Archive for February, 2015

My Take on Climate Change

February 25, 2015

I’ve heard reputable people say that climate change is real. I’ve heard other reputable people say that climate change is not real. After this year’s winter, I’d say that global warming may not be as obvious as some think. I personally believe that climate change is a phenomena that has been part of the earth for the past 4.5 billion years. Of course, man contributes to greenhouse gasses. But I also believe that climate change, and that would include global warming, is affected more by natural factors….like activity on the surface of the sun, volcanic eruptions, undersea seismic events, etc.  All this hype about man being able to reverse the course of the inevitable is, in my opinion, ludicrous. If, in fact, we’re worried about global warming, our efforts should not be in trying to stop it, but to prepare for it. It’s like dealing with a hurricane, something we do regularly on the Gulf coast. Nobody tries to stop a hurricane. But people do prepare for it. They move inland. They shore up property where it makes sense. They get food and water…batteries, generators, etc. They know they can’t stop mother nature, but they figure out a way to survive. It seems to me that people who believe in global warming should prepare for it, not try to prevent it. (Of course, I’m against pollution, but again, I don’t think man can stop the inevitable.) So yes, go for cleaner air and alternative energy production, but also take steps that are based on the assumptions that are scaring our children…rising oceans, warmer temperatures, extinction of polar bears, etc. I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of guy. If the earth becomes warmer, and if the oceans rise, then people living right on the coast may have to relocate. There would be other problems as well. But with a warmer earth won’t our agriculture growing seasons be longer resulting in more food production? Won’t cold and flu seasons be shorter, saving lives? Won’t the resources and funds needed for winter heating be reduced? Not related, but within fifty years I think man will develop  an economical way to desalinate the oceans to make sea water potable and usable for agriculture. Water shortages around the world will be a thing  of the past. I think continued medical advances will make us healthier, with longer life expectancies. I’m tired of people speaking of doomsday, especially when they profit from it financially or politically. Our world can actually be a better place in the future, but few people are willing to admit that.

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Now for Some Editing

February 10, 2015

I finished the draft for my latest novel, Clean Slate. I edited it once, and now I will edit the entire manuscript two more times, and then I’ll send it to two or three proofreaders.  This process will take about three months, as I have other work to do, and I certainly cannot work on the manuscript and nothing else without going a bit mad.

My editing process has several purposes. First I need to make sure the information is consistent throughout the story. For instance, I discovered that on page seventy I mentioned that Richard Weed had seven previous clients. On page two hundred and five, I mentioned that Richard Weed had five previous clients. Inconsistencies like that are unacceptable. Another purpose is to correct any typos or grammatical errors. And another purpose is to replace/upgrade wording. A full edit also includes an evaluation of the plot, and making changes when I have a different idea.  Also, when I wrote the first draft, I was writing at five hundred to seven hundred and fifty words per hour. In some cases I was telling a story as fast as I  could, using nothing but a factual account of what was happening. My edits give me the opportunity to slow things down, add more descriptive phrases, additional adjectives and adverbs, and letting readers have more of a sensory feel for the plot. Sounds. Smells. Visual descriptions.

I could edit a hundred times and always find something to change. But I’ve found that after three edits, I need to get it out there so to speak. My proofreaders, besides looking for typos and grammatical errors, will also provide feedback that will let me know  if the novel is, indeed ready.

Clean Slate is the fifth novel in the Rhett and Toni detective series, and it’s pretty good. Maybe my best in the series. I  had a great time writing it, and, of course, I enjoyed the research process. I hope readers enjoy it.