Archive | January 2016

Content Editor, Anyone?

Lots of interesting information here.
Evelyn

disappearinginplainsight

Storyboard - Guenette photo

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. – Arthur Plotnik

Since I self-published and began to read widely across genres in the self-publishing world, I cannot count the number of times I’ve said, “I wish I could have had a crack at this book before the author published it.” I realize that sounds egotistical but I cannot help myself.

You see, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with a gifted content editor in my own writing. After taking apart four novels and reconstructing them to be as sleek as I ever thought my writing could be. Comments such as – jarring, unnecessary, redundant, unclear, doesn’t make sense, loose construction etc. etc. – have pushed me to more hours of rewriting than I care to count. But thank goodness!

I suppose the…

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Fifth January Blog.

Fifth January Blog.

Fashion or Passion.

A dress in pink,
Will make you think
Of heady days, in gay ways,
When life was young,
New songs were sung,
You were the belle
Of every ball.
Steeples rang,
With happy throngs.
Not like today
Where some wear thongs.
How fasihion changes
When we grow,
The world of change
And passions flow.
Followed by those
Who want to differ,
And pepetrated by some who suffer
For their artistic bent,
Long gowns, short sleeves,
Flapped and rent.
Colours blinding in the sun,
Or sombre tones,
Crafted by gnomes, it would seem.
Patterned and plain.
The trends of fashion,
Pushing and shoving
To be the best, that will prevail,
Skirts or harem pants,
Whatever you fancy.
As long as it covers.
Some have a passion to wear, have a ball.
But most think fashion means little at all.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. January, 2016.

I know the younger generation these days find fashion the best, mist provocative there ever was. Flaps added to a T-shirt type top, that flap down below the derriere, harem pants that flop around the ankles. Wide-leg trousers, tight tight jeans, skirts to the ground or up to the crotch. Worn in weather that is bittely cold. They little kniw or care, seemingly, that getting their legs and bottoms very cold, when young, cn lead to all kinds of oroblems with their legs and whatever in later life. They do not thiink about the future, and what stupid actions now, for the ske of fahion, can kead to a they get older, where they will then tell themselve ‘how silly I was’.

Am I wrong in thinking that the yourh of toda6’seldom think in this way? I suppose we might have been the same in our own youth, except for the fact that the much olderh ones amongst us, lived in a different time where clothing was much more repressed, more expensive, and less money was available to spend on things to wear. Not only that but uf, like myslf, you were a bit on the tubby side, you really could not buy clothes to fit, nothing fashionable at any rate. But, in hindsight, these times were a trifle dour or fashion was only for those young things who had money. I was able to nake a few of my clothes. I re ollect my teenage years as being tight skirts or full skirts where we would weat loads of flouncy petticoats , so that the skirt stood out around us, like Victorian dresses. Great for rocking and rolling, jiving and such.

Now I am nit really certain what us the fashion these days. Perhaps it is that I seldim bother to look, other than most girls and woman, myself included, misyly wear jesn or trousers. More than that, I cannot say.

If we look back at English historical dress, it is a fascinating journey. Trends have bern around forcenturies, though changes mistly occurred in mens’ fashion, it apprears to me, than with womem, and although the female changes did occurr,, dresses were still long and presumeably, got in the way, as they would today.

Of course, fashion mostly applies in temperate countries. Very hot or extremely cold, I would suggest, has its own sense of fashion, dictated by prevailing weather conditions.

I must cease now. I apologise if any typos have occurred that I have nissed in eit due to my eyes beung full of gel treatment that has yet to dissipate.

