Thursday, March 22, 2012

review trolls

     Beware the review trolls lurking in the shadows, stalking the web for fresh new books to sink their claws into.  Why call them trolls you may ask? Simple. They are the most vial, wicked, nasty, slimy, viscous, evil creatures out there if you are an author seeking an honest review of your pride, and joy book. They are trolls because they don't bother to even read the book they are allegedly reviewing. Trolls can't read. And, skimming through a book looking for pictures doesn't count. Trolls are dumb, stupid, grotesque creatures that want nothing more than to ruin an authors chances for success jealous that they were unable to write anything in coherent sentences themselves. You will know if a troll has posted a review of your work by the way they complain about parts of the story that don't exist anywhere except for in the infantile imagination of their puny troll brain. If you have been a victim of a troll review please tell your friends, and band together to rid the intellectual community of these dark beasts. Our strength is in our numbers, and the trolls are now on notice. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

GOOD COP BAD COP

Some of you who have reviewed my back round know that I spent a number of years in the service of a particular police agency. Some of the finest people I ever had the pleasure to know worked with me. At the time psychology was a hobby of mine. I used it to understand my surroundings, and the people around me. I wanted to know what deep seeded motivations drove people to do a job that is for most intolerable. I'm not talking about the modern day Roman Centurions patrolling their assigned area dolling out tickets to raise revenue for their masters. That's where they all start. Granted that's all some of them will ever do, but no I'm referring to the ones who try to catch the real baddies out there. In an unprecedented study of seven years devoted to observation, and informal interviews I've come up with four types of cops. In no particular order here they are. First, is The Bully Cop. They imposed their will when they were younger, and they look at having a badge, and gun as a way to impose themselves now. They walk with a swagger sometimes trading their issued side arm for a larger, flashy one. They will shout down a citizen, and are fast to react violently. But, they are usually really good at giving out tickets on a daily basis. Often setting new department records.  Type two is The Coward Cop. These people have a genuine fear of society. Afraid of strangers, afraid of who might have a gun. Fearful of burglars, of car jackers, of dogs. They are not the ones you want pulling you over for a speeding ticket as one wrong move on your part, and you'll find yourself full of holes. They often perform their jobs with gusto providing they have backup. Otherwise they will avoid confrontation. The third is The Drifter Cop. These people usually have a military back round.  They applied to various departments, and companies after the service and their police agency just happened to call first. They passed all the tests, and now they're cops. They're generally laid back, easy going, sociable people.  They won't volunteer to do too much, but they will go with you to a local bar for a beer. The forth type is The Hero Cop. These are the ones driving the tires off of their cars to get to the scene first. They often had  a positive experience when they were younger involving law enforcement, and are looking to return the favor. They want to do the job because they're looking to make a difference. They are usually very helpful. So, there you are. Take it for what it's worth.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lets talk editing

