Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist

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What’s Up, Wednesday? 22/4/15

Well, it’s been a while since my last What’s Up, Wednesday?. Phew. Nice to have a format, though, so while my schedule’s still all over the place, I’ll find myself a little bit in these short headings.

What I’m Reading

Reading several books at the moment, including SPLINTERED by AG Howard (I’m halfway through), ADAMANT by Emma L Adams (loving the voice and the setting!), and HEART OF BRASS by Kate Cross (just started – it’s more Steampunk research that casual reading, so I’ll take it more slowly).

What I’m Writing

Not actually activity writing every day like I used to, but that’s acceptable around exam time. Other than editing WTCB as per usual, I have also been working on Mallard: Cosmic Train when I can, but at the moment, there’s not much progress but transferring what I have on my phone onto the Word doc..

ii) Goal for this week: write a little bit more of The Mallard whilst I am away at the Steampunk festival. Be inspired. And write something beautiful.

What Works for Me

The sunshine. It’s been inspired me as of late – simply because warmth and light brightens my mood (remember, I am part cat! :P). It has helped me to get on with things and spurred me into all the relaxation that summer is. Just got to get through this term…

I have also been hunting through the TED Talks for psychology and linguistics ones, and there are some fascinating ones that actually relate to my course. :) I am trying to immerse myself with science when I can – not only for my revision mind, but also because every Steampunk needs a good bit of science to bolster its fiction, which is one of the reasons I love writing it.

What Else is New

Revision and back to uni for the last term. It’s only eight weeks, but this actually means more things to do. Everything’s just jammed into a smaller space, like a bad skeleton key.

I will also be heading to the Whitby Goth Weekend tomorrow in (surprisingly enough) Whitby, a town on the North East coast of England. This means I won’t be on the blog, but I’ll be back for Monday’s Photo. :)

Tell me – what have you been up to? Reading anything good at the moment? Or are you, too, swamped under work or school pressures?

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Photo of the Week: Whiteknights in Green

Monday greetings! I hope it’s sunny where you are. The middle of England has been brightening up – for however long it will – and these last couple of days have actually been glowing, as such. I have what one might call the luxury of a corner room with a tree in front of most of my window. I essentially get the least of the sun, so it’s cooler inside than out. For the time-being, that is all right. I’m in no rush to revise in the blaze of the sun.

Speaking of sunshine, I walked my way through campus yesterday, and the trees have flourished so much since I have been away for Easter.


I saw this composition of colours and simply had to photograph it. These are trees near the lake and they have a tendency to curve towards that stream you might just about see in the right hand side of the photo. Whilst photography will never capture the absolute natural beauty of the scene, it does carry a little of the greenery I saw.


Photo of the Week: Squirrel

A much belated photo of the week, but now I’ve got a stable wifi again (and found out how to switch back to the old WordPress editor), I can try and find my schedule amongst my hecticness.

Oh, my life!

Maybe you’re having a bad day. Maybe you’re having a good day. Either way, here’s a crochet squirrel in a top hat sitting in two miniature teacups to cheer you up.


Look at his cute little expression!

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Diction: Latinate versus Anglo-Saxon

Alexandrina Brant:

Reblog Thursday is back! (Ish) This reblog post is from all the way back in 2012, but I only stumbled across it a couple of days ago, as I only started following Lara’s blog last year.

Ever wondered why synonyms are sometimes so very different to each other? Or why some words, especially in writing, are sesquipedalian and polysyllablic ( ;) ) whilst others are short and simple? In this post, Lara explains how the roots of words can effect how they are read and which genres they better suit.

Kind of explains how my Latin studies effected my propensity for lengthy sentences and florid oratories! :P

Originally posted on write, edit, repeat:

Diction = word choice

Synonym = a word’s twin in meaning, e.g. “big” and “large” are synonyms.

Ever wonder why English has so many freaking synonyms? Because it’s the lovechild of Germanic and French languages. (French isn’t called a romance language for no reason. ) While having so many choices can be a wonderful thing, it can also be disastrous. With great vocabulary comes great responsibility. I’m talking to you, Christopher Paolini. Step away from the thesaurus.

You’ll notice the language split when two political candidates start campaigning and one plays the “smarter than thou” card and the other plays the “average joe” card. Smarter-than-thou is going to try to dazzle you with a academic, million-dollar vocabulary. Average Joe is going to give you a pat on the back with neighbor-speak. John Kerry vs. W. Bush. I’d watch their debates for examples if I didn’t hate politics so much.


