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Proofreading is an art

From the first draft to the second last, my writing partner and I send chapters back and forth. We ask questions, make suggestions, point out errors in time lines, holes in plot lines, identify discrepancies in character development, and highlight the great bits.

Finally, we come to the second last draft—the one that requires the scrutiny for details. Our goal is always to have a “clean” manuscript.

My writing partner puts the chapters into one document, sends it to me, and I send it to my Kindle.

Why?

I’ve learned that reading on the Kindle puts me in “book” mode and I see the things I miss on the big screen. Note that this draft is already formatted for ereaders so I’m seeing what the buyer will see. Periods in the wrong place, a word that just doesn’t work, “is” when it should be “it,” and a couple of times I spot a missing word that needs to be added, or an extra word to be deleted.

I find a few “that” where I think it should be “who.” I make note of them and my writing partner emails back.

Just now I was looking up when to use who and that. It’s okay to use that for a person, animal, or thing. The criterion has more to do with whether it’s a restrictive clause or not (whether the antecedent is named and whether the sentence can stand without the whole clause). 

As far as I can tell from that, it’s okay to use “that” in those cases where I have used it. It’s a complicated thing though.

I see this sentence, Dad had moved to Regina to teach high school there. I comment,

I think at some other point, her dad was teaching in a college not high school.

I bookmark each page that needs attention on my Kindle and then go back to the computer copy to add my notes with Track Changes. No, I don’t scroll through pages and pages to find the one I need. I pick an unusual word on the page I’ve bookmarked and then use Find to get to the right page on the computer.  

I send the file back to my writing partner. She writes, I went through your suggestions. I had found some of them but missed others, so thank you!” 

I offer to read it one more time, but she declines. I know she’ll go through it one or two more times. Our goal is to have an error free document and we get it right most of the time. After all, two heads are better than one.

 

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com

 

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Will I be sorry I threw out my old photos?

 

I spent the last two days going through three huge boxes of old photos from the pre-computer days with the original intent of scanning them to my computer.

Instead I threw the vast majority into the recycle bin.

Why?

  • The photos were not the greatest quality as I didn’t have a good camera in those days.
  • I’m not and never have been a good photographer. I blame this on poor eyesight and (more accurately) lack of real interest.
  • I had three questions as I looked through the pictures. Where is this? What is this? Who is this? If I couldn’t answer even one of those questions, I junked the photo.
  • Very often a fourth question came to mind. Why ever did I take this picture? And to the junk pile it went.

What did I keep?

  • Pictures of family, but only the ones of people I recognized and remembered. Why, oh why didn’t someone label those old photos, I asked myself as I leafed through them. And then, in the quandary of deciding what to do with each one, this question popped into mind. What, I thought, is the point of keeping a picture of some relative I don’t remember? How would I explain who he or she was to my granddaughter? And why would my granddaughter care about a stranger?

Will I regret the great “cull?”

  • I don’t think so.
  • I hope not.

Did I make a huge mistake?

What do you think?

What have you done with your old photos?

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com

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Riding the water taxi home from downtown Victoria, BC, we see a … a … pirate ship? No cannon, no skull and cross bones on their flag, but a motley crew that can only be described as … pirates.

The Amara Zee drifted into our harbour today

A quick check on the Internet and we find that it’s a ship theatre! http://caravanstage.org/amarazee/

Out & About—The bad guys don’t drive bright red cars

Russel Ray Photos

Out & About

Some readers might have seen the news over the past couple of weeks about a giant baby in Mexico peering over the border wall into the United States. It’s over in Tecate at coordinates 32°34’46.8″N 116°35’20.6″W or 32.579667, -116.589056

Location of the giant baby at the border wall in Tecate

Border Wall baby

Yes, we already have a border wall here in San Diego County.

Border wall

Border wall

Border wall

Border wall

Some of it, like in the pictures above, is about ten years old. Other sections, like the numbered panels in the picture below, are even older.

Border wall in San Diego County

Border Patrol agents like to park their vehicles in hidden locations on the top of mountain peaks, which, I’m sure, often results in the following conversation:

BP Agent 1: I see movement. 773.
Agent 2: I see it, too.
Agent 3: Copy.
Agent 2: Oh my God.
Agent 1: What is that?
Agent 3: It’s a little baby!
Agent 1: But it’s got YUGE hands!

Border Wall baby

I call it the “Border Wall Baby.” It was…

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Blurbs are still tough to write. What do you think of these?

 

Blurbs are still tough to write - what do you think of these?

 

Her dream was to go to university. Instead she’s working in a nursing home hunting a killer.

When high school graduate, Bittany Wright, gets a job cleaning at Happy Hearts nursing home, she is terrified of old lady Flo and desperately wishes she could be in college instead.

An unlikely friendship develops between the two. Brittany discovers that Flo, who may or may not have Alzheimer’s, is in grave danger. But, from whom and why?

As Flo’s condition worsens, Brittany scrambles to save her. But, ironically, it may be Flo who saves Brittany.

When the Sun was Mine: If you like suspenseful mysteries with complex and strong characters you’ll love this adult read, hopeful and humorous in spite of the ugliness of Alzheimer’s.

Buy When the Sun was Mine to experience a unique friendship steeped in intrigue and surprising twists.

 

Blurbs are still tough to write - what do you think of these?

The old lady is dead, but she could still destroy him.

When rebel leader, Sidu Diagho, learns that reporter Flo Mc Allister has died, he knows that her power to destroy him is still very much alive.

Flo was with him during the coup attempts. She saw everything, yet has remained silent all these years. But Sidu could still be tried at The Hague for his crimes with her notes the testimony needed to convict him.

Sidu is not the only one seeking to unravel the truth through Flo’s records. How much does Flo’s young friend Brit know? And Flo’s son and his wife? What did Flo tell them?

Sidu will do what he must to find and destroy the evidence against him.

Whispers Under the Baobab: A thrilling mystery—notes in code, unsent love letters—the  story weaving from past to present as the characters race to solve Flo’s puzzles.

Buy Whispers Under the Baobab to join the hunt and perhaps shed a tear or two.

 

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com

Blurbs are tough to write – what do you think of these?

Blurbs are tough to write - what do you think of these?

 

~~~~ EMBATTLED ~~~~

Gifted with superpowers she can’t refuse, her life spirals out of control.

Bounced from a jungle battle, to an Islamist stronghold, to a corrupt Columbian trial, Em Roberts, your average school principal, knows that something is dreadfully wrong.

Now she must challenge “the voice” in her head— the voice that transports her around the world, forces her to face unbelievable danger, and insists she can stop wars.

Will she outwit that voice and end the nightmare, or will she die trying?

EMBATTLED is book one of the Em and Yves series. If you like “soft” science fiction with a touch of romance, then you’ll love the harsh reality and magic of Darlene Jones’s series.

Buy EMBATTLED today to join Em as she “saves” the world.

 

~~~~EMPOWERED~~~~

She’s crazy to build her life on childhood visions, but …

Jasmine Wade, rich man’s eye-candy, trusts in visions she experienced as a child. In them she “traveled” with a woman facing incredible danger and vanquishing evil. Driven by this ideal,

Jasmine is determined to change the world—at least her little corner of it.

Kidnapped, not for ransom, but to be eliminated, Jasmine must depend on her wits to survive.

But where, in this mix, are the aliens who are using her as their tool? Will they be the ones to save Jasmine? And, if not …?

EMPOWERED, book two of the Em and Yves sci-fi series –action, suspense, and human relationships woven into a story you won’t want to put down.

Buy EMPOWERED to enjoy grand adventure as aliens try to “fix” Earth.

 

~~~~EMBRACED~~~~

Controlled by an Alien, Abby must decide if he’s real before she loses her sanity.

When school principal, Abby Davies, hears clickings in the fillings of her teeth she doesn’t understand why she believes they are messages from aliens.

Changing the world was never part of her career plan … but, letters she didn’t send bearing her signature are showing up in newspapers around the world. The things asked for in the letters are coming true.

To complicate matters even more, the alien controlling Abby has fallen in love with her. Is this her one chance for true love?

EMBRACED – Book three of the Em and Yves sci-fi series brings the alien down to Earth.

Buy EMBRACED to see if Abby survives alien intervention in her life and finds love.

 

~~~~EMBROILED~~~~

Inexplicably drawn to the man stalking her, she knows she needs help.

School principal, Emily Roberts, can’t shake her attraction to the man following her. Scared, she turns to the wonderful Dr. David, but even he can’t help her.  Real fear sets in when the stalker claims to be an alien who has loved her in other lives.

Now, trapped in his perfect heavenly world, she is the only one who sees the danger threatening him.

Does she love him enough to give up her life on Earth and stay with him forever … if she can save him, that is?

EMBROILED – From a reviewer “Em/Jaz/Abby/Emily – how are all related? What has Jones done to bring these heroines full circle? To answer that question would be a spoiler. Better to say that some of the story line in this book which concludes the series made me very angry. Involving the reader so strongly in the characters’ lives is surely the sign of a powerful author. All I will say is that the ending is satisfying in every way.”

Buy EMBROILED now and travel with Emily to experience a world “up there somewhere.”

 

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com

 

 

 

 

 

Traversing the Sahara – adventure and romance

Traversing the Sahara - adventure and romance

 

Like an ocean, the desert holds a magnetic pull that mesmerizes us. From Bamako to Mopti to Tombouctou to Goa and all the villages in between, I was forever captivated by the Sahara.

In Whispers Under the Baobab, I tried to convey the majesty of the desert as I had Flo flee for her life with young Josef as her guide.

Other authors have written more comprehensive tales of survival in the Sahara – Jane Johnson, for one. Her romance / adventure stories are captivating. Here are two that I particularly enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse

Exploring Victoria, BC is always a treat for you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.

Fort Rodd Hill,


 

a coastal artillery fort, designed to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base,  was built by the British in the 1890’s. Three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements remind us of a bygone era.

The lighthouse glimpsed in the first picture is the first lighthouse on Canada’s west coast. It’s still in operation although there hasn’t been a keeper here since the light was automated in 1929.

Built by the British in 1860, when Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada, Fisgard’s red brick house and white tower has stood faithfully at the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour. Once a beacon for the British Royal Navy’s Pacific Squadron, today Fisgard still marks home base for the Royal Canadian Navy.

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com

The wisdom of kids or Deciphering the family tree

Munchkin: Grandma, who’s that?
Me: That’s my mommy’s mom when she was a little girl.
Munchkin: Oh, so that’s mommy’s grandma.
Me: No, that’s your mommy’s great grandma and your great great grandma.
Munchkin: Oh, I get it! The older you are and the more time that passes, the greater you are.

http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com