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DOG SITTING, THE LAKE, FUN AND FAMILY

Good morning all. Once again we are at Lake Cumberland for the weekend. My daughter’s little dog is blind and is terrified of the boat, so since I don’t swim, we said we would stay with Zoe. Plus we love the peace and quiet here.
I was supposed to do this blog yesterday, but by the time I finished all I had to do, plus throw my rags in a bag, then sit still as a stone on the I75 due to rush hour traffic, we did not get here till late and I just deflated like a blow up doll.
I love it when I am with family. We have such a good time when we are together. After all, family is what it’s about, and with the world going to Hell in a hand basket, we need to stick together.
Okay, so much for preaching. I hope y’all have been able to get some work done this week. I am going to try and work on THE STONE KILLER some, but it is a two hour trip to any large super market.  That’s fun.  But then, it is Saturday and all country people go to town on Saturday.  So, that is my day.  So much for relaxing amid the peace and quiet. I just realized. Today is the first of the month, so it is bill paying day. Lordy, I love when your plan works out. Ha.
Y’all take it easy if you can. I hope you have a Blessed day and we’ll talk later.

1/2/DREAMAH

 

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FURIOUS OVER A STUPID MISTAKE, FROM SPRING STRAIGHT TO SUMMER HEAT, THE GARDEN

How I feel for being stupid.

If it was possible, I would love to be able to kick myself in the butt. All day I worked using my editing program.  Everything was working out fantastic. I had highlighted the next several pages for editing and rewriting when this little screen popped up informing me I had selected too much text and did I wish to continue. Since I had only highlighted the two pages, I hit the yes button. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize, somehow the entire document had been selected. Now I had already edited 28 pages today. Unfortunately, a glitch happened, and I could not shut down the editing program down. All the work I had accomplished today ended up being lost because I had to close Microsoft Word to leave the editing program. So now I am back hard at work trying to re-create everything I did today, all the rewrites, all the deletes, every single edited portion of the book. I will make a valid point of being more attentive to what this program is asking from now on. Oh well, as they say, we can’t cry over spilled milk. Just go back and try to redo it and get it done. I have to say with all the editing I have already accomplished, my novel FOR LOVE OF HANNAH is coming along quite well. All the additions and rewrites have added to the storyline of the novel. Even though I screwed up ProWritingAid’s method of making corrections, I have to say I am very impressed with this editing program. It catches all my little idiosyncratic type of errors that I am prone to make, like adding ED where none is needed, and S on a word that does not require it, and several other weird little habits I have when I’m writing. Thank God I found the program, thanks to the man on Facebook who suggested I check it out.

I have to say that we have gone straight from spring into days of hot muggy summer weather. At least the upper northeast of Ohio seems to be drying out somewhat. Where I live, we have been fortunate not to have had any flooding. Other areas were under 5 feet or more of water. So many people have been put out of their homes and it is so sad. I only pray that most have flood insurance or can receive some type of assistance.

My niece’s summer garden is going to be a sparse this year. So far the only thing she has been able to plant are several types of tomato plants, hot pepper plants, and that’s about it. It is too late to plant green beans, even though I believe I think she did put several beans in the ground today. I know many of the farmers around this area have missed their planting time for a fall harvest. So, people, locally grown vegetables are going to be expensive and scarce this year.

Thanks for listening to my bitching about my stupid mistake. Everyone have a great Sunday and upcoming Fourth of July. Please stay safe if you are shooting off fireworks. Always remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, MORE RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY, FLOOD WARNINGS

I am happy to report I have finished the novel FOR LOVE OF HANNAH. I’m very tired today because I didn’t get much sleep last night. And today, I have been busy reading Hannah out loud, looking for any mistakes I have missed. I successfully narrowed the overused words, THAT 247, COULD 298, and WOULD 284, down to double digits below 85 for each word. It was a tough job. I had to rewrite numerous sentences, and in doing so, I eliminated a lot of pronouns which I had overused. Which is good. But the story seems to flow much better. My suggestion to everyone who is a writer, author, when you are in the final edit of your book, read the story out loud so you will hear the inconsistencies. I owe thanks to a friend of mine for the suggestion. He was here visiting with my nephew and told me to try reading it out loud. So thanks, Joe.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Ohio. The sun came out. It was bright and sunny all day. My niece came over and managed to plant a single row of tomatoes in the garden. Last night it started to rain. AGAIN. And today it began to rain around four o’clock. It is raining now. There are flash flood warnings out for our area and North East Ohio. Rain is predicted for nearly every day up to and including Monday, 24 June. I am so sick and tired of gray cloudy days I would like to scream but do not wish to terrify the neighbors. The farmers here in Ohio can’t even get their crops planted. And the crops they have planted are getting waterlogged. So fresh vegetables will be going up in price. Be prepared for it. f

Other than working like mad editing, I haven’t done much else. I did manage to get out to Walmart today to buy some food for my dogs. I can’t let them go hungry. The cats have plenty of food. I shop at Chewy.com for both cats and dogs.

So I am going back to work on Hannah and see how much more I can complete tonight.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend thus far. Take care of yourselves and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER. 

Dreamah

EDITING, OVER USING WORDS, REWORKING SENTENCES, PDF FILE WON’T OPEN, AT LAST, SUNSHINE, MORE RAIN ON THE HORIZON, CAN’T PLANT THE GARDEN, DUCKS ARE BACK

I have finished the second draft of FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH.  The final version totaled 76,000 words.  Now I am editing, editing, and editing some more.  There are certain words we as writer unconsciously use over and over.  I know I do.  So now I am doing a search and find to locate all the times I used the words WOULD, THAT, COULD, MAYBE, FELT, FEEL, SAW, MIGHT, AND KNEW.  I go over these sentences and reword them so they sound better.  I do this with all my books now.  I believe it makes me a better writer to learn to use the above words sparingly. 

I sent a copy of the manuscript to a friend of mine in Florida as her computer for some reason won’t open the PDF file I sent.  So far, she seems to like the book.  She’ll let me know her opinion of the full story once she finishes the final chapter. 

Today, we have bright sunshine.  Yeahhhhhhhhh.  But from Friday on through next Thursday, rain is predicted.  Booooo, hissssssssssss.  I am so tired of rain and gray gloomy days I could scream.  But as sister says, get over it.  There’s nothing we can do about the weather.  My niece can’t plant her garden as she only had the weekend to get it done.  The ground had been plowed, but it’s too wet to plant. 

The ducks were back swimming on the pond this morning.  Well, I am grateful for today’s sun so I’ll quit complaining I guess.  Everyone have a great week and stay safe.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

THE MONTHS HAVE FLOWN BY DUE TO WORK, STILL FINDING MISTAKES, IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZIER THAN I AM, OHIO AND LOTS OF RAIN, OZZIE AND HARRIET GONE, A SINGLE DUCK, COMPANY HERE AND GONE

It is so difficult to believe that it is the sixth of June already.  That leaves me wondering where the last five months have gone?  I know for the most part of it my head has been buried in the computer working on the novel FOR LOVE OF HANNAH.  I have reached my goal of completing the first draft, and have been working steadily on the edits.  I go over and over the novel with four editing programs, and I still find mistakes. It’s absolutely driving me crazy. Lord knows I am nutty enough. But I shall persevere until there are no mistakes showing up in any of these programs.

SISTER’S LAST YEAR’S GARDEN, THE ONE IN OHIO IS LARGER

Today, here in Ohio, we actually had some sunshine instead of rain. But the forecast for tomorrow is mostly cloudy. My niece has been trying to put in her garden, but due to all the wet weather we’ve been having, she hasn’t been able to plow the ground for planting. I will not be too unhappy if she is not able to have one this year, as I had to pick tomatoes, cucumbers, and string green beans until I was the blue in the face last year. I must say that homegrown tomatoes are delicious. And I do like cucumbers, but the English kind, those long skinny cucumbers that are burpless. Those are quite delicious. We shall have to wait and see what happens with the weather.

Canadian Geese

I saw a lone duck on the pond to this morning. I don’t know where his mate was. There are usually two of them swimming around. Ozzie and Harriet, the two Canadian geese, have not been around for a while. I am sure they’re busy raising their young. Anyway, I hope so.

There’s not a lot of new things with me. Just working. Sister and I did have company for a couple of weeks. Her son, his wife, and a friend of theirs came to visit. Unfortunately, my small Chihuahua, Titan, did not like their friend. So it was a constant battle to keep him away from the gentleman. Titan would start down the hallway and began barking before he ever saw the man. Sometimes the man wasn’t even in the house and he would bark. Crazy pup. They rode their motorcycles here and when they left on Wednesday, rain was predicted, as usual. I just hope they outran the storm and can stay ahead of any bad weather.

Well, it is late, I’m tired and I am going to say good night. Everyone have a great weekend and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

MISTAKES, EDITING, REWRITES, MORE EDITING, SO MANY BOOKS TO WRITE,

I have four different editing programs on my computer to assist in finding all those silly errors my fingers manage to make when I am writing. Each program is great for what it does. BUT, it does not catch every single goof I insert into my novel. I have used the Microsoft spelling and grammar check, Ginger, Grammarly, and ProWritingAid on Hannah to locate all my crazy, simple mistakes. Today, I was talking with my sister, who is reading the finished product for consistency, and she pointed out one I have never even considered, worse and worst. The English language has so many words which are pronounced almost the same but mean different things. Worse and Worst are two. Worse is used to compare two things, and not for the better. Worst is used when a thing is inferior to something else, like best, only in a negative way. So now I’m checking to see if I have used the word correctly. Crazy.

I imagine by the time I finish adding a section here and there in FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH, I will reach my goal of 82,000, words. At the present time, the story is a couple of hundred words over 73,000. I believe that a story takes however many words needed to tell it and no more. All the rest is filler. I will see where the word count ends. There are a couple of scenes I want to add, and then I’ll call it finished. Wish me luck. All my other novels have hit over 90,000.

I made a list from my document file of the novels I have rough outlines for. Twenty. That is correct. I have roughed out storylines for twenty books to write. Some have as many as twenty to twenty-five thousand words written. some as little as one hundred-twenty-four words. One has over 65,000 words. Needless to say, that is my next project TO CATCH A DREAM. Then my focus is on THE SNATCHER. I have just started writing it. HANNAH, TO CATCH A DREAM, and THE SNATCHER are the stories I want to complete for 2019. Pray for me.

For the year 2020, I plan on finishing ON GABRIEL’S WATCH, STEALING TIME and THE EXECUTIONER. These novels are farther along then some of the others. Like I asked, Pray for me to achieve my goals.

Back to work. Everyone have a great week and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

FINISHED FIRST DRAFT, YEAHHHHH, NOW THE TOUGH JOB, EDITING, EDITING AND REWRITE, FUR BABIES, OZZIE AND HARRIET

First I apologize for not posting a blog for so long. I have done nothing but focus on writing. I took a short story of 26,000 words and expanded it to 73,000. I worked hard on the storyline and the characters to make them as real as possible. Five months it has taken me to work out the kinks and make this novel as plausible as I can. Of course, I had a couple of weeks with a URI and a sinus infection which didn’t help my writing time. When all you do is cough, it’s hard to focus on what you’re typing into the computer. So please forgive my delay in posting blogs.

I ACHIEVED MY GOAL! I have been busting my butt getting the first draft of FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH finished by the end of May. I DID IT. I have even started the first edit and rewrite. My deadline for that is the end of June. Then on to TO CATCH A DREAM to be completed no later than August. September, October, November, and December will be devoted to another Jonas Black novel, THE SNATCHER. Of course, as I am working on one, the other is churning in my brain. That is the way my process works. Or used to anyway. I’ve discovered a new technique of listing scenes for the book and then set out to complete each one in the order they should appear. It worked well with FOR LOVE OF HANNAH. I have a couple of friends who are reading the first draft for content and consistency, and any suggestions for improvement or additions to the story.

