The importance of re-reading

I’m a huge reader. I probably read a book every five days or so. I’m also in a reading group and listen to that book while at the day job. I can’t get through a week without at least one book for the bathtub.

Because I’ve been living on next to nothing since 2009 when I was laid off from a well-paying full time job (and have only recently found another to replace it), I’ve been taking advantage of free or $.99 books for my Kindle. This means I read a lot of independent authors. Hey, a girl needs to support her tribe, even if my first novel has been accepted by a publisher.

However, I’m appalled at what some people publish–not the stories themselves–but the complete lack of spell check, grammar check, or at least a thorough re-read. In the last week, I twice found the word “reigns” used incorrectly. Obviously, someone isn’t watching Game of Thrones with subtitles. Reigns means to rule, like a queen or king. In both novels, the author meant “reins” as in part of a horse’s bridle; as in pulled the reins to stop forward momentum.

I know some authors use Scrivener to write; I use MS Word. If I’m not sure I’m using a word correctly, I can check Word’s Thesaurus, which will give me the meaning of a word if I’m too lazy to get the dictionary.

I have to admit, however, that self-proofing is tough. I can find typos someone else’s document. It’s much harder when it’s my own typing. Thank goodness I have a proofreader and an editor for “A Sort of Justice.”

Day in the Life

Because it was supposed to rain today (it hasn’t; at least not since early this morning), I decided to bake some cookies. I tend to do this anyway during the winter months as it’s an excuse to warm the house up without turning on the heater. I’m now gluten free, which means I have to use a flour other than wheat, and I prefer the ones that already have the ingredients necessary to make the rice/potato flour act like wheat.

So today I pulled out the can of pumpkin from the pantry and set to work. The recipe is iced pumpkin cookies, but I’ve already changed the recipe to pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I mean, who cares about icing when you’ve got chocolate chips? Surprisingly, my significant other, Ken, will eat these. He’s not known for his fondness of any sort of vegetable matter in any form. Normally, he will eat only, corn, French style green beans, carrots, and baked beans (which I don’t consider vegetables).

These particular cookies call for a teaspoon of cinnamon, and I’ve discovered not all cinnamons are the same. I’m currently using a cinnamon from Vietnam, (purchased at Costco) and it is very different from any other I’ve used in the past. It smells more like Red Hots–you know, the hot, spicy candy, and it’s flavor is perhaps a little sweeter with the same cinnamon bite. I would NOT be tempted to swallow a teaspoon dry. However, I have increased the amount called for in this cookie recipe to a full tablespoon. Do you think that’s too much?

I suppose my point is everyone should feel free to tweak anything they’re working on, be it food, art, housecleaning, etc., to make it more your own. I rarely follow a recipe letter by letter, and I don’t do most things the way that is acceptable by the crowd. But then, I’m too old to really care what other people think. If they want to pay all my bills, then they can dictate how I do things.

PS–leave a comment if you’d like this recipe–the cookies are pretty tasty!