Writing styles

Developing Understanding when Reading

Developing Understanding when Reading (Photo credit: Ken Whytock)

Since I got my Kindle, I’ve been reading a lot of books that are not necessarily best-sellers.  Some of them are firsts for the author, others are from previously published authors.  I always try to pay attention to writing styles when I’m reading.  Of course, we all notice spelling or grammatical errors.  I also notice editing or publishing errors that distract from the joy of reading.

But lately, I’ve really been paying attention to dialogue styles.  It seems that some authors write their dialogue in proper grammatical form (those are probably the folks who paid the most attention in English class!).  My issue with writing (and reading) dialogue written in this manner is that it’s not really how most of us speak in our everyday lives.  I suppose, if we’re highfalutin’,  hoity-toity, upper crust, tea and scones in the afternoon types, then that could be how we actually talk.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone like that in my life…and I sure don’t talk like that.  So I tend to write dialogue as I imagine my characters speak.  In my opinion, that allows the reader to better know and understand the characters.

I have to admit, I get distracted when I’m reading a book and the writing style is such that I get the feeling that English is a second language for the author.  I find myself constantly telling myself it would have been easier to understand had it been written this way, or had they not hesitated to use contractions.  Am I being overly picky?

As I throw my hands in the air in admission that I completely understand that I am by no means the most accomplished writer, and that anyone who has ever written anything at all can either take or leave my criticisms, I must stress that I’ve been an avid reader since I first learned to read.  And I know what I like to read as well as what doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Really, aren’t we all like that?

What distracts you from the joy of reading?

She’s baaack!

Before you say anything…I know I’ve been MIA for much too long. April has been an extremely hectic month! I went back to work after being sick for two months…believe me, that wasn’t (isn’t) easy. I’m still not at 100%, but I’m getting there…slowly…

And, being the crazy chick that I am, I decided to do another Camp NaNo during April…yep, you read that right…writing 50,000 words over the course of the month. I managed to hit 50,378 today…early, well, at least a little early. Some of it’s good, most of it’s not…but the whole point of NaNo is to simply write…and I did do that. And I think I may come up with, you know, maybe 10,000 publishable words from this month’s writing…maybe.

Now it’s time to focus on my health…I’ve got a big, several-hours-long pulmonary test coming up on the 9th and maybe then we can figure out what to do to make it a bit easier to breathe and do something else at the same time…in the meantime, I’m trying to eat healthier and exercise as much as I can without negatively affecting my breathing.

And speaking of eating healthier…let me ask you all, do you use a juicer? If so, what brand? Pros and cons? I’m trying to eat more organic foods and working diligently to avoid GMOs and making my own juices would be another step in that direction.

Kitty Pals

Nah…not Spooky and Scout, unfortunately.  Spook still torments poor Scout even though Scout weighs twice as much as Spook does.  Scout will be minding her own business and when Spook walks into the room, she quickly walks right up to Scout and starts gnawing on her leg.  She doesn’t hurt her at all so it’s kind of funny to watch how the kitten jumps over her to make her escape.  Every once in a while, Scout will lift a paw as if to fight, but nothing much happens.  It could be a lot worse, I guess.

Fat little Scout

Fat little Scout


Scout doesn’t usually look like she’s this fat, but it looks like I’m going to have to cut back on her treats.  It’s hard to believe she was that cute little kitten not even a year ago and now she’s this huge, but still cute, all grown up cat.




And then there’s the light-weight, weighing in at only 5 pounds, Spooky.  She looks like she weighs more than she does because her fur is fluffy, but when you pick her up, you can tell she weighs just a little bit of nothing. But she still rules the roost.

My little kitty pals were good company when I was sick, always right there beside me keeping me warm.  So I guess they both deserve a few treats.  Maybe I’ll have to teach Scout how to use the treadmill!!  Sounds like an interesting blog post, doesn’t it?


Where in the world have I been?

Dead plant in pots

Dead plant in pots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I realized it’s been a coon’s age (one of my grandma’s phrases) since I sat down to write anything at all for my poor, neglected blog and all of my faithful readers.  Sorry about that.  Even though I’ve not been taking the time to post here, I’ve still been writing.  I’m taking part in Camp NaNo again this month and I’m pleased to say I’m doing a pretty good job…a little over 12,000 words written (not counting whatever I may churn out tonight).  I had every intent of writing something new, but when I sat down that first day, my fingers had other plans…so still working on the same story just at  a different stage in his life.  I know, I know…I’m such a rebel!

I do have something positive to report!  After seeing the pulmonologist and taking a ton of meds, I’m finally feeling better…not great….not 100%…but oh so much better than I felt a month ago.  I still get on these coughing jags in the evenings and at night or if I’m outside in the cold….thank goodness mother nature is finally giving me a break in that department.  I’m back at work, just this past week.  Sometimes it’s a struggle, but I’ve got a pretty compassionate boss, he’s working with me to make sure I continue recovering.  I love the folks I work with…and really did miss seeing them on a daily basis.  Sounds like a pretty good gig, huh?

I’m so happy that spring is finally here.  I have Tuesday off work and I’m hoping the weather will cooperate so I can get outside and plant some lettuce and radishes…I need to stop and buy some pansies to plant too…maybe I can do that after work tomorrow, if I’m not just worn out.  I haven’t decided how much I’m going to plant this year..definitely a couple of tomato plants, but I may end up buying most of my produce at the farmers’ market this year.  We’ll see…

How about you?  Got any gardening plans?  Getting outside to allow that sweet spring breeze to kiss your face?