Monday, September 30, 2013

I never worked in a fish packing factory

But I wanted to.
Fresh breams on a board

I'd read that in Iceland that they'd had one murder in 35 years. I also thought that I could work six months packing fish to earn enough to write six months without the worry of a day job.

They rejected me  but I never stopped wanting to see Iceland.

Then earlier in this decade afraid the dream would be the proverbial dried raisin in the sun, I decided to go.
My housemate asked if she could come.  Yes, yes and more yes.

Tour or on our own?

I never really liked the idea of tours, but why not--it would guarantee that we would learn things we might miss otherwise. And if we didn't like the others on the tour, we could make fun of them when we were alone at night. As it turned out all the other people on the bus-- from the Swiss postmaster, the widow, the father and son, the newlyweds -- were all good company.

Language of the tour guide? The English trips were not convenient. French was fine with me. I'd given up learning Icelandic years ago.

From the bubbling mud flats, the geysers, the waterfalls, the puffins, a historic village, a black sand beach, the penis factory, the rock factory each day was an adventure. Our guide of the almost fall over large bust was a linguist whose knowledge of the history, language and literature added a depth we would have missed had we been on our own.
I'd read the sagas in English, but to stand in a darkened room and see these historic prose poems written centuries before made me cry--literally.

Why am I writing about this now?

Rick told me that Icelandic airlines is now offering a one day stop over in the capital on its flights from Europe to the US. Although I've no plans to go to the States in the near future, the idea of another stop is a new dream.


An old farming village half under ground to protect residents from the brutal winters.

A modern village in a country with only 315,000 residents, a  99% literacy rate and where they try the politicians who do harm to their economy.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Good Word Fairy

There's a a good word fairy in my laptop who has become a terrible nag.

I've finished the 3rd draft of Murder in Ely including adding all the corrections of my wonderful editor, Julia of the 20 pages.

Then there was the reread where some continuity problems existed. When you take nine months to write a book sometimes you forget a detail and create a new one that just contradicts the earlier one. 

Or I discover a name doesn't work. I had the police detective with the same name as the bad, bad bank...Maybe in real life that would fly but it's not nice to confuse readers.

Then I realized that a character that I brought back from Murder in Geneva, was named Marc in MIG but Mark in MIE. A find and replace brings its own problems such as marced, marceting etc. With find for marc I could find certain patterns and do another global replace for marced and replace it with marked. The same with market. Then a page down by page down to see the red line under a word which questions what they think might be misspelled --that justifies its reason for being.

However, I wasn't still not that happy with the manuscript. I just don't like some of the writing, so now it is time to go back and look at it word for word. I've been:
  • substituting strong verbs for weak verbs e.g. squat is more visual than sat.
  • killing almost all my adverbs...did that with a global ly search
  • looked at ing verb endings. Some need to go, others belong
  • moving sentences around.
  • cutting some sentences out
  • removing repetitions although I thought I'd caught them all
  • Triple checking for continuity
  • Triple checking for chapter arrangement of the two sub plots with the main plots
My publisher is extremely fussy on presentation. Type size, type, spacing between words all have to be just so. That is pretty much done because I try and pay attention to these necessary details from the first draft on, but I still need to add things like title (22 pt. bold Times Roman centered), the acknowledgements, bio, synopsis, cover suggestions, and marketing ideas.

While I was waiting for Julia of the 20 pages, I'd written about 20,000 words of Murder in Schwyz and I really want to get back to it. That murder centers around a cookie factory.

I'm on page 88 with 247 pages to go.

Still the good word fairy says, don't send MIE to the publisher before I'm completely confident it.

Sometimes I'd like to tell the good word fairy to go away. Sometimes I say thank you.