TO CATCH A DREAM shouldn’t be hard to complete. I have written 65,000 words of it already. I just have to tie everything together and finish the ending. That shouldn’t take long. THE SNATCHER is different. It is in the beginning stages and the storyline must be worked out with all the who, what, when, where, why, and how, plus the emotional factor. It’s all in my brain if I can just convey the images to the printed word. Wish me luck.

Canadian Geese

Well, the weekend is starting. All my critters are doing well. Even old Pyewacket. He gets his insulin shots twice a day and is hanging in there. I love that old cat. He is the best of the group and never causes a problem. I haven’t seen Ozzie or Harriet at the pond lately. I miss them. I do hear them sometimes over in that direction honking early in the morning. They should have laid eggs by now and have babies.

It is late and I need to get to bed. Everyone take care and stay safe. Have a great weekend. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

CANADIAN GEESE OZZIE AND HARRIET, JOJO AND TITAN, COLORS, EDITING

Canadian Geese

Where I live here in Ohio, out behind the house, there’s a stocked community pond.  The kids in the neighborhood come on warm sunny days to catch and release a fish or two.  Close to dawn, the other morning came an awful racket in the backyard.  I ignored it because I wasn’t ready to get out of bed.  Later, after getting up, I took the dogs out right away.  That’s when I heard them, the geese honking and staring in my direction.  Jojo and Titan went nuts barking after doing their business.  I was afraid the pups might scare them away.  Not those two big birds.  They stood at the edge of the pond and honking away.  Today, Ozzie and Harriet, which I named the geese, have brought friends.  Now, instead of a pair, there are four.  At this moment the pups are on their leads outside and having a ball barking.  The troupe of four turned their backs, slipped into the water and swam out of sight to another part of the pond.  They are such beautiful birds. 

I mentioned before I do paintings in oil.  Color plays an important part in my life.  I feel sorry for those poor souls who are color blind and can’t see the magnificence array around us.  Take today.  Right now, the bright yellow sun is warming the earth and nourishing the ground and trees.  Soon a gray-green fuzz will appear on the branches.  Just off one end of the back porch, and in the ground, is a good size rock.  Tender bright green shoots are beginning to spring up as if overnight.  The lawns of the homes behind us is changing from winter’s tan and brown, sporting the new growth of spring.  People in the neighborhood are out feeding, and some, even mowing.  What, I don’t know.  But they’re already at it. The color spectrum ranges from the day’s earliest light to midnight.  One morning at sunrise, the pups had to go out.  The eastern sky was multiple shades of rose to blood red.  An angry start to the lovely day. Later, the morning gave way to a soft pale blue with white clouds.  Then there are the days when the earth seems saddened by what man has done.  The days when God cries and saturates the ground with His tears.  I admire the Native Americans.  They believe we are the caretaker of this land.  Instead, we abuse our Mother Earth something horribly.   Last, night will fall, changing the light from blues into the various shade of lavender, purples all the way to the deepest eggplant.  Time for all creatures to rest.  So the color wheel turns.  This is just the opinion of a crazy writer and artist. 

great program

Editing.  I thought when sister and I read over each sentence of the books, editing was a tough job.  And it was.  This new program I purchased makes what we did looked easy in comparison.  I never knew there was such a thing as “a sticky sentence”.   This program checks style, grammar, overused words, readability, sticky, diction, repeat words, dialogue tags, pacing, pronouns, smooth transitions, and much more.  By the time I check each category, my head is spinning.  But I have learned a lot about rewriting sentences and eliminating too many pronouns.  The program is ProWritingAid, and it is worth every penny.  It wasn’t that expensive, thank goodness.  But since sister is no longer doing my editing, this is a great help.  I need all the help I can get to make FOR LOVE OF HANNAH my best romantic suspense novel so far.

Everyone have a great week,. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah