Here we have a “free week” and I have been anything but free for the past month or so. If you read my posts you will know that my grandson broke his hand and my husband broke his ankle, which meant doctor’s visits and physical therapy for both, in addition to everything else I do in the course of a day or week. The Husband being home means that I do more work, but some things go undone.
Joe had been working a great deal of overtime, so this really has been a good respite from the of stress of the short ‘us’ time we have had. Which means that while we are catching up on a great deal of movies which has always been a favorite pastime for us, I have let some things slide. And while he has caught up on some of his reading, I have had very little time for it.
Unfortunately, the few books I have picked up seem to go out of their way to disappoint me:
One of my favorite authors teamed with another writer and their first book wasn’t bad, (I don’t think she needed the cowriter), but a few pages in and the phrase
“I could care less”, jumped out at me.
Oh, that is a major pet peeve of mine! Then they could actually care less, which means the person cares, right?
Most of you know that my grandson and I read a lot of books and series together. He is now hooked on one that has animal warriors and, well, I can’t bring myself to get into them. I picked up a book from an author of one of his favorite series and once it got into its fantastic premise, the protagonist compared the book’s situation, and his own, to a graphic novel.
Second pet peeve: never compare your story to another or claim it is real. It immediately spoils the ‘magic’ to which you are trying to ensnare your reader.
Another, which really ended up being good with a good moral tone, was also a newer one from an author of another favorite series of both of ours. Unfortunately, this time, he had a main character comparing her ‘war’ with her brother to World War II and cited actual battles or situations. It was only in the beginning and they stopped, thank heavens. I know he was trying to show how clueless the young girl was and how much it affected her but I found it unnecessary to make light of the horrors of war.
I was majorly peeved.
And the last pet peeve:
Over the last month I have read the darnedest combinations:
“The dull light pierced through the room.” Dull, pierced? How?
“There was total chaos, albeit, controlled.” There is either chaos, or there is control.
“The water was smooth as glass. The waves were choppy and made the boat difficult to steady.” Huh?
And I know there are more, but I now have a two-foot-wide hole in my living room ceiling, while I await rain to tell us whence the leak comes; I have to go to the bank and take Joe to physical therapy before I hit the grocery store, then come home to empty the bookcase under the hole in the ceiling, before I can get ready for son and grandson to be here over the weekend when, hopefully, the house repair begins. I will be doing a lot of cooking as well, which isn’t a problem but oh, the clean-up! (And now I have to carry all the groceries in by myself, before the finally vacuuming and bathroom cleaning!)
What has been bothering me is my lack of writing time. My other blog sits idle, as do my WsIP. I did a lot of soul-searching and rewriting of one piece which I thought was ready to go out, but this break has been, I believe, a blessing in disguise.
Not only was I worried that I would become widowed from my husband over-working, I know I needed time and space between me and my work to bring in my own ‘fresh eyes’ to all of it, since I seem to be short of readers right now.
I’ve promised myself a better schedule when I realized that I had NO writing time.
Have you seen a setback become an asset? Please let me know. I need all the encouragement I can get.
wow, your plate has been sorely overloaded. In fact, I think it’s “total chaos, albeit controlled.”
Ha. Yeah, I know what you mean by characters hashing up metaphors. I sometimes have characters do so deliberately — as a signal of their lack of sophistication — but the other character always notices and tips off the reader that it’s not proper, but merely a verbal tic of that other individual.
Yes, often some fresh eyes can allow you to return to a ms. with a renewed sense of what needs to be done. I’ve found that in most of my stories. And most of mine have been through sizeable waiting periods of one sort or another. The single exception, as best I can recall, is one I basically wrote on a (self-imposed) deadline… and hardly ever put it down from Draft 1 to the 4th or 5th that I submitted, and through the multiple drafts which resulted after it was contracted. That was one I began writing in about March of last year and it was released in October last year. So you can well imagine it hardly left my attention / focus during those 7 months.
Oh, it can be very funny when a scatter-brained character mixes metaphors or gets them just ‘off’, but most of those were straight form the narrator in all earnestness.
Well, whatever works for you ,Jeff,seems to really be working, by the works of your that I have read!
I think you’re justified in being disappointed with your reading material! After so many years of reading bad writing (by people who want to become teachers), errors seem to jump out at me and I find myself hoping the student either learns to self-edit or finds another occupation.
As for your question, I’m not sure. I remember being really disappointed at being moved – involuntarily – from teaching second grade to a class of at-risk first graders. There was no curriculum and I was simply supposed to “get them ready for first grade.” Since I enjoyed teaching second grade I first saw this as a demotion, but after a while I saw it as an opportunity – since there was no curriculum I could incorporate more “fun stuff” – painting, movement, field trips, etc. And eventually that experience led to my position at the university. So it was a blessing.
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Oh, how wonderful, not only for you but especially for those lucky students of yours! I have seen teachers,(including my husband), who many times felt that movement was a demotion, only to find that they flourished in the new grades…and then there were others who became embittered and took it out on their students.(I seem to have gathered those.)
Maybe I’m super-critical, but gee, the stuff that gets past the writers and editors never ceases to amaze me!