Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I reached my goal!!!!!

Yay! I'm so happy to have managed this.

Now, I have to set MORE goals *g*.

Tomorrow, I'll figure out exactly what else needs to be done and draw up a timetable. Right now I know I need to write a few more scenes, edit/rewrite some others and generally go through and add more depth/description.

Only 3 full weeks left now before Reno - Yikes! I'll just have to work really hard and get as much done as I can. Will have to talk Sean into taking the laptop with us, so I can work while we're in BC after Reno.

We're off to the gym soon - let's hope the A/C is working today. Last week when we were in, the A/C in half the gym wasn't working - the half with the eliptical trainers/treadmills/bikes etc. I was lucky enough to get the treadmill and bike with a built-in fan, but even so, it was pretty hot. But I'm definitely in need of the workout :-) Especially as the dress I bought for the RITA gala won't really allow me to gain much weight!!


Currently coming from my speakers: You Will Always Have My Love - Rawlins Cross - Make It on Time

George on a hot summer morning

George on a hot summer morning
Originally uploaded by ladytess.
George loves sitting in the flower beds. Especially this one. On the other side of the fence behind him, the grass is really nice because the birds scatter seed from the feeder our neighbours have put up. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he gets to watch the birds as well *g*.

Sean and Teresa, July 2004

Originally uploaded by ladytess.
There aren't a lot of photos of Sean and me together, as I'm usually the one behind the camera. This one was taken last summer at Sean's cousin's wedding. We had a fantastic time, dancing the night away :-)

woburn abbey tree

woburn abbey tree
Originally uploaded by ladytess.
I love this photo! Figured y'all might enjoy seeing it, especially the Anglophiles. Woburn Abbey is the seat of the Duke of Bedford.

Allowing myself a morning post...

because after blogging yesterday that I thought I wouldn't get much done, I managed to get through three more chapters . Partly that's because I just knuckled under - even closing my email programme, so I wasn't tempted to check it every five mins . Also, this part of the ms is much cleaner. For some weird reason, the further on I get in an ms, the better my writing gets.

I've never figured it out. And, don't get me wrong, there's still lots of editing needed in the later chapters, but overall I seem to get into a rhythm and stuff just pours out of me, really good stuff! Won't complain

The other reason things went well, is cause I worked at my best time of day - mid afternoon. I've always worked best then - hell, I even do my best work-outs between noon and six!

Re: my basement office. One of the real selling points of this house was the walk-out basement. I claimed it right away for my own (though regretted it the first winter when the temp hit -40 and the NW wind whistled straight at my window). Over the years we've made it pretty cozy down here for me. Only problem is my books get exposed to lots of humidity during the summer. So far the dehumidifier has kept things from getting out of hand, but we do check random books from time to time to make sure they're not being hurt. Not that there's anywhere else in the house to put them all

So today, I'm going to try to get through those final chapters. But first I'm going to play with my flickr account and post some photos to this blog.


Currently Reading: The Queen's Man by Terri Brisbin
Link of the Day: Eighteenth Century Studies
Currently listening to: The morning show on my local CBC station

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Responding to Comments

Melissa - Thanks for offering to send me info on Digital History courses when you hear back from your prof :-) I'm going to explore it further when I have more time as well. Will send on anything I find

Melissa and Teresa - LOL re my green thumb. Mostly, it's luck. Sean and I have a very philosphical approach to gardening - dig hole, plop plant in, replace earth, water and see see what happens. Most of the time it works, but sometimes... That, and plenty of perennials. Hardy ones!!

Rene - I like the way that picture from the front of the house worked as well.

Larissa - yep, we got totally lucky with this back garden. We love it

Teresa (who really had best get on with her work)

Currently coming from my speakers: I Will Follow - U2 - Best of 1980-1990

A brief update

I'm battling insomnia again *sigh*. Not fun. Have to force myself to work soon. Arrggh. We had a meeting this morning, so by the time we got home, had lunch etc.

On our way back I did manage to pick up a copy of Writing Magazine - the issue featuring a profile Kate Allan :-) Our copies here across the pond run at least two months behind.
And it's a tad dear, so I only buy a copy once every months. Couldn't miss this one, though

What with sleep problems, etc, looks like I'm going to have to push back my completion date for this stage of the revisions to Thursday pm. Still doable and I won't really be that far behind.

