Top Ten Writing Mistakes Editors See Every Day

Originally posted on Blot the Skrip and Jar It:

Goya -The sleep of reason produces monsters (c1799) recut

In addition to writing and teaching, one of the things I do for a living is to evaluate manuscripts for their suitability for publication. I read fiction (and non-fiction) across several genres, and write comprehensive reports on the books. I try always to guide the author towards knocking his or her project into a shape that could be credibly presented to literary agents, publishers and general readers. You know how Newman and Mittelmark introduce How Not to Write a Novel by saying, ‘We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy,’ well they’re right; I am one of those editors.

However good the idea behind a novel, when the author is still learning the craft of writing – like any…

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I’m Running A Half-Marathon!?!

Yes, it’s true.

Surprisingly enough, I actually will be running a half-marathon, and better yet, I think I’ll finish! Now before I go on, I just would like to say that I am not runner. The longest I have ever ran at once was a mile in high school because we were forced too. (Also, high school was 7 years ago).

How did this all start? Well, my roommate, Laura, loves to run and coincidentally, loves Disney as well. Did you know that Disney hosts 10Ks, Half-Marathons and Marathons all the time throughout their parks? I didn’t, but believe me I know now. Laura decided on a whim to sign up. She continued to convince me and our other friend, Jenna, to join her as well. Now, here’s the fun part. Laura signed up for both the 10K and Half-Marathon (she’s crazy, I know). Here is the moment where I should have thought logically. I haven’t done anything active in who knows how long…I should just stick to the 10K. But what was my response? “Balls to the walls, let’s do the half-marathon!”

Why would I say that? No, please…someone tell me why.

By the time I decided to start my “training” that was all I could think of. Why would everyone let me do this?

After a few weeks went by with little to no progress, I was getting upset. As in, half-ready to start crying from frustration when running (which, you know, is super embarrassing). After failing at running 2 miles, I was complaining to Laura, saying “I was never gonna make it!”, “I’m gonna die at Disney”, and “This is the worst thing I’ve ever done”…Yes, I am slightly dramatic. However, she was very patient with me. Every time I had a negative thought, she would respond with a positive one. One day she just said I’ll be able to do it. It’s all a mental game. You don’t have to be fast, you just have to keep a pace. You’ll have enough time to finish the race.

I kept that in mind the next time that I ran…which I have to say I think I’m a pretty positive person in general, but I definitely needed this pep talk. It made all the difference. I started running as I usually did…and got tired as I usually did, but instead of walking right away, I remember what Laura said. So I slowed down…like to a snails pace…but I was still running. And I kept that pace for the 2 mile distance that I had to run. I couldn’t believe it. I went from not being able to run for 400 meters to running a full 2 miles, just because I changed the way I viewed running.

So I kept going. I kept adding miles, having to pace myself even longer, and I’m still going! I have found myself actually getting excited to go running which I never expected.

I’m now at 8 miles! I’m so close to getting there. I’m more than half-way done with the 13.1 miles, and I am so proud of myself. Now, I know, I still have 5 miles to go to make it to the actual distance, but I’m feeling positive about it. And even if something happens, and I don’t finish the race, I can’t be too disappointed. I went from running nothing to being able to run 8+ miles in a few months. I have to say this is a proud accomplishment for me…it was something I never thought I could do.

I guess what I’m also trying to say is attitude makes a huge difference, as well as having someone there to back you up. I know I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of an amazing friend.

Anyway, wish me luck! Hopefully, I’ll have good news for you in a month :)

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

I’m going to start this post by saying…I love Sophie Kinsella. I love all her novels, and when I found out that she has more novels, under her real name, Madeline Wickham, I literally was jumping in the bookstore…literally. However, right now I’m going to write about her newest novel, Wedding Night.


First of all, I didn’t know that she had a book coming out. I walked into the bookstore and saw this from a distance. I beelined straight to it. I’m so glad I bought it, I thought it was absolutely adorable.

