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

- Graycie Harmon

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Piper's News

News that everyone has already heard; probably from a piper going from place to place and still relating the same story till it be in everyone's mouth.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

(Today is a holiday here in Canada, so I'm not anywhere near the computer. This is a pre-scheduled post.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The remainder in a cask or package which has leaked or been partially used.
- Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word Book, 1867

Ullage of a cask is what such a vessel wants of being full.
- Edward Phillips' New World of English Words, 1706

The quantity of liquor contained in a cask partially filled, and the cpacity of the portion which is empty, are termed respectively the wet and dry ullage.
- Encylopedia Britannica, 1883

To Calculate the amount of ullage in a cask. To fill up again an ullaged cask.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1926

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Final Bow... For a While, at Least

Soooo.... I managed to complete the Prologue yesterday, meaning that all I must write now is the Epilogue... and then I'm DONE the book.

Until it comes time to edit, of course.

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be finished with this book. And to think, I couldn't wait to get my teeth into when I started. As far as story goes, there are so many meaty moments... but they hurt like hell.

Of course, in order for me to finish the book, I must get writing. So, on that note - have a terrific weekend!

Wild Fowl Flavor

Tasty and appetizing food was said to have a real "wild fowl flavor." The dish in question might be a pie or any kind of food. Nantucket.
- William Macy's Nantucket Scrap Basket, 1930

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Almost Done!

Well, yesterday I typed the final words of the body of Puppet Master.


I wrote almost 4 000 words yesterday. It should have tipped me well over the 100 000 word mark. As you can tell by the word meter on the right of your screen, however, it didn't happen. That's largely because there were 3 000 words of previously written scene that was just absolute rubbish and had to go.

It's gone now.

I appreciate that such culls make the book less rubbish, but it's still sad to see all that work go to waste.

Le sigh.

Quite normally, I have the Prologue written before I write the final lines of the body of a book. Not this time. Inspiration for the Prologue seems to be decidedly lacking. Still, I'll endeavour to slog it out. There should be a Prologue written by the end of today. If I manage it, I'll write the Epilogue tomorrow, and that'll be the book done.

And then I'll party like it's 1999. Seriously! I can finally put all this awful stuff behind me for a few months and work on something lighter for a while. That would be bliss.

Incidentally, I thought I had a killer closing for Puppet Master, but I find myself a little disappointed. Here it is:

The Son closed his eyes and took a deep breath. In his deep, silken voice, he softly said:

“I surrender.”

Tell me what you think.

I really should get started on the Prologue. No idea what it's going to be about yet. Slight lie - I have a vague idea. But only vague.


Inclined to, or favouring, celibacy.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

A person who is unmarried; [a] celebatist.
- John Ogilvie's Comprehensive English Dictionary, 1865

How is that forgotten? I totally knew that and have heard and used it in conversation. Hmmm....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The End is Nigh!

Today, assuming all goes to plan, is the day that I reach the 100 000 word mark. That should finish the book. I say should because it clearly won't. I'll need more than 3 000 words to finish up. Also... I haven't written the prologue yet, so...

Yeah. Today was the target completion date and while I made my target, the book isn't complete. I'm not sure when it will be. Not long now, though. I'm almost there.

Except that I have to then write the Prologue and Epilogue. I'm guessing that this will be around the 110 000 word mark. Hopefully not longer. Though if it is longer, I won't feel nearly so terrible cutting the sections that are rubbish when it comes time to edit. There's a plus.

With luck, I'll be finished before the month is out. Then I can work on fixing up The Dying God, and then I can work on the super fun silly project I have in my head to take me away from all the death and despair of my current project.

Busy, busy!

Well, must fly. Have a lovely Wednesday all. I'll see you some time!


This stone was formerly supposed to facilitate deliver, if bound on the thigh; and to prevent abortion, if bound on the arm.
- Robley Dunglison's Dictionary of Medical Science, 1844

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reason I am a Dork #45

I often listen to epic music. I have an album from Two Steps from Hell on my iPod that I happened to be listening to on my way to work this morning. Then this song played:

Incidentally, this is the album cover. Also, buy this album. It's frikkin' amazing!

And that rewrite I've been dreading playing in full force in my mind. I can't really describe it here, because it's a HUGE spoiler (my flatmate knows, though). Sufficed to say, this is Edward's theme, not least of all because of the title, and it made me cry.

That's right. I randomly burst into tears on the footpath as I walked to work. Thank heavens for slightly oversized sunglasses!

Yup, I'm a dork!

In other news on the same series, remember when I felt so disheartened by the last rejection I received? Well, I had asked a friend of mine, who is published, to give my manuscript a read and tell me what she thought. Yesterday evening on facebook, she posted this on her wall:

I'm just popping on here to say that I'm reading a fabulous fantasy novel right now. S.M. Carrière,

you are awesome!! :O) OK, back to reading!

Which made me smile. Of course, the manuscript isn't perfect, and she has some suggestions, but all the same, I was thrilled. Now I don't feel so badly about it and I no longer think I suck as a writer.

...Until the next rejection, that is.

So, I'm a mixed bag of emotions at the moment. Today, I think, I'll be diving into that rewrite. In any case, I'm up to the day of battle that it happens. Best get it out the way, really.

I should get to it, I suppose. Have a great Tuesday all!


A thing devoted to God... to atone for the violent death of a man by misadventure; from Deo dandum [Latin, "that which is given to God"].
- Nathan Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1742

If a man falls from a boat or ship in fresh water and is drowned, it hath been said that the vessel and cargo are, in strictness of law, a deodand.
- William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1769

If a man, being upon a cart carrying faggots, ... fall downe by the moving of one of the horses of the cart, and die of it, both that and all the other horses in the cart, and the cart itselfe, are forfeit. And these are called deodands.
- Sir Henry Finch's Law; or, A Discourse Thereof in Four Books, 1613.

My spell checker had a field day with that last one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh Monday, How I've missed Thee


The only good thing about Monday is that it's the day following Sunday, meaning I'm well rested (usually) and up for writing difficult, really emotional scenes. Which is probably a good thing, since the rewrite I've been dreading is fast approaching. I might not make it there today, but it seems likely that I'll hit it this week.

I'm pre-emptively tearing up right now.

Is pre-emptively a word? It is now. Eat your heart out Shakespear...

There isn't much to report. I had a glorious week last week, what with seeing the final Harry Potter flick, and going to see the Lion King live on stage, and having an alright equestrian archery lesson (as opposed to the very frustrating lessons that were the previous two (photos and video to follow soon)).

This week looks much quieter. Though I do foresee a night of heavy drinking that will likely coincide with the afore-mentioned re-write.

Since there is so little to report, I shall leave you here. Have a lovely Monday all!


A glass of ardent spirits or draught of ale given by the landlord of an inn to his guest when about to depart.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

In the north of the Highlands, called "cup at the door."
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

[By the 19th century, the term stirrup-cup, also called the doch-an-dorrais (from Gaelic and Irish deoch, drink, and an doruis, of the door) was extended to include the welcoming of a guest with a drink before his dismount.]

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Abusive language. To cample is a Northern word for to scold.
- Roger Wilbraham's Glossary of Some Words Used in Cheshire, 1826

Amperlash, saucy, abusive language. "I'll have none o' thy amperlash."
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Friday, July 22, 2011

Best. Night. Ever.

I saw The Lion King at the National Arts Centre here in Ottawa last night. I have just one word to describe it - spectacular.

It was, I think, the best thing I've seen on stage. Ever.

A wonderful mix of puppetry and live actors, it opened powerfully, had me crying almost all the way through, and finished beautifully. By the by, Rafiki was by far the best part of it - an amazing actress and singer who has been Rafiki on every single continent, almost.

The best scene, and one that will stick in my mind forever, was the stampede in the gorge. They pulled that off brilliantly.

I'm not going to tell you how it was done. You need to see it for yourself.

No, seriously. Go. Now.

I didn't write yesterday because I was terrified of being an emotional wreck before going to see The Lion King. That performance was well worth now being 3000 words behind target.

So, though today is typically my day off, I'll be endeavouring to make up the deficit. Hopefully I'll make it, and can spend the weekend guilt free!

Must get on with it, then!

Make a Long Arm

To reach far, especially when trying to help oneself to food.
- J.C. Ruppenthal's Word-List from Kansas, 1916.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vast Improvement

Life seems to have improved overnight.

J.M-B. and I went to Equestrian Archery last night, and I wasn't nearly as frustrated. Plus, I got to ride back to the stables the long way - and it was a beautiful ride through grasses that came up to my waist (mounted) and birds that suddenly took flight from right beside me.

Ahhhh.... bliss!

My own improvement and the fact that Nash was very well behaved helped improve my mood. Then, to cap off the night, I finally met our trainer's new horse, Marius. Marius is a quarter horse/ paint mix. He has the sweetest face you can imagine, and appears to be always smiling.

He's also incredibly friendly, and affectionate and just so dang adorable! I fell in love right away.

What a sweetheart.

I haven't any pictures or video of the lesson up yet, but they will be forthcoming.

Right, I have a book to finish, so I'll leave you alone now... except to say that, by a magnificent stroke of someone else double booking, I'm going to see The Lion King at the N.A.C. tonight. Squee!


