Grab your copy now for only 99 cents through November.
Grab your copy now for only 99 cents through November.
Grab your copy now for only 99 cents through November.
For those of you who know that my family and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you also may know about the tragic shooting deaths that occurred downtown yesterday. Everyone in our family is okay, but please keep the families who lost loved ones yesterday in your thoughts.
The people who were gunned down and lost their lives did nothing wrong. They were minding their own business, just living their lives. Until a selfish, rifle-toting man bent on chaos and destruction mowed them down like animals.
We live about five to ten minutes from where the final shootout occurred, depending on the volume of traffic. We often pass through that intersection (90% of the time, in fact) when we head downtown. It’s in a neighborhood where nobody would think it wasn’t safe to walk, ride your bicycle, or stand outside on your porch.
We’ve often gone through that drive-thru at Wendy’s, as well as the McDonald’s across the street from where the shootout with police happened. There will never be a time that we will go by there in the future that we won’t be reminded that innocent people lost their lives there.
The people who were shot by the gunman were random people on the street, just minding their business on a Saturday Halloween morning. This was a senseless tragedy that did not need to happen. My heart aches for their surviving family and friends.
We do not have any other info than you may have read at this point. However, this is not something we could’ve ever guessed would happen here in Colorado Springs. But I guess that’s a refrain we hear all too often these days.
Thank you to the police officers who risked their lives to stop this man from killing more people. If it had been a Monday morning, there probably would’ve been more victims.
As you spend tonight with your family and friends, please keep the victims’ families in your thoughts during this awful time.
Thank you, stay safe, and much love to all.
(**NOTE: Please do not use the comments of this post to begin a debate about guns. Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear about guns right now. Right now I want to use this post to ask people to remember the victims and their families. Any comments that go against this request will be deleted.)
Originally published at The Writer’s Dominatrix
(*Interrobangs are so much fun to use, aren’t they?)
Please, respect your editor and publisher. Don’t send them a manuscript that’s laden with errors and half-assed efforts like missing quotation marks (really?). Does a person who never uses quotation marks realize that dialogue requires such marks, or were they too damned lazy to bother with it in the first place? I’m betting on the latter.
While you’re at it, why don’t you run a cursory spell check so it appears you made an attempt to check your work in some small way before you shunted it off to your editor or publisher? Yeah, that would be nice. Oh, wait. Is that too much to ask? For many so-called writers, it is. Learning the craft of writing is SO last century, isn’t it? I mean, who has the TIME? *insert hair flip*
You can always tell the difference between writers who sling together a manuscript in hopes of selling a bunch of books to make a wad of cash versus a writer who takes the craft of writing seriously. The latter will obsess over every. little. detaileven after the manuscript is out of his or her hands. In fact, once the book is published, the caring writer will still regret not making even more changes before the book found its way onto the bookshelves. This type of writer gives a shit.
And the slapdash writer? This is the kind I want to strangle (not really, but the angry emotion is there). Well, that writer doesn’t give a damn about much of anything. They’ll serve up a pile of prosaic poop and expect their editor to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Who needs to know anything about spelling and grammar, right? The editor should fix all of it, so why does the writer need to know the difference between their/there/they’re? Who has time for figuring out and learning homophones, right? This type of writer gives no shits…at all. They’re the type who will fling crap at a wall and then expect others to turn it into a Picasso. If you’re this type of writer, you’re an asshole. Yep, I said it because it’s true.
The funny thing is, once writers who don’t give a shit have their books published, they’re shocked to learn they’re not outselling J.K. Rowling. Take it from me: these writers almost always go out of their way to tell you how they are the next big thing in the literary world and how all their books will be bestsellers.
Conversely, the writer who gives a shit hardly, if ever, allows those words pass his or her lips. It all leads back to thinking of writing as a craft and something you do for your entire life, as opposed to something you do on a lark to see if you can rake in money so you can brag about it to your Aunt Martha at Christmas time.
Writers who care will write no matter what. Most of the time, they want to earn a living with their words so they can keep writing as a career instead of being stuck in a hellish cubicle doing something they absolutely hate. They cannot NOT write. It’s not possible. Writing is not just what they do, but is an essential part of who they ARE.
People who masquerade as writers only give a shit about writing when they can get something superficial out of it. You won’t find these types at literary meet-ups or discussing the wonders of Shakespeare or Murakami. They won’t know who Jack Kerouac is, nor will they know the difference between David Sedaris and David Copperfield (he’s an author, right?). Because, heck, they probably don’t read much. Reading is for boring people, you see. They may even brag that they haven’t read a book since high school or college. They aren’t concerned with the importance of literature OR the art and craft of writing. They’re concerned with the potential for fame and quick cash to use for their next casino trip to Las Vegas.
It pains me to say it, but the people I’ve described in the previous paragraph are still considered writers. If you write, you’re a writer. But not all writers are the same. This type of writer never earns my respect, nor will they ever. They use writing like it’s little more than a White Chapel whore for their personal pleasure. They use it, wring out what pleasure or benefit they can, and then toss it to the side with nary a backward glance. They don’t truly care about books, writing, literature, authors, readers, or anything of the sort. It’s all about what’s in it for them — that’s it. They’re users, not givers.
Do me a favor, will ya? Strive to become the type of writer who gives a shit, not the kind who doesn’t. If you don’t have the proper respect for books and writing, find another hobby. We need more givers and fewer takers. Which one are you?
Szeretlek means “I love you” in Hungarian 😉
Paul is German, Hungarian, and…not sure what else until we do his DNA ancestry test (it may be a while, for obvious reasons). Anyway, when we got married, our talented seamstress, Mari, used Hungarian lace in my dress.
It’s also fortunate that I’ve always loved paprika, since it’s used a lot in Hungarian food. Speaking of which, I LOVE Chicken Paprikash and methinks it’s past time to make it again.
But I digress…
I want to take Paul to Europe so he can visit the places where his ancestors came from, including Germany and Hungary. I’ve found records online showing his great grandparents, Janos (John) Krupla and Zsofia(Sophie) Nagy, were in Bremen, Germany, and they immigrated to the US, arriving in New York City.
Paul has very little info on his birth father, but we know his name was Bill Sykes and he was from the Cleveland, OH area. I am hoping a DNA ancestry test will help him fill in some of the gaps like it did for me.
Paul’s birth name was supposed to be Eric Sykes, by the way. Far as I can tell, it’s possible that Sykes can be traced to Yorkshire, England. But as I said, we can’t pin more down in a definitive way until we get his DNA test done — hopefully in the near future.
So, in another world and at another time, I would be Star Ferris and Paul would be Eric Sykes. Those were our intended birth names (my birth mother still calls me Star, not Bev). How weird would it be to know us not as Paul & Bev Sninchak, but Eric & Star Sykes? Wouldn’t that be strange?!
Not asleep yet. So many emotions. Third friend/classmate in three years who’s taken his own life. Troubled. I’m so troubled. Full of sadness and frustration.
Life is hard. It’s so freaking hard! I know this because the past four years have been HELL for us in this family. There are times when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed or even wake up the next day and face another day of b.s. and soul-crushing challenges. But nobody ever promised me that life would be easy, and although it’s rough terrain, I have no idea what awaits me over the next mountain pass (so to speak) and I’m not giving up on this journey until I see what the next roadside attraction is.
I don’t know what YOUR b.s. and soul-crushing challenges are, but every day IS another day…and all cycles end. Nothing stays the same forever. Some cycles are longer than others. Some cycles feel like an eternity (believe me, I’m in the middle of one of them!) I just know that, although it doesn’t seem like it right now, you CAN make it and you CAN get past these things you’re dealing with.
Please, please listen to me: I can’t do much, but if you are having a hard time and you need to talk to someone — if you’re to the point of NO RETURN — please get in touch with me or at least talk to someone…please reach out…please don’t cross that line of no return. Okay? Please do this for me, friend? Here is a number you should write down and put where you have it at all times. Memorize it or do whatever…just USE it, if need be:
1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish
Life can be dark, painful, disturbing, and any number of other things. But think of life as a book full of chapters, full of pages, full of plot twists. You are the author. You are writing this book. You can’t control everything, but you can control your part and how you react or act upon things.
Look, I can be blunt at times and come off as an a-hole at other times, but deep inside, I’m really not. You matter. You freaking matter, okay? Believe it. Know it. We have more laughs to share here…and if I haven’t offended you yet, then you HAVE to stick around, ’cause I’m trying! *smile* Plus I have more dirty jokes to post and crazy stuff to share.
In all seriousness, you’re gonna be okay. You got this. Promise. And if you need to lean on others to find your strength again, then take my hand…and someone else’s…and someone else’s beyond that. It’s okay if you feel fragile, weak, worn out. You’re human. We all are. And until you can find the strength to support yourself and stand strong again, there are those of us out there who will help you stand.
Reach out…my hand is waiting.