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Thud. 12,000 words of fairy tale retelling, called "The Herbalist's Apprentice," for the Cats Curious Press project, which means 12,000 words of story I'm not going to be able to sell anywhere else (because it's long, yes, AND because it's a dread fairy tale retelling), but I had a damn good time writing it, it was a fairy tale I've wanted to retell since I was about twelve, and I would have eventually written it or something very like it anyway.

It could, OF COURSE, have been a novel instead. Which is why it's 2k over the guideline, so I hope they are being lenient and it doesn't get a straight rejection for that alone... but I did get it cut down from 15k. Oof. I never know.

Rejection on a reprint submish to one of the *pods. No biggie. Reprint rejections don't hurt my spirit much.

We spent a long weekend with my brother-in-law and family, including my hilarious niece and nephew. Always a good time, even when the septic system isn't working and we've got limited showers and flush-stacking going on. We got to see John and Erin and their three kids, even, so even more fun than usual.

We watched No Country for Old Men on Sunday night, and Dann, Melinda and I all had the same reaction, which was to want to smack Tom for putting us through the hell of it. Once the end credits rolled and I realized it was all based on a Cormac McCarthy book, I realized what the fundamental disconnect was. I cannot, cannot, CANNOT, get any purchase in Cormac McCarthy's worlds as he builds them. I fear reading The Road, which I vaguely feel I have to read, and I fear ever stumbling across another McCarthy book or book-based film. McCarthy was the one true blight on an otherwise blissful Westerns film class I took in college--because we were doing Westerns, the instructor felt that reading All the Pretty Horses was in order (the movie version wasn't out yet). I bounced so hard off that book, I don't even have words. Same feelings of frustration and malaise and annoyance during NCfOM. And I wanted to like it. I was all happy to see Josh Brolin and Cromartie, and it's been so long since I've seen a good Western. The only thing this had going for it as a Western was the landscapes, and they faded away by the middle of the movie, segueing into townscapes and the interiors of cheap motels.

The travel parts of the trip were surprisingly easy. I've either lost enough inches that airplane seats are more comfy or airplane seats have gotten bigger, and while people suggest that the latter is starting to happen, I don't think that was the case. We got to the airport early enough--and the flight was delayed enough--that we had a good breakfast at (of all things) a Max and Erma's. French toast and fruit cup and three cups of tea. Perfect. The trip back was not bad either.

And the cats missed us. Boy howdy.

14) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

What a superb book. It's got Voice by the truckload, and delightful little asides and bon mots, and a captivating plot line, and my only real problem with it is that it ended, and I didn't like where it ended, in spite of the optimism and the evocativeness... I wanted a real ending.

I thought I caught a very stiff kick at Cold Comfort Farm in there several times, but I can't be sure. (Not a nod. A kick.)

I read The Hundred and One Dalmations when I was a kid, and I vaguely remember that it had some of the wit in evidence in this book. I'm sort of curious to go back and re-read it. I also rather don't want to, because, well, ugh. I know the plotline. I know it to death.

I'm pleased to find Smith has six other books which don't seem to be dalmation-related, and four autobiographies and some plays. I think that this is an author whose work I should definitely like to explore further.

Exercise: 30 minutes strength training (mainly arms, but also some hips adductor thingies)
Writing: 60 minutes before work. Fairy tale again. Almost done. Again.
Writing locations: The Reading Room
TV: none
Reading: All kinds of things for Excelsior writing group

Exercise: 35 minutes on a different elliptical
Writing: 60 minutes before work. Fairy tale again. Done. Just need to cut. And rewrite the ending.
Writing locations: the Reading Room

Exercise: none but chasing the children
Writing: about 30 minutes of Greater Than
Writing location: the chair in the basement at my brother-in-law's house
TV: A lot of "Wow, Wow Wubzie" with my niece
Reading: Finished "I Capture the Castle."
Languages: 1.5 Greek lessons (alphabet review and vowels)

Exercise: none beyond kid-chasing
Writing: about ten minutes of scribbled notes while children napped; 30 minutes of editing before bed
Writing locations: in the guest bed
TV: various kid-tv, and twenty minutes of an ep of 90210
Movies: Two Weeks Notice on Oxygen
Reading: one Entertainment Weekly, half a Glamour, and two Newsweeks

Exercise: expert-level kid-chasing
Writing: none
TV: kid-tv again
Reading: another Newsweek, and a Parenting magazine; a chapter of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice
Movies: No Country for Old Men
Languages: review of 1.5 Greek lessons (alphabet and vowels)

Exercise: yoga, 60 minutes. Ouch owie. After two weeks off, my joints don't remember how this is supposed to go.
Writing: about three hours of editing, about four hours of rewriting
Writing locations: the backseats of two cars, the airplane, my home office
TV: none
Languages: half a lesson (the other half of vowels, and the explanation for why said vowels are so weird--apparently (and maybe obviously), I learned the American system of Attic Greek pronunciation, and this guy teaches the German system. And he thinks both systems are wrong, but he's teaching the German anyway. Uh. Oh. Well, that's what you get, picking up your dead languages off of podcasts. You don't know where those diphthongs have been!)
Tired: Very. To bed.
Plans for tomorrow: elliptical w/ music or audiobook. Write before work and during lunch. Uhm. My father-in-law may paint my dining room!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2008 07:39 am (UTC)
Ever since I first read I Capture the Castle, I've wanted to find more of Dodie Smith's books, but I've had no luck at all. I know they exist, but Amazon.co.uk (just like all the normal bookstores I haunt) doesn't seem to stock them. Let me know if you manage to hunt any down - I'm really curious!
Apr. 1st, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I feel like I should have a Super Librarian costume right now. With the Power of Interlibrary Loan in her left fist, and the Power of WorldCat in her right!

I have yet *not* to find a book I want. :) We'll see if Dodie ruins my track record.
Apr. 1st, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
Hey, speaking of language podcasts, do you know of any good ones for Spanish?
Apr. 1st, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
I smell comedy gold.
Apr. 1st, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Or at least a Strong Bad E-mail.
Apr. 1st, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
¿cuántos pilotos están en su familia?

Non hay un piloto en mi familia! Ojalá!
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
No, I don't... I gotcher Greek and yer Old English, but no Espanol.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Damn. Those both sound awfully fun though, although perhaps less useful for client interaction...
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
I Capture the Castle was my most-recommended-to-others book of 2007.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
Understandable! I'm actually thinking about re-reading it soon. And I'm hunting for the movie.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 10:33 am (UTC)
Attic Greek pronunciation
What's the difference between the American system and the German system? (The Greek system seems to be pronouncing everything like modern Greek, which ironically would seem completely barbarian to an ancient Greek).
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Re: Attic Greek pronunciation
It seems to center mainly on the diphthongs, most noticeably on eu, which is pronounced like the world "you" in the American method, and like (I think) "oy" in the German. Also, "pee" instead of "pie" for pi. Oy. (Or rather, eu.) There are few other differences, which I've not yet absorbed.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Re: Attic Greek pronunciation
And to be fair, this guy's not teaching Attic Greek, but New Testament Greek.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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