Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Our squirrels are nuts

About this time each year, the acorns start falling from the trees, blanketing the driveway that they overshadow. So that's nothing new. The newness is that this time they're getting a little help in falling.

I was sitting at my computer when motion in the trees outside caught my attention. I looked out the window behind the computer and noticed that the branches were shaking. Realizing that it wouldn't be a deer two floors off the ground, I figured it must be squirrels, and looked back to my computer when another motion caught my eye. A rosette of branch and leaves was falling to the ground. Okay. So the squirrel broke the branch.

Later, more motion. More branches. This time I stood up to look out, onto the driveway. This is similar to what I saw:

I went outside to investigate. Yup, the little cuties are chomping off the branches so that a cluster of leaves and acorns fall to the driveway, where they can then strip off the acorns in peace.

And it's not a one-time thing. We've swept the driveway clear twice and they've covered it again each time. I don't remember this ever happening before. Are they getting smarter? Or am I getting more observant?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

DARKSOME THIRST to be Translated into German

Darksome Thirst German version

Well, here's some good news. My novel DARKSOME THIRST is being translated into German by an Austrian publishing company.

Otherworld Verlag to publish German-language version of Morven Westfield’s acclaimed debut novel Darksome Thirst.

Southborough, MA (PRWEB) September 13, 2006 -- Otherworld Verlag has obtained the German language rights for Morven Westfield’s acclaimed first novel, Darksome Thirst. Praising its authentic characters and the skillful integration of fascinating elements of witchcraft, Managing Director Michael Krug stated, "We are very pleased to win this impressive debut novel for our program." Before establishing his own publishing company with a partner, Krug translated authors such as Diana L. Paxson, Lynn Flewelling, Dave Duncan, Paul Kearney,and Chris Wooding for a large German publishing house.

Otherworld Verlag's first horror title, Brian Keene’s Bram Stoker-award winning The Rising, will be published early in 2007. Morven Westfield's Darksome Thirst will soon follow, appearing under the German title Brut Der Finsternis.

Darksome Thirst is a fast-paced, atmospheric tale of a young woman who must resolve the differences between what her logical mind tells her and what she is actually experiencing. Set in the late 1970s, Darksome Thirst is the first in a series of novels wherein Alicia and Meg battle against the unknown. Its sequel, The Old Power Returns, is expected to be released in early 2007.

About Harvest Shadows Publications
In these days of large corporate mergers and consolidation in the publishing industry, Harvest Shadows publishes what some of the larger publishing houses would consider niche titles, but we believe that readers should have a broader range of choices.

About Otherworld Verlag
Otherworld Verlag is a newly established Austrian publishing company specializing in phantastic literature. Following a similar philosophy as Harvest Shadows, Otherworld Verlag considers itself a publisher broadening the variety for German-speaking fans of phantastic literature by offering quality programs featuring highly innovative and talented authors, as well as established names such as Dave Duncan.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Telephone telepathy

Hubby forwarded me a link to an interesting article, "Telephone telepathy - I was just thinking about you," from Reuters, Wed Sep 6, 11:36 AM ET. (Click the title "Telephone telepathy" above to go to the page.)

According to the opening sentence, "Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy."

Of course, the study isn't conclusive -- the sample size was too small -- but it's interesting nonetheless. Many of us have experienced telephone telepathy, only to be told, "Well, yes, but how about the many times where you think of someone and they DON'T call?", but this study says that maybe the times when they DON'T call might be less than one would think.

I would say this study might qualify as one of those DUH! studies (as in, "Duh! Tell me something I don't know!), but when I compare it to a study I heard about yesterday, I change my mind. That study said that celebrities were narcissistic... (


Sunday, September 03, 2006

What I've Been Reading Lately

Just finished reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel by Tom Monteleone. It's a very pleasurable read and I can definitely see beginners getting a lot out of it. I got a lot out of it, even if only in the way Tom said something made me really understand some "truth" I had already absorbed or just in reinforcing something I knew. I wish it had been around when I first started; it has a lot of things I learned from various sources all in one place.

I had been reading The Cleansing by John Harvey, but then vacation and book signings and conferences interrupted, so now I'm not sure if I should just start a few chapters back or go all the way back to the beginning. Maybe I'll just try restarting a bit back, to see if I can remember where I was. I do remember that I liked it. Darn, I wish I hadn't been interrupted.

Other than that, I haven't been reading too much lately. Oh, wait. I did finish one more book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. My father-in-law gave me a copy. He had started reading it himself and became so fascinated that he bought an extra copy for me. It was a long read, and I kept finding myself falling asleep. I can't blame the authors for that, though. I tend to read in bed and if I'm tired -- as I was this summer while working day jobs that required me to get up an hour earlier than normal -- I tend to fall asleep. And when I'd try to pick it up the next night, I'd find I couldn't remember the context and would have to re-read quite a bit.

Despite comprehension lapses from falling asleep and despite my appalling memory of the history of Europe, I found it very interesting. My father-in-law simply raves about the beauty of the writing style, but some might find it a little too stilted for modern tastes. The style didn't impress me as much as it did him, but what I did find enjoyable was the way that the authors built up to their conclusions. Of course, with my aforementioned appalling lack of knowledge of European history, there's no way I can judge how sound those conclusions are, but I still found them interesting.

What I've Finished Reading Since My Last Blog...

  • Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
  • Haunted Massachusetts by Cheri Revai
  • No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman