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

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm a NaNoWriMo winner! I should be celebrating, right?

I'm just not in the mood for celebrations, and I can't figure out why.

As it happens, NaNoWriMo has taught me a couple of things. The first is that I can finish half a book in one month. Which means I can finish a whole book in two months. It usually takes me about three because I get worn down, give myself week-long breaks and that sort of thing.

But now I know that it can be done.

The second thing it taught me is that I basically do NaNoWriMo every time I sit down to write. My usual routine of four days of writing (3 000 words a day), three days off gets me 50 000 words in thirty days.

You know, provided I don't take any longer breaks. Which I tend to.

I don't think I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo again. It was good to do once, but I just wasn't challenged enough, I suppose.

I'm not saying that to gloat. I realise that I am in an almost unique situation where I am able to write for three or more hours a day without it affecting my work. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities this provides me.

It being what it is, however, NaNoWriMo was nothing special for me, although I do appreciate the accolades that go with winning.

I can, however, see how this would be an enormous challenge to regular folk who aren't as fortunate as I am in their occupations (I mean, come on, like any normal job would accept someone working on their own stuff for the majority of the day!). Were it not for the fact that I can write during the day for extended periods, I'd have never made it.

NaNoWriMo is a worthy challenge.

I don't really know where this blog post is going, so I'll end it here, I guess. I might 'celebrate' by taking the rest of the week off writing. I might not. I might challenge myself to finishing the first draft of this book before New Year's.

Yeah. Right.


A man-servant employ'd by a farmer in all sorts of work he has occasion to set him about . . . He is the lowest servant in the house and is not hired for the plough or the waggon particularly, but to be set about anything.
- Samuel Pegge's Alphabet of Kenticisms, 1735-1736

I swear the spelling is exactly as the paper before me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Home Stretch

The last two days of NaNoWriMo are upon us, and I'm woefully behind. I should have just 1 000 words to write until I made my target today. Turns out, I have 3 000.

Sad face.

With the computer here all warmed up and working... more or less... I should be good. I should reach my target today. 'Should' being the operative word.

In other news... there really isn't any other news. Things are going much the same as ever. I'm busy, but not as busy as I used to be.

I miss training.

Right, I should get to writing. Have a great Tuesday everyone.


Of, pertaining to, or having well-shaped or finely developed buttocks. The name of a famous statue of Venus. From Greek kallos, beauty, and pyg, buttocks.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reporting in With the Morning Check

Yup, you read that right.

Well, this weekend proved wonderful. After all the stress.

You see, my most amazing flatmate in the world agreed a couple of weeks ago to drive me down to Montréal to pick up my brother and bring him to Ottawa, where he'll be staying until he gets a job.

Naturally, things went bust.

We went to see The Muppets Thursday night with friends. Thanks to T.H. for organising it, by the by. It was a great movie. We laughed liked crazy. Then, as we climbed into the car to head back, Jazz noticed a flat tyre. The front driver's side tyre was shot. We crawled down Bank St. towards the mechanic's at forty, then ten, the car sounding terrible, leaning heavily to the left.

Thinking that the shop would replace the tyre relatively inexpensively, we walked home not terribly worried.

Well, didn't I arrive home Friday after work to Jazz' words of greeting, "Don't freak out."

I freaked out.

We suddenly didn't have a car. Apparently, in addition to the flat tyre (which was replaced relatively cheaply), the car was leaking power-steering fluid. Replacing the necessary part put the repairs at something like $2 000.00. Yup. That's $2 000.00 neither of us very broke people had to spare.

Jazz' explained that she had to go to Montréal tomorrow and asked them to do a quick-fix. They said they'd try. Three blocks from the apartment, not even ten minutes away from the shop, the power-steering failed.

We had no car for Saturday.

Desperate to keep our word to my brother, we texted and called as many people as we could.

To the rescue, A.G. flew in with a car we could use. That girl deserves a cape and a badge. Honestly.

