Most Used Words

words photo

My goodness. I am shocked. Seriously shocked.

Having finished this novel (first in a series), I thought I might run it through an online word counting tool. This one. I was curious to see which words I used the most, and if I needed to tweak my prose.


Yes, I needed to tweak it.

Apart from various important words used for grammar constructs (and, the, etc), and names and pronouns (very high, so high I will probably have to tweak that), I found my most common words were:

Up (!)





Ugh. In one paragraph I had the word ‘now’ three times. Three! How had I never seen this? In some chapters I have a higher than normal usage of certain words like table (lol, table!) and, nerd that I am, I have written down for every single chapter the most used words. I have spent the last three days rooting through and eliminating these words where they are unnecessary, and getting the thesaurus out when they are.

It’s been a fascinating eye-opener to how my subconscious strings sentences together. If you have a novel that is ‘finished’ I highly recommend using this tool. It’s free, and fun, if you like analysing stuff. DO NOT use this if you haven’t finished the novel, else you will never stop editing. Seriously.

For the Love of Peace


I am sitting at my laptop and can hear nothing but the gentle whirr of the fans and birds singing outside. The sun is shining on my shoulders as I sit in front of the window and it looks like spring, feels like spring.

This is one of life’s simple and precious moments.

Especially after nothing but endless grey skies the last few weeks. My youngest has been ill with fever and vomiting but is now fast asleep, curled up in a chair and his fever seems to have abated. The house is clean (relatively speaking) and I have a few moments where I could do anything I want for me. Just me. Nobody demanding attention, no food needs cooking right now and the washing is on. So, what shall I do?

I have no idea! I could write some more of my novel, but don’t really feel like it. I could critique something on Scribophile, but don’t really feel like it. I could work on my copy-editing course, but don’t really feel like it. All I feel like doing is sitting in the sunshine, listening to the birds and enjoying this moment of peace. They do not come often.

And tomorrow it will snow.


This isn’t the view from my window (unfortunately, wouldn’t that be nice), it’s a picture taken on the Ofen Pass in Switzerland. Maybe you can find a little peace looking at it:)


The Canyon



The twisted layers of pinks, oranges and browns, the flashes of red and green hypnotize me, pull me forward. Vaguely aware of murmurs behind, I step nearer, closer.

‘Stop!’ Someone, a man, calls out, but I ignore him and soon human noise melds seamlessly with nature’s hush.
I stare to the right, down the canyon. The Colorado river is but a distant hiss on the edges of my awareness. All I am is concentrated on the yawning space below.

The Chasm. Was it really formed over thousands, nay, millions of years by the thin brown snake now languishing beneath? It must have been a much larger river at some point to create this yaw, this immensity. I slowly ease cross-legged on to the smooth ledge that juts from under the rim.

The Rim. What a perfect way to describe the edge of mortality.

For a moment or two, I close my eyes and listen. Emptiness isn’t silent. It breathes, this canyon, from the tugging whispers of the wind to the headlong rush of the river. I am alone here. Alone with nothingness; alone in beauty.

The clatter of stones into the abyss is an ugly intrusion, like a screech mid-sentence, a whiff of unpleasance amidst perfumes of rose and jasmine. Motionless with regret for a moment, I hold my breath to see if I would hear them arrive at their eternal rest, but any rattle is swallowed by the susurration of stillness.

I shift again, sending more pebbles down through the layers of time, and wonder what those ancients thought when they beheld this gaping wound in the land. Perhaps the red rocks are the canyon’s blood, draining to the river that sliced ever deeper.

This is not my first time here, but this is the first time I have obeyed the crushing whim to seek the truth of this ravine, to find the answer to the eternal question.

My heart beats faster as I contemplate what I wish, nay, need to do. Inhaling deeply of heat and pine, I open my eyes and look down. The Emptiness weighs heavy, like something trying to suffocate me. I lean forward and breathe the beckoning call of allure, the draw of desire. Would I float? I think I might.

Vertigo crashes over me and I’m falling, flying. A scream burdens my lungs, pushing to escape. Am I up? Am I down?
Instead of a harsh, strident shriek, there are only whispers – flutterings of sound that kiss.

My legs grow numb and I smile, for now I am flying. I can no longer feel the rock digging into my bottom. I can float, after all. With the deep blue stretched above me, the rich, pastel hues and striations below, I am part of God’s painting.

Me. Only me.