What The Poet “Said”

It’s a pleasant surprise to have your phone ping around 10pm and find this, as I did last night. I screen captured it earlier this morning. Yes, this is about the time I usually start my day:

Text messages exchange screen capture.
Text messages exchange screen capture.

That opener is from my new poet friend, Tracey, in Cambridge. She’d found out who I am through a mutual friend. She’d texted me a few weeks ago that she wanted to read what I’d written.

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Instagram “7-7-7” Challenge (Brought To WordPress)

For starters, I would like to point out that what follows is all Kate Colby’s (The Cogsmith’s Daughter and The Courtesan’s Avenger) fault.😉 Yesterday, I found on Instagram that she had included me (along with six other authors) in a “challenge” to share 7 sentences from page 7 in my latest work in progress. Next I needed to challenge 7 additional authors to do the same.

Quickly, I was able to offer up the first two sevens in Conventions, and did so:

7 lines from page 7 of Conventions, in progress. [Photo by me, 2016.]
7 sentences from page 7 of Conventions, in progress. [Photo by me, 2016.]
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Endings

Since “Day 1” I have known broadly how Conventions would end. Back on Friday, I summoned up the courage and wrote it in detail – the final chapter. While writing one always also surprises oneself, too: as I worked on it I realized I could toss in an unexpected (and in my humble opinion, great) last twist.

After the dust had settled, re-reading it in its entirety, I found the chapter to be – accidentally – a combination of happy and sad (and poignant). That’s striking a bit of “lucky” balance. I’d “signed off” for the weekend well-pleased with what I’d managed.

Rainbows over Hertfordshire, England, spotted earlier this morning looking out from our kitchen. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Rainbows over Hertfordshire, England, spotted earlier this morning looking out from our kitchen. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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From Our Forebears

If you write historical fiction, this sort of stuff is great to encounter. It gets you thinking. How our world continues to evolve:

Screen capture of the Guardian.
Screen capture of the Guardian.

Objectively, that’s essentially true: our norms are “male.” However, it is also true that such is due to our social heritage. It hasn’t come about in an historical vacuum.

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Noticed By A Poet

A couple of months ago a mutual friend put me in touch with a poet in Cambridge. Tracey, the poet, is also a self-confessed “techno-phobe.” Nonetheless, she is hoping to see her work in e-book form (it’s already in print) and our shared friend had thought of me, and I offered to help.

In the interim, however, we have had our house move here to Hertfordshire, so I haven’t been able to be much help yet. But recently she wrote me that she wanted to read some of what I’d written. Well, I found out yesterday: she texted me that she now has Passports:

Screen capture of a text message to me yesterday.
Screen capture of a text message to me yesterday.

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When “They” Spoke “Olde English”

I loved Cas Blomberg’s post: “What do you like in a story?” She lists the sorts of things – her personal “likes” and “dislikes” – that should make any author think. As her take would apply to any reader, it is worth reading her post in full.

This “dislike” naturally grabbed my attention:

Difficult language — Victorian, Venusian, the Tyk’gkt’der language, etc.

“Victorian?” Uh, oh. Well, I’m not using “Victorian,” but I’m definitely employing what might be termed “Georgian” and “early American independence” – the later 1700s mostly – in Conventions.

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Stop: Don’t Throw The PC Out The Window

We spent the weekend down in Christchurch….

View towards Christchurch Priory. Christchurch, England. [Photo by me, 2011.]
View towards Christchurch Priory. Christchurch, England. [Photo by me, 2011.]

….visiting with the couple – our former neighbors there, where we used to live – who had generously lent us their flat in Tenerife back in the spring. They are also the inspiration for “Mrs and Mr Hall-Surrey” in the Atlantic Lives novels. And they know they are – and were such good sports about it when they discovered it.

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Circle Of Thirteen

Happy Fourth of July!:

Betsy Ross, 13 Stars U.S.A. Flag, 1777-1795. [Wikipedia. Public Domain.]
Betsy Ross, 13 Stars U.S.A. Flag, 1777-1795. [Wikipedia. Public Domain.]

Uh, sorry. Of course that’s not the current version of the U.S. flag. I’m spending way too much time lately in the 1790s.😉

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Decided: I’m No Fan Of “Fan Fiction”

Remember my post on writers simply ignoring the existence of copyright as if it somehow doesn’t apply to them? Apparently, Amazon hasn’t caught on yet about James Bond “fan fiction” for sale on the site. Look at this screen capture of an email I recently received:

Screen capture of an Amazon email to me.
Screen capture of an Amazon email to me.

We know how Amazon works by now. Merely because I’d visited the page for that Saving Mecca in order to write that post, Amazon automatically marketed that book, and others like it, at me. And that’s not the first email such as that I’ve received.

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Trapped In “Interesting Times”

I mentioned it yesterday. I’m sure you’ve heard in recent days about the June 23 referendum in which 52 percent of U.K. voters chose to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. It has been a controversial choice on those voters’ parts to say the least.

The British losing minority is furious. European Union officialdom is irate. European heads of government are – if not publicly, likely privately – angry. And it seems onlookers in much of the rest of the world are baffled.

The "Big Ben" clock at the Palace of Westminster, London. [Photo by me, 1996.]
The “Big Ben” clock at the Palace of Westminster, London. [Photo by me, 1996.]
A majority of its voters having made their wish known, the United Kingdom is, for the moment, essentially “a pariah state.” This is now “the new normal.” It will likely last for some time to come.

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