Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Higher matters and hackery

CULINARY DIALOGUE “I’m going to turn the rest of the ham hock into a sort of galantine,” said Mrs BB. The words dimly registered. Later I came across the dish in the fridge and asked Mrs BB, “You said ‘sort of’; could this be legitimately called a galantine?” Oh, yes, skin and bone give off a fluid that sets like a perfect jelly; so what you see is definitely a galantine. Why was I asking? Because I was not only prepared to eat the stuff itself, but also to consume the word as a word. A lovely word. The g’s saltiness was ameliorated by a potato salad.

THE LOVE PROBLEM I’m torturing myself. Present wordage is 39,882 and I’m listing it as that rather than adding another 118 to take it past 40,000 words. In a novel each 10,000 words is a milepost to be celebrated; ten mileposts and I’m done. But I can afford the mild pain. The next 118 words, plus quite a lot more, are clear in my mind and only need transcribing. A luxury moment.

GORGON TIMES Still no word from the agent, no reassurances. Best to plan for the worst - a DIY publishing project tied in with sales and publicity via Amazon. As a result I’ve had a front cover designed. Sharp-eyed readers will notice the author isn’t Barrett Bonden. Most commenters will know the name shown. It belongs to another person entirely, unblogged, a bitter anchorite who envies BB’s wider social existence.


Lucy said...

Both galantine and book look very tasty!

marja-leena said...

Yes, as Lucy said! Once again, a new word learned - the galantine seems to be a type of head cheese, I gather, but better.

Good luck with the book getting published one way or another- I'm sure it will with your determination!

Plutarch said...

I like the way the cover incorporates the bent piston rod (I suppose that is what it is) that always seemed would also be a suitable title.

The Crow said...

Bitter? Anchorite? You - either of you? I wouldn't say so. Perhaps a tad cranky, by times (a regional colloquialism), but I wouldn't call either of you bitter, nor anchoritic.

Rouchswalwe said...

Galantine. New word for me, too. A dish for spring! Like a fancy Schwartenmagen (one new word deserves another). The cover of the book appeals! Crossing my fingers that the publisher realizes he's sitting on a very good story.

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy/M-L: Head cheese is created from the bits of the pig that many people throw away: the squeak and the tail. The galantine was based on ham hock. Incidentally, I paid £100 for that design. Both of you are of a visually artistic bent and if you think you could come up with something better using the title, the byline and the con-rod(but omitting the hand) by all means try and earn yourself four ponies or one-fifth of a monkey.

Plutarch: Bent con-rod. Yes indeed. But as I've said before, wouldn't this exclude Clare?

The Crow: I fear you're more familiar with BB (who is simply text on a screen) rather than RR who is the neighbour nobody would want.

RW (zS): It's a very edible word, isn't it. And it also sound like some kind of sailboat.

Sir Hugh said...

I have a blank spot with engineering - my preference lies more in playing with wood than metal. I have had engineering geeks showing me pistons and the like and saying "just look at the state of this", and to me it looks perfectly normal, but they can see some obscure hairline marks making the thing unbelievably (to me), useless, but even I can see that there is something terminal about that con-rod.

FigMince said...

Maybe something like this download (for four-fifths of nothing):


FigMince said...

Damn. The URL in the above comment won't paste into the comment box properly. Here it is in full, but you'll have to join the two bits together when you cut and paste.



Hattie said...

I would eat that. And good luck on your book.
I discovered a fine word new to me in the London Review of Books:
Think you can work it in somewhere?

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: The con-rod is bent; it relates to a passage in the novel where Hatch, my co-hero, in his youth, is providing mechanic services to another Loughborough undergrad who is racing a Formula Ford. Hatch, the conservative engineer, says he needs to change the oil, the racer disagrees. Guess who gets it right.

Figmince: An excellent bit of colour work. In fact "a contender". Just one detail. See Sir Hugh above. The con-rod is bent.

Hattie: Pooterism is pretty well-known. I'm sure you know why but just in case you don't it refers to the Grossmiths' hilarious novel, still in print, The Diary of a Nobody. If you haven't read it you should. It tells you an awful lot about the English middle-classes. Since the hero of The Love Problem is an American woman civilian pilot working in SW France there isn't much opportunity to insert the word.

Julia said...

Galantine does have a nice sail boat sound to it, despite its earthy look.

Speaking of earthy, did it taste anything like a terrine, or was it more ham-like?

Hattie said...

I downloaded *Diary of a Nobody* for free onto my Kindle.
A good funny read is really in order right now.

FigMince said...

Ah, BB, always good to get the key factor of the brief after the first concept presentation.

As before, join the following for the actual URL.



Oh, and I'd always thought a galantine was a very polite rake.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: I'm getting out of my depth, here, but making a terrine involves pressure I think. Mrs BB does them too. This one was hammy to taste and had an extra flavour feature via sliced gherkins as a latitudinal layer in the middle. For someone with extreme patience these can be arranged in a pattern (eg, a face) which reproduces itself as each slice is cut.

Hattie: I should have added that Diary of a Nobody should be read with an ironic eye. The humour lies in what the narrator (Pooter) imagines and hopes to be the truth and what the reader knows to be the truth.

FigMince: My fault as a specifier but the guilt didn't weigh too heavily on me. I figured that anyone who could get that far with Photoshop, or whatever, would have no problem doing a bit of bending. And so it turned out. With your permission I shall add it to my next post with appropriate plaudits.

FigMince said...

Yes, Photoshop, and its little-used 'DrySump' plug-in.