Copy Editor for Hire

ANNOUNCEMENT

I earned the Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing yesterday from Poynter News University and American Copy Editors Society (ACES).   I am a member of ACES and a guest member of Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA).  Would you like to hire me to polish your prose?

I consider myself competent to offer both proofreading and basic copy editing services.  What’s the difference?  Proofreading is looking for SPAG errors (spelling, punctuation, and grammar).  It’s typically done when a story or article is nearly ready for publication.  Copy editing includes finding and correcting SPAG errors, but also checking for jargon, wordiness, awkward transitions, a character who changes the spelling of her name from chapter three to chapter seven, and making sure that the article fits the preferred style of the intended publication.   For an excellent explanation of copy editing vs. proofreading, I recommend this article. 

ACES Certificate

RATES

For basic copy editing, I charge $25 an hour, at an estimated pace of 5-10 manuscript pages per hour.

For proofreading, I charge $20, at an estimated pace of 10-15 manuscript pages per hour.

According to the Editorial Freelancers Association, the industry standard for a manuscript page is a firm 250 words.

[I do not do heavy copy editing, line editing, or website copy editing at this time.]

For ghostwriting blogs, I charge $10 for the first 250 words, $20 for a 251-500 word article, $30 for 501-750 words, etc.

For assisting an author to format their story into standard manuscript format, my rates are negotiable depending on the length of the story and whether or not I am also copy editing that story.  E-mail me to discuss it in private.

These prices are lower than the EFA suggested industry rates because the ink is barely dry on my certificate.  My prices will be rising to editorial standards once I am no longer a novice, so take advantage of these low rates now.  They won’t last more than a year.

TESTIMONIALS

“I have just gone through and implemented your recommendations, following your advice in all but the very fewest instances — the ones where you said I could get away with it as a matter of personal style. You have a magnificent eye for the errant typo, and your suggestions regarding grammar were spot-on in every instance.  You definitely spotted many places where I *thought* I knew the correct spelling…but didn’t! Dalmatian and monocle and others! As Mark Twain said — I’m sure you know the quote — “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  Thank you again and again and again! You are my hero, and I cannot thank you properly!”  Jefferson P. Swycaffer, author of Warsprite, Web of Futures, and the Concordat of Archive series.

Silver Crusade Cover

“Thank you so much! And you are a great proofreader! :-)”  Vera Nazarian, author of the Atlantis Grail series, Mansfield Park and Mummies, and Dreams of the Compass Rose.

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Susan Murrie Macdonald:  author, freelance journalist, blogger, ghostwriter, and freelance copy editor and proofreader

Susan Murrie with her children's  book

§  “Erzabet and the Gladiators,” Heroic Fantasy,  published by Flame Tree Publishing, July 2017

§ “Freckles and Long Neck,” Bumples issue #43,  published by Bumples.com, June 2017

§  “As Prophesied of Old,” Alternative Truths, published by B Cubed Press, April 2017

§  “Captain’s Claim,” published by eSpec Books, October, 2016

§  R is for Renaissance Faire, published by Highland Heather Press, May, 201

§  Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid, published by Highland Heather Press, Jan. 2016

§  “The Piper’s Wife,” Sword & Sorceress #30, published by MZB Literary Trust, Nov. 2015

§  “Two Princes” and “Vixen’s Song,” Barbarian Crowns, published by Horrified Press, July 2015

§  “Thank You, Thad,” Supernatural Colorado, published by WolfSinger Publications, Jan. 2015

Borrowed from https://virginiaplantation.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-fashions-of-regency-england-1795-1837/

Regency Romances, Regency Marriages

I’ve been researching the customs regarding romance, courtship, and marriage in Regency England.  Many authors in assorted genres, like SF/F author Rosemary Edghill and mystery novelist Carola Dunn, began their career by writing Regency romances.  I am attempting to do likewise.  After all, I’ve been reading Regencies since before the Bicentennial (yes, I’m dating myself) and I’ve started more than a dozen, although I’ve yet to get beyond chapter two in any of them.

Regency Fashion - 1820 to 1850 Now that I’ve made a few sales in short fiction, I am attempting to write a novel.  Since I’ve read more Regency romances than I can count, that genre seemed a good arena to hone my skills before turning my attention to science fiction and fantasy.  Yes, it’s bubblegum literature, but sometimes you’re in the mood for bubblegum.

When one thinks of Regency romances, one thinks of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Clare Darcy, Allison Lane, Barbara Cartland, etc.  One thinks of beautiful gowns and the noble-born ladies wearing them at grand balls.  One thinks of gentlemen who follow Beau Brummell’s lead in fashion, although probably more athletic — a good Regency hero should be a Corinthian.  And sometimes, one thinks of badly written novels with little or no research done.  Rosemary Edghill tells how she was inspired to write her first Regency romance, after reading a book where a Regency heroine took a train to Malta.  Stop and think about that a moment.

I was reading a book ‑- which happened, as these things do, to be a Regency novel ‑- and not thinking at all about becoming a writer. At the time I was doing production and design at a New York graphic arts studio, a location which later found its way as background into some of my books, so I figured all my artistic impulses were pretty well taken care of, as well as a steady paycheck. But as I was reading along I encountered a passage in which the heroine took a train from London to Malta ‑- the island of Malta, you understand, an island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea without a single bridge leading to it ‑- in 1805, several decades before the invention of the passenger train, ignoring all the rules of both history and geography ‑- and the Writing Fairy landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear: you can do better than that.

Just as Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired to write Treasure Island because he was disappointed in the books his stepson read, so Rosemary Edghill was inspired to write Turkish Delight.  There’s probably an essay’s worth of material from writers who read something subpar, said I can do better than this, and began literary careers.

In researching how to avoid being compromised (a major plot point in both Lady Tom and Damaris in Distress), I have found some fascinating websites.

Courtship and Marriage {Isabelle Goddard}

Regency Reader {multiple authors}

Marriage in the Regency Era {Sharon Lathan}

Courting and Marriage in the Regency {Cheryl Bolen}

A Survivor’s Guide to Georgian Marriage {Ellie Cawthorne}

Ten Tropes That Make Historical Romance Awesome {G. Callen, C. Linden, L. Guhrke}


My current WIP is a fantasy story set in 1923, which I hope to submit to the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Contest if I can finish it by their deadline.  After that, I’d like to get back to Regencies.  If/when I manage to get either Lady Tom or Damaris in Distress finished, I’ll let you know in a future blog post.  Or Cherished Companion, or The Thistle and the Orchid, or Shilling Suitors, or Maid Marian’s Return, or Marguerite, or Cousin Lavinia or ….  (Did I mention I’d started more than a dozen Regency romance novels?)

10 Things I’ve Learned After 7 Years of Blogging

Richard Flores is a Facebook Friend and a fellow author. Here are some of his thoughts on blogging. (Warning: Richard cusses a bit.)

Flores Factor Blog

Today, according to WordPress, is my 7th anniversary of blog writing (nearly 6 with this blog).  I started this blog because I got my first story sale with my short story Death Watch, which was published by the good folks over at Liquid Imagination.  Originally my blog was my website, and though I have since separated the two, a lot of people still find me through this blog.

When I started out, I really didn’t know what to expect.  And seven years later, I still really don’t know what could happen.  But here are at a few things I have learned since starting out.

1 – Getting traffic to your blog is hard.

It took me a long time, a really long time, to gather up any type of blog traffic.  I tried funny posts, writing posts, life posts, and mixtures of all three.  What I learned is the…

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$451

When editor Bob Brown first came up with the idea for Alternative Truths, he decided that one share of the royalties would be paid to the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) for three years.  At the end of three years, all royalties would go to the ACLU.  Everyone involved with the project agreed to this.

Bob recently sent out the first royalty checks from Alternative Truths.  Because some of the authors agreed to donate their share to the ACLU, over and above what they were getting already, the ACLU got more than any author, illustrator, or editor.  Bob wrote the following press release.

On July 6, 2017 three representatives of B Cubed Press, Karen Anderson, Blaze Ward, and Janka Hobbs presented the first of many checks to the American Civil Liberty Union of Washington.

The money is part of a commitment to set aside a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Alternative Truths, an anthology that looks at the America that might be if the current political path continues unabated.

On hand to receive the check was Caitlin Lombardi, Community Relations Director at the ACLU of Washington.

Should you have any questions or desire a review copy of the book, please contact Bob Brown, owner of B Cubed Press, at Kionadad@aol.com.

Alternate Truths check for ACLU

Left to right, Karen Anderson, Caitlin Lombardi, Blaze Ward, Janka Hobbs

The following text accompanied the donation.

In 1953, a nation was reeling from the unapologetic assault on free speech from the likes of Joseph McCarthy.  In answer came the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It is in this dystopian future where books are outlawed and firemen burn what books are reported, that we saw reflections of evil.

It was this world that we, who grew up in an America where freedom of the Press was sacred and the idea of burning books brought visions of storm troopers, could fear, but never imagine.

But oh, what changes a lifetime brings.  Ray Bradbury has left us and we live now in a world never envisioned as possible, where the President and his supporters regularly assault free speech and seek to limit the constitutionally mandated freedom of the press.  Where he stands at the podium and denounces the freedoms many of us served at home and abroad to protect.

We said NO!

We did what we could do in opposition to tyranny.

We wrote in the spirit of Thomas Paine.  In the spirit of free speech, we wrote.  And so was born Alternative Truths.

When we collectively decided to set aside a generous portion of the proceeds to the ACLU, we had no idea of the symbolic nature of the amount.  But today we presented the representatives of this staunch defender of our freedoms with the first installment of $451.  A symbolic number if ever there was one.

We made this decision jointly and freely because without the ACLU, it could be books like ours piled in the public square awaiting the match.

Without the ACLU, we could find that the freedom to express our views suppressed and denied.

So in the memory of Ray Bradbury, we stand against the stigma of the modern versions of McCarthy and those that would silence.  And we will continue to stand.

Thanks goes out to each and every writer, editor, and artist involved in B Cubed and Alternative Truths as we stand united in the name of Freedom.  True freedom that comes from making your ideas known, of speaking truth to power, and the ability to do so openly.

And as the ACLU has been in the forefront of the fight for, among other things, freedom of expression for nearly a century, we who are listed below support them as we freely express ourselves in fiction to the current crisis in American life.

Adam-Troy Castro

Alexander James Adams

Blaze Ward

Vonda McIntyre

Bob Brown

Bruno Lombardi

Cheyenne Summer Brown

Daniel M. Kimmel

David Steele

Diana Hauer

Vonda McIntyre

Gregg Chamberlain

Irene Radford

Janka Hobbs

Jim Wright

Joel Ewy

Karen G. Anderson

Ken Staley

Larry Hodges

Liam Hogan

Louse Marley

Marleen S. Barr

Paula Hammond

Rebecca McFarland Kyle

Rick Dunham

Sara Codair 

Susan Murrie Macdonald

Victor D Phillips

Wondra Vanian                                                                                             

Bobby Lee Featherston

Susan Omberg-Carro

 

(Caitlin Lombardi of the ACLU is no relation to Canadian author Bruno Lombardi.)

I’ve sold seven short stories now, and self-published a children’s book and an e-book.  However, Alternative Truths  is the first time I’ve earned royalties.  I have one teenager starting college in just over a month and another one planning to go to college in a few years, so I’d like to earn more royalties.  Buy Alternative Truths, $4.99 as an e-book, $11 as a paperback.

 

A Review of “Alternative Truths,” a Guest Blog by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is a Nebula winning science fiction/fantasy writer and editor  She recently read and reviewed Alternative Truths, the political satire anthology from B Cubed Press, and was kind enough to give me permission to reprint her review as a guest blog.

E. A. Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

In The Wind Between the Worlds, Robert Ford, an RAF radio operator unfortunate enough to be helping the Tibetan government set up radio links between the settlements when the Chinese invaded described his treatment as a prisoner. His captors softened him up with sleep deprivation and starvation, and with sessions of yelling at him that what he believed was lies and what he thought was wrong was true. They kept repeating the lies they wanted him to believe, substituting them for any real news until he was confused about what was true and what was not. By the end of his stay, following his “confession,” he was convinced that his enemies were his friends and vice versa. He said that it took him years after his release to sort out his own concept of reality. Everything he was told was counter to his own opinions and experience, but isolated and bombarded by his captor’s “alternative truths,” he was forced to accept their version of reality.

