Editor-Author Love

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Dear readers,

After fixing some issues processing CSS in Mac OSX Mountain Lion, I can see the pages of my blog once more. (Actually, I finally fixed my Windows 7 partition and I’m using that instead, but a win’s a win).

As some of you may know, I’ve recently been editing manuscripts for a certain large romance publisher. It’s been an excellent experience for me, and—on the whole—a great pleasure to work with a number of established and aspiring authors of the genre. Having previously had limited exposure to romance, I found myself genuinely impressed by the variety of ‘boy meets girl (insert sex scene), boy loses girl (insert angry sex scene), boy and girl reconcile (insert happy sex scene)’ narratives I’ve helped polish.

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Jeff Buckley’s Still Dead

JeffBuckley

Jeff Buckley's still dead
And these wine bottles are empty.
My sweetheart, 
the drunk, 
is floating — gently.
Melancholic tenor
and raw, firey chorus
Pours no more 
from his lips,
but digitally, for us.
Pain, passion, 
and fury — now laid dim.
He said his 'Last Goodbye'.
We barely knew him.

Why Does My Head Hurt?

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'Why, oh why, does my head hurt?'

These headaches 
are getting far too intense.
The pain is a warning
I heed for the moment,
then I pop a pill,
and the moment is gone.

'I mean, I just don't understand.'

I sit 
at a computer
on the couch
on the train
on a bus
on a plane
head down
thumbs blurring
hunched over
descending
devolving
revolving
around a sun
that will one day go out. 
 Continue reading 

Grammar, Grammar Everywhere, But a Dangling Modifier is Good … Never?

Crow

Dear readers,

Just a quick drop-in to spruik one of my favourite online resources. When I’m about to embark on a typical editing project, I must begin by having all my ‘weapons’ at the ready. I run through this list:

I’ve got my Wiley Style Guide (5th Ed.) — Check.
Macquarie Dictionary — Check.
Australian Handbook For-Writers and Editors — Check.
The Dreaded Purple Book — Check.
A Less Buggy Version of Word — (often) Check.
Battery Life — Check.
Back-up Drive — Check.
Hands — Check.
OH&S Stretches — Check-one-two-check!

Well, in addition to the above, I also make sure I have the Grammar Girl website open. Continue reading

Defiance

The_Defiant_by_David_Willicome

(Legal: Thanks to David Willicome for the artwork above.)

Heinrich groaned and slapped at the ‘snooze’ button on his alarm clock. The voices stopped.

Head felt like a toilet; he’d gamed too long and hard last night, and his body was showing all the signs of it: Over-Shock.

No more than 2 days at a time, they’d said, otherwise you’re training the body to disengage from the brain. Didn’t sound so bad, in theory. Last night’s nosebleed, however, had been a wake-up call.

Flicking on his holowall—a 3D simulated projection of peace and tranquillity that neatly hid the dim walls of his lifecube—he trudged over to the fridge and opened it and quickly downed a carton of OJ. The bitterness singed his tongue, the artificial flavours mixing and sending a rush of endorphins screaming through his sluggish cortex. Continue reading

Update 27/04/13: Absence Makes the Nose Grow Longer

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Crumbs! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted. Recently, I’ve been weighed down by romance novel edits, but they’re finally done, so my next piece should be up here soon …

In the meantime, aspiring authors should check out yWriter5, a word processor/story tracker application. yWriter5 streamlines the process of planning out a novel, allowing characters, plot arcs and chapter/scene breakdowns to be easily tracked and edited. It’s a little clunky—’Free writing software designed by an author, not a salesman’ says the website—but very flexible.

It’s also very free. Get amongst it,
MalarkyGetsTheGirl

‘Neath Extract

Crow

Dear readers,

I’m still working on Smarmbeard, so until then, here’s a short extract from a novel I’ve been struggling with.

Enjoy.

*    *    *

It was a common enough problem: Sarah had no motivation to get out of bed. Warm and cozy in her eiderdown cocoon, in her world of lemon-scented fabric detergent and flannel sheeting, her body felt weightless; her arms, legs and head were bits of heavy-packing foam, like the stuff she’d once seen at that decrepit self-storage unit years previously.

She and Zoe had been moving house at the time. Continue reading

Update 22/02/13: Storylane

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Greetings, dear readers,

I’ve recently stumbled upon a new site called Storylane that I’d like to share with the aspiring authors in the audience. Much like a blogging platform, Storylane encourages you to write pieces based on your personal experiences, with a number of preset questions and topics on offer (I believe these can be customised and expanded, as you so desire). I’m finding it… fun. I feel like it encourages me  to write on a regular basis, as others can request stories and topics from my own ‘storylane’, and that validates my sense of self-worth. Hoo-hum, a little too much of Sparky’s inner psychology for you there.

Anyway, enjoy the site, and my two latest bits of personalised narrative:

Magic Folder of Memories

Hill

From my quill to your screen,
SparkyGetsTheGirl