Not a general book, of course, but a one for those interested in and learning to use the software with the hardware and operating system.
I thought I knew Word, in particular, very well, but there were many lessons for me here. I’ve learnt things that will hopefully increase my productivity and allow me more freedom to express myself more fully. The ability to work with programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint more effectively will certainly improve my speed of work. But, as familiarity increases, I ... read more »
I read the Folio Society edition of this novel, illustrated rather charmingly and with considerable insight, by Debra McFarlane. There’s something essentially apt about reading a book from the early 50s in the form of a hardback with appropriate plates. Set in the period just following World War II, and written in the first person by one of the ‘excellent women’ of the title, it should really be entirely of its time. The simple brilliance of the writing, the wonderful characterisation and the gently comi... read more »
It was supposed to be the start, the beginning of the full time writing life. But life has a way of getting in the way of ambition, doesn’t it? Retirement exposes all those domestic tasks that you intended to complete one day. And I’ve been doing some of those. Coupled with the freedom to do what I want when I like, comes some good weather at long last and I felt unequal to allowing the gardens to become even more like jungles for lack of opportunity to care for them. Hedges, bushes and lawns all trimmed... read more »
I was recently invited to take part in a ‘chain’ event on Facebook. It looked harmless enough, except to the paranoid types. Basically, the idea was to list 25 random facts about yourself; things that people wouldn’t necessarily know. A bit of fun, provided the subjects don’t provide info of use to those intent on identity fraud, of course.
Trouble was, in order to partake, it was necessary to take a particular route through the FB labyrinth. And it turned out that, for reasons known only to FB, my rout... read more »
First published in 1994, Disclosure by Michael Crichton, is one of those novels based on actual events, though this is not made clear until the end of the book, in an ‘afterword’. Whether that information would have made any difference to my reading is an unknown. It reads like fiction, so I read it in that spirit.
The stated theme is that of sexual harassment and its potentially corrosive effects on both corporations and society in general. Written at a time when such complaints were increasingly bei... read more »
English: So many words to keep track of!. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If ever a writing rule was overstated, it must be this one. Once it becomes evident that there are more exceptions than examples following a rule, the rule becomes seriously unhelpful; redundant at best.
We all know about receipt, receive, ceiling, etc. But there are actually more words used in English that have the ‘ei’ construction than those using ‘ie’.
Don’t believe me? I offer a mere handful:
Heir, weir, Eire, weird, being, d... read more »
Núverandi 2007 Intel iMac. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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For years I’ve wanted to use a Mac instead of a PC for my writing. I decided I would treat myself on my retirement from employment and, last Monday, I made the purchase.
As is invariably... read more »
I come late to this classic, which I gather is intended as a children’s story. Mind you, I suspect a few of the modern generation might have difficulty with some of the language and sentence structure. Be that as it may, the story is rightly a classic: the language is beautiful, the ideas, which are wide-ranging, are wonderfully expressed with little sign of authorial intrusion.
The central theme, of the reversion of the civilised into the primitive, is cleverly illustrated as Buck slowly learns from ... read more »
Typographic quotation marks (top) versus straight quotation marks, or "dumb quotes" (bottom). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They’re there, everywhere you look, on blogs, in books, on websites – those unbreakable rules for writers. Some are concerned with language itself; grammar, syntax, spelling. Others are to do with style; repetition, viewpoint, backstory, vocabulary. Then there are the rules surrounding presentation; font, paragraphs, spacing, quotations, dialogue. Of course, the gurus and mentors have ... read more »
Iconic, much adapted for film and TV, these tales have been around a while and many people have taken pleasure from them in this form. But, until now, I’d not read a single one. This collection both introduces and develops the character (I met one of the original actors, Joan Hickson, whilst working on an article with her son, Nick, when she lived in Wivenhoe. Very private and reserved lady.)
Joan Hickson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What I hadn’t appreciated was that the written stories actually dist... read more »