Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What a Beautiful Morning

It really is lovely out there!

This time there really is no news. I haven't heard back from any of the agents I've queried, nor have I had any searches, amusing or otherwise.

Thus, this is a very short post.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! Today is the last Wednesday night of training for the term, so I'll be making the most of it!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This is another no news day, so I'm just going to ramble on a little bit.

I got another search... looking for porn.

Search Engine: Google Germany
Search Terms: sonia carriere porn
Visitor Location: Mainz, Germany
Date: March 29, 2010
Time: 7:39 PM EST

Look, guys. Her name is spelled completely differently. Her last name is Carrere not Carrière. Alright? I giggled again. My flatmate burst into crazy laughter. Le sigh.

When will I be known for my body of work, instead of someone else's body?

Germany doesn't get a shout out today. The U.S.A. does, however.

Hello U.S.A.!

Visitor Location: Medford, MA
Date: March 28, 2010
Time: 2:41 PM EST

Visitor Location: Miller Place, NY
Date: March 29, 2010
Time: 10:56 PM EST

Last night my flatmate showed me a hilarious website called Texts From Last Night. It's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Well, apart from Sleep Talkin' Man. So, Texts From Last Night now has a permanent home on the left-hand side of the blog under the title To Make You Smile. Check it out, it's very funny stuff! Right. I have to call the library now, to find out what to do about this stupid library card!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome, Sweet Angel

Last week was an exciting week. I just learned this weekend that my good friend Leonie (of Goddess Guidebook - the link to which permanently resides on the left hand side of the blog) had a beautiful baby girl.

Welcome to the world Ostara F. A. Dawson.

She is a stunningly beautiful baby girl, with wide blue eyes. She was born to one of the most wonderful people I have ever known (probably two, since Chris seems like such a dear-heart, but I've never met him). I'm sure she'll be strong and happy and as bright a light in the world as her mother is.

My weekend was not nearly quite as exciting, but it was wondrously busy, full of friends and laughter. Granted, I didn't get much sleep, but it was well and truly worth it (strangely enough, I feel quite rested).

Friday night, my flatmate made the best chicken recipe I've ever tasted. It was a savoury cranberry chicken breast in a balsamic reduction. It was heaven! So very tasty! J.M-B. burnt the rice, but that's alright, there was salad to eat. For dessert we had chocolate fondu.... delicious! Deciding that Friday night was musical night, we watched Rent followed by the latest version of The Producers. I cried, the laughed. All up, a fabulous Friday night.

Saturday morning I was up early and ready to go to the sparring workshop. It was quite good, with everyone being extra careful not to hurt one another. I am a little disappointed by the turnout of girls. Only two of the promised five or so bothered to show up at all. Granted, the idea of sparring is terribly frightening.

I was terrified my first time and only attended because Sifu pretty much insisted. In any case, now I view it as an opportunity to try techniques and test out movements we learn to see how they may be applied and where and when would be a good time to apply them. With that outlook, sparring is nowhere near as scary as it used to be.

My Kung Fu brother M.F. from Montreal came down for a visit. He started with the school here in Ottawa, then moved to Montreal with his girlfriend. He has since opened a small school there and is doing very well. M.F. is a very jovial sort of person, the kind whose laugh can lighten any room. It was lovely to see him again. I haven't laughed so hard in a while.

Unfortunately, I had to teach Kung Fu in the afternoon, so I had no choice but to leave the sparring workshop early, and I missed out on the lunch afterwards. No fear, however, I managed to meet up with everyone at Sihing Chris' house to watch the U.F.C. Sihing, incidentally, means 'elder Kung Fu brother' though I've probably spelt that incorrectly. In any case, there was great home-made dessert and a lot of laughter.

It was wonderful to see everyone again. There were a few faces I really missed present Saturday night.

Sunday I met up with a dear friend, who I haven't seen in way too long. She and I wandered around the National Art Gallery here in Ottawa for a few hours and talked. I've missed her, and there's no good excuse to not see her more often - we live in the same city!

Afterwards, deciding that I didn't really want to wander home just yet, I walked into the movie theatre at the Rideau Centre and watched How to Train Your Dragon. It was a very sweet movie. Entirely predictable, but absolutely adorable.

I took the bus home because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to walk, collapsed into bed and didn't get up again until 8:15pm.

Now that was a very busy weekend! Hope yours was just as fun! Have a great Monday, there's stuff I need to do.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Frikkin' Cold!

The title of today's post is really all I wanted to say. It was a miserable walk into work today! Despite the fact that the sun was shining gaily, I was cursing all the way to work. Well, not really, but just about.

My first year here, I was woefully unprepared for the cold, and managed to get frostbite on the outer rims of my ears. I lost chunks of ear my first winter here. In any case, for those of you who do not know, the areas where frostbite occurred are always more sensitive to the cold. Needless to say, they were burning and stinging ferociously as I walked into work today.

I had left the house without my hat as I thought it couldn't possibly be that cold out there. Well, it was that cold. I ended up having to wrap my scarf around my head to keep my ears from burning off. It must have looked quite the sight, as I was wearing a very sparkly scarf. It had beads and gold thread and such all over it. I was also wearing my sunglasses as it was very lovely and bright outside.

For those of you who saw me walking down Bank St. this morning, I swear I wasn't trying to look like a Hollywood starlet.

If it wasn't for the wind, it would have been a wonderful day. Cold, but lovely. The wind was one of those north-easterly breezes that felt like it had come straight off a glacier and into your sinus cavity. I actually cold an ice-cream headache from nothing more than the wind.

It's -18 degrees Celsius out there right now.

Alright, I'm done complaining about the cold. There's a shout out to London today.

Hello U.K.!

I have a very busy weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow morning for two odd hours there is a sparring workshop that I have been volun-told to attend in order to assist the beginner girls kickboxing. I don't really mind. It's usually quite fun, but I was looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.... le sigh.

Then I have to hike it into the city to teach Kung Fu and that evening, there is a gathering at Sihing Chris' place to watch some UFC. Nice!

Sunday, it's off to the National Art Gallery with a dear friend who I don't see often enough! It's fairly early in the morning though, so I won't be sleeping in then either! Oh well, such as life.

This morning, this story made me smile:

That's it from me! Right, I'm off to play around with my blogger template and see if I can't pretty this blog up a bit. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


There's a lot more to write about this morning than I had anticipated. That is the main reason for my very late post. Sorry.

Right, first thing's first. I received another email from H.A.P.P.Y. (Help a Publisher Publish You) and therefore sent out one more electronic query. This one to Veltre. Now, they won't respond at all if they don' t like your query, so this is one I can easily forget about. I also prepared a submission to send to Writer's House, which is a HUGE agency. This one they only take via mail, so I have to wait until April to get down to the U.S.A. to purchase the international US Postal Stamps with which I am to adorn my S.A.S.E. (self-addressed, stamped envelope). I'll be sending it in from there.

Along with it shall be any number of similar queries for agencies that only accept queries via regular mail. That will truly be a mail blast. Although, so far I only have two to send. There'll be more.

Doing these seemingly menial tasks took all morning.

Yesterday, after having a flash of inspiration on the way to training Tuesday evening, I hurried to write down everything I had dreamed up. 3 000 words later (or just about), it's all down, with more flowing. I have no idea where this story is going, what it is about, or what's going to happen.... Just like what happened with The Great Man series. So, we'll have to see, won't we?

I'm still having issues with my library card, which I will hopefully sort out soon, because I really do need to get reading for that essay I'm supposed to write!

I think that about covers everything. So I'll just say a quick hello to Quebec:

Hello, Quebec!

Visitor Location: Westmount, QC (Canada)
Date: March 24, 2010
Time: 5:58 PM EST

And leave it there. Have a lovely Thursday everyone. With one submission done today, I'm feeling like it's going to be a great one!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

General Noise

There isn't much to say today. I haven't heard back from anyone yet, but you'll be the first to know when I do.

Since that is the case, there are a couple of hellos to extend.

Hello Europe.
That's right, the whole of Europe....

Visitor Location: Europe
Date: March 20, 2010
Time: 11:22 AM EST

Hello again U.S.A.
New York, N.Y.! It makes me want to sing... but I'll spare you all that nonsense!

Visitor Location: New York, NY
Date: March 20, 2010
Time: 7:46 PM EST

Right, since I'm not doing anything more productive than adding to the general noise, I'll leave off here. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What We Need

... is a sense of humour!

Alright, I'm going to gripe here a little bit. Only because I fear that we, as authors in general, take ourselves a little too seriously. Of course, I'm making sweeping generalisations, and "tarring all authors with the same brush," as it were. Yes, I have been watching yet more Horatio Hornblower. In any case, I have stumbled across many authors or, rather, would-be authors, through various groups and online communities, who, for no other reason than being an author, take themselves much too seriously; to the point where even smiling at them is a slur on their art.

I really did write that just to see how many commas I could put into one sentence.

It's not that they're completely humourless people. I'm sure that outside of their would-be field, they are lovely, generous, kind and funny people. You know, normal. However, get them talking about writing, and the experience of trying to get published, and other writers, and they turn into the most vicious, backward-thinking, self-righteous, bigoted morons you will ever meet.

I have never met people who feel so entitled in my life!

Of course, that's not all authors or would-be authors. Not in the least! Yet there are some who are exactly as I described. Any jest is a personal attack, no matter the colour or nature of said jest. Any rejection is a personal one, and, of course, has nothing to do with the relevance or quality of the work under consideration.

Good grief people! Did you not do your research? Are you not aware that writing is the easy part?

Yes, it is incredibly difficult to break into the publishing industry.
Yes, it is frustrating at times. Who am I kidding? It's frustrating all the time.
Yes, you have to wait a lot. I mean a LOT.
Yes, it takes a great deal of (gasp) hard, hard work.

So many I've met were just expecting it all to happen as soon as their work was done. They expected to land an enthusiastic agent right away, have a publisher snap up their manuscript. They even expected their books to be turned into a film, which, of course, would become wildly popular. Then, they expected, they could just sit back and watch the money roll in. By the by, if you're writing for the fame and fortune you think will roll your way, get out of the industry. Now.

When that didn't happen, they (the big dreamers) stomped their feet and, as we say where I'm from, "chucked a wobbly" (threw their temper). Now they parade around online communities, complaining bitterly of their sad fates and discouraging as many people as possible from trying to realise their own publishing dreams, sometimes viciously. You know who you are. I'm looking right at you.

If you want to realise this dream of being published, you're going to have to stop sulking and knuckle down. Do the work.

No one said it was going to be easy. In fact, if you had done your research, you'd know that everyone, and I mean everyone, said it was bloody difficult.

Oh, and one more thing: lighten up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just 'Cause

Well, the weekend was lovely. I had dinner with my good friends, P.B. and his wife A.S. on Friday night. It was lovely. As always, they serve a great dinner, and even better conversation. One of the unfortunate side-effects of the dinner, however, was that I slept in the following morning and didn't get up in time to go to Lion Dance training. I'm not impressed with myself, but I clearly needed the sleep.

I walked downtown to China town to teach Kung Fu and walked home again. It was a beautiful walk and I'm very glad I did so. The weather has now turned a little colder. Apparently it's supposed to snow on Wednesday. Grrrr.....

Sunday I spent cleaning, watching Horatio Hornblower for the umpteenth time (in truth, just to have as background noise while I cleaned), and sleeping. It's so nice to have a day, just one day out of fourteen, to one's self, relaxing.

There isn't anything else to report for now, so I'll just leave you with a lol-cat I captioned:

moar funny pictures

Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Submissions

So, here is where I stand as of yesterday afternoon (actually, if you want to get pedantic, I'm sitting):

Submitted manuscript to Baen Books and queried a total of 2 agents, with one query ready to be mailed as soon as I get down to New York in April.

If you are a publisher or an agent in the New York area, and you're reading this, I am available for a meeting on the 24th and 25th of April, any time.

Well, it was worth a try.

I will not submit to any more publishers until the 12 months that is Baen's maximum response time is up, but agents everywhere will be flooded with queries on whether they'd like to take a closer look at my work.

I was so pleased with myself yesterday that at the weekly dinner I have with my Kung Fu family, I splurged on wine. Wine makes me happy.

With nothing else to report, I have some work that needs doing. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baen of My Existance

Here's something unexpected that I did yesterday - I submitted my manuscript for consideration to Baen Books.

I was going to wait until I got word back from my main Beta Reader, but that's not likely to happen until mid-April. Yesterday afternoon I had finished the umpteenth edit of my story, and I rearranged, rewrote and deleted a surprising amount. I suppose waiting a while really did clear my head (which means that the submission to Tor must have been terrible indeed!). Of course, whether or not Baen decides to accept the book is entirely up to them. Here's the kicker, though, it can take anywhere between 9 and 12 months.

12 months?!

Oh boy. All this waiting! I was warned that it would take a while... but this is nauseating! To be fair, it isn't Baen's fault. They publish awesome titles and pay very competitive rates. Lots and lots of people want to be published by Baen. Hey, I'm one of them. As this is the case, Baen receives mountain-loads of submissions a year, I am certain.

That it takes so long to go through each manuscript... and the thought that they do go through each manuscript is really quite comforting.

The downside, of course, is that they really prefer it if you don't submit to multiple publishers at once. That's fair, I suppose. So I am obliged, if only because they have such an awesome, relaxed and helpful website (which makes them seem very friendly and nice), to wait out the 12 months.

That said, I still intend to find an agent for the manuscript. That search is likely to take at least 12 months, especially since I'm so busy with all this other writing and editing and marking and editing and judging and editing and writing... did I mention editing?

So, with my submission I.D. #5558, I shall wait and edit and wait some more. In the meantime, the search for agent continues and I shall continue to write, and edit, and edit...

Oh, in case you're concerned, yes, I will edit the manuscript again once I get the feed back in April, but I figured I may as well submit as not. I'll try again next year if it doesn't work out!

