25 December 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Christmas is a strange time of year. It's full of the stress of Christmas shopping - finding the right thing for each person, making sure the bank balance will stretch to that one extra thing, dealing with pack carparks and other shoppers. It's also a time to take a break and relax with friends and family, catch up on everything that's happened over the year, and make plans for the bright shining new year approaching. All in all I think the pleasure of Christmas outweigh the stresses :) I hope they do for you too. I hope you have a great Christmas and a new year filled with joy and wonderful opportunities.

No guarantee I'll post next week, I fully expect not to have finished digesting after the over indulgence of the holiday and doubt I'll be able to get my laptop onto my lap. So in lieu of a post two pics. One because it ticked my fancy - who does like a moose in funny boots, and one to remind us that even the darkest of people can enjoy Christmas if given the chance.

Darth  Vader Statue

21 December 2010

King James Bible & English language

Coming up to Christmas I thought a post about the bible might be apt. The King James Bible turns 400 next year, and regardless of how we feel about the book, it has shaped our language.

As well as selling an estimated 1bn copies since 1611, the KJB went straight into our literary bloodstream like a lifesaving drug. Whenever we put words into someone's mouth, or see the writing on the wall, or go from strength to strength, or eat, drink and be merry, or fight the good fight, or bemoan the signs of the times, or find a fly in the ointment, or use words such as "long-suffering", "scapegoat" and "peacemaker" we are unconsciously quoting the KJB. More astounding, compared to Shakespeare's prodigal 31,000-word vocabulary, the KJB works its magic with a lexicon of just 12,000 words.

More than this enthralling matrix of linguistic influence, there's the miracle of the translation itself, a triumph of creative collaboration (54 scholars in six committees), outright plagiarism and good old English pragmatism. The Authorized Version's mission statement was a masterpiece of lowered expectations. Its aim, it declared, was not "to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, that hath been our endeavour".

In its own time, a further aim was not only to help unite the crowns of England and Scotland but to heal religious division and give the word of God to the common people once and for all in the vernacular, without bloodshed or uproar. With some notable contemporary dissent ("It is ill done," wrote one divine. "The edition crosseth me. I require it to be burnt") this was achieved.

In fact, the KJB became, in Adam Nicolson's resonant phrase, "a kind of national shrine, built only of words".

Interesting articles: The Guardian, Bible research,

14 December 2010

Compendium of Villians

A little while ago you may recall I posted Ilona's compendium of leading men & leading women. Now she brings us... the villains.

...Be forewarned, these knaves are most base of character.

Mr. Hyde.

Mr. Hyde is often a man of aristocratic breeding, considered by his neighbors to be a gentleman of good character, but his facade hides a streak of vicious cruelty. He seeks to possess the heroine, in all senses of the word: he wants her body, her lands, if she has any, and whatever wealth she can offer and he has no regard for her wishes. He desires complete control of her being by any means necessary. There is no level to which he will not stoop, for he had decided that the ownership of the heroine isn’t merely a want, but his right.

A lady facing Mr. Hyde must take care, for he is prone to violence and lady’s gender will not be a barrier to his physical assault. Reasoning with this type is a pointless endeavor, for Mr. Hyde will not stop until he is taken down by brute force.

A Spoiled Rake

A Spoiled Rake has everything: excellent breeding, money, looks, and acceptance of the fairer sex. He has never been rejected, and when the heroine brushes him off, he reacts like any spoiled child would do: he throws a tantrum. The Spoiled Rake is a dangerous opponent; he is cruel, vindictive, and isn’t above the most vicious of subterfuge. He rarely resorts to physical assault, preferring instead to assassinate the heroine’s social standing, isolating her from friends and possible protectors, until she has no choice but to accept his advances.

Unlike Mr. Hyde, who feel entitle to complete ownership and who would never release the heroine, the Spoiled Rake may or may not intend to keep her for himself. His fantasies stop with an intimate tryst, after which he may choose to ruin the heroine, subjecting her to public humiliation so the entire world would know that he had won.

The Evil Stepmother

The Evil Stepmother isn’t always female, although most of the time she is. A relative of the heroine, she is in position of authority and influence over her. The Evil Stepmother is consumed by jealousy and hatred; she despises the heroine and takes every chance to cut her down and destroy her chance at happiness, while professing to have the heroine’s best interests at heart.

The Evil Stepmother is often subtle and manipulative, preferring to pull the strings behind the scenes. She will falsify documents, befriend and corrupt heroine’s friends, use poison, and when all else fails, hire thugs to accomplish her goal. When exposed, the Evil Stepmother often fails to to come to terms with the failure of her schemes and will invariable resort to direct violence, even to the detriment of her own safety. She would literally rather die than let the heroine find happiness.

The Faceless Creditors

The Faceless Creditors are not exactly villains in the typical sense. They simply lack any compassion and view their fellow human beings as means to achieve professional gain. They’re motivated by self-interest and are steadfast in achieving their goals. If they’re owed a debt, they must collect it, no matter how inhumane their actions are. The hero or heroine simply happen to be their next victim. It is rarely personal, it’s strictly business.

While the Faceless Creditors have no emotional investment in destroying the heroine’s quest for happiness, their pressure may drive her to desperate actions.

The Evil Boss

A subtype of the Faceless Creditor, the Evil Boss views people in his employ as pawns to achieve his own personal goals. He may be a military commander, a powerful relative, or a feudal lord. Whatever his status, he is in the position to use the hero or the heroine to his advantage, which he proceeds to do without any regard for their emotional well-being and personal safety.

The Evil Ex-Girlfriend

The Evil Ex-Girlfriend hates the heroine with the passion of a thousand suns. Oddly, this passion isn’t personal. The Evil Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t take time to assess the heroine’s personal qualities and form an opinion regarding her character. In different circumstances, she might be perfectly civil to the heroine and even strike up a friendship. However, the Evil Ex-Girlfriend is consumed by the need to return the hero to her loving embrace, and she will remove any obstacles to her quest with extreme prejudice. Unable to cope with rejection, she views the hero as easily mislead and views any woman entertaining romantic notions toward the hero as an evil manipulator and the barrier to her own happiness. If only she could remove the heroine, the hero would surely come to his senses and beg for her forgiveness.

The Evil Ex-Girlfriend is capable of anything. She is unpredictable, dangerous, and committed to her cause.

The Woman Scorned

A subtype of the Evil Ex-Girlfriend, the Woman Scorned (or the Man Scorned, respectively) is a tragic figure, spurned by her lover. Of all the villains, she is usually the one with a genuine grievance.

Perhaps the fault indeed lay with the hero or the heroine, but in any case, the injury caused to the Woman Scorned causes her to lash out with disproportionate violence.

The Woman Scorned seeks vengeance, believing that retribution is her just right. She is truly committed to her cause and destroying the person who’d inflicted the grievous injury on her becomes her mission in life.

The White Knight

A subtype of the Evil Ex-Girlfriend, the White Knight is romantically infatuated with the heroine. He is aware of her fondness for his rival and he views that rival as a man of despicable character, clearly wrong for the heroine. For the White Knight breaking up this dangerous liaison becomes not just the matter of the getting the heroine for himself, but the quest for saving her from a fate worse than death. The White Knights thinks that he knows what’s best for the heroine better than she does and feels a strong urge to safeguard her from the evils of the world.

While noble, the White Knight’s intentions often lead him down the slippery slope of progressively villainous actions, fueled by his frustration with heroine’s inability to recognize what he views as the proper course of action.

06 December 2010

Vampire novella release date

Woo hoo, release date for my novella REDEMPTION'S KISS ... January 19th 2011.
This story is stand alone but set in the same world as HUMAN WITH A TWIST.
Lauren's been alone for a long time, too long. After all, there are few who understand her condition and need for blood - then she meets Rhys. He seems like a perfect match on all counts, until her bite sends him running.

Rhys thinks he’s met the woman of his dreams, that is until she sinks her teeth into his neck and his dream turns into a nightmare. Now Rhys has a choice to make. Is being with Lauren the biggest mistake of his life? Or is she his salvation?