29 August 2007

I'm proud to present...

... my current word count:Which means I've ordered that book about the Batavians.

Plus a few others.

You see, I need something large and heavy to hit Marcus around the head with. He's blackmailing officers *rolls eyes* And Geravan wants to seek death in battle, so unless the ninjas intervene I'll have two dead MCs before the end of the week.

28 August 2007


Yeah, well, why not. Found this one on Gabriele's blog. I've got nothing better to do (yes, I do have physics homework but that doesn't count as "better")

Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life
Being only 18, I haven't had many jobs in my life (it's virtually impossible here to get even a summer job before you're 18) but I'll try my best :)
1. Meat & deli at the supermarket. I worked there all summer and will have a couple of afternoons this autumn too. It sucks being up to your elbows in dead chickens but the pay is alright.
2. Assistant librarian (work experience; I did one week when I was about 14, lol)
3. Student. I think that should count as a job. I've done my share of teaching too. Had some very lousy teachers back in secondary so everyone came to me for help >.<
4. Writing. Not that I've ever gotten anything published. Except an article in the local paper.

Four countries I've been to
1. New Zealand
2. Ireland
3. Iceland
4. Germany

Four places I'd rather be right now
1. The Netherlands
2. France
3. In a biiiiig bookstore
4. In bed, lol. But my characters won't let me.

Four foods I like to eat
1. Chocolate
2. Grapes
3. Mushrooms
4. Freshly baked bread

Four personal heroes, past or present
Haven't got a clue, except of course the guy who first realised that cocoa beans could be turned into chocolate.

Four books you've read or are currently reading
The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome, by Robin Lane Fox.
2. Beowulf, by Anonymous
3. Stad in de storm, by Thea Beckman
4. My physics book: Rom, stoff, tid, 3FY, by P. Jerstad, B. Sletbak & A.A. Grimenes.

Four words or phrases you would like to see used more often
Dunno. "Would you like some chocolate?" is a nice one though :)

Four reasons for ending a friendship
1. Pinkiness (will explain if requested). Though the chances of me striking up a friendship with a pinky are very small indeed...
2. Lies
3. People being either too serious or not serious enough.
4. Whining

Four smells that make you feel good about the world
1. Lilacs
2. Earl Grey tea
3. The sea
4. Cinnamon (I'm slightly obsessed with cinnamon)

Four favorite activities you did as a kid
1. Reading
2. Swimming
3. Drawing
4. Playing hide and seek

Four TV events that annoy you
1. Political debates that turn into childish squabbling. If I want to hear that I'll visit a nursery school.
2. News that isn't news. Random Famous Person #34 broke a nail. How tragic.
3. Football/soccer
4. Reality shows.

My question: Four favourite mythological/legendary/semi-historical characters:
1. Cuchulainn (surprised, Linwe? ;) )
2. Beowulf
3. Gunnlaug Ormstunga
4. Mucius Scaevola

And, because I'm feeling evil at the moment, I tag everyone who reads this. Muahahaha.

25 August 2007

Writing, scribbling, drinking tea...

There are days when it's hardly possible to get a single word down, and there are days when my pencil just zooms across the paper on its own. I love those days, even though they make my hand ache and the teachers mad because I don't do my homework.

Today was such a day, and so was yesterday. Not a second of writer's block. Yesterday I grabbed my notebook and went up in the forest and scribbled until sunset - next time I'll stop earlier because climbing back down in the dark when the path is slippery with mud is a bit tricky. Fun though. Except mum freaking out completely when I came home ;) Today I thought I'd better stay at home and write. Seven hours straight, five whole pots of tea, 100 g of very dark chocolate, no ninjas, and one new walk-in I actually like (he acknowledges me as the Almighty Writer and knows that he should obey me. Muahahaha)

All in all, sixteen pages. Handwritten though, but I've started typing them now. It should get me to 220 k so I can buy that book about the Batavians.

Also, my NaNo-notebook is full. It's sad. I love that notebook. I love carrying it around with me everywhere and scribbling in it at odd moments while trying to keep all the loose notes from falling out. This new notebook I started in today just isn't the same.

I did leave half a page of the old one empty because I want to write the last paragraph in it. Not that that will be anytime soon, mind you.

20 August 2007

A whodunnit

Last night I discovered that my room has been the scene of a terrible crime (or at least a cover-up). I noticed a strange smell when I went to bed, and when I finally discovered the source of it, it turned out to be a dead, headless mouse under my bed. Lovely. Just the thing you want to clean up at 1 AM. Dunno how long it's been there, but judging by the smell, it's been a while.

No, don't worry. I won't post pics of it.

