Nov 29, 2010

Millenarianism Monday

millenarianism ~ belief that an ideal society will be produced in the near future

Well, the big news is that I won the NaNo challenge – by a mere 83 words – on Friday (although I didn’t finish the actual novel until Sunday). If you want to read more about my thoughts on the experience, you’ll have to go to my other blog. :-)

To be honest I’m surprised I got anything done last week. I was singularly uninspired. I got my blog posts done and I got my NaNo done, but that was pretty much it. Even the ‘poemwork’ I took to my poetry meeting was a recycled poem that fit the criteria.

I read three Harlequin Blazes – one might even say I ‘blazed’ through them. :-)

The weekend, however, was actually pretty good. Got lots of writing done, got lots of laundry done, and Sunday I went on a road trip to Peterborough to buy a funky piece of equipment for my business. And going to Peterborough always means a stop at Starbucks.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: This week’s installment of my series on superstition will be about walking under a ladder. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a lot of fun with this series.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure – something hot I’ve been saving for all you lucky people with snow.

Thursday: Part V of my Famous Poets series will feature Sir Walter Raleigh. Last week’s poet penned one of my favourite poems, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, and Raleigh penned a response.

Friday: Good question. Now that NaNo’s over (for me, at least) I guess it’s time to think of another serial. I have an idea for the next one in the Elementals series, but I don’t know how it ends yet so I really don’t feel comfortable starting it. So, Friday will be . . . something. Maybe a flash piece, maybe an excerpt from something else, maybe the start of a new serial.

Elsewhere in my week:

Today I get to play with my new toy – an external burner with Light Scribe. It basically allows me to burn information and/or graphics onto CDs and DVDs.

Tonight I have a Scribe’s meeting where I, and a fellow Scribe who also participated in NaNo, will be exchanging novels. No editing allowed. Gulp. Somebody must have slipped something into my tea to get me to agree to this!

I have a whole list of stuff to get done this week, but top of the list is setting up my books for my business. I’ve been good about keeping all my receipts, but that’s as far as I’ve gone. *sigh*

I also have to bite the bullet and clean out my large storage closet. It’s time to start my Christmas crafts and that’s where all the craft stuff is stored. Somewhere. I think I’ll have to post before and after pictures to show off my mad organizing skills.

Business stuff, writing stuff, mundane housework-type stuff. My week is pretty much same old, same old, except I’m no longer under the “get the NaNo written” cloud. Now my cloud is: “Get back to the editing you slacker!”

And there you have it. My week to come. How about you? What’s in store for you this week?

Nov 26, 2010

NaNo Excerpt – Week Four

Not too much to be set up in this scene. Basically, we have Commander Aleron, Chandra, and Skyler discussing the findings from the planet they found Alyx on. Skyler is about to be drafted for an assignment.

Chandra paced up and down the length of the conference room while Aleron and Skyler exchanged puzzled glances.

“Forgive me, but I don’t understand what’s got you so worried,” Aleron said. “You found the artifact you were looking for, didn’t you?”

She stopped pacing and sat down with a sigh. “Yes, that was the artifact we were looking for, but the circumstances under which it was found . . .”

“It’s the woman, Alyx, isn’t it?” Skyler said.

“Yes. There was a reason she was put in that place and I think it’s of vital importance that we understand why.”

“Is this just curiosity speaking, or is this one of your ‘feelings’?” Aleron asked.

“A little of both,” she admitted.

“Maybe someone on her planet—” Skyler began. He broke off at a look from Chandra.


“That was her planet,” she said.

“But that’s impossible,” he said. “Isn’t it?” He looked from one to the other with a sinking feeling. “But there’s no other human life on that world, I don’t understand.”

“I’m sure it will come as no surprise that what I’m about to tell you is in the strictest confidence.”

She got up and began to pace again. “I had the remains in the temple analyzed and we discovered five humans, six of the Old Race, and one Illezie.”

“An Illezie! Wait a minute, that statue outside the temple. I was right, it was Illezie. I don’t understand.”

“Nor do I,” Aleron said.

“Many years before the Confrontation Wars, there was a group of Old Race and Illezie who experimented with temporal displacement.”

“Temporal displacement?”

“They were a very tight knit group and shared neither their reasons for the experiments nor their results. Little else is known other than the fact they seemed to just vanish one day, their experiments abandoned. Eventually they became just another notation in history.”

“You think we’ve stumbled on the remains of one of those experiments, don’t you?” Aleron asked.

“Yes.” Chandra sat down again.

“What about Alyx?” Skyler savoured the name. He liked it – it suited her.

“I don’t believe your friend from the temple is cognizant of what’s happened to her.”

“How’s that possible?” Aleron asked.

Chandra shrugged. “She was with a group who were searching for the temple for other reasons and were captured. She appears to remember very little after that until she woke up in the lab.”

“Appears.” Aleron jumped on the word. “You think she could be lying?”

“No,” Chandra shook her head as Skyler opened his mouth to speak. “I don’t think she’s lying, although I don’t think she’s telling the whole truth either.”

“We need someone to ferret out more information from her.”

They both turned to look at Skyler.

For another excerpt, check out my other blog

Nov 25, 2010

Famous Poets - Part Four

Christopher Marlowe (1564 - 1593)

The son of a shoemaker, Christopher Marlowe was born two months before Shakespeare. He attended King's School, Canterbury and Corpus Christi College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1584 and his Masters degree three years later. According to university records, Marlowe disappeared frequently during his last years at school, exceeding the number of absences permitted him by statute and putting his degree in jeopardy.

However, his degree was awarded on schedule when the Privy Council intervened on his behalf, commending him for his "faithful dealing" and "good service" to the Queen. The nature of Marlowe's service was not specified by the Council, but its letter to the Cambridge authorities has provoked much speculation, notably the theory that Marlowe was operating as a secret agent working for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service. No direct evidence supports this theory, although the Council's letter is evidence that Marlowe had served the government in some capacity.

He settled in London in 1587 and began his career as a playwright – although he may still have been in the employ of the secret service as well. The young poet plunged himself into a social circle that included such colorful literary figures as Sir Phillip Sidney and Sir Walter Raleigh. He shared a room with fellow playwright Thomas Kyd and was often seen frequenting the taverns of London with the likes of Robert Greene and Thomas Nashe.

When a plague caused the London theatres to close in 1592, he went and lived with a patron, Thomas Walsingham, under whose brother he had worked as a secret agent. In 1593, after pointing out what he considered to be inconsistencies in the Bible, Marlowe fell under suspicion of heresy. Thomas Kyd was tortured into giving evidence against him, but before he could be brought before the Privy Council, the twenty-nine-year-old poet was killed at Dame Eleanore Bull's tavern in Deptford.

According to witnesses, there was a quarrel over a bill and Marlowe drew his dagger on another man who, defending himself, drove the dagger back into the young poet's eye, mortally wounding him. There is reason to believe, however, that Marlowe may have been deliberately provoked and murdered in order to prevent his arrest. Had he been brought before the Privy Council, he might have implicated men of importance such as Raleigh.

Marlowe was buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, Deptford on 1 June 1593.

Who Ever Loved, That Loved Not at First Sight?

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?


I WALK'D along a stream, for pureness rare,
Brighter than sun-shine; for it did acquaint
The dullest sight with all the glorious prey
That in the pebble-paved channel lay.

No molten crystal, but a richer mine,
Even Nature's rarest alchymy ran there,--
Diamonds resolv'd, and substance more divine,
Through whose bright-gliding current might appear
A thousand naked nymphs, whose ivory shine,
Enamelling the banks, made them more dear
Than ever was that glorious palace' gate
Where the day-shining Sun in triumph sate.

Upon this brim the eglantine and rose,
The tamarisk, olive, and the almond tree,
As kind companions, in one union grows,
Folding their twining arms, as oft we see
Turtle-taught lovers either other close,
Lending to dulness feeling sympathy;
And as a costly valance o'er a bed,
So did their garland-tops the brook o'erspread.

Their leaves, that differ'd both in shape and show,
Though all were green, yet difference such in green,
Like to the checker'd bent of Iris' bow,
Prided the running main, as it had been--

Nov 22, 2010

Misfeasance Monday

misfeasance ~ doing of a lawful act in a wrongful manner

I don’t want to wait until I’m finished my NaNo novel. I want to start editing it now. Just thought I’d throw that in there. :-)

I had a busy week last week. Monday I went to my Scribes meeting which always gives my creativity a boost. Tuesday I went to a marketing seminar, which was pretty interesting, Wednesday I went out to lunch with a friend and business associate. Thursday a few of us from my poetry group held a workshop for some of the local highschool students – they were a great group of kids and surprisingly talented. Friday I got to stay home. Saturday I actually got about half my ironing done (did I mention it’s a really big basket?), and then I went to the first birthday party of my great niece. Sunday I did some reading and some baking. In between all of that, I got a fair amount of writing done last week.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: This week’s installment of my series on superstition will be about broken mirrors. I’m sure you know the superstition that it’s seven years bad luck to break a mirror, but there are ways to get around it.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: Part IV of my Famous Poets series will feature Christopher Marlowe. If you have a favourite poet, feel free to make suggestions!

Friday: Watch for another installment of my NaNo novel. I’m also posting a different one on my other blog.

Elsewhere in my week:

Tomorrow night is my poetry group meeting and not only do I have my ‘poemwork’ done (the topic was to write a poem about a poetry reading) but I might have a couple of new poems to read.

I’ll probably continue doing the famous poets series until after Christmas. The research part is just as time-consuming as the forms, but I’m not having to come up with an example each week and that in turn is allowing my muse a little more freedom. This week I want to get some work done on a couple of personal poetry chapbooks – one of forms, and one of some of my darker poetry.

Also this week, I want to get to work on a family recipe book. It’s one of those things I keep talking about but never get around to doing, but it would make a nice Christmas present to my sisters. I might even include the secret recipe for peanut butter squares.

Other than writing, editing and reading, I don’t know what else this week will bring. How about you? What’s in store for you this week?

Nov 19, 2010

NaNo Excerpt - Week Three

Okay, in this episode, Skyler and Bran (whom you were introduced to last week) are exploring an ancient temple. They found some interesting stuff inside so Bran went outside to make a report and Skyler was left to his own devices. He stumbles across a secret passage that leads him to a very high tech chamber. Curiosity getting the better of him, he starts pressing buttons.

“Oh, crap!” Skyler backed down the stairs and away from the platform. This was no display case, it was a coffin, and he’d just opened it.

All at once a light appeared. Dimly at first, then with growing strength and brilliancy, it fell in a tight beam aimed at the mask covering the body’s face. Still growing stronger, it seemed to pulse with a life of its own. The body began to glow, building in intensity until Skyler was forced to shield his face with an upraised arm.

“I’ve really done it this time,” he muttered as the light winked out as suddenly as it appeared. “Tampering with alien burial customs, crypt robbing, who knows what else?”

He stopped suddenly as the figure on the platform began to stir. Transfixed, he could only stare as the figure slowly sat up and removed the black funeral mask. From where he stood he couldn’t see many details, but he could definitely tell the figure was a female.

She put a hand to her head, as though she were dizzy, then swung her legs over the side. He ducked further back into the shadows as she staggered, almost falling, down the stairs. For a moment she stood there, taking in her surroundings. Her manner became stealthy, as though she expected to be discovered. When she seemed sure she was alone she made her way slowly and carefully towards an exit Skyler hadn’t noticed earlier.

A sound from his short range communicator stopped him from following.

“Skyler here.”

“Where are you?” Bran asked.

“I’m not sure,” he said slowly. He filled Bran in on what had happened and how to open the secret passage. “Just make sure you wedge the panel open or we’ll both be trapped in here. I’m going after the woman. I think she has the answers to a few dozen questions I’d like to ask.”

The passage the woman had taken wasn’t long, but there were several doors lining it. He tried a few of them but they were all either locked or stuck shut. The passage emptied into a store room of sorts. It wasn’t large, metal boxes took up most of the space leaving no room for hiding.

“Where did you go?” he muttered. He whirled at a sound behind him. The woman stood framed in the doorway, holding an unfamiliar pair of weapons pointed at his chest.

