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POPEYETHETURTLE's Photo POPEYETHETURTLE SparkPoints: (218,910)
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2/7/14 9:47 P

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After your response, I glanced back over what I had written.

I've seen shorter short stories.

In the future, please feel free to skip over the boring parts. Looking back, I think anything beyond the first two-three paragraphs was mostly superfluous.

"A government big enough to give everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have."
-Ronald Reagan

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2/7/14 7:48 P

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Hi Popye,

Thank you for the great stories:) It honestly made me feel good. I too have seen grammar and even spelling errors in some of the more well known authors so yes, I can relate to that as well. I was most assuredly type A with this because it was my first full novel and I want/wanted it to be the best it could be but I know the best often still has mistakes so this is a good thing to know about:) I am usually very laid back with a type B personality but when I work hard on something I am very much the Type A haha.

I am thankful for all the support I have gotten during the last few days. It has been a bumpy road this week but that is okay, it is the life of an author and I am okay with that:) Again, thank you so much for your wonderful post it truly made me smile.

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POPEYETHETURTLE's Photo POPEYETHETURTLE SparkPoints: (218,910)
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2/7/14 7:33 P

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OK Type A perfectionist, a quality I admire by the way. We'll let you get away with what I often find while reading. The reading/writing sites I visit I am called FlashReader, or Flash Reader, becaue of how quickly I read.

If I have a week where I only read 7 books, it is because I have spent a day or two on my first attempt at being published.

In my experience, in today's publishing world, Good Editors are hard to find, Great Editors seem to be an almost extinct species. I have found many "errors" (not just spelling) in the writings of Best Selling, "name" authors (just popping in my mind are authors like Catherine Coulter and W.E.B. Griffen II, who are just two of my latest catches).

I usually send an email (if they have a published one) or I send a private message through Facebook. I ALWAYS blame their editor for screwing with their work (even when "I" know it was probably a mistake - getting the facts wrong, on their part), and so far I have always received a pleasant response saying the correction would appear in the paper-back version or on an additional publishing run.

Some Very Common errors I see have to do with Flag Etiquette for the Red, White and Blue.
Writers erroneously identify a flag flying at half mast at a Marine, Army or Air Force base (or even on public streets or government buildings). The truth is, only ships have masts. If the American Flag is flying half-way up a pole, it is flying at half-staff.

Another error I have yet to find a writer get correct is at the playing of the National Anthem, veterans who have on a cap are Encouraged to salute the flag rather than removing their caps and placing it over their heart. It formerly resulted in some heated arguments, but I now have Flag Etiquette bookmarked on my Nook (I don't leave home without it).

A sure-win trivia bet is to claim that every American military base, if evacuated or sold (no longer in use), the Commanding force (Army, Air Force or Marines) of which always leave at least one truck on base. When the person wagering against this notion puts his (or her) foot in their mouth and denies this claim, the ambush is executed. The gold colored ball at the top of every military flagpole (civilians sometimes call it a filial) is called a "truck" in military jargon. Many modern dictionaries no longer use this as one of the definitions, so to prove the point one must search for the term "military flag truck" on Snopes or one of its copycats.

I was once the proud first discoverer of an obviously incorrect and impossible fact in a book written by a NY Times Best Selling author. He wrote of a scene where a character who was visiting the capital city of Missouri, Jefferson City, had occasion to be on the bluffs that overlook the city. The character was contemplating his navel (thinking philosophical thoughts) while looking down over the wide Mississippi. The truth is, the Mississippi is between 250-300 miles away from Jefferson City. The Missouri River can be seen from the bluffs outside the city, but NOT the Mississippi.

Another piece of trivia that usually stumps people is to ask, "What is the longest river in the United States, from its headwaters to its outflow in the gulf of Mexico"? Most people will answer, the Mississippi. They are wrong. The longest river in the United States, from its headwaters until it empties into the Gulf is the Missouri River - which actually starts in Montana. Many people believe that it was named by the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1803 or 1804, but it was actually named by some Frenchman about 90 years earlier. The area was part of the Louisiana purchase in 1803 and it was until then before the American government sent anyone officially into what would be later the Northwest United States. The French never traced the river back to its headwaters, so it was named after the Indians that lived in what would be called the Missouri River Basin.

You know the longest, so how about I tell you of the widest and the slowest. The widest is the overflow from Lake Okeechobee, which is fed by by the Kissimmee River and is technically called The Everglades. It is 60 miles wide at its widest and just 100 miles long.

The slowest river? Again the overflow from the Kissimmee, the Everglades, moves southwards at about 1/2 mile per day (or 0.0021 mph).

