Over the years, I’ve read and edited a lot of manuscripts. Most men cannot write about sex worth a damn. They’re terrible (most of them, anyway). It’s true! Talk about lame. Ugh! When you find yourself rolling your eyes or emitting a deep belly laugh, then you know the scene is anything BUT sensuous or erotic. Guys, please, if you’re not adept at writing sex scenes, DON’T! Don’t name your penises, either. You end up sounding silly, not sexy.
“I once told a writer to grow a pair before he sent me his next piece because he was writing like a pussy. I get downright nasty when I have to. Whatever it takes to get the best out of him I possibly can. Because that’s my job.”
—”Editing,” by Laurie Laliberte
Come visit our new virtual home! 🙂 Abraxas Professional Writing Courses now has its own website. Browse the online courses offered and drop me a line via the contact page (or by email) if you have any questions. Be sure to sign the guestbook, too.
What has brought you here today, at this point in time in this lifetime? It’s all your experiences, all the people you’ve met/known, all the good/bad/ugly, all the ups and downs, all the seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/years…it’s not been easy, for any of us. But all of that — the culmination of ALL of it — is what has made us who we are. And while the past is the foundation of where we are today, that doesn’t mean the past has to equal who you are or what you do in the present or the future. You will have bad days, good days and “meh” days. All you gotta do is keeping walking your path…keep walking…don’t give up. If you’re still here, your journey isn’t over. Just a nocturnal thought or two that popped into my head. ♥
What’s in a name? If you’re an author, a whole lot! I found this out when I got married in August 2008 and my former name, Bev Walton-Porter, became Bev Sninchak. Since I’ve taken on a new married name, I’ve spent endless hours and countless words trying to school people on how to say the name and spell it. Once they’ve mastered one or both, they still have a hard time remembering my new last name. That can be detrimental—and even fatal—to an author’s sales and career.
It can only be a particular type of hell for a writer to end up with a last name that’s confusing to so many people. I totally get that. I get that my married last name, Sninchak, is confusing and trips people up. However, I’m constantly amused—and annoyed—at how many people don’t even TRY to pronounce it the right way. It’s understandable that they stumble over it, but do they also have to add additional letters that don’t even appear in the name, such as “z,” “h” or “m” as well?
Here are the butchered versions I’ve heard thus far:
–Shimanik (what? There’s an “h” and an “m” I was unaware of? Meanwhile, let’s just completely erase the “ch” altogether!)
–Sinchak (okay, that’s close, so I’ll relent)
–S-nine-in-chak (methinks you’re adding in too many syllables)
and, the winner from today:
–Shizak (WTF? How in the HELL do you come up with THAT?! You lost BOTH “n” letters, added an “h” and then a “z” as well?!)
My husband, Paul, laughs and says he’s all too familiar with it and he’s been putting up with it his whole life. So yeah, this is new to me, but I’m pretty sure if you took the time to sound it out, you could get CLOSE to the pronunciation. I knew his sister in school, and I was able to figure out how to pronounce Sninchak correctly by seeing it in print (school newspaper) without ever having heard it before.
The easiest way is to ask if people can say “sneeze.” You know, the “sn” sound. Okay then. That would be “Snin” and then “chak.” If you take it slow and really READ the word, then pronounce it, you’ll probably get it right or come very close.
So why am I bringing all of this up? Because when I first got married, I considered moving all my writing over to my married name. That hasn’t worked well. People can’t remember the name, much less spell it. That’s death to a writer/author’s sales if someone can’t remember the name or how to spell it.
Given this situation, I’m going to continue to write under the name Bev Walton-Porter. It’s familiar, it’s been around for decades and people know how to spell/pronounce it.
Perhaps the upside—if there is one—is that I’ll maintain some anonymity in my personal life since I only use my married name in the day-to-day realm. I suppose there’s that. Yes, quite. Quite indeed.
When I’m done with something, I’m done with it. When I don’t wanna do something anymore, I don’t wanna do it — period. If I have to keep doing it, I resent it and become hostile. I also turn to avoidance tactics. The more you try to make me do it, the less I will. Forcing me does NOT work — ever. When my mind is made up, it’s made up…and it takes a long time for me to get to this final stage. I give lots of chances. It can take months or years for me to finally get fed up. However, once I’m there, there’s no going back. Thankfully, my husband understands this and supports me 100 percent. He knows when I’ve reached my limit. He doesn’t try to change my mind/talk me out of it. He respects that it’s a decision I have to make for my own sanity and self-respect. Paul, I love you for supporting and encouraging me during the most trying of times. ❤
Shared this with a friend in a comment and decided to post it here as well. Do you like creepy stories? Well, here’s one from my own life! The only thing is…I don’t remember ANY of it. I asked Paul to tell me what happened again because I feel I need to post it here before I forget. Here’s what he said went down (again, I do NOT remember any of this):
The strange event happened about three years ago, according to his estimation. Paul says he woke up and I was making low, guttural noises. He asked if I was okay. I replied, “Uhhhh-huuuhhhh” in a sing-song voice. He told me he loved me. I rolled over, began tickling him while cackling, then responded, “We love you, too!” Then he says I stopped, rolled over and went back to sleep. Paul laid there and jokingly thought, “Great! Now I have to tell the kids their mother is possessed!” He figured it was a weird sleep episode and dismissed it.
