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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Something New


At times I long for something new.
As a vagabond I'd love to dabble,
with exotic lands to wander through.

That's why I often seek to travel.
Visit wondrous shores so very far.
Stroll barefoot on North Sea gravel.

Or one day soon see Myanmar,
the stunning Padauk golden flower,
shop for spice in a Yangon bazaar.

Experience rain of a tropical shower,
photograph a troop of kangaroo,
see the view from Skytree Tower.

J.A.Scott

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Never Seen It, Never Done It, Never Bought the T-Shirt

R.a.n.t. of week 02/22/15
I talked a few weeks ago about being put in a box. I dislike being put in a box because I'm more than what I appear and have many interests. Certainly more than some of my family and friends seem to know. I recall one friend finding it odd I was in love with demolition derbies because I've never appeared to be an auto lover. A few times this has even happened to me and various members of my family. Do people naturally assume someone is uninterested because they never discuss it? The point is, I can have an interest even if I don't mention it. There can be various reasons for this, but the main reason is I never find an opening to discuss the particular subject. And even if I have an interest, I may not go when there is an event focusing on the subject. I find myself missing out on these events because I'm a person who does not like doing things alone. Yes, this surprises some people because I've travelled to Europe alone. But Europe is an exception rather than the rule. And when I hear people talking of their favourite restaurants they are surprised when I say I've never been there. It doesn't mean I don't have an interest in the restaurant, I just don't like going to restaurants alone. Same as with going to, say, an auto show. Though I'm sure I'd enjoy going, invariably I find going alone is never as much fun as when going with someone. The second time I went to Europe, I went with a friend. Some of my favourite times are reliving the experiences with him. I have no one I can be nostalgic with regarding my first trip. Because I went alone. Perhaps next time I talk with my friend about our trip, I'll bring up a few things I did on my trip and pass it off as something we both did. I'll just blame his memory when he doesn't recall going to the top of the Eiffel Tower with me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Editing

When I use the word 'about',
I get enraged and want to shout.
Or when describing, I say 'very',
but it's a word I long to bury.
Certain words I use 'a lot',
but usually best if they're forgot.
My brain will often sneak in 'that'.
Taunting me, it's such a brat.
And umpteen times I see 'just',
another word I do not trust.
This problem I have always 'had',
but correcting makes my readers glad.
Yes, now you know what I 'think',
laziness makes my writing stink.
I edit tedious words like 'really',
And let creativity flow more freely.
Clarifying what I 'began',
Editing is a constant plan.

J.A.Scott

Sunday, February 15, 2015

R.A.N.T. About A Lot of Very Bad Words That I Kind Of Just Really Hate When Editing

R.a.n.t. of week 02/15/15
Almost 30 years ago I wrote a short story series. The story consisted of two parts of four stories each. Recently, I've been thinking of the story and reread it. I was horrified when I realized how much editing work needs to be done. The writing was far from concise and even simple sentences were horrific run-ons. So this week, I've compiled a top 10 list of words I keep an eye on when doing my editing work. Do you find yourself overusing any of these words? Are there different words on your editing list?


ABOUT
Problem: This is a word I frequently over use resulting in sloppy, lazy writing.
Example 1 - Erick said, "What are you talking about? That never happened."
Example 2 - "I thought about how excited you were to get that assignment." Vicki replied.

Solution: Perhaps they can be written this way.
Example 1 - Erick says, "I don't understand. When did that happen?"
Example 2 - "I suddenly realized how excited you were to get the assignment," Vicki replied.
Example 3 - Blog header: A LOT OF VERY BAD WORDS THAT I KIND OF JUST REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


VERY
This is a very bad word that is very much over used. I hate it very much. Very sloppy and unimaginative.
Example 1 - "It's just another computer." Kenny replies not very impressed.
Example 2 - "She wasn't very happy when I originally told her I wanted to join the newspaper team."

Deleting the word forces a more creative way of expressing my thoughts.
Example 1 - "It's another computer," Kenny says unimpressed.
Example 2 - "She wasn't enthusiastic when I told her I was joining the newspaper.
Example 3 - Blog header: A LOT OF WORDS THAT I KIND OF JUST REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


A LOT
What does a lot mean? (Also notice it's two words). Is a lot of pennies in a dollar the same amount as a person who eats a lot of hamburgers during the week?
Example 1 - Mrs. Wright seems to appreciate this attitude a lot better.
Example 2 - "I suppose you and Jenni will be spending a lot of time together."

Explain what 'a lot' really means or simply delete it.
Example 1 - Mrs. Wright appreciated Erick's sudden change of attitude.
Example 2 - "I suppose this means you and Jenni will be spending a couple hours together every week?"
Example 3 - Blog header: 10 WORDS THAT I KIND OF JUST REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


THAT
Another word adding nothing to the sentence. It cheapens whatever you are discussing.
Example 1 - "Andrea is the only one that seems to have a problem with me."
Example 2 - "What was it that broke the camels back?"

