Last night I finished the final edit of my new novel, How Great Is The Darkness. It is due out May 11.

I had edited it several times previous, including the all-important read-out-loud. I have had many people proof read it for me, and for that I am very thankful. However, I wanted to do one more proof that was new and different. I coaxed Siri to read it to me by using the “voiceover” option. Here is a tip–open the voiceover feature audibly. If you try to do it manually, you will eventually throw your phone into a deep ravine.

Read some awesome Jamie Greening to me, Siri.

For starters, this was fun. I enjoyed the book on a whole new level being a listener rather than reader. It was creepy though, having Siri read my horrifying story in her flat monotone, then suddenly have it interrupted by cheery up-speak. I recommend every writer do this with their work, because I found a total of 23 errors and changes I needed to make in what I thought was a clean manuscript.  Rest assured, I am sure some still got by me and will appear in the book. That seems to always happen, regardless of how hard I edit.  Nevertheless, I am glad these 23 were caught.  Here are some “low-lights” of what Siri helped me find.

  1. One of the characters, a pastor named Terence, has a habit of puckering his lips when he speaks. One line is supposed to say “puckered his lips” but instead it said he “puckered his list” and I’m glad that got changed because puckering a a list is a felony in Georgia.
  2.  A problem I often have is my typing gets sloppy.  Therefore, “No neighbors near the building” was “no neighbors near he building.”  They were, however, near “she-building.”
  3. The worst offense was the terrible plaque problem.  I would have never caught this by looking at it, because my eye always fixed it internally. But for some reason I typed the phrase “Bubonic plaque” like it was a dreaded middle-ages gum disease or awful death causing memorial etched in stone.  Of course, it should have been Bubonic plague, as in black death, not black teeth.
  4. I am so ashamed of the “set” that should have been “sit.”  My head hangs; it no longer sets properly on my shoulders.

Siri was such a big help in finding these, because she read them and I heard it. True, it was annoying how she didn’t handle hyphenated words at the end of lines very well. Her awkward pronunciation of “Yeah” was hard to handle as well.  When I write I often have a hard time with homophones. So does Siri.  The word “lives” is in my text several times, and it is always a hard “I” sound as in “Wyoming Wallace saved our lives.” Siri always, and I mean always, pronounced it as a soft “I” as in “Wyoming Wallace lives in a double-wide trailer.”

But, it is edited now. I can get some other work done–like never ending blogging and mindless twittering.




Today’s number is . . . 42.

42 is the answer to the meaning of life in the film “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”  I never fully understood why, but it was.  That was an odd movie, now wasn’t it?  I never read the book.  I don’t think I’d like it.

42 is a fantastic and fun domino game I enjoy playing.  It is a trick and trump game with count, but alas, not many people play it anymore so I pretty much only play on my iPad.

42 is the number of the Psalm that includes the metaphor, “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”  It is the text for one of the earliest praise and worship songs from the current praise and worship phenomena.  However, the best verse (and by best I mean my favorite) in the psalm is verse 7–“Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls.”

42 is one of the answers Siri, the iPhone 5 assistant, will give you if you ask her, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.”  I counted 8 different answers before she finally kept repeating, “Don’t you have anything better to do?”  I would have never thought to ask Siri this had a Facebook friend not mentioned it.

42 is Jackie Robinson’s number, and the title of a really good movie about him.

42 is the number of generations in the lineage of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel.

42 decks are on the Enterprise D.  Make it so.

42, as of today, is the number of years I have drawn breath upon this wonderful planet and lived the blessing of life.  Soli Deo Gloria.