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Showing posts from January, 2014

January Cold Randutiae

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A couple years ago, we had one of those winters that never really got started... hardly any snow, and the temperatures weirdly high. Spring came and I felt like I'd been cheated. That's certainly not happening this year. And here in Cambridge, our frequent temps of 10 and 20°F (-12 and -7°C, approximately) are downright balmy compared to the -20 and -30°F temps (-29 and -34°C) a friend in Minnesota is having on a regular basis. For me, it's something to laugh and occasionally whine about, because I'm damn lucky, but for a lot of people, it's creating a lot of suffering and is downright dangerous… I wish everyone could be okay.

A heartfelt thank you for everyone who clicked on my Seabane Isn't Real post! I just took a look at the hit count and was touched that my readers are taking my request seriously.

Work has been enjoyable lately but also intense and energy-sapping. Hence, no blogging. But I've been keeping a little list of randutiae that bears mention…

Seabane Isn't Real

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Here's a brief conversation between Katsa and Po in Graceling:
Po looked puzzled. “What’s seabane?”

“I don’t know if you have another name for it in Lienid.  It’s a small purple flower. A woman who eats its leaves will not bear a child.”
And here's a line from Bitterblue:
Bitterblue examined the item in her hand. It was a medicinal envelope with a label written clear across the front: “Seabane, for the prevention of pregnancy.”
Seabane is a fictional herb. I made it up, not unlike the way fantasy writer Tamora Pierce made up a pregnancy charm for Alanna and her other fictional women.

Way back when I was an unpublished writer writing Graceling, choosing the name of this magical contraceptive herb was fun. I knew I wanted a plant name that, to the best of my ability to ensure such a thing, was not a known plant name in the real world in any language, because I didn't want to confuse my fantasy world with the real world and I didn't want to muddle readers ("What? Orega…

New Year's Dreaming

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Bulgarian cover for Fire! Published by Emas, designed by Zlatina Zareva. Click to enbiggen! ------>

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My dear nieces (accidentally and with great affection) gave me a Christmas present of a terrible cold in which my head was like a TARDIS of snot, so I've fallen behind in some things, including blogging. (The TARDIS, for those of you who aren't Doctor Who fans, is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, such that it's capable of containing unimaginably huge quantities of stuff you would never think possible if you're standing outside it. And by the way, I'm not as obsessed with Doctor Who as it might seem given recent mentions on my blog (though I do rather love it). It's more that a character I'm writing about is often wearing Doctor Who pajamas, so it's always on my mind.)

As colds go, this one was massive, but also dreamy and contemplative, possibly because it coincided with the New Year. I should have some resolution thoughts to b…

Alternative Uses for Cats

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