Saturday, September 29, 2012

Know What Rhymes With Punctuation...


If you will direct your eyes to the side bar on the right (other right, goofball) you can read a little about me, like the part where it says I am a writer. This means that I write words that form sentences which morph into paragraphs, and the paragraphs miraculously come together into a little thing I call "a story."

The thing is a story (or anything worth reading, really) also requires punctuation, and that's where things come to a screaming halt - for me.

I spell real good, and I can make good sentences (like them two. See?), but punctuation has me a little beflustered. It's not like the glaringly mispelled word that jumps off the page, screaming for justice, and correction (though sometimes one or two get past my awesome scrutiny, which I'll only catch after I've published the post.)

I'm pretty good with periods because they go at the end of the sentence, but rarely anywhere else. Note I said "rarely" not "never."

I'm also pretty fluent in the placement of question marks. They always land at the end of a sentence, but never anywhere else, like say, the middle. I understand, and am pretty proficient in the usage of quotation marks, and my personal favorite the exclamation point. It's awesome!

But the guy I have a hard time with is the comma. He just seems to show up in the most random places, and I'm not always sure if it's the right places. Like, I use a comma here because...I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty sure one goes there. Also, commas precede buts, and ands, and sos. And sequences, but why? I always understood that a comma was used in those spots to show the sentence was changing direction. Doesn't the presence of the word "but" already indicate a change. What about "and?" Side note: would I place the question mark inside the quotation next to "and" or outside the quotation. It's not a sentence so...Someone help me out here.

I now return to the comma issue.

I remember that a comma is used when two parts of a sentence could be two seperate sentences. However, that is the extent of my recollection, and I used to be really great with grammar. I was a straight up A student. What happened?

I know what happened, but don't get me started.

Anyway, I am a writer, and grammar control is the editors job. If I knew what I was doing an editor would be out of work. I believe that as long as the manuscript I hand over isn't filled with complete grammatical destruction I'm doing pretty well, but I don't want to put the emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble, so I give my baby off to Mr. D to pretty up. It gives him something to do.

For a long, long time.

Anyhoo, know what else rhymes with punctuation? Procrastination, but I'll write about that later.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire...

I would like to begin this post with a quote from Spongebob. In the episode, Life of Crime, Spongebob and his big, pink, starfish friend, Patrick, steal a balloon on free balloon day (they are buffoons) and shenanigans ensue. At one point Spongebob gives Patrick a chocolate bar that he immediately consumes. Because he's an idiot, he assumes Spongebob has taken it. He accuses Spongebob of thievery, which Spongebob denies at which point Patrick says, "liar, liar, plants for hire." Spongebob corrects him with, "it's pants on fire." Then Patrick says, "well you would know. Liar."

I'm sure you're wondering where I'm going with this. Well once upon a time I had this friend, I'll call her Preveri...Cate (yeah, let's go with that) and as one does when one has a close friend, I spent a lot of time with her. Unfortunately, I learned that she wasn't the person I thought she was. It happens, I get it, but I also learned that pretty much everything that came out of her mouth was a lie.

I've had to reconsider every story she ever told me about herself, her family, and pretty much everything she ever did that I did not personally witness. Even then I doubt myself. One time, Cate and I were talking about a time she was pregnant, but (insert name of husband # 1) beat her with a bat, and she lost her baby at six months.

I had been to her first three weddings. I knew all three of those husbands. I never had an inkling that any of her husbands were violent so I asked her which husband (she was on # 3 by that point) had beat her. She said it had been during her first marriage.

Hold the phone! I had been around for that entire marriage, and she never told me she was pregnant or had lost a baby. I was her best friend, I was at her house all the time, she told me everything. I think I would have noticed something like a pregnancy or beating. So I asked, "are you sure? Cause I was there through that whole marriage." To which she replied, "maybe it was while I was married to (insert name of husband # 2)."

Granted she had been married several times at the time of our conversation, but I would think she would remember which husband took after her with a bat. Right?

I know, I'm not a quick study. There is no excuse.

It's been over ten years since I realized her pants were on fire, but even after all this time, if I want to relate a funny story she told I have to stop and consider whether or not that story is even true. Even stupid things like an article she read in the paper was a tall tale by the time she shared it with me, but because she was my friend I never felt the need to verify the story. Or any story because I was just that trusting. Besides, who lies about what they read in the paper?!

Now I have to wonder, did she even read the paper? Does she even know how to read? So many questions, but I can't ask her because...she lies. Also, we're no longer friends.

So the problem with a Big Fat Liar is once you realize she (or he, liars are equal opportunity) is a Big Fat Liar, ever after you spend a goodly amount of time reevaluating all the time you spent with said liar. It's a vicious circle.

And the moral of the story is...I'll have to get back to you once I figure that out.

Ooo! Ooo! I know. Read the paper yourself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adventures In Publishing...

I am two semesters away from earning my degree. It's a two year degree that's taken me five years to earn, but it will be my degree. I wouldn't recommend pursuing an education while full time homeschool parenting, but one has to work within ones own parameters; learn from me kiddies.

