30 September 2007

Yaay, fireworks!

So shiny.
I was at NTNU - Trondheim University - on Friday. They had a kind of open night. As well as fireworks, there were some highly explosive experiments (never, ever poke nitrogen triiodide, trust me).

More shiny fireworks...

I'm slightly nervous. I have no idea how I'm going to get through all my schoolwork this year, let alone write a 50 k novel in November (but I'm going to do it anyway:P). I need a plot though, preferably sooner than later. But I don't have much time to go plothunting - two tests next week (what idiot puts a chemistry and a math test in the same week?) - and I have to read I-don't-know-how-many books for a Norwegian project. Luckily the topic is interesting because I got to choose it myself (I'm going to write about runes). It's still a lot of work. No time to read history books and hope a paragraph turns into a plotbunny (that's what happened last year).
Mhm... I'll manage, somehow.

I also have a little puzzle for you! A (slightly mad) professor at NTNU showed it to me. I solved it. Apparently not many people do, so yaay for me. Once you've got it, it's ridiculously obvious and easy, though (these puzzles always are, lol).
What you do, is you find the next letter/number/symbol/whatever:

I B 3 d V

The first one to find the correct answer will be rewarded with a erm... cookie? Snippet? Pic?
Will figure that one out later.

26 September 2007


I spent (literally) the entire weekend studying for a physics test. I did every exercise related to the two chapters the test would be about. There are about seventy exercises a chapter, and it takes me between ten and thirty minutes to do one of them, so do the calculations, lol.
On the bright side, this studying-till-you-drop strategy ensures that I can do the most complicated calculations without much thinking. Yaay. Good thing, too; I thought the test was quite easy. Everyone else ran out of time.

I got the results from the chemistry olympiad: I got 72 points, out of 100 *cringe* So, yes, it went anything but well. I still don't know if I qualified for round two or not, but it doesn't really matter anymore... You see, the nerd guy only got 71 points and as long as I beat him I'm happy.
Even better: My religion teacher thought I did outstanding on that religion test. Apparently she loves vague, cliché-filled essays. That means that I can get a really good grade for religion without having to work at all. Maybe this year I'll even manage to scrape together enough free time to actually sleep the recommended eight hours a night!

Enough homework rants. Time for pics! Autumn has come to Norway, with rain and wind and frost, but yesterday it was warm! So warm that I wanted to go swimming. Didn't have time to bike down to the fjord, though, so I went out and took pics instead.

The only leaves in my garden that have actually turned red! The rest are all yellow.

Up there, on that rocky outcrop, is where I like to sit and write.

The rain and cold have come back though. Maybe I'll swim to school tomorrow. It'll be drier than biking :)

18 September 2007

Feeling better

Tea, dark chocolate and Led Zeppelin helps. Sleep too, but I didn't get much of that - less than four hours last night, because I had to finish my physics homework and then study for a religion test. I only skimmed through my notes so during the test today I just wrote six pages of very loose, vague Hollywood-ish nonsense (but some teachers like that so maybe I didn't do so badly after all...)
But the first round of the chemistry olympiad yesterday went lousy. I doubt I qualified for round two but who cares. Well, okay, so I care. I felt like I had the hang of chemistry. The teacher gave us exercises from previous chemistry olympiads and I could do them all easily. But either this year's was just ridiculously difficult or I had a very bad day.

Never mind. I finally finished a painting I've been working on since... March. Yikes. Well, okay, so I haven't worked on it at all this summer (didn't have the right paints:P) and art school is only 1 1/2 hour a week. Anyway:

Cuchulainn follows the Shining Wheel

I painted it after a painting by Stephen Reid so all credit goes to him, lol. I'm still not completely happy with that background though.

I've also started watercolour painting, something I've only done once before (and that was years ago). Fun. And it went quite well too. I haven't got a pic of that painting though, 'cause my art teacher is sending it to some exhibition. Eeeeeeks.

12 September 2007

Long time, no post

And it'll be even longer before I get something decent up here again. And by decent I mean something that isn't just a rant about homework - 'cause that's what this is, a rant.

Physics is a lot of work. So is math. And chemistry. And with "a lot", I mean the "having to stay up till after midnight every night just to finish the most important bits of homework"-kind. I'm still lagging behind though.
As if this isn't enough, we now have theoretical phys. ed. - we have to write incredibly long and detailed training schedules, one for every week throughout September and October.

I thought I could get a bit of homework done this weekend, but noooooo, I have to work. I talked to my boss back in August, and he said he'd email me my work schedule as soon as he'd figured it out, but after two email-less weeks I thought I'd better give him a call ('cause Norwegians, I've learned, never send emails or call when they promise). Sure enough, I have to work on Friday and Saturday. I don't mind that. But WHY couldn't he have emailed me earlier so that I could plan my homework a bit? Does he think I'm psychic, that I somehow *know* instinctively when I have to go to work without anyone telling me?

To this, add two weeks of cold, rainy weather, PMS, and a pounding headache.

Okay, I'm done ranting. I'm off to bed. My eyes hurt.

6 September 2007

That's one small step for a man...

... one giant leap for the Roman Empire.

Marcus can be an annoying idiot, but occasionally he does have good ideas.

Pics from here and here.

5 September 2007


Two all-nighters in a row is not recommended. Though this last one was not on purpose; I just couldn't get to sleep. So, in the past two nights I have gotten a total of, let's see *counts on fingers* five hours of sleep. And I'm wiiiiide awake (not joking either).

Remember the whodunnit I posted a while ago? You were right, Gabriele, it was the cat! She caught another mouse today - though thankfully she ate it rather than leaving it under my bed to rot. You'd be surprised just how much noise a little cat can make when she eats a mouse.

I guess you did not need that mental image, so have a pic.

Nieuwegracht, Utrecht.

And no, Marcus, you are not allowed to become an astronaut. Don't even think about it.

4 September 2007

Problem? Not anymore!

Whoever said that sleeping on a problem helps, has obviously never pulled an all-nighter. They're much more effective, despite the black circles you get under your eyes the next day.

I spent a good few hours writing last night, with a torch in my hand, bedsheets pulled over my head, and a big cup of tea and a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans on the bedside table. My handwriting turned out almost illegible, but I managed to write the ninjas and the UFO out *grins* Replaced 'em with something a bit more, erm, normal, namely a river. Marcus is not amused. He's a lousy swimmer, which makes everything even more fun for me.

My physics teacher isn't too happy though, because I snored through his two-hour lecture on centripetal acceleration.

But... I DID IT! And I'm not just talking about the de-ninjaing...

234 875 words... I started the writing challenge with 178 328. That gives me a word count of 56 547. Then I have two loose fragments that I haven't managed to put into the main storyline yet, 1 216 and 2 400 words.
Total word count: 60 163 words. My goal was 60 k.

And what am I doing to celebrate? Physics homework! Hurray...

3 September 2007

I shot Geravan

Technically, Random Roman Walk-In #44 did it (at least I think it was him), but the result is the same. Geravan has been shot. He got an arrow in the shoulder and then "everything went black." That was not part of the plan (not that I had a plan...)

He isn't dead, or at least I hope he isn't. I think he's just unconscious, but I'm not sure. It'll take a while to find out, too. You see, Marcus suddenly started whining. Something about him not getting enough words, so he's demanding that I write a bit about him now. Damn you, Roman! Something very exciting had better happen now, or else I will send those wolves after you.

Or maybe... Hm... that might just work.

In the meantime I'm sending a few first aid ninjas to look after Geravan, while I go and make myself another cup of tea. Or else I might just burst into tears.

2 September 2007

Why won't they leave me alone?


I don't want plot squirrels, I want plot llamas!

1 September 2007

A Friday (Saturday?) snippet

To celebrate the fact that I have a new teacup, you're getting a snippet. It's not very long, and it's written in a haze of cheap Earl Grey, at 1 AM when I was supposed to be reading about nuclear physics. I haven't done any editing, just de-ninjaing. There's a lot of dialogue that I'm not completely happy with, but my characters change their way of speaking so often that it's impossible to keep track of it. One day it's all slang and swearing, next day they speak like they're in a Shakespeare play. *rolls eyes*

Anyway; this is quite far into the novel, when the Romans have started reconquering the north. The Batavians have been driven back to the Island (the land between the two branches of the Rhine in the Netherlands). Civilis decided to attack four Roman camps at once - all the attacks failed. Geravan and Verax were leading one of the attacks; while Geravan attack the legion itself, Verax was supposed to destroy a bridge the Romans were building but he flunked it completely (serves him right for walking into my novel without asking for permission first).
Thiadulf is Geravan's (slightly over-protective) older brother. He's been dead for about 120 k already, though.
Verax and Briganticus are both Civilis' sister-sons, but I dunno if they are brothers or cousins - I made them cousins. Briganticus was on the Romans' side throughout the revolt, but he died during one of Civilis' attacks. This snippet takes place right after Civilis has told them about his death. The 'he' in the first line is Civilis.


‘He’s mad. Completely mad,’ Verax muttered to Geravan once they were out of earshot. ‘Did you see the way he looked at me after announcing Briganticus’ death? “Any trouble and this will happen to you as well.” He might just as well have said it.’

It was typical of Verax to say not a word of thanks, even though Geravan had just got him out of the trouble he so feared.

‘As long as you don’t join the Romans like Briganticus you should be alright,’ Geravan said as he dropped down beside a fire in the Batavian corner. Loud snores were coming from the surrounding tents and Geravan felt his eyelids droop. It was almost two days since he had last slept, and that had been no more than a brief slumber. But there would be time to sleep later. He rubbed his eyes fervently and suppressed a yawn. ‘Anyway, what do you make of Briganticus?’

‘Not sure.’ Verax sat down beside him and prodded the fire back to life. ‘I never saw much of him even though he is – was - my cousin. He was a bad influence, you know.’

Geravan raised an eyebrow. ‘I wouldn’t have thought it possible for you to get any worse.’

‘Shut up.’ Verax grinned from ear to ear. The orange glow of the fire threw the scars on his cheek into sharp relief and made him look much older. ‘In fact, I think I only met him once, when I was about twelve. There was a feast, midsummer maybe-’

‘Was this the feast where you found out where the wine was kept, and then got so drunk that I had to push you into the river to sober you up a bit?’ interrupted Geravan.

‘It might’ve been. It would explain why I can’t remember much of it. Nice wine, though.’ He smiled reminiscently.

‘Didn’t think of sharing it with your best friend though, did you?’ said Geravan grumpily.

‘Of course not. Thiadulf would’ve murdered me.’

‘Fair enough. Go on.’

‘The feast was well underway by the time Briganticus finally arrived, all dressed up in a Roman uniform with medals and a nice sword. But he wouldn’t even let me look at his dagger. He said it wasn’t a toy.’ He shot a sideways glance at Geravan. ‘He was so proud because he had been promoted to some high rank, and seemed to think this immediately made him a good deal better than the rest of us. All haughty and arrogant. Know what I mean?’

Geravan nodded. The description fitted Verax perfectly as well.

‘Anyway, Civilis was not amused,’ continued Verax. ‘There was a bit of a row. More than a bit, to be honest. Briganticus got a cup full of wine in the face and then started accusing Civilis of being nothing but a petty king who was allowed to rule only because the Romans said so, while he, Briganticus, would make a real name for himself some day.’

‘I bet Civilis loved that.’ Geravan whistled.

‘Yeah, he did. I think blood might’ve flowed if Briganticus hadn’t run off. But not before he’d announced for all to hear that he wanted nothing to do with barbarians.’ He smiled happily. ‘And look where it got him! He’s dead. And, compared to him, I’m now more than ever the loyal devoted nephew. Civilis might very well reward my loyalty.’

‘I thought you just said that he was completely mad.’

‘Aye, he is. But I’m not.’

Geravan scoffed. ‘Wouldn’t be so sure if I were you.’

‘Thanks, you’re not so bad yourself.’ Verax yawned widely. ‘I think I’ll get some sleep. That crazy uncle of mine will no doubt want us to carry out another pointless attack before dawn.’

This is where I sit and write when my little brother has the comp. Yep, candles. I never liked the lamp I have in my room, for two reasons: a) It's right behind me when I'm sitting at my desk so my shadow is always lying across my writings/drawings which is terribly annoying, and b) That lamp has been acting a bit weird ever since I accidentally knocked it down (I was playing badminton. Inside...)

But my favourite place to write is this:
Well, that's the view from that place anyway:)

Also, what the hell am I still doing up at 3.30 AM?


For the first time in about two years, I've been to Trondheim without buying a single book. And on payday too. I wonder what's wrong with me...

Anyway, what I did get was a teacup. Not just any old teacup, but a XXL one; 7,5 dl. I've already drunk three full cups since coming home and am currently on my fourth.

I've also stocked up on tea and chocolate for NaNo. In one week I've spent 400 kr on tea. I got some very weird looks at the supermarket. Can't for the life of me understand why.