Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts

by Stephanie Black

*Congrats to Rob on his new job! That’s an awesome Christmas present.

*I think someone needs to start a Facebook group entitled “People who are morally opposed to joining any Facebook group that has misspellings, grammatical errors, or punctuation errors in the title of the group.” I vote for Annette Lyon to start this group. This world needs more proofreading.

*Now I’m paranoid, worrying about making an error in the previous paragraph. That’s just the kind of perverse thing that can happen when you start picking on other people’s grammar. It’s like writing “I am very intelligent.” That’s just asking for trouble. You’re sure to—for the first time in your life—misspell “intelligent.” This reminds me of when my husband and I were dating and he said, “I’m glad you’re not a dizz-brain,” and I responded, “Huh?”

*When I handwrite things, I frequently leave letters out of words or nearly leave letters out of words and have to try to squeeze them in, or reshape the lines to somehow make the word look right. Why do I do that? A graphologist would have a field day with me. It’s probably a function of the same gene that leads to overdue library books.

*I’m not writing a Christmas letter this year (proof positive that Julie is a better person than I am). I’m too stinkin’ lazy. The thought of sitting down and trying to describe my family’s year in an entertaining way sounds so much like . . . blogging. Aiyeeeeeee!!!!!! One blog a week is almost more than I can handle. I would have liked to do a family photo for the Christmas cards, but realized that wouldn’t work, seeing as how my oldest daughter is in Utah and the rest of us are not. And no way am I the kind of organized person who would have thought, in August, “Amy will be at BYU in December, so if we want a family photo for the Christmas cards, we’d better take it now.” As if. So my husband created a cute photo collage with pictures of the kids.

*I asked Amy what she wants for dinner on her first night home from college for Christmas break. She requested something that does not involve Pasta Roni or meat that was previously ground. Maybe I’ll throw something on the barbecue, just to welcome her back to California and annoy everyone who has snow up to their armpits at the moment (I’m not saying it’s easy to grill year-round here. Sometimes you have to take a flashlight out to the barbecue, or even put on your shoes).

*When you’re naming villains, or even non-villains who might have some issues in their lives, do you ever say things like, “I can’t name her Sarah; I have a niece named Sarah” and so on, which ends up eliminating a lot of names? Have any of you writers out there ever offended someone with one of your character names?

*Question for Jeff: when does your next Shandra book come out?

*Note to my Primary presidency: it's probably better if my son isn't cast as Joseph in the Nativity play next year. This will reduce the probability that Mary will have to swat Joseph's hand away to get him to quit poking the baby.


At 12/16/2009 6:27 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

* I think someone should create a "Which annoying Facebook quiz are you?" quiz.

* On a related note, I wish someone would make me stop playing Castle Age. You'd think the frequent software hangs with that frustrating swirling blue vortex would do it, but no, I keep coming back!

I would think the naming thing would have the opposite problem, too. Ooh, I have this annoying co-employee! I'm going make him a character in my book!

My life is filled with imagined revenge. However, I would never ice someone's steps or create a hidden tripwire with my shoelaces.

At 12/16/2009 7:13 PM, Anonymous Jordan said...

LOL, Jon.

I'm the same way with names! I wrote a whole book before I remembered that the villain shared a name with one of my cousins (one that I grew up with and am friends with and saw a lot. He was on his mission. Is that an excuse?).

At 12/16/2009 7:57 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Hey, if you run the BBQ for a half an hour or so out here the snow melts right off. And oven mitts sort of work as gloves. Brrrrrrr. This Californian is missing the warmth. I just signed a contract for the next Shndra book which is sceduled to come out in the fall.

At 12/16/2009 9:07 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Really, Jon, what kind of mind would come up with those kind of revenge ideas? :) Which reminds me--I've got a great fiendish idea for a scene in my next book, but I'm not sure quite how to pull it off yet. It's a little trickier than ice.

Too funny about using your cousin's name, Jordan!

Woohoo on the release date, Jeff! That's awesome. And come visit anytime you miss CA. We'll grill hamburgers.

At 12/16/2009 9:57 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

I'm an equal opportunity name caller. I use friends, relatives, and aquaintences' names for villians and heros without considering whether they might be flattered or insulted. It never crosses my mind until after the book comes out, then sometimes it's a bit awkward.

At 12/16/2009 11:59 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

I do that same thing when handwriting. I know how to spell. I even know my letters. Why can't my hand and my brain work together?

I haven't had an issue with naming villains thus far but then again, I write speculative fiction and so the names are unusual in and of themselves.

I like to BBQ year round. Sometimes nothing is better than when it's been on the grill. (Even corn!)

At 12/17/2009 2:19 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

As for the fear of making a mistake while criticizing other people's grammatical errors, there is Muphry's law:

Muphry's Law is an adage that states that "if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written". The name is a deliberate misspelling of "Murphy's Law".

At 12/17/2009 6:33 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

Sorry Annette - and Stephanie. I went ahead and did the Facebook group because I thought it was such a great idea. I had to shorten the name a bit, though. You only get so many characters.

Search for "I won't join a group with grammatical or punctuation errors in the name."

At 12/18/2009 1:07 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Too funny, Anna! I started laughing when I got the invite to join the group!

At 12/20/2009 4:13 PM, Blogger UTMomof4 said...

It's tricky trying to explain to my 7 year old, who gets 100 percent on all her spelling tests, why she sees the words "lite" or "nite" or other such things on signs or on packages. That annoys me. Sounds like that is a fb group I need to join!


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