Thursday, 31 January 2008

January Check In

I had hoped to get over 50% of the whole book. Better luck next month.

48,955 / 100,000

6204 / 10,013

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Yeees, another one. :)

In this one you'll not only get a signed copy of the book (which is great in itself) but a beautiful bookmark made by Claire herself as well.

All you have to do is take a photo of the book in an interesting location round where you live and send it to Claire. Jo herself will decide which one she likes best.

For more info (for example where to send the photo to, the expiry date, a photo of the bookmark and so on) go to Claire's blog.

Good luck to everyone and I expect a lot of interesting photos!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Win a signed copy of Spymaster's Lady

Don't forget! The contest is closing soon.

If you wanna win, check out Jen's blog here.

Her blog is a great read even if there isn't a contest BTW. :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Heath Ledger is dead

Shortly after I woke up this morning the sad news was on the radio.

I was so shocked! I really liked him (saw him for the first time in "Roar" and loved him in "A Knight's Tale" and "Brokeback Mountain") and in my opinion he was facing a great future.

It's still to be seen, if it was an accident or not.

Rest in Peace, Heath

ETA: Now that I had time to think on it (it's so busy at work, I'm glad if I don't forget to go to lunch) I'm really sad. And then Claire goes and writes this post, in such simple words and those made me cry. I didn't know him other than from his movies, but thinking about his family seeing the media going crazy when all they will want is to grieve for a son and brother, thinking about his daughter that will ask where her daddy is... It gets to me. (I feel that it has been under the surface all day, so crying might be a relief)

He could have become one of the greatest... What a waste.

Friday, 18 January 2008


Over at the Forum, everyone posted/posts their "Ten Things I've Done..." lists as well.

Rhonddalyn started her's with: "Thought I could see air (while not on drugs or any medication)….I was about six at the time." (see her other entries here and the whole thread here)
This gave way to all kind of thoughts, inspirated by that line.

I was lieing awake for some time last night and thought about it as well.

Here's what I've come up with:

At the age of 6 I could see air.
I was never able to again.
At the age of 9 I was taught to see Air Spirits.
I'm able to call them at will now.
At the age of 15 I was immersed in a war.
I made myself forget I was a sorceress.

I already knew that about Ella, and it will play an important part in the story later. But somhow writing it down in this way, made her history more palpable for me. And I feel I will be able to work her past into the story better, weave it into her actions, make it some kind of driving force for her.

The Bucket List

Yesterday I saw the trailer for "The Bucket List".

A few month ago I had the exact same story idea (well, in a Fantasy setting). I swear I had never heard of the movie before, but I guess now I can delete that idea from my list.... *sigh*

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Ten things I've done that you probably haven't

  1. Am living in Essen, NRW, Germany :)
  2. Am (I believe) the youngest ever board member of the Community of the Cross of Nails, Germany
  3. Cut my right knee open to the bone at age 12 when I fell on a sharp stone, 8 stitches
  4. Had one of the former prisoners of the prison on Robben Island, South Africa, show us around on the island and in the prison; had him tell of his meeting with Nelson Mandela in and out of prison; listened to his story and that he was sentenced to stay imprisoned till 2009
  5. Am taking pictures of beautiful sunsets out of my living-room window :)
  6. Taught all of my cousins to tie their shoes
  7. Am often compared with Harry Potter, especially when I have cut my hair short (besides that I’m female, *I* don’t think I look like him, but the others always go like “But you have dark hair, glasses and a scar on your forehead (half-moon shaped).” “But I cannot do magic!” (although I wish I could))
  8. Often forget German words and can only come up with the English ones
  9. Have a famous namesake, who runs marathons (something I’m working towards to, too)
  10. Bought a wonderful handbag in Toledo, Spain

10 Things About Me As A Writer

Jen tagged me (well, anyone really *g*)

1. Your genre(s)?

Fantasy. Maybe Romance later on... But I want to write a historical first.

2. How many books have you completed?

Almost 1/2 ;)

3. How many books are you working on now?

One. But I have ideas for at least four other.

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?


5. The POV you're most partial to?

Third limited.

6. The theme that keeps cropping up in your books?

Um... I guess, trust (is that a theme?)

7. How many days a week do you write?

Sometimes three, sometimes five, sometimes seven. I try to write everday though.

8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?

Since I'm at work most of the day, I write in the evenings. But I've tried writing in the mornings and during the day, and it all works for me.

9. Who are your mentors?

Those whose books I've read and the people at Compuserve.

10. Who are your favorite authors to read? (different from mentors)

JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Diana Gabaldon, Wolfgang Hohlbein

So, I tag... I dunno who will tag themselves on Jen's site, so I tag anyone who's not been tagged yet.


I have tried to pick which scenes/blurbs go to which chapter.

And after I did this, I noticed, that that accounts only to roughly 27K of words *cry*
But I'm sure that I can use a lot of the other stuff (as gap fillers maybe). I just need more of the actual story to see what else goes where.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Hear the Good News

Jenny's finished!! *yai!*

Go over to her site and congratulate! *g*

She has finished at 111,587 words. And congrats to Jon as well, for posting the nearest guess. :)

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Ode to Jo

Ok, before I post my review, here's the Ode to Jo, curtesy of Pam:

Ode to Jo

There once was a scribe named Jo Bourne,
Who embarked on a fruitful sojourn.
A novel completed,
That achievement, repeated,
Then an agent and deal, blow your horn!

In the forum, she helps each new crop,
without ego or guile, not a drop.
Sometimes semantic,
but never pedantic,
she’s our sesquipedalian cop.

And the third stave by me:

She has the greatest way with words,
Whoever said writers are nerds?
We’re all now waiting,
For the world she’s creating,
In the second of hopefully three thirds.

Marathon, Day 5

I'm just back from our dinner. It was so much fun, we forgot the time altogether, but I was lucky and cought a bus immediately, so I only got wet feet (it's raining heavily at the moment, and temperature is still up at 11°C; is it April or what?) instead of being soaked through.

And although I didn't plan to write, I did write. Only that it won't do anything for the word count immediately.

I'd been talking about my problems with the battle scene. I got some great advise by Jenny and will try out her suggestions as well (maybe for the current scene as well to see what methods work best for me).
Anyways, I remembered the stream-of-conciousness excercise on the Forum and looked that up. And while I was on my way to the dinner, I just wrote away. And I think I'm on to something. I will have to type my writing, then translate it and then write the scene, but I can do that tomorrow (or really this) morning.

So watch out for a laaaaate December 06 X :)

Graphic Novel

Diana has been working on a graphic novel (while also working on Echo) and finally a picture emerged.
It's one of Claire, before she goes through the stones. That's so exiting. :)

You can find it (and an article explaining about the GN) on Diana's homepage.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Marathon, Day 4

Didn't write a word.

But went to the gym and had much fun. :)

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Marathon, Day 3

I haven't written anything for my MS and haven't done any gap-filling.

I had to do some housework (you have to do this every now and then *g*) and I won't mention the other excuses I have. They are justified, make no mistake, but they do nothing for progress.

I have rather small goals for the weekend days, but relatively much time, so I should be able to have all my marathon goals accomplished on Monday.

And while I was typing away, I noticed that I'm about to face my first battle scene, and I have no idea how to go about it.

*Jenny has closed her contest and I'm waiting for her announcement of the final wordcount :) *

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Marathon, Day 2

I got 295 words instead of 323, and that means I'm still roughly 300 behind.

I had so much time for writing this evening and then other things wedged between me and my MS...

But I did order my chunks into chapters. My, do I have big gaps.

Aaand, my plans for tomorrow are mostly down the drain as my meeting with my Mom will be tomorrow instead of today. (just a friendly chat and so on, but, no writing then)
And I still haven't written the article for my community newsletter that's due on the 11th.

I've only slept 4-5 hours the last nights, can you imagine what that does to my brain? I know, Jenny and others had worse, but sadly I cannot operate thus.

ETA: I just wrote another 107 words.


One problem of writing fantasy is the language (yes, I hear you, you writers of historicals).

I'm always very careful with the language I use, even while just typing along - you all know how hard it is to find mistakes afterwards. Sometimes I put expressions into brackets to be replaced by the respective expression in my fantasy languages. So, you'll never read someone saying "Oh my Gosh!" or "Get your a** moving!" :) Although Ella is quite flippant at times, I always have to be very careful with her flippancy.
Or I use those brackets when I cannot think of a better expression, but feel that it is "too much my language". (One example is "draw the short(er) straw". In German that sounds too... I don't know, but not fitting. [Although the German expression says mostly the same, drawing the shorter one. And straw would fit with one of the people. Hm... maybe I'll make that a direct translation?] Or would they say "stew"? That sounds less silly to my ears in English than it does in German... *d..n*)

But how far can one go? How much do I replace with the Fantasylanguage? How far do I stay away from casual language and use the more formal form?
Their language pattern discerns the characters and I do not want them all to sound like they had a stick in their rear.
But of course the reader has to understand what I'm saying, he or she only knows "our" language. I cannot write a book in a language that I invented. :)

ETA: Strangely, whenever Ella speaks to me (although she's usually quite insolent towards me) I know exactly that she's thinking in her own language and her speech is coloured by it. I just cannot. get. it. on. paper.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Marathon, Day 1


I put away my Christmas decoration, but did nothing else.

Life in the form of my job got in the way :)

I hadn't been taking into account that after a one week absence, a looot of work would be waiting for me. So I went home really late, had to buy some groceries, made me dinner and was dead tired, so I'm off to bed in a few.
The cold is still taking its toll, and while I read quite a few pages of SL, I didn't finish it.

