Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Miscellaneous Stuff

Today is my anniversary
Thus the lack of any substantive blogging from me today. Husband took the day off and we did married people stuff while the kids were in school. That's all you get. I should do a whole anniversary post thing, but I think I've written enough about my husband and my marriage for folks to know that my husband is great and I am ridiculously lucky. No need to belabor a point. It gives him a big head.

Funeral In A Small Town is almost complete
I just have to tie everything up in a neat little bow. However, it is really, really long. I'm happy about that, because with parts I and II, I have a nice sized chapter. But it makes for a ridiculously long blog entry. I think what I will do is post excerpts once or twice a week. I'll start tomorrow.

After I post that, I probably will not post any more material that I plan to include in a novel. I was told by someone who knows the ins and outs of publishing pretty well that it probably isn't safe. Well, duh, B.A. Of course I isn't. But I blithely post all my stuff here for anyone to take for their own. And no little Creative Commons Attribution button or Copyright disclaimer is going to stop that. What an ignoramus.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with it and I hope you will enjoy it. Of course, there are still elements that I am not happy with, and I continue to tweak and refine. I probably will do so right up until I decide to submit the completed manuscript. I scrapped my entire first draft because it just didn't have the right feel. Even husband commented on the fact that it seemed stilted. I'm much happier with this version.

Stephen King is highly underrated
Because of his chosen genre, I think Stephen King is often overlooked as an important literary figure, and his genius goes unnoticed. But consider The Stand. It is an extraordinary story and stands on it's own as a rich and imaginative piece of fiction. But it also is a classic tale of good versus evil with beautfully executed symbolism, unique and vivid characters, and dramatically effective pathos. This book pulls you in, brings you to the depths of despair, offers you hope, and then keeps you pulling for the good guys. It's one of my all time favorites.

So anyway, I'm reading his book about writing, and there are so many things that he says that resonate with me. He clearly has a terriffic understanding of the craft as well as the awarness that there isn't really any clear formula for success when writing and that rules are made to be broken if you can do it with style.

A few qutoes from the book:

"Fiction Writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do-not why it works when it's good, or why it doesn't when it's bad."

"I believe stories are found things, like fossils in the ground."

"My basic belief about stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow."

"Plot is, I think, the good writer's last resort and the dullard's first choice."

He also says that most books about writing are bullshit except for Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. I tried to pick it up at B&N today, but they did not have it. Interesting. I've found that to be largely true, although I did get a lot out of Writing From Within.

It's a great book. If you're a writer, pick it up. You won't be sorry.

Footnote to my Crazy Team Mom Saga
(You can quit now if you're sick to death of hearing about it)

We had it out. I tried to leave it alone, but she sat in the bleachers and loudly made snide, snotty passive aggressive comments about me and Husband the entire game. Even so, I didn't say a word. I walked away. But then she started telling people not to bother coming to a practice that Husband planned.

Husband has been concerned about the lack of practice. Around here, Fall ball is specifically for instruction, while Spring ball focuses more on competition. There has been NO instruction whatsoever and no practice. He discussed it with the Coach, who is really inexperienced and somewhat apathetic. He offered to hold several practices because he is familiar with drills and skills that the kids need to be working on. The Coach was happy that husband wanted to do it and expressed gratitude that Husband was willing to help him. But, the idiot did not tell his wife that Husband was going to call a practice and so, when people started talking about it, she assumed Husband had taken it on himself to do so. and got her panties in a knot thinking he was trying to usurp the Coach's authority. At that point, neither husband or I knew that the Coach hadn't told her that he and Husband had talked. It had been several days since the discussion and we just assumed he would have told her.

So, I went to tell husband she was telling people not to come. I thought he needed to know so he could address it at the after game pow-wow to make sure everyone realized there would be a practice. He confronted her immediately and she lied to his face. Then she came back to the bleachers and said to another parent (looking around to make sure I was within earshot) "I just want to know...are we in high school, because if we are, I would like to know." I couldn't let that pass. I asked her calmly and politely if we could talk privately and she refused. She turned her back on me. Then she whirled around and hollered, "You know what? I am DONE! You and your husband can HAVE it if that's what ya'll want!! I'm not coming to anymore games!" She was shaking and she had this alarmingly feral look in her eyes. She was clearly on the verge of some kind of hysteria. I asked her again if we could please talk about it, because we all want the best for the kids. She refused again and walked away, muttering to herself. I was spitting mad. She creates a situation like that and then refuses to discuss it with me? Coward. Child. You all were right. You can't have a rational discussion with an irrational person.

She sent out an email before we even made it home stating that her illness is such that being "triggered" could be fatal, and so she must step down. She went on to say she is deleting all team emails from her email account unless anyone would like to keep in touch with her. It was a blatant plea for attention and pity. I don't know if she got any. I did not respond.

When I found out he hadn't told her, the whole thing made more sense. It still didn't excuse her behavior, but it made her seem marginally more rational. In her position, I would have felt the same way. I certainly would have handled it differently though. I hope she feels like a jackass now that she knows. She told her husband who didn't witness the exchange that I yelled at her and that's why she quit.

The game on Saturday? The kids did 100% better after just one practice and their morale skyrocketed. They didn't' win, but at least they felt like they had a fighting chance. And it was fun and relaxing without her there. More than one parent who witnessed the altercation commented to me in that vein.

Validation is good.


  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Karyn said…

    She's a freak. Irrational, irretrievably insane, loony toons. Make no excuses for the fruit loops among us... they will do it for you.

    Good on you.

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    YES! Stephen King is one of the best modern writers around. His subject matter could be called trivial (I don't agree) but his language and storytelling are outstanding.

  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    I've always been a King fan, and bought On Writing the first week it came out. I still channel his advice all the time, particularly in using better verbs and fewer adjectives. Such a great lesson.

    Strunk & White is like the first book we had to get in college English 101 and I still have it. It's a teeny little thing, and fairly textbook. Great resource.

    Happy anniversary btw. The best marriages I think, are the ones you don't have to gush about on cue because you can just take them for granted. I mean that in the very best way.

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger OhTheJoys said…

    BA - I live in fear of the weirdo sports freaky freaky parents. It's too soon for me, but all this internet foreshadowing is SCARY stuff.

    Happy Anniversary!

    Best, OTJ

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Rachelle said…

    Happy Anniversary!

    And BTW, Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, and The Stand is my favorite of all his books. On Writing is one of my favorite writing books, too. Love him!

  • At 4:48 AM, Blogger Sandra said…

    Happy Anniversary!

    Oh and the team mom ... I have learned the hard way myself that you can't rationalize with an irrational person. Yikes.

  • At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OK, I want to know where you get the extra hours in your day to tend to a husband, two boys, and to write AND read AND blog.

    Oh and to do "married people stuff!"


  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Glad you got the Team Mom stuff out in the open. And also that it validates your sense that she was all about the attention and drama. Be glad you ain't her kid.

    Totally agree about the SK book. I love it and it's one of my favorite writing books.


  • At 3:09 AM, Blogger JChevais said…

    I really like Stephen King's books. I'm not really a writer, but I'll pick up the book. Maybe one day, I'll throw off my shackles and dare to try.


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