Tag Archives: Google

What the… Oh My Gosh, Oh No, Oh Crap, and whatever…

Final edits can be maddening, can’t they? As I go through my list of overused words, I always find new things that make me giggle.

My current giggle-a-thon is coming in the form of teenage explicatives.  They sound perfectly right in-context. “Oh my gosh, you are not going to do that!”

Buy when I ran a search on “Oh” and my screen lit up with pretty highlights—I realized how many of my main character’s dialog lines start with the word “Oh”.  It’s funny really.

The good thing about using the search feature to ferret out these little problem is you can look at each instance outside of the frame of the narrative.  It’s much easier to edit when you are not getting “caught up” in the story.

So, at the moment I am in final edits for Fire in the Woods, and I am removing a good portion of the “Oh my gosh”, “Oh my God”, “Oh crap,” and of course, the every-so intrusive “umm”.

Of course, I am leaving in a few for color, but I’m trying to cut my repetition down to once every ten pages or more. (Quite a feat at times.)

How do you search and destroy over-used words and phrases?



Updating the Dictionary. A Good thing? Yes, and No.

Dictionary.com just made a bunch of updates and new additions.  That’s great, right?

I will be the first to agree that our language is evolving.  Especially now, when our kids are living in a world that is so much different from when many of us grew up.

I remember the first time my five-year-old said the word “modem” or “keyboard”.  It sounded so odd.  Last night my six year old and eight year old were fighting because one of them threatened to “delete” the other’s “file”.  If you think about it, 30 years ago that would sound like Star-Trek like stuff.  Right?

So yes, I agree with updating the dictionary… to an extent.

Pixelate, aggregator, and cyberbully…yes, I would agree to adding these words to the dictionary.  They are new, and a part of our lives now.

Anyhoo????  Please, come on, say it isn’t so.  This one makes me cringe as much as when they added “ain’t.”

Yes, they are saying it is “informal” and a “humorous alteration” but what will they add next? BFF?  a’cause?

I love the English Language.  I hate when people abuse it in their laziness, or when something silly someone says catches on to the point of annoyance.  I used to hear “anywhoo” and not blink, because someone was being derogatory or making a joke… but now to add it to the dictionary?

I hope I don’t wake up in five years and find I can’t read the dictionary because every word is either ‘new made up lingo’ or has been replaced with shortened versions that are easier for texting.

IMO, Anyhoo and I will never be BFFs.  LOL.  Fureal.  Gedit??

And, by the way… my spell checker flags “anywhoo” as mis-spelled.

My spell-checker and I are buds 🙂

(But that doesn’t mean I want “bud” added to the dictionary as “slang, abbreviation of buddy”)  Erggh.

Road to Publication #19: Completing the ARCs

Whew!  Anyone want to take a breath with me?  Breathe in, Breathe out.  Breathe in, Breathe out.  Ahhhh feels good, doesn’t it?

So, yes, the arcs are done.  What did I find?

There were a few odd editing errors.  I mean… really odd editing errors.  For instance, a sentence ended a paragraph in the original version.  All of the rest of that paragraph was deleted, but that particular sentence remained, but was added to a different paragraph where it made no sense.  Yeah, weird… I know.

What I also came across were places where a string of speech was removed for one reason or another, leaving what was left behind “hollow”…  meaning someone answered a question that was never asked, or things like that.  Yes, weird again.

I also found a sentence where a word was missing, but it was in the original text.  Isn’t that odd?  I guess I took for granted that the file would be cut and pasted.  Apparently not.

What I marked mostly was something that I DON’T think they will fix, even though I asked for it.  The reason is that I just saw the same thing in a published novel from this publisher.

It’s silly, and very anal I will admit… but on my Kindle, if a sentence falls off with a “…” at the end… if placed correctly, the “…” will be treated as its own word and end up all by itself on a line.  I asked that ending “…” ellipses be attached to the final word in each case where they appear.

Like I said… I can ask, right?  I hope they do it, because I think it will look better.

The hard part of this whole project was transferring all my notes from my Kindle onto an Excel spreadsheet so they could review it in the format that they requested.  I suppose it would have been easier if I edited on my computer in PDF format, then I could have just created the spreadsheet at the same time.

Yes, in retrospect it would have been easier, but if I come across this again, I will probably do it the same way.  The reason is that I enjoyed the experience of reading it on the Kindle, as my readers will see it.  It just looked “different.”

(And it’s cool having the cover with my name on it appearing in my Kindle Carousel 🙂 )

Ah… vanity… definitely my favorite sin.

Oh!  Impromptu movie game!  Anyone know who said that line, and what movie it came from?

It’s been all about memes lately. Whatsa Meme anyway? AKA Another Lesson in Writing Without Looking — Oh! And we have a winner!

Well let’s start out with the winner of the Make Believe Anthology.

Of course, we can only have one winner, but for everyone else, the Make Believe Anthology releases December third, and you may be able to pick up another free copy during the MASSIVE blog tour in December.

Drumroll Please!

By YOUR VOTES The winner is:   Vanessa Chapman

Congratulations!  And Thanks for everyone who pleaded with the Little Blue Lady to set me free.

