Archive | March 2015

Eleventh March Blog

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Eleventh March Blog 28-3-15

Rooster Booster.

Wakening in the early morn,
Rooster crows at crack of dawn.
His cockeral sound, a raucous noise
To wake the hens, his earthly joys.
But, … in the vicinity,
The farmer’s eyes blink sleepily.
He knows he has to rise each day
To check his herd of Charolais.
To milk the gentle Jersey cows,
Then with the tractor, off he plows.
In the fields, the furrows steady
To hold the seeds, when spring is ready.
He blesses time the rooster crows
As off around the farm he goes.
Joyful is the rooster’s cry,
Lifting voice up to the sky.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. march, 2015.

Starting off with a poem. I like to write poetry about different things, especially when the mood is there and flowing all around me. Today was a day spent in waiting. So it is good to write when time allows this evening ( Thursday 26th).

OK, it is now Sunday. Was called to get up. Watch said nearly 8 a.m. But my phone said nearly 9 a.m. as did the microwave. Stupidly I had forgotten that the clocks went forward this a.m.!!!!!!

So, another early morning when I did not expect it!

Northern Climes.

Now the hour has come at last,
Daylight later, what a blast!
Darker in the morning, Dudes,
Just for a while in these latitudes.
For soon, the dawn will early rise,
Near three a. m., in the morning skies.
And so the evening sun will set,
Eleven p.m., if it’s not too wet.
Happens in the middle of June,
Not wishing that time, any time soon.
For that will mean the summer half done,
I want to enjoy the springtime sun.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. March, 2015.

Short one today, folks. Have a great week.

Evelyn

Today’s Quote

I bought ome Blue butterflies for my cards, only this morning. These are beautiful.
Evelyn

Soul Gatherings

butterflies

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things
that escape those who dream only at night.

~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
___________________

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2015. 3 Comments

The Back-Story Ratio

More thoughts to ponder.

pilesofpages

Every book needs to tell its readers a little about the character’s history. Even small details like what sort of school they went to, where they worked their first job, or which traits they dislike about themselves can give a huge amount of motivation and purpose to their actions. My teachers always told me “If you don’t know the name of your protagonist’s driving instructor, you don’t know enough”. But where do we draw the line? When does a compelling back-story become useless filler that your reader would much rather skim past. It’s a delicate balance.

Image by Donna BarberImage by Donna Barber

Character and Plot

Any back-story you include should help to develop your characters or plot in a meaningful way. Ask yourself if that piece of information will be relevant later on, or if it helps to build the attributes which define your character. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider cutting…

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Trimming your Description: How to get your Word Count Down without Cutting the Plot

Lots of good thoughts here. Must check my novel in edit.

pilesofpages

A surprisingly large amount of new authors overshoot their word count and end up fretting and panicking over the idea of having to remove a character or a side plot to whittle their monster manuscript down to a reasonable size. But I know of a very common problem with longer manuscripts – and even some short ones – which could save you from the pain of making major plot changes in your cutting process if it is fixed.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure (and the free time) to read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables then, first of all, my respect for you has just grown. I got about half way through that book before I just couldn’t take any more of the needless tangents and painstaking description. Not that it’s a bad book at all but there is one major feature in it that no new author could ever get…

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The Proof Readers Poem

Phantom Proofreader sticky-note
Phantom Proofreader sticky-note (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don’t usually ‘do’ poetry. It’s not really my thing, however a friend posted a poem on my facebook page and I remembered that back in the distant past (2012 I think) I wrote this tongue in cheek set of guidelines for proof readers.

With apologies to serious poets everywhere, I present,

The Proofreader’s Poem

If you’re the kind whose writing flows

from word to word in perfect prose

don’t think there’s nothing left to do

once words are found and phrases too.

There’s one thing left; you have to check

the grammar, don’t let spelling wreck

your careful words, your charming phrase

don’t leave your reader in a daze.

Move to the end, work in reverse

or read aloud, be bold! Rehearse!

Correct it all before you send

so publication can’t offend.

