sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2015-05-18 06:59 pm

Welcome!

This is my journal for talkingwriting about writing. I'm trying to think of an explanation for why I set this up as a mirror of my LJ without using the word "promiscuous", and kind of failing... Maybe something about fingers and pies instead?

Have fun, play nicely, and I look forward to chatting with you.

PS Whilst this post contains no adult content, I fully expect the rest of this journal to. I write romance which often involves sex scenes - if you're not comfortable with that, you may wish to pick and choose what you read here.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-06-23 11:38 pm

You know you've been listening to Test Match Special

...when you see a headline in a newspaper about "biggest strike" and wonder why they're talking about the strike's score rather than the partnership's...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (reading)
2011-06-23 09:14 pm

Now you see it, now you don't...

I bet all you guys have really organised computer filing systems, and back everything up regularly in three or four different ways... well, I aspire to this sort of behaviour, but in the mean-time I'm still at the "remembering every couple of months or so that what's on the memory stick and what's on the network drive are supposed to be the same thing" stage.

About 2 years ago, I had my most productive writing days ever. In two days I wrote close on 10,000 words of a story, plus figured out most of the world-building, characters, major plot points etc. Then something happened in my non-writing life which needed my attention and the story's mostly languished since...

Every so often I think I'll have a "quick look" at it though, and that's when the trouble starts:

First, I look on the network drive. Not there.
Then, I look on the green usb stick. Not there.
Then I start checking all kinds of random older folders on the network drive, convinced that's where I've saved it. Nowhere to be found.
Then I start to worry, and think "oh no! most productive two days of my life, down the drain!"
At this point I usually remember that I wrote it using the old laptop (whose hard disc gave up the ghost 9 months back), and that I was running it under Ubuntu a the time. "Aha!" I think, "It's one of those awkward things where the computer can't see it when it's running under Windows!"
So I re-boot into Ubuntu on the desktop, and go through the same checks...
...and check again...
...and curse myself, because by that point I've become convinced I must have saved it to the laptop's (now defunct) hard disc.
...
:-(
...
Then, after some swearing at myself, I remember what I named the file, and do a search for it...
...and the computer says "Here it is, on the purple usb stick! Didn't you know that? And here's this really useful related file as well!"
And, after a few more choice phrases, I go "YAY! I'm not as dumb as I thought!" and decide that I really ought to put a copy in the directory of my stories on the network drive.
At which point, the computer says "no."

One of these days I'll get a copy saved elsewhere, but in the meantime I hope I've raised a smile from anyone who's done something similar :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-06-10 07:00 am

So. This time next week...

British Flash will have been published! In case you missed my previous post, British Flash is a promotional anthology of flash fiction written by some of the attendees of this year's UK GLBT Writers & Readers meet. The really good news (for all you potential readers) is that it's FREE.

Yes, free fiction!

So when it becomes available (from Smashwords), I'll post a link :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2011-05-17 10:18 pm

A slightly belated "woo-hoo!"

As I'll be attending the UK GLBT Authors & Readers Meet in July (aka [livejournal.com profile] uk_meet), I submitted a story to the promotional anthology British Flash:

and it was not only accepted but also complimented!

I am, as you can tell, still quite giddily excited about this :-D
I'm also rather stumped as to how to write the blurb for it, which was requested a few days ago now... probably shows my naivety, but I didn't expect one to be needed for an anthology of flash-fiction; and 100 words for a blurb seems exceedingly long when the story's only 500 words!
...I'll get there. I just hope I'm not making too many enemies while I do...

Other parts of life have been busy too - we had a few losses & gains with the chickens, leaving us now with 4: 2 light sussex and 2 welbar. I'm currently trying to find a few hours when it is light, dry, and I'm not too tired / muscle-achy so I can glue up the new run I've made for them. Then I just need to attach the wire, get the door for it finished and tie a tarp over for a roof. Then I can make them some perches and ramps and suchlike so they've got lots to keep them occupied while I'm out at work :-D

I also found a beer-making kit I'd forgotten I had so I've tried to get back into that again. Not sure on the success so far. That's definitely something I've got worse at as time's gone on :-( Probably due to the first few times I made beer, I was out of work so not coming home shattered of an evening...

Hmm. Can't finish on a down-note. *thinks* How about two of my favorite verses of poetry?

"You are old, Father William, and your jaws are too weak,
For anything tougher than suet.
Yet you eat all the goose, with the bones and the beak,
Pray how do you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said the old man, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife.
And the muscular strength that it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."

Yep, I found my copy of Alice's Adventures Underground the other week :-D
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2011-04-30 07:58 am

Life influencing art

Apparently there was some kind of Significant Event yesterday...

When it comes to things like the Royal Family, I'm very firmly not in the 'Oooh' camp. I appreciate the work that they do, and I'm not a republican, so I'm not about to advocate that we get rid of the lot of 'em. I'd say I'm somewhere between the two extremes, but when it comes to going gooey over a wedding between two people I don't know? I seem to come down heavily on the side of cynicism and glad to have it as a (fairly) normal work day at my day-job. It has, however, made me think again about how, as writers, our stories are influenced by our own experiences and the culture(s)/country(ies) we grow up in.

Easy example: something I've come across a few times in fantasy books written by American authors is a clash between two cultures, one of which settles in towns and villages and believes in private ownership of land, and the other is nomadic and believes all land should be held in common. Took me a while, as a British teen who left school with only a basic grasp of British history (though a fairly keen enthusiasm for local history), to figure out why these themes kept cropping up...

Coming back to where I started, my upbringing and the fact I'm lucky enough to have been brought up in, and moved back to, the most gorgeous country in the world (Wales) have shaped my perception of what it means to be Royal, to the point where I think that being part of that clique must be a right royal pain in the whatsit, and I'm damn happy I'm a normal person and can fool myself into thinking that generally no one notices me.

There is one event from my past which I can say with some certainty was a turning point in my seeing Royals as not really very special people, but I've gone on long enough for now and need to go shopping :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-04-12 06:23 pm

Words, (mis-)reading, and writing

Words my computer doesn't recognise:
- skulking
- oogle
How can my computer not know these? Surely it's heard me talk!

The other day at work I was printing something with a wedding-design and the names "Audrey" and "James" in a swirly-whirly font. I mis-read "Audrey" as "Andrew" and wondered (aloud!) why there was a woman in the picture!

Sadly, I had to give up last week on the idea of writing something for the Tea & Crumpet anthology (connected to the UK GLBT Writers & Readers Meet happening in July) as it became rather obvious I just don't have the time or energy right now to have got it finished in time. I will be submitting for the flash-fiction anthology though - I've been revising/editing it in the 10 minutes between arriving at work and starting work... so at a pace of about 2-3 sentences a day. Good thing it's only about 500 words long!
- Just realised, I'd better check there's not a minimum words limit on that submission call!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2011-03-29 09:58 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Stories of old

[Error: unknown template qotd]Y Ddraig Goch!
(The red dragon, which fought with the white dragon & caused Vortigern's castle on Dinas Bran to fall down every night. How could you not know that? ;-) )

I love Welsh tales. I think because they're the only ones I ever heard when I was young that hadn't been pounded by translators into making sense. They're weird and cool and make you go "huh?", and because they don't necessarily conform to the mores of our own times, make you wonder about the past.

To be honest, there are probably tales which had more impact on me at the time of hearing, but it's been so long (24 years? really??) I'm a bit hazy on the details. I know there was a tale about King Bran, and his ?sister? Branwyn, and I *think* it involves building a bridge across the Irish Sea... but other than that...

And lets not forget Prince Madoc (Madog?), who tried to get to Ireland by boat, got blown off course and ended up discovering America - centuries before Mr Columbus! The easy-to-read version made for young school children contained the hilariously un-PC line "Helo Mr Indiwn Coch! Sut wyt ti?" ("Hello Mr Red Indian! How are you?") and an illustration of Madog trying to cross the Irish Sea in a little one-man rowing boat that's pointing the wrong way. This last point was something the teachers found amusing, and therefore made a point of pointing it out, so I sure I'm not the only person who remembers the tale as "Madog rowed the wrong way across the Irish Sea and ended up in America"!

I think I need to get myself a copy of the Mabinogion (among other books)!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-03-28 10:41 pm

Ho hum and dagnabbit!

Got a little distracted this last week, by changing day-jobs. Finished one on Wednesday & started the next on Thursday. Was shattered and over-whelmed by the end of Friday, but very looking forward to today :-D

Haven't re-read through my edited flash-fiction thing for the [livejournal.com profile] uk_meet anthology yet so must make sure that gets done this week. Then I need to toss a coin (or something) and decide whether to work on the historical short story, or the one with cricketers in their whites. Likely wouldn't be asking myself that question if we hadn't had Radio 4 on (LW, we don't get FM in our valley) at the weekend while out in the garden.

Of course, I've also been getting distracted by our chickens, which we've had nearly a month now and are just coming into lay :-)

Hmm... think I'm leaning towards the cricketers...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2011-03-23 07:16 am

Remembering...

I was thinking about my gran yesterday. She died a couple of years ago, but she used to say some things which really cracked us up. Here's two of her best:

aged 89, discussing her finances "I'm saving for my old age"

aged 90, recovering in hospital after an operation to remove a cataract, to my mum who'd gone down to stay with her for the week "You will still visit when I'm old and ill, won't you dear?"

Both of which, I think, can be used to show that we are all still 21 (or so) in our heads :-)
...well, ok, maybe I think I'm 25 rather than 21, but that's still a few years out now!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-03-16 10:28 pm

Couple of good things which have flitted through my inbox today...

Unshelved (by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes) today is sheer genius: about e-books.

Best last line of an article I've seen in a good while: surprisingly, is in a Scientific American story about adult male circumcision.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-03-08 09:47 pm

Census Meme

Nicked from [livejournal.com profile] essayel, and nicely appropriate as our census form dropped through the letterbox today :-)

In 2011 I live in a 3-bedroom semi, built in the 1950s but looks like it was built in the 1920s or 1930s, in a Welsh village so far in the north of Powys it's almost in Gwynedd. I own this house with my husband (well, except the portion we still owe to the bank...).

In 2001 I was in my final year at the University of Sheffield, so although my 'official' address (as per my bank account etc.) was still my parents' house in Wales, I was living in a rented house in Sheffield which I shared with two blokes, one of whom I'd been an item with the previous year. It was a typical Sheffield terraced house, I had the attic room and I loved it and never wanted to leave...

In 1991 I was living with my parents and two sisters in North Wales, in a late 1960s house in a village between Mold & Wrexham.

In 1991 I was living in a 1970s house near Liverpool with my parents and older sister.


...which rather amusingly misses out the 7.5 years I lived in Oxfordshire between University and buying this house. If someone in the future wanted to find out about me, they'd have to trace things like council tax and employment records because even my marriage certificate (slap bang in the middle of that period) doesn't say I lived there, due to the loopholes you have to jump through to get married in the church you attended as a child rather than one in the parish you currently live in...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
2011-03-07 06:45 pm

Quick fly-by post

Mslexia have a survey about novel writing. Sadly, being a lit'ry focused magazine, they don't have m/m listed as a genre, and no place to fill in what your "other" genre is when you tick that box :-(

But anyhow! it may give you a laugh if nothing else :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-02-28 09:03 pm

*sporfle*

Found the following (under the cut) last night, saved in a forgotten folder on the network. I think it was originally something I posted on the Nanowrimo boards (in the Oxfordshire region section) a few years ago...

Freedom for Wales )

***

Sometimes, words fail me when I read back the things I've written in the past...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-02-18 10:08 pm

I got inspired...

Anyone else get inspired by the Friday Guys over at Reviews by Jessewave? I'm sure I can't be the only one! Anyhow, one of them today inspired this little glimpse: )

If you're interested, I scanned the original (complete with slightly smudgy bit from where I spilt* my cuppa):


*Yeah, probably 'spilled' rather than 'spilt'. I'm just helping the language evolve ;-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
2011-02-17 08:14 pm

Thoughts on Shopping

Best thing about Nectar points:
Free wine XD

Worst thing about Nectar points:
Knowing that nothing is actually free - you pay for the 'free' stuff every time you spend money at somewhere that participates in the scheme.

From which I draw the conclusion:
I'm paying for it anyway, so what the hell, let's get some free wine!

Seems to be a Silly Offers week at our 'local' supermarket. Wine: 3 for £10, or £8.99 each.
Discovery bits & bobs for Tex-Mex food: 3 for £3, cheapest item in the offer: £1.35 apiece (flour tortillas: £1.59 a pack).

As a result of this sort of thing + we have lots of storage space for food, + 20-hour power cut the other week means we're eating up lots of food that was in the freezer, when I got to the shop tonight I realised there were only 3 items on my list (coffee, tea [only buy if it's on offer], ibuprofen). Sat and thought for a while and managed to add two more: cheese, wine. Then I remembered something I actually needed! So I added butter (x2). Still didn't look like much, so I decided to have pizza tonight. Whilst in the shop, I picked up the aforementioned Tex-Mex goodies, and also some yummy crisps that're on offer. I swear, I used to buy more for just one day's shopping!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (reading)
2011-02-15 10:52 pm

A couple of things

...which have amused me lately.

1) I am sure that very few none of you will be surprised to hear that of the eight people on the first aid course I attended last Friday, it was I who laughed loudest and longest at the mnemonic "Please Sir, slap my face, lift my leg, and roll me over!" (for the recovery position, in case you're wondering). Thankfully, there were women there with even dirtier chortles than me when it came to "harder, faster, deeper" *snort* I may have been temporarily disowned by my colleagues at that point...

2) I don't know how it is where you live, but on the Welsh weather (after the news) there's often seemingly random places marked on the map - not the main towns, but a few in each of North, Mid and South Wales (it could be Derek Brockway thing). Tonight one of the places was Rhiwargor. Which is a teeny, tiny place (about 3 farms and a waterfall) at the top end of 'our' lake :-D I nearly fell off the sofa.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (reading)
2011-02-08 05:11 pm

Project Bookworm

(or maybe I'll think up a better name for it - suggestions?)

Since we first moved in here (well, if I'm honest, probably since we first viewed the house!) I've been plotting and planning and mulling over design ideas for covering the long wall of the front room with books. A 20-hour power cut, and very real concern over the river breaking its banks and flooding the bottom part of the garden (where the shed holding most of my book collection in cardboard boxes is located), spurred me on to the point of getting out the tape measure and transferring my thoughts from brain to paper.

Today was the day the men were coming to fix some sheeting over the part of the roof which is currently tile-less, so I took it as a holiday day, and decided to dust off the 3D modelling software I acquired (legally!) during my teacher-training year. Some points of the process took a bit of head-scratching and a few cups of tea to remember how to get the software doing what I wanted, but I thought I'd share the results with you.

(NB: There are odd-looking lines as I used fairly basic models for each piece of wood. I could accurately model each joint etc., but really: what's the point? The reason for doing this is to check that it will look ok)
Pictures are from screengrabs )

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. It's not the kind of design I'd have gone for if we'd done it immediately after moving here - in mulling things over I've considered different styles and thought about what I like and admire in furnishings and also about my own abilities and limitations. This design allows me to make it in easy stages: the doors can be added later, as can the drawers - provided I attach the (traditional-style) runners in advance; or in fact, either of these components could be left off if we wanted a section of shelves to be easily accessible, or (in the case of the drawers) wanted pigeon holes instead...

Oh, and I'm planning to make it from oak, which I think I can get quite easily from the local sawmill :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
2011-01-23 01:30 pm

Perhaps my reading preferences aren't such a surprise after all?

Last night we caught a re-showing of The Return of 'Allo 'Allo on one of the BBC digital channels. It's the one thing (other than Ski Sunday) that I remember us all sitting around and watching as a family when I was growing up ...of course, as we got older, it ceased being all the family watching it, but I still caught a fair number of the episodes. Taught me a lot about the world, and adult behaviour that series did (hmm... perhaps that explains things?), and I'm sure my parents didn't think I got half the jokes I did. I know, from the clips they showed in The Return... that there was at least one joke I didn't get at the time: when Fairfax & Carstairs are in bed together (complete with nightcaps and nightgowns) and Fairfax says "Grammar school boy, were you?"

Yeah, didn't get that one when I was 7 (8? 9? No idea which series it was from, tbh). But my favourite character, without a doubt, throughout the whole time it ran, was Lieutenant Gruber. Never did see what he saw in Rene though. General von Klinkerhoffen was better looking...

So, after that glimpse into my pre-teenage mind, I hope you don't feel the need to scrub yours out too badly!

PS My second-favourite character was the English Policeman (Crabtree?), for fairly obvious reasons :-D