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

- Graycie Harmon

Saturday, April 30, 2011


To tumble lewdly with women in open day.

- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Friday, April 29, 2011

Need Sleep!

Good morning world! I'm so exhausted right now, I just want to curl up in a nice warm bed with a lovely cuppa tea and listen to some relaxing music and then drifting off to sleep.

It was a later night than usual last night and, no, it wasn't because of the Royal Wedding. I didn't stay up to watch that. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really bothered about the whole affair. It's not that I don't like the Royal Family, it's really that I don't bother thinking about them a whole lot. I'm apathetic.

In any case, the reason I'm so darn tired today is that I went to bed later than usual. Had friends over for tea and a chat, and it was pretty late by the time I crawled into bed. Then, the cats decided to yowl beginning at 5:30 or so this morning. It's their way of getting attention for no reason whatsoever. They had food, they had water, they just wanted to tick me off, I'm sure!

I tend not to write very efficiently when tired, so I doubt I'll make my daily 3 000. I probably won't need to in any case, as I think the rest of the book has been pretty much written. I'll need to fill in some places, and rewrite in others, but I think I'm pretty much done.

Unfortunately, I won't be finished this week. I'll be able to close Overlord and leave it alone for a few months early next week, I think.

Oivey, but this rewriting is a long business! Oh well, there's nothing for it. Must plod on.

I'd better get started, actually. Here's today's Forgotten English:


A distemper peculiar to sailors in hot climates wherein they imagine the sea to be green fields, and the throw themselves into it if not restrained.
- Samuel Johnsons' Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

A species of furious delirium to which sailors are subject in the torrid zone; a kind of phrenitis, the attack of which comes on suddenly after a broiling day.
- Robley Dunglison's Dictionarly of Medical Science, 1844

From French calenture, heat; from Latin caleo, to be hot.
- John Ridpath's Home Reference Library, 1898.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Editing Pains

As most of you know, I'm almost done my rewrite of Overlord, Book 4 of The Great Man series. Yesterday, just as I finished my daily 3 000 words, bringing the current word count to just over 106 000, I came across a very large section that was now entirely redundant. I could salvage none of it.

So with a sigh, I highlighted all 6 000 odd words of it, and pressed ctl+x. That's 6 000 words gone. Effectively, two days of writing cancelled.

Of course my story is ten kajillion (is that even a number?) times better for it, but it's still a bit sad to watch the words vanish. To make myself feel better, I pasted them into a new document and dubbed it 'cut from Overlord.' So the words aren't really gone, they just won't appear in the finished version of the first draft of the rewrite, and thus any draft thereafter.

There was some nostalgia attached to those words. That section was all 100% original prose. The first ever words of the first ever version of The Great Man, stretching as far back as when I thought the series was only one book. That's a long, long time ago.

I was so distraught at effectively cancelling out two whole days worth of writing, I did some writing overtime yesterday and managed to write another 3 000. This, of course, means that though I wrote a whopping 6 000 words yesterday, my actual word count remains largely unaltered.

Now that's frustrating! Had I not been well over the absolute minimum of 100 000, I'd have cared a great deal more.

Last night, as my flatmate howled in despair over the result of the Montreal Canadians vs. Boston Bruins hockey match, I managed to daydream up a whole bunch of stuff for Overlord. I need to get it all down before it vanishes. Thus, I'll leave you now, but not before I give you today's Forgotten English.


A satisfying meal; adopted from Old French bouffage [defined in its original sense by Cotgrave below]. "His inwards and flesh remaining could make no bouffage, but a light bit for the grave." Letter of Sir Thomas Browne, 1672.
-Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Any meat that, eaten greedily, fils the mouth, and makes the cheeks to swell; cheek-puffing meat.
- Randle Cotgrave's Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, 1611.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here

The walk home yesterday was horrific! Not only did it rain on me, twice, but I was witness to a traffic collision (no one was seriously injured) and had a bus splash me head to toe with filthy road water.

Happily, I received a hat out of it all.

Let's hope that today's journey is much less eventful.

I wrote very well yesterday, getting my 3 000 words in before lunch. I think that I'm almost done. I think. I hope. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, let me be almost finished this book!


I should get back to writing. Here is today's Forgotten English for you logophiles:


A chair in which an offender was placed to be hooted at or pelted by the mob; or it might be used for ducking its occupant; from Icelandic kuka, to ease oneself, and kukr, dung.
- Charles Annandale's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

An instrument of punishment formerly in use for scolds, disorderly women, fraudelent tradespeople, etc.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, Obviously

Well, today is Tuesday. Today is also the first day of the week, due to the Easter break. In that time I do absolutely nothing, save walk into town to feed a friend's cat and gecko. I felt so guilty every time I left my friend's apartment. Poor Fei Fei (cat) would ignore her food and frantically rub herself against my leg looking for cuddles. I felt so badly for her every time I closed the door to her pitiful meow.

I'm suffering from guilt even now. Poor Fei Fei. If only she got along with our cats, we could have kept her at the house and she'd not be wanting for company.


My Easter weekend was very quiet, what with J.M-B. off to Boston to visit with family.

I had an idea for next year's April script writing challenge. I'm doing all the research and planning now. It's a silly thing, but fun. I've never written a script before, ever, so this should be a good challenge.

Of course, I'm putting that on hold until I've finished Overlord, which should hopefully be this week. Hopefully. We'll see.

Speaking of, I should be off to write the darn thing. Here is today's Forgotten English:


The participle kilted is sometimes used metaphorically to denote language that borders upon indecency. [Derived from] kilt, the English or Saxon name for the most conspicious portion of the Highlander garb, called by the Highlanders themselves, the fillibeg, or little coat.

- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Monday, April 25, 2011


A storm consisting of several days of tempestuous weather, believed by the peasantry to take place periodically about the beginning of April, at the time that the gowk, or cuckoo, visits this country. Metaphorically used to denote an evil or obstruction which is only of short duration.

- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

Today is ANZAC day in Australia. This day in 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli, Turkey with the objective of taking over Istanbul and removing the Ottaman Empire from the war. What was meant to be a swift surprise attacked turned into eight months of absolute hell. Entrenched at Gallipoli the Allies and the Turks reached a stalemate.

Now used as the day to commemorate and remember the hundreds upon thousands of lives lost in the useless brutality that is war.

Lest we forget.

Also, don't forget to check out the first part of my serialisation of The Dying God. It goes up today! You can do so here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Interupt This Regularly Scheduled Programme for Some Late Breaking News

Happy Easter, everyone!

No, that isn't the news. The news is that All Things Books has very kindly allowed me to serialise a part of my eBook. Every Monday, I'll be posting a short bit of the titular short story The Dying God for you to read. Be sure to check out their blog every Monday (and every other day, while I'm at it!). In case you missed the two other links I provided, their blog is here.

Hey, if you like the story, perhaps buy the book!

That is all the excitement I have for the day/week. Received another rejection yesterday, but I'm not going to spoil my excitement over the above with the depressing reality of trying to get an agent!

I hope everyone's Easter is wonderful and magical and tonnes of fun. See you all Monday (in two places at once!!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


An ambiguous expression; a quibble; from Latin aequivocus, ambiguous.

- Joseph Worcester's Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language, 1881

Friday, April 22, 2011


To eat little, slowly, quietly and secretly; to consume or waster imperceptibly. Hence, motching, fond of dainties, with the idea of eating in secret. Slow, quiet eating, eith the idea of fondness for good living. Banffshire.

- Josehp Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TGI ... Th

That's right, thank goodness it's Thursday. Today is the last day of the working week. Wonderful, wonderful Easter has dictated that I require a four day weekend. Can anyone say "squee!"?

Of course, that means that Monday's usual blog post will just be Forgotten English and nothing else, you lucky things. It also means that I won't be writing again until Tuesday. This is a good thing. It's a mini break before the final few thousand words of Overlord. I haven't decided how I am going to celebrate the book's completion. It's usually a bottle of red wine and chocolate. I might just take myself out to the movies. Thor looks like fun...

There isn't much to say. This marked the last week of Kung Fu training. Not that I've gone at all. I'm resting my foot so I can come back stronger next semester. Next semester starts that 3rd of next month. I can't wait to get back at it. I've gotten quite tense since I've stopped training.

Still don't know about my Equestrian Archery lessons yet. I hope I find out soon! I can't wait to get on a horse again. There will probably be pictures and photos to follow (this time around).

Right, I'm just procrastinating now. I should probably get to writing, so here's today's Forgotten English.


Of the wind, blowing with cold chilly gusts.
- G. Story's Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 1982

Faff, to blow in sudden gusts; Scotland, English North Country. Hence faffment, nonsense, balderdash; Lancashire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

I think it would be safe to say that yesterday's weather was faffering. I'm not sure I used that in the correct manner. Oh well!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mission Impossible is Possible?

You know how yesterday I said that it would never happen? Well, it did happen. I wrote 6 00 words yesterday and am now totally caught up to where I ought to be. I do believe my online expression of disbelief and triumph went something like this:

I did it! I did it! I wrote 6 000 words in a day! In your face word count!

I was going to buy myself some chocolate on the way home to celebrate, but forgot to. Oh well. Next time.

I have another 3 000 words left to go before I reach my target minimum of 100 000. I think I can manage that today. Once there, it doesn't matter how many more words are needed to finish the story, I've reached the minimum number of words I require. So, though I've written (or will have) 100 000 words, I haven't actually finished the book yet... Hopefully that will happen before the month is out.

Then I can take a couple of guilt-free weeks off to recharge before tackling Puppet Master. I can't wait to get started on that one, actually. It is dark, dark, dark, dark! Hee hee!

Oops, running a bit late today. Must dash. Here is your daily dose of Forgotten English:


Time or season; the divisions of the 24 hours. From an ancient book in the old German dialect, Speygel der Leyen, or the Miirour of Laymen, it appears that the 24 hours were divided into prime, tierce, sext, none, vesper, fall of night, and metten (nightly mass). Out ancestors also had certain divisions of the artificial day, as undertide, &c.

- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back to Normal

Well, as normal as my life gets, anyway.

The computer seems to be back up to speed, so I will be writing today. There is a lot I have to catch up on. If I want to stay on target, I'm going to have to write 6 000 words. It's never going to happen, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm still trying to arrange a time for my equestrian archery lessons this summer. I hope I can resolve it soon, they're to start in a fortnight or so. It's quite exciting as my trainer has bought a second horse, so now two of us can train on horseback at the same time. I think I'll still ride Nash, as I've gotten so very attached to her bossy, hard-headed nonsense (actually, she's extremely good once she knows you mean business. She works hard. Don't tell her I said so), though I can't wait to meet the new one.

Horses rock!


I have to try and catch up today, so I'll leave it there. Before I go, today's Forgotten English.


Old age, spent to a considerable extent resting in a chair.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

In thy Reverence, and they Chaire-dayes, thus to die in Ruffian battel.
- William Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, 1593

Drooping chair, chair fit for old ages; 1 Henry VI.
- C. Herford's Works of Shakespeare, 1902

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Shake My Fist, or,This Computer Really P!$$*$ Me Off!

Pardon for the strong language. Just so you can get an idea of how frustrated with my computer I am, as I started typing this post, it was precisely 11:30am. A full two hours after my post was supposed to have been published. It took a full two and half hours just for the computer to load my browser and then

I HATE this computer.

Just to give you another idea of the absolutely inanity of this beast I am forced to work with, words did not start appearing in this box, as I typed, until (literally) I typed the word 'precisely.'

I HATE this computer.

Oh, and while I'm at it, it stopped working when I went up a few lines so I could fix a typo. I had to reload the damned page and write this all out all over again.

All this valuable time wasted.

And it's not like I could have written while waiting, because I couldn't load Word while the computer was working so hard to load blogger. I have clicked on it. It is still yet to load.

I hate, I hate, I HATE this computer!


I think I'm done on the frustration rant. Needless to say, I'm going to have to write faster than the speed of light to make my word count today. I think I can safely say that today is a complete and utter write-off (hah hah... sorry, my unintended pun made me giggle). I won't be able to get anything done.



I had a lovely weekend, though. I suppose that counts for something.

I have to get writing, so here is today's Forgotten English:


Low, idle, scandalous tales.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


A whining beggar is a cadger. "On the cadge" is applied to the regular "rounders" who wander from town to town telling in each place a pitiful story of distress. In Scotland a cadger is an itinerant peddler of fish.

- James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's All Fun and Games...

'Till somebody loses their pride.

I really dislike this publishing game. The trying, the hoping, the waiting, the hoping, the rejection, the trying, the hoping, the waiting, the hoping, the rejection...


And now I'm done complaining.

Writing-wise, I'm keeping pace. I'm up to 91 000 odd words, which is right where I should be. Three more days of writing and I shall have reached my target (so I should be finished the book Wednesday, if I can keep it up). I'm at that stage where I just want to gouge out my own eyes. Writing 100 000 words is pretty tough. It gets easier with practice and, with four other books at that length, I know for a fact I can manage it.

I normally give myself Friday's off writing. It kicks off a writing long weekend. I'm undecided about what to do with my spare time. I'll write a little bit more, I think. However, if I don't get around to it, there's no foul. It's my day off, after all.

I'd also like to send a shout out to Debbie Allen of the blog Writing While the Rice Boils. She very kindly mentioned me in a blog post featuring four blogs. You can read it here. She will be featuring four more blogs come Monday. Go to the page and check out the worthy blogs listed there.

I suppose you're all wanting today's Forgotten English, then? Here it is:


The true expression of a word; the etymology or right meaning of a word.

- Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I feel as if I've missed out on something. My childhood, I now realise, has been terribly incomplete. Why? Well, because I never really got into the Asterix books/comics (hence the asterisks as the title. It was a play on, uh, words/symbols. Clever? Uh... not so much, upon reflection).

My flatmate has sought to remedy that. She borrowed a few of the Asterix books from her parents for me to read. I started on them last night.

I. Love. Them.

Translated from French, not only is it clear that the author and illustrator have done their research (they provide a great deal of factual references (and sometimes not so factual)), but they are roll on the floor funny. I think my background in Celtic Studies has made them even funnier for me.

The opening scene, for example, of the first book, Asterix the Gaul, shows the Gaulish hero Vercingetorix throwing down his arms before Caesar (and event that actually happened) ... onto his foot as Caesar howls in pain. The imagery is hysterical.

Even funnier are the names.

Getafix is the name of the village druid who brews a special potion that the Gauls take to make them almost invincible.

The chief of the village is Vitalstatistix.

There's a character named Tragicomix.

The names of the Romans are equally as hysterical. Ginantonix, Veriambitius, Crismus Bonus, Nefarius Purpus... man, I'm giggling just listing them!

I spent most of last night reading them and howling with laughter. They write speech bubbles full of hieroglyphics for the Egyptian characters (and then 'dub' them). Their running gags are brilliant (people in love cry a lot, apparently). Also, they will sometimes provide footnotes. For example, a speech bubble appeared containing a star, an exclamation mark, a skull and a swirl. At the end was the footnote indicator. The footnote read: Ancient Gaulish swear words.

It's much less funny when I have to write it out...

I can't explain all that is funny about them, you'll just have to read them, if you haven't already. I mean it. Read them. They're most definitely not just for kids.

Time to get writing, so here's today's Forgotten English.


A skating-rink with ice artificially produced, as in aquarium, vivarium.

- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Characters Have Minds of Their Own, an Example

Since I shared this on my Facebook page, I suppose I ought to share it here as well. I made my 3 000 words yesterday, and it was easy to do as the story had started to move into an exciting part. I finished with these words:

"Gaveng," he said. "If you leave now, you will never be permitted to return."
Gaveng turned back to face his father. His voice was soft when he spoke. "So be it."

It is Gaveng I want to talk about in particular. He is a fine example of what I mean when I say characters have minds of their own. Gaveng is actually the name of a person I know. He helped me out with a section of The Third Prince (book 1) and so, as is my custom, I named a character after him. The characters I name after people who have been, essentially Beta Readers (though for a work still in progress), are small characters. They're the literary equivalent of 'bit parts.' Most of them die.

It was planned that only one of my "Beta Readers" would be given a part that was significant. She encouraged me to write, loved my stories and made me feel like I could actually be a writer. So I turned M.K. into Ngyla Mpho, wife of Xavier (a character M.K. said she had a crush on. I don't blame her. Xavier would be a catch!). She was the only major player right from the off; and yes, she also dies.

The rest were supposed to be small appearances. David talks briefly to Julian before a battle, and then is killed in that same battle. Martin is already dead by the time we meet him. Ida, well, Ida is killed after spending a few months with Julian. They're all small-ish parts. They all die.

All except Gaveng... needy bugger.

Not only is Gaveng's story arc significantly grander than the others, but he lives. He is one of the few who actually survive the entire story of The Great Man.

I didn't plan this in any way shape or form. Gaveng was supposed to be introduced, liked, and then killed off. He had very different ideas.

Here's the thing, much like the rest of The Great Man, Gaveng took on a life of his own. When I'm writing and I'm 'in the zone,' as it were, and I simply write whatever flows, however it flows. There has been at least on instance where I've written all night, not knowing what the hell I've written, crashed and slept until midday, returned to the computer to read over what I'd written, and been completely surprised.

Gaveng went from being just some guy, to the leader of the Keshaly'i Underground (you'll have to wait for the books to be published for this reference). He started out as just some guy, and has become one of the three Great Heroes.

To be honest, I'm a little annoyed. I wish I could've planned this. Then I could take all the credit. But no, the credit goes to Gaveng. Bastard.

Rather appropriately, today's Forgotten English is:

Gall of Bitterness

The bitterest grief; extreme affliction. The ancients taught that grief and joy were subject to the gall. affection to the heart, knowledge to the kidneys, anger to the bile [one of the four humours of the body], and courage or timidity to the liver. The gall of bitterness, like the heart of hearts, means the bitter centre of bitterness, as the heart of hearts means the innermost recesses of the heart or affections.

- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Best Bus Driver

On my way home from viewing Sucker Punch with my Dad on Sunday, we had the best bus driver I've ever had. He was polite, for a start.

[Insert rant about OC Transpo's surly, impolite, mean drivers here]

Sometimes I think that the bus drivers forget that they're in the service industry. Anyway, this particular bus driver was cheerful and polite. He greeted me with a smile and a, "How are you?"

To which I replied, "I am well, and you?"

"All the better for having seen you," said he.

Awww.... soppy chat up line. Nevertheless, it put a smile on my face. He then said to the gentleman behind me, "Write that down. It's a good line."

I burst out laughing and went to sit by Dad. As the bus pulled away from the station, the driver made an announcement:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please be advised that it is Sunday, April 10th. That means the OC Transpo ticket inspectors are out and about. They will be boarding this bus at the next stop. If you haven't yet come forward for your transfer, do not hesitate to come up now. Again, the ticket inspectors will be boarding at our next stop. Please come forward for your transfer. Thank-you."

Point of interest, ticket inspectors on OC Transpo wear uniforms that include a stab vest, and deal out heavy fines ($150.00 or so).

At which point, everyone who had sneaked onto the bus without paying (you idiots) came forward to pay and get their transfers (which is proof of payment). Dad and I giggled to each other that the driver was probably lying just to get the free-loaders to pay. I admit, I got out my transfer just in case.

As the bus pulled away from the station in question, with no ticket inspectors in sight, the driver made this announcement:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot tell you how much fun I have making that fake announcement."

I clapped and laughed.

That was by far the best bus ride home; ever.

As for my writing, well, thanks to a computer slower than a sun dial, it took me all day to write my 3 000 word quota. I mean all day. I didn't finish until 4:00pm. That's a long day writing, and by the end of it, I was fried. My brain wouldn't work, and I was ready to sleep. The walk home in the gale-force winds did help wake me up, if only because I was concentrating so hard on not flying away with each gust.

Today, hopefully, the quota will come a little more quickly. Speaking of, I should get on that. So, here's today's Forgotten English.


A thick slice of bread on which better is spread with the thumb.
- Sidney Addey's Glossary of Words Used in Sheffield, 1888

Right, I'm off. Have a great Tuesday all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sucker Punched!

Good morning!

This weekend was wonderful. I saw two films, got a new bed, and finally started training (sort-of) again. I'm glossing over here because I really want to talk about one of the films I watched.

Sucker Punch, co-written and directed by Zach Snyder, is the story of a young girl who lost everything at the hands of her evil step-father and is incarcerated in Lennox House, an asylum for troubled women. With eye-popping special effects, and imagery that comes straight from any Manga or Anime you would care to look at, it has all the feel of a boy's twisted sexual fantasy. It's not (well, not only). It's steam punk meets live-action anime and what actually happens is a very, very fine exploration of the power of the imagination and what can be achieved with it.

It might not seem like it at first, what with all the things that go terribly wrong, but the last words uttered - "You have all the weapons you need, so fight" - make it abundantly clear.

The reason why I wanted to speak on this film is because it has received a great number of really bad reviews. "Sucker Punch is not the worst movie of the year," rants "It's three of the worst slapped together in a single reel." "...a colossal mess," say a review on "...limp stab at girl-power fantasia wusses out on divine delirium," says Time. "...visually stunning and utterly soulless," according to

For someone like me, however, who spent much of my life in a tree imagining other worlds to escape the one I was in, this movie struck a chord like no other. I understood immediately. I've been there (though I never had it anywhere near as bad as Baby Doll, the central character - or is she?).

I don't understand the terrible reviews it has gotten. Some of the points I can see (every boy's fantasy mash-up? Yeah, probably. I mean, she's running around in a goth school-girl outfit with a sword, a gun and an exposed navel). The rest, I really don't get. I will just have to assume that these critics never escaped into their imaginations, and never used pretend scenarios to deal with real situations.

I never was a warrior-queen beset by demonic enemies, but pretending I was sure as hell helped me survive a life-time of bullies. For the record, I don't pretend that anymore, I just write it....

This movie isn't happy. It isn't a story where everything ends in sunshine and butterflies. It's dark, utterly depressing and well and truly worth the watch.

On a lighter note, today's Forgotten English.


In botany, the ground-ivy [Glachoma Hederacea], so called by the Saxons because a chief ingredient in their malt-liquor instead of hops.

- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Kid leather. Hence, a very flexible conscience was called a cheveril conscience. [From French cheveril, goat].

- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Friday, April 8, 2011

Home at Last!

My flatmate's home! It makes me very happy to have her back. I've missed her a great deal. The cats were less than impressed, however. Persephone, normally an incredibly affectionate feline, did everything she could to avoid J. M.-B.

I did mean to make this blog post a rant about something, but I can't remember what I wanted to rant about. It mustn't be import.

Writing went fairly well yesterday. I did some serious haul-arse and am now only 2 000 words behind schedule. That means, if I write 2 000 today, I'll be right on target if we assume I usually take Friday's off. I can do that. I think.

There isn't much else to say. I've emailed my Equestrian Archery trainer and hope to start lessons soon. I'm aiming for the first Monday in May to start. Seems like as good a time as any.

I'll be back at training next week (thank heavens!).

Uh... that's about it. Righy-o, time for today's Forgotten English.

Stand Mute

A prisoner is said to stand mute when, being arraigned for treason or felony, he either makes no answer, or answers foreign to the purpose. Anciently, a mute was taken back to prison, placed in a dark dungeon, naked, on his back, on the bare ground, and a great weight of iron placed on his body ... By statute 12 George III, judgment is awarded against mutes, in the same manner as if they were convicted or confessed. A man refusing to plead was condemned and executed ... on a charge of burglary, at Wells, 1792.
- Joseph Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, 1841

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Day is It?

Oh, yes. Thursday. I had to check my calendar. That's what happens when I don't go to training - I lose track of days. It's rather annoying, actually. Ah well, with my Dad safely home from the hospital, I should be back at training next week.

Writing has been... well... going. Despite writing a fair amount yesterday, a massive clean up of the manuscript meant that I deleted (read here, cut and pasted into a 'Cut From Overlord' document) about 25 000 words. Luckily for me, I had roughly the same amount pasted into a 'Cut From The Great Man' document that I had always intended to be included in the new version of Overlord that I could paste back in. However, I am 4 000 words behind target now, and the last 21 000 odd words make a complete mess of the time line. Sigh. The work will never end!

Well, it will, after I get another 30 000 odd words down in this book, another 100 000 odd words down in the next book, and rewrite the final book, and lordy knows how many thousands of words I'll need then.

I'm at the 'KILL ME NOW' stage of writing. It'll pass just as soon as I finish this book and take an extended break. Then I get to work on Puppet Master, and I'm quite looking forward to that. I get to be as dark and evil as I like. Mwah hah hah hah hah!