Check out your use of their and there

apostrophes and all, beware!

Be accurate with homonyms

and passive voice – a writers sin.

Check its and it’s, they’re often wrong;

its name is something which belongs

to it, and every single day

its name is spelled the self same way.

So, when you write, please write with flair

but let your watchword be take care

check before the publication

grammar, spelling, punctuation.

Remember, if you get them right

your business interests will take flight,

the millions that you surely crave

will flood right in, so please be brave.

Be ruthless when you proof read prose;

build links so your web business grows.

For anyone interested, parts of this were inspired by an old public safety announcement which I think appeared on the BBC, all about the need to wear a hard hat on a building site.

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2015. 2 Comments

The Future looks a Little Brighter…

WE should all see this poem as a way for the future.

anitadawesauthor.com

14-year-old’s reversible poem takes web by storm…

the-poem-our-generation-136388009151403201

When this poem is read from start to finish, it paints a pessimistic picture about a world where a generation is obsessed with money and power.
But by following the instruction at the end – “read from bottom to top now” – the meaning – like the poem – is reversed.

The flipped poem paints an optimistic picture about hope for the future and paints a very poignant message – even more poignant because of the author’s age.

After gaining attention for his younger brother’s poem, Derek Nichols said the poem took Jordan just half an hour to compose and said: “I don’t get how he’s so smart”.

“His poem is nowhere near making this world a better place, but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.

Here is the poem when read from top to bottom.

Our generation will be…

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Tenth March Blog.

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Tenth March Blog. 26-3-15

Weird Avocado!

Do you, or are you able, to always buy or even pick, just-ripe avocados?

During the summer, I might splurge out on ‘ready-to-eat’ avocados. However, in the winter, IF these are available, then they going to be that much more expensive. So, what do we do? We buy those bullets that purport to be avocados.

They are green ( mostly) and like rocks, and totally inedible. So.o.o.o……how do you make them ripe enough to grace your dinner table? In the past, I have tried all kinds of ways, seldom succeeding to any great degree. Often I forget about them, only to find, some weeks later, a smelly, squidgy mess in some bag or other, totally useless for any cullinary purposes, or, they are still hard as bullets and of no use to anyone. There is nothing worse than a hard avocado! ( I quote!)

However, a method has been devised by my relative. It still means hiding it in a bag but…the bag is one of those that have a metallic sheen on the inside. Our particular one, I believe, is from Lidl, but no matter. It has to have a sealable top.

Place said avicado bullet into foiled bag. Place with it, a friend. More likely than not a semi-ripe banana. Close lip of bag. Roll bag around itself so that a lot of air is pushed out of bag. Properly seal top of bag. Leave in cool place for several days. Check after 3 days, keep checking every couple of days. Replace banana if it is too ripe. Placing new semi-ripe banana up against avocado, remembering to check avocado, just in case it may have ripened enough for you to eat. At this point, it is wise to check more often, certainly every day, lovingly squeeze top to see just how ripe, or otherwise, it may be.

When you deem the avocado is ripe enough fo your purposes, remove from foiled bag, discard the banana, or eat, if you prefer.

Now use avocado in whichever way you chose.

Everyone has their own method of ripening unripe avidados. This one is mine!

Short blog, have a good week everyone.

Evelyn

Is it Really a Pear?

How nice is a ripe avocado?
All green, and creamy within.
Blended as fine guacamole
Minus, of course, the green skin.
A great little mixer for salad,
A sub-tropical sheer delight,
If you’ve never tasted avocado,
Just try it for supper one night.
Of course, not everyone likes it.
That fact is often to be said.
But it has lots of good things within it,
You can have it with salmon and bread.
I am just happy to eat it
With salad cream, not mayonnaise,
By adding old tomato ketchup,
Prawns and some lettuce, ‘Salad Days’.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. March, 2015.

Ninth March Blog

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Ninth March Blog. 24-3-15

Sunday (22-3-15) I saw my first bumble bee of the season. As it is still a bit chill, it made me wonder, as none of my flowers are out yet. Then I remembered that plenty of trees around here are in blossom. But in that case, it should have been on the other side of the road, where the trees are blooming. Perhaps the breeze blew it my way? Who can tell?

