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Showing posts from February, 2011
There is an interesting blog at Word Wenches about linked books, a trilogy or a series. In the romance novel sense, it means that book one will be about A and B, while book two is about C and D, with possible links or appearances by A and B. Series, Book 2.

I quite like a series. And I agree with some of the comments that a romance should really have a happy ending--but perhaps this is merely my PMS talking--but one comment niggled me a little. It's about how the reader will only read romance because of the happy endings--"Only a fool will spend money on fictional grief when so much is available for free."

I love a happy ending, but certainly not in everything. In romance? Yes. In historical fiction--I just want to be taken away to the period. In more contemporary literary fiction (like a McEwan novel), then it depends on the style of the author and the book itself.

After all, Atonement, my favorite novel of all time, is not exactly...happy.

That sentiment strikes me as …
You know how one of the guidelines of good writing include the following: Don't use the same words all the time. Do not be redundant. Vary your word choice and sentence structure. 'Cause, you know, otherwise it gets boring.

The same goes for advice and long speeches.

I say this because my manager has given the department the SAME DAMN LECTURE--verbatim--for the past week. "Make your credits. Do your goal. Don't make your goal on the register, make it on the floor. But most of all, do your credits. It's not that hard! Ask them!"

Then she proceeds to chase some poor innocent customer and in a shrill, fake voice, ask them if they want a card.

Most, of course, say no.

I saw several of those customers running right quick out of the department today after just such an encounter.

Then the lecture moves into: "If you don't have good numbers on your metrics [stats that come out every Thursday] and don't have your points [points are given on the metrics ev…

Downton Abbey and other things

I kept reading about a British series called Downton Abbey on various historical fiction blogs. So when it aired on PBS as part of Masterpiece, I decided to give it a try. It's like the rule of advertising/ marketing from college--if a consumer hears of it three times, then they might read your book/ watch your movie/ buy your product.

They showed Downton Abbey in four episodes over here and I really did enjoy it. It begins when the Titanic sinks and the Earl of Grantham's heirs die on the ship in 1912. By the last episode, it is summer 1914 and WWI has just been declared. It's Edwardian drama: a title and an estate, a new heir, three sisters (one of whom wants to know why her father can't just separate her mother's money from the title and give it all to her), a new car (and the new chauffeur), servants, and a brand-new telephone. Another season is supposed to start filming soon.

I have my Downton Abbey ship. So, I've been reading fanfiction again. And reading…
I can't seem to find the answer to a relatively simple research question.

The question is, Did monks and nuns live together (not together-together, obviously, but in the same institution)?How did that work?

It seems that there were very few communities with both monks and nuns. Fine. I expected that. The one example I have is Ken Follett's World Without End, where monks and nuns live in the priory of the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral, sharing the church, but their financial affairs are separate, their buildings are separate, their obedientries are separate.

*(obedientries---special positions that nuns/ monks have in their communities)

I've written my fake priory to be a more integrated sort of place: the buildings between monks and nuns are certainly separated and the monks and nuns have their own leaders, but their finances are shared, the obedientries are mixed, etc.

I suppose I could just go with what I've done, as long as I make it plausible. But is it plausible?…

Different Worlds

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I recently got new reading material--my own birthday present to myself:
It's the sort-of sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, which is focused around the building of a cathedral in England in the mid-to-late 1100s. I loved Pillars: the historical detail, the architectural detail, the pace, the characters. Follett chose to tell the whole story of how this one fictional cathedral was built and as you all may remember from Global History, cathedrals took a long ass time to build. So, characters grow up and become adults, marry or not, have children or grandchildren...

World Without End takes place in the mid-1300s, in the same town that Pillars was set in, with some of the descendants as protagonists. Of course, it's two centuries later, so the descendants are different from the main characters in Pillars. And the big sweeping theme is the Black Death.

But I'm enjoying it equally so far, if not more, because there are some strong female characters in this book and I find the det…