The Slurvians are Among Us!

panicLast week I received an email from a grade school teacher and friend asking for gently used clothes and household items. She went on to explain that these “hammy downs” would be used to help “diss dressed” families. (Of course, if these families were dissed for the way they dressed, I’m not sure any of my contributions would help.)

Then, over the weekend I read a newspaper health column about the dangers of high blood pressure. It seems that if you leave it untreated you could be susceptible to “my grain headaches.” (It wasn’t clear to me whether that was related to being allergic to gluten, but it certainly made me rethink my choice of having cereal for breakfast.)

While this is only two of the most recent incidents, it made me realize that the Slurvians were here, and they were beginning to take over. In fact, if you take the time to notice, you’ll find evidence of them almost everywhere.

Go out to Google and check…there are 202,000 results for “lactose and tolerant,” 178,000 for “all in tents and purposes” (and that wasn’t including the camping stores), and 16,000 hits for “infer structure.”

It’s the Slurvians…they’re taking the English language and turning it into…well, Slurvian. They’re hell-bent on taking our beloved English language and twisting it into something strange and bizarre. They have no regard for tradition, rules, or structure. They can take the simplest of words and phrases and make them into something unrecognizable.

We have to band together and stay strong. It’s the only way to keep the language safe. The difficulty is in recognizing these Slurvians. They’re insidious and clever, yet completely normal looking. They could be your friend, your co-worker, or your next-door-neighbor. But, no matter how innocuous they seem, you can’t trust them. If you’re not careful, they’ll take over your writing and turn you into a Slurvian, too.

 

[With special thanks to Richard Lederer, who introduced the term “Slurvian” in his 1987 Dell book Anguished English.]

The Whisperers…

healer
A swirl of energy guides me nowadays

Is it positive thinking, or just a foolish refusal to face reality? I wish I knew.

There’s an energy flow that is swirling around me right now that no matter how hard I try to ignore, I just can’t. It’s an odd energy (for me) to deal with. You see, I consider myself a realist, and sometimes even a bit of a pessimist. I may joke about striking it rich someday, but in my own mind I know I’ll always be a worker bee, not a lady of leisure.

Yet, whenever I turn my focus to my novel and everything I still need to do to get it ready for publishing, that glimmer of energy starts up again. I feel as if someone is whispering in my ear, giving me gentle nudges, and helping me find the right steps along my path.

Sometimes what they whisper to me is cautions and reminders (like “remember to check the subplot to ensure that it was picked up properly by all the participants”), and other times it’s reassurances such as when I start doubting myself (and I do that a lot). And I know you could say that it’s just my own inner voice talking to me, but that’s just it…it’s not. I’ve heard my inner voice, and it doesn’t sound like this. Especially, the reassuring voice that has been helping to keep me calm and on track.

When it comes to time issues, I’m very much an impatient, DO IT RIGHT NOW type of person. Yet, every time I feel that person starting to emerge, this gentle, calming voice whispers to me and my impatience seems to fall apart and dissipate…but only in relation to The Book. The voice doesn’t whisper to me when I’m sitting in traffic and ticked off about being late for my doctor’s appointment; nor is it there when I’m standing in line waiting at the grocer’s when I’d rather be outside enjoying the lovely sunshine.

It’s all about The Book lately, and I’m not sure why. But something inside of me, along side of me, watching over me, keeps telling me that this book is different. This book is important. And no matter how many times I say to myself, “…but it’s just a novel…”, that whisperer responds that it isn’t just anything, that it’s much more than I realize.

Now, don’t get me wrong…this whisperer isn’t telling me that The Book will make me rich; it’s not even saying that The Book will make me famous. However, the feeling I get is that there is something important about the story I wrote; something that needs to be told. It’s as if the story I wrote and the events occurring now in our world are somehow intertwined. Yet, the book doesn’t even take place on Earth, but [shrug]…I don’t know. I can’t really explain it, and I make my living using words to explain things so that others can understand. But this…well how do you explain something, you’re not really clear on yourself?

I guess I’ll just keep plodding along, following my path, and letting the whisperers help me along…after all, they haven’t led me astray at least so far.

So, if you see someone standing in the middle of the sidewalk, head cocked to the side as if listening to someone who isn’t there…it’s probably someone (like me) listening to his or her “guides” whisper directions and suggestions.

Front Cover Concept for The Starstone
Front Cover Concept for The Starstone

 

Oooh, a new marketing toy…

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I decided to use my time to research ways of incorporating blatant ads into my blog. I know, I know…no one likes commercials. But let’s face it, if I don’t push my books, who will?

I may never make a living off of them, but I’m still proud of them, and want to share the information. So, I tried creating a short audio…I know the quality’s not great, but I thought I did pretty well for being over tired, bleary-eyed, and up waaaay past my bedtime.

try this

I also played around with a free presentation software available from Google. The results are fairly basic, and hardly of the quality of most of the vids available on YouTube, but then again, it’s my first attempt, too. So, have listen, take a look…

Book synopsis

escortingcover

Can you hear me now?

liteningI lost my voice 2 days ago. I’ve looked everywhere for it, but it’s just not here.

I think it went on holiday…can’t say as how I blame it. I mean, it’s not like I ever really let it out much. Most of my communication is (and always has been) via my writing–letters, emails, notes, texts, stories, books. I seldom actually speak. I can go a whole week and only speak to one person (my husband)…and yes, I do have a full-time, 9-to-5, corporate job. However, even with the full-time employment, I communicate via email, post-its, and other means of written documentation.

It’s strange, to me, though. I thought I would miss having my voice, but I really don’t. A few more people (than normal) think I’m rather stuffy and snooty because I didn’t respond to their “hellos” as we passed in the hallway (well, I did respond, just not verbally…I twiddled my fingers or nodded to them). But overall, being unable to speak hasn’t really changed my life at all. My husband is enjoying the brief respite, and my cell bill may be a bit higher since I’m unable to use the phone feature and have to rely on texting and email instead. But, then (as I said), that was always my preferred method of interaction anyway.

I always wondered what it would be like to lose one of my senses–hearing, sight, speech–but trying to imagine it isn’t quite the same as actually experiencing it. I always thought, losing my sight would be the worst (no more books, movies, or nature sites), and sound the least problematic (I so love the sound of silence). As for speech or vocalizations, they weren’t really in the running at all. But now that my voice has gone on holiday for a while, I’m beginning to realize that I really don’t miss it at all.

I remember reading in Stephen King’s “The Stand” about how life is incomplete without communication. You can have a thought, but if you have no way to communicate or share that thought with someone else, then the process is incomplete. But there are ways of communicating other than vocalizations, and I’m partial to writing. So, if I were to lose the ability to write, text, or type, I might be more upset, but obviously losing my ability to speak isn’t that a big deal (at least to me).

Therefore, I’ll keep my sight and my hearing (still love my music, after all), but the voice…well, I just hope that it’s having a good time wherever it has taken off to…I imagine it sitting on a beach somewhere, soaking in the sun and drinking mai-tais. But hey, for all I know, it’s out skiing somewhere; racing downhill and screaming for all its worth. Whatever it’s doing, and wherever it is, I certainly hope it is enjoying itself. After all, I fully expect it to stick around for a while once it finally decides to come back home.