la_marquise: (Marquise)
As of tomorrow, I am going to be good.
I will get to my desk earlier, go to the gym and get on with Teh Writing.
I will spend less time playing stupid games and looking to see if anything interesting is happening on the internet.

In preparation for this I have:
deleted Bookworm
stayed up far later than I intended looking to see if there is anything interesting happening on the internet...

Pigs may be sighted flying over my house, I but I intend to try, at least, because I want to finish The Drowning Kings, do the rewrites on Grass King and get to a point where I can start Gracielis no. 2 (which needs a title. But I have Ideas!).

The f'list is invited to throw brickbats at me if I seem to be loitering too much online.

Skirt of the day: green maxi-dress, in fact.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words today: 1045
First new line: Men poured up the hill to the site of the abbot’s hall, crowding around the blackened walls.
(which is a bit clumsy and needs reworking, I think).
Hyfaidd is plotting and Owain is worried.

Writing meme question 5: By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?
By age, Gif the dog is definitely the oldest -- she's only 9 months. And the Grass King has to be the oldest, given he's some kind of elemental embodiment thingy who has more or less always been.
In the other sense, discounting fanfic, Valdarrien has been around longest: I first wrote about him in 1989. The newest is a nameless monk who served Hyfaidd with a cup of water in what I wrote today.

It's too hot and I am, as a result, rather ratty. Horus has had a very long nap, as he refused to go out until after the builders had left for the day. And I am obliged to keep an eye on Moon, as they poured concrete today, and she has form in walking in it when wet. (We warned the builders about this, to which N, the main contractor, said, 'Ah, she wants to be famous.')
Skirt of the day: red and gold silk wrap.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words today: 1581 --- 555 this morning, the rest between 16.30 and 18.20, Two writing sessions is clearly the way to go.
First new line: Other men crowded past him, pushing and jostling each other in the need to see, differences forgotten now.
The fire is out, but the king of Ceredigion is missing. We may have a body before the end of tomorrow.

Writing meme question 4: Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
The first 'proper' sf story I wrote was for my English teacher when I was 12 or 13. It was a tale of treachery, telepathic identical twins and a spaceship in danger, heavily influenced by classic Star Trek. The heroine -- raven-headed, grey eyed, telepathic and tragic -- had Mary Sue stamped all through her bones, but I had a lot of fun writing about her and her adventures for several years afterwards and I still have a fondness for her. She was 17, as I recall, and I had her tragic death at 23 all planned out -- that was, after all, hideously old, and no-one could possibly want to age any further. I don't think there's anything remotely retrievable in those stories, but they were good practice and I learnt a lot before her perfection began to grate on me and I just stopped writing about her. And my next main heroine was a tough interstellar union activist, who I still think may have a story or two in her.

In other news, the builders are back and are preparing to fit pipes and pour concrete, much to the marquis' relief. He doesn't like building delays. Horus, on the other hand, does not like strangers in his garden, so is less impressed. And I sneaked out for a lovely long lunch (with good beer and good ciabatta and very nice cake) with [ profile] woolymonkey and her friend L, who is delightful.

Skirt of the day: long crinkle wedgewood.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words: 1087

First new line: Hyfaidd said, ‘Once thing more.’
An unexpected fire, and an edge of a quarrel. Things are hotting in up in both senses.

Writing meme day 3: How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

Ah, now this is a good one, because names matter hugely to me, and they have to match. One thing I really hate in fantasy is when characters' names seem to be completely random, with no cultural linking or similarities. I find that almost disrespectful, as though difference is somehow ignored or seen as irrelevant. So my own names have to have the right feel for whatever culture I'm writing in/about. Merafien names are usually Latinate in feel, Lunedithin names need to feel p-Celtic (Welsh/Breton style) while names from Tarnaroq have an Anglo-Saxon texture. In the early 90s I spent a year working on a hand-list of Welsh royal documents and as a result I spent a lot to time reading mediaeval charter, close, fine and court rolls, and I got into the habit of noting down names that struck me as interesting for some reason or another, be it sound, shape or spelling. I take a certain number of the names I use from those sources, sometimes re-spelling or adapting them. So Thiercelin is from Tiercelin and Miraude from Meraude. Iareth is a 12th century Welsh spelling of the Biblical name Yaphet; Kenan is way Welsh Cynan tended to be spelled in Latin texts; Quenfrida is my reworking of Old English Cwenfrith. Oh, and Thiercelin's surname du Laurier is a Dumas reference (it's the name Planchet uses when he's involved in the Paris Fronde in Twenty Years After) Some names are all my own work -- Valdarrien, for instance, but they have to fit the overall feel or I end up changing them. Same with the names in Grass King, where I have two old French names (Jehan and Aude), a group that are meant to feel tonal (but not specifically Chinese -- I wanted them to feel like they come from a wholly different type of language -- Sujhien, Lienye) and another that feel like Latin (as opposed to the Latinate Merafien type) -- Marcellan, Yelena, because they come from an older form of the modern Merafien language.
With The Drowning Kings, the aim is to keep the names comprehensible, since many people find Welsh names -- especially Old Welsh names -- difficult. So when possible, I'm using the shorter ones -- Owain, Idwal. Some of the historical characters have challenging names -- Hyfaidd -- but those I can't change.

It's too hot, and I have eaten too many crisps. Sigh...
la_marquise: (Default)
New words: a rather sticky 647.
First new line: ‘I will let your wife and the holy brothers pass through my kingdom unmolested. So long as you and your warband remain within the boundaries of Ceredigion.’

Hyfaidd is pensive, and Owain is jumping to conclusions.

Writing meme, day 2: 2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

I have no idea how many! I tend to large casts, though -- Grass King surprised me by having only eleven named characters (plus a named horse). I suspect LWG has rather more -- pauses to think -- at least 19. So far Drowning Kings has 13, as of chapter 5. And quite a few more speaking parts. I refuse to count up the short story ons, of the fanfic...
I do have favourite characters, but I don't think it's to do with gender. I find my female characters more difficult, sometimes, as I have to work harder to let them be stroppy without being 'feisty' (I hate 'feisty' heroines) but that's to do with the way we're used to thinking about men and women, not to do with my preferences. My favourite characters in LWG,/i> are Thiercelin and Amalie; in Grass King I probably love Qiaqia best; in Drowning Kings I'm not sure as yet, though I have a very soft spot for Gif the dog.


Jul. 1st, 2010 05:58 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words: 1034
First new line: Cadog shook his head. ‘Yes. Yes, I suppose so.’

Finally, the politics! Hyfaidd is as smooth as can be and the abbot is trying to match him. And Gwgan... Well, that's for tomorrow.

Skirt of the day: gold silk wrap.
la_marquise: (Default)
New words today: 1061
First new line: From the other side of Tryffin, the elderly monk, Brother Sawyl, spoke up. ‘The young find it hard to recognise sin.’
Fight! Well, verbal conflict, at least. Sawyl is quoting Gildas. Gwgan approves. Abbot Sulien doesn't -- and what is up with Cadog?

The shiny: half an hour spent translating bits of Gildas' On the Ruin of Britain. Because a good rant never dates.

Skirt of the day: rust cotton.

It's still too hot and the builders have gone home for the day. I've been watching Foshan Leung Sinsaang (aka Real Kung Fu) from 2005, which was Yuen Biao's first tv series for Hong Kong station TVB. At twenty episodes, it's short by TVB standards, but its selling point was the reappearance of real action stars and fight scenes. It's loosely based on YB's early star vehicle The Prodigal Son (Ba ga jai, Hong Kong 1982) which I wrote about a while back. In FLS, YB reprises his role as Leung Jan, who is here a hard-working but poor kung fu student who gets caught up in a murder, an opium ring and some nasty politics. Maggie Siu Mei Chi, who co-starred with him in The Ultimate Crime Fighter is his sharp-tongued love interest and his first master is the wonderful Yuen Wah. (Yay. We love Yuen Wah.) Leung Kar Yan takes on the role played in the film by the late Lam Ching Ying and does a very OTT impression of the latter. Lee Hoi Sam is on hand as a faithful servant, and Gordon Liu Chia-Hui is a local magistrate. Some excellent choreography and set pieces so far and no major angst -- but I'm only 6 episodes in, so that's sure to turn up soon.


Jun. 22nd, 2010 06:14 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
New words today: 1074
First new line: ‘Welcome,’ he said. ‘Follow me.’

There's a feast and I am struggling. Unlike [ profile] desperance, I do not have the gift of food porn. Chaz, how do I make fish and pork and root vegetables sound exciting?

Mooncat likes her new outdoor litter tray very much, though the structural engineer doesn't appreciate our neighbour's trees. Builders are taking tomorrow off while the engineer and the architect talk foundations.
It's too hot. I am wearing one of my lightest skirts and I'm still warmer than I like. Horus is basking in the shade, Moon is monitoring all activities. Ish I haven't seen all day: he has Duties, after all.

Skirt of the day: floral flippy.


