Mind Your Grammar, Young Man!

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The self-publishing industry certainly has come a long way since The Joy of Cooking was self-published in 1931.  But we still have leaps and bounds to clear before we can feel 100 percent legitimized in the same writing industry with traditional publishers.

Certain traditionally-published authors have run the SP industry down, but nine times out of 10 it has always been a case of BBRMM (bird-brain-running-motor-mouth!).  “These authors only need money, not talent, to produce a book that will sell in the same market as mine!” seems to be a common buzz phrase among these egocentric bigheads.  As much as we hate to deny it, this is pretty much true.  But on the other side of the coin, I have read some pretty dismal books by traditionally-published authors.  Who all has read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  The movie was amazing!  But the book pretty much improved my nap-time for the days I tried to read it.

This is why I have started tweeting advice that sounds like it comes from your old English teacher…you know the one I’m talking about!  The one that was a bit too heavy for the skinny-ole high-heels she wore…when she came around, you instinctively grounded yourself for a possible earthquake.  “Watch your double-negatives, young woman!”  On a bad day, she may have even popped you with a ruler making you ask: “What the hell are you doing with a ruler in English class?”

Back to my point:  As self-published authors, I feel that we have a firm obligation to legitimize the industry.  Just as Frodo had to bear that scary, mysterious, and shiny golden ring, we have to shut the naysayers down before they can even get one negative little word about SP authors out from their snobby little lips.  And we do this, by commanding the English language, not letting it command us.  Sure, the rules are there for us to follow; but we don’t have to play “bitch” to these rules…we can grab the rules by the horns and make them our own personal bitches!

I’m not saying that we all need to go out and buy style manuals or anything else like that.  Actually, a good grammar book is all you need.  And you can actually buy those on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and other fine book sellers out there.

I’m just saying:  “Make sure to check your word usage, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, and the rest of the sordid crew.”  In other words, at least demonstrate that you know how to properly form sentences; or you at least know a good editor who does.  If you wish to buy all the extras, then go for it!

Clint Eastwood once said in a very famous role:  “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  Well, a writer does too.  If they know without a doubt they sucked at grammar and have never come to terms with said suckiness, then they better be ready to shell out some money for an editor who can make them look like the next Gillian Flynn or Stephen King.  The only other option is to make the rest of us SP authors look like the same type of noncaring dung-heaps; well, at least to close-minded, pompous authors who have made it in the TP industry and have grown a little too big for their own britches.

My final point is that we do NOT have to be perfect.  Lord knows, I most certainly am not.  Even the most famous TP authors have made mistakes in their writing…mistakes that have made it past one or more editors on their staff into glorified print.  We have that same right as well.  It’s called being human.

My main point is that I have read some work by SP authors, which were completely riddled with grammar errors.  The story and characterization was about perfect!  But the grammar brought it down and turned me off from the start.  And I never wanted to finish the story.  I’m just saying that we need to be better than this if we want to be held in the very same regard as most of our bestselling traditional authors out there.

After all, don’t you want to make your old English teacher proud?  She’s probably elderly now; still wearing those same-ole skinny heels that have been super-glued more than a dozen times since you last saw her.  If she falls in shock at a good many simple rules you violated in a single work of fiction, she may not be able to get back up!

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United States: A Much-Needed Enema!

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I’m personally no huge fan of Donald Trump, but a potential win at the polls could rid us of quite a few aggravating and annoying liberal celebrities.  So I hate to admit that I am almost willing to go out and vote for him this November.

The only way I could be any happier of a confirmed Trump victory would be if all actors (except Samuel L. Jackson — because I am a HUGE Avengers fan!) would promise to never work in or benefit from our nation ever again.

So far, the list of celebrities and promised destinations is small, but seems to be getting bigger as November draws near.  And Miley Cyrus recently made the news claiming she will jump on the bandwagon with these others in the likely event that a comb-over potentially graces U.S. currency.  But this is not the first time I’ve ranted about the spoiled brat here on this blog.

Now, let’s discuss each celebrity individually.

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Rosie O’Donnell to Canada:  I’ve never been a huge fan of ROD.  Nine times out of 10, when her lips are moving, it is a serious case of bird brain running motor mouth.  In the pic above, she certainly looks ready for a move to the nearest Canadian / U.S. border detention camp!  I bid you, au revoire!

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Cher to Jupiter:  I always thought Cher was kinda cool in a hippy sorta way…but she has obviously gotten caught with her hand in the ganja jar again, claiming that she will depart this nation for a relocation to outer space.  But it’ll all be okay!  Elvis will be there to keep her company!

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Eddie Griffin to Africa:  Now all we have to do is hope all the other cockroaches in the nation will follow him to Africa.  The only bad thing about that would be the loss of exterminator jobs, which could potentially impact the economy.

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Barry Diller to no particular destination:  The only advice I can offer is “do not forget to pack your depends”!  Because this old man is clearly full of shit.  Cannot even specify a destination…yea, your heart is clearly behind THIS empty promise!

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Samuel L. Jackson to South Africa:  I will definitely miss this guy more than I miss Bob Ross.  Though I think that Bob Ross would have had a bunch more gumption than to run away from some “shitty-ass problems” that are “motherfuckin’ birds now”.  My advice to Sam J. is simple:  “What would Col. Fury do?”

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Jon Stewart to another planet:  I have mixed feelings about Jon.  The guy has an amazing sense of humor, but a totally misguided sense of direction.  And he has CLEARLY been eating from Cher’s cookie jar.  My advice:  “The song was Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds, not Lucy in the Skies with Dumbsass…”

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Omari Hardwick to Italy:  Such a dapper-looking young man!  Hell, I don’t know too much about him and am at a loss for words.  My advice:  “Good riddance.  And have a canoli on me when you arrive in Italy!”

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Katie Hopkins (British Columnist) to United States:  Not sure that I understand this one, though the chart above says volumes!  I can especially agree with the notation about the mouth since she has been caught making statements like:  “I am the new Jesus.”  Too bad John Lennon wasn’t around to steer her away from that one!  I think I read somewhere that she is a Trump supporter, so she probably doesn’t belong on this list; though my predecessor included her on it for some strange reason.  So in this case a bunch of turds may get out, but one may be getting in.

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Miley Cyrus to nowhere in particular (unless they have plenty of inflatible penis around!):  We are all, no-doubt, certain that Billy Ray is very proud of his daughter and will miss her very much…NOT!

I’ve already expressed words of advice to many of these individuals on the topic of migrating away from the country that has been better to them than they perhaps deserve. In summary:

head up ass

 

Honor: Earned or Granted?

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I wrote my action thrilling novel, 2018: An Uncivil War, to all military, law enforcement, and firefighters who have selflessly put their lives on the line or at least were willing to do so.  I also added, in my dedication:  This book is for you!  Your bravery and honor always precedes you no matter where you go.

But what about all the servicemen who signed up to get college benefits but claimed “conscientious objector” status to avoid going into harm’s way; all the firefighters who popped positive on drug tests; and all the policemen who blatantly abused their authority by coercing others unlawfully, accepting bribes, and other sorts of unacceptable forms of misconduct?  Do you believe that I include them in my dedication?

I may not have spelled it out, but I most certainly do NOT include them.  Most writers, myself included, more than likely want to keep their dedications positive.  Spelling out such disclaimers can really ruin the purpose of a moving dedication.  Thus, suffice it to say that most, if not all, dedications come with hidden understandings and unmentioned disclaimers.

Just recently, I experienced two examples of lack of honor by uniform wearing civil servants.  The first one could probably be explained away, but the second one — in my humble opinion — was clearly unforgivable.

While working my full-time retail job, I passed a couple or few soldiers.  Two of them were in uniform, the other who had a military haircut was not wearing a uniform.  I did as I always do.  I approached them and expressed my gratitude for their service to our country.  They all just totally blew me off and didn’t even look my way.

Perhaps they didn’t hear me.  But, a former Marine myself, I always speak with a solid, resonant voice.  Then there lies the possibility that maybe they were hard of hearing.  After all, there are several soldiers who work around deafening artillery.  But these guys looked rather young to be such candidates.  I hope I am wrong about these guys.  But they gave me the “I’m a famous rock-star” vibe, now leave me the hell alone.

The second incident was much worse.  It involved my elderly, disabled mother.  Last week, we had some storms in the city where she lives — about 70 miles away.  We tried calling her to see if she was okay, but she never answered.  So we contacted the local police and asked them to make a welfare check at her location.  They did so and my mother immediately called and talked to my wife while I was asleep.

Apparently, the policeman who knocked on my mother’s door had been very rude.  She explained that she had been having trouble hearing the phone ring.  I know, this is a simple thing to fix for those of us web-crawlers out there!  But my mother is one of those technologically-challenged old-timers.  This officer rudely told her, “I don’t know anything about cell phones.”  And he walked away.

How about at least making an effort to look at her phone.  Even asking his partner for some help would have been very respectable.

My wife contacted the mayor and complained on the worthless officer.

In summary, I’d like to say to anyone who wears a uniform:  Honor is earned, not given or bestowed.  If you want to be a total dick, asshole, or bitch, please humbly accept the fact that you are not worthy to wear the uniform and relinquish it.  By not doing so, you simply disgrace said uniform that you insist upon undeservedly wearing, making it harder for those who wear it well to continue doing so.