April Update: 5 year writing project

It’s all taking much longer than I anticipated, but I’m getting there. Slowly

do you have goalsI’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.

I am supposed to be sending my finished novel, The Reluctant Scribe, out to agents. But, instead, I’ve been focusing on my non-fiction book, Walking the English Coast.
Continue reading “April Update: 5 year writing project”

Punctuation made simple (and funny….)

Who would believe a book on punctuation could be so amusing? If you have ever been stumped by the apostrophe, confused by the colon, or dithered over the humble dash – this book is for you

eats-shoots-and-leaves by Lynne Truss, recommended as a book for writers by Ruth Livingstone Just finished reading Lynne Truss’s wonderful book: Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

Who would believe a book on punctuation could be so amusing?

I wish my English teacher had the same entertaining style and ease of expression. If you have ever been stumped by the apostrophe, confused by the colon, or bewildered by the humble dash – this book is for you. Continue reading “Punctuation made simple (and funny….)”

Metaphors – can you can have too many?

My journey through the furrows of a book, where literary gems lie strewn amid the tumbled weeds of a partially ploughed landscape, strewn with half collected crops of obtuse words, overworked adjectives and obfuscated prose ….

Tangled Jungle, photo by Ruth Livingstone.
Can’t see the wood
for the trees.

The use and abuse of metaphors

Just read a book of short stories (Dr Mukti and other tales of woe by Will Self) and found myself drowning in a sea of muddling metaphors, distracting similes and obscuring adjectives.

Here is an example of a metaphor used in the book: ‘this was only the lull before the storm hit the frail vessel of his foundering career’. This is not the greatest of metaphors but, compared to some in the book, it is reasonable in the context of the story. Why is this a reasonable metaphor? Because it conjures up a useful image for the reader and adds an element of suspense. From this metaphor, we are aware that the character is in difficulty at work and we are waiting, in anticipation, for the storm to strike. Continue reading “Metaphors – can you can have too many?”

Worst Science Fiction Book Cover Art ever?

For anyone interested in science fiction, particular old sci fi from the middle part of the twentieth century, I recommend Joachim Boaz’s blog, Science Fiction and other Suspect Ruminations.

I laughed and laughed at this post (see below). Actually, I don’t find this cover particularly offensive. Just rather silly.

Has anyone got any suggestions as to what the story might be about?
– a woman who turns into a shark at full moon?
– an alien woman who keeps a shark as a pet?
– a man meets an alien woman who bites and scratches …. (perhaps I better stop there!)

Egregious Science Fiction Cover Art: The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch (1975), Michael G. Coney I nominate the cover of Michael G. Coney's The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch (1975) as the worst I've ever seen.  I've submitted it to Good Show Sir so hopefully it gets posted on that hilarious website soon.  Kelly Freas is considered one of the best sci-fi artists of all time — but this, is there an explanation for this pathetic/sexist piece of ___? Perhaps if I knew what the book is about (the internet doesn't give me any clues) — I m … Read More

via Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Iain Banks

Just been listening to Iain Banks, in a Q and A session on the
Unbound blog site.

He is a great science fiction writer and has found success in both the world of science fiction and the world of literary fiction (two genres normally divided by millions of light years of empty space). It is fascinating, both listening to his reading and, even more so, listening to the answers he gives to questions. You can hear his enthusiasm and his imagination – simply bursting with ideas.

I particularly liked the part, right at the end, where he says:

I do read science, but I simply dispense with it when it gets in the way of a good story ….. shameless, I know.