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

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I found another typo in The Dying God & Other Stories!


So far, there's only one. Which is good. I suppose. If that proves to be the only one, I'll fix it and publish without ordering yet ANOTHER proof, I think.

I swore like a sailor when I saw it; and it's such a stupid typo as well. One would think that by this stage of my life, I'd know how to spell the word 'knives.'

I need to punch something.

Le sigh. Today, I'll go on with writing Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince and then continue to proofread The Dying God & Other Stories.

I'm so mad at myself!

Called to Straw

A woman who is called to straw is about to have a baby. I first assumed that it referred to a straw mattress, just as "hit the hey" signifies "go to bed." But many natives, including physicians and midwives at widely separated points in Missouri and Arkansas, assure me that straw means the act of parturition ... It is sometimes used as a verb as in "Mable's a-strawin' right now."
- Vance Randolph's Down in the Holler, 1953

I'm still mad at myself.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do a Little Dance!

Ohhh yeaaaaah! I'm past the half-way mark. Ooooh yeah! Do a little dance...

That was my minor celebration on this project. Past the half-way mark is a big deal since I started not loo long ago.

If I stay on track, that's just about three more weeks of writing, and then I'm done the obnoxiously written first draft. For the record, all first drafts are obnoxious. Just so you know.

I can then edit and format, then shelve for a while before I edit again... and then send it out to Beta Readers for more edits, before getting it back and editing again and then...

... I can prepare for self-publication.

A few reasons why I want to self-publish this one (I've touched on these before):

1. This is really a just-for-fun project; a silly thing that I don't expect will get a large readership.

2. You pretty much have to live in Ottawa, and know my friends and I (and the ridiculous things we get up to) in order to get any of the jokes.

3. I whipped this up in a little over a month. Unlike The Great Man series, I haven't been slaving over this for years and years. I'm not so attached to the characters or the story that I feel I really desperately want to see this printed traditionally in the same way I do The Great Man. Of course, that said, I am exceptionally concerned about the quality of all my work, so never fear, dear reader. I will endeavour to create the best possible piece of printed material I know how.

There were other reasons, but I can't remember them now. Right, I should get on with it. Have a good Tuesday everyone!


A word invented by Gaule for magical astrology; so magastromancer, one who practices magastromancy, magastromantic, pertaining to magastromancy.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

Examples of the magastromancer's fatall miseries are too many to be instanc't... To what end serve the feigned mirables [wonders] of mature but to feigne the magastromantick art for the greatest mirable.
- John Gaule's Mag-Astro-Mancer; or, The Magicall-Atrologicall-Diviner Posed and Puzzled, 1652

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Dull-ish Weekend

You know those lives in which nothing exciting happens? Yeah... sometimes I feel like I'm living one (which is ridonkulous - I do so many cool things, it's not funny).

I'd love to excitedly tell you about an agent who wanted read more of my manuscript, or having met someone I just can't get out of my head.

I've got nothing. I spent most of this weekend in bed, trying to get my lower back to stop aching. It's been hurting for the better part of a fortnight. Woah... when did I turn into an eighty-year-old? Do I honestly have nothing more exciting to do than grumble about my latest ache? Man... time for a switch-up!

Here's some awesomely good news that I heard via my father on Sunday. My kid bro is thinking of moving over here in October! Yay! That makes me happy! I can't wait to introduce him to the Kung Fu gang!

There really isn't anything else. It's back to writing today, after a good long break. If I stay on target, I ought to kick the pants out of the half-way mark. If not, oh well. There's always catch up time on Friday, I suppose.

I should get to it. Oh, since I forgot to prepare a post for Saturday, you lucky ducks get two Forgotten English entries today.


Of a good nature or character; from Latin bonus, good, and forma, shape.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

A faculty by which moral goodness is appreciated; from Latin boniformis.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary , 1893


To fatten, or grow fat. In Stenberg's Folk Lore and Glossary of Northamptonshire [1851], the local phrase is quoted, "Them pigs batten in the sun."
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Fattening and battening, a toast of a child's fattening and thriving given at its baptism in private, when the bread, cheese and whisky are partaken of.
- Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary, 1911.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Day Off

I happily managed to make my target yesterday, which means I don't have to write today after all. I shall be spending the day watching Mock the Week, I think.

In other news, Rita Webb, fellow author and one of the geniuses behind the Unlocked anthology has a new book (entitled Tears) soon to be released!

*sounds of cheering and joyous whistles

To celebrate, she's giving out 5 free Kindle copies of her book. It's well worth a try right? Just go HERE and leave a comment with an email address to enter.

Good luck!

Right, I'm going to spend the day goofing off.


The penis, from circa 1650; perhaps originally cant. To coit with a woman.
- Eric Partridge's Dictionay of Slang and Unconventional English, 1956

To bull, or lie with a woman' from the name of Roger being frequently given to a bull.
- Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

To have sexual intercourse with.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914

Wow. Give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'roger and out,' right?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Road Goes Ever On and On

A small victory for me yesterday - I caught up on my writing! I'm right where I need to be at the start of today.


Of course, I'm not yet finished the book, so the dance party will be relatively quiet, with not too much drinking and an early night. There's work to do.

I'm having so much fun with this book, it should be illegal. I'm sticking in people I know left, right and centre. I'm putting them in places I'm familiar with (hello, Carleton University), and the adventure is just good clean fun. Only two people die - and neither of them are the protagonist!

I think that's a record for me.

Right, I want to get finished writing early enough to goof off and watch Mock the Week. With luck, I won't fall behind again today!

Oh! And before I forget, The Dying God and Other Stories is now available on the kindle! What will hopefully be the final proof of the paperback edition has been shipped, according to I should be getting that early September. With luck, everything will finally be in order and I'll be able hit that important 'publlish' button.

For now, there are two e-Book editions available. The Illustrated Edition, available via the Kindle HERE, and the Unillustrated Edition available in multiple formats via HERE.

I'll still fighting with the uploader at With luck, I'll be able to get that up and running soon.

Right, now I must dash. Until tomorrow, then!


Hair all tossed on end is said to be in a bizz; from the English word Frizz.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh No! Behind Again.

Well, I'm a twit. Yesterday I fell short of my 3 000 word target. Not because I didn't have the time, but because I started doing a little bit of research (on weaponry, I'll have you know) and it turned into a day of creating a wish list and even purchasing a sword. It's a waster, and was waaaay cheaper than if I'd gone to the local sword shop here in Ottawa (even with the shipping).

I have so much catching up to do today, it's insane. I doubt I'll manage it, which means I'll be writing on Friday. Again. D'Oh!

I've had very strange dreams of late. I don't know how this relates to anything. They've just been strange.

Right, I should get to work. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!


Capable of being navigated by boats. [The word] originated in America but proved so useful that it has found its way into [British] English dictionaries. "The river is not boatable for several months in the year."
- M. Schlele De Vere's Americanisms: The English of the New World, 1872

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I had a post all planned out in my head this morning. I don't know where it went, so here's some music instead.

Have a great Tuesday all!


A fermented liquor made of honeyed water, obtained by thoroughly washing the 'comb,' when drained of the honey; in a high class brew the 'comb' is sometimes washed in a little 'fresh beer' to hasten fermentation; but the strength of the liquor is dependen upon the quantity of honey it contains. Metheglin, when well made, and refined and matured by age, is a 'cordial' of no mean order - a homely 'liqueur' of potent quality.
- Georgina Jackson's Shropshire Word-Book, 1879

(What's with all the quotation marks?)

A spiced or medicated variety of mead, originally peculiar to Wales.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sad Morning

After a wonderful weekend away, I woke this morning to find that last night, a tornado ripped through the city of Goderich, destroying much of the scenic city.

This morning, Jack Layton, former leader of the NDP party, passed away after a fight with cancer. He was 61. I'm upset about it to say the least. Whatever one thought of Jack Layton personally, one could not argue that he was tenacious, intelligent and one of the few people who posed a serious threat to the Conservative Axis of Idiocy.

Can you tell I'm not a Conservative?

In any case, Mr. Layton, you will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to the family and friends who are mourning now, and also to Canada, for whom I am always concerned.

Right, that's enough of me being political. I usually reserve that for election time. I must get on with writing... if I don't get so depressed I can't move.

Wishing you all a better Monday than I'm having.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


A small combustible body, set on fire, and put afloat in a glass of liquor. The courage of the toper was tried in the attempt to swallow it flaming; and his dexterity was proved by being able to do it unhurt. Raisins in hot brandy were the commonest flap-dragons.

- Robert Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday! Fun!

I did it! I wrote 3 000 words yesterday, so I can take the day off!

Sort of.

Actually, The Dying God and Other Stories is currently screaming for attention. The Kindle, Lebrary and Createspace editions are all ready for upload. I have to go back and edit AND reformat the Smashwords edition. After that, everything should be good to go. Hopefully, by the end of today, everything will be poised for (re)publication.

This pleases me.

If I'm quick about it, I might actually get a day off. I'll spend it watching Mock the Week, I think. Or playing Sudoku. Perhaps both. Who knows? That is the beauty of days off!

This weekend, I'm off with a few of my Kung Fu buddies on a wine tour just outside of Montreal. We'll be camping overnight. I'm very much looking forward to this mini-holiday.

Right, there's not much else to say, really. Have a lovely weekend all, and I shall be back (barring hell and or high water) on Monday!


Timber that has never been touched with the axe; New Forest.
- William Cope's Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, 1883

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I hate technology!

The necessary edits to The Dying God have been made and for the past couple of days, after finishing my 3 000 words, I've been trying to convert the document at the correct page size (6 x 9 inches) with the correct dpi (300), and getting absolutely nowhere. At the same time, a friend of mine, who SO needs to be given extravagant gifts for his time and effort has been doing the same, with precisely the same result.

No dice.

It's frustrating as hell!

I'll just keep trying, I suppose. In the meantime, I'll keep at Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. I'm on schedule as of today. We'll see if it is so at the end of today. I'm annoyed enough to leave writing behind and fight the .pdf converter all day.

But I won't. But I want to. No, I mustn't...

In the mean time, for your linguistic pleasure:


Short-winded, especially in the consequence of being too lusty.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

Full to excess, overloaded; swollen, inflated, turgid.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

Also in the form purfillit.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Friends and Film

Well, last night was lovely. I met up with two of my friends from Kung Fu, G.S. and K.C., at the South Keys cinema last night to watch Captain America.

The film was actually very decent. They did a good job of not alienating their non-American audience, I have to say. I understand this film has copped a lot of slack from people. I'm not sure why they think the film is so terrible. Perhaps they went in expecting something more profound.

It's a comic book adaptation people. Expect a comic book adaptation.

I laughed out loud at the very beginning during the pre-show - there was an add for The Wiggles. For those of you who don't know, The Wiggles are an Australian children's entertainment group. Apparently, they're on tour and coming to Canada. I almost fell out of my seat, I was so amused!

After the flick, we headed out to my local pub for some drinks with two more friends from Kung Fu, R.S. and A.T. We geeked out over R.P.G.s and comic book characters, and uniforms that were straight out of Stargate...


I had missed my little Kung Fu posse. I'm looking forward to going back to training in September. By then, my feet ought to have healed up and I should be less likely to go postal on annoying people. Bonus.

As far as writing goes, I was extraordinarily productive yesterday. I reached my 3 000 words shortly after lunch. This was an exceptionally fun 3 000 words - J.M-B. made her debut appearance. It is ridiculous fun sticking people you know into fantastic situations. I was also mentioned. Not by name, I'm just 'the flatmate.' I never actually appear in this book, I'm just mentioned once or twice. That is also silly fun!

Afterwards, I went back to The Dying God & Other Stories, having received it back from my afore-mentioned flatmate. I am really upset at myself for the number of errors that were picked up. I mean, seriously! UGH!

