A New Season


Much like the weather, our lives tend to run in seasons. We have seasons of growth, where we learn new things, such as our college years, or learning to care for an aging parent.  We have seasons of winter, where things seem dead, cold, brittle. Perhaps just after a breakup, the death of a loved one, or even the death of our dreams. We have seasons of a long hot summer, where things seem to drag on, the heat gets to us,  but we keep going and try to keep our thirst quenched.

My husband and I are coming out of a season of summer. You do the things that are necessary because they need to be done, and after a while the long hot days can wear you down. We’ve been plugging along, not making much gains, doing life as it comes, and being responsible – or in other words, adulting. Let me tell you, adulting sucks! Being responsible sucks. Being a responsible adult isn’t fun, but on the flipside, being a responsible person, or people, we can’t accept the consequences of not being responsible therefore we continue in our responsibilities. Does that make sense?  It made sense in my head.

In March, my Mother in law had a hemorrhagic stroke.  This has not been fun, but this is one of those things life throws at you and you have to deal with it.  MY friend Emily’s fiancee was in the hospital for his heart and had to postpone her wedding and their trip to the US. These are things life throws at us that we don’t sign up for.

These are the unexpected crisis that demand our attention, and we either learn to cope,  have a fall apart, or some combination of the two.

However, we can see the sunlight after the storm.  My Mother in law has made a lot of improvement and the doctor thinks she will continue to improve, and possibly regain her independence.  Hallelujah! I start a new job at the end of the month after Memorial Day, in a totally different field than what my degree is in,  but it’s something that sounds exciting to me, certainly more exciting than crunching numbers doing mortgages!

Our eldest daughter finished her last full semester of college, all that remains for her to graduate is her student teaching, and she got an assignment at a premier school district in St. Louis. In a few weeks, we will move her back here, or rather up the road a little further to share an apartment with one of her good friends.

Our youngest daughter just changed jobs, is ready to purchase a car and is talking of moving out sometime in June to share a house with a few of her friends.

I have other news pertaining to writing that is fantastic, but I can’t share it just yet. It’s good news though.

I shared with Misty, “You better pinch me, I think I’m dreaming. It’s like everything suddenly is falling into place, the storm is clearing and the rainbow is in the sky.”

It has been a long hard summer for us, in our lives. The stress has gotten to me on more than one occasion and I’ve crumbled under emotional strain, reverted to bad habits, cried, pouted, and lots of other things I won’t even mention.

A part of me is looking around, wondering when the other shoe will fall. I keep trying to tell that part to shut up, and stop expecting the worst. Isn’t it about time we deserve a break? Isn’t it about time we start reaping some rewards and have some good in our lives?

Anyone else ever feel like that?

I’m not saying that our lives suck, because they don’t. We have plenty of good things in our lives. The thing is though, we’ve been under a lot of stress for what seems like a looooooooooong time. It’s sort of like after the storm passes, and the sky is brilliant blue. There are some branches or twigs scattered across the lawn,  water is flowing across the driveway, and the relief is tangilbe that the storm has passed. The only thing left is to clean up the debris and celebrate that we survived.

That’s kind of how I feel right now, like we need to celebrate for making it through the long drought summer, but we can’t celebrate too soon because some of the things haven’t actually happened yet. Soon, but not yet.

We are definitely entering a new season. We may be entering a season of sandwich – with one adult child at home and possibly an aging parent in our home. That is undecided yet – and potentially she can go back to her own home.

I’m starting a new job that I see as rewarding, exciting, and is something I am fully confident that I can do. I am entering the world of caregiver – for pay. I did it for my mother without compensation, I raised my kids, it seems like an easy fit to me and the way  the job came about is an odd story in itself. Not looking to get rich, but have a little cushion with all of the medical bills I’ve accumulated.

Our plans to move were put on hold yet again. Once we know  where things stand with his Mom, we can move forward again.

It’s all good! I feel like we should be singing that song from Wizard of Oz, “You’re out of the woods” or Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”.

I’ve heard people refer to my mother as a tough ol’bird, well I guess I take after her a lot more than I’d like to admit because I’m one tough chick!

On another note, I tend to do better with fitting my writing in when I have to have a schedule – point being – I have little to show for my writing since becoming unemployed in December. Whether from pouting, wasting time, going through stuff, or just making excuses to explain away my lack of productivity, I did much better without an open ended schedule.

I’d be willing to bet that there are many of you who are coming out of a dark dreary season, and are relieved to see the post storm rainbow in the sky. I know I can’t be the only one.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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Captain’s Log, Stardate 5.9.19


This year has been nothing like I had planned so far. the past few months have been particularly stressful. I’m not making excuses, not going to give you the whole sad song and dance. I will be perfectly honest here, I’ve been struggling. Struggling to keep my head above water, struggling to get any words down, struggling to keep it together.

My planner vaguely resembles the Captain’s Log on Star Trek.

 

Date: (Stardate) March 19, 2019 (31919.1) Larry called, had to drive to Perryville to get him, his mom had a stroke. They took her up to St. John’s because Jefferson wasn’t equipped to handle a stroke. 

(31919.2) Same ICU unit that my mother was in –  kind of jarring.

(31919.3) Monitoring her for brain activity. 

(31919.4) We sat in on the doctor’s round table discussion. Looks grim. 

I  had found a layout for my bujo that worked well for me to track the things I needed, and make my daily to-do lists. All of that went out the window.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.28.19 – apparently chaos rules the universe. My family has gone off the deep end. My heart goes out to them and I will be praying. Sad situation!  They are transferring MIL to rehab center,  but it’s up near St. John’s. 

In planning my releases – yes plural releases – which is a huge step for me,  I had set April 23rd as my release date for Fury. The date came and went, I had other things on my mind, and occupying my time. to be honest, I’ve struggled to find words to put down on paper or virtual paper.  It’s difficult to make plans when things are up in the air so to speak, and your world is in turmoil.

To add to things, the stress that we’ve been under has manifested in aggression towards each other in arguments. Emotions are at a heightened state!

Captain’s Log Stardate 4.15.19 – I get the stressed out part from work and with family, but taking it out on me is not going to make things better. In fact, it made things much more difficult. We are about to come to blows. Shields up, set phasers to stun, prepare to be boarded!

I completely missed posting anything for A to Z in April, and I had some cool writing terms to share. Who knows, maybe I’ll still put it together down the road.

To add to all of this, I had a biopsy – benign, discovered a lump – also benign, had surgery and an allergic reaction to medications that felt like I was having a heart attack – I am not exaggerating either. All of this stirred together for a deadly concoction that left me feeling like an utter failure and worthless in life. Talk about dysfunction!

Captain’s Log Stardate 5.7.19 – What is wrong with me? I have so many books to write, and can’t muster myself to put pen to paper or get out my laptop for longer than a few minutes. It’s not for lack of want to, because I want to get all of my books out there! It’s not a lack of ideas –  I have thousands of ideas.  It’s not a lack of imagination,  I have imagination to spare! So what is the problem? 

I messaged my soul sister Misty and ironically, she’s experiencing a similar slump. You’d think we were twins separated at birth or something, it’s uncanny. We should be Gemini’s or have the same birthday or something! With Misty’s help, I’m taking some baby steps to get back in the game. My confidence has been shaken,  but she’s holding my hand.

Captain’s Log Stardate 5.7.19.2 – made contact with Admiral Harvey. This quadrant of the galaxy has proven  troublesome crossings for her as well. Our discussion included guidance for traversing the upcoming storms, and keeping crew on standby for imminent dangers. For now, we will take it slow and steady, with all systems on alert. Our course?  Second star to the right, straight on till morning. These are the voyages of Starship Mack, signing off.

That’s the point of friendship isn’t it?  We pick each other out of the muck and help dust each other off.  Sometimes we share a laugh,  sometimes we share a cry. A true friend is one that you know has your back, will go to the ends of the galaxy with you in spirit if they can’t in person,  will stand by your side and support you and encourage you. I can only hope that I am as much of a friend to her as she is to me.  That goes for my other friends as well –  I hope you consider me a good friend, one that is there for you!

It’s been a difficult few months. I’m not making excuses, just telling it like it is. I’ve been down in the mullygrubs not knowing how to dig out. When I finally cried out for help, Misty was there for me. Being an author can be a lonely career that is often not supported by family or loved ones.  It takes a friend with the “Write Stuff” to get it, and she does.

I hope that each of you have a Misty in your life,  that will be there for you when you need it.  I hope  that you don’t find yourself in the pits as I have been,  but if you do, your friend(s) are there!

Write on my friends, write on!

I’m a Survivor


Hello!  Is anybody out there?

*tap tap tap*

I want to get off this crazy carousel that my life has been this past month! 

I had plans and goals –  they’ve been tossed out the window.  I’ve had intentions but we know how many roads are paved with those, right?

So, to catch you up to where things are with me:

  • Have been all but living at the hospital – ICU, waiting room, regular room, and now rehab center.
  • Have NOT had the focus nor the time to do any writing.
  • Have NOT made any progress on Fury, thus my release date will be pushed back.
  •  Have managed to piss off family – something  I seem to be a pro at.
  • Have been derailed from my progress with the green smoothies by existing on hospital cafeteria foods -yuck.

Now to get back on track, and take control back over at least part of our lives.

My BFF Misty referred me to an awesome video that I am going to share at the end, that really hit home with me. Thanks Misty,  I so needed that!

Life for the past few weeks has been in a complete state of turmoil. In any sort of family crisis, tensions are high and people lash out and blame others for everything.   Trust me,  I get it.  I understand why; still doesn’t make it right. So in addition to feeling emotionally like everyone’s whipping girl, the self-doubt, the self-criticism for failing to meet my goals had me at the bottom of the pit, not even daring to look up to see how far I had to climb out.

So what do you do when life deals you a raw hand? Do you lash out? Do you roll over and play dead? Do you take it? Blame others? OR do you set your face like flint and muster through it?

It’s never fun – never! Regardless of how you deal with it.  But how you deal with it is the most important single element to determining how your life will be in the future.

It’s not about what life deals you,  it’s how you deal with the life you’ve been given.

I so want to rant and out everyone’s indiscretions, their finger pointing,  the unfairness, but what will that help? NOTHING

Even when you feel that it’s a situation that you can’t overcome, you probably can but it’s going to come down to your attitude, and what you do with it.

I was sexually abused from age 3 to 10. THAT does NOT define me.  I let it overshadow me, make me feel like damaged goods,  like I was good for nothing for too many years until I learned not to be a victim.  I WAS a victim as a child,  but I am a SURVIVOR!

I faced rejection from my mother, and have had many other issues because of those roots of rejection.  BUT, that does not define me. My mother made her choices, as I have made choices to love and respect her and value the good in life. I WAS rejected by my mother, but I am a SURVIVOR! I want my children to know they were wanted, planned and are loved every day of their lives!

I was diagnosed with cancer, which completely turned my life on end. I WAS a cancer patient,  I AM a Survivor!

The current drama life is violently shoving in my face -amateur! You clearly don’t know who you are dealing with here. Let me clarify for you – I am a survivor! 

I will deal with whatever comes my way. As Kelly Clarkson sings – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller, Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter, footsteps even lighter, doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone.

I’m not going to roll over and play dead.  I’m not going to keep taking the hits and not fight back. If I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. Life deals us some tough blows, so I take the time to recover and get back up.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  Nobody does! but I will face it head on. Change is scary. Being the one to  make the necessary changes is scary. That’s OK. I’ve stared Cancer in the face.

I was going to play catch up on my A to Z Challenge for April, but that seemed less important than the motivational  words to shake off the muck and mire.  I hope you got something out of this.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

Research Pitfalls


I got a brilliant new idea. (See video from 2/5/19 post) However,  I don’t really know enough about the subject to write a believable story. I  would be willing to bet that you know what my time has been spent on the past few days, right?

Yep, research. Google can be an amaze-balls tool or a dangerous chasm of unhelpful information that never ends. Have you ever followed the search to those pages listed at the bottom? 2, 3, 4, 5, . . . 18? Talk about falling through a rabbit hole.

To be honest, most of the time I stick to the first page because those are the closest to my search words. If I don’t find what I want, I change my search words. This time, I clicked through the pages, finding the most helpful site on page 6.

I saved it to my bookmarked pages so that I can go back and reference it when I need it. More helpful than any site however was my friend. She answered questions I had, explained some terminology that I didn’t understand and walked me through the various forms of magic, witchcraft, spells, and all things witchy. At least I understand enough to get me started and I will check back with her frequently.  it helps that she is one of my beta readers so this time around, she will be my alpha reader and my consultant.

It’s more enjoyable to converse with someone who understands the subject you are interested in than visiting a static website. Live interaction trumps dry research any day. I wish we lived closer, although she would probably tire of me wanting to come over for coffee and talk her ear off daily.

I know several authors who have gleaned their information from people rather than researching online. Also, vice versa.  There are a few pitfalls when you rely solely on the internet or on books. Real life implementation of the topic may not actually be the same as documented. For instance,  if you are doing a police procedural and you are basing your story on what you’ve seen on TV,  you could be way off.

All I need to do now is reference a book of shadows. I happen to know where I can get my hands on one,  then I will be discussing it with my consultant.

How do you like to do your research? Do you think research is an important part of writing? Leave a comment below and click like,  if you like this post!

Go to Youtube to catch my latest vlogs as I often forget to upload them on here.

Write on my friends, write on!

Reading, Writing, or Living? #MFRW


This past week,  I think my answer would have to be – *drum roll*

LIVING.

I  admire my friend Vicki’s work ethic.  She is diligent to get her writing time in every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t. My goal is to write for an hour five days a week and spend my weekends with family and taking care of those domestic things.  It is treating writing like a business, a business that I work five days a week.

However, I know many authors who say you should write daily to stay in the habit.  There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a good habit.  So what about those parts related to an author’s life that aren’t exactly the drafting or writing stage? What about proofreading? What about editing? What about the brainstorm sessions for a new idea, or trying o figure out your plot?

There is a lot more to writing than the first draft. Here, in a nutshell, is the summation of my week.

Authors are just like everyone else.  Our lives consist of numerous aspects. Somebody has to do the dishes, the dish fairies never show up! Someone has to do the laundry, the laundry fairies don’t show up either.  Of course,  this is the part of life we often omit in books because who wants to see the character folding laundry? Nobody!

What have you been up to, reading, writing, or living? Let me know in the comments.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Certainly Not the Best of Times


Hello my lovelies!  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – scratch that. It certainly was NOT the best of times!

This year has not been a good year for me blogging,   but there are other things that  make it a good year. I sit and debate for several minutes before I begin a blog post after not blogging for a while. Do I catch you up with everything that is going on?  That would take hours and end up being a novel length entry. Do I hit the highlights? Do you care? Do I pretend everything is cool and carry on as if life was just rolling right along? 

I think my readers know me well enough to realize that I’m not once for pretenses, and I’m not going to pretend all is well. It’s better than it has been at times. After several false starts, more coffee, I’ve decided to do a year in review- sort of. Grab a cup of joe, or whatever your drink of choice may be and let’s jump right in. 

January – started off with a bang! I have 3 drafts in my queue that were never published – DOH! Got a flu shot for the first time in my life and guess what? Yup, got the flu.  Isn’t that ironic? I realize that the 2017-2018 flu vaccines were overall ineffective for the strains that we were hit with. Aren’t we the lucky ones????  I fully intended to participate in the #MFRW blog tour again, but after missing it a few times, I gave up.  I posted my modified goals for the year, which were:

Stuffitis is a serious issue here. But this year,  2018 –  the Year of the Dog, we are going with close to austere existence.  Minimalism is my new favorite word.

  • Minimize the clutter and stuff.
  • Minimize the clothes that no longer fit or suit me.
  • Minimize the pantry contents.
  • Minimize my schedule.
  • Minimize my measurements –  making progress on that one!!!!
  • Minimize the emotional baggage I’ve been carrying.
  • Minimize wasted time.

In fact, I’ve been pondering my word for this year.  I’ve seen several of my friends post here or there that their word for the year is. *fill in the blank*. I didn’t have a word.  I was looking for something spiritual I think, but yesterday it hit me like a 12-pound bowling ball on a rope –MINIMIZE!

I’m happy to say that I’ve made progress in most of those areas.

 We have moved boxes and boxes full of stuff out of our house. Numerous trips to Goodwill and multiple trash bins were filled. 

Six large bags of clothing were donated, given to friends, or thrown in the trash. (Because I had things that were basically worn out.)

Not being one to be wasteful,  we used what we had and didn’t replace. My pantry now looks more like a normal person’s and not a hoarder afraid the apocalypse is coming.

It is both humbling and freeing to acknowledge that I simply cannot run myself ragged or burn the candle at both ends. Much healthier too.

I lost my tape measure –  however, I am down 58 pounds.  It was 62,  but I had a backlash last month. I am down 3 sizes! For the first time in many years, I was able to shop in the junior miss department!

Part of clearing the emotional baggage is setting firm boundaries. I have set boundaries with some very negative people. I’ve been firm with practicing NO. I’ve been careful to not allow myself to get too tired to where the emotions get out of control.

YEah, still working on time management

 I stated that I was not going to talk about the cancer – I haven’t. As a matter of fact,  I haven’t talked about much of anything on my blog!

February I started off on a roll, with a few posts about writing,  managed a couple #MFRW posts, some food posts about my new eating plan, shared a few recipes, then my life was occupied with driving to and from appointment after appointment. In May, I shared the cover reveal for Tempting Fate anthology, which was released June 1. Then in August, I shared cover reveal and release of The Awakening, with 3 different cover changes.  I really wanted to use the one with my neice as the model on the front but Createspace and KDP had other ideas. Ahem, no bitter feelings here though, I ended up with a gorgeous cover so it’s all good. September was a good month –  we took our vacation to the beach, and attended Penned Con just one day after being in a multi car accident. 

October and November was head down working on my day job, focusing on the online training I was required to take. In November A Flashy & Frosty Christmas Anthology was released!  Let me just take a quick review –  that is 3 books released in 2018 as opposed to 1 a year since 2015.

Which brings us to December. . . 

I was notified Tuesday that  my position is being cut along with nearly 20% of the workforce for the company I have been working for. You can imagine my surprise when on December 11,  I find out that my last day is December 14. OUCH!

On the one hand, I’ll have more time to write ???!! Which as a reminder – 3 books this year! On the other hand, the one that always gets me in trouble, what am I going to do for income? I have health issues now because of the cancer,  and the cancer treatment. I still have a fair amount of fatigue – nothing like it was right after treatment,  but it can linger for years. So, Cancer patient, over 50, with health limitations – I was not prepared to lose my job or my purple office. Really,  I don’t even mind the purple. Alas, I have one day left to get my stuff out of the office. 

*HUGE SIGH* One thing is for sure,  I’ll get through it somehow. I mean after all, if cancer didn’t take me out, nor did a semi truck creasing the side of my car, nor a head on collision, . . . this tough ol’bird will survive a reduction in force job cut. 

On that note,  I have a big surprise both tomorrow (FRiday, December 14, and Saturday December 15) so stay tuned! BTW –  it’s good to be back!

Write on my friends, write on!

Whirlwind I tell you, a whirlwind!


Did I read that right???

Was it really August 31 when I last posted????  OMG! I knew I was in a funk but seriously? Holy Moly!!

Wow,  I really don’t even have an excuse for that except the funk and I’ve had my head down, trying to work amongst other things.

So, if there are any of you out there still following . . . THANK YOU!

We have a lot to catch up on,  so settle in,  get your coffee, tea, soda, beer, scotch on the rocks,  . . . or whatever rocks your boat.

I guess I got some ‘splainin’ to do!

The short story – it’s been hell trying to overcome the side effects of the cancer meds,  which apparently have a cumulative effect that worsens over time.

the longer-ish version:

I basically decided that my limited energies needed to be focused on writing and preparing for Penned Con, and the newest one, which you will hear about tomorrow and other requirements with the day job.

Alright Misty, fine! I’ll give a few more details for those who are curious if there is anyone listening anymore. It’s been a whirlwind!  A whirlwind I tell you!

