Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Notecards...and Scrivener?


Unlike Tyler-Rose, I am a plotter to the core.

I am also a notecard-outliner.  Also to the core.  

A couple days ago, things were a mess.


There are three different TYPES of outlines on that floor.  And depending on how you'd separate the plot lines, you could count five or seven outlines total.

Confusion was increased by the fact that I was dealing with two different types of notecards--some bought in England and some in America.  I like that the English notecards were lined on both sides, but I find the color variation in the American pack to be nicer.  

I'm very serious about my color-coding, as you may notice above.  I like to have a green.  

Here's England's offering--I don't even think green was attempted here, so I had to settle for aqua:  

notecards plotting writing
My wooden model in a Christmas-ribbon-dress is looking rather dramatic back there...

But back in America--now THAT'S green.  

notecards plotting writing

But the aquas and the greens overcame their differences (read: I weeded out most of the British aquas), and after some work...

notecards plotting writing

Ta dahh!  Three parallel outlines that could be combined into one happy, hopefully healthy, multi-POV story.  

And they were combined.  

notecards plotting writing

Oh, they were.  

notecards plotting writing

I love my notecards.  Clearly.  And I think there may be something helpful about making them with your hands and being able to physically manipulate your ideas.  

But...I know Scrivener has some notecard-like outlining features.  And just the other day Tyler-Rose was telling me how you can move plot points around and Scrivener will move the corresponding parts of your manuscript (wondrous!).  I don't think I want to take the time to mess with the free trial right now, but I'm curious--so if you use Scrivener, or you've tried Scrivener, especially if you're a notecard/outline person like me, leave a witty comment to let me know!

Monday, July 29, 2013

What Reader Species Are You?

question mark book

I am a worshipper/hoarder/chronological/immersive/library lover/book-buster/re-reader/book rescuer/comfort/evangelist/"cross-under"/"It's Complicated"/reluctant/anachronistic reader.

Basically, I'm transcendent.

What are you?

My thanks to Laura E. Kelly  for revealing to us our true selves.

What Species of Reader Are You?--Infographic
Visit Laura-e-Kelly.com for more about books, reading, and authors.

Share this Image On Your Site (copy this html)

Saturday, July 27, 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: castles. I love castles.

Our word is:

galumptious, adj.
tip-top; first-rate; superlatively good

And you can bet your battlements I will be adding that word to my functional vocabulary.

Our sentences are:

     "Why, Henry," said his uncle, still lying prone on the cold, stone floor, "that was quite the most galumptious prank I have experienced since I was a boy your age tripping guests down these castle stairs with your father."
     "Really? Really, Uncle John?" Henry's chubby face nearly glowed with pride. He stood at the bottom of the stairs, simply beaming, with a colander upturned on his head and the end of the rope that had tripped his unsuspecting uncle in his hands.
     "Really." John pulled himself to his feet and began brushing the grey dust off his dress uniform. "But you know who likes pranks even more than I do, Henry?" John asked.
    "No, who?" The boy practically vibrated with excitement.
     "Your father."
     "Are you sure?" Henry sounded a little doubtful.
     "Quite sure. He loves falling down stairs. Has since he was smaller than you."
     A smile split the little boy's face. "I caught a big toad this morning. It's still alive. Do you think daddy would like that as much as falling down stairs if I put it in his desk?"
     "I'm sure he would like it just as much." Henry scampered off in the direction of the kitchen with the colander still on his head. "Just be sure to tell him your excellent toad comes with compliments of Uncle John!" John called after his nephew's retreating figure.
     As John stood, still watching his nephew scrambling down the corridor, the clock struck eleven. John swore, sprinted out to the courtyard and dragged himself into the saddle of the tall horse that was waiting for him.
     "Do you think I can still make it?" He asked the man holding the creature's head.
     "Only just, Sir."
     John nodded and began to turn towards the gates.
     "Sir," the man stopped him. "There's something on--"
     "My uniform. I know it. And there'll be worse if it starts raining again. The ambassador will just have to cope with a few stains." With that John dug his spurs into his horse's sides and galloped out the gates of his family home as if the devil himself were at his heels.


Next week's theme: Violins

 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Follow Friday

feature follow friday meme
I'm still a little homesick for the Friday Feet.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. The featured blogs are Once Upon a Coffin and ParaDays. Go follow them all because they look super awesome!

The question of the week is:
What do you do with books after you are done reading them?
 
If I loved it, I will cuddle it on my bed in a dripping heap of tears and chocolate, sobbing quietly to myself for several days before I find it a place of honor on my glorious bookshelves. If I hated it, I throw it into the Box of Shame to be traded in to the used bookstore. If I hated it, but its cover wasn't completely hideous or it was just grossly huge--*cough* *cough* Inheritance Cycle *ahem*--I use them as doorstops.

