sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
s'pose I ought to go make/eat some dinner. Though those chocolates we were given at work are sitting there looking very tempting... couldn't manage more than 3 in a row at lunch though (and only just managed that many) they are soooo rich...
...like Thorntons used to be, way back when I first remember being allowed to try one. Well done, Hotel Chocolat, you do make yummy nibbles :-)

Disjointed

Jan. 20th, 2011 08:01 pm
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
ramblings ) There is good stuff, though. I've very nearly learned a new line dance in just 2 sessions - and it's one classed as "advanced" at that! I never thought I'd even attempt an advanced dance! I think it's the number of restarts and placing of the tag ('restart' being when you start the routine again from the top, and 'tag' being an extra set of steps you fit in e.g. when there's an extra chorus in the song), but I'm fairly confident on those as well :-D

Oh, and my venus fly trap is flowering! No, I didn't know they flowered until it started growing its flowerspike a week or so before Christmas!

How much??

Jan. 14th, 2011 06:35 pm
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
So, at my day job, I pick/pack/dispatch various things for promotions and online shops. Today I spent a good part of the morning stuffing letters-with-a-voucher into envelopes. There were a variety of different letters, but one in particular caught my eye with its heading:
Win £250,000 towards your house/mortgage!
"Blimey!*" I thought, "That'd pay off our mortgage and our other debts (credit cards etc.) and we'd be able to buy a quad bike**!"
Come lunchtime, I texted Husband about this, and he pointed out we'd still have quite a bit of change, so I said he could decide what we'd spend the rest on - he came up with: solar water heating, PV panels (solar electric), and extending the upper floor of our house.

All hypothetical, of course, because I can't even remember which product it was running this attractive offer...

It did get me thinking though, about how much some people have to pay for their houses. Round here, £250,000 could buy you a small holding. What's it like round your way? Or, more excitingly: if you won £250,000, what would you spend it on?

*yes, I really do think in words like that. Probably all those Enid Blyton books I read a a young girl
**This is the latest "thing I want"

Oh noes!

Jan. 12th, 2011 11:42 pm
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
I've not posted yet this year!

Can I think of any excuse other than "only just getting life back to 'normal'"? To be honest, it's more to do with "too much I want to talk about, can't think of how to say it". So I'll start with the writing-related topic. Which centres around (character) death...

I listen to The Archers, and they recently had a character die in an accident. I was rather annoyed, to be honest, because of when it happened (although at least we'd only been able to predict it for the length of that episode, rather than the storyline they played out over several weeks/months last time they had a Significant Anniversary), but I'm loving the way they've used that event to spin off several subsidary storylines with different people's reactions, and how varied opinions can be even between siblings.

It makes me stop & think about my own writing (yes, I know the main thing I need to do with my writing right now is sit down & bloody well do some!) and that I need to be careful to let my characters develop their own opinions and ideas about the world, and accept them as valid views even when I, personally, disagree with them. Or, as the general advice to newbie writers* puts it: Stop making everyone so damn nice!

*I'm sure there's things with a title similar to this, at least
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
[I've not posted in a while, I know - sorry, life being hectic!]

My car broke as I was leaving work*. Managed to crawl it around the corner to the garage, where I left it with a note on the dashboard & keys through their letterbox. Having been 'rescued' by my husband and got home, we worked out that he wouldn't be able to give me a lift in the next day and as I wouldn't know until then when the mechanic would be able to fix it, I phoned my boss & took the day off.

My mechanic is rather lovely, and when I spoke to him the following day he said he couldn't get to it then, but he'd definitely fix it the day after. Which meant that all I had to do was get into town and I could pick it up after work. So I started coming up with ideas of how to get in (it's about 20 miles - takes half an hour or so to drive in good weather).

Idea 1: Phone a friend in the village, beg for a lift to work as a favour.

Idea 2: Ask my boss to drive out & pick me up so I could get in to work.

Idea 3: Phone a friend in the village and ask for a lift to the nearest bus stop, and get the bus into work.

I looked up the bus times & found the one I needed left at 7:30am. It seemed a little early in the morning to be asking for a lift as a favour, so I did the next most logical thing. I walked. 8.5 miles.

To be honest, I thought it was more like 7.5 - 8 miles, so it's a good thing I always allow extra time! And although everyone I've told thinks I'm completely bonkers for doing it, I've learned several useful things from the experience:
- yes, I am fit & healthy enough to walk 8.5 miles on a chilly winter's morning
- walking keeps you lovely & toasty warm (I did wear waterproofs as my top layer, which did a lot to keep warmth in & snow out)
- the first part of the journey is much more interesting than the second part - there's landmarks every mile or so on the first part and it's much more scenic

There were other thoughts I had about my farmers in Cariad - I've based the story in this area, and I'm definitely decided now that they won't be quite as far out as my village, but probably only a mile or two closer in to town. I also came up with a rough plot idea for a contemporary story about snow in Mid Wales bringing a couple of chaps together, but that's firmly on the back-burner since I have other things which need working on first :-)

*this happened a couple of weeks ago, for those of you who read my other LJ. It's not broken again...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
The Scientific ArmenianAmerican feed just told me:
It is the stuff that both science fiction and a good part of author Dan Brown's fortune are made of-- antimatter

And I thought "well if part of his fortune is antimatter then he's not as rich as people might think"
and then I thought "that must make for some rather tricksy financial management"
and then a few other thoughts along those lines, to do with balancing matter and antimatter so that you end up with the right sort of substance for the reality you're currently inhabiting, and then I wondered "where is he selling his books/film rights/etc. that he is getting paid in antimatter?"
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (reading)
It is a very short thing - just over 600 words, OpenOffice tells me - but it was fun to write, and was inspired by real life events!

Wrong Number )
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
I decided what I'm going to do with that "short thing" from last week: I'm going to cut off its tail & make it into the kind of short story they taught us to write in school (i.e. doesn't need to get to the HEA or HFN, but the status quo at the end needs to be different from that at the beginning, and the conflict/crisis which happens in the middle needs to be resolved). And then I'm going to post it here. Possibly sometime soon(ish) ;-)

Right then: tea & typing up I guess!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
The pirates continue to gain more story, albeit in a rather uneven manner. I'm not managing the "write every day" thing right now, mostly due to tiredness.

Real life handed me a bit of inspiration late last week, and I think I may've got a short story out of it. It's currently trying to outgrow its designation as "short" though, so I'm not too sure about what to do with it.

The pirates should end up around 10-12k words, or at least I expect the first draft will be about that length. I'll be happy with it being around 10k. I don't think there's really enough story there for more than that. No idea what I'll do with it after, except practice my editing & revising, lol.

I'd like to get back to my farmers (Cariad) after I've finished with the pirates, and see how I cope with developing that. I definitely need more than one file of notes on it - one for things which need to happen in the plot, and one for things I need to add in / change / make clearer when I revise it.

And of course, if I didn't have enough stories jostling for space already, today while I was rushed-off-my-feet-busy, an idea I had several years ago suddenly germinated and started shouting for attention... one more for the "Ideas" file I think :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
...are not being silly in the sense that I originally anticipated them being. I suspect they're being rather serious about wanting to Have An Adventure by leaving the Med. Which means getting past Gibralter. Which means (and I quote) "Showing those stuffy-faced, toffee-nosed British navy boys that they aren't the only ones on this planet who can sail!"

Hmm. Methinks my pirate captain may be jealous that I eschewed his company last week to reacquaint myself with John Cavendish and Alfie Donwell et al.

In good news, I've got past the corsairs vs. barbary pirates battle (just two more boats to sink, but that's only because he's in a vengeful mood) and then, yes, I will have figure out just where they'll be bound when they leave the Med.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
I think I came fully out of the closet about liking m/m romance today at work... I've hinted before, but then we were discussing Downtown Abbey and D said to me "No gay sex this week though," and I replied with "yeah, but I re-read one of my favourite books, and then got talking online about inviting Woman's Hour to our gay-sex-writers meet-up next year."

I know it's rather over-simplifying things, but... hmm.

(and before anyone asks: it's a pretty accepting workplace)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (reading)
Thought I'd try & get some more pirates written tonight, so I took my writing-book into the front room (on the basis that then I can prop my injured leg up in a number of different poses there, which means I can sit down for longer than I can elsewhere in the house). Trouble was, in my other hand I carried my copy of False Colours, which I was about a third of the way through re-reading...
...guess I'll need to find another book to read tomorrow night.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
Wish I had more m/m authors in my phone memory, because today at lunch I wanted to text you all with the news that "Radio 3 makes me want to slash Holst/Vaughan-Williams!" I settled for not disturbing your lovely lives with this news, and instead just giggled to myself and then got on with writing a smidgeon more of the pirate story (I'd forgotten how much I hate writing action, especially battles).

...the reason for the slash-impulse? They quoted from a letter Holst wrote to Vaughan-Williams about V-W's Pastoral Symphony. Seems I even listen to the radio through my slash-goggles these days!

And then this evening (Radio 4 this time), The Write Stuff's author of the week was Stephanie Meyer. It was a much better episode than I'd been thining it would be :-D Lots of giggling ensued. And when they got to the 'author of the week pastiches' at the end Iaccidentally put too much sugar in my cake mixture because I wasn't paying enough attention! I mean, who could, when giggling over phrase such as "I lusted chastely" and "he questioned questioningly"?

Buttons!

Oct. 28th, 2010 07:47 am
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
I know I'm not the only one round here who likes buttons. So I thought I'd share a little link with you: The Australian Ballet has a button department (well, ok, it's a sub-section of Wardrobe, but still! Buttons!)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
Not real-life pirates, thank goodness! Fictional ones are bad enough... though their story's got up to about 3,900 words now. I have a vague idea of aiming for about 500 words a day. Seems quite paltry compared to most writers' goals, but I keep reminding myself that *some* is better than *none*... and 500 seems to be a comfortable amount for me, especially since I'm mostly writing longhand then typing it up later.

In the rest of life, I'm busy with my usual work-baking-living routine, with extra gardening whenever we can fit it in. Autumn is the time for making decisions about how we want the garden to be for the next year, and using last year as a guide we've got a month to get stuff done before the frosts get too frequent and the days too short ...and this year we mustn't make the mistake of leaving the parsnips in the ground too long! Last year we said "oh, we'll get them up next weekend" sometime around the start of December and it wasn't until mid-February that the ground was soft enough again to accomplish the task.

Rambling about gardening in my writing journal? Tut tut ;-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
..is now sitting at about 2,900 words. Yay! And I met another character I didn't know I would. It's quite fun in some ways, this writing without much clue of the plot. There I was, thinking that the pirate captain was just going to go up on deck and have thinky-thoughts while manning the helm, and he starts bantering with the helmsman about the weather!

And now it seems I have to figure out a sea battle. One ship (two-master, so not ludicrously Hollywood-large - believeable that she is a merchant ship the pirates 'acquired') versus at least half a dozen small (but fast and heavily laden with men) sloops... So while I'm out & about today I'll have to figure out how on earth my pirates are going to win.
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
I added another 500 or so words to it, so it's coming along (slowly, but that's due to lack of time rather than lack of inspiration). I should probably learn to touch-type, then perhaps I could get stuff done a bit quicker...

Anyhow, I'm being very strict with myself: no editing or re-reading until it's finished! It's been a while since I set myself up with a such a vague outline (they meet, stuff happens, they end up together) so I really want to find out what happens. If I start re-reading I'll get bogged down in the minutiae of how it happens and never find out the end...
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
but I did last Friday! Granted, it wasn't anyone you're likely to have heard of (he's our county councillor) and the "manhandling" involved turning him round three times (while he had his eyes shut! no peeking!) before he had his go at "Pin the hat on the cowboy" at the village Autumn Fair...

