Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Evie felt tears gather in her eyes. One dropped to her cheek. Before she could wipe it away, Tim caught it on his thumb. Bringing it to his lips, he licked it with a flick of his tongue. Breath caught in Evie's throat, making her gasp. It was the singularly sweetest, and sexiest, thing a man had ever done.
"I sure hope the divorce is final soon," Evie gasped. "Because I can't wait months."
"Did you mean to say that aloud?" Tim leaned close, gazing into her eyes.
"No. Kinda slipped out all on its own."
Tim took her hand, brushing the palm with his thumb. "Believe me, I want it settled, too. Not just because I'm attracted to you. I want to see where this goes. I really like you, Evie."
"Since the second your hand caught in the door, I've wanted to—" he raised her hand to his lips, kissing it so gently, she almost didn't feel it. However, the thrill that ran down her spine was certainly convincing. His tongue tickled the center of her palm while his thumb continued to rub in slow circles. He nipped the base of her thumb, his eyes locked on hers.
Evie jumped, feeling herself approaching an orgasm. Would he really make her cum in public? He seemed intent on it. Pulling her hand, Evie broke the bond, but she couldn't conceal the flush of pleasure he'd given her.
"I can delight you even with all your clothing on," he whispered.
"You're an evil man, Timothy O'Brian," she said as quietly.
"No, but a damn good one," he replied without conceit.
"Am I now part of your research, Mister O'Brian?"
"No, Miss Winthrop. I only wish you were. It would make it a lot more fun."
They talked a short while longer, then Tim escorted her upstairs. He wanted badly to kiss her, but he knew his limitations, and he'd already exceeded them. Tasting her tears, touching her so innocently, but erotically, had made him mad with desire. If he allowed himself more, he would step over the invisible line of no turning back.
Instead, Tim raised Evie's hand to his lips. He kissed the crest of her wrist before turning it over to buss the palm. With a little thrill of deceit, he allowed himself to continue what he started earlier. Her eyes widened, but she held still, inhaling sharply. Little, breathy gasps marked his progress. A low moan, accompanied by a shudder heralded his success. Her eyes, coal black with desire, moved to his face, questioningly. His smile secretive, Tim brushed her cheek with his lips. He smelled her sex scent and smiled again.
"Good night," he growled softly in her ear. "See you tomorrow, Evelyn."
"B-bye." She fumbled getting her door open and dashed into her apartment. She had never been so disconcerted by a man. "I'm a mess!" she gasped, her back to the door. She slid down to sit on the floor. "How did he do that?" More to the point, would he do it again?
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Friday, August 26, 2016
All authors are sadists. It's a fact, we have to be. It's really not our fault. Stories need action, they need conflict, how better to provide that than to hurl our characters into some difficult situation and watch them claw their way back out? Hardly seems sporting, does it?
I suppose we could blame our readers, right? I mean, if the book hasn't got at least one good argument or a brawl, they feel cheated. If they feel cheated, they won't buy our books. If they don't buy, we don't make money – so, conflict, drama, hardship, pain, anguish, suffering – ensue. Yes, blame it on the readers.
It seems really mean to create these characters only to watch them suffer. We make them fall in love with the wrong person who breaks their hearts. We kill off their loved ones and chase off their dogs. We leave them hanging from cliffs, flip over their cars and have them attacked by psycho killers, rabid dogs or murderous biker gangs. That's okay, I blame the readers for this too.
We are evil! How do we think of that stuff? Most of the authors I know are certainly not rabid dog chasing, murderous psychotic car flipping, cliff dangling bikers. So, how do we think of all this crazy stuff? I've never been in a gun fight or fought rampageous aliens in a sentient ship, but I can certainly describe it so my readers can visualize it. Honestly, I don't know. My characters get tangled in events that have never happened to me or anyone I know, yet I figure out ways to make them sound reasonable and plausible.
Some incidents in my stories really happened, but I elaborate on them, pushing the limits of believability to make a better story. Although the scene in The Ninja Tattoo where Teague finds himself in mysterious convoy on Riverside Drive, is based on something that really happened to me, I wasn't targeted for death. I didn't hide out at a cottage in the woods or take down my opponents with drug tipped knives. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Read the book.)
