Will I ever learn?

From my post at Loose Ends:

Contrary to the usual standard ‘oh I was writing stories when I was 6/8/10’ staple of many authors I didn’t pick up a pen until 2006. Or more exactly I should say I didn’t pick up a pen and write a story with it, I’ve a long checkered history with photographs, oil paints, pencils, pens and ink. So writing, and indeed publishing is a career that is relatively new to me. Oh how my frustrated English teachers must be turning in their graves! (Yes, I was the person that debated every poem and every paragraph of prose when we were ‘told’ what it meant. That person in class that pulled out the ‘but how do you know that’s what they meant?’ line of defense.)

I may well have been a minor genius at debating our understanding of the written word and the authors actual intent, but I couldn’t deconstruct the English language to save myself. I still can’t. It’s a sad thing to know that my 2nd grader probably could tell you what’s wrong with a sentence faster than I can. Oh, I can tell you what’s wrong, all right, using a finger and the phrases ‘this needs to be here, and that over there or else this is doing that which is impossible!’ but if it comes to using such phrases as participles, adjectives, dangling modifiers you’re shit out of luck. And you’re likely to be the recipient of a blank stare as Anne frantically searches the recesses of her brain for the answer because-she-should-know-this-stuff-damn-it!

Thank your preferred Deity for good editors. Barbara M, you’re my lifesaver!

I’m pretty sure I’m the bane of her existence.

I’ve had a lot to learn the past 2 1/2 years. The dreaded ‘it’ and ‘that’, show versus tell, dialogue tags (who knew he said/she said was a bad thing?), the list goes on. And then there is my pet foible, starting sentences with ‘-ly’ and ‘ing’. Yes, the dreaded ‘Suddenly, there was a noise.’ syndrome (and, if you noticed, my bad habit of starting sentences with And only superceeded by But). Yet, every time I hand in a new manuscript I wait with baited breath for the first edits.

Did I manage this time to pick up on my problem areas? Did I slip back into NZ/Britishisms when the piece is set amibgiously but with American turns of phrase (which I did in this case, seriously though, do you have any idea how hard it is to realise what is or isn’t a Kiwi/Britishism when you are a Kiwi? Doesn’t everyone call it a chilly bin and a kitchen bench?). Did I find all the it’s and explain just what ‘it’ is? Have all those things my editor has taught me finally sunk in yet? (cross fingers, touch wood, thrown salt over my shoulder etc etc)

funny cat pictures & lolcats - Noooo they be stealin√Ę?? mah brain!!!!Can I plead baby brain when the baby is now eight? Rapid onset adult ADD? Is it possible, nearly three years on to plead newbie status? Or should I resign myself to the fact that even at 80, my editor will still open that first final draft file with their eyes closed?

And most importantly of all: Will I still be sending off that final draft file with my eyes firmly glued shut?

I guess I’m just going to have to stick around this writing game a bit longer to find out. ūüôā

(Who really needs to get back to her editing and finding all those pesky Kiwi phrases that slipped through!)

PS. If you want some good advice on how to make your work great, hit Lena’s blog, where she’s done a whole series from plotting to editing and further that has some GREAT advice.

A new venture

A new story out and a new venture beginning all in the same week…

I’m bringing both of my ‘jobs’ together – an eBook author and a steamstress – with the opening on Anne’s Addictions¬†on Etsy where you can buy handcrafted padded fabric covers for your Sony eReader. (Kindle covers to come with luck).

(ps. Thank you very much to Jane at Dear Author for your support of my ‘a-ha! in the middle of a DA thread moment’ that lead to my new venture!)

A Curiously Intimate Givewaway…

One of the ladies in my sewing group laughingly pointed out some fabric for sale a couple of weeks back. I took one look and knew I had to sacrifice the $12 to buy and ship it.

But now what to do with it?

With¬†Curious¬†Intimacies available tomorrow I think I’ve struck on an interesting idea.¬†


Yes. Pants.

For one randomly chosen commenter on this post (at http://annedouglas.com/blog, not myspace or blogspot) I’m going to make them a comfy pair of PJ/Lounge pants to their size¬†requirements. Now lounge pants might not be considered at all sexy, but I think this fabric might get your bedtime hopes across just fine!

Comments until midnight Sunday 21st of Sept will be considered. Tiny to not so tiny, don’t worry I’ll be making them to fit (my other job is a seamstress, so be assured they’ll be well made).

So readers, comment away!!

ooooh Shiny!!

I just home from picking up kiddo from school and there is a box on the doorstep – my new shiny is here. Yay!

Now to see if this Sony PRS505 is as good as they all say. I hope so, because I can’t send it back (I used cc rewards points to get it).

Off to download the patch that will make pdf’s pretty (I think, need to check what version I’ve got), and possibly calibre for organisation.

Contest Winners

I decided to splurge a little and pull two numbers, and as kiddo seems most insistent in not choosing a number above 5 I’m using a random generator:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

9	63

Timestamp: 2008-09-07 17:30:48 UTC

Brenda (bginga) – you have the main prize of the book bag, lunch cooler and some pens

lizcochran – I’m going to be sending you a bookbag

Ladies, you should be getting an email from me this afternoon.