The Auld Mug


So yet again The Auld Mug aka The Americas Cup remains in the US.

Like most sponsored sporting events these days, its all down to whoever can pour the most money into the equation determines who will emerge as the winner. Or, in this particular instance which team’s technology is best, plus the makeup of the crew based on each individual’s competition sailing experience, no matter their citizenship.

Back in the not too distant past when the likes of bad boy Dennis Connor was at the helm of the US boat, the race was held between sovereign nations who used actual recognizable yachts, funded by billionaires. No longer. These days futuristic wind-tunnel designed catamarans are in vogue.

This time round the race was not necessarily between nations so much as a fight between a major US based corporation – Oracle and its international crew, and the tiny south Pacific nation of New Zealand, sponsored by Emirates.

What is really interesting about the 2013 Americas Cup is how in the deciding race yesterday there was only one American in the US crew. The rest was made up of a mix of the world’s best sailors from Australia and New Zealand, plus one Brit hired as tactician for the race – Sir Ben Ainsley, the Olympic sailing gold medalist.

As an ex Kiwi, to me that says a lot about the current low standards when it comes to competition sailors in the US. Plus let us not forget that when it comes to the Americas Cup, our US cousins are not above cheating. Just think back to when Dennis Connor ruled the US entrant each time. He was an absolute master when it came to employing dubious tactics in the past.

Funny how big business hates to lose a prestigious event like this. When it comes to the Americas Cup, the US simply must win at any cost. What ever happened to sportsmanship and fair play? Did Oracle insist on a rule change when it comes to the nationality of its crew members for fear of losing? After all, until yesterday New Zealand was in the lead by eight wins to one. I leave that for you to decide.

When it comes to winning within the world of competition sailing, nothing really changes…

One other tiny point to consider – both catamarans were built in New Zealand.

What Ever Happened to Book Editors? By Marjorie Braman, independent editor and consultant…

More useful reading for all writers…

Thomas Rydder

I blame my parents for my love of reading, but I blame Scott Berg’s biography of Maxwell Perkins (Max Perkins: Editor of Genius) for my desire to become an editor. Fitzgerald! Hemmingway! Thomas Wolfe! Encouraging one novelist to drink less and write more; massaging the ego of another; wrestling the wild imagination of a third into readable form. Was Perkins a collaborator? No. Cowriter? Absolutely not. But he was an invaluable “second eye,” trusted sounding board, and gentle critic. It sounded to me like my true calling. But in my time, editing for a publishing house wasn’t quite so simple.

A publisher once said to me, almost in passing, “We don’t pay you to edit.” The real message was: “Editing is not crucial. If you’re an editor, what matters is acquiring.” After I’d left in-house editing and was being courted by an agency, the…

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Tips on How to Edit Your Own Writing by Author Sandra Miller

More on editing…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Sandra Miller

You have come up with a great idea and you managed to translate it into words? You are surely happy with the result of your work, but now comes the really tough part – editing it. Talented writers have creative minds and they rarely have a problem creating a captivating story, but the editing process isn’t fun and it limits their creativity. That’s why many of them simply avoid this step, but that is the worst thing you could do because you wouldn’t end up providing your reader with the best possible piece to read.

Why is it difficult to edit your own writing?

There are many reasons that make editing your own work a challenging task. First of all, it is your personal form of artistic expression and it is often painful to do the cutting, redrafting and revising. Another thing is that every single word you’ve written is…

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Is It Okay to Edit Your Own Novel?

Editing from another point of view…

Nic Widhalm - Author

Following last week’s When To Ignore the Editor, I thought I’d further alienate my editing brethren by questioning their importance altogether. Somewhere there’s a cabal of proofreaders burning me in effigy.

Okay, so the title of this blog is misleading; of course you should edit your novel (or short story, novella, manifesto, etc). Readers don’t need to see your first draft. But I’m talking about the editing edit now. The proofreading. The line copy. The “bleeding” pages. Is it alright to do it yourself?

The accepted wisdom is “No,” and for several good reasons. I asked this same question on Facebook, and had some very smart people say some very smart things. You’ve read these words for years now, you know this story inside and out, you need someone else to tell you what’s wrong. You need perspective, and the best way to get that is by hiring…

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More from The Next Age

The Next Age 2

Yet again here is another snippet, as before out of context and sans dialogue – there’s no point in my giving away the plot now is there. After all, at this stage of the proceedings my job is simply to intrigue you the prospective reader. Oh, one other thing, before my American cousins chastise me for the way certain words are spelt, I must point out one tiny detail – I am an Englishman. Consequently I write using the original form of my native language, English English and no other. 