More recently, June Weinstock, woman from Fairbanks, Alaska, in Guatemala on an archaeological expedition, was waiting for a bus when a mob of villagers attacked her, beating and stabbing her until rescuers told them she was dead. The government had been spreading the story that American tourists were kidnapping Guatemalan kids and cutting them up for their organs. When one of the villagers couldn’t find her child, people set upon Ms. Weinstock, who later died from her injuries. The child was later found rehearsing for an Easter pageant. The disinformation that led to the death of the woman was a Guatemalan “alternative truth.”

“Alternative truths” can have truly deadly consequences, and although the stories in the anthology of the same name are fiction and don’t pretend to be otherwise, they illustrate 24 reasons why it’s not a good way to run a country. The current administration should leave the story-telling to the professionals.
POTUS’s rambling oratory style is so well portrayed by Adam-Troy Castro in “Q&A” and Jim Wright’s “President Trump, Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863” mimic POTUS’S rambling oratory style that I almost couldn’t laugh for cringing.

My favorites were the more allegorical tales. Diana Hauer’s “The Trumperor and the Nightingale” gives a Trump/Midas twist to the Chinese fairytale about a real versus a fake songbird. The story is kind to “the royal family” but not as forgiving of the advisors and is one of very few in the book with a happy ending.

Louise Marley’s “Relics, a Fable” is a poignant tale of what life might be like for the old and poor in the shadow of the humongous wall that is supposed to keep Mexicans from immigrating to the US.

“Patti 309” by K.G. Anderson is also about older people, but the once-affluent and even celebrities in their–er–golden years, when age and ill-health have deprived them of not only their money, but also much of their identities.

“Melanoma Americana” is a thrilling uniquely Capitalist tale of where the money goes when big business meets medicine.

I particularly enjoyed the British humor in Parliament’s take on an a familiar-sounding American head of state in Susan Murrie Macdonald’s “As Prophesied of Old.”

I also found “Letters from the Heartland” by Janka Hobbs to have a more home-grown gallows humor.

Joel Ewy’s “about_the_change.wav” is a love story. It reminded me of a couple I know who almost split up over the election, though it has a bit of a Stepford Wives meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers twist to it. “Frozen” is also a love story, kind of, but this one doesn’t have any cute reindeer or princesses in it.

Particularly chilling were three stories about ordinary citizens caught up in the changes that come to pass when alternative truths become real. “Raid at 817 Maple Street” by Ken Staley, “Good Citizens” by Paula Hammond, “We’re Still Here,” by Rebecca McFarland Kyle and “The History Book” by Voss Foster show the horrific consequences of innocent behavior when monitored by a well-armed witch hunt in a time when paranoia substitutes for imagination and alternative truths trump (pardon the pun) reality.

“Altered to Truth” by the anthology’s co-editor (with Bob Brown) Irene Radford, “Alt Right for the President’s End” by Gregg Chamberlain, “Rage Against the Donald” by Bruno Lombardi, “It’s All Your Fault” by Daniel M. Kimmel, “Monkey Cage Rules” by Larry Hodges, “Duck, Donald: A Trump Exorcism” by Marleen S. Barr, and “Pinwheel Party” by Victor D. Phillips all feature different takes on what happens when the Wicked Witch of the West is also in charge of the West Wing.

“Walks Home Alone at Night” by Wondra Vanian is unfortunately non-futuristic, since it seems to be occurring right now.  The kind of mentality that threatens the protagonist in this story happens too often, particularly to minorities upon whom certain people currently in the Cabinet and Congress have declared “open season.”

In this versatile anthology, there’s even a story the NRA could love–a good old-fashioned-though-modern shoot-’em-up Western called “The Last Ranger (ANPS-1, CE 2053)” by Blaze Ward. An iron-jawed legendary hero, a young man earning his spurs, overwhelming odds, headin’ ’em off at the pass, and lots of things exploding!

This book doesn’t cure any of the evils that people do, but it does provide a feast of food for thought.

If this sounds like something you’d like to read and review, please do. It’s available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Altern…/dp/B0718YNJ97/ref=sr_1_1… Please share!

white house snowflakes

Mahalo to Elizabeth Ann Scarborough for her kind words on my story, our book, and her permission to reprint this book review on my blog. And merci beaucoup to the 70 readers who have reviewed Alternative Truths on Amazon thus far.

 

Forgive Me For Bragging

Kindly forgive my lack of modesty, but my writing has been going well lately.

