Proofing and Pruning

 Posted by at 12:15 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 242023

After a light breakfast of berries and cream and half a bagel each, Terry spent most of yesterday giving Jackpot, my new John Lee Quarrels book, a final reading, looking for any errors or typos that managed to slip through all of the earlier proofreading. And sure enough, she caught a few. Many were misplaced commas, something that Microsoft Word, the AP Stylebook, and ProWritingAid disagree on frequently. More than once I have deleted a comma that Stylebook says should not be there, only to have Word insist it should be, or vice versa. A lot of that seems to be personal preference as much as anything.

While Terry was doing that, I took the Mule and a pair of pruning shears and drove along our perimeter roads, cutting back branches and vines that were getting too long and threatening to take over.  Alli has a love/hate relationship with the Mule. She loves when I get in it because she knows that means she gets to chase along and run, something she loves doing. But she also barks at the Mule and tries to bite the tires. I think, maybe in her mind, it is kidnapping me or something.

I goofed big time with our spa. I am supposed to test the water every week, but I have been so busy finishing the new book that I let it go for almost two weeks. When I finally did test it yesterday, I was shocked to see how green the water was. We never noticed it when we use it every night, but in daylight it was hard to miss. We keep the cover on when we’re not using it, but obviously I really dropped the ball. We tested the water and treated it with chemicals, now we will wait a day or so and see if that helped. If not, we will probably have to drain it, clean the inside, replace the filters, and start over. Lesson learned.

If you are in need of some good Christmas reading, my pal Donna McNicol has just the thing for you. What’s better than small towns at Christmas? Peace and joy. Love and cheer. Wait – what did you say? A burglary? A dead body? Certainly not in my town. Check out Donna’s titles that inclue  A DEADLY YULETIDE: An annual Christmas parade, a missing trophy, a high school nemesis returns. SLAY RIDE: Candy Cane Carriages – a sweet place to die. FROZEN DOUGH: What do money and baking have in common? Dough! AN ELF-ING MESS: What is a girl who hates Christmas doing driving to the most holiday-themed town in the state?

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake, the first book in my Big Lake mystery series and the book that launched my career as an author. When an armored car hijacking leaves two men dead, Arizona Sheriff Jim Weber takes the crime personally, because one of the dead men is his brother-in-law. His hunt for the killers leads him into a world of sordid sex, deceit, and violence, with a suspect list that includes jilted women, a family of anti-government survivalists, and the beautiful wife of the richest man in town. With a plot that has more twists and turns than an Arizona mountain road, a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, and a shocking ending that shakes the town of Big Lake to its very foundation,

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. A friend saw this in Sandie Dixon’s blog and shared it with me.

Thought For The Day – In times of joy, all of us wish we possessed a tail we could wag.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Proofing and Pruning”

  1. Two comments:
    (1) As one of Nick’s proofreaders, I can attest to my love/hate relationship with the COMMA. I also have the various stylebooks, and often question when a comma should be used. From my broadcast journalism education, I recommend adding a comma if I have to take a breadth when reading the sentence aloud. My most common WORD “comment” when editing is: “comma ???”. That’s my directive for each of my authors to decided on their own if the comma is needed.

    (2) Nick’s recommended holiday books by Donna McNicol are outstanding! I have fallen in love with the characters and they are quick “cozy mysteries”.
    I beta read them, bought them in Kindle e-book formats, and have written 5-star reviews for all of them.
    — Merry Christmas

  2. I must admit, it was too funny to see my picture of the sign outside the Irish Cowboy Pub. Glad you enjoyed it. Wishing you and Terry and all the fur kids a very joyous Christmas and a fantastic 2024.

  3. RE: Spa water. Just drain water and refill. Remove filters and rinse off with garden hose sprayer and reuse same. Have owned a hot tub for 20+ years. You should be treating it with chlorine every time you use it to kill off the oils from your body which like to grow if not treated.

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