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

- Graycie Harmon

Monday, January 31, 2011


Good morning!

I had a lovely weekend, but I have no time to tell you about it. I have something that needs to be handed in today - a day late.

I'm an idiot! I hate it when I don't get things in on time... other people are counting on it! I'm so mad at myself.

I'll tell you about the weekend tomorrow. 'Till then, here's today's Forgotten English word/phrase:

Inkhorn Terms:

Pedantic expressions which "smell of the lamp."
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

Can anyone tell me what "smell of the lamp" might mean?

Must dash. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


In hiding; desiring to be left alone; "lying doggo."
- Harold Wenworth's Dictionary of American Slang, 1960.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: The Watchmen of Ephraim

The Watchman of EphraimThe Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before I start this review, it's important to note, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I know and am friends with the author. Despite this fact, I promise you none of the claims made herein are in any way exaggerated.

This was a great read.

To be sure, there were some things that I didn't like so much. Mr. de Marigny makes no apologies for either his faith or his political orientation - and nor should he! However, as an extremely liberal cynical agnostic myself, some views expressed by the heroes of the story were a little discordant with my own.

If you are also an extremely liberal cynical agnostic, I can promise you, once you get passed those initial things, this story is absolutely great.

Being a friend with Mr. de Marigny, I also am friends with people we are mutually acquainted with. It was a wonderful inclusion to see some of the characters who share names with these people (especially the character of David Nicholls). This heightened my enjoyment of the book substantially. I'm still grinning over it. Though you might not know the real David Nicholls, guaranteed his portrayal in the book will make you smile as well. The bottle of scotch - a lovely touch, Gerard!

Onto the story itself. If you're concerned about picking up a book that is labelled "Christian Fiction," don't let that keep you from this title. The fact that the main character happens to be a devout Christian isn't really the main thrust of this narrative. It is simply a feature of the character, and informs his decisions just as any other personality trait would.

This isn't "Angels save the world" in the literal 'and the heavens opened and the Lords of Shouting declared war upon the enemies of God' sense. This is a political thriller, through and through.

That said, it's a pretty typical example of its genre. The plot is fairly predictable, and if you don't guess the mole the moment you meet him, then there is something wrong with your synapses.

There was one line which made me giggle when I'm sure it wasn't supposed to. It was something out an old Bond movie. "So, Mr. Bond, you have discovered my fiendishly clever disguise."

The word 'infidel' is used quite a bit as well. Some overly P.C. people might find it slightly Islamophobic. However, religious extremists exist in the world and there are Muslim extremists. It's a fact. It exists, so I can't cry foul over it at all. Besides, they are the enemy of the day. Just to level it out, the old foes - the Russians - make an appearance.

For all this, I found myself attached to the characters. De Niro's struggles over his deceased wife are very touching, as is his fierce protectiveness over his two sons. Also, I did tear up a bit when one of the characters died.

The writing is very solid. I've read much worse from trade published authors.

If you like political thrillers, you will like this book. I recommend it.

View all my reviews

And today's Forgotten English word/phrase is:

Wolf's Head:

An outlaw, meaning a person who might be killed with impugnity, like a wolf.
- Thomas Tayler's Law Glossary, 1856

Originally found in the phrase "to cry wolf's head."
- Sir Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Yesterday, my online friend Gerard de Marigny released his début book The Watchmen of Ephraim. It's a political thriller.

Not really my genre, actually, but I'm determined to read outside my genre more often. There's some stuff in other genres I could really use in mine. You should have my review of the book quite soon. I'm not giving anything away before hand.

If this book peaks your interest, you can buy the eBook version here. If you use a Kindle, go here instead. The paperback will be coming out March of this year, so keep an eye out for that as well.

I didn't write anything yesterday specifically because I downloaded the book at the first opportunity.

Today I'll spend reading as well.

Forgive me word count.

Today is T.H.'s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, T.H.! You should know that you make my heart smile.

Must dash, but before I go, today's Forgotten English word of the day is:

Apparently a blend of expunge and impugn.
- Louise Pound's "Second Word List from Nebraska," c. 1916

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Australia!

Today is Australia Day, and I'd like to wish the country I spent the majority of my childhood in a very happy birthday.

With luck, the Australian Government was forward-thinking enough to forgo the Australia Day fireworks and instead use that money towards the disaster relief. After all, a government's job is the welfare of its people.

You can still help. Above this post and directly beneath the blog title is a link to where you can donate funds to the relief effort.

Today is also the Feast Day of St. Timothy. He is the patron of those with... uh... intestinal disorders. Lucky fellow.

Writing yesterday went well. I managed to make my quota with enough time left over to goof off and watch Qi. I really wish they broadcast that show here in Canada. It's brilliantly funny and really quite interesting. Also, I just adore Stephen Fry (the quiz-master, for those not in the know. He is also an actor and an author, and considered the most polite man in Britain).

I really should work on my short story entry. I'll see how that goes today.

Onto today's Forgotten English word/phrase:

Illiack Passion:

Wind in the small guts.
- Elish Coles' English Dictionary, 1713

A kind of nervous colick [sic], whose seat is the ileum, whereby the gut is twisted.
- John Walker's Dictionary of the English Language, 1835

A dangerous disease consisting in the expulsion of feculent matter by the mouth, accompanied with a swelling of the lower ventricle, an intense pain, and a total constipation.
- Thomas Dyche's New General English Dictionary, 1740

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reverse Procrastination?

So, though I told everyone that I would be setting aside my novel until my short story was ready for submission to competition, I ended up writing an easy 3 000 words yesterday afternoon. It was wholly unexpected and I'm not sure whether to be proud of myself for reaching the 80 000 word mark, or mad at myself for not actually working on my short story.

I have decided that proud would probably serve me better.

Due to my record of doing the opposite of what I say I'm going to do, today I shall do nothing.

This weekend I watched the men's figure skating on the CBC. Shawn Sawyer skated a fantastic routine, only to be ousted at the last by Patrick Chan, whose routine was virtually flawless. It was a spectacular show.

Patrick Chan, whose grounded and intelligent interviews during the recent Vancouver Winter Olympics made me a fan, truly deserved his 4th Canadian National title. You can see his skate for yourself here. Watch it. It's truly inspired.

Congrats Mr. Chan.

Today is, of course, Robbie Burns Day. I wish I could have a scotch and some haggis in honour of the poet, but I have training tonight, so will be missing out on the celebrations. I think that I might buy a haggis for later on in the week when I'm actually home to enjoy it.

Born this day in 1759, Mr. Burns is most probably famous for writing the lyrics for Auld Lang Syne. This is, unfortunately, not true. According to Mr. Burns himself, the tune was an old folk song. He simply recorded it. All the same, he was a brilliant poet and rightly celebrated.

Happy Robbie Burns Day, everyone!

Have a scotch for me, will you?

The brazen Scottish often out-shout their quieter cousins, the Welsh. Today is the feast day of St. Dwynwen - the female Welsh saint of lovers. That's right, today is officially the Welsh version of Valentine's Day. Not only is Dwynwen pleasing to say, it offers a refreshingly commercialisation-free day to celebrate the love between couples. Sick of busting your butt for social expectation on Valentine's Day (which is my very least favourite day of the year. Ever.)? Take your loved one out (or in) for a romantic dinner this evening.

Just be prepared for random outbursts of Auld Lang Syne.

Onto today's Forgotten English word/phrase of the day:


The miniature reflection of himself which a person sees in the pupil of another's eye on looking closely into it. Our old poets make it an employment of lovers to look for them in each other's eyes.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Love in expression of the eyes - the little babe Cupid, and hence the conceit, originating from the reflection of the onlooker in the pupil of another's eyes.
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

Bird of the eye, the little refracted image on the retina. In many languages there [is an] endearing term of this kind. The Greeks call it the girl or virgin; and our ancestors talked of the 'baby in the eyes'
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, or This Post is Late

Of course this post is late. It's Monday, the computer is running all sorts of scans, it's bitterly cold outside (but at least there's sun!).... I'd be pretty unhappy too, if I was a computer.

The weekend was quite lovely. Again, due to family obligations on the part of our coach, there was no Lion Dance training on Saturday. Thus, I scored another sleep in. This is becoming a bad habit. I'll not be able to get up when there is Lion Dance training!

The afternoon saw me teaching Kung Fu, again. I acquired a new student but lost two old ones. You can't see me right now, but I'm making a sad face.

That evening was the birthday celebration of my dear friend, T.H. It was crazy fun - a return to the birthday parties we had as children, complete with loot bags. The loot bags created a silly amount of fun. Not only were there lollies inside, but also a paddle ball, a bottle of bubble solution, and glow sticks. After trying, and failing miserably, to master the paddle ball, the lights went out and a miniature rave (minus the drugs) took place.

Then we discovered the Xbox Kinnect. Now that was crazy fun! My favourite has to be the obstacle course. It was more of a work-out than the Wii (largely because you could, and had to, jump)!

Writing-wise, I have set aside my novel for now to work on a short story for a contest my dear friend A.H. brought to my attention. I wrote the short story in a matter of hours on Friday. It's all written, I just have to go back and edit and possibly rewrite. That is my task. Deadline for submission is February 4th. I should have it in long before then.

I had best get editing.

Before I leave, however, I haven't forgotten today's Forgotten English word:

A bleak, cold place. A place where the frost wind finds easy admittance. Also a person with a saucy air - as much thinking that he does not care a damn for the world . . . He passes the poor with a sneer, and capsizes the infirm with a laugh - his bosom is a bleak place, a bensle - cold unfeeling blasts whistle round his frozen heart.
- John Mectaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

So, Ottawa would be a bensle today...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


To be slightly intoxicated, to be the worse for liquor; to be unsteady; usually in past participle (nizzled). Nizzle-toppin, an actively-inclined by weak-minded person; mid-Yorkshire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Neezled, little drunk or intoxicated.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of North of England Words, 1873

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Really Can't Think of a Clever Title for This Post

There is so little news, it's almost depressing.

My long time streak of being able to write 3 000 words in a day was broken last week when, some days, I barely even made 1 000. It has picked up over the last two days, but it has taken all day when it used to only take a few hours.

I shouldn't grumble too much, I suppose. At least I'm writing, right?

In any case, Hunter is going along alright. I'm almost finished. Only about 30 000 words left to write. That's actually not as much as it might seem.

I'm not sure that I'll do any writing today, though. I'm thinking I might give myself the day off and daydream instead.

We'll see.

Right, onto today's Forgotten English entry.

Beats the Dutch:
Something extraordinary. "That beats the Dutch and the Dutch beats the Devil" is the superlative.
- James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Calmer Now

Feeling much better about the world after my rant yesterday. Hanging out with good folk like my Kung Fu brothers and sisters does that!

So does punching stuff for an hour.

I love training.

In other, writing-related news, I'd finally managed to make the 3 000 word mark yesterday. I don't know how far behind I am now, but it doesn't matter all that much, since I'm writing primarily for myself.

Also, the very terribly sad ending for Puppet Master (Book 5) came to me yesterday. The scene is already written, but it appears in Book 6. The idea hit very suddenly, and dug up a whole swath of past hurts. I actually teared-up.

I shall leave it hanging there for you, though I'm sure the cleverest of you will figure out which scene it is exactly.

Before I leave, however, there's today's Forgotten English word/phrase of the day:

Sport Ivory:
If [someone smiled, he sported ivory.
- Morris Marples' University Slang, 1950

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Humanity Lost - A Rant

What happened to goodness? What happened to compassion? What happened to understanding?

What the hell happened to respect?

Yesterday a report came through of a female police officer who was surprised-attacked by a knife-wielding sociopath as she exited a shop investigating an unrelated robbery. She was rescued by a civilian who saw her on the ground with this maniac attacking her.

Instead of sucking in their breath at the wounds the officer sustained (mostly on her hands. The wounds she sustained on her neck were superficial), people I know mocked her. They spoke of her incompetence, and how terrible her training must have been if she (a decorated officer) let this man (over 50 years old) best her. They laughed at how she went into shock following the attack. They rolled their eyes at how a cop had to be rescued by a civilian (never mind that the attacker was probably so focussed on trying to get at the cop that the civilian took him by surprise also).

I am so disappointed in humanity right now.

I was accused of turning their mockery into a "pissing contest" when I challenged them on how they would cope if some maniac with a knife jumped them unexpectedly. After all, they are trained Martial Artists.

My point is this, to utter such asinine opinions based solely on details provided in tabloid-style, poorly reported journalism; to mock someone who is in considerable pain, who was fighting for her life, whether a trained and decorated cop or no, is beyond contemptible.

Yes, cops ought to be held to a higher standard then every day folk. Every day folk aren't trained to deal with situations as members of the police force are.

However, let me remind you that cops are still people, people. Some of them let the power they wield get to their heads and become raging sociapaths themselves. Others are compassionate, intelligent and incredibly helpful people. No matter their disposition, they feel pain. They bleed. They have bad days. They get caught off guard occasionally.

That is not something to be mocked.

How they hell would the mockers know how it went down that day? How dare they accuse a decorated police woman of incompetence for one mistake, for having a bad day, for getting caught off guard. For all we know, she did everything right, it just didn't work out that particular time. Puncher's chance.

More to the point, no matter what training you've received, training is not real life. The gym is not the street. Kick-boxing in an octagon is not a street fight. A controlled training situation is not being jumped as you leave a shop.

Even more to the point, until you've been in that situation yourself, you have no right to judge how the victim handled themselves. Chances are, you'd be sitting on the curb in a puddle of your own blood, weeping for the shock yourselves if you went through what that cop went through.

Thank-you to the man who rescued her.

The rest of you can go jump.

Where have all the good men gone?

Word of the Day

Oops! I ranted today, and forgot all about the Forgotten English word of the day. Again, it's just one of those days where the word is surprisingly apropos:

A cutthroat or murderer
- William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor DadRich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's a good thing one of the authors admitted in this book that they weren't a good writer, because I'm about to tear into this book.

I get that it's a self-help kind of book, but still, there is something to be said for avoiding things like egregious repetition. Each paragraph (almost) repeats exactly what the previous paragraph has said, sometimes using the exact same damned words. This had me so annoyed, I was ready to take a match to the book.

And I abhor the idea of burning books.

Moreover, many of the anecdotes were tiresome and unrealistic (which is weird, because they all, likely, actually happened). I half expected Yoda to jump off the page and say, "Learn this and rich you will become, young investor." I might be a bit harsh here, but it really, really annoyed me.

Also, I'm not much of a capitalist. I mean, I have no issue with capitalism, provided that it is handled in a sensible, mutually beneficial manner.

In short, I think I'm too much of a socialist for this book. I tend to avoid investing in corporations, not only because I don't have the funds spare to do it with, but because there are very, very few corporations I can, in good conscience, invest in.

I refuse on principle to invest in a company that is involved in serious environmental "indiscretions" or corporations that take advantage of workers in developing countries (yes, I do shop at fair trade stores), or even developed countries. I'd rather give my money to Greenpeace, thank-you.

Why is this the case? Because I don't see a point in making a tonne of money for either myself or my children if my children will not have a healthy, safe planet on which to live.

That rules out almost every company currently on the stock market.... though, thankfully, that is changing.

Furthermore, my problem is that I don't want to be filthy rich. I want to be financially independent, but having porches and boats and a house that is far too large to clean is not on my priorities list. Perhaps that is strange, but I don't find so. I'm not that into being rich. I'm not particularly fussed as to whether I have a 5000 inch flat-screen television, or a yacht or other material signals of wealth.

I also don't mind paying taxes. I see taxes as an investment in my community's infrastructure. I like the idea that my children will have access to free health care. I like the idea that tuition fees will be manageable (though they are slowly creeping in the obscene - and already are obscene in the U.S.A.). I like rubbish disposal and smooth roads and parks and a fire brigade that is not a privately owned one (they used to be owned by insurance companies. I'll let you figure out why that's a terrible idea). I don't mind investing in my community. After all, my community is, more or less, my tribe.

For these reasons, I suppose, this book really wasn't for me.

That's not to say that it won't be for you.

As far as the content of the book, there were some things that made sense, and other things that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. No doubt the authors of this book would classify me as "arrogant" or a "Chicken Little" or "ignorant." Granted, when it comes to money matters, I am a safe player.

However, advice like 'pay yourself first and let the government scream' is, to my mind, not sound advice. Ever.

Also, the authors state that there is a phenomenal debt problem amongst the middle class. I'm not disagreeing with this at all. Then they go on to say that the majority of workers are living within their means (p. 136).


