Languages and Words

I got through filling in all of the words that I’d left out–every single one of them–today. Part of that is laying some groundwork, in the event that I’d like to do more work with the language my main character speaks. Nothing I can’t live with.

My main character comes from a culture that has a lot of words for “husband.” Well, that’s because there are a lot of different kinds of husband. One of my other characters–in a not particularly politically correct moment–suggested that every other word in the language means “husband.”

That’s probably not actually true, but I’m sure they have several hundred words for the concept.

And I needed exactly three of those.

So, I’ve been working my way through finding the words. (That’s a nice way of saying “making them up.”)

I figure the language probably has gendered nouns. (How many genders, exactly, I don’t know.) And I came up with the masculine ending. Then, I worked my way through the three types of husband the story actually needs names for. First, you make up the word–something you have a chance of keeping straight in the future–and then you Google it, to make sure it’s not an obscenity in some existing language.

And now, I’m all the way through every single missing word in the manuscript.

There’s enough structure to build onto, if necessary, but still very minimal.

I’m getting there, folks.

Errands of the Day

I’ve been working my way through dictionaries of extinct languages.  Don’t ask, and I’m not going to tell, but yeah… that’s how my day has been going.

On the bright side, I’m really hacking away at that list of words. Down to eight.

Today is one of those days that life in general gets in the way, and errands overtook me.

I’m still debating between A-to-Z and Camp Nano. I don’t have much time to make up my mind, and the end result may be neither, although I could truly use a little more traffic to this blog.

I did get to spend a little time in a bookstore, which is always a win.

The Approaching Death of Fitbit #3

Last night, my fitbit was giving me some incredibly low heart rate readings. Like… probably fifteen or twenty points lower than my usual resting heart rate. I don’t actually believe those readings, and it didn’t take much pulse-counting to confirm that they’re wrong.

They’re not Oh, shit, I’m going to die! readings. More like Yeah, right. I wish my resting heart rate were that low readings.

And a while back, I got my skyscraper badge. (That’s 100 floors in one day.) At the time, I thought it was probably because I was up and down ladders all day at work, and accepted it. (with a grain of salt.)

I question the accuracy of the thing, and it seems to have gotten worse, lately. I know it’s not counting each and every step I take.

Maybe I’m sleeping funny.  Maybe it’ll do better on a full charge. Maybe eventually, it’ll tell me I have a heart rate of two and a daily-staircase rate of 683.

Books on Tape

I’m in the process of listening to The Yiddish Policemen’s Union on tape, and about half-way through the book, it suddenly hit me where I’m having problems with it. I may not be a book-on-tape person. It’s very possible that there are parts of the book where I am listening to the narrator’s voice rather than to the story, itself.

He has a really nice voice.

Actually, that’s why I got this book on tape rather than the other one I was looking at. The narrator’s actual, speaking voice.

I’m just slipping into the sounds of his voice.

That’s not usually the case for me. I’m… fairly good at paying attention. But in this case…

I may not be a book on tape person.

But I’m still hoping that I can plug a book in and listen to it when I go for a walk, and actually feel like I’ve heard a story.

Stalking the Perfect Word

I printed out a list of all the times the phrase tk appears in my novel. There are thirty-two variations, each appearing from one to sixteen times. These are the words that I left out while I was writing… and revising… with the intent of going back to double check the facts (so, exactly how many days did that take? Was that Tuesday or Wednesday?)  or I planned to fill in the perfect word as soon as I found it.

Tk–for those of us who don’t know–is an abbreviation for “to come.” Since “tk” is basically non-existent in English, it makes it easier to search for than a tc. (At some point in the process, tk became tk(description of needed word no spaces) which means I mostly don’t have to look at the manuscript, itself to kill the words.

So, now all those words have to actually… well, come.

And I’m looking up what you call that part of a cave, and what you call that part of an airport. And just exactly what kind of vessel did I actually mean?

So, caves. By weird coincidence, the word for a room in a cave is… uhm… well, room. It’s not what I’m looking for, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence.

And airports. You know where you park a plane? On an apron, apparently. No. that doesn’t work at all.  Wrong mental picture, and the more familiar meaning stops the momentum of the story. We’ll just work around that word.

I have now interviewed about a million different words for “vessel,” and I think I may just stick with vessel. I’m really not sure I can call a rugged and manly man a lekythos, for instance.

One of my cultures has about a million different words for “husband” and I need… probably about half a dozen of them. Those may wind up being made-up words, at the rate I’m going.

So, that’s my chore for the day.

Green Rivers, Green Beer, Green Peanut Butter

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day, a day which Americans celebrate by dyeing random liquids green and eating corned beef out of tins. And cabbage. Which… uhm… well in my decidedly non-Irish corner of the universe, that means sauer kraut. (Also out of tins.) I have no idea how they manage to sneak this past the real-life Irish, but I’m fairly sure the conversation probably involved the threat suggestion that we could dye some peanut butter green.

Somewhere else, they’re busy dying whole rivers green, so a little peanut butter….

I believe I’ll celebrate by watching one of those YouTube videos where they feed Irish people random American foods.

There’s gotta be an Irish-American themed one of those, somewhere.

No, really. Budweiser is better, because Guinness just doesn’t take the dye as well.

And why, yes. Yes, you can buy a “Just the Marshmallows” package of Lucky Charms.

(No. It doesn’t improve the taste a bit, but you can’t hear the screaming of over-sugared children, if you’re in a diabetic coma, yourself.)

Next Project, Please.

I got started on my next thing, today. I’m really not sure what it is–novel? Short story? Epic claymation porno film? But I got started.

It’s somewhere on the ghost-story—>time travel spectrum. So, your guess is as good as mine, but I’m moving onward. (No, I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with Romeo and cannibalistic insect Juliet.)

I also printed out a list of all the tks (that’s to come, but computer searchable.) in my revision project… and it’s not all that bad. (One page, and a lot of them are time and consistency related, or the same missing word over and over.)

So, that, and a couple of other things, and I’m into the administrative stuff.

Typing In Delirium

So, I spent the day typing, and I’m adding that to the list of skills I really do feel the perfect man ought to have…. along with being able to instinctively figure out my revision flow chart (including the parts where I failed to put in arrows) and read my handwriting… and while we’re at it, he can find my green pen.

Which I might have accidentally thrown away.

So, we should… for the sake of his mental health… add “Not afraid of rats” to the list, because, frankly, the garbage dump is full of them.

I have been thinking about things I could sell on Etsy, and things that might make a decent revision reward, and I fluttered through the thought of taking up metal stamping. I could make little disks that state the name of your book, and the number of rejections you’ve gotten.

Okay. Yeah. It’s not exactly a diamond from Mr. Not Afraid of Rats, but you know how it goes. (And yes, the fact that a friend of a friend does wire-wrap jewelry doesn’t exactly stop me from this kind of thought.)

I have more “free” time tomorrow, so I’ll probably do…

More typing.


Pushing Onward

I’m getting close to the end of my revision. Countdown the pages close. I can taste it close.

And along with that comes the temptation to stay up all night, work until dawn, and get the damn thing finished.

I want to be done. I want to get on with filling in the blanks, and spell-checking, and formatting. I want to print it out one more time, just to hold it in my grubby, ink-stained little hands.

There is also a (much more rational) part of me that says You have been up since two o’clock. You have already put in a respectable number of hours. You are not in any condition to chase down dangling modifiers.

There’s just a point when it’s too much, too long, too late. No point in revising something tonight, if you’re just going to have to revise your revisions, tomorrow.