Wrestling with Grammar

Years ago, when I was in fifth grade, I had to take part in a spelling bee. It was a classroom only affair. Everyone stood then, one by one, the teacher asked each of us to spell a single word. If you got it wrong, you sat down.

I hated the pressure. I hated all the eyes on me. I hated the word that took me down. It was grammar. My teacher, Mr. Innis, said it wasn’t “grandma” so I went ahead and spelled grandma instead.

I had to sit.

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Evolving Opinions

Almost twenty years ago or maybe even longer … I remember attending a writing group with my then girlfriend. At the time, I was pursuing filmmaking (and screenwriting). Still, every once and awhile, I’d attended my girlfriend’s workshop fiction groups.

Every so often, I’d bring a screenplay with me and no one would know how to workshop it being that everyone was focused on fiction.

One of these sessions was at this bearded man’s house. That’s all I remember of him. Yet twenty years I can still see the outline of his face. He was a strange man, a science fiction lover and could tell a good story or two. I guess that’s why I’m writing about him today.

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One File Format to Rule Them All

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away, I discovered a word processor (well, my parents bought one) and I felt my imaginative world open in front of me. I was no longer limited by the typewriter and could write – and edit – all my terrible stories without having to rewrite entire pages.

I wrote every idea that came to mind and when I was thirteen, I got the idea of writing a novella – which I finished, but never polished. Everything was saved on floppy disks and I made copies and copies, fearing to lose a single tale.

In time, my parents changed word processors and in doing so, I ran into my first real pain point of the digital age — incompatible file formats. Loading up my old stories brought forth cryptic error messages and what was once super easy to access was then gated behind a file format.

Thirty something years later, things haven’t gotten any better. In fact, I’d say, things have gotten worse.

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Dreams Abhor Light

So you got an awesome idea … you want to work on a screenplay, or you’ve been bitten by the YouTube bug and want to start producing videos. Maybe you have an idea about a novel, or even a series of them.

This moment can be very empowering and exciting. You are about to set off on adventure that will take months, maybe even years to complete and who knows what opportunities await on the other side?

And then what do you do? You announce to the world your plans to do this magical thing. This is a bad thing.

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Happy Earth Day

There’s nothing like a good rant to celebrate Earth Day. I don’t know why that is so … maybe because I think of rants as a type of verbal compost of sorts. 😀

But here’s the thing … I hate it when people tell me to save the Earth. Or to treat the Earth like I’d want to be treated. Or to basically view the Earth as a person.

The Earth is not a person. It’s an amazing thing, but it’s not a sentient being of any sorts. It’s a planet – one of billions – that has an atmosphere lots of water, and well, us. The fact is, if the Earth were a person, then it’s currently taking a nap and that’s a good thing because if we look into the Earth’s past, it wasn’t always pretty.

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Fewer words

Just recently, I saw this tweet by Mike Davis.

Typically, tweets fall into three categories for me: interesting, funny, or non-existant. I like Twitter in that I can laser target things that interest me, but if a tweet falls outside that spectrum, it’s like reading blank paper ie, white space.

If I find someone producing too much “white space”, I just stop following or in the case where unfollowing will produce political results, I just mute them.

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