Showing posts from March, 2010

What's In a Name?

I spend much time naming my characters in my stories. I often change names in the middle of writing a story thinking that a new name matches a character better. Is this a bad thing? I don't know, but I've heard all kinds of things about naming characters in stories - and every opinion is stated in such a way that makes me feel like I'm committing some unforgivable sin if I don't stay steadfast in my character names. Let's face it, sometimes a name just doesn't fit a character once they've developed within a story as it did at the beginning. I've been working on the same stupid story for a number of years and was losing interest until I changed the first name of my main character. I began the story with the main character named " Magan ." The first thing someone said to me about the name was: "I don't think that's how to spell that name." How did they know how I should spell the name? I became stubborn and kept the name just

My Own Call to Action

I've recently been impressed by an amateur writer. This person has developed three stories for children. I assume the age group for the stories to be 6-10 although I have very little experience with estimating age-appropriateness of a particular story. All three stories center around the same base characters with the introduction of a new character in each adventure. Two things about this person's writing has left me perplexed and wondering what to do. First, the grammar in these stories is atrocious. I know that grammar is fixable, and I've actually contemplated trying to fix some of the more blatant mistakes and giving the work back to the author. The second issue is the story will need an illustrator. I truly believe that this story is publishable and marketable. I am much more convinced then the author that they are on to something absolutely special here. My question, posed to the masses, is two-fold. Should I make the changes and try to convince this person to seek pu

Small Town Wonders

There's just something about living in a small town that appeals to folks. Although right now I cannot think of what that might be. My postings grew scarce lately because I had lost my Internet connection at home. Everything appeared to be working properly but, nonetheless, the connection was not being made. After trying numerous fixes, I called my local provider to seek help. The best answer they could give me is that, possibly, my modem was malfunctioning. Just as I began contemplating buying a new modem, the connection miraculously began working again. Go figure. Small wonder never cease to amaze. It's like this with many things in my little village. I often joke that the power goes out every time it rains, or someone blows out Birthday candles. And let's not even talk about the cat problem. I think I've already beat that subject to death. Anyway, this is just a quick post to test the system since I'm back online now. Let the ranting continue!

Back in the Day

I overheard someone complaining about the quality of novels these days. It made me think about the quality of novels "back in the day" and ponder whether the quality has really gone or we've just moved on to new themes and formats. The thought takes me back (again) to my childhood when I would listen to WKJR, our local radio station, on my handheld, single speaker, AM radio. I know I'm about to blow some of your minds here, but there was a time before computers and CD's when we had to buy record albums. Remember those? they were pressed from a sheet of vinyl. In my hayday, one could choose to buy a single for the latest, most popular songs. For a long time, my sister and brother had a great collection of singles. I don't remember now why I didn't have a great collection - I might have been too cheap to buy them at the time. Anyway, the point is this: At that tme, we thought we had reached the pinnacle of popular technology. It was a huge thing when we disc

Bicycles and Bactine

The two seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. I remember when I got my first bicycle. It was my Birthday and, although I cannot remember my age at the time, I remember the bike as if it were yesterday. The bicycle was metallic orange with a matching vinyl banana seat. A tall chrome sissy bar held the seat along with extended chrome handlebars for additional coolness. The front tire was smaller than the back tire. The back tire was a big fat slick covered nicely with an equally fat chrome fender with a flare on the end. My bicycle was the JC Penney model of the popular "Schwinn Stingray" minus the multiple speeds with the big gearshift along the center bar, right in the "nut crunching" zone. I don't think my parents could afford the actual Schwinn, and I was just as pleased with the JC Penney knock-off. I was a kid and don't think I would've known the difference. Anyway, I don't think that we were so much poor as we were spirituall

Getting Laid ... or is it Lain?

I was at a local writer’s group meeting last night and an interesting question surfaced (or is it enteresting. That’s a discussion for another day). One of my friends read some of their work and I immediately noticed they had used the word “laid” instead of “lay” in a sentence. By way of example: “She went into the room and laid on the bed.” I pointed out to this writer that the proper word was “lay” and a short discussion ensued, and I thought, “What the heck do I know?” The slightest argument made me falter in my understanding and I was no longer sure just how it all worked anymore. I did a little research on the subject and thought I would provide this information for the world, whether y’all want it or not. Let’s talk about all the words one might use and their meanings: Lay-To set something down or to put in a resting position. Lie-To rest or recline, esp. in a horizontal position. I’ll start with these basic words in the present tense. Let me lay it on you like this. The word “L

How Women Think

R ight, like I would know that. I'm not even certain about how I think most of the time. I know this much though. Over many years observing the female in the wild and in her natural habitat, I've been able to decifer some of their language. Below are some of my thoughts and observations on womanspeak. Of course, I could be entirely wrong about some or all of these interpretations as, it seems, each woman has her own unique language that only other women understand. I believe the language will never be fully understood, decifered, or codified. First of all, and this is for all the young men out there, in a new relationship where they might think they are still in charge. Got news for you gentlemen, you never were. When a woman asks a man how she looks in something, she is not looking for an objective assessment of her ability to dress herself. She may not even be looking for an answer related to the question asked. Beware, this is a very dangerous trap. You must avoid

Watching a Train Wreck

C ome to our stripper club tonight where you can see thirty beautiful women - and two ugly ones! I heard this on the radio while driving down the highway. I know of this club. It's only few miles outside my town. What amazed me about this radio advertisement is just how effective it was. I must confess, I wanted to go to that strip club. Why? It wasn't to see the thirty beautiful women. I'm old enough to have seen beautiful women. What peaked my interest was the two ugly ones. I was so curious, I wanted to make plans to go to this club and see if I could find the ugly dancers! On a side note, I wonder if they tell the dancers which ones are considered the ugly ones. Do the ugly ones know who they are? They certainly must be aware of their commercial draw for the club. This kind of reminds of that old cliche' "It's like watching a train wreck - you just can't look away." What is it about the proverbial train wreck that grabs hold of our attention? Why i

Mortality Sucks!

One of the things I often ponder is my own mortality. I'm amazed I've lived this long and should consider each day a blessing - but I don't. Instead, like so many others, I'm sure, I simply abhor the passage of time. I become angry and frustrated of the things that I have not done or achieved over time instead of being thankful that I've been given the opportunity to do so much. I wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it goes: I've titled it wreched time , and it's not really a song. It's a poem, but bear with me here, it's very short. Wretched Time Oh, the life I've lived, and at such cost Time, as my enemy, stepping ahead of me Reminding me of what I've done and what I've lost Wretched time ticking my life away Tomorrow's reality replacing the hopes of yesterday Ok, so it's a little depressing. At least I'll always have sarcasm to fall on in order to hide an otherwise depressing situation. Why all the stuff related t