Can You Handle the Truth? and What’s Up Wednesday

18 Truths

In order to mark the coming release of her second book, 18 Truths, Jamie Ayres is holding a blogfest centred on the classic Two Truths and a Lie game. There are 18 fantabulous prizes up for grabs.

See if you can guess my lie.

I’m allergic to cockroaches.

My estimated due date was one day after a tragic event in the history of my favourite band (The Who).

I know how to play the dulcian, a late Medieval/early Renaissance instrument that’s like a more melancholy bassoon.

WUW Winter

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Writing

I’ve gotten to about 575,ooo words in my WIP, Chapter 74, “Novomira Does It All.” Chapter 73, “Inga in America,” is the longest chapter of Part III so far, at a bit over 11,000 words. Chapter 74 will include the birth of Feliks, the second grandchild for Lyuba, Ivan, Eliisabet, and Aleksey, as well as Ivan’s first blood grandchild. Novomira is committed to finishing her senior year at Barnard instead of dropping out and coming home with the baby. She wants to set a good example to her younger sister Nina, a Barnard freshwoman. Since she’s been living with Vera, she’s lucky enough to have a wetnurse during the day, as Vera just had her second child in November 1941.

It’s safe to say that at this point, I’ve given up the idea of capping it in at 600K. If it tops 700K, I’ll eat my hat. I think the safest bet is to publish it in four volumes, since each Part reads like its own story, with a focus on different characters and storylines.

Part I focuses on Lyuba’s difficult seventh pregnancy, the love story of Vera and Vsevolod, and the reunion of Nadezhda and Pavel after 12 years apart. Part II is focused on Tatyana’s rejection of Ivan while she lives with Boris in Harlem, while the Soviet characters struggle to survive the Great Terror and escape to America and Iran. Part III focuses on World War II, and Part IV will be about the aftermath of the war on everyone’s lives. In the Epilogue, “Back to an Ordinary World,” Lyuba and Ivan have a renewal ceremony on their 25th anniversary, on the eve of their finally heading off to university.

What I’m Reading

Sadly, not too much.

What Inspires Me

I was thinking about how it must be a sign of maturity that I’ve become more skeptical and less crunchy as I’ve gotten older. There are things I immediately, unquestioningly accepted as a teen and in my twenties that I’d never accept so readily these days. I’d want to see confirmation from other sources, and not just believe some sensationalistic, fear-mongering tv show or one-sided, crunchier than thou website.

Mind you, there are still things I believe in and will staunchly defend, such as Astrology, reincarnation, life after death, and homebirth. I can’t dismiss or be skeptical about everything. Being skeptical for the sake of skepticism is just as bad uncritically believing everything. Not all skeptics are militant atheists who deride anything not recognised by modern scientists. Some things will never have a scientific explanation, and don’t pretend to be scientific. The evidence comes from other avenues.

What Else I’m Up To

I started the new onomastics blog I’ve been thinking about for awhile. It’s called Onomastics Outside the Box, and will focus on classical eccentric, classical unusual, and international names. I initially had it in the Mac OS Classic theme, but it didn’t really match the theme.  I’m much happier with the My Life theme I replaced it with, and the blue colour scheme.

I also had a really awesome surprise last week. It didn’t dawn on me till I was looking through my virtual cemetery for children and young people at Find A Grave that one of my photos was used for a recent pro-vaccination meme. What an amazing, awesome coincidence. I’d seen the first drafts of the meme, but didn’t realise right away that that was one of my graves. It’s a grave of 12 children in the same family in St. Vincent’s Cemetery in Latrobe, PA. The 1884 group probably were victims of the diphtheria epidemic that hit the state that year. The final meme says “Childhood Before Vaccines.”


And yes, I know this still won’t convince the vaccine-denialist cult. They’ll continue giggling and patting themselves on the back, convinced they know more than the entire scientific community because of garbage on Natural “News,” Tenpenny, and Mercola. Their special little snowflakes will easily survive diphtheria, polio, measles, whooping cough, and flu with lemon juice, breastmilk, Vitamin C, kale smoothies, echinacea, and expensive water (I mean, homeopathy). They’ll continue to swear by a discredited fraud and former Playboy bunny. I refuse to let this cult take us back to the days when a gravestone like this was common, when childhood mortality was an accepted fact of life and parents expected to lose some of their kids.

22 thoughts on “Can You Handle the Truth? and What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Horny Hump Day—Lyuba and Ivan « Welcome to My Magick Theatre

  2. Wow, you certainly have a lot going on! Good luck with your new blog! As for the blog fest, my guess is that you really aren’t allergic to cockroaches. Your three choices were quite interesting, and I’m very glad that we’re not playing for money.


  3. I’m fascinated in your staunch belief in astrology, reincarnation, life after death, and homebirth, Carrie-Anne. Those are all things I like to muse and haven’t discounted as possibilities either (though my husband thinks I’m bananas!). They’re all great fiction-starters, too!

    Hope you have a wonderful week!


  4. I am having a very hard time imagining how a person could be allergic to cockroaches or what that allergy would entail, so I’m guessing that as your lie.


  5. Ok, for the lie, I’ll go with cockroaches. I’ve never heard of anyone actually being allergic to cockroaches (though I guess anything it possible) but more just deeply disgusted by them.

    Your WiP sounds like epic fantasy indeed! I applaud your commitment and hope things continue to progress there!


  6. 600,000 words?!?!?! Dude! WOW!

    I can’t imagine living in a time when, as a parent, you knew some of your children would die from horrible diseases. Just awful.

    And on a much cheerier note, I hope you have a wonderful week!


    • I agree; one of the things I found most sad when my aunt showed me her extensive genealogy research is how many little branches on family trees were for children with short life spans. It’s kind of heartwarming to know they still receive a place on the tree.


  7. I think a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing. There’s this great Carl Sagan quote that summarizes it beautifully (paraphrasing what I can remember):
    “What is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: skeptical scrutiny of all ideas that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas…that way you can distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.”

    It sounds like you have so many good things going on right now. Hope your week is brilliant and bright! 🙂


  8. I would have to agree with this: “Being skeptical for the sake of skepticism is just as bad uncritically believing everything.” I think it’s good to ask questions and test everything, but to be open to new perspectives as well. There has to be a balance, and hopefully getting older and wiser makes one more discerning.

    Hope the writing continues to go well this week!


  9. I’d also guess the cockroaches . . . just b/c you didn’t give as many details to that one as the other two 🙂 We’ll see if my super sleuth skills are correct next week! Thanks for playing ❤


  10. Good luck with the new blog! I went over and checked it out. I’ve always been fascinated by the etymology of names. I used to keep a list of names I found fascinating or sometimes just silly… my Dad used to swear that he knew a guy named Johnny Keyboard. But my Dad had a weird sense of humor! Good luck with your writing, too!


  11. Yikes. That gravestone is truly terrifying and heartbreaking. I can’t imagine losing a child. It’s so rare these days and needs to stay that way. I love that you call it a cult because it truly is and needs to be stopped.


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