Shar 8: 59,000 Words

That’s how much good draft we have done, the first two acts. It’ll need revised of course, but it’s good solid draft. I’ve never written this fast before. And I love what I’m writing.

I’m probably doomed.

Speed has it’s drawbacks. I haven’t done anything on the collage and I keep forgetting the music, which is crucial because that gives me so much of the emotion. So when the first draft is done, I’m going to collage fast and the go through my scenes again, revising with the music. There’s no depth to my stuff right now because I’m going so fast, but I think the speed is good. This is such a great collaboration.

And the book is even better now that Milton is in it. Of course, in real life, tonight Milton ate my shoe. One of the black flats with the crisscross elastic. Which crisscrosses no more. You put a dog in a book, he becomes a diva, going right for the expensive stuff.

26 thoughts on “Shar 8: 59,000 Words

  1. Hey, as long as he doesn’t eat any of those shoes you bought Down Under.
    Although, we’d probably appreciate that too. Aussie shoes – good enough to eat!

  2. This along with knowing cats ruin Christmas trees has squealched my urge to get a pet. I am forever greatful.

    And congrats on the WIP progress.

  3. Milton has to be on the back cover with the author photos, doesn’t he?

    “need revised” – that’s a local dialect marker, isn’t it? Does it work with any other verbs besides “need”?Just curious.

  4. This is a couple of days late but I have been thinking about your butter cookie recipe needing zip. The next time you try it you might add about 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, or heck, orange zest or tangerine zest or lime zest even grapefruit zest if you are feeling particularly dangerous. Or any combination of them. And if you have a micro-grater it is really easy to do zest. Lot of people have problems using a micro-grater because they seem to grate their knuckles. But really, you just have to develop the technique of watching were you put your fingers. And it is excellent for mincing garlic – instant garlic puree! Oh, you could do lemon-garlic cookies and add a little basil and you would probably have the latest epicurean fad. πŸ™‚

  5. Wheeee! We like speed. But we also like depth and emotion too.

    As a side note, Jenny, you should put “Mac Pimp” on your resume. After hating my old computer and hearing how you love yours I talked my husband into getting a Mac. I used them in college, about 10 years ago, and loved them but I coldn’t afford one until now. We picked up our Macbook Pro yesterday. Of course, I’m at work and my husband who is on days off is at home playing with it. At least he got the wireless working.

    Apple should give you a referal fee.

  6. Kira, it is. A Southern Ohioism, I think. That grass needs mowed, those dishes need washed. Copy editors take it out of my dialogue all the time and I put it back in.

    Jessie, we’re working with specific flavors for the cookies. Abby’s is butter and honey, Daisy’s is cinnamon, and Shar’s is licorice/anise. So while lemon would be yummy it wouldn’t work.


    And congratulations on that Mac, Office Wench. You’re gonna love it.

  7. damn you all. when I end up in a sugar coma (which I will not wake up from until next holiday season) because of all your cookie talk, it will be your fault. Goddesses? More like evil minions (and you all know too much about evil minions, hmm why is that??)

    Currently, you should feel ashamed because I am stuffing my face with Hazelnut Dream Cookies from Au Bon Pain. Soon I too will be dreaming…indefinitely.

  8. So. Daisy gets spice. Shar gets spice. Abby gets sweet and bland.

    Can she add nuts? How about almonds? What about some exotic honey – lavendar or fireweed? Although they probably wouldn’t change the final flavor once they were cooked.

    I am still toying with the lemon garlic basil cookies. I figure get rid of the sugar, top them with one of the new finishing salts (alcea red or turkish black flake salt, something like that) and serve them with champagne.

  9. Jenny said: “A Southern Ohioism, I think. That grass needs mowed, those dishes need washed. Copy editors take it out of my dialogue all the time and I put it back in.”

    Love it! We had a discussion on that particular idiom on the forum a year or two ago. I think it occurs in some other areas of the USA, too. For those of us who do not use it, it really catches the attention. But others were equally surprised about what I would say there: ‘the chapter wants revising; the grass wants mowing; those dishes want washing’. Language is such fun.

  10. (Sung to the tune of White Christmas) “I’m dreaming of a Mac Pro while I’m loving those treats from Au Bon Pain”

    You certain people are corrupting…

    “Apple stock” Jenny, hint, hint- buy now before you drives sales even further…

    My daughter is also telling the dad, “paleeze get her the pro so she’ll leave mine alone”….;) smart child (snicker, snicker}

  11. Now, now, don’t forget the iMac. Gotta love that widescreen, perfect for writing and layout; and the ability to multitask. I made recipe cards for my now-retired father last night. TextEdit, Pages, and Safari, all open at once, all working nicely together. Try that with my stupid Vista “work” laptop? I don’t think so. Besides, Word hates me. It never plays nicely when I need to design stuff.

    Thanks for the many tips, Jenny. I’m in love with the computer again.

  12. Eucalyptus honey. It’s too strong, I find, if I eat it straight from the jar but mixed into stuff, like warm milk, it gives a wonderful toffee flavour.

  13. I tried to figure out if you could do a tea infusion, something like Lady Grey, then realized most butter cookies have no liquid in them to infuse and also, it might be disgusting. Which might not be all bad. If you put it on the duvet -or what remains of it – and Milton eats it. It could cure him of gnawing on the duvet. πŸ™‚

  14. “A Southern Ohioism, I think. That grass needs mowed, those dishes need washed. Copy editors take it out of my dialogue all the time and I put it back in.”

    It’s also common in Pittsburgh, just east of yinz.

  15. Butter honey cookies? Eh. Butter’s good, but honey in cookies? It doesn’t do much. Bits of toffee, or how about honey pecans?

    “Needs done” can’t be parsed in my dialect. We say “needs doing”.

    It’s unusual to see a syntax variation in dialect; normally it’s just vocabulary, like what you call the colored candies one puts on top of ice cream. Apparently, one can draw a map of the US based on what one calls them.

  16. Kira, variations in syntax as well as vocabulary and pronunciation are very common indeed in different dialects, certainly in British English, and, from what I have learned in forum discussions, in American English too. Rather rough dialect distribution maps can certainly be drawn up on the basis of vocabularies, but better ones rely on pronunciation (e.g. the well-known ‘marry, merry, Mary’ one, ‘cot/caught’ and so forth), and on syntactical idiosyncracies. Pronunciation and syntax are much more reliable regional indicators, since vocabulary choice can be quite conscious. A person may pick up the habit of saying ‘pop’ instead of ‘soda’ because the people with whom he associates say ‘pop’, but is less likely to change the pronunciation of a vowel that occurs throughout his everyday discourse, or to start (or stop) saying ‘it needs washed’. It is easy for me to remember to speak of ‘gas’ rather than ‘petrol’ when I am in the USA, but I’ll still speak of it in an RP British accent!
    Some dialect usages (in the UK as well as North America) arise from the retention of older English forms that have died out elsewhere, while others are linked with other languages used in given areas, e.g. the archaic Low German of some areas of Pennsylvania, which has definitely affected the grammatical structure of the English used in that vicinity.

  17. As we are talking language now – AgTigress, do you have an idea where I can find out more about British ‘slang specialties’? Is ‘cockney’ obsolete? Is it important to have a closer look at Estuary? I will have to teach my 11th graders about that next semester and I really don’t know much about it myself. (Seems I’m too focussed on American English…)

  18. Colognegrrl: are you interested chiefly in BE slang or in UK regional/class dialects? Cockney and Estuary English are both dialects, and rhyming slang is just one element within the Cockney dialect. Current British slang is well covered on the ‘’ website (can’t remember the full URL offhand, but you’ll get it by googling ‘slang’ and ‘peevish’). Be warned that a lot of it is seriously and unpleasantly obscene, violent and misogynistic, so you might not want to let your students loose on it! Reprints are available of Francis Grose, The Vulgar Tongue, the first slang dictionary, originally published in 1785. One of Georgette Heyer’s sources for her Georgian and later dialogue!
    On regional and class dialects, many of David Crystal’s books contain relevant material. A good scholarly resource is Arthur Hughes, Peter Trudgill & Dominic West, English Accents and Dialects; an introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of English in the British Isles, (4th edition, London 2005): it comes with a CD, which is very useful. A more popular treatment of the same theme is Simon Elmes, Talking for Britain, a BBC/Penguin book, 2005.
    The Wikipedia article online about Estuary English is pretty good, with some helpful links. And to answer your question, Cockney is not obsolete, but demographic and other changes have made it a far less widely-spoken London dialect than it was even 50 years ago.
    There are interesting special sidelines, like Anglo-Indian vocabulary in BE, going back to the 17th century (the standard dictionary, known as ‘Hobson-Jobson’ was published in the 1880s, and is still in print), now vastly augmented by the modern cross-fertilisation of English and Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and other Indian languages. There are dialects in many British cities that arise from certain ethnic communities, and which often cross over between, say, Pakistani and Afro-Caribbean Londoners.
    Subtleties like the ‘U- and non-U’ question – class-based dialect – require a lot of background knowledge of English (rather than British), society. If you are interested, the book to read on that is Kate Fox, Watching the English: the hidden rules of English behaviour, (London 2004). It is a scholarly book (the author is a well-qualified social anthroplogist), but is a really witty, entertaining read. Actually, her chapter on language is probably not her best, but still gives a good background picture.

  19. Oh, and one more thing: if you have a specific question, do come over to the forum on Delphi forums. We discuss this kind of thing all the time.

  20. And another thing: there is now a new edition (which I don’t have yet) of Eric Partridge’s classic Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.

  21. jessie, I wouldn’t call butter & honey bland~I once had an offer to have it rubbed all over me!

    How about if she used lavender infused honey? Just a thought.

  22. AgTigress, thanks so much. I’ll work through all this and see what I need (‘language varieties in Britain’ is a compulsory topic at our school and I don’t really know yet what I’ll do with it). I had been thinking of buying “Watching the English” anyway, so I’ll do it now.

    And I’ll visit the forum, of course, and see what that is about. (The Partridge we have in the school library is about 30 years old.)

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