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Monday, January 23, 2012

More on Writing OR OH, NO, FAT WOMAN Said She Wouldn't Do This Again, But She's Doing It AGAIN!

Let's see, how to start. How to start. How to start. (Let me drum my fingers across the desk while I'm deep thought.) I'll start at the point where my neurons and dendrites began to spark and fizzle. That would be best, I'm sure.

Recently I got a letter about my spelling in Bubba and the Dead Woman. This is probably my most popular book, partly because I offer it as a freebie and because it's funny. (I think it's funny. But I'm biased.) (I've slightly changed the content of this letter for hilarity's sake but the gist of it is correct.) (Hey, why am I making everything in parentheses smaller fonts? Because it amuses me. Possibly it will amuse you as well. But if it doesn't you can write me a letter about it.)

Dear Ms. Bevill (I'm really glad it wasn't Dear Dumbass Writer or possibly Dear Stupid Writer or even the horrendous Dear Would-be Writer),

I read your novel, Bubba and the Dead Woman. I downloaded it because it was free. (This last sentence does not endear you to me but that is the precise reason I give it away so I'm just hosed on that one.) I'm writing to let you know that you have a lot of spelling errors in your book that should be fixed. For example, you use the word shore instead of sure. Also you use cain't instead of can't. I don't think your spellcheck is working properly. (Thar's a spellcheck on my computer doohickey? Hot dam.)

This greatly diminishes your book which is somewhat amusing and has an interesting plot. (Okay I'm now properly chastised.)


A fan who doesn't like misspellings.

Oh, my brain threatens to explode with the implications of this. Whoops, there it went. (Man, that cat can move out when properly motivated.  Apparently exploding brain fragments frighten his little gray fuzziness.) I'm going to need to break out the bleach spray to clean that up. You know, brain remnants really stain the walls. (How do I know? Well, that's just another story I can't really tell to an unsuspecting populace.)

On a tangent, I was reading a review of a novel reviewed at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. (I love that website.) In the novel the writer was having the Scottish hero speak in an accent. Not a lot, but enough where he would say, "Fooking." I wonder if that author has people writing to her about her misspelling the word, "Fooking." After all, whenever I'm fooking around with my manuscripts I can't fooking well be bothered with spelling. Fook that. (You'd never know I'm not Scottish. And if I have any Scottish fans reading this, I'm sorry if I offended you. I'm also sorry if I offend any rednecks with my writing a redneck accent. Not that I consider it really a redneck accent. It's more of an East Texas accent. Ya'll hold on, I need a better shovel for this hole I'm digging for myself.) (No, wait, a fooking better shovel.)  (Also, I just got a very nice letter from a Scottish blogger who loves my work, so I'm going to apologize to her personally.  Michelle, I'm fooking sorry.)

Okay, back to the fooking letter that started all of this.

Dear A Fan Who Doesn't Like Misspellings,

I believe you might have lost a few things. You might want to look for one in particular. I think it was a sense of humor.  You might be missing it.

Onto your complaint. This is a ". It's called a double quotation mark. It's used for speech or quotes. For example, "Someone had blundered: Theirs was not to make reply, theirs was not to reason why, theirs but to do and die." This was from Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade and it seemed apt for the moment.

Here's another example, "If there was a rule in the south, another man didn’t mess with someone’s truck, his dog, or his woman, in that precise order." And for further clarification, "It shore gets their attention away from having stabbed their girlfriend or mother."  Both of those quotes are from Bubba and the Dead Woman, which I did write, and gleefully whilst shooting peas out of my nostrils I might add. (Oh, the heck with it, I did add it. No might about it.)
And here's where I get to bend the rules as a writer. (Freedom of speech and all of that. That includes freedom of creativity in there, as well. It's fooking implied!) There are places in the south where folks pronounce "sure" as "shore." "I shorely do miss that white elephant in the corner," being an example.

Furthermore, I allege that if something is within the confines of a double quotation mark, then it's out of bounds for spelling critiques. "I cain't be bothered with spelling, ya'll." Of course, I've thrown the rule book in the trash because I find it particularly annoying. (I had to read it and then I had to look things up. Very vexing, I’m shore. Oh, wait, very fooking vexing, I’m shore. Might as well combine those so somebody will really have something to complain about.)

Let me expound. Yes, expound in a way that will probably drive you to go get that last cold beer in the fridge. I’ll wait.

If the words are within the confines of a double quotation mark, in all probability I meant the words exactly the way they are. It’s meant to sound that way. Most other people understand this, but for you I’ll explain further. It’s meant to sound as if they’re from a certain region. Some of it’s meant to be humorous in a fun, silly manner and not offensive to the folks who live there.

And yes, I meant to write “shore” and “cain’t” and quite a few other things like “bizness,” and “ya’ll,” and “the gators are gonna et you up,” and “you shall be heeeeaaaaled.” (You might notice that the last one is a character who has a tendency to speak like an evangelical preacher and not really meant as a specific dialect.) (And that means I pick on everyone, not just the people from the south.  No one is safe.  I'm not just picking on Texans and evangelical preachers and Scots.  No, I'll get to the rest of you soon, if I haven't already done it.)

Thank you so much for writing. It's always entertaining to hear people's opinions on my work, even if I don't agree with them.

Sincerely (Fooking A I do mean it),


Well, that just about says fooking everything. There's a little gray cat in the house somewhere complaining that my daughter is carrying him in an awkward manner and he's about to get his little claws out and show her who's the boss, so I'm outta heah. (Maybe I should put quotations around "outta heah" so I won't get a complaint about that, too. Oh, the fook with it.)
This is what I have to put up with while writing.
Can you tell which one is which?


Mac said...

Wow. I'd love to get a reader email. I'd drool over that.

Phunny yall got one from an anal sort.

(Yall know the singular and plural of yall, don't yall. Yall, versus all yall.)

Second phunny thing, is most readers who aren't writers will tend to read over the rough spots without noticing.

Imagine me, an ANAL WRITER, giving you grief. Oh, yall don't have to imagine it. Ya've received it before.

He winks, knowingly.

Carwoo said...

Wow. I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning.

Jo said...

Those who can't, complain about it and annoy the hell (hayul) out of the rest of us. Fookin' A! (That's Scottish Texan, right?)

Carwoo said...

I knew someone would completely understand my written accent. Yea!

T. L. Ingham said...

Okay, so when I got done peeing from laughing so hard (tmi I know), I just had to say, having read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Bubba and the Dead Woman (which I incidentally picked up after the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas-soo funny, and Dial M for Mascara- so I had paid twice before being 'gifted' with the free first Bubba book), I completely understood the intended vernacular. I only ask, request, plead and beg- keep doin' what you're doin' 'cause be it blog or book, I am sincerely enjoying it!!!

Carwoo said...

Oh, I don't think I mind when someone says they laughed so hard they peed. That is the intentional, after all. Well, some of it, anyway. Try The Life and Death of Bayou Billy. That one's got a corpse that keeps getting stolen.

sarah said...

Too funny. I live in east Texas and the accent is dead on. Only thing I feel you're missing is the way coupons is said. Cracks me up. Your book is fantasmic.

Carwoo said...

Wait! How do I say coupons? How am I supposed to say coupons? Coo-pons? Now I'll have to figure out how to work it into the next book.

Jeff Corkran said...

No! This reader actually tried to correct your dialect? Always remember that beauty is only skin deep, but stupid goes all the way to the bone. Fooking A right!

I greatly enjoyed the fact that you made the effort to add the dialect/accent. It's not necessarily easy to do, which your reader obviously does not understand.

Carwoo said...

Fooking A!!! (Sorry, Michelle! I had to do it.)