Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Christmas!



May the joy and light of this most joyous season be with you all.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Teacups of Joy

We're back!!!  We survived the papers and the finals and the journey home. 

If we're being honest, the fact of our survival was largely due to these: 

 
 
TEACUPS. 
 
 


From the ever-wondrous Anthropologie.  You can't tell in these pictures, but they're oversized (similar volume to a mug).

 
 
The blue one is Tyler-Rose's.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Especially with the berry tea? 


They have LEGS!  Which, as Tyler-Rose had to point out to me, is practical because you don't have to worry about using a coaster.  But it is also just fun.  When you hold it in your hand, it feels like a little creature is perching on you. 
 

 
Added bonus:  it can proofread your term papers!  ...okay, maybe only your Jane Austen term paper. 
 
 

 I was so excited that I put a fruit smoothie in mine at one point. 
 
 
So we survived, but only through frequent indulgence of our Anglophile tendencies.  But since there's nothing wrong with that, I think we'll carry on in this manner...

Though I would like to add:  we have it confirmed by an actual English person that these are, in fact, very cool teacups.  The lovely Miss Cole saw mine on Twitter and straightaway got one for herself.  :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Death and Finals

The Feather and the Rose will come back from the dead after we finish the test-taking, paper-writing extravaganza that is the end of the semester.  For those of you whose lives have not been suspended in a sleepless whirlwind of studying, we hope you are enjoying the holiday season! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Term Papers Can Teach us about Novelling--pt. 1

It's almost Thanksgiving!  (In America.  I don't know what the rest of the world looks forward to on November 19th...) 

Which means that Tyler-Rose and I are doing almost nothing but writing term papers and reading things-that-are-not-fun-novels like maniacs.  (Well, Wuthering Heights is a fun novel, in its way.) 

I also made brownies last night.  But that was all a part of revising a paper I'm writing. 

You thought your word processor worked best when you plugged your laptop into the wall.  This is untrue; all versions of Microsoft Word function with 120% more efficiency when the laptop is plugged into a batch of warm brownies. 

Anyway--since what I really care about is writing novels, not academic papers, I tend to notice ways in which writing papers can help me write novels.  Here is one: 

Imagine the counter-argument. 

In order to write a really strong paper, you need to imagine what someone would point out if they were trying to tear your argument apart.  This allows you to pre-emptively answer such questions and find holes in your logic. 

How does this apply to novels?  There are two ways I can think of...

1.  Your theme is an argument.  Hence it will be stronger if you think about the counter-arguments and answer them.  This could also allow you to build thematic dissonance into your novel, which is something Donald Maass talks about in one of his awesome writing books but I can't figure out exactly where it is right now and aaagghhh...I'll come change this when I figure out where he says it. 

2.  Imagine the reviewers.  You don't even have to get all complex with your theme for this to apply.  Just as someone writing an academic paper has to imagine counter-arguments in order to make the strongest argument they can, if you give your story an honest look and say, "What would someone be likely to critique about this?" that's going to strengthen you.  You'll never find a plot hole if you can't put on the persona of someone who is looking for them. 


Well, that's all for now!  I'm going to go work on my papers...and maybe eat some brownies...and...maybe sneak a peek at my WiP so I don't go insane... 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday and Gifts

 Welcome to the final Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>

This week's theme is: finales, farewells, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Our word is:

Quisby, noun 
a wretch; an idle person. doing quisby: idling, not working.

Our sentences:

     "I'm going away, George," Will said. He looked down and shifted his hat in his hands. "I think . . . for a long time."
     "Did she do that bad for you, my friend?" George asked. Will didn't answer. "If I wasn't such a useless quisby I would almost offer to go with you. As it is, I don't think I could work up the energy for such a venture. Where are you going? Africa?"
     Will shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe. Maybe I'll go to the Continent first. I don't know." He put his hat on and turned towards the door. "I didn't expect you to want to come," Will said. "I only came to say farewell."
     "Farewell, then."
     Will nodded and left.
     George leapt across the room and stopped in the doorway. As he watched his childhood friend disappear down the stairs to God only knew where, George almost wished that he had offered to go and that this need not be the final farewell.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now ONWARDS to GIFTS AND PRIZES!!!! YAAAAAY!

The first prize is this lovely fountain pen set:

And the winner is . . . Tirzah Duncan of The Ink Caster!


Congratulations, Tirzah and thank you so much for participating in Save-a-Word Saturday!

Now, onwards to the special awards for outstandingly awesomeness, brilliant wordiness, and blog friendship.

To Mere Joyce and to Danielle E. Shipley of Ever On Word we would like to extend our special thanks for your continued participation. You guys are word saving heroines of epic proportions, wonderful brilliant people, and excellent blog friends.

We would like to bestow upon each of you this lovely journal:


We selected this particular journal because I think it's gorgeous and am getting one, and Susan already has one, and once each of you have one, the most determined word savers will be united across continents and countries by this magical journal. YAY!

We will contact all three of you with details in the next few days.

Have a lovely and wordy Saturday, my friends!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Festivities and Prizes

As you know, tomorrow is our the last Save-a-Word Saturday.

It has been a truly glorious year of weird words and wonderful witty sentences from everyone and you have our deepest thanks for your enthusiasm.

To show our gratitude tomorrow* we will have some lovely** word-related*** gifts to dispense.

The first prize will be given to someone selected from the list of previous Save-a-Word Saturday participants. HOWEVER, if you are not a blogger and have not been able to participate in the past, but have enjoyed Save-a-Word Saturday and would like a chance to be rewarded for your fidelity and excellent vocabulary, please leave us a sentence in the comments containing as many Save-a-Word Saturday words as you can possibly manage and your name shall be duly entered.

There are also two additional gifts which we will award at our discretion in recognition of outstanding wordiness, enthusiasm, and general awesomeness throughout the year.

Keep your pens ready and your wits sharp, my friends.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a picture of ships because I recently liked Pirate Lovin' Saucy Wench on Facebook and now my Newsfeed is full of moody ships.


With a name like that, I don't know why I was surprised.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* In addition to the usual blessing of our fabulous word.

** It breaks my heart to give them away they are so lovely.

*** Word production related, rather.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Hosted by the lovely sisters Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme/blog hop in which writer-bloggers take a brief post to share what's going on in their lives, writing-related and otherwise.  Check it out here or here if you want the details! 



WHAT I'M READING

The semester is careening to a close, so class readings are taking over, which means:
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Dante Alighieri's Paradiso (Dante is flying!!!!) 
and other far more obscure things...

I've eeked out a little bit of leisure reading time, however, since I finished Throne of Glass last week.  I miss it. 

WHAT I'M WRITING

Chugging along on the rewrite of TMC.  I'm doing #NaNoReviseMo with a goal to rewrite one scene a day.  I'm vaguely behind at the moment, but it's working! 

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

This tea. 


Yes, I initially bought it because there was a dragon with a woman in a pretty dress and a castle in the distance and HOW could I not try it?????? 

It also promised to tame my tension, which is pure gold, as long as it doesn't extend to my writing. 

But it also--I know, it's hard to believe there is an herbal tea so excellent in so many ways--tastes REALLY GOOD. 

It's also caffeine free.  <3 

(I also think it goes well with Buckwheat honey--which may only be of interest to Tyler-Rose, but there it is...) 


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

I've started giving myself ballet classes again.  It feels really, really good.  Hopefully I can keep this up. 

Also, here at The Feather and the Rose we're wrapping up our year-long arcane-word-saving meme, Save-A-Word Saturday!!!  There will be a finale and prizes, and if you've never participated, this is your last chance.  ;) 

Happy Day of Wednes, everyone... 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Two Announcements & Save-A-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

Announcement #1:  

Before we start:  We have decided to give Save-A-Word Saturday a definite length, that being one year--and one glorious year of words it has been.  They have been strange and old and magnificent.

Since the one-year anniversary is next Saturday, we have decided to make that the finale. 
The good news:

1.  The word horde will remain (after we spend a day updating it).

2.  And there will be festivities and PRIZES to celebrate this wonderful year of words.  Definitely stay on the look out for that.

~~~

Announcement #2.......  It's Tyler-Rose's birthday!!!!!! 

 Wish her a happy one!

And now...to save a very special word.
 
save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.


This week's theme is:  journeys.

Our worthy word: 

Donnybrook, noun.
a scene of uproar and disorder; a riotous or uproarious meeting; a heated argument

(Interesting note:  First usage appears to have applied to Irish patriots, who "insist[ed] on having a Donnybrook to themselves"--thank you OED.) 

And our sentences: 

        Her feet were cold, her clothes were soaked, and her pants were falling down.  Never did she wish more that she had been able to do something with that dragon other than strangle it with her belt. 
        She supposed she could have brought the belt with her, but it wasn't exactly certain that she'd killed the thing.  Detecting a dragon's pulse is one of the hardest things to do. 
        After trudging through the twilight with one hand planted firmly on her hip, she reached a pub at the hamlet's edge.  The bright little window she peered through could scarce contain the sound and warmth of the donnybrook  inside.  She found a couple coins in her rain-soaked pocket and smiled.  Sometimes it was good to stop and smell the ale.  Or--alright--more than smell it, especially on your birthday, and especially when you were supposed to be on holiday from dragon-slaying school. 


~~~

Happy birthday, my good friend.  May you slay many dragons with much flair. 

Next week's theme:  finale!  You choose a theme!  Or write about finale's, I suppose.  Or words or friendship or dragons.  Dragons are always a plus.
 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

First let me say . . .



Bwa ha ha ha ha!!! 

Now, onwards!

In honor of one of my favorite festivals* I'm going to share something fabulously charming which I discovered recently.

As you may know, I loved the Lizzie Bennet Diaries ** and started watching The Autobiography of Jane Eyre after Sanditon proved disappointing.*** I was looking forward with excitement to the release of the Emma Approved vlog from the same people who made the LBD, but . . .

Now, I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone's favorite fandom, but . . . I thought Emma Approved was wretched and got through about a video and a half before I gave it up forever. I DARE you to tell me it gets better and that I didn't give it enough of a chance. I am an immovable pillar of displeasure on this issue.

But I love vlog-style retellings and since I have the gaping void of EMMA APPROVED SUCKS in my life, I've been on the lookout for other stories that I can infuse into my week one three minute segment at a time.

The gods smiled and I discovered  



In which the struggling Poe-et, Ed Poe, vlogs about the writing life and his WIP while the ghostly Lenore (one of her ghost friends set them up) haunts his study.^

It's awkwardly charming and oh, so applicable to my life. I usually just want to give Poe a hug and tell him that writing fails are universal and all writers have them. Just not always as epic-ly as him.

And not to believe the mean things Lenore says. She just doesn't understand. *weep* Except about the hearts in the floor. I'm with her on that. He needs to get rid of those. Immediately. And maybe get a puppy.

 He finished "The Raven" the other day, so if you want to be seasonally appropriate go watch them all RIGHT NOW.

 Happy Halloween!

I wish you enough candy to fuel a week-long writing marathon. In my honor, of course. Since it's my birthday week, after all.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


* My birthday is Nov 2nd. Halloween and my birthday are inextricably linked in my mind. I start celebrating as soon as the first excruciatingly frightening scarecrow# goes up.

# I think the one outside our local preschool is the scariest I've ever seen. And I've had ample time to stare at it in terror because I wait for a carpool there every week. It's one of those loose, plumply straw-stuffed ones that you sort of lay on something. It probably originally had a standard-issue jack-'o-lantern head, but it must have been stolen or fallen off or something because someone has replaced it with a tiny baby doll head. It is the most frickin' scary thing I've ever seen.+

+ This scarecrow is also especially scary because as I come around the corner it looks like a person passed out on the sidewalk. I always experience about a second where I'm convinced it's one of the guys who is supposed to be in the carpool with me and he's collapsed into some sort of (possibly drunken) stupor.

** Except for the ending. How could they think Lizzie setting up a company to compete with Darcy's counted as a happy ending? HOW? And don't get me started on Bing being reduced to arm-candy . . .

*** and continued disappointing to the bitter end.

^It seemed somehow appropriate to share this with you on this Day of Days. *cue evil laughter*

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's up Wednesday (our first ever!)

*peeks over her laptop screen*  Hello?  Can I come in? 

This is my first time doing What's Up Wednesday.  Basically ever since I saw that Jaime and Erin were starting a weekly meme together, I wanted to join.  But somehow it didn't happen until now...so here goes! 

Hosted by the lovely sisters Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme/blog hop in which writer-bloggers take a brief post to share what's going on in their lives, writing-related and otherwise.  Check it out here or here if you want the details! 



WHAT I'M READING

Villette by Charlotte Bronte.  So far it has been...super-weird, to be honest.  In the coolest, Charlotte Bronte-esque way, of course.  But don't expect Jane Eyre if you pick it up. 

I'm also nearing the end of Throne of Glass--need to set aside some time to finish that soon. :)


WHAT I'M WRITING

Working on a comprehensive rewrite of THE MADMAN'S CROWN and have finally started transitioning back into the drafting stage.  (Before I was spending most of my time going through exercises from Donald Maass's Writing 21st Century Fiction.)


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

This song...


Also this song...  


Um...yeah.  They totally go well together...


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

I'm going to pull a partner-blogger moment and talk about Tyler-Rose instead of me here.  She's in a graphic design class, and has been making us some new personalized buttons which I should (?) finally get to see today!  They should be featured on our About Us page eventually.  I'm very excited. :) 

Oh--maybe I will talk about me a bit.  I've been trying to decide lately whether or not I should make caffeine a part of my life.  I'm not a coffee or caffeinated tea drinker....yet....  I could really use it, but I'm pretty sensitive to it and sometimes it makes me anxious.  I will probably just continue fighting sleep deprivation with sheer will power.  -_-


Well that wasn't so hard.  :)  Looking forward to meeting you all!  Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday

Exciting side note, I'm blogging from Susan's house tonight. We've finally arrived--praise the Lord!--at Fall Break and my kind, kind blog partner invited all our roommates and I to her lovely home for the long weekend.

We have spent the little time we have when we aren't doing homework making up for lost time as good consumers. In other words, many malls and shops have been visited. I must say, I LOVE seeing my clothes before I buy them. Internet shopping is just a sad, sad lottery which depressed students trapped in rural Midwestern towns are forced to endure.

Now, onwards to saving words!

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.

This week's theme is:  wallpaper removal.


Our word:

vetanda, pl. noun
forbidden things

And our sentences . . .

Elizabeth knelt in the corner of the room where the wallpaper was beginning to peel up from the baseboard. It seemed almost as if . . . as if there was something written there. Elizabeth reached down and peeled the edge of the crumbling paper away from the plaster to reveal what vetanda lay beneath.
 

Next week's theme is . . . journeys.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday & Blog Birthday!

Guest Post by Katie the Roomate

Dear Writerly Folk of Blogland,

Where were you at 3:11 P.M. on Tuesday the Eighteenth of October, Two Thousand Eleven?

Perhaps you were enjoying a cup of afternoon tea as you worked on your latest novel draft or scrolled through your blogroll. Perhaps you were procuring groceries for a deceased astronaut's funeral luncheon or herding a flock of zebras through the Scottish highlands. Perhaps you were ironing your favourite* pair of argyle socks or painting your cat's toenails a lovely shade of chartreuse**. Yes, I think that's it--I can sense it. Though the mists of time veil you from my sight, your cat's chartreuse toenails gleam through the murk.

Regardless of the state of your cat's toenails in the autumn of that shining year, I can say with certainty what you were not doing at that auspicious three o'clock hour. You were not swooning over sharply dressed men. You were not marveling at the universe's most incredible gift to man: the fainting goat. Nor were you learning how to make fourteenth-century salmon and fruit pie, nor how to create the healthiest dessert in the world, nor how to properly cook bacon. (If you knew the words whisternefet or rusticate or misoneism on October 18, 2011, we need to talk, because you must be the coolest person in the world, or at least someone with the ability to get me a free subscription to the OED online.) You were doing and knowing none of these things, for this most glorious and awe-ful blog had yet to be born.

As for me, humble and lowly Katie the Roommate, I was sitting just a wall of cinderblocks away from the birthplace of the very blog you now hold in your hands. Was I cognizant of this remarkable fact? Regrettably, no. Ten feet away from me two brave young women were unleashing The Feather and the Rose to the world. I sat clipping my toenails*** while they prepared to share with you their wisdom, daring, and wit.

And wise and daring and witty they are. Where else in the world are you going to find people who can bring their knowledge of not only Greek vocabulary and Aristotle but also Russell Crowe's voice and Dove Chocolates to bear on the art of writing? Nowhere else that I know of. And they manage all this glory whilst battling mountains of homework the size of Olympus. They're pretty incredible people. Relish them.

So a happiest of happy second birthdays to The Feather and the Rose! And to Tyler-Rose and Susan!**** Although they're older than two years old! Or are they . . . ?

 I'd powder-sugar their faces onto cakes and share them***** with you all if I could.

Yours in the newfound knowledge of chartreuse,

Katie the Roommate

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* I cannot and will not apologise for my Anglophilic tendencies, which are immensely powerful despite the fact that I have but once journeyed beyond the North American continent.

** Do you actually know what colour chartreuse is? I do not. I just know that it is the name of a colour that everyone uses when they discuss the colour-blindness of males. Shall we find out together? Let's! Wikipedia tells me it's green! Yellow-y green! Always remember, never forget!

*** This is a lie. I only ever clip my toenails on Sunday mornings, at either 7:26 A.M. or 9:41 A.M.

**** Have you ever wondered which one's the Feather and which one's the Rose? I mean, Tyler-Rose's name makes it sort of obvious, but who knows? They could be getting deeply metaphorical on us. For my part, I'm envisioning them in mascot costumes, like this:

The very definition of beauty.

Sorry, Susan. This was the only feather-y mascot I could find.

***** Ambiguous antecedent! Am I sharing the cakes, or am I sharing Susan and Tyler-Rose? I'm having trouble deciding which one I'd prefer myself . . . . But they make me cake, so I guess I'll keep them. You can have their powdered-sugar faces.

As a blog birthday gift to Tyler-Rose and Susan, I let them go to bed early while I took over Save-a-Word Saturday. So let's have at it!


Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
 
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.

This week's theme: chandeliers.

My word:

neshly, adv.
softly, silently; gently

And my sentences:

Katie the Roommate sat in the late-night living room, her roommates having gone to sleep long ago, when the sound of someone knocking neshly on the door disturbed her blogging reverie.

"Who is that, knocking so neshly at the door?" she asked herself. She took a brief glance through the peephole to find-- but no! How could it be?"

Puzzled, she opened the door to correct her wearied eyesight. But there he was indeed! Richard Armitage stood on the doorstep, clutching two tattered manuscripts to his chest, his arms quivering and eyes flashing with frenzy.

"Susan and Tyler-Rose! Where are Susan and Tyler-Rose?!"

"They-- they've gone to sleep for the night, Mr. Armitage. What are you doing here?"

"I must speak with them!" His mad voice thundered through the empty hallway and the papers in his arms fluttered with his zeal.

Then, conspiratorially, he leaned toward Katie the Roommate to whisper, "I have given up my life as an actor to pursue a career as a literary agent. I found The Feather and the Rose the day it was born, October 18th, 2011, and I have visited it every day since. How Susan and Tyler-Rose inspired me then! But it was only last week that I built up the courage to fly to America, break into their dorm, and steal their WIPs from their laptops. Now I want to publish their novels as my debut into the publishing world. I can think of nothing more fitting than to kickstart the careers of the young women who changed my life. Please, please allow me to speak with them!"

"Oh, Mr. Armitage, what a remarkable story! I'm sure they'd both be most honoured, and I'll be sure to pass along your compliment. But they've both had a long week of papers and midterms, and so much more work to do this weekend. I know they wouldn't want to be disturbed from their slumber."

The actor-turned-agent let out a hiss and then turned sharply, stomping his way down the long hallway.

And with that dear Richard vanished into the night, never to be seen again.  But at times, Susan and Tyler-Rose and their roommates yet hear a strange moaning, as if from a dying bird, beneath the windows of their dorm, and they watch as the grieving agent lets his beloved manuscripts depart, page by page, into the ether.


Next week's theme is . . . wallpaper removal.
 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tarte de Brymlent, c1300

Since today is fairly nasty and grey and cold* we're going to talk about something I did over the summer when it was lovely and warm.

Sometime during August I was doing research** for my WIP regarding cooking meat over an open fire. Specifically bacon. There is an important scene that involves some lovely bacon cooked over a wonderful open fire and given to my heroine.

Incidentally, and in case someone else is suffering from the same question, what I discovered was that you need a little cooking-stand thing with a flat top to put over your open fire that you can set your frying pan on.

Tada!

Anyway, during my search I discovered Gode Cookery,*** a website dedicated to spreading knowledge about Medieval cooking. They explicate important techniques, inform you what food people in the Middle Ages would most definitely not have had, and provide recipes in their original Middle English as well as translated into Modern English. I discovered that, because we had read several texts in their original ME in Medieval Lit., I could make out a lot of the recipes.

Needless to say I was struck with the absolute necessity of cooking something from the website for my family. As old followers may know, I love pies. I love to cook pies. I love to eat pies. My family loves to eat the pies I cook for them. It follows naturally that the recipe I would pick would be Tarte de Brymlent.

Salmon and fruit pie.

Let me pause for a second to say that I don't know what was wrong with me. For some inexplicable reason, second thoughts didn't strike until I was actually about to taste the pie and I suddenly realized that I was going to put stewed salmon and fruit simultaneously in my mouth, but whatever. Moving on.

Here is the original+ recipe:

175. Tart de brymlent. Take fyges & raysouns, & waisshe hem in wyne, and grinde hem smale with apples & peres clene ypiked. Take hem vp and cast hem in a pot wiþ wyne and sugur. Take calwer samoun ysode, oþer codlyng oþer haddok, & bray hem smal, & do þerto white powdours & hoole spices & salt, & seeþ it. And whanne it is sode ynowgh, take it vp and do it in a vessel, and lat it kele. Make a ciffyn an ynche depe & do þe fars þerin. Plaunt it above with prunes damysyns: take þe stones out; and wiþ dates quartered and piked clene. And couere the coffyn, and bake it wel, and serue it forth.

If you aren't bothering to try to read that, the pie contains: boiled salmon, wine, figs, raisins, apples, pears, sugar, white pepper, whole spices (I used the 'cinnamon, ginger, cloves, peppercorns' combination recommended in the translation), dates, and prunes.

I learned to skin salmon for this recipe, guys.

All the various fruits after an eternity of chopping.

My well-skinned salmon fillets. I kept all my fingers.


The spice sachet and salmon about to be boiled in wine.

. . . After much boiling.

Finished product.

And the inside of the finished product.


And there you have a salmon pie a la the Fourteenth Century. I was able to get my family to try it even after I told them what was in it. They have such faith in me.

No doubt you're dying to know what this bizarre concoction tasted like.

Tyler-Rose's flavor analysis:

It tasted salty and sweet and weirdly of Christmas (Thank you, whole spices). However, the texture was unattractively grainy, due mostly, I think, to the salmon and the figs. It wasn't repulsive, exactly, but it wasn't really something I wanted another piece of either++. My pie-crust was good enough I sort of wished I could scrape the salmon out and fill it with something else more desert-like and less mind-bending.

And thus was my writerly curiosity successfully assuaged.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


* The doughnut and cup of hot cider I just had are helping, but the lovely warm glow is wearing off quickly. I'm down in Purgatory^ and our college keeps the library at nearly arctic temperatures. The only reason inside is better than outside is that, if you manage not to sit under a vent, you can be reasonably sure of the absence of frigid wind. Are they trying to preserve the books? Trying to save money?^^ Trying to kill us all by a slow, creeping, hypothermia? We don't know.

^ Our library is divided into the levels of Dante's Divide Comedy. We are a school of literature nerds. Even the math majors know what we're talking about. Here's a link to an earlier post in which I describe this further.

^^ It's not this one because it is just as fricking cold here in the summer when it's blazingly hot and sticky outside.

** I like to try and stay as accurate as I can despite the fantastical elements in my work. If guns and broadswords didn't coexist^, I don't want them together in my novel. Never mind the fact that the roads lay flat because of magic. That's not what we're discussing here.

^ Except they did. YAY!

*** An excellent resource for anyone looking to go a little Medieval on their manuscript. Or who just want to cook something kinda weird that your ancestors might have eaten. That is also perfectly legit.

+ If you desire a translation so you too can trick your family into eating salmon pie, you can find it here.

++ No doubt I would have felt differently about this if I were a protein-starved soul in the 1300s.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.


OMG IT'S A BABY SQUIRREL CUTEST THING EVER.


This week's theme is:  fall leaves.  


Our word:

victless, adj.
lacking food; hungry; starved


And our sentences, which may or may not be based upon real life: 

        "Look at the poor, victless squirrels," said Tyler-Rose, watching the animals take flying leaps at a bird feeder covered in fall leaves.
        "They're not starving; look how fat they are.  Also, I think I just spoke a semicolon."  Susan peered out the window, watching brown leaves fall like dry words composed late on a Friday.  "Even if this were the conversation we had in reality once, and it was winter, they would still probably be doing alright." 

~

And that, my friends, is, I fear, the worst thing that has ever been done with the autumn leaves metaphor.  Please see Homer, Vergil, Dante, and Milton for some considerably more profound instances of its use. 

Next week's theme is . . . chandeliers

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.


This week's theme is:  bacon.  

Because . . . yeah.

Anyway, our word this week is:

revolute, adj.
rolled back, especially at the edges.

and our sentences are: 

"I see the swine is looking wonderfully revolute this morning," Jenny said with a smile.
     Anne gave her a black look and took another gulp of her strong coffee. "Shut up," she snarled. "Make another sound before I finish this cup of coffee and I swear to God you'll be wearing your 'revolute swine' instead of eating it."

Next week's theme is . . . fall leaves
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Brutally Honest Reviewers

Whether I would ever say this again after becoming a published author, I don't know.

But, for now at least:  HURRAY FOR BAD, AWFUL, HARSH REVIEWS.  (<--Sincere.) 



Why?  They do great things for me, as a writer and a reader. 

1.  As a reader:  If no one ever got up and ranted about a book, the community of book-lovers would sort of have no standards. 

2.  As a reader:  It's also just plain helpful to know if a book might not be worth your time.  For subjectivity reasons, it's good to try books anyway, of course.  But maybe you'll check it out of a library first.

3.  As a writer:  First, I have to say, as someone aspiring to published authorhood, they scare the crap out of me.  So in that way they're probably a great reality check--even if I get published, it is guaranteed that someone is going to HATE my book.  (Eeek!) 


4.  As a human being:  Especially if it's a very popular book or a book I loved, it's kind of exciting to see someone be really displeased with it.  It forces me to question my opinions and think a lot about things.

5.  As a writer:  I really enjoy this one--you can learn A LOT from reviews of any kind as a writer.  But with a bad review (keeping in mind that this is just one person, of course), the learning experience increases, and can sometimes get a lot more specific than good reviews.  These are the reviews that tell you what NOT to do, in terms that are hopefully more explicit and forceful than anything a CP or beta would use with you.

(Sorry reader-friends, these are mostly writer-focused from here on out.) 

6.  As a writer (and reader I guess):  Sort of a restatement of point 3, but especially if you liked the book they're ranting about, it proves to you just how subjective a thing love for stories can be. 

7.  As a writer:  Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but always I feel like seeing this happen to other people's books helps me develop my thick skin somehow.  NOT saying I would want to go around and read my own reviews.  That still sounds like a very bad idea. 

8.  As a writer:  It makes you see flaws in your own work that it would have been hard for you to acknowledge any other way.  "Oh, that's a good point.  Ohhhhh.  I do that too." 

9.  As a writer:  It makes you feel good about yourself.  "Look!  I didn't do that in my manuscript.  Yay me!" 

~

What's your stance on bad reviews?  If you've seen a particularly scathing one lately, please share it with me here or on Twitter--seriously, I need more of these in my life!

If you write them regularly/freely, DEFINITELY give me a link to your blog below or tweet it at me!  I would love to stop by and check it out! 

And now that I've written this.... *looks fearfully into the future, and vows never to read her own reviews unless vetted by a caring friend*

Post inspired by:  This *seriously harsh* vlog review of Fallen.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.


This week's theme is:  masks.  

