Thursday, 27 September 2018

Deep in edits

Currently so deep in edits I'm ignoring almost everything else. I must get this update of Abduction finished this week so that I can move on to finishing  the Work (That Was) in Progress. At least when I go back to it, the storyline will  seem fresh!

I think a lot of the typographical errors occur when I chop and change my work when I'm editing. I've learned to be very, very careful when I change something now, because it seems that I correct one thing and something else goes AWOL as a result. Is it because I type faster that Word can keep up? I doubt it, and yet it seems so at times. Is it because my typing is inaccurate? Possibly, but that doesn't explain the words that go missing. Or the interlopers, the letters I am sure I never touched on the keyboard. Though I must admit that as my typing has got faster over the years, there are also more mistakes. Then again, there is predictive text, which often causes me embarrassment on Facebook. Whatever the cause, I sometimmes wish I was able to type a phrase or a paragraph and get it right first time so that no changes were necessary. Lucky the author who can do that.

What I am finding is that when I wrote Abduction in 2013-14, (or even earlier, as I recall it took me a long time) I sometimes got the right sentences but put them in the wrong place. Now I can see at once that a sentence would work much better if it came a paragraph further into the story, or was part of another paragraph. It is an interesting exercise to go over something witten four or five years ago. It is also a confirmation that the writing itself is getting better, that one is improving in the craft of writing, which is always nice.

Friday, 21 September 2018


One storm over and another to come So far I have not noticed any damage to property in this area, but there were plenty of broken branches, some very large scattered around the perimeter of the fields where I walked Tim yesterday. Windfall apples  - yes, plenty of those. Acorns scattered far and wide anywhere there was an oak tree, so I picked up  a few and lobbed them into the hedgerow where a tree had died or there was room for it to grow. I don't suppose many of them will, but it is a nice idea that even if only one grows, it will be there three hundred years after I've gone. That's if the world is still turning. I say that because right now we seem to be in a hell of a mess, Brexit wise.
On a personal level I'm off to get a hair cut at lunch time. I mention this because I have not been to a hairdresser since my long time friend abruptly closed his shop due to medical reasons immediately after Christmas 2017. My hair is now quite long and very annoying as the short bits that were once a fringe are forever in my face! But over the year I must have saved £250 or £300. Time fo a splurge? Possibly, but my immediate problem is explaining to the new hairdresser what it is I want her to do. An even deeper question is what exactly do I want? Who knows what I shall look like by 2pm?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Still struggling

There is a storm forecast, so I thought better do First Walk of the day early. Still warm, and so far no wind in this neck of the woods. There are berries in bright colours everywhere, so glorious to see.
Back home to discover our internet connection is down again; lately it keeps dropping out at some point almost everyday, which is most annoying. We've come to the conclusion that because we are surrounded by new  house building sites within a five mille radius - well a bit further in one case - the disruption is  caused by inserting new users into the system. Sounds logical, even if not an accurate cause of the complaint!

The trial of Photoshop is going well to a point, but I'm not at all sure I want to "rent" the software. It might be a good system and good for the company to do it this way, but I really do not want to be paying out x amount every month, for ever. I have seen references to GIMP, which is a free system for those who want something similar to Photoshop, so I shall be trying that out very soon.

Stilll struggling to think of a title for my latest wip. The QUEEN'S LETTERS is my current thinking. It continues the Queen theme, which is good for what has turned out to be a trilogy, and  the letters are important  in the story. This one may last the distance. (I shall check and see how many other authors have used tha title. Too many and I might change my mind) I plan to begin showing excerpts from the trilogy in my second Newsletter, which will go out this month, so now is the time to sign up for it. The litte square on the right hand side of my blog will do the trick.....

Saturday, 15 September 2018


Nothing lasts, does it?
The temperature jumps around like a kid on a pogo stick, and one morning last week our heating system clicked into action for the first time this end of the year. Then the next day it was a couple of degrees warmer and the heating remained silent. Every morning seems to be a little colder than the previous one, which is about right for the season. But then the weather forecasters are saying we'll be back in the twenties next week. If we live in the south east of England, that is. The island of Skye seems to have been under a permanent rain cloud all summer and that continues, so all the tourists that flocked there must be drenched.

 Decided I didn't like QUEEN TRIUMPHANT  as a title. Not only was it inaccurate, but put the focus on the wrong character. So it is back to the drawing board for that. Editing goes on apace and is a satisfying exercise.

I'm not sure if I can attend a webinar when I never moved from my chair, but I watched an online lesson on how to design a book cover that sells, demonstrated by Stuart Bache, and enjoyed it. I think he must have used the latest version of Photoshop because some of the things he demonstrated are not available on mine, which is several upgrades older than the current version. I'm now considering getting the latest version, as I liked what I saw.

The last few days have been grey, grey, grey and the trees still have their leaves,though some are starting to turn orangy brown and will soon fall in a brisk wind. Because grey days are not good for photography, I have used a pic from last year. A little bit of cheating, but another week and the trees will be looking like these.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Editing skills

 It is an interesting experience going back over stories written as long ago as 2014. I realise now that an editor would have been useful then, but I did not have the confidence to approach one. 

Didn't know enough to say if I wanted copy-editing, proof-reading, structural edit or one of the other many "edits" that are offered today. 
I would have learned faster; but in a sense I've done it the hard way - always my path! I've learned by reading, reading about writing and writing, which is never a bad thing and talking to other writers via the internet. also by looking at tv and published stories with a more critical eye. 

Reading about it and never doing it is not going to work. Now I think I've got it; or I've got it as far as I am going to take it. At my age, I'm not going to have forty years to hone my skills further!

Today I am beginning what I hope will be the final edit/run through of my latest work in progress - a further installment in the Matho story. TRIUMPHANT QUEEN  may well be the title, unless I come up with something better. Now as I go through the printed pages with my coloured pens, I spot things much more easily than I used to. Re-arranging sentence so they sound better, collapsing two sentences into one more pithy arrangement; spotting fullstops
and commas lurking in the wrong place and changing singe quotes to double quotes. I've come down on the side of double quotes lately; I just think they look nicer on the page. 

How long will this take me? I'm not sure, especially as I am looking at an earlier story at the same time. Variety is the spice of life, so they say; let's hope that doing two stories at once will prevent the bordeom that comes with doing only one.

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Season turns

There used to be a button on this blog for e-followers. I never found out what it did, could find no explanation. It has been there a long time, but about ten days ago I decided that I would clean up my blog prior to inserting the "subscribe to my newsletter" button. So I deleted the efollowers button.
Since then it seems to me that my viewing numbers have dropped, though this is only a feeling, not a proven fact. But if I have unwittingly done something to, how shall I put it? "Turf you off my blog," please believe me when I say it was unintentional.

The year moves along. It won't be long before the leaves start to turn such glorious colours. In fact, some of them have begun the shutting down process.There are hints of yellow in the hedgerows and berries - berries, blackberries, apples have been abundant. Rowan and hawthorn berries splatter their brightness among the green and look splendid against the clear blue sky. I need my camera in my pocket when I next go out.

Saturday, 1 September 2018


Autumn is here. One of my favourite seasons, possibly the favourite. I took  some photos yesterday and then lost them in transferring them to my PC. Ages since I've done that, and so annoying but I don't suppoe the fields and hedgerows will change much in a day or two, when I can take them all again. Since I came back from France I've had the fields mostly to myself, which is good, but it also surprises me. The weather has been so brilliant this year, and yet people don't seem to have been out and about exploring. Or if they have, the have not been where I've been!

The internet is desperately quiet, too. People say it is because  of all the changees to Facebook and it does seem less hectic than a year ago. Time was when new posts would go flying by with barely time to see what they were; now the same post stays for ages. It is becoming boring. I assume that this means posts promoting books will be so much less effective and wonder if it is a ploy to get authors to use Facebook Ads. Paid, of course. I heard today that Amazon, which now owns Goodreads, is using the GR friends page to find and delete "friend" reviews on Amazon. Way sneaky, I think.

Reviews are hard enough to get without this sort of nuisance fiddling, and since Goodreads and Fb both count mere contacts as "friends" this is likely to mean reviews will disappear. One way round it, I've read, is to mark your friend pages as open only to yourself. That way Amazon cannot read them. I don't know if it is true, but I pass it on for what it is worth.

Taking a Risk

  Poised on the cliff edge about to take the leap! No thoughts of suicide - oh no! Or perhaps only in terms of covers for my e-books. I am a...