I cannot believe that I have been waiting for this book for so long and don't get it finished!! *mumbling* It's GOOD! But sometimes you just cannot make time (as I usually do and would)

8-days marathon

Deniz started this, and Jenny joined in, so I am too, to keep myself motivated: an eight-days marathon

I admit my goals are not mostly writing related, but I need to get other things done as well ;)

Today - Monday: *put away Christmas decoration
*write 323 words (this is my daily goal for January)
*finish SL!!
Tuesday: *write 323 words
*look at recently organized chunks and put some to chapters
Wednesday: *write 323 words
*think of fillers for gaps (of Arc II)
Thursday: *gym
*write 323 words
Friday: *have meeting and dinner with children's service members
Saturday: *write 646 words
*think of chapter names
Sunday: *write 323 words
*think of/about names and fill in all the empty []-brackets
Monday: *to get some diversion, outline Arc I (I feel I am not able to get a handle on this otherwise)

Ok, they are mostly writing related :)

Sunday, 6 January 2008

My Characters Will Have To Suffer

Most of the characters we meet in the beginning are townsfolk. They get tired after half a day of slow walking through straight and comfortable country.

I couldn't have that.

They will need to tackle forced marches in the future. And they have to tackle them in a believable fashion. I cannot have a couch potato master a forced march without a problem.

They need to get fit.
Ella already is, having been in the last war. (And she's that kind of person that knows to keep it up. Always be prepared and all that)

Yesterday, while on the treatmill, I decided that she will take matters in her own hands and train them.
Adrien*, the poor soul, had to suffer through the first exercise yesterday evening. :) And was done for afterwards, so I let him rest.

*(I only realised yesterday, that he has a loveable namesake in Sypmaster's Lady),

English - German

I just rembered, and I have to tell you :)

I'm speaking a lot of (written) English, and here's an example of what happenes when in your head you live in both languages (and before you ask: yes, I sometimes dream in English, and when I'm really angry I think in English as well):

For a reason I cannot remember, I had been writing my former colleagues an e-mail and in that asked them to wish us luck (I think we tried for a lottery win)

What I wanted to say was the German expression "Haltet die Daumen gedrückt" (Keep your thumbs squeezed)
And what did I say? "Haltet die Finger gekreuzt." and that translates directly to "Keep your fingers crossed."

Instead of using the German phrase I just translated the English one. And only noticed it when one colleage wrote back "In German we say Haltet die Daumen gedrückt. But we understand you :) "

I could laugh about this every time I think about it *gg*

Friday, 4 January 2008

Spymaster's Lady

Woho! SL arrived yesterday!

I know I said I wouldn't stop reading until finished, but... I had been cleaning my flat and was planning on making dinner, when the book arrived. Such joy! (immediately had to call my mom, because we didn't know if it would arrive here or there - long story)
I read the first three chapters. And I really DIDN'T want to stop. But... I still hadn't made lunch and hadn't eaten all day (I'm never hungry when I have a cold; but I though I needed to eat at least a bit). So I got me something to eat and that strained me so much, I was dead tired and slept for two hours. Then I read for another hour and then I had to leave for the gym (new year's resolution and all that)
After that I was too tired again.

Today I've been up and about all day, so no reading. (I admit I squeezed some writing in - I had to decide...)

Tomorow I have to do some shopping and am at the gym again. BUT between and after that I will be reading.
So, tomorrow evening, expect my first ever (on this blog at least) review.

I should probably add another resolution: review more

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

December Check In

Since Zokutou is acting up, here's my progress in plain numbers:

2416/5000 words (48.4%)

Books I've read in 2007

Just for the records:

Original titles in brackets

- Illuminati (Angels and Demons)
- Sakrileg (The DaVinci Code)
- Zwischen Himmel und Liebe (If you could see me now)
- Der Notar von Avignon (The Notary)
- Schlösser im Loiretal (Les châteaux du Val de Loire)
- Ms. Zephyr's Notebook
- The Fiery Cross
- Der magische Steinkreis (Ourlandish Companion)
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- Die Gegenpäpstin
- Quidditch im Wandel der Zeiten (Quidditch through the ages)
- Samt und Säbel (Captain Sinister's Lady)
- Woher weiß die Seife was der Schmutz ist (What Einstein Didn`t Know)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Glennkill (Glennkill)
- Die Sünde der Brüder (Brotherhood of the Blade)
- Ich bin dann mal weg
- Fünf Freunde wittern ein Geheimnis (Five on a secret trail)
- Golden Hours - Die goldenen Stunden des Myles na gCopaleen (Flann O'Brien at War - Myles na gCopaleen 1940-1945)
- Faulheit ist das halbe Leben
- Das Buch der Namen (The Book of Names)
- Das letzte Konzert (Jack, Knave and Fool)
- Was wäre gewesen, wenn? (What if?)
- Das Gold der Kreuzfahrer (Crusader Gold)
- Schwarze Themse (Shifting Tide)
- Der Spion der Königin (Galleon's Grave)
- Stolz und Vorurteil (Pride and Prejudice)

Happy New Year