Be careful out there in thus often mad, bad, world.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on January 26, 2016. 5 Comments

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website

Lots of interesting facts for a technophobe, like me.
Evelyn

Clued Up Web Design

Wizard_kingdoms

Last week, I published a post on my author website here about my first week as a freelancer. My aim when I left my paid job just before Christmas was to concentrate on my writing and writing related activities, specifically, proofreading. So one of the first things I did when I started as a freelancer, was to set up this new website for the business. I mentioned this in my blog post last week and received so much positive feedback about the new website that it made me take my WordPress skills a bit more seriously. It also led to some work on someone else’s WordPress site and some enquiries from other people about whether I could help them with theirs 🙂 Needless to say, if you have a WordPress site and would be interested in some help, do please get in touch! Just click here to send me an email.

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2016. 5 Comments

Fourth January Blog.

Fourth January Blog.

Looking at Life.

Were I a camera, I would
Blink my shutter at roving
Stars crossing the nighttime sky.
Their headlong march, and
Myriad faces, blinking back at me.
I would share their awesome
Lights, across a cavernous divide
Of deep space. Infinite, intriguing,
Mysteriously beautiful.
Earth, the one knowable life-giving
Ball of rock where self awareness, lives,k
Is but a grain of sand, a speck of dust,
Set in the outlying arms of a minor
Galaxy, rolling around an insignificant
Sun. The only planet where life is sustained.
Does this make humankind potential Gods?
We are, but a mircrobe by comparison,
Of planet rulers. Dinosauric flesh
Lived for infinitely longer, by comparison.l
Surely they were true Gods, of their era?
Their size and stature, roaming the
Continents, their flesh becoming so
Useful to this intelligent predator.
But have we learned to live well
Amongst those that survive with us?
Doubtful, to be honest!
I, the camera, would be crushed to
Learn the immutable truth.
And yet, I always knew it, deep down.
Its abiding purpose is now to conserve.
And yet, do we? Really?
My film is ending, disappearing into the void.
My Lens clicks slower,
I, the camera, fades.

Cooyright Evelyn J. Steward. 2016

How many people, in this day and age of fast work, go, go, go, on the move, or tied to a desk, a computer, game consol, think about where we come from?

Not the immediate past, for that also is not just forgotten, but seldom acknowledged, or even a couple of thousand years, to which we in Britain and Europe can attest, but the long distant past?

The past where majestic creatures roamed Earth, are those I am thinking about. O.K. Dinosaurs have been bad and good in Hollywood films. We have been fascinated by what they may have looked like, their size and various shapes. What I am talking about here is their legacy.

No, we are not directly descended from dinosaurs, ….or are we?

Not in a silly way. Where I am going with this is that, had the great dinosauric flesh not died out, would we be here today? Perhaps we would, but equally possibly we would not, not yet, maybe?

That aside, going by what is the theory that, as they died out, quickly or slowly, whichever you believe, small mammals took their place. This is now generally thought to be the way we, eventually, evolved. Whether you believe this, or not, I will go with this premis. We, as humans, were not dumped down here as we are today., so I shall also assume that better minds than mine, have agreed, that we evelved ftom ape-like creatures. Not apes themselves, for it is said that they were a different branch of the tree of life. Again, everyone has their own opinion ( like the conspiricy theory that we never went to the moon, it was all a fix up …..so the theory goes. Personally I do not subscribe to that particular theory),

But looking at what experts, in their field, think about the Cosmos, that life at all has to have certain conditions even to start to crawl out of the illuvial mud, we must go with their ideas that sentient life grew from cells, then ameobas in the mud. That when dinosairic flesh was eradicated, mammals took over. The Earth’s structure changed, strange animals grew, even atranger animals developed leading to humankind. That is the gist of it.

Some now say that evolution will throw us top beings aside for something even better than us, when time to evolve has taken place ( or we blow us, and or the planet to Kingdom come). You and I will never know. For life is short. We cannot see into the future. We can only look back at the past, take lessons and act on them.

But do we? Will we? Will the younger generation even serl to look at what has gone before? On todays analogy, I doubt it?

Be safe out there. Enjoy life, it is such a short space of time.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on January 18, 2016. 2 Comments

Third January Blog

Third January Blog.

Calm Waters, Flocking Gulls.

By the headland,
Over the tides,
Gulls flock, idly
Skimming by.
Buffeted by wind,
Lifted aloft,
Seen by farmers,
Couple in the croft.
Ducking, hovering,
Wheeling in the blue,
Diving for crabs,
Shelfish, mussel or two.
Over calm waves
On a summer’s day,
Gently lapping shores
Where children play.
Where dogs race
Across the wet sand,
And owners stroll,
Towards the headland.
Oh how peaceful,
Idyllically serene,
My favourite place,
A beach/dune scene.
Foam created
A salt water tide,
Rolling gently,
Here I will abide.
Hearing the sound
Of sea on the shore,
I could die in peace
Be part of it no more.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. January, 2016

I suppose most of us have a dream place we would like to be able to go to, even if only in our heads. Let’s face it, the majority of us have not the funds to buy a country cottage, a town apartment, a house fat away in some exotic location. Or perhaps a hilltop retreat, a fanciul outhouse in the middle of a wooded copse, a tranquil river view, a cliffop paradise.

For some, this special place would be a haven to recharge our batteries. For others, the writers aming us ( let’s face it, thete are oodles of us on FB) a place of serenity to think up our next novel, book of poems, set of articles etc. A home away from home where we can be at one with ourselves, with Nature or surrounding rooftops ( if town is your choice). Where we can leave the world and its pressures behind. For we all know that living today, in this modern electronic world we have created, full of pressures of one kind or another, Is hard.

I guess eeking out a living was never easy. I understand and concur but, todays pressures are more stressful on the mind, in my humble opinion. How many people today are suffeing from stress-related problems such as depression? More than the average person would think. Because it is a hidden’ medical problem, the vast majority do not recognise it as being a disease at all. “Oh, she is feeling a nit depressed today!” And they go on to talk about other things, as if that was an end to it. Not fully realising the depths to which the depressed can sink to, how it affects not only the sufferers, but those around or living with the sufferers

I digress.
Right, that special place could be, for some, on another world, one that had yet to be discovered. Another could dream of trundling though a mysteious Jurassic world of vicious flesh-eating dinosaurs. Not for the faint-hearted! But then, you go to that place, because it is your dream, not someone else’s.

Me? I have loads of places. Each piece of wtiting, for me, has a foorway, a toadmap, that takes me to a special place. Yes, even this blog has an ooen pathway to transport me somewhere different to where my physical body resides, whilst I am therr. Whilst writing, my mind often wanders amongst the flowers and trees that grow in this place. It shows me what creatures live here, what sounds they make, what colours they are, what places they like to inhabit. They show me routes to take and things to write about that might otherwise be hidden from my view. Such is the wealth of the imagination, my placr of my dreams.

There are good people and good things in this world. But there are also bad things and bad people. Watch your judgement, and be safe out there.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on January 10, 2016. 2 Comments

Second January Blog

Second January Blog.

Surging Tides.

Waves lash the deserted shore,
Gulls hovering, riding the wind,
Screeching as they dive for fish,
Or scrabble amongst each other
For a piece of fish, a muscle, clam.

Foam flecks the pebbled beach,
Its bubbling sound fizzes
Like a lemonade bottle just opened.
Then crackles against flotsam.
Rough branches, ripped and tossed
In the tide, dig sand depressions,
Circles, shaped by ocean currents.

Winds whistle, straffing across dunes.
Eddies of sand puff into the air,
Strewn across ridges, clinging
To dune grass, yellowed by sun,
Blown by gales.

This is the unquiet sea,
An ocean of tides dragged
By Lunar forces, this way,
That way, carving out coastal patterns,
Determining where land resists
The pull of oceanic forces.
The Master of This World.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. January, 2016.