The book centers around 2 sisters: Fliss and Lottie. Fliss is going through a rough divorce and Lottie believes that she found her one true love, Richard. However, Lottie thinks Richard is proposing and needless to say things get awkward. So how does Lottie cope? She finds her first love, Ben who she hasn’t seen in 15 years and decides to marry him! What!?!

Yeah, things get crazy. I think that’s enough to wet your appetite :) . Kinsella does a wonderful job at writing these fun, flirty, hilarious novels. It’s compelling, and believe me craziness ensues.

I had moments of laughter within this book and moments of intense worry. You know those feelings. When you actually have to stop reading because you are so embarrassed for the character.

It’s a wonderful, romantic story and I would recommend it to anyone!

Where Have I Been? Lost In My Fandoms

I’m sorry I have been slacking on this blog, and honestly I can give you a few reasons why….but the main reason is fandoms.

Yes. I am part of some very huge fandoms, and I find that they are slowly taking over my life. I can’t help it! It also doesn’t help that my roommate is in the same boat as I am. We end up just talking/pinning/watching things pertaining to our fandoms.


As you can probably see, I am very deep in the Sherlock fandom – although I’m not as clever/detail oriented as my fellow Sherlockians, it is my favorite show at the moment. (Season 3 is coming!!!!) I can’t help it, I’m totally hooked.

Sherlock is not only brilliant and witty, it has the perfect cast. It’s beautifully directed and filmed. And of course, I am in love with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Who wouldn’t be?


I am also slowly becoming immersed in the Doctor Who fandom. I love the craziness of it, and I can’t wait to fully understand everything…well, understand as much as the rest of the fandom does :)

My roommate and I watched three episodes yesterday (should I be worried?) and the first episode I was so confused my head hurt. The second episode I was so scared I had to pause it to finish it, and the last episode we watched it took everything in me not to cry.


The freaking feels.

Everything that is happening in Sherlock (oh my gosh, John! Poor John.) and everything that we have seen in Doctor Who (we started in the middle, so very confused, but we still feel the feels.)

Did you know, I had not heard this expression until a couple of months ago, and now I use it all the time…I guess that’s no surprise as I am in two fandoms who are in a constant state of feels. It really is just the perfect explanation of everything. It encompasses everything, and it is perfect.

Oh, did I also mention, I’ve started to watch Merlin? Yep, I have heard that I am going to hate myself for that one….Yes, BBC is taking over my life. Moffat! Gatiss! As much as they pain me, they are the best. Trolls at their finest :)

Anyway, here I am focused on these fandoms, and I am just wondering how I ended up here….and it’s definitely the internet’s fault. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t have the internet, I would still be obsessed with these shows, but oh my, with the internet, everything is multiplied. I just keep finding more things to love, and as soon as I’m about to stop and actually do something with my life, I read a new pin or theory and I’m hooked again!

Slowly, it just takes over everything. I think the best explanation of it, is right here. This man speaks the truth. I swear this video is hilarious, especially if you are in a fandom.

However, I have to say, I really don’t care. I love being in fandoms! And I will always try to pull people to my side of the fandom…so beware :)

Anyway, are you part of a fandom? Which one?

Beefy Mac

Look at me! Finally cooking again :). I know, I know, it has been forever since I have cooked (something new at least). However, before we get to the recipe, let me just say, I don’t know how my mother did this. As I was cooking yesterday, I had to watch two dogs who don’t like each other while simultaneously cooking, while making sure they don’t get into a mess (puppies, you know?) I was so anxious the whole time, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything. So here’s a big shout out to my mother who did this every night with 3 kids and one dog….it’s crazy.

Anyway, here is what I made last night:


It was absolutely delicious, and fairly easy to make…you just have to do three things all at once. Or, I guess you could do them one at a time and be less stressed than I was :)

Here is what you need:

  • One box elbow macaroni
  • Big can of purred tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Whatever spices you would like to add to your sauce (I used garlic, oregano, onions and basil)
  • 4 cups of low fat cheese (I used cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese)
  • 1 lb ground beef

And now for the fun part:

  1. Cook the pasta as directed on the package
  2. Brown the meat and then drain.
  3. Combine all tomato sauces and spices to blend
  4. Once everything is complete, mix all three ingredients with 3 cups of the cheese and stir well in a lasagna pan
  5. Top off the casserole with all the left over cheese
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes

Right seems easy enough!

