Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Boy, I’ve been busy the last couple days up to my eye balls doing some critiques. But it’s fun. I’m afraid I come off as really, really, extra, super, uber-mean. I don’t try to be mean, just helpful. I like to really get in there and examine the sentence structure. Not like I’m good with the grammar, but I try to fix the awkward sentences. And obviously, passive sentences aren’t really my thing. The fun thing about critiquing work is that you get to read stuff you wouldn’t normally read. I just read a sci-fi romance. Hunh. Pretty cool, considering I usually stick to the historicals. When the mood strikes, I go for contemporary. I just like to pick on the historicals because I go, that’s not accurate. That’s wrong. Yeah, I’m one of those people.
Lately I’ve been entertaining a new notion. I’m curious about steampunk. What’s steampunk, you say? Well, I’m not really sure. Ever watch the movie (I guess I’ll never stop making references to movies) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Or for that matter, I’m thinking Sherlock Holmes. Sorry, but I like Robert Downey Jr. I think it’s the eyes. Anyway, they’re clearly not your typical historically correct movies. They make use of some modern type devices. As best as I can puzzle out, this is sort of the idea behind steam punk. Wouldn’t it be fun to write a steampunk romance that was sort of historically, but used some modern type devices? Would it ever! (At this point we’re asking, gee, how many pies do you have your fingers in? Hey, I have ten fingers, thank you! Once I got an accurate numerology report that said I was a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. Yep.) But I don’t really know what the whole thing is about, so I’m not playing too hard with that idea. Although I have a plot and two super-awesome characters if I ever figure out what’s what. All my best ideas come to me in the shower. Probably because I’m really relaxed. It would give me a chance to use some humor, which I don’t do a lot of when I write historicals. My biggest problem is that I can’t find good resources to figure out what it’s about. Wikipedia was entirely too encyclopedic.
Interested in steampunk? Here are a couple of links I found:
Brass Goggles

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm Invading Your World

I was thinking about all the mistakes and passive sentences, all the things I miss when I’m reading C&C. Then I think about all the errors I catch when I’m proofreading someone else’s work. I figured out why I catch those things, but I miss mine. Because I know all this stuff about it. Oh, there’s a passive sentence? I missed it because I was busy screaming my head off at the carpet python or I was dusting a shelf in the parlor. I told instead of showed? Sorry, I was anguished because Jonah’s being… well, Jonah. Or I was snapping peas with Farjana on the porch.
That’s the difference. I have to work harder to imagine someone else’s world than I do my own. When someone says I tell too much, I keep thinking, what are you talking about? Oh, right it’s in my head, not yours. Hmm, I guess I’ve got to work on that.
It’s snowing. Again. They’re calling for 2-5 more inches. I’m just so excited I could… run away. I’m sick to death of the snow. I can’t remember the last time we got this much. Just when you can see the ground, we get more dumped on us. And if it’s not the snow, it’s the mud. Seriously, when the mud is slicker than the packed snow, you’ve got a problem. I haven’t had my car up to my house in over a week. It gets old when you have to hike up and down a hill every day before and after work. At least I can get to work. It might be worse, like for instance, icy. In January 2007, we had that bad ice storm and were without power for 11 days. I thought I was going to go crazy. Pretty sure I cried every day because I wanted a hot shower, something microwaved, and to be able to read by lamp instead of candle light. Once I used a glow stick. You can read about one line without having to move the stick down to read the next line. So much for pioneer spirit, eh? So a little snow, really not a big deal, but it sure would be nice to wear shorts and flip flops. To get a tan and have a barbecue.
Oh, and I learned something new today. Hooray for learning. I try to do it frequently. Today I learned the difference between toward and towards. Let me first say that I hate it when people use it this way: “Joe went towards the door.” No, he didn’t. He went toward the door. He did, he did, he did! You’ll never find towards in one of my MS’s, unless it’s an error. Then I’ll fix it. The difference? Well, apparently toward is the Americanized version. The fine folks in the UK prefer towards. Sorry, lovely British friends, I love you all, but I like toward better. But feel free to use towards, I won’t correct you.