Welcome to my blog

Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Update and a few thoughts on writing

It’s been a month since my last post. Nothing much has happened except I’ve been battling this stubborn cold for a month. Summer colds are the worst to get rid off. My garden is growing well. Unless the weather turns nasty, like hail or strong winds, I should have a nice crop of tomatoes and peppers. Even my onions are getting large. The beans are also growing and so is the corn. I’ve planted corn only once, years ago, and it didn’t do well. I’m hoping this year it will have cobs we can eat.
The basil plant I thought was frozen out, did actually make it. It is growing. Basil is great in tomato sauces and even makes a nice tasting tea.
We have this little jackrabbit in the yard. He’s as cute as a button and not shy at all. First, he ate the tops of my red beets and the lettuce. When I put a fence around the bed, he began munching on my Swiss chard. Now I covered that with wire. I tried to chase him, but he runs circles around me and just looks at me. Even though I’m a hunter, I don’t want to hurt him. After all, he’s part of the yard and almost a pet.
I’m feeding the wild birds. We get many of the North American Finches. They are so beautiful with their bright yellow and black colors. We set up one of those tubes and fill them with Niger seeds. They love those, but the birds go to the other feeders also. Strange how some birds are. The females all get along, but the males won’t tolerate another one on the feeder. We have a few sparrows. Not as many as in the winter. Years ago, we used to have more. Maybe there are people in the neighborhood who feed them better food? Birds can be fussy; we know that from our Canary. He has his preferences.
Last week I sent away the final edit on ‘Tapestry of Dreams’. It should be released soon from Midnight Showcase Fiction.
When I have some spare time, I write on my new novel ‘Epsilon’. So far, I’ve written about 8,000 words. I have some ideas in my head but I don’t really know yet where I’m going. Can’t seem to get into it. There are always other things demanding my attention. I still have to fix some errors in my other novels and novellas scheduled for publishing this year. ‘Outpost Epsilon’ is one of them. It is next on the list. And then comes ‘Mark of the Cobra’. I read them again, found many mistakes, fixed them on the printed paper, but now I still have to do it on the computer. It all takes time.
When you write for your own entertainment, it doesn’t really matter if the grammar is correct. You don’t worry if you have the commas in the right place, if you used the proper words to describe something, if you misspelled a word, or if you use adverbs and adjectives correctly. Who cares about point of view, passive voice, past tense or present tense, or even being politically correct. It is the story that is important, nothing else. That all changes when you write for the public. Some readers will take a story apart and will painstakingly look for errors. That is a fact of life for a writer, and in a way, you can’t blame the reader, who spends money on the book. The reader expects an entertaining story but also one that is free of errors.
It should be easy to have a book without errors considering that our computers have a built-in spell checker, right? Well, it isn’t that easy. To trust the spell checker is like trusting a blind man to take you across a floating bridge without a railing and a bunch of boards missing. Maybe that is not a good analog but it’s the only one that pops into my head. A spell checker will never find the wrong words. Mine always tells me not to end a sentence with a preposition, not to start one with ‘but’ or ‘and’. Totally wrong. You are allowed to do both.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to have my stories published electronically. There certainly is no monetary reward. I could use my time better to just keep on writing and not worry about getting everything right.
Ah, here comes the clincher. Ego for one thing. It is nice to have my name in print. It also is nice to have my stories read by others and, hopefully, enjoyed. It also forces me to be disciplined and not become sloppy. Writing for me is not just a way to pass my free time and let my mind roam in realms of fantasy. It helped me to become more fluent in the use of the English language, helped me to learn new words, helped me to see, for instance, when to use ‘I’ or ‘me’. I am always surprised how many people don’t know the difference, even public speakers who should know better.
For me writing correctly is a challenge and it keeps my mind sharp and active. Very important as I grow older.
And there is always the hope, that some day my books will be discovered by more people and maybe, just maybe, one of them will become a worldwide bestseller. (If I am already dreaming, it might as well be big).
In the meantime I keep putting my fantasies into words and share them with you, my faithful readers, hoping you enjoy them as much as I. If you find a mistake, don’t be too harsh. It was not done intentionally or out of sloppiness. Sometimes our minds ignore them, even if our tired eyes notice them.

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