In any case, I went through and made the edits. Now the Kindle version is ready for upload. I shall be doing that this afternoon, assuming I have written my daily 3 000. I also fixed up the version. Unfortunately, my .pdf converter is a piece of crap programme that argues with me, so I shipped it off to someone else to convert. I so need to buy that guy something amazing.

Hopefully I'll be getting the .pdf back sometime today, and I can upload it to If I've done well, then I'll be ordering the proof for the very last time and finally be able to click the 'publish' button. Then you all can buy the paperback version - finally.

I hope. If I get the proof and there are still errors, I'm going to be mad as hell!

Right, I have work to do. Have a fantastic Wednesday everyone!


A sleepy, stupid person who does not get on with work. From dornir [French, to sleep]. Dormitoire was an adjective in Ol French.
- G.C. Lewis' Glossary of Provincial Words Used in Hereforshire, 1839

Dormed, absent-minded, dazed.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Much More Productive Evening.

I cleaned the house a little. The kitchen and bathroom still need a lot of work, but at least the living room is more or less presentable.

I feel better about myself having done something productive with my time.

There isn't much else to report. Made my daily 3 000 yesterday. Hope to do the same today. It's funny, I'm already at the 20% done mark. Usually, having written the same amount, I'm barely even passed ten. I quite like this lower target word count...

Tonight, I shall be seeing Captain America with friends. I'm not a Captain America fan, but it looks like they've done a pretty good job of adapting it. I'm curious to see how well it translates.

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


- J. Roberson's Dialect and Archaic Words Used in Gloucester, 1890

Monday, August 15, 2011

An Unproductive Weekend

But it was fun.

Saturday saw a birthday party at Mooney's Beach. It was simply a small gathering with a potluck meal. Still, it was lovely, and I met some pretty cool people.

Sunday, I went for a hike - on the correct path, this time. No more random adventures in unknown territory. It proved to be a lovely walk. I even reverted back to my half-feral bush baby self and did the hike mostly barefoot. Towards the end there it hurt a bit - my feet aren't as hard as they used to be.

I hate shoes.

If downtown were free of broken glass, and my route not currently torn up by construction, I would do a lot more walking bare foot.

Le sigh.

Thanks K.R. for a great weekend.

I meant to clean the house, but that didn't happen. I'll have to do it in fits and starts starting this evening. Hopefully, it'll stay clean this time.

I really don't know how the house manages to get so messy...

Writing is going well. I'm on target, so far (after writing Friday). Today I should hit the 15 000 mark... assuming I can write today. I'm a little tired and my brain is a little fried. We'll see.

There really isn't much else to report. I shall go now, and try to catch up on all the stuff I neglected to do this weekend (computer wise). Have a great Monday, all!

Borrower's Cap

The borrower is supposed to be ever ready to off with his cap and show complaisance to him from whom he wishes to obtain a loan.
- John Phin's Shakespeare Cyclopaedia and New Glossary, 1902

Saturday, August 13, 2011


A horse, real or fictitious, by which a fowler screens himself from ... game.

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

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fallen Behind Already

Yesterday was a terrible day for writing. I only managed about 1 500 words, as you can tell from the handy bright green word count metre on the side there. --->

In my defence, I was in a bad mood, and needed some humour to cheer myself up. Clearly I got distracted by Qi.

That means today I must write about 1 500 words to make it up. So much for Friday's off.

Le sigh!

Well, mustn't complain. Things could always be much worse. I suppose I ought to get to it.


A wanderer. A term of contempt for a man; [also] used without contempt; [from] spailp'n, a worthless fellow, a migratory labourer.
- Michael Traynor's English Dialect of Donegal, 1953

Spal, in Irish, is a scythe, and peen a penny - that is, a mower for a penny a day.
- Arthyr Young's Tour in Ireland, 1780

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Don't Wanna!

Ugh! It's only Thursday morning, and it feels like it ought to be Friday afternoon. It's been a pretty rough week at work, largely because people are stupid and I, being a lowly receptionist, am the scapegoat.

I don't mind getting into trouble if I've done something wrong. I really hate getting into trouble if someone else has done something wrong.


Anyway, you probably have a million better things to do then hear me groan about people at work. Frankly, I'm damned lucky to be employed at all:

Dear Universe,
Thank-you for this job and the fact that it lets me write.

Speaking of writing, I'm not doing too badly on the word count front. Just 3 000 more words today and I'm done for the week. Let's hope I get them all done today. Having tomorrow off would be lovely.

I suppose I really ought to get on with it. With luck, work will be better today and I'll be able to concentrate!

Have a good Thursday everyone!


A word used in Anglo-Saxon laws meaning originally some punishment and afterwards the fine in commutation thereof. The legal antiquaries since .. 1600 have taken it to mean pillory.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Among the Saxons, healsfang - of heals, a necke, and fange to take.
- John Cowell's Interpreter ... Containing the Signification of Words, 1607

The sum every man sentenced to the pillorty would have had to pay to save him from that punishment.
- Benjamin Thorpe's Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, 1840

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And On It Goes

Well, you all pretty much know the drill by now.

I shall endeavour to write 3 000 words today. If I make it, and there's enough time left over, I shall be watching Qi as a reward.

As you can see, nothing has changed. Nothing, zip, zilch, nada, zero. You wonder why I write? Well, it's to save myself from soul-sucking boredom. That's why I write. Everyday I come into work. It's the most boring job in the world. Really, really, really dull.

So I make worlds to go have adventures in to whittle away the really, really, really dull hours. I've said this before, but, thank heavens for my imagination!

There really isn't anything exciting to report - life is ever much as it was - so here's your almost daily dose of Forgotten English.


A flatterer. To get a bit cumsloosh, to become poor or relatively so.
- Michael Traynor's English Dialect of Donegal, 1953

Did anyone else smirk when they read the word? Surely I can't be the only one?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Catchy Title Escapes Me

Well, today marks day two of writing Ethan Cadfael (The Battle Prince). It started off very seriously, but I will hopefully be lightening the mood a little shortly.

I'll probably be less enthused about this project after the first month of writing, as usually seems to be the case, but I am still thrilled to be working on something unrelated to The Great Man. It's a fresh world with a fresh set of characters and none of the angst and melancholy of the afore-mentioned series.

You'll note that I have shortened the expected length of the book considerably from my other novels. Instead of my usual 100 000 words, I've estimated that this one will probably run closer to 75 000 words. I have a feeling that it might be a good deal shorter than that.

As always, I'll just have to wait and see. It might turn out to be much longer. Who knows? Should I prove correct, I'll likely be finished near the end of next month, assuming that I keep up my 3 000 words a day, giving myself Fridays (and weekends) off.

Then, it's left alone until October, edited and formatted and then off to the Beta Readers... when I find them. Then it's time to create covers, change formatting for eBook and print formats and then self-publish. Hopefully in time for Christmas, but if not, then it's not really that big a deal.

I'm on track as far as word count goes. Of course I am. I'm only on day two. We'll see how on track I am at the end of the month, shall we?

Well, I probably should get writing. If I make my mark, and there's time left over, I'll be doing more catch-up on Qi. Gosh, I love that show.

Go to Peckham

To go to dinner. A pun on peck.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Monday, August 8, 2011


I never thought such an affliction existed, having never really experienced it before. This might be a one-off instance of hating Mondays specifically, so I'm still not convinced that it does exist.

In any case, I hate today.

I'm still furious at my bank, and will be having a chat to them today. If I get nowhere, I'll be switching banks. This is just ridiculous.

I'm not impressed with myself. I got up later than usual, and didn't have much time to prepare lunch, let alone do all the other stuff I promised myself I'd do this morning. GRRR.

The computer has frozen three times since firing it up at 9:00 this morning. GRRRRRRRRRRR!

Just... nothing is going right today.

On the brighter side, my week long break from writing is now officially over and, although I feel like doing nothing but watching more Qi, I will begin writing Ethan Cadfael (The Battle Prince) today. W00t!

I'm going to try for my usual 3 000 words a day, but I'm not going to kill myself over it. This project, after all, is supposed to be just for fun. I plan on self-publishing it, as I don't feel too many people would read it and the target audience is far too narrow to interest any publisher in any case.

Right, there's very little to report, so I'm just going to give you your Forgotten English and get on with it.


A person who brings bad luck. From Italian jettatore.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Saturday, August 6, 2011


A misfortune or calamity; a curse, mischief. Chiefly used as an imprecation in the phrases, with a wanion, and wanions on you.

- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Friday, August 5, 2011

They've Got a Little List

... and I'm on it! Whoo hoo!

You might find the my enthusiasm a little odd when you find out that I'm on an author boycott list. I had no idea I was there until Renee Miller and Rita Webb (who contributed to and edited (respectively) the anthology Unlocked in which one of my stories appears) told me directly.

The list belongs to pretend industry watch-dogs The Write Agenda. Here's the list. Check it out! There's my name! Squee!

I'm just happy that someone knows who the hell I am, alright? Is that a crime? I had no idea what I thought or said was important enough to be put on a boycott list.

The Write Agenda, incidentally, claims to be an industry watch-dog. However, a little searching around will reveal them to be little more than some sort of backlash against the real watch-dogs, refuting claims of scams and trying very hard to defame authors who speak out against such scams.

You can read about them on Rita's blog here, or even on Renee's blog, here. Both excellent articles, incidentally. For their notes on The Write Agenda, they gotten themselves boycotted as well. Rita, the overachiever, has managed to get herself on the Author Boycott list, on the Propaganda Watch List, and on the The Write Agenda Critics List.

Clearly, I'm just not trying hard enough.

Their biggest target thus far has been Writer Beware, who do very good work and ought to be commended.

The fact is, if The Write Agenda did what they claimed and actually exposed fraud, or really did tell 'the other side' of the story, so to speak, then I'd be able to take them seriously. As of now, they've proven to be nothing more than a hate group - like a pack of school yard bullies who have nothing more intelligent to say than 'I know you are, but what am I?'

What's more, anyone who finds the list and researches the authors upon it will find a whole whack of people all saying much the same thing about The Write Agenda. It won't reflect well on The Write Agenda. They're actually damaging themselves. What a bunch of tools!

Of course, the bigger tools are those who only read The Write Agenda, and I suppose there must be a fair few of those floating about.

Do us all a favour, new authors. Research.

Since I can't really take them seriously, I'm having a ball with this. I'm on a list! I'm on a list of authors! I'm on a list of authors in very good company! Hello, Rita and Renee, A.C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss!

So, I'm on a list, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it!

Right. In other news...

Last night was a more or less impromptu equestrian archery lesson. It was hysterical fun, as always. There were three of us last night - myself (obviously), J.M-B. and her sister K.M-B. One person was on a horse, the other two worked on a move in sword-play on foot.


I have a tendency to giggle hysterically, when I'm having fun, and I spent most of my time with the swords giggling hysterically. Awesome!

My archery improved a little, I felt; and, of course, it was incredible to be on a horse again. I heart equestrian stuff. Stuff is the technical term, in case you were wondering.

There will be no photo evidence of this lesson, I'm afraid, as none of us remembered to bring a camera. Oops.

In writing news, I haven't done any. I know basically how my next new fun project will go, but other than jotting down some descriptions and one or two scenes, I haven't really done anything. I've been watching lots of re-runs of Qi and enjoying it immensely. Writing will commence next week. I have the first scene in my head already.

Well, there's no rush for me to do anything much, but I'm going to leave you anyway. This post is long enough, I reckon. Have a great weekend all!

Cincinnati Oysters

Pigs' trotters, or pigs' feet. Many examples can be given of this strange perversion of names - Albany beef, Marblehead turkey, etc. Similarly in England, a herring is called a Billingsgate pheasant, a two-eyed steak, etc.
- Sylva Clapin's New Dictionary of Americanisms, 1902

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: The Hobbit

The HobbitThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an incredibly adorable tale.

Directed for a very young audience, this had none of the epic, melancholic overtones of The Lord of the Rings, and makes for a lovely lighter read. As I read I could imagine myself reading this aloud to my children (whenever I have them).

Tolkien has a wonderful habit of injecting his own voice into the story with phrases like 'I never heard what happened to, but it is generally believed...' (I'm paraphrasing here) which, though it took me out of the story, made me smile nonetheless. It looks odd written on paper, but if the story is spoken, it adds an authenticity that is entirely enchanting and language is first and foremost spoken.

With adventures a-plenty and a humorous narrative, it's no small wonder that The Hobbit is one of the most beloved children's books of all time. I'm very sorry I waited this long to read it.

View all my reviews


Romantic or absurd notions or actions.
- William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1854

Quixotic principles, character, or practice; an instance of this - a quixotic action or idea. Quixotize, to act in a quixotic manner; to render quixotic. Quixotry, quixotism.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Does anyone else get the feeling that Sir James Murray didn't actually know the meaning of the word?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chillin' and Workin' Simultaneously

How do I do it? I don't know. It sort-of just happened.

Yesterday, I made the conscious decision to stick with my policy of resting for at least a week after finishing a project before I start writing again. Sort-of.

I spent the day watching re-runs of Qi episodes. An aside, I really envy you in the UK who get this stuff on air. It's a really brilliant programme! I would happily move to the UK just for the television.

In any case, as I watched, the story basically ran through my head from start to finish, including descriptions of the bad buys (hitherunto unknown). I quickly jotted it down.

I also came up with a title for the work, though it is subject to change. I'm going with:

Ethan Cadfael (The Battle Prince)

What do you reckon? It sounds all serious and stuff, but I shall endeavour to keep this one light. Well, as light as my imagination will let me.

It still has a happy ending, at least. For those who are in the know, that's quite a change from my regular fare.

Right, I'm off to watch more Qi. Did I mention that I adore Qi?


A word applied to an abundance of clothing. A woman with too many flounces or ribbons would be said to have too much fuffle about her.
- Rev. Alfred Easther's Glossary of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883

Particularly applied to dress when disordered from being roughly handled.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

He saw the vicar ... in fluffled garb.
- William Tennant's Thane of Fife and Papistry Stormed, 1827

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free! ... to Catch Up

Well, it was a lovely long weekend! I spend a lovely time with friends and being outside in the sunshine has done wonders for my disposition. That and


I'm thrilled to be finished for several reasons. The first is that it's always exciting to be done a project. The second is that this particular project was very hard on my psyche. No, seriously. It gave me nightmares several times. And there were far too many tears for my liking. Uh! So much crying over this one. This leads nicely into the third reason.

I shall be leaving behind The Great Man series for a while and work on a project that is pretty silly, much, much lighter and actually has a happy ending. It shall be set here in Ottawa (my current home town) and along the lines of Charles de Lint. For those not in the know, Charles de Lint is a Canadian author who set many of his fantasy novels in Ottawa. I heard about him last year when discussing books with my friend and senior Kung Fu brother G.S.

That might be where I got the idea for this. I'm not sure.

In any case, I'm quite looking forward to this, because there are some pretty funny scenes that have popped into my head of late, and I can't wait to get them down on paper. Several people from actual real life will be making an appearance, and I shall be mentioned, but never appear; because it amuses me.

Basically, this book is for a select group of friends who will "get" the references and find them amusing. Still, I'm quite looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into it.

Before I can, however, I have to do a whole lot of catch-up on everything computer-related that I had neglected all long weekend. Thus, without further ado:


To make naked; [1300s-1500s].
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

To bare, unsheathe a sword. "Nake your swords." [Cyril] Tourner's The Revenger's Tragedy [1656]. From Middle English naken, to make naked.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Nakedize, to go naked.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908