And while in the middle of an edit …

writerlywitterings

I recently received a book to review: Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris. Now, I should quickly state that I don’t know this lady, except as a delightful correspondent on Twitter, so anything that follows you can assume is not biased.

It is one of those books that will work for a lot of people. It’s friendly, accessible, with a bunch of good ideas. Especially when she is talking about writing a novel. She has a number of little tricks which help get the writer on the way. Particularly useful, I reckon, are her parts on identifying problems and getting the plot moving again.

There are issues – for me. But I am unique, because I’m editing my 33rd novel right now. I’ve got a certain amount of experience with the job. The main thing I was not happy about was the rather gung-ho writing style. It’s definitely a “you…

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Breeze

Voyager_Live_-_Breeze_md

Breeze is a traditional wooden sailing ship similar to vessels used for New Zealand coastal and inter-Dominion trades in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A brigantine, she has a square-rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged mainmast.

Launched in 1981, designer and builder Ralph Sewell intended to recreate a replica coastal trader built in the traditions of 19th century shipwrighting techniques, materials and construction faithful to her type and to that time. In time-honoured fashion, she is built of one diagonal and one fore and aft skin of kauri on sawn kauri stringers. The deck is two skins, one of kauri, one of totara. She is copper fastened and stiffened with carefully selected pohutukawa knees and sawn kauri floors. For modern conditions she is fitted with an auxiliary engine, and the main hold is fitted out as a cabin. Measuring 60 feet with a maximum beam of sixteen foot six and a draft of water of six foot she is neither a large or small boat.

Her powerful brigantine rig spreads up to 11 sails, seen at her best when she won the 1991 Tall Ships Race. Before coming to Voyager, Breeze was involved in sail training with the Breeze Sailing Club. In 1985 she sailed to Mururoa to protest French nuclear testing taking the place of Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior which had been sunk by French agents in Auckland.

Breeze is the jewel in the crown of the Voyager’s waterborne fleet. She is lovingly maintained and sailed by museum volunteers. She undertakes annual journeys to the Bay of Islands and the Mahurangi Regatta, and her heritage features have been required for filming a number of historical television shows.

I was fortunate to crew on her many times…

Found this great little article in February 1977 National Geographic Magazine

Been there, done most of the things mentioned…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Sometimes, for professional writers, anything can be preferable to putting words down on paper. Some Geographic staffers pace the floor aimlessly, some stare intently out the window – at nothing in particular. Still others admit to sudden urges to tidy up; somehow, the worst chores are welcome when you’re waiting for inspiration.

Assistant Editor Mike Edwards, who has produced 40 stories for the magazine, offers this advice to aspiring writers:

Before you start, paint the living room. Fix the gutters. Clean out the garage. No writer should live in a new house – that denies them essential avoidance manoeuvres.”

Do YOU carry out EAM (essential avoidance manoeuvres) activities to get inspiration?

Authors Muse?

(Cartoon accompanying article)

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Huascar

de5dee1cf487039682bedf165b545226Huascar

My great grandfather was serving aboard the Royal Navy Frigate HMS Shah in May 1877, when she was sent to destroy Huascar, which was in rebel hands, in what became known as the Battle of Pacocha. By the time he and the boarding party were close to the Ironclad, they were called back. The rebels had surrendered Huascar to the Peruvian Government.

While HMS Shah is no more, Huascar is now the Flagship of the Chilean navy. For further reading go to Wikipedia at :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu%C3%A1scar_%28ironclad%29

Amazon’s Incomprehensible Algorithm

How Do You Write a Book?

For quite some time now, in fact since my first book was published on Amazon, like thousands of other writers, I have been bombarded by Amazon’s emails concerning my own books. Here is the email I sent off to Amazon HQ on the subject this morning :-

Dear Amazon,
As a contributing author, I have been wondering for quite some time now why it is that your algorithm still sends me emails asking me to commit the sin of reviewing my own books? We all know that the practice is a big no no and frowned upon, so why ask us to do something illegal???

Isn’t it about time that whoever is responsible for your computer algorithm added a few lines of software commands to enable your system to distinguish between an author and an ordinary customer? Plus, while your at it, how about adding a command which stops your algorithm asking me to buy my own books.

Just a thought folks – no pressure,

Jack Eason,

Author of Onet’s Tale, Turning Point, The Seventh Age, The Forgotten Age, The Next Age and Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults…

Will I get anything other than an automated response from Amazon’s algorithm? Doubtful.

Will Amazon bother to correct their software algorithm? Again, doubtful. But at least now they have been alerted to the problems…