Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Bunny

I am indeed a happy bunny, as Ice Road is no more than a sliver away from being finished! I'm still fine-tuning some of my medieval medicinal references - and I was especially pleased to find a place to include Stinking-hellebore root. It seemed to me a plant with a name like that could well do with a little sympathetic PR.

The banner posters for Questors arrived this week, plus the bound proofs for my visit to Kirriemuir next Tuesday. I slept funny a couple of nights ago and did something weird to my back, so I hope I can find someone young and strapping to help me carry the stuff on the day. My husband got a printing shop to produce some big versions of the cover on card, and then managed to nick his finger getting them out of their container and bled over one ...

It's actually only supposed to be me suffering for my art, but this is more of a family affair.

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Questionable Nobility

Did another interview on Questors, this time for The Book Magazine. They sent me the questions and I got to WRITE the answers - thereby cutting the stress by some huge percentage.

More progress on Ice Road this week, but my bad guy is giving me trouble. I've set him up fine, with perfectly acceptable bad guy characteristics and back story. I've given him some nice scenes to be bad in. And then, just before I kick him off the stage, he tries to go all noble on me. Maybe he's actually a misunderstood soul? Maybe he really SHOULD be the king, and not young Arnald, after all? Maybe (and this is the one I REALLY hate) he's not bad at all, he's just shy?


Yesterday I figured out how to fix him, though. I put him in a tent with a bunch of lackeys and got him to lose his temper. Try being noble in a scene like that, Lord Bad Guy! Ha!

Book back on track.

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Culpeper's Scorpion

I'm a big fan of Nicholas Culpeper, the 17th century herbalist. He has many strange and useful things to suggest to help us deal with the stuff life throws at us. One of his recommendations is using basil as an antidote for scorpion venom. However, he warns, avoid smelling the basil too much, or you may breed a scorpion in your head.

Many people don't know that.

For me, though, it's not too much basil that breeds head scorpions. It's too much computering. Ice Road is at the stage where I'm spending less time looking at pieces of paper and more time staring at screens - moving things around, rejigging chapters, stitching sections together. It's a fun stage to be at - the end in sight, hurrah! - but, as I say, there is this thing with the scorpion ...

So am I melancholy? Not at all. Especially when I read what Mr Culpeper recommends for THAT!

Cheers, Joan.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Star Trek Has Nothing on Me

I'm referring to the Star Trek folk's ability to leap about, with all the grace of gazelles, through many different time zones/dimensions/bits of the space-time continuum, often simultaneously. I'm doing a lot of that myself lately.

For example, this week I finished off what I hope is the absolutely last emails about changes to the American Questors which, in fact, I finished WRITING three years ago. I also put back IN all the italics and half the paragraphing that the galley proof programme took OUT of Ely Plot, which, in fact, I finished WRITING a year ago. And then I got stuck back into the WRITING of Ice Road (Book Three of Wickit Chronicles) which even if things go really really well won't be PUBLISHED until half way through 2008.

If I were a journalist, there would be some sort of immediacy between the words being written and the words being read.

"Well, what about this site?" you cry. "This is a blog site, for crying out loud - how much more immediate do you want?!?"

You're right. Of course you're right. I write. A few seconds later, you read. Or even ...

... how about this for fast service? My last entry was posted Saturday afternoon. I know it was. I was there! And then, when it appeared on the internet, it had the date of THE PRECEDING THURSDAY blazoned across the top.

There are times when I have been heard to cry, "Cap'n, the engines'll no take it!" But retroactive globbing is not one of those times.

Cheers, Joan.