Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Word Count

I need to do more reading! I followed a link from Paperback Writer to Test Your Vocabulary.

I came up with 36,200 words. But I feel vaguely disappointed.

I suppose it could be because I'm tired from roaming around the neighbourhood for a pre-Census looky-loo; you know, who has scary dogs, locked gates, townhouses, empty blocks, etc. I'm delivering the precious cargo this weekend and it's best I get the knees back into walking mode before then.

A few years ago, it was easy - but time-consuming - to deliver junk... ah, advertising catalogues. Now, not so much; and the area is smaller but the knees are creakier. Damn the sporting endeavours of my youth!

Maybe I should do the test again and include the words I recognise, but don't necessarily know a synonym for? Or maybe I'll just go read a dictionary...

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Well, Mother Nature did a good job of watering the lawn this week; all 200mm of rain since Tuesday. I don't think the veggies enjoyed though - a little too much of a good thing.

I finally finished the read-through edits of Huntress: Alone and now I have to find time to sit at the computer to do the corrections - including two scene re-writes. With my Census work, various work meetings and other obligations, it will be a close thing for the end of July. I may have to put posting the book back until mid-August. Not good.

Of course, blogging isn't getting the work done!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leaking and HP

It's still raining, as in buckets of rain. I know it's buckets because I've emptied a couple from underneath the leaking roof. Why, oh why didn't we get it fixed after the last downpour? I guess it's like washing raincoats - you never remember to do it until you need them. And then you put them away with the promise to wash them the next time the sun is shining. sigh.

Okay, so Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was fabulous. Although it felt a little rushed, and some crucial, emotional parts weren't as obvious as in the book, I think for the younger crowd, they were handled well. I wanted to see a longer battle between Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix - I wanted Bellatrix to know and feel she was going to lose.

I hope the dvd comes out at Christmas - I'm looking forward to wallowing in front of a complete HP marathon.

Now, back to the edits.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

H.P. and a rainy afternoon

Today, we're off to see H.P. and wouldn't you know it? It's raining. We've been hanging out for it, but the parent doesn't like big crowds (hah!). Fortunately, the school holidays are over so the kidlets aren't going to fill the theatre.

I expect a lot of older people who have had the same idea will be there.

Has there ever been a more amazing phenomena than Harry Potter?

Friday, July 15, 2011


I spent the day training for the census collection. Fortunately, the area I thought I would have to do isn't as large as I expected. Should be fun - I'm not expecting anything out of the ordinary; the area is filled with holiday houses and retirees.

I have to admit I'm struggling with the book. I can't seem to carve out enough time to get a real shot at it. A couple of pages here and there isn't good enough. I need to edit chapters, or at the very least, scenes.

With the other obligations I have, finding time is a real wrestling match. I think I'll have to readjust my schedule rather than this ad hoc approach.

But on Monday; I've got peeps visiting this weekend, so off to do the housework I go...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Magic happens

It was the parent's birthday yesterday. I made cake. Mmm... cake. And a nice roast dinner with all the trimmings.

I also spent time fielding phone calls wishing her a happy 82nd birthday. She's still fit and healthy, the physio on Mondays helps a lot even if she doesn't like it much.

So, this afternoon we are going to settle back and watch HP P1, which she got as a prezzo, in preparation of seeing part II next week - the parent isn't a fan of crowded theatres - and I doubt we'd be able to get tickets anyway.

But first, lunch, then some magic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Census and sensibility

Not much happening around here - except for studying up on how to be a Census collector.

Yep, we all get counted on August 9 and I have a large area to cover. Plus I have jury selection coming up next week. Don't know if I can do both at the same time. Wandering around meeting the neighbours, or listening in on a criminal case? I want both because they're interesting.

I don't get why people try to get out of jury duty. Yes, it's an interruption to the daily schedule; yes, you see and hear about gory details; yes, you have to make a decision - or not if you're discharged. But I think it's something everyone should do, if only to see how our justice system works.

As for the Census, it's important too. Yes... another chore to complete, but compulsory and useful for the government to know population levels so they can deliver services. Anyone worried about privacy issues needn't be: it's all about statistics, not who you are. It's about X number of people living in X area and then the form is destroyed. Personal information is, if you chose, kept for a hundred years.

I hope more people chose to keep their information for the interest and research of people like me. Tracing the family tree is much easier if your ancestors were in the census.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A many-coloured thing

When editing, I use a few references, some old, some new:

The first is Patricia Holt's Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do).This is an absolute must for editing and I use ninety-percent of the time. The article is clear and informative, with examples so readers can see why a sentence is wrong or ill-considered.

The second is Holly Lisle's free e-book, Mugging the Muse. This book never goes out of fashion. It's full of articles detailing the road to publication.

Number three: Elizabeth Sim's 8 Ways to Write a 5-star Chapter One. I suck at first chapters - probably the first three chapters - until I get into the meat of the piece.I think it's the rush to get to the good bits, the manic writing to set the scene. Info-dumps used to be my starting point; now, I hope, not so much.

Finally, Chuck Sambuchino's Ten Tips for Building Your Writing Checklist which gives me more to be thinking of as I wade through the text.

I'm going through Ms Holt's article, which means my current WIP, Huntress: Alone, is now a many-coloured thing as I highlight bad words, or suffixes like 'ly' or 'ness', and the 'to be' words, like 'was', 'were', 'am', 'be', 'been', 'being' etc. Each category has a different colour. Every time I do this, I think I'm improving - and then I see how many words were replaced with lurid colour. Of course, I have to go back and change things because the heroine, Cambria, has 'am' in the middle of it!

It mean I have to pay closer attention to what I'm doing, otherwise, when I post the book, it will have that added colour to some pages. Once I'm done, I get to use grammar references... oh... joy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Weathering the storm

I'm still here, but work takes precedence.

Although with family visits and other stuff, it's a wonder I managed to read through five books in preparation for some indepth edits.

And now, the wind is howling and it's raining sticks and leaves. We're also experiencing brown-outs and the internet connection is dodgy. Rain and wind will cause it, and the wireless connection is also affected.

The next door neighbour is an SES volunteer and he's just raced off, so something's up. In between the raging winds and eerie quiet, the birds flit from one safe haven to the next, protesting all the way. Even the kookaburras sound a little hysterical - and I don't blame them. Watching the eucalypts bend so much is a little disturbing.

I'm guessing the inevitable will happen shortly - a blackout - so I need to check the battery life in the computer, break out the candles for later, fire up the kettle and drag out the camp stove. Ah, winter; gotta love it!