Author News

When I thought I would start blogging again, another rung in the ladder had broken for me. Life has been pretty hectic in the last few years. I’ve had a mixed bag of good events—like my second book The Calling being published—and then bad events like not being able to blog, write, or be an author. I wanted to explain why I’ve had to step away for a while.

My life has been emotionally draining in the last few years with family issues. My mom’s health has been slowly deteriorating after my dad died two years ago. Last November we had to unexpectedly place her in memory care. We literally had a week to find a new facility and then move her from assisted living to her new home. A little more than a month after her move she fell and broke her thigh bone. Because of the massive stroke she had in 2010 and her current condition, she wouldn’t survive the surgery or rehab associated with trying to fix her thigh bone. We had to place her in hospice.

The days, weeks, months have been pretty emotional as we adjust to knowing we will soon lose her. Whether it’s tomorrow or in a few months, no one knows. We continue to move ahead and do what we can to keep her comfortable and making sure she knows that we love her.

In the meantime, I try to keep balance of my life. I did go on a Bahama cruise which was much needed to unplug and enjoy the warmth of the sun. I’m also attending the RT Convention which I registered for last summer. I debated on going but knew I needed this break too. There’s something special about seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.  I know the convention will bring me back into the writing which I love to do.

Connections

The world is a busy place with the instant connectivity we have at our fingertips. Social media is a big time hog that can suck you into its vortex.

Facebook: I’ll go out to Facebook to review happenings and the next thing I know is that an hour has past. Really? An hour? I thought I was only on the site for five minutes.

Twitter: Fun way to send tidbits but also a constant eye catcher, wanting to send and review comments. Boom. Boom. Boom. Let’s see what’s trending.

Pinterest: This site is another place that I know I’ll need to visit. Great place to promote. I have an account, but I’m scared I’ll get hooked. I’ve seen it happen with friends and family.

I have only named three of the top places. There are others like Instagram and Tumblr.

And of course there is Email. I get quite a lot of emails per day. I have more than one account. Today I’m going to try getting through all the unopened emails waiting to be read.

I’m not saying that it’s bad. I love catching up on events going on and staying connected. My only request…can we have a few more hours in a day? Please?

Beth M James, Author

Available Books: The Calling (Book One), Gitana – Life Plan

 

Happy Veterans Day!

Last August and September my son went on a mission near Berlin, Germany to collect the remains of our World War II heroes missing in action when their planes crashed. What an honor to be able to bring those heroes home to their families and to give them closure. I can only imagine the emotions that ran through my son when dismantling the planes to get at the remains and to find the personal items, knowing the pilots had been in the midst of all the fighting. How they were men with families and ones that they’d never see again. I’m emotional just thinking about it.

Here’s to all our Vets who’ve served our country. Let’s not forget them.

Manuscript Editing

I’m in the home stretch of completing my edits for my novel “The Calling” before I send it to the editor. Editing is time consuming and tedious, but rewarding as well. I love how the story transforms into polished work. The main errors that I look for in each chapter are adverbs, sentences over 30, and repeat words. There’s other edits as well that I will look for (consistency, typos, etc.), but the three noted above are the ones that I don’t “see” when I read my own work. I am too close to the story to notice the errors. I use a software program to point them out to me.

For those edits, the majority of adverbs used in a story are unnecessary. I mainly look for “ly” words. I’ll remove 90% of them. If the “ly” word is used in dialogue, I won’t remove it. In both books I liked to use the word “just.” Funny how a simple word can be used way too many times.

Sentences with over 30 words are easy fixes. I will break the one long sentence into two or three sentences. The hardest errors for me to find are the repeat words. Even when repeats are right in front, screaming at me, I still can’t see them, until they are highlighted in bold. In two paragraphs I had “dangerous” written four times. Four times! To correct, I determine if there’s another word I can use to replace the repeat, or if I have to restructure or delete the sentence. At times, I will keep the repeat if needed. Fixing repeat words takes the majority of the time. I’m not a pro, but I am getting better.

With that said, I need to edit another chapter….