Software for a Writer + Garden Update

I follow the BookBaby blog and recently one of the posts was about editing software.I didn’t know such software existed. The post evaluated nine different editing software programs. These products will never replace my human editor, but I purchased one of the ones recommended and was thrilled with what it did for me. 

The post came at a propitious time. I had been tweaking the manuscript of my second novel (which I will be republishing under my name rather than the pen name I used twelve years ago). It seemed to me that I was using certain phrases too many times. What about my use of adverbs? Just how many times did I start sentences the same way?

SmartEdit is the product I purchased. It cost $77 for Word. I had a little difficulty downloading it – or rather it downloaded and I had trouble finding where it had gone. But once that issue was resolved, the program now appears on the icon ribbon at the top of my word documents. It looks at eleven different editing issues: adverb usage, repeated phrases, repeated words, misused words, cliches, redundancies, monitored words, proper nouns, acronyms, foreign words, and profanities. It also checks for a variety of punctuation issues. I was less concerned about punctuation since my books are proofed before being published.

For each category you can see each use and where it is in your manuscript. the screen shows the list below and the manuscript area above. You can change it right then and there. I could also pull up my thesaurus at the same time so if I used a word too often, I could see what other words were available. The adverb checker was extremely helpful.

I would have liked to be able to copy the lists of proper names and print them out, but I was informed by the Irish creators of the program that that “functionality is not available.” I would have liked to be able to copy most of the lists as reference documents. Maybe that can be included in a future version. 

This is the link to the blog. SmartEdit or one of the other options may be just what you need.


Heavy rain Tuesday night made driving to my Working Writers Forum in Easton a nightmare. But, even after eleven years, I learn something every time, so was glad I went. The next morning lots of leaves were on the driveway and lawn.

This year I’m going to get help mulching the leaves. It takes alot of time to bag the mulched leaves with our small mower and I really want to be writing. So a guy with a big machine and big collection bag is getting my business. He’ll have to come several times as the maples aren’t yet denuded. I put the mulched leaves on the garden beds and some in wire pens I made. They decompose over the winter and some are used in the compost bins.

We are supposed to get our first hard freeze Friday night. I need to get the drip irrigation system winterized and a couple of other garden chores done. Those can be accomplished when I get up from my desk after sitting too long. By the end of Thursday, the “must do” chores will be completed, but there will still be some garden clean-up. Elephant ear tubers are dug after the first frost. I need to have elephant ears if I’m going to make more cement leaf castings next summer.


My fall vegetable bed at the Community garden needs to be covered with a floating row cover. I’ve been harvesting red skinned turnips and gorgeous radishes.

Tonight I’m going to saute them both (sliced) in butter and add some honey at the end. Yum! It’s the end of crab season and I’ve made crabcakes using a recipe from Mary Gray. I bake mine. A few will go in the freezer for a winter treat.

I am looking forward to dinner.




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