Thursday, December 28, 2006

So, the six months are over...

and what have I done? Well, quite a lot actually. I have finished In Search of the Moon, Written a good chunk of Til The Moon Fails and written a complete novel in 7 Days in Hell. A lot of people have commented on the fact that my six months are over and have asked what I am going to do now. The answer is - keep on writing! It has been a really great six months and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to do this. I hope that I will begin making money from writing in 2007 as well as continue to love doing what I am doing and getting lots done!

Thank you to all the people who have helped me and supported me over the last six months. You are all stars and I love you (you know who you are!)

All the best, Iseult

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Wishing one and all a happy and holy 12 days of Christmas and a happy New Year. All the best in 2007!

Monday, December 18, 2006

This day week is Christmas day!

It seems weird that after all the preparation, planning and executing, I don't feel like it is Christmas at all. I have two Christmas parties this week, and presents to give out to family and friends. Maybe I'll get more into the Christmas spirit the nearer I come to the date. I feel like this every year - November, I can't wait for Christmas but by the last week I feel washed out and like it is any other normal week of the year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Weapons of mice distruction

I heard on the radio this morning that a man carrying 100 mice in his bag caused havoc when the mice escaped from the bag and ran around the airplane he was travelling in, even falling on to the heads of other passengers. An investigation is looking into how the man got the mice onto the plane in the first place.

If mice can be smuggled onto a plane, maybe it isn't too far fetched to think snakes can be too!

Friday, December 15, 2006

For Pinky

Happy Birthday Michael Shanks. 36 today.
On the subject of Michael Shanks, check out Star Toons for some really funny Stargate cartoons. My favourites are: -Bridge Works close up of Earl's list triple ship and the asgards secret weapon

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Who will be Nodpot of the Year 2006?

The Disresponsibe Nodpots voted for the Nodpot of the year last weekend. It has been going for two years and I have won it two years in a row, so I have hoping to win it again this year and get the hat trick. However, I don't know if I am the most worthy member to receive it. Mungo did a lot of writing this year, and he is totally new to this whole writing lark. He also shamed me with the amount of times he submitted Leaf to publishers and agents. I think Valerie really deserves to win though. Apart from the impressive list of books that she has read, she won Nanowrimo this year and wrote a wonderful book, as well as sponsoring me and giving me lots of help and support. She has also submitted her book to agents and done lots of writing work. If anyone deserves to steal my hat trick from me, it is her. Either way, we'll have a great night on the 31st and, as Pinky said on Mungo's blog, may the best noddy win!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I've gone Beta!

Finally I've updated to the beta version of blogger. Don't know if you will notice any difference, but it is a bit cooler to use. I know it is a while since I last posted. I've written loads of posts in my head, but I never got around to typing them up. I should have scribbled them down somewhere, so I could put them up here later, but I forgot about it and now they have been neatly filed away at the back of my mind.

I'm busy getting ready for Christmas. Sometimes, in all the hustle and bustle, late nights, early mornings and busy foodless days, I wonder what it is all about. I've lost track of the real meaning of Christmas, the reason why I celebrate the great feast, and got lost in a wash of hollow (yet pleasant) commercialism. At such times, I say to myself - don't worry about presents, they aren't really important and everyone will understand. Spend time on thinking about God and the light of the world that came to us on the 25th of December. For a few moments, I fully intend to concentrate on Christmas in a spiritual sense and spread peace and joy. Then something sets me off about presents again and I plunge once more into the elf factory.

Anyway, enough of that. What about writing, I hear you cry! 7 Days in Hell is finally finished and the Christmas orders are in from I'm dying to hear what other people think (although a little nervous as well). I still hope to get Til the Moon Fails finished before the Christmas holidays (Dec 23rd), but it is playing second place to the Christmas gifts that have to be made.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Squirrels cubed

I was driving down the avenue the other day and movement in the silver birch to my left caught my eye. I slowed and stopped. Sitting on a branch about five feet above the car was a squirrel peering down at me with bright eyes and a tail like a bottle brush. I watched it for a few minutes when movement in the sycamores at the end of the avenue caught my attention. There was another squirrel scampering around among the branches! I was so excited because I had never seen two squirrels together before. I knew there had to be more than one squirrel and, like mice, the fact that I was seeing one meant there were many more in the trees, however this was my first time seeing two together. Just as I was getting over my excitement, I saw another squirrel higher up in the sycamores. The squirrels in the sycamores were bigger with bushier tails than the one in the silver birch so could it be a juvenile and the others adults - even parents - perhaps? I don't know, but I was excited and once more I bemoaned the fact that I didn't carry my camera in the car. When will I learn?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So this is Christmas

Heard my first Christmas song on the radio yesterday and again in Superquinn this morning. I have only one more weekend to wait until I can put up my Christmas decorations! I can't wait, I am so excited already.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Random thoughts

Haven't done much writing since my burnout weekend.

Put some more photos on myheritage. Got Charleze Theron, Drew Barrymore and (can't remember third person!) but I got Kirsten Dunst the most often, so I guess we are most alike.

Taking Janna for walks again this week. Haven't gone back to the beach yet because the tide is in at the times I go for my walk, so the birds are safe for the moment.

Was going to go to the Prestige this week, but it only lasted one week in Dundalk cinema. Very disappointing. Another movie to add to my ever growing list of films to watch on DVD.

Have a lot of things to get finished for December. It is a struggle not to put my Christmas decorations up, but I will wait until the firs Sunday in Advent. I will enjoy it all the more. My writing plan is to finish writing my two books in November and then just edit in December with the view of sending out once again in the new year. It would be nice to get my Christmas presents sorted in November as well. I don't want to think too much about it though, because if I do, I might go back to bed and hide unde the covers! Little chunks are better to take than the whole burden.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas Shopping

Went Christmas shopping in Dublin with Michele (my partner in crime) today. I was very disappointed there were so few Christmas decorations in the shops and no Christmas music whatsoever. I know it is still early, but come on! Christmas is less than six weeks away! There were carol singers for a short while in Arnotts. They could really sing - very operatic voices - and it was truly beautiful. There were a couple of blokes outside Arnotts dressed in santa's elves costumes making balloon shapes (couldn't even call them animals) - it was a bit pathetic really. In the Jervis centre they had a life size Santa robot climbing up and down a rope. At first I thought it was real, but as it slowly started to descend, I realized it was one of those cheesy toys - except on a larger scale. It didn't look Christmassy though, it looked more like Santa was robbing the shops and running off with the loot, MI style, rather than anything else. Part from that, there was nothing much. Arnotts window was really disappointing.

Shopping wise, things went well. Had a few set backs to begin with (it is not a good book shop week for me) but then we got into our stride. Had lunch in Barmitzva in the Powerscourt centre - love that place. They had exotic fish watching us as we ate, we watched them right back. It was nice. Then we wondered around Powerscourt and saw lots of little interesting shops that reminded me why I go to Dublin for Christmas shopping in the first place. Then we headed north side and got the majority of our stuff. It would be nice to get everything finished and wrapped by December 1st. I think it is possible after today's results.

Shop Assistant wise, I would give all the shops a big A+. Every shop we went into, an assistant came over and asked us politely if we needed help (maybe we looked a little lost?) and when we did buy, they were very friendly and helpful.

Went into one shop that seriously spooked me. It had full face baliclavas, lighters shaped like grenades and lots of hand gun equipment. Maybe it was just for hunters, but it felt like an terrorist shop. I couldn't get out fast enough.

Met a shop assistant in Hodges and Figus who was like a woman from another era. She was very nice, wore a red fuzzy tank top and had her glasses on a chain. She spoke in a soft voice, ending her sentences with an upward inflection, and she leaned closer to you when she spoke. I told her I had been sent up to her from downstairs to look for a book, and she said 'That was very naught of them.' She was like a slightly nutty librarian from a movie. She was nice.

Another shop assistant who stood out was an old man at the watch counter in Arnotts. He was really friendly - a real old gent - and did such a good job at describing a watch we were enquiring about that we almost bought it - despite it being WAY above our budget.

No writing done today (obviously) but I'll be back refreshed tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Random Thoughts

Uploaded my face to to see who I looked like, and apparently I have a 64% likeness to this woman here /
Kirsten Dunst. She is M.J in the spider man movies, starred in lots of things as a child, including Little Women and Jumanji, and recently appeared as MarieAntoinette in the movie of the same name.

I like Kirsten, I'm not at all unhappy with looking 64% like her. She is a good looking gal. I'm sure she is thrilled to know she is 64% like me!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Tribute to Troy

I was watching the UTV news the other night and I saw this touching, although sad, story.

Last weekend, a family went for a walk in the country with their four Labradors. They were walking down a peaceful country lane when a pit bull type dog jumped out of the hedge and started to attack their dogs. It then turned from the dogs and latched onto the mother of the family's sleeve, knocking her to the ground. Luckily, she was well bundled up against the weather, and the dog didn't break her skin. Her husband grabbed the dog's hind legs to pull him off his wife, and they both told their children to run. The children ran towards a house at the end of the lane, with the four dogs. The pit bull (like dog) wanted to chase the children and managed to break free. He ran after the children, to the horror of the parents as they watched. The pit bull (like dog) was almost ontop of their little boy when his dog, Troy, realized what was going on and turned around to attack the dog. Troy crashed into the side of the pit bull (like dog), knocking him into the ditch. The two dogs started to fight in the ditch. The family made it to safety in the house at the end of the lane, and the police were called. The man who owned the house tried to get the pit bull (like dog) off Troy by beating him with a stick, but the dog wouldn't let go. The police came out and fired a warning shot (why? It was a dog?) but when that didn't scare the dog away, the policeman shot it three times. Unfortunately, poor Troy later died from his wounds.

This is a tribute to Troy, a brave and noble dog, who saved his young owner from certain mauling and perhaps even from death.

(maybe all labs aren't monsters, after all)

CORRECTION: Apparently Troy wasn't a lab after all, but some other kind of dog (haven't checked that out yet, but my source is reliable). So, sorry Troy for calling you the wrong breed. Labs - good reputation: 0 bad reputation:3

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Great Little Egret Hunt!

I drove down to the Loakers at about 2pm this afternoon. I saw lots of ducks swimming in the pools among the tussocks and waders sheltering on the rocks and one lone white blob in the distance. To my relief, the blob decided to fly nearer and resolved into a beautiful little egret. I ran down the road to get nearer to it and scrambled up a muddy bank to take a photo (some bin men were doing their collection as I did this, I wonder did they see the egret too?) but while I could see the egret quite clearly, it didn't come out so well in the camera and, unfortunately, the resolution is too low to zoom in. Sick of the paparazzi attention (afterall, it has come to Ireland to escape the media circus) it flew off across the reeds. On the way home I stopped by the beach to take some more photos. Winter is the most beautiful time of year in Blackrock. The sea takes on a light and a quality that it never has in any other season. It positives glows. The air is magical. The light is so soft and flattery, washing away all the hard edges and making even the ugliest stone wall attractive. The increased wildlife helps as well. Everywhere I look I see waders, ducks, geese, gulls, herons. At high tide, the rocks are teeming with animals. I took lots of beautiful pictures, but there isn't room to post them all here. Look out for the birdies on the rocks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More up to date photo of me

Little Egrets sighted on the salt marsh

Got a phone call from Michele that she saw Little Egrets (you know the small white heron like birds?) shelter from the high tide in the Loakers. I drove past on my way home from the shopping, but I didn't see them. There were loads of white birds sheltering on the rocks, but from the way they moved, I think they were gulls. Lots of tiny waders flying in formation low over the sea as well. I wish I had binoculars to get a proper look because the egrets could have been hiding with the other birds and there could have been cormorants there as well. I will be going back tomorrow lunch time (when it is high tide) and I will bring my camera, so if I see anything, I will post it here.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Writing Courses

Two months ago I signed on to a long distance writing course which claims it will teach you how to write and be published. I considered it a win-win situation, because it promises that you will have earned the course fee before completion, or your money back. I did the first assignment straight away and emailed if off. Now, two months later, and I am still stewing over the second assignment. Feeling that I just have to knuckle down and do it, I started working on it this morning. I spent the morning in study, reading and researching. It is weird, because although I worked hard, I feel guilty for not actually writing. Maybe, when I am published, this obsession with getting words down on paper will ease. Writing is about a lot more than the actual physical work of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I have to recognise that and respect it. I can be doing just as much work on the days when I get no words written. Word count is not the measure of my success and progress. Lesson learned - I hope!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The elusive squirrel

I was sitting in my writing room, writing away (as one does) when a disturbance in the bushes outside drew my attention. Something big (well, heavier than a bird but not quite a big as a pigeon) was making its way through the trees. I stood up to have a closer look and saw the squirrel running through the branches. As I watched, it jumped out from the shrubs and landed on the wall. It was lovely, quite skinny with a grey body and a red head (it was a grey squirrel, but sometimes they can be quite reddish brown in coloration. I don't think it was a hybrid). It stood there, on the wall, sniffing the air for a few seconds. Luckily my camera was to hand, and I quickly turned it on and turned on the digital zoom. Unfortunately, squirrel nutkin had, by this stage, caught scent of Janna and Rags on the other side of the wall and fled back into the trees. I waited to see if he would return, but not cigar.