Cheers everyone! Here's to positive thinking! I will get published... I will get published... I will get published... I will get published... I will get published... I will get published....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I forgot to prepare a post today. I don't even have any fluffy fillers like Ziggs searches to put here. So I shall simply say:


And leave it at that. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Sleepy!

I really am. I don't know why. I slept profoundly well. Pretty sure I had a dream, but can't rightly remember it now. Damn. My dreams can get pretty trippy sometimes. It would've been fun to recount.

In any case, I'm going to have to force myself to stay awake today. I've already had a coffee, and I'm still ready for a nap... and the day has only just begun!

There is so much to do today it's not funny. The March short stories for the LinkedIn writer's group Aspiring Writers have come in today, and they must be judged. I have more references for that article I'm writing to find (damned schedule - I won't be able to get a library card until this weekend sometime). I have to do a considerable amount of rewriting of The Third Prince until I give it up until the middle of April (when my Beta Reader said he'd have his corrections back to me). I have to start compiling my poems and planning my anthology.... gah!

I might complain, but being busy keeps me happy. Right, I'd best be off. I'll judge some stories first, then tackle The Third Prince. That should keep me out of trouble today. Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Mystery Solved, and I'm Dying of Laughter!

Last night, I received another notification that someone had accessed my profile. See if you can spot what it was about this search that made me laugh so hard that I almost cried. Here it is:

Search Engine: Google
Search Terms: sonia carriere porn star
Visitor Location: Toronto, ON (Canada)
Date: March 14, 2010
Time: 9:38 PM EST

I'll give you a clue. I highlighted it. That's right, someone in Toronto, Canada accessed my profile, hoping to find there a porn star. Bet he (she?) was terribly disappointed!

Just to find out what was going on, I decided to google that exact term. I discovered that there is a French porn star by the name of Sonia Carrere. Do note the difference in the spelling of the surname, if you please.

Now all those searched from France suddenly make sense! All this time, I was being flattered by all the searches... and the whole time they were looking for some on-screen action. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I laughed until I cried. Man, that was the best laugh I've had in a long time!

Incidentally, when I searched "sonia carriere porn star," my profile was number five or six down on the list.

Right, in that light, I would like to say hello to the other searchees, even if they were just looking for the "other" Sonia....

Hello again, France.

Visitor Location: France
Date: March 12, 2010
Time: 2:54 PM EST

Sorry to disappoint.

Hello, U.S.A.

Visitor Location: Garland, TX
Date: March 15, 2010
Time: 2:16 AM EST

And hello again, no frikkin' clue!

Visitor Location: N/A
Date: March 13, 2010
Time: 9:19 AM EST

Well, I have a research paper to begin researching. I'd better get started on that! Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, March 12, 2010

She Was Right, You Know

I have been told off, and quite rightly so, might I add. For a crazy moment yesterday, I let my fear of failure get to me. In the comments I read this morning, KuietKelticGirl stressed that I should remain positive, lest my fears cause the very thing I fear the most. Quite wise, I must say.

So, the mantra for this morning is: "I will be published."

Thank-you KuietKelticGirl!

There isn't anything else much to report except to say I've finished the marking I had to do, and now I have to tackle that short story I'm trying to write. I have a great deal of respect for people who write short stories. Short stories are hard. I can't seem to manage it at all. I've been struggling with the last 2 500 words or so of a 5 000 word short story for weeks on end.

How ironic. I can write 100 000 words in just over three months, but it take me close to a whole month to write a story that is only 5% of a typical novel. What's the deal there? Oh well. There's nothing for it. I must get cracking on that. The competition deadline is fast approaching!

I think that's everything for today. Oh, wait!

Hello U.S.A.!

Visitor Location: New York, NY
Date: March 12, 2010
Time: 6:08 AM EST

In just over a month, I'll be in New York for a fun trip with my Kung Fu school, so perchance we'll meet!

Perchance. That's my 19th century Tourrette's acting up again. No more Hornblower for me! Well, that's a lie. Of course I'm going to continue watching it....

Well, I cut my ramblings there and wish you all a lovely weekend. I shall be spending it with Dad. Until Monday, then. Have fun!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Yesterday I got a sudden, chilling fear that gripped my heart with its icy fingers and threatened to stop the beating. It was an odd, irrational kind of fear. The kind of fear that showed me a version of the future that I did not much like.

I saw that instead of these posts eventually leading up to publication, they became a permanent chronicle of failure. Day after day, month after month, year after miserable year of rejection letters, of shattered hopes and dreams and I saw myself, a failure, sitting quietly in a corner in the dark.

To think, this actually could be the outcome. Now, I'm not saying that I will fail. I will do everything in my power to not fail. However, the truth of the matter is, I may not be accepted by an agent or publisher. At all. Ever. That is entirely possible.

What happens then? Would I self-publish? Probably, but in all honesty, if an agent or acquisition editor did not find my work worthy of publication, it might be because it's absolute drivel and shouldn't be published. Who knows?

All I know is I did not want to become that failure I saw in a sudden vision. Yet, as an aspiring author, I must be prepared for such an eventuality. Not everyone can become the next Steven King or J.K. Rowling.

Even if we really, really want to.

Right, well, there is marking to be done, so I must fly. Have a wonderful Thursday everyone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Well, as the title suggests, there really is nothing much to report. There is one more search notification that came in this morning.

Hello, U.S.A.!

Visitor Location: Pikesville, MD
Date: March 09, 2010
Time: 10:33 PM EST

Galahad returned from the Ottawa Spay and Neuter Clinic yesterday in high spirits. He was, according to my flatmate, purring rather loudly and, much like his owners (read here: staff), refused to rest and recuperate. He was, as of this morning, in high spirits and quite happy. Perhaps he hasn't noticed yet.

Then there was this link that Neil Gaiman posted on his blog about the image of Jesus that appeared in the lid of a jar of marmite. Have a look. Personally I think it looks like a pissed-off biker with a bushy handlebar moustache myself, but, whatever. Art is in the interpretation.

Also, I've just been introduced to the BBC's mini series Hornblower starring a young-looking Ioan Gruffudd (though not quite so young as to pass for a 17-year-old). I have to say, Mr. Gruffudd is quite attractive, in a lanky, not Hollywood kind of way. In any case, there seems to be a terrible side-effect to watching too many episodes of a 19th century story and that is, one tends to talk like they are in the said 19th century story. At least, I do. I've caught myself out with oddly archaic turns of phrase and I can't seem to stop. I fear I will be talking like Horatio Hornblower all my life now, and more modern expressions will escape my tongue when I'm grasping for something to say.

So, be warned - if you happen to meet me on the street and I sound like a character out of C.S. Forester's novels, don't fret. I'm not insane. Just a little linguistically lost, that's all.

Since there is nothing else to report, I'll finish watching the rest of Hornblower and leave you all to your own musings. Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Galahad has been taken to the Spay and Neuter Clinic here in Ottawa for to be de-manned. Ouch. I feel very bad about leaving him there... but it had to be done, so I'm not going to stay upset... much....

In order to get my mind of Galahad's operation, I'm going to delve into the entirely frivolous. To that end, I've had many searches over the past couple of weeks, so I'm going to take the time to say hello to the people who have been searching me.

Hello Canada!

Visitor Location: Montreal, QC (Canada)
Date: March 06, 2010
Time: 2:07 AM EST

Martinique, hello!

Visitor Location: Gros-morne, Martinique
Date: February 26, 2010
Time: 6:22 PM EST

Hello Russia!

Visitor Location: Moscow, Russian Federation
Date: March 07, 2010
Time: 4:19 AM EST

Visitor Location: Moscow, Russian Federation
Date: March 07, 2010
Time: 8:49 AM EST

Visitor Location: Moscow, Russian Federation
Date: March 08, 2010
Time: 9:39 PM EST

Bonjour France!

Visitor Location: Cormeilles-en-parisis, France
Date: March 04, 2010
Time: 5:23 AM EST

Visitor Location: Istres, France
Date: March 05, 2010
Time: 11:27 AM EST

Visitor Location: Romorantin, France
Date: March 07, 2010
Time: 3:18 PM EST

Visitor Location: Blois, France
Date: March 08, 2010
Time: 8:51 AM EST

I seem to be searched quite a bit from France. That makes me happy. Thus, even if you all have no idea who I am, I promise that if I get my books published, I'll translate them into French also!

That's all I've got. I'm going to try finishing my short story today, so I'll leave it here. Happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What a Weekend

I've had a great weekend. Very busy though, so I'm a little tired at work today, and this post is a little late because I was busy catching up on all the blogs I'm following. So, even though you aren't reading this Mr. Gaiman, I'm curious. Did you bop 'till you dropped after the Oscars?

Right, let's get on with it.

Friday night was lovely. I went after work to my friend T.H.'s house for a home-made pizza dinner and Wii games night, which was concluded in spectacular style with a viewing of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the Imax, Silver City in Ottawa (the suburb was Gloucester, I think. Correct me if I'm wrong). I went with my flatmate, T.H. and her boyfriend J.K.

The movie itself was quite good. I won't say fantastic, but it was good, extremely enjoyable and I'd recommend you go see it. What made the movie really interesting, however, was some guy who flipped out near the beginning of the movie. Suddenly in the middle of dialogue on the screen, a deep voice started booming, "Look to the right! Look to the Right? You have to help me! Look to the right!" The staff immediately flooded the theatre and managed to get the screaming madman from the top of the stairs to the bottom. Upon arrival, he broke free and started up our side of the stairs swearing at the people who were telling him to shut up and get out, and yelling, "Look to the right!"