The sentence can be rewritten to sound better and with more meaning.
Example 1 - "Only Andrea has a problem with me."
Example 2 - "What finally broke the camels back?"
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I KIND OF JUST REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


JUST
If something just happens, it happens right then and there. But do you need to say something just happened if you are already describing it's happening?
Example 1 - "I'm just glad I finally ended it."
Example 2 - "I think I've just lost my appetite."

Deleting 'just' makes the sentence flow better.
Example 1 - "I'm glad I finally ended it."
Example 2 - "That's disgusting! Now I've lost my appetite."
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I KIND OF REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


KIND OF
Would you want someone to kind of give an explanation to you? It's a fuzzy statement, what does it mean exactly?
Example 1 - "I thought maybe she'd give me some kind of indication."
Example 2 - "It really is a must for anyone wanting to get into any kind of entertainment field."

Flesh out what 'kind of' actually means or just get rid of it.
Example 1 - "I hoped she'd tell me whether you aced the test or failed."
Example 2 - "It's a must for anyone looking to become a professional comedian."
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING


REALLY
Like 'very', I really really hate this word. Using really is lazy writing.
Example 1 - "We really need to talk."
Example 2 - "I used to go out with her and we really don't get along any more."

Be more creative with your descriptions.
Example 1 - "You better sit down. We have to talk and you are not going to like it."
Example 2 - "We use to go out and saying we don't get along is an understatement."
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I HATE WHEN EDITING


BEGAN
I begin to cringe every time I see myself using this. Wait no, I don't begin to do it, then stop. I actually do it. This word should never be used if it describes something still happening.
Example 1 - People began to gather around to watch the demonstration.
Example 2 - She began to develop strong feelings for him the past few weeks.
Example 3 - Kenny began pointing at Erick and laughing hysterically.

Normally a person doesn't begin something, then suddenly stop. When they do something, they do it.
Example 1 - People gathered to watch the demonstration.
Example 2 - During the past few weeks Vicki developed stronger feelings for him.
Example 3 - Kenny pointed at Erick, laughing hysterically.


THINK
If a person is telling you about something, do they also have to tell you they are thinking about it?
Example 1 - "Why do you think she blames you?"
Example 2 - "I think Jenni will be able to help you."
Example 3 - "Do you think I care any more?"

Sometimes it's better to do something instead of thinking about it. Also, asking what a person thinks is redundant. When they reply, you'll know what they think.
Example 1 - "Why does she still blame you?"
Example 2 - "I'm assigning Jenni to help you."
Example 3 - "I give up. I don't care any more.


HAD
This word implies you no longer have whatever you are referring to. I have a problem using it when I shouldn't.
Example 1 - "I thought we had an honest relationship."
Example 2 - Erick did comply despite all the nonsense she had put him through.
Example 3 - Erick begins to tell Vicki what had just happened to him.

Rewrite so the sentence doesn't imply the situation no longer exists.
Example 1 - "Don't we have an honest relationship?"
Example 2 - Erick complied despite the nonsense she puts him through.
Example 3 - Erick starts explaining to Vicki what happened earlier but suddenly stops, not wanting to bring up Jenni again.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Missing

Searching,
looking,
for a love unknown.

Missing,
lost,
are you there?

Bitter,
jaded,
left alone.

Single,
wretched,
who will care?

J.A.Scott

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Missing Piece

R.a.n.t. of week 02/08/15
Years ago, (should I admit it was about 40?) I recall thoroughly enjoying a book called the Missing Piece. It was an interesting tale of a 'Pac-Man' looking creature who never felt complete because he was missing a piece. So off he went, in search of what he was missing. But when he found his missing piece, he discovered he didn't really need it and was better off without it. He was fine just the way he was. Sometimes I feel, not like the creature in search of the missing piece, but the actual missing piece. Let's look at the book from his perspective. Here he was, broken off and alone. Then suddenly found he was where he fitted in perfectly. But then, he is abandoned as not being needed. More often than not, I feel like the missing piece others have cast off as not being needing. This can occur in any situation. When this happens at work, you are redundant and let go. But that's another problem and fortunately I have not had to deal with that. However, when you feel like the missing piece when among your friends or family it can be traumatic. How do you deal with that? Mind you, I don't always feel that way, but there are many times in certain situations when I feel I am redundant to my friends or family. When they seem to get along fine without me or I'm not needed. Sometimes I feel I'm the only one who tries to maintain whatever the relationship is. No one likes to feel they are not needed, or unimportant. Sometimes you just want to feel needed, wanted or special to someone. True, at times it all works out in the end, but not always. And the times when it's not working out can really hurt. Then suddenly you realize you are the one missing a piece.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chicago Parking

I am sane,
I'll park my car.
And never leave the door ajar.

On the street,
I see a spot.
Sign says parking allowed is not.

Circle then,
around I go.
Hope to park before the show.

Once again,
I turn around.
Profanities now, my only sound.

Concerts done,
still I drive.
This is circle fifty-five.

I like eggs,
the number plaid.
I think I've gone a little mad.

J.A.Scott