The thing about writing is…

…if you’re serious about wanting to be published, at some point, you’re going to reach the stage when you need to edit. No, wait a second…

*arranges thoughts a bit*

If you’re serious about wanting to be published, you’re going to reach the stage when you need to edit… again. Continue reading

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Why Proofreading is the New Rock ‘n’ Roll …

See, I’m not just a stickler. There’s method in my madness.

juliaproofreader

… or why a good proofreader is part of the creative process of your book.

I recently read in the Observer a wonderful interview with Mary Norris, who does what I do for a living, i.e. she’s a proofreader and copy editor; the difference being that she’s worked for the last 20 years at the New Yorker, which makes me greatly in awe of her. I revere the New Yorker more than any other publication, not only for its content, but also its covers, its history, and its famous building, the first sight of which a few years ago gave me goose bumps.

Mary explains the value of copy editing and proofreading in an inspiring way that makes me want to share it with you, so I quote:

Some might wonder why we still need copy editors when we have spell-check. It does catch typos. But the reason that…

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Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Another reblog, I’m afraid, but this is important stuff. Although to be fair, I think the body does know the difference between a piece of fruit and a sugar cube. A hint: the sugar cube has no nutrients whatsoever, whereas an apple does. I think the human body is smart enough to recognise the difference.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

I think that the four words ‘I told you so’ should only be thought, and never written down. No-one likes a smart arse. But sometimes it is impossible to resist….just impossible. In this case I have failed. ‘Father forgive me, for I am weak.’ So, here goes…’I told you so.’

Some of you may be aware that the US dietary guidelines are going to be changed. For some reason it is required that the full report is suppressed for about a year. Presumably so that everyone can pile high their defences when the attacks begin. ‘I think you will find that I have always, ahem, supported these ideas.’ Cough, shuffle of papers….cough. ‘Sorry, no time to take questions.’ Exit left.

The entire report, I believe, stretches to about a bazillion pages. However, here are four of the highlights.

  • Cholesterol is to be dropped from the…

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Hats off to the Japanese

This is important, and goes against accepted health advice, which, it seems to me, is increasingly about profit, not health.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

(Raised cholesterol is good for you)

For many years I have told anyone who will listen that, if you have a high cholesterol level, you will live longer. Equally, if you have a low cholesterol level, you will die younger. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact. The older you become the more beneficial it is to have a high cholesterol level.

This fact has become more difficult to demonstrate recently as so many people have been put on statins that the association between cholesterol levels and mortality has been twisted, bent and pumelled into the weirdest shapes imaginable. However, Japan, provides some very interesting data. Japan has always had a very low rate of heart disease, an enviable life expectancy, and… generally low cholesterol levels. Aha!, surely this means that low cholesterol levels are good for you? Well….

Well, here is the introduction to a one hundred and sixteen…

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Women are supposed to be WHAT?

According to a number of recent adverts, women are supposed to be perfect. We’re supposed to look “good” (whatever that means), fit (OK, for health reasons, but not for the reasons the ad-makers suggest), be “girly” (ugh), and oh, I dunno, we’re probably supposed to like everything pink, like shopping for shoes and handbags, and as an added bonus, so that we don’t intimidate men, be brainless and ditzy, too.

What the fuck? Continue reading

They Want it How Long?

This is an issue which I’ve obviously been following closely. The following post is worth reading, and thinking about.

beewaxing

The Green Party and Copyright

There has been a small hoo-hah in the political wing of the literary community about a policy of the (British) Green Party.  Their 2015 manifesto is vague on the point, but their party policy  says

Specifically we will
a. […]
b. 
introduce generally shorter copyright terms, with a usual maximum of 14 years;

It’s that 14 years that is getting people hot under the collar.  For the purposes of this post, I shall assume that they really mean (as their policy implies) 14 years from the creation of a work of art to the expiration of copyright.

Now, it is possible to take a position that there should be no copyright whatsoever.  If you want to take that position, then I’m not going to argue with you. Instead I shall send you to Joanne Harris’s blog  and she will tell you why you…

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