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

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Special Announcement

Hi everyone!

This is a huge shout out to these people here.

An enormous congratulations to you all for being short-listed for the Terry Pratchett Prize. While I'm most vehemently envious, I think you all ought to go out and celebrate in fabulous ways. I know I would!

Well done!

If you're too lazy to click the link, here are the names and the titles of the authors and their works:

1. Postponing Armageddon by Adele Abbott
2. The Platinum Ticket by Dave Beynon
3. Half Sick of Shadows by David Logan
4. Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan
5. Lun by Andrew Salomon
6. The Coven at Callington by Shereen Vedam

Now get back to work, you lot! Yeah... like I can talk...

Well, That Decides That

Hi all,

As most of you know, I entered the Terry Pratchett Prize with the first book of my two book series The Seraphimé Saga. The 6 (yes, only 6) shortlisted authors were to be announced today, having been informed of their making it by today. That italicised 'by' is important. It means if I haven't heard from them, I didn't make it. So, I suppose I didn't make it. I do have until the rest of today to hear from them, but let's be honest, my chances aren't that spectacular, are they?

I'll post a list of the shortlisted authors here as soon as I can find said list. I did a quick Google search, and couldn't find any mention of it. I guess they haven't been announced yet.

In the meantime, I'll be preparing my manuscript for submission to agents and publishing houses. I'm sad, but not devastated. Even if I'm never published, I'm still writing. I have a job that lets me write, do my martial arts (and other stuff), a roof over my head, food on my table and fabulous friends. I do mean fabulous.

On a completely unrelated note, I think I'm going insane. Somewhere down the hall, in the office across the way, someone keeps letting off a short blast of an air-horn. At least, every so often, I'm hearing the short blast of an air-horn. It's as intriguing as it is annoying.

While on the subject of noise, here's today's Forgotten English:


A drummer. A form corrupted from drumslager ... Dutch trommelslager.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914.

Right, I'm off to watch something funny to cheer myself up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Foot Fine, Hilarity Observed

Well finally the weather has improved a little. The Arctic blasts that have swept through Ottawa for the past week have died down. It was so lovely outside, I could get away with my short faux leather jacket and a scarf for protection. It's promising to be a very lovely day... and I'm stuck inside.

Le sigh.

In writing news, there isn't any. I'm taking the week off to rest my mind a little. It's also to let other story ideas percolate a little. I have a project in my head that's one of these "just 'cause I want to" kind of projects. If I go through with it, it will be made free. I don't want to spoil it, just in case I find I'm not allowed to do it, so I'm not telling you more than that. You'll just have to sit tight and ponder at what I might be referring to [insert evil laugh].

Since there is nothing else to say, here's today's Forgotten English:


Light rubbish wood; a perquisite to hedgers. Norfolk and Suffolk.
- Samuel Pegge's Supplemental Glossary, c. 1800

Refuse, esp. for burning; light refuse wood, cinders, etc. used for fuel.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

Shruffe, the undergrowth of the swamps; shruffey meadowe, shruffey upland. Dedham Records, 1659-1660.
- George Krapp's English Language in America, 1925.

Off to watch more BBC comedy panel shows. I just can't get enough! Enjoy this lovely warming Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Running out of Imaginative Titles for my Posts

That's bound to happen eventually, I suppose.

There isn't all that much by way of news. I wrote my first ever guest blog post yesterday. You can read it here:

That same blog has put up their lovely (squee!) review of The Dying God & Other Stories onto the blog (here), as well as in their notes on Facebook. It makes me so happy!

I wrote nothing at all yesterday. The editing took far longer than I intended it too. That said, I think that, with one more pass with a different Beta Reader, I'll be ready to submit The Third Prince once again. We'll see, though. I'm not all that concerned about missing a day of writing. I'll be catching up throughout the week ... I hope.

On a completely unrelated topic, I may have broken my left foot. Nice. It maybe might have happened three weeks ago, but I stubbornly refused to not go to training, and therefore aggravated the problem. Yesterday (ahem ... during training) it hurt so much I actually felt like crying. Oh well, to the clinic I go to get a requisition for an X-Ray. There'll be no training for me tonight. You can't see me, but I'm making a sad face.