Sometimes, in the mornings, I meet the squirrel at the end of the avenue, posing on the gate post. I always regret that I don't have my camera with me (as any good investigator should. After all, I could see a sea monster or a pterosaur, and nobody would believe me if I didn't have my camera to take a snap). However, now I know that even if I had my camera with me, it doesn't mean I'll get a picture of the squirrel. Tis a pity.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The beauty of this time of year

The last few days have been cold and frosty, but this anticyclonic weather means the days are very bright and clear, with plenty of sun, and there hasn't been much wind either. As a result, the shoreline at Blackrock has been breathtaking. There is a certain quality to the water that is almost magical. It ripples like silk across the sands and is a deep, translucent blue. Where the sun hits it, it is silver. I imagine, if I touched it, it would feel smooth like glass. Dotted along the shore are hundreds of birds, mostly waders. From the road, I am too far to identify them easily, but I know the oyster catches, godwits, dunlins and gulls from their gist (or outline). There were bigger birds there today, looming over the little waders like thick, black giants. I couldn't tell what they were, but they were either geese or ducks. I think they were geese. A pair of them, padding along the incoming tide, as it filled up the valleys in the sand. I wish I had a pair of binoculars. I must get back to walking on the beach. It is so beautiful. I hope Janna won't scare away all the birds, though. I would hate to think of them wheeling into the sky as she bounded through them. Then again, I would probably be as scary to the poor creatures as she would be.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The End of October Writing Challenge

As the mortar shells explode around me (I believe they are called fireworks) I am forced to admit I am a failure. As Buster from AD would say (waving his hook hand at me) 'Loser! Loser!'. I didn't succeed in finishing Til the Moon Fails before the end of the month. Overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, I barely even got started. So it rolls on to month number five. Don't worry, TTMF fans, I will continue working on it through November (as well as writing my NaNoWriMo novel). I probably won't get it finished in November, but all things going well, please God, I will finish it in December.

I have decided to label October 2006 as the black writing month, or the month of literary drought (otherwise known as writer's block and sometimes Failurism).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

The End of October Writing Challenge

Forget about 50K words in November, forget about editing 50K in March, I have a new challenge and it is really a humdinger!

or, its other name

So, what is WOK all about? The challenge is to write 70K words in nine days (that is, from now until October 31st). You have to write a novel, but it can be an existing one that you are either currently working on, have worked on before or have finished in the past and want to rewrite or add to. You can write in any way you want, but the aim of the challenge is to not only reach the 70K word goal, but to do so alive and in one piece.

Anyone interested? Anyone going to join me?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dog eats face!

I caught the end of Horizon on BBC last Tuesday night and it immediately caught my attention. There was a picture of what looked like a dentist cleaning a woman's teeth, except the woman had no lips, nose or chin and no skin on the bottom of her face. It was a little like something out of a horror story, and knowing my love of horror, I was hooked. The scene then cut to an ordinary enough woman walking through some woods in France talking about how good it was to be outside again. My curiosity peeked, I went on line and did a search for this woman - Isabelle Dinoire. Her story is a sad one. She received terrible injuries to her lower face, losing her nose, lips and chin and had to wear a mask (as one would) until a French surgeon agreed to do the first face transplant. He grafted on the nose and lower face of another woman and the operation was a success. Now, this is interesting enough. While medical science is not quite up to par with face transplants as seen in Humphrey Bogart movies and Face Off, scalp transplants, ear and nose transplants have been completed successfully. Some points of interest about Isabelle's face transplant: -

1. The 'donor' was a 'brain dead' woman who had attempted to hang herself (which means the poor woman was killed to get her face. I hope they gave her pain killers as they removed the skin)
2. The surgeon who performed the operation also performed the first hand transplant (what! they are doing that too now? Hope the 'donor' wasn't a killer, wouldn't want to have an evil hand!)
3. Isabelle will have to be on immunosuppressants for the rest of her life, to keep her body from rejecting her new face. Now, I know that people who get kidney transplants and such have to do this too, and there is a surprisingly high rejection rate. However, while it would be awful having your new kidney rejected, imagine waking up one morning and having your face rejected! Wouldn't that be awful (this is where we need cloning to make new faces!)
4. Isabelle couldn't smoke, talk and found it difficult to eat while she was missing her face.
5. Doctors have warned her not to smoke again as it could participate a rejection of her new face, but, undaunted, Isabelle has lit up again.
6. Isabelle's new face doesn't resemble either her old face or the donors. She now has fuller lips and a different shaped nose.

Ok, so that is interesting enough in itself but I wouldn't be blogging about her if that was it. Face transplants, while I know they are an amazing medical breakthrough, don't interest me that much. I've been brought up reading about them and seeing them in fiction, so the real thing pales a little in comparison. However, the way Isabelle lost her face really interests me. Allegedly, she took sleeping pills and, while unconscious, her pet Labrador ate her face! Now, while I don't doubt a dog could easily maul away someone's lips, nose and mouth, I don't understand why her pet would do this without provocation. How long was she unconscious? Was the dog starving? Did various searches on the net to see if there was a precedent for this, but didn't find any similar stories apart from starving dogs eating their dead owners (seemed to be a lot of Labradors doing it too - does this mean Labradors are man eaters, or they are just really popular breeds?)

Anyway, face transplants aside, the real story is how she got injured. What made the dog do this to her (if he did it at all?) I can't understand why the media haven't jumped on this. All the news stories mention the dog attack as a throw away line, as if this were normal. It isn't normal. Dogs do these things for a reason. I can't think of any reason why a dog, a pet, would do this to a sleeping woman without provocation. Anyone else think that this is the most interesting part of the story and that there is something very odd about it?

Either way, the poor woman did lose her face somehow and that would be a very traumatic and horrible thing to happen.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

100th Post!

Hurrah! I've reached my 100th blog post. Gosh, they certainly do build up quickly! Anyway, I did have a real reason for this post, not just because it made the 100th. I forget to mention I got Lemony Snicket's final unfortunate event in the series at the weekend. It's release date was Friday 13th so I battled my way into town, dodging school children and Friday traffic (why is it always worse on a Friday?) Anyway, after sitting in traffic for ages and then finally getting parking, the book shop I went to didn't have it! Can you imagine? It is a well known chain of Irish bookshops and they didn't have The End (didn't have The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly either - or, if they did, it was so well hidden I couldn't find it and I didn't feel like queuing at the desk to ask). Dispirited, I returned home. On Saturday, I braved going into town again and went to another chain of Irish bookshops which not only had both books, but they were also both discounted, and as I was paying with birthday gift tokens, it made me feel specially glad.

As for The End. I was disappointed at the title, to begin with. All the other books have clever alliteration in the title like The Bad Beginning or The Hostile Hospital. I was sure the last book would be called The Evil Ending or The Ferocious Finale, so I was disappointed before I had even opened the cover.

