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Showing posts from September, 2011

Word Cloud of Twitter @ByJamesPiper

Thursday, September 29, 2011 ... a collection of twitters, juste pour fun... A word cloud created from my twitter account. View larger image here. View interactive version here.
Posted 2011/09/29 at 16h05ET in Twitter.

Word Clouds Created From My Novel The Protectors

Thursday, September 29, 2011 ... perhaps the word cloud cool factor has faded but... S ome word clouds based on my novel The Protectors. View album here.

Posted 2011/09/23 at 15h13ET in The Protectors (A Thriller).

Rikki Lose That Number

Saturday, September 24, 2011 ... sometimes free is not a good price but it is here... I was researching ISBNs online and came across a common mistake. “How to read an ISBN number.” Or, “How to interpret an ISBN number.” ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number thus when you write ISBN number you are being redundant. Lose the second number. ISBN isn’t alone. I’ve often heard people say PIN number or VIN number. Same problem. Rikki lose that number. For some reason SSN and SIN don’t have that problem. I think it’s because people will say, “Social Security Number” or “Social Insurance Number” and avoid using the acronyms. Posted 2011/09/24 at 09h09ET in Words.

You Can Never Have Enough Editing

Friday, September 23, 2011 ... we'll you can reach a limit to editing but... S ome thoughts on editing.

1. There is a direct correlation between success as a writer and time spent editing. Editing here means rewrites, cuts and copyediting. This mammoth job takes on a life of its own and requires more time than drafting the outline and writing the first draft. 2. When in doubt, cut. 3. When in doubt, look it up. 4. Give yourself space between each go-through. You need to clear you mind and come at the material with a fresh look. 5. Use a speech-to-text application to give yourself a different view on your work. Kindle. Final Draft (A script writing program). 6. The same can be said for changing the font and font size of your material. Typically we stick to the same font. By changing it drastically, it tricks the mind and you’ll see your work in a different way. 7. Create an e-book file of your work and read it with your e-reader. 8. Know your trouble words and search them…

Who Put Graffito on My Graffiti?

Thursday, September 22, 2011 ... learning other languages is a good thing... I ’ve never formally studied the Italian language, but from my music studies I know piano means quiet or soft and forte means loud. Put them together to create pianoforte, the original word for piano. Somewhere in a forest the forte ran away. It shouldn’t be confused with fortepiano. A forerunner to the modern piano. It also ran away. From music to film we pick up certain words. I can still hear Roberto Benigni saying, “Principessa” in Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella). When Dean Martin sings in Italian I learnt, no, scratch that, there’s just the hangovers. While we learn any language by listening, we gain insights by reading. This week it was a lesson in Italian. Graffiti is an Italian word and is plural. Whereas, graffito is the singular form. Anyone who knows Italian understands this distinction. To write, “The graffiti was…” or “There was graffiti on” sounds right, but to someone who speaks Italian…

Toward Towards

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 ... I don't like it when someone says a certain spelling isn't correct when it is... I tend to use towards in my writing and not toward. A fellow writer told me there shouldn’t be an S on the end. “That’s not right,” she said. I didn’t argue and steered the conversation somewhere else. Which is it? With or without an S? Either. Both are correct. Towards is used more British. Toward more U.S. Don’t believe me? Here is an authority on the issue: Common Errors in English Usage Posted 2011/09/21 at 08h14ET in words.

It’s Been A While Since Google Did Searches Write

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 ... sometimes google gets it right and then they go south... R ecently I was editing a novel and came across, “It’s been a while.” I stopped and wondered: should it be two words or one? Satisfied it was correct, I continued my edits, but sometimes I have to stop and check with some authority. But how to check? Pull out a book, right? Now I’ve read any number of books on language, grammar, and style. Each day I’ll read a chunk and store it away in my head, somewhere, I hope, in the non-corrupted sectors. Over time, my polluted mind is either certain on a particular issue or completely fuzzy. Fuzzy seems more prevalent. I love these books, but they don’t work as reference material for me. Even if I remembered what book dealt with a certain issue, I’d have to find the book, then search the pages to find the entry at which point I’d discover it wasn’t quite how I remembered it. Time for the internet. If your not familiar with this site: Common Errors in En…

How I Rate Books On Goodreads

Monday, September 19, 2011 ... when I rate a book, this is my system... I f you’re not familiar with Good Reads, click here. It will take you a while to get a handle on all the features, but you may find it useful. I use the web site because it’s an easy way to build a database of the books from my life—owned, borrowed, swiped and stolen, read, want to read, or, will never read, but pretend I did. In the past I tried creating a database with Excel, but it’s too damn time consuming to collect and enter the data. The web site does all that. A few pecks and clicks and you can add a book to your bookshelf. Categorize them to your fancy and rate and review. I tend to keep my reviews short and reviewing books is a whole separate topic. But how to rate a book? That’s what I want to know and want to hear from others on. The site provides a 1 to 5 star rating option, similar to, but while you can choose 1 to 5 stars, you can also not rate the book and have no stars. Does that eq…

What Thyme Is It?

