Superb Saturday & #180!

Happy Saturday, friends, family, and followers! It’s nice enough at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska to have the windows open a little. Of course, this morning the furnace is still kicking on, but it won’t be soon as it warms up. I’m fortunate, the writing staff is napping and the Babe has gone to the VFW Post 2503 for some office work and to help the Honor Guard pay last respects to a veteran who is being buried today. I’m so proud of his participation in this ritual. I sat next to my mother and heard the words said upon presenting the flag, and it has made me tear up every time I hear them. The nation is indeed grateful to each and every veteran who served with honor. I am too. Thank you all for what you all continue to do for this great nation.

Awhile back, I downloaded a free sample of the software Pro Writing Aid. I must say, I do like it a lot, and have used it on my book before the re-write after my first edit. My editor Sam cautioned me to make sure suggested changes make sense before accepting them. That is a good point and I’m glad she told me that. I would have double checked anyway, heck, being a retired software coder, I know they are only as good as the coder who wrote them. I freely admitted when I made some colossal goofs when writing code and pre-testing it. “Sometimes, I even amaze myself” was what I’d laugh and say when catching errors I made. It always only did what I told it to do. Admitting mistakes. That gets you far in life and work, too. Just don’t keep on repeating the same ones.

Anyone who has ever been burned by autocorrect can attest to the weird stuff that shows up since autocorrect and spellcheck really don’t know what they’re doing. Again, limitations enforced by the coder. Grammar mistakes are king, aren’t they? We need to be patient and proofread what we write. Memos, e-mails, letters, books, and texts take on a way different meaning when words are substituted without our knowledge or checking. Protect yourself, take the time to read.

That said, because we’re all human and no one is perfect, cut each other some slack. At times when someone posts a lot of grammatical errors in a Facebook Post, it only bothers me when the one who makes all these errors claims to be smarter than everyone else. Haughtiness doesn’t get you anywhere when you’re making a statement like that.

I’m having a good time during my re-write. I’m in Chapter 10 right now. Nearly halfway. At this rate, I may be able to get it back to my editor by the end of March. This year! Yay! I’ll keep you posted for sure. I’m a sucker for accessories. Fashion accessories, computer accessories, and now, writing accessories, commonly known as references. Here’s a book I’ve enjoyed perusing.

Tired of “nod” and “sigh”? Me, too.

This amazing little 88 page book has chapter divisions by body part. Eyes, Noses, Mouths, all body parts, except for the genitalia. Had to say it, you know you were wondering. The gist of this 1,000 Character Reactions from Head to Toe is that my characters need to do more than sigh, said, heard, and stand still. They can take a long drag from a cigar, parrot back, hear as if everything was under water, and sashaying away from someone. Don’t get too crazy with these words, though. Jerry Jenkins, who wrote the “Left Behind” series and who is a successful author, says to quit with too many descriptive words for “said.” It may be appropriate in some genres and not others. I’ll have to let you know about that theory, too.

BTW, this is our 180th published blog since last July 5, 2019. In the beginning, I didn’t write every day, but I do now it at all possible. I’m sad it took our dog Roxie being run over by a car to make me start writing every day. You never know what will strike your heart and be a story you want to share. It helped us with our grief, too. If you would like to read that first blog, here is a link for you to read. Bring Kleenex. She was a charmer.

I would absolutely love for you to continue this journey with me, right along to when we reach the 360th blog post and beyond to buying a book once we publish them. In the meantime, thank you for reading today, I’ll be here tomorrow, as I hope you are. Go out and have a beautiful Saturday.

Friday, the Snow Day!

It is eagerly awaited by school children everywhere. I’m amazed the prayers and novenas directed to the heavens by Catholic School kids city-wide hasn’t connected yet with the weather gods to cause a snow day. Until today!

Gosh, I started out this morning about 11 a.m. to check things in my writing world. Thought I’d get the blog written first thing. Now, it’s 7:40 p.m., and here we are. It’s been a busy day for not leaving the house. Schools were closed all over the metro, my mom’s Fall Prevention/Balance class was cancelled because of the weather, and the Babe was here to be the dogmaster all day. It’s the greatest thing in the world to see a lab or lab mix run outside in the snow. They love it! Those big paws slap at the icy areas and break off pieces to chew on. Goldie’s crazy and loving every minute of her life. She has started to counter surf, and I want to break that bad habit right now. Roxie (bless her soul) and Lexie never stopped surfing, and I hope Goldie stops. Note to self: Google Counter surfing dogs.

So what did I do today? I figured I would just jump into my re-write, and I did but not in the way I thought I would. I used Pro Writing Aid and corrected over 900 errors. Just finished now. So while that isn’t what I set out to do, I’m still ahead because it corrects the clumsy grammar, the awkward sentences become graceful, it is amazing. Does it still sound like me? I suppose that doesn’t matter, as long as the story is told well, is interesting, and readable. 

I am amazed how quickly the day passed with me being busy all day and accomplishing something. It feels good. This is the year I will publish a book or several. I am working towards that goal and it is exhilarating. Learning what to do is a great feeling, and at my age, it’s great to silence the naysayers in your head that have kept you from doing before. If you fail, at least you have tried. How many never ever get that far? I don’t want to be one of those who wished they would have. God has been so very good to me, I am nothing but grateful. Every day, every morning, I thank Him above for blessing me so much.

I have to plan tasks for tomorrow, and I decided I have to include quilting in my weekly activities. We are having our bedroom painted, and it will be two lovely colors in the aqua family. I need a quilt to go with the new color. And I have just what we need. It’ll be fun, and it’s two kits from my stash, plus a few fat quarters. Snowfall Quilt is the name. It’s so pretty. I have to incorporate it into my weekly plans for the next three months. I will use working on it as a reward and hope it continues on the rest of the month and into the year.

So for tonight, drive carefully. I’m so grateful to stay home. Since they have diagnosed me with asthma I don’t like to be out in extreme cold or humidity. No need to go out. Hoping tomorrow we can watch a couple movies we haven’t seen. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate your time. And, I’ll be here tomorrow, hope to see you then. Take care.