Archive for January, 2011

Speeling

Posted in humor, Writing on January 17, 2011 by oneoveralpha

I was a terrible speller back in school. I can’t remember which grade it was, maybe 7th or 8th, but the English teacher gave a weekly spelling test. She said she would continue giving them until everyone in the class had received at least one 100%. I was the second to last person in the class to get a 100%, and I remember it happened on my birthday, which is in February, so it took me awhile. The other thing I remember is that when I took out a sheet of paper and put my name on it, I wrote “speeling test” on it. (That’s why I put that as this blog title, it’s not a typo!) The teacher said she wasn’t sure if my 100% should count because of that, but I think she wanted to stop giving the tests, so nothing more was said.

The reason I brought this up, is that my spelling has greatly improved over the years. The best reason I can think of is my writing. Yes, I do count on the spellchecker to catch mistakes, but most of the time it seems like I use it for words I don’t know how to spell. I just get something close, then pick the correct one out of the spellchecker options. But I was surprised the other day when – for a story – I spelled aneurysm correctly. (And I just did it again!) Back in high school I’d probably spell it anyourism. If my high school English teachers could see me now.

Too clever for my own good

Posted in humor, Writing on January 17, 2011 by oneoveralpha

I’m working on a story about a writer. He has a list of all his unfinished projects including “titles without ideas.” This is based on my own experience of coming up with a great title, and then having to write a story to it. Well, for the story, I came up with the title Starship Vampyr. That would have been great if I could have just left it in the story. But mere moments after coming up with Starship Vampyr I thought, What story would fit that title? Dammit. Yes, I finished a short story, but now I have to think about something much longer, possible even a novel. Dammit.

Enslaved person Jim

Posted in humor, Stories, Writing on January 5, 2011 by oneoveralpha

On one hand, I hate the idea of works being altered, especially for reasons of political correctness. On the other hand, I would like a version of The Naked and the Dead without “fug.”

A “proper” writing scale

Posted in Writing on January 3, 2011 by oneoveralpha

This is something I’ve thought about off-and-on for a while in regards to the writing critique groups I belong to. It is something I can just visualize, so bear with me as I try to put it into words.

Picture a set of screens getting progressively finer. On to this you dump various writings. The first screen catches the blocky “See Jane run” size, while “finer” writing passes through. Each screen sorts out better writing. “Better” defined both by whatever writing standards exist, but more by personal taste. For example, I recently read a scifi classic written in the 1930s. I found the story rather clunky – or coarse – because the world famous scientist goes into his lab and the next day comes out with a device that will give men limitless energy. That was stopped by my “that’s not how science works” screen.

The result of all these screens is you eventually end up with writing that is “just right” for you. That’s perfectly understandable and most people read books written to their “scale.” But what about people like me who critique works written at various scales? For the most part, I’ve been lucky in that most of what I critique is written close enough to my scale that it’s not a problem. On occasion I’ve critiqued clunky stuff, but usually the writer was young or just starting out, so I could overlook it to be encouraging. My biggest problem – however – are the writers who write stuff that is smaller than my preferred scale. (I’d say finer than my stuff, but that’s just silly. :P) I dump their work in the screens and go down to my level to find nothing there. Instead of pebbles I’m now dealing with sand and I get a headache from straining to see it. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. Shakespeare is finer than my writing, but I don’t read Shakespeare for pleasure.

I first started thinking of this years ago when I tried to figure out why I had such trouble reading this one guy’s writing. He writes on a much finer scale that I usually read and after reading two pages of his writing it felt like I’d been reading for an hour. Since he writes about things I have an interest in, I was able to connect to it, and I now look forward to reading his sand grains, but I know to set aside plenty of time to do it.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that this super fine writing style seems to be used a lot in religious or philosophical writing. When you write about the purple skinned, two-headed aliens of Gamma Ceti VII, you can write in pebble scale. But after thousands of years of thought and debate, I doubt there are many pebbles of philosophy left. It’s all rearranging dust. If you are really into that, that’s fine. If not, you just get a headache from straining your eyes.

Hopefully, that all made sense.

December Newsletter

Posted in Newsletter, Website, Writing on January 1, 2011 by oneoveralpha

See what I did writing-wise this past month:

http://www.oneoveralpha.com/Newsletter.htm#Dec10

Flash Fiction Magazine

Daily Flash Fiction Stories

Defusing Chaos

Because chaos doesn't sort itself out.

SFoxWriting.com

Something For Everyone's Needs

Mr, Mr.

Travel wildly. Dream deeply. live daringly.

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Best Differential Diagnosis Book

Stop. Focus. Over.

Silence is violence.

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

ssteinwriting

Author of New Adult and Contemporary Writing

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Twenty Somethings

Stories, poems, and things about things.

Read it to absorb my awesomeness

And you will become...awesome

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

- tony.espino -

a human. for now.

On the Homefront

Reflections on life: the funny, poignant, serious and quirky