Posts Tagged ‘funny’

Confess Your Deepest, Darkest, Writerly Secrets

March 17, 2011

Because, this isn’t the internet or anything. No one will ever know. 😉

OK, so maybe I’m a little crazy.

But, the point is, I know I’m not the only one who has a shameful little secret, something that, as a writer, I am embarrassed about, and rightly so. You too? Oh good. Well, I’ll show you mine, you show me yours?

I don’t like Tolkien.

That’s right. I’m a sci-fi/fantasy reader and writer and I don’t like Tolkien’s books. I’ve said it. I feel FREE!

(Don’t get me wrong, the movies kicked serious butt. And if the last man I ever see in my life is Orlando Bloom as Legolas, well, I’ll die a happy little writer.)



OK, your turn. What’s your writerly sin?


National Grammar Day: A Funny

March 4, 2011

In honor of National Grammar Day, here’s a re-run of a flash piece:

I’ll admit, I had a reputation. I was the Comma slut. They all knew I was easy with the Commas. Well, you live and learn, right?

I had one of those epiphany things and fell for the respectable, mature Semicolon. We’ve been together a long time now; it’s been good. But I’m beginning to realize he may just be an enabler; that I really haven’t changed my profligate punctuation ways at all.

As much as I love him, Semicolon’s never been quite enough; I’ve managed to hide the affair with the Parentheses for a while now. (Yes, it’s so cliché, the hot encounter between the mysterious twins. You’d do it too if you thought you could get away with it.)

Thing is, I met Em Dash at a club the other night. He showed up with En-Dash and that should have been my warning right there. En-Dash is always trying to stick people together.

I really was just there for some innocent(ish) fun. It was Colon’s birthday and, come on, she’s as solid and predictable as they come — I’m still not quite sure how we talked her into that particular armpit anyway.  (I think exclamation point had something to do with it.  She’s so damned excitable sometimes you just do what she says so she’ll shut up already!)

So there he is, so dashing and exotic. Jesus but words just failed me – and I really hate it when they do that, the bastards. But Em Dash. So flexible and, well, don’t kid yourself, length does matter.

Apostrophe almost saved me. He’s such a spaz, always showing up everywhere, butting in, all OCD about everyone’s possessions, always there when someone drops something, and then bitching about everyone using him too much. Maybe I knew Em Dash was trouble for me and did that Freudian thing ’cause I dropped my purse twice and there’s Apostrophe, right there where it fell. “Hey hon’, it’s your purse again.” Yeah. And Em Dash looked away.

But I touched his arm and he was mine again. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have turned to Period. He was right there, and he’s seriously straight-laced. Just so definite and absolute about everything. I could have used him as a full stop to the whole situation; a cold shower. I didn’t.  I couldn’t. I didn’t stay until the morning, if that matters. Ellipsis came to pick me up at god-forsaken a.m. because she’s a sucker for innuendo and I didn’t tell her… much.

I don’t have his phone number — cause I didn’t ask for it, so wipe that smirk off your face.

Call me whatever you want; it’s my life not yours. And my sentences thankyouverymuch.

Things You Don’t Think About, and The Importance of Keeping a Glossary

February 3, 2011

I’ve been working on revisions for Fighting Gravity lately. My editor suggested renaming two characters. As much as I rail against other authors when they give two main characters similar names, I’d done it myself. Twice. Funny what you don’t notice when it’s your screw up and not someone else’s.

So I decided to rename Dr. Ayers. I’d never been enamored of his name so it wasn’t going to hurt me. Much. Now, I’m not the meticulous sort. I’m prone to ‘good enough’ efforts. Normally, I’d do a find/replace by simply hitting “replace all” and hoping for the best. Surely, I thought, “Ayers” wasn’t a common letter combination.

Whatever possessed me in the moment, I instead reviewed each replacement one at a time. Did you know “ayers” can be found in “players” and “layers” and similar words. I hadn’t realized that before. Not as a specific thing to note. That would have been interesting. “PlWilliams” and “lWilliams.”

On the same subject, of renaming Dr. Ayers, I decided on, as you see above, the name “Williams.” Nice respectable name for a nice, respectable character. I decided not to go back and cross reference the glossary I did, in fact, build in the early stages. It was only when my find/replace effort came to the one place where I’d given his full name that I realized I’d nearly named a character William Williams.


I took a break, then, in case you were wondering.

You Thought an Author’s Job was to Write?

December 6, 2010

Haha. Joke’s on you.

Oh, sure, authors write, but sometimes it seems that’s more of a sideline. It’s the spreadsheets you craft in your accounting job so you can get the real business of managing money done.

Lately it occurs to me that writing is what authors do so they can get the real business of waiting done.

You’ve written a book. YAY! Good for you. Now you wait: for crit partners and beta readers, for query responses, for responses from agents who requested your partial or full, from contests and mags you submitted shorts to, for editors who have your full, for your agent to let you know what happened with said editors. And THEN, if you’ve got contract in hand THAT’s when you finally… wait some more. For all the things involved in getting a book from manuscript to market.

Oh, sure, a lot of this process requires work and participation from you, but at least as much if not more is simply waiting.

You’ve probably seen it, as I have, the axiom: all it takes to get published is persistence.

OK, sure. But persistence sounds far too active for what my experience has been. I’d say persistence, of course, and a really huge, whomping dose of patience.

I’ve never been accused of being patient. So this whole journey has been a real learning experience for me. In the end, I think I’ve finally found my waiting zen in just pretending there’s nothing I’m waiting on. Send off my piece of the current stage of the process and then… ignore it and start something else. Then it’s like a nice, pleasant surprise when someone returns their piece  and I get to be active again until I turn mine in and… wait some more.

(Let’s be clear, lest I sound more virtuous than is quite true. There’s a fair amount of alcohol and moping and whining involved too. But less than there used to be, since I learned the stick-my-head-in-the-sand-and-pretend-it’s-not-there approach.)

What about you? How are you handling the waiting?