Sunday, January 22, 2012

The New Guy

I found a new writer's group up here in Michigan.  Hopefully it will be a good match.  I really miss my writing friends in Florida and I've gotten such good feedback over the years anyone is going to to have a hard time measuring up.

Having said that, my observations of the new group give me some hope.  For one thing the average age of the writers seems to be well under 60.  Not that there's anything wrong with being older, but I sometimes felt like my writing output couldn't always measure up to my mostly retired peers.

The other, and more exciting, thing about my new group is that there isn't a memoir writer among them.  As a writer of fiction, I've long wished to be surrounded by more of the same for quality feedback.  Time will tell if this was a wish worth wishing.

There were, of course, some other differences I'm not so sure about.  My old group spent its time critiquing.  Whoever wanted to, read about five pages and then we'd go around the room with our thoughts.  It seems this new group devotes an entire meeting to one person's writing.  From what I gather, they have a month (since they only meet monthly) to read several chapters or more and the entire meeting focuses on that one piece.  I don't see that helping me too often when I'm used to immediate feedback on a weekly basis.

Time will tell.  They didn't even do that this week.  Instead they chatted for about half an hour, then spent 15 minutes on introductions.  This must have been for my benefit, since I was the only new guy there.  Then there was a short writing exercise.  Not my thing really, but they did seem rather impressed with what I whipped up in 5 minutes.

So the future looks bright, although I may date around some.  Still, I made an effort to learn all their names, which is more than I can say for the one guy I sit next to for four days in a tiny cockpit.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Howard The Spelling King

Happy New Year!  And happy belated birthday (yesterday) to me.  Now on to important things.

Why is it so damn hard to spell and use proper grammar?  I work in an industry comprised of supposedly highly educated individuals.  I suppose if you didn't know who was sitting up there you might think so.  Therefore, it would behoove you to recall the tale of this grammatically challenged airline pilot who wrote a letter regarding some...oh, who cares what it was about?  The point is he posted it online, and I swiped it and then put it on this blog for laughs.

Come to think of it, that guy is still King.  But my former next door neighbor Howard may be next in line.  This is just a small snippet, but I fully expect further written communication (and really, that's all we have left) to reveal deeper ignorance.

First a little back story:  A few years ago, Howard insinuated himself onto the association board in part because of his fervent crusade against motorized scooters and the hooligans terrorizing the neighborhood on them.  Last week was Christmas, and Howard put a video of nine-year-old Sammy cruising the streets on her brand new motorized scooter. 

When Mama Sarcasm called him out, this was Howard's response, with the fun parts highlighted:

Gas Power Scoters were Banned, they are also illeagle to use in Broward County. Electric Ones that do not excede 10 MPH are leagle  How is Michican?

Anyone else wonder why I'm not sending my kids to school in Florida?