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

- Graycie Harmon

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Old Woman's Luck

Have the wind in one's face both going and returning; Oxfordshire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Good Bye, An Author's Journey. It was wonderful!

Friday, December 30, 2011


A short method of teaching.
- Joseph Worcester's Dictionary of the English Language, 1881

Thursday, December 29, 2011


A merry. light-hjearted, playful, romping girl; a giddy, silly, thoughtless girl; a wanton, a strumpet. Hence, gigleting, laughing in a foolish manner; trifling behavior.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Giglot, a female laughing or playing wantonly.
- Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879

"Away with those giglets too, and with the other confederate companion."
- William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, 1604

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


A person who judges by the bulk or size, and overlooks the real merit.
- Maurice Weseen's Dictionary of American Slang, 1934

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


By the climacteric system, seven years was declared to be the termination of childhood; fourteen the term of puberty; twenty-one of adult age; thirty-five, or five times seven, as the height of physical and bodily strength. At forty-nine the person was said to have reached the height of his mental strength or intellectual powers; at sixty-three, or nine times seven, he was said to have reached the grand climacteric.
- T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia of knowledge and Language, 1871

Monday, December 26, 2011


Error, delusion; deceit; heretic, deceiver [c. 900-1300; related to] Old English dwela, dweola, and dwala, error, heresy, madness. Dwal-kenned, heretical.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 187

Saturday, December 24, 2011


The word is used in Yorkshire, and applied especially to dishes make from the viscera of the pig. Christmas was formerly, as now, the principal season for pig-cheer.
- T. Lewis' Davies' Supplementary English Glossary, 1881

It's Christmas Eve! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Saying Good-Bye

But first, SNOW!

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, there's much news to impart. Firstly, that this is my last day at work before the Christmas holidays. I shall depart for the rest of the year, and return in January.

As I've tried to do in the past year, I shall continue to post the daily Forgotten English words everyday until the end of the year. However, I won't be physically around to do so. I'll be using blogger's magical abilities by writing them out now, and having them automatically post on the appropriate day.

Then, it's goodbye to blogger altogether. Don't panic. It's not goodbye to all of you altogether. Well, unless you don't like change and don't follow me to the new, which is all set to launch when I return from holidays January 3rd. Expect some glitches January 1st and 2nd as I struggle to figure out how to switch the sites. I don't think the site will be quite ready for launch in January - there's still some stuff on the business end to figure out - but I'm launching it anyway, even if it's just the blog portion. The other stuff should all be finished long before the end of January in any case.

I'm excited, and terrified and a little stressed - just when I thought there wasn't much else to be done, I realise I have a TONNE of work still to do before this new thing goes live. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction, though. Squee! Also, gah!

Alright, so, all I can say is stay tuned. The new is coming. *Cue ominous music.

In case none of you will be online in the near future, I'm wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the most astonishing, splendid 2012 possible!

Much love!


Wandering in mind; silly, senseless. Davering, riding of walking in a dazed condition. Scotland, Northern England.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Thy heart is like the daver'd rose.
- Edward Capern's Poems, 1864

Daverdly, dowdy, unkempt.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happily Resting

This week and last week were hectic at best. Now with everything more or less settled, I can relax a bit. I'm doing this to day by listening obsessively to The Piano Guys. If you've never heard of them (their vidoe Cello Wars went viral a fortnight ago), here are two of my favourite songs they've released:

And my favourite-est ever (sigh):

Ahhhh..... I heart them so much. Honestly, it's an addiction. I can't stop listening to them. Luckily, I don't have to.

On that note (pun only marginally intended), I'm going to sit back and listen to beautiful music, and probably do some Beta Reading.

Have a great Thursday all!


A bush of evergreens sometimes substituted for mistletoe at Christmas.
- Thomas Wright's Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857

The old "kissing bunch" is still hung in some of the old-fashioned cottage houses of Derbyshire and Cornwall - two wooden hoops, one passing through the other, decked with evergreen, in the centre of which is hung a "crown" of rosy apples and a sprig of mistletoe. This is hung from the central beam of the living-room, and underneath it is much kissing an romping. Later on, the carol singers stand beneath it and sing God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.
- Peter Ditchfield's Old English Customs, 1901

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You Know You've Made it When...

You get an emailed solicitation for a one of your manuscripts, only to discover the solicitation is not quite as wonderful as it seems.

Last week I received an email from 'new international publishing house JustFiction! Edition' requesting I send in my manuscript for The Great Man.

(A clue to other solicitors, The Great Man is the single most precious thing I've written. Sure, I hate it more often than not. Sure it gives me nightmares and prevents a good night's sleep. Sure, I've cried over more character deaths than I care to admit in public. All the same, it's a precious, precious story. I don't mess around when people ask to see it.)

Thanks to my naturally suspicious nature, my first reaction was, literally, 'Hmm.' So, I typed in the name of the editor and the 'publishing company.' I found this.

Wow. Thanks and Victoria Strauss for saving my manuscript, and thus myself, from certain doom.

Far from being disappointed, I was thrilled. These fools think I am a writer! Mwah hah hah hah hah hah! Honestly, I feel I have now graduated to the middle ranks of aspirants.

Look out publishing world! I'm moving on up!

Bristol Man's Gift

A present of something which the giver pronounces to be of no use or of no value to himself.
- Henry Reddall's Fact, Fancy, and Fable, 1889

Gry, anything of little value, as the pairings of the nails.
- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Together?

I was having a chat last night after J.M-B., her sister K. M-B. and our friend A.L. gathered to put up the Christmas tree.

Well, better late than never.

A.L. noted that it sounded like I had everything all sorted out, altogether and properly lined up here on this blog. My reaction was pure astonishment.

Sorted out? Altogether? Hells no!

I'm freaking out!

The truth of the matter is, I'm not anywhere near as organised or sorted out as I've apparently made myself seem. I just did the things I did last week and this week because they needed to get done for me to move forward with my devious plans. I have NO idea what I'm doing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

I'm quite literally stumbling over my own clumsy feet as I bumble through this life. I came across my passion for writing, and the desire to make it my living a little late in the game - after I'd graduated from university. I'm still a bit up in the air about that. I want to continue with my academic pursuits as well, but the Master's degree I want is prohibitively expensive (CAD21 000.00), and overseas. Without a steady homestead and unwilling to leave a flatmate who is, frankly, an incredibly awesome flatmate, in the lurch, following my academic interests is a little tricky at the moment.

Want to donate? C'mon! It's a good cause.

I shake my head at myself. Reduced to pan-handling online. I think that's a new low for me.

There are other things I really want to do with my life. I have a tonne of other interests and ideas that are screaming for an outlet. I can see these all clearly. I just have no idea how to get there. This small little side venture I'm currently trying to organise is just a teeny tiny step on the way... and it's terrifying and difficult and I am pretty much winging it as I go.

All this to say, despite looking like I know what I'm doing and that I have all my stuff together, I really, really, really don't. So don't despair if you feel lost. Chances are, even the most put together person you see is feeling that way too.

The moral of the story, if a scatterbrained scaredy-cat like me can do it, so can you! Make your dreams come true. Wishing stars can only do so much.


To argue with a master.
- Morris Marple's University Slang, 1950

Monday, December 19, 2011

And the Plot Thickens

There really isn't a plot. There is a plan though. My business plan. I'm currently in the process of fixing up the business plan I wrote Friday to send to the grants people. If I'm very lucky, they'll decide to award me with a small business grant, and then I can buy the equipment and get started.

I'm not sure what the turn around time for the grant is, so I might not be prepared to launch in January. I might be. Who knows? In any case, the blog will be moved January.

In the mean time, I have a whole whack of stuff to learn about marketing and business and so forth, so I'll also be doing a whole bunch of research.

Which means, I won't be writing today. Or this week, probably. And with next week on holidays, I won't be getting back to writing at all until January... and by then, hopefully everything would have settled down.

I'm very busy, but not busy writing. I think that might be a good thing. It lets me think and generate ideas and doing a different kind of work is really very restive.

Well, I should go and actually start work. Have a fantastic Monday everyone!


A kind of leprosy.
- John Brand's Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland, Pightland-Firth and Caithness, 1883


A day before the exhibition of painting on which exhibitors may retouch and varnish their pictures already hung. A private view of paintings before public exhibition. [From the French word vernis, varnish.]
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

Varnishing-day, a day before the opening of a picture exhibition, on which exhibitors have the privilege of retouching their pictures on the walls.
- William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889

Friday, December 16, 2011

So Very Busy Not Writing

Yesterday was an insanely productive day. The work wasn't writing, but it was related to making my writing a career. That is to say, making my income solely from my writing and artistic ventures. It won't happen overnight, obviously, and I have a tonne of stuff to learn about marketing and so forth, but it will happen eventually. It will.

This is completely new territory for me, and it's a little terrifying but I'm well on my way to making it happen.

I spent all of yesterday setting myself up so that I comply with Canada's tax regulations. Actually, I went a bit beyond to ensure that everything was alright. As a small supplier, I won't really be required to collect and remit the provincial taxes, but I voluntarily registered to do so because it's more convenient for the customer.

I'm still waiting on Manitoba on why their online system failed to recognise my telephone number, but as soon as that's sorted, I should be cleared to sell in all provinces. I was not going to sell to Quebec or Prince Edward Island as the way they calculate their taxes cannot be done in my teeny tiny back-end software here, BUT, I'm reconsidering.

Since I am a small (really, really, really small) supplier and am not obligated to collect and remit the provincial taxes in these places, I might sell to them and just charge the GST. It's less convenient for the customers living in those provinces, as they have to work out and remit the PST (QST in Quebec) themselves. Oh well, blame your provincial governments, people!

Today will be spent researching funding options.

On that note, I should hop to it! Have a great weekend everyone. I'll see you all Monday.


A landlady who wished to have a tutting gave notice of her intention to all her female acquaintances, whether married or single. At the hour specified, the visitors were regaled with tea but on the removal of that, the table was replenished with a bowl and glasses and exhilarated with potent punch, when each guest became a new creature. At this time the husbands and sweethearts arrived, paid their half guinea each for the treatment of themselves and partners, joined the revelry, and partook of the amusements. This custom, which was confined to the lower orders, is now very properly almost abandoned.
- J.E. Brogden's Pronvincial Lincolnshire Words and Expressions, 1866

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Recovery Time

Yesterday was hell.

Such incredible, stupid, unmanageable hell.

It was so very hellish that when my flatmate called to find out what was going on, I promptly burst into tears.

It's a work matter, not a writing one (Oh, how I long for the day when writing is my work!) , so I'm not going to go into detail here. Needless to say, it was a terrible, terrible, terrible day.

Obviously, no writing was done. No writing will be done today, either. Or tomorrow. I'm giving myself the rest of the week off writing. Luckily for me, I have a project that will keep me occupied, and while it isn't writing, it is related to my writing future. So I won't feel like I'm totally slacking off.

Right, I'm off to catch up and get to work. Hopefully today will be much better.


Serious consideration or observ[ation].
- Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

A taking notice of a fault with some degree of anger, severity, or dispatch.
- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

An observation made upon a book after duly examining into the merits of it.
- Thomas Dyche's New General English Dictionary, 1740

Reproof; severe censure.
- John Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, 1835

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Changes Are A-Coming

Yep. I can kinda feel it looming, that giant Godzilla-monster of change. It's a fairly major change that will, I'm afraid, mean the end of An Author's Journey. Don't fear (or perhaps fear, depending on how you feel about my posts), I'll still have a blog. It will still be found at

It just won't be this blog here. It'll be part of a slightly larger site - a site with a forum and a calendar and - get this - an online store. For me to sell stuff in. Eventually.

There's so much work still to be done, and the change is going to be substantial enough that I'm worried about it. However it's a change that must, I'm afraid, happen if I'm going to get anywhere towards my goal. Blogging and writing alone just isn't enough.

Of course, all of this is going to need more marketing. I'm not sure how to pull that off yet.

We'll just have to see. Right now I'm chewing my nails with fret as I get all the stuff together. Hopefully it will all pay off.

I'm off to try and write something today.


One who participates in a walking match.
- William Craigie's Dictionary of American English, 1940

As soon as the door is once opened to such abominations. . . a whole host of similar terms should rush in and try to make a lodgement. Hence no sooner had men's ears become somewhat accustomed to hear a pedestrian called a walkist, than the man whose rifle brought down the largest amount of game became known as a famous shootist.
- M. Schele de Vere's Americanisms: The English of the New World, 1872

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Doing What I Can

Following on from yesterday's post, I'm still at a loss for what else to do. I'm terrible at the whole marketing thing. I'm not comfortable with screaming, 'LOOK AT MY BOOK. BUY IT. IT'S GRAND.'

Perhaps the book is spectacular.

Perhaps it's utter crap.

But that's for the reader to decide. One of my pet peeves is to always be blasted by people telling you that their product is the best thing out there.

Apparently, that's what you have to do in marketing, and I despise it. A lot.

My dream is that my writing will speak for itself, and people will willingly talk about it and recommend it to others.

And I won't have to be a pushy salesperson.

Still, no one is talking about it, or recommending it (as near as I can tell)... and they're not doing it because I cannot market effectively.

It's so annoying.

The thing is, I've researched marketing. I read, and read, and read on the subject. None of it sinks in. I remember facts about pre-history I've learned years and years ago, but nothing about the pamphlet on marketing I read yesterday.


I'm frustrated. Not at you, readers. You're not the problem. I am.

I'm doing what I can, and it's not enough.

Le sigh.

Right, on with writing. Have a good Tuesday everyone!


To excel or exceed in bombast, magniloquence, or violence. From the character of Herod who, in the old miracle plays, was always represented as arrogant.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Monday, December 12, 2011

No, Thank-You... I Think

So I've been forced into a lot of thinking this weekend, largely due to a post by my friend and fellow author Gerard de Marigny. He put up a post about Mr. Konrath, the self-publishing sensation, and something he said.

We butted heads over the interpretation of Mr. Konrath's advice (I read it as being entirely more sinisterly self-serving that Mr. de Marigny, to his credit, did). It was, essentially, work your butt off and forget everything else - at all (friends, family, and if they loved you, they'd put up with your neglect.).

I most vehemently agree that any author should be working their behinds off in order to get themselves off the ground. I don't agree that one should have to sacrifice everything else all the time.

No downtime - needed to collect my thoughts, percolate ideas, eat, breathe and remind myself why I write? No time for friends or family? No, thank-you! Life was made for living and I adore writing. I don't want to turn it into something that I despise for taking my time away from all the good things I have.

But then, Mr. Konrath has sold millions of copies. I've managed to sell one paperback, and roughly 7 e-books, so what the hell would I know, right?

And that's what has me thinking. What more could I be doing right now?

On that note, I have a six book series to finish writing, and I'm not nearly as finished as I should be! On to work!


One who sells provisions from door to door; one who buys fowls, butter, eggs, &c. in the country and brigs them to town to sell. [From] higgle, to beat down the price of a thing in a bargain; to sell provisions from door to door. Hence higgledy-piggledy, corrupted from higgle, higglers carrying a confused medley of provisions; in a disorderly manner.
- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

Saturday, December 10, 2011


With anatomists, the muscles of the fingers called lumbricales, from the use they are put to by musicians in playing some instruments.
- Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

From fidicen, a harper.
- Richard Hoblyn's Medical Dictionary, 1859

Fidicinal, of or pertaining to a player on stringed instruments.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Friday, December 9, 2011


T.G.I.F! That is all that can be said for today.

I only managed 1 000 words yesterday. That's alright. Combined with Wednesday's marathon write, I still made enough to reach my end of week target. I'm starting to feel burnt out, I think.

It's a good thing, then, that I am taking today off!

With nothing more spectacular to say, I'll let you all get on with your days.

Have a great weekend!


A nickname current among seafaring men for the sailors of the British merchant marines. [Now limey.]
- Henry Reddall's Fact, Fancy, and Fable, 1889

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sign Please?

I wrote 5 000 words yesterday.

I just wanted to put that down. It makes me smile.

Yesterday evening, after my physio appointment, I was treated to dinner by my friend K.R. K.R. is the only person to have bought a physical copy of The Dying God & Other Stories since it came out. Yup, I have a sale of 1.

That's all beside the point.

The purpose of the dinner, other than to hang out and rant about life, was to have me sign the copy she bought. It was really, really... weird. It was just weird. I felt so embarrassed signing the book. I don't know why. It just was embarrassing.

Flattering, too. I mean, I didn't mind signing for her at all.

It was just... famous people sign stuff. I'm not famous, or even mildly popular... I'm just... well, me. Signing something (that I wrote) for someone, even though she was my friend, and I was very flattered, just felt... weird.

Here's what I want to know - if there's anyone even mildly famous who has ever been approached for a signature that has happened across this post for some obscure reason, does it ever stop feeling so damned odd?


Abiding, dwelling, resident. Of water, standing, not running away. Adapted from Latin commorantem, to tarry, abide.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Accidental Research

I've just recently read an article about psychopaths. Turns out, they're everywhere, in higher concentration in the top ranks of muti-national corporations (who is surprised, really?) and they are adept at playing the game. The thing is, all the behaviours I read about in this article I have seen in co-workers in various jobs.

They are, it turns out, adept at mimicking normal emotive behaviours, but are incapable of experiencing emotions in the same way normal people are. They use what they know to manipulate the situation, and are more than willing to use one's empathy against one.

This is because they are genetically predisposed to psychopathic behaviours. Their amygdala (the place in the brain responsible for processing emotion and emotive responses) is underdeveloped - actually smaller than in a normal person - and, in extreme cases, what is there is not functioning correctly.

In short, they feel zero empathy and actually derive pleasure in seeing other people upset. These are the crazies who tear others down and pretend to be sad about it, when everyone else knows they do it for fun.

You know the advice the article gave for those facing a psychopath at work? Do not engage. They're better at the game than you. Run. Run far, far, far away.

I know a few people who match this description. In any case I can use this article. This article, which I can't find now, damn it, is filed in memory box 'Useful Information That Could Inform a Character One Day.'

How I love accidental research!


Barbarous Latin, such as was formerly used by lawyers in their pleadings, Now applied to 'medical Latin.'
- John Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

Also kitchen-, bog-, or apothecaries'-Latin.
- John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1905

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No Dreams

I had absolutely no dreams last night or early this morning. I was highly disappointed.

I think, however, that it might be because I've started writing again after a short hiatus when I just couldn't seem to write at all. I made my daily 3 000 words for the first time in three days, and I have the next scene all planned out. I should be making it again today. It takes the pressure off some to know that I have the length of a novel, albeit short, already.

Also, I'd like to declare publicly, not for the first or the last time, that I have the best flatmate in the world. Sorry I woke you up. You are awesome.

There really isn't much else to say. I'd best get on with writing then. Have a great day.

Childhood nonsense. "To tell Doldrums," to talk wildly.
- Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879

Dildrams, strange tales; especially in the phrase to tell dildrams. Lancashire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

That's so weird. I always thought doldrums was to feel sad or down, as in "You have the doldrums, darling?" Is that later usage or am I completely insane? Someone? Anyone?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Strange Dreams, Strange Feeling

That strange feeling that something amazing is going to happen is still with me today. I can't understand it, but hey, I like it!

On a less happy, but no less strange note, my spate of really odd dreams continues. This time, two friends (T.H. and K.C.), a famous music personality (none other than Lady GaGa. No, seriously), a character from a T.V. show (Prince Charming from the show Once Upon a Time), a whole bunch of strangers and I were all involved in a Hunger Games style competition that started out with each of us camping. In the same spot.

K.C., T.H. and myself ended up (somehow) all in a run-down fun house. We had split up earlier on, and all ended up there. I was searching around the house, torch and all, when I came across a mouse. Somehow, I knew that mouse was actually K.C. who, it turns out, was a Harry Potter style animagus in this dream. Because we're friends, I simply smiled at the mouse frozen by fear (or possibly my torch's light) on the windowsill and said, 'Don't worry. I won't tell anyone.' Then I left the room.

I don't know why K.C. turned himself into a mouse. The man's got kick-arse Kung Fu skills. I digress.

I hear some noises and go investigate and Lady GaGa, in full monster outfit, is attacking T.H., who isn't doing so well. So I kill Lady GaGa. Yep. Twisted dream.

(I'd just like to point out here, as an aside, I don't hate Lady GaGa. In fact, I quite like her music - it's catchy and fun to dance to. I also adore her costumes as works of art. I'd never wear them, but whatever. To each their own. For the record, Lady GaGa, I'm really sorry I killed you in my dream. To be fair, you were trying to kill one of my friends.)

There was an awkward moment when T.H. and I faced each other, then we just nodded, and went our separate ways.

T.H. died later, but I didn't have time to feel sad about it because I was in the middle of helping Prince Charming battle a dragon (I know where this came from. In last night's episode of Once Upon a Time, Prince Charming battled a dragon). To be honest, it was less a dragon than a weird human-dragon hybrid.

The pair of us manage to get the dragon-man thing weakened, but really angry. We, in identical armour, I might add, stand side by side in preparation for the final charge, when some guy, also in identical armour, throws a knife straight into the dragon-man's throat, killing him.

I turn around and though I don't recognise the guy, I know he's not on our side.

And that's when I woke up.

There you go. Analyse that!

With my imagination in full, freakish bloom, I will now go and write. Until tomorrow, then!


One who gives an account of deaths.
- Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Waxing ripe.
- Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1727

Approaching maturity. From Latin maturesco, to become ripe.
- Daniel Lyons' American Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Inexplicable Feeling

Good morning!

I am in fine spirits this morning. It's weird. I shall tell you why it's weird.

Yesterday I got a bit of a shock. Those of you who saw my rant of Facebook already know about it. The cause of the rant went something like this:

Part of my job is to make sure that the office never runs out of coffee (God forbid!), sugar, milk, cream, paper towels... you know, things every kitchenette requires. So, yesterday afternoon, around about 3:30, I put a sign up on my computer screen to tell everyone that I had headed out to shop for office supplies.

When I returned with two barrels of coffee (it was on sale) and dish-washing liquid, I noted that someone had, very childishly, crossed out the words 'office supplies' and scribbled in 'Christmas.'

Really? Really?! What's next? An 'I do personal errands on company time' note stuck to my back?

Not only was the defacing of that sign incredibly infantile (no-one above the age of ten ought to find that amusing), but it was actually quite vicious. You see, though I laughed at first, I realised that the person who did that obviously has a very low opinion of me, and likely wanted others to as well.

For the record, if anyone from work happens to stumble across this post, I do not use company time to do personal errands. I save that for lunch time or the weekend or after work if I have time. I usually don't, but that's entirely beside the point.

If the purpose was to get me in trouble with management, then you're a tool, sign defacer. I think it highly unlikely that either of them are foolish enough to fall for that. I'm quite certain that they see right through it. Yes, management has been informed.

I was furious yesterday afternoon.

What pea-brained, infantile moron does that sort of thing?

I probably wouldn't have been as furious as I was were it not for the fact that, at the moment, I am the target of some pretty intense bullying at work. I generally don't let it phase me, but there are days when I just feel like kicking some teeth in.

