I hate editing!

It seems that writing the novel is not the hard part.  I have no trouble getting the words on paper.

It’s the editing I hate.

For instance, the latest book on the chopping block was one that I wrote nearly 40 years ago, and it shows it’s age.  The location is nothing like it used to be, the working conditions were totally different, and it was in an age before computers and mobile phones.

So, editing is difficult because I want to leave it in the period it was written.

Do you know how hard it is not to get the MC to pick up a mobile phone and call, or, for that matter, send a text?

This was an age of telephone communication, where public phones were the mobile phone of the age, and telegrams were the text equivalent.

If you wanted to say something, you had to arrange a meeting, and then say it face to face.

How on earth did anyone get anything done, how did people meet, and then communicate?

Oh, yes, letters.

Ask a ten-year-old today what a letter is, and you might get an answer of ‘bills’, but only if their parents go to the letterbox and pull out those dreaded window-faced envelopes.

Was every relationship basically long-distance, even when you might, in reality, be only one or two suburbs away?

It’s being hard to cast my mind back to those old days, and try not to let the 2019 trappings creep in.

Of course, there are the other problems of writing from back then, it is a bit messy, but the core of the story doesn’t need tampering with.

It is also a reminder of how easy relationships are these days with the constant bombardment of calls and texts to keep the dream alive, and, sadly, how easy it is to break up.

Back then you would have to survive from meeting to meeting, perhaps once a week, or maybe, if you worked in a city, once a day, briefly.  The idea of telephone communication would sometimes be offputting because you dreaded the possibility of talking to a parent.

Perhaps we should go back to those days because it seems to me that more people of my generation are still together because back then it required a different kind of commitment to keep it going.

OK, time to climb back in the time capsule!

In a word: Fourth

When you realize you are the fourth child, you are really hoping that the split is two boys and three girls.  Woe betide you if you are a boy and you have three sisters.  It could also be as interesting, notice I didn’t say intolerable) if you are a girl with three brothers.

Hang on, I know someone who was in that exact same situation.  Fortunately, being a girl and the youngest, she could do no wrong in the eyes of her father.

But I digress (as usual)

The meaning of fourth is self-evident, just count to four and it’s the fourth number, perhaps better explained by the fact it is one after the third in a series

Then we use it with other words like,

Fourth-gear, usually reserved for the highway where one expects to geta clear run.  Of course, with more and more cars on the road, sometimes it’s difficult to get out of second.

The fourth estate, no, not what a rich person owns, along with a lot more one guesses, but another name for the press.

One fourth, your share of an estate, if of course, you have three other siblings.  And, in murder mysteries, usually those fourths seem to die mysteriously, and your fourth becomes a third, a half, and then you go to jail.

in fourth place, where it seems all the horse I back run

And,

This is not to be confused with the word forth, which sounds the same but means something entirely different, like

I’m sure we’ve all been told to go forth and be something or other, which means to go forward or come out of hiding

It is also a Scottish river, one notably called the Firth of Forth, and if it sounds odd, so do a lot things in Scotland

You could also place back and forth, much the same as you would in a hospital waiting for the birth of your first child.

I’ve always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt – Part 26

Here’s the thing…

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.

Once again there’s a new instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.

 

When I woke, I was outside the warehouse near an ambulance, and when I opened my eyes, I could see my mother, looking close to hysterical.  Further back, behind her, was Benderby himself, looking concerned.

A voice was saying, on the other side, “Just take it easy.  You’ve had a nasty knock to your head.”  I tried, instinctively, to move my hand there, but it was not responsive.

That scared me.

I tried wiggling my toes, and it felt like something was happening.  That was a good sign, wasn’t it?

Then I realised there were more people around the gurney I was lying on and a lot of chatter about a break-in and possible casualties.  There was only one, wasn’t there?  Me.

I went to say something to that effect when I stopped.  Not a good idea to say two masked assailants came to interrogate me about a map.  Firstly, my mother would be annoyed I was wasting my time on frivolous matters with Boggs, and secondly, everyone would think the blow did more damage to my sanity.

If they were calling it a break-in…

“What happened?” I asked.

I moved my head sideways further and could see the Sheriff standing next to Benderby.  The sheriff moved closer.

“We think one or two unknown persons got past the perimeter security, disabled the alarm system, and broke into the warehouse where you were.  One of the night security guards was doing his rounds when he found you on the floor in the main office.  Can you tell us what happened to you?”

One of the paramedics answered for me, “We need to stabilise the wound, check for concussion and any other side effects before you can question him.  That might have to wait until we get him to the hospital.  Now, I need everyone to stand back.”

And he meant everyone, including my mother.  I guessed they would let her come to the hospital with me, but if not, I was sure Benderby would bring her.  He actually had his arm around her, talking to her.  I didn’t think she liked him that much or was I just delirious?

I was about to tell the paramedic to tell the sheriff to go check on Boggs, but that would only lead to uncomfortable questions, and since Boggs had been so cavalier in putting the assailants onto me, I wasn’t very happy with him.  But I did wonder if they had gone back to him about my lack of co-operation, and what they might do to him.

Or, I just remembered, maybe nothing, because they thought it might be an elaborate hoax.  I was beginning to think that myself, despite Boggs giving me a copy of the map.  When I looked at it, on the surface it seemed to be the same as the one Osborne was peddling.

Whilst getting my head bandaged, I saw one of the sheriff’s men come running up to him, speaking and gesturing wildly.  I thought I heard a name, but the paramedic chose that exact moment to accidentally wrap the bandage around my ear.

Then I heard it, sharp and clear, perhaps as an answer to a question by Benderby.

“It’s Boggs.  Looks like someone gave him a severe beating and left him outside his house.”

The result of an equally forceful interrogation, or had it been a warning not to waste people’s time?

It would have to wait.  I had problems of my own.

© Charles Heath 2019

Being Inspired – the book

Over the past year or so I have been selecting photographs I’ve taken on many travels, and put a story to them.

When I reached a milestone of 50 stories, I decided to make them into a book, and, in doing so, I have gone through each and revised them, making some longer and into short stories.

50 photographs, 50 stories.  I’ve called it, “Inspiration, Maybe”

It will be available soon.

InspirationMaybe1v1

“What Sets Us Apart”, a mystery with a twist

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.

Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.

They are two people brought together by chance. Or was it?

When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.

When David realizes her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.

Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.

http://amzn.to/2Eryfth

whatsetscover

A slight book addiction, perhaps

This is part of the library:

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Every now and then I add to it, but the rule is, since I’ve run out of shelf space, I have to give up some before I can buy more.

This is two of the shelves.  There are eight in all, and all are full.

Last week I found a $5 book shop, that is all the books are $5 and, if course, I can’t resist a rummage.

In the event, I turned up two books by a new author (for me) Mick Herron, who writes spy novel, another by James Rollins and Chris Ryan.

I don’t always limit my purchases to novels, and, found a non-fiction book about London in the time of King James.  Just in case I decide one day to write a novel during that period.  That’s in addition to James Naughtie, also spies, James Patterson, which is generally mandatory if I see one, and Peter James (crime).

My new comprehensive a-z crossword dictionary is a great help too.

In a word: Straight

Yes, that man is straight as an arrow.

Well, in my experience based on the fact many years ago I used to play Cowboys and Indians, and I was always an Indian, I used to make a bow, and arrows, from the limbs of a tree in our back yard, those arrows were never straight.

How they got them so back in the middle ages without a lathe is anybody’s guess.

We all know what straight means, level, even, true, not deviating.  It could be a board, a road, the edge of a piece of paper.

But, of course, there are other meanings like,

He was straight, meaning heterosexual, a question not 50 odd years ago anyone would ask you, and 100 years ago, you wouldn’t dare admit anything but.

In poker, a card game, it is a sequence of five cards, and the sort of straight I’d like to get is ace high.  Chances of that happening, zero per cent.

It can mean being honest, that is, you should be straight with her, though I’m not sure telling your wide you’re having an affair would be conducive to continuing good health.

It could mean immediately, as in, I’ve got a headache and going straight to bed, probably after hearing news of that affair that was best left unspoken.

Perhaps that would be the time to have a whiskey straight, that is without mixers or ice.  I’ve tried, but still, at the very least I need ice.

This is not to be confused with the word strait, which is a narrow waterway between to areas of land.

But, here’s where it gets murky because a company can be in dire straits after being in desperate straits, and a person can be strait-laced, and just to be certain, most lunatics finish up in a straitjacket.