In other news, we went and played trivia again last night. Our team made a good comeback after a lousy first round, tied for first, then lost the tie-breaker.

Well, I'd best open WriteWayPro and make some attempt to get at least a little work done today. It's another hot, smoggy one - a good afternoon to spend in the cool basement. Though methinks I see a trip to DQ after dinner tonight

See y'all soon


Currently Reading: The Queen's Man by Terri Brisbin
Link of the Day: Jennifer (Kate Allan and her writing partner Michelle Styles)

Currently coming from my speakers: Don't Come Around Here No More - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits

Monday, June 27, 2005

Close-up of the herb/perennial bed. The creeping flox rivals the hop in its efforts for imperial status, while the golden oregano, lavender, hyssop and thyme are also thriving. As you can also see, our neighbours enjoy gardening too - that's their veggie patch you can see next to the perennial bed. Posted by Hello
Closeup of the bed to the left of the stairs - and the giant hop! We started that hop at our last house, then split the rhyzome and brought some with us :-) As you can see, it's thriving. Posted by Hello
The veggie garden, guarded by raspberry bushes. At the back of the bed you see the peony in full bloom. Posted by Hello
The back of the house from half-way down the garden - the hostas are loving this weather! As are the hop (it's the large vine crawling all over the fence at the left) and the herbs. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Just one more quick photo today - George lazing under the top deck, enjoying the steamy weather. I always make sure he has water to drink when he's outside in this kind of heat :-) He didn't seem thrilled with me for waking him up so I could take a photo of him *g*. Can you tell? Posted by Hello

Pictures on a Sunday morning

I took the photos below earlier this week. Hope to take some of the back garden later today or tomorrow morning. I LOVE this time of year. After all the time the garden spends under snow etc, it's wonderful to see it full of colour and foliage. Perennials have become my favourite plants , but I still put some annuals in as well.

Gardening is a great way to take time to think while you work. There's nothing like getting down on hands and knees and digging in the dirt. I get some good ideas while planting and weeding. It's a zen-like experience. Just like a book, a garden takes planning, plotting and care. The plants are like characters in their own way - each needs different care and some are more prominent in my garden than others - just like the people in my mss.

Lynn - glad you like the smilies I'm enjoying playing with them, now I've kinda figured out what I'm doing.

Don't think we'll have time to go out on the today as we've got lots of chores. Maybe next weekend

It's hot again, but not so hot that the isn't enjoying some time out in the shade.

Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday!


Currently Reading: The Queen's Man by Terri Brisbin
Link of the Day: Sandra Gulland

Currently coming from my speakers: Til I Am Myself Again - Blue Rodeo - Greatest Hits
A closer look (for those of you who are fellow gardeners). The mother-of-thyme is doing really well this year and the balloon flowers are going to bloom soon, as well as the Stella d'Oro lily. Posted by Hello
Our front bed - now looking quite lush. Posted by Hello
Our hanging basket. I LOVE fuschia :-) Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Test post with smilies!

Ok - one more quick post before I go read the contest entries I'm judging. Have to go shopping later as well.

It's sunny and hot now - had to break down and put the AC on. The house temp hit 79º, so I figured it was time.

Even the doesn't want to go outside any more!

Ok - off to read those entries. See y'all soon


Currently coming from my speakers: I Got You Babe - The Pretenders - Greatest Hits

Digital History

Melissa talked about Digital History on her blog the other day, so I went looking for more info.

Interestingly enough, though I found some cool sites:

Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web

Digital History

Virginia Center for Digital History

Digital History Enquiry Project

I couldn't find anything about actual courses in DH. Am curious if there are any - especially via distance ed. I already have an MA in History, but would like to maybe put those skills to use alongside my internet ones. Seems like a perfect fit. Or maybe there are no "courses"?


Currently Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara
Link of the Day: History Fans Recreate Waterloo

Currently coming from my speakers: Forever Dancing - Rawlins Cross - Living River

Friday, June 24, 2005

A Friday evening post

I have some time, now Sean is tucked in bed for his early shift tomorrow morning, to blog a little more.

Am feeling really good about the progress I made this week. Been a while since I felt like I've accomplished something with this ms. Still, I had full understanding for what Larissa referred to earlier this week as Writer's Constipation. It's nice to be able to put a cool little name to my sometimes overwhelming inability to actually tackle the work that needs to be done. And know that others are going through it too. NOT that I'm happy others are suffering, but at least I know I'm not weird (ok, well not too weird *g*)

It was nice to stroll out for a leisurely dinner this evening without guilt. We sat outside - it's still pretty hot here, but we found a shady spot and the wind keeps it from getting stifling. Next week I'm going to meet my critique partners and practise my pitch on them!

Speaking of Reno, I FINALLY found a dress for the RITA gala!!! We dropped by my fave consignment store yesterday. It's funny, I've been there at least three times in the last couple of months and only found one dress to try on, but yesterday I found three. Sean patiently waited and agreed with me that one was a no-go, then helped me decide between the other two. Went with an ankle length white spaghetii strap number - now I just need the foundation garment to go under it! And a colourful scarf to help set it off and double as protection for the white material during the gala dinner *g*.

Well, I'd best be off and check to see how George is doing out on the deck. He was up on the little table out there munching away on his bowl of crunchies (yes, I indulge him horribly), but he may want to come in by now.

Happy Weekend!


Almost Done Reading: The You I Never Knew by Susan Wiggs
[Currently coming from my speakers: When I Look at the World - U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind ]

Today's Report

Progress for the last two days - Three chapters, 14 scenes!

I now have six chapters left, so I should meet my goal by Wednesday :-)


It's hot here today. Really hot. Silly cat is lying outside the back door on the lower deck. It's shady there and there's a nice breeze, so he should be ok. He has water out there as well, but I'm going to drag him in pretty soon.

Off to do some grocery shopping now. Sean is outside cleaning up after doing an oil change on the motorcycle.

Hmm, I seem to be babbling, so maybe I'll just be quiet now!


Currently Reading: The You I Never Knew by Susan Wiggs
Link of the Day: Librarians' Index to the Internet
[Currently coming from my speakers: Rock Lobster - B-52s - Best 80's Album Ever Disc 1 ]

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Report for this morning

One chapter/four scenes done so far. Sean wants to go on a shopping expedition at lunch time, so I'm going with him. Hard to say no when he asks me to accompany him.

Went to my local writers group meeting last night (a small group with people who write in a variety of genres). Had a great time and found out one of the other members lives a five minute walk away. We've decided to start carpooling. Funny, we never figured it out till now and I've known her almost a year!

Ok - best go get ready to go.

Happy Thursday!


Currently Reading: The You I Never Knew - Susan Wiggs
[Currently coming from my speakers: Dance With Life (The Brilliant Light) - Bryan Ferry - Phenomenon [Original Soundtrack] ]

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reporting in!!

Progress today - 11 scenes, 2.5 chapters!

I'm very happy with myself. Managed to stick with things and not get too distracted.

It's a beautiful day, so Sean and I are for a walk now I've met my goals for the day.

Thanks to everyone who left messages of support :-)


Currently Reading: The You I Never Knew by Susan Wiggs
[Currently coming from my speakers: Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2 - Best of 1980-1990 ]

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ok - so I have 12 chapters...

to go, with a total of 43 scenes.

My goal is to have this part done by next Wednesday. That's taking into account the various outside meetings etc I have to deal with over the next few days.

Y'all are my witnesses!

Next Friday is a holiday here in Canada, so I'd like to be able to have fun and celebrate the nation's birthday without feeling bad about being so far behind.


[Currently coming from my speakers: Ce He Mise le Ulaingt? (The Two Trees) - Loreena McKennitt - The Mask and Mirror ]

I figured out the WMP thingi!

I think. Let's see. One more short post.

Yay - my preview says it's working.


[Listening to: The Name of the Game - ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits (04:54)]

Where I'm stuck...

Melissa just asked me where I'm stuck.

Basically, I'm in the middle of revision hell (see Larissa's post on this). I finished the ms last October, just before my older cat died. Then I sent it out for critique, which took longer than I'd thought, but perfectly understood. In March I discovered FDin30D and applied some of the techniques to straighten out my timeline, clarify some aspects of conflict and just generally organize the ms.

After that I spent time looking up all the words that were possibly anachronistic (many of them were) and finding appropriate substitutes.

One of my critiquers and best friends (a professional editor) gave me a line edit, so I've been entering her grammar corrections and applying many of her more general suggestions.