No they're not! If they were, there wouldn't be a debt crisis.

I might have missed the point the authors' were trying to make, but it seemed really odd to me.

There were other details that I found irritating, but I won't go into them here.

Thank goodness the authors' didn't claim formal education was useless, or I'd really be having a conniption!

Despite my objections, the book did have some very informative and interesting things which would help anyone. Their ideas on real estate, for example, and their definition of an asset vs. a liability were extremely instructive. Moreover, they provide some practical starting off points for people who might not be willing to risk bankruptcy in order to get rich.

Now, if you're looking to get rich and have no social conscience or any other goal, this is probably the book for you. Even for people like me, there are some good points to take in and put into action. Like, for example, don't spend more money than you have. Wait until you have the funds to afford the luxuries, don't buy the luxuries to make it look like you have the funds. You know, things that ought to be common sense, but apparently aren't.

All in all, the book was "alright."

It's not really my thing, but it might be yours. That said, it did get me thinking, and it does have some very valid points. Worth a read.

View all my reviews

And here's today's Forgotten English word/phrase:
The devil.
- Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Shennanigans

I had a lovely weekend. How was yours?

Saturday Lion Dance practice had been cancelled as several members were unable to attend. That was both a good thing and a bad one. The good thing - I got to sleep in. The bad thing - no Lion Dance.

In the afternoon, I taught Kung Fu as usual.

Sunday was an entire day spent with my Dad. We had an early Yum Cha brunch in Chinatown, then headed down town to watch some movies. We ended up seeing two movies because we had the time and nothing better to do.

The first was The Green Hornet. It was a mountain of fun. There were some things I'm sure that were designed to mock traditional super hero movies, like the use of what I like to call "the Batman voice." Everyone who knows me will know what I mean by that. If you don't know me, well, it's the gravelly, slightly lower than normal voice always used by Batman when he's being Batman. I find it a little irritating, actually. In The Green Hornet, however, it was used to comedic effect and I was highly amused by it.

Jay Chou was actually very good in his role as Kato. I had liked him as an actor since Curse of the Golden Flower, but friends of mine were sceptical. He did very well. Also, he rides a motorbike. I'll leave it there.

Seth Rogan was also very good. He managed to walk the very fine line between pathos and comedy well.

If you don't take this movie seriously and you're expecting some plain old-fashioned fun then you'll love The Green Hornet. If you're expecting a serious treatment, don't go.

The second flick we saw was Season of the Witch. I haven't read the book, and I'm certain the film doesn't compare. However, it's still a good watch. There are some things which will annoy some viewers. For example, American Accents. We are so used to watching historical movies in which actors use British accents (even if it's set in France - and that bugs me!), that any other accent seems odd to us.

Also, the CG was not terrific in places. I should note that the wolves changing was a bit ridiculous. Real wolves are by far more frightening than fake ones.

However, as far as acting goes, I have no complaints.

The plot was good, but could have had a better treatment.

All in all, a pretty good flick, actually.

Now that I've thoroughly bored you with my opinions on movies, here is something much more interesting. Today's Forgotten English word/phrase:

Death Hunter:
An undertaker, one who furnishes the necessary articles for funerals. Carrion hunter, an undertaker, called also a cold cook.
- Francis Grose's Classical dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796
One who furnishes a newspaper with reports of deaths; a vendor of dying speeches or confessions.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Play Dikkop

To try to deceive, as plovers do by feigning a broken wing when one approaches their eggs or young. A term of reproach meaning numbskull. From Dutch dik, thick, and kop, head.
- Charles Pettman's Africanderisms: A Glossary of South African Colloquial Words and Phrases, 1913

Jeffrey Kacirk. Forgotten English: A 365-Day Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore for 2011. Pomegranate Communications Inc.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Identity Crisis

Yesterday my friends and I were shocked by the news that our star signs had all changed. I went from being a Scorpio, to being a Libra in one night.

I was actually affronted.

A Libra? There's no way I'm a Libra! Not that there's anything wrong with being a Libra, mind you (my sister is a Libra and she's perfectly lovely, thank-you). It's just that, well, I wasn't one. I was a Scorpio.

Then I read THIS article.

I was seriously relieved. Western zodiac signs are fixed? Based on seasons rather than constellations? I'm still a Scorpio?

*Sigh of relief*

I didn't realise how much I had tied my identity to being a Scorpio. The fact that being a Libra was something of an identity crisis shone a light on a very important point:

I'm a twit. That's right. A right bloody pregnant goldfish.

I don't actually believe in the zodiac (especially as far as predicting what will happen to you on any given day). When I read my horoscope in the morning, it's generally to mock it. Yet, I felt I was so much a Scorpio personality, that panic set in when my Scorpio-ishness was almost taken away from me.

Yep, a twit.

Given my realisation, today's Forgotten English word is most appropriate!

Asinine quality, stupidity.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1988
- John Florio's Queen Anna's New World of Words, 1611

I'm quite sure why this is in the list of forgotten English words. I'm certain I've heard it used in conversation...

Regarding the relief appeal for Queensland, if you are a writer and have a piece of fun flash fiction, or if you are a reader who likes to read very short stories, or if you are a blogger, please read THIS.

Writing-wise, I'm giving myself the day off. I need to recharge a bit. So, I'm going to listen to music and read some today. Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Can Help

Hi everyone.

Those of you who read my last post know that I'm particularly affected by the floods in S.E. Queensland. Many of my family and friends live in the disaster zone.

Last night, the C.B.C (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) posted up a link where individuals can donate to the flood relief efforts:

My flatmate (thanks so much J.M.-B.) took it down for me and brought it to my attention. I was either at training or in bed when the link was posted up. If you feel compelled to help, click the link and donate.

You all rock!

Writing went well yesterday. I made 3 000 words (yay), and walking to work today many ideas popped into my head. I should make a start on my 3 000 words today.

Oh, before I forget, today's Forgotten English word of the day:

Extracts; 'padding': as distinguished from original work.
- John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1903

Did you understand that definition? I didn't. I imagine it was what today's 'cut-and-paste' is.

Right, that's all for now. Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Under Water

Top image courtesy of Yahoo 7, bottom image from

I used to live in Brisbane city. It is so strange to see pictures of 'home' at the moment. The C.B.D. (Central Business District - down town to most people) is under water. They're expecting worse to come.

Yesterday, Toowoomba, a town in Queensland, was hit by a flash flood so severe that it has been described as an inland tsunami.

Two-Thirds of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. The current death toll is 20, and there are 67 missing people.

The majority of my Australian friends are in the disaster zone. My brother is in Brisbane. Last I heard, he is safe and dry, though flooded in.

My thoughts are with them at the moment. I hope they're all safe and sound.

Here in Canada, I feel so far away and, frankly, useless. So, I'll just continue with my writing and watch the news.

Today's Forgotten English word of the day ought to cheer up some after my particularly morose post today.

A name given to barnacles, from their supposed metamorphosis [into geese].
- Robert Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859

I watch Qi (an informative and hilarious quiz show on the BBC) as often as I can get away with, and this actually did come up. People thought barnacles were the eggs of migrating geese. Thank heavens for science. Who knows what rubbish we'd still be believing!

Right, must leave you now to write. Have a great a Wednesday, everyone.

Stay safe, QLD.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Lovely Morning

Isn't it wonderful when you come into work to discover a gift on your desk?

My sister G.C. and her husband D.H. sent off Christmas presents a little late this year, and to my father's address (where I would be staying for a few days). It didn't arrive in time for Christmas, but I expect it arrived only a few days later. The reason I'm only getting it now is because my father has been away from the office (yes, we both work at the same office), working another job for a couple of weeks.

It was a book - Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. That should be an interesting read!

Thanks G.C. and D.H.! I love you!

In writing news, yesterday was a dismal day for writing. I only just made 1 000 words, and hang my head in shame. I have to write 5 000 words today to catch up. Not sure if I can. We'll just have to see.

In other news, my first day of training after three weeks off happened last night. 3 hours of intense physical exercise. Alright, fine. I took several breaks (and one fairly long one), so it probably accumulated to only about two and half or something.

I am so sore! My arms ache. My thighs are incapable of brining me down a set of stairs without assistance, and my back is a little tight. It's a good sore, if there is such a thing. I should say, it's a satisfying sore.

It felt really, really good to be training again. Really good. It's funny how much I miss it without realising I missed it.

Alright, that's enough adoration for training. I shall leave off here and go write. Before I do that, however, here's the Forgotten English word of the day (which is a phrase today):

Gone to Texas:
An American expression for one who has decamped, leaving debts behind. It was, and is, no unusual thing for a man to display this notice - perhaps only the initials "G.T.T." on his door for the callers after he has absconded.
- Trench Johnson's Phrases and Names: Their Origins and Meanings, 1906

Monday, January 10, 2011

Forgot Forgotten English

I completely forgot to schedule the weekend's Forgotten English word post. So, I shall start today's post with the post that was supposed to occur on the weekend.

Innholder: A man who keeps an inn or tavern.
- Hezekiah Burnhans' Nomenclature and Expositor of the English Language, 1833

We would say 'innkeeper' now... although, I don't think that I've ever heard that used in conversation except from my own mouth.


The weekend was wonderful. I returned from the break to begin teaching again on Saturday. Sunday was wonderful, with my good friend T.H. coming over for a visit. Later we all went out to see Burlesque at the Rainbow Cinema. The film was extremely formulaic, but so long as you aren't expecting the world, it's good fun.

Tonight, I am starting training again. Thank goodness! I've been away from it for far too long, and I've put on some poundage over Christmas (too much good food and too much sugar!). Also, I'm quite keen to see my friends again.

It's kick boxing I look forward to the most. I don't particularly like sparring, but the training is not only excellent, but fun and a marvellous stress relief. I just don't like the fighting part.

This week, it's training for only two nights a week. Training at the other location doesn't commence until next week. This is a good thing, I'll wager, as it allows me a little bit of time to get used to the exercises again. I'm going to be complaining about sore muscles tomorrow. Just so as you are warned.

Writing continues on much as it ought. I should get started on that. Before I go, however, here's today's Forgotten English word of the day:

Post-fix: A letter appended to the end of another word; a suffix, an affix. To add a word, syllable, or letter at the end of another word.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Friday, January 7, 2011


I went with my good friend T.H. and J.M-B. to see Tempest at the Bytowne Cinema last night. Starring Helen Mirren and Djimon Hounsou, it proved to be a beautiful film.

That's really all I'll say on it.

Writing has been going well. I'm in need of stretching my fingers a bit, however, as they are achy, even this morning. Also, I spent some time yesterday restructuring the series and it now looks like there'll be six books:

Book 1 - The Third Prince
Book 2 - Lord of Horses
Book 3 - Hunter
Book 4 - Overlord
Book 5 - Puppet Master
Book 6 - The Great Man

Do you like the titles?

I had been working on book 3, which was until yesterday called Overlord. I am currently working on Hunter, which is now book 3. So, really, almost nothing has changed except that I now have three unfinished manuscripts instead of just two.

Ah well, no one said this would be easy!

Onto today's Forgotten English word of the day!

Toozle: To pull about, especially applied to any rough dalliance with a female.
- John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

Touzly, ruffled, shaggy. In the phrase, "to touzle one's top," to make one's hair stand on end.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting There, It Seems

It was a good day yesterday, writing wise at least. I managed my 3 000 words very well. Last night, while listening to some very creepy music by Nox Arcana, I had some great ideas for Book 5 in the series (Puppet Master). I'm going to write them down and store them away for thing tomorrow as it might be some months before I get to Puppet Master.

They were pretty awesome things to witness first hand. Not that this means anything to you at all, but I feel very sorry for Xavier at the moment.

Apparently yesterday, our not-so-small kitten decided to climb my not-so-stable bookshelf. The thing collapsed into a depressing heap, so I'm told. My poor flatmate put it all back together and all back up. I'm going to have to buy a new set of shelves. Luckily, no kittens were harmed in the collapse.

I have to get these ideas down before I forget them, so I'm going to give you the January 6th Forgotten English word of the day. It's also a phrase today, and it's one that makes me giggle.

Married all o'er: Said of women who after their marriage... become... miserable-looking.
- Georgina Jackson's Shropshire Word-Book, 1879

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I didn't have much to post about today until I got some wonderful news from a friend of mine. Anna L. Walls, who can be found here, and I met online via LinkedIn (I think it was LinkedIn). Since then, she's been a huge help and support for me.

I'd like to return the favour and offer Anna my most sincere congratulations on finding a publisher. She hasn't told the whole story yet, so I don't know who is the publisher or when the expected release date is, but I expect she will soon. I'll let you know as soon as I know.

I am so incredibly happy for her! Hopefully we'll be celebrating together soon, when I announce that I've found my publisher... hopefully.

I have been desensitised to rejection. Well, I don't get upset over individual rejections, but the pile of them does get to me some. I can't imagine how I might react if ever someone agreed to publish me. There would be champagne involved, I'm sure.

So, again:


Oh, and the Forgotten English word of the day isn't a word, but a phrase:

Bag of nails: American thieves' cant. Confusion; topsy-turveydom. From "bacchanals."
- John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Run! Hide! She's Back!

Good morning world, and Happy New Year. I am indeed back from an incredibly restful, if terribly lazy holiday. This break, I watched Glee for the first time, and am now an instant addict. It's such a fun show, but it manages to tackle tricky issues also. It's kind of like an old-school Degrassi Junior High, but with lots more music and fewer leg-warmers.

Writing-wise, I haven't done any. I hope that this break from writing has refreshed my struggling imagination. I think it will have. As I was walking into work today, the beginnings of a scene popped into my head.

I had best start on it if I want to make my 3 000 words today.

Oh, and before I forget, today's Forgotten English word of the day is:

Catchpule: The game of tennis. Evidently from Belgian kaatspel, as the ball used in tennis is called kaatsbal, and the chace or limits of the game kaats. Old French cace signifies chace, and cache incursion.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808.

Monday, January 3, 2011


An eyebrow. Adaption of Middle Low German winbrâ, corresponding to Old High German wintbrâwe and German wimper, eyelash; formed of wint wind, and brow; (1400s-1600s).
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

Blacke-hair'd, broad-ey'd, his hary win-browes meet.
- Thomas Heywood's Great Britaines Troy, 1609

*With a thousand thanks to Jeffrey Kacirk and Pomegranate Communications, Inc.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Forgotten English

J.M.-B., who knows me very, very well, gave me for my Christmas present a 2011 calendar by Jeffrey Kagirk. Every day has a word that is no longer in use in the English language, but once existed. It is defined and a relevant folk tradition (or sometimes not) that has also disappeared or is disappearing is explained.

I think my flatmate knows me too well.

Now, because I adore this gift so much, I'm going to share it with you. Each word will be part of my posts from now on. Of course, on the weekend, it will be the only part of my posts, since I generally don't post on the weekend.

Thus without further ado, the first forgotten word of 2011:

Scurryfunge: A hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbour and the time she knocks on the door.

I LOVE this calendar!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear Universe (Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011)

I have so much to be grateful for. You've really outdone yourself this time!

Thank-you for keeping me employed. It's very important to me that I continue to have a steady income. May 2011 see it continue.

Thank-you for giving me the time and space I need to continue to write. I know you know how important writing has become to me, and I SO appreciate being able to do it. May 2011 see me writing happily on!

Thank-you for all the opportunities you've thrown my way. While I know that I won't see the results of seizing the opportunities right away, I am still grateful for the chance to prove myself. May I have many more such opportunities in 2011.

Thank-you so, so much for my friends and my family. They have been my strength, my cheering squad, my courage all of last year. I don't think I would have gotten very far without them. Send them my love and bless them with every abundance you can throughout the coming year. Better, more deserving people cannot be found anywhere.

Thank-you for all my readers, even the silent ones, whose goodwill has kept me afloat even though I don't and can't know from where the goodwill came. Let them know I appreciate it all the same, and send some of the same their way. They deserve it.

Thank-you for everything you've done for me in 2010. It was the most fun I've ever had, even in the quite moments. May the fun continue and increase in 2011.

Thank-you for the promise of 2011, and all that I can achieve if I put my mind to it. Thank-you for hope and courage and determination. May they continue to serve me into 2011, and for the rest of my life.

Thank-you for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me, and all the blessings that are still to come.

May 2011 see everyone I know and love touched with grace and good fortune. I raise my glass to you all.

Happy New Year!