Writing groups and editing

Hi all,

First and foremost, let’s jump right into last cliches:

Off the Cuff – impromptu.  Comes from the practice of after-dinner speakes making notes for a speech on the cuff of their shirtsleeve at the last minute, obviously as opposed to preparing a speech well beforehand.  Originated in America in 1930s

Take Umbrage – feel slighed; take offense.  Umbrage comes from Latin umbra = shade or shadow; rarely heard today.  1934 Alan Dent used it with a play on words see James Agate, Ego, March 11, 1934; cited in Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

Think Positive – concentrate on the bright side, on what is constructive and good and ignore the negative.  Comes from Norman Vincent Peale’s, The Power of Positive Thinking (1953).  Numerous psychologists of early 20th century developed idea, but popular after Peale’s book.

Keep the Faith – Carry on, continue with good work.  Phrase common among activists in American Civil Rights struggles of 1960s.  Originally alluded to maintaining one’s religious beliefs, – lost both meanings and more neutral now – used when two friends part.  See Stanley Ellin, The Man from Nowhere (1975).

I’m trying to keep my head above water and write on my blog.  Soon I’ll be receiving hopefully several hundred renewal applications for my Redwood Writers group of 246 members.  Every year, we must renew by June 30th.  I’m offering an early bird raffle with 10 prizes to get all the members to renew.  So processing them all again will keep me busy.
The prizes will be a printer, our club giving them back a renewal fee, and editing of their work.  Several of our members are editors and two who work at www.adaptingsideways.com will edit.  Some lucky winners will receive editing of 10 pages.

When I went to the Spring into Publication workshop, the one thing all of the speakers agreed on was that if you really want to get published anymore, you must have your work edited.  So, having this as a prize is a good incentive.

However, I will try not to let all of those applications coming in stop me from my writing on this blog or my novels.  The blog entry might be short, but I’ll at least point out the last cliches.

On another note: Does anyone know anything about: the Next Big Writers site?  They’re offering the strongest start novel competition, but you have to join to enter.  You have to read and review other writers.  Sounds interesting, but there is a fee.  $7.95/mo, 14.95/qtrly, 49.95/yearly.  If anyone knows anything about it, please let me know.

Well, I hate to cut and run, but expecting daughter for lunch. Having abalone that my husband got Easter weekend.  Enjoy.

Keep Writing,


Time Flies….

Well, hard to believe it’s April 18th already.  So much for writing on this blog every week.  Time flies is a cliche and I used it back in May, 2010, so it won’t count as one this time.  Hard to believe almost a year has gone by since I used it.  Actually, I started using the cliches in my blog on March 26, 2010, so a year has come and gone.

For those who are new, I try and pass on writer’s tips or off the cuff insights, something on writing, and throughout my writing I put in cliches.  The next writing, I inform you of the cliches used and their meaning and when used.

Last cliches:

All Ears — Pay close attention to what is said.  Might have originated in John Milton’s Comus (1634).  And has been used again and again to present.

Do One’s Heart Good — Cheer or be cheered up, make someone feel good, to gratify.  Been a cliche since 19th century, known in 16th cent. and used by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1:2)

Last but Not Least — Last in a sequence by not the least in importance.  Dates from 16th century, used by John Lyly in (Euphues and His England, 1580).  Also used by Shakespeare in King Lear and Julius Caesar)

Raring to Go — Very eager to get started.  American locution of late 19th cent. uses raring for rearing, verb used for a lively horse when it stands on its hind legs and is clearly eager to get moving.

So, how many are you finding each time?  Hope you’re enjoying finding the cliches. Don’t take umbrage if you can’t find them all.  Sometimes I’ll write something, look back and find it was a cliche.  There are so many.

I’m going to think positive and try and blog once a week, but keep the faith until next time,

Keep Writing,


Going to Pitch workshops

I’m energized.  Just went to a Spring into Publication workshop presented by the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club.  A great day with talks about editing, revising, critiquing, how your books gets published, a panel on self-publishing do’s an don’t’s, and insights on How to Pitch to Publish or Sell Your Book.

First-Last Cliches:

Better Late than Never–Rationalization of tardiness.  Traced to Greek and Latin writers, including historian Livy, appears in several early English proverb collections.  Full proverb: “Better late than never, but better never late.”

New Lease on Life–Renewed health & vigor; a fresh start, or opportunity for improvement.  Alludes to a new rental agreement dating from early 19th century.  Sir Walter Scott used it in a letter of 1809 re an invalid friend who was improving.  By mid-19th cent. use as a kind of fresh start.

Cast a Pall upon–To spread gloom.  Pall=cloth or cloak thrown over a coffin.  By 18th century term referred to a spiritual darkness. (“By this dark Pall thrown o’er the silent world,” Edward Young, Nightly Thoughts, 1742).

Throw in the Towel–Acknowledge defeat; give up.  J. C. Hotten’s Slang Dictionary of 1860: term comes from prizefighting, where throwing up the sponge used to clean the contender’s face was a signal that the “mill,” or round, was concluded.  Hotten was wrong: the sponge (or later towel) more often was thrown up as a signal of defeat, and expression was used to other enterprises.

I’m sure you’re all ears to hear about my experience yesterday at the publication workshop. I learned about: editing, revising, and critiquing; if you really want to be published, getting some sort of editor is a key; and the differences among revision or critique groups, developmental editor or content editor, copy editing, and proofreading.

It did my heart good to learn about how one author went through the publication process and gave us some insights on presenting your manuscript and what to look out for.

The Panel on Self-Publishing consisted of five published Redwood Writers–, and JoAnne Rosen, a book designer. Their explanations on how they self-published, pitfalls and good experiences and what the finished product looks like was very informative. JoAnne gave us a handout on the differences among LuLu, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source. One of the authors gave us a detailed report on her self-publishing process.  A lot to go through, but she’s now awaiting her first published book, proving that your dream can be realized.

And last but not least, the afternoon session with Charlotte Cook and Jon James Miller was mainly about How to Pitch to Publish or Sell Your Book. They explained what you need to tell about the book and yourself. Six attendees were able to give a pitch and were critiqued in front of everyone, so we all learned mainly not to tell the story step by step, but give  a general idea of the context. Unfortunately they ran out of time, but briefly discussed the manuscript.  Check Charlotte and Jon out at www.adaptingsideways.com.

Several books were recommended regarding Self-Publishing: The Well Fed Self Publisher by Peter Bowerman, other authors to read are Dan Poynter, Reiss, and going to Yahoo Self Publishing group with Peter Masterson.

I’m energized and raring to go!  Time to get my 4 finished novels out there and continue writing on my other two.

Until next time,

Keep Writing,