Archive for April, 2011

No way.  Not ever, not nohow.  Pushing that mower around for an hour more than makes up for skipping that particular part of my workout.

Have I lost much weight?  Not yet.  but I am feeling other beneficial effects.  The edema is going down, I don’t get tired as easily, and my feet hurt less after a days work than they did before.

Go me!


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On Spelling and Grammar…

Yesterdays wordcount: 0.   I’m off to a flying start!  Good thing it’s early in the day, I have time to make up for it.

Ok, so something that’s been bothering me lately is spelling and grammar.  Now, I know I’m no expert.  I admit freely that I make a mistake or two here and there.  But at least I go back over my work, and fix things when I see it.  And if it’s an important piece of work, I’ll double check it before I send it out.

So tell me why these big time advertisers can’t be bothered?

I watched an ad for an exercise machine today that promised to work all of your “abdomials”.  What are abdomials?  I know we have abdominals, but abdomials?  Think about how much the team got paid to make that commercial.  True, it may not have been the ad copy writers’ fault.  It could have been just some schlub whose job was to type up what they gave him.  But then, why didn’t the film editor catch it?  Or the director?  Did they play the commercial for the company?  That means, if they did, that the company reps missed it as well.

And they make big bucks.

That is just one example.  I think the funniest ones are the lawyers who misspell things in their ads.  Their message goes out to potentially millions of people (depending on the market their ad plays to), and yet they can’t even proof-read thirty seconds worth of film?

And it isn’t just TV advertising, either.  The publishing mills are doing it too.  These days, a lot of publishers (not all, mind you) will buy anything just so they can build up a catalog of books.  It doesn’t really matter if the author wrote anything good, so long as they can sell a few copies.  Generally, the bigger, older publishers do a better job of evaluating prospective work.  Of course, they have a bigger reputation to hold onto.  But these mills that snap up anything anyone writes, go through the production process so quickly they can’t even copy-edit the manuscript before shipping it off to the printers.  I’ve picked up so many books from the library and other venues that were a struggle to read just because I was taught how to spell, and how to look things up if I couldn’t spell it correctly.

And again, they make big bucks.

Maybe it’s just me.  My son calls me a grammar nazi.  Look at it this way:  proper grammar is like obeying the speed limit.  Tons of people ignore those limits every day, but the one time I do it, I’m the one that gets pulled over.  So of course I’m going to be irritated when people don’t follow the rules.  I can’t do it, and no one else should either.

Now, there are a few things I want you to take from this post (and here I’m trying to stop any arguments/flame wars before they begin):

1:) Yes, there are publishers that buy up everything they can, but that does not mean that getting published is easy.  Take your lumps, accept your rejections, move on.  It happens to everyone.  Good luck, and I wish you the best, but don’t expect to pour out 100,000 words and sell it within a two week span.  Won’t happen.  (If it does, let me know where, so I can send some of my stuff in!)

2:) You can break the rules of grammar, but only once you are absolutely certain you need to and know what you are doing when you do it.  This post is completely about laziness, not skill.  If you can pull it off, great!  But it usually takes a long time to get to where you can set aside certain rules, and you certainly can’t do it on your first novel.  Take the time to double-check your work.  Or triple, or quadruple…  I revised one story seven times before I got it the way I wanted it, and I was still picking up spelling errors even then.

The bottom line:  Please for the love of god, if you are going to put a message out there for millions of readers or viewers, make sure you check your spelling first!

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First, my apologies to my old readers.  If you happen to stumble over here, all I can really do is beg forgiveness.  It was really callous of me to just cancel my other blogs and disappear for a couple of months.

Having said that, welcome everyone to my new blog.

I’m trying to put my life into order.  There are a few new things going on in my life, not the least of which is that now we are climbing out of debt (go us!).  But, I’m still having issues with my blood pressure, and my weight.  In addition, since I cancelled my other blogs, my writing output has dropped to almost nothing.

So, here we are.  A new blog to get myself back into the writing habit.  My goal is 2000 words a day of actual story output.  This time around, I won’t count what I write here.  This is just the stretching before the actual race.  I have no firm wordcount goal in mind aside for that.  At 2k per day, I’ll stop when the story is finished, even if that means that one story is 4000 words, and the next is 160,000.  Whatever it takes.

Other things I’m doing (by way of turning a new leaf) include far less soda than previously, smaller portions at the dinner table, far fewer desserts, and 30 minutes a day on the treadmill.  My goal here is to get my weight under control, stop feeling out of breath when I’m just sitting around, and to stop giving away my old t-shirts because I’m too big for them anymore.  Final weight goal: 250 pounds.  Once I make it there, I’ll see if I want to aim higher (or rather, lower).

Of course, those of you who have no idea who I am are wondering now why you should care what my goals are.  That’s a valid question.  After all, you don’t know me from Adam.  Most of that I wrote up there is for those few readers who might one day find out that I’m back at it, even if it’s at a new address.

For you new folks, I suppose I ought to tell you what I plan on doing here with the blog.  This is where I am going to post anything that comes to mind.    My first blog was titled Mental Randomness, and that’s a pretty good description of the kinds of things I post.  I’ll post some free fiction on occasion, links to game (pen and paper role-playing and wargames) news and stories,  tell you how my current campaign is going, and likely I’ll try to sell you on playing Rolemaster.  You might find a link one day to a video I thought was cool, and then come back the next day to find a rant about how people out there drive.

I can’t promise that you’ll find a coherent theme from day to day.  Heck, I can’t even promise a daily post! (I tried that, and guilt over missing a day is part of what led me to close the other blogs.)

But hang around, you never know what I might say.

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