Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When Blog Writing Style Turns Off Readers

I've been wondering about something off and on.  You see, there's this blog I visit that has sort of an ensemble cast.  A group of writers post writerly stuff - each on a specific day.  Some stuff I agree with, some I don't.  Some of it's insightful and some is helpful, and some is not.  But there's one contributor I can't read.  Not because of their ideas.  They seem like a rational sort with the possibility of being both helpful and insightful.  The problem is that every time I start reading one of their posts, I get bored, frustrated, irritated... something.  Something about their writing makes me want to poke my eyes out.  Or their eyes out. 

Because of this, I have never tried to read one of their books.   I mean, OMG, if they can't get a blog post out without turning it into some kind of weird syntactical nightmare*, what must their books read like?

I know, I probably shouldn't think like that.  This person is a popular (in their genre) author.  There must be some merit to their writing.  But I can't make myself slap down money or use valuable reading time to take the chance that their fiction reads better than their blog posts.

Anyway, it got me to wondering.  I certainly hope I don't do anything like that here.  Not much I can do about it - any more than my telling this other person my opinions would change how they write those blog posts.  What I say here is what it is. 

Hell, I don't even edit these posts for the most part.  Which I like to think I've made clear at some point, but a new visitor might not have been around when I said that. 

Still, I like to think the general flavor and voice of my blogs are about the same as the flavor and voice of my novels. 

So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you like what you've read here, give my novels a whirl.  And if you don't, I totally understand - because it happens to me, too.

Have you ever avoided reading an author because of what they've written online**? 

*"The hope and aim of a word-handler is that he may communicate a thought or an impression to his reader without the reader’s realizing that he has been dragged through a series of hazardous or grotesque syntactical situations." - E.B. White

**Not talking about their opinions or their philosophies, just their writing styles.  Lord knows, I have a whole list of authors I won't read because of their opinions and their philosophies, but that's a whole other topic.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 42

First off... GO BLUE!!  After years of heartache, the Wolverines are finally looking like they're going to go all the way.  Yay!  And let me give a quick nod, also, to Western Michigan University who are also kicking ass and taking names this year.  Keep it up, boys on both teams. 

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

After finishing up a read-through of the stuff I already had written on this book that I'm totally not talking about publicly, I got some new words out and some awesome ideas for later in the book.  If I can nurture this and keep it going so that it looks like it will definitely become a finished book, then I'll talk about it.  Right now, I have to protect it and my sanity, though.  Sorry if that's teasing, but if you want more books, it has to be that way. 

In other news, this newfound rejuvenation also seems to be sparking ideas for other unfinished books.  They will have to wait, though, until I finish this one.  I will not allow myself to be distracted by shiny ideas.  I think that's how I got myself into this mess in the first place.  Well, that and letting outside pressures influence my writing brain. 

In reading news, I finished Silver James' latest Blood & Fire.  Awesome with awesome sprinkles and a liberal helping of awesomesauce. 

In fishing news, I caught my first crappie this week.  It was a keeper at 11.5 inches.  I also caught my first smallmouth bass this week.  It was too small at around 9 inches.  I did a fish-fry.  Tastiest fish of that batch?  Redear sunfish. 

Yesterday, I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker.  First one of the season.  I was wondering when they'd get back here.  Yay.

Since my back was screwed up pretty much Sunday - Thursday morning, I didn't get much else done.  But it's all better now.  I think I pinpointed the problem.  Carrying a heavy bag on my right shoulder.  Yep, that's all it took.  So, I won't be doing that again.  And for good measure, I cleaned out my purse so that won't exacerbate the problem.

What's up in your world?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday This n That

First, 'Thanks!' to the new people who keep stopping by.  And 'Thanks!' to the regulars who continue to stop by.  You guys rock.

For them what're interested, my back is up to like 98% normal.  I slept pretty good last night.  The last remaining vestige seems to occur while sitting in this chair, typing.  Which kind of sucks because like 90% of my job entails sitting here.  (The other ten percent is mostly sitting over there and writing by hand - which is also not comfortable yet.)  I feel best when I'm up and active, which means I might be able to go fishing today. 

Hubs and I were joking about getting a grant to fund what we do.  So, on a lark, I went looking to see what kinds of grants there are for writing.  (I seriously doubt there are grants for what Hubs does.)  In the course of scrolling down the Google-fu, I noticed an article giving suggestions about how to get a grant when you're a writer.   I scanned through it enough to give me the willies and make me a little nauseous. I stop kissing other people's butts when I struck out on my own. I'll just keep muddling along without their help, thanks.

Ever wonder if you've offended someone unintentionally?  Yeah, I'm like that all the time.  If I have offended you, and you know I count you as one of my friends, please remember that I have 'foot in mouth' disease.

 When I was out at the river Sunday, I saw a flock of cormorants headed south for the winter.  Too cool.

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Change Weirds Me Out

I rearranged my desk yesterday.  I had a crick in my neck and looking to the right to see my monitor wasn't helping, so I switched everything from one side to the other.  Now my monitor is on the left side of my desk, which is right in front of where I sit.  No neck craning.  Yay. 

But I have this thing that happens when I move things around.  You see, I like things the way they are.  Always.  I'm not a big fan of change.  (Who is?)  So when I do move things around, it's all weird and strange for a while afterwards. 

When it was a big move - like from house to house when I was in CO - this strangeness would derail my writing for days afterwards.  I just couldn't seem to get in the groove.  And we moved three times while I was there.  Bleh.

Then we moved here to MO.  Now, that was a big derailment.  Talk about a change of scenery.  But I eventually got over it and got back to work.

This?  This is nothing really.  I was a little weirded out yesterday morning after I did it.  I got over it and did get some work done last night.  (Not much.  Turns out it wasn't the monitor position harshing my neck.)  It only served as a reminder of what happened before and provided a jumping point for this blog post. 

I don't like change.  Not at the time.  However, change is a good thing.  The change from living in CO to living here in MO was AWESOME.  Some things took a little getting used to - driving in hilly country as opposed to flat, way more rain here than in CO, trees everywhere - but it's better here.  And I think having my monitor over here instead of there is a better change, too.  It just weirds me out a little.

How do you handle change?  Do you embrace it as it happens, or do you embrace it after you get used to it? 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 41

If you're here for the writing updates, I have none this week.  Sorry.

If you're here because you also like the other updates, then here ya go...

So, I've been doing a lot of reading lately.  Mostly old spy and crime novels.  Three of those in the past week.  The Matt Helm I mentioned last week.  A Remo Williams (if you haven't read a Remo Williams, you're missing out).  And one I don't think is in a series, but I'm not sure - The Black Shrike by Alistair MacLean.  That one kind of blew me away and I'm still recovering.

I did some fishing last week, too.  In fact, I spent around 7 hours fishing on Thursday.  I went out by myself for 4 hours in the morning.  Hubs decided he wanted to go fishing, too, so we went for a few hours that afternoon.  I caught two big panfish for the freezer and a lot of too-small fish.  The 13.5 inch largemouth I had to throw back was a lot of fun to catch, so it's all good, baby.

Somehow the mice have found a new way into the house.  I suspect they're squeezing themselves through a crack I found along the wall that separates the office (an addition to the house) and the house proper.  I spent yesterday morning removing all the books from my 'classics' shelves, moving the bookcase, and then stuffing steel wool into that crack.

I also made chicken noodle soup yesterday from what was left of the chicken I crockpotted a couple days ago.  Lunch!  With four containers' worth leftover for future lunches.

I had planned to do some garden work, but meh. This summer a possum had gotten into my sedums and ripped them apart.  I thought I'd see if they would take root in water.  They did.  Now I have all these pieces that need to be shoved into dirt at some point before winter arrives.  Maybe tomorrow.  If I don't go fishing.

What happened in your week last week?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday This n That

I'm working through some shit right now, as you may have noticed from my Wanda Whiner posts or lack of posts altogether.  (Although I did better posting stuff at Outside the Box this week, so I've got that going for me.)  It's not personal stuff.  Personal stuff is awesome.  Work stuff blows.  And I'm back around to wondering why the hell I'm subjecting myself to this.  Don't worry.  This, too, shall pass. 

News stuff, too, is depressing the hell out of me.  Which is why I go fishing.

One easy way to tell a spotted bass from a largemouth bass is to feel their tongues.  Spotted bass have rough tongues.  Largemouth bass have smooth tongues.  (Or so I read somewhere.  I have no personal experience with largemouth tongues yet.  Next one I catch, I'll feel its tongue, though, so I know for sure if that's right.  It's correct with the spotted.)

Yesterday, I saw an osprey.

Someone ran over a pygmy rattlesnake about 100 feet from the house.  Yay!  Well, yay for the squishing - those things are nasty - but boo for the proximity to my home. 

Today is release day for my good friend, Silver James' novella Blood & Fire in the Kindle World of Paige Tyler's Dallas Fire & Rescue.  It's with her wolf shifters, so yay!  And it's only $1.99 right now.  I one-clicked a copy this morning.  Can't wait to read it.

Sometimes my fingers insert one homophone for another without consulting my brain.  I do know the difference between 'no' and 'know', and the 'they're there their' trio, and 'your, you're, yore', but my fingers aren't always certain.  If I slip up and use one where it doesn't belong, feel free to laugh at my fingers.  Maybe the shame will teach them to pay better attention.  ;o)

Okay, that's quite enough out of me this morning.  Anything in your 'this n that' basket today?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 40

Only twelve weeks left in 2016.  If you have anything you want to do this year, you've got 12 weeks to do it. 

On that note, I have very little to report for week 40.  I haven't touched Wish Hits the Fan.  It'll happen.  Just not right now. 

I did do some work on Fear Itself.  I've redone up to page 46 now.  I also downloaded some art for the cover, but I haven't done anything with it.  I don't have a clear idea of the cover concept yet.  Comet, observatory... something. 

I went fishing Thursday morning and Friday afternoon.  On Thursday I caught a few fish, but no keepers.  One largemouth was like 14.99 inches.  (I swear, the tail was this close to the 15" line I could've wept.)  Friday afternoon, I talked Hubs into going out with me.  We caught some more 'under the limit' bass.  Soon, the bigger bass will be coming closer to shore and then BAM! they are mine.

I read three books - Convenient Cowgirl Bride by Silver James, Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman, and The Widow Watchers by Frank Archer.  Silver's book rocked.  Naturally.  The Kemelman book was interesting, but I won't go looking for the rest of that series.  The Archer book was pretty awesome.  I did, however, have to add it to Goodreads because apparently, I'm the first Goodreads user to read it.  Gnarly.  Right now, I'm reading a Matt Helm - The Removers.  It's book 3 in the series and I've never read this series before, but so far, that's not a problem.  Well, unless you consider that I now want to read the first two a problem.  Good book so far.  No wonder the series was a hit.

Yesterday, I cleaned out all the food cabinets.  Removed everything, wiped the shelves down with furniture polish, reorganized, etc.  Threw out some stuff that had been in there a while.  There was some allspice up there from, I think, before we got married.  (Had to have been Hubs' because I don't think I've ever bought allspice.)  And if I haven't made pancakes in over a year, why keep the last batch worth of mix?  That sort of thing.  I also lined a few more of the cupboards.  Cuz... well, it looks neater, and I already had the liner stuff. 

Yes, I lead an exciting life.

What's up in your universe?