Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is. Not. A. Skirt.

DH sent me this:

see more dog pictures

I especially enjoyed it coming from him, as his 7th wedding anniversary present for me was the purchase of a kilt on-the-sly and him turning up in it while we were in Gatlinburg.

Nice. *w*

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Alec!

I hate that I missed it and didn't post yesterday.  But, well, the way my life's been lately, it's amazing I'm blogging at all.

Anyway, Alec was born on June 24th, 1663, the second son of "Red" Malcolm MacGregor, Laird of Glenstrae, and Mary Campbell MacGregor.

Going strictly by birthdate, he is 320 years older than Elspeth, give or take a month or so.  In the "real world" of present day, he would have been 345 yesterday, though biologically he's still only in his late 20's.  (In the novel, he turns 28 the day after he meets Elspeth, making him almost 30 by the end of the book.)

Là breith sona dhuit, Ailig!

(I probably slaughtered that.  My Gaelic is r-u-s-t-y.)

Proof Google is Stalking Me (and probably you, too)

Move over, Big Brother.

Just now I was on researching the antecedents for one Hugh Sinclair: tacksman to Malcolm MacGregor, Chief of Clan Gregor and Laird of Glenstrae; effectively adopted brother and good friend to one Alec MacGregor; potential antagonist/almost betrothed/ultimately good friend of Elspeth Martin; and eventual heir (with Andi Duluth) to Book 3 - One Highland Somethingorother.

At any rate, toward the bottom of the page I found a GoogleAds box.  No biggie.  Only it was for Amazon, and the 3 books it highlighted were:

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
My Lord and Spymaster (Yay, Jo!  And it was this that caught my eye.  Check it out in the sidebar to the left!)
Keeping Kate by Sarah Gabriel

The freaky thing is: yeah, sure, Amazon knows I buy books on writing and that I've preordered Jo's book.  But I've only ordered one book by Sarah Gabriel recently and that was through, something neither Amazon nor Google should know about.  Hmmm?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm still alive...


The last 2-3 weeks have been crazy, and not in a fun way.  Work is pretty much kicking my ass, and by that I mean sheer workload.  Consistently working until 7-8 pm for weeks on end will tap me out in a hurry.  Having no internet access while I'm there pretty much sucks, too.  It completely mucks with my schedule.  I mean, I understand they want top productivity out of us, but at least being able to pop into my e-mail or pay some bills over my lunch break would do wonders for my morale, not to mention save the few precious hours I have on the computer in the evenings for the MS.

Despite all I have been making progress - just at a snail's pace.  Maybe someday I'll have the time to blog about it.  We just got assignment 2 (characterization and POV) for the revisions workshop, and I spent a good chunk of tonight working on it.  Once it's posted I'll probably go back to do some more on the first assignment, which was structure and organization.  I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be on that just yet.

On the home front: Friday DH and I are leaving for a 3-day weekend in Gatlinburg to celebrate our (7th!) anniversary.  I REALLY need the R&R.  Little Boy (who is dry pretty much all day at home in underwear now, though he still wears pull-ups in public and to bed) will be staying overnight at Grandpa's house for the first time.  I think we'll all have fun.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


"When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story.  When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story."

-Steven King
On Writing


I am so tired and overwhelmed with work and life and this workshop (in which I am hopelessly behind, and the first session isn't even over yet) I could curl up and cry.  Or sleep.  Or something.

But in my desperate reach for input rather than output for a change, I've been toting the above book around with me today and I discovered that little gem on page 57.  It was the bright spark of inspiration in my dismal blur of a day towards the end of a dismal blur of a week (Deniz's visit the obvious exception). 

So to heck with timelining for tonight; I think I'm gonna go rip some scenes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, here in Kentucky at least. I'm glad it's raining - the heat lately has been more like late July than early June, and my grass is looking crispy.

I'm wiped. An impromptu orthodontist appointment this morning, yet another blob of stuff in my mouth preventing my back teeth from meeting, a looooong day at work, and the last 2 crits for the workshop have taken it out of me. I should have been in bed hours ago.

But! I wanted to blog the highlight of the evening: dinner out at a local institution (Ramsey's Diner - bringing new meaning to the phrase "Southern fried") with...Deniz! And her husband too, of course. Here's a rare pic of the whole fam-damily with our out of town guests. *g*

From L to R:
DH, me, Little Boy, Deniz, and her husband!
(Names have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent. Oh, wait...)

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I want to do the June X over on CompuServe.  I want to rather badly.  (Not least because part of our first assignment for the revisions workshop was a 750-word synopsis, so I've got one ready!)

BUT I still have 4 crits to do for the aforementioned workshop, and a whole heck of a lot of timelining and organizing and extraneous-scene-culling from the MS to complete in a little less than 2 weeks.  And posting up an X means critting everyone else's and though I usually enjoy participating, honestly I really do not have enough time in the day right now.  I obviously haven't had much time to blog.  Heck, I *barely* have time to check my e-mail.

*taps chin*  Decisions, decisions...

Friday, June 06, 2008

500 Miles

Those of you who've read the last scene from OHN will get why I enjoyed this:

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It's ba-ack...

See the post "Tedium" below the ether post for what I wrote late last night. Not much, but hey - at least it's there.

I'm off to get up to my eyeballs in timelines.

Also, I added Jo's up-and-coming release to my "Recommended Books" section. Wow, I'm on a roll with the updates!

Into the ether (again)

Well, I wrote a post from Gmail about what I've been up to the past few nights that - while not as detailed as I had in mind - still took a fair bit of time in my current exhausted state.

And then it disappeared into the cyber-ether. *sigh*

Past "vanished" posts have shown up in a day or so. Keep your eyes out.

In the meantime, I've done two minor updates to the blog (more coming). Jason's shiny cool pic of Alec and Elspeth now features over in the "About the Book" section on the sidebar to the right (you can't miss it), while Carol's book Cost of Freedom got a pic and link under the "Recommended Books" section on the left. One click will take you to the order page. Hint, hint. *g*


I planned a detailed post about what exactly I'm doing and how that fits with the first part of the revisions workshop, but tonight I'm too drained.  Maybe tomorrow. 

In summary: the past few nights have been spent finally (finally!) getting my butt in gear with Liquid Story Binder - henceforward referred to as LSB - and setting everything up for large-scale revisions.

Unfortunately for me and my mental state, "setting up" means hours' worth of importing files, associating files, sorting files into chronological order instead of alphabetical, and tonight: inserting columns (and columns, and columns - 129, to be exact) for scenes into a timeline and labeling them with chapter and scene number.  (Example: third scene in chapter seventeen is labeled "17.3" and so on.)

This is the scut work before the "real" work begins, the stuff that - though tedious - will ultimately make my life easier.  The timeline, for example, will help me visualize and organize issues ranging from character subarcs (i.e. Elspeth's grasp of Gaelic, or appreciation for 17th century food) to sequences of events, times of year, and exact dates, among others.

Of course, were I starting from scratch in LSB (or nearly so, as I will when/if I ever dive into OHW) this kind of thing would grow organically as I wrote, with only small amounts of time required to update my organizational tools.  Starting with 112K of rough draft and umpteen million little picture files, brainstorming notes, etc. and trying to get everything sorted into a software that's completely new to you with sometimes unintuitive commands...well, you see why it's taking so much out of me.

On that note, I'm going to bed.