Merry Christmas, wreaths, garlands, swags


Do you make your own Christmas wreaths and garlands? I went out to cut branches for my Christmas swags for either side of the door, and came back with the following –

  • red cedar (you can tell by the colour of the stems and bark)
  • balsam fir, with the delightful light green tips to the branches
  • fir, with fuzzier needle formation
  • salal, which gives great berries but stays green all year
  • hawthorne, for the beautiful red berries
  • broom, which is a weed, but adds a lovely straight sweeping component

This is what I came up with for my front door. What do you do for your Christmas greenery? Merry Christmas everyone!


What do readers want?

A very interesting bit on what kindle owners read and where they get their information for buying new books.

So, who do they listen to for recommendations? 53% said they heard about a book from friends or family. We are still talking about word of mouth here. Next came websites and blogs at 24%. Bestseller lists was quite low on the roster at 11%.

In terms of social media, facebook is by far the most influential in getting word out on new books, with twitter and instagram near the bottom. It’s interesting because I know a lot of authors spend a great deal of time on some of these sites, so it’s nice to get some information on what works best.

Although there is a huge push on ‘series’ books right now, the information shows that 70% of readers enjoy series and stand alone books equally.

Best of all, kindle owners purchase 8.9 books a month. That’s a lot of reading material. I’m sure it doesn’t all get read, but most of it probably does, and it’s an exciting number for authors to contemplate.

Have a look at the Anatomy of a Kindle User –

Editing your writing

Is editing your own work all that difficult? I think it is. Once I’ve finished writing a piece and gone over it four or five times, my eye starts to skip even obvious errors. I’ve been working on an MS where an auto correct function took most contractions and spelled them with a quotation mark instead of an apostrophe – i.e. don”t instead of don’t.

For some reason, once that occurred the spell check wouldn’t pick them up. So I went through the piece manually changing them. Then I sent the pages to my pad to read it again and discovered I’d missed a bunch. See? It’s not that easy to do your own editing.

I’ve tried to work out a system once a piece is finished –

  • Run spell check
  • Run list of overused words
  • Read through on computer and edit
  • Send to pad to read and make notes of obvious errors
  • Final read through
  • I consider reading it out loud, printing it and reading it on paper
  • Then I start looking for other eyes on the MS because I’m bound to have missed something.

Joan DeMartin wrote a good piece on Lipsticking website about self editing. You can read it here –

How do you edit? All suggestions welcome!