Anyway I have taken this semester off, but do not for one moment think that means I am not getting an education, believe me. I have become exceedingly well versed in the art of self-publishing. Bear in mind these things will not neccessarily be every person's experience, but they're mine. So I will proceed to share with you the things I have learned thus far:

Firstly (and this would maybe be obvious to anyone else, but remember we are talking about me here), the file format for a printed book will not be the same format as an ebook. With the route I have chosen, I needed one file in word and a second in PDF. And it can't just be one file converted to each format. An ebook page presents differently than that of a printed book i.e. three spaces between chapters in a printed book = blank screens on an ereader.

Also, ebooks do not require page numbers for the same reason you don't want too much space between paragraphs or chapters, the pages don't present the same way. But books still need'em because if you lose your place, you get start over. Yay!

Covers for an ebook are simple enough, but if you try to use the same cover format your book comes out "too little towel for so much body" wrong. Covers must be saved in two different formats as well.

Now, with an ebook it's either "lookin good!" or "absolutely not!" when it comes to acceptance. As in, it either meets format expectations 100% or you get to do it again, and again, until you get it right. Printed books are another matter. If you don't put page numbers in your file, guess what - no page numbers in the book. No title or name on the books spine = a clean white spine. Cause and effect, see? However as a self publishing author, the person who has to catch and fix those oopsies is the author (me). Which leads to lots of upload, wait for review, check proof, Crap! That's not right!, correct, upload, wait for review, check proof, What the fig! How did I miss that?, correct, upload, wait for review, check proof, Aw c'mon!, correct, upload, wait for review, check proof (please, please, please) Success!, approve for sale. I'm hoping to be at "Success!" with this next proof.

So much fun... 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Found Any "Goodreads" Lately...

For those of you who are in the know, Goodreads is an online reading community where you can follow your friends libraries, read and or write reviews for books you enjoy, create your own library for others to follow and discover new authors.

I am one of those authors.

One of the wonderful things about Goodreads is they provide an avenue for new authors to share their work. One of the ways they do this is through giveaways. So, Push is being offered in a month long giveaway. For the month of October, anyone who wants to can go to Goodreads and register to win one of five free copies of Push. Add to the mix, I will also sign them in mine own hand.

Here is the link:

Also, there is supposed to be a way to add a widget for Goodreads to this blog, however I lack the mental capacity to figure out how. So for now...Go Goodreads!!!

Tell all your friends, don't keep this to yourselves. It's more blessed to give than to keep to thine ownself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Head Is About To Explode...

I embarked on a new phase of publishing today. I've submitted my book, Push, to be published in hard copy. That's right, ladies and gentleman, if everything works out one day very soon you too can hold a copy of Push in your very own hands! Commence papercuts in three, two, one...

I was confering with my cover artist today, you can call her Mrs. T, about preparing a print friendly cover out of my ebook cover because I love my book cover. It's perfect in every way, so I want to be sure it can be used in all facets of the book. Well, Mrs.T was helping me out as she so often willingly does, and I was having a bit of a panic attack on the phone. My head was pounding, my ears were ringing and everything was a blur. And I was nauseous.

She was completely enjoying my meltdown.

I can't be upset. If the roles were reversed, I probably would have found things just as comical. I'm crossing my fingers that this book and it's sequel will be successful, but I don't know if I would survive the experience. I feel a coronary coming on right now...

In other news, I will be returning my focus to the second book, forthwith and thus will have something else to focus on lest my head pop from the pressure.

Also, if you find yourself in need of a photographer for weddings, babies or families, I know a couple of really great ones.

Missy Saunders:
Mandie McMurdie:
And my cover artist, Sadie Talbot:

Shine on you crazy diamonds!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Backspace, Delete, Delete, Delete...

So I'm a writer, see, and as such, I write, so I spend a lot of time on the computer. You'd think this would lead to typing proficiency, right? Well you'd be least in my case. In just the last two sentences alone I have had to backspace and delete more times than I care to admit. I just did it again.

Some might say it's simply carelessness in the face of speed or an inability to spell. Once again, you'd be wrong. See, my affliction would be...fat fingers. There, I said it. My name is D.P. Davidson and I have sausages on the ends of my hands.

I remember an episode of Seinfeld where Seinfeld was on a date with a woman who had man hands. It creeped him out when she touched him. I don't have man hands but I do have little smokie fingers. As a matter of fact, my wedding ring is two sizes larger than my husband's, Manly Mr. D.

Thankfully delicate fingers were not on his list of required features in a mate. Actually, there were a lot of things that were not on his list, for which I am grateful. For example: balance, as in the ability to.

Which brings me to my next comment. I fall down. A lot. All the time. As a matter of fact, I was determined to eat a concrete sandwich on Saturday but thankfully managed to fail in that. Mostly.

See, what had happened was Mr. D was taking a walk around the block and I agreed to accompany him on my bicycle (we'll call that mistake # 1). He was walking kind of slow like and in trying to stay with him, I was a wobbling mess (mistake #2). Seeing I had the sense of an infant monkey, he suggested I go ahead, which I went ahead and did, after a fashion. I'd ride away, flip a u-y in the street (bad idea #1) than ride back to him.