I.  I won the Arkansas Scottish Festival’s annual poetry contest with my poem “Black Agnes.”  Lady Agnes Randolph, daughter of the Earl of Moray, wife of the Earl of Dunbar, maintained a siege against the English forces in 1338.  Black Agnes is well-known in Scotland, but practically unknown in the United States.  I learned more about her in the process of researching my poem than I could fit into verse, so I plan to put the rest of what I learned about her in a children’s book.

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II.  Alternative Truths is doing quite well.  It is currently at 58 reviews on Amazon, 3 four-star reviews and 55 five-star reviews.  My story, “As Prophesied of Old,” is one of 24 stories.  The other 23 are by Jim Wright, Adam-Troy Castro, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Diana Hauer, Gregg Chamberlain, Paula Hammond, Louise Marley, Sara Codair, Irene Radford, K. G. Anderson, Bruno Lombardi, Daniel M. Kimmel, Voss Foster, Janka Hobbs, Victor D. Phillips, Bobby  Lee Featherston, Larry Hodges, Blaze Ward, Marleen S. Barr, Joel Ewy, Ken Staley, Liam Hogan, and Wondra Vanian.  I did a write-up about Alternative Truths for Krypton Radio, as well as a HubPages blog.

The most recent review said: “A wonderful collection of some very excellent shorts stories. Stand outs amongst them include Susan Macdonald’s excellent portrayal of British stoicism, Janka Hobb’s collection of letters with very sinister connotations for the future, Ken Staley’s expose of SWATing (sort of) and my favourite Voss Foster’s history lesson with a twist.”

III.  I’ve had over two dozen articles posted on Krypton Radio, and my editor has seemed pleased with all of them.  I’ve written about Hellboy, Transformers, Powers Boothe, Wonder Woman, Joe Harris, Jim Parsons, Nisi Shawl, and Sir Roger Moore.

Will David Harbour replace fan favorite Ron Perlman in the third Hellboy movie?

IV.  I have a new website.  Go check it out. One of my editors suggested an author webpage would be useful to me.

V.  And now the big news:  Drum roll, please!

My short story “Erzabet and the Gladiators” has been accepted by Flame Tree Publishing’s anthology Heroic Fantasy Short Stories.  My editor asked me not to say anything until the publisher made the official announcement; I’ve been bursting to tell the news since the story was accepted.  This is my second sale at professional rates, and the first appearance of one of my stories in a hardcover book.

Voss Foster, my book-mate (book bro?  What is the correct term for someone whose story is in the anthology as yours?) from Alternative Truths also has a story in Heroic Fantasy, as do Clark Ashton Smith, John Buchan, Snorri Sturluson, Homer, Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, Geoffrey Chaucer, Andrew Lang, Howard Pyle, William Morris, and Eric Rücker Eddison.  In addition to new fantasy stories by Alexandra Renwick, M. Elizabeth Ticknor, Beth DawkinsLauren C. TeffeauTony PiJoanna Michal HoytDavid Busboom,  Kate O’ConnorMichael HaynesZach ChapmanTherese ArkenbergA. Creg PetersAlexandra RenwickErin Gitchell, Voss, and me, Heroic Fantasy  will include the text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as extracts from Beowulf, The Nibelungenlied, and The Song of Roland.

Heroic Fantasy will be published sometime in July 2017.

 

Alternative Truths: An unexpected-success story

Here are the thoughts of one of my co-contributors to Alternative Truths. I did a silly story, to make readers laugh. She did a serious story, to make readers think.  Ladies, gentlemen, I present my colleague Karen G. Anderson.

Writer Way

Alt truths cover The cover of the Alternative Truths anthology

Just over 100 days ago, on Jan. 23, science fiction author Bob Brown issued a writing challenge: Imagine the future during or after the Trump presidency. Write a story. Submit it to an anthology to be called Alternative Truths.

“This is an anthology about the future in an alternative fact world,” Bob wrote. “What does the future hold? Endless alternative facts? Brilliant leadership? Alien invasions? Zombies in the White House?”

Bob set about co-editing the anthology with Phyllis Irene Radford, vowing to publish the book within the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

As submissions came in, Bob formed the private Facebook group Alternative Truth (now public) so the participants could discuss the project. In a field where submissions generally vanish behind a curtain from which editors issue cryptic rejections, the decision to open-source the anthology project seemed both odd and courageous. Did these people know what they were getting into?