As for the book itself, I don't want to give away too much. It didn't end the way I hoped or imagined, so I was disappointed on one level, but on another level it was a satisfactory ending. I thought the story was slow at the beginning and lacked a lot of the charm of the other books but it did pick up near the end. I didn't like the Penultimate Peril very much, I thought Lemony (or Daniel, I should say) was mean to his characters and the Baudileres acted out of character. However, they are back on form in The End.

My only gripe about the last book, apart from the title and not including my hoped for scenarios (which was a ridiculous expectation) is one that, like many series of children's books that have gone before it (Garth Nix's seven towers series springs to mind) while the books are well written, imaginative and have good characters there is no overall plot structure to sustain the series and they just peter out at the end. I still like reading them though!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Super Nanny

Watching Super Nanny at the moment. It is turning into my regular Tuesday night fare. I really admire Jo Frost. Her techniques remind me of dog training, but I think raising children and training dogs are very similar in many ways. It amazes me what some people do to their children. They aren't bad people, but... they lost the plot somewhere along the line. It is fascinating watching.

TV - the bane of my life!

I am still hoping I will get Til the Moon Fails before November 1st. I think Nanowrimo will be a doddle after that if I do! However, if I don't get it finished, I will have to continue writing it in November and it gets priority to my nano novel, so it will affect my chances of winning. I'm sure I can do it all! *hopeful grin*.

Little Miss Sunshine

Went out for dinner last night with Pat and Edwina. Went to the cinema with Edwina afterwards. Saw Little Miss Sunshine. Was one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in a long time. All of the actors were absolutely spot on. Steve Carell rises in my estimation every time I see him. He is a good actor as well as a good comedian. Abigail Breslin justifiably stole the show as Olive, the seven year old contestant in the beauty contest of the title. It is Olive who holds the film together and gives a reason to all the other characters being there as they journey 1000 miles across the U.S from Albequerque to California in an old VW bus. Like a small capsule of life, the film deals with depression, death and disappointment yet avoids any morbidity or sentimentality and is refreshingly funny. The characters are all likeable (even Greg Kinnear's character becomes likeable by the end) and it avoids a lot of the cliches that doom similar fare.

I would definitely recommend this film

On a totally unrelated note, isn't chocolatier a wonderful word? I expect to see men with long curly hair, wearing velvet pantaloons and brandishing chocolate swords.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Feeling insecure

Pottering around the web, doing research, and suddenly it seems to me that everyone else's blog is better and more interesting than mine, and everyone else's life is more vibrant and everyone else's view on things is more pertinent and important and everyone else's profile has been viewed more times than mine. At times like this I want to curl up and die. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a human being, let alone a writer.

I'm just thinking like this coz I'm tired and feeling pretty ill and I've LOTS of work to do!

Also, M*A*S*H (the movie) is on telly and the the song - suicide is painless - is running through my head. I know that I've reached a low ebb when I'm watching M*A*S*H.

Watched Arrested Development this evening. Funniest line from the episode (which was pretty funny, and yes, I use the word pretty ALOT) was Bob Loblaw's Weblog (try saying that fast five times!)

I wasn't good company tonight, feeling really badly, so badly I am thinking of going to see the doctor again tomorrow *shudders*. Valpot gave me great idea for some articles though (fact based writing isn't my strong point at the moment).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Mulder

Happy birthday Fox, 46 today. On another note of interest, Chris Carter's birthday is on Friday. As it happens, I know someone who shares his birthday with Mulder and another who shares her birthday with Chris. It made it very easy to remember their birthdates!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The book I am reading at the moment...

Mmm... it's not bad. Imaginative enough, and kind of funny, with identifiable characters. I'm not at all green eyed about it either - really, honest I'm not!

Cat in a box

Look what I got in the post this morning.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The book I am reading at the moment...

Several thousand years old and written by a Greek man, it is still relevant today. I can't wait to read it.

Happy Birthday Sigourney

57 today

Friday, October 06, 2006

Random thoughts

There was a very high tide this morning. It was right up to the side of the road in the Loakers (Blackrock's salt marsh). There were lots of ducks swimming really near the road but, as I was driving, I couldn't really look at them. I would love to have stopped and watched them for a while, try to identify the species (with the aid of my lovely new book of birds that I got for my birthday) but I was already late for a doctor's appointment. I wish I had blown it off and watched the ducks instead, I would have got as much help from them and it would have been much more pleasant. My usual doctor (who is lovely) was away and her locum prodded me and poked me and then said I was healing and he wouldn't do anything for me. I don't go to the doctor easily, so it was annoying to go through all that and not even get some medical help. Ah well, I suppose my ear will heal. Apparently the left ear is connected to family, so maybe I haven't been listening to my family recently and that's why I have an ear infection! Moviextras has a photo shoot and member recruitment tomorrow in Dublin. There have a lot of movies coming up in the next few months, including the movie of PS I Love You and a horror. I'm tempted to go, but my meloncholic temperament tells me it is a waste of time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

National Novel Writing Month

Check out my new blog - Seven Days in Hell - about my Nanowrimo experiences. It won't have much to say until November 1st, but I will up date it every day with my word count, progress, regress, highs and lows while I struggle to write a complete, 50K word novel. I'll have some competition too (Mungo and Valerie for two), so I'll keep you updated on their progress too.

Nanowrimo and annoyances

Til the Moon Fails has been languishing this week. I want to write, but I'm just not able to get it together. On the plus side, I've started scribbling some notes for my Nanowrimo novel this year - working title, 7 days in hell. I have the plot more or less worked out, just have to put it into bullet points, write out the personalities of the three main characters in more detail (the heroines are twins, one a sanguine meloncholic and the other a meloncholic sanguine!) and then I am ready to go. Have to finish Til the Moon Fails first though.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Set backs and start ups

I've been sick in bed for the last week or so, crippled with a bad upper respiratory infection (ear ache, cough, etc) and I haven't been able to do any writing (the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak). That means I am about two weeks behind schedule. I'll try and catch up, but I'm not 100 % yet, so my plans will have to be changed again. I guess I'll take October to finish Til the Moon Fails. Still, if I get it finished this month, it will have only taken me three months to write, compared to 10 months on In Search of the Moon. Not bad.

The National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) website opens this week for registration. I toyed with the idea of being Municipal liaison for my area this year. I even considered doing up snazzy posters and going on local radio, but when I learned I would have to moderate a forum and encourage people online I thought it would involve too much precious time and decided against doing it. I will be doing the challenge though - 50,000 words in 30 days. A doddle! I'm writing a zombie horror, so that is what I'll be plunging straight into after I finish Til the Moon Fails. Lots of flesh eating and gore - great! Check out NaNoWriMo's site (link on left) and sign up.

The book I am reading at the moment...

