Red-pen’s Revenge

This week, I have managed to take myself on a short break, just for the week and just across the channel to France, and I am leaving you in the (?)capable hands of my proof-reader, so if you notice any mistakes then please let me know so that I can ask for a refund on her fee! So over to you, Krissi…..

……Thank you Ann, I think…..

Hello everybody! Golly gosh, I really feel as if I have jumped up two grades in school and been put in charge of the pencils and chalk all at once! Ann is taking a well-deserved break, and has asked me if I could fill in (gulp!) blog-wise ….. so here I am.

Red-pen's crew
Proof-reader’s arsenal

First of all, I must admit that I am not totally new to blog writing, I have my own at
auntykrissi.com
but when compared to Ann, I am somewhat of a novice. Well, let’s be honest here, Ann was the inspiration behind me joining the blogosphere, it is entirely her fault!

As Ann said, I am her proof-reader, which means that I get to read her novels before they are published, and aren’t they good? I know some people who think that their work doesn’t need to be proofed, “The spellchecker said it was fine…” they will say to me. Ouch! I really have to bite my tongue when I hear that! There is just so much more to proof-reading than spelling checks, as any of you who may have read a poorly-proofed book or article might agree.

Not being a proper writer like wot**Ann is, I have no experience of the creative side of writing. Ann has tried to describe her creative thought process to me as something akin to watching a film. The film plays in her head and she has to write what she sees and hears to tell the story. I think that is fascinating! Having very limited imagination, as I do, that sounds to me like magic. I like to think that I have a good memory, so I can write about things I have experienced, but summoning them up from thin air….nope, can’t do that.

I’m not sure how much faith I have in astrology, but I am a Virgo, and one of the things that Virgos are supposed to be, is perfectionists, is that a pain, or what! I do so wish that I didn’t get bothered when signs outside shops advertise “coffee’s and tea’s” or “apple’s and banana’s” but I do! (Just between us, apostrophe’s (sic) and their misplacement, are the pebbles in my life’s shoe) but anyway, the point I was trying to get to, is that, as a (sort of) perfectionist, looking for mistakes is easy peasy for me to do because I don’t need to look for them, they jump out of the page right at me! This is a double-edged sword, mind you, inasmuch as all mistakes jump out at me, even when I’m not supposed to be looking for them, however the bottom line is that proof-reading for me is sort of the same as story writing is for Ann, we both do it because it’s what we do!

You may be familiar with the idea that one cannot proof one’s own writing….even proof readers can’t. Very often, as the author of a piece of writing, you know what you mean to say, and when you read it, that’s how you read it, but a different pair of eyes might easily see a mistake, or a repetition, or quite simply where what you’ve written doesn’t actually say what you were trying to say. (Does that make sense?)

Anyway, I think that like so many other areas in life – with creative writing, we have habits, mistakes which we make again and again. Just as a writer has a writing style, so they also have a mistake-making style, and I’m hoping that Ann won’t mind me sharing with you her trademark mistake, so to speak! Hyphens, hyphens hyphens! If I had a pound/dollar/currency unit of choice for every hyphen I had ‘red-penned’ from the first draft of any of Ann’s novels into oblivion, then a rich woman I would be! When going through “The Angel Bug” I even threatened Ann, saying that I was going to remove the hyphen key from her computer keyboard! Conversely, sometimes (albeit quite infrequently) I have to insert a hyphen – and it does tickle my funnybone when that happens. (Sad, moi??)

So, I hope this has given you a little insight into my little corner of the Ann Foweraker world, enough to tide you over until Ann’s return next week, rested and rejuvenated after her recreational respite!


Let us know what your bête noire is, are you an apostrophe nerd like me? Or a hyphenaholic like Ann?

Do you think that correct spelling and punctuation are still relevant in 2013 and the world of the instant message?

We’d love to hear from you, and why not hop over to auntykrissi.com and take a look at what’s there! Oh, and I’m available for proof-reading commissions, just get in touch!

**whereas I might be a sort of perfectionist, I do like to keep a sense of irony in my writing. Of course I know that “wot” isn’t a word, and that even “what” would be incorrect in this context, but, like the Persian rug weavers who intentionally inserted a ‘mistake’ into their work, my ‘wot’ makes me imperfect, keeps my tongue firmly in my cheek, which in turn keeps my feet firmly on the ground and me firmly in the real world. (I hope)

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FWT? Week 13 and A Birthday Bonus

FWT? and A BIRTHDAY BONUS? – See details below of extra prizes in the Draw!

Here we are again at the round-up of another week of Fat Woman Thinning? At last I’m beginning to think it might be safe to drop the question mark at the end of FWT. At the start I really wasn’t sure this was going to work at all .. but now, and especially today, I am feeling more positive.

If you are new to FWT? Then a quick up-date. You see, I had to do something, menopause seemed to have changed the way my body dealt with things – my usual way of maintaining my weight no longer worked and the weight crept on… and on until by Jan the first this year I weighed in at 12 stone!  So, now I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat (writing everything down as well) – but Not Dieting!

Also, I don’t go to a gym.  I don’t have time to spend getting there, nor the inclination to flaunt my lumpy body in front of others, so I have worked out what I can do at home and it doesn’t take long – the weights; never more than 15 mins and the aerobics and stretching is worked to follow a half hour of music.

So where am I now? After the previous week, where over indulging led to no weight loss, I kept a strict eye on the carbs, made sure I didn’t over eat and did all the exercises!

The results are in folks: Weight loss this week 2 lbs!! hurray, and I am now at 10st 7 lbs for my birthday! (my second secret goal!) Waist measurements, for both relaxed and pulled in tight went down half an inch too, so I am happy.

To celebrate this and as a Birthday Bonus I am adding to the prizes available when anyone signs-up to this blog in my Win a Kindle draw.

As you will know, if you have entered, this draw has to be only open to people living in the UK as the Kindle in question is already purchased and ready to send and the draw will be held as soon as a thousand people sign up, so you are all encouraged to share!

So here is the New Prize Line-Up!!

The first number drawn will Win the Kindle.  

The second number drawn will Win a Nero Slate Cheese boardfrom annmade.co.uk

The third number drawn will Win an copy of Divining the Line (in pdf form so you can read it on your computer or use calibre to convert it  if you have an e-reader).

The fourth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Nothing Ever Happens Here and

The fifth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Some Kind of Synchrony

 

 

So, here’s wishing everyone good-luck in the draw, please read the (full details HERE)

So what do you think, folks? Is this a good way to celebrate  – with no calories 😉

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Under transformation ….

OK, so I realise I haven’t blogged for a while now – what with the Christmas and New Year rush and all, but the big reason is that I am doing a course on blogging… I do like to do things properly when I can, and so this blog may be about to undergo some kind of transformation … or not.

It all depends upon the blogging-for-brand course that I am doing under the auspices of the entertaining Kristen Lamb  (almost worth it just for the laughs) and her blog is great if you are interested in what it takes to be a writer today and succeed. You can find Kristen Lamb’s blog here if you promise to come back.

So far I have had to come to grips with Twitter (rather than just having an account and collecting a few followers), and to manage my new larger numbers of followers (now 120, which is peanuts may I add) I have to get my head round Tweetdeck – it is supposed to help and I am sure once I work out some of the shortcuts to using it I will find it indispensable …..

At the moment I am struggling with trying to find the aspects of life that I know and can write about with some feeling of interest, authority or passion on a regular basis that will also connect with other people as an everyday interest but with some deep levels of attachment, so that they will want to come back for more with every blog.

I also need to think that the people I want to attract to my blog should be the people who would like my novels, as part of the reason for actually getting this blog up and running was to help with the publication and publicity for my novels. So not much use me blogging about football, say (hehe haha – as if I would – as if I could!) as the target audience would be quite different.

And I need to find my blogging voice. My natural ‘voice’ is that of the teacher — I have said many times and it is true, ‘give me half a chance and I will teach you all I know’ but I don’t think that this is a good voice for a blog unless it is a technical blog where people go to learn – but what do you think?

So, lots for me to work through and think about, and your thoughts are welcome to help me sift things. Which of the blogs I have done was the most interesting and would bring you back for more of similar and why? What type of blogs to you bookmark or sign up to and why?

On a weightier  lighter note, I  have been posting daily additions to my new page *Fat Woman Thinning?* – you’ll find it on the cross bar. Its a 52 week log of my attempt to lose weight and get fitter following a simple weights programme and sensible eating. It is updated daily on the drop down menus for the weeks as I go. Encouragement welcome!

And don’t forget there’s a special offer, of all three of my novels for e-readers for just £5.99, running at the moment – click on the new *Ann Foweraker NOVELS*  on the cross bar for more information.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas day has come and gone and I have just a few minutes to write before the second wave of visitors. Today we will be one more for lunch at 12 as my brother, his wife, my niece, nephew and his wife arrive! So before they do I’d just like to share a few photos and pictures with you. The Dog had a new toy under the tree, a squeaky space-hopper. Now she has never had a squeaky toy before (can’t usually stand them myself) but this is meant to be one of her outdoor toys and it has gone down a bomb with her, Not sure if she likes the squeak or is trying to find out what is inside the thing that wants to get out, but she has found it great fun!

As anyone who comes to this blog via AnnMade will know AnnMade makes slate plates and this year we used slates for our starter of smoked salmon and prawns, and before serving I took a few quick snaps – looks yummy doesn’t it?

As usual out Christmas cake wasn’t quite a typical snow scene (though I have done some with snow on). I decided to do a map of the world with places marked where people with us over the Christmas break had immediate family. Though I had planned this earlier I ended up doing the final bits on Christmas eve with Son #3s girlfriend helping make the masses of holly leaves. The result was quite effective though hastily finished. Tasted good!

And in the New Year I shall be editing my latest novel, ‘The Angel Bug’ as I have heard back from Tim Smit of the Eden Project and he is happy to be featured as the only real person in the novel – so I am ready to move forward now with this. Look forward to publication in the spring. And if you have a new kindle (or other e-reader) and you’d like to feed it with my current novels you’ll find them all on AnnMade Books where you can have a New Year present of All 3 for just £5!*

So today is the great Turkey and Ham pie day, and I must away to make the rough-puff pastry. Here’s wishing you all a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

How did your Christmas go? What are your hopes for the New Year?

*(Offer until End Jan. Extra paid refunded)

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Where I’ll publish my ebooks

I have to get someone else to do my proof reading, even if I still have the task of doing all the corrections, so that when the books do go online there won’t be so many gaffs on the page.

I’m lucky in that I can put my books on my own website, annmade.co.uk, which usually sells my popular range of slate ware. This business is in its fourth year and has been steadily growing. The books will go under a new tab, annmade books – I think it sounds like a publishing house already!!

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proof reading your own wrok … work :)

You can’t proof read your own work. I had thought that if I left a piece of work long enough I would be able to see the mistakes. After all, as I used to be a teacher it is second nature to me to spot the mistakes. I see them all the time in newspapers and books that I read. But no, I tried, but found that I was soon reading what I had intended to be there rather than what was actually there.

Note to myself… don’t be so critical… it’s hard to spot mistakes.

 

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I have seen the future…..

I have seen the future – and the future is Kindle.

M.  bought a Kindle and it was a revelation! Now I am sure you have all seen an advert for one if you haven’t yet got yours or been shown someone else’s. I was blown away with it, and I speak as a lover of books, real paper books, an avid reader who likes to be able to look up things in depth, take a book with me in the bath, on the beach, even on exercise bikes and cross trainers (when I did that sort of thing – but that’s another story)

I have enthused so much that at least one friend went home and ordered one straight away. I raved about the easy to read page, the lack of eye strain without the back lit screen, easy to enlarge the print too, turn it to landscape if you like, check-up on the meaning of any word in the text by just hovering the cursor over it and getting a real Oxford English dictionary definition, complete with etymology! (you see I really am a word freak!)

What blew me away was the fact that I could now see a way to publish my own books – straight to ebooks.

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