We get a few bumble bees each year. There is actually a nest in the house wall out back. But they have never really bothered me, even when I put a soft net screen in front of the nest to cover up plants I wanted to bring on. They found a way through, under or over the net, carried on with what they needed to do and left me in peace. After a couple of months or so, they moved away to where other plants were in flower. I suppose at some point, they must lay eggs or go back to the wall to hibernate. They do help pollinate my blackberries, and blossoms on the cherry tree, though not many were pollinated last year. It may have been a bit chill early on, as it is right now.

These bees, for those not au fe with bumble bees, are quite large creatures. A joy to watch them going about their daily work, always with a purpose in mind. OK so we know pollination happens but their purpose, I think, is gathering pollen and nectar for the young. So feeding the young bees, and themselves, is one of their main goals.

I do wish, on the really bad springs, that there was more around for them to gather. That is partly human fault. Many hedgegrows have been razed, many orchards too, and deforestation plays its part. Losing our bees is bad. All bees, not only honey bees. They all play their part. As do other insects, but we are losing bees at a rate of knots these days. Bad air can affect the bee population, I m sure. I do not know enough about bees and bee-keeping, only enough to know that if we let them die out, we will suffer too. Be that bad or good, other creatures also depend on pollination for food. Can we really be oblivious to their worth?

Honey, Honey.

Oh bee, your dance is precious,
Upon the hive’s fine stage,
You wiggle and twizzle to show them,
It seems like you’re in a rage.
But no, you point the direction
Where nectar can be found,
Where pollen can be gathered
Around this collecting ground.
Up high in the trees, all blooming
With blossom juice to pluck,
To take back to storage hive,
From where honey bees suck.
We need their strong endurance,
Their tireless harvest work
For all the fruits and plants
We use, a job they do not shirk.
Our food source would be lessened,
And hunger we would know,
If bees became a rarity,
So beware, before they go.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. March, 2015.

Be careful out there today, everyone.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on March 24, 2015. 5 Comments

Eighth March Blog

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Eighth March Blog. 20-3-15.

Standing on the little bridge, Aria leant her elbows on the top rail. She gazed soulfully at the crystal clear water running over claret stones, intermixed with multitudes of grey, white, black, and green where river herbs grew beneath the current. Some parts further downstream became turgid, hugging overgrown banks where willow tree tracery branch tips trailed into the cool, languid water.

Small stems, covered in silvery leaves, hung limp in Aria’s hands. She had carried them some distance and the heat of the afternoon had dried them out. Tossing the stems into the water now would cause them to react differently than if they were fresh from the branch.

Gazing into the distance to where stream and banks coincided, she weighed up the pros and cons of the toss. Past her current horizon she knew there were rapids, this was where the test would count. Her friend Polper was waiting downstream ready to hook her stems out of the water, if they survived, that is.

If they disappeared altogether, then that would be disastrous. He must spot them and hook them out, he must, he must!

—————-

So many ways to write about water. This can apply to all kinds of medium. Dust, boulders, earth, rocks, sand. It depends on the type of story you are writing. I personally think that description of some kind is needed in what we write. It could be about buildings, or clothing, if you write about animals, then descriptions do not go amiss.

Back in the day, we were enjoined to leave out most descriptive passages. I never adhered to that theory, went my own way, describing what I wrote so that my reader might see in their mind, what picture I was trying to portray.

Was I justified? Have I been doing it wrong, all these years?

Personally, again, I don’t think so. I have read many books in the last 10/20 years where description has enhaced the writers’ stories. Long may they continue, say I. But many psuedo-classical writers have somewhat less descrptive passages, and I believe they lose out because of this.

I am not the fount of all knowledge. This is only my personal opinion, and right or wrong, I am sticking with it. I shall continue to write in my own way, come what may. On my own head be it.

Happy writing, people. Happy reading, for those that do not write ( or read and write).

Evelyn