Monday, 31 March 2008
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Anne Whitfield is the lady who set it up and I made my first post today. Benita Brown is there, along with Anna Jacobs and Emily Bryan.
I'm well aware I haven't completed my task on titles and forms of address, but I will as soon as I get to the library again. Things have been against me this week - notably the weather - rain and wind does not encourage me to walk to the library, I'm afraid, and I've been working hard on a second draft of my Regency. But I will do it on Monday even if I have to get the mini out and drive to the library!
A second draft is so much easier because the hard graft has been done already, and the end is a known quantity. Now the important little bits can be added in where they need to be added, and extraneous bits, no longer deemed important, can be cut. I'm cutting severely because I know I need a couple of thousand words at the end to add a little more oomph to my final pages. They'll be fun to do, once I get there.
I do wish I was better at titles. Heiress's Dilemma doesn't sound all that enticing, does it? Perhaps I'll think of something soon.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Monday, 24 March 2008
All in all, it was lucky for me that I decided not to go with them, otherwise Shadows would have been tied up for the second time in its very short life. Now I wait to hear what Red Rose Publishing say about my poor little book.
TV has figured prominently in our lives over the last couple of days, especially since the F1 year has begun again. The first race in Melbourne was amazing as only nine cars finished out of 22! Yesterday's race at Sepang had more finishers and was rather pedestrian by comparison. Hamilton is now finding out that luck doesn't hold good for ever, and Kimi is coming on strong. Go Kimi! It was fascinating to know that the family in Oz was watching the race via a sling box connected to our television! The wonders of modern technology...
I've read Simply Magic and Simply Unforgettable by Mary Balogh. The first was excellent, but the second I thought dragged a little towards the end - but still good! One good thing about not needing much sleep is that I get a lot of reading done in the wee small hours while everyone else is asleep. Like now...
I participated in a chat day on the 21st over at eBooklove and thoroughly enjoyed it. I put up some excerpts from Dark Pool even though the book is not newly published, and they were well received. Perhaps I ought to go and do a little more about getting myself known!
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Monday, 17 March 2008
I developed a niggle of doubt over the terminology I used in my latest wip, so I got busy on the Internet only to emerge even more confused than before. Today I went back to an old standby - the 20th edition of Black's Titles and Forms of Address. I may even buy a copy so that I always have it by me though today the exercise in walking up the hill to consult the library copy did me good. (I also found 2 Mary Ballogh stories I hadn't read, so that was my reward!)
I needed to check on Dowagers and found the following rules appy to all five grades of the peerage: the earliest surviving widow of a preceding holder of the title, regardless of her relationship to the current holder, is: The Dowager Duchess of Somewhere. Or, The Dowager Lady Someone.
If there is a second widow, she is referred to as Mary, Dowager Duchess of Somewhere so that everyone knows who they are discussing.
If the rules of address are followed correctly, so the Editor says, a great deal of information can be revealed on first introduction, and on reading I believe it is so. Here are some basic facts to begin with.
Hereditary titles descend only from father to son, or grandfather to grandson unless descent includes the female line or a remainder has been granted.
A Duke usually owns lesser titles, and the second highest is usually used by the Duke's eldest son. To take a well known family as an example - the Duke of Bedford's eldest son takes the title Marquess of Tavistock, and his son (the Duke's grandson) is known as Lord Howland. When the Duke dies, they all move up. The lesser titles are known as Courtesy titles when they are used in this way, and it is understood that they will be used for a limited period only. They always belong to the peer to whom they were granted. He extends them to his heir as a courtesy.
Authors need to know how to address a peer, and name them correctly for the purposes of accuracy in fiction. According to Black, sparing use is made of titles in conversation. The Duke and Duchess are formally addressed as Your Grace at the start of a conversation and referred to as His Grace and Her Grace.
