The Friday Poem: Sleep Disorientation


Editing the Ellipsis for Ebooks

Three Wooden Pieces Depicting the Countdown from Three to One

Publishing in any form is a journey each time with its own learning curve. I published a book of poetry on my own last year and learned several things about formatting the ebook, though I don’t think I got it quite perfect for all the different ways it can be viewed. I was, however, very happy with the print copy.

This time around I’ve been working with an editor that my publishing house, Tirgearr, assigned me. Author and editor, Lucy Felthouse, has kindly answered any questions I had. I was quite concerned by the sheer number of changes in the first draft but she told me to take it one at a time, and it went pretty quick. The second one went even faster. (The final read through still caught a number of things I hadn’t noticed before.)

One thing that I learned from her was in regards to the use of ellipses in an ebook. I had learned that the proper format for an ellipsis was space/period/space/period/space/period/space, with an additional space/period if the ellipsis came at the end of a sentence.

I noticed that Lucy was eliminating the initial space after the word. I asked why that was, if there was a different style guide that I should be referring to than I was used to?

She explained that the reason she eliminated the space was because in publishing an ebook, if the text wraps around, the sentence can become disassociated from the ellipsis and that can cause a great deal of confusion. I will remember that in the future.

Now, my book has been turned in to my publisher, and I await the next step!

The Friday Poem: But what?

A Friday mystery poem. Anyone care to take a stab at what changed, or continue the story with their own?


Editing Update: Oy vey.

proofreading english document

Editing my paranormal romance, Earthbound, has proven a little bit trickier than I expected.
I opened the document and decided to look at the summary of changes. Track changes said there had been over 3,500 changes made to the document. Yikes!
Apparently it counts every single little key stroke or something.
I went to review it but found that I couldn’t really follow the little light gray cursor as it jumped from change to change so I decided to print out a copy and review it that way then make the changes needed.
Big mistake, I added a lot of work for myself. Next time I’m going to play with screen resolution, brightness, and color saturation until I can see that darned cursor.
Finally, I got into the meat of reviewing and editing. I never realized how much I overused simple words like “that” and “but.”
Then there’s the phrases that I overuse, like “eyes narrowed” and “took a deep breath,” not to mention all the smiling and nodding that went on.
Oy vey. However, this too shall pass and I will have a completed book.

The Friday Poem: In the Dark


Writing Update: Somebody Knows

I do not know how to fill out form

Thank goodness for writer friends!

I’ve been struggling with this story and one of the elements that really had me confounded was whether the main character was part of the Marines or Navy during World War II.
He couldn’t be both, right?
For certain aspects of the story, it made far more sense that he was part of the Navy, but for other parts it made more sense that he was a Marine.
I put this conundrum before some friends and . . . it turns out he CAN be both, just not at the same time.
A friend brought up a story about someone he knew of who had been in the Navy on D-Day then honorably discharged and not much later joined the Marines.
Problem solved.
It is good to have writer friends with whom you can complain . . . I mean “discuss” the problems you are having with your story.
It’s good to have friends to discuss your problems with, period.

The Friday Poem: No More Flip-flops


Writing Status Update: Clothes Pegs


I haven’t written much historical fiction and certainly not something for which there is such a good historical record. Writing something of this nature has advantages and disadvantages. It requires a good bit more research than my regular fiction.

To that end, I’ve been reading Iwo Jima Recon: The U.S. Navy at War, February 17, 1945 by Dick Camp. It has a huge amount of information on the Navy Underwater Demolition Teams – how they volunteered for the job and the training, as well as the Japanese fortifications, bombardment of the island prior to the landing, timing of events, and everything else relevant. It has been fascinating.

I also watched the 2002 movie Windtalkers with Nicholas Cage and Adam Beach. That was much harder. It is a very realistic movie in some ways, depicting the confusion and horror of battle. It was downright nauseating for me at times, but useful.

When writing a story, I try to make use of whatever filters through my brain, and applies. While writing this story, I had a dream that I was in a small house that was picked up, largely intact, and carried into a huge tornado. The next day I wrote that in as part of the back story for one of my two main characters.

At our last writer’s group meeting, a work-in-progress from another writer sparked a discussion on the difference between a clothespin and a clothes peg. That night I dreamt of carving names into clothes pegs so that got written into my story as something a main character’s girlfriend does to remember people who have volunteered for military service, as she hangs the laundry to dry or takes it in.

Now I’m working some more on that big story picture – plot points that I know have to be there and the reality of timing during the reconnaissance with the fictional movements of my characters.

I’ve learned far more than will ever go into this story, but hopefully it will enrich the narrative the way a good broth base does for a soup.