We now had a car.

The rest of the weekend went fairly smoothly. We picked up my brother, went to the Ruby Rouge in Chinatown for a Yum Cha lunch (Dim Sum), then headed home again. Then off we went to the Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot for dinner with Dad, transferred to bags over and sent Chris off to stay with Dad for a bit.

Then we slept. Yay, sleep!

So, a massive thanks to both A.G. and J.M-B. for their efforts Saturday. You both rock the Casbah.

Sunday was, thankfully, much more quiet. I met a friend for lunch and that was the entirety of the day.

Now I'm at work, falling desperately behind in my NaNoWriMo efforts because the computer took 3 hours to load properly. Go team.

I have to go and start writing, or I'll never make my daily 3 000. Wish me luck! I'm so going to need it today.


The simplicity of ancient manners made it common for men, even of the highest rank, to sleep together; and the term bedfellow implied great intimacy. Lord Scroop is said to have been bedfellow to Henry V [as found in Shakespear's Henry V]:

Nay, but the man was his bedfellow,
Whom he hath cloy'd and grac'd with kingly favours.

After the battle of Dreux, in 1562, the prince of Condé slept in the same bed with the duke of Guise, an anecdote frequently cited to show the magnanimity of the latter, who slept soundly, though so near his greatest enemy, then his prisoner. Letters from noblemen to each other often began with the appellation bedfellow.
- Robert Nares' Glossary [of] the Works of English Authors, 1859

This unseemly custom continued common till the middle of the last century.
- Rev. T.F. Thiselton-Dyer's Folk-Lore of Shakespeare, 1884

Surely this isn't forgotten? Am I the only one who uses 'They make strange bedfellows.'?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Because of the book review yesterday, you get yesterday's and today's Forgotten English! Lucky you!

I'm off to Montreal to collect my brother. See you all Monday!

Drum-Roll Payment

Not to pay at all. No soldier can be arrested for debt when on the march.
- Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898


- Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been hearing a lot about this book, and with the film due out next year I decided that I definitely wanted to read it. Luckily for me, I didn't have to buy it. My recent birthday yielded the best result possible: this book as a gift (incidentally, if ever you want to please me, buy me a good book!).

I was, at first, quite terrified that the current trend for terrible stuff in young adult fiction (point in case: Twilight) would continue. You know, the type of writing that insults the intelligence of youth and assumes they're all shallow, maladjusted half-people.

Well, can you blame me?

Turns out, thankfully, not.

Katniss, the heroine of the story and from whose perspective the tale is told, is a slightly embittered person (she rarely lets people outside of her family close) who nonetheless loves her family dearly. More to the point, she's tough. She's a hunter, a fighter, a survivor.

Go team!

I really don't want to give too much away with this book, but needless to say, it captures the angst of the divide between youth and adulthood exceptionally well. We've all been, or will be, there - that bizarre space when you're no longer a child, but not quite an adult; where nothing makes sense and you're so uncertain of anything, least of all who you are.

Katniss' character, her motives, her confusion and her vulnerabilities (yes, she has those), make her one of the most believable characters I've read in young adult fiction to date. I'm quite convinced that I would have behaved in the same way she did, given the extraordinary circumstances in which she finds herself.

A fan of adult fiction (largely adult fantasy... no, not that kind, you potty-minded people! I mean the genre fantasy), I found the language a little simple for my tastes, though I have to point out that its directness and immediacy are actually part of the charm.

And it's a young adult story, I must remind myself. If I was around the age of, say, 11, this would have shot up to the near top of my favourites list (the very top being Over Sea, Under Stone).

It's fast-paced, has plenty of action and, yes, made me gasp out loud. I highly recommend this book for lovers of young adult. I will definitely be getting stuck into the rest of the series as soon as I can!

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shuffling Days

Hah hah hah! This group cracks me up. LMFAO indeed!

