EDITING 101: Now covers 50 topics to date… from Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Reblogged from The Story Reading Ape: If you haven’t come across this extremely useful series, head on over…

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FYI – Here’s a list of the first 50 free editing tips my good friend and Professional Book Editor Susan Uttendorfsky, the owner of Adirondack Editing, has presented so far.

Catch up with any articles you may have missed by scrolling through the list below and clicking those that are in Blue, Italic and Underlined.

Those still in black are not yet available, so stay tuned for the weekly updates.

EDITING 101: 01 – Introduction and ‘Redundancies’

EDITING 101: 02 – Description Depression

EDITING 101: 03 – THAT’s the Problem in Revising

EDITING 101: 04 – Character Name Consistency

EDITING 101: 05 – General Plurals

EDITING 101: 06 – He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags

EDITING 101: 07 – Consecutive Versus Concurrent Action

EDITING 101: 08 – Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript

EDITING 101: 09 – Cutting “ly” Adverbs and Enhancing Scenes

EDITING 101: 10 – What Happens When You Die? – NOT in a Metaphysical sense

EDITING 101: 11 – Using a Thesaurus

EDITING 101: 12 – Directions and Impossibilities

EDITING 101: 13 – Self-Editing Part 1

EDITING 101: 14 – Self-Editing Part 2

EDITING 101: 15 – Self-Editing Part 3

For the rest of the list, click here: EDITING 101

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Nightmares…

the-nightmare-henry-fuseli

I woke sobbing this morning after a fitful sleep filled with nightmares. Not the kind where the monster with dripping fangs chases you like a scared rabbit through the set of a Hammer horror movie. Those are easily dealt with… wake, smile and turn over. Okay, possibly a quick glance under the bed, just in case… No, these were the nightmares of ‘what ifs’, the hidden fears and worries that seethe deviously below the surface of the mind until they find an outlet in dream.

I seldom have bad dreams these days. There was a time, when the nightmare persisted, both in sleep and in the light of day, when reality itself was unrelieved by waking and the daily terror of opening my eyes brought worse fears than the night. It was a time followed by hope and worry, punctuated by flashbacks and questions to which each answer seemed more painful than the last. But those days have long ago slipped into the realm of memory and the rich well of experienced life, exorcised by achievement and laughter.

I could say I have no idea what caused the nightmares last night but I would be lying to myself. The trigger was my sons. Worry for one of them, who I dreamed was calling me in the middle of the night… a sure sign that something was wrong… and watching the other walk across a room at near normal speed… an astounding achievement in the face of the past eight years. Yet in spite of this, it opened the door of memory and resurrected old fears long dismissed but which left their scars on my heart and which, every so often, remind me of their presence.

Once the nightmare is in full gallop the vulnerability creeps in and all the other doubts and worries surface. All those what ifs that everyday reality holds. From the most mundane financial niggles, through the emotional fragilities to the health issues…. all the possibilities and unlikelihoods decided to play themselves out in a facsimile of reality on the cinema screen of dream.

It is the very plausibility of these nightmares that make them so heartrending and terrifying. In sleep we do not have the clarity of choice that we do when awake, nor do we have access to the strengths and experience that make us who we are. We are simply the victim of our own oft unspoken and unexamined fears and we wake in a fragile solitude, crying like a child in need of comfort.

But dreams, although they may dredge up and highlight the hidden agenda of our fears, are not the reality we face each day, nor are we as helpless when we are conscious as we are when caught in their toils. We can use those dreams and nightmares to find the roots of our fears…those deep-seated things from which we hide… and exorcise them, one by one. Even nightmares have their uses.

So in the cold light of day and over the third coffee, I call one son to make sure I was only dreaming and that he is okay. We talk for a while, because actually, he wasn’t…but he hadn’t called. Then I take out the nightmares and examine them.

With my whole being awake and aware I can see the flaws and inconsistencies in the dreams. I can turn and face those fears which have a foundation in reality and deal with them, admitting their presence and validity, admitting my own vulnerability, yet choosing to face them straight on, looking them in the eye so to speak, armed with a lifetime of experience and an arsenal of learned strength.

After all, what use is being awake if we choose to let the terrors of sleep rule our lives? The freedom of clarity can shine into the darkest corner of our fears and show that the monster lurking there was merely a shadow in the moonlight.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Three Steps to Heaven… Suart France

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“Sure, ’tis a wondrous thing of beauty to so confound the rational mind.”

The Aurally Man

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Step One: Infinite Dimension

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Step Two: Find the way and follow it…**

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Continue reading here

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Fantasy #midnighthaiku

Unimagined worlds
Scattered by the morning mists
Wake the dreamers’ dream

Posted in Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Guest author: Victoria Zigler – Catching Snowflakes

First of all, I’d like to take a moment to thank Sue for inviting me to do a guest post about my most recently published poetry collection.  So… Erm… Thanks, Sue!

So, as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of Sue’s blog, she recently published a post discussing the uncertainty of fish.  In the comments section of that post I mentioned a poem I’d written when my thoughts strayed down a similar path to the one Sue’s thoughts had taken on the day that inspired that post.

At the end of April, I published the poem – along with a selection of other poems I’ve written – in a poetry collection, which is available in eBook and paperback from a variety of online retailers.  I hope to make it available in audio too at some point.  To read all the poems, you’ll have to buy a copy of the book.  However, here, for your reading pleasure – at least, I hope you find reading it to be a pleasure – is the poem entitled “Defining Reality” that sprang to mind when reading Sue’s post:

“Since reality is based on perception,
And perception is all in the mind,
I often have to wonder,
How is reality defined?

Your reality is yours alone;
It’s what you hear, feel, and see.
But your reality is different to mine;
There’s no other way it can be.
So my reality isn’t real to you,
Though it sure seems real to me.

Since reality is based on perception,
And perception is all in the mind,
I often have to wonder,
How is reality defined?

What is real, anyway?
What you see? Or what I do?
Whose perception is the right one?
Am I right? Or are you?
How can we ever be certain,
If what we see is true?

Since reality is based on perception,
And perception is all in the mind,
I often have to wonder,
How is reality defined?”

If you’d like to buy your copy of “Catching Snowflakes And Other Poems” – the collection in which the above poem appears – you can do so from the following places:

Smashwords     CreateSpace     Barnes & Noble       Kobo      iBooks

Amazon UK     Amazon US         Amazon Canada     Book Depository

You can also find the book listed on Goodreads.


Find and follow Victoria

Blog     Website    Facebook    Amazon    Smashwords

Goodreads    Twitter@VictoriaZigler


Kelly, Kero and VictoriaAbout the author

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time, such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking. To date she has published eight poetry books and more than forty children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.


Other books by Victoria


The Magical Chapters Trilogy

cover of witchletWitchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is? This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy.

“Even though I am well past my sell-by date, the child in me is looking forward to reading Victoria’s next book in the series.” Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.


The Pineapple Loving Dragoncover the pineapple loving dragon

Everyone knows the mountains are full of dragons, and everyone also knows those dragons are dangerous monsters who eat people. So when the people from the town notice that one of them has a young boy with it they set out to rescue him. But Daisy isn’t like other dragons; she’s sweet and kind, and just happens to be a vegetarian. Unfortunately, the only people who know this are a 9 year old witch named Paige, and a 10 year old orphan named Luke. Can Paige and Luke convince everyone else that Daisy isn’t dangerous? This is the second book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy.


cover- a magical stormA Magical Storm

There’s something about birthdays that make you think about the past, and now that she’s celebrating her 10th birthday, that’s just what Paige is doing. But nothing could bring those memories so clearly to the surface better than an uninvited party guest from her past who wont even meet her gaze. Now Paige’s anger and frustration are threatening to over-power the control she has over her magic; can she learn to control her temper before it’s too late? This is the third book in the “Magical Chapters”.


Victoria is a prolific writer with many books to list.

Find Victoria’s books on  Smashwords  and Amazon

covers of Zeena books

a selection of zigler book covers


If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

be my guest graphic

Posted in Blogging, Books, Guest post, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Cover Reveal – The Fireborn! by Trent P. McDonald

Fireborn Cover

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide…

Do you see that wonderful picture at the top?  That’s right, that is the cover of The Fireborn!  Don’t you just love it?  As with the cover of Seasons of Imagination, this picture was created by the multi-talented Belinda Borradaile from over at Idiot Writing.

I couldn’t be happier with the cover.  I hope you like it too!

Mark your calendar – the official release will be on August 21!

Reblogged from Trent’s World.

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thursday photo prompt – Wisp #writephoto

#writephoto

Every Thursday at noon GMT, I publish one of my photos as a writing prompt. Throughout the week I will feature a number of the responses here on the Daily Echo as space allows. Every week, a full round-up of posts will be published linking back to the original posts of contributors.

You can find all last week’s entries in the weekly round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers. I feature as many contributions as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions that may not be all of them!

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 23rd August and link back to this post with a pingback. If you are unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here.

Pingbacks need to be manually approved, so either check back to make sure that the pingback has appeared or simply copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

The best way to ensure your post is featured is to send it well before the deadline but all posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 24th August.

Please note that I will be away from the internet for the next few days so reblogs, link approvals and comments may take a little longer than usual.

 Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work. Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

Have fun!

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments