Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Writing Check List

Draft Check List


______      Print out story in different font

______      Read story once without markings

______      Read story again this time mark it up, describe why changes needed /how you’ll do it

______      Make a list of ‘set ups’ with page number and list ‘pay off’ with page number.

                                Ex: talk about a pool table, and then use it in a later scene

______      Rank the worst scenes, throw out the #1 rank and work the others in order (Bell)

______      Gather all opening paragraphs. Are they varied? If not change.

______      Gather all ending paragraphs. Do they make you want to read more?

______      Digraph dialogue. Is there a sense of tension? Purpose? (Bell)

______      Cut out character thoughts, instead show how they feel.

______      Describe one thing in the room, not the whole room (Bell)

______      Describe each main character without saying what they look like or what they do.   

                          Can’t then they are flat and need fixing.  (Star Wars)


______      Make/print out calendar for the story. Check dates.

______      Are minor characters interesting. Make them unique and add to the drama of story

______      List the themes. Do the threads carry throughout the story?

______      Check that each chapter flows onto the next in a logical order

______      Skip around in the book. Does every part feel like it’s written by the same person?

______      Have fun


            I just printed off my novel and stuck it in my desk to be forgotten.  So while waiting for the time to pass I devised a checklist to help with all the revisions. A lot of these I’ve taken from James Scott Bell and his Revision and Self Editing for Publication book. His book was such a pleasure to read, and I got so many tips from it. Another tip I got from listening to Julie and her youtube video on the topic. The Star Wars one about being able to describe a character by not what they look like or what they do is from another youtube video by redlettermedia. I hope that, perhaps, this checklist might help someone else out.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Old in Out

A new dress arrived in my mail box today. I do try to keep a rule of any new clothing items I buy something must go.

Wondering what I got or what I decided to take out? Take a look...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day VS. Night Writing

I never gave much thought on if I generally wrote at night or at day. Most of my days are spent working and before that school, which considerably shrink the day hours. There was a year in high school that I would wake at 4 or 5 to write. Now I set my alarm precisely at 7:18 to get all the sleep I can. (Why have a normal alarm set to 7:15 when I can get three more minutes.) By the time I get home, eat dinner, and make a pot of tea it’s naturally night. So would this mean I was once a day writing, but now I am a night writer?

I guess the best judge of my current writing habits is on a free weekend. Most of those are spend with the  document containing my story open, but rarely do any words get added until tea time (3 o’clock for me at home.)  I feel off write without this pot of tea. Yet once the pot is emptied I can continue into the hours of the night.

Perhaps I should do a test and the next day I’m free make a pot in the morning and see if it carries me away to the world of words. Until this very scientific study can be conducted I’ll simply tell everyone that I write when there is tea. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Recent Favorite Outfit

I often take photos of my more dressy outfits. I took one months ago, and I’m surprised by how much I’ve grown to like it. At the time perhaps I thought it was cute, but by not taking the ironing board out of frame I know I didn’t think too much of it.

Yet, once it filed along with the other daily photos I realized I love it.  I love that my hair is up. I love the bright red flowers in my hair that catch the red of the bracelet. I love how even though the stripes in the dress are the color of dried blood they look a bit pink next to those deep red. The white from the bolero picks up the ruffled edge of the dress and the socks. The folds in the bag recall the heavy use it gets. Finally the shoes, though a more cream and now darkened by dirt, I love how dreadfully whimsical they are. I love how the flowers in them pick up this faux pinkish created by those more vibrant red. I love this outfit, but more perhaps I love that at the time I didn’t.

Have I changed since taking this photo? Have I suddenly become less extreme, and these more simple lines strike a deeper cord in me now. No, I think now I just realize that even the simple everyday outfits deserve love. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I do enjoy scones with my tea. They range from sweet to savory, but I prefer mine with a mild sweetness. I like for the clotted cream or jam to be the star. I  do admit that I haven’t tired too many savory scones. I always wanted to make scones with goat cheese and even cut out a recipe or two for them, but never tired. (I fear no one else would like them, and I would have to eat them all myself!)

Recently, I made scones apple-walnut-cinnamon scones that I cut out from the September/October 20012 issue from teatimemagazine. They are rather easy to make and everyone at the meet seemed to enjoy them. I’ll put the recipe down below with a link back to the site. Perhaps you’ll try your hand at them!

2 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cold salted butter
1 cup diced, peeled green apple
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips
2/3 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

• Preheat oven to 350°.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
• In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar, whisking well. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add apple, walnuts, and cinnamon chips, stirring to combine. Set aside.   
• In a small bowl, combine cream, egg, and vanilla extract, whisking well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture comes together and forms a soft dough. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until uniformly moist.)
• Using a levered 3-tablespoon scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of scones with turbinado sugar. 
• Bake until light golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What to post about tea

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to put more tea related post up. At first I thought I would review teas.

For example…Rose Congue tea (my favorite tea) is a black tea infused with rose. It has a floral note but not enough to make you think of Bath and Bodyworks soaps.

I would add a picture of the leaves, shivered black things with pink, artfully displayed inside a teacup. Yet an element is missing.  Mostly you wishing you could drink the tea or at least get a good sniff! This goes deeper when I say the teashop I bought it from has since returned to the quant Victorian house it once was.

So tea reviewing was out. I thought I could review the local tea houses, but then I remembered I don’t like them and would rather make my own scones than have any of theirs (that is the few ones that actually had scones) So reviewing the horrid tea places around town was out.

The only thing that remains is the tea, and how I came to enjoy it. I like tea. I make a pot every day. So occasionally I will post tea habit of mine.

Friday, January 3, 2014

EGL wardrobe post 2014

Since 2012 I’ve participated in the EGL, elegant gothic & Lolita, wardrobe post. You post all your egl clothing and show it off to everyone in the live journal community.

 I enjoy posting mine since it allows for easy viewing of all my clothes at once. You can really see what your closet is lacking or what you have too much of. In my case that would be outerwear. (Capes and bolero jackets are so easy to throw on and make an outfit something completely different.)

I also enjoy looking at what other people post. You have a chance to view items that you’ve never seen before.

You can see mine here