Tuesday, July 31, 2012


First of all, I could still use some guest posts for the end of the month. Give me a shout out if you’re interested.

Second, I finished another book! Woo! And by “finished” I mean I finished a rough draft that I can already tell needs revisions that will take months to complete, probably longer than the initial rough draft took if the past is any indication.

I…umm. Less woo.

However, it’s still a nice accomplishment. I promised myself I’d finish it by the end of the month and I did. Actually, I was getting a little worried that I might not make it, not do to a lack of writing, but rather because the book just kept getting longer. The “final” word count is about 94 K, which makes it 20 K more words than the last rough draft I completed. I guess I had a lot to say with this one.

Now that I’m done, I’m feeling a little writer’s burnout, and I don’t think I’d be at my best if I started editing it right away. So what’s the solution? Edit something else of course! I still have GLITCH to work on. Draft two is done, but it’s been neglected as I focused my energies on the shiny new project (working title: COLLAPSE). Time to get back in the game. I’m swearing off the new book until September (and boy, is that hard!), maybe even October if I don’t make serious gains towards the apocryphal “completion”. Then it’s back to beta readers…

How’s writing going for you? Any editing tips you’d like to share?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guest Posts Wanted

Well, my birthday is in a month. Ish. It’s in exactly four weeks and one day but since months are more than twenty eight days long, it’s not actually on the twenty ninth but the twenty sixth. Someone should really fix that. God? Calendar makers? One of those.

Anyway, since I want to take the week after said birthday off from blogging, I’d like to ask if anyone wants to take over my blog for a day. You can talk about pretty much whatever you want and make it as long or as short as you want. Got a book to promote? Want to reach a slightly different audience? Yo.

Any volunteers?

Please let me know by next Saturday, August 4, if you’re interested. Thanks a bundle.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Language of Confusion: Worth

Oh, I just love the etymology on this one. See, worth comes from the Old English weorð (that funny symbol is a now unused letter for the “th” sound), meaning “equal in value”, about the same as we have. Weorð in turn comes from the Proto Germanicwerthaz, which actually means toward or opposite. It might seem weird, but if you think of it in the sense of opposite and equivalent to, it makes more sense.

What you might not know is that there’s another worth, a homophone/graph that has quite a different meaning. Instead of value, this worth means “to come to be” and is now rarely if ever used. It has a slightly different etymological line, coming from the Old English weorðan instead of weorð (so, something like “worthan”) and the Proto Germanic werthan, which means “to become” and which itself came from the above werthaz.

It gets interesting when you look at the history of werthaz. That word is thought to come from the Proto Indo European wert, turn or wind, which comes from wer, meaning bend. And that’s also the distant ancestor of versus, of all words, and with quite a different ancestry.

Versus showed up in the mid fourteen hundreds and instead of Germanic origins, came from the same word in classical Latin, where it means “turned against”. And the Latin versus, which comes from vertere, or “to turn”, can be traced to the Proto Indo European wert as well.

TL;DR: worth and versus are thought to come from the same word, through Germanic and Latin lineages, respectively.

Tony Jebson’s page on The Origins of Old English

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tips for Being a Good Critique Recipient

Of course there’s another side to it. If you want people to help you, there are rules you need to follow, too.

1. Be polite.
            This is part of the golden rule of be kind to others and treat them as you would like yourself to be treated. You want readers to be attentive to your work and responsive, right? Well, it’s a lot harder to ignore a polite inquiry than it is a note attacking them for not getting your characters.

2. Don’t overload.
            They’re busy with their own lives just like you’re busy with yours. You don’t want to send them your whole book and wonder why they haven’t responded. Pick a schedule that they can keep up with and you can work with. This might be something like thirty pages per day or a hundred a week or even just thirty a week. Their own work has to come first, and I’ve heard some people have these “children” they have to take care of.

3. Be patient.
            Again, they’re busy. It’s not just readers who should stick to schedules. You might be anxious to hear what they thought of your chapters, but don’t give them a nudge unless the deadline has passed.

4. Reciprocate.
            If your beta readers ever ask for your help, the considerate thing to do is to give it. They took the time to read your work and you should carve out time in your schedule to do the same. Critiquing is a two way street.

5. And follow the same guidelines when you do.
            It’s no good to agree to beta read and then ask for three times as much time or to refuse to give the detailed responses you asked for. Basically, when it’s your turn to beta read, you follow the guidelines I gave last week, too.

And those are my tips for being a good critiquee. Anything to add?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Distractions, Distractions

As usual, most of the time I’m supposed to be writing is taken up by video games. But lately, my writing’s been going swimmingly and as such, I feel I need to remember what the internet is really about: distractions.

First of all, there’s a cute game by Chris Hughes called Spin Spin, where you move the character (appropriately named “Spin”) with the A and D keys and rotate the room with the arrow keys. There’s both an Episode 1and Episode 2 if you’re interested.

If you’re interested in games but feel they don’t have enough logic and reasoning in them, then good news! ir/rational Redux is all about that. It’s extremely clever, forcing you to use logical arguments to advance the story.

Finally, if you’re obsessive (check) and have to unlock every achievement to consider a game “won” (check), then check out Doodle God and its sequel. I guarantee* you’ll never leave your computer again.

Bye-sie daisies!

*guarantee is not a guarantee.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lost in Translation: Friday

It’s about time we get to the fifth day of the week. Or, depending on your point of view, the sixth. And before I do get into it I’ll thank you not to mention a certain song. Ever.

Portuguese: sexta-feira
French: vendredi
Italian: venerdì
Spanish: viernes
Romanian: vineri
German: Freitag
Icelandic: Fostudagur
Swedish: Fredag
Norwegian: fredag
Danish: fredag
Polish: piątek
Hungarian: péntek
Slovak: piatok
Finnish: perjantai
Estonian: reede

In Eastern European languages, many have variations on five or fifth, as they did with Thursday (Fourth-day). Estonian is unique with “reede”. I haven’t been able to find out what that means, but it wouldn’t be the only country to break out of naming tradition for a certain day. And as with the rest of the weekdays, Portuguese names Friday “sixth fair”, the sixth day after Saturday, the day that was, historically, a fair.

Most of the Romance languages keep the tradition of naming the day after a Roman god, this time the goddess of love Venus. In the Germanic languages like English, Friday either came from Frigg or Freyaof Norse mythology. Both are goddesses of love, although Frigg specifically represents married love, and although Freya is more often associated with Venus, Frigg is more likely the origin of that “Fri”. I think I’d prefer Friday coming from Frigg anyway since her name also produced the word “free” and that just seems appropriate : ).

Thank God tomorrow’s free-day, am I right?

Encyclopedia Mythica