Our worthy word: 

Antipodes, noun.
those who dwell directly opposite to each other on the globe, so that the soles of their feet are as it were planted against each other; esp. those who occupy this position in regard to us  

And our sentences:  

      Half a world away.  She thought about him, miles and miles and miles upon miles below the little stone walk she stood on.  She twirled, looking down at her yellow shoes, and got dizzy thinking about their footsteps mirroring each other, antipodes in a world where the mystery of who might be on the other side had long been dissolved.
      But it was still a mystery to her.  She wondered if he ever wore his smile as a mask, or if that was only the way of things on her side of the world. 



~~

And, to lighten things up a bit, next week's them is . . . bacon
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Care for a Marshmallow? (Delayed Gratification)

Before you read any further, I suggest you grab some marshmallows to eat while we talk about this.

Don't have any marshmallows?  That is sad.  But it turns out I have enough for both of us.

*eats marshmallow*

Yum.

You may be wondering--why are we eating marshmallows?  Well.  Have you ever heard of the "marshmallow test"?  Originally conducted at Stanford by somebody blah blah please google it if you're really interested.  The gist is this:  some people wanted to test young children for the ability to make future-oriented decisions that would involve an understanding of delayed gratification.

This is how it worked:

Researchers sat a kid at a table that had a single marshmallow on it.  The original researchers hid behind a two-way mirror (creepy much?).

They told the kid that they were going to leave, and that he was welcome to eat the marshmallow while they were gone, but if they came back and he hadn't eaten it, he would get another one.

One now, or two later.  Of course some kids waited and some didn't.

 ~~~

I was talking to my friend about this the other day, and we both agreed that you could have done this to our young selves over and over again, and we probably would never have eaten the marshmallow.

Then she looked at me and said--and this is a friend of mine who's not a writer herself--"I'm pretty sure writing for you is like one big exercise in delayed gratification."


Were truer words ever spoken?

I cannot speak for the process of actually getting a book published, but when I look at the part of the process I've come to know quite well--the insanely steep learning curve of the pre-published writer--my friend was absolutely right.

You could send that manuscript off as it is.  Or you could do one more revision, or rewrite, or overhaul...and then send off an even better manuscript.  Obviously, you have to send your work out eventually.  But when it takes so much hard work and practice to get good enough, I think it's easier--yes, it's tempting--to send something out before it's ready.

That said, would you care for a marshmallow? 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
  
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

save-a-word-saturday
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>


The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.


This week's theme is:  
pantaloons.

Our word is:

Wergild, noun.
In Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law, a price set upon a person's life on the basis of rank and paid as compensation by the family of a slayer to the kindred or lord of a slain person to free the culprit of further punishment or obligation and to prevent a blood feud.

And our fabulous sentences: 

Pantaloons -- c. 1816  
     "What do you think of these, John?" Richard turned in the mirror again, so John could see them better. The pantaloons were fitted excellently. Too excellently to be decent, John thought. However, that had never seemed to be Richard's first concern. They were also striped bright red and yellow. "Will I have the ladies following me in herd?" Richard asked.
     "You know I can't afford your wergild, do you not?" John said.
     Richard turned to blink at him.
     John explained, "For when I kill you because you wore those vile things in public."
     Richard laughed. "Luckily, Cousin, this isn't the Middle Ages any longer. When you kill me, they'll only hang you. I'll take them," he said to the shopkeeper.

 Next week's them is . . . masks. 



  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Release Day: The Stone Kingdom


Love and prince,
Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;
For blood begins,
But naught can be put right by blood alone.”
 One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened
on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine
her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle
to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.
 The Stone Kingdom
Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales
 <> ~ <> ~<>
 An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;
A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;
Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –
All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.
 You’ve heard the stories –
of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist
the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns
appearing just in time for a midnight ball;
of frog princes, and swan princes,
and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.
 Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.
 Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales.
Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

That's right. Today is the day you can get officially get your hands on a copy of the second book in Danielle E. Shipley's charming Wilderhark Tales!

You can get a paperback at Amazon or Createspace. It's also available on BN.com as a Nook Book, and as a mobi for your Kindle.

And if you want a copy, this week is the best time to get it because she's having a Special Launch Week Promotional Offer where if you buy the paperback and the Kindle editions together you get two dollars off. Not only that, but if you buy any version that gets you seven entries into her splendiferous Launch Week Giveaway.

Check out further awesome details at Danielle's blog, Ever On Word.

Congratulations, Danielle! Let your Release Day be awesome!