Just, actually…

I’m working on my mainly finished story, the next Radwinter e-novel to be published, doing what I suppose you could call housework, or housekeeping. I’m not changing the structure or reconfiguring the chapters/rooms, but I am dusting the window ledges/sentences and shelves/paragraphs, and hoovering the carpets/ eliminating repetitions.

When I write, I seem to have favourite words which I keep using over and over again – once it was ‘utter’ and ‘utterly’, another time it was ‘wow’, another time people kept sighing… this time, so far it’s the little words, ‘just’ and ‘actually’.

This is where spellchecks are so useful – imagine what it was like for Charles Dickens, or Tolstoy! I  used  search to find every time I used ‘just’… in fact it also called up ‘justified’, ‘justification’, ‘adjust’ and ‘Justyna’. I did keep quite a few ‘justs’, and some I changed to ‘only’ or ‘nearly’ or another word, but over three hundred (yes 300) were eliminated altogether. Although not nearly as tiring as reading the whole thing to find those repeats, it is still time-consuming and wearying – each one has to be weighed and considered before being kept, altered or cut.

I am now going on to ‘actually’…

My Radwinter stories are written as a first person narrative, and Thomas who recounts them does have a particular style of speaking as we all do; I want the reader to ‘hear’ his voice and get a sense of his character, but I don’t want the reader to be come fed-up with him because he does go on at such lengths about things. It is a very difficult balance…

back to actually…

Here is a link to where you can find my novels if you haven’t already read them!


By the way, the featured photo is of a knitted balaclava with earflaps

Fancy that!

As I’ve mentioned several times, when I’m writing I don’t like to repeat myself, unless it is for a particular effect or reason, but I find when I read through what I’ve written, I often use the same words and phrases too many times.  When a story is finished and I’m getting it ready to publish, I check it through really carefully, trying to weed out those annoying repeats. Some words obviously are more common and the same word can have two or more meanings and so be used in two or more ways, but even so, I like to avoid too many repetitions.

I was working on my next story to be published ‘Lucky Portbraddon’, and noticed that the word ‘fancy’ cropped up regularly… used in different ways it’s true, but still it was there too often for my liking. I’ve been through and changed things around, but I got to wondering about fancy do the different meanings all have the same origin, I guess they do… but do they?

Apparently ‘fancy’ comes from ‘fantasy’ which in turn comes from Old French meaning a vision or an imaginary thing; this as one might guess comes from Greek via Latin and is connected to or derived from the Greek word for light which we know in phosphorous, and pharos the lighthouse. However even early on, hundreds of years ago, there was a connection with the idea of imagining, day-dreaming, having a vision in the sense of making something up in your head… (I do this all the time!)

Back to ‘fancy’… it began to mean to like something, or be inclined to it, as, I guess, to fancy something or someone. This is how it often cropped up in my novel, with various characters either fancying someone or wondering if the someone fancied them. Is this still a current expression for being interested in a romantic way with someone?  Fancy as in ‘I fancy an ice cream/pint of beer/going for a walk is still in use,, but as in ‘he fancies her…’ do people still say that?

Fancy as meaning ornate was first recorded about two hundred years ago, and a fancy man apparently was found as early as 1811 – but was that fancy man a man who was fashionable, or fancy-man as in a woman’s boyfriend? I guess it is from this use of the word that we get ‘fancies’ meaning little cakes, and ‘fancy rats’ mean pet rats, or pigeon-fanciers’ meaning people who keep and breed prize pigeons.

If you haven’t yet read my other books, here is a link…


…and here is a list, which I know is a bit of a muddle, but I fancy you’ll get the drift!

  • a passing fancy
  • a domestic animal bred for particular qualities
  • a fancy dance routine
  • a little of what you fancy does you good
  • a mental image
  • classical music  during the 16th and 17th centuries
  • a sudden capricious idea or  whim
  • a sudden or irrational liking for a person or thing
  • an idea or thing
  • fancy footwork
  • fancy meeting you here!
  • fancy someone for something:
  • fancy someone to do something:
  • fancy that!
  • fancy your chances
  • fancy yourself
  • fancy cake
  • fancy clothes.
  • fancy some chocolate/beer/ice-cream etc
  • fancy someone as  something
  • fancy someone as someone
  • fancy someone’s chances
  • fancy-pants
  • flight of fancy
  • footloose and fancy free
  • strike somebody’s fancy
  • take a fancy to
  • take somebody’s fancy
  • the ability to conceive and represent something
  • the fancy archaic(people ho follow a particular sport, particularly prize fighting)
  • tickle somebody’s fancy
  • to catch someone’s fancy
  • to be physically attracted to (another person)
  • to believe or imagine that something is true
  • to have a high or ill-founded opinion of oneself
  • to suppose, imagine
  • used ironically

… and here is a more coherent explanation: