Saturday, May 2, 2015

Copyediting course

I've started an Intro to Copyediting course through Writer's Digest, hoping to not only improve my own editing, but also to see if it's something I could do professionally.  I find the problem-solving aspect of it very interesting.

Last month I sent off a poem to a Pagan magazine but haven't heard back if they'll publish it or not.  There's no money involved, but that's not always the point, is it?

Also submitted another poem for a competition but won't find out the results until June.

And again, I've participated in the Writer's Weekly 24-hours Short Story contest.  It's quite invigorating, I don't know the topic or the word count until the contest begins, so it's always very fresh.  I won't know the outcome of this contest for six weeks.  Just participating excites me, motivates me, and is just plain fun!

I'm still planning on moving up north, but rentals in my price range are few and far between.  I won't give up.

Books Read - April 2015

Bowen, James
  • A Street Cat Named Bob *****
Non-fiction.  A story of second chances for a recovering addict and a ragged street cat and the very special bond they’ve formed.

Connolly, Sheila
  • Once She Knew ****
Fiction.  Claire is taking a sabbatical year from teaching English at a small college to write a book on feminism.  Unable to concentrate while living in town, she borrows a cabin on a lake in Maine.  In the middle of the night, the door flies open, and a man with a gunshot falls onto the cabin floor.  As if not shocking enough, Claire realizes that she recognizes the man, and when he tells her the FBI is after him, she must make up her mind whether to help him or not.

Cornwell, Patricia
  • From Potter’s Field ***
Fiction.  Sixth book in the Kay Scarpetta mystery series.  Once again, Temple Brooks Gault is leaving bodies around to be discovered, and Kay works with law enforcement officers to stop him from killing.  This time he has an accomplice, and ex-lover of Kay’s niece. 

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • The Men of Otherworld 2 *****
Fiction.  Second of The Men of Otherworld short stories, starring Vanzir, Smoky, Bruce and Morio.

Hamilton, Lyn
  • The Maltese Goddess ****
Fiction.  Second in the Lara McClintock mystery series.  Lara is hired by charismatic architect, Martin Galea, to furnish his new house in Malta with some pieces from her shop in Toronto.  While waiting for the furniture to be shipped, Lara moves into his house on the island.  Strange things begin to happen, a dead cat is found hanging at the house one day, and a hooded figure is seen in watching the house at night.  When the furniture finally arrives, Lara is surprised to find a large chest that wasn’t meant to be in the shipment.  When she opens it, the mysteries deepen.

Kavanagh, Brian
  • Capable of Murder **
Fiction.  First in the Belinda Lawrence mystery series set in England.  Belinda has recently moved to England and inherited a cottage in the country from her great-aunt.  Right away, Belinda suspects that the fall down the stairs that killed her aunt wasn’t an accident.  She feels someone watching her all the time, and when she comes home to find the cottage ransacked, she knows for certain that someone is after something there.

Lawrence, D.H.
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover *
Fiction.  Connie, Lady Chatterley, is married to a man who came home from the war paralyzed from the waist down.  Theirs is not a passionate romance, rather they came together because they suited each other mentally, but over time, that is not enough for Connie.  She seeks her passion in the arms of the estate gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, and becomes pregnant by him.  Connie’s husband, Clifford, wants her to have a child by another man so he can claim it as an heir to the Chatterley fortune and lands, but in the end, Connie decides she’d rather leave him to be with Mellors.

Palmieri, Suzanne
  • The Witch of Little Italy ****
Fiction.  Eleanor Amore is pregnant by her abusive college boyfriend and runs to her mother for help.  As usual, Carmen is not sympathetic and tells Elly to take care of her own problems.  The answer is clear, and Elly moves in with her grandmother and great-aunts in an old Victorian in the middle of the Bronx.  They come from an old line of women with The Sight, something that Elly is only now learning about.  There are holes in her memory, but she vaguely remembers her previous visits to the house and some happy times she had there.  Filling in those holes and learning why seven members of her family all died on a single day and what the great secret is that she can’t remember, reveals the magical and tragic history of the Amore family.

Patterson, James
  • The 5th Horseman ****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Women’s Murder Club mystery series.  Mysterious deaths are occurring in the local hospital.  The victims are patients who should have been recovering but suddenly are found dead with metal coins over their eyelids.  The Women’s club has to try to solve the murders, which hit at home when one of the women’s mother becomes a victim.