I'm pretty sure that nothing in Lone Wolf or Indian Summer is remotely related to my real life, yet I manage to put them through their literary paces as well. I'm not sure which of the characters get treated the worst. I'm sure they could argue the point with me until we were both hoarse. (Yes, my characters argue with me – deal with it.) Each of them would scream I'm meaner to them than the others and probably Manuel and Wil would be the most vocal. However, I contend that they are still alive at the end of the book and the villains are not, so maybe they should pipe down.
So readers, the next time you're reading a particularly sadistic book full of action, broken hearts and trauma, remember – you have only yourselves and the characters to blame. The author is, of course, completely innocent.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Wednesday,August 24 at 4:00 PM EDT (3 CDT, 2 MDT, 1 PDT), Dellani and Christina welcome back two guests and greet a new one.
Distinguished as being one of Dellani's first guests, we are pleased to have Mark David Gerson on the show again. He is the author of Sara's Year, Moonquest Series, Acts of Surrender, Birthing Your Book and many more. Mark will join us from 4:00 – 5:00
Also returning is Maria DeVivo , author of Coal Elf and The Rise of Sturd. Maria will join us 5:00 – 6:00
New to the show is Dan O'Brien, author of Sixth Prime, Lauren Westlake Mystery series, Society of Dawn series and many more. Dan will talk with us and the others from 4:00 – 6:00.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Kara and Jason have known one another for years, but just started dating recently. For fun, they decide to go to the beach. While there, Kara sees her gay friend, Adam, who is a lifeguard. He insists on catching up, so they take a short stroll down the beach.
"Kara?" Jason called after her.
She didn't realize they had walked quite so far from him, giggling like a couple little kids.
"He's gonna murder me. Run to him, like the wind!" Adam pushed her away.
Kara lost her balance, arms flailing, nearly falling down. Adam caught her, setting her on her feet as Jason ran up.
"Sorry, sometimes I forget how strong I am and how delicate she is. I really wasn't going to hurt her. I swear."
Jason gave Adam a funny look. "It's cool, dude. Kara, you want a drink?"
"Yeah, I'd love one. Crap, that's the one thing we forgot."
"It's okay, I'm going down to the vendor. Do you need help with your sunscreen?"
"I'll get it," Adam volunteered. "I am a professional." He flexed his fingers.
Jason blinked, eyes narrowing. "Okay." Shaking his head, he walked away from them. He turned, walking backwards.
"Still love Coke?"
"Almost as much as I love you," she answered, blowing him a kiss.
"Subtle," Adam quipped, putting her lotion on.
"I thought so. He's not sure what to make of you."
"It's cool if you tell him about my preferences, doll. I don't mind."
"I won't unless he asks."
"Trust me, he's going to ask."
"How do you know?"
"Because I would. I may prefer dicks to chicks, but I'm still a guy. He won't be happy until he knows exactly where I fit into the picture." He was busily putting lotion on her chest without really thinking about it, when Jason walked up. "Oh, my God! I'm a dead man."
Jason stood over them looking down at Adam's hands on her chest. Kara as laughing so hard, she could hardly sit up. Adam sat there with his hands on her breasts like they were stuck with glue. He couldn't move.
"I'm so embarrassed. I swear, this isn't what it looks like."
"Yeah? It looks like you're feeling up my lady friend."
"Trust me, I wasn't." Adam wiped his hands on her chest, rubbing them on his pants to get the rest of the lotion off. "So before this starts an argument or you proceed to remove my private parts painfully through my anus, let me introduce myself." Adam put on a silly voice, acting like a girl. "Hi, I'm Adam and I'm gay. Trust me, I'm more interested in you than I am in her. Oh, that didn't come out right either. Help me, Kara."
"Adam and I were on swim team together. He was my bedroom buddy." She explained about their relationship.
Before she was finished, Jason was laughing. "Oh, now it all makes sense. I was getting this weird vibe from you, man. I thought—well, who knows what I thought. I don't even know."
"Her breasts and other parts are safe from my ravaging," Adam assured him. "There were times when I wished I didn't prefer men. Did you notice that sexy mole she's got on her...."
"Okay, Adam. He doesn't have to know you saw me naked."
"What? Before I did? No fair. Now I'm jealous. So," he looked at Adam. "It didn't do anything for you?"
"Maybe a flicker. It was disappointing as hell. There was this gorgeous girl naked in the shower and I didn't even want to fuck her."
"Oh, that's just sacrilegious, dude. The female form is to be worshiped and admired. This body proves the existence of God."
"And do you worship often?" Adam pulled a serious face, examining it like a scientific discovery.
"As often as possible. I believe in a full range of religious experiences, especially before breakfast and after supper."
"You're right," Kara fussed at Adam. "You're still a guy. I am here, you know. I haven't left and I'm not deaf."
"It's okay, sweetie. We're done now. Hey, are you going to the party at what's her name's lake house this weekend?"
"Which what's her name and what lake house?" Jason asked, taking a sip of his drink.
"Oh, that tacky one with the big lips and the fake tits. She works with Kara at the Pub."
"Trina's got a lake house? What party?"
"I don't know. All I heard was a big party out there. Pretty sure it's her. I could be wrong. Who knows with those things?"
"We've got other plans," Jason said, putting his arms around Kara.
"I don't want to be reminded about anything pertaining to work," Kara laid her head on Jason's chest, snuggling into his embrace. "I've got more important things on my mind."
"Okay, I'm going over there," Adam pointed to his tower. "And I'm going to pretend you don't exist. Do me a favor though. Don't hump her in public. That's such poor taste."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Friday, August 19, 2016
Authors look at life from a unique angle. What seems like a regular day to anyone else, presents opportunities to an author. Each event stays in our memory banks, waiting to be used for a short story, novel or poem. We withdraw from the bank as needed, adding to the balance of our stories.
I find myself going through my day, listening and watching, always thinking if something will eventually make it into a book. I don't consciously remember them, nor do I plan to add things, they just sort of show up.
It amazes my husband that every time I go out, I come back with a story. Whether it be a conversation that took place in the store, a near-miss accident on the road, or crazy people in the parking lot at the mall, I always have something.
Do these things happen to other people? Seriously. Does everyone have a crazy, drunk lady walk up to them in the mall parking lot and ask if her hair looks all right? She's obviously wearing a cheap wig, okay? It looks horrible. Do I say that? Oh, hell no! “It looks lovely,” I reply as I quickly get in my car and lock the door.
Did anyone else notice the old lady in Panera Bread who stood ahead of me in line? I doubt it, but it stuck with me so much, I finally had to write it down. The line was long and a young man ahead of us had on a black Pantera jacket. The lettering was pale yellow and a white skull was behind the T, making it look like it said Panera.
“Why do you suppose he's standing in this long line,” she asked her husband in a worried tone. “If he works here, shouldn't he be able to walk up and get whatever he wants?” She carried on like that for some time.
I couldn't let the poor old darling keep thinking that he worked there, could I? She was getting herself all worked up. So I spoke to her.
“It doesn't say Panera. It says Pantera. The T is obscured by a skull.”
“Oh. What does that mean?”
“Pantera is a heavy metal band.”
“Heavy metal – hard rock.”
“Oh! Fancy you knowing a thing like that.”
“I have teenagers,” I said, diplomatically. I didn't have the heart to tell the old dear that I'd been listening to Cowboys from Hell moments before walking into the store.
My daughter and I were once in Winn Dixie doing some shopping. She wanted a case of sodas, so we loaded up some Coca-Cola. A little further down the aisle, we saw Pepsi was on sale, so we backed up the cart saying, in unison, “No Coke. Pepsi.” Like they did in the old Saturday Night Live skit. An elderly gentleman walked around the corner just as we said that. I'm sure he thought we were both completely insane.
Though my daughter isn't an author, she has equally strange things happen to her. She called me once and told me some man had come up to her in the store. “Obviously, English was not his first language,” she imparted. “He smiled and said, How may I pronounce your name?”
Another time, she told me she'd seen a man going down the street, talking in sign language. He was apparently having an argument with himself. He would stand one way, gesture and fling the comments at another person. Then the second person would reply – different stance, but same aggressive gestures. He will one day make it into a book.
Random people I meet at the grocery store have been included in several books, some of them, not too favorably. The old woman who purposely hit me with her shopping cart – she's there. The older couple who blocked the sweet potatoes and couldn't hear when I asked to get around them – they're in another. The kindly gentleman who gave me advice in the wine section, he's also there, but more favorably.
The point I'm making is that inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but the most important for any author is the ability to observe. Everything you see, hear, smell or feel can be used to enhance a story. Never pass up an opportunity to deposit in your memory bank.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Putting his sunglasses on, Johnny settled in his chair, his arms behind his head. He closed his eyes, a half smile playing at his lips.
I reached into the ice chest, taking out a handful of ice and water. Before I could toss it on him, he leaped forward and grabbed my hand, forcing me to drop the water. His kiss was electric, his strong body pressed against mine, gently pinning me to my chair.
"I know you, Renabean. Don't even," he said changing his grip on my hand, "think of putting that cold hand down the back of my pants."
"I hadn't planned to."
I nibbled his nose, easing my wrist out of his grasp. Distracting him with a little tongue action, I slipped my hand down the front of his shorts, dropping the ice cubes. His howl echoed off the condos behind us as he jumped off my chair, dancing around as he tried to dislodge the ice.
"Oh, ow! You wait, young lady! I'll get you for that!"
He hopped to the water, grabbing at the front of his pants. About knee deep, he dropped them, mooning Randy, the girls and me. I rolled on the sand, laughing my ass off. The girls giggled, checking out his fine ass. Randy didn't know what to think, he just shifted uneasily in his seat, one hand guarding the family jewels.
Johnny pulled up his pants and ran up the beach, roaring angrily. He wasn't really mad, but he was going to get me back. I sat on the cooler, holding it with both hands.
"Oh, no! You're not getting in this cooler!"
He grabbed me off the cooler with ease, holding me to him as he nibbled my neck. His lips were soft and sensuous, moving from my neck to my ear, and then my lips. His grip was gentle, but unyielding, as his hands and lips traveled over my body. I felt myself melting inside.
I knew he was using it as a distraction. His revenge would be unexpected and devious. If I didn't know him so well, I would have been lulled into the belief that he had completely forgotten about anything but kissing me.
Suddenly, Johnny lifted me in his strong arms, still kissing me, only I knew he was about to exact his revenge. He walked down the beach and threw me in the water. Kicking and flailing, I sank below the shallow surf, taking in a mouthful of salty water as I tried to catch a breath. I stood up, coughing and blowing water in his face as he laughed at me.
Grabbing his shorts, I pulled him toward me, kissing him passionately. My right hand held a secret. As Johnny stood next to me, I poured wet sand down the front of his pants, earning another howl. I dashed up the beach as he dove into the water, dropping his shorts again to wash the sand off.
"Rena, I'll get you for that! Dammit, now I've got sand on my balls! Rena!" He struggled into his pants, fastening them as he followed me out of the water.
I ran around the base of the lifeguard tower, dodged behind trash bins and out into the surf. After a couple minutes of running, I let him catch me. His kiss set my pulse racing. I couldn't tell if he was going to do something to me or not, but I knew I was in for it. Instead of being angry, though, he couldn't get enough of me. His hands and lips explored everywhere they could reach. I could feel him hard and hot against me, and worried that maybe I'd finally gone too far. I admit, I was getting a little nervous. For the moment, I enjoyed the extra attention.
Randy's voice broke the mood, calling to us. "Hey, Rena, you two need to get a room!"
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Friday, August 12, 2016
Hello, my name is Dellani and I'm an author. I'm here today because I have a writing crutch. Admit it. Be honest with yourself – we all have them. They differ from one to the next, but we all have our little things that we do. It's our safety net.
I don't know about the rest of you, but mine is the hospital. Just when things seem to be going well, someone breaks a leg, has an asthma attack, gives birth, has a heart attack, gets beaten up, nearly drowns or has a car accident.
Looking through my finished (and unfinished) books, I took a count of how many of my stories involve someone being in the hospital or receiving medical attention. Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I counted them up. Of the 137 novels and novellas (finished and unfinished) polled: 90 involved someone receiving medical attention. 52 do not. These numbers are slightly mutable. If I couldn't remember specifically if there were medical issues, I counted them in the not medical attention category.
That's a lot of broken bones, babies, accidents, shootings, stabbings, amputations, near drownings, head injuries, heart attacks, beatings, surgeries or asthma attacks! I have a high number of very unfortunate characters.
I guess this is my version of Raymond Chandler's plot crutch. “When in doubt, make a guy come through the door with a gun in his hand.” Only mine would be, “When in doubt, send someone to the hospital.”
I try to get away from it. Really, I do! I have rewritten more than one story to avoid it, but they keep coming back again and again. Of course, it doesn't help that several of my stories involve medical people. Then there are the ones that involve the every day Joe becoming a hero. Of course, he's going to get hurt. That's a given.
Just ask any of my heroes. They will tell you that the movies have it wrong. You can't crawl through an attic, kick out a wall, hop down onto a water fountain and not end up in a heap on the floor with a bone protruding through the skin.
Or they can tell you that you when you tackle an intruder on the stairs, one of you is gonna end up with a concussion. Not always the bad guy, either.
Crawl through broken glass and get cut up – check. Get in a fight to the death with psychopaths – check. Knife fight followed by a shootout with sadistic bikers – check. Gunfights, sword fights, fist fights, chick fights – check.
Sorry, y'all. Someone is gonna end up bleeding. It's inevitable.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Alton and Velda is a fantasy I've been working on. Revanth is a man who's been enchanted into a horse by a swamp naiad named Eleion. He and his Wood Sprite friend, Alton, go to see her to get her to break the spell, so they can rescue their lady loves.
“You seem quite certain you can defeat me, Wood Sprite. Here in the heart of my swamp, I am queen. You might harm me, but my swamp will swallow you alive before you can enjoy it.”
“Will you help us?”
She eyed them critically. “I don't know.”
“I give you one last chance to say yes,” Alton said. “Will you, Eleion the Witch, help us?”
Suddenly, she was off her feet, hanging in mid air. Screeching, she flailed around, trying to work her magic. An unseen force kept her airborne. Alton smiled up at her.
“You're sure, are you? That's your final answer? I can keep you up there indefinitely, Witch. A Wood Sprite has a few skills, you know.”
“Not this, not an air spell! How can you? You're of the Earth and Wood.”
“That would be telling. I can leave you, high and dry, until you dry up and fall to dust,” Alton said. “Or, you can give us the aid we require. Which is it?”
“I'll help you!”
“You will give your unimpeded word,” Alton said. “You are bound by it, just as I am. You will not harm us in any way, nor will you cause, directly or indirectly, for harm to come to us. You will not impede us, nor cause us to be impeded. You will not slow us—”
“Enough! Obviously, you have dealt with my kind before.”
“I have dealt with you enough to know that I will say the rest of the oath, or I'll kill you now and leave you to rot in your filthy swamp.”
He continued to bind her will and intentions, giving her the Deal Maker's Oath. It was equally binding to both parties. If she wanted to be protected, she had to accept.
“Do I have your promise that you will not harm me if I help you?” Eleion said, somewhat subdued.
“You have my promise that I will not harm you, if you aid us as we need.”
The rest of the deal was struck. Alton, having dealt with witches a time or two dozen before, knew how to give her very little leeway. As protected as he could hope to be, he spit on his palm, lowering her enough to clasp her spit covered palm.
“Let me down,” Eleion demanded. “I can't work up here.”
“As you wish,” Alton said, lowering her with a thump.
Eleion advanced, poking her long, sharp nailed finger into his chest. “I know you, Sprite. You and I have crossed paths before. We shall again. The next time, I won't wait for a deal, I'll kill you where you stand.”
“You'll try,” Alton said with a smile. “Now, for our deal. You have agreed to change my friend back to his former self. And no tricks, or your head is mine.”
Digging her toes into the mud, Eleion spoke in a guttural language that made Alton's skin crawl. The hair on his head and body stood at attention, making him feel quite peculiar. It was nothing to the effect it had on Revanth. He collapsed to his knees, gulping and retching. His body shivered and shook, his bones snapping and cracking. The horse writhed on the ground, pawing the air with his hooves as he tried to breathe. With a scream that sounded as much human as horse, he lay still.
“You've killed him!” Alton drew his sword. “If you have lied to me, Witch!”
A moan at his feet greeted his sensitive ears. The horse body fell to black dust, coating the naked man within. Squinting against the light, Revanth rolled to his hands and knees. Rocking back on his heels, he raised his hands in front of his face, marveling at them.
“I'm myself again! I am a man! Thank you, Eleion!” He grasped her arms as if he intended to kiss her, but stopped himself. “You did this to me, you foul hag!” He took a step toward her, but stopped as his feet took root in the mud. Wild-eyed, he gazed beseechingly at his friend.
“Peace, brother. You have thanked her for your release, but take no action against her.” His dark green eyes flickered and he shook his head.
“I lost myself for a moment. Brother, do you have spare clothing? I can hardly walk around the land without my pants.”
Alton chuckled, digging in his pack. He handed Revanth his clothing. The binding on him receded and he was able to dress.
“The other part of our deal, Witch,” Alton said. “I don't wish to sully my blade with that swamp water you call blood.”
“You could make an effort to be more polite, Alton of Lyndon Meade,” Eleion spat. “You don't remember, do you? Who I am? How we met?” She grasped him firmly between the legs, rubbing hungrily. “Do you remember now—lover?”
Taking a step back, he pushed at her. “I remember you did your best to suck the life from me and leave me to die—lover. Ill met one night when I'd had more mead than sense. A less than satisfactory tumble, I must say.”
“Wait!” Revanth said, struggling with his pants. “You know her?”
“In every sense of the word,” Alton replied, his tone cold. “She lured me to her, pretending to be Velda. It was the first time I was unfaithful, shortly after we met. Then, the witch tried to kill me for her amusement. Velda banished her here, to live the best she could amongst the slime and putrid gasses. You deserved worse. Your sister was kind.”
“They are sisters?” Revanth paled. “Is that why you told us to seek her out? Why you ruined my life? Revenge because she had the man you couldn't have, except by trickery?”
Revanth snatched Alton's sword from his scabbard. Swinging it in a tight arc, he severed Eleion's head from her shoulders. The ground rumbled as her head fell. The water rose, lapping and grabbing at their feet.
“Run!” Alton said.
“This way!” Old Jon called from a tangle of trees not far away.
“The deal,” Revanth said, halting. “I broke the deal! What will happen?”
“Run!” Alton urged. “The swamp will eat us alive if we give it a chance.”
They followed Old Jon to his holding. The world around them shuddered and shook violently. Trees, bushes and grasses tried to trip them. Animals crossed their path, but they cast them aside. Once back at Old Jon's land, they stopped running. Though the trees and mud writhed and reached for them, they could do no harm to the three men. Gulping air, Revanth leaned over, supporting himself with his hands on his knees.
“I broke the deal. I killed the witch! What have I done?”
“Saved us all a lot of trouble,” Old Jon said, grinning. “And you didn't break the deal.”
“But how? We promised no harm would come to her.”
“No,” Alton said, smirking. “I promised I would do her no harm. I never said you wouldn't. When she said you will not harm me, she chose to mean both of us. But, you couldn't speak then, only I. You couldn't give your word, therefore, the oath wasn't binding to you. For the purpose of the deal, you meant only me. One small word has saved us from destruction.”
“How could she be held accountable to help me, then?”
“Because, my friend, I said us.”
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
For More About Dellani
|Made at Azalea's Dolls|
Sunday, August 07, 2016
On Monday, August 8, Christina and Dellani welcome three super authors.Two have been here before, and one is brand new! We can't wait totalk to them.
Our first guest today is not only an incredible author, she's another of our Red River Radio hosts and a dear friend. Please welcome BarbaraEhrentreu, author of After and If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Welcome, Barbara!
Our next guest is author Eric Williams. His book is Edric the Hatchling Gryphon and Edric the Gryphon Prince. Welcome back, Eric.
Our third guest is new to Tea Time and we are thrilled to have her here. We met during a Facebook Christmas in July event. Please help me welcome Barb Caffrey, author of Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble, as well as Survive the Maelstrom, A Dark and Stormy Night and Joey Maverick which she co-wrote with her late husband, Michael. Welcome, Barb.
Friday, August 05, 2016
I suppose some would call me old fashioned. I like to hear people express themselves appropriately. I grew up in a household where my sentences were corrected as I spoke. Sometimes, I couldn't even complete a sentence, because of the corrections. I did the same to my children. Not saying that it's the best approach, but I learned early how to speak properly. I also learned how to write.
My father was an English professor. My mother was a teacher. I didn't have a snowball's chance of growing up without a working knowledge of English. As my father told me once, “You may not know the names for what's wrong, but you recognize the error and know how to fix it.” Then he handed me a manuscript, written by a college professor, that he was editing for publication. Pressing a blue editor's pencil in my hand, he told me to have at it. And I did.
We rewrote 95% of that book because it was so poorly written, it was indecipherable. That was my maiden voyage into the world of editing. I like to hope I did well.
After this trial by fire in editing, I knew the world of writing was my chosen course. I deviated somewhat, choosing theatre as a major, but after that, I went into English and became a teacher. From there, the natural progression was into writing. I've never regretted it. I love writing.
What I don't like is the blatant disregard for the written, and spoken, word. No one cares how they express themselves. It doesn't worry them that they sound stupid or ignorant. Calling something art does not allow a complete disregard for grammatical conventions. It's fine once in awhile. Many authors break the rules from time to time. However, occasionally breaking a rule with full knowledge of the inaccuracy is completely different from consistently breaking it because you're too ignorant to know better.
If you want to write, learn how. Don't expect your talent to carry you, because it won't. There are a lot of wonderful stories out there that are so poorly written, no one will ever read them. People who read books know the difference between a grammatical sentence and garbage. Don't insult them and embarrass yourself by writing badly.
Not sure if something is correct? Ask someone. Show it to a teacher, another writer, a journalist—anyone who puts words on paper can be helpful. If you don't know any of the above, do you know a rabbi, minister or priest? They, too, make their living with words. Their venue is the spoken word, but there are still conventions of grammar and language that carry over.
Visit your local library and see if they have any writing groups you can join. Most of these are free, with volunteers teaching them. If they don't have one, start your own. You don't have to be an expert. You can invite others to join. Together, you can explore the amazing adventure of writing.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Miranda Karev has lived across the hall from Jeffry Stanton for just over a year. For nine months of that time, they were a couple—until Jeff said he loved her. Haunted by fears of abandonment, she breaks it off. Lucky for her, Jeff decides he wants another chance and Miranda does too. Unfortunately, her therapist has suggested she give celibacy a try, so they are spending the weekend snowed in and getting to know each other—without sex. Her co-worker calls to make sure she's all right.
My phone rang. I thought it might be Dr. Meyers.
"Hiya, Randi. It's Dave. You okay?"
"Yes. Got our power and water. You?"
"Not bad. We're partying over here."
I could hear talking and music in the background. Dave, his younger brother and many of the other tech people and actors lived in apartments over the theater. Brent and Shaine let them live there rent free. They did help with utility bills, but the lack of city rent was nice. Brent offered me one, but I already had this place when I started working there. Jeffry and I had just met.
"Sounds like you're having fun."
"Yeah, not bad. Don't suppose you want to come over?"
"We can't. That's a long way on foot and our parking lot is blocked by an eight foot wall of snow."
"Hadn't thought of that. Well, wanted to check on you."
"Thanks, Dave. Tell everyone I said hi. We're fine."
"We...." He said, sounding very disappointed. "So, working out with Jeff?"
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"Hey, that's life, right? Lost opportunities and broken chances. I guess I'm gonna polish off this bottle of Cuervo and head to bed—alone."
"Ew, Jose Cuervo is not my friend. Now, me and Jack Daniels, we're buddies."
"Bing drank the last of the Jack and Bern snagged the Johnny Walker."
"No Jim Beam?"
"Colt's got that."
"How long have you guys been drinking?"
"What time is it?"
"Almost six o'clock."
"Yeah...." He paused so long, I thought he'd forgotten me. "I believe we started at noon, but I could be mistaken. There was food, then there was booze. Now I'm lying on Colt's floor staring at the ceiling clutching a half empty bottle and talking to you."
"I think you need to put the bottle down and pass out."
"I think that sounds like 'n accepta-bibble option." He hiccuped loudly. "Okay, that's it. Make the room stop spinning!"
I heard the phone clatter. Someone picked it up and spoke into it the wrong way around. Some fumbling and muttering followed, then I got a better response.
"Hi. Who's this?"
"Dave? I was talking to Dave."
"You can't be Dave, because he's lying here passed out and—cause," he burped loudly, "you're a girl."
"This is Miranda."
"Oh, hi, Randi. This is Bing—Bing Crosby. How're you?"
"Fine. You can hang up now, Bing. I need to go."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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