I finally finished Dhampir! Whew! That was hard to read. Grew up hearing all about Gobbolino, but never read it because our copy was either stolen or fell to pieces - or both! It is a sweet, simple story, cleverly written. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it as a child, but it is still an enjoyable read.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bad year for the animals?

2006 has been a very bad year for the animals of the Murphy household, with deaths, near deaths and hospitalization. Here is a breakdown: -

1. Rags.
Rags got knocked down earlier this year and was hospitalised for days. Thank God she didn't break any bones, but she suffered severe shock and needed an operation to patch up her legs. Quick, efficient veterinary care was what got her back on her feet, and she is now fully recovered.

2. Muffin
My little baby had been on heart tablets for over a year, but her death in June was still sudden. She was only nine years old and her final illness was sudden, less than 24 hours long and totally unexpected.

3. Janna
Due to poor nutrition and being in kennels, Janna had to be hospitalised for almost a week within a fortnight of joining her new home. She was severely dehydrated and needed to be on a drip for several days. I don't think her illness was potentially fatal, but it was serious enough because of her poor condition. A lot of time was spent visiting the vets and getting tablets.

4. Blueberry
Blueberry was knocked down in July, a near fatal accident, and broke his jaw. After eight years of dodging traffic, you would think he could have managed to avoid cars, but this time he used up one of his nine lives. His jaw had to be wired and he had to be kept inside for 6 weeks. He is fully recovered now, thankfully, but his jawline isn't quite the same as it was.

5. Woozer
Ok, she hasn't been hospitalised or in a near fatal accident, and she got a clean bill of health from the vet, but at 13 years old she is struggling day by day. She has a bulging growth over her left eye, a spongy growth coming out the back of her head, artritis, pants incessantly and her body looks quite saggy. She doesn't truly qualify as having a bad year, but like having a chronic bad couple of years.

6. Cori
Staked himself jumping over a fence on the night of the hurricane. He was very fortunate he didn't die from shock, blood loss or infection, but as he managed to survive all that, he is looking good for recovery. Looking at the hole, it is hard to imagine it will ever heal, but then again, I thought the same with Rags and Blue.

That only leaves Fudge and J.B to have avoided serious injury so far this year. With a couple of months left to go in 2006, should these poor furry things be worried? I am.

Equestrian Up Date

I received shocking news on Saturday. Michele went over to the horses and noticed Cori had a bad cut on his abdomen. She phoned me and I headed straight over. He had a long scrape from the girth back on his left side, which ended in a large, ragged, dirty hole. Michele thinks it happened on the day of the storm (last Thursday) when he jumped out of the field in panic because of the wind. Pictured left is a picture of me and Cori taken earlier in the year. The vet took about an hour to come out. He cleaned out the wound as best as he could, put in a couple of stitches and gave Cori a long acting antibiotic. Cori has been on box rest since Saturday, which he finds quiet stressful, but his best friend J.B is in the stable yard with him to keep him company. Poor Cori, it is a bad wound.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I went to a networking evening in Dublin last night. It was very interesting. There was a very diverse group of people there, and I didn't meet someone with the same profession twice. I think there about 30 people and I didn't get to meet everyone. No agents or publishers, unfortunately, but I handed out some cards to people who might need actors and one to a man who runs a print shop. I don't know if anything will come of it, but the people were very interesting and I certainly feel more confident about the whole networking thing now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Turtles are quicker

Stayed up late last night working on a writing related Christmas present, but somewhat neglected Til the Moon fails. *sigh*. Feeling really tired today. Decided to do up a little chart of what I have left to write on this section, don't know if it was a good idea. I hope the green line has increased a lot by tomorrow.

Monday, September 18, 2006

For Cino

My heart has joined the thousand
for my friend stopped running today

From Richard Adam's 'Watership Down'

In Memoriam

Cappuccino 2nd February 2000 - 18th September 2000
I still miss you Cino!
Here is a picture I drew to commemorate her:-

The poem says: - As the life slipped away from her

I could see it in her eyes that she knew

And as the gentle rhythm of her breath stilled

A little bit of me died with her

Friday, September 15, 2006

The X File connection

I loved the first season of 'My Name is Earl'. I thought it was very funny, had a great idea and a fantastic ensemble of characters. However, there was something familiar about it. It reminded me very much of an X File episode from season 7 called 'The Goldberg Variation'. Mulder and Scully investigate the case of Henry Weems, a man with extraordinary luck. Henry survived an air plane crash, in which everyone else lost their lives and he lost his eye. Shortly afterwards he noticed his luck increase, but every time something lucky happened, there would be a terrible reaction of bad luck for someone else. As a result, Henry dropped out of society, hiding away so that his good luck, and resulting bad luck, would never harm anyone else.

So, what has this got to do with 'My Name is Earl', I hear you ask? Well, at one stage Henry buys a lottery ticket. He wants to win $100,000, so he buys a scratch card and wins that amount. However, he needs the $100,000 up front, and the scratch card pays the prize in installments. Disgusted, Henry throws the scratch card in to the bin. Another man in the shop is horrified and picks the scratch card out of the bin. He is so overjoyed to have won the lottery, he dances out into the road waving the ticket, where he is knocked down by a bus. The ticket floats away and lands at the feet of the owner of the shop, who saw the whole thing.

Now, the whole premise of 'My Name is Earl' is that Earl has led a bad life, and Karma isn't going to let anything good happen to him until he starts righting the wrongs he has committed. To do this, Earl has made a list of all the bad things he has ever done and is systematically working his way through the list. If Earl neglects his duty, Karma reminds him by turning his plans for happiness sour. And how is this like the X Files? Because Earl's epiphany came when he bought a lottery ticket in a shop, won (I'm not sure, but I think it was $100,000) and danced out into the street in his happiness, only to be knocked down. This made him realize that anytime something good happened in his life, something really bad was sure to follow and blamed Karma for catching up on his sins.

I think it would be cool if Earl was inspired by the Goldberg Variation, and there are too many coincidences if it wasn't. I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere before, so that is why I am telling you. What do you think?

Thanks to Chris at DVD Screen Captures by Chrisnu for his great screen captures of the X Files Episode, The Goldberg Variation

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Futurama is back!

The details vary - will it be a movie, will it be 4 movies? Is it 13 new episodes, is it 16? - but the good news is that Futurama is definitely back on our screens in one form or other. The bad news, I am afraid, is that it won't be back until late next year, early 2008. :(

I have mixed feelings about this piece of news. I LOVE Futurama, and I've watched the episodes so many times on DVD that the crew of Planet Express are like my friends (well, Leela, Bender and Fry are my friends, I don't think I want to know the rest), but it has been a while since the last episode was made, and it ended on such a high. In 'The Devil's hands are idle playthings', Fry composes a holophoner opera for Leela, child of the stars (holophoners are the most difficult musical instrument to play in the universe, but they are cool!). He is only able to do this because he has the Robot Devil's hands. Before the opera is over, Fry has to give the hands back in order to save Leela, and loses his holophoner prowess. Everyone leaves, complaining, except Leela who wants to see how the opera ends. Fry, without skill, plays a simple tune where cartoon Fry and cartoon Leela kiss and walk hand in hand into the sunset. It's great! :)

Futurama ended on a high note, leaving the fans wanting more. I wonder though, should it have been left that way?

I'll still be watching/buying the new episodes/movies though! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Penalty Points

The Irish Government has gone mad on thinking up ways to penalize the Irish citizen. One of these ways is awarding penalty points to drivers. There are 36 different driving offenses that can result in points on your license and if you clock up 12 in 3 years you are banned for six months. Some of the points are obvious, like no insurance and speeding (although driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is not on the list) but others are more bizarre -
1. Driving a HGV or bus on outside lane on a motorway - does that mean they can't overtake? What if the car ahead of you is going at 10 miles an hour? Does the poor HGV or bus driver have to stay behind them for fear of getting a penalty point?
2. Failure to yield - to yield to what? There are already penalty points for 'Failure to yield right of way at a yield sign/ yield line' and 'Failure to comply with mandatory traffic signs at junctions' (which surely covers failure to stop at a stop sign, which is also listed) so what is this failure to yield you are going to get points for? Failure to yield to the government and hail the EU as your new god?
3. Driving without reasonable consideration - So if you curse at the person who has just driven out in front of you (failing to yield), you are going to get points? Maybe you haven't let anyone out of a side road, or smiled at the other drivers as you drive along. Is that being unreasonably inconsiderate? Seeing how they classify stopping in about ten different ways (failure to stop at stop sign, failure to stop for Gardai, failure to stop for traffic warden, failure to stop at junction) I am sure they could have thought up another ten reasons for being unreasonable - and giving points for it.
4. Driving a vehicle when unfit - What has physical aptitude got to do with this? So, you puff and pant a bit climbing the stairs, doesn't mean you can't drive perfectly safely! Oh, wait, maybe they mean a different kind of unfitness - like tiredness, mental or emotion disturbance, drugs, drink - but no! they would have said that if they meant it, wouldn't they?

Another thing that really bugs me is that in the ads on TV they say you get points for using a mobile phone (you don't, it is an offense to HOLD a mobile phone while operating a mechanically propelled vehicle) and for your passengers not wearing seatbelts, which again is untrue. You are responsible for the front passenger to wear a seat belt and for all back seat passengers under 17, but if you are driving someone over 17 then you can't get the points. It is ridiculous!

Barry: I have a moral objection to wearing a seatbelt and I will not wear the 'Man's' harness while traveling in your back seat.
Anne: Sorry Barry, I can't take you in the car then because I might crash it, and you would fly through the front window like a charging elephant and kills us all - which would be your fault - and to crown it all, I would get penalty points on my license.
Barry: Don't worry, I'm over 18.

Anyway, as this country is going to H**L, I thought I would offer some of my own suggestions for new penalty points: -
1. Listening to the radio while driving
2. Talking to passengers while driving
3. Well, gosh darn it, they are so annoying not wearing seatbelts, killing people in crashes and being distracting, let's make it an offense to drive with passengers in the first place!
4. Taking your eyes off the road
5. Putting on make up in your car
6. Driving in your pajamas
7. Driving in a good mood
8. Driving in a bad mood
9. Driving after eating (on a full stomach)
10. Driving without eating (on an empty stomach)
11. Honking your horn at dangerous drivers
12. Driving too slow
and lastly, my favorite...
13. Displaying 'baby on board' or other vacuous stickers on rear windows of cars (must be an incitement to road rage at the very least).

Check out the National Safety Council's (ha!) website for all the penalty points. It is a laugh.


According to the Simpsons, everyone needs a nemesis. I don't think I have one, certainly can't think of anyone to fill that role. Do things count? So, if anyone out there would like the job, or would like me to become their nemesis, just drop me a line.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mulder and Dogget say...

Another one bites the dust

Just finished section three, more or less this minute. It ran a little longer than I had planned, but that is the way it goes sometimes. I am pleased with it, and I am looking forward to starting section 4 tomorrow. I had planned on starting it today, and taking two weeks to write it, but as I have been delayed I am going to count the two weeks from tomorrow.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

High Tide

It was supposed to be the highest tide in 20 years last night, so I headed down to Blackrock to have a look. There were lots of sand bags out on the promenade, and outside front doors on the village sea front, but the sea was very calm and didn't look particularly high, although it was a full tide. No seeping out onto the road or anything like that. The water looked really beautiful with the moon shining on it. At 8.30 the moon was huge and yellow, but by 10.30 it was somewhat smaller and whiter. It looked magical.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The book I am reading at the moment...

'A mix of Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer', Kevin J Anderson proclaims from the back of this book. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Not so far anyway. Long winded, rather boring prose. Hasn't grabbed my attention so far.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Silence is golden?

Wasn't feeling well last week and I am very tired this week, so I have been neglecting my blog. The good news is, I'm slogging away on section 3 and I'm quite happy with it. I hope to get most of it written this week. I'll try to get back to regular up dating, but it might take a few days.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A ramblers ramblings

While I was driving into town this morning I saw two enormous birds flying over a stretch of wetland called the Loakers. At first I thought they were Herons, because they were so big, but then I realized that they had the sharp wing outline of gulls. They must have been lesser or greater black backed gulls, because they were huge. I would like to have had a closer look at them, but I was driving, so I couldn't.

While walking on the beach this morning with Janna, I was privy to a host of wildlife. I saw a very large crab in a shallow pool near some rocks. The only reason I saw him at all was because I noticed a large ripple in the pool and then I noticed the crab scuttling under the rocks. He was perfectly camouflaged to match in with the lichen covered rock. He is the second live crab I have seen, and the largest. There were lots of birds on the shore too, oyster catchers and gulls (but not my monster gulls unfortunately) and a heron flew up from some rocks as I approached, looping lazily across the strand in a very haphazard manner. Janna chased some of the oyster catchers, and with the dogged determination of her breed, I was afraid she would catch one, because they didn't fly very high. Luckily, they escaped. I also saw lots of tiny fish fry whizzing around the pools, and the imprint of webbed feet were all over the sand - is there anything cuter?

There is a talk on Blackrock's ecology this evening. I am looking forward to going to it and learning more about the beasties I see every morning on my walk.

Response to Section Two

You asked for it, Grumpy! My trusted reader (and no, it isn't Mulder - he thinks Leopard and Jacob write everything, and if you don't know who they are, I won't enlighten you) had only one thing to say about section 2 - 'it's too short!'. I hope that answers your question.

