Tag Archives: economic struggles

The “F” Word

The f bomb. The f, eff, eph word. However you’d like to politely refer to it; lately, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the use of this particular profanity. It is everywhere nowadays, in the work place, all over the blogosphere, twitter, Facebook, and in the hallways of our schools. Now that the Supreme Court is looking into television decency rules that prohibit the use of the ‘seven’, I thought it time to look into why swearing is so over-done, has little to no shock value and its use ought to be limited, but not out of any sense of decency. Honestly, it just doesn’t phase me anymore. 

The f word used to be the penultimate of swear words, where its utterance would immediately cause a cessation of conversation, or get you in really big trouble with your parents- grounded for a month trouble with no TV, or worse if you’re of an age where your mother or father beat the daylights out of you.

The taboo on the use of this word wasn’t all that long ago, a few years it seems, but with the massive expansion of social networking, Facebook and twitter especially, the word is everywhere and it would seem we have become a nation of potty-mouths.

At least during WWII when there was ample reason to swear every other word, they were creative in coming up with other ways to put it – snafu, fubar. Vietnam Vets – they have earned the right to swear however they like. Not so much anyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have to consider the purpose of the use of profanity, in speaking and in writing. For shock value, or to make an emphatic point, but what’s the rational for swearing just to swear. The only time I really let loose is when a telemarketer decides they want to argue with me about whether or not I want what they are selling. You want to get your phone number taken off their call list, just say all 7 of the unallowable, creatively arranged, and they will hang up on you.

We have become a world lacking in imagination. We can’t seem to solve the problems we face. These aren’t new problems. We’ve had economic difficulties before, some would say more severe than the mess we’re in now. That was called the Great Depression and it was no joke for those in a position to solve the problems of massive homelessness and hunger. Now, we don’t work together. We have road rage and random acts of violence. We use unimaginative terms to get through our daily lives. Even our leaders get caught using it when standing too close to an open mic.

Perhaps it’s indicative of our educational decline, the over use of this word. It seems we’re graduating more and more students who can’t construct a sentence with subject verb agreement. They can sure talk a blue streak. I’m not talking about high school students either. I’ve run across numerous grad students seeking a master’s degree in English who can’t express themselves.

Writing is an art form but it is now taught by rote, without imagination in too many schools across the nation and around the world Until that is changed and the language is learned and used to it’s fullest effect, we could quite possibly be – as a people, as a nation, even the world – as the saying goes…

As with most profanity, the f word should be held in reserve, unused except in the most extreme and direst need not just any ole time you can’t use your brain and come up with a different turn of phrase.

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Goodbye 2011 and Hello to the New Year!

Goodbye 2011

It didn’t start out too great. I’d just lost my job, right after refinancing my very expensive mortgage into a lower rate and lower payments. Ended up getting behind on those payments right out of the gate. Turns out the bank doesn’t like that. I found a temp job that made it possible to exist, but still I couldn’t avoid the threats of foreclosure from the lovely folks at BB&T, even though I’d started paying again and kept them informed the entire time of the situation. Turns out they don’t give a crap about your situation either.

All 2010 I sent my book out to try and get an agent. I went through a couple redrafts on the way the story plays out. Got a couple beta readers to go over it when I got nothing from the agent search, thinking the book was crap or something. The feedback from those readers told me something different and I started hearing in late 2010 about these new upstarts, the self-publishers who were putting their stories up on Amazon and becoming successful. The spark of an idea entered my brain and I started researching the possibility. By March of 2011, I’d decided. No more agent rejections. No more struggling with the properly worded query. Those days are gone! I decided to publish without them.

Meanwhile, I was facing a summer of unemployment again, as the temp job ended in June. I’m a substitute teacher you see, which means I can put up with a huge amount of abuse. More months of just scraping by loom ahead. With some help from family, I manage to make the summer mortgage payments, but it turns out the bank doesn’t care that I’ve been paying, sometimes double to catch up. One day, they take all the money out of my checking account – no warning that I’m aware of. Poof. Every cent, gone. Down to zero. And it’s a Friday so when I call the bank to find out what has happened, they can’t tell me. They don’t understand it either until I finally get a manager on the phone who says I need to talk to the foreclosure office. 

At the same time all this is going on, I’m going forward with the publication of my first book, Chosen, the first book of a series called Guardians of the Word. I’d been working on this story for years and years, off and on, between taking care of the kids and working on the house, getting a divorce, and dealing with a lot of relatives dying almost all at the same time. I finished the 8th and final book a few years back and went back to work on the first one, my problem child, until I got it to a point I felt it was ready. My beta readers enjoyed it, offered their suggestions and edits. Preparing the manuscript for digital publication is a steep learning curve, but with the help of some incredibly kind and giving folks at the Indie Writers Unite FB group, I figure most of it out, and then I hire help when some parts remain incomprehensible. I got into a big rush. Could have figured it out on my own, but the fever had struck. Publish now or die.

I did publish in June of 2011, and then immediately started on the next book of the series. I did a little promo for Chosen, but not much, and so far, I’ve not paid for advertising at all. Sales trickled in. Reviews came and they were all glowing! That is an amazing feeling, knowing that someone enjoyed your work enough to tell other people about it.

I published book 2, Myth at the end of November, 2011, and one short month later, the year that hasn’t been too kind is finally over.

I plan to publish the next three and maybe even 4 books of the series in the coming year. I may write a short story in there, but so far nothing is coming up for that. Stress is a creativity killer, and the ideas have to cut through a lot of clutter to reach the surface where my poor brain can pick them out, which is why I was so excited when I had an idea for a new book about a month ago. There’ll be more books after these for certain.

I know that life will still be hard, and immensely difficult to manage on my own, but I’ll do it. I still have my house and I still struggle to keep it. I will never stop trying there. It’s not an option for me to give up the place any more than it’s an option for me to give up publishing my stories. I do it because I must. I have three passions in this life. My kids. My home. My writing. One day, I believe things will get better. I’ll get a permanent, decent job. My books will sell and maybe one day I’ll make enough to live off creating worlds and lives out of whole cloth.

The only thing I regret about the path I’ve chosen is that I didn’t start down it sooner. Fear of not succeeding kept me from taking that turn down the lane years ago, but no more. I’m firmly on it, forging the way ahead through whatever obstacles attempt to block me. It won’t work. Look ahead. Bring me that horizon. 

Hello 2012!

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