Saturday, September 18, 2011 ... where is the rhyme and rhythm with spelling... I struggle to spell any number of words in the English language and all of the ones in Greek, Spanish and Russian. I think it has something to do with the funny alphabets. But that aside, let’s face it, English is not easy on the mind or spirit when it comes to spelling and pronunciation. It doesn’t help that certain folks took it on themselves to fix the discrepancies, but only made it worse. Two of my trouble words are: Rhyme and Rhythm. It’s troubling because I am a student of the Theory of Music, I write songs and most songs have rhyme and rhythm. Fortunately you don’t have to be able to spell these words to be a songwriter or musician. At least, so I thought, when I signed up for Music Theory 101 in university. I think I have rhyme down because if I can spell thyme without any problem I should be able to spell rhyme. Just switch T with R. Bingo. Until a moment of self-doubt kicks in. Such an odd …

Guns and Thrillers

Saturday, September 17, 2011 ... guns and thrillers go hand in hand... Y ou don’t need to write about guns to create an effective thriller, but it’s clear many thrillers include them for all the obvious reasons. What’s also clear, is if you write about guns and firearms in a way that is not consistent with experts in the field, you’ll hear about it. For example, don’t ever write a revolver has a silencer. It won’t work. Reviews on frequently point out factual errors. So, unless you can strip and reassemble a pistol blindfold in ten seconds like those movie scenes, unless you can name all the parts of a handgun, know the terminology, you should avoid writing about them or, in my case, do some research. My background with firearms is limited as in non-existent. No job or training ever exposed me to them. Sure I’ve seen them in movies and on TV, but they never run out of “bullets” and reading about weapons is different than watching them.
1. Courses, Clubs & Firing Rang…

Cast of Characters from The Protectors

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Cast of Characters from The Protectors... M ost novels do not include a list of characters, although I have read some with them. Tolstoy readers would likely appreciate it. Plays do. Scripts don’t. Not sure what the thinking is, but I didn’t include it with my novel. I had a feeling I’d be shot if I had suggested it, but with the internet, I can provide such a list and here is the list of the major players in my first novel The Protectors (A Thriller).
Black Carr Security Consultants Limited Baird Carr, Former CIA Officer, Co-founder, OwnerEmerson Black, Former Secret Service Agent, Co-founder, OwnerSarah Bishop, Former FBI Agent, Senior ConsultantDebra Paeytonne, Office AdministratorBeth, ReceptionistStephen Tedeschi, Former Secret Service Agent, ConsultantNigel, Independent Consultant
U.S. Secret Service Ken Milton, DirectorRichard Heyward, Retired AgentJulian Constance, Agent, Killed in Assassination AttemptTrisha Evrington, AgentTerry Flannon, Agen…

Things I’ve Learnt About E-publishing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 ... writing an e-book is just one part of the publishing business... H ere’s a summary of some of the things I’ve learnt about e-publishing. Depending on where you are on the curve, some things will be old hat, others completely new. 1. Creating the E-book. If you have a manuscript ready for publication, creating the e-book file is straightforward. In fact, it’s the easiest part of the process. There are oodles of how-to articles on formatting and several free software programs available for converting a document file into an e-book file. I use MS Word 2003 and Calibre to create MOBI and EPUB files. It works for me. 2. Cover Art. Every book needs a cover, even an e-book, except for e-books is an image file like a JPEG file. Some argue the cover art for an e-book is critical because often that’s all a reader sees when browsing titles. That’s probably true. It’s not difficult to spot the difference between cover art made by professionals and those made b…

First Sale

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 ... exciting to see my first sale of my novel... I t's all rather exciting. I checked my account with amazon this evening and I got my first sale. I am officially a published author. Don't ask me who bot it because I have no idea. I haven't told anybody except for some twitter activity. It's still exciting. I did something right. Note: I deliberately spelt bought as bot because if got is okay then gought should be. Posted 2011/09/14 at 01h10ET in The Protectors (A Thriller).

The First Post

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 ... the start of this blog on... I 'm in the process of setting up a blog on It may take a while to get it all filled in. I am getting the hang of it. Posted 2011/09/13 at 22h33ET in This Blog.