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

- Graycie Harmon

Friday, September 30, 2011

Looking Forward

Soooo.... how are you?

I'm good.

Slowly mastering potion-making. I think I ought to have my head read. On the bright side, September officially ends today, and that means I should be getting back to work (on something, I suppose) on Monday. Should be.

It's probably going to be The Great Man. Events in the book keep popping into my head. That means three months of hell. No seriously.

Here's the thing. I don't drive the stories. They drive me. The best recent example of that was the terrible daydream that had me sobbing hysterically moments before Jazz returned from Boston.

It was a daydream. I was lucid. I should have been able to control it. But no. I wasn't. The result was excruciating heartbreak.

Writing The Great Man series has proven to be much the same sort of experience. All the angst and grief and anger are things I tend to feel myself - even though I'm just describing a character's experience. It's a bit like when someone upsets your friend, and you feel upset on their behalf. Only, imagine feeling like that for three months.

And the nightmares!

Oivey! This series takes a lot out of me.

And yet, there isn't any other story I care as much about. There is no other story I've written that drives me to write the way this one does.

It's a little frightening, possibly psychotic, and I'll be very glad when it's over. For now, though, I'll suffer my way through it because, and you can quote me on this, the ending is just beautiful. Like a sunrise.

O.K. Last day of freedom coming up. I'd best make the most of it. Have a great weekend everyone. See you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Monday morning!

One-Wheeled Coach

The young men of a place, when they know that a young man is paying attention to a girl, seize hold of him and place him in a wheelbarrow in which they wheel him up and down until they are tired, when they upset on the nearest pile or in a pond. To say that a man has "ridden in the one-wheeled coach" is tantamount to the expression that he has gone a-courting.
- Rev. S. Rundle's Transactions of the Penzance Natural History Society, 1886

A-courting. Really?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Was a Peruvian Farmer

True story. I was. Yesterday. And you can read about it on Rita's blog here.

As for the declaration that I was going to begin writing ahead of schedule. It's not happening. has sucked me into a world of make-believe and I am currently trying to master the exact science and subtle art that is potion-making.

Oh, and spell-casting is horribly tricky as well.

When it works, it works well. I wish it would work more often.

Training is going very well. Wednesday nights K.C. and I have started working with the body pads (padded chest/body protectors so we can actually hit each other - getting hit still hurts, by the by. I shudder to think what it feels like with out the pad!). I'm uncoordinated and K.C. is very kindly keeping the drills simple for me. Still, it's wicked fun.

M.D. came over last night. She's in town from Saskatchewan ... or was is Saskatoon. One of those. It was lovely to see her again in any case. She's looking well and she's awesome as always.

Have you seen the Game of Thrones teaser trailer? I have. I can't wait for it to start!

On the subject of T.V. shows, there are two slated to premier soon, and I can't wait to see them. Grimm and Once Upon A Time. It's so wonderful to see faerie tales coming back into story-telling. I'm a huge fan of faerie tales.

Right, nothing else to report, so I'm going to Hogwarts now. Potions starts soon and I don't want Snape to get mad at me...

Nothing's Nest

A nonentity. "He's a nothing's nest."
- G.F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pottermore Hates Me

At least, I think it does.

You see, I got my invitation to partake in the Beta version this week, and I was thoroughly excited.

Except that high traffic meant that Pottermore wouldn't load... All day... and then all night. I got in in drips and drabs, even managed to get sorted... shortly before midnight (Gryffindor, if you must know).

The Beta version was opened to a few to test out and suggest improvements. Here's a suggestion:

Get a server that can handle it.

No, seriously. I mean, we're just the test group and we can't get on and enjoy a smooth, frustration free experience. What the hell's going to happen when the whole world jumps on the site?

Seriously. I don't think this was thought through at all.

And that's my griping for the day.

Yesterday was a weird day all around. By the time 3pm rolled around, I was so exhausted I could barely move. I went straight home - no training. Yes, I was that tired. I ordered pizza because I was too exhausted to cook. I ate almost the whole thing before I felt satisfied... and then I got my energy back.

Say what?

I ate well that day (pizza aside), so I shouldn't have been the food. The air in the office is bloody terrible, so I can totally see it being that.

But then, why the boost after the pizza? Is it because the pizza is full of fat and sugar? I don't understand.

Oh well, there goes my weight loss goal at any rate. I'm definitely going to training tonight to make up for all that terrible, terrible, but so yummy, food.