At long last, the staff managed to get him out of the theatre and all settled down. We could enjoy the movie once more. My theory is that poor man was on some sort of psychotropic drug and had a very bad trip. Let's face it, Alice in Wonderland in 3D (and Tim Burton's Alice nonetheless) would be the wrong choice of movie to watch on drugs. I'd probably flip out too.

I did not ask for a refund. It wasn't the cinema's fault that some idiot chucked a spaz during the movie, and I enjoyed the film all the same. My flatmate later confided in me that she was so distracted by the bizarre events that she missed a very important plot point. No wonder!

Saturday was much less eventful. I went to Lion Dance training and, for once, arrived on time! It was hard work after a painful Thursday at Kung Fu (excellent training, but painful!). After that, I dined with my fellow dancers and went to go teach Kung Fu at the McNab Community Centre. The day was so incredibly beautiful, that I walked home. It was a long walk, and much of it was in the sun, so I got a little burnt. That evening was a lovely night in with my flatmate, watching Les Choristes. It was a beautiful film, and the music was stunning!

Sunday I finally got to sleep in! When I woke, I had found that Jazz had cleaned the living room. I was grateful, and a little guilty for not being up to help. Apparently Galahad had woken her up with purrs and cuddles at around 6:00am, so she decided to get up and clean in preparation for the evening's Oscar Party we were throwing.

I had injured my foot somehow earlier in the week, so she insisted I get it checked, as it was still hurting. I waited for ages at the clinic. When the doctor finally saw me, it was well and truly passed lunch time. I was starving. In any case, he poked and prodded and squeezed my foot and then told me that it might be a stress fracture, and he requisitioned an X-Ray for me. He did say that I could get it done if my foot does not improve in about three days.

It hurt like hell on the walk home from the clinic, so much so I almost teared up. However, this morning, it feels fine, so I don't believe that it's in fact broken. I managed to walk into work without a problem. So I will be going to training this afternoon, though I won't start running again until the foot is healed properly.

The Oscar party itself was good fun. S.D. and K.C. came, as did Jazz' father and younger sister, a family friend, and later in the evening, her mother. My friend T.H. forgot all about it, but that's entirely forgiveable! Everyone was exhausted, so it was an early night for most. With everyone gone at around 11:00pm, Jazz and I had no other recourse but to have the champagne she bought all to ourselves. It was great champagne!

As for the Oscars, I'm surprised at two things.
One. That Invictus was not nominated for best picture. If District 9, Inglorious Basterds, and Avatar were nominated, Invictus certainly should have been. And,
Two. That the Oscar for Best Original Score was not won by Avatar. While I don't believe Avatar should have been nominated for Best Picture and no offence intended to the winner, but the score for Avatar was simply breath-taking and most certainly should have won.

In any case, I had a lovely time. There often isn't a chance to dress up in formal dresses and such, so it was a great night for Jazz and I. We dressed up, and drank champagne and had fun. Not sure about our other guests who were all terribly exhausted. Oh well. Such as life.

With nothing left to say (I apologise for the length... again... Linguaphile and all...) and will let you get back to your lives. I have a short story to finish, a Horatio Hornblower episode to watch (might do that first....) and an essay to begin researching. Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010



Late yesterday afternoon I typed the last few words of The Wolf and the Eagle, Book 2 of The Seraphimé Saga. I then did a happy dance and went to Martial Arts training. I almost died at Martial Arts training! There was a return to the harder core style training that Elder Kung Fu Brother Gordon remembered from when he first started. It was nostalgia for him, a killer for us.

That is not a complaint. It was hard work, but absolutely brilliant. I hope we get to do more of it before he disappears for the rest of the term. His lovely wife is expecting.

Sorry, that was a tangent. Back to the main story:

Right, so the point is I've finished The Seraphimé Saga. In celebration, I'm giving myself the day off writing. I don't think that will last at all. I have a short story for a competition I had entered that I had put on the back burner while The Seraphimé Saga was still being written, and there was marking to be done. So I might play around with that for a day.

Then it's off Fantasy writing for a whole month as I prepare an article for my sister's website.

Then it's editing time! By then all my Beta Readers ought to have finished their corrections, and I can take a harder look at The Third Prince. I've already made one large change (thanks Mpho, you were absolutely correct).

Then it's submission time, since as of the 25th of last month I was free of any obligation to Tor not to submit as per my letter.

Then... well, who knows!

Have a great weekend everyone. I know I shall!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gives Me Hope

My flatmate rocks the Casbah. I was feeling very down yesterday, and to cheer myself up, I decided to jump on You see, I really am one of those very bitter people who will sometimes laugh at other's misfortune. Sometimes, other people's problems make me happy.

Now here's the kicker. I realised yesterday that they don't really make me happy. Stories about break-ups for idiotic reasons (he's not Edward from Twilight, seriously?), of men who cheat, and women who cheat, and idiots who complain about the dumbest things, when really they should take note of how lucky they are, just serve to reinforce my current world view. They're safe and comforting because idiocy is precisely what I expect of most people, and what can be expected is safe, and what is safe is comforting.

The reason my flatmate rocks the Casbah is because she turned me onto the website These are stories of generosity, bravery and kindness perpetrated everyday by everyday people. There are tales of the shy girl who stood up for the bullied autistic boy. There are tales of school captains asking the bullied learning-impaired girl to the dance after his popular girlfriend makes a mockery out of her. There was one tale of a young man, just 16 years old who was shot to death when he rescued a young girl from a raping at the hands of three men. She escaped.

Needless to say, I didn't write a damned thing yesterday. I sat in front of the computer screen reading story after story, with tears streaming down my face (at work, mind) truly uplifted by these stories of compassion and courage.

Now I feel better - there is good in the world! Go check out this site, and cry like a babe, just as I did, then feel better because everyday people do good things every day. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almost There!

I'm almost done The Wolf and the Eagle, book 2 of The Seraphimé Saga. Yesterday I wrote about 5 000 words and the climax of the book. Now I just have to wrap up the loose ends.

I have 94 104 words at the moment, and will likely exceed my target of 1 000 words. That means, of course, that I won't be finished tomorrow as planned even though I would have reached my target tomorrow as planned.

The next thing to do will be to harass my Beta Readers to get The Third Prince back to me. That achieved and it edited, I can then concentrate on the article for my sister's business I want to write. I have entered a short story contest which closes in April. I suppose I should finish that story first. It shouldn't take me too long. So it's write short story, edit The Third Prince, write article, first edit of The Osprey and the Crow, and then start on that poetry anthology I want to publish online.

I'm so busy I can't see straight.

That is pretty much everything I have to say. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh The Pain!

I am discovering muscles I didn't even know existed. You would think after four odd years (already?) of kickboxing, I'd be relatively fit. Well, apparently I'm not. I ran again this morning, though with considerably less cheer and energy than yesterday. That is to be expected though, I suppose.

This is the beginning of what I've dubbed "hell fortnight." It's like hell week, but longer. The thing is, whenever I do any new exercise, it takes about two weeks for my body to adjust. So for two weeks I'm likely to be continually hungry, tired and cranky. For example, even though I've had breakfast already, I'm about ready to chew my own arm off. Even though I've had plenty of sleep to function, I'm nodding off in my seat. Even though my body feels relaxed, everything is annoying me today. Grrrrr.

Alright done. I'm doing it to myself, I know.

I only wrote about 1 000 words yesterday because I was out of my seat for a few hours doing errands for the office. A welcome break from just sitting all day, I have to say. I fear I will only write a few hundred today because I'm so damned tired. Definitely heading in for a nap at lunch!

Right, now that I'm done whinging, it's time to say hello to France!

Visitor Location: Meudon, France
Date: February 28, 2010
Time: 7:33 AM EST

Visitor Location: Anneyron, France
Date: February 28, 2010
Time: 9:59 AM EST

Well, that's it from me. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Golden Weekend!

I apologise in advance, this post is likely to be quite long.

Well, the 2010 Winter Olympics have closed. I have to say, I am really impressed with all the athletes who competed. You were all magnificent!

I am thrilled that the Canadian women and the Canadian men's hockey teams both came home with gold, and the men's game was a nail-biter! I want to congratulate team U.S.A. for making it a fight every step of the way. You guys played brilliantly, and I know a loss is hard to take, but you ought to be very, very proud of yourselves (the long faces of the men's team as they were accepting their silver medals was heartbreaking)!

One of my favourite athletes of the games has to be Patrick Chan. A figure skater of only 19 years, the young man had the single best attitude of any athlete I've ever seen. He finished 6th place (or was it 5th, I can't remember now), but he still was smiling, and he talked, not about his loss and disappointment, but about the wonderful experience he had, and the support of the fans, and he kept thanking everyone for all the help he's received. He was so grateful just to be able to compete in the Olympics, that winning didn't seem to matter to him. In one, short, post-performance interview, Patrick Chan exemplified what it meant to be an Olympic athlete and captured my heart. What a champion!