Slightly related, but not really, I'm quite exciting for the weather to warm up a little. Equestrian Archery season starts soon. Which reminds me, I have to email C.K. Oh, and thanks to the venerable C.G. (you know who you are), I'm thinking of doing an article on the subject of Equestrian Archery and shopping that out to a few specialty magazines etc. We'll see. It'll have to wait until April in any case.

Mock the Week is extremely hilarious.

I think that about covers everything. So, without further ado, here is today's Forgotten English:


A weather prophet.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

By the colour or hue of the scaum [atmospheric haze] do weatherwiseacres guess about coming weather.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

[From] wiseacre, a wise or learned person; a sage.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

Now this is interesting. As soon as I read 'wiseacre' a guffawed a little. My grandmother and mother both often used this word to describe me ... very sarcastically (I should note, not me exclusively). In fact, I heard it only ever used sarcastically and so thought that it could only be used sarcastically. That's the only way I've ever used the word myself. Until now, I thought it was just a made-up word that meant 'smart-arse.' Hah! This makes me absurdly happy.

Righty-o, back to work for me. Have a great Tuesday all! Ta-ta for now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday, Can There be Such a Thing?


To change, transform.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Just to change things up a bit, I decided to put today's Forgotten English at the beginning of the post. If you're only reading for the Forgotten English, you can stop now.

Friday, as predicted, I didn't write. That's not a bad thing as I usually give myself Fridays off anyway. Instead, I chose to read through the Beta Reader comments for The Third Prince. They are actually quite encouraging. I will be finishing that before I write the next little bit of Overlord.

Overlord is actually getting pushed back twice, as I will also be writing a guest blog post for All Things Books (who gave me that lovely review of The Dying God & Other Stories). That, too, will take place before I get started on my daily three thousand. I don't feel bad about it at all. I am so far ahead of the game, that I only need to write two hundred words to get to today's target. Of course, now that I've said that, I'll start falling behind. Isn't that the way it usually works?

Oh, in case you were wondering, the sparring workshop on Saturday went very well. I was thoroughly owned, largely because I really don't like sparring and so don't really practice sparring. I was quite mad at myself for falling so far behind, and made a quick resolution to spar more. Now I've decided I probably won't. It's not like I intend to compete. Can you imagine! Me, in a kick boxing competition? Hah (read here: not bloody likely)!

Right, there's a lot to do today, so I must sign off. Have a terrific Monday (well, as terrific as Mondays can get, anyway).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Unusual Sunday Post - Poems

I wrote these on a napkin Friday night and am reproducing them here without alteration. They are variations on a theme.

I'm sitting here,
Talking to someone else,
But dreaming of you.

I'm drifting through,
Trying to find love,
And loving you.

Your actions said 'yes.'
Your silence said 'no.'
Still, I want only you.

I want to fly free.
Instead I'm left weeping,
Chained to you.

Give me freedom.
Disappear. Let me go.
Let me forget about you.

Dreaming of a perfect life,
Crying, hating you,
Because I love you.

I Love You. I Hate you.
I love you.
I hate you
Because I love you.
Let me go.
Let me forget.

One day you will regret
What you never had the balls
To get up and go get.

So let me go.
Let me forget.
I love you.
I hate you
Because I love you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


To rove or wander up and down.
- Edward Phillip's New World of Words, 1706

Scambler, a bold intruder upon one's generosity or table; Scottish.
- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.

To struggle with others for money, fruit, sweetmeats, etc. lying on the ground of thrown to a crowd; hence, to struggle in an indecorous and rapacious manner in order to obtain something.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1919.

Friday, March 25, 2011

An Award!

Good Morning!

I've won an award:

How this thing is supposed to work is I link back to the person/blog who/which awarded me the award ... hmmm this sentence needs fixing .... and then I nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. This is tough, because I don't know 15 other bloggers.

I therefore nominate:

Anna L. Walls, Gerard de Marigny, and the newly created blog by All Things Books (I'm really looking forward to the content of that one). The problem with this is, of course, they've all likely received this award at one time or another already. Well, except All Things Books.

These awards feel a little like chain letters, really...

The only other bit of news I have, other than that I am on track with my writing, is that there is a sparring workshop with my Kung Fu school tomorrow. I don't particularly like sparring. I don't like being in fights, even mock ones. I don't mind watching them, but I really don't like being in them. As one of the few "advanced" girls, however, I definitely have to be there to make sure the new girls are comfortable. There will be pizza afterwards. I'm looking forward to that.

Since that is the case, here is today's Forgotten English:


A young thief; [from] grinche, a thief ... Other varieties of the tribe of [thieving] malefactors go by the appellations of chevalier de la grippe, limousineur, voleur de bonjour, droguiste, &c. The English brethren [are] denominated: prig, cracksman, crossman, sneaksman, moucher, hooker, flash cove, bug-hunter, cross-cove, buz-faker, stook-hauler, toy-getter, prop-nailer, area-sneak, lob-sneak, lully prigger, thimble-twister, conveyancer, pudding-snammer, beak-hunter, ziff, buttock-and-file, poll-theif, little snakesman, mill-ben cove on the cross, flashman and, formerly a good fellow, a bridle-cull.
- Albert Barrère's Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant, 1889

Right, I will either goof off today, or write. I haven't decided which. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bruised Knuckles

Last night during training, my good friend K.C., whose Kung Fu is really very good, came up with some drills that required body pads ... no gloves. These drills were straight out of the forms we learnt and couldn't really be executed with boxing gloves on. I didn't have MMA gloves (those fingerless ones), and after getting K.C.'s fingers caught in my wraps, I removed them.

That meant hitting the body shield without any protection whatsoever. It felt AWESOME!

The side-effect is, of course, that I now have bruised knuckles on my right hand. The bruise is faint, and will probably vanish without becoming all that visible. I can see it, though. It amuses me.

But this is supposed to be a blog about my writing, which, incidentally has been going very well. I wrote another 4 000 yesterday. It means that I only have to write 1 000 today to be up to speed. That, however, might be something of a struggle for two reasons:

a) I exhausted my imagination yesterday, and I might need a little break to rest up and charge it again, and
b) I've hit a small depression. No, not the atmospheric type. Those who follow this blog know that every so often I get into a low or two for a little while. Sometimes these personal lows fuel my writing. Other times, they kill it dead. I have a feeling it's the latter this time around.

Of course, we'll have to see. I often say that I don't have it in me to write, and then end up writing a whole whack of stuff. Incidentally, a character I was fond of died yesterday, so that's what may be making me feel all sad.

Le sigh.

Well, you don't need to hear me complain about feeling down. So instead, I give you today's Forgotten English:


Haughty, proud, puffed up; fat and fleshy. In some parts, clownish.
- M. Courtney, Glossary of Words in Use in Cornwall, 1880

Fussy, proud, conceited.
- Sidney Addy's Glossary of Words Used in Sheffield, 1888

Churlish, rude, surly, morose.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893.

I use a variation of this - chuffed - meaning proud or pleased (with myself). For example, 'I got a good review and am now quite chuffed.' I got the expression from my maternal Grandmother, whose family (I think) were Cornish. Incidentally a chough (pronounced 'chuff')
is a bird similar to a crow that lives in the UK. Well, the red-billed chough does anyway. It has associations with a Welsh folk hero - Bendigeidfran (the blessed crow), who was, according to the folklore, a King. I wonder if the association between the crow/chough and the meaning of chuff have anything to do with one another.

Never mind me, just musing aloud.

Righty-o. I should probably open my story so I can stare blankly at the page in an effort to try and write. 1 000 words shouldn't be that hard, right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Post Needs a Title

I had a marvellous writing day yesterday. I wrote 4 000 words instead of my usual 3 000. That gives me a pleasant break today, as I only have to write 2 000 to stay on track. Yippee!

There isn't much else in terms of news to relate. My flatmate is off on a road-trip for a few weeks, leaving me in the house alone. The poor kitties have been desperate for love every evening I arrive home from training.

What else? Oh, here's something exciting! I might be going to Botswana next year to visit a friend. A trip is being organised through my Kung Fu school. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to raise something like $4 000.00 in order to get there. Chances are, I won't be able to come up with the money ... but I REALLY want to go! Can you imagine? Botswana! How amazing would that be?!

Le sigh.

And that covers everything. It's been a boring week. So, today's Forgotten English is:

Square Dinkham:

True, straightforward, correct.
- Edward Fraser's Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases, 1925

Funny thing is that this is used in Australia in a slightly altered form - Fair Dinkham - with the exact same meaning. My uncles say it. My classmates said it in High School. I don't remember ever using it.

So, there you go. Forgotten English that hasn't quite been forgotten. I have to get a start on writing now, so have a lovely Wednesday. Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bubble's Burst

Well, after receiving a wonderful review for The Dying God & Other Stories, yesterday I received a rejection for the same work.


I am a little disappointed, though I do understand that short story anthologies are stupidly hard to sell, even if you're an established name. Chances were slimmer than most for trying to get an agent for this work.

There's nothing to do but move on. I have one and half more books to write, and I can't slow down or they'll never get written. Oh, and seeing as how I'm speaking of The Great Man series, I have some cheerful news.

My mother has very helpfully agreed to be a Beta Reader for this series (and that's a lot of work). She sent back the manuscript a couple of weeks ago (and I still haven't had the chance to look at it) with a lovely note:

She loved it. She's desperately in love with Julian and fears for his soul.

That's the reaction I was hoping for! That makes me happy. So very, very happy.

Also, speaking of The Great Man series, I had best get on with writing it. Before then, here's today's Forgotten English:


To taste; as, "Pree my sneeshin," taste my snuff.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1879.

To taste. The Scotch think this phrase, "I preed her mouth," a poetical way of saying, "I kissed her." Its literal translation into common English, "I tasted her mouth," doesn't sound like poetry, while its Cumbrian form, ""I teasit her feace," sounds like anything rather than poetry. The different versions of the phrase illustrate the difference of character on the two sides of the border.
- Alexander Gibson's Folk-Speech of Cumberland, 1880.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First Review

Good morning all!

I've had my first ever review (for The Dying God & Other Stories), and it was brilliant! It was so lovely, I posted up on the website for said book. You can read it here. Just in case you don't believe that I didn't write it myself, here is the link to the original review. See - exactly the same!

Not bad for a first ever review! It put me on cloud nine for about three seconds before the doubts started in: What if they were just being nice, and it's really utter crap? I'm really going to have to learn to manage the doubts that continually plague me.

In any case, it's still a great review and I'm happy about it. I was so happy on Friday that I spent most of the time dancing around in my seat and got absolutely no writing done whatever. Quite normally I take Friday's off, so I'm not terribly upset about it.

I will be writing today as soon as I'm finished with everything else I have to catch up this morning. With some luck, I'll make my 3 000 words. Here's hoping anyway.

Today's Forgotten English is:


To perspire violently for toil. [From] Belgian broeijen, to grow warm of hot, or Teutonic bruysen, to foam, as we speak of a brothe of sweat.
- John Longmuir's edition of Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1867

I'm never going to use this word. It sounds far too comical.

You should buy the Forgotten English calendar. Just under today's word is the headline Man Studies Himself to Death. No joke. It's a pretty sad story, actually. Yet for some reason, I find it funny. Perhaps I'm mildly sociopathic. That is now a word.

Right, must stop blathering and get on with my day. Have a lovely Monday everyone.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


A chamber utensil enclosed in a stool or box.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fluffy Friday ... I Think Not.

I was going to bore you all with a bit of fluff about my writing.

Then I read this article. I cried. Those amazing, brave people. I am in awe of them. They are heroes in every way, shape and form.

I don't believe in God, but today I am praying. I don't have faith in humanity, but today I am humbled before it. The Fukushima 50 (200, really) have my heart and my prayers. Spare yours.

On that note, there are many things people around the world are doing to help. An amazing composer, Thomas Bergersen, one of the musical geniuses behind Two Steps from Hell, is releasing a few singles from his upcoming and highly anticipated (by me, at least) album, Illusions, early on iTunes. 100% of the proceed from these early purchases will go to the Red Cross to help with the crisis in Japan. I tend not to throw the word 'genius' around lightly, so when I say he's amazing, then you have to understand that I mean he's A-MAZ-ING with multiple exclamation marks.

Yesterday, I mentioned Writers for the Red Cross. I'm mentioning them again. Do check them out. It's a brilliant organisation.

Google is getting in on the action with a donation line available via this site. The link is also permanently plastered to the top banner of this blog.

There are many other ways you can help. Watch this if you need a little inspiration.

I am heartened by the compassion and action people have taken in response to the crisis in Japan. Humans have never been my favourite species. Truth is, I prefer spiders most of the time. However, sometimes, when I see the things I mentioned above, I think there's hope for us after all.

On that note, here's today's Forgotten English:

Basket of Chips:

A metaphor for a pleasant experience, perhaps because a supply of chips gives promise of a good fire.
- Richard Thornton's American Glossary, 1912

I think this is quite appropriate. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thor's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It had to be said, and now it is.

There is some pretty neat stuff happening amongst writers.

Thanks to the blog Writing While the Rice Boils, I have learnt that writers can now reach out and help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Writer's for the Red Cross is a brilliant programme that allow writers to auction for critiques, consultations with agents and other really very cool things. If you're a writer, click the link and lend a hand. If you're not a writer, they have books up for grabs. A pick of one of many free books for every $25.00 donated, or visit the bookshop, and 5% from every sale goes to the Red Cross. Brilliant!

Alright, so, onto writing news. I'm slowing down a bit. I did get to my 3 000 words. However, it took me a while to get there. Quite normally I'm done before lunch. It took me an hour after lunch to finish up. I suppose I shouldn't complain. Having the opportunity and time to write is actually an incredible blessing.

I judged a short story competition immediately following finishing up my 3 000 words. The quality of these stories continue to increase, even if they didn't quite stick to the genre. I was impressed.

That meant, of course, I didn't have time to look at the edits the first of my Beta Readers sent me for The Third Prince. With luck, I'll get to that today.

Righto, on that note, here is todays Forgotten English:


Widowhood; from Latin viduus.
- Sammuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.

Wow. I didn't know this one was forgotten!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Black Ice

"Damn it!" she hissed as she opened her eyes and looked at the clock. 7:43. She was supposed to be awake 13 minutes ago. Throwing her duvet aside, she leant over, played briefly with her annoyed-looking cat, and rolled out of bed.

She threw clothes on as she raced to the bathroom to brush her hair and put on some light make-up. The make-up routine she had down to under five minutes. Two tones of eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. That was it.

Now to the kitchen to prepare the day's lunch and snacks. Her cat meowed loudly as it milled about her feet. It knew that cheese would soon be prepared as a snack, and it knew that if it meowed loud enough and looked frantic enough, it'd get a small corner of cheese.

It did, and purred happily as it wolfed down the cheesy treat.

The girl ignored all further pleas from her cat as she raced back to her room to pack her gym bag. There would be training tonight, and she'd have to take her gear with her to work as there wouldn't be any time to go home first.

Everything packed and ready, she glanced at the clock. 8:04. Good. Enough time to catch the early bus and get to work in plenty of time.

She switched on her iPod and stepped outside. A light misting of rain made everything damp, but the air was clear and the temperature mild. In a good mood, she descended the stairs and stepped out into the rain.

Suddenly she saw sky. She stared up at it in bemusement. Why was she staring up at the sky? Black ice. She had slipped on it, landing first on her knee, then her buttocks, then her back.

"F#$&ing! F#$&!"

She picked herself up and looked down and her grey work slacks. The knee was covered in mud and filth, and her backside was likely no better. Swearing in a string that would make a sailor blush, she raced back inside and changed into her black work pants from the day before. It'd have to do.

She looked down at her knee as she undressed. It was mildly bloody with two smallish scrapes on the knee. Having no time to clean it up, she simply slid on the black slacks and raced out the door.

Taking baby steps, she cleared the driveway without incident. The journey to the bus stop was not so smooth. Though she didn't fall down again, she slipped twice, swearing each time as her heart skipped a beat.

She slipped once more after existing the bus at her stop.

Thank-fully, she wasn't late for work. She limped into the office, boiled some water, added copious amounts of salt, grabbed a cloth and sat down to clean the muck and filth from her knee. The hot salty water stung, and she silently cursed the three miserable fates.

Her task finally complete, she turned to the computer and set about starting her day.

And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, the blog post is late. Black ice.

And today's Forgotten English:

Churching Mice:

Murmuring in an undertone; Shropshire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not a Lot to Say

There isn't all that much exciting happening in my life right now. I cannot wait for the day when I can announce exiting things like:

I'll be here doing a reading and a signing for this.


Starting my whirlwind book tour. There, here I come!

The likelihood of the first one, pretty high if I remain persistent (I might be 90 by the time it happens, but it'll happen, damn it!).

The likelihood of the second one is, well, not good. The only author I know who travels a great deal on the publisher's dime is Neil Gaiman, and hell, he deserves it.

Me? Who am I? I'm just a nobody trying to break into a business with the odds stacked up against me. In this business, the odds are stacked against anyone trying to break in. I'm not special. I've self-published an eBook, which all of four people have bought. Four. No one has even bothered to review it. That is, actually, quite telling.

It'd be pretty accurate to say I'm disappointed. Mildly, of course. I didn't expect to outsell Steven King. I did hope, though, that I'd have sold more copies than four.

I'm not crying over it, really. After all, I really didn't expect much at all. It does, however, give me pause. It makes me think. Why do I bother at all?

I love to write. I love to write. There it is. This is why I'm bothering with this at all. I love to write, and it's a dream of mine to one day make a living doing what I love. It seems a lot to ask, in this industry.

Le sigh.

Rather than discouraged, however, I'm just getting stubborn. It's one of my better qualities. I'll keep writing, keep querying, keep trying until the day I die. Hopefully before then, I'll get an agent, perhaps sell a manuscript or two.

Yet even if I don't, and this is important, I'll keep trying. Agents everywhere are probably going to hate me. Meh. Whatever.

Speaking of writing, it's going quite well. The computer was horrifically slow yesterday, and so I didn't get to start writing before midday. Yes, it was that slow. That meant that there was no way I could get in my 3000 before lunch. So, I got it after lunch.

Of course, in order to do so, I had to shuffle my Beta Reading off until today. Hopefully today, I'll get my 3000 words before lunch so I can finally finish Beta Reading the manuscript and send it off to the author. After that, I can have a look at the notes from my own Beta Readers. Well, reader, so far.

You know, for someone who didn't have a lot to say, I think I managed quite well ...

Onto today's Forgotten English:


A raging; a madness; from Latin debacchatio.
- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

[From] debachhate, to revile one afther the manner of drunkards.
- Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1623

Hands up if you see the root of this word having to do with Bacchus and his wine-loving revellers?

That's it from me. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: Almost French

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A light, easy read that I found I could relate to.

I don't normally read memoirs. This one was given to me by my flatmate. The tale is an Australian woman's struggle to adapt to the life and attitudes of Paris.

Though I didn't move to Paris, there were many passages in the book that I could relate to. Most notably, the open, frank manner of Australians, versus, well, other cultures.

More than once, my blunt manner has gotten me into some trouble over here in Canada.

I suspect I enjoyed it purely because I can relate to it in a fairly major fashion. All the same, it's a great read of 'when cultural expectations collide.'

If you have a spare afternoon, pick it up. It's a short, cutesy read that goes well with a light, fruity white.

And today's Forgotten English is:

(I kid you not)

One who speaks from his belly; a ventriloquist.
- William Turton's Medical Glossary, 1802

Engastrimyth, one who appears to speak in the belly; a ventriloquist.
- Sir Jame Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901.

Well, no wonder this word isn't used anymore! Just for fun, I'm going to slide it into a conversation and see what reaction I get.

Also, for those of you so inclined, there is now a link on the top of this blog for you to donate the the Japanese Red Cross to aid their disaster relief efforts (through Google). It doesn't have to be a huge amount. Every little bit helps.

Righto, that's it from me, have a lovely Monday everyone.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


A blasphemer; from French blasphématour. Blasphemeress, a woman who blasphemes; from Old French blasphemeresse. Blasphement, blasphemy.

- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fever Broke, and so is Japan

I was intending to spend today celebrating as my fever finally broke yesterday. The sensation was instant - like clouds parting. I did a happy dance right then and there.

I was also going to wax lyrical about how awful it is outside, and how grateful I am to J.M-B. for letting me use her gumboots (and for fitting into said gumboots) as the puddles out there are actually the size of small ponds, and I was often wading shin deep through them to get to the bus today.

Then I get to work this morning to find that Japan has been hit with a monstrous 8.9 earthquake. 8.9. And then they were also hit by a 30ft tsunami that resulted from the quake. Pictures of Japan show a gruesome scene. The tsunami sparked by the earthquake is on its way to the USA's west coast.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan, and with everyone who has been or will be affected by the tsunami.