     Seems to me there are two sides of an argument here.  Either one is on the side of editing is king, therefore nothing else matters, or one is on the side of anything but editing is important. Unfortunately for both sides it's not that black, and white. As with all arguments, and  with all subject matters with any importance at all; there are many shades of grey.  Lets take the editing is king crowd first. These people look at a work of writing,of perhaps any kind, from an article in the newspaper containing their favorite comic strips, to a novel by a well known author, with much more than passing interest. It's an obsession. They look for errors because they either can't help not to, or they make it their life's work to nit pick someone else's stuff. They may not be up to the task of putting a book together themselves, so they turn to what is easier for them, clinging to the right, and wrong of what they were taught, instead of using the imagination they were born with. They may not have the spark of creative genius, to render  anything in writing, so as to contribute to the knowledge, the very fabric of intellectual material making up the writing world.  They are perhaps editors themselves, or worse college students who think that because they've got a college professor teaching them how to use punctuation, and review lines for grammatical errors that they suddenly know everything about it. Or, tragically they feel that they are in a position, to preach to the rest of the world, how wrong the rest of us are. But, if we would only look to them for guidance, they will fix everything. Never mind, the fact that school boards meet every year, and I do mean college educators meet every single year, to discuss among themselves how to use, and teach the use of writing, and punctuation. The use of the comma, colon, and semi colon simply cannot be decided, and thus, they're use changes each year. Any one who has talked to their college English professor about grammar should already know this. These people too cannot be defined in black, or white terms because they could be anybody with an interest in editing, or a will to discover what was previously perceived to not exist. Mistakes. It's only natural. It's human. We have an inner drive to discover what isn't there. Each of us. It's not a failing. It's to be admired. It's how we humans built civilizations, and have gone to the moon after all. It's  that can do attitude to find a solution, and if there isn't one than to create it that's won wars. That's spawned inventions that have made our lives easier, and more enjoyable. So, lets now look at the other side shall we. Those that either do not hold editing in such high regard, either because they, heaven forbid, don't care, or because they simply don't know that much about it to do so with any effectiveness. These are the free writers. Those who can spin a tale. Those with a natural ability to simply sit, and talk from sun up to sun down. Those who's stories have captured the imaginations of people the world over. Those who's works will stand the test of time. These are the one's under constant scrutiny from the other side. So what can these people do. if they even care to avoid such criticism? It's up to them isn't it? Damn right. In order to avoid the editing correct crowd they must pursue perfection in editing their works. However, since the rules for editing change year after year perfection can never be obtained. This makes any criticism what so ever completely pointless, and meaningless. I mean spelling is a given. That's something everyone can fix. We have dictionaries for that. Please do reference a dictionary in book form instead of looking up your words on line as much of what is online may be wrong. It should be a mission of the writer to put forth their very best work for public consumption. That is in keeping with the traditions of their chosen craft. Some have an advantage in that others will edit their work for them.  Some have entire teams of editors working on their stuff. Honestly, I have reviewed books edited allegedly by fifteen different editor types, and still found mistakes.  Only one good one that knows what they are doing is necessary. So whether your with a huge company, or independent odds are equal in getting it right. For the writer can also teach themselves the finer points of editing because all the information in current, and past use is available on line for free. Just be aware that this free information like the dictionary may be wrong.  If however you the writer fall into the trap of putting your trust into anyone, but yourself to edit your material before it is released than I'm sorry to say the repercussions are all yours. You must be the one to review your work last. And, you must maintain control of how it looks, and how it's put together if you wish to be happy with what is out there with your name on it. I know of some people who have made it their life's work to create small publishing companies promising hopeful authors the world only to find that they were thieves. And, when things went wrong, when they broke with their hopeful author, when they sent back the files containing said author's hopes, and dreams, they had someone riddle it with spelling, and grammatical errors first. This happens more than anyone knows. And, some e book distributors will replace the sabotaged copies once they are redone, and some will not. So beware of such things, and always, always be the last to see your stuff before it goes out. Now, I think that just about covers it for me.  I hope this was helpful to someone, anyone who may be struggling with themselves trying to figure where they are in this global crisis. I was taught by my English professor to use a book titled a writers reference which is full of rules for punctuation. Keeping in mind she was the one who told me about the meetings each year, and it was the book being utilized for that year.  I however only followed said rules sparingly here. Feel free to edit me. I know where the mistakes are, but it would be fun for me to see what you come up with. Good luck, and best wishes to you all whatever side you are on.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Evie is at it again. She left IPCA to have a normal life with her not so normal boyfriend Lend. But, when her old boss Raquel tracks her down, and offers her reemployment our bored to death with normal life Evie just can't refuse. Ahh, but she's still an empty one, and all the paranormal world may still hold a destiny for her. She tries to pick, and choose missions she really has no choice in, avoid the ever persistent faery Reth, and juggle her school, work, and social life in the real world. Evie finds having her cake, and eating it too difficult to say the least. Evie takes us with the help of a mischievous boy named Jack on adventure after adventure dodging trolls, socking vamps, and avoiding the Unseelie queen's Ire, well almost. She had a nice boat. Evie is endearing with snarky comments you'd picture a teenage girl to make, an emotional basket case, a loyal friend, and a fierce fighter. One of the greatest joys of reading is to be drawn into the story, and picture yourself right there with the characters. To see what they see, and to experience what they feel. Kiersten accomplishes this brilliantly.  I enjoyed this as much as the first, and look forward to a third.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

A wonderful departure from reality's normality. That best sums up this unique world of IPCA a group of agents tasked with locating, tagging, and bagging paranormal creatures the world over. And the star of this organization, the only person on earth to see through the glamors these creatures show the rest of us to hide their true natures is a pretty, young girl. An orphan who had been taken in by the agency, who has been trained, and who has worked for all her known years. A teenager who longs for a normal life in high school, with classes, and gossip, and her very own locker. A girl named Evie. Using faery paths to travel, a pink teaser only she could carry, and trying desperately to act like a normal teen despite falling for a guy made of water, and trying to avoid a faery named Reth who wants her for himself. Evie fights to save paranormals from being slaughtered by a fire girl who oddly enough glows with the same luminescence that's on her own heart, and wrists thanks to Reth. Whether part of a grand scheme, or whether she can do anything at all to stop the killing this young lady takes the reader on an epic journey far away from reality. The reading smooth, and easy on the eyes, as well as the mind, and flows like water. I am now a fan, and will own all this writer puts forth.  A quick history lesson.  The word (faery) spelled this way is the archaic form of the word. It isn't wrong. It's one of those precious few words with different spellings. Modern English spells it fairy. They are one in the same, and make  reading charming. Keltic is another one. Much of faery lore comes from Ireland. Kiersten incorperates both in this truely enjoyable series.