Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: November, 2007


Booking Through Thursday: Rolling

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…

Sometimes. It really only happens when I actually have large chunks of time to read and I have “hits” every time I finish a book. A “hit” is when I finish reading a book and think to myself, “that was pretty good” or “that really gave me something to think about.” And if I’ve enjoyed a book I’ve just read–regardless of the subject–I am more likely to pick up the next book in my pile.

This peters out, however, when I get to a lackluster book. Example: Earlier this month, I read a book with a terrible cover and a wacky premise that I thought would never work which really ended up surprising me on how well it was done (yes, yes, I’ll get to the reviews eventually). That made me excited to read the next book in my to-be-read pile (different author, different genre). But there was enough annoying things happening in the plot of this second book that my fiction reading for the rest of the month totally went kaput.

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The Thursday Threesome: Therapeutic Moisturizing Lotion

Onesome: Therapeutic– household addons: Do you use candles or aroma therapy or bath soaps or salts around your place?


Twosome: Moisturizing?– How’s the weather been? It’s the rainy season in the US; what’s happening where you live?

It’s snowing right now.

Threesome: Lotion– Since it’s Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s dry skin time (yes, you too, Mark!). Do you have any hand lotion suggestions for the gang?

Use it often.

Feed Explosion

In order to fit in novel writing during the month, I gave up some things. Like reading blogs. And now that I’ve finally checked up on the feeds–argh. I don’t read too many blogs, but some are extremely prolific. Hundreds of new posts in less than a month? I give up.

Nano Finished!

“I’m going to soak you in a nice vintage liqueur and slowly burn each page with one of those branding irons master chefs use to caramelize crème brûlée.”

That bit of dialogue is from my villain. Who has a fetish for destroying books. Vellum and Green Vitriol is fantasy adventure, taking place in a 1920’s England-esque landscape where grimoires are the main characters and most humans are clueless. Comparisons to badly written books are insults, paper cuts are deadly, and ink blots are far from ordinary. Or, as I tell people who inquire what it’s about even though they’re completely uninterested, it’s about a magic book searching for her brother.

It’s 67,251 words. You can read it here.

Otherwise, it’s back to regular non-writing related posts.

The White Stuff

You know people are worried when there are school-wide mass e-mails saying: “Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency.”

But of course, classes won’t be canceled.


For those of you wondering where I have been–I’m working on Nanowrimo. If I write like a fiend, I might reach 50k today.

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Booking Through Thursday: Connecting Words

Joanna and Brad are asking about “connecting words,” and they don’t mean conjunctions like “and” or “but.” No, what they’re looking for are unique, or treasured words that we’ve found out and about in our daily travels, words that might not be common usage, or often heard, but which struck a chord for some reason.” –originally via Confident Writing

I have a special fondness for the word “scintillating”. I’m not quite sure why, but I do. (Refer to my review of the book 100 Words To Make You Sound Smart.) Lately, I’ve been thinking of the word “skirl”. It’s a cat of a word, pricking at the edges of my mind when I need to be the least distracted and then flitting away like imaginary dust motes when I try to catch it, daring me to use it in my Nano novel.

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The Thursday Threesome: Over the Years

Onesome: Over– and under. Above and below. Up and down. How’s about at least a pair (three would be ideal) of matching phrases?

Hot and cold.
Thick and thin.
Paper or plastic?

Twosome: the– next day? Black Friday! Are you going shopping? Decorating? Working? Hiding in the closet?

I will be writing like a maniac. No shopping for me!

Threesome: Years– of research have proven that more years of research are needed! What would you like to see researched? …and don’t go high; this is ‘just us folks’ here; I’m thinking: whether there’s enough cheese in mac and cheese!

Well, in that case, you might like how the people who award the Ig Nobel Prizes think. I’ve always wondered why a particular supermarket in town always has a kazillion people shopping there (except maybe around one in the morning) when there are several other supermarkets nearby. (Low prices? Variety of products? Exact location? Availability of bulk?)


Booking Through Thursday: Preservatives

Today’s question comes from Conspiracy-Girl: I’m still relatively new to this meme so I’m not sure if this has been asked yet, but I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

Aside from the scribblings I’ve made as a toddler and the highlighting I did on Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (which I must admit, I did for a high school freshman English class that scared the heck out of me and have made pretty much every English and literature class I’ve taken since seem like a piece of cake), I don’t like marking up books.

I don’t even like dog-earring pages (sacrilege!) or cracking spines of paperbacks. So yeah, I suppose you could call me a preservationist.

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The Thursday Threesome: Classic Christmas Elves!

Onesome: Classic– get togethers? Is that on the list for next week, say about Thursday? …or do you ‘lone wolf’ the Thanksgiving season?

I’m pretty much a lone wolf during Thanksgiving, partially because it’s too much of a hassle to fly back and forth to visit family just for a few days. Also I have a lot of (school) work to do which really wouldn’t make visiting very productive even if I did go. And if I didn’t have other work, I would always have Nanowrimo to work on.

Twosome: Christmas– Ready or not, here it comes! Complete with shopping and decorations and wants and needs and yeah… Are you ready for the experience? …or does a nice South Seas cruise sound like a workable alternative?

Arg. If I have the time and the money, book me on that South Seas cruise.

Threesome: Elves– and other helpers? Do you have any lined up to assist on Thanksgiving Day? …or to decorate in the weeks to come. …or do you even need them?

Uh, I need to decorate?

One Thing At A Time

I’ve privately dubbed this week “hell week” because practically everything I have that has a deadline that is, well, this week. I’m just glad the worst of it is over, as of two hours ago.

Three Cubed

Um, so I’m late about posting my own birthday (which was yesterday). Yet again, no cake*. Just lots and lots of school work.

*If you want to send me a birthday present, check out the link right below the site navigation menu. Of course, I don’t get anything except knowing that someone thought it would be cool to sponsor me–it all goes to Nanowrimo.

A Blogaversary

Hm. This blog has been around for six years and is still skirting the fringes of the internet. One could argue that this thing is way past its expiration date by now–at this point, either a blog is still going due to a sizable audience or it’s dead.

Sometimes I think it’s just too bad I started the blog on this date. I can’t exactly muster up the enthusiasm to celebrate properly (or at least to even write a proper post). It’s a horrible time when I’m just generally stressed out from school.

Hey, I’m Late But…

Tangled Bank #92 is up at Paddy K Go read some science!