>>>>END of story<<<<
Now, tell me that isn’t creepy! He thought I’d been awake and joking with him, but I hadn’t.
Shortly thereafter, we were in the car riding down the road and he told me this story. I replied, “Paul, you’re creeping me out. Stop it. Quit effing with me!” He said he wasn’t joking and I told him I didn’t remember ANYTHING like that AT ALL. I had chills down my arms.
Ever since, I’ve been bothered by what he told me. At first I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was dead serious. He will recount the same story to anyone who asks. He’s not kidding. It did happen, and I have NO idea what to make of it. I don’t remember anything about that episode.
The “We love you, too!” part creeps me out. I mean, “we”? I’m just ME, not “we”! I joke about it to other people we’ve told the story to, but deep down it still makes me shudder. It was probably a weird sleep episode, but it’s still strange/weird!
Regarding the theater shooting: I predicted this would happen a few years ago and that it would result in increased security at theaters. Ask Paul, because I told him. How am I able to figure this stuff out, but the higher-ups can’t? If you are a student of human behavior/psychology, then you can figure it out (sadly).
The world is an INSANE place, people. Some wingnut was bound to do this. All those people wanted was to watch a movie and have a good time. But no, we can’t have a good time anymore, can we? What a disgusting waste of skin that guy is. Always some sociopathic/psychopathic jerk ruining it for others and causing untold amounts of pain and suffering.
There are NO excuses and I have NO mercy, compassion or forgiveness for this mass murderer. I reserve those kinds of things for people who DESERVE them — such as the poor victims’ families/friends. I don’t CARE what bad childhood you had, if mommy didn’t love you enough or WHAT the so-called excuse is. Bullshit! There’s NO excuse.
Get the trial going, and when he’s convicted, mete out punishment RIGHT away. I’m going to the movies this weekend as a big “F you” in response to such pieces of shit still walking around in society! This is domestic terrorism, and I refuse to be kept in my home and in the grip of fear because of sick people like this!
I said this to a friend today. Decided to repost it here: “Some people cannot handle me — not sure why. I just try to be honest (sometimes it comes out too blunt, though). I do like people — a lot — but I get frustrated by the human race. I really do. It’s sad. But deep down I hope for better, and am truly an optimist. I’m here on earth for a purpose — and it’s not for publishing books or writing. Yes, those are important, but I think it’s just the means to communicate. I want to touch people and make them think — even if it comes across the wrong way. We are more than just human bodies, after all. We are energy, we are conduits that can be used for good or bad — and we must choose good, if at all possible. We must protect those who cannot protect themselves, and shine a light on injustices, when possible. We must speak out, and not be silenced.”
If you haven’t seen the movie Idiocracy, it’s time to watch it. It seems to be coming true. With such a push against intellectualism, the new “cool” is being stupid and ignorant — and celebrating it!
Who needs science, right? Who needs books or knowledge. Who needs to learn how to read and write? Who needs anything nerdy like that? That’s DANGEROUS stuff, to have a rational and critical-thinking mind. We gotta keep the sheep in order, after all! Keep ’em dumb and they’ll never know.
Ask questions, research things yourself, question authority (not all lead you down the right path. Example: Jim Jones!). You were given a brain — USE it! Don’t wait for everything and everyone to tell YOU what to think — examine everything and then decide what YOU think, based on that. Don’t just open up your mouths — and your minds — like yawping little birdies and allow everyone else to fill you up with their truth and their version of things.
EVERYONE has an angle — even ME! Even YOU. When you came into being, you were given many gifts. Intuition, intelligence, discernment are but a few of them. Nobody is perfect, but the real crime is when people stop striving to improve or better themselves.
It’s NOT cool to be ignorant. It’s NOT cool to brag that you have never read a book. It’s NOT cool to brag that you cheated in school (I NEVER cheated on tests — EVER. What is the point? The point is to LEARN). It’s NOT cool to tout stupidity as a totem of worship.
Maybe you believe in God, and maybe you don’t, but in my view, the Grand Architect/Intelligence of this Universe (and beyond) designed us to do more than eat, sleep and poop. We are here to learn, to grow, to self-actualize as much as we can. We all have our own journey.
Are you steering your own vehicle, or have you handed over the steering wheel to someone else? Think about it.