January 2012


I’m surprised at people who don’t know the rule about danglers. I suppose it’s a bit like the offside rule in football. I must admit I don’t understand that one, but as I’m not interested in football I’ve never bothered to find out. Danglers though… if you’re a writer, that seems an important one to know.

I saw another example here yesterday:

After moving to a 5-2 lead in the decider, Murray played the game of his life to break to love and then held another three break points at 5-5.

It looks okay – if you don’t know about tennis, that is. If you do, it doesn’t make any sense because, if Murray had been leading 5-2, he wouldn’t have needed to win any more games to get to 5-5. No, it was Djokovic who was leading 5-2.

When I gave a presentation on editing, I created this slide about danglers:

Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, he told them about the new policy.

Happy dangling!

I have to face up to it. I’m never going to write 100,000 words in 100 days, which is what I pledged set out to attempt to do by joining Sally Quilford’s challenge.

BUT I’m not disappointed. I have written something every day since the challenge began. Sometimes I managed over 1,000 words. Other days I wrote fewer words. Today, I wrote all 120 words of a whole piece and that’s enough for today. I shall spend the rest of the day reading, editing and critiquing.

For me, writing 1,000 words every day is too much. Writing something every day is possible and is a practice I plan to continue after the challenge ends.

Happiness is being proud of your achievements.

I’ve read two recent blog posts about foreign settings in books – one by Rachelle Gardner, the other by Nicola Morgan.

In my son’s English class, when he was about nine, the pupils were made to read an American book written totally in a dialect I found hard to follow. My son didn’t understand it at all. When the same book was suggested for my younger son’s class, I complained and the book was changed.

There’s no point in reading a book you can’t understand, but as long as you can, does setting matter? Personally, I like to read about places I’ve never seen. I also like to read about places that are familiar.

What about other readers? Are they usually interested in books set in foreign places? Apparently, Americans are less willing to read books with foreign settings than readers in other countries.

I have another question about setting. I generally set my stories in England, where I used to live. I would like to write stories set in Israel, where I live now. But I think readers generally expect specific topics to appear in any book set in Israel: war, political conflict, etc. I think they believe Israel is one of those countries where it’s impossible to lead an ordinary life. Am I wrong?

I knew it really, but I wanted to write it anyway, so I ignored the obvious problem.

You see, today is the third day of Sally Quilford‘s challenge: to write 100,000 words in 100 days. On the first day, I wrote a short story of 1,552 words. On the second day, I wrote a short story of 1,131 words. Today I wanted to write a poem and I did. It took me more than two hours to write and contains 183 words.

So now my total has fallen to below today’s desired minimum of 3,000 words and I don’t have time to start something new.

I knew that really: poems take a long time to write although they don’t usually contain many words. Oh well – I enjoyed writing it. Here it is:

I am – I am not

I am a wife.
I feel secure
With D in my life.
Long may it endure.
 
I am a mother.
Three children I raised –
Two sons and one other
Now adults. I’m amazed.
 
I am a sister.
Though he’s far away
With a different vista,
My family he’ll stay.
 
I am a dancer.
“How come you can?”
I don’t have an answer.
It’s just how I am.
 
I am a writer.
I hide away
And make my world brighter
With words I can’t say.
 
I am sensitive.
I fear that you see
All sorts of negative
Traits in me.
 
I am clever
Though most never know.
I hardly ever
Let that show.
 
My figure is trim,
Of that I am glad.
The battle to slim
I’ve never had.
 
I am outgoing.
“How’s that?” you ask.
That is by knowing
The other’s a mask.
 
I am a presenter.
My speech could reform
Your view. From the centre
I love to perform.
 
One thing I’m not
And I’ll continue to cry
Till the lie doth rot:
I AM NOT SHY!

WordPress sent me a report for 2011. Included in it was this:

These were your 5 most active commenters:

Thank you, Sarah, Rosalind, Cat, Mike, Jean and all the other commenters. Without you, I’d have given up long ago.

Happy New Year!