Monday, July 28, 2014

Pride Goeth Before the 11th Percentile

A friend told me about brain training quite a long time ago, a couple of months at least, encouraging all and sundry into it.

[There was an image here of a cutaway head with a brain inside it, I couldn't make it stick]

I thought, why I would need to do anything like that with everything I am already doing? Blogs. Writing. Landcare funding applications. Learning fungi names. etc.

Recently, sitting around, I needed something. A puzzle. When I had a PC I would turn to the Mah-jong. I was seriously addicted to that. It is unfindable on Mac. Too hard to download without a crossover software which are difficult to use in themselves. no more Mah-jong.

I was going to use the time I spent on the game, on the fungi collection. But I'm bogged down where the collection is concerned. It is unwieldy now, too many records. Not enough categories. I've researched databases without finding anything appropriate.

I signed up with out of sheer frustration.

Did the baseline test.

My scores range from 11% to 33% for my age group.

Obviously a lot of room for improvement!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Trouble with Formatting Pages

I've reverted the page Monster-Moored to its draft state. I can't make the formatting of the successive Saturday Scenes work. They scramble when the page is opened, so that paragraphs are lost from the top and tail, sometimes placed in the middle of other areas.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

While I am Editing

One of the most difficult things while editing is to stay on task! Here I am catching up my blogs. Yesterday I was gardening.
A Spiky Spider to get distracted about. What a beauty! 

The other day I took a couple of hours out to shift my worm farm into a place more amenable to running out into the weather with a few vegetable scraps.

A semi-final edit doesn't require much of the world building type of creativity.
It's more a case of re arranging scenes for a better run up to the dramatic unfolding.
Inserting an explanatory sentence here and there to make plainer your story/premise/character's journey.
Re seeding clues where needed, or seeding them.
Rewriting a bit, or a lot, of telling. To show the character's actions and visible proof of emotions.
Always deleting empty words.
And always and always checking spelling, punctuation and grammar.

A Balloon of Hot Air is a metaphor
for a story of empty words
I have only come to understand the problem of empty words since beginning to come to grips with the Showing vs Telling Edict.

Chatting on, such as on a blog or in a face-to-face social situation, we use a lot of words empty of meaning to smoothe our listeners, to signal things about ourselves IE do we care about social niceties, or are we rude? And we place-hold, as in keeping the conversation going while we think what next to say. Because we're always thinking on the hop, as it were.

Compare that last paragraph, to it below without its empty words:
Chatting on,... on a blog ... a face-to-face ... situation, we use ... words ... to smoothe our listeners and to signal things ...IE do we care ... social niceties, or are we rude? ... place-hold ... keeping the conversation going .... Because we're ... thinking on the hop, ...

There are probably more words we can do without, to get the meaning.

In a story words need to forward the action, describe the characters and the scenery. I read somewhere that every word in a manuscript should generate imagery. What do you think?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vege Brag

Vegetable Harvest
Winter where I am in the Byron Shire, is mild enough most of the time that with a bit of water added, it's possible to grow a good selection of vegetables. This haul is from the day before a frost.

Three kinds of kale; of the three lettuce sorts, this one is the oak leaf variety; two parsleys, though I only eat the flat leaf variety; of the two sorts of chives in the garden this is the ordinary one, and a dozen cherry tomatoes.

Interestingly though, the frost this week took out only the vegetables growing at the edges of the beds. The curly lettuce suffered as did the Scottish kale. The flat leaf parsley may recover. The curly parsley is fine. The garlic chives are fine, the ordinary parsley didn't like it. The baby ginger plant didn't like the cold and will probably turn up its toes. (Die.)

The rhubarb is still thriving. A new crop in my yard, the plants are only small yet. I don't expect to eat them until summer. The cherry tomatoes grow wild through the yard. A few of the more exposed plants are frost blackened. Most are okay.

I'm hoping that my newly planted spinach survived. They look all right.