Well this was an interesting one.

Remake by Ilima Todd is a young adult fantasy dystopian book. Because all books need labels these days.

To break that down, young adult means soppy romance in there, fantasy means unreal, and dystopian means 1984 or Brave New World.

So, brief synopsis is that our heroine, Nine, lives in Freedom One (aka 1984 where everything means the opposite) and due to circumstances, she finds herself outside the province and gets to look at a different option of freedom.

She is brought up as quasi gender-neutral, but only because all children receive hormone suppressant injections. She has no family, rather she is part of a batch of bred hatchlings.
Read More


The privileged atheist with time on her hands

‘Can I go to Sunday School?’ I asked. Well, other school friends went and said it was good so I thought I was missing out.

I was duly despatched, with my elder cousin who lived next door, to the Metho one in town at 3pm.

Boring, boring. Boring as hell. So to speak. We had to draw pictures of bible stories. I couldn’t draw at the best of times. Where was the intellectual stimulation?

I gave it one or two goes and decided watching the Sunday afternoon film with my parents in the smoke-filled sitting room after lunch was a better alternative.

My thirst for extra knowledge had evaporated rapidly.

Read More

The house at the finca

A rose by any other name

Or, what’s in a name? (Credit to Will S)

Because if you try and differentiate between the so-called different types of editor you need, you will end up with an infarct, of the myocardium.

An aside, when I was discussing heart attacks – as lay people call an MI – with a clinical colleague, I asked him why it was called a myocardial infarction. ‘Because it’s an infarct of the myocardium,’ he said, puzzled at my stupidity.

But not everyone walks around talking about infarcts and the myocardium. Most of us still talk about heart attacks.

Just as most of us talk about editors, not line editors, or copy editors, or content/developmental/ structural editors. And editors are different to proofreaders. Or are they?
Read More


Racism or reality?

The wonderful thing about the internet (somewhat like Tiggers) is that you can look up all manner of people, school friends, work colleagues, people you loathed, anyone really, from the past and find out what they are up to.

OK, so Helen Fielding, in the year above me at school, isn’t too hard to find. And given that I am not a fan of chick lit, romance or Pride and Prejudice, Ms Jones’ Diary was not my favourite read, and the film didn’t go down well either.

Hopefully you shouldn’t find me in an internet search as I haven’t done anything remotely famous like Helen.

But publishing books and remaining in the newspaper industry does make you more track-down able.

The last I heard from a former reporting colleague was when he wrote to me from California saying that he was working in a lab as a technician, and no longer considered himself a journalist. He doubted he’d return to our profession.

Read More


O Editor Editor! Wherefor art thou?

We are, it seems, a popular topic of blog conversation.

Never a week goes by, without someone writing about us.

For example:

  • Waste of money, I can do it myself
  • My best friend/husband/mother has a creative writing qualification/English degree
  • I can’t live without my editor – a marriage made in heaven
  • Editing is more than proofreading, they need to question your plot, your characters, your will to live – or at least your will to write
  • You need to choose your editor carefully – here are the criteria…
  • Read More


    How not to poach an egg…

    Never accept your husband’s offer to poach you an egg for breakfast.

    I always find breakfast a problem which is why I don’t always eat it until brunch time.

    But he suggested a boiled egg and I wrinkled my nose.

    Then, I thought, a nice delicate poached egg, cooked in lots of vinegar, would be nice though.

    ‘I’ll do it,’ he merrily volunteered.

    Who’s going to refuse that offer?

    Off he trots to get on with it.


    Read More