Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I feel like an owl

Over two months since my last blog...might be a little over due. But I do have, um, excuses as to why I haven't been blogging. Back in high school I wrote poetry. A lot of angsty, moody poems. I thought most of them were great. I captured the essence of my angst and hid them away so none of the, well, boys I wrote them about knew about them. I found the folder not too long ago and had to shove it back into the bookcase to keep from burning it. Gah, I was such a teenager!

But that's neither here nor there. Way back in high school, I noticed that journaling routinely kept me from being able to write poetry. I figured it was because journaling was a type of emotional release, i.e. "So-and-so smiled at me today. *sigh* What did it mean? Was he smiling at me? Or the girl behind me? After lunch, he said 'Hi' to me. Did me mean hi? Or hi?" You know, the important things girls in high school think about. So because I journaled about my confusion, I wasn't able to write a poem about it. Or at least not a good one I wanted to keep and sigh over later. "Brown hair and eyes of green/ which never had I seen/ look at me the way I knew/ I always looked at you." (Made that up on the spot--about the same quality of crap I wrote in high school!)

My story may not be the same sort of emotional release that writing poetry was and blogging's not the same sort of emotional release journaling was. At least not lately. But, my excuse, is that I noticed my writing on my story decreased when I was blogging more frequently. Was I pacifying that piece of me that needs to write just enough by blogging? Probably not. Probably I'm just using these excuses as, well, excuses as to why I'm not focusing more on what I should be doing--writing my story.

A good friend gave me a great idea. I asked awesome agent to give me a deadline for my next chunk of pages. Much to my delight, many of my As on papers in school were awarded to papers I wrote in haste the night before or the morning they were due. As of right now, my next 50 pages are "due" on February 4th. She gave me this "deadline" last week. Have I started yet? Pssh, please, of course not. Of course, my excuses now are Christmas and sickness and family and, and, and...I really, really, really want to impress her and get her my pages long before the deadline.

Now, why do I feel like an owl? I've been reading a lot of self-pub'd and indie books lately. Mostly because I'm cheap and I can get 3-4 books for the price of 1 traditionally pub'd book. With how I eat books, it makes more financial sense for me to do it this way. The most common grammatical error I come across in these books is their inability to use WHO. "I'm the girl that--" NO! It's WHO! "I'm the girl WHO--" "Sally's the barista that--" NO! WHO! "Sally's the barista WHO--!" When you're talking about a person, they're not "that".

Am I the grammar police? No. Should I be using whom instead of who in any of the examples above? Possibly. All I know is that using "that" is wrong and it's really becoming a pet peeve of mine. Along with changing tenses in the middle of a paragraph/story. "I was walking to school when I saw him. He is the one I've always loved." NO!!! Oh, and the lack of contractions! And the passive tense they use! Don't say "I was walking" say "I walked".

Arg, and commas. I am a comma lover, guilty of comma splicing all over the place. However, the one place I know for sure a comma is ALWAYS used is before and after a person's name when you're speaking to them. "Why are you always late Bob?" "Maybe because you never give me the comma I need, Bill."

I started with my excuses at the top because I thought my ranting about WHO wouldn't be long enough to justify a whole blog. But obviously I found more to moan and groan about. And I don't even want to know how many grammar/punctuation errors I made in this blog! All I know is I didn't misuse who/that, I didn't change tenses, and I don't have to worry about commas and names because I wasn't talking to you anyways.