The younger sons of a Duke bear the title Lord along with their Christian names ie Lord John Russell, or Lady Barbara Russell and never as Lord Russell or Lady Russell.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Here's a closer view of Ullapool from Ardmore, looking south across Loch Broom. The river tumbles down from Loch Achall and into the loch where it has carved quite channel for itself. The whole town is built on a flat, raised bed of pebbles washed down over the centuries - there's an geological term but I've forgotten it. It's a pity the clouds and mist make the view so hazy - on a clear, sunny day it is amazing.
Yesterday I typed those magical words The End and sat back well pleased. That's my first Regency story completed. Now I need to hone my synopsis and cover letter skills and get the partial sent off while I tinker and fine tune the rest of it. Today we're waiting for the storm the weather forecasters warn us is coming, but so far it seems no worse that the weather we've had for the past three weeks.
When we came back from Ullapool, for example, we found my plastic greenhouse (yes, I know, pathetic, isn't it) flapping about at knee level, with 50% of the metal struts come apart. We had to take it down before the wind shot it through a neighbour's window and I've ordered a new, lean to type which should arrive this week. The garden space I'm prepared to give up for a greenhouse type structure isn't big enough for a classic greenhouse shape, but at least this one has polycarbonate panels rather than plastic and will fit neatly between the wall and the fence. Maybe I'll try growing tomatoes again this year. Dh is already bragging about his rhubarb.
Monday, 10 March 2008
This is Ardmore, about three miles north of Ullapool. It shows very nicely how rough much of Scotland is, and how hard it is to find a bit of land that can be converted to grazing. The ruins of the original crofts can be seen to one side of the smart new homes, roofless, but not forgotten. I've been trying to remember if I've ever seen wheat or barley in this area but the answer is no. Over on the east coast, yes; but not on the west coast.
I've been working at my BM scene, and the bare bones have gone down nicely. I stole words from the first chapter to give me more leeway and happily it benefitted chapter one by tightening it up. I keep on seeing where I can make improvements, but I guess at some point I have to call whoa! Enough!
I have received an offer from an e-publisher who want to take on my story about ghosts in the old mill in the Dordogne. It was called SHADOWS, but of course that may change now. There's lots to read in the contract, and I have to read it so slowly! The eye keeps on rushing across the page and the mind has gone off to think about something else...I'd never make a lawyer.
Friday, 7 March 2008
Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Sometimes I'd rather be walking in the hills!
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Monday, 3 March 2008
The weather wasn't as good on Thursday but we set out anyway heading for the Bone Caves just short of Inchnadamph. (The view to the left is of Ullapool from the rise towards Ardmair.) We passed the turnoff for Loch Lugainn and kept on north. It rained steadily most of the way and water poured off the hillsides as in the example here:
We found the turn off for the caves and sat and stared at the noticeboard through torrential rain. We waited and finally decided we could wait all day and it would never stop, so we took photos of the information board and pressed on to Lochinver.
They say there are bones of ancient animals in the caves. Skulls of polar bear and wolf, creatures that have not lived in the UK for thousands of years. At least I know where to find them next time I'm in the north west - when it is not raining.
At Lochinver we visited Highland Stoneware and watched potters and artists at work. We love their designs, and bought a coffee mug each. Check out the website at http://www.highlandstoneware.com/
We moved on south down the mad little road of Sutherland towards Inverkirkaig and a most unexpected bookshop called Achins, and their website is here . Should you ever wish to find a minority text pertaining to anything Scotland you should be able to find it among the sweaters and maps. Failing that, there's always the Ceilidh Place Bookshop in Ullapool.
Since we had blue sky again we set off to walk along the Kirkaig river to the falls, but you know all about that from my report on day one!
We had the road all to ourselves and didn't see much of wildlife until I stopped to take a pic of Canisp and Stac Pollaidh. A cute sheep obviously thought we were going to offer handouts, because he/she (who can tell?) trotted over to us, looking so very hopeful.
Sunday, 2 March 2008
This view of Stac Pollaidh was taken half-way along Loch Lugainn. Already her shape is changing and the gorse is coming into bloom though it is only the end of February.
This looks south east towards Ullapool - not that you can see any sign of it. The silver splodges in the foreground are the pools that hold water among the coarse grass and heather.