Being under the feet; from Latin pes, the foot.
- Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

Applied to a mountain lying at the foot of another.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1919.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh Dear. Floundering Again.

So... how are you?

I'm not great. Again. I'm floundering. Again.

I hate this feeling - of being directionless. Lost. Confused.

Don't worry. I'll snap out of it again. I always do.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue to write and hope to be published, and self-publish and all the usual stuff I do.

Honestly, I think I'm felling this way because I'm channelling Julian's emotions who, at the moment, feels exactly this way. I tell you, this book will be the death of me.

Not really, but almost.

It takes me roughly three months to write a first draft of a book (read here: throw everything that happens in a roughly chronological order onto roughly 400 pages (double spaced)). For this book, that is three whole months of confusion, and death, and despair, and torture, and grief...

It takes its toll.

Man, I can't WAIT to finish this book and work on something lighter! Just 15 000 words to go. Five days. Five days, that's it. I can do it. I can get through this. I can. I can. I can.

Dear gawd, let it end!

Writing is actually right on schedule. Yesterday, no one died. That made a nice change. However, Edward certainly gave everyone a piece of his mind. That made me sad. He takes things too hard upon himself, that man. It's a big brother thing, I think.

Right, if I'm to get this damned book finished, I'd best get on it. Have a great day!


That which is only a trouble, or useless burthen to the world.
- Robert Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859

A cumberworld, yet in the world am left,
A fruitless plot, with brambles overgrown,
Mislived man of my worlds joy bereft,
Hearbreaking cares, the offspring of my moan.
- Michael Drayton's Shepherd's Garland, 1593

Cumberground, anything utterly worthless and in people's way; something that ought to be destroyed or buried out of sight.
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clearly, That's What I Meant

Again, I'm going with titles that have little or nothing to do with the posts. I don't know why I do this. Perhaps it appeals to my odd sense of whimsy.

Well, The Dying God & Other Stories is in worse shape than I imagined. I handed it off to my flatmate to review, and in the first couple of pages, she spotted a number of errors.


Seriously, my self-editing skills are far worse than I thought. I'm feeling very disappointed in myself right now.

Not disappointed enough to make me depressed, though. Which is a good thing, because when I'm really depressed, I can't write, and I'm coming up to a bit in Puppet Master that I'm quite excited about - the concluding battle (of the book, not the series). Something happens in this battle that I'm not terribly excited about, but I'm ignoring that for fear of bringing on the afore-mentioned depression.

Actually, I adore writing battle scenes. It's so much more straight forward than all the other stuff. You pick a side, and hope to hell they win. There's none of this wishy-washy sympathy for the enemy stuff, no. It's life and death. There's no room for bleeding hearts.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes writing battle scenes fun and easy. You know, until someone you love dearly dies.

No spoilers!

I say that like this will reach a massive audience who will then be terribly disappointed at my slip. If this book ever gets published and does managed to reach a wide audience, this blog post will long be buried in the annals of history. So it doesn't really matter.

I'm still not telling, though.

Mwah hah hah hah!

I may have had too much coffee.

Alrighty, with just 18 000 words to go until I hit my target book length, I should get cracking. You're all awesome. Thanks for sticking with me through all my crazy.

An unlucky accident. And why is it not as good a word as mischance or misfortune?
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Is it just me or does this guy sound like he's making up words and trying to defend them? Also, I can see a reason why the word isn't as good, can you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wow. Just... Wow.

So, I received my new proof right on time on Friday for The Dying God & Other Stories. I was excited about this one. I'd reviewed the first proof, fixed all the errors I found, and fought valiantly and eventually defeated the evil .pdf converter.

It all looked set to publish.

Except... I found yet more errors. Stupid errors. Stupid little grammatical errors. And now I have to change all the different versions of the eBook. Again. I have to make the corrections to the print version. Again.

Worst of all, I have to fight with the evil .pdf converter. Again.

The last fight had me almost in tears of frustration. Technology and I aren't friends.

I am decidedly unimpressed with myself. Le sigh.

I'm contemplating doing this all today, putting aside my writing for now. Only, I can't quite bring myself to do it. I'm in the middle of the battle that occurs at the end of Puppet Master, and I have to say, writing battle scene are by far much more fun than writing all the heavy emotional stuff that came before. I like trebuchets and boulders smashing walls, and primitive bombs and stuff. It's all so much fun!

So, perhaps I'll leave The Dying God & Other Stories until my no-writing day on Friday. Of course, that means a whole week of dreading that battle I must face with the EVIL .pdf converter. Did I mention that thing was evil?

The weekend saw me busy, as always, but it was a fun sort of busy. Saturday, I tidied up after the Harry Potter party we threw... though the living room still looks like the room of requirement.

Incidentally, the final instalment of the film franchise was well worth the watching.

Sunday, I went out to brunch with my father, before heading out to a hike with my friend K.R., before going to a dinner theatre production (which my father helped direct and in which he performed). The hike was an adventure!

We had decided to do a relatively short 3.5 hike on a black diamond trail. For those not in the know, black diamond is considered exceptionally difficult. We decided on trail no. 6 in the Gatineau Mountains (Gatineau Park, Quebec). We arrived in the early afternoon on what was a sweltering hot day.

No, really. It was really, really, really hot and just as muggy.

Off we went down the easy trail that would lead us to the difficult trail. We arrived at the beginning of the trail and, with nothing else to do, dove right in. We walked, and walked, and jumped over rocks, and up many steep slopes, and around little swamps filled with cute little frogs. We were eaten alive by mosquitoes every time we stopped to rest.

Actually, we were just eaten alive. Resting or no.

Several times we actually lost the trail, to pick it up again a little further on. Several more times we thought we were quite lost, until a tiny plaque with the trail number in a black diamond was spotted nailed to a tree.

I had a blast. I adored scampering over rocks and around swamps and across barely running streams. Several times, I sung the Lord of the Rings theme, as well as the song Bilbo sings as he sets out from Bag End:

The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
I'll follow where [forgot the words so just started humming at this point]

Yes, I'm a dork. I thought this was established?

In any case, that trail was fun.

When we hit the road, it looked oddly unfamiliar. The reason it was odd was because we ought to have come out right where we went in. Not so.

Scowling, we consulted the map before realising we, thinking we were on trail 6, which makes a nice loop, were actually hiking trail 8, which doesn't make such a nice loop. More of a 2.5 km long semi-circle. We ended up 3.5 km away from the parking lot - about 3 km further away than we were supposed to.

Uh... oops?

On the map itself, trail 8 more or less ends about 1.5 km in. The rest of the trail was still trail 8, but didn't appear on the map except for a very short dotted line about where we exited the trail. It's a little difficult to explain, and I'm not sure what it means. Any experienced hikers out there know?

In any case, we walked back to the parking lot, after asking for directions because I was certain we were lost... again. But we weren't. Poor K.R. got a blister and, being unused to walking as much as I, had a tougher time on the black diamond trail. However, she soldiered on brilliantly and, despite suffering a bit from the shakes one gets when faced with a calorie deficiency or dehydration (yes, we stayed hydrated during the hike. Promise), she managed to get me to my Dad's play on time.

I am SO grateful for that (thanks, K.R.).

The play - a humorous musical romp through an old woman's memories - was wonderful, and wildly entertaining. We exited the Centre Pauline Charron to find that it had rained. When I got home, my flatmate told me it hadn't just rained, there had been a storm of epic proportions, including tornadoes. One tornado had, apparently, touched down at Base Camp (where she was currently working) just moments after the evacuation order was received. One poor guy had another car slammed into the tray of his ute.

Oh, I should explain. A "ute" is short for "utility vehicle" in Aussie slang. It describes the car that most people in North America describe as trucks - a car with a tray back and a cab. They're not trucks. A Mac Truck is a truck.

This is a ute.

I digress.

I was actually quite sad I missed it, as I adore storms. Luckily, just as I was drifting to sleep, a thunder storm rolled through. The cats hated it. I adored it. I think I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Right. I think that covers everything in over-the-top detail. I have a battle to write. If you'll excuse me.


Pride, haughtiness, arrogance, insolence.
- Edward Llyod's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The restlessness, stretching, [yawning] and uneasiness usually attending the cold fist of an intermitting fever. [Special thanks to Bruce Newling for this word.]

- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Dark Crystal


The foul luce, or slimy matter a razor scrapes off the face in shaving.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Due to yesterday's awesome guest post, I neglected to provide you with the Forgotten English of the day. So I decided to be nice and give it to you first thing this morning.

Now the post isn't really about The Dark Crystal. It's actually about my mood today. As I was walking to work this morning, I found that I am slowly making peace with what was, arguably, the most devastating rejection yet... for some reason.

No sooner did the words 'making peace' pop into my head, than did the image and sound of the Skekis Chamberlain from The Dark Crystal whining plaintively after the escaping Gelflings, "Please? Please make peace?"

Hence the title. Just so you know I really didn't pick it at random, and there was a thought process behind it.

If I was picking titles at random that had nothing to do with post content, I'd have titled today's post Peeps in Jeeps.

Ahem, anyway...

I am slowly recovering from my random breakdown on Monday. It's funny how long it takes me to really get back on my feet. Hm.

With my writing, I've managed to make my 3 000 words every day this week. I'm now approaching the last 20 000 or so words of the novel. If I stay on track, I out to be finished before the end of the month.

Then I'm going to be working on a much lighter project to take me away from all the dark and death and depression I'm dealing with writing Puppet Master. I genuinely think that the horrors of Medrim are affecting my mood - which would go a long way to explain why it's taking me so bloody long to get over the latest "no."

This project has, for the past two days, made me pause and giggle. It's a light (well, as light as I am capable of producing), just-for-fun book I'm going to write, so I think that I'll self-publish it.

I'm not going to say more on it, except to note that fellow Ottawans would probably enjoy it that much more than the rest.

Well, today's my day off, which means I get to goof off as much as I want and not feel guilty. So, here's your Forgotten English. I'm off to... not sure yet; but it'll be fun whatever it is.

Hot Spong

A sudden powerful heat.
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

A sudden power of heat from the sun emerging from a cloud; East[ern England].
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Post by Evil Genius Rainy of the Dark: How to Quickly Write Blog Posts

If writing your blog posts has a small, but shameful, impending doom feeling (much like doing the dishes), don't worry. Before long, it was bound to become a task. But you're sticking to it because you know it needs to be done, and you don't really hate it. You just wish it was, well, easier. Here are a few ideas how to make it less of a chore, or at least one accomplished with less frustration:

Know the point of the article. I know, this should be a given, but it's easier said than done. Picking at topic isn't the same thing as know what you're writing about. The easiest way to do this is to write the title. Don't worry about being clever there yet; you're evil genius can shine later. Right now, just use it to focus.

Know how to approach it. Do you want to make it a long-winded discourse why you are best to reign overlord? Or would you like a post with topics and explanations (like this post)? If you're not sure where to begin, consider a simple formula: open it, write 3 or more points, and close it. Simple and effective.

Know your outline. Either of the above approaches can benefit from a rough outline. You don't have to go research paper on it with Roman Numerals. But writing down your key points can make pounding out an article that much easier when you don't have to stop every few lines to figure out what's next.

That should be enough to get you started, but there's more tricks you can apply that will make it even easier.

Keep a running list of topics. Coming up with what to write about can be one of the most frustrating parts of creating an article. Keeping a list of topics as ideas occur to you while chatting, catching up on social networks, blogging or doing the dishes can be a great way to bypass that nerve-gnawing part of blogging. When it's time to write, just open your list, pick two that appeal to you and get to work on your quick outline.

Stay ahead of the game. If you have a cache of back posts, you won't feel quite as much pressure to write. And that can be a good thing. Of course, you need to make sure to keep up on the cache, so regularly writing is still a must. But turning out content for next week is a more tolerable stress than right-this-moment.

Map it out the night before. That's right. If you plan to write on Wednesday mornings, than do your topic selection and outlining on Tuesday. Once you get used to the process, it should take less than thirty minutes to outline a couple of articles. Some may require research, but consider that you mostly write what you know (or what you have an opinion on), then you'll see that you can brainstorm before bed and get up in the morning to write it.

Do a few at a time. If you need to write two or more articles a week, work on them together. That is, pick them all at once, create the rough outlines all at once, and save it. Then when you're ready to write, hit them in order.

There you have it, seven ways to take care of article writing. Once turned into a routine, you'll find you can easily keep on your blog. And the sense of accomplishment will be so great, you might just tackle the dishes, too.

How do you currently handle article writing?

When Rainy Kaye isn't plotting world domination, she enjoys coaching others about it on her blog

She also likes fluffy kittens.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lost at Sea

So I drew a diagram of just exactly what it feels like to try and get published.

I'm lost at sea at the moment. My very ability to tell a good tale has been, for the first time, really, cast into doubt... self-doubt. I mean, I never thought I was the next Tolkien or anything, but I did at least think I could spin a pretty good yarn.

Now... not so much.

I've begged a ginormous favour of someone I know who has been, and continues to be, published. She's reading my manuscript for me, and giving me an honest opinion of whether it's good... or not.

I'm chewing my nails for the fret.

What if it really isn't very good at all?

What if I can't actually write?

What the hell am I supposed to do then?

I'm feeling lost and adrift... just like I did when I found out I needed glasses and couldn't fly fighters; directionless, listless.

Until the most excellent, I-owe-her-tonnes-and-tonnes, author gets back to me, there is little I can do except continue to write.

And ask everyone's opinion on something. The agent who most recently rejected my manuscript (without actually reading it) had this to say:

It looks like you have a single story arc that you split... you had a six page synopsis and split each page into a book.

The thing is, it's not that far from the truth. I do have a single story arc. Julian's story. This series is all about how a innocent and gentle child became on of the greatest, and most feared, heroes in all of history. It's a long journey. A great deal happens to poor Julian before he gets to be that terrifying hero.