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‘Eve’s Apple’ Virtual Book Tour

Today, I’m taking part in the virtual book tour for Eve’s Apple by Marie Therese Kceif. It’s an inspirational autobiography, detailing a woman’s journey to God and conversion to the Catholic Church through the difficulty life has thrown at her, including war, abuse, and divorce.


Title: Eve’s Apple

Author: Marie Therese Kceif

A Witness of God’s Faithfulness: Marie struggles to grow in grace and guidance from the Lord while slowly recognizing her own rebellion. She intimately shows us the highs of her aviation, military and automotive careers and the suffering lows of abuse, bankruptcy, and divorce. Her relationship with God grows through it all. Eve’s Apple is a witness of how God gently guides one of His Eves into a slow freeing surrender of a Mary’s trusting yes. This is a journey of hope, faith, and real relationship!


As a convert myself, I always enjoy reading about others’ journeys, and Marie’s stark writing captivated me, offering its own signs towards God. I was particularly moved by the passages she described of her experiences of how adultery, divorce, and remarriage can be selfish and affect more people than simple the couple involved. Interspersed with Scripture quotes and church teachings, Marie’s tale of adversary emphasises how God is always guiding us and with us if we listen to the signs He is providing. Indeed, I was able to relate to Marie about times when I have ignored God’s suggestions for a selfish alternative. Yet, the book does have a happy ending – showing how each of our bad decisions can bring us into God’s light in the end.


Now isn’t that a lovely cover? Full of the idea of Eve’s temptation to stray from God.


Available on Amazon in softcover and hardback:


Also available at the Publisher’s Website:


Goodreads Giveaway: (drawing to occur April 26)



Marie’s Biography:

From farm life in Wisconsin, Marie Therese Kceif went on to have a varied full life. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics. Marie became an active duty US Army Capt. and pilot, automotive manager, bible study leader, RCIA guide, lector, speaker, writer, mom and wife. She now lives with her husband in Fenton, Michigan.

You can contact Marie Therese at marietheresekceif@gmail.com

Other stops on the Virtual Book Tour:
April 9 – Karee Santos (Can We Cana)
April 13 – Ellen @ Plot Line and Sinker
April 14 – Michael Seagriff (Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation)
April 15 – Alexandrina Brant <
April 16 – Karee Santos (Can We Cana) Review
April 17 – Jean Heimann (Catholic Fire)
April 18 – A.K. Frailey
April 19 – Melanie Juneau (The Joy of Nine)
April 20 – Nancy Ward (Joy Alive.net)
April 21 – Dana Doyle (Catholic Working Mom)
April 22 – Ellen @ Plot Line and Sinker (Interview)

Thanks to Ellen Gable for inviting me onto this book tour, and to Marie Therese Kceif. She is offering a free ebook code to a winner each day of the Virtual Book Tour. Comment below for a chance to win. Tell me, readers, religious or not, what is a favourite inspirational story, fiction or non-fictional, you have come across and why?

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Easter: Christ the redeemer of all creation

Alexandrina Brant:

Easter and the world and climate change.

Originally posted on CAFOD blog:

Father Augusto Zampini Davies is a RC priest, Moral Theologian and theological advisor to CAFOD. In the second of a series of blogs, Father Augusto explains how caring for creation is at the heart of the Easter message.

Christ the Redeemer At Easter we celebrate Christ who redeems all of creation

The environmental question brings together two central elements of Church teaching: promoting human development and caring for creation. This may sound overwhelming; some may feel it is too broad, or that it is exclusively related to scientists and experts. And including these concerns into our already busy and moving activities of the Easter season can be exasperating. Yet as Christians we have important reasons to consider the environmental question.

Reflect on creation this Easter

Caring for creation in Nicaragua

First, many of our brothers and sisters across the world experience the disastrous effects of climate change on a daily basis. For example…

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Photo of the Week: Siamese

I’m back! (Kind of – my data and MSs are still on the previous laptop and The Boyfriend of a computer science degree – convenient plot-device or what, eh?? – is coming on Thursday to try and help me out in that department.) I won’t guarantee a schedule – in fact, that’s one thing you can count on I won’t be doing – but at least my photos of the week are more easily dealt with.

Today’s is a neighbourhood cat: a whole load of fluff and Siamese white fur, though incredibly docile. She became attached to my coat because it was warm. :P



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