But I also have a ton of other great feedback plus some plot changes/scene moves that need applying. Still, the grammar stuff is really important and has to be completed first.

It's all very overwhelming, which has left me paralyzed. I noodle around, blog hop etc. And now I'm trying to get my office cleaned up after the arrival of the filing cabinet. It's ALMOST done.

Sooooo, I'm publicly resolving, here and now the following things:

1) I can't blog until I've made the changes on at least 3-4 chapters each day

2) I have to report here each day how many chapters I've done!

3) I can't blog hop if I don't meet my goal

Once I've finished cleaning the office (hopefully by noon), I'm going to go through the rest of the ms and see exactly how many scenes/chapters I have left, calculate reasonable goals and post them here.

Hopefully being publicly accountable will help me!


Still Working on: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara
Also Currently Reading: The You I Never Knew by Susan Wiggs
Contemplating Starting: The Queen's Man by Terri Brisbin
Link of the Day:

Crisis (and extra work) averted

Hmm, well for a few minutes there I thought all my goals for this week were going for nought. My dh thought he'd somehow lost our accounting file, which would have meant re-entering a bunch of data. But he just called to say he discovered the folder was accidentally moved into another one! Phew.

I now have the WMP plug-in installed. WBloggar is telling me what I'm listening to, but I'm not sure how to make it show up in my post. Wonder if it happens automatically?


Monday, June 20, 2005

Responding to comments

Lynn - it had been at least 10 years since I bowled. My dad used to bowl all the time, though. He even had trophies! We thought they were neat as kids. You might want to give it a whirl with your dh!
As for filing cabinets, yes, I am a lucky woman. My dh does treat me well :-)

Silma - I'd never heard of Cosmic bowling either, but it was really cool. They added the effects gradually, which made it even cooler!

Teresa - Yes, claim one of those filing cabinets!!

Of course, I'm still trying to get my stuff organized. *vbg*

Teresa (wishing she could figure out how to use smilies with w.bloggar)

Monday, Monday

Yeah, I'm a Mamas and Papas fan *g*.

As you can see from my Unky Moods mood, I'm feeling the effects of a busy, busy weekend. We were out all three nights, and yesterday during the day. Not that it wasn't a lot of fun, but I also made the mistake of drinking too much coffee yesterday, so couldn't sleep much last night.

On the other hand it's a gorgeous day here today, so I can't really complain.

I do, however, need a swift kick up my (insert your preferred word here) as far as my ms goes. I'm kinda frozen and overwhelmed. Ya know the feeling? So much to do? FDin30D has helped to an extent, but with National closing in on me, I'm getting panicky. And find myself procrastinating way too much. Any tips?


Really Almost Finished Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara
Link of the Day: Historical Novel Society

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Bowling is fun!!

Yeah, I know, this isn't the least writing related, but still. Bowling is fun. Our non-fiction bookclub met last night. We'd read Bowling Alone, by Robert D. Putnam, and decided to go bowling after meeting for pizza. It was Cosmic bowling - glow in the dark.

Now, I've only ever done five-pin, so it took me a while to get used to the bigger balls used in ten-pin. My hands are very small, so it wasn't easy. But once I came up with a method (two-handed), I got the hang of things and did pretty well :-)

As for writing, well, didn't accomplish much yesterday. Did some proofing for one of my cps and that was about it. Spent the rest of the time sorting through my papers (I'm still drowning in them), and ordered a couple of books from

Roy Porter's English Society in the 18th Century
The Illustrated Reverse Dictionary

We're going out again later today, so I'd best get up off my behind and do some more work on this paper mountain. Must have this office back in shape by Tuesday, when I need to get down to serious work on my ms.


Almost Finished Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara
Link of the Day: Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Texts pertaining to the Study of English in Eighteenth-Century Great Britain

Friday, June 17, 2005

Report on a rainy Friday morning

So yesterday at noon, Sean arrived home with a large filing cabinet for my office. Granted, I need it, but now I'm surrounded by paper!! I have to get this stuff organized. Am devoting one drawer for my current ms, but have to sort the pile of paper that needs filing into ms stuff, research stuff, industry stuff, craft of writing stuff, miscellaneous stuff... Well, you get the picture *g*.

At least it's a good day for it. The rain is drizzling down now, it had been pouring earlier. And I've already sorted a fair amount of stuff.