August was difficult.

September:

Trying to get my books ordered in time for Penned Con turned out to be a bleeding nightmare! First off, if you all recall I had this beautiful cover:

My great niece Savanna was the cover model whom I planned to use for the entire series. However,  the image became pixelated in print with my ARC copies. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work.  Then,  there was the whole Createspace transitioning to KDP fiasco.  So of course,  I needed a new format file.  It wasn’t just me,  but every author transitioning to KDP.

I’m hoping to still use some images of Savanna in the future,  but had to let this one go with great regret. However,  my cover artist did a redesign and I love it.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?  Then there were issues with the interior files,  my computer was having a big crisis with running out of memory.  Like I had time to transfer files and delete files while trying to meet a deadline!  Why do computers pick the worst time for their breakdowns?  I mean it isn’t like it doesn’t get enough attention daily!

Ergghh! September is the time they do maintenance on the pool at our local gym, so I had to find alternate forms of entertainment, I mean exercise!

September 9 through the 15th was our long-awaited vacation. I cannot tell you how badly I needed this! Well,  I can. I needed it like I need air! Like a fish needs water! So the perfect combination of course,  is the salt air!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course,  do you think I got a complete reprieve from feeling sick?  I wish!  Wednesday was spent in bed at the hotel room.  At least I could look out the window to the ocean and remind myself that feeling sick in Florida was better than feeling sick in the Midwest sauna we call home.  I gotta be honest here,  I thought when I finished radiation that it would be a relative straight line to wellness.  Was I ever wrong!

Back home in the suburbs of St. Louis,  I had a few days to pack and prep for Penned Con! On Tuesday my books still had not arrived and I was beginning to think this was going to be a waste of time, but they arrived on Wednesday!

Guess what else happened on Wednesday?  Go ahead,  you’ll never guess.

I drove my sister to the eye doctor, the retinal institute in South County area of St. Louis.  While I was in the waiting room I got the notice that my books arrived – Yay!  Then I looked outside at the blackening sky.  It was so dark,  the street lights came on at two in the afternoon. The wind was whipping around like crazy, and I was driving ridiculously slow because visibility was very limited.  I told my sister we are going to have to pull off somewhere soon because I couldn’t see.  ( She is blind in one eye and they had given her a shot in the other basically making her fully blind at that point)

The rain let up a little,  but since it hadn’t rained in a while,  I knew the roads would be slick so I was being extremely cautious. Then all of a sudden,  there are cars stopped in the road in front of me.  I hit the brakes!  I managed to stop before hitting the car in front of me – whew!  But then, an SUV hit me from behind/driver’s side pushing me into the third lane, which pushed me in the path of a tractor-trailer. As if that wasn’t enough, a pickup rear-ended me, then we felt a few more bumps as the cars behind him piled up. You can’t make this stuff up –

20 Car Pile-up on I-55

 

What was left of my car.  It was a total loss.  Both my sister and I got a very expensive ride in the ambulance to the ER.

Thank God we are both relatively OK aside from the trauma,  bruises and anxiety, and well,  the loss of my car.  This was before the paramedics arrived, a nurse who had just got off work rushed to us to see if we were ok.

NOT HOW I WANTED TO SPEND THE REST OF MY DAY!

Well,  that brings us up to the day before Penned Con 2018, and a good place to leave off.  I’ll catch you up more the next time.

Until then,  here’s a DEAL for you:

The Awakening

Write on my friends, write on!

Connections


IN case you wondered, I”m not dead!

My internet has been. We had a series of storms come through and it knocked out power. When we got our power back,  we realized that we didn’t have any internet. It’s been weeks!

I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I had become. Yes,  I ‘ve had very real withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to go to local businesses to use their wifi in order to finish work related business. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic about this. I’ve had to budget my time a little differently is all.

It’s still not working correctly,  but my husband has managed to “redneck fix” it. NO duct tape was involved.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

My new book just released. I’ve not been able to get on to order print books to have available. I ordered a few for prizes from release parties,  but that’s it. Then I find out that 2 recipients did not receive their prize packages –  but USPS tracking says they were delivered. I get it,  we have our mail delivered to wrong addresses all the time. It’s still frustrating though.