Although I definitely learned something about myself:

  1. I need to concentrate when I cook, otherwise it leads to my next point.
  2. I am messy. I am such a messy cook.

Haha, some points to definitely work on.

Anyway, it was amaaaaaazing, I am going to count this one as a win!

10 – 1

Mark of Athena

ImageRick Riordan is an amazing author. Never heard of him? He primarily writes for kids, his popular series being the Percy Jackson series and the Kane Chronicles.

But seriously? You should read them. He does a phenomenal job at creating a compelling, adventurous, suspenseful storyline.

I guess I should start by telling you where exactly this book is in the series. Well, Mark of Athena is the third book in the sister series of Percy Jackson…so you can almost think of it as being the 8th book in the series. I know, I know, that’s a lot of books, but I swear you will be able to finish them so fast!

I also love Greek (and Roman) mythology. Riordan puts his own twist on the gods and goddesses, and it is truly spectacular how he portrays them in 21st century. I always loved reading myths growing up, but, reading this, I have realized how many I have forgotten. He references so many myths and lesser gods or goddesses that I have forgotten. For example, in this book we ran into Echo and Narcissus. I had completely forgot that story! However, as soon as I started reading through it, I remembered what happened.

It’s actually hard for me to say anything more about this book without giving things away. Basically, and this is definitely the most basic I can say this, a group of demi-gods are chosen to go on a quest. They are up against bigger and stronger villains, and they have to use their unique talents to prevail. I liked how the group of demi-gods have to work together…they are uncomfortable with this, but it is nice to watch (I guess, read) them overcome this obstacle because the only way they would have succeeded was through each other’s help.

With that being said, I am not happy with the ending…Riordan does a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful job with cliff hangers. All of his books read like one story. There is no time in between them, every ending leads right into the beginning of the next book. It is absolute torture to have to wait for the next book to come out.

Anyway, I know this isn’t very descriptive, but it is a wonderful series that you should check out!

Who Dunnit?

Ok, so I know many of you probably have never seen / heard about this movie. For everyone else who has seen it, most of you probably aren’t that keen on it. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!Image

This was one of my favorite movies as a child, and it still is one of my favorites. I think it is incredibly funny and enjoyable to watch. I have so many favorite lines from it:

Mrs. White: Husbands should be like Kleenex: Soft, strong, and disposable.

Colonel Mustard: You lure men to their deaths, like spiders with flies.

Mrs. White: Flies are where men are most vulnerable.

Lolz. I mean, right? Hilarious.

How about this one:

Professor Plum: What are you afraid of, a fate worse than death?

Mrs. Peacock: No, just death, isn’t that enough?

True story, Mrs. Peacock, I’m right there with you.

And one last one, I swear:

Wadsworth (The Butler): Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

Yep, they went there.

And there are so many other quotes that I would like to show you, but unfortunately they are hilariously tied to the scene / story and I wouldn’t want to give anything away :)

It gets funnier the more you watch it because you start to notice lines and objects that were never there before. The music is perfect, full of mocking “DA DUUUUUMS” everywhere because, you know, we need it as dramatic as ever.

However, if none of this is enough to convince you to watch it, here is one last attempt: Tim Curry. Yes, Tim Curry, is, in my opinion, the best part about this movie. His comedic timing is great and he quite literally tells this story.

I was the kid, who recorded this on a VHS tape from the TV (yeah, old school!), then bought the actual VHS tape, and now I have it on DVD. Truly, truly, if you come across it, check it out! Do you know who dunnit? Well I do!

Any other Clue fans out there?

I’d Be Lost Without My Blogger

I’d Be Lost Without My Blogger

Need I say anything else? These two warm my heart, and this is such an adorable picture of them. Still haven’t watched Sherlock (BBC) yet? It’s amazing. Not only is it a huge puzzle that you wish to solve before … Continue reading