Monday, May 28, 2007

New Week

I woke early this morning my head full of what I have to get done this week before going away next Sunday, with so much to do of course I couldn't go back to sleep so decided to get up, update my blog and check my emails. I read the latest TRW Newsletter and Maureen McGowan's interview with Diana Peterfreund, what a fairytale ride she had to become a published author. Maybe there is some hope after all for one who also receives the positive reject letter but no brass ring.
Still no word on my paranormal MS Witch Hunter's Moon at LUNA Books, heard it was about to be rejected then heard someone else was going to take a look at it, all promising and unusual, I just hope they haven't forgotten me and I'm back in the slush pile.
Am trying to come up with a new idea for a MS to get ready for the Muskoka Writathon Weekend in July to help raise funds for literacy. It is the weekend after RWA National Conference and I'm away most of June so hopefully over that time I will come up with something - maybe a sequel to Twisted Vines which is currently with Harlequin. As I'm a pantser I need to have a concept of what I am going after before I start or I'll just stare at a blank screen.
In the movie Miss Potter the first words are wonderful and sum up how I feel about writing.
"There is something delicious about writing the first sentence to a story, you never know quite where the adventure will take you." or something to that effect. It is so true.
Have a great day and hope you get some lines down.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weird Week

Saturday - Ontario, Canada doing Spring Planting before leaving for airport at 3pm to fly to New Zealand.
Sunday - lost day because we flew over international date line
Monday - Arrive Auckland, New Zealand. Lunch visit with son and meet girlfriend who moved with him to NZ a week and a half ago. Drop sons girlfriend at airport to go to London and Oslo. Dinner with sister and mother.
Tuesday - 8:30 Pick up son then drive 2.5hrs to Tauranga, Mt Maunganui for funeral of beloved Aunt and catch up with family, some we haven't seen in 20 odd years. (Did I age as much as they did???) Drive back to Auckland 9:PM arrive Auckland midnight.
Wednesday - Take mother shopping before flying out of New Zealand Wednesday night.
Wednesday - gain day back, arrive in LAX leave for YYZ same day Arrive Toronto 11:45pm
Thursday - Ontario, Canada - Back home 12:30 am, up 7am check on spring planting - no sign of rabbits and deer grazing. Sat and stared at computer and realized it was TT did post, usual washing etc after time away. Met friend for coffee and buy Wylie Kinson's newly released book and several others that just happened to jump into my arms.
Friday (today) - 7 am Weigh in for new diet - lost 1.4lbs......the tea and tiny sandwiches with home baking on the side didn't help - at least weight went in the right direction. But still got growled at - no fruit this weekend...sigh! I'm turning into a lettuce and will be fighting the rabbits for my hosta leaves soon.

This is one bizarre post at the end of a bizarre week. It's not even a full week!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

TT - 13 Things I hate about editing my work.

1. The comma you spent ages deliberating over becomes obsolete when you go back and change the sentence.
2. You think you have it right then look at it later and wonder if you had been in the twilight zone when you did the last edit.
3. Saying I'm just going to read this through and next thing, the pen is in your hand and your read through becomes a re-write.
4. No matter how many times you go over it you always find a mistake or something that could be changed.
5. Computer 'Spell check' is an editing help and a hazard.
6. Semi colon, colon, comma - no matter what the textbook tells you, Editors disagree on usage.
7. Printing it out in hard copy and then finding a mistake on the first page that jumps the all lines up a page.
8. Over editing
9. Over eating
10. Self doubt
11. Procrastination - e.g. I'll make a coffee then go through this - again!!!
12. I'll just go through this chapter - then four hours later the beds still need to be made.
13. Waking up at night and find yourself going over it and can't go back to sleep until you get up and fix it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

TT - Victorian Guide to selecting the perfect mate.

"Better, a thousands times, the single, free, and independent maidenhood, than for a woman to trail her life in the dust, and bring poverty , shame, and disgrace on her children, by marrying a man addicted to dissipated habits." Heaven forbid!!!!!

I'm a sucker for this type of book and couldn't resist it. Here is how Professor Hill - The Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette (1994 - adapted from material Professor Thomas E. Hill wrote between 1873 -1890) suggests you go about selecting your mate!
  1. Marry someone of similar form, complexion and temperament to themselves.
  2. Bright red hair and florid complexions indicate excitable temperament and should marry the jet-black hair and the brunette type.
  3. Grey, blue, black or hazel eyes should not marry those of the same colour.
  4. Where eye color is very pronounced, the union should be with those of a decidedly different color.
  5. The corpulent should unite with the thin and spare,
  6. The thickset and short should choose someone with a different constitution.
  7. The irritable with the quiet and slow, the quick-motioned, rapid speaking with the calm and the deliberate.
  8. Impulsive with the stoical.
  9. Thin, bony, wiry, prominent featured, Roman-nosed, cold-blooded individual should marry the round-featured, warm-hearted, and emotional.
  10. Straight and fine haired should unite with curly.
  11. Flat-nosed should marry the 'full Roman';
  12. A woman who takes after her father should marry a man who takes after his mother.
  13. But in all these cases where the type is not pronounced, but is on the contrary, an average or medium, those forms, features and temperaments may marry either. (TG for that!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Slacking off

I can't believe how fast the time goes, yet the date at the top of the last post tells me that I have been slacking. My excuse... heck I don't really have one. Gardening? Shifting soil? Working on my WIP and a travel article and finalising the last of our interior revamping... remember the wire cupboard... it is still there but not as bad TG. Still haven't received my reject letter from LUNA so fingers crossed that MT-H is looking at it - it did well in the GH even if it didn't final, boo hoo. Sent Twisted Vines off to B D-T at Harlequin so I have MS out there and hope to hear something positive in the next month or so. I never give up dreaming.
Day One of new Diet today, my stomach is rumbling maybe another glass of water will help! Hope your day is a good one. R

Friday, May 11, 2007

Florida and Back.


Palm Beach, Florida. It was as beautiful as the picture indicates.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Malta

For those of you who asked 'What is Malta like?" here are a couple of photos. Above the old city of Valletta, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, and the famous Maltese balconies - sorry about that but I can't rotate the picture for some reason.
Have a great day!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

TT - 13 ways to develop your wine palette


First you have to understand why some people can enjoy wine tasting and others can't - it boils down to what is in your mouth.
Humans use only a small part of the brain to interpret messages from the nose area - a Dogfish a very large one... Dogfish should be wine tasters.
In 1901 DP Hanig drew up a map of the tongue designating areas where acid, sweet, bitter and salt were tasted. This is being proved to be more complex.
According to Shari Darling -(The Sophisticated Wino:Harmony on the Palate), the nerves in our tongue and the Chorda tympani branch of the facial nerve allow us to have taste and flavor sensations- sourness,sweetness, bitterness and saltiness. While the trigeminal nerves assists us to experience harmful stimuli e.g.pain, they also respond to positive stimuli, such as spiciness, and irritations such as effervescence and carbonation.
The retro-nasal olfaction perceives odours from within the mouth - "when we chew and swallow foods the odors produced are forced up the palate into the nasal cavity."
Put a clothes/diving peg on your nose and you wont tell milk chocolate from cheddar cheese.
The tongues taste buds allow us to experience tastes - and differ according to number (few- you want things spicier, lots- a little seasoning is enough), distribution, and the amount of saliva produced.
So as Janics Robinson says - No one other than you can know how exactly a wine will strike your senses.In other words taste and flavor is individual. A novice's opinion is just as valid as an experts.
Once you have consciously tasted a few wines you like, you can build on that experience and become aware of common characteristics of other wines you like. Putting that together with the profiles of different grape varieties help you pick out wines that appeal to your palette. (Me personally I prefer a crisp dry white Savignon Blanc over a Chardonnay; and a Pinot Noir over a Cab Sav - not my husband)

First make sure you haven't cleaned your teeth - toothpaste taints wine.
To begin you need: -
  • a glass (it's inert and allows for appreciation of appearance) even a tumbler will do as long as it is clear
  • a glass of water or plate of bread cubes (neutralises the mouth - doesn't stop you getting drunk if you swallow everything you taste.)
  • wine
Now to taste:
  • Pour 1/3 to 1/2 glass of wine
  • hold glass by base or stem - said to stop body heat affecting wine
  • look at the wine (least important but necessary if trying to identfy a wine).
  • tilt glass away from you against a white background if possible to expose different shades of color (more is better)
  • study the rim of the wine - this tends to reveal the age of the wine (the browner the older it is. Reds go from deep purple to tawny; whites a pale greenish yellow - deep gold
  • look for a sheen to the wine - good sign; commercial, treated wine tend to look dull
  • Swirl the wine then concentrate and smell it. (You swirl it to release the flavor molecules.) It should smell clean and attractive, note intensity and what it reminds you of.
  • Take a mouthful exposing all of the tongue to the wine. Note how sweet, sour/acid, bitter, tannic/astringent, alcoholic and gassy the wine is. Roll it over you tongue
  • While the wine is in the mouth take in a little air (done when taking sip)- this chewing allows' mouth feel' for you to note things such as rasping, gripping or satin smooth.
  • Now spit it out - yeah don't drink it, this tells the taster from the player
  • Now close your mouth an assess the balance of the wine as a whole compare the sweetness, acidity, alcohol and any bitterness, tannin and gassiness - they should be in balance or does one dominate. In young red tannin often dominates, young white often acidic. Lack of balance could mean the wine is too old.
  • Note how long did the impact of the wine last after you tasted/swallowed it. A mediocre wine may leave little or no trace, whereas a fine wine can still be tasted after 30 seconds of more.
So you tip, swirl, sniff, slurp, and spit... and look thoughtful for a minute - that's all there is to it. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cliche's and Explain.

I was listening to CBC yesterday to their Literary Segment and they were talking about cliches and the word explain. I found it quite interesting as we all talk in cliches without realizing we are using them... "You are driving me nuts/round the bend/crazy" , is a cliche I'm sure we have all said at one time or another.
Then they said that 'explain' means to 'lay something flat"??? Maybe I misunderstood so I decided to look up both words in my dictionaries....None of them mention the definition of explain given by the honorable gentlemen on the CBC program.
To save boring you with meanings - Websters, and Collins backed up Oxford
Cliche - n. Metal casting of stereotype of electrotype; hackneyed phrase or opinion. (Oxford )
Cliche - n. a phrase or idea that has been overused and has become uninteresting or stale. (Oxford Current English) And why writers should avoid them.
Explain - v.t. Make known in detail; make intelligible; etc. (Oxford)
Then at the end of Webster's numerous definitions of explain I found this :-
Explain means "to hammer into one's head."

Sort of cliche, don't you think? No wonder they (CBC) said that to explain means to lay out flat!
Have a great day!