Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fayre Tales Excerpt #3

Fayre would often sit among the berries of a certain Rowan tree, were she could watch the young Faery children playing and flying about without being seen for her hair was near the color of the berries. She was daydreaming, working on another scenario where she was somehow reunited with her parents, if she had any. Maybe her parents were searching for her, for eighteen years. Anything's possible right?

The branch swayed a little when Jolly landed on it, Gery was his given name but it had since been changed to Jolly on account of his circumference. Fayre was too intent on a group of Faeries playing with some dandelion seeds in the breeze to notice. Had she turned at that moment her eyes would have fallen on a comical sight. One would think his excess width would be beneficial in balancing like the pole that tight-rope walkers carry, but this width was not as stationary as a tight-rope walkers pole, it tended to squish and shift at the most inopportune moments and throw the good Faery into a terrible wiggle.

It was a such wiggle that finally got Fayre's attention, “Oh, Jolly are you alright? How did you find me?” she asked as she grabbed his hand and helped him to a less precarious position. She had to hold tightly to a nearby twig while he settled his substantial weight and waited for him to catch his breath.

“Gran Melia told me where to find you,” he said, "She wanted me to bring you this, said you might be cold." He handed her the bright green shawl Gran had made for her. It was a pretty shawl but she hated wearing it, Faeries don't get cold. It was just another reminder that she didn't belong. "She told me to make sure you wear it, she doesn't want you getting sick again," Faeries don't get sick either.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book Review: A Country Life, at Home in the English Countryside, by Roy Strong

I got this book by accident, it is not my usual type of reading material. Our local library has a very handy online catalog system that is great for looking up books and putting holds on them, from the convenience of your home computer.

That said, it is not without a few bugs; every once in a while it refuses to show you the thumbnail picture of the book's cover. This may not be a problem for most people but I love checking out design books and drooling over the pictures; I don't actually like to read them. This book came up in one of my searches and from the title I assumed it was another pretty picture book.

It wasn't.

I decided to read it anyway.

At first I was just dabbling to see if it held my attention and surprisingly it did.

This book is not a novel, it's not a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It's more like a series of blogs or diary entries. It's about a man, his wife, and a few cats and their life living in an English country house.

Each entry is short, two pages at most, and they are divided by season. Small--maybe insignificant--adventures and observations about the garden or the locals fill most of the pages. There is something so sweet about this book, it's peaceful.

Roy Strong's writing is just... I don't know what, I like it. In a novel it would probably sound overly pretentious, almost snobby, but here, to me at least it didn't. His writing reminds me of Jane Austen's style, he uses words intentionally, something that seems lost in a lot of writing. I'm not trying to say he is the next Jane Austen, though I'm sure he would appreciate it, but his writing smacks of irony in a very similar way.

My favorite entry is titled Walking the Cat. After losing one of their cats to a disease that is spread by feral cats, Roy and his wife decide against letting their new cats roam free. This results in the "need" to take their cats on daily walks. I had to read that entry to Danny, it was so cute.

I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but my own internal narrator speaks very much like Roy Strong writes.

I give this book five stars out of five. Some people may be bored by it (I hope not), but I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're in the mood for a book, or a pace, that's a little different, give this one a try and don't forget to let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Attack of the Journal Fondler!

I love journals. For most of my life I could never justify getting one. On the rare occasion that I did find myself with journal in hand I could never bring myself to write in it. After all, how could my chicken-scratch adolescent scrawlings possibly be worthy of such a pretty cover? It's something I've wrestled with for years.

Part of it was the cliche, teenage girls are supposed to have secret diaries that their little brothers are always trying to steal and make fun of. I've never liked the whole typical teenager "thing." While other girls were running up huge phone bills, I would quietly leave the room whenever the phone rang. I still don't like the phone, shouldn't everyone have email by now?

But what do you write in a journal? I'm a little old now to write about how "fine" my latest crush is (not to mention married). But according to most people writers are supposed to be journalers, though a few say it's just a waste of time.

I can't help it, every time we go to the local Barnes & Nobles I have to go look at the journals. They're all so pretty. I stand there in awe for a moment before I get sucked in and have to pick up each one, admire the binding, the artwork on the cover, and flip through the blank pages inside. When I have finished fondling each and every one, except of course the ones wrapped in plastic to thwart fondlers like me, I am pulled away to the comic book section by my husband, frustrated with myself for my inability to defile a journal.

Now I finally did it, I got a journal, several actually. And I have convinced myself that my writing, however unworthy, is acceptable content for a pretty journal.

After some initial pains, the most I've written since high school is grocery lists, I have learned how to use a pen again and I am loving it! The big pink one in the blurry picture is my favorite, it now houses the first two chapters of my next project "Tully & Rourke."

My advice to any fellow journal fondlers out there is to stop fondling and buy the journal whether your writing is worthy of the pretty cover or not. Happy journaling!

Friday, January 9, 2009

First Revision of Fayre Tales One is Done!!!

What an AWESOME feeling!

It's not ready for release yet, I still have some sections highlighted to beef up a bit and a few more brutal edits to perform, but I am now one step closer. For someone who never believed she could finish a first draft at all, I am so proud!

All of my life I have resigned myself to the "fact" that I'm just not someone who finishes things, I'm a starter, an idea girl. But not any more, welcome to the new me in 2009!

I have such an amazing group of friends supporting and encouraging me in both "real life" and Twitter, if I don't finish this book I EXPECT you all to hunt me down and make me.

And a bonus, I've finally decided on a subtitle. Fayre Tales book One is now Fayre Tales: The Rose Born.

Do you like?

Icing on the cake: Tonight is date-night, possibly the first ever since we got married. Is that perfect timing or what?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Impromtu Plugging

Husband Danny and I decided to tune in to the T.G.T. Webcomics podcast this Sunday and next thing we knew Danny was being roped for an impromptu interview since the original interviewee hadn't shown up yet. Turns out she was caught in the snow, she showed up later in the show.

Somehow during Danny's interview the topic turned to me and the guest strip I had done for Legend of Bill and Fayre Tales. Next thing I knew I had the headset on and was attempting to explain what Inches were while giggling nervously.

I'm only on for a short bit about midway in the show, but Danny and Marie Tary were great, a very worthy podcast.

The guys at T.G.T. are awesome you can give them a listen here.