31 July 2011

Channeling A Grammar Instructor....

Or In Other Words......Taking Myself To Task......

But first...Here's my faithful boy, Zutchka....


This is for my new acquaintance, Rebecca J. Fleming, who shares my 'hund liebe', and her faithful boy, Judgemental Dog.

I've been plodding along in edits this week, having completed a second read-through of the first seven chapters in Claiming The Prize.  This is not the sort of reading one imagines, (except for fellow writers who know exactly what I'm about to say...) conjuring the sight of a favorite reading nook, perfect lamp light shining on your page, a hot cup of tea on the nearby table, maybe a pillow behind your back to add coziness as you anticipate losing yourself in a delicious story.  This is the careful, word by word inspection of sentence after sentence, training your eye to seek out any mistakes.

It's amazing how the brain works.  At least my brain - for it doesn't want to find mistakes.  It wants to skip over a double word, it wants to ignore finding 'he' when clearly the word should be 'her'.  It's as if I have a built-in 'auto-correct' in my head.  This makes my task harder than I'd prefer.  So, I progress slowly and read over the same paragraph at least twice.
At this point I'd like to say that I don't blame any of you who have been through this process for snickering - just a bit - at my dismay.  It's part of the adventure.  When I'm at the top of this mountain, I'll soak in the panoramic view and sigh contentedly, but right now, I'm nursing the cuts and scrapes of climbing.  And what I mean by that is I'm cursing myself for not keeping that eye appointment to have my prescription ...ahem....augmented.  (Can I use augmented here?  Oh, well, I'm going to.  It sounds more humorous than updated or increased.)

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx

I'm nearing the end of chapter six in Her Dark Baron.  My goal is to complete a chapter a week, so I should be ahead of myself in this arena.  Four or five chapters to go!!  I'm watching my step as I go, not wanting to turn my dark, dangerous baron into a 'nancy-boy' now that he begins to fall in love.  I hate when that happens.  Well, not on my watch!  Ha!

Pouring through information on the 1600's via my great friend, Google, I have to say that a few facts I'm searching for seem almost non-existent!  For example, I wanted to determine if the term gentlemen - or the term good sir - was more prevalent during this time.  No luck yet.  Also, I have read countless articles on castle layouts, inner rooms, family quarters - yet can find nothing to pin down when the move from conducting business in the great hall to a separate meeting chamber began.  I admit to being less than efficient at Internet surfing, but can I be this bad??  I guess so.  So, at least for now, the separate meeting chamber will remain in the novella.  I'm partial to it and hope it proves out.

In the news ....and my travels.....

By now everyone has heard that Borders will be closing all its stores.  There was one nearby, and I picked up a few great deals on bargain books.  Death On The Nile, Agatha Christie,  a vampire novel, an historical romance, and two highlander novels sit ready for me to devour.  (If I ever finish this editing...)  I haven't read an Agatha Christie mystery in a few years, and I miss the old gal.  I think I'll tackle that one first.....or maybe one of those strapping highlanders...Yikes!  Do they make them like that anymore?

I also found a few books to broaden my horizons ~  I'll save these for when I'm having an 'intellectual moment'.........(I've actually had this first one for awhile....I started it, but set it aside while working on my novels.  It's time to get back to it!)

The Post American World, Fareed Zakaria

The Post-American World

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.
Groucho Marx

The Brazen Broads posted their cover Cheers & Jeers.  Where do they find these?  Anyway, it's a good laugh.

Astraea Press is featuring a number of books that in purchasing, readers can help offer much needed aid for the victims of the Alabama tornadoes and Japan's earthquake.  Stop by and spend a few dollars!  Not only will you get a good read, you'll be doing good for others.

Visit around this week to see what other ROW80 participants are up to.  Best wishes for a great week ~ Nadja


  1. Great job on the editing. I think I have that same auto-correct feature (betting it is "standard" on most writer models) as there always seems to be that one word or phrase that after ten passes leaps and taunts me. Ah-ha, see you missed me!

    Keep up the great progress, Nadja!

  2. Tell me about it! I completed a first read through, and now that I'm on the second, it's amazing the taunts I'm encountering. Sheesh! But I'll find those darned mistakes! I've got four weeks to read and read and read. And tweak. (Will I always determine there's a better way to say something? I guess so, it's in my nature.) Ha! ~ Nadja

  3. You're doing a great job -I don't envy you with the editing -I have to read it outloud to pick up the mistakes as my brain has a tendency of skipping these tiny mistakes! Patience is a virtue and it seems you have that in abundance! Kepp up the great work. :)

  4. Word by word editing does sound a bit of a painful process...more technical than the editing I have been doing which is scribbling 'add in some dialogue here'!

    Keep up the good work...we are a month in!

  5. Hee hee, I've got katze liebe! But Zutchka's very cute.
    Loved Death on the Nile. It was one of the first Agatha Christie that I read.
    I hear you on the copy editing - I love copy editing and could do it all day. But for my own story? Makes me cringe every time...

  6. Good luck on those edits. I'm more likely to drop whole words or throw in a similar sounding but completely wrong word (like yesterday typed get instead of kept, sheesh).

    From my closing Waldenbooks, I grabbed the 2011 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market, Happily Ever After (a collection of short stories) and Delicious and Suspicious written by one of the authors on my blogroll.

    I'll probably be back there again to snag something else before they shut down. Not looking forward to the idea of having to drive an hour or more to a bookstore. Shopping online just isn't the same.

  7. Ah, the editing woes. I read aloud, too; but sometimes I have to read sentence by sentence too!

    I'm jealous of your Borders trip. Our local Borders was one of the ones that closed several months ago, without the deep discounts.

    I love your hund! Have a great week, and enjoy your reading.


  8. ahh, line editing, I always miss obvious mistakes. I see what should be there rather than what is there. Best of luck for the week.

  9. Psychology nerd here! For most of us, when we read, we don't read every single letter, but rather read the most important parts of the word and then sort of "guess" at what it should be. That's why people recommend editing by changing up your experience of the text - print out, read aloud, change up the font, what have you. Whatever it takes to make the experience just a little bit different for our eyeballs.

    I'm also reading an Agatha Christie book right now! Murder on the Orient Express. She's great, isn't she?

    Sounds like you're making great progress on the editing front!

  10. Oh man, editing. I just finished copy-editing a chapter from a colleague's dissertation, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I've found that reading aloud helps me, because it forces me to pick up on those words that I would otherwise skip.

    Now then, your research conundrum about the use of the term "gentleman." I'd suggest checking out the google n-gram viewer, which allows you to search their entire corpus of books for certain terms. I tried searching for the term 'gentleman' between 1600 and 1650, and this is what I got (sorry for the long link): http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=gentleman&year_start=1600&year_end=1650&corpus=0&smoothing=3

    Oh, and there's more info about the n-gram reader here: http://www.culturomics.org/Resources/A-users-guide-to-culturomics

    Not too sure about separate meeting chambers, though.

    Anyway, good luck on getting through the rest of the edits, and have fun with the new books from Borders! I'm going to have to head over to my local store and see what booty I can pick up.

  11. Thanks to everyone for the editing empathy....:) Misery loves company! But all in all, I'm glad to be doing it. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right! Have a great week! ~ Nadja

  12. Great post! That reminds me. Time to edit ^_^