Tuesday Use It In a Sentence – Demonstrate

Demonstrate once, observe twice.

Have you ever had someone try to teach you something but they won’t let you do it yourself? I find this so annoying. The best way to learn something is to give it a hands-on try. Especially when it comes to computer stuff. It takes me several successful attempts at something to retain most things I do on many programs and sites.

I do understand from the perspective of the teacher that it’s faster to do it yourself, but why are you bothering to teach it if you don’t want the student to learn it? It all comes down to the same thing: if you’re gonna do something, do it right.

Right?

This is part of #tuesdayuseitinasentence http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/06/new-prompt-tuesday-use-it-in-a-sentence-demonstrate/ Join in with all your social media accounts! Click the link for the rules.

It’s All About the Grammer

Yesterday I joined the politest Facebook group ever. It’s a genre-specific book-lover’s group; in an older post, one of the members was complaining about the growing number of mistakes she’s been finding of late in e-books. To quote:

The amount of spelling and grammer errors lately are really bugging me. It’s like they don’t even have editors to correct their spelling and grammer or something.

Now I’m not one to make fun of people but it was difficult to stay away from this completely – no one in the group pointed out her glaring irony. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all – or maybe I just fucked that up.

This is part of One-Liner Wednesday (sort of). You can join in too by clicking the link. http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/30/one-liner-wednesday-tastes-like-steve/

Next!

You know how you sometimes read something really fast and you read what’s not really there? Hehe.

Two emails in my inbox, the top one reads “I just went for a job interview”
And the second email reads…. wait for it… “I just got some hand me downs.”

What I read: “I just went for a hand job interview.”

I’m thinking that unless the meetings are scheduled at least half an hour apart, the second interviewee stands to come out rather tired…

What I should have said was…

Are you ever so stunned by the things people do – so taken off-guard – that you don’t say anything?

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy some of my favourite pasta and arugula salad from the deli counter. I stood there being ignored for a while by the two ladies behind the counter and was about to give up when a young guy in a baseball cap and t-shirt, with nothing to indicate that he worked there, walked behind the glass-fronted display and asked me if he could help me. Since the ladies didn’t kick him out, I assumed he did in fact work there so I asked for a medium. He scooped my salad into the container with a plastic serving spoon, which was all fine, but then when he saw there were bits of arugula hanging over the side, he shoved them in with his bare hand and put the lid on.

And I didn’t say anything.

Now as I sit here enjoying my questionably diseased salad I feel as though the time has come to get my word in edgewise…

If I turn up dead of the plague, you’ll know who to blame.

Yeah, me.

T is for Transparency, U is for Unbelievable

I have little patience for a novel or movie that I can see through right from the start. Even a romance, which you know is either going to end up happily ever after or the dog’s gonna die, it’s possible to have such a conflict in the story that there is no way for the reader/viewer to deduce how the resolution will come about.

Even worse is an unbelievable resolution that causes me to throw the book across the room in a fit of frustration. I don’t like it and the cat really hates it.

But you know what’s the worse thing of all? That I’m having such a hard time getting through this challenge. Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t give up. But honestly, I may not make it through “V,” even though I already have “X” scheduled to go for Tuesday.

Ugh.

That is all for today.

 

P is for Piddle

… as in piddling away my P post for today because I’m too stressed out to come up with something that fits my theme.

…as in piddling away my life trying to get too much done.

…as in piddling away my worries because damnit, I’m getting the hell offline and doing something for myself today!!

Go, me!! Onwards and upwards!

N is for Neurosis and Noonan’s Syndrome

A creative writing teacher once told me to be careful about diagnosing my characters. Be sure, she said, that you know exactly what you’re talking about before you do. In that particular case I was writing about a woman with OCD – something I strongly suspect my son to be afflicted with, though he has never been diagnosed.

I can say with every bit of authority that my professor’s advice is valid, having seen an episode of Law and Order: SVU entitled Bullseye, in which they included a character who had “Noonan’s Syndrome.”  I was enraged. The show went about explaining the character’s mental retardation by passing it off with a diagnosis the writers quite obviously didn’t research. Yes, some of the people with Noonan’s Syndrome are mentally delayed. My youngest son is one of them. But through the extensive research I did when my son was a baby, in order to find out what his life might be like, I met some fantastic people with university degrees who were inflicted with the same genetic disease, which is most often characterized by its physical symptoms. Not its mental ones.

There are many ways to piss off a reader by not thoroughly researching an element in a work of fiction. The more emotionally driven the subject, the more it will affect the audience.

Have you ever been enraged over an author’s lack of research? I doubt there are many of us who haven’t, at some point or another.

 

On the heels of EM the Merciful

I hate the feeling that my goodwill and compassion is being taken advantage of. Without any word of a lie, as much of the time I spend looking after myself, equal to or more time is spent on looking after everyone else. I’m always the first one to say, “don’t worry about it. I’ll do it.” And so I take on everyone else’s burdens. I have a hard time delegating. Especially when I can do most of the things that need to be done faster and more efficiently than those around me can.

I’m exhausted. Both physically and mentally. My frozen shoulder won’t let me sleep during the 5 hours I night I manage to be in bed. The pain is inhuman. When I am awake I’m being pulled in a thousand directions at once: have you done this for me yet? Have you called this doctor for him? That doctor for her? Can you come with me to this or that appointment? Sorry, I’m too busy to help you. Maybe next month… You want the money I owe you? Fuck you.  This is what I listen to every day. And yeah, I allow it. But the truth is, I’m the only one who CAN do three quarters of what I do. It’s why I don’t have a job. Pfft. Like I sit around watching soaps all day.

And then everyone wonders why I go away on vacation alone.

I need a vacation. Again.

F is for Four Letter Words in Fiction

My A-Z Challenge this year contains posts about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.

I’m a huge believer of truth in fiction. Which doesn’t mean to say I don’t like a completely made-up story but rather that what’s important is the world and the characters within the world of a fictional tale need to stay true to themselves.

For example, a story I’m currently writing takes place within the confines of a city bus, in a real city in the real world in which we all live. Any and every conceivable character could ride on that bus; all shapes, ages, levels of intelligence, all with various degrees of respect. In order to stay true to my setting, I feel I must include characters whom I find distasteful – characters who swear, tell fart jokes, and are generally abrasive and disrespectful.

The same often occurs within the setting of a novel. Especially in dialogue, this can be a challenge when, for example, it becomes necessary to include a character who habitually uses a certain word. Like “fuck.” Everyone has come across someone whose speech regularly includes, “fuck this, fuckin’ fuck that, fuckin’ whatever fuck” throughout every conversation they have. I actually have someone living in my basement like this, so I’m intimately familiar with this behaviour. (No, I can’t just get rid of him. I gave birth to him.)  When writing such a character into a novel which you hope will come out as a literary masterpiece, how do you balance such a character’s dialogue? It’s a toughie. Same as with what I call “ummers”–people who say “um” after every third word. There ARE people who do this, it’s true. But try reading it – it’s annoying!

Have you ever come across characters in stories where this sort of dialogue was handled well… or not?

 

 

A – Z April Challenge – It’s A Theme!

I can blame my post of yesterday (Perverts and Weirdos) for helping me decide on a theme for A-Z April 2015. When I signed up I went with the “Adult Content” classification just in case. I didn’t want to be blacklisted. Turns out it was a good idea.

My theme for this year’s A-Z will be, basically, adult content in fiction. This will include posts about writing sex scenes, reading sex scenes, writing about the objectionable things that characters do and say and what makes us hate certain characters for their actions. I’d also like to touch on the controversies surrounding ratings; what is appropriate for certain audiences, trigger warnings etc.

There are so many uncharted waters for today’s writers in these regards. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no expert. I hope that whatever research I do in order to write accurate articles for this A-Z April Challenge will teach me a thing or two as well. Aside from learning things I’ll be including a good deal of my own opinions.

This should be fun! I hope you’ll join me!