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

- Graycie Harmon

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Hallowe'en is by far my most favourite time of year. It's generally cold, clear and the number of celebrants keeps me smiling all day long. Also, the fact that it's a survival from an Iron Age tradition makes me supremely happy. Yes, I am a nerd.

No one in my office is in costume, but that's alright. I'll live.

I'm now back at work after a much needed, if not well deserved, holiday. My flatmate and I decided, very last minute, on Monday to go on a road-trip to Halifax and back. It was spur of the moment, completely unplanned and very, very fun.

I highly recommend that if going to Halifax, you do all the touristy things. Especially the Halifax Citadel. That is a very fun place.

There is much work to be done today. I have to register for NaNoWriMo and prepare myself for that. I must catch up on all the blogs I missed while away. That should take me most of the day, I should think.

Best of all, I get to announce the winners of the give-away! A massive congratulations to:

Crystal Phillips of W.A. and Tracey Johnson of O.K., both from the U.S.A.

I'll be sending the books before this week is out. Hopefully you'll both get them soon. Hopefully you'll like the book.

Right, there is much to do today, so I'll leave it here. Wishing you all a very happy Hallowe'en!


An interpreter of dreams.
- Stephen Jones' Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary, 1818.

Oneirocritical, belonging to the interpretation of dreams.
- Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775.

Oneirocriticism, the are of interpreting dreams. Oneirocracy, oneirocriticism. Oneirologist, one versed in oneirology. Oneiromancer, oneiromantist, oneiropolist, one who divines by dreams. Oneiropompist, a sender of dreams.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


A species of melancholy characterised by a dislike to society.

- Robert Hooper's Compendious Medical Dictionary, 1839.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Uh... I Think I'm in Halifx

I'm not entirely sure; not because I woke up in a strange place missing a few organs, but because we didn't really plan this trip to the letter and while I'm pretty sure that, at the time of writing this entry (still Monday evening, people), I'd be in Halifax when you are reading it.

Make sense?

I'll relate to you all the details when I get back. Which will be... uh... Saturday? No, wait... Friday, I think. Which is today?

Great, now I'm confused.

So, if today is Friday, even though it's Monday, that means I'm technically en route from Halifax.

I think.


Intoxicated, giddy, frolicsome.
- John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thank-You For Calling

S.M. Carrière is currently away from her blog. Please leave your message at the end of the post, and she'll return it as soon as possible.

Thank-you and have a wonderful day.


A bad system of spelling, such as that of current English.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Still in Halifax

And probably having a good time. I say probably because at the time of writing this entry, I don't know yet. It's very unlikely I'd be having anything but a good time. Still, I don't know for certain, because I'm actually writing this Monday evening.

Technology has it's uses, I suppose...

We were planning to do a video of our trip, so it'll likely be up some time after we return from the East Coast.

In the meantime, here's some Forgotten English to whittle the time away.


One who procreates; a sire; a father.
- Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850

A testicle; the testicles; in later use for genitals. Adapted from Old French genitoir. In adjective use as members genitors [late 1400s].
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two For One

Good Morning!

I am currently en route to Halifx, Nova Scotia this morning. It's a very impromptu road-trip with my flatmate. We decided to do this, well, last night. It is apparently, my extremely early birthday gift.

Which is good, though I'm a little nervous about sitting in a car for that long. You see, Sunday afternoon-ish, as my friend K.R. and I were heading to a Jeff Dunham show in Kanata, we were rear-ended. Hard.

I'm in great shape, all things considered, and I'd like to put that down to training. No, my (unimpressive) kung fu skills did not save me. However, I'm pretty sure the strength of my body due to training did. I came out of it with nothing more than a slight headache and a sore neck.

I thought I wasn't going to be able to move Monday, but as it turns out, I just had a slightly stiff back. My neck is fine. All in all, I'll be OK.

Incidentally, we still made it out to the show, and it was awesome. What a way to start my week off, no?

As I reviewed a book yesterday, you missed out on your daily dose of Forgotten English. Luckily, I took note of them all before I left the office on holidays, and so have two for you here today.

I thought ahead.

Something's wrong.