Anyway, this morning I woke feeling amazing. It was snowing outside when I woke, and everything was so pretty and white. I had slept so well. I had, and currently have, this feeling that everything is going to be incredible.

I have that inexplicable feeling that life is right on track, that I'm doing the right thing, that all my dreams will come true if I can keep it up.


I get like this every so often... less often than I'd like. It's a bit like my extremely down moments. I get those more frequently, but whatever.

I might be slightly manic.

In any case, today is a wonderful day. Things are afoot that will bring me what I need when I need it.

Deciding that today was a great day to spread the love (even to the bullies), I borrowed my flatmate's Santa hat and am rockin' the Christmas spirit at work. I have plans to decorate... oh, it's going to be wonderful!

No one is allowed to be grumpy today!

On that note, have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you Monday!


Concentrated, strong. There is an old saying that camp cooks test coffee by dropping an iron wedge into the pot. If the edge floats, the coffee is too strong. Ozarks.
- Vance Randolph's Down in the Holler, 1953

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hello December!

So.... how are you all doing?

I'm well. I didn't write yesterday. At all. I decided to give myself the day to rest, read, watch a T.V. show (during my lunch hour), daydream and other miscellaneous things.

You know what I've discovered?

Taking a day off when I'm neither worn out nor finished is an incredibly boring, unsatisfying thing to do.

So it's back to writing for now. If I finish this book this month, that means that the whole series would have been finished. Well, the first draft of it anyway.

Surely that should motivate me.

Yeah... no. Writing today is going to be like dragging a mule. Oh well. At least I won't get bored.

Happy first of December everyone.


A vacancy in a stack for preserving corns.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

When the corn is in a doubtful state by being too green or wet, the stack builder by means of old timber, makes a large apartment in his stack with an opening in the side which is farest exposed tot he wind; this he calls a fause-house.
- Robert Burns' Halloween Note, c. 1820

A hollow made in a corn stack, with an opening on the side most exposed to the wind, for the purpose of drying the corn. Scottish form of false and house.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm a NaNoWriMo winner! I should be celebrating, right?

I'm just not in the mood for celebrations, and I can't figure out why.

As it happens, NaNoWriMo has taught me a couple of things. The first is that I can finish half a book in one month. Which means I can finish a whole book in two months. It usually takes me about three because I get worn down, give myself week-long breaks and that sort of thing.

But now I know that it can be done.

The second thing it taught me is that I basically do NaNoWriMo every time I sit down to write. My usual routine of four days of writing (3 000 words a day), three days off gets me 50 000 words in thirty days.

You know, provided I don't take any longer breaks. Which I tend to.

I don't think I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo again. It was good to do once, but I just wasn't challenged enough, I suppose.

I'm not saying that to gloat. I realise that I am in an almost unique situation where I am able to write for three or more hours a day without it affecting my work. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities this provides me.

It being what it is, however, NaNoWriMo was nothing special for me, although I do appreciate the accolades that go with winning.

I can, however, see how this would be an enormous challenge to regular folk who aren't as fortunate as I am in their occupations (I mean, come on, like any normal job would accept someone working on their own stuff for the majority of the day!). Were it not for the fact that I can write during the day for extended periods, I'd have never made it.

NaNoWriMo is a worthy challenge.

I don't really know where this blog post is going, so I'll end it here, I guess. I might 'celebrate' by taking the rest of the week off writing. I might not. I might challenge myself to finishing the first draft of this book before New Year's.

Yeah. Right.


A man-servant employ'd by a farmer in all sorts of work he has occasion to set him about . . . He is the lowest servant in the house and is not hired for the plough or the waggon particularly, but to be set about anything.
- Samuel Pegge's Alphabet of Kenticisms, 1735-1736

I swear the spelling is exactly as the paper before me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Home Stretch

The last two days of NaNoWriMo are upon us, and I'm woefully behind. I should have just 1 000 words to write until I made my target today. Turns out, I have 3 000.

Sad face.

With the computer here all warmed up and working... more or less... I should be good. I should reach my target today. 'Should' being the operative word.

In other news... there really isn't any other news. Things are going much the same as ever. I'm busy, but not as busy as I used to be.

I miss training.

Right, I should get to writing. Have a great Tuesday everyone.


Of, pertaining to, or having well-shaped or finely developed buttocks. The name of a famous statue of Venus. From Greek kallos, beauty, and pyg, buttocks.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reporting in With the Morning Check

Yup, you read that right.

Well, this weekend proved wonderful. After all the stress.

You see, my most amazing flatmate in the world agreed a couple of weeks ago to drive me down to Montréal to pick up my brother and bring him to Ottawa, where he'll be staying until he gets a job.

Naturally, things went bust.

We went to see The Muppets Thursday night with friends. Thanks to T.H. for organising it, by the by. It was a great movie. We laughed liked crazy. Then, as we climbed into the car to head back, Jazz noticed a flat tyre. The front driver's side tyre was shot. We crawled down Bank St. towards the mechanic's at forty, then ten, the car sounding terrible, leaning heavily to the left.

Thinking that the shop would replace the tyre relatively inexpensively, we walked home not terribly worried.

Well, didn't I arrive home Friday after work to Jazz' words of greeting, "Don't freak out."

I freaked out.

We suddenly didn't have a car. Apparently, in addition to the flat tyre (which was replaced relatively cheaply), the car was leaking power-steering fluid. Replacing the necessary part put the repairs at something like $2 000.00. Yup. That's $2 000.00 neither of us very broke people had to spare.

Jazz' explained that she had to go to Montréal tomorrow and asked them to do a quick-fix. They said they'd try. Three blocks from the apartment, not even ten minutes away from the shop, the power-steering failed.

We had no car for Saturday.

Desperate to keep our word to my brother, we texted and called as many people as we could.

To the rescue, A.G. flew in with a car we could use. That girl deserves a cape and a badge. Honestly.

We now had a car.

The rest of the weekend went fairly smoothly. We picked up my brother, went to the Ruby Rouge in Chinatown for a Yum Cha lunch (Dim Sum), then headed home again. Then off we went to the Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot for dinner with Dad, transferred to bags over and sent Chris off to stay with Dad for a bit.

Then we slept. Yay, sleep!

So, a massive thanks to both A.G. and J.M-B. for their efforts Saturday. You both rock the Casbah.

Sunday was, thankfully, much more quiet. I met a friend for lunch and that was the entirety of the day.

Now I'm at work, falling desperately behind in my NaNoWriMo efforts because the computer took 3 hours to load properly. Go team.

I have to go and start writing, or I'll never make my daily 3 000. Wish me luck! I'm so going to need it today.


The simplicity of ancient manners made it common for men, even of the highest rank, to sleep together; and the term bedfellow implied great intimacy. Lord Scroop is said to have been bedfellow to Henry V [as found in Shakespear's Henry V]:

Nay, but the man was his bedfellow,
Whom he hath cloy'd and grac'd with kingly favours.

After the battle of Dreux, in 1562, the prince of Condé slept in the same bed with the duke of Guise, an anecdote frequently cited to show the magnanimity of the latter, who slept soundly, though so near his greatest enemy, then his prisoner. Letters from noblemen to each other often began with the appellation bedfellow.
- Robert Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859

This unseemly custom continued common till the middle of the last century.
- Rev. T.F. Thiselton-Dyer's Folk-Lore of Shakespeare, 1884

Surely this isn't forgotten? Am I the only one who uses 'They make strange bedfellows.'?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Because of the book review yesterday, you get yesterday's and today's Forgotten English! Lucky you!

I'm off to Montreal to collect my brother. See you all Monday!

Drum-Roll Payment

Not to pay at all. No soldier can be arrested for debt when on the march.
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898


- Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been hearing a lot about this book, and with the film due out next year I decided that I definitely wanted to read it. Luckily for me, I didn't have to buy it. My recent birthday yielded the best result possible: this book as a gift (incidentally, if ever you want to please me, buy me a good book!).

