clouds, words

Clouds and Wordles For Editing

I have a confession. I love words and I have an obsession with word clouds. I love the different sizes, the different fonts, the varying thickness of words mixed in. I love the glorious display of color and the creative picture it delivers.

What really fascinates me about word clouds is the way important words are exaggerated. The more a word is used in a document, the bigger it shows in the cloud. You are able to “see” what value an author places on a word.

As I am editing my book, I wondered if a word cloud would show me what words I use the most. What if my most used word is an adverb….like (gasp) an ‘ly’ word? What if the word ‘said’ showed up? That would mean I need more action tags instead of dialogue tags. This could be a useful tool, don’t you think?

So, here is my Wordle of the current book I am editing. You can make your own Wordle HERE.

Well, you can see my main characters’ names, for sure, which is okay, but there are words such as FELT, ASKED, JUST, KNEW, JUST, BEGAN, NEED, and SAW. Those words may not be bad, per se, but for it to show up in a Wordle means they were used a lot. I can see I need to do a ‘search” in Word for these particular words and see if I can use stronger  and more meaningful words. Isn’t that a cool tool?

Just for fun, I made a Tweet Cloud. I found this fun ap through CJ’s blog. You can certainly see what I like to tweet about.

Fun, huh? I thought it really interesting that the words Kids, Hate, and Love were all close together at the end.    No, I do not hate my kids. I love, love, love them to pieces. What surprises me most about this cloud is that the term Cranky Pants isn’t in it. 😉
What do you think your CLOUDS would say?

book review

Wildflower Bride by Mary Connealy

Mary’s done it again with Wildflower Bride. Ever funny, she continues the story of Wade Sawyer, who used to be a mean, obsessive villain in book one of the Montana Marriages book and transformed into a decent God-fearing man in book two.

This story is about Wade and the woman he loves, Glowing Sun (who he met in book 2). Mary goes deep into the emotional feelings of Wade and Glowing Sun. Wade must return to his home and face his abusive father. He must come to terms with that abuse and his relationship with his father. Though white herself, Glowing Sun must deal with feelings of betrayal by white men because of the slaughter of her adoptive people.

Of course, there was the fun that Mary brings, but I thought this one had a lot of depth to it. Some was heart wrenching to read, but Mary brings Wade and Glowing Sun’s journey to a satisfying conclusion.

You will love this addition to Mary’s long line of fabulous books!

About the book:

Glowing Sun, a white woman raised by the Flathead tribe, has never met a man she didn’t want to pull a knife on, including the man who’s determined to marry her.
Glowing Sun has vague memories of her former life, including a name—Abby Lind. When she’s forced to sever all links with her adopted Indian family, Abby wonders if she’ll ever find a home again.
Tenderhearted Wade Sawyer, responsible for Abby’s survival during the village massacre, convinces the knife-wielding woman to return with him to the Sawyer Ranch, never realizing danger lurks behind every corner. Can they survive long enough to fall in love?

personal, renewal

Renewal and Just Being

My family comes home today. My husband taught at a youth summer camp this week and my two teens still at home went to attend that same camp. So it’s been me and Titus. All alone. In a really big house.

I have to say I loved my time alone. It is so rare to have extended time all alone and I relished the time to relax– not cook, not clean…except for the pee and poop that my puppy kept leaving all over my floor. Seriously, how can a puppy do his business outside and then 5 minutes after we come in, he does it again inside? I mean, really. It’s just soooo not nice.

I know you will be shocked to hear that I didn’t edit the whole time. I did some, but not like I should have. I took the time to read and to watch some movies. I spent time with a friend. I took walks with my puppy. I started a Beth Moore Bible study.

I just enjoyed the quiet. I just reveled in the solitude. I got to think. I got to daydream. I got to renew.

So as my family drives in today, I plan on enjoy the roar that is my family. I will listen to the chatter and be filled with the joy that my family brings to me. I will…hopefully…be a mom and wife who is rested and ready to serve her family.

May you have a blessed weekend filled with the joy of the Lord as you spend time with your family and with HIM at your worship gatherings.

active, editing, passive

It’s That Bad….

I’ve really begun…finally…to do the edits I’ve been putting off for so long on my one and only manuscript. And it is bad.

Really bad.

Embarrassingly bad. I’ve got passive verbs, passive sentences, passive paragraphs and passive chapters. Oh yes…it can be done, I say. And how in the world did I final in a contest? I guess by spending the last half year working on the first three chapters of my book. Ahhh, the stupidity of a novice.

Oh, I didn’t go ahead and edit my whole book like a good little writer would. No, I just kept working on those first few chapters, getting critiques, getting feedback, and cutting and pasting until I said enough already. I was ready to move on. It’s my first book, right? It is the “practice book”, right?

Because of the final, I am making myself edit on the slim chance I get the privilege of getting an editor to read through my book (yes, that’s the Big Prize for the ultimate winner). I’m digging in and doing some rewriting as I go through these edits. It’s going to take me longer than I expected, I’m afraid. I’ve got to make these passive things take an active stance. I’ve got to make the story come alive.

Have any of you written a scene that started out in the middle of a day and you recount what happened earlier? Why not start at the beginning and jump ahead a bit. It makes it ACTIVE instead of PASSIVE. Oh goodness, I have so much to learn.

So here I write about this writing journey. About how I’ve been negligent. About how I’ve been procrastinating this editing because I knew it would be painfully difficult. So there ya have it. My writing life today.