While I would love to hand in a single volume on Julian's life, a 600 000+ word manuscript seems a little... extreme.

So I broke down Julian's journey into individual steps, each major step on his journey getting it's own book. In The Third Prince, Julian is sent to Medrim to become a soldier as a punishment. He starts off a very poor soldier indeed, but grows to become the best damned warrior Medrim has ever seen. Clue: the use of the word 'damned' here was very deliberate.

The series looks like this, essentially:

... only better drawn. 'A' represents the very beginning, 'G' the very end, and each dot along the way the major steps Julian took getting from A to G. For example, b represent Julian as (basically) a super soldier. The black lines are, therefore, each a book.

Now here's my question for you:

Does that seem an unreasonable way to go about constructing a series? No flattery. Be honest. This is stuff I need to know, even if it hurts a little... or a lot.

The other issue was the ending of The Third Prince. To spoil the book completely, Julian fights a demon in single combat - and defeats it. It almost costs him his life, but he is saved from certain death by a... well, by someone. The book closes with Julian alive, but unconscious.

Is this a terrible ending for a book? The agent stressed that cliff-hangers were not allowed at the end of books, though the book might be part of a series. She's probably right, though I would argue. That might just be me getting defensive though. So, seriously, is that a terrible ending?

Again, no flattery allowed. Be honest.

Well, now I'm going to disappear into writing and try very hard to not read the answers until lunch hour. Until then, then.

Wet Finger

It probably means as easy as turning over the leaf [page] of a book... or tracing a lady's name on the table with spilt wine. With a wet finger, easily, readily.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sudden Insomniac

Last night I couldn't sleep. This, despite being exhausted from crying almost all night. Hey, I'm allowed one day of abject misery, alright? It was weird. This rejection really affected me; much more so than the others.

In any case, I was up pretty much all night. So I ventured into the living room to nick a moment with the laptop. The reason?

I'm thinking of going back to school.

I've wanted to do a Masters for a while, and I struck on an interesting thesis idea (one of many), but I need the foundation for it first. So I'm thinking B.A. General, English Major with a minor in Celtic Studies (I pretty much already have that minor from my previous stint in university).

There is a catch, however. I cannot afford to go back to school - even with the aid of OSAP, so I'm desperately hoping that the university will allow me to work full time and study full time - like a same-city distance education degree... or something.

For some reason, universities haven't really been accommodating in that regard to date.

In any case, those are my current thoughts.

Writing-wise, I did manage my daily 3 000, though it was a struggle because I was so upset and distracted.

Today marks the day when I would have reached the 100 000 word mark, had I kept on schedule. Instead, I'm less than three quarters through.

It makes me sad.

Oh well! There's nothing for me but to soldier on. And there's nothing left of this post but the Forgotten English.


To waste time in a a lazy lingering manner. It has exactly the same sense as drumble, which Mrs. Ford uses in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in [be]rating her servants for not being more nimble in carrying off the [laundry]-basket. Had that merry gossip been an East Angle, she must have said dringle.
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Monday, July 11, 2011

When Things Went Awry

Well, last night was an exciting time. I read an email from a potential agent who had some concerns over the ending of The Third Prince and wanted me to re-write it.

Not a problem, thought I. So long as the story remains relatively intact, I can do that. After all, I kinda get what she means.

I neglected to read the second email she sent me which stated that she just wasn't thrilled enough to take on the book.

I read that this morning.

And now I want to cry.

You know that sinking feeling you sometimes get when your life appears to be a big, empty void - a colossal chasm filled with dreams never fulfilled? I have visions of me sitting at this very desk, twenty years from now, still single, plumper than I should be, embittered and defeated.

Right now, I want to quit. Who needs to be published, anyway?

Trying was a stupid idea.

Of course, I'm not especially bright, so I'm going to keep trying. Like a hamster that never learns to stop touching the electric frikkin' wire.

Maybe I'll self-publish it.

I don't want to, but who knows? Maybe it's the only way this story will see the light of day. And this story deserves to see the light of day.

Let me stress, I'm not in any way, shape or form, angry with the agent. Actually, she was excellent at keeping me abreast of where she was at with my submission and I appreciate her candid explanation of why she wouldn't take on the manuscript.

Besides which, I would much rather have an agent who was thoroughly excited about my stuff.

There just seems to be no such beast.