An officer appointed ... to look to the assize and goodness of bread, ale, and beer.
- John Kersey's New English Dictionary, 1772

The aleconners are authorised to search for, destroy seize, and take away all unwholesome provisions, false balances, short weights and measures ... and examine the quality of beer, ale, &c. and the materials of which it is made.
- William Robinson's History and Antiquities of Tottenham High Cross, 1818.


A joke, a jeer, a scoff. On some of the notes of this word it has been supposed to be connected with the card game gleek; but it was not recollected that the Saxon language supplied the term glig, ludibrium, and doubtless a corresponding verb. Thus glee signifies mirth and jocularity; and gleeman or gligman a minstrel or joculator. Gleek was therefore used to express a stronger sort of joke, a scoffing. It does not appear that the phrase to give the gleek was ever introduced in the above game, which was borrowed by us from the French and derived from an original of very different import from the word in question... to give the minstrel is no more than a punning phrase for giving the gleek. Minstrels and jesters were anciently called gleekmen or gligmen.
- Rev. Alexander Dyce's Glossary to the Works of Shakespeare, 1902

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson

Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have just one word to describe this book:


Alright, I'm done.

In all seriousness, this is another case of my putting aside a book for lack of time, only to pick it up again months later and thenceforth being completely unable to put it down.

Mr. Erikson, I am envious of the way you weave words and worlds. I adore the language, the lucid flow of beautiful words that paint incredible visages before my mind's eye. I am enamoured by your characters - that they are so strong, and weak, and whole, and flawed, and beautiful, and hideous. That they engage in terrible acts for beautiful reasons.

You, sir, are a master of the genre.

Enough of my love-letter.

There is so much I loved about this book - the language, the characters, the humour, the heartbreak. I especially enjoyed the humorous play between Tehol and his man-servant, Bugg. I loved the way each character, no matter which side of the conflict they were on, were intrinsically human, caught in internal struggles between what is right, what is wrong, and the often impossible choices they faced. I found it easy to relate to.

I actually felt a twinge of regret when I shut it, having finished the narrative.

I feel like I'm gushing a bit, and I probably am. That's only because there is something about this book, and this series - something I'm yet to fathom fully - that pulls me in wholly and completely. This is what good writing should do.

I sit at my computer in awe, and cannot wait to start on the next book in the series... after I finish reading the books I have on loan from friends.

Mr. Erikson, you've done it again.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Faint, sickly, ailing. A dog is said to be cothy when he is meek and delicate.
- Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Coathy, surly; easily provoked; Norfolk. In Hampshire, rotten, applied to sheep.
- Francis Grose's Glossary of Provincial and Local Words, 1811

Friday, October 21, 2011

Taking a Break

Hi everyone!

How are you?

I'm doing pretty well. The crippling fatigue that dragged me down at the end of last week and the beginning of this week has vanished. I'm now simply normal-tired. Whatever that is.

Editing is going, but slowly. This is largely due to the book I'm reading. Damn you, Steven Erikson!

Starting tonight, I'm on holiday until next Friday. I'll still have a few blog posts ready for you, I hope. Perhaps I'll give you all a break from my inane mutterings for a week.

I haven't decided.

I am excited about November. I've decided (for the umpteenth time) to hold of writing The Great Man until then. That might change. It might not. I keep changing my mind on it, which means it might well be November before I decide to start writing it before November.

A quandary.

Right, I should print out chapter five and start editing. Have a wonderful weekend all, and I'll see you soon.


On that is false to the bed. [Related to Dutch swerven, to roam.]
- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

Thursday, October 20, 2011


They're there. They're terrible. They hold you back, hold you down, knock you out.


I have them all the time. I might seem confident, and I am, but doubts still plague me. They break me down. Sometimes, something happens that's so severe, I have a mini-meltdown. I cry, I scream into my pillow, I cry more.

I'll never make it.

I'm not good enough.

No one will ever read it.

It's crap.

I'm crap.

Sound familiar? Yeah.

Regular readers of this blog will know the emotional roller-coaster that is trying to get published (never mind the frustrating work we do before we even consider submitting for publication). At least for me.

One moment I'm bubbling over with delighted anticipation. The next, I'm buried in my blankets, weeping pitifully.

I've plenty of reasons to doubt.

Compared to some bloggers, I have a teeny tiny number of readers (and who knows how many of those are regular readers). Not that it's a bad thing, necessarily. After over two years, I'm still trying to find my feet with this. Inflicting my uncertainty on fewer people has its benefits.

I've self-published but one book, and it isn't selling.

For the one series I care most about; for Julian's story, The Great Man, I've received nothing but rejections.

If ever there's a reason to doubt, the number of rejections I get would be one of them. I'm seriously thinking of self-publishing this one. It seems that it's the only way this story will see the light of day.

In fact, other than words of encouragement from friends and family (LOVE you guys), there is absolutely no reason in the world for me to believe that I'll get anywhere with this.

Except that I do.

I believe.

Without reason.

What the hell?

I don't know why I believe.

I just do.

Deep down somewhere, despite all the reasons to doubt, I believe I'll be a successful author. Somewhere inside of me speaks a voice. It speaks in gentle tones, quietly but assuredly. It is the kind of voice that can and does cut through the clamour of a thousand other voices screaming doubts. It tells me to keep going. That what happens now won't matter later. That I'll be alright. That I'll make it.

This voice, this quiet, soulful voice, has pulled me back from the brink of despair more times than I can count. It simply says this:

I will make it.

I will make it.

I will make it.

And so will you.


A little villa; a little village.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Regrets

You know, there's a fair amount of stuff I've given up to do this writing gig.

I could've opted to be a government employee, with high pay and benefits and job security. It's what most people living in Ottawa do. My job, from anyone else's perspective (as my father tells me. Often.) is pretty crap. It's dull. It's not in my field. The pay is pretty low. There are no benefits.

From a writer's perspective, it's heaven! It covers the bills. I'm healthy and pretty much all my health care needs are met by O.H.I.P. (Ontario Health Insurance). The best part, it lets me write for almost eight hours a day.

Do I regret sacrificing a high paying job, sacrificing benefits, sacrificing employment stability just so I can write? Not a bit.

Writing is my passion. I hope to one day make it my profession. No, scratch that. I will one day make it my profession. Until then, I intend to work at it as often as I can.

Luckily, I have that opportunity.

Thank-you, Universe!

Right, chapter 4 needs printing and editing. I must get on with it. Have a good day!


Study based on the theory that man had sprung from trees.
- T. Lewis Davier' Supplementary English Glossary, 1881

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So Much Paper

I feel so guilty editing as I am - printing out a chapter a day and pouring through it with a red pen. So much paper that will one day be nothing but scrap... it's depressing. Still, it needs to be done.

As I'm editing, I've really noticed that I absolutely without reservation need a second, third and fourth pair of eyes. I know this by the dirth of red marks on the page. That is to say, there aren't very many. Which is to say, I'm not a very good self-editor.


I currently have my very first Beta Reader going over the book chapter by chapter. Her prologue comments were both useful and amusing. I can't wait to read what she has for the first chapter. There were many more awkward sentences in that chapter than in the prologue.

I'm currently reading a Steven Erikson novel, and feeling incredibly jealous. The man is a master of prose. I am, well, not. I find as I read, being much more critical in general (though, this particular story sucks me in too deeply to be overly critical), and with this book (Midnight Tides, a Malazan Book of the Fallen novel), I find myself wishing I could write like him.

Gosh he's good!

Right, that's enough crazy stalker fan girl from me. There's editing to do. Wish me luck!


Restive; unruly; foolishly confident.
- John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1902

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Being Nothing

So... how's life?

Mine's great. Can't complain. Not really. I've been exhausted and fairly short tempered for the better part of three days now, and I couldn't understand why until last night - I haven't taken my holidays this year yet.

Oops. Should get on that.

The work for today is much the same as it always is. Edit. I might write some too, as I had a dream last night that related to The Great Man. I did want to save the start of writing for NaNoWriMo, but it looks like I'll have to miss out on that again this year because the book won't wait.

Oh well.

Right, I owe you a fair amount of Forgotten English and so, here it is:


One who writes down or records prophecies.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909


Having the power to change the disposition of the mind.
- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755

If a minde easily bent or turned.
- Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656

Flexanimousness, flexibleness of mind or disposition.
- Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749


American English; [1800s].
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1918

(Ah hah hah hah hah! Oh, I like that one!)#


Rejected matter; that which is vile or despised.
- Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

And now I'm off to edit. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I should also note that the title of today's post has nothing to do with today's post. Sorry about that (not really - I'm enjoying the weirdness of it).

Also, I'm currently addicted to the T.V. show Castle. It's the perfect blend of quirky, funny and serious.

And now I'm done procrastinating and will get back to editing. Goodbye!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ill In Bed

So, this blog post is going out in the afternoon... because I've been ill in bed today. That also means I don't have the Forgotten English on my desk before me to relate to you today. But what I do have is the awesomely funny comments my first Beta Reader sent me on the prologue.

My Beta Reader is, of course, my flatmate... and she's very flattering about it. Of course, flattery won't make me a better writer, but her comments made me laugh out loud. And here are the best bits, prefaced by the things I actually wrote:

Pallid greyish skin stretched over bone and sinew as if sewn on by a cobbler who couldn’t quite afford enough hide. (way to give me nightmares.)

When they grinned, it was as looking into the mouth of death. (when these things show up in my dreams, no matter what time it is I’m coming into your room to hit you in the head.)

You know, these sentences aren't side by side in the book, and now that they are, they seem well... bad.

And now, I'm watching a Castle marathon with said Beta Reader and laughing hysterically. Have a great weekend all! Hopefully I won't be ill for very long.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ways Nursing Homes Benefit Their Residents

Choosing to put a loved one into a nursing home can be very difficult. Most often this “choice” is not so much a choice as a necessity. As we get older, we eventually lose the ability to care for ourselves; this is simply a fact of life. However, despite the negative stigma that can accompany nursing homes, this new living environment can greatly benefit residents. Franklin Institute studies found that senior citizens who engaged in regular physical activity, like walking, showed improvements in learning abilities, concentration, and abstract reasoning and memory skills as compared to those who were sedentary; they also cut their risk of stroke by 57%. Furthermore, R. S. Wilson, PhD ran a study that demonstrated that “a cognitively inactive [elderly] person was 2.6 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) than a cognitively active [elderly] person.” Nursing homes provide residents with a community rich in socially, mentally, and physically healthy activities.

Social Activities
Many nursing homes throw celebrations for residents’ birthdays in which family members and fellow residents are invited to participate. Additionally, many homes throw celebrations for holidays. Holidays and birthdays alike can be trying for residents who live far from their loved ones. Community celebration can fill that void, and provide residents with the opportunity to bond with their community. It also provides residents with events to look forward to that are out-of-the-norm.
Social hours and activities like coffee or cocktail hours, and dances are offered to some nursing home residents. This provides residents with a great time and the opportunity to socialize with family, friends, and fellow residents.
Most nursing homes also provide residents with religious services; in fact, every nursing home that is provided for by Medicare and Medicaid is required to offer nursing home residents the chance to attend religious services. Some nursing homes even have religious services provided at the home itself by different religious groups.

Art Related Activities
Various nursing homes provide arts activities for their residents. These activities provide residents with opportunities to exercise their minds and to interact with their fellow residents and local community.
Music is one such activity. Activities range from concerts by local groups and schools to talent shows to sing-alongs. Some nursing homes invite family members and the local community to attend and participate in the aforementioned activities.
Another arts activity available to many nursing home residents is the accessibility to a book service. Numerous nursing homes have libraries that provide residents with books for their entertainment. Audio books and volunteer readers may also be available for those visually impaired. Moreover, book carts are usually available for those who are immobile.
Some nursing homes also have arts and crafts programs. Arts and crafts bring to mind childish activities, like finger painting. However, it is common for seniors’ arts and crafts to consist of creating clay vases, mosaics, scrap-booking, etc. This provides residents with the opportunity to exercise their creative capacities, ultimately providing them with a sense of accomplishment.
Other activities include various discussion groups. Leaders of these groups include both residents, as some may have extensive experience with a particular subject, and volunteers. Topics can be broad, covering everything from politics to art history, and are usually determined by the residents to fit the community’s interests.
Additionally, some nursing homes provide the means for resident published newsletters. This allows residents to exercise their talents and express themselves.

