Monday, August 06, 2007

Keepin' Busy

Wow - I was doing so well for a while. I was posting almost daily and I think people were actually reading. But then, things happened. Isn't that the way it always is? Things happen and before you know it, a week or a month has gone by and you wonder where the time actually went.

Well, this time, I kind of know. I've had a busy few months. School's out, so the Girl is home all day now. Which means that the Boy's naptime (heretofore known as "Mom's Time") is now no longer the free chunk of time that it once was, so there goes writing time. Which means that writing time now gets shoved back to after bedtime (which fluctuates day-to-day. Tonight, the Boy took his sweet time going to sleep. Bath at 8PM, bed about 8:30. He just fell asleep about 30 minutes ago, which makes it 9:50PM EDT. YIKES!)

I judged in a contest, as you may or may not know. Only the entries arrived in my mailbox about a month earlier than other years. I've often said how much I enjoy doing this - a chance to give a little back, if you will - but after the couple of contests I've judged this year, I have to be honest. I have to give it a lot of thought as to whether or not I'll do this again next year. This year's entries were particularly frustrating. It was bad enough that I had to force myself to finish them. By that, I mean I found myself getting aggravated while reading them. Each time I read them. I found myself becoming more and more picky (pickier?) and marking down for things simply because I was so disgusted with the level of work. Now, before anyone says, "Oh, but that's unfair!" let me assure you, I did not use those scores. Nope. Knowing myself, I set everything aside for a week and let it simmer, and let myself grit my teeth and mutter about obvious first draft-quality work (please, if you're going to use a name, keep the spelling consistent.). Then, when I was calmer, and feeling a bit more zen, I dove back in. I wish I could say it was just that I was having an off night (three of them??? In a row?), but the fact of the matter was, I sympathize with editorial assistants and literary agents' assistents. I had a few entries that made me cringe. They go through piles of it.

Now, I understand that these contests are for unpublished writers, but I should think that, published or not, a writer should know, at the least, the basics of the English language, grammar, and - for the love of God, I am not kidding - punctuation. Use a comma every now and then. Trust me, the period is your friend. Swear to God, I'm not making it up. I saw paragraphs half a page long without one hint of punctuation. That was only one of the blood-pressure-raising gaffes I saw. I don't want to go into specifics (to protect the innocent and all that), but things that made me go "hmmmm" were all over the place.

Okay, so that took up a good portion of both June and July. In there, I set up (and am actually maintaining - woo hoo) a MySpace page. It's pretty cool. Check it out. I also have projects piled knee-deep. Submissions here. Revisions there. I had a wedding and a christening all in the same weekend. Different people, but same church, same priest, the photographer at the wedding was at the christening the next day. WTF? It was like The Twilight Zone that weekend. To top it all off, not only was the wedding photographer also at the christening, but it turns out that my husband worked with the guy about 14 years ago. Say it with me, won't you? Small, small world (I hate that ride and that song, but it fits here.)

In between, I logged a few miles traveling back and forth to the shore. I'll be doing it again this week - Canadian relatives are visiting MIL and the last time I saw them, the Girl was about 1 1/2 years old. The Boy has never met them. So, I'll be taking off in a day or two for a day trip to the shore.

Not only that, but the other half and I are househunting. Oy. We're going to look at one tomorrow night. Keep your fingers crossed. In the words of George Carlin, "Our pile of stuff has outgrown it's cover." (That's from A Place for My Stuff -Where he describes a house as a pile of stuff with a cover.)

And, of course, the bright spot to my summer. My contract with Wild Rose. My first edits came through, so I've been busy with those. So of course, that's when inspiration had to strike. In the midst of all this utter madness, I'm beginning a new book as well. Ah... gotta love it.

So, that's it in a nutshell. As the summer winds down and life slows down (it just has to slow down a little), I should get back to my regular posting. Oh, and BTW, the blog on MySpace will have the same posts. I don't know if I can think of enough separate topics for two blogs. Ay yi yi. It makes me tired just to think about.

Okay - back to work now...


Jennifer said...

"The period is your friend" too funny! I am super bad with commas, hence me being a writer and not an editor. But I agree that some basics are pleasant.

My best friend in the wide world (bless her little soul) sends me emails with no capitalization, no periods, and no commas. EVER. Plus she hardly ever signs off. Her emails just end with no warning. But, I love her anyway.

My pet peeve; not hitting enter. I read sooooooo many blogs that go on and on and then, for good measure, on some more without one space. My eyes can't take it, my brain can't take it. HIT ENTER! It's not that hard. When I worked as a college English tutor, I'd see the same thing. So annoying.

Good post.

Kim said...

The lack of punctuation drove me crazier than some of the other mistakes. How can you not use a period? =)

Thanks for reading! :D

The Quoibler said...


My pet peeve is when writers use emoticons or "text messaging abbreviations" in their professional writing.


I'm sorry, but LOL and DH do not belong in stories unless what's being written by one of the characters.


Jennifer said...

Angelique, are you following me? Or did I follow you here :) I like to see you around!

And, I agree, I forgot about that. Is anything more annoying than reading this... "My MIL told MDH and DLK that, WTF is up with the 411. LOL!!! Double ROLF!"

God how flipping annoying.

Kim said...

Fortunately there weren't any emoticons - they might've sent me into orbit! =)

It was enough with name spelling changes and head-hopping and anachronisms (I judged the historical categories)).