Storytime, with Joanne Harris

It’s weird when something happens, some event, that blows your mind so completely that it takes ages to process it enough to write about the experience. That’s part of the reason I’m only writing about this now, something that happened a month ago, an event so special, so magical, that it’s hard to find the right words to describe how it felt at the time. But I’m gonna try. Continue reading

Where do you go shopping?

Glad to have inspired this post about language. Word nerds, unite!

beewaxing

Divided by a common language – Part 2

Dawn, from the Brighton Plot Bunnies writers’ group, took to Twitter to express her annoyance about the transition in British English that has led to “shops” becoming “stores”.  This would seem to be an American influence, since store tends to be the US preference for describing retail emporia, so I responded by blaming Kristina, who is an American member of Brighton Plot Bunnies.  The topic had actually come up in a discussion with Kristina a day or so previously when she mentioned that her sister-in-law’s car was “in the shop”.  In British English, a car would only be in a shop as the result of a serious collision with a plate glass window.

Americans use “shop” for a place where work is carried out – a workshop – whilst the English use it to mean a place where you can buy goods. …

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Iguanas, Chameleons and Crayfish

When I asked my kung fu instructor what I should write about next, these were the suggestions put forward. I’m not entirely sure what that says about my kung fu instructor or my classmates in general. I was trying to avoid a rant, which is why it’s been a while since I last posted, but no matter. Iguanas, chameleons and crayfish aside, there have been some strange goings on in the UK of late. By some odd *ahem* “coincidence”, a lot of those things have happened since the general election last March, when 24% of the country (yes, that’s ONLY 24%…) were – I hesitate to cast aspersions on people I don’t know, but I’m going to, anyway – 24% of the country were dumb enough to vote Conservative. Continue reading

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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