Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stories of the Week for September 18, 2013

 I've added a new link to my page o' links.  It's the brand new blog by author Angelika Rust.  If you like fun fantasy books about criminal underworlds, then I'd highly recommend checking out her debut novel, Ratpaths.

Here's the book description:

The city state of Istonnia is suffering, its people cowering under the thumb of a despotic ruler.

Nivvo is a young thief, not interested in anything except keeping himself and his sister alive. That changes when he accidentally overhears a conversation.

Now Nivvo finds himself up to his neck in trouble. He has only one night to find the rightful heir. He has to smuggle him out of the city before the tyrant and his black-clad soldiers kill them both. And he has to avoid the crime lord's watchful eyes, for if Vicco Cambrosi catches them, they might be better off dead...

As for myself, I'm still plugging along on my Middle Grade novel.  My 5 pages a day writing streak is still intact, though I almost lost it on Saturday.  It was a combination of rampant procrastination, having to rewrite a tricky scene of dialogue, and generally being unsure how the protagonist was going to get out of her current predicament.

For some reason, I keep writing seemingly impossible scenarios for my characters, and then have to rack my brain trying to come up with a way out.  Preferably one that actually makes a bit of sense thematically, and doesn't come completely out of the blue, deus ex machina style.

Areas of research for the week include: – I wanted to see when fortune cookies were first invented.  I ended up not using them as a reference in the book, as they seem like more of an American invention than anything else, and they don't really seem to exist in China.  According to the “In popular culture” section, is says this was mentioned in Iron Man 3 by the Mandarin character.  Twice.  So I'm probably not saying anything most people don't already know. - More food related fun.  I had a scene that included a hot dog cart, but I wanted to make sure that hog dogs existed back in the time my story takes place. Frankfurters date back to the 13th century, apparently, where hot-dog-like pork sausages were made in Frankfurt, Germany.  Instances of the word “hot dog” seemed to have been published as early as the 1890s.

I may have also researched pretzels, while I was at it.  Now I know why research makes me hungry...

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