What does the name of my hometown (village! hamlet!) mean?

๐Ÿ„ ‘Land where young bullocks are kept’. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ That’s the meaning of Little Strickland, the hamlet where I grew up in Cumbria. (Well, the ‘Strickland’ part anyway.) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง In Old English, stฤซrc was a young bullock or heifer. There are still lots of young bullocks kept in that area so things haven’t really changed much!Continue reading “What does the name of my hometown (village! hamlet!) mean?”

Where should capital letters go in titles?

๐Ÿ“ So you’ve written a contents page. A leaflet. A blog post. An essay. And you’ve used a series of headings. โ“ The question is โ€“ should you capitalise the words in your headings? And, if so, how? ๐Ÿ“ข The answer is that there is more than one way to approach this. There are individualContinue reading “Where should capital letters go in titles?”

What is a staycation? Musings on portmanteaus.

๐Ÿค” Is it just me, or has the meaning of ‘staycation’ broadened recently? Pretty sure it used to encapsulate the idea of taking time off work, staying at home and going for day trips. News items this week are using it to mean holidays taken in your home country. Is that how you’ve always usedContinue reading “What is a staycation? Musings on portmanteaus.”

Should food names be capitalised in menus? And other considerations when proofreading food writing.

๐Ÿ˜‹ I proofread some menus today and they made me so hungry! They were Indian menus of dishes prepared for special occasions. If I hadn’t already sorted a shepherd’s pie for tea then I definitely would have ordered a takeaway tonight. Though it’s probably best I didn’t as it wouldn’t have lived up to theContinue reading “Should food names be capitalised in menus? And other considerations when proofreading food writing.”

A proud moment: when Jon released his book ‘Blind Gambit’ about living with a visual impairment.

Today I want to talk about a proud moment. The release of my husband’s book ‘Blind Gambit’ made me proud. Proofread by yours truly. ๐Ÿ˜Š It was actually two years ago and was not Jon’s first release, but it was a really important one which tells some truths about what it’s like to live withContinue reading “A proud moment: when Jon released his book ‘Blind Gambit’ about living with a visual impairment.”

Cherry Edits: free 1000-word sample edit. Try before you buy.

โ“ If you’ve never tried something, how do you know if it’s missing from your life? In Grace Dent’s column this week, she ponders whether she’ll ever be able to go back to ‘eat[ing] toast served in what feels like a working creche by someone wearing a singlet and displaying armpit hair’ ๐Ÿคฃwhen she canContinue reading “Cherry Edits: free 1000-word sample edit. Try before you buy.”

May 12th 2020. Fantasy novel: top proofreading spots.

๐Ÿ”Ž Today’s top #proofreading spots from a fantasy novel. โŒ The tower rose in the distance, its height all the more impressiveness from her vantage point โžก๏ธ impressive โœ… โŒ The creature’s wings billowed and caught on an updraft โžก๏ธ updraught โœ… ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง โŒ Mystical plains โžก๏ธ planes โœ… โŒ A minute or slater โžก๏ธContinue reading “May 12th 2020. Fantasy novel: top proofreading spots.”

How do I get an en dash or an em dash on Word? Using alt codes.

โ“ Do you know your alt codes? Alt+0150 โ€“ This is my favourite and I use this a lot: the en-dash, a dash the size of a letter N. Itโ€™s the one which Word often does automatically โ€“ when you hit the hyphen to move on to a different clause and, as if by magic,Continue reading “How do I get an en dash or an em dash on Word? Using alt codes.”

Should I get a second monitor for my PC? Yes!

I treated myself to a second monitor and my efficiency shot up! ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ When I edit a manuscript, if my client doesnโ€™t have a style sheet, I create one.๐Ÿ“ƒ This oneโ€™s shared with the authorโ€™s permission: manuscript screen 1, style sheet screen 2โ€“itโ€™s so much easier. Whether fiction or non-fiction, I start by setting downContinue reading “Should I get a second monitor for my PC? Yes!”

Proper nouns. What are they and why are they important in novels?

I do love a good proper noun. They can really anchor you in a particular time and place. ๐ŸŽฏ I don’t mean a ‘right good’ noun. I mean the kind of noun, identified by an initial capital, denoting a particular person, place or thing. ๐Ÿ“…The novel I’m currently editing makes good use of proper nouns.Continue reading “Proper nouns. What are they and why are they important in novels?”