Saturday, 21 September 2013

I was listening to the radio yesterday and there a was an item about smoking in prisons. The presenter said that there was a suggestion of forbidding the practice. I, personally, as an ex-smoker myself, do not think this is a fair idea. Smokers cannot go outside to smoke as they can in the free world. There was a suggestion of giving them nicotine patches. Since when has a patch been a substitute for a cigarette? It isn't just about the nicotine, is it? It's the whole experience.

Having said that, in support of those who do not want this ban, I am fully in favour of the ban on smoking in public places. While, as I said, I am an ex-smoker, I have not smoked for more years than I can remember, so I usually consider myself to be a non-smoker. I have heard people saying that it is a violation of their human rights to prevent them from doing something that is their free choice to do-i.e. smoke; and that they should be able to smoke when and where they like: in pubs, restaurants, cinemas etc. I disagree with them most strongly. I remember going into pubs and restaurants filled with smoke. Even as a smoker I disliked it! The staff-room at one school where I worked was always full of smoke. There was a little staff room for non-smokers, but it was the old biddies who went in there.

To all those who think that banning smoking is a violation of their human rights, I would say that the right to clean, unpolluted air outweighs that. It is known that passive smoking is harmful! I also heard an item that stated that the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma has gone down dramatically since the ban. I'm sorry that I cannot remember the exact percentage. I am also sure tht many people will have give up smoking since the ban, rather than go and stand outside in the cold and rain, and sometimes even snow, although I have no evidence to base that on.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I have been rather shocked recently by the grammatical errors made by some well-known authors. Do they not take any notice of the green wavy line that appears when grammar is suspect?

A well known author, whose book I have recently finished has used 'I' when they should have used 'me'. This author said 'The two parents looked at Daniel and I.' This should have been 'The two parents looked at Daniel and ME.' If we forget Daiel for the moment, I am sure this author would not have written 'The two parents looked at I.', so why does it change because there is another person?

This is a common mistake, I know, but surely an author should know, and if not, then the editors should pick it up. This is merely one mistake. Others are the use of 'who' when it should be 'whom', 'which' instead of 'that' and the use of 'was' instead of 'were' after a conditional or wish. ('I wish I were', not 'I wish I was', 'If he were going' not 'If he was going'.

I know that many people would think I am being rather pedantic, but surely we should expect correct grammar from our authors even if we ourselves are not perfect. In my own writing I try to obey the rules of grammar as I learned them at school, which includes not beginning a sentence with a conjunction.  Obviously you can't use a word that joins 2 sentences as the start of one, but that does not stop most authors, even to the extent of beginning paragraphs with them!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Hope you enjoyed the extract from my Fantasy novel, The Wolf Pack. If you want to know more about the writing of this book and some more about the characters, please visit my website at I will be doing more interviews with some of the character in the near future.
The book can be bought from Amazon in either Kindle or print format if you are interested enough to want to know more. I would be interested in any comments about the book, too.