She was younger than he’d expected. Large dark eyes stared at him from a heart shaped face, framed by a cascade of silvery white hair. Tall and slim, the pale yellow robe she wore did an excellent job of concealing her figure. When she spoke he was so entranced with the sound of her voice that it took him a moment to realize he couldn’t understand what she was saying.

“Listen, I don’t know what you're doing in here, but we only want to help.” He took a step towards her.

She barked an order at him and cocked her weapons. Taking the hint, he took a step back again, raising his hands.

“I hate to say it, sweetheart, but I think we’re at a bit of a stalemate.”

She spoke again, this time a longer string of words. Impatiently, she repeated herself.

Skyler shrugged and tried to look harmless.

Without lowering her weapons, she tried again, but this time it sounded like a different language. Skyler looked at her blankly. She tried a third language and he could almost feel the frustration coming off her in waves.

“Listen,” he said, lowering his hands and holding out one hand. “You don’t really want to shoot me. Why don’t you just hand those over and—”

Her eyes narrowed and she raised one of the weapons to fire. Suddenly, there was a flash of light behind her and she sank slowly to the ground.

If you want to read what happens next, check out the excerpt on my other blog.

Nov 18, 2010

Famous Poets - Part Three

Francois Villon (1431 - 1474)

Francois Montcorbier (Villon) was born in 1431 in Paris. His father died when the he was very young and Guillaume de Villon, a well to do chaplain who was a professor of ecclesiastical law at the University of Paris, took him in. He became a student of the arts at the age of 12, earning both a bachelor (1449) and masters degree (1452), though he seemed to spend more time enjoying the liberal freedoms that students were allowed at the time.

Villon was drawn toward the sordid element - thieves, defrocked priests and revolutionary student groups. He became bitter toward the rich and was driven deeper into his involvement with the criminal contingent. In June 1455 he fatally wounded a priest who had entered a tavern denying God and began quarreling with Villon and his drinking companions. He was banished from Paris for the crime allowed to return in 1456 after being pardoned on grounds of self defense.

The next year Villon was banished again for stealing from the College of Navarre with his criminal compatriots who had formed Coquille, something akin to a small Mafia. Before fleeing Paris, Villon wrote The Legacy, a tongue in cheek poem bequeathing his real and imaginary wealth to various 'deserving' people and institutions. The Coquille conducted a crime spree throughout the north of France, robbing mainly churches and clergy, including Villon's own wealthy uncle. At the same time, Villon continued writing poetry that became popular among his criminal friends because of its use of their lingo and its attacks on many well known people and institutions. However, the authorities began arresting and hanging many of his compatriots so, in 1457, Villon sought refuge with the Duke of Orleans, a fellow poet and admirer of Villon's work. Villon was again sent to prison for theft, but he was quickly pardoned on the occasion of the birth of the Duke's daughter several months later. Four the next four years, Villon lived a vagabond existence of petty theft while wandering through the French countryside.

He returned to his benefactor the Duke in 1861. As usual, his freedom did not last long. He was imprisoned for a minor crime and yet again pardoned a few months later when the newly crowned King passed through the town where he was imprisoned. Villon returned to Paris where he was arrested several more times for theft and brawling, but was soon released by virtue of some fortunate circumstance. His luck finally ran out when he was arrested for fighting and sentenced to the gallows. While awaiting the noose, Villon composed a brilliant poem about his own execution and the injustice of man. However, a last minute appeal to Parliament got his sentenced reduced to 10 years banishment from Paris in 1863. He was never heard from again. He was 34 years old. His poetry continued to gain popularity in Paris and throughout France where it went into seven printings.

Epitaph In The Form Of A Ballade

Freres humains qui apres nous vivez,
N'ayez les coeurs contre nous endurcis ...
Men, brother men, that after us yet live,
Let not your hearts too hard against us be;
For if some pity of us poor men ye give,
The sooner God shall take of you pity.
Here are we five or six strung up, you see,
And here the flesh that all too well we fed
Bit by bit eaten and rotten, rent and shred,
And we the bones grow dust and ash withal;
Let no man laugh at us discomforted,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.
If we call on you, brothers, to forgive,

Ye should not hold our prayer in scorn, though we
Were slain by law; ye know that all alive
Have not wit always to walk righteously;
Make therefore intercession heartily
With him that of a virgin's womb was bred,
That his grace be not as a dr-y well-head
For us, nor let hell's thunder on us fall;
We are dead, let no man harry or vex us dead,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.

The rain has washed and laundered us all five,
And the sun dried and blackened; yea, perdie,
Ravens and pies with beaks that rend and rive
Have dug our eyes out, and plucked off for fee
Our beards and eyebrows; never we are free,
Not once, to rest; but here and there still sped,
Driven at its wild will by the wind's change led,
More pecked of birds than fruits on garden-wall;
Men, for God's love, let no gibe here be said,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.
Prince Jesus, that of all art lord and head,
Keep us, that hell be not our bitter bed;
We have nought to do in such a master's hall.
Be not ye therefore of our fellowhead,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, trans.

Nov 17, 2010

Hump Day Hunk

Sorry for the delay - my computer suddenly decided it couldn't detect my wireless network. However, I spent five years fixing problems like that, so I knew exactly what to threaten it with say to it to get it to behave. :-)

Nov 16, 2010

Superstition - Part VI

Homer called salt divine. Plato described it as a substance dear to the gods. Pythagoras said that salt was the emblem of justice.

Salt is a purifier, a preservative, and symbolizes the good and lasting qualities of life. It became a sign of hospitality, trust, and friendship because of its high price. Soldiers in Rome were often paid in salt, which is where the saying that a person was "not worth his salt" originated. It was mixed into the foods used in the religious ceremonies of both the Greeks and Romans and was also used for medicinal purposes.

In the Middle Ages salt was very valuable and the waste of it was said to bring bad luck. To avoid this bad luck you were supposed to throw a pinch of salt over your left shoulder, a remedy that was Christian in origin. By doing this, you're throwing the salt into the devil's eye to blind him and deflect the bad luck and bad health he had in store for you. You need to throw it over the left shoulder, not the right, because the angels sit to the right hand of God and the seat of the devil, the fallen angel, was to His left.

