Saturday 29 January 2011

Word of the Week #26

Delphic (adj.)
Something obscure and ambiguous, often prophetic.


Wednesday 26 January 2011

Necessary Break

Due to an insane workload this week I'm afraid I won't have time to write anything. I thus take the opportunity to remind you that taking a break from your work once in a while to gain a new perspective on things can be a good thing. I'll be back in working order next week when I've put some of my assignments behind be.

Take care!

Sunday 23 January 2011

Word of the Week #25

Equivocal (adj)
Of doubtful nature, ambiguous. From which it is possible to make more than one deduction. E.g. "Politicians are always equivoal, they never answer anything straight."


Friday 21 January 2011

5 Great Novels That Should Become Movies

I'm mostly not a fan of seeing my favourite novels on the big screen, simply because I feel that, frankly, they're being abused and even ruined. Yet, there is still something special about those images in your head coming to life, even in a less perfect version. Some movies I wish I hadn't seen (*cough* Harry Potter *cough* Hitchhiker's Guide *cough*), but I remain hopeful that if the following novels were ever made into movies I would enjoy them almost as much as the originals. So if you happen to have a few million-billion American dollars (or however much it takes to make a movie nowadays) that you feel like turning into an awesome movie, here are some books you might want to invest in.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Word of the Week #24

Cantankerous (adj)
Someone who complains a great deal, who is disagreable and ill-tempered. Someone who's difficult to deal with. E.g. "I hate him, he's so cantankerous and annoying."


Saturday 15 January 2011


Today I signed up for NaNoEdMo '11! NaNoEdMo stands for National Novel Editing Month and begins March 1. I feel I need something to motivate me in my editing, which is marching far too slowly. I haven't done EdMo before, but as far as I understand you are supposed to spend 50 hours in the month of March editing a novel. It doesn't sound impossible, so I though I would give it a shot. It doesn't seem as fun as NaNoWriMo, but I fear it is very necessary in order to ger my editing done. So all of you out there who are finding editing harder than you thought, sign up for EdMo and spend March in terrible misery, but at least you'll get some editing done, right?

Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin

I have just finished reading this excellent biography on Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin. Firstly, let me mention that I have read quite a few biographies on Austen, as well as the James-Edward Austen-Leigh memoirs and Deirdre Le Faye's collection of all Austen's letters. You can definitely say that I devour everything that has to do with Austen and her writing. As such, I have been slightly disappointed in the previous biographies I've read because there really isn't much known about Austen since so few of her letters have survived. Mostly, biographies consist of a mentioning of this fact, and then either many great gaps in the story or just guesswork from the author's side.

In this novel, however, Tomalin has used some unrelated correspondence as well as much information gathered from Austen's relations' letters - and of course previous analyses of Austen's life - to paint as complete a picture as possible of Austen and how she lived. Naturally there are things we do not know, but they are fewer than I've felt them to be before. Tomalin uses is a fictional-esque narrative that guides us through Austen's life, through hard winters, to Bath where she stopped writing for a decade, and to her family visits in order to care for newborns and their mothers.

There is only one thing that bothered me with Tomalin's biography, which is that she places heavy judgement on Austen's parents for making her guarded and thick-skinned by first sending her to be nursed by a stranger as an infant and then sending her to boarding school at a very young age. More than one Austen child is accused of these character traits, yet I cannot imagine (though in no way claiming to be an expert) that these practises were in any way unusual. I only mention it because it is a recurring accusation that bothered me. I admit to be picking on details, however, because it is an excellent book and I can find no other faults. Well worth reading, especially if you're interested in the early 19th century England, as well as Austen herself.

Monday 10 January 2011

Word of Last Week #23

Gumption (noun)
Resourcefulness, the ability to know the right thing to do is, and do it. Guts.
E.g. "I didn't have the gumption to try."


Friday 7 January 2011

Insults Galore!

Sometimes you have to write characters that aren't so nice. It simply part of the job as a writer. A good way to get back at those characters once you finally get the chance (the bad guy usually get it in the end, after all) is to insult them. Insult them bad. Unfortunately, if you're like me, it can be quite hard to come up with the perfect comeback. Luckily, with writing, you can take your time and prepare the perfect one. Here I have collected a few insults, and some other resources where you can find more detailed ones if needed. Enjoy!

One way to insult someone is to call them names. Now, there are some classics like "idiot" and "moron", but they tend to become tired after a while. These next ones are slightly more fun, at least I think so. The first is taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It's not used as an insult, however, but works very well as one.

"a slow-witted, stupid, or foolish person" -

The second one is one commonly used by Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's novels. Imagine it spoken sharply with a French accent.

Saturday 1 January 2011

Word of the Week #22

Precursory (adj.)
Indicates that something will follow. Preliminary. E.g. "The precursory event indicated that the prophecy was about to come true".