Right, so today I'm switching Thursday and Friday around. I shan't be writing a single word today, and will be making up for it tomorrow.

If I finish this other project on time. This project is editing for a doctoral candidate. The thesis itself is really quite interesting, so editing is a pleasure.

Oh, I should note that my re-entry into training... alright, Tai Chi... was a success. Though many of the stretches were a little painful going in, two days later, I feel fantastic although my legs are really sore.

I'm so out of practice.

I shall continue Tai Chi until the end of the semester, and then I'll be returning to training full time in January.

I can't wait.

In other news, there is no other news! Have a great Thursday everyone.


To convey away secretly.
- Walter Skeat's Specimens of English Dialects, Westmoreland, 1879.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Snow

I think I comment on the first snowfall of every winter every single time. It never gets old. Well, not for me.

It worries me that the first snowfall is in November. The end of November no less. My first year in Canada, some ten years ago, the first snow was in September. I remember it clearly because that's when I got frostbite (I was completely unprepared for the snow and got caught with giant flakes falling down in only a leather jacket, sneakers and no hat or mitts. My poor ears...).

You would think, having spent the majority of my life in the tropics, that I would hate this weather. It's the exact opposite. I adore it - even though I don't do any winter sports. I really should though. Maybe if I can get to a trail, I'll take up Nordic skiing or snow-shoeing.

It's just... November for the first snow?!

I'll set aside my worries for now and take in all the white wonder of this day. It's just so beautiful!

Never mind that it's going up to +10 by the end of this week again.

Let's not worry too much...

Back to Nanowrimo writing for me. Let's hope I reach my target quickly. I have lots of editing left to do.


Benumbed, paralysed with the cold, especially when accompanied by contraction of the muscles and violent shivering.
- G.M. Story's Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 1982

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting Back In

So, I'm headed back to training tonight. Before all of you freak out and decide to lecture me about resting my back etc., do note that I'm only going for Tai Chi. One hour only, twice a week. If it goes well, I'll increase the time. For now, however, it'll just be two hours a week.

I have permission from my physiotherapist.

And that constitutes the entirety of my exciting news.

I'm editing for a doctoral candidate. Which is a laugh, since I've gotten no further than a Bachelor of Arts. The topic is fascinating, actually, so I'm really enjoying it. I'm still on target for NaNoWriMo. Actually, I managed 4 000 words yesterday. Go me! I have to get writing on that, actually. If the computer would just start working properly, I might actually reach my target today.

Until tomorrow, then!


To marry. This word is not quite obsolete. Wive and thrive is a common solloquialism. "Her, whom the first man did wive."
- Charles Mackay's Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Thousand Leagues Away

I want to be anywhere but here at this moment. Anywhere.

I slept pretty much all yesterday. I have no right to feel as tired as I do.

I also feel guilty for sleeping all yesterday as it meant that none of the housework I planned to do got done. It also meant that I missed my father's play.

Though, I did write it down in my calendar as this coming Sunday.

I feel miserable about that.

In fact, the only good thing about today is the fact that I'm back at the computer, writing.

Everything else sucks.

On that note, I'm going to retreat from the world and write. Bye!


A satyrical species of writing very current among churchmen and others in the Middle Ages in which the vices or peculiarities of ecclesiastics are mentioned and reprobated. From Goliardus, a monk who wrote satirical pieces in the ninth century inveighing against the luxury of the clergy.
- T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopedia of Knowledge and Language, 1871

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This word is of remote antiquity and refers to an ancient custom of giving arrhoe, or presents, from a man to a woman on their entering into a contract to marry. The present was generally an annulus, or ring, and in reference to the sanctity of the engagement the gift was subsequently called a God's pennie. Though in its primary signification it imported a spousal gift, the lapse of time has converted the use of the word to earnest money given to bind any bargain.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832

Arle, money given in confirmation of a bargain . . . when a servant is hired.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Steps

Good morning!

This post will be necessarily brief (and sorry it's late. Computer is being a dink again). You see, I had planned to take the day off from writing, but I was listening to epic music on my way into work today, specifically Two Steps From Hell, specifically this song:

And images and ideas exploded in my head, and I have to get them down before I forget them. Bye then!


A pale brownish-yellow colour; from Isabelle, a princess of this name.
- Charles Annandale's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

The archduke Albertus, who had married the infanta Isabella, daughter Philip II, King of Spain, . . . determined to lay siege to Ostend [Belgium], then in the possession of the heretics. His pious princess, who attended him in that expedition, made a vow that till it was taken she would never change her clothes.
- Joseph Taylor's Antiquitates Curiosae, 1819

Contrary to expectation, it was three years before the place was reduced, in which time the linen of her highness had acquired a hue which . . . was much admired and adopted by the court fashionables under the name of "Isabella color." It is a whitish yellow, or soiled buff - better imagined than described.
- Frank Stauffer's THe Queer, the Quaint, the Quizzical, 1882.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Running late! Must get to writing! Here's your daily Forgotten English (plus yesterday's which was skipped for the book review):


Leave, or cause to leave, a train. [Like deplane. Why not deboat also?]
- Gilbert Tuckers American English, 1921

Park the Biscuit

To sit down. In the biscuit, in the buttocks. "[Make one mistake] and you get it in the biscuit." Hot in the biscuit, greatly excited; sexually stimulated.
- Hyman Goldin's Dictionary of American Underworld Lingo, 1950

Squeeze the biscuit, to catch the saddlehorn when riding.
- Ramon Adams' Western Words: A Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp, and Trail, 1946

OK, must dash! Bye!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: The Third Magic

The Third Magic (Forever King, #3)The Third Magic by Molly Cochran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alright, I admit that I wasn't expecting much from this book. I stand - well, sit - here corrected.

You see, I have a slight tic when it comes to anything to do with the Arthurian Cycle. The problem is that I'm a Celtic Studies student, and I know that the legend has much earlier roots than most people bother to acknowledge.

This was not the case with Ms. Cochran. I am suitably impressed with the amount of research that plainly went into this narrative. The fact that Author was plainly a British king - that is to say, King of Britain after the Roman retreat, made me smile. As a Celticist (is that even a word?), I get thoroughly annoyed when people ignore the Celtic roots of, well, anything, in much the same way that Classicists get annoyed if you don't believe Greece or Rome were the foundation of all civilisation everywhere.

I might be slightly bitter.

I digress.

I especially like how Ms. Cochran navigated the difficulty of acknowledging both the actual basis for the legend, and the later iterations of that legend. Making Lancelot a Gaulish swordsman, tipping her hat to the later invention of the Gueneviere/ Lancelot narrative by French bards, was a stroke of genius. I adore that the abduction of Gueneviere played a part in this story. That is to say, the abduction of the queen by Melwas - an earlier tale than the forbidden love previously mentioned.

There is a fine balance to be struck when tackling any fiction to do with Arthurian legend between pleasing those who have done any research whatsoever, and those who haven't at all and assume that Arthur is a late medieval invention.

There were a few factual errors that bothered me a fair amount. The worst possible error was the use of England and Britain to mean the same thing. It seems paradoxical to me that the King of England would be fighting against the Saxons since the English and Saxons (and Jutes for that matter) were allies.

The King of England, would be English, which is to say, Anglish, which is to say, an Angle, which is to say, part of the Germanic horde (Anglo-Saxon)that was invading Britain, against whom King Arthur fought.

Get my drift?

Britain and England are not synonymous, and most certainly NOT at the time the offending scenes were set. England did not yet exist. Certainly now anyone who was English, would be considered British, but that was not always the case. The Angles fought the Britons. Arthur fought for the Britons. Ergo, he cannot be the King of England.

Granted, the English did later take him on as their hero...

Anyway, the substitution of one for the other indiscriminately irked me enough to give a visible tic beneath my eye whenever it occurred.