It's times like this I wish I had tonnes of money - I could jump on a plane and rush over to help in whatever way I could.

On that very sombre note, I did promise to catch up on all the Forgotten English I had missed due to illness. Thus:

Wednesdays' Forgotten English:
A long, close-fitting frock or tunic worn by Anglican clergymen ... sometimes worn by vergers, choristers, and others engaged in ecclesiastical functions.
- Sit James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893
(Since when is 'cassock' forgotten? It might be I know it 'cause I read a lot of Fantasy. Even still, forgotten?)

Thursday's Forgotten English:
The unpleasant aftereffects of overindulgence, especially drinking.
- Lester Berrey's American Thesaurus of Slang, 1941.
(I recall Grandma using this once or twice, but I forget the context)

And today's Forgotten English:
A garden or orchard.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855.

There. All caught up. Try to have a happy weekend if you can. And if you can, spare a thought and a prayer for Japan and her neighbours.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still Home... Dammit!

This blog is starting to turn into an apologetic blow by blow account of being ill. Sorry.

I somehow managed to develop a sore throat last night. Not a mildly sore throat, but one that feels like I'm continually swallowing sandpaper, or razorblades, or something sharp and scratch and equally painful.

I fell much more energetic today, but I can't use my voice. And really, who wants a receptionist that can't talk. I'm not impressed. I had hoped to be back to work today, not least of all to catch up on all the Forgotten English there is to catch up on.

That will have to wait, I'm afraid. Sorry.

'Till next time, then.

(Oh, and a shameless plug for the Genie Awards. J.M-B. is working them tonight, so be sure to tune in! There'll also be a live twitter feed)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Held Hostage

I am housebound ... again. Moreover, my flatmate and my dear friend are colluding to keep me housebound - all day. I'm not allowed to go to work. I'm not allowed to go to training. I'm barely even allowed out of bed.

I would complain normally, but I am coughing a lot, and I do feel pretty terrible in general.

This means, however, that once again, I don't have my Forgotten English calendar for you. I promise to have all the ones you've missed up when I return to work.

Also, sorry this post was late. I woke up late.

Well, it's time to take my Benalyn. I probably spelled that incorrectly.

Ta ta for now. Hopefully I'll be back at it soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Little Better Today

Well, I'm feeling a bit better this morning. We'll see how long it lasts, though. I might not got to training tonight. That should say mountains about how I feel.

As promised, Monday's Forgotten English:

Welchman's Hose:

Equivalent to the breeches of a Highlander, of the dress of a naked Pict; upon the presumption that Welchmen wear no hose.
- Thomas Fielding's Select Proverbs of All Nations, 1824.

In phrases like "to make a Welshman's hose of" [and] "to make like a Welshman's hose," to stretch or west the meaning of a word, sentence, etc.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928

Yesterday was profoundly boring. I hate staying in bed all day, so I didn't. I cleaned house a little bit, then, terribly sick of being house-bound, I went to training. I took it very lightly and din't overexert myself at all. I didn't, however, do any writing or Beta Reading of any kind, and so am terribly behind.

I'm making a sad face, though you can't see it.

I don't know how much I'm going to be able to write today. I might fall asleep on the keyboard randomly. Who knows? I'll give it a shot, though.

So, before I sign off to start writing, here's today's Forgotten English:


Unlucky ... Perhaps corrupted from hazard.
- William Holloway's Dictionary of Provincialisms, 1838

Monday, March 7, 2011


Well, here's something I didn't bank on. I managed to develop a cough yesterday (briefly) and today I have a fever. I'll be home all day in bed.

Fortunately, that means a very short post to read through today. Unfortunately, it means I don't have my Forgotten English calendar to share with you. It's on my desk at work. I promise I'll double up the Forgotten English tomorrow to make up for it.

Until then, then! Have a great Monday. I'll hopefully be back in action tomorrow.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eggs for Money

[In the phrase] to take eggs for money, to accept a offer which one would rather refuse ... Farmers' daughters would go to market, taking with them a basket of eggs. If on bought something worth ... three shillings, fourpence, she would pay the three shillings and say - "will you take eggs for [the rest of the] money?" If the shopman weakly consented, he received the value of the fourpence in eggs, usually ... at the rate of four or five a penny. But the strong-minded shopman would refuse. Eggs were even used to pay interest for money.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914.

