There is never enough time for reading

And the point is, there should be.

To me, reading is an essential part of a writer’s life.  We see what others write, we see how others write, and we see what they write about.

It is an education in itself on the genre we eventually want to write for.  Call it homework, or very pleasant homework.


Between everything else I have to do around the house, the time set aside for writing, the time set aside for maintaining social media, the time set aside for family, is there any time left?

About an hour before I go to sleep, though that time is considerably shortened if the book is boring.

Fortunately, quite often they are not.

The other problem is the intervals between new books from my favorite authors is getting less as they take on co-writers, such as James Patterson and Clive Cussler.   And even more are now getting co-authors which means my to be read list is getting longer and longer.

It seems the only time I can steal more than an hour away is when I go away on holidays.  This we try to do several times a year, and this year we’ll be going to Canada and the United States.

There’s only one other problem involved, the fact books are so much cheaper there, and I’ll be buying more.

Damn.  It’s a never-ending cycle.

But, at the moment, the list reads like this,

James Patterson, Murder House, Black Book

Clive Cussler, Fire Ice, White Death

Edward Rutherford, New York, quite apt since we will be going there soon if the ice hockey dates line up

Steve Berry, the 14th Colony

David Baldacci, Memory Man

And, of course, about a hundred others.

As odd as it sounds I’m looking forward to the 20 odd hours in the plane.  There’s one book read going there and one book read going back.  And a chance to pick up a lot of bargains in New York too.

NANOWRIMO Day Seventeen

One of the hazards of writing can be being continually critical of your own work. I’m guilty as charged.

But in writing to a plan and in only 30 days having to write 50,000 words there is no time to be critical.


So far down the track, I should be writing not being critical.

But the thing is, I’m finding that I have to go back three chapters and read them through to pick up the thread. Its not because it’s changed in any way from the plan, it’s just that I’m finding it hard to write to a plan, when usually I fly by the seat of my pants.

The trouble with doing that, it gives rise to considering changes, and right now there’s no time for change.

I have 13 days to hold it together.

And 13 is an unlucky number, isn’t it?

Is this really English … American?

Ever since I heard Ray Romano say, in an episode of his TV show when they visited Italy, ‘does anyone here speak American?’ I’ve often wondered if, being an English speaker, there were two very distinct different versions of the language.

Spelling wise, there is.

You say color, I say colour, you know the sort of thing.

But then there are words like ‘heater’.

Yes, like a lot of people I thought the word means a device that warms you up in winter, or when it’s cold.

Apparently not, and this is where it pays to know a little about the American language, though maybe not necessarily that one Ray was talking about.

For instance, a heater – is a gun apparently, and an expression used often during the 1930s through 1950s, particularly in films.

Quite loses all of its magic though when you yell out to your friend, throw me a heater will you, and it’s not the gun!

Give him a heater, no, not because the recipient is cold, but it is an instruction from the catcher to the pitcher – yes, it’s another name for a fastball.

And what do you know, all three definitions turn up in an American dictionary, the one referring to the gun being labeled ‘dated’, and, yet another adds the notation ‘slang’.

I’m betting Humphrey Bogart used the term more than once in a gangster film.

There are other definitions, but none so colorful as that for the gun and the fastball, except perhaps for the short winning streak at the casino.

“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.



Onwards and upwards…

Or so the saying goes. I’m on target, but it’s like cruising down a placid river taking in the sights.

Until you hit the rapids.

That’s what it feels like, that there’s an impending disaster. I know how fatalist it sounds, but many times in the past when everything is going right, it’s too good to be true.


I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In the meantine, after writing today’s quota, i go back over the first ten chapters of part three, and making some adjustments.

Now I feel better, and can continue writing to the plan.

For now it’s so far so good.

In a word: Rain

Well, isn’t it just like you to rain on my parade?

Yes, and don’t we need a lot of rain because of the bushfires that are burning out of control?

Rain is that stuff that falls from the sky, sometimes at the awkwardest of times, like when you leave your umbrella in the car.

And rain can be a problem in sub-zero temperatures and high winds when it almost takes on the form of multiple miniature knives.  Rain and snow together, sleep, but that’s something else.

Of course, it could always rain cats and dogs, a rather interesting occurrence if it ever happened.

This should not be confused with the word rein.

As any horseperson would know this is what helps control a horse

But, it doesn’t have to be a horse, it might be that you are told to rein in your attack dog

Or rein in your excesses

Or alternatively, give a person free rein to go about their business.

Then there is reign, that period of time when a monarch rules, and it seems in England women hold the record for the longest reign, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II

That’s distinct from the office oligarchs who seem to think they reign over the plebs

In a word: Line (and there’s more)

There’s more to that word ‘line’, a lot more, making it more confusing, especially for those learning English as a second language.

I keep thinking how I could explain some of the sayings, but the fact is, it’s only my interpretation, which could possibly have nothing to do with its real meaning if it has one.

Such as,

Hook, line, and sinker

We would like to think that this is only used in a fishing depot, but while it is generally, there are other meanings, one of which is, a con artist has taken in a victim completely, or as the saying goes, hook, line, and sinker.

At the end of the line

Exactly what it t says though the connotations of this expression vary.

For me, the most common use is when you’re waiting, like for a table in a restaurant with a time-specific reservation, and you see people who arrive after you, getting a table before you, it’s like being continually sent to the end of the line.

Line ball decision

This is a little more obscure, but for me, it means the result could go either way, and it’s a matter of making a call. The problem is both decisions are right, and unfortunately, you’re the poor sod who has to decide.

It of course partners very well with you can’t please everyone all of the time.

These are the most difficult because one side is going to be aggrieved at the decision especially when it is supposed to be impartial and sometimes isn’t.

Get it over the line

This, of course, has many connotations in sport, particularly rugby when the aim is to get the ball over the try line.

But another more vicarious meaning might be from a senior salesman to a junior, get [the sale] over the line, i.e. get it signed sealed and delivered by any means possible by close of business.

Line of credit

A more straight forward use of the word, meaning the bank will extend credit up to a certain limit, but it’s generally quite large and can feel like its neverending.

Until you have to pay it back.

There’s more, but it can wait till another day.