Tag Archives: spelling

I’m so tired…

I’m not afraid of work, never have been. I’m trying to remind myself this author gig is what I do for relaxation. Somehow, I failed today.

I had to deal with dicey WiFi all morning and a couple of router reboots. Then AutoCrit refused to load, so I had to paste my MS in there multiple times before it decided to work. I still blame the weak-assed signal. Eventually, I caught a strong section of signal and everything loaded.

I spent about 12 hours correcting grammar and punctuation in my SF novel. It always amazes me how many words are one letter different, and I found and corrected several of those. There were a lot of doubled words that needed killing, along with all the commas and question marks I had to fix.

Spelling and grammar apps don’t particularly appreciate science fiction either. Place and character names kind of make it cry.

Where did my fun and relaxation go?

On the other hand, I am overjoyed at getting this leg finished. All three books have passed this waypoint. I still have some specific word searches I want to do next, but hope the technology might have eliminated that phase for me. I’ll still test it out.

The last lap will be to read them all to see if things make sense.

It looks like I won’t be drafting anything for another few weeks, but this part has to get done. Before I start back up, there are a few books I want to read, too. I decided to stay in this phase for a while longer. I’m not hurting for drafts and will dedicate as much time as I must here.

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Ugh! Editing

I got to the writing cabin kind of late today. Old What’s Her Face and I usually have Sunday breakfast at home, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the week. Nothing too fancy, just really nice.

It’s also the day I call my Mother and I dedicated an hour to that.

Drafting new material is my favorite part of the job. I love the process of coming up with new characters and having them interact. Today, I had to grit my teeth and start editing.

I walked into the cabin’s living room which serves as the public-facing office.

A talking yak debated something with a talking hat. A retired leg-man was discussing the breakdown of modern society with a Chinese monk woman who carried a huge guandao.

Lisa Burton, the robot girl was in a dither trying to get root monsters down from the antler chandelier.

Percy, the Space Chimp pointed a hairy finger from across the room. “I got a bone to pick with you.”

I slammed the door, and returned to my vehicle. “Nope.”

I returned home and parked myself in a spare room we use for an office. The old Mac opened the AutoCrit website just fine, and I was able to upload my manuscript. However, it never highlighted a damned thing.

It feels great to produce a perfect draft, but I never have and something was wrong. I wanted to use my iPad to make the actual edits.

The site works perfectly on the iPad, and my dreams of a perfect MS were shot down.

I wound up using the split-screen feature and the iPad for everything. This isn’t particularly easy, because the text is so small in split screen. Clicking on AutoCrit’s suggestions is a little more touchy at this small size, too.

I admit to chickening out on the big stuff and worked on The Hat story because of its size. I managed to fix all of my typical mistakes. Mostly missing punctuation. I seem to miss a lot of question marks when I draft.

I have the free version of AutoCrit, so I don’t have all of its amazing features. Still helpful with spelling and punctuation. I had one word spelled wrong about five times. At least I was consistent.

That hat story moves into the TBR editing pile. I think I’ll take on the swamp story in the morning. I dread this stuff, but it must be done.

It’s been a while since I shared a Pinterest Board. This is a good one for all authors. Sometimes we all need location and setting. Check it out and let me know what you think https://pin.it/3ILyqyc

This one has markets, catacombs, a street of birdcages, public gardens and more.

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Vacation day three: Into the Amazon

I had plans to shove my manuscript through Amazon’s machine today to see how it held up. I managed to do that, but not without some drama.

First, I had to bring the Mac into the modern era. It’s still all screwed up with my son’s passwords and not recognizing anyone but him now. I managed to get it to a point where it’s relatively functional.

Then there was the office drama. I nearly got called back to work today. Fortunately, it was something we could deal with over the phone, but it put me off my game for a while.

When it came down to it, I got my chance with Amazon. I had to put out an entry level blurb before it would let me advance to the screen I needed. That’s something I’ll have to address once I’m ready to publish.

Amazon found some spelling errors that kind of pissed me off. Why didn’t Apple flag these while I was writing the damned thing? These are mostly medical terms, so they didn’t jump out at me during my reviews. One involved a word that should have had a double-t, and I just missed it.

Several of my silly cartoons wound up in the wrong spots. My section breaks are also silly cartoons since I can’t find a font to insert a bass clef.

