Errors Here, Errors There, Errors Everywhere!

The written word is everywhere- in commercials, on signs, on posters, on marquees, etc. It’s everywhere. But as I write my books and continue editing, I have noticed the written word in the world more and more. And what’s alarming is that I have actually noticed the written word in the world is more and more misspelled or incorrect.

I guess it makes sense. You spend all your time writing and/or editing and you’re bound to see words more as they are supposed to be and less the misspelled way. At least, this is what has happened to me. Now when I see signs and things misspelled or incorrect, they’re actually glaringly obvious.

Do you notice this as well, or is it just me?

 

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You, too

After giving her my order at the speaker, she told me my total and asked me to pull forward. Being the only car in the drive-thru, I happily drove straight up to the window.

The worker, a girl a few years older than I, slid open the window and smiled. “How are you today?” she asked.

“I’m doing fine. How are you?” I replied.

“Great, thanks for asking. It’ll be $6.74.”

I gave her my card, and she quickly ran it through the machine, handing it back to me.

“Is there anything else I can get you?” she asked.

“Some ranch and mayonnaise would be great.”

“No problem,” she replied and slid the window closed.

I waited as she flitted about inside, getting other orders ready and cleaning off the counters. Finally, she slid the window back open and handed me my bag of food.

“Is there anything else you need?” she asked, smiling.

“No, I think that’s it.”

“Thank you,” she said. “Enjoy your food.”

“Thanks,” I replied. “You, too.”

And that is the story of how I totally pulled a Socially Awkward Penguin moment.

 

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Thankful for the Small Things

There are many things, that as we busily go about our daily lives, we forget completely about. We get so caught up in the “big things”- things we deem ultimately important- that the small things go unnoticed, and worse, unappreciated.

We run around, trying to get all of our errands done and are frustrated {and far from grateful} when we don’t finish them in time. But what about the fact that we can walk at all when so many others are bound in wheelchairs? We’re constantly trying to beat deadlines, lots of times only able to “grab a bite to eat” and feel frustrated that we didn’t have time for a full meal. But what about the fact that we have food to eat at all when so many others are starving? We get frustrated even when our favorite shows aren’t updated on Netflix or aren’t recorded correctly on our DVRs. But what about the fact that we even have electricity to watch these things with when so many others can’t afford to pay the electric bill? These are the small things we take for granted. We’re constantly living life without remembering to be grateful for the life we’re living.

That is a lesson I was reminded of today when our air conditioning unexpectedly went out. Air conditioning- it’s one of those small things you don’t really think much about until it’s gone. But it’s something I value very highly as heat has never been something my body functions in very well. In fact, heat is the thing that drains me of my energy faster than anything else. So when the temperatures went into the triple digits today and I was without air conditioning, I was absolutely miserable and hot.

But then I was reminded of the small things I take for granted, and tried to find something to be grateful for about the situation. That was when I realized that while the air conditioning wasn’t blowing cool air, it was still blowing. Which means that instead of the house being eighty-nine degrees, it could’ve easily climbed to one hundred. {In which case, my body might’ve stopped functioning all together.} I was also reminded, without the lack of cool air, that we still have electricity and fans. Thank you Lord for fans!

So until the repair men show up tomorrow to fix it, I will sit here in my hot house feeling grateful for the roof above my head and the many fans blowing directly on me. I encourage you to look into your life and give a little extra appreciation for the small things that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find a small blessing you hadn’t even realized you’d been given.

 

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The Nonreader’s Guide to Dealing with a Booklover

Booklovers are a particular type of people. We may seem complicated if you don’t understand the way we think, so here are a few tips for dealing with the booklover in your life.

 

• Never interrupt a booklover when they’re reading. If you are feeling daring and absolutely must interrupt them, enter their space slowly and wait for them to find a stopping point in their book. Fair warning, it won’t be pretty.

 

 Don’t dog-ear the pages of their books. It’s an insult not only to them, but to the characters in the books they love.

 

 By no means should you ever comment on the fictitiousness of the characters in their books. To the booklover, they are friends- friends they will defend to the end and you will lose.

 

 If for some reason you have already read the book the booklover is reading, never ever give away anything about it. If you do, you are very nearly forfeiting your right to live.

 

 If you borrow a book from the booklover, always give it back to them in just as pristine condition as you’d first received it. Otherwise you may have to buy them a new one to set your friendship straight once more.

 

 If you lose one of their books, you’ll never get away with it. The booklover will always know. Always. So own up to it and buy them a new one. It might help if it’s even nicer than the one they lent you.

 

 Never lend out a book that a booklover had originally lent you. If you do, you will most likely get hurt.

 

 Do not mark or draw on any part of any book the booklover lends you. To them, it would be like tagging on the Mona Lisa. It’s just not done. It’s hard enough for the booklover to watch others write in their own books, so never do it to theirs.

 

 Booklovers are emotional over characters and their deaths. Either hold them as they cry. Or run. {It will be pretty easy to tell which one is necessary.}

 

 When a booklover offers their book to you to read, do not tell them you’ve seen the movie and act like it’s the same thing. It’s not the same. Simply politely tell them that, no, you have no yet read it, and leave it at that.

 

 Don’t ask a booklover what their favorite book is. You will most likely cause them to nearly explode in indecision.

 

 If the booklover tells you they’re tired from staying up late reading, do not tell them they should have “just stopped reading.” It’s just not possible and they won’t thank you for your less-than-welcome commentary.

 

 If you want to buy the booklover a gift and you’re on a tight budget, buy them a {or several} bookmark{s}. Bookmarks make them happy, and they can never have enough of them.

 

 If you want to buy the booklover the perfect gift, buy them a gift card to their favorite book store. The booklover can be very picky about the books they let into their life, so giving them a gift card allows them to choose the book themselves while not having to pay for it. They will absolutely love it.

 

 If you accompany them to spend that gift card, don’t feel bad if you’re completely ignored. The booklover is very nearly in heaven when it comes to being in a bookstore and deciding on a new book to own. They appreciate them all, and therefore you may be overlooked during this process.

But in the end, they will remember they own the book because of you and will be grateful.

 

Hopefully now, you will feel a little more armed with knowledge in dealing with a booklover. Good luck!

 

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Miss Unobservant

You know that saying if it had been a snake it would’ve bit you? Well, I live in a world where, if that saying were actually true, I would have been bitten thousands of times by now. Yes, I have serious unobservant issues.

There are simple ways normal people go about reminding themselves of/to do things. Like, leaving what you need to take upstairs on the middle of the pathway up the stairs so you won’t forget it. Or, leaving a note in an obvious place to remind you to do something. Well, this would work for most people. I, on the other hand, step over the things on the middle of the stairs without a second thought as to what I’m doing, and my brain completely overlooks the notes in their obvious places. Even going as far as to place the notes on something as obvious as the doorknob to the front door does nothing to help me see them. For some reason, my brain automatically tells me to lift the note/stick it to something else and go about my business, all the while not even processing it was a note in the first place.

Frustratingly enough, my unobservant brain also kicks in when it comes to details- any details. You know the stereotypical husband who gets in hot water with his wife for not noticing she got a haircut? Yeah, that would be me and the kind of thing I’m talking about. While my brain might process that she looked different, I most likely wouldn’t even realize that it was due to a haircut. Got a new shirt? I might actually notice how pretty it is and say so. But don’t ask me (without looking at it) what color it is or what’s on it, because I most likely won’t know.

Now, let me just say how much I hate this. It’s not fun living life from such an unobservant viewpoint, not to mention how frustrating it can be not only for me, but also for my family and friends as well.

Fortunately, there are exceptions to my own unobservant tendencies. And very fortunately, most of those exceptions are when I’m interacting with other people and/or driving. My unobservant handicap comes in the form of visual things, so I’m fine when talking to people and interacting. Yes, I notice genders, heights, mannerisms, etc. But don’t ask me what color eyes you have. Yes, I fully notice the car beside me and know not to go into that lane. But don’t ask me what type of car {or even if it was a car, or a truck, or whatever} it was, because I most likely won’t know.

Luckily, I have the most awesome family and friends who know this about me and work around it. I’ve been trying to work on it- to notice things more- but it is slow going.

Do you have this type of issue? Or something similar? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

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Writing/Book Pet Peeves: Sliding Multiple Narratives

I love books. There are not many in my favorite genres that I don’t like. But, that being said, I do have a few issues with the writing in books, and sometimes, with the book itself. As I’m sure, do we all. So I’m making a series of posts about these pet peeves of mine.

The first one I want to talk about {and is the most frustrating to me} is when the author slides multiple narratives within the same chapter- or even worse, within the same paragraph. It’s disorienting, confusing, and pulls you out of the scene.

One of the last books I just finished reading constantly did this. It was like a battle of the viewpoints- back and forth, back and forth within the same chapter, and sometimes within the same paragraph. While I still loved the characters and it had a pretty good plot, this little annoyance became very frustrating and ended up diminishing the book’s lovability.

Now, on the other side of it, I know there are many books out there which are amazing that do that very thing. In fact, one of my favorite books {East} did just that- with the exception of limiting each chapter to only one narrative. In my opinion, that is the best way to approach multiple narratives. Not only is it much, much less confusing for the reader, but I feel you get to know the characters in a nice, neat packaged way.

Do sliding multiple narratives bother any of you as well, or do you actually prefer it? I’d love to hear your opinions!

 

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May I Hide the Red Seven Up from the Duck as I Tag the Musical Donkey?

I grew up in the distant past of the pre-cell phone era. It was a simpler time when children did not have cell phones to entertain themselves with. So what did we have to amuse ourselves with?

We had mind-blowingly awesome games, that’s what we had.

In fact, there are so many- and so many versions of each game- that the list would seemingly be endless. So instead, I’ll list my own personal favorites from childhood {and quite possibly still now}.

 

We had the outdoor games:

1) Hide-and-seek – My own personal favorite game as a child. The thrill of wondering will they find me? and frantically searching for a stealthy place to hide was just so awesome. Every single time. I’m still up for this game, even today. {Gotta let the inner child out!}

2) Duck, Duck, Goose – Remember that instant rush of adrenaline when you were finally picked and had to race to catch them? And remember that one kid that always ran a little too slow so he could stay the picker? {so annoying…}

3) Mother May I? – Everyone always wanted to be the Mother. I mean, holding the entire decision of who wins right in the palm of your hand? Major power trip.

4) Red Rover – This was a game I absolutely loved as a kid, though it did present some problems for girls once they started “maturing.” Plus, there was always that one jerk kid who liked to clothesline the oncoming kid right in the throat. But over-all, it was awesome. Bonus when you got to hold the hand of your crush!

 

And the nighttime/blackout games:

5) Flashlight Tag – You’re in the dark. You’re maneuvering around like a ninja trying to avoid the flashlight beam. Your heart’s racing knowing that at any moment you might get caught. What’s not to love!?

 

Then we have the party games:

6) Musical Chairs – It never even mattered to me what the music was, I was always so intent on getting a chair! Nothing like being a kid and having to split your focus between the chair you needed to grab first and the person whose hand was hovering over the boombox pause button. Talk about strategy.

7) Pin the Tail on the Donkey – This one seems to get a lot of slack, but I always loved it. Plus, it was so fun to see how far off some of the others {and even yourself, too} ended up. Bonus that they have all kinds of adorable and awesome variations of the game that aren’t just a donkey!

 

And last, but not least, the rainy day school favorite games:

8) Heads Up, Seven Up – This game was always the hit of the class. Everyone was always dying to feel their own thumb get pressed and nearly got giddy when it did happen. Bonus that it had a game within the game- figuring out who was wearing the pair of shoes you totally cheatingly saw when they picked you!

I have so many good memories from playing these games. What were your favorite games growing up? Any that weren’t on my list? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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