February 2008

By popular demand, here is the way to add those cute little buttons to the bottom of each post. They are the icons for various networking sites like Stumble, Digg etc. They can drive traffic to your site.

The main thing to remember is that you have to edit each and every post in order to include the buttons. There is no way to modify the html of the template so that they will automatically appear. But once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take long to add them in. (more…)


I started on a new chapter 1 for book IV last night. and so far it is flowing pretty well. This isn’t unusual for me–in three of the four books I have written, the first chapter ends up being chapter 2 or even chapter 3. In this case I wasn’t happy with the beginning of “Beyond the Gyre” as it introduced four new characters, and left the main character from the previous books on the sidelines. I still want to keep the material, but I think having my established characters speak first is going to work much better. Also I can add in some action (and sex) into new chapter 1, which is always good for grabbing the reader. (more…)

I finally got to the part of the narrative in which I kill off a couple of characters, one of whom died rather unpleasantly. It depressed me for two days, but I got through it and finished the chapter. I am pleased with the results, more so than with much of the rest of the book. I have a better, more detailed outline now, and that is helping. But I still have a long way to go. (more…)

Do you have a goal for your writing?

If you don’t, you should. But with a caveat.

Make it a realistic one.

You don’t see too many people who start running one day in their thirties or forties and then suddenly decide they are going to enter the Olympics and win a gold medal. But I know of quite a few people who think they can write a book or two and get published by a major NY publisher with a fat advance. In truth the odds for success are just about the same for the above two scenarios. (more…)

My son started a new school yesterday. He has left the safe world of the primary school he has been attending for the last six years, and now has started intermediate. I walked with him to the assembly hall, and watched as he found a seat amongst some other boys. I couldn’t bring myself to leave right away, so I stood off to the side with some other worried looking parents. My son sat silently, making no attempt to talk to the other students. He looked thoroughly miserable in his brand new uniform and too big shoes. I felt a little miserable too. (more…)

I was writing a scene in which two male characters, finding themselves in a compromising and indelicate situation, handle their embarrassment by resorting to somewhat crude humor. This jest involves a pun on the words “fish sandwich.” I won’t describe it further, on the happy chance any of you end up reading my books.

Then I got to thinking…

When were sandwiches invented?

I used a handy tool I have mentioned before– http://www.etymonline.com/ to discover that the first recorded use of the word sandwich is from 1762. Good in my case, because the events relating to this take place in the late 1700’s.

There is a further question about whether “sandwich” was used with the shade of meaning I have in mind, but I resolved not to be slavish. After all, the world Yrth is an imaginary one, and I think I can take a little license. I think it will ménage just fine.

Fish sandwich, anyone?

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