My family also uses books we don't like to keep the couch from sliding over the living room heating vent.
 
breaking dawn door stop
Breaking Dawn
is currently keeping the door of my room open.
 
couch book wall heater
One of the Couch Books keeping the couch
from sliding over the heating vent and setting us all on fire.
It's serving an important function.

couch book wall heater
Here you can see the other Couch Book.
And our safely uncovered heating vent.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, July 20, 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 . . .cravats!  (I saw a cravat the other day....in Jane Austen's house... Will post about that once my travel craziness is wrapped up!)  

And our word is:

tarradiddle, noun
a trivial lie

And our sentences!  

"What time is it?" asked her brother, who was red-faced from scrambling to get out the door. 

"Half past two," she said brightly.

He looked at the clock.  "It is not!  It's almost three!  What, I ask you, is the point of telling such a tarradiddle?"  Tying his cravat in the fastest, messiest knot she'd ever seen, he turned to her with wide eyes.  "Let's be off." 

*** Tyler-Rose's turn to hijack the post ***

It is definitely time for a repost of this most amazing thing.



Just so you have a few examples of excellent cravats. And excellent men wearing them. You're welcome.

*** Carry on. ***

Next week's theme:  Castles.

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hobgoblin!

My puppy ate my plotting note cards.

She found them on the bottom shelf of my bedside table, bled all over them*, and tore them up into tiny, tiny pieces.

Luckily, I was able to snatch them away from her before too many of them got munched up. She did get most of the climax and resolution and a few from the beginning, though.



blood torn note card
This is one of the more intact ones.
See the blood?

I'm still recovering from the shock of seeing my novel** skipping off across the living room without me, but I forgive her.



rottweiler puppy cute dog
Especially with this contrite face.

I needed to work on those areas of the book anyway.

*Sigh*








* She's teething. She's very drooly and nearly continuously dripping a little bit of blood. She's lost all her top teeth except for her pointy little fangs and the two in the middle. She looks a little silly.

** or the plans for my novel, anyway.

Saturday, July 13, 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.


keys skeleton bronze antique
This week's theme is . . . keys

And our word is:

fadaise, noun
an obvious or silly remark

And our key related sentences are thus:

"Keys . . . unlock things," John said seriously.
Amy blinked at him. "That was a fadaise if I've ever heard one."



And next week's theme is one of my favorite things in all the world: cravats

Just one more note, if you could please try to make sure that your LinkyList Link links to your Save-a-Word Saturday post and not just to your entire blog we would appreciate it. It makes it a little harder to put the words into the word horde when we have to go through your archives to find them. Thanks!

 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

One of my dad's friends gave us a bag of lemons the other day, so I decided to make Lemon Meringue Pie.

*****pause for Susan to hijack the post*****

Just so you know, when Tyler-Rose says "a bag of lemons," she means a bag of LEMONS.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this is unusually large for the sour yellow citrus...

giant lemon fist


Ahem.  *****Susan leaves the blog post to continue in peace****

I attempted meringue last summer because my brother and my dad love all the lemony things, but it was not an overwhelming success. My family still ate it, but no one told me I needed to go out and open a gluten-free bakery RIGHT. NOW.

The problem was that--half way through beating my egg whites--I realized that I had never actually seen a homemade meringue before and that I had no idea what it was supposed to look like before it was one the pie and baked. I had to stop and call my grandmother.

She set me straight about what a properly beaten meringue should look like, but that didn't keep me from undercooking it.

So this time I was careful to cook it for the full time, and it came out beautifully.

lemon meringue pie

lemon meringue pie

lemon meringue pie

And because all things are writing analogies, I take the success of this second attempt as a good sign for my in-progress revision. My meringue came out nicely and so will my novel. Obviously the universe is sending me a message.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Town of Bath

Yes, that Bath!  The one that pops up now and then in Jane Austen novels!


These pictures are actually from two years ago, when I was there with Tyler-Rose, and we ran to the Jane Austen Center and back in about thirty minutes.  My visit this year was *slightly* more leisurely. 

We literally took about three pictures in the gift shop and then ran out again.
So about Jane Austen...is there a quote for her hating Bath?   I'm not sure how accurate this is, but HERE is someone trying to answer this question...  Anyway. 

First, two things I wish I did but didn't:

1) The tour of Bath Abbey--they take you up into the rafters to see how the bells work!

2) Go to the Pump House for tea (I *think* this would have been really great!)--it's a little pricey, but it's where socialites gathered in Jane Austen's time.  And a good high tea never hurt anyone in England.  (I'll be sure to post some documentation of my Saturday Scones sometime so you can all drool over them. ;) )

I'm not sure how I feel about Bath myself.  I mean, the city really does double-coolness-duty:  It's a bit of a Jane Austen site, AND it has some of the best preserved Roman baths (hence the name of the town), which you can visit...

Inside the Roman baths.
Temple of the Celtic-Roman deity Sulis Minerva.

The main baths--water still bubbles up naturally.
 
My toes at the edge of the steamy water.

It also is home to the gorgeous Bath Abbey (the one with the bell tower tour I mentioned):




Bath is also known for its Georgian architecture.  Which puzzles me.  Because this is Georgian architecture:



Something about it is sort of understated in an orderly way.  And that may be how I feel about Bath in general.  Maybe it was too hyped up for me before I visited or something.  Or PERHAPS I need to go there sometime when I am not rushed. 

Walking with some friends, trying not to get rained on.
 Which is basically England in a nutshell.  

Georgian architecture just doesn't....I'm not in awe.

I like Gothic architecture.  Soaring spires and windows that arch up to the heavens. It is, therefore, a very good thing I'm living in Oxford.  As you shall soon see...

~

Also, if you feel like there was not enough Jane Austen content in this post, fear not!  I am going to try to make it to one of the nearby Austen locations while I'm here.  (Either her birthplace or the last house she lived in, I think...)

Saturday, July 6, 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 . . . flower pots 


Our word is:
claviger, noun
one who carries a key; a key-keeper

And our sentences are:

The claviger paced with dainty feet through the center of the garden.  Past urn after urn after huge urn overflowing with flowers, until she came to the wrought-iron gate, and drew the key out from a fold in her dress.


Next weeks theme...keys.  Because they're obviously so cool.  

And I had scones...on Thursday, but still!  They were yummy. :)



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

eagle declaration independence
 
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
 
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't Judge a Book . . .

I visited a wonderful used bookstore this weekend. It is located in a little mining town up in the mountains where my family likes to go on vacation. It is appropriately called "The Bookmine." Books are stacked to the ceiling and packed so close together that you have to turn sideways to squeeze between the shelves in some places.

I came away with The Sorceress and the Cygnet by Patricia McKillip, Deerskin by Robin McKinley, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, and Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. All for under $15.

Yay!

Now that I've gloated, I must share the cover of The Sorceress and the Cygnet with you because it is fabulous.


book cover sorceress cygnet
First of all, let's observe the pink swan.
 
McKillip cygnet sorceress book
So far,the majority of the swans in the story
are black. This one is definitely pink.
And it's not my camera's fault.


sorceress mckillip book cover
Next, let's observe the girl who I assume is the sorceress.
Please notice her strange alien feelers.
Also notice the strange alien landscape.
Neither of which occur in the book.


horns mckillip cygnet sorceress
And the horns.
Nyx does NOT wear horns in the novel.
 I was going to write this off as one of those bad decisions that seemed to be common in the '70s, and because of the '70s I was going to forgive them.

Then I saw it was first published in 1991.

So it was just a bad decision.

By an artist? and a publisher who somehow appear not to have actually read the book.

But Patricia McKillip's work is some of the most amazing I have ever encountered and The Sorceress and the Cygnet is stunningly beautiful.

"He stood in a vast hall of pure gold, no other color; the light cast no shadows. Upon a gold dais sat a gold throne; upon a gold throne sat the Gold King. Lip, eyelash, fingernail, he could have been melted and stamped for coins. His face was a mingling of tinker's face and the sun-face in the Hold Sign of Hunter Hold: wide-boned, wide-eyed, crowned with wild locks of gold hair. He wore a massive sword and armor spiked with points of gold at neck and wrist, knee and elbow. He was chained by one ankle to his throne" (McKillip, 42).

It is an excellent reminder that we should try not to judge books by their covers. Usually the cover isn't the poor author's fault.

Sometimes, it's true, the book matches it's hideous cover.


book cover warprize
Exhibit A


But sometimes it is simply concealed treasure. So remember give the ugly books a chance too. You might find something wonderful.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stonehenge

I was here!



I learned some cool stuff... Like, "stonehenge" means "hanging stone."

And there was a circle of wooden poles before there were stones.

Also, the wind in these places can be brutal.  As a fantasy novelist that made me rethink what it would be like to hike or ride across open land...

Stonehenge pilgrims braving the wind.


And although I am not usually a fan of the tourist headset, I tolerated the one at Stonehenge long enough that it started telling me stories about the place.  Which was fine with me.  :)

A lot of the legends I heard about had to do with Merlin.  The one I remember most clearly was that he sent giants to West Wales (We apparently know the stones came from there.) to get the stones, but they were taking so long that Merlin got fed up and transported the stones to southern England with his magic.  Sometimes you just have to do things yourself.

There are also legends that King Arthur is buried there.

King Arthur?  I can see it...

But the best part is...



No matter how much we study it, or how hard we think...

Here you can see one of the nearby barrows.

We just don't know why people created Stonehenge.  It is a mystery.


And I think mystery is good for us, nowadays.

~

Next stop, Bath!  The city Jane Austen may or may not have hated!