One of “those” days,

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Have you ever had one of these days?

You step into the shower with your glasses on and immediately your vision clouds because of the steam, and the harder you try to see the more difficult it becomes because moisture drops have obscured pretty much everything.

Then you start to panic that you are losing your eyesight and you immediately start worrying about how you are going to miss seeing the little things like the sight of fresh, green grass covered in dewdrops sparkling in the early morning sunshine or your daughter’s eyes that are the color of rich, milk chocolate fringed with long, black lashes, or the way your husband’s smile crinkles his eyes when he looks at you.

Then you start thinking about all the things that you are never going to see like your daughters graduating from high school and college, the face of your first grandchild, or a school of dolphins skimming alongside your (fictional, but totally possible) yacht as the sun glints off of impossibly blue water that seems to stretch forever.

Once you start thinking along those lines, you get a little misty eyed and maybe a tear or two starts to gather in your eyes, so you go to wipe them. And that’s when you realize you’re still wearing your glasses. You take them off, and though everything is still blurry (the normal amount of blurry), you realize you are not losing your eyesight and you’re so happy that you shower alone because no one ever need know how you freaked out about forgetting to take off your glasses.

Of course, then you have to blog about it because it’s been one of those days and the original post your were going to write about is lost somewhere in that Swiss cheese grey matter you call a brain.

That gets you to thinking about this thing called ADD that you have, which is usually a good thing (with meds and management) because it allows you to be creative, see lots of ideas, and get a lot of stuff done. Then there are the days when it isn’t a good thing, like today, and you totally freak out because you forgot to take off your glasses. Like I said, Swiss cheese.

Consequently, in honor of my own fallibility and because I’m having one of those days, (and also because I really like word games) I am going to play an analogy game using the initials ADD to remind myself how I usually am versus how I am feeling today.

Most days I feel like I’m Able: Driven Doer. Sometimes I even feel Academic: Dedicated Director.

But some days I am Apathetic: Dreary Downer or Able: (but still) Difficult Day, much like today.

How about you? Can you come up with your own analogy using ADD or another acronym that’s near and dear to you? Or have you ever had one of those days like me?  I’d love to hear from you!

To the Unknown *Cough Troll* Reviewer

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As someone who is just beginning to write and publish, your input is important, and I want to take the time to address the concerns you so eloquently mentioned in your review, specifically the capitalization of first words in the chapter, the typos you claim to have seen and the overall weird formatting.

To begin with you wanted to know, “WHAT is this capitalizing the beginnings of sentences sometimes but the entire first word of chapters.” (Incidentally, you really should have ended your sentence with a question mark since you were asking a question, weren’t you?). Here we really have two separate issues. One is the capitalization of first words of chapters, and the other is the capitalization of the beginnings of some sentences. I’ll be honest. I was trying something. Many authors use capitalization at the beginning of their chapters to signal the start of a new chapter, which is why my chapter titles were not larger or bold (another one of your concerns). Unfortunately, as a self-published e-pub author the programs that I use to convert my manuscript into different e-pub formats did not transfer the capitalization of first sentences well, and it looked like I was shouting. Your comment was welcome, if poorly worded, and I have changed that and re-uploaded a shout-free version to Amazon and other platforms that carry my book.

As for your second concern regarding capitalization of first words of some sentences, I was signalling a change of scenes. Some authors use extra space while others use hashtags to specify a change of scene or change of point of view; I used capitalization. Again, the e-pub platform I use to convert my manuscript frowns on extra spacing. I suppose I could have used hashtags, but then again that would cause problems with extra spacing. I don’t know that I feel using caps in this case was unwarranted; however if enough people complain, I will consider using hashtags.

Another concern of yours was that, and I quote, “Also, the last sentence, when ended, the next chapter number was directly below it, and directly below it, a new sentence began with all capitals.” I believe I just mentioned why there was not a lot of spacing in the text, why first words, and not the entire sentence as you have just claimed, were capitalized, so I will refrain from being repetitive, although you should be congratulated for doing such a stellar job with it.

On to your last concern. “AND there were a lot of typos.” Really, now. If you are kind enough to mention the number of typos in my manuscript, it is only fair that I point out to you that sentences in English do not start with and, especially not one in all caps (BTW, nice irony). Perhaps you might argue that I started many sentences with and in my manuscript (see how I used italics here instead of caps?); however I would point out that in the context of creative writing, the rules of grammar can be bent, while you, a reviewer, should be conscious of how you appear to those reading your words.

And now on to your concern about typos. I went through my manuscript again and checked for spelling and other grammatical errors. Just to be clear, the main character’s name is Tavis, not Travis, so if you were concerned I had misspelled my main character’s name throughout the book, never fear. Also, there were times when I used many rrrrs in a row to show Tavis’s Scots burr. That was purrrrposefully done. Additionally, I used several Gaelic words and used spellings I found on the Internet. Now, I am only fluent in four languages, Gaelic not being one of them, so I very well could have misspelled any one of  those Gaelic endearments Tavis used towards Amelia. If I did and you speak Gaelic, please let me know. I did find one instance where I used a homophone incorrectly (that’s where two words sound the same but are spelled differently). When I should have used too, I accidentally used to. My bad. I may have missed a comma or to (oops!, I meant two!), or have even inserted won when one wasn’t needed (the horror!); however, I ask because did those mistakes truly impede your enjoyment of the story?

“I enjoyed the story line and the two characters, Amelia and Tavis. The supporting characters were not bad either.”

Those are your words, not mine, which begs the question, if you enjoyed the story and the characters why did you give me a 2? Was it truly because of some formatting issues and some misplaced commas? Really? Because based on that criteria your own review–replete with incomplete sentences, poor punctuation and awkwardly worded phrases–would by your own standards earn less than a 2, which is what I am going to give your review.

And at least, unlike you, I have the balls to put my name on my work.


S. Ackerman

**I do welcome reviews and critiques. I just think the practice of ripping apart someone’s work because of the safety and anonymity of the Internet is reprehensible. If you have constructive feedback that you would like to provide, I would love to hear it! TRULY! Even from this reviewer’s poorly written example, I was able to take away something and change my manuscript for the better. Please! Review! Let’s discuss! We can only ever become better _______ (fill in the blank) if we are willing to engage in open dialogues of mutual respect!–S.E.A