One book at a time! What is this madness?

He declared that it took him too long to read a bunch of books over time than it did for him to read one book.

Valid point. Check!

It led me to wonder this: HOW MANY BOOKS AM I READING AT ONCE AND OMG IS IT WAY TOO MANY?!?!

Am I stretching myself too thin, over books?

But back to the first question: How many books am I reading?

The answer? Nine. A staggering NINE books. Well, not simultaneously, but I'll pick one up whenever I feel like reading that particular style of prose, or swim in that particular story for a little while. The books are pretty varied. Really varied... 

Muddle earth ... Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell (illustrator)
The Sea, the Sea ... Iris Murdoch
The Wings of the Dove ... Henry James
The Reverberator ... Henry James
The Little Minister ... J.M. Barrie
Rogue One ... Alexander Freed
The Templar Legacy ... Steve Barry
Down the Garden Path ... Beverley Nichols
Blonde ... Joyce Carol Oates

There are two Henry James titles on here, you're not just seeing double. The Wings of the Dove is one of his "epics," and the Reverberator is a short novel that he wrote after two of his books, The Princess Casamassima and The Bostonians were critically, er, devalued. That's a tad weird, because The Bostonians has gone on to classic status (from which we've gathered our modern day phrase "Boston Marriage"). The Reverberator (incidentally, one of those "difficult" words to type on type-timing quizzes) is fairly light-hearted, and I am a titch more than halfway through it. And I don't know what those critics were talking about, The Princess Casamassima was fantastic. I read it in three days! 

I started reading BLONDE yesterday, after I knew that I wanted to get through this list and finish all the titles before I started something else. I simply couldn't help it. And I'm not sure if The Little Minister counts, it's more like A Study in Doric than entertainment, and Doric does make for an interesting read, when you're part Scottish and some of your favorite book creations are Scottish. The Templar Legacy could be good if I would just get into it a little more. I've started reading it twice. Down the Garden Path is delightful, but it's more a literary adventure best taken when the gardens are withered and brumal, and not when you're out frolicking about in your own flower patches. 

No doubt the first one to be struck from this list, marked as FINISHED, will be The Reverberator. As for the last, well, either The Wings of the Dove or The Little Minister. 

-x-

I'm still working on The Buried Cellar. I've become one of those people that I never thought I'd be, ever: someone who writes while in public, in notebooks, on the tablet, whatever... I hardly write at home now, only second drafts of initial public-typed writings. It's very strange. Since it took me so long to write again, I will take it however it wishes to come to me. 

I wrote the first part of the next book, with plots set out for two more books that are attached to the characters of The Buried Cellar (and also found in four previous books). One book is waiting to be finished, since I've worked out the plot kinks I'm sure I can finish it up in a few months. One book is waiting for an entire rewrite. Several more just want to be written. I don't know what I'll do with all of them when they're done. 

Donation time.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 07:53
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
A little while ago, I received payment from my books sold at Smashwords. It was $4.25, if you want to know. If you don't make enough money (I think it's $10) a quarter, they send you your earnings every couple of years, or something like that. 

But, as promised, I will make a donation to the local Animal Humane Society. Probably in the amount of $10, though the minimum is $5, I believe.

I got a new cat from them on December 27th, too, along with purchasing a few items (like kitty toys), so I've been a patron of theirs for a while. Even going back to when I got my other kitty in November of 2015.

The significant other and I also donated a stack of old bath towels, and they were happy to have those! 

Thank you to everyone who purchased my stories and made the donation possible!

***

I'm working on a new novel. It just passed 40,000 words yesterday! As of now, it's called The Buried Cellar, and it's a continuance of a previous manuscript originally finished in, I don't know, 2010 maybe. 

I'm still looking for submission calls that interest me, but mostly just want to work on The Buried Cellar... Someone asked me the other day how many books I'd written, and I honestly don't know at this point. Eleven? Twelve? Two of them I want to rewrite, at least one of them entirely, and the other one needs a new opening (at the very least). There's another one that I want to finish, that I put on hold when I encountered a plot-point issue that has been resolved. 

Over the course of the last two years, it's taken me a long time to feel like a writer again. While I wrote a bunch of short stories for submission calls in the summer of 2015, none was accepted (at least one came very close). Then I didn't write much of anything for over a year. I think I wrote two short stories for submission calls in the spring of 2016, but never sent them in. Both of them I would like to turn into short(!) novels that could probably be written pretty quickly. (Both are set in Canada: one in Ontario, one in Alberta. Again continuing the tradition that I can't write anything unless it's set in Canada or Ohio. The one that is set in Alberta I could easily move to another location.) Writing was always a part of my life, though (since I was seven), and eventually it'd squeeze it's way back into my everyday life. 

The importance of writing started its strong resurgence after I settled into my new place in November [2016]. I had my own office, and I thought that would be helpful, but it's actually really cold and uncomfortable down there so I started scouting for another location. It wound up being the back part of the kitchen, and an old aluminium camp table that belonged to my SO's grandparents. I'm next to a window, with a fine view of the side of the neighbor's house, and another window to the front of me that looks at the garage and the fence where the little sparrows conglomerate on cold Minnesota mornings... I'm also surrounded by plants. There's a jug plant, a giant peace lily, a variegated palm of some sort, donkey tails and other succulents, another peace lily, a spider plant, something that we're trying to root (it's doing very well actually), and, of course, the rhododendron that I brought from my former home. It's doing far better than I thought it would, with plenty of new growth after it sprouted three sets of flowers. I'm still typing on an old Dell (they're not even made anymore), because the keyboard is the best for pounding out thousands of words a day. I have a mug-warmer, a magazine rack that holds notebooks (full notes), my headphones, and a container with miscellaneous office-like items in it. I'm using a rectangular space roughly 4 ft by 3 ft, which includes the space for my chair. 

Ah, my chair. My chair goes with the old 1950's table, and while it is not the most comfortable of chairs (the back is low), it keeps me awake and keeps my legs comfortable. 

But with three cats and a dog, sometimes it's really hard to sit still for hours on end while writing: there's always something going on. 

At the moment, it's quiet. The dog is outside. The cats are sleeping. And, traditionally, plants don't make much noise. 

I've also taken up writing by hand, which I can do while I'm not at home. When I first started on the mission of "Okay, I can write by hand when it's slow at work," I really thought it'd be ridiculous and it wouldn't take at all. Quite the opposite. Writing by hand, with your favorite pen in a nice, old notebook already littered and wrinkly with notes, definitely has its appeals, and it's very calming. There's no stress when you write by hand. I can stop, do some work if necessary, and go back to it without feeling the jam of any creative flow, even without caring whether there is such a thing as "creative flow." I just pick up the pen and go. The only time I have trouble is when I'm tired, and, of course, when it's really busy. Even yesterday, on a day off from work, I thought about writing by hand rather than typing what I've written in the notebook. If you have trouble keeping on task when composing at a computer, writing by hand would be a really good option--at least give it a shot. 

Someday, I'd like to create a new dot-com, but not just yet. I'm still getting used to writing again, and I don't want to take on too much. I've thought of taking my stories off Smashwords entirely and just starting over. I don't receive very many downloads for my free books, about one a month, and no one's paid for my two .99-cent books in ages. Then again, it's hard to just discard all the work that went into creating those ebooks--and it is a lot of work. All you have to do is breeze through the Smashwords Style Guide to know it's a lot of work. So, for now, they're still available. I don't even know if anyone reads this journal. By this entry, you know that I was pretty sure, at that point, that I really wouldn't write commercially again, or have any kind of writing life on the internet. I'm not really interested in marketing myself at the moment, but I still have my goodreads account, and I've started looking at submission calls again. I've thought about throwing together another book of short stories (rejects or unsent stories through the years), but I think I'd like to release it through Amazon instead, probably under a different pseudonym. Using Amazon would be an interesting challenge for me. I've already done the Smashwords thing. Mostly, though, I'm all right with staying off the internet except for research, and just keep writing books even if no one ever reads them or they never get published. 

It's a tough world out there, which is exactly why I started writing again in the first place. I've borrowed my life from Nietzsche:

We have art so that we shall not die of reality. 

Thanks

Monday, 3 August 2015 07:53
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
Thanks to all my patrons through the years!

contact email: partlyopenbook@gmail.com 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015 11:39
partlyopenbook: CKR (act)
 LOL. OOMG. WUT?



This is true.
Consider my mind blown.
A real scorcher, innit?

Free (again)

Saturday, 20 June 2015 10:08
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
All my stories are free right now on Smashwords.
Please read, enjoy and review! 

@1020/27

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 10:19
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
It's about time we had a cloudy day! The humidity is wicked high, and that's brought a nice change.

Blooming trees are blooming. Some look like giant sticks full of cotton candy tufts. Some look like they're riddled with fuchsia jewels, important from exotic, foreign lands perhaps not of this world.

Violets have been spotted, little puddles of them here and there at the edges of pathways, growing wild. They give the impression of being rather pugnacious, as if they've fought for their territory and won't have it taken from them. Their tenacity is as enjoyable as their wee purple faces.

It's too bad all of this is pretty fleeting. But I'm looking forward to the sound of leaves rattling in a breeze.

Back at the park I passed one of the ponds, and upon almost every surface was a turtle. Turtles everywhere! Big turtles, little baby turtles. I'll have to get a better look at them, but I think they might've been red-eared slider turtles. Turtles are cute, but they have a tendency to resemble grumpy octogenarians who've consumed a disagreeable food and are now suffering from a bout of dyspepsia. And they will STARE at you until you recognize how awesome they are for putting up with everything.

In the world of employment, I think the job-change will be better for me. It seems like the kind of work I can do while I'm there and proceed to leave behind me when I go home at the end of my shift. This is entirely like my current job, which is very hard on me mentally/emotionally, and I've had a problem letting go of it — as in, I don't let go of it and it continues to haunt me like a bad song (I shouldn't mention that Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" gets stuck in my head a lot). I don't know when/if I'll ever get a chance to actually make this position change, but the transition shouldn't be too awful. It really amuses me how often I run into employees who "used to" have my position. "She used to do what you do..." That should tell corporate that there's something wrong with what they're doing. Such as having only one of us work at weekends, and expect us to do a fantastic and flawless job. No, that's not going to happen. Ever. Because there is ONE of me. Yes, the sooner I get rid of this job, the better. I might even start to feel like me again!

Despite the few days of personal peace, I haven't been writing. I might, later, or I might just sit and read, or go watch the turtles...

Reading
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, the Sea
Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway
Henry James - The Reverberator

Watching
Sherlock (rewatch)
The Road to El Dorado
Family Ties


A Puddle of Violets
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I can hardly write in a notebook-shaped journal anymore. It isn't that I'm disinterested in journaling, just not interested in writing in a notebook. I mean to, even pick it up and fill out the date, the time, the cycle day, etc... Then, inevitably, the first sentence often sees me wondering why I am bothering to write in there at all. Why bother writing in there at all?

It's occurred to me that the abhorrence for notebook-journaling has been born from a repugnance to a time when writing in a journal was far more comforting... back at the days I spent at home... and I don't want to think about any of that, or think about it as little as possible, to keep the sting from my eyes and the distressful, tight pinches around my heart. It's very hard to suffer a continuous broken heart, knowing that, in a way, I won't ever recover since the world is the world, filled with things, sights and smells and actions, constantly triggering reminders of home.

I do a lot to block away these things. Even when driving home these days, from work, I have the windows rolled up on nice days, with the air conditioning on. I try to pass it off as fighting off pollen and other airborne allergens, but me and my conscience are not so sufficiently self-denying. We know it has more to do with the whimsies of a spring day, the smell of sun-warmed viridescence, and the sound of a healthy breeze through baby leaves, or when that breeze is warm enough to feel that it's fully southern, baptized by the Kentucky and southern Indiana hillsides, warmed there, tumbling over itself, until it flits, against its will, into the flattened Miami Valley... where it stalls, stutters, and roars on to float upon Lake Erie... I close my windows and forget these things.

My life is not wholly rotten, anyway... There's a certain juvenescence that's returned to me. And by me, I mean, of course, the thoughts I have, the inspirations I feel. These are not meant to imply that I take actions to fulfill the inspirations, turning them, naturally, into motivations. I continue to sit more than I move. I work enough, hard enough and long enough, to want to sit, sit, sit for as long as I'm able. It's incredible how awful one's feet can feel the morning after standing around for seven and a half hours, give or take ten minutes. And how it isn't the bottoms of my feet that are sore and achy, but the joints of my ankles, as if the tendons and ligaments there have been stretched and pulled against the weight of bones, muscle, water, or against the tension of the job which ebbs and flows and beats against me like a fierce, incoming tide against rocks waiting patiently next to the sea. And it isn't a day or two of eight hours, but four or five days in a row at a place where I wish I had a clone, an effigy to take what I can't do or when I feel that I should be ripped apart for being ignorant of every detail, angry at myself for my ignorance, and wishing I could do something else far more peaceful, more solitary... to live again in my own head, be my own self, not drawn and quartered by an obsession for a job that I don't know how to do well enough to suppress speculation... Just a quiet, meaningless job.

I'm starting a new very part-time job this afternoon, a private gig to do computer-related admin. The informality of it pleases me. It'd be nice to have work to do that doesn't come with a list of common and hefty demands, and trying to remember a hundred things at once. There is no protocol but the standards of ethics, the common-sense variety of kindness and self-confidence that I've been implementing for ages.

I'm visiting with an old friend today, too. The visit will be shortened by part-time work, but that is the way it has to be... I'm looking forward to running about town with Jason, like the good old days, like 1997 but with wisdom and less hope for the future, less spasmodic reasoning, less convincing philosophy now that I know I can change my mind, alter my opinions, yet the rudimentary beliefs are housed in my core and have been nesting for two decades. I'm built of layers of myself: one year over another over another, and so forth, to my outer shell that's shallow but timid and fragile. I can see each layer's pattern, the created and etched integuments of every year... from the moldy inner sheath to the shimmer of newness surrounding me but not entirely a part of me, not yet...

It will be a nice day off from one job, a nice new start for a new job. The rest of the week will fly by, and I feel reasonably optimistic that it will get better. I'll find new jobs to apply for and something else to do... I'll figure things out that have been pressing their ugliness rancorously against me. Words will be written, paragraphs constructed, stories remembered and hopes remembered, dreams rekindled...


Reading
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, the Sea
Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway
Henry James - The Reverberator

Listening
Namnambulu - Trapped

Watching
Family Ties
CSI: Miami
Coffee Prince

Make no secret.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 13:47
partlyopenbook: Fairy-winged child and gray wolf. (friendship)
 I've been rewriting a short story first completed last year. It's called Kat's Tower. Originally a BDSM kind of tale, I quickly realized that this is a genre that I am not meant to encounter in the writing world — at least not right now! I transformed the story into something more adventurous, romantic, with elements of the gothic. And pirates. Because my writing soul has created some serious catenations with pirates the last fifteen years. 

It's unknown at this point how long Kat's Tower will wind up being. I'm hoping it won't be too long, since I'd decided to rewrite it with the hopes of including it in a new set of short stories.

Kat's Tower is divided into small chapters. Each chapter has possessive noun in it. The Fisherman's Inn... Winter's Garden... Crawley's Books... Kat's Tower... 

Here's the opening paragraph (subject to change):

Once upon a time, in the long past of the world, there lived a young woman, named Kat, who believed, with all her heart, that gratefulness held the key to fulfillment. She knew that if she were truly thankful for all that she had, it would not be taken from her, neither disappearing from her grasp nor falling from her sight. She brandished the winning thought every hour of the day. Nothing could deter her from it. 
 
The thought of being grateful enough for what you have that it won't be taken from you is lifted from my own life. It isn't true, of course, ergo the fairy-tale opening. We want to believe it's true. 

Movie time.

Saturday, 28 March 2015 12:01
partlyopenbook: CKR (act)
Let's all go to the lobby and get ourselves a snack!

Just an update on some films I've watched lately. Also, would someone with more ambition and knowhow please start a movie site that's just like Goodreads, but for, you know, films? K, thx.


Starting with last night...

I made it through most of Beauty & the Briefcase before I wanted to skip over parts. Which I did enthusiastically! I skipped over Lane's unimportant dates, even the ones with Seth, played by Matt Dallas. But, urgfffk... not the best movie ever. If it hadn't been for two things, the clothes/costumes and Michael McMillian's performance, I would've turned it off in the first twenty minutes. (Plus, he was born in '78 — and I think that we are a rare breed, indeed.)

So why did I even want to watch this movie? I try to watch different things, titles that aren't the same-old (for me, at least). And I was really into Lizzie McGuire back in the day, and continue to have very little antipathy toward Hilary Duff.


And going on from there...


Frozen
I finally watched this! All I have to say about it can be summed up in a few sentences, including what I told my friend Dalliann in an email: I liked the twist on True Love ... and what I told my cousin, "It's very pretty." Because it is very pretty, but, for some reason, kind of flat. And this tweet:



It is, however, prodding me to finally start watching Once Upon a Time...

Desert Hearts (1985)
This was a really good production that uses the almost eerie backdrop of Nevada so masterfully and compellingly. The performances are layered, rich and almost indulgent. Much like In & Out, I don't know how this movie got made with big studios behind it, but I'm glad that it was! Desert Hearts was adapted from a novel written by Jane Rule. For me, it was almost as though Margery Sharp and Meredith Tax wrote something brilliant together.

Unrelated... doesn't In & Out have one of the best poster/cover images EVER?

Bedrooms & Hallways
Quirky gay flick from across the Pond, with a panorama of fun characters. You're bound to find someone/something in this to relate to. Loved the supporting performances by Hugo Weaving ("Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.") and the always amazing Tom Hollander.

Waiting for Forever
I have a feeling this surrealistic dramedy/romance was originally going to be called "Showing off for Emma" — but that's hardly the kind of title production companies and little Hollywood like. This movie generates a lot of Benny & Joon comparisons, but it's also darker and yet not so dark that it becomes suspenseful. The movie never tried to be more than what it was: a character study of an unusual young man who's been in love with the same woman his whole life, and has devoted so much of his time an energy into loving her from a distance. A mediocre performance from Rachel Bilson ("Heartland") is thankfully glossed over by Tom Sturridge's at-the-edge-of-losing-it acting. He made me think of Will Shakespeare's plea to Gwyneth Paltrow's Romeo in "Shakespeare in Love" — "Don't spend it all at once," he says (or close to it) — and Sturridge does just that — he never overacts — he just exists. For a Brit, Sturridge is very relaxed on screen. His facial expressions generate enough range of thought and feeling that he doesn't need to do much. Blythe Danner is amazing, as always—so brilliant. And will someone please cast in MOAR THENGS PLZ.

Keith
It's rare that we can see a child actor grow up and continue to make films... One of the main reasons I watched The Break Up, for instance, was to see Peter Billingsley (of "A Christmas Story" fame). From another holiday film poignant during my childhood, One Magic Christmas, is a child actor who continues to act in the occasional project (the original CSI), the lovely Elisabeth Harnois (six months younger than yours truly, as hard as that is to believe). She was the main reason I watched Keith. Jesse McCartney plays the titular character, and he was surprisingly good. It's a high school drama, nothing fancy, but it's engrossing anyway, chiefly from the way the story is told, the pace of it, and it's almost like watching everyone under a microscope or through a speakeasy—which is the way a film like this should be. The two pieces of trivia from IMDB do make you scratch your head, and are exactly the two things that I was going to mention: 
Elizabeth Harnois was 29 when she played 17 year old Natalie Anderson.
Elisabeth Harnois is eight years older than Jesse McCartney

Princess
A small screen budget film made for ABC Family, Princess is worth watching for the intriguing story twists and the ball gowns. For real. I watched it for the clothes.

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Quite a decent Hollywood flick, I must say... I'm glad I watched it with the brother, however, as to glean a few things that I wouldn't have known had I watched it on my own, most importantly the little acting bits and cameos. I'll have to think about it more, but it seems as though I liked Into Darkness more than the first one.
 

That's the movie round-up! 

Minor update...

Saturday, 14 March 2015 13:38
partlyopenbook: (bird)
Not much to write about lately. I've been thinking of what to work on next.

In the meantime, here are photos to commemorate the dying winter.





Click for large view! Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 February 2015 12:42
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
At the local library's book sale, I scored an autographed copy of Monica Ferris's FRAMED IN LACE.

It's the second time I've rather unwittingly picked up an ordinary paperback only to find it'd been autographed by the author. The other was Brian Jacques' The Salamandastron.

partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I made a new cover for Zandry of Bonewood (and other stories). Also changed the license agreement to reflect the fact that the book now has an actual price. Previous license agreement was for a free ebook.

The reason for the new cover is that Dalliann created that awesome cover for that one story, Zandry of Bonewood. We didn't intend to use it for a book with other short stories included.

It was a long overdue change! The new cover still reflects the tree/weirdness/bone thing from Zandry of Bonewood.

You can see it here.

Imbolc.

Monday, 2 February 2015 20:04
partlyopenbook: Fairy-winged child and gray wolf. (friendship)
No, I didn't forget Imbolc! Just had a busy day...

Happy Imbolc! Here's something crafty I did for my private celebration: luminarias! I bought some simple white sacks at the craft store. I sketched Brigid symbols on both sides, and put safe LED candles in them! So lovely and classy! A good way to celebrate the lady of high-flying flames and hearths.



Symbols, front to back: Brigid's cross, flames, healing heart, cup (emotional symbol), sun, and moon. I should've made the moon full, since it's full tomorrow.

If you make luminarias at home (also good for Yule/Solstice, and probably for Lughnasadh), you can use tea-sized LED lights (the cheaper ones for the neo-pagan on a budget), as long as they have new batteries in them. This was a relatively inexpensive project, with stunning results. And making the sketches was really fun!

I mention luminarias in my novella, The Hero and the Holly.

To close, there's this, because it is awesome.
Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.

partlyopenbook: CKR (act)
Having a lot of fun this morning looking up vocabulary, slang and phrases from the 18th and early 19th centuries! 

Probably too much fun, and I should do some actual work. 

 56 Delightful Victorian Phrases

How to Speak 19th Century - Brought to you by a guy who saw George Washington wear a "surtout." And "oakum" isn't something you stick in your pipe and smoke... There are a lot of words on here I already know, because, yup, I like old stuff. 

Manly Slang from the 19th Century - artofmanliness.com is just a fantastic site! It comes up a lot when I'm doing story research. If you enjoy writing historical stuff, be it novels or fanfics, artofmanliness is a stop you have to make along your research journey. (Unless you know everything already.)


Here are some interesting books... 

The Humors of Falconbridge

A Journey to Ohio in 1810

Journals and Letters of ... a Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion - the Old Dominion in this case is Virginia. Sorry, Canadians. (I was slightly disappointed, too.) I spent most of the morning reading this, and it's really fascinating. Only if you like old things, though. And if you can stand to read awkward English, with lots of ampersands (&'s!), and Random Capitalization of Letters, including Improper Nouns, and Verbs that do not Open sentences. And I skipped the first two chapters...  

Phrases

Monday, 26 January 2015 12:18
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
While looking for another document on the computer, I came across an .rtf of these smile-worthy phrases. Enjoy!

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

A word to the wise is unnecessary. - La Rouchefoucauld

All generalisations are dangerous, even this one.

A watched clock never boils.

Champagne for my true friends and true pain for my sham friends!

Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant. The population is growing.

Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train Americans to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

George Washington's brother was the uncle of our country.

I started out with nothing... I still have most of it.

If an infinite number of rednecks in the back of an infinite number of pickup trucks shoot an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce a complete version of Hamlet in braille.

If there was any logic in this world, it would be men who ride side-saddle, not women.

Pandemonium was a word invented by Lewis Carroll, naming the capital of Hell.

Roget's Thesaurus rules, dominates, regulates, OK, all right, adequately.

Some people have a way with words, others not have way.

The future has many names: for the fearful it's the unknown, for the reckless it's the adventure, for the pessimists it's the unattainable. For the brave, it is opportunity.

The more you cry, the less you have to pee.

Time is money, money is the root of all evil, and knowledge is power. Therefore, procrastination is the key to world peace.

Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried slamming a revolving door.

Chores

Thursday, 22 January 2015 10:39
partlyopenbook: (wolf)
All of my chores are done -- and before 11 AM!

//Smashwords//

The (very minor) epub errors of The Hero and the Holly have been repaired. The new file is already on the site. The only thing that appeared to be wrong with it was a mishap with the NCX ToC... I forgot to make one of the hidden bookmarks carry the prefix "ref_" ... and that hurt the little NCX's brain. So I fixed that, and added in my own ToC.

Also mentioned in my Smashwords profile that I'm available for these services: story editing, Smashwords manuscript prep, book cover design, and private story commissions.


//Learning//

The other day, I was browsing ebooks, as I do, and I came across one called BOUND, by Kate Sparks. I haven't read it or anything (it's on my Wish List), but one of the things that struck me was its synopsis.

If you want to learn how to write a really good book synopsis, study this one. It has a good beginning hook. It's concise. It hones in on the important parts of the novel and makes them seem even more important.

It's one of the best synopses I've read. I'm studying it. Everyone should.

Well. On that note...

I'm off to start editing my newly finished story! If you hear a continuous and rhythmic THUMPTHUMP... that's just me banging my head against the desk... I'll have to keep track of the number of preposition errors I fix. If there's a typo, it's usually a preposition. My other common error is an improper verb ending!

Eleven.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 22:08
partlyopenbook: (strong)
I didn't sleep well last night.

No, really, there's a story behind this. Well, I'm a writer: Isn't everything a story? 

As some might know, the Australian Open is airing now... Last night, I left the TV on, and eventually wandered into Snoozeville around 11 PM. A little while later, the blaring Emergency Broadcast System alarm wakes me up! At 2:43 AM! I don't know what it came on for... I couldn't read it because the screen was really bright, and even my best Cyclopes imitation didn't help. -.O I hope whatever it was, it wasn't anything too terrible.

And I was up for another couple of hours after that.

Then I woke up late. With the kind of headache that tells me "Hey, you didn't sleep well!" 
You know the kind of headache I mean...

I didn't think I'd get any writing done at all. Since I was at the climax of The Pickled Pirate, I wanted to give writing a try.

About four hours and seven thousand words later... I finished it. The whole story. It didn't take as much work to complete it as I thought it would... So, The Pickled Pirate (or, the story with the new super-secret title) is finished! Parts of it will need to be rewritten. It will need intense editing. But it's finished. Right now, it's about 71,000 words long.

Earlier today, prior to the afternoon writing binge, I wrote out vague plots for four more stories. One is a sequel to a short (80K or so) novel I finished a couple of years ago. The other three are plot outlines for more mysteries featuring the characters in the story I just finished!

I'll probably take a break for a couple of days... The next thing I want to do is finish After Dan & Steve Saved the World.

There's definitely something I'm forgetting to say.

partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
//Writing//

The Pickled Pirate is still a work-in-progress. It's now over 50,000 words in length. I've been working very hard on it... Nearing the end, however, but now I kind of wish I had the solid ambition to make a series out of it. Maybe it will be, one day! 

Also, the story has a new title. The title will be a secret until ... until it isn't a secret anymore! (Evil cackle here.)


//Writing Coincidence//

One of my favorite things in life are those potholes of space and time and words I call A Writing Coincidence. In which I will write something, somehow slip into a Jungian consciousness in which I know things that all others know, whether they're dead or alive, and it will appear in my story. This has happened before. There's even a tag for it on this journal.

The Pickled Pirate takes place in May, 1931 in Toronto, Canada. While writing yesterday, which I figured was about the 31st of May in the story, the characters kept complaining about how hot it was. Edmond, the protagonist, said to his boss, "It's unseasonably warm." Meanwhile, all our wee constable Edmond wants to do is get out of his uniform to stop the unfortunate but natural occurrence of ass-sweat (poor Edmond). Or stick his feet in Lake Ontario...

So I wondered... Was it really that hot in Toronto in May, 1931?

Yes. Yes, it was.

According to the weather archives, which I accessed using this site, on May 28th and 29th of 1931, it was 28.9C (about 84F) degrees both days. On the 30th and 31st, the temperature returned to a more comfortable and average 17.8C and 19.4C.

That's pretty interesting. I say, stroking my somewhat imaginary goatee.

What's even more interesting is that two days before in the story, it'd rained a little. According to the archives, it rained a little two days before. And it was foggy one evening, but fog isn't mentioned in the archives... We will never know if it was!

I'm more accurate at predicting the weather in 1931 than I am the proper dates in my story, it seems. I might have to make some edits so it ties together well! 

Whenever I write historical stories, I always try to use proper dates. For instance, I say in the story that May 26, 1931 is a Tuesday: I will check and make sure that May 26, 1931 was, in fact, a Tuesday. It was. (Not that I'm implying I'm the only one who does this, or that I am, to borrow from Snape, "an insufferable know-it-all...")

I try to do this with weather, too. This might stem from the fact that I'm a weather nerd. Or it's a druid thing, IDK... Or both!

If you ever read The Information Man, you'll see that they argue a little about the uncertainty of Thanksgiving. Even in Canada, like their southern neighbor the USA, they hadn't decided on a proper date for Thanksgiving.

I've also noticed lately that, when I'm writing (like actually sitting down for hours and working on something), I tend to look up a bit of research about six times during that writing span. It might be anything. A word. Whether Sweden was in World War I (no, they weren't). What color of fedora was popular in 1931 (Detective Ferris's is "fawn" colored). But, yeah, I'll have about six items of research on any given writing day...

If I finally do finish The Pickled Pirate after months of working on it, we should all give our silent thanks to Misha Collins, who plays an impeccable Detective Ferris in my head. Before that started, I was really struggling to get a grip on the characters...

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