Category: Books & Literature

Have a great 2016 y’all

Yes, in a total break with tradition on if all else fails… I’m actually writing my New Year’s post on New Year’s day. I said things were going to be different this year.

And to shake things up even further, I’ve decided to make a New Year’s Resolution. Not an intention, but an actual Resolution, with a capital ‘R’.

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NaNaWriNo or NaNoWriGo?

NaNaWriNo or NaNoWriGo?

Until yesterday, my answer for this year was no. There have been some pretty big stuff going on in my life (that I will tell you about soon) and I just felt that doing NaNo on top of it would be pushing things a bit too far. Besides, I have only the vaguest idea of a plot, and October was so hectic there simply wasn’t time to work on an outline.

Then, somewhere between yesterday and today I decided, what the heck. What do I have to lose? Except my sanity and my sense of pride?

Nothing.

But if I win I’ll be that much closer to having a finished novel (again). I’ll have a 50% discount voucher for Scrivener. I’ll have the admiration of my friends and family. Strangers will stop me in the streets and ask for my autograph. Fans will camp out in front of my house in the hopes of glimpsing me as I pass by the window. Celebrities will tell their friends that they know me, even though we’ve never met. I’ll ascend to Mount Olympus and feast in the halls of Valhalla. I’ll…

I’ll stop now.

. . .

So, with only an hour to go before NaNo starts in my time zone, I declare that I’m going to write 50 000 words this November, or die trying (or at least severely embarrass myself in the process). I have no plot, my world-building is half done, some of my characters don’t even have names yet, but I’m going for it.NaNoWriMo Badge

Because you only live once.

Because sitting on fences is bad for your health.

Because writing is fun, and hard work, and awesome.

And because if you never write that novel, it will never get written, and the world needs more books.

On reading the Discworld…

I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Ever since I finished Terry Pratchett’s Jingo around Christmas last year I’ve been reading only non-fiction, and slowly at that (I started a book on Quantum Theory a month ago, and am not even halfway with it yet). Among all the novels on my shelves I just couldn’t find anything I felt like reading.

Then Sir Terry died, and the next day I got Dodger at half price. I finished it on Friday (review to come), and picked up Mort (with which I’m almost done). I’ve decided to make my way through the whole Discworld again, or at least through those titles I already own, which brings up the question of which order to read them in.

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Sir Terry lives on…

Over time in the Discworld novels, the inhabitants of the Disc came up with a long-distance communications method called “the clacks” – a cross between the telegraph and semaphore. Initially they’re only used in Anhk-Morpork, and mostly by the Watch, but soon there are towers all across the land conveying messages between cities and countries.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Cover illustration: Paul Kidby
Publisher: http://www.transworldbooks.co.uk

In Going Postal we learn that the clacks have something called “overhead”, meta-data, of sorts, for the messages being sent, not unlike the header data contained in emails or web pages which doesn’t appear on the screen, but which contains important instructions on how the page should be displayed. When one character questions the presence of a name in the overhead, another tells her it is the name of an operator who was killed. A code is transmitted with his name, ensuring that it will always be sent on to the next tower, for “A man’s not dead while his name is still spoken”.

Continue reading “Sir Terry lives on…”