Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

(writing) Thoughts on writing, process, and language

I threatened a rant last week about chat-speak (I loathe it, for the short version of the rant), but as I didn’t have time to write it out when I was annoyed (probably a good thing, come to think of it), it mellowed and got intertwined with some other things.


Namely, this.


I love reading John Scalzi’s blog, because in addition to being a great writer, he has a wonderfully moderated community that actually TALKS.  Which I appreciate.  Because there is nothing guaranteed to make me grind my teeth faster than the “OMGWTFBBQ ur RONG!!!!” that are in a lot of other comment streams out there.  Yes, I know, the Internet is a wonderful place, and even those who can’t spell/don’t have a good grasp on grammar have things to share.  They do.  I don’t dispute that.


But for the love of whatever gods you hold dear, please stop making my eyes bleed.  Especially if you are chatting with/emailing someone in a professional capacity.  This includes writing your blog (especially if you are a writer), emailing your benefits center, or chatting with someone in a professional capacity.  Because really, to me, nothing says “I don’t actually care about what I’m doing here” faster than when I see an email on an account that starts “I c my acct, but I don’t c the option to do X. Pls process. Thx.”


Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  (And yes, I write just about everything out.  Even text messages.  Ask my friends.)  But that’s neither here or there.  This is a piece of professional correspondence.  Which looks like a 3rd grader with a smart phone sent it.  Is that really the image you want to send?


Sorry, but that’s a huge pet peeve of mine.  And I see it every day (I work as a chat associate for a large financial organization).


I thought of that again today when reading Scalzi’s blog, because the comments talk about some things that self-publishers should be looking at.  And I realized something about myself.


I have a day job.  I have a day job that (luckily) pays my bills at this point, a day job that I enjoy (for the most part) and that I’m not planning on leaving.  My writing is for me to share with people.  While I have no intentions at this point of quitting my day job (even if I got a big contract), I don’t mind getting a bit of money from my writing.  But for me, at this point, it’s not going to tip the balance one way or the other .  (At least, not as long as my hubby is also working.)  That being said, I do self-publish some things, and I’ll continue to do that.  And when I do it, I don’t have a problem paying for things I can’t do.


I’m not a graphic designer.  I think in words, not pictures.  Which is why I pay talented folk like Starla Hutchton and J.A. Marlow to design my covers.  I am, however, a darn good proofreader and copy-editor, so people pay me to do that.  I sometimes swap services for services.


I also give away stuff for free here on the blog.  I will continue to do that, as they come up, because, well, I like to have people read my stuff.  And that’s the crux of it all.


I’m a writer.  Even if I never made another dime on writing, I would still write, and I would probably still share it here on the blog, if nothing else.  I get crazy when I don’t write regularly.


But I’m working a schedule now that means that I probably can’t write every day.  And I’m coming to terms with that.  It’s okay.  As long as I write on my days off (Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays), I think I’ll be good.  I just need sleep on the other days.


So yeah.  That’s what’s been going on in my brain lately.  Along with some other things.  I’ll be trying to write more on here too.  I’ve got two reviews I want to write ( for Feed by Mira Grant and The Street by Paul E. Cooley) that should go live either this weekend or next week.  And I think I’ll be dropping some other things too.

(rant) Warning, Val is annoyed

Warning: this post does wander into rant territory. It also wanders into politics, a bit, but mostly it’s a rant. You have been warned.

I’m in training at a new job. I haven’t switched companies, but I’ve been promoted, so I’m getting training in one of the new areas I’ll be supporting (pensions, if you really want to know). Because the trainees are all seasoned members of the company, we’re switching up the training with some team-building exercises, mostly Top Ten lists. The instructor gives us the topic, we have to come up with the top ten things in that topic. It’s been all over the map, and for the most part, I’ve learned some interesting things.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post: why I feel America is going down the tubes. On Tuesday, we did a Top Ten list on Yahoo’s Top Ten Searches of 2011. My team and I came up with ten events/persons that we thought would be in the top 10. Things like Steve Jobs’ death. The Japanese earthquake/tsunami. The debt ceiling crisis. The Royal Wedding. The Greek Debt crisis. You know, big things. IMPORTANT THINGS.

Of the five things listed above, ONE of them was on Yahoo’s list. The Japanese earthquake, which apparently not even the average citizens of the US could fail to notice. Do you know what else was listed? Jennifer Aniston. American Idol. Casey Anthony. (You can see the entire top ten list here: Yahoo Top 10 Searches for 2011) American freaking Idol makes the list, but Steve Jobs’ death doesn’t. No politicians made the top ten, actually, which (considering the state of the Republican offerings this time around) surprised me. It also saddened me.

I will be the first to admit that I am probably not much like the “average American” that fills out these polls. In other times, I would probably be considered a bluestocking. I’m not interested in most celebrities, or who’s screwing who. I consider Jackass a blight on the world, followed closely by most “reality TV.” (Although I do admit that I adore Food Network and Cooking Channel. Do those count? And Ghost Hunters/Ghost Adventures. Anything with ghosts in it, I can pretty much guarentee I’ll at least try.) I don’t listen to most contemporary music – I like country, for the most part. I read, rather than watch TV. I am a gamer geek, although not a huge one (just WoW, pretty much, although I’m contemplating finding my copy of Master of Magic again). I write. And I read, did I mention that? Not just books, but anything I can get my hands on.

So these people who follow Snooki or Justin Bieber or Sarah Palin are like aliens to me. I despise people who can’t seem to make their own opinions, but follow others like sheep. Seriously. I don’t mind if you have different opinions from me, as long as you’ve thought through them and aren’t just spouting whatever the current party line from Newt or Glenn Beck is. THINK about things before you spout them.

And for gods sake, stop watching reality TV. That stuff rots your brains.