Making another stab at the novel

Uh … yeah.

I’ve done some more fiddling with the plot, removing the entire inn sequence—though the inn itself may return in a later chapter. Some of the characters have had their functions and family relationships reworked and I’ve rewritten what is sort of a prologue, even though I understand that many agents don’t like prologues at all. I just feel it’s really important to the plot for this information to come out at the beginning, especially as it’s so far in the past.

Still tinkering in my head about a few things, particularly in regards to the dwarves and giants. Going to keep writing as much as I can. I find it kind of hard to do during the day when the boys are playing League of Legends (they ask if they can unplug the desktop from the router when they do—gives them less lag and better ping). But I do want to get my sleeping schedule under control, too, so late nights are going to have to be pared back. Hopefully I can find some time to write that’s convenient for all of us.

I may also need a new title for this work…

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More scintillating dinner conversation!

Part of last night’s conversation was in response to Boy #2’s suggestion that we watch The Scarlet Pimpernel (Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellan, 1982). We finally bought a DVD version of this because our taped-from-my-parents’-TV VHS copy died. Hubby led off the discussion on “fictional gentlemen adventurers with secret identities”, with an eye to finding out if there was one older than Sir Percy Blakeney. I mean, the Baroness D’Orczy wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel back in 1903. There had to be somebody!

Well, we really couldn’t think of one! Zorro, whose pedigree is similar, wasn’t created until 1919 in “The Curse of Capistrano”. The Shadow, another “wealthy man about town” was 1930. Wikipedia suggests Sherlock Holmes to have or be a secret identity, but he was more a master of disguise – then again, so is Sir Percy! But, as Hubby put it, “he’s not going around under an assumed name in a more or less constant fashion”.

Tonight I brought up two old Disney favorites that I thought might be relevant. One was the Swamp Fox, who is a historical figure anyway and not at all fictional. The “old swamp fox” was a sobriquet the British gave him.

The other was the Scarecrow, or the Reverend Doctor Christopher Syn, who was a smuggler and pirate with a “secret identity” of a country vicar. Hubby brought out the fact that the man was not a hero, and a quick look at Wikipedia showed that his first appearance was 1915. Hubby mentioned a character in an operetta, that of an archeologist who had a secret identity of a freedom-fighter in Northern Africa. The operetta was The Desert Song, and was written in 1926. It was inspired both by tales of Lawrence of Arabia and a 1925 uprising in Morocco. The archeologist’s name was Pierre Birabeau and his heroic alter ego was The Red Shadow. (It had a really cool song: The Riffs.)

So, as far as I can tell, ol’ Percy is an original! Do any of my readers or friends have any candidates? (And don’t you just love our table talk?)

A little fangasm!

Within just a day, I’ve had the pleasure of hauling out my Thunderbirds knowledge (with all the attendant books and other paraphernalia) to help a couple of fellow fanfic writers and personal friends. It was certainly fun, especially all the stuff about Alan Tracy’s educational background. Add to this my posting the first chapter of one of my short stories (Burning Muses) at AO3 and uploading a new post to my RP, and I’m full of Thunderbirds at the moment. It’s given me quite a hunger for fic and for writing or editing what I already have up. I edited the first chapter of Burning Muses, making it tighter. In many respects it was like my edit of the little scene I wrote a few days ago. The changes I made brought forth Brains’s voice and made him less … poetic. (Because if Brains is anything, it is NOT poetic.)

Then, there was the chatter at the dinner table. We went from Gosford Park to Downton Abbey (which we have not seen) to Acorn (which streams Downton Abbey), and then to Netflix – where movies are more plenteous in DVD than in streaming. This led to BBC America (and how we could get it on cable), to other premium cable services, to Game of Thrones and whether or not the TV series matched the novels. That particular thought brought out movies that didn’t match their source material – Boy #2 brought up the Percy Jackson movie (The Lightning Thief). This brought the whole shebang back to … Thunderbirds! The Girl’s comment: “I knew there was another kids movie like that! ” Hubby brought up that Frakes had said in an post-film interview that he directed the movie that the producers wanted, even though he knew the fans would be “annoyed by it” (Hubby’s words, not Frakes’s.) I promptly chimed in. “Annoyed? Annoyed?” Which, of course, is far too mild a term to describe the old guard’s intense hatred of the film.

Maybe if he’d stayed closer to the source material, we’d have had another Thunderbirds movie. After all,  there will be another Percy Jackson film, coming out this year.

Some fandoms get all the luck…

An interesting ten days

Well, the Hubby is getting better, if you don’t count his cold. Two of the cats, Tika and Cotton, have been to see the vet (finally!) and now have been dewormed and given shots for their itchy skin (and flea treatment, as well). Boy #2 has been busy. He won his second basketball game 16-10 and was very happy. He also got a special t-shirt for scoring Advanced on the state achievement test last spring (one of five in his school to do so). He’s seen his first live hockey game (a friend took him), and was in his school’s talent contest, doing a comedy routine.
 
Report cards came out yesterday. The boys both got all As, and the Girl had six As and 1 B for the quarter, and 5 As and 2 Bs for the semester. We’re very pleased that she brought up her Geometry grade from a C to a B.
 
We got our federal tax money back (did the RAL with H&R Block). We’re waiting for the state taxes, too. Hubby thought it would be good to get me a new tower, and I’ve ordered a refurbished one from TigerDirect. My brother has had good experiences with them. I’m also getting a new, flat panel monitor. I hope it opens up some more room on my desk! With the state taxes, I want to order the rest of the fencing and finish up that project.
 
In writing, I’ve finished my love story, and need to help Hobbeth and Quiller with betaing theirs. I also have to make the changes on my own. I’ve started the next chapters to both Overtures and The White Winds.
 
For those of you who might want to know, Thunderbirds World is down and has been since last night. I have put in a support call to MSN Groups and alerted the site owner as well. I wish I knew what was going on; I’ve been demoted to an assistant manager, and that’s odd. When I hear what the problem is, I’ll let people know.

Happy Halloween!

We’ve hardly had any trick or treaters come to our door tonight and we bought lots and lots of candy to give out. I’m afraid that the kids will be taking chocolate in their lunches for the next two weeks! For the first time, we let the boys go out trick or treating. Boy #1 went out dressed like a mailman (surprise, surprise!) and Boy #2 went as a cowboy, wearing the hat and guns he got in New Mexico.  Hubby, who had taken the day off, went around with them. They just went around the block, no farther, but still came back with a decent amount of candy.
 
We have four jack o’ lanterns on the porch, one on each step. Boy #2 did a traditional face, Boy #1 did a spider that came out looking cool. The Girl’s sun, moon and star didnt’ come out so well, but Hubby carved his comic strip character, Captain Kiddeo, into his pumpkin. It looks so funny! I thought about doing one; I’ll do one next year, though. I’ll try and take a picture of them during the day; my little camera doesn’t do too well at night.
 
Speaking of chocolate, Hubby bought me quite a bit of sugar-free stuff yesterday, including, to my delight, sugar-free Hershey’s Special Dark. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the whole bag (there were only about 10 little bars in it). It was soooo good.
 
Report cards come home tomorrow and we’ll eventually take a trip to Krispy Kreme for the "Donut for As" program they have. I expect that the boys will have all As (I already know Boy #2 does) but the Girl will be a different story. I expect at least two, probably three As and the rest Bs. That’s okay with us as long as she’s doing her best and keeping up with her work.
 
Chapter 16 of The White Winds, and chapter 11 of Overtures both went up yesterday. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’ve got my ideas percolating. I’m going to try and give myself a certain amount of time each day for writing; my parents are coming and I just have to get the house in order for them.

Interesting news from the pizza place.

Tonight was one of the fund-raising events that the elementary school has at our local Ci-Ci’s pizza. The food is pretty good, the price is right, and Boy #2’s teacher invited him to come (on her), so we all ate there. I was very, very bad: even though there was salad there, I ate nothing but pizza and even had dessert! I’m not looking forward to my bedtime blood glucose level!
 
But, the most interesting thing was what Boy #2’s old teacher told us about his PACT test scores. PACT is the Palmetto Acheivement Challenge Test or something like that, in any case, it’s the test that the state uses, along with the more familiar ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) to place students in the proper levels, assign them to honors or challenge courses, and rate the schools and their teachers. You’ll never believe it, but I was told that Boy #2 missed just ONE question on that whole test! Just one! I was blown away! The PACT not only measures how students achieve, but what kinds of strategies they use to get to their answers, and all year long, Boy #2 had to relearn the strategies he had already learned in Christian school. But for him to do that well just is overwhelming! We are all very excited and very proud. She also told me that she had heard that Boy #1 had placed in the "advanced" level, too. I’ll have to see how he (and his sister) did when the scores actually become available later this month.
 
Did a little bit of writing on Overtures, and more on some of my RP venues. The post I did last night for CIR was really, really good. Made Hobbeth go "Wow!" Finally got some shopping done after the pizza party. I was wearing my sneakers again because I went to the prosthetics people yesterday and they put a "metatarsal bar" in my custom insole. So now my callous, which was debrided on Tuesday, should grow more slowly. But I can use the insoles in both my ugly black shoes (which are wearing out) and my nice white walking shoes. Yay!
 
Time to stick my finger and face the music. More as my muse moves.

Waiting for the dam to break…

I am of the decided opinion that my muse is on vacation. It’s been hard, really hard, to write much of anything over the past few days. A paragraph or two on The White Winds, and more on Overtures, but I had a deuce of a time trying to figure out what was wrong with the rescue venue in the first place! Now I’ve got it, and it’s unique, and I think, will be funny (maybe).  We’ll see. But even writing RP has been a pain, and that’s not normal for me.
 
Well, tomorrow is Saturday and maybe I can get something done. I have to admit that I’ve felt rather blah all week and had a nasty headache yesterday afternoon. But I’ve been better today physically, just kind of jittery, which tells me that perhaps my hormones are coming into play again. I couldn’t even stand to stay online, which is very much not like me!
 
The Girl is making friends at school and today was smiling when she got into the van. My good friend, Dragonlady’s daughter is a junior there and is introducing her to some of her anime crazy crowd. Both boys have been very happy with school so far and Boy #1 has made a friend named Travis. Actually saw the boy today; looks like a nice kid.  I’m glad that things are starting off so well.
 
More as my muse moves… if she’s back from vacation, that is.