Sunday, June 09, 2013

Ouch

I cringed when I read my column in the paper today. I had a grammatical error. I knew better. I must have read that column a dozen times. I listened to it, and Jilda skimmed it, but when I read it today, it jumped off the page and stung me like a red wasp.

I overheard a young writer a few weeks ago talking to someone about their manuscript. He said, "I don't need an editor, I know how to write." I almost snorted when I heard him say this. My first instinct was to tell him to stop smoking crack, but I let it slide. I thought to myself, he'll learn soon enough how goofy that statement was.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe he is one of those rare individuals who is a master of the language and writes flawless prose, but I'd bet my truck that his first manuscript will contain errors.

On another subject, today was Decoration at the cemetery where my people are buried. I volunteer for cleanup duties, and I always work the donation tent on the morning shift. We try to collect enough money this weekend to pay for keeping the grass cut during the summer, but we usually fall short.

Today a family walked up the hill. They donated a significant amount of money and I stood talking with them for a while. I knew right away they didn't live in Alabama, but I learned the parents were born here but moved up north to Illinois in the 40s to find work. 

I mentioned that I maintained the http://www.daviscemetery.com website and asked if they had pictures of their loved ones buried at the cemetery that they'd like posted.
As we talked, one of the daughters said, "Hey, are you the guy that writes for the paper?" Apparently she reads my columns online from Illinois. 

This writing thing is interesting. When I started writing my column, I thought a few people in my community would read my work. As it turns out, the audience is much wider than I ever imagined.

I hope you all have a blessed week. Let's all do something remarkable.




21 comments:

  1. You are widely read because you are good!!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words.

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  2. Editing rule #1 - NEVER edit your own work! I've broken that rule too many times myself.

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  3. Isn't that exciting, Rick? We all love your writing and now your words are really going across the country! Heck your UNIVERSAL!
    Hugs~

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  4. Congratulations that your words are going across the country...

    I totally agree with you about the proof reading...I go over mine 3 to 5 times and still I find glaring errors... I would definitely need someone to check mine before I sent something out that so many people read...

    You do a really great job with yours... I have not seen too many mistakes get by... it happens though, we are human... :)

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    1. Thank you Launna. Only those who don't write won't make mistakes :)

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  5. It's great to know your writing is read by readers far and further afield!!! Glad the fundraising for the upkeep of the cemetery went well too! Take care
    x

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    1. Thanks Kitty. We probably need to raise more with the price of gas these days :)

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  6. Rick I can defiitely see why you're so widely read. You're quite the gifted writer sir.

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    1. Thanks Keith. I enjoy your blog as well. Your latest entry (Namaste) caught my eye because that's what my wife ends each yoga class with.
      We had class tonight and she Namtaed us not 30 minutes ago. I bet she'd like that tat too.

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  7. If I was a real writer (like you!) I would always want someone to proof read my work...see, I don't even know the real term for that! I always enjoy reading what you've wrote (huh?) Anyway, Decoration Day must not be announced around these parts. I think it's wonderful and how nice that you volunteer your time. This may sound weird, but cemeteries are one of my favorite places to wander. My Mom's the same way so I can blame her! Have a great day and I hope I can do something remarkable, like cleaning my house since I have the day off!

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    1. Decoration is a southern thang. If I'm not mistaken, it started when wives and mothers scattered flowers on Civil War battlefields. Almost every cemetery around here has Decoration Day which is usually Homecoming too.

      Cleaning the house can be remarkable :)

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  8. Oh, how I hate an error! It was even worse when I was a reporter and an editor would insert an error in my writing. That drove me crazy.

    Love,
    Janie

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  9. I used to think I was a fair self-editor. That was, of course, a misconception.

    How wonderful that you help maintain a cemetery. My family is buried in Illinois, which is 2,000 miles from me.

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    1. Thanks Susan. You must live near the left coast.

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  10. Oh I hear you lol
    But you know, today people don't pay much attention to that.
    I am surprised how much things changed since when we were kids.
    New terms, new spelling, new phrases, new grammar.
    It's sad because writing has, in a sense, become a dying art.

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  11. Things like that keep us humble, Rick! For the first few months of blogging I didn't even know I could edit my post. I thought once it was there that was it, set it stone. I had many humble moments. Still do. I hear reporters on the national news sometimes goofing. Whether to use I or me seems to be the worst culprit.

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