Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 06

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

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Editing a Western Romance Novel “Dust, Unsettled” 05

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Continue reading

Editing a Western Romance Novel “Dust, Unsettled” 04

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Continue reading

I was shooting crows this past weekend.

CrowI’ve been feeding crows for more than a dozen years. They’re interesting creatures, ones who’ll attack eagles in the sky yet race away from starlings as the small birds protect their nests. Crows are clever birds, and can use simple tools to complete tasks. They even have a unique flock name: murder.

When it comes to crows, people either love ‘em or hate ‘em. The haters usually dislike the large black birds because too many times they’ve looked out to find their garbage ripped apart and strewn about by the scavengers. I’ve never been one of those victims and probably never will be since my crows know where their feeding ground is and because I never throw away any type of food in the garbage. If it can’t be fed to the chickens and can’t be composted, I throw it to the crows.

Bologna, wieners, pasta, cake, dried cookies…you name it; they get it. It’s a great way to dispose of food instead of putting it in the garbage. My crows are usually at the feeding ground as soon as they see me approach with my offering. They call in their friends and family to share in the feast.

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Nailing a Picture for a Book Cover

Dian Lynn McGyverHere I go again. A few months ago, I tried to get a suitable head shot to post alongside my published work. The pictures turned out okay, but for some reason, the quality was poor. I thought I had sufficient lighting, but the images appeared grainy. You can read more about that here: Exposure Time.

With a paperback novel set to come out in the next month or so, I needed a sharper image for the cover. Although I’m not eager to get my picture taken, I realise it is part of the writing business so accept the necessary evil.

I’m not the only writer who thinks she needs 101 snaps from which to choose just one that might pass as okay. Laura Best was in the same situation not long ago. You can read her post here: A Wrinkle in Time.

I’ve been using a camera since I was about eleven years old, and I worked at a photo lab for more than two years, so I’m no stranger to photography. I’m far from perfect, but I can take a reasonable picture when the need arises. However, I seldom step in front of the lens, and as you’ve probably guessed, it’s time-consuming and very difficult to get a good picture of yourself when you’re behind the camera. So I had to recruit a photographer to work the shutter.

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Exposure Time

I knew it would arrive sooner or later, but like digging out dreaded Christmas decorations, I had put it off for as long as I could. Then one morning I downloaded my messages and found the request sitting there, like a cat with enlarged pupils, ready to pounce.

An editor asked for an updated headshot to accompany my genealogy column, Roots to the Past. I had to face the music . . . er, the camera. After all, I couldn’t write forever with a picture taken in 2005, could I?

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The Stylish Blogger Award and My Favourite Things

AwardI wasn’t aware there were awards for blogging – I’m that new to Blogland. So when Laura Best bestowed The Stylish Blogger Award on me, I was quite surprised. Thank you, Laura.

Upon receiving this award, I’m to share five of my most favourite things. I’m going to skip the obvious – family, friends, writing – and move into my other five favourite things, things I’d like to enjoy every day, but don’t always get the chance to.

1) Sunshine: Whether it’s pouring through the windows, dancing on the water, revealing magic dust on minute snowflakes, highlighting my children’s hair, dappling the forest floor or cascading on my skin, I love it.

2) Cranberries: Cranberry sandwiches every day for all my school years have not turned me against this wonderful berry. I still love it. I eat them as a sauce in a bowl or on bread, in loaves and muffins, squeezed into juice and when nothing else is available, from a can. But the best way to eat a cranberry is in the fall when they are ripe and ready to burst. I love to pick one, put it in my mouth and test the strength of the skin until it explodes with flavour.

3) Music: It makes me laugh, curse out loud, smile, cry, think and dance. In 3.20 minutes, a song can make me consider another way of thinking, give me ideas or make me happy. Life without music would be unbearable.Diane Lynn Tibert

4) My camera: My love for photography is as old as my love for writing. After all these years, I’m still fascinated by the fact that I can capture an image in a fraction of a second. My many thousands of photographs remind me of a life that has passed. Long after the day turns into history, I can look at the pictures and remember my children as they were when they were toddlers beneath the table covered in Jello powder or surrounded by their stuffed animals the first day they moved from a crib to a real bed.

5) My pencil: It records my imagination in words and images. My first novel was written in pencil in a coiled Diane Lynn Tibertnotebook. Pencils of various quality and abilities have a special spot on my desk for quick notes, entries into my day planner and to work out a scene in a novel. My pencil creates visuals of my characters, reminds me with a quick sketch that they have long hair, wear their sword on the left or are missing a finger. I will never master the pencil, but I certainly have fun trying.

Now I have the pleasure of passing on The Stylish Blogger Award to five bloggers.

  1. Sandra Phinney: Sandra is an amazing writer based in Nova Scotia. She’s published in many formats including book, newspaper and magazine. I was fortunate to meet Sandra in 1999, just when she was getting started and I was dreaming of getting started. She has always been an inspiration to me.
  2. Jodi DeLong: Jodi is a garden writer based in Nova Scotia, author of Plants for Atlantic Gardens. I’ve been reading her gardening articles for many years in different publications.
  3. Thea Atkinson: Author of The Secret Language of Crows, Pray for Reign and others. Thea is based in Nova Scotia.
  4. Tracy: I recently discovered Tracy’s blog. I find her posts interesting and make me stop and think about my own life.
  5. Genevieve Graham-Sawchyn: Genevieve is a historical fiction author and editor based in Nova Scotia. Her posts contain helpful editing tips among other things.