A car was coming down the road as I was on my way back to him, so I pulled up onto the sidewalk so I wouldn't get hit or something awful like that. Well then I was in Mr.D's way so I tried to reverse walk my bike into the street (super mistake #3).

I lost my balance and since experience has taught me that fighting the fall just makes it hurt worse when I land, I let myself go...into the street. As a car was coming. Driven by a man who was 1. unconcerned I had fallen in the street and 2. unconcerned that I was still in the street as he drove by.

Had I not pulled myself out of the way, Big Jerk would have run over my head. Mr. D. was dumfounded, not because Butthead McGee almost ran me over but because I made no effort to stop my fall. Man and I have been married over thirteen years. You'd think he'd underdstand that fighting the fall only leads to stitches. He's been there for most of them.

Oh well.

Anyway after my third attempt at death by bicycle, I concluded it was best to just admit I am cyclic-ly challenged. Not all the time mind you, but once we were home, I pushed my bike into the garage, patted it's little white seat and told it I'd see it when I had more protective gear.

Anyone know where I can get a full body helmet?

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Pain In My Backside...

I'm training for a half marathon - was training - until this pain in my hip became too excrutiating to ignore. After two weeks of gimping around, I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor. (On a side note, I called the office to make the appointment and the receptionist asked if I would like to come in, two weeks from Tuesday. Why yes, I would love to limp for two more weeks before I see the doctor. Sheesh.)

Anyway, I managed to get in to see the good doctor that same day and after several x-rays wherein I had to pose like Captain Morgan and a frog, pre-leap, I was able to see the guy in the nice white coat.

After he wrenched my leg from side to side asking, "does this hurt? How 'bout this?" he sat down and told me he was thinking tendonitis. He asked if I wanted a cortisone shot and I was like "yeah... cause it hurts," to which he nodded. Then he said we'd try the shot but he wanted me back in a week, just in case it was more like a stress fracture and I was thinking, why not do the MRI right now, but what do I know?

Well now I know that from now on, I will take the MRI first, thank you.

See I've never had a cortisone shot before so when the nurse walked in with the biggest needle I have ever seen in my life, I started thinkin' maybe I'd made the wrong decision. She left that giant needle on the counter so I had some time to really think about the consequences of my decision but my leg really hurt. I've had four children (how much worse could a giant needle be) and I figured if I didn't look, I'd be okay.

Well when the Jolly Green Giant (did I mention the doctor was, no joke, six and a half feet tall) came back, I rolled over and studied the wall while he used some cooling agent on my hip. He kept telling me it "might pinch a little," but I decided if I could keep a conversation going, I would be ok.

He wasn't much for conversation so I conversated for the both of us. Everything was going okay - the needle pinched, as needles do, when all of the sudden. GAH!!!

I have never felt so much pain in my entire life. He must have hit a nerve and liked how it felt because he kept hitting it. I gritted my teeth and prayed for death until he finally pulled the needle from my backside, mentioning there was "a little blood." (Um, you practically impaled me with a jousting lance. I'd be worried if there wasn't blood. Which, by the way, we need to work on our definition of "little.")

Anyway, he asked if I was okay and I nodded as bravely as possible, mentally rattling through every bad word I could think off. Then he left and I cried.

Bravely, I cried bravely. 

My hip hurt so much worse, for the next two days I slept with one pillow under my hip and another between my knees and didn't move the entire night. It was awesome.

My hip feels spades better now but for the lovely bruise where the doctor poked me so I'm pretty sure a stress fracture isn't a concern.

Though, I think I'd take a fracture over a cortisone shot any day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

For Sophia...

If any of you have read my book (Push by D.P. Davidson, you can find it on Amazon and Smashwords) you will have seen "For Sophia" on the title page. I don't know if any of you have wondered who Sophia is but I'm gonna tell you anyway.

Sophia is my brother's youngest daughter. They call her Diva because she is strong-willed and will have her own way, so help her. She gets it from her mother (who uses her power for good). Now for Momma, these are traits to be admired but for Diva, these traits have probably saved her life.

See, the Divine Miss S. came into this world kicking and screaming two months ahead of schedule. She has been a resident at Cook Children's her entire life or seven months. She has good days and bad days and really, really bad days. She has had more surgeries in her young life than everyone in our entire family put together. Her parents made the decision, last month, to allow the doctors to put in a trach because Diva kept pulling her tubes out and strapping her arms down wasn't working anymore.

It has been hard to see my brother's family struggle. He and his wife are at that hospital every day and when they go home they have other children who still need their time and attention. My sweet sister in law, has been amazing and I know she finds that hard to believe. She marches, she stumbles, she cries and then she gets back up and keeps right on moving. I know she is tired, I know my brother is tired but as long as Diva is willing to fight the good fight, they'll be right there.

When you see people you love in pain, you ache too. Especially when you know there's nothing you can do and they have to carry the burden on their own.

My hope is that one day, when she's older, her name in this book will help her to know how much she is loved, that her parents know, right now, how very much they are loved and that they are not forgotten as they forge ahead through fretful days and sleepless nights.

For everything that I can give to them.