A proverbial expression, when a person was either awed by threats or overreached by subtlety, to give money upon a trifling or fictitious consideration.
- Robert Nares' Gloassary of the Works of English Authors, 1859.

Mine honest friend, will you take eggs for money?
- William Shakespear's Winter's Tale, 1611.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Dilemma

What to do? What to do?

Fridays are usually reserved as a no-writing work day. I do other things like read, or sleep, or play cards. However, I've been away from writing for so long, I feel the need to 'catch-up,' as it were. I'm not sure what to do now. Should I write? Or should I spend the day in abject boredom, feeling guilty because I could be writing?

There's no competition, really.

As I'm a generous, and generally boring sort, there's nothing left by today's Forgotten English.


A discourse on bells of bell-ringing; from Italian campa, bell.
- James Donald's Chambers' Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, 1877.

I knew this one as well. It was the title of one episode of BBC's Qi. Gosh I love that show! I'm off for the weekend. I shall see you anon. Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dude... Wait... What?

I'm away with the faeries right now, as my grandmother would say. My brain isn't functioning properly, I'm feeling tired, and more than a little vague. Luckily for you, this translates into a very short blog post.

Writing yesterday went well. I got in the next 3 000 words. I even managed, later in the afternoon, to do around 49 pages of Beta Reading for my mother, who is working on a YA novel. I'm really enjoying it so far.

There is nothing much else to say, so I'll just give you today's Forgotten English and let you all get on with your lives.

Blacksmith's Daughter:

A lock or key to a door or gate, a padlock.
- J. Robertson's Glossary of Dialect and Archaic Words Used in ... Gloucester, 1890.

Poor girl.

Righty-o, I'm off to write some. I hope I can reach my target today! Have a good Thursday all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reading and Writing

Looking back over this past week, I have to say, I'm impressed with myself. I read quite a few books in a short space of time. Granted, none of the books were overly dense, so they were easy reads.

I really should read more often. Everyone should read more often. Ahhhh.... books.

There is one thing I noticed while reading. Holding something in my hand, physically turning the pages, feeling the weight, and the texture of the paper, the smell of the book... nothing beats that. Oh I know e-readers are hugely popular and getting even more so. Honestly, I can see their appeal. If I went travelling, I wouldn't have to lug along heavy books that might set my luggage weight over the acceptable range. I'd just bring along an e-reader and *poof! hundreds of books at my fingertips. It's terribly convenient.

However, if I'm at home, then I want nothing more than a hot cuppa and heavy book in my lap. I dream of having a room filled with books from floor to ceiling - actual, heavy, inconvenient but oh so wonderful books.

Whether I'm rich or poor, my home, whenever I get it, will have a library. It's so important to me that there is a library.

Le sigh.

Alright, enough with the daydreaming.

Yesterday marked day 1 of my return to writing. I made a start on Overlord (Book 4 of The Great Man series). It went much more smoothly than I expected. I wrote the entire Prologue and reached my 3 000 word quota all before lunch. I felt pretty good about myself yesterday!

Today I'm torn. I don't know if I should write the Epilogue (as I already know how it's going to go) or get started on the body of the thing. I think I might start on the body, as Julian is practically screaming at me.

On that note, here's today's Forgotten English:


That may be rendered into English.
- John Ogilvie's Imperial Dictionary, 1865

Capable of being translated into, or expressed in, English.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

I think this word might be my favourite so far! I'm off now to write. Have a wonderful Wednesday all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Remember Me?

Remember Me?Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Don't expect great things from this book. It isn't ground-breaking. It's horribly formulaic, predictable and, all in all, pretty silly. That is to say, this book is perfect for those once in a while reads where you just need something light and dopey to boost your mood.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really read these sorts of books very often. Those who know me will be unsurprised by this. Sometimes, however, you need to break away from the heavy emotional stuff and indulge in girly fluff.

And that is precisely what this book is. Fluff.

A nice, light entertaining read for a snowy, grey day.

View all my reviews

And the Forgotten English word of the day is:


If you ask a Scotchman [sic] the distance to any place he will reply, after asking you in return where you came from, that it is so many miles and a bittock.

- James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891.

Well, that was decidedly unhelpful. In other news, it's back to writing for me. I'm making a start on Overlord, Book 4 of The Great Man series. Wish me luck!