I submitted a dystopian story, “Patti…

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Cover art by Alexander James Adams.

Alternative Truths

A few months ago, I wrote about the CREATE Initiative, that we could fight against corrupt politicians through artistic creation.  Well, Bob Brown and Phyllis Irene Radford had the self-same idea.  Knowing that humor is the best way to fight pomposity, and that parody is a traditional response to politics and politicians, they organized a science fiction anthology called Alternative Truths. That book debuts tomorrow, April 28, 2017, via Amazon.

Alternative Truths Anthology was formed, when on February 23, 2017, I, and many of my friends, asked what we could do. We could write, we could join that noble tradition of using the pen, to poke the powerful.  So was born, Alternative Truths. And our pens became word processors and our ideas became stories.

Alternative Truths is a look at the post election America that is, or will be, or could be. We attach no manacles to the word truth to bind it to our visions, but instead we free it to find its own way through the minds of the two dozen writers who have shared their vision of the future…. Whomever or what ever you like you will find here with an absolute appreciation for the fact that we live in a great country where you can still publish a book like this, in part to the continued efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the ink of patriots.


Phyllis Irene Radford and Bob Brown,
Editors, Alternative Truths

Alternative Truths has twenty-four stories, mostly science fiction, but a few fantasy.  There are ghosts, there are demons, there are aliens, there are time travelers, and there are the most dangerous creatures of all, human politicians.  The stories range from the humorous to the horrific, from the silly to the scary, from (First Amendment legally protected) parody to frighteningly plausible predictions.  Several of the stories would make excellent Twilight Zone episodes.  American, Canadian, and British authors have joined together to imagine what might become of the United States if an unethical businessman with no political experience were to be elected to the highest office in the land.

“In true American tradition, we lampoon our politicians – particularly those with overblown egos. And our current President has an ego big as – well, a wall. His own staff member provided the inspiration for this anthology when she used the term “alternative facts.” Since the President won’t come to the correspondent’s dinners, we’re bringing it to you. Alternative Truths is a collection of twenty-four stories by authors specializing in genres from political commentary to science fiction and fantasy. Once started, it’s impossible to put down. The topic of prevarication is addressed in manners from humorous to deadly serious. Contexts range from the past to dystopic futures. The collection is powerful, provocative, and in some cases – hopefully not precognizant.” R. Kyle

Alternate Truths has stories by Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station, award-winning author Adam-Troy Castro, Diana Hauer, Louise Marley, Irene Radford, Canadian author and journalist Gregg Chamberlain, Sara Codair, K. G. Anderson, Daniel M. Kimmel, Janka Hobbs, Bruno Lombardi, Victor D. Phillips, Larry Hodges, Bobby Lee Featherston, Blaze Ward, Joel Ewy, Marleen S. Barr, Ken Staley, Wondra Vanian, Liam Hogan, Voss Foster, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Paula Hammond, and Susan Murrie Macdonald.

The CREATE Initiative is a way for ordinary people to fight back against the powerful and heartless.  Write, paint, perform, blog.  If you can’t do that, then read or listen or watch the works of those who can.  Alternative Truths is $4.99 on Kindle or $11 in paperback.  Buy a copy (or two.  Books make great gifts, and Mother’s Day is coming.) Remember, to an author, reviews are love, so feel free to mention on Amazon and/or Goodreads that you liked it.

“That’s what we storytellers do.  We restore order with imagination.   We instill hope again and again and again.” Walt Disney

Remember three things:  1, the pen is mightier than the sword.  2, enough snowflakes gathered together can form a blizzard or an avalanche.  3, comedy is a traditional weapon against politicians.

Disclaimer:  I am not unbiased in this matter.  I am the author of the fifth story in the book and one of the assistant proofreaders.  I confess to having a financial stake in Alternative Truths doing well.  I have a son going to college in a few months, and I’d like to be able to pay his tuition.

 

Borrowed from https://virginiaplantation.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-fashions-of-regency-england-1795-1837/

The Fashions Of Regency England

I found this while researching  my  work-in-progress, which is set in Regency England.  The original blog is from Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast, the birthplace of our fourth president, James Madison.

