Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post up to eight sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.

Still with Tiamat's Nest, here is a snippet following the other main character, a gamer who uses the online name of Tin Man. He got caught trespassing inside Charles's simulation and was forced to help Terry, Charles's research assistant. With Terry dead, killed by Tiamat, Tin Man is left trapped in the simulation and is looking for a way out.


"Look up."

Tin Man did, and ice tingled his spine. Where the vast globe normally hung, a round face gazed down at him.

"That one just leads to the archives. You can't get out that way."

Tin Man glanced back at the outline on the wall he'd just revealed, then turned to face the disembodied apparition. It was difficult to tell with the oblate distortion, but she looked young. Unlikely to be Terry's boss.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Word woes

As a writer, I've become more aware of the meaning of words, and the power of choosing the right word in the right place.

Words are beautiful things, so it grieves me to see words abused, and I want to draw the world's attention to the plight of the humble word in the hands of persistent abusers.

Here are some examples of my pet peeves.


These are at opposite ends of the communication line - send and receive. They are totally different words, yet many people treat 'infer' as a posher-sounding substitute for 'imply'.

"Oh, no," they think to themselves, "'imply' is a nasty, blunt and common word. I'll use 'infer' instead and show how educated I am."

I'm sorry, but no! It just shows how ignorant you really are.


Similar to the above. How many times do prominent figures at the heart of a breaking scandal utter those immortal words, "I absolutely refute these allegations."

No, you don't. You have not offered a shred of evidence, so you've proved nothing - which is what 'refute' means. All you've done is deny it.

But people don't want to say that, because in the popular media denial somehow implies guilt.

Should have/should of

There's no either/or here. This is an example of lazy patterns of speech finding their way into writing.


This one baffles me, and yet I repeatedly see well-educated people use 'loose' when they mean 'lose'.

Leading edge/bleeding edge

When I first heard of 'bleeding edge' it was a fresh and witty play on words. Technology so innovative that it was raw and dangerous. The trouble is, so many people liked it that it got used far more than it should, and it's lost its power.

It saddens me when perfectly good phrases become worn through inappropriate over-use.

State of the art/state of the ark

Another clever play on words that has become abused, once again through ignorance or laziness. It baffles me to hear people say 'State of the ark' when they clearly don't mean something ancient and decrepit.

So, writers everywhere, rise up in defense of those poor, abused, and helpless words. What examples of abuse peeve you?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors

Since Six Sentence Sunday finished at the end of January, an intrepid group of bloggers decided they couldn't let a good idea die. Weekend Writing Warriors is based along the same lines. It's a weekly blog hop where participants post up to eight sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.

Once again, I'm drawing from Tiamat's Nest. Here, Charles and his young grandson have just narrowly avoided death by snow plow.


Charles watched Benedict happily sketching at the dining table. Several sheets of paper were already covered with bright drawings of yellow machines with large teeth.

"He doesn't seem too bothered by it," Charles whispered to Sylvie. He nursed his third beer. That, and two large brandies, were finally starting to calm the trembling in his limbs.

"It was all just a big load of excitement to him," Sylvie murmured. "He hasn't made any connection to what might have happened. He's got no concept of mortality."


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Yes, I've signed up for the A to Z Challenge 2013.

Yes, I've got a theme.

No, I'm not telling you what it is ... yet.

I can say, though, that it is not about writing. Anyone care to guess?

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