It's a day when we look at our writing and our editing carefully and learn more ways to make good and proper punctuation an instinct.
Here's a great article I found by Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, Sat September 24, 2016
Appreciate the apostrophe, salute the semicolon and exalt the exclamation point today. It's National Punctuation Day!
The holiday started when Jeff Rubin, a former reporter, grew increasingly frustrated as he spotted errors in the newspaper.
"I would sit at the kitchen table with my red Sharpie ... screaming obscenities, which would upset my wife," Rubin told CNN. "She encouraged me to find another outlet for my aggravation."
In 2004, he secured a listing for the day in the "Chase's Calendar of Events" reference book, and National Punctuation Day was born.
"The first two years it was on August 22, because that's my birthday," Rubin said. "I figured if you're going to start a holiday, you should have it on a day you can remember."
But he moved the festivities to September 24 in 2006, placing it squarely in the school year and honoring the number of his favorite baseball hero, Willie Mays.
The day isn't just for people who get cranky over misplaced commas or hyperventilate over errant hyphens.
Rubin said he wanted to help educators remind students that punctuation still matters, even in an age of rapid-fire tweets and text messages.
"We are graduating children from high schools now who cannot read and cannot write," he says. "When these kids get out into the real world, they're going to be unemployable."
He's not alone in his push for punctuation.
In her book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation," British author Lynne Truss describes a panda entering a cafe, eating a sandwich, firing a gun and walking out -- all because of a poorly punctuated wildlife manual.
As authors, especially indie authors, we often start out self-publishing on a shoestring. Many of us are schooled later about punctuation errors in our work. This is why it's particularly important to have our work edited, even if it costs a bit.
I asked a Facebook Writer's Group what errors were their own or were their pet peeves.
Here is what they said:
I began with mine. Mine is the Shatner Comma and the incorrectly placed apostrophe or quote mark. I also over-use ellipses
Melissa Williams said I don't like it when people use too few or too many commas than necessary. I might overuse dashes...
Michelle Dunbar said I can't stand the interrobang. Seriously irritates me (and there is no danger of me ever using one, lol)
When I asked what that was she told me !? or ?! or ?!?
Reyna Favis said her peeve was Over use of exclamation points Heather Cassaday PA agreed I'm guilty of this one. I've noticed it about myself and try to do it less So just remember the power of proper punctuation!
A H. Johnstone detailed life as a writer last week.
This week the character Charon speaks:
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Charon. I used to be the ferryman of the Underworld. That is until we lost that bet and most of us ended up stuck in the mortal world.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I wasn’t so much born as manifested. I was only ever an anthropomorphic personification, but
3. How would you describe yourself?
Old. I look like a young man, barely even 50. I suppose that might not seem old to you but when you have been around for more than three millennia, then 50 is barely grown.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
In the Underworld, but we don’t grow up as you mortals do.
5. How old are you?
I suppose if you want to put a date on it I suppose you could say I was born when humans
had a conscious awareness of their own mortality.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
It wasn’t really a childhood, but mostly it was boring. All I did was row back and forth across that river.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
I married Hel, the Norse goddess of Nilfheim, but she left me about thirty years ago. I didn’t know what happened to her until recently. I’d thought she’d faded. There’s been nobody else.. I just couldn’t let myself get close to someone like that again.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
I would have to say honour, justice and honesty
9. What are you obsessed with?
At the moment? Finding that weasel Loki and finding out where Ra took Hel. He took her after the battle. However, I don’t want to get there too soon and spoil her fun. She’d never forgive me.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Fairness is very important to me. I care about you mortals. You’ve suffered enough from the whims of the gods. If I can help protect you from the rest of us, I do what I can.
11. Biggest fear?
Being forced back down into the Underworld for the rest of eternity. Would you want to go down there after tasting freedom?
12. What line will you never cross?
I would never view the life of another as collateral. Unlike Ra, I don’t see humans as expendable.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
In hindsight, getting a taste of a normal life. I can do what I want. I have variety.
The worst would be being betrayed by my friend. That got very messy.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Being knocked flying by a naked fairy. I would really rather not talk about that.
15. Biggest secret?
I don’t really have secrets but if you must know, my cat is not really a cat. Susan is something... umm... different.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Find Loki and drag his worthless carcass back to Odin to answer for his actions. I have some questions for that weasel
Some reviews are in LeslieLuvzBooks reviews the above mentioned Charon Unguarded> 5.0 out of 5 stars A Supernatural Adventure of Olympic Proportions! 24 March 2018 - Published on Amazon.com Format: Paperback Supernatural/mythological fiction has seen a sharp uptick in popularity, especially with the likes of Rick Riordan and Neil Gaiman taking a stab at the more popular pantheons. Religion in literature is a hairy thing to contend with, especially if you do it wrong and end up either bashing other religions, or shoving a certain religion very un-subtly in your reader's face. Somebody like Brandon Sanderson, for example, and his Mistborn series saw several para-religious themes carried out in a balanced and respectful way, paying homage to many different beliefs. In the realm of independently-published authors, I've enjoyed the finesse of authors like K. M. Vanderbilt and the "dynamic duo" of Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins. After reading this book, I would willingly add Johnstone to their ranks. Merely the fact that, out of all the Greek pantheon, she selects Charon as her main character, lets you know that this isn't going to be an ordinary adventure. The fact that, essentially, the gods have been forced to live in the mortal realm (under our very noses!) is both hilarious and a great way to place all the characters on even footing, though some would rather see about setting themselves up to receive all the power over others. The thing I loved most about this book was how relatable the characters were. From Charon trying to get Hermes on board with his schemes, to pompous Ra, "Big Boss-Man" Zeus, and the double-dealing Odin--all of them were quite entertaining with their shenanigans! I felt for Charon in his quest to get to the truth of the matter and stop the ones who would just destroy the mortal world and everyone in it because it suited (or didn't suit) their desires... The pain and betrayal he experiences along the way, as well as the unassuming sense of morality he has--all of it came together nicely in a well-paced adventure! Be warned: This book will leave you wanting to read more about the adventures of Charon, the immortal Doorman! Johnstone is completely unique and you won't get the same experience with any other author out there!
And two for me. Remember, A review is a review. They don't have to be wordy or in depth. They just have to be your impression as a reader.
Going Forth By Day enjoyable read
By L. Morrison on September 20, 2018
Written so detailed you could almost see the adventure and beautiful places.
Opener of the Sky 5.0 out of 5 stars GreatRead
By L. Morrison on September 20, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
what a great adventure! enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to read the next one
Next Up? D C Fergerson of course!
What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve been a storyteller all my life, and I’ve always been creative.
I did everything as I grew up-sales, IT repair, drawing and painting, website design. It wasn’t until I sat down and tried to write novels that I realized it had been there the whole time. I love to evoke emotions and bring characters to life. It really is what I was meant to do.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
Book Four of The Wicked Instruments - Murder, Heresy, and Other Mishaps It concludes the wild adventure started in Goblins, Parents, and Other Monsters. The Wicked Instruments is a fantasy comedy series, heavily inspired by The Princess Bride.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I would say it is very important, but I’m biased. I’ve been reading all my life. Consuming might even be a better word. If you can’t look to the great storytellers, learn from them, and enjoy them, what could you possibly know about doing it right?
Do you remember the first book you read?
I grew up on ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books and Encyclopedia Brown like every good
80’s kid. It wasn’t until I read The Catcher in the Rye that my world really opened up. So I’d say that’s the first book that counts.
What book are you reading now?
I’m rereading Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk. He’s the bees knees.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
I’ve had these characters and this story for a long time. I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons in my 20’s (nerd cred), and The Wicked Instruments is just me finally putting it to paper.
The title of the series came from the lead characters, Leanna Moonbody and Priestess Trixie. Leanna is a guitar-playing bard, and Priestess Trixi tries to amass a following for a pilgrimage. Between song and rhetoric, they use their instruments to achieve their ends. Neither of them are doing good for goodness sake, they fly by the seat of their pants. Being heroes never entered in their mind, it was a byproduct of their personal quests.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
I identify the most with Jonathan Twilight. He’s the realist in an insane world. His motives aren’t always pure, but he tries his best to do the right thing.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or
events in your own life?
