The Five Cs of Copy Editing


Copy editing involves changes made to a manuscript by the copy editor before it is sent for printing or publishing. What are the five Cs of copy editing? Before I spell them out let me tell that each C represents the job and skills required of any good copy editor. The final edited copy must have the features represented by the Cs. The five Cs are,

  • Clear copy
  • Correct,
  • Concise,
  • Comprehensible
  • Consistent

Before any manuscript is sent for proofreading the copy editor has to check for many defects in it which may include functions like,

  • Punctuation checking
  • Spelling checks
  • Correcting grammatical mistakes
  • Remove semantic errors
  • Check all terminologies used
  • Check that the publishers “in house” style is being maintained
  • Incorporate headers / footers etc
  • Ensure there will be no legal problems after publishing
  • Summarize or shorten text (abridgement)

A good copywriter must also be a good copy editor and have good command of the language and must also be fairly aware of a wide range of topics with a very strong background in grammar. He must also have an eye for spotting errors and inconsistencies in manuscripts. It is also necessary that he be able to work under pressure and finish work within the given deadline. The growing online publications requires more than just journalistic and language skills. As editors may have to publish articles directly on the Internet, they should be also be good with computers, different word processing programs and must also have the required pagination and technical knowledge/skills.


Funerals – Eastern Star Service


In this article we’re going to briefly discuss an offshoot of the Masonic service, one for women called the Eastern Star Funeral Service.

The Eastern Star organization is an offshoot of the Masons for women. The reason for this is that a woman can’t become a Mason. The reasons why, at least for this article, are unimportant. However, there is an organization for women who want to be a part of the Masonic community. That organization is the Eastern Star. The only requirement for becoming a member of the Eastern Star is that the woman has to be the descendent of a Mason. Yes, there is a catch. Your father or grandfather or husband or somebody in your family has to be a Mason himself. If this one condition is met and you then become a member of the Eastern Star you are then entitled to an Eastern Star memorial service.

So how does one qualify for an Eastern Star funeral service? Well, when a member of the Eastern Star in good standing, dies, they are entitled to this service. Good standing means that their dues are paid up in full and have no Masonic charges filed against them.

When an Eastern Star member dies the chapter to which they belong sends a floral arrangement to the funeral home. This arrangement is in the shape of a five pointed star and with the mystical colors of the order.

Before the actual service takes place however, the members of the chapter meet at their chapter building for what they call a draping ceremony. At this ceremony their alter is draped in black and a special opening of the chapter is then performed. This is, in many cases, done just once during the year to commemorate all the members who have died that year. After the draping at the chapter the members then proceed to the funeral home.

At the home there is a special Eastern Star service. It is very similar to the Masonic service in some respects but very different in others. For one thing, where the Masonic service is memorized, the Eastern Star service is read from what is called a book of ritual. This book contains the entire Eastern Star funeral service and must be read word for word.

In a Masonic service one person does the reading, but in an Eastern Star service there are many readers. The readings are done by various members of the fraternity who occupy specific stations as officers. Each officer reads a part assigned to their station. Each individual part is rather short but putting them all together the actual service can run 15 to 20 minutes.

After the service is over the members of the chapter pay their final respects to the deceased and process out of the funeral home room. Afterwards they will meet with the family and friends of the deceased, many who are probably Eastern Star members themselves of other chapters.

The Eastern Star funeral service is one of the most beautiful services of any kind that a person could attend. It is something of which the order of Eastern Star can and should be very proud of.


The REAL Cost Of Living On A Narrowboat

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Do you want to live on a narrowboat because you think it’s a low cost alternative to living in a house? Living on a narrowboat is a fantastic lifestyle choice but the cost is possibly a little more than you expected. In this article ALL of the costs are detailed and explained.

Below, I have detailed the general narrowboat costs that you will incur followed by some specific costs that I have faced since moving onto narrowboat James in April 2010.


Your narrowboat will probably be your largest financial investment after your dry land home. If you want a brand new narrowboat designed and fitted out to your own specifications you can pay in excess of £100,000. You will be able to pick up a decent second hand boat of about 60′ suitable for living aboard for about £40,000.

The majority of narrowboat owners have a boat in addition to a house. Some though fund the cost of their boat from the sale of their house. Whichever way you choose to fund your boast purchase, make sure you include any monthly finance repayment amounts in your calculations.

I provide a link to the very best place to research narrowboat prices and specifications in this article on my web site . Last time I looked, there were eight hundred narrowboats for sale.


Insurance for your boat is a legal requirement. You can find a list of narrowboat insurers on the site. Please note that your intention to live on your narrowboat and the age of the boat will have an impact on the insurance cost so must be declared.


Your car needs an MOT both as a legal requirement and as a regular check to make sure that it is safe to use. Your narrowboat needs a Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Certificate when it is four years old and every four years after that. Again, tHere’s some very good information about the examination, the likely cost and what you need to do to prepare for it on my site.


You have to buy a British Waterways license if your narrowboat uses the canals of England and Wales. The fee is dependant on the length of your boat. At the time of writing (November 2010), the annual fee for 62′ long James is £804.48 with an £80 discount for prompt payment. You also need to pay a fee to use the rivers that connect some of the canals (e.g. the Thames). British Waterways is responsible for river Avon, Soar, Ouse, Severn and Ure. The Environment Agency controls river Thames, Medway, Nene, Great Ouse, Ancholme, Glen, Welland and Stour. British Waterways offer their Gold License which allows you to travel on all the waterways controlled by British Waterways and the Enviroment Agency. The 2010 fee for a 62′ narrowboat is £967 for payment in full or £1,039 if paid by direct debit installments. You can find more details about British Waterways licenses here


River Canal Rescue offer breakdown cover for boat owners. They offer three levels of cover; bronze, silver and gold ranging in cost from £55 to £160 a year.

Bronze cover simply registers your boat on their database. You pay additional fees for call outs and for towing you to the closest marina if they can’t easily repair your boat. Silver and Gold membership give you additional services and benefits such as an annual engine inspection (rather than a service).

It’s essential cover for you if you don’t like to get too close to your engine or if your craft is a little long in the tooth.


Mooring fees vary enormously but you can get an idea of the likely fees by the mooring location and the facilities on offer. A bankside mooring with no water or electricity is going to cost far less than a spacious mooring in a picturesque marina with all mod cons. At Calcutt Boats the fee for the older Locks marina is roughly £2,090 for a 60′ boat. In the newer more spacious Meadows marina the standard piers are £2,300 or £2,683 for the 70′ moorings.

Mooring fees are usually based on a single advance payment. There are often options to pay quarterly or monthly but they ill cost you more. Please note that many marinas also charge an additional amount for “high usage” so make sure you check the small print before you commit yourself.


I don’t use diesel heating so don’t have any first hand experience. Work colleague and fellow moorer Anthony on his posh boat Second Sister does. He claims that he uses an average of 1/4 litre per hour over a 24 hour period or six litres per day. Diesel for heating is currently 78p per litre at Calcutt Boats.


I don’t get out much so use very little propulsion duel. I am reliably informed though that, when cruising, you will use 1 – 1.5 litres of diesel per hour. Propulsion diesel is currently about £1.30 per litre

Please note that when you pay for your diesel, you will be asked to sign a declaration. Not all boats have separate tanks for propulsion and heating so the boatyard doesn’t know which part of your boat will use the fuel. Propulsion and heating diesel are identical but attract different levels of duty. The accepted split is 60% propulsion, 40% heating. So, if you put 100 litres into your tank, you will be charged 60 litres at the propulsion rate (about £1.30 per litre) and 40 litres at the heating rate (78p per litre). However, some boatyards allow you to declare a different split. In theory, you can declare 100% for heating and pay for all of your fuel at the lower rate. In case of a government inspection though you need to be able to justify it.


Every two to three years you will need to take your boat out of the water to “black” the hull. Blacking is a term used for the process of applying several coats of bitumen or other coal tar based paint to prevent rust. You can paint the hull yourself or ask a boatyard to do it for you. Either way, your boat will need to be removed from the water so that the work can be done. You should budget £400 – £500 for both removing your boat and having the work done for you.


Just like your car, your boat needs to be serviced. And just like your car, the cost of those services can vary enormously. Here at Calcutt Boats, the cost of a service ranges from £60 – £160 plus parts.


The costs detailed below are real costs. Every narrowboat related expense has been recorded by me since moving aboard narrowboat James. Each narrowboat’s day to day running costs will vary depending on the boat’s age, condition and equipment on board and equipment usage so let me tell you a little about James.

In boating terms, James is an old girl. Built in 1975 with a steel hull and composite top, she’s 62′ long and has seen better days. James hadn’t been used more than two or three times in the previous ten years before I started to live on board full time in April 2010. Consequently she was in need of some TLC and was very damp.

Because she hadn’t been used or maintained for such a long time, the windows and roof vents leaked and there was water seeping into the boat through the skin. The solid fuel stove (which heats four radiators along one side), had a cracked glass plate and leaks in the flu.

All of the above meant that keeping warm and dry was a problem. The stove has now been refurbished and the windows and roof vents sealed. I think that there’s still a leak somewhere on the roof channelling water behind the cladding, which ends up under the floor of the rear cabin. Consequently I need to run a dehumidifier pretty much full time to combat the damp.

As I said, every boat has differing factors which will impact on the running and maintenance costs. In addition to the boat’s age and the condition, the type of equipment used and how much it is used will also play a part.


Whoever designed the heating on James liked to cover all available options. In addition to the solid fuel stove, there are four radiators – powered by the stove – plus gas heaters and an electric radiator. I also have a Dimplex greenhouse heater and a 1200w halogen heater for emergencies. There is a Paloma gas powered “on demand” heater which supplies an unlimited amount of scalding hot water.


The hob, oven and grill are all gas and are powered by two 13kg Propane cylinders. The two cylinders do me for about two months.


How much time you spend on board will have a direct impact on your fuel consumption, as will your eating and cooking habits. The costs I have listed below are based on the following…

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday I get up at 05:15, shower, have a quick breakfast of tea and toast and work on the web site until 07:30. From October onwards the stove is burning coal twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Overnight and when I’m away from the boat I have the stove turned down as low as possible to ensure that it’s still alight when I return. The maximum period is between ten and eleven hours. I come back to the boat for lunch and a cup of coffee, then return after work just after 5:30 and generally stay there for the evening.

I use the gas for a shower every day, three or four kettle boils, toast in the morning, grilled meat or fish four times a week and a roast of some kind once a week. I don’t ever use the gas fires because they produce “wet” heat which contributes to the damp.

My electricity is provided via a metered shore supply which charges the boat batteries for lighting. The shore power also allows me to charge my laptop/phone/electric razor, listen to the radio (I don’t have a television), power two Dimplex Coldwatcher 500w heaters (on all the time) and run a 620w dehumidifier for two hours a day.

There’s a graph in this article on my site that shows the actual costs incurred for gas, coal and electricity since moving onto James in April 2010. The costs are updated on the graph at the end of each month.


Your stove will burn either wood or coal. Personally, I steer clear of wood. It’s more bulky than coal so needs more storage space than I have available. My stove is also on the small side so I would struggle to fit logs in.

I use coal. I’ve tried a number of different brands and types but the ones I’ve stuck with is Pureheat. Pureheat is a manufactured smokeless fuel sold in 25kg bags of goose egg sized ovals. Pureheat produces more heat than wood or housecoal, burns away to a powder so doesn’t clog up the grate (and put the fire out) and is less messy. A bag of Pureheat usually lasts me just under three days although in December with so many sub -zero days and ridiculously cold nights, I was using a bag every two days. The cheapest supplier I can find charges £9.50 a bag.


My gas consumption has remained pretty steady over the last ten months. I only use gas for cooking and to supply hot water dish and body washing so the cold weather doesn’t alter the amount I use. One 13kg cylinder lasts me a month and costs about £22


My electricity costs dipped to just about zero in July. It was the only month as far as I can remember when I didn’t have to plug either heaters or dehumidifer in. I was also away from the boat for a week. The electricity costs appear to be very high for December. However, although December was very, very cold most of the reason for the increase is because I was away for ten days. I didn’t want there to be the slightest chance of the electricity running out so I put extra on the meter before I left. I then didn’t buy any more until 10th January (the graph shows May 2010 – April 2011)


Mobile of course. Reception varies wildly when you’re on the cut. I have very poor reception with Three on my mooring. I can only make and receive calls from one spot halfway between the dining and the seating area. I just about get a signal there. I tend not to use a phone much anyway (no friends) so my mobile phone cost is about £15 per month.


A connection to the internet is one of life’s essentials as far as I’m concerned. I update the web site daily, send out newsletters, stream TV programmes from BBC Iplayer and the ITV and channel 4 equivalents, tweet on @narrowboatlife and search for information.

I use a mobile broadband dongle from Three. They have a coverage checker on their web site and even though the site indicates that there is limited connectivity for my postcode, I rarely have a problem with my connection. Sometimes my broadband is a little slow but most of the time I can stream TV programmes and films. Three offer pay as you go top ups of 500MB for a day or 1GB, 3GB and 7GB for a month. I use the best value 7GB top up which usually lasts me the full month (I’ve just checked on my current usage. I’ve actually used 6.5GB in twenty days. I know that is is unusually high and is because I’ve watched a few data hungry films.)

So now you know what it costs to live on a narrowboat. At least, you know what it costs me to live on one. I’m sure that many narrowboat owners with newer, better insulated boats will pay less than me for heating fuel and electricity. But they will have paid more than me for their narroboat.

I hope you find this guide useful – and I hope the costs haven’t put you off. I love living on a narrowboat. I hope you do too.

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Is Cyber School Right For Me? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself


Cyber school is different from public school, but it is still school. It’s important in cyber school to be able to independently get work done because you don’t have teachers and peers that you see every day that can encourage you. Here are five questions I think you should ask yourself before you or your child considers it.

5 Question Quiz:

1. Can I motivate myself to get work done each day?

2. Do I understand concepts and lessons easily?

3. Do I struggle without a teacher explaining it to me in person?

4. Am I good at planning and scheduling out my day?

5. What else am I going to do with my extra free time?

The first question is important because even though you might have counselors, teachers and online teachers around to encourage you to get work done, you have to be very independent. Instead of sitting in a class room where a teacher can see you procrastinating or playing with your pen instead of doing work, they can’t see you do that online. It gives you a lot of freedom and tempts you to slack off.

The second and third questions are related as in can you comprehend written words or are you more of a visual learner? Many cyber schools are different, but in most you will probably encounter a lesson that tells you to read something, and then answer questions on it. This can be especially difficult in subjects like math and science where you have to work through problems that the answers aren’t found right on the page.

The fourth is something you will definitely encounter in cyber school. For my schedule I usually get up and start school at 8am and then work until anywhere between 9-12. This allows a lot of free time in the day. It’s important to not become like a sloth, and just sit around the house all day. Wasting your day away can lead to bad health and hurt your future. Let’s face it guys, we only have a little while until we’re adults, and have to live in the real world where there are things like college, careers, rent, etc.

The fifth question is the next step to the fourth question, as it asks what are you going to do with your free time? There is really a lot you can do that can turn out to be beneficial. As for myself I fill up my time by planning Sunday school lessons, picking out games for youth group and a Christian club at my school, blogging or reading. You can also do things like hiking, art, writing, running, biking, getting a job, finding a cure for various diseases, deep sea fishing, save the world…

It’s important to remember that there are still positives to Public school. You can click here to see some of the negatives of public school in my last post.

Public school allows kids to learn how to deal with situations and problems that will be encountered everywhere. People all over the world do things like fight, get jealous of one another, say rude things and gossip. For example ever go to a soccer game? You can almost always hear one of the soccer moms gossiping about their neighbor’s weird fetish of lawn gnomes. Being in high school allows you to grow using trial and error. This is awesome because in the real world trial and error can get you in big trouble.

I personally am happy that I went to public school through sophomore year because I now know how to get my point across to many different types of people, and how to handle things like ridicule or gossip.

Another perk to public school is the helpful learning environment. While some teachers may be unhelpful and waste time, other teachers can help you grasp concepts and understand subjects you wouldn’t have been able to fully understand on your own. With that thought there are also a lot more resources at your disposal each day in public school to help you get through the year very easily.

Be sure not to jump into doing cyber school. Talk it over with family, counselors and peers who have done it before making your decision. While it is a very nice alternative for some, for others it can be confusing and difficult.