When A Writer Starts Losing It

So Friday afternoon (yesterday) rolled around. I had finished up the day job and caught up with blogs and laundry. And I had Saturday’s (today’s) blog post all ready to go. I was ready for the weekend.

And then I checked the calendar. The subject of that Saturday post doesn’t take place until April 14th. I didn’t have a post for April 7th, after all. I had gotten ahead of myself. D’oh!

So instead of doing something fun—a beta read of a fellow blogger’s manuscript—I’m scrambling to write a post for the morning. And how many people will even be blogging this weekend? But I set a schedule, as the blog gods dictate we should do, and I’m doing my darndest to keep to it.

But this has me wondering. What happened to my normally well-prepared and logical brain? Is it just normal aging? Or has the creative side started to take over, pushing logic and reason aside? Sometimes that’s a good thing—like when I’m working on the novels. But I still need the rational side, too—you know, the side that remembers what day it is and what I’m supposed to do at work and when to pay the bills. So unless the creative side is going to take on those duties, it better play nice with the logical, reasonable me.

Did I ignore the creative side so long that it’s taking revenge on me now that it’s been allowed to speak out loud? I prefer this scenario to some smart aleck saying, “No, you’re just getting old.”

It hurts. It might have to come out.

Better bloggers would have used this experience to come up with a witty new post. And they would have done it in a matter of minutes and then immediately have been rewarded with Freshly Pressed status for their awesome talents. That’s not how it happens in my universe, though. Here, it’s sit at the computer and wonder where the good ideas are hanging out—undoubtedly at the cool bloggers’ houses on a Friday evening.

I refuse to put it down to aging. I’m going to blame the early spring and thus early allergy onset. My eyes are dry and scratchy, and the lime-green dusting of pollen on the cars is probably lining my sinuses and throat, too. If we can get a good rain to wash out the air, I’ll be good as new. And the good news is I have next Saturday’s post finished. I can devote more time to writing and beta reading next week.

Maybe every cloud does have a silver lining. But I’d really appreciate it if it could drop a nice rain shower in the next day or two.

And so to close, a few final funny spam entrées from the past couple of days:

this internet site is my inhalation , rattling superb design and style and perfect articles .” — such gushing praise! Why, then, do I have a hard time believing it? Because the next “comment” in the spam queue was:

“Rattling nice design and style and superb written content , hardly anything else we require : D.” — sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But just what is a “rattling design?”

A late addition this morning— “I precisely desired to appreciate you once more. I am not sure the things that I might have implemented without those methods discussed by you over such area of interest. It became an absolute frightening setting in my view, nevertheless considering the well-written technique you solved that made me to weep for delight. I’m happier for the guidance as well as hope you are aware of an amazing job you happen to be undertaking teaching some other people by way of your web site. I’m certain you’ve never met any of us.” — Who knew my short character clip of Kathryn Donnellan could make such an impact?

And my personal favorite to date—

Farmville cheats strays against a hint. This incorrect use rockets next to the accolade. Is going to Farmville cheats be sad past the train? Your set of questions lathers the grab.” — this sounds like it wants to be a coded message in Dan Brown’s next book . . . or a fortune cookie.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Fun With Spam

Ah, the phishy school of spammers recently returned to the fertile feeding ground that is my blog. Here are some recent residents of my spam queue that brought a smile to my face.

“Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?” — Most long-time followers know I have never uploaded a video to this blog. (The rare link to a video can be found at the end of this post.) Are you someone who hates doing research? Can’t be bothered with facts? A career in spamming may be what you’re looking for. No attention to details necessary.

“I am not very wonderful with English but I line up this real easygoing to understand .” — At least this spammer is honest about his or her language skills. We’ll return to this subject with an important service announcement at the end of this post.

“Nice read. I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. He actually bought me lunch as I found it for him! Therefore let me rephrase: Thanx for lunch!” — This was on my “Status Update” post. Someone was researching my status on my book writing? Wow. I must have more of a following than I thought. 😉 Hope they enjoyed the free meal.

“simply wanted to comment on your wonderfully designed website, awesome job!” — I believe in giving credit where credit is due. So kudos to the folks at Frostpress, who designed the Comet Theme that I use. I’m sure it will make their day to know that spammers admire their web designs.

“I dugg some of you post as I thought they were handy handy” — I guess two handies are better than one. But please do not use them to digg me.

“Hello! This really is my own 1st remark right here so I simply wanted to present a quick scream away along with let you know I honestly enjoy looking at your blog post content. Are you able to advise some other websites And websites Per community forums that go over a similar subjects? Be thankful!” — Oh, boy. This one came from a site that clearly states it’s about the good health for a certain part of the male anatomy. I don’t know if that’s why they “wanted to present a quick scream away,” but I really don’t think I can help them with web sites related to theirs….

“yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a high risk determination great post! .” — Darn. Wouldn’t it be more fun if our blogs WERE high risk determinations? What a great way to add some virtual danger to our daily lives, don’t you think?

“Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the source?” — Well, since this is my blog about my writing, yes, I am positive in regards to the source. Appropriately enough, this “comment” was meant to be left on my “Spamapalooza” post.

“some genuinely good info , Gladiolus I discovered this.” — I nearly spit coffee on my computer with this one. I’m so gladiolus they found three sentences that simply describe the accompanying pages to be so genuinely good.

“I like this web site its a master peace ! .” — Aw, gosh, a master peace? I’d better start preparing an acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize that will surely come my way. Drat, something else to cut into my writing time.

“some times its a pain in the ass to read what blog owners wrote but this site is very user pleasant! .” — Now what could be better than this spammer’s seal of approval for my blog? You won’t get embarrassing or unpleasant pains in your posterior region when reading my posts. If that’s not a reason to read them, I don’t know what is.

And finally, here are two posts for an important Public Service Announcement on behalf of all language instructors.

“There are certainly numerous details like that to take into consideration. That could be a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as common inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you bring up where crucial factor might be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round issues like that, however I’m positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls really feel the influence of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.” — and

“Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get one thing done.”

Let these be a lesson to all of us not to rely too heavily on translation programs. Please be sure to consult with a language professional before posting in a language that is unknown to you, lest you find yourself in John Cleese’s position in this classic Monty Python skit.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Have a wonderful day.

Spamapalooza and Spring Fever

Wow, I’m really glad WordPress does a good job filtering spam. I was socked the last week by “people” in Poland “commenting” on my various posts. Fortunately, none of them got through as real comments.

But it’s funny to read them and compare them to the post they were supposedly commenting on. How would I think they were anything BUT spam?! Here are some of my favorites.

“A lot of thanks for your own work on this website. My aunt enjoys participating in research and it is easy to understand why. Most of us know all about the compelling method you convey effective tips by means of the web blog and even foster response from some other people on this article then our favorite child is now studying a lot of things. Enjoy the rest of the year. You’re the one doing a dazzling job.” — This was posted on my “character clip” for Kathryn Donnellan of Summer at the Crossroads.

“some genuinely interesting details you have written.” — This was posted on a page that basically says the associated pages are opening scenes to several sections.

“I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were extremely helpful extremely helpful”—Cerebrated…. There’s a new one!

On a more topical note—writing—it’s hard to concentrate this week. We’re getting several days of beautiful spring weather. My husband and I took a nice walk in the park last weekend, and I snapped a few photos.

The maple trees are beginning to bud out. Tree pollen is really high right now, and I can feel it.

 

 The daffodils are in full bloom, too. They’re some of my favorite spring flowers.

 

Close up of a flowering tree. These are common in our neighborhood, and they’re really beautiful right now. The cherries in DC aren’t far behind. If temperatures stay warmer than expected, the cherries will peak earlier than usual. If you ever decide to visit Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival, you should get here during the first part of the festivities. More often than not, the trees are peaking earlier in the season.

The second draft of Death Out of Time got wrapped up on Friday. So it’s time I set it aside and let some fresh eyes look at it. I’m working on notes for the sequel and listening for the characters to start giving me more details. But they may have their own spring fever right now. And we’re all groggy from the time change to Daylight Savings Time. It takes me at least a week to adjust to it.

Hopefully those of you who went through the time change are dealing with it more easily than I am. And if it’s not yet spring in your part of the world, it is coming. (Unless, of course, you’re in the southern hemisphere. I know you’re heading into Autumn!)