Recreational Activities
Recreational activities allow residents to interact in different group settings (i.e. one-on-one and large group). This not only provides residents with healthy social time, but also allows them to connect with their community in general and, again, exercise their minds.
Games are popular recreational activities. Bingo, chess, and bridge contests and tournaments are common in nursing homes. Volunteer and family members commonly participate in and help organize games for residents.
Trips and outdoor time are common activities in nursing homes. Outdoor activities include gardening, picnics, games, and barbeques with residents, friends, and family members alike. Trips are usually organized by an activities coordinator, and provided for by donations, nursing home funds in general, and/or funds accumulated by selling arts and crafts created by residents. Volunteers are crucial for resident trips as transportation can be a difficult, but the rewards provided to residents are great. Trips allow residents to get away from their normal environment and routine.
Physical fitness activities are common in nursing homes. Everything from yoga to endurance and strength training are offered. Activities for those with special needs or disabilities are also common, allowing them to exercise regularly.
So, it is clear to see that a loved one’s move to a nursing home can be beneficial and enjoyable. Residents spend time exercising their minds and bodies, and get to enjoy the company of others’ their age.

Amy Shoemaker is a guest post and article writer bringing to us her thoughts on the benefits of nursing homes for the elderly.
Additionally, Amy writes about this subject for

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Going Slow

Catching up yesterday took all day. Literally. I'm getting on with Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince now, but it took me a while to get there yesterday.

Slow computers are fun. Not.

There isn't really much to report except that I've moved chapters around a little bit, and should be getting stuck into the proper editing today. I'm thinking I might print one chapter out and spend the day editing that.

It's so much easier to edit actual paper than on screen, though I do feel terribly guilty for using paper that will become nothing better than scrap the moment it's printed upon.

Le sigh.

Tomorrow I'll be having a special guest post. I was approached by Amy Shoemaker of to ask if it was alright to volunteer an article about her field of expertise.

I checked out This is what they had to say:

Nursing Home Abuse was founded by the National Association to Stop Nursing Home Abuse (NASNHA), a non-profit NGO. exists to raise awareness of the nursing home abuse epidemic, educate the public about its causes, help residents and families prevent abuse, and help victims cope with the consequences of nursing home abuse.

Having known and loved elderly people, I didn't hesitate to accept. Amy's article goes up tomorrow. Be sure to check in.

Until Friday, then!


Without breeches; naked; from Old English brek, breeches.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catching Up & Getting On

Despite this computer being slower than a walrus without flippers.... I'm slowly catching up on all the stuff I didn't do this long weekend. Speaking of, fellow Canadians, how was your thanksgiving?

Mine was quiet and intimate with my Papa and his friend. It was quite lovely, actually. But I've made a decision:

I can't keep not writing.

Worst. Sentence. Ever.

In any case, I'm starting to crawl out of my own skin. This is a weird feeling - I'm scared of starting, and itching to get started. I'm a little terrified of facing the final book in The Great Man series for several reasons.

The last book gave me nightmares. Seriously. Like wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat-heart-pounding nightmares.

I also, counter intuitively, don't really want to finish this story. It's been a part of me for so long (Julian has been hovering at my shoulder since I was 14), I'm terrified of letting it go. Of course I must eventually, but I just don't wanna!

Also, lots of really good people die in this last book. I will be an emotional wreck by the time the book ends, guaranteed.

So, instead, I'm going to go through Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince again before I start on The Great Man. The goal is to have a draft ready for my first Beta Reader by the end of the month. I'm still not releasing it until Hallowe'en of next year, but it would be nice to get all the really difficult stuff out of the way before I begin the final chapter in a really difficult series.

At least I'm working with words again. It'll be nice to start on that once more.

The Great Man will be started in November. I'll be trying to make the first 50 000 words of the book part of the NaNoWriMo challenge, seeing as I've never participated before. I'll kill two birds with one book that way.

I'm terribly behind today, but I should get started. I hope your Tuesday is wonderful. Mine will be painful! Back to training tonight...


To dispirit by constant chiding; or to depress the energies of life by excess of bodily toil ... a poor pitiful fellow.
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Monday, October 10, 2011


Stiffly or primly dressed; stiff, formal, prim.
- Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895

Affected, prudish; of the mouth, closed primly, pursed up (Scottish); also primed-up.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Saturday, October 8, 2011


A football term used when the ball is fairly caught or kicked beyond bounds. (Harvard University)
- Albert Barrèr's Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant, 1889

Friday, October 7, 2011

Back to My Regular Scedule

Alright, I am getting back into the groove as of today. Remember way back when I talked about learning French. Then it just kinda... well... faded away.