If you look closely at Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper, you will see that the betrayer Judas has accidentally spilled salt onto the table, another reason spilling salt is considered bad luck.

In the Hartz Mountain region in Germany, peasants believe that three grains of salt in a milk-pot will keep witches away from the milk. To preserve butter from uncanny influences, it was a custom in Aberdeen, Scotland, to put salt on the lid of a churn. In Normandy the peasants would throw a little salt into a vessel containing milk in order to protect the cow who gave the milk from the influences of witchcraft.

In the Province of Quebec French Canadians sometimes scatter salt around the doors of their stables to prevent mischievous little imps called lutins from entering and teasing the horses by sticking burrs in their manes and tails. In Marsala, west Sicily, a horse, mule, or donkey is thought to be liable to molestation by fairies when they enter a new stall. As a precautionary measure a little salt is placed on the animal's back. This is believed to insure freedom from lameness or other evil resulting from fairy spite.

The Germans of Buffalo valley in central Pennsylvania believe that a boy may be cured of homesickness by placing salt in the hems of his trousers and making him look up the chimney.

In India the natives rub salt and wine on the affected part of the body as a cure for scorpion bites, believing that the success of this treatment is due to the supernatural virtue of the salt in searing away the fiends who caused the pain.

A Magyar house-mistress will not give any salt to a woman who may come to the door and ask for it in the early morning, believing that any such would-be borrower is surely a witch; but in order to keep away all witches and hags, she strews salt on the threshold. On St. Lucien's Day neither salt nor fire must be taken out of the house.

Scots fishermen have a traditional custom of salting their nets "for luck, and they also sometimes throw a little salt into the sea "to blind the fairies."

Salt and bread, representing the necessaries of life, are the first articles taken into the dwelling of a newly married pair in Russia. In Pomerania, at the close of a wedding breakfast, a servant carries about a plate containing salt, upon which the guests place presents of money.

Other superstitions regarding salt:

• In order to reverse the bad luck that was coming your way from spilling salt, enough tears must be cried to dissolve the salt that was spilled
• If salt was spilt in a particular person's direction, bad luck was coming to that person
• Tossing a pinch of spilt salt over the shoulder is the antidote of ill luck raised
• If you have a curse or hex placed on you by a gypsy then once they leave your home throw a pinch of salt in their direction-nullify the curse
• If you have a frequent visitor whom you don’t want, then simply throw a pinch of salt at them when they’re in your house and they won’t return
• Fishermen never use the word while at sea because it’s taboo, however a tradition is to sprinkle fishing nets with salt to ensure a safe return
• If you want a lover to return then burn salt on seven consecutive mornings
• If you sprinkle some salt on the doorway to a new house then no evil can enter it
• If you are a bride then sprinkle a pinch of salt onto your dress for a happy marriage
• Never lend salt if you are outside the house, at a picnic etc., this will bring you very bad luck
• Newborn babies were once bathed in salt and water to ward off witchcraft
• Never offer another diner a salt cellar that is open - help me to salt, help me to sorrow
• You can tell if a girl is a virgin if she forgets to put salt onto the table

Nov 15, 2010

Meliorism Monday

meliorism ~ the belief the world tends to become better

Last night I slept the sleep of the just. Why (you ask)? I’ll tell you why. As you probably know by now, I was 12,000 words into NaNo when I decided to set the novel I was working on aside and start a brand new one. I was going to just add the words from the new one onto the old one – after all, 12K is 12K – but Friday I decided to reset my NaNo word counter to reflect only the novel I was working on. Yesterday I wrote like a mo fo and I am pleased to say that as the writing of this post I’m up to 21000 words on my new novel.

That being said, this novel is going to be an editing nightmare. I think the first five chapters will need to be consigned to the flames of perdition, but the rest of it has possibilities so it won’t just get trunked. But boy, what crappy writing! :-)

Last week was bright and sunny, which made it perfect writing weather. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it many times again, I am solar powered. I need the sun to be able to function – although I don’t like heat or humidity and I don’t go out in the sun. But that’s another story. ;-)

Last week’s excerpts on Friday were from the new NaNo novel. I apologize for the crappiness, I was rushed and they were from the first five chapters. Hopefully this week’s will be better.

Still haven’t got any ironing done, although I did fix the hem on a pair of jeans so I could wear them.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: This week’s installment of my series on superstition will be about salt. It really surprised me how many there were out there.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: Part III of my Famous Poets series will feature Francois Villon. If you have a favourite poet, feel free to make suggestions!

Friday: Watch for another installment of my NaNo novel. I’m also posting a different one on my other blog.

Elsewhere in my week:

I’m glad I got all that writing done last week, because this week is shaping up to be a busy week.

I think it goes without saying that I’ll continue to write up a storm. Probably not at the frenetic pace I set last week, but I still have a bit of catching up to do.

I have a business meeting today, with a gentleman who’s going to help me narrow my focus. I tend to try to do everything at once, which is not the most productive way of handling things, especially when starting up a business.

I have Scribe’s meeting tonight, and since I missed the last meeting I have no idea what the topic is so I’ll be going empty handed.

Wednesday I have a lunch date with a close friend I just re-connected with. We had lunch last week as well but we still have a lot to catch up on. :-)

Thursday I’m taking part in a poetry workshop that the CPW is holding in conjunction with the creative writing class of one of the local high schools. There’ll be reading and critiquing and I’m sure much poetry fun will be had by all.

I'm going to buy a book and learn how to use FrontPage 2003. Yes, my web page is up. No, I’m not going to provide a link. It’s not centered and I can’t get it to centre because it won’t centre in the stupid program I created it in. So it looks cheesey and amateurish and no, you can’t see it. So there! :-p

And there you have it, my week, all nicely laid out. How about you? How’s your NaNo going? What exciting things will you be up to this week?

Nov 12, 2010

NaNo Excerpt - Week Two

As you may (if you're my Facebook friend) or may not (if you're not yet my Facebook friend) know, I jumped ship with my NaNo this week. I've shelved the SNI to work on at a more leisurely pace, and I've gone back to my OI (original idea). Who needs sleep for the month of November, right?

Anyway, this story is along the lines of my space opera, only set way before it. It's seven years into the Kohl-trin/human war and follows the firefighter class starship Valkyrie on it's quest for information that may swing the war in the human's favour.

In this weeks excerpt we have Calandra, last of the Old Race, breaking the news to Aleron, commander of the Valkyrie, that she intends to go behind enemy lines in search of some information that will help them on their quest.

“I still don’t understand how the Kohl-trin found us.” Aleron sipped the amber liquid in his goblet as he considered his next move on the logos board.

“Simple, my friend, we have a yanis on board.”

“A what?”

“A yanis, a Kohl-trin spy.” Calandra poured herself another drink.

“A spy,” Aleron mused. “I half expected that. Any leads as to who it might be?”

“No, unfortunately. We’ll have to start running security checks. I’d offer Skyler and Bran to assist you, but I’ve another task in mind for them.”

Aleron moved a piece and looked up. “What makes you so sure you can trust them?”

“Aleron, there are only four people on this entire vessel I trust completely: Skyler, Bran, our chief medical officer, and yourself.”

He grunted and lapsed into silence, studying the board.

“Calandra,” he said at last. “I think you should give up this Temple of Knowledge foolishness –”

“We go through this every time we play logos. On your world there could be a lengthy rainfall and a dozen legends would spring up as to the cause. However, my people were never known to twist the truth, no matter how entertaining it might be.”

“You have no idea where this temple might be, and from what you’ve told me, even if we do find it you’ll still need a key.”

“Which is why I must visit the Hall of Records on Agon.” She got the pronouncement out quickly and drained her goblet.

For a moment Aleron simply started at her. “The Rihal system is under Kohl-trin control.”

“At one point in our history,” she continued as though he hadn’t spoken, “There was a prophecy of danger and there would be a need of secrecy concerning the temple. Its location was stricken from all records, save those used in the test of Avonahl.”

“What’s that?”

“Suffice it to say it was very dangerous, often fatal. But the reward for success was the accumulated knowledge of the Old Race. I was the last of my people to undertake it. Unfortunately, some knowledge was lost before my time.”

She paused, remembering. “I know vaguely the location of the temple, but there were five keys that could unlock it, and that knowledge was lost.”

“So it’s hopeless, just as I suspected.”

“Not so. The location of each of the keys was hidden well, however, one of the priests of knowledge, who were in charge of such things, had a dream—”

“Let me guess,” Alerson said sarcastically. “He dreamt of impending doom, when the location of the keys would be needed so he wrote down the locations in the Hall of Records.”

“Close. Only the location of one key.”

“This is ridiculous!”

“That priest,” Calandra said, her voice rising. “Was my ancestor. The information has been passed down from generation to generation.”

“The Rihal system is still under Kohl-trin control.”

“Which is why I’m taking Skyler, Bran and the Sunstar to Agon while you take the Valkyrie to the base station for repairs.”

“What makes you think the Kohl-trin would leave something as important as the Hall of Records intact?”

“Much of the Hall lies underground. There’s a chance that what I seek is still there. But we might have to dig for it.”

“I still don’t like it, it’s too risky.”

“I believe it is worth the risk, and I will hear no more about it!”

Aleron moved his last piece on the board. “There! Your empire has fallen madam. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” He rose and stalked from the room.

If you'd like to read more, check out another excerpt on my other blog.

Nov 11, 2010

Famous Poets - Part Two

Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321)

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1265 and was generally considered the greatest of Italian poets. He was also a philosopher and political thinker. He wrote most of his poetry in the Italian vernacular instead of Latin, a choice that would influence the entire course of western literary development.

As a young man, Dante fought as a cavalryman and entered public office in his thirties. In 1300, Dante along with his fellow magistrates confirmed anti-papal measures. When in 1302, the French prince acting under orders from the Pope captured power in Florence, Dante was sentenced on charges of corruption and opposition to the Church and exiled from Florence on pain of execution by burning if he ever returned. In 1316 he was invited to return to Florence, but the terms were those used for pardoned criminals, and he refused.

His first book was the Vita Nuova (The New Life), published in 1294, in which he relates how he fell in love with Beatrice Pornari, whom he met as a child. Though Beatrice and Dante both married other people, Dante's spiritual love for her persisted and she functioned as his chief Muse and inspiration.

In 1304 or shortly thereafter he published De Vulgari Eloquentia, an argument for writing poems and other works in the language that people speak (in his case, Italian) rather than in Latin. At the same time he wrote Il Convivio . (The Banquet), in which he discusses grammar, and styles of poetry. In 1313 he published De Monarchia (On Monarchy) in which he argued that the authority of a secular prince is not derived from the authority of the church, and is not given him by the pope, but comes directly from God.

It is not known exactly when Dante began work on Divina Commedia. He had been moving about from court to court after his exile and had settled at Ravenna, where he completed his great work. Extant correspondence shows that the first and second parts of The Divine Comedy, the "Inferno" and the "Purgatario" were generally known around 1319. The last part, the "Paradiso" was completed only in 1321. Dante died at Ravenna on 14 September 1321 and the last thirteen Cantos of the "Paradiso" were published posthumously.


I have come, alas, to the great circle of shadow,
to the short day and to the whitening hills,
when the colour is all lost from the grass,
though my desire will not lose its green,
so rooted is it in this hardest stone,
that speaks and feels as though it were a woman.

And likewise this heaven-born woman
stays frozen, like the snow in shadow,
and is unmoved, or moved like a stone,
by the sweet season that warms all the hills,
and makes them alter from pure white to green,
so as to clothe them with the flowers and grass.

When her head wears a crown of grass
she draws the mind from any other woman,
because she blends her gold hair with the green
so well that Amor lingers in their shadow,
he who fastens me in these low hills,
more certainly than lime fastens stone.

Her beauty has more virtue than rare stone.
The wound she gives cannot be healed with grass,
since I have travelled, through the plains and hills,
to find my release from such a woman,
yet from her light had never a shadow
thrown on me, by hill, wall, or leaves’ green.

I have seen her walk all dressed in green,
so formed she would have sparked love in a stone,
that love I bear for her very shadow,
so that I wished her, in those fields of grass,
as much in love as ever yet was woman,
closed around by all the highest hills.

The rivers will flow upwards to the hills
before this wood, that is so soft and green,
takes fire, as might ever lovely woman,
for me, who would choose to sleep on stone,
all my life, and go eating grass,
only to gaze at where her clothes cast shadow.

Whenever the hills cast blackest shadow,
with her sweet green, the lovely woman
hides it, as a man hides stone in grass.

Sonnet: All My Thoughts

All my thoughts always speak to me of love,
Yet have between themselves such difference
That while one bids me bow with mind and sense,
A second saith, 'Go to: look thou above';
The third one, hoping, yields me joy enough;
And with the last come tears, I scarce know whence:
All of them craving pity in sore suspense,
Trembling with fears that the heart knoweth of.
And thus, being all unsure which path to take,
Wishing to speak I know not what to say,
And lose myself in amorous wanderings:
Until (my peace with all of them to make),
Unto mine enemy I needs must pray,
My lady Pity, for the help she brings.

Nov 10, 2010

Nov 9, 2010

Superstition - Part V
the Number Thirteen

There are those who believe that fears surrounding the number 13 are as old as the act of counting. Primitive man had only his 10 fingers and two feet to represent units, so he could count no higher than 12. What lay beyond that — 13 — was an unfathomable mystery to our prehistoric forebears, hence an object of superstition.

It’s also possible the number 13 may have been purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity. Thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The "Earth Mother of Laussel"— a 27,000-year-old carving found near the Lascaux caves in France often cited as an icon of matriarchal spirituality — depicts a female figure holding a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches. As the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization so did the "perfect" number 12 over the "imperfect" number 13, thereafter considered anathema.

Ancient Persians believed the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year. Each ruled the earth for a thousand years at the end of which the sky and earth collapsed into chaos. The number thirteen was identified with chaos and Persians would leave their houses on the thirteenth day of the Persian Calendar to avoid bad luck, a tradition called Sizdah Bedar.

The Norse believed that Loki was the 13th god. Loki was said to have engineered the murder of Balder, and was the 13th guest to arrive at the funeral. This is perhaps related to the superstition that if thirteen people gather, one of them will die in the following year.

In the Christian religion, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest at the last supper.

On October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated dawn raid that left several thousand Templars in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities, and homosexual practices.

A more modern myth about number claims that if you have 13 letters in your name you will have the devil's luck. Consider, for instance, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, and Albert De Salvo.

But not everyone believes the number thirteen is unlucky.

In Judaism, thirteen signifies the age at which a boy matures and becomes a Bar Mitzvah. According to Maimonides, it's the number of principles of Jewish faith while the Torah claims God has 13 Attributes of Mercy. The number of circles, or "nodes", that make up Metatron's Cube in Kaballistic teachings is thirteen.

In the Hindu religion, a feast is organized on the 13th day of death. Known as "Tehranvi", it is believed to be organized for the peace of the departed soul. In Hindu astrology, it is considered auspicious to name a baby girl on the 13th day after her birth.

The Mayan Tzolk'in calender has trecenas marking cycles of 13 day periods. The pyramids are also set up in 9 steps divided into 7 days and 6 nights, 13 days total.

Colgate University also considers 13 to be a lucky number. They were founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles. (To this day, members of the Colgate community consider the number 13 a good omen.) In fact, the campus address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, NY and the all men a cappella group is called the Colgate 13

In 1881, an influential group of New Yorkers led by U.S. Civil War veteran Captain William Fowler came together to put an end to this and other superstitions. They formed a dinner cabaret club, which they called the Thirteen Club. At the first meeting, on Friday 13 January 1881 at 8:13 p.m., 13 people sat down to dine in room 13 of the venue. The guests walked under a ladder to enter the room and were seated among piles of spilled salt. All of the guests survived. Thirteen Clubs sprang up all over North America for the next 40 years. Their activities were regularly reported in leading newspapers, and their numbers included five future U.S. presidents, from Chester A. Arthur to Theodore Roosevelt.

Mystery writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) actually capitalized on the superstition that surrounds the number 13 when she penned 13 short stories and put them in a book titled, "The Thirteen Problems" in 1933. Each story featured her busybody sleuth, "Miss Jane Marple." Christie did it again when she wrote the mystery, "Thirteen at Dinner".

So, is the number 13 lucky or unlucky? I think that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Nov 8, 2010

Mnemon Monday

mnemon ~ unit of memory, largely hypothetical

Well, I’ve got the first week of NaNo under my belt and I’m more or less on track. This, despite losing 1500 words to a stroke of idiocy Saturday night. The SNI is still working for me, although I have changed my female main character’s name from Shannon to Shaelynn. There was even a legitimate reason to do so. :-)

I didn’t get to my Scribes meeting Monday night and although I did miss meeting with the gang, I didn’t miss the long, cold, wet walk home.

Didn’t get my samples done – if you want to know the truth, I forgot all about doing them. Guess that’s something else I can work on this week.

The business website is finished – sort of. There’s a version of it up on the internet, but it needs the final adjustments uploaded. I absolutely refuse to admit what the problem was – it’s far too embarrassing, suffice it to say it was something simple (isn’t it always?). Anyway, I got the original website up, but there’s a couple of glitches and it’s insanely wide. I can’t get the newer version (glitch free and not so wide) loaded. As soon as I do, I’ll be ready for the grand unveiling.

It was a cold, grey, wet week last week which of course made my mood pretty grey and dismal. The writing didn’t come easily, but at least it came steadily.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: This week’s installment of my series on superstition will be about the number 13. It would have been much cooler if this Friday were the 13th, but the next Friday the 13th isn’t until May, 2011, and I’m pretty sure this series will be done by then. :-)

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: Part II of my Famous Poets series will feature Dante Alighieri. If you have a favourite poet, feel free to make suggestions!

Friday: Watch for installment two of my NaNo novel. Hopefully by then there’ll be lots of scenes to choose from.

Elsewhere in my week:

Be still my heart, I’m looking in my day planner and I have no meetings this week! Although I do have a lunch date today, but that has nothing to do with writing.

The room across the hall from my office has been designated my work room and I’ve finally got the table set up. It’s basically a board with a filing cabinet under it at one end and a small bookcase under the other. But it’s all I need to get the job done. I can leave my stuff spread out as much as I like and now I don’t have any excuses not to get some sample chap books done this week.

Other than that, I’ll be writing up a storm for NaNo.

Oh, yeah. There’s still that humongous pile of ironing to do too. :-(

And there you have it, my week, such as it is. How about you? How’s your NaNo going? What exciting things will you be up to this week?

Nov 5, 2010

NaNo Excerpt - Week One

As promised, during the month of NaNo I'll be posting an excerpt from my NaNo novel each Friday. This week we have the opening scene to my novel.

Jaxson Hunter nursed his drink slowly, he was starting to feel a distinct buzz from the whiskey and he wanted to prolong the feeling. Idly he glanced around the hotel bar, trying to see where the blonde had gotten to. Ah, there she was, sitting alone at a corner table. He contemplated going over to see if she wanted some company, then dismissed it as a bad idea. She didn’t look like a one night stand kind of woman, and that’s all he was willing to offer.

He’d noticed her the moment she’d entered the hotel bar. He wasn’t the only one, several heads had turned. She was average height, but there was nothing average about her looks. Underneath a cascade of wavy blonde hair was a heart shaped face and pouty lips just made for kissing. The body-skimming blue dress she wore showed off her curves in a modest way without flaunting them. Add to that breasts large enough to have just a hint of bounce and an ass firm enough to sink your teeth into and it was a wonder there wasn’t a stampede to get to her. Good thing this was a respectable hotel.

“She’s probably a hooker,” Jace, bass player for the White Knights, said as he sank into the chair opposite Jaxson.


“I’m not blind, man. You haven’t been able to take your eyes off her since she sauntered in here.”

“She didn’t saunter, she walked. And there’s no way that woman is a hooker, she’s got way too much class. And she’s not exactly inviting attention. In fact, she reminds me of . . .” His voice trailed off. Suddenly he tossed off his drink and signaled for another. “I just can’t help wondering what a woman like her is doing all alone in a bar.”

“Well, she won’t be leaving alone, if the guy I heard talking in the can has anything to say about it.”

Jaxson refocused his attention on his friend. “What are you talking about?”

Jace shrugged. “Happens all the time. Pretty woman gets tanked, sleezeball guy hangs around waiting for her to leave and ends up with a one night stand. The way she’s been drinking, it won’t be long now.”

Taking a closer look at the woman in question, Jaxson realized she’d been drinking pretty steadily. He didn’t think she was meeting anyone here and it didn’t seem as though she was looking for company. She’d been approached several times when she’d been sitting at the bar sent them all on there way with a polite smile. That’s probably why she moved to the table, so they’d leave her alone. It was working so far, but he had to wonder for how long.

She reached for her purse and swayed slightly as she got to her feet. A man in a rumpled business suit sitting at a table nearby stumbled to his feet. He almost tripped over himself as he weaved his way towards her. Jaxson came to a decision. Standing up, he caught the other man’s eye, glared a message at him, and shook his head slightly. The man hesitated, took in Jaxson’s size, then shrugged and went back to his own table.

Jaxson tossed a couple of bills on the table. “I’ll catch you tomorrow before I leave.”

“Aw, man!” Jace said in disgust. “There he goes, ladies and gentlemen, the embodiment of the White Knights.”

Nov 4, 2010

Famous Poets - Part I

Li Po (701 - 762)

"You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream
and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men."

Li Po was born in the Szechwan Province in western China. At 19 he left home to live with a religious recluse by the name of Tunyen-tzu. The two of them were said to keep strange birds as pets. He later traveled down the Yangtze to Yun-meng, a town north of the river and Tung-ting Lake, where he married. He lived briefly as a poet at the Tang court in Chang'an before deciding to return to a life of Taoist study and poetry writing.

Around 742 he gained recognition from emperor Hsuan-tsung (Xuan Zong) and was appointed to a post in the Hanlin Academy, but a few years later he was exiled from the capital as a result of slanders. He fled south at the time of the rebellion in 755 and entered the service of Prince Yung. The Prince's downfall involved Li Po in a second exile, though he was eventually pardoned and resumed his life of wandering.

In 756, Li Po became an unofficial poet laureate to Prince Lin. The prince was soon accused of intending to set up an independent kingdom and was executed. Li Po was arrested and imprisoned, but a high official looked into Li Po's case. The official had Li Po released and made him a staff secretary. In the summer of 758, the charges were revived. Li Po was banished to Yeh-lang.

Li Po frequently celebrated the joy of drinking. According to legend, Li Po drowned while drunkenly leaning from a boat to embrace the moon's reflection on the water. Most scholars believe he died from cirrhosis of the liver or from mercury poisoning due to Taoist longevity elixirs.

Much of Li Po's work is lost, but almost 2000 poems were collected in 1080. He’s best known for his pieces describing voyages through imaginary landscapes, preferring older poetic forms such as songs or ballads. Some themes expressed in Li Po's works are the sorrows of those separated by the demands of duty and the relief found in wine. He also wrote about friendship, solitude, the passage of time, and the joys of nature.

Looking For A Monk And Not Finding Him

I took a small path leading
up a hill valley, finding there
a temple, its gate covered
with moss, and in front of
the door but tracks of birds;
in the room of the old monk
no one was living, and I
staring through the window
saw but a hair duster hanging
on the wall, itself covered
with dust; emptily I sighed
thinking to go, but then
turning back several times,
seeing how the mist on
the hills was flying, and then
a light rain fell as if it
were flowers falling from
the sky, making a music of
its own; away in the distance
came the cry of a monkey, and
for me the cares of the world
slipped away, and I was filled
with the beauty around me.

Drinking Alone with the Moon

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone.There was no one with me --
Till raising my cup, I ask the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of spring....
I sang. The moon encouraged me
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were born companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
....Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.

The Hard Road

Pure wine costs, for the golden cup, ten thousand coppers a flagon,
And a jade plate of dainty food calls for million coins.
I fling aside my food-sticks and cup, I cannot eat nor drink...
I pull out my dagger, I peer four ways in vain.
I would cross the Yellow River, but ice chokes the ferry;
I would climb the Tai-hang Mountains, but the sky is blind with snow..
I would sit and poise a fishing-pole, lazy by a brook --
But I suddenly dream of riding a boat, sailing for the sun...
Journeying is hard,
Journeying is hard.
There are many turings --
Which am I to follow?...
I will mount a long wind some day and break the heavy waves
And set my cloudy sail straight and bridge the deep, deep sea.

Taking Leave of a Friend

Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;
Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.
Here we part, friend, once and forever.
You go ten thousand miles, drifting away
Like an unrooted water-grass.
Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!
Oh, the sunset and the longing of an old friend!
We ride away from each other, waving our hands,
While our horses neigh softly, softly . . . .

Read more of his work HERE or HERE.

Nov 3, 2010

Hump Day Hunk

I want this in my stocking for Christmas!

He's just so pretty that I'm going to use him as the main character for my NaNo novel. ;-)

Nov 2, 2010

Superstition - Part IV

Each year hoards of crazed children dressed in costumes converge on innocent neighborhoods and knock on doors to get free candy or other goodies before going on to the next door to repeat the process. So just how did this tradition get started?

This tradition can be traced back more than 2,000 years to the Celtic belief that the spirits of the dead still remained present on our plane of existence, and required food and drink to be placated. Failing to leave out an offering was sure to invite the disgruntled spirits to cause mischief and ill fortune in retaliation. Later, people began dressing up as the spirits in order to receive these offerings of food, and playing practical jokes on those who did not furnish them.

In Ireland, there was a practice among the peasants of going door to door to collect money or food in preparation for the festival of St. Columbus Kill.

In England, the poor would go around to different households on All Souls Day (November 1) begging for food. They would be given "soul cakes" in exchange for the promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. This practice was known as "going a-souling".

In Scotland children, or guisers, would have to impress the occupants of the houses they visit with a song, trick, joke or dance in order to earn their treats.

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

Not too surprisingly, there are a lot of superstitions concerning Halloween:

- When you ring a bell on Halloween, it will cause evil spirits to fly away.
- The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was displaced, or had been damaged, it was considered to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.
- If a bat flies into your house, beware! You may have some ghosts or spirits visiting.
- On Halloween night, if you see a bat flitting around early in the evening, then you'll have good weather the next day.
- If bats fly around your house on Halloween night 3 times, death is inevitable.
- If you hear footsteps trailing close behind you on Halloween night, do not to turn around to see who it is, for it may be Death himself. To look Death in the eye, according to ancient folklore, is a sure way to hasten your own demise.
- To cast a headless shadow or no shadow at all is still believed by many to be an omen of death in the course of the next year.
- A person born on Halloween can both see and talk to spirits.
- If you happen to see a spider on Halloween then the spirit of a loved one is watching over you.
- It was once believed that on Halloween, owls would dive down and eat the souls of anyone dying that night.
- People at one time believed that Satan was a nut-gatherer, so, on Halloween night, nuts were used as magic charms.

- A burning candle inside a jack-o-lantern keeps evil spirits and demons at bay.
- If a candle suddenly goes out by itself on Halloween, as though by breath or wind, it is believed that a ghost has come to call.
- Always burn new candles on Halloween to ensure the best of luck. It is not a good idea to burn Halloween candles at any other time of the year. It may bring bad luck or strange things will happen to you, over which you will have no control.
- Gazing into a flame of a candle on Halloween night will enable you to peer into the future.
- If a person lights a new orange colored candle at midnight on Halloween and lets it burn until sunrise, he or she will be the recipient of good luck.
- Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night can see their future husband in the reflection.

Nov 1, 2010

Metagnostic Monday – NaNo Edition

metagnostic ~ incomprehensible; beyond understanding


That’s right folks, NaNoWriMo started at midnight last night. In honour of this I participated in the Share Your Workspace Blogfest. Take a minute to check it out.

If you’re participating in NaNo, look me up and be my writing buddy. I’m Lady Cat over there and I can always use another friend. My official NaNo snackfood this year is gummi worms and Rice Works brown rice crisps. These will be washed down with this year’s official NaNo beverage, holiday Chai tea.

If you’re on Facebook, then you already know I was struck down with the NaNo curse yesterday. The last two years in a row as NaNo approached my writing would dry up and I would decide not to participate. Then November 1 would roll around and I’d get slammed with an idea that I just couldn’t resist. I might add that the last two years are the only two I’ve won the challenge.

This year I decided ahead of time that I would participate. I even had an idea. It was another space-opera type (I swear I don’t know why I keep having all these science fiction/romance ideas) – I had a good idea of what the story was about, I had well developed characters, I was even familiar with the universe it was set in and the technology that was to be used.

However, last week I got a SNI (shiny new idea). It’s a contemporary (which is really unusual for me) and I guess the closest category I could put it in is thriller romance. Anyway, it wouldn’t leave me alone, just kept replaying in my head until last night I caved and started writing it. I spent the first hour of NaNo trying to come up with names for the characters!

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Given that yesterday was All Hallow’s Eve, Part IV of my superstition series will take a look at some of the superstitions surrounding Halloween.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday: I’m needing a break from the poetry forms, at least for NaNo month. So instead of a form I’ll be starting a series on poets. If you have a favourite poet, feel free to make suggestions!

Friday: The Space Opera draft is officially finished! You have until the end of the month to read it, then I’ll be taking it down to do some much needed editing. In the meantime, I’ll be posting excerpts from my NaNo novel on Fridays.

Elsewhere in my week:

I have a Scribe’s meeting tonight and I don’t know what the topic was so I’ll probably be going empty handed.

I just have to get the bugs out of my business web site and I can call it done. Friday I finally hit on a colour combination I liked, and then I had to go back and change the brochure and business card. Now to get it uploaded and get the hyper links working properly.

I’m going to kill two birds with one stone and start putting together a cook book of an Aunt’s recipes. Bird #1 is I need to figure out what the set-up time is for this service, and bird #2 I can make copies to give to family members for Christmas. It’ll also come in handy as a sample for my work.

I guess it goes without saying that I’ll be writing a lot this week too. :-D

So how about you? What are you up to this week? Did you stay up last night to get a jump start on NaNo?