Buried Treasure. ( part 3)

“I’m D. I. Mathers. Who phoned the Police?”
Mary stepped forward towards the man. He was not wearing a uniform. “I did,” she admitted.
“Right,” said the detective. “Now, please tell me what you saw and anything that you can think of that might help.”

Mary started telling D. I. Mathers about seeing sonething shining, scraping away some sand and finding the hand. He also took her details, then questioned the man, whose name turned out to be David Reed.

“Do you often walk on this beach, Mr Reed?”

“Yes detective, very often. Connie, my dog, likes a good run every day, when the weather is amenable.”

Mathers eyes were flint-hard as David Reed told how he walked his dog along these sands more often than not. Looking from Mary to David, Mathers took in their expressions as they spoke. Their demeanour, assessing the truth of their statements.

Connie started to get agirated. She still had plenty of energy as their walk had been cut short. Whining, twisting the leash, getting entangled in Mary’s legs, Connie wax a bundle of activity. Mary almost fell over in her avoidance the leash, of falling onto the sand and trying to miss falling on Connie.

“Naughty girl,” said David sharply, tugging on the leash. Connie quieted, sat beside his feet, bur her tail still wagged, just a little! “That’s better. Are you alright Mary?” He looked a bit sheepish, she thought as he used her first name. But she really didn’t mind. Dogs were a good way to gt acquainted, she mused to herself, and he seemed like a nice man.

D. I. Mathers had stepped back to where the sand was being carefully dug out. There wasn’t a lot of space, and the tide was creeping in. The special team were under pressure to remove the remains before the sea obliterated the scene. They worked faster than normal under these extenuating circumstances. The water would very soon wash away any evidence, if there was any, so speed was vital.

Mary Dean and David Read, plus Connie, his dog, walked back along the beach towards the next set of steps. It was about half the distance they had both walked before, but higher up, nearer the sea wall. Though this part of the beach was wider, it would still be covered at high tide. Mary could not resust looking over her right shoulder, along the sea wall to the vans and cars where police and mortuary people fussed around, getting the find safely hidden. Though by now, she saw that a small ctowd of onlookers had been cordoned off.

“The sea has lmost reached the wall,” David said. “I hope they got everything out.” Connie sniffed around by the handrail, seeking out the scent of strange dogs. “Stop that, Connie!” David gave her leash a small yank. It had been an upsetting day for his dog. Him too. But, he had met Mary. He appreciated meeting new people. Life lately had become stale. Same thing, day after day. “Would you like to go for a cup of tea. or coffee? You must be a bit chill now, standing on the beach longer perhaps than you intended?”

“Well, that would be nice. All this has unsettled me a little. Thank you. Will your dog be alright?”

“Oh yes, there is a small cafe we often stop at. They don’t mind my bringing my dog inside on a rough day. Here, take my arm to cross the road. Not that I think you are infirm or anything,” David assured her, ” it’s just that these police vehicles are moving this way.”

Mary took his arm. They had just passed the centre of the road when an ambulance and police car rushed past them, driving towards Seaton Villlage. “That was a near thing,” burst out Mary.”

They all hopped onto the pavement. Connie had started yapping again at all the hassle. “It’s just along here,” David told. Mary. She remembered the place from some years ago when she walked this area more often. They turned into the side road where the cafe kept a couple of tables in ftont of the glass. It was a bit windy today though so they went inside.

David ordered tea for both of them and an extra cup in a bowl for Connie. “Nice and hot. I bought a bun each. I exoect your’re a bit peckish now?”

Mary nodded, a light smile on her face. She rubbed Connie’s neck to settle her down. Removing her gloves, she rubbed her hands to remove the chill. David passed the sugar and milk, then poured from the pot. “Hmmm! Just what the doctor ordered,” Mary told him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So far, so good?

Stay safe. Keep warm, or cool. Enjoy life as much as you can.

Evelyn

Connie the dog
Mary Dean. Heroine
David Reed. He
D. I. Mathers ( police dete