Oh, writing. Right. That's what this blog is supposed to be about. So, in between trying to get onto Pottermore and trying hard not to fall asleep, I worked a little bit on Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. I figured another basic edit would be in order. It's a good thing too. There were still a mountain of typos, and I only got to chapter 3!

I suppose I ought to go through a bit more today.


The leavings of [saloon] glasses, poured together and sold cheap.
- Mitford Mathew's Dictionary of Americanisms, 1956

A slang term designating the drippings of glasses in saloons, collected and sold at half-price to drinkers who are not overly particular.
- Sylva Clapin's Dictionary of Americanisms, 1902

... or hygienic, apparently...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Now That I've Decided To...

I won't be.

Turns out, things outside of writing are starting to happen, so I'll be not writing.

First on the bill, it's short story judging. I was supposed to do that yesterday, but the computer went berserk at being woken up yesterday and I got close to nothing done.

Luckily, these short stories are quite short, so it shouldn't take me long.

The rest of the day will be spent exploring Pottermore. I got the email late last night, and I'll be jumping on as soon as I can. I can't wait to check it out! I'm such a geek.

Right, must get on with it. Have a great Tuesday all!


A verdict returned by the jury... by which it is found that a crime has been committed without specifying the criminal, or that a sudden or violent death has occurred, without assigning any cause.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Wedding, an Anniversary and a ... Funeral?

This weekend was jam-packed.

On the 24th, my beautiful eldest sister had her birthday. Without a computer at home, I wasn't able to wish her a happy birthday until today...

It also happened to be my dear friend, D.P.'s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, simple and elegant, with a reverend who had a phenomenal sense of humour and often broke into song, and a intimate reception full of laughter and dancing. It really was a fabulous time. I met some lovely people that weekend, and I do hope that we stay in touch.

I am so glad that D.P. has found someone with as much wit and warmth as S.S. and I truly hope that they live long, fulfilling lives together.

And that's as sentimental as you're likely to find me.

Sunday the 25th saw an anniversary of the Hung Men Association here in Ottawa. Yes, I'm aware what that name implies. Yes, I've laughed hysterically at it already. But that doesn't mean you get to. Bear in mind, it's a Chinese association. There was a delicious Chinese lunch to attend... which I did, and gladly.

So you know, the Hung Men (or Heng Mun?) Association has very kindly allowed Wutan Canada the use of their facilities and equipment for our Lion Dance troupe.

Sunday afternoon, I returned home to have a nice long nap. Then I woke to clean house in anticipation of J.M-B.'s return. She's been in Boston for the better part of a week and a half. Before I swept, I decided to take another little break, and ended up snoozing on the couch in the living room.

Where I had the most horrifying day-dream (alright, it was night, but I was still conscious - and, one would have thought, therefore able to better control what happened in said dream). Two of my Kung Fu brothers (one my good friend, K.C.) were involved in this dream. Poor K.C. got the worst of it, and was killed. In front of me. After I had saved him from another life-threatening danger.

The dream had me in such a state, I was sobbing when the door opened and J.M-B. walked in. I had sobbed so hard, in fact, that the pillow on which my head rested was very, very wet with tears. When I tried to relate the dream to J.M-B., I started crying again.

I might need therapy.

Needless to say, I'll be writing that day-dream down. It is going to make the most depressing short story I've ever written... and that's saying something!

Speaking of writing, I didn't do any of it last week... and I didn't enjoy it at all. Taking time off is overrated. I say this every time, I realise.

I'm still not ready to face The Great Man yet. There's a whole lot of grief and angst and pain that I don't think I can deal with just yet in that book. Though, to be honest, I'll be glad when the series is finally written and I can leave it well behind me. Still, I should get back to writing again, so today I think I'll write that horrifically depressing short story, though not before I judge these other short stories I ought to be judging.

I also realise, that when I stop writing, my brain goes to the dogs. I realise that, for the second week in a row, I've forgotten the weekend Forgotten English. So, again, today you all get a two-for-one special.


They sometimes say the backend of the week, but latter end is more common.
- Rev. Alfred Easther's Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883

Late autumn; Cumbria.
- Alexander Gibson's Folk-Speech of Cumberland, 1880

The later part of a season.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Backendish, rough and wintry, generally applied to the weather.
- Rev. M.C.F. Morris' Yorkshire Folk-Talk, 1892


From the French rogne, the scab or scurf. A term of contempt, applied to a female, as "scurvy fellow" was similarly applied to a male, and both derived from the same French origin, and neither having particular reference to size. "Aroint thee, witch! the rump-fed ronyon cries." Macbeth.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1831

The male [sex] organ.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weighing It All Up

Ever feel like there simply aren't enough hours in a day?


There's just so much I want to do. There's no way I'm going to be able to find the time to do it all. I'm hard-pressed finding time for a short soak in the tub, let alone all the other stuff I want to do.

I train in Chinese martial arts. I train in (occasionally) Western martial arts. I am taking violin lessons. I write.

I want to take ballroom dancing again. The boys at Kung Fu have gotten quite into playing war with Airsoft guns... it sounds like fun, actually - though I really, really dislike guns. I kinda want to try that too. I want to take up orienteering again. I want to take up trail running again (stupid broken foot). I want to hike the West Coast Trail. I want to do an eco-challenge style race. I want to learn rock-climbing, rappelling, caving...

Gah! Too much stuff, too little time!

Too little money.

Here's a question. If time and money weren't issues, what is it you would do?


A beast dealer; Northern England.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Jockeyed, cheated; tricked in trade; jockeying, cheating, deceiving in trade.
- John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Waving Back.

Hi Jen! Thanks for following.

There is absolutely nothing interesting going on right now. The last night in the training week is tonight. I'm so covered in bruises I look like I have some strange skin-eating disease. I haven't written anything in a whole day.

And it's fraying on my nerves a little. I might be a little OCD when it comes to writing. But I shall endeavour to give myself the time I need to properly rest up. I'll probably start writing again soon, though.

Since there is so very little to note, I'll let you all get on with your day then, shall I?


The strings of a violin or lute, they being formerly made of the intestines of a cat and usually called cat-gut. Shakespeare's Troilys and Cressida.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1831

Stringed instruments.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

... I'm pretty sure I've seen on Qi that violin strings weren't made of cat gut at all - it was a myth started by violin makers who wanted to keep their secrets. I'm not certain though, so I'll have to double check and get back to you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The End.

Well, I finished writing Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. Well, the very rough first draft at any rate. As I typed the last sentence, I genuinely felt melancholic. I really didn't want to finish. I had so much fun writing this one.

I'll go through now and do a cursory edit, and divide the great big long block of words into chapters of some description, and then I'll file the story away and work on something else after a break of undetermined length. Maybe the rest of the year.

Who knows?

Today, I'll do nothing but a few silly things - answering some questions, playing silly games online... that kind of thing.

I'll also be grieving the end of a story that, for some reason, I've grown extraordinarily fond of. I honestly can't wait until it's ready to go out into the world. Not that I expect too many people to read it, but still, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

The happy ending (WHAT?! I wrote a happy ending? Me? No!) probably helped...

Oh, and before I forget, I've been interviewed by Rainy Kaye (of Rainy of the Dark). You can read that interview HERE if you want.

Right, I'm off to do nothing in particular. Have a great Wednesday!


Cakes of shortbread, formerly used as communion-bread.
- Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary, 1911

Singing-Loaf or cake, the Eucharistic wafer, because a psalm was directed to be sung while it was making.
- T. Lewis Davies' Supplementary English Glossary, 1881

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oops, or, I'm Such a Procrastinator!

Yeah... so... I didn't end up writing 3 000 words yesterday. I didn't even manage 1 000. The computer was slow and stressing me out... but that is just an excuse - and a poor one at that.

The truth was, I didn't much feel like writing and I think I know the reason why. I don't particularly want this book to end. I've had so much fun writing it - giggles and snickers and in-jokes that precious few people would get... I don't particularly want to be finished.

Though, I suppose, all good things come to an end. I will write today. I suppose.

You can't see me, but I'm making a frowny-face.

On with my day! Have a great Tuesday everyone.


A tune played on the horn under the windows of sportsmen to arouse them.
- Robert Hunter's Encylopaedic Dictionary, 1894

The phrase, a "hunt's up," implied any song intended to arouse in the morning - even a love song - the name having been derived from a tune or song employed by early hunters. The term occurs in Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet says to Romeo, speaking of the lark,
Since arm from arm, that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to the day.
The morning song to a newly married woman was [also] called the hunt's up. This may be alluded to by Juliet [in] urging Romeo to make his escape.
- Rev. T.F. Thiselton-Dyer's Folklore of Shakespeare, 1884

Strake, a particular note blown by a hunter, apparently after the game is killed [From Middle English] strake, to sound a blast on a trumpet. [Mallory's] Morte [d']Arthur has "To the flighte, to the dethe, and to strake."
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Monday, September 19, 2011

Almost There... Almost!

Well, today, if all goes according to plan and this stupid computer speeds up some, I will have reached my target length for Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. Of course, that doesn't mean the book will be written.

I'm almost near the end, but not quite, and then there's the prologue and epilogue's to write. But hey - the extra words give me some paying room when it comes time to edit. Then, I have the rest of the year off!

That's right. You heard me. The rest of the year. Having finished three first drafts this year, I think I'm entitled to some extended R&R.

Those of you who know me aren't fooled in the slightest, are you. My compulsion to write will, no doubt take over after my first week of 'rest.' Whatever. I'll try to take the rest of the year off, anyway.

It's obnoxiously late in the morning (the computer is being especially difficult this morning), and I should hop to.

I just remembered that I forgot to schedule your weekend Forgotten English, so today you get a two-for-one special!


He that makes a glosse or comment to interpret the hard meaning of words or things.
- Edward Phillips' New World of English Words, 1598

In Blood

To be in blood, to be in good condition, to be vigorous. A term of the chase.
- Rev. Alexander Dyce's Glossary to the Works of William Shakespeare, 1902

Friday, September 16, 2011


Good morning!

Is it a good morning because:

a) The first, most difficult week of training is over. It'll only get easier from here,
b) I slept really well last night,
c) Today is my first ever violin lesson,
d) My muscles have ceased to ache quite so much, or
e) All of the above.

If you answered e), you are correct. Reward yourself with a square of rich dark chocolate and a small glass of port. Trust me. It's a reward.

Oh, I do have to tell you, in training last night, we were supposed to do as many chin-ups as we could. I am so ashamed to say, I cannot do a single one. I am very tempted to put a bar up in my doorway and practice at home so I don't look like such a fool the next time around. Oh well, there's only one way to get to doing a chin-up... I'll look the fool a few classes longer, I suppose. Until I can do a chin-up again.

I used to be able to do them. What the hell happened?!

I didn't, sadly, make my daily 3 000 yesterday. I made 2 000 (still a good haul, when I think about it). So today will be spent writing that final 1 000, then goofing off. I'll still be on target, and Monday will see me hit my goal! Yay!

Of course, the book won't be finished. There's the prologue and epilogue to write, and then a cursory format and edit, before I tuck it away and celebrate by goofing off for the rest of the month.

Ahhh.... today is a good day!


One who studies human anatomy.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

One who cuts up or dissects a man; [from Greek] anthropos, man, and tomis or tomes, one who cuts.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Facebook Shenanigans, or, Why I Adore My Friends

It has become my habit to post the last few lines of whatever I've written that day on my facebook page. On occasion, someone will "like" the post. Yesterday was rather extraordinary and very, very amusing.

I've recreated it for you below, typographical errors and all:

The angry flash in his eyes became a savage glow. Ethan stepped back, for the first time genuinely afraid. With a snarl, the king attacked again. Ethan hadn’t a hope in the world.
Quick slice after quick slice came at him, from seemingly every direction at once. He stepped back, to the side and backwards again, barely keeping his balance. Three savage blows he had no choice to parry cost him his weapon. The blade snapped at the hilt.
“Shit!” Ethan said.

And now I'm going to play games.

And then this happened:

P.M.: shit is right...

P.M.: that's why you need differentially tempered steel

P.M.: if you jut quench the whole thing it ends up being brittle...

P.M.: remind me to take ethan sword shopping

P.M.: of course the elf has am unfair advantage knowing steel and magic....

J.M-B.: i better show up and save ethan's sorry ass. he sounds doomed.

P.M.: how come I'm not in the story?

P.M.: wouldn't have needed saving if I was he'd have had a better sword

J.M-B.: well where the hell are you phil? get it together man! ethan needs us!!!

P.M.: alright let me get a horse. now all I need is a hill to come over...

J.M-B.: for crying out loud you don't need a horse. TELEPORT.

P.M.: but then how can I be the cavalry coming to the respect to the blare of trumpets? how can I be the knite in shining armour?

J.M-B.: it's only knights in shining armour that need horses and trumpets. knites in shining armour arrive via teleportation.

P.M.: true... can I say Ni?

P.M.: as I teleport in?

Me: Ah hah hah! I love you guys!

J.M-B: yeah i can allow that. ni away. just arrive already before ethan becomes mincemeat.

P.M.: The angry flash in his eyes became a savage glow. Ethan stepped back, for the first time genuinely afraid. With a snarl, the king attacked again. Ethan hadn’t a hope in the world.
Quick slice after quick slice came at him, from seemingly every direction at once. He stepped back, to the side and backwards again, barely keeping his balance. Three savage blows he had no choice to parry cost him his weapon. The blade snapped at the hilt.
“Shit!” Ethan said.

P.M.: Suddenly the king stopped and looked over his head, his brow creased in puzzlement. He seemed to hear something that no one else could.
Ethan was puzzled but wasn't about the waste the reprieve he'd been given. But just as he was about to reach the back of the kings head with the viciously swung pommel the King ducked. As he turned to face him with a snarl distorting his royal face Ethan knew he was going to die

P.M.: And then he heard it too. With an annoying "Ni" Phil the Great and Powerful Master of Swordplay and Wit popped into existence and gave Ethan a stern look.
"I'm not sure what you were thinking" he intoned "picking that piece of shit sword. Inferior quality steel and entire quenches in salt water? I'm surprised you didn't shatter every time you thought vaguely of waving it around in that ghastly parody of grace you so delusionally call sword play"

J.M-B.: you tell him.

P.M.: The king was slowly backing away with fear in his eyes as the supremely awesome Phil, lord of Awesomeness began to expound on carbon content, phase diagrams, ductile strength and hardness numbers.

P.M.: ‎"Look at this" he finally wound down "This is a sword. Feel the balance, see the temper mark, DON'T touch to edge you blithering imbicile, this one is actually sharp."

P.M.: Ethan took the sword with the proper reverence such an august personage and such a beautiful weapon demanded. As he experimentally swung it back and forth the almighty Phil, destroyer of worlds and saviour of souls pronounced:
"Now try again and this time try don't come whining to me expecting some sort of deus ex machina intervention if you're too incompetent to know good steel"

P.M.: Ethan took the sword with the proper reverence such an august personage and such a beautiful weapon demanded. As he experimentally swung it back and forth the almighty Phil, destroyer of worlds and saviour of souls pronounced:
"Now try again and this time try don't come whining to me expecting some sort of deus ex machina intervention if you're too incompetent to know good steel"

P.M.: And with a finally supremely annoying "Ni!" The Phil vanished

J.M-B.: now sonia doesn't need to bother writing tomorrow, you just saved her story. BEST ENDING EVER.

P.M.: Well you did say to save his ass...

P.M.: but that's not even close to 3000 words

J.M-B.: it's so awesome it doesn't need to actually be 3000 words to count as 3000 words.

K.R.: I agree - very awesome! Just curious: Are there any loud noises accompanying the teleportation, such as a boom or sucking in of air as The Phil appears and disappears? Or the twinkling and chiming of the heavens lining up for such an illustrious event?

And this is all the stuff you miss out on, when you're not on my facebook page. Shame on you.

Incidentally, P.M. really should take up writing himself!

Alright, I'm done. Back to writing. I'm almost there!

Black Ox

"The black ox has trod on his foot," he has fallen into decay or adveristy.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Black oxen were scrificed to the [Roman] gods of the Lower Regions. The [c. 1546] proverb, "the black ox never trod upon his foot," means he is not married. "The black ox hath trampled on him" is an equivalent of "He is henpecked."
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

The black ox is said to tramp on one who has lost a near relation by death.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1879

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sore and Satisfied

Owie. Owie. Owie. Owie.


I am so sore in every single part of my body. I ache all over.

And it's wonderful! These past two days of training have really helped me calm down and focus. And sleep. That's always a bonus.

Writing wise, well, I'm almost there. I just need to keep at it, and I should reach my target on schedule. Go me!

And that is all I have to say. I have to limp away now and do some office photocopying. Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


Another, and highly reprehensible way of extorting a gift, is to have what is called a philopena with a gentleman. This very silly joke is when a young lady, in cracking almonds, chances to find two kernels in one shell; she shares them with a beau; whech ever firest calls out 'philopena' on their next meeting, is entitled to receive a present from the other; and she is to remind him of it till he remembers to comply. So much nonsense is often talked on the occasion, that it seems to expand into something of importance, and the gentleman thinks he can do no less, than purchase for the lady something very elegant, or valuable; particularly if he has heard her tell of the munificence of other beaux in their philopenas.
- Eliza Leslie's Behaviour Book, 1854.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to Training

Last night was the first training session I've had in over two months.

I'm SO glad to be back!

I had thought that this session would be absolute hell, being the first and all, but I had plenty of energy throughout, and was feeling pretty strong. I'm paying for it today though. My arms ache fiercely, and it's only going to get worse.

Tuesday is the hardest night of the week as far as work-outs go. I'll be taking it easy at first, I think. The last Tuesday I attended, I worked so hard I made myself ill. It was pretty disgusting.

I dragged another friend to Kick-boxing class. She may hate me now, but I had fun!

I'm looking forward to catching up with friends again. It was lovely to see A.H. and P.B. once more. They are so much fun to be around.

You know, it only took me until my late twenties, but I'm finally surrounded by amazing, wonderful, absolutely lovely people.

More of that, please, universe!

Writing is going well. I made my daily 3 000 yesterday and hope to do the same today. If all goes well, I'll reach my goal by next Monday. And there will be much rejoicing.

Right, must get a start on it.


A term used when speaking of a third person who is not present... It would appear to be the equivalent of 'my lord,' or 'his lordship,' used sarcastically. The word is evidentally derived from the Scottish word knab or nab which was used derisively for a little laird, or any person of dignity.
- Francis Taylor's Folk-Speech of South Lancashire, 1901

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Cycle Starts Anew

And so it is that another summer has flown away. I know that technically, the summer doesn't end for another fortnight, but up past the 49th parallel, the days have cooled and the leaves have already started to turn. The geese sound their melancholic farewells as they fly overhead, seeking warmer climes.

I find this time of year strangely invigorating. Autumn is by far my favourite season (not least of all because Hallowe'en falls at the tail-end of this season). This weekend, I celebrated Autumn in style - by beginning everything again.

I attended my first Lion Dance practice in a couple of months. My injuries and general disposition preventing me from attending. The same can be said of my Martial Arts training. With the exception of my Equestrian Martial Arts, I did not attend much of the summer session of training. I was finding coping with that many people to be terribly taxing, and my injured feet were really hurting... I just couldn't do it.

Now, I feel rested, my feet are better... mostly... and I'm prepared to face the world again.

Also, in celebration of the season, and of starting afresh, I signed up for violin lessons. They were to start last Friday, but the teacher had to go out of town, so my first lesson will be this Friday instead. I am eager to get started. I've always wanted to learn to play the violin.

Saturday saw me recommencing reading - something I tend not to do when I'm buried in a project. Now that I have started again, I wonder why I ever stopped! I do so love reading! I am currently on the last few chapters of The Portrait of Dorian Gray. I will have a review of that up soon. With my room thoroughly cleaned, and the rest of the house tidy, I had nothing else to do but read. It was such a wonderful feeling to be able to read guilt-free!

Sunday saw me on my hike. The trail K.R. and I took this time was spectacular! There were some gorgeous brooks with little waterfalls. It was so beautiful and peaceful. This trail has, thus far, been my favourite. I will certainly walk it again at the first opportunity. Just lovely.

There will be pictures of it up on my facebook page as soon as I sort them out. K.R. leant me the use of her camera, and I took full advantage of it. I'm sure she's sick to death of pictures of brooks and waterfalls, but whatever! They're my favourite things in nature. That, and odd shaped natural formations.

Right, I have 3 000 words to write today, and I'm terribly behind. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.


Producing fruit or corn. From Latin fruges, fruits, and fero, to bear.
- Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

Fructiferous. From Latin frugifer, frux, frugis, and voro, to eat.
- John Ridpath's Home Reference Library, 1898

Frugiverous, that [which] devoureth fruit, corn, &c. From Latin.
- Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


One of those sneaks that makes a practice of watching... sweethearts on their nightly walks, and if any impropriety is witnessed, demanding hush-money to keep the matter secret. Yorkshire.

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

Friday, September 9, 2011


Hi all,

Today isn't such a good day. It feels a little better than yesterday, but that isn't saying much.

Shortly after writing yesterday's post, I received a message that Bran, beloved dog of my good friend P.B. passed away Wednesday night. He was 17.

It was a good age for a dog to be, and he was a very happy 17.

Last night, I ordered pizza, sat on the couch and spent the evening in tears. Those of you who've had a pet will understand. Those of you who haven't won't get it.

Bran was a beautiful dog, and though he wasn't mine, I loved him dearly.

I'm still in shock, I think. Feeling extraordinarily blue today.

I think I'll hide away for a bit.

Kentucky Colonel

A bogus colonel. After the America Civil War, it is alleged, nearly every man in Kentucky was either a captain, a colonel, or a general.
- John Sandilands' Western Canadian Dictionary and Phrase-Book, 1913

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Weirdness Continues

I managed six hours of sleep last night, so things might be improving.

Or not.

Yesterday I got a call from my soon-to-be violin teacher. The class I was so looking forward to this Friday has been pushed back a week as she must leave town. I had just rescheduled an event to accommodate the music lesson.

This morning was weird. The cat went berserk at about six o'clock this morning. I ignored him until about quarter past seven. I gave myself fifteen extra minutes except that I was so tired from several nights of too little sleep, that I next awoke at three minutes to eight.

I rushed around like mad and managed to leave the house around five past eight. That's pretty good time - it leaves me with enough time to walk to work in any case.

The sun was shining. The day got noticeably warmer as I walked. On the way to work, I found a penny.

'Yes!' thought I. 'Finally, some good luck!'

Then I twisted my ankle. Publicly. Painfully. With ten blocks still to walk. Luckily, my ankles are pretty bendy. Although it twinged a bit, it didn't really affect my walking all that much. The effect of the lucky penny, perhaps?

It's still throbbing a bit, so we'll see how much it damage was really done when I try and walk home again. Movement is, as yet, unhindered.

I arrived to work to find that at 9:49pm last night, there had been a power outage. I had to reboot my computer, which means a very frustratingly slow computer day ... again.

Yup. Things are still weird.

I'm still stupidly far behind in my writing. I have a minimum of 4 000 words to make today if I have any hope catching up by the end of the week. I should probably get on with it, then.

Will the computer blow up, do you think?

Butcher's Plums

Meat. On saying to someone I was visiting, "Who lives next door?" I was answered, "The butcher. That's where we get our butcher's plums."
- Rev. F.M.T. Palgrave's Words and Phrases in Everyday Use by the Natives of Herron-le-Hole, Durham, Being Words Not Ordinarily Accepted, 1896.

Man... what a title!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There's Something in the Air

I've been reading about, hearing of and experiencing something remarkable. Sleep deprivation. For the past week or so, I've averaged four hours of sleep a night. My flatmate keeps waking up in the middle of the night. Friends have been averaging anywhere between two to five hours of sleep a night. Some get their eight, but it's continually interrupted for no apparent reason.

What is going on? Is there anyone else out there in blog land that is suffering the same as this transitional period?

Perhaps something big is shifting in the universe, and we're all unconsciously tuning to it. Perhaps my luck will finally change and I'll be a writer for real - like earning a decent income real. I mean, I am a real writer in that I write stuff all the time...

Well, that was awkward.

The point is, things are weird, and they're like as not going to get a bit weirder until we all settle down into our new seasons.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the autumn. It's my favourite time of the year. The weather cools and becomes comfortable instead of sweltering. The colours are amazing. It used to be that a new year of university was about to commence (here in North America), and the anticipation was delightful - particularly if I registered for very cool classes in the summer (and I usually did - thank-you Celtic Studies!).

This year, I'm anticipating the commencement of my violin lessons (so excited!) and the return to my martial arts training. The prolonged break from Kung Fu has helped me immensely to refocus, to heal up and gather myself together. I should be in a much better frame of mind this time around.

Also this autumn, despite still being behind 8 000 odd words, I will be finishing the first draft of Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. I'll then be working on getting it into publishable shape for Hallowe'en of next year. Being as how I'm self-publishing, I can set my own deadlines and release date. I'm enjoying that immensely, actually.

I might be a bit of a control freak.

In any case, I think autumn is by far the best of the seasons. Out of curiosity, what's your favourite season, and why?

The Squares

"How go the squares?" how goes the game? The reference is to the chessboard. [Thomas] Middleton, Family of Love [1608]. Yomenne, "yeomen"; the pawns in the game of chess.
- Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Checking in After a Long Weekend

Good morning everyone!

It is still morning, correct? *checks computer clock.

Yup, still morning. Though this computer is so slow it wouldn't surprise me if it was afternoon by the time it decided to load this page.

So, the Labour Day long weekend went by much too quickly. In it, I achieved very little. I managed, in one marathon sitting, to finish watching season 2 of Rush (an Australian cop drama that happily replaces Blue Heelers). It's a great show, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes cop dramas.

Also, I might be slightly in love with the character Lawson Blake. Just sayin'.

I also managed to clean house a little bit this weekend. That was nice. The house feels 1 000 times better now. However, while cleaning, I neglected the cat (Persephone) who desperately wanted cuddles and was, therefore, in disfavour when I did finish cleaning. So much in disfavour was I, that she spent the whole night in the living room where usually she cuddles up to me while I sleep. Le sigh.

Some exciting news - I've signed up for violin lessons! Finally! I think I've told the story of always wanting to learn only, the very year I was old enough to learn, the only string violin teacher in the town upped and moved away. I was very disappointed.

Well, fairly recently, I'd been given a violin and I swore I'd learn. Only, every time I went to pay for lessons some sort of financial crisis occurred. It was vexing. Well, this last pay, I took the plunge (I hope there will not be any financial emergencies coming up, or I'm screwed) and lessons begin this Friday. Eep! I'm very excited. I just adore music.

Writing wise, I'm so far behind target I don't even want to think about it. I have to write 8 000 words today to catch up. Obviously it's not going to happen. Worse still, I neglected to factor the long weekend into my estimated word count, so to keep from falling further behind, I'll have to write Friday. Looks like I'll be writing for a few Friday's actually - just to catch up.

I'll already well behind schedule for the day, as well, so I'll leave you alone now. I hope you all had a marvellous long weekend!

Flutter the Dovecots

To cause mild excitement in society. Shakespeare, Coriolanus.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Cultivation; improvement; [asin] the manurement of wits.
- Joseph Worcester's Dictionary of the English Language, 1881

Manure your heart with diligence, and in it sow good seed.
- Zachary Boyd's Zion's Flowers, 1645

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Pertaining to the river Lethe; hence, pertaining to or causing oblivion or forgetfulness of the past.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908

Oblivious; [from] Lethe, one of the rivers of hell. From Greek letho, old form of lanthano, to forget.
- Daniel Lyons's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

Deadly, mortal, pestiferous.
- Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Bad, Bad Start to the Day

So... I woke up extremely late. Rushed around like a mad woman. Raced out the door... to find that I didn't have my house keys with me.

Or my purse.

Swearing like a sailor, I broke back into my own house, scared the heck out of the cats, grabbed my purse.

Couldn't find my keys.

I turned the house upside-down looking for them. Only to find that they were, in fact, in my purse.

By this time, it was far too late to catch the bus. But I tried anyway, only to discover I don't have any bus tickets. I raced to buy bus tickets, raced back across the road, only to have the bus roar past me at a hundred miles an hour.

The next one stopped, though, and was moving fast enough to get me to a transfer point for the one that previously refused my existence.

Until a minor collision before us stopped traffic on Bank St. for a while. Just missed my connection. Had to wait for the other bus that drove all over God's green pastures.

Arrived to work ten minutes late.

I'm also 2 000 words behind at the moment. The good news that The Dying God & Other Stories is now available in paperback had me working the rounds, getting the word out, and starting a competition. See on the right hand side of the screen there? I'm giving away two free copies on Follow the link and enter!

Spread the word, as well, if you want. The more people who at least look at the book, the greater chance of success I have. Though, honestly, the way today's going, I'm really not expecting much at all.


I'm frustrated, I'm homesick, and I'm behind. I don't care. I'm going to watch Aussie telly for a while. Rush here I come!

Have a great long weekend everyone! I'll be back Tuesday... hopefully in a better mood.


I have... noticed some of our rather curious superlatives... Walking over a ploughed field, a rustic, noticing some spear-grass, said, "It is the eatenest thing that grow" - that is, the most exhausting or devouring of the soil.
- Edward moor's Suffolk Words and Phrases, 1823

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mind Bend, or, Trouble at the Halfway Mark

I'm not yet at 50 000 words, but I'm over the halfway mark.

My mind is having great difficulty wrapping around this idea. Perhaps it's really anal, and requires wonderful round numbers for halfway marks, and can't handle all the messy fractions of 75 000.

Yesterday, something happened in the story that was supposed to happen ( my apologies to the Elgin Street Police Headquarters. You're all dead. Sorry), but I kept thinking that this book was going to be crap because it wasn't the halfway mark yet. Except that it was.

I was confused. Even now I'm having difficulty dealing with this relatively simple concept. In short, I'm a twit.

Oh, a lovely note this morning - two rejections in my inbox. Oh goodie. Le sigh. Oh well. I guess.


On a happier note, just ten more writing days and I'm done Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince. Yay!

Also on a happier note, I managed to fix up The Dying God & Other Stories (for the last time, I swear!). I only found two typos and had one change of mind. Thus, only three corrections. All the eBook versions have been changed AND, this time, accepted the update! Yay! You can now buy it there again if you so wish. Hopefully I'll get the confirmation email from today that The Dying God & Other Stories is all good to go for the paperback edition. Then I can press that 'publish' button. It that happens today, I'd have met my self-imposed deadline. Just.

Damn, I'm good.

Right, I really have to get on with it now. Have a great Thursday all!


The act of prowling about with intent to steal... Probably from Algerine, an inhabitant of Algiers. The greatest commerce of the Algerines consists in the merchandize which they obtain by the piratical plunder of Christians over the whole Mediterranean.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905