Jun. 21st, 2010 06:19 pm
la_marquise: (Horus)
New words: 1138
First new line: Owain wished her brother well of that.
A bit treacly today -- I've finished ch. 3 and started 4, which needs to be mostly politics and may be slow going.
There is now a largish hole in the back garden where the foundations of the marquis' new shed will be. Horus is deeply dubious about the builders but likes the new landscaping.
And I seem to have done something faintly foolish while exercising and my shoulders are very complain-y. Boo to that.
Skirt of the day: green silk wrap.


Jun. 18th, 2010 04:24 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
New words: 1041
Project: The Drowning Kings
First new line today: He said, ‘I’m sorry. About the dog.’
Gif is uncertain and Owain isn't sure he knows how to talk to girls.

Why, I ask myself, do I not only give the dog a name from a very early nursery rhyme, but then bang my head against a nasty textual problem in the two lines therein that I need to translate? Mutter, mutter, mutter... There's nothing like Welsh history to send you to the dogs (and the dictionary) sometimes.

The builders left early today, as they have run out of stuff to do without their digger,a nd that doesn't arrive till Monday. So all is nice and quiet. A friend of a neighbour has come round and collected the marquis' ancient Honda CM125 motorbike, intending to rebuild it, and the marquis is happy that it's finally found a new home. The cats are fascinated by the new aspects in their garden -- no shed! Lots of bits of ex-shed leaning on the hedge to be sniffed and marked! Big open sandpit! Wheel-barrows! Ish likes the new things to investigate, Mooncat like having new people to supervise and everyone likes the new tunnels behind the leaning bits of wood, but Horus is rather baffled by the sudden reduction in branches and height of one of his climbing trees.
Skirt of the day: denim. It's cooler weather and I have no brain.


Jun. 17th, 2010 04:11 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
New words today: 1006
First new line: The atmosphere in the hall was poisonous.
Gif is happy, and Owain has just met someone who is more important that he knows.

The builders have finished for the day. My poor apple tree is no more than a stump, the marquis' old shed in a pile of neat pieces and the concrete slab that underlay it is rubble, save for a corner where Caspian set his paw-prints, which we've saved. I've rescued a few of the baby apples, with a hope of perhaps being able to grow something from one of them. Moon has supervised to her satisfaction: Horus havered, hovered, hid, then rushed back in at around 3 to tell me that we had Invaders! It was Loud! Ish has been about his own affairs.
I'm proud of myself for writing through this, despite finding it all very distracting and alarming. Experience tells me that I'll grow re-accustomed to builders about the place. I survived nine months of it while working on i>The Four Musketeers, but all the same...

Skirt of the day: gold silk wrap.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
I took yesterday off, to go down to London with the marquis, [ profile] anef and Michael winolj to see the revival of Dion Boucicault's 1841 play London Assurance at the National Theatre, which was huge fun, if not entirely Art. Simon Russell Beale dominated in the main role of Sir Harcourt Courtly, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Prince Regent in his later portraits. And Fiona Shaw, who I have found mannered in certain roles, was very entertaining as his foil, Lady Gay Spanker. The plot is fairly standard farce, but the cast seemed to be having fun (there were several incidents of corpsing, mainly due to the outrageousness of Russell Beale) and the timing - given how much the audience laughed -- was impeccable. There was also a fine performance by a radio-controlled rat, the always-good Mark Addy in a splendid dressing gown, and Richard Briers in nightgown and cap with a blunderbuss.

And today I have been good and added 1004 new words to The Drowning KIngs even though it is Too Hot here. (Yes, I know almost everyone loves the heat, but I wilt and can't concentrate. I am a cold-blooded midlander.)

First new line: There was a long moment of silence as Hyfaidd held the gaze of Gwgan’s penteulu.
(The penteulu is the head of the royal warband.)

Things are hotting up, and Owain has an invitation to dinner.

Skirt of the day: grey silk wrap.


May. 21st, 2010 04:19 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words today: 1418, mostly typed, about a third dictated via Dragon.
First new line: The traders who worked the coasts on either side of the Irish Sea carried tales of bellicose Irish clergymen starting wars and leading warbands into battle.

The rival king has arrived and Owain is about to have a nasty shock. Gif thinks there are too many people.

Book is behaving surprisingly well, though I'm concerned about pacing -- this is chapter three and so far only one person is dead (one of the warband, killed in an ambush). I need to push on to the first premeditated murder. It's being fun to write this week, however (modulo my neck, which will not behave) and that is good. I just hope it lasts.

Skirt of the day: cream and purple thistle patterned.


May. 20th, 2010 09:09 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words: 645
First new line: His eyes narrowed as his attention turned once again to Owain.

Chapter 2 finished and chapter 3 started: the king of Ceredigion is about to arrive. Owain is worried about what to tell the king, the king is very annoyed, and the abbot is smug. Gif is feeling left out.

Stopped short as my neck started hurting, and I had to switch to Dragon naturally Speaking, with which I'm still not fully adept. It's learning the Welsh names very fast, though, which is impressive and I am getting faster. It's a good programme and I should learn to be more comfortable with it, as it is better for my shoulders.

Also had a very pleasant afternoon sitting in the garden, and inflicted an Indian film buddy song on [ profile] woolymonkey. Have eaten too many crisps, but I can do penance later, I guess.

Skirt of the day: silk patchwork.
la_marquise: (Goth marquise)
A lovely day, yesterday, with [ profile] lil_shepherd and [ profile] inamac, who came up for the day. We took Dracopup for a long walk across Coldham's Common, and he chased his ball and found new smells and bounced. Then we took him to the Cambridge Blue, he had water and treats and made lots of new friends while we ate and drank some excellent beer, then on into the Old Cemetery, where Draco met even more new doggy friends and played bounce and chase and more bounce. And then back, by which time the humans were tired and needed cake, and Draco was still bouncing.
If we could bottle that bounce, we'd have no energy crisis.
The cats were not impressed. Everywhere the dog had been had to be very closely inspected. Horus refused to let me out of his sight for at least three hours after everyone left, presumably in case I was hiding Draco somewhere.
No writing, because it was a day for Fun and Hanging Out, which are goodnesses. Skirt was blue wedgewood.

And today back to writing and scheduled laundry. ANd extra laundry (one duvet -- thank you, Ish).

New words today: 1055 new words.
First new line 'Owain's conscience twinged.'
The king is suspicious and the abbot is behaving very oddly. Google Earth is proving very useful, though I am probably Making Assumptions about where certain things used to be, mainly for my own convenience.

Skirt of the day: panelled teal
la_marquise: (Default)
Shoulders are a lot better (yay), so the book is moving along again.
New words: 1012
First new line written: Unlike its bond village, the abbey settlement showed no signs of poverty.

Owain is fretting, Gif is dozing and Something Is Rotten.

Had a lovely weekend with [ profile] eleyan, [ profile] miramon, [ profile] frostfox, [ profile] maeve_the_red, [ profile] tower_of_chaos and the marquis, with food and lovely alcohol and cats. Then home to the discovery that somehow, the cat-flap (left on in only) had got itself effectively set to out only, and all three cats were stuck outside. Moon was indignant, Ish sanguine, Horus skittish but pleased to see food. I was, of course, mortified. And very relieved that all three were fine. My precious kitties shut out all night! It was very fortunate that all three turned up very fast when we came home -- Moon and Ish were door-stepping and I found Hor8us very quickly when I called. I am a bad pet-owner. I grovel.
They got special gushy food as an apology. And lots and lots of fuss.

The marquis started two weeks' jury service this morning, which will be interesting, and means he'll be home at sensible times for once. He's quite looking forward to it, as it will be a break from work and a chance to focus on something else for a while. Meanwhile, I still have to do the laundry.
And [ profile] inamac and [ profile] lil_shepherd are visiting tomorrow. Yay!

Skirt of the day: black jeans.


May. 11th, 2010 01:58 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
Three days off, for the anniversary event and so forth. Book complaining about the delay and whinging about getting going again. Mutter.

New words today: 1258
First new line: Despite himself, Owain looked back down the line, to where the king rode.

The war-band have reached the abbey, and are rather muddy. The abbot is expansive, Idwal is hoping for beer, and no-one knows what the king makes of all of it.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words: 1083
First new line: Brother Cadog walked alongside whoever led the horse carrying the body, talking cheerfully.

Owain is prying, Cadog is contemplating vikings, and the marquise is inventing raids that *might* have happened.


May. 6th, 2010 12:20 pm
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words added: 1006
First new line: It was a hour or more past full dawn by the time they were ready to set off.

The warband are on their way to St Dogmaels, and Owain is pondering the omens.
la_marquise: (Marquise)
New words: 1010
First line added: Except it did not feel that way.

Gif has Found Some Water! Owain is suspicious and Cadog is being guileless.

Mooncat, meanwhile, if being very helpful in the keeping the human clean stakes.
Skirt of the day: black flouncey.


la_marquise: (Default)

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