Monthly Archives: June 2007

Online English-Latin Translator

If Monty Python had access to the University of British Columbia’s online English-Latin Dictionary, they would have known the name “Biggus Dickus” isn’t correct (it’s Maximus Erectum).

This Java based translator was written by Djun M. Kim, of the University’s Mathematics Department, and features a slick, fast, and uncomplicated interface.

Anyone who has a love for language will have fun looking up Latin terms, and then discovering the basis for many contemporary words.

Optimus oraculum, baby.

New Favorite (disposable) Pen

I’m at a new office working on a project, and like that doofus kid I used to be at school, I showed up without a pen.

So they ordered some for me, and to my surprise, the pens I received the next day were a set of Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens.

They are so cool!  They write unbelievably smooth, the ink dries immediately, and the lines are very expressive.  It’s a real fountain pen, but brought into the 21st century.

I have some high quality and cherished fountain pens at home, but besides those, these are my newest favorite pens.

No Pomegranates for You!

Ever seen that Seinfeld episode where the Soup Nazi would scream, “No soup for you!”

Well, there were no pomegranates for me.  After a total of nine stores, one helpful produce person told me, “Oh, they’re out of season.  You won’t find any anywhere for at least a couple months.”

Great.

Quest for a Pomegranate

Last night, working on my novel, I came to a scene where the characters are standing in front of a bin full of pomegranates, and I realized I really needed to have a pomegranate in front of me for the scene to continue. I need one in my hand.

Some call it research, some call it a sudden onset of writer’s procrastination, but I stopped right there and went for a walk to the local grocery store.

The sky outside still held an afterglow from the sunset, the last gasp of light from the day. The color mesmerized me. A very deep blue-purple (would that be called burple?) and bands of clouds like lines, so I walked in a daze. By the time I reached the store, a mere two blocks away, it had faded to black and it was full-on evening.

Inside I passed temptation after temptation. Beer, chips, candy, cookies … passed them all, intent on my mission. I must find a pomegranate.

The characters, you see, are discussing the seeds that Hades tricked Persephone into eating, thus binding her to the underworld and causing winter every year. It’s an important scene because the pomegranate seeds play an important role in my story.

Alas, as fate would have it, there were no pomegranates in the store!

Miffed, I picked up some bananas instead, and then consoled myself with a dozen flavored yogurts (need them for breakfast, anyway), and picked up a bottle of wine, and a jar of peanut butter, and some cookies, and a couple bags of chips… By the time I got up to the front register I had an entire basket full of stuff, things I’d put in the cart without even thinking of it because my mind was still on the novel. Fortunately I came to my senses before I actually entered the checkout line … I had come on foot! There was no empty trunk of a car waiting for all this stuff in the parking lot.

And then, standing there, blind spots appeared in my vision, and my heart sank. The sign of an oncoming migraine.

I abandoned the cart and walked quickly home, took meds, saved my files and shut down the computer, and went to bed.

This evening … as long as the migraine doesn’t make a return appearance … my quest for a pomegranate will continue.

I take it back

Something did happen. That is, on my novel. I had been stuck for weeks on one scene.

I’d come to one of those dreadful spots where I really didn’t know what would happen next. I know all sorts of things that will happen later, but I’d written myself into a scene where I knew something important had to happen with the female lead character, but I didn’t know what.

So.

Last night I sat for a good hour going over in my head all the things that have happened to her, and what she’d been through before the story even started, and then mentally put myself into those situations and felt what she would have felt … all of that leading up to the scene I was stuck on. And then the answer came to me … the obvious answer that I couldn’t see, the perfect twist which fed right back into the rest of the story and turned up the conflict knob another notch.

The dam broke. The words flowed. I’m writing again.

…but then nothing happened

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately, but not on my novel.

Instead I came up with a grand idea for another novel.  *sigh*

A-Kon Weekend

This weekend I and my kids will be at…

If you can’t join us, you can keep checking over at my Flickr Site for pictures uploaded directly from my phone.

There will be, no doubt, some pretty wild shots!