Talking about the Olympic spirit, I'd like to take the time to blast the hell out of MacLaren's. MacLaren's is a pub/sports bar on Elgin Street here in Ottawa. MacLaren's was the place friends and I decided to gather to watch the semi-final men's hockey - team Canada vs. team Slovakia. The game stared at 9:30ish, and my flatmate and I got there at roughly 9:30ish. Our friends were already inside. There was a small line up out side the door, so Jazz and I were expecting that the bar must be near capacity.

Yeah... no, it wasn't. It wasn't even close to capacity. Our friends had a huge table to themselves, and only filled it half way. There were empty chairs and tables all over the place. The bouncer was just being a douche (sorry, but he was) and decided to have everyone in the line up stand outside the bar for the entire first period. What the....?!?!

Look, I know that sometimes management may insist upon this in order to make the bar look fashionable to passers by. To me, however, it makes absolutely no sense. Particularly on a freaking game night! There was lots of space. There were people outside who, for the entire first period of the game, were not inside buying beer/other overpriced drinks. There were many people outside who left the line because they were so fed up with the waiting, and the bouncer's atrocious attitude (there were people inside who tried to tell the bouncer that they had friends waiting in the line, and there was tonnes of space at their tables (thanks K.C. for trying, by the way), and got only attitude). It's not like MacLaren's is a great bar either. It's just your run-of-the-mill sports bar.

MacLaren's, not only did your idiotic, rude and belligerent bouncer do nothing to endear patrons to your establishment, but you lost a considerable amount of business from people leaving, and from a large number of people not buying drinks or food the entire first period, despite the amount of space you had available. Management at MacLaren's you are all idiots. I will never be visiting your ridiculous establishment again.

Other than that, it was a wonderful weekend for Canada, and I spent the majority of it with my Dad, thus I had a great weekend also.

In something not Olympics related, I had decided at the beginning of February that I would begin running in the mornings and walking to work March first. It just so happened that March first was on a Monday, somehow making the resolution easier to achieve. Why is that? Hmmm....

There were several reasons for the running. The first, most compelling reason was to work on my cardio because I have noticed during martial arts training that it isn't what it needs to be. Also, there seems to be some history of heart problems in my family, and I'd like to prevent that happening to me.

The second reason was the whole silly feminine "I'm too chubby" issue. I'm a good weight, but I am a little chubby, so I'm trying to work on that. You are welcome to groan here if you want. I do when I think about it... I mean, am I really that concerned about how I look? Am I really that shallow? It seems the answer is yes.

As to the walking, the single reason I have decided to walk to work starting March first is purely because OCTranspo (public transit here in Ottawa) has decided to up their monthly bus pass to a whopping $91.75! That is quite the jump, seeing as how I paid $84.00ish for February.

Now, don't get me wrong, if OCTranspo's bus service was exceptional, I'd have no problems paying almost $100.00 a month to take the bus. If the buses were clean, if the bus drivers remembered that they were in the service industry, if the buses ran on time, if there was a freaking subway system, I would happily pay almost $100.00 a month to use public transit.

As it is, the buses are always filthy, bus drivers rarely even polite, let alone friendly, there is insufficient room on the buses for the amount of transit users there are, they never run on time and the service to areas outside of the main transit way are absolutely shocking.

On principle, I refuse to pay that amount of money for a service I barely even get. Go jump OCTranspo. You want to know why ridership is dropping? See all of the above paragraph, and then slap a $100.00 ticket for the privilege of enduring the disaster that is your "service." UGH!

So, having made these resolutions, this was the plan: up at 6am. Run at 6:30am. Arrive home and shower at 7:00am. Breakfast at 7:30ish am, leave for work 8:00am.

Right, I did, in fact, start running this morning. I ran for almost a full half hour (26.26) and discovered a lovely little bicycle path quite near my flat I can run along. I was very proud of myself as I turned on the shower and scrubbed down. Then it struck me.

My clock is an hour fast. Why? Well, because I couldn't be bothered to turn it back that hour when the "fall back" part of daylight savings came. I figured I'd just mentally add the hour in my head. So, when the clock said 6am, I'd know it was actually 5am. Well, let me tell you at a quarter to five in the morning, you don't know anything!

The clock said 5:45am when I first woke up, so I decided to give myself a little sleep in and not get up until 6:15am. Well, of course, 6:15am on my clock is actually 5:15am on everyone else's. My 6:30 run actually happened at 5:30. My 7:00 shower was actually 6:00. Sorry Jazz, if it woke you, by the way!

Laughing at myself, I crawled back into bed after my shower and snoozed until my clock said 8:44am. I swore, rolled out of bed, dressed hurriedly for work and walked in. The walk was about an hour. At least I didn't do that an hour earlier than I had to!

That was my ridiculously long post for a Monday. I'm now an hour and a half behind in my writing (damn it!) and need to get cracking. Have a great Monday everyone!