Roberts, Nora
  • Jewels of the Sun *****
Fiction.  First in the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy.  Jude, an American divorcee, leaves her job teaching psychology in college to spend six months in Ardmore, Ireland, the land of her ancestors.  Her divorce had hurt her more than she realized, and she is in need of solace and quiet to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.  Faerie Hill Cottage, the quaint home of her granny’s youth, is picture perfect, and Jude settles in quickly.  She thinks she can find the peace she needs in her life until she walks into Gallaghers pub and comes face to face with Aidan Gallagher.

  • Tears of the Moon *****
Fiction.  Second in the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy.  Brenna O’Toole and her father are the local handymen.  She grew up running in and out of the Gallagher’s house with the daughter of the family, Darcy, and almost as a near-sister to Darcy’s two brothers, Aidan and Shawn.  When she realizes that there is an attraction growing for Shawn, she isn’t quite sure what to do about it.  With a straightforwardness that stuns Shawn, she throws herself at him, offering to share his bed, though not his heart.  Shawn anguishes over his growing feelings for her and gains useful insight from Carrick, the faerie prince.

Rowland, Laura Roh
  • The Snow Empress *****
Fiction.  12th book in the feudal Japan mystery series starring samurai Sano Ichiro.  Sano’s son has been kidnapped, and Sano wants to stay in Edo to look for him, but the Shogun sends him north to Ezogashima, accompanied by his wife and several close friends.  There is a rumor that Sano’s son will be found there, so Sano is willing to travel to the island to take care of the political problem the Shogun is having with the local clan leader.  They are assisted by the Ezo, a people better known as the Ainu, and Sano must solve the murder of the clan leader’s Ezo mistress who has taken possession of his body.  The climate between the Japanese and the Ezo heats up when both sides are blamed for the murder, and Sano, Reiko and their friends are the only ones who can stop the war.

Rucka, Greg
  • Whiteout Vol. 1 *** 
Fiction.  First in the Carrie Stetko series.  Marshall Stetko works in the Antarctic trying to keep people safe.  When she starts finding bodies, she teams up with a British spy to solve the murders.

  • Whiteout Vol. 2 **
Fiction.  Second in the Carrie Stetko series set in Antarctica.  Fourteen Russians are killed and their base in Antarctica.  When they’re found, the authorities realize that the camp has been hiding a cache of weapons, including some nuclear warheads there.  Carrie, who has been wintering in New Zealand, is ordered back to the ice to find the weapons before Russia can hide them again.

Stewart, G.
  • Haunted Scottish Castles and Houses ***
Non-fiction.  Third in the Haunted Explorers series.  More haunted buildings in Scotland.

  • Scotland’s Hidden Hauntings ***
Non-fiction.  First in the Haunted Explorers series.  Hauntings around Scotland.

  • Scottish Ghosts and Witches ***
Non-fiction.  Second in the Haunted Explorers series.  Hauntings and tales of witchcraft in Scotland.

Wyld, Evie
  • All the Birds, Singing *
Fiction.  Jake owns her own sheep station on an island off Australia, where something is hunting and killing her sheep.  In the past she has worked as a shearer for other stations and has been a prostitute, after she set her town on fire as a child.

Zafon, Carlos Ruiz
  • The Shadow of the Wind *****

Fiction.  The tale of a young Spanish boy who becomes enchanted by a book written by an obscure and very mysterious author.  Daniel makes it his mission to find everything he can about the author, and real life mirrors fiction as young Daniel’s life follows a path parallel to that of the author, Julian Carax.  Danger comes in the guise of a police lieutenant determined to destroy Carax, and Daniel finds himself in the way.

Books Read - March 2015

Behan, Chris
  • Exploring Midsomer *****
Non-fiction.  Pictorial essay of the towns and villages filmed in the making of the Midsomer Murders mysteries.

Castle, Angela
  • The Purrfect Picture ****
Fiction.  Second book in a shapeshifter series set in Australia.  Tinder Munro is hired by a wealthy businessman to investigate BlackTown and the surrounding forest.  While taking pictures of some big cat paw prints, she is surprised by a gorgeous man who quickly makes her feel things she has never felt before even during her ten-year marriage to Nick, her ex-husband.  Can she keep the secrets of the town, or will she do the job she has been hired to do?

Chambers, Meg
  • Running Wilde ****
Fiction.  First in an erotica novella series starring Winnie Wilde, a recent divorcee trying to figure out what to do with herself for the second half of her life.  Contemplating selling the house she shared with her ex-husband and children, she plans on doing some traveling, plans that get put on hold when she meets a fellow runner and co-owner of the construction company she hired to fix up the house before she puts it on the market.  The age of her grown children, Ben makes her feel beautiful and free, and she looks forward to an uncomplicated relationship with him.

Dugan, Ellen
  • Legacy of Magick ****
Fiction.  First in the Legacy of Magick series.  Autumn, a post-grad student, is living with her aunt and three cousins.  She has only recently become aware that they are witches, something her  parents had kept from her as they lived across the country.  But having returned to the family home, Autumn learns there are different types of magick, positive and negative, and while her family practices positive magick, there is another family in town who embraces the negative, and they’re out to regain some property that Autumn’s father had stolen from them twenty years ago.

Gaarder, Jostein
  • The Ringmaster’s Daughter *****
Fiction.  Tale of a Norwegian man with an amazing imagination and a gift of creating stories.

Genelin, Michael
  • Requiem for A Gypsy ***
Fiction.  First in a mystery series set in Slovakia.  Jana Matinova is a police commander stationed in Bratislova.  She investigates a series of murders that take her to several European countries, where along the way, a young girl attaches herself to Jana who resists taking her under her wing.  The mysterious girl is somehow linked with the murders, and Jana needs to solve them quickly while trying to keep the girl out of harm’s way.

Hoffman, Alice
  • Water Tales ****
Fiction.  Two short tales of mermaids, Aquamarine and Indigo.

Houck, Colleen
  • Tiger’s Promise  ***
Fiction.  Novella leading up to the Tiger’s Curse series.  Wicked military leader, Lokesh, has a beautiful young daughter named Yesubai, who Lokesh wanted to marry off to a prince.  Not for a political marriage, but in order to kill the royal family and obtain an ancient amulet which would make Lokesh even more powerful than he already is.  Though Yesubai is contracted to marry the elder prince, his younger brother is the one she has fallen in love with.  Yesubai uses her own magical power to save the princes’ lives, giving hers as sacrifice.

Llosa, Mario Vargas 
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter ***
Fiction.  Interwoven storylines.  Mario is an 18-year-old news copywriter at a radio station in Lima, Peru.  He is in love with his much older aunt and plans to marry her.  Pedro Camacho is a Bolivian scriptwriter who prodigiously spends all of his waking hours writing very famous radio serials.  Over time, his overwork causes him to lose track of which character is in which serial, even who the characters are.  As Camacho’s plots become more and more confused, Mario is struggling to encourage his love, Aunt Julia, to take his advances seriously, something they try very hard to keep his family from finding out.

Martin, George R.R.
  • Songs of Love and Death *****
Fiction.  Collection of short stories from 17 fantastic authors with the theme of star-crossed lovers.

Oyeyemi, Helen
  • The Icarus Girl ****
Fiction.  Jessamy is half English and half Nigerian and lives with her parents in London.  She’s a bit odd and doesn’t fit in with the other children, who consequently tease her mercilessly, making her withdraw even more into herself.  On a trip to Nigeria to meet her grandfather and other relatives, she meets a mysterious girl named Titioba.  Jess can’t pronounce it very well and decides to call her TillyTilly.  Tilly is adept at getting into places she shouldn’t be, but Jess gamely goes along with her new friend..until her friend begins to frighten her.

Tan, Amy
  • Saving Fish from Drowning **
Fiction.  A Chinese-American artist living in San Francisco signs on to lead a tour to China and Burma, but before the tour takes place, she is mysteriously killed in her shop.  The other eleven travelers decide to go on without her, not knowing that her ghost will be tagging along for the ride.  The political front is up in arms in Burma, with the military junta controlling the country by violence.  During an early Christmas morning jaunt, the American tourists suddenly disappear, and the whole world becomes aware of their plight.

Weiland, K.M.
  • Structuring Your Novel ****
Non-fiction.  How to construct the various parts of a novel.  Showing the different parts of the entire plot, each scene and down to each sentence.

Weiland, K.M.

  • Structuring Your Novel Workbook ****
  • Non-fiction.  Workbook that goes along with Structuring Your Novel.