I contacted my formatter, and she’s a trooper. This is another reminder to start ahead of time if you have a target publication date. Many books it really doesn’t matter, but Lizzie and the hat always do better during the Halloween season. It will be here before I know it, and I still have promo posts to write.

I may have to send my formatter a gift card, or just PayPal her a tip or something.

No new words today, but that’s okay. Not all progress is word-count. I need to see if AutoCrit or something can find some of those spelling errors for me.

Task list: Promo posts, get my son’s footprint out of the Mac, fiddle with AutoCrit.

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My mind is everywhere today

I read a cool novella yesterday and posted a review. I really love short form fiction, and that love is getting deeper and more solid. I won't tell you more about it, because the author is stopping by next week to tell us herself.

I hacked my way through several chapters of The Playground. I've got to say the split screen ability on this iPad is awesome. Did you know there is a difference between mantel and mantle? By using split screen, I quickly checked spelling and moved confidently forward.

My mind keeps interfering today. Hey buddy, there's pumpkin pie in the fridge. I gave in. I also had a small turkey sandwich on one of my garlic Parmesan rolls.

Time to read blogs.

Time to post something on Twitter.

Slash through another chapter.

Thoughts keep dragging me elsewhere. I got up, went to the bedroom, and lifted the bed skirt. “Why aren't you scary anymore?”

A shuffling like dried leaves moved toward the edge of the bed. “I don't know exactly. My therapist says it's because of movies and television. I've been over exposed.”

“You mean like one of those actors who was everywhere, then can't seem to find work?”

“Exactly. When was the last time you saw Orlando Bloom in a new role?”

“There were The Hobbit movies.”

“Not a new role for him though was it?”

“I guess not. So are you saying you want to do Broadway or something?”

“Only if I can devour some actresses or steal a few souls away.”

“I think that's been done before.”

“So we're back to the same old problem. Monsters were scary, someone else added gallons of blood to our stories, and that worked for a while. Now we're left with jumping out and yelling boo. What kind of life is that?”

“What about suspense? That's kind of a favorite trick of mine.”

“I'm sure it works in your stories, but what good does it do me to look all scary when your readers won't even see me until act three?”

“It may not help you, but it may improve the story overall. Readers can see a little bit of your handiwork to build up tension. The character is trapped in bed, because if she runs for it you'll bite her feet off. Make her have to pee, and add some extra tension.”

“Alright, the old have to pee trick is a classic. Still, I'm missing out on page time here. I have to compete with scary humans, deadly viruses, terrorist groups, and more. Where is my piece of the pie?”

“Maybe closet monster can give us some insight.”

“He retired five years ago. Heard he found a nice culvert down on the Gulf Coast somewhere.”

“Hey, speaking of pie, my wife made a great pumpkin pie. Want some?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, but slide the plate and fork out when you're finished. She'll come down there after it, I swear.”

“That is truly scary.”

“She's out shopping on Black Friday right now.”

The whole bed quivered. “It seems you know a scary thing or two when you see them.”

“You know it, brother. I'll think about our conversation for a while. Are you available to talk again? It isn't like you're doing anything.”

A two fingered claw slid a piece of paper out from under the bed.

“What's this?”

“My schedule of consulting fees.”

“Really?”

“Look, a monster has to make a living. I don't like it any more than you do, so find me a scary story to participate in.”

“I'm still thinking about it. I'll keep you posted.”

***

Okay, back to editing, or maybe there is something on television…

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Trying to improve

I make mistakes, but I try to catch them. Some slip through, and it bugs the crap out of me.

I constantly type “it’s” when I want “its”. For some reason that damned apostrophe slips in there too often. It’s almost like trying to get the dog to stay home.

Some words I never can spell right the first time. Lien and weird come to mind.

I will rewrite to avoid effect and affect.

It’s a complicated language where right, write, wright, and rite all have different meanings. Reign, rein, and rain anyone?

Knowing I have these shortcomings, I try to be tolerant of others. I try, I’m not always successful. There are a couple of common ones that I’d like others to work on. I promise to work on my issues in exchange for a group effort here.

Lose and loose are two different words, with different meanings. Use them both, but learn which is which.

This one could make you sound strange if you mix them up. Defiantly and definitely are also different words. You probably don’t want to say, “I’m defiantly happy.”

How about you? Are there any common errors you’re guilty of? Are there any that come across like nails on a chalkboard? (How many of you don’t know what a chalkboard is?)

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