I'm looking forward to starting section 3 today and I already have the next couple of chapters planned out in detail in my head.

Blueberry update

I left Blueberry into the vet this morning to get the wire removed from his jaw. All going well, his jaw will have stabilized and they will be able to do the operation. His weeks of captivity are almost at an end. He has been kept inside every night since 8th July. While his temperament is better and he is looking leaner and sleeker (no more mice and rats to chew on) he is dying to get outside again. I'm looking forward to it too!

The book I am reading at the moment...

It's really good!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

When good dogs go... bite?

On a totally non writing related topic, my beautiful German Shepherd Dog, Janna was bitten today. My sister (let's call her Pansy for the sake of protecting her identity) came over to the house to visit this afternoon, bringing with her her little dog Chaz (his name has also been changed to protect his identity). Anyway, Janna ran over to say hello to Chaz (he doesn't really like her and has gone for her before) and they were sniffing noses and the next thing he went for her. Pansy put him into the back yard and I was patting Janna, who was understandably very shaken, when I felt something wet on my neck. Touching the dampness, I realized it was blood. I quickly realized that this came from Janna, so I examined her and found a gash on her nose and a puncture wound on her jowl, both bleeding freely, but neither deep enough to warrant a trip to the vet. I suppose she now has some war stories to tell her canine friends about when they ask about her scars. I wish Rags had been here when it happened, as I know she would have stepped into protect Janna. The other day Woozer cornered Janna and went for her, and Rags leaped up from her bed (where she was sleeping on the other side of the room) and raced over to put herself between Janna and Woozer, growling at Woozer to tell her in no uncertain terms to back off. How sweet! :)

Mulder says...


I finished section two! For once, I lived up to my predictions! It isn't as exciting as I would like it to be, but it is competent and I hope it advances the story. I'll print it out and give it to my trusted reader to see what she thinks. On to section three on Monday!

The book I am reading at the moment...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Section Two

In response to a recent comment, I felt impelled to do a bit of blogging about my writing (which is, after all, what the Inkpot files are about - mostly). I finished Section One on Tuesday. I am fairly happy with it. It isn't perfect and will need some work, but it has set up what I want to have set up and it will suffice for the moment. I have written about 1/2 of section two already and I am pleased with it. Unfortunately, due to family commitments, I didn't get any writing done yesterday and if I get a couple of hours this evening I will be lucky. However, despite that, I am still optimistic that I will be finished the second section before the end of the week (don't hold me to that though, my track record in realizing predictions is not good).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lunch time

Went for a walk to the post office at lunchtime with Janna and met the first dog that didn't try to attack her viciously. However, the poor little thing was a mite too friendly and followed us home. I think he would have liked to come into the house with us too. I was tempted to let Janna off the lead. She is very friendly, but I think the dog would have got a shock if she came racing towards him wanting to play. I was worried he would run out of the garden and Janna would go after him, so I didn't. He was a lovely little jack Russell, very cute, with a fancy shiny collar. I wonder if his owners know he has run away.

Anyway, enough of walks and lunch. Time to get back to starting section two.

Mulder says...


I have just put the finishing touches to the first section of Til the Moon Fails, the third book in the Moonwolf Chronicles. I will start the second section after lunch. WhoooHooo! :) Only six sections left to go! :) :)

I still have sand in my shoes

Well, I'm back! Arrived home on Saturday. Somehow the journey home seemed to fly, (it was still 3 hours) isn't that always the case? Feeling energized and ready to battle on with Janna and Hans (the characters in my book). Did good work yesterday (had a lot of catching up to do) and hope it goes well again today.Thought I would include some pictures of Janna (the dog) enjoying her first holiday in Donegal. She is a rescue dog and was badly treated, so I was worried that she would get nervous on the holiday, but instead she was quite the opposite. She has really blossomed and become more confident in the week away (as well as learning how to roll over). I guess we both benefited from our holiday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beach bliss

The sun decided to appear this morning after four days of dark cloud and constant rain. Hurried out to the beach. Went to kinnego bay. The sand was golden the atlantic was pearly green with so much foam it looked like some one had put bubble bath in it and the rocks were smooth solid blue or black. The ocean must be rough in the bay because there was very little life in the rock pools. A few dogged limpets and a plank covered with muscles. I have never seen them open and feeding before. It was beautiful. Saw two dead fish washed up too - another first. Janna had great time frolicing in the waves and biting at the water. The beach was quite short and the sand was very soft so not great for walking. If the weather stays fine we will search further afield for a longer strand. The bay made me think of my book and started my writing cogs turning again. Found out when i got back to the house that a ship went down there in the sixteenth century. I must get an hours work in this evening. Feeling inspired.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bus mans holiday - not!

Arrived saturday. The house is lovely. Very cosy with comfy leather couches and a huge double bed. Janna has settled in really well. I was afraid she would be nervous but that is not the case. Bad weather so no beach but walks all the same. No writing as of yet. Im waiting for inspiration to strike. I have the laptop with me but im not going to force it. I am on holidays.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We're all going on a summer holiday!

I'm off to Donegal tomorrow. I will try to update using my phone and email, but if it doesn't work - stay shiny and see you on the 19th!

Message from Mulder...

Mulder says...

Dublin Horse Show 2006

I went to the Dublin Horse Show today with Michele. Met up with Pamela and Madeline there. It was a great day (apart from the shopping). The weather was quite cold, and there was some rain, but there was also sun as well, so it wasn't too bad. Michele and I had a list of things we wanted to get at the stalls, but unfortunately we didn't get any of the things, so the shopping was a bit depressing. There was a dressage demonstration in the afternoon (see picture above, extended trot). I can't remember the names of the girls and their horses who did the demonstration (sorry) but they were excellent, beautiful to watch and very inspiring (watch out Cori! I want to do canter pirouettes).
The Nations Cup was brilliant (see picture of Cian O'Connor above). Ireland did really well and came third, and it was quite close at the end between Germany and Holland (Germany won). Michele and I thought we could have guessed how the nations would be placed by how the teams horses behaved during the marching band's rendition of their national anthem during the parade of nations. Germany, Holland and Ireland had the best behaved horses.

Between the rounds of the Nations Cup the Army's Equitation School performed a lovely demonstration of riding together. It was beautiful to watch, and I was amazed at their military precision (Cori and J.B watch out!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mobile communication

This is a test to see if i can up date my blog while i am on holidays next week. I don't want my fans getting withdrawal symptoms! Fingers crossed it works (if you can read this it worked)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy Birthday David Duchovny

46 today. Love you Mulder :)

Good Luck Michele and J.B!

