12.29.2010

In Which Gail Waffles About Fashion and After Christmas Sales

I'm still after those modcloth gloves, Gentle Reader, so if they are still available I'm getting them. I keep thinking about them which means they are meant to be mine. Usually I get myself shoes when I turn in a manuscript but I think I have a enough shoes at the moment, so gloves it is. The other thing I keep wanting is a rain cape. No, Gentle Reader, not a poncho. Something like this:


I have a nice little trench but it's not fitting me as well as I would like anymore. Also, I am coming to realize, since I have so many lovely jackets, that I would prefer something lightweight I can just throw over my jacket. The Bay Area, my darlingness, is practically made for layering.

So, in classic fashion (pun intended) Max Studio has four or five on their web site, I'm off to the outlet mall to see if they have any I can try on in person. Wish me luck.

Your moment of parasol . . .


Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:

Your Tisane of Smart:
Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries of 2010
Your Writerly Tinctures:
All about YA voice

To Read or Not to Read says, "I had heard some pretty positive things about this series and couldn't wait to read it. I was not disappointed!"
SPOILER ALERT! Lindsey says, "I loved this book, just like the one before it."
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first. Stella says, "Oh, my dumplings! My scrumptious little crumpets! I am so pleased to inform you that BLAMELESS is a delight of a book!"

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in! It's available for preorder on Amazon.
Timeless: Whimper.
Secret Project F: We're waiting. We're waiting.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
"Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use."
~ Mark Twain

12.23.2010

The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times

Alexia Park

My gratitude to all and sundry for your sympathetic attempts to help with Monday's Crisis De'jour. I do live near Silicon Valley and I have had the experts on the case. The data really is gone, the combination of a flash drive, my stupidity, and Windows. (Yes, I do regular backups. I was away from my desk for 4 days. I used a thumb drive, that was where the error snuck in. I cannot use an online backup or Dropbox for security reasons.) I have learned my lesson. It's all OK. I can rewrite it. In fact I mostly have. Thank you for all your suggestions and especially for your sympathy. I learned how to make crepes as a result. So it's not all bad.

And now, look at this! A proper blog! I know, you thought it would never happen. And on Christmas Eve! I'll catch you all, my sweetie darlings, on the flip side of the holidays I'm off on my annual retreat from the madness.

The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times

There are all sorts of rules for introductions in Victorian society, Gentle Reader. Basically, the person whose name you say first is the more important person, to whom the other is being made known. The inferior is introduced to the superior.

"Duke Hematol, may I introduce Dr. Caedes?"

The duke out ranks the doctor.

However, this can get very confusing because aside from rank and social standing (see the Table of Precedence or precedence of attendance) there are also other rules to abide by (see laws/rules of precedence). For example:

A younger person is introduced to an older person.
"Mr. Rabiffano, Mr. Shabumpkin would like to make your acquaintance."

A man is introduced to a woman.
"Mrs. Tunstell, please allow me to present Mr. Bootbottle-Fipps."

And so forth.

So what happens if you have an older woman of little or no rank and a young nobleman? Or two women, the younger of which is married to an earl and the older to a squire? Or what happens if you throw long lived immortals into the mix?

Alexia struggles with just such a situation in the fifth book, Timeless. She must introduce a young lady werewolf whose rank she knows, to an older noble vampire who holds rank (but she is not privy to the particulars). Because he is a vampire and it is his house, she gives him precedence. But she could have reversed the order, especially if she wanted to give insult to the vampire or establish her own allegiance with the werewolves.

A world of damage can be done or avoided simply by reordering an introduction.

I never go into any of this in my books, because it is mere minutia to those who are reading for plot and story. But it is one of those things that, if you know how the era works, sometimes I am having fun with the undercurrents that may result. It certainly can effect character.

So now that you know, when Timeless comes out, you may get a little extra from that particular scene. Of course, you have Heartless to get through first . . .

(I should note that precedence is not confined to the upper ranks alone: see precedence in the servant's hall.) Also, here is a wonderful description of an American diplomat's opinion of a true British nobleman.


Your moment of parasol . . .


Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Beautiful Victorian costume resource site.
Your Tisane of Smart:

Your Writerly Tinctures:
Writing Excuses Podcast discusses Steampunk with Scott Westerfeld

All the Books I Can Read says, "This was a really surprising read. I’ve seen plenty of reviews around and actually, I’d always kind of held off reading this because it had seemed a bit too odd for me and a confusing mix of many genres and sub-genres. But the extra touches, the ‘oddness’ was what I came to love about it as I was reading."
SPOILER ALERT! Eclectic Eccentric says, "I adored Soulless, the steampunk paranormal mystery romance novel was wonderful fun, and in my opinion, Changeless is just as good."
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first. Books in the Spotlight says, "I love the Parasol Protectorate series. It's incredibly witty and smart with the right amount of steampunk and paranormal to keep me entertained."

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in! It's available for preorder on Amazon.
Timeless: Whimper.
Secret Project F: We're waiting. We're waiting.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
"What is it about Seattle and coffee? It's not like they actually can grow it or anything." ~ Me
"Maybe it's the only way anyone up there survives." ~ Dan

12.22.2010

The Dark Despair of Windows, Or How Gail Lost Half of Timeless in One Fell Mouse Click

Alexia in ShockMajor set back with Timeless on Monday, Gentle Reader.

I don't consider myself a very artistic writer. In fact, I've been trying to train myself to be better at writing as a job ~ anywhere, anytime. To that end, I lugged my new (well, 4 months old) tiny Samsung (AKA Gimli) around with me all weekend trying to fit writing time in whenever I could. I was very successful and rather proud of myself. Until, due to a complicated series of mistakes (mine) and assumptions (mine based on how Macs behave as opposed to Windows) I lost everything I had written trying to transfer the updated draft of Timeless from Gimli back to my Mac.

That's a lot of work. Almost 4000 words. Gone in a puff of computer logic. (Why can't I just plug one computer into another? I mean really? Really! And no, please don't give some complicated bullpuckie hack for this. I want a cord, I can plug into my Mac with the other end in my Notebook so the one mounts on the other's DESKTOP and then I can just transfer. That's what I want. No fiddling.)

Anyway, I'm bitter.

I might have contemplated hurling my notebook, Frisbee-like, across the room. I might have spoken to Gimli quite severely on the subject of how many pairs of shoes I could have spent my money on instead of him. And money well spent, that would have been! I might have vowed never again to be tempted by speed, portability, and price into buying a Windows machine of any kind. I'll pay ten times as much for my Apple safety net, thank you. This old dog can't learn new tricks, it's Macs for me until I die.

So as a direct result, suddenly I just don't want to work on Timeless. Mere moments before the tragic event I was so excited to get on to the next bit. New hilarity, new mysteries, much amusement was to be had for Alexia and her gang. I don't mind writing when I know where it's going. But writing something I've already written? Trying to remember what it was I typed down? Where my imagination took me? I don't know about you, Gentle Reader, but I always end up with this sinking feeling that it was much better and more brilliant the first time around. It's just plain depressing.

I might have had to have a very stiff drink. And then decided to learn how to make crepe batter. (I do very odd things when I'm drunk.)

Your moment of parasol . . .
No parasol for you!

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Phooey.
Your Tisane of Smart:
I say again, phooey.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Phooey, phooey, phooey.

Who cares?
SPOILER ALERT!
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first.

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in!
Timeless: Whimper.
Secret Project F: We're waiting. We're waiting.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
And I say unto you, big fat Meh.
~ Me

12.20.2010

Gail's Most Invaluable Gift Guide for the Tea Obsessed Fashionista

Just because it is the time of consumerism, here are some of my picks, Gentle Reader.

Your moment of parasol . . .


Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Octopus shower curtain
Your Tisane of Smart:
Beautiful Victorian costume resource site.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Sawyer's First Law

All the book I can read says, "This was a really surprising read. I’ve seen plenty of reviews around and actually, I’d always kind of held off reading this because it had seemed a bit too odd for me and a confusing mix of many genres and sub-genres. But the extra touches, the ‘oddness’ was what I came to love about it as I was reading."
SPOILER ALERT! Maire reviews the series.
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first. Lady Fellshot says, "All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this light romp with a side of creepy."

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in!
Timeless: It begins.
Secret Project F: We're waiting. We're waiting.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
"Lord Akeldama never drank anything but champagne. Well, that is to say, except when he was drinking blood. He was reputed to have once said that the best drink in existence was a blending of the two, a mix he referred to fondly as a Pink Slurp."
~ Soulless

12.15.2010

The Last Ketchup and Up Coming Character Study

To be done with one project, my sweetie-darlings, is merely to turn about and commence another. Yes, Heartless is in, but with no time to rest on my laurels. (There may be a little champagne over Christmas and perhaps I might buy myself today's infusion of cute.) (I should imagine resting on laurels would be mighty uncomfortable anyway.) Because I must begin Timeless.

I continued to wax lyrical, or at least snark, on the subject of inanimate objects over on Babel Clash. This time it is Low Tech Solutions to High Tech Problems

Speaking of which, Gentle Reader, it's been very cold these last few weeks. Or the California equivalent of very cold which, frankly is not "very" for everyone else. But it has caused me to bring out the hot water bottle. Mine has an absolutely beautiful cover knitted to match my decor by the lovely Miss Kalandar of the Brass Needles Podcast.

I have never understood why Americans are so opposed to the menial hot water bottle. Like the tea cozy, it seems one of those brilliant low tech solutions that has never made it across the pond.

VVB32 is having a little ode to Lord Akeldama.

I thought that meant is was about time to give you his Character Study. As always it will be in it's own very special separate blog coming up shortly. Hope you enjoy.

Your moment of parasol . . .


Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Object of desire. Camel driving gloves with bow.
Your Tisane of Smart:
Very exciting new blog via a fan, Time Travel Kitchen
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Advertising that works?

An extraordinarily witty review from The Write Thing. "Some very-steampunkish-indeed pseudo-scientific conversation takes place, delightfully brief and hinting at a much wider world of inventions. All this malarking about with inventions leads us, inevitably, to the great joy of refined steampunk, the joy of the gadget. Rest assured that Soulless is brimming with delightful gadgets both new and familiar, practical and impractical. Carriger has clearly given most of the inventors in her world Douglas Adams’ philosophy on invention. If one could spent dozens of hours and pounds designing and producing a complex device to automate a task which could be accomplished with a minimum of manual effort, then clearly the device is both laudable and worthwhile. Bauhaus would have a fit over self-unfolding carriage-bound parasols, steam-powered tent-pole planting devices and acid-etching note-taking devices."
SPOILER ALERT! Books and Movies says, "Just like the first book in the series, Changeless is full of witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud moments, and, of course, impeccably tasteful fashions."
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first. Naughty Edition Reviews Blameless.

Heartless: Finished draft 8, turned in!
Timeless: It begins.
Secret Project F: We're waiting. We're waiting.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is out.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 is out.

Quote of the Day:
"All romances end in tragedy. One of the key people in a romance becomes a monster sooner or later."
~ David Cronenberg
(A rather amusing quote if you consider the fact that my key people are, by definition, monsters.)