I'm back at it. This time I mean to stick with it. I can do it. I know I can.

Other than that, there is nothing new to report.

This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so you shan't hear from me on Monday - I'll be in bed dozing happily beneath piles of blankets.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend Canada. And to the rest of you, have fun!


Odd money remaining after the daily accounts are [tallied] at a railway booking-office, usually divided amongst the clerks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Correctness vs. Impact

I've been thinking about this one for a while now, and it has me pondering.

There's a lot of stuff (technical word) flying around about writing being absolutely correct in the strictest grammatical sense. While I'm not opposed to the use of proper grammar (far from it - I've become a little bit of a grammar Nazi, but there's a limit to that), I greatly wonder if in the pursuit of grammatical perfection we lose a little something of emotional impact.

As an intuitive writer, I'm very much a feeler as well. I tend not to notice the errors if I'm totally engrossed in the emotion of the moment I'm reading... provided that the errors are not so many and are not so egregious that they impact meaning, of course.

Academic writing is not meant to be emotive. It's meant to be objective, scientific, to the point while creative writing is, well, whatever the creator wants it to be.

For me, I get a slightly sadistic kick out of seeing other people tear up when they read something I've written. It means I've reached them; gotten to their centre. That's the objective of my writing.

Now here's the thing - it's not like my grammar is terrible. Alright, I confess that sometimes I leave a lot to be desired when it comes to sentence structure and grammar. Sometimes, however, I feel that writing it the way someone else has suggested will lessen the emotional quality of the passage in question. Is that just me being... well... overprotective of my prose?

I think that might have something to do with it, if I'm being honest with myself.

Yet still, I have read grammatically perfect sentences and felt nothing. Moreover, it's often my less perfect sentences that get my readers (and myself) to shed a tear or two. Perhaps absolute, immutably proper grammar is a little sterile, a little too academic to reach people in the same way?

Of course, I'm not giving myself (or you, for that matter) an excuse to write poorly. I mean, I still have to be understood and that means good writing. I'm just musing aloud about whether grammatical perfection dampens emotional impact.

I'm not an editor, and I haven't taken a course on professional editing (though, you know, I probably should), so some input from those who have would be wonderful. Do you find that absolute correctness dulls the impact? Do you consider emotionality when you edit, or is it all purely about sentence structure? Is there a difference in your approach when you edit for academic/business articles and when you edit fiction and creative non-fiction?

I'd also love to hear thoughts from any readers following this blog.

Right, that's enough musing for the moment. I forgot to include the Forgotten English after yesterday's book review, so you get a two-for-one special today.


A lazy, loitering fellow.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

A lazy, lumpish fellow; [from] John Lyly's Mother Bombie (1594).
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Loiter Pegs, an idler; East Yorkshire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905


Care, trouble, anxiety.
- Robert Willan's Glossary of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1811

To take the fash, to take the trouble, to be at the pains.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

In Australia we say flack. To cop the flack is to bear the brunt of the trouble (usually punishment or a berating). I wonder if they are related somehow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics)The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's rare that I'll pick up a classic simply because it is a classic. Generally, something must draw me in. I actually read this book in anticipation of the latest screen adaptation (starring Colin Firth and Ben Barnes), which had recently been released on DVD. Well, recently by my standards.

The problem with reprinted classics is, and this is only a problem if you are not so inclined, the foreword (and the end notes). If you are looking at the story from an academic perspective, they're nothing short of brilliant.

However, if you're trying to enjoy the story simply as as story, you'd do best to not read the foreword and stay well away from the end notes. With the information you read in the foreword - almost always about this book being Oscar Wilde's fall from grace, as it were - you read passages within the book in a whole new light.

As someone who is academically minded, I wasn't too concerned by this, though I did find that it detracted from enjoyment of the story as purely a story.

The story itself is brief. Oscar Wilde is a master of language and uses metaphors brilliantly to paint stunning imagery in the imagination. His use of descriptives is truly second to none. The story line is as pertinent today as it was in Mr. Wilde's time.