You’d think with all this time offline,  I’d have volumes written,  but I don’t.  I have made progress on the second book, and I’m in chapter 6.  I may start sharing some snippets from both – don’t even know if anyone would be interested in them.

I’ve taken my connections for granted, I’ll be the first to admit. I like having my wifi connections.  I like being able to scroll through my tablet from the comfort of my sofa.  I like being able to check facebook with my morning coffee.  I like being able to write a blog post when I have something to say – which is often. OF course, you’d never know it from the past few weeks, now would you?

So, I plan to get back into the saddle as soon as things get straightened out,  but in the meantime,  I have to budget my online time between the library and our local YMCA. After spending an hour and a half in my aquacize class, spending another couple of hours sitting in their lobby is not my idea of a good time. Besides,  I’m hungry after the classes!

Until next time,  be thankful you have internet!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

To, Two, Too – Which One?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still dealing with the malaise from medications, but trying to get on top of it.

Today and for this week I thought I’d talk about frequently misused words. We all do it, be honest.

It’s  – its has been my latest issue.  I thought everything was good to go on my newest release and just a couple of days ago a friend pointed out that I had it’s on my back cover blurb instead of its.  EEEEEEEK! I got so excited about the design and finishing this book that I didn’t read my own blurb, just glanced over it.

That’s just one example which is only noticed in print. HOw many times though,  have we been in conversation with someone and they misuse a word, or habitually misuse the same word.  Do you correct their grammar or just cringe a little inside? NO? Just me?

Here are some that I’ve heard frequently misused.

• Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Correct: “There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”

• Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.

Correct: “I appraised the jewels for the insurance coverage.” / “I apprised him of the situation.”

• As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.

Correct: “As far as the money is concerned …” / As for the money …

• Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.

Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.

• Cliché is a noun and is not an adjective.

Correct: “Shakespeare used a lot of clichés.” / The plot was so clichéd.

• Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.

Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.

• Data is a plural count noun not, standardly speaking, a mass noun. [Note: “Data is rarely used as a plural today, just as candelabra and agenda long ago ceased to be plurals,” Pinker writes. “But I still like it.”]

Correct: “This datum supports the theory, but many of the other data refute it.”

• Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.

Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.

• Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean difference or discrepancy.

Correct: There is a dichotomy between even and odd numbers. / There is a discrepancy between what we see and what is really there.

• Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]

Correct: The enormity of the terrorist bombing brought bystanders to tears. / The enormousness of the homework assignment required several hours of work.

• Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.

Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.

• Homogeneous is pronounced as homo-genius and “homogenous” is not a word but a corruption of homogenized.

Correct: The population was not homogeneous; it was a melting pot.

• Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.

Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We’re homing in on a solution.

• Intern (verb) means to detain or to imprison and does not mean to inter or to bury.

Correct: The rebels were interned in the military jail. / The king was interred with his jewels.

• Ironic means uncannily incongruent and does not mean inconvenient or unfortunate.

Correct: “It was ironic that I forgot my textbook on human memory.” / It was unfortunate that I forgot my textbook the night before the quiz.

• Irregardless is not a word but a portmanteau of regardless and irrespective. [Note: Pinker acknowledges that certain schools of thought regard “irregardless” as simply non-standard, but he insists it should not even be granted that.]

Correct: Regardless of how you feel, it’s objectively the wrong decision. / Everyone gets a vote, irrespective of their position.

• Literally means in actual fact and does not mean figuratively.

Correct: I didn’t mean for you to literally run over here. / I’d rather die than listen to another one of his lectures — figuratively speaking, of course!

I can’t tell you how many times I find these in editing, which is easy to mark for correction but when they are used in conversation . . . Irregardless is a major pet peeve with me. It seems to be the standard thing from several people lately.  I don’t know if this is a local colloquialism or just general misinformation but the grammar nazi in me wants to correct them every time.

What words do you commonly misuse? Which ones set your hackles up when others misuse them?

Tomorrow is the big day – come back and check here tomorrow.

Until then, write on my friends, write on!