Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Burns Night (and haggis!)

So last Wednesday, January 25th, was Burns night.

What is Burns' Night you ask?

A commemoration day of the Scottish national poet Robert Burns,the Scottish romantic poet who championed nature and the common people and probably had one too many girlfriends. And of course, being a mite obsessed with all the romantic poets, I couldn't resist having a Burns supper, complete with haggis.

Well I may have cheated as little. As a vegetarian sheep's heart, liver, and lungs cooked with oatmeal and onions inside a stomach dinna sound so bonny. I made this vegan version.

It came out like this:

I served it which neeps (rutabaga) mashed with potatoes

And it was delicious!

I made Cranachan for dessert but was too absorbed in eating it to take pictures.

And after dinner I made my sister and her boyfriend sit in a circle with me and read Burns's poetry. It was pretty interesting trying to decipher our way through the Scottishisms but also fun. Let's just say we all have really bad Scottish accents and it's hard to read Burns without one.

Here is one of Robbie's poems you've probably heard before if you listen to Celtic music at all to help you get the idea. It's hard to make sense of in general but try reading it out loud! It was fun though. A tradition I am definitely going to keep up.

Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O,
An' war'ly cares an' war'ly men
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Character Interview: Head Stableman of Camelot

Hi guys! I haven't been posting a lot of characeter interviews in awhile. The truth is most of my characters have been pretty busy advancing WHITE HART's plot lately and have been hard to get in touch with. No time for me anymore I guess *sigh*. But such is life. I did manage. however, to flag down the head stable man at Camelot and he agreed to answer a few questions.


To mix things up a little I wondered if any of you had characters who you would like me to interview. If so e-mail me at featherzines@yahoo.com.

Or, if your characters are shy maybe you'd like to interview one of mine. I'll keep you posted on who's available. Merlin seems to have been quiet in the background lately and so has Lady Nimue. And there is a dwarf called Abelhard who's been a little impatient for his scenes so he'll probably come out for a chat if a reader demands it (because, after all, who am I but his humble creator?). There is also a ship's boy and crazy priest from a short story I've been working on. So, again, e-mail me if you want to fix up an interview.

But back to Camelot . . .

Me: So how do you like working at Camelot?

HSm: It's a job. I've had worse.

Me: Like what?

HSm: I used to man the horses for King Uther's army. I never got any time off either. That man was ALWAYS at war. Half the time he didn't even remember what he was fighting over I think. Or maybe he didn't care And if a horse slipped a shoe or went down in a fight guess who got the blame? Yeah. You guessed it. Of course I was only a stable hand back then so I got an ear full --sometimes even a fist full --from the knights AND my boss.

Me: So Arthur is a somewhat easier king to work for?

HSm: Most of the time. Although I'm beginning to wish he'd never decided to get married.

Me: You feel a sense of foreboding too? Like the marriage isn't going to work out the way he thinks?

HSm: Oh no. Nothing like that. Guenerere seems like a fine enough queen. It's just been so much work preparing for the wedding. You'd think in a stable that wouldn't be too much trouble right? Wrong. Every guest has a different idea about how their horses should be taken care of. There was even a bloke in here the other day who insisted that he look after his charger himself. A wild flighty cold too. Very valuable and very dangerous and honestly I don't have the time to make sure he doesn't hurt his precious noble master's neck. I can't afford that kind of liability right now. Especially with the horses for the cerimony to prepare. The king insists I don't use any iron in their tack or shoes. You know how hard it is too find gold or silver or really any other kind of metal bits and horse shoes? And I've got every blacksmith on the isle coming in every day claiming they've got the best iron in all of Britain. Very well. If I ever need iron I will let you know but aparently the king doesn't.

Me: Sounds like you need to get back to work.

HSm: You bet I do.

Me: Any closing comments?

HSm: If you're coming to Camelot anytime soon do me a favor and come on foot.

Me: I'll keep that in mind. It was nice talking to you. I hope you get a nice long rest once this wedding is over.

HSm: Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well Hello There

I know I have been apsolutely AWFUL about posting in the last three months but I am back and hope to get Taliesin running semi consistently again.

What was that? You hadn't noticed I was gone? Well as it happens I had tea with a faun and stayed away for hours and hours . . .

and now i've returned to ramble about what's new in my writing and I have to say I am pretty excited right now because


After 61 pages (or three and a half chapters) of comings and goings and getting to know new characters, explanatory dialogue, setting up plot points, letting more back story trickle in, getting a clearer picture of the dynamic between characters etc. my manuscript is starting to pick up speed again.

There will be blood tonight!

Or heavier action anyways. If those 61 pages are as long to read as they were to write I will have some serious re-writing to do but I'm hoping that since my readers don't already know what is going to happen (hopefully) the slower bit will be suspenseful and mysterious. I'll just have to wait and see.

But for now I can write at last with full force toward the climax! I can see it in sight and I'm already salivating, chomping at the bit, etc. Hopefully I don't rush the ending. This is somewhat new pacing to me since my last manuscript had so many plot lines rolling at once there was always something exciting, dramatic, or both going on somewhere.

But then a good story doesn't have to be exciting and dramatic the whole time. Slow parts are good.

I think.

I hope.

So where are you in your manuscripts? A hard part? Easy part? How do you balance the drama and the needed detail. Please share. The suspense is killing me.

Not that I'm an impatient person or anything.

And here is a good song to write to (or work on other January goals to) today