Well, I'm going to go hide in a hole for the rest of the day, probably cry some and think a great deal. Here's today's Forgotten English to keep you occupied while I do:


To emasculate through squeamishness. From the name (Bowdler) of one of Shakespeare's "purifiers." [Occasionally still used.]
- John Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


In Law, a [Kentish] custom whereby the lands of a father are, at his death, equally divided among his sons, to the exclusion of the females, or those of a brother are equally divided among brothers, if he dies without issue.
- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

Apparently from a British source, although the word is of Gaelic form.
- Hensleigh Wedgewood's Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878

Disgavel, to take away the tenure of gavelkind.
- Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

Friday, July 8, 2011

And Such Like, and Other Random Things

Boy, this morning was a mad rush. I woke up at 7:15 and happily though, 'I have fifteen minutes more!'

At 7:30 I opened my eyes only to find that it was, in fact, 8:40 and any hope of even catching a bus to be on time was decidedly non-existent.

I will just say now that my flatmate must surely be some sort of Goddess of Travel, or Speed, or Cars, or the Road, or Being on Time Despite the Worst Possible Situation. We leapt into the car and off we went. Somehow, by some divine intervention, we arrived at my work with one minute to spare.

Remind me to buy that girl something pretty.

When I have money.

She needn't really have bothered. I arrived to work to find it deserted, save for one lone soul in the very back corner of the office. It looks like a ghost office. My first reaction was to question the day.

It is Friday, right? I didn't waltz in on a Saturday, right?

Since it is Friday, I have the right to simply goof off - it's my no-writing day. However, I am still 30 000 words behind my target (thanks to all the stressful business with The Dying God & Other Stories), so I might write today.

Or might not. I haven't decided yet.

Speaking of The Dying God & Other Stories, I'm still having serious issues uploading the good version onto My best advice would be to not buy the version. I will tell you when it's all sorted.

The good version is up on HERE. Though this version is unillustrated.

I do believe you can get the illustrated version for the Kindle HERE.

I'm still waiting on the 2nd proof from I have a release date for the paperback, though - September 01st. It is subject to change, but I think everything should be in order by then.

Yes, the paperback will have the illustrations.

While on the subject of writing, I (spoiler alert) wrote the death of a beloved character yesterday in Puppet Master (Book 5 of The Great Man series, if you care). There is also another death coming up closer to the end of the book that I have to rewrite, and I'm NOT looking forward to it.

In any case, this character died really well, you should know. The death was brave, and purposeful and beautiful... and left me an emotional wreck for the rest of the day. Luckily, no clients came in that afternoon. It would not do to be greeted by a receptionist with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Right, I really should get to... uh... writing? Goofing? Something, anyway. So, to keep you amused, here's today's Forgotten English.


To treat illness without knowledge or skill in medicine. Devon and Cornwall.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just One of Those Days

It's only early on a Thursday morning, but I'm already in a foul mood. I blame Galahad, who insisted on walking around the house, meowing like mad, and scratching at my suitcase and my closet door alternatively. At 4:00 in the morning.

He usually does this if his food or water bowl is empty, or if the litter needs to be cleaned. I emptied the litter last night, so it wasn't that. I went and check his food and water stocks. Both good.

Nope, he just wanted to be a little [expletive retracted].

The result is this:

Not only am I sore as all heck from training on Tuesday night, my stomach still a little upset from over-training Tuesday night, but I'm also exhausted and cranky. And I have training again tonight.


I'm done complaining! No, seriously. All done. Feeling a bit better now that I have that off my chest!

In writing news, I'm not doing too badly. I made my 3 000 words just after lunch yesterday (thank-you, early start time). Much of what I wrote didn't help my upset tummy.

Does any other writer reread their stuff and think that there must be something wrong with them? I mean, what I wrote turned my stomach a little when I read it. How could I have written it? More pressing is how twisted must my imagination be to come up with that stuff?


I'm not giving anything away except to say, the Captain of the Guard is an evil, evil person and poor, poor Xander.

Le sigh.

Right, I have to go kill some characters now. That will make me feel better. Have a great Thursday.


Something new; just as a miracle is something wonderful. A fanciful and licentious fabrication, perhaps never used at all seriously.
- Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well, That Was...

... interesting.

Training last night was incredible. I had so much energy and I worked so hard for all three hours. Then I threw up.

For the first time in my lazy life (no, seriously. I pretty lazy when it comes to the physical stuff), I worked so hard at a physical activity, I made myself ill. I've heard of this happening. I've seen people run out of class because of this. I've never, ever experienced it myself.

And now I have.

Although, thankfully, my stomach waited until some time after the end of class before turning.

The funny thing is, I did nothing different this time prior to training. I ate my snack before heading off, drank tonnes of water before and during. However, it was extremely hot and humid, and I was non-stop for the full three hours (usually I'm a bit lazier and give myself long, sometimes permanent breaks before the three hour mark).

The really funny thing is, prior to the completion of class, I was thinking that I should start swimming in the mornings because I had so much energy and was feeling so good I wanted to step up my game.

That'll learn me.

Right, so I have to get writing. There's another 3 000 words that need to be put down today. So I'll leave you now. Instead of an awkward pause, have some Forgotten English:


Of the weather, hot and sultry, with alternating showers.
- Thomas Darlington's Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

Showery, with bright intervals. From gleam, a hot interval of sunshine between showers; a ray of sunshine.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pretty Good, All in All

I'm really rather chuffed with myself. I managed to write 3 000 words yesterday (finishing just as it was time to go home), despite my very, very late - as in after lunch late - start to writing.

Of course, I'm still roughly 30 000 words behind target.

It feels so good to be writing again. I was smiling all the way through yesterday, even though I'm building up to a beloved character's death.

He dies bravely, you should know.

Bleh! Enough of the depressing stuff. It's too beautiful a morning for mourning. I'm still celebrating my 3 000 words. It's a big deal. I've been away from writing for what feels like an age!

There isn't much else to say, except that after two whole weeks away, and barring any unforeseen issues, I'll be back to training tonight. It's a scary thought. I have to say, I've quite enjoyed my break from training, even though the first week I felt (and looked, apparently) like death warmed over. Sometimes it's nice to have a quiet evening with nothing on the cards but movies and kitten cuddles.

I'm not nearly as aggravated being away from training as I usually get. I credit this with a wonderful weekend at the lakes, far, far, far away from the city, with the wonderful host of people that is my family. All the same, I should get back to training. I miss the people and, to be honest, I really like the training.

I also should get back to writing. Those 3 000 words aren't going to write themselves. Thus, today's Forgotten English:


To deprive of sex or sexual character; transformation in respect to sex; usually with reference to a woman, [to] make masculine.
- William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889

To make otherwise than the sex commonly is.
- John Walker's Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language, 1835

Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.
- William Shakespeare's Macbeth, 1605

Oh, also, before I forget, The Dying God has finished it's serialised run at All Things Books. I have the links up HERE in case you wanted to go through and read each section. It's a free story, so why not?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Time to Get Cracking

I've spent all last week figuring my way through The Dying God & Other Stories updates, and revisions and preparation for self-publication.

Enough of that noise!

I should be almost finished Puppet Master by now, but The Dying God has stolen all of the lime-light. Time to get going on Puppet Master again. All that remains of The Dying God business is the update (which still hasn't gone through), the revision of the 2nd proof (which isn't due to arrive until the middle of the month), decide on whether or not I want to pay the $39.00 for the 'extended distribution channel' (any advice from those who've been there already?), and then approve the thing for publishing.

It's not likely to be approved for a little bit yet. There's some behind the scenes stuff I have to take care of as well (like the T.I.N. that I require, etc).

So, I can (sort of) concentrate on Puppet Master for a while. It will make a nice change to actually write!

This post is later than usual, thanks to the obnoxiously slow computer. I cannot wait until I get a newer, faster machine... assuming there's space in the office budget for one...

Enough mucking around, I must get cracking. To keep you company while I disappear into the continent of Kwon, here's today's Forgotten English:

Bung Your Eye

Drink a dram; strictly speaking, to drink till one's eyes is bunged up, or closed. Boys at school said, "I'll bung you eye," meaning to strike one in the eye, the consequence of which was generally a bunged eye, that is, so swollen as to be closed up. It is derived, no doubt, from bung, which came from a Welsh word that means a stopple [stopper].
- Alfred Elwyn's Glossary of Supposed Americanisms, 1859

Saturday, July 2, 2011


A term used to express that strange gabbling noise people make who are talking in a language we do no understand.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Friday, July 1, 2011


Every Canada Day, I feel compelled to post this song not only because it's catchy, but because it's hilarious as well:

Since it is Canada Day, I'm actually not here. No, really. I'm not. I'm writing this in the past. I'm going to the cottage for a family gathering of epic proportions. Approximately 57 family members will be gathering. It's going to be fun!

Well, there's nothing left now but for to deliver your Forgotten English:


A term of reproach, the meaning of which appears to be unknown to those who use it. It is evidently a corruption of whore's-bird, to which it must be added that bird in Old English and Anglo-Saxon means birth, and hence offspring, progeny; or the Old English burd, bride, young woman, in which case the term means a bastard daughter. Either way, it comes to much the same, and the term was easily generalized.
- William Cope's Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, 1883

Whore is the past participle of [Anglo-Saxon] hynan, to hire. The word means simply someone, anyone, hired. It was formerly written without the w.
- John Tooke's Diversions of Purley, 1840

Wasbird, a wartime phrase used of any elderly man eager to enlist.
- Edward Fraser's Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases, 1925

Used also of children and occasionally of animals.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905