The author of the blog I’m reposting refers to 1795 – 1837 as the time period “generally accepted” as the Regency era.  Any student of history knows the Regency, strictly speaking, was 1811 – 1820.

“The Regency era in the United Kingdom is generally accepted as the period between 1795 and 1837. Effectively it combines the decline of George III’s rule, the period between 1811 and 1820 when the King was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales was granted the title of Prince Regent to rule in his father’s name, and the period from 1820 when the Prince Regent became George IV on the death of his father until 1837 when Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne and a new era.”

 

  • George III:  born 1738, reigned 1760 – 1820, died 1820
  • George IV: born 1762, Prince Regent 1811 – 1820, reigned 1820 – 1830, died 1830
  • William IV: born 1765, reigned 1830 – 1837, died 1837
  • Victoria:  born 1819, reigned 1837 – 1901, died 1901

 

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Today we have a guest blogger from England. Kevin has written for us before and we love his posts. Last time was about a true English tea. Today we are talking about Fashion of Regency England. This would have been around the time Belle Grove’s main section was built. Seeing this you can image the people walking around Belle Grove after it was built. Just lovely!

Thank you Kevin!

During the last decade 18th Century George III was becoming noticeably more and more deranged. Elsewhere America declared it’s independence and the introduction of the guillotine in France sent shockwaves through the wealthy and privileged classes of Europe.

Marie Antoinette of France -  1778 Marie Antoinette of France – 1778

Miss Constable, 1787 Miss Constable, 1787

Regency Fashion -  1820 to 1850 Regency Fashion – 1820 to 1850

The Regency era in the United Kingdom is generally accepted as the period between 1795 and 1837. Effectively it combines the decline of George III’s rule, the period…

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Honor Harrington

After being on my read-eventually list for years, I finally got around to reading David Weber‘s Honor Harrington books.  I have now read five of the first six books (haven’t read #5 yet) and am about 100 pages into the seventh book.  They are exceedingly well written and I am hooked.  Weber has a complex social and technological background for his books, and three-dimensional characters.

Honor Harrington, the heroine of the “Honorverse,” is a naval officer for the Star Kingdom of Manticore.  She is human, but a “genie,” i.e., descended from genetically engineered ancestors to better survive living on a planet with slighter higher gravity than Manticore or Old Earth.  Honor is a feature of her character as well as her name: she is intelligent, brave, loyal, patriotic, with a strong sense of duty and justice.

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As a child, Honor was adopted by a treecat, a six-legged creature from her home planet, Sphinx.  She shares an empathic bond with her ‘cat, Nimitz.  Honor believes (correctly) that treecats are far more intelligent than most people give them credit for.  Treecat adoptions are respected in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.  Seven of the last nine monarchs, including the current Queen Elizabeth III, have been adopted by ‘cats.  Therefore, Nimitz accompanies her on her vessels and even attended the academy with her.

David Weber limits the profanity in these books.  Although there is some swearing, including occasional use of a certain four-letter word that rhymes with duck, it is limited to situations and characters where such vocabulary is actually in character.  Unlike the late Tom Clancy, he doesn’t feel the need to drop F-bombs like confetti.

My only complaint with the books thus far is that the Honorverse has certain similarities with the Albion Empire of my own “Captain’s Claim.”  This is not unusual, not even unpredictable.  Weber and I both read the Horatio Hornblower books when we were younger — he even dedicates the first book of the series to C. S. Forester and has Honor reading one of the Hornblower books as pleasure reading in one of the later books.  Both of us watched the Star Wars series of movies, as well as old movies like The Sea Hawk and goodness knows how many other books, TV shows, and movies with space empires.  Elizabeth Moon and Lois McMaster Bujold have also written SF books where  the hero serves in the starfleet of a space empire with a very formal society.  I’m just not looking forward to being accused of copycatting from Mr. Weber, when I’ve been working on Captain’s Claim, off and on, since 1996.

So far I’ve read the first four books in the series, the sixth book, and I’ve started on the seventh.  I’ve been ignoring both housework and ghostwriting in favor of reading these books; they’re hard to put down.  If you like military SF, give David Weber’s Honor Harrington books a try.

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If you like strong women in a western setting, try Juliette Douglas’ Freckled Venom series.

And if you want to buy my western e-book, Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid, I won’t complain.

[Feature Image Galaxy M101: Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; IR & UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI]