A Nightmare is a scary dream where when you wake up, it disappears.
A Night Terror is a scary dream where when you wake up, it continues!

First let’s learn about last clichés:

Too Many Irons in the Fire – More projects than you can handle. This term comes from the smithy and has long survived the profession of blacksmith. The blacksmith who tries to heat too many irons at once is probably going to spoil the forging of some of them. It’s been used since the 16th Century.

Stubborn as a Mule – Singularly obstinate. No one knows why mules have been singled out for this quality, but they have, for centuries. “Obstinate” and “contrary” are other adjectives used in the simile, which started in the early 1800s and remains today. You could also use “mulish.”

A Good Egg – A trustworthy, agreeable person. This expression outlived “bad egg,” which it actually implied in the 16th Century. Started out referring to birds, then morphed into people. See The Athenaeum, 1864 and Rudyard Kipling used it in Traffics and Discoveries (1904).

How many did you find?

Why are titles of your book so important? I think you can win brownie points with a good title. A title should grab the reader’s attention. My title Night Terror reflects that it will be a scary book, but if you know the meaning of “night terror” as explained above, it gives you a real clue as to what the book might be about.

In using a title, you don’t want to lie low. For example in my next book Vanity Killed I’m giving you a clue about the book. My character will risk life and limb to discover how her friend died. Is the book about a person so vain who kills, or are the victims killed because they are vain?

Your titles should speak volumes, so really put some thought into them. If you self-publish, you can use your title. However, a publishing house might want to change your title. You have to decide which the best title is for you.

Keep Writing,



Finally after my eye surgeries, I’m well enough to read and write for more than a few minutes. So, first things first -Last clichés:
let the cat out of the bag – To give away a secret. This dates from an ancient practice of substituting a worthless cat for a valuable suckling pig by a dishonest tradesman in a farmer’s market. When the poor unsuspecting buyer got home and opened the bag, the ct was revealed.

put all the cards on the table – To be completely candid, hide nothing. This term comes from numerous card games where the players must at some point turn their cards faceup and show their hands. This expression was transferred to a more general meaning in the late 16th Century.

rub elbows with – To associate unexpectedly closely with. Originted in Britain as rub shoulders with, which is still the more common expression there. Thackeray used it in his Book of Snobs (1848). The word “elbows” is prefered in America, as in Upton Sinclair’s muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906).

suffice it to say – It should be enough to state the following. This expression indicates that what follows is all that should be said about something and dates from the 17th Century. John Dryden used it in St. Evremont’s Miscellaneous Essays (1692).

So how many did you find?

Hopefully my editor does not have too many irons in the fire because my new novel Vanity Killed is now with Ana Manwaring from JAM Manuscript Editorial Services. She will give me an indepth edit. Then I will take a look at her suggestions, do any corrections needed, read it one last time or twice more and get it in the correct format for creating my book.

Editing your book is very important because you can read your manuscript over and over and still miss key expressions, or grammar, or context because it is our baby and sometimes we miss things or ignore things that should happen when they don’t. I won’t be as stubborn as a mule if my editor makes a suggestion I don’t like, but will take a hard look at it.

Having your manuscript edited is like taking a writing class one on one with a professor. You want to find an editor who is a good egg and who is familiar with your genre. That way the two of you can relate better and you will have more respect for their suggestions.

So when you have your manuscript self-edited to the point you think you should publish it, first have an editor go over it to make it even better. Yes it will cost you, but probably not more than taking a class or two at the college level. And, it is well worth it to have an edited book.

Keep Writing,