All posts tagged: Writing

A New Year and New Projects

I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions, I don’t see the point. But what I am going to do is try and focus on two small projects while (once again) promising myself to try and read more. Especially as—every book blogger knows—our TBR piles never but ever shrink, rather they just continue to grown. Setting goals works for some, but given my health situation and trying to live a less stressful life (no reading or watching the news, thank you very much) I’m going to actually try focusing more on writing this year—hence the two projects. One is more short fiction to share here, on the blog, the other is a spin-off set of adventures I’ve been thinking about for a character I’ve been developing, and setting it in a universe I already have laid out (for another series). This adventure series will be set in space, and feature a 16 year old (going on 17) protagonist who currently lives on Europa. This will be something completely different for me, with this age range of …

Hel’s Fury

AS DAWN BROKE, the first few fingers of light pierced the dark. Clouds ran to cover the moon. A woman dressed in white huddled against the chill of night, a chill that seeped into her very marrow. Pulling the heavy cloak about her did little to ward off the cold. Arms pulled tightly about her she bowed her head and wept. Wept till deep-racking sobs finally over took her and her slender body shook. The quiet stillness of night slowly passing into day, oblivious of such grief.  The Carthagian Prefect, Rhé Elissa-Dido, lost in sorrow, was unaware that someone stood behind her concealed in dark shadows by a small cluster of bushes. Someone, who, up until that moment, had been unaware of her presence, someone who, like her, had come to a quiet place to be alone to reflect through a night of solitude. But instead, had inadvertently shared a night of soul-searching. Captain Helena Blackthorn moved out of her concealment, drawn to the emotion of the woman sobbing. The terrible sound of a heart …


These are all words that sound identical but are spelt differently, and have different meanings. For example, hair and hare sound the same but their meanings are totally different. After all, you wouldn’t want to have hares growing out of your head, now would you? Spelling is one of the biggest causes for confusion in the written language, whatever the language. So, just to bore you silly and as I have absolutely nothing better to write about today, here are some of the most common homophones. 0

The Indefinite Article

Unlike the Definite Article The, A and AN refer to someone or something whose precise identity is not specified. And, although they are among the most common words in the English language, confusion still arises as to which should be used when. So here’s a reminder. A is used: (i) before all consonants: a woman, a tree, a rock. (ii) before an aspirated h: a horse, a hero, a humorist. (iii) before the letter u when sounded like ‘you’: a unit, a use, a union. (iv) before a diphthong eu: a European, a eulogy. (v) before words beginning with y: a year, a yellow balloon, a youth. AN is used: (i) before a vowel sound: an animal, an example, an umbrella. (ii) before a mute h: an hour, an honest woman, an historian. See, it’s all as clear as mud…as I thought it would be. Now, I wonder who is going to be first to ask me, is a diphthong the same as a bikini thong? Hmm… 0

Split Infinitives

Following on from Grammatical Bad Habits and Hyphen-Nation comes Split Infinitive. And no, before you ask—however much of a sci-fi geek I am—this has nothing to do with Space travel, Star Trek or, in fact, Buzz Lightyear. A split infinitive occurs when to is separated from the infinitive by an adverb or adverbial phrase. It used to be considered the cardinal sin of good English, but it’s now accepted that there are many instances when a split infinitive is justified. In general, however, it is easy enough to avoid. (i) She did not want to entirely surrender to his will. (ii) He was instructed to discreetly talk to the Press. In both sentences there is no need for the split infinitive, as the adverb (entirely, discreetly) can be placed outside the infinitive like this: (i) She did not want to surrender entirely to his will. (ii) He was instructed to talk to the Press discreetly. or, (iii) He was instructed to talk discreetly to the Press. The easiest rule to remember about the split infinitive …