Made a half-decent subject line, though didn't it? And it even segues nicely into what I was about to talk about, which is
arrgghh! Life! Wherefore art thou so bloody busy?

I know, I know. It's because I try to fill every single second with Stuff To Do, and then go "Oh, hang on, sleep needed" and "Wasn't there something else I was supposed to do tonight? Oh yes, EAT!" and (most relevant in this particular case) "When was the last time I checked up on online stuff?" and then suddenly my List of Stuff is not going down quite so quickly as it ought to be...

And of course it doesn't help that, thanks to a post and subsequent discussion in the lj of a certain author who shall remain nameless (mostly because she's probably fed up of seeing her name near the word "blame" right now), I now appear to be no further forward on the WIPs I'm supposed to be concentrating on, but have instead so far recorded around 1500 words of The Meditteranean Pirate's Bemused Count!

Butterfly brain? More like a Mad March Hare I'd say!

Aha!

Sep. 26th, 2010 04:49 pm
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
Don't know about you, but I tend to think about my stories while I'm driving (commuting etc.). I know, not the best place to do it as there's nowhere/way to record my thoughts, conclusions, etc. but it's the kind of thinking that I can very, very easily drop straight out of. Kind of important when driving, that one ;-) Of course, it does mean that occasionally other motorists give me funny looks for suddenly cheering and/or drumming a celebratory tattoo on the steering wheel, but to be honest there's not usually many of them about! There certainly weren't any about when I was busy thinking about Vienna on the way home from the weekly shop last Thursday.

I'm so, so chuffed I got that time & figured out the niggles that've been bothering me. It's all back-story stuff, so I doubt it'll get more than a passing mention in the text itself, but like all back-story, it's kind of essential in helping to understand the character(s). In this case, K.

I've known since the first moment these boys appeared in my brain that K was pretty much alone in the world - he lives off an inheritance, so has no need for work (and therefore no work-friends), and all his friends from the past - even the ones who actually do love him dearly & care about him - are pretty much swamped with their own lives. I had an inkling that his inheritance was from his uncle, but what I couldn't figure out was where the hell his parents were. Because I knew they were alive - and that he knew they're alive. Any time I tried to think around the idea of him being an orphan, and that being the reason for their lack of existence in his life, the answer came back very strongly "No." I also failed to get anywhere with the possibility of him having been removed from their care by an external authority e.g. social services : no, nothing like that.

And then, last Thursday, I hit upon the answer - they're abroad. They moved abroad for work reasons when K was quite young, and for one reason and another, he didn't go with them and was brought up by his uncle. I think his parents originally planned to either come back after a year or two at most, or for him to move out & live with them at some point, but it just ...never happened.

*happy sigh* So glad I worked/found that lot out. It makes quite a few things clearer for me, in terms of what happens during the story I'm writing :-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 2)
Yes, silly mood.

Anyhow, I've been meaning to share this little snippit with the Internets for a while now:

You know how estate agents put up signboards on houses etc. they want to sell? And how sometimes there'll be a little bit added describing a particularly attractive aspect of the property e.g. "large garden"?

Well, every week on my drive up the main road from work to do my weekly shop, I pass a house whose signboard-addition reads (transcribed from all-caps to all-lower-case for your eyes' benefit):
six bedrooms outhouse no chain

and every single time I think "Why is having no chain in your outhouse a good thing? How do you flush the loo?"
...and it's not like I didn't know even for a split second the first time I read it exactly what it means, but still my brain is all "I'm gonna snigger at this."

It's like the "banger racing" sign which was up for months on my daily commute. Every single day I'd come to it & think "Oooh, racing sausages!"

Really, really need to have words with my head at times...

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