At Last – I’ve Been Published in Reader’s Digest!

I was feeling really good when I had my first letter published in The Lady  (6th. October, 2017 issue) but now it’s the Reader’s Digest (March 2018 issue)!  Okay, it might only be a few words under ‘You Couldn’t Make it Up’ but those few words will pay me fifty pounds.  That is, if I can get administration at Reader’s Digest to change my address from 9 to 29…..  A typing error!


20171006 – Published in the Lady

March 2018 – Letter Published in Reader’s Digest

Published in: on 20/03/2018 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

That Can’t Be Right!

I’ve seen some strange things written in newspapers, where it is clear that the writer, and indeed the proofreader, didn’t look at the whole meaning of the sentence and these two seem to take the biscuit.

Having read an article online some months ago, about a fatal stabbing in a supermarket, the article went on to say that another person has a cut to his finger but they ‘don’t think it’s connected’. What did ‘don’t think it’s connected’ mean? Not connected to the hand or not connected to the fatal incident?

Today, again in an online newspaper, regarding the rape charges being brought against the footballer, Adam Johnson, I have just read that ‘he faces a significant jail term after he was found guilty of one count of sexual contact with a child at Bradford Crown Court’. Do rapes actually happen in courts, as this is what this sentence says?

This is why work should be checked and checked again, because a sentence which may make sense to you might not actually say what you meant it to say.

All hail the proofreader (but was there one in these two cases?)

Published in: on 05/03/2016 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Capitalising on the Capital Letter … .

Remember the day when a capital letter was only to be used on the name of a person, a place and title of a book or film? I do.

Today; capital letters appear so often in writings, that it makes even me start to query whether they should be there. That’s because we see them being incorrectly used so often that, after time, they become ‘correct’, as everyone who reads regularly sees the capital letters and accepts that, well, ‘this is the way it is’.

Remember the old ‘eleven plus’ exams, and also the GCEs and CSEs, when you had to correctly punctuate a piece of work? Whereas as I had confidence back then, I would now need to query what I have always known.

Sad, don’t you think?

Or doesn’t it matter anymore?

Published in: on 13/08/2015 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Entitled’ or ‘Titled’?

Just which one is it?

Is my book ‘entitled’ The Blah Blah Blah or is it ‘titled’ The Blah Blah Blah?

Every time I hear someone say ‘entitled’, I squirm a little inside but, having checked through several writing websites, I see that ‘entitled’ has been the preference over the centuries until recently (ah, so ‘titled’ has been used)

Having looked at what others have to say, I think the best way to go is to reword your sentence (whether spoken or written|) to avoid criticism.  So,  “the title of my book is” or “my book is called”.

That way, you won’t get picked up for displaying an error for all to hear / see … .

Published in: on 26/04/2015 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘A Horrible’ or ‘An ‘Orrible’ ….?

Today, 4th. March 2015, is the first time that I have watched the 5 o’clock news on channel 5 and I was so disappointed to hear the young newsreader (30 ish.?) say “an orrible campaign of violence”.
Oh, when did the English language become so horribly wrong? We all know that when the word which will be following ‘a’ begins with a vowel, we use ‘an’ instead. It’s smoothens the flow between the two words, doesn’t it?
But when did ‘a horrible’ become ‘an ‘orrible’ and, likewise, when did ‘a hotel’ become ‘an ‘otel’? Okay, if the ‘h’ is not to be pronounces, as in ‘honour’, we do say ‘an honour’ but that is a frir rule and not just a quirk. I sometimes think that it is only the older of us that can remember the real rules of the English language. Likewise with ‘oh, I didn’t know’, which is sometimes written as ‘or, I didn’t know’ and ‘I could’ve (I could have)’ regularly being written as ‘I could of’, we really do need to take stock of those who can write and speak English correctly and those who can’t ….. .


Published in: on 04/03/2015 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

My First CreateSpace Experience

After kindlifying a book for a client, I was asked if I could also prepare the information as a book via CreateSpace, an area in which I had never moved before.

And it was terrific!

When I first used Kindle, it was also with trepidation and that too was a very straightforward process as, once you’ve done your first Kindle book, it seems so easy. I sent the Kindle format to my own Kindle, so that I could view it in situ and this was a good experience, as it showed me if any subtitles had separated from their following content, allowing me to put a page break before the subtitle, ensuring that subtitle and following information arrived on the same page to view.

Well, I’ve just completed that first CreateSpace book and I learnt how to do this through a gentleman’s instruction on his own site and through four pages of information in the Writing Magazine of January 2014.  , I’ve had a look at the layout via the review system set up in the CreateSpace site, so I’ve been able to see what the book will look like and can thus make any necessary adjustments, before it is good to go.

I feel so good!

Published in: on 19/11/2014 at 8:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Writers Can Get Rich Quick!

I’ve just downloaded a book I found on Kindle, one of those that was first published over one hundred years ago, and found an amazing description of the word ‘faith’:-

Faith is the head chemist of the mind. When faith is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent and transmits it to infinite intelligence, as in the case of a prayer.’

And faith isn’t only about prayer. It’s about anything which you have a great desire for and wish to commit yourself to, making it your new future route through life.  All you have to do is believe you already have it and act accordingly. I know you’re getting a sniff of the law of attraction here and you could be right. So start making plans for your main goal and let me know when you arrive there.


So, come on, you writers out there (hmm. ….. that includes me …)!

Published in: on 31/10/2014 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Cruel People Can be in Ignorance of the Facts ….

How cruel people can be in ignorance of the true facts.

I’m hurt.

I like writing and always have done. In these days, I put short reports of situations of interest to the public at large and I upload these to Kindle. One of these reports was about Ebola and, via Amazon.Com, I received a derogatory review that said I was making money from other people’s suffering.

I. I have offered free download days and over 700 people benefited from knowing what was happening in Africa up to the month of July 2014. I received nothing for these free downloads and was truly happy that so many people had downloaded the report.

2. From the small amount of earnings that I have made from those who have bought the Ebola report for 99 cents / 60 pence, I have donated money to the Red Cross in an attempt to give what I can to alleviate the suffering of the people of Africa and to help towards finding a solution. Money can also be given to Global Giving.

Today, while I browsed through my work on Amazon Kindle, I saw a comment that implied that my report deserved only a score of 1, because I was feeding off other people’s suffering. The person writing this review also slated another book on Ebola.

I am of the view that, if you are a busy person, you may benefit from condensed information. As a hard worker of many years in England, I can honesty say that I have no idea what was going on in the world between 1971 and 2005, as I was too busy working every hour that God sent and raising three boys at the same time. How I would have loved someone to have done the searching for me, providing me with condensed information which was free from frills.

Still, to the person who wrote this report, and so possibly either got it as a free download or paid only the smallest small amount allowed on Kindle (I could have asked more but didn’t), I hope you learned something from it.

Published in: on 08/10/2014 at 2:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Pleasure I Derive from Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading is an exhausting task. Yet, it’s exhilarating, as well. Can you believe it?

I’m pernickety. I like to sleep on a night, knowing that I have put my heart and soul into something and that I am beyond criticism. If there is a possibility that a comma may be out of place, it hurts, so I go through the work again.

So, where does that leave the work owner and where does it leave me?

For the work owner, it is the comfort of knowing that I have left no stone unturned, that I went through the whole document or book, as many times as was necessary for me to feel one hundred percent good. After three full edit and proofreading procedures, I then go back to the beginning, to check that the flow is correct, that there are no errors that I have missed, that spaces are correct between bulks of speech and scenes …. and then, and only then, will I make use of the spelling and grammar check, just in case I was blinded by an error, or there is a double space where there shouldn’t be one. Need I elaborate further?

It’s stressful.

Yet it’s exhilarating. I have reached the point where I know my client will be absolutely happy. I leave the final door open, so that the owner can say, ”yes, that’s spot on”, or “well, could you do this for me, as well (something personal to their needs that I was not aware of earlier)?”

So the rate I ask of ten pounds an hour / per thousand words can quickly fall to a lower hourly rate (I log all of my hours and, for work from non-native writers of English, I have seen my hourly rate fall to less than one pound an hour), as I dig deep and leave the work with a satisfied heart. If you’re not into editing and proofreading, this feeling may be difficult to understand. I’m in search of perfection, or close as anyone can get to it, though they do say that perfection doesn’t exist. On that score, I suppose we need to ask the most beautiful woman in the world if she is happy with herself and see what she comes up with.

Still, I love the work and, for me, a satisfied customer is a part of the payment.

Published in: on 06/10/2014 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Writing Short Reads for Amazon Kindle

Of late, I’ve been watching what is happening in today’s world and thinking “is that something I could write about and put up on Kindle?”  And yes, I can.  But if the information is already spread across many newspapers, why would anyone want to buy my two thousand word + report?

Well, I found an answer to this question in some feedback I got from a reader of one of my Kindle books.  He said that my book helped him while away a wet day of travelling in London and ‘good on you for writing this book’, or words to that effect.  So, people like short reads and, if it is on a topic of interest, they are willing to pay that sixty pence, ninety nine cents or other monetary equivalent, to enjoy a read which comes from information that has been collated to form a ‘one stop read’.

I’ve had huge success on a report about Ebola and fair success on one about Parkinson’s disease (the actor Robin Williams had this condition).  Yesterday, I released a short report on Jack the Ripper, finishing it with the new information that a man believes he has now identified the murderer.  By DNA, of all things!

Amazon are now happy to publish what they call short reads so, if you’re like me and haven’t yet progressed to novellas (the shorter version of those very long pieces of writing), have a go at writing a short read for Kindle.  ‘Kindlifying (my word for it)’ is so incredibly easy.  If you’d like to know how to do it, send me an e-mail to and I’ll let you know how.




Published in: on 10/09/2014 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment