Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflections 2014

Wow. It’s almost the last day of 2014. Can you believe it went by so quickly? Now, what was it I wanted to accomplish this year…

Resolutions 2014
1. Get my newest book, REMEMBER, to the point where it can be beta read.
            It’s still pretty rough right now (the first draft still isn’t done), so it will take a lot of work to get it there.
I did not get it to beta read point, but I’m getting there—maybe another month or two. So, not bad.

2. Start working on a (gulp) query for COLLAPSE.
            I have a few rough copies, but I doubt any would entice readers. Ooh, this is the most terrifying goal.
I did do this, although not successfully…sigh…

3. Try to find some way to post my progress on my goals, both yearly and monthly.
            I’d like to see how I’m doing and whether I need to work harder.
Hey, I actually did something completely and correctly! Amazing!

4. Read more dystopian/apocalyptic/paranormal YA.
            For, you know, research. This is probably going to be an easy goal.
Of course. Still not enough, though ; ).

5. Think of ways to make my blog posts more interesting.
            And implement them. That last “Informal Poll” thing was a huge bust. I have some other ideas in mind, but who knows if they’ll be successful.
Whee! I did it! All because you guys are easily amused by stick figure comics.

6. Try to start a movement to simplify the English language.
            Seriously, is the letter C really necessary? And don’t say we need it for the “ch” sound. We can use Q for that and not for “kw”, which is weird anyway. Every other use of C can be replaced with K or S. I’m also not a fan of using G for the “juh” sound, but one thing at a time.
All you people complaining “We need C!” [grumble, grumble]

7. Get over my doubts about selling an apocalyptic story in a glutted YA market and just DO IT.
            I feel like this one is self-explanatory.
Sigh…no…not for lack of trying, though…

Not bad. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t succeed where it counted. Man, this post turned depressing. I’m going to go eat my weight in chocolate.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


More tales of me making the mistake to go shopping in a store instead of online.

Ninety percent of the time, I’m completely ignored. The other ten percent…

Seriously, I said I didn’t need help three times and he still wouldn’t go away. He was hovering over me like I was trying to steal something. You know what, annoying salespeople? Sometimes people are just oddly proportioned and don’t need to be stared at while they find something that fits!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Or whatever you celebrate. Although today is Christmas. So have a happy day no matter what.

You might think this is the same as Thanksgiving, but not so. We have candy instead of cookies on Christmas.

My blood is probably mostly sugar by now.

No regrets.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


How lazy can I get this holiday season? How about reposting a stick figure comic from three years ago and pretending it’s a new post?

Honestly though, this is one of my favorites. And still applicable (although it’s a different orange cat this time).

It’s going to be filler on Thursday, but I’ll see if I can scrounge something up for Saturday. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Berserk Button

Everyone has a berserk button. This just happens to be mine.

Okay, one of mine.

They had it coming.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Language of Confusion: Animalia II

My last animal post was pretty well liked, so here’s another! This time we’re looking at small pet mammals.

Mouse comes from the Old English mus, which means small rodent…and “muscle of the arm” (no, I have no idea why). That word comes from the Proto Germanic mus and Proto Indo European mus…well, that’s surprisingly stable. There’s also mice, which comes from the Old English mys. The reason mice is the plural of mouse is because of I-mutation, which is what happened when a bunch of Old English words went from an A, O, or U sound to an E or I sound because of linguistic laziness. Plurals in Old English ended in iz, which means mus would have been something like musiz (I’m just guessing here, so don’t take this as fact). From there, it went to mis, keeping the consonants of the first syllable and the vowel of the second, and then it became mice.

Rat comes from the Old English raet. Before that? No one knows. But there are similar words in other languages—Italian has ratto, German has ratte and Latin has…rat. Hm. Not much of an origin story.

Hamster has an actual date attached to it, appearing in the early seventeenth century from the German hamster (eye roll), and before that it comes from the Middle High German hamastra. There are theories about the word hamster going further back, but nothing definite has popped up.

Guinea pig
So why are these cute little critters called guinea pigs? Well, there’s a lot of debate about that. The name first popped up in the mid seventeenth century. One theory is that they were named because they were first brought to Britain on ships called guineamen (which were popular slave ships…ugh). Theory two is that the country of Guinea in Africa was confused with the country of Guyana in South America (where guinea pigs are from).

Gerbil has an even more specific year, showing up in 1849. It comes from the French gerbille and classical Latin gerbillus, which is the name of the entire genus. Now, 1849 isn’t when the species suddenly popped into existence, so we called them something else before that. They were called jarbuah, which was taken directly from the Arabic word for them. I don’t know if gerbillus and jarbuah are related at all, but they are kind of similar. So…maybe?

Ferret first showed up in the late fourteenth century, making it the earliest word that we have a date for. It comes from the Old French furet, which was a diminutive of another word for weaselly animals, fuiron, which, as you may have read as a factoid at some point, also means thief. Before French, the word was furionem in Late Latin and fur (or thief) in classical Latin. It’s thought trace back to the Proto Indo European word bhor/bher, to carry, the origin word for words with the suffix -fer (which I did a post on way back when) as well as furtive.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Okay, this totally isn’t the color partition post. The title is a bit of a tease. Sorry, but I’ve been too busy doing the actual editing to write a post about it. Maybe next week. Oh, wait. That’s Christmas. Then there’s New Year’s. Hm. I guess you’re going to have to wait until 2015. I think you’ll survive.

So why is this post so titled? Well, it’s because I stumbled across a fun, addictive, as-complex-as-it-is-simple, game.

The object of this Chinese-born game is to find the one square that is colored differently from the others. For the first ten levels, it’s pretty easy to do. Then the grids get large and the colors vary so slightly that it’s nearly impossible. There are no penalties if you click the wrong square, but the entire thing is timed so you try to get through as many levels as possible in under sixty seconds. I’ve only been able to get up to level 27, and that was a lucky shot : ). Be careful. This is one of those things you do that you say to yourself, “Well, I’ll just do it one more time.” and then it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve given up pretending you’re not trying to find the end of an endless game.

The game is absolute genius. What level did you reach?

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Geez. You try to help some people out and they threaten to call the police because you’re “creating a disturbance”.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Language of Confusion: -Sult

This one’s about words that end in -sult. Yay?

Consult first showed up in the early sixteenth century, coming from the Middle French consulter and classical Latin consultare (consultation). It’s the frequentative (basically, the continuous noun version of a word, like wrestling from wrest) of consulere, which is just plain consult). In other words, consult comes from the word that means consultation. The prefix con- means with and the selere is take, which doesn’t seem like it fits. The reason consulere means consult is because of the Latin phrase consulere senatum, which meant “to gather the senate” for counsel. So we have consult because of a metaphor.

Result first showed up as a verb in the early fifteenth century and a noun two centuries later. It comes from the Medieval Latin resultare, to result. In classical Latin, resultare means either reverberate or spring forward—kind of weird change, right? Well, if you think about it figuratively, it kind of makes sense. A reverberation is a result, in a sense. Resultare comes from the words resiliens and resilere, which unsurprisingly are the origin word for resilience. The re- means back and -silire is from salire, jump or leap (and the origin word for salient). To sum up: results leap back at you.

Finally, there’s insult. It showed up as a verb in the mid sixteenth century and a noun in the early seventeenth, and at first it meant attack (as a noun) or triumph over in an arrogant way (as a verb). It comes from the classical Latin insultare, which means jump on, although it was used sometimes in the same way we use it. Insultare comes from the verb insilire, where the prefix in- means on (really) and the salire is leap or jump. The reason it means insult these days is because it went from literally jumping on to verbally doing so. I know, I’m surprised it makes sense, too.

TL;DR: Insult and result come from the word for jump. Consult comes from counsel and has nothing to do with either of the other -sult words because of course it doesn’t.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More from the Spamfiles

I’m sure you’re all looking forward to my post about editing using colors. Well, I was super busy last week and had very little editing time, so you’re getting stuck with a Spamfiles post. And you all better love it.

Okay, this one…for those who can’t see, the message preview shows that it says “Saturday morning charlie hung up her head”. How…how does one do that?

And this one is for burial insurance. As if! When I die, it’s going to be as inconvenient for my loved ones as possible. They know why.

I keep getting these long comments that have tons of links and random gibberish in another language that when translated, somehow makes even less sense. It says stuff like “read tracksuit ten Czechs” and it’s just like…so if you read a tracksuit is worth ten Czechs? How does one read a tracksuit anyway? There’s also things like “2 elves revolt maps”, “vampires snoopshop”, and “hysteria to sponsor Warsaw mermaid”. Why does a Polish mermaid need a sponsor and why hysteria!?

This might be my favorite. The Omega Scarf, the beginning and end of all scarfs, the culmination of eons of scarf evolution to make the One who shall rule over all.

Look at this. Just look at it. I’m always getting emails from Nigeria (or that’s where they say they’re from) about either A) some poor woman who needs to get money that her father left her that her stepmother/brothers are keeping from her; or B) a person who died abroad and so his money has to go to a random foreigner. But this…this one is from an FBI agent so annoyed with all the “stories” about Nigerian scams that he wants to reassure me that it’s legit. Now, the FBI has nothing to do with foreign governments or banks, so this agent is just…doing it in his spare time?

Oh, spammers. You so crazy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I’m really not a fan of shopping. I especially hate it when I’m looking at stuff and every three seconds a clerk is asking me if I need any help finding things, no I’m just browsing you can go away now.

Here is my experience in shopping for televisions, in a mix of comic and script form.
Salesman: I see you’re looking at televisions.

Me: Uh, wow, don’t know where you came from. Yes, I’ve been looking at Smart TVs.

Salesman: Then come with me!

And he took me away from the televisions, which was the first warning sign that he was not going to help me pick out a new TV. Shortly followed by the second.
Salesman: You have cable or dish?

Me: Uh, cable. What does that have to do with—

Salesman: How much do you pay a month?

Me: About a hundred and twenty—

Salesman: If you sign up for dish today, I can get you in for ninety six dollars.

Me: But I don’t want—

Salesman: That’s twenty four dollars less.

Me: I can do math, but—

Salesman: With HD. You can’t get a clearer picture without dish.

Me: I really don’t care about—

Salesman:  Dish is awesome. You can’t live without dish. Dish will grant all your wishes and let you live forever. Cable sucks. It doesn’t give you HD with a clear enough picture.

Me: My phone and internet is bundled with the cable and if I give it up the price—

Salesman: Dish is the answer to all of life’s problems. Need money, and dish will give it to you, along with being able to see the individual pores of every actor on television. Everyone wants to see that.

Me: From that pamphlet you gave me, I get way less channels unless I’m willing to pay more—

Salesman: But they’re all in HD. You know, every store uses dish because dish is so great. They wouldn’t use dish if it wasn’t great.

Me: Yeah, and they only play one channel. That’s a shining recommendation.

I couldn’t have been more clear about my disinterest if I hired a marching band to play “I don’t want Dish” while spelling out “Seriously, no dish”.

Salesman: So would you sign here and we can set up your installation?

Me: I don’t. Want. Dish. I’m leaving now.

Salesman: But if you go, there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get you the same deal!

Me: You mean the deal for the dish I don’t want with less channels and an increase in my internet bill?

Salesman: Yes.

Me: That’s a shame.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Secret Origins: U

Getting close to the end now!

If you look at the alphabet gif, you’ll see that in early forms of Latin writing, the letter U looks surprisingly like Y and V. This is because before then, we didn’t have V as a sound, so our writing system ancestors Etruscan and Greek all have V and all pronounce it U (for the V sound, they used F because that’s how it used to be pronounced). Of course, before Greek, there’s Phoenician and Proto Sinaitic, neither of which have a U because they’re abjads and don’t use vowels.

TL;DR: (as if this could get any briefer) U looked like V, when it actually existed, because the V sound was just F.

I’m sure none of this will be repeated when I do the letter V {crosses fingers}.


And U

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Goals

This time of month again. And shockingly enough, I got something done!

November Goals
1. Do the frigging REMEMBER notes, dang it. The italics mean I’m serious.
Apparently, the italics do mean I’m serious because I totally got them done, with plenty of time to spare. Sure took long enough!

2. If I finish the notes, then I can get back to work on my other WIP. I should also make notes of the other idea that’s rolling around in my head before I forget it.
I did go back to the other WIP, but now I’m having doubts about its viability. Maybe I took too long a break. Either way, I’m putting it aside.

3. Maybe try to get another apocalypse post up. Remember those?
Eh, kind of. It wasn’t a true apocalypse post (my idea well for those has seemed to have gone dry) but I tried.

December Goals
1. Do my color partition for REMEMBER and solve any issues in regards to pacing. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before as part of my editing routine. Maybe I’ll go into more detail later.

2. Do my sensory color partition for REMEMBER and solve any issues. Again, I should explain this sometime.

3. Christmas, yay!

Anyone else shocked it’s December already? And how are you recovering from NaNo?