In a culture obsessed with youth and beauty, one wonders what happens to the very souls of those who hold their reflections above all else. To be honest, though, no beautiful person I've met has ever been horrid. Some have been perfectly vacuous, but not horrid. I digress.

The execution of the story was, despite the beautiful language and brilliant idea, rather disappointing. My problem is, of course, that I'm far too used to moments of incredible excitement. That's what happens when one reads mostly action-packed genres such as fantasy. It very much felt like things were building to a massive climax in the final few chapters. The actual turn of events was far less ... epic.

This, of course, was nothing more than a matter of expectation and realisation. My expectations for the ending were too high, I fear. Again, I'm going to blame this on fantasy. It's a convenient excuse.

If you're looking for stunning language and imagery, I highly recommend this book. Just don't expect any explosions.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

They're At It Again

Hi all!

You remember way back when I wrote this post? That's right. The one about the silly little list of boycotted authors upon which my name appeared... by a group I hadn't even heard from or of before (how the hell do they know of me anyway?).

Well, it seems their shenanigans haven't ceased. In fact, they're getting worse. This supposed group of authors, book lovers and want-to-be authors are hosting a book burning, amongst other things. No writer would ever condone the burning of books.

Oops, Write Agenda. You've been busted.

Moreover, they're (he, she, it... whatever) have been going after Writer Beware pretty hard - which is just stupid. In any case, Writer Beware have put together a fabulous post on their miscreant behaviour, so do yourselves a favour and check it out HERE.

This is getting interesting, to say the least. In any case, if you happen to be a new author, don't pay attention to the morons at 'The Write Agenda.' Not only are they idiots with an axe to grind, they've also got one of the least intuitive websites I've seen.

In other news, the computer was being a right moron yesterday, so I got absolutely nothing achieved. I am unimpressed. Today will hopefully be better... though I'm still a little terrified of starting The Great Man. I might put it off until the beginning of November and make it my Nanowrimo challenge... well, the first 50 000 words of it in any case. It'll take a bit longer than a month to finish.

What are the rules of Nanowrimo anyway? Is it that you don't have to finish the story, but you do have to get past 50 000 words? I should look that up, really.

Right, onwards!


A person who calendars.
- John Walker's Dictionary of the English Language, 1835

What the hell does it mean to calendar? Any ideas?

Monday, October 3, 2011

This Computer...

There are very few things in this world that I actually hate. This computer is one of them. Piece of crap contraption!

I pressed the power button at 9am. It is now 11am and I'm only getting to writing this post now. That's how long this monster took to load.


I was seriously debating on beginning The Great Man, the sixth and final instalment of The Great Man series today. But thanks to this stupid beast of a machine, that's gone out the window. So I'll just listen to my music and daydream in preparation for writing tomorrow.

The story is literally starting to claw its way out of my head, so I guess I'd better put it on paper/digital paper.

If this computer will work.

Stupid machine.

This weekend was, thankfully, much better than this morning. Saturday saw the resumption of Lion Dance, which was nice. It's always fun with that group. In the evening, I met my Dad for a movie and a meal. We saw Killer Elite, which was fun. And we ate spicy Chinese, because I was craving spicy food. Mm-mm, yummy!

Sunday I went once more with K.R. for the final hike of the season. We did the 'Wolf' loop in the Gatineaus. It was incredible fun, and combined the best of the previous two hikes - waterfalls and brooks and spectacular views of Gatineau Park, wearing her autumnal vestments. So beautiful.

It was wonderful, and I'm very please to have hiked that trail. It's definitely my new favourite.

Right, well, there's stuff to do this morning, and I'm running late thanks to this stupid, stupid, stupid computer.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday.


The whole matter.
- Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

In the phrase, "to know the whole thruffing of anything," to know all about it. Thruffish, thoroughly well. "Thruffish, thank you." Lincolnshire, Thruffable, open throughout; figuratively, transparently honest and sincere; a person capable of being "seen through." North Yorkshire.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Saturday, October 1, 2011


A corrupt reduplication of shall I? - the question of a man hesitating. To stand shill-I-shall-I is to continue hesitating and procrastinating.

- Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755