How, or better, why, do I know these silly things? In my misspent youth as a young bachelor officer stationed in parts of the world that had few women of any race who spoke English, many hours were spent in Officers clubs as an aid in battling loneliness. Then further removed to what was officially designated the Company Grade Officers area (but in reality an area where Majors and below who were bachelors, hung out and contributed to to the American economy by drinking large quantities of alcohol (which had no city, county, state or federal taxes levied against it). We entertained ourselves (no American television in those days) with trivia contests. For some reason, my brain was a catch-all for minutia. In most all of these bars was something that no other bars I have ever been in have had, a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. When challenged, and the majority couldn't agree with either person, the Encyclopedia was consulted.

The winner was awarded a free drink by the loser, named the Genius of Useless Information, and could only be challenged by someone who, at the minimum, had defeated two others in minor clashes of recall. In order for the Genius to be granted his due, his drinks were purchased by the most recent loser, or in his absence, the loser of the most recent Challenge. The longest I ever held the title of GUI, which at the time was not a pun, was for nine consecutive days. On the tenth, I was stumped by the question of the slowest river. I had responded with St. John Found, also in Florida, which flowed at the rate of 0.3 mph.

Wherever I was stationed, or was sent on temporary duty assignments, I had to Buy very few drinks. As a consequence I built up an incredible tolerance to alcohol (nope, no liver damage). In "drinking contests" (also a sport populated by the young, and mostly bachelor, men), I was almost always the one to walk away with the money bet. Being able to "walk" away was one of the conditions of winning.

In "Open Drinking Contests", I refused to enter if non-commissioned officers were involved. Some of those old dudes (late thirties to mid forties) could really hold their alcohol. I have no clue how, or if, any of them had liver problems later in life.

I apologize for my rambling, but my wife tells me I now am almost as able a "story-teller" as four of her uncles - Uncle Truman, Uncle Jack, Uncle Kewin and Uncle Rusty (who was the last to pass, two months ago). When we first married, actually up until the time each of the passed, I was totally in awe of their abilities to entertain. One of my favorites was the one I call "Uncle Truman and the Indian".

That just gave me an idea for a short story, thank you!

Edited by: POPEYETHETURTLE at: 2/7/2014 (19:48)
"A government big enough to give everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have."
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2/7/14 5:49 P

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You made me smile with that story Stacy. Thank you!

I just remembered I had someone from the outside look at it and she gave me TONS of feedback but neither of us caught the word mistake:) I believe you are right about the idea that if the story is good much can (and often will) be forgiven. Thank you for making me smile. I have decided my next project (outside this past year's NanoWrimo project) will be a contemporary piece because I want to expand and have a few ideas I had written down in a special file for all of my ideas. emoticon

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MADEIT3's Photo MADEIT3 Posts: 2,586
2/7/14 5:41 P

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One of the things I've been saying for years is "we all need an editor." Once you've looked at something a gazillion times, you're bound to read what you intended rather than what's on the page.

I'll never forget writing a 160 page business proposal and having my then boss come back to me after it was mailed. She said, "I just thought you should know there was an error on page 32." Just one? In a 160 page doc. I felt I was doing SO good. Of course, she did not mean it as a compliment ... LOL!!

The word usage mistakes are the ones that strike me as funniest, and it's almost always simple words, things you'd never look up. Like "peek" instead of "peak."

Don't worry about it too much. It's a fact of indie life until the word content managers are developed to the point of looking at word meaning. If you have a great story, a lot can be forgiven!


Stacy, KS

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2/7/14 4:29 P

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I am sure you are very correct Stacy. I am sure someone will find something else I missed despite going through it so many times and running checks with word.

Thankfully it was only that one word that was caught so far but it was so glaring that I HAD to go in and correct it and resubmit the files:) I agree with indie publishing that is an issue and I know I am hardly the first person nor will I be the last...is it weird to say that knowing that makes me feel somewhat better despite the fact that I can make the corrections?

Edited by: FITADMIN83 at: 2/7/2014 (16:32)
Weight is a number that you have total control over:)

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2/7/14 4:17 P

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Rob - just one? In my experience, self-published books lack an editor. Unless you hire an editor or at least a proof-reader, you're bound to have grammatical errors, typos, and word usage issues all over the place. By that I mean the generic "you" and not you specifically! Poor editing is the real downside to indie publishing. When my sister published her novel, she had a publishing house editor and three writers reading and re-reading her drafts. I think I read the book five times before I was done!

So, glad you're correcting the one you found. Trust me, you will probably find more.



Edited by: MADEIT3 at: 2/7/2014 (16:17)
Stacy, KS

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2/7/14 3:11 P

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Hi All!

So I found a grammar mistake (actually my friend's mom did) and it was one lousy word. I have updated my files so the change will take effect in a day or so for both print and Kindle versions! Thank you everyone!

Weight is a number that you have total control over:)

My Book Review Blog:
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My New Spark Team:
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