Friday, June 12, 2009

Odd Bits

So, I made this promise to myself that I would finish one of my works in progress by my birthday, which is next month. I made this promise back in February during a particularly feverish bout of writing, when the stuff was just coming out in gobs. It seemed a very doable goal.

And it is still possible. If I don't focus on anything else for the next month, I could do it. I don't have any trips planned. School is out next week, so although the kids will be underfoot, I won't have any volunteer commitments. Other than the occasional baseball game and carpooling gig, my calendar is wide open. I could get up in the morning, handle a few chores and then park my butt in the chair until bedtime, with only a break or two to cook meals.

In other words, no excuses.


One of my characters grew up in Manchester, England. I've been struggling to get his voice just right - enough use of slang and difference in speech patterns to capture his accent without going overboard. To this end, I've been listening to daily broadcasts of a local Manchester news channel. Funny how I now have a good handle on the goings-on in that area. It's become kind of like the town next door. I don't know how much it's helped my efforts to make his speech realistic, though.

What I wish is that I could get live streams of radio broadcasts from the UK. Now that they have laws against streaming broadcasts outside of a particular country, you can't tap into local radio stations the way you used to be able to do.


One goal I do have for the summer is to make a serious dent in my TBR pile, which has grown embarrassing. I could conceivable spend the entire summer sitting on my deck with a book in my hand. And personally, this is my idea of a perfect summer vacation.


I'm starting to get really excited about the upcoming release of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince on July 15th. This summer, we've gotten into the habit of waiting until the Sunday after a Thursday/Friday release day to go see the big blockbusters. By Sunday evening, the must-see-it-now crowds have gotten their fix, teens don't tend to go to the movies on Sunday evenings, and we don't have to stand in lines or struggle to find seats. But I don't know if I can wait the four extra days to see HPatHBP.

I checked the audio book out of the library for a recent car trip I took with my daughter. She hasn't read the book yet, so I figured this was the way to get her to experience the literary version before the movie version. Unfortunately, the unabridged audio book is 17 CDs long (that's 18 hours). Our car trip was all of 4 hours, round trip. We have another trip coming up that's longer, so maybe I can just renew the audio book an extra few weeks. Meanwhile, I'm listening to it in 5 and 10 minute chunks as I tool around town. At this rate, we'll be done by September.

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