So what did I do on my ms yesterday? Edited another couple of scenes. At this point I have to stop and look up stuff on the net - little research things. Like, did they have garden furniture in late eighteenth century England? It looks like they probably at least had benches. I'll have to find a couple of books/sites on eighteenth century painting and have a look there.

We have a busy weekend coming up, so don't be surprised if I'm vewwy, vewwy quiet here. I'm also judging the Golden Gateway contest and want to do at least one entry tomorrow.

So that's my life for right now :-)


Almost finished reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara
Link of the Day: History at Humbul Humanities Web

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Testing w.bloggar

I'm testing out w.bloggar just for fun.

THEN I'm going to start work on my ms. I promise. Damn, I HATE how easy it is to procrastinate!

Hmm, well so much for the experiment...
I had written to them for tech help and so far, haven't heard a peep *s*. Very annoying. The interface looks nice, but in fact, I haven't found a way to access the template. That means I can't add any additional code, such as that for

Lynn - thanks for visiting me over there :-) Hmm, maybe I'll upload that photo here!

Sheri - yes, it is fun exploring new places to blog.

I'm beginning to see why blogspot/blogger remains so popular *g*.

Manuscript Progress
I've edited six scenes. Not as much as I'd like, but life keeps interfering. Hopefully I'll get some good work done today.


Link of the Day: Genealogy
Still reading: Pandora's Breeches

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I forgot to add my...
Link of the Day: Doing Research on the internet.

Today's post is at...
yet another blog host I'm trying out *g*:

Thoughts from Lady Tess


Teresa :-)

Monday, June 13, 2005

So I definitely made the right decision the other day...
Apparently the paramedics here were finding it was the younger people they needed to rescue from heat exhaustion the other day, NOT the elderly or children. Yep, it was those so sure of their own good health who ignored what their bodies were telling them who were treated for problems.

Officially the high on Saturday, with the humidity was 110 degrees F! One of the hottest places in the country. So now I don't feel so bad about calling it quits when I did. Would have hated to have brought out paramedics to treat me for something I KNEW was a problem and just ignored.

Ok - now I'm going to get down to work. Am mostly awake now, but need to go refill my coffee cup.

Happy Monday!


Saturday, June 11, 2005

If at first you don't succeed...
OR end up learning to ride on one of the hottest days of the year....

Yep - I had to give in just past nooon and admit I couldn't go on. I came close to fainting twice out in the parking lot while watching demos of the next lesson. Pretty scary, though not a total surprise. I've always been sensitive to extremes in heat and fainted several times at summer outdoor activities as a child. Not what you want to do while riding a motorcycle.

Soooo, they're going to assign me to another weekend when, hopefully, the weather will be cooler!!!

I'm happy to report, though, that before my body got all cranky, I did manage to start up, ride, change gears and stop my little 125cc motorcycle! Which is more than I could do at this time yesterday.

Yes, my ego is bruised, but it would have been sheer folly to keep going and hurt myself or worse, someone else.

So - that's my day!

Hope everyone has a good weekend :-)


Friday, June 10, 2005

Thoughts on a steamy Friday morning....
It's HOT. Ok, not stupid hot yet, but heading in that direction *g*. I'm used to it, having been born and bred in this area, but my poor dh, who grew up on the West Coast, hasn't quite adapted to the summer temps here. Despite his 20+ years in this area.

So, the cat is lounging on the lower deck. I'm doing laundry and bloghopping/webhopping and contemplating the day.

But first, Lynn asked if I'm going to post about my first solo ride. Yep, I sure will :-) Likely not till Monday morning, though as the weekend will be exhausting.

After that, though, my blogging will drop off precipitously unless it's directly related to FDin30D and my ms. As I mentioned earlier, my nose has to hit that old grindstone next week and I'm determined to stick to it. Which means no bloghopping for me :-( But I HAVE to stand firm on this. I got some great feedback from the contest in which I placed second and need to incorporate some of it along with tons of other stuff that needs to be done to whip this ms into shape.

But today I'm off for lunch with friends, then a bit of shopping. My last day of freedom before two days on a motorcycle, followed by 5 weeks chained to my desk editing my ms.

Time for more coffee.

See y'all on Monday :-)


Read Yesterday: Slightly Single, Wendy Markham

Links of the Day: Historical Research Methods, Evaluating Secondary Research Sources (found via a link on Historical Research Methods), Historical Maps

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Responding to comments from...
Lynn, Brenda and Teresa

Lynn - thanks for the support and the congrats! And we'll see how brave I REALLY am AFTER the weekend *g*.

Brenda - thanks for the congrats and understanding.

Teresa - sorry to hear you're sick. Summer colds are never any fun. Hope you're better soon. And can sleep. I've had sleep problems since I was a teenager, but last night I got mostly caught up. My body finally took over and made me sleep. Much to the cat's dismay *g*. He loves when I have insomnia - means early breakfast and extra time out on his leash.

Motorcycle course classroom session report
It was really kinda fun. We learned a lot, but it was pretty informal. A good mix of talk, interaction, videos and general chatter.

We start bright and early Saturday morning - 7:45 am. And, of course, it's going to be HOT. With a humidex of 40ºC (that's about 104ºF) and thunderstorms. Then again, you can't be assured of perfect conditions whenever you ride, so I guess learning under those conditions is a good thing. I'll just have to remember to take lots of water with me.


Still Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara

Link of the Day: Writers Free Reference
Teresa tagged me for A Walk Down Memory Lane, so here goes...

Rules are:

Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog's name in the #5 spot. You need to... actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme-age to kick in.

1. Soliloquy
2. Joely Sue Burkhart
3. Larissa Ione
4. Teresa Harrison
5. Teresa Eckford

Next, select four unsuspecting victims, list and link to them.

1. Brenda Bradshaw
2. Kate Allan
3. Terescia Harvey
4. Alex Bordessa

Now to on to the meme ~ List Five Things I Miss From My Childhood:

1) Visiting my aunt in Toronto. She died in 1973, the morning after my 8th birthday. My memories of her are still pretty vivid, though and my childhood changed forever after her death as my grandmother then came to live with us.

2) Running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day. I grew up in a neighbourhood where the kids had a pack mentality. We used to gather in someone's garden and take turns running through a sprinkler. Somewhere at my parents' house there's a photo my dad took of us all soaking wet in our bathing suits.

3) Skiing with my dad. He used to take me across the river to the local ski hill several times a winter. Just the two of us. Then later my sister joined us. We'd always stop on the way home at a little corner store to get a Mars bar each (my dad's favourite chocolate bar).

4) Visits to England. For a while we went over every two years, to visit my mum's side of the family. Hanging with my cousins at their caravan down in Dorset was heaven. We'd walk to Ringstead Beach and sit on the stones, wander back along the cliffs and gaze down at the remains of a wrecked ship, then have a sing-along in the evening with Will playing guitar - that's how I know most of the words to Mr. Tambourine Man *g*.

5) Summers at the local pool. My parents would buy us a pool pass and we'd spend every afternoon there - often even when it rained. As I grew older I seemed to spend less time swimming in the pool and more time tanning on the pool deck watching the life guards!!!

That's me done :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A bleary-eyed post...
Last night was the second night I didn't sleep well. Ok, I slept well enough between 11:45pm and 4:15am, but a loud bird ensured I slept no longer than that. I'm feeling particularly exhausted because the rain and heat has ensured lots of pollination in our area, so my eyes have TWO reasons to feel so gritty.

But enough complaining. *g*

Rene, Alex - thanks for your support re my contest final and my less than happy initial reaction. Made me feel better :-)

Now, Rene asked about Pandora's Breeches. It's a study of the women who worked with men during the 16th-18th centuries on scientific discovery. Why would I read this when I'm one of the least scientifically inclined people you've ever met? Well, first, it deals with women's history - one of my favourite topics. Also, it deals with education, another interest I have. And it gives me background for my 18th century heroine - the times in which she lived, what she might have learned etc.

There's another reason. Though I may not be scientific, my sister is a microbiologist (Ph.D.) and my aunt was a biochemist (M.Sc.), so I have been exposed to science and women who take an interest in it. And I've always been fascinated by Marie Sklowdowska Curie, both as a Polish woman and one of intellect and dedication to learning.

The book itself, is quite fascinating. After a brief introduction, Ms. Fara launches into studies of pairings of men and women - from brother/sister teams, patron/protege relationships to husband/wife. The term Enlightenment is a little misleading as at least one of the couples John Dee and his wife Jane Dee, lived in the 16th century. I've already learned a lot and am looking forward to reading more.

What I'm really enjoying is that the writing style is engaging, written in clear language that neither overwhelms the reader with a plethora of scientific detail, nor condescends. As a non-scientist, I appreciate that. I'm about 1/3 of the way through and am eagerly anticipating the chapter on Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and his wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze. I'm familiar with their story after having read about them while researching my thesis about Jacques-Louis David - he painted their portrait.

Reading this book has already given me some ideas for fleshing out my heroine even more.

That's about it for today :-)


Still Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara

Link of the Day: Deb's Historical Research Page

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Responding to comments:

Lynn - LOL. I'm not really that brave. But for the last couple of years I've begun to wonder what it would be like to ride instead of just do the pilion thing, so I figured I might as well try. And as my dh is prone to kidney stone attacks and we go on longer rides now, I figure I should know how to pilot the bike, just in case *g*.

Màili - glad you like the new look :-)

Teresa :-)
I seriously debated blogging about the following but...
now I've stepped back for a day or two, I think I can manage without offending anyone or being too emotional.

You see, I finished second in my RWA Chapter's annual contest the other day. But instead of being happy, I was upset. And mad. Yep, mad. Because I wanted to WIN!! But you know what made me even angrier? The fact I reacted in such a selfish and childish manner. Yep, human it may be, but still, at my age (almost 40) I should be able handle something like this in a far more grown-up manner. And a far more professional one.

Don't get me wrong - I congratulated the winner and resent her not at all. She deserved to win. She's a great writer. And, as it happens, her name is Teresa as well, so how can I hold it against her. She even spells it the right way!

BUT, but, I wanted to WIN!!! This is my fourth time in this contest and the third time I've finalled (2nd, 3rd, 2nd). It feels like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

It's so strange - I accept rejections better than this. Maybe because unlike rejections, which come from people I don't know, this feels personal. But just like anything else in the publishing industry, I have to remember (and was reminded by two good friends) that it WASN'T personal. It wasn't me who lost, it was my ms. The judges don't hate me. Hell, they don't even hate my ms. They just loved someone else's better.

So I'll chalk this up to experience and try not to beat myself up. While part of me wishes I could have been gracious immediately and smiled through my defeat, another part of me recognizes that as a writer I'm a very emotional person. I feel things very keenly. And bottling those feelings up doesn't do me or my writing any good. Don't get me wrong - I didn't pitch a fit or throw my scroll back at the judge. I just didn't appear too thrilled. And most members probably didn't even notice. Still, _I_ knew how I was feeling. Angry, upset, hurt and a little resentful. Very human emotions that we all experience from time to time when something we want is seemingly snatched from our grasp.

Now I'm going back to revising the ms. Did some more work on my timeline the other day and found I likely need a couple more scenes to round out the ms and fill in some gaps in the story. Only a few weeks left till National - my nose will have to hit the grindstone big time next week when my husband is back here in the office and I'm at home.


Currently Reading: Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment by Patricia Fara

Link of the Day: History at Blue Web'n

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Thanks Rene!!!!!!
Wow - that was so easy once you pointed it out :-) I even figured out the wrap colour as well, so now my blog looks like I want it to.

Glad you like the retooling. The easiest way to try it yourself, is to save a copy of your template as it is, THEN play and use the Preview feature. If you don't like what you get, then just put the original back :-)

Thanks for the congrats! I'm really happy with myself. And looking forward to trying out the motorcycle for myself. It'll be smaller than the one I"ll be riding if a) I decide I like it and b) I can pass the test *g*, but small is probably good, as I've never done anything but ride pillion.

Off to enjoy the warmth and sunshine now.

Thanks again, Rene :-)

Saturday am drive-by posting...
A busy day ahead - visiting a friend's garage sale, planting, shopping *g*, etc.

One request - if anyone can tell me WHERE in the Blogger Template (I've altered the Scribe one) I can change the colour of the background for my blog, I'd appreciate it. I tried several spots, but nothing was right *sigh*. I'd prefer burgundy, rather than brown.

Ok - off to that garage sale! Definitely summer in the 'burbs *vbg*.

Happy Weekend!

Teresa :-)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Ok - I couldn't resist tinkering...
So, what do y'all think? I'm still learning my way around the blogger template. Hope it looks ok :-) I've had these images for ages, so figured I might as well use them. Jaguarwoman's site is a lot different now - she doesn't even seem to have the 17th Century set available anymore. Glad I held onto it :-)

And now, as it's a glorious, hot day here, I'm off to the deck to have some lunch.

I have my Level 1 Motorcycle License!!!
Yep - I passed those tests with flying colours. In fact my ONLY mistake came on something that WASN'T in the book! Oh well. So now I have the piece of paper in my hot little hand, I start the practical side next week. Wednesday night there's a classroom session, then I suit up and actually learn to ride next Saturday and Sunday! I'm soooo excited about this. I figure I'll have lots of fun and find out if I'm meant to actually drive a bike or be a passenger only. I've been itching to try it for the last couple of summers and even talked about it. Now I'm actually going to DO it :-)

Elsewhere in Blogland...
Lynn has a great new look for her Road to Writing Blog, now titled A Jolt of Reality. Hop on over to see.

Gina Welborn now has a blog and the entry that caught my eye is one on Judging. Yep, and she hits on some of my pet peeves about Judge Training.

Now don't get me wrong, like Gina I think that training judges is a GOOD idea. BUT, sometimes there are absolutes included that I just can't agree with. Years ago on a judge training listserv I was almost drummed out of the corps for daring to suggest I would actually USE the lower two scores on the scale. We were told it wasn't a good idea as it discouraged the entrants. Well, I'm sorry, but if you only use the top three marks in a five mark system, those at the higher end are going to receive absolutely perfect scores, which, IMHO, isn't generally realistic. Nor is it fair to those writers who show some talent but genuinely still need a lot of practise before their work will be at a level that won't send their submissions right to the circular file. Letting them BELIEVE their work is already at a near publishable level when it's not, is just plain mean. Far meaner, I believe, than using 1s and 2s backed up with specific and helpful comments.

Note the conditions I place on using those lower scores. As a judge, you have no right to score people low and not explain WHY you're doing so. The only way they can improve their writing is to LEARN. As a judge I've seen some amazing stories buried deep underneath poor prose, bouncing pov and a plethora of romance fiction clich�s. So yes, I do use the lower score range, but I also make my reasons for doing so clear. Interestingly enough, the nicest thank you notes I've received from contest entrants have been from those people I've marked low.

Gina brings up one thing I'd like to address. Her judge training tells her NOT to comment on non-American spellings. She contends she'll do so, but not score anyone down, but it's something she likes to mention they need to be aware of. Well, being a Canuck, I can say that the majority of non-US writers are only too aware of the differences and the need to use US spelling when submitting to American editors and agents. My feelings aren't hurt when a judge points it out, it's more like I'm annoyed that they think I'm an idiot for not KNOWING. For me it all depends on HOW it's pointed out, but in general it's not an issue because I've learned to change all my spellings to US before entering American contests. However, please do keep in mind that we foreigners are aware of the differences in spelling and grammar.

That said - her commentary is insightful and something anyone thinking of judging should take note of, along with contest coordinators and those who train the judges. Giving us absolutes isn't any more helpful than just turning people loose with no direction at all.

Ok - I have lots of work to catch up on now, so I'd best be off :-)


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Can you tell I'm having no fun studying this drivers stuff?
First - go visit the Blog Party for Jennifer Lindsay's book The Lady Soldier (thanks, Alex, for the tip).

Then, pop over to A Villa in Tuscany - a cooperative blog brought you by Rene, Melissa and Olivia. It's about writing the books we love :-)

Ok, back to Freeway Driving.

Arrggghhh - I tagged the wrong Kelly yesterday!
I MEANT to tag Kelly Boyce. So Kelly B, consider yourself tagged for the book meme below.

Teresa (who obviously needs to drink more coffee!!)
Sorry to tag you again! Guess I didn't notice you'd already been hit *g*. Oh well :-) Now I'll have to go search back in your blog for your answers!

Thanks for the good wishes :-) Think of me tomorrow morning while I'm writing the d******* tests.

Jo Beverley has a blog...
It's not an interactive one, though. Which is fine. Because she's using it to post interesting bits and bobs from her ongoing research for the various books she has in the pipeline.

Pop over to Minepast for a look-see.