After checking the floor for fingerprints, the murder weapon and any other clues, I've come up with three suspects:

Suspect #1 (pillow; homemade; yellow, blue and green) was discovered at the scene of the crime, but claims not to have seen anything. The suspect does not have an alibi for the time of death.

Suspect #2 (sword; cheap replica of Sting) was also found in the same room, does not have an alibi and might actually be both murderer and murder weapon.

And, finally, suspect #3 (housecat - Felis silvestris catus - black and white; nine years old). This suspect was found far away from the scene of crime. However, the suspect has a record as a killer of various small animals. (Last confirmed killing: Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris - on 6. August 2007)

I'm still waiting for forensics to finish the autopsy, and then I'll start interrogating the suspects.

Where's Hercule Poirot when you need him? Lol.

Also, after today I'm sure that this school year will be worse than last. I have very few lessons this year - only 29 a week - but of course they're all early in the morning and late in the afternoon, so my timetable resembles a Swiss cheese. What the hell am I supposed to do with those free hours in the middle of the day? Homework, according to my teachers. Playing cards, according to my friends. Probably the latter.

Of course I still have the same history teacher; though this year we have modern history so she won't be able to make the Roman empire seem dreadfully boring - yes, she actually manages that(!) My new physics teacher is apparently even worse than the one I had last year, and I'm having my doubts about the chemistry teacher as well.

I'm looking forward to June 2008.

19 August 2007


... starts again tomorrow. If you ask me the summer has gone way too fast. I haven't done much except working (and writing and drinking tea, but that goes without saying). A whole new year with physics and boring history teachers and cliché essay topics. Hurray.

I'll live. I found a new online bookstore. Or rather, a collection of many small bookstores. Second-hand mostly. Ridiculously cheap. Lots of good stuff; including a lovely volume called "Ethnic identity and imperial power - the Batavians in the early Roman Empire". I saw it in a bookshop in the Netherlands and stood drooling at it for a long time until I saw the price ;)
But this second-hand copy is a good deal cheaper. We wantss it precioussss, and we wantss it now.

I'm not going to buy it.


I'm going to buy it as a reward once I have 220 k.

(Cue fanatic, chocolate-induced typing spree)

17 August 2007

Meet the walk-ins

Some of them at least. I've got dozens. Some I've managed to kill, some refuse to die, and one made an appearance some 40 k after I disposed of him. Turns out he wasn't dead anyway. Just missing, presumed dead. Next time I'll make damn sure that he actually has kicked the bucket before moving on. It's rule 13 of the Evil Overlord list after all. I shouldn't have forgotten:

"All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal."

I'd better make a post-it of it before I forget.

But I won't deny it was useful to have him alive. If he was dead, Marcus would've been killed when the legions at Vetera had surrendered, and then I couldn't have made him walk to Mainz and sent thunderstorms and wolves his way. Hmm... maybe those walk-ins are useful after all.

But not all of them.

Embric is a git. He's some sort of important Bructerian nobleman, incredibly arrogant, very rash, and rather stupid. Fun to write, but I wish he'd stop trying to kill Geravan. It's very difficult to write with a dead MC. Luckily, those two have finally agreed to stop arguing - at least for the time being. They've decided to kill the Romans first, and once the war has been brought to a successful end (they don't know they're losing. Yet), then they'll fight to the death. Fair enough. Didn't stop Geravan from breaking Embric's nose though.

Lucius is the worst of all. Or rather, he was the worst. I managed to kill him, but it took a while. He's random legionary #34 and his full name, at the moment is Lucius *insert nomen* *insert cognomen* so he goes by Lucius, lol. He started out all right, but then he began to whine and complain and he became really depressing. Now why would he do that? I mean, I only killed his best friend. Well, anyway, I thought I'd teach him a lesson by breaking his ankle, but noooooo, he became even whinier. So I made him ill during the siege of Vetera and hoped he'd snuff it. Did he? Of course not. I had him shot when the legions were ambushed after the siege, and then he finally died. I'm still not sure whether Geravan shot him or not. If yes, I'll never be nasty to him again (ha! As if!) and I'll name a town after him or something. But I'll also tell him that his aim is lousy because it took too long for Lucius to die. Oh, I don't mind him suffering, but his last words were so cheesy.

Next is Bob, that Frisian nobleman who was finally killed this week. Best death yet, I think. No Hollywood last words, no heroic last stand or anything. He just died. I got rid of his brother, Bob2, quite easily as well: I sent the lot of them back to their homes in the north to arrange the funeral. Muahahaha.

Of the top 5 Most Important & Annoying Walk-Ins, that only leaves Verax. He's different from the others in the sense that he is actually historical (he's Civilis' sister-son) but Tacitus devotes only two lines to him so I thought I'd just forget about him. When the Batavians had burned their capital and retreated to the Island, Civilis decided to attack four Roman camps at the same time, and Verax led one of the attacks (the one on the Second legion who had camped near the Batavians' former capital, present-day Nijmegen). He was supposed to destroy a bridge the Romans were building, but the attempt failed, and Verax had to swim back across the river to get out of there. That's it. Nothing more. I didn't have my notes with me when writing that battle, so I put Geravan in command of the army attacking the Second. Biiiig mistake. Once I took a look at my notes, Verax started complaining. I thought, what the heck, Geravan can attack the legion itself, and in the ensuing chaos Verax can try and fail to destroy the bridge. Should keep him happy.
It didn't. Verax is a spoiled brat. He's used to getting things his own way, and to ensure that he is one of the most important characters in the book, he has decided to become Geravan's childhood friend. Idiot. I'll have a word with Geravan about the company he keeps.
Verax is fun to write though. And I've discovered that to keep him happy, he just needs plenty of booze and shiny objects.

View from my window. This is taken around midsummer, at 2 AM. See why I love summer?

13 August 2007

Frisian fun

Don't you just love it when you've finally managed to kill a character, only to find out an hour later that he has a brother?

Here, let me draw you a family tree.

See what I mean? Bloody characters.

12 August 2007

I killed Bob

Bob is some sort of Frisian commander. He is also a very annoying walk-in, and ever since he made an appearance on page 118 I've been meaning to get him killed. I finally managed it now, on page 332 (took me a while, lol). I stabbed him a few times and then let him drown while he was trying to cross a river to get back to safety.

Serves him right.

And an overtime update! It's not 16 hours, it's 18 hours! And back to work again tomorrow. Hurray.

The pic is totally unrelated as usual.

10 August 2007

Tired? Me?


Exhausted? Not really.

Totally and utterly worn out? Something like that.

Forget 13 hours of overtime. Now I have 16, which makes a total of 48 working hours this week. My knees are starting to hurt (I have to stand the entire day). On the bright side; this week I'll earn enough to buy so many books that my bookshelves will collapse under the weight.

Not that they aren't doing that anyway, mind you.

This one is right above my bed. It's been there for quite a few years, but never with so many books on it.

It's sagging a bit, don't you think? I've heard it creaking too, in the middle of the night. Thank god they're mostly paperbacks, lol.

8 August 2007

Woohoo! I have 200 k!

Still a few words left for the writing challenge, in other words. And you know, this first draft might even be 300 k by the time I finish it - which will probably be sometime in 2034, if work continues like this (13 hours overtime in one week, is that normal?)

Anyway. I've finally gotten around to sending emails to those Unis I'm considering. I'm not sure if I can start in 2008 like I want to because it might take a while to get all my Norwegian report cards translated, and I have to take an exam to prove that I have adequate knowledge of Dutch, maybe an English exam as well, plus another ton of things. Bloody paperwork. It'd be so much easier if all countries just had the same grade system, and then a specific code or something for each subject. Then I wouldn't have to get all that stuff translated.

That snippet I was going to post still needs to be deninjaed. Maybe I'll post it this weekend :)

And I got one of these from Gabriele, yaay!

1 August 2007

Home sweet home

Or maybe not. The grass is frighteningly long and I have to work almost every day until school starts again. But, on the bright side, I have been reunited with my teapot. And the computer. I'll have to work really hard these next weeks if I want to reach my goal for the writing challenge. I have written some while I was away, I've got some 30 handwritten pages, but I have to type that, and I think all in all it's not more than 7 or 8 k (in 11 days! >.< Not as much as I hoped for). Belgium was great fun. There was a archaeological park close to where we stayed so I got to see crumbling old Roman stone walls (in other words, I can die happy now :P):
It's a Roman villa, and if I remember correctly I'm standing in what used to be the kitchen. I'll write a decent post about those stones soon ;)

While I was in the Netherlands I got to visit my favourite bookstore. It sells non-"top 10 list" & secondhand books, which makes them ridiculously cheap (and they're even cheaper when they're "damaged". There was one 2ndhand book that used to cost 12 € but because one page was bent I got it for 4 €. Mwahaha).

Wanna see the pile of books I bought? Of course you do.

It's 50 cm high, which is a record, even for me. I bought a total of 22 books plus two archaeological report thingies. And you know what? They all fit on my shelves!

You can expect a rant about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows soon, but first I'm off to bed. I have to be up early tomorrow. Why, why, why do *I* keep getting those morning shifts?!?! Aaaaaaargh.