Friday, November 12, 2010

A Million Grammar Books

Almost everyone's saying I need this grammar and syntax book and that grammar and syntax book. Hell, my librarian (great people that they are, by the way) gives me free ones. That's fine, she's only given me a couple. To be honest, I haven't even cracked them yet. Well, that's not quite right, I've cracked them, but I haven't read them front to back. I also study Warriner's Grammar and Composition, The Elements of Style, the grammar and syntax section at the back of my dictionary, the Associated Press Stylebook, and what I saved from the grammar workshops from the Muse Online Writer's Conference this year.

My question is, when does it end? Other writers are constantly saying I need to buy a certain grammar book. Hell, Warriner's gives a list of like, oh, I don't know, twenty?

If I buy every grammar boom on the planet and read them, I'll never read regular books and learn from the greats. I'll never give other new authors a chance, reading and reviewing their books for the mag I work for. Hell, I won't even have time to piss and shit!

I say get a couple, maybe a few, maybe five or six, but enough with the endless grammar books already!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dead Dreams

Once again, I found myself this week in the dreaded dentist's chair, the Hell-on-earth that keeps inching closer, closer, with each passing day. What did I do to deserve this Hades? Well, nothing, I'm just taking good care of my teeth and getting them cleaned. But still, this sucks! They want to clean them every three months now! And over twenty X-rays? Screw that!

Then I got to thinking about the girl who cleaned my teeth. I'm sure when she was growing up, she didn't want to be scraping molars for a living. No, she wanted to be an actress, or a singer, or a ballerina. I know when I grew up, I wanted to be a professional baseball player . . . until I found out I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I wound up a basketball star in grade school. We won a couple of championships, I won best defensive player, I toasted the camera with a burger instead of a drink and we had some laughs. That all ended in jr. high though, when I didn't make the team. When I turned twelve, I became a metalhead and wanted to be a heavy metal star, so, when I grew up, I worked dead-end jobs for twenty-one years while trying to put together a band. Most of them weren't serious. I finally found a group of guys who had their shit together, but I played too fucking fast for heavy metal, and I was too wicked for a Cornerstone band. I ended up finding out I was meant to play death metal when I was pushing thirty, and no one wanted to put together a band with someone that old. All those bands I listen to put out their first album when they were eighteen.

So, I figured, instead of complaining about being all bloody-mouthed, the least I could do was be nice and give her a smile, even though I don't like to grin. I may be crazy, but I thought it was the right thing to do.