Friday, April 27, 2007

Rhyme nor Reason.

I have just finished speaking to my mother(86) and she used a common expression - "There's no rhyme nor reason for it to happen". The saying got me thinking as to where it came from and its original meaning.

According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable -
If something is 'Neither rhyme nor reason' - it is fit neither for amusement nor instruction. It came into being when an author took his book to Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of Henry VIII and asked his opinion. Sir Thomas told the author to turn it into rhyme. He did so and submitted it again to the Chancellor who said : "Ay! ay! That will do, that will do. 'Tis rhyme now, but before it was neither rhyme nor reason."

I know now what mother meant you see,
Her phone was dead, why would that be?

( it turns out it she had pulled it out of the wall.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Wine Tasting Terms

Doing research for a novel set around the wine industry I came across some terms that intrigued me. They are used (accurately and inaccurately according to which expert you speak to or book you read) to describe the 'dimensions' of wine and its taste. I thought I'd share some with you. Beside some you will note a letter 'B' (negative) or 'G' (positive) - no letter is neither good nor bad. Just so as you know what the basic terms are Fruit defines the flavor and body that comes from the grape not the wine making process or aging. Body is an important characteristic determined mainly by the alcoholic strength and its extract (wine solids i.e what is left after boiling the wine). Tannic describes the tannins (phenolic preservative) found mainly in red wine and comes from the dark skins, seeds and stems and is a key management factor for the red wine maker.
  • Chewy - a wine contains some but not obtrusive tannins
  • Closed - not very aromatic - said to be due to its maturity
  • Dumb - no aroma/smell at all
  • Firm - the tannins are perceptible (G)
  • Flabby - too low in acid (B - no brainer here)
  • Hollow -lacking fruit (B)
  • Hard - too tannic (B)
  • Hot - too alcoholic (B)
  • Legs/Tears - colorless streams left on the inside of a glass after a relatively alcoholic wine has been swirled ( nothing to do with sugar/glycerol)
  • Lean - lacking fruit not acid (B)
  • Mature - aged to its full potential (G)
  • Horizontial Tasting - a comparative tasting of different but related wines of the same year
  • Vertical Tasting - comparative tasting of different vintages from the same provenance
  • Blind Tasting - an attempt to identify and assess wines with covered labels.
I find this wine firm, a little chewy, not too flabby but it has great legs! Go and impress your friends.
Next week - I'll post 13 steps to help develop your palate.

(Ref: Jancis Robinson's Wine Course, BBC Books, 1995)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not so wordless I'm afraid.

I have to thank Shelly ( and who has just tagged me for the "Thinking Bloggers Award". I feel honored and unworthy knowing how many others do a wonderful job and are much more blog savvy than I am.
I was asked yesterday "How I was planning for my retirement?" It made me think - "Do housewives retire?"
OMG - I can see it.... knuckles swollen, eyes dimmed, chin on chest, stockings wrinkled about ankles, a walker and a retirement home.
I'm off to the gym!

Wordless Wednesday - Diving Lesson

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rejected writer syndrome.

I'm sure RWS is a certifiable condition. Symptoms are a feeling of optimism, followed by deflation of spirit, a period of self-doubt, then 'put it down to experience. Many successful writer got rejected many times'; followed by reinforced determination and more blood, sweat and angst.
I have decided that my greatest writing success to date is that of the recipient of the 'good' rejection letter. Editors take time to write to me, make suggestions, or point out what they see as a weakness while encouraging me to continue submitting work to them. Then, today guess what.... Canada Post is sending me a cheque for the postage of a misplaced manuscript they cannot find and the publishing house has no record of receiving. Not the sort of payment for a manuscript one has in mind for writing 500 pages.
I take heart as I look out my window - the grass is turning green as I look at and my daffodils have popped open. If they can survive a winter buried under snow I too can push through this. One day the phone will ring and it won't be Canada Post saying we can't find your manuscript, and an envelope in the mail will have details of a contract.....
Well, back to my article about our trip to Sicily. The editor asked me to make some alterations and send it back to him. At least it is a step in the right direction..... R

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mountains to Climb

I have had a busy morning racing around the house doing chores and thinking of what I still have to do, and the writing I want to get done when I logged on to the internet (a no-no if you want to get things done) and found that my query letter has been accepted and I have been asked to submit a travel article to the New Zealand Herald (a major newspaper down there) and now I'm wondering how I'm going to get everything done, when I realized - hey I climbed Mt. Etna Sunday a week ago, so I can do it!!! Here are the photos to prove it. Have a great day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jetlag gone and back in the saddle

The Temple of Segesta, in Segesta, Sicily.
Hi everyone I'm back having had a fabulous time in Malta and Sicily after celebrating hubby's 40 years with the German company he works for.
Being a bit of a history nut wandering around ruins like this, and history steeped Malta was a real treat. We even climbed to the highest point of access on Mt. Etna - nearly 10,000 feet and as it was still cold there most of it was in knee deep snow until you hit the steaming slopes then it is black warm volcanic rock, (in the summer it is yellow and black) and while the mountain was steaming it didn't erupt while we were on it.
So now I have to get my head out of the clouds and put it down to get things polished ready for pitching in Dallas.
Attending the TRW meeting yesterday and hearing how well everyone is doing with their writing and listening to Claire Delacroix's presentation of Writing the Synopsis was the perfect place to get inspired. It was also super to meet Amy and Paula.
Inspired and ready to attack the rewrite and synopsis....Cheers Robyn