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

- Graycie Harmon

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.


KuietKelticGirl said...

Oh, it was very fun hike. Just to clarify: the hike itself was nice, even the scrambling over rocks, having stray branches attack our ankles, and circumnavigating large mud puddles.
My distress came from the sheer length; I was being overly ambitious to say I could do a 3.3 km black diamond hike with a 500m walk up, and adding a few extra to that really pushed my limits. But in a fun way.

You left out the part that we hiked 3.5 km of the Trans Canada Trail, the world's longest network of trails. (

All in all, lots of fun! I hurt today, but am taking good care of myself to recover quickly. We have to go back and finish what we set out to do, and conquer trail 6 sometime soon. :-)

S.M. Carrière said...

Sorry, yes, to clarify, the 3.5 km hike back along the "road" was actually along the Tran Canada Trail.

I called it a road, because it looked much like an unpaved road to me. It was, in fact, the trail.

All in all, we hiked 6.5 km yesterday. It was awesome!

Life intervenes said...

What pdf converter are you using? it sounds aweful. I have access to a couple of different ones and would be happy to convert for you.
Also - that isn't a true Ute - thats a twin-cab. You'll embarrass all the yahoo's in their commodores and falcons - of their landcruisers......

S.M. Carrière said...

It's got a tray back, it's a ute. It might be a fancier half-tonne, but it's still a ute.