Right, I should get started on my writing. Here's today's Forgotten English:


A travelling hawker, who sells by Dutch auction, i.e., reduces the price of his wares until he finds a purchaser. [From] Anglo-Saxon chepe, a market. Sometimes cheap-John.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Cheap-jackery, that which is characteristic of a cheap-jack.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

No offence, Sir Murray, but no duh...

I'm off to write. Enjoy your Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Something About Some Stuff

My father, you'll all be pleased to know, has had his surgery and is doing well. He should be home sometime today, although there was talk of keeping him at the hospital for one more night. He was not pleased about that. We'll find out today what they've decided.

I have been discussing names of the imaginary horses that my sister and I will one day own. I "have" a Baroque Friesian mare I've named Gypsy. My sister "has" a Percheron. She was looking for a name. I suggested Vercingetorix. Let's face it, if you want an epic name that screams "warrior," you have to use the name of the famous Chieftain of the Averni tribe. The one man who managed to unite much of Gaul and give the invading Romans a very, very difficult time. Too late, of course. He lost eventually. Still, that is an epic name. I've decided to steal that idea. If I get a draft horse, I'm definitely naming him Vercingetorix.

My sister's Vercingetorix:

My Vercingetorix:

You can't really tell here, but these horses are HUGE. We had a pair pull the wagon at the sugar bush. I had to look up to look the horse in the eye.

Imaginary horses are fun.

Not as much fun as the real things, of course. Speaking of which, I have to email my Equestrian Archery coach. There are lessons to organise!

Writing is going very well. I made my daily 3 000 yesterday and will strive for the same today. The Seraphimé Saga is having less luck. I've managed to garner two rejections in less than a week. I have another query out now, but we'll just have to wait. Perhaps it will be third time lucky. Perhaps not. Trying to get published as a giant nobody really, really, really bites.

Just so you know.

Right, I have to get on with it, and so do you, probably. So, here's today's Forgotten English:


A passion, a rage. In a panshard, in a rage, out of temper. Pansheet, at state of excitement, confusion, sudden passion. Panshite in West Yorkshire.
- Jospeh Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

You have no need to get into a panshard.
- John Wise's New Forest: Its History and Its Scenery, 1883

I'm off to write, then. See you later!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daydreaming of Horses

I really do want that Baroque Friesian, you know...

Well, I'll just dream about owning one. A mare. And I've called her Gypsy. A lovely name for a horse, isn't it? Sigh.

Oh, right, back to reality. Reality is so overrated! In it, I have no horse, no house of my own, and no publishing deal.

I think I'll stick to dreaming if it's all the same to you...

Writing yesterday went well. I did get to my 3 000 words, and will hopefully be doing the same today. I have to say, however, that my mind has been much engaged with this new project of mine, the one that will be offered as donation only. It appears, from early daydreams, that this will be more of a Sci Fi effort. We'll see when it comes down to the writing.

There isn't much else to say. A relief, I'm sure, since the last post was so long. Thus, here is today's Forgotten English:


A scrivener, a clerk; satirical phrase similar to "steel bar driver," a tailor.
- John Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

A clerk, scribe, or hackney writer. Brother of the quill, an author.
- Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

And I shall leave it here. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Change is as Good as a Holiday

Good morning, everyone.

Happy Monday.

If you're thinking that there's something about this blog that looks different, you'd be right. I got quite sick of the design I had before and so investigated for a new one. The layout is the same, of course (with a few minor alterations). What really has changed is the background.

You might be able to tell that I was in one of my darker moods when I settled on this particular design. To be honest, I'm rather liking this new look. After all, nothing says "I write angsty dark fantasy" like trippy purple smoke on a black background. I'm sticking with the colour purple, at least.

It was while designing the new look over the weekend that I noted I had forgotten to pre-schedule the weekend's edition of Forgotten English. So, here is Saturday's one:


A quick motion, between running and walking when one, on account of fear or weakness, is not able to run at full speed. The term seems to have had its origin from the flight of those who, living in a country subject to many inroads and depredations, were often obliged to escape from their enemies, while in consequence of hot pursuit their lives were in jeopardy every moment.

- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

I had a mixed day yesterday. The morning and early afternoon was lovely. I went on my first ever Sugar Bush, complete with a horse-drawn wagon ride. The horses were the most beautiful pair of Belgian Draft horses you could imagine. I though, at first, they weren't Belgian (though they didn't look very Clydesdale), as when I hear the word "Belgian" in the context of horse breeds, I imagine this:

Which is more typically referred to as a Friesian. Oh, and in case anyone wants to buy me an extremely extravagant gift, I would happily accept a Baroque Friesian...

Isn't he gorgeous? What a beautiful breed of horse the Baroque Friesian is. Baroque specifically - they're stockier than the more common (and more modern) Sport Friesians, and I like the heavier breeds (you can probably tell the difference between them even in the photos provided).

Then, last night, I learnt that my father is in the hospital awaiting a gall bladder removal. It's scheduled for today at 3:00pm, but will be moved back depending on what happens during the day. Needless to say, I'll be at the hospital tonight instead of at training. From what I understand, the surgery is a fairly standard procedure, so I'm not extremely worried (but worried enough).

Right. It's back to writing from this week on. I really needed that break from writing. Now I'm ready to tackle the rest of book 4 of The Great Man series.

In writing news of a separate kind, with book 1 of The Seraphimè Saga now free to be shopped around, I've started to query agents. I sent it out on the 31st to one agency. They were very prompt with their rejection. That's the first official one of the year. So I sent out another query on Friday. We'll see how that goes.

I've gotten to the point, I think, where I'm thinking that all my writing is crap, and I'll never be published. That is not true, of course, but I'm kind of thinking it all the same. I'll keep writing, though, and trying. I still want to make a living as a published author. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Once The Great Man series is written, I have plans to start another project that will be made available for free/donation only. I haven't decided. I still have to contact some people and clear it with them first (don't want to tread on anyone's toes). To be honest, I'm quite excited about having something available for free for my readers (which, according to sales of The Dying God are all of four people). Mostly because I don't have to stress about whether agents/publishers will like it or not.

Still on the writing thing, The Dying God & Other Stories, has not done as well as I might have hoped (I was hoping for more than four sales, to be honest). Seems no one really wants to read it. I'm going to go for a re-launch of it this year's Hallowe'en on Smashwords to see if it does any better than it did on I also want to publish a paperback version, but don't have the time for it right now. I will be looking into a P.O.D. version, though. I'm not sure how it'd work with the pictures for those do it yourself places. Anyone with experience have some advice?

For a post that was supposed to be mainly about my blog's new look, this really did veer off topic. I'll let you all get on with your lives after these messages:

Today's Forgtten English is brought to you by Jeffrey Kacirk.


Elated with lquor.

- William Cope's Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, 1883

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April Fools

I want to come up with a prank, but find that I just don't have the imagination for it. I can envision a three day battle, but can't come up with something vaguely amusing to punk friends and family with. It's odd, and a little annoying!

Today, I shall continue my writing break by watching more comedy panel shows. For those of you who do not watch them, start. They are hysterically funny. I have three that I am currently addicted to:

Argumental - aired on "Dave" and some episodes have been picked up by the BBC. At the moment Dave has axed the show (after several absolutely golden seasons). There is a campaign by fans to bring it back. We'll have to see. In the meantime, catch up. Start at season 1. You won't be sorry. It's bloody hilarious!

Qi - the quiz master is Stephen Fry. Need I say more? There are currently 8 seasons, so get stuck in. They're so much fun, and actually really, really, really educational. Did you know the earth has more than one moon? Now you do, thanks to Qi!

Mock the Week - a panel show that is also news satire. As it's British, it focuses on British news (well, duh). It's still hysterical, and I'm currently working my way through the seasons, and loving it. Hosted by Dara Ó Briain, who is a very intelligent (which translates to extremely funny) host, it's well worth the watching!

Right, rather unfunnily, here's today's Forgotten English:

Screwed In
A preactical joke was to [secure] someone's door from the outside with long coffin-screws. The victim was said to be screwed in or screwed up. Hence, screwed up came to mean defeated, baffled, incapable of retaliation. Oxford.
- Morris Marples' University Slang, 1950.