Well, I can’t take full credit for the characters. Each of the main characters was played by someone I know. So, in that regard, a lot of the funniest scenes in the story came from someone doing that in the D&D campaign.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fantasy worlds are not all just made-up stuff, that’s true. I would say a good deal of my time is spent on research. I never want to lose suspension of disbelief, even when my wizard is creating balls of fire from thin air.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
Dead silence. Me, alone in my office, a fair bit of iced tea, and no interruptions.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
The aforementioned and sacred iced tea. Kidney stones be damned.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Marketing. It’s like making love -you don’t know you’re bad at it until someone tells you, so you just wing it and hope to get it right.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Social anxiety and autism. People scare the hell out of me. So even a mild amount of fame is terrifying. That said, send me an email! I love hearing from all of you scary monsters!
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My wife. Whiskey. Either, or both.
How do you market your book?
I’m KDP exclusive at this time and market thru AMS. I may branch out to Facebook soon, we’ll see. Right now, I have my author page on Facebook, and I have my twitter and Youtube, but I’m not actively advertising any of those channels just yet.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
I haven’t gotten too much in the way of reader contacts on the book. I love feedback, though, so I hope to hear from readers in the future.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
Author CJ Perry looks over every book I read and reminds me of all the terrible habits I have
before it reaches your hands. So we have him to thank for not seeing adverbs, filter words, or any other nonsense I need to stop doing. Also, romance editor Michelle Torretta Luxembourger is my go-to girl. She’s got the eye of a hawk.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
Ooh, haven’t done that yet. But I’m so excited to do it!
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Laugh, love, and do the right thing.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Sophie Turner as Leanna Moonbody, and Anna Farris as Priestess Trixi.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
No one in particular comes to mind, though I love meeting anyone.
Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a big pop-culture nerd, and I love going to the movies. At home, I dabble in playing my PS4, but between work and writing and being a dad, my plate is kinda full.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love sci-fi and fantasy, comic book stuff like the MCU, and I have a deep, forbidden love for Into the Badlands.
Meat. All of the meat.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Cancer. Summer babies rock.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
‘Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart’ by Chris Cornell.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
Think I got that one already.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Cry. Cry a whole lot, then sit on the corner and tell stories for loose change.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my daughter. The whole time.
What do you want written on your head stone?
‘Mistakes were made.’
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Filter words. I can be terrible about bad writing habits like that. I’ve gotten a lot better.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
If this is really what you want, tell your story. It’s only after it’s over that the real work starts.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My wife and author CJ Perry. They’ll both be the kind of merciless I need when I ask for critique.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
The Wicked Instruments series is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback! You can get
started with The Singer and the Charlatan at
Social media links and websites?
Youtube: D.C. Fergerson
My Current Project is a short story now in editing called "Raemkai's Stairs" It will be published for Halloween in Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 and perhaps expanded into a paranormal novel or novella at some point. It's based on stories (and some experiences) of three ghosts in Memphis, Tennessee...one who became the legendary "Little Mary", the Ghost of the Orpheum Theater. Here is the opening, in which we meet the main character Raemkai a wolf-shifting ghost.
His head rose from his crossed paws and his dark snout sniffed at the air.
Is that smoke? Is the house on fire? Did the wiring in this old place finally spark out? the wolf rose and padded around on the upper landing, then looking down the stairs he saw the wild-haired man slouched and warming his hands over a low, licking flame. A discordant yowl rose from his weaving and rocking form:
“Bebe Lie mie fiyah…cmon bebe lie mie fiyah…”
A drunk broke in from the cold to warm his hands. I was only going to tease him for provoking my rest, but now the bastard gets the full visual for the fire. Materializing from the head down the wolf spirit slowly altered his shape. He became a red furred hell hound with oversized glowing green eyes and saber teeth. With a howling growl, he extended his clawed hands, seized the man’s ragged shoulders, lifted him high overhead and flung him to the floor beside the pile of smoldering papers.
“My house!” he shrieked. “My stairs! Put out the damned fire and get out!” he zipped around and lunged at the scrambling man who whimpered and swatted the flames with his hands. As the sparks flew and died, the man kept screaming, kicked his empty liquor bottle and ran.
Next week: Mary
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H7LCD5B/ref=pe_1884330_364499390_pe_re_csr_ea_image Protection K Matt 9-3-18