Do you think we’ve seen the last of her yet?  I don’t know… She sais she’s sorry, but still seems to want an interview.


It’s been all about memes lately.  I keep getting slapped with one meme or another.  It got me thinking… What the frig is a meme anyway?  (Except being something like a blog chain letter)

Definition time (Off Wikki):

A Meme (pronounced Meem, as in dream), is generally defined as anything that can be transferred from one mind to another. Glenn Grant defines a meme as “A contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds…

Ummm… Okay…  Anyway…  In the blog world, a Meme is something you have to do, and then tag others to do it also.  I have to pass on a lot of these, unless I think they are valuable.  The one I was tagged in today was a good one that every author should do anyway.  Soooo… here we go!

This is the “Look” Meme.

The rules are to run a search on your current work in progress, and count how many times “Look” appears.  Why look?  Well, Look is one of those nasty telly words that get editor’s britches all in a bother, and (even worse) can get your manuscript rejected by a publisher or agent.

I’d like to pass a special thanks to ultra-cool author Claire Gillian (From “The Pure” fame (Yes!  She actually remembers me!)) For tagging me with a constructive meme.

So, the WIP I have chosen is my Single Short Romance, A Test of Faith.  It is 5,902 words.

Searching for…. “look”

There we have it.  “Look” appears 13 times.  Hmmm.  That’s not so bad.  Now, what I need to do, is show a few examples.  Let me page through them.

Okay… so, it seems that out of the thirteen, eight of them are “good looks”, which means they are in dialog, as in:  “Don’t look at me like that!”  Those don’t count.  They are legal.

Here are the five that remain (Hey, only five?  Statistically, that’s pretty good!)

Anyway… here they are:

1.       She ran up the steps, stopped mid-way, and looked down toward us.

2.       I looked up into the warmth of his eyes.

3.       He ran his finger under my chin. I looked away self-consciously.

4.       The redness in his face cut a hole into my heart, severing the arteries and forcing it into my throat. I looked away.

5.       He looked to the side, pursed his lips and walked into the kitchen.

Now, you are supposed to give a little bit of the paragraphs around the “look” as well, but I want these to really stick out.  ERRRRR.  They don’t look as good here as they do in the manuscript.  My inner editor is screaming.

So, what do you think?  Are these too telly?  How would you change them to Write Without Looking?

I’m gonna tag EVERYBODY on this one, because I think it’s a great exercise.  If you don’t strive to make your writing better, ignore it.  If you want to be the best writer you can be, give it a try.   Wether or not you post it is up to you.  🙂

The end of an Era—No more Encyclopedia Britannica

After well over two hundred years of publication, The Encyclopedia Britannica has decided to close the doors on its presses.

No more hard bound, tangible versions.  It will still, however, be available on-line.

I have mixes feelings about this.  Most of them are purely sentimental.  An abridged version of the Encyclopedia Britannica (One volume, that weighed about 90 pounds written in typeface you needed a magnifying glass to read) got me through all of high school and some of college.  It was an old friend.

I remember those all-too-thin pages that were almost translucent.  I remember the gold letters carved out on the sides of the pages to help me find my way.

I loved that book.  What an incredible resource.

I believe I still have it.  I think it is in my attic
(I know-not a good place for it)

I was thinking over all of the reports that I have done with my kids in the last few years.  I could have dug it out, and showed them how to do “tangible” research.

This is no longer our culture.  We don’t need to lug around huge volumes of encyclopedias when we can just “Google it”.

Yes, you need to be careful with internet research, but there is a wealth of information out there, and it is updated faster than any print-volume of a reference book.  (As Encyclopedia Britannica found out.)

I don’t know.  Part of me is still sad to see paper go.  But this is a natural evolution of the age we are in.

In my novel, there is a chapter where my main character sees printed books.  He is surprised, because printed books are such a luxury.

I wonder how long it will be before this is actually true in this galaxy.

Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web!

Did you know that twenty years ago, August 6, 1991, the very first WEB page was published?  Back then, only a few people could view it, so no one really even knew it existed, but WOW has it totally changed the world as we know it!

I remember when I used to have a question in my head.  If it bothered me enough, I would go to the library.  Most of the time, my questions would just be left unanswered.  Now… I just Google it.  Life sure has changed.

Not everything that the WEB has made possible is necessarily good… There are things out there that I wish weren’t there.  Also, the convenience of it all has led to some bad things, like the fall of the record stores, and the dwindling bookstores.  I miss them.  Parts of progress, I guess, are not easy to swallow… although I do admit it is convenient to just buy your music or books on-line.  I do miss, though, walking in a mall and strolling through a little bookstore or a music store.  It’s just the experience of it… especially when I was a kid.

You know what else is interesting…  My kids have no idea what it would be like to live without the WEB.  Think about that.  It’s a little weird.

The WEB is part of our culture, now.  It brings us all together.  It’s why you are here, now, reading this.  It makes so much possible.  There have been a lot of inventions in our time.  This one is pretty cool, despite its shortcomings.

Happy Birthday World Wide Web!

(This is the article I read where I found out about the date)