Now read and hopefully enjoy…


Prior to the suffering inflicted by the meteor bombardment, various political commentators were often to be heard quoting the hackneyed phrase – a week in politics is a long time, when referring to the fast growing anti CEDF movement which was still gathering momentum at an alarming rate within rebellious political circles across the entire planet when the fleet returned.

As for the men and women serving alongside Glen, the last two months spent defending humanity from extra-terrestrial threats in the depths of space, far from their love ones and the reassuring sight of the Solar System’s planets, not to mention being able to see the constellations once more in their familiar configurations as viewed from Earth, seemed like an eternity.

So much had changed at home during the time they had been away. The world’s infrastructure had ceased its struggle to repair itself after the destruction caused by the meteors. Or to put it another way, what was left of the world of big business finally had to admit defeat, collapsing never to be revived in the immediate future, or indeed ever again under the present set of circumstances.

By now the number of dead had risen to well over five billion worldwide. Still not buried or cremated, their rotting corpses were fast becoming a major health hazard as they slowly broke down. Inevitably bodily fluids entered the water table. Feral dogs and cats picked through the remains looking for a morsel of flesh after wild carnivores had fed from the countless piles of bodies.

Clouds of flies and mosquitos were attracted to them by the gut wrenching odour; passing on many diseases to mankind when they laid their eggs on freshly killed meat products, which were already a major health hazard that normally would never reach the consumer markets, because of the radioactive particles still being broadcast via the winds, that were inevitably ingested by the unfortunate animals as they grazed, prior to them being butchered to feed the hungry masses.

Circumstances could no longer be described as normal by any stretch of the imagination. By now mankind had also begun killing and consuming its household pets, simply to stave off hunger. Daily life for those still fit enough to forage consisted of only one thing, seek out the location of your next meal and kill anyone you deemed to be in competition with you for that meal.

When something like the meteor bombardment destroyed vast tracts of our planet ending civilization as we know it, it had taken a surprisingly short period of time for us to revert from what we previously thought of as a normal, cultured, advanced society living in the thirty-second century, to an existence comparable to that of our cave dwelling ancestors from thousands of years in the dim distant past.

No living creature was deemed to be safe from our re-awakened primeval inbuilt natural instinct for predation when it came to our survival. When you are dying from starvation as countless millions undoubtedly are, it matters little where you obtained your next meal, or what it had previously been when alive. Nor does it matter that the water, beer, milk, wine, bread, meat, fish, fruit, rice and vegetables you are consuming is contaminated, providing you get to live for one more day.

Rather than risk being infected themselves, armed gangs of survivalists shot on sight anyone they deemed to be disease ridden whenever a group of strangers were seen approaching from the direction of a known location of bodies, hoping to join a community. Survival at any cost had replaced any former humane feelings towards the sick, the starving and the dying.


Meanwhile in Washington, as a consequence of the political revolt and with no effective backing from the senate and congress, Brewer had been forced from his post as Commander in Chief of the CEDF in what amounted to a bloodless coup by the world government alliance, after information about his presidential directives to Glen was leaked to what now passed for the international press.

This revelation had not been broadcast via the use of computer links, radio, or television satellite broadcasts, because they no longer existed since the technology they depended on was destroyed in the initial meteorite bombardment. Instead it had been passed to the world’s remaining politicians via the hastily resurrected, antiquated nineteenth century wireless telegraphy system, utilizing long forgotten submarine cables that still crossed the world’s oceans.

When the alliance learned about what had happened on Sekker and what was about to happen on Orune, they immediately demanded Brewer’s resignation, crossing a line in the sand between what was necessary for humanity’s survival, tragic as it undoubtedly was, and sheer political cowardice. In short, all they wanted now was to sue for peace. The fact that it was already too late, simply did not register with the thousands of politicians involved who had been totally against the formation of the defence force right from the start, particularly since they were prohibited from any form of control by Brewer’s shoot on sight order. Forthcoming events would soon end any further thoughts of an honourable peace between mankind and the rest of the universe for the foreseeable future.

I’m almost at the end of the novella. More later if you are good  😉

Have Computer, Will Read

Don’t have access to a Kindle reading app? You do now. Just clink on the blue hyperlink in this post. 🙂

Jo Robinson

Just a quickie before I zoom off, especially for my blogger friends around the world who don’t have access to Amazon accounts. For any of you who think that you have to have an Amazon account to have the Kindle free reading app on your computer, you DO NOT, here’s the link to download the free software. FREE Kindle Reader Software You can read any compatible book sent to you by email on this software.

With Amazon freebies, you have to open an account. This you can do with a Visa credit or debit card. To qualify to download free books from Amazon in particular, you have to first buy and pay for one. Only one. Then you can download as many public domain or free books as you like.

I’m not sharing this information because I believe that people should only download free books, but because there are a…

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