Monday, August 20, 2007

Are You Up/Down with That?

Since some of you don't have subscriptions to the Romance Writers Report, I thought I'd share some gems on self-editing by Jeannie Eddy from this month's issue.

I have to admit, I've been guilty of many of the following.

(some examples mine to save space)

1. A word that you don't need.
See how many unnecessary "that's" are in your work. Could you leave some out?
Example: "It was an annoying habit that she had that signaled to him that she was tired."
"It was an annoying habit she had, signalling she was tired."

2. Are you in, out, over, up or down?
These directional words can often be deleted.
Example: He looked down into her eyes.
He looked into her eyes.

3. Finally, suddenly, you can improve your writing - by deleting finally and suddenly.
Example: Suddenly a boat appeared on the horizon.
A boat appeared on the horizon.

4. I feel you should stop telling me how the characters feel.
Example: Helen felt angry enough to hit John.
Helen's hands balled into fists as she stared at John.

5. It even seems like I have more to tell you.
Example: She didn't even know where to look.
She didn't know where to look.

6. You are almost ready to finish your book.
Read through your manuscript to see how many times you use "almost." Do you say "He was almost afraid to say something?"
Was he or wasn't he? You and your reader should know for sure.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Who Are You?

Yeah, so I have nothing better to do with my time. According to the "Are you a a Nerd, Geek or Dork?" test I got from Steve (I'm a big-time dork, but we already knew that) and this test, "What Book are You?", from Natasha, aka Spyscribbler, I've spent a productive evening learning more about myself. ;)

Go ahead, try it. Don't be shy. You know you want to.

You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Actually, with the exception of that Greek folk hero thing and the fame bit, I'd have to say this was right on the money.

So.... what book are you?

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Help, please

I know there are some baseball fans out there (Stewart, Jon?) and while I've done some research for a story I'm working on, I can't find the answer to the burning question: do baseball players still wear cups?

I know that kids' baseball requires them, but from what I can gather so far, that may not be true for adult players. Is it only pitchers now? No one? Anyone who wants to, according to preference? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'm mainly concerned with the habits of local, amateur teams--you know, the ones sponsored by Joe's Bar & Grill type teams. It's actually a rather important plot point since the heroine and her best friend decide which team won based on the cups the players are wearing and how well their pants fit. Are the cups and jock straps one size fits all? How does a soft cup differ from a hard cup? I've only seen the hard ones. (No comments, please.)

Ok, any help would be appreciated. Thanks. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Top 10 Best Places to Work

You know, you've heard me say it before, I want to start my own company. I want to give those new writers a place to shine, a place to be seen, read and heard. I want to give part of the profits to organizations that help make the world a better place - yes, I want to do all of that.

There's another humanitarian goal that spurs me as well - you see, I want to give people the benefits they really need, as well as support working mothers and single parents in ways that are real and lasting. So, I decided that when I do have my own business (and have it I shall) I will offer not just the usual holiday/sick day package, but also:

5 wellness days

10 sick child days

10 no baby/pet sitter days

15 mental health days

20 bad hair days (aka "call in ugly" days)

24 nothing to wear/no clean clothes/everything needs ironed/even my fat pants don't fit days

These are the things, my friends, that the working mom really needs. I could have called in ugly today.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


You know, I've often wondered what would happen if I really gave my work and life my all - put everything I had into it.

Now I know...

Via: VideoSift