More than a diary and less than a conversation

IncognitoWhen I began writing this blog I really did not understand what blogging was all about.  I don’t know exactly what I was thinking at the time, but whatever that was, it did not meet with the social graces of net communication.

Well, okay.  Even dumb people catch-on sooner or later.

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Who Knew?

See the Light

 

…and I thought an edit was just an edit.  But no, the experts break it down into logical and productive steps.

 

 

1.  Rewrites, revisions and substantive edit:  I guess, you’ call this the Big Picture.

(I’m particularly talented at this stage, IMHO.)

2.  Line Edit:  An engine check.  Does it work?  Does it flow?  Is it logical?  Is every action followed by a reaction?  Is the POV consistent?

(I get a passable grade on this one, too.)

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Arguing with Word

Have you ever had an argument with a word processor?  Did you win?  Did you lose?  Never mind who was right and what inanimate object was wrong.  Being right doesn’t make you a winner.

The greatest mistake writers make with a computer’s dictionary and grammar check is assuming the machine is always right and they are always wrong–including me.  Most often this involves the spellchecker. The greatest mistake that I ever made was typing the word ‘nipple’ when I meant ‘nibble.’  Whop-Do-Whop!  The computer did not disagree.   Boy, was my face red.

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News Flash

Let me save you the trouble of reading the news today.  Or any day for that matter:

More trouble in the Middle East  .  .  .  Stock Market goes up and down  .  .  .   Congress can’t agree  .  .  .   Climate warming continues  .  .  .  Athlete fails drug test  .  .  .   Movie star makes a fool of himself   .  .  . Investors loose their shirts and pants on Ponzi scheme  .  .  .  Food prices dig deeper into the consumer pocket    .  .  .  Euro in deep shit  .  .  .  Company issues recall of product  .  .  .  Bookstore closes  .  .  .  Cell phone store opens  .  .  .  U.S. borrows more money from China  .  .  .  China needs U.S. to consume imported items  .  .  .    Rich get richer  .  .  .  Poor get poorer  .  .  .  Housing market slumps  .  .  .  Crazy dude kills family  .  .  .  Homeless need homes  .  .   .  Senator has girlfriend; wife shocked but supportive  .  .  .  Dog alerts family to fire  .  .  .  Store stick-up  .  .   .  Thieves steal copper  .  .  .  Americans are too fat  .  .  .  Teens can’t read, write, or multiply .  .  .  Fast food is bad  .  .  .  Smoking will kill ‘ya  .  .  .  Doctor accused of Medicare fraud  .  .  .  Divorce rate highest ever in history  .  .  .  Gas rates expect to rise during the holidays  .  .  .  Population down in developed countries by micro points and up in undeveloped countries  .  .  .  New driver runs off road  .  .  .  Trucker falls asleep at wheel  .  .  .  Airplanes are falling apart  .  .  .  Feds cut interest rate  .  .  .  Bank closes  .  .  .  Iraq wants U.S. troops to stay  .  .  .  Iraq wants U.S. troops out  .  .  .   Egypt doesn’t know what it wants  .  .  .  Everyone is afraid of Korea and Iran  .  .  .  Small businessman can’t sell as cheap as Wally World  .  .  .  Large scale farming is unsustainable, but home gardeners are still dorky  .  .  .   Someone semi-important said something nasty about someone very important; apology in the mail  .  .  .  Citizens wonder if freedom of the press means truth in the press  .  .  .  Electricity bill to increase by 3 percent  .  .  .  Postage stamps going up  .  .  .  Company downsizing employees; remaining workers to work twice as hard  .  .  .

And on the very, very local news:  My puppy peed on the floor.  What a surprise!!!

Christmas Faux Pas

There’s something about the Christmas season that turns me into a complete idiot.  Well, maybe not a complete idiot; I’m not so ignorant that I throw myself into debt, but I do lose my ability to shop.  From January until November, I’m a very savvy shopper.  I can be walking through a store and see all kinds of goodies, and I can say with surprising ease: Oh, Bob would like that.  Luke would look good wearing this.  Mom needs one of those.

But, come Christmas, I can’t find anything for anyone.

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What’s an oxymoron?

Richard Watson Todd:

“The true beauty of oxymorons,” says Richard Watson Todd, “is that, unless we sit back and really think, we happily accept them as normal English.” Todd illustrates his point with the following passage:

It was an open secret  that the company had used a paid volunteer  to test the plastic glasses. Although they were made using liquid gas  technology and were an original copy  that looked almost exactly like a more expensive brand, the volunteer thought that they were pretty ugly and that it would be simply impossible  for the general public to accept them. On hearing this feedback, the company board was clearly confused and there was a deafening silence.  This was a minor crisis  and the only choice was to drop the product line.
(Much Ado About English, 2006)

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I Had a Dream

I woke-up late this morning; my husband woke-up early.  This is a toxic combination, and it often makes me think of that movie War of the Roses.  I’m not unlike Kathleen Turner in that movie, at least, until about9:00 a.m.

Here’s a hint to all you guys out there:  When a woman starts to complain about all the little things you do, like the way you hold a phone, the way you drive a car, or the way you comb your hair, it’s a bad omen.  She’s falling out of love.  When she gets to the point that she can’t stand the way you breathe or chew your food, it’s beyond over, maybe even dangerous to hang around.  Women are not as direct as men.  Sometimes, they won’t even face their own emotions, and in an effort to justify the unjust, they will keep prodding you, until you provide a reason to end the relationship, and she can have something justifiable to tell her family and friends.  She’s not really, really upset by the way you inhale and exhale. She just wants to scratch your eyeballs out.

I’m not like that.  Well, I am, until about9:00 a.m., and then my logical side takes over.

Anyway, I digress… what I really wanted to say…

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Bad Pans and Generalizations

If you have a strong stomach and wear a bulletproof vest, you might want to take a look at this thread on the Amazon forum:  How to Avoid Indie Authors.  Keep in mind that it is only about a dozen people spitting out their poison, and I strongly urge you to not get involved in the discussion.  These people have already made up their minds.  Game over.

However, they do make some good points, and one can learn much by listening:

1.  Atrocious editing.

2.  Amateur covers.

3.  Cheap prices.

4.  Misleading reviews made by friends and relatives.

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Outlines, the topic of the day

I’ve heard many people refer to an outline as the foundation of a house, but after reading Writing Cycle and Joyously Prolific, I think a better analogy would be a MAP–a map of events or plot turns.  (Yes, I like that much better.  A map just sounds more exciting and colorful than a stationary dais.  A map suggest action, movement, change and even the possibility of side roads.)

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PPM Dx

I’ve  just been diagnosed with Post Publishing Malaise (PPM.)  Watch out for this prose killer.

Signs & Symptoms:   Inertia of pen, general lethargy, sudden urges for physical activity, stiff fingers when held over a keyboard, constricted pupils when editing is mentioned, extreme thirst for alcohol, unhappiness verging on psychosis, fear of failure occurs within minutes of publishing, mild paranoia on receiving emails, panic attacks and hysteria when bystanders ask this question:  What’s next?  In extreme cases, patients may exhibit a catatonic-like state when a laptop in placed in their hands.

Also Known in Layman’s Terms As:  writer’s vacation, extended hiatus, R&R, having-a-sit-down, idleness, out to pasture, recuperation, heal time, taking the cure, laziness, and out-to-lunch.

Cures:   A new plot, inspiration or a bolt of lightening.  Doses may vary from patient to patient.

Pharmacy:   Patents held by cryptic spirits from the Planet of Muse and sometimes right around the corner for free if just the right character shows up.

Costs:  Prohibitive for hungry writers.

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