However, that is forgivable... I suppose.

That's enough of the factual stuff. Now to the writing.

The narrative itself was clear and easily read. It didn't possess any of the mastery of language and description I so admire in Steven Erikson. All the same, it was a great read - enough suspense and adventure to keep me reading at any rate. The story was surprisingly moody - which I rather like, thank-you very much!

Some of the knights verged on being caricatures, rather than characters, falling into the mildly amusing Classical description of Celts (loud, lusty drunkards). It irked me some, but the need for such comic relief was necessary. I'm pretty sure it only bothered me because I am such a fan of Celtic culture. I'm sure it wouldn't bother normal people.

All in all, a very worthy read. I do recommend this book to any urban fantasy lovers, and yes, even to Arthurian legend nuts. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how true to form this book is.

Well played, Ms. Cochran. Well played.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reminding Myself... Again

So yesterday, I was pretty down. I am always down around my birthday. It's just the way it goes. However, I never stay down.

Today, in an effort to make up for bumming everyone out yesterday, I'm giving thanks for all the amazing things I have and do in my life.

I have a loving family. Thank-you, guys! Love you!

I have the world's best flatmate, who makes my favourite cake despite being run off her feet. Thanks so much, Jazz!

In the course of putting myself 'out there,' I've met an amazing bunch of people who put up with my crazy. Thank-you!

I DO KUNG FU! How cool is that? Even cooler, I do Kung Fu with a wonderful group of people who are generous and kind. Thank-you, everyone. You all rock the Casbah.

Equestrian Archery. 'Nough said.

I have a job with a steady pay-cheque. Even better, it lets me do what I love doing best: writing. THANK-YOU!

I have the ability to write.

I've written ten books and am currently working on my eleventh. Now that is something to be proud of (never mind quality of over quantity... ahem... I digress)!

So, although I feel like a failure every so often, I am aware of and so incredibly grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life. I just need to remind myself.

Well, I'm on target for NaNoWriMo. It looks like I'll get to keep taking Friday's off. Yay! I should, however, get back to it and so I'll leave you here. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone.


A wine drinker.
- Henry Cockeram's Interpreter of Hard English Words, 1625

A wine-bibber; a drunkard.
- Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me...


The more birthdays I have, the less I find I enjoy them. All they are is a reminder of another year gone with little to show for it.

Alright, fine, I've written a lot of books. However, despite three years of trying, I haven't been able to traditionally publish any of them. I might just have exhausted the supply of agents and acquisition editors in North America for The Great Man series.

No one wants my stuff.

That raises the issue of quality. If none of the professionals want my books, then it's because they aren't good enough. If they're not good enough for them, I probably shouldn't self-publish them or I'll give myself a reputation for publishing rubbish.

I don't want that reputation.

Yet, I really want this story to be out there. More than anything, I want it to be widely read and loved.

But if it's crap, it's not going to be.

And so I'm sitting on it, wondering what the hell to do with it all.

I was also, according to the plan I made quite late in life, supposed to have completed a Masters degree and be knee deep in my doctorate by now.

What the hell happened to that? Oh yeah, funding. Who ever thought of money anyway? What bastards!

This is what birthdays make me think of - a whole lotta treading water and hopes that get dashed. A whole lotta 'it's just not good enough.' Too many years chasing the impossible.


I never used to dislike birthdays. They used to be fun and full of parties and I never once thought of all the things I'd hope to do by now and haven't managed to. What's with that?

Am I the only one who reflects on everything that I was supposed to have done by now?

Anyway, sorry to bring you all down on a Monday (like you needed my help). I just realised that I forgot to post Saturday's Forgotten English so, lucky you, you get two for one today.

Tailor's Mense
A small portion left by way of good manners. In some parts of the North it is the custom for the village tailor to work at his customer's house, and to partake of the hospitality of the family board. On these occasions the best fare is invariably provided; at least such was the case when I was a boy; and the tailor to shew that he has had enough, generally leaves a little on his plate, which is called tailor's mense . . . [From] mense, decency, propriety of conduct, good manners, kindness, hospitality.
- John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825


An easy jog - such as farmers' wives carry their eggs to the market.
- William Carr's Dialect of Craven, 1828

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not Writing

Today is Friday. I'm well set for my NaNoWriMo word count, and so won't be writing today. I'm going to check the stats on Monday. If it averages out, then I'll continue to take Fridays off. If it doesn't, well, I'll write Fridays as well.

Luckily, I've managed to keep fairly well on track and so the amount I may be down will be easily made up.

I say easily. I actually mean hellishly, but whatever.

I do have to note, I'm not impressed with the quality of my writing thus far. There have been a good couple of sections, but the rest is utter crap. There shall be a lot of fixing up, me thinks!

Yesterday was a slightly better day than the day before. Everyone should be proud of me - I've booked an appointment with a physiotherapist. I managed to walk to the walk-in clinic to get a referral, except that the doctor wasn't taking any more patients - full up for the day.

I was in such agony I almost started crying. My back, for those of you just tuning in.

You see, October 23rd, I was in a collision on the highway. I and a friend, K.R. were off to see Jeff Dunham perform at Scotiabank Place when we were rear-ended while trying to avoid a different collision. We avoided rear-ending the person in front of us. The people behind us weren't so lucky.

Their very large van hit the back of K.R.'s very small car.

The car is totalled. She's had to buy a new one.

For the first week after the accident, I was fine. I was a little achy, but I'd figure it'd pass. With the week up and nothing absolutely terrible going on with me, I decided to jump back into training.


When Saturday rolled around, I was crippled with a headache and back pain so severe it kept me to my bed for two days. J.M-B. was very good at putting up with my whining. My back has been hurting ever since.

Yesterday, it hurt the worst it has since the weekend.

A phone call from Mum and some painkillers made it all better. However, I'm not taking this lightly any more. So I headed to the walk-in clinic near my home only to be turned away. Luckily, there was a physiotherapy clinic right across the parking lot.

I went there. Even more lucky, they accept insurance claims and so, my first appointment has been made for Wednesday of next week.

Worried that I wouldn't make it 'till then, J. M-B. booked an appointment with a massage therapist who does house calls for me. That's happening tomorrow morning.

I have the best flatmate in the world. Just putting that out there.

So, that is my big exciting piece of news. I'm injured and I'm mad about it. I've missed so much training... and I've really needed training this week! It's a vicious cycle...

Today I am not writing, I'm mucking around and wasting time and relaxing. So there.

Have a great weekend everyone!


A word ludicrously fabricated which means to cut or carve in an awkward and slovenly manner.
- Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not in the Mood

I had a really, really, really shitty day yesterday. I don't want to be here right now. I want to be home, in bed, buried beneath my blankets and enjoying cuddles from a very affectionate kitten.

I want my back to be fixed so I can go to training and work out my frustrations.

What I don't want to be doing is sitting in the office, facing an entire day of working with the people who made me so miserable yesterday.

And I really, really, really want to go to training and just punch and kick stuff for three hours.

But I can't.


There is some good news. At least I made my NaNoWriMo target for the day. Thank the gods for writing! It has saved my sanity more times than I can count!

Speaking of, I should get going on today's target. Have a good Thursday everyone!

Tears of the Tankard

The drippings of liquor on a man's waistcoat.
- Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And So it Continues

And on and on and on it goes making life, and blogging, rather tedious.

I'm talking about writing of course. There isn't much else going on in my life at the moment. Just writing.

I made my daily target yesterday, late in the afternoon. Not nearly as late as Monday, but still, late enough.

And, of course, I'll be writing again today.

And that is the entirety of my news. Exciting, no?

Right, I should hop to. Have a good Wednesday all.


An officer who heads a procession and clears the way for it. The whifflers in the civic processions at Norwich carry swords, which they wave to and fro before them.
- Hensleigh Wedgwood's Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878

An officer who preceded a procession, clearing the way and playing a flute.
- William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832

The old term for fifers preceeding the body of archers who clears the way, but more recently applied to very trifling fellows. [From] whiff . . . a slight fitful breeze or transcient puff of wind.
- Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word Book, 1867

Please don't yell at me. I promise that the above misspelling of 'preceding' was precisely how it is written before me. I swear it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


... was simply hellish.

It took me literally all day to write my daily target. All day. I finished the last word at 4:48pm - about three minutes after I was supposed to start cleaning up and closing shop for the day.

It was the single most sluggish day of writing I've ever experienced. I hated every minute of it. I'm praying that today goes better for me. We'll see, though.

Otherwise, things are going well. Well, well enough.

I've realised that I do not need to write 3 000 words a day every weekday to hit my target. In fact, if I stick to my regular schedule of 3 000 words a day every day except Friday, I should still reach the NaNoWriMo target of 50 000 words by the end of the month.

So, I think in the name of sanity, I'll be just doing my regular thing. I'll find out at the end of this week if it averages out. Right, I should get writing.


To pursue animals; Western England.
- Thomas Wright's Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857

To wander about idly.
- James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

To court, make love to [spelled course].
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Monday, November 7, 2011

Me Being Moody

I'm in a mood. To anyone who knows me at all, they know that when I say 'I'm in a mood,' what I mean is, I'm in a bad mood.

I'm in a bad mood for a number of reasons. Firstly, this weekend was completely wasted. I remained in bed all weekend, in excruciating agony, thanks in whole to my back. It decided to seize up, apparently.

And it was such a beautiful weekend as well.

My little brother is back in Australia, and should be here. That makes me irate as well.

The thing is, when I get in this mood, I have a terrible tendency to turn everything inward. That is to say, I reflect more on my failings in life.

It isn't helped that my birthday is coming up soon.

I always get depressed around my birthday. The thought pattern goes something like this:

I'm going to be turning (insert age) soon. What have I achieved? No, really. What? I'm in a low-paying, boring job. I don't have a significant other. No house. Not even a car. Sure, I've written a few books. Sure, friends like reading them.

But acquisition editors don't.

Sure I have a published book.

But it's self-published.

And isn't selling.

In short, I'm failing. I'm failing at writing. I'm failing at life.

Don't go all aggro on me. I'm just telling you how my brain works when I'm in a bad mood and or when my birthday approaches.

It takes a great deal to drag me out of these moods. I have to forcibly remind myself that I'm not a failure. I mean, how many other people can boast that they've written nine books before the age of 30? I'm making my bills, and have some for fun left over. I've got great credit. I've got amazing friends, do incredible things and am generally extraordinarily lucky.

I just don't feel like it today.

Le sigh.

Well, I have 3 000 words to write today. I'd best get on that. Have a good Monday... if you can.


An exploded chymical name for an imaginary substance, thought to be a constituent part of all inflammable bodies.
- William Grimshaw's Ladies' Lexicon and Parlour Companion, 1846

The existence of phlogiston was denied by Lavoisier in 1775, and though stoutly maintained by Priestley, belief in it was generally abandoned by 1800.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909


In French newspapers, or other in which the French custom is followed, a portion of one or more pages marked off at the bottom from the rest of the page and appropriated to light literature, criticism, etc. Adopted from French, from feuillet, a diminutive of feuille, leaf. Feuilletonism, aptitude for writing feuilletons; feuilletonist, a writer of feuilletons.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

Friday, November 4, 2011



Yesterday was supposed to be such a happy day. My little brother was supposed to touch down in Montreal yesterday. Today was to be his first morning in Canada.

And then he had his travel wallet stolen. In Korea (we think). With no passport, and no money, he was stranded.

Threatened with deportation back to Australia, he called the Canadian Embassy in Seoul. They proved to be absolutely, 100% USELESS! In order for him to get emergency documents - a necessity to get back on the plane and on his way here - he'd have to go to the embassy in person. Well, in Seoul, you aren't allowed to leave the aeroport without a passport, so there was no way to get to the embassy.

And so he was deported back to Australia.

Now he has to get the money together to replace all the said documents AND pay for a new flight.

I'm furious with the Canadian Embassy in Seoul right now. Serving citizens? My arse! Why do I pay for you out of my taxes? You can't even get my brother home!


In any case, I'm upset. I was SO looking forward to seeing him soon. Now, there' s no telling when he'll get here.


Riding the Stang

A punishment among the vulgar; inflicted upon fornicators, adulterers, severe husbands, [etc.] ... Offenders ... are mounted astraddle a long pole, or stang, supported upon the shoulders of their companions.
- John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words, 1825

Stang, a strong piece of wood on which the carcasses of beasts are suspended by the sinews of the hind legs.
- William Carr's Dialect of Craven, 1828

I wonder if I can do that to an entire embassy...


Gossiping, idle talking; to jangle one's time away.
- Thomas Darlington's Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

To quarrel, argue angrily. Hence, janglesome, quarrelsome, noisy, boisterous. Northern England, Scotland.
- Joseph Wrigth's English Dialect Dictionary, 189-1905

I might just jangle with the Canadian Embassy in Seoul...


And I'm done. I should start writing for today's NaNoWriMo target, I suppose.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: The Power of Myth

The Power of MythThe Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actually 4.5 stars, but it seems half-stars are not available here. In any case:

Everyone should read this book.


I'm at a loss for words to adequately describe this book.

And I write. Can you tell?

Presented in the format of a transcribed conversation, this book is a must read for anyone who is struggling with the inadequacies of secularism, the failures of religion, the short-comings of modern life, the mystery of marriage. This book is for people who are stuck in a rut, lost, misguided, feeling apathetic and empty.

One of the most respected modern academics, Mr. Campbell explains myth in the scope of experience. Myths are more than just stories. They are alive, and powerful, and just as relevant now as when they were first uttered - should we chose to see it.

I highly recommend this book. It is not fiction, but it is fascinating nonetheless.

I should like to have taken tea with Joseph Campbell.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo and Stuff

Well, my start on NaNoWriMo turned out better than I expected, and about as well as I hoped. I managed 3 065 words yesterday, all before lunch. I'm hoping for much the same today.

It's a very depressing opening to a book, and so I ended up feeling sad after lunch. Then I watched some very funny comedy shows from Britain, and felt much better.

In other, much more interesting news, author friend Gerard de Marigny has released the next instalment of his Cris De Niro series. You can check it out here. I highly recommend you check it out. If you remember, I read and reviewed the first instalment and, if you remember, I enjoyed it.

So check it out, already!

Right, I should pack up and go write. Have a great Wednesday all!

Knight of the Grammar

A schoolmaster.
- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Knight of the pen, a clerk or author.
- Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1909

Oooooh! I'm changing my official title to Knight of the Pen!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Number of Firsts

Today, at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, is the first of November. It marks a number of firsts, really.

The main first is that I will, for the first time ever, be participating in NaNoWriMo. I've decided to make the final book in The Great Man series (inventively titled The Great Man) the project for this month's writing challenge.

50 000 words is the goal. That will be the halfway mark for the story.

I've figured out the word count that I need to do in order to get the minimum 50 000 words required. 3 000 words a day. No Fridays off. I should be able to do it, assuming I can get into the writing mode. I've been away from it for so long, it might take me a while to get back into the groove.

I hope not! I don't have the time to spare!

Right, I should get on with it, I suppose. Wish me luck!

Rack Rides

A phrased used when the clouds are driven rapidly by the wind.
- F.T. Dinsdale's Provincial Words Used in Teasdale, Durham, 1849.