I was, at first, quite terrified that the current trend for terrible stuff in young adult fiction (point in case: Twilight) would continue. You know, the type of writing that insults the intelligence of youth and assumes they're all shallow, maladjusted half-people.

Well, can you blame me?

Turns out, thankfully, not.

Katniss, the heroine of the story and from whose perspective the tale is told, is a slightly embittered person (she rarely lets people outside of her family close) who nonetheless loves her family dearly. More to the point, she's tough. She's a hunter, a fighter, a survivor.

Go team!

I really don't want to give too much away with this book, but needless to say, it captures the angst of the divide between youth and adulthood exceptionally well. We've all been, or will be, there - that bizarre space when you're no longer a child, but not quite an adult; where nothing makes sense and you're so uncertain of anything, least of all who you are.

Katniss' character, her motives, her confusion and her vulnerabilities (yes, she has those), make her one of the most believable characters I've read in young adult fiction to date. I'm quite convinced that I would have behaved in the same way she did, given the extraordinary circumstances in which she finds herself.

A fan of adult fiction (largely adult fantasy... no, not that kind, you potty-minded people! I mean the genre fantasy), I found the language a little simple for my tastes, though I have to point out that its directness and immediacy are actually part of the charm.

And it's a young adult story, I must remind myself. If I was around the age of, say, 11, this would have shot up to the near top of my favourites list (the very top being Over Sea, Under Stone).

It's fast-paced, has plenty of action and, yes, made me gasp out loud. I highly recommend this book for lovers of young adult. I will definitely be getting stuck into the rest of the series as soon as I can!

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shuffling Days

Hah hah hah! This group cracks me up. LMFAO indeed!

Right, so today I'm switching Thursday and Friday around. I shan't be writing a single word today, and will be making up for it tomorrow.

If I finish this other project on time. This project is editing for a doctoral candidate. The thesis itself is really quite interesting, so editing is a pleasure.

Oh, I should note that my re-entry into training... alright, Tai Chi... was a success. Though many of the stretches were a little painful going in, two days later, I feel fantastic although my legs are really sore.

I'm so out of practice.

I shall continue Tai Chi until the end of the semester, and then I'll be returning to training full time in January.

I can't wait.

In other news, there is no other news! Have a great Thursday everyone.


To convey away secretly.
- Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Snow

I think I comment on the first snowfall of every winter every single time. It never gets old. Well, not for me.

It worries me that the first snowfall is in November. The end of November no less. My first year in Canada, some ten years ago, the first snow was in September. I remember it clearly because that's when I got frostbite (I was completely unprepared for the snow and got caught with giant flakes falling down in only a leather jacket, sneakers and no hat or mitts. My poor ears...).

You would think, having spent the majority of my life in the tropics, that I would hate this weather. It's the exact opposite. I adore it - even though I don't do any winter sports. I really should though. Maybe if I can get to a trail, I'll take up Nordic skiing or snow-shoeing.

It's just... November for the first snow?!

I'll set aside my worries for now and take in all the white wonder of this day. It's just so beautiful!

Never mind that it's going up to +10 by the end of this week again.

Let's not worry too much...

Back to Nanowrimo writing for me. Let's hope I reach my target quickly. I have lots of editing left to do.


Benumbed, paralysed with the cold, especially when accompanied by contraction of the muscles and violent shivering.
- G.M. Story's Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 1982

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting Back In

So, I'm headed back to training tonight. Before all of you freak out and decide to lecture me about resting my back etc., do note that I'm only going for Tai Chi. One hour only, twice a week. If it goes well, I'll increase the time. For now, however, it'll just be two hours a week.

I have permission from my physiotherapist.

And that constitutes the entirety of my exciting news.

I'm editing for a doctoral candidate. Which is a laugh, since I've gotten no further than a Bachelor of Arts. The topic is fascinating, actually, so I'm really enjoying it. I'm still on target for NaNoWriMo. Actually, I managed 4 000 words yesterday. Go me! I have to get writing on that, actually. If the computer would just start working properly, I might actually reach my target today.

Until tomorrow, then!


To marry. This word is not quite obsolete. Wive and thrive is a common solloquialism. "Her, whom the first man did wive."
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Thousand Leagues Away

I want to be anywhere but here at this moment. Anywhere.

I slept pretty much all yesterday. I have no right to feel as tired as I do.

I also feel guilty for sleeping all yesterday as it meant that none of the housework I planned to do got done. It also meant that I missed my father's play.

Though, I did write it down in my calendar as this coming Sunday.

I feel miserable about that.

In fact, the only good thing about today is the fact that I'm back at the computer, writing.

Everything else sucks.

On that note, I'm going to retreat from the world and write. Bye!


A satyrical species of writing very current among churchmen and others in the Middle Ages in which the vices or peculiarities of ecclesiastics are mentioned and reprobated. From Goliardus, a monk who wrote satirical pieces in the ninth century inveighing against the luxury of the clergy.
- T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia of Knowledge and Language, 1871

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This word is of remote antiquity and refers to an ancient custom of giving arrhoe, or presents, from a man to a woman on their entering into a contract to marry. The present was generally an annulus, or ring, and in reference to the sanctity of the engagement the gift was subsequently called a God's pennie. Though in its primary signification it imported a spousal gift, the lapse of time has converted the use of the word to earnest money given to bind any bargain.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832

Arle, money given in confirmation of a bargain . . . when a servant is hired.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Steps

Good morning!

This post will be necessarily brief (and sorry it's late. Computer is being a dink again). You see, I had planned to take the day off from writing, but I was listening to epic music on my way into work today, specifically Two Steps From Hell, specifically this song:

And images and ideas exploded in my head, and I have to get them down before I forget them. Bye then!


A pale brownish-yellow colour; from Isabelle, a princess of this name.
- Charles Annandale's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

The archduke Albertus, who had married the infanta Isabella, daughter Philip II, King of Spain, . . . determined to lay siege to Ostend [Belgium], then in the possession of the heretics. His pious princess, who attended him in that expedition, made a vow that till it was taken she would never change her clothes.
- Joseph Taylor's Antiquitates Curiosae, 1819

Contrary to expectation, it was three years before the place was reduced, in which time the linen of her highness had acquired a hue which . . . was much admired and adopted by the court fashionables under the name of "Isabella color." It is a whitish yellow, or soiled buff - better imagined than described.
- Frank Stauffer's THe Queer, the Quaint, the Quizzical, 1882.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Running late! Must get to writing! Here's your daily Forgotten English (plus yesterday's which was skipped for the book review):


Leave, or cause to leave, a train. [Like deplane. Why not deboat also?]
- Gilbert Tuckers American English, 1921

Park the Biscuit

To sit down. In the biscuit, in the buttocks. "[Make one mistake] and you get it in the biscuit." Hot in the biscuit, greatly excited; sexually stimulated.
- Hyman Goldin's Dictionary of American Underworld Lingo, 1950

Squeeze the biscuit, to catch the saddlehorn when riding.
- Ramon Adams' Western Words: A Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp, and Trail, 1946

OK, must dash! Bye!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: The Third Magic

The Third Magic (Forever King, #3)The Third Magic by Molly Cochran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alright, I admit that I wasn't expecting much from this book. I stand - well, sit - here corrected.

You see, I have a slight tic when it comes to anything to do with the Arthurian Cycle. The problem is that I'm a Celtic Studies student, and I know that the legend has much earlier roots than most people bother to acknowledge.

This was not the case with Ms. Cochran. I am suitably impressed with the amount of research that plainly went into this narrative. The fact that Author was plainly a British king - that is to say, King of Britain after the Roman retreat, made me smile. As a Celticist (is that even a word?), I get thoroughly annoyed when people ignore the Celtic roots of, well, anything, in much the same way that Classicists get annoyed if you don't believe Greece or Rome were the foundation of all civilisation everywhere.

I might be slightly bitter.

I digress.

I especially like how Ms. Cochran navigated the difficulty of acknowledging both the actual basis for the legend, and the later iterations of that legend. Making Lancelot a Gaulish swordsman, tipping her hat to the later invention of the Gueneviere/ Lancelot narrative by French bards, was a stroke of genius. I adore that the abduction of Gueneviere played a part in this story. That is to say, the abduction of the queen by Melwas - an earlier tale than the forbidden love previously mentioned.

There is a fine balance to be struck when tackling any fiction to do with Arthurian legend between pleasing those who have done any research whatsoever, and those who haven't at all and assume that Arthur is a late medieval invention.

There were a few factual errors that bothered me a fair amount. The worst possible error was the use of England and Britain to mean the same thing. It seems paradoxical to me that the King of England would be fighting against the Saxons since the English and Saxons (and Jutes for that matter) were allies.

The King of England, would be English, which is to say, Anglish, which is to say, an Angle, which is to say, part of the Germanic horde (Anglo-Saxon)that was invading Britain, against whom King Arthur fought.

Get my drift?

Britain and England are not synonymous, and most certainly NOT at the time the offending scenes were set. England did not yet exist. Certainly now anyone who was English, would be considered British, but that was not always the case. The Angles fought the Britons. Arthur fought for the Britons. Ergo, he cannot be the King of England.

Granted, the English did later take him on as their hero...

Anyway, the substitution of one for the other indiscriminately irked me enough to give a visible tic beneath my eye whenever it occurred.

However, that is forgivable... I suppose.

That's enough of the factual stuff. Now to the writing.

The narrative itself was clear and easily read. It didn't possess any of the mastery of language and description I so admire in Steven Erikson. All the same, it was a great read - enough suspense and adventure to keep me reading at any rate. The story was surprisingly moody - which I rather like, thank-you very much!

Some of the knights verged on being caricatures, rather than characters, falling into the mildly amusing Classical description of Celts (loud, lusty drunkards). It irked me some, but the need for such comic relief was necessary. I'm pretty sure it only bothered me because I am such a fan of Celtic culture. I'm sure it wouldn't bother normal people.

All in all, a very worthy read. I do recommend this book to any urban fantasy lovers, and yes, even to Arthurian legend nuts. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how true to form this book is.

Well played, Ms. Cochran. Well played.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reminding Myself... Again

So yesterday, I was pretty down. I am always down around my birthday. It's just the way it goes. However, I never stay down.

Today, in an effort to make up for bumming everyone out yesterday, I'm giving thanks for all the amazing things I have and do in my life.

I have a loving family. Thank-you, guys! Love you!

I have the world's best flatmate, who makes my favourite cake despite being run off her feet. Thanks so much, Jazz!

In the course of putting myself 'out there,' I've met an amazing bunch of people who put up with my crazy. Thank-you!

I DO KUNG FU! How cool is that? Even cooler, I do Kung Fu with a wonderful group of people who are generous and kind. Thank-you, everyone. You all rock the Casbah.

Equestrian Archery. 'Nough said.

I have a job with a steady pay-cheque. Even better, it lets me do what I love doing best: writing. THANK-YOU!

I have the ability to write.

I've written ten books and am currently working on my eleventh. Now that is something to be proud of (never mind quality of over quantity... ahem... I digress)!

So, although I feel like a failure every so often, I am aware of and so incredibly grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life. I just need to remind myself.

Well, I'm on target for NaNoWriMo. It looks like I'll get to keep taking Friday's off. Yay! I should, however, get back to it and so I'll leave you here. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone.


A wine drinker.
- Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1625

A wine-bibber; a drunkard.
- Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me...


The more birthdays I have, the less I find I enjoy them. All they are is a reminder of another year gone with little to show for it.

Alright, fine, I've written a lot of books. However, despite three years of trying, I haven't been able to traditionally publish any of them. I might just have exhausted the supply of agents and acquisition editors in North America for The Great Man series.

No one wants my stuff.

That raises the issue of quality. If none of the professionals want my books, then it's because they aren't good enough. If they're not good enough for them, I probably shouldn't self-publish them or I'll give myself a reputation for publishing rubbish.

I don't want that reputation.

Yet, I really want this story to be out there. More than anything, I want it to be widely read and loved.

But if it's crap, it's not going to be.

And so I'm sitting on it, wondering what the hell to do with it all.

I was also, according to the plan I made quite late in life, supposed to have completed a Masters degree and be knee deep in my doctorate by now.

What the hell happened to that? Oh yeah, funding. Who ever thought of money anyway? What bastards!

This is what birthdays make me think of - a whole lotta treading water and hopes that get dashed. A whole lotta 'it's just not good enough.' Too many years chasing the impossible.


I never used to dislike birthdays. They used to be fun and full of parties and I never once thought of all the things I'd hope to do by now and haven't managed to. What's with that?

Am I the only one who reflects on everything that I was supposed to have done by now?

Anyway, sorry to bring you all down on a Monday (like you needed my help). I just realised that I forgot to post Saturday's Forgotten English so, lucky you, you get two for one today.

Tailor's Mense
A small portion left by way of good manners. In some parts of the North it is the custom for the village tailor to work at his customer's house, and to partake of the hospitality of the family board. On these occasions the best fare is invariably provided; at least such was the case when I was a boy; and the tailor to shew that he has had enough, generally leaves a little on his plate, which is called tailor's mense . . . [From] mense, decency, propriety of conduct, good manners, kindness, hospitality.
- John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825


An easy jog - such as farmers' wives carry their eggs to the market.
- William Carr's Dialect of Craven, 1828

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not Writing

Today is Friday. I'm well set for my NaNoWriMo word count, and so won't be writing today. I'm going to check the stats on Monday. If it averages out, then I'll continue to take Fridays off. If it doesn't, well, I'll write Fridays as well.

Luckily, I've managed to keep fairly well on track and so the amount I may be down will be easily made up.

I say easily. I actually mean hellishly, but whatever.

I do have to note, I'm not impressed with the quality of my writing thus far. There have been a good couple of sections, but the rest is utter crap. There shall be a lot of fixing up, me thinks!

Yesterday was a slightly better day than the day before. Everyone should be proud of me - I've booked an appointment with a physiotherapist. I managed to walk to the walk-in clinic to get a referral, except that the doctor wasn't taking any more patients - full up for the day.

I was in such agony I almost started crying. My back, for those of you just tuning in.

You see, October 23rd, I was in a collision on the highway. I and a friend, K.R. were off to see Jeff Dunham perform at Scotiabank Place when we were rear-ended while trying to avoid a different collision. We avoided rear-ending the person in front of us. The people behind us weren't so lucky.

Their very large van hit the back of K.R.'s very small car.

The car is totalled. She's had to buy a new one.

For the first week after the accident, I was fine. I was a little achy, but I'd figure it'd pass. With the week up and nothing absolutely terrible going on with me, I decided to jump back into training.


When Saturday rolled around, I was crippled with a headache and back pain so severe it kept me to my bed for two days. J.M-B. was very good at putting up with my whining. My back has been hurting ever since.

Yesterday, it hurt the worst it has since the weekend.

A phone call from Mum and some painkillers made it all better. However, I'm not taking this lightly any more. So I headed to the walk-in clinic near my home only to be turned away. Luckily, there was a physiotherapy clinic right across the parking lot.

I went there. Even more lucky, they accept insurance claims and so, my first appointment has been made for Wednesday of next week.

Worried that I wouldn't make it 'till then, J. M-B. booked an appointment with a massage therapist who does house calls for me. That's happening tomorrow morning.

I have the best flatmate in the world. Just putting that out there.