Here is Michele with J.B (aka Blackrock Bay) jumping at the 1 day event in Dunany last Sunday. She is competing again today, so I hope it goes well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

As clear as mud

I read through my previous versions of the new book and they weren't half bad. I am pleased with my latest version though, and it is the best, so I am going to keep with it (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). However, I might be able to use version four (or part of it) as well, and the other efforts have helped solidify things in my mind. Here is to productivity!

Monday, July 31, 2006

As regards writing...

I haven't recovered fully yet from my cold, which has left me feeling really drained of energy. However, the muse is strong and I am getting the writing done. Unfortunately, I am beginning to have my doubts about my opening of the book (this is my fourth attempt). Maybe it is because I am not feeling well, maybe it is because I think the opening for In Search of the Moon was so good I want to equal it or better. Maybe I should just press on and leave the weak opening for the second draft (maybe the opening isn't weak). Maybe I should start on opening number five. I think it is important to set the tone of the book from the beginning.

Maybe I should leave it til tomorrow when I feel more rested. :S

Congratulations Michele!

A huge big congratulations to Michele and Blackrock Bay (aka J.B) for coming fourth yesterday at the 1 day event in Dunany. You are both stars!

(the above picture of Michele and J.B was taken in May at a Derby day in Cheval, where she also came fourth. Maybe Valerie could give me her pictures of Michele's triumphant day yesterday so I could up date it?)

Happy Birthday Michael Biehn!

50 today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ggrrr Arrgggg - watch out for bears!

Silence is golden.

Writing is easy (but not at the moment).

I'm grumbling and growling through my porridge (there was no milk this morning).

I'm trying to break my block.

Until it is broken, I'm sulking.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More difficult than I thought (lost post found)

Til the Moon Fails is proving to be a little troublesome. Questions are popping up in unexpected places. My first draft of the first chapter felt more like an extension of In Search of the Moon than a new book. I want to start with action, but I still have to introduce the characters and bring the reader into the world. I can't assume they have read the first two novels and I want each book to stand well on its own feet, as well as working as a trilogy. Problems are cropping up like how much do I tell of what has gone before? Does it slow down the action? How do I get past the difficult bog of character exposition? Where do I start the story? Maybe it was easier writing In Search of the Moon because it is set two years after the first book, maybe I had the same problems when I started, I don't remember. All I remember were blissful days in France when the words tripped off my fingers like honey and I started each writing day thinking "Where are my characters going to take me today?"
Not so much with this one, but I guess every birth is different.
Here's to another three months of labour pains!

The cruelty of life

I just wrote a beautiful post about writing and struggling with starting my new book, and it didn't publish. I won't try to recreate it, suffice to say, I am finding it hard to get the right perspective and tone.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Goals for week three

1. finish part one of Til the Moon Fails
2. Finish part two of Til the Moon Fails

Blueberry update

Took Blueberry into the vet this morning. His jaw is still stable but he has a wound on the side of his mouth which is still bleeding, so he has more antibiotics to take. He has to go back next week to get the stitches taken out and in another five weeks to have the wire taken out. He can't go outside again until he has the wire removed. He loves going outside so much, I don't know if he will kill me or if I will kill him first (he is rather objectionable in his efforts to get outside). Maybe he will learn to be a good cat.

I feel like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window today (no, I don't have a broken leg, I am not a photographer, I don't have a block of flats across from my house and, oh yes, I'm not male) but it is really hot and someone is playing the piano and I remember from the movie some composer was always tinkering away at the ebony and ivory. It is nice. Making me feel sleepy though.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Review of Goals

1. Finish In Search of the Moon - completed
2. Start Til the Moon Fails - completed
3. Write short story - Not started

I wrote 8,760 words this week, which is a little less than last week, but I did spend two days working on the plot of Til the Moon Fails.

I am taking the day off today. All work and no play makes Iseult a dull boy (or, I mean, girl).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

In the zone

It is a beautiful day, I've done my exercise, I am feeling creative and I am ready to get my word count written by lunch time so I can take the rest of the day off.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Well, I've started it

I have officially started the third installment of the Moonwolf Chronicles, titled Til the Moon Fails. It is quite a slow start, not as easy as the first two, but I hope it will smooth out in the next few days and the flood gates of creativity will open.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


As requested...

Fudge as a scruffy little kitten (isn't he cute!) and...
Fudge as a more mature adult cat (still cute though!)

The book I am reading at the moment

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A poem for Blueberry

By Tottie
Blueberry - you look like hell
Please God - soon you'll be well!
Blueberry - you gave us a thrill
when you were fit and healthy still,
with a throaty purr
and silky fur
You deafened your enemies with a frightening roar.
Blueberry, hurry and give us a bell
and let us all know once you are well!

(This was posted as a comment by Tottie Super Rabbit, but it was so good I had to put it on the blog. Thanks Tottie!)

My second favourite tree

I remember when my mum bought this eucalyptus. I don't think I was even ten years old. Every week I would go outside with my mum and stand beside it to see how much it had grown. It started off smaller than me and then slowly reached the same height and grew and grew until it surpassed me by many metres. It is really tall now. It is still an exotic wonder to me. I almost expect to see a Koala sitting in it when I look out the window.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Some things of note

1. Fudge has been with me six years today. I still think of him as a scruffy little kitten so much in need of love, even though he isn't a little kitten anymore.

2. Simon and Danielle's wedding anniversary today


Hurrah! Finished In Search of the Moon today. It isn't my best writing, I feel the ending is slightly incomplete (the problem with middle books in a trilogy) and I am strangely sad at finishing it. I think it took me so long to get to THE END because I was afraid of completing it. Now I have to decide how I will celebrate! I just want to lie down and have a nap at the moment. Maybe I will buy Catatonia's greatest hits CD that I saw going cheap in a shop last week to treat myself. I must start book three tomorrow. I shouldn't feel sad at saying goodbye to Hans and Janna because I am going to be working with them again for another couple of months. I hate to think what kind of downer I will have when I finish the third book!

Blueberry update

Here is a picture of Blueberry that I took at lunchtime while I was giving him his meds. You can just see the stitches in his lower jaw and he looks really badly. I saw the x-rays last night. Imagine his lower jaw like an inverted V with the narrow end at the front of his mouth and the wide ends attaching to his upper jaw. What he has fractured is the narrow end, and what the vet has done is placed a wire around the narrow end of the V to draw it back intogether. They have also looped a stitch all the way around his lower jaw and into his mouth. As you can see, he can't close his mouth properly. Some of the wire sticks out under his chin. He has to have it in for 6 weeks and then he has to have another operation to get it removed.
If you compare these pictures with the one posted a few days ago (taken when he was fit and healthy) you can see how badly he looks. He is in a lot of pain and can't get comfortable. He wanted a lot of cuddles last night and is meowing a lot when I leave him alone. I hate to see him suffering so much. I wish I could take the pain away from him. He is on antibiotics and painkillers.