Finally, I’m a Finisher (or, Holy Heck, I Wrote a Trilogy)

Book's last pages

Although Sag loves the thrill of a new project or friendship, you don’t always finish what you start. Work on keeping your promises and commitments.

(Source:, among many others.)


I’m not a follower of astrology or other form of pop culture personality typing, but sometimes, it seems, these systems follow me.

I was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius.  People of this sign are said to highly gregarious, to have an incurable wanderlust, and also to be notoriously distractible – to the point that they rarely complete what they start.

Even though I’ve never felt I embodied any of these hallmark Sagittarian traits, the presence of the last one in the above list has always caused me some distress.

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Home is Where Too Many Hearts Were (Medieval Mondays #3b)

Remnants of Peveril Castle's keep: the basement as viewed from the upper level

Remnants of Peveril Castle’s keep: the basement as viewed from the upper level

Peveril Castle, located in Derbyshire, England – the site where much of my novel-in-progress takes place – had one of the smallest examples of a castle keep in England.

As shown in the artist’s rendition to the right, it contained only two rooms – a principal chamber and a basement underneath that was likely used for storage and accessed via a spiral staircase.

The keep also had a latrine, a wall cupboard, and a large window looking out over the rest of the castle and the surrounding Hope Valley, but it didn’t have a fireplace, any food service rooms, or even a well.

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On Commemorating Personal Accomplishments with Nail Polish

Nail polish

It all began with the random thought that occurred to me while at work on the final chapter of my WIP:

I should paint my fingernails so that when I finally type “The End”, I’ll do so in vivid colour to help me remember the moment forever.

It being the first attempted novel I’d have ever completed making the event something of a big deal to me.

Still, this notion to adorn myself was quite a departure for me.  I’m hardly a deft hand when it comes to personal ornamentation:

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Character Study: J from The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (& on character tropes, diversity, and universality)

J from AWG

According to TV Tropes, one of the coolest, most addictive wiki’s on the internet,

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.

Tropes aren’t bad in and of themselves bad and are not inherently cliché on account of their widespread use in mainstream media.

In fact, tropes can be very useful, particularly characters tropes, which can provide a firm foundation for character development and serve as a helpful cue to readers and viewers about the sort of character journey (and hence the sort of story) they can expect.

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Vacation is the Enemy of Creative Progress*

Watching TV on the couch

My time off included a whole lot of this

The week before last, I was on vacation.

“Holiday” as my friends across the pond and Down Under would say.

Or as I like to call it, “staycation”, for it was a vacation where, rather than travelling someplace, I remained in my home town.

(For the record, I make a further distinction between a “vacation”, which to me involves travel, and a “holiday”, which is travel to someplace particularly noteworthy or exotic.  But that’s just me.)

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A Castle was a (Noble)Man’s (and Woman’s) Home (Medieval Mondays #3a)

Remnants of the keep and curtain wall of Peveril Castle in Derbyshire, England

Remnants of the keep and curtain wall of Peveril Castle in Derbyshire, England

As a child, I used to like drawing pictures of medieval castles.

These drawings always took a similar form: a large square in the middle of the paper, two taller turrets on either side, and a wall that extended the remaining length of the page on either side.  I even owned a stencil that had a guide for making square waves that I used on the upper edges of each part of the picture.

For a frontal, ground level representation by an eight-year-old, I actually think I did pretty well, having depicted the three key components of the average medieval English castle: the keep, the tower, and the curtain wall.

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How to Keep Your Water Bottle Cold All Day in the Summer

Drinking from water bottle

It’s been a long, hot summer in North America.

I love summer – the warm weather, the less restricting warm-weather clothing, the lighter, brighter warm-weather attitudes – but it also causes me a big problem.

Staying hydrated.

Unfortunately – regardless of my 6+ daily glasses of water – I’m the sort of person who’s easily dehydrated.

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