So, that is my big exciting piece of news. I'm injured and I'm mad about it. I've missed so much training... and I've really needed training this week! It's a vicious cycle...

Today I am not writing, I'm mucking around and wasting time and relaxing. So there.

Have a great weekend everyone!


A word ludicrously fabricated which means to cut or carve in an awkward and slovenly manner.
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not in the Mood

I had a really, really, really shitty day yesterday. I don't want to be here right now. I want to be home, in bed, buried beneath my blankets and enjoying cuddles from a very affectionate kitten.

I want my back to be fixed so I can go to training and work out my frustrations.

What I don't want to be doing is sitting in the office, facing an entire day of working with the people who made me so miserable yesterday.

And I really, really, really want to go to training and just punch and kick stuff for three hours.

But I can't.


There is some good news. At least I made my NaNoWriMo target for the day. Thank the gods for writing! It has saved my sanity more times than I can count!

Speaking of, I should get going on today's target. Have a good Thursday everyone!

Tears of the Tankard

The drippings of liquor on a man's waistcoat.
- Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And So it Continues

And on and on and on it goes making life, and blogging, rather tedious.

I'm talking about writing of course. There isn't much else going on in my life at the moment. Just writing.

I made my daily target yesterday, late in the afternoon. Not nearly as late as Monday, but still, late enough.

And, of course, I'll be writing again today.

And that is the entirety of my news. Exciting, no?

Right, I should hop to. Have a good Wednesday all.


An officer who heads a procession and clears the way for it. The whifflers in the civic processions at Norwich carry swords, which they wave to and fro before them.
- Hensleigh Wedgwood's Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878

An officer who preceded a procession, clearing the way and playing a flute.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832

The old term for fifers preceeding the body of archers who clears the way, but more recently applied to very trifling fellows. [From] whiff . . . a slight fitful breeze or transcient puff of wind.
- Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word Book, 1867

Please don't yell at me. I promise that the above misspelling of 'preceding' was precisely how it is written before me. I swear it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


... was simply hellish.

It took me literally all day to write my daily target. All day. I finished the last word at 4:48pm - about three minutes after I was supposed to start cleaning up and closing shop for the day.

It was the single most sluggish day of writing I've ever experienced. I hated every minute of it. I'm praying that today goes better for me. We'll see, though.

Otherwise, things are going well. Well, well enough.

I've realised that I do not need to write 3 000 words a day every weekday to hit my target. In fact, if I stick to my regular schedule of 3 000 words a day every day except Friday, I should still reach the NaNoWriMo target of 50 000 words by the end of the month.

So, I think in the name of sanity, I'll be just doing my regular thing. I'll find out at the end of this week if it averages out. Right, I should get writing.


To pursue animals; Western England.
- Thomas Wright's Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857

To wander about idly.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

To court, make love to [spelled course].
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Monday, November 7, 2011

Me Being Moody

I'm in a mood. To anyone who knows me at all, they know that when I say 'I'm in a mood,' what I mean is, I'm in a bad mood.

I'm in a bad mood for a number of reasons. Firstly, this weekend was completely wasted. I remained in bed all weekend, in excruciating agony, thanks in whole to my back. It decided to seize up, apparently.

And it was such a beautiful weekend as well.

My little brother is back in Australia, and should be here. That makes me irate as well.

The thing is, when I get in this mood, I have a terrible tendency to turn everything inward. That is to say, I reflect more on my failings in life.

It isn't helped that my birthday is coming up soon.

I always get depressed around my birthday. The thought pattern goes something like this:

I'm going to be turning (insert age) soon. What have I achieved? No, really. What? I'm in a low-paying, boring job. I don't have a significant other. No house. Not even a car. Sure, I've written a few books. Sure, friends like reading them.

But acquisition editors don't.

Sure I have a published book.

But it's self-published.

And isn't selling.

In short, I'm failing. I'm failing at writing. I'm failing at life.

Don't go all aggro on me. I'm just telling you how my brain works when I'm in a bad mood and or when my birthday approaches.

It takes a great deal to drag me out of these moods. I have to forcibly remind myself that I'm not a failure. I mean, how many other people can boast that they've written nine books before the age of 30? I'm making my bills, and have some for fun left over. I've got great credit. I've got amazing friends, do incredible things and am generally extraordinarily lucky.

I just don't feel like it today.

Le sigh.

Well, I have 3 000 words to write today. I'd best get on that. Have a good Monday... if you can.


An exploded chymical name for an imaginary substance, thought to be a constituent part of all inflammable bodies.
- William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1846

The existence of phlogiston was denied by Lavoisier in 1775, and though stoutly maintained by Priestley, belief in it was generally abandoned by 1800.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909


In French newspapers, or other in which the French custom is followed, a portion of one or more pages marked off at the bottom from the rest of the page and appropriated to light literature, criticism, etc. Adopted from French, from feuillet, a diminutive of feuille, leaf. Feuilletonism, aptitude for writing feuilletons; feuilletonist, a writer of feuilletons.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

Friday, November 4, 2011



Yesterday was supposed to be such a happy day. My little brother was supposed to touch down in Montreal yesterday. Today was to be his first morning in Canada.

And then he had his travel wallet stolen. In Korea (we think). With no passport, and no money, he was stranded.

Threatened with deportation back to Australia, he called the Canadian Embassy in Seoul. They proved to be absolutely, 100% USELESS! In order for him to get emergency documents - a necessity to get back on the plane and on his way here - he'd have to go to the embassy in person. Well, in Seoul, you aren't allowed to leave the aeroport without a passport, so there was no way to get to the embassy.

And so he was deported back to Australia.

Now he has to get the money together to replace all the said documents AND pay for a new flight.

I'm furious with the Canadian Embassy in Seoul right now. Serving citizens? My arse! Why do I pay for you out of my taxes? You can't even get my brother home!


In any case, I'm upset. I was SO looking forward to seeing him soon. Now, there' s no telling when he'll get here.


Riding the Stang

A punishment among the vulgar; inflicted upon fornicators, adulterers, severe husbands, [etc.] ... Offenders ... are mounted astraddle a long pole, or stang, supported upon the shoulders of their companions.
- John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

Stang, a strong piece of wood on which the carcasses of beasts are suspended by the sinews of the hind legs.
- William Carr's Dialect of Craven, 1828

I wonder if I can do that to an entire embassy...


Gossiping, idle talking; to jangle one's time away.
- Thomas Darlington's Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

To quarrel, argue angrily. Hence, janglesome, quarrelsome, noisy, boisterous. Northern England, Scotland.
- Joseph Wrigth's English Dialect Dictionary, 189-1905

I might just jangle with the Canadian Embassy in Seoul...


And I'm done. I should start writing for today's NaNoWriMo target, I suppose.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: The Power of Myth

The Power of MythThe Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actually 4.5 stars, but it seems half-stars are not available here. In any case:

Everyone should read this book.


I'm at a loss for words to adequately describe this book.

And I write. Can you tell?

Presented in the format of a transcribed conversation, this book is a must read for anyone who is struggling with the inadequacies of secularism, the failures of religion, the short-comings of modern life, the mystery of marriage. This book is for people who are stuck in a rut, lost, misguided, feeling apathetic and empty.

One of the most respected modern academics, Mr. Campbell explains myth in the scope of experience. Myths are more than just stories. They are alive, and powerful, and just as relevant now as when they were first uttered - should we chose to see it.

I highly recommend this book. It is not fiction, but it is fascinating nonetheless.

I should like to have taken tea with Joseph Campbell.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo and Stuff

Well, my start on NaNoWriMo turned out better than I expected, and about as well as I hoped. I managed 3 065 words yesterday, all before lunch. I'm hoping for much the same today.

It's a very depressing opening to a book, and so I ended up feeling sad after lunch. Then I watched some very funny comedy shows from Britain, and felt much better.

In other, much more interesting news, author friend Gerard de Marigny has released the next instalment of his Cris De Niro series. You can check it out here. I highly recommend you check it out. If you remember, I read and reviewed the first instalment and, if you remember, I enjoyed it.

So check it out, already!

Right, I should pack up and go write. Have a great Wednesday all!

Knight of the Grammar

A schoolmaster.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Knight of the pen, a clerk or author.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Oooooh! I'm changing my official title to Knight of the Pen!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Number of Firsts

Today, at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, is the first of November. It marks a number of firsts, really.

The main first is that I will, for the first time ever, be participating in NaNoWriMo. I've decided to make the final book in The Great Man series (inventively titled The Great Man) the project for this month's writing challenge.

50 000 words is the goal. That will be the halfway mark for the story.

I've figured out the word count that I need to do in order to get the minimum 50 000 words required. 3 000 words a day. No Fridays off. I should be able to do it, assuming I can get into the writing mode. I've been away from it for so long, it might take me a while to get back into the groove.

I hope not! I don't have the time to spare!

Right, I should get on with it, I suppose. Wish me luck!

Rack Rides

A phrased used when the clouds are driven rapidly by the wind.
- F.T. Dinsdale's Provincial Words Used in Teasdale, Durham, 1849.

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Hallowe'en is by far my most favourite time of year. It's generally cold, clear and the number of celebrants keeps me smiling all day long. Also, the fact that it's a survival from an Iron Age tradition makes me supremely happy. Yes, I am a nerd.

No one in my office is in costume, but that's alright. I'll live.

I'm now back at work after a much needed, if not well deserved, holiday. My flatmate and I decided, very last minute, on Monday to go on a road-trip to Halifax and back. It was spur of the moment, completely unplanned and very, very fun.

I highly recommend that if going to Halifax, you do all the touristy things. Especially the Halifax Citadel. That is a very fun place.

There is much work to be done today. I have to register for NaNoWriMo and prepare myself for that. I must catch up on all the blogs I missed while away. That should take me most of the day, I should think.

Best of all, I get to announce the winners of the give-away! A massive congratulations to:

Crystal Phillips of W.A. and Tracey Johnson of O.K., both from the U.S.A.

I'll be sending the books before this week is out. Hopefully you'll both get them soon. Hopefully you'll like the book.

Right, there is much to do today, so I'll leave it here. Wishing you all a very happy Hallowe'en!


An interpreter of dreams.
- Stephen Jones' Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary, 1818.

Oneirocritical, belonging to the interpretation of dreams.
- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775.

Oneirocriticism, the are of interpreting dreams. Oneirocracy, oneirocriticism. Oneirologist, one versed in oneirology. Oneiromancer, oneiromantist, oneiropolist, one who divines by dreams. Oneiropompist, a sender of dreams.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


A species of melancholy characterised by a dislike to society.

- Robert Hooper's Compendious Medical Dictionary, 1839.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Uh... I Think I'm in Halifx

I'm not entirely sure; not because I woke up in a strange place missing a few organs, but because we didn't really plan this trip to the letter and while I'm pretty sure that, at the time of writing this entry (still Monday evening, people), I'd be in Halifax when you are reading it.

Make sense?

I'll relate to you all the details when I get back. Which will be... uh... Saturday? No, wait... Friday, I think. Which is today?

Great, now I'm confused.

So, if today is Friday, even though it's Monday, that means I'm technically en route from Halifax.

I think.


Intoxicated, giddy, frolicsome.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thank-You For Calling

S.M. Carrière is currently away from her blog. Please leave your message at the end of the post, and she'll return it as soon as possible.

Thank-you and have a wonderful day.


A bad system of spelling, such as that of current English.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Still in Halifax

And probably having a good time. I say probably because at the time of writing this entry, I don't know yet. It's very unlikely I'd be having anything but a good time. Still, I don't know for certain, because I'm actually writing this Monday evening.

Technology has it's uses, I suppose...

We were planning to do a video of our trip, so it'll likely be up some time after we return from the East Coast.

In the meantime, here's some Forgotten English to whittle the time away.


One who procreates; a sire; a father.
- Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

A testicle; the testicles; in later use for genitals. Adapted from Old French genitoir. In adjective use as members genitors [late 1400s].
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two For One

Good Morning!

I am currently en route to Halifx, Nova Scotia this morning. It's a very impromptu road-trip with my flatmate. We decided to do this, well, last night. It is apparently, my extremely early birthday gift.

Which is good, though I'm a little nervous about sitting in a car for that long. You see, Sunday afternoon-ish, as my friend K.R. and I were heading to a Jeff Dunham show in Kanata, we were rear-ended. Hard.

I'm in great shape, all things considered, and I'd like to put that down to training. No, my (unimpressive) kung fu skills did not save me. However, I'm pretty sure the strength of my body due to training did. I came out of it with nothing more than a slight headache and a sore neck.

I thought I wasn't going to be able to move Monday, but as it turns out, I just had a slightly stiff back. My neck is fine. All in all, I'll be OK.

Incidentally, we still made it out to the show, and it was awesome. What a way to start my week off, no?

As I reviewed a book yesterday, you missed out on your daily dose of Forgotten English. Luckily, I took note of them all before I left the office on holidays, and so have two for you here today.

I thought ahead.

Something's wrong.


An officer appointed ... to look to the assize and goodness of bread, ale, and beer.
- John Kersey's New English Dictionary, 1772

The aleconners are authorised to search for, destroy seize, and take away all unwholesome provisions, false balances, short weights and measures ... and examine the quality of beer, ale, &c. and the materials of which it is made.
- William Robinson's History and Antiquities of Tottenham High Cross, 1818.


A joke, a jeer, a scoff. On some of the notes of this word it has been supposed to be connected with the card game gleek; but it was not recollected that the Saxon language supplied the term glig, ludibrium, and doubtless a corresponding verb. Thus glee signifies mirth and jocularity; and gleeman or gligman a minstrel or joculator. Gleek was therefore used to express a stronger sort of joke, a scoffing. It does not appear that the phrase to give the gleek was ever introduced in the above game, which was borrowed by us from the French and derived from an original of very different import from the word in question... to give the minstrel is no more than a punning phrase for giving the gleek. Minstrels and jesters were anciently called gleekmen or gligmen.
- Rev. Alexander Dyce's Glossary to the Works of Shakespeare, 1902

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson

Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have just one word to describe this book:


Alright, I'm done.

In all seriousness, this is another case of my putting aside a book for lack of time, only to pick it up again months later and thenceforth being completely unable to put it down.

Mr. Erikson, I am envious of the way you weave words and worlds. I adore the language, the lucid flow of beautiful words that paint incredible visages before my mind's eye. I am enamoured by your characters - that they are so strong, and weak, and whole, and flawed, and beautiful, and hideous. That they engage in terrible acts for beautiful reasons.

You, sir, are a master of the genre.

Enough of my love-letter.

There is so much I loved about this book - the language, the characters, the humour, the heartbreak. I especially enjoyed the humorous play between Tehol and his man-servant, Bugg. I loved the way each character, no matter which side of the conflict they were on, were intrinsically human, caught in internal struggles between what is right, what is wrong, and the often impossible choices they faced. I found it easy to relate to.

I actually felt a twinge of regret when I shut it, having finished the narrative.

I feel like I'm gushing a bit, and I probably am. That's only because there is something about this book, and this series - something I'm yet to fathom fully - that pulls me in wholly and completely. This is what good writing should do.

I sit at my computer in awe, and cannot wait to start on the next book in the series... after I finish reading the books I have on loan from friends.

Mr. Erikson, you've done it again.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Faint, sickly, ailing. A dog is said to be cothy when he is meek and delicate.
- Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Coathy, surly; easily provoked; Norfolk. In Hampshire, rotten, applied to sheep.
- Francis Grose's Glossary of Provincial and Local Words, 1811